Thursday, March 31, 2011

Does it Make me a Bad Person?

Since I lost my job and honestly sometimes before I get the feeling that I wish there was more in my life.

I miss having friends to go out with.
I miss having free time to do the things I enjoy.
I miss being free to do as I please, free of children, free of my husband (although I am not saying I would want them to be gone, I love them so much!)
I miss adult conversation, something that has gone missing since I lost my job.
I miss feeling useful to the world.

Now sadly I would love to stay home with my children, but I would love it if we were able to actually do things. I mean we have no money and only one car right now so we really do not do much or venture far. Although I am trying to get a Y membership to give us some more options on outings, especially when it rains. Which it is doing now and has been for a couple days.

I just get restless sometimes and want change and I am wondering if that is normal or if I am crazy? (Ok I know I am crazy but.... :) )

Just somethings that have been on my mind. Staying home with two kids and my husband is taking a lot longer to get used to then I thought it would. Although a lot of projects have been completed around the house.

Restlessness why will you not go away?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mailbox Monday Blog Hop

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bucket List Update

Awhile back I started my living, breathing bucket list and decided it was time for an update. 

1. Travel to every state in the US at least once in my life. I would love to stay in every state but will be happy with touching my feet on the ground of every state.

2. Take a cruise with my family, hopefully this one happens soon!

3. Have a honeymoon (without the kids).

4. Host my 1st giveaway on my blog  This has been done a couple times. 

5. Win a new blog makeover from Simply Stacie and Kelly's Lucky You Build a Beautiful Blog Week. Yes I won!!!

6. Have a career in marketing with a focus on social media.  - Working on this one. I am going to school for an Associates in Web Design and now that I am unemployed I can rethink my career. 
7. Get 200 followers on my blog. - Done now on to # 8

8. Get 500 followers on my blog.

9. Get 1000 followers on my blog.

10. See Cavalia again, loved it so much!!

11. Take my daughters horse back riding.

12. Own a dog, of course not until my daughters are older and can help.

13. Lose 40 lbs

14. Learn to cook at least enough to feed my family more then boxed items.

15. Finish both my daughter's baby books.

16.  Renew my vows with my husband at the local Renaissance festival.

17. Own a home with a backyard. 

18. Go to the circus.

19. Finally take the time to get both my daughters christened, yes I know one is 4 but all our family is out of state and we were really trying to get it done back in NH, but as you can see that has not happened.

20. Find the time to have a girl's night out without feeling guilty. - Girls night out, check. Guilt, still there. 

21. Find someone I trust to watch my children. - This one is sort of complete. I have people who I will leave Big J with but I am still not comfortable leaving Little J alone with anyone. Ok I know I am crazy I mean she is 13 months old now. I guess I also feel bad leaving two children with someone, especially because two of the people I trust already have two of their own children to watch. Anyway I am working on this one. 

22. Learn calming techniques so that I can reduce my stress level. 

23. Be able to live comfortably without having to worry about how I am going to pay my bills. I work so hard and still struggle everyday. 

24. Go camping with my girls, although this one I am willing to wait on until Little J is older. 

Please feel free to add you own and I will continue to add more and update. 

Charter School Lottery

So last week (Tuesday) my hubby, Little J and I went to visit a charter school in our area that I really want Big J to attend when she starts Kindergarten in the fall. My husband did not understand what I was about until he went and listened to the Vice Principal and took the school tour.  His words to me after that were, "This is the school for Big J!"  So paperwork was filled out right there and we had to wait until Friday when they were going to do the lottery. See only 48 children would be accepted into the Kindergarten class, although I am not sure how many people applied to go but living in Charlotte I would assume that a lot did. Our tour had 6 families, 5 of which were looking for Kindergarten spots.

We were figuring if they did the lottery on Friday and then mailed out the letters on Monday we would have it Wednesday. So of course on Friday all we could think was that they are choosing the lottery today. Then all day Tuesday we were wishing it was Wednesday. Wednesday I counted the time until noon so I could check the mail.. heart beating and NOTHING! Thursday came and then noon and then NOTHING again! We were going crazy!! So Friday I took Big J for a walk to the playground at our apartment and stopped at the mailbox. There was one letter... from the Charter School. My heart started beating faster. I looked at it with trepidation and slowly opened the letter.

