Wednesday, November 27, 2019

5 Years Ago Yesterday - 2008


5 Years Ago Yesterday

I really wanted to write this yesterday but with it being my son’s 5th birthday, Mother’s Day and the fact that my husband wouldn’t be home after 4:30 p.m. I really wanted to spend the day just enjoying time with my family.

5 Years ago on Mother’s Day was one of the happiest days of my life.

I have written about this in the past but to sum it up, my son was breech and was scheduled to be born on May 13th by Cesarean

However, on the morning of May 11th at 3:30 a.m. my water broke, we rushed to the hospital and I became a mom for the first time.

5 years ago, where did the time go?

5 years ago, I held you and wished the 
moment would never end. 

5 years ago, I was handed a beautiful baby, wrapped in a blue blanket. 

5 years ago, I kissed your forehead and said, “Hi, I’m, your mommy.”

5 years ago we, your father and I, became a family. We were married 8 years before you came, but you made US a FAMILY.

5 years ago, you gave me the name “Mommy,” a name I longed to hear myself referred to after not being able to use the word for more than 25 years.

5 years ago, you I loved your father with every cell in my body. Giving birth to you and seeing him in a totally different way, sealed my love for him forever. I was IN LOVE and knew he was the best thing that had ever happened to me.

5 years ago, I never loved anyone so hard in all my life.

5 years ago, you saved me.

Baby boy, (I will call you this until the day I die) I love you so much. Our relationship is one of the most beautiful things in the world. You are loving and sweet. You tell me you love me at least 25 times a day (No doubt where you learned that from – I have done it to you since you were born).

You kiss me and hug me at least 30 times a day. Again, I am not surprised, I told everyone that you would end up with a permanent kiss mark on your forehead because I could not stop kissing you.

You are challenging and assuring, strong and sensitive, caring and nurturing and shy and boisterous, loving and kind.

You love me to hold your hand or touch your head when you sleep, something I have done since your first days.

You love me to sing to you and still enjoy hearing the songs I put you to sleep to.

You are beginning to read and love hearing how things are spelled.

You know right from left and use directions every moment you can.

You like taking care of your sister but like most siblings, fight like the cats and dogs.

You enjoy watching movies, being read to, playing games on XBox or the computer, coloring, playing games like Bingo, going to the park and going on play dates.

5 Things I love About You:

1. You love hugs and kisses.
2. You are extremely sensitive and like being held and rocked still.
3. You take care of your sister. When she calls you, you run to see if she is ok. You help her turn on lights she can’t reach, open doors she can’t open, take her shoes off or get her something she can’t get.
4. You enjoy laughing and have the best laugh.
5. You tell me you love me every single day. You thank me for taking you places and apologize
when you do something you shouldn’t.
I love you with all my heart baby boy. You are my heart on legs and I pray that you always want to spend time with me.
Love, Mommy.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Away by Gints Zilbalodis Available Friday @awayfilm

Away An Animated feature film by Gints Zilbalodis Opens on Friday.

AWAY is an amazing feature length animated film; written, produced and directed entirely by one very talented person: Director and Animator, Gints Zilbalodis. Gints worked on the film for three and a half years, writing the fascinating story, creating the beautifully animated landscapes and characters, and composing and recording the enchanting music to the film.

The story is about a boy traveling across an island on a motorcycle, trying to escape a dark spirit and get back home. Along the way he makes a series of connections with different animals and reflects on the possible ways he ended up on the island. Part dream, part reality, and in a way, the story-line/narrative is a reflection of the creative process of the making of the film itself. The main idea of AWAY is our common, universal need to find a connection.

