Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Finished Book #2

So, I did finish my Book Club book, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. This was another wonderful book so I have to say that our Book Club is off to a very good start! This book is the love story between two people caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is beautifully written, weaving romance, family ties, mystery and social consciousness. I actually cried during the final chapters of the book…I don't know that I have ever cried while reading.  With this said, I would definitely recommend this book…..

Our next Book Club meeting is April 8th. If any of you have read this book and have thoughts that you would like to share prior to our meeting just let me know. I would love any feedback and would be more than happy to share our thoughts after the meeting.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nominated for Stylish Blogger Award!

Hope I am doing this right!

Thank you to Thy Word for nominating me for this award!!!!

In order to completely accept this award it is asked that one:

1. Thank and link back to the person that has given you this award.

2. Share seven things about yourself.

3. Award 10-15 blogs you feel deserve this award as well.

4. Contact these bloggers and let them know about the award.

So for seven things about myself:
1. I am happily married to my college sweetheart for almost 14 years
2. I have an insatiable addiction to frosting! I love cake!
3. I have a very aged dog…91 in dog years…she doesn't see or hear very well but is super sweet just the same
4. I underwent Fertility Treatment to have my 3 beautiful children and have so much love and appreciation for my Fertility Docs
5. I make a concerted effort to avoid engaging in idle gossip or judgemental conversations
6. I love to engage in handiwork around the house….I ride the tractor, rake leaves, stain decks, paint walls, fill holes, and hang pictures. I never want to be someone who is afraid to do things on their own. 
7. I love photography and truly enjoy taking pictures of my children and nature

Oh, there is so much more but these are 7 for now! Follow Me and you will learn all about my silly craziness!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth Hour!

Approximately 35 minutes until Earth Hour 2011 begins! Finished putting the kids to bed and am now wrapping up all technologically necessary chores and then am planning for the big "shut down". Will be turning off all lights, computers, TV's, stereo equipment, etc. Will be using no power during the hour except to run the monitors in my kids bedrooms.

I do believe in continually doing "my part" to conserve the environment and I believe this is one very small task that I can easily engage in. I hope that many of you will also make the same commitment. I look forward to finding out the impact Earth Hour 2011 will have in conserving energy!

To find out more check out National Geographic Daily News….Enjoy the quiet, peacefulness of being disengaged from everything technological!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Good Deed Of The Day: Girl Saves Sister, Loses Leg, Kidney

Girl, 9, nearly dies saving sister from oncoming truck She lost leg and broke her neck protecting 5-year-old: ‘She was too young to get hit’

Couldn't believe this story when I read it…what an amazing young girl! The love she has for her younger sister is so beautiful and inspirational. I believe all mothers hope to raise such strong and loving children…this is what makes our job so rewarding. Anaiah Tucker's mother should be so proud of the amazing child she has raised!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I took the Pledge

The Mom Pledge
I am a proud Mommy Blogger. I will conduct myself with integrity in all my blogging activities. I can lead by example.
I pledge to treat my fellow moms with respect. I will acknowledge that there is no one, "right" way to be a good Mom. Each woman makes the choices best for her family.
I believe a healthy dialogue on important issues is a good thing. I will welcome differing opinions when offered in a respectful, non-judgmental manner. And will treat those who do so in kind.
I stand up against online bullying. My blog is my space. I will not tolerate comments that are rude, condescending or disrespectful.
I refuse to give those who attack a platform. I will remove their remarks from my blog with no mention or response. I can take control.
I want to see moms work together to build one another up, not tear each other down. Words can be used as weapons. I will not engage in that behavior.
I affirm that we are a community. As a member, I will strive to foster goodwill among moms. Together, we can make a difference. 

I love this pledge because I believe in the rights of all people and this pledge aims at protecting those rights. I honor the rights of mothers everywhere to raise their children in ways that they see best as long as they are preserving the rights and well-being of their children. I promise to make my blog a peaceful environment for all to share their thoughts and concerns.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Did It!

Yes, I did it….I painted my bathroom! My last necessary indoor project before I can begin playing around in the gardens! Super excited especially since I just bought some new bulbs to plant! Thank you to an essential member of my village for getting my oldest daughter off the school bus so I could do it!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Donate to Japan

Donate to Japan Earthquake and Tsunami relief through Living Social. For each $5 donation that is made Living Social will contribute another $5. Even on a tight budget I can spare the $5 to help make things better for those living in the aftermath of the Earthquake in Japan. I encourage you to do the same.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Sweet Smell of Spring!

Yesterday and today have been absolutely spring-like here in Rhode Island! The air is warm, the sky is blue and the birds are chirping! We spent all yesterday and this morning in the great outdoors and I plan to rejoin it in an hour or so. Taking a short indoor break to get some things done in the house.

