Friday, November 30, 2012

Mission Completion! #NaBloPoMo

NaBloPoMo November 2012
Its done! National Blog Posting Month 2012 is over today. I fought hard this year not giving up. Seriously hard. I just didn't think I had it in me from the get go. Thing is, the more I doubt myself, the more I drive myself to do things. Its a blessing and a curse I suppose.

Now, we go back to the humdrum of regular posting. I challenged myself this summer to post at least three times a week and I was doing well at it before this month. Through the holidays though, I think I  will keep the three times a week goal though. I know this season tends to be a little crazy. I know there will be a lot of local postings like there always are around this time of year but I've also got some neat giveaways coming and of course there are the normal shenanigans that just seem to accompany my day to day life.

For now though, I will take a little break over the weekend and be back fresh next week.

Did you participate in NaBloPoMo this year?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Festive Fernbank Offers Holiday Delights, Treats and Events!

Holidays are cultural expressions of a variety of traditions, and Fernbank Museum of Natural History is showcasing the many great ways to celebrate this season. As part of the special exhibition Winter Wonderland: Celebrations & Traditions around the World, Fernbank is hosting two special weekends filled with festive ways to enjoy the holidays.

Among the dozens of trees and displays that represent holidays and traditions representing cultures across five continents, Fernbank will feature the Caroling & Cookies Weekend on December 1 and 2, followed by the Laughing Pizza Holiday Concert on December 8.


Scheduled Activities for Saturday, December 1
Activities are offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., unless otherwise noted and are subject to change.
  • Santa-saurus Ornaments Create your own Fernbank Santa-saurus ornament to take home with you.
  • Snowflake Rubbings Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Create your own snowflake to take home.
  • Cookie Corner A variety of fresh-baked holiday cookies will be available for purchase.
  • Train Rides* 10 am – 4 pm, Dinosaur Plaza Hop aboard Fernbank’s Santa-saurus Express train. Tickets are $3 for 1 ticket, or $10 for 4 tickets. *Weather permitting.
  • Holiday Photo Opportunities 10 am – 4 pm Commemorate your visit with a special Fernbank holiday photo. Choose from a variety of backgrounds and have your photo printed on-site. Photos are $15
  • Buckhead Girls Choir 10:30 am and 12:30 pm Enjoy a variety of holiday and cultural songs. This unique group teaches girls to sing in different languages and styles, explore musical theory and gain performance experience.
  • The North Pole Fa-La-La Follies by Lee Bryan, “That Puppet Guy” 10:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, Auditorium (Limited Seating) Get ready for hilarious holiday high-jinx as some talented residents of the North Pole perform in their annual talent show. “Yule” love it!
  • Georgia Boys Choir 11:30 am Celebrate with holiday songs performed by the Southeast’s premiere musical organization for boys, the Georgia Boy Choir.
  • Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker Ensemble. See short pieces from Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker and other holiday favorites performed by the students from Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Education.
  • Pope High School Chamber Music Society. Listen to delightful holiday music from this small string ensemble
Scheduled Activities for Sunday, December 2
Activities are offered from noon to 4 p.m. unless otherwise noted and are subject to change.

  • Roaming Santa-saurus Be on the lookout for Fernbank’s NEW dinosaur mascot, Giggy A. Dinosaur. He’ll be making special appearances dressed up as Santa-saurus.
  • Santa-saurus Ornaments Create your own FernbankSanta-saurusornament to take home with you.
  • Snowflake Rubbings Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Create your own snowflake to take home.
  • Train Rides* Hop aboard Fernbank’s Santa-saurus Express train. Tickets are $3 for 1 ticket, or $10 for 4 tickets. *Weather permitting.
  • Holiday Photo Opportunities Commemorate your visit with a special Fernbank holiday photo. Choose from a variety of backgrounds and have your photo printed on-site. Photos are $15
  • Cookie Corner A variety of fresh-baked holiday cookies will be available for purchase.
  • Buckhead Girls Choir 12:15pm, 2pm, 3pm Enjoy a variety of holiday and cultural songs. This unique group teaches girls to sing in different languages and styles, explore musical theory and gain performance experience.
  • Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker Ensemble. See short pieces from Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker and other holiday favorites performed by the students from Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Education.
  • The North Pole Fa-La-La Follies by Lee Bryan, “That Puppet Guy” 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, Auditorium (Limited Seating) Get ready for hilarious holiday high-jinx as some talented residents of the North Pole perform in their annual talent show. “Yule” love it!
Cost: Unless noted, all Caroling & Cookies Weekend activities are included with Museum admission and are free for members. Check out Fernbank’s holiday Membership sale at!


