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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

AWB Secret Santa Ornament Exchange

Back this past summer I found out about Arkansas Women Bloggers and was so excited to find a site that is local to my state! Well we had an Ornament swap earlier this month and it was so much fun! I love to craft and this is my first time trying an ornament craft. 
I thought about doing the craft with a plastic ornament but I was worried that the decorations wouldn't stick as good as a glass ornament.
I got an idea for my first ornament from Michaels Projects section. Thankfully Michaels organizes their crafts into how long it will take (ie how crafty you need to be!). The details for this ornament are included in the link above but it mainly consists of double stick tape, silver glitter, a decoration adorned to it and add a bow at the end.


My second ornament was a blend of ideas that I have seen over the internet. A friend had completely handpainted her ornament red and then painted the santa belt. I had also seen the pinterest idea of putting rolled up red paper in the ornament and then painting the belt around the ornament. All I could think about is me not being able to keep the belt straight the whole way around so I figured that the double stick tape I used with the first ornament would work perfectly.


Having never made ornaments I give myself an A- (or maybe a B+) and it was so much fun that I am making more ornaments for our own tree at home with my 8 year old.

I received the cutest ornaments in the mail earlier this week from Jodi at The Coffee House Life and they are absolutely beautiful on my tree. 
 I have seen these before on Pinterest and so glad to have them on my tree! I also received a sweet note with my ornaments and bless her heart she has 3 little girls (5,3,1) and still was able to craft these up! I thought I had it rough with a rambunctious one year old! I love that my angle one had the word hope on it because there are some days in life where you need a little hope and this angel reminds of it. 

Thanks again so much Jodi and Arkansas Women Bloggers for this fun time!



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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Latest Comestic Surgery Fad

Ok ladies we all have that one pair of shoes we just love...you know the ones that go with any outfit, that fit our feet just right or that show off our legs when we wear them with a skirt or dress.
Then there is that pair of shoes that you have that no matter how many times you wear them by the end of the night your feet are blistered or your toes hurt from being crammed in the dang shoes. Well apparently there is a new and "upcoming" surgery to fix all that....

I was listening to the radio on the way home from work the other day when the radio host mentioned this and I couldn't belive what I was hearing. It is called stiletto surgery. This surgery is done to remove your PINKY TOE so that way you can fit your feet into your stillettos better!!!! SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?!?!
Who does that!!! And to top it off it is apparently one of the hottest growing cosmetic surgery trends! For the life of me I can't understand how wearing a dumb pair of heels is worth cutting off one of your toes! Has society gotten that materialistic that we will do ANYTHING to make ourselves look good? Trust me I am not above putting on a good pair of flats and calling it a day.
Besides I know my husband would think I have lost my mind if I were to seriously ask him about getting that surgery. Not only that but could you imagine that if you were single and had that done how many guys might think you are just a little too weird because you have 8 toes....I know I would!
And lastly here is the thing that is the most scary to me...if this is one of the hottest new trends what is next!?
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Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Whole New Christmas

I am a creature of habit. I live by routine and joining the military only furthered that need for habit even more. I get ready for work the same way everyday, get the kids up the same way so when something throws a wrench in my plans I usually just have to take a step back and breath. 
Well this Christmas a HUGE wrench in the decorating was thrown my way. Since I am in our new house (which I LOVE) I have had to sell some furniture and buy some new furniture to accommodate the new layout of this house. No biggie right?...well like I said creature of habit. So suddenly with the new layout of the house and how we arranged the living room furniture there isn't room for the tree in there. So taking my husband's suggestion I put it in our breakfast area of the kitchen. 

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What Do You Tell Your Kids??

So what exactly do you tell your kids when they question whether Santa is real?
Taylor has asked me before if Santa is real or if I believe in him which I of course reply that I do and she pretty much leaves it at that. And thankfully she hasn't inquired any further because to be honest I don't know what I would say. The best answer that I can think of is to tell her is that if you don't believe in Santa then no more presents from Santa come...other than that I am at a loss! 
We have already established with her that the "Santas" at the malls isn't the real Santa because she knows that he can't be at every mall at the same time. I explained to her that they are Santa's friends that help him out so he can stay at the North Pole longer and finish all the toys. She of course replied that she knew all along that "Santa" at the mall by our house wasn't the real one because while he was out "feeding his reindeer" she saw him go into the bathroom area and a few minutes later come out in real clothes!!! Kids don't miss a thing!
So this year we have decided to do Elf on a Shelf with the kids in hopes that Taylor can hold onto the innocence of Santa for at least another year. Last year was just too hectic to do it with my hubby deployed and Olivia was only a newborn. I have already been given lots of good ideas for our Elf and found some funny ones on Pinterest too. Have you all done Elf on the Shelf with your kids and if so what are some of your favorite places you have found your elf at?
 
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Monday, November 12, 2012

Easy Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

With the holiday around the corner this easily becomes one of the busiest times of the year. So let me impart on you one of the easiest cookie recipes to use. My grandmother has been doing this for years and now we have finally figured it out! My brother asked her a few years ago about her peanut butter cup cookies and she said there wasn't a "recipe" but just a few quick steps.

You will need:
a tube of peanut butter cookie dough
peanut butter cups
mini muffin pan
mini muffin foils

1. Preheat the oven according to the peanut butter cookie dough tube
2. Fill the muffin pan with the foils and put a scoop of peanut butter cookie dough in each one.
3. Bake according to the directions.
4. When the cookies are done carefully put the peanut butter cups in the middle and let them cool in order for them to set.

Voila! You're done! Easy peasy!!
So whether you need to make last minute cookies for your kid's school party or for a holiday party at the house this one is a favorite and so easy!

Enjoy!


