Nov 17, 2015

Why You Should Do Laundry on a Family Trip

Last weekend we went to Myrtle Beach to celebrate my twin's birthday. I'll just pause and take a moment to wonder where the time went that my babies are turning six. Our weekend at the beach was fabulous and no one wanted to go home. Always the sign of a perfect trip.

I have a few quirks about trips and one is that if I can, I like to wash all our clothes before we pack up and go home. There is nothing worse than getting home and having multiple suitcase of dirty laundry. Especially after a beach trip since you bought half the sand on the beach home with you.

Which is why I like to stay in timeshares or condo style resorts so I can do laundry. And so I can cook most of the meals and save money.

So why should you do laundry while you're there? After all you're on vacation and chores can wait until you get home right?


You're not on vacation, you're on a family trip. Yes family trips are awesome and I love them!

But they are NOT vacations.

I don't mind throwing in a few loads of laundry while we are on our trip if it means I get home with clean clothes. By the time we get home from a trip I am exhausted. Driving home does me in every time. The last thing I want to do once we get home is having multiple loads of laundry to wash.

All this for ONE weekend!

Last night when we got home we were completely unpacked, car cleaned up, and all the food we brought with us put away in less than an hour. It was nice going to bed with everything organized and ready to start the week.

Starting the week without extra work to do is totally worth the effort to do laundry on a family trip.

Oct 29, 2015

Pumpkin Party Planning with Mr. Clean + Giveaway

A Pumpkin painting/carving party is the perfect way to celebrate Halloween with young children. Kids love getting together for a party with their friends just as much as adults do. Plus if you're like me, you are friends with their moms too so it's a win all around. Or course painting pumpkins and carving them is going to be messy. Which is why this pumpkin decorating party which was sponsored by Mr. Clean is the perfect pairing; messy fun plus cleaning products. I was compensated for this party, including party supplies for my review. All opinions are mine.

One big part of any party is getting your house ready. That isn't just decorations and food, although that's important too. With double the cleaning power to knock out dirt, Mr. Clean Multi-Surface Concentrated Cleaner is a multipurpose cleaner that is tough on more than just floors. It will get your bathrooms, floors, and countertops clean for the holiday season. And it will rid your home of the sticky messes post-party.

If you're going to throw a pumpkin decorating party you're going to need decorations, yummy food, drinks, pumpkins, paint, and craving tools. I bought a small pumpkin for each child to paint and one large carving pumpkin for each family to carve. With the ages of our kids, they were far more interested in painting the pumpkins than carving them. The carving fell to the moms and two teenagers that attended.

I hosted my party right after school so food was going to be a big part of the party. It's crazy how hungry kids are after school. Since we were having a pumpkin party, food shaped into pumpkins was practically required. I went with a fruit/vegetable and cheese tray cut into a jack-o-lantern shape. They turned out really cute and were very simple to put together.

Of course you can't have a party in the fall without caramel apples. I thought it would be more fun for the kids to dip the apples themselves. My son was not thrilled with the idea of eating a caramel apple, this was all I could convince him to do.

Caramel apples weren't the only desserts served. I also made some pumpkin patch cups. Talk about a super simple dessert! All you need is chocolate pudding, ground up Oreos, and some pumpkin candies. Just layer them in a clear cup and you're ready to go. Totally kid friendly and you can make them the night before. For easy, mess free storage put the cups in a muffin tin and them top the cups with aluminum foil. The cups won't slide around so you don't have to worry about dropping one.

It gets a little messy making the food too. 

I suggest feeding the kids before you try to start the decorating activities. Once you bust out the paint, things get messy. Plus very few kids can see food and wait to eat it. We had some awesome paint dabbers for the kids to use on the pumpkins. I also gave them paint and brushes so their imaginations can really run wild. And the kids did not disappoint both in their creativity and the mess that they made.

After all the painting and carving was done I sent the kids outside to play. Once all the kids were outside I showed the moms how easy it was to clean up the party with Mr. Clean Multi-Surface Concentrated Cleaner. 

This was a first for me, I've never cleaned up while my guests were still at the party. But I wanted them to get excited about their party favor before they left the party. 

My floor looked pretty wrecked when the painting was done. Even with the paper down the kids found many spots on the floor to paint. And for once I wasn't all that worried about it. I knew that Mr. Clean Multi-Surface Concentrated Cleaner would take care of everything, even the paint. As it turns out the paint was not washable!!! What??? I always make sure that they paint we use is washable. Thankfully it wasn't until clean up time that I realized the error in my ways. But don't worry all the paint wiped right up with a sponge and one squirt of Mr. Clean Multi-Surface Concentrated Cleaner. 

