All About The Money

SSS collage feb 2015

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week, 15 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Secret Subject Swap


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there: Baking In A Tornado Stacy Sews and Schools The Bergham’s Life Chronicles Z Spatulas on Parade  Dinosaur Superhero Mommy The Momisodes  Climaxed Confessions of a part-time working mom Southern Belle Charm The Lieber Family  Someone Else’s Genius Evil Joy Speaks Disneyland in Kentucky Sparkly Poetic Weirdo  Juicebox Confession

My subject is “Do you think Valentines Day is a “Made Up” holiday?” It was submitted by   Here goes: 


 photo really lov eme.jpg

Well, let me think about this.  If you really love me you’ll do at LEAST one of the following…  How else can you show your love to me? This is your one big chance, so choose wisely. 

  • buy me a diamond necklace or ring
  • buy me a box of chocolates or candies
  • buy me flowers that will eventually die
  • buy puppy or kitten
  • take me out to an expensive restaurant
  • give me an expensive gift card to my favorite clothing store

Am I forgetting anything? 


 photo who cares.jpg

It doesn’t matter if you do any of the following things throughout the year… The only thing that matters is how you treat me on the Valentine’s Day. I need to brag and show off what a great man I have. 

  • tell me you love me every day
  • bring my car for an oil change
  • buy me bumper stickers that support my hatred of Monsanto 
  • pick up food when we run low
  • warm up my car on cold mornings
  • give me kisses
  • make me lunch when I’m home sick
  • call to say hello
  • wash and put away dishes
  • clean up the mess I was too tired to put away
  • tell me I’m beautiful
  • watch the movie I want
  • go out to the store at night because I’m too tired

I KNOW I’m forgetting something.


 photo sarcasm.jpg

Okay…obviously I’m being sarcastic. Yes, I do believe Valentine’s Day is a made up holiday. It’s just pure silliness. Why is it so important  to have a date on Valentine’s Day? Why is it important to go out and prove to the world that your significant took you out on Valentine’s Day.

I understand it’s about the romance, but I prefer romance every day. I prefer my husband to be kind, caring, loving, thoughtful every day instead of just one day a year. I don’t need jewelry, flowers, or clothes to know my husband loves me. I don’t need an animal or nasty chocolate (that is filled with GMOs) to know he loves me. I just need him to show it to me everyday.  So when Valentines’ Day arrives and he hands me a card, I will happily return the favor and be glad he is still my husband. He hasn’t strayed or left in all my craziness.

Now that is love and commitment. 



Plans Change and Life Goes On

SSS collage2



Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week, 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Secret Subject Swap

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there: Baking In A Tornado  Spatulas on Parade Stacy Sews and Schools The Bergham’s Life Chronicles Dinosaur Superhero Mommy Confessions of a part-time working mom  Juicebox Confession Someone Else’s Genius The Momisodes Climaxed  Sparkly Poetic Weirdo Cluttered Genius Southern Belle Charm Evil Joy Speaks


My subject is…It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the time that _________. It was submitted by Here goes: 

It was the time that I forgot that plans change and but life goes on… 

Here we were Christmas Eve, which was already bitter sweet with my sister and BIL celebrating in their new home in Texas. Yes, they relocated from NY to Texas. It all happened pretty fast and while I am happy for them, I miss my sister. Life goes on though, right? I know we will get to seem them during holidays and I plan to visit them over the summer with Dino. It’s just weird knowing that she is not a hour away anymore, but across the country. Changes happen and we must keep moving forward making new memories.

This Christmas instead of celebrating with them in their condo, like we normally do, my parents were coming up to our apartment to celebrate with us. Since my apartment is pretty small, we were all going out for a Hibachi Dinner. I am glad I didn’t cook. Why? You’ll see as you read on.

It was a fairly quiet Christmas Eve morning with Dino unusually quiet and not eating much. He said a few times he didn’t feel good, but he was still playing and rolling around like he does. I didn’t think much of it though, eventually Dino and myself get ready. He looked so handsome in a red and black plaid shirt and gray pants. Once he’s dressed he starts complaining even more that he’s sick. This is not new, for the past few weeks Dino kept saying how sick he was feeling. Soon we realized he was only sick for a short time and started milking it to stay home and hopefully have my dad come up to watch him.  One morning, I reached my limit…after complaining he was sick again I explained that Daddy and I had to go to work, Pop Pop had doctor appointments, and if he was really sick I would have to drop him off at the hospital and pick him up after work. Suddenly he was better.

