Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Resoactoaltions!

I've always known that the New Years brings Resolutions. I mean, most people make them right? I've made a few in the past and they have worked out well. One year I lost 30 pounds by just comitting to eat better and working out more.

Well over the years I have also learned the controversy of Resolutions.

People Say:
"Don't make Resolutions, it's too much pressure to keep them. "

Okay then ~ No Resolutions

So what goes in place of those Resolutions? Well how about Actions?

People Say:
"Well if you make an action list, it's just a big list of to-do's. Besides, they aren't actions they are goals".

Okay then ~ No Actions

So no resolutions and no actions, we're onto goals.

People Say:
Well goals are just desires, the true word is intentions. What do you intend on doing this year, not what do you want to do."

Oh what the hell, can I just have my resolutions, actions, goals and intentions all lumped into one? Well I say I can by making up a new fancy word: Resoactoaltions!

I think if anyone has the motivation to make any Resoactoaltions, they should call it whatever they want. So here we go, my Resoactolations for 2011:

Be more organized: I am pretty sure I start out with this resolution every year as Christmas wraps up and I feel like I am drowning in clutter, papers that I've thrown on my desk over the past month because I have been too busy to look at them and the toys in my kids room which I swear are starting an army to take over the house because there are so many.

Lose Weight ~ Okay, is this one not on like 60% of women's Resoactoaltions list? And we can blame this one on Christmas too. Because if it wasn't for these blasted sugar cookies, fudge, pie and other goodies that we make or have around the house we would not be feeling like a big fat blog.

Be More Active ~ So this is my solution to goal number 2. It's funny, when I was watching my baby nephew I was so much more active I actually made time to hike and get to the gym. Now? I blame it all on um something that clearly isn't my fault.

Work on THIS Blog! My other blog has grown and I have neglected this little baby right here! Even if it's just a quick one, I'll do my best to blog everyday. Crap did I really just say that? I swear I'm gonna try!

Make More Money ~ I plan on continuing to put my skills and talents to good use and utilizing them to monetize.

Grow my idea of a Bake it Forward Project to an action ~ More details on this one soon!

My ultimate plan to make all this happen is hod myself accountable with a journal and by blogging about it I know I can make these Resoacotlions happen!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What Comforts Me...then and now

A few months ago you saw a post from me about Brian losing his job. At one time, I viewed a job as comfort and security. At one time, I thought that having a job would mean the world would be right. Our world would continue to go around and everything would be great. It was definitely a wake up call when we were knocked on our hineys and having a job was in fact not what was our security. In fact, it was nothing to us all at that point.

As weeks went by we were brought back to a humble reality. Vacations, extra curicular activities and what once seemed to be important purchases were all frivolous and pushed to a further reality. We quickly realized how fast all of those things just didn't matter. What mattered was the little things. We focused on how we could spend time together as a family and how we could do the funnest things around for the least amount of money.

It's been a hard couple months with stress, worries and tears. But what brings comfort to me now isn't how much money we have in the bank. It's how lucky I am to be blessed with such an amazing family. I have 2 healthy, smart adventurous kids. It warms my heart to know that my kids and I can have fun bouncing through the fall leaves. We can lay around in our pajamas on a Friday and have a movie night.

This past Halloween, we carved pumpkins that we got for a few bucks and that was the highlight of our weekend. We created Halloween costumes for only a few dollars. It was more about the experience, not about the candy or the costumes. What comforts me is knowing my kids understand what it means to be genuine. What it means to be humble. What it means to be family. It brings tears to my eyes that I am so blessed with a fiancee who has been by my side through thick and thin. That my kids understand the true meaning of what family is, and what it means to stick together. It comforts me when my son earns his allowance and hands it to me saying it's okay, he doesn't need it. What comforts me, is love.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Kleenex blogging program, making me eligible to get a $40 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween ~ Pumpkins and Costumes

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Not so Wordless Wednesday ~ Climbing that Hill

I recently took my 1 year old nephew to the park to capture some 1 year photos. The mission proved hopeless in about 5 seconds out of the stroller. This boy just wanted to run around and have fun!

I then thought, well I could turn this into a wordless Wednesday post.

Baby Ethan started up a hill and my initial thought was "oh this could be bad", but I let him venture up this hill.

