Family * Travel * Food

Oct 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday {Scholastic Book Fair Fun}

Big sister assisted little brother with his Scholastic Book Fair purchase. 


May 15, 2013

Wordless Wednesday | Prom 2013

My oldest daughter went to her senior prom a couple weeks ago. She looked like a princess!

Shelly, Mom Files

Jan 18, 2013

It's never too early to start looking for prom dresses { dress review}

It's still so hard to believe that this is my oldest daughter's senior year of high school. There are so many things going on all the time that range from studying and college applications, to sporting events and social gatherings. In the next few months my daughter will be going to her high school prom. We have discussed it over the years but now it is officially creeping up on us! My daughter is one of the hardest people I know to shop for when it comes to dresses. I received the Clarisse Short Dress 9031 to review from I wasn't sure what to expect since it was being ordered online. Is it going to look like it does in the photo? What is the quality going to be like?

When the dress arrived, it came packaged in a large box. When I opened it up, the dress was hanging on a hanger in a plastic garment bag and neatly folded. When I took the first look at it I was instantly all smiles. It was a lot sturdier and fuller than I was expecting. When my daughter got home she completely freaked out and fell in love with it. She loved everything about it, especially the color. The one thing that photographs don't pick up well is the sparkle that is throughout the skirt part of the dress. It has multiple layers of tulle so it had a fuller appearance. When my daughter tried it on I thought I was going to cry. It was the perfect color and length on her. Her little brother said it best when he screamed out, "Oh wow, you are a princess!". 

It is a well made dress and it has optional straps. My daughter will wear it with the straps and we will have to get it taken in slightly in the bust area since she is really tiny. I will note that she got a size 0 and it was still a little loose in the bust which means if you have a little more on top, this might work well for you. We really love the sparkle of this dress and the bow on the back jazzes it up a little more. I think with this dress, she will not need to many accessories. I think some chunky bracelets, sparkly shoes and dramatic hair and make-up will be perfect.
This is the photo of the Clarisse Short Dress 9031 in gold. It also comes in blue and is available in sizes 0-10. 
I highly recommend checking out the amazing selection of dresses on There are so many colors, lengths, price ranges and styles to choose from. As a matter of fact, they have more than just dresses for prom. They offer dresses for many occasions like Homecoming, Military ball, Graduation, Sweet Sixteen, cocktail, formal and more! I feel like ordering a dress online gives a less likely chance of seeing another girl wearing "your dress". I will definitely be going back to for my younger daughter in the next two years. I forgot to mention, they ship very fast. If you have a teenage daughter in need of a dress, I urge you to check them out!
Shelly, Mom Files

Dec 20, 2012

I remember hating when people would tell me I looked so young

I can remember my teenage years so well. I was always the smallest of my peers weighing no more than 92 pounds in my senior year. It bothered me that no matter how much I would eat, I still looked scrawny. Even worse than being so small was the fact that adults often thought I was 12. That used to make me so angry to the point of tears. I remember when everyone thought my younger sister was older than me. Talk about devastation!

I was 20 when I was pregnant with my first daughter. I remember the stares I received from people and often heard them say "babies having babies". I was married and old enough to have a child, yet people still assumed I was 14. I hated looking so young. When would anyone take me seriously? For years after, folks would ask if my daughters were my younger sisters or if I was the babysitter. I was always the "young mom" at the girls' elementary and middle school. I felt so left out. Years later I come to find out that a lot of those moms were very close to my age and some were even younger!

Fast forward to the present... I am 39 years old and I thoroughly enjoy when nobody believes that I have three kids and the fact that two of them are teens! I have to tell other moms I know that are going through the same thing how much they will appreciate being "too youthful looking" when they get older. So now my 18 year old daughter is going through the same thing I did. Most people think she is 14 and gets mistaken as the younger sister to her little sister. I keep telling her that it is a good thing to look so young. She hates it. In due time she will learn.  
Shelly, Mom Files

Sep 23, 2012

A priceless moment in a girl's life

This past Friday, our daughter Chardonnay was crowned the 2012 Richland Northeast High School Homecoming Queen. It was such an exciting night for our family and certainly will be treasured forever! Check out the super short video clip (start at 9:54). There were lots of tears and smiles!

