Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dance Party!!

Check out my Couch to 5K tab for today's post on our family's dance party!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Sun Needs New Batteries

This is the time of year when I start dreaming of the beach and warm sun!  We lived in Florida for 5 years and this was my very favorite time of year.  I have to say, I rarely missed the snow!  Today as I run my errands in 30 degree (feels like 20's) weather, I am dreaming of kayaking in the clear waters, running my toes through the warm sand and worrying about nothing much in particular!  But no vacation for us again this year!  Work schedule and finances just won't permit it at this time.

Mahe Island, Seychelles

Mahe Island,...

José Fuste Raga

Buy This at

I think I passed on my love for all things warm to my son (who was born in Florida).  Yesterday, we were on our way home from picking him up from school (keep in mind, this has been a rather mild winter for us in Illinois).  Out of the blue he says, "mommy, I am tired of the cold. I want it to be warm again.  I think the sun needs new batteries!"  The funny things kids say!  Someday, my dear son, we will at least take you on a warm vacation during the cold season!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I am finally on my "weekend" away from work, and yes, it's Tuesday.   Every other weekend I spend Saturday, Sunday and Monday working.  While I am thankful for my work at home nursing job, there are many disadvantages to it as well.  The company I work for operates 24 hours a day 7 days a week including all holidays.  So last year I had a total of ZERO complete holidays off of work.  I work every other weekend during the day and evenings during the week. My work breaks are every 2 hours while I'm working but I am confined to my home office for 8 hours at a time, my breaks consist of changing diapers, helping with homework, giving baths, etc.  While it is very nice that I can be home to do these things....sometimes I need a real BREAK!!  I also feel like I have less time with my son now that he is in school than I would if I worked a day job while he was there. 

So, I am "on the hunt" to find my fit in the internet world of making money online to get out of this annoying schedule.  I have been trying to figure this out for years and have a little knowledge in how to go about it, but mostly enough knowledge to make myself dangerous.  If I had more time to focus on this knowledge then I could maybe get somewhere! My current idea is to have multiple streams of income such as my Etsy shop, blogging, and other forms of legitimate (not spammy) affiliate marketing.  I am an honest person and NEVER want spam or scam anybody!  

While I am still "working" a lot when it comes to creating these businesses, I can at least do it on my own time.  Instead of spending an entire weekend locked in my little room downstairs with the phone to my ear and staring at a computer screen, I can do a little here and there, after kids go to bed and during the day when my lovely and independent 2 year old decides she wants to entertain herself (which she is very good at).  Yet, I can still work on these things with her by my side.  She LOVES it when I work on my painting or clay creations as she gets her own set of paints or play-dough and works along side of me!  

Do you dabble in making money at home? Or maybe you are even successful at it!  I would love to hear your stories on what you do to make it happen!  

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lots of New Recipes!

I have recently fallen into the Pinterest trap!  It is SO addicting but there are so many great ideas on there.  I am mostly using it to bookmark recipes that I stumble on.  Tonight, I made Crockpot Chicken Taco Chili which is a pretty healthy chili recipe and very good!  I really need to learn to start taking more pictures...sorry, forgot to take a pic of this as well but if you click the above link, it will take you to the recipe and a picture, mine turned out looking almost exactly the same!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

School = Frustration For Me!

So maybe I'm a little sensitive, I always have been.  Or maybe I just worry too much.  However, last Friday, I got a call at 10:00 am (2 hours after school starts, by the way) saying they wanted to know why my 5 year old son was absent for the day.  Of course, I was in the shower after my Couch to 5K work-out when the phone rang and it went to voicemail.

After I got the message a few minutes later, I started freaking out!! I had dropped my son off at school and walked him in the classroom myself that day.  So I immediately called back, my voice must have sounded rude to the office staff as I told her I had dropped my child off earlier that day (my voice was meant to sound very concerned but now that I think about it, it might have come across to someone as being rude).  So she asked me if I had been late dropping him off.  Well, the bell did ring that day as I was walking him down the hallway but I was already in the school a few feet from his classroom so instead of turning around and dragging him and my 2 year old to the opposite end of the school to get a pass, I walked the 10 feet to his classroom and took him in.  Little did I know, that the teacher had already taken attendance (before the bell rang) and since I didn't get him a pass, the office assumed that he was absent and called me at 10am (although I've always called him in absent in the past and have NEVER waited for them to call me first).  Anyway, the office staff, then said "well, that is probably why he was marked absent, we'll change it in the system" and then promptly hung up on me.  So then, I'm left wondering if they were going to check and make sure he is there or just assume that it was because I walked him in 30 seconds late.  Is it really that much of a sin for your KINDERGARTNER to be 30 seconds late????  Is that going to scar him for the rest of his life? Plus, may I add that the weather was absolutely terrible on Friday and in my opinion, should have been a snow day?

