Saturday, September 28, 2013

Blog Hop Blitz Week #4

Week #4 is here!

As we head into week #4, if you live in the following states, you may want to be concerned about your NFL team:

Georgia (umm...that's me (Tiffany))
New York
Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, to be exact)
Texas (no, not the Cowboys but the Texans)
California (the 49ers)

All 7 teams are off to a rocky start, a few of them were marked as contenders at the beginning of the season, a mere 3 weeks ago! They all have time to turn things around.

There's your football blurb for this week.

Not a football fan? No problem, link up your best post of the week.

Let's get this hop going!

Say hello to our wonderful team:

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Terri & Shawna
Easy Life Meal and Party Planning

A Gut and a Butt

Halloween comes early, here are your treats, our MVBs from Week #3:

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Mom Paper Scissors showed us how to dress up our front doors with a Fall wreath.

Megin from VMG 206 showcased her skills with a DIY team scarf, upcycling at it's best!

The Painted Apron got us in the Halloween mood with her Wine Bottle Burlap Witch.

My Little Shop of Treasures gave us valuable back to school information on backpack safety.

Our Most Valuable Bloggers (MVBs) are proof that our hop is versatile, spotlighting different blogging voices, linking together to connect and share ideas. All four MVBs will be pinned to our Football Blog Hop Blitz Pinterest board. 

Oh, almost forgot, the Blog Hop Blitz will now keep the game going in recognition of Monday night football! Bloggers can continue to link up, right on through Monday night. 

As we ease on into October, let's see what this week's hop has to offer. In other words, let's link up!

Blog Hop Blitz

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Time to get your game on and link up!

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Oh, the stories I will tell your kids!

17 and 7, the current ages of my kids.

They're both growing up, my son graduates in the spring. MonkeyMan and I decided that we would start building a treasure chest of the current things they do and say. These are things that have a tendency to annoy, astonish, anger, humor, otherwise kid stuff that they don't understand how it affects us as parents.

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When they are fully grown, married and have their own kids, that treasure box will be ripped open to provide wisdom, nuggets of wisdom to their offspring. This will, hopefully, give their kids ideas (or weapons, depends on the context being used) on how to crawl right underneath their skin.

Here are the first 10 annoyances nuggets that have earned the right to go into the treasure chest, things my husband and I will say to our kids' kids:

1. Make sure you drink glass after glass of water right before bed.

2. Be sure to wake up at 6:30 am on Saturday mornings, bam on your parent's door like you're the police, requesting companionship. On one occasion, Hummingbird even slipped us a note underneath our bedroom door, letting us know that she was hungry.

3. No matter how exhausted your mom looks, she absolutely loves how you bounce off the walls at bedtime. She musters up enough energy to read you a story most nights, so having you hide behind doors, your bed, underneath your bed and walking on her heels to follow her around, yeah, she LOVES all of that at 9 pm on a school night.

4. Blame your mom when you leave your book for your book report at school. Oh yeah, especially when it's due the next day. I recall Hummingbird's words being"what did you do with my book?"

5. Yeah, go spend the weekend at a music festival, and forget to call your job to see when you're scheduled to work again. Schedules are posted on Fridays, so be sure to wait until Monday to call for the schedule. Yogli decided to call for his schedule, he was met with an abrupt "you're supposed to be here right now", then CLICK.

6. Your mom especially likes it when you wake up on a school morning, decide you want to wear something different other than what she has already ironed for you. (I have a feeling this one's gonna get more interesting as she grows older. Which will probably result in many posts.)

7. Yes, your dad likes it when you rinse the dishes without actually washing them. I think the food residue from yesterday's dinner will add a certain flair to tonight's dinner. (A tremendous pet peeve of mine. I cannot wait to visit his place over the next few years to see what that looks like.)

