Friday, August 31, 2012

Freebies, Special Offers & More from Inklings' New Sponsors

Last week I announced on the Inklings' facebook page that I had some new sponsors. Each day I featured a new sponsor and asked facebookers to check them out. Many of y'all did, and many of y'all emailed me with questions. Are the sponsors spam? Are they reliable? What does it mean to be a sponsor of The Inklings of Life? I answered many emails one-on-one, and realized that  maybe a quick blog post would help out. I want to properly introduce y'all to the newest Inklings' sponsors and let y'all know what they are all about, so if you decide to check them out yourselves, you know what you are getting.

First thing's first: No, these sponsors aren't spam. They are companies that I trust, that I have personal accounts with, that I enjoy enough to share with my readers. All of the companies have free accounts you can sign up for, you can opt for their newsletter, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

The second most asked question I get is, what does it mean to be an Inklings' sponsor? No, I don't get paid if you decide to place an order with any of these companies- they aren't "affiliates". Basically, they pay me to advertise on my site. It's that simple. Does that mean I'm pushing advertisers down y'alls throats that I don't like? Hell no. See the paragraph above- I was a member of many of these sites before they decided to advertise with me. If I don't like them, they aren't on my site. It's that simple. Y'all should know me better than to think I'd push anything I didn't believe in.

So, do I want y'all to check them out? Of course I do. They are amazing companies, many of them have specials for my readers, and if I send people in their direction, they help me out. Every little bit helps keep Inklings running, helps keep my sanity in check, and helps Hubby relax some when I go to do crazy things with Inklings, like give away its merchandise for free.

Here's a quick rundown of who these sponsors are, what they have, and why you should check them out!! I've made it really easy if you see something you like- just click the picture and it will take you straight to the site!


When I found out about this little beauty of a company a few months ago, I fell in love. I signed up for an account quickly and easily with my facebook account, and I was rewarded with a free gift- They just started the Bed of Roses Earrings promo you see above, and I'm sure these will go fast; they are beautiful. You go through the site 'Peeqing' at items, and the more items you view, the more site credibility you build. There

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Arch Nemesis Mom

Every mom out there has that one nemesis- that other mom at school, or at the play date, or the mom's group, that annoys the hell out of them for any number of reasons. Sometimes it's because the other mom is needy, or not needy enough, or has it all together, or is always frazzled, or talks to much, or doesn't talk at all, or is too skinny after having had a child 2 weeks ago, or is too fat after having had kids 12 years ago. Whatever the reason, when that mom makes her presence, we roll our eyes and look for the closest corner to go stand in or make ourselves look busy so we don't have to talk to her.

Don't act like y'all have never done this. I'm the mom who calls all other moms out on stuff like this, remember? I'm the mom that lets you know that we have all been there, so you don't need to feel bad about it, too.

When we first come across this other mom, our Arch Nemesis Mom, we immediately feel uncomfortable. We can't put our finger on it at first, but once we've stared analyzed the other mom for a while, we are able to start forming an opinion.

This opinion of her is completely unwarranted, biased as hell, and is based on absolutely no concrete evidence whatsoever. It's formed by seeing one action or overhearing one piece of a conversation, and then letting our imaginations do the rest. We decide pretty quickly, based on one small observation, that we are going to dislike this woman and why we are going to dislike them. This stuff has no grounds in reality at all, but we don't see that; we're blinded by our dislike, and from that moment on, everything Arch Nemesis Mom does annoys the piss out of us.

I have already found my Arch Nemesis Mom at the kids' school this year, and holy crap, just seeing her makes me roll my eyes uncontrollably and fight every urge to walk up to her and say, 'What the hell?'

I noticed this woman during the first week of school, there to pick up her younger kid. You can't miss her; the first thing you see is that she has bleach blonde hair. Not natural, doesn't want it to look natural,

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gossip Ring at Age 10? What?

Last time I checked, I was the mom of a 10 year old and a 7 year old- not a teenager. Kids nowadays are so much more mature than they should be, that sometimes I have to have a reality check in the department of my kids and their ages.

