There Was Nothing “Tiny” About My Daughter’s Reaction

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015

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Maybe she is too old. Maybe she wants a purse more like her older sister’s. Maybe she wants a purse more like her Mom’s. After all, she is quite my little diva. Would she like it? These were the questions going through my head when I was debating the Tiny Treasures “Fairy” for  my Ella. Let me FIRST and foremost put your mind at ease. Each one of my questions were made obsolete the moment she saw her purse. She has always considered herself a fairy and now she has the accessory to boot! Let me second it with this is not your ordinary purse, and perfect for ANY diva there is. Tiny Treasures from Okiedog gives you the absolute best of both worlds by making a diva doll a great fashion accessory. In a word? ADORBS.

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Her first words were, “It’s my own fairy!” And she was absolutely right. This cute Tiny Treasures is perfect for any little miss in your family. It is a great size, measuring in about  3.54 x 7.87 x 1.97 in inches and that makes the compartment a great size for your girl to fit in all her treasures. The size is also great since even if your little one were to fill it to the brim, it will not weigh her down as it’s very light weight and easy to carry. I was very impressed at just how much room the Tiny Treasures purse had! When she showed me what she was keeping in hers, she had added a few lip gloss, some papers and a few of her mini dolls- all with room to spare. And because you are for sure as safety minded a I am, they comply with all safety standards, have high quality and are made from very durable materials. Every children’s bag are PVC-, Phthalate- AZO- and BPA-free. So there is no need to worry if you have a toddler who likes to chew on her purse. It’s ok! And let’s be honest. That hair? SO CUTE! My daughter immediately started to play with the curls and wanted her to fly like fairies do.

Help make your little girl’s dream come true with her very own Tiny Treasures. She will treasure it forever- just like you treasure her!

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This post is Sponsored. I was given products in order to facilitate my review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Massage Envy – Give Your Body What it Deserves

Posted by on Jul 21, 2015

Massage Envy

Most of us can relate to this scenario: when a spouse, significant other, child offers to give you a massage. Or how about this? When you find yourself as a participant in the unfortunate massage circle at a party. The common denominator that these all share-it’s the dreaded LESS effective massage you were hoping for.  It ends up being a little rub here, a karate chop high speed motion there, or maybe they are basically grinding your skin like the kneading of bread. But a massage? It is most definitely not.

Two words people. Massage Envy. You don’t need to live in the Beverly Hills locale to have what your body really needs and let’s be honest…deserves. A professional massage therapist who will discover what your particular body’s needs are and make sure you are well taken care of. This is what Massage Envy does. This is who Massage Envy is.

You walk in and can immediately stop wearing your shoulders as earrings. It is calming, relaxing and the staff is AMAZING. They truly will customize your visit to what your body needs. They have massages ideally for men. Massages that are more fitted for women, Swedish massage, Reflexology massage and Deep tissue massage. I gotta tell ya, the Deep tissue massage is my fave. I tend to have pinched nerves where my joints swell and I get numbness in my fingers. My muscles tend to need that extra work that helps gets rid of them. It is especially beneficial in my shoulder blades and elbows. And my massage therapist knows just how to help. The room is dimmed; they are completely professional and are with you your entire visit. Your guru will ask about your comfort level and how you are doing. And bonus? No high speed karate-chopping or skin kneading.

Why a massage from Massage Envy? Well I could go on and on about the benefits, but for real? You need to see them for yourself. For me personally? It is stress reliever, I feel like my posture improves, it strengthens my immune system, and let’s not forget; it simply feels amazing!

Astroglide TTC Trying to Conceive™

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015

It’s a club that you NEVER want to be a part of. It’s a story you never want to tell. It’s advice that no matter how nice of a person it is coming from, it is not wanted. Then through it all you suddenly can speak another language. Acronyms like TTC, BFN, BFP, AF, BD, DPO, HPT, LMP, EDD and a slew of others no longer look like askew items from the periodic table, but MEAN something to you. It’s a real struggle and one that no matter how you try – you simply cannot fix yourself. It is the world of infertility. But no matter what we are here, we are still trying- 5 years and counting. We will keep trying. This time with Astroglide TTC Trying to Conceive™ to help us out.

