Dec 30, 2011

I'm back!!

I just wanted to post a quick update to explain my absence. Our family went away on a 4-day vacation to Orlando, Florida! I have tons of photos and stories to post but I am trying to get back into the groove of the everyday since we got in at the wee hours of the night. I did not do any Facebooking, blogging or Tweeting while we were gone and I actually survived!! It was a much needed break and I can't wait to share some details. Now I'm off to unpack, do laundry and get my house cleaned up for the New Year. I promise to catch up on blog reading this weekend. I wish everyone a happy and safe New Year's weekend! :-)
Shelly, Mom Files

Dec 21, 2011

Wordfull Wednesday | A priceless keepsake

Growing up as a child was not very easy for me. I had a very different upbringing from my peers and had a lot of self-esteem issues. Honestly, a lot of my days were very sad. I had this sheet I slept with every single night since I was very little (maybe  4 or 5). There was nothing glamorous about it. It was just a simple light blue bed sheet with butterflies on it.



There was something so special about this sheet though. Over the years it had become so worn that you can practically see through it. It feels like silk and has not one single hole in it. I left my parent's home when I was just 17 years old. I was not allowed to take anything with me but I did manage to grab my "blue sheet". I went through so much over the years but always had my sheet to comfort me. I still have this special sheet after all these years and have even put it in my will for Briahnna to have when I pass away. She has always had a thing for butterflies and it seemed fitting for her to have it. I no longer sleep with my sheet but I do keep it around the house to remind me how much I have grown as a person. 

Do you have a special keepsake that you won't let go of?
Shelly, Mom Files

Dec 18, 2011

Why didn't I do this sooner?

It just dawned on me a few days ago that William's bedroom is a lot bigger than my office. Both rooms are next to each other and they used to be the girls' rooms before William was born and then they moved into bedrooms downstairs.  He only goes in his bedroom to sleep at night. How did I let a little kid get the bigger space? He doesn't even have that much stuff! It is also the one room in the house that is coldest in the Winter and warmest in the Summer. A light bulb went off in my head. I grabbed the girls and we switched rooms. Yep, I kicked the boy out of the big room with a full-sized closet and put him in a smaller, cozier room. Would you believe that now he wants to hang out and play in his "new room" all day long? It was a very smart move. It took me 3 1/2 years to think of it but at least it's done. I am loving my new office space and William is enjoying his new bedroom. We both win! :)
Shelly, Mom Files

Dec 14, 2011

I'm a mom and I lie

Today I was on the phone chatting with my buddy and of course that gives William the idea that he doesn't need to listen to me. I told him he needed to complete his map puzzle so that we could put it back where it belonged. He decided to stack the pieces and ignore me. I told him I was on the phone with his dad and said that daddy needs him to pack his puzzle away right now. Do you know the boy sprung into action immediately?! I asked him to pack the puzzle up several times with no luck. Here I go and say his dad says to do it and the job was done in a matter of minutes. Hmmph! Oh well, I guess it is good that he fears his dad and knows he better do what is expected of him or else he will have to suffer the consequences. Although I don't make it a habit to lie to my children, I do what I have to when the need comes about. It is so important for dads to discipline their sons. Like I always say, only a man can teach a boy how to be a man. I'm lucky to have such a fantastic husband to do just that with our son.

Do you lie to your kids when you need to?

Shelly, Mom Files

Dec 13, 2011

A special project I am working on

For about 2 years now I have been compiling a small collection of some of my secret recipes for my children. I have this great plan that I will give the girls a cookbook as part of a graduation present. I have at least 6 recipes typed up and I even have a photo to go with each recipe. I was going to surprise them but I ended up telling them about it. It touched them so deeply and they had teary eyes and were so happy that I was doing this for them. Now the downside is every time I cook something they love, they ask me to add the recipe to the "book". Are they kidding me? I will be up to 100 before you know it! I am just glad to be able to pass along these recipes and hope they will do the same with their children. I really need to focus a little more on this special project since Chardie will graduate in a year and a half. It is very time consuming since my cooking style is so far from using actual recipes. It really takes a lot of thought to make the recipes make sense. My wish for the end result is a full-color, full-sized book made from waterproof photo paper filled with all of the girls favorites...most of all, filled with love ♥

Shelly, Mom Files

Dec 12, 2011

Tidy Tots Review & Giveaway

I received a box of Tidy Tots disposable potty chair liners to review. Although William is fully potty trained, we still use the potty seat for him to take care of his 'business'. He is still a little leery of sitting on the big toilet so we keep his frog potty handy (yeah we still have it). To get a better understanding of how these potty chair liners work, check out the super quick video below:

   

These potty chair liners will come in very handy for our big road trip we are getting ready to go on over the holiday break. At least William will feel comfortable "going" on his regular potty and we don't have to worry about clean-up.
Each carton contains 16 super absorbent pads and 16 liners. The super-absorbent pad will hold 2-3 urinations. Up to 48 uses per carton! Only $8.99! Purchase them here.

