Friday, June 29, 2012

Funny Fridays: Worse things

( funny..only because now I have kids and  I need to start putting some things in perspective before I go crazy)

A father passing by his son`s bedroom was astonished to see the bed was nicely made, and everything was picked up. Then, he saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow. It was addressed, "Dad." With the worst premonition, he opened the envelope and read the letter, with trembling hands.

Dear Dad,
It is with great regret and sorrow that I`m writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend, because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mom and you. I`ve been finding real passion with Stacy, and she is so nice, but I knew you would not approve of her, because of all her piercings, tattoos, her tight motorcycle clothes, and because she is so much older than I am. But it`s not only the passion, Dad. She`s pregnant. Stacy said that we will be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods, and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children. Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone. We`ll be growing it for ourselves, and trading it with the other people in the commune, for all the cocaine and ecstasy we want. In the meantime, we`ll pray that science will find a cure for AIDS, so Stacy can get better. She sure deserves it!! Don`t worry Dad, I`m 15, and I know how to take care of myself. Someday, I`m sure we`ll be back to visit, so you can get to know your many grandchildren.

Love, your son,
Johnny

P. S. Dad, none of the above is true. I`m over at, my friend, Tommy`s house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the school report that`s on my desk. I love you! Call when it is safe for me to come home.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Stop-Spending- Stupid- Money Plan ( or 10 things that can save you money if you stop doing them)



Stupid Money (n): The money that you should have been able to save or never spent in the first place but you were lazy, just plain forgot or made a bad choice.

It's the middle of the year and I am tired of spending stupid money on things I shouldn't.  Are you still confused on the concept of " stupid" money? Here  are some examples of "stupid" money  issues:

-Library book fines

I don't want to even know how much I have paid the library this year. Based in how much we love the library, it was a bunch.  It should be a free resource but when you forget to turn in 8 kids DVDs for a week. Ka-ching!

-NOT returning stuff
You look at the receipt and say, oh  I've got a month to return that or 60 days or even 90. And then you look at the recipe again and missed your chance. There's $60 of stuff you can't use sitting in your room


-Not sending in rebates
 Seriously so annoying.  You buy something and it comes with an awesome rebate. You have every intention of sending it in and then before you know it, it's passed and you didn't save the $5- $20 bucks. dang it.

-Forgetting coupons

 I'm not the best coupon user and I buy lots of things that never or hardly have coupons. So when i do see a coupon  for something I actually use, I get all excited , cut it out, put it in the organizer and then forget the organizer whenever I go to the store. And as I'm checking out I remember that I had a coupon for that. grrrr..

-Forgetting Gift cards/Groupons

 You get a gift card for a birthday or Christmas or baby shower or wedding shower... you think you are going to wait and use it on something good or wait until you have coupon to use with the girt card.  And a year or so goes by and it starts losing value or it's been swimming around your purse so long that you just lose it. There goes  $20-$100 . bye bye.

-Mystery Charges on bills you don't check
I'm not the best at reviewing my monthly bills or bank statements on time. I have caught, too late, some mystery charges or late fees or over drafts  that had I caught sooner. I could have gotten removed or reduced  but I didn't so they got me   $5-$40 at a time.

- Traffic Tickets
In the past few years, the red light cameras have gotten us ( whatever) and J got a speeding ticket going from building to building at work. There was $200 a pop right there to get them fixed. Just think what we could have done with that money.

-Throwing away food
we don't do this alot but  there are some times that because we by alot of  food at a big box store ( i know, not the best)  that we throw away a bunch of apples or a half a bag of lettuce or some other kind of food that went bad before we could eat it. Even though we saved money buying the food there,  we are throwing money away by not eating it/

- Reoccurring monthly charges
I'm talking about stuff like Blockbuster online (we didn't use for 4 months because we were too busy), Netflix( always forget to use ), consumer reports...stuff like that.  Apparently, we had been paying $20 a year for Consumer reports for 7 years. So it's not a ton of money, but we weren't even using it and had completely forgotten that we were paying for it.

And my all time DUH stupid money spender....

