Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hampton Chain of Friends Sweepstakes

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Hampton Hotels. All opinions are 100% mine.


One thing that I've always looked forward to while on vacation is staying in nice hotel rooms. The quality of a hotel room can seriously make or break a vacation for me. It only takes one nasty negative experience at an unkept hotel to keep you from ever returning again. (Gah-ross!)

But when a hotel chain, such as Hampton Hotels, is known for its quality and cleanliness, it makes you want to return and bring a flock of people with you. And this summer, Hampton is giving you the opportunity to do just that with their Hampton Chain of Friends Sweepstakes! Here are the details:

The Grand Prize winner will receive an ENTIRE hotel for a full weekend... That's 100 rooms for 2 nights for FREE! Hampton will also throw in $5000 to help pay the tax for the weekend. Sounds like a blast to me!

Now when I imagine myself as the winner of the contest, I actually envision two full nights of uninterrupted sleep. No party-hardy adventures for me. I'd let the 99 friends I invite do all the celebrating for me. Or who knows? Maybe I'd invite 99 of the most sleep-deprived mothers I know to come with me for a weekend sleep retreat. Oh my. That does sounds fabulous, doesn't it?! (Could someone please tell me when I became such a senior adult? Geez.)

Even if you're not a Hilton Honors member or you haven't previously stayed at a Hampton, you are still eligible to enter the Hampton Chain of Friends Sweepstakes. Go ahead and visit the sponsor's site to enter the contest. Just promise me one thing... if you win, PLEASE invite me!

Visit my sponsor: Chain-of-Friends Grand Prize


Click Here

Monday, August 30, 2010

Well, bust my BUTTON!

Have you noticed the new addition to my sidebar?
It's my very own blog button!

Even though it's quite simple, I'm pretty darn proud of it. That's because the whole thing was created by yours truly.  From manipulating the image in Photoshop, to my husband showing me how to save it for the web, to learning how to generate the code, I completed all the steps for that lil' image all by myself.
*Insert big, proud, cheesy grin.*

So, if you choose to grab my sweet, new button for your blog, 
do me a  giant favor, pretty please... 

Let me know if it works correctly or not. HA!  
(I'm still not 100% sure if I got every single step exactly right.)

Thanks, my friends!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Gift That Keeps On Giving!

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Boudreaux's Butt Paste. All opinions are 100% mine.

Many years ago, I received an unsuspecting gag gift at a Christmas party... it was a tube of "butt paste." Everyone at the party got the biggest laugh over what I had unwrapped. I had never heard of such and thought it was definitely a funny joke. Little did I know then that years later this gag gift would become a staple in my medicine cabinet!

Unfortunately, my poor son has recurrent issues with diaper rash and irritation. His little digestive system is very sensitive to so many foods that are yummy going in, but very painful on the way out. Everything from fresh fruit, juices, heavy dyes, etc, will burn his bottom area within only a few minutes of contact. And to make things worse, once that tender area receives an acute rash, it's much more prone to become and stay irritated and sore.

I've tried lots of remedies to both treat and prevent his rashes, even home made concoctions... But the solution I've come to rely most heavily on is Boudreaux's Butt Paste. Here are just a few reasons why:

1. The stuff really does work! After applying the paste, which goes on and cleans off easily, I can see almost instant improvement in the level of pain my son is experiencing. Not only that, it's able to clear up most minor rashes overnight. I love it! I've also found myself using it on a regular basis now during diaper changes, even without any visible irritation there, because of how well it protects the skin from future rashes.

2. I can afford it! There are other creams and pastes we have tried that, yes, definitely work, but were much more expensive than Boudreaux's Butt Paste. This product comes in many sizes to fit both your need AND your budget, including convenient sizes of 1, 2, 3, or 4 ounce flip-top-cap tubes or a hefty 16 ounce jar.

3. A little goes a long way! The pleasant-smelling paste is very thick, so it doesn't take very much at all for a single use. We've been working on a 2 ounce tube for about 6 months now, and we still have at least a third of the tube to go.

So, with the holiday season creeping upon us, go ahead and pick up a few tubes of Boudreaux's Butt Paste to give for laughs. Who knows how many mothers, like myself, will thank you years down the road?!

If you'd like to request a FREE sample of Boudreaux's Butt Paste, please visit their website by clicking on the button below:

Visit my sponsor: Boudreaux's Butt Paste


Friday, August 27, 2010

"Frame-It Friday"

My handsome hubby in action at a video shoot today:

Thanks to @LightandStory for the photo!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Deal of the Day

As I'm preparing to kick things off with a trial year of homeschooling, I've been on the hunt for some killer bargains on supplies. Because the pre-k curriculum I've chosen for my daughter's age is rather short and simple for each day, there's really not a ton of stuff that I truly need. Oh yes, there are PLENTY of items that I would love to purchase and use, but I know at this point we can be still be successful by keeping things relatively simple for now.

