I don't proofread my posts before I publish them... cause I keep my thoughts au naturale.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Personality Test Results

I thought this was SPOT ON, so figured I'd share it:

"Research has found that the Big Five personality traits are significantly related to Jungian Typology (e.g. the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator). This is a popular alternative personality framework regularly used for personal development, in which Types are used rather than Traits. Based on your Big Five trait scores, your estimated Type is shown below (if you have already taken a Jungian Typology test and got a different result, this can be changed from the More Options section).

ENFP

Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving

ENFPs are initiators of change, keenly perceptive of possibilities. They energize and stimulate others through their contagious enthusiasm. They prefer the start-up phase of a project or relationship, and are tireless in the pursuit of new-found interests. ENFPs are able to anticipate the needs of others and to offer them needed help and appreciation. They bring zest, joy, liveliness, and a zany sense of fun to all aspects of their lives. They are at their best in situations that are fluid and changing, and that allow them to express their creativity and use their charisma. They tend to idealize people, and can be disappointed when reality fails to fulfill their expectations. They are easily frustrated if a project requires a great deal of follow-up or attention to detail."

Friday, December 24, 2010

Totally thinking positive thoughts!

I just realized how down that motivational letter was, but I had written it to myself on paper awhile back and just had the chance to type and blog it yesterday at Starbucks.

Anyway, I'm thinking super positive thoughts lately and have been all smiles for days!   I love the holidays, the cheer... not the excessive length of time it takes to get ANYWHERE because traffic is ridonkulous, but I have great kids, great friends, people like me, the world is awesome!

Hope you all have a safe journey to where you need to go and that no matter what life brings you, you keep your chin up, chew on some happy cud and rock the positive vibes!

Happy Holidays, you fantastic people you!!!

Motivotional Note to Myself

Dear Self,

Why do you do this to yourself?  Why can't you just
take everything at face value and ignore the things that
threaten to cause you grief or heartache?  Can't you see
that the world may seem like a big scary place full of
self-serving assholes who can't see anything beyond their
own reflections in the pain in your eyes?  You are genuine
and you care.  You are deep and you are worthy! 
Don't let the little bumps in the road get you down!  Don't
let the wolves eat you alive.  Take charge of your own life
and ignore the people who do not wish you the best. 
Your heart is big, but your brain is bigger.  Lead with logic
and everything else will fall into place.

Love always,

Cara

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Short Story: Beauty & The Beast (An Internal Story of Conflict)

The Beast was one of those guys that thought he knew everything.  He refused to listen to anyone and just went with his gut on every major and minor life decision.  When it came to girls, he had a wall up and refused to let them in because it would be unbeastly of him.  The other beasts were much easier to hang out with than the female species.  Beasts are beasts and there is no drama, no heartache, no game playing, just beasts being beasts.


In reality, The Beast did not know much outside of the edges of his bitter soul.  He had been hardened by a previous pointless mistake and it had blinded him to the reality of goodness in the world.  He could no longer see the sun through the clouds and a smile was something that just occurred as a reciprocation of politeness.  He knew little outside the four walls of his own private hell.


Then he met Beauty.  Her soul was pure, her smile was genuine.  Some would say her only fault was being too nice.  (Well, that and her feet- she inherited the hideous feet gene.)  In her niceness, she failed to see evil.  She failed to consider the fact that the world wasn't always sunshine and roses all day long.  With her unwaivering smile, she set out to make the world a happier place, one person at a time.


One day Beauty met The Beast.  It was a chance meeting that was completely unplanned.  Beauty was in a state of mind of passing out daisies and rainbows to those around her.  The Beast was despondent.  Beauty felt her heart opening in sympathy and had decided to make it her mission to make The Beast whole again.  She invested her time, she devoted a small piece of her soul, she felt The Beast begin to crack and his smile start to radiate a little bit of truth.  She was hopeful that she could repair his shattered being.  But in her eagerness, she lost sight of her reason for being, her purpose in life- to share her generosity, warmth and kindness to everyone, not just one person.  She needed an intervention, but she didn't listen to those that told her The Beast was bad news.


After weeks of trying to bandage The Beast's hopeless soul, Beauty was entangled in a cloud of undulated happiness, having thought she had succeeded.


But she had failed.  The Beast, like a deer in the headlights of a freight train carrying lead and bullets, put the wall back up.  Beauty ran right into it.  She smacked her face so hard it left her dizzy, spinning, shocked.  For once, her smile faded and the world wasn't so rosey.  The bright hues around the objects in front of her were losing their luster.  What had happened?  Had she failed?  Her world no longer was what she had thought it was.  She, who had devoted her life to bringing joy to herself and ALL those around her, had done the ultimate disgrace to her being and fallen for The Beast, only to be blindsided by his dark heart.


Beauty wandered the forest of emotion that was wracking her body and her being.  Questions filled her head.  Was she not good enough to deserve affection from The Beast?  Why did she care?  Why had she failed to keep her promise to herself to stay true to her mission and not focus solely on one entity?


Beauty was crushed, but refused to let it ruin her.  She refocused her energy on all the positive things life still had to offer.  There were many people out there that still needed smiles.  She knew that The Beast still needed joy in his life, but she was no longer going to let him steal all of her radiance.  She was going to put a band-aid on the part of her heart that he had chipped away at and continue to bring sunshine into a world threatened by so much darkness.  Eventually the world became so enamored of Beauty's mission that the good people at Nobel decided to make a new honor- The Nobel Prize for Good Tidings.  Beauty was the first recipient.  She continues to wear a smile everywhere she goes...


And The Beast?  His tale does not end so pleasantly.  He is fortunate in that he still has a little Beauty in his life, but has since realized that being blackhearted is not what he really wants out of life.  He ventured on a roller coaster of skanks and misery that left him 50, thrice divorced and lonely.  

THE END

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Freaking Awesome Monopoly Streets and Nintendo Wii Twitter Giveaway!!!

