Sep 242014

As many of you know, we are a baseball playing, outdoors loving family.  Outdoors = bugs.  In south carolina, we have these silly little things that Noah should have killed back when he took in everything on the ark.  No-see-um’s… sand fleas…sand gnats, no matter what you call them they  are these amazingly annoying little creatures that will get in your ears and buzz and annoy the crap out of you.

When we lived in Beaufort, we would use a 50/50 mix of Skin so Soft and rubbing alcohol to protect ourselves from them.  Sometimes just plain skin so soft.  Well, the other weekend we had a baseball tournament at a local park, and they were out in full force.  It was insane.  In your ears buzzing (how something that small makes so much noise, I don’t know), up your nose, in your face and generally swarming.   In the case of the ones at the ballfield, they weren’t biting us, they were just pesky and annoying.  In fact, just typing this makes my eyes water from remembering them buzzing near my eyes.  Moms were coating ourselves in skin-so-soft (aka: SSS), and bus spray and NOTHING seemed to be helping.


The next weekend, I asked Patrick to remind me to pack the SSS just in case the bugs were bad.  As we were getting ready to leave, he noticed the bottle of Guardian repellent I had gotten in the mail and said “why don’t we take this?”.  I said “not sure it will work on gnats, since it is made for mosquitoes and ticks, but we can give it a try”.   Bless that man for suggesting we take it.  It worked like a charm on the gnats, and as a bonus, no moquitoes either!

A few people commented that it smells like cookies, but I didn’t see that.  It has a pleasant scent, not one that is “chemically”.   It repels mosquitoes for up to 8 hours and ticks for up to 4 hours.  Also note, it repeled the gnats for a good 3-4 hours before we reapplied.

You can find Guardian at currently.  There are 2 versions, a wilderness version (shown in my photo to the left), and a backyard version.  It has ZERO deet in it, as it is a plant based product.


Check out their website at:  Guardian Repellent and see how you can #webeatdeet!


*Disclosure:  I received this product free as part of an Influenster campaign.  All opinions are my own.*


Sep 232014

1.   Food – so, much food.  San Jose for dinner on Friday night, pizza at a birthday party for lunch on Saturday and dinner at Daddy Mac’s on Saturday night, then burgers at a birthday party on Sunday.  Sunday also included the leftovers from Saturday nights dinner.  I will say, Saturday’s dinner was not that great honestly.  I got shrimp & grits and I have had better.  It wasn’t bad enough though that I didn’t eat part of it for leftovers.  I also had 1 beer, while someone else had 6 or 7.   

2.  Football.  Lets just say the tweets from Saturday night say alot about my thoughts on the Carolina football game.




3.  Waking up 2 mornings in a row to see Patrick sleeping next to me = priceless.  Cannot say how much I love rolling over and seeing him there.  

4.  Spending a whole weekend not worrying about the whole house situation, or frantically looking up houses – also priceless.  I think I am much more calm about everything now, much more so than before.  It is what it is and I cannot change the fact that we are going to have to move in less than 2 months.  So…I’m just going to suck it up, because really, what else can I really do?

5. Putting Patrick on an airplane on Sunday night after such an amazing weekend was hard, I am used to it, but it never gets easier.  This is just one of three trips that are on the calendar for the next few months, although I suspect at least 1 or 2 more will get added before Christmas.  The good part is, he is racking up the frequent flier miles, hotel points and rental car points too!



6. After I put him on the plane though, I did get to finish catching up on the Roosevelts documentary AND catch a new show I’ve been wanting to see.  Madame Secretary was awesome!  Tea Leoni did a wonderful job, and I am already looking forward to the plot twists that have begin to be revealed just from the series premiere.  I also watched the season premiere of The Good Wife.  I didn’t end up watching last season much, so I had to sort of piece stuff together as the show went on.  Seems like it will be a good season!




Sep 172014


Mabel’s Labels have been a part of our back to school routine for several years.  It all started with Katie, back in 2010 when we got her first set of labels.  Last year we got a set for Jonathan and this year with Natalee off to kindergarten, we have gotten hers as well!

Before school started, we took the time to label Natalee’s backpack and school supplies with the labels that came in her Ultimate Back to School combo pack.  The Ultimate Back to School Combo pack includes Skinny Mini’s, Shoe Labels, Teeny Tags and Tag Mates.  We love the Teeny Tags, as the kids can easily label their bookbags by hanging the Teeny Tags from the zipper.  They also help small fingers be able to pull the zipper with ease.



One of the things I love about Mabel’s Labels is that they are very budget friendly, as well as on point when it comes to keeping up with what’s in style.  For example, when my daughter got her labels first in 2010, pirates were really big!  This was due to many pirate movies coming out (Johnny Depp anyone?).  Because they were Katie’s favorite movies at the time, her labels featured her name and the pirate “skull and crossbones” logo.

Natalee’s have an adorable owl on them, and Jonathan’s have a train.  Katie last year got a new set of Mabels “tween” labels.  A look that doesn’t scream “my mom is labeling my stuff so I don’t lose it”, and more screams “this is mine and its cool”.   

