Black Friday Deals!

The Cashback Shopping site Swagbucks is offering big cash back at over 120 different stores all throughout Black Friday weekend. They’re also offering big payouts on a varieties of different deals and offers from companies that would make great gift ideas. Get great deals without waiting in lines or even leaving your home!

If you’re not familiar with Swagbucks, they offer cash back in the form of points when you shop. Then you can turn those points into gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Target, or PayPal cash. You can also earn points for discovering deals, watching videos, answering surveys and more!

Click here to take advantage of the cash back, just create your Swagbucks account when prompted (it takes less than 30 seconds) and then you’re all set!

As a special bonus, if you sign up through me you get a 300 SB ($3) bonus when you earn your first 300 SB before December 1st! This site’s a great way to extend your shopping budget, especially around the holidays!

Augusta on Ice!

I am so pleased to be working with Augusta on Ice this year, in partnership with some fabulous sponsors!   We are looking forward to going down to Augusta, which is just a short drive from Columbia, SC.    Augusta on Ice (formerly Evans on Ice) is centrally located in Augusta, GA in the Augusta Commons.  This is between Broad and Reynolds roads.  It runs for fifty (50) days between November 17th and January 6th.   In addition to the ice rink itself (with real ice!) there is Frosty’s Ice Slide, a family friendly train side and even a rinkside build your own s’mores.   Say what??  Smores?   I can eat smores and watch my kids skate – score!   Did I mention that the ice rink is covered?  That part in itself makes it even more exciting to me, because here in the south – a little rain can ruin your day – but not here!

Jake (left) grew up in Michigan, and practically was born with skates on his feet.  He played hockey throughout his youth and club hockey in college.  I’m not sure when the last time he had skates on was, but I am looking forward to seeing him on the ice!  The last time that Jonathan had skates on was at his dad’s company holiday party at a local rink here in Columbia.  That night ended with some stitches because someone fell a few too many times.   Now me, I don’t like to brag – but last time I went – I managed to NOT fall at all.  Chances are this next time I’ll be spending a lot of time on my butt!    The girls have never been ice skating before – so this will be an extra treat for our family to enjoy this time together.

It has been awhile since I got to work with a truly community focused group such as AOI, and I am pleased to hear about their community initiatives.  This year, they will be giving back to their local community through the Community Stage Spotlight.  From local schools & churches, to professional theater groups, you can see some beautiful performances all in once place.

 

 

 

Also, now through November 25th is the week of thanks!  Each night a different group of community helpers get free admission.  November 22nd is First Responders night from 2-9pm.   Thursday the 23rd is Senior Day – as a way to say “thanks for all your wisdom” from 2-9pm.   Friday the 24th is Health Care Professionals Day (from 12-7).  Saturday the 24th is Support Local Businesses day, bring a receipt from any business within the CSRA and you’ll get in the gates free!  Sunday is Girl Scouts day, and all girl scouts get free admission!   On the 21st to the 24th, you can also bring 2 canned goods you can get  get free admission or $5 off an activity pass.

Be sure to check their calendar by clicking the photo above to see other opportunities for date nights movie and skating!  Everyone needs a date night!   Maybe Jake and I will see you on the ice!    Be on the lookout for our visit on here, as well as other cool updates throughout the next few weeks!  There may even be a giveaway!

Augusta On Ice will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m., Friday while school is in session and from 2 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 2 to 10 p.m. Friday on the school holiday break. It will be open from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 7 p.m. on Sundays.

For the holidays, Augusta on Ice will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, noon to 5 p.m. Christmas Eve, 2 to 7 p.m. Christmas Day, noon to 12:30 a.m. New Year’s Eve and 2 to 9 p.m. New Year’s Day.   Tickets are $5 for general admission or $20 for a season pass. The activity pass is $20 for one day and $50 for the season. The activity pass includes access to the skating rink, slide and train. Discounts are available.

~Lori

five years

Five years ago, I woke up to a chilly Georgia morning.  I probably didn’t want to leave the warm bed to begin the days adventure.  That adventure you ask; packing my entire 4 bedroom house into a moving truck for our move to South Carolina.  It was hard, most of the people who said they were going to help us move bailed on us at the last minute.  I get it, people get busy and things happen.  I put out an SOS on facebook, and we had friends show up to help.  We got my van, a 27ft moving truck, my dad’s truck with a trailer attached all packed full of all my worldly possessions.   Loaded the kids up after a round of goodbyes to friends and we hit the road.

My dad and I had to go back the next day after we unloaded here for one final load.  I remember the sigh of relief that came from me when we crossed from Georgia into South Carolina on that final trip.  I was leaving behind so many bad memories, and of course a bunch of wonderful ones as well.  I was starting a new adventure in a new town, and it was going to be great.

