You Get What You Pay For

Posted by Shannon on Oct 29th, 2009
Oct 29

I’m going to link up to Jo-Lynne’s What I Learned This Week carnival a couple of days late.  I apologize to anyone reading this who now thinks it is Tuesday.  No worries: the week is almost over and trick-or-treaters will soon be descending upon your door.

Last week, after 8 years of service, our toaster that we got as a wedding gift bid us farewell.  It was only toasting one half of whatever was being toasted.  I think I lasted maybe 2 days of flipping the toast over and toasting it again before I was done with that.

I told my husband I didn’t want to shell out a lot of money for a toaster.  And believe me, if you haven’t been toaster shopping lately, I’m here to tell you there are some ridiculously expensive toasters out there.  I think they not only provide you with toast but pay your bills  and raise your children as well.

I settled for a 4 slice toaster that was 15 bucks.  I was so proud of myself for being frugal and ignoring the higher priced toasters that seemed to be calling out for me.

Here’s where the “you get what you pay for” part comes in.  This is a “no frills” toaster and apparently being able to fit your entire piece of bread in the toaster…is considered a frill.  I love when I put in a frozen waffle and the top of it is sticking out.  It’s a great way to get your day started!

Lesson of the day: Sometimes it’s best not to skimp on certain things. And a toaster is one of those things!

Delusions Are A Good Thing

Posted by Shannon on Oct 21st, 2009
Oct 21

This school year, I made a decision to try to take off from work when the kids have off from school.  Technically, AJ isn’t in school but if Kiki is home I like to keep him home from daycare.  Realistically, I can’t escape from work every time the school is closed. It’s just not plausible.  Let’s face it, I would eat through my vacation hours rather quickly.  But the random day here and there is certainly manageable.

Where is all this coming from?

Recently it dawned on me that my babies aren’t really babies anymore.  In the blink of an eye, they’re 8 and almost 4.  This slap in the face from Father Time seemed to have happened 3 weeks ago when my brother and his wife welcomed their first born into the world.  Seeing the pictures of how tiny she is made me realize just how fast my kids are growing up.

Kiki has off the next 2 days for parent teacher conferences.  So my husband and I took off these two days as well.  Today we have our conference with her teacher and then I think we will go see Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs.

Tomorrow we are off to the aquarium for their Halloween special “Creep in the Deep.”  I am really looking forward to this family day trip.  We have never been there and I think the kids are going to have a great time.  Plus there is some sort of Spongebob 4D attraction that we are going to try out.  The height requirement for that is 36″ and when I measured my little man the other day he seems to be scraping by at 38″.  Keep your fingers crossed that the aquarium measures the same way I did!

Having said all that, I know these next two days are not going to be all rainbows and butterflies.  There is going to be fighting and tattling and whining and me thinking, “Why did I take off from work?!”    But in the end, hopefully there will be some fun memories made for the kids…and a nice bottle of wine for the husband and I when we get home!

Does Yoga Belong in the Shower? No.

Posted by Shannon on Oct 18th, 2009
Oct 18

Hi friends! Long time no write.  As LL Cool J would say, ” Don’t call it a comeback.”  I can’t promise any real frequency with updating on here, but when the mood strikes I suppose I’ll make an appearance.

All week I have been suffering from a backache.  There’s one specific spot where a knot has formed and apparently wants to stay.  I’ve tried everything to undo the kink, yet the knot persists.

Standing in the shower Friday morning, I positioned myself  so that the hot water would hit the area of concern.  Unfortunately,  it’s also that lovely time of year when my sinuses and I battle it out.  So as I was leaning forward, the pressure in my sinuses became unbearable.  I recalled a yoga position that is supposedly good for clearing the sinuses.

Because I was desperate for some kind of relief from either my back or my sinuses, I assumed this yoga position…in the shower.  I’m not sure I can explain the stance properly, but you kind of bend down and twist your upper body so you are looking upward.

However, looking up in the shower with water coming DOWN from the shower head is the perfect way for water to land in your ear.  Most of you were probably already aware of such a fact because of a little thing called COMMON SENSE.  But sometimes desperation clouds judgment. Or at least that sounds good so I’m sticking with that.

When the shower was all said and done, the knot in my back was still there, my sinuses were still a nightmare, and water was now in my ear.   I spent the first part of my day shaking my head violently to the side in hopes that the water would trickle out.  Because, ya know, that helps.   Eventually the water found an exit downgrading my horrible day to simply a bad one.  How lovely!

In conclusion, my public service announcement of the day is this: There is a time and place for yoga moves and the shower is not that place!

