Monday, December 31, 2012

101 in 1001

Okay so Brandy from Not So Average Mama got this from Babes Rockin’ Mami and she got it  from someone named Amanda, but there's no link to Amanda. I did however find this site where I it all originated from...Day Zero Project

The Challenge:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.
Seems simple enough right?

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple challenges such as New Year’s resolutions or a ‘Bucket List’. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.

My start date is: Sunday, January 1st 2013
End date: Sunday, September 29, 2015

So lets get this party are my 101 things.

1. Loose 10 pounds
2. Get a haircut
3. Get a pedicure (I've never had one, sad I know)
4. Start walking
5. Get a tattoo (I've only been saying this for six years now)
6. Take down the wallpaper in the dining room
7. Paint the dining room
8. Paint the living room
9. Get a new bed for my daughter
10. Attempt to bring daughters bed in the boys room and put little man in a big boy bed
11. Bring my water intake back up to what it used to be, at least 32 oz or more a day
12. Loose 20 pounds
13. Buy myself some new clothes once I loose 20 pounds
14. Take my daughter out for manicures
15. Take the family bowling
16. Go out to Cali to see family for a week
17. Stay in Cali for another week seeing friends
18. Go to a club while in Cali since I've never been to one before
19. Get my hair colored at a salon
20. Do a hair color I've always dreamed of having but never had the balls to get
21. Take the kids to the zoo
22. Take the kids to LegoLand
23. Take the kids to the beach
24. Switch to Wordpress (maybe...still unsure on this one)
25. Get a blog redesign
26. Build a new page on my site for my giveaway listing service, you know take it to the next step
27. Take a day, or two to go through all link up sites and update everything
28. Get a job
29. Try a new vegetarian recipe
30. Try a Chinese restaurant out here and hope it's good (I miss Cali Chinese food)
31. Watch Breaking Dawn Part 2
32. Get out to Cali and spend the day with my Grandma
33. Get a puppy
34. Go to Tennessee to see my sister and her hubby
35. Cut out soda completely
36. Learn how to use my camera properly
37. Take a photography class
38. Get out and use my camera more often
39. Do date night with my husband more often then every few years
40. Clean out the garage
41. Go through daughters room and throw away broken toys & donate toys she doesn't play with
42. Do number 41 but in the boys room
43. Get more organized!
44. Be more consistent with meal planning
45. Try my hand at once a month meals
46. Learn how to shoot a gun
47. Go back out to the lake
48. Get fishing poles for the family
49. Take the kids fishing
50. Go to an Indian Restaurant
51. Get family pictures done
52. Get solo pictures of the kids since I didn't get school pictures for this year
53. Learn how to knit/crochet
54. Knit something for my daughter
55. Read 50 books
56. Take a family vacation
57. Take a cooking class
58. Learn how to properly use my sewing machine that is currently collecting dust in my closet
60. Sew something that doesn't fall apart
61. Do a wine tasting  (I've always wanted to do this)
62. Attend my very first blog conference
63. Not be late in dropping the kids off for a full month
64. Learn how to properly walk in high heels. I have like five pairs but can't walk in them
65. Play with my kids more
66.Have family game nights more often instead of movie and a pizza night
67. Learn how to make jam (I've always wanted to do this just so I can use canning jars)
68. Cook crab
69. Take another trip with just my husband and I
70. Don't eat any sweets for a week
71. Don't eat any sweets for a month
72. Completely cut out off sweets from my diet
73. Don't swear for a week (I have a bit of a potty mouth)
74. Get the kids on a routine on doing their chores!
75. Take a Zumba class
76. Take the kids on a picnic complete with a picnic basket
77. Try five new recipes in a month
78. Start a savings account for each of my kids
79. Get another tattoo (I know I already said it but I want another one)
80. Get another piercing (not sure where yet though)
81. Do five random acts of kindness
82. Volunteer at least once a month at my kids school
83. Get back into going to the library more often
84. Read a book in one day
85. Learn how to make sushi
86. Take a picture for each letter of the alphabet and make it into a book for my kids
87. Make my own fresh pasta by hand
88. Get a new bookcase for the living room
89. Get rid of the gophers in our backyard and keep them out of our yard!
90. Go back to Paris
91. Get a journal and start writing my random thoughts down
92. Get a new binder to keep my recipes
93. Go through my current recipe book and take out what we don't like/use
94. Try Silk in my coffee instead of non-dairy or dairy creamer
95. Play hookie from school with my kids and take them somewhere for a surprise fun day
96. Make a memory jar and open it on New Years Eve and read together with my family
97. Get two people to do this 101 in 1001 with me
98. Bake bread and get good enough at it that we wont need to buy bread from the store anymore
99. Start a garden
100. Don't kill said garden
101. Grown enough vegetables to be able to not have to buy vegetables at the store

There you have it. My 101 in 1001. I am looking at this list as a list of things I will do, things that have to get done, not things I hope I will do one day. I am very excited to start this little adventure and cross things off as I get them done!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Verizon Wireless Ambassador part trois

Yes you read that right I am taking on another round with Verizon Wireless and their Ambassador program. Color me giddy, I just love working with this group of people and being able to review, test out, geek out over the new devices is an awesome perk.

