Monday, December 29, 2014

Sometimes, I Pick A Favorite...

   Some days I like to play a little game called "Which Kiddo's the Fav??"


   You know you do it too...typically it depends on which child is the most well-behaved that day...but some days it gets awarded to the most helpful, or funniest child. Sometimes my favorite is the most snuggly....and if I'm in a really sour mood, it could be the child who "takes care of" the ones annoying me. It all depends on my mood.
    Like when A will do just about anything I ask of her...or M gives me couch cuddles....or J tells me he loves me (repeatedly. because he wants something...).
   Growing up, I always heard my mom say "I love you all the same" and "I don't have any favorites". As a mom, I know she forced herself say these things to keep the peace among the horde. And for that, I am grateful. But as a mother, I now know better.  
    And I believe it's okay to think this way because at the end (and beginning) of the day, I do love all of my kiddos the same. However, as their behavior during the day varies, so does my thoughts about the children. I mean sure, they're all great, they have fantastic qualities, and yet all three are different, and have different strengths and weaknesses.
     Do I ever tell them they've made it to "favorite" rank?? Of course not! I just keep these thoughts to myself...and you
....

Monday, December 22, 2014

Twas The Monday Before Christmas...

I...got for nothin for today. I was going to post a recipe for Moose Poop, but my mom came to visit us, so I don't have it all together like I had wanted it. And trust me, you want this recipe!!!
  So I leave you with this thought about Christmas Moose: 


Monday, December 15, 2014

Proof That My Children Are A Few Crayons Short Of A Rainbow

Proof that my children are a few crayons short of a rainbow.....
   
    You know how you wander around the house aimlessly while talking on the phone? That was me the other day-wandering around the house while talking to my dad on the phone and then I settled on the office chair in the living room. Five seconds later, I was kissing the floor my foot felt like it was broken. I can’t tell you what happened, because I don’t know. One moment I was upright, the next, I felt myself and said chair falling….”Man down! Man down!” I yelled as my body slid to the floor in a heap.
   As I laid there (still yelling “Man down! Man down!”) the 8yo came over, took my phone and my slippers and resumed my conversation with my father. “Call 911!” I heard him say….then “Oh, DON’T call 911!!” even though all I was able to utter was “Man down!”  Boy am I glad that kid has his medical degree!
     While I lay there, face-planted into our faux wood floor, I mentally assessed the damage. Wind knocked out? Check. Foot screaming in pain? Check. The 6yo comes over and asked what hurt (finally! Someone cares!). I let her know that my foot hurt “real bad” so of course (another M.D. in the family) she lifted each foot and squeezed it. “This one? This one?”  Then she dropped my feet and walked away.
   After a few minutes, I found the strength to roll over on my back and I reached for my phone. The 8yo got the hint and delivered it along with my slippers. Next the 6&8yos lifted my hand and gasped. Apparently I had gotten some red marker on my hand earlier. They both insisted that this was blood and needed a bandaid. Finally! Some medical assistance!
    Then the 8yo felt my forehead for a fever, prayed for me, then he stepped on the injured foot.  Good times. When I finally got up, he exclaimed “Good! All your bones are together again! You’re fixed!” 

    And.... this is the crew who is supposed to care for me when I am older….Such good hands….. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Collage.com's Christmas Products #Review #Giveaway #Sponsored

     Looking for a unique Christmas gift?? Collage.com offers many photo-related products- my favorite feature is that you can just choose photos from your social sites!!!
   If you're like me, you've already downloaded the photos from your phone to your computer...into who-knows-what album?? But I can usually remember which social networking site I posted the pic to, which is why I love this feature!
     My friends over are Collage.com sent me an aluminum photo panel, a custom ornament and a 6ft roll of custom wrapping paper to review, along with codes to give away one of each of these products!!! YAY!!! So here's the review:
   
         Here is a photo of the aluminum photo panel:


     When I first heard of this product, I wasn't even sure what it was- I just clicked a photo and ordered it!And now, I love it!!! It had a shiny finish and looks like a frameless, glossy photo on the wall. It feels a bit heavy and has these wooden stoppers on the back so that you can hang it on your l and it won't touch the wall (unless you have a really funky-shaped wall). I love how shiny it is, too!


