Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Redecorating Made Easy with RoomMates Décor

I recently had the opportunity to try out RoomMates Décor. RoomMates produces peel and stick wall decals for every room in your house. You might remember that I posted here about how my walls are still bare despite the fact that I've lived in this house for 3 years now. I took a look at RoomMates website and became instantly excited about the possibilities! It took me a good week to finally decide on a design because THEY HAVE SO MANY FROM WHICH TO CHOOSE! Oh my gosh, there is something for everyone there! And they partner with Disney, Marvel, Nickelodeon, Warner Bros. and more so chances are your kid's favorite character/movie is available. You can even get personalized, custom decals at RoomMates. Although I know there are plenty of decals my kids would love, I chose one from their home decor category to try out.

I wasn't sure how well these decals would work on my walls because I live in Florida and houses down here tend to have textured walls. I wasn't sure they'd stick to my walls since they're so bumpy. I was a little concerned the decals would peel up since the website states that they work best on smooth surfaces, but I gave it a try anyway.

I opted to apply this quote above the arches between my kitchen and family room. It took me less than 10 minutes to apply these (and that includes the time it took me to move my chair/ladder around since I'm "vertically challenged".) Also, I'm not real good with the planning and measuring and making sure things are precise; I just went with my gut and slapped them up there on the wall so when I stood back, I realized a couple of them needed to be repositioned a bit since they were crooked. That's a really AWESOME feature - these are removable! You can easily peel them off and reapply them wherever you want, making it super quick, easy, and affordable to give your room a whole new look in minutes!

It has been about 2 weeks since I applied the decals and they're still sticking beautifully despite my textured walls. They haven't peeled up at all. So, I officially say they can be successfully applied to rough, textured walls too.

Cool, huh? I love these and can't wait to order some of the dry erase ones for my classroom at school!

Here's a special for my readers! Use code RMLOVIN for 15% off your order! This code expires 9/30/14 so check out the huge selection of decals including Frozen, Star Wars, Cars, Rapunzel, and hundreds of others HERE!

Monday, August 18, 2014

“I Am Good Enough”: The Lesson I’m Struggling to Teach Myself (and My Kids)

I looked at myself in the mirror. I turned a bit to the side, sucked in my stomach, put my hand on my hip, raised my head a little, and studied the image peering back at me. Then I let out my breath, dropped my arms, and burst into tears. The voice that resides in my head sneered at me. “You are a fat, ugly, stupid loser. That is why no one will ever want you.” The voice is not nice. In fact, she can be downright callous and mean. I don’t like her. I try to ignore her heartless words, remembering that her cruelty stems from her insecurity. Still, more often than not they find their mark, making me doubt everything I believe about myself.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

6 Ways my "Bad Parenting" is Good for my Kids

I remember walking to school with my sister every day when we were in elementary school. If it was hot out, we wore shorts. If it was raining, we walked with umbrellas. If it was winter, we trudged through the snow wearing boots and snow pants. We walked more than a mile a day, unsupervised, in all weather, five times a week. And guess what? No one thought twice about it. EVERYONE walked!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sometimes What's Waiting on the Other Side of the Rainbow Isn't a Pot of Gold, but Just a Big, Smelly Dump

That which doesn't kill us, makes us stronger. This too shall pass. God doesn't give us more than we can handle. The greatest act of faith some days is to simply get up and face another day. Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, then it's not the end. Focus on the good. When it rains, look for rainbows. When it's dark, look for stars. Be thankful for your struggle because without it, you wouldn't have stumbled across your strength. Storms don't last forever. 

People like to quote inspiring sayings when you're down. They mean well. They want to make you feel better and you have to be thankful for the sentiment behind their prose. But sometimes, when you feel like your life has become one giant avalanche of crap, you don't want to hear, "This too shall pass." Because sometimes it passes only to be replaced by something else that sucks. Sometimes it's year after year of one crappy thing after another with no end in site. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to look at the bright side and give thanks for all the good things, the bad things just overshadow everything. And hearing that it builds character or that there's a plan and good things will come from all the misery, just makes you want to hit someone. Even if it's true, when you're in the thick of the obstacles and pitfalls that are slamming you, you don't need pithy sayings. Despite the fact that doses of rotten luck are a regular part of life that affect everyone, sometimes you just want to scream to the heavens, "Why? Why me? Why again? WHY???" 