As he walked up the hill, just so excited, I thought about his mission. At that moment his mission was to climb that hill. He fell down a few times, he laughed it off and got back up and hiked up to the top. When he got to the top he was so excited. He looked back at me with that excitement of "Look what I did!". He then ran down the hill and onto a new mission.

This photo opp now had me reflecting on my own life. What was my "hill" that I was trying to climb. How many times have I fallen? How excited would I be to finally accomplish that mission? Right now, I actually have a few hills. From my losing weight mission to the balancing act of parenting/school/work etc mission and some personal battles I am dealing with these are all hills I am working to climb. I get pretty stressed out sometimes and feel like just throwing my arms in the air and saying "Forget it!" (but probably with an obscenity or two in there). I often get frustrated thinking that my "hills" are just too high to climb.

Baby Ethan had me look at life, just a little differently.

Life is about climbing that hill!

Life is about new experiences, scary or not.

Life is about having fun!

Life is about resting when we are exhausted from climbing that hill.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I survived Girl Pandamoneum, The Allergy Monster and the Bad News Bear

So last week was quite a busy one with a lot of chaos. I really don’t blog on my personal blog enough. It’s not for the fact that I believe no one really reads this blog but I just don’t have time. With this week’s events, I thought surely I have got to blog all of this chaos. So here I am, letting you see a sneak peek into my world.

It all started a couple months ago, when I received a deal alert for $10.00 concert tickets with no fees. What?! This deal fanatic can’t pass up something that good. Imagine my disappointment when the only thing in Phoenix was Jonas Brothers. Hmmmm. At that time, my daughter was 9. She isn’t the biggest Jonas fan, in fact her love for them is pretty minimal. She will tell you her favorite band is the Beatles and she really isn’t into the “tween” bands. I’ll be honest, this warms mom’s heart because I’m not into them either. But I decided to buy a few tickets, give her a chance to experience a concert where I know there will be no illegal activity, foul language and a bunch of angry teens pushing eachother. I’m okay with her experiencing this, but let’s just push that back a few years shall we? So I buy the tickets, thinking she’ll bring a friend. I gave them to her on her birthday in August and asked her to invite a friend. After repeatedly asking her if she will invite someone, I never got an answer.

Well my welcome to Tween-hood came on the day of the concert around 2:30. Phone Rings:

“Mom, can “friend” come to the concert?”

I don’t know honey, I would have to talk to her mom, please have her call me.”

I hang up the phone and think, well nothing like waiting till the last minute. Phone Rings:

“Hi, this is “friends” mom, the girls told me to call.”

“Yes, Adrienne has a ticket to Jonas Brothers, would Allie like to go? She can come as long as you are okay with her coming in late.”

“You mean, like to school tomorrow?”

“Umm well I meant to your house but if you want her to spend the night, that’s okay.”

“Oh ya, that’s fine let’s do that.”

I’m now thinking, did this mom just pawn her child off on me? Hmmmmm. At this point, she is now giving me the list of 100 things her daughter can not eat. Okay kids, change of plans for dinner, Mcdonalds it is. I’m also thinking well, I am sure that my daughter proposed this as a package deal of spending the night as well so I think I just got suckered again. Great, the house is a mess and that 1 hour nap I had planned on doing before enduring the heat at an outdoor concert with screaming girls is now cancelled. I’m now rushing around to do a quick clean up so my daughter is not embarrassed when I walk in her room and it’s a disaster. Mom is suckered again because daughter knows she can not have friends over with a messy room. Sigh.

So on to the Jo Bros concert. I will say, it was not that bad. My dislikes of the concert actually surrounded Disney. Why Disney thinks a late night concert on a school night is a good idea is beyond me. Not to mention they played at an outdoor venue. WHO thought that would be a good idea in the AZ summer really needs a job change. I thought the show was good, for the age group and I think the girls had fun. I got used to the screaming as soon as we sat down and realized it was non stop. These little girls were crazy, some were jumping fences! I mean like 7 year olds. It was crazy and my confession here is that I actually bought a $14.00 margarita. I had to, I really did.

