Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Silver Lining

Try to see the silver lining. Remember that for every one thing that goes wrong, there are often 10, 20 or even 50 things that go right! Take a minute to count your blessings today!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Thought for the Day

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.
–Mother Teresa

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Make Time for Change

I'm excited to let you know about a great campaign from our friends at Frigidaire! The folks there know that even though the holidays have come and gone, we're all committed to finding ways to keep the spirit of charitable giving going in the new year.That's why Frigidaire and Jennifer Garner are teaming up once again to support Save the Children's U.S. Programs, dedicated to helping children living in poverty in the United States.
Their new Spin & Win game gives you the opportunity to win gift cards for spending quality time with your tykes - whether it's curling up with some new books, starting a craft project or taking in a family flick. They're giving away a prize every day. Plus, you could also win a brand new Frigidaire Affinity washer and dryer, with time-saving features that give you more time for the important things in life. Best of all, every time you play, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children, as part of their $250,000 commitment to support Save the Children's CHANGE program, dedicated to providing nutritious snacks and promoting healthier lifestyles for children living in poverty in the United States.
All you have to do is go to and Spin to Win! You can spin once a day! So what are you waiting for? It's time to make time for CHANGE. Go ahead - take a spin.

Do You Know A Huggable Hero?

I wanted to let you know about a program the Build-A-Bear company is offering. Each year for the past seven years, Build-A-Bear Workshop, through its Huggable Heroes program, has searched for and recognized young leaders who make positive contributions in their communities or around the world. This year, ten Huggable Heroes, between the ages of eight and 18, from the United States and Canada, will be selected and honored for their good deeds. Each of the ten Huggable Heroes will receive a prize worth $10,000 ($7,500 in the form of an educational scholarship and $2,500 from the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation to be donated to the 501(c)(3) charity of each Huggable Hero’s choice). In addition, the Huggable Heroes will win a trip for themselves and a parent to St. Louis, the home of Build-A-Bear Workshop World Bearquarters. During their visit, the 2010 Huggable Heroes will meet each other, be honored for their good deeds and participate in a photo shoot for the 2011 Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes Calendar.

Entries are being accepted until February 26, 2010 at or by picking up a form at your local Build-A-Bear workshop in the United States and Canada.
Today, more than ever, young people are stepping up to make a difference in their schools, their communities, and their world. If you know a young person who volunteers with all their heart, sign them up today!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Review: Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky

Susan Tate, high school principal, confronts a devastating secret. Her seventeen-year-old daughter, Lily, has revealed that she is expecting a baby - and this is not an accidental pregnancy. Susan soon learns that some of Lily's friends are pregnant, too: they've made a pact to become moms in high school, intentionally having unprotected sex. Naive but determined, they yearn to raise their babies on their own, and to keep the fathers away for as long as possible. For Susan, the news threatens to destroy her career. Once a teen mom herself, she has launched high-profile campaigns to educate students about preventing pregnancy. Then Lily makes a frightening discovery about the baby she is carrying, and she and Susan begin to see their futures in a new way.
Delinsky has written another great story and one every mom of a daughter should read. If I could have ignored the rest of my responsibilities I would have read the book in one sitting, but instead I fed my family, cleaned the house, and read it every spare moment I had. I could identify with so many of the characters in the book for various reasons: Susan and her difficult relationship with her parents and sibling, Pam, feeling like an "outsider" of the group, and Abby as she struggles with her secret. (I don't want to give anything away). There were many tears shed during this book. As I was reading it, my thoughts and feelings would appear in the following paragraph or chapter. I became deeply interested in the characters in this story. I appreciated how the author brought in so many ripple effects to the story; not just the girls and their families, but how their choices affected jobs, the community, and the school board. Our community has had difficulties with a school board much like one in the book and Delinsky portrayed the true power certain members can have on a whole community. Throughout the story I frequently asked myself how I would have reacted and several times I had to check myself and be honest about my feelings. This would be an EXCELLENT discussion book for a book club. As a former teen daughter and a current mom of a daughter, it definately gave me something to think about in regards to how I want to discuss choices with my daughter. I gave this 5 out of 5 stars! Another Delinsky hit!

