Family * Travel * Food

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Nov 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Shelly, Mom Files

Nov 28, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011 with the Mckoy family

Wow, I feel like it has been a while since I last posted on my blog! I had been so busy with Thanksgiving preparations and having the most fun family friends come visit us. Tanyetta and her family came to South Carolina for a few days and spent the holiday with us! We have been friends for about 4 years now (met through the blog) and we finally got to meet in person. We had such a wonderful time and it is amazing how much Dwayne and Tanyetta are alike as well as how much Darrin and I have in common. I told Tanyetta that she and Dwayne were separated at birth! They were working my nerves :)
Look at how all 3 of the younger kids were totally not feeling being photographed! We ate, we laughed, ate some more, laughed a whole lot more and repeated the process. To say we were meeting for the first time, you would have thought we had known each other for life. The children had so much fun running around and playing. I enjoyed holding sweet little Gracen. I got to have my baby-fix. There is nothing like having a sleeping little one in your arms. If Dwayne is reading this don't worry, I am NOT getting any ideas :)
Is this not the sweetest family photo? Awww!! By the way, Tanyetta is the most "picturetakenestfool" ever! Her hubby Darrin is such a good sport! She takes pictures of EVERYTHING! She insisted that they had to get a photo by the wall letters I have up in the front entrance of our home. I will say that it is a lovely photo :)
Look at these faces. They refused to cooperate all at the same time. They were ready to get back to having FUN!!
We were so happy to have the Mckoy family visit us and this was the BEST Thanksgiving EVER!! Thanks for driving from so far to spend it with us. Great memories were made!
Shelly, Mom Files

Nov 21, 2011

ScoreBig with Prizey Giveaway!

Hey guys! I wanted to let you know about a promotion I am working on with PRIZEY. Some of you might already be familiar with PRIZEY if you enter or host giveaways. I love them and frequently use their service. Right now if you sign up at ScoreBig you will automatically be entered to win $200 in prizes ~$100 gift card (perfect for holiday shopping) from PRIZEY and a $100 credit to buy tickets at ScoreBig. ScoreBig is a site dedicated to saving you up to 60% on sports, concert or theater tickets. It takes only seconds to sign up for an account with your name, zip code, email address and a password. You can even sign in through Facebook. It's so EASY and FREE!!!

So what are you waiting for? You might be the big prize winner! Good luck!!
The giveaway will officially end at 11:59 PT on Tuesday, December 6. To enter you must be 18 or older and living in the United States, and that there is a limit of one entry per person.

PRIZEY is compensating me for participating in this promotion

Shelly, Mom Files


Nov 20, 2011

Do people take your blogging for a joke?

A lot of times when I tell people I am related to or those I know very well that I am a blogger, they say they don't have time for the computer like I do. They brush off what I do as if it is strictly a hobby and act as if I must not have anything better to do with my time. I hear things like "I don't know how people can stay on Facebook all day" or "I don't have time to look at blogs and don't know how stuff like that even works". Well I have been doing this now for years and at first it was more of a personal journal/social thing. It has blossomed over time and I now have PR firms I work with that provide me with products to review, host giveaways and sometimes even pay me to write. Blogging has become a part-time business for me. It has allowed me the opportunity to contribute to my household no matter how small it is. I don't want to sit on a computer all day long. I don't want to Tweet or Facebook all day long. I do it throughout the day in between taking care of my homemaker/SAHM duties. I do it because it helps my family. I never set out to become a "Mommy Blogger". It just happened one day. It is a lot of work to put out good posts and reviews. Some are easier than others. I really wish I would get the respect I deserve for my contributions as a mom blogger.  After all, don't moms know best anyway?
Shelly, Mom Files

Nov 17, 2011

I See Me! Book Review & Giveaway

*Contest Closed*- Winner is #18 JamericanSpice~ Congratulations!

I received the most adorable board book from I See Me! called "William's Very Merry Christmas". This book was made especially for my little guy because I See Me! books are personalized books. All you do is submit some basic information and your child's name gets incorporated throughout the story. What a neat way to make a child feel special! I love the fact that this book is so durable since my 3 year old is still pretty rough on books. I think this would make an excellent gift for little ones and you can choose from different titles for specific occasions. You can take a virtual tour of this book and others on the I See Me! website. You can also check them out on Facebook for exclusive offers and promotions for FB fans.

Little William is thrilled to have a book with his name in it and he loves to point it out each time he sees it! This book makes a wonderful keepsake and is truly a treasure. I enjoy seeing the look on his face each time he hears his name.

We are thrilled to be able to give away one of these cute books ($24.95 value) to one lucky Momfiles reader in the same title as I received. 

To enter: Mandatory- Let us know who you plan to give this book to if you win. What other titles would you love to see that child's name in? 

