Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We Have A New Pig!

Not a real pig - just this cute new art print that's now hanging in our kitchen. It's done in shades of turquoise and pale yellow and I love it!

I purchased the print from Type Posters, an Etsy shop that sells high quality poster-sized art prints. They offer funky and  unique prints, many with customizable colors - animals, dog breeds, alphabet and typography, trees, Alice in Wonderland, and more. A few of my favorite prints are the Tree Tops, Life Is Beautiful, and this Mammoth (how fun would it be to have this big guy hanging in your house!)

If you are looking for something different and fun to hang on your walls, check out Type Posters shop on Etsy.

Not a sponsored post - just me sharing a cool new item that I bought for our house.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Aloha Friday - Approval Denied!

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday, hosted by Kailani over at An Island Life. 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!

What's one thing you strongly disapprove of?...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

You Think It Won't Happen To You

image via Can Stock Photo

In the back of your mind you know it's a possibility. But, you naively think it won't happen to you.

I'm talking about credit card fraud.

And, it happened to us today.

My normal morning routine consists of getting up and letting the dog out, then making a cup of coffee, then sitting down to my computer. One of the first things I do on my computer is to access our bank account and review our statement. I guess it's lucky that I do this every morning because today I immediately saw three suspicious transactions that had occurred around 6:30 a.m this morning. They took place in California; two of them at 7-Eleven stores. In California! We live in Kentucky and I have never even been to California. These transactions were made using my husband's ATM/Debit card number (which he very rarely even uses).

Of course, my husband immediately called our bank and the fraud department sprung into action. The thieves had already attemped more purchases and the bank was able to block them. The ATM card was cancelled and blocked from further use. So only three transactions were able to "get through" before we caught on. Those three purchases amounted to approximately $115. I'm so glad we discovered this early and were able to prevent any furthur transactions.

The bank said that someone probably made a paper copy of my husband's ATM card or card number. But, how it came to be used in California is a mystery to me. We have to fill out some paper work and sign an affidavit for the bank and the money will be credited back to our account. It's a relief that it's been a fairly easy process to take care of and I'm grateful to our bank for working with us and helping us through a stressful event like this.

So, please let this be a reminder to you...guard your credit cards with care and check your bank statement daily.

Thieves suck!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies - Review and Giveaway

-This Giveaway Is Closed-

With my kids out of school for the summer, it seems like I'm buying more snacks and treats to keep in the house. This makes it harder than ever for me to control my cravings for something sweet. I want a guilt-free treat that tastes great and satisfies my sweet tooth. I also want a treat that my kids and I can all enjoy.

I was happy to learn that Fiber One has a new product that's just what I'm looking for - Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies.

The Chocolate Fudge brownies are made with chocolate-flavored chips and topped with a dark chocolate-flavored drizzle

The Chocolate Peanut Butter variety contains peanut butter chips topped with a peanut butter drizzle

These moist, chewy treats let you have what you crave while helping you stay on track with your balanced diet. With 5 grams of fiber, which is 20 percent of the Daily Value of Fiber, the new brownies are a smart snacking choice.

I had the opportunity to try out both varieties and I can tell you they are delicious. They're small, but not so small that they leave you feeling unsatisfied. They are very moist and flavorful. This is definitely a snack that I will buy on a regular basis. My kids like to grab one on the go when they want something sweet. I like to enjoy a Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownie with a cup of coffee or hot tea as a treat between lunch and dinner. They're also perfect for taking along if we're out running errands.

Fiber One and General Mills, through MyBlogSpark, provided me with a gift pack that included:
  • a box each of the Chocolate Fudge and the Chocolate Peanut Butter brownies
  • a Fiber One 90-Calorie Brownie themed duffel bag
  • jump rope
  • water bottle
  • snack case
  • headband
  • bracelet.
They have also generously offered one of the same gift packs for giveaway to one of my blog readers. To enter the giveaway (mandatory entry) leave a comment on this post telling me when you might enjoy a Fiber One 90-Calorie Brownie; as an afternoon pick-me-up, an evening indulgence, or some other time.

