Monthly Archive: February 2010

My Very First Trip To Texas – Part 1

As the day of our departure grew closer and closer I couldn’t help but feel the slightest bit of dread for leaving my baby. I’m sure that is purely natural, but it was foreign to me, and I couldn’t help but wonder what the heck I was doing. I was going to miss Collin like crazy, and Brian too. Then the day arrived, I got up really, really early, and we were on our way, and I was excited! Deciding to go on this trip was the best decision – it was a lot of fun and I truly had a great time.

Last Saturday Nicolasa and I met up around 6am to head to the airport. We got there and checked in, found a Dunkin Donuts to get some breakfast, then sat and waited to board the plane. I was so excited to fly! It was easy to get through security and get to the gate that early in the morning. Soon enough we were on the plane, I was by the window and I silently wished my boys a great week. A little nap, some sudoku, and an in-flight snack later we were landing in Austin, TX.

We got some lunch, did a little bit of shopping, then hit the road. It was mere minutes before we were surrounded by what I now know is called “pasture land.” Flat as can be!

I was excited to see some green grass:

And I wanted to call this picture “corn rows” but I learned that they don’t grow corn here, because it gets too hot:
 Once we arrived at Nicolasa’s sister’s school we put our things away then went out to dinner. We were thisclose to going to an actual rodeo (how cool would that have been?!), but we couldn’t decide what to do soon enough, so we didn’t make it. Instead we got changed and hit up a local bar that had all sorts of different entertainment. I was awake for 20 hours this day and couldn’t believe I was still on my feet by the end of the night! 
The next day we took our time getting up and ready, then went out to lunch. We had Sonic – yum! – and went for a walk around the college campus. It was a gorgeous day and I got to wear a tshirt and flip flops! I was so happy about wearing flip flops in February!
There were palm trees, which I really wanted to take home…

The Texas “Lone Star” was everywhere…

And beautiful sunny skies.

Monday we also got to sleep in a little, took our time with breakfast, then got ready and went to lunch to meet Nicolasa’s grandparents, who are through and through two of the sweetest people I have ever had the opportunity to meet. They were here for her wedding but we were never properly introduced. I was so glad to have the chance to get to know them. Her grandfather one hundred percent reminded me of my very own, which was a sweet memory.

After lunch we got our things and rode to her grandparents house. We had a delicious dinner, spent time visiting and just enjoying their company. The next morning…

SNOW! Aah. I thought I left this back home!


About 4 inches ended up falling in total, and even though we wouldn’t even bat an eyelash at that here in NH, it pretty much stopped everything in TX. It was big news there, and even made headlines the next morning. Bad news for us, since this was the day Nicolasa wanted to take me to some local landmarks, to some cute shops, and around for a walk.

Please check back for the rest of the trip… this is getting long, and I am tired! I have a few more pictures to share!

Fighting Stains With OxiClean Max Force – Review and Giveaway!

Do you use OxiClean? I am an OxiClean mom through and through. I was recently contacted and asked to do a review of some new OxiClean products and I was so incredibly excited
because I ALWAYS use the stuff. I put it in with the laundry, we have spray for the furniture that has OxiClean in it, I use it when I hand wash Collin’s puppy… I love it and buy it by the bucketful!

New from OxiClean are these OxiClean Max Force products I received in the mail. They couldn’t have come at a better time! Collin and I went out today with his cousin to play and went to Friendly’s for lunch. He had ketchup and ice cream everywhere and we ended up having to borrow a shirt because it was such a disaster! I was so excited to have these new products to try on the mess when I got home.

New OxiClean Max Force products provide excellent stain fighting performance! Whether there is a need for in-wash laundry detergent boosting or pre-treating stubborn stains, each product contains a unique combination of four types of stain fighters that break down the toughest dried-in stains including: food and drink, grease and oil. soil and clay, and grass and blood. The four types of stain fighters work together to remove stains leaving your whites white, and your colors bright.

