Monday, July 11, 2011

Oh Virginia How I'd LOVE To Visit!

We're well into summer now. Such a shame when you stop at Walmart right now, you see all this back to school stuff! I want to focus on summer and fun things a little longer like vacation. Like all the things that you can do in Virginia! I live right next to Virginia, however I've never vacationed there. I've only driven thru to go to other states. Here's the reasons why I'd LOVE to visit Virginia Beach.

1. It's a beach! I love going to the beach (always have since I grew up in Ocean City, Maryland). I could spend all day, every day basking on the shores. Sand Castle competitions, who can find the prettiest sea shell, oh the list goes on and on!

2. Parasailing! Now I'm a little afraid of heights, but since you are at a beautiful area with all sorts of fun sights around you, why not view them from the air? I'm sure if my husband would go with me, I'd gladly spend an afternoon parasailing. Oh the things you could call home about on that trip!

3. Fishing! I love to fish here in Pennsylvania. I've never gotten to fish in the ocean, and would love to try this. From what I've seen on the site, they call the area the "Fish Highway" since all different breeds of fish use the waters to migrate back and forth. Wouldn't that be cool getting some pictures of the fish you catch?

4. There's an awesome Wellness Program! The saying "Our Waters Nourish The Soul. Our Sunrises Rejuvenate the Body." sold me on this. They have wonderful spa's along the shore. What tired stay at home mom wouldn't enjoy this?! They've got ocean front yoga. Wouldn't that be a great time to catch a beautiful sunrise or sunset doing yoga and relaxing your body and soul.

5. Virginia Beach is rich in history. From John Smith first touching the shores to the Navy history, you cannot go wrong if you are a history buff like I am. I could spend days lost in their museums!

6. Kids programs! Since I doubt I'll be going on anymore vacations sans kiddos anytime soon, we always look for kid attractions when we plan. Not only will we spend time at the beach, but theres plenty of things we can do if it's a rainy day. Such as Laser Quest, Young Chef's Accademy, and the Virginia Beach Rock Gym. Never a boring day here!

7. Boat tours and Jet skiing. I would love to spend an afternoon cruising around the ocean on a boat. And trying my hand at Jet Skiing. Not every day you get to do this.

8. Family Great Adventures Series. We would love to spend an evening unraveling clues on a little mystery hunt, and topping the evening off with a great movie. It's a great way to end the day, and your kids feel like little detectives!

9. Symphony By The Sea. This would be perfect husband and wife time (Notice I didn't say mommy and daddy time. We check the title at the door when it's date night). Taking in a fantastic orchastra is my idea of a lovely evening after a fantastic dinner.

10. The FOOD! Sure you could buy crab or fish here at the grocery stores up home but do they taste the same? No! The beauty of vacation is not having to cook and enjoying amazing food.

I think I'm going to start planning our Virginia Beach 2011 vacation now. I prefer it since it is close to home, should anything happen with the family. Now to talk hubby into it.. I think he'll agree. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Virginia Beach Tourism blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate go to

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What Every Mom Can Use... Time Savers!

If you could not tell from my previous posts, I am part of a wonderful community called Social Moms. Todays prompt was one that I enjoy. Time savers! I mean, what mom (or dad) could not use a few good tips on saving some time. We all have such busy lives nowadays, so every little bit helps. Right? I'm a stay at home mom, but I do have a busy life with the kids to keep up with. So time saving cutting corners, but not cutting quality out of my day, is something I strive to do daily.

1. Pack the day before (Notice, I did not say the night before!). If you have a trip at the zoo planned out, or doctors appointments that will keep you out all day or over night, the morning before, plan out a list of everything you need. During the day when you have some down time, start at the top of the list and pack what you'll need. It's not only frustrating when you are trying to run out the door, and still have to grab things and go. It's a time loss too.

2. Buy in bulk. Not only will you save money on the prices of meats and other grocery needs, you'll save gas going back and forth to the grocery store, and you save your precious time. You can spend some quality time with the kids! This leads me onto my next tip...

3. When you are making meals during the week, make extras to freeze or store for later in the week. You can easily freeze pancakes after they have cooled off. You can save chicken that you cooked before to make soups or main dishes for dinners or lunches later in the week. Not only do you save time cooking, you won't be tempted to order take out when you come home and feel tired. (Saving money is always awesome!) Just pop the food in the oven to heat up, and you can quickly make a side dish for dinner too!

