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Sunday, August 26, 2012

AMAZING dessert

so, you prolly know we are getting a pretty nasty storm named isaac here in florida today and the weather will be pretty bad through most of the week probably... so we decided since the girls can't go outside to play today, we would make dessert together... somethign we have started doing once a week. this week, we wanted ice cream cake, so i found a recipe on kraftfoods and it's really yummy!

this think is really rich, so small servings will be plenty!  it's a great alternative for those who don't care for regular cake and not near as expensive as buying an icecream cake from dairy queen or baskin robbins.  not to mention the fun we had making it!  Mackenzie (9) helped me while Madison (6) played computer.  the hardest part was unwrapping the ice cream sandwiches!

it was a very yummy dessert after our homemade chinese pork and veggie stir fry!  i love cooking for my family, and here lately, they have really enjoyed that i am giving them new recipes to try... yummmmy!

so back to regularly scheduled hurricane info gathering... i will update more as it passes us.

Friday, August 24, 2012

what a week

this week has been crazy.... and mommies think the crazyness ends when they go back to school!  ha!  i've had a crazy bus time thing going on... here's just a glimpse into our week:

daily, get up and get kids showered 7 am.  have them ready to walk out the door by 830.  kenzie's bus is SUPPOSED to come at 848, i say supposed because, that's not the case.  Madison's is SUPPOSED to be here at 908.  Again, not the case.  So, for the most part, we are good up until bus time.  we walk kenzie almost 1/4 mile down the road for her stop, then while waiting with mackenzie, the little girl next door gets on her bus, so we have to leave kenzie at her stop and take maddie to hers because it's normally within minutes of alexa getting on the bus that maddie gets on... (this was one morning so far, but still, it's stress on the mommma)

then my day goes like this:  work, e mails, chores.  and at 4pm, I head out to the bus stop.

here's what that one is like here lately, i get to the end of my driveway at about  4.  last year, maddie's bus was here by 408, then we would walk down to kenzie's stop and wait for it to come anytime between 420 and 5pm.  this year, it's been:  408, alexa is home.  (her mom and i enjoy each other's company, so i go wait with her)  then i wait at the stop for maddie, but kenzie has been getting home first and because maddie's bus driver will not let her off unless i am AT THE STOP i have to let kenzie cross a busy road and walk that 1/4 mile home by herself with me watching.  by the time kenzie gets here, this week there's been another 15-20 minutes for me to wait for maddie... what i don't get is that maddie is 3 miles away from the house, but it takes over an hour for her to get home, when kenzie is 10 miles away and has been here in 1/2 the time it takes maddie to get home...

so i am still waiting for a call back from the transportation department who is trying to completely re route kenzie's bus so that she can be picked up and dropped off at the same place as maddie. the whole issue there was that they weren't taking into consideration that she had a sister at a different school.

so when i hear about that you will be among the first to know.

in addition to all of this we have tropical storm isaac out there threatening our side of the state, and while the rain is nice, we aren't fans of it because it will mean flooded roads for us.  and it will also mean that ryan will have some time off of work which isn't something i look forward to.  but i understand it.  he's worked about 2.5 weeks straight now, and who knows what next week will bring...

i am about to kick off a new season of products with Thirty-One, so I'll be posting a little more about it in the coming days!  September 1 can't come fast enough!  I can't wait to get my hands on some fun things!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

it's one of THEM days....

as you are aware, my kids started back to school today.  it's one of them days.  it's always hard because the first day of school, so many emotions are going strong... there's the emotions of the kids and then there's the emotions of the mommy's.  today i'm sad.  why sad?  i have all this time to myself, which in motherhood is not normal any mom can tell you that.  but with all of this time, comes time to reflect on the fact that my babies aren't babies anymore.  madison is in 1st grade!  it's the big girl grades for her now... and mackenzie is in 3rd grade.  it's really hard to accept for me because i know that soon i will have high schoolers!  when maddie's a freshman, kenzie will be a senior, and well, let's not go there just yet.

so what's my plan for the day, well i want to do a hi five for my business, then i'll attack some of the housework.  laundry.  the spare room.  kenzie's room.  the spare bathroom, our room, maddie's room, etc.  i may not get it all done today, but i'll do what i can.  i am doing a fall clean and purging out things we don't use or don't need anymore.  and rearranging furniture... it's time for a fresh new beginning in this house.

