Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013

Was 2013 a good year for you or would you rather leave it behind and not reminisce over it?

New year can reflections are different for everyone. I myself don't really celebrate it with a party or a big to do. As bad as it might sound for someone my age, I usually just sleep through all ball drops, kisses and champagne etc. I mean as a mommy, sleep trumps most things in my life. 

Last year, my lovely neighbor were blaring bass music and shooting guns or fire works and woke up my kiddo! Grrr. Not cool. My hubby went over there and asked them to turn it down. I was proud of him for not loosing his cool. It's not like we could call the police on New Years for a noise disturbance.

Anywho, I came across this New Year's printable on Smart School House and wanted to share some of my responses to the prompts. 

My highlights for 2013:

Greatest lesson learned- never take anything or anyone for granted.

Hardest thing this year- Loosing my Aunt this year was probably the hardest and most difficult thing I had to deal with this year. She was loved by all our family and we miss her every single day. I think about her often.

Favorite memories- My daughter turned two years old. I was able to decorate my home with a re-purposed dresser into a coffee bar. ( Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) I know I still need to post the final part for that one once I get the wall decor up! Stay tuned....


What I loved about 2013- I loved that I kept up my blog for more than 6 months which was a big improvement over 2012 when I stared this whole thing. I also saved up for my new DSLR camera!
Goals for 2014- Read more books, get better at photography, continue my blog and get more followers. I am also considering purchasing a domain provider. As a family, we might try and take our first family vacation instead of bumming around at home so much.

Happy New Year Everyone! May God continue to bless you and I hope that you accomplish your new goals and dreams, but in all things keep it simple and significant.

Monday, December 30, 2013

You know you're a mommy when

You know you're a mommy when you are thankful when your child wants to watch something new on TV or a movie!!

My daughter is obsessed with Mickey Mouse "mooeys" (toddler speak for movies which she over genderalizes for TV shows too). There are days when my husband and I want to bang our heads on the wall if we have to watch one more episode on Mickey Mouse Club House! Any other MMC parents out there? Can you sympathize with my plight?
Some days we tell her that Mickey is "sleeping" and we can't watch him right now. Don't judge....it works! If you haven't seen the recent version of MMC, here is a clip of the hot dog dance. It's quite catchy.
What is your kiddo obsessed with? How do you manage?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Why Yes I Shop After Christmas!

As a life long bargain shopper, I am always on the look out for a good or great deal. Somethings are not worth payinig full price. Ya feel me? I know that Christmas is about Jesus, giving and family among many other important things, but I am not afraid to admit that I like the after Christmas savings! As if stores didn't get my money before Christmas, they have to have store and seasonal clear outs.

Here are a few things I picked up this year:

I bought myself a new pink cardigan at Old Navy for $8. Normally they are priced at $20! Cha-ching.
I also found Little Miss some cute flip flops for $1.50! Shut the front door and slap your grandma at that price!
At Target I picked up some socks for 50 cents a piece because they were 50% off. Holla!
I also ventured into Michael's hoping to score some Christmas decor, but they had barely anything left on the shelves. I did manage to find this cute UF Nutcracker ornament to add to my new collection.

I didn't go crazy with my spending so yay me!  Did you find any great after Christmas deals? What did you get?

Friday, December 27, 2013

More Conversations with My Husband: Smash Mouth

Here is another snippet from my simple, but significant day to day life with my husband. My hubs and I have been married  six years and I love him to pieces and sometimes the conversations we have can be down right hysterical! Here is conversation we had today:

As were are driving around town listening to the radio.....

Hubs: Is that Smash Mouth playing?

Me: Yea, why?

Hubs: You know we're getting old when a classic rock station starts playing Smash Mouth.

(Brief but dramatic pause)

Hubs: Oh wait, I think it's picking up another station. We're good.

Just another simple, but significant moment for us! You've got to take time to laugh at the little things.

Another Simple Moment: Christmas Morning

{my simple moment} – A new ritual. A single photo, maybe two – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, significant, blessed moment. A moment I want to treasure and remember
inspired by SouleMama

"Christmas Morning"

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Tradition of Traditions

Every family has it's quirks, peculiarities, and traditions. I wanted to take a moment and share some of my family's traditions. Now that my daughter is a year older to the big age of two, she was able to help momma make gingerbread cookies this year.

This cookie is a favorite of our little family trio. I made the dough in advance and after dinner Little Miss helped roll and cut them out! I've used this recipe for the past two years and it has been great! I am hoping next year we can decorate.

