Friday, May 27, 2011

I Really Need a Carpet Cleaner

As a mom to a very active four year old boy, who tends to be a little on the messy side, my carpets are not in the best condition. Throw in two cats that are very old and you have pretty much a disaster. I am of course exaggerating a little, but my carpets are stained.  It is normal for a home to have stains on the carpet after living there for a few years, no matter who you are. Most of them are dirt stains.   I have noticed though with Noah the stains are more frequent and are always interesting substances from anything to dirt to juice to apple sauce.  He is really good about eating in the breakfast area.  We occasionally do camp outs, or he gets to eat in the family room and play restaurant as he likes to call it. 

At times, I spill things too. I think everyone spills sometimes.  Usually it is some food that is pretty messy to begin with.  I remember one time I decided to eat spaghetti on my bed, because I was watching a friends web show and I ended up spilling half the plate of food on my bed.  No use crying over spilled milk or spilled food.  So, there comes a time when you need to use a carpet cleaner.  We don’t own one so we rent one from the store.  It does an ok job. I would love to own my own though because lugging those carpet cleaners are a pain. They are heavy and always hard to fit in your car. I would love not to have to go to the store and borrow one and then bring it back.  I have tried stain removers and haven’t really had much luck with them. Once I knocked over a candle. It wasn’t burning, thank goodness.  It did however stain my carpet when part of the wick came off.  I was able to get that out fairly easily.  Not everyone has carpet in their homes, but I really like the feeling of nice soft carpet on my feet. 


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mentoring Minds Contest

I wanted to share with you guys a contest you can enter. As a daughter of a teacher I know all the behind the scenes things that teachers do. I think that it is really important that we honor them through contests like these. Teachers do so much for our children, besides teach them. Teachers do things like comfort our children when they are hurt and everything in between. It is really easy to enter your child’s favorite teacher in this contest by clicking the picture. It will take you straight to the contest page. It is a great way for you to help with teacher resources. I hope you will share your favorite teachers with Mentoring Minds.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Old Sleigh Bed

When I was younger, I always wanted a sleigh bed. I always thought sleigh beds looked really cool. I absolutely loved the style of them. They reminded me of Cleopatra or something a queen would have. I was in high school when I finally got one. It was just a twin bed, so it wasn’t as cool as a big one. I loved sleeping in that bed. It looked so cool. The only thing I didn’t like was it was a twin sized bed so I was always afraid I would fall out of it. It also would be a pain when I had a friend spend the night because they would either have to sleep on the couch or on the floor. Two people cannot fit comfortably on a twin bed without knocking someone out. The couch was really comfortable but you never get the same quality sleep on a couch. It doesn’t matter how comfortable the couch is, it is just more restrictive. I sleep in the middle of my bed now. I think it is the most comfortable place to sleep. I have a lot of room on each side of me. I remember falling out of that bed a few times. It was not fun at all. As much as I loved the bed I was so happy to finally get a bigger bed where I could stretch out.

I have thought about getting another sleigh bed, because I love the style. The twin one I had was cherry with a seashell on the headboard. It was really pretty but I think a mahogany sleigh bed would be great in a guest bedroom. I think that mahogany is a beautiful wood and it would be the perfect addition to any guest bedroom. It would be great to have a room for family and friends to stay when they come visit. I have family all over the US and I would love to have them come for a visit and not have to worry about checking in to a hotel nearby. I feel like when you have to go back to a hotel it cuts in to the time that you have to spend together vs. just going to bed. Hopefully someday soon I will have a guest bedroom set up and a nice room for my guests.

I think it is important to have good quality bedroom furniture. I want it to last a long time and be sturdy too. I know it is more expensive but if it lasts a long time then you won’t have to spend more to replace it. Think of it as an investment. Bedroom furniture can be passed down to your children or even your grandchildren. My mom has the dresser, headboard, and hi-boy that she and my dad purchased a long time ago. I am not exactly sure how old it is, but it is the furniture I can remember when I was a little girl. My sister had it for a while, I think I had it for a while and now it is back in my mom’s use. It has to be at least twenty-five years old, although I think it is quite a bit older. It is still in great shape too. When I look at it, I remember the times I was sick and was laying in my mom’s bed, when my sister and I used to jump up and look in the top drawers of the hi-boy, when my sister and I used to look for our Christmas presents. It’s funny how you can look at an old piece of furniture and remember so many wonderful memories.


