I'm So Glad to Get to Know You

Welcome to Everything For Modern Moms. This is my space to help all of you modern moms out there to find the products that you need and want. Keep in mind if there is something that you would like to see a review on that I would love to help you out. So please contact me, Amanda Miller, and let me know what you are looking for. Also keep in mind that is a great space for modern moms to come and hang out and I hope that it will become the go to for all of you modern moms looking for the things that you need. I am mom to four and I love babywearing, cloth diapering, and being able to stay home with my amazing children. Have fun looking around and make yourself at home!



USFamilyGuide.com



Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Late July to Mid August Giveaways

Giveaways are being structured to run from the end of this month to the latter part of next month.

Getting My Body by Vi On!! Challengers Please Introduce Yourself and Feel Free to Share Your Own Success Stories

I am so excited to share with you all of the amazing things that I learned about Body by Vi last Friday night.  First of all I learned what type of nutrition is offered in the Body by Vi shakes.  There is way more nutrition in these then I had relized prior to this time.

First of all the shakes are just $1.50 each!  Wow!  Where else are you going to get a nutritious meal for $1.50.  I don't think that you can do this anywhere.

There is only 1 gram of fat, 75 mg of sodium, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 7 grams of carbohydrates.

There are 5 grams of fiber, and there is serving of probiotic fiber, only 5% of daily cholesterol intake at 15 mg.  Plus you get a full 12 grams of fiber and all of this for just 90 calories.  So if you are making your shake with 8 oz of skim milk then it is just 170 calories.

I must be honest I had someone else (my dad) pick up milk for me on the way to my house and he accidentally got 1%.  The calorie total of this with the shake is 190 calories so not that many more and they are super creamy and delicious without any add ins.  So I would recommend this to someone who wanted a big more flavorful and creamy shake.

There are many amazing benefits that you can get just from drinking one shake per day.  You can maintain lean muscles which will help you to burn more fat.  You can improve concentration.   You are getting great nutrition and a balanced meal ein your shake.  It will boost your metabolism and you will be less hungry.  Plus you will have heart, digestive, and bone health.

I can ensure you only of the benefits to your digestive system b/c I have had chronic stomach aches and tummy troubles since childhood and never found the cause.  When I drink these shakes my tummy just works better and I feel better.  I don't feel so weighted down and I don't feel sick to my stomach.

The energy that you get from the shakes is so amazing too.  I started my new 90 day challenge today and I was able to keep up with all of the Cub Scouts at camp and able to give history of the circus presentations with spunk the entire day through.  Then I was able to come home and really play with my baby.

Best of all is that it is 7 pm and I am still full.  I made a few choices that I wish that I made differently out of the fact that it was still very hot today and I just wanted to relax and get some writing work done. 

Today's Menu

Breakfast--Body by Vi shake
1 cup cooked brown rice with a bit of fat free butter spray
Snack--scoop of popcorn (we served popcorn to all of the scouts today and this is one of my weeknesses)
Lunch--Body by Vi shake
chicken flavored noodle soup
Snack--another scoop of popcorn
Dinner--homemade cheese sticks prepared with low fat string cheese and baked in the oven (these are surprisingly healthy and they cured my bad craving.  I know that this was not the healthiest choice but for today this was what I was craving.)
Late Night Snack--a few Laffy taffy's and a couple suckers

In comparison to my normal days this was an awesome day.  I stayed within my calorie goals and did pretty good not to go over!  This was a huge accomplishment b/c when I am hot I often times do not want to cook and make the healthier meals that I should.

However you can see there was not a lot of bad for me stuff.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Look at Vaccinations: Vaxing, Not Vaxing, and Delayed Vaxing Just the Facts

So first of all, I am going to share that I am just giving the facts.  I do not even know if I am going to share with you my decisions (Hint:  They were different for each child.) on vaccinations or why.  I know for a fact that I will not be sharing them now.  I just wanted to list the facts.  The benefits and potential hazards of all and then leave things open for you to discuss.  I'd love to hear some other mom's opinions about things and see what you think.  I'd love to hear what the deciding factors were for you and why you personally chose the route that you chose.

This information was all gathered from a number of medical and professional sources from all sideds of the issue.  I was very interested in this because there are so many conflicting decisions out there and so many different ways to look at things.

