Monday, January 30, 2012

Family Travels: Mom vs Electronics **GIVEAWAY**

The giveaway is closed. 
But the video below is still a great compromise to consider while vacationing with your technology-addicted family...


What is the key word in the sentence: "We're going on a family vacation."?
"Family", right?

Technology is changing what we do when we are together as a family. Meals. Family time. Vacations. Etc.

It's a sign of the times I guess. Humans are constantly "plugged in" and it completely baffles my mind. Why on earth would go on a "wish you were here" vacation only to zone out on a brain-numbing, creativity and imagination killing device? It's one thing if you're strapped to an airplane seat 37,000 feet in the air. But when the sun is shining, the breeze is perfect, the water feels amazing, and the birds are singing the most beautiful song you've ever heard ... it's up to us to embrace what beautiful world we live in.

We took family vacations every year as a kid and I remember as I got to my teen years really missing all of my friends. But when we were away I had such a good time that the ‘missing my friends’ thing wasn’t so bad and I enjoyed time with my family. The only phone around was the hotel phone and of course I (not my parents) were about to pay long distance charges to call my friends who I would see in less than a week.

So what is your take on using technology while on these "family" vacations?

Kim Orlando, owner of Traveling Mom (my new gig), wondered the same thing as she and her family went on a trip to Aruba. And she came up with a perfect plan!
It's a compromise that I will abide by on our vacations from here on out. And it's a compromise that I will hold my boys to as well once they get a little older.
And I think it's a compromise you'll like too!
Possibly on your next vacation to ARUBA!!!!!

It's easy to enter!All you have to do is watch the video below about how Traveling Mom founder, Kim Orlando handled electronics on vacation, and her tech-deprived kids (and husband) on their family trip to Aruba, and answer the question of the day. The details about the contest are all there. Where you can also learn about more chances to win.

So check out Kim’s video. Once you’ve watched it, you’re REALLY gonna want to win the trip! And I hope that you'll remember the person that instructed you to enter the drawing **hint hint, wink wink**

So watch the video below and then click HERE to answer the question of the day and see how you can enter to win once daily.


Riding In Cars With Boys

We picked Cash and Chistopher up from my Dad's house this last Saturday night pretty late.  Right as soon as Cale put Cash in his booster seat Cash yelled, "Mommy, Daddy!! I saw a falling down star!!!"
So I told him to make a wish.
He started to tell us and I cut him off and told him if he told us it wouldn't come true.
Daddy told him that was an old wives tail and he could tell us if he wanted.

His wish.....

"I wish it was my birthday."

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sharp Shirter iPhone 4 Case Giveaway

I had the privilege to talk to Dan, owner of over the past couple weeks. My family totally digs his tshirts.

If you don't know who/what Sharp Shirter is, I'll fill ya in ...

Sharp Shirter creates products that revolve around the relationship between animals and humans. The folks at Sharp Shirter are intrigued by the way in which humans group animals into different categories.  Some we eat, some we protect, some we own, and some we fear.  Similarly, animals have a range of intentions when dealing with humans.  Some are fearful of us while others love and protect us.  Still, others will attack us and view us as a threat to their existence.  It's stuff we've all thought about at least once ... but pushed the thought aside.  Sharp Shirter isn't trying to find answers to the questions we have about this relationship ... but rather, like us, are satisfied with questions it creates.
With designs with names like: "Panda Bitchslap", "Puginator", "Shark Punch", and "Octohug" ... it's definitely a website you should check out.

See their signature Haymaker design here (it's my family's personal fave).

Since the inception of Sharp Shirter in 2005, they have grown their collection to include men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing as well as accessories to fit computers and phones. Sharp Shirter uses sweatshop free American Apparel that is professionally printed in the US and is made to last.

Here's the FUN part:
One of my blog stalkers will get the chance to win an iPhone 4 case. These are brand spankin newly released!

Here's what what I'd like you to do:
Mandatory: Click on Sharp Shirters website here and then comment below which one of the three iPhone case designs is your favorite.

Additional Entries (make sure to leave me a comment stating you did all of these for your extra entry to count):
1) Subscribe to my blog via by entering your email address in the field towards the top of the page.
2) Vote for my blog on Picket Fence (click the icon on the right side of this blog that says "Picket Fence").
3) Follow me on Twitter.
4) Follow me on Facebook.
5) Follow Sharp Shirter on Facebook here.
6) Follow Sharp Shirter on Twitter by clicking here.

Please Note:  This giveaway is open to US residents only (apologies to my international readers).  The giveaway will end on Friday, February 10 at 10am (CST).  A winner will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter and emailed.  Please leave a valid email address.

These designs are one of a kind and created by a family man that uses x's and o's when he talks to you.  He's so awesome!

Good luck!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hot Diggity, I Did It!!

I posted my first article/blog/post on Traveling Mom.  I think I'm more excited that I figured out how to work the damn site than anything.

If you have toddlers ... it's a must read before traveling.  Toddlers are germy.  Or if you just want to read it to help boost my "hit" count ... be my guest.  Regardless, thanks in advance for reading!!!

