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ZipListhAppy Monday everyone! It's time for week two of our hAppy Monday segment.

Next up is Ziplist. Ziplist helps you manage your grocery list in one convenient place. Your family members can even look at your list and add to it when they need items too. It can be synced onto your computer making for quick and easy changes. You can add your recipes to it and it will put the ingredients into your grocery list. Plus, say you find a recipe on your favorite cooking site that you like, you can click the ZipList Recipe Clipper button and it puts the recipe into your recipe folder in ZipList. It can sort your list by store and you can put in details including things like: price, quantity, size, aisle, coupons and more. Also, when you add items to your list and start typing the item name it gives you an product option list so you don't have to type out the entire product name.

ZipList ScreenMy favorite feature on Ziplist is it's ability to go through my list and when I "check" an item it becomes hidden. That way when I'm going through Meijer half distracted by my boys I can still keep track of my grocery list and what I have left to get. I also like that I can sort my items by store and then if I haven't sorted an item it shows up in my "All Store" lists. Another thing I really like is that if you have those items that you always buy every week you can create a Checklist and easily drop it into your grocery list. Ziplist really has helped me make grocery shopping trips much more efficient. This is also available for Android devices.

Do you use ZipList? Tell me about your experience or if you have another favorite app tell me about.

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Categories: Apps, Free,

Jake and the Neverland PiratesThe newly renamed Disney Jr channel has a new show called Jake and the Neverland Pirates. I downloaded it already and it's really cute. There are two boy pirates, one girl pirate, a parrot and don't forget Captain Hook and Smee. They work together to tackle problems and find an answer. C likes to play dress up and after watching the show he promptly dressed up as a pirate. I forsee him asking me a to help him make a map in the near future. Because what is a pirate without a map? I grew up watching musicals with my Mom and really liked the cute little songs. I always like catchy little songs, so I see those getting stuck in my head! "Captain Hook and Smee are cute in their cluelessness and they help remind kids that life isn't always easy, and kids have to sometimes overcome problems.

Things I Love ThursdaySo, while watching the show I immediately recognized Smee's voice. Did any one of you watch the old Disney cartoon where the bears are cleaning up trash in the park? "That's the way it's done, it's a lot of fun, putting papers in the bag." The park ranger is Smee's voice- now, this had nothing to do with the show but made me remember all the cartoons I loved when I was little. Disney really does do a good job of creating shows that kids love.

Have you watched the show yet? What is your impression of the show? Be sure to download your free episode before it's gone. I'm linking up over at The Diaper Diaries for Things I love Thursday

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Categories: Kids, Free,

EvernoteDid you get one of the new Verizon iPhones? If you are anything like me when I first got my iPhone I was continuously looking for any apps that would help me save money, entertain my kids, or make my life easier. For all of you iPhone users out there I've decided to start a new little segment called… are you ready.. hAppy Monday. It's happy, but app-y. Honestly I make myself laugh sometimes. I'm going to go through some of my favorite apps for you. Some of them will help you save money, some will help entertain you, and some will keep your kids quiet for just a moment when you need a break. If you have any favorite apps feel free to let me know, I might even write about yours too.

Evernote ScreenOur app for this week is Evernote. It's a notes program that lets you capture written notes, snapshot notes or voice notes all in one place. It stores your notes and will sync with Evernote online or can even be downloaded onto your desktop. This makes it easy to access your Evernote almost anywhere. Another feature I like is that you can categorize your notes into folders and have the option to share your notes with others that use Evernote. You can add tags to your notes making it easier to search quickly though several notes if need be. I enjoy the ability for quick access to my notes, but it can be synced to another device like my laptop makes it easier to take notes and then have access to them later. I think that the sharing feature is pretty convenient too. My only compliant is that if you are somewhere with bad service then you can have a bit of a hard time accessing your info.

Besides the obvious general note usage here are my two main uses for the app. First, I keep a running list of gift ideas, these are gift ideas for myself or for others for Christmas or birthdays, because every year I can't seem to come up with a Christmas list. But, now with Evernote when I see something I like I just open up my Evernote and write it in. Another thing I've use it for often is to keep tabs on things that I've borrowed from friends, mainly baby items. I will write a list of the items or even take a snapshot of the stuff and then when it comes time to return those baby outfits there isn't any wondering.. "is this our outfit or someone else's." This is also available for Android, iPad, Palm Pre, Palm Pixi, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry devices.

Do you use Evernote? What do you use it for? Or maybe you have another favorite app that you can't live without. Let me know and I might write about your favorite app next!

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Categories: Apps,

I really like living in Ohio, I know the weather can get cold and it's not a tropical location but there are lots of things to do and tons of great local businesses. One of the local places that our family loves to shop at is Trader Joe's. I love how when you find someone else that shops there it's like finding a kindred spirit. Then you both proceed to list what you buy there and why it's good. I always find it funny that every thing that anyone else has on their "must buy at Trader Joe's list" is the "best stuff." Because let's be honest, almost everything there is pretty great. But do you know what? Not only do I love Trader Joe's, but my kids do too. There is rarely any complaining about going to the grocery store when I say that we have to go there that day. So here are my favorite things about Trader Joe's, I'm not going to list all my food I like there because that is a pretty long list so I'll just stick to basics. The things that in my mind make Trader Joe's one of the Things That I Love this Thursday.

