Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A day in the life

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and U by Kotex but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #UbyKotex  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV


It's time to wake up. I rub my eyes, kiss my daughter on the cheek, and tell her I'll be right back as I go to get her crying brother that has recently built this internal clock that deems it necessary to wake up on the 6th hour. Never failing. I slowly slip out of my husband's hold and make my way to the hallway.

I stumble running into the basket of clothes that I had sat out a couple days before {folded mind you} reminding me that I need to put them away today. I open the door, and I see him. I see him standing there, pouting his face, reaching his little arms up at me. I scoop him up, turn off the sound monitor and bring him into our bedroom.

This is one of our favorite times in the morning, as I have the chance to feed him, touch his soft skin, and kiss his sweet little forehead. He attempts to fall asleep, but it isn't long before big sister realizes that he's in bed with her and she can no longer contain her excitement.

"Graham man! You're here! I'm so happy {kiss kiss} to see you! Did you have sweet dreams {squeeze, squeeze."

With his eyes closed, he fling his arms up in the air trying to push her body out of his way.

He's unsuccessful.


We make our way downstairs. The kids each have a banana, and I attempt to begin to clean up what was the remains {as I like to call it} from the dinner the night before. I wait for the water to boil, then pour it into the kids' bowls of oatmeal. Graham sits where Elliana used to sit, and she sits in his high chair. Her choice, don't ask. He gets a bib. A strawberry bib. And a place mat. A pink place mat. Spoons in, and they go to town.

When they finish, I wipe their faces and rush them to go play already. While I try to finish what I started.


Andrew comes downstairs. I finish packing his lunch. Spaghetti and meatballs from the night before. A bowl of vegetables. Three clementines. A bag of pretzels and other snacks. Granola and yogurt on the side. A couple easter eggs in the side pocket. His lunch box is overflowing, and that's just the way I like it. Knowing his belly is full.

He hugs everyone goodbye, and there's a lot of hugs and kissing going around. Except E. She's cranky pants in the morning and there is no getting any kind of kisses out of her. The kids then stand by the window and wave "BUH-BYE" as they watch his car drive on by.

Now, we start our day.

The kids play in the playroom while I finish the dishes and throw a couple loads of laundry in. We then end up upstairs to brush our teeth, switch into our day clothes, and make our beds.


Nap time for Graham. I go upstairs to feed him and put him down, while E plays. After he finishes, I head back down and we begin our school time. We start with writing the date on the calendar, and talking about the weather today. I then write 2-3 sentences about the plans for our day and E reads them out loud. I circle any words that she may have trouble reading and we repeat them and talk about them. I then use those words to focus on throughout the day with different projects like---spelling it on paper, outlining it with glue, and then adding gems to it.

We then move along to "Star-reading" where she picks a star and picks a book and we look for that sight word. She screams when she finds it! A chocolate chip for every word found.

Our daily craft is next.

Then comes brain quest, some coloring, and finally finish it off with a little math. If we have some time left before Graham wakes up, we go to the learning station and find other things to do.


Graham wakes up. I feed him, and then I use the next 30 minutes-hour to devote to his learning--puzzles, word fishing, talking about colors of the cars, flashcards, and anything and everything else that is around us.


Lunch time. I wash, cut, and serve. Repeat. I might sneak in a few bites in for myself as well. Throw the wet laundry into the drier {you know, from this morning}, and do more dishes. I let the dog out at this time to go potty, and go grab the mail while I'm at it.

After lunch the kids are always begging to go outside by this time, and I am always more than ready.


Time to pack my diaper bag for our time out and about.

