Wordless Wednesday ~ Tire Swing

I have this favorite tree in our back yard. 
We had an extra tire so Sam and Little M made a tire swing one day. I love it!

Take It Or Leave It ~ Gap Style

When I enter a store my eye is immediately drawn to the displays. I rarely just got to the racks and start digging through. I like to take the easy way out and just buy the outfit. Unfortunately for me it doesn't always work out the way I would like. After all what size are those mannequins anyway?!!

My mother tends to shop the same way so for years we have been playing this game we call “Take It Or Leave It”. Here’s how it works . . . grab a shopping buddy and head to your favorite store. Find a display you love then recreate the look in your size. Turn to your shopping buddy and simply say, “take it or leave it”. Then trust their judgment!

Now I’m inviting you to be my shopping buddy! Here’s this week’s selection:


Striped unstructured blazer
Bleecker tank
Sunkissed shorts

What do you think . . . should I “Take It Or Leave It”?

Energizer Bright Headights Aren’t Your Average Work Flashlight

Flashlights have come a long way baby! Have you seen the Energizer Headlights? Our family has been having a blast with them. Of course they would be great on a camping trip, but why limit the possibilities? You can see our entire trip on Google+!

The other day we had a little glitch with the vehicle. Of course it happened after dark and the work flashlight from the garage just wasn’t cutting it. Little M and his Poppy strapped their night headlight on and fixed the problem like pros.

Once the car was fixed they jumped in and took off for their favorite night fishing spot. The beam headlights were great because they could still see yet their hands were free to deal with all the fishing gear. It was also great for me as the mommy . . . I could keep a better eye on the kiddos in the dark. The headlights acted as a beacon for me!

My younger brother loves to run in those all-terrain races. Recently he competed in one that took him through a cave. The Energizer Headlight was invaluable!

A short time ago my brother went on a mission trip to Nicaragua. While he was there he let the local kids play with his work headlight. They had such a blast with it that he wound up leaving it with extra charging lithium batteries for the kids to enjoy. He’s planning a return trip in the very near future and he’s been stocking up on the bright headlights to take with him.

When my mom heard about this she went and purchased one for each of the grandkids. She plans on putting them in their stockings for Christmas. When all the grands get together they love to make blanket forts. Currently they use little flashlights. Won’t they be surprised with their new gadgets? I can just hear their giggles and squeals now.

I invite you to stretch your imagination and think outside the box. What fun activity could your family do that would be enhanced with an Energizer Headlight

One reader will win the TrailFinder® Micro Sport Headlight! Open to US only. Fill out the rafflecopter form below to be entered. Giveaway end 7/08 at 12am EST. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Celebrating Dads with an Oreo Giveaway

Who doesn’t love an Oreo dunked in a cold glass of milk? Okay, so my mom is lactose intolerant so she’s off the list but my dad was a great dunker. He taught me and my siblings some serious skills in this area.

The technique we used was to twist off the top of the cookies, scrape out the filling with our teeth and then dunk and eat each side. Mmmmm . . . the perfect treat.

It has been so much fun watching my husband teach this rite of passage to our two boys. The only problem is that his technique is different than mine. He dunks the whole cookie in his glass of milk. I’ve tried explaining that he’s missing out but he refuses to be converted!

So what is your family’s particular dunking method? Do you go for the whole cookie dunk or do you do the half and half procedure?

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway so you can win an Oreo’s Celebrate Dad prize pack for your family to practice their dunking skills. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hot Tea or Iced Tea Made My Way

I have fond memories of my grandmother’s kitchen. One of the mainstays was the tea kettle on the stove. When the whistle would begin to sound I knew something warm and soothing was headed my way.

The irony is that as much as I love that whole tea kettle experience I never do it in my own kitchen. Instead I use my trusty Keurig to do all my brewing. Bigelow tea is my favorite brand and they have k-cups or loose leaf tea that you can put in reusable k-cup filters. Both of those methods make great cups of tea, but I mostly use a teabag.

When I want a cold glass of iced tea I still use my Keurig. I first put about a tablespoon of sugar in the bottom of my glass and then add the teabag to it. I let the machine pour the hot water over it and let it steep to my desired taste. Then I stir until the sugar is dissolved and add ice.  Best glass of iced tea ever, I promise!

I have one more tip for you today . . .

During our Tea 101 session with Cindi Bigelow we were asked to taste different varieties and brands of teas. I was once again reminded that I love the smell of Bigelow’s Earl Grey tea but I just don’t care for the strong flavor. One of the suggestions was to add milk and sugar like the British do. I really don’t like milk so I just ignored that suggestion.

Yesterday I saw a packet of Earl Grey on my cabinet next to the container of hazelnut creamer and I began to wonder what it would taste like. I thought what the heck and gave it a try. I brewed the Earl Grey and then added creamer. It didn’t need any extra sugar to me but that is just a personal taste preference. It was absolutely delish. It has a wonderful spiced chai type of flavor. So take a chance and mix it up, you might find something new to love.

