Tuesday, April 30, 2013

{tune in tuesday} playlist no. 4

The past year is a time when I have experienced the most changes in my life - the good, the bad, the ugly, but mostly the learning. It's amazing how a season can change you.

Here are a collection of songs which convey a message to me in some way. Hope these speak to you, too.

PLAYLIST //
1 | Hard Sun – Eddie Vedder
2 | The Avalanche - Sufjan Stevens
3 | Mountain Sound - Of Monsters And Men
4 | The Cave - Mumford & Sons
5 | Wagon Wheel - Old Crow Medicine Show
6 | In the Middle – Mat Kearney
7 | Without You – Eddie Vedder
8 | Sodom, South Georgia - Iron & Wine
9 | Meet Me In The Morning - Bob Dylan
10 | Won’t Back Down – Mat Kearney
11 | Rooster - Toubab Krewe
12 | Rivers And Roads - The Head And The Heart
13 | Take Me Home, Country Road - John Denver
14 | Tin Man - The Avett Brothers
15 | Falling Away - Benjamin Pacheco
16 | Stubborn Love - The Lumineers
17 | Towers - Bon Iver
18 | When I Go - Brett Dennen
19 | Four Winds - Bright Eyes
20 | Pink Moon - Nick Drake
21 | All The Trees Of The Fields Will Clap Their Hands - Sufjan Stevens
22 | Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap
23 | Mixtape - Tift Merritt
24 | Sing - Travis
25 | Suzanna - The Wildbirds
26 | Can’t Break Her Fall – Mat Kearney
27 | Home - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
28 | Down In The Valley - The Head And The Heart
29 | Winter - Joshua Radin
30 | Mountain And The Sea - Ingrid Michaelson
31 | Flowers In Your Hair - The Lumineers
32 | Awake My Soul – Mumford & Sons

Happy Listening!

Monday, April 29, 2013

pushed too hard




You go through the terrible twos, terrifying threes, frightening fours, fantastic fives and, while you are still exhaling, suddenly your kid is thirteen.

And now you’re no longer just wrangling and manipulating and rounding up, herding him into the clothes he needs to wear, spooning food into his mouth, and pointing him in the direction he needs to go. You are no longer a circus clown, but a counselor/mentor/life coach.

One day you start to get glimpses of who your kids are going to be when they grow up and you wonder how are they going to handle life. And you ask yourself, "What is my role in all of this?"

I am still the nurturer and supporter, yes, but at what point does all that nurture and support go beyond nurture and support and become coddling, enabling even? My child still needs me to praise and reassure him. But he also needs me to nudge and challenge him. What does that look like?

While I'm not looking to raise the next super athlete, polyglot, Pulitzer winner, (okay that last one would be cool) I would like to help my child realize his potential. So when I see what looks to me like laziness and underachievement, my brain struggles how to call it out without being counteractive or wrong. Or without being hurtful. 

Is it really my job to smooth over every hiccup and fear, and unfinished, or underfinished, homework assignment? Is it mean to call a spade a spade?
 
“Don't blame me when you don't get into the college of your choice, because you opted to be a slacker at age 13.”

And how do I distinguish the real concerns from the unnecessary variety? How much of my impatience is based on fear? How much of my judgment is based on my own personal regrets, my own inner self critic: 'You’re not good enough, you were afraid to try hard enough, you should be doing more...?'

How do I know if I am pushing too hard, or not hard enough? Are we all less tolerant of the weaknesses of our own offspring because we want, expect, dream of, more from them?
And are my dreams realistic? I have seen children pushed too hard by their parents, seen them crack and wilt under the relentless pressure. Yet if I don’t push them to push themselves and, honestly, I don’t often, will I regret it? And will my child resent me for it when she gets older and learns to appreciate the power of having someone believe in your enough to push?

I don’t have the answers to any of this. Do you? 

Because I’m sitting here wondering if I said the wrong things last night when I got cross, tired of the excuses, and brazenly told him to stop being lazy and use his brain. And he responded with rolling of the eyes and a stomp up the stairs, with hardly a “goodnight” as we all parted ways for bed.  





