Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Raising A Teenager - Episode 1

When my first born child was only a couple weeks old, I can remember my husband and I going out to dinner for the first time, taking the baby along with us. I was a nervous wreck - did I pack enough stuff in the diaper bag? what were we going to do if he started screaming in the restaurant? what if my breasts started leaking? what if he dirtied his diaper before we finished dinner? Oh, it seemed so difficult!

Now, that baby boy is 17 years old. And, let me tell you, if I thought that first dinner out with a baby in tow was difficult, it didn't hold a candle to the difficulty of raising a teenager. As a baby, you love them, you feed them, keep them clean, warm, dry, & safe, and you're doing great. When they become a teenager, it's no longer that simple.

Currently, our son has been saving up to buy his first car. He has a part-time job at a local grocery store. We agreed to match his "X" amount of dollars to put toward a car. A month or so ago, he had an accident (in my car- no damage to our car but mucho damage to the NEW CADILLAC that he backed in to). In addition, my husband had an accident a few months ago. So, our auto insurance skyrocketed from approx. $1500/yr to $4200/yr. YIKES! Because of this, we've had to put his car shopping on hold - we simply can't afford it right now. My husband does some side work - construction - and he offered to let my son come to work with him 2-3 days per week (on his off-days from the grocery store) making $9/hr. That's pretty good money for a 17 yr. old, much better than he makes at the grocery store. He could rack up some additional car money pretty quickly. But, my son just doesn't want to be bothered with it - he "already has a job" and he "has other things to do"'s so frustrating! He says this is basically his last year before he's a grown-up and "really" has to work for a living, that we should let him have his free time (meaning staying up till 3 a.m. playing XBOX, sleeping in till noon, and then hanging out at the gym or with his friends the rest of the day). I know kids need to be kids, but, they also need to learn the value of working and saving for something. I'm sure it's common for teens to be like this, but, he seems so lazy and unconcerned about things. My husband is one of the hardest-working men I've ever met. You would think our son would learn by example, but, it's like he went the complete opposite direction. He wants a car so badly, he complains and fusses about it all the time. Yet, he doesn't want to do the work required to pay for it (and the insurance). He thinks once he graduates next year and turns 18, things are going to magically fall into place and he will be living on his own with a car and having a grand ol' time. I'm afraid he's going to be in for a rude awakening when that time comes. I suppose he may have to learn some things the hard way. But, as a parent, that's the difficult part for don't want to see them learn things the hard way, but sometimes you have to.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Return To Me

From Netflix:

A building contractor (David Duchovny) donates his wife's heart after she's tragically killed in an accident. A year later, he falls in love with a plucky waitress (Minnie Driver), only to discover she had received a heart transplant at the same time and place. Directed by Bonnie Hunt, this charming romantic comedy about second chances at love – and life -- co-stars Carroll O'Connor, Robert Loggia and Joely Richardson.

This is such a sweet and funny film! Bonnie Hunt is hilarious, especially when she hysterically shouts out the line, "Grace has Bob's dead wife's heart!" You will laugh and maybe even cry, too.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Creature Of Habit

Change. I don't like it. I'm a creature of habit, for sure. I like routines and knowing what's coming next. It makes me happy to know that most evenings we are going to sit as a family and have dinner. I like knowing that most nights after dinner, my husband and I are going to sit down on the couch with our cups of coffee and watch Jeopardy together, while the kids play in the backyard or on the computer. I like being able to look ahead in my calendar and know what's happening on a given day. Sudden changes in routine or last-minute plans stress me out for some reason. I wonder why? Sometimes I wish I was more of a go-with-the-flow kind of gal, but, I'm just not. Maybe being a creature of habit sounds boring to some. But, to me it makes me feel content; safe.

What about you? How do you handle change?

GIVEAWAY WINNER - Mark Citrus Bloom Fragrance

Thanks to all that stopped by to enter my giveaway for the Mark Citrus Bloom fragrance. I still can't say enough good things about this scent - it's so good!

The randomly selected winner is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2010-06-28 12:46:51 UTC

fisiwoman said...