Yes. These are my daughter’s “ghosts” which she hung from our ceiling a few years back. We thought they looked like sperm and used them as an offering to the fertility gods to help us out…fingers are still crossed!

sofias ghosts

Our life as parents started out pretty darn great. We were married December 10th and by February were pregnant, and had our first daughter in October. Yep. 10 months after being married. 2 months before our first anniversary. Then our sweet girl turned a year old and I decided it was time to give her a sibling. So the same month, we were pregnant again. No waiting, no trying, just a positive pregnancy test and another baby on the way. Then when our second daughter turned two, I was more than ready to add to our family. This is when our infertility journey really began…

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5 years- and counting. That is over 60 times that we hoped, that we prayed, that we KNEW that this time, this month was going to be different. This month was going to be the month it “took” and we would be pregnant once again. Over 60 times we were disappointed, heartbroken, and had a period come once again.

So we did what any (in)sane couple would do. We tried it ALL. At first I was OK in taking on the advice of a million mothers who had also gone through, or knew someone who had gone through, or knew a girl’s cousin whose brother’s girlfriends little sister had to wait like 3 months to get pregnant. Huh. Three months huh? I lost interest rather quickly. However, we did do the tests, the kits, the positions, the diets, hell I was taking 11 pills a day at one point trying to get that one little sperm to meet my egg. So what gives? This time I am trying Astroglide TTC Trying to Conceive™. And come on? Who could resist buying it for that cute baby on the box alone?! Adorbs.

astroglide ttc

Astroglide TTC™ is a specially formulated for couples who are trying to conceive, Astroglide TTC is specially formulated with adjusted pH levels, compatible osmolality and a consistency similar to that of your own cervical mucus, making it less likely to hinder sperm motility than traditional lubricants. TTC also contains galactose, which is found naturally in semen, as well as fructose, the main source of energy for sperm. Sounds good to me!

I would love to tell you that we FINALLY got our happy ending and I am writing simply to support those who are going through infertility. I’m not…yet. I am not one of the statistics who DID finally get pregnant…yet. I am not one of the happy stories said “that one girl’s cousin who’s brother’s girlfriends little sister” did get pregnant and all she had to do was (fill in the blank)…yet. I am not the person who has had their heart feel just a bit fuller and that peace you feel when you know your family is complete…yet. So I keep trying.

That is really what this is for me. My fight song so to speak. My will to not give up until either I get my happy ending or until someone (preferably my Physician) tells me that it’s time to stop. So until then. I keep going. This time? I have Astroglide TTC™ to help! So follow me in this journey and see what life brings us!

Astroglide TTC™ sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine

Mamas Tip of the week!

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015

I remember as a kid when shopping with my Mom and looking at pants that she would take them and hold them up to my waist to research in her mind if they were going to be the correct size or not. At times, this way of measuring would at times, guarantee the purchase of a favorite pair of pants. Or at least give me the opportunity to put it in the “try on pile”. In my young mind- that was half the battle won right there.

 This practice I was taught when I was young has followed me into adulthood and up till a few weeks ago, I was putting my girls through the same “test” when shopping for pants, jeans, shorts, etc. Why did it change? Let me teach you a tip I learned recently.

As much as I would like to take credit for this one- I simply can’t. It was given to my “niece” Riley while she lived in Italy with her family and she carried it over the ocean with her upon returning home. There we were, shopping in the NIKE store and there I was, utilizing the lifelong “hold pants up to my waist test” to see if they might fit. I look over to see Riley putting a pair of shorts around her neck as if she is putting on a cape. Now, my look of bewilderment made her laugh out loud and she explained to me that this was a more accurate alternative to my current one. So I decided to try it.

 IT TOTALLY WORKS. I made my daughter model the trick for me…hehe. Benefits of being a mom!

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 I tested the theory by taking a pair of shorts that I KNEW were not my size. I put them around my neck like a cape and nope. The ends did not meet. So I took another pair that I knew was more my size and did the same process again. Bingo. The ends met!

So go out and try it for yourself. It may be the best kept, formerly known as a secret ever!!

Life. Camera. Action

Posted by on Jun 1, 2015

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I laugh at the jokes. I cry at the sad parts. I smile, I ooohh and awww when appropriate. Typically when the girl and boy get together in the end. Yep. I am basically any director or producer’s perfect audience. And… I wish every day that my life were like a chick flick. Mike, a friend of mine used to call my diagnosis of sorts, “Permanent Panavision”. He must have thought I not only looked at things through rose colored glasses, but had contacts which I slept in and never took off…he may have been right. He also liked to make fun of me a lot.

But the fact that I lived and sometimes live through these particular rose colored glasses did get me thinking…Am I directing my life or is life directing me?

