Lifestyle * Travel * Food

Sep 30, 2010

Look what came in the mail for William

His favorite...CARMEX!! Thank you to the Carmex company for the great gift. He is one very content toddler :)

Shelly, Mom Files

CSN Stores $35 gift certificate giveaway

*Contest Closed*- Winner is #69 FionaAlly Congratulations!

Have you ever heard of CSN Stores? I was introduced to them about two months ago and was shocked at just how much stuff they sell! I'm talking everything from a bookcase headboard to office furniture and baby accessories. They have 200+ sites and they keep adding to their inventory daily. I actually ordered my computer ink cartridges from there and it was delivered so quickly. I am not the biggest online shopper but I really had a great experience with CSN. I found the pricing to be very competitive and the selection is astonishing. You can see a listing of the product categories that are sure to make you dizzy!

CSN is sponsoring a giveaway for one lucky Momfiles reader to win a $35 gift certificate (one time use) toward any purchase at any of the CSN sites online. Here's how to enter:

Mandatory: Visit the CSN site and tell us what you would purchase if you win the certificate. Perhaps a nice new frying pan or even some wall art?

You can get additional entries by:
* "liking" Momfiles and CSN Stores on Facebook
* Follow Momfiles on Twitter
* Tweeting this giveaway (one time per day) Example: Enter @momfiles for a chance to win a $35 CSN gift certificate
* Following Momfiles through Google Friend Connect
* sport the Momfiles badge on your blog (please leave blog link)
Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry method to count.

This contest will end on October 14, 2010 at 9:00 pm EST and is open to Canada & US Residents only. Winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email. Please be sure to leave an email address in your comment if you do not have a Blogger profile. Good luck to all!

Shelly, Mom Files

Sep 29, 2010

WTH? Wednesday

I am going to get things kicked off by saying WTH is wrong with Bishop Eddie Long and the bathroom pics? WHY?? First off all I am not and never will be a fan of bathroom mirror pics. You are pastor and older than me (not to mention a man) and you are doing this?! UGH!! Next up, I took Dwayne to the office supply store and I was waiting in the car with William so he could get the item he needed...There was a worker out front smoking a cigarette and she was striking up a conversation with a customer. The subject was smoking. She was complaining about the fact that she has some problems with her health, specifically her lungs. She said that she is 30 and really needs to quit smoking. All this as she deeply puffed on her death stick. Smart, real smart. Oh and if you read my WTH Wednesday posts please don't go getting all bent out of shape and taking my foolery all serious. This is a fun post so chill okay? Maybe I need to put out a disclaimer or something. Well that's all I have right now because there are some things I really can't say on my blog ( I hate censoring myself). So now it's your turn to share your WTH moment of the week....

Shelly, Mom Files

Sep 27, 2010

I let my cape air out some days

I mentioned about a month ago right after school started that I was going to do my best to not get overwhelmed being a busy mom and wife. I sometimes say these things and do not always follow through. Well I am proud to report that I have stuck with my decision and couldn't be happier! There are days that I leave some dishes in the sink until the next day. I might give myself a break by not cooking a made from scratch meal and throw something prepackaged on the stove (shocking for me). I have even taken a break from always saying "yes" to everyone. It's been good. I feel so healthy and mentally happy. I know I can't do it all and I make sure I let my cape air out from time to time. Overwhelmed woman does not live here anymore :)

Shelly, Mom Files

Sep 25, 2010

Why is it so difficult?

These days little William is a chatterbox. It's so much fun listening to all the new words he adds to his vocabulary daily. You can ask him to say and word and he will do his best to say it. He says everything from all the names of his family members, fruits and food items, toys, book titles and so much more. Why is it when we ask him to say William he freezes up? He knows his name but refuses to say it. I don't get it! He refers to himself as "I Baby". Here I was thinking that naming him William would be simple and turns out it is really hard for him!

Have you ever been through this with your toddler or know anyone that has? What the heck do you do?

Shelly, Mom Files

Sep 23, 2010

Addicted much?

