Be Sure To Organize Ahead Of Time For Your Travel
Organizing prior to a trip isn’t hard, it just takes time management.
Planning for a trip, of course depends on what kind of trip you are going on. Is it a family vacation, are you flying or driving? How many people are going? Is it a business trip and you’re leaving the family at home?
For this post, I’m going to plan for a business trip with one adult going from the family. For our family, this has been me doing all the traveling. Dave doesn’t travel for work, but for the last several years, I have been traveling multiple times throughout the year.
I’m planning this week for my trip next week to Bentonville, Arkansas for our first Collective Bias conference, SoFabCon. I’ll be gone for a week from home.
Plan at least two – three weeks prior to your trip
Plan what you are going to wear. Go through your wardrobe to make sure you have the clothing, shoes and accessories you’ll need for the trip. More than likely, you’ll have all you need, but there might be occasions that you do need to shop for something new prior to the event.
If you have to order sometime online, you should probably plan out further than 3 weeks to be sure you receive it on time, and it fits.
You want to give yourself enough time to return or have something altered if needed.
Be sure to check your accessories to be sure you have any jewelry, cosmetics, crazy socks etc that you might need.
Plan Week Ahead
1) Plan out meals for your family, or at least make sure needed grocery items are stocked in the house.
2) Get all the family laundry completed before you go.
Personally, I do this because if my hubby needs to do laundry, I come home to baskets full of clothes that I can’t tell if they are dirty or clean (nothing folded when it comes out of the dryer). He will use my sorting bins to put clean clothes in, I find my sorting bins upstairs in bedrooms.. oh my – an organizers laundry nightmare!
3) Prepare a packing list.
It is so easy to forget things when you are packing. Make sure you add things on there like business cards, extension cord (if you take your laptop etc with you), phone chargers, camera download cords etc. In this day and age of electronics, there are a lot of accessories needed to use them.
4) Prepare a Family “To Do” List
Especially if you are going to have teens at home without you. When do they have to be at practices, events? Does anyone take daily medicine that needs to be remembered? Will they remember to feed, water and walk the dog or clean out a litter box. What day is trash day?
5) Make a copy of your itinerary.
Make sure your spouse knows how to get hold of you, what flights you’re on and where you’re staying.
6) Be sure to print out any tickets or passes you might need. It’s great to have everything on your phone, but if you can’t get service, you could be in a bind if you count on having important documents stored electronically.
Couple Days Prior To Your Trip
1) Start packing for your trip. You won’t want to pack any clothes that will wrinkle until the last minute, but have them ready to go. You can pack underclothes, jewelry and other items that you don’t have to worry about the “wrinkle factor”.
2) Prepare any food items you’re family might need while you’re gone
Planning ahead will make you’re preparation go much smoother, and generally you have what you need while you’re gone. It also will help to decrease stress for you and the family while you’re gone.
Utica’s Sertoma Ice Cream Festival
Each Memorial Day Weekend for the last 39 years the Ye Old Mill in Utica Ohio has been the home of Old Fashion Velvet Ice Cream Festival
It is a yearly tradition for our family, along with many zillions of other people! I mean really, who can resist Velvet ice cream? We always enjoy the old time cars (muscle cars), playing games, getting good food and of course eating ice cream.
These pics are from one of our visits in 2010. I had posted on my Explore Ohio with Sandy blog, but wanted to share with all of you too! I can’t wait until we go this May.
My video gives you the feel of it all.
The water mill works and is just pretty cool.
Alex opted for the shake this year.
But not Zach. Notice the ice cream on the nose. lol…. oh so good!
Elise’s favorite is the mint chocolate chip.
Mine happens to be the Moose Tracks… oh yum!
Dave and I enjoying the day with the kids.
I just thought this was a cool pic of Zach.
May 25-27, 2013
Velvet Ice Cream The Ye Old Mill
11324 Mount Vernon Road, Utica, OH, 43080
This was first posted May 2012.Pin It
Losing A Pet Is Never Easy
I lost my beloved pet, Sadie a week ago today. She was almost 11 years old, but still had the spunk and personality of much younger dog. She was my soul
mate dog. I connected strongly with Sadie when she was just a pup. She was a rescue that a vet in Westerville took in. The liter all had parvo virus and 1 of the 7 died. My neighbor Carol and her son came home telling us about this pup they had just adopted, Lexie. I was newly single at the time and had been thinking about getting a larger dog rather than a security system.
I drove over to see the liter, without kids. I figured I’d be strong and knowing this was pretty much a spur of the moment decision, thought I’d be able to say no to the pups. Sadie was the runt of the litter, the only fully black pup. The others looked like shepherds. We found out she has German Shepherd, black lab and husky in her.
Needless to say, I picked her. I’m so glad I did and almost wished I had picked out two pups. She was the sweetest dog I’ve ever known. Her sister Lexie also has that same sweet personality. I had a ShihZue at the time and never really considered have three dogs. Lyla, my ShihZue died about 3 months after we brought Sadie home. Although, I was a little sad, I had actually formed more of a bond in that short time with Sadie than I ever had in the 8 years I had Lyla.
Sadie was a really smart dog. She “got” me. She knew when I was upset, sad etc. She would use her nose to move your hand so you’d pet her. She loved playing with the hose or the sprinkler and would try to “catch” the water. The snow was her other favorite. The kids would throw snowballs for her to catch. She walked out with me to get the mail everyday. She loved going to the farm, going on walks and oh my gosh, if you said the word “biscuit”, you’d better be ready to give her one.
We have another dog now, Gizmo (Gizzy) that Sadie loves. We’ve had Gizzy for about 7 years now. I kind of worried about how Gizzy would do without Sadie, but actually, I think she’s doing great. She is enjoying the extra attention she is getting from all of us. I don’t think it would be the same if Gizzy had gone first. Sadie would have really missed her.
