Wednesday, November 30, 2011

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

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Wordless Wednesday, or in my case (almost) Wordless Wednesday has always been one of my favorite posts each week. It's one that I really want to get back to doing. I haven't been using my camera near enough the last few months. In fact, I somehow even forgot to take it to Thanksgiving. I was so upset! I'd have loved to have gotten some pictures of our family, our table and even some of our Black Friday adventures. Sadly, I didn't though. What I did do was to wander outside tonight to put down some ice melt and decided to share with all of you the wonder that met my eyes...


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Wednesday, November 23, 2011


7:33 PM
Tonight, I had someone dm me on Twitter to ask me why I was part of a group if I felt so negatively about it. Who it was doesn't matter. It's the message that they carried to me that shocked me. Not just that, but the way they approached me. I guess I should be thankful that they came to me at all.

The truth is...I'm not thankful. I'm hurt as hell. So, consider this post all about me. It's all about me defending myself and saying you know what, try to understand where I'm at right now.

Let's start with my life...

1. My family - My parents are being insane. That's the only way to put it. And for the record, yes, my family reads this. No, I don't care. For those that are behind the times, here's the scenario:  We're taking Thanksgiving dinner to my grandmother who is dying of stage iv colo- rectal cancer. This means I've spent god knows how much money getting food and god knows how much time figuring out how to move 1/2 my kitchen 90 minutes away. My parents, in a fit of total disrespect, are coming, not coming, coming, god knows...add to that my brother and his nasty attitude.

2. My grandmother is dying. I think one sentence sums that up.

3. The holidays. - Let's see..there was the stress involved in working out a "new" who has who with the kids. There's the knowledge that yet again, I won't be spending the holidays with Justin. There's the stressors to do with money.

4. My kitchen sink. - For over the past week now, I've spent 20+ minutes a day plunging it. The plumber now says it sounds like basement pipes need to be replaced. This means I can't catch up on dishes. My plan for fixing up our kitchen is crawling at a snail's pace. Did I mention I have company arriving in less than 4 hours?

So, to sum it up. I'm stressed...I am stressed to the point where I want to say fuck it all. Yes, I said a bad word. Deal with it. I'm stressed and when I get to this level of stressed, my brain chemicals go nuts and depression comes knocking at my door. I am doing everything I can to hold it together. It's not a huge shock to me and it shouldn't be to anyone else that I might be a bit negative right now.

Do I love Mamavation? Yes. I cannot begin to fathom why anyone would think I don't. Do I see flaws in it? Of course, I do. Nothing is perfect. I have ideas on how to improve certain areas. Have I been publicly negative about the group? Hell no. I don't know who the hell is going around saying I have but they can stop right now.  I work hard every week to support the women in that group. That group is one of the primary reasons that I've lost the weight that I have. The support in that group can be an amazing thing. The women in that group are wonderful people. I wouldn't and don't hesitate to recommend it to people who want to lose weight.

As for this nonsense regarding Anytime Fitness, I wish it would just stop. This kind of drama doesn't help anyone. I've publicly stated that watching the two groups throw their crap back and forth is depressing. It is. You have two groups that ought to be working in partnership. Instead, they're mud slinging. Grow the hell up. Yep, the title of the chapter was outrageous. Yes, I think Leah over-reacted. Now, before anyone jumps down my throat, read the rest. I think the authors over-reacted too. I think the title was a bit of sensationalism and it worked. Do I approve? Not especially but it worked.

Do I think Leah is evil incarnate or any other horrible thing? God, no. I think Leah is great. I think what she's done is great. I think what she's doing for other women is great. Got that, I said Great. I didn't say evil. I didn't say bitch. I didn't say reactionary or any other bad word. Contrary to some beliefs, I have not and will not Leah bash. I know some have taken my comment on a blog post as just that, but it's not.

Do I think Anytime Fitness is a horrible monster? No, I don't. I think they're a company that has the potential to and maybe already does provide a great service. I don't know the CEO or the company well enough to made a judgment.

Got all that? I hope so because is the one and only time I will blog about this. I'm over it. Everyone should be by now. If you want to change the fitness world, don't just talk about it, get off your ass and do something. If you're not doing something, don't bitch and whine to me.

So to all of you out there who feel I'm too negative these days, step outside your own little world and take a peek into mine right now. It's not the most pleasant place to be living. The honest to God's truth is I know it could be worse. It could be so much worse and that's what I try to focus on right now. I focus on the good as much as I can. I focus on my two amazing boys. I focus on the man that loves me. I focus on the few really great friends I have. I try hard to take things one day and sometimes one step at a time.

