Monthly Archives: December 2009

A doozy of a week…

We’ve had a doozy of a week to end a doozy of a year. Our year started out with Kylie and Kara coming back to our house covered in ringworm, and is ending with the stomach flu. We’ve battled bronchitis, allergies, shingles, ringworm, head lice, poison ivy (a few times), ear infection, 2 ER visits (Kylie – poison ivy & Greg – A Fib), swine flu, borderline pneumonia, fifth’s disease, and typical bumps and bruises, colds and fevers. What a year! One of our goals for next year is to not catch and spread every illness we come into contact with. *SHEESH!* (Don’t get me wrong, we had a wonderful year…it was just sprinkled with LOTS of sickness.)

The past week has been a whirlwind. We had a fantastic Christmas Eve Eve/Christmas Eve service at church, visited with family at Greg’s Grandmother’s house, had a total of 4 wonderful Christmas’s, and a birthday party. We’ve all felt icky at one point…Grayson throwing up on Christmas evening, and then the next day also, and Trinity throwing up this morning. I have some sort of problem with my right ear…I’m thinking an ear infection. I can’t hear squat, and it’s been ringing and driving me crazy. I don’t have pain, but I am pretty sure I have fluid in there. (Ewwww…I know.) We have plans to attend a New Years Eve party at our church…which I am extremely excited about, and now am not sure if we will be able to attend because of sick kids.
Instead of resolutions (which last maybe a week), we are setting personal & family goals for the year which I plan on posting on here to keep myself accountable. I am really looking forward to 2010. I believe God has big plans for us as a family, and that this is going to be a phenomenal year.

Review & Giveaway…it’s here!

I was contacted by Ashley with CSN Stores a few weeks ago regarding an opportunity to review one of CSN Stores websites and host a giveaway. I excitedly accepted! I was originally approached to review their dining room furniture site, DiningRoomsDirect.com, but was told I could choose an item from any of their sites within a specific price range (including shipping). I decided I couldn’t be greedy and just get something for myself to review, so I decided to find something I could review and offer as a giveaway. After scouring several of their over 200 stores for a couple days I finally decided on a Pyrex Smart 6 Piece Mixing Bowl Set.
I contacted Ashley, verified that I could receive a set to review and then offer a set for a giveaway to be shipped directly by CSN Stores, and then waited patiently for my bowls. I placed the ‘order’ on Friday, Dec. 4th, and received the package via FedEx Thursday, Dec. 10th. I excitedly opened the box expecting the above set of mixing bowls, and instead found Pyrex Accents 4 Piece Baking Dish Set.
I immediately contacted Ashley, and within 30 minutes she had ironed everything out with the supplier. They shipped the correct order out that same day, AND I got to keep the baking dish set…which was worth 2x what I actually ordered! Talk about customer service!
On Monday, Dec. 21, I received the Pyrex mixing bowl set I originally ordered, and I must say I was probably a little overly excited to be receiving a set of bowls. You gotta admit though…Pyrex anything is worth getting excited over. I received a set of Pyrex mixing bowls for a wedding gift (my first marriage) about 11 years ago…and they are still in great condition. I picked this particular set of bowls (even though I already owned a set of Pyrex) because of the size of the largest mixing bowl and the fact that they came with lids. I am always making a huge mess because I don’t have a large enough mixing bowl. Well, now I do. The largest is a 4 qt. bowl. It’s so big it doesn’t fit in my cabinet good…and I love it!
Overall, I was impressed with the ease of ordering, the huge selection of reasonably priced items, and the customer service I received from CSN Stores. I definitely plan on ordering from them in the future.
On to the giveaway!
Up for grabs is a Pyrex Smart 6 Piece Mixing Bowl Set to be shipped directly to you from CSN Stores. Here is the overview from the site:
Pyrex® glassware is a must have for any serious kitchen. Available in an array of functional shapes and sizes, each individual piece can be used for baking, cooking, microwaving, serving, and storage.
Set include:
32 oz. Bowl with Orange Plastic Cover
48 oz. Bowl with Blue Plastic Cover
80 oz. Bowl with Red Plastic Cover
Features:
Pyrex glass is non-porous, so it won’t absorb food odors, food flavors or food stains
Clear glass allows you to watch your food as it cooks
Specifications:
Safe in the oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher
To enter (leave a separate comment for each entry):
1. Visit CSN Stores and leave a comment stating which item you’d love as a gift! (1 entry)
2. Follow @jessalexander on Twitter. (1 entry)
3. Post the following as your status in Twitter/Facebook/Myspace. ‘Enter to win a set of Pyrex Mixing Bowls from Life @ 30! http://tinyurl.com/y9frlna Giveaway ends 12pm CST Jan. 9!’ (Be sure to leave a link to your post in your comment!) (1 entry)
4. Subscribe to my blog! (1 entry)
Important notes! This item cannot ship to Alaska, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico…sorry for any inconvenience! Giveaway runs from Dec. 23, 2009 – Jan. 9, 2010. I will draw a winner using random.org. Winner will be contacted via e-mail and will have 48 hours to respond with mailing address, otherwise a new winner will be drawn. Good Luck!