i'll also have to charge my camera.  i didn't realize it was so low.  i couldn't even get one photo of the girls before they left because as soon as i turned it on the camera shut off again...

so there may be another post today with how the girls did at school and what's going on there, but i will get to that later :)

and I want to leave you with a bible verse today:

Ephesians Chapter 6 verse 10

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

crazy weekend

our last weekend before school starts was a crazy one:

friday:  a day to help my in laws pack up their house.  they are headed to north carolina for a year and then they will be back!  so we are helping as much as we can.

saturday:  i had my c and c meeting with Thirty-One, and I can't go into details about that til after the rest of my team has their meeting.  Once that happens, i'll post all about it.  so excited!  then more packing.  we did get a lot accomplished this weekend!

sunday:  church.  we had a great message via Pastor Strayer.  He just knows how to bring it in a way that touches my heart!  i also have some more news that i'll share once it's all finalized, but it has to do with church missions, and my business...

and now we are current... the girls are heading to bed soon, and i am gonna have my team call in about 1 hour and 20 minutes... and i am excited to see what EOJ has for us tonight...

more updates to come i am sure...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Great FREE math site for elementary kids

Because I have two children in Elementary School, I thought I would be a doll and share our math secret, but before I do, let me give you a little insight as to how we found this site and why we love it.  Last summer, my nieces were over from Orlando and got on the computer to do their "math" for the day.  When they showed me, I spoke to my sister in law about it.  It's a great site that really helps kids remember their basic facts.  So, I signed up for just Mackenzie.  She was going into 3rd grade, and wasn't great at math, so anything that would help is what I was going for.  So she did it off and on last year.  This summer, we didn't really do it.  I actually had forgotten about it, but since school is starting again, I thought why not.  So, here's the jest of it.  

Go to Xtra Math and you will need to create an account.  You will select the grade your child is in or is going into.  I didn't do it for Madison during Kindergarten, but it would be a great idea to get a headstart on that.  So after the parent signs up, you will add children to your account.  Each child will have to take this intro set of quizzes so that the site can see what facts the kids need to work on.  They always start the kids with Addition.  In fact Kindergarten and 1st grade work on Addition only.  2nd Grade does Addition and Subtraction.  Third Grade does Addition, Subtraction, and Multiplication.  Then Fourth and Fifth does Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division.  

So daily, your child will have about 10 minutes of math time where they take a progress quiz and then race the teacher.  The faster the child answers the better the score basically.  They are helping the children to memorize basic facts.  While both of my girls are working on Addition, Mackenzie is much farther than Madison is and very soon she will be mastering that on the program (because we haven't done it daily like we should)  and it shouldn't take her too long to get to where she knows all of her addition and subtraction facts.  I am really trying to help push her through this program because she has to know all of her multiplication facts for 3rd grade!  

It's crazy how much they have to know before going into certain grades.  So I am going to make it my mission to find some really cool and educational sites to share with you each week.  This week this is the recommendation I will give.  

I do hope you like this site as much as we do.  

Dawn & the girls!
You Are "Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother"
You may or may not have the most honorable parents, but you try to respect and honor them whenever possible.
In general, you think that people should focus on their families more. Charity begins at home.

You also believe that younger generations should do a better job taking care of their elders.
It saddens you to see how older people are treated in most cultures. You think it's truly a disgrace.
Blogthings: A Fine Line Between Insight and Stupidity

This one was a little fun thing for today.  There's not much going on, so I thought I would post a blogthing. It was cute and fun.  The girls are chilling today and wishing the weekend would go faster, and school would start.  Do you seriously know of kids who wish there wasn't a summer break?  That's my kids for ya!!!  Well, hope to have something more interesting for you tomorrow :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Our Teachers Rock!

