Lifestyle * Travel * Food

Mar 30, 2013

Most husbands have a beer fridge. Look what mine has...

Our family took a trip to Charlotte a couple weekends ago to celebrate William's 5th birthday. Our first stop was the Bass Pro Shop. Actually, we went there 3 times that day! It is Dwayne and William's favorite store. I think they could spend hours in there if you let them. They both enjoy father and son fishing time so me and the girls went our way and the boys stayed at Bass Pro Shop.
When we met back up, I see a styrofoam cooler in Dwayne's arms. I just gave him "the look" and he goes straight into "the pitch". He tells me that the fishing season was getting ready to start and how it would be a good idea to grow his own worms. **Insert stinky face here** Well what is a wife to do... you have to let men do man things from time to time. I listened to his very convincing pitch along with dozens of reasons why his idea was so brilliant. I let him purchase his funky little worm growing foolishness. I won't say that there wasn't any eye rolling involved. 

He ended up not being able to use the styrofoam cooler kit because it was too big for our mini-fridge so he use some of my old food storage containers instead. He poked tiny holes in the tops of the containers.  He purchased some sort of packing material that you add distilled water to that has the food the worms need inside the mix. All that was left was to add your own worms.  
It is all very disgusting to me but I am still amazed at how quickly they have multiplied! I won't talk about Dwayne's debacles with some escapees.
I have told him that as long as I don't have to do anything with his worm growing experiment, he can have at it. Of course the business man in him wants to start selling them. I can't deal with this dude sometimes! I suppose there are worse hobbies he could be into.
And yeah, he is that serious that he has dedicated "worm water". I just can't....

SO, what crazy little hobby does your spouse have?
Shelly, Mom Files
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Mar 28, 2013

Getting fit with Smooth Fitness | Update #SmoothBlogger

I have been getting Tweets, email and Facebook messages asking me how I am doing with my Smooth Fitness treadmill. I will say this first...  I hate missing my workout days. I have gotten so used to my Monday-Friday routine that I don't feel well if I miss a day. We recently got some new furniture for both daughters' bedrooms and we had to temporarily fold the treadmill for two whole days. It was killing me! The good thing is it was out of the way for the delivery men to get in with the bulky furniture without any harm to my gorgeous machine ;-)

I might have mentioned before that I suffer from leg cramps several times a week. It is like a deep nipping pain in my left calf muscle that really aggravates me. I often have to stop and massage it for relief and unfortunately take Ibuprofen if it gets that bad. Since I started consistently jogging and running on my treadmill, the cramps have stopped! Even my husband mentioned that he hasn't heard me complain about the leg pain. Doing incline jogging is tough but well worth being pain-free! Another big thing for me is that I can't get enough of having my own gym in the privacy of my own home. I can ugly sweat all I want and nobody will see me. Yes, I'm shy.

I  gained some weight during the month of February (darn you Valentine's goodies!). I had been doing a lot of stress-related eating. I have so much going on with my homemaker duties, family, blogging, kids' activities and school, as well as my husband's busy schedule. My mind has been in overdrive and when the anxiety kicks in, I hop on the treadmill. Even if I do just a 1/2 mile, it helps immediately. I have pushed myself so hard the last 2 weeks and I actually lost all the sweet goodies weight! I feel so much better and my clothes fit like normal again. It was getting scary that I thought I would have to go buy all new stuff! The one thing I will need is new workout attire. My exercise pants fall off while I run. This is because my waist is slimming down *happy dance*.
I am really getting a little freaked out about turning 40 this year and I have vowed to take better care of myself. Besides exercise, I have been drinking a lot more water, cut out soda and fruit drinks (except wine) and cut back on sweets. I also take more time for myself whether it is lunch out with a friend or just some browsing in the shops alone. My energy level in the daytime is insanely high and I sleep so well at night. I also started to do some weights in between and look forward to toning up for the summer swimsuit season. Overall, I am so happy and feeling great! I will update you all in a couple weeks on some details of how the treadmill works, as well as my husband's progress. I will say this much, I am SO proud of him! 

