Monday, September 15, 2014

A Wicked Rad myCharge Portable Power GIVEAWAY!

The kids are back to school, but Moms know that's only the beginning! Now that the school year is in full swing, there's no slowing down. In fact, things can start getting pretty hectic this time of year between your work and your kid's homework, after-school clubs and sports, music lessons and carpools, birthday parties and play dates...the list goes on and on!

Even the most organized Mom (aka not me) will tell you things can change at the last minute, and Moms of all people can't afford to run out of power... we mean for your phone or tablet, of course! myCharge knows how important it is for you to stay charged and connected all day—and all school year—long, so they're giving the gift of portable power so you're never left in the red!

To keep you charged and connected myCharge is giving 3 lucky winners each an iPad mini with a myCharge HUB 6000 portable charger! <---SO RAD! The amazingly compact Hub 6000 features built-in cables and connectors for smartphones, tablets, e-readers and more. Get up to 27 hours of additional talk time for your devices, as well as integrated, quick-charge wall prongs. The Hub series is commonly known as the “Swiss Army Knife of portable power devices.

Additionally, 40 winners will each receive an Energy Shot compact portable charger for their smartphones that delivers an additional boost when you need it most. They come in a variety of styles and can give you up to 10 hours of talk time! (Please note, smart phone not included in giveaway).

So Moms, stay out of the red this school year! myCharge is here to keep you charged and connected! For more information on products visit the myCharge website or follow them on Facebook. You can find myCharge products available at retailers such as Target and Kohl's.

Fill out the entry form below September 15, 2014 - October 15, 2014 for your chance to be one of 40 winners to receive an Energy Shot Charger (10 winners randomly selected each week) and one of 3 grand prize winners randomly selected on October 15, 2014 to receive one iPad Mini with a myCharge HUB 6000 portable charger. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age or older, must live in the United States and have a valid shipping address. See giveaway form for complete list of rules and details. 

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This is a sponsored post from myCharge.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I AM the boss.


I'm Ava. I'm 6 and in the first grade. I've lost nine teeth! It totally grosses my mom out when I'm wiggling a tooth and finally get it out. I think it's funny to make her squirm.

I have a little brother who is annoying but I love him. His name is Ethan or sometimes we call him EZ. We have a cat who never lets me pet him. I don't know why he doesn't love me, I would love to cuddle all day with him.

I'm a great artist. I can draw pretty much anything. I'm also really good at using the iPad, as long as they aren't learning apps.

I love a lot of things but I get angry easily. It's hard for me to say why I get so angry when something doesn't go my way, I just do.

I hate it when I have to work for something. Working is stupid and hard. I don't like it and it makes me mad. I'm scared I won't do it right, so why do it at all?

That's why I hate reading. My mind doesn't keep the words in my brain for me to remember easily and it frustrates me so much. So much, that I get angry and don't want to learn how to read. Well, I guess I do want to learn how to read but it's just so hard. I'm not good at it. When I can't figure out a word I feel stupid. My parents say I'm not but that's not how I feel inside.

My mom and dad made me do the reading program at school last year. I hated that. I hated leaving all my classmates. They were getting to do fun stuff while I had to learn how to read. AND THEN, my mom and dad made me see a reading tutor over the summer. That REALLY made me mad. But I secretly liked the tutor, she was nice and gave me candy at the end. I didn't like that she would send notes home to my mom about what I'm supposed to do before I see her next. Homework, ugh. Stupid homework. Stupid reading. It makes me feel so stupid because it's so hard.

My mom tries to get me to read all the time and I hate it. It's annoying. Why can't I just play? Why can't you just read it to me like you always do? Why do I have to learn to read? It's so dumb. So then she gets really mad and frustrated with me. Sometimes I really try my hardest and a lot of times I reeeeally don't want to do it so I get sassy. My mom hates that most of all.

I know I shouldn't talk that way but I don't care because I'd rather get in trouble for being sassy than have to read. My brother, EZ, doesn't have to do homework. Mom says it's because he's still too little but will have to learn someday. I bet he'll be better than me. I don't like when people are better at something than me. It's not fair.

