Lifestyle * Travel * Food

Dec 31, 2009

Momfiles year in review 2009

I decided to write this post in list form and there is no order, just random:
  • We have made so many amazing friends along with getting to know the existing ones better that we met through the blog world. I love my blog pals :)
  • We completed a full year of Vent Day Wednesday and we are still debating if we will continue in 2010. We may consider doing a segment once or twice a month.
  • We have gained new followers and new loyal readers.
  • We have another year documented through the blog of the kids' accomplishments and other fun stuff.
  • We are so happy that more of the people we know personally have been enjoying their daily dose of Momfiles.
  • I have made so many new friends through Facebook that came from the blog.
  • We have been pretty happy with all of our sponsors and PR peeps that have been so generous.
  • Our family has grown and learned whole lot this year.
  • 2009 has been the best year ever for us and we are excited about what's to come in 2010.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! We wish you all good health and happiness :)


Dec 30, 2009

Let's talk diapers

I have been encountering a big problem with William's diapers during the overnight hours. Leaks. Not nice at all. This requires me to wash sheets, blankets and mattress covers daily and it is getting old. I have tried all of the most expensive and premium diapers including Huggies, Pampers and Luvs. They all failed me. Even the ones made for overnight protection just would not cut it. I have even refrained from giving the boy any liquids past 6:30 to see if that would help and nope, same thing.

I knew I had to figure something out. I decided to give the Kroger brand of diapers a try and I had nothing to lose at this point. Would you believe that a store brand diaper actually held up overnight? Seriously, it costs me an average of $3 less per convenience sized pack and it does the trick. I am thrilled and I really hope it lasts! I just thought I would share this information with you and please don't tell Dwayne, I did not receive any compensation for this post. Y'all know how Mr. Cheapie is about his endorsement dollars!! I would recommend these diapers to even the pickiest of moms :)

Dec 29, 2009

William update

Well little William is 21 months and is one curious and active toddler! He is always on the go and he loves for you to chase him around the house. He discovered how to hide. I really don't know how he knows but he does and he has specific little places he loves to go. He likes to peek at you and giggles while you are "looking for him". Sneaky fella! He is really starting to grow in ways that he shows he has a good sense of what is going on and is starting to listen. Yes, I did not think it would happen this soon that he will actually listen (sometimes). He has the most scrumptious smile and he knows how to flash em when he's doing naughty things!

William enjoyed Christmas as much as any toddler would. The wrapping paper was the biggest attraction and he really could care less about his new loot. He is finally somewhat starting to show some interest in toys so what we do is keep a few different ones out for several days and then swap them out for new ones to keep things fresh. He still loves books. They are at the top of his list. Dwayne takes him out in the back yard as often as the weather allows so he can run wild. He loves the outdoors. A strange thing about him is he is very good when he has to brush his teeth or get his nails trimmed. He really loves both of those things! I can't believe how still he stays for it. We have been sitting him on the potty seat before bath time...mind you he is in NO WAY ready for it but we are getting him in the practice of sitting on it. I don't like the pee pee shield. They are scrapey!

We are really enjoying watching the little guy grow and develop. He brings our whole family so much joy and we look forward to him getting older and learning all he can. We are still waiting for the talking part but in due time. He is showing signs of wanting to have conversation so that is a step. He's a happy and healthy boy and that is all we can ask for!

Decent photos to come soon!

Dec 27, 2009

Eat your breakfast! General Mills Cereal Giveaway

I think it is believed by most parents that if you feed your children cereal for breakfast you are giving them too much sugar and calories. Well guess what?? This is not true!

Did you know that ready-to-eat cereal eaters consume less fat, less cholesterol and more fiber than non-cereal eaters? Cereals also deliver important vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients, making cereal a top source of key nutrients in children’s diets.

Other cereal benefits:
  • Ready-to-eat cereals, including pre-sweetened cereals, account for only 5% of sugar in children’s diets.

  • Ready-to-eat cereal is the No. 1 source of whole grains in a child’s diet today.

  • More frequent cereal eaters tend to have healthier body weights and lower Body Mass Index measures.
Studies also demonstrate the benefits of eating breakfast. A
1998 study showed that children who eat breakfast tend to perform better at school. Compared to children who skip breakfast, children who eat breakfast score higher on tests, are less likely to miss class or be tardy. With 3 kids of my own and a busy schedule cereal is a great option during the school week. As a matter of fact we all love the Oatmeal Crisp in Crunch Almond and an old favorite, Lucky Charms! We sometimes have cereal for dinner!! I also believe that cereal is an economical option as well.

For more information about kids and cereals, please visit Cereal Health and Wellness.

