Family * Travel * Food

The FRIENDS Experience in Atlanta, GA

The FRIENDS™ Experience is now open in Atlanta and it’s an experience worth traveling for. Atlanta is only the third city in the nation to get access to the Experience and the first in the South, as it’s previously been in Chicago and New York City. After a wildly successful first month, the end date was recently extended three weeks and now runs through Sept. 26 before it leaves the East Coast and heads to Dallas, Texas.

The one-of-a-kind immersive space features 12 rooms and activations of some of the show’s most recognizable moments. Guests will get to experience re-created sets such as Monica’s kitchen, Chandler and Joey’s apartment, and Central Perk, a retail store selling exclusive merchandise, and rooms full of various props, costumes, character moments and scripts from the show. For images of the experience, see here.
Tickets are available exclusively at and prices start at $32.50, plus taxes and fees. Guests can reserve a timed entry with hours found here, though the self guided experience which takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.
Created by Superfly X, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Warner Bros. Television Group, the Experience is located at Perimeter Pointe in Sandy Springs at 1155 Mount Vernon Highway, NE. For a look at what to expect when visiting The FRIENDS Experience, check out this video.
The experience is a short drive from GA-85, making it easily accessible from Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Additionally, there are numerous hotels in close proximity to the experience, including: Embassy Suites Perimeter Center, Hyatt Regency Atlanta Perimeter, Le Meridian Atlanta Perimeter, and The Westin Perimeter North. 
To ensure a safe environment for all staff and guests, The FRIENDS Experience is currently continuing COVID-19 protocols throughout the space including, but not limited to social distancing, requiring masks, and thorough cleaning and sanitization measures. Learn more about the enhanced cleaning and safety measures as well as additional experience details at
About Superfly X: Superfly X is the global themed entertainment division of Superfly. Founded in 2020, Superfly X is transforming the way fans interact with their favorite entertainment properties with The FRIENDS Experience. Superfly X is building on its expertise in creating iconic live experiences like Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Outside Lands and Clusterfest as well as for some of the most recognized brands in the world. Superfly is headquartered in New York.
About FRIENDS: Celebrating the 25th anniversary of its debut in 1994, FRIENDS remains one of television’s most beloved series. One of the highest-rated shows on television in its original network run, the series remains a perennial go-to in syndication and on streaming services, where it continues to be a smash hit worldwide. A favorite among critics and fans alike throughout its 10-season run, FRIENDS not only won the Emmy® for Outstanding Comedy series, but also garnered Emmy® Awards for series stars Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow. From Warner Bros. Television, FRIENDS follows the lives and loves of a close-knit group of friends living in New York City: siblings Ross (David Schwimmer) and Monica Geller (Courteney Cox), along with friends Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) and Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston). FRIENDS was created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, who executive produced the series with Kevin Bright through Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. 
About Warner Bros. Consumer Products: Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a WarnerMedia Company, extends the Studio’s powerful portfolio of entertainment brands and franchises into the lives of fans around the world.  WBCP partners with best-in-class licensees globally on an award-winning range of toys, fashion, home décor, and publishing inspired by franchises and properties such as DC, Wizarding World, Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera, HBO, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. The division’s successful global themed entertainment business includes groundbreaking experiences such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. With innovative global licensing and merchandising programs, retail initiatives, promotional partnerships, and themed experiences, WBCP is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.
FRIENDS and all related characters and elements © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s21)

Be Last-Minute Guest Ready With A Bestway Airbed

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Bestway and BraVoMark. All opinions are mine.

I am sure many of you have dealt with last-minute guests or pop-up trips that can stress you out. With the upcoming holiday season approaching in a few short months, many of you might be entertaining guests. Not everyone has an extra room for guests, but you don't want them to have to spend a fortune on a hotel either. One of the smartest items you can invest in is an airbed. It can be stored away in a closet while not in use and easily taken out at the last minute when needed. I'm not talking the $30 air mattress though. Remember that kind? We had one for years and it felt like you were sleeping on the floor because it would lose air throughout your slumber.

There is a great solution for keeping your air mattress inflated and comfortable at all times. The Fortech Queen Airbed with with an AlwayzAire Pump from Bestway is one of the best higher quality airbeds you can find. Here are some details:

What makes this airbed better than others? 

