I love my freedom. I love my America.

S'mores anyone?

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

It's New Year's Eve

I'm wishing everyone has a healthy and happy 2011!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's Here

Merry Christmas

Peace on Earth to All

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The 3 "C's"


The 3 "C's" of life:
Choice ~ Chance ~ Change

You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.


I saw this on a friend's Facebook page today and it really made me think.

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

$50 Free Money

Hey Blog Friends,

In skipping from blog to blog tonight I came across an awesome give-away. How would you like to win $50 simply because a fellow blogger now has over 100 followers? That's right...head on over to http://whereisthemeinmommy.blogspot.com/ for a chance to win.

It's really that simple. Good luck!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ribbon Tree

Yesterday while I was out Black Friday shopping, I was also looking for some neat decorations to finish my mantle. It just needed a little more something on each end.

At Hobby Lobby I became inspired. I saw a Christmas tree made out of ribbon. The colors weren't for me and neither was the price (even at 1/2 off). BUT, I thought, I could do that. I could make that ribbon tree. So, off to the different departments I went for what I needed. I hit the jackpot for the ribbon. All of it was 1/2 off - so each roll was only $2.50. Then I knew I would need a topper. I got that little cutie for 1/2 off also - so it only cost me 50 cents. That's right...2 quarters. I needed a styrofoam tree shape but gosh were the expensive and not on sale. For that item I headed to Michael's with my 50% off anything coupon. And for another $2.50 I walked out with the last of the items I needed. I knew I would need little pins to attach the ribbon to the foam, but I had those at home already. Total project cost $8.00. Rock on!

To make the tree, I needed the ribbon cut into 4" pieces. Then, starting at the bottom I just did row after row after row of alternating ribbon. Each piece was folded (but without a crease) and then pinned to the styrofoam. Here are some pictures of what I did.
The Styrofoam Tree

The ribbon cut into 4" pcs

The first row of ribbon on the tree

The finished Project

Oh how I LOVE how this turned out. I seriously think I might make a couple for gifts this year.

How about you? Have you made any crafts for the holiday? If so, let me know so I can be inspired some more.

Happy Crafting!!

Friday, November 26, 2010


Oh how I LOVE Black Friday. Did I mention I LOVE Black Friday?

Today I was up at 3:15 and out the door about 3:45ish. My day consisted of 12 hours of shopping - and - I loved every (almost) minute of it. I was in and out of 16 stores...that's right ONE SIX. I didn't buy something in every store, but most of them I did. I had my list and I checked it twice. I was successful in some stores and not so much in others. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

How about you? Did you shop on Black Friday? If so, I hope you had as good of a day as I did.

Until next time.....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Here's a big Happy Thanksgiving to all my blog friends.

I hope you all enjoy your time with friends and family.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


It's been awhile since I've blogged and quite honestly, sometimes I don't feel like I have anything worthy of writing. Today I'm just going to jot down some things as they pop into my mind. Random..I know, but that's ok. Enjoy your week.

* Today we're celebrating Thanksgiving
* I'm so ready to put up Christmas decorations
* My kitchen smells so good because of the pumpkin/cream cheese loaf and apple crisp I just made
* I've already started my Christmas shopping
* I hope my Step-Son comes home safe from Kuwait in about 3 weeks
* I can't believe we're already planning our family vacation for next June
* My daughter accidentally scratched the screen of my new cell phone and I'm not happy
* It's going to get really cold this week (38 for the high on Thursday)
* Sometimes I don't understand why I'm so selfish
* It will be my 20 year anniversary at my job in January. Yes, 20 years!
* My oldest Step-Son and his girlfriend just left for their "new life" in Oregon
* I wish I could be more organized
* Diet Coke is my favorite cold drink
* I love flavored coffee
* My husband is outside raking leaves while I'm inside on the computer

Friday, November 5, 2010

Shopping Fix

Ok, I am super excited about this weekend. I'm going on a girls get-away shopping trip with my mom and two of my sister-in-laws.

