Friday, July 15, 2011

Yes Bubby, You Are My Favorite (for now)...Thank God Bry Finally Gets IT...The Rest Will Later!

Yes, right now Bubby is my favorite!  He will be for a while.  The rest don't get it.  The oldest finally does!  Fabulous!  Of the 6, my favorites are now the youngest and the oldest.  Why you ask?  Because they need me the most!  They have the most issues!  They are the neediest!  This is why the oldest finally "gets" it!

I love them all!  All SIX of them!  They all have issues.  They all need me.  But they all need me at different levels.  That is what all of them don't get!  You see my "favorite" is a shifting experience.  Right now, the youngest needs me most because he is learning, he is being picked on, he is in need of my devoted attention.  The oldest?  She is 22, she is on her "own".  She needs me the most because she is trying to embark on this mission called "life".  I can't let either of them fail.  I can' let either of them down.  They need me the most, they are currently my favorites!
The "others" get mad at me!  They don't remember the time when they were the "favorite".  All of them were at some point, and all of them will be at some point again.  You see, the baby, whoever that is, will always be the favorite.  They get picked on.  They get teased.  They don't deserve it.  Of course, I will protect the baby, doesn't matter who the baby is, they will be protected!  So Bubby is the "forever baby" and he may always be the favorite in some way (he is the baby after all) but they were the favorite too!  They know it!  They admit it!  It's all good!

My point here is that what comes around goes around!  Bry is 22.  Bubby is 2. They are my favorites (right now).  The middle 4 don't need me like these 2 do.  The middle 4 don't love me like these 2 do.  This will shift.  This will falter.  This will change!  We all have our favorites at different phases in their lives (don't deny it, it's true).  But at some point in all of our/their lives, they are our favorites!  We love them all the same!  It's all good!  And as they get older, they "get" it!  They "get" us!  And they in turn will experience the same with their own children! 

This is a fact of life!  Don't feel guilty.  Like I said, it will shift.  And in time, all of them will "get it".  Rock on with your current "favorite" and know that it will change in minutes! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Stealers & Liars & Plagiarists...Oh My!

Yup, that's right folks, I've been plagiarized!  What you say?  Yea, me too!  Seriously, I'm a small town gal.  I'm a little bitty blogger!  But somebody stole my crap!  I am not tolerant of this and have been having a hard time figuring out how to deal with it!  Should I call the bitch fellow blogger out by name?  Should I confront the plagiarist fellow member of several of my social networking communities?  Should I report the thief woman who stole my stuff?  Nope, I shall do what I do best (and apparently she agrees since she stole my stuff), I shall write about it!

You see, I have "catch" phrases and personal oddities, we all do!  I sparkle on!  I say please and thank you (in a very obnoxious way),  I have a goat as one of the 21 "people" in my head!  I skip!  I twirl!  I call the birds on the seawall in my best little princess voice!  Guess what?  Apparently she and I are one and the same, because all of a sudden (*poof* after years of blogging and 2000 followers) holy coincidence, she all of a sudden has all of the same catch phrases, quirks, and oddities that I do!  Wow, I was officially impressed when I first saw her suddenly using all of this stuff.  I thought we were sisters from another mother!  I wanted to reach out to her!  How fabulous was this?

OK, seriously, yes I thought it was a little suspicious!  I watched as this conniving calculated bitch fellow, very large blogger started talking about skipping and twirling.  I heard her talk about her goat (are you flippin serious?), then I watched as she ended every comment with "sparkle on" and I thought WTH?  You've gone too far.  Still I kept quiet (because that's what I do best).  I figured people would eventually catch on.  They didn't!

You see I blog for myself, I blog for my family, I blog for my friends, but I also blog because measly as it might be, it's my living.  I do paid posts, shops, reviews, and advertisements.  My reputation, and my wit, are all I can rely on.  And this week, I actually lost opportunities to myself!  Again, she is BIG, and I am little!  We both applied for the same opportunities.  She was chosen (she even cited her plagiarized post in her application...ut oh Karma is a bitch).  Wise choice Mr. Social Network Guy!  We ARE both funny...the same funny as a matter of fact!  And she is BIG and I am little!  Yes, I would have picked her too!  But understand, we are both not all that funny after all!  Only one of us is writing original material.  Only one of us is truly making people laugh!  Only one of us has integrity.  One of us is little because we are honestly working our way up.  One of us is big because we are stealing.  Can you guess which is which?

So my suspicions were confirmed today when I was contacted by a fellow (and very honest) blogger who sent me a message which said "Did you see this?" followed by a link!  I clicked on the link, I'd had it.  I was right all along!  This ruthless bitch blogger actually crossed the proverbial line!  War!  I did a post about 2 weeks ago.  You can view it here: My Journey to Happily Ever After .  I liked this post.  I was proud of this post.  It told the story of my recent journey.  Well apparently, she went back to a dud post of her own from about a month and a half ago that didn't get much traffic and no comments and "revised" it!  By revised it, I mean, she took my post, called it "My Journey to Skipping" (wow that was bold) and copied my sentiments almost word for word.  If you are a blogger you understand how this works.  If you aren't, let me explain.  You can go back and "revise" a post, not delete it, just change it, and it retains its date.  So to the naked eye, it looks like she posted my post a month before I did.  Yes, that's right, it looks like I plagiarized her!  Fabulous huh?

