Category Archives: 1stopmom

2016: Our Year In Review

2016 is almost over. I thought it would be fun to share what we did throughout the year. It is always fun to look back at the memories.

I took the younger kids on our first trip without my Husband at the beginning of the year. We took the Megabus to Minneapolis. We were able to escape cabin fever as guests of the Radisson Blu Hotel.

radisson blu hanging chair

We experienced a lot of firsts on this trip. It was our first time visiting the Mall of America and travelling on the Megabus. We ate lots of great food and had a great time. I am hoping we can go back in 2017 as a family.

My second oldest daughter, Savannah turned 18. It is hard to believe I am the parent of two adults! It seems like it was just yesterday she was the little baby who was full of sass and never wanted to lead my side.

savannah birthday

Kayla graduated from 8th grade. She is in high school now. My baby is a freshman. In high school. All I can say is wow because I don’t have any babies anymore. She is really growing up. I would share a picture but she doesn’t like to really take them anymore. I only share the ones she is ok with.

Savannah graduated from high school. Our second high school graduate!

savannah graduation

Seeing how happy she was to walk across that stage was one of the best days of my life. She worked hard and is now in her first year of college. When did the time go? My two oldest daughters are in college.

My Grandbaby Leilani turned 1. first birthday cake

first birthday party

leilani first birthday

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My grandbaby is running and trying to talk.  She can say dog, hi, bye and a bunch of other words. She even knows how to blow kisses. She is the sweetest grandaughter ever. Leilani is obsessed with Minnie Mouse and Paw Patrol.

My husband and I celebrated 20 years of marriage with a trip to Las Vegas. It was his first time on a plane. We had a wonderful time! We stayed at Planet Hollywood right on the strip.

1stopmom vegas trip

The temperature change was no joke. When we left Milwaukee it was in around 80 degrees. Once we arrived in Vegas the heat hit me hard. I am glad the heat was not humid and that makes a difference. I was able to tolerate it.

1stopmom burgr vegas

We checked out Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant, Burgr our first night in Vegas. Luckily it is located right in Planet Hollywood. My burger was ok. I decided to try The Hog Burger because it had bacon. It was enormous! Unfortunately it was not the best I have ever had but the Fury Chicken Wings were delicious! I want to go back just for those wings. That is how good they were!

1stopmom burgr las vegas

wings burgr las vegasWe visited Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. It was much smaller than I thought it would be. We took lots of pictures with the wax figures. These are two of my favorites.

1stopmom wax museum vegas

las vegas 1stopmom

Of course I could not visit Vegas without having one of those huge drinks. I was not disappointed at all!

vegas big drinks

We visited Fremont Street, did some gambling, saw the Bellagio water show and went to a magic show. I had so much fun I plan on going back in 2017. Maybe for my birthday in September when it is not so hot.

My husband and I finally went to a bacon fest here in Wisconsin. This one was a Bacon, Brew and BBQ Fest.

bacon brew and bbq fest

I actually discovered a beer I liked. It is Rock Hard Red by Gray’s Brewing Company. It is sweet with not bitter aftertaste. Perfect for me! We had such a good time at the festival, I bought VIP tickets for 2017.

Waukesha County Fair was another stop for us this year. We tried some new foods. I finally got my hands on a Fried Twinkie.

fried twinkie

It melted in my mouth. If you have not tried one you need to. Kayla had the Fried Snickers which she loved.

fried snickers

I got a new to me Town and Country that I absolutely love. It is fully loaded and a car I always wanted. It worked out perfectly because it was right under how much I had saved up. Yay for no car payments! I love the stow and go seats and it has enough room for everyone, including my Grandbaby.  The DVD players come in pretty handy too. My husband decided to trade in his 1970 Camaro project car for a motorcycle.

new motorcycle

That was different. I am glad to have the extra space so no complaints here.

This year my husband and I went fishing a lot. At least a few times a week. He loves to relax and fish.

1stopmom fishing wisconsin

fishing wisconsin

I go along to spend some quality time with him while he drives around Wisconsin visiting some of his favorite spots. I discovered I love to take pictures of the water.1stopmom fishing wisconsin

1stopmom fishing wisconsin

Kayla started 9th grade and she asked to be homeschooled. This is something she has wanted to do for a while. Neither one of us were happy with Milwaukee Public Schools. I signed her up for the K12 Virtual School program and she is loving it. They provided her with a laptop, printer and books.  She is happy and learning with no disruptions.

homeschool

k12 virtual school

2016 was a good year. Here’s to 2017. I am excited for all that it brings.

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I Took The Flipp Summer Food Challenge!

This post was written in partnership with Flipp. All opinions are 100% my own.

I don’t like to waste time. We only get 24 hours in a day and I like to get the most out of mine. Grocery shopping has always been an activity where I felt like I was wasting a lot of time. Before each shopping trip I would have to:

  • gather all my store flyers
  • write my list
  • check various online shopping blogs
  • compare all the different sales
  • print and clip coupons

sales paper

I would easily spend a couple hours getting everything ready. Trying to remember what store has the best deals on fruit or milk along with a long list of other products can be very tiring and I haven’t even went to the actual store yet.