Right now if you visit here you will find a $1 off coupon for one of four General Mills cereals, while supplies last.

Giveaway: General Mills and MyBlogSpark have offered one Momfiles reader the chance to win
VIP coupons for 4 boxes of General Mills cereal ($24 value) to help your family come together at the breakfast table every morning!
Mandatory- What is your favorite General Mills cereal? Comments that say "thank you" or "count me in" will be deleted. Want an additional entry? (You must complete the above method to qualify for extra entries)

--You can Twitter this giveaway (one per day) and leave me a link to your Tweet.
Enter the General Mills Cereal Giveaway @momfiles #giveaway

-- Facebook this giveaway, and please leave a separate comment/link for each entry to count. (one per day)

--Follow me on Twitter or "friend me" on Facebook (leave a comment with a link) If you already follow let me know.

--You can also place our button on your blog or follow us (please leave a blog link in your comment or specify if you are a new or current follower).

*Be sure to have a visible email address in your comment if you do not have a Blogger profile. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Deadline to enter is January 8, 2010 at 11:59 pm EST. Good luck!
All information was provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark. I received 4 free cereal coupons for posting about product.

Putting it all away

I started late last night taking all the ornament off the tree. It was supposed to be just that. Instead the lights made their way off and then eventually the tree itself completely disappeared, tucked away in enormous storage bins. All signs of Christmas have vanished. I am one of those people that just don't like keeping seasonal things up past the time. We really like getting the house cleaned up and organized for the New Year. Dwayne has gotten our bill book made for 2010 and I got a new computer and so we have no excuse to have things get out of control. I even bought a new coupon organizer to help save the family some money. If I don't have a coupon or it is not on sale I generally won't purchase that item. So now that I have completely switched subjects it is time for me to go! I will be back tomorrow :)

Dec 25, 2009

I miss my blog

Seriously, I have really missed my blog. I can't believe I have not updated it in days. I last wrote about being sick. Well I went and overdid it and relapsed so I have been really taking it easy. I am feeling up to par now so I will stop being such a slacker. We had a nice quiet Christmas and I am always so amazed by how much planning, preparing, wrapping and cooking you do for it to all be over so quickly. I guess it will be time to get the house all spiffy for the new year. I am not making any resolutions except to keep myself healthy. I feel like that is important and I already do what I can daily to ensure good health. Well I have a lot more interesting things to talk about so I will get back on the ball and blog daily to fill everyone in on all the latest shenanigans and goings on in the Ismail household. I hope everyone had a great time this holiday season!

Dec 22, 2009

I've been away

Gosh, it's been a while since I have posted anything or even checked my favorite blogs. I have had so much going on and have been sick with a cold for about 4 days now. With the kids being out of school it seems we have been so much busier. Oh yeah and my computer crashed. I am not happy about that but gladly I backed up most everything that was important so I am grateful for that. For all my friends that celebrate the holiday season I wish you all the happiest of holidays and I will not be absent like this come the end of the week! Have a great day :)

Dec 17, 2009

Where is the "physical" in Physical Education?

Before anyone gets all huffy thinking I am about to bash the school system you can chill. I stand by my Public School System 100% by staying involved and encouraging my children to take full advantage of their education. I do however have a bit of an issue with the area of physical education. Remember years ago when we had to go to P.E. we had to dress out and be prepared to do physical activity for a good solid hour? Remember playing kickball, football, basketball, rope climbing, tumbling and all the other great stuff you did? Okay, I admit I have never been the top PE student but I do know that we had to participate in different physical activities.

This school year my high schooler has been telling me how PE has been a joke. I am thinking she is exaggerating and is going off of what all the other students who previously took that class were saying. It turns out that there are several days in the week that they are given free-play time (with lots of limitations), computer time or TV time. This really shocked me! I know that there are bad weather days but come on there are always alternatives of things that can be done. I feel like video games and TV have encouraged our youth to be lazy and physically unproductive. I'm really not sure if it is a high school thing or not. It seems like the girls did so much more in the elementary and middle school years in PE class. I would love to see the physical part of physical education to come back!

Dec 16, 2009

Vent Day Wednesday

Welcome to this very special holiday edition of Vent day Wednesday! We really hope you enjoy this wacky video and look forward to reading your comments. HO HO HO!


Dec 15, 2009

Terrible Two's so soon?

Someone please tell me that the toddler/terrible two's stage does not last forever. Seriously, we have never been through this before because the girls were complete angels. This little boy can really try your patience. If something is in his way he will pick it up and throw it, no matter what the item is. I can't get the boy to sit still except maybe for a meal, but know that he will be back up and running the second he swallows the last morsel. Temper tantrums with back arching and all?? really?? Please tell me he will get some kind of an attention span. Please!!