I run through my list that I have drilled in my head:

1. Extra pair of clothes for Graham, and extra undies and pants for E {haven't had to use it yet, but just in case}.
2. An extra cloth diaper for Graham, cloth wipes, and a bag to put a dirty diaper in.
3. A water bottle to keep refreshed.
4.Sanitizer, floss, tissues, napkins {for the messy kids}, lip gloss, hairbrush, and thermometer.
5. Hair bow & bib.
6. Truck & train for the busy boy.
7. Sunscreen
8. A sticker/doodle pad and crayons for the busy girl.
9. Snacks & sunglasses {because those two go together, obviously}.
10. U by Kotex Sleek Tampons and Cleanwear Pads. Even though I am still breastfeeding, I did unfortunately have the return of the inevitable a few months back, and being constantly on the go meant that I had this added worry in the back of my mind. Now, I prepare myself by having U by Kotex in by bag where I can easily slip into my hand or back of my pocket at any instant.
As an added bonus, you can now head into Walmart and pick up a box of U by Kotex Sleek Tampons or Cleanwear Pads and get a pack of three Goody hair elastics for free, while supplies last.

We're out the door.

"Which park do you want to go to, baby" I ask Elliana.
"Hmm.... how about the neighborhood park" she replies. I never know exactly which of the 8 she will say. They all have a name {even if it's not the real one}, and we're always looking to add more to the list.

The kids play. They run, and go down slides, and swing, and play. I sit {when I can}, and enjoy the beautiful weather. It's the perfect temperature this time of year. Not too hot, and not too cold. It's nice to also have the park all to ourselves. To watch the water from the bench, and hear the beautiful laughter of my children being kids.

I call them back an hour in to enjoy a snack and some water. They scarf it down, gulp it down, and back they go. Elliana's face is red from running, Graham's hair is wet from the heat. They're enjoying themselves. 

Graham then decides he's ready to go home and says "Ca-Ca-Ca" while proceeding to walk to the door. I get it son, I get it. Try telling the sister though it's time to go home. Even though we've been there for two hours.

We make our way back to the car and head home.


We're home. Graham's unhappy, he doesn't want to go inside.  He would live outside if I let him. We head in, I nurse him and then make the kids some granola and yogurt. They chow it down and of course leave a large mess for me to clean up. Thankfully E is now accustomed to cleaning up her own mess, but I have not yet trained that little one. I'll let him pass since he's still 16 months old.

I get the load of laundry out and fold it {if I'm lucky to not get distracted}, and attempt to throw another load in.


Cranky monster is rubbing his eyes and whining at me. Nap time mama, did you forget? Ah yes, so I go upstairs, feed him and put him down.

Books. Elliana and I dive into our bag of library books and cuddle on the couch.  


Graham's awake. I bring him downstairs. Change his diaper {don't worry I've changed multiple today, just haven't mentioned it}, and feed him again. I get dinner started. I pull the vegetables out and start cutting. Peppers. Tomatoes. Onions. Spinach. Pepperoni. Cheese. It doesn't help that I eat a little bit of everything that I am chopping and placing on the pizza.


PAPA'S HOME!!!!!!!!! And yes it's that exciting for all of us. More hugs and kisses go around, the dog gets let out {because he's barking up a storm and jumping all over Andrew}, and then Andrew quickly runs upstairs to get changed.  

We sit down as a family, as we always do. I hope our children always remember the importance of sitting down for dinner, talking about our day, and thanking the Lord for another day of life.

Andrew goes to mow the lawn while I get the kids bathed. This also means that I jump right in with them, because after the day we had---I needed it bad.We splash. We play with the alphabet letters in the water. And we sit in there far too long.

We get out {eventually} and Elliana requests "SANTA PJ'S!!" What else is new? I'm ready for them to not fit anymore, because it is seriously the end of the world when they are in the washer to be washed. Graham is pretty compliant with what I dress him in. For now.


We read a couple night time stories, Andrew comes in to shower, and then we part ways. I take Graham man to go nurse him and rock him. He takes E to go facetime with all the family members and wish them goodnight.

I kiss my sweet boy, and sneak out the door and go into our room where I find my other two loves. I snuggle with E and watch as she falls asleep. It's time for us to walk out.

