I'm Ruth, 33, mom of two amazing kids. My wonderful and beautiful daughter, Alyssa, is 12. She's my best friend. I love our special days together when it's only us. She helps me see through her eyes and understand the world. My laughing, always caring, and loving son, Blake, 10. He's always there to wrap an arm around me and pray with me. He makes me laugh every second of the day. I've been married for 15 years, senior year in high school, to the man of my dreams, love of my life, my high school sweetheart since our sophomore year in high school, David. He's my rock, my logical side, my reasoning, my love. He truly is my everything.
We've been attending the same church for 15 years and reside in Austin, Texas. I am a stay-at-home mom and Realtor. I have been on both sides of a full-time working mom and the full-time stay-at-home mom, so I can fully understand both sides. I am currently leaning how to speak girl teenager and pre-teen boy fluently. It's harder than I thought! :-)
Today I want to chat with you about making family time a priority....
I always hear comments and even complaints about Family Time. I was listening to the radio and a mom said if she could have one thing it would be to know what was going on in her kids life because they just don’t have time to talk. This baffled me. I couldn't comprehend the thought of not talking to my kids, not knowing what was going on each day at school, the newest crushes and breakups.
I can tell you exactly what projects my kids are working on, what class, when they are due and when they have a test coming up. We shuffle after school activities, practices and family errands.
Does that mean I am supermom? No, not even close. What it does mean is that I am involved in what my kids are doing. I take the time to ask them what is going on in their lives. Even if that means I have to write it down to remember. :) We talk about these things during family time…yes we have that.
We set aside one night a week - every Tuesday from at least 7:00 - 9:00 for our family time. No phone, no internet, no electronics, just our family. Our kids know not to even ask to do anything on Tuesdays and if they even think of getting out a phone…well, the big ole’ mama bear comes out..and she ain’t pretty! :)
We have to be intentional when it comes to our family. If not, then they will eventually slip away and we might sit wondering where did we go wrong? Now, I’m not saying family time is a cure all. Because we know it’s not. Life happens. Things happen. But during that family time, during that devotion and prayer time, your children will know that you love them. That you are seriously interested in the outcome of their lives. That you care. That no matter what every Tuesday, or whichever day and time you decide, it’s all about them. That can never be taken away and it will stay with them throughout their lives..no matter what :)
Family time for us has become such a wonderful part of our week. We look forward to it and actually enjoy it now (the kids thought the world was falling apart in the beginning). :) XO Ruth
Hi guys! Today I am sharing a game review with you all. I know that it is holiday shopping season and all of us Mama's are looking for that perfect gift for our littles. Today I am excited to be able to review a new video game that may be on your little ones list this holiday season:) Today I am reviewing Ubisoft's Petz Beach video game for the 3DS.
One thing that my Miss Priss is really into....ok let me stress the REALLY part...is role playing games...ya know those games where you get have a home, live in a village or town, and care for different animals. She loves those! When I informed Miss Priss that Ubisoft Petz Beach would be coming in the mail, she was ecstatic. She had seen the video game preview, during one of her computer turns and couldn't wait to start caring for the animals. She checked the mail almost everyday. Once it arrived she was one happy girl!
Her exact words were, "Mom look how cute!". The animals were too stinkin cute! As she continued to play, she learned that not only did she get to take care of cute little cats and dogs, but other animals were involved too....like a certain adorable penguin (her absolute favorite!) There are over 50 different animals from dog to cats, to dolphins and whales! The environment within the game changes with the seasons, so you have fun all year long! In Petz Beach, you can also interact with friends and collect points to allow you to expand your game as you play. Libby loves being able to interact with neighbors in the game!
I have also heard a lot of talk about a zoo. I have been informed by my red heads that you get to buy animals and put them in the zoo. This was a big hit with my kids. As you play the game you are able to unlock different animals to purchase and place in the zoo. You can also go fishing, dig in the sand, go on quests to win prizes, and a whole lot of other things my kids are learning as they play this fun game!
Oh and I can not forget the camera mode. As you care for your animals, you can take pictures. For a little girl that has a 3DS full of selfies, she loved being able to take pictures of her animals friends.
It has been so fun seeing my little munchkins enjoy this game. It is rated E for everyone, which make this Mama happy. I love the learning that is involved as well. As your children go on quests, they learn about the different animals they are interacting with. I love being able to sneak that learning into game time! I definitely recommend it!
Now I couldn't end this review without getting a few quotes from the red heads who have been playing the game. Here ya go lovelies.....
"I like it because there are lots of different types of dogs. My favorite part is everything...really everything! It's super cool Mama!"
"It is awesome! There's Emperor Penguins! I love it!"
From the mouth of Babes. As you can see my 10 year old got in on the action as well. He didn't think he would like it, but his mind has been changed. They now have to take turns with the game.
Thank you guys for letting me chat your ear off today about this fun new game, Ubisoft Petz Beach. You can purchase Petz Beach on Amazon. I am eager try our Petz Countryside. It is similar to Petz Beach and has just made it to Miss Priss's Christmas list this year.