That's something my mom says I need to stop saying. It's not fair. She says that I'm better at drawing than EZ and is that fair to EZ? I know what she's saying but I choose to ignore it. Hmph.

I do like to go the library though. So many books! I'm a big girl so I should be able to read chapter books like big girls do. I don't know why I have to keep reading the baaaby books. But chapter books are hard for me. It's so frustrating. I do want to learn how to read and I know I will someday because my mom won't stop bugging me about it. Man, she's annoying like that. I know she's just trying to help me, at least that’s what she says. I know I need help. She told me she would buy me a Kindle like hers when I learn how to read. So cool! I want a Kindle with a cover that has lots of bright colors. Maybe with rainbows and horses. I love horses.

I like school. I like my friends and my teacher. They are all really cool. The work isn't too bad. I just wish I could learn how to read. Why can't it just be easy?

I just feel dumb that reading is hard for me.

But guess what?

I just learned how to ride my bike without training wheels. Talk about frustrating! It took forever to learn. My mom told me one day that I'm the boss of the bike. That I shouldn't let the bike win. I'm the boss. She told me this over and over. At first it was annoying but then I got it.

I AM the boss.

I had to be the one to tell that bike what to do. And I did it. I rode my bike. Not just once but a whole bunch of times, up and down the sidewalk.

That night my mom made me do my reading homework, which I obviously hated but I decided that I was the boss of that book. My mom helped me with the hard words but I read most of it. I sounded out words and I tried really hard. I showed that book who's boss. I wasn't going to let those words win and beat me.

I AM the boss.

When my mom is proud of me she gets really goofy. She starts to squeal and gets super excited. It's embarrassing but it does make me feel good to make her proud. It tells me that I'm doing a good job.

You guys should have seen her when I finished that book. She was jumping up and down and kissing me all over the face, telling everyone that I learned how to ride my bike AND willingly read a book to her. See what I mean about being goofy? It did make me feel good even thought I was embarrassed. The attention makes me uncomfortable but deep down I was super proud of myself for not giving up.

Sometimes my brain tries to tell me I'm stupid but I know I'm not. Reading is still really hard but I'm trying harder than I ever have before. I know I can do it. I just have to be the boss.

My name's Ava and I AM the boss.

Friday, August 29, 2014

What's in Your Kid's Toy Box?

You know how kids nowadays have a stupid amount of toys? Well SparkBox Toys had an ingenious idea to do a toy rental program. That's kinda sorta what it is. They have a subscription service that you can sign up for that's either every 4 or 8 weeks, or if you really want to get fancy you can do a whole year. You can keep the toys for as long as you wish (no late fees) but when you return the box, they will send out a new box of toys to keep your child engaged, happy and less likely to get sick of their toys. Kind of like when I stand in front of my full closet complaining I have nothing to wear.

But say your kids LOOOOVE a particular toy that comes in the box and refuses to part with it even with the promise of a new toy. SparkBox's got you covered, you can buy the toy from SparkBox at discount to the retail price. Rad, huh?

Ok so now you're thinking that's cool but used toys... ewe. GERMS! Not in this case because BEFORE SparkBox sends the toy out to a new child they hose it down with bleach and light it on fire, essentially killing all germs. I'm kidding but they do have a stringent sterilization process (which you can read about here). They make sure all the toys are up to par and then shrink wrap the toys so all the bits and pieces stay together. They even send a mesh bag that you can put all the loose parts from the toys in. These people were thinking ahead. They have mesh bags, I have a junk box of random toy parts.

The toys are educational and age appropriate. Ava was bummed because she's too old. That doesn't mean she didn't claim every toy as her own. The boxes contain four toys. EZ received a wooden shape puzzle, a thing where you open the doors to discover a wooden piece inside, a LeapFrog ABC laptop looking thing, and blocks. Guess which one he decided he wanted to keep? Ok I'll just tell you. The blocks. Because they make good tunnels for his cars. His words, not mine.

All the toys come with a card that help you, as the parent, figure out how to use the toy in an educational and stimulating way. Ya know, rather than giving the kid the toy and just saying, "Have at it!" It's nice to have a little guidance for playtime. I know that sounds silly but seriously, does anyone else get bored playing? I do. I can only play Barbies for so long (~2 minutes) before my brain short circuits. The cards give me ideas of different ways to play.

