Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Does anyone ever have those days where you just 'FLIP OUT' when say someone such as your pre-teen/teenager, mom,dad,sister,brother,friend (in my case it's my pre-teen) just says something that gets under your skin or really just ticks you off?

Yes...I am here to admit that I have those days now and then (shocking, I know!) and (sadly) yesterday was one of those days. I'll spare you the details, but it was tragic because yesterday was supposed to be an exciting day for her (my darling pre-teen).

She made the cheer-leading squad yesterday and we were all so excited for her! The day was going great. Then out of nowhere she decides to say something hateful,disrespectful,rude,out of place.....yes, all of the above. So what do I do? Exactly what I do best. I turned into (what my husband likes to call it)...MAMMASAURUS. This is when I jump all over her (loose my temper) about her attitude and how I expect her to act and treat others, blah,blah,blah. And (whether they want to or not) everyone else that's near, gets to hear the speech all over again as well. It's the same spill all the time. I can just tell from her expression that she thinks I'm nuts and isn't listening to a thing I'm saying. EXHAUSTING! That's how I feel every time...mentally exhausted,drained, etc.

This is what my nearly 12 yr. old daughter is capable of? What in the world is going to happen when she is actually a teenager? I really don't even want to think about.

After taking some time to myself to cool down a bit, I decided I would talk to her some more (I know, I know...enough is enough right?) Well my temper was telling me to just vent some more, but I knew good and well no one could handle anymore, so I left well enough alone until I had time to 'get a grip'.

So once again, we had a mother-daughter talk until almost midnight (Ugh! What is wrong with me?!) I went over AGAIN for the hundredth time (because, obviously that's how many times it takes for a child her age to comprehend something) what we expect of her and that it's not ok for her to talk to her parents like she did.

After nights like this, I sometimes begin to think I'm crazy and everything I'm striving for is a lost cause. Do you ever feel like this? I know deep down that's not true. I know that, even if my kids despise me at times, that I'm raising them to be good people in this world.

It would be so much easier to just throw my hands in the air and say, forget it. I could just allow my kids to talk and act however they choose to, I mean, everyone else allows this, right? I see that from too many other family's and so does my daughter. But in my house, that doesn't fly. I just wish other parents would get their act together and stop being lazy when it comes to raising their kids (Yes, I just said that) so that my daughter didn't think I was the antichrist sometimes.

I have a mission as a mother to raise GOOD kids, GOOD people. I know God will get me through motherhood. I love being a mother, but it's not easy. Even though it's hard work it's all worth it in the end, right?


Thursday, March 25, 2010

SWAGBUCKS! Easy, Easy, Easy!!!

Ok, so I usually ignore any posts that say anything about signing up for something or include giveaways or anything of that nature, BUT I have a trusted blog I follow 400things.blogspot.com and she recently posted a blog about SWAGBUCKS, so I decided to check it out.
How It Works-
You sign up...FOR FREE
Download their toolbar
Search the internet
Win SWAGBUCKS!!! (It's Too Easy!)

What You Do With Your SWAGBUCKS?
You trade them in for prizes (Did I Mention It Was Easy?)

What Prizes?
They have prizes such as Amazon Gift Cards, Toys, Electronics.
And all you have to do is use them as your search engine and
win bucks while you search!

Ok, so I have 86 SwagBucks right now, but I just signed up YESTERDAY! I'm excited to know I can redeem FREE gift cards just for searching the internet! I think that's too good to pass up. If you haven't signed up yet, click on the link below.

Oh and make sure and tell your friends about it, because, you also WIN WHEN THEY SURF THE NET!

Search & Win


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Talking to your kids about - SEX

Yes, the time came last night to finally have this dreaded talk with our daughter , Ariana (11). I will admit, as much as I thought I was prepared for what was to come, I certainly wasn't.

I have been doing SO much research on the topic to prepare myself and NOTHING even came close to preparing me for what my daughter was going to tell me.

I've heard and even read lately that, we as parents, shouldn't be naive about what our kids already know about sex.  I didn't think that I was being naive. I mean, I was sure she had heard those words being thrown around at school, but I was sure she didn't really have a clue what any of it really meant. I imagined she thought of sex as in, It's something gross that adults do to make a baby. And to some degree, that's what she thought about it. But little did I know, she had heard worse.