Therefore when Dino kept moaning about being sick Christmas Eve morning, I thought nothing of it. I truly thought he was pretending. Then all of a sudden he got pale and started moving around like he WAS sick. I knew something was up, but before I could act he was in the bathroom throwing up all over the toilet…not much going in the toilet.  His Christmas outfit was done, the bathroom was a mess. I took care of our sick boy while Hubby cleaned up the bathroom. I called my parents to let them know the change. Sadly Dino did visit the sick bucket two times. We ordered Chinese food and I ate sparingly feeling queasy myself. It could have been in my head, but the after Christmas I was sick. Maybe it was nerves, maybe it was stress, maybe it was something Dino passed on to me. I do know that I continued to feel not 100% percent better the rest of vacation.

So is life with kids during the holidays. We make plans and I forgot that nothing is set in stone.

I took for granted that my sister would always live close by…now she is too far away. I wish I had done more with her. Sadly life gets in the way and we forget what truly matters. Life goes on and I now have to save money since Dino and I do plan on visiting them in Texas for a few days over the summer.



Love that my BIL Phil is always looking down at Anthony…too cute.

Making Elf on the Shelf FUN and MAGICAL

elf collage

In a previous post for a Secret Subject Swap, I wrote about we use the Elf on the Shelf in our home. You can find that post here.

I allow Dino to hug, hold, kiss, and put Scooby Doo back on his designated shelf to sleep or relax. I want Dino to have power over his own actions and choices, I want Dino make know that Scooby Doo is not some creepy elf, but part of the magic of Christmas. Scooby Doo doesn’t report back to Santa with all the bad things Dino did, he only looks for good things and wants to remind Dino it’s Christmas time.

I decided to capture Dino posing with Scooby Doo each time he found him, as a way to make the fun continue and have wonderful memories. Besides, I will need to remember those hiding spots next Christmas.

Day 1

Day 2

day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day  14              Day 15 Day 16 Day 17


linking up with….


Secret Subject Swap

SSS collage elf

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week, 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Secret Subject Swap

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there: Baking In A Tornado The Momisodes Spatulas on Parade Dinosaur Superhero Mommy Stacy Sews and Schools The Bergham’s Life Chronicles Evil Joy Speaks Juicebox Confession  Confessions of a part-time working mom Silence of the Mom  Sparkly Poetic Weirdo Climaxed

My subject is: Your elf on the shelf recruited some friends in the off season. Every morning you wake up and all sorts of shenanigans have taken place. Tell me about it. It was submitted by Here goes: 

The past two years it was all about our elf “Scooby Doo” reporting back to Santa on Dino’s behavior. Then I realized that it took away from the spirit of Christmas and made Dino less likely to enjoy Scooby Doo and more likely to resent him. This year it will be different. This year instead of Scooby Doo hiding in places Dino can’t reach…(which he will lose his magic if he does) I will hide him in places Dino CAN reach. Scooby Doo is a playful loving elf who wants to remind Dino that Santa is watching and only looking for when Dino does kind and loving things.

Scooby Doo will NOT be naughty, just playful!

So let’s see what shenanigans Scooby Doo got into with his buddies.

First night Scooby Doo came back after visiting Santa. Not sure why the pic came out in a red tone, I am hoping to get a new phone that takes better pictures. Scooby Doo, sock snowman, and dinosaur (which you can’t see) were looking at the pictures Dino drew in his small notepad.

elf on shelf

Scooby a mini t-rex, a mini soilder, a power ranger, and a rescue bot all helped each other drink the rest of the chocolate coconut milk Dino left on the TV stand. Dino was so happy to find him, he hugged and kissed him.

 elf drinking milk

Scooby Doo, Sock snowman, Froggy, and Buzz all decided to neslte in some warm towels for a good night’s sleep. Please enjoy the messy top shelf of the wicker basket, no need to thank me…it’s my pleasure.  

elf on shelf towels collage

Scooby Doo, Teddy, Water Dino, and Snowman all drew pics on the table with one of Dino’s markers.

elf on shelf tablecollage

I got a new phone with a ROCKING camera!!!!! Finally clear pics!

