Thursday, January 30, 2014

I call shenanigans

That's it.  I call shenanigans.  What is it I call shenanigans on you ask?  The coffee industry.

This morning, like usual, I went to make coffee. I was ALMOST out in my coffee tin and realized that I have enough for three cups.  THREE CUPS.  Three cups would get me through the morning.  I mean, the kids are home on a "snow day"...we have no snow.

So I scoop out the coffee, measure the water, and wait.  It smells so lovely.  I pour my cup, add in my creamer (all measured out...thanks My Fitness Pal!), and drink it. Heaven.  I go for a refill, grab the pot, and pour.  What happens?  I BARELY have half a cup.

I head to Facebook in outrage and type a status update to Cuisinart (who will never see it)

Dear Cuisinart,

I made three cups of coffee. THREE (finishing the bag). How is it I only was able to fill up my standard size coffee cup one and a half times?


To which to my amazement one of my friends pointed out that a cup of coffee is only 8oz.  THEN another friend said "No.  6 ounces"

Could it be? I ran and grabbed my bag and checked it out:


 What in the world.  So here is my normal cup of coffee. A bit of cream added.  Just your average size cup.



Since black won't show the amount well, I switched to a white cup of the same size and dyed my water blue. I am getting real, yo.

On the left is a standard jelly jar with six ounces of "coffee" and the coffee cup.  Looks about even, right?


Look what happens.


V found it crazy and exciting. SCIENCE ON THURSDAYS!!!


To get a "full" cup I had to add another FOUR OUNCES.  FOUR OUNCES.
 


So, my ONE cup of coffee is actually closer to one and a half. 

Here is where the shenanigans is being called.

FIRST:  Who decided that 6oz is the proper amount of coffee?  That barely gives you half a cup. Even if you are like my crazy friend Holli over at An Ordinary Blog, she puts in 2 oz of milk. You STILL would not be filling your cup.

SECOND: If 6 oz is the "proper" amount, why are all my cups huge?  Can the cup makers and coffee producers not get together on this?

How do I suppose to judge how much coffee to make when guests come over now???  I use to think "Oh....10 cups of coffee makes enough for TEN MUGS OF COFFEE." This obviously is not the case.

Shame on you coffee producers and mug makers for fooling me.  Shame. On. You.

*I actually love coffee way more than I should and now I need to go make more.  GO CAFFEINE!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sports and the kids (what not to do as a parent)

My kids, Aidan especially, LOVE to play sports.  So far he plays soccer and basketball. He wants to play football, but I am not sure if I am ready for that.

You would think going to a little kids basketball game wouldn't be a hard thing to do. At this age there are no winners or losers.  It is basically just the kids having fun and playing.  We try to encourage the kids to play their best and have fun.  Heck, Nate didn't even know how to dribble until this year. He can now!  Well...a few times.

What astounds me is other parents.  I cheer on BOTH sides of game.  Of course I cheer louder for "our" team, but if a kiddo on the other team makes a great shot, I will clap. 

Aidan is on a 7 & 8 year old team this year.  He has ALWAYS been the tall kid, but not now.   He is actually one of the shorter kids on the team.  The other week, Aidan was fouled and got to shoot a couple of foul shots.  He tried his hardest and ended up shooting an airball.  What did the couple behind me do?  Laugh.  THEY LAUGHED.  How can someone laugh at a CHILD trying their hardest?  I shot them both a look and they shut it.  But still.  They laughed at a kid.   MY KID.  I had to control myself. It was NOT an easy thing to do.

Then the dad (?) had the NERVE to start talking about his sports glasses. Yes, my son wears glasses.  Yes, his sports glasses look like goggles with a strap.  Would I really want them to fall off and break?  Seriously.  Is there a need to laugh at children these days?  Luckily the wife (?)had enough sense to realize they were for sports and told him so.

When did it become okay to laugh at a child?  You know what?  IT ISN'T.  Sports should be about having fun, getting some exercise, and doing your best.  

My kids may not be the best at the sports they try, but at least they are trying.

Just remember the next time you decide to laugh at someone on the court, you are laughing at someone's kid and they might be sitting in front of you trying to figure out how NOT to punch you.

Snow Days with Southern Kids...take two

We actually got snow yesterday!  My kids were out playing all this morning.  No school of course.  Eric says the back roads are a bit gross and icy.

Anywho, here are some pictures I snapped this morning.  Enjoy!!