Saturday, December 8- Presented by Shumate Heating and Air

Doors open at 10am. Laughing Pizza will perform at 10:30am, 11:45am, and 1pm.

Don’t miss this award-winning family band performing a variety of original holiday tunes. Guests will also be treated to special performances by the Atlanta Circus Camp and enjoy ornament-making crafts. B98.5 FM will be broadcasting live and handing out a variety of great prizes.

Laughing Pizza is a real family band that writes and performs all original pop-music for families. Their music videos can be seen every day in over 18 million homes on PBS stations and TV On-Demand around the country. This mom, dad, and daughter trio travel across the nation performing at theatres, museums, music festivals, nightclubs, schools, and other venues –including the White House (twice, including with Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers). Laughing Pizza has also been featured on the Today Show, CNN, and FoxTV, as well as in Money Magazine, The New York Times, Atlanta Magazine, Star Magazine, and the Huffington Post among others. Mom and Dad, Lisa and Billy, are both classically trained musicians and former music teachers with a history of success in the music business – including a #1 Billboard Dance Hit and a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell. Emily, their 15-year-old daughter, plays multiple instruments including flute, drums, guitar, piano, and bass – and co-writes all of the Laughing Pizza songs with her parents.

Cost: Included with Museum admission and FREE for members. Check out Fernbank’s holiday Membership sale at!


Enjoy a season of celebrations during Fernbank’s 3 rd annual Winter Wonderland, on view through January 6, 2013. This holiday-inspired exhibition features trees and other displays decorated by local cultural partners that recognize celebrations including Christmas, Hanukkah and the Festival of Lights, as well as traditions and practices like origami, indigenous art and national symbols. The exhibition twinkles with lights, glimmers with color, and shines with a variety of cultural ornaments and emblems that recognize the diversity of celebrations, holidays, traditions and events around the world.

Cost: Included with Museum admission and free for Members. Check out Fernbank’s holiday Membership sale at!

Fernbank Museum of Natural History is located at 767 Clifton Road, NE in Atlanta. Admission is $17.50 for adults, $16.50 for students/seniors, $15.50 for children ages 3-12, and free for children ages 2 and under. Admission is also FREE for Museum Members.
The Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The Museum is closed Christmas Day. For tickets and more information, visit or call 404.929.6300.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

#PhotoMojo Instagram Challenge: Weeks 3 and 4

Thirteen through Twenty Six of the Photo Mojo: Instagram Challenge!*


Dead (not really)



Big/ Little

*I have been having issues with my cell phone since we moved to the new place and I am in the process of switching carriers so I haven't been able to upload pictures to Instagram. I hate that its been an issue but c'est la vie, no?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pros and Cons of Being a Working Mama

Dressing up sucks.

Business lunch. A definite perk.

Traffic? Yeah, not cool.
Peeing unattended = win.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Finally Monday

Its finally here. Monday. Last week was a crazy one for sure. It feels like the holidays are coming up fast and by George they are. Like a freight train on crack.

Image via Etsy
This year has seemed like it was going by in some sort of slow agony all year. Dragging on and on in a twisted maze with some sort of weirdness waiting around every corner. Looking back now though, it seems like it flew by more like a tornado. Dusting up emotions and craziness in its path instead of debris and trailers parks.

