Saturday, May 28, 2016

Memorial Day Sales....

Hello everyone!

We hope that everyone is having a wonderful three day weekend so far.  My steaks and hamburgers are happily marinating in the refrigerator at the moment.  

But before I start on the rest of my "Memorial Day" menu, I wanted to share this amazing sales... 

(Please note that affiliate links are included in this post)


Click here to learn more about it Beauty Box 5 is celebrating Memorial Day!

My all time favorite product, Bee Mine Organics is having a sale this weekend too!

Bee Mine's "End of School"  sale starts NOW through Tuesday May 31st, 2016 (11:59PM EST)


Please note: This code will give you 25% off with a minimum purchase of $35.00 This discount cannot be combined with any other discount code. 

and who can forget the infamous sales from Target, JCPenney, Macy's, Belks and Walmart!! 

Banana Republic also has a Memorial Day Sales:  50% - 70% OFF the entire store.  Online and In Factory Stores.  Their sale ends May 30th, 2016.
(and you can save even more if you are a cardholder)

We will try to keep this list updated for all of our shoppers out there.  Please be careful if you choose to visit the stores this weekend.  This is going to be  a very busy weekend and thieves don't take time off, put your packages in the trunk of your car.    

HAVE FUN and be safe! 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Memorial Day Activities and Favorite Recipes....

Our children are officially out of school and their summer vacation has begun.  I know, I know, Summer doesn't technically starts until June 20th. 

The last week of May doesn't only bring the end of the school year but it also brings a very important date to remember.  Memorial Day is a day of prayer for absolute and permanent peace.. 

While many of us will be firing up our grill, having pool parties with some fireworks or maybe you have plans to enjoy the weather by visiting your local beach.  

It is imperative that we explain to our children that Memorial Day it's an occasion to honor the men and women who have died serving our country. 

Did you know.....

"Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day, a day to honor American Civil War dead.  Following World War I, Memorial Day became a day to honor soldiers killed in all war"...

Find memorial Day Lessons here: NEA: Memorial Day Lesson Ideas K-5th

My Favorite Activities....
Patriotic Wreath

This easy to make wreath can be used for Memorial Day, Independence Day and/or Fourth of July.  This craft will not break your bank when buying the required materials and it can be used year after year, saving you even more money.

However, I will warn you, it can be time consuming and if you choose to do a larger size wreath, you will most likely spend an entire afternoon wrapping the yard around the foam wreath.


Popsicle Stick Star Streamers

"Pom-Pom" American Flag Painting

My Favorite Recipes....

Strawberry Blueberry Limeade 
The Taylor House. 

The perfect Memorial Day Drink: Strawberry Blueberry Limeade recipe!:

Check out her website to get this delicious recipe The Taylor House: Strawberry Blueberry Limeade Recipe.

Watermelon Stars with Strawberries and Blueberries
4th of July: make watermelon stars with cookie cutters:

Baked Beans Cowboy Style

Secrets include a 4-bean medley, plenty of chopped Applewood-smoked bacon, sweet Vidalia onion and sweet red bell pepper in a vegetable sauté as well as a rich, dark beer reduction for the sauce. Everyone will LOVE this recipe! Perfect for summer cookouts and the 4th of July!:

How delicious!! Of course we all have our own special recipes our families love... you know the ones that have your kids lick their fingers!!  :)

Now, who can forget the special sales from clothing stores! After all we do have to get all of our swimwear ready for the beach!! 

We hope you have a safe and fabulous three day weekend!! 

Friday, May 20, 2016

End of the Year Awards....

So much to share.... First, a big CONGRATULATIONS to our baby girl for achieving her first Honor Roll!! (yes, first, she's only in first grade) :)

Today, my husband and I attended a second "Award Ceremony" for our daughter.  Their official ceremony was this past Monday.  Unfortunately, due to some miscommunication in within the staff, some students were overlooked, including our hard working daughter who had only one B (88) in Language Arts.

Both of my children are hard working kids, but this girl... she is the definition of "committed".  You may remember her monthly illnesses and her second surgery which forced her to be out more days that any child is allowed.  If you have not, you can read about her struggle here: A Little Girl's Journey to Surgery: Tonsillectomy

Ms. Bree studied very hard even during the days she was sick.  She would often take two tests in one week because it was important to her to make up all the work and tests she had missed while she was absent.  Ms. Bree never cared for scoring anything lower than a 90, and whenever she would score anything in the 80s (which is still a B by the way), she would be very upset, to the point of tears but it also made her more determined to do better.

