Minutes may seem to go by slow or fast, but they are all sweet. Once they are they are gone. Come along with me on my adventure of mom, teacher, and wife.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

product testing-Swiffer 360

I've have signed up with a website called Vocal Point. They send you products to test with some coupons.  I recently just received a Swiffer 360.  I wasn't sure about recommending it or not.  So here is what I found.  It works great, but it gets dirty quick. I have severe dust allergies.  I'm very sensitive to dust flying around. So I would have to have a ton of those refills.  The 360 part is great and it picks up dust great.  It is gentle enough to use on electronics and your finer items without having to move them and doesn't leave smudges.  I just can't get a whole room done with just one. So I recommend to have on hand for for a quick dust.  But for your regular to heavy duty dusting.  I would still use a spray and dust cloth.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Consignmnet Sale: Selling Tips

Consignment Sale: Selling Tips

I've consigned, worked, volunteered and help run a consignment sale. Fall consignment sales are in full swing and I thought I might share some tips that will help with either current sales or getting ready for spring sales.  Many consignment sales you cannot enter in your items year round. Which means you have mounds of stuff to enter in all at once. This can be overwhelming which aids in procrastination.  A vicious cycle.

Tip 1: I started sorting as my son grew out of things.  Donate, Sell, and Toss.  Any thing that I wanted to sell I was hanging up in the spare closet.  Many of you have a wire rake in a basement.  This helps because you will know how many wire hangers you need and keeps the clothes is better shape. (Most sales require wire hangers.  So keep it easy and simple and just have everything on wire hangers.) 

Tip 2:   Keep all your clothes and shoes in size order as much as possible. Trust me it makes it easier to tag and to load in your stuff at time of check in. 

Tip 3:  Do the same with toys and books.  Clean them.  Make sure  all parts and pieces are gathered together and attach properly with ziplock bags and packing tape.  Most veterans to consignment sales do this already.

Tip 4:  I took this a step farther.  I wrote down as I put items in storage.  So I have a handy list of all my items that I'm going to sell.  And I sit down with my list and enter in all my information that I need and I don't have pile surrounding me.  I also don't have to worry about the cats laying on them or my son getting close with that chocolate ice cream cone.
Tip 5:  Your items will sell better if they are neat and tidy.  So button, snap and zip everything up, and iron out any wrinkles.

Friday, June 3, 2011

summer fun at splash parks

 I love going to these destinations because the summer heat  is stinking hot and it is a quick way to cool down.  I usually bring our lunch or supper and and then let my son pick out treats at a concession.  I love it when there are play grounds near by to help with changing things up.  Always check the playground equipment  before your kiddo uses it.  Because even semi-shaded equipment can get too hot for little legs.  As always bring sun screen and towels, and maybe a change of clothes.

Centennial Park 
These fountain are great fun.  They have shows 4 times a day.
Daily Shows at 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.  Which the fountains are set to music.  The playground is not that far away.  If you want to picnic here.  I suggest bringing a blanket. The Cost is free.  But you will have to pay for parking or ride Marta.

Piedmont Park
Has a new fountain area for the kids to run through. 
Promenade at Piedmont Park featuring Legacy Fountain
Admission is free.  There are also two playgrounds at the park.
Just have to find parking or use Marta.
Parking can cost up to $15 at the garage.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens
In the Kids Garden the have a fun place for the kiddos to cool  off.  The price is admission to the park $18.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids ages 3-12.  Also they recommend using the Sage Parking Garage which can cost up to $15 to park. Or there is always Marta.

Roswell Parks
Roswell has two splash parks.  We have been to both and we have had a blast!  There is concession and picnic places and playgrounds nearby.   I recommend bringing your own chairs. 
•    Splash ‘n Play at Riverside Park
575 Riverside Road, Roswell, GA, 30075
10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Closed Tuesdays for maintenance and Private Rentals
•    The Spray Station at East Roswell Park
9000 Fouts Road, Roswell, GA, 30076
10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Closed Wednesdays for maintenance and Private Rentals

Spraygound Fees
•    $1 per person, 1 year old and up (infants are free)
•    $1 - Adult in the water area with infant or child
•    Free - Adult entering with paying child - on deck only
•    $25 per person individual pass* - one sprayground
•    $30 per person individual pass* - both spraygrounds
•    $30 per family pass* - one sprayground
•    $60 per family pass* - both spraygrounds
•    $20 Individual/$40 Families to add both spraygrounds to your RAP pool pass*
*Passes are valid for the 2011 season
Please call 770-594-6134 for more information and to make your reservation.