Be sure to check out Smooth Fitness on the web, Facebook and Twitter.

I am participating in a campaign as a Smooth Fitness Ambassador and will be reviewing a treadmill from Smooth Fitness in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts/opinions expressed are always my own.
Shelly, Mom Files
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Mar 24, 2013

Add a Tropical Splash to laundry with Purex Natural Elements {Review & Giveaway}

Do you have sensitive skin when it comes to your laundry detergent? Purex offers their Natural Elements hypoallergenic and dye-free formula to help clean and freshen your laundry without irritating your skin.The Tropical Splash fragrance takes your senses on a tropical vacation! This detergent is biodegradable and promotes green cleaning practices. I really like the dirt lift action that helps to brighten whites. We can't walk around in dingy clothing can we?
You can use Purex Natural Elements in any type of washing machine and can always count on a great, low price.

It is available in 50 oz, 75 oz and 100 oz sizes and can be found at retailers nationwide. I have always had luck finding the newer varieties of Purex detergents at most Walmart, Target and Kroger stores.

Now you can try Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash for yourself. 3 lucky Momfiles readers will each win one coupon good for one FREE bottle! Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end April 6, 2013. Three winners will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

The Purex brand has provided me with a sample in exchange for a product review. However, all opinions expressed here are my own.
Shelly, Mom Files
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Mar 23, 2013

New Dial Kids Body + Hair Wash in Peachy Clean {Review & Giveaway}

The Dial brand has been around for 65 years and has been developing trusted personal care products for clean and healthy skin. New Dial Kids body+hair wash is one of the newest products is made especially for kids ages 2-5. There comes a time when your child is too old for baby soaps, but too young for adults products. This is where Dial kids body wash is perfect. It was developed especially for kids' delicate skin and has no artificial dyes or added parabens, it is tear free, hypoallergenic and Ph balanced.
My son loves the fun and fresh "peachy clean" scent and feels special having his very own bath product. It works so well and leaves behind smooth and moisturized skin. As a mom, I really love the fact that the product is very gentle for my little one.

How would you like to try this fun new product for your little one? Enter below for the chance to win a coupon for one FREE bottle of Dial Kids Body & Hair Wash (3 winners in all)a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on April 3, 2013. Three winners will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

The Dial brand provided me with a sample of the Dial Kids Body and Hair Wash in exchange for a product review. However, all opinions expressed here are my own.
Shelly, Mom Files
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Mar 21, 2013

New Soft Scrub Advanced Surface, a better way to clean premium surfaces (Review & Giveaway)

Do you have premium surfaces in your home like granite, stainless steel, marble or a glass cooktop? If you do, you have to check out the newest cleaning product from Soft Scrub called Advanced Surface. It is a clear gel that is formulated for all of your premium surfaces and is so easy to use.
It has a no-rinse formula that leaves no residue and easily gets rid of grease and grime. I put it to the test in my stainless steel sink and it left nothing but a fresh scent and sparkling shine. All you have to do is apply it with a sponge, cloth or paper towel. Although I don't have granite counter tops or a glass cooktop, it still worked very well on my traditional stove and counters. I really like the fact that if I am crunched for time, I can still have clean surfaces without having to rinse.

How would you like to try out the new Soft Scrub Advanced Surface cleaner? I am giving away a coupon for one FREE bottle to 3 lucky readers. Enter below...
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on April 1, 2013. Three winners will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

Soft Scrub provided a free product sample in exchange for a review. My participation is voluntary and my opinions, as always, are my own.

Shelly, Mom Files
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Mar 13, 2013

Carmex Healing Cream & Lotion Review {Giveaway}

Although spring is just about here, winter is still hanging around in many parts of the country. I know that our skin will go through an adjustment phase as the seasons change. Carmex skincare products can help with that. Besides the usual Carmex lip care items, they also offer a Healing Cream and Healing Lotion.
I have used both of them in the past and love them! They lotion is light and great for everyday use while the cream is best to use for those extra dry areas. Both of them have that signature Carmex scent and it almost smells a bit like playdough. They are loaded with vitamin E and ultra-concentrated aloe vera to sooth and hydrate skin and never leaves a greasy or heavy feel. I like how thick they are and it works great on even the most sensitive skin. My oldest daughter has a hard time using a lot of lotions, but Carmex Healing Lotion works well for her.