      The custom ornament I received is made of metal too! I chose the oval shape and again a photo that I had uploaded to Facebook. This will be a gift for someone special for Christmas!


      When it came to ordering the custom 6ft gift wrap, I kept adding photos because the page told me too! It said something about "the photos may be blurry, so add more". And I did. At the time, I didn't realize that the preview I saw would repeat (even though the site did say something like that), so basically I got wrapping paper with millions of photos on it, lol!!!




      I think it's great-I mean, who wouldn't want to see our faces on everything?? My plan for the wrap is to use it for family gifts-that way they can always save (and frame) it. Worried about cutting sloppy or having uneven edges? The paper has cutting lines printed across the back- Collage.com really thought this product through!!!

     Now, who wants to win these fab products??
   I am giving these away on the FB fan page, so enter to win a product by clicking on the corresponding link:

Aluminum photo panel: Click here!
Custom Ornament: Click here!
6ft Roll Gift wrap:  Click here!
     Giveaway ends 12/18/14! Good luck!!!


Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions on the products are my own. I was compensated for my review with the aforementioned product from Collage.com. I received no other compensation. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Collage .com One-Click Photo Book #Review2 #Sponsored

     So our good friends at Collage.com were distraught that I couldn't figure out how to do the "fancy-dancy" stuff to my albums that they had featured in their stock photos that they not only explained the simple process to me, but sent me two more photo books so I could TRY the fancy-dancy and tell you all about it!!!
   One of my favorite things about using Collage.com for photo gifts is the option to utilize your social media profiles instead of digging through saved albums on the computer. If I know that I want to use photos that I remember posting to Instagram or Facebook, I can just click and add!



    Once you've chosen your project and uploaded your photos, you're ready to create your custom project! For this post, I made two photo books ( one 11.5x8.5 hardcover and a 8x6 softcover book). Instead of just uploading 20 pics and letting the website design my book, I uploaded a ton and was able to add multiple photos onto pages!
     I did this by clicking on each page individually-this way I could center my photos and add multiples to a page. Most of my pages have 1 photo, and you can click on "stretch to cover" if you want the photo to take up the whole page. My last post described how to add a background to cover the extra page if you don't want to stretch your photos.


      I added multiple photos to pages by dragging photos from the column on the left to the page- the more you put on the page, the smaller the photos become. If you know you want certain photos on a page, but cannot figure out how to lay then out, just click on "free form or shuffle" button until the look works for you.




     If you're like me, you wait until last to do the front page. You can choose a collage of all of the photos in the book or add different ones. You can also choose to have a shape and title on the front cover.

           And just like that, your photobook will be ready for you to order!!! They have plenty of photo projects to choose from and always seem to have a discount code via email or Facebook! Right now their discount on these books is still valid!










Monday, December 8, 2014

I'm Not *That* Crazy, I Swear...

    You know that moment when someone you're just really starting to like asks you for your social media profile and you're like "Um...uh...yeah...." Because you want them to like you for who you are when you are with them....and not introduce them to the three-ringed-circus you *really* are on social media. I'm talking the real you. "Cray-to-the-z". Cray-Z.
     And yet, I find myself unabashedly accepting friend requests, over and over again....most of the time, I do warn them...I mean, I think it's only fair to let them know what they're getting themselves into before cray photos of me in crochet beards, my unprofessional humor and inexplicable things my kids say assault their news feed.....

    In fact, I've even considered drawing up a contract...it would look something like this:

                I __________ do hereby declare that I am acknowledging the sanity-less lifestyle of                      BlondieChell and am consciously making the decision to be her friend on a social media site. I            am fully aware that this means I will be subject to random and strange postings, some of which            I may have no prior knowledge. I affirm that if I find this submersion to be more than I had                  thought I bargained for, I have the right to separate from this relationship quietly. I will not bash          or speak ill of the things I have seen or heard.
                 Date:
               Signature:
               Witness:


   Great idea, right???I mean really, who hasn't thought of doing something like this before?? Oh, just me?? well, now that yours eyes have been opened, I dare you to unsee it....hahahaha.....