So, here's how the morning went:

Madison's school:  was a bit of chaos.  Nothing was organzied for getting the busses, or any other information.  They didn't even have a nutrition area set up.  It was utter chaos.  I've never seen a school set up that way.  Perhaps I can talk with the administration to help come up with a better solution for next year.  Her teacher however is AMAZING!  She's cute, fashionable, knowledgable, and we love her!  Mrs. Lopez is going to be fun to work with this year!  And, she loves Thirty-One!!!  Her favorite color is PURPLE, and we have tons of purple coming out in September!!!  Madison loves her class and can't wait for school to start!

Mackenzie's school was a bit better organized, I just wish there would have been a sign to tell parents where to go.  Once we found out where they were all set up and made it through the maze to it, it was set up, signs on tables, and very nicely run.  The staff was very knowlegable, unlike at Madison's school.  We were able to get through Kenzie's in a matter of minutes!!!  We went to her class and met Mr. Russell!  We had the priviledge to work with his wife Mrs. Russell last year and are excited to work with him this year!  We had a nice discussion about how this year is going to work and here's basically what is happening, Mackenzie will have him as her primary teacher, but for certain subject area's she will be out in a regular class (they call this mainstreaming in the education world)  and for specials she will go with her mainstream class for each area of art, music and p.e.  This is something that we have been wanting to work on for a while.  Mr. Russell was quite informational and is going to be a joy to work with.  He said her mainstream teacher is going to be Mrs. Williams.  She will have an intern from USF for the first part of the year and in addition to that there will be an Instructional Assistant going to Mrs. Williams class with Mackenzie.  To top that off, he said that he and Mrs. Russell were both shocked that Mackenzie wasn't able to pass the SAT10.  He said that they both thought she would do it, but that he wants to ammend her IEP to say that tests can be read to her and hopefully that will help slow her down with her test taking.  I pray it does.

So all in all, we had a great morning!  Off to get some work done now

Have a blessed day!

Back to Busyness

We all can relate, I am sure, to the rush of back to school.  There's supplies to purchase, clothes to organize, teachers to meet, kids to get back in routines, homes to reorganize from the summer fun, etc.  With all of this going on, we can all get a bit frazzled.  Well, the frazzling has begun!  We are less than a week away from school starting here and the girls are as excited as can be!  Mackenzie and Madison have had their backpacks packed full of school supplies for a couple of weeks, and so since today is Meet-The-Teacher Day at their schools, I'll be posting another time to fill you in on how that works for us with 2 different schools, 2 different sets of faculty, and 2 different cities for me to drive to for this event.  Before I do that though, I wanted to update you on our week thus far:

I've managed to somehow prep all of our food for the rest of the week!  So when it comes to cooking, it's going to be easy peasy!  We had some yummy Spaghetti with Zesty Bolognese Sauce on Monday, Mackenzie cooked a great Easy Cheesy Chicken and Mac with Veggies last night.  Madison helped me get everything in the crock pot for tonights Easy Crock Pot Beef Stew!  She also helped me make egg salad for today for lunch.  Then on Thursday, we are having a Chicken and Veggie Parmesan that Mackenzie is making.  (The good thing here is that I have already cooked the chicken so that won't take but a few minutes for her to cook :))  And on Friday, it's Pizza night in this house!  Woo Hoo!

So Monday it was a day of getting myself a schedule started, and that's gone well.  We've worked out every day so far this week, done our chores and had time for working/playing as we can.  Tuesday we continued that and did detailed cleaning in our rooms that we needed to do that in, so I was running through here like a mad woman attacking the kichen, hallway, livingroom, and bathroom.  The bedrooms are coming soon too :)  Like the Fly Lady says, "you are never behind, just jump in where you are."  that's the way it should be.  So that's what we are doing.  While I haven't been doing the flylady steps like I should, I have adopted some of her routines, and it really does help.  I'll be clearning hot spots today.  And for some reason my desk is always a hot spot.  As is the kitchen table for wierd reasons, but that will soon be fixed again.  Laundry is the habit of the month, so I am working on Mt. Washmore being nothing more than a few pieces of clothes at the bottom of the laundry basket.

Before we head out to the schools, I want to leave you with some inspiration for today.  Yesterday morning was quite trying for us, so with that being said, I want to leave you with a bible veres:

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  Philippians 4:13

Just remember don't give up!  You can do it.  Push through the rough spot and Praise Him in the storms of this life.

