Safe Words

You know its funny the random things you remember while wasting time on Facebook. Today when I was on Facebook while I should have been working to finish the 50 projects I am working on that I have clearly over committed myself for I came across this picture in the status feed. A friend of mine had just pinned it on Pinterest (which also happens to be my newest addiction). Anyway... it made me think of a conversation me and my husband had which has now turned into an inside joke.

Let me first start off by saying I AM NOT into S&M --- no folks just not my thing! This girl likes to be cuddled not pinched, cut, spanked, bitten, hair pulled ---well maybe I do like my hair pulled (JOKING). But look whatever floats your boat and goes on behind closed doors with your hubby is your business --- I just don't want to know about it.

S&M is an acronym used for sadomasochism. It broadly refers to the receiving of pleasure—often sexual—from acts involving the infliction or reception of pain or humiliation. Uh yeah... anyway.... So one night me and my husband are watching a movie and at one point they are talking about S&M and some how the term "safe word" comes out. So my husband looks over and asks what a "safe word" is. I then explain to him that you know the people that are into that sort of stuff often role play so they have a safe word because their significant other might be saying no but meaning yes or saying stop but really meaning don't stop so they come up with a random safe word that would never normally be used in this type of situation as a "STOP". 

So at this point I basically jump on him holding his wrists down and say safe word is "PANCAKES". And he beings to laugh hysterically. So ever since then we have this little inside joke. We have been in professional settings where he just walks by me and says "PANCAKES" and I just bust out laughing. Now a few of our friends know the story so occasionally I'll get a random "PANCAKES" from one of them. 

Yeah well.... I thought it was funny. :)

String Ring - The Kindness Reminder

I'm sure as a child you remember your mother at some point suggesting you tie a string around your finger to remember something. I'm not sure the origin of this but it is said to have carried over from olden days when people would tie a piece of cloth around any painful part of their body. The reason this cloth was tied there is to keep the "spirit of life" in that area. It was believed that this would cure it and keep the pain from spreading to other parts of the body.

The string on the finger idea was designed to "keep" the thought there, to be remembered later when it was needed.  I am all for a new way to remember things. So imagine my excitement when I came across String Ring. String Ring doesn't just serve as a reminder to complete a task, it serves as a reminder to love, enjoy, forgive, be kind and so much more! There are many different colors to choose from and they all have a different meaning.

So imagine sending your child to school with a String Ring --- a constant reminder to be kind, love and forgive.

Oh Sh*t

Oh the things your little sweet peas pick up on. :) Last night when we got home by husband took the trash out to the road. Well, we live kind of out in the country. The only reason I even refer to it as being country is because the people who own the property next to us rent out the property behind us to a guy so he can farm it and the property in front of us is a pasture full of cows. So its not like we live in a subdivision or anything. :)

Anyway... I am not sure how many times it is going to take random animals tearing our trash to shreds for my husband to finally realize that he just needs to set the trash out the MORNING of trash pick up but as long as I am not the one having to pick up the trash he can do whatever he wants to do.

Well this morning as usual my little escape artist climbs out of his crib and comes into our room asking for juice and Barney. So Nick gets up with him (yes, he does this every morning and I think this might be why I love this man so incredibly much because mommy is not a morning person and it takes a little bit to get me going) and fixes his juice and turns on Barney. Well, I hear Nick start the coffee machine and all of a sudden I hear "OH SH*T!" Apparently our lovely wild animals or just the local stray has torn out the trash yet again.

Then I hear Collin (our 2 year old) go "OH SH*T!". Nick immediately says oh no Collin don't say that! You can say that word Collin! So Collin says "OH SH*T, OH SH*T, OH SH*T." Well I am quietly laughing in the bed at this point as I hear Collin walking from the kitchen to the living room saying "OH SH*T, OH SH*T, OH SH*T." While carrying a juice cup to watch Barney. Nick is trailing right behind him saying oh no Collin... please don't say that Collin... that's a bad word Collin.

Yes, I am THAT mother! That mother who was laughing in her bed...