When I picked my kids up from school one day last week, my daughter had clearly been crying. Her teacher came and told me she and a few other kids had to meet with the guidance counselor because of a gossip ring that had gotten out of control and visibly upset The Girl.

Gossip ring? They are in the 5th grade. What kind of gossip ring is there in the 5th grade? Did someone steal her Capri Sun at lunch and we were having to dig through the rumors to find out who did it? What could 5th graders possibly gossip about that would have my daughter in tears?

The story goes like this (from The Girl, not the guidance counselor or a teacher): My daughter liked a boy in her class and decided to tell her best friend, but made her promise to keep it a secret. The best friend did not keep it a secret, and ran and told the boy that The Girl liked.

At this point in the story, I'm finding it very hard to keep my mouth shut, but out of respect for my daughter, I let her continue.

The best friend betraying The Girl's trust wasn't the problem. The boy she liked came and talked to her, told her it was okay, that he liked her, too. That's when the rumor started that The Girl and this boy were dating.

Dating... the 5th grade... I bit my tongue so The Girl could continue.

The dating rumor upset The Girl a little, but it wasn't until a little boy in another class, when he heard about The Girl and this boy "dating", got jealous and decided to make up a rumor that The Girl doesn't like people that aren't white, that The Girl got very upset and the guidance counselor intervention was needed.

Where in the hell do I even start with this? Before I completely dive in, I will say that, thank goodness, the guidance counselor told all kids involved that they were too young for this shit stuff, and they needed to act

Sunday, August 26, 2012

$2 Wasted (An Ink Blots Post)

I'm still feeling like crap from this strep throat, so yesterday Hubby did the laundry.

Let me rephrase. Yesterday, Hubby took the laundry to the laundry room, washed it, dried it, then brought it back to the apartment in the laundry basket, unfolded... Where it still sits to this moment.

Not wanting to look at it anymore, but not feeling like folding it, either, I made a proposal to the kids...

"If one of you would like an extra $4 in your allowance at the end of the week, you can earn it by folding your dad's and my clothes in that basket. If both of you want to pitch in so you are only doing 1/2 the work, I'll split it and you'll each get $2. Whadaya say?"

Neither child budged. Finally, after a few minutes, The Girl said, "How much do I have to fold for an extra $1?"

Seriously? You have got to be kidding me.

"Just start folding and we'll see as you go along."

She folded clothes for like 5 minutes, looked at me and said, "How much is this worth?" It was about 1/2 the basket, so I told her $2.

"That's good enough, I'm done."

WTF???? I figured it'd be better to roll over on the couch and take a nap than to argue or yell or scream.

I just woke up, and when I got up and took a good look, I was not pleased. I should have specified that the clothes have to be put away, too. I just paid $2 for what you see in the picture...

Complete with a Kitteh enjoying the freshly laundered clothes. Sheesh. Be careful doing business with your kids. You get what you pay for...

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mom is Sick... Now What?

For those that follow the Inklings' facebook page, you know I've been pretty sick lately. Final verdict from the second round of doctors was that I tested negative for strep throat, but had a very bad case of strep throat.

Yeah, sometimes I don't understand what schooling doctors went through for their degrees, either.

Being sick for a few days, near death for one of them (no joke- my fever was at hospital level, but I'm too stubborn to go to the hospital) made me really look at how things in my house are run when I'm not the one running them. Some of it was funny, some of it angered me, and all of it made me realize why moms don't get sick very often.

When Anyone In the House Except Mom is Sick:

  • Mom makes homemade chicken noodle soup, from scratch, filled with germ-killing ingredients.
  • Fresh sheet on the couch, TV remotes within reach of the sick person, and they get to watch whatever they want on TV while the rest of the family watches with them. After all, they are the sick one.
  • The rest of the house is clean, sprayed down with lysol (by mom, of course) so the sickness doesn't spread.
  • A grocery store run is made, and the house is stocked with gatorade (or powerade), ginger ale,

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Moms Need Friends, Too

The kids and I moved 4 times in one calendar year. 2 of these moves were cross country, and a third move was 2 states away from where we lived at the time. Every move we made, my first concern at each new place was how my kids would adjust. Would they make friends? Would they like the area? Would they do well at their new school?