After surviving the Jo Bros, the next day I treated myself to some Sushi. Some people say God has a sense of humor. I like to think he had that when he decided what I would be allergic too. Growing up, I thought I was blessed. Not a single allergy. That was until the day my little sister acquired Guinea Pigs. I developed asthma and I would not dare hold one because everytime I did, I ended up in the hospital. Hey I was a teen, it took me a couple trys to figure out what the deal was. The bad news with that was I had to share a room with these dang rodents until I moved out at 18. 2 years of pure hell.

In my adulthood I developed an allergy to pineapple. But the funny thing about that is I can have pineapple flavoring or even better, cooked pineapple .But if it is raw pineapple, forget it. My tongue breaks out in hives and it sucks. The last allergy I have I actually figured out this year. Cuttlefish. What the hell is a cuttlefish anyways, right? Well one day while enjoying some sushi like I always did, I decided to try something new. Mistake. The allergy took over with watery eyes, swollen throat and itchy skin. Well quickly my memory fades because 2 months later (which was this week). I had the same roll not knowing or remembering that Cuttle Fish was in there. I got to spend my one day off itchy and miserable, waiting for benadryl to take over so I can sleep it off. Luckily, I survived.

After a medicated nap and an evening at church, we received a call and it was some bad news. Nothing I will actually tell you guys about but it really, really really sucked. I think the hardest part about being an adult and receiving bad news is having to be the one to figure it all out and carry that happy face so the kids have no idea there is something wrong. After thinking about it and coming up with some solutions, we’re moving on. We’ve swallowed the big ass pill and we’re moving on. Because really we have no choice.

So with all this chaos, it really just makes my life so much more interesting and well it gives me something to blog about.

The Big 3-0 ~ Happy Birthday to Me!


It's official, I am 30 years old. Do I feel any different? Um, no I do not. I remember thinking in my late teens that I knew by the time I was 30, life would be over. Back in my partying days where stayin up till 4 AM was the norm and going "clubbing" was an everyday thing. When birthdays were a big deal and I couldn't wait until I turned 21.

Birthdays are now "forgettable" and just another day. Does anyone really make a big deal out of "adulthood" birthdays? I was feeling like I should plan a big "event" for my 30th birthday, I mean this should be a big deal right? If you are a mom, you know planning anything for yourself is nearly impossible. Sometimes birthdays can be fun even as we grow older. But I am not old, my life is not over. It's just um, different. In fact, tonight I am staying up all night long, pulling an all nighter! See I am not old! I could do this! I wish that I had some really great reason to stay up, and well I do but it's not so glamorous.

I'll be starting my birthday festivities at 2 AM. I will be waking up my 10 year old. I know, excitement just became shock. When I wake her up we will be celebrating by watching movies, playing video games and making cupcakes. It might not be glamorous but good quality girl time is awesome. Why 2AM? She is having an EEG done at the hospital at 7Am. She must be sleep deprived with only 4 hours of sleep. I know staying up all night and spending a birthday with a sleep deprived child is ideal for everyone, but I couldn't imagine better festivities.

After the EEG we will be enjoying some breakfast and then coming home to sleep. Really, it's gonna be a pretty good day.

We're praying for some good news, please keep her in your thoughts!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kinda Wordless Wednesday: Double Digits

Just 10 years ago, you were born at 12:30 in the morning. It seems like these 10 years have gone by so fast, it's hard to believe you are such a beautiful young lady.

I love you so much and every day with you is such a blessing. You are my sunshine!

Happy 10th Birthday Baby Girl!

P.S. mom's shameless cupcake plug

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

5 Favorite Family Time Ideas

These are my favorite family time ideas:

  1. Wii ~ Love playing games like Lego Starwars and Toy Story 3.
  2. Puzzles and Boardgames ~ We love to get around the table to do puzzles and games together.
  3. Camping ~ We like to get outdoors where we can disconnect from technology. Fishing and swimming in the lake are a lot of fun with the kids.
  4. Swimming ~ It's hot in AZ and we love to cool off.
  5. Movies ~ Lounging around and watching a movie with some popcorn is a great way to unwind on the weekend.

About LEGO®:

The LEGO Group is a privately held company based in Billund, Denmark. The company is still owned by the Kirk Kristiansen family who founded it in 1932.

The LEGO Group is engaged in the development of childrens creativity through playing and learning. Based on the world-famous LEGO brick, the company today provides toys, experiences and teaching materials for children in more than 130 countries. The LEGO Group has approximately 8,000 employees, and it is the worlds fifth largest manufacturer of play materials.