Thursday, December 4, 2014

BuluBox Promo #Sponsored

          The perfect partner in the pursuit of a healthier you, Bulu Box is like having a personal trainer and a nutritionist as a best friend. Each month, a box of healthy discoveries is shipped right to your door for just $10. You learn about that month's 4-5 premium samples, try each one and see what fits into your individual healthy lifestyle. For sharing your opinions on each month's samples through a quick survey, we will give you 50 Rewards Points (that's $5!) to use in our shop to get more of your favorites. 3 Month Subscription for just $10 (regularly $30)! at Bulu Box - Use code WOWZA (Link to the coupon here)






    *Disclaimer: this is a promotion from BuluBox. In exchange for posting this, I will receive a free BuluBox.

Monday, December 1, 2014

BlondieChell's Black Friday Do's and Don'ts

How to Black Friday:

    Are you one of the millions of Americans too intimidated by the Black Friday madness to get off the couch and join in?? Well this post is for you!! I have some easy "do's" and "don'ts" to help you survive the Black Friday madness!!!
   
    Do's:
1. Hair up. This is a must. Okay, Hair up, and tight-that way no one can yank your pony or tear out your tresses easily.
2. Game face on. Just enough makeup to support your "I'm-serious-about-Black-Friday-get-in-my-way-and-you-die" look.
             
                     I couldn't decide which game face shot to post....so here ya go!



3. Wear comfy clothes....now I'm not talking pajamas, I'm talking clothes you will be comfortable running, squatting, fighting and standing for hours in.
4. Do your research-that good deal you're looking for-is it *really* a good deal?? And is it worth the Black Friday madness to purchase??
5. Have a game plan. Decide which deals are important enough to camp out over and which ones you'll take your chances on. From there, it's helpful to have a list of items and stores, and sort which stores you'll hit and in what order.
6. Don't take a purse-wear something closer to your clothing like an under-the-sweatshirt fanny pack, or hide-away wallet. Only carry the essentials-an ID, the cards you'll use and your cell.
7. Pack snacks. Of course, some stores will have donuts and coffee, but will you really have time to sample all the goodies from all the stores?? No! Of course not! You're ON A MISSION!!!!
 
     Don'ts:
1. Show up late. You this this, and you may not get that fab deal you wanted.
   Eh...that's about it....I do believe Black Friday's kind of a "free for all"

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Beauty Giftset Giveaway #RimmelLondon #KissLashes #ImpressNails

   Just in time for Christmas, BlondieChell is giving way this Beauty Giftset!!!
     
           All you have to do is enter this Rafflecopter giveaway!!! I do verify the entries, so make sre you enter the correct information! Good luck!!!

                    Prize is a set of Kiss Lashes + Glue, Rimmel London Scandalous Eyes Mascara, and a set if IMPress nails!!! Contest open to US Residents only.




Saturday, November 29, 2014

Hey Now, I'm a BlogSTAR....With Influenster!!!

Hey now, I'm a BlogSTAR, I've got my game on, come, play!
        And....if you don't know that song by Smashmouth, that's okay. Just showing my generation, is all. Influenster invited (nay-TOLD) me to share what I LOVE about Influenster with my readers....so here's my list:
      Things I FREAKIN' LOVE about Influenster:
    1. IT'S FREE!!!! That's right-free to sign up, and they send you FREE products to try!!! (totally up to you whether or not you want to review them-but the more reviews you do, the more free stuff you get!!!)
    2. Um....it's FREE?!?? I have received so many full-sized products from Influenster to try....all they ask for in return is product reviews!