There were times, when she couldn't stand knowing she didn't get an A, she would beg me to talk to her teacher and asked her if it was possible for her to re-take the test, "because I wasn't ready mama, I was sick for three days and I couldn't remember it all, I got confused".  What kind of kids does that??  I sure didn't!! I would just put extra patting on my butt and pray my mama beating would be a quick one!!   

Imagine our surprise when she received a "Reading Award"!! I was informed that her Lexile Level is 460!! (In Georgia, 2016 Lexile Gateway Requirements in order to be promoted, students in the 2ND Grade must meet a 345 Lexile Level)  Well, let's just say that I don't anticipate her having any problems in the reading department.  Regardless of her level, she will continue to do lessons from her Common Core Language Art Book and we will continue to practice dictation and spelling through out the summer.

Now, all of you know I'm a planner, and my entire week was consumed by the planning of "Summer Lessons".  Yes, I'm that kind of mom that makes her kids work even during the summer.....

I had already compiled a list of possible titled for Ms. Bree to read this summer but now I have to pick new titles.  We were under the impression her reading level was in the 200s... Boy, did she have us fooled!! Her list of books must be in the 400 to 500 range.  Jeesshhh!

Continue the good work my mini me, mommy and daddy are so proud of you!

We will continue to give you all the tools you need to do better in school, but remember that it's really your hard work and your determination to be an amazing student that made this possible!!  

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

What I've learned in the last 12 Years!

It really took me some time to be able to put this post together.  What can I possibly say that has not been said about marriage before.

A year ago while my husband and I were having a very "rare" night out, a young "bride to be" asked me:

1.  "How long have you guys been together?"
2.  "How do you do it?- Any Advice you can give me?"

Last week Bill and I celebrated yet another wedding anniversary!! I have always wanted to be loved by someone the way this man loves me, unconditionally....  My husband and I have been together for twelve years!!  It's a bit surreal sometimes, specially for me who never really had a good role model growing up.

When we got married the evening of May 6th, we were not young nor new to marriage.  The two of us had previously been married and when we said our "I dos", we had no false assumptions that our marriage would be argument free at all times.

We knew that marriage would be difficult and to be  totally honest, there were nights, many nights in the last twelve years that I have wonder if we would end up like many of our friends, "divorced"

But here were are, still together, still learning, still growing, still changing for the better and we are doing it together!  The key word in this sentence is "together". 

When that "young bride-to-be" asked me "how do you do it?", well, it's not just me... there are two people in this marriage and I think that our marriage has worked for several reasons. 

#1 End all Toxic Relationships (Friends or Family). 

I truly believe that one of the many reasons our marriage has lasted as long as it has is because I decided to cut off any and all "toxic" relationships.  Unfortunately, that included my relationship with my own mother.  (That's a long story which I will tell you another day, but not today!)  
You truly don't want anyone who will speak negatively about your spouse, you should be able to form and have your opinion in regards to your spouse's personality and attitude.   

#2 Divorce is never the solution.

This word has never been part of my vocabulary. Okay, let me rephrase that, Bill and Divorce have never been in the same sentence.  By no means am I saying that you should stay in a marriage where physical and/or emotional abuse is happening.  What I am saying is that don't ever seek "divorce" just because you don't like the way he sips his coffee or forgets to put the toilet sit down.     

#3 Pick Your Battles.

Once the honeymoon phase ends, reality sets in.  Things that didn't bother your before will eventually begin to bother you, leading into an unnecessary argument.  This is something I have struggled with.  Sometimes it's really hard NOT to argue especially when is about money, children's homework, sports, and house chores! Trust me, some things are not as fundamental as you think they are.    

#4 Keep Family Members out of your battles.

Your battles are your battles.  Never bring "joe" or "sue" into the mess.  Bill and I, despite his temper and my tendency to blame, we have never allowed sisters, brothers, Mom or Dad to be in the middle of our arguments.  Don't get me wrong, Mom and Dad are aware of our arguments because we have great communication with them both.  However, we have never relied on them to fix our problems.  Our problems are our problems and it's up to us to fix them or to find a common ground.  By oversharing your problems, and speaking ill of your spouse while you are angry will only create a hostile environment between your spouse and your family members.  The last thing you want is for your family to treat your spouse differently.

#5 Be Able to Walk Away.

