Monday, April 7, 2014

Dear Papa: Life Goes On

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Dear Papa,

Your body was finally laid to rest today in the National Cemetery with Mom. I don't know why your life had to be so short. My heart hurts because this world wont stop moving forward no matter how badly I'd like to just take a moment and freeze it so that I can catch my breath. 

I don't know what I'll do now. I'm sure I'll get up every morning, go to work, workout, laugh, eat, sleep, be a mother, be a wife...all of these things will continue on but there will always be a piece of me that doesn't move, that I left outside the night I heard of your passing and could only mutter, "why."

Why had my Papa left? Why? I repeated it a hundred times, expecting an answer, never hearing anything back, only thinking of Job and the answer the good Lord gave him. Who am I to question God?

But is it God or life that plays out here? Could things have been different? Was this the result of our American diet coupled with the demand of riding, that you loved so much? But in the end, my heart doesn't care what the answer is, it only knows of the countless opportunities and memories lost. So many memories never to be made.

You were put in the ground today and I'm expected to go on living. I think you got the easier of the two options.

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Lunches That Pack in 5 Minutes (or Less)

Lunches That Pack in 5 Minutes (or Less)

As a defiant response to  Sad Desk Lunches , the Food52 team works to keep our midday meals both interesting and pretty. Each week, we'll be sharing our happiest desk lunches -- and we want to see yours, too. Today: Think you don't have time to plan ahead? Here are 10 lunches you can pack in less than five minutes. This one goes out to all you busy bees  who claim you don't have time to pack yourselves lunch. So you turn to delivery, or the deli across the...Read More

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Dear Papa: My Loss

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When I was around 11, this man arrived into my life and remained there for the next 26 years. He and my mom were married about 5 years when I became pregnant and he became "Papa". My pregnancy was a shock to say the least but the day he held my baby for the first time, I knew everything would be ok, I knew I would be ok.
This past Sunday I received the news that my Papa had enjoyed a 4 hour bicycle ride, returned home, and suffered a massive heart attack. My world was crushed. You see seven years ago my mom passed away and Papa was there to pick up the pieces of my broken heart, but who would be here now?
Over this past week I've learned so many new things about Steven from friends and coworkers, I've gotten to know a man that I wish I had had a little more time with. I also realized that Papa taught me to trust again, trust in life and in people. He was always there to talk or comfort me, and he was always there to simply let me know that he wanted to be a part of my life. He called weekly, he always asked questions, and he rarely argued with me. :) He truly showed me the simple act of being present in my life, the same way I try, but feel as if I fail most times, to be present with my own children.
I have many emotions right now. I have too many tears and not enough answers. I wish life was different, but it's not, and this is all I have at the moment. In the past I've turned to this blog to write out my thoughts but over time that hobby has dwindled. I'd like to take this time and really work through my thoughts and feelings, sharing them here, to help heal my pain and recall found memories of times past.
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

{Giveaway} American Dream Builders

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The American Dream Home is something everyone fantasizes about. Whether it’s a new closet, a larger family room, or simply a place to put all your stuff, there’s always something we want to change about where we live!
What if you could make your home into your Dream Home?
AMERICAN DREAM BUILDERS – a new show on NBC airing on Sunday at 8/7c – and Lowe’s want to make your dream a reality.
Hosted by famed interior designer and best-selling author, Nate Berkus, AMERICAN DREAM BUILDERS follows the nation’s top 12 designers and home builders as they compete to be crowned the Ultimate Dream Builder and take home a $250,000 cash prize. It’s the home competition that will change everything!

From the producers of Survivor and The Bachelor, don’t miss AMERICAN DREAM BUILDERS, Sundays at 8/7c, only on NBC.
You can enter for a chance to win $100,000 in products and services from Lowe’s and a consultation with the winner of American Dream Builders!
Enter for a chance to win your dream renovation at
You will have the opportunity to earn 5 bonus entries when you “Dream It Yourself”! Upload a photo and description of a home project you are working on and EARN 5 BONUS SWEEPSTAKES ENTRIES.
Finally, follow the show on Facebook and Twitter for a chance to win more prizes from American Dream Builders and Lowe’s!

And don't miss a great opportunity to win a $50 Lowe's Gift Card! Fill out the Rafflecopter and good luck!!

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) $50 Lowe's Gift Card via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Firearm Safety and Storage

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Have you inherited one of your granddad's guns? Or, perhaps are you into the hobby of collecting guns? No matter your reason for having a firearm, it should always be protected. The best way to go about doing this is to store it in a gun safe. 