Dear Parent:

Thank you for applying to ***** Charter School for the 2011/2012 school year. Your child Big J is awarded a place in the K grade class.

At this point I start jumping up and down while Big J looks on like I am crazy!

We are so excited and I think having her go there will make her starting Kindergarten easier for me!!!

Anyone have any tips for getting through the first day and the first year? Also any great lunch tips would be appreciated! This school has no hot lunch so we have to send lunch everyday.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My deck needs a facelift - Thankfully outdoor furniture has arrived at Pier 1!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pier 1 for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Our deck has become a disaster area since we have not really used it in a while. Now that we are back to some wonderful weather here in NC it is time to spruce it up again. What better place to look for new ideas then Pier 1?

Some of my favorite items (on my wish list if anyway wants to know)

-Kalika Folding Table and Chairs - Living in an apartment means space is a premium so folding items mean they can be easily moved to make room if we need to say paint.

- Princess Blue Oblong Pillow - Need I say comfort?

-Indoor/Outdoor Flatweave Rug - This would be because our downstairs neighbors complain that the birdseed falls down and so that Little J could play on the porch. Plus if we ever change the decor we can move it inside. 

-Battery Powered Paper Lanterns - I love these and would not have to have our harsh outdoor light on

-Chunky Woven Placemats and Outdoor Mini Bowls - Both of which could be used indoors and out.

-Outdoor Swingasan Chair and Stand - Would does not love a grownup swing? Plus I love our Papasan chair and this is part of that line! 

I am not even sure if all that would fit on my porch but a girl can dream can't she? With the start of spring are you thinking of updating your outdoor space? What must have or wish haves would you want from Pier 1?

If you live in the Atlanta (April 5th)  or NYC (April 20th) areas learn more about the Pier 1 Tweetups for a chance to meet other area bloggers and tweeters. 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nutella Party

I have to admit I have never tried Nutella before I received my items for my Nutella breakfast party from MommyParties, but after one bite I am sold!! I have always seen the commercials and was intrigued because breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and I could actually eat breakfast food for lunch and dinner too. Nutella is a tasty hazelnut spread that contains quality ingredients such as skim milk and a hint of cocoa. Nutella combined with whole grains and fruit can be part of a balanced meal and the best part is that it tastes like a chocolate hazelnut so your children are likely to love it!

My guests received some great items which included:
-Samples of Nutella and coupons
-Nutella travel mugs
-Spread spreaders
-Tip cards as well as some great recipe cards

For the big day I purchased some different kinds of breads, waffles, strawberries, bananas and blueberries. My guests were excited to dig in to the food, especially the couple that like me had not tried Nutella before. Big J was a little cautious when I asked her to try it, but when she did she stole the spoon and ran away with it! Little J, sadly has not tried it yet because we are having some allergy issues at the moment and I am not trying any new foods with her.

I had a couple gift bags left over but I brought them to the day care and my apartment office. One of the women that works in our office had saw the box come in and begged for some of the swag! She loves Nutella, but unfortunately was unable to attend the party.

So far my favorite is just Nutella on a waffle, plain. Although sometimes with a little banana for variety! Have you tried Nutella? What is your favorite or your children's favorite recipes?

Saturday, March 19, 2011


The winner of Mr. Bo Finds a New Home and a New Name is:  (chosen by

# 16

Hannah said

I added your button to my blog. #1

Congrats!!! (winner has been notified via e-mail and has 48 hours to respond)

Didn't win? You can get a personalized autographed copy of the book direct from the  Mr. Bo website. Thank you to everyone who entered and welcome to my new followers! (I will follow back)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I blame myself - 4 year old with attitude

Yes my feisty red-headed attitude has passed down to my beautiful Big J! Although I do not take all the blame for this one.  I mean look at this innocent face, she could never cause trouble right?


