Spending Habits - Do You Tell Your Spouse About Every Purchase? Would They Know If You Didn't?

5:49 PM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma

Thank you to TurboTax for sponsoring my writing about household finances.Learn more about how TurboTax can help you find every tax deduction you deserve. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.




So recently I have been thinking about doing a complete redesign for Pretty Pink Momma.  I know what your thinking - "didn't you just redesign it a few months ago?", at least that's what my husband thought.  Its true, I did have the design itch awhile back but it was more like nine months ago, which in blog terms seems like ions.  This time however I am talking way more than a theme update or or background change.  I want a completely new look and on top of that I want to switch from Blogger to WordPress.  It would be a huge change and that change doesn't come cheap.  My need versus my husband's interpretation of my need are two totally different opinions when it comes to this matter.

See, the hubs and I have a deal.  I can only spend on my blog what I make from it.  Which is great and all during normal circumstances because I typically don't spend much enhancing it on a regular basis.  But this redesign will be quite a big chunk of change and I don't always have that much coming in.  But I REALLY want to do it.  Like, A LOT.  So the other day, I decided to put faith in my blog and commit to this redesign without my husband's permission under the assumption that by the time I would need the other half of the deposit I would have earned it.

Besides.... if I hadn't told him what I had planned to do with our money he would be none the wiser.

Why?

Because even though he is the official breadwinner of the family I am the unofficial accountant for the family.  I do all the budgeting, grocery shopping, bill paying, frivolous spending, etc.. for our family.  Not to mention the biggest headache of them all - our taxes.  He just brings home the money but I decide where, why and how much gets delegated to what.  It's a stressful job but SOMEBODY has to do it. 

If you ask me I think he prefers his ignorant bliss.  That way when we are short on cash or can't pay a bill he can give me his high and mighty attitude and lecture about all of our crazy spending habits and why its my fault that we're in whatever pickle we're in at that particular moment .  Which I think is total BS because I think if he really cared what was going on with our money situation he would make a conscious effort to sit down and learn to pay the bills with me when I do it.  Which by the way I have offered to teach him several times throughout the course of our 13 year relationship.

But if he did that then he might have to get off of his high horse and take some responsibility for our overspending.

Luckily for me, the very next morning after I had decided to take matters into my own hands I was asked to take part in a couple of blog projects that will essentially pay for the entire redesign.  So, problem solved.  I'm happy.  My husband's happy.  All is right in the world.

But it got me thinking...

How many women out there have total control of the family finances?  How much do we spend that our husband's don't know about?  Is it justifiable because they choose to let us take the reigns?  So we indulge ourselves from time to time with a new purse, or new outfit or in my case - a new blog design.  All the while telling ourselves what they don't know won't hurt them.

I admit I am 100% guilty of taking advantage of my husband's trust of our finances.  I may not tell him everything, like about those new earrings or that $20 in scratch lotto, but I do tell him about the really important things.  Like how much money we have until pay day.  Or if I am planning on making a big purchase that its a joint decision not just my own.  Or if a credit card isn't paid on time because I forgot to send the payment.  Those things he is well aware of.  And he even knows when I go on a shopping spree and come back with bags of new clothes.

For the most part my husband wants me buy the things that make me happy - if we can afford them that is.  But because I handle our finances ultimately its up to me to decide if we can spare the extra or not.  Which sometimes means that I will put out the cash for something I think is really important and he doesn't.

In my opinion, I think that its a consequence of his deliberate decision to exclude himself from the daily task of keeping up with our finances.  Therefore he doesn't have a leg to stand on when he complains about the situation.  Especially when he knows I am prone to weakness when I spot a great bargain and I know that I could justify the splurge.

I know that some couples have totally different bank accounts and then a joint that they both contribute to for joint bills.  However, I only think that this system works if both parties are working and have income coming in.  In our case the only extra money I bring in is from blogging and it ain't much!  Besides, we have always had one bank account between the two of us.  From the moment we moved in together, even though we both worked full time, we shared an account and it has stayed that way. 

Obviously money management is a big stressor in many marriages because no matter what system works for you and your spouse it always seems like there is never enough cash flow for each person to spend it exactly as they would want to.  I mean really, have you ever heard of a couple fighting  because they had too much money and they couldn't agree on how to spend it?  I aspire to be that wealthy some day.   If only money really did grow on trees!