In addition to these there are fountain or spray parks in the following locations. Suwanee, Duluth, Gainesville and the Mall of Georgia.  I found a great article which seems to have links to all these locations here.

Friday, May 20, 2011

$1 Summer Movies

 No more Free Summer Movies only $1 movies, and only two Theater Companies are offing this great deal again.  Bummer.
Depending on the location of your theater and the movies offered that day will depend on when you need to get there. 
GTC (Georgia Theater Company) also offers special pricing on kid drink and popcorn. $1.50 each. These will be typically shown Tuesday and Thursday Morning,  but double check your location.

Regal Theaters are also offering the $1 kids movies, but there is not any specials on food.  These are typically shown on Tuesday and Wednesday Mornings, but double check your location.

Most Movies are Rated PG though there are some that are G rated.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Companion Gardening

Companion gardening is not gardening with a friend. But rather pairing two or more plants together that will benefit each other.  Mother nature is very wise and has had natural defenses.  Unfortunately it is not an exact science and so some say it is mythical. So I would still keep that insect spray.  Most gardeners agree that diversity helps your garden.  But I'd rather be diverse in ways to keep the insects and disease away then rely on pesticides alone.

Tomatoes are great for your back porch and easy to grow. So here are some plants that are said to help with Tomatoes. I've highlighted some of what I think might be some the top plants to plant with you tomatoes and why. 

Marigolds- I've been told is a wonder plant.  Helps keep out small animals like rabbits and squirrels and helps keep out many other host of bugs.  They will not harm any other plant. They work great as a border plant.  It has also been my experience that they are easy to grow from seed. Let the flower die off and brown on the plant then when it is dried out pick it.  It contains tons of little seeds.  The seed are long sliver in shape. Save for next year or open up and plant for more.

Basil-Is reported to help repel disease and insects, and improves growth and flavor.

Most gardeners agree that flowers that attract pollinating bees and birds are a must. If you don't have those pollinators you will not see fruit.

Here are some other plants that are considered good for tomatoes: oregano, parsley, carrots, Alliums, celery, Geraniums, Petunias, Nasturtium, Borage, any type of onion or chives. But some are only good when the plant is just starting to grow and must removed. Also others are considered "trap crops" which distractes the harmfull bugs to it first.  The trick here is that you will need to destroy these plants with the bugs at the right time if harmful bug are going to it.  Eekk not sure I'm up for that yet. 

Here is the thing. each website has a bit different list and each have a different twist as to what helps what and why.  As I said this is not an exact science.  But I'm going to share with you some of the links I found that might help your research on what your trying to plant.
Personally it looks like I need to move my chili pepper plant with my tomatoes and get a couple of basil plants.  Then get a couple of rosmary plants to plant with my green beans and cucumbers. I've already planted some marigolds and will be transplanting some more once they have sprouted a bit.

Wikipedia, GardenToad, About and Dave's Garden
Here is a paper about orangic growing done by UGA. It doesn't go into companion gardening, but it does go into crop rotation.  And gives you a  list of "families".  From what I can tell ... this is what companion planting is based on.

Based on last year.  Marigolds did help.  I still had to watch my plants and sometimes apply a soap and water mixer to the plants.  This year I did put my old soil in my compost so that next year it might be used again. Also used coffee worked great on my tomatoes as a quick fertilizer. So I'll add some herbs this year.  I've added marigolds to my other planting areas.  I will still look into fencing and other natural ways of getting ride of pesky or bad bugs for my plants.
I do have to put a quick disclaimer here.  I am a novice gardener. As I am researching and having to spend time at the computer, I'm sharing my findings. One thing I've figured out is what works for your garden may or may not work for mine.

