Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fabulocity in Blogging

Thanks to Trop 50 for sponsoring my writing about fabulous bloggers. This year Trop50 is granting 50 fabulous wishes. Click here to enter for a chance to win $1,000 to help grant a friend's wish!

I feel like I've been more than fortunate with the connections that I've made via blogging. I've had tons of great opportunities, gotten lots of awesome information, expanded my recipe collection, got a glimpse into peoples lives and thoughts, and I've made friends that I know that I'll hold close for the rest of my life. I want to make a list of five fabulous bloggers, but can I narrow it down to five? I have so many that I read, so many that I'm close to, and they are all fabulous in their own amazingly awesome ways. I'm wondering if I'm going to be able to do these off the charts ladies any justice... Fabulous is fabulous, but these ladies are uniquely fabulous. Each one different, each one amazing in their own way.

First and foremost, Sarah from All Hail Queen Mommy... She may not post a hell of a lot, but when someone is willing to discuss openly what happens when you have mommy bladder combined with a dance off, with her own snarky little attitude, it makes for fun reading. This is the same chick who put me in tears with her "The Giving Tree" post, who puts her snark aside for compassion that simply amazes me.

Of course, there's Jenny, The Blogess. If you've never read her, I need to know what rock you've been hiding under so that I can break that thing up into a million pebbles. The girl's got talent. She's a lean, mean, raw and open writing machine. The humor that is incorporated into her writing makes me look at myself and tell myself that I'm not that funny. If there is a level of success that I would like to achieve through my blogging, I look at The Blogess and I wish that I could be as awesome and successful as she is.

There's one lady that I've turned to quite a bit for help, though I'm sure she never even knew it. Through the OrgJunkie site, I read Laura's organizing tips and menu planning, which made me focus on menu planning for a while, getting myself organized, and in the long run, over 2009, I saved about $2500 at the grocery store just by paying attention to what I was cooking each week. It may not sound like much, but someone who can kick my tush into some sort of gear at the grocery store sure is fabulous to me.

Stephanie at A Year of Slow Cooking has saved my ass from time to time, when I didn't know what to toss into the crockpot when the sitter is here, I've turned to her site. The dedication to using the crockpot every. single. day. for a year is awesome. Not just that, but to be able to put a book together?!?! Ridic. I wish I had that dedication!!

And last, but most certainly not least, I have to include my darling Liz from Lizzy Dear's Life. I love her dearly and I love her honesty. She posts lots of great info, but the gems that I find on her site, like her post about "Sometimes Blogging Makes Me Sick" is refreshing since she isn't scared to tell everyone how she feels about the bullshit.

Lizzy Dear's Life, All Hail Queen Mommy and Myself

I hope we all know that this isn't my "end-all, be-all" list of fabulous bloggers, but simply five that I adore. No offenses here. No hurt feelings. None of that crap.

Don't forget to enter the 50 Fabulous Wishes contest for a chance to win $1,000 to support a friend's wish. I was selected for this Tropicana Trop50 sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses
Blog With Integrity
, as I do. I received compensation to use and facilitate my post.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kickin' it up with Tabasco Original Red

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TABASCO® Original Red. All opinions are 100% mine.

I've always been a huge fan of cooking, and that hasn't changed in years. Even though life becomes hectic, I have my "go-to" recipes and I'm looking forward to busting out a few of them for the game day parties coming up. I've been using TABASCO® Original Red in recipes for years, but of course I've splashed it on so many dishes simply as a "kicker!" I've always loved it on my scrambled eggs with cheese and I've used it on pizza from time to time instead of turning to the standard crushed red pepper. The flavor the Tabasco Original Red adds to dishes is amazing!! Unfortunately I'll be at work on Super Bowl Sunday, but the bosses have already let us know that they'll be ordering a bunch of pizzas for us to enjoy, and thankfully Tabasco Original Red is always on hand! Tabasco actually has a Pizza Perfected area of their site where you can get great ideas for kicking your pizza up a notch! There are different ideas for delivery, frozen or homemade pizza, and their buffalo chicken pizza from frozen is right up my alley! Talk about YUM!!

I'll be treating some of my pals at work on Super Bowl Sunday to a few great dishes, some of which include using Tabasco Original Red! Their sun dried tomato dip sounds so delish, and I'm not sure how long it will last with the savages I work with! I'm definitely thinking about the hot and sticky orange chicken wings too! I know that's definitely something I won't be able to resist myself! What Tabasco Original Red recipes would you add to your Game-Day Party Menu?? Make sure you check out the Game-Day Party Menu recipes available at the Tabasco site to expand your spread for your friends!

Visit Sponsor's Site


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dinosaur Train on PBS!