I didn't.  Those of you that know me know that not only wouldn't I, but that I didn't!  Those that know her are probably wondering where she suddenly got her sense of wit from!   I've read her previous posts (I was a follower and admirer in my previous life), and guess what?  NOT funny!  I assume she got her 2000 followers in much the same way.  Some people are just not nice!  She probably plays the "follow for follow" game.  Again, if you're a blogger, you know the type.  She says "I'll follow you if you follow me", meaning, follow me, end of story!  It's sad!

Blogging is a business!  It's a fun business!  It can be stressful!  I get to do what I love while still staying at home with my babies which again is what I love!  But unfortunately, as with any business, there are duds!  Today I met my dud!  I don't know how to deal with this!  My husband wants me to find the bitch and beat her silly call her out by name!   Some of my bloggy friends say to let it go.  Some say to report her to my copyright people!  I'm torn between all three of these!  

I have a problem with dishonesty.  I don't understand it.  I am original.  Most say I'm witty.  This bitch lady apparently agrees with the witty part!  I like me!  I want to remain me!  I want to maintain my integrity!  I just don't get this!  And now I've lost work, money for groceries, literally candy for the babies!  

Anyone else ever experience this?  If so, what did YOU do?  I'm not skipping tonight!  I would love some direction, guidance, love, anything you can spare!  Please and thank you!  And as always, sparkle on!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Yes Kids, There Are Rules In This House...Deal With It!

Have I mentioned I have 6 kids?  Have I mentioned that the oldest is 22 and the youngest is 2?  Bet I have (at least a million times).  That being said, I obviously have rules!  I have to!  If not, it would be sheer chaos, all of the time.  There would be no respect.  There would be no order.  Life would not be good!

Let's set the record straight, I am NOT my kids' best friend.  I do not aspire to be!  I want them to love me and respect me (most of them do) and I want them to like me (most of them do).  I nurture them, I care for them, I feed them, I clean up after them, I care deeply for them, but I also set and enforce the rules.  Again, record straight, I'm a sucker.  I give in way too often, but there are certain rules that must be followed.  I want them to be productive citizens.  I want them to contribute to society.  I want them to be successful.  

Over the past week and a half (OMG seriously?  Has it only been a week and a half?  Holy crap...shoot me now!) my step kids have been visiting us from Georgia and I am reminded of the importance of keeping order, of enforcing the rules.  They have none at home....NONE!  It's obvious and it's obnoxious!  Mind you, I raised them in my own home for 6 years (they were 18 months and 4 years old when I "got" them) but they have lived with the "mother" for the past 2 years.  UGH!

The rules are simple:
1)  Respect yourself, respect your surroundings, and respect others.
2)  If you had to open it, close it (dammit).  This is not only important, but extremely simple and applies to cabinets, refrigerators, toilets, shower curtains, etc. 
3)  If you take it out, put it back!
4) Do not bully (seriously if you're 13 and picking on a 2-year-old, you have serious...serious...serious problems).
5)  Be respectful of others' schedules.
6)  If you are younger than me and you're going to eat or drink it, it's not too much for me to ask you to carry the groceries in (as a side note, I shouldn't have to ask).
7)  Since you more than filled the trash can up, would it kill you to take the trash out? (and again, I really shouldn't have to ask).
8)  I vacuum, every day, and I won't wait until you get up.
9)  Sleeping 20 hours a day is NOT acceptable.
10) When I say NO, I mean NO.  When I say STOP, I mean STOP.  If you don't, you will not be rewarded.  And this mom & dad talk, don't try to play that game!

Simple huh?  You'd think so.  Do I sound like a bitch hard ass Nazi mom strict disciplinarian?  I'm seriously not!  Ask the oldest two!  They'll tell you I'm a pushover fair.  Ask the babies, they'll tell you I'm easy peasy a good mommy!  But these middle 2?  OY!  It's a struggle!  It has been since day one!  It was easier before the bitch Mom got out of the half-way house and decided she was an awesome parent and that they didn't need rules.  It was better before they lived with her and realized that leaving sandwiches in the floor for 5 days could be acceptable behavior.  It was better a week and a half ago.  

I love these kids!  They are mine.  I raised them.  But I raised them better than this.  They were not lazy.  They did not sleep all day.  They understood the 10 important (and seriously simple) rules!  But they've not only forgotten them, they've abandoned them.  They are now lazy and dare I say, nasty!  UGH!  Frustrating.  

Sorry babes, I won't be your best friend.  I won't give in.  I won't fold.  These are the rules and I'm sticking to them.  Hopefully by the end of the visit (2 more weeks...OMG shoot me now) they'll come back to their senses.  
Wish me luck people!  Rules are NOT meant to be broken!  The rules are fair, correct? 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Bubby's Color Racer Board Game Using Elmer's Tri-Fold Board! You Too Can Get Your #GlueNGlitter On!

