Gimme Shelter Review

Based on a true story, GIMME SHELTER is the story of a young girl named Apple (Vanessa Hudgens) who, after running away from an abusive home environment, moves in with her wealthy, wall street father (Brendan Frasier). Soon after moving in to her new home, Apple discovers that she is with child. After being given a grim ultimatum by her father, Apple runs away and is almost killed before being saved by a kind priest (James Earl Jones) who gives her chance at the life – and the family – she never knew could be hers.

I had the privilege of watching a screener of GIMME SHELTER this weekend. I can honestly say, this movie is one that will stick with me for a long time.

This movie showed a raw side of teen pregnancy. A side that we don’t want to see. A side we want to sweep under the rug. Continue reading “Gimme Shelter Review”

Getting Our Dinners Back on Track With emeals

Loaded Potato Soup Recipe

eMeals Meal Plans

I’ve been an subscriber for about a year now. I’m a pretty good cook, and I have stacks and stacks of cookbooks, but I was getting bogged down with meal planning. And by bogged down, I mean that I stopped doing it.

I went through a stage of just making our family favorites, but then we all got tired of spaghetti and chili. I went through a cookbook phase where everyday featured a new recipe. That worked about half the time.

Then, I hopped onto the career track. Everything changed. Continue reading “Getting Our Dinners Back on Track With emeals”

Review: HP Instant Ink

HP Instant Ink I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.

You’ve been there, sitting on the couch relaxing after a long day, when all of a sudden your child reminds you that they are “Star Student of the Week” next week. They have to prepare a poster with listings of some of their favorite things and several photos . . . of their siblings, their pets, your vacation last summer. They want you to print the pictures NOW. The only problem is, your printer is out of ink. Again. And it is 7 PM on a Sunday night.

You hesitantly pull on some decent clothes, and mutter under your breath about parents having to do homework. . .and you drive to a 24 hour big box store, and shell out $35 for more printer ink.

What if I told you that this never has to happen again?

This fall, HP rolled out their Instant Ink program, and it will change the way you purchase original HP ink for your printer, and save you up to 50% on ink costs per year!

HP invited me to try out the program, and so far, I’ve been very happy. I feel like I no longer have to be stingy with ink (especially the precious color ink!) and I never have to worry about running out of ink!

Why Should I Use HP Instant Ink?

  • I receive Original HP Ink at up to a 50% savings (I love savings!)
  • New HP Original Ink arrives, in my mailbox before my printer runs out of ink. (genius!)
  • Ink, shipping and cartridge recycling are all included in my low month price (starting at $2.99 a month)
  • Plans are based on pages printed, not the amount of ink used.  The same, flat rate applies to black and white copies, color copies or photo prints!
  • There is no annual fee and I can cancel or change plans at any time.
  • Unused pages roll over and I can use them in future months.

What Kind of Printer Do I Need for HP Instant Ink?

Currently the Instant Ink plan works with HP Envy 4500 series, HP Envy 5530 series and HP Office Jet 4630 series printers.

HP Instant InkHow do I Get Started With HP Instant Ink?

  1. Purchase an Instant Ink compatible printer. (Note:your printer will require a wireless internet connection.)
  2. Choose an enrollment kit. (kits are currently available at BestBuy at Hp Home and Office stores and online at
  3. Start Saving! Register online following the instructions in your kit and start printing! (Note: you will need a valid Visa or Mastercard or debit card in order to enroll. Your monthly service fee will be charged to this.)

Bottom Line: Do I Like HP Instant Ink?

Absolutely! The whole system is a win/win for me! I can print school projects, coloring pages and recipes to my heart’s content. . . and I can even print photos if I ever want to get them off of my computer (and I want to, I really do!) The print quality is excellent. HP sent me an HP Envy 5530 all-in-one printer to try out the Instant Ink Program. I love it! The print quality is very nice and at a $99 price point it is an accessible printer for most everyone.

