Friday, September 9, 2016

End of the Road

I have gone back and forth with deciding what to exactly do with this little space of mine. And after much serious thought I have decided that this will probably be my last post.

When I started this blog way back in 2008, blogging was more like an online journal. And yet, I was on the forefront. Had I really pursued it, I might have been able to ride it into fame. But I didn't. Instead I made it a place family and friends could keep up with my pregnancies and kids. I tested the waters with sponsored post. But I never could do what everyone else was doing...making money. I just wasn't in this for money. And now, that I have more time and probably could make money? I feel so far behind all the others that I don't know that it is worth it.

So I am closing up shop. I will let the domain go, change my twitter handle and say good bye to this part of my blogging journey. No one will notice and that's just the way I planned it.

As they say in France, au revoir...

Vacations and Safety

School has started and for many the vacations are a distant memory until the next one. For us, we are counting the days down until we take our yearly fall vacation. Year round school has its advantages! That being said, readying the house for vacation is a big deal. The biggest thing on my to-do list is hiring a house-sitter because one of my fears while vacationing is about something happening to our home or coming home to a house that may have been burglarized.  If you fear this also when traveling but the thought of a house-sitter also leaves you a bit uneasy, stay tuned because I have the perfect solution.

When we get ready for vacation I have usual list of items to check and take care of and yet I always feel like maybe I forgot something. Thanks to Simplisafe, I don't have to worry about forgetting things on my list, (it's usually scribbled on some random paper) as they have a great one you can use each and every time you are taking off for vacation. They call it the Ultimate Pre-Vacation Checklist and it truly is. You can see the list in its entirety here. A few other items that aren't on the list that I will add to it is making sure my neighbors know I am not expecting anyone at the house besides the house-sitter and let them know what vehicle they drive.

But what if you aren't fond of vetting a stranger as your house-sitter? That's usually when most folks will get a fancy alarm system. But if you're like me, that worries me more than a sitter. Having a stranger install said system and know your passwords and whatever else and then off they go. Yep, no dice. Which is why we haven't had a system installed but now there is a new way to safeguard your home! And all you need is your cellphone. That's right, no wires, no drilling, no strangers! What's the product called? Simplisafe

There are prepackaged deals or you can build a system to fit your home and it installs very easily. You don't need a standard phone line and you use your cellphone to control things. Want 24-hour live monitoring? They have that too! Either $14.99 or $24.99 a month and you can cancel or downgrade at any time. Small price to pay for a system that you can design yourself, has no contracts and comes with a 60 day money back guarantee! Because really, who wants to be on vacation and worry about what might be happening back home? Check out Simplisafe's resource on all things home security here.

That's right, when we go away all I want to worry about is catching the beautiful sunrise and sunsets. What about you? What tips do you have for keeping your home safe while you travel?


Sunday, July 31, 2016

TreeTop Junior Adventure: Go Ape

A little over a week ago I had the chance to get outdoors with both the kids and go on a treetop adventure. Last year I had a similar opportunity which you can read about here. Along with the adult adventure, Go Ape has added a course for the kids called TreeTop Junior. It is for kids under the age of 10 and at least 39" tall. Which meant my two were really the perfect age/height to try it out.

You may be thinking because it is a junior course, that it will be way easier than the adult one. You would be partially correct. The course is not as high as the adult course but the obstacles are just as tricky. And as one of my children pointed out, wobbly. My son is 7 and he wasn't nervous but my daughter at 5 did have some nerves.


We started the adventure by listening to our guides talk about safety and harnessing us up. All the guides were great at talking at a pace kids could easily understand and were very encouraging. As we went about the course, they made sure we all felt secure in our gear and offered to tighten if we did not.



We were joined by Sarah and her son from 2 Paws Designs. After harnessing up were were able to go through a training course in order to get a feel for how to hook up to each line and stay the course.