One of the shows that Lil' Buddy loves the most is Dinosaur Train, which airs on PBS. He's a huge fan of all the dinosaurs on the show, especially Buddy, who was adopted by Pteranodons. Their adventures keep Buds attention and he loves the other dinosaurs they get introduced to!!

On the 17th, (tomorrow!!) a new episode of Dinosaur Train will premiere on PBS and it introduces us to another mother dinosaur, Millie Maiasaura, who is a little too overprotective of her little dinosaurs. In the episode, you'll learn that Maiasaura means "good mother lizard" and that they were living in North America during the Cretaceous period. They were duck-billed dinosaurs that lived in large nesting colonies!

Dinosaur Train also has items available at Kohl's, including their new footie pj's!! These pj's are super cute, and feature Buddy the dinosaur. Warm fleece footie pajamas are perfect for these winter months and I know how much my little guy loves his favorite characters on his clothing!!

I received Dinosaur Train pj's free of charge to aid in my post, it in no way changes how we feel about the program or products!!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Current Events....

I've sat here and stared at the "new post" page and attempted to write this time and time again over the past few weeks. Here I am, I've convinced myself that I have to do it. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. It must be done. Its gotta have some sort of cleansing or calming effect I'm thinking. Who knows, but its worth a shot.

Shit has come crashing down around me recently and I'm having a horrible time dealing with it. When the kids are around, I put on my happy mom face, but its all just an act. I'm a pretty good actress if I do say so myself.

As some of you may know, I split from the husband over the summer. I moved out into my own little apartment and he moved into his own little apartment. We split the kids time 50-50 and I worked my ass off when I didn't have them in order to provide for them and not take time away from them. My ex is a "recovering" alcoholic. There is no disease like it. I've dealt with it for the past 8 years and the time came where I just couldn't do it to myself anymore. I couldn't take the constant question in my head if he was going to slip up again. Over the past month and a half or so, he's slipped. There was a night I left work 4 hours early to race to his house to get my children because he was drinking. At that point, he got back on the wagon and things got better again. But I still withheld the kids from him, because I was too scared. What if something happened while he was with them? I don't know how I would deal. I filed for full custody.

In the past 2 and a half weeks, I started letting him take the kids again. He looked better, his complexion returned, he seemed happier, he seemed like his shit was coming together again. Friday the 7th, he was supposed to watch them overnight so that I could work my regular Friday night shift. About 10 minutes before I left the house to bring them over, he texted and told me not to bring them over, that he had a migraine. I knew that the drinking had started again. I didn't bring them, and I didn't make it to work that night, simply cause I had no sitter. On Saturday, I spoke with him and he confirmed that he had been drinking again, and was currently drinking. I did the usual lecturing and hung the phone up, went about my regular day. Sunday I called his parents and filled them in on what was happening. I was told not to "burn him too bad" because "he could help me one day!" Complete and utter BULLSHIT. About 10 minutes after I got to work on Sunday night, he called to let me know he was going to kill himself. Jump off of the bridge nearby and kill himself. He had nothing to live for. I called 911 and they picked him up and brought him to the psych ward.

I came to find out that he was brought to the psych ward Saturday night too, he had gotten into a fight with someone at a bar and the cops had to come get him then too. Who ever he got into a fight with, he must have really pissed off, cause they smashed his car all up. Regardless, the hospital released him again on Monday. So two stints in the psych ward over two days and they still release him? I'm not sure I get that.

I've been called some of the most mean, horrible, nasty names that I've ever heard in my life. I've grinned through it and simply laughed, because what else can I do? I've had my 6 year old tell me she never wants to see her father again. What do you say to a 6 year old that feels that way? My heart is broken for my children and I do all that I can for them, but what else can I do? He has skipped town with his parents, the next day my custody papers arrive and I need to have him served. Of course, with my luck.

I took a HUGE pay cut because I had to change my schedule to accomodate when I have babysitters. So not only did I take a pay cut, I still have to pay out to have someone watch them. I'm falling further and further in the hole.

Everyday I get up. I smile and hug my kids. I secretly sit and cry when they cant see. I go about my normal day. I try to get ahead. There's nothing else that I can do. I've applied to get help through the state, but we'll see what I qualify for. Everything is a process.

I'm humbled. I know what I'm capable of and I'm realizing what I'm not. I'm strong, but I'm not as strong as I've made myself out to be over these years. I've been knocked down a peg, but I'm okay with that I think.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Saving money in the New Year

I'm sure that a resolution that many of you might have put on your list is to save more money in the new year. Here are some really great printable coupons that just came out, and if you have a grocery store nearby that double or triple coupons, these can be some amazing savings!!


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