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Friday, October 26, 2012

Graco Babies R US Event

I am totally having flashbacks to college. Since I do not have internet in our camper I am sitting at McDonalds using their free wifi at 10 at night...would so totally stay up til the last night back when I was in college to finish a paper! *Sigh I guess that is the life of a working mom and blogger!* Anyways on to the fun post!
Last weekend I have the pleasure of attending and assisting with the Graco car seat event at Babies R Us. This event was used to highlight Graco car seat called the 
Graco® SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40. First let me tell you this car seat is awesome...wish I had one! Our event in Little Rock was a little small but that is how it goes in small town America. But I am just as happy for the people that won. We had a first time mom who was in the store picking out things for her registry so I felt good knowing that she won an awesome car seat and how safe it was too! Our other winner this was a blessing in disguise for them. Grandma was also there and she was beyond thrilled since the baby was only 3 weeks old and they needed another car seat. So like I said I am so glad we had the event even if it was small.
It is a car seat designed to use for your baby up to age 2 and 40 lbs. This car seat is the only infant car seat that is designed for rear facing protection up to age 2. This is important because it allows your baby to sit rear facing longer and that is proven to be the safest thing for your baby as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. There are so many cool features on this car seat that I don't know where to start first. 
The base has 8 adjustable recline positions to allow for leg room as your baby grows. This is the most of any car seat available. The car seat also has the Simply Safe Adjust harness system that lets you adjust the harness with one hand as your baby grows so you don't have to re-harness it every time you need to move it up. How convenient is that!!! Then it is has the click connect which makes it an easy transition to and from the base to the stroller. One of the other cute features is a foot pad for the baby so they don't put their feet on the back of your seat. It even has footprints on it!  So cute! It comes in two designs one that is more girly called Mena and one that is for gender neutral called Moonstruck. 
Of course I know that I am just one review of this car seat and like always I believe that every mom should also do her own research so I encourage you to check out the site and see for yourself the best car seat around! Graco Safety

Love to all and go check out this wonderful car seat!

The Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 – the first and only newborn to two-year infant car seat that actually grows with your baby from four pounds all the way up to 40 pounds. The car seat is designed for a parent on the go. The infant car seat can be easily removed from the base and used as a carrier when the infant is small, providing portability and convenience so you can easily move your infant in and out of the car without disturbing them.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made the recommendation to keep all children in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2. Graco set out to make this product so parents can keep infants rear facing longer while still keeping them comfortable.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. The opinions and text are all mine.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Frugal Christmas 2012

This holiday season I have decided will be "Frugal Christmas 2012." It's not because we are tight on cash but because it seems like every year the amount of gift giving gets more and more excessive and farther away from the true meaning of Christmas.

So this year that all changes. No more scouring stores trying to find a gift, any gift really for someone who already has everything.

So here's our plan this year for presents.

1. Instead of individual presents for family members we are doing family presents. Thankfully my husband is a master at woodworking so we are making nice cutting boards. I am going to be doing gifts in a jar. There are so many food ideas for that and you can even do small non food gifts in a jar as well.

2. My oldest and I have talked answer have decided to do the angel tree or something similar for the community to help with Christmas for a family that might not get a Christmas at all without help. I told her that if we do this that she won't get as many gifts this year and thankfully she was ok with that. Makes me a proud mom that I have raised a good kid to be so selfless.

3. I still have to look around but I would like to go help serve food at a homeless shelter. My parents took my brother and I a few times when we were younger and it really enlightens you to people who are struggling for one reason or another and it is important to lend a hand when you can.

So this year instead of splurging all my money on nonsense or half hearted gifts I really hope all that above will make Christmas feel that much more special and realize that Christmas isn't just about the gifts but something much more than that!
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Friday, October 19, 2012

Wait...It's already Friday?

This past week has been such a rush! We have moved out of the rental home and are crammed liked sardines into our camper until we can move into our new home on the 1st! I can't wait! So I sit here at Starbucks quietly enjoying my drink and being thankful for a few minutes without kiddos asking for anything and everything! 

So very excited to say that Army Wife, Mommy Life as won the Mia Mariu giveaway! Once I get over to the post office and mail her the items then we can see her review on their makeup line! 

The BEST thing about today by far is that my baby i 1!!! I can't believe it has been a year already since I was waking up and driving to the hospital to bring her into this world. It is crazy how fast time goes? In honor of her birthday I'll update you on a few things about her. 
1. Little Miss Priss knows how to snap her fingers...yes I know I am in trouble! I get snapped at all the time when she wants something.
2. She has 11 teeth. Her nickname (other than Miss Priss) is Jaws because of them all.
3. She is almost walking...She will walk like crazy around the furniture and occasionally let go of the furniture only to realize she is standing alone and then grabs the furniture quickly.
4. She does NOT like to be told no. Obviously no kid likes that but seriously I get a face and she quickly lets me know she is not pleased.
5. She loves to terrorize the dogs. Our little dog can get away from her and will come near her every once in a while but for the most part keeps her distance in order to keep her fur. Our older dog doesn't care either way really.

Also I want to put a plug in for a fun exciting event that is happening nationwide tomorrow! Graco and Babies R Us have teamed up and are hosting an event to learn all about the Graco® SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 Car Seat, play some fun party games, and mingle with other bloggers. 
Check out this link and see if there is one going on in your area- Graco/Babies R Us Store Event

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Monday, October 8, 2012

But I Want to Craft!

So I am in a dilemma...
Well there isn't really much choice I have so I will just pout instead. We close on our home on the 1st of November (yay!) but we have to be out of the rental on the 15th. So...that leaves me two weeks in limbo where I can't really craft because we are going to be crammed with two kids and two dogs. And I know my crafting is the last thing that the hubby wants scattered everywhere!
I do have one more craft to do before we move and it is for a prop for Olivia's 1 year pictures.
This pin I found on pinterest to do looks easy enough...well unless my OCD kicks in and I don't get it just right...then it will not be so fun.

Birthday Photo Shoot Idea

So until I move this is the last craft to do :(

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Mia Mariu Review....AND GIVEAWAY!