8. Your dad absolutely loves that he spent $500 on a laptop that you allowed someone else to step on and crack the screen. Yes, pumpkin, he also likes the fact that you cracked your iPhone screen (or whatever Apple's making in the future) a few weeks after you got it. Yeah, he's big on pouring money down the drain to satisfy your electronic needs.

9. Yes, you should wait until the last minute to sit for your senior pics. I know, they sent you notice back in July. It's now September and the deadline is the first week of October. So what that everybody else waited too and the studio is over booked! No, the crowded portrait studio won't bother him.

10. Your mom loves nothing more than watching the same episode of your Disney shows over and over and over and over...

The beauty all of this is that we can then send those kids, armed with the above nuggets of wisdom, home with their parents. At that moment, MonkeyMan and I will have our reward. Bwahahaha!!!

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Lessons, courtesy of the Ocoee River

The first time I was terrified.

The second time, a bit more at ease, still apprehensive.

This third time, oh, I'm a pro.

That is exactly the attitude I had on our annual whitewater rafting trip last weekend.

Here's the background (the serious):

5 years ago, I decided to (1) find myself and (2) enjoy my life. I began to do activities that, previously, I would never even thought of doing. Growing up, we didn't go swimming during the summers. Both of my kids go swimming every summer, both proficient swimmers. I even signed up for lessons a few years ago.

Finding myself has been a journey.

You basically have to strip down naked and face certain things, emotions head on. I had seen the alternative within my own family. Drugs. Alcohol. Multiple sex partners. Abuse.

I wasn't having any of that. So, with that decision, the journey began. I learned how to go places alone, how to do things alone. Terrifying? Yes. Necessary? Yes. Was it painful? At times, yes. But God tells us that "in this world, we will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world" For me, holding onto His words were key. Plenty of times, I didn't want to do what He was telling me to do. But, in the long run, of course I knew He was right! I mean, who's gonna doubt God?

I joined groups, I volunteered, I started a local single parenting group. I traveled. Alone. My parents wondered what the heck I was doing. You see, this was all new for them. New because neither of them had done the things I was doing. New because they had never seen this behavior from me.

What does this have to do with a whitewater rafting trip (the funny):

So, everything I talked about above, it all flashed before my eyes (saying this in my most dramatic voice) as I was tossed into the Ocoee River!

It happened so fast. I honestly thought I was still in the raft. Our daring guide purposely put us in a position where we would have to fight the rapids. The raft was filled with so much water that it took me a while to figure out that I was in the river.

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Who looks scared?
Once that realization hit, OH  BOY!!

Looking back on it, I probably made a big deal out of nothing. A molehill into a mountain. Now, recall above where I said I learned to swim only a few years ago. Let that sink in. So, going from a pool to a river. I'll take my mountain now.

Still looking back, as I sit here on dry land (again, dramatic tone), the guide ruffled my feathers. He took me from my comfort zone, from what I knew because, remember, this was my third time.

Now, I'm floating in the Ocoee River, big rocks, tree limbs and branches (think about things that happen in life that we have no control over). There I am, floating. Panicking at first. Kicking. Even screaming a bit. But wait...

What were those words? Yes, the safety instructions (I'm a believer, so for me, that is the Word of God) given at the beginning. Yes, yes, I remember now (comes from meditating, praying, confessing). Keep floating, feet up, a guide is making his way to you, to pull you up (that's what He'll do, keep me safe and give me strength to pull me up). Hmmm...

Now, how about my wonderful husband and son did not even realize I was gone from the raft! MonkeyMan explained it, trying to keep a straight face, that they were battling the rapid, trying to keep the raft from flipping over. Realizing that one of the boat mates lost his paddle, they glanced downstream and saw my pink swim shoes sticking out of the water.

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Yes, the infamous pink shoes

Once rescued (I have to laugh as I type this), I couldn't help but laugh. As I walked back onto our raft,the first things handed to me were my shoes! They floated right off while I floated right on down the river. It was exhilarating to have been dumped in a river, following directions, being saved, and to have a feeling of accomplishment.

