Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Food for Thought

Yesterday, Gannon was pretending to make cake with plastic colored filing creates. He would say, "Happy Birthday!" then I'd blow out the pretend candles and we would pretend to eat the yummy cake. Then I'd take a turn and "make" him a happy birthday cake. So this morning he wakes up, we cuddle on the couch together, and he tells me, "I a good deem (dream), mama. I a monkey on a tea (tree) birdbay (birthday) cake with birdbay toys on top. A mouse and cheese." As he smiled and laughed, moved his hands in a ball shape while wiggling his fingers, said, "and more and more birdday toys on top, so many!"

Gannon after helping to make Royce's birthday cake.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fun Freebies

I always enjoy a few fun freebies, and thought I would share a cute one I found,Cottonelle® Brand Roll Covers! You need to fill out the info, and use a UPC code from a package of Cottonelle Brand tp. I got this UPC: UPC 3600013396 from another blog, and it seemed to work for me.
UPDATE: I received mine in the mail last week 09-15-11. It's a nice plastic container.

There is also this one for Super Sticky Post-it Notes; become a member and fill out a short form for a sample.

You may also want to get a free pint of Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Stain, just print the coupon and take it to a participating Benjamin Moore retailer.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Safe From the Past ~ Book Review, and $30 Giveaway!

About the Book:
A kidnapping, the divorce of her parents, the loss of her father, temporary abandonment and extreme poverty are just some of the issues the author dealt with as a young child.

Her mother finally tells her she must go to college so she can break out of this cycle of poverty and hopelessness. But how can she when she has no money and absolutely no confidence or self esteem?

Read this true story to discover what hope, faith and determination can do to change a life.
A truly inspiring, deeply personal tale of perseverance in the face of unimaginable hardships, Safe from the Past makes clear the restorative power of an education.
Told in an open, honest voice with the deepest sincerity, the author's life story serves as a rousing inspiration to those with the desire to create a better life than the one they are currently living.

No matter how helpless you feel, everyone has the power to shape their own life.

My Thoughts:

This book definitely was a quick read with only 138 pages; as well, I tend to enjoy memoirs genres making this book right up my alley. I thought that it was an encouraging story of how a young girl against all odds made a better life for herself, and how she learned to use her painful experiences as stepping stones to better her future.

I thought that the story seemed watered down, and at some points made the background not sound as awful as it probably was, although I believe the author was trying her best to bring to life the fear, anxiety, and chaos that she had faced while growing up. I also found it baffling that she seemed to let her mother “off the hook” (so to say) in the parts that she played in the lifestyle that in which they lived. I also wondered where she found her faith and God. I don’t recall any talk of church or knowing other believers.

Although, I thought some information was left out that could have enhanced the story a bit more, the bottom line is the story is an encouragement for anyone who desire to go to college, but are finding themselves struggling through life.

A Giveaway:
Litfuse is sponsoring a $30 giveaway open to both you and your blog readers.

How to Enter the Giveaway! To enter all you have to do is send a tweet (using #litfuse) about Safe From the Past or share about it on Facebook!
If you tweet we'll capture your entry when you use @litfuse. If you share it on Facebook or your blog, just email us and let us know ( Easy.

Not sure what to tweet/post? Here's an idea:
TWEET THIS: Safe From the Past by Patricia Mauro - inspiring tale of perseverance in the face of unimaginable hardships. #litfuse

FACEBOOK THIS: Don’t miss Patricia Mauro’s Safe From the Past - inspiring, deeply personal tale of perseverance in the face of unimaginable hardships. Told in an open, honest voice with the deepest sincerity, the author's life story serves as a rousing inspiration to those with the desire to create a better life than the one they are currently living.

Want to Buy the Book Yourself:

About the Patricia Miller Mauro:
Patricia Miller MauroPatricia worked in New York City's financial district for thirteen years in the field of securities operations. At that time, she went on to obtain an MBA from New York University . She and her husband moved to Dallas , TX in 2001 where they are raising their two children.