Enter me please! I'm a new follower via google, as fisiwoman
Ana Belén R.M
June 17, 2010 4:54 PM

I will be emailing the winner shortly. If no response is received within 3 days, I will choose a new random winner.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Random Talk

  • If you haven't entered my giveaway, go here for the details. I'm giving away a bottle of Mark/Avon Citrus Bloom fragrance - it's my new favorite summer scent. A random winner will be chosen tomorrow.

  • I'm totally kicking myself! Awhile back, I found a quilt at Target that I loved and wanted to get for my boys' twin beds (they share a room). The quilt was around $79.99 so I decided to play the Target waiting game and wait for it to get marked down. Several weeks later, lo and behold, my Target had the quilt marked down to 39.99, but, they only had one twin sized quilt left. I bought it and went to a couple other Targets to find another twin size. At all the other Targets I went to, they were still marked regular price, so, I gambled and played the waiting game again. Fast forward a couple more weeks... I've been to 3 Targets and I CANNOT FIND THE QUILT AT ALL! I'm so mad at myself for not buying the other one sooner. It used to be available online and now it's not even showing up there either.

  • I've probably said it before and I'm going to say it again - Friday Night Lights is one of the best shows on tv. If you have not watched this show, I urge you to check it out. You can see recent episodes on or check out previous seasons on DVD. The show is about high school football in Texas and centers around the coach, his family and players. I can't say enough about it, and I don't even like football!

  • Tuesday night my friend and I, along with our daughters, will be going to the midnight opening of the Eclipse movie. It's become a tradition for us to go to the midnight openings of the Twilight saga movies. I can't wait!

  • With the BlogHer Conference coming up, I'm starting to see more and more chatter about it around blogland and on twitter. Oh, I would love to go! But, I wouldn't have the first clue what to do or what to expect. I'm sure I'm not the only blogger who feels this way. Next year, I think there should be some kind of BlogHer Big Sister program where an experienced BlogHer-attendee adopts a newbie and takes them along to show them the ropes. What do you think? Sounds like a great idea to me. So, if any of you expereinced BlogHer Conference people happen to be reading this, I would love to work with you to make this happen;o))

Friday, June 25, 2010

Aloha Friday - 5 Words

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So, on Fridays we can take it easy on blog posting, too.

I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, visit An Island Life where you can link up with your own question and also visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

Here ya go....

Describe yourself in only 5 words -- you can list 5 words or you can use a 5-word phrase

That's actually harder than I thought, but, here's mine:

1) quiet
2) caring
3) passive
4) clumsy
5) worrier

Thursday, June 24, 2010

4th of July Buzzed Driving Outreach

The following information is provided by Global Influence in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Ad Council as they continue their efforts with the "Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving" PSA campaign. (In exchange for sharing this information with my readers, I was entered in a gift card drawing. No monetary compensation was exchanged.)

The summer picnic season is upon us, and one of the biggest weekends of the summer is almost here! With the Fourth of July right around the corner, it's time to plan now for a safe and sober way home.

While many of us focus on fireworks safety each Fourth of July, we also need to keep our roads safe for the drive home after the festivities.

Whether at a family picnic or viewing the local fireworks display, many of us will be on the road this Independence Day. It's time to spread the word about the dangers of buzzed driving and to remind people that Buzzed Driving IS Drunk Driving, and the best way to stay safe is to plan ahead.

We need your help in keeping the roads safe for everyone this July Fourth by spreading the word that buzzed driving IS drunk driving.

There are four steps you should take to protect your loved ones on the Fourth of July:

1.) Designate a sober driver before you leave for your Fourth of July events.
2.) Be ready to take alternate transportation such as a bus or taxi.
3.) Have the phone number of a taxi service stored in your phone before you leave for the party.
4.) Call 9-1-1 if you see an impaired driver on the road.

