Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dream, Dream, Dream.

I am sure I have told you about my weird dreams before. Definitely about Kevin, the alien that when he gets mad turns in to a queen. For a while now, I have been dreaming about one of my old houses. The dreams I had started out riding my old school bus, from elementary school. I would be on the bus in my old neighborhood and I would get off the bus at my old house and by the time I got off, I’d realize that I don’t live there, and I would start chasing the bus, Mrs. Macy would never stop. I would then somehow try and figure out how to get where I really lived, I never quite knew where that was. Sometimes I would visit my old neighbors. Other times I lived in the house, my mom would open the garage door and I would go inside. It was really weird and had become a reoccurring dream for a while. Then the dreams stopped for a while. It wasn’t like a nightly thing, but it was enough that I would remember it happening quite a bit.

Now, I dream about living in that house like every other week or so. It’s normally that I moved back in. It would look different inside almost every time, never like I remembered it. It never has the basement where I used to sing and dance or the place under the stairs I would have my club house in. It is weird. I know it’s normal to dream about things in the past. I have definitely had weirder dreams, but it is crazy that it is the same theme and almost the same dream or variation of it. I am an adult and Noah is with me. Every time I dream it, I think well now I don’t have to dream about living here anymore. I had the dream very recently, and once I said that, I woke up. I had one of those abrupt where am I wake ups. I woke up in my house. I don’t think I have ever had a dream that I dreamed about waking up like a dream inside a dream. Maybe I have, I don’t really know.

I don’t know if it has to do with something going on in my mind or what that is making me dream about that particular house. I don’t talk to my old neighbors or anything. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about that house. Dreams are such a weird and complex thing. I am not sure what causes some of them. I had a dream about my Grandma Rose where I was at her house and she let in an escaped mental patient and he came after us. I think it would be really cool to watch our dreams. I am pretty good about remembering my dreams. I would love to see the ones I don’t remember though.

Do you have weird dreams? Do you dream them more than once?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Losing Noah's Stroller in Vegas

I love to fly, I prefer it to driving any day. We don’t always fly though. It depends on the length of our trip, where we are going and of course the cost of the flight vs. gas. When we go to visit my aunt and uncle in California we always fly. It would be an extremely long drive, although my aunt and uncle have made the drive many times. The last time we went to visit them, Noah was a baby. We always took his stroller with us and checked it at the gate, as we had done before. We were able to use it at the airport and also during our layover. When we landed in Las Vegas, our stroller was there waiting for us at the gate. We had over an hour layover that I spent time playing the slot machines in the airport. When it was time to board our flight to Reno, we left his stroller at the gate as we boarded the plane.

We landed in Reno and waited for his stroller in the jet way. It didn’t show up. We met with my aunt and uncle to get our baggage. We also made a stop at the baggage office to see if our stroller ended up there. It was not. They couldn’t find it. It was very late as we didn’t land until around 11pm Pacific time being that we live in the Eastern time zone, it was 2 am. We had been traveling all day and were ready to just get to my aunt and uncle’s house. We assumed that the stroller was put on the wrong flight in Vegas, even though we parked it right outside the plane. The baggage office gave us a loaner that was no doubt from the 70’s. It was so old and dirty. It was really hard to open and close. My aunt and uncle live up the mountains so we didn’t do a lot of things that required a stroller, if any. I don’t think we used it the whole time we were there. I was worried about the stroller though, what if they didn’t find it? What if we had to brave the airport and the layover without it and all our carry ons? I hadn’t purchased flight insurance so it would be a loss. It was just a ten dollar umbrella stroller, it wasn’t Noah’s expensive stroller thankfully.

We had a great time with my aunt and uncle just visiting, watching movies and doing some sightseeing in the mountains. We even went to Antelope Lake. Antelope Lake is somewhere we went with my grandma when we were out there years before. My mom ended up getting sick when we were there. She had something called altitude sickness. When we were sightseeing, my mom, my aunt and uncle went up in a really tall tower. My mom ended up getting really dizzy and felt sick during part of our trip. She didn’t have to go to the doctor, but I often wonder what people who are traveling do to cover doctor’s visits or if they have to go to the hospital. I guess they get visitor’s health insurance when they travel abroad just in case. When we said our goodbyes at the airport I was very nervous as we walked in to the baggage office. We had to return the stroller, that we jokingly dubbed the death trap and see if Noah’s stroller had finally made it safely. I had never been so happy to see his stroller in my life. It was a very sad goodbye to my aunt and uncle because we only get to see them once a year.

Have you ever lost anything during a flight? Please share your stories.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Winter Survival Basket Made With Cold Stone Cocoa!!

Cold Stone Creamery now makes delicious and creamy cocoa. As a fan of their ice cream I had to buy it! With the holidays coming and the cold weather that is now here, hot cocoa is a staple in my house. I headed to Wal-mart to shop for things to put in a winter survival kit. My family always does a lot of baking during the holidays and I thought that would be something to base my basket around. Unfortunately, it gets very cold here in the winter and we spend a lot of time indoors. I decided to make a winter survival gift basket for my family to use. You can make gift baskets for gifts but who says you can’t make one for your family to enjoy too?