Nate decided to pull V around.Oops. He went inside shortly after this. lol  Poor guy.


K is smart.




V was NOT to be outdone.  She pulled BOTH brothers.



They informed me they were making "snowmen". Yeah....my kids don't see snow very often.



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Southern Kids in the Snow.

This is big.  We got SNOW! You would think there were 18 inches of powdery white goodness. Just a dusting. The kids are going INSANE though.



#DisneySide @ Home Celebration Reveal!

I have been tracking this package like no ones business. I might have even downloaded the UPS app to help me track on the go.  I told V is was coming today and when we got back from speech it still hadn't arrived. V was bummed.  It finally got here.  We literally RAN to the door and grabbed it.

If you are a host and haven't peeked yet at what you are getting DON'T LOOK! Lots of pictures inside here!!

So....here is my HUGE 28lb box. (And the shorty running over)

#DisneySide!


The question of the week is "What color/type of luggage did you get?" This was a REALLY exciting moment. I got the black with red accents! 


The boxes varied a bit by recipient.  When I saw the shirts I was STOKED. This is a new addition to the boxes!  I am excited!  V was too.  She stole them from me. 




I received 10 shirts and a pack of fabric markers.  The shirts are children's Medium and Large.  I might need to take a poll on shirt sizes for the kiddos coming. I am PRETTY sure they will be swimming in this size.   Still though, AWESOME.  I am excited to get to create with everyone!



I got everything out of the box and set it up.  DROVE THE KIDS CRAZY. This is my haul.  Let's see what we have to work with for the party, shall we?


Included in the kit is your "traditional" party decorations.  Cups, plates, foil hanger things, balloons, and napkins. There are also cupcake wrappers and a tablecloth!


I also got two sets (12 total boxes) of Craisins, measuring cups for baking with, and cookie cutters.  I already have plans for those!!!



A few activities for the party.  Disney Bingo and Disney Trivia.  There is also a face painting kit (well...directions on how to do it-no paint), Goofy tattoos, and Mickey Mouse stickers!  I think I need to go get some facepaint!!!



Probably one of the things I am MOST excited for is this down below.  The Disney print.  I believe it is an 11x14.  I seem to have misplaced my 900 rulers and measuring tapes.  Each "So this is Love" print comes in it's own hard mailing envelope.  There are 10 total, so I am thinking one per family coming.  I plan on putting mine in a frame then one day when we go back to Disney take it with me and get it signed by Mickey & Minnie!


This party is put on by BSM Media, MomSelect, DIsney, American Tourister, Hanes, and HP. HP sent TEN boxes of Photo cards to use during the party!  There is even a page online that you can insert yourself into fun Disney frames! I have to make sure my printer is fully inked up!  If not, I know some party guests that get to take some paper home!


Having boys I was kind of scared it would be all princesses all the time for this party.  I think everyone did a GREAT job not catering more towards boys or girls.  They even included some "sporty" items.   There are Run Disney bracelets,  mile signs to hold up during a race, and bumper stickers.  It is hard to see, but there is a white Cinderella castle in the middle of the sticker.


I got some papers in my hostess kit with recipes, Muppets calendars, a "plan your trip" dvd, and my info for the party.


For my "official" gift I got a 20" Skate suitcase from American Tourister.  It is AH-MAZING. While I was hoping for a brighter color, truth be told, I am a black wearing/owning girl.  Most of my wardrobe is black. The best part, it is PERFECTLY sized for me.  Just me.  I don't have to share.  It also has some amazing spinner wheels!

American Tourister is THE official luggage of Walt Disney World & Disneyland!


It has some super bright red accents just like Mickey Mouse.  I can't wait to use it this summer!


Oh, we can't forget the adorable luggage tag!

So there you go!  It is now time for me to get to planning.  

*I received free products in order to host the Disney Side @ Home Celebration.  The opinions expressed here are my own.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Hello Kitty "Birthday in a Box"

Hi.  My name is Sarah, I am 35, I love Hello Kitty, and I am not ashamed.  I don't know what it is about her, but I have loved her since I was little.  I remember going to the Sanrio store at the mall with my allowance every week when I was younger.  When I got the email that BirthdayinaBox.com had Hello Kitty items available for review I JUMPED on it...and I was chosen.  It was seriously an amazing day.

I will confess.  I have not used the items yet. My birthday is in March and I fully plan on throwing myself a Hello Kitty bash, or at least making my family do it for me.  I couldn't wait to show you what I got though!