During her time in NY, Patricia wrote an article entitled "A Tribute To My Mother" which was published in "The Recovery Journal" in 1999. Her book is a continuation of that tribute and serves to spread the message to those in similar situations that good news is on its way to children considering a higher education but who are afraid to dream. For more information please visit,

Find Out What Other's are Saying:

Join the Flock! LitFuse Publicity Group blogger

 *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity group’s blog for books program in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I'm in no way directly related to the contest giveaway, and comments left for this blog post will not count toward entry into the giveaway contest (ways to enter are listed above.)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Deadly Ties by Vicki Hinze ~ Book Review

About The Book:

The now resourceful confident women, Lisa Harper is on brink of reaching out to rescue her mother from her stepfather, Dutch Hauk’s grasp. The man quickly stepped in after her father’s death, and soon became harsh and controlling. Fearing for her daughter, Annie Harper gave up custody to a good family friend when Lisa turned 16. Now that Lisa was graduating from college, she could take care of her mother, and set-up plans to move her mother away from Dutch. Dutch would do anything to keep what he felt was his, and finally put that brat kid where she belonged where she couldn’t stir up any more trouble. Using his some criminal connections Dutch has Annie attacked, and Lisa kidnapped into a human trafficking ring.

Lisa’s new boyfriend, Mark Taylor and his old Special Ops buddies are there to help rescue, Lisa as they watch over Lisa’s mother Annie while she is in the ICU after the attack. After finding out that the group NINA that they were battling years before is somehow behind Lisa’s disappearance they step-up the search to trying to find Lisa, and get more information on the ties that NINA has to her disappearance. As Mark faces his fears of failing another person, he loves.

My Thoughts:

This book started out very slow, and while reading the following of the characters were a bit confusing in the beginning of the book as well. I had a hard time keeping focused on the book, as it just didn’t do well at keeping me engaged, and I found the ending quite predictable. I also found that the romance side of the book was a bit cheesy as well with the word usage. On the upside of the book, the leading female came across with strong sensibility, and grace even when put into a horrific predicament. The mother as well showed kindness, love and sacrifice while in her abusive relationship. And of course, there was a handsome hero to swoop in and save the damsel in distress.  For those of you who like a book with suspense, a strong female lead, and the handsome hero, this maybe the book for you, but you won’t know unless you try it.

*Disclaimer: Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.

I Blog Book Reviews

Friday, June 17, 2011

Safari Diaper Cake Craft ~ Tutorial

When planning my niece Paige's baby shower I found this great diaper cake tutorial on Plan the Perfect Baby Shower, and decided to make one myself. It was so easy I thought I would share it with all of you too. It make a super cute center piece, as well as a great usable gift. You can check out the directions on Plan the Perfect  Baby shower, or just follow along here if you'd like to make one too.
All my supplies!

  • 37 Size 2 Luvs (any brand of diaper will work)
  • 28 Size 1 Luvs (any brand of diaper will work)
  • 65 Small Rubber Bands
  • 6 Large (X-Larger) Rubber Bands
  • 15 oz Bottle of Baby Shampoo
  • A Small 4oz Baby Bottle (or something of that size; I used a small Garanimals Wood & Plush Elephant Stacker Toy)
  • 3 Large Buttons
  •  1 ½ in Ribbon
  • 5/8 in Ribbon
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Hot Glue
  • Cake Platter 
  • Other Baby Toys and Items

Start with a Diaper and Small Rubber Band

 Open the Diaper, and...

... roll it up.

All rolled up.
Wrap in a Rubber Band. Repeat until all the diapers
that are needed are rolled and secured in a small rubber band.

Place a 15oz bottle of shampoo on the cake platter.

Place a large rubber band around the 15 oz. bottle of
Baby Shampoo in the center of the platter.

Begin the 1st layer of the bottom tier by
placing the size 2  rolled diaper between the bottle,
and the rubber band.

Place the size 2 rolled diapers all a way around.
Place a large rubber band around the 1st layer of rolled
diapers, and insert another row.
Place another large rubber band around,
and repeat to create a third layer.

For the middle tier place a large rubber band a
round the top of the 15 oz bottle, and place size 1
diapers around the bottle, do this twice. 


Place the Garanimals  Elephant Stacker Toy
(or 4 oz bottle) on top to make the top tier.

Place a larger rubber band around the toy,
and insert rolled size 1 diapers around the toy.
Wrap 1 1/2 in ribbon around the diaper tiers,
and hot glue to secure into place. Hot Glue large
buttons on the seems of the ribbon. Create bows
with the 5/8 in ribbon and hot glue around the top.
Add the other baby items around the diaper cake.