Happy baby faces, giggles, and fun are some of my favorites!  I do as much as I can, as often as I can, to make these things happen!  
This week, we decided to get our #GlueNGlitter on by using an Elmer's Tri-Fold Display Board and whatever other supplies we could find to make a board game for Bubby!  I had to come up with something fun and educational for a 2-year-old (both to make and play with) and I began formulating my plan!  How exciting!  It was agreed!  We would make Bubby's Color Racer and this would be fun! 

As soon as I had it all planned out B, Bubby, and I headed to our local Walmart.  I loved having my two favorite men in the whole wide world with me, but was a little concerned that I wouldn't stick to the list (at all as a matter of fact because I am a sucker for the both of them).

I was right (of course I was, I always am)!  We went in with a small list, and came out with a buggy full!

At one point, I found "us" looking at fishing poles.  Not even remotely on the list!  We didn't get one (that night) but why we were even looking, I have no clue!

 You can see the entire shopping experience here so you can see first-hand the torture insanity joy I get to experience on a daily basis.

Enough of that, let's get on to the fun stuff!  Let me show you exactly how we got our #GlueNGlitter on making Bubby's Color Racer.  I bet your little man would love one too (heck Bug loves it, I think she's played more than he has)

What you'll need:
The Dice
  • On a paper plate, draw out a 4" x 3" cross (as shown to the left) making sure to block each 1" square in pen or pencil
  • Cut out pattern
  • Fold into cube (don't worry if it's not precise, ours sure wasn't, the tape hides that fabulously)
  • Tape completely with black electrical tape
  • Place different colored dots on each side
 The Board
  • Apply the Elmer's X-TREME to the entire board
  • Roll the wrapping paper out and press it flatly to the board/glue
  • Let dry then cut off hangover
  • Cover all 4 sides with electrical tape and tape the folds on the papered side of the board
  • Board ready to decorate (insert your own cute kid here)
  • Draw your lane lines with the silver marker
  • Place your dots in the lanes
  • Decorate the sides as you wish (we're clever but not artistic, so I cut up an Apple Jacks box and a Fruit Snack box...all kinds of cool Cars 2 stuff all over both) and we glued them on with the Elmer's X-TREME
  • Add Cars
  • Roll the dice
  • Play and HAVE FUN!
**This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Elmer's #GlueNGlitter and #CollectiveBias.  All opinions, ideas, and photos are entirely my own!  Rock on with your creative selves!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm an Over-doer, I'm an Over-committer, I'm Over-the-top! I'm OK with All of IT!

I'm a busy little bee!  I never stop cleaning, I never stop working, I never stop trying to make myself a bigger, better me!  I don't sleep much.  I don't sit much!  I don't even eat much!  I just go-go-go!  

This is me, who I am, who I will always be.  Some call me crazy, I call it energetic (and possibly crazy), but it's me.  It's all good.  It's who I am.  It's who I will always be!

My step kids have been visiting us from Georgia for the past week and will be here for the next 2 weeks.  They think I'm insane (I probably am, shhhh....don't tell them I already know).  I get up at the crack of dawn, I shower, I clean, I play with the babies, I do the social-media-mayhem, I cook, I clean (yes again), and a bunch of other stuff. I put on my make up, check the computer again, then I fix lunch for the kids.  The step kids are usually getting up by this time (Oy...what the crap?  How can anyone sleep this long?).  

Then I clean and I cook some more (today I did the toilets and counter tops, then made homemade bbq sauce, and homemade 1000 Island dressing before putting the chops on).  This is how it goes on a daily basis.  Idle hands and all!  Can't have that!  

The kids aren't used to this (anymore since living with the "mother" after living with us for 6 years).  They seem flabbergasted!  Yesterday while walking back from the beach, my very breathed 10-year-old step daughter says (wait for it)  "Don't take this wrong, but you work too hard, you take on too much, you need to relax!".  What?  Take on too much, work too hard?  The hell you say!   I didn't really say that mind you, but I thought it.  I thought it loud in my head.  These kids are LAZY!  It's pitiful!

They go to bed at 11:00 pm (too late) and don't wake up until noon (or later).  They play (and argue) about video games all day.  They never go outside...NEVER!  It drives me insane! 

So I over-commit?  So what!  So I work too hard?  So what!  So I do everything to the best of my ability plus 100?  Oh well!  I only wish the younger generations felt the drive that we do!  Rock on hard...too hard even...and keep on rocking the good stuff!  Hopefully we will influence this next generation to "unlazy"!

Monday, July 4, 2011

YAY! We Finally Got to See Cars 2 Thanks to #Fandango! Well Most of Us Did Anyway!

We started this journey about a week and a half ago.  We were going to see Cars 2.  My 2-year-old wanted to see "Car Toons", we wanted him to see it.  Sounded simple to me!  Step kids in from Georgia, they wanted to see it.  4-year-old Bug had never seen a movie in the theater, she wanted to see it!  And by gosh, by golly, B and I wanted to see it!  So see it we shall I thought!  

I was worried about going to a movie with 6 people with this being such a new and popular release.  Chances of being sold out were high I said.  They said I was crazy!  I better order in advance I said.  They said I was crazy!  I had heard of Fandango from friends and thought I'd give it a try!  You can see my full purchase here at Cars 2 Tickets Online at #Fandango and here at Cars 2 Woot Woot! Thanks for Helping Us Purchase In Advance #Fandango.  Well guess what?  This time (and this time only), I wasn't so crazy after all!