Ready for next year's trip, gotta get some shoes that fit better!

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Blog Hop Blitz Week #3

The air is a bit more crisp.

The official start of fall starts on Sunday.

We are well underway with the football season.

We are forever banning the existence of the football widow, unless of course, she's a bigger fan than he is! She has her head in the game because she's joining our team and linking up her tailgate recipes, game day decor/rituals, inspirational posts, funny posts, her best post of the week. She's sharing all of this here at our Blog Hop Blitz!

Now, give a big shout to the team:

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Terri and Shawna from Easy Life Meal and Party Planning are two amazing sisters who team up to produce amazing foods. They've kicked off the fall season with their Four Seasons Blog Hop.

Check out co-host Betty's amazing weight loss, let her show you how to maintain your new body over at A Gut and a Butt.

Stay in shout mode, cause here are our MVBs from last week, Week #2:
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Lydia's Flexitarian Kitchen cooked up some awesome meatballs, perfect for game day. They look delicious!

Here on our hop, we enjoy any link that you link up with. The old saying goes "laughter does the heart good", Starting Over...Again provided us with a bit of humor. Keep the laughs coming!

What would game day be without some salsa? Turnips 2 Tangerines gave us not one, but 2. Who's gonna be brave enough to try the Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa or the Salsa Verde? Both look yummy, bring on the tortilla chips!

Congrats to the Week #2 MVBs! All three will pinned to our Football Blog Hop Blitz Pinterest board.

Alright, let's do this! But before you link up, be sure to grab our button, letting everyone know where your linking up this football season.

Blog Hop Blitz

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Bloggers start your engines (ok, I know that's car racing talk, you know what I mean)!

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Friday, September 20, 2013

SHE...For 5 minute Friday

10080 minutes in a week, here are 5 of those minutes reserved especially for 5 minute Friday, with Lisa Jo Baker.

Here's some background:

Five Minute Friday
1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word. (On your blog or in the comments). 

2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in the blog footer}. 
3. Go leave some comment props for the five minute artist who linked up before you. 

This week's word: SHE

Ok, my timer is set, here we go:

She is many things to many people. 

Some days she is brave.

Quite a few days she is vulnerable. Although she works hard to not let others see that side of her, they may take advantage.

She is now warm, loving. She now knows how to give hugs, kisses, words of "I love you" and "I am proud of you".

She wasn't always like this. Back then, she didn't want to. Well, truth be told, she didn't know how.

She likes who she is now. Finally.

Life has a way of growing you up. She finally realizes that. 

Life also brings the right people at the right time. She gets that now.

Life also brings the wrong people sometimes to make a lesson more meaningful. Helps you to appreciate things more. 

Yeah, she gets that now. She is instilling these things in her children. She is enjoying the fruit she sees them bearing. 

This is gonna be alright. Things are alright. Wait...better than alright. Things are awesome, wonderful, peaceful. 

She is here. 

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thankful Thursday

It's Thursday, it's Thursday, everybody jump up and down cause it's Thursday!! Or something like that...

Here I am, catching up on what's going on in the blogsphere tonight and I stumble upon this:

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I need more of this in my life, so I decided to link up and tell you guys what I am thankful for this Thursday:

1. It's been a rough few months at work for me. It started to take it's toll on me, not just only at work but at home. So, I am thankful for a husband who "gets" me. He has a way of helping me to see the positive side, even when I don't want to. 

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2. Ok, rough at work, add back to school stress. YIKES! But, so thankful that my kids are my kids, that I have been graced to parent them. It gets rough sometimes but there are so many parents that have it much tougher than me. So, I am thankful for mannerable (if that's a word), well behaved children. 

