July Ipsy Glam Bag Reveal

A few months ago, I told you guys about some of the cool subscription boxes I had heard about, both through referrals and advertising on the web.  Ipsy {that’s my referral link} was one of the first subscription boxes I signed up for, and three months in, I couldn’t be happier.

Ipsy July Glam Bag ReviewBack in May, I posted a “reveal” of my first Ipsy Glam Bag.  I never got around to posting my June Ipsy Glam Bag reveal, even though it was just as awesome as my May Glam Bag (and I may share it at some point this month anyway.)  So today, before July slips away, I wanted to share my July Ipsy Glam Bag!

Tints and Sass Lip and Cheek Stain - MamaMommyMomTints & Sass Fabulous Lip and Cheek Stain (Cherry)

I haven’t tried this yet on my cheeks, but I love the color on my lips!  It goes on really thin, ultimately ‘staining’ your lips rather than sitting on them.  The downside was that the color didn’t hold up well to eating/drinking.  I definitely wish the wear was longer lasting.  I do look forward to trying it on my cheeks though.  I think it will give a nice, flushed look without looking like makeup.

Nailtini Nail Polish Ipsy Glam Bag Review - MamaMommyMomNailtini Nail Lacquer (Mango Rita)

I’m not generally much of a polish kind of girl, mostly because I sort of suck at making it look good, but I was very happy with the Nailtini Nail Lacquer in my July Ipsy Glam Bag.  The polish went on smooth, dried fast and covered well (especially for a lighter color) in two coats.  I will definitely be ordering this brand in a few additional colors in the very near future.  (Also, the polish itself more than paid for the cost of my Glam Bag for the month!)

Bare Minerals Eye Color - MamaMommyMomBare Minerals 5 in 1 Cream Eye Shadow (Divine Wine)

While the particular color I received is a little dark for me, the product itself is amazing!  the texture and coverage are perfect and the pigmentation is wonderful.  I’ve never been good at wearing darker eye colors, but I’m going to figure out a way to make this one work.

Clear Clinic Clear Spot Treatment - MamaMommyMomClear Clinic Vanished Clear Spot Treatment

This is the first of two products in my July Ipsy Glam Bag that I have not had a chance to try yet.  At $35 for the full-size product, I have high hopes for my 2 ml sample size.  Ironically, I’ve had a few spots pop up today and we leave for vacation tomorrow.  *Gasp*  It’s time to pull this out and hope it works its magic!

Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil Ipsy Glam Bag - MamaMommyMomHang Ten Dark Tanning Oil

The other product in my July Ipsy Glam Bag I haven’t had the chance to try is this tanning oil.  I’m headed to the beach tomorrow though, and it’s packed in my bag!  I’ll come back and update my findings after I give it a test run on the beach!

Try Ipsy!

I have personally loved getting my glam bag in the mail every month.  It’s so fun to try new products and have a growing collection of fun things to spice up my normal beauty routine.  If you want to give Ipsy a try, I’d love for you to check them out through my referral link: http://www.ipsy.com/r/8eyr

Are in of the products in my July Ipsy Glam Bag in your makeup bag too, or are there any you’d like to add to your own collection?

Posted in Beauty & Fashion | 5 Comments

Running on Zero { Altra Zero Drop Running Shoes }

I had racked up some miles on my New Balance 880 V2s and, I though I’ve never been good at keep track of the exact miles on my shoes, I was starting to feel pain in my shins again.  With Cooper River looming, I knew that would be my last real run in my NBs and the official hunt for a replacement began.  Enter the concept of Zero Drop.

Altra Zero Drop Trail ShoesLike most runners, I have a few issues I struggle with.  First, I’ve always had trouble with shin splints, but especially when my shoes start to get worn.  For me, it’s a tell-tell sign that I need to replace them, and the pain in my legs in March was the call to action.  Initially, I was just planning to get another pair of New Balance 880s.  I had been happy enough with them and the price was right.  Before I made the buy, I decided to do some reading online about my options.  I don’t even remember what I searched for specifically, but I ended up stumbling across Altra’s website.

