Wednesday, October 31, 2012

10 Fun Halloween Traditions and Greening Your Halloween

Your post for today is my article about 10 Halloween Traditions you'll want to try with your own kids. You can read the full piece here over at Bubblews, another site I write for (don't worry; it's safe)!

Here's the one on Greening Your Halloween. This link will take you to another page on my blog, which (sorry!) will take you to my piece on Bubblews.

If you are sick and tired of clicking links to ready my rockin' humorous Halloween parenting advice, just GET THE EBOOK because it's loaded with more fun chapters and includes my pumpkin pancake recipe!

It's cheap! It's FREE from September 12-15, 2013, then it's back to regular price. If you love it, would you do me a favor and tell your friends about it and maybe even leave me a review on Amazon? That way others know that it's a decent read.

Here's the link!

Monday, October 29, 2012

I Suck at Halloween (Costumes)

Here’s our family's annual Halloween checklist:

  1. Get pumpkins at a fun pumpkin patch visit
  2. Trunk or treat at church
  3. Homeschool group party
  4. Other homeschool group party
  5. Do pumpkin crafts I got on sale after Halloween last year
  6. Boo at the zoo
  7. Watch Halloween animated stuff on TV
  8. Trick or treating in the scary neighborhood in the scary outdoors
Okay, so I rock Halloween in general but suck at costumes. My mom bought the first few for the kids when they were little at a used kid stuff store and we still have them. Otherwise, costumes consist of hand me downs from a friend. I am bad at being creative with costumes and have never sewn or made one.

I am not that mom.

From now on I will stop beating myself up for not being The Costume Mom and will be proud of myself for being the Halloween Activities Mom. We can't all be the same mom, after all because that would be Uber Boring.

This year for Trunk or Treat the kids foraged through the Halloween tub for costumes. Otherwise, Michael put a white trash bag over Eva and cut head and arm holes out, drew on it and made her a ghost. Joel tapes black spots on a shirt and was a leopard. They helped each other and they got creative and they were resourceful.

What more could a mom ask for? I have prepared them for life just because I suck at Halloween costumes. See, there is a reason for everything!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Aron the Laptop Physician

So ya'll know my laptop rolled into the lake via my stroller, right? It was so fitting since I called the laptop my 6th child since the day I got it. Then it was hanging out in the stroller and the stroller rolled into the lake and it got a little swim. My lovely husband, who I always gripe about because he's not 100% on board with my writing (he wants me to spend more time on it when the kids are older and he's not entirely wrong, but having the money from it now can be helpful ... at McDonald's), dug right in and did some surgery.

Check him out with the keyboard disassembled and he's pretending to type. He's such a jokester. He could make a living doing stand-up comedy fo sho. He fixed the dang thing right up. Then a few days later something else happened that had nothing to do with water or his fix and now I'm out of business again.

And he's bringing home his work laptop on weekends so I can write and blog and do giveaways and all that. He kinda rocks.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Flowers for My Mom

I took these pictures on our last trip to Lakeside Nature Center in Kansas City, Missouri in Swope Park. They are for my mom, who loves flowers and works at a florist. They are beautiful like she is!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kitchen Remodeling PROGRESS!

Okay, so we did this like 2 weeks ago, but it still counts for Tackle-It Tuesday cuz it's MY BLOG, kay? Sorry, I'm a little surly since my laptop broke AGAIN after hubs brought it back from the watered dead. Moving on ...

I did this wall! Spackled it all by my lonesome! Aron made a nice apple pie for Samuel since it was his birthday.
No, Dad and Mom, REALLY ... I was doing it! See!

Gratuitous pose: me with spackled wall. A classic.

HappyElfMom: this is very slow progress. Aron got it mostly sanded and some spots re-spackled. Then he took off to help his brother finish building his house. We could have paint on these walls within a couple of weeks, barring a too-full calendar or Aron having to work buttloads of overtime. Wish us luck!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Arrival of the Moshi Monster Stash

On a day in the not-so-distant past, Miss Kristin called to let us know the drop had been made, the eagle had landed. In Moshi terms, this means the had received a new shipment of Moshi Monster goods from wherever it is she gets them from. From her dealer, let's just say. I believe he lives in the UK, where dealers live. MM dealers, that is.
Here is the ceremonial  opening of the box. The kids get to help her and they in return receive something cool like a figure of their choice or a pack of cards. It is slave labor and it rocks.
Miss Kristin paws through the goods to make sure all is there.
Time to open all the figure packs and separate them into piles.