The kids have been riding their bikes, drawing with chalk and swinging on the swings. It has been so blissful! I have been in my happy place pulling weeds and surveying my gardens. I have discovered so much new growth and life. My perennials are all ready pushing themselves up from the ground like they can hear the sun calling their names. I find it is inspiring to witness the beauty and energy of nature!

I also feel a new sense of urgency to get my indoor projects completed…once Spring is in full force I will be spending very little time indoors! One more room inside needs painting before I can feel fully satisfied with my progress. Then it will be outdoors to complete new projects….and our list is definitely adventurous! We plan to power-wash and stain our deck, power-wash the house, paint the trim, paint the outsides of our doors, plant some new gardens and possibly even start an organic vegetable garden. Of course, some of these projects have been on our list for years but now that the kids are a little older we are able to accomplish much more. And because we have a well-established "village" we know there are people we can call on to help with the kids when needed.

A new trick to complete that endless to-do list…Pick one project a month. I learned this one from my neighbor. This is so much more do-able than just staring at a long laundry list of things you intend to finish but are overwhelmed to even start. Take your calendar (everyone needs one!) and write an intended task for the month. Do your best to complete it within the month but do not feel defeated if it runs into the next month. Just do your best to keep it going. And another trick my neighbor and I are working on…sharing child-duty one morning a week to get all those silly 5-minute jobs done, like hanging things, changing lightbulbs, cleaning windows. Maybe not really 5-minute jobs but all those extra jobs that are nearly impossible to get to amidst the regular chaos of the weekly routine.

So, I will keep you posted on my to-do list! But in the meantime I will definitely be enjoying the fresh-air with the family!!!!! Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Great Deal from Shutterfly!

Check out Groupon today for a great deal from Shutterfly. You can order a 20-page 8x8 Hardcover Photo Album for just $10! This is a $20 savings! I own more than one of these books. They are extremely easy to create on the Shutterfly website and the completed project is AWESOME! Plus if you are a MyPoints member you can receive 8 points per dollar on this deal. Just remember to go through your MyPoints account to get credited….

Give and Get is Here!

Give and Get is Here!: "Enjoy 30% off from March 17-20 at Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy plus we'll make a 5% donation to a non-profit." I LOVE this program. Not only am I able to save a decent amount of money on my kids spring wardrobes but I am contributing to a social cause while doing so. This time around I picked Teach For America. I chose this organization because I have become increasingly concerned with the current school system. There are other organizations to choose from depending on your own concerns/motivations.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Obama: Let's Fix 'No Child Left Behind' - The Daily Beast

Obama: Let's Fix 'No Child Left Behind' - The Daily Beast

Funny Thought

So I have this magnet on my refrigerator that says, "Cleaning the house when kids are growing is like shoveling snow when it's still snowing"! That pretty much sums up my whole day. My three small kids are like a moving tornado through my house! 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It Takes A Village

I often ponder my own difficulties and frustrations with raising my children. Child rearing is one of the most natural and beautiful life events a woman can experience yet there are times that I find myself completely incapable of this task. How can an experience so innate and wonderful be so difficult and perplexing at the same time?

I often wonder what is really important in my life and the lives of my children. I do believe that my life would be less complicated if there was no television in my living area and if my kids didn't have so many "things" at their disposal. I think it is easier at times for kids to sit in front of the television than to come up with more constructive uses for their time. I also feel that there would be far less time arguing if there were less things to argue over.

I think one of the biggest things I have discovered over the last couple of years is that it really does take a village to raise a child. Raising children is no easy task no matter how patient a person you are or how good you are at it. We are on the clock 24 hours a day, seven days a week and no matter what else we are doing in our lives this is by far the most important job we have.

I think in order to be most successful at raising our children we all need to find our own "village". This might be extended family, the neighborhood within which one lives or the Church to which one belongs. There are also Mom's Clubs, the YMCA, and other social organizations that exist in the community. My village includes my neighbor, mother-in-law, cousin and other mom's in the community. I call on my village to watch my children when needed, to help nurture and guide my children through different stages of development and to offer emotional support so I can vent frustrations and seek encouragement and advice from those I love and respect.

I feel that emotional and physical support from those around us is key in helping us be successful as both individuals and as parents. It is essential that we give and receive help with raising children. We need to take the time to exchange babysitting services, arrange play dates and social outings, share information, and exchange ideas. We need to not only be a source of support to those in our villages but also allow those in our villages to support us. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami Relief

As many of you are aware the Tsunami that hit Japan was one of the worst in history. As a result the people of Japan and surrounding areas are going to need much assistance with rebuilding their lives. I am sure that there will be many organizations reaching out to help the victims of this disaster. One such organization is Save The Children. I am sure every little bit they are able to collect will help the children and families who have been affected by this disaster.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rubbermaid Deal has the Rubbermaid 24-Piece Food Storage Set with Easy-Find Lids for $10.00. Free Shipping when you use Site-to-Store.

