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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Blog Dare: 152

Today's Prompt: Two flavors that should never go together...
Two flavors that should never go together, are peanut butter and bacon. Yet, you add chocolate, and OMG it is just delicious! I don't know why bacon is so good, but it is! When I found this recipe, I knew I just had to try it. At first it was more just for the novelty, and fun of trying something new. I followed the recipe per the instructions from Betty Crocker. (No way, I would have come up with a bacon and peanut butter recipe, that would actually taste great once baked.) The recipe was super simple, and the boys enjoyed trying something new. The flavors were odd, but the end result was delicious!
 
Have you tried mixing "odd." flavors? Have you found that mixing in a strange item, has produced surprising results? What strange flavors have you shared with your family?
 



Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday



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Blog Dare: 151

Today's Prompt: My all time favorite drink...

My all time favorite drink is iced tea! Flavored, sweetened, or just plain iced tea...I love it in any form. I still love the old way of boiling it on the stove top, in a huge pot. Fancy tea maker machines are much faster, but it just doesn't compare to the old way! I do not drink soda, and rarely drink anything other than tea, lemonade, or milk. Tea is where is it at, and I can not tell you how much I just love it! My family knows how much I love it, and if I am not there at the table when a drink order is taken at a restaurant, they know what to order for me in my absence.

I feel just about the same way about hot tea. I would choose tea over coffee any day! (Although I wont turn down fru-fru coffee...) I always thought that tea in a fancy tea cup and saucer, was so elegant and lady like! I love fruity or spice teas, and enjoy trying new flavors. I still have the same tea kettle I received as a wedding gift, although it now matches nothing in my kitchen, it is trust worthy and works like a gem!

Do you love tea? Have a favorite flavor? Do you like it iced or hot? Ever been to a formal ladies tea? Are you a die hard coffee drinker, and just don't understand tea lovers? What is you favorite non-alcoholic drink?
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Blog Dare:150

Today's Prompt: If only my kids would...

If only my boys would sleep in! We attended a BBQ last night for Memorial Day, and had the kids out late. I was shocked that my boys still woke up early, and were oblivious to the fact that they were up very late the night before!

When do kids start sleeping in on weekends or holidays? Only when they are teenagers? At what point do they figure out it is okay to sleep in on the weekends, if we do not have plans? I am really surprised that they have so much energy this morning, knowing how late we were up the night before?! My youngest was up at 6am, bursting with full excitement to start the day. We did not walk in the door, and put on pajamas, until 9:40pm the night prior! I would love to bottle their energy, as there are days that I could really use it!

Do you have early risers? Do your kids always wake up early, regardless of how late they are up the night before? Do they go back to bed if you tell them, it is too early to be awake? Wish you  had half of their energy and excitement? At what age do kids start sleeping in?
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Monday, May 28, 2012

Blog Dare: 149

Today's Prompt: Our summer To-Do List...

Our summer To-Do-List isn't that detailed, but there are a few fun things that we would like to do!

  1. Visit St. Louis
  2. Build a sand castle
  3. Ride a horse
  4. Play in a sprinkler
  5. Swim in a pool
  6. Have a water balloon fight
  7. Eat Popsicles
  8. See fireworks
  9. Eat 'smores
  10. Have a back yard camp out
  11. Pick something from a garden
  12. Got to a Fair or local festival
  13. Catch fire flies
  14. Go to the movie theater
  15. Have a family picture taken

This summer is the first summer that nothing is set in stone, and we are free to do somethings together as a family, that we have not done previously. I look forward to simple adventures, and stress free actives that can be done at home or with friends. Our big "vacation," is a trip to St. Louis, Missouri to see our family and friends that we have not seen in a year. It is something that we really miss, and are looking forward to.

What is on your summer To-do list? Big summer plans? Things that you want to share with your child from your youth? What kinds of things do you only do in the summer? 
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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Blog Dare: 148

Today's Prompt: A reality I am having a hard time grasping...