He is still not quite talking as yet. The doctor tells us it's normal and not to worry since he is doing so well in every other way. That's really not good enough for us. William shows that he knows what's going on and can follow commands but still won't speak. It is really frustrating but we continue to do our best working with him. He will occasionally say something out of the blue and we all get so excited. All of my friends and family tell me that before long I will be begging him to shut up and I should enjoy the peaceful quietness while I can. Has anyone had a late talker in the family? Please tell me I am not alone.

*Sorry for all my whining. Now I will go back to my usual cheery happy self :)

Dec 14, 2009

Christmas cookie craziness!

The girls and I decided to make Christmas cookies this year. At first we were going to make the cookies from scratch but changed our minds since we had a dozen cakes to bake as well. I found some pre-cut sugar cookie dough at the store that was ready to bake. We also got a bunch of cookie icing and decorations. We sat for hours decorating some of the stupidest looking cookies ever but had such a blast doing it! We ate at least 6-8 as we decorated. We shared a lot of laughs and made a lot of mess. It was so much fun! I think we will make it a yearly tradition (not only during the holidays).

They look so pitiful!! hahaha!!!

Dec 13, 2009

Holiday teacher gifts

My last post was about baking mini pound cakes for the girls' teachers and here they are! I did not go with the lemon ones because I did not like how they turned out. I went with the one I made last year and whenever the name Paula Deen is mentioned you know it's going to be perfect!

They look a little rough but trust me they are so moist and rich. Dwayne was drooling over the little taste he got.

We wrapped them up in plastic wrap and then in decorative tissue paper along with a copy of the recipe inside.

I think they came out cute :) Here is the recipe I used....

Grandmother Paula's Sour Cream Pound Cake *Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen


1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
3 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the sour cream and mix until incorporated. Sift the baking soda and flour together. Add to the creamed mixture alternating with eggs, beating each egg 1 at a time. Add the vanilla and pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

*NOTE: I used 7 mini loaf pans and baked for an hour instead.

Dec 10, 2009

Getting things together

This is going to be one of those very random posts so here I go... First of all I have made a decision to deactivate my Facebook account for at least a week. Most people are in shock and wonder why. It's simply for me to take a little more time to focus on everyday tasks as well as work on some things that I have neglected. I am assisting Dwayne with his business and I need to get a good sense of organization and planning. My office is in shambles so obviously I need to get cracking on that ASAP.

My toddler son is curious and very fast. I can't take my eye off of him for even a minute. He found a glass that way left out that contained a little bit of leftover adult beverage and thankfully it spilled before he could take a sip. That was a bit of an eye opener that once again organization is needed.

With Christmas on it's way I have all these lavish plans to bake bake bake. I plan to do just that. I had to come up with a good teacher gift idea for over 12 teachers that would not break the bank account. I decided on making some mini lemon pound cakes and presenting them nicely wrapped in cellophane and fancy tissue paper. I might even go the extra step of printing out homemade gift tags with the recipe attached. I will post photos once I complete them so you can see how they turned out. I might just post the recipe as well.

The biggest thing I want to do is take time daily to stop and smell the roses. Life is not as complicated as we make it. Simple is good :)

Dec 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

William sleeping on daddy's vent day chair :) and yes Tanyetta, he has his tongue sticking out just for you!


Dec 7, 2009

Family Photo

It is amazing that you can take over 2 dozen photos and ending up going with the first shot! It is very tough working with a toddler. Here is what we ended up with.


Launch of Moms of Hue

I just very quickly wanted to let you all know about the ladies over at Moms of Hue and their blog launch on Monday, December 7th. This blog has several contributors who are moms of color. They offer everything from advice, real talk and even reviews and giveaways.

My blog pal Renee Ross mentioned that they will be hosting a number of giveaways and tweeting about Moms of Hue with the hashtag #momsofhue all day long. Be sure to follow them on Twitter.
I know I can't wait to check it out!

Dec 4, 2009

Dec 3, 2009

Ismail Family Tree

Here is our tree! I honestly think it looks a lot better in person. We went with blue, gold and chocolate.

I even made little gift packages as decorations.

We put together a very simple garland for the fireplace.

If you celebrate the holiday season have you put your tree up yet?


Dec 2, 2009

Vent Day Wednesday

Welcome to another episode of Vent Day Wednesday. Be sure to hit us up in the comments with your vents! Enjoy :)

Dec 1, 2009

The boy just loves books!

You gotta love this kid. He's really "into" books!! We keep a bin just for books and somehow he always manages to sit IN the bin! I am so glad he was occupied so I could snap a few photos :)

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