When I was a kiddo, my mom, sister and I used to buy my Nana a nutcracker every Christmas. She would proudly display them all over her living room. Good times. Good memories. Well, this year I decided that I wanted to start this tradition at my house! So I told the hubby I wanted at least one nutcracker this year for my Christmas decor. My hope is that as Little Miss gets older, she and Daddy can go out together and pick one out for Mommy each year! We'll see.

The one on the right is the one I got this year. The little bitty one was a surprise gift from my husband's grandmother after I told her about my hope of a new tradition. The one of the left is one I picked up at CVS on clearance! LOL I could help myself.

I usually host my hubby's family Christmas Eve. We eat ham and watch a movie later. My tradition is to make Fanny farmers twice baked Mac and cheese! Seriously delicious and totally not diet friendly. Here is the recipe I use.

At some point during the holiday season, we also watch our favorite Christmas movie, "It's a Wonderful Life." If you don't like this movie we can't be friends. Just kidding....we can be friends, but I'll keep my eye on you!
What are some of your favorite family traditions? Let me know in the comment section. The best traditions are simple, but significant!

Grown Up Christmas Challenge

Do you ever sometimes think that grown ups loose sight of Christmas magic and purpose? I will sheepishly and honest raise my hand and say I have at times. Buy, buy, buy. Wrap, cook, drive here and there. Drama, sarcasm, and maybe tears. Ugh. It very well might make you want to bury yourself under a mountain of blankets and sleep through it all out of avoidance.

 A lot of people get frustrated with themselves or their families. It's fairly normal depending on the extreme of it. While others have no family or few close friends to share the holiday with.  Perhaps, you lost someone you love this past year and the season just doesn't feel the same with out them. Where do you go from there? How do you handle it? I wish there was a simple answer because if there was I am sure it would have been said by now.
Here is a list, in no particular order, of things one can do, give, say or witness this Christmas season.

  1. Watch a child open Christmas gifts and see the joy, wonder and love through their eyes.
  2. Do something unexpected for someone else. Random Acts of Kindness are too few and far between. It doesn't have to be overly extravagant. Simple, small and significant might be a good rule of thumb.
  3. Eat something delicious.
  4. Invite someone over for dinner, brunch, lunch, snacks who otherwise might have been alone.
  5. Give the gift of forgiveness. This gift is very much for you as well because carrying around hurt and resentments can change you. People can see it in you without so much a word. 
Love is the reason God's love to be exact. Let us not loose sight of that. Though we may have experience bitterness, heartbreak, loneliness, anger, awkwardness, and confusion. We can rest assured that love never fails. With love in our hearts there is little room for all the other "bad stuff."  It's not easy. My list of five could easily be much larger. Being an adult is not easy in so many ways, but this holiday season can be a chance to do and be something more.

Merry Christmas and God bless!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Teacher Love

I am extremely blessed at work. I love my job and generally enjoy all my students. Some classes are more difficult that others and many are unforgettable. I definitely experienced both ends of that spectrum this year.

As my Christmas break begin this afternoon, I wanted to share a quick pictures of my Christmas teacher love gifts and goodies from my students and secret Santa!
I've got enough cookies and candy to keep my sweet tooth satisfied for a while. My secret Santa got me a lovely picture frame which will display some of our new family photos beautifully. Now, where should I hang it?

I'll try to keep all the warm and fuzzy feelings in mind as I work over break on my AP class website and creating new tests for that class as well!

I want to also share with you this cute little Christmas break poem I found on the internet...so obviously I did not write it!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

What I Love Christmas Edition

I am the type of person who gets excited about Christmas like Buddy the Elf when Santa comes to town!

It's true and I have no shame. Our Christmas tree was up the weekend after Thanksgiving and I had our house decorated shortly after. Side note confession......I don't decorate outside AT ALL! In my mind it's extra work and because we live in a rural wooded area no on will see it except our neighbors.

Here are a few things that I love about this time of year.