Here "she" is....  Traveling With A Sick Toddler

You guys are awesome!  Keep stalking!

Night night!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


At Cash's 4 year well-child checkup we had the doctor check his ears. He was really struggling to hear Cale and me and wouldn't respond to the simplest, loudest directions. After the doctor examined him, he paused for a reeeeally long time. I was getting worried. It seemed like we sat there for a good five minutes waiting for the doctor to tell us that our son is hearing impaired.

And then.

He says ....

“Amanda ........ his hearing is perfect. Cash can hear you just fine. He’s just not listening to you.”

Another long silent break.....

"Check. Him. Again." I said.

He's FOUR!! He's four and has selective hearing ALREADY?!?!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

You Know You Have Kids When...

1.  You know that if the kids are quiet for too long .... something has to be wrong.

2.  "Because I said so!" is part of almost every sentence that you speak.

3.  You'd become an alcoholic if your kids were as whiny as Caillou.

4.  You know the shortcut to the bathroom in any department store, grocery store, and mall.

5.  You've ever had to clean barf out of your hair, clothes, carpet, carseat, bed, or sink.

6.  Peanut butter and jelly is perfectly acceptable for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner.

7.  Five hours is enough sleep to get you through the day.

8.  You get excited about going to the zoo.

9.  10:00pm is wayyyyy past your bedtime.

10.  Even when your kids are at the sitter you still get excited at the site of a school bus and can't help but yell, "LOOK!  BUS!!"

11.  You've given up scrubbing tiny handprints off the windows.  They'll be back before you turn around.

12.  You haven't went to the bathroom alone in ____ years.

13.  You get excited about buying a new coloring book!!

14.  You've sat through an entire cartoon episode only to turn your back and realize your kids have been asleep or in the other room for who knows how long.

15.  You can't remember what the stains on your shirt/pants are from.

16.  The site of Mommy putting makeup makes the baby cry (because he doesn't recognize you) or the oldest one excited (because it means Mom & Dad are going out and he gets to stay at Papa's)

17.  You get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom and step on every battery operated toy you own!

18.  When something comes up missing, the first place you check is the toilet.

19.  You spent all day cleaning your house but at the end of the day ... it looks like you've done nothing.

20.  You can't imagine your life without them and your heart is experiencing the greatest love possible.

FACT:  Putting a toilet seat on your head will get stuck.

I guess he found the book he was looking for.


The cat knows where to sit when somebody is eating (by the kids).

You're Doing WHAT?!?

You're looking err, reading about the newest blogger for Traveling Mom.  Have you checked them out yet?  If not ... you should.  If you're traveling anywhere with kiddos, whether it's the neighborhood park or 26 hours away to Jimboptuktu (not a real country/island/city/etc as far as I know) than make sure you check out this website first!  Traveling Mom has been quoted or featured in,, The Wall Street Journal, NY Times Travel and named one of the top 4 family travel sites by Sherman Travel.  I can't tell you how much I am thanking my lucky stars right now.

I've mentioned a time or two how much my family and I love to travel.  Cale and I are scheduling what's going to become our sixth visit to Walt Disney World since being married in 2006.  If we're not dreaming about or in Disney World ... you can find us vacationing in Branson and Silver Dollar City.  We took Cash there for the first time in 2010 and had a blast.  So when I was granted this opportunity to blog about something my family and I love most ... I could not stop smiling and I could not respond back to the owner fast enough.  Pretty sure she now thinks that I am a 5-year-old by the number of spelling mistakes and horrible grammatical errors I had.

Anyway ... we love to travel.  We love to dream about traveling.  I love to write.  I love to blog.  So it just made sense to blog about traveling.

What is this gig?
I'll mainly be blogging about tips, tricks, and techniques about Traveling with Toddlers.  I've been through it once and it's deja vu again going through it with Christopher.  I'm definitely a self-proclaimed pro when it comes to traveling with tots.
What does that mean?
It means that I will be posting a few times a month on Traveling Mom and will eventually go out on assignment for the group.  I'm crossing fingers AND toes that we get a trip out of the country but we'll take anything at this point.

I've already been tossing some things around in my head for my first post.  I can't wait to get started!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Exciting News

I can't wait to share a something with you.

Here's a hint: We love to travel. We love to write. We love to write about traveling.
And we love to take trips on Disney Cruise ships. Especially when they're brand spanking new!!!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Do You Know Who I Love?

My husband.  That's who.

But do you know who my celebrity crush is?  Tebow doesn't count.  He's too young for me.
Ryan T. Gosling. 

Ohhhh he's dreamy.  I watched him on the Disney Channel when I was about 10 and I thought he was cute but back then boys still had cooties.

And then.... The Notebook came out.  And that's when "the crush" reeeeeally started.  And ever since, I've stalked him in every movie he's been in.