New Altra Zero Drop Running Shoes ReviewThe foot shaped toe box was enough to draw me in.  A wider toe box was why I had ended up with the New Balance 880s over many other options I’d tried.  When I started reading about the Zero Drop soles, that’s when I decided to order a pair.  Zero Drop means that the soles are the same thickness at the heel as they are at the forefoot.  I had always felt pitched forward in running shoes.  I absolutely loathe that feeling.  According to what I read, Zero Drop would eliminate that, improve my foot strike and reduce the overall impact on my body.  Sign me up!

Muddy Altra Zero Drop Running Shoes ReviewI ordered a pair of The One.  The were definitely a little “louder” than my old 880s, but at least I wouldn’t have to be worried about getting lost in the dark.  I knew after my first short run that these shoes were for me.  They were light, breathable, and incredibly comfortable – both when running and just walking around.  I had no pain from my shoe change, and running with Zero Drop felt so much more natural than it ever has in any other shoes.

Altra Zero Drop Running Shoes ReviewMy longest outing in The Ones so far has been 10 miles.  They were some of the most comfortable miles ever – even after trudging through knee high water in them.  Did I mention how breathable and quick drying they are?  Most of my running has always been urban – streets, sidewalks, the occasional greenway… but, I’ve really started to branch out and enjoy trails a lot more since Fenway came to live with us, so it only felt natural to get a pair of Zero Drop trail shoes…

Altra Zero Drop Trail Shoes ReviewThe Lone Peak trail running shoes from Altra are Zero Drop and have these neat, almost cleat-like, soles that push rocks toward the mid-sole, making your trail run much more comfortable.  My favorite, favorite feature of these shoes though is the descent rudder.  The descent rudder saved my butt no less than three times on my muddy trail run yesterday.  This super awesome little piece of rubber keeps you from wiping out when your foot slips out as you run downhill.  It gives you a quick catch and a little chance to regain your footing.

Altra Zero Drop Running Shoes Review Well LovedAs far as durability goes, I’ve kind of put these shoes through the wringer, and they’ve held up amazingly!  If you’re looking for a new running shoe, definitely give Altra Zero Drop a try.  Oh, and if you worry about ordering shoes you’ve never tried, Altra has a 30 day, no questions asked return policy – worn or unworn – so you can order a pair, give them a go, and send them back if they’re not for you!

Posted in Reviews, Running | 2 Comments

Your Questions About My Life Answered – Part 2 {The Ask & Answer Series}

Last week, I gave our Facebook followers a chance to ask me a question about my life, blogging, or pretty much anything that peaked their curiosity.  The response was great and I answered the first part of the questions in an earlier post.  Today I’m going to cover the second half of the questions about me and my life!  The remainder of the questions, all blogging related, will be answered next week.  Here we go!

What’s your favorite kitchen tool? – Nola C.

Even though I only use it once or twice a year, my favorite kitchen tool has to be my my Apple Peeler, Corer, Slicer from Pampered Chef.  I love that thing!

My LIfe - Making MemoriesWhat’s your favorite memory with your kids? – Allison R.

I don’t know that I have a favorite memory with my kids.  Is that bad?  They are only 5 and 7 and I think my favorite memories with them will be constantly changing for the next several years.

What’s your favorite recipe? – Kayla J.

I have this Chicken Crunch Casserole recipe I got through one of my eMeals meal plans and it is my absolute favorite thing right now… and has been for about the last year.  It’s SO good.  It has curry in it.  YUMMY!

What’s the best recipe for fruit salad? – Lindsay A.

Would you believe that I don’t have a fruit salad recipe?  Honestly, I just love watermelon and cantaloupe cut up and sprinkled with a little salt.  If I have a warm biscuit to eat with it, even better!

What are your summer vacation must-haves? – Stephanie S.

Ok, don’t think I’m crazy, but my Crock Pot and my Keurig are must haves on vacation!  Without coffee, no one would be safe and the Crock Pot makes dinner so much easier!

What is your dream car? – Amy S.

A convertible.  I’m really not picky.