Sunday, April 28, 2013

{affiliate} campus book rental [dot] com

I’m old enough to have friends that have kids in college. The biggest complaint is not tuition…it’s textbook buying. Friends, you must remember the days -- the amount we got back from selling back our books always seemed disappointing considering the hundreds of dollars initially forked over. Highway robbery!


If you have textbooks lying around, today is your lucky day! College students…! Parents of college students…! You will seriously appreciate this information! Campus Book Rentals provides a great alternative to normal textbook buyback options. They have cultivated a beneficial new program called Rent Back, which allows you to rent your textbooks from their site for 40-90% off bookstore prices. Additionally, shipping is always free

You may ask yourself “why should I do that when I can sell them back at the end of the semester?” Well, I’ll tell you why! With Rent Back, you can make 2-4 times more money than you would with other buyback options. And what college student couldn’t use some extra cash?!?!

Campus Book Rentals provides a great infographic that explains it all!


My favorite part of all, they donate a part of the proceeds to Operation SmileOperation Smile has provided over 1,000 surgeries just this past year for children with cleft lip. So every time you rent a text book, you are helping provide to this wonderful cause.






there was another life that i might have had… but i’m having this one.

-kazuo ishiguro, remains of the day



Saturday, April 27, 2013

{giveaway} the blog workshop

:: Go from Blogger to Bloggerpreneur ::


You might recall, I wrote about my 1st conference opportunity HERE. As a friendly reminder, I'm sharing it again. And...adding a giveaway for a free blog makeover opportunity. For you won't want to miss this!

The Blog Workshop (TBW) has you covered with this breakthrough blogger event!

The only online conference of its kind, TBW’s Where Blogging Meets Business, will take place May 17 – 19, 2013.You can attend in the comfort of your home. In your pajamas, should you so wish!

Awesome, right?!?


Sessions include (but not limited to):
  • Blogging basics
  • Preparing for advertising
  • Pitching to brands/advertisers/sponsors
  • Monetizing your blogging efforts
  • How to build relationships with media
Conference cost: $175

(discount code: TBW25NATST gives my readers $25 off registration. PayPal accepted. But don't delay...ticket sales end May 10th. 

 

  

>> REGISTER HERE <<


 

>> REGISTER HERE <<



Scholarship Program: High school Seniors or Recent Grads can get $500, Admission to the Conference & A Blog Post Featuring you & your Blog.  How cool is that!  If you’re interested you can apply here: http://theblogworkshop.com/scholarship/

Grant Program:  Bloggers can get $500 or more, Free admission to The Blog Workshop & A Blog Post featuring you & your Blog.  You can see requirements & apply here: http://theblogworkshop.com/grant/

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rules: **Must** be a blogger or vlogger to be eligible. At least 18 years old, WW. Blog MUST be self-hosted. Enter the contest (Note: Your site must be "family friendly." No illegal, violent, adult-content, etc.) Choose whatever challenges you want to gain "entries." Allow your information (avatar, web site link, etc.) for publicity/testimonial for The Blog Workshop and co-founder and sponsor sites. This promotion is not endorsed, sponsored, administered or associated with Facebook and all details entered are sent to the promoter, not Facebook. *The blog makeover will not include e-commerce solutions.*  (Please note blog makeovers will be completed after the conference, but by the end of July.)


Any additional queries? Hop over to the FAQs page to learn more about the course, and whether or not it’s right for you. 





Friday, April 26, 2013

what you are made of




For most of my adult years, it’s been all about survival.  Surviving a brutal first marriage. Surviving long workdays as single mother. Surviving skin cancer.  Surviving losses of lives loved. Surviving  miscarriages.  But just “surviving” is no way to live.  At times I was hanging by a thread.

But about 5 years ago, a complete stranger, but someone of an angel, shared with me her new outlook on life and how it changed her worth entirely. I SLOWLY began applying everything I learned from this brief encounter, and my life could not have taken a more complete turn. I am still so amazed that I had the power within me to change like that & to actually become a happier person. I figured out then that there is NOTHING better in this life than knowing what you are made of.  Literally nothing.

I knew early on that what I possess needs to be shared. Writing this blog has been one of the most joyful things I’ve ever done. I love it. I can’t get enough of it. I wish I didn’t have to sleep so that I could respond to more emails and write more posts!