Walking It Out!

From March to November, I regularly walked with a friend around town. We had our usual loop through town that was about 2 miles. Every day I looked forward to those walks where we could catch up on eachother's day and "solve all the world's problems". Now that it's winter we haven't been able to walk together and my body was showing it! So, I pulled out one of my Leslie Sansone DVDs and started walking at home. I have done her walking workout many times and it wasn't too difficult to get back on the routine of doing them again. I just needed a new one to refresh me and give me more of a challenge. I found Walk Your Belly Flat at Target and am really enjoying it. It is 3 intense miles of walking with her 4 basic moves added to it. Then at the end she offers another move to get that belly flat. The total time is 53 minutes and it flies by!

On Friday, January 29, Leslie Sansone will be featuring her all new Super Walks on QVC all day long. If you have a moment, check her out on Friday. She is always so positive and upbeat. She makes me smile and makes me want to work out. I feel better after walking with Leslie. So, if you are looking for a change, check out her website. It has lots of great information on there. If you can tune in to watch QVC at some point on Friday, or go to your nearest discount store or rent one from Netflix and check out one of her DVD's and get walking!

This is just my opinion. I was not compensated in any way for this post. Always check with a doctor before starting any workout routine.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Morning Glory!

The glory of each morning is that it offers us a chance to begin again!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Rainbow Brite Is Back!

If you are a child of the 80's then you remember Rainbow Brite! Did you know she is making a comeback? Appearing in February 2010 at Target and Toys R 'Us (although I saw her in my Target store today) will be the ever popular Rainbow Brite dolls. Until then, you can stop by this website, Rainbow Brite ,with your daughter and tell her all about how you used to play with Rainbow Brite when you were a kid. I plan to!

Review: Soft Scrub Total

I have been chosen to be a Soft Scrub Club Captain and I wanted to tell you about one of their new products.
Introducing one cleaner that does it all....Soft Scrub Total Bath and Bowl. This is a way to totally rethink clean and simplify your cleaning routine. Soft Scrub offers Soft Scrub Total Kitchen as well. Now you only need one product to clean your entire bathroom or kitchen. Each one is specially formulated to tackle the unique cleaning challenges of your toughest rooms. And it comes from a company you already rely on for powerful cleaning.
I tried the Soft Scrub Total Bath and Bowl. The features it offers are using the foam or a spray option and the bottle sprays both right side up and upside down. This is a great for spraying under the rim of the toilet. The foam is perfect for the toilet and shower and the spray is nice for the countertops and sink. It leaves the bathroom with a fresh clean scent rather than a chemical scent that makes you gag as you walk in. I was able clean up the sinks and countertops right away with no respraying. I was very happy with this product. Unfortunately, I wasn't given any information about how much this new cleaner will cost or when it will be available in stores. But, I would think it would be showing up at anytime. So, on your next shopping trip, look for Soft Scrub Total Bath and Bowl and Soft Scrub Total Kitchen and give it a try!
The Soft Scrub company compensated me with a Soft Scrub Total Bath and Bowl to try at home as well as a coupon for an additional bottle of Soft Scrub Total.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rejuvenation Day!

After a No School day yesterday (our 7th) due to an ice storm and a 2-hour late start today, I dropped our daughter off at daycare before preschool and declared the next 5 hours all to myself! I went to Starbucks with my new book, Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky (which I can't put down) and ordered a "My Perfect Oatmeal" with nuts, fruit and brown sugar, grabbed a juice (already had too much coffee) and snuggled in for a half hour of reading. It was pure bliss to me. Then I headed to Hy-Vee to get the necessary groceries, to Target to get some items I couldn't get at Hy-Vee, then to the mall for lunch (more reading) and a much needed haircut! Even though there wasn't anything extremely special about my day, just being able to spend it how I wanted to, without anyone else, was exactly what I needed. I arrived home in plenty of time to pick up the kids from school, feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the evening. It was just what this mom needed!