Waiting to be called down to get in place to walk out onto the field at half-time. 

Patiently waiting with her Papo. He looks like security! 

The introduction of the girls that were running for Homecoming Queen and their dad/escort. 

The crowning. She was in tears! Even her little sister cried.  

Me and my girl! 
Shelly, Mom Files

Aug 23, 2012

First day of school 2012

Brie (sophomore) & Chardie (Senior) 
I can't believe how fast time has gone by. My girls are so grown up and today they start their new school year for 2012-13. They were up early full of excitement for their first day back. It was a whirlwind of emotion for me. My oldest is a high school senior and my younger daughter has outgrown us all! We had such fun in the car on the way to school. We shared a lot of laughs and reminisced about them being in elementary school. I am looking forward to the stories we will share this year.

Wishing everyone a fantastic school year ahead!
Shelly, Mom Files

May 19, 2012

The life of the SAHM

We have less than 2 weeks of the school year left. Time has flown by. The girls have been immersed in studying, exams, SAT's and volleyball conditioning. Of course I am in overdrive as a mom making sure they have all the necessities to make their days go smoothly. I have been spending a lot less time online and a lot more time on the floor playing dinosaurs, camping, blocks and flashcards. I am really working hard at giving little Will the same head start that the girls were given. You really do get to see the big differences between boys and girls! It does seem a little more challenging getting the boy to sit down long enough to learn something new. I think he does better absorbing information as long as he is moving. This sometimes means practicing numbers while doing jumping jacks! Needless to say, I am in great physical shape!
I still go through those days feeling mommy guilt wondering if I am doing enough for the boy. At the end of the day, he displays a lot of what he has learned through his actions. He is listening and paying attention. You better believe if anyone does something they shouldn't be, William will be the first one to let you know that you are not making a good choice. Those are the times that I think he is listening a little too well :)

I already have the Summer calendar prepared and it looks like the kids will be very occupied. I have some family trips I am planning as well. This Summer, we will take day trips or very short trips to close-by cities. No big vacations for us. I just hope that gas prices will continue to decline. I am also getting back into couponing so that we can maximize our cash.

Have you started getting your Summer family calendar set up? Do you have any fun plans?
Shelly, Mom Files

May 4, 2012

Sisters in print | High School memories

It is that time of year again... end of the school year and yearbooks! Both girls got their high school yearbook yesterday and I asked them if they were in it besides the class photo. They told me there was a shot of the two of them together and casually showed it to me.
I screamed out loud like whaaaat??!!! Those are my babies!! I was so thrilled to see that they were a part of a feature they did on students that share the same house and school. They thought I was crazy with how excited I was seeing them together in the yearbook. I think it is neat that they can look back at this many years from now and remember those times. I still glance through my high school yearbooks from time to time.
Just seeing how happy and vibrant they are when they are hanging out warms my mommy heart. It is such a wonderful thing when siblings, especially teenagers get along so well. I tell them all the time that they have a best friend for life! I love my girls so much! I just had to share this with you all.

Have a great weekend! :)
Shelly, Mom Files

Mar 11, 2012

They insist on growing up

I love my daughters. They are the most outstanding teenagers I have ever known. I don't say that because they are my girls, I say it because it is the truth! They don't act like the average teenager. They push themselves to be the best they can in school, sports and every other area of their life. They carry themselves like young ladies and are a best friend to each other. I am filled with happiness when I listen to some of the conversations they have with each other. My hope is that they always continue to be close and be there for each other.

The girls will be 16 & 18 later this year and Chardie is already looking into college applications. She informed me the other night that although she is a Junior, she has signed up for early application/early acceptance with the college she has dreamed of going to since she was 5. She will find out in November if she gets accepted. *sigh* Although I am so proud and I know that she will get in, I feel like she is half way out the door already. Did I mention that the college is local? She insists that she will always be around because she will still crave her mom's good cooking. Of course I will be there to indulge her! 

