Thursday, May 31, 2007

Specials in June

Check out our customer special for June. These downtown tote bags are only $5.00 each in June. when you place a $15.oo order. They can be monogrammed in the font and color of your choice. These bags are perfect to take to the pool or Sunday School filled sand toys, books and magazines, markers and coloring books, DVDs, CDs and more.

And what about our hostess special? Well, if you host a book (catalog party) from anywhere in the country, or you open your home for a party if you're in the Charlotte, NC area you can order our everyday purse (shown below) with either the green ribbon or a pink ribbon for only $10 (it's normally $32).
And let's remember Dad on his special day...pictured below left is our canvas messenger bag. It has 2 interior pockets a snap closure and and 3 pencil/pen holders. Pictured below right is our convertible tech backpack. The padded shoulder strap detached and the backpack straps stow out of sight. Multiple pockets, key holder, and bottle pouch.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I've seen elf (eyes, lips, face) products in various magazines, but I decided to finally take a look at the website. All of their products are $1.00. They have lots of color choices and a wide variety of make-up. Have any of you tried their cosmetics? I'm curious if they're good quality. Here's the website:

On Your Mark, Get Set, Shop....

Ok, this morning at 7:30 I was at a consignment sale. Not any old consignment sale. This was our new school's annual school uniform consignment sale in the school gym. My 5 year old will be starting kindergarten this fall and our school requires uniforms. This place was like going to Macy's on Black Friday. Apparently all the boys like wearing cargo shorts or cargo pants, so I was on a mission. I don't want to pay the Land's End Uniform full price ($24.50) if I don't have to - I know, I'm a cheapskate. I think it's really more the thrill of the hunt. I was like a lioness on the prowl. I had my gear...checkbook, pen, kids in tow, and night vision goggles (just in case). I sharpened my elbows and I went in. After a pretty dismal start, I ended up kicking butt! I got 2 pairs of brand new shorts - still in the bag - for $14 a pair and another pair that was used, but in mint condition for $8. I also got polo shirts with our school logo for $2 a piece and sweatshirts for $3 a piece. Cha Ching! Although I did give in to one special request. My son fell in love with a ratty old zip-up sweatshirt with some stains on it. He thought it was the coolest thing. For 2 bucks, I gave in. Hopefully by fall it can magically disappear and he'll be none the wiser.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Attention My Fashionista Friends

I have been desperately searching out June's In Style Magazine. I like to get it when it's hot off the presses. I finally got my hands on a copy tonight. Soooo excited to share with you some highlighted products. I'll do an In-Style Spotlight once a week (or more) for those of you who want to "Look Amazing All Summer" like it says on the cover. Ok, this one I'm going to call, "What the Shell?!" Throughout the entire magazine, shells, mother-of-pearl and overall sea life abounded. Big, hot trend! But Jen, Thirty-One doesn't have anything like that, do they? I'm so glad you asked. Of course we do! Check it out... (by the way, there were also some bags with fish on them, one of which was $130. If you like bags and you like fish, check out my link to the right that says "New Monogram Designs." You'll get cute bags, fish and will spend no where near $130).

The Day Mommy Exploded

As much as I hate to admit it, I'm not the perfect Mom. Oh, I know...stop gasping. It's shocking to all, but the first step is admitting the problem. After a day of bickering and whining yesterday my paience was wearing very thin. This morning, we woke up and there were dirty dishes in the sink, Jack didn't like any of the cereal choices and Campbell, well, was just being Campbell. First thing out of the gate Jack gave me a hard time about picking up his toys. Then when they finally sat down for breakfast, the bickering started again. Apparently Cam "borrowed" Jack's spoon and licked it. All hell broke loose. From Jack's reaction you would have thought he broke his leg. Yelling, crying, stomping...yup, you name it, he did it. I felt something. Hmmm...what was that? A tingling sensation starting in the depths of my abdomen and quickly working it's way up my esophagus, into my mouth and then.....IT happened. A primal, barbaric scream escaped my lips so fast I didn't even know what happened. Stunned silence. For a rare moment, the boys were frozen in time. The spoon they were fighting over stopped in mid-air and then as the world came into focus, the spoon dropped to the floor. All 3 of us looked at it as if it were an alien being. Then both boys started crying. Nice, huh? Where's that pina colada mix?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Watch Out Vera, There's a New Bag in Town

I love the Vera Bradley bag (to the left). I think it is so cute and summery. Well, I was so excited when we started offering the bag pictured to the right because to me it's so reminiscent of Vera Bradley, but it's half the price at $32.00 and it can be monogrammed. And I'm a sucker for anything pink and green. Speaking of which, isn't the bag pictured below a knockout?! I think it would also be fabulous with a 3 letter monogram. It's $24.00.