To-Do Tuesday

Wow…is it only Tuesday? This week leading up to Christmas seems like it’s taking forever! I have been working myself crazy baking cookies, shopping, making/wrapping presents, trying to keep my house in order…I am totally taking a break today. We have several Christmas get-togethers this year so my list is…not too bad. ;)
1. Read daily – personal quiet time.
2. Finish wrapping presents.
3. Relax!
4. Stick to weekly menu plan!
5. Not get mauled at Wal-mart the day after Christmas.
6. Avoid drama!!!
7. Register for an Etsy store
8. Continue cruising on the Flylady wagon & decluttering the garage!
9. Finish planned blog posts! (Review/Giveaway, Thanksgiving dinner, Gingerbread house/cookie decorating, recipes)

10. Get Christmas cards mailed out BEFORE Christmas this year…if Wal-mart will ever complete my order!

I ‘stole’ the following from Crazy Adventures in Parenting…the fearless leader of To-Do Tuesday. =)

Would you like to join us this week for To-Do Tuesday? Start with just a few things. Don’t over-do it your first couple of times. You’ll grow to become a list-a-holic later, start small now, though, k?
Just so you know, you can join us at anytime, it doesn’t have to be on Tuesdays – the list will go up every Tuesday for you to link to, but you can make your list and link to us at any point in the week!

Remember, with “To-Do Tuesday”, we’re attacking our to-do lists each week, blogging about our lists and what we’ve got going on, and sharing it with each other to help keep each other accountable. Everyone should come back here to link up in the MckLinky as the central “To-Do Tuesday Hub” so we can visit who’s participating and offer encouragement to each other throughout the week. Don’t forget to add the “To-Do Tuesday” button to your post, linking back to this post!

Let’s continue to cross items off our list as we go and help support each other in completing our lists! Don’t forget my useful HTML tutorial on how to effectively “cross-out” or √ “check off” your items on your to-do list!

Joining us? We’re using a new linky alternative called MckLinky! Please add your link below (to your To Do Tuesday post, and not the main page of your blog).

Messy Mommy…

Obviously I have no problem posting pictures of my kids doing strange, cute, embarrassing things. I thought I would step it up a bit and show I am not embarrassed to post the same such pictures of myself. A couple nights ago, Grayson and I constructed a gingerbread house. It was a surprisingly clean process, and I didn’t eat a single sprinkle during construction/decoration. I felt that because of this I deserved a Fruit Chiller popsicle. Greg was cleaning up the kitchen for me, and I was leaning against the counter chatting and keeping him company while enjoying my delicious popsicle. I got down to the best part…the slushy liquid-y goodness at the end…and tragedy occurred.