I went to a very crowded Wal-mart to shop for the items I wanted to put in it. I love shopping at Wal-mart and Noah love to get the stickers from the greeter. He gets so excited, on this particular trip the greeter asked him how many he wanted. Noah said ten and they gave him ten. I got 2 boxes of Cold Stone Creamery Milk Chocolate with marshmallows cocoa for us to enjoy this winter. I don’t know about you but extra mini marshmallows are a must. If for some reason I only have big ones, I cut them in fourths. I still make cocoa the way my grandma used to make it. It is the only way to make it. I know some people use just water or just milk but I use a very scientific formula for my cocoa. It is one of those secret family recipes.

I also picked up some easy things to make as treats, some mugs, a game and some other goodies to help this family brave the cold and snowy winter. I had a lot of fun shopping for this basket, I hope you have just as much fun seeing my Whrrl Post and I hope it inspires you to make one of your own. Look for Cold Stone Cocoa at your local Walmart! You can check out my Whrrl Post below.

More check-ins at Walmart Supercenter #923
Powered by Whrrl


Be sure to check out all the awesome posts and tweets using the hashtag #coldstonecocoa on Twitter.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

E!'s New Show- Bridalplasty- America's New Self Esteem Killer!

I was watching E! tonight, Bruce Almighty was on. It is a great movie. I was watching the commercials and twice they showed an ad about a new show premiering tomorrow called Bridalplasty. The show is about a group of brides that leave their fiancee for four months and they compete and get plastic surgery and the winner gets a dream celebrity wedding. The winner has her new whatever she gets and shows her fiancee when he lifts up the veil. I am not sure if all the brides go under the knife or not. I am sorry but I think that is the dumbest most superficial show that I have ever heard of. I hope to get remarried some day. Who knows what the future might bring but I am telling you what, my future husband will love me for me. He will have to love all my flaws, because they are mine. I am not talking about my inner flaws I am talking about my outer appearance. My freckles, my imperfections that everyone has, after all, no one is perfect, say it with me now, no one is perfect. Everyone knows their flaws, they don’t need someone else pointing them out. I think that it gives people the wrong idea, the impressionable children, people that have self esteem issues. Actually, it is plain sick honestly.

I am ashamed to be in this society, where everyone obsesses over their appearance. Where kids are bullied because they look different, because they aren’t “perfect”, maybe they have a different body type. Some kids’ lives are made a living hell because of those things. It is crap TV like this that encourages bullies to pick on other kids because they are different. Those kids that are being bullied are someone’s daughter or son. There are quite a few adult bullies out there too. Some people call them grown up mean girls or mean boys. Their whole purpose in live is to make someone else feel like crap. It doesn’t end after you leave school. There are 30 and 40 year old women who make fun of people for no reason. They talk about them behind their backs and make them feel horrible. When someone says something hurtful it doesn’t matter if you are 8 years old or 48 years old. It still hurts. Sure, you deal with it in other ways, like ignoring it, but deep down it still hurts the same.

Last night I was watching Pauley Perrette’s YouTube videos, she was talking about bullying and how things get better, they really do. She said that she wore glasses and an eye patch in school and that she was picked on a lot. She said she was never mean to anyone. She is now an amazing actress on NCIS and instead of being spiteful; she is very humble about her life. She doesn’t pretend to put on this glamorous Hollywood lifestyle; she is just herself, very down to Earth.

I am a firm believer that everyone is beautiful. I always look for the good in people. I think to truly love someone is to be able to find them beautiful or handsome inside and out. To embrace their flaws and love them, we are all jigsaw puzzles some of our pieces are different than others but they make up who we are. We need to understand that what is to love is to love the whole person. Not the parts that we want, but each part the same. Learn to accept those flaws and erase them in our minds and hearts. You know, something could happen and someone’s beauty could disappear, but to people who love you, you will always be beautiful in their eyes and heart. God made each of us the way he wanted us to look. He made us all unique and put love and care in to molding us from lumps of clay in to the person we became. I would not want to say something God made was ugly. God does not make ugly things.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Black Friday?

Call me crazy, but I don’t understand the hype of Black Friday. I mean seriously, what is the point? Maybe there is something I don’t see. I hate crowds of people, grabbing things out of your cart when you aren’t looking, waiting in really long lines just to get a deal. It seems silly to me. If it is something you enjoy that is wonderful. It’s just not for me. One year we went to Wal-mart on Thanksgiving, just to go and get out for a little bit. It was like 8 pm when we left, we drove buy Best Buy and there were people standing in line already. It was cold and was weird to see people waiting for that long just to go shopping.