Monopoly StreetsMonopoly is like the most classic game ever.  I remember countless days, evenings, mornings, nights, playing with my brother... and losing every time.  Now, I'm not saying he cheated, but I never even came close to winning.  So, since I have always cheated if I were the banker.  But I digress.

EA/Hasbro has recently released Monopoly Streets.  In this new game the world of Monopoly comes to life through a living, breathing city that you can build, own, and monopolize.

Game Info

To celebrate its 75th anniversary, the world of Monopoly comes to life through a living, breathing city that you can build, own, and monopolize. MONOPOLY STREETS has everything you love about the board game, presented as a street level tour of Mr. Monopoly’s fully animated world.

Engage in a head-to-head race to evolve the surrounding city, accumulate the most wealth, and own it all!

Play against your friends live and online on Xbox 360 and PS3! Fresh takes on classic features such as property auctions, add new excitement to the classic play.

From the cheap motels on Baltic Avenue to the luxurious Boardwalk suites, there is excitement around every corner in this remade classic.

The game also includes multiple boards to play on. Along with the MONOPOLY city, there is also Landmark city which features famous landmarks from around the world. Here you can buy swanky properties from Europe to Asia and everywhere in between! It also features a variety of "classic" boards for you to enjoy. These allow you to play on traditional boards with edgy new twists.

You also have extensive options to create special House Rules in MONOPOLY Streets. Change the tax rates on special spaces, edit the rules for buying and mortgaging properties, make Free Parking a cash holder and more!

Customize it to be as close to the special rules you and your family have stuck to for years.

MONOPOLY Streets is created at EA Salt Lake (EASL) and published by Electronic Arts. It is a digital translation of the popular board game by Hasbro.

Family Time Factor: Very fun and enjoyable for the whole family!!  Not something young kids would understand, but definitely fun for probably ages 8 to death.  Great family night play!

MOTR Grade: A


GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

EA and Rocket XL have been generous enough to offer a grand prize of a Nintento Wii and copy of Monopoly streets to one lucky winner!  Ten runners up will receive a copy of the game.  Giveaway is only through Twitter.  You can comment below, but winner will be chosen from Twitter posts.  Giveaway ends Friday at noon central.  Open to US residents only.

To enter:
Copy and paste the following post and Tweet it.  That's it!  Winners will be chosen randomly.  Make sure you post exactly to be qualified.

RT for a chance to win a Nintendo Wii and Monopoly Streets from @hamsterkitten http://bit.ly/eTpjGr #monopolystreets

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Who's More Annoying- Men or Women?

I was listening to the radio this morning when I was driving home.  They were talking about a recent survey that asked women what the most annoying things were that men did.  Here were the top 3:

1) Passing gas, burping or making any other kind of yucky function.

I totally concur on this one.  Yes, it's natural and everyone does it, but not everyone makes it public knowledge.  I will never understand why people think fart jokes are funny- ew.

2) Adjusting themselves.

Now, I can understand the necessity to do this once in awhile, but there are guys that you will see do it quite often.  Why not just wear pants and underwear that fit?  Is it a habit?  Are you just trying to make us look there?  Either way, excessive is outrageous.

3) Selective hearing.

Okay, this one doesn't bother me THAT much, but yet it does.  LOL.  I will admit that I appear to not be listening quite often.  I have a problem doing one thing at a time and sitting still and listening is not something I'm capable of.  However, my recall on the things discussed is quite good.  Now, having to repeat something to a guy on multiple occasions because he doesn't listen... that bothers me.  And then when they say that it's because I usually don't say anything important... well, that's just asking to be slaughtered.


Well, what do you think?  Girls, do you concur?  Guys, is this inaccurate?  What is it about women that you find annoying?  I'm sure I can think of a couple things, like talking incessantly and getting upset about little things.  Lots of the "girly" things annoy me too.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Marry Me starring Lucy Liu premieres on Lifetime Dec. 12!!!

I am a Lifetime movie junkie.  Watching sappy stories about love gone awry and then new love springing eternal makes me weep.  Stalkers, road rage, you name it, Lifetime has it!

Marry Me stars Lucy Liu and is about Rae, a woman who has given up on the idea of finding true love, only to have the man of her dreams... and her ex propose!  And Rae wants a dream relationship.  A man who is in love and in love with the idea in love, who only has eyes for her, who is reliable, stable, sensible... at least, that's what she has always told herself she wanted!

Rae is surrounded by interesting people, including her zany adoptive mother (Annie Potts), Immy, a ward of the state and her nosy coworkers and family. 


I was pleasantly surprised by this movie!  It is a 2 part mini-series and it held my interest the entire time!  I laughed, I was jealous, I was envious, I resented Rae, I became bitter.... um, I mean, what a wonderful love story!  Albeit predictable, I still wanted to watch it right up until the end!  The casting was PERFECT!!!  I have to point out that I especially appreciated when Immy (played by Vanessa Marano) made a quib about their relationship being like the "Gilmore Girls" because INDEED I REMEMBERED that she played Luke's daughter in the final seasons of "Gilmore Girls."  Well played, writers!!

Anyway, this premieres on Dec. 12 and is a two night event ending Dec. 13, airing at 9pm ET/PT both nights.  Awesome to watch alone or cuddling on the couch with a guy who isn't afraid to admit he watches Lifetime!

MOTR Grade: A-

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Back in the Saddle

Okay, so it's been a really long time since I've blogged, let alone anything personal.  So, I aim to remedy that.  I have some giveaways that I need to get posted ASAP and I need to have my blog stop looking like a giant billboard.

So forgive my vanishing act.  First, I left my husband in September.  And apparently since this is the 1920s and women aren't allowed to make decisions like that, it upset a great many people who have decided to be completely unsupportive and have disappeared from my life.  Well, that's fine.  I only want to surround myself with people who love me and realize that life is worth living, not going through like a zombie.  I was shocked when a couple weeks ago I watched the movie Eat Pray Love.  It was EXACTLY how I feel/felt.