I purchased our 6 tickets on June 29th (I tried earlier but you can only purchase 3-5 days out depending on the flick) at Fandango Mobile  because there was no way I would be able to purchase anything in my apartment.  It's too loud in here and I must focus on purchases.  We decided on the matinee on Saturday, July 2nd, at 12:45 pm.  The babies would be fed and wide open so this was the best time.  Purchase was easy, even from my moderately intelligent phone.  If you have a smart phone, there are apps for that!  As a matter of fact, Fandango is really easy to access from anywhere which impressed me! 

Anyway (long story long as always with me), it was Saturday and movie day was a go!  We loaded up the car (and the motorcycle since we all can't fit in one vehicle) and we headed to the mainland for the movie we were all revved up and ready to see!  

We'd made it!  YAY US!  We rarely get this kind of off-the-island excitement and we were all excited for sure!

Bubby looked excited in his light up Cars 2 shoes!  Yes, this would be fun!  He was king for a day!  (Truth be known, if you ask any of the other kids, he's always king, but this was official!)

But wait?  Seriously?  The 12:45 was sold out!  (See?  I'm not so crazy after all!  Well, not about this anyway!  I knew it!  I really just knew it!).  But it was OK!  Why you ask?

We had a confirmation!  We had purchased online, in advance with  Yes that's right!  Handed the ticket guy my paper and although he kept sending little kids away crying until the 3:20 show (bless his little heart, what a horrible job on days like this), he was able to issue us our tickets.  We were VIP's!  We were IN!

So much outside of the movie to do!  The kids were getting excited!  Bubby seemed  to lose interest in the movie and gained more interest in all of the excitement that was the theater!  UT OH...this might not be good!  But we pried him away and convinced him that "Car Toons" were coming on.  He went along...unwilling...but he joined in the skipping into the theater excitement!

So it was 12:45 and we headed in.  Couldn't get 6 seats together so we split in increments of 2 and 4.  I got Bubby, Bug, and TDQ.  B got Jr.  Yea, that's the way it always goes!  And ta-da, the movie started.  Well, actually, no it didn't  TWENTY-FIVE minutes of previews started.  Are you serious?  That's a long time for a very  active 2-year-old to sit, but sit he did.  Side note?  We will watch "The Smurf Movie".  Neil Patrick Harris with a bunch of blue mystical creature?  Funny previews!  The movie will be fab-u-lous and we will see it!  

Well the long and short of this is that Bubby and I made it through a full hour.  He was tired of sitting.  I was tired of trying to make him sit.  The movie had been cute but the 25 minutes of previews was more than he could handle.  He was done with "Car Toons".  He is used to watching movies in his room at his leisure.  He would be able to see it later.  There were "things" outside and he knew it.  So the bub and I made our exit, literally 35 minutes into the movie.  It had been a cute movie, but he was done!  We left the others behind to finish watching (and tell me all about it later) the movie and we ventured out. 

On top of all of the games, there was a payphone in the mall (yes they still exist and cost 50 cents now...WOW).  He liked it.  There were balloons at the mall.  There was a play area.  There were free footballs!  There was a Tilt Game Room!  He and I actually had fun (although I would have actually liked to have seen this movie).  But we had fun!  That was the point of this day!  The movie will come out on DVD!  We will buy it and we will watch it in its entirety, probably over three day's time!  Bubby doesn't sit well!  I don't sit well!  The others do, and they did!  They were happy to sit and watch the movie!  I'm glad they got the opportunity.  Bubby and I had fun!  They had fun!  We got tickets.  Win, win, win!

As far as the movie goes?  Well, I liked what I saw.  Bug loved it (her first big screen and all).  B said it wasn't as good as the first.  TDQ said it was "cute".  13-year-old Jr said it was a "mediocre movie with an awesome ending".  Can't wait to see it on DVD!  

But in a nut shell, a good day was had by all.  Thanks to Mobile Fandango, it was all possible.  Yes, please and thank you, we will most certainly do this again with Fandango.  I'm thinking a Smurf Movie outing is in order!  

Have you seen Cars 2?  What do you think?  Have you used Fandango before?  I think you should! 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I Paid The Rent This Month

I paid the rent for July!  Yea, not a big deal you say?  Think again!  You see when I say "I paid the rent", I mean "I" did, with my own money for the first time in like forever!  

You see, 2 years ago, I had a "real" job.  I made pretty good money (not what I was worth of course, none of us does these days, but good money just the same).  In fact, I was the one that paid all of the bills.  On the 15th of every month, I logged into my bank account and scheduled payment on each and every one of our bills from my paycheck.  The money my husband made was for gas, groceries, day care, and the fun stuff!

But the past 2 years have been different.  The economy took a nose-dive and our family was struggling.  My husband was out of work and my job was in jeopardy.  We took the plunge and moved to Texas where he was offered a union job with the local pipe fitters.  We decided I should stay at home with the babies.  They deserved it.  I had always wanted that.  And we had decided to "struggle".  Oh and struggle we have!  

