Sunday, January 30, 2011

Playdate

Well, we invited the girls in my daughter's class over yesterday. Three out of the four were able to come. I was pretty organized and took care of a lot of the preparation
the night before. But, of course, the morning brought on the craziness and yells of - "you don't want me to cancel, do you? "
And then, I lost my mind and told one of the little girl's mom that her son could come over to play with my son because they are in the same grade.
Famous last words...
I had planned the day, but the kids did their own things.


They played play-doh- of course, because no one else's mom lets them play with it.


The kids ate homemade mac and cheese and dipped veggies in dip- not everyone had the veggies, but I won't tell.

They decorated cookies and this was great because my daughter announced, "My mom makes her own icing!" Bless her heart- it is great she doesn't realize it is just confectioners' sugar, water and food coloring!


This activity went fast because the kids just kind of slapped on the icing- it probably took me longer to mix it up- but they enjoyed it and took home their cookies.



And this little guy slept which was great because,

I could barely keep up with my son and his friend- why do boys have so much energy? And thanks to my son's friend, he now knows about jumping off the top bunk!


We ended the day with Valentine card making and some brownies, and chocolate chip cookies one of the girls brought over.

It was a good day, but mom was tired. I think I may be getting old.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Valentine's Day GiveAway {Creative Kates}

Creative Kates is a wonderful shop with a ton of pretty things- rings, bobby pins, bracelets and beautiful repurposed vintage pieces. Kate is a 14 year old girl who started her own shop with the help of her mom and makes all the pieces with the exception of the vintage pieces. She does the photography and named the store. TCM first introduced Creative Kates back in October when they did a giveaway for us. You can read that here.

Creative Kates is back again to celebrate Valentine's Day! And boy, does their shop deliver! They have beautiful pieces for any size Valentine's budget. Even those of us who have decided not to exchange this year can find a special something that won't hurt the wallet.

Their rings have these awesome color combinations that are unique to Creative Kates. And their new bird pieces are whimsical and fun, making them wonderful conversation pieces. Add to that Creative Kate's amazing vintage pieces and you truly can find something for everyone.


To celebrate Valentine's day, Creative Kates is giving away this beautiful red, love spell ring!
Here's what you gotta do:

To Enter: Go to Creative Kates and tell me your must have Valentine's item. (mandatory)
For Extra Entries- one entry each:

Follow The Chatty Mommy

Heart Creative Kates on etsy

Follow TCM on twitter and tweet about the giveaway (you can tweet once a day)

Put the TCM button on your blog

Blog about it

This contest is open to US residents only and a winner will be picked on Valentine's Day @8pm EST by random.org.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Friday Follow With The Chatty Mommy!

Just some things.
Trying to get ready to potty train next week. This week is all about mental prep.
Need to decorate for Valentine's day and my one of my middles invited all her little friends over for Saturday for a play date. Should be fun.
My church has their marriage retreat this week and wish we could of went- one day...
And it seems the "really cool" bloggers got to go to Blissdom for a conference. Maybe one day I will be really cool, but for now - not so much. :)
Planning to go to California for my brother's wedding, but we haven't decided if my husband and I will both go or I will go alone. I am very excited- never been to CA before.
But, do you know how much a plane ticket costs? I can't even say it out loud!!!
Thank goodness tax time is here! That is a whole other blog post about what we will spend tax money on or rather what I would "like" to spend tax money on!

So, I hope you are here for the Friday Follow linky!
Here are the rules:
1. Follow The Chatty Mommy.
2. Add your blog to the linky and put the button somewhere in the body of your post.
3. No giveaways and family friendly blogs only please.
4. Try to visit and follow as many blogs on the linky that you can.
Have a great Friday!



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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Woo Hoo- Big Ebay score!