Even after being warned NOT to be naive, there was still no information talking about what it is that kids know. There was certainly not anyone sharing what their kids have told them.

What DID I find?  Parents explaining how to talk to your young ones about sex. This did not help me. Perhaps we should have talked about this earlier on, but I was trying hard to let her keep her innocence  as long as possible.

I posted previously that I didn't think my daughter (11) had reached the appropriate mature age to have this talk. But ready or not, she was hearing terrible things at school.

FYI: We did plan on getting books to help us (and her) with this talk, but didn't get around to it in time. I still plan to get some for her, because I know that this talk is not over and will hopefully continue so that we can prepare her the RIGHT way.


We decided to make cookies with the kids and talk during this time. Mainly to ease the tension and so she didn't feel like we were so much lecturing her. It helped make it a two sided conversation rather than us ramming information down her throat.

We asked if she was excited about her talk at school tomorrow. She said..not really. (not surprising)

I asked if she was aware of what they were talking about. She answered..not really. (Yeah, we're getting somewhere, right?)

I asked again, you have no idea? She said..puberty? (I knew better than to believe she didn't know)

No. Are you just embarrassed to say? She said..yes. (Phew! I finally broke her)

So you do know then? She says..yes, sex? (I thought it was going to be a long night)

We explained to her that sex was not something to be embarrassed about. That it is a beautiful thing that God created for a man and wife to share and bring them closer together and to produce children.

We went on to explain how, with most everything that God creates to be good, Satan will do everything in his power to (and she finished my sentence for me) DESTROY! (exactly, so she's understanding)

We explained what a HUGE difference there was in what was meant to be and what the world has twisted it to be. Meaning: Sex outside of marriage,and throwing it around as if it's NO BIG DEAL.

We explained that it is a Big Deal and she should never take it lightly.

 I remember in school they taught us (girls) that your virginity was a gift that you should hold on to to give to your future husband. As great as this sounds, this doesn't matter so much when you're in High-School and you THINK you're In-Love. Too many girls give away this gift willingly outside of marriage because they're sure they're with they're future husbands.

I read something (during all of my research) that I thought sounded much better. Not just your VIRGINITY, but SEX itself  is GOD"S GIFT TO YOU. He intends for you to open this gift once you're married and no sooner, to receive all it's blessings. Opening God's gift before marriage would be upsetting to him because that's not what he intended. Waiting brings forth more pleasure. Pleasure in knowing you don't have mistakes to haunt you...and pleasure in knowing you did what is pleasing to God. THIS is what we told our daughter. It's similar to opening Christmas gifts. We have the option to open them before Christmas, but we WAIT so that we can FULLY ENJOY  the event on Christmas day. It may be exciting and tempting to open these gifts sooner, but then regret will set in, when you have nothing to open on that special day.

We covered a few more things, such as why we walked in and walked right back out of a restaurant the other night (A blog on that coming soon). We explained to her why it's not ok to dress like those girls were dressed and that we walked out because it sets a bad example for not just her, but for all of us. We explained that wearing little clothing is ok in the right setting, such as at a swimming pool, but dressing that way with the purpose of getting or seeking attention is NOT OK. Shamus did an excellent job explaining the dangers of dressing for attention and that it draws NEGATIVE attention not positive.

The rest of the conversation was similar. She did not ask any questions (not surprising). But it was a very productive conversation and we told her we wanted to talk again after her class at school.

What I didn't expect.......
After we were done talking, Ariana followed me into the other room and hesitantly began to tell me something I was not prepared for. She began to tell me that she had been scared to tell us this before, because she was scared we would be mad at her for being friends with people she was friends with.

Let me just backtrack for a second. She has a friend that gets off the bus at the same time she does after school. I just recently told her she could invite this friend over to do homework if she wanted. The past few weeks she has come to the house. I noticed the girl found it hard to look me in the eye, but was always polite, so I was fine with her coming over.

Ariana proceeded to tell me that this particular friend has not ONE but TWO boyfriends. (I was thinking ok, big deal, they are just playing games at this age anyway) She then explained that she met one of the boys online and told him she was 13, but just turned 12. (here's where the story gets a little deep) The other boyfriend she has, happens to already be a daddy and she calls herself a 'Stepmom" to his kid. (Uh, What?)