We only have one vehicle now.  We live paycheck to paycheck.  We don't do the "fun stuff" anymore.  But we pay the bills, we have a roof over our heads, and the kids have food!  And I was happy with this, a little stressed sometimes, but happy!  But I was bringing nothing to the table monetarily.  Yes, I was cooking 3 meals a day, I was cleaning, I was nurturing, and I was loving, but that wasn't allowing for the "fun stuff".  I was bringing no monetary value to my family! 

My husband was OK with this.  He appreciates everything I do.  But I could hear and feel the stress and pressure that this was putting on him and this did not please me!  I wanted to stay home with my babies.  I love staying home with my babies.  I missed so much with the first ones, I didn't want to do that again.  Jobs are scarce out there for someone with my experience (and eh-hem age) with no degree.  Day care is expensive (holy $325 a week for 2 kids expensive).  Must find something else!

I babysit.  It's money.  It helps with the groceries.  Heck, I'm already here with the babies, why not one or two more?  But it won't pay the rent for sure!  Now what?

So about 7 months ago, an old friend from high school that I reconnected with on Facebook and a very successful blogger, approached me.  She said I was "funny".  She said people "liked" me.  She said I could "do" this!  I dove in (but I was holding my nose).  I started writing.  People started listening.  Then I would get discouraged.  I was always ready to give up.  I kept writing, but I figured going back to work and leaving my babies was the best thing financially for my family!

BUT Jules at A Little Bite Of Life wasn't having that.  Of course she wasn't!  This woman rocks.  If you aren't following her, click that link and do it now.  Even if you don't read another word of this post, it is well worth your time to follow her.  I love this woman.  She is my inspiration.  My cheerleader.  In a way, she saved my life.  And she allowed me to stay at home with my babies!  

She knows people.  She hooked me up with people.  And this past month, I made enough money to pay my rent (and some groceries, and we did some "fun stuff").  No it's not the money that I was making before, but before, I was leaving my babies.  Now I am not!

Yes, my life is good!  My friends rock!  Jules started me on this adventure, and many others encouraged me along the way, and it paid off.  My friends rock (yes I know I already said that and I'm not stuttering...I just want you to get it)!

This little (long winded as always) post is my thank you to my friends!  Thanks for encouraging me!  Thanks for cheering me on!  Thanks for being the type of people that I can only aspire to be some day!  In case I haven't said it lately, y'all ROCK!

Oh and hey, did I mention that "I" paid the rent this month?    

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cars 2 Tickets Online at #Fandango? Yes Please & Thank You!

Well isn't this a fabulous combination?  Cars 2 and Fandango?  Yes please and thank you!  I had heard of Fandango in the past but had never personally used them.  With this economy and a large family, we haven't been frequent movie goers for sure.  I honestly can't remember the last time I went to a movie at a theater.  But with that said, we really want to go see Cars 2.  We must go!  Bubby talks about it all day, every day!  He's 2 and he seriously watches the original Cars at least once a day!

As you know, it’s been 5 long years since we first met Mater and Lightening McQueen! This time the dynamic duo is headed for Japan to compete in the World Grand Prix. Yes this IS exciting! The road to the championship becomes a little rocky when Mater gets caught up in international espionage…OH that Mater! We are oh-so-excited! And it's in theaters now.  I'm thinking a visit to Fandango for advanced ticket purchase is in order!

There will be 6 of us going to the movie so saving time and money will obviously be key.  My husband and I will be taking Bug and Bubby of course, and as an added bonus, my two step-kids, Jr and The Drama Queen (we'll call her TDQ from now on), are visiting from Georgia and this will be a fantastic treat for them as well!

Originally, I logged on to from my home PC.  I created an account and looked around before making my purchase.  While surfing, I noticed some pretty cool stuff. 

There's a "Browse Movies" tab where you can see what's in  theaters now (Cars 2, Bad Teacher, Green Lantern, and Hangover II to name a few...something for everyone).  Movies opening this week (Monte Carlo and Larry Crowne are both opening July 1st).  And what's top at the box office if that is important to you. 

There's a spot to check out information with photos of your favorite celebrities!

And you can even join the community and review movies yourself for others to read.  That's right up my alley for sure.  I'll be back there after we actually get to see this highly anticipated flick!

About this time, it got really loud in my apartment.  It always gets really loud in my apartment, and I noticed that Fandango has a mobile app. They have apps for the Droid, they have apps for the IPhone, they have apps for all of the big name smart phones. But you see, I don’t have a smart phone. Mine is only mildly intelligent. It’s a Samsung with 25 MB of allowed usage per month. My kids have smart phones. They have unlimited usage, I do not! Let’s see what I can do with this! 
Since there is no “app for that” on my phone, I had seen on the site that I could just go to so away I went! Ready set, go!
Log into your account then set the location by zip code to get available theaters and show times in your area.   You can find the new movies "In The Spotlight" which is where I found Cars 2.  Select your movie, your theater, your date, and your showtime, and you're ready to order.  (Something to be noted here is that even if your local theater is a large theater, Fandango may not offer movie ticketing for that particular theater.  We have a large theater here on the island, but could not purchase tickets for our local.  I chose the closest theater which is only about 20 minutes away on the mainland.  Personally, I wish they covered more locations.)  Conveniently they not only accept Visa, American Express, Master Card, and Discovery, they also accept Pay Pal which was my choice!  Confirm your order details on the screen, then simply tap the "Buy" button.  And as Fandango says "You're good to go", literally, you're all set and ready to go!  