Once I got home I put the OxiClean Max Force Gel Stick Pre-Treater right to work. Collin wore this adorable striped polo shirt over a long sleeve white shirt today, and they were all a mess.
 I told you – ketchup and ice cream everywhere!
The directions  say to rub gel in… get tough stains out! This applicator has these bumps to really get into the stains, you just push down and the gel comes out. The application was really easy! I pre-treated everything and let is sit for 10 minutes.
Then, I put everything in the washer and used one of the OxiClean Max Force Power Paks along with my regular detergent.  You are supposed to put these right in with your detergent or if you have an HE washer it says to put it right in the drum with the laundry. They are so easy – I am used to having to scoop out the OxiClean from the bucket and inevitably get it all over the place. This you just toss right in! 
A while later I went to the dryer in anticipation of great results and I was not disappointed! The striped shirt? Like new!
The white shirt? Near new. I have to admit that there was still a little bit of those stains left but I must say that those were absolutely, 100% untreated before I applied that gel. On a white shirt? I mean, I didn’t even dab off the excess on those stains – we just changed shirts and these were tossed in a bag for almost 6 hours. I’m extremely happy with the results:
 Barely there ice cream arm..
and just a little pink ketchup arm.
Overall I am completely happy with the performance of these OxiClean Max Force products and fully intend to continue using them in the future. They certainly had a tough job ahead of them today, and I got fabulous results. We’ve got messes all the time here that could stand to use a little extra TLC in the laundry. 
Do you want to win your own OxiClean Max Force products? Enter to win an OxiClean Max Force Gel Stick Pre-treater and OxiClean Max Force Power Paks. Giveaway starts today, Saturday February 27th, 2010 and will close next Friday, March 5th, 2010 at 6:00pm EST. I will use a random number generator to select a winner and will announce who won on Saturday, March 7th, 2010. In your entry please make sure there is a way for me to contact you. Good luck!

Main Entry: Leave a comment here describing a situation you could’ve used these OxiClean Max Force Products recently
Extra Entries (1 each) – please leave a separate comment per entry:
-Follow Laugh Until You Cry publicly
-Subscribe to Laugh Until You Cry through a reader
-Head over to my BlogFrog community and participate in the OxiClean discussion
-Write your own blog entry about this giveaway and link back to this post

 These product reviews are my opinion only. I received these products for free and was not compensated otherwise for this review. This evaluation is honest and true as I see it. If you have any questions regarding this review please contact me.

Five Question/Fill In The Blank Fridays

Nothing like a few prompts to help me get back into the swing of things. The wind and rain here last night was absolutely insane, the phone call from our town at 6:10am to alert us of a “Code Red,” and Collin’s waking up at 6:40am did nothing to help me feel rested. I have a feeling it is going to be a while before I truly feel like I’ve gotten an adequate nights sleep. I am tired today, we have some things planned, and I can’t even concentrate on pouring the milk in my bowl of cereal without spilling it on the counter. Its going to be a long one… 
First up today is Five Question Friday hosted by Mama M. She has these questions suggested by members of her BlogFrog community. If you want to participate or if you would like to suggest some questions go visit her at My Little Life.
1. Do you sing karaoke? If so, what is your go to song?
Definitely not. Even though I have an education in music and have done some teaching doesn’t make my voice exquisite. Haha. I’d probably clear the room. 
2. What is your favorite coffee drink?
Regular. Hot or iced. I like Coffee Coolattas from Dunkin Donuts occasionally as well.
3. If you could choose your own name, what would it be?
I’ve never been able to answer this question. I don’t know. But if I could choose something with 2 syllables instead of 1 I probably would.

4. Were you ever bullied?
Nah, not really. I was usually pretty invisible.

5. How often do you eat fast food?
Not much, maybe twice a month? Probably not even that much. 
Next up is Fill In The Blank Friday hosted by Lauren at the little things we do. Last week was my first time doing this and I enjoyed it. You should check it out too!
1.  When I’m nervous I bite my nails, play with my hair, bite the inside of my cheek.. fidget.

2.  My favorite item in my closet is a nice comfy hooded sweatshirt (except it isn’t really in my closet right at this moment).
3.  Laying in bed and reading a book is my favorite thing to do when I need to relax.