So what's your take on this subject?  Are you in charge of the finances in your relationship?  Is your spouse involved in every aspect of the household budget or does that fall only on your shoulders?  Do you indulge yourself without your partner's knowledge?   Tell me!




Kimberly

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Wordless/Wordful Wednesday - Pretty Rainbow!

12:00 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma

We were driving back to Oregon from Washington a few weeks ago and right near the border the rain was misty and the sun was shining bright so we saw a rainbow!  Then we even saw a double rainbow - but I wasn't smart enough to take a picture of it.  I tried my best with my cell phone to snap a pick while we were going 70 mph and these were the best I could get. 








For more Wordful Wednesday check out Parenting By Dummies and Seven Clown Circus.


For more Wordless Wednesday check out Five Minutes for Mom.



Kimberly

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Get All Your Easter Goodies This Year at the Happy Easter Store! - Review and Giveaway

12:27 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma


Can you believe that Easter is right around the corner?  For those of you that aren't with the Easter times this year Easter is on April 24th.  I must admit in year's past I usually waited until the last minute to get all the baskets and the Easter Bunny goodies ready.  And by last minute I mean the night before Easter.  This is different because this year I am no longer working so I am able to spend Easter with the boys the way that I have always wanted to.  I am going all out and I can't wait!  To get some help I enlisted the help of the Happy Easter Store.

I all ready got a few new Personalized Kids Easter Baskets to replace the old ones that I have been using for the last few years.  My old ones were sad excuses for personalized baskets because I literally stapled card stock with my kids names on them to the baskets so they would know which one was theirs.  There were several options to choose from but I finally settled on the All in One Easter Baskets because the baskets looked great and they were ready to go stuffed with the goodies which means less shopping for me!  The new personalized baskets arrived the other day and they are so awesome!  They come in blue, green and pink and can be personalized with any name (10 characters max).  They also come complete with a personalized card if you want to leave your kids a little message from the Easter Bunny.  Check them out!





All in One Easter Baskets Item Description:
Don’t know what to get them this Easter? We’ve got you covered. This Easter has it all! Personal and flavorful, this is a great value on an ideal Easter present! We packed this personalized wicker basket to the brim with yummy Easter candies and a plush bunny to make anyone’s Easter a happy and memorable one. FREE Personalization.


  • Personalized Wicker Keepsake Basket with Polka Dot Liner (Blue, Pink or Green)
  • 2 oz. Milk Chocolate Bunny
  • 3 oz. Jelly Beans
  • 3 oz. Bunny Candy Corn
  • 3 oz. Milk Chocolate Malt Ball Eggs
  • 4 Pack Peeps
  • 3 oz Foil-Wrapped Solid Chocolate Eggs
  • 6" Plush Bunny
  • Free Grass
  • Item #30049487

I have to say that I was really pleased with how great the baskets turned out.  I was equally as impressed as how carefully packaged they were.  The box they were packed in was stuffed with styrofoam packing and it was great to see the care that the baskets were shipped with.  Each basket was individually wrapped in plastic and within the basket all of the goodies were also wrapped in plastic.  Here is a picture of what I actually received:




I can't wait for the boys to see their new baskets!  I know that they will think that they are super cool because they love stuff with their names on them.  Plus I will be adding a few special toys that they have been asking for lately.

The Happy Easter Store has tons of great personalized Easter gifts to choose from including baskets, ornaments, platters, bags, bibs, t-shirts - you name it they've got it!  If you don't need any personalized gifts they have a huge assortment of flowers, fruits basketss, chocolates, truffles, and more to satisfy any Easter celebrant.   Please visit the Happy Easter Store to see a complete offering of all gifts, candies and decore available this Easter, you won't be disappointed!

Buy It!

The All in One Easter Basket shown above is currently on sale for $19.99 at the Happy Easter Store. 


Win It!

The Happy Easter Store is offering one lucky Pretty Pink Momma reader a $50 gift code that is valid at the Happy Easter Store until December 31, 2011!


How to Enter:  Giveaway is now closed.  Visit http://www.happyeasterstore.com/ and comment back on this post telling me at least one item that you would love to spend your $50 gift code on.  Giveaway open to all.  Please note that several of the vendors on this site only ship within the continental US.


Congratulations to Deb C.!