The entire purchase only took me about 2 minutes (how awesome is that?) and only used .379 MB of my allowable usage (even awesomer)! I even got a valuable coupon at checkout (I chose printer cartridges at a nice savings, but there were others as well).  You can see more details about my online purchase through my Intersect Story.   

I'm glad our tickets are purchased!  The kids will be stoked!  I am relieved as I am of course an incurable worry freak and now I have peace of mind knowing that when we get there on Saturday the movie won't be sold out.  I probably will use Fandango again if we get another opportunity to go to a show.   You should go check them out too!  With that said, I'd like to give you the pros and cons in a nutshell (so to speak) because I always believe in the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so here it is. 

The Pros:
1) Ease of use.
2) Quick and painless.
3) Easily accessible online from your home PC, through a mobile app, or online through most cell phones.
4) Convenient payment options.
5) Valuable coupon at check out.

The Cons:
1) Limited theater selection.  
2) The "convenience" fee is pretty hefty ($1.25 per ticket when our matinee tickets were only $2.75 each).
3)  Purchases can only be made 3-5 days in advance depending on movie or theater, it's kind of hit or miss, wish there was a set rule (I know right? You can hardly believe that I said neither, but it's true).

Thank you Fandango for handling my advanced ticket purchase and for the killer coupon for the printer cartridges I so desperately needed .  And the rest of y'all, stay tuned, I will most assuredly be back to let you know how the movie was after we finally get to see it on Saturday!  

**This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.  The views, opinions, and photos are entirely my own. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Win Two Cars 2 Tickets Thanks to WOOT (Ends 7/6/11) **CLOSED**

*Update: The winner is @xxkimhcxx!  I will be contacting you via email for information so you can receive your tickets!  Congrats and thanks to all of you for playing along!*

How exciting!  It's finally here!  The movie we have all been waiting for!  The sequel to end all sequels!  It's been 5 years since we first met Mater and Lightning McQueen. And they are back and better than ever.  But this time they are heading to Japan to compete in the World Grand Prix and how exciting is  that?  The road to the championship apparently is a rocky one when Mater gets tangled up in some international espionage!  Oh that Mater!    We can't wait!  We have already secured our tickets for this Saturday through and we are stoked! and I have a free pair of tickets for YOU!  They rock...the free tickets and Fandango of course!  You might think the convenience fee is bothersome but they more than make up for it in offers and deals after purchase (more on that later).  With all that said, I have 2 tickets to give away.  Yes, give, as in FREE to you!  All you have to do is the following and will send them to you directly!  

Ready, set, rev your engines, here we go!  All you have to do is:

1)  Mandatory Entry: Visit and comment on here what you like or don't like about the site.
2)  Additional Entry *LIKE* Fandango here Fandango on Facebook
3)  Additional Entry:  Follow Fandango on Twitter here Fandango on Twitter
4)  Additional Entry: Join the Asylum here at Insanity Is Not An Option

The lucky winner will be selected on July 6, 2011.  I will be closing this giveaway on July 6th at 5:00 p.m. CST.  Enter today for your chance to win 2 free tickets to Cars 2!  How exciting is this?  And stay tuned for reviews on and Cars 2!  Hope you win!  Yes, I'm talking to you!

**This shop/giveaway has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.  All opinions are completely my own.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bling Bug’s Bike with Elmer’s X-Treme #GlueNGlitter

Bug's Barbie bike is not "pretty" anymore.  Mind you, it's only 8 months old, but we live on an island (ummm have I mentioned that before?  Like a ga-zillion times?) and the salty, humid climate has not been kind to her little bike.  It is most certainly in need of a major *BLING* intervention and thanks to Walmart, Elmer's X-TREME School Glue Stick, and a very excitable 4-year-old, we were able to BLING BUG'S BIKE for $11.75, and managed to have a lot of fun doing it!  We like fun, it's our favorite! Hey, let's get our #GlueNGlitter on!  We can fix this for sure!

Even though we all know I can't stick to a list, I made one anyway as a guide.  I need this!  It keeps me somewhat on track.  Time to head to Walmart!  (Of course it's time to head to Walmart, isn't it always?)

We all know my Walmart is pretty cool!  I speak of it often.  I frequent it often.  When I walk in the door, the door greeters don't say "Welcome to Walmart", they say "Hey Christy".  We have some pretty interesting characters island tourists in and out, we have FREE island transit (bet you don't have that), and a really cool looking area to wait for said transit!  Yes, my Walmart is better than your Walmart!  It really is!

Every time I enter my Walmart, I thank them for providing me with sanitizing wipes and letting me take as many as I want.  Have to rid the buggy of all the germs!  This night, I was almost thankful that the kids were napping and couldn't join me on my mission.  We wouldn't have made it past the entrance with this M&M display or this sand bucket display.  I notice the produce section which is always so enticing and realize that Pip needs a honeydew melon.  Not on the list, but they are his favorite!