I haven’t really seen anything that would be worth my time to wait that long or go out period on Black Friday. I have only really done Black Friday once, that was enough for me. I went with an old friend so he could have company. I was very cranky at the end of it. I did not have any fun what so ever. I don’t think he even bought anything because the lines were ridiculously long everywhere we went. There are sales all the way up till the week before Christmas. I just don’t know why it is that big of a deal. I could see if you were buying like a TV or something that was extremely marked down that normally would cost a fortune. Otherwise, just to get a toy for your child for Christmas? With online sales and websites you can pretty much find anything online from the comforts of your own home.

It’s not like when we were kids and our parents or grandparents had to actually go to the stores to buy the hot item of the year. I think that anything I wanted for Christmas I always got, or if I didn’t it didn’t traumatize me enough that I remember now. I survived. There were not huge tears and disappointment on Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning unless you count the whole silts, Barbie bed, Cabbage Patch cradle Christmas, which started with me crying on Christmas Eve, followed by my sister crying on Christmas morning.

Black Friday has turned in to this HUGE ordeal. I mean I think I have heard a lot more about Black Friday than Thanksgiving. That makes me very sad. Thanksgiving is an actual holiday when we remember what we are thankful for and about family. Black Friday is a day of greed and sales. It’s not even a holiday yet it gets more attention than Thanksgiving.

For Black Friday I will stay home. I will spend time with my family and play games and drink hot chocolate and snack on treats and make memories with my son, because Black Friday does not matter to me. There is also a Law and Order SVU marathon on. I can still find good deals on gifts; I am not worried about that.

So what if it costs me a little more, it is too much hassle and stress for me. I might shop online, but I haven’t found anything really worth it.
If you are going out for Black Friday, I wish you luck on finding deals and hope that you have a safe and happy experience.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Swanson's Broth Great Stuffing Debate and $50 VISA Gift Card Giveaway!

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I love chicken broth, especially Swanson’s Chicken broth. When I had my son, I had to have a c-section. The morning after my c-section they wanted me to eat something, I had to choose something off the liquid menu as I just had major surgery. I found that they had chicken broth listed. It was the only thing that sounded good, so I called “room service” and ordered some chicken broth. It made me feel so good inside. It made my incision feel better inside. The rest of my meals I ate when I was in the hospital were accompanied by chicken broth. For two or three weeks after my c-section, I drank a lot of Swanson’s chicken broth. I prefer the kind that is in a carton because you can close it. I had used chicken broth in cooking but I had no idea how good it was just in a cup warmed up.

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I love to cook and I had the opportunity to participate in Swanson’s Great Stuffing Debate. The basic idea is that if you make stuffing with Swanson’s Broth than it will be more flavorful than stuffing made with just water. Everyone has their own favorite brand of stuffing so you can take part in the Great Stuffing Debate and share your favorite stuffing with people across the US.

My favorite stuffing is definitely Stove Top. I love how delicious it is. I am not a huge stuffing fan really but I will eat it occasionally. It is a nice holiday compliment to a meal. If I am going to eat stuffing I prefer it to be Stove Top and it has to be made the right way. Stuffing is something that my family enjoys to eat. I usually only have a couple spoonfuls because there is so much other food to enjoy and I like to sample almost everything we have on our table. The few things I won’t eat are anything Pumpkin or Cranberry relish or yams. Otherwise I gorge on Thanksgiving foods.

Thanks to Swanson Broth for providing me with a $50 gift card and providing the giveaway prize. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I have a giveaway for you.

One (1) person will win a FIFTY dollar VISA gift card from Swanson to participate in The Great Stuffing Debate.

Mandatory Entry: Tell me your favorite brand of stuffing

Extra Entries:

Subscribe to my blog via email. You must verify

Follow my blog on GFC

Follow @Sheilacakes7 on Twitter and Tweet about this giveaway including a link to this post. This can be done once a day.

This giveaway is open to US Residents ONLY

This giveaway will end on December 3, 2010 at 11:59 PM ET

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kodak Gallery Review

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Two things I love about the holidays are the food and family. I also love to take pictures of my loved ones, especially my adorable son, Noah. I wanted to share with you a promotion on the Kodak Gallery website where you can take your pictures and put them in books. No bulky albums and pictures falling out after it stops sticking. My Grandma liked to write on the backs of her pictures, so pictures were taken out of albums over and over again to see who is in the picture or when it was taken. Her albums were in poor shape by the time everyone looked through them so many times. They even have something called SmartFit Technology that helps you create the best photo book possible. It makes it easier to arrange your photos in order, and add extra touches that make your photos just pop.

You can also make a recipe book on the Kodak Gallery Website of all your favorite Thanksgiving or Holiday foods. I know when I look at cookbooks, I love looking at the delicious photos of the food. Also if you are giving this as a gift, it will help the recipient with presentation and if it is a dip with assembly. I think that this is an easy and affordable gift. I remember when I was in first grade, my class made cookbooks for our moms for Mother’s day. My mom still has the cookbook my class made her, granted none of the recipes are actually makeable, it was more for the cute factor. It would have been nicer if it was made from Kodak Gallery and not just stapled printed pages.