Let’s not forget to mention those times I leave to go shopping and leave my list and/or coupons on the table at home. I usually remember  when I am already in the store with a half full cart of food.  So all those hours of preparation go to waste and I have to try to remember everything from the top of my head.

I needed a better way to tackle grocery shopping. Recently I was introduced to Flipp, a free circular shopping app. Flipp gives me access to the lastest circulars from all my favorite stores right on my phone. I was invited to take the Flipp Summer Food Challenge. All I had to do was plan a shopping trip using the Flipp app to save money.

#FlippFood Challenge

I downloaded the Flipp app from Google Play Store. After the app installed I needed to provide my zip code so that I would be provided with flyers from store near me.

Screenshot_20160714-135130Flipp App

The Flipp app allowed me to upload my loyalty/reward cards to all the stores I shop at. This is really handy because so many stores let you add coupons right to your card.  I like this because I don’t need to login to my computer for each store to add coupons.

Screenshot_20160731-224201You can add more than just grocery store cards.  The list includes AutoZone, Barnes & Nobles, JCPenney, Plenti and more. I have lots of rewards cards but don’t carry them all the time. With the Flipp app I can still use my reward cards on the spur of the moment shopping trips.

The Flipp app has a section for all your favorite stores. It saves time having all the stores your frequent in one spot. Every second counts!

Flipp app

I like that the app lets me know when the sale ends for each store. In the past I have planned an entire shopping trip from store flyers that have expired. That was a lot of time wasted. As an added bonus there are also previews of upcoming sales available. This is a great way to make sure you are getting the best deals and saving money.

I made up my shopping list using the Flipp app and I love it.

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As soon as you add an item it show you each stores that have it on sale and for how much. I did not have to search each individual flyer. Another time saver!

When I was browsing my sales flyer, I was able to circle what I wanted to buy with just a tap of my finger. This also highlights the item on my shopping list.

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When you circle each item you want to buy it saves it to “Clippings”. All of the items you want are collected in one place. No more searching through flyers to see how much were strawberries on sale for.Screenshot_20160731-223340

The Flipp app has another great feature, coupon matchups. This really saves times. You are shown what is on sale and a corresponding coupon that you can print right from your phone or clip to your loyalty card.

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Using the Flipp app helped me to save time and money. I made my list and found the best sales in record time. I loved being able to do everything right on my phone. I didn’t misplace coupons or use the wrong flyer. I actually made it to the store with my shopping list!

flipp groceries

My family was in the mood for ribs but heavy rains was in forecast so I couldn’t pull the grill out. I decided to make some pork ribs in the oven. I have a real simple recipe I follow. I take a slab of ribs and spread my favorite rub on both sides. Then I wrap it completely in foil and bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for 2 hours. When they are done cooking I add a little sauce and broil it for 5 to 10 minutes.

oven baked ribs

I added some corn on the cob, potato salad and fruit and dinner was served! Of course the ribs were delicious and came right off the bone.

I plan on using the Flipp app from now on when it comes to shopping. It makes everything so much easier.  I know I am going to be using for so much more than just food shopping. Having access to so many circulars will come in handy for back to school and holiday shopping too.

Visit the Flipp website for more information. Download  Flipp on both iTunes and Google Play.

 

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Holiday Gift Guide: Vitabath Holiday Bliss Fragrances

1StopMom Holiday Gift Guide

Sample provided for review purposes. Opinions are 100% my own.

I love to receive and give gifts that smell good. Perfumes are too personal for me because a person’s choice can be very particular and gift giving can easily become a big miss. If you don’t know exactly what someone likes you are just wasting money. Body washes and lotions are much more gift friendly.

vitabath logo

For more than 50 years, consumers have trusted the Vitabath® brand for unparalleled skin cleansing and conditioning. Vitabath’s quality ingredients and rich fragrances indulge the senses and nourish the skin, resulting in a relaxing, yet invigorating, at-home spa experience.

There is a lot of great Vitabath products to choose from for gift giving. I personally like gift sets. Vitabath’s has a  festive Holiday Carrier that includes a set of four 2 fl oz. (60mL) coordinating body washes and hydrating lotions in thier top-selling holiday fragrances Sweet Pink Pepper­mint and Spice Is Nice. Sweet Pink Peppermint is a playful mix of pink candy cane, cheery vanilla and sugary musk. Spice is Nice blends the delightful aroma of pumpkin, allspice, rum and maple syrup, all topped with delicious cream cheese icing. The set is perfectly packaged in a festive silver holiday carrier for just $9.99.

vitabath holiday bliss

Orchid Intrigue is a new Classic scent perfect for gift­ing! Alluring and sensual, it will fragrance the night with intense purple blooms and the seductive scent of amber vel­vet layered with luxurious am­ethyst orchid, night blooming sambac jasmine, and sugared musk. The every day set features the Gelée and Mois­turizing Lotion, plus a coordinating pouf for just $20.00.

vitabath orchid intrigue

Vitabath products are formulated with vitamins and natural botanicals for healthy skin from the outside in.  All of  Vitabath Classic prod­ucts (in that traditional white Vitabath bottle) contain sunflower seed oil. Sunflower seed oil is rich in linoleic acid. It helps the skin maintain a healthy amount of essential fatty acids, to maintain the skin barrier and decrease transepidermal water loss. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. I love a product that smells good and nourishes my skin.