Besides receiving the lotion and cream to test out, Carmex sent me a fun branded hoodie which is perfect for my morning drive to drop the girls off to school!
You can find Carmex lotion and cream at most Walgreens and Walmart stores, as well as many others. Stay connected to Carmex on the web, Facebook and Twitter.

My friends from Carmex are supplying a set of the Healing Lotion and Cream for one lucky Momfiles reader to win! Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end March 29, 2013. Three winners will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

I am a member of the Carmex Blog Squad and received product samples for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Shelly, Mom Files
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Purex plus Fabric Softener w/ Crystals fragrance Review + Giveaway {3 winners}

How many of you love using fabric softener, but often forget to add it in? Purex plus fabric softener with Crystals fragrance is a great solution to that problem. This laundry detergent has the cleaning power you are used to from Purex, with the added freshness and softness of a fabric softener. Let me tell you, this formula is very potent and leaves your clothes super soft and fresh smelling. My husband came to bed last night in a t-shirt I has washed a couple days ago and it smelled like I just pulled it out of the dryer.

Of course, you can count on Purex to always give you more for your money. As a matter of fact, you can save over $45 a year using Purex with Crystals fragrance.  I also love the fact that you can use it in any type of washers including HE machines. You can find Purex plus fabric softener at Walmart, Target, Kroger and other Purex retailers. Stay connected with Purex on Facebook and Twitter.
Do you want to win a coupon to try Purex plus fabric softener with Crystals fragrance for FREE? Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end March 27, 2013. Three winners will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

The Purex brand has provided me with a sample in exchange for a product review. However, all opinions expressed here are my own.
Shelly, Mom Files
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Mar 12, 2013

Spring clean and turn your clutter into cash!


Did you know the average consumer has $7,000 worth of unused stuff in their home? In fact, according to an annual clothing Resale Report from thredUP, the average family has $1,318 worth of used/outgrown clothing to sell alone. That's a lot of money that can be put towards future goals for your family or even retirement.

Whatever it is you'd like to sell, below is a list of new tech services that make it truly easy to spring clean while turning that clutter into cash. Best part? You don't have to wait for someone else to buy your stuff like you do on Craigslist or eBay. Just pack up those unwanted goods, ship 'em off, and watch the cash roll in.


·  thredUP.com: online consignment to clean out children's closets and turn outgrown clothes into cash. Order a thredUP bag, fill it with kids' clothes and earn up to 40% of the resale value. thredUP consignors inspect every item and resell only the best clothes. http://www.thredup.com

·  EcoATM: an automated, self-serve kiosk that quickly evaluates and buys back used consumer electronics directly from consumers for cash. It's like a magical money robot. Find an EcoATM location near you. http://www.ecoatm.com

·  Chairish.com: sell your home furnishing directly to Chairish. Users simply submit furniture details online, and Chairish takes care of payments while insuring white glove shipping. Chairish's curation team approves every listing to ensure the best furniture quality for buyers. http://www.chairish.com

·  GoldFellow.com: we've all heard of Cash for Gold, but there's another option for your once loved jewelry. Gold fellow will even take broken jewelry! http://www.goldfellow.com/

·  BookScouter.com: type in the ISBN and Book Scouter will search all the sites that are currently paying for used books to give you a quote. It's like having a book broker! http://bookscouter.com/

·  GiftCardGranny.com: gift card exchange that helps you trade in gift cards you aren't planning on using, for cards you will use - or for cash. http://www.giftcardgranny.com/

·  UsedInstrumentBuyer.com: instruments are often pricey to ship, and you probably won't make much selling them on craigslist. UsedInstrumentBuyer gives you a quote upfront and ship it for free. http://usedinstrumentbuyer.com/

·  TheRealReal.com: luxury designer resale - all online. Perfect for the Louis Vuitton bag that needs a new home. http://www.therealreal.com/Events.aspx