You may earn optional extra entries for any/each of the following (leave a separate comment for each):
- Follow my blog via GFC (see sidebar)
- Subscribe to my blog via email (see sidebar)
- Follow @alas3lads on twitter (leave your twitter name)
- Tweet this giveaway 1x daily (leave link to your tweet)

Entries will be accepted until 10:00 pm EST on June 27, 2011. One random winner will be chosen and notified. Please make sure you provide valid contact information. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.

Fiber One and General Mills provided the free products mentioned above, information, and gift pack through MyBlogSpark. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Do You Read The Rules?

Last night, I was lying in bed flipping through the tv channels. I finally settled on a rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond. On this particular episode, Debra, Ray, Marie, Frank, and Robert were gathered in the living room about to play a board game. Robert started very carefully reading aloud each and every rule and direction for how to play the game. This went on for awhile and soon the others became irritated with him. They had heard enough of the rules and just wanted to get on with playing the game. Debra even told Robert, "we'll learn to play as we go." This didn't go over well with Robert, who thought a thorough and proper understanding of all the rules was necessary prior to the start of the game. Of course, this whole scenario was full of bickering back and forth and it was quite funny.

It got me thinking, I guess this situation actually applies in real life. Some of us (like me), go through our lives "reading the rules" first so that we will know what to expect and when to expect it. We like things to be orderly and methodical and "by the book." We don't handle change all that well. Others, are more spontaneous. They take things in stride and are able to roll with the punches. Change is something they can adapt to fairly easily.

I'm not saying one of these is better or worse than the other - I'm just saying that there are differences in how people approach their daily lives. There are times when my orderly and methodical personality is a good thing (like when I know exactly where to look for that receipt that I filed away five years ago). There are other times when my orderly and methodical personality is a real hindrance (like when I get super-stressed out over last minute plans changing). I often wish I was more spontaneous. But, that's just not me. I'm one of those folks who will sit and read the entire rule book before I play a board game. I like to actually read all the opening and closing credits of a movie. And, if there's something to assemble, you better believe I'm reading the entire set of directions before I even attempt to put it together. Now, my husband, on the other hand, would never even open the set of directions. He would simply pick up the pieces and start fiddling with them and end up with a perfectly assembled item.

What about you? Do you "read the rules" first? Or, are you able to jump right in and figure things out as you go?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Aloha Friday - Experts

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday, hosted by Kailani over at An Island Life. 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!

What would you like to be an expert in?...

Me? I would love to be an expert in linguistics. I think it would be awesome to be fluent in many languages.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Adjustment Period

I've mentioned recently that our oldest son just turned 18 and graduated from high school. Both in the same week. It was a momentous week and of course, we are so proud and happy for him.

Having said that, it seems we have now entered an adjustment period. An uncomfortable, stressful, confusing adjustment period. Son is thinking, "Whoo Hoo! I'm 18. I've graduated. I can do whatever I want and stay out as late as I want." Parents are thinking, "hmmm, what is wrong with him, thinking he can do whatever he wants and stay out as late as he wants?" It's posing some big challenges for us as we try to navigate this new phase of our child's life.

Yes, we realize he is 18 and he deserves some freedoms. Generally, his curfew is between midnight and 1:00 a.m. We do require that he lets us know where he's at/who he's with, etc. But, if he has to work the next morning or attend a school function (he's doing some summer class stuff at a community college), we want him home earlier than midnight. And, we don't think he should be out running around every single night. He thinks that is totally unreasonable. Is it? Should we let him stay out late and let him deal with the fact that he might feel grumpy and tired the next morning when it's time for work or school?

We still expect him to do a few things around the house - cleaning his room, putting his laundry away, cutting the grass. Truthfully, we've never really asked that much of our kids in the way of household responsibilities and I think that's a big parenting mistake that we made. But, that's a post for another day. Back to our son. He is out and about doing his thing, having a good ol' time and then complaining when we have to "remind him several times" that the lawn needs to be cut.