Would you like to know what I found? Kids are resilient. They adapt quite well to change, and making friends for them is as easy as going outside to a playground.

What I forgot to concern myself with was... well... myself. With each move I was moving toward family or toward friends, and with this last move to Arizona, toward putting my family back together, complete with a Hubby. That fact alone has made me the happiest woman ever, happy to have my family back together, happy to be a stay-at-home mom again, happy to have the time and means to reconnect with my kids, rekindle the love between Hubby and I, and finally find myself.

The thing is, I moved 2000 miles away from extended family and friends. Out here, while the kids are in school, and Hubby is at work, I'm so bored I could scream. Even when I keep myself busy with errands or shopping or reading or catching up on my television shows, something is still missing.

I've come to realize that moms need friends, too.

If you were fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom when your kids were young, you'll be able to relate to the picture I'm about to paint. From the time your child is born, you tend to their needs, answer every cry, change diapers, feed, nap when they nap (or clean when they nap or hide in the closet and cry when they nap- whatever suited you), speak baby talk, kiss toes, and conform yourself to a mental age that matches your child at the time because that's all the human interaction you have during the day. Then your spouse gets home from work, and you feel like a little yippy dog when their owners come home, jumping up and down, talking 90 miles an hour, just excited to have another person around- an adult person.

When your kids are older, like mine, and they go to school during the day, not much changes for the stay-at-home mom. While we no longer have to conform ourselves to the mental age of our kids because they aren't at home, we now spend most of our day alone instead. No human interaction whatever, with the exception of commenting on the weather with the cashier at the grocery store. Some days like this are amazing. I revel in the silent house, meditate, do yoga, clean the house knowing it will still be clean 20 minutes later, take a bath, and relax. Some days, I feel like that little yippy dog, staring at the door, waiting for someone to come home to give me some company.

See if this rings true with some of you.

Signs You Are a Mom Who Needs Friends, Too: (like me)

  • You talk to the cats (dogs, hamsters, birds, frogs, fish, whatever pet you have). Not only do you talk to the cats, you get pissed that they don't answer back.
  • You look forward to the time when the kids get out of school just to have some companionship.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pizza Hut's Garlic Bread Pizza at Home (For a Fraction of the Cost!)

Pizza Hut's Garlic Bread Pizza at Home
Pizza Hut recently came out with their Garlic Bread pizza, and as soon as I saw the commercials for it, my
mouth started watering. Hubby and I decided to splurge one night, head to Pizza Hut, and give in to my craving.

It was so worth it. That pizza was amazing, though I will say that they left ours in the oven a tad too long. The pepperoni was extra crispy.

As I was devouring it, I realized how easy it would be to make it at home. So, I added the ingredients to my grocery list for the week, and gave it a try.

Best.... experiment... ever. The pizza was delicious, and because I made it myself, I could watch the oven to avoid the extra crispy pepperoni.

So here it is, my Pizza Hut Garlic Bread Pizza do-it-yourself recipe.

Servings: 16
Time: 20 minutes


  • 2 boxes frozen garlic bread (or make your own- these were easy, on sale, and yummy)
  • bag of mozzarella or pizza cheese
  • jar of pizza sauce
  • toppings of choice (we had pepperoni)


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove frozen garlic bread from packaging and arrange on cookie sheets.

2. Bake garlic bread in oven for 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven.

3. Using tongs or spatula, flip garlic bread over to other side. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Get Involved or Mind Your Business?

I've noticed over the years that more and more people don't get involved into other people's matters. I'm not sure if it's fear of being sued, or just not wanting to be bothered with it, or feeling that there's just not anything they can do about it. When kids are involved, though, the situation can get sticky.

I have been faced with such a dilemma of whether to mind my own business or get involved in someone else's matter.