Before I delve into this fun review I must say that life is finally settled back down now that my plus one is back from deployment! It is wonderful to have someone to help chase the baby around since she is into everything!
A few weeks ago I received a package from Mia Mariu to test some of their products and let me just say...I LOVE!

I am one of those people that doesn't like to feel like I have 20 layers of makeup/moisturizer, cream, etc on my face because then it is just scarier when you take it off! But seriously I think a more natural look fits me. So one of my products to test was their Mineral Foundation Primer.
You put it on after your moisturizer but before the foundation. It is so light and smooth and very easy to apply. It is rich in all things healthy for your skin and antioxidants. Antioxidants are extremely important to me because it reduces environmental effects on your skin and also lessens the effects of wrinkles too! While (thankfully at times) I am often told I look a lot younger than my age; at some point I am sure it will catch up with me so it is nice to treat my skin to these antioxidants now and help it out a little. 
Another important facial product is moisturizer. I think of moisturizer as a nice tall glass of water for my face. It is important to keep your skin hydrated so it looks revitalized and healthy. AND moisturizer helps fight the aging process on your skin! I'm sold! This moisturizer goes on so flawlessly and I don't feel like it is sitting on my face all day. I feel like my face looks fresh and healthy and that is something that I look for in a moisturizer.
The last product I tested was the RestauraCel Thermal Microdermabrasion Set. I like microdermabrasion because it isn't as invasive as a chemical peel (I think of the episode from SATC where Samantha got one EVERY TIME I think of a chemical peel!). It works wonders for clearing up acne, shrink those pores and what else but aging! I think of a microdermabrasion as a vacuum picking up all the dirt on my face by taking off a few tops layers of dead skin cells to rejuvenate my skin. You want to do this because then it will help your skin soak in your moisturizer or foundation primer better. One of best things about Mia Mariu Microdermabrasion Set is that I don't feel like I am peeling off my whole face, it is quick and easy and I just feel so fresh afterwards!
I can't tell you enough how much I enjoyed doing this review because who doesn't like trying out new facial products AND it turns out great!

So here is where the giveaway begins...
I have TWO other products that I am giving away; Hydrating Stick Gloss (Caricia) and Anti-Aging Brightening Serum.
But like any giveaway there is a catch:
1. Go like Mia Mariu on FB and tell them Reporting for Duty sent you. Then let me know you did it by commenting below.
2. By winning this giveaway you are agreeing to write a review of the products and I will post it on here for the rest of us to hear about!
Hurry because this giveaway ends on the 10 of October!

I am so very excited because I really like their products and hope you will too!





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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Give Em Inch an They'll Take a Mile!

So awhile back I had read that Mayor Bloomberg had wanted to pass a law banning restaurants, bars, etc of serving anything over 16oz or face a fine. Well today that just passed.
While I am sure the intentions behind this new law are good I definitely feel the government is overstepping their boundaries. Yes I realize carbonated and alcoholic beverages are bad and can lead to obesity but at the same time YOU should be able to decide if you want to drink it NOT the government. Next they may decide that chips are the next thing to be banned! What about meat that isn't organic?!?! It has all those hormones and antibiotics that they load the animals with that is passed into the meat we eat...why not ban that? Seriously at what point is the government overstepping their boundaries? 
Thankfully I do not live in NYC so therefore if I decide to have a random (and rare for me) slurpee that is MORE than 16oz I can...why because I am allowed to and not being told by the government otherwise. If I want the government to tell me what to do every step of the way maybe I'll move to Russia!

Just a shout out to the Governor of Arkansas for letting me drink my 22oz slurpee! I feel like such a rebel!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

When to be the Bigger Person

My heart is broken, crushed and totally confused. A week ago everything that I thought was is now not. As the Fresh Prince of Bel Air would say, "Now this is the story all about how 
My life got flipped, turned upside down."
I had my suspicions lately about a close friend of mine and her true intentions when it came to being my friend. She seemed genuine and was always nice but lately it seemed that she was more concerned with herself than being a true friend. Let me put it a little in perspective for ya. She is a single mom (tough job!!!) and has before come to me and ask me to help from time to time so she could quickly go do something. I didn't mind helping out a friend because that is what friends do. But lately when she and I would talk I would tell her how stressed I have been lately with going on 4 months of Justin gone and then when he was home (for a whopping 3 months) between deployments he was on the evening shift so I was still doing everything on my own during the week. Now with a mobile baby who gets into everything, school starting up for Taylor, keeping up with the housework, mounds of work AND work stress I have been at my wits end and I am counting down til Justin gets home (16 days!). I get the usual response "Girl I don't know how you do it...I can barely do this with one kid let alone two." Yet lately it has been "Can you watch my kid for a few hours?" every weekend. Seriously did you just hear how stressed I am getting and you want me to do what.....AND you don't offer to reciprocate?!? The icing on the cake came when she asked me to watch her kid for 12 hours on Saturday AND Sunday because she had to go into work. I seriously wanted to scream but I initially said yes. Then I thought to myself, "April you don't have to help ALL the time." Little did she remember she had told me a few days before that the kid's father had offered to watch him but because he had made her mad she didn't want him to. Not cool to try to throw this on me. 
So I ask a coworker of hers and come to find out this is her MO. Befriends someone and slowly become good friends and then in a way begin to "cling" to them to help with everything. Like I said before I can totally understand how hard it is to be a single parent. I give props because my 4 month period is really wearing me thin! BUT to then find out that my apparently "close" friend is also gossiping about me negatively behind my back really made it sting. 
Maybe I am one of those hopeless "good friend" who really believes that you treat someone the way you want to be treated. Especially when this person has called you one of their closest friends and then to find out they do this. At first I was sad and then of course...I was pissed. I wanted to scream at her and tell her what I thought of her. But if I did then I would be no better than her. Stooping to her level of meaness and shallowness is not in me. So I thought of what everyone has heard before, "If you don't have anything nice, don't say anything at all." If I said something then she would know someone told me and then it would make it awkward at work since we work in offices next to one another. BUT also what good would it do in the long run? So instead I have slowly pulled away and just sat back and felt sorry for her. Sorry that she doesn't see how lost a person she is to act like this. Sad that she thinks we all don't know how deceitful a person she is. 
But at the end of the day I know that I am a better and bigger person by continuing to be me and that it wasn't me that made her like that. I can only hope for her that one day she can realize that it isn't worth it to be like that.
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Empowering Your Kids