My hand slipped while squeezing the last bit out, I punched myself in the face, and became covered in grape slush. I froze in shock, then busted out in hysterical laughter. Greg grabbed the camera and I laughed so hard I cried. Since the best part of my popsicle ended up on my shirt (it didn’t stain!) I rewarded myself with another…and finished it off without incident.

Sensa Weight Loss System *REVIEW*

Several weeks ago, I received a 3 month supply of Sensa from the great people over at Rocket XL for me to try and review. I really wanted to give this a fair review, so I’ve been using it for almost 2 months. It took me awhile to get started because I really wanted to read up on it and make sure it was safe and everything. I didn’t really need to lose much weight, just about 10 or so vanity pounds, and I didn’t want to be taking anything risky. Originally I was pretty skeptical about this product because it just seemed too easy. All you have to do is remember to sprinkle the ‘Tastants’ on all your food. Seems simple right? It is. The basic idea behind this weight loss system is that you sprinkle your food with the Tastants, they do something to stimulate your olfactory nerve, and you get full faster…therefore eating less food. You get 2 shakers a month (one to keep at home, and one for your purse or bag for when you eat out) that have 2 sides ~ ‘SWEET’ and ‘SALTY’. The Tastants don’t really taste that much, so you barely notice it at all flavor-wise. You shake the ‘SWEET’ over sweet foods like fruit, cereal, desserts, etc., and ‘SALTY’ over salty foods like meat, veggies, salty snacks, etc.


I started this product test at the heaviest I’d been since I had Grayson…124 lbs. Some of you may be like ‘Oooohhhh 124 lbs…big whoop’ but when you’re barely 5′ tall (if I stretch) it can be a big deal. There were times that I forgot to sprinkle my food, but overall I’ve been fairly consistent at remembering. (There was one week that I was pretty sick and didn’t want to eat anything, but since I needed to eat for strength, I didn’t use it…I think I ended up gaining a pound or two back, but it’s gone again.) After the first week, I noticed I wasn’t eating near as much…I was getting full faster. To me this was huge because I’m the kind that eats every bite because I don’t want to waste food. Even if I feel as though I’m about to burst, I will shove down those last few bites. Not anymore. I’ve began starting out with less even when I’m super hungry. If I’m still hungry after I finish, I’ll go back for more, but that doesn’t happen often. The last time I weighed myself I was 116 lbs. I have lost 8 lbs. and done ZERO exercise. (Not that this is a good thing, it’s just a fact.) I do plan on getting back into the gym soon though. I can only imagine what that number would have been if I had been exercising like I was a few months ago.

Overall, I was pretty impressed that it actually worked like it said it would, and it was very easy to keep up with. The only negatives I could see were that for some reason the ‘SALTY’ Tastants didn’t shake out as well as the ‘SWEET’. (Not a huge deal, but worth mentioning to be fair.) Also, I was a little embarrassed to bust out my shaker when we were eating out. I got several questions and a couple strange looks. Nothing bad enough to keep me from sprinkling away though. Questions are good…word of mouth works!

As a special promotion for my wonderful readers, the people at Sensa & RocketXL would like to extend the following opportunity…Click this link SENSA to get a Trial Kit FREE for 60-days and receive a $25 discount card to www.glow.com. Glow.com is the next generation beauty e-tailer. It’s where shopping, socializing and beauty addictions come together with access to over 170 brands offering the best in skincare, makeup, hair care, bath & body, fragrance and more! You will be responsible for a shipping and handling fee of $4.95. If your choose to take advantage of this free trial offer, you’ll have 30 days to try the product free of charge. If you like it, do nothing, and you will then be billed for 60 day supply. If you do not like it, you can return it within the trial period and not pay anything but shipping. Also, use the promotional code RXL1 for 15% off your total order at Sensa! Be sure to come back and let me know if you tried Sensa & how it worked for you!

Wow…busy, busy.