First Day of School

Posted by Shannon on Sep 8th, 2009
Sep 8

Today was Kiki’s start of her 3rd grade year.  Her alarm went off at 7 and she was dressed by 7:04. I only know the time because she announced it in excitement. I love the first day of school because she gets ready in record time.  We end up with at least a half an hour to spare before the bus comes.  Suffice it to say, today was the first and last day that will happen.

Her backpack was stuffed to the brim with most of her back to school supplies making it pretty darn heavy.  Add to that the “All About Me” poster that she had to bring in today as well as her lunch bag and she was pretty much weighted down. I’m glad we live so close to the school and her bus ride is not a long one.  Not to mention the bus seemed crazy packed.  It looked to me to be at capacity so I’m pretty sure we are the last stop.

She waved good-bye to us from her seat and just like that, she was gone.  Off to embark on another academic year, become accustomed to a new teacher, meet some new classmates and catch up with her friends from last year.

It also means that I will now only see Kiki for at most 2 hours a day because of my work schedule.  So as excited as I am for her to start another year, I am pretty sad to know that my time with her is reduced so dramatically. Until I can find a daytime job, this is just the way it has to be.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing her tonight and hearing all about her day. Now filling out the forms she will have brought home is another story entirely!




Sunny 7 Giveaway

Posted by Shannon on Sep 7th, 2009
Sep 7

It’s giveaway time again!

As part of the Sunny 7, I get the opportunity to give away some cleaning products from Sun & Earth.  Over the next couple of months, readers will have the chance to enter and win a variety of their environmentally friendly cleaning products.

This month, one lucky person will win:

(1) 22 oz All Purpose Cleaner

(1) 4 oz Concentrated All Purpose Cleaner Refill (refills 22 oz bottle)

(1) .338oz On the Spot Instant Stain Remover Pen

(1) 4 oz 2x Laundry Detergent

(1) 4 oz Xtra Dishwashing Liquid

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post about a time when you could have used the On the Spot Instant Stain Remover Pen.  This giveaway will close on Sunday, September 13th at 10:00pm. This is only valid for Continental U.S. residents only.

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by Shannon on Sep 2nd, 2009
Sep 2

Just another night in the neighborhood


For more Wordless Wednesday pics, head on over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

What I Learned This Week

Posted by Shannon on Aug 25th, 2009
Aug 25


This past Thursday, my husband had his knee surgery.  I am happy to report that all went well and he is on the road to recovery.  (It’s a slow road, but a road nonetheless!)

What I still can’t wrap my brain around is the outpouring of kindness from our family and friends.   For starters, my parents took the kids for a couple of days which was a huge help.  Throughout the day of the surgery, I was getting phone calls or text messages from so many people asking for  updates.  On Twitter and Facebook we were getting well wishes sent to us.  Even my husband’s cell phone, which was tucked away in my purse, kept vibrating with phone calls and messages.  Since he stayed in the hospital over night, his parents drove an hour to come and visit him.  Having them at the hospital that night for visiting hours meant so much to my husband.

It was a long day! We left the house at 5:30 that morning and I came home after 10 that evening.  While driving home, exhaustion was setting in pretty heavy.  The only thought on my mind was crawling into bed.  Until it dawned on me that I needed to get the trash and recycling containers to the curb.  It took me about 2 seconds to decide I wasn’t going to do that.  They could wait until the next collection day.

I pulled onto our street to find my trash and recycling containers at my curb! I’m not even kidding when I tell you I just about started crying.  My neighbors across the street who have a key to our house, came over and not only took care of the trash, but fed my animals as well! Other then texting them after the surgery, I hadn’t spoken to them that day to even ask them to do that.  They did it out of the kindness of their hearts and it absolutely meant the world to me.

When we got home from the hospital the next day after a very stressful car ride, there was a box sitting on our porch.  Once I got my husband situated, I opened it to find a box of goodies from friends of ours.  It was 4 boxes full of brownies and cookies and happiness, oh my!!  For those of you who may need a gift idea, check out Cheryl & Co.  It was perfect!

That evening, my neighbor Jo-Lynne came walking down the street with a dish in her hand.  As she approached me, she said “Here’s your dinner for tomorrow night.  I know your main chef is down and out.”  (FYI, I do not cook.  Nothing about it appeals to me.  I can make about 2 dinners and that is it).

I threw my arms around Jo-Lynne and gave her a big hug.  I was so touched that she took the time to prepare a meal my family.  And believe me, my husband and kids could not have been happier with the scrumptious chicken dish that broke up the monotony of my “cooking.”  And I am using the term “Cooking” very loosely!