This is not the first time I've had issues with things at school.  I'm sure every parent does and that is why some people home school...which I have seriously thought about but really don't have the patience to do it with my very stubborn son.  This is the first time I've put a child through school, so I don't really know how to go about dealing with the school.  For any of you seasoned moms out you constantly call/email the office with every problem, let them slide off your back, or what?  I usually let the small things slide but making sure my child is really at school seemed a bit important to me...and waiting 2 HOURS to make sure that child is accounted for seems a little ridiculous!

For those of you wondering, I actually had my husband call the office back right away as I was upset about how she handled the situation and the fact that she hung up on me and really didn't want to lose it on the phone but I REALLY wanted to make sure that my son was at school and not kidnapped or scared and roaming the halls by himself.  He called and they told him "well, he was marked absent because your wife didn't bother to get him a pass when she brought him in late."  I can completely understand if he was 5 or 10 minutes late but 30 seconds!?!?  Anyway, that is my rant for the day.  Am I overly sensitive? I am sure I will get a teacher who reads this and says "well, it interrupts the class, etc."  but 5 other students walked in behind him that day and it's chaos in the morning anyway in his classroom (I've been in his class often enough to know what the classroom is like when the bell rings).

Friday, January 13, 2012

Give The Gift of Vision for Valentine's Day!! (My first sponsored review)

Zenni Optical is a fantastic place to buy a Valentine's Day present for your loved ones, especially for the ones who have everything already and/or are very practical when it comes to wanting gifts.  I personally don't wear glasses, but if I did, I think I would really like to have more than one pair!  Knowing me, I'd want to coordinate my outfits with different glasses or I'd for sure lose a pair and need a back up.  However, I'm not one to go out and just buy extra things unless they are necessary so getting another pair of glasses as a gift would be great.  It's like jewelry for your eyes.  

Where else can you get $6.95 prescription eyeglasses?  Even if you aren't getting them as a Valentine's gift, check them out for yourself!  They have a wide variety with very affordable prices. You can also find a good variety of fun children’s glasses so if your child is needing glasses and is hesitant to get them or you really think an extra pair would be a good idea, then Zenni Optical is a great place to look. 

Hop on over to Zenni Optical to take a look and buy your special someone a pair of Valentine’s Day glasses!!  They will be impressed at the thought.  

Disclaimer: This was a paid review, while my opinions are true, I was compensated for creating this post.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Couch to 5k....should I try it?

So I REALLY need to get in shape.  I've never been one of the skinny girls in life, so I'm fairly certain I never will be.  However, I would like to get into shape, lose a little weight (I still carry and extra from both my 5 year old son and 2 year old daughter).  My husband really needs to get in shape too.  However, time is a problem in this house for some reason!  I think it's because we might spend too much time with our friend, technology!  No, I'm not sitting on my butt typing this right's just your imagination!! :)

So this couch to 5k thing sounds like a kind of good idea as I 'think' I could get my hubby on board to do it with me.  And when I say couch...I pretty much mean it in this instance.  My "exercise" consists of cleaning the house a bit everyday (which still seems to be a mess most of the time as I can't keep up with these kids), keeping up with the kids (which really should be considered as some form of exercise), and an occasional dance party with the kiddos.  Sometimes, I get really motivated and try a Jillian Michaels's video once in awhile...if I could stick with those, the weight would come off really fast!  Unfortunately, she's not really here at my house, and her video threats just don't seem to be as effective.