We get a snack, grab the blanket, and it's couch time with the TV on. Roku since we no longer have cable. And it feels nice. To be in his arms. To talk about the day {mostly the kids}, and to have the house quiet and free of any noise. To think.

I fall asleep way too soon, and then we both head upstairs to call it a night. It's been a good day. A great day, and we are ready to see what tomorrow brings. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Top 5 Healthier Alternatives

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TENways  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Spring is here. Summer is right around the corner. And all of us are trying to figure out how to drop the extra weight that we gained over the course of the longest winter ever. It also seems like a common theme this time of year---bikini season preparation as some people like to call it. 

Everyone is looking toward dieting. Everyone is trying out all the different work out regimens out there. And changes are being made all around.

People often ask me what diet I am on and what things I like to do for exercise and it's hard for me to answer them exactly. I don't do anything strict. I don't like to restrict myself from things that I normally love, but I am always looking for changes to be made and to be made in a positive way. Changes that do not just last for a month or two, but are those that we can stick to permanently. For the most part. I say for the most part because there is just no way for us to be perfect in our diets all the time. There are factors to consider. For instance, when we are invited to be dinner guests at another person's home. Will I tell my friends that I will not eat their meatballs because she made them out of beef instead of what we normally do, turkey? The answer is no. The same goes for our decision to eat mainly organic, limit our sweets, and have a diet high in fruits and vegetables.

There are always splurges, and for us that is okay. 

At home, I have cravings as well and I like to make the healthier choice when it comes to those cravings.

Here is a list of my 5 favorite options to making healthier changes:

1. TEN Beverages. When I am craving a soda, I like to go for the one that gives me the full taste without the full calories. I don't want to miss out on the delicious taste, and at the same time, I don't want to drink all my calories away with a regular pop. This is where the TEN beverages come in, and my favorite of the four being 7up. I purchased mine at Walmart, and they currently have a great deal going on that ends 4/17. 

Get this coupon for 0.50 off of two 2 liter bottles or 2 four pack cans of 7UP TEN, A&W TEN, Canada Dry TEN, RC TEN or Sunkist TEN soda. Even better, share it with your friends and that coupon becomes $1.50 off! Offer available while supplies last.

2. Fruit Ice Cream. When I am craving ice cream, especially during the hot summer days, I am craving something cold and sweet. The thing that I have found that helps satisfy that craving is by making my own ice cream out of fruit. It's as simple as blending any fruit you prefer {one flavor or a mix of flavors}, putting them in popsicle mold and placing them in the freezer. My kids love it and cannot tell the difference!

3.  Granola+Yogurt+Fruit. At night is when I have found to have the biggest sweet tooth. I want something sweet and crunchy, and my favorite go-to snack has turned into something my entire family asks for. Daily. I make my own granola, I had a little bit of vanilla yogurt, and then I top it with whatever fruit I have available in the fridge. I even throw in a couple chocolate chips just to satisfy that chocolate craving. 

4. Salads for lunch. I have found that by substituting a meal with a salad {lunch or dinner}, that I have more energy and I just feel better overall. Now, to be honest with you, I used to be that person that always hated salads. I never understood why anyone just wanted to eat leaves for a meal, and most of all, it never filled me up! I figured it out---I was doing it all wrong. I was not putting the right ingredients on. Now, I fill my salad with slices of ham, almonds and walnuts, tomatoes and peppers, and clementines and strawberries. It is the perfect mix of food and I never complain of being hungry after eating a single bowl. 

5. Turkey instead of beef. We made the switch about 5 years ago and we have never looked back. I truthfully cannot tell the difference, and I actually prefer the turkey taste over the beef. We use turkey for our meatballs, our tacos, our chili, burgers, and so forth. There is no special trick to it, you simply just eliminate the beef and use ground turkey instead. And it is so much healthier for you!


