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Jan 27, 2012

18 years!

This weekend Dwayne and I will be celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary. We have big plans and are both excited to share this time together. It still amazes us both how long we have been together, 22 years in all. Regardless of whatever life has thrown our way, we hung in there. We have seen each other through the darkest of times and have celebrated the the greatest moments of our lives-- together.
I appreciate and cherish our relationship and can't wait to see what the future holds for us *ahem* I am thinking luxury cruise?! ;-)
Shelly, Mom Files

Jan 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Shelly, Mom Files

Jan 20, 2012

Some nights aren't always dry ones

Little William has been fully potty trained for a few months now and it has been going really well. He has graduated to underwear and will gladly show them to little babies since he knows they wear diapers. Funny kid. There is still one issue...nighttime. Some mornings he will wake up wet. I got so tired of washing bed sheets and blankets every day so I had to figure out what to do. I was using Huggies Pull-ups but they seemed to leak. I decided to see how GoodNites underwear made for nighttime would work out. It was a smart move. He has an overnight accident maybe a few times a week and thankfully there have been no leaks at all. We ask him each morning if he is wet or dry and he always says "dry". I am thinking the absorption level is higher than a diaper or trainer since they are designed for older kids. Hopefully he will grow out of this stage but for now I will keep a pack of GoodNites on hand for nighttime.

This is an unsponsored post and I am simply just sharing my thoughts on a product that worked well for us. 

Shelly, Mom Files

Jan 17, 2012

My Pinterest is now linked to my junkie corners

I have a confession. I love to clean. I really do love to clean. Clutter makes me feel nervous. My house is very plainly decorated. Actually, my house is not really decorated.. more like void of a bunch of crap everywhere. Everywhere except... I have this little problem (so my husband thinks). He says I have an obsession with having tiny, junkie corners in several places in our home. I admit, I do. I have a tiny pile next to my bed, at the foot of my bed, in the family room... you get the idea. You are probably wondering what exactly I keep in my little piles... Everything from clothing, coupons, receipts, nail files, pens... nothing is exempt except trash. I have spent the weekend ridding my house of my junkie corners. Yep, everything is in the right place. No junk anywhere in sight. I have declared (no promises) that I will make an effort to cut down on my little bits of junk. Maybe.

Since it was a 3-day weekend I took some time to chill. I did some cleaning and cooking but for the most part I sat my little self down and relaxed (I think). I have recently started getting into Pinterest. I find myself pinning for hours some days. If you are already on Pinterest then you know just what I am talking about. If you are not then what the heck are you waiting for? So this is where my smart talking husband comes in. He says that Pinterest is filling my void for my junkie corners. He says now I can have virtual junkie corners thanks to Pinterest. Sadly, he is not lying! ;-)

Shelly, Mom Files

Jan 14, 2012

Farewell One Life To Live

Well, we said our final goodbyes last night. We watched the last episode of One Life To Live on Soapnet. It did not end as we would have thought but that's the soaps for ya. I admit that I had some tears roll down my face. Not from sad scenes but just the memories. I can't believe how much the show was a part of my life for so many years.

We all wore black for the occasion. Pictured from left to right- Brie, Haley, Shelly and Chardie.

Of course we had to have our snacks that included pizza, chocolate, candies, ice cream, popcorn and soda. I think that it will really hit us next week when we go to tune into Soapnet only to realize our show will no longer be in that time slot. 

Shelly, Mom Files

Jan 13, 2012

The boy knows what he likes {Grits update}

I wrote a post about grits the other day and talked about buying instant grits for my boy. Of course I am the queen of homemade so this was a stretch for me. The majority of comments were against instant. Well I'm sorry but I can't cook grits in a matter of minutes when I have a hungry 3 year old.
We went to Walmart and picked up a box of Quaker butter flavor grits. Honestly, William was thrilled that those were especially for him. As a matter of fact, he bragged to other people in the store that he was getting grits. I don't cook them in the way the box tells you though. What I do is boil water and add it slowly while stirring to prevent lumps. I make it a little on the watery side. I then put it in the microwave on medium power for 1 minute, stirring every 20 seconds. In the end I throw a half slice of cheese on top and add a little bit of freshly cracked pepper. After William's first bite he put both hands up to his heart and squealed out loud followed by a BIG "YUMMMMYYY!!" He actually did a grits and cheese dance throughout the time he ate it. After he was finished he asked for another bowl. I think we have a winner here!!
Shelly, Mom Files