Time to get organized now. Miss Kristin has to know what to offer on her eBay site. Buy from her; she is one of the only dealers in the US of this rockin' stuff.
Yes, my son Sam has on sparkly pink flip flops. Wanna make somethin' of it?
Have a great week!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Lose Weight by Planning Ahead

Some of you have asked how I am losing weight and am sticking with it after 5 weeks. Don't be fooled: I struggle just like you do. I have good days when it's easy to eat fruit and veggies all day long and stay within my 26 points. Then I have days when we buy a 5-pound bag of chocolate melts to make chocolate pumpkins for homeschool parties and I end up pigging in so many that I feel sick.

But when I plan ahead, it makes life a lot easier.

Like on Wednesdays we go to a church/gym/coffeehouse with a homeschool group. I love to eat and drink calorie-laden things in social settings and have had to reset my thinking with my group. So the other day I had just received these Rubbermaid Lunch Blox from a giveaway I won (yes, folks, I also enter giveaways and I win quite often so keep entering mine!). I filled the bottom big block with cut-up apples. The longer top piece I put in carrots, then in the tiny piece I put fat-free sour cream mixed with dry Ranch dressing. (the bottom in a piece you can put in the freezer to keep your lunch cold ... this is a cool product). Lunch Blox are like Legos for your lunch!

Before I went I picked up a Starbucks iced skinny mocha. I get the big size (venti) and it's skim milk and sugar-free syrup so I'm getting some dairy and it's about 3 points. It keeps me away from the 10-point-plus coffees I used to drink. I planned ahead to get that because it's my weekly treat. I think I had a SmartOnes for lunch just because it was quick and easy and I knew it was 7 points exactly. I also always take water everywhere with me.

And so the kids aren't pilfering my food all the time, I pack plenty. I overpack on apples and carrots because I WANT them to want my food, to eat healthy. I also pack their own stuff like juice pouches and granola bars.

When I know we have to be somewhere "early" (10 a.m. for us!!!), I make sure I have a 5-point double chocolate protein meal bar ready to roll and make myself a fried egg. I try to always have lots of fruit in the house that I like to eat (the kids will eat any fruit!) and fat-free yogurt and some Weight Watchers treats like my toasted coconut bars (2 points each).

As for those chocolate melts ... well, I put them out of sight and have not had a problem. Having to track everything that goes into my mouth also puts me off digging into them.

My ultimate goal is to be a Weight Watchers leader someday ... haha! I'll need something to do with my time when the kids are out of the house. Did you know that when you reach  your ultimate weight loss goal with WW that you can attend meetings for FREE for life as long as you stay within 5 pounds of your ideal weight goal?

Gotta go. I'm starting to sound like a freaking ad for Weight Watchers. However you lose weight or get healthy is wonderful!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Soda Stream Giveaway 10/20-11/20

Welcome to the Soda Stream Giveaway!!

Happy Home and Family and Soda Stream have partnered with a group of amazing bloggers to giveaway 1 lucky reader his/her very own Soda Stream Kit!!

What the winner will get? Fountain Jet Soda Lover’s Start-Up Kit (Valued at $99.95!) The kit includes: - Fountain Jet – winner’s choice of color (black/silver, red/silver or white) - 1 carbonating bottle, reusable for up to 3 years - Reusable carbonator to fizz up to 60L of soda - Variety 6-pack of popular sample-size flavors - 3 full-sized flavors of the winner’s choice Details:
  • This giveaway is open to US residents only
  • If the winners do not respond to my email within 24 hours then another winner will be chosen.
  • The giveaway will run from October 20 - November 20
So who's ready to win? Enter via the rafflecopter below:

Kerrie says: this product looks like so much fun that I had to get into a giveaway of it. Good luck!" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for shipment of prize, nor did I accept any form of payment to promote this event. All entries will be verified.

Friday, October 19, 2012

$50 Starbucks Gift Card 6-Hour FLASH Giveaway!