My life - Splurging on StarbucksWhat’s your favorite splurge? – Cindy D.

Starbucks.  I am frugal about most things, but I can drop $20 on Frapps for the family and not think twice about it.

What are your favorite blogs to read on a regular basis? – Kelley C.

There are too many to list here, so I think I’m going to have to do a separate post on this!

What is your favorite family vacation spot? – Kristin M.

We visit the same place every year – Oak Island, NC.  We absolutely love it there!

Are you married and does your husband ever say you spend too much time online? – Tracy R.

Yes and yes.  I’ve been married for 14 (almost 15) years and I hear on a near constant basis that I am on the computer too much.

What’s for dinner and what time should we be there? – Candy H.

Tonight we had the aforementioned Chicken Crunch Casserole with rice.  Dinner is usually served around 6:30.  Come over any time!

What’s the weirdest thing someone has ever said to you? – Aprille S.

I once had someone say to me (while I was pregnant with my daughter) that they hoped I knew what it felt like to loose a child one day.  There’s a hugely long back story with that, but it will always be the weirdest, most shocking thing anyone has ever said to me.

What is your “real” job? – Amy D.

I work in finance and accounting.

What’s your favorite TV show? – Maureen G.

I don’t think I have one favorite.  I bounce from thing to thing.  I’m anxiously awaiting the new seasons of Sons of Anarchy and Scandal.

How did you and your hubby meet? – Rachael C.

We met at work.  He was one of the bosses.  He had to quit his job after we started seriously dating.

My LIfe - Being A Dog PersonAre you a cat person, dog person or both? – Stephanie T.

I would say both (since we do have three dogs and a cat), but I’m probably more a dog person.

What is your favorite type of sushi? – Tena S.

All of it?  Really, anything with salmon or tuna.  I especially love spicy rolls.

How do you cope with summer vacations?  Do you plan them in detail months in advance or just go along with whatever happens? – Elisa D.

We go to the same place, during the same week, every year.  So, that part is pretty easy.  What we do on vacation is pretty relaxed and go with the flow.  Lots of beach time and usually a trip to the aquarium, and stuff like that.

When you have had a long/bad day, what is your go to stress reliever. – Brooke J.

It depends.  If the situation allows, I love to go run.  Sometimes that isn’t always possible, so I might grab a book or disappear into Facebook for a while.

If you could suggest one book to us to read this summer, what would it be? – Nikki K.

My most recent “must-read” would be Gone Girl, though I am about half way through The Fault In Our Stars and I think that’s a must read too.

Where is your favorite place to shop for you? – Ginnie W.

GAP.  It’s my favorite place for dresses and jeans.  Though, lately the bulk of my wardrobe has been through Stitch Fix.

What’s a must-do with your kids this summer? – Arlene F.

I’ve got to teach the boy to ride his bike without training wheels.  Oy.  Outside of that, we try really hard to take it easy through the summer.

What’s your favorite refreshing summer drink? – Christa M.

My White Wine Sangria, of course!

What do you do for “me time” (if that ever happens!)? – Becky Y.

I love to read, I am a runner and have recently acquired a mountain bike.  I really love being outside, so I try to take advantage of my me-time by getting out as much as possible.

What’s the one beauty item you can’t leave the house without? – Lena B.

I need lipstick, lip gloss or lip stain.  It’s just one of those things for me.  I can have a completely naked face, but I need something on my lips!

So, there’s a little more about me.  Tell me something about you!  Pick one of the questions I answered and share your own answer with me in the comments.

Posted in Life in General | Leave a comment

Set Up A Summer Tea Bar #TrendTea #Shop

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone and are not influence by #CollectiveBias or Bigelow Tea.

Summer Tea Bar - Bigelow Tea - MamaMommyMom -#shop #trendteaNothing says Summer quite like a big, tall glass of iced tea.  Black, green, sweet or not – there’s a certain refreshment found in it, no matter how you like yours.  There’s no better way to cool off on a hot summer day than to set up a tea bar to share a little summer refreshment with your family and friends!