A reality I am having a hard time grasping is that my Sister-In-Law, Melinda isn't here to see our children. She passed two years before the birth of our first child. I know she would have loved them with every fiber of her being. She was a great mom to her son Dylan, and I know she would have been a great aunt to our boys. I am amazed that time is flying by, and that she has already been gone for 7 years.
In the waiting room, waiting for news of Dylan's arrival - 1999

Her handsome son just completed the seventh grade, and I am floored that he is now an eighth grader! How on earth did that happen? We were there the day he arrived early as a 3lb preemie. We were selected as Dylan's Godparents, and stood by Melinda's side as she smiled with pride when her son was baptized into the Catholic Church. She raised her son the the best of her ability as a single mother. She did everything she could do to love and support her little guy!
Dylan Michael Fortner - 2007
I know she would remind me that, boys are awesome. Boys pee every where, and are just naturally disgusting. She would remind me that boys will be rough and tumble, but can be very loving minutes later. She would remind me that children are worth the time and effort. She would remind me that there will be days that you will question your sanity, and then your little guy will do something that will melt your heart!

Melinda is always in our hearts, and we miss her dearly. We talk about her as much as we can, so that her name is never forgotten. Her son Dylan is honoring her memory, just by being awesome and has become a fine young man. We wish she was here, and hope that she watches over us.

Do you miss a family member? Do you wish a family member would have seen and loved your children, before they passed away?

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Blog Dare: 147

Today's Prompt: The worst movie I have seen in awhile...

I wish I could say that I have seen a horrible movie, so I could rip it to shreds. I have only seen good movies lately, and the list of good movies has only grown due to availability and how quickly they are coming out for home viewing. Thanks to our local library and quick kiosk rental stands, my husband and I have been able to watch just about everything we have wanted to see in the theaters.

If I were to talk about a movie being in the "disappointing," category, I would I have to talk about some of the cheesy kids movies, that seem to be my boys favorites to watch repeatedly. We have watched the "Potty Time With Bear," over and over again as Ryan thinks it is a great movie. It only falls into the "disappointing," category as the subject matter is very clear, but my knuckle head little boy hasn't grasped the concept, and we are working on month number 6 of potty training. We have yet find a movie or book that has helped us on our potty training journey. I now have much of the movie memorized, and find myself chuckling along. My only disappointment is that it isn't the cure all or magic trick to train my kid. Totally not the movie's fault, and we love the movie!

Have you found a movie or book that has helped in your potty training journey? What movies does your family watch over and over? Seen a rotten movie lately?


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Friday, May 25, 2012

{Book Review} On My Honor


Were you in Scouting? I was a Girl Scout Junior in 4th-5th grade. I still can remember wearing my sash to school, and envied the girl who had the full uniform and sash filled with badges. (At that time the uniform had green pants, and a shirt with the girl scout trefoil all over it.) One of my favorite memories was the big camp out, making a sit upon mat, and washcloth bags to boil my mess kit in. I still remember the first time I had 'smores and some how managed to sit on a melted marshmallow, that managed to get all over my pajamas and sleeping bag. I worked feverishly to earn badges, and was the top cookie seller in our troop that year. (My parents had hundreds of boxes of cookies sitting in our living room, and sorting them all out was a huge undertaking.) I loved the Girl Scouts, and the many skills I learned along side my friends.

I did not know anything about Juliette (Daisy) Gordon Low, prior to reading On My Honor, other than she founded the Girl Scouts. I loved reading about Daisy,  through the research, words, and knowledge of Shannon Henry Kleiber. I was unaware of that the founder of the Boy Scouts, a shared  meal, and a need at the time to form a group to support young women; evolved into the modern day Girl Scouts. It is hard to imagine a world without scouting, and the opportunities now available to our children, is due in part to the hard work of countless volunteers and parents who give their time and  talents. This book teaches the history of Girl Scouts, the personal adversity of Daisy, and life lessons that apply to all of us. As a mother of boys, my days of Girl Scouting are over, but lessons gleaned from this book are numerous!

On my Honor is not a traditional biography. It is more of a modern history because it combines stories about Daisy, experts' advice and ideas, and Kleiber's own experiences as a Girl Scout. As the organization celebrates the 100th anniversary of its founding throughout 2012, On My Honor gives today's women the inspiration of another woman who has influenced millions, who gave the girls a voice before they had a vote.

