Sunday, April 28, 2013


I did a quick photoshoot at church.  My boy is almost 3 years old!  I also made a photography logo in case I ever want to pursue that option in the future.  I usually only take pictures of family and friends and don't charge.  It would be nice to make some money taking photos, so that I can put some money toward a new lens or equipment.

I'm going to be 3!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Reading Eggs Subscription - 2 weeks FREE

 My daughter is 5 years old and is in Pre-K.  When she was 3/4 she kept begging me to teach her how to "read these letters."  She already knew her letters and letter sounds, so we figured why not.  We let her lead the way.  She is now reading quite well.  She surprises us everyday.  Technology has helped some in her reading skills.  She loves educational computer games.  I'm looking forward to trying Reading Eggs with her.  They have a two week free trial with no credit card required!

I checked out their website and it says it was developed by teachers, educational writers, animators, web developers.  The lesson I listened to looks like it would be great for my almost 3 year old.  It's suitable for ages 3-12 and teaches core reading curriculum of skills and strategies.  Our schools are going to common core standards, so this could help.  There are over 500,000 subscribers, so that's a lot of people that seem to like it.

I was not compensated for this post.  I am receiving 3 months to try it out.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Crayola's Big Colorful Birthday Adventure

To celebrate their 110th birthday, the 8 original crayons are throwing a birthday bash at the new fun-omenal Crayola Experience, the world's only interactive Crayola family attraction. Right now, they're out on a colorful adventure to spread the news, and you're invited to join the fun!

How can you join in on the fun? You can FOLLOW the crayons on their adventure, LEARN more about each color and enter to WIN a trip for 4 to celebrate their birthday and the Grand Opening of the all new Crayola Experience this coming May, 2013!

Visit the Crayola Facebook page and click "enter now" for your chance to be first in line when the Crayola Experience reopens.

The new Crayola Experience features four floors of new interactive exhibits and one-of-a-kind attractions that will bring the magic of color and your child's creativity to life! The winner will be among the first to experience the fun, along with a three- night, all-expenses paid stay. It's an experience your kids will never forget - and neither will you!

I checked out some information (here's an article) on the Crayola Experience in PA and it looks awesome!

This information was provided by Crayola.  We are a Crayola brand compares!  My Art teacher friend knows art supplies and she prefers Crayola too.

Mother's Day Movie Night - Movie Giveaway

What is your ideal Mother's Day gift?  Mine would probably be professional house cleaning.  What would be your perfect Mother's day?  Breakfast in bed, movie with the family, no fighting, etc...

 One lucky reader will win a classic Blu-ray movie to watch! 
(Prize will be chosen randomly from the titles below!)
- A Star is Born (1976) (Blu-ray)
- Cabaret (1972) (Blu-ray)

Check out the Warner Bros. Mother’s Day Movie Night Blog App and enter below to win a free Movie!

I was not compensated for this post. Warner Bros. is providing the giveaway to the lucky winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Jacksonville Beach Shipwreck Island WaterPark Save $5 and more

Adventure Landing & Shipwreck Island Waterpark is The Place to Play!  Stay cool in the summer at Northeast Florida's largest water park.  Enjoy rides from mild to wild, including a Kiddie Play Area, Wave Pool and Lazy River!  Practice your putting skills on our Miniature Golf Courses, twist and turn in the Go-Karts, practice your swing inside our Batting Cages or perfect your gaming skills in our Mega Arcade.  Don't miss our Wacky Worm Rollercoaster and Frog Hopper - rides perfect for younger kids!  And, don't forget to stop by and feed the alligators!  Affordable family close to home.  

My Readers Save $5 and more Here

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Fast Metabolism Diet Party

I was selected to host a Mommyparty for The Fast Metabolism Diet book.  If you've never heard of it here is a book description from Amazon.

Phase I (Monday-Tuesday): Lots of carbs and fruits
Phase II (Wednesday-Thursday): Lots of proteins and veggies
Phase III (Friday-Sunday): All of the above, plus healthy fats and oils

By keeping your metabolism guessing in this specific and deliberate way, you’ll get it working faster. This isn’t just a theory, it’s the results-based product of Haylie Pomroy’s successful programs.  It’s worked for celebrities, for athletes, and for people with chronic illnesses who need to lose weight, doctor’s orders.  Now it’s going to work for you.