Take It Or Leave It ~ Polo Ralph Lauren Style

When I enter a store my eye is immediately drawn to the displays. I rarely just got to the racks and start digging through. I like to take the easy way out and just buy the outfit. Unfortunately for me it doesn't always work out the way I would like. After all what size are those mannequins anyway?!!

My mother tends to shop the same way so for years we have been playing this game we call “Take It Or Leave It”. Here’s how it works . . . grab a shopping buddy and head to your favorite store. Find a display you love then recreate the look in your size. Turn to your shopping buddy and simply say, “take it or leave it”. Then trust their judgment!

Now I’m inviting you to be my shopping buddy! Here’s this week’s selection:

Old Navy T-Strap Sandals - $19.94

What do you think . . . should I “Take It Or Leave It”?

Tasty Tuesday ~ Garlicky Lemon Roasted Broccoli

Hi Rambles of a SAHM readers! It's Laura from Food Snob St. Louis for Tasty Tuesdays. If you follow my blog, then you know I'm in the middle of a series called Love Where You Live. I'm participating in a local CSA and sharing recipes that I make each week. My goal is to show readers that CSAs are a fantastic way to support local farmers, try new produce and mix up your weekly menu a little bit.

This week brought fresh broccoli. I decided to recreate a dish we had a friends' house a few years ago. I know that must seem random and not that exciting, but when you see your non-vegetable eating husband have TWO servings of broccoli, you know it must be good. The broccoli made a perfect side for spaghetti and meatballs and some steaks we grilled this week.


 Head on over to Food Snob St. Louis to get the full recipe! Also, if you are at all interested in food writing, photography, or recipe development, be sure to check out the Food Media Forum conference I'm helping organize.

Happy Father's Day Sam

When I married Sam I thought I was at the point where I couldn't ever love him more...

In reality we were just barely in love. We were babies, life was easy, we looked good and were we healthy.

Then came the news that we were pregnant! Exciting but scary...

You were completely smitten at first sight of our son. I fell in love with you more when the tears rolled down your face...

Three years later and baby #2! You were once again excited. This time I was sick and you cared for me. I fell in love with you more...

Once again you were a proud father and once again I fell in love with you more...

 You are a great dad and it shows! Proud to have you as the father of my children. Happy Father's Day Sam. Everyday I fall in love with you more.

Pretty is as Pretty Does by Debby Mayne

* A book was provided. All thoughts are that of @FitzysMom

Class Reunion Series, Book 1

Book Description:

Priscilla Slater goes to her ten-year high school reunion with equal parts dread and eager anticipation. Even though she’s a successful owner of a chain of hair salons and no longer has the mousy brown hair, crooked teeth, and discount-store wardrobe, she still feels like the ugly duckling. But when she arrives at the reunion, Priscilla soon realizes that her old classmates aren’t exactly as she remembers them. With humor and a just a touch of sassiness, Priscilla finds herself facing her own truth—and she may be surprised at what she discovers.

My Thoughts:

I have to say that at least in my experience Debby Mayne pretty much nailed all the dynamics that go into a class reunion. She did a marvelous job of depicting all the angst of seeing people that you haven’t seen in years. Remember how you felt? That’s exactly how at least one of the characters felt.

I enjoyed being able to peek into the lives of all the different characters. Some classmates had changed and some had stayed the same. Some for the better and some for the worse. A few of the popular kids had grown up and become successful but inside they still had their own battles of insecurity to face. A few of the wallflowers had blossomed into thriving adults that had successfully become comfortable in their own skin.

This is destined to be a three part series and if the following two books are as entertaining as the first one it is going to be a hit series. The second book in the series is titled Bless Her Heart and is scheduled to release in August 2013. It will center around the classmates 15 year reunion. The final installment is titled Tickled Pink its release date is scheduled in September 2013. It will cover the 20 year reunion.

If you are looking for a fun yet light summer read this would be a great choice. You’ll even have a chance to check out some of Debby’s other selections between the releases!

But wait, there’s more . . . Debby has a fun little prequel that you can read from your computer. Don’t worry it’s only 16 pages long but totally worth the read.  Here’s the link: Before The Class Reunion 

Connect With The Author:

Website: debbymayne.com
Twitter: @debbymayne

Disclosure: The opinions expressed in this review are those of @FitzysMom from Rambles of a SAHM. A book was provided free of cost in order to facilitate this review. This post contains affiliate links. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or Services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising"

Wednesday's Wisdom ~ A Different Kind of Mission Field

Change your mind, change the world; right?

That might sound like a whole lot of New Age whooee, but there is a tremendous amount of truth in that statement. If you change your own mind, you can certainly change your own, personal world. I would like to share a recent thought--a transforming one at that--that I believe God has brought to my attention.

We tend to think of "the mission field" being anywhere but where we are. It's what men and women with a "calling" do to help other countries. But what do missionaries do? They build and repair homes, schools, libraries, churches. Give medical assistance; help with crops and food preparation. Teach individuals to read and to take care of themselves and others. Above all they do everything with the intent and purpose of sharing the gospel and the love of Jesus Christ. Whew, that's a tough job. This sounds a lot like what I do everyday as a wife, mother, and teacher. Please don't assume I am trying to lessen what those called into missionary fields elsewhere are doing! I am just trying to do a little world changing of my own.