I remember the weeks leading up to moving were hectic, and I cried a lot.  I knew things would be better once we moved, once we were settled, the kids would have their dad close again.    I could never have imagined everything that has happened in the last 5 years.  I found love – in a man I never would have met if I hadn’t moved.   I have a huge group of friends that have become like family to me.  I have students who make me laugh all the time, and are like my other kids.  I have been blessed with a series of wonderful jobs here at the University of South Carolina, jobs that have given me some super opportunities that I would have never had in Georgia.  I have found a place where I belong.

While I miss my friends in Georgia, this is where I belong.  This is home.

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the one about the BFN

If you are close to Jake and I, you know we have decided to try for 1 more baby.  So we started trying back in September once I got the lovely IUD removed.  While I realize that my body needs time to reset and recover from having that thing in since 2013, I still find it hard to not be so crazy disappointed when I get a BFN pregnancy test.

In the land of TTC, a BFN is not a good thing.  Ok, let me roll back on the acronyms for a moment.  TTC stands for trying to conceive, and BFN is a Big Fat Negative.  Others are DPO (days past ovulation) and VFL (Very Faint Line), BFP (big fat positive), and a handful of others I am not even going to attempt to tackle.   I figured that since I got pregnant 3 times already, without really trying to – that this time if I am tracking and we are actively trying to get pregnant – that it would be pretty quick and easy.  I mean, everything the last year has been so crazy hard with selling/buying a house and planning/actually having a wedding – that we should have something go easy, right?

So, Sunday marked 10 DPO, and I woke up and peed on a stick (this blog is as real as it gets people, if you don’t like it move on).  I figured it is still kind of early, but I also figured why the hell not – i mean I have this giant pack of them I bought on amazon.   Negative, nada, zip, zilch – nothing.  A slap in the face of a BFN.  Yes, I know it takes time.  Yes, it will happen when it is supposed to happen.  Yes, I know my body is still adjusting.  Yes, I know I should stop worrying about it.  Yes, we know…we know…we know.   There are things you should NEVER, EVER say to someone who is trying to get pregnant.  Just don’t do it.  Smile and wish them well.  And for goodness sake, do not EVER tell them to not complain about it because they already have 3 kids.

My best friend has been trying to get pregnant for 2+ years and due to some complications has not been able to.  I cannot even imagine the pain that is.  It hurts to have someone else say “oh we weren’t even trying” when they show you an ultrasound picture. I cannot scroll down Facebook without seeing someone I went to school with, or from our time in the Marine Corps or someone local posting an ultrasound photo, or posting their gender reveal or announcing their pregnancy.  You want to be so happy for them, you want to squeal and love on them so hard.  But your brain and your heart aren’t connecting in that moment.  You muster up a smile and say how excited you are, because you really genuinely are – but that stab in your heart hurts a bit.

I know it takes time, I know it is a process, I know that it will happen in God’s time, not mine.  But boy is it ever hard to be patient and wait.

Pre-Black Friday Sale!

As a pre-Black Friday warm up, Swagbucks is offering big cash back for shopping online at several of your favorite retailers right now! Just go to this page to see all of the deals available and get the jump on your holiday shopping.

In order to take advantage of the cash back, just create your Swagbucks account when prompted (it takes less than 30 seconds) and then you’re all set! Your cash back comes in the form of SB points, which you can redeem for gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, or get PayPal cash!

As a special bonus, if you sign up through me you get a 300 SB ($3) bonus when you earn your first 300 SB before December 1st!  This site’s a great way to extend your shopping budget, especially around the holidays!

Holidays with Swagbucks

Swagbucks is offering double cash back at dozens of different stores (like Macy’s and Target) during their 2017 Holiday Sale. Just go to this page to see all of the deals available and get the jump on your holiday shopping. There are

In order to take advantage of the cash back, just create your Swagbucks account when prompted (it takes less than 30 seconds) and then you’re all set! Your cash back comes in the form of SB points, which you can redeem for gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, or get PayPal cash!

As a special bonus, if you sign up through me you get a 300 SB ($3) bonus when you earn your first 300 SB before December 1st! This site’s a great way to extend your shopping budget, especially around the holidays!

 

my love language

Have you ever read the book The Five Love Languages?   I have a copy of it, and I have read it several times.  It helped me learn a lot about who I am as a person, and how someone can best love me.  I know that may not make a lot of sense, but if your partner doesn’t know what you need, then how can they best love you.

So my oils team leader had us take the quiz to learn how she can better “love us as a leader”.  So, I took it.  Here are my scores:

As you can see, I scored pretty high on words of affirmation.  That is something that is so important to me.   One of the worst things about my previous marriage was that I was constantly told I was worthless, and that no one would want me ever.   I think I crave being told positive things.  Jake tells me every morning that I am beautiful – it is a simple morning greeting that he says everyday without fail “good morning beautiful”.  It doesn’t matter that I have heard it probably 500 times before, I still love it.    Hearing I love you, while important isn’t what this one is all about, why does someone love you – that’s what someone with this love language wants to know!  Give me the reasons why!!   It is also the other things, like “I appreciate you” or “I am so glad you are in my life” that are part of that love language.