$50 Starbucks Gift Card 6-Hour FLASH Giveaway!!! (5-11 p.m. CST)

  photo credit: 401(K) 2012 via photopin cc

A few AWESOME Bloggers have teamed up to give you this wonderful $50 Starbucks Gift Card! We believe in quick, small, and easy giveaways! Our giveaways only have a FEW entries to fill out and you will know if you WIN in just a couple of hours! WHAT FUN! Good luck on this 6-hour flash giveaway! See you back on Monday for another great FLASH giveaway!

Kerrie chimes in: I am addicted to offering you flash giveaways, as I am addicted to coffee. This is making me thirsty for some serious coffee tonight ... so I can stay up with the dog :-)
Make sure to check out our wonderful sponsoring sites on their Facebook pages when you have time!

* NOTE: You can choose PayPal or Amazon GC instead of the Starbucks GC if you are the WINNER!!!" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

PaperMate Inkjoy 700 RT 1.0 M Review

I have a new favorite pen. As we all know, I am a pen addict. In fact, one of my other favorite pens is also a PaperMate and that love affair post can be found here (it's also a post about my drugstore shopping addiction).

I love this pen. It's not too heavy and not too light. It's white, silver and gray, which is so cool. It's a click pen, which I dig. I can clip it to my shirt. It just ... flows, if you know what I mean.

The other day a homeschool kid named Indy who is 11 years old and an aspiring writer caught sight of these pens in my backpack side pouch. She thought they were so pretty and wanted to know if she could have one. I'm stingy with my pens and told her I was reviewing them. She asked if she could have one after I was done reviewing them. I said sure. At the time I figured the pens were expensive and I would have to save up to buy more. But I was wrong!

You can get these pens all over the place. I'll probably head to WalMart and pick up a box of 12 for $18.97. I have the version shown above, but they also come in a gorgeous black.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Rompus Words Online Game Review

Like SCRABBLE? Then you will love Rompus Words, which you can play online for free! It's a good way to kill some time while relaxing and working your brain! And if you play the Facebook version you can even invite friends to play with you. If you are not on Facebook, go here!

Here's how to play the game:

  • Goals: The goal of the game is to get as high of a score as possible in a limited amount of turns. At the end of each week the scores are tallied up so that you can compare them with your friends! The next week the scores are reset and the competition begins anew.

  • Scoring: 
Words are scored by adding up the letter value (in the bottom right corner next to each letter) of every letter of each word formed. There are several different types of letter pieces within the game, some of which reward a higher multiple of points. Keep an eye out for the mystery bonus square (green with a question mark). It could be your friends trying to help you. It could be your friends out to get you. Or it could just be a random reward.

  • Helpers: 
If you get stuck, check out the ‘Helpers’ tab on the left. Here you will find an assortment of ways to shake things up. Most items in the ‘Helpers’ tab cost credits. You are given 5,000 credits when you first start playing Rompus Words. You earn more credits by playing daily and inviting friends to play along with you.

    My kids love this and it helps build their vocabulary and helps them learn how to spell new words.
    I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

    Weight Loss is Not a RACE!

    Tonight Aron is out of town. Jordan couldn't watch the kids. I took them to Weight Watchers with me so I could weigh in. I hate missing the meeting because I pay for it and it's inspirational and about the only "me" time I get during the week, but you do what you gotta do. At least I made the weigh-in!

    Last week I gained 1.8 pounds, part of which was due to the fact that I changed from shorts to jeans and from a barefoot weigh-in to tennis shoes and socks. I also didn't track my eating very well in my journal and when I do that I overeat every time! Instead of getting down in the dumps and berating myself, I vowed to keep going.
    These homemade eggrolls are only about 2 points each (cole slaw mix, soy sauce, egg roll wrappers)

    Let's make this clear: I do not "diet." Our leader is on our cases for "dieting" = eating less than the points we are given each day. I get it. If we undereat and lose a bunch of weight and feel great, that's fine ... until we find we need more food to keep up our energy and our body is used to eating so little that any extra bit makes us gain each week. I make sure to eat all my points per day and often also use some of my 49 extra per week that I get.

    I'm getting used to the skinny mocha at Starbucks once a week and the cherry vanilla Diet Coke at Sonic sometimes. I also drink a lot of water. I'm getting used to measuring my portions and try my hardest to fit in 5 fruits/veggies per day. I've even started doing a TEENY bit of exercise in the morning ... like 2 minutes of arm lifts and squats!