“I’m very happy to have finally finished the film after so many years... And I can’t wait to share it with the world because watching films in a theatre is the best way to create a connection with people.” – Gints Zilbalodis

Winner: Annecy - Contrechamp Award Anima Mundi - Best Feature Film for Children Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival - Best Animated Feature (Golden Stork Award) Animest - Best Feature Award +6 More!
Official Selection: Tokyo International Film Festival Shanghai International Film Festival Goteborg Film Festival Sitges Film Festival Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival Ottawa Internationa Animation Festival Animafest Zagreb Fantasia Festival Fantoche New Chitose Airport International Animation Festival Riga IFF +40 More! 75 minutes

The 411:

I LOVED this part fantasy, part mystery, part fantasy, part science fiction movie. There is no dialogue necessary.

Memorizing scenery as a boy wakes dangling from his parachute way above the ground. A large, dark being walks toward him but he gets away. We follow his journey as he and his rescued bird friend try to find a way home with the threat of this dark presence throughout the movie.

Such a smart well done movie that had me glued. The 3D animation is OMG and the soundtrack beautiful. It is a perfect movie. No dialogue means it can be viewed by anyone and be understood.

My daughter came in while I was reviewing and watched with me. She kept mentioning the animation and how awesome the animation is. My husband came in from work and asked from downstairs if I were playing Myst a game from the 90s. He said the music reminded him of it.

Truly a masterpiece created by ONE person. 25 year old Gints Zilbalois wrote, directed, produced and composed all of it. He is a true genius

This is a must see!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

This Christmas Share The Joy Of The Magic Christmas Book & Ornament + A GIVEAWAY

About the Story Christmas Eve is a dazzling, special time...especially when your family's favorite Christmas tree ornament has magic powers! On one enchanted Christmas Eve, Victoria, Joseph, and John gather around the fireplace to hear their father’s story about this favorite Christmas ornament. After their parents go to bed, the children discover the true magic of the ornament as it sweeps them from their home and directly into Santa’s workshop!


The 411:

This is such a cute idea for a family gift or a gift from your Christmas Elf. The kit comes with a book and an ornament. The ornament has a picture from the book on each side of the ornament. Such cute packaging too! Very festive.

The book is a story of The Magical Christmas Ornament. In the story a family sits together as a father tells his children the story of the magic Christmas ornament he had as a child. After he tells them the story and they all head to bed the kids sneak downstairs and after a blast of cold air they find themselves outside. They spot some little tiny footprints which they follow to a tree. Suddenly they are in Santa's work shop where they see Santa and an elf named JJ who tells them about Christmas Magic and gives them an ornament off Santa's tree.

He explains that they came their with Christmas Magic eventually they are outside by the tree and one of the children place the ornament inside the tree and JJ tells them that the magic of Christmas lives inside them always.

The kids find themselves home and discuss how JJ had the same tie as daddy. Hmmm...could it have been their daddy?

I think the story is cute and a little bit of Peter Pan, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe mixed with Tim Allen's The Santa Clause. Only instead of a snow globe there is a Christmas ornament.

I think the pictures are whimsical and I love the inclusion of the dog. Very cute!

Oh and I think I should mention that a portion of the proceeds from the book sales will be given to Toys 4 Tots.

Jim's father, Sylvester (Ziggy) Barbato, was one of nine children from an Italian immigrant family. Ziggy often told Jim that his family was too poor to afford toys for their children, but he always vowed that his children would experience the spirit of Christmas. THE MAGIC CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT is an original story created by Jim and Victoria Barbato. Writing this story allows our family to share the magic of Christmas?and all of its excitement?with yours. It?s ideal for reading aloud to children of all ages.