  1.  Knowing the real reason for the season
  2. Spending time with my family. (I miss you Aunt Jan).
  3. I love the homey feel my house gets with all the decorations.
  4. My daughter is older now and loves the lights on the Christmas tree. She gets quite perturbed if the tree is not on while she is at home and awake.
  5. Baking cookies while listening to Christmas music.
  6. Tug at your heart strings and make you cry  holiday movies. 
  7. Shopping! (both in store and online)
  8. Seeing lots of presents underneath the Christmas tree
  9. Gift giving and seeing the looks on the faces of my loved ones as they open their presents.
  10. Christmas break #teacherlife!
  11. The sometimes cold weather here in Florida that makes it "Christmasy"

What's on your list of Christmas favorites, likes and loves? Let's share them out in the comments.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Another Simple Moment: Family Photo

{my simple moment} – A new ritual. A single photo, maybe two – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, significant, blessed moment. A moment I want to treasure and remember
inspired by SouleMama

Photo credit to Blessings Captured Photography for doing our family photos this year!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tis' The Season

I've been a lazy blogger lately. I have been here there and everywhere, but never fear I am still keeping it simple and significant! I wanted to share a quick picture of how Floridians celebrate the Christmas:

While everyone across the country is dealing with cold snaps, ice, snow and blustery wind chills, I can wear capris and flip flops in December! Stay warm y'all!

 Here's some more Florida themed Christmas cheer:

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

More Conversations With My Husband: Toes

Hubs: I think Little Miss is going to get up soon.

Me: When did you put her down? 12pm? 12:30pm?

Hubs: I just know when she is going to get up. I can feel it in my gout toe!
Now, that's what I call finding humor in life.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Angel Tree Giving

I consider myself to be a very blessed. We have a safe and loving home. My hubs and I are able to work and provide for our family’s wants and needs. We have a beautiful, smart, healthy daughter who we love with all our hearts. There is not a lot we could ask for outside of continued good health.

At church this past Sunday in the lobby, it was hard not to miss the Christmas trees with cards attached. The purpose of this post is not to rant about how we haven’t celebrated Thanksgiving yet so why is there is big push/commercialization of Christmas. In my heart of hearts, I know why these trees are displayed so early. It’s because they are Angel Trees for kids from families in need.

It’s heartbreaking for me to think about the hundreds (maybe thousands) of kids who go without each and every day. Growing up, my family didn’t have a lot. My Dad would be between jobs here and there and my mom was a waitress. We were by no means wealthy, but Christmas was always a special time of gifts, family and food.

Personally, I haven’t lost the wonderment and awe of this holiday. It is my favorite by far!!! I want to buy gifts for everyone and decorate every nook and cranny. So when I saw those Angel trees this year, it gave me pause.

Little Miss was so in awe of the “pretty lights” that she tried to blow them out like candles. It was sweet. While we were circling this one tree in particular, I looked over the gift requests for boys and girls of all ages---boxing gloves, shoes, dolls and cars. Their likes and wants listed in varying lengths. I cry a little at the thought that one of these kids might not get what they want even if it is a small request.
I decided then and there that my family would adopt an Angel Tree request this year. My plan is for Little Miss to select a card off the tree and that’s who we will buy gifts for this Christmas. This simple, but significant decision affects my family and the family we reach out to. God has blessed us greatly. It is only right that we share his blessing with others and be his light.

What will you do this Christmas to help and support others? What example will you set?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Holiday Style Savings

Good Morning! Are you looking forward to the holidays? This girl always looks forward to the holidays. I love decorating and spending time with family. I know for many people the holidays are more stress, money, and frustration.

I wanted to take a moment to share with you how I saved on some of my holiday cooking supplies this year.
The pictured McCormick Gourmet Seasonings are regularly priced at $3.99 at my local Publix. However, I never would have bought them unless there was a deal because....you know....I am a little cheap. (In a good way).

I used a $2.00 manufacturer coupon and a $1.50 store coupon for each item. I paid .49 cents each!! Wowza! That's 88% savings by my calculations.

A lot of seasonings will go on sale around the holidays. So be on the look out for released manufacturer coupons and stock up!

Keep your holiday purchases food, drinks, gifts or otherwise simple, but significant.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Photography Class Mommy Style

I just wanted to do a quick little share that I signed up for a photography class in January!! What makes it unique is that it is designed for novice photographer mommies! It's called Mom-A-Razzi!

This class is held by a local photographer, Amanda Star.  She caters to moms who want to "stalk their kids in style" by learning how to use camera to capture awesome memories. She's an acquaintance of  mine and I have followed her Facebook page for a while.

You might recall I finally have my latest "want" a new DSLR camera! If you have been following my blog you know I had saved for a new camera. I am so excited to get the opportunity to learn more about how to use it in it's different functions and continue to take super cool photos!

