Tuesday, April 30, 2013

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop #3

 Welcome to the (Not So) Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop #3!!


Making Music
Sunday was my daughter's piano recital. She played one solo and we did a duet together. She did so well, and it just makes me so proud to see my little musician up there.







Now, on to the blog hop!



The Rules
1. Follow your host & co-host 
2. Link up any photo post, it doesn't have to be wordless.

3. Visit some of the other blogs that have linked up!

4. Share!
Copy and post the button below on your sidebar


That Suburban Momma
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.thatsuburbanmomma.com" title="That Suburban Momma"><img src="http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s663/thatsuburbanmom/b8c8532b-6378-401a-b58c-38314524e29c_zpsed912a71.jpg" alt="That Suburban Momma" style="border:none;" /></a></div>


If you are interested in cohosting the (Not So) Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop, please email me at thatsuburbanmomma@gmail.com





Monday, April 29, 2013

Fitness Motivation

Happy Monday everyone!  Here are some of my favorite fitness quotes. 

Just a little fitness motivation to get you through the week! :)









 



What are your favorite fitness quotes? 

Stop by and link up with Raising Reagan for The Slim by Summer Challenge. This week's theme is:






Thursday, April 25, 2013

I've gone over to the dark side...


Yes, I finally joined the Apple club. I bought an iPhone. I have had android phones since the dawn of the android/ iPhone era and until now, I was android all the way. In spite of my fiance's hate for all things Apple, it was time for a change. I have gotten quite a bit of slack from my him and my android loving friends, but honestly I am very happy with the switch.

I have only been an iPhone user for less than 24 hours, but here is what I am loving about it so far.

Easy To Use

I am not tech illiterate, but I'm not a tech geek. So far, figuring out my iPhone has been so much easier than my androids. I love the simple interface. It's just very user friendly. I'm pretty sure my mom could even figure it out.


Photo Quality
This is one of the most important things for me and it's something that I always envied with my iPhone owning friends. Their photos always came out so much better!

The following photos were taken with my old phone, the Razr Maxx and my new iPhone 5. Both cameras are 8 MP. The Razr Maxx front facing camera is 1.3 MP, and the iPhone 5 front facing camera is 1.2 MP.

Razr Maxx on the left, iPhone on the right.
All photos are unedited.

 Close-up Outdoors


Outdoor Shot


Indoor No Flash


Dim Lighting W/ Flash


Front Facing Camera

 I think there is a big difference in quality. What do you think?

More Apps

There is a larger selection of apps. I remember when I had my android and there would be an app for something I liked and then I'd read those dreaded words "iPhone only". No longer an issue! Plus, I read that many apps are released on iPhone first. Meaning, I will have access to them sooner, yay!

So Many Accessories

I can't believe how many accessories there are! When I took my iPhone to the Verizon store to activate it, the girl asked if I needed a case. She came back with a basket full of cases. Some being waterproof, ones that adds battery life, and an assortment of pretty ones. I went with battery life. It's not just cases though, there are so many other accessories! Here is a list of 20 weird iPhone accessories.

Siri 

I know this is kind of lame, but I LOVE Siri. It is such a simple way to find out information quickly. Not to mention the hours of entertainment. The Princess and I had a good laugh asking her random questions last night. When I said, "tell me you love me" her response was, "look.... a puppy".  
 Oh Siri, you are such a commitment phobe....


It's possible that my love of the iPhone will is just at the honeymoon stage. I have a feeling that I am going to stick with it, but only time will tell. 

Do you prefer iphone or android? What are your reasons? I'd love to hear about your opinion a comment!
 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop #2

 Welcome to the (Not So) Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop #2!!

This week our fabulous co-host is:

 


Mommy with Tattoos


Yes, I know this is "Wordless" Wednesday, but it's pretty much impossible for me to stick to that. How about a compromise, I'll do "less words". Haha!


People are always surprised that I have tattoos. I only have 3 small ones and I think they are very tasteful. I put a lot of thought into each one and they each have personal meanings for me.

"3 Heart Tattoo"



"You are my Sunshine Tattoo"

I got this one for my daughter. I has the music to the beginning of you are my sunshine and her name makes the bottom of the treble clef.
  

"Carpe Diem Tattoo"

Now that you've seen all my ink, let's move on to the blog hop!






The Rules
1. Follow your host & co-host 
2. Link up any photo post, it doesn't have to be wordless.