  • This queen size Fortech airbed measures 80in. x 60in. x 17in. (2.03m x 1.52m x 43cm). Includes built-in 110-120V- electric AlwayzAire pump (ETL approved) which continuously monitors and maintains air pressure. It inflates in just 150 seconds. 
  • It is made with strong puncture and scratch resistant material 
  • The pump has an easy, one click operation with 3 options for airbed firmness.
  • Once you choose your preferred firmness, the pump automatically engages to inflate bed silently as you sleep. 
  • Comes with a carrying back for travel and storage
  • It has raised edges to help prevent roll-offs
  • Great for indoor use, with canvas-feel fabric top, sides and bottom. 
  • Costs $139.00 plus tax. This is a small investment for something you will use for years to come.

Right now Bestway is having a big Facebook giveaway:

• Purchase an ALWAYZAIRE bed from or Walmart here 
• Take a photo of yourself using the bed or next to it. (Be fun and Wacky)
• Post your photo under the comment section of @BestwayUs Facebook page contest post to be entered to win a SaluSpa Miami (retailed at $369.99)
• Bestway will be picking 5 Winners September 15th

I want one of these airbeds especially since we travel often. I can see us bringing this along on our family road trips. It's perfect for if you have a larger living space where you can inflate it in no time. It will give you a sense of sleeping in the comfort of your own bed. Man, I wish we had this one years ago! Get all the details about the Bestway airbed here and be sure to enter their Facebook giveaway

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Don't Let Someone Else Drag Your Health Down!

Everyone wants to take care of themselves right? Surely it only makes sense that, since we only get one body, that every single person would want to take as much care of their health as possible. Sadly this isn't the case. As strange as it might sound, but there are a lot of people out there who simply aren't that interested in keeping themselves healthy. It's probably not something that they're doing intentionally, a lot of the time people's unhealthy lifestyles and behaviors come from a lack of awareness of the impact it's having on their body. It's a shame that it's happening but if that's what they want to do then you can't really stop them, the major problem is when other people's poor decision making starts to have a negative impact on your life. With that in mind, here are some situations where other people's behavior could damage your health, and how to stop that from happening.

Accidents on the road
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You might be the safest driver in the world, but there's still a chance that something could happen. This is because, for every careful, considerate driver on the road, there's another one who has no interest in their own safety or the safety of anyone else. The best way to deal with these kinds of drivers is something called "defensive driving." Defensive driving is essentially a method of driving where you're constantly aware of and predicting potential hazards. That way you're in a much better position to avoid them. Of course, you won't be able to avoid everything, especially if someone is determined to drive like a maniac. If you are in an accident, then you should hire a personal injury lawyer so that you can make sure that the other person's lack of responsibility doesn't need to have more of a negative impact on your life than it already has. 

Your partner's diet
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It's hard enough taking care of your own diet, let alone having to think about someone else's. It's surprisingly common that one person in a relationship will be much more conscious of their health than the other. It can be surprisingly difficult to eat healthily and stay active when your partner is constantly buying greasy, unhealthy food. For one thing, having to work around two diets can be pretty expensive, not only that but it's often very tempting to go for a quick, unhealthy fix instead of something healthier after a long day at work. Make sure that you talk to your partner and try to get them to support your attempts to become healthier, for your benefit and theirs.

Your friend's lifestyle
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Everyone likes to have a good time now, and then. There's nothing wrong with that! But we all have that one friend who just seems determined to take it too far. They seem to want to go out every single night, and when they do, they behave as if they've never heard the word moderation in their life! Even if you choose not to drink as much as they do, the late nights and lack of sleep that come with this kind of lifestyle are going to catch up with you eventually. Talk to your friend, and if they're not willing to try to quieter nights in every so often, it might be a good idea to spend some time apart so that you can take care of your health.


Give The Gift Of Tervis This Holiday Season

Do you feel completely stuck when you have to buy a gift for someone? I find myself coming up with the greatest ideas when I don't have to buy something, but draw a blank when I do! I finally found a gift idea that is perfect for every person on your list regardless of age or gender. A Tervis tumbler is the ideal choice! I'm sure you're thinking, "is she for real? A tumbler?" Hear me out. Tervis offers so many choices for every taste. Whether you love floral patterns, collegiate sports, Disney, Superheroes, NFL, MLB, Hello Kitty (and the choices go on and on), you will find the perfect Tervis for your gifting.