First, we're leaving tomorrow morning for Gurnee Mills in Gurnee, IL. It's an indoor outlet mall with lots and lots of stores. We're spending the night (thanks to hotel points from my brother) and then on Sunday morning we're traveling to Bolingbrook, IL to spend a good portion of the day at IKEA.

My list is made and I've checked it twice. I hope to find some great deals. There's nothing better then a good deal when shopping.

Oh, just typing the words "Gurnee Mills" and "IKEA" puts a smile on my face.

It's going to be so much fun I can't stand it. I hope your weekend is filled with the fun things you like to do.

Until next time.....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween Pictures

This year it was like pulling teeth to get a couple shots of Olivia in her Halloween costume. I know, she's getting older and it's just not "cool". But I just can't help myself. Here are a few pictures I did manage to take.

I must admit, I wish she would have dressed a little more creative this year, but this year her decision was to wear jeans, a plaid shirt and a werewolf mask. She had a good time and that's really all that matters, right?

One fun thing my husband likes to do each Halloween is play themed music on his keyboard with a fog machine for effect while dressed up like a scary person. Although some kids do find it scary, most find it fascinating and stand to watch/listen while their parents patiently wait to continue on. Here are a few pictures of my husband. Such a handsome guy...

I hope you and yours had a great Halloween weekend.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Did you vote?
If not, there is still time no matter what state you live in.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


We did it....we got my daughter a cell phone. We were trying to wait for at least another year, but, well....we just did it.

It was time for an upgrade and contract renewal for my husband and I so the timing seemed to be just right to add another line. It's just $9.99/month, right? Huh, not so much. By the time you add this and choose this phone instead of that one, it's a little more than $10/month.

(Olivia's phone - Samsung Intensity)

(My new phone - Samsung Reality)

I will have to admit, the comfort zone of being able to reach my daughter at pretty much all times is welcoming. She is LOVING every minute of having a phone and is a speed demon already at entering information and sending text messages.

The one thing we didn't do yet was get insurance on her phone. Considering the fact she dropped it before we even left the store tells me it's something I need to act on and soon. HA....it's ONLY $6.99/month.

Hopefully we're set for another 2 years on cell phones.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lucas Oil Stadium

Lucas Oil Stadium is home of the Indianapolis Colts. I had the opportunity to take a tour of the stadium while I was in Indy on a business trip yesterday. This post is going to mostly be pictures, but I wanted to post a few quick facts about the stadium. I found it so fascinating (and I'm not even a football lover).

* The stadium celebrated its grand opening on August 24, 2008
* Covers 1.8 million square feet
* Seven-levels with a retractable roof and seating of 63,000
* 148 concession stands
* Employs approx 10,000 people on a game day
* Lucas Oil Stadium is where the super bowl will be played in 2012

Thursday, September 30, 2010


WOW, it's been 25 years since I graduated from high school. I'm so serious when I say that I can't believe how fast time has gone by.

This weekend is my reunion. It begins with a "meet & greet" at a local restaurant on Friday night. Saturday afternoon we're taking a tour of our high school. Oh how fun it will be to reminisce. Then, on Saturday night is the big shin-dig at a hall with music, a yummy buffet of food and a cash bar (I'll be buying diet coke). I am really excited to see so many people from way back when.

I plan on taking lots of pictures to hopefully post on a future blog for you to see. In the meantime, check out this beauty.......

Yes, this is my senior picture chosen for the yearbook. Check out those hair sprayed feather bangs and the thick black eyeliner. Gotta love it!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Getting Organized

Ok, I have to admit it....I've been very lax at being organized lately. I played alot during the summer and neglected my household chores and seemed to have lost all organization skills. I know, I was a bad, bad girl. I just wanted to have some fun while the weather was nice.

Well, now that the cooler weather has set in and there's not so much to keep me busy outside, I have faced the fact it's time to get busy again inside.