·  TaskRabbit.com: want someone to do your spring cleaning for you? TaskRabbit helps you find local people to run your errands– like help you sell heavier stuff such as kitchen appliances or home fitness equipment in the garage on Craigslist. https://www.taskrabbit.com/

·  Secondipity.com: a selling portal perfect for bigger ticket items like TVs. Best part? With every item you sell, they'll make a donation to a classroom in need. http://www.secondipity.com/





**This information was sent to me via email and I thought the resources would be valuable. 
Shelly, Mom Files
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Mar 10, 2013

Smooth Fitness 5.65 Treadmill update and folding feature demo #SmoothBlogger

Hi guys! It has been almost a month since we have had our fabulous Smooth Fitness 5.65 treadmill and we have been enjoying the many great benefits from it.  It just so happens that my husband is currently taking a health and wellness college class, so he has been able to offer tips to help maximize our workouts. One thing we did was buy a digital scale. Our eyes got rather big when we saw the numbers that came up. My husband has set a goal of losing roughly 40 pounds. He ideally needs to be under 200 pounds. So far he has cut out most of the sugar in his diet and has started eating very small meals throughout the day. After the first 2 weeks, he is down 6 pounds. I am so proud of how well he is doing and even when tempting foods are around, he either says no or he takes just one bite.

The treadmill itself is one fine piece of equipment. We have it set up downstairs near the girls' bedrooms and unless they walk out of their room, they don't hear if anyone is using it. That was a concern since my husband tends to do his workout early in the morning when everyone is still in bed. It runs very quietly and we love that we can hook up our music device or tablet to the MP3 jack so we can listen to music or watch videos. The girls have been incorporating a 2 mile run 3 times a week since they are so consumed with school-related things. I know that it will come in very handy when Briahnna starts back volleyball conditioning. I am sure she will make much better time on her laps.

I wanted to show you this quick video below that demonstrates how easy it is to fold the treadmill in the event we wanted to move it or store it. Quite honestly, I don't think we will ever need to store it, but we have thought about relocating it in the future. Check it out:

Note: It is not necessary to hold the bottom of the treadmill as it comes down, but I still do because I get scared it might slam down too hard. It doesn't do it but I am just the typical cautious mom. In the next couple weeks I will demonstrate the features located on the dashboard so you can get a better idea of how it works and how user-friendly it is.

Stay connected with Smooth Fitness on the web, Facebook and Twitter.

I am participating in a campaign as a Smooth Fitness Ambassador and will be reviewing a treadmill from Smooth Fitness in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts/opinions expressed are always my own.
Shelly, Mom Files
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Mar 4, 2013

Decadent Glazed Meyer Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

I had a sudden craving last week for a lemony treat. I thought about cookies, cupcakes, drinks and ended up deciding on pound cake. I searched recipes online and came across one by Martha Stewart. I used her recipe as a guide, but I tweaked it a bit. Instead of using standard lemons, I used organic Meyer lemons. I also used whole buttermilk instead of low-fat. I can't make a cake without pure vanilla extract, so I added some to mine. She used unsalted butter, I used salted. I also added some extra zest and vanilla extract to the glaze. The end result was moist, rich, melt-in-your-mouth, lemony goodness. The whole family loved it and I plan to make it again in the near future. I might make them as end-of-the-year gifts for the girls' teachers.

I shared the photos of my yummy cakes on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and received a lot of requests to share the recipe. Check it out below:
What you need:


1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened, plus more for pan
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
3/4 cup whole buttermilk
Zest of 3 Meyer lemons
1/3 cup fresh, organic Meyer lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs

For the Lemon Glaze you will need:
2 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
4-5 tablespoons of Meyer lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest


How to make it: 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lower position. Butter and flour two standard size loaf pans or one tube pan.

Zest your lemons before you juice them. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk with Meyer lemon zest and juice. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three parts alternately with the buttermilk mixture in two, beginning and ending with flour; beat just until smooth (do not over mix). The batter will be very fluffy and thick.

Divide batter evenly between pans and smooth tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool 15 minutes in pan. Turn out cakes onto a rack; cool completely before glazing.