    Anyway, tonight I went in, took off my tennies and stepped on the scale. Somehow with healthy eating I lost 3.2 pounds. I realize that weight (especially for women due to menstruation and fertility) goes up and down. One week will be triumphant and the next I might work very hard and find that I gained.

    That's the journey. It's not a RACE to lose weight. In fact, my ultimate goal is to reach a certain weight by next SUMMER. I am not trying to weigh 100 pounds by Christmas because that would be absolutely ridiculous. I make short-term goals. I am already thinking, however, about what I will eat at Christmas gatherings ... how I might fill up on a salad before I go or take my own veggies to a party and stay away from the carbo-loaded desserts.

    I know this is not forever. When I can control myself around food, I will be able to sneak in a treat more often. I don't feel deprived. I make sure my kids know I CAN have any food there is; I just have to log it. It's like a checking account and I have 26 points per day (plus 49 per week) that I can "spend." If I go over that amount in a week, it shows on the scale and in how my clothes fit and in how much energy I have.

    Next stop = 10% goal! Ultimate goal = health, physical fitness, energy, and more.

    Pine Bros. Throat Drops Review

    After 15 years, Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops are back (they were a trusted brand since 1870), and they are DELICIOUS! I know this for sure because they sent me a BOX of their product to try and pass out. Included in the box was what the company calls a PUCK ... it's a hockey puck-shaped container to refill with your Pine Bros. throat drops ... and we have refilled a few times already! It's nice to have since (1) the drops aren't individually wrapped (waste of paper in our landfills) and (2) I don't have to carry an entire bag of these around with me in the diaper bag; instead, I can refill the puck when I'm running low and the puck is securely closed and won't get crushed or spilled!

    The day these throat drops arrived, the kids dug right in ... it's allergy season in the Midwest, after all, you know, so throats are dealing with some drainage and other fun currently. We all really love the taste of the wild cherry drops, and the honey comes in second. My 3-year-old, Sam, took one of the pucks and hid it so only he can get into it and eat the drops. He is the youngest of 5 and must hide his soft and chewy throat drop stash.

    More plusses: it's an American made product, baby. AND they are only 5 calories a drop, which fits in with my Weight Watchers program with no problem!

     I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

    My True Nature Product Review

    Raise your hand if you use your baby's lotion. Yeah, me too. I was so excited to receive the samples of My True Naure's Bubble Bath, Lotion and Shampoo/Body Wash. We really go through this type of product in my house and I always love trying new things. My True Nature's products are animal cruelty-free, which me and Paul McCartney can appreciate. Here's my take on this stuff:

    I love the smell of the bubble bath. Sam and Eva love taking baths together and love lots of bubbles. I love that the bubbles stick around for a long time.

    I also love the citrusy smell of the baby wash/shampoo combo. The fact that it is in a pump is an added bonus ... no spills and one-handed dispensing make hair washing quick and easy.

    The "Beary" Soft Lotion is my favorite product, though. It comes in a pump bottle that I keep in the kitchen right on the counter. I use it on myself after I do dishes and use it on the kids if I see they have dry spots. There is no fragrance, so it's not obnoxious or overpowering. And a little bit goes a long way.

    You know I'm a little crunchy, so I appreciate that the bottles are made from recycled plastic and the products are free of all sorts of unnecessary chemicals and additives.

    Here's some information from their site:

    The Tubby Time Clean and Soft Set combines the Tubby Time greats (Dewey's bubbles and Daisy's shampoo/body wash) with Clio's lotion.

    Dewey's and Daisy's cleansers are pure, natural formulas that combine plant-based cleansers and botanicals to create mountains of bubbles that are perfect for sensitive skin, cradle cap, or eczema and will leave your little ones soft as silk and smelling clean.

    Clio's lotion is a truly unique formula that combines organic sunflower oil infused with a multitude of calming and healing organic herbs with shae butter, aloe and bees wax. It calms sunburns, rashes, eczema and other skin irritations the natural and organic way. Reuse the bottles made of 100% recycled plastic for a truly sustainable bath time experience.

    Most of our ingredients are locally sourced from organic farms in California and the Pacific Northwest. Those ingredients that are not produced locally come from Germany.

    Our bottles are made from 100% FDA-APPROVED RECYCLED PET plastic. Our pumps, caps and bottles are all BPA free and manufactured in the USA.

    Here's how to follow them on Facebook!

    Here's how to follow them on Twitter!