I learned recently that you can even customize your Tervis with personal images, text, and theme wraps. Now that would make a unique gift for the person who has everything. I have received a few Tervis tumblers as gift over the last few years and I LOVE them! They are super sturdy and you can purchase new lids in different colors or styles if you need or want to. They even have a straw lid that doesn't leak and is perfect to take when you are on the go.  It has gotten to the point in my life that we have a section in one of my kitchen cabinets that houses all Tervis items. I also have a standing rule with my college daughters that the ONLY drink-ware they are allowed to bring home must be Tervis otherwise it goes in the donation or recycling bin.

I received a couple of fun new items to add to our growing collection-- A 24-ounce hot/cold tumbler and 9-ounce stemless wine glass. Aren't they great? We are big sports fans in my home, so I chose a Miami Hurricanes tumbler for the husband, and Carolina Panthers stemless wine glass for me!
You can always rely on the best quality for all Tervis products. 

This stemless wine glass comes in different colors and designs. There are so many choices! perfect for the wine-lover in your life! I'm sure your mom friends would LOVE one if you participate in a gift exchange :) 

What sports fan wouldn't love showing off his or her team as they sip on their beverage at work? 
I think a Tervis tumbler would be a great choice to give friends, family, coworkers or neighbors this holiday season! You can purchase them at stores including Bed Bath & Beyond, some college campus shops and specialty stores, and of course order directly from the Tervis site or a Tervis store if you are lucky to have one nearby. Seriously, this is the most stress-free idea. Be sure to follow Tervis on Facebook and Twitter for product updates and promotions.

I received product samples in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own as always. 

Homeschool Updates

We are a couple months into our second year of school from home and so far, everything is going smoothly. Third grade is certainly very different from second grade. The work load has been a lot more and it can been very tiring some days. I find myself telling William to go take a break while I do the same. I am lucky to have a child who almost never complains and is easy to work with. We have a flexible routine that has been working well for us. 

I make certain every couple weeks to ask William how he is doing and if he misses going to traditional school. He always responds with how much he loves home school and never wants to return to public school. This makes me happy to know that he is genuinely happy and feeling like this was a good choice for him. 

One of his new favorite things to do is to go outside and read while he watches the birds and dogs play. Hey, anything that encourages him to read works for me! As a matter of fact, his reading has improved tremendously and we are working on being more animated when reading out loud. He still has his stubborn boy moments, but he understands that he has no choice with getting his work done. He takes pride in checking off assignments as he completes them, and loves tracking his grades.

A lot has changed for me as a homemaker. A huge chunk of my day is dedicated to William's schooling, so keeping a super neat and tidy home just isn't a priority like it used to be. I try to get things done throughout the day, but don't beat myself up if I don't get to it all. I make time for myself each day just to do whatever I want, whether it's watching my favorite show on HGTV or taking a nap. I have learned the importance of self-care and refuse to allow myself to feel guilty about it. Do I have bad days where I feel like I'm failing? YES. Yes, I do. Thankfully those aren't too often.

William continues to go to his karate classes and swimming. It's funny how much more social he is since doing school from home. He is not shy at all and will chat with anyone who will listen. We still get a lot of people when we are out and about during school hours ask him why he's not in school. He proudly tells them, "I'm home-schooled!". Of course, some people are still very shocked by that and tell me I must be a "saint". I simply laugh it off and realize I too thought the same of parents who home-schooled their kids.

Right about now I am SO happy that I'm not on Facebook trying to push school fundraisers on any of my friends. Yep, don't miss any of that! Overall, we are very happy with school and plan to continue all the way to high school. If you have ever considered homeschooling your child, I suggest you try it out to see if it works for your family. You definitely won't know unless you try. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

How to Create Your Own Dixie Deadzone Diners

Dixie, the leader in disposable tableware, has launched ”Deadzone Diners,” a campaign inspiring people to disconnect from their mobile devices and connect over a meal.  The initiative will transform the negative perception of cellular dead zones into unique opportunities for people to “Be More Here.”  To help families better connect over the dinner table, the company had a created a set of tips to help them create their own “Deadzone Diners” and foster conversation and interaction.

With a focus on family, friends and mealtimes, Dixie is committed to promoting environments where meaningful interaction can occur in the absence of distractions such as phone calls, social media and text messages. 