To Purchase

Enter the Giveaway by filling out this form before December 9th

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

My Life In 2008 - Way Different Now


Weekly Update

Monday – Laundry, Cleaning then the beach for 3 hours. It was awesome, second time this season. We have a private beach about 5 minutes from us but my girlfriend who lives on the other side of the lake about 10 minutes away has a more kid friendly beach, so we headed there. My daughter who wasn’t into the water last year, could not get enough of it. She had a life vest on but managed to lose her footing 2 times.
The first time I scooped her up and she coughed and said put me down. The second time, I thought for sure she would want to get out but she again said, “put me down” when I scooped her out. Ummm…sometimes a little fear goes a long way. She is making me nervous.
Tuesday – Laundry, Special Instruction (SEIT) for my son started up again for summer, followed by Speech for 1/2. He didn’t get his speech instruction because Beth (speech) arrived right after a full out street fight in my hall way with Handsome. He has been talking back and hitting me when I tell him not too. Good Lord!
Wednesday – SEIT and Speech again. Grocery shopping and play date with my friend and her daughter. They only stayed for about an hour and a half but it was enough time for my daughter to have 10 books read to her and my son to play a Wii game with the daughter. Started some freelance work for my old job. Moving quickly. My sister’s birthday. Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Gabby, happy birthday to you. Read and posted a review on a Seven Easy Tips: Encouraging Your Daughter to Say “No” by Alyssa Avant. Worked with the husband on some invoicing. Yikes, always makes me nervous.
Thursday – Laundry, cleaned bathroom, kitchen and vacuumed. Beach again for 5 hours. It was great! My kids had a blast and I finally brought down my googles. Not a fashion statement but I have contacts and like to swim. I am sure I am a sight but my kids enjoy me being in there with them so that is all that matters to me. Pulled over by a PITA police officer who just wanted to ruin my day. He was overly obnxious, I didn’t appreciate in front of my children. It was the most annoying pullover ever. It took him 9 years to get out of his car and then he yelled at me for 2 minutes before telling me “this one is on me, the next one is on you!” Yeee God!
Friday – Cleaned bedroom, living room, hallway, dining room. Dropped books off at the library. Got pizza for dinner. Did freelance work and got the kids down early to watch Jumper with the hubby. More on that later.
Saturday – Freelance work. Beach for 3 1/2 hours with some friends. Kids to be early so that the Hub and I could watch Meet the Spartans. Also, wrote draft for second review (look for it this week).
Sunday – Grocery shopping, laundry, Freelance done! Early night for me hopefully since I am not feeling so well. Kids need a bath but I am thinking of doing a bird bath for each in the sink. Got to run, 7:19 p.m. and I want to get the changed and ready so there are no excuses for them to be up past 8:00. Night.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

My Life In Pics Nov 1 - Nov 5

November 1 - My husband and I went to dinner for our Anniversary. We got pizza for the kids and stayed fairly local. I was so excited that he suggested it just be the two of us. We usually take the kids. Our outings aren't usually successful. Either he hates the place, hates the food or we argue over something small and stupid. This was success and my drink and food was amazing. No appetizer necessary. Look at the Bloody Mary.

November 2 - I made this page for my daughter of a bunch of Halloween photos of her and her friends.
November 3 - My girl found this dragon at Walmart. She really wanted it and hated leaving it there but we just couldn't imagine where she would put it once we got it home.

November 4 - My girl's drawer has been a cat bed for a long time. My son broke it when it was his room and we have never been able to fix it so now it has a blanket over her clothes and all three cats take turns making it their bed.

November 5 - We found this so weird. It looks like the chimney is going through the window but more like the window was boarded up and it just appears that way. Still had to grab a picture of it.