So far I've cleaned out under my kitchen sink, my linen closet, my bedroom and Olivia's room. Now, I've got my biggest challenge ahead of me. It's my scrapbook/craft room. It has become a "catch all" and is driving me NUTS. In addition to organizing that room, I am also planning to paint it. If I'm brave, I'll post before/after pictures when it's all said and done.

I can delay this no longer, so off I go to get started.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Progress Reports and PTO

Gosh, it seems like school JUST started. That's not the case, though. The kids are half way through their first nine weeks which means progress report time. In the school my daughter use to attend, they only sent progress reports home if a child was in danger of failing. At her new school, the kids get progress reports sent home no matter if they are passing or failing. Granted, with the online tool that I have access to, I can see what her grades are as frequently as I feel it necessary. I had a good idea of what to expect, but I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised when the paperwork came home. Olivia brought home four A's, two B+'s and a P (pass). I am hoping and praying that school continues to go smooth for her. The transition from private to public has been so smooth it's kind of scary.

Side note: Olivia's day consists of 6-60 minute classes; although she technically has 7 classes. I know, it sounds confusing but it's really not. Every other day (green day/gold day) she switches between gym class and a rotation class. The rotation class changes every 9 weeks. This gives the kids more of a variety of classes throughout the year.


On another note, I am making strides to get involved in the new school. I attended my first PTO meeting last night. I was a little overwhelmed at how much the PTO really does for the school. It's not something I've been exposed to so I didn't know what quite to expect. I'm looking forward to volunteering in all different areas of the school because I think a huge part of how a school exists is through the parents.

How about you? Do you help out at school or day care? If so, I hope you find it as rewarding as I do.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Festival of Fall Color

Well, as much as I enjoy summer - sitting on the beach with my feet in the sand - I am looking forward to fall colors and smells. There's nothing prettier than watching tree leaves change from green to yellow to orange to red, etc... I love going to the pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect carving pumpkins, the fun gourds and pretty mums.

Festivals are fun to go to this time of year too. A few weeks ago we had the Blueberry Festival, then we had the Popcorn Festival and now it's Apple Festival time. My friend Susan and I enjoyed an Apple Festival today in a small town not too far from us. It was a beautiful fall day to walk around the craft booths, check out and enjoy the food and listen to a great singer on stage.

What's your favorite part of this season? Whatever it is, I hope you enjoy it to the fullest.

Until next time....

Monday, August 30, 2010

Wonderful Weekend

Let me tell you about my wonderful weekend...

Friday: It was a sun filled 80 degree day. My friend Susan and I headed toward the beach in New Buffalo. The morning started with a tasty breakfast at "Rosie's" and then we did a little window shopping. I found a real cute pair of croc boots for only $20 but I forgot to go back and buy them. Bummer. Around 11:30 our toes were in the sand and we were soaking up the rays. The beach was extremely peaceful as most kids in the area are back to school. As always with Susan, the conversation was endless and wonderful.

Saturday: It was another sun filled day. This time the high temp was about 85 degrees. First, I took Olivia for a haircut in the morning. She had mentioned to me the cut she wanted (right above her shoulders) and I knew I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it myself this time. I took her to the girl that does my hair because she was running a $5 "back to school" special. Jackpot. I must say, the cut is cute-cute-cute. Afterward, Olivia and I - along with my mom went to Art Beat in downtown. Local artists (drawing, painting, jewelry, ceramics, etc) display and sell their items. This year I read that over 10,000 people enjoyed the day. I know a good time was had by all.

Sunday: Oh yes! Yet again another sun filled day with a high of about 90 degrees. Hot-Hot-Hot. Olivia and I were invited by Susan (mentioned above in my Friday info) and her daughter to join them at their club's pool. Swimming and laying in the sun? Why sure, we'd love to join you! The girls went swimming and swimming and swimming while Susan and I talked and talked and talked while enjoying the sunshine. At the pool, the whistle blows every 45 minutes and kids get out so adults can get in. LOVE IT. Around supper time we parted ways to end our weekend and get ready for another work/school week.