​1. ​Put your phone away during mealtime.  Establish a guideline that everyone must put their phones on airplane mode and leave them in another room. This will allow families to focus solely on having meaningful face-to-face conversation with the people around them.

​2. Have dinner in unique location with no cell signal.  Make dinner more fun, compelling and unique by finding a change of atmosphere.  See if you can find a cellular dead zone to have a meal, such as your basement, a park or an isolated spot in the backyard. A change of scenery with “no bars” will encourage engaging conversation.

3. Come to the dinner table with one topic to discuss.  Everyone in the family should come prepared with a conversation topic.  It can be as simple as the best thing that happened to you that day.  A shared meal is an important opportunity to have your family's full attention to talk about the things that matter most. 

4. Make sure everyone is involved.  Make sure everyone at dinner has a role, whether it’s helping in the kitchen, setting the table or cleaning up.  If everyone has a responsibility, it will limit the time they can spend on the phone and create a shared experience. 

5. Try a new recipe, but keep it simple.  Introducing a new recipe could be the start of great conversation.  A home-made meal doesn’t have to take hours and it can be fun to prepare.  Cooking will bring the family together, while avoiding the distraction of cell phones.


Simple Ways to Let a Friend Know You Care

Whether your loved one is going through a hard time or you’ve just been feeling a rush of gratitude for their presence in your life, letting them know you care takes just a pinch of thoughtfulness and a moment of effort. You never know the difference it might make, so peruse these options and let your friend know how much they are appreciated.

A Surprise Delivery
Order a bouquet of flowers for delivery to their home or office and write a sweet note to accompany it. You can make it as general as “Hope this brightens your day” or personalize it for a particular situation. A vibrant surprise such as this is sure to bring a smile to their face and remind them of your love every time they see it.

A Kind Letter
With social media saturating our daily lives, it’s easy to “like” our friends’ photos and status updates and call it a day. But if you’re truly feeling like reaching out to a friend and making sure they know you care, consider putting your feelings into writing. That’s right, writing a good old-fashion, pen to paper letter. Just a few paragraphs outlining how grateful you are for their friendship might be the pick me up they need if they’re having a rough go of things.

Take Them Out for Lunch
The work week can drag for all of us, so if you want to let your friend know you care, stop by in the middle of the week at their office and take them out to lunch at a local place. Breaking up the monotony of a long day and the added bonus of surprise will make your friend feel appreciated and give you two a chance to hang out even in the midst of a hectic week.

Actively Listen
If your friend needs to express something, make sure you do your due diligence and listen actively. Too often we hear, but we don’t really take in the message. Your friend might be hiding feelings between the lines and hoping that you’ll pick up on it, so do your best to repeat the words that are spoken to you and analyze the information given to better respond. It may sound like common sense, but many of us fall out of the habit of active listening. Being conscious of this will heighten your communication skills with everyone in your life.

Put the Phone Down
You might feel connected with the outside world while missing out on the person sitting right in front of you. Nothing beats in-person interaction, and constantly looking at the blue light of your iPhone screen just tells the person you’re with that they’re not interesting enough to capture your attention. Put your phone away and give them your full attention; you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much better your communication is.

Show Up With a Meal
If you notice a friend is struggling to get everything done and could really use a break, doing something as simple as bringing dinner over could change their entire outlook for the week. If you’re not a chef extraordinaire there’s no harm in picking up something from their favorite restaurant or having it delivered—it’s the thought that counts, not the food. This is an especially good idea for moms and dads who might be running themselves ragged with responsibility.

Send an Inspirational Book
We don’t always have the right words for someone going through a difficult time, so don’t be hesitant to reach out with the wise words of someone else. If you find an applicable book of inspiration that fits the situation, pass it along. You don’t have to let them know it was a gift specifically bought for them, and you can work under the pretense that it’s been in your library all along. Sometimes it’s hard for people to accept gifts, so if this fits your situation, definitely take it into consideration.

Wine and Chat
Another easy option? A wine night. Grab a personalized wine bottle from a company like Etching Expressions with a picture of the two of you or a cheery message guaranteed to make them smile. Even after you finish its contents, they’ll keep the bottle as a memento of your fun night together and it may bring light to their life on a rainy day in the future. Nothing sparks conversation like a little liquid courage, so give them the chance to express themselves without pressuring them. Simply letting them know you are willing to listen can speak volumes.


