Monday, February 28, 2011

My First Cell Phone

Cell phones have really come a long way. My first cell phone was a prepaid one. I can’t even remember what company it was. This was back in 2000, my dad bought it for me and always made sure I had minutes. Back when the prepaid phones didn’t charge for text messages. I had this phone for quite awhile. I remember I was working at a day care when I still had this phone. I bought a Tigger cellphone cover for my phone from a lady I worked with who sold Avon. I was really excited about getting it. It was this cloth thing that looked like Tigger. It was a little too small for the phone but it worked. This was back when I was obsessed with Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. I have outgrown that phase a long time ago, and now Noah enjoys the things I had.

I think that every cell phone should have a cell phone case to protect their phone. I like the ones that have the clip on them which is very convenient when you are carrying groceries or a unruly four year old. I guess the one thing I don’t like about my cell phone case is that it has a magnet in it to close it. It is nice that I don’t have to button it or snap it or have my phone fall out in my purse but, with my purse having a magnetic closure too, it can be a pain when it comes to magnetized things such as hotel keys, amusement park tickets and so on. I am constantly carrying my cell phone in its case when it is in my purse. That way I know I won’t accidently call someone or scratch it. Not to mention it is a lot easier to find when I am pushing the cart at the store. I don’t pick up my calculator and attempt to answer it or call anyone on it, which would be embarrassing.

I have a Blackberry Tour. What kind of cell phone do you have? Do you have a case or a cover on it?


Monday, February 21, 2011

I Need New Rugs

One of the things that stick out in my memory about my Grandma Rose is that she had all of these little rugs in her house. I remember pretending that the ground or carpet was lava or water and jumping from rug to another. I would even carry one with me and use it in those really sticky situations when there was a huge gap between rugs. It was a lot of fun and a great game to play with my sister and the occasional cousin. All my cousins are older than I am some quite a bit older, but they would always take time to play with me, their adorable youngest cousin. Now that I am an adult when I see rugs I think of my grandma, especially when they are the same type of rug that she once had. She had two different types of rugs in her house.

Every time, I see a rug I think of my grandma. I also would like to buy some Jute Rugs for the laminate floors in my house. We have rugs at the doors but I would love to get something more decorative. I love Bamboo Rugs.I think a bamboo rug would look really nice with the green colors in my house. Maybe one in front of the sink in the downstairs bathroom since it is painted a pretty shade of green. I think I want to decorate my home with some new rugs and d├ęcor.

What kinds of things do you use to decorate your home? Do you like rugs? Did you used to play the game where you used to pretend the carpet or floor was something dangerous? I look forward to your stories.

Cambria Suites Review

As I am sure you all know, I am a single mom of an adorable and sweet little boy named Noah. He is almost 4 and a half and I love him with all my heart, but even a supermom like me needs a break every so often. I was thinking about when was the last time I had a whole night to myself, not at home. I came up with the night before my sister and brother in law were married, in May. So, when I had the chance to stay in my local Cambria Suites I jumped on it. The funny thing is that it is the closest hotel to where I live. There are other hotels in my town but I had never stayed at any of them. I am certain you can imagine how ecstatic I was, to get this kind of invitation.

Cambria Suites is an awesome hotel, it is primarily a business hotel, but it is also really family friendly. It is part of the Choice Hotels chain, and yes I am now a Choice Privileges member. I had seen the hotel many times as it is right there, I always thought that it looked really nice. I had no idea how nice it was. I always have high expectations when it comes to accommodations, but I think that it was nicer than I expected. I arrived at the hotel and kissed my son good bye while he was convincing me to give him his car for Valentine’s Day a day early. I made him wait. I walked in and I was greeted by a really nice man at the reservations desk. He checked me in and gave me all the information I needed about the restaurant and pool, and I signed up for Choice Privileges, I knew before even seeing my room I would stay at Cambria Suites again. I am all about rewards programs. I took the elevator up to my room on the third floor and looked around. My room was gorgeous. It was a King Suite and I felt like a queen staying in it because it was huge. I noticed how quiet it was. Even being close to a highway and the mall, it was really quiet. The hotel was quiet too. I really liked that. I don’t think I heard a noise at all the whole time I was in my room, except for the wind.

After looking around at my suite, I realized I had a little fridge and a microwave, which I really liked. I had every intention of bringing popcorn but, I forgot. The bathroom was really nice too. It had a huge stand up shower, and all of the bathroom products were Bath and Bodyworks which is amazing, most of the time hotel toiletries aren’t that great or smell very good, not the case this time. I decided to lie down and watch some TV on my very comfortable bed. The bed was so comfortable that I was lying down for quite a while. I wasn’t sure what I wanted for dinner. I thought about ordering pizza but I also wanted to see what the restaurant had to offer. I was even toying with getting room service since the prices were so reasonable. I went down to the front desk and asked to see a restaurant menu. I took it up to my room so I could look it over. I got up to my room and realized that I demagnetized my key. My purse has magnets to fasten it and my Blackberry case also has a magnet on it so, this was something I was familiar with. I went back down and the man promptly fixed it for me. I decided my key wasn’t going in my purse anymore and kept it in my back pocket.