Jan 11, 2012

Purex + Jockey Review and Giveaway

 As a Purex Insider, I recently received a Jockey sports bra and a bottle of Purex Crystals in Tropical Splash to try out. I have tested the Purex Crystals in the past and was very pleased with the results. You can't beat a fabric softener that you add at the beginning of your wash cycle and not have to wait to put it in the rinse cycle. It is easy to use and the fragrance is long-lasting. I washed my bed sheets on Monday and I can still smell the Tropical Blast freshness!

So what does this have to do with a sports bra? Well Purex Crystals are 92% natural crystals that infuse long-lasting freshness into the fabric fibers of clothing – without harming garments (like liquid softener products that use oils to soften).This is especially important for activewear like Jockey®’s sports bras, as liquid softeners can harm active wear’s moisture wicking ability. Additionally, Purex Crystals work to create a continuous long-lasting freshness, eliminating that all-too-common odor that gets embedded in workout clothing.
I really liked the fit of the Tech Terry performance sports bra. I received a size medium in black and it was just right. I suspect these bras are cut a wee bit small so more than likely you would need to next size up. This worked out for me since I would normally wear a size small. These comfy bras come in sizes XS-XL. It is funny that I was just making excuses about working out because I did not have the appropriate attire. Looks like I am officially fresh out of excuses now! I love the fact that it has a nifty key holder in the front so you can have a comfortable  walk or workout and not be worried about where your key is.  I have washed the bra twice already and it has not changed shape or fit and the Purex Crystals make it smell so fresh, even under clothing! You can sign up for a 20% off Jockey coupon code here.

How would like to win one these Jockey sports bras and a full-size bottle of Purex Crystals to keep it fresh smelling? Once lucky Momfiles reader will win this great prize. Enter below!

The Big Waste

Have you seen the Food Network special called "The Big Waste"? It is a perfect blend of documentary and competition/reality show. I won't lie, it truly opened my eyes to just how much food wasting goes on in America. Fruit and vegetables get put on trash piles because consumers won't purchase a slightly bruised item. I am guilty of this. I have picked over tomatoes and bananas because I wanted the prettiest ones. I feel so guilty knowing that the ones that get overlooked may end up in the trash! We do our very best to not throw food out but of course you can only keep so much for so long. I have changed the way I cook to ensure that we don't have too much left over even if this means cooking daily. If you missed the show that originally aired on Sunday night, you are in luck. It airs again on January 14 at 4:00 PM ET/PT and on January 15 at 5:00 PM ET/PT. It is really worth watching! You might look at less-than-perfect food items a bit differently. Just thought I would share.

Shelly, Mom Files

Before we had Ipads & Pinterest

I was sitting in my office thinking yesterday morning and glanced over at this clipboard. It is not the best looking clipboard at all. As a matter of fact, it is absolutely tacky. It has paint drips, marker smudges and who knows what else on it. Well it turns out that this tacky thing is filled with memories...about 20 years to be exact. You see, this was Dwayne's clipboard in high school. He was very into his office supplies. He even carried a briefcase! During his rap days, he went to visit our local radio station and had DJ Laz from Power 96 autograph it. If you are from Miami you would know what a big deal that was! DJ Laz is still doing his thing.
You can see where I wrote all over it. So high school girl of me huh? Even Dwayne signed his old rap name "D-Smoothe" 

I guess one thing is for sure, we have been together FOREVER!
I hung the clipboard on my office wall. It is very special and will be treasured forever :-) 

Shelly, Mom Files

Jan 10, 2012

Saying farewell after 34 years

Last year I wrote a post about the cancellation of two ABC Soap Operas, All My Children and One Life To Live. Well AMC has been gone for a few months now and OLTL is due to end this Friday. I know that it is just a show and that life won't end but I feel like a part of my childhood, teenage and adult years are being taken away from me. I have been watching for 34 years of my life! Although the story lines have gotten a bit outlandish, I can't help but tune into SoapNet each night with my daughters to see the goings on in Landview. It has been a fun time for us girls to watch the show and just hang out and spend quality time together.