This close to the New Year though, it all moves at warp speed. Christmas is one month from yesterday. We have one month to squeeze in all the Christmas extravaganza fun we can handle and then move quickly on to looking back at 2012 as it was.   It wears me out just thinking about it.   Its gonna be awesome though. All the lights and decorating and running and wrapping and eating and collapsing. I kind of thrive on that kind of crazy. I love to be busy and have things to do and places to be. I have never been much of a homebody.   So, here goes nothing. Are you ready? Set? Go!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

RAK in November: Week Four

*If you need a refresher on what on Earth I am talking about, go HERE first... 30 things in 30 days is the goal.

This week:

-We got a big bag of sugar free candy and the boys had fun handing it out at the nursing home. The residents loved getting treats and seeing the boys. The boys love going to the nursing home and having so many "grandparents" that love them.

-We took the boys' old coats to a local children's home (Open Door). The combination of the normal warm winters and the way these two grow meant their old coats were in new condition. Hopefully another child will get more wear out of them.

-We took some of the boys' baby toys to the preschool for the baby class to enjoy. It was hard for K to let go of some of the things he thought were really cool but he got to play with the babies for a bit and that made it all better. K loves babies.

-I dropped of a box of old women's magazines at the local health department. Last time I was in there getting D's EED for school, all the magazines were from 2005. They were in serious need of some new reading material.

-I gave the boys both a pack of silly bands and set them loose to hand them out to the other kids on the playground. They were both a little shy at first about it but they made lots of friends!

-While we were at the playground, we took a walk around the park and I picked up some of the trash that people had thrown on the ground. People are gross. Seriously.

-I let the boys pick out 10 coloring books and crayons and we took them to the Children's hospital that has always been so good to us (CHOA).

We did a lot more running around this week than we usually do but it was all worth it. I'll admit too though that we did a few at once. We also got some of the clutter out of the house, which kind of takes away from the selflessness  little. Oh well. Did you do and RAKing this week?

Friday, November 23, 2012

BJ's Wholesale Club: The Place for Holiday Savings

Last week, we got the opportunity to check out the local BJ’s Holiday goodies first hand. Headquartered in Westborough, Massachusetts, BJ’s is a leading operator of warehouse clubs here on the East coast. With 197 clubs and 107 gas stations in 15 states on the Eastern seaboard, carries the most product variety of any other wholesale club with more than 7,000 items, including supermarket- sized staples. BJ’s is also one of the lowest cost operators in the retail industry.

What does that mean to BJ’s customers?

It means that BJs is able to pass the savings on to its members in a way that is exclusive to them. BJ’s is the only wholesale club to accept all manufacturers’ coupons in addition to in- club coupons. The best part? When purchasing a multi pack of “individual for sale” items (think toothpaste 3 packs), shoppers can combine one BJ’s issued coupon with as many manufacturers’ coupons as there are items (so, 3 manufacturers coupons and a BJ’s coupons on that toothpaste!). The even accept online coupons! Holy cheap!

Of course BJ’s is the place to get most of your Holiday necessities. They have the largest selection of frozen appetizers set to feed the masses but they also have a lot of the basic things like butter, milk, and chocolate chips. With holiday baking coming up quickly. BJ’s will be the first place we stop.

On top of all the amazing prices on food and household products, they have an amazing selection of gifts, books (the paper kind, remember those?) and clothing for everyone in your family. The best part for me is that BJ's carries a variety of top brand toys and appliances with extra features that you can't find anywhere but BJ's. They also carry a beautiful selection of wrapping paper, handmade gift tags and cards. One stop shopping at its cheapest!

Want to try BJ’s Wholesale out without making a full year’s commitment? Good news! BJ’s is currently offering a FREE 60-day Trial Membership with full member benefits and absolutely no surcharge! All you have to do is visit BJ’s Facebook page to print the coupon and activate it by December 31st, 2012.