I guess that just leaves me with one favor to ask of all of you...if you have some sort of negativity that you feel you need to add to my life, please don't. I don't have the strength right now to fight off your attacks. I don't have the energy. I'm down to my last grip as I fight my way through. Yes, life is a battle right now but it's a battle that I'm not giving up on. If you can't help me with this battle, please do me a favor and just go away...


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Friday, November 18, 2011

Stand Up For Family

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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of American Family Insurance. All opinions are 100% mine.

Oh my gosh, I just spent time on the Stand Up For Family website and I can't stop giggling. The site is full of stand up comedy videos that are family safe. They're produced by AmFam and seriously, I wouldn't hesitate to let my own boys watch these. Granted, they might not get the humor, but I think it's fantastic that they could watch these right along side me. I love that American Family Insurance gets that stand up doesn't have to be dirty.

For example, take the Mark Viera video called Old School Grandmother. I couldn't stop laughing. As I watched it, I realized that I have this conversation with my boys all the time. Then, I got to thinking and realized that I probably inherited that speech from my own grandmother. 

Just watching these videos got me to thinking about my own childhood and how important my grandparents were to me when I was growing up. I hope that when my own boys grow up, they can look back at their childhoods with such fond memories. Who knows, maybe they'll somehow understand how I survived the graphics of the first Super Mario Bros when their own kids say something similar to them. 

Seriously, if you want a good laugh, go and check out these videos. They're short but they'll have you laughing and thinking about your own families.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

What a Week

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Wow, what a week! Based on my clock, it's nearly Friday and this week has felt like it's flown by and yet lasted forever. On Monday, I decided I was going to do a serious cleaning in my kitchen. I was going to catch up on all my dishes, wipe down the counters, clear the surfaces..everything. I got one counter cleared and discovered my kitchen sink was plugged. I didn't worry too much about it because I had to go into town.

The rest of Monday went as most Monday's do. I was busy with the kids, waiting for Peter to get home and Mamavation business. Tuesday was an entirely different story. When my home remedies for the sink didn't work, I decided to go buy some Draino. Since I had to go into Charlotte to pick up baby food jars, no biggie, I thought. Of course, I didn't take into account the lines at the store, the traffic or anything else. I ended up being 15 minutes late picking up both boys. Yick!

On Wednesday, I had to go into Lansing. On the way to the Salvation Army, I bought my very own pipe wrench. You see, the Draino didn't work. From there, I went to Salvation Army and signed up for their Christmas program. I had to sign the boys up this year. Then, the gps took me down every back country road you can imagine but I did make it on time to get the boys.

That night, I took the pipe wrench and attempted to remove the trap on the sink. That didn't work. It's stuck tight. Instead, a connecting pipe popped out instead. Luckily, it didn't break, just wiggled loose. It did allow me to drain the sink but oy! Not what I wanted.

Today, I tackled a different part of my kitchen, called a plumber and got a surprise from Misty. Her boss offered her 2 tickets to the MSU game this weekend. She thought I might like to take Ben. She did ask her boss to try to get a third ticket so fingers crossed she did because both boys badly want to go and I'd love a fun outing with the both of them. I won't know until tomorrow.

Add to all that? I have to be up way early tomorrow for the plumber. I'm planning the entire Thanksgiving dinner. Ben has a school dance tomorrow and we'll find out who gets to go to the football game on Saturday.

I love my life but I love it a bit slower than this!


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8:00 PM 0 Comments

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bulbs. Dig, Drop, Done. for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have y'all ever been to It's this fantastic site where you can learn all about bulbs. There are sections on when to plant and even what to plant. If your yard is like mine, it needs a serious makeover and this site could be invaluable in that process. In fact, one of my goals next autumn is to plant some tulip bulbs. Who knows, maybe I'll even plant some indoor over the winter!

I loved the part of the site that talked about the 3 women behind the site. I loved Marcy, the supermom. Who knows, maybe she could be my new best friend. She's got kids, she works part time and she gardens in her free time. Do moms have free time?  visit to learn more

Now, right alongside is Curbside Chaos. In fact, in their desire to educate and excite women about the simple beauty of flower bulbs, is hosting a contest there! To enter, you only have to submit a photo of your yard on

The winner will receive a $5000 yard makeover as well as a visit from Taniya Nayak. She'll go through your yard with you and give you tips and suggestions for your makeover. 

While you're there, make sure you check out the Garden Guru feature. It's really easy to use and so handy!

