Ting's Mom

Friday, August 22, 2014

Google+ The Ultimate Party

This month I am a co-host for The Ultimate Party on Google+!

Every week +Tammy Doiel from The Ultimate Linky, +Tammy A from My Life Abundant, +Kim P from KidPep, and +Amanda Paxton from Old House to New House are the hosts of this party.

This month the three cohosts for the party are +Margaret Tidwell from The World as I See It, +Karen Weido from Ting's Mom and Ting's Mom's Books, and +Nicole Johnson from Or Whatever You Do.

Has the first week of school worn anyone else out? I'm exhausted and I'm not even in school, haha! Let's end this week the right way. Get linked up, and I look forward to checking out everyone's posts.

Here are some reasons why doing a G+ party on Friday is The Ultimate Party:

  1. Posting on G+ helps with SEO optimization.
  2. Posting on G+ helps your posts get ranked higher in Google's search engine.
  3. Friday is supposed to be the best time for interaction on G+, specifically between 11a.m. - 2 p.m. and 7 - 10 p.m. The linky will remain open until 8 p.m. Please link up as early as possible so that you get the most interaction on your posts.
  4. To help you gain more followers on G+.
  5. To interact with and to get to know other bloggers. For most parties you follow people but never interact. Here you get to see who has the same interests/niche as you do!
  6. BECAUSE IT'S FUN!! Why do a party if it isn't going to be fun?
The Ultimate Party on G+--grow your circles; get your posts boosted!  #theultimateparty

Here is a little extra information for this party:

  1. You can follow our G+ page (The Ultimate Party) if you want to see our updates. We also send out an event invitation to everyone who follows the page. So please follow it to get a reminder.
  2. If you wish, you can follow our Pinterest board called The Ultimate Party where all of your hosts can pin your great posts.
  3. Optional: You can include your pin URL that coincides with your post on G+ so that others can pin it if they want to do so. If you repin the pin, please try to remember to include the hashtag #theultimateparty in the pin description.
  4. We would love it if you grabbed our button!
The Ultimate Linky


If you would like to be considered to be a co-host, please contact Tammy from The Ultimate Linky HERE or let us know on The Ultimate Party Google+ page

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ting Goes to Kindergarten

Last week was the big day - Back to School!!

First Day of School | #kindergarten #preschool #school

My kids have been going to the same school since there were born, so it hasn't been a huge adjustment for either of them. But, we built up the first day of Kindergarten and really tried to make it into a big deal for Ting. We shopped for school supplies and I made a big deal of getting everything packed up for the first day.

Last Wednesday I made the trip all the way to school (I typically meet my mother-in-law half way and trade off the kids) and helped get them both settled into their classrooms.

First Day of School | #kindergarten #preschool #school

I can't believe Ting is already old enough to be in Kindergarten. She is already so smart, and I know she is going to be great. She has her friends in her class and they learn something new every single day.

Now this boy! Bug is in preschool. He is the youngest in his class this year, but I'm sure that won't stop him from being a handful, haha. He loves his "fins" (friends) so much and is so excited every morning to go see them.

First Day of School | #kindergarten #preschool #school

Here's to a great school year for everyone!


 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Karen Weido

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hassle-free Shopping with Walgreens Paperless Coupons

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

When I shop, I love to look for great deals. I browse online and in papers, and try to clip coupons as much as possible. But when I head to the store with both kids, my list, my purse, and everything spinning in my mind, the last thing I want to do is keep up with a stack of clipped coupons.

Then Walgreens came in and saved the day! I have been a member of Walgreens Balance Rewards for a long time now. The Walgreens app is amazing for keeping up with everything connected to my Walgreens account, and now they have introduced their #WalgreensPaperless Coupons.

Hassle-free Shopping with Walgreens Paperless Coupons | #ad #walgreenspaperless #collectivebias

So how does this work? I'm so glad you asked! First you log into your Walgreens app and find the new "Weekly Ad & Coupons" graphic. Click on it and you see all the current coupons. Click to "clip" the coupon. You're done. How easy was that!!

Hassle-free Shopping with Walgreens Paperless Coupons | #ad #walgreenspaperless #collectivebias

Anyone who knows me knows that I am pretty much addicted to beauty products and cosmetics. Walgreens just happens to be my favorite place to shop for new makeup looks and products. Just check out this selection that greets you as soon as you walk in the door. I could literally spend hours just browsing this one wall.

Hassle-free Shopping with Walgreens Paperless Coupons | #ad #walgreenspaperless #collectivebias

August is a great month for beauty coupons because many of my favorite brands and products had coupons available for them. I was able to pick up new two eye shadow colors, a new nail polish, and an eye liner I've been wanting to try. I even got some new polish remover for my frequent nail polish changes.