Muffin Top Monday

Hello Muffin-toppers! How are we doing with our challenge? Here's my progress...I actually exercised for the first time in months on Saturday.

I did the FIRM's "Jiggle Free Arms." My arms are still sore! Funny how I could do that workout 6 months ago with no problems. Unfortunately the eating part has not gone quite so well. Brownies and chocolate chip cookies were my downfall yesterday. DRAT! We're making a fresh start today. I did, however, wear my bathing suit for the first time yesterday. It was a horror show. Small children were running and crying, women starting spontaneously gagging and men were screaming, "Oh my eyes...I'm blind, I'm blind!" And I did see a woman at the pool who had 2 kids, was in her thirties and had washboard abs. Oh the humanity!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Adventures of Captain Underpants

We started potty training yesterday. Enough said? We tried it before, but almost every inch of our house was christened in some way, shape, form, and texture (no need to go into detail). So, I decided to take a little break until summer. Break's officially over. Campbell did remarkably well for his first big day. The day started wearing big boy underwear, shorts and a t-shirt. We had a "party" in the bathroom when he would pee (I blew bubbles all over him - he loved it!) and we played sink the boat (cheerios in the toilet). But then the day went downhill a little bit (do you hear the Jaws music playing?). At one point he wanted to go into the bathroom himself and I, being sooo brilliant and attentive, let him. He ran out and proudly stated with a HUGE smile, "Mama, I pooped in my underwear but I picked it out. But then it fell on the floor, so I picked it up and put it in the toilet and flushed it!" Needless to say, there was quite a bit of disinfectant involved in our afternoon yesterday. Later in the afternoon I was talking to my neighbor and he came out of the house in just his underwear. It was a proud moment. And to cap off the day, we were all eating dinner outside last night. Campbell was done eating and had an accident while he was playing on our swing set. Rather than coming over to us, he just whipped off his underwear

and continued playing. Charming. I'm glad to see we're raising a nudist.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Too Close for Comfort

Every night my wonderful husband and I go to bed together alone but without fail, at least 3 times a week, this is what our bed looks like by 6:00 AM. Now last night was even more interesting because my 5 year old son was snoring so loud he woke up my husband, me and even our family dog. His mouth was wide open, drool coming out, and the loudest, most swine-like sound was coming out of his little cherubic body. My husband transferred him back to his bed, but the transfer didn't last long. Oh no...he came back for round 2. But this time, he brought his little brother. Have you ever been in a movie theatre when the movie is playing a really loud, intense fight scene between, say, 2 snarling, gnarling aliens? That was the scene that played out in our bed last night between number one and number two sons. They were vying for the title of "Who can snore the loudest." Do you think they make snore guards for preschoolers? And on top of it all, literally, my 5 year old kept rolling on top of me to get comfortable and my 3 year old kept rolling over him to get closer to me (and to try to completely edge me off the bed - at this point I had about 4 inches of mattress to squeeze on). All of this while they were fast asleep. Now that's talent, baby!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Yes I should be cleaning my house instead of blogging again

I just can't get something off my mind, so I'm posting one more time. I was talking to a friend yesterday. She's 7 months pregnant and there are some issues with the baby's ventricles in his little brain. Without going into too much detail because I truly don't understand all of the medical terminology, this could pose a very real threat of moderate to severe mental retardation. They could induce her early, but then there's a concern about his lung development. If they induce early, he may need a shunt put in his brain...and a preemie plus surgery is not a good combination.
Anyway, as we were talking, the amount of faith she has is incredible to me. She said she has so much peace about this. She said she knows that the baby is God's baby first and that He's taking care of the baby. That the baby will be in His image...whatever that turns out to be. When I commented on her peace/strength she said it wasn't her own, but she was getting it completely from God.
I remember meeting this friend for the first time. It was before I was a Christian. I remember her talking about God and saying things like "Oh God is working in our life" or "it's only through God's grace that we're able to ...". I remember smiling but thinking, "oh no, she's one of those people."
Now I see her and just see the unbelievable strength of God and how through our trials he's there for us. So for those of you who pray, will you please keep her family in your prayers?
And can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.


