Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

As the new year approaches, we think more of goals for the next year and make our New Year's Resolutions. Some people superficially make their resolutions, to lose weight, spend less, enjoy family, all beginning next week. Others start off with best intentions but lose focus as the year continues. Some post and focus on their goals, to allow those to make a positive change. Honestly, I have the truest of intentions and have fortunately gotten about 85% of my goals accomplished without extreme focus. 

The other night, my husband very casually asked me about my goals for 2012. And I gave him a very blank stare. So to buy time, I asked what his were, and he handed me a notepad with 2 pages filled! He had various goals from physical to financial, from creative to material -- some were longer-termed goals, but still he had them listed to work towards it. He wanted to write them down and share them as accountability. 

I love him and appreciate that idea! He's right. We don't have to go it alone. If we seriously want to make changes, we need to employ the help of others, for support, encouragement, and joy!

I also think goals should be attainable. I do fairly well with my goals because they aren't so high that it would be extremely difficult to achieve. With that, here are my goals this year:

Discovering the Me in Mommy's Goals
1. Write more frequently
2. Get more faithful readers as I'm faithful to read others' blogs
Personal Spiritual Goals
1. Be more excited to regularly read my Bible 
Personal Goals
1. Exercise 2-3 times a week
2. Drink 6-8 cups of water each day
3. Come up with creative learning projects for my toddler
4. Renew my teaching license
5.Support and encourage my husband

Photo Credit: Image: digitalart /

Thursday, December 29, 2011

This Mommy's Year-End Discovery!

At the beginning of 2011, I wrote about my goals for 2011. And now at the close of 2011, I'm so amazed by the blessings. Here's a quick look back and an update...for my benefit too!

Discovering the Me in Mommy's Goals
1. Get to 200 Facebook friends before the end of January (and there'll an awesome giveaway from Sweeter than Sweets when Discovering the Me in Mommy's resolution is resolved)!
We did it -- thank you!
2. Post more of my thoughts (with the help of the Blog Dare) and build up my readership
I tried to more consistently blog, but I still have room to grow.
3. Be content with the rate my readership grows!

Contentment was much easier as life got busier!
Personal Spiritual Goals
1. Read my Bible and pray each day, willingly and whole-heartedly.
I got involved with a community Bible Study (Bible Study Fellowship) which really helps me to regularly read and study the Bible and pray more whole-heartedly.
Personal Social Goals
1. Learn to more happily serve my family, even especially in the mundane activities.
I think I forgot about this goal, but looking back, joyful service was achieved some of the time.
2. Find ways to invest in other women's lives.
YEA! I'm able to meet with awesome women twice a week!
3. Make sure to care for the ME in this mommy by drinking more water and exercising regularly.
This makes me laugh, because I hardly drink enough water still, but I am exercising...kind of!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Post-Christmas Rush to Return? Or Re-gift?

The presents are opened, and everyone's mostly happy, right?!? Earlier I blogged about my distaste for Christmas lists, but the thing about Christmas lists is that the satisfaction after the wrapping is undone should be a guaranteed 100%. So (perhaps) unfortunately for me, the one who doesn't like making lists, I some times get something that I could probably live without! Some times I am given the gift receipt, which makes returns a new attempt at a "better" gift. I've also heard that people can find out where the gift was purchased to receive store credit; not sure how this really works in practice because businesses might end up losing money in this deal because there are some who would abuse this. There is also much more love in sharing by donating to a charity who could use it. And there is the dear re-gifting!

I actually have a shelf for "gifts." Most are generic gifts, like candles, random pieces of jewelry which I like but probably would rather share with someone else, toys/games, lotions, fuzzy socks. If I don't "need" a gift I'm given, it might just end up in this shelf to be passed along to someone at a later time. Fortunately I have a pretty good memory when it comes to remembering who gave me what -- I can even remember which infant clothing was given to my daughter by which friend! But for those who don't, you might need to attach a note about who the gift was from and the date; obviously it would be embarrassing to re-gift to the person who originally gifted it to you.

So what do you actually do? Return or re-gift?!?

Photo Credit:Image: Stuart Miles /

Friday, December 23, 2011

BluePay Giveaway Winner!


BluePay, a non-profit credit card processing company, offered a $50 giftcard giveaway, and Kelly D. is our lucky winner! Congrats and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The True Christmas - Name Above All Names

Yesterday I was driving home after picking up a few things I needed to make a dish for a Christmas dinner we're attending tonight! And traffic back from the store was twice as long and miserable, with the long wait of red brake lights. Driving does not bring out the best in me, but before I hurled my attitude down, this song came on the radio. Listening to it gave me goosebumps when the song I recognized began to change to different languages. For me, this is Christmas. There would be no joy, no hope, no love without this glorious gift. If you have a few minutes, watch this video of the song I heard.
What is Christmas to you?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Awesome Pillsbury Potluck Party!