I receive many kind emails and comments…thankfully.  One reader going through a very difficult time once wrote: “A few days ago, my husband said, ‘What changed in you?’  So I showed him your blog and said, ‘That’s what’s changed. I’ve found someone who is encouraging me to love more, be kinder, be more helpful, even when life is hard.’”

Could there be any better words to hear?  I knew I was doing exactly what I should be doing with this blog. Because maybe you are me 5 years ago, and you need someone to show you a new perspective, just like someone showed me.

I’ve encountered a lot of same challenging experiences that you are. But I’ve also experienced deliverance in ways I never knew was possible.  My husband and I have learned how to be really, really happy & at peace no matter what our circumstances might be.  In sharing these perspectives with you, I hope this blog can be a great resource for anyone interested.  If I can be of inspiration to just one fellow woman, this effort will be worth it.





Thursday, April 25, 2013

{affiliate post} white cloud diapers



I recently had a delightful opportunity to join Houston area mommy bloggers for a get-together, kindly hosted by Formula Mom. I was thrilled to be able to meet her and she was just wonderful. One of the nicest people I have ever met, so down to earth. We watched our children play, with plenty of toys and snacks to keep them entertained, while we moms indulged in some much-needed comparing of mommy notes. I owe all my ingenious tactics to other moms!
We gathered together to discuss and share with one another our experience with White Cloud diapers. The group was unanimously in agreement that White Cloud diapers offer comfortable protection for our babes at a price that doesn’t break the bank. While there is nothing generic in the quality of White Cloud diapers, they are competively priced and can be found at your local Wal-Mart stores.

I'm not typically a brand snob.  With diapering, I find that I’m loyal to what works well with the cheapest price, whatever the brand.  With that, however, I have to be honest and tell you that I had never used White Could Diapers before.  I presumed they would not meet my standards, and boy did I walk away that day feeling better informed about my options. Since the event, I’ve been using White Cloud diapers with our 1-year old (size 3), and I admit…I’m impressed. They look and feel just like their name brand competitors, with a much lower price tag.  Most importantly, to me, they are cottony soft, fragrance free, hypo-allergenic and consist of stretchy sides that make for a perfect fit. The smaller sized (newborn-2) have an extra soft quilted inner liner that will help keep messes under control. Additionally, these sizes have a built in wetness indicator for convenience. See, all the amenities of the diapers you have grown to love! 


Diapering can be one of the biggest expenses in a family’s weekly budget and a great performing diaper is a must-have for parents.  In order to make this affordable, Wal-Mart has reintroduced their premium line of White Cloud diapers to address the needs of today’s busy parents.

White Cloud Diapers provide your baby the highest quality diaper with superior leakage protection, exceptional softness and great fit.  White Cloud Diapers are available exclusively at Wal-mart, where you can find low prices everyday on all your family’s needs.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of #WhiteCloudDiapers.





{link up} linkin' with the ladies

Thursday blog hop

238 AND GROWING!

Welcome to week #12 of the "Linkin with my ladies" Thursday Hop!

This is the place where blogs go to grow!

Link up your girly blogs AND your Bloglovin page!

Come and join our new Google + community! It's called "The Newbie Bloggers Club" And it's not just for new bloggers! To find out what its all about,

Click Here

Meet This Weeks Featured Blogger!

Lorna from "Life with RA is a pain"

Featured blogger

Visit Lorna's blog for a dose of inspiration!

http://lifewithraisapain.com

Our Bloglovin addition has found a permanent home

Follow on Bloglovin

we encourage you to link up your Bloglovin URL in the Linky tool below our regular linky today. PLEASE LINK UP YOUR BLOGLOVIN URL! Use your blog's URL to link up in our regular linky. You can participate in both!

On to the hop!

Thursday blog hop

[pinit]

Here are the rules:

1. Follow your Host and Co-hosts

2. If you would grab our hop button from the sidebar and display it on your blog we would truly appreciate it!

3. Tweet this hop!

4. If you're new, leave a comment so we can follow you back!

5. Follow those who are kind enough to follow you

Meet our Lovely April Co-host team!