So let me start off saying that my oldest daughter Taylor is the sweetest most kindest child ever. BUT she is a chatty cathy and can't pay attention for the life of her. She has been diagnosed with mild ADHD and counseling has been helping but I have been trying different ways to help her remember on her own her daily chores she needs to do. Because at 545 in the morning as I am getting Olivia ready and myself ready the last thing I need to try to remember is to remind her of which chores she has to do. It can be frustrating at time but I think I have found my perfect solution!
When I was at a counseling session with her recently her counselor was talking to her about rewarding for remembering things and how that could help her. While I tend to disagree because these daily chores are something that she does outside of her allowance. Meaning that if she wants to dust she can earn some allowance money and these other chores are her responsibility regardless. So it made me think...
Being in the military as a supervisor one of the things you can do to boost morale and make someone feel important and needed is to empower them! So I made Taylor an "I Can" chart because that tells her that she can do these things and she can mark it off everyday that she does it. With kids being able to use stickers or mark it off makes them feel so important! I didn't want to call it a chore chart or anything like that so I thought that the title of "I Can" makes her also fee important!
Repetition of doing it over and over on her own will eventually allow her to remember to do it without the chart but for now we use the chart!

So it was really simple and I took it to work and laminated it!
So far so good let's hope this continues to work!!


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Friday, August 10, 2012

Baby Sign Language

So I have been thinking about teaching Olivia sign language for the past few weeks as Olivia has become more verbal and has started to wave bye bye and clap.So I went onto Baby Sign Language and started to look into what all I needed to know about teaching Olivia to sign. They have flash cards, language charts, and a dictionary of all sorts of sign language stuff! So much information...I love it!
At first I was cautious because I naturally thought that if I taught her to sign that it would delay her talking but actually that is the opposite. Not only do they typically talk first but also even later on in their child years their IQ is higher too!
So my question to you all is did you try baby sign language? If so what is some advice you might have for me? I know I am probably in for some frustration at the beginning but the big point I am going to make is to keep it fun and not let it get to me! 

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I Have a Secret!!!

Don't you just love having a secret or finding one out?!?!? Well after reading this you will know my secret (and of course then it won't be a secret anymore)!
I have been given an opportunity to review Mia Mariu Mineral Cosmetics! When I got the email I was very excited because I love makeup and anything girly and also because I might find something new that I love and be able to pass it on to you all!
Of course I went to their website and read through what the company is about and looked through all their products and I must say I am impressed. 
1. They are from Dallas right near my hometown of Arlington. 
2. They offer women the opportunity to become an entrepreneur and own their own business. Girl Power!
3. It is natural mineral based makeup with vitamins and antioxidants in it that help your skin.
4. I absolutely fell in love with them when I read this...They support the Wounded Warrior Wives! Being that I am a military wife and in the military myself this couldn't hit any closer to home!!

So let's just say with all this that I have found out I am beyond excited to be apart of this review. And what is also good about doing a review...a giveaway! It is currently in the works but there should be a giveaway of the products in the near future! So go tell all your friends to stop on by and look for the review in the near future! 
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Six in the Suburbs: Single Serve Dip Cups

Such a great idea from a fellow blogger and would be perfect for any party!!

Six in the Suburbs: Single Serve Dip Cups: These single serve dips are perfect for parties or portion control.  You can use either small plastic cups or foil cupcake liners.  No more...
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Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Home Depot Fail

Since Justin has been gone I have been having to play mom AND dad. What I mean by that is there are times where Justin will take Taylor and go do something fun with her. I usually get one or two weekdays off a month so I will take Olivia to daycare and Taylor and I will go do something for a bit. 
We have gone and done the girly things like getting pedicures and going for frozen yogurt or even going for a matinee at the movie theater. 

Well a few weeks ago I decided to do a "dad" thing with her and go to the Home Depot Kids Workshop. I should have realized that since I can't hang a picture on a wall that this workshop might not go as planned. First we get there and there are already a million kids so we have to squeeze in besides the lawn furniture which Olivia insisted to try to climb on. 
THEN I pulled the most "manly" move yet. I looked at the picture of what I was going to help Taylor build and think to myself "Oh this is going to be easy who needs directions." Apparently me and every other man out there that is who!!
I can't even tell you how many mistakes we made..instead the picture can speak for itself.

Fail #1
As you can see her truck doesn't have wheels...that would be because we put the base on upside down.

Fail #2
You can't see it but there are nails sitting out of the top because we used all the shorter nails for the base instead of the big ones so we attempted to use the long nails for the top...yea didn't work so well

So next weekend is the next Kid's Workshop at Home Depot and it will be a cork bulletin board. HOPEFULLY we won't screw that..fingers crossed




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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Where Has My Little Baby Gone?

On Thursday Miss Olivia turned 9 months old...9 months!!! As I was holding her this morning when she fell asleep in my arms I sat there wondering how much longer moments like this would be before she doesn't want me to hold her while she sleeps. I feels like just the other day we were packing for the hospital and picking up Granna to come watch Taylor so we could go have Olivia and now she is just a few months shy of turning 1! 
She is such a sweet baby with so much personality that I can already tell she is going to give me a run for my money! She loves to babble and say Da Da, Ga Ga and Ba Ba. She rolls around like crazy and does this funny little low crawl. She has 3 teeth and is already cutting 3 more! So needless to say that necklace is working perfectly because she isn't fussy! Her hair is growing so much and is finally not sticking up anymore. 
Thankfully one of the few good things about all this new technology is how easy it is to take a picture with my phone. I hardly ever get out of the camera because my phone takes just as good of pictures as my camera does. So needless to say I have easily taken over 2000 pictures since she was born. I know I know she probably thinks celebrities have no room to complain about the paparazzi with a camera toting mom like me!
 At 9 months my sweet baby weighs 19 lbs and is 27 1/2 inches...short and chubby! Love it!

