Apr 192014
 

 

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After 14 months of not selling Scentsy, I took the company’s offer to come back for free.  Easy peasy!  Its an amazing product, easy to sell and who doesn’t like their house to smell amazing?

Something new that Scentsy has begun doing is a “bundle”.  They did one for Easter that sold really well, and they have come out with another for Mother’s Day.     You can view both the Easter Bundle (available until April 30th) and the Mother’s Day bundle (available through May 31st) here:  https://lorivann.scentsy.us/Scentsy/Buy/Category/1604

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Apr 172014
 

 

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As we were climbing into bed the other night, Patrick showed me the photo above on his phone.  I know in his heart he meant well, but I was thankful the lights were already off so he couldn’t see the tears welling up in my eyes.   I quietly asked if any of those were true about me, and he said “all but one really” (I don’t have a fear of succes).   I am a HUGE people pleaser, and will go out of my way to make sure that someone is happy.  He knows that because I tend to do that to him.  The other night we were making salads for dinner, and he asked if we had any ham.  When I said no, I immediately said “but I will run to the store right now if you want some”.  I got “the look” from him, and even though I protested and said I could run really quick – I was immediately shot down with “the look”.

Some of what I do is the result of past hurts….doubting myself, negative self-talk.  When those things become your norm in your life – you learn to live with them as your norm.   I personally don’t think I am a procrastinator, I tend to be a bit of a control freak when it comes to having a plan.  I have been known to pack for a trip 3 days in advance (while some people pack the morning of..LOL).    Negative thinking – yep, been there, done that.  I am my own worst critic, and always have been.  Its always been “what did I do wrong” versus “what I did right”.  

I know I need to stop doing the things above….because I am only hurting myself.  I have come a long way in the last few years from the anxiety riddled person I once was.   And I certainly hope I continue to grow stronger every, single day. 

Apr 152014
 

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What is Swagbucks you ask?  According to their website Swag Bucks are the web’s premier digital dollar. Accumulate at your own pace and redeem them for exclusive Swagbucks.com prizes.

It’s so very easy.  Instead of using google or another search engine, I go to Swagbucks.com website and search from there.   Randomly throughout the day I am awarded”bucks” for searching – it’s totally random, and the amount is random as well.  Some days I get 6 swagbucks, somedays I have gotten 12 or more.

The item I go for is the $5 Amazon.com gift cards.  They are 450 swagbucks, and while that seems like a lot – I have been getting one every 4-5 weeks.  So far I have $25 worth to put towards Christmas gifts (if I can make it last that long!)!  All for doing something I’d be doing anyway.  I joined Swagbucks in 2009, rather skeptical – because I’ve seen points programs come and go over the past 15 years online.  However – this is one that I am consistently “cashing out” and getting my gift cards.

You can also earn Swagbucks by doing a daily poll on their website and earn 1 buck per day.  Here is the poll from yesterday:

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There is also a tool bar you can download, and do your searches right from there.  I find that easy to use.  Even if I know the website address – such as facebook, I will do a search for facebook and sometimes I am awarded Swagbucks for a website I was going to go to anyway!  Also on the toolbar is a message section where you can get messages from TSG (the swag guy) that will contain codes for Swagbucks (anywhere from 3 on up), or clues to where to find the codes.

I know many of you have asked about it when you see it on facebook saying I’ve earned some Swagbucks.   Check it out, use it and cash out for an award – it’s very easy to get the “lower awards” (like the amazon e-gift cards) just by doing the searching, daily polls & finding the swag codes.

If you have any questions, let me know – or just check it out by clicking the banner above!

 

Apr 032014
 

I had a chance (once in a lifetime I am sure) to go see the action on Pro Day at Williams Brice.  I got to see some former Gamecock athletes as they worked out for NFL scouts and the media.  Oh the media…LOTS and LOTS of them, including ESPN doing a live broadcast.  According to GoGamecocks.com, there were 123 media representatives who requested credentials for this event.  Much of the hype surrounding Clowney going as the #1 overall pick is to blame for this.  Although, getting SC on the national spotlight isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I was too nervous to take a lot of photos, I mainly watched and took it all in.  I love Williams Brice, I love football in general.  Being down on that field is an amazing experience like no other.

I got to see Connor Shaw throw a few passes to Bruce Ellington (all caught like a pro!).  I also got to see Jadeveon Clowney & Ronald Patrick do drills.  I stood about 2 feet from Steve Spurrier and refrained from being all “fan girl”, and played it cool.  It was neat to see former Gamecock players currently in the NFL as well like Stephon Gilmore, Byron Jerideau, Devin Taylor & Justice Cunningham.  

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Left:  Steve Spurrier & Stephon Gilmore.  Top:  My Pass…..Bottom:  #67 Ronald Patrick doing drills w/Coach Elliott

Mar 082014
 

So the other day at work, someone sent me this recipe for sauteed chicken breasts called “simple chicken”.  Checking out the ingredients list, I was thinking “there is no way this is simple chicken”.  Paprika, salt. pepper, garlic powder, cayenne.  If it has more than 4 ingredients, it isn’t really simple in my book and I love to cook.

Also, I am not even sure I have paprika at home anyway, and if I put cayenne in it the kids probably won’t eat it.  So, I decided to throw caution to the wind and just “wing it”.