One idea I have been pondering is to create an area where I can plan and organize the supplies needed at the beginning of every week. I kind of had in mind a shelving system of sorts, with 5 boxes or baskets to collect the supplies needed for each school day of the week. Both fortunately and unfortunately, my handyman hubby is incredibly busy right now with business responsibilities, so that has left me to purchase and install whatever system I decide to use. (Power tools and I = no good.) And then there's always that super-annoying-but-necessary question of whether it's truly wise to spend much money on it or not. Decisions, decisions...

Then just yesterday, while roaming through the aisles of Lowe's, I stumbled upon (not literally, thank goodness) an end-cap of clearance items. The kids were getting antsy so I glanced as quickly as I could to see if there was anything that couldn't be passed up... and wouldn't you know?! There was. Check out what I found:

It was a match made in thrifty-shopper's heaven!

All the organizational space I had envisioned for our needs that simply hangs in a closet. I love it! Each "shelf" is labeled with one of the five week day names, plus a random space at the bottom for shoes... which we will designate for something else. Then there are mesh pockets that run along both sides for even more storage. I'm thinking those spaces will be great for smaller items that may accidentally roll or fall out, like markers, pencils, etc.

To top all of this off, I have to share with you how much I paid for this nifty little clearance item:


Seriously. It was marked down from $16.99 to $2.00.  Crazy, right?!? I. Am. Thrilled.

So, to all the other homeschooling readers out there, I'd love to hear what items/supplies you've discovered that have helped in your efforts of getting and staying organized throughout your academic year. Help this mama out, puh-leez!


Saturday, August 21, 2010

One girl's trash is another girl's treasure.

I did something this week that normally grosses me out... Well, I personally didn't do it, but I sent my husband out to do my dirty work. Can't tell you how many times I've fussed at him over the last five years for picking up "useful things" off the side of the road or from people's trash piles. He's always on the lookout for a free treasure.

Like I said, I'm generally turned off by that particular quality. But two nights ago, I broke my "rule." Driving home from the gym, as people were rolling out their trash bins and such for morning pick up, I spotted this gem:

I've wanted a playhouse for my daughter ever since she was born; however, we've never been able to justify spending a few hundred bucks on a big piece of plastic. As soon as I saw it, I knew it had to come home with me! Knowing that I couldn't load it into our van all by myself, I raced home to send Alec after it.

Of course, it was a moment of shock for him to hear what I was asking. After all the nagging and complaining about his "dumpster diving" adventures, I was now the one sending him after someone else's trash. It still makes me laugh just remembering the scenario.

Once hubby was down the road and spotted the little house, he gave it a quick inspection. It was definitely dirty and all the stickers had been torn off, but there was not a hole, crack, or other defect in the structure itself. To be on the safe side, Alec kindly knocked on the owner's door to officially ask permission to take it off their hands. After a friendly chat, the house was taken apart, loaded, and brought to its new spot in our backyard.

The next morning, our little princess squealed with joy when she saw what had appeared in our backyard over night. Needless to say, she didn't care whether it came from "Toys R Us" or from a neighbor's curb... she was delighted!

And as I'm sure you can imagine, despite a purple roof and pink doors, little brother has enjoyed himself, as well.

What do you guys think?  Have you ever found "treasures" too good to pass up?


Friday, August 20, 2010

"Frame-It Friday"

Had another chance to capture a super-sweet sibling moment this morning...  The way these two are becoming such buddies makes this mama's heart so happy! : )


Thursday, August 19, 2010

just for the JOY of it...

This morning I stumbled upon my two monkeys in a sweet cuddle on the sofa.  Seeing their affection and love toward one another brings me uber-intense, melt-into-a-giant-puddle-on-the-floor

(crappy photo quality courtesy of BlackBerry camera)

Good, True & Beautiful

Friday, August 13, 2010

"Frame-It Friday"

Cuteness at the county fair...

Happy Friday to all!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Joy and Tea Time

To be honest, this week has been a bit unpleasant.  My 1-year-old has been sick and has wanted nothing more than to be on my hip every second that he's awake.  As I'm sure many of you know, this makes for a very cranky and tired momma!

But thanks to a new favorite store of mine, Teavana, I've been able to find a temporary escape each afternoon from the motherhood madness.  Last Friday, my sweet husband treated me to a trip to one of the local Teavana shops as one of my anniversary gifts.  Mmmmmmm, it was so wonderful to smell the aroma and taste samples of a few of their MANY teas!

The particular tea I chose to bring home this time is named White Ayurvedic Chai Tea. It's currently one of their most popular teas, and for very good reason. It smells heavenly and is very soothing to the taste. And just happens to look very pretty, too! : )

We also picked up a pound of their unprocessed German rock sugar. Even though it's not as pretty to look at (because let's face it, it literally looks like rocks), it's much healthier than white sugar and has a more natural, mild sweet taste to it.

Once nap time arrives each afternoon, I've taken time out for myself to relax and enjoy a special spot o' tea... just for the JOY of it!