Bigelow Tea Bar - MamaMommyMOm - #Shop #TrendTeaSetting up a tea bar doesn’t have to be complicated.  If you can boil water and rinse some fruit, you’re good to go!  You can make your tea bar as fancy or as casual as you like, the most important thing is that you start with a great tea.

Bigelow Tea at Target - MamaMommyMom #trendtea #shopFirst things first, I hit up Target for my supplies.  I needed Bigelow Tea, both black and green and some fresh fruit.  Bigelow offers a variety of flavored teas, but I wanted to let my guests chose their own flavors, so simple black and green teas were perfect.

Bigelow Tea - Green Tea - Black Tea - MamaMommyMom - #Shop #TrendTeaThis tea is packaged for individual cups, but you can easily brew it a gallon at a time.  For a gallon, I simply boiled a few cups of water, added 10 tea bags, allowed them to steep covered for 10 minutes, then poured it into my pitcher and added ice.  As the ice melts, you can add more until you end up with a full gallon.  I prefer to do it this way as opposed to just adding water because as the ice melts, it helps really cool the tea down.

Lemon Mint Green Tea - MamaMommyMom - #Shop #TrendTeaYou can really go crazy with your mix in options or you can stick to some simple favorites.  We had fresh cherries, blackberries (from our backyard), raspberries, peaches, citrus fruits, honey, sugar and fresh mint (also from the garden.)  Guests can grab a glass, add their favorites, give them a little mush with a spoon to release the juices and add the tea of their choice.  This blackberry, mint and peach was fantastic in green tea with just a pinch of sugar.

Summer in a Glass - MamaMommyMom - Tea Bar - #Shop #TrendTeaA simple printed suggestion list is an easy way to help your guests along in choosing their flavor combinations.  Honey, lemon and mint is another excellent combination.  My personal favorite was cherries, honey and black tea.  There’s no need to pit the cherries… the pits will just hang in the bottom of the glass and are too large to worry about sucking up in your straw.

Summer Tea Bar Fun - MamaMommyMom - #Shop #TrendTeaOur tea bar was clearly a post pool affair, one that my daughter absolutely loved!  Instead of having a lemonade stand, she wants to set up a tea bar by the street and sell glasses of tea to passers by.  Instead of being trendy, she wants to #TrendTea.  I love her entrepreneurial spirit, but for now I want to keep our tea bar to ourselves.

Do you ever set up fun drink stations at your parties or backyard gatherings?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on our tea bar and your ideas for making it your own.  Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!  In the mean time, you can check out Bigelow Tea through a variety of social media channels and enter their Made in the USA Sweepstakes:

Bigelow Tea Website

Bigelow Tea on Facebook

Bigelow Tea on Twitter

Posted in Food, Party Ideas | 16 Comments

A Dark Room, A Good Night Snack And An Epic Family Movie Night { #goodnightsnack #cbias #shop }

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions shared are mine and mine alone (except maybe those shared by my daughter – she loves a good night snack!) and are in no way influenced by #CollectiveBias or its advertiser.  Happy snacking!

Family Movie Night Fun - MamaMommyMom - #GoodNightSnack #ShopIt’s not often that I find myself completely alone in Walmart.  No kids, no husband and no one else on the cereal aisle.  For 10 AM on a Saturday, I was a little surprised.  I’m not complaining though… it was bliss being able to stand in the cereal aisle alone and take my time picking the perfect #goodnightsnack for our family movie night.  With so many choices, choosing just one seemed silly, so I decided we would set up a movie snack bar and mix it up with all of our favorites.

Family Movie Night Snack Shopping  - MamaMommyMom - #GoodNightSnack #ShopThere’s nothing quite like watching a movie in a dark theater.  During the winter, waiting until after dark to start our movies at home and create that “movie theater” feel is easy.  In the summer, not so much.  July in the South means it’s 9 PM of after before it’s truly dark in any room inside our house… but it’s always dark in the garage!  A dark room, a good night snack and the movie of your choice are all you need for an epic family movie night.