Weight Loss through Hypnosis - Does It Work?

For individuals who struggle with weight loss, hypnosis may seem like a viable answer. After all, it's free of chemicals, you don't have to eat any "weird" foods or take any drugs, and it is generally considered safe. But does it work?

Studies are inconclusive. It does seem, though, that research supports the use of hypnosis as a supplement to a regular weight loss regimen. In other words, hypnosis is not particularly successful when used alone, but may be a great asset when used in conjunction with other programs.

What Is Hypnosis for Weight Loss, and How Is It Done?

Hypnosis for weight loss is conducted like hypnosis for anything else - the client is led into a state of deep relaxation which leaves the client open to suggestion. In hypnosis specifically for weight loss, practitioners make suggestions to the client's subconscious that are supposed to help integrate ideas that are conducive to weight loss.

For instance, a hypnotist might suggest that the client visualizes him or herself in specific situations and practices self-control with regards to eating. Or the hypnotist might guide the client through a series of visualizations that "re-program" the client's response and attitude toward food.
Sometimes, hypnosis helps a client gain insight and understanding into his or her
destructive patterns of eating behavior, thus giving the client control over - and the power to change - those habits.

Over Time

Studies indicate that hypnosis is most effective not so much for fast and easy weight loss, but for maintaining weight loss over time. This does tend to be a significant hurdle for those who struggle with excess weight - many times you can get the weight off, but not keep it off. This is part of hypnosis' appeal - it is said to help "re-wire" the brain so that patterns are changed on a deeper level. Some clients do report that repeat visits are necessary to maintain the healthy patterns.

Part of the Program

As noted above, studies show that hypnosis tends to be most effective when used as part of an overall weight loss program, particularly one that involves behavioral weight management. Not only is the hypnosis more effective in these settings - the actual weight loss program tends to be more effective when hypnosis is included as part of the treatment.

So if you would like to use hypnosis as a part of your weight loss program, research will support your decision. If you choose hypnosis as a way to lose weight instantly with no other effort on your part, you may end up disappointed.

Vitamin D and Your Mood

Did you know that some health professionals recommend Vitamin D supplements for their patients suffering from depression? It's especially indicated in the winter, when sunlight exposure is limited or non-existent (your body manufactures Vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight). It turns out that Vitamin D may play a significant role in regulating mood.

There have been reports of people experiencing much-needed mood boosts when they take Vitamin D supplements - so many reports that professionals are taking notice and, as noted above, recommending the vitamin to their patients and clients.

So what does Vitamin D do, and how can you get more of it in your diet? If you take supplements, how much should you take? What about foods that are high in Vitamin D? Let's take a look at some of these questions.

How Does It Work?

Interestingly, Vitamin D is produced in the body first as a hormone. Then sunlight exposure causes the conversion of this "pre-Vitamin D" into usable Vitamin D. This conversion takes place in the kidneys, and is regulated so that you don't get a Vitamin D overdose if you're in the sun all day. When you eat Vitamin D supplements, they act like the pre-Vitamin D hormone your body produces.

Vitamin D works in the body with other nutrients and hormones to regulate hormone function. Hormones, of course, affect all sorts of things, including mood. Hormonal imbalances can cause mood slumps and odd "highs."

How Much Do You Need?

Because deficiencies in Vitamin D are getting more common, the recommended daily allowance is being reconsidered. In other words, the previous recommendations of 200 IU may be far too low. Current recommendations say 2000 IU is probably more in line with what you need. Also, it's been shown that the older you get, the less well you absorb Vitamin D. So adults may need more as they get older.

What's the Best Source?

You can take supplements or eat foods high in Vitamin D. Remember it's fat-soluble, so Vitamin D supplements and foods will be best absorbed if there is some fat ingested at the same time. Many foods with Vitamin D already have the necessary fat, such as salmon and eggs. Here are some other foods high in Vitamin D:

* Wild-caught salmon
* Oatmeal
* Soy milk
* Mushrooms
* Eggs

You can also drink fortified milk and eat fortified foods. Probably the best route is to get your Vitamin D from a variety of sources whenever you can. During the winter, any skin exposed to the sun may be helpful for boosting your Vitamin D and your mood.