Join LEGO® on Facebook at
LEGO Games Challenge:

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and LEGO blogging program, making me eligible to get a prize pack. For more information on how you can participate,

Monday, August 23, 2010

Shock, Security, Pity Party and the Mental Vacation

Over the last 3 days, I have taken a mental vacation. Originally we were supposed to head out of town but lets back up to Friday. Friday started like any other school day with rushing around, Brian had texted me and asked if I wanted to meet up for coffee. I assumed we were talking weekend plans or something else surface level.

When he called, that is where the shock and lack of security started. He said his boss had called him and he had 30 days to transition out of his job. What?! I just sat there, before I knew it I was crying and was pretty much speachless. I was shocked, no warnings, no lead in just.....that's it. I was laid off due to a medical issue less than a year ago and we truly rely on Brian's income.

I don't want to get in the details, we're talking with a lawyer and there really is so much anger towards the company I am not ready to let it all out. But where we went wrong is relying on Brians job as security for our financial being. He'd been with the company 13 years, a manager for at least 7. We counted on him always having this position. In the past year we had been working on being debt free, using our savings to pay off debts. We've been working really hard at getting a brand new house. In the last 3 months we've invested the remainder of our savings in house and car repairs. We thought, we could build our savings up again since we've done this well to now.

It was like being hit by a truck, a wake up call saying there is no such thing as security when you rely on others. It really is up to us to create our own security. We had relied on a steady income for so long, we never even thought that we were using the sense of security with the job. I didn't know what to do, we decided we needed a couple days away. We packed up the car Saturday and were ready to head on out. Then, the car does not start. Seriously?! We spent more money on a car battery, we took it as a sign and stayed home. After my short self loathing and pity party I shut off the computer for the weekend.

Instead we enjoyed a weekend in, being lazy on the couch and taking the time to clean up the house. I worked on packing up my bags for Be a Good-Girl campaign to donate used goods to others. In the end, we are truly blessed. Our house mortgage is extremely lower than others here in the valley. Our kids are happy and healthy. There isn't anything we are "needing" right now and we know Brian can get a job very soon. I know that there is so much we are blessed with it's hard for me to not recognize that. I am glad I took the mental vacation even briefly. I plan on using the rest of the week to be proactive in so many things.

Have you lost a job? How did you deal with it?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

5 Important Lessons Every Kid Should Learn

As my kids get older, I wonder why they haven't learned some important lessons by now. Such as:
  1. Do not put your toys in the toilet. The toilet is not a pool for your boat or your spider-man action hero. Nor will they make it to the ocean in an attempt to flush them there. Please keep bathtub toys to bath tub time.
  2. Do not hit your brother or sister. Hitting your sibling, then saying you did so because there was a bug on them does not fly with mom. Nor does saying it was because you saw a VW or giving them a "hurts donit". Love eachother because in the end, family is all you have.
  3. Do not attempt to bathe the cat with the water hose. The cat may retaliate in ways you do not want to see. What the cat would love is some gentle pets and an occasional treat. Treat others how you want to be treated.
  4. Pick up your toys after every use. Because if mom stubs her toe on one or trips because of one, it will not turn out well for anyone in the house. It also prevents them from getting taken away or taking a trip to the dumpster. A clean home is a happy home.
  5. Have Fun! Being a kid may seem hard, but have fun and love it all you can while you are still young!

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Nanny
McPhee Returns blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift
card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Kids are Back in School: The Sound of Silence

I'm back from Blogher and also happening this week past week, my kids started school again!

I love them dearly and we had such a fun summer, but I was so busy I got off track with my regularly scheduled programming.

Now the the kids are in school, I will:
  • Commit to my workout routine. 3 times a week in the gym and/or running.
  • Plan and cook more home made meals.
  • Connect with my mom friends on a regular basis.
  • Increase my blog posts on both blogs, including doing my own challenge of 31 Days to a Better Blog since I fell off the map with that one.
  • Enjoy my one day off each week, I will take time each week to do something just for me.
  • Work on my wedding plans! Look for my upcoming series on Wedding on a budget that will run on both blogs! P.S I will be looking for guest bloggers and ideas.
What do you plan on doing when the kids go back to school?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ~ A Somewhat Rainy Day

We don't get too many rainy days around here lately, the kids wanted to take advantage of this one!