Get Extra Entries! - Be sure to leave a comment for each extra entry

  • Get 3 Extra entries for becoming a Facebook Fan of Pretty Pink Momma and Happy Easter Store,  leave three  comments. 
  • Get 3 Extra entries for leaving a comment on the Happy Easter Store FB page and somewhere in the comment reference being sent to the page by Pretty Pink Momma.  Leave 3 comments.
  • Get 2 Extra entries for following Pretty Pink Momma with Google Friend Connect, if you all ready follow just put that in one of your two comments
  • Get 2 Extra entries for grabbing my button, leave two comments
  • Get 5 Extra entries if you Subscribe Via Email to Pretty Pink Momma posts, leave five comments - you must activate your email subscription for these entries to count.
  • Get 3 Extra entries if you Follow PrettyPinkMomma on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. Leave the tweet url in one of your three comments. Please copy and paste this into your tweet:
#Win a $50 #gift code from the Happy #Easter Store! Tons of #personalized gifts to choose from. #giveaway ends 4/7 http://is.gd/8V6Qkj

  • Get 1 extra entry per day for tweeting, - leave the tweet url in your comment for each extra tweet
  • Get 3 Extra entries if you blog about this giveaway OR submit this giveaway on any giveaway listing site - leave the url in one of your three comments.
  • Get 5 Extra entries if you Stumble this post, leave five comments
  • Get 5 Extra entries if you bookmark this post on Delicious
  • Get 5 Extra entries by adding Pretty Pink Momma to any other social bookmarking site - just be sure to let me know which one in your comment. Add five comments for each site. The bottom of each post is now fully equipped with several different sharing options for your convenience!


Good Luck to all that enter! This giveaway is open until Thursday April 7th. One winner will be chosen using the Truly Random Number Generator widget located in the footer. The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be chosen.




Kimberly
*I received this product for review purposes only. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and no other monetary compensation took place. Please refer to my disclosure policy or email me if you have any questions.*
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Nutrisystem Select Frozen Foods are SO Yummy!

2:04 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma



I have been really loving the Nutrisystem App that I downloaded a couple of weeks ago!  This last week I lost 1.5 lbs by tracking what I ate and drank.  A huge plus to the app is that it tracks your calorie intake as well.  Which is something that is lacking from the hand written food journal.  I suppose that I could have added the calories up myself but its just so much nicer when an app does it for you!  I know for me a good caloric range to stay in so its really helpful for me to know the calories in addition to staying on track with the program.

I have really been loving the frozen foods that Nutrisystem offers.  They are so GOOD!  Awhile back I shared with you my favorite frozen breakfast so this week I thought that I would share my favorite frozen dinner entree.  For me, I love the Turkey Pepperoni Pizza.  Its something to do with the crust.  Even though I heat in the microwave its still crispy and delicious.  I could literally eat one of these pizzas everyday.  They are that delicious!


One area that I have to work hard at in the Nutrisystem plan is my water intake.  I love how on the app you can check off the glasses of water as you drink them throughout the day.  Drinking enough water is really important for weight loss and I know that its an area for me that has required some major improvement.  At Nutrisystem you can purchase a Nutrisystem Sports Water Bottle and if you power through it two times in one day it means that you have met your water intake for the day.  I really like that aspect of it because when you can take a task that seems so daunting, like drinking eight glasses of water, its nice to have it minimized into two portions.  Check it out for yourself!

 

I know that I have so much more work to do towards my weight loss goals but I believe that utilizing the tools that Nutrisytem offers will help me in leaps and bounds.  Until next week my friends...



**************************************************************

If you would like to join me on my Nutrisystem weight loss journey please remember that you can take advantage of some great sales going on right now by calling 1-888-849-4680 or clicking on the special link for Pretty Pink Momma readers http://www.nutrisystem.com/prettypink.



*Nutrisystem is providing myself and my husband with the program free of charge in exchange for my time and commitment to blog about our experience with the Nutrisystem Nation Program.*


Kimberly

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Aloha Friday - All about the ring tones

12:00 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma

[alohafriday.jpg]

Aloha Fridays are brought to you by Kailani from An Island Life. Over there in Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that they take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So Kailani thought that on Fridays she would take it easy on posting, too. So, for Aloha Friday, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Answer my question and put one of your own up on your blog. Link up and check out other blogs that participate at An Island Life.

What is the current ring tone on your cell phone?



