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December 11, 2017

The Best Gift Idea You Never Thought Of

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Bloggin’ Mamas & the Florida Prepaid College Board. All opinions expressed are my own.

It wasn’t that long ago there was a young man. He was a kind young man and handsome too. He always did what his mother and father told him to do. He would spend his free time with them over his friends. He used his manners. He didn’t do drugs, drink, or cause any problems. He studied hard, and he put almost all of his energy into running.

He was fast. He was so fast he made it on a division 1 school’s travel team for cross country. He was one of seven, and he even ran with people who were in the Olympics. His life became filled with college, running, studying and a Nike shoe collection thanks to being on the cross country team. He didn’t have much in the way of money. He slept on a mattress on the floor in a room he shared with a smelly teenager.

He ate what was on his meal plan through the school for athletes. When he was on his own for food, he would grab a bag of salad and a can of something. He listened to talk radio and didn’t go out much. He didn’t have the extra money for fun.

His parents worked hard. They tried to help but the cost of tuition was so high for them, and he only got a partial scholarship, so ends weren’t being met. They had two other children to think of so how do you choose which one to help and which one you can’t? How do you pick a number you can give knowing that number isn’t going to be the full amount? They did their best, and they made sure he had food, a place to stay, a bike, and their complete emotional support.

That young man continued to get up early most times before the sun. He stayed up late studying. He gave it his all, but it wasn’t good enough. He realized that his dream career was out of his reach because of a test he didn’t score high enough. He became upset as his bills mounted, and his dream collapsed. He decided to run far away from college.

Where he ran to would surprise not only his parents but everyone he knew. He ran away because he wasn’t happy but he also didn’t want to put pressure on his parents to provide for him anymore. He let the weight of their sacrifices stifle his dream. He could have applied for a loan and continued, but he didn’t want to start out his adult life owing anyone. He wanted to be his own person, so he did. He joined the Navy.

The Navy taught and helped shape him into the man he wanted to be strong, independent, skilled, and patriotic. He became a Nuclear Engineer. Then everything changed, and he was no longer happy with his choice.

He met a girl. I know they change everything. Luckily, for him, it was for the better. She put things in perspective there are many things in life we will do together, many different roles we will try and fail at, there will be a significant crisis and even more significant accomplishments. There will be days of scarcity and days of abundance, but there is one thing that no one can take from you.

What is that one thing?

It is your education. Once she convinced him that education was the answer to almost all of one’s questions, he decided to return to college to finish his degree and serve in the military as an officer. That is just what he did.

That girl is still in love with that guy athey have been married for 17 years. They have three children together one diva and two sons. You aren’t going to believe this, but all three children like to run. The girl she only likes to run her mouth.

They have three children who will never have to choose between worrying about the cost of school, the impact their school’s cost will have on us, and their goal to achieve an education.

You see the best gift you never thought of isn’t wrapped with ribbon. It isn’t bought from a store. It is also one you can give.

That gift is peace of mind. We like knowing we have given our children the best gift in the world. We have given them four years each at a State School in Florida.

Yes, to give them that we had to say “No” to a couple of shiny objects each month but looking at our children and knowing that we have given them the key to the world makes the disappointment disappear into joy. We believe that education will enable our children to be the best versions of themselves.

These are the details for the best gift idea you never thought of:

4-Year Florida University Plan

o This Plan will start your child off at one of Florida’s 12 prestigious state universities and see them through their four-year journey.
o If your child decides to start at a college (typically less expensive), the unused funds from this Plan can be applied to a post-secondary degree, or you can get the remaining money back
o Like all of our plans, use isn’t restricted to Florida schools; the amount covered by your Prepaid Plan can be used at schools nationwide.Continue reading

December 7, 2017

Pork Chops with White Wine Sauce Recipe

Pork Chops with White Wine Sauce Recipe

Thanksgiving is over, but I am still left with leftovers. I wanted to make something new and different but at the same time use the leftovers just to get rid of them once and for all. So I dug deep and found my pork chop stuffing recipe that I knew my husband loved so much. I pulled out the pork chops, I poured myself a glass of wine and began to cook my pork chops with white wine sauce recipe. It’s perfect for a simple stay at home date with an easy to make fancy meal. I used Cameron Hughes Wine in my recipe and it added more flavor and wonderful aroma to our meal. I can say I love all the varieties of wine they carry. Plus this month they are giving away 5000 movie downloads! So after you get all the kids to bed, you can have a stay-in-date. So, curl up on the couch with your wine and relax.

Cameron Hughes Wines, San Francisco, B.R. Chon Winery, Glen Ellen, CA, Photo Shoot, Portraits, Cameron Hughes,

Not only is Cameron Hughes Wine giving away movie downloads from FandangoNow but they are also giving us the opportunity to get 15% off all orders plus free shipping on their wines, now till January 2, 2018! They carry wines from all over, and they hunt down the best of the best! It could be a $100 bottle of Napa Cab and sell it to us for just $30, or a $60 bottle of Pinot for just $20. They have such amazing deals already. I paired my Pork Chops with White Wine Sauce with a bottle of Pinot, and it was amazing!