I went to Target the other day cruising for sales.
Actually, I needed something that I can't remember and Target is near Sam's.
But I digress...
I was in the baby section and found a Medela Breast Pump - No, I am so not pregnant, but the kicker is- it was only $94.83!
Now this thing was completely locked up with an alarm, but had that the clearance sticker for $94.83!
I knew I just saw it on someone's baby registry for over $350!

I didn't want to buy it unless I could return it if I couldn't sell it on ebay.
I doubled checked and the cashier said "there was nothing wrong with it", and that "it must of been returned and they are not carrying this model anymore."
I got home, checked ebay, saw they were going for over $200!
I put it up for a one day auction and in 24 hours, sold it for $280!
I took a box I had from Christmas, packed it up, printed the shipping label from my computer and gave it to the mailman in front of my house.
Price Paid- about $100
Price Sold- $280
After shipping and ebay costs, I made about $160 with hardly any effort!
**Ebay tip- if you see something cheap that might be resellable- make sure you keep your receipt and give it a try. - You might just make some money!**

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And the winner is...


Sorry about the small picture- still working on this new computer thing.
This was The Chatty Mommy's biggest giveaway turnout ever!
183 entries!
Thanks so much for entering!
Congratulations #33- DEE!
I will be giving CSN your email address - keep an eye on your inbox!

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Deal. Thinking About Christmas Already


I love going to stores after Christmas and buying things real cheap. But, usually I am broke.
While going to Sam's the other day, I happened to have a little extra since the husband has been working overtime.
I found these pads that I had been eyeing during Christmas that were going for about $9.
I got them for $3.91!
With 6 high quality Christmas pads inside, I paid about 65 cents per pad. This is an easy teacher gift. Slap it together with a homemade flower pen and throw it in a cellophane bag with some ribbon and a gift tag and done.
I sometimes get so overwhelmed with sales like this that I have to stop myself from buying all of them. I bought 6 and left the other 100 there!
Now, I just have to remember I bought them next Christmas when I start to think about teacher gifts.
My mom has a good tip to write it now on November's calendar. But, do I ever do it?
What about you, what's your best after Christmas find?

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P.S.- coming soon- my awesome find and sell on ebay!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Night

No pictures tonight, because...
I finally set my new computer!
My husband bought if for Christmas for me and it is amazing!
Apparently, computers get old fast and my pc from 2005 is archaic and needed to be upgraded.
I am now completely spoiled.
It is so fast!
I think I might visit a thousand blogs tonight- literally!
Thanks to all those who linked up to the Friday Follow I had this weekend.
I will try it again next week!
Did anyone get any new followers or friends from it?

Today was a good day- like everyday!
Prayed today for a refilling- I need to be in my bible more and praying more.
I need to be a more patient mama.

Speaking of which- gotta go- someone was promised hess trucks from the basement and someone else needs a book before bed.
Have a great night.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Friday Follow With...

Me!
I have always wanted to do a Friday Follow. I guess it is a little nerve-racking to wait and see if people link up. But, I figured, why not?
So, here are the rules.
1. Follow The Chatty Mommy.
2. Link-up your blog with the linky at the end of this post.
3. Place the Friday Follow button on your right side of this blog somewhere in the body of your post.
4. Enjoy blog hopping to all the other blogs that link up. Check out as many as you can.
**Please family friendly blogs only and no giveaways.

I really appreciate you linking up!

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Handmade Coloring Book (a sort of tutorial)

So, I hesitate to call this a tutorial, because it is so easy!
But, it is a great gift idea and the kids love it.
We are always wondering what to buy for kids' birthday parties.


My kids love when I print off coloring pages from the computer.
They ask me for all different characters and especially characters that are too hard to find coloring books for (old school cartoons like smurfs, danger rangers, rescue heroes...). They have discovered that their friends like these too.

But, a lot of moms, me included, will usually say - "you have a million coloring books- color in one of those and save my printer ink!"


My son said, "Let's make my friend a homemade coloring book!" And that is what we did.


