it's YOUR birthday!

Okay, this article was too good for people not to know! I am loving my new writing job and getting to research and write about really neat things, free stuff!

Restaurants offer so much now when you go on your birthday (drinks, desserts, songs, and even meals!)


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Don't you dare pay on your birthday :)


Jen's Favorite Things Part Deux

I have done one post like this before.....click here to read the first one. Whenever I come across things I love and that make my life easier, I love to share them!
I love having "items" that work and do a great job. Once I find a favorite, I become a stickler.
Here they are!

1. A Lemon, Lime, or heck...even an Orange!

Throw just the peels, cut it in half and save the other for later, or just chunk in the whole thing down that nasty garbage disposal. It eliminates any odor and leaves behind and amazing smell, that comes from a disposal, Ha!

2. Dawn Dishsoap

I hate to be a dish soap snob, but I clean a lot of pots and pans. Dawn is the only one that really does clean them with the littlest amount of soap, leaving behind no smeary residue. It also comes in some amazing scents. Save time and use some Dawn :)

3. Pledge Clean & Fresh Orange Dry Cloths

These electrostatic disposable cloths are spectacular! Rarely do I pull out the furniture polish, so I found these and trashed the feather duster! They really make it look like you just dusted and leave behind a really nice orange smell. They are super cheap and come with 16 in a packet. Look out for coupons, you can double up on sales/coupons. Don't you dare pay full price :)

4. Bug Spray

This natural bug spray will keep all the bugs off your crops this year (flowers and veggies). It's natural so you don't have to worry about that! It has worked great this summer so far and kept those nasty June bugs far away!

5. Ocean Spray Sugar Free Drink Mix

With it being so hot, water just doesn't do it for me all the time! We have been drinking pitchers of this stuff! It is cheap, delicious, and sugar free! (I am aware it has artificial sweeteners, but its mainly just flavored water) David loves it too. One can makes 6- 2 qt. pitchers, yum! My favorite flavor right now is Cran Pomegranate. Other brands that make this are Wylers Light, Crystal Light, ect.

Okay, one funny conversation with the wild man.

Fly Story: (David hates flies)
D- Mommy, I don't like that fly. Move it, mommy.
Me- It's okay David, its just a fly. Flies are friends. (this is my new tactic).
D- It's my friend?
Me- Yes, David. Its a friend.
D- I want him to come inside.
Me- Okay, pick him up and bring him inside then.
D- NO!! I dont like him anymore, mommy throw him away!

Oh, well. It was worth a shot.
Other news: Mackenzie is army crawling, I can't believe so early! She is probably trying to get away from David.

Anyway, I realize this post was very housewifey, but what the heck. That's what I am. I'd love to hear other favorite summer items of anyone out there! I am always looking for someone's opinion of the best!


Mackenzie's Half Birthday!

Well, baby girl Mackenzie turns 6 months old today! We went to the doctor this morning and I will use his words, "She is perfect." Of course, I agree. Weighing in at a whopping 15 1/2 lbs. she falls into the 75th percentile in everything. She was such a champ and only cried for a second when she got 3 shots!

Okay, stories this week:
Mackenzie was laying in the floor with toys and David was across the room reading books. I got up to run to the kitchen and get her bottle. (FYI, I am about done nursing and going to say hello to P90X, can't wait. Thats why sexy back is on.). Anyways, when I come back, Mackenzie is across the room next to David. She cannot crawl yet so I am very confused. I ask David, "How did Mackenzie get over there?" He says, "I pull her, Mommy." And with that picks up her arms and drags her on her tummy wherever he wants her to go. I had to gently explain that he cannot pull her around the house. Funny part is that she LOVES him and never cried.

This is PG 13. Our friend, George, and also neighbor came by to bring Tim some of his tools back. We have been working on expanding a storage closet so things are a little "out of place." I've moved stuff around, reorganizing, ect. Well, David wandered off into our bedroom while we were catching up with George and ran out screaming with some big "dice" in his hands. Before we could get them he ran right up to George with them. My face turned bright red b/c these "dice" were some sex dice I got as a white elephant gift one year. George was so cool, he just laughed and said, "Say no more, that's funny." That's why sexy back is on.

We hope you will still come over, George. You never know what a 2 year old is going to pull out when you have company.

Anyway, Happy Half Birthday Mackenzie!!!



Bad Boys

Q-What's worse than a crying infant?
A- A toddler in his terrible twos.

Q-What's worse than a toddler in his terrible twos?
A- A crying infant.

Do you see my predicament? I have officially banned Tim from asking me if I had a good day, really. There are "parts" of my day that are good, this is true. But, there are also "parts" of my day that are bad. The morning may be bad, lunch will be great, dinnertime bad, and going to bed good....get it? At the end of the day, your day does not really fall into one category, but both.

This was a tough week. I would love to blog about how cute my kids are, how they use their best manners, do everything I say, never have temper tantrums, and eat their meals and go to bed perfectly. But guess what, no child does all of those, and that's not really what you want to read about anyway.

My kids are cute, they have the biggest smiles and hearts, are very happy, and without a doubt are going to be some self-confident, strong willed individuals.