There you have it, my simple 5 healthier alternatives that I think are easy, do-able, and most importantly, delicious.

All this food talk not only made me hungry, but thirsty as well. I'm going to go pour myself a glass of 7UP TEN, and make myself a yogurt granola fruit parfait with a side of ice cream as well.

Now just get me a beach and an umbrella and I'm set. 

Want more information on the different TEN beverages? Visit the links below:

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Kentucky Derby Essentials: A List of a Man's GO-TO Needs

 “This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Scandinavian Tobacco Group Lane, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #CuberoLuxury http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
When Andrew and I started dating, there were new and exciting {and sometimes i things that we would introduce to one another.

I showed him what it was like to live in a big city and go to the grocery store without fearing you would run into every person from school.
He showed me what it was like to live in a small town and know every detail about Mary, Bob, and Sue.

I showed him what it was like to come from a different country and try to understand the weird Russian culture that surrounded us.
He showed me what it was like to be born in the United States and actually understand the common phrases that I still struggle with catching on to this day.

I showed him the world of risk taking in Euchre.
He showed me what it was like to risk take in horse betting. 

He opened my eyes to the famous Kentucky Derby.

I attended my first Kentucky Derby when I started dating Andrew. I remembered reading about it, I remembered seeing it on television, and I surely remembered my brother who happens to be in love with horse racing talk about it quite frequently. But had I imagined ever actually going? Not in my wildest dreams.

The best memories have been made during that famous first weekend in May. And since having children, and my in-laws moving out of state, there have been less opportunities of me being able to go. However, because Andrew's entire family goes {and tons of friends}, he definitely does not miss out on this yearly tradition.

And who's to blame him?

Because we will miss him terribly in a few weeks when he goes, and because I want him well taken care of, I made him a small little survival kit of items that can easily all fit into his pockets. All of the items mentioned below could easily be applied to any event for a significant other.

Wedding gift idea. A night out essentials guide. Birthday night items on the go.

All products may be purchased at Walmart
1. Cubero Cigars. I bought mine at Walmart and these will be perfect for him to take on the day of the race. Small, compact, and made with premium tobacco and a natural wrapper. One thing that is essential for all the men at the Derby is cigars. Cubero is one high quality tobacco brands within the cigar industry. The brand was developed by Lane Limited and comes in aromatic and flavorable qualities.

2. Toothpaste with compact toothbrush & Gum.  Fresh breath. This is perfect to slip in the pocket and not having to worry of it taking up a lot of space. Another thing I contemplated on getting instead is the little wisk brushes that come with toothpaste already on them. Those are a great alternative as well.

3. A snack. Because every man needs a full belly.

4. Deoderant. Hot weather and lots of cheering= sweaty husband.

5. Sunglasses. Protect his eyes, and not to mention watch his horse run to the finish line.

6. Money. You have to spend money to make money.

7. Lucky penny. Lastly, this is important to go with number 6. Must have his lucky charm with him at all times.

So there you have it, the go-to survival guide 101.

Everything you could possibly need that fits perfectly in a man's pocket.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The PERFECT Accessory

With a glimpse of warm weather ahead, a little bit of sunshine peeking through my window, and the days becoming closer and closer to summer, there is no doubt that I am drooling over a whole new wardrobe. A wardrobe full of shorts, dresses, and flip flops. And sun kissed skin, pool trips, and bright colored toe nails.

One thing that I especially love about summer is that there is so much to do. We literally live out of bags and are on the go from June to August. From the kids' activities to road trips, pool trips, park dates, and sleepovers at the grandparents' house---Who so happen to have a pool, and free babysitting service. And I don't have a single complaint about that. It's what I live for, and being out is so much better than being stuck in.

However, I do have to be prepared. A lot of times, I find myself making sure that everything is checked off on the kids' needs list and forget the things on my own. I'm lucky if I even remember to bring a change of underwear and clothes to sleep in when I stay downtown with my husband. Better yet, shoes for the next day.