It's no surprise that my family loves Carmex lip balm. It is a must have for us and we don't go a day without it. Now William on the other hand has a fascination, perhaps obsession with Carmex...stick, tube, strawberry, cherry, original...he has no preference. He does not actually use the stuff, he just likes to hold on to it. If any of us have one in our posession and he sees it he will yell out "carwex!" and we prepare to say good-bye to it. He will seek out his Carmex all over the house. Yesterday I caught him with 4, yes FOUR of them at one time. I am not making this up. I had to grab him to snap a photo.
He has even fallen asleep clutching a Carmex in his hand. I really don't know what it is but I won't complain. It is like a compact little soothing device for him. The parents from Brie's volleyball team are always so amazed at how calm Will is when Carmex is in his hand. They said they need to go try it out with their little ones! I am sure they also think the Ismails are a bit crazy, haha! Hey, it beats having a 2 year old sucking on a pacifier or carrying around a blanket all day.

Y'all better not be making fun of his big head!! haha :)

Question: Does your child have a fascination for something unusual?
Shelly, Mom Files

Sep 22, 2010

WTH? Wednesday

Here are some of my latest WTH moments...

~ I just can't stand when I am watching something on TV and then the commercial comes on and suddenly the volume is loud as hell on its own... WTH? That's annoying!
~ I was at Walmart the other day and had 3 coupons (I was only purchasing 5 items). I clearly had the 3 items and the cashier (who has rung me up many times before) goes to approve them with a manager because they were for FREE items. Now these were manufacturers coupons with the little logo emblem thing and it was still questioned. WTH? You are Walmart for crying out loud! You got 500 bagillion bucks and then some. I was really disturbed.
~ I simply can't stand dealing with insurance companies. Need I say more?
~ Why is my son obsessed with Dora and her monkey Boots? He could watch it all day long if you let him. I guess I better not complain since it gave me a break from the annoying ass Wonder Pets. If any of you go saying "This is sewious" Imma fight you!
~ I get really uncomfortable in front of super religious people. If you are super religious please do not take offense. I'm just sayin'.
~ WTH is up with "reality" TV? Can Dwayne and I get a show please? We won't even ask for that much money. Seriously!
~ One last one. WTH is up with the dudes that do the fishing shows where they are looking to catch monster fish and they are going into crocodile and hippo infested waters to find one? WTH????!!!

Okay, I'm done...please leave your WTH moments in the comments :D

Shelly, Mom Files

Sep 20, 2010

Another dinosaur

I wanted to share another dinosaur that lurks around the Ismail domain. It is my most FAVORITE cooking utensil EVER. I got it as a hand-me-down from Dwayne's grandmother when we left to move to South Carolina 15 years ago. She had it for 20 years+ before then. I remember my mother having a similar pot spoon growing up.

I have searched high and low for a new one since the handle broke about 5 years ago. No luck. I don't care if I spend a lot to get a new one, as long as it is as good as this one. I will use this one forever or until it gives out. No other pot spoon can compare. It is so well made (probably the reason I can't find one nowadays). When I update my will next year I will give it to one of the girls (of course I have to be dead first). I'm serious. I love my spoon! It's a shame that things just aren't made as well anymore.

Shelly, Mom Files

Van's giveaway winner

Our winner from the Van's recipe contest & giveaway is jmccray22.

jmccray22 posted:
"I would take the waffles and top them with homemade chicken tenders and a drizzle of organic maple syrup!"

She will be receiving 5 product vouchers for FREE Van's products!
Shelly, Mom Files

Sep 19, 2010

Columbia, SC residents...

Beginning on September 20, Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants in Columbia will add a new menu to its restaurants - one specially designed with kids in mind. Originally tested in Denver, Chipotle’s new Kid’s Menu is geared towards the restaurant’s youngest guests and honors Chipotle’s Food with Integrity commitment. Kids can choose from four menu items (all of which are made with naturally raised meats and/or rBGH-free dairy) including “build your own tacos,” a single taco or quesadillas.

As part of the launch, Chipotle will give kids a FREE Kid’s Meal every Sunday September 26 through October 17 when parents purchase a burrito, salad, burrito bowl (a burrito without the tortilla) or order of tacos.
Shelly, Mom Files

Sep 16, 2010

The dinosaur lives!