Take a picture…it will last longer

Truer words were never spoken. A few weeks ago, I went with our family and Jacki’s family to our cabin to spend the weekend. No phones, no internet, just the kids and Jacki’s dog Charlie. It was an amazing experience as you can imagine. While there, Jacki (being the smart one in our friendship) brought her camera and I went a TAD bit crazy with picture taking. I think over the course of the weekend, we took over 200 pictures. To sum up? Take pictures. With today’s technology, there are but a few excuses as to why I cannot make sure I have pictures to not only look at later in life, but so my KIDS can remember experiences when they were young. Yes girls. You actually were there. See? I have pictures to prove it.

Take a deep breath and realize that my life is NOT a Nicholas Sparks novel-and it’s really OK.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have read, re-read and watched (if available) just about every book he has written. I LOVE them! But, now I’m going out on a limb here, my life is certainly not anything like one of his books. Sigh. If only. And I need to realize that it’s OK. In fact, I should be grateful that my life is not considered complete in a mere 2 hours and 4 minutes, with a roller coaster of emotions crammed in, all wrapped up in a pretty little bow at the conclusion. Nope. Not even close. My life is ugly. It’s hard. It’s messy. And amidst all that, all the stuff that I wish would go away, all the trials, the tough times, it’s also beautiful. It’s filled with small moments in time that make up memories which add to the patchwork quilt of my life. And I wouldn’t change that for all the novels in the world.

DO sweat the small stuff – in this case it’s what makes up your life.

Tucking your kids in bed at night. Taking that 10 minutes and reading the book your child gives you as he/she crawls up in your lap. Even going through the drive thru when they have not eaten dinner yet, and after this treat, they won’t eat HALF as much. The small stuff. The stuff I sometimes think of as small anyway, that at times, I would like to skip through. The small stuff. Although it does not make me feel good to admit, at times, do skip. These are the things that I need to remember to keep in mind that it DOES make a difference and I should not skip them. It’s small moments like these, which make up my life. When I look back, I want to be sure that I did as many as I possibly could.

So there you have it. My NEW version of “Permanent Panavision” may not include the rose colored glasses or even occasional contacts to wear. But I’m sure going to try and incorporate the things listed above. After all. I’m making my own movie. And it’s up to me how it will end.

The Briefcase – Do You Know What You Would Do?

Posted by on May 27, 2015

The briefcase. WOW. Talk about taking me on an emotional journey. Sometimes I thought “people are down right crazy.” Sometimes I thought “Sure. I would do the same thing.” Sometimes I caught myself only wishing I would have done the same thing. I mostly thought “…Mental note. KEEP HOUSE CLEAN!” Regardless. Be sure you have Kleenex (and I mean ALOT of them) ready.

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THE BRIEFCASE is an eye-opening look into what matters most in people’s lives, taking the audience on an emotional roller coaster ride with a shocking ending each week,” said THE BRIEFCASE Creator and Executive Producer Dave Broome. “I’ve been incredibly impressed by just how generous Americans are, even with shrinking paychecks and rising debt, when there’s little left to give.” He could not have put it better. After watching it showed me that there is still good in the world. And as long as there is good in the world- we haven’t given up. We just give.

Each week, two families have 72 hours to learn details about each others challenging circumstances and make the weighty decision of what to do with $101,000.  However, what they don’t know is that the family with whom they are considering sharing this financial windfall received an identical briefcase with the same instructions. Throughout their journeys, relationships within both families will be tested and beliefs questioned as they find out what really matters most in their lives, and how much importance they place on values such as love, generosity, compassion and faith.

It was so interesting meeting the two families. It was crazy how the journey led the two families to the decisions they would make.

Bergin Family

Joe: Ice Cream Truck Owner

Kim: Part-Time Event Planner

Three children, ages 15, 13 and 12

Matthews, N.C.

After Joe was laid off from his corporate job 10 years ago, he and his wife, Kim, started an ice cream truck business which is struggling.

Bronson Family

Dave: Injured Retired Iraq Vet

Cara: Nurse

One child, age 3, with another on the way

Manchester, N.H.

Dave is an American hero whose Humvee exploded when he was in Iraq and he lost his leg. He and his wife, Cara, are expecting their second child this summer. Living on one income with a growing family has put a significant amount of stress on the Bronson’s.

I was bawling through the entire thing. I related to Kim so much. I would be a horrible mess going through the journey these two families went through. My heart ACHED for her while her emotions were so high and watching her struggle. To put it simply- GUT WRENCHING. At the end, I felt so PROUD. I felt proud of these two families and the fact that there is still good in the world. That people can be placed with something as tangible and that is needed in so many people’s lives at this time as MONEY and still be able to give. To pay it forward knowing they would rather give than receive. Even if it meant walking away from 101k.

I felt proud. I still do.