A few nights ago, The Girl came to me and told me that a 3 year old kid jumped on The Ginger and started punching him in the stomach. The Ginger, being 7, was shocked and didn't know what to do because, in his own words, 'I didn't want to hit a 3 year old.' Understandable. The Girl pulled the little boy off of The Ginger and they came and told me what happened.

Now, this 3 year old has been a problem for a while now. He throws rocks at the kids, hits, yells, and the best part? He's always outside, by himself, wandering all around the apartment complex (and it's a decent sized complex with about 200 apartments in a square), no parents in sight. Yes, a 3 year old wandering by himself during the day while all of the older kids are in school. It's been a pet peeve of mine for a while, but I had no idea in which apartment this child lived.

So, this 3 year old, to put it nicely, is a hellion- a hellion with parents who obviously don't care about him. Yesterday he started throwing rocks at the other kids, and one of the neighbor girls, 13 years old, went and knocked on the little boy's door to tell his mom, and no one answered the door. She asked around, and someone told her no one was at home. She picked up her phone and called 911 on this 3 year old (another reason, in my opinion, kids should not have cell phones). The Ginger came and got me, and I went outside immediately to find out what had happened. That's when they told me that the 3 year old's parents were not home, and that he was being watched by his 9 year old brother. This disturbed me greatly.

Did I agree with the 13 year old calling 911? Hell no. She should have gone and gotten her mom or The Girl

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dear King of Television Land

Dear King of Television Land,

I'm writing you today to let you know that we have a problem- yes, 'we', as in you and me. I have been left with this void, created by you, and I feel that it is your job to fill this void. Honestly, after everything we've been through, I never really thought you would treat me this way; leave me in this state of despair. We've had an amazing relationship for what, 25 years now? To think that after all this time, this is the year our relationship might be ending? The thought is devastating to me.

This year is the first that you seem to have left me with no chick drama show to watch. For the past 8 years you entertained me with 'Desperate Housewives', and that series had its last episode a few months ago. 8 years, King of Television Land. That's older than my son. I shared every laugh, every tear, every twist and turn with those 4 women for 8 years- they were like family to me. And just like that, you all decided it had run its course and now it's gone... forever.

Before 'Desperate Housewives' (and with some overlap), you had given me 'Charmed' to watch. Like 'Desperate Housewives', 'Charmed' was 8 glorious years of my life, which began even before my marriage did. 3 gorgeous, witchy sisters who fought demons- I fought right beside them, cried every time one of them died, rejoiced every time they were brought back to life, for 8 years. And just like that, you all decided they had run their course as well, and that show was added to my DVD collection.

I can say this- you replaced 'Charmed' with 'Supernatural' and that substitution sufficed. 3 hot sister witches for 2 hot demon hunting brothers- fair trade. So, I can forgive you for letting go of the Halliwell sisters and forcing me to embrace the Winchester brothers. When you decide their time is up, though, we're going to have to have another talk. For now, you are forgiven.

The problem lies in the fact that so far, of what I have seen of the fall TV show premieres, you are doing nothing to help fill the void left by yanking 'Desperate Housewives' from my weekly viewing schedule. At the moment I still have 'Weeds', but even Nancy Botwin is in her last year, but let's face it: Yes, it will be nice

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Family Vacations, 1960s Vs. 2012

I was emailed this infographic by and absolutely fell in love with it. If only admission for my family of 4 to Disneyland was still $2.00 total. I'd be in heaven.

I wasn't around in 1960, but I can tell you right now that this infographic shows you why Hubby and I haven't taken a vacation in years. Good grief.

Enjoy, and thanks to the people at for sending this to me!

Click to Enlarge Image

On The Road Again - Brought To You By Baby Authority

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Smile for the Wall Art! ( Review)

I recently received an email from about reviewing one of their photo-to-canvas products. I have always wanted to have one of these made, but unfortunately never have, and with so many companies out there and not knowing which ones are good and which ones aren't, I gave Photo-Canvas a try.

It was the best decision I've made in a long time.