I have been insanely busy lately and have totally neglected my blog…again. I am not going to go into a list of all the mundane tasks I’ve been swamped with, the numerous sudden stresses my poor spirit has been bombarded with, or how my amazing life is seeming to begin to fray at the edges. What I will do is thank you all for being such great readers and friends. Many of you have ‘checked’ on me, offered prayers of encouragement, etc., and I must say that I simply love you guys! Here is a little sneak preview of what I’ve got planned for the next couple weeks…

1. Actual content…woohoo!
2. A giveaway with retail value of $25!
3. A few reviews…Sensa (with FREE trial!), Glade Sense & Spray, & more!
I really appreciate you guys sticking with me even though I’ve been off the blogging wagon for a week or so. Thanks for being the greatest readers on the planet! =)

Review and Giveaway…Coming Soon!

I have recently been contacted by Ashley with CSN Stores with a great opportunity to review their site and offer a giveaway! I very excitedly accepted. I was originally approached to review their dining room furniture site, DiningRoomsDirect.com, but was told I could choose an item from any of their sites. I excitedly searched through over 200 sites to find the perfect item for review and giveaway. With so many wonderful products to choose from, it actually took me longer than I expected. So, check back soon for a review and great giveaway sponsored by CSN Stores!

Thrifty Thursday

I’m baaaaack! (I actually should have said that when I walked into Walgreen’s on Monday. LOL) I haven’t posted a Thrifty Thursday post in awhile, so I figured since we were getting close to Christmas, what better time!? This week, I went to Walgreen’s on Monday with my friend Sarah. I had RR from a previous week that were set to expire on Dec. 1st, so I had to go early this week. I prepared for this shopping trip by visiting my 2 favorite money saving sites STLMommy & Madame Deals. Here’s the rundown on what I picked up.

Bumble Bee Tuna – reg. 1.19, on sale .69 each = 6/$4.14
Holiday Bell Ornaments (for the girls’ teachers) – reg. .99, on sale .66 each = 3/$1.98
Hershey’s Candy – reg. 3.29, on sale 2/$6 – $1RR = 2/$5
Complete Contact Lens Solution – reg. 9.79, on sale 7.99 – $8 RR = FREE
Band-aids – reg. 3.79, on sale 2/$3 – (.50 coupon x 2) – ($1 coupon x2) = 2/FREE
Ecotrin – reg. 3.49, on sale 1.99 – $2 coupon = FREE
Glade Sense & Spray Refill – 3.49 – $1/2 coupon = 2/5.98
Oral-B Toothbrushes – reg. 2.99, on sale 4/$10 – $1 coupon – ($1 coupon x 4) – $5 RR = 4/FREE
Nivea Lipgloss – reg. 3.99, on sale .99 – B1G1 coupon – .50 coupon = 2/.49
Candy Cane Pen (for the girls’ teachers) – 3/$1
Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant – 8.99 – FREE coupon from last week = FREE
Pantene Shampoo – reg. 4.49, on sale $3 – $2 coupon = .99
I also used $9 in RR from a previous trip, making my total with tax 28.76. It printed $15 in RR, so my actual total was $13.76.
Feel free to link up your thrifty posts below, or just links to great deals! =)

Dirty Water!

Why are we as Americans so numb? We see ads on TV and get pamphlets in the mail showing fly covered children living in filth, drinking the equivalent of sewer water, and it does nothing to us.
We change the channel. We wait for our show to come back on. We throw away the ‘junk mail’. Have you ever really stopped to think about these people far away? The lives they lead? Their day to day duties? Take a minute to really envision what just one aspect of their lives are like…water. We take water for granted. Clean, safe water is a basic necessity for life that 1.1 billion people on Earth don’t have access to. That’s 1 out of every 6 people!

I’ve never gone to the faucet and worried that clean water wouldn’t come out. We drink bottled water, purchase special filters to flavor water, fill swimming pools with it, spray our lawns with it, etc. And there are people out there…children…who trek miles and miles each day in Africa to gather water – dirty, leech inhabited, worm infested, muddy water – to bring back to their families.