The Case For Vaccinations

--In the recent past parents were terrified of losing their children or having their children become paralyzed because of diseases that were common.  Thanks to vaccinations we no longer see these diseases and typically are no longer worried about these.  (Today there is a resurgance of many different diseases that were not an issue for many years because of people not being vaccinated.  This is not an opinion, it is a fact, not to say if you do not vaccinate your child is going to get these diseases but should they be exposed there is a chance that they potentially could be.)

--Diphtheria was a problem for many years and caused devastation when children died.  Today it is rare because of vaccinations.

--Measles was almost completely extinct and only seen in very rare cases.  However prior to the vaccination in the US alone there were more than 500,000 cases each year.

--Smallpox was a devastating disease that could potentially lead to death.  Today there is no longer a smallpox virus to worry about.  It has been wiped from the earth because of vaccinations.  (I am still curious personally on this note as to why children continue to be vaccinated if it has been wiped from the earth completely.  I will be talking to my health care professional about this one now.)

--Polio caused much devastation.  It not only caused death but caused for millions of children to be devastated not that long ago.  I had a boss at one job that was still dealing with a ton of problems from the fact that he had been infected with polio as a child.  From what I have seen this is something that could be very devastating.  It is expected, unless there is a resurgance of the disesase, to be gone completely like smallpox and to only be a memory.

--The way that vaccinations work is that these viruses are introduced to the body in small and controlled doses so that the body builds up immunities.  There is a potential that your body will not produce the needed immunities and that you will end up sick.  This is very rare but could potentially happen.

--After your body has built up the immunity if you were introduced to the diease in it's live and active form (as the illness itself) your body will instantly recognize the disease and start to attack it more aggressively which is how you avoid getting sick.

--The germs that are in the vaccine are supposed to either be dead or weakened so that you do not get sick.

--Delaying vaccinations has been linked to a rise in diseases like whooping cough and can mean that your baby is not protected against it when they would be most vulnerable and when it could cause the most damage.  Today there are thousands of cases of whooping cough and sadly many of the youngest patients (those under the age of six months) end up dying.  The DTaP vaccination does protect against this.

--Many doctors are speculating that the resurgance in diseases that had not been heard of in a long time is because of the delay or choice to not vaccinate children.  I have only seen opinions (most of them from medical professionals and this is one that my doctor did side with as I was speaking to him).  I am only including it because it is a big part of a large majority of these vaccination commentes and something that I felt deserved mention because I saw it so much.

The Ideas Behind Delayed Vaccinations
--The idea is that as a child gets a little older they could more easily handle their vaccinations.  To date there is no evidence to support this.

--The reality is that most of the time a child is not exposed to these diseases or potential diseases until he or she is older.  Many factors could contribute that would not make this the case, like living in a home with someone who works in a hospital.

--There is evidence that babies who have these vaccinations at an older age are more likely to avoid things like developmental delays, autism, and learning disabilities that are often associated with vaccinations.  The recent study was conducted by the University of Louisville and is very enlightening and interesting.  (On a side note there have been no studies to look at the long term side effects and learning disabilities associated with vaccinations.)


The Ideas Behind Not Vaccinating Your Child

--Let's face it the potential problems and the rare cases in which a child has a reaction to a vaccine and dies are scary.  The worst part of this is that you would basically blame yourself because your child was vaccinated when you knew that they would be and they had problems because of that vaccine.

--Pharmaceutical companies have not always been the most ethical.  There are too many different reasons to state this but even those who choose to vaccinate have to be aware and admit to the fact that this is true.

--There are a lot of different chemicals and poisons contained in the vaccines.  This is not theory, this is fact.  Vaccines contain MSG, antifreeze, phenol, formaldahyde, aluminum, glycerin, and acetone just to name a few.

--A lot of parents use the argument that the majority of the children who seem to be "sick" all of the time and are constantly on antibiotics are those who are fully vaccinated.  This is an opinion but a strong one that many believe to be a factor.  I will say here that most of the non-vaccinating families that I know either have full time stay at home moms or their children are watched by family members.  A vast majority of the fully vaccinating families that I know have children who are in daycare.  I believe that for this to be a statement of fact you'd have to put together these two groups of children (those in daycare vs those not in daycare) and then look at the two separate groups within each one (those who are vaccinated vs those who are not vaccinated) in order to figure out if this is a fact.  My guess is that children who are not vaccinated and in traditional childcare are going to be sick the same percentage of time and that this is probably not a factual statement.  However I felt compelled to include this one because it was mentioned in nearly every article that I read on the case for not vaccinating your child.