Don't believe me? Check out these steps:

1. Pick your country

2. Pick your location in that country.

3. Choose when you want your flowers to bloom.

4. Check which type of flower you'd like.

5. Check out your planting guide!



This was actually pretty fun and I learned things I didn't know! One last thing, did I tell y'all that for every share on Twitter, "Bulbs. Dig, Drop, Done." will donate $1.00 to Rebuilding Together. How awesome is that? Check them out today!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Earth Brand Footwear

11:41 AM 1 Comments
Shoe lovers out there, pay close attention to this post! I have some very exciting news to share with all of you. The company that has brought us Kalso Earth Shoes and Earthies is bringing us a whole new line of shoes called Earth!

Some of you may remember not to long ago when Earth Footwear revamped itself with it's original logo -- Kalso Earth Shoes. Those are the fabulous ones with the negative heel technology. Along side that is the Earthies line. This is the line of super sexy dress shoes and boots. (Note to Santa: I don't have any of those yet.)

Now, there's a whole new line that is being branded under the Earth logo. What makes these different? Well, guess what! It's my job to tell you. The new line will include flats and low heels with soft leather uppers and reinforced arch support. They'll also include multi-density latex cushioned footbeds with overpadded heels. Did I mention that this shoe line focuses on rich suedes and delicious leathers? What does all that mean? Cute, sexy shoes that are comfortable too!

Want to hear the best part? They're affordable! I know that we all lust after gorgeous shoes and too often it becomes an item on our bucket list. Not this time. These shoes are going to retail for $79-$99 when they're released! In fact, they're going to start shipping in December 2011 so now might be the time to nudge that honey of yours that you'd like a new pair of shoes for New Years. After all, there's nothing like partying all night long in sexy shoes that won't break your bank or an ankle. Not going out? Well, there's something to be said for a private party too.

If you want to keep up on what's happening, what shoes there will be and all the yummy shoe goodness, keep your eye on the new Earth website . Want a sneak peek at one of the new pairs? Let me show you!

I wanted to show you how cute they look on, but would you believe that my camera died right after snapping this picture?!? Technology hates me but I love these shoes!


This is a paid editorial regarding some awesome new shoes. All comments, thoughts, opinions and ramblings are 100% mine. 
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Revenge of the Muse

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You shouldn't tease a muse. I talked about mine hiding and pouting and it got its revenge. It decided to whisper in my ear at about 2 am.  I was mostly asleep and refused to get up and this is what it gave me instead.

The Dream-

I was on a cruise with Peter and the boys. We were on some island and Peter had hired a guide to take Ben around. Except, he couldn't get his card to work at any of the atms on the island. It was a shared card with Lindsaye (someone I am pretty sure he hasn't spoken to in years). I tried explaining to him that debit cards don't always work outside of the US but he didn't want to hear it. So, while he want from machine to machine, I pulled out cash and paid the guide.

Then, as dreams do, the dream shifted and I was laying in my backyard with Justin. It was the middle of the night and we were laying there, looking up at the stars. I was asking him if he thought anyone would notice the 3 elephants, 3 giraffes and 3 zebras that were lined up about 3 feet from us. Then, I looked over and the zebras were bowing while the elephants were raised up on their hind legs. Everything was silent but they were posed like this. I looked down the line to the balloon carriers. There were 3 of them as well, each holding a giant bundle of balloons. We must have dozed off because I woke up to the animals being gone and the balloon carriers slipping away in the dark. Justin and I decided we should go into the house because it might be weird if the neighbors caught us sleeping outside. So, we went inside and there were candles lit everywhere. I was a bit worried about this. After all, what if the house had burned down when we were outside. Justin just smile and shrugged and went to the kitchen to make something to eat while I stood in the living room, trying to figure this out.

Then, I was at a pool. I was assisting in teaching 4th graders. The odd part? Raven Gregory was the instructor. We worked together with some parents and pretty soon it was time for the kids to change and go back to school. I went into the locker room area and spoke to both the boys and girls (they were fully dressed!) about thanking Raven for his time (he was some sort of expert) and the kids all gave us hugs and filed out onto the bus.

There was more...and something good must have been about to happen because when the phone woke me up, I punched the bed in annoyance at being woken up...

See what happens when you ignore a muse? Your head gets filled with weird dreams and you don't get the restful sleep that you chose to begin with.


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Random Writings

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It's been a long time since I just sat and wrote. The urge to write has been smothered somewhat by life and the things that have been happening here. I miss the times where I would have to pull over to the side of the road because the urge was so strong that I couldn't resist jotting down a line or two. The reality is that muses are fickle creatures and if you ignore their call too often, they will go off and sulk and you'll be left dry. That's where I've been lately. I've been dry. I've been living in the desert, longing for a sip of water, for a single line of poetry to reassure me that I can still do this.