While I do enjoy hosting parties, I've discovered that I end up being super stressed about details. After hosing the Pillsbury Potluck Party, I realized there are some easy recipes available! It was a fun night! I prepared a few recipes from the Pillsbury website, and my guests brought another Pillsbury dish to share. We had the Crescent-Wrapped Brie, which I'm making again for another Christmas dinner, Cheeseburger Pot Pie, which makes an easy dinner, and Holiday Appetizer Wreath, perfect for bringing to Christmas parties! My husband decided he would make some desserts which appealed to him, and he made the Chocolate and Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies and the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Truffles, which we dipped in dark, Ghirardelli chocolate!

As you can see, Pillsbury makes holiday entertaining easier (and also can make dinners around a busy time much easier)! I'm no longer stressing about entertaining; in fact, I'm bringing the Pillsbury Party! The weekend after this Potluck Party, I used the leftover ham for a Ham 'n Cheese Omelet Bake, which was both yummy and impressive! For your next party, check out Pillsbury's site, and for those of us who need it as easy as possible, Ideas Made Easy are created in less than 30 minutes with less than 5 ingredients! Also, many Pillsbury products are currently on sale, and with coupons, you could save even more! Click to print a coupon for $1.10 off the purchase of Pillsbury refrigerated products for your creations!

You can also follow Pillsbury on Twitter and like Pillsbury on Facebook.

***Opinions are strictly my own. The Pillsbury product, information, food ideas, online coupon link, and prize pack have been provided by Pillsbury through MyBlogSpark.***

Monday, December 12, 2011

Are you finished Christmas shopping?!?

I was listening to the radio the other day, and they mentioned that the average American spends $700 per family member at Christmas. I was shocked because I spend less than $100 per family member, some times even closer to $20 -- the most extravagant was getting my husband a laptop (which I'm currently using -- hee hee) several years ago.

In conversation today, I met a lady who must be the average American. She mentioned that her father was giving her $350 to spend on each child. In addition to that, she was spending $250 on each child, and her partner was spending $200 on each child. As graciously as possible, I asked if she had considered setting some of that money aside for college since a 4-year-old really doesn't need $800 worth of toys, but she somehow dismissed that idea. I'm still somewhat in shock, and honestly saddened that Christmas has been cheapened to spending dollars, some of which could be put to better use like paying down debts or saving for the future. What good will all the extravagant toys do when the family has no emergency fund? Anyway, this lady is still happily doing her shopping. And I'm happily done with my shopping!

How about you? Are you still shopping? Honestly, what kind of budget do you have for presents?

By the way, if you're still shopping, I have a quick giveaway for $50 from BluePay, which provides non-profit credit card processing.

Photo Credit: Image: Ambro /

Sunday, December 11, 2011

BluePay for Non-Profit Credit Card Processing with $50 Giveaway

For business owners or non-profit organizations who need the use of credit card processing, let me introduce you to BluePay. With offices in Chicago and New York, BluePay is a small business and full-service credit card processing solutions company.  BluePay provides non-profit credit card processing; with customizable and secure solutions, they assist clients to provide an easy way to make donations. BluePay offers competitive rates with excellent customer service.

You can learn more about BluePay and their non-profit credit card processing solutions at . You can also follow BluePay on Twitter or LinkedIn.

BluePay is giving away a $50 Gift Card of the winner's choice. Be sure to click "Read More" to enter on the Rafflecopter form!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Oral-B Stages

Our playgroup got to have the Oral-B Stages experience, and the party kit was fun. We had everything in it to keep smiles bright, from the Oral-B Stages toothbrush and toothpaste, complete with Pooh Bear, Cars Movies, or Disney Princesses. My little one love Pooh on the toothbrush!
From the party kit, my favorite was the Disney Daily Renewal Naturals. I love the fact that it's paraben, sulfate, and dye-free, natural and safe for little ones!

Teaching children good hygiene is so important, and I'm so glad Oral-B was able to help us accomplish that! Smiles and special thanks to MommyParties and Oral-B Stages!

****This is not a paid post.  Thank you to MommyParties and Oral-B Stages who supplied the products for the party kit!**** 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Review Opportunity!

All right cloth diapering bloggers! Kebbie's Diaper Bag are looking for mamas to provide honest reviews and host giveaways of their cloth diapering products. Read more and sign up with Midnight Mommy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Wishing for Spring!

Exciting News!

No, I'm not pregnant! But I wanted to announce that Judy (lucky #1) won the 39DollarGlasses giveaway, and coming up really soon will be a giveaway for a $50 gift card of your choice!

Photo Credit: Image: Ambro /

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pillsbury Potluck Planning!

I'm planning my Pillsbury Potluck Party where each family will prepare a Pillsbury recipe to share with the others. With 30 minutes and 5 ingredients or less, which sound good to you?!?

Get these and other great recipe ideas at!