As good of a dog as Sadie was, she had fears. Loud noises like fireworks and storms were really scary for her. To the extreme that popping bubble wrap, or even popping chewing gum scared her. She hated fire, smoke and certain beeps. Until she was about two years old I used a shock collar with an underground fence because we only had a front yard for the dogs at my old house. So the tone that it made and any other tone near that (and believe me.. a lot of things make that tone… digital watches, stop watches, tv commercials etc etc etc… ) would send her running to the basement. You couldn’t convince her she wasn’t going to get shocked from a collar she hadn’t worn in years. One of my cameras, she always hated because I didn’t think to turn off the tone when I first got it. Even though she only heard it make the tone once, that was enough. Every time I got that camera out, she ran the other way. She wasn’t happy in this picture because she was scared of the camera, but it was right before she had to have surgery to remove her anal gland last year, and I wanted a picture of us together. In the last several months though, she was ok with me taking pictures. I was so glad because I did get several before she died.
Sadie developed a thyroid tumor about 2 1/2 years ago now. We never knew for sure if it was cancer or not. One vet said he didn’t think it was because she would have been sick and would have died before now. Another vet told us it would have been, but was just a localized cancer that was slow growing. We never had it biopsied. There was no reason. I was not going to put Sadie through the surgery needed to remove the tumor, even if it was cancer. I researched it and it would not have given her that much more time to live, and the quality of that life might not have been that good. You would not have known she was sick, other than the fact that she became mute, and in the last several months panted all the time. The tumor was pushing on her trachea & esophagus and slowly causing her to suffocate. The vet had told us she would start having panic attacks (lack of oxygen) and when she did, it would be time to bring her in.
She had the first one (and only one) of those attacks on Monday. It was terrible. She was coming up on my lap rather I wanted her to or not. It lasted from around noon until 3pm. Her panting was much worse, drooling and had condensation on top of her nose. Looked like sweat. She was scared to death. Even that evening when she was doing better, she still couldn’t sleep. She was really restless. I knew I could not watch her go through that again.
This picture was not of her panic attack, it was just her wanting my attention. “Mom… put the computer away and pet me!”
My kids loved her as much as I did. She was always so happy when my older boys came home to visit. John and Sadie were close too.
One of my big fears was that I was not going to be home when it came time to put her down. I had several trips coming up and I knew that I wanted to be with her. Dave and I had just been in TN for the weekend. My other son Tim was home to take care of Sadie, but I was still worried about her why I was gone. We got home on Sunday. Her panic attack was Monday and I took her Tuesday morning to say goodbye.
As hard as it was, I was not going to let my girl suffer. She was excited to go in the car. I let her sit in the front passenger seat and she loved that. Usually she’s in the back of the SUV. She was excited to see the people at the vet. The vet reassured me it was time. She said that respiratory distress was horrible to see dogs go through. That as hard as she was working to breath that morning (which wasn’t as bad as it had been the day before) that it wrong to let her go through anymore suffering. That helped me to be sure I was making the right decision.
She said she was going to give her a sedative first because she was so alert. I could not have been happier with the vet’s office. They brought in a nice soft blanket and laid it on the ground in the room. They didn’t make her get up on that “scary” table. I was able to sit down right beside her. They talked to her so sweetly and gave her a quick injection to help relax her. She didn’t mind that part at all. The vet told me it would just take a couple minutes for her to relax. That she would calm down, and go into a “Hey Mom, I feel good” phase. She was right. Within about 30-45 seconds she sat down. Another minute she laid down. I was talking to her and petting her the whole time. Within another minute after this picture she laid her head down. Her panting had stopped, although she was still breathing. The vet came back in with her assistant and asked if I was ready and did I want to stay with her. I figured they were going to take her into the other room at this point. Nope, they came right in and sat down on the floor with us. She had a syringe with the med in it and asked again if I was ok. I was… and wasn’t. But I told her to go ahead. Sadie didn’t mind that she took her front leg and was putting a needle in it. I was again talking to her, petting her and of course.. crying like a baby. It didn’t take but a minute. The vet and assistant left and told me to take my time with her. I spent a few more minutes with her, just trying to take in as much of her as I could, knowing I would never again be able to pet her soft silky fur, see her face when I came down the stairs in the morning, have her nudge my hand to pet her or greet me when I came in the door.
They asked me when I came in if I wanted to take her with me or have her cremated. I had already decided to have her cremated. I hadn’t thought about wanting to keep her ashes though. They asked me if I wanted them, they’d have them put in a tin with her name on it. I decided I didn’t want that. I knew that we’d have to figure out where to bury her, and I didn’t want to go through the emotion of it. They also asked if I wanted a paw-print sent to me. I said yes, I’d like that.
I just got that yesterday in the mail. They put her paw-print on a card and had a little tuff of her fur in a bow along with a sympathy card from the vet’s office. How sweet was that?
I’ve lost my girl. The house is so strange without her. We all miss her. My husband is bound and determined we’re going to get another dog though. Right now, I’m not ready. But I’m sure I’ll soften in a few months.
Goodbye my sweet Sadie. You were the best dog I could have ever asked for.
DIY Valentine’s Day Craft Projects
Valentine’s Day is coming fast! I wanted to find a couple DIY projects that you might enjoy.
Romantic Candle Garden
I must really like the idea of the candle’s in coffee beans because I showed you one the other day I liked from pinterest too. But how simple would this be to do? Grab a few of those pillar candles that you probably have in a drawer somewhere, find a neat bowl or basket, pour in some coffee beans, place your candles and wah-la.. you’re finished!
Candy Hearts and Flower Arrangement
I think this would be super easy. It might take a trip to a craft store, but just for the jar and flowers. You could use either real or artificial flowers in this, but personally I would suggest artificial if you want to feel ok about eating the candy hearts.
How cute would this be sitting on your daughter’s bedside in the morning?
Heart finger puppets Disney
These next couple ideas came from the Disney site. This would make a cute craft for the kids and would also make fun home made Valentine’s Cards. They could write their messages on the back of them.
Your a blast
I’ve seen a couple people who have made this project, on pinterest. They have said they use Rolo candy in the center tube to stabilize. This would also be a fun craft for the kids to make for others, or something easy to make for them.
Valentine’s Day Coupon Checks
I loved things like this when I was young. You can print these coupons for the kids to fill out for Valentine’s day gifts. Another idea if they planned to give them to parents, siblings and Grandparents would be, if you have your old checks from a closed checking account sitting around – let them use those. If they are going to close family members you wouldn’t have to be so concerned with getting personal information off before using.
What kind of crafts does your family do?
