You know those quick, “I’ll be right in and out” trips to the store that we all try to make? Yeah. They rarely go as planned. Tonight, we ran in for a case for my new iPhone 6 and some nail polish (I’m obsessed with the new Sally Hansen Gel line) and we walked out 45 minutes and $100 later. Geez. Last week I ran in for batteries and came out with a patio. Kind of.
I lived in my apartment for 7 months and haven’t taken the time to put a single thing on the deck. I’m not sure what made me thing about it while I was in the store or if I just wandered into the patio/outdoor department, but before I knew it, I had a chair. And then a table. And I couldn’t leave the table empty or sit in a chair without a cushion. Sigh.
Then there were the candles and the bird. I mean, I couldn’t leave the table empty. The wine, I already had that in the fridge. I think it’s kinda cute. It was definitely cheaper than buying a big patio set that wouldn’t get used by anyone other than me. And I very much enjoyed sitting on my deck, drinking my wine by candlelight, wrapped in a blanket. It’s still kind of chilly here.
Well, I might not be the only one enjoying the deck after all…
For the most part, Wednesday was a pretty normal day. I got up, showered, went to work, left for lunch, sat in a meeting with the President of the United States, got my hair colored, had dinner and went to bed. What? You want me to back up to the part about the POTUS?
Back up to last Saturday. On Saturday, I got an email from BlogHer, one of the amazing networks of women I belong to, telling me that our fearless leader – Lisa Stone was going to be in Charlotte on Wednesday for a “town hall” meeting on issues affecting working women. I wanted to go, but I couldn’t justify skipping out on work on such short notice. On Sunday, I got another email basically telling me the POTUS would be the speaker! What?! I spent the day Sunday thinking “there’s no way to pull this off”, Monday debating whether I should push my boss for the afternoon off, and Tuesday explaining to my boss that regardless of political affiliation, there is no way to pass on sitting down to chat with the President of the United States. Oh, yes. I was going!
I left work at noon, met up with some other blogger friends who were invited as well, and stood outside in the cold, wet weather to go through security. We had to be through security and into the room where the meeting was happening by 1:45. The POTUS was scheduled to arrive at 3. We used the wait to get to know some of the other invitees, catch up with each other, and attempt to make our Secret Service agent smile. (It was hard work, and took a lot of effort, but we managed a smile and even made him blush!)
The shear volume of cameras and lights surrounding us was staggering. We knew the meeting was being live streamed, but wow!
When 3 pm rolled around, Lisa took the mic and we were off! After I missed my chance to see the President speak at the DNC a few years ago, I never thought I’d have the chance again. To sit in the same room with the Commander in Chief is a privilege and honor, regardless of your political affiliation. The Office of the President of the United States deserves respect. Period. Just ask the ladies who were with me. There were quite a few Republicans in the mix and even they will tell you that the experience was quite amazing.
There is no question that the man is a wonderful speaker. No question at all. He took questions from the audience, rolled with microphone issues and even jumped in to make sure the few women with fussy babies knew that he heard them, but wasn’t bothered by them in the least. Most importantly, he answered the questions that were posed to him the best he could. Not all the answers were answers that everyone liked, but that’s the way it works. You can’t make everyone happy.
One thing we discussed that really stuck with me was teacher pay, specifically here in North Carolina. If you are an NC teacher, know an NC teacher or just keep up with teaching/education news in general, you know that teachers pay – especially in NC – is terrible. In fact, I don’t think terrible covers it. Clearly, neither does the POTUS. Even he said you can’t get much worse than NC. That made me incredibly sad. Incredibly. I’ll have a whole separate post on that topic coming soon, but I wanted to touch on it here as being one of our topics because I feel like teacher pay and providing a good education for our children isn’t a Republican issue, it isn’t a Democratic issue, it’s a human issue – much like most of the other topics we covered in the #ObamaTownHall meeting.
I guess where I’m going with all of this is that sometimes we should take a step back, forget about being a Republican or a Democrat and just be a human. Be intelligent, educated, humans – looking out for our kids (you know, the ones who will run this country someday) – and take a moment to look at the bi-partisan issues and do what we can to work together and make things happen!