Monday, August 13, 2012

30 Day Shred Challenge

So, I decided that I would try the 30 Day Shred.  I watched it yesterday and did as much as I possibly could, so I will work up to where I can do the whole workout.  I am so out of shape that it will take me a couple of days to get to where I can do the whole thing without having to stop.  The good news, I did more than I thought I could!  So, tomorrow I will get farther.  The girls are loving doing their workouts!  They even grabbed cans of vegetables to use as handweights!!!  It's amusing to see them decide what they are going to use to workout!  While they are loving this workout, they don't realize how good it is for them I am sure.

Ryan left this morning (well 4am)  for Naples for the week.  While we will miss him, we understand that he has to work to provide for us.

Mackenzie is totally stoked out for school to start.  She can't wait for meet the teacher day, but then again Madison is really excited as well!

I have been really working hard too!  Having a good month with my Thirty-One!  In fact, I think I might even make me a slideshow to show some of our new products/prints that are coming in September!  Remember, you only have til the 31st to get in on the Summer Catalog!!!  We have lots of new and exciting things happening in the coming months!

My week:
Monday:  workout, house work, get kids set for school, prep all food for the week.
Tuesday:  workout, thirty-one, lay out clothes for meet teacher day
Wednesday:  meet the teacher day, work out, hump day, housework/laundry
Thursday:  workout, thirty-one, tune in to church 7pm,
friday:  workout, get things ready for c and c meeting, grocery shopping for next week (don't forget to buy stuff for kids lunches), ryan home!!!
Saturday:  c and c meeting, beach day
Sunday:  church

So, while it looks like we are having a busy week, really we are taking it easy this week.  I plan on getting all of the housework done by wednesday so that I can have some movie nights with the girls before they go back to school.  We are moving their bedtime to 830 now that they are in 1st and 3rd grade.  Next year, Kenzie willl go to 9pm and Madison will go to 9 when she hits 4th grade.  I am also working on some chore charts, spreadsheets, as well as schedules for each of us... So, it's going to be quite a crazy week.

Off to do as much work as I can!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


today was a typical sunday for us. i got up at about 730 which is my daily norm. got the kids and ryan up at 8 after i had showered and started the process of getting ready for church.

we left the house about 830 so we could get there and get the kids all checked into their classes. maddie was moved up to the 1st grade class and kenzie went on into her class. it's great because mackenzie is in a class where they have 2-5th graders so even though she's still in 3rd grade she still gets to be in class with her friends.

ryan and i went on into our couples class. and one main thing we came away from class with is this:

because the holy spirit lives within both of us, when we are speaking to our spouses, try to remember that we are talking to God as well. this is a very deep thing for us to take in, so it will take some time, but i am sure it will really leave a lasting impact on us.

while in couples class, we were asked to put our names/shirt sizes down so that in 2 weeks we can order class shirts, so we did. after class, we were asked to speak with the leader who informed us that because someone wanted to sponser a couple for their shirts, we were who she picked! it feels great to be blessed! i just about cried on the spot! so, since we have our shirts taken care of, we are wearing them to the couples event in september that we are volunteering for. it's going to be great because all of the volunteers are going to wear their class shirts and that way we will stand out!

speaking of the event, it's the Love worth fighting for event that's sweeping the nation, and since we are volunteering, we get in free!!! woo hooo! double blessings!!!

we then went to service and saw aaron gillespie perform! amazing praise let me tell ya!

after service, i had a migrane so i laid down. it's been bad tonight, but the mt dew is helping. ryan took the girls to yaya and pappy's for dinner and brought me dinner home :) thank you carol and roy for that!!!

and now i am gearing up for my weekly conference call!!!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

wow it's almost 9pm already???

it's been a long day, but things are coming together...

i e mailed back and forth with Kristen today. She has been where I am with fighting with schools, so she had some very useful information for me. I also got a hold of Mrs. Russell from last year who will be working very closely with me and Mr. Russell (Mackenzie's teacher this year), I got my website fixed, I spoke with my sister in law Angie. and Chyanne and really did make her day! I've worked on work e mails most of the day, as well as some end of summer time with the kiddies... ryan worked a 12 hour day today YAY! and now i'm settling down gonna just chill tonight...