He's a good kid. He works a part-time job, which he's been at for a year and a half. He pays to put gas in his car. He pays part of his auto insurance. He pays for most of his "fun" stuff - going to the movies, out to eat, etc. For the most part, he hangs around a good bunch of kids. He's never done anything (that we know of) to get himself into real trouble.

I think it's just time to "cut the cord" so to speak. I still do basically everything for my son. I wash his clothes and make sure he has a clean uniform to wear to work and I set my alarm to wake him every morning. I even balance his checkbook. At this point, I think know it's only hurting him that I continue doing these things for him. If he had to make it on his own, I would be afraid to see what happened. It's just so hard to let go, and tell him he has to do those things for himself. I'm such a control freak that I can hardly stand the thought of his checkbook being out of whack (even though he needs to learn to do it on his own, even if it becomes a big mess for him). Its wrong of me, but I know if I do it myself, it will be done right and I won't have to stress about it. But, as I said, that's not helping him in the long run.

We will get through this little adjustment period, I'm sure. Figuring out a way to balance his freedoms and responsibilities with our expectations. It might be a bumpy road, but we will figure it out.

I would love to hear some opinions if you've got kids this age (or if you are a kid this age). I'm so interested to know how other parents deal with their kids getting older...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Under The Tuscan Sun

This is one of my favorite movies ever! Frances is an American writer who has just went through a messy divorce and quit her job. To get away from it all, she takes off on a trip to Italy. While there, she comes across a charming, albeit old and dilapidated, Tuscan villa. On a whim, she purchases the place and sets out to make some big changes in her life. It's quite an adventure...romantic, heartwarming, and full of beautiful scenery.

Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Aloha Friday - The Soundtrack of Your Life

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday, hosted by Kailani over at An Island Life. 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!

Tell me one or two songs you would want on the soundtrack of your life...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Using Plates as Wall Decor

I have recently become a little obsessed with using plates to decorate your walls. They look so pretty and there's just a ton of creative ways to arrange them. I'm trying to come up with something for a wall in my kitchen - I'm thinking I want a large framed chalkboard (that I'm hoping to create myself out of an old framed painting) with some decorative plates hanging above or around it. I have been scouring thrift shops and Goodwill looking for a framed piece to use for the chalkboard. So far, I haven't had any luck but I will keep searching. The hunt is part of the fun, right? Anyway, I thought I would share some of the lovely pictures I've come across while browsing the internet for inspiration...

Traditional Home

Domino Magazine

Country Living

Country Living

Elle Decor

Traditional Home

Traditional Home

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Mother and Child

This is a highly emotional, deeply moving film following the stories of three interconnected women. It deals with pregnancy, motherhood, infertility, adoption, and loss. Beautifully acted and starring a stellar cast including Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington, Samuel Jackson, and Jimmy Smits.

Rated R for sexuality, nudity, and language

Monday, June 6, 2011

Party Banner from - Product Review

This past weekend we had a graduation party for our oldest son. It was at our home - lots of fun and good food with family and friends. I wanted to show you this awesome vinyl banner that we got from Ordering it was a snap. I was able to choose one of their banners in a graduation design and then customize it with my own colors and text. Didn't it turn out great? The banner was one of the first things for our guests to see as they arrived at the party - they were all very impressed. Here's the high school graduate, posing in front of the banner (I know I'm biased, but isn't he handsome?)...

If you need any type of signs, Build A Sign is the place to shop. They carry banners, magnetics, bumper stickers, window clings, and more. You can design your product, see a proof, and place an order in a matter of minutes. It's so quick and easy. They use high quality materials, advanced printing equipment, and you even have the option of uploading your own image for your design. They also offer a hassle-free guarantee...if you are not totally satisfied, Build A Sign will work with you to make it right. That's what I call customer service!

Disclaimer: provided me with a free banner. I was not compensated to write this post and all opinions are my own.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren - Blog Tour with Giveaway

About the book:

Unknown to her tiny town of Deep Haven, Isadora Presley spends her nights as Miss Foolish Heart, the star host of a syndicated talk radio show. Millions tune in to hear her advice on dating and falling in love, unaware that she’s never really done either. Issy’s ratings soar when it seems she’s falling in love on-air with a caller. A caller she doesn’t realize lives right next door.