There once was a time when I walked out of the hotel room in cheetah pajama pants and 5 inch stilettos. True statement.
Of course, there are other things that sometimes just don't make the cut simply because of space. One of those things being a razor.  Although I may not shave as often as I should, there's a high liklihood that no one would ever even notice---seeing as how I am around two people under the age of 4 every day, all day. However, when it comes to date nights, smooth legs is a must for me.

I've never quite figured out how to pack my razor {as I'm usually just throwing things in at the last minute} without cutting my finger open when I reached in it a few hours later.  But the great thing is that I no longer have to think about it. The problem was solved when I received my Venus Snap razor that not only has a mini handle and comes with a cute compact case to carry it in, but it's instant smoothness and my latest {and greatest} accessory. With its pivoting heads hugging your curves, and its smooth glide of moisture, it definitely leaves a lasting impression.

Going to the gym? Throw the Venus Snap in your gym bag. Going to the beach? In the beach bag along with the sunscreen. Having a night out? Slip it in your pocket book and you're set.

Honestly? It's so compact I could just throw it in back pocket of my jeans.

So--warm weather, summer dresses, short shorts, and beachwear, I'm ready for you. No more hiding in the house, and a lot more of us out in public doing what we love most.

And after today, a pair of smooth legs to show off.

I'm ready.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Three things I'm loving. #Masterlockprotects

Three things I'm loving:

I love American Idol.
I love Fridays.
And  I love when companies work towards a great cause. I love even more when they utilize social media to do so. And I especially love it when they get other people involved in the cause.
Matsterlock right now has a great promotion going on through February 28th where they are asking consumers to tweet what they most care about and want to protect. By doing so, and using the hashtag #MasterLockProtects, they will be entered for a chance to win one of 28 prizes. That's not where it stops though. For every tweet that MasterLock receives, they will donate $1 {up to 10,000} to American Red Cross, in addition to their initial $10,000 donation.

For more details about this promotion, please visit this website.
I was also offered the opportunity to review a product made by Masterlock, the 5422D Key Portable Safe. You're probably thinking what in the world would I need this for? I said the same thing actually. That's when I called my husband and as soon as I said the words "Masterlock" he immediately answered "yes." Before I even finished.
He's a product junky. And you really don't have to give him much reason to lock things up.

We decided to use this lock to store important credit cards that our daughter has taken to thinking that belong to her. We lock it up, we know where it is, and they are safe and sound away from sneaky little toddler hands.

Now, please please go tweet those little birds away! Remember, hashtag #MasterLockProtects!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Easy, on-the-go solution to a delicious breakfast option!

"This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group and Jimmy Dean, but all opinions are my own. #pmedia #RedboxBreakfast http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO. "

Sundays are my favorite day of the week. I don't know what it is about that day, but it's always the one day of the week where I feel great, my house looks great, my family feels great, and most importantly, I eat great. As in, I eat a really really really good breakfast. Breakfast is, after all, the most important meal of the day, and I have to say that my husband spoils us rotten. We don't skimp when it comes to breakfasts and we love to have a variety for all to pick from. Who am I kidding here, there is not much picking as there is just devouring everything. From pancakes to bacon, toast, omelettes, and waffles. Throw in a glass of orange juice and a side of fruit and we have all food groups covered. Maple syrup with cinnamon and whipped cream is the obvious dessert here.

Lately though, I have noticed that when we go to the early service at Church {we're talking 9 am here}, then we are always making a quick breakfast on the go. Which is okay, as we definitely don't need a production each and every time, but I definitely feel like it's becoming the same old boring---greab a cereal bar, a banana, and maybe a bowl of cereal if you're lucky and go. I miss my eggs. I miss my bacon. I just miss the feeling of the Sunday meal that I so look forward to having every week.

So, I needed a solution.

I told Andrew that there was an easy fix to all this and I was going to figure it out.