Trader Joes Stroopy1. Stroopy the Cow- I don't know who came up with this idea, but it's GENIUS! There is a plush cow that floats around the store, maybe you have seen it and didn't realize what he was doing hanging around the store. Well, did you know that Stroopy the Cow is a scavenger hunt for your kids? That's right!  Once you walk in the door tell the kiddos to keep their eyes peeled for Stroopy the Cow. So while you are on a shopping trip, your kids are on a hunt for Stroopy. When you checkout be sure to have your kids tell the person at the register where Stroopy was and they will score a prize- an organic sucker to be exact. There have been a few times that we've not found Stroopy the Cow, and we have still gotten a sucker just because they are nice there like that.

2. Sample Station- There is almost always some fun new sample to try. Whether it's meatballs or the latest and greatest cheese there is usually some tasty morsel awaiting you towards the back of the store. They also offer free coffee if you are caffeine inclined.

Cookie3. Cookies- So back at the Sample Station sometimes there is a "weird" sample and my boys don't want it. But guess what?! They have Cat Cookies for the kids. All they have to do is ask and whoever is back there will give them a sample cup full of cute cat shaped cookies.

4. Try It Now- Here is the "secret" about the Sample Station... Have you ever seen something at Trader Joe's and thought, "hmm, I wonder if this is any good." Well, all you have to do is take it over to the Sample Station and they will open it for you and let you try it right there! Then if you do like it they won't make you take the opened one, they tell you to get a new one and they will use the open one for samples. It's that AWESOME!?!

Trader Joes Sticker5. Stickers- The registers always have stickers, they are cute Trader Joe's stickers for the kids and you might even get lucky and make it home without them being stuck on you. (Don't you hate that, when you are running errands all day and somehow you ended up with a sticker on you sometime during the day. Then at the end of the you realize that it's on you.. and no one said a thing about the sticker on your butt.. Never happened to you? Me either..)

6. Friendly Staff- All of their staff is helpful, friendly and polite- every time we have been there. The kid-friendly staff is wonderful, it's nice that when we walk around and my littlest boy says "hi" to every passing employee that they stop and pay attention to him. He loves it and it's heartwarming to see how authentically nice they all are.

7. Return policy- There have been those few times that I bought something that we don't enjoy- like that time that I bought Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup... NO SALT... ugh. All you have to do is bring back the item, even if it's opened, and they will refund your money. It's nice to know that I can take a "risk" at Trader Joe's and not be stuck with some weird No Salt soup that I accidentally bought.

Trader Joes8. No Artificial Things- I've been trying to be more careful with what I feed my family lately and was pretty excited when I learned that everything with the Trader Joe's label has NO artificial flavors, colors or GMO's (genetically modified organisms).

Have you ever been to Trader Joe's? What are some of your favorite things about them? Or more importantly what are some of your favorite things to buy there? What should I try next time I'm there- because I'm always up for trying new stuff from Trader Joes. And look at that cutie with his stickers and sucker!

This post is linked at Things I Love Thursday on

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Categories: Kids, Review, Stores,

SlapHint- This is a great gift for anyone on your Valentine's Day list that has an iPod Nano

Remember how I told you about my trip to Blissdom and all the amazing bloggers I met? Well, one of these amazing women that I met was Jill from Diaper Diaries. She does a weekly post called Things I Love Thursday and I'm going to start joining in on the fun. So in keeping with my resolution to post different things, I decided to write about something fun that I got from Griffin Tech the other day.

I came home this week and sitting on my porch was a package. I love getting mail and a package outside is even more exciting, but guess what I got?! I got a SLAP on my wrist!! Now no one actually slapped me on the wrist, but I got a purple Griffin Slap iPod Nano band for my wrist. For those of you like me that loved your slap bracelets in the 80's then you might need one of these too. The Griffin Slap is the awesomeness of my dear slap bracelet just all grown up. Honestly it's genius: it is a metal slap bracelet wrapped with cushy silicone. It has a silicone frame that holds your iPod and an open port for your headphone, and covers your dock connector port so that it doesn't get debris in it. 

Pros- It's a great protective silicone case for your iPod nano, plus a cool watch band/ slap bracelet. I love how cute it is. Right now the big thing is statement watches and the Slap fits that fashion statement perfectly. The only part of the nano that is exposed is the screen and the rest is nicely protected. And having two boys that's a good thing! Since it's made with silicone it easily can adjust to your wrist and it grips to itself so that it stays at the size you need instead of gradually getting tighter. I wore it to the store today and completely forgot that I was wearing it because it was so comfortable. I also plugged in my headphones in and I was pleasantly surprised that my headphones didn't feel like they were pulling out of my ears the whole time. I also think that compared to clipping my nano onto a pocket or shirt the watch band feels much more secure and stylish.