My stepmom had told me about this nail polish that is safe for babies called Piggy Paint. I searched through some stores and finally ended up ordering it online through Walmart.

Love the little nail file!


Baby Livy's sweet little toes all cute and pink!

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Where Have All The Kid's Show's Gone?

Today I was watching one of my 8 year old's favorite shows on Disney and part of the story line was about one of the girl's boyfriends was cheating on her...?!?!?!? Seriously Disney this is what you have lined up for my 8 year old now? Why should that even be apart of the plot? That sure doesn't help me in stopping my daughter into already acting like a preteen! 
Sure they have good shows for toddlers but this is what they give me for elementary age kids. Not cool Disney not cool. And you know what even Disney isn't the only one who does this. Nickelodeon is guilty of it too. Between iCarly, Victorious on Nickelodeon and Wizards of Waverly Place and Good Luck Charlie on Disney it is becoming glaringly obvious that PBS will be my channel of choice for the girls!
PBS offers learning in a nice innocent way that children need nowadays. Never when I was a kid did Rainbow Brite worry about a boy cheating on her or did My Little Pony. In fact I think I might do a little searching on the internet for classic Mickey Mouse episodes. I do like when they will show small clips of that in between shows and Taylor likes it too. 
So please pay attention to what your kids watch because while you may not be ready to explain something to them just yet if you aren't careful you may not have a choice!
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Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Salute to Single Moms

I want to start this post of first by saying- Ladies I don't know how you do it! You are my heroes!!
So yesterday may have been about the nation's freedom and saluting our troops who fight for our freedom but today I am saluting the single moms!
For the past 2 months I have once again been playing single mom while the hubby is off on deployment. This isn't the first time nor will it be the last but man it sure is tough! Olivia is now 8 months old and he has been gone off and on for 5 months of her life. While I love my girls both unconditionally it sure is taxing. There are days where Olivia is fussy because of her teeth or she just wants to be held and that usually coincides with the same days that Taylor has secretly snuck the "pagent crack" aka pixie sticks and is bouncing off the walls and talking non stop. I do work full time so I get a little kid free relief at work but needless to say when I come home I'm exhausted and still have to take care of kiddos. 
Last week I had one of those days where baby was spitting her baby food at me and rubbing it in her hair at the same time. Taylor's room was a mess and for the life of me she was hardly cleaning it like she is supposed to do. Oh and I had about 7 loads of laundry on my bed that still needed to be folded so needless to say I had been sleeping on the couch for the past week. I look at my girlfriend who is a single mom and she makes it look effortless! 
So if there was a medal or some sort of award you ladies would win it hands down. I can only look to my chalkboard picture frame that counts down when Justin will be home and say to myself. "Only 80ish days left April..."

Happy Belated 4th from my favorite messy baby!
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Monday, July 2, 2012

It IS ok to be a little "Crunchy"

Crunchy?!?! Yep that's right crunchy...it's the new term for being hippie or au natural. Or as the urban dictionary puts it: "Used to describe persons who have adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons." (Urban Dictionary)
With that being said let me go into a few reasons it is ok to be a little crunchy.

1. Hormone and Antibiotic Free Meat is SAFER!
About 80% of meat sold each year is injected with hormones to help the cows produce more milk and antibiotics so that cows don't become sick...sounds ok right...wrong!
Antibiotics aren't digested easily and not completely broken down in the cows system so it is passed onto us and also excreted by the cows as well and get into the water through wastewater and runoff. Also the hormones are passed onto us as well. Last time I checked I'm good and don't need any extra hormones as I'm crazy enough as it is!!

http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/hormones/

2. Being crunchy can help baby!
My 8 month old is a teething slobbering machine and is cutting her third tooth. Oragel and teething rings are no match for this girl! My cousin's little boy wears an amber necklace and I asked her what that was about. Amber is a natural analgesic and releases pain relieving and healing qualities when worn by the baby. She swears by the necklace and he has worn it since he was 4 months old and doesn't bother it at all. I figured why not give it a shot since nothing else seems to help. Well I have to say so far so good!  There are a million to chose from but this is where I got mine from: "Crunchy Amber Necklace".



3. Pesticides on Fruits and Veggies
I have known for awhile that fruits have a waxy coat on them to help keep them fresh longer but really didn't think much about it until a few years ago. While studies have shown that the pesticide residue that is left on the food has little health impact why eat it if you don't have to! Here is the list of the "dirty dozen" foods that have the most pesticide residue on them.

4. Making food for Baby
I'll be honest this one is fairly new for me. During my last pregnancy I read up a lot more on preservatives and realized how bad they can be for you and got to thinking how can I change things for this baby. Make your own baby food. First off it is so much CHEAPER! I can buy a sweet potato for 1.50 and make 6-8 servings that would cost me 3-5 bucks in baby food. Secondly homemade baby food doesn't have preservatives in it. Secondly I absolutely love this article on preservatives because it basically explains what each one is all about and the harmful effects of it. 

I could go on for more but realistically I would lose some readers attention!
While I am all about being crunchy on some levels I will still stick to shaving my pits and wearing my makeup because let's be real...I would be scary looking with hairy pits and no makeup!
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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Weekend Blog Hop

The weekend is my favorite part of the week (umm duh) for many reasons!
First you don't have to go to work!!! Granted being a mommy is a 24/7 job I mean those pesky desk jobs you have to go to Mon-Fri. Yep don't have to do that on the weekends!
Secondly you get to sleep in. Well that is if your husband isn't deployed! 88 days and I can sleep in again! 
But finally you can meet other mommy bloggers with a weekend blog hop!
I love it because you just never know what you are going to find! It's like going to garage sales...there is always a treasure amongst someone else's clutter just waiting for you to buy it.