Today is the first day of no school...yippee!!! (Talk to me in a month and I may not be so excited!) The kids got to sleep in, I got to sleep in, there was no rushing around. Lovely. And we have declared today as official jammie day. We are staying in our jammies until our playdate today at 1:30. I LOVE it!

Sassy Spotlight

Don't ya just love it?! By the way, it's fully lined with hot pink and white gingham fabric. And it's got a friend...a larger tote version. Just fab!

Foodie Friday

Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas
from Cooking Light

The tostadas can easily become soft tacos if you skip broiling the tortillas. Serve with black beans.

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons canola oil
12 ounces chicken breast tenders
1 cup chopped red onion (about 1)
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears) 1 cup chopped zucchini (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup green salsa
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
Cooking spray
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat broiler. Combine first 3 ingredients, stirring well. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over chicken. Add chicken to pan; sauté for 3 minutes. Add onion, corn, and zucchini to pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in salsa and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently. Working with 2 tortillas at a time, arrange tortillas in a single layer on a baking sheet; lightly coat tortillas with cooking spray. Broil 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Spoon about 3/4 cup chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla; sprinkle each serving with 1/4 cup cheese. Broil an additional 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas, chicken mixture, and cheese. Sprinkle each serving with about 3/4 teaspoon of remaining cilantro. Serve immediately.

4 servings

Nutritional Information:
CALORIES 398(30% from fat); FAT 13.1g (sat 5.9g,mono 4.1g,poly 1.2g); PROTEIN 32.5g; CHOLESTEROL 75mg; CALCIUM 236mg; SODIUM 799mg; FIBER 3.1g; IRON 1.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 36.7g

Thursday, May 24, 2007

On a Serious Note

I just got an email from a friend warning of the danger of raisins and grapes to dogs. Apparently as few as 7 grapes or raisins can be toxic - there was a case recently of a 56 pound dog's system shutting down after ingesting raisins. Our dog, Bartley (aka "Super Dog." My kids dress him in a red cape and they all go on adventures together...but I digress!), LOVES grapes so I'm glad I found this out. (Well, he LOVES anything that can fit down his throat, really)

Muffin Top

Okay, Okay...I know I posted the most beautiful words from the most beautiful Audrey Hepburn yesterday and I should be taking them to heart. And I am...for the most part. I need a little help in the staying slim category. Ever since I had number 2 son, I have the infamous muffin top (you know, that little roll that appears above the waist of your pants when you zip them up). I have been completely sucked into "What not to Wear" so I can figure out how to hide this disturbing gelatinous flaw (Stacey and Clinton, if you're reading this...I LOVE you, but I can't picture myself wearing a blazer everyday to hide my "pooch" - especially when I'm just going to be hanging around the house and ya know, cleaning toilets). So instead of hiding it, I just want it eliminated altogether.

So here's my challenge...does anyone want to play "Lose that muffin top" with me? Let's make June "Get Healthy Month". I plan on taking Audrey's advice..I'm going to share food with the hungry by donating money to and to and then I'm going focus on exercising more and eating less. I'll even post some healthy recipes. We can keep track of our successes together.

Anyone with me?????

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What is Beauty?

I read this today and was really inspired by it. I thought I would share it with you. I've been very caught up in wanting to fit in my bathing suit lately, and I think this puts things in perspective. Hope you enjoy...and get a healthy boost of self esteem!

The following was written by Audrey Hepburn who was asked to share beauty tips before she passed away:

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a

For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives and the passion that she shows.

The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Graduate

Well, I would like to say that I was all choked up at my son's first graduation ceremony....the teachers speaking about each child's individual strengths and character traits, the poems that were read, the fact that the children performed. Most moms would be teary-eyed at the least or full-out weeping at the most. So am I cold hearted, you ask? No, no. I missed about 3/4 of the ceremony because unfortunately 9:30 was the time my 3 year old decided it was time to have a full blown, throw yourself on the floor, screaming tantrum. It was a moment I will treasure always. Thankfully my husband was there filming the entire thing so we do have film for posterity. I have yet to watch it because at one point I know I'll hear myself on tape whispering something sarcastic and then whisking my younger son out of the room. Not my proudest mommy moment. Can anyone relate?

