Monthly Archives: July 2013

An interview with the boy munchkin

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In honor of A turning 12 I decided to do an interview:

1. So far what has been the best age? Why?

EIGHT BECAUSE 2ND GRADE WAS FUN

2. What age are you looking forward to the most? Why?

16 BECAUSE I WANT TO BE A TEENAGER

3. What is your favorite color?

GREEN

4.What do you want to be when you grow up?

A MARINE BIOLOGIST

5. If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?

I WOULD GTE RID OF EL PASO

6. If you could have any super power which one would you pick?

BEING ABLE TO HYPNOTIZE PEOPLE

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7. What is your favorite movie?

ALIENS VS PREDATOR

8. What is your least favorite and favorite school subjects?
Least Favorite: MATH                             Favorite: SCIENCE

9. Do you plan on having children when you get older?

NO

10. Why?

CUZ LOOK AT ME, I AM AS ANNOYING AS HECK

keep-calm-and-annoy-your-parents

11. If you could live anywhere where would it be?

I DO WANT TO GO TO THAT PLACE WHERE YOU CAN RUN AROUND NAKED AND NOONE CAN DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT (nudist beach) BUT I JUST WANT TO DO IT ONCE, I’D LIVE IN OCEAN CITY MD

12. Favorite memory?

MY DREAM WHEN I WAS RAINING FOOD OH WAIT: BOSTON AQUARIUM

13. Least Favorite memory?

DO NIGHTMARES COUNT ? NO OKAY: WHEN I LOST MY XBOX AND GAMECUBE

14. Something that makes you sad?

MY MEMA DYING
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15. Something that makes you happy?

VIDEO GAMES and SNACKS

16. If you had a million dollars what would you do with it?

BUY EVERYONE OF MY FAVORITE VIDEOGAMES, A MANSION, GET A BUTLER AND CALL HIM STEVE, STEVE THE BUTLER, BUY MY OWN AQUARIUM and if I HAVE AN AQUARIUM I WILL BE ABLE TO GET MORE MONEY AND GET AN ISLAND PARADISE AND ANOTHER BUTLER WHO I WILL CALL JOE

And now the question for all of you, What would you do with a million dollars?

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It’s a Shakeology Review and Giveaway

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Hi there, I am so happy to be offering you guys another giveaway.  If you are anything like me you have heard of Shakeology and probably thought to yourself “I would love to try a shake before I decide to invest in it” Well Dana over at www.beachbodycoach.com/bradensmommy has given me the opportunity to do just that, and to offer the same to one of my readers.  Are you excited?

Chocolate-Shakeology

I was given a Chocolate Shakeology shake to try out, and I must admit I was a little skeptical, I have never been one to like “health” shakes.  Dana mentioned I might want to try Banana and Peanut butter in the shake which reminds me did you know that beachbody offers recipes for their shakes on their website? I think that is pretty awesome. Anyway I wanted to try it both ways so I made the shake according to the directions:
Blend powder with 8-12 oz of water or other beverage and ice until creamy
I used  1% milk

I have to be honest and say I did not love the flavor, it wasn’t awful but it wasn’t great either, however I have never been a huge fan of chocolate shake drinks, and as a bonus it didn’t taste chalky like some of them do,  and so in went 1 whole banana and a TBSP of Peter Pan creamy peanut butter.

The difference was night and day, the shake tasted pretty darn good, and I had no problem drinking it all up.

I did stay full for quite awhile, I had the shake for breakfast and forced myself to have a snack at 2pm, because I still hadn’t eaten anything.

I didn’t feel a huge boost of energy but to be fair it was only 1 shake and I am sure it takes time to your body to adjust to it, I also am on medications that make me sleepy due to my back.   I was able to get through my normal Jillian workout just fine without feeling run down though, so I would say a little improvement, pretty good for day 1!

I have seen many people talk about how expensive Shakeology is, but if you compare the cost of a shake to the cost of an average meal, or to a home made smoothie, fresh squeezed juice, or a health drink bought at a juice bar, chances are you would be saving money with Shakeology.

via the beachbody website: Shakeology shakes contain over 70 natural ingredients derived from rich, nutrient-dense whole-food sources from around the world and who doesn’t want more nutrients?

Still have questions? Still unsure? or Maybe you are ready to try it out?