I have a mission to complete.  Must buy stuff to Bling Bug's Bike.  So I head to the craft section!  I know this area pretty well.  I spend a lot of time here.  I figure I can find this Elmer's X-TREME somewhere between the Learning Center and the Children's Activities!
I really found Elmer's Glue everywhere.  They have so many products, it's amazing.  If you want it to stick, Elmer's has a product for it! 

But I was looking for Elmer's X-TREME Glue Stick and I found it in the Learning Center.  I was surprised that it was so low and hidden on the display.  Being a newer product, you would think it would be placed more prominently so that it popped out at me.  Either way, I found it and I got it.  This stuff claims to be much stronger than your average glue stick.  Bug and I will put it to the test!

Time to pick the bling!  I stayed in the craft section and found flower glitter stickers, acrylic jewels (sure to be Bug's favorite), ribbon, and buttons (to replace the pitiful handle bar tassels).  Oh this is fun!  I was skipping and singing a ♪♫Happy Little Shopping Song♫♪.

Shopping was complete and I was ready to go home.  I didn't stick to my list (surprise) but I had gotten everything on my list, and lots of bling for a bike in desperate need of a make over.  Yes, this had been a good shop indeed!

So we got up in the morning ready to put our #GlueNGlitter bling on.  How fabulous was this?  Fabulous indeed!

I was most excited about the tassels for the handle bars so we started there.  Bug picked the purple ribbon (although I was partial to the pink, it is her bike after all).  As you can see, Bug has been plagued with a bout of fever blisters.  She has had cabin fever!  This project is just what the doctor ordered to put a smile back on her face!  She picked the pink buttons so I was pleased!  We threaded the ribbon, two pieces at a time, through the button holes, then put the X-TREME on the ends of the ribbons to be sure they didn't fray.  They turned out awesome, don't you think?  

Then we headed outside.  Holy craft, it's hot out there (102 to be exact).  First, put the pre-made tassels on the handle bars.  Next decorate the Barbie bag with fabric flowers, fastened by X-TREME of course.  Then a little glitter sticker fun, followed by the bling of all bling, acrylic jewels, stuck on with X-TREME (as I'd predicted, Bug's favorite).

She was having a blast and I was happy watching her.  You see, this was a struggle for me.  My OCD tendencies and her stick it where it lands philosophy were in direct contrast of one another, but it was her bike, so I let her do it her own way. 

It really was hot out there and her fever blisters were hurting her.  Time to head in!  She wasn't done blinging...NO, not at all!  So I thought, what can we do inside?  Hey, I know!  What's a new and improved sparkly Barbie bike without a new and improved sparkly Barbie helmet?  NOTHING!  
So I convinced her to head inside to decorate her helmet.  It's a rule, you can't have a sparkly bike without a sparkly helmet right?  Right!  She most assuredly agreed and headed inside to bling the helmet!  Sparkly, isn't it?
Done!  Couldn't be more proud of my baby!  She did an awesome job and she was oh, so proud of herself and her "new" sparkly bike!  And I was extremely impressed with TREME as well.  It really did hold to both medal and plastic in this extreme heat!  Guess that's why they call it X-TREME, huh? 

Bug is so proud of her "new" bike that she announced (oh gosh another official proclamation) that when we go on this weekend's bike rides, she will not be riding with her Bubby in the cart.  NO, she will be riding her own sparkly bike on the seawall instead!  Of course she is, who wouldn't want to ride this?  Don't you just LOVE it?  It's fabulously sparkly!  Next project?  MY bike!
 Remember to always keep a smile on your face and a sparkle in your heart people!  Smiles are contagious and sparkles are infectious!  Love y'all, sparkle on!

*This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Elmer’s #GlueNGlitter #CollectiveBias. All opinions, ideas, and photos are 100% my own.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bubby & Disney Channel Cars 2 Tuesday

Today was Cars 2 Tuesday on the Disney Channel, their shameless plug (who could blame them) for the movie premiering this weekend!  My son was glued to the TV, waiting for each snippet from the new movie.  He laughed, chuckled, belly-laughed at each and every one of them.  Swear, I have never seen this kid sit so long.  He loved the first movie (watches it often and giggles throughout).  Must take him to the new release!  Oh and the pirate costume?  That's just an added bonus!  I love this little guy!

My Journey to Happily Ever After!

I'm a very happy person, I really am!  I love my life (now)!  I love my husband!  I love my kids (all 6 of them)!  I'm almost obnoxious at times with my happiness and I don't care, because I'm happy!  But I wasn't always a happy person.  Not at all!  

I was a happy child!  I was a happy teen!  I was a happy young adult!  I was a really happy person for a really long time, but "life" got to me.  I let circumstances "get" to me!  I became very unhappy somewhere in my 30's and remained that way for a very long time!

Up until about two years ago, my least favorite yet most prominent emotion was anger.  Everything made me mad or irritated me.  I was in  a well-paid but dead-end job in a city I couldn't stand and I think this was really the major contributor to my anger.  But the bad stuff consumed the very fiber of my being.  My marriage was struggling.  I didn't even really enjoy my children.  I didn't enjoy much at all.  I was in survival mode only.  Even talking to a customer service rep on the phone could make my blood boil to a point that was most assuredly unhealthy.  This is how I lived my life. I put up a good front for the most part, but I was just not  happy!  I should have been, but I wasn't.  