3. My first 2 thankfuls above were more enjoyable because of music. I am thankful for music. For the past couple of months, I have been enjoying the Tarzan soundtrack. Yeah, I know...but my daughter and I love watching that movie together. Anytime I can sing along with Phil Collins is a really good time. Here, take a listen:

4. It's a great feeling to have an open forum where you can type words that, hopefully, inspire others. That's what we as bloggers have the opportunity to do. So, I am thankful for this blog and those they I come into because of it. 

5. Rounding out my list of thankfuls, drum roll please....

Oh. My. Goodness. If you have not tried this ice cream, please excuse yourself, head to the nearest grocery store and get it. Get 2. When all else fails, this can get me going...usually going extra hard at the gym but going nevertheless. 

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Blog Hop Blitz Week #2

Week #2 looks to bring some heated battles to the field:

Eli vs. Peyton (brothers who come from a football legacy family, they play on separate teams, Peyton is the oldest).

Seahawks vs. 49ers (showdown on the west coast, both teams have sensational, young quarterbacks).

Your tailgate recipes, game decor and rituals, your best post, being put on display (you, yes you, linking up your best of the best).

Speaking of the best, here is our awesome host team for week #2:

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Terri and Shawna, from Easy Life Meal and Party Planning are two amazing sisters who team up to produce amazing foods. Hopefully, some of their skills will rub off on me.

Betty shares her victories of weight loss and how she maintains keeping it off over at A Gut and a Butt.

Jessica gives us a peek into her Wondering Brain, sharing insight on being wife, mom, and doctoral student.

Please be sure to show them some love by clicking their linky to follow them. 

Alright, the moment you've been waiting for, well, one of the moments you've been waiting for! Right before you link up, take a look (and a follow would be awesome) at our Week #1 Most Valuable Bloggers (MVBs)!
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  1. Thank you Esther at Enchanted Beginnings for getting us in the spirit. Esther points out "10 things she loves about football season". She gets us motivated while...
  2. Getting Stuffed takes care of our hunger pains with her Buffalo Chicken Mini Muffin Poppers. 
  3. The title says it all, "I don't care for football chili" from Such a Mama! She found a way to cope by making her chili and now, hopefully, linking up with us every Sunday. 
  4. This Picadillo Stromboli Braid from Sourdough Native made our mouths water. Simply delicious!

We had an awesome time picking the Week #1 MVBs. All 4 MVBs will be pinned to our Pinterest board for additional exposure.

One more thing before we get to the moment you've been waiting for. Grab our Blog Hop Blitz button (say that 10 times fast), letting everyone know where you're linking up this football season.

Blog Hop Blitz

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On your mark, get set, go (wait, is that even how they start a football game)!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Houston, we have a command center

1 Senior Parent meeting

1 PTA meeting

2 Girl Scouts meetings

3 times missing the school bus

1 early dismissal

2 dentists appointments

It's only been 1 month since school started back. I already feel like I've ran a marathon. Have I told you lately how interesting it is to have one in the 2nd grade and the other a high school senior? Oh yeah, throw in the fact that the 2nd grader is a girl, the senior a boy. That's a different post for a different day.

So, remember me posting my grand, spectacular way of staying organized this school year? Here's a visual refresher:

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When originally researching the type of command center I wanted, I read several comments from those who went before me on the quest for organization say "I really thought this command center would work for us, but found out we never used it".

I am known for falling for cutesy, gadgety things, only to find that I really didn't need them. I actually believe Hummingbird has inherited this trait.

Ok, so fast forward. 1 month later, look at what we got:

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We are working this thing like a mule! Here's how it's working for us:

  1. Calendar - I plot out appointments, meetings, Yogli's work schedule, Hummingbird's PE days, etc. And it's color coded!
  2. This is where I tack on anything I really need to remember and if it's a physical piece of paper. This can get kinda bulky. We've got the school calendar, Disney on Ice coming up in October, Girl Scouts reminder of the candy and magazines sale (you can order the magazines online, let me know if you need the link), Box Tops for education, and other handouts. This section might need a lil extra work. 
  3. I never got around to putting the kid's names on the file folders. The content pretty much gives it away as to which file folder belongs to who. The bottom one is for Hummingbird, you see what's in the front, more Girl Scouts stuff. This year the 2nd grade teachers decided that homework should be online. Yes, online homework for 2nd graders. Already fired off an email about that...ok, focusing back on the command center. 
  4. Yogli's file contains college brochures and all of his senior year stuff. 

