Family * Travel * Food

I would love to punch some people on HGTV

I just wanted to share some random thoughts that come to mind while I'm watching my favorite shows on HGTV...
  • I really can't stand when they show a married couple reenact their morning routine in a small bathroom. Do people really brush their hair or teeth at the same exact time each morning and bump into each other like that? We don't. Our master bathroom in my home is smaller than some bathrooms in hotels, but we never complain.
  • Couples that can't agree on colors, finishes or anything for that matter. They have heated on-air arguments and someone ends up in fake tears. 
  • When they have over-the-top expectations for an itty bitty budget. 
  • When people have a budget of over a million dollars and end up buying a 1,200 square foot home. 
  • Why do the men have to get inside the tub? I would be so embarrassed if my husband did something like that on camera. Sadly, he probably would.
  • I do LOVE when the host shows a house that has everything a couple is looking for-- all custom features, open and over-sized spaces, gourmet kitchen, dream back yard and everything else only to burst their bubble when the sales price is revealed. It ends up being like $400K over budget, Hehehe!
  • There is always going to be that one woman who freaks out because there's a dead bug on the ground. C'mon man, it's DEAD! 
  •  People and the whole "open floor plan" thing. I don't really get it. When I'm in the kitchen cooking, I don't want to be bothered. I don't need to see my family or guests while I'm in there. It's my "me time" and I don't need anyone talking to me during that time. 

Vollyeball, elections and cupcakes

I have to apologize for my lack of personal posts. My life has been consumed with obligations but most importantly, my family. The girls just finished up their volleyball season which allows me to have a little more free time. It was bittersweet for both girls. They did not win very many games but did play exceptionally well compared to the previous years. Chardie is an emotional wreck because her high school volleyball years are officially behind her. She wanted it all to be over, yet she will miss it. Brie had a hard time losing so many of their games but felt great winning the last game against their old coach. It was such a sweet victory for them. I have to say that Brie played amazingly all season long. She has so much talent and it was so cool seeing the two girls play together.

It is crazy that they girls are 16 and 18 now. Brie has outgrown all of us in height and is so mature. My baby girl has grown up and the next stop will be driving. She has not been very enthusiastic about driving like most teens would be, but she is ready now. It feels weird to say that I am mother to an adult child. The good thing is Chardie was in no rush to turn 18 and says she doesn't see what the big deal is. She will be voting in the election next month and is excited to do so. I still can't get over that! Speaking of election, I can't wait for it to be over! I know everyone has their views and opinions but social media makes you want to throw up with it in your face 24/7. I won't lie, I have had to unfollow and unfriend some people that got way too out of hand. Regardless of which way it goes there will continue to be unhappy people. I do have to say that this is the funniest thing I have seen all week!
I'm so sorry, I couldn't help myself!

Another thing that happened recently that has nothing to do with anything is I purchased some new kitchen gadgets. I have been baking and cooking since before I was a teenager and have never owned cake decoration supplies or cupcake transporters. How on earth do you have children in school for over a decade and not have anything to carry your cupcakes in? I have baked hundreds of cupcakes over the years and can't remember how I was sending them to school. I also have been wondering why I have never had icing bags with the piping tips. I am now officially obsessed with making pretty cupcakes. I do need to play around with the different tips to learn how to make more designs. I made this gorgeous cupcakes recently to sell at the girls' Dig Pink volleyball game to raise money for breast cancer.
They were white cake with homemade cream cheese frosting that I tinted to make pink. Pretty, huh? Speaking of baking, I am so excited about all the baking that will be going on in my kitchen over the course of the next few months. I have already made a wish list of some things I want to have to make my baking experiences better. Can't wait!