Sitter Pals Review with $50 Outback Steakhouse Giveaway

One of the toughest choices about being a parent is deciding who will watch your child when you have to work or if you just want a night out. It is important to find someone who can be responsible and trusted enough to watch your most precious children. Most people in trust their children to a family member but not everyone has the luxury of that. Whether it was a job change or the family has all moved away, the parents now need to find a sitter. It is no longer the time where families live down the road from each other and moving away was pretty much unheard of, and if someone moved it was a huge deal, because it could mean it would be a long time before you saw your loved one again. Where do people find someone to watch their children? I am sure you could get a referral from a neighbor or a friend. Maybe your friends don’t want to share their awesome babysitter because they need them on the weekends and don’t want to be without a sitter for that party. So, we turn to the internet. There are sites out there that help parents find sitters and help sitters find work.

After browsing some of the sitter sites in the past, I found out about a website called Sitter Pals. It is the first social network for parents and sitters. As a blogger and someone who is very involved with social media, I love this concept. It helps you share sitters with friends, maybe you know three or four sitters that you trust but you have a regular sitter. You could help those four sitters find work and have a night out with the girls or a date night. I remember when I was babysitting, I would receive three or four calls for the same weekend to babysit. I passed out fliers door to door and had done a lot of babysitting. So, my client list was pretty long. I am sure those parents would have loved to just log on and see if I was busy or not. I hated not being available to all of them, but it was a first come first serve basis for me. I had friends who also babysat so I would refer them and they would refer me. Sitter Pals brings finding a sitter to a whole new level. Sitter Pals was created by Amanda Armstrong, who I think is a genius for this idea.

The other babysitting sites are more like finding a random sitter. Someone you didn’t know, that listed their information on a website. I tried to get babysitting and nanny jobs on a few of them. I went to the interviews to meet the parents and most of them were so far away that it wasn’t worth the gas to get there. I also was spammed all the time, by people trying to scam me. I am sure some of the people are good quality sitters, but I love Sitter Pals because you are able to share with your friends who is good and who is trustworthy. You can also book at the last minute and not have to go through your contact list to see who can babysit. You just post the job and watch the sitters come to you. You have full control with who you share with, which sitters you share, and who babysits your children.

For more information visit Sitter Pals.

Thank you to Sitter Pals for sponsoring this giveaway.

I have a giveaway for you.
One (1) lucky reader will win a $50 Outback Steakhouse Gift Card.

Mandatory Entry:
Tell me what is the most important quality a sitter should have?

Extra Entry:
Like Sitter Pals on Facebook

This giveaway is open to US Residents only.

This giveaway will end on June 4, 2011 at 11:59 pm ET

Friday, May 20, 2011

Weird Looking Actors

I absolutely love movies. I have seen so many movies. I always look at the actors features and I thought it would be a good blog post to talk about some of the different looking actors. It is really hard not to type cast an actor for a role they played especially if it a memorable one or one that might of scared you. I want to talk about four actors in particular.

1. Christopher Walken. I think that Christopher Walken is an amazing actor. I think the first movie I saw him in was Sleepy Hollow. Let me tell you, that movie scared me. I saw it on a date with this guy, who has its own crazy story all of its own. So, naturally since he was the Hessian, he scared me. He was very scary looking to me for a long time. I ended up eventually getting over it. I love every movie I have ever seen with him in it. He was amazing in The Prophecy Trilogy. I think that I have accepted that he is always going to play some kind of different role or something to do with the Mafia.

2. Dustin Hoffman. I have kind of mixed feelings on this one. His roles when he was younger he was attractive, like in The Graduate. Unfortunately, I have seen Hook way too many times to count. So, I always think of him as Captain Hook, not so much the Captain Hook that was wearing the wig, but the one without the wig. It was pretty scary looking, if you ask me. I have no doubt that he is a great actor, he was great in Rain Man when he was younger, and in Last Chance Harvey He was absolutely wonderful in Hero with Geena Davis. I just can’t help but remember how different looking he was in Hook. I know it was a costume and a role but it sort of ruined Dustin Hoffman for me.

3. Billy Zane. I am sorry but he just gives me the creeps. There is just something about him. I am not sure if it is his voice or something about his face. I think that he makes a great villain like in Titanic. He always plays actors that you don’t want to like. Even when he was the fake Damon Bradley in Only You he ended up being a bad guy and a jerk.