4.  My favorite childhood memory is searching for starfish and crabs at the rocks on the beach where my grandparents lived.

5.  Something you may not know about me is that I have never seen the movie “Pretty Woman.”

6.  A true friend loves you for who you are, no matter how many stupid things you say, how crappy your clothes are, how busy you can get and how little you may be able to talk during any given period of time.

7.  Something I hope people think of when they think of me is that I am friendly, kind, helpful and happy. Because I am.

Howdy Y’all!

I’m back from the lone star state, thankful to be in the arms of my husband, incredibly happy to hear the laughter of my son, and relaxed thanks to a night of sleep (even though it was only about 6 hours) on my very own pillow. I had an incredible trip with an incredible friend and I will miss spending so much time with her. I saw some amazing scenery, learned quite a bit about central Texas, and enjoyed just being. I am proud to say my husband did an amazing job alone with our boy, the house does not look like a bomb hit it, and the sink was even empty of dishes! That is a great way to come home.

Much to my amazement, the world did not stop while I was gone. I decided to keep Collin home with me today because I just missed him so much and discovered that not only does he have a nasty sounding cough, but had a bit of a fever as well. And today we were getting a visit from the furniture store we got our couch from to fix our cushions. And while I was gone my husband decided to surprise me by painting our main bathroom and ripping the old floor up and laying down new tile, which he was still working on today. And I had to do laundry and make breakfast and lunch. And on and on and on. So much happening around here.

When I finally got a moment to log on the computer and absorb everything I left for about five days I was in shock. Emails, message board posts, Facebook statuses. There is no way I will catch up! I hope people understand. Then I went to my Google Reader. Right there at the top of the left column: all items (1000+)!!!! How in the world am I supposed to read all of those? Well the answer is simple. Go get some bread and water and lock the door to the basement and do not emerge until every single post is read. Apparently Google Reader doesn’t even count past 1000 – as if to say “ya right, like you’re going to read every single one… you don’t need to know exactly how many there are at this point.”

While I love reading blogs, and I strive to read and comment to as many as I can, it is not feasible for me to hole up in our office space. If anything this was an eye opener to how out of control my blogging has become. I am a little sad to say this, and to do this, but the time has come for me to pare down my reader list, to cut ties on some subscriptions, and to be okay with it. I was only gone for 5 days! 1000+ posts?! Too many.

I have more to say about Texas, and pictures to share of course, but for now I’ve got some reading to do. I hope everyone had an enjoyable week! Happy (almost) Friday! (Friday, already?!)

In the spirit of sharing:This weeks favorite posts.

I have been toying with this idea for a while now, and just kept failing to follow through, but this week I’ve stuck to my guns and have some sharing to do.

First of all, do you all know what SITS is? SITS (Secret is In The Sauce) is a community where bloggers can check in and support each other daily through comment love. It is really great. Throughout the week different bloggers are featured and on the weekends they have SITS Saturday Sharefest, then Sunday Shout-outs. If you haven’t been over there, I highly suggest you check it out!

Anyway, a while back one of the Saturday Sharefest tips suggested that we as bloggers feature some of our friends on our own blogs to promote them and give some bloggy love. This really struck a chord with me, I think it is a fantastic idea, and I really want to roll with it.

I’ve been saving up links to my favorite posts this week from other bloggers so I can share them with you.

In the spirit of sharing: This weeks favorite posts.

1. david & anne plus one – This post is a simple post about the family’s Valentine’s day. I loved what Anne wrote, but my favorite part is absolutely the pictures of their adorable son Ashton.

2. The Pursuit of Mommyness – This post is called “Are You a Prisoner of Your Blog?. Kelly, the author, highlights some (common) issues she faces with blogging and I found myself nodding along. Some of the comments people left were helpful too.

3. Mom Tried It – Kim posted about painting and healthy snacks – SUCH a great idea!

4. Flying Giggles and Lollipops – Michelle shares an article in this post about food and using as a punishment and a reward. This post hit way too close to home for me. Definitely a good read.

5. Working Mom with a Stay-at-Home Heart - I think that everyone needs to see how delicious the treats she made in this post look! And she shared a recipe. Yum!

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