*I was invited to a special holidaqy party for this post but all thoughta are my own.

Target Gives Back

Everyone in the U.S. knows about Target. If they don’t, they obviously live under some rock. Target is the place to go for everything from amazing clothes and shoes to house wares and (if you’re lucky) groceries. Target is the kind of place I can go into and wander around aimlessly in for way too long (and spend way too much money). In fact, its where probably almost all of my kids clothes have always come from because their boys clothing selection is just better than any one else’s.

I learned something new about Target this week though. Turns out Target gives an astounding amount of money back to the communities that they reside in through grants and arts partnerships. To the tune of $2.35 million in 2011 in the Atlanta area alone which by my math is almost half a million dollars per person. That’s pretty awesome.

This includes grants through Target’s Take Charge of Education program, which lets guests allocate 1% of their Target REDCard and Target Check Card purchases to the K-12 school of their choice. That means schools all over the Atlanta area are getting some of the money you spent at Target back to improve the quality of education that your kids are getting. In fact 2011, more than 84,000 K-12 schools in the U.S. received a Take Charge of Education (TCOE) check from Target, totaling more than $26 million in donations for the year. They’ve donated $324 million through TCOE since 1997, putting them on track to reach their goal of $425 million in cumulative TCOE donations by FYE 2015.
Target also donated a school library makeover to Knollwood Elementary School, courtesy of their partnership Heart of America Foundation. In addition to new books, Knollwood received new computers, furniture and other essentials to make the school library thrive. Students were also given a new set of books to take home so that their whole family could share in the experience! How amazing of a gift is that?

The giving just goes on and on from Target in the Atlanta area. 88 schools benefitted from the 2011 Target Field Trip Grant, giving students the opportunity to see the world through different perspectives. The local grant supports The Woodruff Arts center, the Atlanta Community Food Bank, and The Sheltering Arms program. Target also supports the local United Way though store grants and employee contributions. Even the employees are in on the action!

Then there is the support for the Atlanta arts (a personal favorite). In case you haven’t heard, Target offers the Target Free Second Tuesdays program at the Atlanta Children’s Museum. Can’t beat free and you certainly can’t beat the amazing fun and learning experiences that the Children’s Museum brings. Add that to supporting accessibility in the classroom to organizations like the Alliance, the High, and the National Black Arts Festival and you have the kind of learning experience that every child deserves.

Did you know that Target did so much? Giving back in a community takes a special kind of company in general but when you take into account the employee donations and the support for the arts, you get a company that is going above and beyond to ensure the best of education in its communities. Even more reason to love Target.

*I was invited to join Target at the Children's Museum in Atlanta to get the information for this post but the thoughts are my own.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful 4.0

Every year I post on Thanksgiving about the things I am thankful for. I am generally a very gracious kind of person. My needs are few and I am beyond grateful for anything anyone throws my way. This year, though, has been quite a doozey on me and my emotional state. Its been full of ups and downs and twists and turns. I'm not gonna lie, being thankful has been harder for me this year than it has been in the past.

However, I am still thankful. Maybe even more so than I ever have been. I am thankful for my little boys this year more than ever before. They have been my driving purpose. My comfort and my warmth. Even the reason I got out of the bed for awhile. They have always known how to make me smile when I was down and make me forget my troubles. This year they have been my purpose. Everything I have done and worked towards has been done with a renewed purpose to better their lives (please don't let my babies suffer other's mistakes anymore). Without those two little smiling faces I would have been a lost person in every sense of the word. I thank everything that is for them.

Then there has been the support crew. My mother and father, who have been divorced for 13 years and hadn't spoken in 10, came together to help my boys and I out. They have done everything from supporting us financially while I found a job to giving us shelter when we had no where else to go to supporting me emotionally and lifting me up when I could hardly bear to breathe. They have held my hand while I faced the kind of meanness I never thought I would have to endure and stayed by my bed while I was recoverign from various ailments.