But, the truth is, my toddler cannot seem to lose the habit of hitting right now. He slapped 2 kids at Chickfila during lunch on Tuesday at the playground. Both of the kids were bigger than him, might I add. My kid, the bully. It is so exhausting being consistent, but I am dang it. I am more strong willed than him and he is not gonna win this little phase.
A phase. Don't you love how people call it that? It seems like an eternity right now. Worst of all, he slapped 2 kids during sunday school this morning. It is just a thing he does when he doesnt get his way. The teacher told me, "Oh it's totally normal, he is a little boy." Normal or not, it has to stop.
I asked him, "David, why did you hit friends?" He answered, "Friends hit David." Either way, he has to learn not to hit back. He gets his little tail worn out and privileges taken away...... I don't understand why with this one issue he won't snap out of it!
He says, "Mommy, I wanna go pout." And I have been responding, "Good, go pout and think about what you did." Discipline always takes time, I know. It just seems like with everything else we've battled, I won much faster.

He is such a confident little child though. He tells me, "Mommy, I like me." My response recently has been, "David, mommy loves you. But, if you want your friends to like you, then you need to not hit them." Even through all this, I am glad he is a happy, self confident little toddler. I try to border discipline without crushing his spirit.

And to continue my pity party, as if I am not exhausted enough from dealing with him....Mackenzie has been throwing these little bedtime scenes. For some reason (when it's your own infant crying) it drains every last nerve and patience in your bones. Especially when there is nothing you can do to stop it. The good news is she is cutting her first 2 teeth. I think this might explain the behavior and hopefully the dramatic bedtimes will hit the road.

In other news, David was right at home with his cousins this week when we went to go visit my sister and her boys. Those 3 are all on the same wavelength!
Here they are in the pool and then at my moms for a bath!
My little screamer is turning 6 months this week and I cannot seem to come to grips with it. We took a lot of pictures this weekend, but here is one of my favorites!

Lastly, we found some "dead space" behind our hallway closet this week and decided to bust down some walls and make it a walk in storage closet. I will post some pictures soon of our home renovation. Tim is mudding the walls as I type!

"...we know that suffering produces perseverance: perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:4


I am a writer!

So, if you read my blog you know that I have an obsession with saving money and getting good deals. My blog is more of a place I want to document this phase of life being a stay at home mommy, so I just got a job writing for an online newspaper! They created a position for me to write about frugal living, nerdy I know. My official title is "Atlanta's Frugal Living Examiner." Above is my column picture....whats funny is I am actually 9 months pregnant in that one...shhhh, they don't know.

Please check out my articles, I am terrified no one will ever read them :) You can even subscribe if you like them and they will be emailed to you! Now I can just stick to my blog being about my crazy family and post good deals on this site!



I wanna soak up the sun

Summer is here!!! It finally feels like here in North Georgia!! Lets just get straight to it, here is what is going on in the Willis household this week:
Miss Mackenzie is 5 months old (and some change, I'm a little behind) Her nicknames are Kenzie Bear, Kenzie Benz (cause that's what she'll drive, jk), and Barefoot. I don't know why, these names just happen

Her and David have started screaming wars. She will do this really high pitched shrill.....David doesn't know what to do except scream back and she LOVES it. They go back and forth until I can't take it.... its cute to finally watch them play together. Speaking of the big man....
Well, whenever I have to "take care" of Mackenzie , David has gotten attached to his "Chef Puppet." My father-in-law, the chef, gave it to him. He has no name. He is just referred to as chef puppet. Anyway, I have to be clear that it isn't a doll (for fear of making my husband lose it), but he has started to carry the little chef around everywhere and take care of him when I am tending to Mackenzie.....it's so cute. So here is him and his little baby...haha.

As always, the not so cute 2 1/2 year old....
Last night at dinner, he brought me a bucket and it had some water in it....so I thought. I said:
Me-"David, where did you get that water?"
D- "I pee pee in this bucket, mama." And he handed it to me.
Me-"Thank you.....i think....let's put our pee pee in the potty next time, k?"
I also have this really bad habit of saying, Holy Crap (hey,sue me.....you would say it to if you see all the craziness that goes on over here!) I said it the other day when David dumped out Holly's dogfood or when there is a big mess. Anyway, now when David sees a big mess he says "Holy crap, look Jen!" I don't know why he randomly calls me Jen.
We are working on that one.
Lastly, we are having an issue with him all of the sudden having potty accidents with going #2. It's frustrating b/c he has been potty trained for 4 months and this just started. Its when I am cooking dinner, feeding Mackenzie, ect. I think he does it for attention. Anyway, it is way to human like, no baby terds anymore, and I can't handle it. The worst day was on Monday when he had an accident, I was trying to cook dinner, Mackenzie was crying for her food, and then Holly ran off with the dirty underwear (dogs are disgusting sometimes....don't even get me started).
Needless to say, we have been at the pool a lot. The first day was a nightmare. Mackenzie cried and David jumped in the deep end when we showed up. Tim dove in after him and I was a nervous wreck the rest of the time. The child has no fear. HOWEVER, we've had a big turn around and now I've been 3 times by myself and the children have calmed down and gotten used to it. Praise the Lord.
Nothing new with our house, however, it could be on the market tomorrow. We don't know what we are going to do and are just sitting on things...
I will close with this awesome recipe. I have been cooking out of Jessica Seinfields cookbook "Deceptively Delicious" like crazy (she hides all kinds of vegetables in everything) i love it. Here is her brownie recipe and no one can tell whats in them and they are so good...david loves them!

3 oz semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup carrot puree
1/2 spinach puree
1/2 c firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T butter/marg
2 T vanilla
2 large egg whites
3/4 c oat or all purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

Preheat oven 350. Coat 8 x 8 pan
Melt chocolate (microwave)
Combine chocolate, veg. purees, sugar, cocoa, marg, vanilla and whisk for 2 min.
Whisk in egg whites, flour, baking powder, and salt.
Pour and bake for 35-40 min.

If you are afraid, I will make them for you and you will love them.

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