For additional entries: 
~ "like" I See Me! and Momfiles on Facebook
~ Mention this giveaway on Facebook
~ Follow this blog via Google Friend Connect
~ Follow I See Me! and  Momfiles on Twitter 
~ Tweet this giveaway (once daily) and leave a link to your Tweet 
Enter to win a personalized #Christmas children's book from @ISeeMe_Maia @momfiles #giveaway #gift 

Giveaway is open to US & Canada Residents only and will end at 9:00 pm EST on November 26, 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: I received a book for review purposes and all opinions are 100% mine

Shelly, Mom Files

Nov 12, 2011

Sock Ons for babies

I got to check out one of the neatest little baby items around. They are called Sock Ons. They are a unique way of keeping your little ones socks on! Now where on earth were these when all of my kids were babies? What a great idea these are. I remember very well how often I was having to put socks back on the kids' tiny little feet when they were babies.
Sock Ons come in so many wonderful colors including Red, Orange, Lemon, Lime, Turquoise, Blueberry, Grape, Chocolate and Charcoal (Sized 0-6m and 6-12m). I think these would make a cool baby shower gift. I received a sample and gave it to my good friend who is expecting twins next month. She had never seen anything like it before. Check out Sock Ons on the web, Facebook and you can find retailers  here.
Shelly, Mom Files

Balsamic Cornish Hen & Roasted Potatoes | The Olive Tap Review

I received some samples of Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and Aceto Balsamico Di Modena (4 leaf quality) Balsamic vinegar from The Olive Tap. I can't even begin to tell you how amazing both products are. The olive oil is the best I have ever tried, hands down. I usually go with a plain olive oil and use herbs and garlic with it to take it to the next level. I am so glad I did not do that with the Tuscan Herb olive oil. I was amazed at all the rich flavors of herbs and garlic that you get hit with (in a good way of course). It went so well for dipping crusty bread. As a matter of fact, the entire family tried it and loved it.

I was stumped with what to cook for dinner one day and remembered I had purchased some Cornish hens and a bag of potatoes. This is where the balsamic vinegar came in...

I took the Cornish hens and split them down the middle of the breast side and seasoned them with a few of my favorite dry seasonings and drizzled them with the balsamic vinegar. I roasted the hens for about 40-45 minutes until I achieved a rich color and of course until they were cooked properly. While the hens were roasting I washed, cut and seasoned some potatoes with some sea salt, cracked pepper and the Tuscan herb olive oil. The potatoes roasted in the oven alongside the hens. The end result was the most flavorful and succulent poultry, as well as perfectly delicious potatoes. The family raved about this dish and the girls told me to add this recipe to the book I am making for both of them when they go off to college. 

You can check out The Olive Tap on the web, Facebook and Twitter. They offer beautiful gourmet gift baskets perfect for the foodies. You will not be disappointed in these products if you appreciate the very best quality. 

I received products samples for review and all opinions are completely my own.
Shelly, Mom Files

Nov 10, 2011

Save BIG at Kroger | $25 gift card giveaway

**Contest Closed** Winner is #129 Mari~ Congratulations!!

I have been a loyal Kroger shopper for at least 10 years. I think I go in there at least 3-4 times a week! Kroger offers really great prices and help you stretch your family budget. I buy almost all of my groceries, cleaning and household items from Kroger. I love that I can double my coupons up to 50 cents as well as the coupons that sometimes print at the end of my transaction. Right now Kroger has their buy 10 participating items and get $5 off. This helped me to get a jump on buying my holiday staples.
My son loves getting his Kroger sticker at the check-out line!
From November 13th through November 26th, with the purchase of any four participating General Mills products, you will either receive free milk (up to $3; limit of 2) or to receive $3 off your shopping order** Look for some of your favorite participating General Mills products like Cheerios, Pillsbury Ready to Bake Cookies, Nature Valley Bars and Fiber One Bars.

Promotion varies in different locations. Please be sure to check your local Kroger Co. Family of Stores for specific deals and offers which include Kroger, Ralphs, King Scoopers, City Market, Dillons, Smith’s, Fry’s, QFC, Baker’s, Owen’s, Jay C Food Stores, Hilander, Gerbes, Food4Less, Fred Meyer, Pay Less Supermarkets and Scott’s Food & Pharmacy *Excludes General Mills meal and baking products including; Betty Crocker, Old El Paso, Progresso, Hamburger Helper, Macaroni Grill, Wanchai Ferry, Yoplait **Promotion varies based on store location; check your local Kroger store for details (Cash Offer: Mid South, Delta, Mid Atlantic, SW Louisiana stores, Central Missouri stores and Dillons Missouri stores)

I know I will be taking advantage of this great deal especially since I use all of these brands and have coupons for most of them. Having a family of 5 means I have be extra mindful when shopping. We received $25 Kroger gift card and are giving away the same prize to one lucky Momfiles reader  (good at any of the Kroger. Co Family of Stores)

To Enter: *Mandatory- Let us know what items you plan to purchase with the gift card if you win.
For additional entries:
~ "like" Kroger and Momfiles on Facebook
~ Write on the Momfiles wall and let us know you entered
~ Follow Momfiles via Google Friend Connect
~ Follow Kroger and Momfiles on Twitter
~ Tweet this giveaway (once daily) and leave a link to your Tweet:
Enter the $25 @KrogerCo gift card #giveaway from @momfiles and #myblogspark

Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end at 9:00 pm EST on November 24, 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 Kroger gift card, information, and giveaway have been provided by Kroger and General Mills through MyBlogSpark

Shelly, Mom Files

Safeskin Kids Sport Wrap Review

Being the mother of 2 student athletes, you deal with many issues concerning their bodies. Both of my girls play volleyball and it is not unusual to see them or their teammates with wrapped wrists, ankles, fingers, elbows or knees. Safeskin Kids Sport Wraps are a great way to help get through the game when those body parts are not fully cooperating. What better way than to have a fun, colorful wrap instead of the traditional white. These sport wraps come in four bright colors – blue, red, green and yellow – and is ideal for securing bandages and splints and cushioning or supporting wounds. My daughters say that having the colored wrap makes them look "cool".