All three products are amazing. They made my skin feel very soft and is what you would expect in a luxury product. I am hoping to find some Vitabath products under the tree for me this year!

Visit the Vitabath website to see all the products they have to offer and current sales.

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$500 Cash or Nordstrom Gift Card Giveaway

I love when I am able to offer my readers great giveaways to enter. I enter giveaways myself and love it when I am luckly enough to win.  Well this time I am co-hosting a giveaway for $500 Cash or a Nordstrom Gift Card Giveaway. This would be great to win and treat yourself to a few nice things!

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GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Prize: $500 Nordstrom Gift Card or Cash (via Paypal)

Co-hosts: Divine Lifestyle Peachtree Roadies The Lush List Jenn’s Blah Blah Blog  1StopMom The Relevance Report The Mommyhood Mentor Posh Classy Mom  Peaches In A Pod Blog by Donna Mommy on the Money Stripes N Vibes  Taffeta & Tulips Here We Go Again…Ready? Seeking Sunshine The Closet by Christie  DoSayGive Yogurt Hydro Cityrocka’s Celebrity and Accessories Blog Lauryncakes  Grace in Style

Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 8/28 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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My Goals for 2015

2015 goals

The start of every new year brings lots of New Year Resolutions. This year is not any different, at least for me.  I have read online that some people are not setting any resolutions because they always break them.

This is true. Last year I pretty much broke every resolution I made. Eventually.

But that is not going to stop me from trying. I need something to work toward. I need some goals in my life. For right now I have five main goals I want to work on:

1. No more soda
I tried this last year and I had at least 2 months under my belt before I gave in.  I liked how I felt not drinking soda so I am trying it again.

2. More activity
This is a big one for me. When I am depressed I tend to curl up in front of my t.v. or on the couch. I usually don’t feel like moving or want to.  I want to get my body used to moving more. I am going to find ways to do this on a daily basis.

3. Cooking more
Last year I did not do as much cooking as I liked. My kids are super picky and the constant complaining of what they did not want to eat wore me down. Meal planning became stressful and we ate out way too much. This year I want to work on planning our meals in advance and get back into my freezer cooking. I want to add more variety too.

4. Stress less
So much was going on in 2014 and I was constantly stressed. No matter how much I tried to hide it, it showed its ugly face through constant migraines and tight muscles. I don’t want to be in all that pain this year so I want to find ways to deal with stress that will work for me.

5. Enjoy life more
Tomorrow is not promised and I want to make the best of today. I want to step out of my comfort zone and try more things. I want to laugh and just have fun more often.

That is it for now, but I am sure my list will grow. Did you set any New Year’s Resolutions?

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Annie Movie Prize Pack Giveaway

The movie, Annie will be coming to theaters on December 19th, 2014. It stars Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhané Wallis, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, David Zayas, and Cameron Diaz

Academy Award® nominee Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) stars as Annie, a young, happy foster kid who’s also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they’d be back for her someday, it’s been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz). But everything’s about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) – advised by his brilliant VP, Grace (Rose Byrne) and his shrewd and scheming campaign advisor, Guy (Bobby Cannavale) – makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in. Stacks believes he’s her guardian angel, but Annie’s self-assured nature and bright, sun-will-come-out-tomorrow outlook on life just might mean it’s the other way around.

The Giveaway

One lucky reader will win an Annie prize pack which includes: (1) official ANNIE kids shirt, (1) ‘Build A Brighter Tomorrow’ activity book,(1) sticker sheet and (1) Scholastic ANNIE poster

annie prize pack

I received the same prize pack in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

Annie The Movie Prize Pack

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ProFlowers/ The Best Of Me Giveaway

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This Friday October 17, 2014 ,The Best Of Me is coming to theaters. Based on the bestselling novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they’ve never forgotten, but soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today. Spanning decades, this epic love story captures the enduring power of our first true love, and the wrenching choices we face when confronted with elusive second chances.

ProFlowers is working in partnership with the studio to offer a limited edition “The Best Of Me Bouquet” which will be available to to purchase from September 22 to October 31.

BestofMe-ProFlowers

The Best of Me Bouquet features a vibrant combination of burgundy gerbera daisies, lavender spray stock and red roses is sure to make their day unlike any other.

  • 8 red roses
  • 5 burgundy gerrondo gerber daisies
  • 5 lavender spray stock
  • 5 ruscus

I was sent The Best Of Me Bouquet along with a copy of the book. The flowers were beautiful and smelled so good. I read the book and look forward to seeing the movie. Love that spans over 20 years, I can get with that.

The Giveaway

One lucky reader will win a Proflowers/ The Best Of Me Prize Pack. It includes an $80 ProFlowers gift code and a copy of The Best Of Me Book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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