Hassle-free Shopping with Walgreens Paperless Coupons | #ad #walgreenspaperless #collectivebias

Using my coupons was as easy as doing something I do every single time I visit Walgreens - I handed the cashier my key card and he scanned it. (Note, you can also apply your coupons by typing in your phone number on the key pad, or letting the cashier scan the bar code on your phone) With one scan of my card my coupons were applied and all my other member options were activated. I was so excited when I got my receipt and had a total savings of 16%.

As soon as I got home I painted my nails with this gorgeous color I found. I love it and think it is perfect for an end of summer manicure.

Hassle-free Shopping with Walgreens Paperless Coupons | #ad #walgreenspaperless #collectivebias

And what will I do with all those savings?? I think I see a date night with the Hubby in my future. With all the savings I'll be doing at Walgreens now, maybe we can have date night more often!

Thank you #CollectiveBias for teaching me all about the new Walgreens Paperless Coupons. I'll be a money-saving mommy for sure!

 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Friday, August 15, 2014

This month I am a co-host for The Ultimate Party on Google+!

Every week +Tammy Doiel from The Ultimate Linky, +Tammy A from My Life Abundant, +Kim P from KidPep, and +Amanda Paxton from Old House to New House are the hosts of this party.

This month the three cohosts for the party are +Margaret Tidwell from The World as I See It, +Karen Weido from Ting's Mom and Ting's Mom's Books, and +Nicole Johnson from Or Whatever You Do.

Are y'all having fun with this link-up yet? I sure am. I've found some great bloggers, and some even greater posts full of ideas for my family. I hope you will link up and search that hashtag. You never know what you will find!

Here are some reasons why doing a G+ party on Friday is The Ultimate Party:

  1. Posting on G+ helps with SEO optimization.
  2. Posting on G+ helps your posts get ranked higher in Google's search engine.
  3. Friday is supposed to be the best time for interaction on G+, specifically between 11a.m. - 2 p.m. and 7 - 10 p.m. The linky will remain open until 8 p.m. Please link up as early as possible so that you get the most interaction on your posts.
  4. To help you gain more followers on G+.
  5. To interact with and to get to know other bloggers. For most parties you follow people but never interact. Here you get to see who has the same interests/niche as you do!
  6. BECAUSE IT'S FUN!! Why do a party if it isn't going to be fun?
The Ultimate Party on G+--grow your circles; get your posts boosted!  #theultimateparty

Here is a little extra information for this party:

  1. You can follow our G+ page (The Ultimate Party) if you want to see our updates. We also send out an event invitation to everyone who follows the page. So please follow it to get a reminder.
  2. If you wish, you can follow our Pinterest board called The Ultimate Party where all of your hosts can pin your great posts.
  3. Optional: You can include your pin URL that coincides with your post on G+ so that others can pin it if they want to do so. If you repin the pin, please try to remember to include the hashtag #theultimateparty in the pin description.
  4. We would love it if you grabbed our button!
The Ultimate Linky

If you would like to be considered to be a co-host, please contact Tammy from The Ultimate Linky HERE or let us know on The Ultimate Party Google+ page

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Vacation Eats

I love going on vacation for many reasons. One of those reasons is all the fun we get to have with our family (and you can read all about that in this post). But another reason I love vacation is getting to check out new places to eat. One of the things that I think makes a vacation great is seeking out restaurants we don't have at home and giving them a try.

Unfortunately I don't have a ton of photos to share. I was busy chasing kids and enjoying the good food. But I've got links all through this so you can check out the menus for yourself and (hopefully) find a location near you.

On our way down, Hubby pulled up Yelp and started looking for something along our route. We knew we would be hungry around the Sulphur Springs area, so that is where we searched. We decided on Bodacious Bar-B-Q. Hubby had actually heard of this before but never tried it. We got there around 6pm on a Tuesday night and there was only one other table of people. However, there was a steady stream of take-out orders while we were there. We got a combination of chopped beef and ribs and split it between the four of us. The BBQ was excellent, but the mashed potatoes were out of this world! The wait staff was also great helping us out with getting kids, food, and drinks to the table.

For lunch on Wednesday we took the kids to the 99 cent CiCi's Pizza buffet. We don't have one in our area and it was my first time at CiCi's. I like it!

Wednesday evening we again started looking for a place to eat with all 11 of us. Again, we turned to Yelp and found The Jalapeno Tree. Apparently this is well-known in east Texas but we had never heard of it. The staff was quick to get a table for all of us, and the atmosphere was perfect for a family with five kids aged five and under. The food - Amazing! I had the Bo Diddly, which was fish, shrimp, rice, and a sauce. I ate every last bite even those I was full about half way through.

Vacation Eats | #familyvaca2014 #goodeats #vacationfood

We enjoyed The Jalapeno Tree so much that we ate at the one in Athens on Saturday. I had quesadillas that day and they were equally delicious.