4. Online shopping is one of my favorite time savers. No having to load up the kids and diaper bag into the car. No more having to deal with melt downs from tired kids who need a nap desperately. You can find amazing deals online, and you can shop in your pajamas! You don't even have to search extensively for the deals either. There are so many sites that are dedicated to finding you the best deals, and people share what they find.

5. Couponing! It takes a few days to prepare for, before it seems like a time saver. But with a binder, you can quickly flip to the coupons you need, which saves you some time while grocery shopping. You'll save a lot of money, and you can stock up on things that you regularly use around the house. That will prevent you doing the running to the grocery store every week for little things.

6. During the school year, try to grocery shop during school hours. The stores are not as crowded and you can think while you shop. During the summer time, try to go out later in the evening. I love shopping at night since the stores are quiet, and since the stores are stocking at night time, I can usually find everything I need! More perks to this :).

7. Sometimes it is ok to ask for help to get the job done. It's alright to ask if someone will watch your kids for a few hours to get shopping done, or just to simply regroup after a long morning. The job moves along so much faster when you have help, and a friendly face to talk to as you work!

8. Set up a chore chart for the kids. It sets them up for a well rounded life, and it can give mom a break too. It may take mom a few times to help them, but your child is gaining values and responsibility.

9. Take time to relax. The less stressed out parents are, the day moves easier. Spend naptime just sitting on the couch with a fan blowing on you and your eyes closed. Or read and extra book or two at bedtime.

10. Go to sleep at a decent time. Your body needs rest, and setting up a routine for bedtime helps so much. You wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day. And no lagging! Thats the best part!!

I hope these tips help you get some time saved through out the day. Every mom needs some time to her self, so why not try to prioritize your time!

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Starbucks blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Let's Go On A Road Trip! Safe Travel/Car Tips

Now that school's getting out for the summer, now's the time to start getting ready for all the road trips to be had! Growing up, I loved jumping in the car and just going places. Throw a dart at a map, and let that be your destination. Is your car up to speed for the trip? Let's talk some tips to keep you safe on the road.

1. Think you can ignore a chip in your windshield? Think again! The windshield provides up to 30% of your vehicles structural integrity, and a chip smaller than 6 inches (or the size of a dollar bill) can easily be repaired by filling it with a special resin. Safelight is just about everywhere, so if you have a chip happen, (which is very common following PennDot here in Pennslyvania), and Safelite comes out to you! So, if you are stopped along at a rest stop, you can call them and they'll come out to you.

2. This is one my husband is guilty of: A chip could turn into a crack at any time, often when you are least expecting it. Windshield repair is often a safe and economical alternative to a full windshield replacement. I've replaced the windows in our car's before, and its not cheap. I know next time, we'll be calling Safelite.

3. Get a tune up done. Change the oil, make sure all fluid in your car is full on fluids. Get your tires checked. If you keep the recomended amount of air in your tires, you save on gas milage too! Thats music to everybody's ears nowadays with gas prices up by Four dollars a gallon. Plus, you'll want to minamize the wear and tear on your car.

4. Keep a first aid kit in your car. I cant tell you how many times someone has had a skinned knee, and I've run out of bandaids. And that being down at the park. If I'm traveling, I make sure to take a decent amount of first aid supplies for the just in case senarios.

5. Keep bottles of water and snacks in your car if you'll be on the road very long. That way everyone is hydrated, and bellies have something in them. It will save you stopping at every gas station and you will save some cash for your vacation destination.

6. If you have young children riding with you, bring things to keep them occupied. It is hard driving long distances by yourself, let alone with children getting fussy. Play the license plate game. Or even I Spy. There are neat travel games, and little arts and craft type things that are travel friendly. I swear by the Color Wonder packs. That way, you are not distracted by kids flipping out.

7. Take breaks between driving. You need time to rest your eyes, and who knows, maybe check out some cheesy tourist attractions. Get a laugh while you stretch your legs!

8. Map out nearest hospitals, care clinics on your traels. You neer know if you hae to stop at one. And make sure you hae your families insurance cards and a list of all medications that you are currently taking. It is so helpful in the event of an emergancy.

9. No texting or talking on the cell phone while driving. If the conversation is that importent, pull over and do it. You do not need to be distracted and cause an accident. We have been rear ended by someone on their cell phone.

10. Wear your seatbelt. This shouldn't have to be said, but sadly, alot of people do not wear their seatbelts. They save lives!!!

I cannot wait to see everyones travel pictures and hear their stories. Thats half the fun right there, telling someone your great travel adventure. Where do you plan on road tripping at this summer?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Safelite blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click

Monday, May 23, 2011

Summer's coming! Let's make plans!

