A blessing, and a curse. Or, lightning is no joke!

Filed under: Smurfberry,TopPosts,Travel @ 9:09 am

OK so I’m in a silly slap happy mood so there you go the title is a Monk reference. So here’s my recap of our Fourth of July trip to visit hubby’s family. We were picking up some really nice office furniture that his Mom didn’t want anymore so we rented a U-Haul trailer to tow behind the truck. We drove to Georgia first to visit hubby’s parents, after that we drove to Florida for the family reunion. We had a very nice visit with hubby’s parents, and even got to hang out with my niece for a while. She stayed over for a couple of days, and we went swimming and she played with the dogs, and it was great. She’s going on 4 and is a mermaid, seriously. We also got some awesome baby loot! My mother-in-law and sister-in-law gave us a bunch of their baby stuff that they no longer needed now that the kids are 2 and 3. I got a crib – freshly repainted, including mattress, the cradle that hubby’s grandmother built for him years ago (that was used by hubby, my SIL, and her two kids), two high chairs, pack-n-play, etc etc. So amazing. I also didn’t know that when the GA family had a reunion last month, they brought me some baby shower gifts. So I got some cute stuff there. Then when we went to the FL Fourth of July reunion they threw me a baby shower there. Some of you may have already seen some photos I was tagged in on facebook. It was so amazing. I got such adorable clothes and some really useful stuff. I had no idea people were going to go out of their way to throw me a special party. I thought I would just get some stuff handed down and maybe a few small gifts here and there, but not a full on party. That was awesome. Definitely the blessing part of my trip. Now for the curse. The night of July 4th a big storm came through and while we were all sitting on the porch around 10 pm or something, lightning struck the property. It was so loud and scary! We smelled the singed tree and didn’t think much else of it, thinking that was all that happened. The next day someone’s RV was having electrical issues. We didn’t realize we were also affected until we were getting ready to leave the following day. The truck wouldn’t start! It was a Sunday so we had to wait until Monday to get towed to the nearest Ford dealership and to have them figure out the problem. Later that afternoon we were told the computer and many other sensors were fried. Lightning is no joke! So we filed an insurance claim and got a rental truck. We were supposed to get home Sunday evening, maybe Monday morning if we decided to stop somewhere. But we didn’t get home until mid day on Tuesday! And this was after driving through the night with some rest stop naps. We had to pull the trailer and our pets in a rental (which is kind of a no-no, but what are you gonna do?) and had to leave our truck in Florida while we returned to Texas. It was absolutely exhausting and stressful. We are still waiting for the insurance inspector to approve all the repairs and to see what all our options are. We’re worried there may be electrical issues further down the road, but are hopeful the damage wasn’t that bad. We can’t tell if it was a direct strike or just the pulse that effected the truck. We’re also not quite sure if we’ll be forced to drive or fly down to Florida and drive the truck back (and by we, I mean hubby, cause I won’t be going) or if they will somehow get it delivered to us. So there’s a lot up in the air right now about that situation and I’m trying to stay positive and not let it stress me out. I’m getting ready to go visit my parents and have another baby shower so I need to focus on all the wonderful positives :)


♥♥ Dee


Smurfberry ultrasound update

Filed under: Smurfberry,TopPosts @ 8:00 am

Friday we had our 19 week appointment that involved an ultrasound. We would have been able to find out the gender then, but we already knew earlier from our genetic testing. Smurfberry is definitely a boy. Oh boy, he was not shy at all. We were told he is measuring in the 91st percentile in growth, so he will definitely be a big boy. I’m sure he’ll be tall and take after hubby. I wonder how long until he’s taller than me? I mean I’m only 5 foot 3. Anyway it was so amazing to see him moving around during the ultrasound. He moved so much. He actually kicked up with his feet a few times at the ultrasound wand. I don’t think he liked being pushed on. I can’t feel it quite yet since I have an anterior placenta, but I should start feeling it in a few weeks. At one point he waved his little fingers at us. It was such an exciting appointment since the previous ultrasound was too small and you really couldn’t see much going on. This time there was so much activity. Here’s the best picture of the little guy. Now if we could just pick a name.BrJ2-syCYAA5uuY