I was amazed at the menu that Reflect had to offer. Pizza was no longer in my mind. I wanted a BBQ burger. After watching some more TV and relaxing I went down and ordered my burger. The guy at the restaurant and bar was really nice. Everyone was very friendly and nice. He even offered to call my room when it was ready so I didn’t have to wait downstairs. I took advantage of that option. It only took 10 minutes or so before my food was ready. I brought it up to my room to eat. It was so good. I enjoyed every little bite of it. It had caramelized onions on it and I love onions. I really am glad I didn’t get pizza that night. It was Sunday so; I watched Desperate Housewives and then went down to the bar and had a couple drinks. I had a great time chatting with the bartender. We talked about all kinds of things. I explained that I was a mom blogger and he asked me a lot of questions. We talked about other random things.

The thing I was looking forward to the most was going to the hot tub. So, I wasn’t going to miss that. I love that the pool and hot tub are open until 12 am. That was a plus because usually hotels close their pools at 10 pm. I noticed that they had a really nice fitness center too. There wasn’t anyone in the pool area when I went which was really nice because I could fully relax and not have to worry about kids yelling and throwing things. I love kids but I was having my own mom night. I love that I didn’t see a single child during my whole stay, which was a nice change from the normal kids everywhere hotel. I am sure it had to do with the fact that it was a Sunday night and kids had school the next day, but man it was nice.

I ended my night with more TV watching and laying in bed. The bed was so comfortable. I slept so well. I sleep with a feather bed at home so I love soft comfortable beds and sometimes hotel beds can be not so comfortable. When I woke up, I thought about trying to see if I could stay another night just because I had such a wonderful and relaxing time. I decided that I needed to spend Valentine’s Day with Noah. I have come to the conclusion that I will have an occasional mom night at Cambria Suites just to have a little getaway. I am really looking forward to staying there again soon, I am addicted. The best part is that it is inexpensive and that I will be able to afford it. I found out from the bartender, Ben, that the room I was in is their standard room. So, I will be back soon.

I highly encourage you, if you are a mom, single or married, to have a mom’s night alone. I know that the word alone can be scary sometimes, trust me you deserve it. Just so you can relax and unwind. I am sure it will make you feel refreshed and recharged for all those challenges that motherhood brings you.
For more information and locations near you please visit the Cambria Suites Website.

You can also check out the other Choice Hotels and sign up for Choice Privileges. I know that Cambria Suites are not in all locations but I am sure one of the other hotels in the chain will be just as nice.

Thank you to Cambria Suites for giving me a complimentary night in a King Suite for me to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Green Ostrich Tool Box Review

Noah is just like my Grandpa Jim, he loves to see how things work. So, when I had the opportunity to review a The Recycled Milk Container 15-Piece Toy Tool Set from Green Toys sold by Green Ostrich, I knew it would be the perfect toy for him. Green Ostrich is company that sell products from recycled things. Their philosophy is Make a choice, not a sacrifice. It is a green toy company and it is really cool that they are able to use things that were discarded in to something for a child to play with. Growing up my Grandpa was a diesel mechanic and he had this tool box with all of his tools. After he passed away, his tools were given to my mom and my aunts and uncles. Whenever I use one of the tools I am reminded of him in his garage working on something. Noah likes to fix things and take them apart.

Noah loves the The Recycled Milk Container 15-Piece Toy Tool Set from Green Toys he received from Green Ostrich. About the toolbox: Dishwasher-safe toy tool box, Phillips screwdriver, flat screwdriver, hammer, saw, wrench, pliers, 2 two-hole connectors, 2 nails, 2 bolts, and 2 nuts made from 100% recycled, curbside-collected milk containers. I love that it is dishwasher safe. That way I can make sure it is always clean for Noah and if he is sick I can combat the germs on it.

He will pretend to fix things. Sometimes when I need a tool, like a screwdriver, he will bring me one from his tool box. It is really cute. I love how it says what each tool is on the base of it. It also has screws in it. So, it is just like a real tool box. He loves to carry around his tool box and ask what needs fixing. He also likes to use the tools as other things. He has such a great imagination. We both highly recommend the Green Ostrich tool box or any of the other great toys from Green Ostrich.