While cakes are cooling, mix all of the glaze ingredients together. You can start with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and add more as needed. You don't want your glaze super thin, just runny enough to *glaze* the cakes.
Set rack with cakes over a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Pour glaze over cakes, letting it run down the sides; let dry, about 30 minutes.



The glaze hardens up and the added zest gives it a stronger lemon flavor. I promise you that both loaves won't last long! Let me know if you try this recipe.
Shelly, Mom Files
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The Publix Running Out? RUN IN. event is back! | $25 gift card giveaway

**Closed** Winner is latanya

Do you ever get frustrated when you realize that you go to grab a roll of toilet paper only to find out you are on your last roll? Or maybe when you grab the toothpaste tube and can barely squeeze a drop out? I know that it drives me nuts and it seems like I always run out of some of the staple products all at once! Well the good news is that Publix Supermarket is running their Running Out? Run In. event to help you receive rewards for stocking up on participating items from General Mills and Procter & Gamble that you tend to use the most. 

From March 14th through March 20th, look for the Running Out? Run In. event at Publix to take advantage of great savings on some favorite brands from General Mills and Procter & Gamble, like Cheerios, Totino’s Pizza, Charmin and Crest. Plus, if you buy $25 of participating items during this event, you can mail in to receive a $5 Publix gift card to use on your next shopping trip! (For more details on this rebate, please visit www.runningoutrunin.com.) 

I am looking forward to stocking up on mostly non-perishable items including Tide, Charmin bath tissue, Crest toothpaste and Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner. Be sure to "like" the Publix Facebook page for updates on promotions and recipes.

How would you like to win a $25 Publix gift card to help you take of advantage of the Running Out? Run In. event? One lucky Momfiles reader will win it. Enter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway  

This giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on March 15, 2013. One winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email to claim prize. Please leave a valid email address in the event you are selected as a winner. Please follow giveaway rules or all entries will be disqualified. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck! 

The information, products and General Mills gift pack were provided by General Mills and Publix® through MyBlogSpark
Shelly, Mom Files
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Mar 3, 2013

More good stuff from our talented teen

I just had to share Brie's latest art project that she is working on for school. She is currently in an advanced class and has been given some challenging assignments. This particular one is a large sketch/drawing of an elderly lady with a scarf on her head. If you saw the original photo she is using to do this project, you would be amazed how close it is to the real thing. Her project is not done and she still has add her final touches. So far, it looks amazing!
She is such a talented young lady and we are so very proud of her! Brie attended a conference for high school students in journalism yesterday and her yearbook teacher submitted a layout she did for the yearbook for a contest. It turns out, she won! My girl has so much talent and she continues to amaze us. I always tell people that she is the girl I dreamed I could have been. Way to go, Brie!

Shelly, Mom Files
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Mar 2, 2013

NEW: Dial® Coconut Water Body Wash Review & Giveaway (3 winners)

I want to introduce you all to the latest product from the Dial® line of shower and bath products... NEW: Dial® Coconut Water Body Wash. The first thing that stands out to me is "coconut water". It takes me to a tropical paradise! The scent of this hydrating body wash is comparable to those from a boutique, very refreshing and rich. I love how well it lathers in the shower and leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth. My teenagers love it and have claimed the bottle from MY bathroom! Luckily, Dial body wash is widely available in grocery and drug stores everywhere.

Right now, Dial® is proud to introduce the Healthier Skin. Healthier You.® Sweepstakes featuring Dial® Coconut Water Body Wash. One lucky grand prize winner will receive $1,000, while 250 second place winners will receive free Coconut Water Body Wash. The contest is being held on the Dial® Facebook page and took me less than 25 seconds to enter!

How would you like to try the new Dial® Coconut Water Body Wash? 3 winners will each receive a coupon good for one FREE bottle of Dial® Coconut Water Body Wash. Enter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on March 16, 2013. Three winners will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

Dial Soap provided a free sample of Dial® Coconut Water Body Wash in exchange for a review. My participation is voluntary and my opinions, as always, are my own.

Shelly, Mom Files
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