Pictured here is my dinosaur of a curling iron. Would you believe that I have had this thing for 18 years? I remember paying about $35 for it and that was steep back in that time. It was called a Gold 'n Hot curling iron and it packs some serious heat! It has a dial attached that goes from 1-10 and once it gets to about 8 or 9 it smokes. It is the only curling iron that has ever truly curled my silky, straight hair and would hold the curls all day long (even into the next day). It is also the most dangerous heat tool since there is no safety tip on the end. It looks really icky after all these years but come on, it's 18 years old! I don't think I will ever find one as well made as this one anywhere. I forgot to mention how heavy it is.

Do you have any special gadget that you have had forever and would hate for it to finally give out?

Shelly, Mom Files

Sep 15, 2010

WTH? Wednesday

So it's Wednesday and as always there is so much that makes me say WTH?
  • I want to kick it off with lateness<---my #1 pet peeve. It is so inconsiderate to always be late. Of course there are those few times that you might have a really good excuse but every day? Then you have folks that almost brag about being late--"Oh I'm always running late" WTH?
  • Now I know you know several people who always have their cellphone attached to some part of their body. They have the internet, Facebook, Twitter, unlimited text...the works. Now how come when you call or text they want to boldly LIE and say they did not have their phone on them or they did not hear it ring. Really?
  • If you are a grown man (especially over the age of 35) and you put as your relationship status--"in a relationship but it's complicated" you need to man the hell up! Grow a pair!
  • WTH is up with adults doing a birthday countdown? What are we supposed to do? Throw a party, buy you a gift or build a monument in your name? Come on now, that's really tacky. Oh yeah and saying "happy birthday to me" is tacky too. #justsayin
  • You know football season is in full swing when adults act like children and I'm not talking in a playful way. Just straight up stupid and childish over a sport.
Okay, I'm done. It's your turn to share your WTH moments in the comments!

Shelly, Mom Files

Sep 13, 2010

William updates

William is one busy little fella. He is maturing more and more and has made some big strides in his speech... He can now speak in short sentences! We are noticing that he is working harder to pronounce his letter sounds more fluently and is adding to his vocabulary daily. We can sit in the car and I can ask him to repeat a series of words and he will try his best to do it. He is taking directions very well and I get him to participate in a lot of things around the house to help himself more. It's been so busy with the girls involved in volleyball and he has to get dragged around from school to school. So far he is doing pretty well and seems to enjoy watching the games way more than last year. He used to cry every time I would clap and cheer. Now he chimes in and gets into a frenzy of excitement. It sure makes for a more enjoyable experience. It is really funny how as a parent you wonder when certain milestones will be met and if certain things will ever happen for your child. I am glad I am a patient woman and know that everything happens in its own time. I am grateful for a healthy, smart and happy little boy. Oh and by the way, I am officially a mom to a 14 & 16 year old. Brie turned 14 on the 7th and Chardie turned 16 today. It still astonishes me some days that I am a mom to three. I am one lucky gal :)
Shelly, Mom Files

Sep 10, 2010

Flashback Friday

This was taken when the little guy was about 14 months old. Look at those cheeks! Of course Milo (Wi-wo) is never far behind. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Shelly, Mom Files

Sep 8, 2010

WTH? Wednesday

Wow, so many WTH moments recently, where do I begin?

~ WTH is up with high school kids wearing Dora the Explorer and Yo Gabba Gabba backpacks that are preschool size? I have seen football players do this. WOW.
~ Also WTH is up with the school fundraisers? Remember when they used to sell candy bars? Ah the good ole days. Now they have to sell $25 cakes. Who in life is spending $25 on a cake living in a recession? Speaking of fundraisers...please, don't ask me to buy crap from your kids and I won't ask you to buy from mine. Deal? I think sometimes it's just better to stroke a check and be done.
~What's up with all the users out there? They sure know how to find your number to call or text when they need something don't they? Pulease. Don't even start that crap about "I was just thinking about you"
~ I really wish my little boy would stop being so darn cute when he gets in trouble. That smile is lethal. Makes me crazy.
~ WTH is up with people trying to sound intelligent but can't spell worth a lick? And on the spelling subject please take note that these are not words.... mkay, gud, wat, werd and I can go on for days. If you are an adult you really need to cut it out. Seriously.

Okay, I'm done for now. Please share your WTH moments in the comments...