Family Movie Night Dark Room - MamaMommyMom - #GoodNightSnack #ShopWith electronics being lighter and more portable, bringing a TV and DVD player into the garage was easy peasy!  With the lights off, it was totally dark and the perfect spot for movie watching.  Bonus: The acoustics are great too!

Family Movie Night Snacks - MamaMommyMom - #GoodNightSnack #ShopBefore starting our movie, we set up a fun fabulous snack bar with all of our favorite Kellogg’s cereals.  Cereal gets chucked into the “breakfast food” category far too often, but I am a 24 hour a day cereal lover and will easily chose it for lunch, dinner or snacks over most other choices.  My daughter’s first choice for “make your own dinner” nights is cereal – and not because it’s the only thing she can make, but because she loves it that much!  Breakfast, lunch, dinner or a good night snack, you’ll see us all reaching for Kellogg’s cereal!

Setting up on own theater at home also meant that we could watch movies in our PJs!  Even Fenway enjoyed hanging out with us in the garage for Family Movie Night.  Yes, he also enjoyed the cereal snack bar (no Krave S’mores though.)  He was happy with his good night snack.

Family Movie Night Snack Bowls - MamaMommyMom - #GoodNightSnack #ShopA little tip for snacks at your next party…  Party hats make GREAT snack cups!  Just remove the elastic strings and fill them up!

Do you snack on cereal at night?  What’s your favorite good night snack?

Posted in Entertainment, Party Ideas | 17 Comments

Your Questions About My Life Answered – Part 1 {The Ask & Answer Series}

Earlier this week, I gave our Facebook followers a chance to ask me a question about my life, blogging, or pretty much anything that peaked their curiosity.  The response was great and there were a lot of really interesting questions asked.  But what are questions without answers?  So, I’m going to spend some time answering your questions over the next week in a series called Ask & Answer.  Here we go!

What/Who was your favorite class/teacher when you were in school? – Nicole H.

I think this varies through different periods, but the one teacher who will always stick with me is Mrs. Melton.  She was my AG (now called AIG, I think) teacher in 6th and 7th grade.  She was the coolest teacher ever, and always treated us like people, not just students.  I learned some wonderful things from her and she really sparked my interest in Greek and Roman history and the Latin language.

Ask & Answer - Questions About My LIfe - MamaMommyMomWho are you? – Kathy A.

I ask myself that very same question nearly every day.  You can read a very brief bio here, but I’m really a little bit of everything I guess.  I am a bit eccentric, definitely moody at times, and a hard nut to crack.  You either like me or you don’t.  I have major social anxiety issues, which makes me come across and uninviting or closed off at times in person, when really I’m just totally freaked out.

What is your favorite guilty pleasure food? – Alecia K.

This is an easy one… sushi.  I love, love, love sushi and will eat far more of it than one person should consume in a single sitting.  And, I usually dip in soy and shrimp sauce, you know, for the added calories!

Ask & Answer - Questions About My Life - Favorite Season - MamaMommyMomWhat is your favorite season? – Nikki F.

This is a hard one for me.  Living in North Carolina, we don’t really get much of a Spring or a Fall, and really either it’s hot or it’s cold.  Occasionally, we will luck out and get a little Spring or Fall weather.  I guess Spring would win out for me, because while I love the crisp bite of Fall air, you can’t beat the beauty of everything waking up from Winter and seeing all of those beautiful flowers.

What is your favorite restaurant? – Dale L.

This is a toss up!  I can’t pick between these two, so I will just have to share them both.  First, Mr. P’s Bistro in Southport, NC.  I only get to visit once a year, but it’s a visit I wouldn’t miss!  I’ve be in a Mr. P’s food coma in a few weeks, actually!  Second, All Souls Pizza in Asheville, NC.  Don’t be fooled by the name… the menu has far more than just pizza – though the pizza is to die for too!  I’ve debated the 2 hour drive one way just to have dinner there on several occasions.

What’s your favorite “healthy kid” snack? – Leslyn B.

Low-fat cheese (usually Mozzarella or Colby Jack) or plain milk.

