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Pottery Barn Kids; Revolutionizing Back-to-School

Pottery Barn Kids, Study Space

My Pottery Barn Kids Inspired Study Space

Last week I had the honor of participating in a Pottery Barn Kids Study Space Design Challenge. There is some pretty steep competition. We’re talking 4 other awesome bloggers who also designed study spaces. I really want to win. I am in third place.

The time to vote is now!  Voting only goes on through October 1st, so I need your vote like yesterday.

Click here to vote at the PBKids Facebook page!

Why should you care if I win?

If my design wins, I get to give one of my readers a set of the same products that I used in designing my Pottery Barn Kids inspired study space.

It would mean the world to me if you’d head over to the Pottery Barn Kids Facebook page and vote for me but voting only goes until October 1st. It would mean even more to me to be able to give something back to you, my readers. You have given me so much love and support over the years that I would be ecstatic to be able to share with one of you these amazing products so that you could design your own A+ study space for your little one.

I’m not one who usually begs for votes for anything because I don’t like to be that blogger but this isn’t just for me. Sure, I would love to say I won the Pottery Barn Kids Blogger design challenge ( who wouldn’t) but truly, I just really want to be able to be able to give one of you your own products to use for your children so I am humbly asking that if you can, please take a second and vote. It’s just a click.

I am honored to have been asked to take part in this challenge and I think  that all had something to do with each one of you.

Click here to vote at the PBKids Facebook page!

Pottery Barn kids, Study space, design challenge

If you have the time, I would sincerely appreciate your vote for my Pottery Barn Kids Inspired Study Space to win.

****Disclaimer: I was not paid to participate in this blogger challenge but provided all the items mentioned above  by Pottery Barn Kids and, as always, all opinions and design are my own.

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Live like a Lorax

Live like a Lorax

How do You Live Like A Lorax?

What are you planning on doing with your children to help save our planet? Can’t we all stand to be a little greener? I KNOW we can in my house. Sure I take steps to be kind to the earth but when I get too busy or things get “inconvenient” all the “Green” goes out the door. This Earth Day, I am re-committing to taking some steps (with my children) to be kind to the earth. Are you?

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the next seven generations

the next seven generations

The Next Seven Generations begins Today

In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations…The Great Law of Haudenosaunee

These are words to live by, now more than ever.  We live in a world where global warming is no longer some far off threat from the future, it is actively happening. The world our children will know is not the world we knew as children.
My girls will never know what it feels like to fix their gaze upon the majestic Javan Tiger or cast a glance to the water and see a Baiji River dolphin frolicking. Our children will not know the bright beauty of the Golden Toad or the grace of a Pyrean Ibex.

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.

There is so much beauty and wonder in the world that I want to share with my girls. I want them to see it all firsthand. This can only be done by a shift in the collective conscience. We need to adjust our values to meet our expectations. I want it all to be here to be shared with my children, my children’s children and their children after that.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. ~The Lorax

I am starting at home. To change the world, we only need to cast a pebble of effort and watch as the ripple takes hold of all those around us.

Simple shifts can lead to huge changes for all of us

The Next Seven Generations

  • Recycle and reuse: Use rain barrels to catch the rain and use it to water your garden. Shower together to save water. This could lead to another big “R”, reproduce, so be careful.
  • Plant a vegetable garden: Grow your own vegetables, completely organic and pesticide free. Let your children help you and watch as you ignite their passion for living green.
  • Hang dry your clothes: It saves energy, saves you money in electricity and your clothes smell wonderfully fresh.
  • If it’s Yellow, let it Mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down: We taught my girls this when they were potty training. My husband finds it repulsive, but it saves water and is an easy simple way to be an example for your child.
  • Buy brands that share your philosophy, with big hearts bursting with love for the planet. For example, Seventh Generation products are packaged in recycled containers and the ingredients are hypoallergenic, biodegradable, non-toxic, and free of brighteners, dyes, perfumes and synthetic fragrances. It’s also USDA certified biobased product. Seventh generation products are not only good for people, it’s good for our planet. I’ve recently started using it to clean our laundry with and I love that I can use it in good environmental conscience and know that there are no toxins in the product to adversely affect, my world, my girls.