Caleb Knight served a tour of duty in Iraq and paid a steep price. The last thing he wants is pity, so he hides his disability and moves to Deep Haven to land his dream job as the high school football coach. When his beautiful neighbor catches his eye, in a moment of desperation he seeks advice from My Foolish Heart, the show that airs before his favorite sports broadcast.

Before he knows it, Caleb finds himself drawn to the host—and more confused than ever. Is his perfect love the woman on the radio . . . or the one next door?

Use this link if you would like to read an excerpt

About the author:

Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia, Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!)

A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at:

Book is available at

My thoughts:
I enjoyed reading this story. It was easy to get into and the characters were all likeable. The premise that Issy and Caleb live right next door to each other but don't really know the true identity of each other was fun. While there was instant attraction between the two, I liked that it was a good, clean romantic story. If you like inspirational and romantic reads, then you should check it out.

Win a Romantic Night on the Town from Miss Foolish Heart!

To celebrate this charming novel about a dating expert who's never had a date, Susan has put together a romantic night on the town for one lucky couple. One grand prize winner will receive a Miss Foolish Heart prize package worth over $200!

The winner of the Romantic Night on the Town Prize Pack will receive:

* A $100 Visa Gift Card (For Dinner)

* A $100 Gift Certificate to a Hyatt/Marriott Hotel

* The entire Deep Haven series

To enter just click one of the icons below. But, hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on June 16th. The winner will be announced that evening during Susan’s Miss Foolish Heart Party on Facebook! Susan will be chatting with guests, hosting a book club chat about My Foolish Heart, testing your Deep Haven trivia skills, and giving away tons of great stuff! (Gift certificates, books, donuts, and more!) Don't miss the fun and BRING YOUR FRIENDS! 

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Litfuse provided me with a free copy of this book for review as well as information used in this post. No other compensation beside the free book was received and all opinions are my own.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Aloha Friday - TV Land

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday, hosted by Kailani over at An Island Life. 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!

If you had to be trapped inside a tv show for a month, which show would you choose?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Random Recent Events

First, I want to say thanks to all my new followers who came over for the Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop. I appreciate you stopping by and hope you'll stick around.

We've been busy around here and I feel like I haven't blogged in a long time. Just to catch you up on a few things, here's what's been going on...

The kids are all out of school for the summer. Our oldest son turned 18 AND graduated from high school last week. We're getting ready to throw him a party this weekend.

We've been in our house 5.5 years and have never really done anything with our backyard. Of course we have big plans and have drawn up how we want the yard to look eventually. Unfortunately, time and money just always stand in the way. But, last week, my husband decided he was going to dig in and get started on part of our plans. He's building a pavilion that will (eventually) have a fireplace and hot tub. Here's how it's coming along...
started building on Monday
as of today

Hopefully he will finish it up within the next week or so. There's going to be some sidewalk, landscaping, and a small pond surrounding it. I'll be sure and post another pic when he's done.

This was our inspiration for the pavilion. Ours won't look exactly like this but it helped shape our idea of what we wanted.

This is totally random, but, did I ever mention that my husband is an identical twin? Here he is with his brother at my son's graduation (my husband is wearing the dark blue shirt)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sugar Free Ring Pops

Ring Pops are a classic treat that my kids have always loved. The plastic ring and cool flavors are fun and kid-friendly. I love that Ring Pops are available in a sugar-free version. Sugar Free Ring Pops are fat-free, tooth-friendly, and only contain 30 calories per pop. As a parent, that's a treat I don't mind giving my kids. They are available in Blue Raspberry, Watermelon, and Strawberry. Look for Sugar Free Ring Pops at Walmart and BJ's stores nationwide.

Sugar Free Ring Pops also are mom-approved for kids with diabetes...with 0 sugar carbs and 0 impact carbs.

For more information, visit the official website and also check out the Facebook Fan Page.

I received a free bag of Sugar Free Ring Pops to try out with my own family. No other compensation was received beside the free product and I was not paid to post. All opinions are my own.