Wednesday, April 24, 2013


One of the kids in my daycare has the cutest personalized lunch box.  The quality is awesome AND it has a chalkboard on the inside lid so that Mom or Dad can write a message to their child.
I asked Mom where she got it.  She told me she designed the theme/characters on her daughter's box (how cool is that??) and I could order from a site called Frecklebox.

This website has some of the cutest personalized products, such as books, lunch boxes, placemats, growth charts and more for both girls and boys.  I loved all the different styles and graphics on their products.  They offer affordable gifts that allow you to have the extra personal element of the recipient's name on the item.
Coloring book, coin bank, school folder.
Inside a coloring book.
School folder and notebook.
I wish my boys were still young because I'd go crazy ordering so much stuff.  I will have to settle for buying a few things for my nieces and nephew.  :-D

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What Was, or What's to Be?

If you had the choice of going back in the past to a specific time in history, OR, if you could travel ahead into the future (you are coming back to present, don't worry) --- which would you choose?

I would  choose the past.  I am fascinated with history and there is a few specific events that interests me.

One of my favorite historical fiction novels is based around the Jacobite rebellion.  (you can click HERE to find out why). Even though I know the Jacobite struggle has been romanticized to create the image of the Highlander, the Jacobite cause wasn't Scotland vs. England, and Bonnie Prince Charlie was no hero, I still enjoy reading about it.   It reminds me of  a soap opera colliding with a spy novel in the 1740's.

Another event that has always peaked my interest is the American Revolution.  Everyone has heard of George Washington, John Adams and Benedict Arnold, but who knows about Molly Pitcher or Patience Wright?  Molly and Patience are just two of many women who made a difference in the Revolutionary war.  I think it would be an awesome experience to have know such brave women.

Now that you know where I would go, where would you?
I wonder where our lovely hostess, Les would go?  
Let's find out, shall we?  
Follow along with Tuesday's Coffee Chat!

Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Charming Charlie's

BFF and I were with our hubby's waiting for a table at CHAMPS restaurant.  We decided to go across the street to the cutest little shop E.V.E.R! Charming Charlies.  Ever hear of it?  It's like a grown up Claire's.

What I liked about it, was the color organization. My OCD self was jumping up and down at how clever the designer was.  Each section was divided by colors.  If you wanted an orange purse, shoes, earrings, clothes, etc. you would go to the orange section.  How easy is that??

Of course I immediately gravitated to the purple section.  These are some of my favorite finds!

And here is some more…

I had a BLAST at this store!
When I go back I may even check out a different color than purple.


Happy Earth Day!

Don't be a litter bug!
Keep the Earth clean!!

To see more click HERE

Monday, April 15, 2013

Extreme Couponing

I'm sure you are familiar with the term "Extreme Couponing".  It's all over the internet and now there are a few TV shows on TLC dedicated to it.  Extreme couponing is an attempt to save as much money as possible while accumulating the most groceries.

My son, Brandon is addicted to these Extreme Couponing shows and has decided that we need to try it.
For the last week he has been printing out on-line coupons and helped me clip coupons from the Sunday newspaper.  Then he compared them to the grocery store circulars to see where he could find the best deals.

We ended up going to four stores that are relatively close to one another.
After each purchase, Brandon checked his list to make sure the sales price and coupon price was deducted correctly from the receipt.
First stop was Target.  We purchased 2 Tide laundry detergents.  Target had them on sale for $11.99 each.  We had a Target coupon and manufacture coupon for at total of $3.00.  In addition, Target was giving a $5.00 gift card promotion when purchasing these items.  
Original pre-sale cost: $25.98
 Our cost: $15.98
Saving of $10.00
Next stop was Petco.
We purchased 4 bags of Natural Choice cat food. (one 15.5lb, one 7lb. and two 3.5lb.)
The 15.5lb bag was originally $35.49 but they had it on clearance for $17.00.
The 7lb. bag was originally $22.99 and it was on clearance for $16.09.
The two 3.5lb bags were not on sale and cost $11.99 each.
Petco was having a promotion for $3.00 off Natural Choice cat food.
I also had four $2.00 coupons.
To top it off I had a $5.00 Pet-pal rewards coupon.
Original pre-sale cost: $82.46
Our cost: $41.07
Savings of $41.39
Weis Supermarket was having a sale on Zest Body Wash, Gain scent booster and Era laundry detergent.
Zest Body Wash original price $2.89. 
Gain Scent Booster original price $6.69.
Era laundry detergent original price $4.39
After coupons we ended up paying $1.00 for each Zest Body Wash!
Original pre-sale cost $33.72
Our cost $16.92
Savings of $16.80
Giant Supermarket is where we bought the most.
Pepsi, Cheerios, Red Baron Pizza, Campbells soups, Lysol wipes, and a few other things.
Original pre-sale cost $83.56
Our cost $56.93
Savings of $26.63
 Total Original pre-sale cost $225.72
Total cost we paid $130.90
Savings of $94.82