- Not bringing your lunch to work or out somewhere you could like an outdoor concert or touristy place ( like the Zoo)

 J leaves in such a hurry in the morning that he usually doesn't have time to make his lunch. If he did it would be a  deli sandwich with some yogurt and fruit maybe. Healthy , right? But when he forgets  what does he buy at work? A deli sandwich , chips, and some fruit.  Ahhhh.. So that's $8 bucks a pop almost five days a week on top of what we spend on groceries.

If we can cut back on this kind of stuff maybe we can afford that trip to Disney World next year. Yipee!

Monday
What is the Gunny Sack -Making the world Cuter -Debbie Doo -DIY How Off
DIY Shop - Lines Across My Face -I should be mopping the Floor
Great Fun 4 Kids

Tuesday

How to Nest For Less - Tip Junkie - My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia -The Kurtz Corner
Sugar Bee - Romance On A Dime - Chronic Christian Crafter - Funky Polka Dot Giraffe
The Winthrop Chronicles


Wednesday
Oopsey Daisy - Thrifty Home - Someday Crafts - Sew Much Ado
- Junk in Their Trunk  - Southern Lovely


Thursday

My rePurposed Life - Beyond the Picket Fence - Somewhat Simple - Live Laugh Rowe
Loving this Crazy Life -Scrappy Crafty Happy - Fireflies and Jellybeans - The Shabby Cottage
Quality Cheap Home  - The Taylor House
House of Hepworths

Friday

Naptime CraftersStay At Home Nation
Young and CraftyMy Turn(ForUs)
Delicate Construction
Serenity Now
Family Ever After 

Here Comes the Sun

Saturday



Six Sister's Stuff
Be Different Act Normal


Sunday
Nifty Thrifty Things

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Sunshine Blog Award

 (Ok, so this took me like  four days to write . I couldn't decide who to nominate. I know . I know.... more decisions, less thinkys)

My new friend Evelyn over at My Turn (for Us) has nominated me for the Sunshine blogger award.  I'm so flattered  that she though enough of my blog to give this award to me. This is my second blog award and I'm so happy to get them. It made my day.   I think these awards are just awesome little ways to send the positive flow back and forth to each other.


The Sunshine Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers. The recipients of the Sunshine Award are: "Bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere." The way the award works is this: Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them. Answer 10 questions about yourself. Select 10 of your favorite bloggers, link their blogs to your post and let them know they have been awarded the Sunshine Award! Don't forget to copy and paste the award on your blog!

Here we go! Ten questions:

1. Favorite color: Toss up between blue and green

2. Favorite animal: I love horses, ask anyone who knew me from age 5-16,but since the subdivision says no ( ;P) I love dogs just as much

3. Favorite number: I don't know but it has to be symmetrical

4. Favorite drink: chocolate shake

5. Facebook or Twitter: Facebook. I like that I just check once a day. I don't have time to update on twitter all day. I don't even care what I'm doing all day.

6. Good Book or a Good Movie: Hmm...toughie. I love a good movie with great actors but a book I can finish in my own time.
7. My Passion: I love my girls  more than anything but if we are talking about things I like to do.... photography and organizing/cleaning stuff.

8. Giving or getting presents: Both but I love giving something I know somebody really wants but doesn't think they are getting. That's the best.

9. Favorite day of the year: Christmas. I love everything about the day and even more so now that I have kids. 

10. Favorite flowers: Lilac. They smell so good and remind me of summer and warm and happy.

The 10 blogs I am sending the Sunshine Award to, in no particular order:

Besty @ Romance On A Dime : She has such great ideas on meal plans, diy, and all kinds of things. She has so much to see. She has a great linky party

Debbie @ Debbiedoo's : She does some things awesome things with her house and home decor along with an awesome newbie linky party which all us newbies appreciate.

Kelly @ Live, Laugh, Rowe : This gal does things with felt that makes me feel all  excited about felt again. It's not just for school projects anymore. Also awesome DIY crafts and  reviews. ( Also a great linky party)

Katrina @ Keys to the Magic Travel ; I look forward to her posts about Disney and things to do at the  happiest places on earth. She has so many ideas and things to do there and before you get there that I never thought of before.