I think it would be a smart gift for grandmothers to give their daughters and granddaughters with their special recipes. You can order as many copies as you want so, you can sit down once and mark off many people off your list at once. Every Grandma, Grandmother, Nana, Gram, Grammy and G-ma whatever you call yours has their own recipes. Then those books can be passed through the years to their children someday.

For more information please visit Kodak Gallery

They also have free shipping on orders of $30 or more by using the coupon code SHIP30

I received a gift card from Kodak to check out the website and create my own book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, November 22, 2010

How to Alter a Tin





Thanks to Scotch(R) Double Sided Tape for sponsoring my writing about crafts. Add your comment below to be entered for a chance to win free sample rolls to help with your upcoming holiday needs.

I really enjoy doing crafts. I have found that double sided tape works really well when you are taping pictures on scrapbooking pages. As someone who has broken every tape runner she has owned, I think that double sided tape works really well. You don’t have the extra bulk of using normal tape in a loop. In my opinion unless you are using something to purposely make the picture pop out it should be flat.
I wanted to share a quick and easy craft with you. I thought I would show you an easy way to alter a tin. Maybe it is an old holiday cookie tin or popcorn tin or a coffee tin, almost any tin will work. I bought some little tins that I keep some of my crafting supplies in.

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You need:
2 pieces of Patterned Paper (same print)
Double sided tape
Any sized tin
Scissors
Ruler

First take your paper and wrap it around the tin. Make a mark on your patterned paper on the white side at where the groove at the top. This is so you can put the lid on your tin. Take a ruler and make a line horizontal and cut across. You might need another piece of paper to cover the rest of your tin depending on the size. Remember to keep the lip of the tin exposed because it will not matter once the lid is on.

Carefully put double sided tape on the paper and line it up around the tin. I find that it works better if you stick the paper in the metal rim at the bottom. It not only looks cleaner but it helps it stay. If you need to cover more of the tin, just cut out a strip of paper to fit the area and tape. It can be the back of the tin.

Trace the top of the tin’s lid and cut it out. You will also need a thin strip of paper to go around the bottom of the lid. Tape the paper to the lid.
You can decorate any way you would like.

Please learn more about Scotch(R) Double Sided Tape and other Scotch(R) Products, and join the conversation on the Scotch(R) Brand Facebook Page
and via Twitter.

I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

I have a giveaway for you.

Ten (10) Winners will each win a roll of Scotch Double Sided Tape.

Main Entry: Tell me what you think of my craft idea

This giveaway will end Friday November 26th at 11:59 pm ET
This giveaway is open to US Residents ONLY

Saturday, November 20, 2010

If It Sounds Too Good to be True.....

I am watching Cops today. Yes, I love watching Cops, it was the same one I have seen a million times. If I was in a dark room and that “lady” would speak I would know her voice without seeing her face. She is the one that says Excuse my beauty. Well, I notice a commercial for a website called Bid Rodeo. I was like ok I will check it out. I put in the code for the 10 free bids and started bidding. It was such a waste of time and such a scam if you think about it. You have to pay for your bids. You can bid for free on Ebay. Everything goes up by a penny. Not only that but they extend the end time each time someone bids. Let’s crunch some numbers shall we?

Each bid raises the price by a penny, that undoubtedly sounds like a really good deal seeing as you can bid on ipads, ipods, and Amazon Gift cards to name a few. Well, me being the skeptic I am, was thinking where is the catch? I thought it might be extremely high shipping, no it seemed about normal. I thought what the hey I’ll use my 10 free bids just to see. After the clock just kept winding down and adding more time. I started imagining those people that were counting down the clock as if the space shuttle was about to take off, to win their prize. Of course someone out bid them by a penny and the vicious cycle went on and on.

Out of curiosity, I wondered what the prices of the bids are. Some of the items included what the company calls bid packs. So, then I scoffed at the ridiculousness of this website. You can get 800 bids all for the low price of FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS ( which is equal to 8 dollars of bids) Now here comes the math.

I will use an ipod for example since that is what I used my bids on:
Let’s say you and another person each bid each bid 800 times for the iPod. You are the only two bidding and it ends at 16 dollars even. You also have to pay the bid price plus shipping. You might think Yay! I just got an iPod for 16 dollars plus shipping in reality, you paid 516 dollars plus shipping for the iPod. The company made $1000 of the iPod through the bids. You could buy an iPod and an iPad for $516 I am assuming. I don’t own an iAnything. Let's also remember that even if you bid you are NOT guaranteed to win anything. After you bid 800 times you might end up empty handed, with nothing to show for your $500.

Two pieces of advice:
If it sounds too good to be true, than it probably is. My second piece of advice is If it doesn’t make sense than it’s not true.