Can I still do this? Can I sit down with nothing more than a blank screen or a blank canvas and draw pictures with my words? Can I paint such a picture that you lose yourself in the colors? I used to be able to. I would write things that would come alive in the mind of my readers. I don't know if that makes me talented but I know that I was blessed. I love to write. I've done it since I was a child. At one point, I thought perhaps I would be a writer. I would tell my stories to the world.

Now, I keep them locked inside. The reality that so few took an interest added the first lock. The fear that perhaps they weren't as good as I thought added another. Before I knew it, my words were locked in a vault that not even I knew the combination to. Will they break free? Is there someone out there who holds the combination of love, support and encouragement that will open the door? Will my muse stop pouting and visit me again? I don't know. Only time will tell and time, as we know it, can be as fickle as the muses.


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Monday, November 14, 2011

Veteran's Day 2011

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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of DollarGeneral. All opinions are 100% mine.

Veteran's Day is a day that most people overlook on the calendar. We don't stop to think about all the men and women who have gone before us, fighting for themselves and for us.  I know that I'm just as guilty of this as anyone else. I wake up each morning, taking for granted that I can throw on a pair of jeans and go about my business. I rarely stop to think that there are places in the world where that wouldn't be allowed. I rarely stop to think that in another time, this might have been impossible. I am very blessed to live where I do and I know that, at least in part, this is due to our veterans who have fought to give me those freedoms. 

So, today, I say thank you. Thank you to those who have fought for me. I would also like to pass on something special that Dollar General is doing. If you are a veteran, active military or family, stop into Dollar General on 11/11 and receive a 10% discount, no coupon needed. If you prefer to shop online, just enter VETERANSDAY at checkout to receive that same 10% discount. If you shop online, that discount is available to everyone! If you're on Facebook stop over and watch the support/thank you videos for our troops. Did you know that Dollar General also has care packages for the troops that are available with free shipping? So, head on over to Dollar General and take advantage of the Dollar General's Veteran's Day discount and support our troops!

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sneak Peek

11:50 AM 0 Comments
I'm going to write up an whole before/after/during post for my bathroom redo, but I'm so excited, that I just couldn't wait to show all of you! So here is a sneak peek!


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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Puppies vs Babies

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This post brought to you by Puppies vs. Babies. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have you guys seen the Puppies vs. Babies online contest?  I just heard about this and giggled. I mean, how do you judge something like that? Then, I got to thinking about all of the babies I've ever seen vs all of the puppies I've ever seen. The truth is, while I've seen some ugly babies, I've never seen an ugly puppy. Every dang puppy I've ever seen has been adorable and I've wanted to take them home with me. 

Take my friend Lauren's puppy for example:


You cannot tell me that she is not the cutest thing known to exist on this planet. I mean, she beats out a lot of the babies I've seen. Heck, I had some seriously good looking babies and she might beat them out, even.  If she were in the Puppies vs. Babies contest, I'd be voting for her! Since she's not though, I hope you'll go on over and vote for a lot of puppies! Babies are cute, but they're just not puppy cute. Go vote and then tell me who you voted for! Who do you think is cuter? Puppies or Babies?

(Note to my children..Mom loves you. I'm not trading you for an adorable pomeranian puppy, I promise!)

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tiny Prints - Holiday Cards

8:51 PM 0 Comments
I know that a lot of you are familiar with Tiny Prints. They have the nicest cards that you can get. This year, I was delighted when they asked me to write about their 2011 Holiday Card Line. Without a doubt, there is something there for everyone.

For me, I fell in love with the card you see to the left. When I saw the saying, all I could think about was my two boys doing the ToothBrush CanCan last Christmas Eve. Even though they're 10 and 11 (and growing up fast according to them), they still take such delight in the little things to do with the holidays.

Today, it snowed for the first (and absolutely not the last!) time this season. Roger was trying to catch the snow clumps (trust me, they weren't flakes!) and Ben was giggling and laughing as we "frantically" tried to get him into his new winter coat (thank goodness for sales!). Every year, they eagerly open up their pajamas that they get on Christmas Eve. I actually asked them this year if they were too old for that tradition and heck no, they most certainly are not they told me. They take as much delight in watching Christmas movies as they do in opening presents. It's all of the little things that add up into a great holiday season.

So like I said (How long ago was that? I think I've been rambling!), when I saw this card, I thought about how they take such joy in the little things that we do as a family. Without a doubt, this would be the card for my family this year. I think your cards should somehow reflect your family and this one really would. So, hip hip hooray for Christmas Day and for Tiny Prints.

This post was written in exchange for product from Tiny Prints. All thoughts, opinions and ramblings are 100% mine.

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