Miss Charming @ Charming Zebra :  She does some great repurposing home decor stuff and throws enough about her family in there that you feel like you  really know her.

Mischele @ The Bean Sprout Notes : She  has a fun  family blog with  great everyday every person tips that we could all learn from. I like the way she writes, it sounds like me.

Julie @ The NapTime Review :  Julie has some awesome reviews and deals. Her Monday Mommy Meetup is great way to go out and meet each other.  She's a mom like me with kids issues ( Vicks in the hair...yuck)

Anna@ My Life and Kids :  This gal is the life of the blogging party. She says what we all want to and Even Steven is just along for the ride. I want to go back in time and invite you to my wedding. You would have made the night so much more exciting.
Joanna @ Brock Paper Scissors  She has cute little ones just like me, takes awesome pictures and her Friday favorites are one of my favorite Friday things. And her blog design is so cool.

Maxabella @ Maxabella Loves :  She has  these grateful posts and  Pin It posts  that make me think more about  myself and more about Pinterest than I ever thought I would. 



Monday, June 25, 2012

Things I Love about St.Louis: The Saint Louis Zoo

(This is the fourth in the Things I Love about Saint Louis Series. If you want to know more, go here.)


Living in Saint Louis my whole life, sometimes I forget how lucky we really are having this awesome Zoo.  Not every city has a zoo and  not every zoo is free to get into. I know there are alot of other zoos around the country but I'm a little bias. The Saint Louis Zoo is just all around great.

I went to the zoo every year as a kid, not alot  but at least once a year. Ever since J and I had kids, we've been going to the Zoo ALOT.  Say... a few times a month alot. We started going to often that we decided very quickly to become members.  The Zoo is open year round and we have been there at all times except when it's 30 degrees or under or it has snowed which I'm kinda bummed about because I've heard it's pretty.


Hmm..... which kind do I want?
As a member( there are different levels), we get the free parking and so  many go- anywhere passes which get you on the train, the carousel, the children's zoo, and  the sea lion show. If they melt down after 30 minutes, I don't feel bad leaving because it was paid for along time ago. And  J's work donation-matches so we can  up our membership level, score! If you are from STL, look into if your work matches too. It's so worth it.

Price....mostly FREE...
If you are not a member or just visiting, you can go through the whole zoo for free. Yep, free ( if you can avoid the food and gift shop. I know, easier said than done)  If you get there the first hour of the day,  you can go into the children's zoo, carousel,and sting rays for free. FREE.  If you have a bigger family, that's a heck of a deal. You can also park for free along the streets  in Forest Park, which will be is it's own post of awesome-ness. As my friend Katrina over at Keys To the Magic Travel says about WDW....a very affordable option for souvenirs are the pressed pennies that you can find all around the Zoo. K loves them and for 51 cents. I can't beat it. 


If you get here after the first hour, they do have a Safari Pass. For $10 per person, this gets you one admission to the Children's Zoo, Zooline Railroad, Conservation Carousel, Movie and 4-D Motion Simulator and Stingrays at Caribbean. It maybe worth it, it may not be depending on what you want to see and do.

S  loves the squeezy applesauce.

Food
We usually bring some snacks for the girls when we go like squeezey applesauce, crackers, grapes, and  drinks.  The Zoo is cool with you bringing a cooler and  all the food/drink  you need with you.  How great is that? But if you don't want to worry about it, the food is great here.  It's the typical tourist prices. They have everything from BBQ to Ice Cream to Beer. There are 10 places to get food all around the Zoo. They have this deal for a Souvenir cup for $8 but then refills are only a $1. If you can share one of those, you're set. And if you come back, you can bring it back and reuse it again all season.

Attire
I always dress for comfort and a little sweating, especially in the summer here in St.Louis ( hot and really humid) Lugging two kids in a double stroller for 2-3 hours doesn't make for cute. I see plenty of cutely dressed people but I want comfort. It is a bigger place so I would recommend tennis shoes but again I  see people in all kinds of shoes.