I've linked up at, see some other wonderful Wordless Wednesdays there!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

NYC and Holiday Roads, Here I Come!

In the next few weeks I have a couple of trips coming up. I will be attending Blogher 10 in NYC and doing a Roadtrip with the family to the mountains of AZ for camping. I always find myself scurrying at the last minute trying to get things done. I am determined to start packing at least 1-2 weeks early (which is right about now).

I have started making various lists on note cards including dates and categories of what to pack and what we need to bring. I tend to over-pack because I prepare for unexpected instances such as colder weather or the car breaking down. I'm hoping that for NYC I can narrow my choices down since we will be taking a train in but I will be true to form probably and over-pack! I'm also always nervous I will forget something!

My packing categories include:

  • Snacks
  • Clothes
  • Toiletries (makeup, lotions etc)
  • Camera Bag (you might not think this needs a category of it's own, but for me it does)
  • Emergency
  • Entertainment
  • Doggy Travels
For our camping trip, our dog Star will be attending so it's important that we pack her items too! Treats, dog food, harness, bed etc.

The kids will be staying with Grandma when we go to NYC so there is another list to make! I'm hoping to make these next two weeks as least stressful as possible.

I'm not really a planner, I'm more of a spontaneous spirit so if you have any traveling tips, please share them!

Are you going on any trips soon?

What do you do to prepare for a trip?

What do you always have to bring when you travel?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ~ Where Pet Rocks Come From

Check out other Wordless Wednesday posts and link up your own at

Monday, July 19, 2010

31DBB: Day 1: Elevator Pitch

I have joined up with SITS Girls to do the ProBloggers 31 Days to Building a Better Blog Challenge. Follow me through my journey of 31 days to a better blog through my personal blog, and my business blog. Today we are doing "Elevator Pitches".

What is an Elevator Pitch?
“An elevator pitch is an overview of an idea for a product, service, or project. The name reflects the fact that an elevator pitch can be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride (for example, thirty seconds or 100–150 words).” —Wikipedia

In the Ebook ProBloggers 31 Days to Building a Better Blog , he lists out in bullet points how to write a great elevator pitch. He writes about how the elevator pitch can be everything from your tagline to "pitching" your blog to others. What do I say about my blog in around 150 words (more more or less) when describing my blog to others in about a minutes time frame.

A pitch, this goes back to "selling" and "branding" myself. I use "taglines" and pitches through out my blog and social media sites for I actually have a couple:

On "Helping Your Pennies Makes More Sense" and the one I use on Twitter is "I Love Being Cheap".

My elevator pitch on that blog is (or many bio if you will)
"Helping busy moms become more savvy with spending money and the products they buy. Showing you how to receive the latest deals, coupons, and freebies, saving you time and money!"

For today's challenge though, I need to create one for this blog. I came up with

"Mom to a spunky 10 year old daughter and an adventurous 6 year old son. Blogging about the craziness of a getting married while blending a family with 4 kids and whatever life brings, through words and pictures in the Sweet Land of Chaos."

My original elevator pitch lacked descriptiveness and uniqueness, let me know what you think of the one above!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ~ Fire Truck Fun

This is actually from June, I am a little behind on my WW. These pics were too good not to post. We attended a birthday party in the park and the group had gotten a firetruck to come show off to the kids, they had a blast.

That is my daughter, making "foam" angels and my son making "foam" pies.

I can't even tell you what this was that the firetruck sprayed out, but my kids did have that clean car smell when they were done.

I'm linked up at

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Post Bloggy Bootcamp: 20 Things...

20 Things I wish My Mom Would Have Told Me Before I started Blogging
Important blogging lessons learned after Bloggy Bootcamp

No, my mom doesn't blog. But as I learn things through my blogging career, I can hear words I heard as a child and relate them to the life lessons of blogging.

1) Think Before You Speak
Have a clear plan of what your blog is going to be about. Think about what points you would like to cover in your blog. Have a blogging goal for over a certain amount of time, what you would like your blog to accomplish in that amount of time.

2) Be authentic. Be True. Be You.
Be original, do not try to be like your favorite blogger. No one likes a copy cat. Your blog should represent you and your "brand". Your blog should be consistent with what you want to represent, make sure you stay true to yourself! People are looking for uniqueness, something no one has done before!