So go check it out and link with my blog hop choice for this weekend.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chalkboard Picture Frame

So I have had this craft to do for awhile now but with summer time here it is always hectic. But this craft is easy to do and super fun for the kids!
Since Justin has been deployed we are using it as a way to count down the days until he is home. 

You will need: Chalkboard spray paint, chalk, and a wooden frame.


Of course make sure you put something under the picture frame so that way you don't make your garage floor half chalkboard.



Make sure you spray it really good. Add a second coat if necessary.



Then when you are done add your favorite picture and and write a note around the frame! 

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Cancer Sucks

I wish I was writing a post on how much cancer sucks on different terms but sadly it isn't so. I feel bad that I have been so absent from my blog these past few weeks but my mind has been elsewhere. This is where the correlation to cancer comes in. A few years ago my mother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. She fought long and hard and even through the most difficult times she always had her beautiful smile and positive attitude. Sadly my mother lost her battle on June 16th. While I am beyond sad and lost at times I know my mother isn't suffering anymore and ultimately that is the most important part. Even though for my own selfish wishes I wish a million times over that she is still here so I can call her when I have something to talk about or just hear how her day went. I just miss hearing her voice. It was so comforting and so calming. 
My cousin had the perfect quote for my mom and just wanted to share it:
"I am in a thousand winds that blow, I am the softly falling snow. I am the gentle showers of rain, I am the fields of ripening grain. I am in the morning hush, I am in the graceful rush of beautiful birds in circling flight, I am the star shine of the night. I am in the flowers that bloom. I am in a quiet room. I am in the birds that sing, I am in each lovely thing." - Mary Elizabeth Frye

So if you take anything away from this post...please make sure you get your mammograms and do your self checks! Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women so please take the time and care for yourselves! I know I will!!


I wanted to add this photo of my mom when she was pregnant with me. I know the photo isn't the best quality and I was taking a picture of a picture but it reminds me of how blissfully happy she always was. But also it reminds me of a scene in the movie The Family Stone when Sarah Jessica Parkers' character gave a picture of Diana Keaton's character when she was pregnant to all the family as a present. I think I will try to get this picture cleaned up a bit and do the same. 
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Monday, June 11, 2012

Things to Know While Hubby is Away

So Justin is deployed again which isn't anything new because this is the 4th time he has gone. You would think by now that I would have everything down pat but alas reality has shown me otherwise. So I made a list of things that are helpful to know while the hubby is deployed.

1. How to Change the Spark Plug on the Lawnmower
Yep never thought of that huh?! Me either! But a few weeks ago I tried to start the lawnmower and nothing happened. I checked the gas and there was plenty. One of my coworkers mentioned that it was probably the spark plug and sure enough it was. You can find a replacement at any Lowes, Home Depot, Sears, etc...

2. Fire Alarms
Yep that is another doozie!! About 2 weeks after he left at 1am my fire alarms started going off. They stopped after about 5 seconds but needless to say I was wide awake after that. I assumed it was a fluke but around the same time the next night it did the same thing. So...I changed out the batteries and thought it was fixed. NOPE! One alarm kept chirping at me and I couldn't figure out what was wrong. I tried to reset the alarm but nothing worked. I googled to find out why and I needed to get a new alarm because this one was busted. This website worked perfectly to find my answer- Smoke Detector Beeping.

3. Bank Account
Yep this is one of the no brainers but it has to be said. Make sure that you know what bills have to be paid and when. Also it is good to know password question answers for the bank account if you aren't normally the one that does the bills. Perfect example....I didn't know the password question answers to log on with my husband's log in and had to find out. 

4. Power of Attorney (POA)
This single piece of paper can make your life so much easier while the hubby is gone I promise! The last deployment that Justin was on he didn't tell the legal lady correctly and she gave him a medical POA for me for the kids. Well I already have the nifty yellow card for on base and off base I don't need anything since they are my kids too. It would have been much easier to have a general POA because as it turned out I needed it. In Arkansas if you or your spouse have been deployed you can get a license plate and pay 2 bucks instead of 25ish. Well because I didn't have a general POA they wouldn't take his orders to get him a special plate so I had to pay the 25 bucks instead. 

5. Airman and Family Readiness Center (AFRC)
Now I am not sure about Army, Navy or Marines but the Air Force AFRC provides a lot of perks to the spouses while the spouse is deployed. Here at Little Rock they provide a monthly deployed families dinner which is nice because then you can meet other people who are going through the same things you are. They also provide a voucher to get a free oil change 30 days after your spouse has left. And also there is deployed child care as well. If you are a stay at home parent it can be a nice stress reliever to drop the kid(s) off for an hour or two while you relax or go get some much needed errands done. 

The hubby has only been gone for a month so I can only imagine what else I will need to add to this list before he comes back!
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Organization is KEY!!!

Lately I have been doing more organizing around my house. It keeps my stress level down and with how crammed we are in our rent house it just makes it all easier. PLUS we are moving to the west coast soon the more organized that I am the easier it will be for me and for the moving company!
So I decided to do some research online to see what kind of grocery list websites are out there. There are quite a few but there are two I fell in love with. 

The first one is GroceryListMaker.com. It is super easy and it has quite an extensive list of choices that are divided into all sorts of categories for ease of use.

BUT by far my favorite website I have found is GroceryListWizard.com. I'm telling you it was love at first (web)site! HAHA! But seriously this website it awesome. You enter the item name, then what aisle it is found one, then the price and the quantity. You can also customize the aisle names to change them if they don't have ones you want. Like I changed the baking one to baby since I don't really need anything from the baking aisle this trip. But I think my favorite part of this is that you can input prices so it gives you an idea of how much you are going to spend. Granted it doesn't put in taxes so make sure to include that too. Or if you are a base commissary shopper then you don't have to pay tax but just the 5% surcharge (Which makes it even better!!).