When things get to heated, when voices are starting to increase in volume, when children are present, it is best if you just walk away.  But before you do, make sure you kindly point it out that you are just too upset to argue or that the kids are present and that said arguments needs to happen later.  By pointing things out, you are letting your spouse know that you are not "just walking away" because you don't care of what he has to say. (never argue in front of your children)

#6 Apologize & Accept Apologies (don't rub it in).

Been able to apologize when you are wrong does not make you any less human.  Accepting you are wrong says a lot about your character and you willingness to move forward. This is better than continuing to argue just because you don't want to admit your shortcomings.  By being able to accept when you are wrong your spouse will find it easier to follow suit.    When your spouse admits that he is wrong, accept the apology without rubbing it in, leave comments like "i know i'm right!" out of it.   Kindly accept his apology and move on.

#7 Be Encouraging and Understanding

Encourage one another in your new endeavors, just the same way your parents used to encourage you as a child.  When your spouse wants to discuss things that are bothering him, listen very carefully and try to be understanding.  Relying on each other will strengthen your relationship and will also show your spouse that their opinion matters.  Let's face it, two brains work better than one.  
During our first years of marriage, I used to be really cautious around my husband, always trying NOT to hurt his feelings, always afraid that if I said the wrong thing he would be upset at me too.  
But then I realized, I was harming my husband more than helping him.  Bill was coming to me for an honest opinion and advice.  He wasn't asking me to tell him what he wanted to hear, he was relying on me to give him my honest opinion.  Now, when he comes to me for anything, I always listen carefully and tell him exactly what I think, sometimes he is wrong and sometimes he is not. 

#8 Communicate (even if its on paper)

Communication is highly required in order for a marriage to be successful.  If you really think about it, if you don't have any communication with your spouse, then how is he to know what your needs and wants are.  Unfortunately, we cannot read minds but what we can do is read our partner's body language.  After so many years together Bill is able to tell when I'm mad or sad just the same way I can tell when he is annoyed at something.  The thing is, if I don't tell him what is bothering me, then it's absolutely normal for him to think that I'm upset at him. 
There will be times when speaking your mind will not be easy and when that time comes, write them down, or texts.  This is something I do with my children as well.  As silly as it may sound, I have a form that my children fill out when they can't express their feelings and they tape it to my bedroom door once it's filled out so that I can see it.  We then sit together and discuss it.  
As long as you are communicating (screaming and blaming does not count here) then you are in the right path.  

#9 Don't Whine

This is something I just started practicing... I know right, it only took me twelve years to get there!! But it's only to show you that we are still growing and adjusting here... hahaaa

By this I mean, there will be times when your plate will be fuller than his.  Will you be angry? Obviously.... but remember, there will be times when his plate will be fuller than yours.  A month ago Bill had to go out of town for a week.  For that week I had to work my regular 8 hour job, work on my blog, help the kids with their homework, help our son with his GMAS studies, had to drive our son to baseball games and practices as well as take our daughter to dance rehearsals.  Did I mention that I still had to clean, cook and oversee our financial accounts? ok, well add that to the mix.  

In the mist of my anxiety attack, I stopped and told myself... "I can do this and I will do this by myself". I developed a routine and I am proud to say that I've remained on that schedule, my house is finally clean every day, my laundry is no longer overflowing, bathrooms and rooms organized!! 

BOTTOM LINE... I STOPPED WHINING!!  it was a WIN WIN ladies and gentlemen!! 

#10 Don't be afraid to ask for HELP!

This is something else I've struggled with as well and it kind of goes hand in hand with #9. Unfortunately, not everyone's wheels are constantly turning.  Just because it's common sense to you, it doesn't mean that it's common sense to your spouse so don't ever expect for him to do things like you, to think like you or toantiscipate your every move.  If you need him to help you with something, then ASK. (or in my case, I tell him) Now, don't be hugely disappointed if your spouse doesn't complete your "honey do list" but always give him credit for what he did complete.   

#11 Have Dates as often

Unfortunately, we don't get to have dates very often but when Mom and Dad are in town, or when the kids have a sleep over..we sure do jump on the opportunity to sneak out.  
Spending time alone is very important regardless as to what you choose to do as long as you do it together.

#12 Be Silly and Have Fun

Enjoy life and do it together.  Bill has always have a good sense of humor and after so many years together I have picked up a thing or two.  He makes me laugh with his nonsense, every now and then I have a good come back and I make him laugh.  

The important thing to remember is that marriage is a partnership, it requires hard work and the commitment of both parties.  The two of you will constantly be tested, but all you can do is be the wife your spouse needs you to be and will be foolish to leave.  