I cut up the chicken into manageable pieces ( more like chicken tenders size).   Then I sprinkled greek seasoning all over it on both sides and set them in my saute pan with about 1 tsp of coconut oil.  I sauteed them under they were done, and then (ready for this?) poured 2 cups of heavy whipping cream in the pan WITH the chicken and ALL the juices.  Put a lid on it, turn the head down and cook it for oh… another 8-10 minutes until the sauce thickened some.  I chose to serve it over spaghetti noodles, with the chicken pieces & some of the sauce.

The kids ATE IT UP and kept asking for more sauce.  I even had enough to take a small bit to work the next day.   

From start to finish took me probably 30 minutes at most to cut the chicken, saute and then let it simmer some.  

Did I take a photo of it?  No (bad blogger, bad!).   Was it amazingly delicioso?  Heck yeah!   This will be going in our dinner rotation for sure!   

Next time though I plan to serve it with some couscous, and steamed veggies.

 

Mar 072014
 

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    So, my kids have been road trip warriors since birth.  We had Katie in the car at 3 days old going to Chula Vista (in Cali) to go to the “pick-a-part” place.  We had Jonathan taking camping trips at 3 months old.  Natalee was my “long haul” kid, making several 9 hour trips to grandma’s starting at 2 months old.  The photo to the left was taken on a road trip to NC in December with my aunt (who was sitting behind me), my cousin (riding shotgun), and baby cousin (infant seat).  

   There are a few things I’ve learned along the way to survive the trips, AND still be able to say to yourself “I want to do that again”.

 Snacks – this is a must!   Especially for “long” trips (anything over 3 hours).  When the kids were little, I would use empty plastic baby food tubs for things like goldfish, pretzels & raisins.  The size was perfect for little hands to hold, as well as helping with portion control.   We also typically keep a cooler with water, juice bottles with “squirt tops”, string cheese and sodas (for mom!). I try not to take juice boxes, because one squeeze and the kid ends up wearing most of it!  Tip!  Keep the cooler where its’ easily accessible to the older children, and not up front where it is mom/dad only, or in the very back where it would require stopping to get stuff.  The older children can help with the younger children when it comes to divvying up snacks, opening drinks.  

Electronicsthis is another “must have”.  One of the good things about my van is we have a built in DVD player.  It helps pass the time, IF we can get the kids to all agree on a movie!   Often, I let the boys pick a movie on the way to our destination, and the girls pick on the trip home (or vice versa).   Don’t forget chargers!   Tip!  Rent a redbox movie as a special treat, and return it when you get to your destination.  

Between our 4 kids, we have 2 school issued iPads, 2 DS’s, 1 kindle fire, 1 iPhone, 1 regular flip phone and 1 personal iPad.  Patrick and I each have our own phones.  Keeping all this straight is a challenge, and I learned on the last trip that I need to get more organized before we tackle another family road trip.   Tip!  Make sure to download any updates on apps you may need before you go, in case you need a WiFi connection to do so.

Roadtrip Games! – This is more Patrick and I since we are in our own little world in the front seat.  We’ve both gotten good at tuning the kids out unless we hear crying or fighting.  We like to play the ABC Game (although I don’t like his rules!), or even getting numbers 0-9 in order (harder than it sounds).    Tip!  Kelly over at Three Boys & a Dog has put together a great list of printable road trip games & activities for kids.

Gas Prices - This is again more for Patrick and I.  I have the Gas Buddy app (available on iTunes and PlayStore for Android), which lets you see all the gas prices in a particular location (you type in the city of zip code), or you can do a search for “what’s around you”.  We tend to try to stop at gas stations too that look like they will have half decent bathrooms, because with 4 kids – someone always needs to go (although we tend to make them all try to go!).  

Other things that are totally necessary whenever we are on a road trip…

roll of paper towels
baby wipes
plastic bags (for garbage, sickness, etc)
hand sanitizer

And patience, lots and lots of patience is always required.  Kids get bored, detours happen, spills happen.  Preparing ahead of time will help keep your stress down, and make the ride more enjoyable for all!

What tips do you have for road tripping?

 

 

 

  

Mar 062014
 

This is a sponsored post. I am a Kmart blogger, though all opinions are my own.

 

One of the things I love most about KMart is that it is one of the few stores around that offer layaway all year long.   Its not just a holiday thing, its all the time.  I love using layaway for Christmas purchases, it helps spread it out a bit more.  This year though, I am wanting some porch furniture, so I may have to pop into KMart tonight to see what wonderful things they have for spring & summer outdoor entertaining.  You may or may not catch me doing the following layaway dance!

You won’t be able to stop watching this mash-up of customers doing the Kmart Layaway Dance! Dare we say it’s the latest dance craze?

If you’re wondering what it is about Kmart Layaway that makes people spontaneously breakout in catchy dance moves, you should probably keep reading this. At Kmart, Layaway doesn’t start and end with the holidays. You can use Kmart Layaway all year round for celebrations such as birthdays, re-decorating or baby gifts. In addition, Kmart Layaway is available online and in stores. It’s simple: pick out the times you want, start with a down payment, make payments every two weeks (online or in store) and take your items home with you after your final payment (cue: Layaway dance)!

Pro tip: Remember to give yourself plenty of time before you need the item, most Layaway contracts last about 8 weeks, so planning ahead is key! Plus, Shop Your Way Members get points on every Layaway purchase and exclusive Layaway offers

Have an item in mind you’d like to put on Layaway? You know it’s about that time to start thinking grills and patio furniture! Get ready to practice your dance moves because you’re going to want to break out in a Layaway dance too!