I began worrying about my health.  I did after all have 6 children that relied on me and if I kept this up, I wouldn't be around for them.  So I started looking for my "happy place".  It had to be there, just had to be!  I deserved better, and so did my husband and kids!

A life change was in order for sure!  First off, the job had to go.  B, the babies, and I relocated.  Packed up everything and headed for Galveston, TX!  Life on an island was surely uplifting but still, I really wasn't happy!

Then slowly but surely, I started noticing the good things in life again.  Started spending more time with my children.  Started paying more attention to my husband.  I wasn't as angry, but was still far from happy.  Then one day, like a ton of bricks, it hit me (well actually no, a ton of bricks didn't hit me because if they actually did, I'm sure I wouldn't be telling my happy little tale).

It had always been right there in front of me, but I never opened my eyes.  I grew up in a family of 3 girls.  I had 4 daughters of my own.  I had watched every Disney Princess movie on the planet, every one, multiple times, a ga-zillion even!  I didn't pay enough attention.  

While watching Cinderella with Bug one day, it struck me how happy this princess was.  Seriously, her dad died, her wicked step-mom and hideous step-sisters treated her like a slave, she dressed in rags, her only friends were woodland creatures, but she was happy.  This got me to thinking!

Snow white?  Happy!  What did she have to be happy about? Her evil step-mom went so far as to hire a huntsman to take her into the woods to kill and dismember her ( about evil and unhappy?).  But the guy felt sorry for her and couldn't do it so he just sent her on her way telling her to hide from the queen.  She ends up living with 7 little dudes that she constantly has to clean up after and cook for.  But guess what?  She was happy!

Then you have sleeping beauty!  Cursed at birth by an evil fairy to die at the age of 16.  The good fairies took her away from her parents for protection to raise her as a peasant deep in the woods.  So this wealthy princess is raised as a peasant!  Not such a wonderful thing.  But hey, just look at her, she's happy!

The list went on and on as I thought about it in my own unhappy little mind.  How could this be?  They had such horrible lives by circumstance (just like me) but they were happy and smiling!  What was so different between them and me (other than the obvious like I'm not animated, I do have bills, and well, I'm not a princess)?  If they can be happy, I can be happy!  I pondered this for quite some time but got no where with it.  But it always stayed in the back of my miserable little head.  

Then about a year ago, some time after we had moved, I sat down and watched Disney's Enchanted.  Giselle, a happy animated princess, was cast from Andalasia by her one true love's wicked step-mom (you know, I really think someone high up at Disney had a pretty nasty step-mom, we really aren't all that bad) and thrown into "real world" New York City to live in a world without "happily ever afters".  Yea, bet she'll stop smiling now!  Bet she won't be happy all of the time anymore either.  Bet ya!

Bet I was wrong!  I watched this movie with amazement.  I loved this movie.  It made me happy!  Yes, a movie made me, the unhappy one, happy!  The storyline, the acting, the movie itself is just awesome (I actually own the movie now and watch it at least once a month and highly recommend it to anyone and everyone, with or without kids).  But it wasn't just the movie itself that was making me smile, it was the fact that I all of a sudden "got it".  I figured out why all of these princesses facing all of this adversity were happy!  I could be happy too!

(no it wasn't an evil step-mom, well there was that but that's not the point).  There was twirling in twirly dresses, there was dancing and singing in public places, there were woodland creatures, and there was skipping, of course there was skipping (oh how I had missed skipping)!

I used to do all of those things, years ago, before I let life get me down.  Life didn't let me down though, I did this and I could change this!  Bet I watched this movie 20 times that month.  And I began skipping again on a regular basis, skipping is after all my favorite!  I began singing around the apartment, then in the grocery store, then while riding bikes on the seawall, then every where I went.  I began twirling, wearing twirly dresses!  Oh and I started dancing, I'm not a good dancer by any means, but that doesn't matter, you can't dance with a frown on your face (this is a proven fact, try it, you can't do it)!  I even got my own little woodland creature, a sugar glider named Pip (of course)!

Day by day, my life got better, I swear.  Month by month, I was happier!  Instead of just working hard to please others and make others happy, I was happy!  I mean truly happy!  And the people around me were happier!  

You ask yourself, does this crazy lady actually sing, and skip, and twirl, and dance in public places for all to ridicule?  Of course I do!  You ask, does she really attribute her happiness to a Disney movie?  Not necessarily, but the concept, most definitely!  Don't people look at you like you've lost your marbles?  You bet your sweet bippity boppity boo they do!  Do I care?  I absolutely do NOT!  I'm happy!

Yes, I still get angry, we all do.  But now when I feel the urge to "blow", I twirl, I skip, I sing a "Happy Little Working Song", or in my best princess voice, I call the birds and woodland creatures with an "Aha aha ah...aha aha ah".  Bad mood buster for certain!  I recommend this little "secret" to anyone and everyone!  Life is a beautiful thing!  Don't waste a minute of it being miserable.  You'll never get those minutes back and I've wasted entirely too many!

Sparkle on...and sing...and twirl....and dance...and don't ever forget to skip, it's so much happier than walking!  I'm now living my "happily ever after".  You can too!  We all deserve it!