Petz Beach and Petz Countryside Product Specifications:
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Platform: Nintendo 3DS system
Category: Pet Simulation and Adventures
What video games are your littles asking for this holiday season?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Marie Callender’s knows that home is more than a place. It's big hugs and joyful laughter. Home is warm memories and comforting homemade favorites served with those you love. Marie Callender's also knows that life can often take our loved ones far from home and away from all of the comforts and happiness it brings. That's why they're introducing the Comforts From Home Project. This is a program dedicated to bringing the heartwarming feelings, flavors, and favorites of home to those who miss it most.
Being a former military family ourselves, this hits a little close to home. I remember many holidays where Hubby was away. My brother also served in the military and all too often was overseas when the holidays came around. Not having those loved ones around , during this time of celebration, is hard....especially for those serving away from home.
Marie Callender's is starting an awesome program this fall season. For every participating Marie Callender's meal you buy, you have the opportunity to give back to those who serve and protect our country. Every time you enter a code, from a specially marked package of Marie Callender's meals or desserts, they will make a donation to USO2GO. This is a USO program that brings electronics, sports gear, books, games, and more to troops stationed in remote locations. I don't know about you, but this warms my heart and makes me want to help as much as I can.
The great thing is that buying these meals and inputing your participating code, is less than buying a pizza from Little Ceasar's. When the littles and I recently went to snag some Marie Callender's yumminess, we were able to find family meals for under $5. Stocking my freezer with some of these frozen goodies, are great for when the day gets away from me and it becomes dinner time before I know it. Us Mama's are busy and sometimes even our best laid plans go awry. Having a few saving graces in our freezer can save us from hitting the drive thru and breaking our budget....plus we can do some good this way too!
This program will continue throughout the holidays, ending on January 31, 2015. For every code you enter, Marie Callender's will donate 50 cents to the USO2GO Program. They have guaranteed a minimum donation of $100,000 and up to $250,000. A lot of brave men and women, serving our country, will be blessed by this program. They only limit is 5 entries per person daily.
You can spread the word about this awesome program via Thunderclap. Have you lovelies heard of Thunderclap before? It is a tool that helps reach more people via social media. You can find out more about it on Thunderclap or Marie Callender’s Facebook page. You can sign up right now to help spread the word about this program!
I hope you all get a chance to support this awesome program and those courageous men and women that serve and protect our country, day in and day out. I pray a little holiday cheer is brought their way via this program this holiday season!
Was anyone else surprised when daylight savings happened? Last Sunday, we woke up in a hurry thinking that we had over slept. The clock on the stove said it was five minutes past 8 and we have to leave for church around 8:40. I had no clue how we were going to get everyone ready and out the door on time. I mean come on ladies! Who can even get themselves ready in under 20 minutes? I try and try, but to no avail. It would just so happen that this Sunday Miss Priss woke up with a bad case of the sniffles, so I decided to take one for the team and stay home with the red headed girl....well really I was more than happy to stay home. I no longer had to challenge myself to get ready at a speedster's rate. As Libby and I settled down on the couch, Hubby quickly hopped in the shower. I decided to check my updates on my phone. Then I saw the time and things started clicking into place. I remembered it was November 2 and that it was time to turn the clocks back an hour. I let Hubby know, so he could take his time in the shower and I started thinking about what I would do with an extra hour in my day.
I know most Mamas would think an extra hour of sleep or maybe an extra chore around the house....or maybe an extra episode of Gilmore Girls (it's on Netflix now ya know?) I however decided to bake something. Anytime I am itching to do something creative, I always fall back on baking. It's just too fun! I had recently been at the grocery store and seen a recipe for monkey bread. I grabbed a few cans of refrigerator biscuits in the hopes of making this yummy treat. I knew today would be a perfect day to create it.
It only required a few simple steps and some ingredients from my pantry. I got this recipe from Pillsbury.com and modified it for what I had on hand. It is definitely a keeper!
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
4 can of refrigerated biscuits (7.5 oz each)*
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup melted butter or margarine
*If you use the jumbo biscuits you will only need two cans
Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly
grease 12-cup fluted tube pan with shortening or cooking spray. In a large plastic storage bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon. Next, Separate the biscuits and
cut each one into quarters. Place in your plastic bag. Shake biscuit pieces in bag to coat. Arrange in greased pan, adding raisins among the biscuit pieces. In a small bowl, mix your brown sugar and butter. Next, pour your butter mixture over the biscuit pieces. Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until
golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes.
Turn upside down onto a serving plate. We cut ours like a piece of cake and then let the littles pull apart their slice to eat. Super scrumptious!