I am sure Bid Rodeo will in fact bilk innocent people out of their money with promises of cheap goods. These are just MY OPINIONS, you can decide for yourself. I just felt like I needed to warn my readers.

Playing Radio Station

When I was younger, I used to play radio station with the neighbor kids. It was a full on production. I am talking we used to “broadcast” it on a speaker on a cordless phone, my neighbors mom would listen to the show faithfully. There would be music, talk, even commercials. It was my sister, our old friends Brad and Mike and of course me. There was occasionally another person but we were always the constant staff. We would play radio station all the time. My sister and Brad were the DJ’s I can’t remember what Mike did. What did I do…. I am sure you really wanna know. I was the sectary, because I didn’t have a good radio voice. Yes, poor little me had to pretend to write things. I didn’t even have the cool job. I was not allowed on the radio.

Even though I got the short end of the stick, it was still a lot of fun. Then again we always had fun with Brad and Mike. I have a lot of memories of them. We used to play baseball, Double Dare, and of course, Nintendo to name a few. I remember when this boy was picking on me and riding his little bike with his little friends in front of my house, Brad stepped in and protected me. I used to have a crush on Mike but yeah that was a million years ago. He’s a year younger than me I think.

Playing at the radio station was definitely an experience. I know it was kinda dorky but really we were semi dorky kids. I can’t remember what the radio station was called. I wonder if my sister remembers. Those were really good times although I am still haunted 20 or so years later that my voice isn’t radio worthy. What does that mean? Did I have like a squeaky voice or a man voice? Maybe it was a way for Julie and Brad to be in a spotlight and me chained to the desk pretending to answer phones. Don’t get me started on the Hamburger Dress incident. That is a whole other traumatic event, that needs it’s own post.

Please Paypal me to help pay for my therapy.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Noah and I Are So Alike.

It is so funny to watch Noah. He reminds me so much of me when I was little. If you were in my family you would know about the infamous Here’s Bozo video. I think I even talked about it on my blog before. I said something like Ladies and Gentleman Here’s Bozo and ran in the room over and over and eventually fell down. Recently, Noah was running around the house saying Ladies and Gentleman, Start your engines or something along those lines. Another thing he does is he talks like I did when I was little. On the same video I am sitting in our plastic swimming pool and I ask my mom to get our beach towels and I said We have towels. Noah says we have *insert whatever he is talking about* and he says it the same way I did when I was well his age.

Today, I had a mess to clean up. I am assuming it was payback for the baby powder from when I was little. I dumped a whole bottle of baby powder on myself, my old best friend and all over the room. It was that dreaded Talc kind and I am sure I inhaled a ton of it and I turned out ok. Well, I thought I would be smart and put the baby powder up where Mr. Noah couldn’t reach it. He found some Wilton powdered royal icing that I totally forgot I had bought, it was in a cupcake kit. I guess I should look on the bright side and he only opened one package and not everything. It was a total mess though. Powdered Royal icing all over the counter, the floor, the stove top, and my son who decided it would be fun to make foot prints with it. He also was rolling his trains and fire trucks in it. He also had a whole package of cupcake wrappers strategically placed on the floor. I thought maybe he was trying to make cupcakes or a treat for his mommy. Well needless to say I was not amused. It was kinda funny but it was a pain to clean up. It took forever to sweep it, mop it etc, while not making icing because that would have been a total pain in the butt.

I was reminded of my grandma Rose as I was cleaning it up. We used to make paste for crafts with flour and water all the time. I also remembered doing Paper Maché with my cousin Susie, I think it was Susie. It was a long time ago, if it wasn’t Susie, it was Rory. I can’t count how many crafts we did with my grandma and assorted cousins.

After I cleaned it all up, I sat him down for a talk. He was in trouble. I wanted to know what he was doing exactly. He told me he was making it snow inside. I explained that it doesn’t snow in our house and to not get in to things he knows not to get in to. He doesn’t like to talk about it, because he knew he was in big trouble. He also learned that even mommy got in trouble when she was little. I always follow up time outs and punishments with hugs and kisses and I love yous.

Noah is definitely a character, like I was. I wonder where he comes up with this stuff.
Do you see your children doing the same silly things you did when you were a child? I would love to hear your stories.

Duvet Covers Just Might Be a Family Heirloom

I love down comforters and feather beds, they are both extremely comfortable. Most of the times down comforters are white; anyone who is a parent or who likes to eat in bed knows white comforters are not the best thing to have. Well, unless you have a duvet cover. I like to think of duvet covers as slipcovers for your comforter. I love that you can find them in different patterns, and colors. It really makes redecorating a breeze because you can just change your duvet and you are good to go. They are not as bulky as a comforter so it is also a real space saver.

I remember I got my first duvet cover when I was a junior in high school. My sister was starting college that year and being the trend setter she is I decided I wanted one too. Besides she was getting new stuff for her dorm room so why couldn’t I get something new? We both got duvet covers and new down comforters. In my family we tend to pass things around when it comes to bedding. After my sister was out of college my grandma Rose came to live with us for a while and she slept with my sister’s duvet cover on her bed. My Grandma also had my duvet cover on her bed too. We liked to change it up to lift her spirits.