3. Visit some of the other blogs that have linked up!

4. Share!
Copy and post the button below on your sidebar


That Suburban Momma
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.thatsuburbanmomma.com" title="That Suburban Momma"><img src="http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s663/thatsuburbanmom/b8c8532b-6378-401a-b58c-38314524e29c_zpsed912a71.jpg" alt="That Suburban Momma" style="border:none;" /></a></div>


If you are interested in cohosting the (Not So) Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop, please email me at thatsuburbanmomma@gmail.com








Monday, April 22, 2013

Getting back to Slim by Summer


I joined the Slim by Summer Challenge with Raising Reagan at the end of January, but unfortunately I have been so busy with school, work, and mommy duties that fitness has been on the back burner. Seeing the posts from everyone every week has really motivated me to get back on track.

After reading a few of the Slim by Summer posts last Monday, I decided that I really need to work harder on sticking to a healthy diet. I don't have a lot of time, but being healthy needs to be a top priority. To help jump start things, I decided to try the Advocare 24 day Challenge. A few of my friends did it and told me how it helped them change their eating habits and they got great results as far as weight loss. The first 10 days is a Cleanse and I am currently on Day 8. When I weighed myself this morning, I was so excited!


This week's Slim by Summer theme is Progress Update. My progress since last Monday is:
I have lost 6 lbs! Yay!!

What I am loving so far about the Advocare Challenge is that it has been really helping me focus on making healthier choices. I have a list of what I should eat vs what I shouldn't, and having that has helped so much! It's been a difficult transition because my diet wasn't as great before, but it was totally worth it when I saw that weight loss on the scale this morning. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

That time I met Norman Reedus....

I always love heading over to Mel's & Michelle's, to join the fun with their Ketchup with Us Prompts!!

KETCHUP WITH US' - PROMPT #16
In 57 words or less, tell us about A CELEBRITY ENCOUNTER.

Norman Reedus, my beloved Daryl from The Walking Dead, is the only celebrity I have ever met. I was shocked by my reaction to meeting him.


It happened at Portland Comicon,
just a couple months ago.
My excitement grew as I waited in line.
It was finally my turn,
I saw him standing there.
He smiled and said, "Check you out!"
I was unable to speak,
so naturally I let out a high pitched squeal.
As I stumbled away with a giant smile,
I felt light headed almost bumping into people.
Starstruck….

Have you met any celebrities? I'd love to hear about it in a comment!

Thanks for stopping by. Take care and God bless!

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Gourmet Man- Signature Series Spice Collection Giveaway!

 
Today, I would like to share my secret weapon in the kitchen (shh!) and I have a special giveaway so that you, my wonderful readers, can try it!

The owners of my favorite restaurant, Topaz Bistro in Hubbard, Oregon, have their own line of Spices and Dips. The company is called The Gourmet Man, which is completely appropriate, because that is exactly what I would call owner Mitch Graf! If you are ever in Northern Oregon, you definitely need to make a stop at the restaurant, and you will see what I mean. It is 45 minutes from me, but so worth the drive because every time I go my taste buds get their minds' blown, haha! But seriously, it's Oregon's best kept secret! 

Okay, I'm making myself hungry now, onto the awesome dips and spices I want to tell you about...
  

The Dips

 
I first tried their dips when they launched them a few years ago. They are amazing! I am definitely a dip lover and love to have small parties, so these dips have been the go to for many occasions. They have 6 different flavors: Lobster Lobster, Cantankerous Crab, Cajun Shrimp, Fire-Roasted Garlic Fury, Spunky Spinach, and Holy Jalapeno. I love all of the flavors, but my favorite is definitely the Spunky Spinach, or maybe the Fire-Roasted Garlic? I really am a dip lover, so it's a little hard to choose, haha! The dips are very easy to prepare; Just add one pint of sour cream and allow to sit overnight. They also have extra suggestions on how to give each spice a twist. I highly recommend adding fresh shrimp to the Cajum Shrimp, soo yummy!

The Spices


I absolutely love the dips, but my true addiction is the spices! They are used almost daily at our house! I use them for everything from seasoning my meats and pastas to spicing up salads. They have four different spices:

Herbs_With_Attit_4d94600ec4887


Herbs With Attitude
G-Gourmet “Herbs With Attitude” Food Enhancer- 4 oz: A gentle blend of 6 spices that goes great in meat, pasta, rice, veggie or even salad dishes. Just the right amount of kick to give any meal a little bit of attitude.

Mediterranean_Mo_4d946084bcc0f


Mediterranean MoJo
G-Gourmet “Mediterranean MoJo” Food Enhancer- 4 oz: A playful blend of 11 spices that goes great in meat, pasta, rice, veggie or even salad dishes. Get the Mediterranean feeling any time of year with this wonderful mix of your favorite.


Kickin__Cajun_4ecb6c0bc2bbc


Kickin” Cajun
G-Gourmet “Kickin” Cajun” Food Enhancer- 4 oz: A tangy blend of 8 spices that goes great in meat, pasta, rice, veggie or even salad dishes. Get ready to take your taste buds to a happy place!