Missionary in Nicaragua

All vanity aside, I am probably a near perfect employee. I do what I am supposed to do, have good ideas, honor my supervisors and coworkers, don't gossip, don't complain much, make good use of my time; and all the while trying to keep in mind that what I do is not for anyone but my audience of one. Jesus Christ. 

So after all that I get to go home and relax, right? Hmmm...

What if God stamped a vision on our eyelids and the vision was this:
Your mission field is right here at home.
The home you can help to create beauty in is the one you wake up in.
You can offer opportunities far above any of those that the community can offer.
The ones you can share your love with can be the familiar faces of those that share your own home.
Schools, clubs, entertainment and activities can't really meet the needs of your family the way only you can. What if your family really was your actual job? What if your own home really was your mission field?
Judges 2:10 says: "And there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord."

Homeschooling Little M. With Little H on my back.

I have a pretty good idea that the new generation that the Bible talks about never intended for their families to turn out ungodly. They just let the school, the babysitter, the office, the club, even the church--discipline them, feed them, educate, and generally take care of their emotional, social, physical and spiritual needs. They were just too busy. Too tired. Just like us. Right?
I am starting to look at my family in a new way. I’m starting to treat my children like a missionary would treat a child in great need of nutrition, education, social skills and love. I’m beginning to treat my husband like I am his true helpmate and partner in this mission field called “home.” I’d like to challenge you to think with the same vision.

Shaunna Wood lives in Southwest Missouri with her husband, 2 lovely daughters, and a beagle/basset named Dutch Boy. She teaches preschool, loves and mentors single mothers, and shares with others how to make the most of blessings God has given them.

My Summer Sandal Secret

I need to tell you that I have a secret. It’s a secret that I usually don’t admit to, but just for you my sweet friends I’m going to let you in on it. For years now I've been buying some of my favorite summer sandals at Walgreens. Yes I said Walgreens.

More often than you think my friends comment on how cute my sandals are. I just respond with a smile and a thank you. But then I started thinking . . . doesn't everyone deserve a pair of cute sandals at a very affordable price? When I say affordable I mean just that. The most I have paid for a pair is $12.50. I think the average cost is about $7.99. Can you say bargain?

Of course a bargain is only a bargain if you actually wear it. Check out these absolutely adorable sandals. Wouldn't they be perfect with a sundress for an evening BBQ?

How about these little baby blue numbers? They are made of a durable plastic type of material that would be wonderful with a bathing suit and sarong by the pool. By the way my local store also carried them in a dazzling pink.

I thought that these little blingy numbers would be a fun addition to a capri outfit for a stroll around the park.

Summer sandals aren’t the only thing that they carry.  I found these Toms knock offs in black, red and khaki. My local store had some lovely sundresses that would work well on their own or over a swimsuit. They even had some cute little bikinis for $5 if you are blessed and can still think about wearing such a thing!

There . . . now I feel all better. You know my secret and you can now go get yourself some beautiful footwear or even a beach bag at a sweet price!

How our Family Fell in Love with Mouthwash

When I first starting dating Sam, who later became my husband, I noticed that the man never ever had bad breath. At first I didn't think much of it but as time went on and our relationship developed I finally asked him what he did to have fresh breath. He admitted that he carried around a small toothbrush and mouthwash because he cannot stand having bad breath ever. 

Six years later and he is still that way. In fact one day I went out to his car and found several bottles of mouthwash and toothpaste. That is why when I found out that Colgate Total had a new mouthwash I instantly thought of my hubby.

A few years back I got a coupon to try Colgate Total toothpaste and really liked how well it cleaned my entire mouth. It has become both hubby and I’s favorite toothpaste. When I told him that Colgate Total now made a total mouthwash he was very interested in trying it out.

On Saturday while running errands with the boys we stopped at Target to pick up the new mouthwash and some other things on our list. I saw that Target was having a buy two get one free sale so I got one of each flavor so hubby and I could decide which one we liked best. I took some photos so you can see our shopping trip with my google+ album. This may help you know what to look for at your Target when shopping for the Colgate Total mouthwash.

The next morning before work Sam tired Spearmint Surge and then on his lunch break he tried the Wintermint Rush. He liked both of them and could not choose a favorite.  We both like that they are alcohol free so there is no burning sensation.

In the beginning Sam’s healthy smile won me over but now it is all about our family having great oral health and less dental bills. We both love that there is now a complete line of Colgate Total. The mouthwash compliments the Colgate Total toothpaste and leaves your mouth feeling like you just got back from the dentist.

From now till July seventh you can get the buy two get one free on Colgate Total Mouthwash at Target.  There is also a coupon on Colgate’s website for the mouthwash! Let me know in the comments if you have tried Colgate Total Mouthwash and if you liked it!

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