This water is used to drink and cook and clean with…all the while it is making them sick. Not just sick, it is killing them…80% of all disease in the world is caused by unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation. But, get this…we can make a difference! This week several members of Liquid Church from Morristown, NJ attended Brand New Church. Their Lead Pastor, Tim Lucas, brought a message of hope for those people who don’t have clean water, and threw down a challenge for those of us who do. $20 can provide a single person with access to safe, clean water for 20 years. 20 years!

That just blows my mind… How many of us blow that on eating out, renting movies, a new t-shirt, etc.? Anyways, back on focus. Liquid Church began a mission ‘Dirty Water’, and the concept is simple. Help provide clean water to some of the world’s poorest people by donating to ‘Dirty Water’. 100% of donations go to providing materials to build clean water wells in their villages. The challenge is: Drink only water until Christmas, and save the money you would have spent on coffee, soda, tea, energy drinks, etc. and donate it to this amazing cause. If you don’t want to give up your treats, then think about matching what you spend to help those less fortunate this time of year.
My 9 year old daughter is accepting this challenge in her own way. She is taking a large chunk of the money she’s saved to purchase Christmas presents for her friends, and is instead donating it. She even asked this morning if she could give the money she received from the Tooth Fairy last night to help the kids in Africa.
That’s powerful. For more information on ‘Dirty Water’ or to donate click the picture below.

Don’t forget to keep these people in your prayers, and please help me spread the word by referring your friends to either this post or directly to LiquidWater.com.

To-Do Tuesday

Thanksgiving was a success, and ever since I have been super busy. We actually avoided shopping on Black Friday by shopping online. There was only 2 things on our list that we didn’t get online, but they were not a big deal, so I was totally cool with staying in my warm bed snuggling my husband while everyone else was out there dealing with the crazies. I’ve got several blog posts almost ready to post…just a few more tweaks, I’ve got a giveaway in the works, and I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to avoid personal drama. That is totally going on the list…speaking of the list, here it is!
1. Read daily – personal quiet time.
2. Get back into working out…gotta prep for a 5k in a couple weeks.
3. Make menu plan and grocery list w/ coupon match-up for 2 weeks.
4. Finish Christmas shopping (only a few little things left!)
5. Grocery shopping for 2 weeks.
6. Avoid drama!!!
7. Finish working on hand made gifts & maybe register for an Etsy store?
8. Continue cruising on the Flylady wagon & decluttering the garage!
9. Finish planned blog posts!

10. Work on getting blog transferred over…with the help of genius programmer hubby. (Really questioning if this is EVER going to happen.)

I ‘stole’ the following from Crazy Adventures in Parenting…the fearless leader of To-Do Tuesday. =)

Would you like to join us this week for To-Do Tuesday? Start with just a few things. Don’t over-do it your first couple of times. You’ll grow to become a list-a-holic later, start small now, though, k?
Just so you know, you can join us at anytime, it doesn’t have to be on Tuesdays – the list will go up every Tuesday for you to link to, but you can make your list and link to us at any point in the week!

Remember, with “To-Do Tuesday”, we’re attacking our to-do lists each week, blogging about our lists and what we’ve got going on, and sharing it with each other to help keep each other accountable. Everyone should come back here to link up in the MckLinky as the central “To-Do Tuesday Hub” so we can visit who’s participating and offer encouragement to each other throughout the week. Don’t forget to add the “To-Do Tuesday” button to your post, linking back to this post!

Let’s continue to cross items off our list as we go and help support each other in completing our lists! Don’t forget my useful HTML tutorial on how to effectively “cross-out” or √ “check off” your items on your to-do list!

Joining us? We’re using a new linky alternative called MckLinky! Please add your link below (to your To Do Tuesday post, and not the main page of your blog).