There is something nice about knowing you are getting top notch toys that don't clutter your house. This never happens in my house. My house is spotless. *brushes crumbs off the couch* EZ still has a little time left for these toys. SparkBox Toys are geared for ages 4 and under but honestly, Ava (who's 6) played with these toys for a solid half hour. Fist bump, SparkBox. You my homie.

Be sure to check out SparkBox Toys' website to find out more about the company, their philosophy and toys. And it's imperative to follow them on Facebook and Twitter because social media.

Seriously... LOOK AT THIS PICTURE (ignore the pajamas)! THEY AREN'T FIGHTING! WHOOP!

Disclaimer: SparkBox Toys gave me a free one month subscription and one toy to keep from the box in exchange for a blog review. The opinions expressed herein are mine alone and do not represent the opinions of SparkBox Toys

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Tribute to My Loves

I've inadvertently been on an extended blogger break. I guess I've had other things to focus on lately. End of summer, start of school, completely organizing my house (yeah, I have no idea what that's all about), turning one year older... take your pick. All good things for sure.

If you follow me on social media, you probably noticed that I love birthdays. I try to make them a big deal for my kids. Right now, they are young and birthdays are rad but as you get older they do get lamer. People forget, little or no presents, one foot on the grave, etc. Me? I love them. Yeah I'm a year closer to 40 but so what? I love my life. I poke fun at it all the time in a super sarcastic manner but I do love what I have and appreciate every bit of it. I still act and feel like I'm 14 (most of the time). So when it's my birthday, I GO BIG!

Which is why I decided to get a tattoo that I've been wanting for 6 years on my birthday (it was last Friday in case you MISSED it). I waited get the tattoo because I knew we weren't done having children after Ava and I wanted to be sure we were done. Once EZ came along, well... it was time.

I designed it which seems like duh since I design for a living. I have a tattoo board on Pinterest and tried a bazillion different fonts. I tried stacking the names and using an ampersand. That's the & sign in case you didn't know what that doohicky was called, it's not called the "and sign". Learn something new everyday!

The font is called Baltan. Since I'm cheap and didn't want to pay $150 for a font I used the sample text generator to get their names in the font. Made screen grabs, threw those into Photoshop, and pieced it all together. I'm not a big fan of hearts, especially for tattoos but I felt this worked to pull the piece together. I also wanted it on my left ribs, by my heart. Cheesy? Yes and I don't care.

My ribs? Ouch. Yes, homies, ouch.

When he touched my skin with the gun it felt like tiny razors cutting my skin. That shit hurt. The tattoo artist said that it's important to put the tattoo where you want it and not worry about the pain because the pain only lasts a little while when the tattoo will last forever. Smart man.

I cussed a lot. My first instinct when I'm nervous is to joke and laugh. I couldn't laugh or joke around because he was tattooing my ribs and I didn't want to fuck the artist up while he's doing his job. That was impossible so I breathed like I was going through labor. I kicked my shoes off during the process because my feet were getting sweaty. Pain makes me sweat. Pain also makes me feel like I'm going to throw up. I didn't throw up. YAY ME!

I'm not sure how long it took, maybe 45 minutes? It didn't hurt the whole time, just when he was actually tattooing so there were plenty of breaks. The pain stopped when he stopped. He worked backwards doing EZ's name first and then Ava's. Go figure that my difficult child was the worst part of the tattoo. No seriously, that "j" was a motherf*ckingb*tch of a letter.

I had my girls with me for support and one of the girls got her nose pierced! Tattoos and piercings on a Saturday night. We're old lady rebels!!

J loves it, my kids love it and most importantly, I love it. It's perfect. I was worth every second of pain.

P.S. I'm working on a follow-up post with all the hilarious pictures and VIDEO!!!  <-- Which contains a LOT of f-bombs, obviously.

Do you have any tribute tattoos? Tell me, show me! I wanna see!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

When you take the cat to the vet, don’t take your kids!