I was told to head to their website,, and upload a picture I wanted made into a canvas. The hardest part of this entire process was trying to figure out which picture I wanted to use. We had family pictures done at Christmas, and ordered a huge 16x20 of the main family picture, so I didn't really want that to be my canvas. I decided Hubby and I needed our own work of art.

I headed to their website and uploaded my picture. It really was super easy. I also saw an option for creating your own pop art, collages, and adding messages to the front or back of the canvas (described on their Products page). The ideas are limitless. You could have one of your toddler's drawings turned into a canvas work of art. You could have your kids turned into an Andy Warhol-esque center piece for your living room. They even make those 3 paneled canvas pieces that I love so much.

I placed my order on a Saturday for a 12"x16" canvas of Hubby and I. I got email notification on Tuesday that it had already shipped and the tracking number included said it would be delivered Wednesday morning. The company is located in England, Inklingers. They created my photo canvas, packaged it, shipped it and it arrived in 3 business days. That, to me, was completely unheard of. I honestly didn't think it would be high quality with a production rate that fast.

I was proven wrong. The canvas arrived on a Wednesday morning, and the first thing I noticed is it was heavy. I'm going to let y'all in on a secret. I used to work for a nationally-known cookie cutter photography

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Cleanse (Ink Blot Post)

Hubby and I have decided to do a pretty dumb thing this weekend. We decided to go on a liver cleanse.

Yeah, we're not too bright this weekend.

Y'all know my love of documentaries, right? And how I'm always obsessing about researching stuff. I research everything. Well, lately I've been researching weight loss, healthy living, exercising, etc. I've watched so many documentaries on the subject, and this week, in my internet research, the information in the documentaries finally crossed paths with my internet research, in a way, validating it for me. (If it's in a documentary and in several articles posted online by different people, it must have some truth to it- my line of thinking, anyway.) This information?

Juicing to clean your liver out. I started reading the side effects of a clogged up liver, and it's Hubby and I, to a T. I read the symptoms out to Hubby and his eyes just got bigger and bigger. Then I asked him if he'd be willing to go on a liver cleanse with me for this weekend, which meant he could use his juicer all weekend. With that, he agreed (the man loves his juicer).

Fatigue, a 'spare tire' around your middle, inability to lose weight, eczema and cellulite are all symptoms of a clogged liver. Unclogging the liver can be done several ways (one of them being that stupid lemon water/maple syrup/cayenne pepper fad- no thank you), but the best way is filling your diet with beets, carrots, apples, dark green leafy veggies, and avocados.

Basically, you're filling your diet with crappy fruits and vegetables- and I mean that literally. Cleansing your liver makes you detox your system, to put it nicely.

Yes, a liver cleanse is supposed to go on for like 4-7 days, but we're only doing it for two. Neither of us

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dead, Bleeding or On Fire Coffee Mug Giveaway, 8/17

Y'all know I love free stuff. I've been entering sweepstakes and giveaways so much lately, that I started really wanting to do another giveaway for my readers, find a way to give back to y'all because you are so amazing. I sat and thought about what I could possibly give away, and then it hit me.

I have The Inklings of Life swag. I must not have had enough coffee this morning, to have to think that hard about what I could give y'all.

Which is something that makes this giveaway so awesome. Most of y'all have told me about your love of coffee (just like me), and without it, we're all pretty much zombies in the morning. So here it is, Inklings' best selling item:

The Dead, Bleeding, or On Fire Coffee Mug

I'm not even going stingy on y'all with this giveaway, either. I'm giving away the large coffee mug that holds 15 oz of your favorite coffee. And, if you are right handed (like me), the 'If it's not DEAD, BLEEDING, OR ON FIRE, Then don't talk to me about it until this cup is EMPTY' warning is visible to everyone while you take your much needed sips.

The giveaway opens at 12:01 am EST on 8/10/2012 and ends at 11:59 pm EST on 8/17/2012. There are several ways to enter, though the blog comment and facebook like are mandatory entries. As a bonus, you can enter EVERY DAY by choosing the 'Vote for Me at Top Mommy Blogs' option and by Tweeting about this giveway, increasing your chances of winning even more!