In the pages of On My Honor, you'll discover:
  • Why the iconic Girl Scout cookies are the modern day lesson in learning about finances and the value of work.
  • How Daisy used her own handicap --deafness--to argue for equality and inclusivity among Girl Scouts.
  • How Daisy's marital turmoil and a chance meeting with Boy Scouts founder Sir Robert Baden-Powell after her divorce inspired her to create the Girl Scouts.
  • Why Daisy was a feminist, environmentalist, and inspirational author well ahead of her time.
The story of Daisy is that of every American woman, of finding herself. On My Honor brings Daisy's classic advice to a new audience, through a modern lens. A portion of the proceeds of On My Honor will be donated to the Girl Scouts of the USA.

About the Author: Shanon Henry Kleiber is a former staff writer and columnist for the Washington Post. She has also written for the Christian Science Monitor, Washington Technology, American Banker, and Edible Madison. Kleiber is also the author of The Dinner Club:How the Masters of the Internet Universe Rode the Rise and Fall of the Greatest Boom in History (Free Press/Simon & Schuster, 2002). Kleiber lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband and two daughters, where she is a Girl Scout leader of her older daughter's troop. For more information, visit www.shannonhenrykleiber.com.

*I was given On My Honor to review via Sourcebooks Publicity, all thoughts and opinions are my 100% own.
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Blog Dare: 146


Today's Prompt: What my childhood self thought this age would be like...

As a child I knew I would achieve three things, and nothing was going to hold me back from achieving those things! First of all, I was going to marry Neil Patrick Harris, as in there was never a question if he would marry me. Second, I knew that I loved animals and would have a house or barn filled with them. Third, I knew that I would always live close to home and my parents, as that is just where I belonged.



Little did I know that Neil Patrick Harris, did not have a clue as to who I was, or that he liked boys. In my heart we were destined  to be together and as his biggest fan, of course the only natural thing to do would be to fall madly in love with me, and we would be very happy together! Obviously this did not happen, and I look back at it and wonder what the heck was I thinking? He is still a very handsome man, and still captivates an audience!

I am a little surprised that our family doesn't have a bunch of pets, but this just isn't the case. Mike did not grow up with large animals, but his family always had a dog. I keep waiting for the day that Mikey or Ryan ask for a dog, just to see how Mike reacts. We are not opposed to having a pet, we just don't have one.

When Mike and I moved out of the small town I grew up in, I knew that would not live close enough to just drop in on my parents. Once we moved to the East coast, I knew the gap was even greater. The longer I was away, I came to realize that even my parents needed their space, and living close to them just wasn't in the plans for our family.

My childhood self thought that NPH was so cute, my parents hung the moon, and that everyone needs a pet. How did you see yourself as an adult? Did you have a big plan? Did anything happen to come true?
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

MyPublisher.com Photo Books Make Great Father's Day Gifts!

From bear hugs, to building snowmen, to grilling at backyard barbecues, dads are responsible for some of the fondest life-long memories that we have. This Father's Day, wouldn't it be great to be able to capture those memories in a keepsake gift that will last for generations?

MyPublisher.com, an online publishing company, allows you to customize your own book filled with snapshots of heart-warming memories paired with famous quotes from dad, all packaged in a photo book that can be personalized with materials, covers and colors, making the gift as unique as each dad.

Not sure where to start? MyPublisher.com has 5 Quick Tips to Create the Perfect Photo Book for Dad which I've included below.

5 Quick Tips to Create the Perfect Photo Book for Dad

1.)  Take a deep breath – This is about making something personal and thoughtful.  The photo book will look great no matter how it turns out!
2.)  Create a logical system for your photos – Rename your files with descriptive titles, so it is easier to find the ones you need.
3.)  Keep it simple – It’s impossible to squeeze every photo you ever took with your dad into one book, consider using a theme to help you prioritize photos.
4.)  Keep it real – Forget staged photos; sometimes the pictures that aren’t perfect are the most memorable.
5.)  Customize it – Use MyPublisher to create a high quality, personalized photo book that will last generations.