Recently, my sister and her husband Mike moved away. When she was packing up things they were storing some of our stuff, my grandma’s stuff and things they just didn’t want anymore. One of those things was a duvet cover. My sister and I both had twin duvet covers so obviously it wouldn’t fit on my mom’s white down comforter. So, my mom now has Julie’s duvet cover on her bed. I am sleeping with a quilt that used to be my mom’s. Some people hand down clothes, we hand down bedding.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

St. Louis Hilton at the Ballpark Review

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I wanted to tell you guys about the hotel, we stayed at in St. Louis. We stayed at the St. Louis Hilton at the Ball Park. It is extremely close to Busch Stadium like across the street. It is in downtown St. Louis and it is an easy walk to the Arch and many restaurants. We didn’t have to do a whole lot of driving when we were there. It is a great location and a gorgeous hotel. The lobby is beautiful. There is even a Starbucks and a restaurant in the hotel. There are also two bars. It was amazing. The hotel staff was all very nice and made our stay very comfortable. We had valet parking. It was my first experience with valet parking and it was really neat. The hotels parking lot is across the street and down the road a little ways so not having to carry our luggage that far was great. Not only that but the bellboy brought our luggage up for us and unloaded it. We were all pretty tired at the end of each day it was nice to just be able to pull up and get out of the car and walk in the hotel. The valets were very nice and we didn’t have to wait long to get our car. We had a lot to do so not spending the extra time was great.

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The room was so comfortable. The beds were so soft and it felt good to lay down on them and just hang out. The view was breathtaking. We had a view of part of the Arch, the old capital building and a couple fountains. St. Louis is a gorgeous city. The TV was a nice one. It was a flat screen. Noah’s favorite channel was the hotel channel. It was pretty funny to hear him to ask to watch it. It was great to have such a nice room that we didn’t have to worry about anything to come back to.

Every night we enjoyed the pool and hot tub. This pool and hot tub was featured in George Clooney’s movie The Air Up There. I have never seen the movie but it was cool to think that George Clooney could have been sitting where I was sitting. Yes, I am a huge George Clooney fan. Noah and I danced in the pool in my arms. I sang him songs and we just had some special mommy and Noah time. He had a huge smile on his face the entire time. It was nice to have his little warm body in my arms because the water was pretty cold. My favorite thing was the hot tub. It felt so nice to be in it after a long day. It was huge. It is the biggest one I have ever seen or been in. It would accommodate a lot of people. They also had a dry sauna that I would sit in too. I love saunas. I would rather be hot than freezing cold. There was hardly anyone in the pool area when we were there which was nice. I don’t like a lot of noise when I am trying to relax. It felt like our own personal spot to go and relax.

Unfortunately, the night before we left, Noah got really sick. I was lying in bed watching Locked Up Raw. All the sudden I heard someone throwing up. I jumped up because it scared me. I was almost asleep and so I got up and my little boy was sitting up extremely sick all over the bed. I will spare you the details but it was really gross. The comforter, the sheets, his pillow pet was all covered in it. I felt so bad for Noah because it happened over and over again. I called Guest Services and explained the situation. I wasn’t sure if they were able to do anything because a lot of places don’t have overnight housekeeping. Thankfully St. Louis Hilton at the Ball Park does. Housekeeping came up to our room and changed all the bedding for us. She even left an extra sheet incase it happened again. The other times we were more prepared with towels. I was sad to check out of the hotel because it was so nice and everyone was great.

If you are in St. Louis you should stay at the St. Louis Hilton at the Ball Park because it is a great hotel that has lots of great amenities and is even there for you when your child gets sick in the middle of the night. It is a beautiful place and I would love to stay there again the next time we are visiting St. Louis.

Thank you to The St. Louis CVC for sponsoring my family's trip to St. Louis. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Magic House St. Louis Childrens Museum Review

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While we were in St. Louis, we had the opportunity to visit The Magic House which is St. Louis Children’s Museum. This was definitely Noah’s favorite thing we did. The Magic House is an amazing place. The whole building is full of hands on activities for kids to do. There were so many things to do. We didn’t get to do them all but we had a lot of fun. Everything was educational. I am a strong believer that children learn through play and using their imagination vs. sitting down and learning from hearing someone talk. It was really neat to see all the children learning without realizing it. We were lucky too because the staff was dressed up for Halloween and Noah was able to Trick or Treat some right in The Magic House.

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We really enjoyed working on the car and changing the tires. We also loved fishing in the pond. There was a grocery store that looked like the real thing. Noah and I enjoyed pretending to shop and playing cashier. Another great thing about The Magic House is that you can just let your child roam free and you can just sit back and watch them explore. There aren’t lines you have to wait in. It is a really different environment than the other things we did. There were different rooms and just was really fun. Noah played with Legos for about a half hour with older kids. I love watching Noah interact with others. He has great ideas and is not really shy around other kids. He went up to them and asked to play with them. He was polite and shared well.