Protecting Your Investment

Your firearm is probably worth a lot of money. Because of this, you don't want any damage to occur to it. If you leave the gun lying on a table in your home, even if it's unloaded, there is a good chance it will get knocked off; thus, resulting in damage. You don't' want this to happen. You need to protect your investment, as well as the value of the gun, by keeping it tucked away in gun safe. 

Safe From Thieves

Every year, thousands of guns get stolen from people's homes. You can protect yourself from this. By storing the guns in a safe, you can rest assured your guns won't be touched by thieves. 

Keeping Your Family Safe

Anyone, any age can get hurt by a gun. Worse yet, they can get killed by a gun. To protect your family from guns and to ensure gun safety, keep your firearms in a safe, such as one from Gun Safes Now. Whether it be a key lock, digital lock or fingerprint lock, make sure you and your spouse are the only ones who have access to the safe. Don't ever give access to your children unless you are absolutely certain they are mature enough to handle guns in a safe manner. 

Protecting Other Assets

In addition to guns, you can store other valuable items in your gun safe, making it ultra-functional. From jewelry to personal items to important documentation, anything that can fit into your safe can be safely stored in it. 

You have probably heard your whole life that guns are not something to play with, and there is no doubt that you understand why. Now, it's time for you to understand the importance of having a gun safe. Even if you don't have children in your home, keep your guns protected by storing them in a safe.

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Spice Up Your Kitchen!

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Fixing Up Your Kitchen

When it comes to keeping your home in good shape, one of the rooms you should focus on first is the kitchen. Broken appliances or an unkempt appearance make the room unpleasant, while an up-to-date kitchen can greatly increase your home's value, not to mention saving energy and making your time fixing meals much more enjoyable. If you're looking to redo your kitchen but aren't sure where to start, here are a few of the things you could consider.

1. Upgrade the Refrigerator

Maybe your refrigerator is already a good one and just needs a tune-up to bring it up to speed. Refrigerator replacement parts are easy to order and easy to install if you know what you're doing. Check the thermostat to make sure it's working correctly. If there's a temperature problem, that fridge will turn into an energy hog trying to keep itself cold!

2. Spruce Up Your Cabinets

Working in a kitchen that looks attractive is much more fun than working in a kitchen where everything seems a little dingy. Refinishing or repainting your cabinet doors is an easy, inexpensive way to make everything look brighter. If your kitchen is full of darker colors, consider painting your cabinets a shade lighter to make the room seem bigger and more cheerful.

3. Swap Out the Light Bulbs

Another inexpensive way to brighten your kitchen is by switching out the lights in your kitchen with energy-efficient LED or CFL lights. You'll save on electricity, which means, if you want, you can afford to install more lights for a brighter room. Consider putting a row of lights underneath your cabinets to illuminate your countertops as you cook, or even replacing your refigerator's light bulbs with something more efficient.

4. Replace the Faucet

An old, broken faucet not only brings down the look of an otherwise-attractive kitchen, but it's also more prone to leaks and drips. Pick up a new faucet with a design you love and install it in your kitchen to keep your sink looking modern! Not sure where to find one? Look in the same store where you bought replacement parts for your fridge.

5. Add More Shelving

There just never seems to be enough room in the kitchen for everything you need. Adding shelving directly into the wall is a chic way to solve that problem. Don't be afraid to use your wall space creatively to create a distinctly trendy look. For example, consider slimmer shelves that fit on the wall between your newly-repaired fridge and the sink or a single shelf above the stove to hold oven-cleaning supplies.

What other things have You done to add a bit of spice to your kitchen?

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Friday, March 21, 2014

General Mills Teams Up With The Justice League

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So we know that General Mills' Cheerios has gone GMO free but did you also know they now contain Super Heroes? That's right, General Mills and DC Comics has teamed up with Target to share actual comic books as the inside prize for kids {and comic book loving adults}. You can collect all 4 comic books containing the characters of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman {my fav!}.


The cereals carrying the comic books include: Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms, Honey Nut Cheerios, Trix, Cookie Crisp, and Resse's Puffs. Honestly, I'd love to share these stories with my kids, and I applaud General Mills for encouraging literature in the home {ok, some of you wouldn't call comic books literature but you know what I mean} but why not also offer these in the nonGMO Cheerios? As a family who is interested in particular nutrition, I would have loved to have had the opportunity to entertain this idea. Maybe DC Comics only wanted their products in the most popular cereals? Sad, but we know money always sells...

What about You? Have you tracked down one of these comic books? Do You support kids' cereals offering prizes/rewards for purchasing certain products?

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