    Shipping is free on orders over $50 AND it turns out that if you order these great products and enter my name (Kerrie McLoughlin) as your sales representative, I make a little cut on the whole deal, which means I can keep paying for my weekly Weight Watchers meetings :-)

    Monday, October 15, 2012

    $100 Target GC Giveaway 10/15-10/21

    The holidays are fast approaching and it would be great to get a jump start on your Christmas Shopping! Well, Tailor Made Momma is ready to help you out! We are giving away a $100 Target Gift Card to one lucky reader! Entering this giveaway is simple. Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below to be entered to win!

    This giveaway is open WW but note that the Gift Card is limited by Target rules and shipping!

    Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. The prize is being provided by Tailor Made Momma with additional funds coming from participating bloggers.

    Kerrie says: I love me some Tar-zhay! That's how we say it here in Kansas City so we sound all high class and stuff. Hope you win this! Thanks for entering my giveaways!" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

    KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway! 10/15-11/14

    Welcome to the Ultimate Kitchen Aid Mixer giveaway event! Why ultimate? Keep reading! Musings From a Stay At Home Mom and Fabulous Finds by Tiffany have teamed up with Only A Breath, Worthy of the Prize, The Mama Report, and Triple Braided along with more fabulous bloggers to sponsor this great prize!
    THE Prize:
    One lucky winner will receive their choice of color/style Kitchen Aid Artisan 5 Quart Stand Mixer with a value of up to $350 from Amazon!
    Enter below with the Rafflecopter form. You can come back everyday for the daily tweet option - that gives you a lot of extra entries!
    This giveaway ends on November 14, 2012 at 11:59 EST The winner will be picked randomly and will have 48 hours to respond by email before the prize is forfeited and a new winner is chosen.
    Open to the US and Canada*
    *If the winner is Canadian, they will be given a $350 gift card to be used toward the purchase of the mixer.
    Kerrie says: Win this one for me! My husband has been wanting a KitchenAid forever and I am in love with all the colors and would PROBABLY use it if I got one ;-) ... the problem is that I would be baking sweet stuff all the time and being tempted by it ... I'd have to give it away to friends and neighbors! What will you do with your KitchenAid if you win?
" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Friday, October 12, 2012

    Review: Halloween Printables by Python Printable Games

    Oh, how we love Halloween at my house. We always go to the trunk-or-treat at church, go trick-or-treating, hit some homeschool or other Halloween parties and more. Although we've never had a Halloween party at our house, this Python Printable Games Halloween pack I received to review makes me want to have a party!

    The Halloween Printables pack I received to review retails for $19.95. At the time of writing, it consists of so many great things to choose from for all ages: 
      Crafty Pumpkin Decorating Ideas
      Pin The Head On The Monster
      Werewolf Spot The Difference
      Halloween Costume Word Search
      Halloween Coloring Pages
      Halloween Synonyms For Kids
      Chew On This Candy Names Game
      Halloween Scavenger Hunt
      Halloween Memo Match For Kids
      Halloween Crossword For Kids
      Halloween Maze Game
      Escape From The Garden Left-Right
      Naughty Or Nice? Coloring Game
      Gross Facts Trivia
      Monster Mash-Up Charades
      Teen Terrors Mad Libs
      Chocolate Trivia
      Spooky Halloween Word Search
      Costume Party Paper Dolls
      I LEFT It RIGHT There! Left-Right
      Halloween Newlywed Game Questions
      Cubicle Chaos Mad Libs
      Spooky Slumber Party Mad Libs
      Fangs For The Memories Vampire Trivia
      Left In The Dark Left-Right
      The Grim Reaper Word Search
      Pirate Language Game
      Horror Movies Crossword
      Twisted Horror Movie Titles
      Stephen King Books and Movies Trivia
      Scary Synopsis Horror Movie Trivia
      Who's The Bad Guy? Trivia
      Halloween Picture Match Game
      Trick Or Treat Trivia
      Teen Twilight Crossword
      Who Am I? Halloween
      Name That Candy Bar Game
      Gross Cooties Trivia
      Pumpkin Picture Match Puzzle 

    Some games are suitable for just kids, some for teen to adult, and some for adults only. Others are suitable for mixed age groups. My husband loved the Stephen King books trivia sheet! My girls loved the paper dolls, and the little ones liked the coloring pages. And we have so many more to explore!