After going through the training course you then get to try the real course. It starts out simple enough but gets progressively harder as you move along. There were boards that swung this way and that and really made you think about your fear of heights...or maybe that was just me? My 5 year old made it to the obstacle just before you get to the end, where the zipline is and froze. But with encouragement from myself and our friends and staff, she made it

Because of her height, I was not able to get her first zipline but was able to get one of Spencer's trips down. He really got the hang of the course and was able to go through a section several times and zipline several times.

At the end all the children were rewarded with a certificate for their efforts. I was impressed by all the children for being such great sports and braving heights and heat.


Go Ape is located in North Raleigh in Blue Jay Point County Park at 3200 Pleasant Union Church Road, Raleigh NC 27614. 
Visit GoApe.com to view available dates/times and sign up or call (800) 971-8271


Bloggers in the Wild



Disclaimer: I was given free admittance into Go Ape for the purposes of this review, but all words, thoughts and opinions are my own.

TreeTop Junior Adventure: Go Ape

A little over a week ago I had the chance to get outdoors with both the kids and go on a treetop adventure. Last year I had a similar opportunity which you can read about here. Along with the adult adventure, Go Ape has added a course for the kids called TreeTop Junior. It is for kids under the age of 10 and at least 39" tall. Which meant my two were really the perfect age/height to try it out.

You may be thinking because it is a junior course, that it will be way easier than the adult one. You would be partially correct. The course is not as high as the adult course but the obstacles are just as tricky. And as one of my children pointed out, wobbly. My son is 7 and he wasn't nervous but my daughter at 5 did have some nerves.


We started the adventure by listening to our guides talk about safety and harnessing us up. All the guides were great at talking at a pace kids could easily understand and were very encouraging. As we went about the course, they made sure we all felt secure in our gear and offered to tighten if we did not.



We were joined by Sarah and her son from 2 Paws Designs. After harnessing up were were able to go through a training course in order to get a feel for how to hook up to each line and stay the course.


After going through the training course you then get to try the real course. It starts out simple enough but gets progressively harder as you move along. There were boards that swung this way and that and really made you think about your fear of heights...or maybe that was just me? My 5 year old made it to the obstacle just before you get to the end, where the zipline is and froze. But with encouragement from myself and our friends and staff, she made it.

Because of her height, I was not able to get her first zipline but was able to get one of Spencer's trips down. He really got the hang of the course and was able to go through a section several times and zipline several times.

At the end all the children were rewarded with a certificate for their efforts. I was impressed by all the children for being such great sports and braving heights and heat.



Go Ape is located in North Raleigh in Blue Jay Point County Park at 3200 Pleasant Union Church Road, Raleigh NC 27614. 
Visit GoApe.com to view available dates/times and sign up or call (800) 971-8271





Disclaimer: I was given free admittance into Go Ape for the purposes of this review, but all words, thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

And Then She Turned 5

Every time I look at her baby pictures I am reminded that those moments were the last of her being so tiny. I wish I had taken more videos so I could hear her coo and talk to us. Now the talking she does isn't always so sweet. As a matter of fact, at times she can be downright sassy. I wonder, who is this child with a hand on her hip and a roll of her eyes. And then I realize she is me. And even though she is me, she is she and I love that about her. She loves to sing, she loves to make up silly words, she loves to grab me so tight that I wonder if I didn't move, would she let go? She loves girly things, but really? Gross things...farts especially, are her favorite. (Did I just go there? Yep, I did indeed.) She admires her big brother and many times wonders why she can't be just like him. And he of course, wonders why she can't leave him alone. Ah, siblings.  As she and I navigate the roles we play in each others lives, I only wish that she is happy and confident and always marches to the beat of her own drum.

Trying on my wedding dress
She is five now, almost headed to Kindergarten. In her pre-k class, she is a friend to all and happy to help when asked. After school, she is excited to tell us all about her day and the things she learned and the books they read. I hope school is always this exciting for her as the years go on.

She is tall and skinny and we joke about her being a model...I think she would love it. The camera loves her and her beautiful smile.

Her Daddy loves her to pieces and I hope she realizes how good he is and never settles for anything less when it comes time to date and then eventually marry. For him, no one will ever be good enough. I have to agree, only the strongest among her future boyfriends will survive. She is a firecracker and a force to be reckoned with.