Please note: I only purchased items that I use and we had coupons for.

We didn't do as well as those folks on the TV shows.  I can't figure out how they can get an entire grocery cart full of food for only a few dollars.  

I am not complaining though.  Saving almost $95.00 is making me very happy!

Friday, April 12, 2013

4 Fill-in Fun

Follow Friday Four Fill-in Fun Blog Hop!
Join Hilary at Feeling Beachie

Head on over to Hilary's to find some fill-in-the-blanks! 
This week’s co-host is Tami from Empty Nest In Illinois – she came up with the last two statements!

This week’s statements:
1. I don’t like to be cold. Which is a problem considering I spend 8 months out of the year in an ice-hockey rink.

2. I love to shower in the morning.  It's the only way I can wake up.  Also I feel nasty if I don't wash my hair first thing in the morning.

3. If I could change one thing in my life it would be more financially stable.  Applying for our son's college loans is coming up soon.  In two years our youngest son goes to college too.  That's a lot of loans!

4. If I was better at gardening, I would grow more food and learn to can.  Fresh food is so much more healthier and easy on the wallet.

Now that spring is here strawberries will soon be growing in my garden.  I make a delicious, but easy strawberry syrup.  Click HERE for the recipe.

Have a fabulous weekend!


Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

She is the newest addition to my daycare.
Todd built a HUGE 6x6 sandbox for my day care kids.
They spent all week playing in it.
Did you know baby powder is a great trick for removing sand from hands and feet?

My new Home Screen on my iPhone.

Anyone remember these?
I collected them as a pre-teen.  I even have some drinking glasses.
I wonder if they are considered antiques?

When I was sick with the flu, I wasn't taking my medications.  I couldn't keep anything down, so why bother. Right?  Well, silly me.  When I did begin taking the Wellbutrin again, I swear I had two days of unending, bouncing off the walls, hyper-super-mom, non-stop-talking, wonder woman qualities.    WOW!
All those little extra things that you put off for another day got done
 AND my house is clean and sparkly!
On day three my levels evened out and I am back to my happy-go-lucky self.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Not Myself These Days

Would you like to chat amongst bloggers about this and that? 
Come join me by checking out Les at Time Out For Mom.  

If you could live another person's life for a week, who would you choose?    Will it be the opposite sex?  A celebrity?   Or, make the prompt interesting: is it the cat's life for you?
My choice:

Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser.

You are probably wondering WHO??

Claire is one of the main characters in my romance novel, Outlander.  

Outlander is a 600 page-time travel-somewhat historical fiction-romance novel.
There is a sense of historical accuracy (I am a huge history buff) without boring you to stitches with too many details.
It's not meant as a light read, but does have you feeling like, "Wow, I bet that could really happen!"


Now you are wondering WHY??

Claire is extremely intelligent and equally fiery in her words and actions.  Her personality and passion are some of the reasons I enjoy her character.
Claire lives a double life with one husband in one century and lover in another.
It is 1946, and Claire and her husband, Frank are on their second honeymoon.
 Claire goes exploring and stumbles upon a circle of stones (I visualize Stonehenge) and time travels back to 1743 in the Scottish Highlands.  
It is there she meets James Fraser.   
Torn between fidelity and desire, Claire struggles to know her own heart.