DYSFUNCTION JUNCTION (HOST)

All My Happy Endings

Marriage With A Baby Carriage

Words with Let Del Mar

The Blog Hangout

The Wondering Brain

Exciting News!

We will be featuring a blogger from the previous weeks link up every week! Would you like your blog to be Featured at our hop? Follow the rules and tune in every week to see if your blog has been featured!

If you love our hops, you can always add our linky to your blog!

Click HERE to get the InLinkz code for your blog!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

blogger event sign up!


Kerry from Ohsoamelia is currently looking for bloggers to participate in another cash giveaway! After many previous group giveaways which have been such a success such as the $500 cash giveaway which had over 80,000 entries she has decided to host another amazing giveaway for you lovely lot! The giveaway will go live at the end of May (date to be confirmed). You don't want to miss out on this one!

Read below for details
PRIZE: Not confirmed yet but roughly $300-$500 depending on how many sign up
DATE: Will be confirmed soon 
WORLDWIDE!!

FEES:
1 link = $5 (Facebook or Twitter ONLY) 
2 links = $10 
3 links = $15 
CO-HOST = $20 (This includes a Host Page / 4 links in the rafflecopter and more!)

HOW TO SIGN UP: 
- Fill out this form
- Repost this post! (copy and paste into your own post)
- Send payment to ohsoamelia@gmail.com
- Kindly mention that ALL MY HAPPY ENDINGS referred you

Referral prize of $25 for the most referred blogger: Re-post this event and get other bloggers to mention you when signing up.

* Sign up period will close once we have reached the total prize amount.
*The total giveaway cash amount depends on how many bloggers sign up.
*All money is used in the giveaway ONLY (no admin fees)

SIGN UP HERE


 :: Additionally, don't miss this group session over at Westover Manor about Spring inspiration ::





Tuesday, April 23, 2013

{guest post} homemade nature bags

Hi there! As you know, I've been vacationing with family for the past several days -- my littles are experiencing Disney World for the first time! I can't wait to share our experiences with you upon my return. In the interim, I have some really wonderful guests submitting posts in my absence. 

I’d like to introduce to you, Connie, author of Momma of Dos, where Connie is cultivating her dream as a parenting/lifestyle blogger. I met Connie, recently, at a blogging event where I was the newbie -- I knew no one -- and Connie helped me feel right at home. She has a remarkable knack for making a person feel comfortable and important. Please help me welcome the sweetest of souls, Connie...

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


As I mentioned the other day, one of my biggest challenges as a fairly new Stay@HomeMomma is keeping my 3 & 1/2 and 2 year old busy....


picnic and activities 2013 103

From the moment my children wake up at around 7 am, sometimes earlier, sometimes later, they are little chunks of energy. They do not sit still and they are curious about it all. As a Momma I have house chores and long to-do list every morning. I have to find ways to keep the kids busy as well as ways to burn up all that mental and physical energy that they build up with only about 6 hours of sleep every night... 

The other day I was sitting on my computer and watching the kids in the yard when my son walked up to me with a leaf and said "Mom, what's this?" I told him it was a leaf and a part of nature... it usually opens up millions of possibilities in his growing and learning brain, naturally he came back in with grass and rocks, so I gave him and his Sister a plastic bag and sent them on an adventure to seek out "Nature". They found some pretty cool things, right in our backyard and I as I finished one post and wrapped up their afternoon activity, I got an idea for a new post....

"How to make your own Nature Bags"... 

It's not difficult at all! You need 3 basic things:

1. A Zip Lock bag, any size is good. 
2. A Marker to give your bag a date and name 
3. The great and awesome outdoors! 

Then on a recent trip to Lake Charles, Louisiana, to visit my Dad, we did the same thing as the kids explored my Dad's backyard and all the different flowers growing in nature. I have a feeling this is the beginning of something much bigger than just one afternoon with nothing to do.... 


naturebags2013

I don't believe in making anything too complicated or over thinking things, I think simple and sincere is best.

Enjoy!!
 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
 
Connie Gomez is a Momma of Dos toddlers; a 3 &1/2 and 2 year old and Wife to one hard working Daddy! Houston Native. Creator & Writer@Momma of Dos!  You may read more about her here: // blog // facebook // and twitter //

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