I used to joke that replacement ink was more expensive than the printer itself, but now with HP Instant Ink I’m going to have to change my tune. I am on the $4.99 100 pages a month plan and it has worked beautifully for us!

Find out more: Check out the FAQ here.

Disclosure: HP provided me with an HP Envy 5530 Printer, an enrollment kit and 1 year of Instant Ink service in order to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and as always, my opinions are 100% my own. I only recommend products or services that I would feel comfortable recommending to my best friends!


The Hows and Whys of Blog Reset

Have you ever been blogging along and realized that your blog was not a good fit anymore?

This is the wall I ran into. I no longer liked the name of my blog, the look or feel of it, or even some of the content. I had the blogging blahs. I felt like I had lost focus, and even my passion.

I wanted a fresh start. . .but was afraid to ditch it all and start over again. I wanted to keep my domain, and I did, but everything else, down to my blog template and color choices is brand new.

I figured a new year was just as good of a time as any to launch a new blog for the new me.

I’ve transitioned from stay at home mama to career mom, and my blog topics will reflect that.

I had some great tools in my pocket to relaunch this new venture.

Two years ago I took an awesome online course called “Content Brew” by Melissa Culbertson.  The course offered down to earth advice on planning content, setting up a content calendar and how to make all of my social media channels work together. It was fun teaming up with other bloggers on our Facebook group who were all going through the course together. It worked great for me, because I was a stay at home mom at the time and my kids napped.

I no longer have  time for such a course now, but now there is a self-paced course available.  I do have time after the kids go to bed to work through my homework assignments! And, it was just the refresher course that I needed! I was able to use the homework assignments to refine my vision and see where I want this blog to be now and in the future. It is truly a blog conference at my own pace!


I also have a copy of the Do it Yourself Blog Critique by the same author, which I plan on systematically going through once things are running smoothly here and I have my content calendar just where I want it. I don’t just want this site to be good, I want it to be awesome!

If you are looking to start a blog, or want to ramp yours up. . .or even if you need a reset like I did, these are some great resources.

If you would like a free list of blogging resources, head over to and click on the sidebar link. This is an excellent resource for finding good plugins for your blog and time-saving apps to make you more successful.


*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, that means I will receive a percentage of any sales made  off of those clicks. I then turn around and pay for things like web-hosting and coffee! Thanks for helping a mom out!

Getting Ready for Halloween; Costume Supercenter Review six kids ready for Halloween is tough.

October is a super busy month, full of Halloween parties for the Cub Scouts, groups of friends and sports teams. And then there is the Trick or Treating.

We end up having to plan in advance and then allow for changes of mind. While we’ve been known to have William dress up as Mario (of Nintendo fame) for the Cub Scout party, he may end up Trick or Treating as an Army guy, or a zombie. I’ve learned to keep a pretty well stocked costume trunk, and I’ve learned to be ready to make quick alterations.

I was delighted then, when Costume Supercenter agreed to allow me to review one of their costumes.

I sat down with Andrew to select a costume. He is the oldest, and just went through a HUGE growth spurt, so none of our current options will fit him. (he’s also the pickiest!).

He chose this really cool Kings Robe-Adult Costume. It is a very nice crushed velvet robe with a faux fur collar and clasp at the neck. I think it would work well as his intended costume as the “King of Town” from his current obsession, Homestar Runner, or it could just as easily work as a Rennaisance King, or a Narnia character.

The robe is very well sized for an adult. Andrew is about 5’9 and the robe brushes the ground, so a taller man could still pull off this same costume.

I was impressed by the quality of the costume. It arrived quickly after ordering it and it was well packaged. It does not feel “cheap” and I am sure that it will reside in our costume chest for quite a few years to come.

Costume Supercenter has an enormous selection of costumes. The website it well organized and you can search according to age and gender, such as men’s costumes or category of costume, such as Renaissance costumes. Shipping is currently free, which is always a plus!

I currently have my eyes on some twin themed costumes for the girls. I cannot decide between Thing One and Thing Two, or Peas in pods. Does anyone else have ideas on some cute baby twin costume ideas?