Now Brie has turned into this mini grown-up overnight. She stand about 3 inches taller than me and shows no signs of the looking like a little girl. She has really grown up so much not just physically but emotionally. Brie is our very intelligent, lively and colorful child. She keeps us entertained! She is also William's go-to person when he gets into trouble. He will go to Brie and explain what he did and tell her how much trouble he is in (very dramatically) Of course big sister eats it all up and consoles him. She doesn't like seeing him get into trouble but you better believe that if she catches him doing something naughty, she will correct him immediately. 

Little William is going to be 4 later this month. Although I have not missed a single milestone (being a stay-at-home mom) my heart still breaks a little seeing him grow up so fast. I am proud of that little boy though. He has met many milestones in the last year. It's funny, just when you think your kid will never do certain things they surprise you and do it BIG! I am trying to get him prepared for kindergarten. Some days I feel like I am doing a great job but most days I feel like I am not doing enough. That's another post for another day. 

I am just so proud of all my children. They are so inspiring and full of light. I take as much time as I can to watch them, listen to them and take in all the greatness they put out in the world. They are going to do very big things in their lives. I feel so fortunate to have such amazing children! 
Shelly, Mom Files

Aug 24, 2011

Nerds make my day!

I was driving Chardie and Brie to school this morning like I always do. Wednesdays are my favorite because they have late start. This means a little extra sleep and a more relaxed morning. Even before the girls get in the car they start up with all sorts of chatter, jokes and foolishness. Of course being the awesome mom I am, I fully participate in the shenanigans! I laugh myself almost to tears most mornings. This morning the topic was science classes. Chardie had to double up on sciences since she could not fit Biology in her schedule freshman year. So this means both Chardie and Brie take Biology, same teacher but different periods. Brie told Chardie she wishes they could have been in the same class so that they could work on projects together. This is where I intervened. I told them that I know their projects would be the best of the best because of how much they put into every part of it... research, proper grammar, neatness... They both agreed and then made a confession. They said that when they do projects with other students they redo a lot of it. Brie says she saves all the work in her thumb drive and offers to print the project out for the group. What she really does is fix everything that was wrong or correct typos. Both girls admitted that if it was up to them that they would do the whole project themselves so they can get an excellent grade. I tell you what, those girls amaze and inspire me. They care so much about their school work and strive to be the best. Makes me proud. Makes me want to do even better. Most people think I am nuts for driving the kids to school and picking them up since the bus stop is right in front of our house. It costs me a small fortune in gas each week. I don't care. What I get out of our morning conversations in the car is priceless!
Shelly, Mom Files

Aug 15, 2011

School is back in session!

I was up bright and early this morning to take the girls to school. Chardie was the first one off since she has an early bird class. She was ready and very excited to start her junior year.

I came back home and did a few things for about 30 minutes and then I was back in the car going back to the same school to take Brie. I am giving her up to 2 weeks to get acclimated with her new school scene and then she will get dropped off with Chardie. I am not doing all that extra driving if I don't need to!

I leave you with this classic video that parents all over the place are thinking in their heads ;)

Happy Back-to-school!
Shelly, Mom Files

Aug 11, 2011


It has been so hectic around here. I have been all over the place making sure that everyone gets to where they need to be and doing the last minute appointments before school starts back on Monday. Brie starts tomorrow for "Fresh Start" day. It's the day where only the freshman class will be there so that they can get all the basics of their new school. I have been so caught up in getting things done that it hit me... my baby girl is in high school. My. Baby. Girl. :*(

She is so excited and is not nervous at all. I still pass by the middle school every day and get so emotional! We will attend the freshman parent breakfast tomorrow morning. Of course we have been there and done that but you still do it all over again for each of the kids. The girls have been picking out outfits and accessories and of course changing their mind a thousand times! They are both ready for the next chapter in their lives and we can't wait to see what amazing things they do this year. Funny thing, Chardie has been a bit emotional lately. She said that she came to the realization that she is going to be turning 18 next year and she will no longer be a kid. It made her a little sad because she is in no rush to be an adult. I am in no rush for that either! I will post photos of their first day :-)
Shelly, Mom Files
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