Therefore, this past Sunday, I explained to Andrew that I would be in charge of breakfast that day. He usually insists, but for whatever reason, did not try to argue this one---this wonderful idea that I had in mind. Probably because it meant that he could sleep in a little while longer. I made sure that we were stocked in the fruit department, and picked up a box of Jimmy Dean breakfast bowls at Walmart after work that morning.

I came home to a quiet house and sleeping babies, so decided to pop the breakfast bowl into the microwave, cut up the fruit, filled the cups, and set the table. By the time I got the kids out of bed {including the husband}, the house already smelled like someone had been cooking all morning, and all eyes got real big upon seeing what was on their plates. I don't think anyone even spoke during the meal {which took approximately 2 minutes to scarf down}, and there certainly was not a crumb of food left.

"Oh honey, that was so good!" Andrew said.
"You should be in charge of Sunday breakfast more often," he went on.

I nodded my head and smiled.

"Where did you come up with the recipe, or did you just throw it all together," he asked.

I thought about that one for a moment. Should I tell him the secret? Should I spoil the fun? Should I explain that I'm not miss domestic breakfast maker after all? There was a brief hesitation. But of course I couldn't give all my super powers away. So I told him that he wouldn't be finding out today, however, I'd wake up extra early the next day so he would have a yummy breakfast to take with him to work.
All options available at Walmart 

You would think that I told him that I was buying him the new XBOX {which he wants by the way}. And from that look on his face? There's definitely no way I'll ever tell him that the secret to a quick, easy, and most definitely delicious breakfast that happened to come in a box. They're called Jimmy Dean Breakfast Meat Lovers Bowl. 

Next time, I'm cooking the sandwiches.  And next time I have a big family affair? You better believe I'll save myself all the dishes, all the time, and all the energy and turn to what I like to call now my old faithful.

Quick. Easy. On-the-go solution.

Problem solved.

Follow along with Jimmy Dean Here:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Us women--- we tend to forget about ourselves and our needs and wants.

Do you ever think about things that you used to do prior to children versus what you do now, post children? I don't think about it too often, as there is not much of my past that I miss or wish I could have again---if not nothing. However, sometimes when I'm rushing around to get a pair of socks on one kid and a shirt over the other while they run away from me giggling, I think about the things that I miss out doing for myself. Wouldn't you agree that moms tend to think about themselves last and that we sacrifice our needs or wants for those that we love?

I would say that is pretty darn accurate.

We spend so much of our time worrying about the children and worrying about getting to places on time, that we eliminate things that seem to just not matter.

Did you know that women won't use lotion daily because it takes too long to apply and absorb? I thought this was very interesting because my initial response was---"That's silly, that takes two seconds!" And then I had to back up and ask myself when was the last time I actually lotioned {not a word, I know} myself from head to to toe. Crickets. The answer is--forever.

Have you ever did a full body lotion right after the shower and then realized that you had to put on your skinny jeans in about two seconds? That is always a fun pleasant surprise.

So what is the solution for those that just don't have the time to wait?
Vaseline® Spray & Go Moisturizer.

This is a continuous spray lotion that moisturizes and absorbs in seconds, and after putting it to the test, I have to admit that seconds is definitely the best way to describe it. It's almost as though you just spent the time to put lotion on your body and then use a towel instantly after to dry off. Except here, you actually get to feel that moisturized look without feeling greasy! They even have a great feature where the dispenser is 360 degrees and allows you to be rest assured that all areas are covered, and applied evenly.

I have to imagine that Vaseline® knew what they were doing when they created this moisturizer. A bunch of women got together and all came to the conclusion that we do not take care of ourselves as often as we should do to time constraints.

Not a problem any longer my friends. Not at all.

When you're at the store, be sure to grab a bottle for yourself and use this coupon for extra savings--- $2 off coupon, and if you share with a friend on Facebook, get an additional $2 off coupon! 