If you could take any class for yourself for fun what would you take? What would you like to learn and do?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My First Linky Party

I'm excited to share with you that I did something new this week. I participated in my first blogger and instagrammer "linky party." For those of you unfamiliar with concept, "A link party is when a blog that usually has a good amount of traffic hosts an event in which other bloggers are invited to post a link to a blog post they would like featured" (For Dummies).

One of the bloggers that I follow, Chelsea @ Two Twenty One  was a co-host in this party which is how I got wind of it. I am number 86 to participate. I uploaded one of my nerdy pictures from Facebook. I wouldn't say my blog got more traffic because of my link up, but my Instagram account did which is the point....I mean look at the title. I went around and checked out some of the other participants Insta pages and liked some pictures and followed a few new peeps. In return, I got some likes and follows too! Sweet!

Well, that was my new adventure this week. Did you do anything new? If so, what? I would love to hear about it!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Another Simple Moment: Boo Boo

{my simple moment} – A new ritual. A single photo, maybe two – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, significant, blessed moment. A moment I want to treasure and remember.
inspired by SouleMama
Our first good boo-boo

Monday, November 18, 2013

Flat Tire Reflections

So Saturday morning my Hubby goes out on his weekly dump run and notices that I have a completely flat tire! Okay, not a big deal right? Side note, how did that happen? Anyway, these things happen. What stuck with me was not the hassle of the flat tire, but my blessings.

  1. We are blessed that we can afford to go to Wal-Mart and fix this problem without hesitation or worry of cost. There are a lot of people and families out there that might have missed work or been unable to afford fix because of being tight on money.
  2. I have a wonderful husband who looks out for me and takes care of my vehicle. The hubs is very handy and knowledgeable in so many ways! He has saved  us a mountain of money when it comes of car repairs and maintenance.
  3. Safety. I was not driving the car when the tire went out. I could have been by myself with our Little One on the side of the road. Not really a pleasant idea to contemplate.
Dear reader, do not let life's hassles or obstacles steal your joy, thankfulness or positivity. It's so easy to be sucked into the black hole of anger, frustration, and thanklessness and that is were the devil lies! The Bible tells us, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NAS) in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. This verse really stuck with me that day and I hope to keep it ever closer in my heart.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Weekly Wonderings and Musings 11/15/13

When this momma gets some time to herself to unwind sometime between 8:00 pm to 8:30 pm, I like  to read the latest blog posts from the bloggers I follow, waste time on Pinterest, read a little news or a book, and La-dee-da on Facebook. I thought it would be fun to share with you some of stuff I thought was interesting, neat, funny or weird. Here is part six of my series:

I loved reading "Divergent" by Veronica Roth and I totally loved the look of this teaser trailer.

My Aunt shared this story on Facebook this week of a Incredible Self Portraits by 14-Year-Old Photographer. The pictures posted in this article are simply amazing. I've got to admit that I was a little jealous of his incredible skill. He is truly an artist.

Who doesn't like some Senior texts? It would be funnier if it was actually true. I keep thinking about people in the Villages texting while driving their golf carts.
 Last but not least, I leave you with a deep thought to ponder over.....

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My dog and my daughter

Here's a few things that I have said to my daughter and my dog. They can be used interchangeably which is what makes it hilarious!
  1. Did she poop today?
  2. Don't eat crayons!
  3. Do you want to go outside?
  4. What do you have in your mouth?
  5. Drop it!
  6. Get off the couch.
  7. Sit down.
  8. She woke me up last night.
  9. Are you hungry? Ready to eat?
  10. You stink.
Finding humor in life.....simple significance.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Price Matching for Christmas

Okay, you know me an enthusiastic couponer and lifelong bargain shopper. I wanted to share with you a recently deal I scored for Christmas this year.

Thanks to my favorite couponing Facebook group, Mycouponexpert, I got wind of is deal. Toys R Us was running an advertised special on games for $3! Well, I don't live remotely near a Toys R Us so I went to a Wal-Mart instead.
Lucky for me, I went to a Wal-Mart that had what I was looking for. It was clear that couponers had been there because they were out of  Scrabble and Yahtzee. However, I was perfectly content to pick up two Simon Flash games for my nieces.

I went to customer service because I knew a CSM would have to do a large over ride for the price match. Wal-Mart had these games priced at $14.98. So, getting them for $3 is a GREAT DEAL that I was happy to wait for while my cashier verified the ad.