Small Town Johnstown, Ohio Big Red Band Needs Your Vote!
(photo used from NBC4 Voting contest site)
The Make a Difference NBC4 School Grant consist of four different categories:
Think - Academic programs
Serve- Programs where children serve
Shine- Sports, Arts & Music
Our school is in the “Shine” Category. You would think, by looking at the above picture with over 200 students in the band, that we have a huge school. The opposite is true. Our school is a smaller school in a small town. Most of the bands with high schools we play sports against, have bands of around 25-50 members. Then out marches our band. We call our band “The Pride of Johnstown” – and it is too!
What makes our band so special? The kids LOVE it? It isn’t like a band, from when I was in high school. You think of just those kids who are not “jocks” in band. The “nerds” or “kids that don’t fit in”. Isn’t that sad.. that bands so often have that reputation? But this is not how it is here. The kids WANT to be in the band. We’ve had a few football players who are actually in the band. Yes.. they march in their football uniform and preform in the half time show.
Our band is what they call a “dance band”. They preform popular songs and get to really perform! I found a good video on Youtube that one of the parents took.
You can see one of the cadences (dances, I call them) they do if you go into minute 3:47 of the video.
We have had our band program threatened by levies that haven’t passed. The students have to pay to be in the band, and speaking as a parent of two who have been in the band, it isn’t very cheap!! But it is an awesome program. They have preformed at the Chic-Filet Bowl, and last year preformed at Disney World, along with a lot of local events.
Please VOTE for our Johnstown Big Red Band! You can vote once per day until March 7th!
If you get onto the main page, just do a search for Johnstown Big Red Band and it will bring us up. Look for the picture above on the contest entry.
You can also help if you are on twitter or Facebook by tweeting for us!! Thanks!
Please vote for the Johnstown Big Red Band in the NBC4 Make a Difference Contest! Vote once per day until 3/7/13.
Thanks so much!!
Look At The Photo Blanket My Boys Got For Me!
My four oldest boys couldn’t stand to wait until Christmas Morning to give me my gift. They were so excited to give me the photo blanket they had made for me.
I couldn’t believe it. They started unfolding it, and as soon as I saw there were family pictures on it.. the tears started flowing. As I’m sitting there trying to take it in, of course one of my first reactions was to grab my camera and then my phone and take pictures of it. lol (Truly a bloggers legacy).
They worked hard to make sure this photo blanket was perfect, picking up events from the time I met Dave and beyond. They worked hard to make sure that everyone was in the same amount of pictures evenly. They originally had our serious family photo for the bottom right pictures and then decided that our “goofy” one was perfect.
This photo blanket is one of the most awesome gifts I’ve ever been given. Isn’t it great?
I’ve had several of you ask where they got this photo blanket. I’m not actually sure where they got this exact throw, but I’ve seen them in a couple different places.
Walmart has them. The one that seems the closest is a 50×60 size that is 100% cotton. It says you can have up to 30 photos on the “Photo Collage Woven Throw”. It also looks like you can customize them with a title. It can also be washed in cold water.What it says right now on the site (1/12/13) is that you can buy one and get one free ($99 cost for one). I have no idea how long that deal goes on, but you can check. Obviously they must do it once in a while.
Hopefully that is helpful to you. Thanks!
Who Doesn’t Love English Toffee?
by Amy Trauntvein
The holidays are right around the corner and for me that means baking and lots of it, and homemade holiday candy tops the list! Peanut butter balls, dipped pretzels, almond joys, and caramels, clusters, turtles…. But my favorite homemade treat is my grandma’s recipe of homemade English Toffee. For years I just let my mom and grandma make it while I enjoyed eating it thinking it was WAY too complicated and difficult to make, but then my husband and I found ourselves moving across the country with our then 3 (now 4) children and if I wanted any of this wonderfully delicious treat at Christmas time, it was now up to me to make it. ACK!! I thought for sure I was going to ruin it the first time I tried, but you know what? It really was easier than I thought and it turned out perfect! So now I’m going to give YOU the recipe and show you how you can make and enjoy your very own English Toffee and wow your friends with your culinary smarts! And one other awesome thing about this recipe, you don’t need a candy thermometer to make it! Score! Ready? Here we go!
- 2 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 lb butter
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 12 oz chocolate chips or good quality chocolate chopped up
- 2 cups chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts or pecans) Purely optional.
Yes, 1 lb of butter is correct. I never said it was light and healthy, did I? But there IS one secret to successful toffee and that is do not leave it alone. Period. You need stay at the stove because it must be constantly stirred and watched. If you think you can run upstairs and fold a load of laundry or go answer the phone while it cooks, before you know it, you’ve got a big burned mess. It turns quickly and you need to be present.
First, you need to get your topping ready before you start cooking the toffee. Chop the nuts, I used pecans for this recipe. I chopped one cup more finely than the other for the topping. One cup will go into the toffee (if you desire) and one cup will go on top of the toffee and chocolate. Take one cup of nuts (the coarser chopped) and sprinkle onto an un-buttered cookie sheet
Chop up your chocolate and toss into a microwave safe bowl. Or if you are using chocolate chips, do nothing. Here’s my chopped chocolate and the 5 lbs. of chocolate I buy every year to make candy.
My daughter wasn’t real happy about modeling it for me. I really do go through almost all of it every Christmas making candy so it’s worth it to me to buy good quality chocolate. No, we don’t eat it all ourselves. I give most of my treats away to lucky recipients for the holidays!
Now you’re ready to start cooking! Melt butter in a large non-stick pot on med/med high heat (do not brown). Add sugar, water and corn syrup and mix well.
Bring to a rolling boil and continue stirring. This is what is should look like. I’m showing you so you can see the difference between the color of when it starts and and when it is finished…
Continue to boil while stirring until it turns the color of a brown paper bag (about 15 minutes). See the bag and the toffee? At this point it will start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let it cook for another 2 minutes stirring constantly.
Take off heat and pour onto the cookie sheet. I forgot to sprinkle mine with the nuts so I poured them over the top and pressed them into the toffee. It still worked just fine.