I so enjoyed the sunny, hot weekend knowing that they are so few and far between with the onset of fall in a few short weeks. Although I love the colors of fall, I'm going to miss the heat of summer.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

And she's off......

Today is the first day of a new school year for us!

My daughter has made a switch from a small private Christian school to a large public middle school. Although my husband, Olivia and I toyed with all elements in making this decision, we feel we made the right choice. The middle school is for 6th through 8th grade and with Olivia starting 6th grade, it seemed the perfect time to make a change. I am excited about the opportunities she'll be given in her new school.

Another big change for this year is the fact Olivia will be riding a school bus for the first time ever to and from school. She's thrilled! When she started kindergarten so many years ago (or so it seems), I remember her being very disappointed because she would not be riding a bus. We'll see how long the trill lasts - maybe a week or two (haha).

I'll be anxious to pick her up from the bus stop to hear all about her first day of 6th grade. Oh, and then we're off to the first football game of the season.

And so it begins....

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Diary of a Wimpy Kid-The Ugly Truth

My daughter will be soooooo excited. I just got word that the 5th book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series comes out on November 9th. It's called The Ugly Truth. Although I'm not going to pre-order it, we will get it as soon as it comes out!

Also, the movie (did you go see it?) comes out on DVD Aug 3rd. Oh yeah, we'll be getting that too. It was a really good movie - which doesn't happen too often these days.

Do you or your kids have a series of books that you enjoy?

Happy Reading...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fun in the Sun

Well, today is a beach-going day. My daughter Olivia and I are going with good friends Susan and Gabby. We're headed to New Buffalo, MI; it's only about 45 minutes from us. The weather should be perfect for fun in the sun.

I hope you're enjoying your sun-shining summer days.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

America's Birthday


I can't believe Independence Day is just around the corner. It's amazing how it can sneak up so quickly.

How will you be celebrating our country's birthday? My mom and her husband have an annual party - which is also their wedding anniversary. It's a great time and we look forward to it every year.

In addition to looking forward to the party, I'm also going to enjoy an extra long weekend. Time off of work is ALWAYS a good thing!

Enjoy the fireworks!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Hey fellow bloggers....it's been a long time!

I wanted to take a minute to show you a couple items I recently purchased. My daughter and I made a trip to the mall for HER and I ended up with these 2 items for ME. Well.....I couldn't help it!

These shoes I got from Payless. I love them, love them, love them. On their website I see they are available in different colors. Oh yeah, I plan on getting at least one more pair.

As we were walking through the mall I realized we have a new store called Body Central. Granted, my body doesn't fit into much of their stuff (kinda like a Forever 21) but their accessories were too cute and CHEAP. Oh, and the day I was there they were having a 20% entire store sale. Bingo...jackpot. Anyway, this is the necklace I got for about $5.00. I have the perfect dress to wear it with.

Do you have a favorite pair of sandals or piece of jewelry? I think these two are mine for now!

Until next time....

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Best

Being a mom is the best thing in the world. It certainly is my biggest challenge in life but I wouldn't change it for the world.

I'm very thankful for my mom and the wonderful way she has taught me to be a great mom (at least I think so) to my daughter. History is repeating itself.

Olivia and I

My mom being silly

I'm wishing all my mom blogging friends a Happy Mother's Day.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hello bloggers...it's me, Tara

Ok, so I think I'm taking this "vacation from my blog" a little too far. I can't believe I've been home from vacation for almost a week and haven't taken the time to blog yet.

I have so much to write about, it's just finding the time to sit down and do it. Maybe this weekend I will just take an hour or so out of my day and do it. I'd love to do it now; however, I use 2 different computers and all my pictures are on the other computer...of course! I love to use pictures when I blog; it gives a good visual for what I'm blogging about.

On a side note, I realize I never wrote about Olivia's birthday party last MONTH! Oh someday, I'll get caught up.

I hope you're all enjoying the spring temperatures and sunshine (for the most part). I love this time of year!

Until I blog again....take care!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Can you say vacation?

