Family * Travel * Food

Slip and Fall in a Hotel? What to Do Next

Whether you are a guest at a hotel or a visitor, it is the hotel's responsibility to ensure that you are safe while on their premises. This means that the hotel must do its part to prevent injuries to its patrons. If you had a slip and fall during your visit to a hotel, here are some things you should know. 

Determining if a Hotel Is Liable 

Just because you have an accident or sustain an injury while you are on a business’ premises doesn't necessarily mean that the business can be held responsible. When it comes to slip and fall injuries, you must prove that their negligence caused you to be injured for the hotel to be liable. Some instances where a hotel might be negligent would be:
  • Spills left unattended
  • Failure to place wet floor signs
  • Inadequate lighting. 
While many more situations could result in a hotel guest being injured, the above mentioned could lead to a slip-and-fall accident.  

Proving the Hotel Was Negligent 

Because a hotel has a duty to ensure that guests are in a safe environment, they must ensure that repairs are done in a timely fashion, spills are cleaned up, et cetera. If a quick fix is not possible, the hotel must place signs in a conspicuous area so that guests are aware of any dangers. 

When a hotel or even their workers fail to take all reasonable measures to ensure guests’ safety, this is where they could be liable if someone were to be harmed on the hotel premises

Their Negligence Caused the Injury 

Although there might be some obvious negligence on the hotel's part, such as a light being out, a crack in the ground, or a spill on the floor, it must have been the direct cause of your injury. 

For example, if you fell because your shoe was untied while there was also a spill on the floor, your fall was not directly caused by the spill. However, if you were walking and slipped on a wet floor with no wet floor sign in sight, this could fall on the hotel's shoulders. 

There Must Be an Actual Injury 

To have grounds for a personal injury case, you would need to have sustained some substantial injury that required medical treatment, hospitalization, time off work, etc. In other words, the fall must have caused you some kind of loss, such as lost wages, impaired mobility, or disability to receive compensation. 

Find an Experienced Attorney 

The hotel industry is big business, which also means they typically have a lot of money to spend on top-notch legal representation. After sustaining an injury at a hotel, one of the first things you should do after getting medical treatment is to contact an attorney. 

It would help if you chose an experienced attorney dealing with claims against hotels, especially regarding slip and fall injuries. This is because no matter how clear cut you think your case is, you must be able to prove it.

Final Thoughts 

While it is vital to seek legal representation for slip and fall injuries, the first thing you should do is go see a doctor. Not only is this important so you can make sure you are okay, but you will need this documentation later on if you plan to file a lawsuit against the hotel.

Remember, there is no real "injury" unless the loss was substantial, and only a certified medical professional can truly assess the extent of your injuries. 

Fruit Vines Bites - Perfect for road trips

Although the summer is almost over, there is still time to fit in some day trips before back-to-school. We traditionally sneak away right before school starts just to refresh our minds for the non-stop weekdays ahead. We always pack snacks, drinks and food to take with us. One of our new favorite is Fruit Vines Bites by the makers of Red Vines. 

They come in 2 flavors- Strawberry and Cherry. I received a box filled with both varieties in 3 sizes-- resealable 10 oz. stand-up bag allows for portion control,  2 oz. single-servings for quick trips and 5 oz. bags for sharing. 

Honestly, I don't know about sharing. These bite-size candies are irresistibly soft, chewy and fruity. I think the 10 ounce stand-up bags are good for portion control. We can easily eat more than our share! Fruit Vines are also low-fat and preservative-free for guilt-free snacking. They would be perfect in school lunch boxes too. 
These are going with us when we take a little road trip later this week. You can find Fruit Vines Bites at many retailers including Target, Walmart, Walgreens and more. I saw them at Target today and think they would make a nice "just because" treat for my little one's teacher. Check out Fruit Vines Bites on the web, Facebook and Twitter for product promotions and updates. 

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

Are you moving? Here are some great tips from Unpakt

Moving can be expensive—from movers to insurance to down payments—the bill can add up quickly.