Then, the other reason I was MIA was because I was in the local theater production of The Curious Savage.  It was the first time I had auditioned and I got a part!  It was one of the best experiences I've had in probably a decade.  The other two were the birth of my children.

I will blog more later, but I just wanted to keep everyone posted.  And I'm sure I'm going to get a lecture on putting my personal life on the internet, but considering no one even knows my name, I'm pretty okay with it.  Keep checking back and feel free to email or comment!  I love hearing from people!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Corn Sugar Webinar Information

So two weeks ago I attended my very first webinar. This webinar was sponsored by CornSugar.com and was presented by Resourceful Mommy Media.  John White, PhD president of White Technical Research is an expert in high fructose corn syrup and was very helpful in giving us facts and information.  It was a pretty cool idea and the topic was super informative.  We learned about high fructose corn syrup (hfcs) or corn sugar.  The name "hfcs" has become almost profanity to some people.  As parents we have been told to avoid it at all costs.  I remembered hearing the rule, "if you can't pronounce it, you shouldn't put it in your body."  Well, I can pronounce fructose, but that's only because I've heard it so many times.

Table sugar and high fructose corn syrup “have the same exact effect on obesity and diabetes and on heart disease. It’s not that one is better.”  "Replacing HFCS with sucrose will not reduce obesity or improve health; they are essentially the same."  Don't fact quote me on this, but I think sucrose is what's in table sugar and stuff...

The biggest thing I learned from this webinar is that hfcs is not really as bad as I'd thought.  It is not more fattening, it is not any more unhealthy than other sugars.  The reason that it is so widely used is that corn syrup is much easier to mix into foods than regular sugar because it is already in liquid form.  Can sugar is in solid form and the extra step of having to turn it into a liquid must be utilized when company's are making their products. 

After the webinar, I went onto Twitter and started posting some of the stuff I learned.  Then people started getting irate with me and said that I am being mislead by big corporations.  Well, I don't know.  I still feel the same way as I did before.  Everything in moderation.  I try not to eat too much unhealthy sugary junk anyway.  Would I eat something with hfcs?  Sure.  Would I give it to my kids?  Sure.  I'm not gonna hook it into an IV and feed it directly into our veins, so I'm not too worried about it right now.

Any thoughts?  I'd love to hear what you're reaction is and what you've heard about hfcs.





“The information shared was provided by the Corn Refiners Association.  I have been compensated for writing this blog post.  All opinions are my own.”

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Melissa & Doug Play Kitchen Review & Giveaway!!!

GREAT CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEA ALERT!!!!

As I've mentioned before, I'm a HUGE fan of Melissa & Doug.  Originally I was just super impressed by the quality of the puzzles.  They are a sturdy wood.  Well, I soon started to realize all the awesome toys they had besides puzzles!  For instance, we have a sandwich set, a cookie set, a pizza set to name a few.  They are very original and are also made of wood.  My kids love them!  Well, I had the opportunity to review a Melissa & Doug Play Kitchen and I can tell you, the excitement was overwhelming.  When I found out I was approved, I was so giddy I had to be sedated.


Well, the big day came and it arrived in the mail.  I had to start working on it immediately. So I worked on it.


And worked on it...

And worked on it...


And four hours later, I was done!!!



Yep, that's right, it took me FOUR HOURS to put together.  I worked on it non-stop all by myself.  The directions were easy to understand, it was just really time consuming.  Was it worth it?  YOU BET!  My kids have played with it every single day since I put it together.  It's adorable and very interactive.  The over opens, the microwave, the cabinet, the refrigerator, the freezer.  It's super cute and we all love it.  Plus, it's a sturdy, thick wood and I have no doubt it will last for years!  Now all my children will have jealous friends.

MOTR Grade: A+

Right now the Melissa & Doug Play Kitchen is on sale at Gummy Lump!  They are also on Facebook, Twitter, and have a blog


GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

Gummy Lump has been awesome enough to offer an additional kitchen to one of my lucky readers!  How cool is that?!  Contest will run through October 13th and ends at noon central.  Open to US residents only.

To enter:

Visit Gummy Lump's website and tell me one thing you think your kids would love to get for Christmas. 

Additional entries:
1) Follow Gummy Lump on Twitter.
2) Like Gummy Lump on Facebook
3) Post a tweet about this giveaway with a link and @gummylump in the tweet.

Thanks and good luck!   




*Disclaimer: this product was given to me for free to review from Gummy Lump, Melissa & Doug and Tomoson.


This Product Was a Free Giveaway

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Temperament

Hey all!  Sorry for the lack of posts lately.  Between school and work and family,  I have been super busy!

I wanted to share something from class today.  We were asked to take this really good temperament test through the Keirsey Institute.  (If you want to google it, try "keirsey temperament sorter- II")  Mine was so spot on it was amazing!  I was reading it and I thought- I need to share this with everyone so maybe they will understand me better.  So here's my result:

ARTISAN

Artisans are the temperament with a natural ability to excel in any of the arts, not only the fine arts such as painting and sculpting,  or the performing arts such as music, theater, and dance, but also the athletic, military, political, mechanical, and industrial arts as well as the "art of the deal" in business.

Artisans are most at home in the real world of solid objects that can be made and manipulated, and of real-life events that can be experienced in the here and now.  Artisans have exceptionally keen senses, and love working with their hands.  They seem right at home with tools, instruments and vehicles of all kinds, and their actions are usually aimed at getting them where they want to go, and as quickly as possible.  Thus Artisans will strike off boldly down roads that others might consider risky or impossible, doing whatever it takes, rules or no rules, to accomplish their goals.  This devil-may-care attitude also gives the Artisans a winning way with people, and they are often irresistibly charming with family, friends and co-workers.

Artisans want to be where the action is; they seek out adventure and show a constant hunger for pleasure and stimulation.  They believe that variety is the spice of life and that doing things that aren't fun or exciting is a waste of time.  Artisans are impulsive, adaptable, competitive and believe the next throw of the dice will be the lucky one.  They can also be generous to a fault, always ready to share with their friends from the bounty of life.  Above all, Artisans need to be free to do what they wish when they wish.  They resist being tied or bound or confined or obligated; they would rather not wait, or save, or store, or live for tomorrow.  In the Artisan view, today must be enjoyed for tomorrow may never come.