♥♥ Dee. Megan Hall


Breaking down on the way to work isn’t fun

Filed under: General @ 3:20 pm

So I thought I’d go ahead and blog about this, even though it happened last week and I still haven’t gotten around to it. The previous week I noticed my blinker was out, then it was working again so I thought “ok good”. Then it stopped working again. So that weekend I went to one of the few auto mechanics open on weekends to have the light replaced. In my car you have to disassemble the whole bumper to get to the light, so I told them go ahead and change both blinker bulbs while they were in there. I’m told later that when the bulb blew out, it put out a ton of heat and melted the housing for the lightbulb. Melted! So we had to have it replaced. Not fun. When the mechanic went to change the other bulb, he found the other housing was partially damaged too. So we went ahead and had it replaced because we’re already in there and it is damaged. It wasn’t damaged as bad as the other side where the blinker light blew, but damaged enough. So that was a really expensive repair since these are custom parts. On my way home from that repair, my car’s battery indicator went on. I went back and had them check it, and they said while the battery was operating on the lower side of normal, they couldn’t diagnose something wrong. So I went home.

When I tried to drive to work Monday morning, and my car just shut off. Apparently that warning wasn’t kidding. Everything shut down (starting with my AC and very quickly to all my electrical). I was luckily in a turn lane at that moment and was coasting so I coasted into a garden center type store parking lot. For a few minutes I was trapped in my car because I couldn’t get the door unlocked. It was already hot so I was a bit nervous. I’m like “yep, I’m gonna fry out here”. But I was able to force it open and got out to get some fresh air. I called hubby and he had just gotten to work, so he told them what happened, and went to go rescue me. It took about an hour and a half for him to get to me since he works in the opposite direction of me and I was part way to work already. But he was able to rent a car carrier trailer and we towed me to our friend who is a mechanic about an hour away (where we used to live). I didn’t have roadside at the time (when we switched insurance companies when we got this new house, we weren’t eligible for roadside because of past claims, and haven’t had a chance/gotten around to getting separate roadside. We now went ahead and got AAA) so we thought it would be cheaper for him to rent a trailer and tow me to our friend instead of getting a towing company since they wouldn’t tow that far anyway. It turned out to be the alternator that went out, not a hugely expensive piece, so they were able to get that replaced for me. Though that was a bit of a pain too ’cause they got the 2005 part (since my car is 2005) but it didn’t fit, so turns out my car used the 2006 part instead. So we had to wait for that part to be brought in. It was pretty frustrating and we both got forced to take a day off and deal with this, but at least it turned out to be fairly smooth and while I waited for hubby I got to look at pretty flowers. Silver lining?


♥♥ Dee


The results are in….

Filed under: Smurfberry,TopPosts @ 8:00 am


I called the lab to get our gender results, and the results are in!


We’re super excited because we both wanted a boy. For the longest time I was sure I’m having a boy, I even had a dream that I found out I’m having a boy. But the last couple of weeks I started thinking girl and getting confused. Now I know I was right even though people were trying to confuse me with their guesses.

So, here comes the hard part. Can we agree on a name? Remember I said we didn’t have any trouble finding girl names we like, but we’re having the hardest time finding boy names that we both like. So wish us luck, and feel free to share any suggestions for strong but dignified sounding boy names.


♥♥ aimee fauci. Angela. Dee


My product purchases so far this pregnancy

Filed under: Smurfberry,TopPosts @ 7:00 am

I haven’t purchased too many things yet this pregnancy. I’m doing my best to be frugal because I know a lot of expenses are on the horizon. But these few products that I did have to buy have been life savers for me.