All in all I was delighted that this all worked out. I might go back later this week to try and score some scrabble games because I have coupons that would make them free after the price match. I think I might donate them for the holidays! Simply significant, right?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Another Simple Moment: Precious

{my simple moment} – A new ritual. A single photo, maybe two – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, significant, blessed moment. A moment I want to treasure and remember.
inspired by SouleMama
"You are so precious to me, sweet as can be, baby of mine"

Monday, November 11, 2013

More Conversations with My Husband #3

Here is another snippet from my simple, but significant day to day life with my husband. My hubs and I have been married almost six years and I love him to pieces and sometimes the conversations we have can be down right hysterical! Here is conversation we had on Sunday:

Hubs-"Dog get out of the kitchen!" he yells as he making his sandwich.

Me- "What is your deal with the dog being in the kitchen?"

Hubs- "She uses her doggie Jedi powers to will me to drop stuff so she can eat it!"

Me-SMH Men must be biologically predisposed to want to protect their food.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Taste of Childhood

Is there a food that takes you back to your childhood? I do. It's Wal-Mart brand Mac and cheese! Who would have "thunk" it! Haha.

We had this for dinner the other night and I couldn't get the thought of growing up on this stuff out of my head! It's such a simple thing to trigger a memory. What is it about that powdered, buttery cheese?

Leave a comment about what food distinctly reminds you of childhood!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Weekly Wonderings and Musings 11/8/13

When this momma gets some time to herself to unwind sometime between 8:00 pm to 8:30 pm, I like  to read the latest blog posts from the bloggers I follow, waste time on Pinterest, read a little news or a book, and La-dee-da on Facebook. I thought it would be fun to share with you some of stuff I thought was interesting, neat, funny or weird. Here is part five of my series:

Earlier this week, I came across this video that Jimmy Kimmel put together about parents telling their kids they ate all of their Halloween candy. Some of their pure, unadulterated reactions is priceless. While I was watching it though, I thought some of those kids needed a good old fashion spanking.

 Fossil captures insects in a "compromising position." These grasshoppers were unearthed in China and dated to approximately 165 million years ago.
My hubs and I recently started watching the CW show Arrow on Netflix. There's quite a bit of action to keep the hubs entertained and enough of a story line to keep me intrigued as well. Here is the series promo.

Okay, okay, enough of the geeky, serious stuff. Let's add a little humor to this post....

I think that's enough musings and wonderings for now. Until next time.....

Thursday, November 7, 2013

I Met Millie Perez

At church Sunday, I met Millie Perez. According to her Google + Bio page, "She recently discovered a love of writing by starting a blog. www.fourgirlsandalady.blogspot.com.  I started writing about my background, life experiences and my opinion about certain things; and ended up writing two short novels.  I enjoy cooking, reading and traveling.  All the things that require creativity, mystery and a sense of wonder.  But the most important thing about me is being a servant of God.  I hope to make an impact in as many people as possible. That they would come to know who God is through me, my example and my experiences." Amen to that!

After the service, I had an opportunity to talk with her and I even bought a copy of her book!
It's her first published book. It's small like a novella only 81 pages.  So it was a quick read. I enjoyed it very much. Here 's the Amazon description of the book:

Do You Love Me tells the riveting tale of a mysterious baby found in the dumpster outside of a hospital late one snowy night. As an adult, Abigail spent years trying to uncover the mystery behind her birth. A successful doctor in her own right, Abigail has the house, personal chef & high-profile relationship to prove it. However, we quickly get a glimpse of a flawed Abigail, one that many can relate to; despite her much success, she struggles with issues of insecurity. We do not know the depth of her insecurities until we embark on this beautifully crafted story & allow the author to take us on Abigail’s emotional journey of self-discovery & acceptance

I read this book in a day. YES, the self proclaimed bibliophile read the book in a day. Little Miss was with Daddy at Nanny and Papa's so Mama had some free time!

I really liked it. As read it, I wished there was more to read. Don't you hate it when that happens....when you run out of stuff to read? It really is a compliment to the author that you wished there was more to read. The concept was interesting. I connected to the character's and their situations and wanted to know more....to see what would happened next!! 

During the introductions at the church service, it was mentioned that this book was being used in book clubs. I can totally see that! If the book continues to be a successful sell, I would recommend adding a book club guide.

Well dear reader, I will conclude my post here. I would recommend this book for Christian fiction fans, romance fans or anyone who enjoys a "growth and struggle" story.