Happy 5th Birthday, my sweet TT. I love you times infinity.





Saturday, February 13, 2016

What Blog?

Life, while not extremely busy has kept me from blogging...mostly because by the time I can blog? I don't want to sit in front of the computer and do it. And I've put apps on my phone and swear that each week will be different. And yet here I am with 7 months passing since my last post.  A lot has happened in 7 months...let's catch up:

Spencer finished Kindergarten and we were so excited for him and I will use any excuse for balloons and candy:


We finally finished our back patio, which was a lesson in patience with both the contractor and Pier One. 


We took a trip to Boston and got our history on.



And then it was time for Spencer to start first grade!


Summer's seem to go fast when you are in year round school and most of my days were spent with Miss T and Vader. She did attend bible school camp for a week and that was a nice break for both her and myself. And then she started her last year of preschool.

We took another trip to Walt Disney World and even though we had one sick child, we still managed to have a great time. Does anyone else come back from Disney needing another vacation? We do a lot but we also rest a lot and yet when we get home I feel like I need a week of sleep.



After our fall vacation, the end of the year comes fast. My birthday is a blur (41 this year!) and then suddenly we are pushed right past Halloween and Thanksgiving and straight on to Christmas. It's a mad dash to celebrate everything and make everything so meaningful and spend all the dollars. I read more than one article talking about saying no during the holiday rush and truly slowing down. I have to agree with that sentiment. You don't have to do ALL. THE. THINGS. 

This all brings us into the new year where the husband and I celebrated our 12th year of marriage...by leaving the country. First class to London! Of course I had to stop at Platform 9 3/4. Next time I want to take the Warner Brothers Movie Tour. I also managed to hit all the floors of Harrod's. They were having a big sale and so the place was a madhouse...but if you like having all of your designers in one place, this is it. You could buy a car in the store...or Uggs.




January was not complete without a family trip as well...it actually was a week before our anniversary and we did a Disney cruise. It was awesome and we are looking forward to possibly booking another one! 




We now have a 7 year old...and he is just such a great damn kid. Funny, smart and sensitive. He cares so much about people being happy and all I want is for him to be happy and do what makes him happy. Miss T will be 5 shortly and when I think about this I miss all the time that has already passed. I don't take nearly as many pictures as I can and that's because I really want to be in each moment with them. I find that to be a hard balance and yet I don't want to forget the things we do or places we've been.

So that is what has been happening in Mommy This and That land...hope all y'all that read here are well.


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Pur Bliss

I was recently selected by Influenster to try the Pūr Ultimate 11 cup pitcher.





I am one that has two children that thankfully love water and drink it all day...one thing they do not like? Water that gets warm, so I spend a lot of my putting ice in their cups. This pitcher alleviated me having to do that, so that was a nice plus. The kids didn't complain about the taste, so another plus for Pūr.

The filter removes 95% of mercury and reduces chlorine. All this improves tap water taste, because like my children? I also can not stand to drink tap water that taste funky.

Getting the filter in the pitcher set up was pretty easy and I didn't have any issues. Once the filter is in, the pitcher does gain a bit of weight and then adding the water makes it even more heavy. I found that after filling it twice I had to use two hands to pour, which wasn't ideal. I suppose I could just fill it once to make it easier but I like having a substantial amount so I don't have to stop and refill. It comes with a light to let you know when it is time to replace the filter.

This pitcher is similar in size and shape to others on the market and while I like the convenience of cold water in the fridge I did not like how much room it actually took up.





We have our refrigerator set up at certain heights for the thing we normally buy and store and the pitcher presented problems. I would have had to reorganize things in order for its placement to not be obtrusive.

All in all the Pur pitcher was a great convenience for good tasting water but the size is a big con for our family. Also the thought of buying and keeping up filters more than once a year can be daunting.

**I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.**

Want to receive products like these and help influence consumers and companies? Join me on Influenster!