Its something that I suppose you expect from parents but until you witness it, until you witness that kind of love, you never know just how much you need your parents. I am thankful that they have been able to put aside their differences and take care of us in a way, even thought they shouldn't have had to, that only a parent could.

Of course there were the friends old and new that I am oh so thankful for as well. One of them, Lisa, I have known since I moved to Georgia a billion (okay 15) years ago. We have been friends since then, with periods where we didn't talk as much and periods where we talked more. We got married with in a few months of each other and our boys are all with in months of each other in age (she also has a little miss that's the baby). She was one of the first people I told when T walked out and she was immediately supportive. Ever since she has been there to help out when I needed someone to watch my boys or to read my ranty text messages about love and hate. She has been my sounding board. Heck, her husband even stayed up til 3am to help us move. Needless to say, I am beyond grateful for her and her family.

I am also thankful for all of the other friends both in real life and online that have helped to life me up out of a hole and keep me moving forward. If necessary with hot pokers. There are too many to mention but you know who you are. You are the ones actually reading this. You are the ones that didn't back down and disappear when I needed you most like so many others did. When I needed an ear or someone fresh to cry at when I had cried everyone else out. You helped us with money, you helped us with words, and most of all love. I am so blessed to have each and every one of you.

Of course I have to be thankful for Bob too. Sweet Bob. I honestly don't know who rescued who at this point. Bob came to us at a time when I needed someone 24/7 and the boys needed a playmate. Someone to talk to, someone to cry on, someone to give me a purpose in the middle of the night. Bob has always been a "mama's dog". He follows me around the house watching me clean or cook or whatever. If I am sad, he will come and put his face on me or just lean up against my leg and look up at me. He knows when I need love and he rubs around and around my legs like a cat until sit down and then he will just lay his head either on my shoulder or on my lap for some love or stand there while I lay my head on his shoulder. He also loves the boys like he loves me but he is much more gentle. He loves K in particular and is always very patient with him when he is doing things like poking q-tips in Bob's ears and proclaiming him an alien. He isn't a good guard dog but damn is he a good dog.

There always the little things in life to be thankful for too. I am thankful for a roof when we were so scared we wouldn't have one there for awhile. Even if it was a piece together job there for awhile. I am thankful for my landlord for taking us in and helping us out. I am thankful for food even if it means a little hand up. I am thankful for kind looks from strangers when the boys are losing it in a store and all I can do is cry. I am thankful for my job. I am thankful for you. For my readers. For being patient with me.

I went from being broken and feeling like I had nothing to be thankful for this past winter to having more to be thankful for than my heart could hold. I hope that this Thanksgiving is the same for you. I hope that you can look back over the last year and be even more thankful than you were the last. If not, I hope that the next year brings you closer to it.

Happy Thanksgiving. Now go eat some turkey and take a nap. Tomorrow starts a whole new ball game of crazy. Here comes Christmas. Ready or not.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Black Friday 2012

Ok, so since I admitted that I wasn't as excited about the whole Thanksgiving/ Black Friday thing this year, I have had a little time to look over the ads scans. Now, for he last several years, I would have done this weeks ago in preperation for getting everything all ready for the big day. I would have analyzed shopping times and ads and made a compreshensive list of where to go and what to get. Some years I even had maps.

So, looking over the ads a little late this year has been overwhelming to say the least. Which is kind of insane considering that you used to have to wait for the Thursday paper to even see the ads. My sister and I would always get up early and go find a newspaper to sprawl out in the floor with after lunch (but before naps). After I got married, it was our job to aquire a paper on our way to my mother's house. Then, it got to where you could just look it all up on the internet a week before hand and not have to bother with the paper.

Of course, I still get the paper. I'm old school like that I suppose. Even when I have my list nailed down by Wednesday, I still make that early Thursday paper run. I like to think that its so that I can check the ads to make sure its all in order but maybe its just nostolgia at this point.