--Other countries are actually changing how they vaccinate to older ages becasue of the potentially harmful side effects.  Japan (#3) in the world for infant mortality rates has a minimum age of vaccination of 2.  The United States is #33 in the world for infant mortality.  Australia does not allow the flu shot until the age of 5.

--There have been a lot of vaccines that have been linked to serious health risks in just the recent past. 

--Finally if you change your mind you can be vaccinated at any time but you can never undo a vaccination.


I did a lot of research on this topic.  I find it fascinating and sometimes I worry that I might have made the wrong decision in the ones that I have made.  In the end I know that I must take full responsibility for doing what I thought was best and I know in my heart that the decisions I made considered a number of factors.

I will say in my research that I found a MILLION (litterally) different opinion articles and it seems like a hot topic that everyone feels strongly about.  There are so many different sides and of course everyone thinks that what they are doing is best.  I pass no judgement.  I do what I think is best for my children and I am sure that everyone out there, whether they choose the path that I choose or not is doing what they personally think is best for their children.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Getting Organized....Step #1

Let me start off by saying that I have a very hard time geting organized.  I am in the process of building my full organization chart and schedule so that all of the things that need to be done get there before school starts. 

For those of you who would like to get organized with me.  I will be posting daily steps on my journey to do so. 

Today is Step #1--Make a List of Everything That Needs to Be Done!!!

The way that I am doing this is that I am going through each room of my house and listing what needs to be done in each of them.  This is all of the organization stuff that I will do today.  As I start the process I will post pictures, etc. of each step along the journey.  This step really does not have much in the way of pictures.  I will just type of my handwritten lists on here. 

The exact steps that I took were to list each and every room/area of my house.  Then I went through and listed everything that needed to be done in each of these rooms.  Below that is a short list of things that need to be done overall to get myself up and ready to go for school.

Back Entryway
--new high lock on the back door (one kids' can not reach)
--clean out pantry shelves
--clean out shoe box
--hooks for keys (high by the back door)
--pick out paint color and paint the area
--pain pantry

Kitchen
--clean out all cabinets
--Find simple organization system for cabinets
--clean out fridge and freezer
--make family planning/organization center and hang
--pick out paint color for the walls and paint them
--pick out paint color for the stove and refridgerator and paint them
--pick out paint color for the cabinets and paint them

Dining Room
--clean out file cabinet
--clean off/reorganize DVDs
--move buffet in and clean out the drawers/organize the top
--make art wall behind the buffet
--bring up second china cabinet and organize them both
--organize desk and desk shelf areas
--take 2nd tv/entertainment center to the basement
--take rocking chair to the basement
--move in child's table from the garage
--move in horse from the garage
--pick out paint color and paint
--organize toy area

D/S Bathroom
--organize the shelves and on top of the shelves
--put step stool in here so that I can reach on top of the shelves
--organize cabinet
--refurbish plastic drawers (make them pretty)
--reorganize plastic drawers
--organize shower
--organize potty closet (If you want to know our toilet is in a small separated closet like room.)
--organize shelves
--list items for sale or trade including all old diapers
--find new diaper organizing system (we cloth so this is going to be a chore)
--pick out paint color for cabinets and paint them
--pick out paint color for the room and paint it
--pick out paint color for the potty closet and paint it

Living Room
--build toy organization/bookshelf area--paint this the color of choice prior to assembly
--make bench seat
--make signs and pictures to hang in gallery format
--reogranize the entertainment center
--pick out paint and paint cheap tables (repurpose them!)
--rearrange
--organize all of the toys
--get rid of toys that the kids do not play with
--organize all table and shelf areas
--pick out paint color and paint


Entryway
--completely reorganize
--paint

Coat Closet
--clean out game shelves/reorganize games to where they can be used in the bottom of the closet
--clean out smaller sized coats, list online
--clean out stuff from bottom of the closet, reorganize, throw away, and then put back away

My Closet
--reorganize the bottom of my closet, move stuff in and move stuff out, get rid of stuff, sell stuff
--go through shoes, list some for sale or trade

Adeline's Room
--paint
--clean up, put all furniture in there, reorganize

Allie and Hux's Closet
--hand up border
--paint dress up clothes wardrobe
--put dress up clothes away and put away in the closet
--clean out toys
--reorganize
--sell/throw away

Hux's Room
--paint
--reorganize and clean out the toys
--reorganize and clean out dresser
--get stuff figured out to hang up
--apply wall decal