Artisans at work seek to make an impact upon the organizations where they work and upon society at large.  Their alertness to current realities, the joy they take in variation and their tendency to follow their instincts to do "what works" makes them good troubleshooters and negotiators, talented performers and craftspeople and excellent leaders in all kinds of emergencies and chaotic situations.

Even at work, your motto could be, "Let me entertain you.  Let me make you smile."  In fact, bringing playfulness to situations can be one of your greatest contributions on the job.  In your ideal job, you have the opportunity to apply your talent for performing and improvising communications so that they appeal to the individuals or groups of people in your environment.  Because of your gift or words your ideal position might include tasks that allow you to apply your communications talent for the good of the organization.


Well, what do you think?  If you know me, do you think this fits me?  Does this fit any of you?  If you choose to take the test, tell me your result and if you think it was fitting!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

How Rocket Learned to Read Book Review

How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills is a super cute book that is perfect for this time of year!  My daughter just started preschool and this is about a puppy that never thought about school or learning to read (I don't think most puppies do) but with the help of a teacher bird, realized what fun it is to read and learn how to spell! 

It is perfect for preschoolers and kindergartners because it spells out small words and is interactive so that you can teach YOUR kids to read alongside Rocket.

I thought it was super adorable and will be one of our favorites!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Watermelon Festival

As you may or may not know, I might be a hick from the sticks.  I live in a rural area, so every summer the even smaller towns hold festivals honoring a fruit or vegetable of sorts.  There's the grape festival, sweet corn festival and watermelon festival- I'm sure there's more, but I can't think of them right now.

Anyway, I'm told that the watermelon festival is hands down the only one worth attending.  I recall going in high school and having fun.  But, having a fun hater for a husband, I haven't been in years.  Well, now that A is four, I can have lots more fun with her.  So, I resolved to take her to the watermelon festival.  I learned that I am apparently an old fart when it comes to rides and my daughter is a thrill seeker.  I also learned never to trust a carnie because some of them seem to have a God-complex.

So, we went.  The first 10 minutes ended with watching a verbal fight ensue between some trashy people who released some f-bombs and biznatches in front of not only their children, but about 30 other children in the vicinity.  Oh, the classy people that walk amongst us! 

So, my daughter was all excited about the rides.  I was not so much excited, because for some reason, I am a wuss when it comes to my life flashing before my eyes.  Well, the first ride she wanted to go on was this whirly thing that spun you up, down and around.  I seriously about tossed my cookies.  I was so disappointed in myself.  Of course, I wasn't gonna be THAT mom that barfed all over an amusement ride, so I held it in.

Well, as the night progressed we ran into some friends.  One of whom was more than willing to take A on that ship ride that swings like a pendulum.  There I was, watching in amazement as my four year old went on ride after ride after ride while I stood in awe of her braveness.  After some rides, we ate the required free watermelon, checked out the games and ridiculously priced food.  Then, it was getting near time to go.  I had purchased tickets in lieu of the $15 arm-bands that let you ride as many rides as you wanted all night.  A and a friend's daughter Z decided they wanted to go on "Moby Dick."  This ride is too horror-evoking to explain.  All of the adults looked around at each other to see who was going to volunteer to take the kidlets on the ride... and silence... and finger pointing... and silence.  So, finally I say that I will do it because guilt at the idea of these kids not getting to ride this last ride was more overwhelming than my fear and potential nausea.

This ride was a whopping 5 tickets a person and I only had 8.  So, an acquaintance happened by and offered me her bracelet.  I figured I could rig it up on my wrist somehow, so right in front of this carnie game woman who looked like she was ridiculed in high school for being an uber-dike and an ugly one to boot, glared at us as if we were plotting to steal the Hope Diamond.  So I get in line with A and Z and we wait our turn.  Well, said carnie woman comes trotting (or should I say manly striding) over to the man operating the ride.  She tries to be all nonchalant, but I know her type... she's a narc... a big ole narcy narc narc face.  So, I say to my friends, "20 bucks says she just ratted me out to that dude."  I have one of my friends go snag me 2 more tickets and I give up on the recycled bracelet idea.

We go to get on the ride and the man nicely takes my tickets.  I can barely bring myself to relay what happened next.  I clung to dear life to my harness.  I closed my eyes as tight as humanly possible.  It was death coming for me.  It was a nightmare.  I didn't scream, cause once again, I didn't wanna be THAT mom.  But, some random 8 year old sitting next to me yelled, "Open your eyes you're an adult!!"  If I weren't on that ride...

And it ended.  With most of my body still in tact, I walked slowly over to my friends.  It was over... I was alive.  And here's the kicker...  while I was on the ride, the dude operating it called over ole' beefcake Yolanda and laughingly told her that I paid with tickets.  AHA!!!  Take that, Nazi!  And go back to your loserville Loser McLosenstein corner... eat it... with a spoon.... *dancing*  I showed the carnie who had the college degree... woot, woot...

And now I'm  THAT mom... the judgmental one who makes fun of carnie folk... *sigh*

Thursday, August 26, 2010

5 Simple Steps to Keeping Your Child's Mouth Clean

Did you know that each year, more than 51 million school hours are lost as a result of problems related to tooth decay, the most common chronic childhood disease in America? In fact, tooth decay affects approximately half of all second graders and nearly 80 percent of 17-year-olds. That’s why Trident® has partnered with Smiles Across America® to help underprivileged children get the dental care they need.

Trident wanted to know what steps my family uses to keep our children's smiles bright and white.  Smiles are extremely important in our family.  My husband and I both had braces, so we know what it's like to be uncomfortable with your smile.  We want our kids to smile all the time without having to worry.  Here are some simple things that we do:

1) Brush twice a day.
Nick thinks it's most important to brush in the morning and I think it's most important at night, so we each make sure the children brush both times.