Anyway, after looking over the ads this year, I have to admit: I'm disappointed. It seems like Black Friday is no longer the intense, fun rush it used to be. Stores are opening earlier and earlier and what used to be 3 hours of intense runing from store to store, now starts at 8pm on Thanksgiving (?!) and runs through Noon on Friday.

The. Heck.

If your sale is on Thursday, its not a Black Friday sale. Its greed. Its taking families away from their loved ones on a holiday that used to mean more than consumerism in this country. ::end rant::

So, I guess having it all spread out, kind of ruins the fun for me. Add that to the fact that you can now get most of these deals online and not have to get out of your jammies and it just seems pointless. Stores like Wal- Mart and Toys R Us have ruined the fun for everyone. Thanks for that.

Still, I figure I will head out for the morning early and hit up a few of the stores opening at more traditional times. In other words 4am. Which, I guess, is not really "traditional" for most stores. It is on Black Friday though.

Are you a Black Friday shopper? What do you think about the crazy times and such this year? Will it slow you down?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fun in the Fall Leaves

Raking them up
Here comes trouble!
Pure joy.
We had hours of fun. <3>

The overseer of fun.

Monday, November 19, 2012

"Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival" Coming to Atlanta!

Mickey Mouse and his band of friends, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy will coming to Philips Arena to perform in a music mash-up of mega proportions when Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival debuts in Atlanta. Concert goers will hear greatest hits from the blockbuster movies, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story remixed to rock, pop, reggae, hip-hop, jazz and country, among other jams. Produced by Feld Entertainment, Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival strives to be the biggest concert experience to hit live family entertainment. Tickets are on sale NOW!
“One song can touch millions of people around the world and Disney has been at the beat of this concept for years by making music a main ingredient of storytelling,” said Producer and CEO of Feld Entertainment Kenneth Feld. “In Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival we are celebrating with the Disney characters to a soundtrack of the latest sounds and chart-topping hits. We want our guests to walk away with lasting memories and singing these unforgettable melodies long after they leave the show.”

Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival, featuring an all star line-up of more than 25 Disney characters, begins with audiences watching a state-of-the-art video projection of the frenzy backstage which spills onto the stage as Mickey welcomes guests to his concert tour. Soon thereafter, they will be transported to a new world of hip hop beats, dizzying acrobatics, flying carpets and magical transformations with Aladdin, Jasmine and Genie. Underwater is where the crowd will meet up with Ariel, Sebastian and their nautical pals to groove to the reggae rhythm. And, family and friends will stomp to the beat as Woody, Buzz and Jessie teach them how to boogie rodeo-style. Anyone can be a member of the band as giant-sized balloons fall from the ceiling in one scene and then in the next, Disney characters are dancing in the aisles.

“We’ve created an environment where audience members will be able to connect with the Disney stars,” said Alana Feld, Producer and Executive Vice President of Feld Entertainment. “Within each concert moment are elements of personal interaction and the audience will be harmonizing, dancing, laughing and having an outrageously good time with the characters.”

The father-daughter production team, Kenneth Feld and Alana Feld, has hand selected award-winning creative talents whose credits span from working with Madonna to winning a Latin Grammy® Award to designing hundreds of costumes for Disney theme park shows. This is sure to be the seasons "don't miss" show!

There will be two shows at Atlanta's Philips arena on Sunday, December 16 at 1:00pm and 4:00pm. Tickets run from $15 to $70 and can be ordered through or by calling 1-800-745-300. Hurry and get yours before they are all gone!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Here Goes Nothing

Well, here it goes. The Holidays. Are you ready? Because I’m not. Not this year. I am not looking forward to the crazy like I usually do. Normally I am all riled up at this point. Chomping at the bit so to speak to stuff myself silly on Thanksgiving and then get out there and battle the crowds on Black Friday. To get the best deals possible and rub shoulders with hundreds of other people in the cold. If you know me well, you know that I usually look forward to this all year long.

Not this year though.