Have fun planting!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Allowances and Chores

Allowances and Chores
This topic seems to be a touchy one, at least the allowance part. We determined for our family right now that we were not going to an allowance per say. But with certain chores done money will be received. Part of this is to find out what chores my son would like to do and what he hates to do. So I've researched and I've looked at tons of charts.
And part of that comes with knowing what chores are appropriate for your child's age. So I developed a responsibility chart.
But many of you like me on other people chore charts will say (or think)... I want your back ground information! Because every family will want to do things differently and you might want to even tailor your list per a child.

My favorite is from Organizing Junkie in this particular blog she has a link to another web-page that has responsibility by age. Brilliant!
Since doing this research I have fallen in love with her blog ( Organizing Junkie) and inch by inch and baby step by baby step I'm be coming more organized.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

VBS 2011 and some camps

I've looked into the VBS's around me. It is not as easy as I thought it would be. There are gaps in some of this information But after emailing and calling this is what I have come up with.  If you have more information or would like to add a church to this list ... feel free to contact me or just add it into the comments. I will be updating as I get more information. I've put these in Alphbetical order since some churches offer more than one VBS and then there is the summer camps.

St Catherine's:  Theme: Hometown Nazareth – Where Jesus was a Kid June 27-June 30 1pm -4pm, ages?, $? (they have charged in the past)

Cumberland Community Church: Theme: The Great X.periment July 18-21 5:45 pm-8:30 pm age: rising K through rising 5th cost: FREE
Camps: Christian Youth Theatre Summer Camp
Veggie Tales Ages 3-5 June 13-17, 10am-12:30PM Cost $100.00
Annie: Age 5 to 5th Grade June 13-17 10am-3pm Cost $150.00

East Cobb UMC: Theme: Hometown Nazareth: Where Jesus Was a Kid!Date June 6-9 Time: 6 pm-8:30pm  Ages?  Cost: $15 per Child.   A snack dinner will be served from 5-6 pm and cost $3 per a person with a $12 family limit.
Camps: Their Light House Academy does have a  summer program.

Eastside Baptist:   Theme: Son Surf Beach  Age Range? Cost: Free
Kick off is Sunday, June 26, 5:00 P.M.
V.B.S. is Monday, June 27 – Thursday, June 30, 9:15 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.
The finale is Thursday evening.

Faith Lutheran : Theme ? Date June 6- 10 Time: ? Cost?
Summer Camps is through the schools Daycare.  Cost Varies.

Holt Road Baptist Church:  Currently, they are planning on VBS on Sunday nights for the month of July - all ages.

John Knox Presbyterian Theme: Shake it Cafe Date:June 13-17 Time: 9-12 Ages: PreK through 5th Grade.  Will sometimes accept 3 yr olds. Cost$10  To Register Call the Church 770-973-5050 ext 21.
Camps: They have 9 weeks of summer camp called CASA.  $150 a week.  Here is a link to their flyer.

Johnson Ferry Baptist
Sort of has a VBS... they call it Playcation. and it is June 20-23 I takes place at various Apartment Complexes and Parks. Time: ? This year theme is Superhero. Thursday Night there will be a special by Team Impact. Cost: FREE

Camps:  So many variations of age and cost... check out the links.
Overnight Camp

King Springs Baptist    Theme: Big Apple Adventure Date: June 6-10 Time  6-9 pm, Ages 3-12th grade (3/4 yr. has a limit), Cost is FREE

Mt Bethal:  2 VBS's and various camps
Theme: Shake it Up! Date: June 6-June 10 Time: 12:30- 3:30pm Ages: 4 (turning 4 before 9/1/2011) thru rising 6th graders. Cost: $20 if the parent teaches all week, $25 for members, $30 for non members.
Theme: PandaMania Date: July 11-15 Time 9:30-12:30pm Ages: 4 (turning 4 before 9/1/2011) thru rising 6th graders.  Cost $20 if the parent teaches all week, $25 for members, $30 for non members.
Summer Camps:
Infusion: June 19-24 Overnight Camp to Lake Burton for Rising 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders Cost $400-$425 depending on when you register.
Sports Camps.  Date, Cost and Ages varies.
Music Week:  July 18-22, 9am- 1pm, This year we are doing 101 Dalmatians.  Open to rising 1st through 6th graders. T-shirt and lunch provided each day. Performance is Friday, July 22 at 7pm. Cost ?
PreSchool Camps:  Date, Cost and Ages Varies