Things I Love ThursdayCons- Well, I'm left handed and the headphone jack is on the inside instead of the outside of my wrist. This does make it a little inconvenient, but nothing too terrible in my opinion. Since it's winter I was wearing a coat and it was a bit hard to put my jacket on with my Slap on. It got a little stuck and I had to make sure that I didn't pull it open when I was putting my jacket on and off. But when it's springtime that won't be an issue. The only other downside I found was that you have to be careful when you wash your hands and you can't wear it when you are doing dishes or else you can ruin your iPod (but really shouldn't that be common sense- don't let your iPod get wet).

Griffin SlapOverall I think it's SO cute and fun and since my Slap is purple I don't have to worry about my husband or boys trying to take it. 😊 Plus let's be honest, I really like playing with the band- Slap on, Slap off. It comes in all these fun colors and if you already have a nano then $24.99 for the band isn't a bad deal! If you are a fan of Griffin products like me you can follow them on Facebook or Twitter and they even launched a new site called Griffin Deals that has a daily deal on one of their products. Even if you haven't heard of them before, you have probably seen their products before and not realized it, the new Griffin Deals site is pretty awesome for scoring their products at a discount.

Disclosure: Griffin Tech provided me with my Slap watch band mentioned above. But this post and opinions are my own and not paid for or influenced by the item provided. To read their reviewer policy be sure to check out

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Categories: Review,

Valentine BeeI'm so excited to be starting a new section here! I'm gonna be posting Playtime Projects to do together as a family here from time to time. I'd love to write a "crafty blog" but I don't have THAT many great crafty ideas so I figured that I'd share the ones that I do have on here with all my readers. So, I hope you enjoy!

Well, Valentine's Day is next Monday, and although store bought Valentines aren't that expensive I wanted to do something fun with C. Since he is in Kindergarten he needs to practice his fine motor skills anyway and I figured that this would be the perfect chance.

I started out begging... umm, I mean asking my hubby sweetly to make us a cute little bumblebee printable. We printed them on cream colored cardstock and got to work.

C got to cut them apart and then placed a heart shaped sticker on as the wings. We had several different types of heart stickers in our stash, but you could really make this however you wanted to with the wings.

Valentine Bee

I showed a few variations that we made just to give you an idea. And ta-da cute little bumblebee valentine cards for the class, easy, fun and cute. Plus you can even color them in if you want to make them a little more personalized.

Here are a couple different wing ideas:
-Two smaller sticker hearts
- Large heart sticker
-Foamie shape stickers (they are about $3 for a 90 stickers pack at Joann)
-Felt shape
-Color it in with markers, crayons or colored pencils

So what do you all think about my first craft post? I LOVE LOVE hearing from my readers.. so please show me some comment love. PLEASE! Did you make Valentine's Day cards with your kids this year? I'd love to hear what you made! Feel free to tell me here or share a picture of your masterpiece on our Facebook page.

** All downloads are for personal use only. Please do not use for resale, or commercial production.

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Categories: Crafts, Kids,

TNATLast week I went to Blissdom in Nashville with a few of my local blogger friends Tricia from Once A Month Mom and Kate from Savvy Little Women. While I was there I met a ton of amazing women that are bloggers just like me. Well, not just like me, but a lot like me. One, of these amazing women I met was Alicia and she does a weekly post and link-up called Try New Adventures Thursday. So I figured since I’ve got big plans for this blog and all my readers that I would “try something new” and join Alicia in her link-up and posts. Actually, Sadie from A Wife Loved Like The Church that I met last week at Blissdom also is hosting the link-up… but either way here are my adventures.

Last week I:

1. Left my sweet hubby and boys at home for the FIRST TIME! I’ve been married for almost 9 years (9 years in September) and my oldest son will be 6 in July, but I’ve never left them all before. Now don’t get me wrong... I’ve been on dates without the kids. We have even gone on a trip or two without them. My husband has gone on several business trips for almost a week and I’ve been alone with the boys. It’s just that I have NEVER been the one to leave them at home. I have to admit it was nice being away and not having to deal with the boys fighting over toys, worrying about dinner or cleaning up messes. But by the time Saturday rolled around I was ready to be home and see them again.

Blissdom2. Met hundreds of strangers. I didn’t spend my week away from my boys just sitting on a beach sipping lemonade. Instead I spent my time learning some of the finer points of being a blogger. I met people that write local blogs just like me and ones that work for amazing companies that love bloggers! I really enjoyed all the people that I met and the time I spent talking to them.

3. Learned I’m NOT always outgoing. If you’ve ever met me then you know how talkative I am, I can easily talk to almost anyone. Seriously if you meet me you know what I’m talking about. Well, being at Blissdom in a conference room full of HUNDREDS of women, I have never felt more shy or timid in my life. I honestly started tearing up and was about ready to cry during the first main session. But I had a great time and wouldn’t change it. I came home feeling like I had learned a lot and had a great adventure in the process.

Have you had a “New Adventure” lately, tell me about yours.

PS- This is a new thing for me, being "personal" on here, so please leave me some comment love. 😊

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