What's going on with you?
Shelly, Mom Files

Vanity Sizing

I was listening to story this morning in my car on NPR. It was about something I have never heard of before... vanity sizing. There were two experts speaking on the subject and it was about the epidemic of obesity in America and how it affects clothing purchases. They spoke about how clothing has been re-sized to give customers the feeling that they are smaller than they really are. Basically, a person buys a size 8, but in reality it is a size 12. The fact that they feel they fit in a size 8 makes them feel good about themselves and results in them purchasing even more clothes. They even said that women's bra sizes have been affected. A woman that is normally a B cup might have to purchase a C cup and the true size might actually be an A! Of course, not all brands are doing this but it does make you wonder if you are wearing your true size. About 2 years ago, I was wearing a Juniors' size 9. A year later I was a 7. As of last week, I wear a Juniors' size 5! Even tops, I went from a Juniors' XL down to a small.

This is crazy! Turns out that it has been going on for many years. I guess I always just assumed that every brand was cut differently. Turns out, they are cut to please the customer in hopes of increasing sales. I just had to share this with you all! Has anyone heard about this before? I'm probably so late :)

My $2 Find!

I was doing my usual shopping in Walmart this weekend and stumbled upon this gadget. I have seen it a few times before but didn't bother with it. It is a sandwich sealer and decruster. It is a frugal way to make your own 'UnCrustables' at home. You just start off with your 2 slices of bread, add your filling in the center (I used peanut butter and apricot preserves) and then your press the sandwich cutter down over your sandwich. You end up with a crust-less and sealed sandwich. It worked great! Glad I finally broke down and bought one. You can find them hanging in random places. I found mine on the aisle with the coffee. My only recommendation is to not over-fill your bread.

Shelly, Mom Files

And it hit me...

I was just blow-drying my hair when I glanced over at the burgundy velvet box that was sitting on the dresser. Inside the box are the most gorgeous gold hoop earrings my husband bought for me as an anniversary gift. I love them so much that I decided I would only wear them for special occasions and if I am not wearing them, they would be tucked safely away in the box. Then I thought to myself...wait... why am I not wearing them right now? Last time I checked, EVERY day is a special occasion! I decided that I will wear the earrings as often as I want and enjoy them fully! What good do they do me if they are sitting in the jewelry box? I challenge everyone to eat your weekday dinner on that fine china that sits up on a high shelf. Grab those crystal goblets and drink Kool-aid out of them! Forget the holidays, silverware can be everyday ware! Why keep the special stuff locked up when we can be enjoying them NOW!

Shelly, Mom Files

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

I just had to have it

I am not a big television watcher but on occasion I will see something that captures my attention. I confess that some of the "As seen on TV" items suck me in. About 5 or 6 years ago I saw the Pedi Paws pet nail trimmer infomercial and I knew I absolutely had to have it. After all, clipping your doggy's nails is a sometimes difficult task. This product looked like a great solution. Dwayne was against me buying it but knew that there was little he could say to stop me. I did it. I bought it. $19.95.

I tried it and it sounded like a freakin' dental drill!!! Poor Milo was scared to death of the thing and it made the task even harder. Needless to say the doggone (no pun intended) thing has been sitting in the box for years. Lesson learned. I still hear "I told you so" for that one.

Have you ever purchased anything dumb from an infomercial?
Shelly, Mom Files

Lemon tree update #3

For those of you who have been following Momfiles for a while you might recall that I planted a Dwarf Meyer lemon tree back in May. It was wee bitty little thing (see picture below) and I was not sure if it would even grow. I updated again 7 weeks later and you were able to tell that it did indeed grow! I don't have a green thumb at all so I was really happy with the progress.

Well now I am happy to report that my little plant has turned into a bush! Look how big it got! It has now been 5 months and it is still doing well. I actually brought it indoors since our temperatures have been flip-floppy. I keep it in a sunny area of the house and plan to re-pot it in the early spring in a bigger container and return it to the outside deck. I actually found a little caterpillar that had fallen off of it and that explained why a few leaves were chewed up.