I cannot wait to see the next families and see what kind of decision making processes they will go through. All of which will ultimately lead them to what their decision is about the contents of- THE BRIEFCASE.

This is Sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Sometimes…There is Pee

Posted by on May 14, 2015

Parents around the world do it every single day. Drop their precious cargo off at school and wait to pick them up in the afternoon. And when parents drop kids off, we do so thinking nothing will happen from the time being dropped off till pick up. Sure. All parents HOPE to never get a call from the school while their kids are there. And if the unfortunate event comes up when you do? You pay attention.  So when my stereotypical Monday started at work, it certainly did not disappoint and ended up anything but typical. When I got that dreaded call from the school, I just happened to be in a meeting, so when I got back to my desk, I could immediately tell that something was amok. My husband, Artyom, had called my cell phone a number of times, a text was also visible. My work phone was blinking, letting me know I also had a message. Taking a very quick inventory check, I went for the quickest response first and checked my cell for the text which read-

Sofia peed her pants. They need a new set of clothes for her.
Well. OK. That type of message I could actually handle on this Monday mid afternoon. Once I resolved that the phone call from the school was letting me know “said incident” did not involve the loss of limbs, I THEN went back and dialed up my voice mail to listen to the phone message. I felt so bad and was extremely curious as to know what had happened.
 After I organized myself and completed my “phone tree” of calls,  trying to find out who would get to my poor girl the quickest, I got a hold of  my bestie Jacki who was home, willing, and also able to pick her up ASAP. I mean come on…no one wants to sit in wet pants for long…It was either find someone to pick her up, bring her clothes, or else… she would have to degrade herself to the lost and found dumpster dive.  All to look for clothes that would be either 3 sizes too big or MUCH to small to wear till the end of the day. I will be honest. I considered it for half a second and then decided that was too traumatic for my sweet Maka.
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Sofia was picked up from school, taken to Jacki’s where I called to check in. I wanted to see if she was OK or scarred for life (as I would have been at her age…). I got her on the phone and she “whispered” to me the events that had transpired earlier that day. Sofia went on to explain that she and her friends, her BFF Dayana and Natalia, were on a merry go round, twister type thing at recess. There they all were, just she and her friends, laughing and having the BEST time. Well Sofia was laughing so hard that she could not stop laughing and before she knew it she accidentally peed her pants.
Well. Here is my bad mom moment of the day, cause I completely ERUPTED in laughter and I am darn lucky that she started laughing hysterically too. THAT could have had an entirely different outcome.
Then in her ultimate six year old wisdom and knowledge, she said “MOM! Don’t laugh. I know it happens all the time.”
That got me going all over again and she and I just laughed on the phone together for a few minutes…Best.Moment.Ever.
Lesson learned from my beautiful 6 year old daughter that day? Don’t sweat the small stuff. Laugh till you cry…or pee your pants. Cause after all…it happens all the time…

Dishes on a Dime- White Chicken Chili

Posted by on May 11, 2015

Some of the best recipes I have found are those that I have had at my Sister in laws or other family members homes. When I see my girls and husband going for seconds, I immediately corner said family member and with the use of a fork (if needed), nicely ask them to hand over the recipe…This is one of our staples. It will take you about 5 minutes to prep- BONUS! How does it taste you ask? Well.  In a word? DELISH.

What to gather

1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (OR use the quick method below!)

2 cans Great Northern beans, drained

1 can white hominy, drained

1 envelope taco seasoning mix

1 can chopped green chilies

1 can cream of mushroom soup

*Sour cream if desired (believe me…you will regret it if you DON’T use it!)

*Chopped green onions if desired (eh…you may or may not regret if you DON’T use these…not my fave)

chili

The How to:

  1. Place chicken in 3 to 4 quart slow cooker. Top with remaining ingredients except sour cream and green onions (hold those to add on top!)
  2. Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 10 hours
  3. Before serving, stir gently to break up chicken pieces. Serve topped with sour cream and green onions.

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Variations of “How to”

  • We like the speedy method by substituting canned chicken/turkey with raw or even better- grab a rotisserie chicken from the store! Put it on high for 2 hours and eat!
  • I love the flavor of the crock-pot, but you certainly could do it on the stove top as well.  (using the above substitutions).
  • We like ours a bit thicker in consistency and use tortilla chips as a spoon. Throw some cheese in there, maybe some avocado chunks, sour cream and HOLLA!! So good.
  • It’s also super filling!