I don't change ring tones very often - usually as about as often as I get a new phone - so like every two years.  When I got my new droid phone a couple of months ago I just went with the standard ring because I couldn't decide what I wanted.  Then I started downloading songs to my phone and I came across JLo's song Play.  I remembered how much I liked that song so I set it as my ring tone for now.  I have a feeling though that with my new phone I will be changing the ring more often cause its just too much fun to mess around with!






Kimberly

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Must Have iPhone Apps for Moms

3:09 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma






Recently over the last couple of months I got myself an iPod Touch, plus a new droid phone so needless to say I have been a little app happy between the two.  I have been on the lookout for great apps that make life easier, especially being a busy mom of three, I need all the help I can get!  I was browsing Parenting.com and came across a list of 18 free and paid iPhone/iPod/iPad apps perfect for moms.  Naturally my curiosity was peaked and I happened to come across some awesome new apps so I thought that I would share a few of my faves from their list with you.


Smart-ICE4family


ICE stands for In Case of Emergency - just in case you didn't know.  This app could literally be a lifesaver.  It allows you store your emergency medical info for you and your family so that when in an emergency family and friends can convey the correct info to medical professionals if you are unable to.  This must have app also contains an alarm system that can convey your location to 911 and you can also record a note for EMS to hear when they get there if needed.  I think that the Smart-ICE4family app is totally worth the $4.99.


SitorSquat Bathroom Finder


With all the road trips that we have been taking lately and having three small children that need to go to the bathroom at any given moment I thought that SitorSquat Bathroom Finder app was the best app ever!  This app finds bathrooms close to your location and offers ratings as well as if there are changing tables and handicapped access.  Also if you come across a bathroom that isn't in the database you can add it.  This app is free and totally worth it if you have kids cause you know that they always wait until the last possible minute to let you know that they gotta go.  I also found it available on droid so I downloaded this one to my phone.



Mom Maps



Seeing as we just moved I found Mom Maps to be a really helpful app.  It found my location via GPS and then looking at the map I was able to search out nearby parks, and I could also see their size and what highways that they were next to.  Mom Maps is better suited for Metro areas so in the small town that I moved to there wasn't a ton of info to be found.  However, in a metro area, especially those that we drive through when we are looking for fun things to do in our new state, it provides tons of info.  And just like the Bathroom Finder app you can contribute to the database - which is what I just might have to do to get some things on the map in my new hometown.  Oh yeah, this app is FREE.

Like I said these were only a few of the 18 apps recommended by Parenting.com.  I recommend checking out the list for yourself and seeing what other awesome apps that you might be missing out on.

Do you have any great apps that I should download?  Tell me about them, I'm dying to know!






Kimberly
*I am not affliated with Parenting.com in any way.  This post shares my own personal opinion regarding a great article that was written by Parenting.com.   Please refer to my disclosure policy or email me if you have any questions.*
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Wordless/Wordful Wednesday - Only been here 6 weeks and the boy had to get stitches!

12:00 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma

As soon as we moved here I immediately started spotting out the walk-in clinics and hospitals in the area.  Having three rowdy boys in the house this is a crucial, need to know thing.  Here it is... we have been here six weeks and on Monday we made our first trip (of many I'm sure) to the walk-in clinic.

The boys were running around the house all crazy, which they have been doing since we moved in, and I knew it was inevitable.  I have been on those boys to stop running every darn day.  They never listen.  You know why?  It's cause they learn by doing - no auditory learners in this house.

So Monday night, they are running around like banshees and I of course yell from the kitchen "STOP RUNNING!".   Literally thirty seconds later Benji comes running around the corner screaming and crying, "I'm bleeding!  I'm bleeding!".  I take one look and sure enough he has a huge gash on his eyebrow!  Experienced as I am with head injuries by now I realize he needs a quick trip to clinic ASAP.

Five stitches later.....  the boys learned a valuable lesson as to why its not okay to run around the house.  Poor little guy had to get a shot of novocane right in his eyebrow!  Ouch!  When he came home Oscar took one look at Benji and said, "You look scary!", Benji was pretty delighted with that statement to say the least.  I just call him FrankenBenji.








For more Wordful Wednesday check out Parenting By Dummies and Seven Clown Circus.


For more Wordless Wednesday check out Five Minutes for Mom.





Kimberly

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Nutrisystem Update!