This sponsored post was written while participating in my partnership with Vaseline and One2One Network, but as always, all opinions are my.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The 5 minute or less bathroom routine! A mom's best friend.

"This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group and Rubbermaid and Cottonelle  but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #CtnlCareRoutine http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO "
They tell you a lot of things when you are pregnant.
Be prepared to fall in love over and over again.
Be prepared for little to no sleep.
Be prepared to be awed by every little thing this human being does. 
Be prepared for messes that you never experienced before.
Be prepared to experience pure joy, happiness, and excitement each and every day. 
Be prepared to not shower, brush your teeth, or put on appropriate matching clothing until way past noon.
Just, be prepared because it is unlike anything you have ever experienced or done in your life.
And although not everything holds true for everyone out there, the one thing that is ultimately fact across the board is that motherhood is in fact unlike anything out there. And there is truly nothing to fully prepare you for all that it entails.

The thing that amazes me the most is how prior to children, or any life experience that we find challenging, we always say things like "Wow, I don't know how she does it!" Or, "There's no way I could do it." We see these challenges that others go through and cannot possibly imagine where they find the time or better yet energy to not only take care of the children but always make time for the other things that require our attention.

Like? Cleaning.

I have never been a big fan of cleaning. For me, I love the end result: a fresh, good smelling, clean home. But the process? Not so much.

I hate knowing that I spend so much time cleaning something that will ultimately get dirty again, in what may seem like less than 24 hours. If not sooner. I hate knowing that I could be investing that time into something more beneficial. Thinking to myself, how does cleaning possibly make the world go round. But no matter how many questions I ask myself, or no matter which way I want to work around this dilemma, I still find myself having to deal with the inevitable.

The key for me though is now finding how to make my cleaning routines quicker and more enjoyable, starting with the place that I usually dread the most--the bathroom. Then again, who actually enjoys scrubbing toilets and bathtubs? Don't answer that.

Here is my quick 5 minute or less routine and essentials.



I did forget to mention that the phone also plays a key role in cleaning, as it the owner of the pandora station that blasts country music while I clean. The kids are usually dancing in the background.... and trying to help.

Left: Post bath craziness Right: 5 minutes later
As you can see, there is no rocket science to it. The thing for me is finding products that are reliable and that I enjoy. Cottonelle Cleaning Cloths are one of those products that is not only simple to use, but also one that fits in with my decor and easily accessible when I need it. And in between my "official" clean ups, I can tidy up the little messes that are made by the children that have this way of destroying a place in 1.5 seconds. Not to mention, the husband as well.

If you have a Wal-Mart in your area, be sure to buy two of my products there---the Cottonelle Clean Care toilet paper and the cleaning cloths. They are right by one another, but you can always ask {like I did}, if you get lost! There is also a great offer going on now if you purchase both products during the month of February---receive $5 Vudu credit [think HD movies to rent!} by following these simple steps:

  1. Take a picture of receipt showing you purchased both items.
  2. Text or email picture to clean@drvsusa.com
  3. You will receive a text {or email} back with promo code for $5 movie credit.
  4. Get more info by visiting: www.drvsusa.com/cottonellemovies

Now that I have the art of cleaning a bathroom down... let's see if I can figure out a way to clean the kitchen in 5 minutes or less......

All suggestions are welcome!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Making my Super Bowl party one to remember. And to take home.

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When Andrew and I met in college, I told him that I was a sports girl. I loved football. I was into basketball. Take me to a ball game. I'm that girl. To this day, Andrew reminds me, quite frequently, about this little "fib" that I told, and after 8 years he is still trying to convince me of that girl I used to be. Except I never really was that girl. Here is the truth--- I'm quite the opposite. I do like going to games, but that mainly stems from the fact that I love to be around people, eat loads of delicious stadium food, and have a few drinks while yelling at the top of my lungs. Even if I don't know what is going on. I'll be the biggest fan---in the moment. All while sporting the jersey of the team we are rooting for.