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace
longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control
Galatians 5:22-23

Lord, make me my husband's helpmate,
companion, champion, friend and support.

Help me to create a peaceful, restful, safe place for him to come home to.
Teach me how to take care of myself and stay attractive to him.
Grow me into a creative and confident woman who is rich in mind,
soul and spirit.

Make me the kind of woman he can be proud to say is
his WIFE... 
(The Power of a Praying Wife Devotional Journal)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Two Special Gifts for Two Special Women...our fun filled weekend!

Wow... I'm exhausted but my heart is full of joy and our children truly had a wonderful weekend. 

This weekend was a busy one with sleep overs, pool time and the celebration of Mother's Day.  

Let me start this weekend recap post with the amazing crafts the girls created for two special women in  their lives.  


As she mentioned in the short video, Ms. Jones loves Mickey Mouse and it made sense for Ms. Bree to create something with Mickey Mouse on it.  All Ms. Bree has been asking is for me to take her to Michael's so she could purchase the materials she needed to create a "Mickey Mouse" picture for her teacher.  

It took us a minute to come into a "mutual" agreement..... It is quiet funny to say those words when you are talking about your child and her desire to create something special for someone else.  Let me further explain what I mean, my daughter wanted me to draw the outline of Mickey so that she could "paint" it.  While I appreciate her faith in my skills, I AM NOT A ARTIST... it took me some time to make her understand that mommy couldn't do what she was asking therefore we needed to come up with a Plan B. 

Plan B came to her when she remembered something she had seen at the Disney Store the last time we were there... "Mickey Mouse Picture Frame" and this is what she came up with: 

The Materials
ArtMinds Parenthesis-Shaped Wood Frame, 8" x 10"

Wooden Picture Frame 5x7..............$4.99
Black Paint......................................$0.69
Red Paint.........................................$0.69
White Buttons...................................$0.99

The Steps:

I drew a line on both sides of the frame, (across the middle);

Second Step: 
Paint the half top of your frame with the black paint; 

Third Step: 
Paint bottom half of the frame with the red paint; 

Fourth Step:
Allow for the paint to dry completely;

While the paint was drying, Ms. Bree colored a Mickey Mouse picture from her coloring book. 

Fifth Step:
Once the paint is completely dry, it is now time to glue your accessories; 
We used a tiny Mickey Mouse from a set Ms. Bree had purchased while at the Disney Store.

Glue the two Medium Size White Buttons at the bottom of the frame and your Mickey Mouse Picture Frame is now complete!!  


This past Friday Ms. Payton and her brother Liam stayed with us for a sleep over.   I just love having these kids over.  Ms. Payton is such a sweetheart, she never misbehaves, never speaks a negative word and she is always willing to help.

When I asked her if her class had done something special for mommy (who by the way, is also a teacher at their school), she sadly replied "no". 

So you know I had to correct that!! 

Sarah  is a hard working mom! 

She is an Autism Teacher at our kids' school; 
She teaches  seven students every day as well any other duties she is assigned on a daily basis;
Two nights a day you will find her "coaching" Ms. Payton's Softball Team, but not before she runs little Liam to his own T-Ball Game;
Of course she also has to make sure her children make it to "dance", "Girl Scouts", doctor's visits, etc.
Ms. Payton created this beautiful frame for her mom who works so hard during the day and still manages to have energy and the desire to do so much for her own two children. 

Ms. Payton painted the entire frame with Ocean Breeze paint, which is her favorite color; 
2 Bows (pack of 8 was 0.99)
Gold Letters (2 sheets of stickers $1.49)
Silver Jewels  (1 jewel sheet $1.49)

so there you have them....


and while none of these were for me... I am thankful that they both wanted to create something unique for these two hard working women..

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Mother's Day Sale by

Mother's Day SALE has begun at and! 

Up to 30% OFF!

-10% off with the purchase of 1 item with code curlymoms1.

-20% off with the purchase of 3 items with the code curlymoms2.

-30% off with the purchase of 5 items with the code curlymoms3.

SALE ENDS May 9th. 

Beautify your Curls!

If you are a fan of these products or if you have been dying to try them, this is a sale you don't 
want to miss!!  

I will be re-ordering my favorite products from this line, which are:

Softest Curls;
Curly Cake Shake; and
Down & Out!! 

I feel a little bit daring today so maybe I will order something new like "Happy Nappy Styles" or "Curly Styling Butter"!!! 

You can read our review here: Down & Out by BlendedBeauty!!