They have over 40 designs for boys & girls.   More recently, they have also expanded their line past the labels for kids, to include labels for everything from recycle bins to craft supplies.  One newer item I found that I think it simply amazing are “Wash Away” labels, which are dissolvable labels.  My first thought for those was how great they would be for daycares, where you have to bring pre-made bottles for your baby for all day long.  A traditional printable label, would just half wash away, and leave a sticky residue on the bottle.  

Mabels Labels typically ships within 24 hours, and shipping is always free!   They also support various charities through sales of certain items, such as  Custom ID bracelets that support Autism Speaks.

Their back to school combo is only available until September 30th, so check them out and see how they can help you go from “where did it go” to “there it is!”




Sep 172014

So the other night I hit a new low…

picture me, hiding in the bathroom, with the door locked.  I was sitting in the bathtub (fully clothed and sans water), eating cookie butter with a spoon while my youngest child stood at the door asking when I was going to be done “going pee-pee”.  First off, if you don’t know what cookie butter is – you are missing out on so much.  Secondly, at this moment I would give up my first born to have someone mail me a jar or two of it right now.   I just wanted to cry, and I figured my kids have seen enough of mommy crying in the last few years.  

I have had a bad few days.  We found out we are going to have to move out of our house when our lease is up.  That’s all fine and dandy, but they are holding a $2600 security deposit that I need part of in order to get a new house.  I asked nicely what my options were in getting a portion back in order to secure new housing, and was immediately cut off with a very curt “you will get it back 30 days after you move out”.   

If you can spare a prayer…say one for us.  Packing my kids and moving again was not in my plan.  Even if its in the same town (as it will be) its still frustrating that we have go to through this again!

As Patrick always tells me, “everything will work out”, and sometimes I dont believe him, but he is usually right (ssshhh…don’t tell him I said that!!”


Sep 112014

Since I had kids, I find it fun to turn the radio up and sing & dance around the kitchen with the kids.  Since I became a single mom 3 and a half years ago, I find it a good way to release stress and bring some happy into the world!   

But its best when my kids dance…and even better when I video my kids dancing….to Jonathan’s future wife reading this – you’re welcome.

Sep 102014


 Hey Swagbucks lovers (or really, any of you who love getting free gift cards)! I’ve got a tip that can help you earn more SB without doing more work. Here’s the tip: Making Swagbucks Search your default search engine on your browser can help you earn significantly more SB! Instead of downloading a toolbar or bookmarking a specific page to go to, you can use Swagbucks Search just by typing your search terms into the URL field at the top of your browser. Scroll down below to see how to default your search engine to Swagbucks (for Chrome, Firefox & Internet Explorer).

Did you do it? OK, now here’s the cool part: Swagbucks is giving away 20 prizes of 1,000 SB & 1 grand prize of 5,000 SB to lucky members who have made Swagbucks their default search! From now through Sept 12th, each search you do with Swagbucks (after making it your default search engine) gets you an entry into the drawing! Get up to 5 entries each day (max 25), in addition to any Swag Bucks you may earn! The 21 winners will be announced on Sept 17th!

A way to make earning SB easier to do? AND a chance to win 5,000 SB? Count me in! Here’s how you can default your search to Swagbucks. Haven’t joined yet? Sign up now and set up your search to make it easy to earn more — and get you first free gift card even sooner!   If you want to learn more about Swagbucks, I have written about it in the past here;  Swagbucks


  1. Go to Settings on your Chrome browser (the 3 lines on the top right of the browser)
  2. Click on “Settings” from the dropdown list
  3. Click on “Manage Search Engines”
  4. Look for Swagbucks under “Other Search Engines”
  5. Click “Make Default”


  1. Go to your browser search field, this can be found on the right of your address bar, and click the drop menu and look for Swagbucks
  2. Click on Swagbucks.

*Please Note: If you’ve never performed a search from you may not see Swagbucks in the list.   Perform a search from and then follow the instructions to set it as your default search engine.

Internet Explorer:

  1. Go to
  2. Click the down arrow in the address bar
  3. Click on the magnifying glass
  4. Click “Add”.
Sep 052014

reading:  An Ex to Grind in Deadwood.  Amazing series of books by Ann Charles, based in Deadwood/Lead area of South Dakota.  In the 5th book in the series, the ex of the main character is back and plotting!

writing:  this post, and probably something for work (since this was technically posted in advance and I’m at work now!)

listening:  obsessed with 2 new songs - Bang, Bang by Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj and I am also loving Taylor Swift’s new song Shake it Off and Iggy Azalea’s song Black Widow.

  about our trip to Charleston tomorrow,  bills, what’s for lunch, buying new sheets for my bed.

smelling:  my Aruba Coconut body spray.

wishing:  that someones week at work will be better today, and he can relax some this weekend!

hoping:  that this day will fly by and I can get a good nights sleep tonight.

wearing:  Jeans (cause its Friday!), a Carolina tshirt and tennis shoes.

wanting:  chickfila – always.

loving:  Friday tea time at work, lovely ending to each week and a nice wind down too!

needing:  to vacuum this house, but homework with the babies comes first!