Ask & Answer - Questions About My Life - Favorite Drink - MamaMommyMomWhat’s your favorite drink? – Kristina F.

My favorite non-alcoholic drink is probably Diet Coke, though I try to limit myself to 1 per day.  My favorite adult beverage is sangria, specifically my own version.

Ask & Answer - Questions About My Life - Where Would I Travel - MamaMommyMomWhere would you go for a vacation if you could go anywhere and money were no issue?  With/Without kids? – Sarah B.

This one is easy!  I’d go to the Galapagos Islands and I would definitely leave the kids at home!  They aren’t old enough to really keep up with what I’d want to be doing on this trip (lots of hiking and whatnot).

What are you thinking right now? – Elizabeth I.

Right now I’m thinking about how much I hate that money IS an issue and I won’t be visiting the Galapagos anytime soon.  Sad panda.  I’m also thinking that answering questions about my life is interesting for me too!

What’s your favorite color?  – Amber M.

Green.  Bright, minty, olive… I love them all.  Pink is a close second.

What are you reading this summer? – Jennifer A.

I just started The Fault In Our Stars.  I want to see the movie, but I have to read the book first.  Besides, if it does anything to me like My Sister’s Keeper did, I’ll need to watch it on DVD anyway.  I was a hot, sobby mess!

Do you have a nickname? – Shannon N.

Some of my friends, including Siri, call me Belle – as in the Southern variety.

Who is your favorite author? – Andrea F.

Patricia Cornwell has long held the spot of “favorite author” for me.  Her Kay Scarpetta series sucked me in years ago and never let me go.

Whew!  That’s a chunk of the questions about my life answered!  I’ll have more in a few days, and a whole post coming up devoted to your questions about blogging.

Have something you want to ask?  They could be questions about my life, about blogging or just about anything.  Leave a comment!  I’ll add it to the list of questions I’m working from.  Did you learn anything interesting about me today?

Posted in Life in General | 10 Comments

Big Book of When {Summer Reading For Kids}

Today’s post is sponsored by Time for Kids and their new book, Time for Kids Big Book of When.  Time for Kids provided us with a free copy of the Big Book of When for review purposes, but no other compensation.  All thoughts and opinions contained herein are those of Mama.Mommy.Mom. and no one else (except maybe my 7 year old.)

Big Book of When - Summer Reading - MamaMommyMomSummer may feel like the time to slack, but studies have proven time and time again that letting your kids completely off the hook can cause some serious setbacks.  How do you keep them engaged and learning through the summer?  Make it fun!  Time for Kids has done just that with their Big Book of When.

First things first, the Big Book of When is broken down into 11 chapters based on topic.  This makes it easy for young readers to jump right to the topics that are interesting to them.  Animals, Communication, Civilizations and Food were our favorites.  My son, who isn’t quite reading yet, will surely be especially interested in transportation and sports.

Summer Reading - Big Book of When - MamaMommyMomThe Big Book of When is full of huge, gorgeous, eye catching photos that will appeal to children and parents alike.  Before we read a single word, we took a few minutes to flip through and look at the beautiful photos.  There was a lot of “What’s this, mom” and “Who is that” to which I simply replied, “Read!”  In the first few minutes we had the book open, we both learned some new things!  Truth be told, I’ve spent the last week reading the whole book (a little at the time) myself!  I love knowing random facts and this book is full of little tidbits that will make me a killer trivia opponent!

Big Book of When - Eqyptian Facts - MamaMommyMomMy daughter was most intrigued by the information on ancient Egypt.  She’s been drawn to all things Egyptian since one of our local museums hosted a mummy exhibit a few years ago.  Did you know that the Egyptians used about 700 different hieroglyphs, and they were doing it around 6,000 years ago?  I was personally drawn to the pictures of clay tablet with cuneiform scripts.

Big Book of When - Microorganisms - MamaMommyMomOne of my favorite aspects of the Big Book of When is that the subjects covered really lend themselves as a spring board to dig farther into the topics that really interest your kids, and extend the learning far beyond the book itself.  For example, the section on When Did Life On Earth Begin covers not only simple creatures (like extremophiles), but where they are/were found.  In this case, Yellowstone National Park is mentioned.  This could easily become a science lesson or a geography lesson!