I may not get any lemons for a while, but I sure am thrilled that my plant is still alive :-)

Shelly, Mom Files

When confusion strikes...

Move your furniture around! It is amazing how well changing things up can improve your focus. I have been having a hard time staying asleep in recent weeks. I know that my mind races but normally it shuts off enough for me to get a solid 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. We took time over the weekend to do some small house projects as well as replace air conditioning filters, floor vent filters and light bulbs. I even dusted and vacuumed the nooks and crannies that you don't get to all the time. I think it helped because my sleep was ah-maaaayzing! I feel so rested and refreshed. Let's see if it carries on for the rest of the week!

Shelly, Mom Files

The Random Question Meme

I was catching up to reading blogs and came across this post of 20 random things from my girl Kristin so I figured why not... I'm lazy anyway ;) She got the post idea from here. (Like Kristin did, a couple question were edited to make sense)

1. When showering, do you start the water and then get in, or get in then start the water? I start the water and then get in.

2. Have you ever showered with someone of the opposite sex? Um yeah!! Isn't it the green thing to do?

3. Were you ever been forced to shower with one of your siblings? Yes *evil glare*

4. Have you ever dropped your soap on your foot? Yes, I'm clumsy like that.

5. How old do people say you look? I get anywhere from 18-20 something. I don't argue with that!

6. How old do you act? My daughters tell me I act like a child most of the time. I agree. I think I act like I am in my 20's since I don't feel as old as I am. I do however know when to act my age ;)

7. What’s the last song you sang? Party Rock. I blame it on the teenagers.

8. Have you recently become a member of anything? Yes, a couple Facebook Groups.

9. What are your plans for next weekend? I am hosting a dinner party and we will see what else happens.

10. Do you kiss with your eyes open or closed? Both!

11. Whats the sexiest thing about Sarah Palin? She is pretty and that is about it. I think once she opens her mouth all sexiness goes out the door.

12. Who’s the sexiest famous woman alive? Halle Berry.

13. Who’s the sexiest famous man alive? George Clooney

14. Does your family have a crazy uncle? Of course! Don't we all?

15. Have you ever smuggled something into another country? No.

16. Do you live in a city with a good sports team? According to the local people, Yes. I personally don't care.

17. What is the most unusual thing you are obsessed with? I can't stand dirty car windows or any dirty glass surfaces. I have cleaned other people's car windows because it bothered me that much.

18. How do feel about the Goth people? They are people and are entitled to being who they are!

19. Can you fix or your significant other your own car? Hell no.

20. Would you want to kill Casey Anthony yourself if you were guaranteed to get away with it? No way. Not my style...I'm way too pretty to be violent. Now you mess with my kids....

Feel free to participate and let me know if you do :)
Shelly, Mom Files

Homeschool or public school?

I am still trying to decide what to do with William. There is a HUGE part of me that wants to home school him. Then there is a tiny part of me that wants to send him to school. If I do send him to school then I would more than likely need to put him in preschool to get him used to a classroom setting. Oh what to do, what to do... This is one of those things I think about most of the day. I just don't know what to do!
Shelly, Mom Files

Am I in the Twilight Zone?

Today has been what I would call a perfect day. I got up earlier than normal which I like very much. Early is good. I drove the girls to school and saw the husband off to work (early). I went to Kroger this morning and I swear I was the only customer in the entire store. William behaved like an angel today. No fussing, no rudeness, no destroying the house, just angelic. He even took a nap this afternoon which is rare. It was completely silent in the house. I prepared a wonderful dinner and even watched One Life to Live at the normal time. I don't have to pick the girls up until 5:30 today. I have all my housework done (even laundry & dishes). My inbox is on ZERO. All my obligations have been met and my account is balanced to the penny. My husband has been calling me periodically throughout the day cracking me up with his foolishness. This has been a perfect day :)
Shelly, Mom Files

Random family updates

Is it just me or has time been flying by? I swear it was just January and I look at the calendar and we are about halfway through April. Last week was Spring break and it was wonderful. The girls had an actual break from the usual 4-7 hours of school work they have on a daily basis (weekends included). They had to nerve to complain that they were bored! I told them they had better enjoy that down time since from here until June 3rd there will be no school work break. We sort of lingered around all week and did a little shopping, eating out and getting together with friends. I enjoyed the quality time with the girls that we don't get much of during the busy school week. William was treated like a King while the girls were home. I hate to admit that William is a bit spoiled. The even carried him around like a baby! He loved every minute of it.