In this round I was sent an HTC Windows 8x phone. I will be up front and honest....I am struggling a little bit with this phone. The phone itself is awesome, I love it and I am not having issues with the phone, it's the app store. I am not sure if it's just because it's a relatively new phone operating system so it's still making it's name on the app market or what but as of this moment there are not many apps that are relative to me. Don't fret because it does have the basics, FaceBook, twitter and of course you can add your email but as far as games and a few other categories go it's still working on it. Or at least I hope they are.

Even though I am having a bit of a hard time getting used to this being my go to phone I am excited to learn all about this phone over the next three months and test drive this bad boy out while coming here to share my finds, thoughts and of opinions on the Windows phone.

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program & I have been provided with a wireless device & three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday-White Christmas

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas yesterday! We got to experience our very first white Christmas and to say the kids were excited would be an understatement.

While we didn't get nearly as much as the news had originally foretasted that didn't stop us from going out and enjoying it.

For more inspiring photos be sure to check out:

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thank a Teacher Day

There are times in life when it seems as though time itself has stopped. For many of us Friday, December 14th was one of those moments. The world as a whole filled with grief as news of the killings in Connecticut came in. As a mother I am completely heart broken over what happened, I cannot even begin to imagine the grief the families are going through and the pain of never seeing their babies again. Babies, that's what they were. Sweet innocent little babies. And beautiful courageous adults who were too someone's babies. It's tragic and something I wish that no one ever had to experience.

While I briefly discussed the events with my oldest who is nine I did not mention anything to my younger children. They are to young to comprehend everything that unfolded and I didn't feel it would be appropriate to mention it to them. I had avoided talking to my oldest about it because I wasn't sure how he would react to the news. He is such a sweet kind hearted little man and I didn't want to ruin any innocence of his but I felt that he was old enough to be kept informed of what is happening in the world today. So while I was brief and I didn't reveal many details we discussed what happened. Naturally he was sad but he reacted much better then I had anticipated. He did tell me later that night (after over hearing the TV) that listening to the people talk about what happened makes him very sad for all of those little kids. The look on his face broke me so we cuddled.

Today, I am joining in with other bloggers from across the world to say Thank You to the teachers in my life.

While my thank you was not in the form of a gift I still felt that I need to do something. I decided to email each of my kids teachers as well as their principal. I am an emotional person and I knew if I went into their classrooms and handed them a letter it would a) be wet from tears and b) I would cry.
I wrote out an email to five amazing women today. Each one is important in my childrens life and I wanted to let them know that I appreciate every thing that they do for my children. Not only do they teach them but they care for them, they love to see them accomplish things, they give them hugs when they're having a rough day, they encourage them to be the very best that they can be, they help them when they need it, they form a relationship with them and become someone they can trust.

Julie from Julieverse came up with this wonderful idea and I encourage you to thank your childs teacher today! A teacher is not just someone who sees our children for a few hours and then forgets about the, a teacher cares for all of their students and can make a lasting impression on a child.

If you would like to include Julie's image for todays Thank a Teacher Day on your story you can get them directly from her site here.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lay-N-Go Winner

First I wanted to thank all of those that entered the Lay N Go giveaway. I loved reading through and seeing who you all wanted to win this for. All of you with kids who leave Legos everywhere...I feel you, I really do. Having three young kiddos who are big into Legos, the Lay N Go has been a life saver for us.

Enough rambling, it's time to announce the winner!
CONGRATS to commenter #37 

Adrianne: I'd like to win this for my daughter!

Adrianne I will be sending you an email right now, I hope your daughter loves it as much as my kids have.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lay N Go Lite Review & Giveaway

Don't you just love when you've cleaned the kids toys up only to end up finding them everywhere five minutes later? Yeah, me neither. Especially when said toys are Legos, Littlest Pet Shop or really any tiny little toy that the kids seem to get a lot of.

Wouldn't it be awesome if there was some type of mat out there that kept toys inside a contained area yet still allowed for kids to play with them? And when the kids were done playing then you could just pick up the mat and it would become like a bag so all the toys were still contained and all set up to be easily put away? Sound too good to be true? At first I thought so but guess what's not! The thing that sticks out to me the most about the Lay N Go is that it is a Mom-invented product. Amy Fazackerley created the Lay N Go and she does all of work to make and distribute it all on her own. I bow to thee Amy, you are amazing.


This is the Lay N Go Lite. It's an 18 inch mini activity mat that converts into a carrying bag. It closes with a nylon cord, the cord locks with a closing system that you have to press down on to close and open which keeps small toys inside so you have no worries of it opening and toys falling all over the place. One thing I really like about this product is how easy it is to use, not only for me to do for my children but my children can also do it themselves. They can bring it in the car, a restaurant, a friends house or even just to play at the kitchen table. There is even a little Velcro storage pocket on the front so you can store the drawstring when closing or carrying the bag. My daughter likes to keep the drawstring out and carry it as a "purse". And it's reversible!