4. Steve Buscemi. He always plays crazy supporting roles. He is pretty goofy looking. I am sure that is part of his charm and how he gets the roles he does. He has been in so many movies from Fargo to almost anything with Adam Sandler. There is another actor that I constantly get him confused with. That actor is Sean Whalen who played Carl Wayne Bishop in Jury Duty and has been in a lot of movies too like Vegas Vacation. Sean also was in the famous Got Milk commercial where he can’t say Aaron Burr. I always get them confused. I know I can’t be the only one.

Have I forgotten anyone? What do you think of my picks? Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Jewelry For Him

In the past, the most jewelry that a man would wear was a wedding band, often it was simply chosen amongst a few men’s wedding rings and was a plain gold band. Well the times they are a changin'. Now we are seeing men in stud earrings, beautiful, engraved and, even, engagement rings! Here are 3 hot men’s jewelry trends for 2011:

1. There is more to men's rings than men's wedding rings! We are seeing more and more men choose stunning rings simply for their beauty and craft, not to serve a purpose. Men are no longer limited to rings solely for marriage; they can now broaden their collection with any number of engraved bands simply for fun and style.

2. Men's engagement rings are very 2011. Women are now taking the bull by the horns, so to speak, and proposing to their boyfriends themselves. No longer is a proposal man only territory, it is becoming increasingly unisex, as are engagement rings. Often a men’s engagement ring looks similar to a wedding band, perhaps with a simple diamond inlay or some beautiful engraving surrounding the band.

3. What if he is not into rings? Then diamond stud earrings are definitely the way to go. Erase the image this evokes of large tacky bling, and replace it with beautiful and subtle diamond stud earrings. That’s what men are doing; studs are in, classic and going nowhere so this is a wonderful investment for any man.

Good luck men, let your inner jewelry aficionado loose, there is no better time than 2011!

Amy Lea, Who are you?

I have a pretty common maiden name. So common that my mom’s best friend happens to have the same last name as my mom does. I used to baby sit for her son and I would use her as a reference. I always had to put no relation in parenthesis. So, they would know I wasn’t giving a family member as a reference. They even team taught together so it I am sure got a little confusing as they worked together at more than one school. I have known her for many years. I was used to knowing a lot of people that I wasn’t related to with my same last name. It was nothing new for me. Until that day……

I was probably a freshman in high school, maybe it started before that, but I would get the mail, there it was. A sorority newsletter for a woman named Amy Lea and my last name. I was like oh they must have had a mix up at the post office, no it was my address. So I did what any good citizen would have done and wrote return to sender on it. It wasn’t a bill or anything but I didn’t want this woman’s sorority newsletter because no one by that name lived there. I didn’t even know the woman. I thought nothing of it and until we received another one a while later. I did the same old return to sender hoping that they would get the hint. Nope. We kept getting them. We started writing No one at this address, wrong address and then eventually we moved. We thought OK hopefully they got the idea that the Amy Lea from their sorority does not live here and the new neighbors can figure out what to do with her sorority newsletters, and letters because return to sender was not working.

Once we were in our new home we were finally relieved to be set free of the Anchora mailings for Ms. Amy Lea. Until, I got the mail and I saw the envelope and it addressed to Amy Lea. I wrote return to sender again. I even told the mailman this person does not and has never lived here. I have no clue who she is. Then it was time for their mailings, once again, there was Amy Lea in my mail box. I think by this time my mom called the sorority and said we keep getting this persons letters and newsletters from you. Please stop sending them you have the wrong addresses. She did it politely of course. The letters and newsletters stopped. We used to make jokes about which of us was really Amy Lea. I was afraid that I would see that envelope or newsletter waiting for me when I opened my mailbox every time I got the mail. Well by this time we moved again.

I remember getting the mail and the first time I saw another letter or newsletter from the Sorority I said Oh no Mom she’s back! It wasn’t like we were getting this woman’s mail. We were not getting anything of hers other than the sorority mailings. It would be completely different if we were getting her bills and other letters. We did the whole return to sender, calling, writing she doesn’t live here thing again. I think I even tried finding an email address for the sorority. This time it didn’t stop. We just kept sending them back over and over again.