Fortunately, packing supplies do not need to be added to your list of expenses. Actually, you may already own some of the best packing materials around—you just didn’t realize it yet!  Unpakt, a price comparison site and online booking tool for consumers searching for a reputable moving company, put together a list of household items that can be used for packing:

Sandwich Bags – These can be used to hold hardware from disassembled furniture and appliances. They are also ideal for toiletries—if something leaks during the move, a sandwich bag will prevent other items from being damaged.
Towels, Socks, other Clothing Items – Towels can be used to wrap plates, serving platters, vases, or breakable décor. Make sure you keep one out to pack  n your overnight bag though!  Balls of socks can be used to fill open space in boxes of breakables. You want items secure, so they do not bounce around. Rather than using packaging peanuts or other costly products, use socks. Longer socks can also be used to wrap glasses and stemware. T-shirts, tanks, and sweaters can also be used to wrap breakables. A nice soft sweater or sweatshirt is ideal to line the bottom of the box. This will provide cushioning in case the box gets roughed up during the move.

Beer Boxes – There are three reasons to use beer boxes. First, they are heavy duty and can hold a lot of weight. Second, they have handles on the side, which makes them easy to carry. Third, you get to drink the beer to empty the box! If you’re not into drinking a case of beer, head to a liquor store and see if they will give them to you for free.

Drawers – With the exception of clothes you do not necessarily want movers peeking at, most clothes can stay in your dresser drawers. Simply cover them with Glad Press’n Seal. If you plan on doing this, make sure the moving company doesn’t have rules about handling unboxed items.

Twist Ties – Use these to stop cables and cords from getting tangled.
Other household items that can be used as packing supplies include trash pails (after a thorough clean!), suitcases, Rubbermaid containers, baskets, underbed storage, gym bags and backpacks, trash bags, and hampers.


Fun in the Sun in Malta

When we think of Malta, we probably think of history and the St Georges Cross but there’s so much more to this beautiful country. Holidays in Malta can be fun, fascinating and exhilarating for all the family.

The most popular resorts are to the north of Malta, the three fantastic beaches are Mellieħa Bay, Għajn Tuffieħa and Golden Bay, and each offer some fantastic water-sports as well as cafes and snack bars along the shores. Some smaller beaches can be discovered off the beaten track, many are rocky but are well worth visiting for a quieter dip or to discover little rock pools and secluded bays. A must visit is Camino’s Blue Lagoon which can be reached by boat, where azure blue waters and glistening sands can be found - this is a great spot for snorkeling and exploring hidden coves.

With its rich history dating back thousands of years, Malta has a wealth of historical landmarks to explore. The whole family will enjoy visiting museums and learning about the roman ruins and prehistoric temples. Colourful displays and re-enactments are often shown where you can travel back in time, seeing knights in costume come to life with their swords, muskets and canons. It's not to be missed!

Throughout the year Malta comes to life with its many cultural and music festivals. Festival Meditterania is a huge event held on Malta’s neighbouring island of Gozo, which can easily be reached by boat. The island comes to life dominated by music and dancing but also holding educational events, offering the chance to explore historic places on the island and celebrate the culture. Malta’s International Fireworks festival is a spectacular event and a breath-taking experience for the whole family. Held at the end of April, the event takes place over the harbour and commemorates Malta's accession into the European Union that took place on 1st May 2004.

Other popular festivals include the Malta Arts Festival and the Malta Jazz Festival. The fiesta season in Malta is made up of a long series of extended weekends, starting from the end of May right through the entire summer and well into September. During this period villages and towns celebrate the Patron Saints of their churches by feasting over weekends and partying Maltese style!

Families will love the wide range of activities and exhibitions which can be enjoyed, ranging from arts and crafts and museums to horse riding and rock climbing. There really is something for everyone on offer here.

London Festivals with the Family: To Go Or Not To Go?

The summer season is nearly here and with summer comes the opportunity to enjoy festivals. While they’re certainly not everybody’s cup of tea, they can be incredibly exciting, with live music and activities to keep everyone busy throughout the days.

Whether you’re a festival veteran or a complete fledgling, having a family can sometimes affect your ability to enjoy festivals in all their glory, with many people choosing to give up on the idea altogether. It goes without saying that the festival experience changes somewhat when children come along – the idea of being wild, young and free doesn’t necessarily exist anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy them.

 If you’re wondering whether to head to a festival in the capital this summer, you can click here for budget accommodation deals in London so that you and your kids have somewhere comfortable to lay your head.

While some people will be ruling out the concept of a festival with their brood, others may be weighing up the options. What are the pros and cons of taking kids to these summer traditions?