Our Route
Our usual Zoo trip goes something like this....( and keep in mind this is a 4 and 2 year I'm taking )

We try to get there as early as we can to avoid the crowds and  the heat in the summer. We go through the south gates by Highway 40 and make our way to the right where we climb up the hill towards the big cats and large hooved animals.  There are many cool buildings with other animals that you can look at along the way but right now my kids have no interest in them and there are so many other animals to see that it doesn't matter. There are two baby lions that were out this morning and they are so cute you will want to take them home.


Mountain Bongo

Then we make our way back down the hill to the apes/monkeys,birds...


  around to the carousel.....

 
 ....bears, Living World ( not much for my two right now but tons of cool stuff),Children's zoo, Insectarium


and then on the River's Edge to see the hippos and Elephants, who are the girls favorite. There are folks all around the Zoo who are explaining the animals and will answer any questions that you can think of or will find out who can answer your questions if they can't. We finish up the day with a ride on the Zoo train which right now is the highlight of the trip, which is why it's left until the end.



New Baby Kenzie and her mom, Rani

Grandma Ellie, Mama Rani and  Baby Kenize- Three elephant generations. What a family.

My little photog K capturing the hippos

Being the ages they are, there is a bunch we don't do  but when they are older things will totally change I'm sure. I so recommend this place to anyone visiting from out of town with or without kids. It's one of my top 5 places to go here. I  have been in no way paid or compensated for this post at all. I just love this place and am so blessed that it is in the city where I live. Please come and enjoy it if you are ever in town.


Monday
What is the Gunny Sack -Making the world Cuter -Debbie Doo -DIY How Off
DIY Shop - Lines Across My Face -I should be mopping the Floor
Great Fun 4 Kids

Tuesday

How to Nest For Less - Tip Junkie - My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia -The Kurtz Corner
Sugar Bee - Romance On A Dime - Chronic Christian Crafter - Funky Polka Dot Giraffe
The Winthrop Chronicles


Wednesday
 Thrifty Home - Someday Crafts - Sew Much Ado
 Junk in Their Trunk  - Southern Lovely


Thursday

My rePurposed Life - Beyond the Picket Fence - Somewhat Simple - Live Laugh Rowe
Loving this Crazy Life -Scrappy Crafty Happy - Fireflies and Jellybeans - The Shabby Cottage
Quality Cheap Home  - The Taylor House
House of Hepworths

Friday

Naptime CraftersStay At Home Nation
Young and CraftyMy Turn(ForUs)
Delicate Construction
Serenity Now
Family Ever After 

Here Comes the Sun

Saturday



Six Sister's Stuff
Be Different Act Normal


Sunday
Nifty Thrifty Things


Other Fun Blogs

Friday, June 22, 2012

Funny Fridays: Always a blonde


  ( I know....it's wrong....but I didn't want to wear the wig)
A dumb blonde was really tired of being made fun of, so she decided to dye  her hairso she would be a brunette. When she had brown hair, she decided to take a drive in the country.After she had been driving for a while, she saw a farmer and a flock of sheep and thought, "Oh! Those sheep are so adorable!"
She got out and walked over to the farmer and said, "If I can guess how many sheep you have, can I take one home?"
The farmer, being a bit of a gambler himself, said she could have a try.
The blonde looked at the flock and guessed, "157."
The farmer was amazed - she was right! So the blonde (who looked like a brunette) picked one out and got back into her car.
Before she left, farmer walked up to her and said "If I can guess the real color of your hair, can I have my dog back?"

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

10 things I learned on a car trip with two small kids

                This is what 15 hours looks like....goldfish crackers all over and feet in my face.

1. Dual DVD players are super NICE!
They weren't plugged in the whole time but when the wining and complaining go to be too much. It saved
me and J.

2.  Bring every pool/water  toy/floaty you can fit in the car. Even if you don't think you'll need it.
We had to buy many things that we didn't think we would need  and left at home but then we did need.