my plans for next week include but are not limited to: getting ryan to plant city so he can go to work out of town next week, meet the teacher day wednesday, house work, catalog party, and lots of last week of summer loving for my 1st and 3rd graders!!! Not to mention, I'll have to figure out a sitter for my kids for my meeting on Saturday. I have about a 2 hour meeting I need to go to Saturday am, but with Ryan gonna be out of town, I have to figure that out... Things will work out I just have to wake up some before I can taclke that one.

and I'm outty time for some rest. it's been too busy today LOL

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Zephyr Park

So, yesterday, we woke up to a flat tire on our Camry, but not to worry, I already had a back up plan. My friend Deb was already going to pick us up to go to Zephyrhills for the small Spray Park there. So we went, the kids played on the dry playground and then after they were all sweaty and ready to be cooled down, we went into the fenced in spray area. This thing has tons of sprayers, bazooka like water guns, buckets that pour on you etc. While I got tons of great photo's, for some reason my card reader is being a royal pain in the toot! So, I'll have to upload those photo's later. Then on the way home, we dropped Kenzie and Maddie off for a night with Yaya. After that, Ryan picked up the Explorer from her so that he could get the tire fixed on our camry, in the mean time, Deb brought me home, and she stayed the night along with our friend Kevin who brought wings for dinner! It was a great night!

and now for today, since I didn't blog yesterday, I wanted to update you on what happened with the photo's and car, so today, Ry got the girls from his mom and I got the sausage gravy fixed for our breakfast. Deb and Kevin slept in and as breakfast was getting off the stove they got up. We've watched all of season 2 walking dead since they came over. While we were doing that Ryan was playing Super Nintendo.

I also checked in on my incentive and it's getting there... Today is the 9th and I have until the 15th to submit 500 in sales! I am down to needing only 346 for this goal! When I do this, not only will I receive an incentive kit, but I will also qualify! By qualifying in the first 6 months, I get a little bonus from my company! It's so very much worth it!

If you are interested in getting more information about my monthly special, please come on over and e mail me. I had to call home office this afternoon when I realized that my website wasn't working properly and it could be a day or two before it's all straightened out. But in the mean time, I can submit orders manually for anyone who needs one submitted.

The girls are getting more excited by the day for school to start! And the last update is that it's looking like Ry will be on an extended job here very soon which means that we will have to just deal with him having to be out of town again for a while, but I would rather have him having to be out of town than for him to not have any work at all!

And that's about all I have for now! For those interested in emailing me about Thirty-One please do so at

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

gettin' ready for back to school...

the girls are excited! woo hoooo! i love that my girls love school! they both get up and don't fight on school mornings which is great!!! so here's the breakdown this year:

i have maddie the first grader (doesn't seem possible!) and she's so excited can't wait for meet the teacher day next week! her supplies are almost finished... then it's just put some clothes on lay away for her and we will be good there...

then we have kenzie... as you know last year she was in 3rd grade and here in florida if 3rd graders don't pass the standardized test, they fail... well, kenzie was given the opportunity to take a second standardized test and didn't do well enough to go on to 4th grade (after i requested, more than once i might add, that she take this test one on one however they refused to allow it after telling me that the assistant principle would sit in with her) anyhoo, it's going to be a great year for her! although she has had all of this last year, it will help her a lot in the long run...

we have found some really cool resources we are ordering so that i can help her more at home... and that's just the way it's gonna run this year.

kenzie's school supplies are also almost finished. which is awesome... i just have school clothes to purchase for her and that's gonna be it for her.

both of the girls decided to support mommy when they got their backpacks!!! Mackenzie bought the UpperClassman from my website! and the print she purchased was botanical lace. she followed that by purchasing the botanical lace thermal tote to take her lunch in. (i allotted 60 to go toward backpacks and lunch totes, and they both chose to do this via my website)

Madison on the otherhand purchased the keep it cool backpack which has a thermal pouch on the outside of her bag and the pink circle spiral thermal tote!

they both personalized them with their names on them! they look great! and they are a great quality!

since I know you want to see what these things look like, head on over to my website at Thirty-One and i am available via e mail today if you have any questions about putting in your order...

