Sunday, July 17, 2016

My Week

On Monday, on our morning walk, my son and I saw that they're putting a new playground in at his school. Unfortunately, it's the younger kids' playground, so he won't get a chance to play in it. In the morning, I also reconciled my checking account for June and re-filled our snacks in the new baskets I have. In the afternoon, I went through half of my sub book, preparing for next school year, and my son and I played Frisbee in our backyard. My mom's hemoglobin levels were low so she had to have a blood transfusion in the ER. They had to give her 3 bags of blood, so they were there until 3:30 in the morning! I was only able to go and visit for about an hour, but it was very busy. There sure are some interesting people in the ER!

On Tuesday morning, my daughter helped me inventory our school supplies. I compared our current inventory with our inventory from the beginning of the school year so we know how many school supplies we need to purchase. School sales are starting now, so it's time to get shopping! In the afternoon, I finished going through the rest of my sub book and found lots of great things for next school year. I also did some yard work while my daughter and youngest son colored, with chalk, the bricks on our patio. The surgeon called today, and my mom's surgery has been moved up to this Friday afternoon.

On Wednesday morning, after our walk, my 9 year old son and I played Hangman. After lunch, we went to Staples to take advantage of their school supplies sales. I also had to make lots of copies of things I found in my subbing books that would be great to have for "just in case" assignments. I never realized they had a copy limit of $100, so I didn't quite get all of my copies made. I think I'm set for life though! Then, we went to the library so my son could get this week's library reading program prize - he got a dinosaur book.

On Thursday morning, my son and I played Battleship. I started to work on my grocery list, but because my mom's surgery is tomorrow, there were a lot of phone call interruptions. I finally finished after lunch. I was just about to sit down and look at my email when my best friend called. We're only able to talk about once a year, so our conversations are usually about an hour and a half. Later, I did yard work in the front yard and my kids did sidewalk chalk in the backyard. Since we're in a drought in CA, we can't water our grass. Well, we just got a nasty letter from the homeowner's telling us to plant new grass or submit plans for drought tolerant landscaping within a week!

On Friday morning, after our walk, I baked the dessert and cooked the dinner. That way my kids and husband will be all set, no matter what time I get home from my mom's surgery at the hospital. My mom's surgery went well, although it was delayed 3 hours because of the surgery before. Her surgery also took 3 hours, instead of an hour and a half. The dr. says he thinks he got it all. Pathology results come back in about 5 days. She also had to wait for a room, so we didn't get to see her until 9:30.

On Saturday, we went grocery shopping, and then I spent the rest of the day with my dad at the hospital, visiting my mom. She sat up in a chair twice, and they were able to take her off the oxygen. She was also allowed to have ice chips.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

You Can Join Team Snuggle

The Bear Den is a special community built for people who love all things Snuggle. As a member of Team Snuggle in the Bear Den, you have the opportunity to connect directly with the Snuggle brand. You’ll receive special offers and announcements, share new ideas and get insider access to new content or product information.

"Missions" are special ambassador programs that allow you to experience the Snuggle brand in a fun way. You can qualify for missions by completing surveys, keeping your profile up-to-date and by participating in community activities like discussions. Keep an eye out for invitations. They come soon after you join!

When you're on a mission, all they ask is that you share your thoughts, opinions and experiences- honestly. Your voice matters and they want to hear it! By using your social sharing tools, you can let your friends and followers know about your experience, and earn points and badges for participating.

Points are the virtual currency of Team Snuggle. You can earn points for almost everything you do in the Bear Den, and earn badges for completing various activities. Points and badges increase your chances of receiving future missions and helps qualify you for special offers from the makers of Snuggle!

I'm a member of Team Snuggle - I have the badge on my side bar - and I really enjoy it. I was able to try fabric softener for free. My son enjoyed the Snuggle Bear I received. He's had lots of fun playing with it. We had to take pictures with it around the town and he liked that. I enjoy getting to try new products for free so this is a great team to be a part of.

If you want to check it out for yourself, just click on this Team Snuggle link and you can see what it's all about. Plus, I get points when you click on the link, so I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

One of My Favorite Etsy Shops - MomsRCrafty

One of my blogging topics every month is to share with you my favorite Etsy Shops. I used to sell my crafts on Etsy, but had to stop when I started back to work at my subbing job. While on Etsy, I found lots of shops I love to shop at and made lots of friends too. Today, I'll be sharing with you an Etsy shop belonging to a lady I became friends with.

MomsRCrafty is an Etsy shop, run by my friend Rhonda, and her friend Juanita. I think it would be really fun to be able to run an Etsy shop with your friend! Rhonda and I quickly became friends on Etsy; we were on several Etsy teams together. She sells things made out of plastic canvas, like I did, and also lots of wreaths and other things for your home. Now that I'm not on Etsy anymore, Rhonda and I still keep in contact through Facebook and email. She's a really good listener and a very caring person.

Rhonda and Juanita sell lots of wreaths in their shop, like this cute Summer Fun Tulle Wreath.