And to those who like to quote that God doesn't give you more than you can handle. Guess what! Sometimes you do get more than you can handle. Who ever came up with the idea that He doesn't let you have more than you can handle? I think sometimes you get such an amazingly overwhelming amount of misfortune thrown your way that they only way you can handle it is by admitting that it's more than you can deal with, and relying on Him to take the burden from you. 

And sometimes you just need a friend to commiserate and simply agree, "Oh man, that really sucks!" They don't need to fix the situation. They don't need to give you a pep talk. They just need to say, "I understand." Because sometimes life just really sucks. Sometimes you get bombarded with more than you can take. Sometimes the timing really stinks when your income has dropped, you have to come up with $605 for one kid to get her wisdom teeth taken out, you need to get another kid a pair of glasses, you have one day left to find a car for your kid going to college, you have to gather more paperwork together for another kid's financial aid, you have to make an appointment to get a tooth filled before it falls out, but you can't afford it, and a thousand other things on your to-do list that you can't get to, and then your car breaks down. Sometimes that last straw just pushes you over the edge. And even though you know that no one is immune to rotten luck, sometimes it feels like the world is out to get you, to punish you for reasons you can't fathom.

Sometimes what's waiting on the other side of the rainbow isn't a pot of gold, but just a big, smelly dump and there's no way to sugarcoat that with motivational sayings. Sometimes you simply need to say, "I've had enough. I can't do it anymore."

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Gillette's New Subscription Service - One Less Thing for your College Student to Worry About

First off, let me preface this by saying that I do love my college-aged son. I think he has a lot of great qualities. He's creative and artistic, he's sensitive, and he can be very dedicated and persistent when the task at hand is something about which he's passionate. However, he's also, ummm, how to put this nicely . . . well, he can be irresponsible, lazy, aloof, and did I mention irresponsible? I keep telling myself that he's a boy and boys sometimes take a while to mature. (Thinking of a few grown men I know, I believe some of them never quite get there!) Eventually he'll learn to pay his bills on time, and pick his laundry up off the floor and wash it before he's down to a single clean sock, a bathing suit, and a pair of jeans that are 2 sizes too small, yet remain in his closet for some reason. At some point, it'll sink in that work comes before play, right? Right?

I know he'll learn this stuff and he'll grow to be a mature, responsible member of society. (If not, I'll work out an apology to his future wife for my egregious parenting failure.) And I know he's not the only boy going to college and causing his parents a little worry. It's hard to let go and let them learn these lessons on their own. I think as parents we naturally want to help them out however we can. We make sure they have everything they need as they head off to school. But as the econo-box of Ramen runs out, will they eat? When they run out of shampoo, will they buy more or just go with the dreadlock look? How about razor blades? Will they keep shaving with the same, dull blade they left home with, or will they return to you for Christmas vacation looking like one of the Duck Dynasty guys?

Well, Gillette has made that one task much easier. Gillette now offers a blade refill subscription service! It's a practical, hassle-free option that delivers Gillette’s blades directly to your door (or your son's dorm.) And, Gillette’s best blades are more affordable than you might think—only about $1 a week. How cool is that? Now, if everything our sons use offered a subscription service it would be amazing. Or if we parents could send Howlers (those talking messages from Harry Potter) to remind our kids to take care of themselves, that would be even better! Alas, we're left to let our sons out into the world on their own, hoping they remember the lessons we've taught them, giving them the freedom to make mistakes, and trusting they'll be okay. Still, for a $1 a week, we can assure they have one less thing to worry about! And The Gillette Fusion ProGlide with FlexBall Technology is the first razor of its kind, with a new handle that adjusts and pivots to respond to the contours of a man’s face for fewer missed hairs. If your son uses the ProGlide already, those same blades fit the new ProGlide FlexBall which is pretty cool! How often does it work that way, right? Never. Usually when a product is updated and improved, it renders all components of the product useless, forcing you to buy new ones.

Do you have any other tips to make life a little easier for your college student? Share them here!