2) Lend a hand.
My kids are in the "do it myself" stage, which means they want to brush their teeth all by themselves as well.  I keep a watchful eye and if it seems like they aren't getting all their teeth, I will lend a hand and make sure they know how to get them all.

3) Keep sweet consumption to a minimum.
Kids don't need all that sugar anyway, but especially their teeth don't need it. We might give one sugary treat a day, if that.  Juice is 100% and is third in line after milk and water.

4) NO SODA.
This is an absolute.  Our kids do not get soda.  Not only does is serve no nutritional purpose, but it is not good for their teeth.

5) Lead by example.
I always brush my teeth with the kids when they do it so that they see mommy brushing as well.  I rarely drink soda and drink tons of water.  This way my kids will hopefully mimic my healthy choices.

Simple, right?  But these tips can save you lots of money and good oral hygiene in the future.  What about you, do you have any tips on keeping your kids' teeth sparkling?





“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Trident blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Infantino EcoSash Wrap & Tie Baby Carrier Review

I know I've told this story before, but seeing as how I'm reviewing a baby carrier, it only makes sense to rehash.  Picture it, Sicily, 1952... or my house, 2008.  It was springtime and I wanted to smell the fresh air as it breezed through my house.  Unfortunately, I did not have a screen door.  Well, I had purchased one, it just hadn't been put up.  Reason being?  Well, although he has many great qualities, handyman is not one of Nick's highlights.  In fact, he tends to break things more than fix them.  So, I asked my father-in-law and my own dad (the master carpenter) for help, hoping one of them would jump to my aid... well, jump they didn't.  And I am an impatient person!

So, I took my then two year old and my then 5ish month old outside with me while I put the door up myself.  And in order to properly contain my infant, I used a baby carrier to strap him to my chest.  It was a Godsend!  I was able to put up the door and we were able to feel the gentle breeze roll in.  None of this would have been possible without my handy dandy baby carrier.  That was an Infantino, but since then, Infantino has come out with newer and better models! 

The model I  chose to review is the Infantino EcoSash Wrap & Tie



wrap & tie
3-in-1 design: face-in,
face-out and back carrier
suited for 8-35 lbs (3.6-15.9 kgs)

Buckle-free: just wrap, tie and go!
Natural bucket seat.
Easily adjusts for a perfect fit.
Wide & comfortable padded straps.
Super soft and breathable.

And believe me, those buckles are a pain in my caboose!  And the comfort of this style not only is great for your baby's sensitive little body, but also saves poor mom (or dad) from getting stabbed by plastic!

To learn more about Infantino and their products, visit:
 
Babies R Us will offer $10-off the EcoSash and Balance carriers from August 11-September 21st.










“I am a participant in a Mom Central campaign for Infantino and have received various Infantino products as part of my participation.”



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A's First Day of Preschool

So yesterday was A's first day of preschool.  She had her backpack ready and it was filled with the required school supplies.  She was excited and so was I.  One down, one to go!  Now I am only counting down the days until L is in school.  It was cute because the teacher gave us this sweet note about wiping away our tears and putting our feet up.  I said to my mom, "why would people cry?"  She informed me that people DO cry and she used to stand in the hall with a box of kleenex to offer people.  Well, not me!  I want my kids to be independent because no one likes leeches.  HAHA!

Anyway, since I think she was the cutest one there, I thought I'd share a picture or two from A's first day.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Interesting Forward of the Day

My mum forwarded this to me.  I thought it was good!  I'm just going to do the first one for today.
 
 
"5 IMPORTANT LESSIONS TO LIVE BY"   

                        1 - First Important Lesson - Cleaning Lady.




 During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one: 



 "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" 

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50's, but how would I know her name? 

I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. 

"Absolutely, " said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people.  All are significant.. they deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say "hello."

I've never forgotten that lesson.. I also learned her name was Dorothy. 


This is completely true!  My husband and I went to the same orthodontist in high school.  He would say the name of one of the assistants and I would have no clue whom he was referring to.  He said, "you don't know any of the assistants names?"  And I didn't.  I guess I didn't think it was important, but he did.  Likewise, the other day I called my vet clinic to make an appointment for my parents' cat.  I didn't recognize the name of the woman who answered the phone, but when I gave her my name she said, "oh hi!" as if she knew who I was.  This is probably true, but I only know the names of the actual doctors.  It makes me feel snooty that I don't take the time to learn the names of everyone in an office, not just those in charge.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Conversation with a Deer

I was riding my bike last night when I happened upon a deer standing along the road.  I stopped my bike and decided to have a conversation with the deer.

Me: Hi, Deer!
Deer:....
Me: Hey, there's an apple tree a couple blocks down.  I saw another deer eating there earlier.  Was it you?
Deer: ...
Me:  If it was you then nevermind.  Otherwise, go eat them apples!
Deer: ...
Me:  Well, you stay safe and don't go out in the road!
Deer: ...

And then I rode away.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Music Monday: Top 10 Favorite Songs of All Time Part 1

Here are the first half of my top 10 favorite songs of all time (no particular order):

"Push"- Matchbox 20



"Far Behind"- Candlebox


"My Immortal"- Evanescence


"November Rain"- Guns N Roses


"Everlong"- Foo Fighters

Sunday, August 1, 2010

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Don't you DARE cancel "The Good Guys," FOX!!!

I've heard rumblings that The Good Guys on FOX may be canceled.  (Rumblings from my dad who heard it from my sister, which I verified by googling my fingers to nubs.)  They have not been doing too great in the ratings and to that I say, America is stupid!  It is a good show, I laugh out loud, it's witty, clever... okay, so the name is a horrible fit to the show, but it's an AWESOME SHOW.

And speaking of canceling shows, I turned to good ole' TVGuide.com to find out which shows are returning in the fall.  Dollhouse was canceled, which is unfortunate, but they gave it a terrible timeslot... stupid stupid heads.   Then FlashForward is canceled, which I find out a mere week after finishing all the episodes on my DVR.  What happened?!  I don't think I cared too much about the other ones that were axed.  I also must say that NBC might as well declare bankruptcy now because their new falls shows look horribly pathetic.  Plus there was that whole getting rid of Conan thing which made me wanna throw a flaming pile of dog poo on their doorstep.