For more information and to order please visit the Green Ostrich Website.
Thank you to Green Ostrich for sending Noah a tool box to try out. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

ConAgra and Kroger Ethnic Dish Shop #weeknightmeals

I had the opportunity to do another shop at Kroger. This time it was for Ethnic Foods. I decided I would make my Chicken Teriyaki stir fry that I created like 5 years ago. I have talked to my mom about my stir fry but she has never tried it. Every time I planned on making it, it never was done. I am not sure why, but I finally had the chance. I did change the recipe some because I wanted to try the new LaChoy Teriyaki Stir Fry sauce. LaChoy is a brand of ConAgra which make quite a few of my favorite brands. When I came up with the original recipe it was pretty much one of those throw whatever I had in the electric skillet and cook it. Now I have refined it and instead of French cut green beans I am using sugar snap peas and of course the sauce is different. I change recipes all the time to jazz them up.

I went to Kroger and it wasn’t too busy, which is great because it was easier to shop. Especially when I am taking pictures, I think I have done a good job with people not wondering why I am taking pictures of groceries. I wouldn’t know what to say if someone asked. Another thing I love about Kroger is they always seem to have samples. They had chocolate covered strawberries samples. Let me tell you how delicious it was. I said to my family, this is better than Edible Arrangements. Noah really likes samples too. We get to try out different kinds of cheeses, among other things. First I went to find the LaChoy Teriyaki Stir Fry sauce, since that was the ConAgra product I selected from the list. I found it in the Ethnic food aisle next to the Asian products. It is a nice thick sauce and tastes good too. It was only $1.99 which is a great price compared to other similar sauces priced at $4.99. Next thing I got was the chicken, normally I get chicken breasts but since the chicken breast tenders were cheap, I figured I would give them a shot.

I had to stop in the toy aisle and get Noah a new toy. He was very good and did something that made me really proud. In case you were wondering, he got some new Hot Wheels cars. After we got that squared away we looked around at other ConAgra products like Orville Redenbacher Popcorn. They now have Nacho popcorn. I bought some because we eat so much popcorn. Another ConAgra product we like is Hunt’s tomatoes and Hunt’s Spaghetti Sauce. Hunts Spaghetti Sauce is really good in pasta dishes.

Finally we headed over to the frozen food department and got a bag of frozen corn and a bag of frozen sugar snap peas. I am not a huge pea fan. I don’t like normal peas but I like the sugar snap kind. I thought it would be classier than tossing in a can of green beans, even though green beans are good too. We made our way to the check out and I paid for our groceries and Noah’s new toy. On the way out Noah wanted to ride one of the ride on toys, unfortunately there had been teenagers that broke it. So, we got in the car and went home.

I wanted to share the recipe with you.

1 pound chicken breasts or chicken tenders

1 bottle of LaChoy Teriyaki Stir Fry Sauce

Frozen corn

Frozen Sugar Snap Peas (or Green Beans)

A pinch of brown sugar (for sweetness)

First cut the chicken in to bite sized pieces. Place in a big skillet and start cooking the chicken. Once the chicken is cooked, add the frozen corn, frozen Sugar Snap Peas , the Stir Fry Sauce and brown sugar and cook through. You can always make some fried rice to go with it too.

It is really easy and very inexpensive. I paid under 10 dollars for this meal. It was something I came up with when I was married and broke. It is really good though. After dinner I decided that I prefer using the LaChoy Teriyaki Stir Fry Sauce for a few reasons. I think it tastes better than using just Teriyaki sauce. The sauce is a lot thicker and also has a lot more flavor. It was really delicious and my family really enjoyed eating every bite. It was a winner.

Check out my Whrrl Story below. I hope you will try it. If you try this recipe let me know what you think!

More check-ins at kroger Olio Road
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I was compensated for this shop as a member of Collective Bias. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day from Hershey's Review

 It’s almost Valentine’s Day, really where has all the time gone? It is time for you to celebrate your loved ones for Valentine’s Day.  Now, Valentine’s Day is not a huge deal in our house like other holidays but I like to celebrate with treats. I am sure that will change once Noah is in school and has to pass out valentines to his classmates. When I was in school, it was just those little cards and the occasional little candy treat taped on or in a little bag. Hershey’s has amazing treats for Valentine’s Day. One thing I really like about Hershey’s is most of their candy is wrapped which makes it easy for passing out to others.  Hershey’s even went another step and made some the candy it’s self a valentine, with to and from right on the wrapper. You of course could attach it to your card still if you wanted to.
Some of the items we received, and if you know me at all, I am a huge candy junkie, were Hershey’s Valentine Kisses, Jolly Rancher Heart Lollipops Valentine Exchange, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Hearts Valentine Exchange. I am pretty sure everyone loves Hershey Kisses that like chocolate.  They are great for baking too.  Every year since I was very little we would make Peanut Blossoms at Christmas time. It was from a “cookbook” from 1982 and I was born in 1981, we still use the same recipe. Kisses are just the perfect amount to satisfy a little chocolate craving. They are also portable and so easy to unwrap my 4 year old has become a master at doing it.  Noah really likes the valentine’s colors of the wrappers. He has even created new things with the wrappers, like a butterfly for example.