I got the Samsung Galaxy S5 and so thrilled with it! I decided to go back to a contract after the pre-paid phones just weren’t up to the same quality. 

Now back to the Scooby Doo and his buddies. 

Scooby Doo was using a minion’s fart gun while the minion, monster puppet, another snowman sock laughed and egged him on.

toy basket elf collage

Scooby Doo, Spider Man Head, and Minion are hanging out, eating fruits and playing with the fart gun. Yes, Dinosaurs’s pajama shirt is on inside out. Yes, there is that meme of Jack Nicholson not giving a f&ck on our wall. Why? Well, why not? 

fruit bowl collage

Scooby Doo, Spider Man head, several transformers, one Rescue Bot Human, Orange Robot, Monkey, and Minion were all looking at one of the spiders in Dino’s Killer Spiders book.

elf table


The number of spots to hide the Elf and surprises he could get into are becoming more challenging…but it’s fun. Though a few just as I was falling into a deep sleep, I had to jump out of bed and hide the elf… 

The cute part is, Dino puts him back on the picture frame shelf every time. He can’t get him to sit up, so he lays him down. When he gets home from schools, Scooby Doo is sitting up! 




Must Haves & Mom’s Day

 mom day main  collage

This week’s Listicles is 10 Wardrobe must haves…

I WAS going to list all the essentials I have in my closet. Though that seemed silly that I am now between clothes sizes now that I am losing inches and gaining muscles. Therefore I am listing all the new clothes I will need for the rest of spring, all summer, and the beginning of fall.

1. two summer dresses that I can also wear in June and September

2. two light weight pants I can wear in June and September

3. two capris

4. two shorts

5. two skirts

6. summer shirts

7. three to four good sandals (thanks to my mom for buying those for me

9. new undergarments 

10. lots of tank tops 


Hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day yesterday, I know I did. Tony originally had to umpire in the evening…but the games were cancelled so we all had the day together. 

I started at the gym (climbed 22 flights of stairs on the stair machine) and worked with free weights. Then I went off to Whole Foods and had a morning snack, while I crochet and listed to an audio book in the car. It was so quiet and wonderful. I didn’t have to answer any questions or share my food. 

Then I spent the day with my men…it was a quiet and sweet day with just the three of us…and Balboa and Nemo.

I got the best Mother’s Day gifts…wooden turtles that Dino and Daddy painted. I LOVE turtles and was so happy to add them to my collection in the curio cabinet.

At daycare Dino made me some super adorable and loving gifts. He had to write four reasons he loves me…and he picked such sweet and caring things. What a smart and lovable little dude I have.  In case you can’t see the writing…”She gives me new toys, She brings me to do sports, She reads me books, She scratches my back at night before bed.” 

mom day gift collage


Dino had so much fun hanging out in the beautiful weather. He was in his glory. He made a mud swamps for his dinos and superheroes and created a pool of mud. I wish I had taken pics of it. I had to clean it up…but we had so much fun. Can’t think of a better way to spend Mother’s Day. I will definitely cherish these moments. 

mom day fun collage

What are must haves in your wardrobe? How was your Mother’s Day? 


linking up with

Mommy Monday Blog Hop


Our Meal Plan April 19th – 25th

meal plan main collage

I posted my weight/inches on Saturday. I’ll post every Saturday Getting Healthier and Stronger for my son 


From now on all the foods that I eat, use for lunches, and cook with are either NON-GMO or organic. Sometimes a food can be organic, but unless it has the seal of NON-GMO then you know for certain it is 100% clean.

I know organic/NON-GMO foods are SUPER EXPENSIVE. It’s sad and ridiculous that we have to pay more for clean food. I work hard to keep my foods within budgets and can find good sales on some items at Whole Foods. Though I save the most by buying from the bulk section.