Based on the pic above and my description of that pic, you can see that we are definitely getting some good use from our kitchen command center. If you want it to work, you gotta work it. Things won't magically appear on it. The kids know where to look for signed papers or the schedule for the next day. It has helped to foster in more responsibility on their part. And it's given me a few milliseconds of free time!

Now, can someone please create something that will cook up a hot meal and do a few loads of laundry. Let me check Pinterest for some ideas!

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Umm...yes I accept this Liebster Award

It's Monday, fresh off the weekend with the debut of my seasonal football blog hop, Blog Hop Blitz.

It's Monday, back to work.

It's Monday, back to helping with homework and hearing "Mom"!

It's Monday...okay, you probably get it. But whoa, what's that sitting in my inbox?

Is that a Liebster Award nomination?

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Yes, yes it is. Now, this makes this Monday worthwhile.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

2013 Blog Hop Blitz - Week #1

Que the music (imagine the NFL theme music), bring on the food, and link up! Let the Blog Hop Blitz commence!

Who are you representin'?

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Welcome to week #1. Our blog hop is seasonal, coinciding with the 17 weeks of the NFL football season. 

Blog Hop Blitz gives football and non-football fans another way to increase readership/followers blog traffic. How? Well, we play the game by linking up our blog posts of tailgate recipes, games decor projects, cool game rituals, game field trips, you get the point. Maybe you've got a post about overcoming adversity, like many football players, tell us about it. Don't have any football related posts? No problem, link up your best post of the week. After that, be sure to leave a comment, spread your football knowledge, ask a football question (we've got some knowledgeable football co-hosts) or even give a shout out to your favorite team!

As an added bonus, each week you will have an opportunity to vote for our MVB, Most Valuable Blogger. That MVB will be featured on Saturdays as our pre-game feature and will also be pinned to our Pinterest Community Board, generating more blog traffic! and my crew:  photo bloghopblitzhostandcohost_grid_zps0c36d5a3.png
Go ahead, grab our button, show where you're linking up this football season!

Blog Hop Blitz

Here's how this is gonna go down:
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Monday, September 2, 2013

Blog Hop Blitz Preview

Punt, sack, red zone, snap?!?!?

No, this isn't a school yard rhyme, it's your preview of the 2013 Blog Hop Blitz!

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This hop is here to ease the pain of football widows, to pump up football lovers and increase our blog traffic!

The early bird gets the worm, so participants can link up early at the pre-game each Saturday, beginning Sept. 7. The hop officially goes live on Sundays, beginning Sept. 8. 

Our blog hop is seasonal, coinciding with the 17 weeks of the NFL football season.

Our Blog Hop Blitz gives football and non football fans another way to increase
readership/followers/blog traffic.  How? Well, we play the game by linking up our blog posts of tailgate recipes, game decor projects, cool game rituals, game field trips, you get the point. Maybe you've got a post about overcoming adversity, like many football players, tell us about it. Don't have any football related posts? No problem, link up your best post of the week. After that, be sure to leave a comment, spread your football knowledge, ask a football question (we've got some knowledgeable football co-hosts) or even give a shout out to your favorite team!

Each week, you will have an opportunity to vote for our MVB, Most Valuable Blogger. That MVB will be featured on Saturdays as our pre-game feature and will also be pinned to our Pinterest Community Board, further generating more blog traffic!

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Once you're done, go enjoy that game!

So, without further ado, let's play ball(is that even football lingo, got a lot to learn!)...guess I should say "let's link up!"... Ok, a lil anxious, link up in 5 days!

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