I was shocked! We all were. 

I knew washable paint would come up easily, but I didn't think regular paint would. Normally it's almost impossible to get off, which is why I only buy washable paint. It also took off some permanent marker that my son used on my countertop. All moms know there is nothing scarier than a young child with a permanent marker in their hand. Thankfully it came off with a little elbow grease.

The bathroom was pretty rough too after the party. The kids washed their hands in there, but somehow in getting clean, they wrecked my bathroom. I'm amazed how kids manage to touch every single surface in a room if their hands are dirty. And if you're washing your hands, shouldn't the paint go down the drain not coat the sink? You would think so but no, and here's the proof.

How does this even happen?

Now that you've seen the fantastic cleaning power of Mr. Clean Multi-Surface Concentrated Cleaner I know you want to try it for yourself. One lucky reader is going to win a pumpkin prize pack. He or she will get the multipurpose cleaner, a carving kit, paint kit, seed scooper, and the amazing pumpkin bowl.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oct 26, 2015

Fall Old School Blogging

I'm linking up with The Miss Elaine-ous Life for some Old School Blogging. For you newbies to blogging you missed the old days of passing around lists and questions to respond to. It's fun to get back to the basics of blogging occasionally.

This link up is all about things Fall.

What is your favorite Halloween candy?
I don't like chocolate. I know, that makes me a freak of nature but I don't. So I get excited over the Sugar Babies and Skittles my kids bring home.  
What is one of the worst “treats” you ever received in your candy bag?  
I grew up in a neighborhood with one family that gave out the black or orange taffy. At least I think it was taffy, it was gross either way. Another family had a tray of pennies and we were warned to only take one. I'm not sure which one was worse, though at least I could spend the penny.

What was one of your favorite costumes you wore when you were a kid?
I mostly worse old dance recital costumes as a kid so no favorites here. But when it comes to my kids I have a favorite. I loved their Cat in the Hat theme year. It makes me a little sad that my kids don't want to coordinate their costumes anymore. 

How about your favorite costume as an adult? 
I don't have any pictures of me in costume as an adult. There were some skimpy costumes over the pre-kid years that I would love to see now. Back when I was super thin but I neither knew it or appreciated it. Now that I'm a mom, I sport this shirt every year. It's fun for me to watch the people who don't get the joke. 

What scares you most on Halloween? Spiders? Zombies? Axe murderers? Eyeballs in a jar… (or something else)?
I'm not a fan of haunted houses. I was dragged to them as a teenager and in my early 20's but now I refuse to go. Why someone would pay to get scared is beyond me. 
So then, what is your favorite scary movie??
Scream. I watched it this weekend with my husband and it took both of us back in time. It's not really scary and it cracks me up. I'm not a fan of scary movies. 
What is you favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal?
Cooking it alone, eating it, and then not doing a single dish since the cook never cleans in my home. I don't like help in the kitchen and I turn down invites to other people's houses. I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner, plus I'm not about to gamble on someone else's gravy and stuffing.

I mean really, what if they serve canned or packet gravy? I would die. 
What is your favorite piece of clothing or accessory to wear in the Fall?
Boots and scarves. I love that I can throw on a t-shirt and jeans but I look dressed up with boots and a scarf.

What is your favorite pie?  If you do not like pie I will forgive you but then what is your favorite Fall dessert?
Apple! I make my Great Grandmother's recipe and it's amazing. In the summer I turn it into a grilled apple pie.  I actually think I like the grilled version better since I don't have to use my oven. 
My kids like it too, as you can tell by the stolen tastes before dessert time.

Do you live where there are four seasons? If so, where is your favorite place to see the fall colors?
Yes for the first time in my life I live where there are four seasons. Thankfully our Winter's are pretty mild but the Fall colors in NC are amazing! This is my favorite time of year. We can see the Fall colors every time you step outside this time of year. 

What is your favorite fall tradition?

Taking my kids to fall festivals and trick or treating. It's fun watching my kids experience it, plus I steal some of their candy.


Is there anything else special about the Fall to you?

I love the first time I can cool down the house by opening the windows and the first time I make soup. Those two events usually occur on the same night. I just love eating a bowl of soup and cuddling with my husband on the couch.

What makes Fall special for you? 

Centrum VitaMints Review

I try hard to stay healthy. I exercise regularly and try to eat right but I know there are some gaps in my nutrition. Especially this time of year when the treats in the teacher's lounge are plentiful as are the germs from my preschoolers.  A multi vitamin is just what I need this time of year to try to stay as healthy as possible. I received the Centrum VitaMints for free from Smiley360 in exchange for my review, all opinions are mine.