My mother says I am getting old. To which I said shut up old lady and then she didn’t speak to me the rest of the evening. I think I won that argument.

I suppose it’s just par for the course. It’s been a crazy enough year and this week has been no exception. Lots of ups and downs and forehead smacks along the way.

I figure I have plenty of time to get into the mood though. It’s only Sunday, after all.

Then comes Christmas. Which I am more excited about than usual at this point I guess. I am looking forward to decorating the new place and starting some new traditions with the boys. One of which is actually sending out Christmas cards this year. Something we haven’t been able to do in the past for one reason or another.

Christmas just brings a whole different energy to it too. Especially with kids. It’s always so magical to them. No matter how big or little it is in terms of gifts and such, kids always have that look in their eye about Christmas. This year, it started early for my boys. They are both old enough to remember last year and holy cow are they excited. We started watching Polar Express before Halloween.

I only wish they could forget other things.

Of course, I got the news that my sister may be coming to see us for Christmas too and that, my friends, is some exciting news. I miss my sister. I miss her a lot. When she was going through a (much more civil) divorce years ago, we used to go and sit at a coffee shop and just talk. I was pregnant with D at the time and she would get all weirded out when he would turn a flip and my whole belly would shift and I would laugh at her reaction. I miss that. I miss just hanging out with my sister. I’ve needed her this year in a way I never really thought I would. The distance is hindering though. She better come. *ahem*

So, that’s where I am about the holidays this year. Like I said, it’s early yet, I guess. There is time for the crazy excited thing to happen. I think I will spend a little time checking out the Black Friday ads this afternoon and see what happens. Then maybe me and the boys will go check out Santa at the mall. If there is anything that can force jolly on you, it’s a mall Santa.

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Christmas?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cirque Du Soleil's Totem

We got the chance to check out Cirque du Soleil’s newest show, Totem, this week. Written and Directed by Robert Lepage, Totem traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. Inspired by many founding myths, Totem illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species. Somewhere between science and legend Totem explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential.

My mother and I were so excited to check it out. We were not disappointed. The show was the thrilling, edge of your seat kind of entertainment that only Cirque can provide. I don’t think I have ever actually gasped or yelled out loud at a live show before but I certainly did at Totem. The athleticism and strength of the performers could be matched by no one and the comedic relief had us all laughing our heads off.

The costumes were gorgeous and true to each act’s theme and story. The Hoops Dancer act was my favorite. A close second was the Fixed Trapeze Duo. The energy and authenticity was breathtaking. The stage was so cool to watch transform from one scene to the next. It was seamless and effortless the way it all flowed together. Then the bollywood-esque finale had us all up and dancing and clapping along.

Totem is showing under the Grand Chapiteau in Atlantic Station through December 30th, 2012. To get your tickets check out the Totem website. Hurry though, tickets are limited and going fast!

*I was provided tickets to Totem for this review but all thoughts are my own.

RAK in November: Week Three

*If you need a refresher on what on Earth I am talking about, go HERE first... 30 things in 30 days is the goal.

This week:

-We sent a huge plate of cookies in to the office staff of the Boys’ preschool. They sent back a very sweet note, thanking the boys’ for the goodies. One for the baby albums!

-We took Bob’s old crate and a bag of food and donated it to the adoption agency (SEGA) that we got him from. Bob even got to go and hang out with some of his kind. Turns out he is pretty fast when in running with another hound.

-I dropped a couple of old cell phones and another huge plate of cookies off at the Domestic Violence center close to home.

-I took the old lady across the street’s mail and newspaper to her door. I was nervous about bothering her mail without asking but she was very appreciative. Turns out she has OA as well and her daily trip to the mailbox is a lot rougher on her than it is on me. I told her I would try to get it more often for her and she gave me a hug. RAK win!

-I gave one of my old USB drives to a friend at work. She is forever having me scan things and email them to another co-worker who has to print, edit and then rescan and email for her classes and this way she can just save them to the drive and hand them over. Easy peasy.