2:50 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma



It's been awhile since I have written a post about my journey with Nutrisystem.  As you may know, with the move, all the weekend road trips back and forth plus my own issues of clutter and chaos within our new home, I didn't have much time to blog.  In addition to that I was eating Nutrisystem on an irregular basis.  Not the way that I was prior to the move.  I am still finding my bearings here with regards to the Nutrisystem food plan.

Let me explain what I mean by that.  First off, I absolutely LOVE the new frozen food line!  Oscar and I both really enjoy all the meals available to us.  One of the key components of the Nutrisystem plan is supplementing the foods with fresh fruits and veggies.  Before we moved I shopped at the farm stand by my home once a week for the fresh ingredients that I was going to use.  I really liked the prices and the produce that was available.  The grocery store by my home was much more expensive and I had experienced problems with product freshness in the past.  Needless to say, I really enjoyed the routine I had in place.

In our new town, it's very small and the nearest farm stand is about 35 minutes from our house.  Which means that I am limited to what is offered at the grocery store close to our house.  Luckily this grocery store has fresher produce but on the downside the selection is limited.  So while we had been eating the Nutrisystem meals we didn't have the fresh fruits and veggies to pair them with most of the time.  I finally started shopping regularly and finding a good routine towards the end of February.

I am really excited to be getting back on track with Nutrisystem.  During the moving process Oscar and I both got off track.  I found out that Oscar was eating two of the freezer food meals at a time when I wasn't around!  I am also learning to deal with my emotional eating habits.  This move has been hard to deal with to say the least and I realized that I was snacking more than I should have to compensate for my feelings of depression regarding our move.  I have felt so much guilt about it and I am ready to wipe the slate clean and start fresh.  I have one month left on the program and I intend to make the most of it. 

As per the usual I will be giving my updates on the weekends and I will also be bringing you some great information about the food, the program and the products available for Nutrisystem community members.  For example during my hiatus from blogging I purchased an iPod Touch and downloaded the Nutrisystem App.  I love it!  It's so much easier than writing everything down in the journal plus it counts the calories too!  Check it out:


FEATURES

* A Meal Planner to help you track what you’ve eaten throughout the day.
* A water Tracker to help you count each glass you drink throughout the day.
* An Exercise Log to help you stay on top of your workout.
* A personal journal to help you stay on track and motivated.
* A weight tracker to keep track daily of your goals and progress.
* A Measurements Log to see where your progress is showing, on you!
* Our Menu — Browse the gallery of Nutrisystem Foods to discover delicious meals that can help  you control your hunger and lose weight.
* Synchronization between the iPhone and Nutrisystem.com online logs — everything you report in the iPhone is reported in your online planners, and vice versa.
* FREE REGISTRATION and a Meal Plan that’s right for you. When you register with Nutrisystem®, we will help you select the Meal Plan that best meets your needs.

REQUIREMENTS
* Compatible with iPhone/iPod Touch 3.0+
* Works over 3G and WiFi for iPhone
* iPod Touch users must have a WiFi connection to use the App



 **************************************************************

If you would like to join me on my Nutrisystem weight loss journey please remember that you can take advantage of some great sales going on right now by calling 1-888-849-4680 or clicking on the special link for Pretty Pink Momma readers http://www.nutrisystem.com/prettypink.



*Nutrisystem is providing myself and my husband with the program free of charge in exchange for my time and commitment to blog about our experience with the Nutrisystem Nation Program.*





Kimberly

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Aloha Friday - Small Towns or Big Cities

12:00 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma

[alohafriday.jpg]

Aloha Fridays are brought to you by Kailani from An Island Life. Over there in Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that they take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So Kailani thought that on Fridays she would take it easy on posting, too. So, for Aloha Friday, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Answer my question and put one of your own up on your blog. Link up and check out other blogs that participate at An Island Life.


Do you live in a small town or a big city, and does where you live suit your personality?



I have always been a city girl.  Always.  I love to shop, dine out and catch a movie within a short distance of my home.  Recently my hubby's job relocated us to a very small town.  If I want to see a movie, shop or go to one of my favorite restaurants its about an hour give or take to get to anything.  I can't wait to move back to a real city.  Only three more years to go and counting....





Kimberly

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American Idol Season Ten is in Full Swing - Who Is Your Pick?