Birthday in a Box has a HUGE list of items to choose from to throw your own party.   Items range from party supplies, of course, to lunch boxes, cake pans, erasers, and water bottles!


CLICK HERE to get to the list.

For my review I picked the Hello Kitty Party Decoration Kit.



For $27.09 you get:
  • 1 Hello Kitty Party Banner
  • 1 Hello Kitty Party Centerpiece
  • 1 Hello Kitty Hanging Decorations
  • 1 Hello Kitty Confetti
  • 10 Hot Pink Balloons
  • 10 Pink Balloons
  • 1 Pink Curling Ribbon

At this point all you need are some pink plates and some cake!  I MAY or may not be obsessed with the confetti.  Also, I MAY or may not have to hide this box from V so she doesn't steal everything before my birthday in March.  The items are ABSOLUTELY adorable and would be perfect for birthday boys & girls of all ages who want to add a bit of whimsy.  Yes, I said boys.  Boys can love her as well.  There is also a "teen" kit which features Hello Kitty items in black.  It was REALLY hard not to choose that kit. 

So there you go!  Head over to the site and start planning your birthday, or unbirthday today!


*Birthdayinabox.com provided me with the above item in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

The LEGO® KidsFest is coming to Raleigh,NC!!!! (psst...I got a giveaway!)


Just when I thought my day couldn't get any better, I found out that the LEGO® KidsFest  returns to the Raleigh Convention Center, February 28 - March 2, 2014!   Not only is that awesome, but I am going and you can too! 

What is the LEGO®  KidsFest you ask?  

LEGO®  KidsFest  brings all of the creative hands-on, minds-on fun of LEGO®  building and experiences together in one activity- and entertainment-packed family event for children of all ages and builders of all skills and interests.

There are multiple building areas, a store(of course), displays, master builders, and so much more!!!




I have the AMAZING opportunity to give away to one lucky reader TWO tickets to opening night in Raleigh!!!  The rules: You MUST be able to go on Friday February 28th from 4-8:30pm. The tickets are ONLY good for that date and that time. NO EXCEPTIONS.  Winner will be randomly chosen by USFG on Monday, Feb 3 and you will be notified by email.  So, if you want to go, click this link below and enter!  Make sure to use an email that you regularly check!!!  GOOD LUCK!!!


Make sure to "like" and follow LEGOKidsFest on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for all the latest ticketing updates.   LEGO®  KidsFest has been selling out in prior cities!  You don't want to miss this!


DATES & SESSIONS:

Friday, February 28
4 pm - 8:30 pm

Saturday, March 1
Session I: 9 am - 1:30 pm
Session II: 3 pm - 7:30 pm

Sunday, March 2
Session I: 9 am - 1:30 pm
Session II: 3 pm - 7:30 pm

(Note: Each session offers the same exhibits and activities)

WHERE:
Raleigh Convention Center
500 South Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

www.raleighconvention.com

*I have been given tickets through USFG in exchange for my review and promotion.  All excitement, thoughts, feelings,opinion, and general LEGO®  geeking out is totally my own.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Chalkboard / Dry Erase Board love

Most moms I know have some piece of IKEA furniture for the kiddos. Living 20 minutes from an IKEA,I have a lot.  My favorite piece has to be their Mala easel.  It is a dry erase/chalkboard combo and pretty cheap at only $14.99. I love it so much I am actually on my second.  Not because it is broken, but because my kids drew on the wood with marker and it drives me insane looking at it.

V LOVES to use it dry erase side and the last time I went to IKEA I bought some of their dry erase markers.  They worked, but since they were for a three year old, they got left open and dried out.  

I was walking through Target picking up a gift for a friends daughter and I saw these and thought "What the heck." and bought them:


BEST PURCHASE EVER. They have a sharpener on the back, which I haven't used yet.  It also comes with a black wiping cloth and the crayons are a pretty good size!



V is obsessed with drawing on the board and having me erase it.   There are eight colors in the box and they all are rather vivid on the board.  They are also PERFECTLY sized for her hands.


Incase you can't tell from her masterpiece,that is all of us at the top (see the face?). That is also her name at the bottom and "kiss kiss kiss. hug hug hug"

The cloth, in my opinion, is pretty useless.  These crayons stay on super well.  With a normal dry erase marker you can swipe at it and it comes off. These come off cleanly, but it takes some elbow grease.   I REALLY had to scrub to get it off with just the cloth.