This week is Olivia's spring break from school. I am so excited to be taking the week off with her. It's been a long time since I've had a real vacation.

Monday and Tuesday will be "staycation" days. We'll leave for the St Louis area on Wednesday. We're going to visit my cousin and her family. Although my cousin and I keep in touch, thanks to Facebook, we haven't seen each other in over 9 years. I can't wait to see her and to just simply get away for a few days.

Have you had a vacation lately? If so, did you do anything? Or did you just enjoy the time at home? No matter what, when or how, I hope it was enjoyable.

Due to the fact I'll be gone soon, I will be taking a brief break from the blog world. I'll be back in touch soon, though.

Until then......

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Weekend

Happy Easter to my fellow bloggers.

We colored eggs today. Olivia said she's not too old to color eggs, but she is too old to have her picture taken while doing it (haha). I was able to get pictures before and after the eggs were colored. I think they turned out really nice. Tom and I joined in the fun too!


Tomorrow we'll head to my mom's house to celebrate the holiday. I can't wait to see what she's got planned for dinner. Yummy! No matter what age we kids are, my mom still does Easter baskets/bags for us...and we have to find them. Yes, for all of us, she still hides the goodies.

I hope you have a peaceful weekend.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bieber Fever

Ready or not, here we come!

Tickets went on sale this morning at 10:00 for the Justin Bieber w/Sean Kingston tour. They will be coming in August to Indianapolis and I knew I wanted to try and get tickets. My daughter is obsessed to say the least with Justin Bieber. She definately has BIEBER FEVER.

Ok, so I gave myself a stress headache just trying to make this happen. At first, the computer was showing no tickets available and this was only 2 hours after they went on sale. Oh gosh, I thought. Now what? Well, I'm not one to give up easily so I kept trying. Eventually it appeared there were still some balcony seats available. With Olivia's approval of where the seats were (honestly, she didn't care where we would be sitting, she just wanted to go) I clicked PURCHASE TICKETS. After the necessary steps to make it happen, my purchase was complete. Done deal...we're going to see Justin Bieber.

To see the excitement on Olivia's face and to hear the excitement in her friends voice when I called to say we got the tickets was priceless.

I realize how fast time flies, but for Olivia and Emily it's going to seem like forever between now and August.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I am a sucker for a good deal and sometimes I hit the jackpot. Today I was shopping at Kohl's because they tempted me with a 30% off coupon. While browsing I spotted these cute Simply Vera Wang flats in the clearance section.

To my surprise, they were in my size and marked 90% off. That's right, girlfriends....90% off. And, that was before my extra 30% off. So I got these $59.99 shoes for just about $4.00. I'd say I hit the jackpot, wouldn't you agree?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Award Winner - Happy 101

I am pleased to announce that my friend, Susan awarded me this Happy 101 award. She's a true friend!
In order to feel obliged to receive this award, I need to indicate 10 things that make me happy. She had a great post with pictures and the whole nine yards. I'm doing this post on my new work computer and have absolutely NO pictures downloaded.

Here's my list (in no certain order)....

1) My family

2) My four day work week

3) Cracker Barrel

4) Warm weather desinations - traveling

5) A large diet coke with extra ice from McDonalds

6) Shopping

7) Scrapbooking

8) Watching my niece play softball

9) A clean, uncluttered house

10) Listening to my husband jam on his keyboards

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Irish Eyes and a Giveaway

Happy St. Patrick's Day to my fellow blogging friends!
I'm wearing green today; are you?

Want to win a totally cute Ann Taylor clutch? If so, head over to Stacy Says to enter. Here's a picture just to entice you even more.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My Sweet Olivia

In honor of my daughter's birthday (March 14th), I wanted to post her "through the years" pictures. I can't believe how fast time flies. I love her more each day.


6 Weeks

3 Months

6 Months

9 Months1 Year

18 Months

2 Years

3 Years

4 Years

5 Years

6 Years

7 Years

8 Years

9 Years

10 Years