Want to read more about #ObamaTownHall and what some of the other attendees thought? Check out these posts:
I don’t feel like I will need to say much about the cuteness which you are about to witness, just that at least 1 – if not 2 – of these little critters will be living with us in about 4 weeks. We’re just waiting on them to wean and be ready to leave their mama, then it’s off to Casa Rippy for us to love them, pet them and call them George. Not really. We haven’t decided on a name or two yet.
Anyway, here is the cuteness overload you’ve been waiting for…
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Finish® Max In One™. All opinions are mine alone. #ShowMeTheShine #CollectiveBias
I love to give gifts, but sometimes I really struggle with choosing what to give the person who has everything. Most of my girlfriends are huge fans of wine, so we often gift each other with wine or new wine glasses for special occasions. I decided to try my hand at something new… hand-painted wine glasses.
I try to make my gifts personal, something with meaning for the recipient. Hand-painting your own wine glasses will let you make something as personal as you want it for your recipient. Maybe you paint a phrase that has a meaning for you, or maybe a funny saying. Maybe they love roses, or sunflowers or bunnies? The possibilities are endless, and it’s so much easier than you think!
First things first, you need your supplies:
Step 1 – It’s super important to start with exceptionally clean glasses, so I run my glasses through a dishwasher cycle with Finish® Max In One™ that I picked up at Target. Let your glasses dry thoroughly before you begin the painting process.
Step 2 – Layout your design, or decide to go at it free-handed. You don’t necessarily have to put your design on paper, but having a good clear idea of where you’re headed will make the process a whole lot easier.
Step 3 – Paint! Start slow and don’t be in a rush. The best thing to do is find a place where you can leave your supplies set out for a few days and do this a little at a time. It gives your paint a chance to dry between payers/coats and allows you to add depth to your painting by layering lighter colors on top of darker colors. See how I used lighter colors to highlight the sunflower petals?
Step 4 – Once completely dry – at least 24 hours after your last painting – you want to use the oven to set the paint. Place your glass(es) on a foil lined baking sheet and put them in a cold oven. Turn the oven on at 350° and let it heat for 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the glass inside for another 10 minutes to cool before removing it from the oven.
Viola! Your hand-painted wine glasses are done and ready to gift! You can grab everything you need for this project and Save 5% on NEW! Max in ONE & Quantum Max Small Size 3/29-4/25 at Target using Cartwheel. I love that Finish® Max In One™ always leaves my glasses clean, streak and spot free and never damages the glass. You can win a Target gift card in the Finish® #ShineAndProtect Giveaway near the bottom of this post! (Must be 18+ to win.)
Do you love giving and receiving handmade gifts? What’s your favorite? Has trying hand-painted wine glasses been on your crafting to-do list?
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PurellWipes #CollectiveBias
In North Carolina, we go from frozen precipitation to pollen dust storms in a matter of a week. Our temperatures can jump from lows in the upper 20s to highs near 80 in a few days. Here in NC, you might build a snow man and have a picnic by the lake in the same week. We have to be prepared to be outside whenever the weather decides to allow, and after a long Winter being shut up inside with the kids, I’m ready to soak up all of the sunshine I can!
For my kids, being outside means being dirty, being messy, being kids! Dirty, messy kids are germy kids – and we’ve had our fair share of germs this winter. I’m not about to spend my Spring with sick kids if I can help it. While cold season is slowing down, there are plenty of other germs to go around. To practice good hand hygiene, you need the right products at the right time. PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes are perfect for those moments when you need to both clean and sanitize your hands.
Easter was kind to us this year and we were able to have our traditional Easter egg hunt and cookout outside instead of being trapped in doors. The boys ran around and played with their dart guns and the girls picked flowers and played with dolls while we got lunch ready. Dart guns changing hands, flowers that have been touched by animals that will never be known, snotty noses wiped on arms…the kids needed a clean up before they could even thing about touching food.
After lunch, it was time for the egg hunt. The older kiddos were really helpful with the younger kids (though I did give them $10 each for hiding eggs and helping the little ones instead of hunting for eggs themselves.) Of course, the most important thing on everyone’s minds was getting into the candy! It was a nice, warm, 75 degree day. In the sun, the chocolate bunnies didn’t fair too well. That did not slow the boys down one bit. Look at that floppy bunny! Time for more PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes. They are even gentle enough to wipe the chocolate mess off little guy’s mouth.