I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues.~ The Lorax

No one can save the world all by themselves, but together we can change the future.

Making the world a better place for the Next Seven Generations

Seventh Generation and Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax have joined forces to inspire families to conserve the earth’s resources with conscious consumption. If every U.S. household replaced just one bottle of 100 oz. 2X concentrate petroleum-based laundry liquid with Seventh Generation’s 50 oz. 4X concentrate plant-derived product, we could save enough oil to heat and cool 15,700 U.S. homes for a year. Make a difference by choosing high-quality and effective products from Seventh Generation, now offering free shipping for any purchase over $50!

How do you live like the Lorax? Tell Seventh Generation below and be entered to win a Green Your Home prize pack!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Seventh Generation. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules. How will you make the world a better place for the next seven generations?

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Laundry, kroger, cart buster

Laundry, kroger, cart busterPerpetual Laundry; the bane of my existence

Laundry anyone? When I was single, I only had to do 3 loads of laundry a week.3!!! Then I got married and that number went up to 4-5 per week, but he helped and actually I was doing less laundry.There was time to do all my errands and chores and a place for everything to be put away. There were no little people to pull things off the shelf, spill drinks or eat with their entire faces versus just their mouths. It was a simpler time, when laundry was just one of my household chores and not the overwhelming task it is today.

If you have little ones, and I am assuming that most of you do, you understand my agony over laundry. I have a 4 and 6 year old and I am perpetually doing laundry. I try as hard as I can but I NEVER seem to be able to catch up. Never! My little girls change their clothes, literally, 7 times a day…at least! If they are not changing their panties because they had a “drip” (which reminds me, do any of your daughter’s have this issue? I don’t know if this is normal or if they are hyper sensitive or if I need to get them to the doctor. Get back to me, will you please?) they are changing from their pants into dresses and back again, changing their shirt in the process. Heaven forbid that my little princesses dribble milk or sauce gets on them, foggedaboutit. No sooner than it happens their tiny little clothes are already falling to the ground. Should I be worried about how easily and seamlessly this happens? I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come. Girls, keep your clothes on! My hamper can’t even keep up.

Laundry breeds when piled and sustains itself on socks.

To be honest, when we moved in earlier this year, I was really impressed with myself at how well I had managed to fold, put away and FIT all the laundry. Oh yeah, I was all cocky, walking around with my holier than though “My laundry is caught up, folded and put away, is yours?” look. Imagine my surprise, when I realized that I had at least one over sized laundry hamper overflowing with laundry…in the back of my SUV. This means, these girls have more clothes than I can actually fit into my house. You’d think they have more clothes than necessary but as evidenced by their 7 costume changes per day, you’d be wrong. Dead wrong.

On an average day, there is one load in the washer; one load in the dryer; two loads sorted on the floor to be washed and usually 2 from earlier in the day piled in a laundry mountain that the girls keep jumping into like the autumn leaves. Sometimes the clothes get folded and make it to a basket, or a couch, or the bed only to be relocated at bed time ( because they still have not walked themselves to their designated drawers) and sometimes the mountain just grows. On particularly busy Mom days, the laundry mountain dangerously high. I just know I should invest in one of those life alert necklaces so that when it finally avalanches upon me and envelopes me in the smell of soft ocean mist I can be found by rescue workers.

Six years after having my first child and I’m in the throes of laundrypalooza. I should honestly buy stock in Tide and Downy because at least that way, I’d be getting something out of all of this besides just carpal tunnel syndrome from all the folding (well, maybe it’s more tennis elbow from all the flinging of laundry because honestly, not so much folding ever really gets done over here.) Which reminds me, today at Kroger, the cart buster deal of the day is $2.50 off of Tide via this digital download coupon only available at https://bit.ly/wxfnIU.

Tide; The Laundry Tamer

Thank you to Kroger for sponsoring my participation in the “Deal Of The Day” promotion. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Attention Kroger Shoppers! Shop the Kroger Cart Buster event from February 26–March 10 for great values. Find out about all the savings at www.CartBuster.com! And from February 29-March 6, download exclusive, digital coupons for Kroger’s “Deal Of The Day” for even MORE savings at https://bit.ly/wxfnlU. Happy Savings! Why not start a sneak attack on that laundry pile?