So I started thinking about some random thoughts.  My girlfriend out in LA does a lot of extra work and makeup work and so on (SHOUT OUT Crystal Renee!  Love you!) 
What if .... just what if .... I went out to visit her and just happened to stay 24 hrs at Ryan's restaurant, Tagine, and then I happened to see him. 
Or I happened to visit Crystal during a time Ryan's band was playing at a local bar.  I'm totally not using you Crystal, I promise.  You and Nick would be with me on my little adventure.  Plus, I miss you dearly and we would totally have a fun time stalking him.  Everytime we're together we end up laughing until our cheeks hurt.
But then I thought to myself ... what would I do if I happened to see him?  I had to take 4 shots and chug 3 beers just to get the guts to ask Ty Pennington, who gives me no butterfly feelings at all, for this picture:

So I can't imagine what I would do if I met ... or even saw Ryan Gosling.  Pretty sure that I. Would. Die.
Or I'd do this.....

Regardless ..... It'll never happen.  But it's fun to dream, right?  :::::DayDreaming:::::

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Am I A Sheltered Mom? (Movie Review)

Cash and I went to the movie today to see "Alvin and The Chipmunks, Chipwrecked" after a friend of ours said it was really cute.  Cash and I have needed to have some together time so we decided today was a good day.  Plus Cale reeeeally, REALLY can't stand talking animal movies.  I don't mind them, although after watching "Hop", I was a little skeptical.  That movie was a snooooooozer!

So am I a sheltered Mom?  Because I see more G and PG movies than I do adult flicks? 

Anyway .... Alvin.  Simon.  Theodore.  The Chipettes.  LOVE THEM.  And this movie ... takes the cake.  I giggled quite a few times and never once was bored by it.

I totally recommend it for the little ones.  Cash liked it too.  Then again, he's 4.  And as long as there's popcorn and M&Ms, he's good.  But he said he liked it.  And now we both can't stop singing, "Gaga ohh la la".

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

He Didn't Drive Me Bonkers But A Handful Of Times

My husband has been home from work since noon, December 16th.  I was nervous that I would have maimed him by now but I've actually kind of enjoyed having him around.  I've had the chance to shower everyday.  Eat breakfast when I want to eat breakfast (and lunch).  I've had help getting the boys down for their naps.  And it's been incredibly nice being able to go shopping alone.
We've also been able to go do things as a family during the weekdays and not have to worry about how busy the places would be (ie: Zoo, Parks, etc).  Mother Nature is treating us right as far as weather goes.  It hasn't been cold but about two or three days.

He is off the rest of this week and then he goes back on Monday  :::insert sad face here:::  It's gone by quick.
Although, his rollover date is this Thursday, January 5th at work which means he gets another three weeks vacation ... on top of the two weeks he's rolling over.  But he has to use at least one week (of those two) within 60 days.  While he may gripe about his job somedays ... I sure enjoy the benefits that come with it.

I've become so used to having him around I don't know what I'm going to do when he goes back...

Guess I'll just go back to watching soaps and eating bon-bons.
Since that's what HE thinks I do all day.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I'm Up ... Who's With Me?

I know that I said this last year ... but I have declared 2012, MY year.  Not that I don't think it'll be your year or your friend's year, etc.  But this is MY year for me and my family.  We have so much to do and so much to be thankful for.

Last night I spent a lot of time cooking.  And with a lot of time spent cooking ... comes a lot of time spent thinking.

We had homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza's (ohhh it was so awesome!!)
We turned on Dick Clark's Rocking NYE Party, dug out the candy bowl, and partied our little hearts out.  Well ... as hard as a family of four with two kids aged 1 and 4 COULD party. 
We danced to the Ramones and to Pitbull. 
And we even had a football match in our living room in which me and my littlest man won!

I could not imagine spending New Year's Eve anywhere else than with my boys.  The way I see it, my kids aren't going to want to spend New Years with their Mom and Dad forever.  And I would sooooo rather wake up to a huge hug from a handsome four-year-old and a slobbery kiss from an adorable one-year-old than a hangover.  I can go out and get tipsy or drunk anytime.  It's only once a year that I can ring the new year in with my boys and even that's not going to last forever.

Plus ... why waste our money drinking it away.  That is one of my biggest pet peeves.  I hate hearing people bitch about what they want to do if they had more money or would rather do if they had more money ... but then they go out to eat or the bars every week instead of disciplining themselves a short time to save up for what they want.  I hate seeing my money waste away like that.  We're saving for a trip to Disney World this Fall.  And while we have money to go out whenever we want to ... $20-$40 spent on a bar tab or lunch/dinner bill is just one more day at the park for us.  Or that Mickey balloon my son can't wait to get.

I have a list of resolutions.  And a few years back I banned ever making a resolution again because no one ever sticks to them.  But I'm changing that.  I have a lot on my list and it's time to get started.  2011 flew by and if I had only stuck with last year's hope for myself for that year, it would all be over today.

The only time is now.  And if the world is going to end this year or Zombie's truly are going to take over the world .... then I might as well look good dying :::winky face:::

Peace, Love, and 1200 calories!
Welcome 2012!!  I look forward to showing you what I'm made of!