Allie's Room
--paint
--reorganize all of the toys, get rid of toys, sell/list online the ones that are sellable
--paint bookshelf
--clean out bookshelf
--put all furniture away, figure out what needs to be hung up, apply decal

Andrew's Small Closet
--clean out toys, sell or throw away
--hang up sweatshirts, jackets, and button up shirts

Andrew's Large Closet
--clean out toys, sell or throw away
--organize the whole closet

Andrew's Room
--reorganize the dresser
--make bookshelf desk
--clear out the entertainment center/list for sale
--paint
--hang up decals
--organize organize organize

U/S Hallway
--paint

U/S Bathroom
--paint
--hang up decals
--reorganize toys
--reorganize cabinet
--reorganize towel shelf

Basement
--throw away, sell/list online
--reorganize
--set up office area
--set up game/mancave area
--set up spare bedroom area

Stairway
--paint
--pick out paint for the stairs and slanted ceiling (pop of color)

Front Covered Porch
--take stuff out to the curb a little at a time
--clean and organize so that we can sit and enjoy being on the front porch


Daily Chores
--dishes two times
--meals, cooking
--diapers
--laundry/put away clothes
--sweep
--vacuum
--all d/s toys put away
--all u/s toys put away
--toy closets cleaned

Three Times Per Week
--clean d/s bathroom
--spot mop/steam mop

Once Per Week
--dust living room
--dust dining room
--dust my/Adeline's room
--dust Allie/Huxley's room & closet
--dust Andrew's room & closet
--clean u/s bathroom
--mop

Every Other Week
--move out stove and clean
--move out refrigerator and clean behind
--clean behind washer and dryer

Monthly
--clean out refridgerator
--clean out cabinets
--clean out bathroom cabinets/drawers
--clean out closets/check out toys, etc.
--clean out coat closet
--check up on basement progress

So the next step is to put these all on calendars & check lists.  I hope that you enjoy and I am planning on using these for my family planning calendar that I am going to be putting up in my downstairs kitchen.

Today's Thoughts on Society

So lately I have been struggling with some things that are going on in my personal life.  As you can probably tell, I have not been as active on here as I would like.  To be honest I am a bit depressed with some of life's happenings and well maybe some of you have some ideas that will help me to be able to get past these and get on with my life.

I will first of all acknowledge that I am very blessed.  I have a lot of things to be thankful for and many more things than I would have never thought that I would be so lucky to have.  I have a loving and caring boyfriend.  No, we are not married. Do I wish that we were?  Sure, but I had two very bad marriages so when I met Shane I was very clear in stating that I did not think that I would ever want to be married again.

I have since changed my mind after being in a healthy and happy relationship.  Prior to meeting Shane I had never been with anyone who was nice to me or with anyone who did not abuse me in some way.  This is not to say that I was always with men who were physically abusive but I was with men who were controlling, mentally and emotionally abusive most of the time.  There were a few good ones but those were not the ones that I chose to have the long term relationships with.  Instead those were the ones that I chose to let go for the ones that did not treat me as I should be treated.

I guess as I get older I really appreciate the small things in life, especially when I see little bits of humanity and positive things in those around me.  I am blessed to have a healthy family and to have a great group of friends.  This was not always something that would have been easy for me.  The areas in which I have not been blessed revolve mainly about bad decisions that I made the consequences that continue to come from them.

My oldest son's father and I have been in court, pretty much non-stop since we got our divorce over 7 years ago.  We were not even married for one year, although we had been together some time before we got married.  He was emotionally and mentally abusive.  He toyed with my emotions and made me feel like I deserved for him to be mean to me.

I guess my biggest problem is with how my child has been treated by his father & how the local organizations that are in place to protect my child are not doing their job. We even have professionals who are willing to help us, have called these organizations & made the reports, etc. Still nothing.

So my question is that in a society as "advanced" as ours, why do children have to be abused multiple times before they are protected by these agencies?

My exhusband has one founded case of child abuse against him & I was told that he would have to have three before the state's attorney would do anything or remove my son from his home for visitation. This still does not make sense to me.