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Dyson DC23,Dyson, vaccuum, home

Dyson DC23,Dyson, vaccuum, home
Dyson DC23, My Dyson sucks. Does yours?

What is it? The Dyson DC23 Turbinehead vacuum Cleaner. I don’t know about you but I have been dying for a Dyson vacuum cleaner. I had an upright but it just didn’t suck.Not the way I needed it to suck. One day, after much creative suggesting on my part and my husband spending a good hour and a half trying to unclog our upright vacuum, my dream began to come to fruition. My husband, annoyed and disheartened, went to the store and came home with the Dyson DC23 Turbinehead. The Dyson DC23 Turbinehead is a bagless canister vacuum for medium and short pile carpets. It’s supposed to be Dyson’s most efficient cyclone technology for capturing microscopic dust. It has a turbinehead brush bar for carpets – switches off for hard floors and a lifetime washable HEPA filter traps microscopic allergens. Needless to say, the Big Guy had done well when he came through the door with this baby. I was ecstatic.

What does it say the Dyson DC23 will do?

Features:

  • Root Cyclone technology delivers powerful cleaning with no loss of suction over time.
    • Cleaner Exhaust Air – The air expelled from a Dyson has up to 150 times less mold and bacteria than the air you breathe.
    • Effective for all floor types – The turbine floor tool can be turned on for deep cleaning carpets, or turned off for delicate rugs and floors.
    • Lightweight adjustable wand – Select the right length for your comfort and the job at hand.
    • The washable, lifetime HEPA filter, certified asthma and allergen friendly, even leaves the air smelling clean and fresh.
    • Only the finest quality materials and workmanship for long-lasting durability and reliability–the Dyson difference.
    • Five-year parts and labor warranty.

Does it do what it says it will do? At first, I was a little overwhelmed. I’ve not used a canister vacuum since the 80′s. Plus, it looks a little like a space ship or some sort of high tech space craft. I was afraid that pulling a canister around behind me was going to pull my back because, let’s face it, I’m not a teenager anymore and I actually have to take these sorts of things into consideration. Damn you old age! But to my surprise, it is very lightweight and those two giant wheels actually work very well.I love the fact that you can wash the HEPA filter and it doesn’t have to be replaced. But the real piece de resistance, the Dyson DC23 sucks up dirt and dust particles like nobody’s business. The Dyson DC23 was sucking up stuff that I wasn’t even aware was on my carpet.
Do you need to consult a manual or is it “User Friendly”? It is absolutely User Friendly! All you need to do is plug it in, remove the easily adjustable wand ..ready …aim..suck! Your floors have never been cleaner than they will be with your Dyson DC23 Turbinehead vacuum cleaner.

The Dyson DC23 Turbinehead Vacuum Cleaner

 

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Bree Van de Kamp, desperate Housewives, how bree van de kamp ruined motherhood

Ever wonder how Bree Van de Kamp ruined motherhood? She was a fictional character on Desperate Housewives but there are women out there who strive to be her. Everyone knows that trying to base your life off of an imagined character will only leave you falling short and disappointed. Isn’t being a mom hard enough all on its own?

Anyone who has ever read my blog knows that I am a huge advocate of sisterhood. I think that cat fights between women are ridiculous and that if we all spent a lot more time being real and supporting each other, life would be so much better for all of us. Why does motherhood and being a domestic goddess always have to be a competition? Can’t some of us be do-our-best mommies and domestic good-enoughers and that be it? Can’t we all just get along?