Hands down, this book is really an amazing buy!  If you tried to buy books on all the different topics covered, not only would you spend a fortune, but you’d probably be wading through piles of books that don’t hit the mark with your kids.  I’d buy the book just for the amazingly awesome pictures!

Check out the Big Book of When here.  Are your kids curious about the “how”s and “when”s of the world?  Do you think this book would interest them (or you?!)

Posted in Entertainment, Reviews | 6 Comments

If We Were Meeting For Coffee…

Imagine we were meeting for coffee. Back when I was pregnant with my daughter, I heard about this online group for local moms. I checked it out and subsequently joined. One of the first things I learned about was the “coffee table test.”

Meeting For Coffee - MamaMommyMomThe “coffee table test” is basically the idea that before you post anything online, imagine sitting with a friend having coffee… Is what you are about to post something you’d say if sitting down having coffee? If yes, post away and if no, maybe you should rethink sharing it.  So, what does the “coffee table test” have to do with today?

If we were meeting for coffee, this is what I’d say…

Life is crazy right now. I’m going in a million directions and need a few extra hours in every day. I could also use a nanny to shuttle my kids around, a water boy to make sure I stay hydrated and a personal assistant for all the other little things I just can’t seem to get to. I wouldn’t turn down a lawn derive it a maid either.  How are things for you?  Are you as busy as me?  What would make your life easier?

If we were meeting for coffee…

Fenway has been an amazing addition to our family! The kids love him and so do I. I wish I’d had him his whole life. He gets tons of attention everywhere we go (and he does go just about everywhere with me.). My Instagram feed has more pictures of Fenway than of my kids right now.  What are you taking pictures of these days?

Meeting for Coffee - New Family Pet - MamaMommyMomIf we were meeting for coffee…

I have got to get back on track with my running schedule and strength training workouts. I’m getting in some of both, but so sporadically that it’s hard to make much progress. If the kids could go with me to ride or run without complaining the whole time, it would definitely make making the time for it easier.  Do you get regular exercise most of the time?  Do your kids enjoy being physically active with you, or are they complainers like mine?

Running with Dogs - Meeting for Coffee - MamaMommyMomIf we were meeting for coffee…

I finally got a new laptop. I can’t tell you how awesome it is to not have to worry about my laptop shutting down right in the middle of something, with no warning, and losing everything that hadn’t been saved. I am bummed that my Photoshop CS4 will go to the grave with my old Dell though.  Good thing I have PicMonkey!  What apps or programs are you using to edit pictures?

If we were meeting for coffee, what would you say to me?

Posted in Life in General | 14 Comments

Custom Wall Art {Using Dollar Store Supplies!}

I’ve never had trouble picking out furniture, rugs or pillows for a room.  Ask me to decorate the walls though and I get a little loopy.  Finding cute wall art that matches not only in color but style can be a real challenge!  When you do find a piece you love, you had better be prepared to pay…  Why go through all of that when you can make your own custom pieces of wall art using just a few supplies from the dollar store.

Custom Wall Art - MamaMommyMomI’ve been showing you bits and pieces of my new office space for a while now.  It’s been a long going project, mostly because my husband is studying for a licensing test he’s taking for work and has virtually taken over my office in the evenings, and being the good wife – I know he needs peace a quiet to study.  Most of my office is complete, but the walls still have so much space that is just begging to be covered in bright, vibrant art that catches the eye and draws you in.  But, let’s face it… I’m cheap.  I’m also way too busy to run around from store to store looking for the perfect pieces.  I’ve taken matters into my own hands.

Wall Art Supplies - Dollar Store Goodies - MamaMommyMomI picked up these two press board pictures at the dollar store a few months ago.  I wasn’t sure what I’d do with them when I brought them home, but I knew they had to have potential.  They were tossed in with my other random crafting supplies and kind of forgotten about.  I was digging through one of the two cabinets we have overflowing with craft supplies, looking for Popsicle sticks, when I ran across my Mod Podge – and boom!  Just like that, it all came together.  I dug out a few extra supplies and I was on my way.