Dana would love to be your beach body coach and show you how and why Shakeology…Let someone be there to answer all of your questions, It’s free so what do you have to lose? And bonus by doing so you will be entered into the giveaway to try your very own Chocolate Shakeology Shake…Win Win right?

Chocolate-Shakeology

Just click the link for the rafflecopter, make sure to read the terms and conditions 🙂 …Seriously what are you waiting for?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

My exciting news

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If you read my blog post July the month of go aways giveaways birthdays surgeries and a special surprise  Then you know that my husband should be home from Afghanistan VERY soon, and you also probably know that I am in NY and he’s going back to FT Bliss TX, and I am moving to Washington State next month, I was pretty sad about that especially since it could be another 4 months before I see him.  So I did something about it, I bought plane tickets, rented a hotel room, and gave my husband some great news last night, :I’ll see you when you get home!” He was super excited to find out I would be there, and I am super excited to see him, even if it means 2 ten hour plane trips, at least I can read or something because I’ll be alone right? The munchkins are staying with their Grandpa, Grandma, and Titi in NYC, so they will be well taken care of.  My only hope is that it doesn’t make it worse, seeing him for only a couple days.  It will definitely be a different feeling because this is the first time he will be saying goodbye and putting me on a plane…good luck baby, good luck!

Also stay tuned, tomorrow I will be posting a GIVEAWAY!

Why my son saved my life and his birthday letter and video

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12 years ago today I gave birth to the boy who ultimately saved my life.  I do not think that is an exaggeration at all.  Before I got pregnant with my first born, I was into some nasty stuff.  I was rebelling, it started shortly after my parents uprooted me from the only home I had known for 15 years in the country and planted me in a city, which also happened to occur right after I had became anorexic and lost a great deal of weight.  A year later I got pregnant for the first time, but terminated the pregnancy at 24 weeks because my baby had anencephally,  and so I went back on rebelling.  I was pretty mad, mad at life in general and my first course of feeling better was always drinking.

I drank from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed, I could drink grown men under the table and not even flinch, and at the time I was pretty proud of that.  I was in to quite a few drugs, pretty much anything was a go other than heroin and crack, I had watched too many go down that road and seen it end badly.  I moved from MD to Ohio with my sons father and continued the partying lifestyle.  When he told me he wanted to have a baby, I immediately agreed, in a way I wanted to fill a hole.  The longer we tried and the more it didn’t happen, the more upset I got and the more partying I did, pretty counter productive I know, but back then I honestly just didn’t think about it, It’s hard to think when you are messed up all the time.

In November of 2000 I finally seen the 2 pink lines that meant I was pregnant.  I immediately quit drinking and doing any drugs and I remember the sense of panic I had when reality set in that I had probably done something I shouldn’t have in the first weeks of my pregnancy.  I was petrified, and what had happened in my first pregnancy didn’t help.  I moved back to MD, got 2 jobs, and we got our own apartment.  I completely turned my life around and the day that he was born, I knew I would never be the person I had been again.  I had a new reason to live and something that made all of  the hard stuff in life worth it.  For that I am eternally grateful to my son.

A-
You have been mommy’s reason for breathing from the time you took your first breath, actually well before that, from the moment I knew you were inside of me, maybe even before that.  You brought so much joy into my life and I am thankful for you each and every day.  I remember all of your years as the were yesterday, I remember when you shocked me and chose to say boat even before you said mama and dada, I remember the times you would play with shoe strings pretending they were spaghetti, I remember the excitement each time you ran into the living room because Santa had came, I remember how happy you would get at the little things like bubbles, grass, water, and paint, I remember the countless hours we spent reading, and doing crafts, I remember when you wanted to be a doctor, a dentist, an actor, and a TV, I remember each year that you just had to pick your own Halloween costume, I remember the words you said wrong like Octohpoh instead of Octopus and Oitmeal instead of Oatmeal, I remember your first steps, your first food and the first time you told me you loved me, I remember when you thought cleaning was fun and hanging out with your mom was cool.  I miss all of those times, but I am always looking forward to what’s next and you continue to surprise me.  You are so smart, handsome, and funny.  I love that you like to laugh even if it’s at the most insane things.  I love that you now want to be a marine biologist, I love that you are starting to be more grown up, I love when you help me cook and the pride in your eyes when you can do things on your own, I love how sweet you are when I am sick  and my dear I will love you if all of those things change.  I look forward to seeing the man that you grow up to be, but for now could you slow it down and let me hold on to these days for awhile before they too become memories.