So check out the list and tell me what you think.  Let's talk boob tube, eh?

(snagged from TVGuide.com)

RENEWED
30 Rock (NBC)
90210 (CW)
The Amazing Race (CBS)
American Dad (Fox)
American Idol (Fox)
America's Most Wanted (Fox)
America's Next Top Model (CW)
The Bachelor (ABC)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
The Biggest Loser (NBC)
Bones (Fox)
Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Castle (ABC)
Celebrity Apprentice (NBC)
Chuck (NBC)
The Cleveland Show (Fox)
Community (NBC)
Cops (Fox)
Cougar Town (ABC)
Criminal Minds (CBS)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS)
CSI: Miami (CBS)
CSI: NY (CBS)
Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Family Guy (Fox)
Friday Night Lights (NBC)
Fringe (Fox)
Glee (Fox)
Gossip Girl (CW)
The Good Wife (CBS)
Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Hell's Kitchen (Fox)
House (Fox)
How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
Human Target (Fox)
Kitchen Nightmares (Fox, midseason)
Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
Lie to Me (Fox)
Life Unexpected (CW)
Medium (CBS)
The Mentalist (CBS)
The Middle (ABC)
Modern Family (ABC)
NCIS (CBS)
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)
The Office (NBC)
One Tree Hill (CW)
The OT (Fox)
Parenthood (NBC)
Parks and Recreation (NBC)
Private Practice (ABC)
Rules of Engagement (CBS)
The Simpsons (Fox)
Smallville (CW)
Supernatural (CW)
Survivor (CBS)
Two and a Half Men (CBS)
V (ABC)
The Vampire Diaries (CW)

CANCELED/ENDING

24 (Fox)
Accidentally on Purpose (CBS)
The Beautiful Life: TBL (CW)
Better Off Ted (ABC)
Brothers (Fox)
Cold Case (CBS)
The Deep End (ABC)
Dollhouse (Fox)
Eastwick (ABC)
FlashForward (ABC)
The Forgotten (ABC)
Gary Unmarried (CBS)
Ghost Whisperer (CBS)
Hank (ABC)
Heroes (NBC)
Law & Order (NBC)
Lost (ABC)
Melrose Place (CW)
Mercy (NBC)
Miami Medical (CBS)
New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS)
Numb3rs (CBS)
Past Life (Fox)
Romantically Challenged (ABC)
Scrubs (ABC)
Sons of Tucson (Fox)
Three Rivers (CBS)
'Til Death (Fox)
Trauma (NBC)
Ugly Betty (ABC)

PILOTS PICKED UP
Better Together (ABC)
Blue Bloods (CBS)
Bob's Burgers (Fox, midseason)
Body of Proof (ABC)
The Cape (NBC, midseason)
Chase (NBC)
Criminal Minds spin-off (CBS, midseason)
The Defenders (CBS)
Detroit 1-8-7 (ABC)
The Event (NBC)
Friends with Benefits (NBC, midseason)
The Good Guys (Fox)
Happy Endings (ABC, midseason)
Hawaii Five-O (CBS)
Hellcats (CW)
Lonestar (Fox)
Love Bites (NBC)
Mike & Molly (CBS)
Mixed Signals (Fox, midseason)
Mr. Sunshine (ABC, midseason)
My Generation (ABC)
Nikita (CW)
No Ordinary Family (ABC)
Off the Map (ABC, midseason)
Outlaw (NBC)
Outsourced (NBC)
Perfect Couples (NBC, midseason)
Raising Hope (Fox)
Ride-Along (Fox, midseason)
Running Wilde (Fox)
S#*! My Dad Says (CBS)
Terra Nova (Fox, midseason)
Undercovers (NBC)
The Whole Truth (ABC)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Super Why! Caillou and Martha Speaks New PBS DVD Releases

My kids love watching PBS and Super Why! is their favorite! Super Why! is a critically acclaimed preschool series that takes kids through a story while teaching them phonics, the alphabet and other lessons in a fun way. Picture Dora, but even more educational and a smidge less annoying.

In Super Why!: Attack of the Eraser Super Why and his super friends learn all about spelling and rhyming while changing the outcome of a story and saving the day. This DVD includes 4 stories.

Both my kids LOVED this DVD! A loved the stories and the learning exercises and L apparently thought the graphics were interesting. They have watched it many times so far and just adore it!- which makes me love it! I appreciate its learning value and anything that can teach my kids while entertaining them is A okay in my book! And it's like they listened to my previous complaint because now they have a Play All feature that they didn't used to have!

Family Time Factor: More of something to have your young children watch while you are doing other things, but it is definitely for preschool age or kindergarten age and younger.

MOTR Grade: A

Super Why! Attack of the Eraser is now available on DVD!!!


Also available from PBS:

Martha Speaks: Martha Goes to SchoolMartha Speaks: Martha Goes to School
"The endearing beloved family dog, Martha, has a lot to say in her new release Martha Goes to School.  Join Martha and her family as they discover hundreds of new words to teach children.  Based on the successful children’s book series by Susan Meddaugh, and now airing on PBS KIDS, the DVD features eight new-to-DVD episodes, printable coloring pages, resources for parents and descriptive video service for the visually impaired."


Caillou's Fun Outside!Caillou: Caillou's Fun Outside
"The beloved Caillou is back in four new-to-DVD episodes featuring 14 fun-filled outdoor adventures. Delightfully imaginative and intrepid, Caillou is ready to teach kids about nature, patience, creativity and outdoor activities.  The CAILLOU: CAILLOU’S FUN OUTSIDE! DVD also includes interactive games, music videos, parents’ information and coloring pages – a perfect break from fun in the sun."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vacation Bible School

So I'd never been to vacation bible school before. Not as a child or as an adult. I'd often thought that it sounded like something fun to do if you were a kid. Well, as some of you may or may not know, I've been going to this wonderful church for several months now and have met some super awesome people!