In 4 weeks not only will you see the weight fall off, you’ll also see your cholesterol drop, your blood sugar stabilize, your energy increase, your sleep improve, and your stress dramatically reduce. All thanks to the miraculous power of real, delicious, satisfying food!

I decided to share with the teachers at my school.  I had quite a few interested in the book.  I know that many of us teachers spend so much time doing school related things that we don't take time for ourselves.  I don't know very many people that don't want to lose weight or get healthier. 

All the goodies to give away. 

Some of the goodies to sample.  There are lots of recipes in the book to help.
Mm...Cucumbers and sweet potato hummus.  I had a non sweet potato version as well.

The pork roast was really good!

I had about 7 teachers stop by our little party.  Many came by and tasted the food and went back to work a little more.  I cooked several of the recipes from the book and they are pretty easy to make (most of them).  I had a hard time finding Tahini (once I figured out what it was) to make the humus.  I really messed up the Watermelon smoothie somehow.  The peppermint extract didn't have a dropper and I put in too much.  I thought it would blend in because I was taking the single serving and multiplying it by 12.  Apparently, the extract sank to the bottom so the last smoothies dished out tasted really bad.  Oops.  I'll try it again at home.  A couple teachers weren't able to make it, but they stopped by later and picked up their books.  They went pretty quick.  

Enjoy a couple pictures of our teachers enjoying the partyI blurred out the teachers faces because...well they are teachers and most preferred not to have their picture public on the blog.  I decided to just blur them all out.

Mrs. B showing us an exercise that she does with P90x.
Disclosure: I was given the supplies to host this party for MomSelect Mommyparties.

State Testing - Proctoring

My husband wrote this poem after proctoring the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) at the high school he worked at.  If you've ever proctored a test, you'll be able to relate.

This has been my week.....

Proctoring the FCAT is surely quite a chore,
Walking in circles is certainly a bore.
There’s nothing here to look at it – it’s really all the same,
I really, really wish I could remember this kid’s name.

I wanted to bring headphones and listen to a tune,
Having a distraction would be a wonderful boon,
Instead it must be quiet, there cannot be a peep,
And into my mind a little madness soon will creep.

I used to have a poster to read, to skim or at least scan,
But now they’ve all been covered according to some ban,
As if a picture of Garfield would really help some kid,
And so, just in case, it really must be hid.

Perhaps a little book to read, surely that’s not bad,
Haven’t we been preaching that reading’s really rad?
But no, I cannot read, I must continue to pace,
Walking in this tiresome, routine little race.

I’ve tried to picture a wonderful seascape,
A happy place in which my sanity might escape,
It’s hard to stay within one’s mind,
Without diversion of any kind.

My feet are put down, one in front of next,
This total silence really has gotten me quite vexed.
I’d rip my right arm off for a little TV break,
Too much of this routine I really cannot take.

I look at the clock, pleading for a second chance,
A way, perhaps, to get around this tired little dance.
I’m sad to see it’s only just a little half past ten,
It’s time to start the next part and do this all again.

It wouldn’t be so bad if there were anything to do,
Something really different for my eyes to take a view,
I’d look at a student’s test booklet to occupy my time,
Except we were trained that that’s another crime.

It’s dull, it’s boring, and it’s driving me insane!
I never thought, within my life, I’d ever feel this pain.
This is America, and I have the right of happiness,
So why am I stuck in the middle of this mess?

I went to college and I passed,
I thought I was free at last,
But now, years later, I’m still testing and waiting for the bell,
Who thought I’d have to do this – can someone please do tell?

Aha! The bell has rung, and this day of torture has passed,
It seems, today, that this test of will I have surpassed.
I’m relieved, and delighted, to no longer have this sorrow….


…oh no…

I must do this again tomorrow.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Back to School Blogger Event

Back to School Blast Event

Hosted by: Mom Powered Media
Prize: $1,000 in Gift Cards up for grabs!
Event dates: 7/1 - 8/1

Free Blogger Event: Sign Up HERE

Plummet Falls Adventure Blog Giveaway Opportunity

Summer Adventure Event

Hosted by: Mom to Bed by 8
Prize: Banzai Plummet Falls Adventure Slide Water Park
Event dates: 5/13 - 5/28
Free Blogger Event: Sign Up HERE

Chick-fil-A® Leadercast®

Have you ever heard of the Chick-fil-A Leadercast?  It's a one-day leadership event broadcast LIVE from Atlanta, GA to hundreds of locations around the world on May 10, 2013.Check and see if there is a location close to you broadcasting the event. 