Even if you will not be drinking alcoholic beverages this Fourth of July, keep in mind that over the course of 2008, 1,179 people in other vehicles were killed in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers. And there were a total of 491 motor vehicle traffic fatalities during the Fourth of July Holiday period (Thursday, July 3rd, 6 pm to Monday, July 7th, 5:59 am). And for those who say they don't plan on over-indulging . . . a buzzed driving crash looks the same as a drunk driving crash.
To learn more about the impact buzzed driving can have on a life, please watch this important video about the financial and personal repercussions of getting a DUI:
Remember: Buzzed Driving IS Drunk Driving. Plan ahead and ask your loved ones to do the same.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Baby Boom


Here's one of my favorite older movies. It stars Diane Keaton and Sam Shepard. Very cute and funny.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Aloha Friday - Favorite Things About Summer

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So, on Fridays we can take it easy on blog posting, too.

I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, visit An Island Life where you can link up with your own question and also visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

My question for you is:

What's one or two of your favorite things about summer?

My answer: 1) Flip-flops  2) Fresh fruits and veggies.  I pretty much dislike everything else about summer. That may sound awful to some of you, but, I'm just not a hot weather person. I love winter! Bring on the snowflakes, nippy temperatures, and roaring fireplaces.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fragrance Review and Giveaway - Mark Citrus Boom


I have been reading and hearing great reviews about this fragrance from Mark called Citrus Bloom, so I decided I would give it a try. When it comes to fragrances, I am very choosy. Many are either too strong, giving me a headache, or too weak and don't seem to last once applied. Here's the description of Citrus Bloom from the Avon/Mark website:

Notes of green mango, juicy mandarin and lemon ice capture your zest for life, while orange flower, honeysuckle and jasmine express an underlying floral flirtation. Sun-bleached teak, patchouli and sandalwood root the scent, creating a perfect balance between energy and calmness

After ordering this and wearing it for a couple days, I can tell you that Citrus Bloom is my new favorite fragrance. It smells so crisp and clean; very sheer but it has staying power. It's one of those fragrances that is so fresh and light, you can reapply it as often as you want and it never gets overpowering. (I'm seriously loving it so much that I apply it just about every time I walk into my bathroom - it makes me feel happy every time I get a whiff:).  It's the perfect mixture of fruit and flowers. And, it's such a pretty little bottle, too.

I love this fragrance so much that I want to share it with you. I'm giving away one bottle of mark Citrus Bloom Fragrance Mist. To enter the giveaway, just be a follower or email subscriber of my blog and let me know in the comment section below.

Extra Entries - You may earn extra entries by doing any or each of the following (leave a separate comment for each thing you do):

1) Follow me on twitter

2) Tweet the following message and leave link to your tweet (may be done 1x daily):

Mark Citrus Bloom fragrance review and giveaway from @alas3lads. Check it out here #giveaway

3) Blog about this giveaway

Random winner will be seleced on June 28, 2010. Please make sure I have a valid way to contact you in case you are the winner.  U.S. and international entries accepted. Happy summer!

*This is not a sponsored post. Opinions are my own and I am providing the item for giveaway*

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sad Day

If you are a regular around here, you know that my dad passed away last month after battling lung cancer. From the time he was diagnosed until he died, it was about eight months. So fast. Up until then, he had been perfectly healthy all his life. He did smoke for 50 years, which I'm sure is what led to his lung cancer. I think I was in denial for a long time. Even though we knew the tumor was inoperable and then learned that the cancer had spread to his brain, spine, and liver. I just kept thinking we would have more time. Just a little more time. But, it turns out that "a little more time" in that situation is never enough. I really miss my dad! He was so good to me and my husband and especially to our kids. Whenever my kids did or said something funny or mischievious, my dad was the first one I wanted to tell. He got such a kick out of his grandkids. I know they miss him, too.

This past week, a close family friend also passed away (my sister and I are both actually named after her). She was friends with my parents since their teenage years. Her and her husband, my parents, and two or three other couples were all especially close during high school and their younger years. Now, they are in their early 70's. At the funeral today, they were talking and laughing. Remembering their times together at prom, or just running around as young couples. They joked about their 55th high school reunion coming up and how they didn't want to go and see "a bunch of old people." It must be so hard, being at the point in your life where your close friends and loved ones are passing on. Of course, anyone can go at any time, but, I'm sure my mom is feeling a lot of sadness, having just lost her husband and her best friend.

I guess I'm rambling and don't really know what the point of this post is exactly. I'm just feeling sad. And, I'm also feeling like I want to take advantage of every precious minute with my family and friends. I hope you will do the same. Thanks for reading!

