Ting's Mom

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Gratitude Challenge

Do you ever feel like your kids complain a lot? Maybe you find yourself complaining quite a bit too?

A few weeks ago we were late getting in the car for school, and as we headed down the road I noticed that Ting had nothing but negative coming out of her mouth. And she was crying on top of that. I decided I had enough and started a little a morning tradition.

The Gratitude Challenge | #kids #routines #kidactivities

Each morning as we pull onto the highway, my kids know what to expect. Everyone in the car is required to come up with three things they are grateful for at that moment. It is amazing what a little reminder of the things we have can turn around some attitudes - even at my kids' young ages.

When we first started, Ting was trying to be very deep and profound. I had to explain that we can be grateful for the little things in life also. We can be grateful for something as small as a car to drive us where we need to go.

Of course, Ting has to help Bug come up with his thankful things, but each morning we all have three things to be grateful for.

So what are some of the things I've heard the past few weeks? We are grateful for:

  • Jobs
  • School
  • Grandparents
  • Swing sets
  • Swimming Pools
  • Houses
  • Lunch in our lunchboxes
  • Friends to play with
  • Jobs to go go

Our list has grown quite long, and I love it. If you're having trouble with some attitudes at your house, why not try The Gratitude Challenge.

 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Supporting Arkansas: AWBU Style

One of the things I've developed since being a part of Arkansas Women Bloggers is a sincere passion for Arkansas companies. Arkansas doesn't always have a good reputation compared to the other 49 states, but there are some amazing things happening in this state I proudly call home.

Stephanie (our fearless leader) has instilled in us bloggers an appreciation for the companies in Arkansas. In return, Arkansas companies have taken a huge interest in Arkansas Women Bloggers and are supporting us in ways beyond belief. So today, I want to tell you about a few Arkansas companies that took interest in being a sponsor for the fourth annual Arkansas Women Bloggers University.

Supporting Arkansas: AWBU Style | #arkansas #awbu #blogconference #sponsors

Kendal King Group - Basically, if you've seen a retail display in your favorite store, you've probably seen their work. They produce retail marketing for some of the biggest brands in the country. Our swag bag included Hard Candy makeup, Kleenex tissues, and much more. They provided Keurig machines for the hospitality room. You get the picture.

Riceland - Did you know that over half the WORLD's rice is grown right here in Arkansas? Seriously! Riceland is owned by the farmers that produce the rice that lands on our dinner tables each night. And this is a company that has a passion for what they do. Head over to their website and watch the videos about the farmers that are feeding our planet. But get your tissues ready - you're going to need them.

Great Day Farms - I was introduced to Great Day Farms at last year's conference, and have even been fortunate to do a couple sponsored posts for them. After learning about the service mission of this company, and hearing from it's top executive, I vowed to never buy a brand other than Great Day Farms. When I purchase Great Day Farms eggs, I know I'm getting a good product. And I know I'm supporting people and causes right here in Arkansas.

Petit Jean Meats - If you live in Arkansas, you know Petit Jean Meats is one of the prides of our state. And if you've ever had their bacon, you'll never be satisfied with any other bacon again! I'm honored to be a Blue Diamond Club Blogger for Petit Jean Meats, and even more honored to serve their meat products to my family. The entire family gets excited when we come home and find one of their boxes at the back door. If you can't find them in your local grocery store, you can always go online and have products delivered to your door.

Visit Rogers - I've visited Rogers, Arkansas exactly twice in my life. Both were thanks to the folks at Visit Rogers. These people understand the impact us bloggers can have, and they support us in so many ways. I won a free night in Rogers, so I'm planning to be back!

Taste Arkansas - Farm Bureau believes in AR Bloggers so much, they have us contributing regularly on the Taste Arkansas blog. A mission to connect farmers and producers to the consumers, the Taste Arkansas site features recipes, farm family stories, kitchen tips, and so much more. Go check it out.

Arkansas Grown - An initiative to help buyers connect with Arkansas producers. Helping get Arkansas products in everyone's hands. Next time you are looking for a farmers' market, check them out.

Alliance Rubber - I had no idea there was a rubber band company in Arkansas! Located in Hot Springs, Alliance Rubber is producing more than just your standard rubber bands. Their products range from cord organizer bands, to grip bands, to fashionable wrist bands. I'm hoping to get to tour their company soon and bring you even more information.