I also decided to make some stickers for my daughter's room to help her with organizing so that way she knows where all her toys go.

 
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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Recycled Watering Can

It is that time of year when flowers are blooming and vegetables gardens are starting to grow tall. What do you need for those? A watering can of course!! Well you can make one at home with something that you use every day! 
You can use a liquid detergent container or a liquid fabric softener jug.

Then punch holes in the cap with anything that is sharp. Then make sure to punch a hole on the handle to allow air into the container when you are pouring your water otherwise the water won't flow out. 

I made a cute sticker with my sticker maker for Taylor since this is her watering can for her tomato plants.

Super easy and the best part is that it doesn't cost a thing!!!


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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Are You Even Paying Attention??...

I swear I feel like a broken record sometimes..."Taylor please put your three pair of shoes away where they go." Twenty minutes later..."Taylor your shoes are still out here what did I ask you to do with them?" That is pretty much how my lift seems these days. She is 8 and for the most part is an awesome kid but I swear if she could just pay attention for longer than 5 seconds I wouldn't have to repeat myself 100 times a day.
So...this is where you all come in. What tips and tricks do you ladies have so you don't have to tell your kiddos a million times a day to do something? I am running out of ideas and I know this is one the best places to get new ideas from! There are even times where I will tell her something and she says ok and then five minutes later she hasn't done it and I ask her what I just said and I get the deer in the headlights look from her. 

Please help!!
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Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day!!


Today is an especially important day because it close to my heart! Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day! I am doing a blog hop started by Household Diva 6 and Rollar Coaster for military spouse appreciation day! I love this day because one I am a military spouse (and so is the hubby since I am also in the military!) but also because it recognizes the strong spouse behind the military member. They are the ones that stay home and make sure the house and family are still going while the military member is off on a deployment. They are the glue of the family in my opinion! Not only does the military member make sacrifices but so does the spouse. You go where the military sends you and you learn to make the most of it and sometimes it may not be the place you want to go but I know that if I have my family with me then we can make it fun!

So for those of you that are new to my blog here is a little bit about me.
 
I come from a whole line of military and am the first girl in my family to join. I am a meteorologist in the Air Force so my job always stays interesting. I have been in for 10 years and my current assignment has me only 6 hours from home which is the closest I have ever been yet. I love being back around family since I didn't get to see them as much at previous assignments.

Like I said I am also in the Air Force like my hubby so we are the rare "dual military family." 
(on my way to deployment 2009)

My hubby and I have been married for almost 8 years (next month!) and we have an absolute blast together! He is definitely my best friend! He is a crew chief and has worked on fighter jets and now cargo jets. 

We have two adorable girls that are 8 and almost 7 months. Most people gasp at the age difference but I think I would have lost my mind had I had them any closer in age...lol 

On my blog I write about recipes to try, crafting, family and anything else that I find interesting in hope to pass along to other bloggers like me!
 
Feel free to stop by and show some love! Let me know your site so I can follow along too! 
 
Love to all!



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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bloglovin!

Trying out a new blog community called Bloglovin. We will see how it works! If you would like to try it out also this is the link to their site: Bloglovin. Then follow the steps it tells you to do!

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3482020/reporting-for-duty-mommyhood?claim=dty5k3y2bd9">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>
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Friday, May 4, 2012

The Life of a Military Wife

It's that dreaded time of year again...deployment time. Ugh. My heart has been heavy all day and quite frankly haven't had much of an appetite. Every other time Justin has deployed it has been relatively earlier in the day but not this deployment. They left in the evening, which is good because we had longer to see him today but it also made the day seem to drag on because we knew the inevitable was going to happen. 
 
I definitely am not a wife that complains about deployments...we both signed up for the military so we knew what we were getting into when we did. And when I say we both that is also because I am active duty. We are one of the rare dual military families it seems. Not only do we have to deal with him deploying but there also comes a time (albeit very rare) when I have to deploy. Either way it isn't fun!
 
And while this sucks completely to be separated I thank god that Justin's job keeps him behind the wire and at a relatively safe base so that keeps my nerves down a lot! Regardless it isn't a goodbye but rather a see you soon! So to all those other military wives out there I know what you are going through (4x now..eeehh!).
 

The girls love their daddy!
 

So until he comes back us girls are going to be running the show!



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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Easy Teacher Apple Book Bag

It's getting to be that time of year...school is almost out and summer is just around the corner. Well what a better way to thank your child's teacher for helping them learn all year than to get them a cute gift!
A bag for a teacher is a must have! They have books and papers and all sort of things to carry to and from work...so what better gift to give them than a new bag!
Luckily when I was out shopping at Walmart the other day they had canvas bags on sale! I got one for 3 bucks! The paint cost like 3 bucks per color so it was all pretty cheap!
You can decorate the bag however you want and I decided to do apples because apples seem to be synonymous with teachers.
 I washed the bag first as most bags will say on the directions and then I tried to iron out as many wrinkles as I could.

 Then I cut an apple in half and used a paper towel to dry it out as much as I could so the paint would stay on the apple.

I then took the apple and dipped it in the paint and applied it to the bag.

I did red on one side and then green on the other and put the teacher's name in writing at the top.
The paint takes about 4 hours to dry.

These are super easy to make and teachers love them!!
 


 On a completely different subject these little mesh snackers are AWESOME! I don't remember these when my oldest was a baby but Olivia sure likes them!
 


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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Healthy Turkey Goulash

One of my favorite recipes to make from the Eating for Like Cookbook is the American Turkey Goulash. It is real easy to make like most recipes in there and it tastes amazing! I was a little hesitant at first because I am not a fan of zucchini BUT in this recipe I actually love it!