Book Club Exchange

Today my bookclub and I are blogging at BookingMama for her feature, Book Club Exchange. Please check it out here!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Review: The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

Towner Whitney, the self-confessed unreliable narrator, hails from a family of Salem women who can read the future in the patterns in lace, and who have guarded a history of secrets going back generations. Now the disappearance of two women is bringing Towner back home to Salem - and is bringing to light the shocking truth about the death of her twin sister.
I received this book from a few months ago and have been anxious to read it after reading so much about it. Fortunately our book club chose to read it this month, so that gave me a chance to move it up my To-Read list!
At times I got confused during the story, it is mostly told from Towner's perspective, but not always. There is also quite a bit of foreshadowing in the story. But, otherwise this was a great read. For the record, I don't believe in fortune telling or witches or lace reading, but still, I found the storyline very fascinating. The storyline revolves around a lot of abuse both as a child and as an adult. As someone who used to work with victims of abuse, the author did a great job portraying their emotions and thoughts. The story grabbed me right away in the first 3 chapters, then there was kind of a lull in the story and then the author grabs you again in the last 100 pages of the book. The story got extremely intense and I could not put it down until the end. I was grateful that the author left the story with a hopeful ending because by the end, I needed it. Even though this is fictional, I am curious to find out how much of this kind of fortune telling, etc really takes place in Salem. Maybe someday.
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and I look forward to reading Barry's next novel! Thanks to for sending me this book in a giveaway and to my bookclub gals for reading it with me! Can't wait for the discussion!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Twilight Tea Winners!

I decided to surprise you and giveaway 2 samples of the Twilight Teas. The winners are:

Here are your random numbers:



Timestamp: 2010-01-19 14:09:55 UTC

april said...
Love your blog, Stacie!!! Count me in for the tea!!

Julie P. said...
I love tea and what a cute idea -- Twilight Tea! Sweet almond vanilla sounds amazing!Count me in please!

Thanks so much for entering. If you didn't win, check out to order your own. My order came very quickly!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Light in the Darkness

A couple weeks ago in my Bible study ( we were studying John 8. While studying this, John 8:12 really jumped out at me....

Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

As we dug deeper we learned that human life cannot flourish without light. And then I remembered a time in my life where I felt like I was surrounded by darkness, and I couldn't see a way out. I spent a lot of time in prayer and asking for guidance. As I continued to talk to Jesus and pray, I was able to see pieces of light through that darkness until eventually the darkness was gone. Jesus was that light for me and he can be for you too. Although I was in a place of great darkness at that time in my life, I kept Jesus with me and allowed Him to work me through that situation. He didn't let the darkness consume me even though I was surrounded by it. He led me out of that darkness because I believed that He could.

Faith is seeing light with the eyes of your heart, when the eyes of your body see only darkness ahead.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Perfect Winter Recipe

Today my house is smelling so good because I have 2 crock pots full of my favorite soup cooking away. One crockpot is for us and one is for my dear friend who just had a baby. This soup is so easy to make and if you are going to make 1 batch, it is just as easy to make 2. I have had this cookbook for a long time, but it was my BFF Tammy who introduced this soup recipe to me and every time I make it, I think of her! This recipe is from Fix It and Forget It Cookbook by Dawn J. Ranck and Phyllis Pellman Good.
6 cups diced, peeled potatoes
5 cups water
2 cups diced onions (I only use a 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup butter or margarine (I use butter)
4 tsp chicken bouillon granules (I use 3 cubes)
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
12-oz can evaporated milk
3 T chopped fresh parsley
8 oz cheddar or Colby cheese, shredded (This time I tried it with some Velveeta and it was less stringy)
Combine all ingredients except milk, parsley, and cheese in slow cooker.
Cover. Cook on High 7-8 hours, or until vegetables are tender.
Stir in milk and parsley. Stir in cheese until it melts.
Heat thoroughly.
I have also added cubed ham to this soup and it was delicious.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Tea-riffic Giveaway!

I had the awesome opportunity to try out some new teas. I like tea and have a few favorites that I like to drink in the evening to "warm up" before I go to bed. When I heard that Luxe Teas were promoting a new Twilight Series of teas, I just had to check them out.

Welcome to Twilight Tea. Experience an exquisite tea blend selection to satiate your Twilight thirst cravings. With Twilight Tea, LUXE Tea founder, Sherry Hsieh, combines her mastery of the luxury tea world with her passion for the Twilight drama series.