Giveaway: Enter to win a box of Tidy Tots potty chair liners by letting us know why you want to try these out.

For extra entries you can:
~ "like" Tidy Tots and Momfiles on Facebook
~ Follow Tidy Tots and  Momfiles on Twitter
~ Tweet this giveaway and leave a link of your Tweet:
Win a box of @TidyTots1 potty chair liners from @momfiles http://www.momfiles.com/2011/12/tidy-tots-review-giveaway.html #pottytraining #giveaway
~ Follow Momfiles via GFC

Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end at 9:00 pm EST on December 23, 2011. One winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email. Be sure to leave your email address if you do not have a Blogger profile. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes.

I received a product sample for review purposes. All opinions are completely my own. 

Shelly, Mom Files

Dec 10, 2011

Homemade is best

My 15 year old daughter Briahnna recently had a project for her Spanish class in which she had to bring in a food item from a specific country. She was assigned the country of Argentina. She browsed recipes and did her best to pick something that did not require us to have to buy too many ingredients. She chose Alfajores... basically two sugar cookies sandwiched together with dulce de leche (caramel). We almost considered purchasing store bought cookies and caramel but felt like it would have been cheating to do so. All in all, it was a long process of baking in batches and making the caramel filling. It took about 3 1/2 hours altogether. In the end it was well worth it. My daughter felt so proud of what she made and enjoyed her time in the kitchen. As for myself, I was so proud of my budding cook/foodie! She got to see and taste the difference by making something from scratch using high-quality ingredients. Her classmates and teacher enjoyed the cookies and she got an 'A' on the project.

She mixed up a batch of sugar cookie dough and I taught her a simple technique to make each cookie very uniform  in shape and size. 
The dulce de leche took about 2.3 hours to make! It came out really good though. This is one of those things that takes a lot of patience!
Shelly, Mom Files

Dec 8, 2011

Purex Triple Action Review

As a Purex Insider, I get to test out the newest laundry products Purex has to offer. The latest is the new and improved Purex Triple Action detergent. I put it to the test today on some bed linens. They are very light colors and this formula of Purex is supposed to give a "Bright White Clean". I washed in cold water so I could really see if this product would come through on the whitening and brightening. Sure enough it did! This is a good thing since I have not been using bleach. 

I noticed that there was no suds but that is because this product can be used in all types of machines. I don't own a High Efficiency (HE) machine (yet) so I always have to look on the bottle. Good thing it still does its job! I tried the Mountain Breeze scent and it was nice. It comes in 6 scents and I would not mind trying the Free & Clear version. All in all this is a really good product for the price. I find it on sale frequently and keep a little stock in my laundry room. 

You can check out all the latest Purex products via the web as well as get updates on Facebook and Twitter

Be sure to be on the lookout for a future giveaway coming soon right here! 


I received a product sample for review purposes and all opinions are 100% mine as always.

Shelly, Mom Files

Valuable tips from Michelle Madhok

With tight budgets and seemingly never enough time in the day, we often find ourselves trying to squeeze more out of the things we have and what we have to do. Especially as we head into the holiday season, this seems to be top of mind for many of us. But who says we shouldn’t get the most out of what we love, from the perfect holiday outfit to refreshing the feel of our homes without having to spend a dime.

Michelle Madhok, a coveted online shopping expert and founder of SheFinds.com and MomFinds.com, is offering tips and tricks on how you can become a savvy shopper and find joy in the most unexpected of places, like your cleaning routine!

Michelle Tips:
1. Get double the wear out of a pair of chic rain boots by using them as winter boots and adding a simple fleece liner. You can dodge puddles and stay warm and dry all season long.
2. Tights make a world of difference when the seasons change. They can help you get more wear out of your favorite skirts and dresses by transitioning them from warm-weather looks to winter wear.
3. Spend less time shopping for an entire new wardrobe—find a great tailor and get more wear out of your existing clothes by having your ill-fitting pieces hemmed to fit you perfectly. The amount of time you wear them (and compliments you get) will be well worth it.
4. You don’t always need to go out and buy a whole new outfit. Add a skinny belt and wear it over cardigans, dresses, pencil skirts...it can make an outfit look fresher instantly.
5. I love buying designer cosmetics because it makes an everyday necessity feel like I'm indulging in something luxurious – but it's actually something small, within my reach, that curbs the urge to blow a whole paycheck. I also find that the “splurge” pays off because quality makeup lasts longer during the day—I hardly have to reapply!
 6. Any great scented candle. It's amazing how lighting one can add a new vibe to a room or enhance your mood, without having to rearrange the furniture or purchase new accents.
7. If you love when your clothes have an amazing fresh scent, buy a detergent like Gain, which has a variety of scent choices. Instead of using two caps of the leading liquid value detergent, use only one cap of any Gain scent. This helps you use less detergent and get more of the scent you love!
8. Investing in organizational tools for the house lets you get more out of the space you have, making your place look bigger, cleaner and more 'together' without having to purge those “sometimes use” items.

Shelly, Mom Files

Dec 6, 2011

Are people really who you THINK they are?