The belly band. Not the kind that supports your back in your final months, but the one that extends the life of your pre-pregnancy clothes. It sits on top of your unbuttoned pants so that you can continue wearing your old clothes for as long as you can. I’m going to mention both items that I bought and explain why they worked or did not work for me. I first bought the Be Maternity BeBand from Target on my way home from work one day when my pants would no longer button comfortably. It was about $16. They only had the white one in stock and the largest size they have is a “L”. I found the material stretchy but tight so on days when I felt super bloated, it did cause me discomfort. The material is nylon and spandex, so it also snagged and got a tear on it. Also, it was long, going from nearly my crotch to my bra. Sure, you can fold it over, but that made it even tighter. In addition, the thing would not stay in place. It twisted and moved around and I constantly had to readjust. One more thing, and this was the most annoying, is it did nothing to keep my unbuttoned pants from folding over and sticking straight out. So then I saw this Belly Button Band offer they had around Mother’s Day to get the band for free and just pay shipping (in fact, you can just search online and find codes to get the item free at almost any time!) I paid about $11 in shipping I think. I was skeptical, since what do you really get for an item that is free, but let me tell you this has been exactly what I needed. The important piece – it has buttons so your pants button into it and stay in place!  It therefore does not slide around! Also, it is not as tall, just going from the zipper area to the button line. I wish it was a few inches taller though because the top of my pants sits above it, and it might be more comfortable if that was completely underneath the band. The material feels like it is mostly cotton, so no more stretchy pressure, but just loose comfort. Since it attaches to the pants, I can just slide my pants down like a pair of sweats and don’t have to fumble anything. So I completely recommend this one (but it doesn’t hurt to find a code to get it for free, am I right?).

Pregnancy pillow. I had a hard time sleeping on my side because of back pain, so I went and got a body pillow to help me with that problem. I ended up going with the Boppy 3 piece total body pregnancy pillow from Target. What I liked about it is the Boppy brand name, but also that it was designed by a physical therapist. Also, it is in 3 pieces, so you can mix and match how you like. I love my own pillow, so I removed the head pillow part and I prop it up behind my back for extra support. The part between my legs has helped keep my spine straight and lessen my back pain. I haven’t started using the under the belly portion yet. The pieces connect by velcro, so that is a little noisy, but it seems to hold together well when I did try it out. In the store I was able to get this pillow for $45 (cheaper than advertised online). Definitely worth it.

So those are my purchases so far and my opinions on them. Are there any pregnancy must-have items you want to share?


♥♥ Daisy


Why can’t I picture it yet?

Filed under: Smurfberry @ 7:00 am

Hubby and I have been trying to have the names discussion and we realize that we are on a completely different page when it comes to possible boy names. Girl names we can agree on, since we both like pretty sounding girl names. But for a boy’s name, he wants something tough and strong (aka no “pansy” names), and I of course want something that sounds nice and cute. He keeps telling me, picture the boy with that name, not the baby, but the boy. And I just can’t. I can’t even picture the baby! I can’t picture anything! So I guess I’m wondering, is that normal? I realize I’m only at 16 weeks so it is early still, but some people have always pictured themselves as parents and seem to be able to picture themselves with a child. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around this whole thing, so the future family picture in my mind is so blurry. Can anyone relate?


♥♥ Christy. Colleen Pence. Dee. Miranda


Blogging Series: Why WordPress Is a Great Blogging Option

Filed under: Web @ 6:00 am

Are you having trouble deciding which blogging platform is right for you and your business? If you’re looking for an easily customizable and user friendly option, look no further than WordPress.

What WordPress Has to Offer

WordPress offers easily customizable templates with many of templates to choose from. Some of these templates are free and can be found online through a search engine, via the WordPress website, or from developers themselves. Other WordPress templates can be created and designed by a professional to meet your specific business needs.

You can also find WordPress templates available for sale online. In short, you can create a 100% unique website with WordPress templates.

It’s so very easy to use. Whether you’re a blogging novice or an industry expert, WordPress offers a user friendly control panel. Even the customization of readymade templates is pretty straightforward.

There are blog posts, manuals and forums on just about every WordPress topic under the sun which means if you have a question, chances are the answer is out there and easy to find.

Widgets and plug-ins. Because WordPress is so very popular, there are literally thousands of developers continuously working to create widgets and plug-ins to solve the needs of business owners like you and to make your blog experience unique for your readers and customers.

Widgets and plug-ins cater to just about every interest or need from games, to social networking to SEO tracking and data. If you need it, you can probably find it in a widget or a plug-in.

Looking to move your blog to WordPress? Find out all the amazing benefits of having Blogelina Transfer Your Blog For You – you’ll actually save money over doing it yourself! Check out the details for yourself here: Blogelina’s Total Transfer Package


♥♥ none yet


Sunday Social

Filed under: Memes @ 7:00 am

Sunday Social is run by A Complete Waste of Makeup.