Friday, November 22, 2019

How Parents Can Show The Love Equally To Each Very Different Child

Children need love and attention from their parents, but having two or more children can pose a challenge for moms and dads to spread the warmth evenly.
Sometimes this imbalance occurs when siblings are sharply different in terms of talents and personality. Jennifer Lynch, an educator, child advocate and author of the children’s book Livi and Grace (, says giving children equal attentiveness is important to their happiness and starts with parents appreciating their uniqueness.
“Children are unique, unknown little people waiting to be revealed,” Lynch says. “Parents need to ask themselves, how can I embrace these differences and make each child feel and recognize their beautiful uniqueness?
“Let the mystery of who they are and who they are meant to be unfold in their own authentic way, however awesome or peculiar it is. Everyone is different and it’s important to make every child feel special, important and loved.”
Lynch offers these tips to help parents balance their attention on multiple children who have different interests, personalities, and talents:
Give them quality one-on-one time. Consistently taking time to give your children one-on-one time, Lynch says, shows them you care and that they are important. “This means no phones, no distractions, and being 100 percent present with your child,” Lynch says. “Make eye contact, ask questions, and just listen and let them lead at whatever activity or interaction is taking place. This makes them feel safe, in control and loved.”
Celebrate their uniqueness. An imbalance in parental attention can lead to siblings comparing themselves — never a good idea because that can create jealousy and low self-esteem, thus accentuating a sibling rivalry. At the same time, children may think the parent is showing favoritism. “Susie may be faster than Johnny, but Johnny may be a brilliant chess player,” Lynch says. “So when they begin to compare themselves with their siblings, take that conversation and turn it into how great it is that they each have a place that shines. And bring in more examples of how their differences are beautiful and important. Set up scenarios showing examples of how those differences are good.”
Show your love for them. “You obviously love your children, so don’t be afraid to show it,” Lynch says. “Give them that authentic shout-out, or the gentle, grace- filled redirection and encouragement when they need to try again at something, whether it’s poor behavior or just losing a game. Leave the shame out of it.”
Validate them but be authentic. When it comes to praise, Lynch says quality is much more important than quantity. “Children can recognize a fake compliment a mile away,” Lynch says. “They know if you’ve really seen them or not. They know if it’s from the heart or just surface praise.”
“In these ways, showing appreciation for who each of them are will help your children develop confidence in themselves,” Lynch says. “They will take your lead and begin to find other amazing things about themselves and their friends. Making each of your very different children feel truly loved and valued will help them grow up to be happy and responsible adults.”
About Jennifer Lynch
Jennifer Lynch, author of the children’s book Livi and Grace (, is an educator and child advocate who serves as a guardian ad litem, a person appointed to represent a child’s interests in a court case. She has worked as a special education teacher for an elementary school and as a preschool teacher. In addition, Lynch created the You Are Good brand of T-shirts and other products for sale and for donations. Thousands of the shirts have been donated to children and teenagers in the system. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Texas A&M University. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Maisy's Christmas Party With 6 Festive Letters And Secret Surprises!

You’ve got mail! When Maisy invites her friends to a holiday party, she receives several pull-out gifts that she’s happy to share with fans.

The holidays are coming, and Maisy’s friends are thrilled to receive invitations to her party. It will be fun to play games, tell stories, sing carols, and eat treats! Dotty, Eddie, Cyril, Tallulah, and Charley all send thank-you notes to Maisy, each with a little something she might enjoy. And Maisy has something to give to her readers as well! Kids will be excited to reach into the envelope pockets to find:

· an ornament
· a simple gingerbread recipe
· a book of jokes
· a small advent calendar
· a puzzle
· and a Christmas card from Maisy!

The 411:

OMG I love this book so much. It is an adorable story about Maisy throwing a party for all her friends but more importantly readers get to open up the adorable envelopes with her friends letters inside.  The letters colorful and fun to read. I mean who doesn't love getting mail?!

This is a perfect book to introduce children to the art of letter writing which I believe is a lost art. I have one friend who sends out of the blue letters and it means the world to me. I have kept every letter I have ever received and they are few and far between.

To Purchase:

Disclaimer:  I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered. 

Peppa Pig and The Christmas Play - Perfect Addition To Your Christmas Book Collection

Peppa’s class is putting on a Christmas play. Will Santa arrive in time to see the show?

Everyone in Peppa’s class is excited about the Christmas play. Wendy Wolf is going to be an elf, Peppa will be a Christmas fairy, and Suzy Sheep is going to be the Christmas nurse — just in case someone gets sick. Peppa knows Santa is very busy, but she still hopes he’ll come to watch the play. He said he would! Could a Christmas surprise be in store for Peppa and her friends?