Here are great sites for how to save on organic. How to eat organic on a budget. Practical ways to eat well when you can’t afford organic.  Dear Mom who can’t afford organic.

HOPEFULLY with Vermont now requiring GMO labels on all “Food” products, other states will follow. Perhaps if all states DO follow, the big food industries will STOP putting unsafe additives in food, provide healthier choices, and organic will become more affordable and the mainstream food in all kitchens. 



I have been getting into the habit of cooking dinners the night before. It saves me time after coming home from work. I can let it cook in the oven or slow cooker while I eat, play with Dino, get ready for the next day, and do our nighttime routine.

Sat Dinner Pasta, sauce, and leftover porkballs
Sun Dinner Easter
Mon Dinner take out (Karate presentation)
Tues Dinner  homemade split pea soup, ham, carrots, and couscous
Wed Dinner roasted chicken, potatoes, veggies
Thurs Dinner  chicken and barley soup with veggies
Fri Dinner  leftovers

Sat Dinner:  I never thought I could have pasta sauce again. Then I started going to Whole Foods and buying their non-GMO products. I was amazed that the next morning I was NOT sick, but feeling great. That just further proves to me that eating clean foods is the way to go. 

pasta and spaghetti collage


Sun Dinner:   

We had a wonderful Easter at my mom’s house. We had brunch and Dino LOVED being able to run around in a bigger house and yard.

easter page


Monday– Since Dino had a karate presentation in daycare, I picked up two slices of pizza and we ate in the car after I picked him up. Then we went back in for his karate show. He of course was the loudest and craziest one, but that is my Dino. 

karate collage


Tuesday– Using dry split peas from the bulk section of Whole Foods and the ham bone my mother gave me from Easter, I made split pea and ham soup. It was DELICIOUS. I added fresh rosemary, cilantro, dill, and parsley, with some other seasonings, as well as carrots and couscous after the soup was done. 

pea spoup Collage

Wednesday – We had lefter over soup and pasta. Dino eagerly awaited the pea soup, he scarfed it down again. I tried to get him to dip some bread in it…but he’s not a dipping kind of guy (unless it’s chicken or fries).

leftover pea soup collage


Thursday – We had my new favorite…roasted chicken with veggies. I get so much chicken out of this meal…we can make soup, and chicken salads with the leftover. 

roasted chicken collage


Friday–  leftovers 

Instead we went out to our favorite place to eat…Prime Burger…as always it was delicious and hits the spot.


I won’ be posting pictures of lunches anymore. This week I just kept forgetting to take pics. As soon as I was done packing lunch and cleaning the kitchen, I just wanted to sit down and chill with Dino and Balboa. I will list all our lunches, but not include pics anymore.

Dino’s Lunches:

  • white bread with ham and cheese and mayo
  • pizza from school
  • turkey, ham, cheese roll-ups, with guacamole and chips
  • chicken salad on bread
  • tuna salad on bread

Dino’s Snacks:

  • french toast with mango slices
  • grilled cheese with orange slices
  • chips and carrots with hummus
  • oatmeal with raisins and cranberries
  • apples, carrots, pears, or oranges
  • pretzels
  • cookies
  • homemade cake or brownies


Mommy’s Lunches:

  • white bread with turkey and cheese and mustard
  • turkey, ham, cheese roll-ups, with guacamole and chips
  • tuna and guacamole with chips
  • chicken and guacamole with chips
  • chicken salad or tuna salad on bread

Mommy’s Snacks:

  • cereal with almond milk and either banana or raisins
  • apples, carrots, pears, or oranges
  • pretzels
  • cookies
  • homemade cake or brownies


Tuesday Tastings Continue reading

What’s New?

all new

I am going to do my best to keep blogging and reading blogs…I took a long needed break and hopefully got organized and ready to stay organized.

This week’s Listicles:

NEW TOYS: that need to be find a place to where they won’t take up too much room.

school bus magnets hess truck hat and gunNEW CHRISTMAS CARD: I really loved our card this year, it really captured Dino’s personality.