I have been using a little bottle of "dry erase board cleaner" but that can get  pricey. You know what works well? RUBBING ALCOHOL.  Grab a spray bottle, LABEL IT, and keep it up high and ready to use in a flash!  

*This recommendation is not sponsored endorsed by anyone. I bought and used it on my own.  I totally think you should too.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I get to host a #DisneySide @ Home Celebration!

I am SO excited guys.  I get to host a #DisneySide @ Home Celebration.  What is that you ask?  Basically,in a nut shell, I get to throw a fun Disney themed party sponsored by,you guessed it, Disney!  

I haven't received my kit yet.  I like to think it is partying up with the other boxes before it gets here.  I am sure it will be WELL worth the wait.  Disney teamed up with American Tourister and HP, so I am sure whatever is coming will be fantastic.

Being the person that I am, waiting is driving me CRAZY.  I LOVE to plan and not knowing what is coming in my kit is driving me bananas,in a good way.  I decided instead of a particular theme,to choose a "general Disney" theme.  I think this way we can reach all of our guests equally.  I don't know about your kids,but my boys won't be too keen on a princess party.  So,because of this I am looking up just plain Disney themed party ideas.

I found cupcakes.

I found Hidden Mickey Cupcakes.

I decided with something like this I HAD to do a trial run.  I can't risk messing up the cupcakes for a party!

If you don't know,when you walk around Disney Mickey is hidden everywhere, so why not the food?  I tried out the recipe and I think it turned out AWESOME.


A few things about this.

First...this is NOT an easy thing to do. It looks all easy, but yeah....nope. This was my first try ever,so I thought it turned out well.

Second..the brown is....brownies.

Third...these directions I am linking you to CAME FROM A CHEF AT DISNEY WORLD. This is EXACTLY how they make these. AMAZING.

Do you think you will try them?

Run over HERE to see the step by step guide!  (And to see the expertly made cupcake) Have a magical desert and keep up with me in the next few weeks to see more fun #DisneySide posts!



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

V turned 3! (about a month and a half ago...)

I am in the middle of getting Nate's sixth birthday party put together.  I printed and sent out invitations to kids in his class.  My friend designed a banner for me. I got that printed, cut out, and laminated.  Then I realized something...I never showed you V's third birthday!  I guess that is what happens when you come down with the plague.

So here are some highlights from her THIRD BIRTHDAY!!!  Well...more like a whole ton of pictures of her cuteness.

The night before your birthday, the birthday bird comes into your room and leaves you a small gift.  I am pretty sure that we are the only people in the world the birthday bird visits.  This year, he brought Bubble Puppy from Bubble Guppies.  I love Bubble Puppy.


You get this picture because she is cute.


You get this picture because she is even cute pouting.


Cute with a made face.


And even cute with a fake smile. lol


Here she is holding up her fingers saying she is 3. 


We decided to do a pirate & princess party.  I bought the wrong tip for the icing. oops.  I still think the cake turned out pretty!


Since I never know how many people are coming, I made cupcakes as well as a cake.  These little toppers came from Hobby Lobby.


For favors I made princess wands. I kind of threw these together the night before. I think they turned out amazingly!


Since there were boys and girls coming, I made the wands, bought two different types of bandannas, diamond rings, and eye patches.  The bandannas,patches, and rings were also from Hobby Lobby.


I also bought some "make your own crown" kits.  The kids had fun with those.


I even had some friends come in from out of state!  I was so glad that they could make it! Feel free to go check out Kate over here for fantastic financial information!


V had fun opening her gifts. She really loved everything she got!   Dolls were a big hit this year.

Cake time we filed into the kitchen and V got into the "cake chair".  Happy Birthday was sung, of course.

She was not to sure about the other kids around her. She was scared they were going to blow out her candles! 


MAKE A WISH!!!

I take that back.  One gift I think was the most loved.  This little Flashlight pet unicorn went everywhere with her. She loves that thing.  When my sister asked what she wanted for her birthday, I told her this. I am glad she got it. Now I can go to Target without being begged for it!

YAY BIRTHDAYS AND FRIENDS!!!


At one point I went walking off. I came back to this.  APPARENTLY I am the only one that can keep an eye on her.  I let her continue and grabbed the camera.  I mean, it IS her birthday!


 HAPPY BIRTHDAY V!