And there have been multiple incidents that haven't been considered abuse...handprint around his neck (not abuse b/c it's not in the area in which you'd choke a child), whelps & bruises on his butt from spankings (on the butt so not child abuse), handprints on his arms, back, legs (not severe enough to be considered abuse), and even having to take him for MRIs etc from having his head slammed into a brick wall & he was having headaches (since there was not any damage it was not severe enough to be abuse). So I must ask, would you be outraged? What would you do? I didn't send him per the court ordered visitation & I got reprimanded, threatened with jail time & forced to remake up all of the visits that were missed.

Most recently we had an issue with the court appointed GAL refusing to return calls even to other professionals. So we will be back in court with those issues later in the week. I am hoping & praying for supervised visitations. Please say prayers or send positive vibes that what's best for my son will finally be considered. I'd appreciate all of them that we can get & please take the time to weigh in & give me any suggestions that you might have.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It's Official....

My 20s have ended.  I am not sure how to feel about this.  I like being young and I love the fact that I am a young mommy.  I love my kids and live each day through them and with them by my side.  I am wanting to know what you all think about things that go on as you age.  The biggest disappointment for me is that I have been having such a hard time losing weight as I neared thirty.  I can't believe that something could be so hard when it used to be so simple.  It kind of bothers me more than I know that I should.  I have always been bigger and just want to stay the same size that I was when I graduated from high school.  This is not too much to ask, right?  I guess we will have to wait and find out if it can happen.  It should have been on my goal list but I want to hit my goal weight range in the next year of my life.  Let's see if it can happen!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What Do You Want to See???

So I have several reviews & some giveaways coming up but I'd love to know what you'd like to see more of on here!

Review Gold Canyon Candles

Gold Canyon Candles have been around for a long time.  There are few candle companies that I have loved as much as I have this one and I have been a fan for years.  I must add in that I am very disappointed that their amazing candle that offered patchouli scents is no longer available and this is sad to me.  I was hoping that this one would stick around forever. 

If you'd like to host a book party or order anything please feel free to contact Sandy through her FB page.  You can order through her on the website as well but she is offering a special discount to anyone who chooses to order through her on FB.  Just tell her that I sent you or that you saw the review of her candles.
There are a wide variety of choices in scents though. 
I was given one of the Pomegranate scents that was on special last month.  This was a great product. One of the best things about Gold Canyon Candles is that you will find them to offer a choice that everyone can afford.  These heritage candles are as low as $7.98 for 5 oz and the most expensive option is just $18.98 for 26 oz.  So you can see just how affordable they really are.



There are a ton of items that I would personally like to purchase to keep my home smelling yummy.

The Bella Collection offers beautifully styled jars that would easily fit into any home decor.  As with all of my reviews I will post my favorites, which are all of the items that I would buy if I had an endless bank account to purchase them with.  These candles come in three sizes and prices that are again very affordable you can purchase the 8 oz for $13.95, 16 oz for $17.98, and 26 oz $20.98.

Autum Walk

Ginger Lime

Pool Towel


Clean Sheets


The Boutique candles are beautiful and feature some of the most sophisticated looks.  They come in one size, 8.5 oz for $17.98.  I'm obsessed with demask style prints and I think that this is my fascination with this candle and the way that it looks.

Birthday Cake


The Cafe line also only comes in one size.  This line features a variety of delicious smelling scents that make you want to eat them as much as smell them.  You get 19 oz candles for $17.98.

Brown Sugar Cookie



Caramel Ginger Strudel



Iced Caramel Macchiato




There are far too many scents from the Heritage collection that I would like to own.  This collection comes in four different sizes and is the most economical choice.  There is the 5 oz for $7.98, 8 oz for $11.98, 16 oz for $15.98, and 26 oz for $18.98.

I love that there are a variety of unique scents.  These are the ones that I would love to scatter throughout my house.

Beach



Coast



Moroccan Amber Vanilla *I especially like the design on this jar.  :)


Leather



Natural Cotton



Storm



Smokey Blues



Tuxedo



Tranquil Mist



Vetiver Woods



The Aromatherapy line is directed towards problems that you might have and allows you to explore these problems with the idea that the scent can help you with them.  These candles come in one size, 16 oz for $17.98.

PASSION Sandalwood Jasmine


REJUVENATE Rosemary Thyme


WELL BEING Eucalyptus Menthol



There are also a variety of candle holders, burners, and even some specialty candles.  I am dying to try out the Bottled Beer candle that comes as part of the Date Night 3 pack that retails for $17.98.



So if you would like to be able to use any of these in your own home you should definitely contact Sandy and let her know that I sent you.  If you choose to contact her through FB remember that you will be getting a great discount in the process.