The husband and I were having an intense conversation this morning about our online circle of friends. Every day we log into our Facebook accounts and read the good, the bad and the ugly that goes on day-to-day of our "friends". Dwayne was saying how people assume so much off of posts that they fail to realize what is really real. For example he was saying how you might have a person living a certain lifestyle through social media and in reality this person might be going through a domestic violence situation. This is very true. We don't necessarily reveal the whole truth about ourselves online. Dwayne and I constantly go back and fourth about online interaction and how real-life interaction is dwindling. Then on the other hand, if you are not involved in social media you will get left behind. For me, I get so much from my online friends. I have learned so much that has helped me in my life and I love to share my views with others. If I can encourage just one person in some way then I feel I am using social media for good. I have made some amazing connections as well as some creepy ones. I do learn from both sides in different ways every day. It's funny that I do have local, personal people in my life that it seems to be a greater struggle to get together more than my online contacts. Interesting....

Shelly, Mom Files

Dec 5, 2011

Eggland's Best December promotions

Holiday Dessert Recipe Contest:



Holiday Dessert Recipe Contest Enter your best dessert recipe in our Holiday Dessert Recipe Eggs-change contest! Whether it’s your blue-ribbon pies or delicious sugar cookies, click here to share your recipe with us for a chance to win exciting prizes!
Entries are being accepted through Thursday December 15, 2011 in the following categories:
•Cookies 
•Brownies/Bars 
•Cakes 
•Pies 
 Each category will have 3 big winners!!! Prizes include:
1st Place Prize: 3 month supply of Eggland’s Best Eggs $25 gift card for Bed, Bath & Beyond EB eco bag, spatula and plush egg
2nd Place Prize: 1 month supply of Eggland’s Best eggs EB eco bag, spatula and plush egg
3rd Place Prize: 1 free dozen Eggland’s Best eggs EB eco bag, spatula and plush egg.

For full rules and entry details, click here.

Exclusive Facebook Offer:


 Click here to "like" Eggland's Best on Facebook for your copy of Fine Cooking’s "Breakfast Recipes Collection - 88 Delicious Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Anytime Meal", a $9.99 value, FREE for Eggland's Best Facebook fans! 

Hurry! This offer is only available through December 31, 2011. Click here to get your copy and get started cooking! Spread the word!

Shelly, Mom Files

Dec 1, 2011

{Giveaway} A New Spin on the Cookie Exchange: Host a Chex Party Mix-Change!

**Contest Closed** Winner is #56 paschadudley~ Congratulations!
The holiday season is upon us and this means we are attending parties and indulging in goodies and treats. Some of you might be attending a cookie-exchange party. They are a lot of fun and you end up with so many wonderful homemade cookies. The downside of cookies is the whole baking part. Chex Party Mix is changing the way we look at traditional baking with the Chex Party Mix-Change. You can skip the whole baking process and whip up yummy batches Chex Mix snacks in 15 minutes! I received a gift pack from MyBlogSpark that contained 2 boxes of Chex cereal, 5 recipe cards, 10 take-out containers and a $20 gift card to purchase items to make some yummy Chex Party Mix.
We made 2 varieties. We love sweets in my house so we went with the Muddy Buddies and Lemon Buddies. They were so easy to make and required very few ingredients. Lemon Buddies have become my new favorite and I highly recommend you try it for yourself. I will give you fair warning that they are addicting! Here is the recipe:

Lemon Buddies
9 cups Rice Chex® cereal
1 1/4 cups white vanilla baking chips
1/4 cup butter or margarine
4 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups powdered sugar

1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
2. In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chips, butter, lemon peel and juice uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
3. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; gently shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool. Store in airtight container.


We decided that we will send in these Chex treats to the girls' teachers to get them through mid-terms before the Christmas break. I know they will love it! There are so many recipes that range from salty to sweet and even gluten-free. You can even tweak recipes and make them your very own!


We are giving away one Chex Party Mix-Change gift pack to one lucky Momfiles reader. The gift pack includes (pictured below): 2 boxes of Chex cereal to create Chex Party Mix recipes, 5 featured Chex Party Mix recipes, 10 takeout containers and a $20 gift card to purchase recipe ingredients and decorating supplies.

To enter- *Mandatory: What Chex Party Mix recipe do you want to try? Have you ever made Chex Party Mix before?

For additional entries you can do all or any of the following. Be sure to leave a separate comment per entry method.

~ "like" Chex and Momfiles on Facebook (please do not write on the Chex Mix wall but you can write on the Momfiles wall to let us know you entered)
~ Follow Momfiles on Twitter
~ Tweet this giveaway (once daily) and leave your tweet link:
Win a #ChexPartyMixChange gift pack @momfiles http://tinyurl.com/d8l87xn #MyBlogSpark

Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end at 9:00 pm EST on December 10, 2011. One winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email. Be sure to leave your email address if you do not have a Blogger profile. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes.

Disclosure: The Chex Party Mix-Change product, information, and giveaway have been provided by Chex through MyBlogSpark
Shelly, Mom Files
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