 • The learning experience for your kids is immeasurable
 • Fun-filled for the young ones, in an environment they wouldn’t ordinarily see
 • A chance to appreciate culture, hone their creativity and appreciate child-friendly activities
 • A great opportunity to spend some quality time with the children this summer

 • Inevitable responsibility – you won’t be able to be crazy like you may have done a decade ago!
 • They may mean you miss music you were hoping to see because they clash with the activities your children would like to participate in
 • Early nights to coincide with sleepy ones

Luckily nowadays, it’s not all about taking children to adult-orientated festivals and hoping that they enjoy it. There’s a whole host of child-friendly festivals all over the country which provide a schedule of entertainment that cater for the youngsters too.

Family-friendly festivals offer a great chance for everyone to enjoy some quality time together this summer and a reason to spend a little time away from the creature comforts together. While many may choose to throw themselves into the deep end and camp for the duration of the festival, if you’re a complete festival newbie, it would be more advisable to click here for budget accommodation in London so that you have a fresh pillow to retire too once the festivities are over.

The LolliBop Festival (August 17th – 19th, Regent’s Park) is the ultimate festival for kids. Radiating good vibes, while catering on the most part, towards little ones, it returns for its third year in 2013 and includes the Gruffalo Live, Waybuloo, Mister Maker and Little Angel Theatre. There’s plenty of activities throughout the weekend to keep them busy and provides a superb day out that’s based around them. Take the plunge this summer and start a family tradition of heading to an annual festival. You’ll wonder why it’s taken you this long to realise just how fun-filled and enjoyable they are with the brood in tow.
Shelly, Mom Files

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

Spend President's Day Weekend at Myrtle Beach with the "Presidential Perks Package"

Just in time for President's Day Weekend: Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts announces its "Presidential Perks Package" featuring two nights in an oceanfront condo on the world-famous Grand Strand at unprecedented rates.  Now is the perfect time to take advantage of a warm-weather beach vacation and enjoy an extended holiday weekend. Just looking at the photo below makes we want to go!

Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts Announces ‘Presidential Perks Package’

Offer Includes Two Nights of Discounted Oceanfront Accommodations
Over President’s Weekend

(NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) – Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts (MBSR) – operator of the area’s premier oceanfront condo-hotel and vacation rental properties – announces the “Presidential Perks Package” featuring oceanfront accommodations and daily breakfast over the extended President’s Day Weekend starting at $172.

The package includes two nights in a one bedroom oceanview condo at Avista, Grande Shores, Horizon at 77th, Prince Resort or Seaside, daily breakfast and a box of the President’s favorite locally made salted caramels.

“The upcoming long holiday weekend is the ideal time for families, couples or girlfriends to take a winter break and enjoy the Grand Strand’s world-famous beaches and area attractions,” says Helen Staton, Director of Reservations for MBSR.

The offer is valid for stays booked February 13-18 and coincides with the Myrtle Beach Marathon and the 12th Annual Kidz Time Festival.

All lodging options provide easy access to dining, shopping, sugar sand beaches and other area attractions on the world-famous Grand Strand. The “Presidential Perks Package” is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of a warm weather winter beach getaway.

Rates are based on double occupancy for a two night stay. Includes taxes, resort and processing fees.

For additional information and reservations: Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts, (888) 571.4104

About Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts:

Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts is a collection of six oceanfront and ocean view condo-hotels in North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Avista Resort, Prince Resort, Horizon at 77th, Grande Shores, Seaside and the Towers at North Myrtle Beach all provide the comforts of full-service resort hotels with the space and luxury of condominiums.

Each property features modern décor that reflects a coastal lifestyle and breathtaking views of the pristine northern region of the world-famous Grand Strand. Elegant yet affordable, units are spacious one to three bedrooms with fully-equipped kitchens, washer / dryer, and private balconies. All hotels have fitness centers, an array of indoor and outdoor pools, on-site dining and access to world-class beaches.

For additional information: Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts, (888) 571.4104

Shelly, Mom Files

10 Tips to help winterize your car for the busy holiday travel season

The holiday travel season is upon us, and so too is winter driving season. Is your car winterized? This is especially important if you are hitting the road with a high mileage vehicle. Just this week, AAA* projected that 43.6 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, of which ninety percent will drive to Thanksgiving destinations and 7% will fly. Furthermore, according to a recent survey,** there is an aging fleet of cars on the streets, with the primary vehicle for 60% of respondents having over 100,000 miles. This all adds up to a lot of older metal on the road this holiday season. Fortunately, most cars on the roads today, even the high-mileage ones, have been built to last longer and withstand the test of time – and weather – with the proper care, of course. encourages all drivers to take some time to put their rides through their ten point winter travel vehicle checklist before making those Holiday road trips, so they don't end up stranded on a chilly roadside.