3) Don't Be Shy
I am a shy person, especially when you meet me in real life. I've learned to put myself out there when talking to other bloggers and readers. Social Media has been a big help in "breaking" the ice, I love talking with other bloggers on Twitter, it's almost an addiction now.

4)Say Hi to the Neighbors
If you read a blog, especially faithfully and you enjoy the posts, make sure you comment on the posts. It really does show the blogger someone is reading, when sometimes they think no one is reading. Who doesn't like comment love?

5) Don't Gossip
Don't use your blog to air out your dirty laundry about something or someone you don't want everyone in the world knowing about. Even though the blog is yours, and you have the right to post your words, they can come back and bite you in the A$$. Think before you hit that publish button.

6) Don't Lie to Me
Be honest, readers can see your fibs, so just don't bother because it's not worth damaging your reputation. If you are going to talk about a "source", make sure your sources are accurate.

7) Do Your Homework
The "blogosphere" is always coming out with new things, make sure you research and stay in the know of what is what. Join online communities like Blog Frog to interact with others and learn about what is going out.

8) It's Okay Not To Be Popular
Don't let "numbers" determine who you see yourself as a blogger. Quality is what makes a great blogger.

9) Kids Are Going to Be Mean
Okay, we're not in school anymore so really I shouldn't even need to use the word "mean" but sometimes, the drama flows in the "blogosphere". When you have a large amount of women together in a world such as the "blogosphere", there is going to be disagreements and a difference of opinions. Just roll with it.

10) Suck It Up and Be Tough
Being a blogger, having "thick skin" is a necessity. Every blogger will have it happen, someone will say something to them that hurts their feelings or a person or company may have an issue with what you are saying. In the end, it really is going to be okay so it's better to just brush it off and move on.

11) Show Me What You Are Talking About
Providing pictures in a blog allows readers to relate to your post. You don't need a fancy camera, just some good lighting and maybe a tripod. A clean photo at the beginning of your post can help the reader determine in 3 seconds if they want to read your blog post.

12) Go Make Some Friends.
In Bloggy Bootcamp we learned about tribes, a group of blogging friends where you stay faithful in commenting, sharing and learning from their blogs. It's almost like belonging to a blog sorority. I now have blogging friends who blog about an array of things, and we are truly a "tribe" of friends.

13) No One Is Going To Do Your Work For You:
When it comes to increasing readership on a blog, it's the blog owners job, no one else's. I know I was guilty of complaining about no-one reading my blog, even a little pouty. Network and market your blog to gain readership.

14) Sell Yourself
Well, I am not sure mom would have said that but hear me out. I've learned that when I contact companies/PR reps and other potential sponsors, I need to have a good "pitch". It has to directly tell them what I am looking for, and also tell them how working with me can benefit them. Put together a media kit that entails who you are and what you represent in the blogging community.

15) Join Social Activities
Social Media sites such as Twitter and Facebook have been such a great networking tool for me. It allows me to promote my blog and interact with other blogging friends. Twitter allows me to search and see what companies and blogs are up to.

16) Mom Said No (But I'm going to keep asking)
When I ask a number of companies to work with me in my blog, I have to be prepared for 100 no's before I hear a yes. I try to not get discouraged when I do hear the word no or when I have not heard from a company. When you do hear a no, politely thank them for hearing you out and make sure you ask them to keep your contact info for future opportunities.

17) Clean Your Blog!
A clean layout is so important, less clutter the better. When I first started I had buttons everywhere, I have since created pages to host those buttons on to make a cleaner front page. Make it easy for your readers to concentrate on your blog posts and not the chaos going on in the side bar.

18) Turn That Music Off!
I've never had music, but I have seen others with it. The majority agrees, music should not be on your blog.

19) Stand Up For Yourself
You run the blog, the blog doesn't run you. Practice time management and other life balancing skills to make sure you are keeping confidence in your life, all around.

20) Location Matters.
The almighty ruling amongst bloggers when it comes to "Blogger VS Worpress", Wordpress is the best platform. When you self host on Wordpress, you own the blog and the contact. When you use Blogger, they own your blog and they can shut your blog down if they see fit. Do research before you "hop" on the wordpress train, make sure it is for you. If you are going to switch to Wordpress, take your time and if needed, it is worth paying someone.