3. The kids liked the pool more than the ocean.
It was a little wavy to say the least so once we showed them the calm, warmer pool. K didn't want to go  back to the beach. We tried to explain to her that we have pools at home but not beaches. She didn't really care.

4.  Be prepared to be a bad recycler.
This was hard for me. I'm normally a great recycler. I recycle everything. But down in Pensacola Beach. I couldn't find any kind of community recycling place and the condo complex definitely didn't care one way or the other. I had to suck it up and say sorry environment for a whole week.

5.  Don't bring too much stuff for yourself ( the mommies and daddies) to do.
We brought all kinds of IPod, IPad, speakers, magazines, books.... you know...thinking we could do something besides watch our kids. Nope. We were busy we the kids whenever they were awake and when they were napping or asleep.... We were napping or asleep. Long gone are the days of reading a magazine on the beach..unless we go somewhere without kids. I know, we were a little delusional.

6. The kids may not sleep at all in the car.
Everyone was saying" Oh, they'll sleep for hours". You are all  F-O-S. They slept for 30 min each on the way there. Yes, you read that right....30minutes....for a 15 hour car drive..... That's nuts.  I know my kids are not normal but come on..... 30 min?! really?

7. Pack less toys and books for them.
I packed 6 books per kid and a small book bag of toys per kid. And they proceeded to read the same two books all week and play/fight over the same four small toys all week. Lesson learned.

8. Not even cute maps help after 15 hours in the car with a 30 minute nap.
 She was doing really well with the map until hour 13 and then it was every five minutes " Are we at the beach now?" But it did work until then.

9. Portable apple sauces, squeezy yogurt tubes and goldfish crackers are a god-send.
 Buy and pack as many as you can into a cooler. They helped avoid many meltdowns and supplemented alot of the meals we stopped to eat when they didn't like anything on the menus.

10. That it should only get easier or at least a different kind of hard.
 They were really great for the amount of time they were in the car.  I had to keep telling myself we were asking a 4 and 2 year old to sit for hours and hours and hours.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Wall-E Party

( From my pre-blog days when I should have documented more.Wall-E parties are just hard to come by. Please only use printables for personal use. They took a while to make and I want to share them.)



K,our oldest daughter,  two years ago (2010)  decided she wanted a Wall-E party . I was a little disappointed. I wanted to do something cute and girly and pink and fluffy. But she loved Wall-E ..like watched it everyday kinda love. There is nothing girly about Wall-E. I decided to go the primary color route. It seems to be a theme with most of my parties so far.

Wall-E, for those that don't know is this adorable little robot  that Disney/Pixar made a movie out of.  I went  to to Amazon where you can seem to find any kind of obscure party supply known to man and bought balloons, plates, napkins and a table cover. I was lucky enough to buy the cake toppers from Walmart ( before they stopped selling them directly to customers. I know...total bummer) I think all in all I spent $30 in supplies. Normally I like cheaper but it was alright.




I took a bunch of clipart ( see images above) I found online and made a few e-cards that I emailed to family and friends. Otherwise I would have probably printed them out at Walgreens again like I did with Caillou.

Click to download

Click to download


 I always like having something on the mantle when we have any parties upstairs ( all parties are downstairs now) I went on the computer and downloaded some images of wall-e and eve online and made a banner using Photoshop. Then I used my handy dandy paper slicer and cut them myself and taped them together not glamorous but  I though it looked cute all the same. I really need a Silhouette or a Cameo. It would make life alot easier.


The  smaller squares are around 3"x 3" and the larger squares that made up her name are 5"x5". The font is Futurama Bold.





I made a plain old 9"x13" cake and decorated it in the primary colors again. K didn't care because she doesn't like cake. She had birthday Pringles. Everyone got a kick out of that. She still doesn't like cake but she will sometimes eat plain vanilla ice cream.




She loved it at the time and sadly two months after that when S was born she just lost interest in Wall-E and it was on to Mickey Mouse....