Fun Valentine's Day Ideas for the Whole Family

There's no reason why the whole family can't celebrate Valentine's Day. If you'd like to make it a special day for everyone, here are some ideas to help you get started.

Start a Tradition

You can start a whole new tradition, or maybe revisit one from your childhood. Traditions are one of the main things that make holidays memorable and fun. For example, you could begin by putting a little gift at your children's place at the table in the morning. It could be a small box of candy or piece of jewelry. Waking up and finding something at the breakfast table can be really exciting for kids.

You could also have a tradition like making a favorite dessert or special meal together. Many of the ideas that follow can become traditions.

Love and Togetherness

Let Valentine's Day be the loving holiday it's intended to be! Make it a day of family togetherness and fun activities that everyone can enjoy. it can be a family movie day or game night, or maybe you could have a small gift exchange.


A good craft project can get everyone involved. Some crafts are great for using up excess Valentine candy (such as those message hearts that somehow end up everywhere). For example, you can glue them into a heart-shape on a piece of card stock to make a card.

Other ideas might include making an edible flower arrangement for Mom (Dad and the kids can get together to do this one), or Mom can get together with the kids to make a special dessert for Dad. And of course, making Valentine's cards out of construction paper, craft foam, glitter, and so forth is always fun.

A fun way to include a little gift with a card is to glue a "pocket" to the front of the card and slip candy or a small gift into it. You make the pocket simply by gluing 3 edges (2 sides and the bottom edge) of a square piece of card stock onto the front of the card.

A Special Meal

Try making a heart-shaped pizza and break out the non-alcoholic, sparkling "wine." Kids really like to feel "grown up" enjoying this sparkly beverage in wine glasses. You could serve red Jell-O for dessert - maybe even cut into heart shapes.

You could also put together a red-themed dinner - maybe a beet stew (borscht), strawberries, and pink butter on bread (just add some food coloring to soft butter and mix). You can cut heart shapes out of the bread if you like.

She was injured by an IUD!

I am blessed with 3 beautiful children. I have a 7 year old daughter and two boys, ages 5 and 2. But it is no secret... I believe my baby making days are over. After baby number three was born I went to my 6 week check up and immediately scheduled my appointment for an IUD.

I have tried several different types of birth control. I tried the birth control patch. I LOVED the birth control patch. If I could have just ignored my hair falling out... it would have been perfect. Moving on...

Next I tried the birth control pill. My side effect from the pill was baby number 3. I could never remember to take that darn thing! I knew after baby number 3 that I had to have something that I didn't have to remember to take. So at my 6 week check up I decided on the IUD. My girl friends who have the IUD had me absolutely terrified about having this thing put in. They told me how bad it hurt, how their OBGYN gave them a prescription for a pain killer to take before they came in and here by OBGYN was telling me just to take a Tylenol. Well I quickly realized that my girl friends are big babies. I barely felt it. 

Anyway... me and my husband joke quite often about the IUD. It is suppose to last up to 5 years so I always joke that I am having mine taken out at the 4 year mark and a having a new one put in just to be sure. :) Don't get me wrong, I love my babies but having 3 kids, running multiple businesses and then throwing extra curricular activities, school events and volunteer activities into the mix... this mommy is exhausted! Plus I am one of those people that really could use like 12 hours of sleep per night.

I am blessed to be able to work with my husband every day (well most days I feel blessed). We were at an event back in November in Orlando, Florida and my husband was emceeing. He was introducing one of the young ladies and explaining how she was in the military and had served in Afghanistan and has been injured by an IED. Only instead of saying IED he said IUD. I thought I was going to die --- I was standing behind him against a wall and I know the look on my face must have been priceless. I immediately step forward and correct him and of course his face turned so red and he apologized... there were some giggles in the audience but he recovered. I guess all of that talk about IUD's had gotten him a little confused. 

Simple Valentine's Day Decoration Ideas

To bring the warm, red, loving colors of Valentine's Day into and around your home, you can employ some very simple decorating ideas. Here are some ideas.