Now for the chocolate. If you are using chocolate chips, just pour the chips evenly onto the hot toffee and let melt. If you are using chopped chocolate, toss into the microwave and heat in 30 second increments on high while stirring in between until melted (it took me 60 seconds total). Pour chocolate onto (still hot)toffee. Spread chocolate evenly and top with remaining nuts. Let cool completely.
Once cooled, break into pieces, enjoy the deliciousness and bask in the glow of the compliments you will receive!
Thanks for joining me and I hope this tutorial had helped you get over any qualms you may have about candy making. It really is easier than you may think! Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!
Love to all! ~Amy
I have been married for 22 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep my young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening and puttering around my yard. I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.Pin It
Do You Still Send Christmas Cards?
Christmas cards seem to be a dying art. I know in the last five or six years the number of cards I’ve received in the mail has dwindled down to very few. It used to be that I had them up everywhere, around doorways etc. Now I get a small pile.
I’ve always sent out a Christmas card with our family picture on it. Yes.. I’m a letter sender too. I know many people make fun of the Christmas letters, but I love them. Those are my favorite Christmas cards to receive. When I get my Christmas cards out of the mailbox I, I usually know who sends the letter and I always open their cards last (save the best for last).
I love catching up with what is going on in the lives of my friends. I know that Facebook and blogs have begun to take place of sending out the cards.
I have never spent the time to sit down and make all my Christmas cards such as those that I’m going to showcase.
I love this one. Have your child make a drawing and then take that to an office store and have them make a rubber stamp out of it. Then create multiple cards. You could even have them write their name with a small picture and use as a signature for your cards.
What do you do for Christmas cards? Do you send them anymore? Do you take family pictures, or write letters? Have you joined the multitudes of those that don’t send them anymore?
I might be joining that group myself this year. We didn’t end up getting together for our family picture this year at Thanksgiving that we normally do, so I’m not sure if I’ll get cards out this year or not.
We Loved The North Pole Express Train Ride!
We ventured down to Nelsonville, Ohio on Saturday evening Dec, 4th, 2010 to ride on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, on the North Pole Express train ride. The setting was perfect, a nice peaceful snowy night.
It was about an hour and half ride for us from the Columbus area, so Dave, the triplets and I left plenty early since it was snowing. We figured we would have time to go into Rocky’s and shop around and eat dinner before the train left at 7pm. We arrived around 5pm and found out we didn’t have as much spare time as we thought.
I wanted to get pictures while it was still light out, and then was also given a tour by Bob of the train before everyone got on.
There were so many cars… I am thinking 10. Several of them were so similar that you wouldn’t have been able to tell them apart other than decorations were different colors. There was one up front that had a pot belly stove going, another one (that we sat in) that had higher back seats. The one the kids thought looked the coolest was the double decker train car. Bob was explaining a lot of the history to me. How most of these cars were used in Chicago.
We went over to Rocky’s, but evidently there were a lot of other people who had the same idea as us… so we went to eat at McDonald’s. We were told it would be a good idea to get back close to 6pm if we wanted to get a good seat on the train. The ride was sold out! There were 537 people on board. We did get back at 6pm and the kids had gotten their PJ’s and robes on.
Before the train started at 7pm, I went through a few of the other cars to get pictures. I asked parents before I took and pictures of their children. Here are a few of my favorites:
This little girl was so darling, I just couldn’t get enough of her. I think I could have snapped pictures all night of her. She just seemed to me to be the poster child for The Polar Express, or as our ride was called… The North Pole Express.
They started serving the hot chocolate and cookies soon after we left. I felt bad for the hot chocolate man…. he needed a much bigger pitcher for it, or someone to bring him refills. He would only get a few rows filled and then would have to run a few train cars back to refill the pitcher.
We called the cookie man…the cookie elf. He had a cute hat on and followed behind the hot chocolate man. He also had some extras….so came back through a few times (oh darn…. we had to have more than 1 cookie!)
They passed out bells for all the kids….but us adults couldn’t hear them ring. I don’t get it? LOL
We had the Hobo come through and tell everyone not to tell the conductor where he was. He came back through double checking with the kids to make sure they hadn’t told. Mine thought that was hysterical, they were telling him that they did tell on him.
After we got back from our ride, we could go across the street. At the Nelsonville Commons Park they had an ice skating rink set up. They told us skate rental was free with our train ticket so the kids decided to go skating. (hint…grab their gloves out of the car before you head across the street). Here they are skating in their pajamas having a great time… was on the other hand loved standing by the fire can….warming up! lol
One thing I would suggest if you have little ones. Send someone on the train to get your seats and hold them for you. Keep the little ones off the train until closer to the departure time. After they have already been on the train for an hour, then the hour and half train ride gets to be a little too much for some of them. On the way back the natives were a bit restless. (But keep in mind this was at night and they couldn’t see the sites outside. During the day you might not have as much of that).
Disclosure: I was given the tickets for my family and myself to ride the North Pole Express. But the pictures, video and opinions are completely my own.
This post was originally posted on my Explore Ohio with Sandy site.Pin It
Love The Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun?
You’ll be jealous then, because I got to tour the plant and build one myself! I love being able to see how things are made. I think it’s so interesting! Daisy Outdoor is a client of Collective Bias and when I was at our corporate office this last week in Bentonville, AR, Kim Janocko and I had the chance to go on a tour. We both were thrilled.
This was in the lobby of their offices. I thought it looked cool. I also found out how Daisy got it’s name. You can find this info on the Daisy Outdoor site, under “History”
“On March 6, 1888, Hamilton approached the windmill company with an all-metal airgun of his own design. He chose to take it to the windmill company because they had blast furnaces and they were equipped to mold and stamp the metal parts necessary to build his gun. The gun was passed around to members of the board. General Manager L.C. Hough test fired the gun and exclaimed, “Boy, that’s a Daisy.” ‘”It’s a Daisy” was a colloquialism of the time.) So the little gun was named Daisy.”
We went back in their warehouse where they assemble all the guns. This space is 80,000 sq feet (I think he said) If that isn’t correct, I just know the place is huge! lol
The parts to the guns aren’t made here, they are shipped in pieces and the guns are assembled in this space.
There are many stations that are used to assemble the guns. They can put one of the guns together in less than one minute. They said they move their employees around to different assignments to prevent work related injuries like carpel tunnel syndrome.