1. Check the antifreeze (coolant). The engine cooling system should be filled with a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and distilled water to prevent freezing and boiling over. Antifreeze testers are available at your local auto parts store to test the mixture. To keep the cooling system operating at peak performance, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for changing the antifreeze (flush and fill). In addition to changing the antifreeze, pressure testing the cooling system on an older vehicle may expose a minor leak before it becomes a major problem. Most repair shops charge a minimal fee for pressure testing, and some shops will do it for free.

2. Change the engine oil. Be especially meticulous about changing your car’s fluids and filters during the winter months. Your car’s older engine will thank you for it! Remember to change the oil and oil filter every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Use the recommended oil viscosity range for winter. 5W-30 motor oil flows quicker in cold weather than 20W-50. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend 5W-30 oil for year round protection.

3. Check the tires. Keep your vehicle riding smoothly and safely by maintaining your tires! Remember, there’s a very good chance a third set of tires is needed if your vehicle has reached the 80 to 90,000 mile mark. Tires that are unevenly worn or out of balance can cause a car to pull or shake when driven, potentially damaging other components. Remember to rotate and balance your tires every other oil change; regularly check for uneven wear and try to keep them clean. Tires should be properly inflated, and the tread depth should be at least 4/32”. Using snow tires can improve traction over all-season tires.

4. Check the battery. Cold temperatures can reduce the battery’s power. If the battery is older than four years, it may be time to replace it. Check the battery tray and hold down brackets for corrosion - a common problem on older vehicles.

5. Check the belts and hoses. If your vehicle has a timing belt, it’s very important to replace it at the recommended interval (60,000 miles or more). Cold weather can reduce the life expectancy of belts and hoses, so make sure yours are in good shape before getting on the road. A stretched timing belt affects engine performance, and a broken belt can leave you stranded. If you have an interference engine, a broken belt will also cause engine damage!

6. Check the wipers and wiper fluid. Replace wipers that are old or worn, and (to prevent freezing) use windshield washer fluid instead of water. Just like the elderly, an aging vehicle needs clean glasses to see!

7. Check the emergency kit. Make sure your kit is well stocked and add an ice scraper, tire chains, jumper cables, and warm clothes for winter weather emergencies. Remember to include a candle and matches, as well as some bottled water and energy bars. You can use a candle for light and warmth inside the vehicle if you get stranded.

8. Check 4WD operation if equipped. Since you may not have used 4 Wheel Drive (4WD) all year, or in several years, make sure the 4WD is activated (review your manual on “how to activate”) when you switch it on. Using 4WD improves traction in slippery conditions.

9. Change your driving habits. Cars that are driven easy last longer. To prevent component wear and possible damage in very cold temperatures, warm up your car by driving it slowly to start. This will help the engine, transmission and other drive line components warm up with less stress. Avoid fast driving in general, hitting curbs, off-roading, and trailer towing as these can put unnecessary strain on your vehicle. Slow down and increase your following distance when driving in harsh weather. All vehicles lose traction in rain, snow and ice.

10. Wash and wax your car. It is a good idea to get a good car wash and wax before heading out onto winter roads to protect your paint from road salt. And be sure to wash your car as soon as you return home, to remove any lingering road salt. As your vehicle ages, the paint/finish becomes more vulnerable to the elements, which could lead to rust etc. so, if you can, keep your vehicle in the garage to protect it or consider a cover if you don’t have a garage.

I wish you all safe travels this holiday season!
Shelly, Mom Files

Disney has ruined my kid!

You might recall reading a post about our family going to The Magic Kingdom a few months ago. Well apparently little William has not gotten over it. He is obsessed with all things Disney. He is, as I write this post, singing the "Happy Holidays" song that was being performed at one of the parades. He carries around a map of Disney in the house, the car, the store and asks to go to Disney World... several dozen times a day!
Dwayne recorded video of the parades and William watches them repeatedly. It also doesn't help that Disney commercial come on all day long!! When he meets new people he immediately tells them all about the "castle". SMH, I need to hit the lottery quick so we can take this boy back! I really thought he would have been over it by now. I guess the magic is still in him. I won't lie, I want to go back myself! Looks like it will be on the places to visit list in the next couple years.
Shelly, Mom Files