Post Bloggy Bootcamp Pt. 1 ~ The Awesomeness That Continues

In May, I posted about my ventures to Bloggy Bootcamp, A Blogging Conference run by the Sits Girls. 2 months post the conference and I am still thankful at the opportunity to go. I learned an incredible amount of valuable information that it still rings in my ears. I can tell you each of the speakers names and what they taught me as valuable information. The passion at the conference was just in a word "awesomeness", and I still feel that awesomeness.

With the information I learned, the conference motivated me (extremely if I may say) to increase my blog posts on Super Saving Sense. Here are my numbers post conference (the conference was on May 1st):

My goal is to post at least 100 posts at Super Saving Sense blog in July.

Along with the information learned, being able to network with other bloggers was probably the most valuable thing I was able to take from this conference. I am currently friends in real life now with so many bloggers. In fact, we have formed into a local networking group. Before going to this conference I was having a hard time making "blogging" friends and tonight, I brought dinner to a blogging friend in need I had met at Bloggy Bootcamp. It has really turned into a "sisterhood" of bloggers.

If you are interested in finding a Bloggy Bootcamp in your area you can check here: . Bloggy Bootcamp is great especially if you have never been to a blogging conference. There was only 100 bloggers and the smaller setting allowed for less "chaos". But even if you have been to one, it is still an awesome experience. Sits Girl Tiffany is working on the details for a Bloggy Bootcamp for November in Utah which I would love to attend, yes again ;-)

Stay tuned, On July 19th, I plan on joining a number of the Sits Girls Bloggers in doing a challenge titled "30 Days to a Better Blog", influenced by the ebook from Pro Blogger. I am going to use this opportunity to not only work on Super Saving Sense but this personal blog needs a major motivator. A 30 day challenge with others is just what I need to help me get in touch with my "personal" blog.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Random Act of Kindness ~ Water for the Homeless

Notre Dame Club

As the summer heat approaches, please join St. Joseph the Worker in keeping homeless individuals hydrated. Consider hosting a water drive or donating bottled water.
  • Summer temperatures will reach 120 degrees.
  • In 2007, there were 50 heat-related deaths in the Phoenix area.
  • Homeless individuals are especially susceptible to heat-related illness and death.
  • Water will go to St. Joseph the Worker and the Human Services Campus, which provide services to over 1,000 homeless individuals each day.
Water donations are welcome throughout the summer. Call 602-417-9854 or e-mail about donating bottled water.

My aunt has committed to collecting 200 cases, I just purchased 6 cases @ Smart and Final. If you are in the Phoenix Area, please considering donating to this cause. If you are interested in a pickup, we can arrange a meetup!

Read about Thirst Aid HERE

Kierra's Courage

I met my friend Christy many years ago through a Mom’s Group that we were both involved in. She had 2 boys, Gavin and Kevin. About a year later, Christy and her husband who is in the Air Force announced that they were expecting a baby and they found out it’s a girl!

I attended the baby shower for baby Kierra and I came to see her at the hospital the day after she was born. I remember holding her thinking she’s such an adorable baby. At about 7 months old Kierra would experience something that would change her life and her family’s lives forever.

While her dad was deployed to Korea, Kierra had to be rushed to the hospital. She had been born with a Metabolic Disorder which meant her body could not process and break down fats. While at the hospital, Kierra had stopped breathing and had spent time without oxygen or a heart beat. After this event, the doctors informed Kierra's parents that she would be in a vegitative state, and at some point told her that Kierra would not make it. 2 years later, Kierra and her mom Christy are still fighting. Her full story can be read here:

At one time before Christy was pregnant, we happened to be talking about my daughter who has seizures. I remember Christy saying to me “I don’t know how you do it, it seems so scary and I would not know what to do in your situation”. Today I look at Christy and it honestly brings tears to my eyes of how strong of a woman she is. She is such a powerful advocate for her daughter Kierra by making sure she can do everything for her that she can possibly can.

Today Christy works hard fund-raising for a Handicapped Van for the family. She works countless hours writing letters, contacting potential sponsors and taking care of Kierra.