“My kid does this, does yours? My husband makes this much money, what does yours make? My house is bigger than yours. It truly is a pissing contest for women! I can keep the house immaculate, my kids listen to everything I say, sleep in their own beds, go to bed at a reasonable hour with no drama, they are reading at a 5th grade level @ the age of four, I eat but can not gain weight, my husband just keeps getting better looking, and my kids are absolute perfection, did I mention they eat absolutely everything I put in front of them. The laundry seems to do itself, I love to cook gourmet meals for every meal, I am completely organic, I made all the baby food and my babies only wore cloth diapers and drank organic, non tainted by caffeine or alcohol breasts milk. P.S. My shit doesn’t stink! I live in a mansion on the corner of bliss and perfection…or was that delusional and insanity?  And you?” Yes, in my head competitive/ judgy moms speak in long, drawn out run on sentences. Take a breath already.

OK, Bree friggin Van de Kamp…you are not real, you are some convoluted conjuring of what some crazy tv exec thought real life is…not even in the 1950’s, my brother sister. If we’d stop trying to make the other moms think we have it all under control without even breaking a sweat, maybe, just maybe we’d have some back up in the trenches instead of one more enemy trying to kill our spirits and crush our souls.

Bree Van de Kamp, desperate Housewives, how bree van de kamp ruined motherhood

As if that is not bad enough, that we are all running around lying to each other about how perfect and easy our lives are, we are inadvertently (or maybe purposefully) making other women (Mommies, specifically) feel like they are losers because they don’t think life is easy or perfect and neither are their kids and their husband. I mean, myself,  I’ve actually winced at the prospect of having to go to the grocery store, been brought to tears trying to figure out what the hell to wear out in public to drop my kids off at some class or other, the dishes make me want to kill someone (actually just myself..I truly hate dishes! I am not above existing on paper products!), my girls still miraculously end up in our bed in the middle of the night, I have actually been reduced to feeding them cereal for dinner (only once..I promise)….though, I must confess, my kids are pretty perfect….to me! All kids are perfect to their parents! My point is my fellow desperate housewives, we would not all be so damn desperate if we could all just get along.

Next time you feel overcome with the need to blow crazy smoke up your own ass, in a coffee-induced fog of meanness,  please remember the Mommy that you are making feel 2-inches tall would probably serve you better as a cheerleader than as a doormat. Stop spending your cocktail playdates talking about the new mom having a rough time disciplining her toddler; you used to be her.

PSA: Please be kind to your fellow mommies. She is not your enemy, she is your sister, your friend, your confidant, your tether to sanity.

I am bringing this post from the archives to remind us all that we need to support one another and grow a sisterhood through motherhood, not hurt one another by judging and pointing fingers.Moms could be the strongest group out there if we could only love and support one another. We are Mommies, hear us roar.

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Photo courtesy of the internet

Starbucks, Keurig, Diet Dr. Pepper, and Diet coke are all collateral damage of a bad girl gone good.Yesterday was Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday! You know that one day of year that all of us Catholics live for.It’s the day ( more like the 5 day weekend) that we go crazy stuffing our faces with rich foods, drinking  libations of the most toxic variety,and partaking of any and all activities that may fall under the verboten category on Wednesday. If there is any way shape or form that a particular item can be considered pleasurable, you can be sure, we, devout Catholics, are trying to consume as much as we can, as fast as we can. We are storing up our pleasures to sustain as over our long religious hibernation. It usually consists of a lot of really good people doing some really , maybe not so good things, for beads while stuffing their faces and filling their bellies.It’s a mad dash for the finish line before the game gets reset and we have to go to the back of the line. It should be renamed  Sodom and Gomorrah day because unofficially, that’s what it is. It’s the day before the day that we make a great sacrifice for the next 40 days. It’s sort of our annual last hurrah. Because, really….we KNOW it’s going to be a long 40 days and nights. Depending on what you are giving up, it could be longer. I’m no half asser . I tend to give up the things I like the most, my vices.