Compensation was provided by Gillette via MomTrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Gillette or MomTrends. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Our Children Are Capable of Changing the World — If We Let Them

Over the years, my kids have asked, on hot summer days, if they could have a lemonade stand. I acquiesced, less than enthusiastically because I know that “lemonade stand” is actually code for making a sticky mess in the kitchen, taking odds and ends from the garage in order to construct a lemonade stand, drinking all of their inventory, then (assuming they actually sell a cup or two) taking the dollar or so that they’ve earned and spending it on candy at the corner gas station — all while leaving everything a giant mess at home. Of course, not all kids run a lemonade stand quite like that. Meet Vivienne, an 8-year-old who sells lemonade to raise money for charity:


image: courtesy flickr

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Case for Letting Your Kids Fail

You can bet that behind each successful individual is another person who believed in them, cheered them on, and helped them dry their tears when they failed. As parents, we have that opportunity to bolster confidence and assuage fears for our own children each day. We get to teach our kids that failures are a part of life, and that we don’t have to let them be “bad things.” Failures can be wonderful tools that enable us to grow and motivate us to succeed.
Here’s how to help your kids cope with failure:

11 Ways Having a Teen Is Surprisingly Awesome

Last week I wrote the following line on Facebook: You might be the parent of a teen if …
As you can imagine, I got many hilarious responses! Of course, any parent of a teen (especially a boy) knows their room can sometimes smell like the large mammal exhibit at Brookfield Zoo, or can contain enough dirty dishes to host a formal dinner party for 20. Any parent of a teen (especially a girl) knows there is sometimes enough drama and eye rolling to fill an entire season ofKeeping up with the Kardashians.
But there are good things about having teens too. Yes, there really are! And here are just a few …

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Katherine Heigl Says She’s Not Difficult — but That’s Not the Problem

So Katherine Heigl is in the news again. This time she was flat-out asked if she thinks she and her mom/manager are difficult to work with. To which Heigl answered, “I certainly don’t see myself as being difficult. I would never intend to be difficult. I don’t think my mother sees herself as being difficult. I think it’s important to everybody to conduct themselves professionally and respectfully and kindly, so if I’ve ever disappointed somebody, it was never intentional.”


And THIS is Why the Folks at the ER Know us by Name

As you may know, Jackson and his buddy have been making videos this summer. Last night he showed me this one. It's so nice to know that he's spending his time wisely this summer. It's great seeing how he has matured and how he is becoming a level-headed, responsible, young man. I love how he thinks first instead of just jumping in. It's wonderful how he can differentiate between smart ideas and dumba$$, stupid, asinine ones! See for yourselves what a grown-up, smart, young man I have here . . .

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Parent’s Guide to Navigating Common Core — and Helping Your Kids Succeed with It

Supporters of the Common Core State Standards are happy to see the increased rigor and uniform standards across states. Critics argue, among other things, that CCSS is a step towards a national curriculum. Some people objectively see both pros and cons to the new standards. Or, if you’re like most of the parents I’ve talked to, you don’t know how to feel because you are confused and frankly don’t understand what Common Core is all about. I’m not writing to debate the merits or weaknesses of Common Core here. I’m writing simply to give parents a few tips on how to help their children with the transition to CCSS because, personal feelings aside, 45 states have adopted these new standards and your children will soon be assessed on these new principles.

I work at a middle school in Florida. We rolled out the changes last year and will begin, like most states, assessing on the new standards this 2014/2015 school year. I think younger elementary kids will fare just fine with the CCSS, however, because these changes were implemented across every grade level at the same time, I feel that middle and high school students are at a disadvantage. They’ve learned one way for several years and now are being required to make sudden, dramatic changes. This guide is to help you, the parent, so you are best prepared to help your student be successful:


Saturday, June 28, 2014

The "My Air Conditioning is Broken and it's 90 Degrees" Sale

The AC went out in my house. It's Florida in summer which means every day is 90-some degrees. It's pretty miserable. Fixing it is probably out of the question, but I'm trying to raise a little money to buy some box fans.

Email me your choice(s), shipping info, and to whom you want it signed. mom2my6pack at aol dot com. You can pay via Paypal. Thank you!



Yes, there are times when it’s appropriate to reason with your child, to patiently and eloquently explain why he or she needs to do as you ask. you might present convincing arguments like “Because it makes you strong”; “Because it will keep you safe”; “Because it’s good for you”; “Because it’s bad for you.” But there are times when the only thing that really makes sense is … “Because I said so!!”
This book is a hilarious, honest romp through motherhood–the joys, the sleeplessness, the frazzled days, the unending carpooling, the in-house refereeing, the dieting (yeah right), the worrying–and did we say, the joy?