This week’s questions:

1. When do you take time for you? I try to take time for me when I’m by myself. It is hard to focus on me when there are others around who want my attention. Yes, I know this is going to get even less likely to happen once Smurfberry is born. But, I take what I can get. I usually have about 45 minutes to myself before hubby gets home since I get home first so I get some of my me time then. Also, when he’s got his Army stuff (one weekend a month typically, though lately he’s been away more often), I definitely enjoy some me time.

2. What do you find to be your biggest weakness? No weakness, I’m perfect. Ok, just kidding. I try to be super organized and involved in everything, and then what happens is things don’t get enough attention, things slip through the cracks, and then  failures happen. So one thing I really need to work on is pulling back and getting involved in less, so that I can focus on things better and not let anyone down.

3. What is your biggest attribute? That’s easy, I’m awesome :) Well, I tend to be pretty organized, when  things don’t get too overwhelming and baby brain doesn’t set in, I can usually remember most of the things that needed to get done, and I do them quickly and efficiently. I like my handy calendars and to do lists.

4. What is your favorite place to shop online? Amazon, I guess. I don’t like to buy clothes or items online without seeing them, but I’m happy to buy my books.

5. What is your favorite place to kill time? The house… probably the couch. Either curled up with a good book or a TV show. Lazy.


♥♥ Daisy. Rachel @ Blonde with a Chanse


Sunday Social

Filed under: Memes @ 2:51 pm

I’ve decided to join in on a fun meme called Sunday Social, run by A Complete Waste of Makeup!

Here are this week’s questions. Yes I realize I’m a day late. It happens lol.

1. Introduce yourself and your blog to us:  Hello *waves* I’m Julie and I run Velvet-Rose.net (and also ChapterBreak.net). This is my personal/lifestyle/family/etc blog and Chapter Break is a book blog I run with a friend.

2. What is your favorite form of Social Media and why? Twitter  I think. It is fun and easy to use and I can click and RT a bunch of awesome posts without feeling bad that I’m dominating a newsfeed.

3. What made you start a blog? I met some cool people when I first started hanging out online back in 2001 (omg that’s ages ago!) and blogging was becoming the cool thing to do. So what’s a cool kid like me to do? Well, start a blog, that’s what.

4. What do you feel the most meaningful/special post you’ve written is? Probably my recent post announcing my pregnancy and all my thoughts and feelings so far. It is the most honest post I’ve done in a while. I hope to do more of those.


♥♥ none yet

Blogging Series: How to Start a Blog

Filed under: Web @ 6:00 am

So you know you want to start a blog but you’re not sure how to go about it. Here are five easy steps, and a few good tips, to make the process quick and easy.

#1 Choose your niche. What’s your blog going to be about? You may want to do a bit of keyword research here. If you already have a business, then your blog will be related to your online business and those keywords, however, you can still narrow your blog niche.

For example, if you have an online business on dog training, your blog could be about positive reinforcement training, about housebreaking, or even about a tangent topic like feeding your dog – because health is important to training.

#2 Choose your platform. WordPress, Blogger, Typepad and Moveable type are only a few of the options. You can also explore the blogging platform your website host offers. Analyze and compare each platform to find the one that best meets your needs. Many people choose WordPress because of its easy to use nature and the ability to customize your blog.

#3 Create your blog site. Depending on the platform you’re using you will either be working with the template and customizations offered or you can have your blog site designed by a professional. There are thousands of templates, some paid and some free, available by WordPress developers and they’re easily customizable – you can get an original WordPress blog.

#4 Choose your blogging schedule and blog. How often are you going to blog? Create a realistic schedule and stick to it. Remember that even if you decide you’re going to blog once a week, you can always blog more. Blogging less than that isn’t recommended. Blogs are active sites and people expect frequent content updates.

#5 Drive traffic. Once you feel comfortable with the number of posts you have on your blog and you’re happy with the way it looks, it’s time to drive traffic to your blog. Social networking, PPC, registering your blog with relevant directories and commenting on other related blogs helps drive traffic.

Starting a blog isn’t the difficult part, the tough part is deciding to actually start! Visit Blogelina’s Blogging Video Tutorials to learn more about what a blog can do for you.



♥♥ none yet

Next Page »