Mt Paran North They have two camps the same week.  One is for Preschoolers/ Kindergartners and one is for Grade School Kids.
PreSchool: Theme Pandamania Date June 13-17 Time: 9:00am-noon Ages 3-K graduates Cost $25
After care is available: 12 noon-3:30 p.m. $5 per day per child , 12 noon- 6 p.m. $8 per day per child

Grade Schoolers: Theme: Performing Arts Camp “GPS- God's Plan of Salvation,” Date June 13-17 Time:  9:00am-3:30pm,  Ages: completed grades 1-5. Performance of GPS is on Friday, June 17 at 7 P.M. Cost: $50 per child includes lunch and a snack each day and camp shirt. 
After care is available from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. for $5 per day per child.

There is a Summer Camp called Mountain Top Summer Camp.   There are 10 weeks of camp.  
The cost is $100.00 a week.  A one time $50.00 non-refundable activity fee for each child. The camp is open from 8:00 am until 6:00pm. You will need to pack a lunch for your child.  There will be some food items sold at the concession stand.

Powers Ferry UMC: Theme: PandaMania Date:June 6-10 Time: 9:30- 12:30 Ages 3- 5th grade

Smyrna 1st UMC This Church several things going on, but there is not much information regarding their camps. 
VBS is June 20-24 9-12noon and have different themes by age groups. Cost ?
For Rising 4 yr olds thru rising 4th Graders: Shake It Up Cafe
For Rising 5th & 6th Graders: Xtreme VBS
Camps:  I'll give you the links for registration and once I have more info I will post.
Camp for 3 yr olds
5 Day Camps (Rising 4 yrs thru rising 4th grade)

Friday, April 1, 2011

VBS's and Day Camps

The search has started.  I know of one VBS that my son loves and we will go to again.  Powers Ferry UMC VBS is June 6-10 in the mornings and is free.

Since he is now 5 there are more options, and honestly I'm a tad overwhelmed. So here is a chance to post your favorite VBS's or day camps. Please add dates, times, cost, and links as applicable.

Thanks Fellow Moms!

Spring Break

Our first Spring Break!
And what to do. Well the week has filled up fast. And I thought I was going to get bored.
The first part of the week we are going to go to Stone Mountain.
I highly recommend looking into Stone Mountain Annual Passes. We really have a blast there. And in the second trip they pay for themselves. But there is a special offer on-line right now for 30% off a family of 4 day pass.  Admission Ticket info.  Some of the regular fun things is the Sky Hike, miniature golf, train rides, antebellum village (which has some animal shows), and 4D Theater.  They have an awesome playground.  There are also some museum type stuff too. Oh and of course there is the mountain.  Going to the top is quite cool.  If you choose to walk bring lots of water, wear tennis shoe, and be ready to carry your kiddos.  Bringing your own food and drinks will save you a ton of money!

Next on the Agenda is Lego Store.  The Lego Store is at Discovery Mill Mall in Lawrenceville.

Every 1st Tuesday of the month they have a free mini model build.  It starts at 5pm and will go until supplies last, which around 250 models per a store.  Even though this is free, I except I will be buying something. The Mini model this month is a watering can.
Last but not least. Nashville.  My husband has a business trip at the end of the week and we will be tagging along. I've not really figured out what we will do there yet. So if you have going with kids and have an inexpensive ideas. I think the Parthenon is something to check out.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Chicken and Corn Chili

( I actually made this using turkey that was left over.  I am always cautious about using magazine recipes.  This one turned out soo good!  And is definitely on my rotation now for using left over chicken or turkey. )
Chicken and Corn Chili