When my boss or someone tells me that I am doing a good job – I love it.  That’s my main love language – words of affirmation.

Second up is physical touch.  Y’all – I’m a hugger.  I hug everyone, and chances are if we have met at least once I have hugged you.  I think it is the southern in me, I’m not sure.  I just love to love on people (if you don’t like being hugged, probably should tell me upfront, so I don’t invade your space).   I love it when Jake reaches for my hand in the car or when we are out & about.  It makes me feel loved, and makes me feel safe.

Now, the receiving gifts is a tricky one.  Of course I love it when someone gifts me a gift, it would make anyone feel special!  It isn’t about the material possession, it is about the thought & effort behind the gift.  Some of my favorite things in the world are handwritten notes.  I guess you could see them as a gift if you think about it.  I have notes pinned to my board at work from my students & coworkers, and my kids.  I even have the card from the 1st time Jake ever sent me flowers.  It is a powerful reminder that in that moment, someone was thinking of you.  My notes from my grad students, whether its a personal note or a silly postcard they sent while they were travelling mean so much to me.  I have “happy a.p. day” notes from coworkers, drawings my kids gave me, a funny Valentines card from a student.  All those things are gifts to me, and go along with the words of affirmation as well.

The last 2 are important, but rank lower in my mind.  Acts of service are like helping out with laundry or filling my gas tank up.   We share chores in this house, so that someone isn’t always pulling a heavy load.  We both work full time and sometimes it is hard to come home and work more.  I don’t see this as something “special” that Jake does just for me – its just part of running this household.  With 3 kids, 2 full time jobs, and a business to run – we don’t have time to let things fall by the wayside.   Quality time, we get that a lot.  Jake and I literally do EVERYTHING together, and its not because we don’t want the other doing stuff by themselves, it is just we genuinely enjoy being with each other.  We both have our own hobbies (he loves golf, I love blogging), so we do that separately.  I personally consider every moment we spend together as “quality time”.

I highly encourage you to take the quiz, you can do so here:  http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/  and share those results with your significant other.    In doing so, you may open up new worlds for both of you and your relationship.

Let me know in the comments what your love language is.  I would love to know if you think it is accurate to you!

 

TBT: Clearly Canadian

So it all started with a facebook post from Jake’s high school friend JD.  He had found Clearly Canadian drinks, something I haven’t seen since high school.   He had all the flavors:  Country Peach, Wild Cherry,  Mountain Blackberry and Raspberry.  I was in awe, and wishing he could just ship me some – even if it was to just have a taste of each one and share with my kids.

Fast forward a few months, and we happened to be stopping in a shopping center that had World Market.  After following Jake and Jonathan around Best Buy & Petsmart, I decided that we were going to go to World Market (if mom has to be dragged into stores, they can return the favor).  I had remembered JD mentioning that he had heard about them being found in the World Market stores.

After browsing a few aisles, I made my way back to the food & beverage section (which is probably my favorite section of that store anyway).  We found them – by the bottle or by the case.  I quickly sent Jonathan to the truck for my purse, and I went off to find a basket.  We loaded up on 3 per flavor (except peach, because I remember hating that flavor) – and off to the register we went.  Later that night, we popped the first one open and sure enough, it tastes just like I remember.  Now if we could get companies to bring back Pudding Pops, I’d be pretty set.   I have been enjoying packing these lovely little drinks with my lunch this week!

What items would you like to see brought back?  Any childhood favorites that we could interest you in?

 

just another manic monday

Y’all – I swear I have the best of intentions to keep writing, but man life is just busy sometimes!   Before Jake and I started dating, I had a ton of time on Tuesdays/Wednesdays when the kids would go to their dads to write, go to the library and just work.  Then when we started dating, I wanted to spend the time with them – so the writing (and reading) fell by the wayside.  It actually is a long running joke between Jake and I about reading.  In the first few weeks we were dating, he would text me and ask me what I was doing.  An hour later, we’d still be texting (or chatting) and he would ask how the book was.  My standard line was “you know damn well I haven’t been reading”.  Yeah, life is still like that – although now we live in the same house and are married.  Our nights with the kids home are filled with dinner, homework, showers & bedtime routines.   The nights without the kids are spent cleaning up, going for walks and watching jeopardy nightly (yes, I still beat him at jeopardy most nights).    I love devoting my evenings to my husband and my kids.  I spend all day on a computer at work, and lots of times don’t want to turn one on when I get home.

I do try to get some posts up & scheduled.  I am trying to sort out who I am going to work with this holiday season.  Blogging has gotten slower than it once was in terms of sponsored postings.  I used to work with Best Buy a great deal, but that has since slowed down a lot.  I should be better about promoting my own business – and I have a plan to do that.   Its the execution that I am slacking on.

I have some posts scheduled out for this week, some wedding posts & some funny.  Now that I have gotten into a routine of packing my lunch, I can spend the lunch breaks locked in my office writing & working my business like I should.

So for now, know that I always have the best of intentions – and I’m a work in progress.

~L