If giveaways aren't your thing, you can always just Buy It by heading to The Inklings of Life Merch Store. It retails for $12.99 plus shipping and handling.

So what are y'all waiting for? Enter below, and good luck to everyone! A huge thanks to all of my wonderful readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Here Comes Honey Booooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

Society never ceases to amaze me. The media never ceases to amaze me. The two combined together, blow my freaking mind sometimes.

TLC has outdone themselves, and not in a good way. A few weeks ago I posted about the travesty that is Toddlers & Tiaras in my post Pageant Moms and Michael Vick. Now, TLC has decided to take "the most talked about Toddlers & Tiaras contestant ever" and give her and her family their own show. 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' premiered last night, to what I'm sure was millions of viewers.

Did I watch the premiere of this highly anticipated show? I would have rather gouged my eyes with hot pokers while dogs ate my feet than watch this show. I fast forward through the commercials for that show when I'm watching my DVRed 'Craft Wars' or 'Virgin Diaries'. Between the 6 year old yelling, "You better recogcogcognize" and the mother pausing an interview with TLC to "scratch my bugs", I've upchucked my dinner a few times. I would not degrade myself or my family to watching this shit.

Here's a freaking 6 year old that says 'A dolla makes me holla.' Really? Starting off the family business of stripping pretty early, aren't they?

That's why society amazes me. People sat down last night and watched this show. After seeing this child and her family on Toddlers & Tiaras, they demanded to see more of her, to the point that TLC gave them their own show. They wasted an hour of their life on helping make these people rich.

And that's why TLC amazes me. They just made this redneck family (and that term doesn't even cut it- rednecks are WAY above these people) filthy rich (with emphasis on the filthy). These people don't deserve a weekly show on TV. They don't deserve for those of us who have intelligence and a life to waste our time watching them. They don't deserve a single ounce of it. But, for whatever reason, TLC decided they were going to pay these people lots of money for the US viewers to have a glimpse into how not to raise your child and the type of family that no one should be.

Didn't TLC used to stand for 'The Learning Channel'? Wasn't it a place to go and watch educated TV that made you more intelligent and actually taught you something? What am I supposed to learn from watching this family? I don't think in a million years I could ever lower my standards enough to become as much of a chunk of white trash as them. The only thing it makes me want to do is break into the US military bomb testing sites and re-enter the coordinates for their missile tests to where ever that family's home town is.

How is a family like this even producing more members? Their family tree hasn't branched out in centuries,

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tatted Mom's Exercise Routine

I decided to start an exercise routine this week. It is the kids' first full week of school, Hubby is working during the day, and I have approximately 5 1/2 hours a day to myself. I figured 30 minutes of that would be beneficially spent exercising.

What I should have done, was post my intentions here on Inklings on Sunday night, so you all could talk me out of it. I have been in so much pain the last 2 days, it's not funny. The lunges and squats I did on Day 1 of my exercise routine have rendered my legs pretty useless. I'm thinking now of just covering myself in fake blood and growling so people think my slow, awkward, dragging-my-legs walk I have going on is because I'm a zombie.

It made me think about all of the times in my past that I started an exercise routine, and what happened to all of those times. I'm hoping this time is different, but only time will tell as to whether or not history repeats itself.