What do I love about this product? I love that the containers and lids stack together so that it is always easy to find them. I love that this is a reusable product and discourages the use of disposable products such as plastic bags. And according to the Rubbermaid website these containers are BPA-free, which means they are safer for you and your children.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

International Women's Day

Check out Ten Thousand Villages today for their Buy One Get One Half Off Sale in celebration of International Women's Day. This sale is limited to the 100 items you will see listed through this link. All 100 items were made exclusively by women!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Book Club Meeting

Sorry to keep you all in suspense.....the Book Club Meeting was WONDERFUL! We met at about 7pm and had a casual dinner that everyone contributed to. During dinner we caught each other up on what we are up to and the various goings on in the community...preschool and elementary school issues, children's libraries and recreational activities.

Following dinner we retreated to the Family Room area where we sat around a fireplace and began discussing our thoughts on the book The Help.  Everyone agreed that this is a wonderful book and we all enjoyed reading it very much. For some of us this is one of the best books we have ever read. We talked about the characters in the books, how we felt about the social climate of the time and the strength and characters of some of the women. It was a great conversation. Not just because I loved this book but also to have the opportunity to engage in meaningful grown-up conversation with other thoughtful and intelligent women. I SO needed this!

Following our discussion of The Help we began discussing possibilities for our next book. There are so many wonderful books out there to choose from. We looked to recommendations from other women in book clubs, Amazon recommendations, and the NY Times Bestseller Lists for inspiration. We were able to narrow the choices down to two pretty easily. We all were interested in either The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff or Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. After some deliberation we settled on Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Check out the link to find out more information about this book...It looks like a great read!

As soon as I went home that evening I reserved my copy through our local library in my continued quest to utilize community resources and save money. I haven't received it yet but am looking forward to having it in my hands soon.

So our next meeting is on April 8th. We will be bringing desserts to this meeting! YUM!

So anyway waiting until April 8th gives us plenty of time to read this book and also allow us time to read other books of personal interest. If any of you are interested in following along with this book club please let me know in the comment section. I will then follow-up with you all prior to the next meeting with any thoughts or discussions you would like for me to present to the group for you. I will then give feedback following the meeting. In the future maybe we can even have a representative of the group "Skype" with us during the meeting.  

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Peroxide vs. bleach: the greener alternative

I will admit that I definitely overuse bleach products. This is something that I have felt very guilty about in recent years so I was very happy to stumble upon this article. I am always looking for ways to accomplish everyday tasks in a more environmentally friendly way and I want to share what I learn with all of you. So please take a moment of your time to check out this article.

Peroxide vs. bleach: the greener alternative

Friday, March 4, 2011

Book Club Meeting

So, tonight is my first book club meeting and I am way excited. Our first book was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I absolutely LOVED this book. It was one of those books that you just do not want to put down. It had mystery, romance, friendship, and humor. It made me sad at times and angry at other times. Sometimes I even laughed out loud. It was a beautiful story.

So tonight I get to go and share my thoughts about this beloved book with some wonderful women friends. I am excited about re-living the story and re-feeling the emotions. I am also thrilled at the opportunity to share good food and discussion with some amazing women.

Tonight we will also choose our next book. I look forward to a new adventure and cannot wait to get started. I will keep you updated on the books we read and let you know my personal thoughts on them for any of you looking for a good read......

Good night...I am off .....

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy March!

This is the month of new beginnings! In a mere 21 days Spring will be here....I cannot wait! I can almost smell the fresh air and feel the warm breezes. Soon we will discover new growth emerging from the ground and sprouting from the branches.

There is nothing like Spring to give me a renewed sense of well-being. It is a time for re-energizing and re-connecting. There is nothing I enjoy more than hikes in woods or walks in the neighborhood exploring new life with my children. Whether it be tadpoles in a pond or baby bunnies in the yard... it is exciting! I love watching the looks of awe of my children's faces as they explore, discover, and just plain experience nature.

It is also the time for sidewalk chalk, sandboxes and playgrounds and dragging out the bikes, scooters and frisbees! There is a limitless supply of activities to participate in on warm spring days. Let us say goodbye to cooped up boredom and feelings of listlessness.

So for those of you in the throes of winter I encourage you to hang in there. Complete all those indoor winter projects and restock your outdoor supplies of chalk and bubbles because time is certainly running out! Spring is on the horizon and oh how I cannot wait!