We loved the barrels full of BB’s! They were just plain fun.
Jon was in his happy place in these barrel of bb’s. lol They do feel really cool when you put your hands in them.
We learned that there are 2.4 million BB’s in a 55 gallon barrel. I know I sure wouldn’t try to lift a barrel either! Wow… 2,200 lbs!
Daisy Outdoor makes practice BB guns for the military. Who knew? They are the exact weight, feel and action of the real guns.
They also make BB guns for competition shooting.
This was something I was totally shocked over. I had no idea they made BB guns that look and feel just like the real thing. This pist0l is made for Winchester. It’s just like the Colt 1911 handgun. It is heavy, and looks just like the real thing. I texted a picture of this to my husband and he knew which gun it was designed from immediately.
We learned that Daisy Outdoor utilizes the help of some Special Needs adults to help pack BB’s. I love when I hear of a company that helps out this group of adults. They do a great job and love being able to have a job to earn money and give their lives a sense of purpose. Kudos to you Daisy!
Cool huh? I’m not sure what model of pistal this is.
Here is the Powerline 880 kit. They said this is their best seller. I can see why. It’s larger than their Red Ryder gun, but still a reasonable size for a young adult. I’m thinking it might make a great gift for the triplets for Christmas.
I learned that they do a lot of quality testing of their guns. They shoot a gun from each batch 10,000 times to check their products.
One of the things that is a necessity is to always wear eye protection when shooting. After all, you wouldn’t want to “shoot your eye out” or anything!
Kim and I went back the next day so that we could make our own Red Ryder BB gun. Paula was kind enough to guide us through making one. I’m amazed that she is able to make one of these in less than 1 minute. I think it took me about 8 or 9 minutes to do mine.
Each piece is put into place.
The screw guns are cool. You just put them into the screw and put a little pressure down on them and they work fast… really fast!
Here is my finished product. They made an engraved forearm for us. Mine said “The Jenney Family”. How cool is that? The triplets will be so excited! Since we were flying home, we had to ship the guns. We couldn’t put them in our luggage, even though we were checking the luggage.
I decided I wanted to guy Dave one of the Winchester 1911 pistols. I was told that I could find them at a local sporting goods store called Academy Sports, so Kim and I went that evening to check it out. We found a big assortment of Daisy Outdoor products.
I found the BB gun I wanted to buy Dave. It was $89.00. If you think about it, it is a great way to save money in ammunition. Right now ammunition is really expensive and actually hard to find. So this will be a wonderful way for him to get some target practice in.
What I also like about it is that he will be able to set up a target in our back yard. He is very safety conscious (thank goodness) and has taught gun safety before. He knows that he’ll have to find a place that he won’t have to worry about what is behind the target.
The gun was heavy enough that I decided not to buy it at the store and ship it home. I asked someone at the store about being able to buy it online and if he knew what shipping prices were like. He said it would be a much better deal for me to buy it online. That their shipping was either free or just $5.00. Cool!
As soon as we got back that evening, I got online and purchased this gun and a large container full of BB’s for Dave for Christmas! (shhhh!) I am going to talk to him to have him help me decide which gun we’ll get the triplets for Christmas!
Thanks Daisy Outdoor for the tour! I had a blast. I also thank you so much for the Red Ryder gun that you had engraved and let me build for my family.
I am an employee of Collective Bias and Daisy Outdoor is a client of Collective Bias. I was not asked or expected to do a post, I just wanted to share my experience and excitement for the Daisy Outdoor products.
Make Your Own Thanksgiving Place Holders
There are SO many cute ideas on the web! I found a zillion, and I wanted to share a few with you. Place holders are a great way to organize your Thanksgiving Day table. There are no guesses as to where people will sit. Bringing family together can sometimes have some of it’s own rewards and issues with it. There are times that it’s just much easier to figure out ahead of time where people should sit.
What a simple neat idea this is. You really could use any kind of fruit for something like this. Or a little pumpkin! I saw the same idea with a pear too, while I was looking for neat ideas to show you.
I have several more ideas on my pinterest board. There are so many cute ideas that I couldn’t possibly list them all here. The beauty of pinterest is that we can pin them there and save them! People can be so creative! Most of these you will need to be sure you plan ahead for. Know which guests are coming so that you can be prepared.
Thanksgiving Will Run Smooth If Your Prepared
The last thing we want to be doing on Thanksgiving day is running around trying to figure out how to accomplish things, because we didn’t plan ahead.
Planning ahead of time makes it possible to borrow or buy the things you need. Need more chairs or card tables to set things up? This is a good time to ask family or neighbors if they have what you need. You might find you need baking dishes, freezer space, extra dishes, oven space – you want to plan this all out ahead of time.
Using labels can help you in your pre-Thanksgiving Day preparations. To have your Thanksgiving day move smoothly, planning needs to be done ahead of time.
One way to make things move smoothly is to use this idea from Good Housekeeping. When you set your table, or get out your serving dishes – label them. Use a non-sticky note card and label what is going to go in the dish and make sure you have a serving utensil to go with it.
It makes it very easy for anyone to help you when it comes time to fill the dishes.
Thanksgiving Day Tips for Planning Ahead
- Make sure you have enough seating for all your guests
- Make sure you have all the place settings you need, plates, silverware, glassware.
- Make sure you have the necessary serving dishes and utensils.
- Have all your recipes gathered together
- Make sure you have all the necessary ingredients for your recipes
- See if there are any recipes that can be made ahead of time.
- Be sure you have enough refrigerator space (you may need to ask a neighbor for extra space)
- Write out a schedule of times as to when you need to put each item into cook/bake so that all your food is finished and warm for the meal.
- Write out place cards ahead of time and have your tables set up and ready to go.
- Plan any Thanksgiving day activities, so your guests aren’t bored while you are in the kitchen
I also love this idea of making notecards noting what each item is. We can’t always assume your guests will know what your dishes are. They might be something that is very familiar to us, but something completely new to a guest. They might wonder, but wouldn’t want seem rude to ask. This is especially important if you have any guest that might have some kind of food allergy. In that case, find out what that allergy is, and make a note if it is allergy free for that guest.