In honor of the Twilight Series of books, they sent me 3 kinds to try: Bite Me Strawberry Seduction, Cullen's English Breakfast Tea, and New Moon Red. I loved all three, but my absolute favorite was the Bite Me Strawberry Seduction. The strawberry flavor hits you first with the scent and then the strawberry flavor satisfies you all the way to the last drop. I even went and ordered my own box of Bite Me Strawberry Seduction off of the website . Forget the coffee, this is my new night-time beverage. To find out more about the Twilight Teas, or the Luxe Teas, check out the Twilight website or

Luxe Tea has many other kinds of tea to choose from. These particular teas come in a silken tea bag, but they also offer loose teas. I am also interested in trying their Sweet Almond Vanilla Tea. Both the Strawberry Seduction and the New Moon Red are decaffeinated, which is nice.

I have a set of the 3 Twilight Teas to giveaway to one of you. If you would like to win please leave a comment with an email address. The contest will run until 11:59 PM on Monday, January 18, 2010. I will draw the winner on Tuesday, January 19, 2010 using

Luxe Teas provided me with sample to try as well as to giveaway. No other compensation was provided. This is my honest opinion of a product review.

Monday, January 11, 2010

5 Years Ago

It was 5 years ago right now that I was in labor. My epidural had worn off or gotten loose and I was in major pain. But all that pain disappeared at 3:58 PM when our beautiful girl was born. She has been such a light in our family these last 5 years. When we are in the house, she can either be heard giggling or singing. She loves her big brothers and wants to be with them all the time (unfortunately they don't always want her with them) and is definately a Daddy's girl and has been since day 1! She is so excited to be 5. One day as we began talking about her birthday coming up, she realized that she was going to be 5 and stated that now she could go to Kindergarten. I had to explain to a very disappointed little girl, that she can't go to kindergarten until school starts again after the summer. Even though she will be 5, she has to finish out preschool first. She began reading on her own this year and I can frequently find her sitting and reading a book. Yesterday, I took her to Build-A-Bear for the 1st time. When she was born, her brothers gave her a bunny from Build-A-Bear that they had picked out and stuffed and named. That was their gift to their new baby sister. But, she had never been there before. So, she got to pick out her very own "friend" yesterday. We had a blast spending the day together. At the end of our day, she leaned over and said "Mommy, I love you"! This morning she asked me, "Mommy, now that I am 5, do I get to wear make up?" Oh my, 5 going on 15! She is going to keep me hopping over the next several years, but I am so lucky to be her mommy!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow Day #6

Unfortunately we have had several No School/Snow Days already this winter. Today is #6 and is our second one in a row. Yesterday we tackeled the kids' rooms making room for new toys and moving out the old. So, I feel great getting that accomplished. We have lots of family coming tomorrow for our daughter's 5th birthday, so lots of cleaning to be done. So, we are going to work for a little bit this morning, but then we are going to head in for a movie, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. I just don't think we can sit around another day in the house and I know they won't want to work all afternoon. So, I am hoping by breaking up the day for a movie, we will be able to get back home and get back to work. Yeah right! I love snow days, but after 6 of them, they start to get a little dull, especially when you know that these winter days are shortening your summer days!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Peaceful Heart

I recently read the Bible verse from Proverbs 14:30 and I was interested to see how it was translated in other versions of the Bible.

Proverbs 14:30
TLB: A relaxed attitude lengthens a man's life.

RSV: A tranquil mind gives life to the flesh, but passion makes the bones rot.

NIV: A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

NLT: A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.

THE MESSAGE: A sound mind makes for a robust body, but runaway emotions corrode the

Boy, doesn't that New Living Translation (NLT) really hit it home for you? As many of us are making New Year's Resolutions for a healthier lifestyle, isn't this just the best way to start? As someone who used to work in Hospice, cancer of the bones is one of the most painful and most difficult to treat of all the cancers. God has put jealousy into that same category. How many times this week have you been jealous of what your friend got as a gift for Christmas? How many times have you been jealous of someone else's home, career, car, schedule, lifestyle? I could go on and on. I know that I have been jealous on numerous occasions and this has really knocked me in the head this week.