The same goes for watching sports television. Having it on all hours of the day just because? No thank you. Having it on while having other people over and preparing appetizers and cold beverages? Sign me up. Any reason to have a good time with some close family or friends then I'm all for it. Even, shockingly, if that means sports are involved. I've even gotten excited about a wrestling match. That cost us $60 just to watch by the way.
o when it comes to the Super Bowl, I get excited. I think about what appetizers we will make. I think about the games that we will play. And I think about which team I'm going to choose to root for. Usually it is the opposite team that my husband chooses. Just to have a little fun with it. Needless to say, it irritates him when I'm cheering for "the other team."

With this upcoming Super Bowl party planning in the works, I thought about what the main course would be. We decided to have a test trial one night, and I was immediately hooked from the first bite of Chicken fajitas. I have decided to include the recipe below for anyone that may be interested. We are also making some of the greatest appettizers that we have been hooked on since Andrew's mom passed the recipes down to us. And lastly, I will be including "To-Go" sacks for those leaving the party. I found this cute printable here, printed it, colored it with my Sharpie markers, and cut it out in the shape of a football. To me it's a football, to Andrew it's just an "egg."
Want to make your own To-Go sacks? They're simple! Text the word: COUPONS to Target from your cell phone, and receive a coupon for $1 off Rubbermaid Food Storage, and $1 off Sharpie Markers {4 pack or larger}. Go to your nearest Target, pick up your items and be sure to use your coupons. Pick up ribbon if you don't already have any. Print off this printable. Color it any way you please, fill the containers, seal, tie, and you're set!
To-Go SACK. 
We always have leftovers. Always. A lot of food that is good, but a lot of food that I do not want the day after. Well, okay, I may want it, but do I need it? The answer is no. So to go with the party theme, I decided to pick up some Rubbermaid glass containers of different sizes, and some Sharpie markers from Target for the decorating. And then my creative juices started flowing.

I'm going to take a moment here to tell you how I was thoroughly impressed with the Rubbermaid containers. We have been on a big glass only kick and I love that Rubbermaid gives you that option when deciding how to spend your money, and spend it wisely. The great thing about the bowl that I had purchased is that I can use it during the party to fill with salsa, chips, or anything else that will get devoured within seconds, and then I can turn around, wash it, and fill it for the guys to take home their goods. It fulfills two purposes in one, and that alone sealed the deal for me. Now to convince the guys to bring it back---there's where the dilemma lies.

For the printables, I decided to print out football helmets of both teams and write the different ingredients and food items on each card with my Sharpie markers. On the day of the party, I plan on printing larger pictures of the football helmets and making a triangle banner spelling out Superbowl. 
I keep thinking of more and more ways of making the party fun, that I completely forgot the original purpose. Deciding which team to root for.

Like I said, the game is for my husband, and the party is for me. Any reason to have friends over and enjoy a table full of delicious food? I'm in. Maybe I'll even hoot and holler like my husband. Maybe I'll even learn a few game rules and get angry when the wrong calls are made. Maybe I'll even be.... converted.

Oh, my husband can only dream. 


  1. 1 teaspoon pure chile powder
  2. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  4. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  5. 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  6. 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  7. 1/4 cup water
  8. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  9. 1 whole skinless, boneless chicken breast (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch strips
  10. 1 green bell pepper—cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
  11. 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  12. 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  13. 8 flour tortillas, warmed in the microwave
  14. Shredded lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, salsa and sour cream, for serving

  1. In a resealable plastic bag, combine the chile powder with the salt, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, cornstarch, water and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the chicken, bell pepper and onion, seal and knead gently to coat. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet until shimmering. Empty the contents of the bag into the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice.
  3. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a large bowl and serve with the warmed tortillas, lettuce, cheese, salsa, sour cream and lime wedges.