Simple steps like this can help your Thanksgiving day meal go smoother. Being prepared and thinking through things ahead of time will make your day much easier. It also makes it possible for more people to be able to assist you in the kitchen to prepare the meal.
Here are a couple more of my posts from Thanksgivings past.
Are You Ready?
Be prepared for an upcoming Hurricane, such as Hurricane Sandy, or any storm that could cause powere outages it is really important to do.
This past summer we had a terrible storm that caused all kinds of damage, and the widest spread power outages that Dave and I had ever experienced in Ohio. We were one of the few lucky ones, that did not loose our power. But, one thing we took for granted was being able to purchase gasoline. Because the power outages were so widespread, there were very few gas stations that has generators that were able to stay open and pump gas. The other side of that was that they didn’t have their charge card readers going… so everything was cash only. Dave and I hardly ever carry any cash, and were lucky that we had come off a vacation and did have some cash available.
I think most of us think of the obvious things we are going to need in a power outage.
*Food – Non perishable items
*Water – One gallon of water, per person for 3 days
*First Aid Kit
*Chainsaw and gas (if you live in an area with a lot of trees)
But here are some things that I didn’t really think about having on hand before:
*Having a plan if you have to evacuate your home
*List of phone numbers of family, friends, Doctors, hospitals
*Whistle to signal for help
I know there are many other things you should have ready. I’ve never had to think about hurricanes before, since I live in Ohio. But this is a hurricane that the high winds are going to affect Ohio (at least they predict that), so we also need to be prepared.
Here is a complete list from the National Weather Hurricane Service, with links to specific lists so that you can be completely ready in case of storm emergency.
Pigeon Roost Farm Is The Bomb!
We discovered Pigeon Roost Pumpkin Farm in Hebron, Ohio last year and loved it. I shared the post from last year, just a couple weeks ago. I wanted to give you all another blast from this year.
One of the things I love about Pigeon Roost is that the prices are really reasonable. There is not cost to part, no cost to get into and shop the upper area, get great pictures and enjoy the atmosphere. If you want to go into the lower part of the farm and do all the activities, it’s only $5 per person. Considering another local pumpkin farm charges $8 per person for just the corn maze, I think this is quite a deal.
I’m going to share the pictures with you…. they pretty much tell the story!
This is the kids favorite activity. They call it the hamster wheels.
Dave decided he would try it out too…. Elise won. LOL
This was the rubber ducky race.
Pigeon Roost Farm is in Hebron, Ohio. This is not a sponsored post, I just want my readers to know about this awesome place here in Ohio.
The Spiderman Movie Is Coming Out Soon!
I had heard that I could pre-order the Spiderman movie and also get a free Vudu copy of it… all before it came out to everyone else! The kids would love it! So I went on a search today at our local Walmart.
I set out early this morning to pick it up and surprise the kids. They would get a kick out of watching the trailers and knowing that they’d get to see the Vudu version on the 30th of October, followed by the DVD around November 9th. It was a beautiful autumn morning this morning!
I had my travel mug of hot coffee in hand and I was heading to Walmart to pick up some milk and the pre-order Spiderman movie.
I had seen the display when I was in AR last month, so I knew what I was looking for.. or so I thought. I got to the first Walmart and after looking all over, I asked an employee who informed me they no longer had it in their store.
I found the display shelf where it should have been. I guess it was too popular and they sold out of it. Of course this made me want it even more!! Funny how that works isn’t it? lol
Oh, I did stop to look for the new version of the Chris Mann Christmas CD. Chris was on The Voice, and is a friend I’ve met through our blogging conferences. It’s been so fun to watch him on TV and see how well he is doing. It was the only copy of his CD in the store too.
So off I went to another Walmart that was across town from this one.
I arrived at this store without any issues. It was still early, so there were no crowds. I went to the back of the store and started looking for the display.
I was seeing many other DVD’s..
I did spot the Spiderman section in the toys… and so I decided to walk over there and get some “Spidey Inspiration”. Where would Spidey look?
I went back and decided to ask for help finding it. He went right over to the shelf near the counter and grabbed a copy. Can you spot it on the rack? Look hard… even though the light is reflecting off of it. It’s in the top left corner. There were about 4 copies of it left. Yay… I found it! Mission accomplished! No big displays, signs, or any other labels that stuck out and made it easy to find. But I found it.. all by myself. Ok, so not really, I only found it because I asked for it. It was $24.96.
Here it is… in my hot little hand! They didn’t have the movie set with the mask, but I was happy to get the pre-order copy.
Now I had to get some “pre-movie candy”, don’t you know!? Just being able to give the kids a movie snack while we looked at the trailers, would increase their excitement, until we got the vudu copy.
Ok.. I’m ready to go.
I did see these darling Brutus the Buckeye loofas from Mascotwear on the way out. I had to pick up one for my Ohio State Buckeye nut son!
Once I got home, I was anxious to see how this pre-order of the DVD worked.
It say right on the package . Buy – Redeem – Watch
So I opened it up and this is what I found. There was a cardboard “DVD” shaped instruction sheet. It had the redemption code on it.
I got on the computer and went to VUDU.com/theamazingspiderman and it walked me through the steps. I first entered the redemption code and hit “submit”
I clicked on the left side where it said to sign up for the free version.
I signed up for an account.
Then it switched over to this Ultraviolet page. It’s a place that allows you to store your digital movie collection. I also did the free version.
After a couple more screens, it came to a payment information page. It ask for your billing address and then your mailing address (so they know where to ship your DVD).
Because there was nothing to pay I picked the option to skip the credit card info. Just go to the gray box on the bottom right. They have this, so that if you order additional movies in the future, they’ll have your info. You do not need to put any credit card information in to retrieve your vudu copy or your DVD. So no worries there.
I finally got to this page. I went to “Go to Movie”
I was able to watch the trailer clips today.
Just watching a few trailers .. really gets you even more psyched for the real thing!
The triplets were so excited when they got home from school. Elise wasn’t here for this picture.. but the boys were more than happy to let me take a picture! Of course they wanted to watch the whole movie today. They were really excited when I told them we could watch it on vudu on the 30th.. and that would be before their friends got to see it! And of course the pre-movie candy sure didn’t hurt! lol
You can look for the pre-order copy of the Spiderman movie in your Walmart store. (I would suggest calling your store to be sure they have it, before driving there). You can also order it right from the Walmart.com site.