Cameron Hughes Wines, San Francisco, B.R. Chon Winery, Glen Ellen, CA, Photo Shoot, Portraits, Cameron Hughes,

Pork Chops with White Wine Sauce Recipe

Prepare a fancy dinner for your special someone or for yourself. This Pork Chops with White Wine Sauce Recipe is so tasty and so easy to make.

Prepare a fancy dinner for your special someone for stay at home date night or just a treat for yourself using Cameron Hughes Wine. This Pork Chops with White Wine Sauce Recipe is so tasty and so easy to make.

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Start a Family Holiday Tradition at HGTV’s Santa HQ

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of by Macerich but all opinions expressed here are mine. I hope you’ll be inspired to start your family holiday traditions.

The magic in her eyes as she tried to take in everything before her. The smile that spread across his face as his lips broke into a grin and a laugh escaped so joyful that my heart was full. There was so much to see and so much to do. What if you could make memories with your children that were so special that they will talk about them for years to come. Would you? What if those memories could be captured and saved for years to come?

That is what I did at Tyson’s Corner this holiday season. I took a moment to make a memory with my children one I hope they will repeat with their own children.

Santa HQ from HGTV and Macerich Shopping Centers

We got to experience all the magic that only HGTV and Macerich Shopping Centers could create. The Santa HQ set is located in the middle of the mall. You do not need to be young to experience the magic. This imaginative, engaging, holiday experience uses state of the art digital technology to create an experience with Santa that will leave your family breathless. Your children will be so excited that they will trip over their words. They will not know what to do first. I mean who could blame them with all the choices?Continue reading

November 17, 2017

Kelly Clarkson Meaning of Life

Disclosure: I received compensation for my participation in this campaign. I am part of the  Mom It Forward Influencer Network.

Kelly Clarkson Meaning of Life Album

Kelly Clarkson Meaning of Life Album

The green trees that swayed in the wind. The birds that beckon us to them. The streams that spill over the rocks. The creatures that live with us and created a world of melodies if you stop to listen. The moment I saw you was the moment I noticed the world.

I began to worry what would happen if? How could I do better? What could I make better? Is there a way to love only you? You showed me. You stopped the world and made it a better place to be in it. That was the first time I knew The Meaning of Life. When I found you. It is still your hand I hold your heart that melts mine. Your laugh that carries me through the day and your love that challenges me to do better. You are more than a chapter in my book you are the person I want to write each page with. You are my person.

When I tell our daughter about finding your person the single greatest lesson I have is to be yourself, and if that person doesn’t love you for who you are, then they aren’t your person. When I struggle to find the right words to remind our daughter I think about the outside influences in the world. I think about the power of music to communicate.

The new album by Kelly Clarkson communicates to me. It moves like a freight train pounding through the night. Her album is about me because she was me, she is me, she is every woman. The hits keep coming from this singer as she returned to her powerful voice. The release of her new album will have you singing in the shower, in the car, even while you do chores. The melodies are so powerful your kids will also fall in love.

Kelly Clarkson’s The Meaning of Life is the album of our time. Kelly Clarkson’s ability to tie together life’s missteps and life’s gifts in songs are uncanny. Her voice whispers in our ear long after the music is replaced by the chaos of our life.Continue reading

November 9, 2017

Southwestern Turkey Soup with Avocado Recipe

One of the easiest ways to save money on food is to cook in season. Food that is in season will be at it’s lowest price for the year. For example, right now things like citrus, avocados, broccoli and fixings for soup are in season.

I love avocados and I found a Southwestern Turkey Soup recipe that calls for avocado. This recipe is fantastic as it can be adapted in many ways. Since I have leftover turkey, it is a perfect fit this week.

Warm up with a bowl of hot soup. This Southwestern Turkey Soup with Avocado Recipe is so easy and so tasty.

Easy Southwestern Turkey Soup with Avocado Recipe

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October 26, 2017

Holiday Toy Ideas for Kids

Holiday Gift Guide Toy Ideas Kids will Love

The holiday season is fast approaching, and it’s time to plan on what gifts to give to our loved ones. With 3 kids to give gifts to for the holidays, I always make sure to do some research on gifts that they would like to receive, that are good for them and of course that fits our budget. If you have kids who love tech toys, then you should check out Best Buy’s Toy’s Gift Guide.

This year Best Buy has an amazing selection of the hottest toys that for sure kids and those kids at heart will love. They have classic toys, learning toys and of course cool tech toys.

Here are my top 3 picks for my kids:Continue reading