    It's also great that you can keep these games forever and reuse them on other occasions, so games that might not be useful now may come in handy later! 

    Check out their Baby Shower, Slumber Party, Thanksgiving and Birthday Party game packs, too, as well as others!

    FREE Fall printable downloads can be found at: Subscribers also get coupons and other fun freebies. 

    They have a SPECIAL MYSTERY coupon code running all through Fall: MYSTY. The percentage saved changes every few days! 

    I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

    Sunburnt After Sun Gel Giveaway!

    This post was originally published on 9/27/12, but then I found out that SunBurnt is sponsoring a giveaway on my little bloggy, so after you check out the review, please enter to win on the super cool, state-of-the-art, better-than-writing-names-on-a-piece-of-paper-and-picking-one-out-of-a-hat Rafflecopter!

    I'm usually pretty on top of things sunscreen-wise. Nobody wants to say they were responsible for letting FIVE little kids get sunburned. Alas, sometimes it happens. Joel has these cute stick-out cheeks that always burn a little right under his eyes no matter how much sunscreen stick we use. And once in Wyoming we weren't used to the high altitude (closer to the sun) and were playing by the river for longer than we meant to sans sunscreen and the kids were uncomfortable the rest of the day ... they got a little burned.

    To try to relieve their pain I rushed out and got some aloe vera gel. Big mistake. It made things worse. I know, because I was a little burned and the aloe vera gel STUNG, which I did not realize would happen!

    So when this Sunburnt After Sun Gel came along, I was skeptical. Then I tried it.

    First of all, it has no scent, so you know perfumey junk won't be getting on your already sensitive skin.

    Also, it is not sticky!!!!!!

    Finally, it is so gentle and does not sting!

    How could something homeopathic work so well? I don't know, but it does.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

     I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

    FUNNY Math Problems #4

    Here are parts ONE, TWO and THREE. Enjoy!

    1. I have 5 children. The first 3 are 22 months apart. Then there is a gap of 34 months, then the next 2 are 22 months apart. What is the probability that I've only had sex 5 times in my life?
    2. The kids made $35 at our recent garage sale during two days of hard work. The adults made about $25. Why do I keep having garage sales?
    3. I spent $123 at Aldi, $132 at Price Chopper and $21 at HyVee on grocery shopping for two weeks of eatin'. How much faster did I get my shopping done without children?
    4. A stroller travels at a speed of 2 mph when it is empty. How fast does it travel when it is holding my 6th child (laptop Toshiba) and my backpack with my cell phone in it? With how much force did it hit the park lake last week? Why the hell did I not have the brake on the stroller? (don't worry; no kids were in the stroller!)
    Hope you enjoyed this installment of Funny Math Problems. Have fun figuring out the answers and stay tuned for #5!

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    Prescription Sunnies for My Blind Husband! (Just Eyewear Review and Giveaway!)

    Today is all about my husband because it's our 14th wedding anniversary! If you had told me 14 years ago that today I would be going back to the animal shelter to get more stuff they forgot to send with us, to PetCo for dog supplies, homeschooling, squeezing in a shower, doing laundry, going to hang out with a group I created called Heathen Homeschoolers (the name is a joke), picking up take-out BBQ and heading to the park WHERE WE GOT ENGAGED and have never been back to (how romantic!) all with FIVE KIDS IN TOW, I would have told you ...

    "AWESOME! I can't wait! Bring it on because that sounds like us! Sounds like fun! Sounds like a bustling, loving household of the good kind of crazy! I'll take a ticket to that roller coaster ride!"

    Enough about our disgusting love. This is a review, dangit. And I am here to review the heck out of these awesome sunglasses Aron got from Just Eyewear. I think they are adorable on him and no more squinting for him in the sun, which we all know causes wrinkles. (sometimes I like to apply my wrinkle cream to his little eye area and he pretends like it hurts, but it is our little bonding thing and was that too much information?)

    Their glasses start at just $17.95. I'm a little embarrassed to say that I trotted my butt into Lenscrafters last year and got myself a pair of RayBan prescription sunglasses as a treat to myself for my 40th birthday. I'd never had prescription sunnies and had always wanted them so I just did it. I spent ... um, well, a lot. Okay, fine, they were in the neighborhood of $300. (like my font change?!)