CSN Stores Product Review - Showtime Rotisserie Oven

I recently had the opportunity to try out a product from In case you are not familiar with CSN Stores, they are an online shopping site that offers over 200 stores to shop from - all on one website. You can find everything from luggage, kitchen ware, shoes, furniture, exercise equipment, bedding, and much more.

I was impressed with the huge selection of items at CSN Stores and I especially liked what I saw in the kitchen ware department. While browsing around, I came across this Showtime Rotisserie Oven. I was so excited! My in-laws have had one of these for years and love it. So, I knew that's what was going into my shopping cart. It arrived at my house quickly (with free shipping, I might add). It was a breeze to use - after taking it out of the box to wash, and then attaching the oven door, it was ready to go. Here you can see it on my kitchen counter right after I added a chicken to roast.

It was so easy! I simply added some seasoning and tied up the chicken, plopped it on the rod, and stuck it in the oven. A 5 lb. chicken takes only 75 minutes - so it's a super "set-it-and-forget-it" way to cook.

Here's the finished chicken, right out of the oven. Isn't it pretty? The whole family thought it tasted great.

The oven also comes with a basket and kabob rods, so in addition to rotisserie chicken and turkey, there's lots of other things you can make in this oven. There's an instructional DVD and recipe booklet, as well. The Showtime Rotisserie Oven seals in natural juices and drains off unwanted fat as it cooks. And, it cooks faster than a conventional oven but uses about half the electricity. I especially love that the removable parts, including the glass door, are all dishwasher safe.

I am super happy with my Showtime Rotisserie Oven and also with my shopping experience at CSN Stores. If you haven't shopped with them, I encourage you to check them out.

*This post was written in conjunction with They provided me with a $60 gift certificate code to use toward the item of my choice. I chose to use the gift certificate toward the purchase of the Showtime Rotisserie Oven. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

iPad Giveaway From MyPunchBowl

Are you familiar with MyPunchbowl? It's an online party planning site that offers online and printed invitations, free ecards, free email reminders for your special occasions and more. I use their free reminders feature and it's so helpful.

Now, to celebrate graduation season, MyPunchbowl is holding a special giveaway. When MyPunchbowl graduates to 20,000 fans on Facebook, they are going to celebrate by giving away the perfect graduation gift — an iPad! To enter, go to the MyPunchbowl Facebook page and "Like" them. Then, submit an entry form and spread the word about the giveaway. Here's the direct link to the contest. Contest ends June 30.

MyPunchbowl recently made an exciting announcement unveiling MyPunchbowl Digital Invitation Studio—a beautiful collection of customizable digital invitations, envelopes, postage, and decorative embellishments for events and celebrations! Check it out with this special sneak peek.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cool Summer Finds

Here are some cool summer finds that I am loving and wanted to share with you....

Teal We Meet Again Nail Colour from Sephora by OPI - dark nail polish colors are my favorite and this one is so dreamy.

I am in love with the jewelry at Etsy shop Andromedii Designs. Each piece is simply beautiful and the colors remind me of everything summer - sea, sand, sky, and trees. Among my favorites are these Treasure Isle earrings, this Ocean Water necklace, and this South Pacific necklace. Everything is just lovely! And, during the month of June, Andromedii Designs is having an Etsyversary sale, so it's a great time to check them out.

Philosophy Apricots and Cream: this high-foaming shampoo, shower gel, and bubble bath from Philosophy smells so incredibly fresh and yummy. You won't be able to stop yourself from opening the bottle and sniffing. I can't get enough of it!

Brightly colored watches seem to be popular right now. This Blue Rubber Sport Watch from Nine West is such a pretty color and would be a lot of fun to wear.

How cute are these yellow thongs from CARLOS by Carlos Santana! I love the little silver charms.

I want this! A beautiful mermaid vase from

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Movie Trailer Tuesday - The Young Victoria

You know how I love these period pieces and this one certainly did not disappoint. It's based on the true story of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert during the early years of reign. The costumes and sets are stunning and the story is so romantic. A really beautiful film.

Rated PG