Pasta_Picker_Upp_4ecb6d3db2c7d 
Pasta Picker-Upper
G-Gourmet “Pasta Picker-Upper” Food Enhancer- 4 oz: An intriguing blend of 21 ingredients that goes great in meat, pasta, rice, veggie or even salad dishes. This flavor will allow you to explore an entirely new way of looking at standard dishes like rice, potatoes and pasta!


If you go to their website, there is a list of delicious recipes that feature their spices including BBQ Kickin’ Chicken, Shrimp/Scallop Toasties, Mediterranean Stuffed Pork, & more! I have tried almost all of them and they are always a hit at our house! My daughter's favorite is definitely the BBQ Chicken. You can sign up with their Recipe-Of-The-Month club to receive a monthly email with recipes featuring their G-Gourmet Spice Collection.

The Gourmet Man & Topaz Bistro have not compensated me in any way for writing this post or giveaway. This was written simply to share a product that I LOVE!

GIVEAWAY!

 


 The Gourmet Man G-Gourmet Spice Signature Series Collection- 4 pack (Includes Bonus: Gourmet Recipe Cards)

Enter through Rafflecopter below. US ONLY. 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

Welcome to our very first (Not So) Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop!!

I always love looking through everyone's photos and thought it would be a great reason to start a blog hop!

The Rules
1. Follow your host
2. Link up your Wordless Wednesday post
(or any other photo post)
3. Visit some of the other blogs that have linked up!
4. Share!
Copy and post the button below on your sidebar


That Suburban Momma
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.thatsuburbanmomma.com" title="That Suburban Momma"><img src="http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s663/thatsuburbanmom/b8c8532b-6378-401a-b58c-38314524e29c_zpsed912a71.jpg" alt="That Suburban Momma" style="border:none;" /></a></div>


If you are interested in cohosting the (No So) Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop, please email me at thatsuburbanmomma@gmail.com






Wordless Wednesday: Vegas!

I went to Vegas for Spring Break for the very first time. Here is a sneak peak of my trip.











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Sunday, April 14, 2013

What can I do to help end poverty?



Today I watched a documentary about the poverty in Portland. It was about local families that were/are struggling to make ends meat. Families that weren’t able to pay their water and electric bills. Foreclosures and living in shelters. It was heart breaking to see. I haven’t written about it, but I grew up very very poor. With a young single mother and 3 younger siblings we could barely get by. There were times when we didn't have a home or know where we would get our next meal.

Watching the documentary brought back so many horrible memories that I had put behind me, things that I hadn’t thought about in years. Things that I didn’t want to think about so I pushed them to the back of my mind. But, I think I needed a reminder. It’s so easy to get comfortable and take things for granted. I've never had to worry about my daughter’s next meal. I am fortunate to be my own boss doing a job that I love. I am so blessed to live in a beautiful house, something I never thought I would have. We are healthy and happy with full bellies every night. I feel so blessed and so grateful for my life. It is truly more than I ever dared to dream or hope for.

There are so many people out there who can't find a job, who need help, who are starving. Yet, on facebook I see harsh ecards condemning people who seek help. There are so many misconceptions about public assistance and the people who are receiving it. I won't go into that, but here is a great myth/fact article if you care to read about it: Facts and Myths about "Welfare".

It turned into a very emotional day and it really got me thinking: What can I do to help those in need. What can I do to help end poverty? 

Although these are just small steps, every tiny step makes a difference. 

Donate

There are many things you can donate. You can donate money to an organization, you can donate food, or you can donate things around the house that you no longer use. This is something I try to do on a regular basis. Go through your things at home. If there are things that you haven't used in quite some time box them up. The princess is constantly growing out of clothes and toys. 

Rather than donating items to places like Goodwill, I try to donate to shelters or families that I know can use the things I no longer do.

Volunteer

Giving a few hours of your time can make a big difference to many people out there! There are many things that you can help with such as mentoring, serving food, educating, and even administrative support. I found a great site called Volunteer Match. It can help you find a local place that can use your help.

Shop Local

You may be thinking, what does shopping local have to do with helping those in need. In the long run, it does. By shopping local you are supporting local farms and small businesses which can only help your local economy grow.


These are just a few suggestions. Writing and reading about poverty is one thing and doing is another... I have contacted a few local shelters about volunteering and am hoping that I can be of some help. I hope that I have moved someone else to do the same. Together we can make a difference.

If you would like to read more about Poverty, there are many great websites. Here are just a few:

End Poverty 2015

Global Call to Action Against Poverty

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Cousin Love

  My sister and her kids visited us for a couple days. It's been years since the last time we saw them. 

Love the cousin love in these photos.