Other friends have offered to mow our grass, pick up the kids from daycare, or simply come and sit with us.

My lesson for this week is a wonderful one.  We are truly blessed to have so many thoughtful and caring people in our lives.  The kindness that has been shown to us by so many people over these last few days will not be forgotten.  I can only hope that one day I can show them the same in return.

For more What I Learned This Week, visit Jo-Lynne at Musings of a Housewife.

What I Learned This Week

Posted by Shannon on Aug 11th, 2009
Aug 11

This week’s lesson is all about overcoming fears.

Over the weekend, we went to visit my brother in Fairfax, Virginia.  Typically, a trip like this would have my husband driving while I sat carefree in the passenger seat.  Unfortunately, as we all know by now, he wasn’t able to come with us due to his knee injury.

My sister and brother-in-law came along for the ride.  I was so glad to have them with me for the company and the moral support.  On the way down, I drove us to a rest stop in Maryland and tossed the keys to my BIL.  I figured I made it over half way, I did my part.

On the way back, I decided it was time to put my “Big Girl Undies” on and try to drive the whole way home.  Everything was going swimmingly until we ran into a pretty nasty thunderstorm on 95 in Delaware.  Driving in thunderstorms is another huge fear for me.  The pelting rain mixed with trees flailing all around in the wind is enough to send me into panic mode.  As the first large raindrop landed on the windshield, I revealed to my passengers, “Did I ever tell you guys that I have anxiety attacks when driving in thunderstorms?”  I heard a very sarcastic “Great!” from the group.

My BIL suggested that I pull over and let him drive.  But I told myself I could do it and to my amazement…I did!

We pulled into the driveway and I said a quick prayer of thanks for allowing me to get everyone home in one piece.  I felt like a little kid that just learned how to ride their bike.  I was full of a sense of accomplishment.

Having said all that, I don’t plan on driving on a road trip like that again any time soon.  I did it, I now know I can do it, and that’s good enough for me!

The Kids Are Lucky They’re Cute!

Posted by Shannon on Aug 7th, 2009
Aug 7

Earlier this summer, my husband and I  took pity on our kids and purchased an inflatable water slide.  This has been a debate the past few summers because we just weren’t sure we wanted to put out the money.  But I guess this year the kids must have asked us at a moment when we were both temporarily insane because before we knew it, we were at the store purchasing one.

We rushed home and set it up and everyone just had a grand ol time!




kidsSince that first time we have set it up about 3 more times.  Today I had the afternoon off and I thought I would be a nice mom and put it up for them.  Now this is not an easy task.  I have to lug the heavy thing to the back, get it out of it’s bag, unroll it, and blow it up.  Then it’s time to fill the bottom with water and then connect the tubing.

I finally finished and got the kids all ready for their fun in the sun.  Their fun in the sun that lasted 10 minutes!!! No lie! To say I’m a little annoyed would be a bit of an understatement at this point.

I realize that kids’ interests are constantly changing, but the summer is not even over yet and they are bored with it already!? I’m not sure if I’m more irritated at them or at us for breaking down and purchasing the thing!

I’m praying that today was maybe just an off day for them.  Maybe the next time we set it up, they will really enjoy it like they did before.  But right now I’m not in any rush to put it up again any time soon!

Seven is Your Lucky Number

Posted by Shannon on Aug 7th, 2009
Aug 7 selected #2.    Congrats to Rob!  And thanks to Kim and Jerri for entering as well.  Look for more giveaways of Sun & Earth products later this month!

Things have be so hectic around here, I forgot to share some good news!  I have been invited to join a small group of “mom-fluential” bloggers to help spread the word about a great company: Sun & Earth.  Sun & Earth is an earth friendly company based out of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania which is about 20 minutes from my house.  They make great cleaning products that get the job done without harming the environment.

Our panel of mom bloggers is called the Sunny Seven.  Pretty cute, isn’t it!?


I’m currently busy falling in love with all their products which means look for great giveaways of their cleaning products shortly.  But to celebrate the formation of the Sunny 7, Sun & Earth is offering a great giveaway today (August 7th) to one of my readers.

The lucky winner will receive a “Customer Favorites” Sample pack from Sun & Earth:

1 Trial size 2X laundry detergent

1 Stain Stick

1 Trial size Xtra Concentrated Dish Liquid

and 1 Trial Size All Purpose Cleaner

Leave a comment on the post today 8/7 by 7 pm EST and make sure to share one way in which you have gone green! I will announce the winner at the top of the post after 7.  Make sure you leave a valid email address so that we can get in touch with you!

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