While other people are Spring cleaning their homes, I’m Spring cleaning my kids! It’s not fun unless it’s messy, right?
Wipe out Germs on Hands and Start your Spring Clean! You can find PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes in a NEW spot in your local Walmart – the household cleaning aisle! You can save $1.00 on any Purell® Wipes canister or save $1.oo on any two Purell® products by visiting this site. Grab your coupon now before they’re gone! These wipes are great to stash in your car for life’s unexpected messy moments. PURELL® also has a brand loyalty program you can check out on their site.
Stay Well Together and pass the PURELL® products. What do you have planned with your family this summer that might leave you in an unexpectedly messy situation? Do you have a vacation, outing or other fun activity planned that might leave you needing someone to pass the PURELL® products? A trip hiking, an outing at the petting zoo or maybe just a trip to the ice cream shop…don’t forget to pack the PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes.
Today’s post is sponsored by Acorn Influence and it’s advertiser, SC Johnson. That just means that I get a little something for writing a unique article that readers can enjoy and that SC Johnson can stand behind. If you’re decorating your mantle for Spring, I hope you find it useful. #SmellsClean
Until I moved into my apartment last year, I’ve had a fireplace everywhere I’ve lived for my entire adult life. Having a mantle to decorate has just been a part of my routine. I knew the first time I walked my apartment that I would add a mantle to the wall at some point. Finally, just before Christmas (like, literally Christmas Eve) I got myself together and built a mantle. The kids and I have had fun decorating with little things here and there, but my Spring mantle setup is my first real chance to decorate for the seasons.
Use the colors of the season, whatever those might be to you. Spring makes me think of bright vivid greens and small wild flowers that grow in the lawn before the first cut of the year. Instead of going crazy with colors, I stick to one or two primary colors, use varying shades, and add black and white accents.
Mix old with new. If you buy all new decorations for each season, you’ll spend a fortune! I pulled down my Christmas wreath, the same one that was also my Halloween wreath and a Spring wreath before that, and wrapped it with some messy burlap type material, added flower springs, repainted my white monogram and done. I invested a total of $5 and about 15 minutes. Plus, when I’m tired of it, or ready for something new, I will just pull it down, repainted the monogram, cut off the burlap and change it up again!
Incorporate scent into your décor. No matter how pretty a place may be, if it smells bad, you won’t want to be there. Scent has a HUGE impact on our perceptions and memories of places and times in our lives, and with the massive variety of scents available in the Walmart air care aisle, there is something for everyone and every season. Glade has several candle options that not only smell great when lit, but smell great all the time!
Layer textures to create visual interest. I pulled down some of the flower sprigs and burlap-like material from my wreath to add some depth to the mantle and a little visual interest. The burlap material has a little shimmer to it, so to balance that out, I added the glass containers with shattered green glass shards.
See something you like? Copy it! There is no shame in reproducing a picture in your own home from a book, magazine, or website. Seriously. When photographers publish images of designs (or when I post pictures of crafts, etc), we know people are going to copy it. In fact, that’s what we hope for! Don’t copy it and take credit for the design, but make it yourself and tell everyone where you got the cool idea.
How do you decorate for Spring? Do you have a mantle you change out decorations on each season or are you a “year round” look kind of decorator?
This post is sponsored by Netflix. As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam, I receive complimentary Netflix streaming. We were Netflix customers for years before becoming members of the #StreamTeam. All opinions are mine and mine alone.
We all know how it goes when mom doesn’t feel well… The world comes to an end! Well, not exactly. It does usually mean that everyone needs mom more than normal. Being a single parent makes things even more interesting. Who takes care of mom and everyone else? Mom, of course!
Mom was feeling pretty rough this weekend. After sleeping at a birthday party Saturday (yes, that did really happen), I wanted to do nothing more than park myself on the couch and not move. The only way to make that happen was with a Family Movie Night! One of my favorite things in my apartment? My Smart TV. What makes it the most awesome? Netflix.