She went on to tell me that , when getting on the bus the other morning, her friend was holding her stomach and complaining that she hurt. This young girl, while on the bus, proceeded to tell my child that she had stayed all night at her boyfriends house (the one with a child) and he hurt her. 

I asked Ariana HOW he had hurt her friend. She gave me a funny look and I knew what she was suggesting. I asked...did they have sex? She answered me Yes, I think so. (Wow! I wasn't ready for this)

But Sadly, this is not where the story ends. Apparently, this girl's father found out and she was beaten for this. (this is the story that I was given anyhow.) The teacher at school noticed bruising and sent her to the office. CPS was called. Ariana said she was telling me all of this because her friend is scared and doesn't want to be taken away from her parents. I explained to her that there wasn't anything we could do. I was sad to hear this story, but relieved that she was not coming clean about something she had done. I did make sure and tell her that she would be right to be a little scared to tell us if this had been her, but that she should know not to expect a beating, no matter how angry we are and that she could always talk to us.

I asked how it was that this girls parents didn't realize she had stayed the night somewhere. She said her friends parents were under the impression she was with a friend not a boyfriend. (what an eye opener, DON"T trust what your kids say)

I start to feel guilty too strict sometimes for not allowing Ariana to surf the web or for not giving in and buying her a cell phone,because everyone else has one. But after hearing a story like this one, it reminds me again why we don't allow those things. We are protecting her from the world. When you don't allow them to surf the net, they won't end up in chat rooms...Period.

I feel like our talk with her was productive. Hopefully she understands now that we are here for her to talk to about ANYTHING.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Great Weekend Visiting Relatives!

We took a 3 hour road trip this weekend to vist a cousin of mine and his little girl (whom I've never seen). I took a break from blogging, which usually happens over the weekend anyway. Family always comes first and this weekend was dedicated to spending time with my family.

Here is Ava meeting her 2nd cousin (Kodie) for the first time..............

                                 Ava on left, Kodie on right...........
I would say they hit it off pretty well!
Below is my cousin's wife, Shayla, with their daughter, Kodie, and my little Syder!
This is my cousin, Stephen, with his daughter, Kodie........

Lol! They run just alike...cute!
I was pleased to see what a great dad he is! Not that I would have expected anything less! :)

A few more pics from the beautiful trail near their house...........
Here is Ariana sliding WITH Ava............Check out her face!
and her is where Ariana thought she would let Ava go by herself and gave her a good push to help.............
She ended up with her head falling first! Needless to say, she did not slide any more slides...........
She may be scarred for life, but at least we caught it on camera, right?! (Notice the picture is blurry, because I started to run towards her, but I still snapped the picture!)

Back at the Hotel Room, Ava found a comfy place to watch cartoons while Mommy and Daddy got ready........
Here I am with both the little girls. We couldn't get Ava to look for this one...........
And last but not NOT least......we visited the oldest Dairy Queen in Texas. Yes, I realize we are HUGE dorks for this, but we LOVE Dairy Queen............
This is how we spent our weekend. We also visited the zoo in the rain and had a blast! It wasn't crouded and a lot of the animals were put away, but we were able to go inside and actually get a closer look, so it turned out fine. Oh, and on our way home we made a stop and picked up a copy of New Moon to watch when we got home! What a GREAT weekend!

How was your weekend?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

60 day Progress Photos

I have to admit that I am a little disappointed in the lack of progress that is shown in the photos, considering the amount of work that I put in this month. I'm maybe going to try different things to acheive my goals during this next month, such as dieting habits, etc.

So here I am with not much change showing....

P90X is still AMAZING! It makes me feel great and I am hoping to see MAJOR results next month, but I guess we'll see.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Secrets To A Happy Marriage!

Here are some tid-bits of advice thrown together from different sources. These are not my words, but words of other happily married couples like myself. Just wanted to share the ones I found to be true.

1.)  Marry someone that you enjoy listening and talking to.

2.) Always make time for the two of you.

3.) Always believe that you got better than you deserved.

4.) Remember that it is ok to do things differently (e.g. there is more than one way to peel a potato or fold the laundry).