This morning, as we all awoke in the cold light of day with our Fat Tuesday hangovers, it hit me like a ton of bricks that today was WEDNESDAY. Yesterdays was “that” day, but today is “THIS” day…Ash Wednesday. The official start of our 40 day sacrifice. For my very first accountable Lent, I gave up red meat. Oh No she didn’t. OH YES, I DID! And to prove that I’m no half asser, I was a vegetarian for the next 10 years. I was eventually done in by a McDonald’s cheeseburger, but I digress, that’s an entirely different post. I’ve given up cursing in the past. I realize that I should be embarrassed that cursing is something that any Mommy should be in actual need of giving up, but believe me when I say..I have a bit of a potty mouth. The worse part is that I do NOT realize when I drop the F* Bomb..until I get some gaping mouth look from a fellow Mommy, or worse..my husband. There was the year that I gave up alcohol.This was pre children. I would never willingly relinquish my Mommy juice ever again, unless with child, which I don’t really have any plans of ever doing again. But believe me, when I don’t drink,people ,who know me, automatically assume that I MUST be pregnant. But this year, I pulled on my BIG girl panties. I gave up caffeine. *GASP*

I know, I am as surprised as the rest of you. Why an insomniac prone to migraines thinks its a good idea to give up her number one vice is beyond me. Caffeine is another thing I usually only give up when with child but I feel that my addiction is getting too strong a hold on me. I’ve tried to ween myself off the Starbucks for quite some time. It is only a fabulous treat that I allow myself on occasion. You sexy toffee mocha with a couple extra shots , you really know how to speed up my pulse first thing in the morning.I have also personally been keeping Keurig k-cups in the black with my overwhelming addiction. And let’s not even get started on Diet coke. You evil bitch.I have tried to  give you up on multiple occasions. But you and your maleficent sister Diet Dr.Pepper keep luring me back in to your web of self destruction. I am thoroughly convinced that there was no forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden..it was a piping hot cup of pure pleasure..it had to be a Trenta from Starbucks. If not, it was certainly a ice cold fountain diet coke with loads of ice that sent poor Eve, and the rest of us, on our path of pain.

That’s right people. I am doing what Eve couldn’t do in the garden..I’m passing up the caffeine for the next 40 days. It’s going to be hard. Let’s be honest.I’m pretty sure, it’s going to be like Charlie Sheen when he gave up the coke. Maybe even as ugly as Whitney when she gave up the crack , oh wait, bad example. Anyways, I wonder, do they make a synthetic caffeine that I can take intravenously to keep away the DTs?I just don’t think walking around in polite society looking like I have the shakes is going to be beneficial to anyone and probably a little frightening to the countless small children that I encounter on a daily basis. They have electronic cigarettes and nicorette gum for smokers trying to quit. There is methadone for methamphetamine addicts. So what’s going to get me through my withdrawals? Anyone have any words of advice for me?

Why did I give up caffeine you ask? I gave it up because if it wasn’t hard it wouldn’t be a sacrifice. It would be easy and everyone would do it. So if you see me on the street and I’m cursing, drunk and shaking like a fool…pat me on the back and say “Way to go girl!You will be kicking that nasty addiction right in it’s big hairy ass and making all right in the world again:)” I dream big folks.Now, since I didn’t have my coffee this morning,I’m off to take a nap..how else do you suppose I’m to get through my days on no sleep!Happy Mothering!

*After reading this,I’m thinking I may need to addend this to be coffee and Diet pop.I’m not sure going completely cold turkey off caffeine all together is going to prove a wise move.Hold me. I’m afraid.

** Oh yes, I had to add this because this blog also serves as my remembrance of  my girls childhood. The Big Guy just went to pick Bella up at school and upon seeing her standing there, he promptly went at wiping the dirt off her forehead.He forgot it was Ash Wednesday and not until he looked up and saw the other mother and child sporting their ashes did he realize what he had just done.Damn lapsed Catholic:)

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My beloved, Keurig. You complete me. Staying up late with my insomnia is great for catching up on emails and writing my posts, but it definitely has its price. You know… exhaustion, exacerbation of Mommy Brain, matching black luggage stored beneath my eyes. But there is a friend, nay a savior, that comes to my rescue at every beck and call and this is a small tribute to that beloved friend; my Keurig Coffee Maker.