Mommy

Peach and Berry Cream Tart

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I was invited to my sisters the other night for dinner and was in charge of dessert, and this was the perfect summer dessert!

What you need:
CRUST:
54 nabisco tea biscuits
1 stick of melted butter

FILLING:
1 package of cream cheese
1 cup of cold heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of confectioners sugar
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

TOPPING:
2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon of sugar
3 medium size ripe peaches
1 medium container of blueberries
about 10 strawberries

5 year old helper: optional

Here’s what ya do:

First set out your cream cheese so it gets to room temperature (we forgot this step and ended up having to take a break between the crust and filling, which didn’t set well with the 5 year old helper)

Preheat oven to 400, this is important folks, even I like to slack because I am impatient, but it won’t come out right if you do not preheat your oven

Add your tea biscuits to a food processor and process until it is crumbs

Add the stick of melted butter and process again

Dump the crumb mixture onto a small cookie sheet and spread it out

now turn down your oven to 375 and bake your crust for 8 minutes

While your crust is baking unlike me you will be able to whip up your filling, since you took your cream cheese out before prepping the crust, if you are like me, well sit back and put your feet up while you watch your crust cook

Mix the cream cheese and both sugars together on medium until creamy
Add the heavy cream and mix on high about 3 minutes
Add the lime juice and mix another 1 minute on high

Once the crust is done baking and the filling is ready, spread the filling over the crust and refrigerate at least 4 hours

(If you have opted for the 5 year old helper….hand beaters over because they will probably want them)

About 15-20 minutes before you are ready to serve:

Slice up your peaches and add 2 TBSP sugar and mix

Add 1 TSP sugar to your blueberries

Dice your strawberries

Let the fruit sit in the sugar for about 10 minutes(except strawberries) and minus the pieces the 5 year old helper thinks she is sneaking

Add the fruit to the top of your filling and you are all done

dessert

NYIP Unit 6 photo project

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I finally finished my NYIP Unit 6 photo project, which also happens to be the very last photo project, I got an A on the test and that was my final test, so once I get my reviews for these photos I will have graduated NYIP.  I am super excited about that.  I am proud of myself for setting a goal and reaching it and I am thrilled to continue taking pictures but be able to focus more on the areas that I enjoy, the pictures that call to me, rather than what I have assigned to photograph.  This Unit was mostly about architecture photography and interested me very little, I did enjoy the glamour shot section in this unit but struggled to find a model to work with for that in such a small town.  So without further ado these are my final photos:

gloucester building
Photo #1 Picture of the outside of a building
This was an old manufacturing plant on the water in Gloucester MA, I know it is not ideally beautiful but I love the unconventional beauty in it. This picture was also taken with my point and shoot camera

marriot
Photo #2 A picture of the inside of a house, or office
Since I am staying with my father, but getting ready to move in less than a month and the house is turned upside down because he is getting ready to put it on the market, I had a hard time getting this photo and eventually settled on a picture of the inside of our hotel room

IMG_5888
Photo #3 A picture of the outside of a building, lit up at night
This was a picture of the condos in Ocean City MD
Andre
Photo #4 A head and shoulders shot of a person you have not used previously for one of these shots

Sound off Trayvon/Zimmerman case

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So It took me awhile to actually post anything regarding this topic, because to be honest I wasn’t going to.  However it seems that every time I turn on my computer there is something else regarding the case being posted.  Let me start by telling you, I read the story when it first came out, I did not watch or follow the trial.  I didn’t watch or follow the trial because quite frankly I knew Zimmerman would be found not guilty.  Let me be clear though by saying I knew he wouldn’t be found guilty and I didn’t think it would have anything to do with race at all.  I knew because of who his father is and because of the stand your ground law which states people fearing for their lives can use deadly force without having to retreat from a confrontation, even when it is possible.  I am not saying that it is right or wrong, I am not debating rather that should or should not be a law, my opinions on that really hold no value when discussing the case, because no matter what I feel it is law, not only in Florida but in many other states.  To top it off I truly have no idea if it was right or wrong because like I said all I have seen are people’s opinions.  There is one thing I do know: Riots are not justice for Trayvon!