5.) Remember that people do fight. It's how you do it that matters.

6.) Before starting an argument, consider if it's really worth it.

7.) Do you want to be right or do you want to be married?

8.) Surprise each other now and then.

9.) Play nice, play often, love much.

10.)  Never air your dirty laundry as a couple in public.

11.) Be each other's champion. No matter what, take your husband or wife's side first!

12.) Never keep secrets from each other.

13.) Communication is the key!

14.) Always respect each other.

15.) Keep the in-laws out of your marriage!

16.) Never use the words 'Always' and 'Never' in a fight.

17.) Hug & kiss every day (several times a day actually!).

18.) Be fair! Split the housework, spending money, etc evenly. This way you are never resentful of your partners contributions (or lack of) or expenditures.

19.) Never go to bed angry. (Unless it's 3a.m. and you're exhausted, angry, and not thinking straight.)

20.) Have date night! (You don't have to leave your house or kids for this)

Need some great ideas for Date Nights In?
Check out Where is the ME in Mommy?

Want to know what my advice to a happy marriage is?

I would have to say ...........
1.) Always remember WHY you married to begin with
2.) Always keep in mind that you're never promised tomorrow, so don't waste your time together on petty things. (such as fighting)
3.) Enjoy each other's company...ALWAYS!
4.) And eat lots of Ice-cream....because obviously it's working for us! ;)
5.) Be 'IT' for each other and be each other's BEST friend.

What's your advice to a happy marriage?


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Make-Up Madness Beauty Tip Tuesday - Eyeshadow

Here is where I do NOT go cheap. You probably wouldn't think it mattered at all when it comes to eyeshadow, but I promise you it does. Not only does it matter WHAT eyeshadow you use, but it also matters HOW you apply your eyeshadow. I'm not talking about technique, I'm talking about tools.
You know those little foam applicators that come with your eyeshadow? Go ahead and throw those in the garbage the minute you open it.  They are cheapy little tools that tear up the skin around you're eyes and cause wrinkles. Yikes! Nobody wants that. What to use instead? Soft brushes. I recommend these for $29.99. They're not too expensive, although you can always buy more expensive ones for around $135.00 and up. For those of you that just want something simple, for $10.99 I recommend these from Target. Mary Kay also offers an affordable set of brushes.
Just give them a try and you'll notice a world of difference.

TIP: When initially putting your powder on for the day always dust it on with a powder brush first. You can use your powder sponge (what comes with your powder) to touch up throughout the day. This gives your make-up a nice 'finished' look without causing it to look 'cakey'.

Moving on to eyeshadow. What I recommend....M.A.C. eyeshadows. They're AMAZING!

They glide on your eyes smoothly and  are super easy to blend, when you're using brushes that is!

What staple colors are in my make-up bag?

1.) Espresso (my basic everyday color)

2.) Carbon Black (used for smudging eyeliner)

3.) Club (a dab in the center of the eyelid is all I need)

4.) Knight Divine (for nights out)

5.) White Frost (for corners of the eye and beneath the arch of the brow)

6.) Blanc Type or Mylar (for an all-over underneath eye color. I switch between the two)

Each small little container is about $14.50. I know this is a lot for eyeshadow, but it's well worth it if you want something that will POP and blend well on your eyes.

Don't want to purchase a whole new color scheme? Try picking just ONE and see how you like it.

Do you have a favorite eyeshadow you use? Or tips you'd like to share?
Please share in the comments below!


Monday, March 15, 2010

Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

My mother-in-law is the one who introduced this to my husband and I. It's amazing and flavorful. You can use this for many different things, grilling, dips, etc.......

We use this for a dip. We mix it together with cream cheese and Voila! An amazing treat. We just recently bought a differnt flavor, Orange Ginger Grilling Sauce, to try in a meal. Maybe for grilled chicken or we may use it as a glaze over an Oriental Dish.

You can purchase these at many different locations. We have found them at Cabela's and World Market.