Can you believe that summer is right around the corner? I know I can't! It seemed like just last week we had chilly weather and snow here in Pennsylvania. Now we're coming towards the end of May, and my son's last day of school is on Friday. The school year seems to go by in a blink of an eye. Now's the perfect time to start making those summer plans. Since my children are at a great age to start doing little mini vacations. Mainly we stick to staycations but this summer, we're making some travel vacation plans. I was thinking of some great family friendly vacation stops for us.

One place I would love to take the kids to, and yes its a little cliche, but we'd love to see Disney World. Even just Florida in general! I'm not sure if I'd want to do this in the summer, since I wouldn't be able to handle that much heat. There is so much to do in that area. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the WB park brings the inner geek out in me. My son would love to see what he's only seen in the movies. My daughter would go nuts for the Disney princesses. Disney is like it's own little world within a world.

Since I am not a "native" of Pennsylvania (Moved here when I was a preteen), I will have to take my kids to Ocean City, Maryland one day. I grew up in a town by the city, and I miss it dearly. I have so many wonderful memories of the beaches, boardwalk, and the horses out at Assateague Island. If I could convince my husband to move out there, I would in a heartbeat.

When my husband and I went out to Montana this past winter, we were lucky to visit Yellowstone National Park. Montana was beautiful. Yellowstone takes your breath away with its beauty. There are a lot of programs for children, teens, and adults. We've never seen Bison in person before, and when we went in January (we were lucky to spend New Years Eve there), we must have seen thousands! I would love to spend a week camping with my family there. You get so in touch with nature, and you truely appreciate the world around you.

Erie, Pennsylvania is a great little area to check out. Theres an indoor waterpark that we've stayed in before, we've had great service there. They have so many little splash zones for kids, and perfect indoor waterslides for adults! There's also a great little theme park called Waldameer. Theres perfect picnic areas if you'd like to pack a lunch, spend the afternoon at the theme park, and then spend the evening watching the sunset while the kids play on the beach of Lake Erie right off Presque Isle State Park.

If you are coming to Pittsburgh area this summer, you will have a blast with your family. We've got the Pittsburgh Zoo, which we've spent many summer days. I enjoy it as much as the kids. They have an aquarium too! The Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Art has a lot of child activities, encluding sleepovers at the museum! We plan on making a few stops at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh for the first time this year as well since my children are at the perfect age for this. We are so excited!

What summer activities do you have set in store? I can't wait to make new memories with my children, and watch their faces light up with wonder!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate go to

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Memories... Brought to You by Coke

What do you think of when someone mentions Coca Cola? I think of fun summer evenings catching fireflies outside. When the air is wonderfully warm and the days end late. I grew up in a family who always had ice cold bottles of Coke in the fridge. Out past Pittsburgh, we had the Coca Cola Starlake Amphitheater (It's now renamed something else, but when I was younger, that is where we went every summer for concerts). I seen my first live concert there! And of course, they had plenty of ice cold Cokes to go around.

I remember growing up and having family game nights with home made pizza and having glasses of Coke's. We'd try to create funny words during Scrabble, only for our parents to say, "No, real words only." During Boggle, we'd race against the timer and try to beat each others word counts. We'd make ridiculous bets trying to win at Monopoly. It was fun times growing up. Too many families now do not have time for fun filled family game nights. I think we should all make more time for the little things like that. After all, that is what sticks out most in my mind of my youth. I want my children to sit back and tell their kids about fun times when they were little.

Oh! My grandmother made up yummy foods that had Coca Cola in the recipes. There have been one or two passed down. However, we have not tried making them ourselves yet. But I remember my Gram making up some yummy different meals that included Coke.

Just looking online you can find great recipes that have Coke in their ingreadients. I think my Gram might have gotten hers from a recipe book she purchased or one that she sent away for. Just looking online now, I found a perfect Chicken Wing recipe off the Coca Cola heritage site I found. (Here's the link you can check out for plenty of yummy recipes

You can create fun family moments with your family and a glass of Coke. I think its the best thing ever to go to a Pirates game and enjoy the simple classic, hotdog and Coke. Baseball tickets for us do not cost a lot, and its truely a nice evening date if it is just Mike and I. We're taking our son to his first Pirates game this summer, and I cannot wait to make memories with him.

What memories do you want to make with Coke?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Coca-Cola blogging program. If I am one of the first 100 blogs recieved by SocialsMoms, I will recieve a $25 gift card. For more information on the program, please click

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Diamond Candle Came!

(This little review is solely my opinion. I bought this candle myself and was not reimbursed in any way , shape, or how for my review. I just wanted to show everyone how great these candles are!)