Of course it’s my blog and I will share my opinions on what I do know.  It amazes me that people still believe the only type of hate crimes is white on black.  It’s time to wake up America, those are the cases that get national coverage, but race crimes happen all the time by different races, they just aren’t picked up and turned into a circus by the Media, if you don’t believe me ask me I will send you plenty of examples.  There was a national black on white case once upon a time because of who the suspect was, I know we all remember OJ Simpson, a black man who killed not 1 but 2 white people and walked.  I think it is time we stop focusing so much on race and start focusing more on what can be done to improve our legal and justice system that allows people of all races to commit murder and walk, and is still in this day and time finding innocent people rotting in prison cells.

I am not sure why everything always gets blamed on race, It’s funny to me that Zimmermans white side get’s blamed for murder and Obama’s black side gets blamed for his mistakes, why is it so hard to look at people as people instead of as Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, ect?

A friend of mine Raymond Bailey from Mymotorcycleaccident.com  posted this on his facebook and it pretty much summed up the rest of my feelings, so I’ll just share it with you:

“Being African America/Black or any race for that matter should not make you special. There are so many special entitlements for minorities loans, scholarships, etc. Race should be irrelevant, but it isn’t. The race card is played so often when it should not be. Some African Americans bring up slavery/segregation as an excuse. Don’t forget how many White Union soldiers died for your freedom. How many white people stood by your side for your civil rights. What happened during slavery is history that should never be forgotten. But it’s just that history. I am sorry if this offends any of my black friends. I am not a racist. I don’t care about color. I am just sick and tired of reading all this racial entitlement crap on Facebook. We are all human. Children and people of every race are killed by each other every day. It’s a sad and violent part of our culture. Deal with it move on and hope for a more peaceful future !”

As he said I truly apologize if this offends anyone, because it is not my intent, I am not racist, my son is half Black and my daughter is half Puerto Rican, I do not care at all about color!

I care about justice and I fail to see how the race battles and riots are giving Trayvon or his family justice….As a mother my heart breaks for his mother and I pray for that family and  hope that they find peace in this horrible time.

Des and Cadence

Gardening bath sensory play

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While C was  recovering from her surgery (You can see those posts here , here and here ) she didn’t feel much like taking a bath, but she was eating a lot of sticky stuff(icecream, jello, pudding) so she definitely needed a bath.  That’s when I decided to make her a fun bath.  She loves to garden and play in the dirt so I thought this would be perfect.

The Garden Sensory bath:
I used fake flowers from the dollar store, seeds also bought from the dollar store, a planter,  a watering can, and play gardening tools . and then I made some dirt

To make the dirt all you need is baking soda, water and food coloring
I used 3 boxes of baking soda, you just add enough water to make it crumbly and moist like dirt

I then set up some flowers and seeds for her to plant, added water to the watering can and to the tub, put some tops of fake flowers into the tub and viola a fun bath.

And it worked, she was all about getting into the tub and playing.  Looking back I wish I had added some green food color to the water, but it was still great

bath

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Dark and Milk Chocolate Toffee Cupcake

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dark chocolate toffee cupcake

I told you what kind of cake I used and how to make the ganache in my post for Reese Cupcakes  The only difference here is I used half dark chocolate and half milk chocolate chips for the ganache

You will also need Dark chocolate Toffee bars. I used Ghiradelli, because they are so delicious.

So you make the cupcakes the exact same way, and the ganache with the changes I mentioned.  I did not fill the cupcakes so these are even easier>

Once everything is made and cooled to room temperature just like in the Reese’s cupcakes you take the cupcake dip it into the ganache and top with half of a Dark chocolate toffee square

As always enjoy

DIY Button Letter Ocean Theme

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My sons room is done in Ocean theme, well not at the moment because we are staying at my dad’s during this deployment, but at home it is in Ocean theme.  Button letters are flying all over pinterest and I am not sure who made the first one, but I know they are cute, so I decided to make one myself

monogram button letter

This can be done in almost any theme you will need:
Buttons (I used blue)
A frame (I purchased mine at the dollar tree)
A wooden decal (I used a fish)
A piece of thick paper (I used white)
A pencil
Glue (I used craft glue)
Hot glue gun or other type of strong glue

To make it:

Take the white paper and use the pencil to draw an stencil or outline of what you want your letter to look like
glue buttons all in your stencil, taking care to cover your pencil lines
*hint-It is better to start with the big buttons and fill in with smaller buttons
Put the paper inside of the frame but take out the glass
Hot glue the decal onto the frame where you think it looks good

That’s it!