Momfiles in NYC for COOL WHIP

Hey guys! I wanted to share some exciting news with you about a fun campaign I was chosen to be a part of representing the COOL WHIP brand. They were looking for busy moms who do the extra special things for their families and they thought I fit the description well. So during the first week of January, I flew into New York City along with 3 lovely ladies to participate in a photo shoot for an upcoming ad that will debut in April in some major magazines for COOL WHIP.  How cool is that?! To say I was excited about getting to go to New York City would be an understatement. Although my trip was short, I enjoyed every minute of my time there. I won't lie; I was a bit afraid of flying by myself. I had not been on a commercial plane since I was a child and I flew on a small plane 18 years ago to go on my honeymoon. I felt like a newbie. The great part is it was not as bad as I was expecting and I am really glad that both flights went smoothly and on time. I was more afraid of the airport than the actual flying, but now I feel like a pro!
I knew I was getting ready to land in New York when I stopped seeing trees! 

The first evening I was there, a few of us went to a nice restaurant called Artisanal. I loved the atmosphere and the food and drinks were amazing! We even got to taste lavender and coffee rubbed cheddar and a few other fancy varieties. It was a great experience.

The next morning we all met up in the hotel lobby. I had already met Emily from @busymomblog. I finally got to meet Jenny from @PickyPalate and Ana from @spanglishbaby. What SWEET ladies! I could not have asked for a better group of moms to participate in this experience with. We hopped into the car that was waiting for us and headed over to the studio. We all enjoyed the sights and sounds of the busy city.

We all were so excited when we walked into the studio and were greeted by a very friendly bunch of beautiful people...producers, project managers, hair and make-up team, fashion stylist, photographer, assistants, food stylists and everyone else that made this project come to life. What a warm welcome we received! From there it was straight to either hair and make-up or wardrobe. To say this was my first time in this type of setting, I felt extremely calm and comfortable. I truly think the wonderful people I worked with had everything to do with it. Oh and the view of the city might have helped a bit too!
Gorgeous view!
The girly girl in me really loved the hair and make-up part. I enjoyed chatting with Anthony and Jane while they did what they do best. I tell you what, I was feeling quite offended at the thought of coming back to South Carolina and having to do my own hair and make-up! What a treat it was to get made up, especially by such talented people who have worked on many celebs! All of the ladies looked absolutely gorgeous! I was second to go get my photos taken by the amazing Martin Schoeller. To be in a photo shoot with an awarding winning photographer who has traveled the world and shot many famous faces was incredible. He was awesome and quite entertaining. He really made any nervous feelings I had disappear immediately. I had so much fun! I am still in awe of everything and it still seems unreal!
Anthony and Jane were amazing! 

Me and Jenny From @PickyPalate

Would you believe that this was our view from the studio? This photograph was so perfect that I did not even have to edit it!
Well I certainly could go on for days about my photo shoot for COOL WHIP but I will stop for now. I'll keep you updated on this campaign as well as share some fun desserts you can make for your family with COOL WHIP.

Be sure to "like" COOL WHIP on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

I am working in partnership with the COOL WHIP brand and I am receiving compensation for my participation in this campaign. All thoughts/opinions are 100% my own.
Shelly, Mom Files

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

Guess what? Bees STING!!

My family went away for the weekend to Atlanta, GA to join our family for the annual family reunion. The weather was picture perfect to be in the car for 3 hours. We were able to ride with the windows down~ we were loving it! The road trip was so much fun. We chatted, made fun of each other, laughed and lived frivolously with no cares or worries. We really enjoyed the time we spent together in the car....until.... a bee flew in! It ended up on my window (the passenger side) and I quickly put it down all the way but it seemed like the bee went down into the door and not out of the window. Oh well, we just kept right on along and stopped for a snack. We are all laughing and carrying on and suddenly the bee appears again! I quickly let the window down and it went out, but it looked like it came back in. I was not sure but the family seemed convinced that it was gone. Three minutes later I started screaming hysterically. The freakin' bee was on my upper back!! It stung me and I was freaking out like you would not believe. I am 37 years old and have never been stung by a bee before. Dwayne told me to calm down and he grabbed it with his fingers and killed it and threw it out of the window. He pulled the car off to a safe location and tried to see if the stinger was still intact. I don't even know what happened to it. I am however really glad that I am the mom who thinks of almost everything and packed Benedryl and Ibuprofen. I took both about 5 minutes after it happened. I think that saved me a lot of pain and swelling. I am SO thankful that I am not allergic in the deadly kind of way since I obviously survived. It is itchy and red but I am okay otherwise. Our trip was able to go on as planned and we had a blast. I would recommend that if you ever travel to be sure to take your Benedryl and Ibuprofen "just in case". I'm glad I did!!
Shelly, Mom Files
I am so happy that the girls have returned from their volleyball camp in Charleston. They both had a great time and learned a lot. Of course after visiting College of Charleston, they are both considering applying there. I would be fine with that since it is only 2 hours away. It was certainly very quiet with them gone! Well, it's time to go cook them a big ole dinner. Have a great day friends! :-)
Shelly, Mom Files