3:15 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma



Are you an American Idol fan?  Back in the day, when the first season was fresh and new, I was hooked.  I loved Kelly Clarkson.  Then came season two, I remember when Ruben Studdard won and beat out Clay Aiken, which made me cheer because I was a Ruben fan from day one.  Then to be honest the rest of the seasons are kind of a blur.  I watched them here and there up through about season four and five.  After that I just lost interest.  It was boring and predictable.  However, I did love Carrie Underwood - she was unbelievably good.  I still love her.  I thought I was done with American Idol obsession, because quite frankly, I just didn't care anymore.  But season ten peaked my interest once again and now I'm HOOKED.




 Here's why I even took a second look at American Idol.  The judges.  Randy hasn't changed a bit - except he's kind of been deemed the new Simon.  He sits in his chair, he's harder on the contestants than JLo and Tyler are but he's just not Simon.  Steven Tyler is awesome but I have to say he is kind of the new Paula Abdul.  He isn't ever really that hard on the contestants and gives most of them an enthusiastic thumbs up.  He is Steven Tyler though so I enjoy watching him none the less seeing that I am big fan of Aerosmith.  I have to say though hands down the reason I tuned in was to see JLo.  I love her.  Just love her.  In movies, music, whatever she does turns to gold.  I just had to see how she was going to be as a judge.  I love that she is kind of how Randy used to be.  The judge that is neither too hard nor to easy on the singers.  She really tries to come up with some great constructive criticism that really tells the audience that she does know her shiz. 



Then there of course is the talent.  This is truly a very diverse group of performers and each one of them has a unique voice and flavor that makes choosing who the next American Idol will be a difficult task.  In my not so expert opinion I have to say that the ones that really stand out to me are Pia, Thia, James and as of last night Stefano.  I also really like Scotty, Naima and Paul too.  If any of these go home I admit, I might cry.   I am routing for each one of them for so many different reasons.  After last nights performances I am pretty sure I think I know who is going home.  It's going to be Haley if you ask me.  She has a really unique voice but she's missing that greatness that so many of the others seem to possess.  Don't get me wrong, the girl can sing, but I just don't think that its American Idol that will be her venue for success. 




Who's my pick?  I'm going with Pia all the way.  She is AMAZING.  She out sings everyone in the competition by far.  Her voice is so beautiful and she has such control over it, without a doubt, American Idol or not, Pia will be a huge star.  She reminds me of Carrie Underwood in the fact that she just stands out in comparison to all the rest of the competition.  Its a no brainer America - Pia will be the next American Idol. 

Any way you slice it, this season is awesome.  I am hooked.  I can't wait to see how they all perform throughout the course of the show.  Some big stars are definitely waiting to be born here.


So what about you?  Are you following American Idol this season?  Who's your favorite American Idol contestant?


Kimberly

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Wordless/Wordful Wednesday - BUSTED! Somebody Stole My Camera!

12:00 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma

Last Friday I was running around like crazy trying to get everything we needed before we hit road for a five hour drive with the kids.  During all the confusion my little one grabbed my camera and took off running with it.  I thought that I had gotten it back from him before he did anything to it.  I never even looked to see if he took any pictures.  Until today when I was trying to find something to put up for WW.  I knew I hadn't taken any new pics in awhile but it was worth looking through too see if something popped up that I had missed.  I started cracking up when I found a whole lot of this:







 Then a quite a few of these:





Then finally, what do you know, he finally figures out how to work the damn thing and take a somewhat decent picture (considering his two year old capabilities), and this is when I caught him and snatched the camera from his grubby little paws.  




No wonder he was so mad at me!





For more Wordful Wednesday check out Parenting By Dummies.





For more Wordless Wednesday check out Five Minutes for Mom.





Kimberly

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It's Official - I am Now Lording Over My Land

12:00 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma

It's true.  I am now officially a landlord.  A scary undertaking, but due to the way the economy tanked the housing market we didn't really have an option to sell our house.  We of course bought our house at the height of the market almost five years ago and planned to sell when Oscar received his promotion.  I think we owe somewhere around $75K more than what its current market value is.  Which SUCKS. 

Becoming a landlord is scary because you just never know how someone is going to treat your house.  I have heard some serious horror stories.  Scarier yet was having a vacant house and not knowing just how long it would stay vacant and I would be left paying the mortgage on top of the rent that I pay at our new house.  Double bills on the same income really SUCKS.  We have all ready been paying double for all of January and February, and now March was quickly coming to a close.