The 411:

This story was so cute. Peppa Pig and her classmates are doing a school play and picking characters. Peppa informs the class that Santa told her when she saw him at the store that he would be at the play.  Their teacher Ms. Gazelle tells the class that Santa is very busy this time of year but on the night of the play he does show up and takes everyone on a sleigh ride.

OMG this book was very popular today with my preschoolers. They all love Peppa Pig and loved reading about her and her friends. It was funny and sweet. Santa is all we are talking about these days in school. 

I loved how large the book is, my class were all able to see it and touch it as I read. The full color illustrations are exactly what fans of Peppa expect. PERFECT!

To Pre-Order:

Disclaimer: I received a copy from Candlewick Press for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

Long Ago, On A Silent Night by Julie Berry

Long ago, in a dusty barn, a mother took a child in her arms, wrapped him snug, made his bed in the hay. He was her gift that Christmas Day. There's no sweeter gift than a life so new. My best gift, little one, is you.

In this poignant and lyrical story by Printz Honor recepient Julie Berry, the miracle of Christmas and the promise in every new child come together in a luminous celebration of unconditional love and hope. With tender, incandescent illustrations by Annie Won, the wonder of the nativity story and the marvel of every baby come alive in a wholly extraordinary book for families everywhere.

A special, beautiful keepsake storybook to read, share, and cherish every Christmas season with the ones you love.

The 411:

Scholastic has some of the best books. I love this book that talks about about how Jesus was once a baby like our very own baby. The story shows a new mother telling her precious new baby the story of the night Jesus was born and how it correlates to our own birth. I loved the adorable illustrations and while the book is religious in the story it also is a beautiful testament to the unconditional love of parents.

My kids are 14 and 16 and I want to read them this book right now!

To Purchase:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

Dasher By Matt Tavares Tells The Story Of Why Reindeer Pull Santa's Sleigh

Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever

From the celebrated creator of Red and Lulu comes the story of a brave little doe who meets Santa and changes Christmas forever.

Dasher is an adventurous young reindeer with a wish in her heart. She spends her days with her family under the hot sun in a traveling circus, but she longs for a different life — one where there is snow beneath her hooves and the North Star above her head. One day, when the opportunity arises, Dasher seizes her destiny and takes off in pursuit of the life she wants to live. It’s not long before she meets a nice man in a red suit with a horse-drawn sleigh — a man named Santa. And soon, with the help of a powerful Christmas wish, nothing will be the same.

The 411:

Such an adorable book about the reason Santa's sleigh was eventually pulled by 8 reindeer.

Dasher and her family were part of a circus. She didn't hate it because she was with her family but she longed for something more. It was hot and the crowds were always vying to get glimpse of the reindeer family. Mama told the reindeer stories of a land under the North Star that was always blanketed by snow and the air was crisp and cold.  One night Dasher got the opportunity to get out eventually running into a man in a red suit with a sleigh hooked up to a very, tired and old horse. Santa asked Dasher to help out and the rest as they say is history.

This is the perfect book to add to your Christmas book collection. Your children will love it and you will love the story of family staying together.

I love how the book focuses on family while mentioning the conditions animals are sometimes kept when held in captivity and how they long to be free.

The illustrations are a wonderful addition to a sweet story.

To Purchase:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

Manscaped The Perfect Package For Your Man! #Holidaygiftidea #manscaped

OK Ladies and Gents pull up a seat and let's discuss Manscapping. You all know what that means cleaning up the nether region on a man and if you are not doing this you should be and Manscaped is making this easier for you with some products that you should definitely think about getting.

Ladies if your man doesn't have this on his Christmas list I suggest you do the honors of adding it for him. 