Taking Sam to the vet gives me a stupid amount of anxiety. It’s impossible to get him into the crate without one of us getting scratched and/or pulling a muscle. The kids swarm at the same time because MOMMY IS HOLDING THE CAT! I WANT TO PET! But Sam does not want to be petted. He pretty much only loves me and sometimes my husband, when I’m not around. The kids? He’d rather lick his own butt than associate himself with those fur-grabbers.
With the kids suffocating me like that it’s even harder to get Sam into the crate. His eyes bug out of his head. He grabs at the lip of the crate, paws splayed out in desperation. I can’t shut the door. My arm is stuck inside trying to keep his head in the crate, which also doesn’t let me shut the door. Sam is no longer the loving kitty I know; he is a wild beast in a fight for his life. It’s a tense couple of minutes. In the end, I’m always sweating and Sam is howling like he’s dying. BUT he’s in the crate. I win.
I’m sweating just typing this out.
Today is one of those dreaded take the cat to the vet days and we’re on a time constraint. The vet’s latest appointment was 5:30, which means I have to haul ass to get home, get the cat in the crate (see above), get shoes on the kids (5,000 shoes in the closet and not one matches), get everyone in the car (howling cat in crate and kids who are too easily distracted… squirrel!), and finally drive over to the vet’s office in little under a half hour.
Once inside the office everything is sort of okay.We sit and wait. The kids want the free dog treats at the front desk. I almost say, “okay, take one” but the receptionist gives me the stink-eye so I say, “They aren’t for little kids.” Pfff my daughter used to eat cat food all the time. She’s… fine-ish now.
They call us back to a teeny room with no A/C. Holy crap balls it’s stuffy in here, I think. Sam is terrified, but instead of trying to get away, he makes himself as small as possible, which is a hopeless because he’s 12 pounds of fat. His hair is coming out in tufts and flying all over the room, sticking to my already sweaty face. The kids are trying to climb up on the high counter to get closer to Sammy.

They succeed and are on the counter. At this point, I don’t even care anymore. They are making so much damn noise and it’s so fucking HOT. The vet comes in. So now it’s two small kids, three adults, and a terrified cat in a teeny-ass room with cat hair coming down like cotton in the middle of a sticky summer day. So fun.
Sam gets his shots and his check-up, and is all good. He can’t get into the crate fast enough to hide from all the poking and prodding from the littles. I don’t think having a thermometer stuck up his butt helped either.
While I’m checking out, the kids are still asking for free dog treats. UGH, just this once? I glance at the receptionist. She looks back like,you can’t be serious? Ok fine, I’ll be a responsible mama and not scar them for life with free dog treats. However, if they did have one they’d never ask for them again. Just saying.
While I pay the bill, EZ says he has to go potty. Ava offers to take him to the bathroom. The cat is howling again now. The vet’s office isn’t that big so I watch my kids go into the bathroom at the end of the hall. I finish with the bill but they’re still not out of the bathroom. I can hear them all the way down the hall (over the screeching cat) doing God knows what in there. My kids are not quiet children.
I stand outside the locked bathroom door and ask in my nice I’m-in-public voice, “What’s going on in there?” Ava says everything’s ok and that she’s helping EZ onto the toilet. (He hasn’t even gone yet? It’s been 10 minutes!) But then I hear tinkling and EZ says, something wanting to touch something-something, but I’m not sure because it’s hard to understand a 3-year-old’s voice though a door while a cat is screaming at you. I quickly lose my nice I’m-in-public voice and switch to panic mode: “DO NOT PLAY IN THE TOILET! AT LEAST FLUSH THE TOILET FIRST! WASH YOUR HANDS! OMG OPEN THIS DOOR RIGHT NOW!!! ”
did mention the vet’s office is small, right? Yeah, okay. That’s when I hear laughter erupt at the front desk. Dude, it was funny; I’d be laughing too. But I am too focused to care: “PLEASE STOP TRYING TO INFECT YOURSELF WITH ALL KINDS OF NASTY!”
The door opens and all four hands are dripping wet from (I can only hope) washing their hands in the sink. I push them out the door and into the car while the cat continues to scream from his crate.
It wasn’t until much later when we were all sitting on the couch at home that I noticed that EZ’s undies had only been pulled half-way up, exposing his bare butt.
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