I love how friendly and positive everyone is. No one cares about your past, no one cares about how much money you have, they just love you because you're a human being, and that's good enough for them! Anyway, to my adoring fans, no, I have not changed and don't expect to get some huge overhaul in my personality. I do find that I can feel the ice that has long since been encompassing my body slowly melt away. I'm less wary of saying hi to strangers for no reason. I smile a lot more and I feel more joy. Yes, I still feel those moments when I want to break out my chainsaw and go batpoo crazy on the world, but hey, who doesn't feel like that sometimes?

This week has been vacation bible school. I was asked to help (but I'm sure it's because they reeeeeeally wanted me there, not cause they ask everyone) and I am loving it! It's great practice for my future profession as an elementary teacher and it's jubilant! I smile often, I laugh occasionally (mostly when Ms Tara doesn't know the words to the songs, lol, j/k!- like Tara's gonna read this anyway.) It's just great to hear kids get excited about something that doesn't involve television, video games or merciless throwing of pancakes.

Our theme is The Kingdom and they are learning all about Joseph. So, I have included the Veggie Tales trailer for The Ballad of Little Joe because everytime I hear, "oh little Joooooe" it makes me think of it.

Enjoy!

Fun Video of the Day

This is in honor of my time at vacation bible school this week!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Updated Bucket List

 Below is my original blog post on my bucket list.  I completed one thing on the list, so wanted to share!

 Welcome, Pierre the pig!  No pork chops for you!

 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

My Bucket List


You know what a bucket list is: a list of things you want to do before you die.

Well, I've had a couple things on my bucket list for awhile and I've shared them with friend/family before. I figured I'd share them with the rest of the world. Cause maybe some rich person will look at this and want to fund the things I can't afford to do right now, lol.

Okay, so here is my list to date:

1) Take a cruise.
2) Go on a haunted tour of England.
3) Get arrested.
4) Save a pig from being slaughtered. (done on July 17, 2010)
5) Save a cow from being slaughtered.
6) Go to a Broadway show (preferably Annie)

Exciting, I know, lol. Anyone want to share their bucket list with me?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Interesting Fact of the Day

cid:23.2825942849@web180512.mail.gq1.yahoo.comThe Eisenhower interstate system requires
that one mile in every five must be straight.
These straight sections are usable as airstrips
in times of war or other emergencies.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Interesting Fact of the Day

St. Paul, Minnesota
cid:19.2825942849@web180512.mail.gq1.yahoo.comSt. Paul, Minnesota, was originally called Pig's Eye
after a man named Pierre 'Pig's Eye' Parrant
who set up the first business there.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

People of WalMart hilarity!

Thanks to @CrazyCatLadie for emailing this to me:  I picked my favorites (the captions were in the email, I didn't write them)...


Ummm, I think you might need something more than the pine tree air-freshener. It’s a start......not where I would have started.......but it’s a start.




Hookers love cupcakes. I have nothing else to add to that. Can’t argue with the facts.




I wonder if she can 'tie ‘em in a knot or tie ‘em in a bow'......because unfortunately, I already know they 'wobble to an fro’.




At what point does a person just say “F*ck it, I don’t need to put on shoes or pants”? Most people in the world would put pants on to walk into another room of the house, or if not that, then they would put some on if they're going to the street to get their mail. And you made it to Wal-Mart.




The irony here is overwhelming. I’m just going to sit back and let you soak it in.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Interesting Fact of the Day




Sahara Desert

cid:17.2825942849@web180512.mail.gq1.yahoo.com 
In the Sahara Desert, there is a town named Tidikelt, Algeria,
which did not receive a drop of rain for ten years.
Technically though, the driest place on Earth
is in the valleys of the Antarctic near Ross Island.
There has been no rainfall there for two million years.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Life is Better Than Ever!

Before having kids, my life seemed like a lot of the same.  Each day, I'd wake up, work or not work, watch TV, it was boring and I was in a state of depression.  When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, life took on a whole new meaning.  Cleaning became important, eating healthy became important, just my overall priorities in life became better.  I realized that it was no longer just going to be my husband and I and a bunch of dogs.

Of course, reality doesn't really hit until your baby is in the world.  You realize that every moment until your child moves out will be devoted to thoughts about them, doing things for them, worrying, caring.  A child is an investment and your soul is the banker.  Life is so much better than it ever was because I have passion.  I have motivation.  I am in love with my life and my children are a major part of that.  They invoke emotion in me every day; laughter, tears, worry, frustration, curiosity.  It's a neverending process and I look forward to a lifetime of challenges and rewards I am a far better person than I was before I became a mother.

Tell me how your life is better than ever and also check out the Dove® gofresh™ Facebook Contest Page


I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Dove® gofresh™ blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card and some product. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Interesting Fact of the Day


Ohio
cid:12.2825942849@web180512.mail.gq1.yahoo.com 
There are no natural lakes in the state of Ohio, every one is man-made.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Interesting Fact of the Day

New York City
cid:11.2825942849@web180512.mail.gq1.yahoo.com

The term 'The Big Apple' was coined
by touring jazz musicians of the 1930s
who used the slang expression 'apple' for any town or city.
Therefore, to play New York City
is to play the big time - The Big Apple.

There are more Irish in New York City
than in Dublin, Ireland;
more Italians in New York City
than in Rome, Italy;
and more Jews in New York City
than in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Melissa & Doug Puppets Rock My World!

Okay, am I an uber dork that I was so excited about getting Melissa & Doug puppets that I didn't want to share them with my kids and insisted they handle them with care?

If you check out CSN's website, you will see they have the coolest collection of Melissa & Doug products that I've seen anywhere.  And at my house, we are Melissa & Doug fanatics!  My daughter is outgrowing the wooden puzzles, so I'm always on the lookout for something else she can use for her ever growing imagination.