Afternoon Lovelies! I am so excited to bring you another giveaway, from yet another amazing company. Today I am telling you lovelies about Jewelry Television. JTV is your online shopping destination for fine jewelry and gemstones. They are the largest retailer of loose gemstones and one of the top 4 electronic jewelry retailers in the United States. I was very excited when they contacted me about running a giveaway on the blog for you lovelies. I checked out their site and was so happy to see jewelry that was under $50! It made this frugal Mama's heart happy! When you are trying to stay within a budget, you want to find gifts that are beautiful, but not astronomical in the price department. Today I am sharing a bunch of gift ideas that are all under $50. They offer a lot of things, varying in prices, but since budgeting and paying less for things is what I do, I thought I would focus on that. They have a huge selection of items, that would make perfect gifts for you and those sweet people in your family:)
One of the first things I saw were Frozen watches!! Ahh I die! I am just as obsessed with Frozen as my little Miss is. There are watches for adults and kids. I seriously heart these!! Hint Hint Hubby:) Oh and they are all under $35. Can I get a Woot woot!
They even have Disney character watches for the kids. Name a character and they have a watch for it. I searched for Disney characters and was able to find tons! Perfect for whatever your little guy or girl is into this year. They are also all under $30! (told you they were awesome)
Oh and don't worry lovelies.... there is plenty for all of us ladies out there. From earrings to necklaces, JTV has you covered and everything is at an affordable price. The holidays is probably the one time we like splurge, but with JTV you can get a fantastic piece, without breaking the bank! To see all the other items I am drooling over, check out my Jewelry Pinterest Board I created.
Now that you have seen all the fantastic goodies JTV has, are you ready for a giveaway? This past week I received two beautiful little boxes in the mail. One for you and one for me. Want to know what was in those beautifully wrapped packages.....ok ok I'll tell you......drum roll please...da da da da da.....Tanzanite 1.75 ctw oval, sterling silver studs in blue! I about died! These things are gorgeous and sparkly. I love it when they sparkle! Don't we all?
JTV sent me a pair of these earrings and another pair to share with one special Blissful and Domestic reader. I am seriously so stoked for this giveaway lovelies! It is going to be ridiculous!! Woot! Woot!
Are you ready to win a fabulous pair of earrings to make you glitter this holiday season? There are SIX ways to enter. Please leave me a comment for EVERY.SINGLE.THING you do. Oh and don't forget your email address, so I can contact the winner.
SIX ways to enter below :)
Leave me a comment for EACH thing you do.
Visit JTV's Website and let me know what's on your wishlist this year
there! My name is Melissa and I am going to be giving advice on how to
be fashionable without breaking the bank.My tip for this month is to
invest in good statement pieces. A statement piece is something that
makes a statement and takes your outfit to a whole other level of cute!
Statement pieces can be necklaces, bracelets, earrings, belts, scarves,
purses, etc. I am obsessed with statement pieces! Here is how I organize
know that it looks like a lot, but in reality I paid almost nothing for
these items. The holders were also extremely affordable. I bought the
bracelet rack off of Amazon with a gift card that I got last Christmas,
the earring holder is from a mail order catalog a few years ago but it
was under $10, and the necklace rack was on sale at Target last year. I
like to keep them somewhat color coded so that I know where to find what
I am looking for quickly.
Let me explain to you my tips on making statement pieces affordable.
1. Ask for gift cards to your favorite stores for your birthday/Christmas etc.
Once you have these gift cards combine store coupons and shop the sale
and clearance racks to get the best bang for your buck. My favorite
places to shop for jewelry are Burlington Coat Factory and Rue21. Just
about every other month Rue21 does an amazing deal (get on the e-mail
list to stay in the know and get bonus coupon codes). They will e-mail a
code for 40% off of your order and every $40 that you spend you get a
$20 gift card to the store.
2. Do a swap with family or friends. This
is something that I have always wanted to do because I think it is such
a neat idea and everyone can leave home with something new for free.
Serve up some desserts and spend some time with those lovely ladies in
3. Buy jewelry from thrift stores. I
have not had a whole lot of luck in my area with this but I have seen
other bloggers that have. I did buy a few necklaces from Goodwill for a
little over a dollar and they are holding up great! Keep checking back
if you do not have luck the first time you look because those stores get
new shipments in daily so there is always a chance you can find that
piece you are looking for!
is very important when you are buying statement pieces that they are
versatile. Which means that they need to be able to fit into more than
one outfit in your closet. Here are two examples from Polyvore:
you can see the sets can be dressed up or dressed down and the pieces
still work well together. This is an important factor to keep costs down
and to not have to buy a ton of different pieces. I would recommend if
you are just starting out buying statement pieces to have one good gold
and silver and one bright colored piece and then grow your collection
from there. Be adventurous in your fashion journey! Mix and match colors
and patterns that you normally would not put together. Try new things
and see what works for you. I know you will look fabulous!
Evening Lovelies! I wanted to hop on here and let you know who the lucky winner of the Thirty-One giveaway was. The lucky Blissful and Domestic reader is Faith Baker!
Congratulations friend! I will be emailing you shortly! Thank you to everyone that entered the giveaway. You can still get some Christmas shopping done and take advantage of the sale that Jamie has for all Blissful and Domestic readers. If you place an order under the Blissful and Domestic Giveaway Party. You can also get a Utility Tote for $7 if you spend $35 :)