Tatted Mom's Exercise Routine
  1. Wake up Monday morning ready to go, excited to be finally getting off my ass, and motivated to do whatever it takes to get my 18 year old body back. I've decided that because I'm working out and I'm going to eat healthy, I can reach my goal weight loss of 20 pounds in one month. I understand that it's not recommended to lose more than 2 pounds a week, but how hard can 5 pounds a week really be? I go ahead and weigh myself, so I have a starting point, and as I look at the number on the scale, I vow that this is the last time I ever see that number on the scale. From this point on, the numbers will get lower and lower.
  2. I get dressed into my workout clothes, lace up my tennis shoes, and pop in a 30 minute workout video, because that's all I need each day to be able to lose 5 pounds a week, right? I have a towel for when I sweat, and a bottle of water next to me, ready to go. I'm pumped, still motivated, and very excited as I hit 'play' on the DVD.
  3. Getting through the warm up is easy as pie. Man, I'm going to be hott in one month. Hell, I'm rocking this workout so much, that I'm sure I'll look like a supermodel after a week.
  4. 9 minutes into the workout video, I'm sweating bullets and ready to die.
  5. 11 minutes into the workout video, the instructor finally mentions that if you aren't able to keep up with the video, it's okay, and to just march in place until you get your breath back and can join back in.
  6. 12 minutes into the workout video, I take the instructor's advice, start walking in place and grab my bottle of water.
  7. 14 minutes into the workout video, I attempt to jump right back into the routine. Apparently during my break they switched to the super hard workout that only Olympic athletes can complete.
  8. 15 minutes into the workout video, I'm screaming, 'Eff that. Real people can't do that move. Of

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The First Ink Blot: Our Promiscuous Neighbor

The Inklings of Life has always been a place for me to sit and write exactly what's on my mind, and every now and then some advice on motherhood and parenting is thrown in. I've come to realize, though, that writing huge posts everyday doesn't always happen.

What does happen, is life. So many times I have had something hilarious in life happen, that I've wanted to share with my readers, but it wouldn't have taken an entire normal Inklings post to cover it. So, instead of just posting the tidbit, I let it slide right on by.

Well, no more sliding. Today I'm launching Ink Blots. These posts are going to be short, sweet, and contain just happenings in my everyday life. It might be a funny thing my kids did, something that rubs me the wrong way and I need to vent quickly, an interaction between Hubby and I... anything. They'll have their own category, so if you ever have just a few minutes and need a laugh, or confirmation that chaos and crazy stuff happen to all Moms (even if the other moms don't want to talk about it), you can head to the Ink Blots tab above, or the category below, and read all of the Ink Blots posts to date. They will be posted at completely random times (I know y'all have gotten used to my morning posts), as they happen in life.

So, without further ado, the first Ink Blots post... Our Promiscuous Neighbor.

As a little background, we live in a 1000 square foot apartment on the 3rd floor. Yes, there are paper thin walls, and we are *fortunate* enough to live next to a very promiscuous young woman. She has an average of 3 new guys a week come over to the apartment, spend a little bit of time (causing us to answer tons of questions with the kids- her bedroom wall is my kids' bedroom wall, and yes, her bed is up against that wall- we've told them she hangs pictures at 11 at night) and leave. Usually, we never see them again.

This past weekend she had yet another gentleman caller, who alarmed The Ginger greatly ("Mom, something's wrong with that lady next door. She's banging on the wall and making funny noises."). That led to a conversation between Hubby and I that's, well, what you might call... unconventional. Both of us were pissed, but not only for the obvious reason of our kids hearing her sex life... there was underlying anger with us both. The following conversation took place:

Monday, August 6, 2012 Interview

Today, my interview with posted. The intro alone made me cry some serious tears. That made my whole week!

Brooke Griffin wrote, "Motherhood is chaotic. If you get swept up in the madness, you may just miss out on the humor of it all. That’s where Tatted Mom comes in. Her convictions are strong, but her humility is even stronger....The Inklings of Life has great advice and it’s all delivered in a sarcastic, yet thought-provoking manner. "

Major waterfall of tears, I don't think anyone has ever said such amazing words about Inklings or me. Thank you so much, Brooke!!

So, go check out the interview for yourself!

And don't forget to click that banner below, too. We keep slipping down the ranks, and I'm not good slipping. Things get hurt, then they get video taped and put on youtube... Just help stop the slipping, please!!

If you enjoy Inklings, please take a second to just click the banner below. Each click = 1 vote, and you can vote once per 24 hours. I do happy dances when people vote!

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My Little Free Stuff Monster

I have a new addiction. It was born out of necessity, but has turned into a monster.

I'm addicted to free stuff.

It started with the couponing. We went about a month where money was so tight we couldn't afford to pay attention most days. I couponed because I had to, but I started finding that when you combine an item on sale with a coupon, sometimes the item turned out to be free.