Diamond candles are soy candles with a pleasant surprise inside the wax. There is a ring that could be worth $10, $100, $1000, or even $5000 inside!

I placed an order on this past Thursday. I've been looking at the Facebook page and going thru photos for about a week and decided to give it a shot. The candles are $25 plus shipping (I believe it's by weight and where its going. I paid about $8.70 or so for it to ship to PA). After you place your order, you get a link in an email to share to get a $5 rebate back, and whoever uses it gets $5 back on their order as well (a win//win situation!). These are SOY candles. Not what Yankee candles are made of folks. There are 5 scents to choose from. Apple Slice, Dusk, Sunwashed, Lavender Lemon, and finally, Cinnamon Tea. Apple Slice smells like Green Apple Jolly Ranchers in my opinion. Dusk is a manly scent (they nicknamed it the Boyfriend scent on the site). Sunwashed is like your laundry hanging out to dry on a fresh spring day. Lavender Lemon is a clean scent, which has more of a lemon scent rather than an overpowering Lavender. Cinnamon Tea is a cozy scent that smells delightful. (I think I may get Green Apple and Cinnamon Tea next time to burn together. Oh that would smell awesome).

I ordered the Apple Slice candle. The scent is awesome. We aren't talking about an over powering scent, we are talking a subtle, enjoyable. The candle came packaged in a regular cardboard box, securely taped up to prevent accidentally opening. I opened the candle as soon as it came, and seen it was wrapped with a sticky type bubble wrap. So, even if your mailman is a bit clumsy, your candle should be safe in its packaging. As soon as I started peeling back the bubble wrap, I could smell the delightful apple scent. I have this burning on top of my tv stand right now! My living room has such a lovely smell to it right now.

I have a bit of a wait ahead to get to my ring!

So fast forward 4 hrs later, and I'm able to get my ring! I recorded the big reveal of the ring, and it's uploading on to youtube right now. It's a very pretty ring. It's not real (so a $10 one or whatever), but, I like it and am wearing anyhow. I just got to get used to wearing a ring on my index finger or thumb (yes, sadly I have tiny fingers!). Here's the ring I got:

Tada! Here's the ring!~

When your candle is all burned up, you can reuse the jar to hold pencils, change, whatever you can bring up in your mind. I think I'll put cotton balls in mine and set it in the bathroom on the sink. It's nice to have a nice pretty jar to reuse rather than just throwing away in the garbage.

I really love these candles. They have a great scent and for a quality soy candle, the price is great. No matter what ring you find in your candle, you are getting a great product. I plan to order more candles in the future. I'm hoping that one day I can do a review and giveaway for Diamond Candles one day. Enjoy!

***EDIT*** The Video Reveal ***EDIT***

Little Switches That Make A Difference

I have a pretty good relationship with my hubby, Mike. We've been together for 7 years now and married for 5 years this September. After 2 kids, I can see when things are getting stale. We don't go out much, but we do have special little dinners at home.

My husband has a few tricks up his sleeve. He's been known to pull a romantic or two. I'm not a high maitenence girl, but I think its so sweet. It could be just cuddling on on the couch just watching a movie we got out of a Redbox or Blockbuster rental. Or it could just be sitting back in candle light talking and just relaxing. With 2 young children, I dont have much time to relax. And my husband works a full time job, so I know he needs to relax too.

Mike usually goes to work way before the kids and I wake up. So he's pretty much on his own most mornings to get his lunch made up. Every once in a while, when I'm up late by myself, I'll make him a supurb lunch and include a little note telling him to have a wonderful day. He keeps his phone usually in his car so I'll send him a text saying; "Good morning! Have a great day today!!". He likes seeing that the first thing in the morning since he has to work all day. I'd enjoy it too.

When he comes home late, usually, he gets a shower first thing; then will come in to spend time with us. I try to get him his clothes laid out and a towel so he doesnt have to go hunting for anything after he showers and relaxes. I know that I'd appreciate someone doing that for me. When we were traveling to Montana and got stuck in Salt Lake City overnight, he made sure that I had everything set up in the bathroom for a nice relaxing soak. After THAT stressful day, that was the top of my list.

Sometimes just a switch up that makes a huge difference. It brightens someones day, and they pay it forward to brighten anothers. I know if someone has done something to make me smile, I usually do something just to get a smile out of another. Be it my husband, child, or a total stranger on the street.

What are you going to do in the next few days to bring a smile to your husband, boyfriends, or total stranger's face?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Cottonelle blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” (make sure you link to