READ ALSO: Mommy Brain

 

Ode to my Keurig

Oh sweet beauty, with your black and stainless sleekness sparkling it the morning sun,
You call to me with your siren voice,
Beckoning me from my slumber.
You faithfully greet my tired, weary smile every morning
Without fail, you are always there.
You pick me up when I am down,
You give me strength when I have none.
Your aroma wafts through the air and demands my attention.
You produce a sweet resuscitant to combat the death of my exhaustion

Keurig my Salvation

Some say you are but an object,
To me, you are a crucial part of my existence.
I need you, I want you, I love you~
You light up my life, you give me hope.
Thank you for the long conversations with great friends,
the Saturday mornings with my husband, for the salvation of my Motherhood.
You are my Keurig, forever and always.
May no man tear apart what Bed, Bath & Beyond has joined together.

All My love and Gratitude,
Truthful Mommy
**This was not paid for by Keurig, nor did they give me a free anything. They never even contacted me. But I do love my Keurig coffee maker and more importantly, I love my coffee that it makes.

Keurig you are my new Mom salvation

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Yesterday did not go according to plan. But does it ever? What’s the saying? The road to hell is paved with what??? Oh yeah, good intentions. Hell, probably great intentions.

The entire weekend was pretty awesome. If you disregard the groggy feeling that was induced by the Ambien induced sleep. And I thought I was going to awake well rested and ready to conquer the world. Ha! Then there was the freezing weather that we had to till the garden in if we had any hope of planting this weekend.

I know it was my weekend, and my idea for this lovely flower garden, so what kind of an asshole would I have been if I sat by and watched my poor husband till the garden in 40-degree weather? So, I helped. The damn tiller nearly pulled me across the yard and into my neighbor’s yard, that would have been solid. I’m sure that would have gotten me thrown out of the association. There I am being drug around the garden like a rag doll as my daughters ran amuck and my husband and  I froze our collective asses off, hoping and praying the hundreds of dollars we spent on flowers were not for naught since there was a frost advisory..in MAY!!! What? Did this frosty bitch come in just to spite me and eff up my Mothers Day? Seriously!

Once all was said and done, my husband and I were too sore to cuddle or have any “romantic” time together. That was Saturday. Then Sunday, the Mother of all days, I woke up late, I woke up grouchy, I woke up sore, I didn’t make it to mass, spent the day trying to get the flowers into the garden while my poor husband kept trying to shoo me inside so I could rest. I couldn’t rest when there was so much to be done and I surely am not the type to sit around and sit on my ass as he is working like a horse in the garden. Poor guy!

The girls were underfoot trying to help, slowing the process down even further. God bless ’em they were trying. After all was said and done, I have a beautiful flower garden. We ended the day with a deviation from our usual fancy gourmet meal my husband usually prepares. Instead, we had lovely burgers on the grill, grilled potatoes and corn on the cobb ending the meal with strawberry shortcakes. It may not have been the gourmet meal originally planned, but after a hard day of work, it sure hit the spot.

In the end, this weekend reminded me that it is not what you do (or don’t do) on Mother’s Day, it’s who you spend it with! I was blessed enough to spend mine working my ass off in my garden with my beautiful family. If the amount of love put into this garden is any indication of how beautiful it will be, I will soon be tending the most gorgeous garden in the city. In my garden of life, a plethora of love surely blooms!

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I did such a great job on Earth Day that my little girls have been following me around constantly reminding me to give them the recyclables…because Heaven forbid they accidentally find their way into the actual garbage. That’s good, I am proud of them. For 2 and 5 they are pretty amazing and very planet friendly conscious.They have also become very big fans of the “if its yellow let it mellow way of life!” This irritates my husband to no end. He screams , my five year old graciously explains about conserving water to save the world. Seriously, how can he argue? Now, I promised to hang a line and use the dryer as little as possible. So we have been hanging laundry all week.It’s been beautiful out and who could resist. I am sure my neighbors think I am either trashy or a little hippie, either way, my linens smell amazing. Hope my homeowners association doesn’t come gunning for me! Today we hung out a load and it made me giggle. All you could see was a sea of pink and purple. Yep, two little planet conscious princesses live here.

This year instead of flowers, we are planting our own butterfly, flower garden and instead of chocolates, we are planting our very own vegetable garden. The girls are super excited and so am I! Now, that being said…Mommy would still love some diamonds 🙂 You know what they say? And who can’t use a few more friends?

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