Now I am back to my usual getting up at the crack and driving kids everywhere. I would not have it any other way. Chardie has been getting some driving practice in although she will not be getting a car until she graduates high school. There's no need for it if I am available to drive them anywhere they need to go. I don't mind waiting either. I will let her drive herself to school once she gets her license. I'll just have to scoot myself back in the driver's seat and go home.

I have been working with William on his "school" work and he is doing an amazing job! He knows the entire alphabet phonetically and recognizes a lot of words. He has been saying a lot of bigger words as well as speaking in complete sentences. It's amazing how much he adds to his vocabulary daily. We are very proud. We have also been working on potty training. He is getting good at going pee pee and staying dry all day and overnight. Poo poo is a whole other beast. He still hided when he has to go. I don't really know what to do about that one. I guess I have put it in my head that he will get it eventually and thankfully since he is not in daycare/preschool it won't be as big a deal to be fully trained. I'm not stressing.

Dwayne and I have been talking about getting a treadmill. I am willing to buy one that is used but we have not been able to find what we want within our spending limit. I can't believe people think they can sell their USED treadmill for $800! If I was spending money like that I would buy it brand new. We are hoping the right deal will come along.

We have been getting some home improvements done. We are doing a little at a time since we don't use credit cards. Cash goes FAST! I feel like our bank account is a recycling center. All in all everything is going well for the Ismail family. How is everything going with you?

Shelly, Mom Files

10 Facts you didn't know about me

I stole this post idea from my sweet friend Lisa of New York Chica.
  1. I don't like the beach. Sand and sea water, no thanks.
  2. I have not worn a swimsuit in 3 years. My cellulite has gotten worse since having the last kiddo. I'm thinking I need a swim skirt.
  3. I have had a professional manicure/pedicure once in my life.
  4. I dislike shoe shopping.
  5. I think my family might be the only family in America that does not own a gaming system of any kind. We don't plan on ever buying one either.
  6. Although I am not big into travel, I would love to go on an Alaskan cruise before I leave this earth. Oh yeah and I want to go to Las Vegas.
  7. I love foot and neck massages. I just don't like it done by a professional. Something about strangers touching me...
  8. I get really uncomfortable in crowded places and elevators. I will pretend I forgot something just to avoid getting into an elevator with others.
  9. I love beer. I craved it so much when I was pregnant with William. I try not to drink it too much since I think it is the culprit to my weight gain.
  10. Most of my young life I wanted to get a boob job. It took me turning 30 to realize that I was crazy. I am so glad I never went through with it!
Now it's your turn to share some facts about yourself!
Shelly, Mom Files

So much for a break

I am sure that in most places it is officially winter break (from school). I went and has this really smart idea of scheduling dental and doctor appointments since school is out. Apparently everyone else had the same idea. The physician's offices have been jam packed and the wait has been lengthy. I feel like I have been busier than when the girls are in school! I have not even been updating my blog. I have another full day today and tomorrow but I do plan to rest a bit on Thursday and Friday. I might do some last minute shopping (strictly for bargains). I have not even planned any big spread for Christmas. I am going to cook something very simple and less formal. Once Sunday hits I will be ready to tear apart all signs of Christmas so my house can be clean and ready to ring in the new year. I hope you all are having a great week so far :)
Shelly, Mom Files