We moved a couple more times, and each time the letters would come. It was like the sorority was stalking us. It wasn’t a forwarded envelope, it was just a typed envelope. We did not know Amy Lea. I think we looked for her in the phone book, and didn’t find one. It was just the strangest thing. When we moved to Florida, the sorority found us there too and the Amy Lea letters and newsletters kept coming. None of our names are close to Amy, we have no Amy’s in our family, not even anything that could be remotely close to Amy. We had done everything short of getting a restraining order against the sorority.

We haven’t received one in a long time, I am scared that tomorrow, when I get the mail, it will be there waiting for me…….

This time if it happens, I will find them, and tell them to kindly knock it off, they have been harassing me through the mail for the last fourteen years.

Friday, May 6, 2011

I Really Need to Get a Kitchen Cart for my Appliances.

Since I love to cook, I naturally have a lot of kitchen appliances. I have so many that I don’t have enough cabinet space. I have a lot of cabinets, just not any room. I try not to have a bunch of appliances on the counter except for my pride and joy, my stand mixer. Right now half of my appliances are on a metal bookcase in the laundry room, I really need to get one of those kitchen carts on wheels so I don’t have to make five trips when I need a lot of appliances. I could just wheel it in the kitchen when I need something. However I could see Noah wheeling it all over the house pretending it was a rocket or a train. Actually he is pretty good at not touching what he isn’t supposed to.

My laundry room isn’t too big. The spot that I would put the cart would be the same. Since it would be a tight fit, I would have to look at narrow kitchen carts. It would also have to have plenty of room so I can put everything on it. I would prefer a taller skinnier one then one that is bulky and hard to move and that sticks out really far. My laundry room is set up perfectly and everything has its place. It houses my washer and dryer and furnace and some other items. I have a habit of walking in the laundry room in the dark, so if it was a huge cart I would knock it over or end up hurting myself. Neither of those are a good thing.

I also considered installing some shelves in the laundry room or in the kitchen but I am not a handy person at all. It takes me forever to put Noah’s toys together, I fought with his play tent for about 30 minutes the other day. Like I said before I want something with wheels so I can move it around. I may decide to get a free standing cart to put in my breakfast nook, but then I would have to move Noah’s Easel. I can’t wait to start shopping for a new cart with wheels that I will keep in the laundry room. It’s better than the garage and out of the way at the same time.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Shari's Berries Review

My favorite fruit is definitely strawberries. I love them in so many different things, fruit pizza, plain, with pound cake, and of course dipped in chocolate. I don’t have chocolate covered strawberries very often so when I do, it is a real treat. I had the opportunity to try some of Shari’s Berries chocolate covered strawberries. I had seen the commercial so many times, drooling each time I watched. I wanted to try them so bad because they looked absolutely delicious. I received the Full Dozen Gourmet Dipped Mother's Day Berries. I am very simple when it comes to chocolate covered strawberries. I like them with just chocolate, no nuts, and no frills. I want nothing to take away from the taste of the berries and the chocolate.

The chocolate covered strawberries arrived fast and in perfect condition. The delivery driver had put the box on its side and I was so afraid that would have damaged them. I received a great variety of chocolate strawberries. The chocolates were milk chocolate which was really creamy. I am a huge fan of dark chocolate so, I loved the ones dipped in dark chocolate. There were also strawberries dipped in white chocolate. I wasn’t too sure about the white chocolate but it was really good too. Some of the strawberries had a crunchy sugar topping on it, making them sparkle. The sugar topping gave the perfect little extra crunch. I had to share them with Noah who kept begging me for some. He really enjoyed them too. He ate all the chocolate off first and ate half the berry. I didn’t want to waste it, so I ate the rest of the berry, and he got really upset about it. I think he was saving it for later. They are huge berries though. I could only eat one at time because they were so filling, yet satisfying at the same time.

I had received some chocolate covered strawberries for Christmas. It was another brand, they were pretty good but nowhere near as good as the ones I received from Shari’s Berries. Shari’s Berries were a lot bigger and sweeter than the other brands. The chocolate was better too. I really enjoyed my chocolate covered strawberries from Shari’s Berries. Shari’s Berries would be a great Mother’s Day present, a birthday present or just because present. They also have cherries if strawberries are not your thing. I am not a huge fan of chocolate covered cherries so, thankfully I love strawberries. If you order them for someone else, I highly recommend that you buy some for yourself or you will dream about these chocolate covered strawberries.

For more information and to order, please visit Shari’s Berries.

Thank you to Shari’s Berries for sending me some chocolate covered strawberries to try out and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.