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What’s in a name

Posted by on May 8, 2015

This week we were able to attend a wedding of one of my cousins. It was a wonderful time, filled with family, fun and of course lots of family pictures. The photographer was taking the lead and ordering the different groups of family members to congregate. At one point, she asked for all the nieces and nephews of the groom to come into the photo. Immediately, my 8 year old, Sofia went up to the front to be a part of the group. And why wouldn’t she? This was her “Cuncle” (her Cousin-Uncle and a name my cousins have always had).  Sofia could not quite understand why she was not part of this niece and nephew group. At this particular moment, I was obliged to hold her back and could tell by the look in her eyes, this was a conversation that was going to be a tough one for this Mama to explain…

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For as long as I can remember, our girls have known about my Mom, their Grandma who they may not be able to hug or talk to, but know who she is and how much she loves them. You see, my beautiful Mom passed away 14 years ago from complications with Multiple Sclerosis. Long before I was married, long before Sofia and Ella joined our family.

Linda Pederson

And… as long as I can remember, we have had what we call in our family “our people.” People in our life that our girls see as Grandma figures whose faces have names like Nana, Grandma Linda, and many friend Grandma’s including Friend Grandma Debbie, Friend Grandma Linda, the list goes on and on. Wonderful women in our lives who know they could never replace my own mother in my life or my daughters’, but they can certainly love my family, including my girls as if they were their own.

The wedding we attended was the son of one of “our people”. My cousin. My Aunt’s son. The Son of my girl’s Nana. So when I held Sofia back from being in the next picture, we were able to have a little talk about “our people” and her Grandma, my Mom. I let her know what a unique little girl she was. Explaining the many Grandma’s in our life is a gift that Grandma gave to our family to make sure she and her sister would always be loved and looked after. I let her know just how lucky she is that SO many people love her. If Grandma, my mother, could not be here with them to love and hug them, then she made absolutely sure that others would be in our lives to do it for her. They may not be our relatives through blood but they are “our people” through LOVE. And they always will be.

Charity

After a few tears were shed by the both of us, Sofia was back to her happy self.  We met each others eyes throughout the day and the smiles we exchanged reiterated to me that yes. Sofia knows how much she is loved and that is what is most important.

This year- the best thing I can do to remember my Mother, doing more than just tell her legacy, but to SHOW her granddaughters’  just how much I love her, to celebrate “Mom” is by celebrating all of “our people”.  So this year? I know I’ll be lingering in the card aisle much longer than usual looking for Mother’s Day cards. We have a lot of people to celebrate…regardless of what name we have given them.

NEW JLuxe by JLo Perfume + Enter to Win

Posted by on May 6, 2015

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I have a morning routine that I have followed for years. I very rarely sway from said routine, part of which includes lotion and body spray. Another part of my ritual? Perfume! I am a hopeless scent person. I always have been. I remember sneaking some of my Mom’s perfume so I could smell as good as she did. Yep. Perfume was always something I loved and lucky for me? Some things never change!

I love yummy lotions, body sprays and especially perfume. Ahh. Perfume. It makes me feel sexy. It makes me feel like a woman. It makes me feel GOOD. So when I had the opportunity to try the new JLuxe by JLo, well. I did NOT have to be asked twice! JLuxe by JLo is the new fragrance from Jennifer Lopez that’s inspired by her fiercely fashionable presence. A floriental fruity fragrance that leaves a lasting impression, JLuxe by JLo opens with a luscious medley of Juicy Pineapple and Sweet Raspberry. The luxurious heart of the fragrance blooms with a floral bouquet of Soft Violet and Damascenian Rose, as sensual layers of Warm Amber, Cedarwood and Musk compose the sensorial dry down on the skin.
Bottom line? This is NOT your teen’s perfume. This one is especially for you to bring out your fierce!
JLuxe by JLo is already in stores at a Kohl’s near you! How ’bout I give you the chance to win a bottle to try for yourself?

FOLLOW JENNIFER LOPEZ:

Win It! JLO Luxe_Deco_JLUXE 1.22.15

One Mamas on a Dime reader will win a bottle of JLuxe by JLo!

Just fill out the giveaway form below. If you’re reading this in our daily email or a feed reader, then click on the title of the post to be taken to the blog so you can enter to win.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends Wednesday, May 13 at 10:00pm MST, and the winner will be chosen randomly, contacted by email, and posted on the blog the next day.

The Rules:
*Only ONE entry per name/email address (excluding bonus entries).
*Open to U.S. Residents Only
*Make sure you include a valid email address so we can contact you. This is the only thing your email address will be used for.
*Winner is chosen using random.org.
*Winner has 48 hours to contact us, or another winner will be chosen.

This is Sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own.