Monday, May 21, 2007

March 2, 3, 4

My son is "graduating" this week from TK, aka transitional kindergarten. Today they held a TK parade at his school. The kids in front were holding a banner that said, "On Our Way to Kindergarten." They were all wearing matching t-shirts, shorts and waving matching flags all while the school played parade music. It was the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. Even my 3 year old, who at times is very easily distracted (go figure), was completely enthralled. Tomorrow is the official graduation day. Do 5 year olds wear caps and gowns? I'll keep you posted!

How Cute is This??!!

It's hand painted to your specifications. Do you want 3 kids on the bag? No problem. Do you want a little boy with glasses, blonde hair and a baseball cap? Sure thing! You can have it painted on our thermal tote (that's right...thermal - keeps things hot and cold and comes in 9 colors), on a canvas, or on ANY of our products! Just call me or send me an email for more info.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I like to fancy myself a black thumb. When anything green sees me coming, it starts to wilt. It’s always been that way and I thought it would always be that way. Somehow, kids have a way of changing your perspective. My son Jack has desperately wanted to plant a garden ever since he saw his friend Evan growing a garden last summer. Now Evan’s Mom, my friend of many years, happens to take a liking to growing these green things from seeds. I look at the seeds and all I want to do is either throw them on a salad and eat them (don’t all seeds taste like sunflower seeds?!) or put them back where they belong…in the garden section at Home Depot. But alas, I finally conceded. I do have to mention, however, last summer I did buy one basil plant. I put it in a pot, set it outside, and by the next morning our little friends the rabbits had completely devoured it. All that was left was a shredded stump. So, today was garden day. The tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, basil and mint are all planted. Thanks to my friend Misty, we have a little fence around our garden…let’s hope no backyard critters can infiltrate our elaborate garden security system. Wish us luck!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Envelope Please....

And the award for the best sandwich in the whole world goes to.....
the fluffer nutter! For those of you who haven't experienced this bliss, all it takes is bread, peanut butter and marshmellow creme. I have friends with kids who have peanut allergies, so you could try this with sun butter. I'm not sure if it would have the same effect, but hey...what wouldn't be good with marshmellow creme on top??

As a Mother's Day gift I got a basket filled with Sandra Lee cookbooks and all sorts of goodies including marshmellow creme. My 5 year old, Jack, and I made fluffer nutter sandwiches last night as a special treat. You have to understand, we've become a household of whole grain, low sugar and high fiber. So when we sat back and had our first bites of our sandwiches together, it was pure joy. When Jack was done with his sandwich, he had a huge toothless grin on his face (the tooth fairy visited us for the first time 2 weeks ago) and he had the fluff part literally from ear to ear. Making sure my kids get healthy foods each week - about $115 at the grocery store. Seeing that fluffery, toothless, joy-filled smile....priceless!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Get Ready For Summer and Save Some Money!

I think we have the greatest beach bag. Why? Because the number of times I have spilled either a diet coke, suntan lotion or a sippy cup in a beach bag is ridiculous. I have had stains on my bags too many times to count. This bag is fully lined with a water-resistant lining. Hey suntan lotion...spill in my bag. I dare ya! Oh what's this, I can wipe you out with a paper towel and there are no stains? Ha Ha! You've been foiled!

Now check this out...when you buy our beach bag this month, you can purchase our water-resistant zipper pouch for only $5.00!!! They're normally $13.50. This bag (which comes in 5 colors) is so great for wet bathing suits, toiletries, crayons/markers, or anything else that could have the potential for getting other things wet or dirty.

Are We In Style or What?!

I was checking out this month's In Style magazine and I was soooo excited when I got to page 154. It looks like brown and white damask fabric is very hip right now. Why was I excited? Well, look what we have in our catalog (not only do we have it in our catalog, but I just happened to order it last week for myself!)

Now, I don't know if you've heard me talk about these bags, but I LOVE them! They are fully lined on the inside with a water resistant lining and they come with a cosmetic bag (which has the same lining). Just wipe it clean and go! This picture is the tote. We also have a fabulous purse.