Here's a really pretty Pink Basket with Beads made out of plastic canvas.

Here's a nice Key Fob made out of plastic canvas. This would help keep your keys from getting lost in your purse, and my son would like it because it's green like the Ninja Turtles.

I love this Mouse Pad because it has a mouse stitched on it.

Here's a very pretty Jute Mesh Table Centerpiece that would brighten up any home and add a little joy.

They also sell lots of great things for all the holidays, like this Christmas Season Tulle Wreath.

So, the next time you need decorations for your home or a gift for someone, visit MomsRCrafty on Etsy, and I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for.

Monday, July 11, 2016

How to Live in Fear: Mastering the Art of Freaking Out by Lance Hahn Book Review

In How to Live in Fear, Lance tackles the pervasive problem of fear and panic head-on by inviting readers into his world. In this genuine and practical book, he invites readers into the life of a pastor living with anxiety disorder. Through humorous personal stories—like losing it on an airplane or collapsing onstage as he is about to preach—Lance will win over readers with his transparency. He will also share the remedies that have helped him recover and overcome throughout the years.

I was excited to be able to review How to Live in Fear because I'm often nervous, afraid, anxious and worried about a lot of things, and I would love to find out how not to be. After reading the introduction, I knew this was a book I wanted to read. In Part 1, I enjoyed reading Lance's story because it made me realize I'm not alone in my struggles. In Part 2, I learned that there is hope and help for me, and once I figure out my triggers, I can implement a plan. He also gives practical strategies to help. In Part 3, I learned about all the Scripture that can help me and what God can produce from my struggles.

While reading this book, when I started to feel anxious, I remembered the strategies and verses I learned and was able to use them to calm myself down and not escalate my feelings. I wrote down a lot of things that stood out to me as things that will be able to help, so I can refer to them as needed. I'm also going to look up the Scriptures mentioned in the book and type out the ones that "speak" to me and put them in my subbing bag to read when I need them. I'm really grateful to Lance for sharing his story and for writing a book that has been such a help to me already.

If you would like to purchase How to Live in Fear, it's available on, Barnes and and

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

My Week

On Sunday, I made these Patriotic cupcakes. You just use a white cake mix, and then separate the batter into 3 different batches. You add red food coloring to one, blue food coloring to another, and leave one white. Then you put 1 tablespoon of each batter into muffin cups and bake as directed on the pan. When they're cool, I frosted them and my 9 year old son added the stars on top. At night, we went outside and watched what fireworks we could see in between houses. Our city's celebration is on the 3rd because it's the city's anniversary.

On Monday, I made buttermilk pancakes for our next couple of week's breakfasts. When my husband came home from his run, we shopped for a new waffle maker. The non-stick coating on my old one had started to come off. After lunch, I picked my next craft project to work on. Later in the afternoon, my husband and I cleaned out some more of the garage. Now we have some more things to sell!

On Tuesday, I went to the Dr. for my physical. My blood pressure was good 100/68, and my BMI is 19.5, which is also good. I've had trouble with my ears plugging lately and he thinks it's a sinus issue, so he wants me to try a nasal spray. I don't like taking medications because I'm allergic to a lot, but he says this just clears up your nasal passages and doesn't go into your blood, so I should be fine. I wanted to know the results of my MRI, but they didn't have them at first because they had technology troubles the past couple weeks. So, I had to wait awhile while they had them faxed over. At T6-7, I have disc bulge, and at T7-8, I have disc degeneration. He said they try to avoid surgery at all costs, so he gave me more back exercises to do. He said if the pain gets too bad, they can do a cortizone shot. After lunch, I cleaned up the rest of the kitchen cupboards and drawers. My son and I played in the backyard.

I forgot to keep track of what I did on Wednesday and Thursday, and my daughter and I can't remember, sorry! I wrote it on my planner so I won't forget next week. I do know that my mom met with a surgeon on Thursday because she was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. The dr.'s office will contact the hospital to arrange for her surgery, and they will let her know soon when it will be. It will probably be in 2 weeks.

On Friday, it was our 21st anniversary. We don't usually do anything to celebrate it, but because we had that money from the garage sale, we decided to use a little bit of it. We went to downtown San Diego, which is about an hour away, and walked around. We had dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory, and then walked around some more. We had ice cream at Ben & Jerry's, but that was a rip off! We got a medium to share, thinking it would be a lot, and it was only 1 small, rounded scoop of ice cream! We stayed overnight at a hotel. My husband got a deal on priceline, to stay at the Grand Hyatt for only $100; the original room price was $200. The pictures are below.

We were on the 7th floor. This was the view from one of the windows. It's All-Star Baseball week, so the bbq place below had a giant blow-up Uncle Sam and a baseball.

This is us and the hotel room in the background. On the very right, there's a couch where you can sit and look out the window.

This is the view from that window, of the city and the bay.