Free? Really? I saw this stuff on TLC's 'Extreme Couponing', but here it was, in real life, right in front of me.

I'll tell y'all now, I was scared the first time I tried to get free stuff at the grocery store. I was doing a normal grocery store run, but the store I shopped at had some individual cups of Greek yogurt on sale for $1 each, and I had a coupon for $.30 off, which my store's coupon policy upgrades to $1. I had 2 coupons, so I put 2 cups of yogurt into my cart, pulled the coupons, and finished my shopping. When it came time to pay, I just knew they were going to call me out on it. I was trying to take 2 cups of yogurt out of the store, without paying a cent for them. They'd catch me, I just knew it. I watched as they scanned the yogurt, then scanned my coupon. $1 charged, $1 taken off.

I had gotten away with it. Free yogurt. Holy crap, let me tell you, it was exhilarating. I decided at that moment that 'free' was awesome, and I would get whatever I could (that would be helpful for my family and I) for free.

Yes, that day, a Free Stuff Monster was born.

At the moment, we have a drawer full of toothpaste, a fridge with a half a shelf full of yogurt, and a medicine cabinet full of body wash and shampoo, because of 'free'. Well, the body wash cost me $.29 each, so I guess that's not technically 'free'.

My first free sample
What started with the couponing began to transform into getting stuff

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I'm Losing My Touch

Today was the first day of school for the kiddos.

Yes, for some God awful reason, Arizona schools start at the beginning of August. I haven't quite figured out why they do this to the kids or the parents, especially considering it's still 152 degrees outside, but it's how it is here.

Hubby got the kids up shortly after he started getting ready for work, and the morning was filled with bickering, wandering around aimlessly, and 'But why do we have to start school today?'

That was all from me, by the way. The kids were pretty good this morning.

Like always, I just threw on some flip flops and headed out the door. I've been taking the kids to school in my pajamas for years now : It's one of My Rights as a Mom to embarrass my kids whenever I feel like it. So, if you'd like a visual, picture a bright blue t-shirt with 'Goonies Forever' on it, green and black plaid pajama pants, no bra, hair pulled back in a messy ponytail, and black flip flops- that was me this morning, and I was fine with it.
What I looked like this morning, minus the

We drove the 20 minutes to the kids' school, got on base, headed toward the school, and that's when I saw that chaos reigned supreme this morning. Everyone was outside- teachers, parents, kids... it was crazy. I pulled into a parking space, the kids gave me hugs and kisses, and they started toward the front of the school. After wandering for a few minutes, not knowing what to do, The Girl came running back to my car, tears in her eyes, and told me, 'Mom, I don't know what to do. Can you please get out and help us figure it out?' I looked down at my pajama pants, my t-shirt with no bra, and immediately felt guilty. I couldn't get out of the car, with all of those other parents and teachers around, in my pajamas, and embarrass my kids like that. This was their first day, and every other mom out there was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt (with bras on). I immediately felt like shit for wearing my pajamas out of the house.

'Baby, I can't. I don't want to embarrass you all with what I'm wearing. Just calm down, head over to that teacher and ask her where you all should go, okay?' I wiped The Girl's eyes with my hand, she took a deep breath and headed toward the teacher. I burst into tears myself. At that moment, I felt like a failure as a mother, and to be completely honest, I was conflicted on how I failed as a mother.

I knew I failed for not getting out of the car and helping my kids. That's a failure I can't dispute either way. But, did I also fail as a mom because I didn't put on jeans and a bra today, or did I fail as a mom because I couldn't embarrass my kids by getting out and helping them in my pajamas?

Either way you look at it, I'm losing my touch.

I sat in my car and wiped away tears of guilt from not getting out and helping my kids. The Girl came back over to the car after talking with the teacher, told me everything was okay now, and they ventured off in the right direction to The Ginger's class. I started the car up, and left the chaos that was the school, my mind racing at 179 mph.

Why couldn't I get out of the car, in my pajamas, and help my kids? Why didn't I get dressed into