     These are full-sized products I've received from Influenster to try within the past year:


    3. They ship to Alaska. Some review/product tester programs are not available in all 50 states.
    4. Prizes for reviews. Some of the brands that you review offer prizes for the top (not sure how they determine this) reviews-I've received FREE products from this as well!!!
    5. Reuseable boxes!!! I'm one of the crazies that recycles packaging, and Influenster sends their products in quality boxes that I'm able to reuse!!!Let me hear you say "YAY!!!"!
    6. Influenster App. They now have an app for this!!! #InfluensterApp
    7. The community. Once you've joined Influenster, you've joined a community of reviewers-which means you can ask other testers questions about products, check out reviews posted on the site, and add your own!!!
    8. VoxPerks!!! These are perks just for influensters from stores and vendors-they include percentage off products and coupons!!!
      Wanna join #Influenster with me?? It's easy! Just click on the hashtag and sign up! You too can become a BlogSTAR!!!  Comment with any questions!


Monday, November 24, 2014

How To Tell If You Have A Chest Cold

    This past week I was struck with a nasty sinus/chest cold. I do believe I get at east one of these every winter, and you probably do to...so before it's too late to tell, here's a handy list of signs:

     How To Tell If You Have A Chest Cold:

1. The choir director asks you to sit in the bass section (This can be quite the blow!)

2. Your own mother doesn't recognize your voice (sad, but true)

3. Everyone tells you "You sound horrible" (I'm pretty sure these are the people who don't realize you can actually hear yourself...like you don't know you now sound like James Earl Jones)

4. And then... that one person tells you that you sound like you have a "phone sex" voice (the utmost compliment. I swear.)

5. You're coughing.... Up a lung..... And rainbow-colored mucous. (Seriously-if it's any colors but green and yellow, you should probably see a doctor)

   So next time if any of these things happen to you, chances are, you have a chest cold! Congratulations!!! And don't forget to stock your medicine cabinet with the appropriate supplies!


Monday, November 17, 2014

How To Faux Clap In Public

          If you are like me (and I do imagine that I'm not alone!) you may have a hard time keeping time in public...you know, like clapping along to the beat with everyone at that concert or even during church. But you also know that if you don't clap, people will *know* that you are incapable of keeping up....so you find yourself clapping, starting off with the crowd...and 30 seconds later you're completely off the beat. You're so off that your hands are meeting
at the exact opposite time that everyone else's are....and by now you've thrown so much enthusiasm into it that everyone within a 10ft radius knows how wrong you are.
          And if you've just commiserated with everything I just mentioned, then this post is for you...

How To Faux Clap In Public:

             1. Watch the arms of the people in front of you (note: do *not* watch someone facing you. This is a counter-measure that will compromise your mission) and try to match the motion of your arms with their's...When you make it about the arms instead of the hands, you will look legit.

            2. When trying to "clap", do NOT actually make the clapping sound!!!! You may allow your hands to meet, but do NOT make the sound! When you make the sound, the jig is up! That is how everyone around you will know that you cannot clap!!! Now, forcing your hands to meet without actually making a sound is a skill that takes time to hone, so it is best to practice this at home before attending your event.

           3. When all else fails, just put your hands down by your sides and tap your thighs....(it's completely okay to rock or sway while doing this). This is the "I-just-don't-feel-like-clapping-but-I-could-clap-if-I-wanted-to" look.


*Disclaimer: If none of these tips work for you, then I suggest just keeping your hands in your pockets. At all times. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Photo Books From Collage . com #Review #Sponsored

   A few weeks ago, I brought you a promo code offer for products from Collage.com. In return for posting, I had the opportunity to make two photo books of my own!
   The process seemed simple enough-upload your own photos or choose a site (like FB or Instagram) where you've already uploaded photos, then you can choose from those. The only thing I couldn't figure out was how to make a collage on a page like in their stock photo:





    I also couldn't figure out how to: 1. Personalize the front cover 2.Get a shape with the collage on the front cover. Other than that, the website was easy to navigate. I went ahead and chose photos from my Instagram account, because that's where I upload my bestest and favoritist photos!

       After you choose your photos, Collage . com automatically places them in order, but you can change the order if you choose. I was completely happy with this set-up:


Then, I went ahead and viewed what my book's collage cover would look like (while I was trying to figure out how to get a shape on there...but that failed....)