Manscaped has everything you need for cleaning up below the waist. I received the "Perfect Package to review which came with the following:

The Lawn Mower 2.0 which includes 2 attachments - It's waterproof and easy to handle. It is quiet too if you plan on surprising someone with your newly cleaned area.

The Crop Preserver which is a 3 oz bottle of anti chafing deodorant for "your boys".

The Crop Reviver a 2 oz spritz bottle of toner. After you mow you want to soothe the area. This will take down any inflammation and keep everything neat and tidy. It is designed for your sensitive area. 

It also comes with boxers and The Shed which basically is a case that carries all of your JUNK! LOL see what I did there?!

While not included I believe everyone should grab The Crop Cleaner which is a body wash great for post trimming or every day showering. 

I love this product and think you will too. 

Check out my video for more information 

Look for Manscape in my Him category on my Holiday Gift Guide going live in a few days.

To Find Out more visit

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

My Life In Pics - October 27 - October 31

October 27 - I made my husband Empanadas for dinner. He asked for them since so I guess I did okay for my first attempt.  Since then I have gotten better and seal the whole thing with a fork like you are suppose to.

October 28 - Sage had her yearly appointment at the vet. She was so scared but did fantastic. Picture of health. Goddess always comes with me because she hates knowing they are getting a shot and she isn't there. She hates shots!

October 29 - I cut my Eucalyptus and made a swag. Not the biggest swag and totally need a new bow but I love it.

October 30 - One of my co-workers is so talented. Look at our soon to be painted hall.

October 31 - My teens for Halloween. My son is some dude named Treavor from Grand Theft Auto and my daughter was a Creepy Pasta character called Laughing Jack that she feminized.

My Life In Pictures - October 18 - October 26

October 18 -  I  got to review a fun Halloween Costume to wear to my school Halloween Parade. Goddess was nice enough to model it for me. I couldn't get over how funny she looked.

October 19 - My girl and her friends at my town's Halloween Bash. Every year the town does a whole thing with Merchant Trick Or Treating, a parade, a photo game and then a Haunted Terror Trail. We went to the trail and waited on the long line and when we got up Skye's friends tried to get her to go in but she refused instead hanging with me. I really wanted to go but she has been traumatized since the first time she went maybe about 8 years ago. It was fun anyway and these kids are pretty great.  This photo was after the hayride which was basically a few loops around a baseball field but it was fun anyway.

October 20 - I organized a farm outing for Goddess and some of her friends. It was so hard to choose one photo from this day. Even though it was raining we had a great time. I couldn't get a photo with everyone who went because they all kept breaking off into smaller groups depending on what everyone wanted to do. I find these kids all so funny. They are great friends who think about each other and make me laugh so hard.

October 21 - LOL the only picture I took for the 21st was this photo of a little boy named Sam in my class. He was trying to draw letters in the dirt at recess.

October 22 - Ahhhhh yeah so this pic is it. The only one of the day and it was while waiting for my kids outside their school. I noticed all the screen savers through the window and had to get a photo. Yeah I know I am friggin lame.

October 23 - Soooo I am kinda proud of this...I saved a Praying Mantis from getting toddler trampled at the playground. I picked it up and walked over to a tree right outside the play area. It was very pinchy if that is a word. I never walked so fast in my life.  I have been looking for it's egg case for weeks but never found it. Found a few last year. I guess they come back to the same place to lay but I don't know really. Maybe it is a coincidence or something. Trying to act way smarter than I really am. 

October 24 - A selfie is important. I need to take them or there are no photos of you. Your kids will only have the photos one day so take pictures whenever you can. I was waiting for the kids to come out of school so grabbed a pic of me!

October 25 - Not a great pic but my girl and I did a Mommy and Me Baby Sitting gig. The baby was so sweet and we missed him the next day. The couple had animals too which was really nice for us as well. We loved spending time with them.

October 26 - Cat Sitting for Phoebe and her other cat friends. She is a model fluff. I mean look at that face.