My girls are gone :-(

I woke up this morning at 4:30 so I could take the girls to meet up with their volleyball teammates to board the bus to Charleston for a 3-day camp. You would not believe the amount of stuff 2 teenage girls carry along for such a short time! I tell you what though, I miss them already. As a matter of fact I started missing them since Monday. William woke up this morning and gave his usual good morning greetings. He then asks to go downstairs so he can see his girls. Yep, he refers to his sisters as "my girls". I told him that they were not home and he got teary eyed. I am sure he will be missing them a whole lot too. I know the girls will have a blast and at least they can get away from the mountains of summer work they have for a few days. The upside to all of this is that we will actually have food in the house for the next few days!

Oh, one last thing...Chardie got her score from her AP European History exam she took in May for college credit. You get scored from 1-5 (5 being the highest) Guess what? My girl got a 5!!!! We are so proud!!!
Shelly, Mom Files

Dr. Drip Coffee review

I recently tried the neatest portable "coffee maker" that is called Dr. Drip Coffee. Each serving size comes individually packaged and contains actual ground coffee~ NOT instant. How does it work you ask? You take the Dr. Drip pack and tear the top off. You then place in on top of you mug as pictured below.

Next, you slowly pour hot water into the top opening. The good thing about it is you can brew it to your liking. More water for a lighter brew and less water for a stronger brew. I personally like mine strong so I opted for less water. I tried the Ultimate Pick-me up and boy did it do just that! Maybe I should not have been drinking coffee after 4:00 since I could not go to sleep that night. It tasted just like drip coffee and nothing like instant. That was a plus for me. Dr. Drip Coffee comes in 4 varieties: The Organic Tonic, The Double Daily Remedy, The Ultimate Pick-me-up and The Decaf Energizer.

I love the idea of having a freshly brewed cup of coffee that I can make myself over going to a coffee shop. Dr. Drip Coffee is a great idea to have at work since it is a sanitary choice and of course a way less expensive way to have a good cup of coffee without paying the coffee-house price. This would also be a great choice for travel, especially if you go camping often. You can buy Dr. Dip Coffee here and you can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

I received product samples for review purposes. All opinions are 100% mine as always.
Shelly, Mom Files

Family trip to Bass Pro Shops in Concord, NC

10 years ago, our family visited the Bass Pro Shops store in Concord, NC. I took this photo of Dwayne and the girls. We all had such a wonderful time. Some great memories were made.

Now 10 years later, we have revisited the same place (this time with an additional family member). It seemed even bigger and better than we remembered! Our main purpose for going was for Dwayne to purchase Briahnna her very first fishing pole since she has shown interest in her dad's favorite sport.
Dwayne was really enjoying showing the kids the fish in the HUGE tank as well as all the cool gadgets that were on the showroom floor. Do you notice what is in William's hand? He never leaves home without it!

Look at this enormous catfish! I overheard a gentleman saying that it was likely a 130 pounder. You should have seen how many people were crowding around this area.

William really enjoyed seeing all the fishies. He was smiling from ear to ear :)

At one point I could not find Dwayne. He was tucked away in the fishing rods section. He was truly in his playground. He said that growing up, fishing kept him out of trouble. He wants to pass on his love for fishing to the kids. Chardie is more of a girlie girl like her momma so she said she would just watch.
We live on a big pond and Dwayne sometimes sneaks William out there (thinking I would not know) so that they could cast out a few lines. William loves it. When the weather warms up we plan to go check out some fishing spots in some of the state parks. Of course there better be a nice cabin with electricity if this girl is going to be convinced to partake!

Have you ever been to a Bass Pro Shops store before?

Shelly, Mom Files
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