Shelly, Mom Files

Sep 7, 2010

Van's recipe contest & giveaway

**Contest Closed**

Well I am sure that no matter what state you live in, school has started back in full swing! Of course we do all we can to ensure our kids are not sent out the door without a good breakfast first. Van's Natural Foods offers a variety of waffles, pancakes and french toast sticks made with all natural ingredients. They also make organic, gluten-free and wheat-free varieties. It's a great way to have a convenient and wholesome breakfast choice for busy school mornings. I know my kids would love to have the Homestyle Belgian waffles with a little syrup on top. I think they would be so good with some fresh strawberries on the side (and maybe a tiny dollop of whipped cream)

Van's is offering one Momfiles reader vouchers for 5 free boxes of Van's products. All you have to do is leave a comment sharing your simple and creative recipe or serving idea using any Van's waffles, pancakes or french toast sticks. It can be for breakfast, lunch, snack...any time of day, just be creative! You can use one ingredient or twenty if you want. If you would like to share more than one idea then leave a separate comment (limit 3 entries). The contest runs until September 17 and the winner will be announced on Sept 20.

Be sure to "like" Van's Natural Foods on Facebook and Momfiles on Facebook and leave a comment letting us know you did. You can find Van's products using the Store Locator. I have seen them in Publix and Kroger. Good luck to everyone and we can't wait to see your fun recipe/serving ideas :)
Contest open to US Residents only.
Disclosure: I will receive free product coupons as compensation for my post.
Shelly, Mom Files

Sep 5, 2010

Old things can bring new memories

We have had these pretend food items since the girls were about 2 & 4. They never would let me give these items away. I have been hanging on to them for several years now. I came across them and let William check it out. He instantly grabbed a spoon and the fake spaghetti and went to town with it! He says "Mmm, yummy". We had even more than what you see pictured here in the kitchen sink but they were very girly fru-fru things like a teapot,tea cups and all things pink! Y'all know who I am married to so they had to go!

I love the fact that William can sit for about 30-45 minutes playing and learning about all the basic eating utensils and food items. He even likes to "cook". I guess the girls hung onto these things for a purpose! Watching him play with this stuff also brings back such fond memories of when the girls were little.

Shelly, Mom Files

Sep 3, 2010

Flashback Friday

This photo was taken about 10 years ago on a day trip we took to Charlotte, NC. They were all squinting from the sun shining directly on them. The girls were four and six at the time. I even remember the clothes and shoes they were wearing. Look at Chardie and her peace sign. She got that from her daddy <---He is the tacky one. I can't believe within the next week and a half the girls will turn 14 & 16. I hope everyone has a great holiday safe :)
Shelly, Mom Files

Thrive Time for Teens Review (family style)

A couple weeks ago we received a board game called Thrive Time for Teens to review. This was perfect since we have 2 teen daughters. Thrive Time for Teens is a game geared toward teaching teens about financial responsibility in a fun way. This game involves real-life scenarios such as going to college, buying a car, giving to charity, paying monthly expenses and even starting a business.We sat down together at the dining table (snacks and all) to play the game for ourselves. Everyone had a financial tracking sheet to document everything along the way.

I will admit that it was a bit confusing at first so we suggest you read the instructions fully to understand the game better. The girls were amazed when they had to use their credit card to pay for things that they did not always have to cash for. I think they were not crazy about having so much debt! You really had to make some tough decisions about things that can impact your finances. My husband and I really enjoyed playing this game with our children. The game truly allowed our girls to learn financial concepts in a fun way instead of the typical parent lecture...believe me, the girls are happy to get out of any of daddy's lectures any way they can!!

Here's what the girls had to say:

Briahnna (age 13): "I really enjoyed this game and how it is so much like real life. I'll definitely play this game again!"

Chardonnay (age 15): "I like the game a lot. It's a great way to teach one to manage money. It's something they don't teach in school so this is a great way to learn and I love it."

Thrive Time for Teens can be purchased online for $29.99. It makes a great gift for birthdays and holidays. You can also donate a game to your favorite organization as a way of giving back to your community. We plan to play again over the long weekend. Our family would recommend this game for sure and we hope you will check it out.

Disclosure: We received a free game for review purposes and no other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% our own.

Shelly, Mom Files

Sep 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Three generations....

Can you tell William loves to read?

Shelly, Mom Files
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