If I had to pick my favorite hard candy, it would be Jolly Ranchers. I am not huge on hard candy, but would never turn down a Jolly Rancher, depending on the flavor.  I have been enjoying them for pretty much since my first one. I have tried and love every variation they have made.  Suckers are a big thing with Noah right now. We had been getting those little wrapped ones, but after he kept pulling the little stick off it, I decided, no more suckers for while. I feel pretty good about having him try a Jolly Rancher Lollipop. I will definitely enjoy them myself.   What is your favorite flavor of Jolly Rancher? Mine are Cherry and Watermelon. I know that is two but they are tied as my favorite.
I am sure you read my post about Hershey’s Halloween Candy in October and already know how much I love Reese’s peanut butter holiday shapes. In case you missed it, I prefer them to the Reese’s cups because there is more peanut butter than chocolate. I love peanut butter. I am so glad that Noah isn’t allergic to nuts of any kind because that would be not a good thing in my house. Noah loves the Reese’s Peanut Butter Hearts; he is actually the same as me and loves any kind of the Reese’s Holiday Shapes. I always buy them for any holiday I can find them and Noah, helps himself. He ate my pumpkin Reese’s and one of my Christmas Trees during those holidays.  He has made a huge dent in the Reese’s hearts though. He is really good at sharing and being generous and thinking of others.  He proudly likes to tell me that Grandma would like one. He is very sweet. 
I don’t let Noah sit down and eat a lot of candy, but he does get treats. I will get my little man some Hershey’s treats, including a Reese’s Peanut Butter heart for Valentine’s Day. I am trying to stay away from toys so, this year will be just some treats. We will also make Valentine’s Day Cookies.
For more information, recipes and ideas, please visit The Hershey’s Website
Thank you to Hershey’s for sending my family some complimentary Valentine’s candy to try out. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, February 4, 2011

My Top 30 Break up Songs

I thought I would share my top 30 breakup songs with you, since I am single and not too in to Valentine’s Day besides spending it with my little handsome man Noah.  These really aren’t in any order. Just songs that make me feel better…… eventually.

30. Good Person Inside by Jill Sobule.

29. Once Upon A Dream from the musical Jekyll and Hyde. My favorite line is Once upon a dream you were heaven sent to me, but it wasn’t meant to be, now you’re just a dream.

28.  Please Remember Me by Tim McGraw.

27.  How Do You Like Me Now by Toby Keith.

26.  Wait and Bleed by Slipknot, the band I formally thought was called Skipnot.

25.  Desperately by George Strait.

24. Right Through You by Alanis Morrisette.

23.   Cry For You by Ashe.

22.   I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry by Hank Williams

21.  Have You Seen Me Lately (Acoustic Version) by Counting Crows. This is my FAVORITE song.

20. Could’ve Been by Tiffany. I have always loved this song. I remember dancing in my basement to this song in elementary school. It was one of my favorites.

19. Insensitive by Jan Arden. This song is pretty self explanatory.  I thought you might have some advice how to be insensitive.

18. Get Over Yourself by SHE-daisy. I love any song by SHE-daisy.

17.  Cryin’ by Aerosmith. I remember listening to this song, and dedicating this song on the radio to a guy named Seth Johnson when I was in Jr. High. He was a jerk!

16.   Sometimes Love is Just Not Enough by Rod Stewart.

15.  Another Dumb Blonde by Hoku. Yes, I love this song,  don’t judge me.

14.  Unbreakable Hearts by Jessica Andrews.  Love it!

13. Blame it on Your Heart by Patty Loveless.

12. Don’t Cry Joni by Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn. This song is about a girl who has fallen in love with an older boy who says she is too young for him and then moves away and realizes he loves her and she marries his best friend.

11. Bye Bye by JoDee Messina.

10.  One of These Days by Tim McGraw

9.  Why They Call it Fallin’ by Leann Womack

8. Ten Thousand Angels by Mindy McCready

7.  Some Fools Never Learn by Steve Wariner

6.  Stay by Sugarland.

5.  Two Teardrops by Steve Wariner

4.  Where are You Now by Janet Jackson

3.  Every Rose Has its Thorns by Poison

2.  Ocean Front Property by George Strait

1. After the Rain by Nelson.   None of the other songs are in order except this one. This is my favorite break up song, because it always makes me feel better…..eventually. My favorite line in the song is:  He never really loved you from the start, the only thing he ever gave you was a broken heart, don’t be afraid to lose what was never meant to be.
What are some of your favorite breakup songs?