Here’s what some of that joy looks like — with excerpts straight from the book:
  • I tried to do the Buns of Steel video, but quickly realized that it wasn’t intended for people who have buns of pudding.
  • I felt like my head might explode. I kind of hoped it would so I could take a nice, peaceful ambulance ride out of there.
  • I was a little at a loss. I mean, those parenting books don’t tell you how to break up a fight over an imaginary friend.
  • Moms aren’t allowed to get sick more than one day a year. Single moms aren’t allowed to get sick ever.
  • Before you have children you can’t imagine yourself saying things like “Don’t put chocolate milk in your pants,” “Take the hot dog out of your nose,” or “Because I said so!”
If you’re a mom-to-be or a mom in the trenches, you’ll love knowing that you’re not the only one out there who sometimes just figures it out as you go along–and sometimes can’t figure it out at all. But in the end, Dawn has these words of encouragement just for you: “Enjoy this time. Even when they make you crazy, these are the best days of your life.” And they really are, aren’t they?


You’ll Lose the Baby Weight is a humorous look at pregnancy and childbirth.  Meant to entertain and amuse, Dawn’s true-to-life accounts of pregnancy will ring true with anyone who hears the word, “Mom,” over a 100 times a day.
As a mother of six children, Dawn shares her hard-earned wisdom with readers.  Such as…
*  Varicose veins runs in families, which means you should get on the phone and start yelling at your mom and grandmother for passing on lousy genes to you.
*  Although there’s no evidence cleaning your house is bad for you during pregnancy, go ahead and pretend it is.
*  A well-rounded pregnancy diet should include:
  1. Dairy – a chocolate shake and half a pound of cheese should do the trick.
  2. Vegetables – a sixteen-ounce container of spinach dip will do nicely.
  3. Fruit – a quarter of a cheesecake topped with raspberry sauce fulfills your fruit requirement
  4. Bread – a  loaf of King’s Hawaiian bread (you need something with which to eat the spinach dip) and a pound of butter cookies takes care of your bread requirement.
  5. Protein – sausage pizza, a big, fat hamburger, and twenty Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (What? Peanut butter has protein!) fills the need for protein.
*  If you plan to give up caffeine altogether, just wear a sign around your neck to give others fair warning:  “I’m pregnant and I haven’t had any coffee.” People will see you coming and make a hasty retreat, which should help you avoid any unnecessary violence.
*  Your baby can be kicking for twenty minutes straight, but the minute you try to get your husband or mom or friend to put their hand on your belly so they can feel her move, she’ll stop. Without fail. Every time.
*  In order to prepare for Baby, go out to your car and spill juice on the seats.  Scatter French fries, crayons, and toys on the floor, and put a Veggie Tales CD in the player.
*  Before weighing in at every appointment, take off your shoes, empty your pockets, and tweeze your eyebrows.
With such chapters as “I’m Not a Doctor; I Just Play One on TV” and “Morning Sickness: It Isn’t Just for Breakfast Anymore,”this hilarious book takes readers through nine months of pregnancy and all the accompanying symptoms to labor and delivery and the weeks postpartum. It will have readers doubled over in laughter, trying not to wet their pants because, let’s face it, pregnant women have weak bladder control.


After experiencing the death of both parents, Margaret McSweeney recognized the importance of community like never before. Through these difficult times in life, she learned how God uses gritty circumstances to conform us to the stunning image of Christ.
McSweeney also realized that she was not at all alone. It is for this reason that she decided to compile essays into an inspiring book: Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit Experiencing Grace.Through this collection, readers will be encouraged by the heartfelt writings that deal with loss and hardship in a real and honest way. Respected authors such as Shaunti Feldhahn, Melody Carson, Debbie Macomber, Robin Jones Gunn and others help remind every woman that they are not alone and that no circumstance is beyond the grace of God.

Like oysters, women often encounter unexpected grit during their everyday lives. In response, God’s love and grace covers this grit and transforms the pain into a precious pearl that leaves a layered, luminous lining within a shell: Mother of Pearl. This brilliant luster is strong, lasting, and purposeful—just like the love, lessons, and legacies left by the special women in our lives. Mother of Pearl celebrates the collective iridescence of motherhood. 

Margaret McSweeney presents a collection of heartfelt vignettes from authors who communicate the importance of the unique relationships between mothers and their children, between granddaughters and grandmothers and between children and the mother-figures in their lives. These stories tell of the power of faith, prayer, and values, exploring coming of age, the joy of becoming a mother, the importance of motherhood, the ways to heal from a bad relationship with a mother and weathering the death of a special loved one. Poignant and thought-provoking, the stories serve to inspire, encourage, instill hope, and strengthen faith.

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