Celebrating Your Girlfriends on Gal-entine’s Day

Haven’t heard of Gal-entine’s Day, yet? It’s high time you started observing this wonderful celebration of female friendship. Originally coined by Amy Poehler’s character Leslie Knope on the hit NBC show “Parks and Recreation”, this occasion is celebrated on February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day. It’s meant to commemorate the beautiful bond and love between best friends, and if you’ve got a great crew of gals you adore, you need to celebrate your friendships and give a nod to the many different but just as wonderful types of love in your life.

Gifting isn’t Just for Lovers
Give your best gal pals a token of your appreciation for their friendship with some sweet and sentimental presents this Gal-entine’s Day. Skip the stale presents and make your besties feel like queens with some heartfelt presents you know they’ll adore. Whether it’s friendship bracelets (those aren’t just for preteens you know!) or tickets to a show you know all of you will enjoy, sweet little presents will definitely have your besties feeling the love.

A Fun Project
Want to keep busy while you’re hanging out? Provide all the supplies for a fun DIY project. Whether it’s making a dream board of all the hopes and wishes you all have for the future using pictures and terms cut out of a magazine, or a wonderfully scented homemade shower scrub, you’ll laugh over your arts and crafts project and leave the evening with a fun memento of the fun times you had that evening.

Paint ’N Wine Night
If you haven’t done a paint and wine night yet, you’re missing out. There are tons of companies in every big city that offer evenings where you and your girlfriends can get firsthand instruction from an artist and create a copycat painting masterpiece, all while sipping on alcoholic beverages and eating yummy appetizers. You’ll all go home at the end of the night with a new painting to hang on your wall, and every time you see it hanging on your wall in the future you’ll smile and think of the amazing women in your life.

Karaoke Night
What better way to spend an evening celebrating love than singing your heart out to some ballads with your besties? Head to a local karaoke bar and pick your favorite jams, sing some duets, and rock out to girl groups for a celebration that will have you losing your voice (all in good fun, of course!)

Television Binging
What is a night in front of the television without some delicious snacks? Order in food and have it delivered from a company like DoorDash, or do it smorgasbord style with a yummy charcuterie and cheese board, mini sliders, and chocolate berries from a company like Shari’s Berries. Celebrate women by picking movies with female leads: think Katniss from “Hunger Games” or the funny, singing gals from “Pitch Perfect”.

For Far Away Besties
If your best friend lives far away but you still want to let her know you’re thinking of her, send a fun card that will provide a happy surprise come February 13th  when she checks her mailbox. Plan a Skype date to catch up and get all the details on any Valentine’s plans you two might be celebrating with the lucky fellas in your lives.

A Girl’s Trip
If you and your friends are all single for the Valentine’s holiday, then you’ve got the entire weekend to work with for your Gal-entine’s celebrations (no wallowing about not being a relationship necessary, ladies). Go out on a sweet getaway weekend that will have you all feeling rejuvenated come the following Monday. What about a wine tasting weekend with a side of luxury spa treatments? Or perhaps you’ll head out on a ski weekend to make the most of the snow still clinging to the ground as winter winds its way down. Whatever it is that you like to do, plan a last-minute trip and celebrate with the girls who know you best.

Romantic relationships can come and go, but your best friends are always there for you, so make sure you celebrate all the types of love in your life this February.

Cheap or Free Ways You Can Help Others

The inspiration for this post came from something I heard my 7 year old son say... "Wow, my dad helped the neighborhood and he helped the world". I wanted to share some ideas of how you can help people in little ways to make their lives better. This may spark something within them to want to pay it forward and help someone else.