Review AVON and Tiny Tillia

So I know when you think of AVON that this is not always the best thing.  In my mind it conjures up images of my mom and grandma and the skincare that they used.  It in no way would have brought to mind products that could compete with my favorite skin care choices that I fell in love with while working for Sephora.  However I was greatly surprised when the lovely Jessica who I am friends with wanted to offer me some amazing AVON products to try.

She was generous enough to give me samples of several of the great AVON ANEW products that were geared towards women that are my age.  These products are supposed to be able to help me to have better skin.  I saw some results.  I will not lie and say that I had amazing results.  I still have uneven skin tone and need to wear make up to perfect it.  However the texture of my skin has changed for the better and is amazing in comparison to what it was before.  I am so happy with the results that some of the products are going to go on my ultimate beauty must have list.  I plan on ordering some of the cleanser after having tried it and would highly recommend that you try it out for yourself as well.

Here is a list of the products that I tried.

ANEW Rejuvenate Revitalizing 2 in 1 Gel Cleanser $10.00
ANEW Rejuvenate Revitalizing Cream SPF 25 $25.00
ANEW Night Revitalizing Cream $30.00
ANEW 24 hour Eye Moisturizer with SPF 25 $28.00
ANEW Night Sapphire Emulsion $30.00
ANEW FLash Facial Revitalizing Concentrate

ANEW Rejuvenate Revitalizing 2 in 1 Gel Cleanser REVIEW

This cleanser is sure to be a new favorite of mine for a number of reasons.  I love the texture of it and the moisturizing beads really added something.  I also love the price point.  I mean, who wouldn't love spending just $10 on a cleanser that works and is something that they love.  I am happy with the overall differences that I saw in my skin and I love how clean I felt but that I did not feel completely stripped of all moisture from my face after using this cleanser.


If you look closely you can see the additional moisturizing beads that are found in this cleanser.

ANEW Rejuvenate Revitalizing Cream SPF 25

There were things that I liked about this cream and things that were not my favorite.  I think that it would be pefect for someone who had a different texture of skin than what I have.  It felt great after a while but felt a bit heavy and oily when I first applied it.  I love the creamy soft texture and the price point is pretty reasonable too.  With the added SPF I knew that I was in no danger of causing sun damages so I was happy with that option.  I would highly recommend that this be one of the products that anyone would give a try and then determine if they were right for them.




ANEW Revitalizing Night Cream

This is another one of the products that I really love.  The product is creamy and soft and has a nice soft scent to it.  I love that when I use it I wake up in the morning with skin that feels more nourished and softer then it did before.  I think that anyone who tries this product will be pleased with the results and the fact that it really does feel like a cream that you would pay at least $70 for when in  reality it only costs $30 and is often on sale for less.

ANEW Eye Mositurizer with SPF 25 and ANEW Night Sapphire Emulsion

These eye creams are another that I liked but would probably not purchase for myself.  I like a lighter eye cream and while these were thick and luxurious they felt a bit heavy on my skin. 


ANEW Flash Facial Revitalizing Concentrate

I believe that this product is the secret to my new found softer and better texture skin.  I think that this is the one that makes my skin feel great.  I believe that i will be purchasing this sometime in the future to use as a one time per week treatment.  I might even get crazy and try to use it daily but during my trial I used it one to two times per week and was very pleased with the results.


Now not only did Jessica send me items to test out from Avon but also from Avon's new children's line Tiny Tilia.  

I had not really heard of Tiny Tilia before talking to Jessica but I must say that they offer a whole lot of different options for moms.  They feature a variety of different types of clothing and all of it seems to be high quality.  I have not owned the clothing or accessories but have seen them on Jessica's daughters and they seem to be made from top quality cotton by the feel of them. 

What  I did try was two of the bath products that they have, Duncan Dog Citrus Sorbet Shampoo and Body Wash and Indy Sheep Berry Sorbet Shampoo and Body Wash that retail for $6.00 each.  The products both smelled great.  The best part was that one smelled more like it was geared towards a little boy while the other smelled more like it was geared towards a little girl.  My toddler's loved that they had their own bottles of shampoo and body wash.  This just means that in the future as I am organizing my purchases and my home that these two bath and body products are going to top the list of things that my kids have and like.

