Our Holiday Bucket List

I’ve never done one of these before, but I came up with a bucket list of items for us to complete over the holidays. They’re all do-able. One we’ve already done, and one we’re close to completing. I’m really excited about this, and I know Lucy will be, too. As you can see, I came up with a mix of fun things to do as a family and things we can do to help others. Lucy likes helping me prepare donation boxes, so I think this will be good for us. I want to instill in her early on a desire to help others. I’ll be marking off the list below the picture once items are checked off.

Oh, and for the record, my husband asked me to add “Eat Cookies”. I’m a good wife, no? 🙂

Holiday Bucket List 2012

Holiday Bucket List 2012 
Decorate the House
Cut Down and Decorate a Christmas Tree
Visit Santa Claus
Watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
Make Cookies for Santa
Camp Out Under the Christmas Tree
Drive Around to See Christmas Lights
Give a Toy to a Child in Need
Donate Food for Christmas Boxes
Eat Cookies

What’s on your holiday bucket list?

Lucy’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Birthday

My sweet girl turned 3 yesterday (seriously, WHERE does the time go??), and we had an awesome day planned. After she played for a while in the Power Wheel we got her, we were going to grab donuts for breakfast (our tradition), and head up to Dalton to watch trains and let her take pictures with her new camera.

After Lucy went to bed on Tuesday night, we set to work wrapping presents and putting her car together. I set up a pretty nice display with which to surprise her the next morning and headed to bed.

Around midnight, Joe woke me screaming that Lucy was having trouble breathing. He gave her to me and called 911. Apparently, she had been pointing at her mouth and nodded when Joe asked if she had swallowed something though, of course, we had no idea what it might have been. We were scared to death. I seriously have never been that scared in my entire life.

Lucy calmed down a bit when she saw her gifts, so we rushed her to the car and sped to the hospital. When we got there, they didn’t seem to think there was anything seriously wrong with her (um, HELLO, my daughter said she swallowed something and was still having some trouble breathing), and we ended up waiting for more than an hour in the waiting room. Once we were taken back, we waited another 30 minutes or so for her nurse to come in. Joe had to actually go out twice to ask if our daughter was going to be seen.

When the nurse walked in, she saw Lucy walking around and said, “Oh, she’s fine.” Let me tell you, this momma was LIVID. She listened to Lucy’s heart and lungs, and then left. I was pretty P.O.’d by then and told Joe in no uncertain terms that we were never going to our local hospital again. We’ve never had a good experience there, and this just sealed the deal.

So, we waited. And, we waited. And, we waited. I went out and asked WHEN the doctor was going to come in and was told that Lucy was on the list to be seen. Obviously. However, a time frame would be awesome.

We waited another 20 minutes, and when Joe went back out to the desk, he was told it would be another 30-60 minutes before Lucy would be seen. So, we decided to leave and go to one of the hospitals in Rome.

Once we arrived, the girl at the front desk took one look at Lucy and called back, telling them there was a croupy child they needed to come get. Now, I know there wasn’t anyone else waiting, but I was impressed with their staff from the get-go.

When we got to our room, we had three nurses taking care of Lucy, and the doctor came in about 10 minutes later. She had an xray taken (and, apparently, Lucy had to be strapped to a chair with her arms held up because she wouldn’t stand still — definitely nothing that would hurt her but she was pretty traumatized by it) and diagnosed Lucy with croup. She gave her a steroid shot (traumatizing event No. 2) and a prescription for an antibiotic, and sent us on our way.

We got home around 6 a.m. and, after we let Lucy sit in her car and open her presents, we crashed for a few hours.

When we woke up, we tried to salvage Lucy’s day and took her to breakfast at Waffle House (her request). Afterward, we ran a few errands (and picked up a new toy for her) and then came home to nap. Then, we took her to Chili’s for dinner where the staff sang to her and gave her a brownie sundae. She was thrilled!

So, I think we made up for how her birthday began. We ended up having a really nice day celebrating our little girl.

SAVE While Vacationing in San Antonio

This post brought to you by SAVE . All opinions are 100% mine.


I have only been to Texas once, and I was so young that I really don't remember much about the trip. So, it's one place to which I've been wanting to return. We can knock two baseball stadiums off our list by going there, but there are so many other places to visit and things to see.

One city I really want to go to is San Antonio. Obviously, it would be really cool to see The Alamo but, if you use the awesome SAVE – San Antonio Vacation Experience website, you will find a ton of other really neat things to do. I used the site to put together a sample itinerary for whenever we do head that way.