So, going back to my original resolution, if you have peace in your heart, you will feel better, look better, and everyone around you will feel the warmth of your heart. Wouldn't that be a great way to start the new year?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Put On Your Hiking Boots!

It's not the mountain that we conquer, but ourselves. Sir Edmund Hillary

Sometimes it isn't the goal that is stopping us, but our fear of overcoming that goal. Am I too afraid to apply for a job and get rejected? Am I unwilling to sacrifice a little to go back to school? Would I rather sit on the couch watching my favorite show than getting up and working out? Am I too shy to go out to the party where I might meet someone new?

Step out of your box, put on your hiking boots, and start to conquer that mountain of a goal you have today! YOU CAN DO IT!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Make Someone's Day

"There is nothing to make you like other human beings so much as doing things for them"
Zora Neale Hurston

What can you do today to make someone else's day? What will you do to sacrifice your time or your money or your skills and give to someone else? I haven't decided yet, but I will searching hard to find a way to do something for someone else today. It may be something as small as making my son's favorite meal or it might be something for a stranger. Stay tuned....

Monday, January 4, 2010

An inspiring Start

Starting each morning with an attitude of gratitude - no matter what - the circumstances can splash joy over the rest of your day.

What are you grateful for today?

At this moment I am grateful for a warm home, blankets to cuddle in, coffee with cream, healthy children, and that my cold is gone. If I really took the time I could come up with a list of hundreds of things I am grateful for. But the point is to start each morning being grateful instead of being grumpy! :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Getting Back on Track

As the Christmas vacation comes to a close and the house is "deChristmastized", I am eager to get back to a regular routine, regular food, and regular sleep. I got a new planner for the new year that is called a Busy Mom's Pad. Each day is a tear-off sheet that has a quote, a new word for the day, notable events from history on that day and famous people's birthdays. Then it has space for a To Do list for that day. So far, 3 days in, I have been LOVING it! I have everything written down that I need to accomplish tomorrow. Little things like phone calls I need to make and big things like planning the food for Reagan's birthday party on Saturday. So, as the new year begins I am hoping to stay on task and look forward to checking things off of my list every day!
One way I stay on task each and every morning is laying the kids' clothes out the night before. This is such a HUGE help. I don't have to leave what I am doing to go and pick out clothes, they can get up and have the responsibility of getting dressed on their own, and there are no clothing choice struggles. This can also work for adults. If your clothes are layed out before you go to bed, there is no struggle in the morning for you either!
May you have a productive first work week of the New Year!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 offers a fresh start

Happy New Year to you! Last year I made 10 resolutions and posted them on here. Looking over that post I for the most part kept 7 out of those 10 resolutions, which I don't think is too bad. This week I have been thinking a lot about what I want 2010 to look like for me. As I think about everything I want to improve, accomplish and change it all relates to one core principle. If I spend time with Jesus each and every day, the rest of my life will fall into place. In the past, any days that I start in prayer or in quiet time, those days have gone much smoother for me. It isn't possible for me to start every day with my own quiet time, but it is possible for me to set aside some time each day for Him. I truly believe that if I do this, the rest of the chaos, the stress, and the struggles will fall into place for me. So, my one and only New Years Resolution is to make Jesus part of every day and give Him some of my time. If I make him part of my life and give Him the glory and the control, the pressure is off of me. Wouldn't you like to join me in this adventure?

Two of the books I plan to use as devotionals this year are The One Year Women's Friendship Devotional by Cheri Heath and The Stained Glass Pickup: Glimpses of Gods Uncommon Wisdom by Cathy Messecar. The devotional I bought for myself and my best friend, Tammy last year. I really enjoyed reading it and plan to go through it again this year. Each day there is a story and a way to relate that to your life whether is has to do with your spouse, your faith, your finances, stress, etc. This year I gave it to my Sister-in-law for her birthday and look forward to sharing it with her! Each division ends with questions to ask yourself and forces you to go a little deeper. The other is a weekly devotional that I just won and look forward to reading those stories as well.
I hope 2010 is a year full of happiness and blessing for you and your family. I look forward to sharing my year with you.