Jessica is an amazing mommy to three children.  Her oldest is her nine year old son and she has twin daughters that are two and a half.  Jessica is a little bit of an entrepreneur.  She not only sells the AVON, Mark and Tiny Tilia lines.  She also sells It Works! body wraps and products and sells life insurance.  If you are interested in ordering AVON you can contact her here.  If you are interested in any of her other businesses or products please send her a personal email here.

It's My Birthday (July 25th) and I Will Cry if I Want To

Let's just start with the idea that I am turning thirty years old today.  I can remember when I felt like this day was so far off when I had the prospect of a long and full lifetime ahead of me.  I am so happy with the things that I have come to know but have to admit that life is not what I thought it would be and so many of my life goals have not yet happened.  So I am going to write my five year goal plans.  There are many things that I want to experience and get done in the first five years of this decade. 

As I reflect back on my twenties there are many things that I have to think about.  Let's face it, the first half of my twenties had three good things come from them.  While there were lots of good memories this was a hard time in my life when I struggled to find out who I was and where I was headed in my life. I wanted so many things, some of which I now have and some of which I never ewas able to find.  I am hoping that my thirties can help me get the rest of my life going in the continued good direction that the latter half of my twenties gave me.

The good of my early twenties were--
My son, Andrew
My Friend, Holly
My Friend, Ryan
Again there were some good time and great memories including the introduction of my soul to its home in Oregon.  I can't explain my love for Oregon other than I have never felt so complete, so whole, and so comfortable in any place before in my life.

The good of my later twenties were--
So many friends...Erin & Ron (love you guys), Scott, Teedo, Carmelle, Lori, Molly and many more that I just do not talk to as frequently.
My church family
My three beautiful younger children, Althea, Huxley, and Adeline
The love of my life, Shane
A beautiful family life that I could have never expected would be so great and wonderful.

So many lessons have been taught to me but I am sure that I have lessons to learn.

Here are my five year goals and they are in no particular order....

1.  To be published
2.  To be a better mom
3.  To grow closer to God in my own quiet way
4.  To be able to show my children and family Oregon and see if their hearts are as happy there as mine is (I will then know what is right for my family)
5.  Move into a bigger house, location pending number 4
6.  Develop a better relationship with Shane (I want for us to be rock solid and one of those couples that others strive to be like.)
7.  Develop my relationship with each of my kids
8.  To slow down and enjoy the little things with my children
9.  To visit San Francisco and see a show there
10.  To be on Berkeley's campus
11.  To see a show at the Red Rocks
12.  To have a neat and well organized home
13.  To be able to organize myself in a schedule format
14.  To become wife to the love of my life

Not a lot of goals but those that I can accomplish.  I want to be able to meet these goals and when I come back to tell you about them after my 35th birthday I want to be creating a whole new list of five year goals.  I have my plan.

So how do you handle aging.  I want to age gracefully but right now I am a bit depressed and sad and yes I have cried multiple times.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Best Ever Breakfast Cookies

So my friend Amber C posted her recipe for breakfast cookies a while back on FB. I, of course, adapted them to make them my own.

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 packets Stevia
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Mix all together. Press mixture into the bottom of 12 muffin cups. Bake at 350 for 8-10 mins. Let cool. Enjoy.

Not only are these super healthy but they are crazy delicious & cheap to make!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Too Many Cartoons

To avoid the recent heat wave from Hell I've been staying in with the kids. I am now for certain that we've been watching too many cartoons. We've also colored, played board games, & workbooks, but after my dream last night I'm sure too many cartoons.

You see, last night was the second night in a week that I've dreamed myself into Gabbaland. Now while I have no problems with Gabbaland, I'm certain that there are many places more appropriate.

So anyone else having odd dreams out there? I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Where Have I Been??

So I must quickly apologize that things have been a bit crazy lately.

My four year old, yes I said four (her birthday was on Sunday), has a pretty bad stye on her eye and this is requiring doctor appointments in Peoria which is about an hour away.  It has been a strain to have to go over there for each of them and I will be happy to see her healthy again.  I hate seeing her not feel well and hate it when she is in pain.

It was also her birthday which meant that mommy was busy creating her first layer cake which was a Barbie cake as well.  However there are many additional things to deal with.

I will be posting some new reviews and giveaways soon.  I have some good ones coming up.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Shopping and Giving Back All at Once

So I am obsessed with the idea of making my shopping purchases count for something more than just shopping.  I love the idea of getting things that I want/need and giving to charity at the same time.  I'm sharing just a few of my favorite things from each of these places as well.