Oh, and you will want to know about the special too won't you... well, it's for every $31 spent, you get to choose one SPIRIT COLLECTION item for 50% off!!! that's an amazing deal!!! and they added spirit purple to the collection!!!

Well, I gotta be going... it's gonna be a hot day out there at the spray park but the girls need a day out of the house before school starts :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

work at home mom tips

since i have started working from home, i just wanted to take the time to share this with you.

i was reading in parents magazine and came across a great article, and i am only going to hit the very tops of the article here, but here are some great tips for you work at home mom's who are struggling to balance work and family time since you are working out of your home....

first, i know i will be taking advantage of the girls going back to school, so i, for one, will have several hours a day that will be free for work related tasks only. this will do wonders for my business i am sure.

now for the ones from the article:

you MUST create a schedule! it's very important so that you can balance that work and family time better. you will thank yourself for doing this after you have gotten accustomed to doing it!

for the mom's of toddlers, take advantage of nap time! when your little one is snoozing, use this as your POWER HOUR to get as much working as you can done for your business! i know you are going to want to sneak in a load of dishes, but you really need to just stay on task!

set some boundaries so that you aren't crossing mom with businesswoman. when you do this you can give either your kids or your business your full attention, and when you are in work mode, you are only working. maybe dress office casual during your work hours and dress mom during your mom hours... this might help?

keep the kiddies entertained during your work hours (if they are home with you) for babies/toddlers this is easy! you will simply provide many activities for them such as floor toys during the time you must work while they are awake.

plan for some interruptions. don't get frazzled if you need to tend to your little ones during your work hours. take the time to tend to them and get right back to work. once your work hours are over, close the office door and don't go back in until your next day of working.

ask for assistance if you need to. if you need grandma to come and help with the kids while you work, ask her! she would love more time with her grandkids.

as i find more info, i'll post more, but i just thought you might like to see a few tips that i am implementing in my schedule to make my business more successful.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

excitement fills the air

here in our house, we are excited for a number of reasons!!! first because


then the other list:

-school is creeping closer! woo hooooooo!
-we find out next week about kenzie's sat score
-maddie is a 1st grader
-we are going cabin camping this weekend!
-we have the workshop in september and we are so excited about it
-today is the 1st of august, which means big things for me!

now to expand on a few of the excitements...

cabin camping- we haven't been for like 2 years, but we have tent camped quite a bit. we love the cabins and so this will be a fun trip! it's also our first trip of the year because it's been way too hot for camping!

what does today mean? well, a new customer special! for every $31 spent, my customers can get any spirit collection item for 50% off!!! That's an amazing savings!!! So, for every $31 spent, they can get their chioce of color in any of these for the prices listed:

large utility tote for 17.50
organizing utility tote for 15
picnic thermal tote for 17.50
cinch sac for 10
retro metro bag 27.50
about town blanket for 19.50

and with that said, there are a few other things going on:

first, the most requested color in Thirty-One history is finally joining the Spirit Collection!! PURPLE! woohooooo!

this is the last month for the summer catalog, so if you have been putting off ordering, make sure you get that order in early as we will be having a list of retiring products!!! and we already have one product that is fully retired!

we have some new thread choices for fall and 3 of them are making their debut this month: BURNT ORANGE, FOREST GREEN AND MAROON! these are going to make your personalized bags and totes look very nice for this fall!!!

we have a new personalization hitting our catalog this fall and it's here for the month of august at a 50% discount! it's called Icon-It. and that means that you can choose to have one icon with one name or phrase added to your bag for just $5! When our new catalog gets here, this will go up to $10! And the choices for this are:
a beautiful crown for your little princess
a flower for you flower lovers
and for the sports fanatics, we have a baseball, a soccer ball, a volley ball, a football, or a basketball!

now, for the icon it, there are 3 styles that won't work with it. these are from the summer catalog and they are the large and small rectangle basket liners and the mini retro metro bag.

then finally we have added the cinch sac to our spirit collection!!! this is an awesome bag that will be a very nice addition to your little sportster's collecion for packing their uniform/ shoes to and from games... it's also a great overnight bag for those toddlers headed to grandma's house!!!

And i'll close there.

God Bless and have a Thirty-ONEDERFUL day!!!