So, couch to 5k starts off in what seems to be a fairly easy routine.  My current problem is the nasty winter weather.  I absolutely DESPISE cold weather. In fact, I am currently researching jobs for my husband in the more southern and/or warmer states (he is an audio engineer by degree, flight simulator technician by trade if any of you know of any jobs out there)!! I have no treadmill and really don't want to pay for a gym membership to run on a treadmill.  So I'm trying to figure out if making this commitment is even going to work out in the winter months....maybe I can run with the Wii...but not sure that would be as effective.

Has anybody else tried this routine??  If so, did you stick with it and get results?  Would love to hear your thoughts!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

~Tasty Tidbits~: Creamy White Chicken and Artichoke Lasagna

I'm always looking for new dinner ideas to try.  Found this one at and it looks yummy!  Gonna give it a try this week.

~Tasty Tidbits~: Creamy White Chicken and Artichoke Lasagna: I made this for Saturday's dinner this week and it was very creamy and yummy!! It was a nice change from your standard lasagna (even though...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

God's Gorgeous Creations

I happened to look out the window yesterday to see one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen (the surrounding scenery could have been know like at the beach or something) but the sky had gorgeous color to it.  I am reminded that God is the ultimate artist and His creations are new and different every single day.   The picture does not do it justice but here is a taste of what I saw.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Free Shipping!!!

I am selling things outside of Etsy but would really like some Etsy sales to get this shop going. For the next week I am offereing free shipping with the code FIRSTSALE at checkout.  Remember, if you don't see anything you like, you can request a custom order! If you don't see a custom order listing for the size you want, send me a message on Etsy and I will set up a listing for you!  

Note: free shipping code for United States, cannot offer this internationally at this time. Thanks!

Throwing Fits!

My 5 year old, Buddy, is a very dramatic boy.  He still throws temper tantrums (is this normal?) and it is getting OLD!  My 2 year old throws fewer tantrums than he does.  He is also at the age where he is learning to talk back-he's in kindergarten and I truly believe he is learning this from his friends.  I'm trying to stay calm but I've never done this before!  What is the best way to deal with a very stubborn, fit throwing boy?

A funny story though to go along with my rant....our current method of trying to deal with the fits is for him to have a rewards chart in his room.  One of the things he gets a sticker for every night is if he went the entire day without throwing a fit.  So the other day, he got angry at us because we had bought some appetizers for New Year's Eve and wouldn't let him have any for a snack that afternoon (saving it for our party that evening). So he stomped off to his room and slammed the door...however, he did not yell or scream.  I left him alone, a few minutes later he comes marching out and very boldly proclaimed, "I already put a sticker on my chart for not throwing a fit because I was just angry at you but I didn't throw a fit!"  Hmmm....he didn't yell and scream but he did slam a door, where do you draw the line? It was so funny how he said it so I let it slide and he remained calm the rest of the day.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Out of Focus

Wow!  I have not posted in a very long time.  Life just gets in the way I think.  My brain train also gets derailed and I become out of focus on what I need to do.  I was thinking the other day that I think I might have society induced ADD if there is such a thing!  I used to be so focused and on top of things.  Now, with 2 kids, internet, and so many other "to do" things, I can't seem to get anything fully accomplished anymore.  My brain just goes from one topic to the next without stopping to complete anything.

So, I have spent the last year or so trying to learn a little about SEO and affiliate marketing and recently decided to attempt to build a website about the nursing career.  Now, I've learned a lot in the past year but just enough to make me dangerous.  So for the past month I was building the website, starting to get traffic to it and then I needed to change hosts and didn't do it correctly and lost my whole website!  I might try and go save it eventually as it was a lot of work but I'm discouraged with it now and wasn't really having much fun anyway.

So now I'm trying to put the focus for 2012 on my Etsy shop and building that up and marketing it better.  I find that I truly enjoy painting and it is much less stressful to me than all the other things I've been working on recently.  I also enjoy the fact that my kids are really showing interest in it and it is something I can do with them next to me.  They get to paint with mommy as they now have their own paints (washable Crayola paints that is) and paintbrushes.

I am also going to be expanding my shop to include custom designed cake toppers make out of polymer clay. I plan on focusing on wedding cake toppers but can do them for kids party's, baby showers, or any other occasion as well!  Polymer clay is really fun to work with and allows for a lot of creativity.

That's all for now!  I will continue to write about my attempts at starting a home business and about my crazy but fun family in the year ahead.  Happy New Year to you all!