 There you have it, a complete diaper cake!!!
I also found this very cute Upaint Jumbo Piggy Bank at my local Ben Franklin, which you can find at that I painted with my own ceramic paints I picked up at Wal-mart, and had guest sign at the baby shower as a keepsake. It turned out so cute I want to paint a few more, one for each of my boys.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Feeling Claritin Clear ~ Product Review

I recently signed up to do a review for Children's Claritin, because Royce was diagnosed with common indoor/outdoor allergies and was prescribed Zyrtec (this was back in the day when you needed to pick it up from the pharmacy) before he was even a year old. I was/am never good about continuing giving him medication for this, and really hoped he'd grow out of it. However, as the years have gone by (all too quickly, I might add.); he's continued to have allergy symptoms, so I give him some allergy meds when he really seems to need something. Over the last few weeks, before school was out, I had him try the Children’s Claritin; first, I gave him the grape flavored chewable tabs. When he returned home from school, I asked him how he felt it worked. With a shrug he replied, "My nose wasn't running all the time, so I didn't have to keep asking to get up to get a tissue all day, so that was good." I also noticed that I didn't have to ask him as often to go blow his nose on those days, so I was happy as well. The next week I tried giving him the liquid Children's Claritin, which is grape flavored as well. When I asked him what he liked better the chewable or the liquid Royce replied, "The liquid. It's not so chalky tasting in my mouth." Other then that the chewable worked as well as the liquid, but Royce preferred the liquid. I'm still not big on handing out the meds, but in Royce's case they did seem to help him out, and he didn't complain about the taste, so overall it was a good experience for both of us.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a product sample, coupon, collateral or other special premium from BzzAgent.  

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mother's Day Blessings

Wow, things are really getting started now that school has ended. I almost feel busier trying to get summer schedules settled; who goes where and when and for what. Joe with work, starting his workout routine again, Hull Legion Meeting, and Boy Scouts (with extra marching practices for the upcoming Memorial Day Service/ and Parade). Royce is running himself ragged this summer by adding little league, swimming lessons, and a babysitting course to his activities, as well as posting signs for Pet Sitting. Giovonnie will be starting Summer Reading Program (that's our summer school here), and swimming lessons, but he opted out of little league. He says he'll maybe join next year, but wants to help Royce with pet sitting. We'll see how that all goes. This last month, has consisted of quick meals, such as sandwiches, and frozen pizzas.  And although we've been super busy, and I had to work on Mother's Day, the boys took time to treat me special the day before.

Giovonnie made me this beautiful paper flower at school.
We picked one of my colorful tumblers out to set it in.
Now it's on the table next to my bed.

Royce wrote me this great card. It's so
nice to know that I'm appericated.
 I chose to go to Sioux Falls to a place called Dakota Glass, a glass art studio. On the way there, we stopped at DQ to Eat. The older boys were able to choose a project made of fused glass to make such as night-lights, plates, or pendants. Both the boys chose to make pendants. They were able to make three pendants each, at $15.00 per person. Joe walked around the store/studio with Gannon while I worked with (more so watched) the boys, create some pendants after an older woman showed us how to cut the glass and break it. Both the boys liked cutting and breaking glass. We then left all the pendants there, so that they could be fused in the kiln. Then on the way back we hit DQ again for dessert....mmm, blizzards! Then after we got home Joe when and picked up my niece Lexi to babysit, so that we could go out for dinner, just the two of us. I chose the Mexican Restaurant here in town. I have to say it was delicious!

Anyhow, I went back to Dakota Glass on the following Monday to pick the pendants the boys made.

These are the pendents Royce made for me.

These are the ones Giovonnie created for me.
When the lady that was working that day found out that two young boys made them she acted surprised and said, "Boy's made these? Oh, my...I thought they were made by teenage girls. How old are your boys?" I told her 8 and 10, and her response was, "Wow, they did a really nice job." I think so too, and it was nice that they both chose to make these for me because they could have chosen anything, and they could have made them for themselves. My only request was to go and make something fun with them, to spend time with them doing something that I would enjoy.  It was a very special day for me. "Thank you, Joe, and my wonderful wonderful boys."


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