We took a one inch binder and printed out about 20 different pictures using various coloring page sites that we googled.
Our favorite 2 are:
Disney
Coloring Pages.com
We also added a lot of blank white paper in the back, because which kid doesn't like blank paper?
We then used our triple hole punch and carefully, punched all the papers and put them into the binder.


We then used our a print shop we have had since the 90s and copied and pasted the child's favorite image and wrote their name above it.
Add a 20 cent box of crayons that I bought during back to school and you have a great, unique gift!

I am linking to this party and this one.

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And The Winner Is:

Congratulations Renee! Email or comment me with your email address!

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Monday, January 17, 2011

How To Change Your Blog Post Title Font

I am thrilled with my new blog design.
But...
I really wanted to change my post title font.
I had gotten a referral from someone on how to do it and it was HARD!
So, what's a girl to do, but
GOOGLE.
I searched and found this very easy tutorial.
I used the Google Font API.
There was a ton of super cool fonts and I might even change mine again.
I couldn't believe when it worked.
The only problem was the size of the font.
It was still pretty small.

So, I got on some blogger forums and found out how to switch the size.
Go to design.
Then go to Edit HTML.

Then look for this code.


If you click within the body of the html and click -ctrl and f at the same time, this allows you to look for something within that body.
You can copy and paste the code into the search box, so you do not have to scan through all the html.

I switched the 140% to 150 at first and that did almost nothing. I went up to 250% and that worked!
When you change it- hit preview first - to make sure it is to your liking.
After you are satisfied with the size, hit save template.

It is pretty easy- especially if I figured it out in the course of a day.



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Enjoy Your Day Today!


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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday School Class


We have been reading Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss in our Sunday School class for a long time. But, it has been worth it.
We are reading the part about children- just starting to finish it today. And though, we have been discussing it for awhile now, some things are just hard for me to accept.
DeMoss discusses how even though the Lord holds us responsible for the proper raising of our kids, they still have their own free will and could rebel.
I think this upsets me most, because I want some kind of guarantee that if I do what the Lord wants, he will bless me with children that continue to serve Him in their adult years.
How do you feel about that?
Is is too much to ask?
However, DeMoss doesn't say we should just hope for the best, that they turn out ok.

She says, "Parents have enormous influence and are responsible to mold the hearts and lives of their children. As easy as it is to shift blame to peers, teachers, entertainment, church youth groups, or secular culture, the fact it, we are accountable for the spiritual condition of the flock God has given us to shepherd".

God is calling us as parents to really press in for our children.
Both in our actions and in our prayers.
Instead of frustration, I am challenged by this lesson and am going to try to be a better role model in front of my kids and to be someone real in their lives. Someone who really has a relationship with Him.
How about you?
What are you feelings on this?
I'd like to know.

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."
Proverbs 22:6

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Lesson From My Kids


We went to a friend's house the other night. She is my close friend and her kids are close in age to my kids. They have a great time together. We all played a game called Hedbandz. It was awesome.

Everyone wears a headband and gets a card in it. Each person gets to ask questions about their card, but never looks at their card. They might ask, "Am I an animal?, Am I in the kitchen?, Do I have legs?" and so on.
The first person to guess what card is on their heads wins.

After leaving and seeing what a great time all the kids had, I started thinking I might buy the kids the game. Then I remembered about all the money I spent on Christmas and starting thinking, maybe one of the kids can buy it with their gift card from their uncle.


Well, this morning the kids reminded me of something I must of forgot in the land of Grown-ups, cash, credit cards and quick fixes- THEY MADE THEIR OWN GAME!

The pictures you are looking at are the girls' headbands (they have a ton) and their own pictures that they drew and colored.

I am proud. They taught me today. And saved me some money. Cause you know if I saw that game in the store- I was so going to buy it!