What makes my day right

Every morning is always a struggle getting Dwayne out the door for work. The kids are a breeze, they are always prepared to leave on time. Dwayne is a lounger. He wants to chat and chill in the morning. I am the clock watcher and the nag. I am constantly pointing at the clock telling him he needs to leave. The problem is, we are both engaging in conversation and it is so hard to stop. Dwayne is so silly in the morning with all of his corny jokes and foolishness. I can truly say that my weekday morning is never complete without our long "see ya later" kisses and hugs at the front door before he leaves for work. Some mornings he will even call before he gets to the office to tell me he misses me already. He is going to get me for telling his business!! For the record, he is still the manly man he makes himself out to be to everyone but underneath that athletic chest (haha!) is a warm and loving heart. I love that crazy man!
Shelly, Mom Files

Does this happen to you?

You know how it is said that the average person loses over 100 strands of hair each day? Well I think it is true in my case. How in the world do I shed like I do yet still have a full head of thick, healthy hair? I don't get it. Also is it just me or do you get all sneezy and sick feeling when you are in a room of sick people? Do you take on symptoms even if you are not really sick? I must be paranoid or something! I was in the same space as someone who was coughing and I really felt a cough coming on. Now today of course I am perfectly fine :) Crazy me....
Shelly, Mom Files

Things that make Shelly... Shelly

  • I LOVE being a housewife and stay-at-home mom. It's my dream job although the pay sucks ;) Love it.
  • Promptness makes me very happy. Lateness troubles me greatly.
  • I don't like and never will like boiled peanuts. Even the smell makes me ill.
  • I love coupon shopping. I can't pass up a great deal!
  • I would love to lose 2 pounds.
  • I can't control my laughter when I need to the most. It has gotten really bad.
  • I love watching television with the husband but do not like when he has the remote (he's a compulsive channel flipper)
  • I have multiple junky corners in my home. My husband can tell you all about them.
  • I am very loyal. I get hurt easily when people don't show me the same.
  • Cold weather puts me in a great mood.
  • I don't feel my age at all.
  • I love foot and neck massages.
  • I don't like wearing socks even though I love crazy socks.
  • I don't ever write "LOL". It is grossly overused.
  • I am a snackoholic. Yep, I am a junk food junkie but I tend to be decadent on the weekends and I work it off during the week.
  • I have been watching One Life to Live and General Hospital for over 30 years.
  • I am writing this post to avoid cleaning my desk! haha :)
Shelly, Mom Files

Random bits

I have not been posting very much lately so I thought I would share a couple random photos I have taken over the past several days. This one would have been cuter if the kid had his eyes open and his feet on the ground. The moment he sees the camera coming he takes it as his cue to act a fool.
I started some hot pepper seeds in an egg carton and transferred them into my makeshift plant pots made from milk bottles (see I can be green sometimes). I am not sure how big I should let them get before planting them into big containers. Advice anyone? Kristin will probably know :)

We have been doing a whole lot of this. William has a new song called "read". I consists of only the word read and it goes to the tune of "Happy Birthday to you".... read read read, read read read... read read read, read read read (you get the idea)

So how's that for random bits? Please share something random with me...
Shelly, Mom Files

Living life

There are days that I really don't want to be on the computer or on my phone but I still end up there. Our lives seem to be lived by documenting short sentences telling the world our whereabouts and saying what's on our mind. Don't forget your # in front of your words. It seems to be what makes the world go around. Social media. I am really not feeling it some days. It is information overload and it gets to be too much. I am keeping things simple and focusing on my sweet family. I want to do less online stuff and more personal and important things. I have had one of the best days today and realized that the computer was not a part of it. Wow, I went the bulk of the day with minimal online correspondence and lived. Truly I lived. I like this sort of living. It is exhilarating and fulfilling. We need to sometimes stop and truly live. Sorry for rambling. Hope everyone is having a great weekend!
Shelly, Mom Files
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