Awesome Speakers lined up for this event include:
•    Jack Welch, Former Chairman and CEO of General Electric
•    Andy Stanley, Best-selling leadership author and communicator
•    Mike Krzyzewski, Head men's basketball coach, Duke University and Team USA
•    John Maxwell, Best-selling author and leadership expert
•    Dr. Henry Cloud, Best-selling author and leadership consultant
•    LCDR Rorke Denver, Navy SEAL and star of the 2012 movie Act of Valor
•    Sanya Richards-Ross, 2012 London Olympic gold medalist, track & field
•    David Allen, Best-selling author of Getting Things Done and productivity expert
•    Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State (2005-2009), via exclusive Simply Lead video interview

2013 Chick-fil-A Leadercast Promo from GiANT Impact on Vimeo.

The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep Book Review

I've heard many great things about the Happiest Baby on the Block and Happiest Toddler on the Block  books by Dr. Harvey Karp.  I can't even count how many times I've seen it recommended by other Moms on various social networks and groups as I searched for solutions with my own children.

I was very excited to hear about his newest book The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep Book. 

There are so many people that have advice for new Moms.  My advice is to listen to everyone's advice with a grain of salt.  At least that's how I felt.  I've read through most of Dr. Karp's book "The Happiest Baby guide to Great Sleep" and, finally, someone I agree with.  

When I was a new Mom, I would get so frustrated when SO many people would tell me I was spoiling my baby because I was holding her too much.  I was told I needed to let her cry more or she would never learn to sleep on her own.  I'm not talking an older baby.  I mean 2 months or younger.  Letting her cry and not holding her just did not seem natural to me at all.  I didn't feel that it was possible to spoil a young infant and I still don't.  Dr. Karp says this in his book!  I agree with him that eventually babies and children will cry to manipulate, but not at that early age.

Both of my children are completely different types of sleepers.  My daughter was not and still is not a great sleeper.  I had to beg the babysitter to do anything she could to get her to sleep during the day, so that she wasn't a monster at night.  We had many, many frustrating nights.  She is now 5 years old and she still takes a long time to wind down and get to sleep.  We have our bedtime routine and then she reads books, up to an hour, before she is ready to sleep.  My son is 2 years old and has always been a better sleeper.  We do our bedtime routine and, for the most part, he goes to sleep within 10 minutes.  I worried that he was sleeping too long and too much to get the proper nutrition.  We still had many sleepless nights, but overall he's just a better sleeper.

  I didn't let either of them "cry it out."  I'm not saying they never were left to cry, but we (mostly me) just couldn't not let them cry for hours until they fell asleep.  We still don't.  I treated them both the same.  As young infants I held them a lot and helped them to sleep.  It didn't change the type of sleeper they are.  I feel a lot of their sleep patterns are apart of their personalities even very early on. 
Sissy only a week old. 
 Dr. Karp discusses some great strategies that work with all types of personalities from infants to 5 years old. I had already used some of his strategies with my children, but I've learned what seems to be everything there is to know about sleeping and children.  

Do your children have sleep issues?  Are your children keeping you from getting your much needed sleep to function each day?  I know I'm a grump when my sleep is interrupted. 

If you need some help in the sleep children check out Dr. Harvey Karp's new book THE HAPPIEST BABY GUIDE TO GREAT SLEEP: Simple Solutions for Kids from Birth to 5 Years (William Morrow Paperback; On-Sale: March 19, 2013; $15.99; ISBN: 9780062113320), Dr. Karp stuns the world again by solving the #1 problem plaguing new parents: exhaustion. Dr. Karp's surprising insights include:

  • Train infants - 5 year olds how to sleep better.
  • Using and choosing white noise to help your infant and toddler sleep
  • Teach a child to self soothe
  • Swaddling safely to help infants sleep.
  • Powering down technique for toddlers.
  • Easy "no-cry" tips that end infant and toddler bedtime struggles in just days!

    With THE HAPPIEST BABY GUIDE TO GREAT SLEEP, no longer will new parent have to suffer months of sleep deprivation and no longer will babies have to cry themselves to sleep. Backed by compelling science, common sense and decades of experience, Dr. Karp’s landmark guide will revolutionize how millions of children drift off to dreamland.
  "I received this book from Harper Collins for the purposes of reviewing it. I have not received compensation. My participation in the campaign enters me into a drawing for a gift card. All opinions stated are my own.”

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