So here's what you do~

1lb ground turkey
2 cups of tomato sauce (I use one 15 oz can)
1 zucchini, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil 
2 tbsp fresh red wine (optional)
8 oz egg noodles

1. Cook the egg noodles according to directions on package
2. Lightly coat a skillet with cooking spray and saute onions for 2 minutes
3. Add the red bell peppers and saute for another 2 minutes
4. Add zucchini and saute for another 2 minutes
5. Remove veggies and set aside
6. Cook ground turkey until no longer pink
7. After draining the turkey add the veggies back in
8. Add the fresh basil and the red wine and cook 5 min--stirring occasionally

*I have also used basil from my spice cabinet when I didn't have fresh basil. I never really measured it out but rather sprinkled it on top....obviously NOT 2 tbsp like the recipe calls for the fresh basil.

Not only is this delicious but it is a healthy AND quick recipe!!


 
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Saturday, April 14, 2012

29 Things to do While I am 29

Earlier this week I turned 29 and let me tell you how excited I am! Some people might come to the realization that this is the last year in their 20s and start to think they are getting "old." Well I am for sure say I am NOT one of those people. I can't wait to turn 30! I have become more confident in every aspect of my life and can't wait to see what the future holds for me. So I have made a list of 29 things I want to do before I turn 29.

1. Run a 5k. 
I have never run a 5k! So I will give you the extreme short story. I deployed in 2009 and decided to train for running one and couldn't run very fast otherwise I felt dizzy, wanted to throw up or pass out. Found out when I came back I had a hole in my heart (fairly common) and had a minor heart procedure to fix it. So now that it is fixed there is NO reason I can't do one of these!

2. Go see someone in concert 
It has been a long time since I have been to a concert so I am making this a goal! So fun!

3. Get Olivia's initials tattooed on me.
I have Taylor's initials on my left wrist so I want to get Olivia's somewhere (preferably that is the not as painful as the wrist!)

4. Finish my personal training certification
I have enrolled to get my master certification in personal training, fitness nutrition and a few other things so I need to finish it!!

5. Learn how to invest
I am TERRIFIED of investing and the one reason is because I know nothing about it. But I want to learn all about it. So if anyone has an easy website to explain that would be marvelous!

6. Write a children's book
I would love to be a "published" author of a children's book but the reality is that it might not happen. So I have a backup! Write it and then make a single copy from either shutterfly or snapfish and that way I can read it to my girls!

7. Try a new style of clothing
So I pretty much have worn the same "style" of clothing all through my 20s. I am not one to follow all the fads. I recently went into a clothing store and all the style was short cropped shirts and you wear a tank top under it. To me it sounds weird but MAYBE I will give it a try...MAYBE.

8. Spur of the moment road trip
How fun does this sound!!! It doesn't have to be anything big but just go somewhere fun for the weekend!

9. Read a new book
I hardly ever have time to read so I need to force myself to make time to read. Apparently the new popular book is the Hunger Games so maybe I will try to read that.

10. Try a new food
I got this idea the other day at work when a coworker told me he had never tried cottage cheese before. Seriously!!! This will be an easy one to do!

11.  Cut my debt in half
Everyone should do this. Seriously think for a minute of all the things you spend your money on and think how much of it is really necessary. My hubby is deploying next month for 4 months so we will be making even more money so that just means even more of my debt I can pay off!

12. Visit a winery
I don't know much about wineries other than a lot of them are in California...SO I am hoping there is one NEAR Arkansas that I can visit!

13. Participate in a cancer fundraising event
This is very close to my heart. My mom has terminal breast cancer so I would very much like to do a 5k or something like that in her name.

14. Go to a sporting event
The Arkansas Travelers is the minor league baseball team here and everyone says those games are really fun so I can't wait to do this, this summer when the kiddo is out of school.

15. Learn more about photography
So I have a really nice Canon Rebel SLR camera and it can take wonderful pictures so I need to learn more about how to use the camera. I just bought a tripod last night for it so I gotta start somewhere.

16. Take Taylor to a musical
When I was younger around Taylor's age my dad used to take me to Casa Manana in Fort Worth to see musicals. It is honestly one of my favorite memories from when I was little. And since my husband has NO interest in musicals I can always pass this down to her. The Arkansas Repertory Theatre is the perfect place to take her!

17. Visit a state park
There are so many state parks in Arkansas and this is the "Natural State" so I think this one is definitely appropriate to be on the list. 

18. Volunteer more
I volunteered a lot when we lived in Utah but this past year I didn't do too much because I was pregnant with Olivia so now that she is 6 months old it is time to start this one!

19. Plant a vegetable garden
This is going to be a small one in a planter first before I try my green thumb at actually planting one in the ground.

20. Learn how to sew
I just got a sewing machine and my mother in law how is a master sewer is coming to visit so I have no excuse not to be able to do this one!

21. Eat better
The sweets are going, the boxed food is already gone! Eating better to me means eating cleaner by eating fresh organic veggies, hormone free meat and food with no preservatives. I already make Olivia's baby food so I am helping her eat good too!

22. Make a time capsule
I think this would be so fun to do with Taylor. We can put things from each one of us in a box along with some things that are popular nowadays and tape it all up and open it when she graduates from high school in 10 years.

23. Serve food at a homeless shelter
My family did this for a few years for Thanksgiving and I think it is important for Taylor to understand that some people need help and it makes her appreciate what she has.

24. Be more positive
All I read about in the news is negativity and all I hear people do is complain. And I am guilty of that too! So I am making a huge effort to be more positive because negativity never helps anything!

25. Learn how to make some kick a** salsa
Yes I think making salsa would be soooo fun! Anyone have a good recipes??

26. Start recycling
Our town has a recycling program I just have to get my butt over to the water company and pick up a bucket to put it in!

27. Learn how to work this crazy Cricut machine
This thing seems crazy! I am sure once I figure it all out it will be really easy but right now I am so lost!

28. New organizational plan for the house
I have a halfway organized house but there are still some things in disarray....so I have the sticker machine and it will totally come in handy to make fun labels for things

29. Win the lottery
Hey we can all dream can't we!?!?!?!?


So there you have it...this is my "list." What are some of the things you want to accomplish?
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