You can also follow along on twitter if you follow the #SpidermanWMT hashtag and also the @SpidermanMovie Twitter handle
I am an employee of Collective Bias®. This product has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment #CBias All opinions stated are true and my own.
Be sure to think safety when you are planning your kids Halloween costumes. Even though we want our kids to have the coolest costumes for Halloween, we want to make sure they are safe as they can be. Things like wearing their masks on top of their head while they are trick or treating (they can put them down when they’re on the porch of the house), or wearing face paint rather than masks are simple things that can reduce injuries.
There are a lot more emergency room visits on Halloween from kids getting hurt from falling or being hit by cars than there are from kids being injured by something they ate out of their trick or treat bag.
1) Make sure kids can see easily. Face paint is better than masks. Those often can impede vision.
2) Costumes should be short enough not to trip the kids
3) Warm clothing under their costume (if they won’t wear a coat over it)
4) Have a flashing light or flashlight with them, so they can be easily seen in the dark.
5) Light colored costumes and/or reflector tape helps the kids to be seen.
6) Kids should always go out with a parent if they are under the age of 10 or 11 years old.
7) Teach the kids to use the driveways and walks, and not run through yards.
8) Make sure you are familiar with the neighborhood.
9) Only go to houses that have their outdoor lights on.
10) Bring home all the candy to check over before the kids eat it. Take a few pieces of your own candy for them to eat
along the way (I mean.. who can resist a piece here or there.. right?)
11) Make sure the kids have on shoes or boots that will protect their feet. No slippers or shoes that are too big.
12) Make sure the kids follow safety rules and don’t run out into the street or between cars.
Oh.. and PLEASE have your kids say “Thank You” after they are given a piece of candy. Manners are SO nice to hear from kids.
If you are driving somewhere on Beggars night, please be really careful and go slow!
Communication Barriers Can Be An Issue
This post was originally posted on the Collective Bias Blog on September 26, 2012
The same avenues that increase our communication between people can also be the ones that can create a communication barrier to “true” communication. The message we are trying to convey, may not be the same message that is received.
We are becoming a “social” world. Social in the sense that we are communicating with people we would have never been able to communicate with prior to the internet, texting, Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. What an awesome powerful tool we have to use! I personally love being able to communicate with friends from High School, extended family, my boys that live out of state and many other friends. That is one half of the equation for me. The other half is the business side of social communication. Being able to actually “talk” and communicate with CEO’s of major communies, other bloggers, that I never would have met and being able to live in Ohio and work out of an office in Bentonville, AR, have been absolute dreams for me!
Along with the new lines of communication that we have adapted to over the last several years, comes the problem that can occur while utilizing this form of communication.. which is – lack of communication with our communication.
What? That doesn’t seem to make sense, does it? We communicate more, and yet… we are communicating less? While communicating via written word, such as email, twitter or Facebook; it is really easy for your words to be miscommunicated.
I think we have all experienced it. You are in a great mood, reply to someone’s email while you are laughing and send a little joke. The person who receives the email is having a terrible day. They read your joke, but don’t see it as a joke. They get offended, and the problems ensue.
I think we often forget that our voices aren’t being heard, our smiles aren’t being seen, our body language is hidden. We have learned some ways to get our messages across. Capitalizing all the words, generally mean that you are angry. Using “lol” (laugh out loud), smiley faces :) and other happy expressions are ways we try to show we are happy, we are conveying a joke or humor.
We have become lazy when it comes to using the phone, or meeting in person for lunch or a chat. For those of us who are working online most of the day, it can almost seem like a stumbling block to call someone. We have become so used to sending an email, or a tweets or Facebook message to them to communicate. It is “Safe” communication. We are “protected” from hearing a tone we may not want to hear, or having to say words that might become difficult or strained. We have become “used” to our new form of communication and it’s comfortable. We all like comfortable.
But, we have to remember that the real relationship is built in person, or on the phone. Really being able to communicate. I don’t think I would have been working for Collective Bias if I hadn’t stepped out and gone to Blogging conferences and met those who started and run it in person. It is the real life connection that is going to ultimately “connect” you.
I saw this Facebook post via Zipporah Sandler and had to share. It is so true.
“ To the people who seem to be filling my inbox. If you want to get offered opps, trips, reviews and paid work with brands – put in the WORK and foster relationships with these brands and reps. If you do, you’ll find yourself working with the brands, and more importantly PEOPLE that you love.
BTW, the contact list in my cell phone and skype look like a who’s who of PR and in-house marketing people, and I don’t only call when I WANT something, but also to just to say hi, let’s go to lunch, or what’s doing in your life?” ~Zippy Sandler
What I think is the most important thing here is that she says she calls the PR & Marketing people. She calls just to say hi, or to have lunch! It’s obvious why she is getting so many offers from the Brands, is it not?
The Social Fabric Community Weighs in
I asked them the following three questions:
1) What are some common mistakes people make when communicating online?
2) What are some ways that you feel these mis-communications can be prevented?
3) What are some tips for better communication?
One thing that most all of those who commented from the Social Fabric community agreed on, was that spelling errors and poor grammar were the biggest mistakes people made when communicating via the written word online.
Utilizing spell check and proof reading are simple ways these errors can be prevented.