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

2 Miles Baby.


Today I finally got back on the treadmill! I was doing about 2 miles a day early in the morning, but stopped sometime in November. I always planned on going back on, but you know how it goes- Don't have the time- the little guy keeps climbing in my bed waking me, so I am tired- then if he is in my bed in the morning, I will wake him with the treadmill- if I do it at night I will need to take a shower after and I always shower in the morning, and the list of excuses goes on.
So, today I went back on and did 2 miles and I plan on sticking with it.
And then maybe I will get back to my (borrowed) Tony Horton dvds.
Signs that you too, might need the treadmill (they worked for me):

-You bend over to close the oven and your backside hits the fridge turning on your leapfrog magnet, making it play music and you are not sure where it is coming from.
-You decide that who needs Jeans or pants- I can wear sweats everyday!
-Your darling daughter lets you know she would love to "make you over".
-The husband tells you he has a buyer for the treadmill
and finally,
-Your treadmill is now a different color due to all the dust on it!

I got to tell you - today was a good day- I have energy and feel good, and maybe, just maybe, I will vacuum up the pencil shavings from when the electric pencil sharpener fell off the shelf 2 days ago.
I just don't want to go crazy- people might label me type A or something!

Smart and Trendy Moms

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

CSN Giveaway- cause I know you need something.

OK - you have shopped for everyone. You had a list or you just went crazy. You bought too much- it took up a lot of time and you might of even waited on some lines to return things. But, have you shopped for yourself?
Christmas time is one of the only times I go to so many stores at once and I see so many things I would like, but never buy.
Then I figure I will wait till after Christmas.
And I don't know about you - but January is tight!
And then I say I will buy it with tax refund money in February- just doesn't happen.
Well, now is your chance.
What did you skip out on for yourself this year?


A laptop messenger bag? (love prints)





New Bedding? (love black and white)




A new wallet? (love the croc feel)

OK - so those are the things I like.
But, CSN and their over 200 stores is offering $40 to buy whatever you want! Something that you might not of gotten this Christmas.

To Enter:
Tell me something you really want.

Extra Entries:
Follow Me (2 entries)
Follow me on twitter @thechattymommy and tweet about it (2 entries)
Blog About it (5 entries)

Leave a separate comment for each entry!
I will pick a winner on January 26th via random.org.
This contest is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Chore Charts



My dream:


I keep putting off getting organized with the kids.
I said I would make chore charts over Christmas vacation
-that didn't happen.
I am conflicted on how to set it up.
Do I switch chores around- do I keep them the same for each child, each week?
Do I pay them?
Do I offer a prize?
I love my kids and I strive to be a "good" mom.
But, my well meaning-actions seem to be causing me to do everything and
the kids not learning much on how to pitch in or how to just take care of themselves.
My middle 2 will probably thrive on having a chart that gets checked off everyday.
But what about the little guy?
Is he too young for chores?
I thought about immediately buying charts on etsy, but realized I should make them myself.
I have before and once we stopped following it, I stored it behind the couch (like any hoarder would do!)
Then I finally chucked it- I couldn't stand looking at it- it seemed like a constant reminder that I am not organized with the kids' chores.
When they come home from school, I feel bad they are tired, when we are enjoying the weekend, I feel like they need the break.

What do you do in your household?
Got any ideas?
Any links to someone who has a handle on this?
Let me know- I am interested!

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Yia-Yia Turns 80!


My grandmother turned 80 a little while back.
I can't even fathom living the life she has had.
Amazing.
I can't imagine having 5 children, 12 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.
What a legacy.
What a blessing.
A lot of our family was able to gather together for a great meal at a nice restaurant to celebrate.
It was on a Monday, on a school night.
We dressed nice and some rushed from work.
The kids horsed around and we kept getting up to settle them down.
My cousin and her husband drove 9 hours to be there.
My uncle - her only son- was there from across the U.S.
And even my MIL came.
We made a sign and made and bought special cookies.
We laughed and just watched her.
She told us stories and laughed as well.
And I hope we do it all again when she turns 81 next year.

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