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We loved the giant water table too. Although Noah had wet pants after that, next time we should do the water table last. He didn’t mind though. He had so much fun playing with the ducks and boats and just splashing around. There were water wheels too. I had to remind Noah to walk carefully in the room with the water table because the floor was wet wet wet. He kept going back to the fishing pond and fishing. He was so proud to catch fish. I was exploring a little too. I had my mom keep an eye on Noah and I went in the bubble room. I saw on the website you can be inside a bubble. I didn’t try to do that because there were kids trying to do it. I did try the other bubble activities. My only complaint was they needed to refill the bubble solution for each of the bubble activities. I was able to make some cool bubble shapes though.

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When we were ready to go Noah didn’t want to leave, he wanted to stay there. I think he wanted to move in. I was thinking the whole time that they need to build one of these where we live. We have a children’s museum but it doesn’t compare to The Magic House. I also was a little bummed that we don’t live closer. I could see myself taking Noah to The Magic House on the weekends. I stopped by the gift shop and they have all kinds of cool toys. I found a few little things for Noah and a Magic House T-shirt. We waved good bye to The Magic House and talked about coming back again soon.

Thank you to The St. Louis CVC for sponsoring my family’s trip to St. Louis including tickets to The Magic House. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Headless Horseman at Conner Prairie Review

The day before Halloween, I had the opportunity to do something I had done many times before when I was younger. It was always my favorite thing to do around Halloween. I went to Conner Prairie to see The Headless Horseman. I used to go to The Headless Horseman when I was in Girl Scouts. I don’t remember how many times I have gone. I am so excited I got to go again tonight. It has been a long time since I have been to see The Headless Horseman ride. This is the 27th year that the Headless Horseman has been riding through Conner Prairie. They have more than just the Headless Horseman, they also have an Apple Store with fresh goodies, stories, and other events. I have faint memories of going when I was in Girl Scouts. I know we definitely went but I don’t really remember all the particulars.

I do remember coming back with my Girl Scout Troop and us “seeing” a headless man driving a car. I am certain now that he was not headless but you know he could have been The Headless Horseman’s victim that October night. I was so scared that night. Honestly when I was little I always covered my face when the Horseman made his ride. We go out on a hayride and all the sudden out of the darkness The Headless Horseman comes out to ride. It is not a mechanical thing. It is a real horse and a real Hessian that goes and collects the heads of bad boys and girls. OK, maybe not but you get what I am saying.

There were a ton of people at the Headless Horseman. I got there at 6 pm and there were really long lines. I managed to get an early hayride. The first thing I did what take a picture of the “hot air” balloon for Noah. He has seen it in the air so many times I thought he would love a few pictures of it, up close and personal. I am hoping next summer he is big enough to fly in it. So, it wasn’t dark at all when I went. That was kind of a bummer but at the same time I wanted to get home early enough for Noah. It was cool to be back in Prairietown after such a long absence. It looked the same as I remembered.

The hayride was eerie even though it was light out. It was fun to read all the signs, see the animals and just kind of relax. The Headless Horseman came and tried to take my head but was unsuccessful. I think that if you go to the Headless Horseman you should do a hayride after dark. On the other hand I wasn’t scared after the fact and probably would have been. There were children on my hayride and they were scared. It was a little annoying that kids that rode the night before would ruin it for everyone else. So, tell your kids not to ruin it and not tell others what is going to happen. It was fun and exciting. I also wasn't allowed to take any pictures or video even though the flash was off. I wanted to record the hayride but I wasn't able. I thought it would of been cool to show you first hand. That is part of the reason I wasn't bummed that it was still totally light out.

After I picked all the hay off of me, I went to visit the Mystic. I noticed her before I went on my hayride. The line was long when I got on the hayride and even longer when I got out. I spent at least a half hour in line. I love the Mystic. She is a cute little old lady. She was really nice. I was curious as to what my palm said. She said that I have a really long life line so I will live a long life, I have two profession lines, which is rare. I could be doing two things. I am doing one now but I could do the other and be successful too. She said that I will travel somewhere warm soon. She asked me to send her a postcard. You all know how much I love to travel. She told me I am waiting for “Tall, dark and handsome” which I am. It was all in fun and I am glad I took the time to meet with her.

They also had storytelling, The Disney Movie Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Scary-a-oke, a glow tent and other fun activities for kids. Next year I am bringing Noah with me. We will have fun. I also visited the Apple Store. I loved going to the Apple Store when I was younger. I ended up getting a cut apple with hot caramel on it in a bowl. It was very good. As I was leaving, I could hear the church bell and the wind howling in Prairietown. I could also hear people screaming.

Thanks to Conner Prairie Interactive History Park for inviting me to the Headless Horseman. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

No, I Will NOT Be Facebook Friends with You!