Thankfully, this last weekend, my prayers were answered.  I found the perfect tenants for my house.  They had a pretty crummy situation that they needed to get away from with their landlord ASAP and they wanted to stay in the same school district.   Luckily for me my house was probably the only one they could find that was available immediately and in the right school district.

Even more amazing is that I absolutely adore the family!  They are a like just like our family only fast forwarded five years.  I get along so great with the mom that I can't believe it!  She is really nice and we see eye to eye on so many different life subjects.  I am really excited that fate brought us together because I think that they are going to be the best tenants and I hope that they are just as happy in our old home and neighborhood as we were.  I think that they will fit in with the neighborhood seamlessly, which is exactly what I was looking for, not only for myself, but for the sake of my neighbors.

For me, its a bittersweet process.  I am extremely happy that I found a family that met my standards in every way possible.  But I have to admit, I am a little jealous that they get to live in my house and I don't.  Obviously it is what it is, but it still stings a bit.  They started moving in their stuff on Saturday.  It was kinda weird seeing my home with other people's stuff inside.  I can only hope that they will have some great memories in that home just as we did with our boys.  I hope that they will stay there for a long while and enjoy it!

For now I plan to be the World's Greatest Landlord.  Which I think will be easy considering I have the World's Greatest Tenants, in my opinion anyways.

So what about you?  Would you ever consider it?  Have you ever been a landlord or are you one?  If so, have you had a positive experience or a negative one? 





Kimberly

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I'm Trying New Things and Breaking Out of My Everyday Routine

12:00 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma

Thank you to P&G’s Have You Tried This Yet? program and Kroger for sponsoring my writing about trying new things and breaking out of my everyday routine. Click here to find great savings on high-performing P&G products at a Kroger store near you. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.


As many of you know, I recently moved.  This move required a lot of changes to everyone's routine in our home.  Changing schools, changing shopping habits, downsizing to a smaller house and getting used to living together a bit more closely are only a few of the changes that we are still getting used to.  We also are becoming accustomed to our new surroundings and living in a very small town, which is a new and different experience for all of us.  Out of all these changes to our routine I would have to say that the change to our everyday school routine has been the most challenging - yet the most rewarding.


This is a picture of my two oldest sons, Oscar and Benji, waiting at their bus stop in front of the home that we moved from.  I loved that bus stop because it was super close to the house, the kids literally got themselves to and from school each day while I waved happily from the doorstep in my PJ's.  Those were the days!

At their new school its a completely different routine.  It was tough finding a home that would fit all of us comfortably and in an area that we were comfortable with.  The trade off to living in the neighborhood that we chose meant that we are just out of the borders of the elementary that we wanted for them to attend.  The school district here is pretty open to whatever school you want to take your children to as long as you plan to drive them if bus transportation isn't provided.  So now each morning its a mad dash to get not only my 7 and 5 year old out the door but my 2.5 year old as well.  I have to get all three kids and myself packed up for a four minute drive to school and a four minute drive back.  This has meant making sure that each morning the car is warmed up, my two year old is properly dressed for the weather and I look some semblance of decent.  Which, for those that know me, all of those combined is a near impossible task.

To make matters just a little worse because the town is so small they have combined the school hours for the elementary, middle and high school to be the same so that all the kids can ride the same bus.  One more reason I think that I'm glad I ended up having to drive my kids to school.  I could just see them now trying to fit in with the high schoolers on the bus!  Anyways, this means that my oldest has to be in class by 8 AM.  At their old school class didn't start until 8:55, the kids didn't even have to be at the bus stop until 8:30!

This new time frame is still taking a bit of getting used to.  We all have to get up about an earlier than we were used to and we are all still learning to get in bed a little bit earlier in the evening to make up for it.  I can say on more than one occasion its been hard for one or more of us to get out the door on time.

The biggest change in routine having to do with this new school schedule is the kindergarten schedule.  Benji was in the all day kindergarten program at his old school.  Each day BOTH boys were gone all day.  It was heaven.  At the new school Benji is only in school in the afternoon class.   So he spends his mornings terrorizing his little brother before I have to make my second trip to school and drop him off for class.  And for the second time in one morning I have to pack up my two year old and get him into the car for a ten minute round trip.