         Oh, and this shot shows you the different things you can do like change the filter on the pages, and pick a background for your pages ;)

 
    The products I got to pick out were: a 20 page 11.5"x8" hardcover photobook and a 8"x6" softcover photobook....and here they are:






      And each book came with a nifty invoice! 


     My favorite is the hardback book. Personally, I think it's a better gift because it has a hard cover as opposed to a soft cover (I also have kids which means my life requires me to look for sturdier items), but there's tons of other great gifts on the site *and* they always have great promos going on!!! So if you're looking for an easy gift option that allows you to memorialize moments, Collage . com is for you!!!
         
 
       Disclaimer: In exchange for a review, I was given two photo books. All thoughts and opinions of the product and process are my own!
   


Coffee Pic Dump 11-10-14

This week's post is a Coffee Pic Dump!!! Enjoy!!!












Monday, November 3, 2014

BlondieChell & Flu Shots

     I've never been a believer in flu shots-I mean sure, I know they exist, but I never had one and yet I still rarely caught the flu. I was blessed with a fab immune system, so the kiddos & I are rarely sick (except the 6yo. She has this thing where she gets sick right before major holidays/events. Last year she missed out on Valentines Day & Halloween....)
      However, my current occupation requires me to get the flu shot. Ewwwww....and last year was my first time getting it. And a few days later, I had flu-like symptoms. Yuck!!!
     This year?? I just had my shot on Wednesday and Sunday a.m. I woke up with the headache you get when you have the flu, plus I felt yuck. Apparently I only get portions of the flu after having the shot, but it still put me out of commission. I was relegated to the couch all day while Hubs took some of the kiddos to church, then he had to work.
     Thankfully the older two are capable of making PBJ's and keeping the rag on my forehead freezing cold & wet (okay, besides me, only A can get my forehead rag to the temperature I like it. Even the Hubs fails in comparison).
     So I am accepting my fate of contracting the flu once a year as long as my job requires me to. The only other family member subjected to this same fate is the 3yo whom I take with me to work. So far, he has no symptoms and I don't believe he did last year, either.
     I woke up today (Monday) feeling 99.9% better. I still have remnants of the headache which I am hoping disappears after a few rounds of coffee, but I am off to work! Wish me luck ;)



Monday, October 27, 2014

How To Be Prepared To Run Anytime

  Here's my quick "How To Be Prepared To Run Anytime" post:



    1. Always wear your running shoes. Always. Because you never know when you're going to have to chase down a child or purse snatcher.
    2. Keep a hat (I prefer the bearded kind!) in your car.
    3. Have a hoodie handy.
    4. Try to get away with wearing your running pants to work ;) I can because I work with kiddos, and they don't care what you're wearing (let alone what they're wearing)
    5. Keep your sports band for your phone in your car (if you wear earbuds, keep them inside the armband)

     This idea came to mind because I got tired of having to choose between my work-outs and helping friends out, so now I can still help friends, but grab a run during my lunch hour or while I'm waiting around for someone. Being prepared gives me the power to still control my exercise time. Another option? Keeping a stuffed gymbag in my trunk....which is an option if steps 1-5 don't work for you.
    Because I'm always prepared to run, I get to tackle my kiddos and enjoy beautiful views like this:


               Always be prepared!




Monday, October 20, 2014

Teaching Manners to Boys

         How do you know you've successfully taught good manners to your offspring?? When you witness them teaching these same skills to others. So far, I have affirmed that I am doing an *excellent* job teaching my boy manners.
   Scenario #1: The 3yo was minding his own business in preschool when he took a toy from another child. The other child demanded that M give back the toy. M's response? "Say please!"
     Total success with that one.
   Scenario #2: While shopping with all three children the other day, M wandered from the cart and was in the middle of an aisle, An elderly woman was passing by and he drifted back into her cart. She apologized profusely for bumping him with hr cart. I assured her that he was fine (whether or not he was fine, I like to think it was his fault for not paying attention to his surroundings) and she moved on. J, the 8yo decided to pass on some social etiquette by saying (in an "outside voice") "NEXT TIME YOU SHOULD SAY 'EXCUSE ME, PLEASE'". So, so helpful. Let me add that his voice remained the same tone and lacked sarcasm & anger.
     So am I proud of my boys?!? Of course!!! Embarrassed?? Most definitely!!! But at least I know that my boys are remembering their manners....Unfortunately the daughter doesn't have a similar story...which must mean that I need to reassess my parenting skills with her...