Heart Garland

To make a heart garland, you'll need red, pink, and purple construction paper (or whatever colors your like that fit the theme), a one-hole punch, and red, pink, or purple yarn. Cut hearts out of the construction paper. You can vary the sizes or make them all one uniform size. Then use the hole punch to put a hole in the top of every heart. Run the yarn through the holes to make as long a garland as you like.

Variation: include doilies in the garland.

Candy Box Door Decoration

For this project, you'll need a large, empty, heart-shaped candy box, tissue paper in appropriate colors, cotton balls, craft glue/hot glue gun, scissors, and yarn or thread.

Using the top or bottom of the box, lay it on a table with the open side up. Cut or tear tissue paper into pieces about 4 inches square. Place a cotton ball into each square, and gather the tissue around the cotton ball and tie it shut with yarn or thread. You should have a ball with a tufted top. Glue this down into the heart-shaped box.

Continue until you have a box full of tissue "candy." Be sure to vary the colors and distribute them evenly. Then glue a small loop of yarn or thread to the top of the box to make a hanger.

Festive Bows

Use colorful tulle to make bows and swags on your mirrors and wall art.

Cinnamon Candy Candles

Transform clear votive candle holders into festive ones by putting little cinnamon candies in the bottom of each holder. They will help hold up the votive, too.

Romantic Placemats

Cut large hearts out of pink, red, purple, and/or while craft foam. Then use acrylic paints to decorate them in festive designs. One idea is the use a lace doily as a stencil - lay the doily on the foam heart and, with a stenciling brush dipped in a contrasting color of paint, apply the color through the doily holes. Allow to dry and serve up your romantic meal.

Pretty Pockets

Using craft foam or card stock, cut out two identical heart shapes (tracing a template is a good idea). Then you'll need a hot glue gun and yarn or ribbon.

Lay one of the heart shapes down, and then cut a length of yarn/ribbon (about 16 inches). Glue the loose ends of the yarn down on the heart along the sides. Then glue the second heart on top, but leave the top curves unglued. The yarn/ribbon should be glued between two hearts, and the top should be left open for treats or decorative tissue paper.

What to Do with Unwanted Christmas Presents?

It happens to all of us. We open Christmas gifts only to find that one or some of them are just not what we want or need. Maybe it's not something dreadfully tasteless (or maybe it is); maybe it's just something you can't use, such as nice earrings but your ears aren't pierced, or lovely high heels that you can't wear because of your back. Maybe it's a wool sweater that's quite nice, but wool makes you itch. Of course, some gifts are just hideous and you can't imagine anyone wanting them.

Other times, you end up with gag gifts - those funny gifts that are amusing for a few moments after unwrapping, but that serve no purpose at any other time (such as a singing Christmas tree).

What do you do with all these things? Returning it to the store is a rather obvious option, but it doesn't always work. It might be an online purchase, or have no discernible origin. What you do with your unwanted gifts kind of depends on the nature of the gift, and how much time and effort you want to put into recycling or getting rid of it. Here are some ideas.

Swap Party

You can always throw a swap party, where friends can get together and trade gifts. This idea works best if the friends involved have not given each other gifts - you don't want guest #1 to see the trivet she gave to guest #4. At the swap party, everyone brings a gift and takes a gift home, and hopefully not the gift they came with.

Sell It on EBay

There is a slight risk that the giver of the gift you're selling will see your eBay ad, but the chances are pretty slim. You can simply list it under its appropriate category and sell it.


If you have a decent-quality gift and really think someone could use it, consider donating it. Charities always need things they can give to needy people, regardless of the time of year.

Innovative Reuse

If you are into crafts, art, or simply making things, you can turn an unwanted gift into something nice. A sweater can be made into throw pillows, for instance, and a CD rack could serve a whole other purpose in your kitchen or bedroom. Novelty earrings can make Christmas ornaments, and gloves could be made into finger puppets. A little creative thought can create a whole new item out of something useless.

Specialists in recrimination art

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