Friday, March 12, 2010

Updating Our Living Room

Our African Themed (in case you were wondering) living room has been in serious need of updating. The curtains that we have had in there have been here for a LONG time and they're hideous (Sorry Honey!) My husband had these curtains when I met him and sadly we have never changed them. It has obviously not been a top priority. He blames the 'bad' curtains on being on a budget, which I believe, because he actually has excellent taste ;) and because 'good' curtains can be quite expensive.
This is where Overstock.com comes in handy. Yes, I love this online store! I found really amazing curtains here for really cheap. Not really that cheap, but much more affordable for really good curtains. We also found a really good rug for a REALLY good price!

Anyway we have done a little bit of updating and here are the before and afters.

The rug we bought is wool and happens to shed (I'm hoping this doesn't last), so please ignore any fuzzy's you may see!! :)
The update is not quite complete. We still plan to replace some of the artwork (with a zebra print in mind) on the wall and (of coarse) still plan on building that 'dream home' with a much larger living area in the near future. But for now, we've given our living room a nice 'face-lift' to keep us happy in the mean time.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Organizing Bills

As some of you may already know, I Love to organize. So much so, that I dreamt about organizing our bills! Yes, I know how obsessive that may sound, but it actually makes me sane to have things organized, instead of the other way around.

Many people organize their bills every month, when they receive them in the mail. We have never done anything like this. Recently, though, my husband and I had let our bills pile up (which we NEVER do!), and it was driving me nuts. It was driving me nuts, because we had this big stack of bills that we needed to sort through and I didn't have a clue what bills we had or what was due when. It's not just this time, it's every month that I don't know what we have because my husband pays most of the bills.

We have always had certain bills that each of us pay. This may not be ideal, but it's what works for us (for the most part) We both need to feel some sort of control and for us this was working, because it wasn't just ONE person controlling the money and paying the bills, which I know a lot of people that do it this way. BUT, we also never sit down together to pay bills. This is a problem for me only because my husband pays most of the bills (because he makes more money) and I don't have a clue when most of our bills are due or even what all bills we have.

So.......that's what led me to doing this. I decided to make a reference folder of ALL of our bills (ones that he pays AND ones that I pay) so that we can both look to this if we want to know what bills we have and when something may be due. This helps us both so that we don't necessarily have to sit down together to pay bills, but will still be able to know what all bills we pay and what the other pays.

What I used:
a 1in. binder

clear page protectors

stick-on labels

FYI: You can purchase clear page protectors that come WITH the labels attached, but we weren't able to find any, so we just improvised.

What I did:

I slid a (most recent) copy of each one of our bills into a page protector. Then I labeled the top of each one accordingly. Example:  The Sprint bill was labeled SPRINT, the Gas Bill was labeled GAS BILL, Etc. Next to the name of each bill I put a number. This number represents an estimated due date for each bill. I then placed each bill into the binder according to due date.

I basically created a cataloged list of our bills for us to use as a reference. This is helpful for us to use also because, it is a good filing system to use for old bills. There have been many times when we have wanted to look back at an old bill and either didn't have it or couldn't find it in our filing cabinet. We've tried saving our bills in a filing cabinet, but it's not all that convenient.

How do you sort your bills?

Ann Loren & Jo Jo Designs....Cute Stuff!

Listed in my About Me under Interests is Online Shopping. This is because I love to shop. The other day I was looking for new Spring Clothing for my little ones who have outgrown everything from last year and came across these CUTE outfits for little girls!

Ann Loren & Jo Jo Designs clothing. I found a few of these outfits from Padoodles.com, but when I googled the design name, Overstock.com popped up. I love Overstock.com. The outfits were a little cheaper on here and there were way more to choose from.

Here is Ava sporting one of the new outfits that are Oh So Cute!

And here she is just being silly!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

World Market Coffee

I absolutely LOVE coffee! But I can't seem to make it as good as restaurants. Does anyone else have this problem? I am not someone who gets up out of bed and totes my kids to Starbucks every morning for my morning coffee. If I could afford to, I might. I know that's terrible, but it tastes so much better than mine. Not just Starbucks, but McDonald's black coffee is delicious. I wish I knew what it was that makes it so good.

My husband and I shop at World Market periodically and I bought some coffee from here last week and it's sooo much better than anything I've ever bought and fixed myself before. It smells richer, I think because it's freshly ground. That makes a huge difference. It's also nice because you can by the Whole Bean Coffee and grind it yourself right in the store. How's that for fresh!

What kind of coffee do you drink?