Please check out the following sites that Christy has created for Kierra:

Kierra’s Fund-raising Facebook page is HERE
Kierra’s website is HERE
A recent article published about the family can be seen HERE

Please take the time to read her story and if you can, please donate. If you “like” her Facebook page you can view the upcoming fundraisers that are happening. On her webpage you can find the paypal donate button. Any and all amounts are appreciated.

Please pass this on to others, thank you.

Another reason I am writing this is to nominate her for a Makeover at Dolce Salon. If you are interested in writing a letter to Dolce for Christy please contact me, she deserves this more than anyone I know.

Random Act of Kindness Week ~ Moving Past the Pity Party

Last week I posted about how I was having such a hard time with balancing kids and life in general. Well over the following two days, I broke down in tears, I was truly feeling just how hard it was to do everything. Towards the end of the week my perspective started changing and I was realizing how fortunate I really am.

I may be a single mom but I am fortunate to have such a great FiancĂ© to help out when he can. He’s always there and offers help in every aspect of my life. My kids are extremely busy with activities but I am so fortunate to have 2 beautiful kids who get to participate in activities. I’m so blessed to have a mom that will finance the activities that my kids participate in. I may be unable to purchase things because of other financial obligations but how fortunate are we to have a steady income and a house with a low mortgage that we can afford. I may get frustrated that I have so much “crap” in my house that I have to organize but I am fortunate enough to even have stuff to organize.

This week I am going to feature some people who truly need an uplifting presence in their lives by either making a difference in others lives or by falling on hard times due to an unfortunate event. I’ll be passing on my blessings through blogs for others.

I know that this blog has a very tiny following but if you wouldn’t mind passing on the posts this week to others I would greatly appreciate it.

Help for a Blogging Mentor

If you are a blogger more than likely, you have a Mentor. Someone successful in writing in the "Blogosphere" that you look up to and hope to be as successful as one day. One of my mentors is Melissa @ She rocks the money saving posts!

Recently, I had the honor of meeting her @ Bloggy Bootcamp and she is one of the sweetest people out in the "Blogosphre" (in my opinion).

That’s me on the right and Melissa is on the left.

While she was at work today, Melissa's house had flooded and everything her and her family owned (including her recently purchased home) is ruined. Her family is safe and that is the good thing, but starting over is never easy physically, emotionally and financially.

Check out what Monica over at Mommy Brain is doing to help raise money for Melissa and her family here:

If you can donate anything, please do so. Also, please pass this link along if you can. Thanks so much!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Manic Monday ~ My Balancing Act of Motherhood This Week

I try really hard to not over-commit to things as I have been known to take too much on. Well the week had barely started this morning and I was already in tears by 9:00 A.M. In an hour I woke everyone up, made breakfast, made lunches,applied sunblock to kiddos, filled waterbottles, got everyone dressed, remembered to get myself dressed, picked up my baby nephew, saw my daughter off to camp, took my son to his rec camp, got a call that my daughter was not appropriately dressed for camp, went home to find her clothes then ended up at a mindless coffee session with my friend that started with tears.

This week I will be:

Watching my baby nephew,Taking my Son to Rec Camp daily,Taking my Daughter to horse camp daily,Taking my Daughter to Swim Team practice daily, attending 2 doctor appointments, going to my daughters Swim photo shoot, church on Wed, swim meet on Thursday and hoping to get out of town by Friday. This of course is the "readers digest" version.

How do moms of many kids or kids in a lot of activities do it? Even better, how do blogging moms that have all of this going on manage to get blogs in?

I'm feeling overwhelmed and ready to nap before it's even noon. I am lucky to have Brian help me out when he can but since he travels for work, it's hard to juggle it all myself.

I'll do it, it can be done this is just my self pity party for today. I guess lucky that baby E will nap for about an hour allowing me to either clean or blog, today it's the blogging that makes me feel better. And yes, it could be worse, I've been a full time single mom before, I can do it part time for now.

I am desperately seeking a clone, if you know of where I can find one please let me know.

-Sara, living in the land of Chaos

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ~ A Sad Loss of Nostalgia

The house I grew up in, where I spent 18 years of my life and the house my father grew up in, was set on fire this weekend. Here is a couple of pics, everyone got out okay, it is just a very sad loss of nostalgia for me. The house will be repaired and sold, eventually.

I'm linked up @