-I kept a girlfriend’s kids so she could go use a spa certificate that was about to expire. She was so sad she wasn’t going to get to use it and was thrilled when I offered to keep them. It was a full house! She has five kids!

-I pushed the little old lady across the street’s trash can to the curb for her. It was something she had mentioned the other day and it took me three seconds. She got a double dose this week!

Two more weeks left! Lets see what else we can do!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Getting Ahead on the Christmas Crafties

This year, I am going to do my best to make most of the gifts I am giving for Christmas. Partly because I be the poor, but also because I want the people in my life to have something that was made by me, for just them. You can't buy those kinds of memories.

Here is the kicker though, I can't knit or crochet because of my arthritis, I suck at drawing, and my sewing machine is broken. So what did I do?

You guessed it, I turned to the all powerful Pinterest.

At first I was mostly finding things that were more geared towards decorating. Pinterest has 8 million tutorials on how to cover everything in your house with glitter. In case you were wondering how to make your world a glittery, sparkley mess by January 1st. Not my style. Also, not what I was looking for.
Eventually though, I did come across a few boards and users that had things that were more giftable. A lot of the things that I liked the most were super easy too but I had to pare down where to start. The very beginning.
Sorry, this isn't included.

The most logical place to start was the bath kits that I want to make for all of my girlfriends but of course I am sort of dumb a glutton for punishment and decided to start over on those and make some cold and flu season type baskets to give people. Weird? Maybe. Seriously though, who wouldn't love to have some homemade goodies sitting around when it hits you like a brick in a glass house? Practicality here people.

So, I gathered a couple of baskets from the dollar store and whipped up a batch of sore throat suckers, whiskey rose cough syrup, and (knock off) Vicks shower disks. To that, I added some tissues and a can of chicken noodle soup. Add a pretty bow and voila!

After I got done with those, I took to making a very special something for my sister but I can't tell you about that until after Christmas. Lets just say though, its a labor of love.

For the boys, I am going to take the letters I have written them for their birthdays and start a binder. Not something they will appreciate right now really but it will be something for them to keep and for me to add to every year.

My mother is going to be a little trickier. I am thinking I will try to make her some jewelry but haven't come across anything particularly her yet. I may just have to hit up Joanne's and see what happens.

Have you gotten started on your Christmas list this yet? Do you prefer to make gifts or buys them?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Long Term Care

No, I'm talking the long term care of the little ones we all hold so dear. I am talking long term care of an older person. Long term care is something that no one really wants to talk about. Being incapacitated enough that your loved ones can no longer care for you is not something that anyone wants to think about, much less talk with loved ones about.

I have had quiet a minites experience with long term care though and I recognize how important it is to have those conversations with your family.

My grandfather on my dad's side, spent a few years in a long term care facility because of dementia, alzheimers disease, and his history of debilitating strokes. It sompliy got to the point where his wife of 50 years just could not care for him in their home any more. It was a hard decision to place him in a long term care facility but a neccesary one and one that they had planned for.

Of course now, I happen to work in a long term care facility and I can see, yet again, the importance of planning. Long term care is expensive you guys. Like, ridiculously so and medicaid/ medicare/ regular insurance only pays a fraction of what it takes to provide care for your family members.

So, investing in long term care insurance is definitely a must have in this day and age. Things aren't going to get cheaper. Still, getting the older generation to talk about investing in such a thing is hard. Really hard. Reminding them though that they aren't commiting to anything, just planning ahead, really helped the conversation go along with my parents.

Have you had "the big talk" with your parents? How did it go?

#PhotoMojo Instagram Challenge: Week Two

Six through twelve of the Photo Mojo: Instagram Challenge!*

A Card



A Pair




*I have been having issues with my cell phone since we moved to the new place and I am in the process of switching carriers so I haven't been able to upload all of this weeks pictures to Instagram. I hate that its been an issue but hopefully it will be fixed this week. Bear with me!


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