I have been thinking about high school or school in general. It has been 10 years since I was in school and really, not sure how it came up in my head but it just did. There are some pretty random thoughts in my head sometimes so why not blog about them. Two different things came to mind. The first one has to do with Facebook. It seems like almost everyone is on Facebook now. I like it, it is a great way to talk to family that I would normally not talk to. Not, because I don’t like them but because it is so easy to do on Facebook. I am sure I am not the first or the last to think about this but why do people add other people just because they went to school with them or they “knew” them in school. I can totally understand if it is like an old friend you lost contact with. That makes sense. I find it weird that people add people that they weren’t friends with or worse, people they never got a long with. That they hated for some stupid reason. I am all for putting the past behind me and not holding a grudge but really? I don’t really see the point. It definitely seems pretty hinky to me.

I don’t sit up late at night and wonder why so and so didn’t like me, but on the other hand I don’t search them out and friend them on Facebook, in hopes of some magical reunion to work out “our differences” from over 10 years ago. I guess if those people want to be “friends” with someone on Facebook more power to them. For example there is this girl I went to school with I will call her Bobby Sue for privacy reasons who added me as a friend on Facebook. I didn’t accept her request, for a few reasons. One being we were never friends and I couldn’t stand her. Now she just makes my skin crawl and I have no interest what so ever having anything to do with her. She makes my skin crawl because she worked at a brothel for a few years. I don’t want someone like that around my family or in my life. I have no desire to be “Facebook Friends” with someone I didn’t really talk to or wasn’t really friends with. I would much rather put it in my past and not deal with that person again. I totally understand that people change and all that but why even open up that potential Pandora’s Box?

It also leads to talking about being in school again and inquiring about or gossiping about other people. Things I rather not do with someone I wasn’t friends with in the first place. See, no matter how much you think someone has changed or how hard they convince you that catty high school girl comes back out. Of course I don’t mean everyone but more often than not it does. I am not sure if it is because you stir up old memories or feelings about then or what, but it happens. I’ll pass on being involved in all of that. I am not trying to sound like a cynic and I am sure some differences and new found friendships have blossomed on Facebook, it is just not for me.

Do you have any insights in to this? I look forward to hearing from my readers.

Show Me St. Louis!

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Recently, my family had the opportunity to visit St. Louis. I feel so lucky that the St. Louis CVC picked my family to take such a wonderful trip. I am so excited to share all about my trip with you guys. I spent quite a bit of time planning my trip using the Explore St. Louis website. I picked out where we wanted to eat and what activities we wanted to do. I wanted to do so much stuff. I wanted to take in the full experience of St. Louis during our trip. If I were to write it all in one post it would be so incredibly long so I will have to break it up in to multiple posts because I have so much to tell you.

I want to start off by telling you some information about the St. Louis CVC. They are the go to ultimate resource to use when you are planning a trip to St. Louis or even if you live there and are looking for new places to visit or restaurants to try out. The website was extremely helpful when I was planning the meals and activities for our trip. There was so much information. I felt like I could get a feel of the places by the descriptions. There are so many different kinds of restaurants in St. Louis. There is definitely something for everyone. I think anyone’s palette could be satisfied in St. Louis. If you only like one kind of food they have many different restaurants to eat at. I think the hardest part of planning my trip was figuring out exactly where we wanted to eat. There were tons of restaurants that sounded so good. I even asked the rep I worked with about some suggestions as to where we should go because she lives there. I figured why not ask a local person. Her suggestions were spot on delicious. As most of you know I love to eat. I am so glad to report that my tummy was very happy every day of our trip.

There is a whole section of things to do on the website. There is a lot of information about each activity and you can really get a feel of if it is something you would like to do. We had so much fun at all the places we visited. They were all so different and Noah loved doing each one. We looked forward to each thing with huge smiles on our faces. Definitely something to help decide what you would love to see while you are visiting. St. Louis is one of those cities that there is so much to do that you wouldn’t possibly know about everything without some help. You could live there for years and not know about all the awesome things to see.

When you go on a trip for business or pleasure you have to stay somewhere. There are so many hotels to choose from and the St. Louis CVC website has information about all the hotels in St. Louis and they include links to the hotels website so you can look at pictures and the amenities. I personally think that it is good to look at pictures of where you are staying before you go. You don’t want to end up at The Bates Motel do you? I love that there are ratings of the hotels. If you are a hotel snob like me who will only stay at a nice hotel it is important. Another cool feature is you can click book a room from the St. Louis CVC website so it makes finding out where to book your room easy. That would be great in a hurry.

There will be more posts about my trip to St. Louis. If you are planning a trip to St. Louis you should check out Explore St. Louis to make the most out of your trip. Stay tuned for more about our adventures in St. Louis.

This trip was sponsored by the St. Louis CVC for my family to come visit St. Louis, my thoughts and opinions are my own.