On Saturday, we came back early in the morning so my husband and older son could go fishing and so my other 2 kids and I could go grocery shopping. The rest of the day was cooking and cleaning because my parents came over for dinner.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Life We Never Expected Book Review & Giveaway #lifeweneverexpected #FlyBy

About the Book:

What do you do when hard or painful circumstances turn your world upside down, resulting in a life you never expected? Andrew and Rachel Wilson grappled with this question after both of their children were diagnosed with regressive autism. Refreshingly honest, this book explores the highs and lows of raising children with special needs, reflecting on the broader question of how to cope with suffering of all kinds. Sharing personal stories from their lives and encouragement rooted in the truth of God's Word, Andrew and Rachel highlight lessons they've learned related to fighting for joy and thriving in the midst of trials - ultimately pointing readers to Christ, the One who promises to make all things new.

The book begins with the Introduction that tells why Andrew and Rachel decided to write this book. It's written for parents, family and friends of those raising a child with special needs, and for anyone who's going through any kind of suffering. The next 2 Chapters are of Rachel sharing a day in her life and Andrew reflecting on Psalm 130. The book is divided into Five Cycles and within each cycle are the five things people go through: weeping, worshiping, waiting, witnessing, and breathe. Each chapter is written by either Andrew or Rachel and shares their personal experiences and the thoughts, feelings, emotions they went through. They also talk about how this book can be applied in our lives.

I wanted to read this book because I was a sub one-on-one aide for a child with special needs for a year, and as a substitute teacher, I often have students with special needs in my class every day. I also teach Sunday School sometimes, so I thought this book would be helpful for me there too. Well, I found out that besides helping me in those situations, this book can help me deal with day to day life also and the circumstances that pop-up sometimes. It's neat to hear the perspective of both Andrew and Rachel, because as a man and a woman, they deal with and process things differently, so it's also given me some insight as to how my husband thinks. I have found this book to be very encouraging, to see how even though they are going through tough circumstances, they know God will help them through. I've learned the true meaning of joy and how people would rather be around someone who has true joy(this really hit home since I'm often pretty negative). I've learned it's o.k. to be sad sometimes and that everyone expresses it differently. I've learned more about the Bible, God's promises, what truly matters, about kids with special needs, and more about Andrew and Rachel. I am really grateful to have been able to read this book. It has enriched my life and helped me make some positive changes.

If you want to check out this book for yourself, it is available on for $9.01.

I am also running a giveaway for you. You have a chance to win a free copy of Un-Ashamed. This giveaway is open to the US and Canada. All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below, fill out one option or as many as you want. The giveaway ends at 12:01 a.m. eastern time on 7/15/16.

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Blog I Follow and Why: The Pond

Today the blog I'm featuring is The Pond, also known as Chatbug Karen at The Pond. The blog is written by Karen, and she has been blogging since February 2010. Here is some of what's written about her on her blog disclosure page, "Hi, I’m Karen, an over 50 but feel like 30 wife and mom. I enjoy books, movies, and the Internet. I love to scrapbook and quilt. My kids are the highlight of my life and then there are my dogs! My husband and I own our own business and have since 1979. I live in the midwest and I don’t like winter here very much. At least we don’t have to mow our 2 1/2 acres in the winter time. I used to snow ski but I have the beginnings of osteoporosis and I have to watch doing stuff like that. I used to ride my own motorcycle but sold it when I fell and broke my elbow. Yes, my nickname is Clutzy. I’ve been trying for 2 years now, to read my Bible in a year. I will get there one of these days! I try to be a good listener to my family and friends. I try to see both sides of an issue. I’m ok with agreeing not to agree as long as we don’t have chips on our shoulders. I try my best to follow politics but I get bored with it and find my attention drifting away from the speaker and then I don’t know what is going on. I feel blessed to write for advertisers through several companies. The extra money has afforded some fun things and helped pay for a few necessities. I would love to live in a big old house that has built in hutches and pantries, a winding staircase and claw foot bathtubs. The wood work would have to have never been painted. I’d love a wrap around front porch that is deep enough to have a table and chairs so we could have meals outside on the porch. I have to finish a book or project when I start it. I have started two quilts and it is driving me crazy that I haven’t gotten back to them to finish them. I have made 3 large quilts. I hand quilted them. I am learning to machine quilt."

I enjoy reading Karen's blog. As you can see, from reading what's written about her above, she is a really fun person who enjoys her family and doing lots of different things. Her blog posts are always fun to read because she writes like she's talking to you. It's easy to relate to her stories and I feel like I'm reading a post from a life-long friend. Her last few posts are about the 4th of July, a Bubble Run, the heat and her summer activities, weather changes and having an empty nest, her one year old grandson, and a recipe for carrot cake. She also does reviews sometimes. On the right side of her blog, she has a "pages" section, and one of the pages is "blogs worth reading." There, she has links to lots of other blogs that you can click on and find other blogs to follow also.

Another thing I like about Karen, is she always comments back on my blog. Every time I leave a comment on her blog, she always returns the favor and comments back on mine. I really appreciate that and wish more people did that. I think you would all enjoy reading her blog also and getting to know her better.