    Aron got something he really wanted and the total was only around $88 (in all honesty, he got a $50 credit from Just Eyewear so we could do the review so he really only spent $38). He got a nice case and a tool to adjust the screws and a cleaning cloth. What a deal!

    We were surprised they were so cheap, seeing as how back in the day he wore Coke bottle thick lenses and to make those nice and thin for sunnies takes some doing. By the way, I am also practically blind, so I am allowed to make fun of my hubs, but if you do it I'll scratch your eyes out!

    Just Eyewear is sponsoring a giveaway here for a $50 credit for one winner (shipping is not included). From what I can see on their website, 50 bucks can get you a nice pair of sunnies or regular eyeglasses. Just enter on the Rafflecopter below and good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

    Halloween T-shirt Review and My 14th Anniversary!

    Today is Aron and Kerrie's 14th wedding anniversary (and about 17 years of being together), so I had to post a couple of pictures of my cute husband!

    I recently got this t-shirt in the mail to review from AM T-shirts, and we love it! We love funny around this house, and "333 Half Evil" is pretty cute. Above, Aron is giving one devil horn and a mean face. I think this is extra funny because Aron is an identical twin, so it's like he's half evil and his brother is half evil. Together they made quite the pair!

    Technical stuff:
    Aron says it fits very well and it didn't shrink like crazy when I washed and dried it. It's a comfy t-shirt! I might have to borrow it every now and then, like when I go to my Heathen Homeschoolers group Halloween party!

    Too much information stuff:
    I think he looks awesome in it. Like super hot. Smokin'!

    If you're looking for a True Blood Tee because you're just a fan of that show or something (the books came first, people!), AM T-shirts can hook you up there, as well! Based on the entries in the last True Blood giveaway I was in, I have some fans of that show out there!

    I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

    The Newest McLoughlin Baby

    Last Saturday we went to the Great Plains SPCA website to look for dogs and we found a super cute shih-tzu puppy named Snoopy Baby. By the time I got around to calling this morning about him, I was told he had an adoption pending and would be adopted tomorrow. We were bummed. Later I told Joel not to get too upset; that God would send us our doggie and we could always pray that the adoption would fall through.

    Right after I said that the phone rang. Turns out the family who was going to adopt Snoopy Baby chose another dog, so they still had Snoopy at the shelter from his foster home. They weren't technically open today, but did we want to come in and look at him?

    We got off the highway around 3 planning to check out our new dog and meet Aron to make sure he okayed it. We were met with this scene:

    As I'm waiting to cross the train tracks to get past all the police action, which was right in front of where we needed to be, the train bar starts closing above me and a train is all of a sudden on its way toward us. I had no choice but to go forward since there was someone behind me. I asked the police if we could get through and park and walk to the shelter to get our dog and they said yes. By the way, it's never good when the paramedics put up a tent around a "situation" ... yes, a woman died today due to not wearing a seat belt.

    So here we are trekking toward the shelter.

    At first nobody knew what we were talking about and Mama Bear was thinking inside, "You'd better find that dang dog. We've been waiting for years to have a dog and we are all excited and have chosen carefully." Then somebody knew what we were talking about. They opened a wooden gate and here he was! By the way, it's so sad walking through the grounds of an animal shelter with all the dogs wanting to go home with you. Michael had to cover his ears because the sounds of all the barking was tough for him to take.

    Here's Eva, already in love. YES, she is wearing undie pants!

    After getting the okay from Daddy, we plunked down a hefty amount of cash for our 2-months-old-today puppy dog. Snoopy Baby is a half hound, half shih-tzu. I don't know on what planet those two dogs have sex, but apparently it happened.

    Here ya go! I'm nervous for our first night with him. He's like having a baby all over again. Shots, food, treats, training, night waking and whining and making sure he doesn't get under the fence and into the road, collars and leashes and beds and toys and chewing things up and fleas and fur and don't-step-on-the-dog and ... I can't believe we finally have a doggie!

    Updated 10/10/12. We are in love! What a sweet baby! He is well-loved in this house. He gets to sleep on random children, treats when he potties outside, went to PetCo today and to the park for the afternoon. We picked up his care bag from his foster mom and it had food, a blanket, toys, a chewie and newspaper in it, which were all perfect! I'm hoping to friend her on Facebook so I can make sure we are continuing to care for Snoopy Baby how she did ... paper training, etc. I'm so happy we got a dog from a shelter ... he is our little friend.



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