Author, Diana Gabaldon had me laughing with, crying with and cheering on Claire to make her choice.


I bet you thought I'd say Adam Levine's girlfriend???

Monday, April 8, 2013

Blogging Tip #3: How to Put Links in Comment Boxes

Unfortunately some blogs do not have menus or buttons that allow you to quickly add a link back to your blog.  

So you try to leave a link back to your blog in the comments section and it never links?  

There's a way around that. Don't abuse this, obviously, but this is such a handy little tip, particularly if you want other bloggers to link back to your blog. 

First, click on 'comments' below this post. Done that

Great! Now, if you look down, you will see a link in red.  You'll notice the URL is different. It's not - it has the title after it too. This is the kind of URL you need if you want to link back to your blog in a comment.

Next, type your comment below, then type this into the comment box: 

<a href="">Pretty Purplexing</a>

Simply replace "" with the URL of the post of blog you want to link to, and replace "Pretty Purplexing" with text you want to display.  So that would show up as Pretty Purplexing in a comment, and would link back to here.

I hope you find this tip useful.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Let's go on a Road Trip

Would you like to chat amongst bloggers about this and that? 
Come join me by checking out Les at Time Out For Mom.  
Okay, I know it's not Tuesday.  The flu has my schedule screwed up.

Let's go on a Road Trip.  Where are you going?  You can take 3 people.   Who are they and what are their respective responsibilities on the trip? 

Does driving to an airport and then catching a plane to Ireland count? 

My husband, myself and our boys have traveled up and down the East Coast of the good 'ole USA.  So if we were to go on a road trip, I would head in the direction of Canada.

Why Canada, eh?
One huge reason is HOCKEY DAY. Canadians host an annual event that celebrates the sport of Ice Hockey.  Rivalry NHL hockey teams play against one another and a massive youth hockey tournament is held all on the same day!  

Hockey aside; the other travel destinations in Canada I would like to visit:

Niagara Falls
Photo Credit
In the winter there is a park where you can go ice skating near the falls.  During the spring and fall months Queen Victoria's Park provides the best view of the falls in addition to it's own landscaped beauty.  I have been told you can purchase package deals to take tours behind the falls (rain poncho included. haha!)   

My heart stopped when I found out there is a Wine Trail.  

Click HERE to view Niagara Falls live.

Photo Credit
Ahhh! Just breathe that mountain air!
This destination is for nature lovers.  Melting glaciers off the Ten Peaks, stone and mortar lodges in Banff National Park and Bow Lake are just a few breathtaking destinations I would love to see.

Last but not least, I would take a trip to see Les!  How cool would it be to meet her and Left Brain!  (In case you didn't guess, Left Brain is her husband).
Now…. who would I take??  
I could be witty and say Adam Levine, Adam Levine and Adam Levine…
but I won't.
Hands down - I would take my husband, Todd - my BFF, Heather and her husband, Chad.
Responsibilities would fall towards each of our strengths.  
-Chad is awesome at navigation.
-Heather is OCD when it comes to where we stay and finding the best deals.
-Todd scopes out the best places to eat.
-Me, I just tag along and enjoy the trip!
Where would you go?  

Friday, April 5, 2013

Easter Celebration

The traditional egg hunt is a big day for my nieces and nephew.  My boys no longer hunt for eggs, but they do help their cousins out by pointing where the obvious spots the Easter Bunny has left an egg. Afterwards Miss M, Little M and Mr. T dived into their baskets to open the gifts from the Easter Bunny.
The Easter Bunny also left baskets for the 'older' boys.  Candy and money is a big hit. 
Way to go Easter Bunny!!
Next we dyed eggs.  They turned out so pretty!
By the end of the day Mr. T was all tuckered out. 
Once again, I tried getting my boys to smile for pictures.
They think getting a group photo is torture (and I secretly love every minute of it!).
 Zachary refused to take off his hoodie….
 Ahren thinks his green army jacket is the best thing ever...
and Brandon thinks he is 'hot'.
Three generations of the Miller Clan.