While I know I need to take vitamins, I'm terrible at actually taking them. I'm good about remembering them for a few days but then weeks go by without me remembering to take them again. Now grabbing a mint to freshen my breath, that isn't forgotten. Which is why the Centrum VitaMints are perfect for me. Instead of trying to remember to take my vitamins at a set time; I just keep them in my purse and when I want something that tastes minty I take a VitaMint twice a day.

For the first time in my life, sadly including my pregnancies, I'm actually taking vitamins everyday. I haven't missed a day in over a month. They taste really good too, the mint flavor isn't too strong that it tastes bad. Plus they don't taste chalky unlike many other mint flavored products on the market. An added bonus, they can be taken without water which makes these vitamins prefect to take anytime or anyplace.

You can get a free sample of VitaMints so you can try them yourself. Just visit Centrum's website to get your free sample or to learn more information on their products. Or follow Centrum on Facebook to learn more about their products and promotions. Currently there is a $2.00 off coupon on their Facebook page.

Tell me, do you remember to take your vitamins? How do you remember?

Oct 19, 2015

The End of Coordinating Halloween Costumes

I am that mom.

The one I rolled my eyes at long before I became a mother.

The mom who likes her children to wear coordinating Halloween costumes.

I know, I know. I'm the same mom who can't stand it when people dress their kids in coordinating outfits in daily life.

But there is something so cute about a Halloween theme for kids.


I know I'm biased but how cute are these little ones? Hands down this was my favorite year and my kids wore those handmade costumes as pjs all winter. 

My twins are going to coordinate this year, but my oldest wants no part of it. She made up her mind that she is going as a NCState Wolfpack Fairy Princess. I'm not sure where she got that idea, but her costume was fairly easy to make. 

I couldn't convince her to change her mind to coordinate with her siblings. It's the end of an wonderful season in life when I could easily influence my children. Now she has her own ideas and there is no swaying her. 


You could say that my little Isabella is growing up. 

I knew this was coming, but I'm still a little bummed. 

It's amazing to me how something as little as a Halloween costume choice makes me realize that my girl is growing up. I love that she's her own person and the creativity behind her costume is awesome. So I'm not sad that this is happening, just a little surprised that it happened so soon. 

And a little bummed. 

I think it's ok to be a little bummed. 


After all, they look so cute dressed up together.

Do your kids dress in themes still? Did they ever?

Oct 14, 2015

Preschoolers Say the Funniest Things

I love preschoolers. I'm a little sad that my kids are past the preschool age but it's OK since I'm teaching preschool now. I get to be around preschoolers and hear some of the funny things they say.

1. "Yuck, that spider did not taste good!"
Gee you think?

2. "My penis needs to pee!"
Points to mom and dad for the anatomy lesson. And thanks for the belly laugh.

3. "My feet are alive!!!" This was said during nap time with no context at all. Just a random shouting out my feet are alive moment.

4. "I can't put my bubble back in the jar!"
The little girl said this as she cried over not being able to blow a bubble, catch it, and then put it back into the bottle. She threw herself on the ground sobbing and it took several hugs and most of my restraint not to laugh at the poor child as she calmed down.

5. "My parents drink Jesus water."
My kid told her preschool teacher that. She was still dying laughing over it when I picked her up.

6. "I can't find my mom, I can't find my mom."
No you can't find your mom with your hands over your eyes. Please stop uncontrollably crying and take your hands off your face.

What funny things have your kids said lately?

Oct 2, 2015

11th Anniversary Confessions

I confess....
Today is my 11th wedding anniversary and yet I'm feeling very crabby today.

I confess....
Normally on my anniversary I'm all gooey eyed and happy but today just crabbiness.

I confess....
I think it's because we aren't going out tonight for the first time ever. Ever. And 5 of our 11 anniversaries involved staying away from our kids or taking a vacation.

Last year we were in Myrtle Beach

I confess....
Why aren't we going out? Because all our amazing superstar babysitters are unavailable on Fridays in the fall due to football. Lesson learned, you need a babysitter who isn't a football player or cheerleader or you can kiss Friday nights goodbye in the Fall.

I confess....
I don't know how to snap out of my crabby mood.

I confess....
We are going away next month on a marriage retreat with our church but that feels like a million years away today.

I confess....
I'm pretty sure I just need to stop whining and get over myself and try to enjoy the day.

What are you confessing today?
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