  • Volunteer at your child's school. 
  • Getting rid of outgrown clothing from younger, school-age children? Consider donating them to your local elementary school's nurse's office. They always have the need for bottoms, underwear and socks. 
  • Text a friend just to let them know you are thinking about them.
  • Smile. A genuine smile triggers other people to smile. 
  • Check up on your neighbors.
  • Be a "Mystery Reader" for your child's class.
  • Offer to help an elderly person in the grocery store.
  • Hold the door open for someone.
  • Compliment a stranger (within reason).
  • When you get a buy-one-get-one free deal, why not share the freebie with a friend or neighbor.
  • Offer to babysit for a new mom.
  • Give your neighbor's dog a treat at the fence.
  • If you are in a store and see someone purchasing something that you have a coupon for, offer it to them. You would be amazed at the joy $1 off can bring to someone.
  • Be the Coupon Fairy. Leave coupons in front of the items they are for in a store. Someone will be very happy to save a little extra money. 
  • Call someone out of the blue. 
  • If you baked something, send in extra for you child's teacher.
  • Always ask the cashier at the store you are at how their day is going. No matter the attitude they may give off, you can still show that you care.
  • Tell someone that you love them. 
  • If you get a gift certificate for purchasing a certain amount in a store, consider giving it to someone. My kids give me their $10 Kohl's cash certificates all the time and it makes me so happy.
  • Hug someone.
  • Make people laugh!
  • Rake or blow leaves for your elderly neighbor.
  • Do a chore for another person in your home. I love when my walk into my bedroom and see my bed already made up.
  • Paying with a gift card and have a small balance left? Give it to the person behind you in line. 
  • Saying, "good morning" or "have a great day" gives off a positive vibe. 
  • A simple "thank you" is always in order.
  • Allowing your inner happiness to shine can bring much needed light to others.
  • Send in a special treat for your child's class or your spouse's co-workers.
  • Write notes to your family members.
  • Write a letter and mail it to a friend. Embellish the envelope with fun stickers.
  • Let your kids eat dessert for dinner once in a while. There's nothing wrong with the occasional ice cream sundae dinner.
  • Show gratitude and appreciation every day.
Sharing love is FREE! What will you go out and do today that will make a difference to others? 

You could win a trip to the 2013 Essence Festival with 3 of your friends! #spon {Giveaway}

The 2013 Essence Festival, brought to you by Coca-Cola, will be going on in New Orleans this summer. Coca-Cola is providing me with a fun gift pack to share some exciting news about a sweepstakes contest they are running. From now until May 31, 2013, you can enter for a chance to win a trip for you and 3 friends to move, groove, and enjoy at the 2013 ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans. Prize includes round trip air transportation, 3 nights' hotel accommodations, tickets to the Festival and $1,200 spending money. Plus, you could also snag cool instant prizes. Now that would be the ultimate girls' weekend getaway!
I took a look at the artist line-up for the EF and I screamed like a little girl! The names that stuck out to me the most were New Edition, LL Cool J, Beyonce,  Blackstreet, Mint Condition and many more! I have had friends attend the EF in the past and they all couldn't stop talking about how amazing it was.
You can see all of the details to enter the sweepstakes to win the trip for 4 on the Coca-Cola Essence Festival page. While you're there, you can see video from last year's EF as well as check out the artist line-up.

To get you excited about the Essence Festival or for getting together with your girlfriends for a fun weekend, Coca-Cola is providing a A Bliss Spa body bundle valued at $100 for one lucky Momfiles reader to win! Enter below
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on May 15, 2013.  One winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes and winner is responsible for applicable taxes. Good luck!

The prize was provided by Coca-Cola Company. The Coca-Cola Company is not a sponsor, administrator or connected in any other way with this giveaway.
Shelly, Mom Files

Getting ready for kindergarten

The time has come. It was 5 years in the making. Kindergarten registration is here. Today kicked off the start of Expanded Choice applications in our School District. If you want your child in either a Magnet program or to attend a school you are not zoned for, you must complete an online application. Although we live so close the the elementary school that I would like William to attend, we are not zoned for it. I had to fill out Choice applications back when the girls were Will's age. We want him to go to the same school his sisters went to. Me and my husband laugh at how we are starting all over again!
William is so excited and seems ready for school. I know he will do well socially but I still have my mom worries. With William being the last baby, he has been very babied and I take full responsibility for that. I can't help wanting to do everything for him. He's my baby! I know that I have learn to let go. I have to let him become more independent. I think about things like; will he be able to wipe his nose properly if he sneezes? Will he be able to clean his bottom properly if he goes to the bathroom? Will he eat his lunch? I have so many things going through my head! I have vowed to work diligently with him to get him well prepared for kindergarten. I guess all I can do is know that it will all work out. I was frantic when the girls were starting school too. It sure will be strange when he is gone all day and I will be home with just the dog. I know myself though, I will do what I did with the girls. I will volunteer every single day a few times a week. I am looking forward to all the fun things involved in kindergarten :)
Shelly, Mom Files