1. Sea World San Antonio
2. Six Flags Fiesta Texas
3. Splashtown
4. The Alamo Sightseeing Tours or The Alamo Trolley
5. San Antonio Children's Museum
6. And, for shopping purposes (tee hee!), The Shops at La Cantera

There are some great deals and Limited Time Offers available on the SAVE website, like $2 or 20 percent off admission, etc. And, there are also some great discounted rates for hotels and resorts in the area. Vacations are expensive enough as it is, so it's nice to get some deals to lower the costs just a little bit. I wish every city had a site like this!

For updates on deals and limited time offers, and for ideas on planning your next trip to San Antonio, make sure you follow @SAVEinSA on Twitter! Now, I'm REALLY in the mood to plan a vacation!

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Combating Stale Air

This post brought to you by Wave Home Solutions. All opinions are 100% mine.

We have a crawl space in our house rather than a basement and, with all the tornadoes and other types of weather events we get in my area, we've been thinking about creating a tornado safe spot in the crawl space. We'd put flashlights, snacks, a tarp and other emergency items down there  so that, when a tornado is near, we can head back and there and, hopefully, weather the storm safely.

But, crawl spaces and basements are the most problematic areas in a house when it comes to air quality, and if we're stuck down there for a while, we want to make sure the air we're breathing isn't stale. The stagnant air doesn't have anywhere to go because there's no ventilation, and that makes it a breeding ground for dust, mold and mites as well as toxins.

I don't know if we could put a dehumidifier down there because I'm not sure what the electrical outlet situation is like, and while dehumidifiers do dry out the air, they don't ventilate it, so the stale air still sits there. That's why I think Wave Ventilation by Wave Home Solutions might be a better idea for us. The system ventilates and dries out the house. It also draws out damp, polluted air from the lowest level and expels it outside. I bet it would be better to put in our room than a dehumidifier, too, to dry the air out and help our sinus issues. It costs pennies to run — as opposed to dehumidifiers, which can cost around $50 a month — and are maintenance free. Check out this video:

Do you have issues with air quality in hour house, too? Check out Wave Home Solutions and let me know what you think!

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Convenient Breakfast Food

This post brought to you by Quaker Oats. All opinions are 100% mine.

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I am always busy, and it's hard for me to sit down and have time to really eat a good breakfast. There's too much to do around the house, with Lucy and for work. I've gotten Pop Tarts, but they're just so full of calories, and granola bars tend to not fill me up too well.

I really want to try one of the Quaker Soft Baked Bars. They are wholesome foods made with real fruits and nuts, and have 140 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein, and are an excellent source of B5 vitamins. They make a great on-the-go snack or breakfast snack. The bars come in two flavors — Cinnamon Pecan Bread and Banana Nut Bread. I LOVE banana nut bread, so I think I would really love that flavor. I seriously cannot get enough when there is banana bread around. I think my husband, parents, brothers and everyone else in my family would love this product, too, because it's so convenient and healthy. 

Have you tried Quaker Soft Baked Bars before? If so, what is your verdict on them? If not, would you want to try them, and which flavor would you choose?

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Vacationing in Newport Beach

This post brought to you by Newport Beach. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love California and, while I've been there several times, my trips have been limited to more of the northern California area. And, I've NEVER been to the Pacific Ocean, which is something I really want to do sometime.

We've been talking about heading out to California sometime in the near future to visit some baseball stadiums and, while that will be the reason for our trip, I really want to hit the beach. I'm not a huge fan of sand, but I love the ocean. And,what better beach to go to than Newport Beach? I've been interested in that area ever since I watched The OC.

Visit Newport Beach is a great site full of information you need to plan your trip, such as information on the city and the Chamber of Commerce, a map and information on beaches. The Things to Do section has a ton of information on things like Activities & Attractions, Arts & Culture, Kids Camps, Events, Shopping and, my favorite, TV & Film locations. I am big into seeing places where my favorite shows are filmed. And, speaking of kids camps, there are a plethora of options to choose from ranging from science, digital media and dance to surfing, water polo and extreme sports. I know Lucy would love the field sports camps. Check out the camps listed on the website, and let me know which your kids would choose!

The Hyatt Regency Newport Beach is offering a great promotion for families:buy one room and get a connecting room for your kids at 50% off. The hotel sits on 26 acres, and has three pools and whirlpools, shuffle board, ping pong,  and a 9-hole, par-3 golf course.

Check out this video on Newport Beach:

I seriously need a beach vacation SO badly. How about you? How much do you need a trip to the beach? What would you want to do in Newport Beach?

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