This week alone here is how Big J has chosen to spend her time:
  • Steals Little J's Paci
  • Shut Little J in the bathroom this morning
  • Snuck into the candy drawer in the morning while everyone else was sleeping and boy was she a terror on that day
    • I caught her with a lolly pop stick in her mouth. She then let me know she had no other candy, but she did have a bag of cookies. (one of those single serve deals) When I took it away she screamed like I had beat her. 
  • Told her teacher that she hates circle time
  • Told her teacher she did not care if she got in trouble
  • Pretends to hit me, her father and Little J 
  • Treating our new coach like her personal jungle gym even after being told repeatedly to stop. 
  • Talks back
  • Says no

But then she goes and does something sweet like says Mommy.. Your voice is beautiful. Or really funny like I can hear my heart beeping. 

She may have an attitude but Big J is mine!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Nick Jr. Boost Review

Nick Jr. Boost is brought to you by the creators of Nick Jr., people who really know kids. Designed for preschoolers through first graders, Nick Jr. Boost is an educational service that provides the same high quality learning experience that children love and parents trust, with an extra bonus: it's totally personalized!
Guided by national standards in preschool education, Nick Jr. Boost makes the most of the time children spend playing online with a "connected learning" approach. We start with topics and tales that grab children's interest, mix in favorite characters then use these ingredients to present concepts and skills that help kids learn. Why is this approach so effective? Because combining play with learning encourages children to dig deeper and develop a richer understanding.
Big J has loved Nick Jr. since she was very little, you know back when it was called Noggin. She also loves to play on the computer and is on the Nick Jr. website a lot so I was very excited to try the Nick Jr. Boost program which is a pay service. This site has all the same great characters featured on Nick Jr, including the lovable Moose but is a personalized service. Big J kept calling it the Moose room game because it starts out in Moose's playroom. Children can then choose to play games, look at their awards or trade in the marbles they earned for virtual toys. When Big J would play she was always yelling at me to come and see what award or new toy she had earned this time. 
For parents there is a parent center that tracks each child'r progress. This includes the total time they have been playing, what % of time was spent on each subject (art, computer skills, literacy, math, science and spanish), recently played games, and do-together activities for the child and parent to do offline. 
I loved the fact that Big J was able to play games she loved but that I was able to see that she was learning in the process. My other favorite part was the awards because Big J loved being able to see that she was accomplishing something while having fun. 
Join Here
$9.95 a month
$6.95 a month (billed quarterly) with free DVD
$4.95 a month (billed annually) with free DVD

I received a three month free trial of Nick Jr. Boost in order to facilitate a review. All opinions are mine or Big J's and are 100% honest. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Nancy Drew Mobile Mysteries: Shadow Ranch (iPad) Review

Is it a book? Is it a game? Now you do not have to choose with the new Nancy Drew app for iPad (also for iPhone and iPod Touch). This new Mobile Mysteries series of gamebooks melds the elements of a great mystery novel with the interactive experience of a video game. You’re no longer just reading a Nancy Drew mystery; you’re fully engaged and influencing how the mystery unfolds as you play the story.

The first thing I notice when I start to "read" the book is that like a game you are allowed multiple save sessions, basically 6 people can be reading it without losing their place. The book is 8 chapters and as you read you notice highlighted words which when you click on them do different things. Some make the sound of the word, some are collections you collect throughout the story and some are descriptions and facts about the word. 

Each chapter has 7 collectibles for you to find, which unlock mini word games. Once all the games in each chapter are completed you then unlock solutions. (I am not sure exactly what since I have not completed the mini games yet. Too into the story.) While reading the story you also encounter the chance to play mini games, such as horse racing (which is a word game) and searching for items.  

The story reads well and I love how you can choose at certain points what you want to do. You can skip over horse racing, you can choose to search or not to search for  items and many others. As all Nancy Drew books and games there are also some great characters. 

Although it is different from any other Nancy Drew book or game it stays true to the Nancy Drew legacy with a great story filled with adventure and mystery. I always said that I would have a hard time reading books on the iPad because I love the feel of a book, but if they give me the sense of a game at the same time then I am sold!

Stay tuned for my review on the iPhone version of Nancy Drew Mobile Mysteries: Shadow Ranch. 

I received the app for Nancy Drew Mobile Mysteries: Shadow ranch for both the iPad and iPhone for review purposes as part of the Her Interactive AmbassadHer (and Him) program. All opinions expressed are my own and 100% honest.