The puppets I chose were Megan Pompomovich and Cyrus (Cy) Wren

Check out the short skit video A and I did:


 

Interesting Fact of the Day


Antarctica
cid:3.2825942849@web180512.mail.gq1.yahoo.com 
Antarctica is the only land on our planet that is not owned by any country.
Ninety percent of the world's ice covers Antarctica.
This ice also represents seventy percent of all the fresh water in the world.
As strange as it sounds, however, Antarctica is essentially a desert;
the average yearly total precipitation is about two inches.
Although covered with ice (all but 0.4% of it, ice.),
Antarctica is the driest place on the planet,
with an absolute humidity lower than the Gobi desert.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Beware of Yugoslavian Coins!

In the summer of 1997, I went to Yugoslavia by myself to visit a friend.  It was a great experience!  I brought some coins back with me as keepsakes.

June 27, 2010:  A few weeks back I had been going through all my foreign coins and did not want to get rid of my coins from Yugoslavia.  I left one on the dresser in my bedroom and kept forgetting to put it away.  A, 4 years old, apparently decided this morning that it was a good idea to swallow said coin.  Out of my two kids, I would have NEVER expected A to be one to do that sort of thing!  She never was one to put random stuff in her mouth, even as a toddler.  So, when I walked in my room, not knowing she was even awake, she was lying on the floor crying.  I asked her what was wrong, she said, "you're going to be mad at me."  I asked again what she did and she told me she swallowed my coin.

I am a pretty calm and laid back person, so I asked her why, she didn't know and we went downstairs.  I just figured it would pass.  But, she kept crying and telling me it hurt, so I called my parents for some wisdom.  They didn't know, so my mom told me to google it (like mother, like daughter!)  I googled it and the first site I found that was reliable said to immediately take them to the doctor.  So, we headed to the ER.  (I woke my husband up to come along and dropped L off at the in-laws.)

An x-ray was taken to determine where the coin was.  The ER doctor consulted and said he would like to get a surgeon's opinion, so made a call to the surgeon.  The surgeon came in on his day off for a consult and decided she needed to have it surgically removed.  It sounded pretty straight forward to me, so I was still calm.  (I had thought it was a Canadian coin at the time, too.)  So, they called in the surgical team, once they all arrived,  they took her into the OR, put her out, stuck a tube down her throat and removed it.  (It was stuck in her esophagus.)



All good!  Time spent at the hospital- 6 hours.  And hopefully a lesson learned to A not to swallow foreign objects... or American ones either!

Friday, June 18, 2010

No, You Am't!

This post is about those things our parents used to say to us that we swore we'd never say, but it's really hard not to.  Should we admit they were right?

Now that it's summer, most people are going crazy, thinking of fun things to do, enjoying vacation, soaking in some rays.  What am I doing?  Counting down the days until I can go back to work!  Just like when I was a kid, summer vacation really wasn't that fun because I longed to be back in school, this is how it is now.  I'm just not that nurturing type of mom who wants to spend every waking moment with my children.  I wish I was and I envy the women that are, but that's not me.  I love my kids to pieces, but absence makes the heart grow fonder!  It's just not in my genes to spend 16 hours a day telling a preschooler and a toddler to stop running, screaming, hitting each other, licking the walls, drinking water out of puddles, etc.  My mind is turning to mush in a hurry.  And it doesn't seem sensible to get a minimum wage job over the summer, because it would barely cover daycare.

Anyway, so lately my daughter yells at me (she's got that "I'm 4 going on 16" attitude) and she'll say "I AM!!!"  and I have yet to say it, but the first instinct I have is to say, "no you am't," which was a phrase my dad used on me quite a few times.  And I always wanted to never respond with, "because I said so" because kids really do need answers to many of their questions.  But it's hard.  I've said it.  Cause sometimes the why's are never-ending and I just don't have a good answer.

Then of course I've inherited the phrase, "if you push your brother again, I'm going to stick bamboo chutes under your fingernails and burn all your toys while you watch, tied to the swingset."

Okay, so that last one was not true, but it does sound like it'd be effective, right?

I'm sure you've all got phrases you inherited from your parents... want to share?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My Thoughts On: Immigration

Before I start this post, I have to first say, Dad if you are reading this, stop.  Let's just pretend we both agree and don't taint your opinion of me with further reading of this blog.  And thanks for helping me with the lawnmower tire!!

Okay, now onto my thoughts.  What sparked my idea to post about this now is that my husband got this survey to fill out for the republican party in the mail today.  It was asking about all the things that the Obama administration has "done wrong" and what he thinks the priorities should be for the Republican party in terms of 2010 elections.

One of the biggest things they talked about was immigration laws.  I just don't get it.  I know, I know, there's not enough resources or room for people to come to the United States.  But aren't we all immigrants?  Didn't we murder Native Americans and steal their land so that we can settle here?  We came from Europe, we came from Asia, Africa, etc. at different points in time in order to try to make a living in this new world.  (Of course the Africans didn't have much of a choice.)  So, why was it okay for our ancestors, but not Mexicans?  Why would we want to see fellow human beings, children, women living in huts with dirt floors, no ceilings, no plumbing?  Everyone deserves a chance at a better life.

So you're saying, "but they steal our resources!"  Well, Americans are living off the teat of the government at well.  Have you ever heard the term "Welfare Queen?"  I'm not saying welfare is bad, I'm just saying there are a lot of deadbeats who take advantage of it.

And our jobs?  Yeah, they work for cheap wages, but would you break your back at their jobs for their pay?  No!  Cause as Americans, some of us have become lazy and just expect the cash to flow in, never having broken a nail working in our lives.  There's a Mexican restaurant and a Chinese restaurant in our town that I am speaking of:  the same people are there working open to close and in most cases, these are owners.  They work ALL DAY EVERY DAY.  How many Americans are willing to do this for as little money as they are making.

I think this is getting long enough, so I will stop.  I'd like to see everything work out for the best because we were all immigrants at one point in time.  Or I guess the Mexicans can just start doing to the Americans what we did to the Native Americans... they can kill us and steal our land.