Good, True & Beautiful

And what about you? What brought you JOY this week?


Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Milestone

Would you be willing to humor me for a minute by glancing over there to the left?

<--------- Do you see what I see?

A fairly large number has just recently appeared in my archive...  and that number is ONE HUNDRED!

As of this afternoon, I have reached 100 posts!  Hot diggity dog!

When I began this blog on January 1st of this year, I honestly didn't think I'd continue rambling like I have.  But I have to say, it has certainly become something that I truly enjoy doing on a regular basis.  My early intentions were to write mostly about our journey of beginning our own business.  But as the months have passed, I've noticed myself writing less of that and a lot more on other topics. I feel like this site has become a new outlet for me to share thoughts, ideas, tips, struggles, growth, etc.  And the unbelievable part of all of that is... people actually READ it!!!   C R A Z Y.

So, in closing, I've decided to re-share a few of the posts that are nearest to my heart:
As always, many thanks to all of you who have been "Keeping Up Klapper" and have encouraged me to keep writing...


Friday, August 6, 2010

"Frame-It Friday"

In honor of August being National Goat Cheese month...


In honor of today being my 5th wedding anniversary...

I'm having THIS at Carrabba's tonight:

Chicken Bryan
photo courtesy of www.carrabbas.com

I wonder how many classes of Zumba it will take to burn this deliciousness off?!

And just for fun, here are a few snapshots from August 6, 2005:


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Joy and Tiger Slayers

My little girl has reached the very normal stage of worrying about monsters...

Just last night, she ran to her daddy and let him know that there was a tiger sitting beside her bed. Instead of accusing her of being silly or dishonest, her daddy, the household tiger slayer, quickly enters her room, has a short talk with the supposed tiger, and runs him off for good.

I love knowing that my daughter trusts her father to protect her. I love seeing my husband carefully and tenderly nurture my daughter's imagination...

They both bring me INCREDIBLE joy.

Good, True & Beautiful

And what about you? What brought you JOY this week?


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Day in the Life

If your last name is Klapper, then this is what a morning may or may not look like before enjoying a sizzling hot day at the swimming pool:

8:00 am-  Kids are up and breakfast is started.

8:15 am-  Out of nowhere, Handyman Hubby decides to figure out why the "nightlight" of our over-the-range microwave hasn't worked in two years.

8:16 am-  Large microwave is in pieces all over our kitchen.

8:17 am-  Mom and children leave Hubby to his project.

9:30 am-  One hour before the pool opens, Mom realizes baby boy is out of swim diapers.

9:31 am-  Mom grabs her coupons and heads to the store for swim diapers.

9:45 am-  Mom heads into grocery store, then unknowingly steps into a spill that someone left behind.

9:45:01 am-  Mom wipes out on the concrete floor of said grocery store.

9:46 am-  While thoroughly embarrassed and in pain, Mom hobbles over to the baby aisle, grabs swim diapers, then drives home.

10:00 am-  Mom arrives home to Hubby who greets her with this news-
"You get to go buy yourself a new microwave!" 

to which Mom replies...

"Ummm, I don't need or want a new microwave............" 

Hubby continues, "Well, you do now!!!  I fried the circuit board!"
F A B U L O U S.

10:30 am- Family gets ready, hops in the van, and heads to the pool for a fun time Lowe's for new microwave.

And it's only Tuesday...  Deeeeeep breath.


Monday, August 2, 2010

A Happy List

As much as I've truly wanted to be cranking out a bunch of blog posts here lately, I have to admit that my words and thoughts have been doing some major kung fu fighting, to the point where I just don't feel like I can put a decent post together.  (Wow, sort of like that first sentence that seemed to run on forever.)  So, with all the jumbledness in my mushy brain, I've decided to just spout out a list of things that I'm happy about on this Monday evening:

• August is here, which means my favorite season is getting closer and closer! And by season, I'm sure you know the one of the FIVE seasons I'm speaking of, right?!  Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, and FOOTBALL!!!  (Happy dance...)

• And since it is now August, hubby and I are celebrating our anniversary week.  This Friday, August 6th, will mark our 5 year anniversary and we look forward to celebrating.  Nope, we're not doing a fancy trip or anything, but I know we're going to thoroughly enjoy ourselves whatever we do.

• I finally settled on a pre-k homeschool curriculum for my daughter and it's now officially ordered.  She is SO SO SO excited about it that I just can't help but be, too.  Her enthusiasm is very contagious.  Here's hoping it sticks around for a bit!

• I'm 11 days into a brand new journey of hormone pellet therapy.  Okay, yeah, that one came completely out of left field for many of you since I haven't written a word about it up to this point.  I'm mostly holding out for the major benefits to kick in, both physically and psychologically, before I go crazy bragging about it.  As a teaser, I will say that I'm SO glad I chose to start down this path...  Definitely more to come on that!

As always, thanks for reading my randomness...