On days when I can't sucker my husband into picking the boys up from school I have to pack the little one up for a third time and haul him off to the school with me.  Only this trip, he gets to come out of the car and into the school to find his big brothers.  Which is a total nightmare simply because my little guy is probably three times louder than any adult could ever be.  The minute he walks into the school EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE knows it.  Its SO embarrassing!  He insists on walking into his brothers' classes and yelling their names out loud.  If I try to hold him back or pick him up he screams at the top of his lungs, "Mommy NOOOOOO!!!", which is also pretty embarrassing.  I hate to be a disruption but with this kid around silence isn't an option.  I'm still trying to convince Oscar to get Benji in his class and then walk outside where I can wait for him in the parking lot.  So far he's not sold on the idea and insists that either myself or his dad pick him up personally.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that he changes his mind about this sooner rather than later - but I know my son so I'm not holding my breath!

We have been living our new schedule for just over a month now and I think we are finally sinking in to the new routine.  I love that I have also managed to finagle my husband into picking the boys up from school most days.  He now gets to chat with the teachers and get the scoop about whats going on in class.  They boys love that their dad is more involved and that he can see for himself what they are doing in class.  Before he only went to the school for parent teacher conferences so this is a really positive change in my opinion.  This is one part of our new routine that I hope never changes!
Overall, I think that going to this school will ultimately be a great experience for my children.  Its a small town school, with small town ideals.  They are very honor system based which I find oddly refreshing.  I may be at the school many times throughout the day but at least when I walk in - everyone all ready knows who I am.  And that I come complete with an obnoxious two year old as my sidekick.  Oscar has less homework at this school than the last which equals less evening fights about homework, which is nice.  Benji may only have half days but the teachers really pack in a lot of work and I think that the expectations are a bit higher for him here, which I think will be great for him.  Their new school isn't as new and big as the old school but where it lacks in size it makes up for in heart.






Kimberly
*This post was sponsored through Clever Girls Collective. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and monetary compensation did take place. Please refer to my disclosure policy or email me if you have any questions.*
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Save the Planet and Look Cute While You're Doing It! Check Out This Eco-Chic Purse Designed by Ecoist

12:12 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma



Now who doesn't love helping the environment?  Even better is helping the environment and looking fantastic while you do it!  Every eco-chic fashion forward gal is agreement with that.  Purses and clutches are one thing that women are constantly changing up because we love to accessorize, and lets face it, handbags say a lot about a gal.

My fascination with re-purposed handbags started with the Seatbelt Bag.  My BFF got one as a gift and especially because I grew up in the auto industry I LOVED it.  Just recently I was introduced to a company callled Ecoist.  Ecoist kicks it up a notch and uniquely creates handbags, clutches, wallets, jewelry and more from recycled wrappers and other materials.  To date Ecoist has saved more than 40 million wrappers from landfills by choosing to make products from waste.  Multinational brands such as The Coca-Cola Company, Disney, Frito-Lay, Mars, Cliff Bar, and Aveda send Ecoist their misprinted and obsolete packaging so that they can reuse them to create their amazing green fashion finds.

I was sent this cute little M&M coin purse fashioned from M&M wrappers for review through Mom Spark.  I was really excited about the arrival of this purse because I love things that are unique, not to mention eco friendly. 



Perfect for carrying little stuff like keys, cards, and some cash, these pouches make the cutest eco-friendly gift. Each one of these purses uses 60 recycled candy wrappers !

$24.95

• Made from repurposed M&M's Candy Wrappers
• Strong, sturdy, and water resistant.
• Detachable plastic wristlet
• Zip close. Self-lined
• Handmade in Peru
• 5.5L x 3.5H x 2W



I love this cute little coin purse!  Immediately when I saw it I knew that it would also make a great gift for so many of my friends too.  There are so many different types of wrappers to choose from and the design options are seemingly endless.  The only thing that I found distracting about the purse itself was my fascination with trying to figure out just exactly how its made.  Eventually I gave up and let it live as one of life's little mysteries that I would never solve.  The bags are so cool though that even if I did figure it out just how they were basket weaved together I don't think that I could ever make one that was anywhere near the caliber of quality that the Ecoist creates.

Check out the full selection of candy wrapper purses at ecoist.com for yourself!  Be sure to sign up for their newsletter too because you will receive 10% off your first order. 



Kimberly
*I received this product for review purposes only through Mom Spark Media. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and no other monetary compensation took place. Please refer to my disclosure policy or email me if you have any questions.*
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