Tom's Shoes--This is my new obsession.  I plan on purchasing pairs for my kids and as I buy shoes for myself I plan on all of them being Tom's.  There's nothing better than giving back in my opinion and I love the laid back and comfortable style of their shoes.  They give a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes that you purchase.

Tom's Eyewear--That's right Tom's expanded their brand and now they give back by offering a pair of glasses to someone in need with every pair of glasses that you purcahse from them.

Since I am mentioning shoes, I guess I should mention that Sketchers is trying to do the same thing, donating a pair of shoes.  I do have a problem with the fact that they created Bob's shoes and that they are a rip off design of Tom's Shoes.  I will not post links here b/c this is my blog and I hate the idea of stealing someone else's design and business ideas.  Sorry Sketchers but the least you could have done is design your own line of shoes instead of ripping off someone else's.

(RED)--This company has been around for a while.  When I was younger they had the awesome bracelets in Bath and Body works that supported AIDS research.  I bought one of these with one of my first paychecks when I was just sixteen.  Sadly this bracelet got ripped off and someone stole it from me, um thanks to whoever did that.  I never replaced it but it is currently on my Christmas list as something that I want again this year.  Their brand has expanded and there are a ton of additional awesome products at their store.

INSPI(RED) Ladies T-Shirt by (RED)
The Feed Foundation features this amazing bag for $100


One and RED bracelets!
ONE and (RED) Beaded Bracelet

This is the coolest thing ever and something that some people on my Christmas list will be getting.  It is a charge pack for your iPhone that you put on your keychain so you can charge your phone anytime.  How awesome is that???  Best of all, this version of the charger is just $35



Apple has even teamed with (RED) and there is an iPod Nano, and cases for your iPad or iPad 2.

FEED
They have the cutest bags and the profits go towards feeding people globally.  You can choose where you are going to send your money and what people you are going to feed by the stuff that you purchase.
My favorite is this FEED Bridal bag
I really think that if Shane and I decide to get married one day that I would like to do the entire wedding in recylced goodies and things like this that go towards supporting charity.


This library bag is really cool too and something that is very affordable.


This amazing trick or treat bag is just $12 and since it is made from burlap you know it is going to last.  I love these!!


The dirty hippie in me needs the FEED peace bag!  I love this one!!


There are some awesome t-shirts that would look great in a family picture with everyone wearing some Tom's.  I sense our future family pictures here!!!

I see Huxley in this one!


I see Adeline wearing this!


I see Althea wearing this one!


Andrew wearing this one!


Shane wearing this one!


And myself in this one!


These would be the cutest family pictures that I can imagine, so now off to look for some more writing work so that I can purchase them!  LOL!

www.lovemycharity.com is like an Ebay without bidding.  Here you get to list your items, list the charity that you want to support, and what percentage of your money is going to be given to the charity.  It is a great way to get rid of your old things while supporting a good cause at the same time.

BogoLight Project--This is where you purchase one rugged solar powered light and one gets donated to someone in need around the world.

The One World Futbol Project has an item for you to buy that every soccer mom needs.  They have a soccer ball that never goes flat and when you purchase one, one goes to a community in need.

Baby Teresa is a company that will send on baby outfit to a baby in need when you purchase one for your baby.  Best of all, they are really really cute baby clothes.

Blanket America sells blankets and other linens and one goes to charity for someone in need when you purchase one.

Warby Parker offers another buy one get one glasses, you purchase your frames and a pair are donated to a charity.

Happy Blankie features adorable animal blankies and was created by a seven year old.  It is a great company who is going to offer a blankie to be loved by a child in need when you purchase one.

Whitten Grey offers a Little Grey Dress Project which offers a dress to a little girl in need when you purchase products.

One Million Lights offers solar powered lights to someone in need when you purchase one for yourself.

FIGS makes bows and ties for men and offers a child in need a uniform for school with every one that you purchase.

Roma boots offers a one for one project where a child in need gets a pair or rainboots so that they do not have to ever experience wet feet and be uncomfortable.

Green Irene will be offering buy one give one products for twenty different items. 

Smile Squared offers a donated toothbrush for every toothbrush that is purchased.

Loved Twice offers products for newborns like changing pad covers and donates one to a newborn in need when you purchase one.

One of One Clothing Company will donate articles of clothing for every one that you purchase.  They offer some super cute t-shirts for normal t-shirt prices.











If you know of more companies, post the links!!!