The kids and I parked on the couches, pulled up Netflix, checked out recent releases in the “family” category and settled on Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2. We were all big fans of the original, and the sequel didn’t disappoint. I got some rest, the kids got some entertainment and we all got some “together” time.
What do you do when mom goes down? Do you like to snuggle up with your kiddos and watch a movie or do you have another trick up your sleeve?
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #JustAddRotel #CollectiveBias
Great Savings on RO*TEL at Walmart!
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Click this link http://cbi.as/4wqx to print a Walmart coupon where you buy 3 cans of RO*TEL, you will get 1 can free!
Hurry, this coupon expires on April 6th and is only while supplies last!
Be sure to look for RO*TEL in either the Pasta or Hispanic aisle in Walmart!
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and it’s advertiser, Purina® Pro Plan®. All opinions are mine alone. #ProPlanPet #CollectiveBias
To say that Fenway is an active pup would be an understatement. That Border Collie never stops! He’s true to his roots with the desire to run and herd, and will even herd the kids if they run around with him outside. He will play ball longer than any one human can tolerate and is always ready for a walk or a run. His energy knows no bounds!
Well, almost never. I can get him to lay down on the couch or bed for about a minute, then he’s up and moving again. We practice “sit” and “stay” a lot. He’s had “come” down for a while. “Roll over” is the newest task we’re trying to master, but he’s a little resistant to being on his back, plus he’s a big boy and that’s a lot of fur to flip around. My kids really want him to learn “roll over” because they think it’s funny to watch him wave his long, spider legs up in the air as he uses them to propel himself from one side to the other.
When Fenway came to live with us, he came with a bag of tennis balls, two soccer balls, a food bowl and a bag of Purina® Pro Plan®. Being a big, active boy, Fenway needs a food that fits his active lifestyle and isn’t full of fillers. My boy needs meat! I know it and Fenway’s previous owner knew that too! That’s why we’re a Purina® Pro Plan® family.
The first ingredient in Purina® Pro Plan® dry formulas is meat – Real chicken, beef, lamb or salmon! Fenway loves the Shredded Beef. It’s his favorite! Purina® Pro Plan® was the first dry dog food brand to use and be founded on the idea of real meat as the #1 ingredient to help promote total body health. Every high quality ingredient is chosen for a specific purpose.
“Can I have it now, mama?” I have no proof of this, but I swear that Purina® Pro Plan® is what keeps Fenway’s coat as shiny as it is. Fenway’s previous owner swore by it too. I so glad we stuck with Purina® Pro Plan®. We use our shopping trips to PetSmart (the only place we shop for our pet supplies) to practice “sit”, “stay” and other commands. Ultimately I not only want Fenway to know my commands and to obey them, but to be able to do it when distractions abound. The staff at our PetSmart has always been friendly and welcoming when we come in together. Fenway can be a little “bull in a china shop” sometimes, but he’s quick to settle down after a friendly pet or a little treat from the cashier.
Want to make the switch for your pup? Visit the Purina® Pro Plan® MyPLAN website to get your dog’s MyPLAN recommendation and a rebate offer for a free bag of Purina® Pro Plan® Dry Dog Food (4-6lbs, up to $18.99.) Good only in U.S.A. A.P.O’s, F.P.O’s. Void where taxed, prohibited, restricted. Allow 6-8 weeks for shipment. LIMIT ONE REQUEST PER INDIVIDUAL, ADDRESS, or EMAIL ADDRESS. Offer expires 04/30/2015. See full terms.
Does your pet know basic commands or have any cool tricks? Fenway can give wonderful hugs and loves to shake hands. What tricks do your pets do?
It may only be Tuesday evening, but every week has felt incredibly long lately. Some of the guys at work have been talking about this new Crown Royal flavor that’s been out for a bit, but is incredibly hard to find… apple. I am not a big fan of whiskey in general, but the guys were speaking so highly about it that I had to find a bottle. I went on a mission, and after a few failed attempts, success!
First off, yes… it is delicious straight over ice. But as I was sipping it, I decided to get wild and crazy and make a cocktail. With a little tweaking, it was perfect… a definitely a little more refined that drinking straight whiskey (but I do recommend trying it over ice as well.)
This cocktail is smooth, sweet and just a bit savory… like a salted caramel apple!