William's preschool updates

We are in the thick of things around here. Getting William prepared for school takes a great part of the day and sometimes I am ready to give up. He has become obsessed with the idea of going to kindergarten and asks me fifty million times a day if it is time to start yet. It gets tiring, but I guess it's good that he has such an interest in school, having a teacher and making friends. Speaking of friends, I remember about 2 years ago William was very anti-social when it came to being around other children. I was so afraid that he would never like kids his age!
Times have changed and he has become very social. Most people consider home schooled children to be less social but that is not the case here. William is very friendly and loves to be around other children. We went to Monkey Joe's the other day and there was a little boy around his age that was playing alone. William went up to him and introduced himself by saying "Hello, my name is William" and he gave the boy a handshake! The little boy was very shy but eventually warmed up and played with William. His mother was so grateful that William made her son feel comfortable in the environment. She was also very amazed when she found out that William was only four. She said that he was mature beyond his years. I do get that a lot from people. William is very mature and disciplined for his age (and gender). We are so proud of how well he is developing in all areas and can't wait for school to start next year. I think he will do just fine!
Shelly, Mom Files

My favorite girls | Friends for life

I was looking at an old photo of my daughters along with their friend, Haley.  Chardie and Haley met in kindergarten and became best friends from day one. Although Haley and Chardie are in the same grade, Brie took a liking to Haley and joined in on the friendship. After all these years they still get together for sleepovers, outings and parties. Haley is referred to as being my third daughter. I love her as if she was my own! When Haley comes to the house, I enjoy making them my "world famous" grilled cheese sandwiches and baking cookies. It has been a tradition for many years and all three girls look forward to it.

Chardie and Haley were in kindergarten and Brie was still at home with me! This was taken at their end of kindergarten school trip to a local park. How adorable are those sweet faces?! 
Here are the girls are all grown up. Chardie and Haley are finishing off Junior year and will become Seniors next school year. Brie will be a Sophomore next school year. *sniff*

All three girls have made us so proud. They are all very high academic achievers and have such outstanding manners and a love for the community. We couldn't ask for better daughters! It has been a joy watching the three of them grow up together. It is wonderful to have lifelong friends that become a part of your family. 

Do you or your children have any of the same friends since early childhood? 
Shelly, Mom Files

My thoughts on Instagram

I remember when everyone was getting the iPhone and started using Instagram. I wanted to upgrade just to have the fun photo filters as well as my own page to share them. The thing is that I love my DROID 3 and would be too nervous to go all touchscreen. My phone has the best of both worlds with a huge touchscreen and a 5 row pull-out keyboard. I'm old school and as my friend Tanyetta would say, I love buttons! When Instagram became available on Android phones I was so excited! Finally, I could use the cool features and not have to change phones. I honestly did not understand how to use it at first and I think it was causing my phone to malfunction. I believe I have it under control now and have figured out how to use to for the most part. Knowing me, I am still doing something wrong :)

Fun at the playground. 
I don't have thousands of photos like some people do but I expect my Instagram photo account will grow. If you care to follow me you can find me under the name momfiles. I would love to follow you back! I am really enjoying looking at my friends both in real life and online share fun parts of their day through photos.

Shelly, Mom Files

I'm back!!

I just wanted to post a quick update to explain my absence. Our family went away on a 4-day vacation to Orlando, Florida! I have tons of photos and stories to post but I am trying to get back into the groove of the everyday since we got in at the wee hours of the night. I did not do any Facebooking, blogging or Tweeting while we were gone and I actually survived!! It was a much needed break and I can't wait to share some details. Now I'm off to unpack, do laundry and get my house cleaned up for the New Year. I promise to catch up on blog reading this weekend. I wish everyone a happy and safe New Year's weekend! :-)
Shelly, Mom Files

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

My 1,000th post!

Wow, I can't believe that I am writing my 1,000th post. I had to look a couple extra times to make sure that was the correct number! So now what? I don't even know what to say. I have connected with so many amazing and interesting people over the last 4 1/2 years. I have made so many friends that have become very near and dear to me. I never would have imagined that you could make friends with complete strangers in other parts of the country. I have learned so much along the way and have grown as a person. I really can say that my life have changed for the better through blogging. There have been many opportunities and perks but the personal interaction has been most valuable to me. It astonishes me how very small the world can be through the blogosphere. I want to thank everyone who takes the time to read Momfiles, comment, email, Tweet, Facebook....simply just staying connected with me. It has been such fun and I plan to hang around for a while. Much love to you all!
Shelly, Mom Files