Let me tell you about my experience with MyPublisher! When I was ready and selected the photos I wanted to work with, I went to the MyPublisher website. After a quick down load of their free easy-to-use software, creating a gift for Father's Day, was very quick and fun to create. I loved that the easy-to-use software guided me every step of the way when I created my photo book. There are many layouts, and styles to choose from to personalize your photo book. I was thrilled that it checked my progress, and noticed that I had spelling errors in my captions, and reminded me that I had a blank page. Once I was ready to check out, the guided check out offered many options to enhance my photo book, such as a book sleeve, additional cover choices, many types of paper, and additional copies of my book. The step by step process, helped me to create my photo book in less than 30 minutes, and I was thrilled with how it turned out! MyPublisher.com stands behind their work, and has a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.

Thinking about what to get the special man in your life, for Father's Day? A gift from MyPublisher.com, would make lasting memories for many years to come! Father's Day is June 17th, are you ready to give dad the perfect gift?

*Disclosure: This was a compensated review for MyPublisher.com, I was given product to review but all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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Blog Dare: 145


Today's Prompt: A favorite pair of...

A favorite pair of sunglasses, never leave the car if Mikey has anything to say about it! It started early and we have cousin Dylan to thank. Dylan passed down a pair of sunglasses to Mikey, when he was just three years of age. Mikey always has a pair near, just in the event it is sunny as we drive all over town. He has several pairs, but his favorite pair has been the Spiderman pair, that has was given years ago.


It has been funny to see Ryan's general distain for sunglasses, partly due to his inability to keep the sunglasses on his ears. The sunglasses always fall off his ears, and he just gets frustrated! We found him a pair of camouflage sunglasses, and they seem to fit him better.


Do your children wear sunglasses? Do they take them every where? Do you have a favorite pair that your children know you will also wear?
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday


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Blog Dare: 144


Today's Prompt: A friend I haven't seen or talked to in awhile...

My Mom's dog Blu, is a dear friend and I haven't seen her in a year! She comes up in conversation, every time the kids talk about my Mom. "Mommy? Is Grandma, Papa, and Blu at home? Does Blu miss me?" I am amazed how my Mom's dog, has become a member of our family, almost like a sister. She means so much to my parents, and goes every where with them. She is a very dear companion of my Mother, and spends lap time with my Dad.

This little dachshund greets you at the door, and is just so happy to see you! She snuggles and gives hugs, and loves nothing more than to just be close to you. She is an amazing listener, and looks you right in the eyes when you talk to her. Blu's very blue eyes are very expressive, and she loves to talk to you with them. Her eyes draw you in, by telling you when she is happy or looks away when she knows she has gotten into trouble.

I miss this little dog! Little Blu is a very dear friend, and I miss our "chats!" Do you have a pet that "speaks," to you with their eyes? Do your parents have a pet that has become a beloved member of the family?


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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday Mikey!




My "baby," boy turned 5, at 2:31am, and I am still in awe! Michael Jr. is not a baby, and I have to remind myself of that fact. He is very independent, and every day he tells me I can do it or let me try. He is like his father in so many ways, I often wonder if he has any of my traits. Mikey loves anything with wheels, and building with any material. (Just today he built a "firehouse," out of blocks and everything else he could find to use.) He is beyond excited to be going to school, and can not wait to ride a school bus. My little boy, has many adventures planned this year, and cant wait to face them head on!

Ryan, Daddy, and Mommy love you so much!
We hope your special day is exactly what you asked it to be!



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Monday, May 21, 2012

Blog Dare: 142

Today's Prompt: Saturdays are best spent...

Saturdays are best spent, as a family. There was a time not so long ago, that we ran all over town trying to do so much in one day, that our days began to blur together. Saturdays, need  to be about family time and relaxing. Our family enjoys "Hammer Class," hosted by Lowe's, and have spent many Saturdays learning how to swing a hammer and hit a nail. The kids seem to do really well with things that can be built and tinkered with. Daddy has come to love this time together, and has learned how to manage two boys in the same workshop. Time is just flying by and if we didn't slow down and enjoy it, we would be missing so many great moments!