Monday, October 13, 2014

Why BlondieChell Runs Reason #287

  Some people may not understand why I took up running as an adult...I mean, especially after having kids (because chasing them around can be enough some days).
  Me?? I run for the cardio...
  The leftover baby weight...
   My sports-induced asthma...
  And...to be stronger and faster than my kiddos...because the day they can one-up me is the day I lose... (Also, you never know when you're going to have to run faster than one of your kiddos....)
   So, I try.
   Ad the other day, they 7yo (almost 8. He'll be 8 in a few weeks) challenged me to a "short run". He had this notion that he is faster than I. So, I indulged him. Here's the (a bit blurry) video:



   Don't mind the Hubs cheering for the kiddo. He made his choice, and now he's on the couch. Always. *Always* be better, stronger and faster than your kids...because one day, it may come in handy ;)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Life Lessons From Buddy The Elf

   We delved into Christmas yesterday by listening to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies (have you plugged your ears or stopped reading yet??). I'm one of those people who believe in Christmas year-round, not just July and December....and a few years ago, I was introduced to the magical move "Elf". As we watched, I discovered that there are some important life lessons in there:

1. Don't eat yellow snow.
2. Don't eat gum off the street. (I have a 3yo who never seems to remember this one!)
3. Buy something pretty for that "someone special"
4. You're never too old to have an affinity for elf culture
5. 30-year reunions can be wonderful.
6. You're never too old for the naughty list or snowball fights.
7. Read, read, read!
8. Don't call angry elves "angry"
9. Four basic food groups: Candy, Candy Canes, Candy Corn, and Syrup.
10. Smile!!!
11. Repurpose furniture with just a saw and a bit of wood glue!
12. It's always a good time to redecorate!
13. Everyone has a favorite color!


Have a great week!


Monday, September 29, 2014

28 Thing I've Done In 28 Years

      Saturday is my BDay, so in addition to a #Birthday #FunnyFriday on the FB fan Page (you do follow, don't you??) I'm having a Birthday post! Happy Birthday to me!!!

       I will be 28 (I think. Apparently I'm not too good in the math department and I have such a hard time remembering my actual age {thanks, kids!} that I tell people I'm older or younger than I really am). It doesn't feel much different than 27 or even 26. Actually, I feel like I'm still in my early 20's...and then  I remember how old the kids are and I realize that can't be true. So, here's a fantastical list of....

       28 Thing I've Done In 28 Years:

28. Gave birth to three humans
27. Visited the ER in two different states
26. Learned how to cartwheel
25. Bought a house (or half-bought. co-own.)
24. Attended two different colleges
23. Started a blog (two, actually)
22. Inspired the creation of a "drama award" at my highschool
21. Had a tv crew (read: one-man-show) come to my house to interview me & the man who delivered Toilet Baby
20. Learned how to crochet
19. Ran 5K's
18. Ran 5K's with the kiddos
17. Owned a Keurig (actually BDay present from last year!)
16. Never been arrested
15. Cut my hair by myself. A bazillion times.
14. Failed learning to drive stick shift
13. Discovered an obsession for minimalist running shoes!
12. Learned how to play piano
11. Snowboarded and ice skated
10. Got hit by a car. And survived.
9.   Invented the Mookie.
8.   Moved to Alaska.
7.   Started using coconut oil
6.   Hubs would probably want me to mention that I got married!!!
5.   Worked on a military base
4.   Read just about all of the Nancy Drew mysteries
3.   Rode a motorcycle
2.   Licked a frozen stop sign
1.   Puked up just about every color of the rainbow...not that I've been keeping track, of course...