In addition to these benefits, SAFESKIN* Kids Sport Wrap is:
· Self-adhesive and reusable – with no clips or pins needed to secure the wrap into place.
· Soft, cushiony and comfortable against the skin.
· Water-resistant.
· Latex-free
Safeskin Kids Sport Wrap is currently available at Walmart locations nationwide for a suggested retail price of $3.94. It will be available at other retail locations in early 2012. For more information, visit

I will be purchasing a pack for each of the girls' gym bag. I wish they came in orange so they can wear their school color! Sadly, my girls would want to wear these even if they don't need to because they love looking cool :-)

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

Shelly, Mom Files

iRenew Review

I received an iRenew bracelet to review just like the black one pictured above. I have heard of this type of wristband before and was curious to see what kind of results it would give. The fact that the iRenew may help promote balance, strength and endurance was very intriguing to my husband. He was instantly attracted to the look of the bracelet so he decided to try it out for himself. It is made out of 100% silicone and has a durable stainless steel clasp. It can get wet and it won't get damaged like some similar bracelets might.

I asked Dwayne if he felt any difference after wearing it for a week and he told that he had a great week and did not feel excessively fatigued. We can't say for sure if it had anything to do with the bracelet but we will take it! I did read up on the web about the iRenew and saw many satisfied customers as well as the opposite. I think that for the price ($19.99), the iRenew is not bad to try out and the good thing is there is a 30-day money back guarantee (-s&h) if you are not satisfied. I did see many similar bands on the web that cost a whole lot more. I do like the fact that you can adjust the band to fit smaller wrists. I think I might steal the bracelet from Dwayne and cut it down so I can try it out for myself. The iRenew comes in many colors and styles. As a matter of fact, my teenagers hinted that they would love the orange one (one of their school colors) and that it would be a great item for a student-athlete to have. Hmm, looks like it would make a unique stocking stuffer.

If you have tried this item I would love to know how you liked it!

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

Shelly, Mom Files

Nov 7, 2011

Simple Cinnamon Apples

I had a surplus of Fuji apples and tried to figure out what I could make with them. I did some quick and easy cinnamon apples. Here is the recipe:

What you need: 
4 Fuji apples peeled, cored and sliced (I used this type because they are tart, sweet and crisp)
2 tablespoons of salted butter
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (I used organic Saigon)
1/4 cup of granulated sugar

All I did was melt the butter and then add the apples, sugar and cinnamon. I cooked it on medium-high heat until bubbly caramelized and until the apples were tender but still firm. That's it! You can serve it as a side dish, with waffles or pancakes or with ice cream. It is a crowd pleaser!

Shelly, Mom Files

Nov 3, 2011

How in the world did this happen?

Yesterday morning I was dropping my daughters off to school and heading back home to gather my things so I could go to the store. I was driving about 25-30 mph since I was exiting from the school speed limit. As I was coming around a curve on the road I hear a very loud pop in the back of the car. I was stunned and not sure what it was. Lucky for me my car speaks to me when things go wrong. I looked at the screen and it said to check right rear tire pressure. I watched it go from 33 to 1 in a matter of seconds! I had a flat tire. Thankfully I was in a familiar area and found a safe spot to pull over on the side of the road. I called Dwayne and he was there in what felt like only 5 minutes. Thank goodness! He very quickly took off my bad tire and put on the spare. He showed me what appeared to be either a flattened nail or piece of metal sticking out of the tire. Now it was off to Walmart to get a new one. I am so happy I always buy the road hazard protection so at least I didn't have to pay the full price for a new tire. But check out what they found that was the culprit in causing my tire to blow out...

This is a screw driver without the handle. When they showed it to me I freaked out and could not understand how it happened! As a matter of fact, the tire installers were laughing and amazed at how this huge piece of metal even got inside my tire. The funny part is the flat-head tip of the screw driver was sticking out of the tire so this meant the blunt end is what penetrated it. Crazy!! 

To show just how big the screw driver was I put it next to a pen and a nail file. The guys at Walmart said they have seen things the size of a pin or an average nail pierce and ruin a tire but never anything as large as a screwdriver! It was a crazy way to start my day and I am thankful I was in a safe area and not driving at a high speed. 

I got to thinking and realized I am so glad I am one of those moms that gets fully dressed (sometimes even with make-up) to drive the kids to school! :)
Shelly, Mom Files
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