From Family Circle Feb 2011

Makes 8 servings, Prep 15 min, cook 16 Min

2 T olive oil
1 Large Onion (I used dried onions and onion powder)
1 green bell Pepper, cored and chopped ( I finely chopped mine)
1 t ground cumin(I added a bit more)
½ t ground coriander (I didn’t have any so I left this off)
½ t chili powder(this is not a lot of heat, very very mild.)
1 can (14.5 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained.(since I was crock potting I did not drain)
1 ¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bit size pieces.
1 box (10 ounces) frozen corn, thawed (if using canned, drain)
2 cans (15 ounces each) Cannellini (or white kidney beans) beans, drained and rinsed
¾ t salt
Shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat, add onion and green pepper. Cook stirring, 5 min.Stir in spices, cook for 1 min.
2. Stir in chicken broth and tomatoes.Bring to a simmer. Add chicken. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
3. Stir in corn, beans and salt into pot. Heat through. Spoon into bowls and top with shredded cheese.

If you are using left over chicken and want to us a Crockpot...do step 1.Then add to a crockpot.Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes (I did not drain), chicken. Covered and put on low for about 30 min to an 1 hr. Then I stirred in the corn, beans and salt. Covered it and kept it on low for about 30 min. Then spooned into bowls with cheese on top and served with corn bread and crackers… so good.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

painting classes?

So if you have read blog  ... you know I love to paint.  But I don't have much time to do this...

Recently it came to my attention that there are these new "classes" that you paint on canvas or wine glasses and you get to take it home right away. brilliant! I asked my hubby for this form my Christmas gift. Here is the place I went to. Cork and Canvas in Roswell, GA 
Here is my tree that I painted and the tree that my friend painted.  The cost is $35 a canvas.  They also have a kids program on certain afternoons.

Indoor activity

Here is an indoor activity that will help take out some of the wiggles kids get when it has been rainy and cold for three days straight.
I have a long hallway some tape and beanbags.  It doesn't take out all of a boy's wiggles, but it helps.   Not shown here, but I also taped out a tic, tac toe board.  I taped a big x on one side of the bean bag and the other side is the o side.
Making obstacle courses with pillows and such is another great indoor activity.  Especially when they are old enough to help with putting it together.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

PNO- Parents Night Out

One of our local Churches is holding their Parent's Night Out this Friday.  We so take advantage of these.  They are usually inexpensive and great childcare.  We call them Kid's Night Out in house.   
Make your reservation.  They do fill up.  Here is the info.

 Friday, January 21st
Ages: Infants through 5th grade.
Bible Lessons - Music - Snacks - Games
Cost is $5 per child, $15 max per family.
Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Limited space.
New Family Registration Returning Family Registration (2010)

  (770) 971-3052
  675 Holt Road NE
  Marietta, GA 30068

Thursday, January 6, 2011

a homemade christmas gift

  So last year I created one that said love in bright yellow.  This year I did joy... next year peace or hope.

  These are quite simple and quite complicated at the same time. I've used pre-painted white mdf board.  I get the larger size and cut them into the correct sizes.
  Then I spray paint them white.  The ends don't take well to the spray paint so I paint them with craft paint.  This give it a nice glossy finish.

  Next I tape out a border and the lettering (once the white paint is dry first of course).  I've noticed other artist are using a screen printed method to do this.  Since I'm not mass producing I just reuse the lettering.  Sticking it on wax paper when I'm not using it. 
  To achieve the lettering I first did the letters on the computer and printed them out.  Since Joy was a short word I was able to fit it on one sheet. I then put the blue painters tape on wax paper and then taped the page to the wax paper.  (I taped mine together) then cut out both paper and wax paper with tape at the same time.
  Next I spray paint on the final color.  Usually 2 coats.  Once the paint is fully dry you can remove the tape. The kicker is if you mess up you have to throw out the board and start over.  With mdf you can sand it down and redo.

GA Aquarium tickets $15

Georgia Aquarium tickets for $15 a person. This deal is not quite as good as mommy and me passes, but there are less restrictions.  Like you can go on weekends and there are less blackout dates.   So we can go as a family. But you have to us them by March 13th. These type of passes that you buy online are great, because you print it out at home and you don't have to wait in the really long line, just the short line. Have fun fishy looking.