I.O. Metro - Beautiful, beautiful furniture. The Rogers location was gracious enough to let us bloggers roam around their immaculate store room... while eating snacks! I found something for every room in my house. I'm sure the Hubby is glad I wasn't traveling in a vehicle big enough for furniture.

Acorn Influence - You've heard me talk about the blog-celebrities that I had built up on my mind, and then at my first conference they were nice, normal people who made me feel included? Stephanie is one of those ladies and I am so proud of the work she is doing. Acorn Influence is working to bring brands and bloggers together, but in a more authentic way. I'm looking forward to working with them in the future.

Wet-Naps - So technically not an Arkansas company, but they are sold exclusively in Walmart, so... Wet-Naps were originally introduced as part of the spork package you get a Kentucky Fried Chicken. They come in canisters, packs, or individuals, and if you have kids. You need some.

Yarnell's - Ice Cream. Need I say more? We lost Yarnell's for a few months a while back, but tummies everywhere are happy to have them back in our freezers. Everyone has their favorite, but I'm a Homemade Vanilla kind of girl.

So please, take some time to go check out these amazing companies, and give them as much support as you can.

 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Monday, September 15, 2014

Random Weekend Update

I'm sure you came here looking for news about my kids.  They go to school. We come home, eat, bathe, and go to bed. So exciting,  huh?!

We did have some amazing weather this weekend. We got to play outside quite a bit on Saturday and my kids loved it.

Our county fair is this week. Parade is this afternoon and then fun all week. We will take the kids one night and let them ride a few rides.

I am a very impatient person when I'm trying to shop with my kids. But Hubby took Ting to buy some pants this weekend and everyone came home happy. May have to add that to his things to do list.

Hubby hung a clothes rack in my laundry room a couple weeks ago. It's life changing (it's the little things y'all).

I've decided to grow out my bangs. I don't love them like I used to, and they mostly just get on my nerves. Now I just have to make myself not trim them when they get in my eyes.

I've got an awesome giveaway from vTech here on the blog on Thursday. If you have little ones, you definitely want to check it out.

Speaking of giveaways... Do you like entering blog giveaways? If so, you need to check out The Ultimate Giveaway List. She sends out an email each day with 25 blog giveaways. (And she didn't ask me to tell you that, I just love getting the emails). You can click here to get on the list.

I hope you all have a great week!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Febreze Fall Home Harvest Collection

This post is sponsored by Febreze and SheSpeaks. I received complimentary product in order to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.

Fall. Is. Coming.

I don't know about everyone else, but Fall is my most favorite season of the year. Football games are on my TV, leaves are turning brown and orange, everyone brings out their sweaters and boots, and the scents turn to hints of nuts, spices, and woods.

I have been using Febreze products in my home for as long as I have been a home owner, so I was excited when this amazing box arrived at my house.

Febreze Fall Home Harvest Collection | #sponsored #febrezefall #walmart #shespeaks

Isn't that the cutest thing you've ever seen!

Febreze has a limited edition Home Harvest Collection this Fall just for Walmart customers. I've been noticing the Fall scents slowing showing up at my local store, so I couldn't wait to try these scents out for myself.

Febreze Fall Home Harvest Collection | #sponsored #febrezefall #walmart #shespeaks

My box came with Toasted Almonds, Vanilla Latte, and Autumn Harvest products. Let me tell y'all - all of these smell amazing! I refuse to put my Fall scents out before Fall actually arrives, but I can assure you that all of these products will be in use on September 21.

My box also had another fun surprise in it - a Fall inspiration box. The box contains recipes, activities and home decor inspirations that will get your entire life all ready for the Fall season. And there are also these fun accessories for the Home Harvest barn. My kids are having so much fun playing with this set.

Febreze Fall Home Harvest Collection | #sponsored #febrezefall #walmart #shespeaks

So I want to hear from you. Do you love Fall? What is your favorite thing about Fall? And what is your favorite Fall scent?

And don't forget to head to your local Walmart to pick up your own Febreze Fall Home Harvest Collection items. Hurry! They are only for a limited time.

 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Blogging with Friends

This past weekend I loaded up in a car with four other blogging ladies from my corner of the state and we headed to the Arkansas Women Bloggers annual conference. It was my third time to attend this conference that I have fallen so deeply in love with.

Arkansas Women Bloggers University | #awbu #blogconference #swarbloggers

I've written in past years about this AR Women Bloggers conference (AWBU) and all that it has done for my blogging life. But this year was about so much more than just blogging.

Sure I learned a lot about the blogging world. I learned about the importance of branding. I got some coding knowledge tucked into my brain. I learned about blogging as a business. I even spent some time getting educated about the world of vlogging.