Tips for how mis-communications can be prevents & better communication from our Social Fabric Members:
Read aloud what you’ve written, even if it’s just to yourself. ~ Monique Burkes @ArmsofaSister
If I’m trying to make a joke but it doesn’t come across as such, I’ll either put LOL or a smiley face or something to let them know I wasn’t being serious. ~Carolyn West @TemysMom
They need a sarcasm font. A “lol” helps diffuse a sarcastic statement. Christine @MammaCupcake
Read what you typed out loud to check for tone and clarity before publishing your comment, post, or FB update. Also use smilies to emphasize your tone. ~ Karen @_Karen
Forgetting that sarcasm and humor do not always translate online. We often forget how much tone and body language conveys to the listener. Oh, and beware of inside jokes in a public forum. Those can go all shades of wrong. ~Andrea @notimeMom
Written communication is so tough because it is all about the attitude of the person writing it and the attitude of the person reading it. I will often use “haha” or “:)” to lighten the mood. I also might think about what I’m going to write before I write it. ~Janet @JanetGoingCrazy
I also think writing in anger is a big mistake. It’s better to cool off and respond rationally than in the heat of the moment. Written communication needs to be very clear and concise. ~Melissa @MsMissy62
You know, I’d really just be happy these days if people would remember to run spell check, or pay attention to that little red line that crops up under words when you’re typing on FB and in forums. As well as remember some basic 7th grade grammar rules – their, there, they’re; lose, loose; affect, effect; etc. ~ Amanda @HouseHoldSix
I agree with Christine- a sarcasm font would be great. ~Samantha @HaveSippy
If you have information you know is sensitive or may be interpreted the wrong way, pick up the phone or have a face-to-face conversation. ~Sarah East9thStreet
I think tone is also a huge issue. You may think something sounds cute or funny, but it may come across as rude to someone else. It helps to read through what you’ve written with skeptical eyes before publishing. ~Jennifer @TheSimplePen
Communication via the written word is wonderful! It has opened our worlds to meeting and talking to people we otherwise would never have been able to make. But everything wonderful has pitfalls. We need to be vigilant and try to prevent those pitfalls, and remember that written communication should not be our only means of communication. It should be in addition to speaking in real life. That is where the real connection continues to be made and nurtured.
Pumpkins and Halloween Fun at Pigeon Roost Farm
We discovered Pigeon Roost Farm in Hebron, Ohio to go for our pumpkins and fun for halloween. For years we have gone to Lynd’s Fruit Farm, and it is a great place to go if you want to pick apples or pick pumpkins right from the field. But it is very on/off with the other activities they have for the kids. Some years it is good, others there is not much there and a big disappointment.
Instead of trying it this year we decided to look for some place new.
I did an internet search and found Pigeon Roost Farm. We decided to give it a go. Mapquest sent us the wrong way, so be careful there. It is between Kirkersville and Hebron Ohio (about 2 miles east of Kirkersville on route 40). Much close to Kirkersville.
It was impressive just driving past, you could tell from the road there was a lot happening, and most of it you can’t even see from the road.
If you live within an hour of it, I would highly suggest you check it out. It is only $5 per person to go do all the activities including the corn maze, a mini corn maze, the Enchanted Forest, the Gerbil wheels and much more!
Pigeon Roost Farm
4413 National Road SW
Hebron, OH 43025
Originally posted October 16th, 2011 on my Explore Ohio blog
We were not invited, given free passes, nor given any form of compensation for this post. We found it on our own, loved it and I wanted to share it with my readers.
No use of my video or pictures without my permission. Thanks
Here Are A Few Travel Tips To Help Your Home Run Smoother While Your Away
As bloggers, many of us are now traveling to conferences and events frequently. I’ve heard several moms who need some travel tips to help their husbands have an easier time while they are gone. I use the term “husband” or “dad” throughout this post. It might be that the caregiver is your mom, or a sitter, relative etc. This is all applicable. So know that “husband” is interchangeable for whatever your circumstance might be.
I wanted to share a few tips that seem to help my home run smoother while I’m away. I have to admit that my husband is pretty self sufficient while I’m gone, so I don’t have the issues that I’ve heard some moms have. (I say that and knock on some wood because I am traveling as this is posted). The kids I still have at home are also very self sufficient (11 year old triplets) and know our routine.
Several of these ideas take some preparation prior to your trip. Even though we are often stressed trying to get ourselves ready and it’s not much fun to do some extra work before we leave, it can often help things run smoother. Keep in mind, if things aren’t too bad while we are gone, then going the next time isn’t going to be such a big deal.. right?
10 Travel Tips to help your home run smoother while you are gone.
1) Clean your home right before you leave.
If things are in order before you leave, then it might not seem as over whelming to your spouse. If the house is already a mess, then he will feel the pressure of cleaning too.
2) Pre-plan meals
Depending on your husband, and his level of expertise in the kitchen (or lack there of) have meals prepared ahead of time. Either frozen (with directions telling him when to pull them out to thaw) or in the refrigerator. Label the meals and have a guide prepared with directions of how to heat them up.
3) Prepare lunches ahead of time.
You can even pre-pack the lunches if you have room in your refrigerator for that. Make sure you have purchased plenty of lunch supplies before you leave.
4) Have all the laundry washed and put away
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of my husband in the laundry room. He likes to “help”. Which in turn, means I have to rewash clothes that I’m not sure are clean or dirty. He tends to let clothes sit in the washer over night (and sometimes a couple days!) and you all know the sour smell that develops when you do that. So I generally re-wash anything that he has “helped” me with, once I get home.
5) Leave a detailed itinerary of the kids activities, sports practices and directions if necessary.
6) Leave a list of phone numbers, Doctors, Dentist, neighbors, car pool, babysitter, school etc.
7) Leave a list of the routine the kids are used to (if Dad, doesn’t know)
8) Leave your itinerary and schedule of your events.
Husbands like to talk to us, and as busy as some of these conferences or events can be, they are already feeling left out (if any of you have had your husbands travel… you might know the feeling well yourself. My ex husband traveled a LOT and I relate very well when I hear one of my blogging friends say their husband is “needy” when they are gone). Both of you get skype and plan times that you know you’ll be at your computer and can skype with him and the kids.
9) Have a back up plan in place.
In case one of the kids gets sick, school is cancelled due to weather etc, someone misses a bus.Leave instructions with Dad and the kids as to what will happen or who will take care of the kids in these situations.
10) By all means… make sure the soccer socks are clean and laid out.
Quick story: On one of our trips to Vegas, where we were two hours earlier than home – Kim @CraftyMamaof4 hubby called her about 6:00 in the morning. Her husband and son were in a panic because they couldn’t find a soccer sock for his practice that day. We (@ZipporahS) were cracking up because she was so embarrassed that he woke up all of us calling that early over a soccer sock. Moral of the story – make sure every piece and part to every thing you can imagine is clean, laid out, prepared, written down and posted before you leave.
More work on us? Yes… a lot! But the benefit would be not getting awakened at 6am with a frustrated husband looking for a soccer sock.