Custom Wall Art - Dollar Store Supplies - MamaMommyMomYou will start with either an old press board picture, a scrap piece of wood or a dollar store find like mine.  Grab a sheet of scrapbooking paper that matches the look you’re going for, and outline your picture.  Cut the paper to size.  Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the picture, then top with your scrapbook paper.  Smooth out the air bubbles and wrinkles, then allow to dry.  Once the piece has dried, apply another thin layer of Mod Podge over the top of the scrapbooking paper.  Again, allow this to dry.

Custom Wall Art -Design and Paint- MamaMommyMomOnce dry, you can use stick on letters, shape stickers or tape to design your print.  Ultimately, what ever areas you cover are the areas that you’ll actually see.  The stickers will be coming off later, so they don’t need to match.  I had these on hand from a project I did more 8 months ago for my daughter’s spa birthday party.  Once everything is stuck on, you can paint over the entire piece!  You can use brush on paint or even spray paint (if you happen to have some laying around.)

Once you have a good coat of paint on your piece, you can slowly and carefully start removing your letters, stickers or tape.  I found that an Xacto knife worked great for lifting up the corners of my letters and getting them peeled back.

Custom Wall Art - Carry On - MamaMommyMomOnce completely dry, I was able to hang these up with no trace of those flowered prints I picked up for $1 each!

If you made your own custom wall art piece, what would it say?

Posted in Crafts, For the Home | 15 Comments

Bombs Bursting In Air { Simple 4th of July Craft }

Sparklers and fireworks are amazing to watch, especially when you’re a kid, but they are far from safe as a plaything.  Your kiddos can create a rocket they can play with all day long with this simple 4th of July craft.

4th of July - Rocket Craft - MamaMommyMomThis is a pretty easy 4th of July craft, one that you likely have everything on hand for.  The only real must haves are empty toilet paper rolls, colored paper, scissors and glue.  If you want to get fancy, you can use hole punches to create extra decorations for your rockets.

4th of July Rocket Craft Supplies - MamaMommyMomStart by cutting 3 inch strips of colored paper.  Each rocket requires 4 strips, so keep that in mind when choosing your colors.  I went with red, white and blue for a patriotic look (since this is a 4th of July craft), but you could let your little ones pick their own colors.

4th of July Rocket Craft - Paper Fringe - MamaMommyMomCut a fringe into each strip, about 2 inches deep.  Roll the fringe pieces around a pencil or pen to curl them up.  It adds a lot of texture to your rocket.

4th of July Rocket Craft - Fringe Paper - MamaMommyMomStarting with the bottom row, add the layers one at a time, using a little glue.  You can add your strips in any color order you want, but in my opinion, alternating light and dark colors gives you the best look.  You could use yellow or orange at the bottom to five your 4th of July craft a “fiery” look!

For the rocket’s top, cut a 4″ circle in the color of your choice.  Cut a slit from the edge to the center of the circle.  Using glue to hold it in place, overlap the edges of the circle to create a cone shape.

4th of July Rocket Craft - Tops - MamaMommyMomA thin bead of glue around the top of the toilet paper tube is all you need to secure the top of your rocket.  I suggest holding it in place for a few seconds to let the glue get tacky before flipping your rocket right side up.

4th of July Rocket Craft - Add Cap - MamaMommyMomOnce dry, you can add a Popsicle or craft stick to the inside of the bottom of the toilet paper roll to create a handle for your rocket.  Now you kids have a cute 4th of July craft that they can play with inside or out, and you don’t have to worry about anyone playing with fire!

4th of July Rocket Craft - MamaMommyMomMy little guy had a great time playing outside with his rocket this afternoon!

Do you have big plans for July 4th?  We’re heading to the mountains to enjoy summer sun and all the beauty of nature, but of course we’ll catch a fireworks show too!

Posted in Crafts | 13 Comments