On Friday, after our trip to the fishery, we found the Old West Steakhouse in Athens. They had a buffet that afternoon that had both seafood and good-eating food. I ate all seafood and had a salad. The staff was great with all our kids and even gave us a special price on the younger ones. This steakhouse has a very old feel and looks like something out of a western movie. The food was good and the price was right. I would recommend it if you're ever in the area.

Vacation Eats | #familyvaca2014 #goodeats #vacationfood

Saturday night we had IHOP in Shreveport. No, this is not a new place for us, but we don't have one nearby so it's always a treat. I love, love, love french toast from IHOP so I was thrilled to have this little treat.

On Sunday we ate at Joe's. Again, not a new place but one of my very favorites (I love seafood if you can't tell). I had seafood stuffed shrimp wrapped in bacon over rice. It came with a Tabasco butter sauce that was so good.

Vacation Eats | #familyvaca2014 #goodeats #vacationfood

So yay for vacation food! We found some good eats that made our vacation great.




 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Karen Weido

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Family Vacation 2014

Once a year we get together with Hubby's family for our annual family vacation. What started out as six adults in a tiny cabin has now become 11 people (and one on the way - not me by the way) in a large lake house. Our group keeps growing, and so does the fun.

Our family of four headed out on Tuesday evening to meet the rest of the family at Cedar Creek Lake in Texas.

Family Vacation 2014 | #familyvaca2014 #cedarcreeklake #familyfun

This year we rented this lake house that we found online. The pictures on this listing do not come close to doing this house justice. It was absolutely beautiful and perfect for our family. We arrived Tuesday night, and my brother-in-law's family arrived late that night. My in-laws had arrived earlier in the day.

Wednesday and Thursday was spent just hanging out at the house and letting the kids play. My father-in-law and brother-in-law did a LOT of fishing at Purtis Creek State Park. On Thursday night we all went out to do some fishing as well.

Family Vacation 2014 | #familyvaca2014 #cedarcreeklake #familyfun

The kids did a little casting but spent most of the time playing on the playground at the state park. I did catch two small fish, but I got bored pretty quickly - as usual!

Family Vacation 2014 | #familyvaca2014 #cedarcreeklake #familyfun

On Friday we headed to Athens to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. My father-in-law had found it online and it turned out to be a great place for our family. Our day there started with a dive show that featured a diver in a huge tank feeding fish and telling about all the fish in there. Then we got a tram tour of the hatcheries that are used to raise bass for Texas lakes. The kids (big kids included) also got to do a little fishing in the casting pond. Look at the size of the catfish in this tank!

Family Vacation 2014 | #familyvaca2014 #cedarcreeklake #familyfun

Our family vacation ended on Sunday. On our way home, Hubby and I stopped in Shreveport with our kids for the night. We let the kids swim in the pool and then we spent Sunday shopping at the Louisiana Boardwalk. They had some great sales and we got a jump start on some fall clothes for the kids. My kids did attempt to destroy a shoe store, so they got banished to the shelves, haha!

Family Vacation 2014 | #familyvaca2014 #cedarcreeklake #familyfun

I think we had one of the best vacations yet, and I was so sad to come back to reality. But, this wasn't all the goodness we found on vacation. Come back to the blog tomorrow and I'm going to be telling you all about our "Vacation Eats".



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Karen Weido

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Teaching Kids Essential Lessons {Book Review}

I am a Tommy Mommy Blogger and receive monthly products from Tommy Nelson in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Little Critter is back in our house and this time with two essential lessons that my kids really need to learn.

Essential Lessons for Kids | #tommymommy #thomasnelson #littlecritter #sponsored

In the first book we received this month, Being Thankful, Little Critter spends all his time wishing he had what everyone else has, or doing what everyone else is doing. This book hit home because this has become such an issue with Ting lately. She is always telling me what her friends are doing, what they are wearing, what they have at their house to play with. We find ourselves constantly telling her that she has so much to be thankful for and that she should appreciate what she has. But what five year old really understands all that??

In this book, Little Critter learns that he really does have so much to be thankful for. God has given us all so much and this book is the perfect way to start a discussion with young kids about what they have.

In We All Need Forgiveness, Little Critter learns a very important lesson about forgiveness. After being mean to all his friends he figures that no one will want to play with him anymore. He is so happy when he finds out that is not the case. Again, he is reminded that God has forgiven us and He tells us to forgive each other. With my kids in always-fighting mode lately, forgiveness is something we need around this house!

Essential Lessons for Kids | #tommymommy #thomasnelson #littlecritter #sponsored

Books are one of the things that my kids bond over, and I just love to watch Ting "read" to Bug when they are playing together. I can't wait for a few months from now when she can actually read the words in the book, but it is fun to listen to her make up the story in the meantime.

As always, you can purchase both these book from the Thomas Nelson site or look for them wherever children's books are sold.

 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Karen Weido