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Blog Dare: 141


Today's Prompt: A past time of my husband or children that I can't understand...

I wish I could understand the love that my husband and sons have for professional wrestling! I enjoy watching it with them, as it has become a family past time, but there is something about it, that I just have to say I do not understand! My son just loves John Cena and Triple H, and I find it hilarious that he talks about them as if they are family. Last Thanksgiving, he told a friend of ours "You can't see me," and then waved his hand in front of his face. Our friend looked at me, looked at my husband...and we just smiled.

I grew up watching professional wrestling with my Aunt Lisa. I might have been pinned a few too many times, and attempted to hold my own...when the matches became real, in the middle of my living room. I learned how to pump up the "crowd," and my uncles would cheer us on.

Yet, now that my family watches wrestling every Monday, I find myself saying "Are we really fans?" I'm not sure why professional wrestling has a stigma or is looked down upon, but it is. I see it as entertainment, and see how much all three of my guys enjoy it. It has become a way to bond, and pretend, and a topic of conversation. It is something that we do as a family, but if you disagree I understand that too.

What do your boys enjoy, that you or society just doesn't understand? Are you fans of professional wrestling? Do you watch something even though you are not a big fan, but you know how much your family enjoys it? 

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Blog Dare: 140

Today's Prompt: A funny moment in childhood athletics...

Our boys haven't started little league sports, but we know our time is coming very soon. Mikey, Ryan, and Daddy kick the soccer ball around, or play catch in the back yard. Recently Mikey was kicking the ball to Daddy, when he got really into playing, he told us:

"I'm going to kick this ball all the way to Mars!"

He backed up, and kicked the soccer ball as hard as he could and it bounced off of the tree in the center of our yard. The ball came flying back, and landed nearly where it started from. Mikey laughed and looked right at us, and said "I guess the ball was not cleared for launch."

Ryan isn't as coordinated as he would like to be, and he just made us laugh when he was playing with his Tball stand. He set the ball on it, and would do a really cute wiggle of his butt, with the bat on his shoulder, and swing the bat. He only swished the air, and rarely makes contact with the ball, but he is starting to really put it all together.

I look forward to little league, and watching the games from the sidelines. I don't want to be one of "those," moms and embarrass my boys for really enjoying and cheering them on. Yet, I know all moms are like that on some level, and have just figured it all out and make it look cool, calm, and classy while supporting their kids from the side lines. So, bring on little league, and any other activity the kids want to take part in!

What age did your kids start playing sports? Are you calm and classy on the sidelines or wild and cheering the team on? What funny things have you seen while watching your child play sports?

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Friday, May 18, 2012

GLO Event #BBCPhilly




Jenny and Mindi

I attended the Girls Lunch Out event to network, prior to Bloggy Boot Camp in the morning!  I am so happy to finally meet all of the amazing women who I have been following via twitter, Facebook, and their amazing blogs! Cant wait to go to Bloggy Boot Camp hosted by the SITSGirls!
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Blog Dare: 139


Today's Prompt: I'm dreaming of a spa vacation and I want to go to...

I'm dreaming of a spa vacation, and want to go to, The Spa at Hotel Hershey, in Pennsylvania. I saw it featured on the travel channel, and have wanted to go there ever since. Spa treatments with chocolate...are you kidding me? It sounds amazing and a great way to unwind!




Chocolate Escape Package  -  3.5 hours ($375*)

Whipped Cocoa Bath
Chocolate Bean Polish or Chocolate Sugar Scrub
Chocolate Fondue Wrap
Cocoa Massage
Lunch in The Oasis

*Whipped Cocoa Bath and Chocolate Fondue Wrap not recommended for guests who are pregnant.



I've never been to a Spa, but it sure sounds relaxing. I have had massages, but have not had any treatments or spa packages. The idea of spending a few hours getting pampered, sounds fantastic! I might just have to add this item to the ever growing Bucket List!

Have you been to a spa? Would you have a spa treatment, involving chocolate? Where would you go to completely unwind and relax?


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