NEW CELEBRATIONS: Each year brings new celebrations and joys. To start off this year, Balboa’s 8th birthday was on the 5th…time sure if flying around here.

frameNEW POUNDS: all the delicious food that was hard to deny and now sits on my body

NEW MEMORIES: Dino once again surprised me and understood more about Christmas this year. It was wonderful to watch and live this holiday through his eyes.


NEW CHALLENGES: as to what to buy family and friends AND making sure the magic of Santa lives on for our son

NEW CLOTHES: with gift cards I stacked up on clothes and undergarments from Dress Barn and Soma…so excited.

NEW PEAPOD SERVICE: you all know I use Peapod, but now they have pickup in addition to delivery. By picking up my order each week, I don’t have to pay for a delivery fee…that’s a savings of $7 a week!

Free - no pick-up fee. Pick-up your groceries free. No minimum.

NEW ORGANIZATION: set up a meal plan, pantry organization, coupons to get and stay organized. Though let’s not forget, to save money, as well.  Sunday Coupon Inserts is a great service, for less than a dollar each you can purchase all the coupon inserts.

meal lan collage

Sunday Coupon Inserts

NEW ATTITUDE: A new year brings a new beginning, new start, new choices…I know I will be able to rock my routine and stay organized.

linking up with

Mommy Monday Blog Hop

Waking up in Love Actually

Secret Subject Swap

 Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:                            Baking In A Tornado                      Home on Deranged               Evil Joy Speaks                         Writer B is Me            Discovering Me                      Confessions of a part-time working mom                              Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                         Moms Don’t Say That                          Spinster Snacks            Black Sheep Mom                  Spatulas on Parade                             Just A Little Nutty

My subject is “Falling asleep in front of the TV, you wake to find yourself living in your favorite Christmas movie or TV special (from any decade). Which one are you in, and how do you spend the day?” It was submitted by Here goes:

WOW…what a great prompt…I knew immediately what Christmas Movie I wanted to be in…Love Actually! I JUST LOVE that movie…especially the ending…wow. Now how would I spend the day? Well, I tried to write this a million times and just couldn’t come up with a plan without destroying the movie and since I love it so much I couldn’t do that. I know I have issues. In the end I decided to show my favorite parts of the movie, and which characters I would like to be.

The ending…one month later at the airport

But let’s not forget the song before that…one of my favorite Christmas songs…All I Want for Christmas…

I can’t help but dance around the room like a fool

If I HAD to hang with one of the characters, then it would be Natalie and David. Why? Well, she is who she is and doesn’t make any apologies. She’s curvy, loves life, and is so flipping cute. She gets the man who everyone else wants…and how does she get him? By just being herself. Bet they are a couple that just loves each other and ignores all the negativity…for they have love and that is all that matters.

David and Natalie

friends with Aurelia and Jamie…what a love story. Despite the language barrier and bleak situations, they both knew what they had to do. In the end they found love…swoons. You know they are truly committed to each other, not like his lying cheating ex-girlfriend and brother.


Our Elf is Back

CollageIt’s that time again…for my story. Our elf, Scooby Doo, is back and he’s hiding and watching me. I think I’ve been a good boy. What do you think?

He hid in mommy’s cabinet with all her little figurines, on our tree playing with ornaments, on our living room shelf in the remote control holder (and had evidence that he ate a Hershey kiss), sleeping on our kitchen cabinets, and hiding in our snacks while eating veggie stick.

We have fun looking for him every morning. Mommy and me also open another day on our advent calender that La La bought for us.


It’s my turn to hide…Can you find me?

hidingHere I am!



CollageDino had a blast this Halloween

He had a party at daycare where he got this as his favorite treat. His teacher, Ms. Kate, made this little trail mix for them…anything with poop is golden! Dino was in his glory eating ghost poop.

1031131719aThen we went trick or treating in town, thanks to a friend on Facebook, we knew the times we could head out for some Halloween fun. He was excited by all the costumes, but we saw LOTS of little kids as Iron Man and one Captain America, but no Hulk or Thor. We saw a HUGE banana, birthday cake, and Lego piece. Next year Dino wants to be a monster or an Avenger…at least he has a whole year to decide.

spiderman web graphics smile graphics leaves graphics

getting ready for battleHow was your Halloween? Did you get to go trick or treating?