Low Entry Giveaway - Ends 3/18!

Low Entries!  Mr Bo. Finds a New Home and a New Name Autographed Book!

Mr. Bo Autographed Book Giveaway

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lady in Waiting by Susan Meissner - A Review

      I recently read Lady in Waiting by Susan Meissner and wanted to do a critic of the book. The story jumps between two different women, Jane Lindsey who lives in the present and Lucy Day, a dressmaker in the sixteenth-century.  What brings these two characters together in the story? A ring that is inscribed with the name Jane.  Jane Lindsey finds it amazing that her name is in the ring and wants to learn more, while Lucy is the dressmaker to Lady Jane Grey who we come to believe is the original owner of the ring.
            When I first read the description I was unsure how the book would play out, especially because it seemed it would jump between the two women and that can sometimes be hard to follow. I was also curious to see how the ring would link them and if the author could create a link that would actually work and be believable.
            I love books like this that are set in the past but it always makes me wonder what is fact and what is fiction. Messner is very upfront that the book is based on fact, but that there was no evidence that a ring every existed and that Lucy Day is a made up character.  I think this is important because so many people believe everything they read and with a story like this that is filled with emotions it is hard not to become attached and believe in it.
            Messner did a wonderful job relating the two Jane’s in the story. It took a little getting used to the fact that you never actually hear anything from Lady Jane’s perspective and instead it all comes from Lucy’s point of view. However after finishing the story I thought that it was a wise choice because servants back in the day where more open about what was going on, at least to each other.
            I was disappointed in the end because you do not really see what happened to Jane Lindsey, who was having marital issues, but you are left to imagine it on your own.  However I did like how the author included letters and advertisements (For estate sales) that tied how the ring made it from Lucy’s possession into the hands of Jane Lindsey.  I would definitely  read other stories by Susan Meissner.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mr. Bo Finds a New Home and a New Name by Timothy Battle Review and Giveaway

"Mr. Bo Finds a New Home and a New Name" by Timothy Battle is the true story of the adoption of Linus the cat.  'There it was in big letters for all to see: Recommendation: Adopt.' He really was a nice, special male cat, and he knew soon he would be leaving this small cage for a large, comfortable house with his real name.' A cat temporarily named Linus is living in a cat adoption center dreaming of the day someone will take him home. When a man walks in the center, Linus is sure that he has spotted his new owner. He does everything he can to catch the man's attention: stays in the front of the cage, looks him in the eye, and even reaches his brown paw out to the man. But the man decides to think about his decision and heads out, leaving Linus to wonder when his magical day will come. Come along to see how Mr. Bo Finds a New Home and a New Name.' Told through the eyes of Linus (Mr. Bo) the story touches upon how a cat feels to be waiting for adoption day. 

This story has come to me at a time when we are without any pets (which is unusual for me) and when Big J has been asking for a new kitten. Sadly, due to financial reasons and worries about Little J and allergies we had to give up our two cats when Little J was a couple months old.  My husband and I have been talking about getting another kitten and the story of Mr. Bo is pushing me in the direction of "YES". For anyone who has adopted a pet or had one adopt you, you know that they do the choosing and you are just along for the ride. This is a great story for anyone with pets or looking to adopt one soon. Big J made me read it the very night we received it in the mail and loved it. 

Purchase:  Autographed copies of "Mr. Bo Finds a New Home" can be purchased at for $10.50. To learn more about Mr Bo visit his Facebook or Webpage

Win a Copy: 

One lucky reader will an autographed copy of "Mr. Bo Finds a New Home and a New Name".  (Open to US) Winner will also receive a e-Live link to download the audio version from the publisher.  Thanks to Family Review Network and Mr. Bo.

Mandatory Entry: Follow The Trials of Big J & Little J on GFC (please leave a comment below) 

Extra Entries: (Mandatory entry must be completed first)

  • Follow Mr Bo on Twitter (1 Entry)
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Contest ends on March 18th at midnight. Winner will be selected via and has 48 hours to respond to the e-mail. 

This post was written for Family Review Network and Mr. Bo who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions.