Saturday, July 31, 2010

For Crystal


advice vs. sarcasm Pictures, Images and Photos

So, my best friend is pregnant! Finally! I am so very happy for her!

This is her first baby, so I thought I should put together a list of advice for her when she becomes a new mommy.

But, as usual, not so good with the advice.

So, ladies, what tips would you give to my best friend about becoming a mom for the first time??

Friday, July 30, 2010

Yeah. So About That Zumba.







So I went to Zumba on Thursday, and I haven't posted about it yet. Because I am embarrassed.

Dammit, it was fun. I had a great time. I really liked it. Maybe even loved it.

Dammit.

I only felt like an idiot for a few minutes, and after that it was fine!

Plus the 2 hours away from my kids was like heaven!

Maybe one day I will learn not to be so pessimistic about things I haven't even tried.

Yeah right. :)

So that's the Zumba update. And I think I'm going back next week. :)

5 Things I'm Too Ashamed To Admit (until now)



1) I actually like our tiny old trailer. (well, not the scary tornado parts, but the fact that it's almost paid off, and it's ours and no one can take it away, and it's in the country and it's on a beautiful piece of land that's worth so much more than what we paid. I like those parts!)



2) I enjoyed being in the hospital when I had The Bean. I was all alone with my baby.I felt great. I didn't need any pain meds (after he was born, NOT during labor!!!!)I took showers without 4 year olds playing Leapster in the bathroom floor so I can make sure they don't get into trouble, I ate chicken fingers and fries, laid on a Tempurpedic mattress, and watched Tori & Dean for two days straight. Ahh, bliss.


3) I still think I haven't ever properly grieved over losing my mother, and she died ten years ago. There's definitely always been a lot of repressing going on in that department.


4) I'm sometimes jealous that my husband gets to go to work. I always wanted to be a stay at home mommy, and now that I am, even if only temporarily, it can be a little overwhelming sometimes. I would never admit it, simply because of all the begging I did to get to this point. But seriously, he gets a 30 minute silent commute TWICE A DAY? Not. Fair.


5) After all the bitching I did about going to Zumba, it was one of the funnest things I've ever done. I really enjoyed it and it made me feel great! I can't wait to go back, but I feel stupid admitting it after how against it I was in the beginning!

Recipe: Fruit Pizza



FRUIT PIZZA
(one of my most favorite things)

For the crust:
small roll refridgerated sugar cookie dough
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
assorted fruit, chopped (we use strawberries, pineapple, banana, & cherries, but it's whatever you prefer)
For the glaze:
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 and 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup water

First, prepare the crust:
Spread the cookie dough out onto a greased pizza pan (you can try to make it a circle if you want, but I always just make it a rectangle.)
Cook the cookie according to package directions, set aside to cool
Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth
Spread onto cookie
Spread fruit over pizza evenly

Then Prepare the glaze:
Combine all ingredients in saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly.
Bring to a boil and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly, but not "set up".
Glaze will look kind of weird, but will thicken as it stands.
Poor immediatly over fruit on the pizza.
Refridgerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

CLOSED:CSN Stores: $40 E-gift card giveaway!


CSN Pictures, Images and Photos

I am sooo excited to be doing this giveaway! CSNstores.com is one of my very favorite websites, so I was thrilled to be offered the chance to do a giveaway with them! CSNstores.com is a website with over 250 online stores, selling everything from toilets and lighting, to toys and cookware. They literally have something for everyone! From Bedroom Sets, to toys, to cookware, to lighting, sinks, and toilets!
(Here are a few of my very favorite things from their sites)
They are a great site, and one of my personal favorite ones to shop at.
I'm sure they will quickly become one of your favorites too!

WIN IT: CSN stores has generously offered to give away a $40 e-gift certificate to one lucky Flip Out Mama reader! (This is a code that will be emailed to the winner directly from CSN stores. It does not include shipping costs, but lots of items on the site have free shipping!)

How To Enter: Go to csnstores.com and look around. Come back here and leave a comment telling me what you would buy with your $40!

Extra Entries:
1. for TWO extra entries, follow my blog via GFC. (click on the right side margin to follow) Come back here and leave TWO comments letting me know you are a follower.
(example: Entry 1, I follow through GFC,
Entry 2, I follow through GFC)
2. for ONE extra entry, subscribe to my email updates(via email or rss)
3. for ONE extra entry, comment on any of my non-giveaway posts. Then come back here and tell me which post you commented on.

*Don't forget to leave your email address in every comment so I will be able to contact you if you are the winner!*
Rules & Such:
This giveaway will end August 25, 2010, at 7pm E.S.T. It is open to US residents age 18 and older. The winner will be selected using random.org, and will then have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen.
Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post. All opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own.


Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm going to Zumba. And I'm going to die.

So, that pretty much sums up my week. My bestest friend has finally talked me into going to a Zumba class with her on Thursday night. I am both excited and dreading this.
If you don't know what Zumba is, take a look at this:










Really, does anyone think I am going to be able to do this? I highly doubt it. I am going to make a fool out of myself. I am going to look REAL stupid. I have nothing to wear. I smoke. I get out of breath when I walk to the mailbox. I have high blood pressure. I am the most uncoordinated person I know. I am probably going to pass out. All of these are valid reasons against me doing this Zumba class.

Everyone I know who has ever went, has loved it, and has went back again. But, I am just so self conscious. I don't know if I can do this. I am too embarrassed to do the dvds unless I have all the shades closed. (And I am the only person who lives on my road!) Who knows, maybe it will be fun. Maybe it will bring me out of my shell. Maybe I will make new friends and get in shape. Or maybe, just maybe, I will have to fake a heart attack. I'll let you know how it goes. :)

My 10 Biggest Fears





This post is in response to a prompt I found through Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. I love her blog, you should check her out!! Anyways, on to the fears. ;)*btw, these are in no particular order, since I can not think of a way to logically order my fears. :)



1) Having to bury my babies.
I think this is at the top of every mommy's list.

2)Coincidently, my babies having to bury me. I know eventually, they will probably have to, but what I mean is before they are grown. Before they are men, before they are married, before I have grandbabies. It happened to me, and I worry every day about my boys having to go through the pain of losing a parent when they are still just kids.

3) Tornadoes. We live in a trailer. I don't have a car. Enough said.

4) Never being successful at anything. I used to think I just wanted to be a mommy, but recently I am not sure if that is enough for me. I think that I want to do something, that i want to be something, and although I am not sure what exactly that something is, I am deathly afraid that I will never reach it. I think this ties into my next fear:

5) Having to struggle my whole life.
I understand that we have to struggle financially right now. We are young, we have two kids, only one of us has a job, we have debt, we have bills, blah blah, f-ing blah. But, what if we never get financially stable? What if we are living paycheck forever? I can't even stand to think about it, I feel like I'm going to hyperventilate.

6) home invasion/attacker/burglar. I check the locks like 10 times a night. I'm really afraid someone's going to come in here and get me. I can't stand to be home alone with the babies. Partially the reason that I keep this horribly behaved pit bull. (just kidding, i heart my little Tucky!)

7) car crashes. me being in one, or someone I love being in one. For some reason, this fear is always more prevalent on holidays. (don't ask me!) I guess I am afraid someone is going to die on a holiday. Like it wouldn't hurt if they died on another day? geez, i'm weird.

I was supposed to go to 10, but I really think that's all. I mean there are things I don't like, like snakes, roaches, spiders, mice, etc... but I don't think I really fear them. I guess that's a good thing, right? Better to have 7 fears than 10?

Tell me, what are some of your biggest fears?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

CLOSED:Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce: Review and Giveaway!


***UPDATE: Thank you GOD that someone has entered this giveaway. I was seriously about to cry!!!****



this is Country Bob, isn't he the
cutest thing
you've ever seen??




Have you tried Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce yet? If not, you really should. I will admit it, I used to be kind of a sauce snob, A1 was my first and only choice. Then I discovered Country Bob's sauce, and I've been hooked ever since!

I use Country Bob's on everything now, especially in the meat when I make burgers. It's kind of sweet and rich, but also spicy. They actually have a spicy variety which is actually my new favorite, it's really good on ribs. I am looking forward to trying Country Bob's new seasoning salt and BBQ sauce too, but I haven't got to try it yet.

Another really cool thing about Country Bob's is that they make their own bottles on site. They also sell them to people who are interested in making their own sauces.

WIN IT! I'm giving away 2 coupons for free bottles of Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce. (Original or Spicy) These coupons don't expire until March 2011, so you will have plenty of time to use them. To win, simply go here to Country Bob's website, and click on recipes, then come back here and tell me which one you would like to make with your free Country Bob's Sauce! Make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!

Rules: This giveaway will end on August 23, 2010, at 7pm (e.s.t.)The winner will be chosen through random.org. The winner will have 48 hours to respond after I email them, or a new winner will be chosen. Contest open to US citizens only.(sorry!)

EXTRA ENTRY: for an extra chance to win, follow my blog via google friend connect (on the left side margin) Leave me an extra comment telling me that you are a new follower, or if you are already a follower (thanks!) leave me a comment telling me that. Good Luck!

*disclosure: Country Bob's didn't compensate me in any way for this post. They sent me free product coupons to use myself, and I decided to pass them on to you guys!

Preschool FlipOut

So, it's almost time. I mean, REALLY, almost time for Tater to start preschool. I can't believe he is ready to go, and it's already here. I am totally flipping out. (surprise, right?)

I feel like he is not prepared at all. He can't write his name. (He can trace, but that's not the same...) He has an attitude, he's not a sharer. Not to even begin to touch on the fact that he strips completely naked when he poops. (Wonder how they're gonna handle that one!)

He's so excited and so ready to go, but I am not. I am half-tempted to keep him home this year. But, alas, I know he needs it. He is so smart, but he needs that socialization, and I think that independence will be good for both of us. He's so bored here, bored with his toys, bored with me. He needs that change of pace. Can I handle it? I'm not sure.

I've tried so hard to get him "ready". He knows numbers, ABC's, can read lots of words. He's a lefty, so teaching him to write has been such a challenge. I don't even know where to begin. And while I think he will be just fine, what if he gets there and freaks out? He's going to have to ride the bus, since we only have one car right now, and I am worried about how he's going to handle that. Point is, I'm stressing.

What if he doesn't make friends? What if no one likes him? I feel like this is my first day of school. I am so afraid that he won't fit in, and I know we, as parents, are supposed to say it doesn't matter if our kid is popular, or if our kid has friends, but I can't help but want that for him. I want him to be happy, I don't want school to be a dreaded place for him. I know that's inevitable, but not yet anyways. *sigh*.

So, moms, any suggestions for me? How did you get your babies ready for the big day?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Review: Online School Solutions




Did you know that there is online schooling for middle/high school students? I wish I would have been involved in something like this when I was in school! I had no idea that anything like this even existed, until I came across www.onlineschoolsolutions.com. This is a novel idea, and I really do believe it could be a good alternative to regular school for some kids. School, middle school especially, is such a trying time, and there are so many distractions for kids these days. Bullying, drugs, sex, gossip, boredom. I know what it was like when I was in school, and there really wasn't much concentrating on schoolwork going on, not with all the "outside influences" everywhere.

Students enrolled in online school are able to choose their own schedules and have up to 12 months to complete their courses. I am sure this would have enabled me to finish my coursework much faster than what I did in traditional school. The Keystone School is the online school that services Kentucky folks.

You can enroll online and earn your regular high school diploma, or you can use it as a supplement to homeschooling. The tuition can be pricey, with a full year of high school ranging from $1350-$2400, but I can see where this would be a viable option for some families. They also have a payment plan where you can pay 25% down and then make monthly payments on the remainder.

I can see how online school could be a good alternative in some situations. For example, teen mothers might find this helpful to be able to finish their high school education without having to leave home, and ending up with a high school diploma as opposed to a GED. But, there would definitely be the money issue, that much money is hard to come by for most people that I know. The online school solutions website talks a little bit about online public school, which is tuition free, and follows a traditional school year, but I couldn't find much additional information about it on their website. I clicked a few different states, and saw that Texas does offer the tuition free public school. Hopefully, more states will jump onboard with this in the future.

Here are some very interesting survey results from Aventa Learning in favor of online schooling:

  • 72% of online students spend three or more hours on homework per week vs. 56% of students in traditional schooling.
  • 54% of online students get more challenges when they are doing well in school vs. 49% of students in traditional schooling.
  • 58% of online students get more help when they fall behind vs. 40% of students in traditional schooling.
  • Online students have more interest in attending a four year college after graduation than students in traditional schooling. 78% vs. 67%
I love the idea and concept of online schooling for middle and high schoolers, and I hope that it becomes more mainstream and affordable in the future. I think it could potentially help a lot of kids achieve more than what they would otherwise.

To learn more: visit www.onlineschoolsolutions.com

*disclosure: this review was written in connection with MomSelect, and I was provided with a gift card for this review. I have never used this program, so I can not offer personal experience, I am just reviewing the content of the website.

CLOSED:The Rattles Cd Review and Giveaway!!!! (TWO WINNERS)






If there is one thing my boys love, it's music. Even the baby is happier when the radio is on. And I have never seen a kid as into music/dance as Tater. He is so silly and crazy, and anytime music is on, he's dancing around like a fool! I love it!

I was so excited for the opportunity to review a new kid's cd for The Rattles, an animated animal band with songs likened to The Beatles and The Monkees. They are the cutest things I have ever seen!


Check out their official YouTube video: (Warning: I've been singing this song since I saw the video the first time!)





I love it! This is even something I could jam to while cleaning house! :) It definitley beats some of the kiddie cd's we have bought in the past. I would love to have something like this that we could both enjoy together!

Check this out from their recent press release:
New York, NY – "Hailing straight from the swamps of Central Jersey, an eclectic band of anthropomorphic critters known as The Rattles are preparing to roll out their debut studio album ‘RATTLE ON’. Working in the classic traditions of The Beatles, Moxy Fruvous, The Monkees, and They Might Be Giants, The Rattles apply a fresh fusion of classic rock and power pop that is sure to appeal to fans of all ages and put them on the map.
The unique animal collective consists of four stellar musicians and life-long friends – Gus, Kitty, Sal, and Hal – who describe their upcoming release as “the album we were born to make”. From start to finish, ‘RATTLE ON’ provides a solid testament to The Rattles’ undeniable musical ingenuity, jammed with catchy pop melodies and feel-good vibes that are sure to inspire lots of head swaying and booty-shaking.
With their trusty manager Benny and a devoted legion of roadies all named Elvis in tow, The Rattles intend to take their show on the road and connect directly with the people who inspire them most – the fans. With such a distinct background and a colorful collection of grooves, The Rattles are shaping up to be one of the most intriguing new music acts of the year."
If you just can't wait til their album release on August 17, you can:

GO HERE: You can check out one of The Rattles' other songs, "Wavy Lane" here :
http://themusebox.net/mp3s/wavy_lane.mp3 or check out more info on them at
http://www.rattlesrock.com/. There are some super cute things for kiddies on there, Nate's been playing the games for like an hour straight.

WIN IT!!!!: I have generously been provided with two copies of The Rattles' Debut CD to give away! This giveaway will end on Sunday, August 22, 2010, @ 7pm (e.s.t.) The winner will be drawn using random.org, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize after I email them, or another winner will be chosen.

HOW TO ENTER: simply leave a comment below telling me who this awesome cd would be for. (If it's for you, that's okay, too!) make sure to include your email address.

EXTRA ENTRY: follow my blog via google friend connect (left side margin). leave another comment letting me know you did this for your extra entry.
Good Luck!
*disclosure: I was given a copy of this CD to review. No other compensation was received for this post. *

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Parade Magazine: FREE McDonald's Smoothie or Frappe


I haven't been able to confirm this in the Lexington area, but I am hearing that today's Parade magazine inserts have a coupon for a FREE McDonald's frappe or smoothie!!! These are soooo good, so make sure you save your Parade inserts! :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Recipe: Chex Muddy Buddies aka "puppy chow"




Oh, how I love horrible-for-me snack foods!!! If there ever was a weakness that I have, snacks would be the one. This is a personal favorite recipe of mine, and it always makes me smile to think of the days when I first discovered it. It was shortly after I turned 18, and was "living" on one of my best friends living room couches for the summer. I came home once and discovered this heavenly sweet goodness on the kitchen counter and from that day on I was hooked. It is always so funny for me to think back to those days, especially now when I make this for my hubs and kids and think of how far this recipe has followed me! :) Here's the recipe so you can make some for your loves too!

9 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 and 1/2 cups powered sugar
gallon size ziploc-style bag ( i use two of these, to get a more even coating)
step 1. measure cereal into a large bowl and set aside

step 2. in a large microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on high for 1 minute. stir. microwave approx 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. (if you have a picky microwave like me, you might wanna watch closely during this part, mine likes to scorch during the final 30 seconds.) stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into ziploc bag(s).

step 3. add powdered sugar. seal bag. shake until well coated. (this is a great part for kiddos to help with) Spread onto wax paper to cool ( i always skip this part). Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

makes 18 servings (1/2 cup each)

if you are wondering just how bad this is for you, one serving is 210 calories... so... not so great, but damn its good!

for more yummy stuff, check out www.Chex.com

disclaimer: chex/general mills did not give me crap for posting this recipe. i just genuinely love it!

Review: Crown Spray Power




As a mom of two boys, a husband and a dog, I am a professional mess-cleaner. I know that there always has to be at least one bottle of cleaning solution in my house at all times. There is no way plain old soap and water will clean up the messes around here!
I was so excited to find CROWN Spray Power All Purpose Cleaner. I actually discovered this cleaner on accident. We were at Walmart, of course, and both boys were having massive Walmart breakdowns (you guys know what I'm talkin' about!) and my sweet hubs was just oblivious to it all, casually asking "how much longer?" So, I ran down the cleaning aisle and grabbed the cheapest bottle of cleaner I saw. I was just lucky enough that it happened to be Spray Power.
The price would have to be my first attraction, only $2.12 at my local Walmart for a 32oz bottle. You can't beat that, and I am such a cheapie that I am always attracted to a nice sturdy spray bottle that I can rinse out and reuse for something else, so that was an added bonus!
This cleaner seriously does everything! I have become addicted to it, and we always have it around now. I loveeeee the fact that I can clean the counters and sink with it, then move on to the bathroom and clean the tub and toilet, spray some on laundry stains, then on to the boys room for crayon marks and such. It literally gets used in every single room in our house. The bottle actually has a giant list of uses for Spray Power listed on the back, including:
• grease
• fingerprints
• cooking stains
• crayon marks
• lipstick marks
• old wax
• ink
• heel and scuff marks
• road film
• pencil marks
• fresh paint
• rubber tires
• floor mats
• walls/floors
• sinks
• smoke deposits (i can vouch for this one- it works great on smoke stains!)
• formica
• tools
• toys
• trailers, RVs
• leather goods
• car interiors
• vinyl tops
• garbage pails
• light rust
• cookware
• synthetic carpet
• outdoor furniture
• oil based paint
• synthetic fabrics
• fiberglass boats
• woodwork
• mildew stains
I mean really, have you ever heard of such a versitile cleaner? And Crown must be a company after my own heart, since it says on the directions "can be diluted for additional economy when cleaning lightly soiled surfaces." Ahh, those are beautiful words!
Another thing I like about Spray Power is that is made close to (my) home, in Nicholasville, Kentucky by Crown Marketing, Inc. Hurray for local companies! :)
I highly reccommend Spray Power to all mommies (and daddies) with messes like mine! If you can't find Spray Power at a Walmart in your area, you can contact Crown Marketing at 800-827-2364 or go to www.spraypower.com. Get some today and enjoy the "ALL- purpose multi-surface cleaner that makes dirt CRY!"
Disclaimer: Crown Marketing and/or Spray Power did not compensate me in any way for this review, i just am a fan of this cleaner! 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Review: Netflix

Recently, our family did something a little crazy. We canceled our beloved Dish Network service. I was so sick and tired of paying $80+ per month for nothing worth watching at all. My hubz plays XBOX 360 all the time, and I usually only watch the TV in our bedroom with the digital antenna so I can watch the news and Dr. Phil and such, so I really didn't think we needed the dish. Well after about a week or so of no dish, we were all so bored.. So, we got Netflix.

I am happy to report, after probably about a month, we do not miss our dish at all!!! The Netflix subscription is more than enough for us! Here's a little breakdown of how it works in case you aren't familiar with it.

Of course, there is the "through the mail" option, where you pay a set price, say $8.99 per month, and you go online and make a list of the movies you would like to see. Netflix automatically sends you the first movie, and you keep it as long as you want. You want to watch it the same day, and send it back? That's fine. Keep it for a month? That's fine too. Whenever you want to send it back, just drop it into the mailbox (Every dvd comes with a postage paid return envelope, how cool is that?) Netflix receives the dvd, and then mails you out the next one on your list. That's all there is to it. You just keep adding to your list, and you always have movies coming :)

The other feature that Netflix offers is "streaming". You have to have a "netflix ready device". Sounds complex, but really that just means a PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, bluray player, etc. Then you can activate your device on your Netflix account. This is very simple and can be done online. You will now be able to add movies to your "instant queue", which is pretty much an online list of movies you want to see, and they will be available to watch instantly on your TV. It's really pretty awesome, and very convenient for the times when you don't want to wait for your dvd to come in the mail.

The only main downfall of streaming as opposed to through the mail movies, is that the newest releases are only available through the mail.But there are plenty of good movies as well as tv shows available through the instant queue on the tv. If you think of something you would like to see, you can go to the netflix site and search for the movie, and it will let you know if it is available for download to your tv, or if it is only available through the mail.

I love the fact that tv series are available through netflix too. It's a great way to watch a series from start to finish. Also, the price ranges are so reasonable.The plan for one dvd at a time through the mail is $8.99 per month. We just recently upgraded to the two dvd at a time plan which is $13.99 per month, so we can always have a dvd to watch at home. This is working out really well for us so far, and we are very happy with the value. You can get up to eight dvds at a time, and I believe that plan is $47.99 a month, which is still equal to about 2 trips to the movies for me and the hubs. You can also add access to blurays for an additional fee.

My favorite feature of Netflix is the option to put your membership on hold. If you are going to go out of town, or just plain don't have the money one month, you can simply go online and choose to put your membership on hold. You just send your dvds back, and you are not billed, and you can choose when to restart. This has come in handy for us a few times when we've been short on money but not wanted to cancel our netflix subscription all together.

I honestly can whole-heartedly give Netflix a great review. It has become one of those things that I am not sure how we lived without. Now I have to go, and watch some more episodes of Weeds on the Wii. Thanks Netflix! ;)
Disclosure: Netflix did not give me anything for this review, just wanted to share with you all a company that works for us! :)

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