This is usually how things start out when the kids pull out the Legos....


The next picture would have been my entire table covered with Legos and the floor around the table and I'm sure there would somehow be some in the kitchen. I don't know how it happens, it's like they have legs and just go everywhere. But guess what, no more! This was how it went down last time. My daughter and I picked out a handful of Legos from her Lego box and placed them in her Lay N Go. She spent hours playing this way and when she was done there was no mess all over the table or on the floor. It was all contained in the same space as when she started playing. Inside the Lay N Go. Can I tell you how awesome it is not to have to clean up under the table and not have to worry about stepping on Legos every.single.time they play with them. 


When picking out our Lay-N-Go I went with a neutral color in hopes that all of the kids would use it. Since having it here and seeing that in fact all of my do kids enjoy using it I am tempted to get each of the kids their own for the holidays. While the Lay N Go Lite is only offered in five colors (blue, green, orange, red and pink) the original Lay N  Go is also offered in the same colors. Me personally, I want the pink. What can I say, I am a sucker for any and all things pink.


Right now Lay N Go is having a giveaway and it is an awesome one. They are giving away a Holiday Giveaway pack. In this gift pack of pure awesome there will be (1) Large Blue Lay-n-Go, (1) LITE Blue Lay-n-Go (1) Black Lay-n-Go COMSO, a gift card to Sephora and a “surprise” set of tiny toy pieces (hmmmm Legos maybe?) The total retail value of this giveaway is over $200.00! See I told you, awesome. Be sure to enter today as the contest only runs through December 15, 2012

And for you, my awesome and loyal readers I get to give away a Lay N Go Lite in blue to one of you! Giveaway is open to the US only and ends on December 12, 2012 at 11:59pm. I will email the winner and they have 48 hours to respond. Good luck everyone!

There are two ways to enter. Please do the mandatory entry first in order for your second entry to count.
Mandatory Entry: Who would you like to win this for and why?
Extra Entry: Tweet about the giveaway. Sample tweet:
"I just entered to win a Lay N Go Lite by @LayNGo from @Shanamama9197 You too can enter to #win"
Please leave a link to your tweet so I can verify your entry

 *I was provided a Lay N Go Lite for review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions stated above are solely my own.*

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan 12/02

I have been so very, very bad at keeping up with my weekly meal planning but today I somehow managed to get a few minutes to sit down and plan out this weeks meal plan. Here is what I have so far.

Sunday: Chicken and Mushroom Paprika served over Mashed Potatoes
I got the original recipe from my Mom years ago but have added my own little touch to it recently. I didn't make it for so long because my husband is not a sour cream fan (for shame I know) but it's a simple dish that I know the kids eat, especially if I put in extra mushrooms so it's back on the make list.

Monday: Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic
I have not made this recipe yet so this will be a first attempt for me. It calls for walnuts but since we're a nut allergy family those were instantly crossed off the ingredients list. The recipe itself looks pretty easy with few ingredients but knowing me I will add in some additional ingredients like fresh lemon juice and some pepper. You can never go wrong in adding lemon juice to your veggies and pasta in a light dish such as this one.

Tuesday: Broccoli Cheese Soup
Broccoli, cheese....need I say more?

Wednesday: Spaghetti with Garlic French Bread
I will admit we eat a lot of spaghetti throughout the year but it is a dish I never get tired of because each time it's a little different. I may leave a few ingredients out or add a few in insuring it's never the same. It's kind of fun and keeps things interesting each time we have it. I did forget to buy ground chicken so I will probably cook some chicken in the pot crock this time around.

Thursday: Blackened Halibut with Rice Pilaf
I cannot even begin to tell you how much I have missed having fish in my diet! The selection out here is...well it's just sad. Talapia and Salmon is about all that's carried out here. Once in a while you can find Halibut but man is it expensive. My husband brought home some Mahi Mahi the other week and it's already gone, I was so excited I made it twice in once week. This is my last package of fish until he brings more home and his favorite way to have fish is blackened so that's how I'll be making it.

Friday: Coconut Curry Chicken
Again very easy to make. To add something a little different and make it kid friendly I add pineapple to the sauce. The kids like the little bit of sweetness mixed in and it actually tastes really good.

Saturday: Leftovers!

If you notice a theme of simple yet filling dishes going on here you are correct. While it has not been cold out (which I find absolutely crazy since were now in December) I am still in the mood for cold friendly foods that not only easy to make but fill your stomach but keep you full and make for great leftovers. I am not going to claim they are healthy because lets face it, when it comes to Broccoli Cheese soup you aren't going to find a truly healthy version anywhere. I do use reduced fat sharp cheeses and low fat milks, but still with the copious amounts of dairy you just can't put a healthy stamp on it. But man oh man is it delicious.

It seems that I have only shared one of these recipes I am preparing this week with you all so throughout the week I will share most if not all of them with you. Not sure about the spaghetti though, that is kind of a secret recipe. We shall see though.

For now I will leave you with a picture from the last time I made Broccoli Cheese Soup. If you stare at it long enough and decide you must make it now, then by all means do. You can find the recipe here.