As usual, I left the conference full of confidence and inspiration, and ready to put all my new knowledge to use right away. But I also left this conference with the memories of a weekend I will not soon forget.

Arkansas Women Bloggers University | #awbu #blogconference #swarbloggers

When I loaded up in Jessica's car on Friday morning, the other four women in that vehicle were just that - four other women who happen to blog and also live in my part of the world. Over the course of five hours in the car we told stories about ourselves. We talked about our children and our families. We expressed our expectations for the weekend, enjoyed a couple laughs, and got to know each other.

Arkansas Women Bloggers University | #awbu #blogconference #swarbloggers

We ended up spending three days together this weekend. I laughed louder and harder than I have in a very long time. I laughed until I cried, and I laughed until I could hardly catch my breath. We told stories from deep down in our hearts about struggles we go through in our lives. We found out we have so much in common other than just blogging. We all met other people over the weekend, but we all kept gravitating back to each other.

On Sunday night I told everyone good-bye and got into my own vehicle to head home. But I came home knowing that I gained so much more than just blogging education this weekend. I came home knowing that I have four other women in this area that I can truly call a friend. Four other women that I made a deep connection with this weekend. And four other women that I can't wait to hang out with again.

I'll have more posts about the conference in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, go meet my friends: Jessica, Alicia, Jennifer, Sheila

 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Thursday, September 4, 2014

AR Women Bloggers University

It's finally arrived. The weekend I look forward to all year long. The Arkansas Women Bloggers University conference!

AR Women Bloggers University | #awbu #blogconference #arwb #swarbloggers

I discovered the AR Women Bloggers in early 2012 and attended my first conference that same year. That was the weekend that changed my blogging life. Since that time I have formed friendships with so many women across the state. I get so excited every year when I get to spend three days seeing them in real life, getting inspired by them, and learning all the latest and greatest about the blogging world.

This year we are headed to Rogers, Arkansas. This will be my second time to visit Rogers and I'm so excited. I'm road-tripping with four other women from our corner of the state and I'm looking forward to getting to know them better as well.

Of course, it wouldn't be a blogger conference without sponsors and I'm really about many of the companies we will be making contact with this weekend.

AR Women Bloggers University | #awbu #blogconference #arwb #swarbloggers
Graphic used with permission from The Women Bloggers

And of course, we will ALL be online - everywhere! So if you can't make the conference (or if you just want to see what we are up to all weekend) follow along online. Conference attendees will be online on all social media channels under the hashtag #AWBU. My two favorite places to hangout are Twitter and Instagram (@tingsmom for both) so look me up as well!

 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Karen W

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Rhea Lana Fall/Winter Haul

I've said it before, but I'll say it again - I love the Rhea Lana's consignment sale. I've been shopping our local event since it got started in 2010. I pretty much wait until the sale each season to purchase all my kids' clothes, and then supplement from other places for whatever else they need.

Rhea Lana Fall/Winter Haul | #rhealana #consignmentsale #kidsclothes #bargains

This is a unique year for us because both my kids had zero fall/winter clothes in their closets. Both of them have changed sizes since last year, so we are starting from scratch on their wardrobes for the upcoming season. (Luckily they both wear uniforms to school five days a week, so that makes their need a little less)

I always complain that it is so much harder to shop for boys clothes than girls clothes, but this year's sale turned out to be an exception for me. I was able to get Bug his entire fall/winter wardrobe. I even found a new pair of tennis shoes. The only thing I still need to get him is a coat.

Rhea Lana Fall/Winter Haul | #rhealana #consignmentsale #kidsclothes #bargains

Ting was a little harder this year. As she gets bigger, the selection seems to get smaller at the sale. But I was still able to find her several dresses she can wear to church, and several tops. I even found her a cute pair of Gap jeans that I plan to convert into a skirt. I just need to find her some bottoms and a coat for the coming weather.

Rhea Lana Fall/Winter Haul | #rhealana #consignmentsale #kidsclothes #bargains

All of that above is name brand stuff like Gap, Gymboree, OshKosh, Children's Place, and more. And I only paid $137 for the whole haul!


I haven't even mentioned the best part of the Rhea Lana sale yet! This year I consigned all the kids' fall/winter clothes from previous years. As of the writing of this post (and I'll update when the sale is over) I've made $331. Sweet!

Do you shop consignment sales in your area? What's your favorite part?

 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Karen W