Monday
What is the Gunny Sack -Making the world Cuter -Debbie Doo -DIY How Off
DIY Shop - Lines Across My Face -I should be mopping the Floor
Great Fun 4 Kids

Tuesday

How to Nest For Less - Tip Junkie - My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia -The Kurtz Corner
Sugar Bee - Romance On A Dime - Chronic Christian Crafter - Funky Polka Dot Giraffe
The Winthrop Chronicles


Wednesday
Oopsey Daisy - Thrifty Home - Someday Crafts - Sew Much Ado
- Junk in Their Trunk  - Southern Lovely


Thursday

My rePurposed Life - Beyond the Picket Fence - Somewhat Simple - Live Laugh Rowe
Loving this Crazy Life -Scrappy Crafty Happy - Fireflies and Jellybeans - The Shabby Cottage
Quality Cheap Home  - The Taylor House
House of Hepworths

Friday

Naptime CraftersStay At Home Nation
Young and CraftyMy Turn(ForUs)
Delicate Construction
Serenity Now
Family Ever After

Saturday



Six Sister's Stuff
Be Different Act Normal


Sunday
Nifty Thrifty Things


Other Fun Blogs

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Two dads I know

(yep...that's me in the Wonder Woman Underoos in the pool with my dad and my little sister circa 1980)

My dad

I remember you reading me " Where is the keeper?" book over and over.

I remember you pushing us around the basement on a moving dolly. It was a fun ride.

I remember you making me chocolate malts in the blender.

I remember you getting me out of bed in the mornings when I was little, plopping me on the couch, turning on the lone ranger, and getting me my carnation instant breakfast drink.

I remember you helping me with words, math and other stuff using flashcards. And when I did good, I got stickers.

I remember you teaching me to ride a bike at the park, and looking back at you as I fell in the grass.

I remember you singing along to the radio and always humming along to the bass guitar beat of any song.

I remember you ironing your clothes every morning and blow drying your hair before work.

I remember when you would take us down to your work and we would roll around on office chairs through the mainframe room and getting boxes of chocolate milk out of the vending machine.

 I remember you tried to get me to horses whenever you could because I loved them so much.

I remember every night you would come home at 5pm on the dot in your suit and we would have dinner.

I remember that you would listen to KMOX every morning as you ate your cereal.

I remember you taking me to the Venture parking lot on a Sunday night to learn to drive and then just telling me to drive home.  Brave, brave man.



(Planting our new garden today. They helped their daddy alot.)

My husband


You are so good at getting them out and about. Doing sporty things that aren't my bag. They will thank you someday.

You play dress up and tea party more than any one should.

You  make time to sit with them, draw, and read books.

They will remember all the trips to Home Depot and Lowes  as their daddy time.

You amaze me with how soft and gentle you can be with our two little angels.

You are learning to do girly things very well. Keep up the good work.

You are the best daddy that they could have ever asked for.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Funny Fridays: More Sauce


( Cheating is bad. However...this joke is kinda funny.)

A man is having an affair with an Italian women, when she falls pregnant. The man doesn't want to leave his wife and kids and so persuades the Italian girl to return to Italy to give birth and raise the child, and he will provide money every month until the child turns 18. "how will you know when it is born?" she asks and the guy thinks about it and says "send me a postcard with 'spaghetti' written on it.

Nine months later, the wife calls to the husband and says "You've received a rather peculiar postcard, hon" and she hands it to her husband who, upon reading it, turns white and faints.

On the postcard is written,"Spaghetti, spaghetti, spaghetti; one with meatballs, two without; send more sauce".

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Vacation at Pensacola Beach, FL ( Wordless Wednesday)

( Here are the best of what I took. Please be kind. I was/am sick. cough . cough)
Sunrise the morning we left somewhere in Missouri



After 15 hours in the car...this was a great sign to see.


  Their first beach photo the day after we got there.


  View from in front of our condo on the beach looking East.

  This was the first thing they did after we gave them the toys.


I'm not sure you can tell but it was quite an incline from the waves to the seaweed up there.

Us under our pavilion( that days later the wind pick up,threw, and destroyed) and  I circled our condo  on the first floor.

 Lifeguards with yellow caution flag out.  Everyday we were there, it was yellow.



 What? See I'm cute.

  And now I shall eat your apple.













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