Meet Puppy

Little William has a best friend named Puppy. Puppy is.... a puppy. He got Puppy when he was a newborn from our neighbor. Of course Will had no interest in toys or stuffed animals for quite some time. About 6 months ago he really started to to show an interest in wanting to play with Puppy. Now Puppy gets included with all of his day-to-day activities. He travels in the car, he goes to the playground, he goes to the store and even into the bathroom.
 Yep, Puppy had been EVERYWHERE! Puppy became so filthy it wasn't even right. Every time I asked Will if I could give Puppy a bath he would say "Um, no thanks". He does not like parting with Puppy for any reason. Of course I was getting tired of seeing a blue puppy turn gray.
I had to be sneaky and throw Puppy in the washing machine when Will was watching Caillou. Of course he noticed that Puppy was missing after about 5 minutes. He searched high and low and called for Puppy throughout the house. It was so cute and funny at the same time. After about an hour I was able to reunite the two of them. I told Will to smell Puppy and he was all smiles :)
Is your little one attached to a particular toy or item?
Shelly, Mom Files

#EBPlateDate "Brinner" Party

On Saturday evening, our family had a group of friends and family members over for an Eggland’s Best Plate Date “Brinner” Party. Our guests were all curious as to what kind of party this would be. Would you guess that there were tons of Eggland’s Best Eggs involved? I was thrilled to get to work with Eggland’s Best on the Plate Date campaign highlighting great ways to prepare eggs for busy families. You would not believe the vast ways you can cook an egg! I decided to stick with some kid-friendly recipes that are simple and tasty.

Our menu included: Deviled eggs (can't be a party without them!), Southwestern Egg Scramble (recipe below), French toast on honey wheat and Chicago Italian bread and blueberry crumb cake (after all, you have to eat your fruit)
I proudly wore my Eggland's Best apron :-) I would of posted photos of my guests but they preferred not to be in them. That, and my husband takes lousy photos!

LinkI went through dozens of eggs to prepare all of my dishes. I really love the cage-free brown eggs. They have become my new favorite! I made this Southwestern Egg Scramble from a recipe off of the EB site but I tweaked it a bit. Here is what you need:
10 Eggland's Best Eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
10 ounces cottage cheese, drained
1/2 lb shredded monterey jack cheese
1/2 lb shredded pepper jack cheese
2 scallions thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400F
Spray a 13 X 9 casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside (I used pure butter).
In a medium bowl, blend flour, salt and baking powder together. Set aside.
Beat eggs thoroughly. Slowly add in flour mixture, beating well until all ingredients are incorporated.
Stir in melted butter, scallions, cottage cheese and jack & pepper jack cheeses and blend well.

Pour into baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes, or until browned. (I had to adjust my oven about 10 degrees lower than suggested)
Remove from oven and cool slightly. Cut into squares and serve.

I think that this dish was a big hit! Everyone loved it and they said it tasted like quiche. The kids all said it made them think of mac 'n cheese without the macaroni! This will be made at my next breakfast/brunch gathering for sure!

Our next favorite dish was the deviled eggs. I used the used the EB Hard-cooked, peeled eggs for the very first time. They came 6 to a bag. I opened the bag and was surprised that there was no eggyness... you know that lovely aroma you get when you boil eggs? Yep, none of that!

Even when I sliced them in half there was no eggy smell. I tell you what, this is a great convenience for when time is not on your side. No boiling, timing, peeling, cooling or heating up your kitchen. You can't beat that! I made my deviled eggs pretty much traditional with a little twist~ I used mayo, freshly cracked pepper, hot pepper sauce, sweet pickle relish, a little honey mustard sauce and a little bit of milk for a smoother consistency. I topped some off with freshly sliced scallion and left some without. I lightly sprinkled some smoky Paprika as a finishing touch. Simple and delicious!
Everyone had such a great time chatting and catching up as well as talking about Eggland's Best Eggs. Thanks to the generosity of Eggland's Best, each guest received a coupon for a FREE dozen eggs. I have a feeling I might have converted all my guests into EB fans. I loved hosting this fun party and I want to say THANK YOU so much to Eggland's Best for making it possible by providing product coupons, cooking utensils and a gift card to help with the extras.

Be sure to check out Eggland's Best on Facebook & Twitter!

Shelly, Mom Files
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