We planned for the girls' best friend Haley to come over Friday evening to watch the last episode together. We got Haley hooked on OLTL years ago and she has become quite a fan! I will make some nice snacks and grab a box of tissues to partake in the last viewing of the show. My girls requested plenty of chocolate. We are all so sad! I know it sounds silly but I will miss One Life To Live! *sigh*

Shelly, Mom Files

Jan 9, 2012

Grits are... gritty

Growing up in a West Indian home, we ate many interesting things for breakfast. We had everything from sardines, fried eggs, channa (chick peas), toast and sometimes even crepe-like pancakes. Our breakfast food was far from the traditional American fare. When I moved out on my own I learned a lot about American breakfast foods including grits. I had never even heard of grits to say I grew up in the states. My husband grew up on them and it was the daily breakfast staple for him. I remember tasting it for the first time. I was very disgusted and blurted out that "grits are gritty!" Since my husband has grown up eating grits I figured I better learn how to cook them so I did not take away from what he was used to. It took some practice and it turns out that I am an excellent grits cook. I cook them low and slow. Although I am still not a big fan of grits, I will eat them on occasion if I have something yummy to eat along with it. My family loves them and little William recently discovered his love for grits with cheese. I prefer to cook it on the stove-top but since he wants to eat it every day I am going to try him out with the instant kind. Knowing him he will prefer the slow cooked type. My kids are mini food snobs like their mommy :-)

What about you? Did you grow up eating grits? Do you like them?

Shelly, Mom Files

Jan 2, 2012

Our trip to the Magic Kingdom

Last week, the Ismail family packed up the car and headed down to the happiest place on earth...Disney's Magic Kingdom. The drive was great up until we were 8 miles from our destination. We were stuck in traffic for almost 2 hours! Thankfully we had plenty of fuel in the car and made the best out of that time. It was actually fun although I don't necessarily think I would want that to happen very often! We stayed in a nice resort with some family members.  We really loved that we had all the conveniences of home so that we were able to cook family-sized meals which really helped out a lot.

When we were driving to the park we were all so leery of the cloudy sky. There was good reason for all those clouds. More on that later in the post.

Those clouds really had us in a panic.
We took the Ferry boat over to the park since the clouds started to break. Boy was it windy though! We all wore short sleeves. Hey, it's Florida. That's the norm right? 
We wore our "I'm Celebrating!" buttons that we got from the ticket booth just to be festive. 
Of course the teenagers were freaking out over their hair getting wind-blown!I admit I might have secretly been going through that myself!  
William really enjoyed the ferry boat ride and got to throw coins in the water. He was all smiles! Of course he did not cooperate to take photos. The sun started peaking through the clouds and we were all super excited to have some fun. Well, our fun turned into soaking wet fun. Yep, you guessed it. Rain. Not just rain, cold and windy kind of rain. We all looked a hot sloppy mess but put a smile on our faces and kept it moving. I am so happy I packed a back-up outfit for Will so at least he did not have to wear a wet shirt. Man, did it end up getting cold though!

Dwayne kept William since he is not a ride person and I went with the girls and a couple of our cousins. We met up here and there to eat and check on each other. The food was way over-priced and not all that great. You better believe that I made everyone eat every last bite!

Somehow Dwayne and William got to do way more than the rest of us waiting 2 hours to ride Space Mountain (which was totally worth it). They got to get a photo with Mickey and Minnie and our boy William was NOT feeling it! He was so afraid of them I think because they were so big. He looks like he was trying to leap out of Dwayne's arms! 
He did LOVE LOVE LOVE the castle. He is still talking about it and asks if we can go back again. I can't believe that Dwayne actually went on rides with William. I guess Disney really is a magical place after all :) 
Pure happiness :)
He was taking it all in.

We were able to catch a few parades and shows as well as get on some of the rides. Everyone had the best time and we made some great memories. We do plan to return again for sure. I wish I had more photos to share but they did not come out all that great after we got rain soaked! William had the most fun and behaved perfectly. Come to think of it, he did well from start to finish. No complaints, no mischief, no potty accidents, no foolishness. I am the luckiest mom on the planet! 
Now this sight was worth every drop of rain we encountered. I did not even have to edit this photo.  It was very cold at the end of the night but at least we caught the magnificent fireworks display. Truly amazing!! 

Shelly, Mom Files
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