Google Dollops of Diane: July 2013

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Happy Birthday, Daniel

Today is my youngest's third birthday. Yup, Daniel is THREE! How is that even possible? For a long time he was known as "Baby D" but those days are long gone. He has suddenly (and what seems like overnight) become a total big kid. He uses the potty, he napped today without his binkies, and he's heading to preschool in the fall. My big kid had a great morning at music class and a pirate-rific party this afternoon with his friends. We're now about to whip up his requested birthday dinner - tacos!

Happy, happy, birthday to my wild and crazy kid who keeps me on my toes and drives me crazy has taught me patience!


Just can't get enough of Daniel? You can check out the story of his arrival to the world HERE and check out his first year in pictures HERE. Where does the time go??

Monday, July 29, 2013

Savers Grand Opening - Norwood

I recently had the opportunity to attend a sneak peek event a few days before the new Savers opened in Norwood, MA. Although I had heard great things from people (I'm looking at you, Viola Cay), I had never been to a Savers before so I was excited to check it out.

My girl, Annie of Stowed Stuff, came by and picked me up and we headed out for a night of bargain shopping. I was surprised by just how much stuff they had in the store. I was expecting clothes but there was also toys, housewares, shoes, handbags, books, DVDs, and pretty much anything else you could imagine. I snagged some toys for the kids (including some still in original packaging), a dress for Isabelle, two handbags for myself, and a priceless hot pink, plastic New Kids on the Block mug for a friend. My grand total for all items was only $30.

Everyone poses while checking out, right?
I would have paid as much as I did alone for just a few of the action figures that I got for the boys. Speaking of action figures, they had tons of them. However, most of them are packaged up together in small plastic bags. So you do need to spend some time searching through them to find what you're looking for. The bags range from around $1.99-$3.99 so once you find something you want it's most likely worth it to just buy the whole bag even if you don't love the other figures in it. If you're kids are like mine, they'll end up loving all the figures anyway. I was kid-free so I had the time to leisurely peruse the bags but I definitely wouldn't have been able to do so with the kids with me. Again though, given the price of the toys you really can't beat it and I think having to fish around is pretty pare for the course with most discount/second hand retailers.

Some of my loot including the coveted NKOTB mug
Another great thing about the store is that they were constantly restocking the shelves while we were there. My first stop when I got there was the toy section and by the time I circled the store and stopped back by they had already put out a bunch of new toys. I was then able to score a Groovy Girls doll for Isabelle which she loves.

Another cool thing is Savers collects your donations right at the store site. Donations of clothes, housewares, small appliances, shoes, accessories, media, bed/bath items, and furniture are all accepted. Savers then pays local non profits (the Epilepsy Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters in my area) for each donation that you make. The best items are then sold on the floor and unsold items are either recycled or sent to developing countries. It's no wonder that they're slogan is "Good deeds. Great deals."

So if you're local to me, I suggest you head on down to the new location and see what deals you can find or drop off some of your unwanted items that are clogging up your house. If you're not local, you can find a location near you HERE.

**I was invited to attend the pre-opening sale and provided a Savers Gift Certificate. As always, all opinions are my own.**

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Too Much Fun at Bon Jovi

On Saturday after I finished my first 5K, I prepared for a night of fun with my friend Liz. I had won tickets to see Bon Jovi who happened to be playing in our town. We arrived several hours before the concert started equipped with vodka, chips, pizza, and cookies to tailgate. It was like a dream come true. We spent hours talking, drinking, laughing, and enjoying our kid-free time to the fullest. The concert was great and we really couldn't have asked for a better night.

Upon arriving home the awesomeness of the night hit a speed bump. I realized that I had lost my license and debit card. I had gone into the show empty handed with just my money and card in one pocket and phone in the other. After all when you can get away without bringing a bag, why would you? I was so annoyed because I couldn't figure out how I had lost them. I still had my money and my ticket stub but no cards. I hadn't even used my debit card while there so how did I lose it? After searching the house again to confirm they were gone, I called and cancelled my debit card around 1am.

The next morning I told my husband how I had lost the cards only for him to inform me that Henry found them in the bathroom that morning. Yup, that's right, my four year old easily found what I searched high and low for. In hindsight perhaps I should have put down the bag of chips I was devouring while looking for them.

While I was very excited that they were found I was annoyed that I had (responsibly) already cancelled my debit card. I had envisioned some drunk concert go-er trying to maliciously use the card. Meanwhile, it turned out a drunk concert go-er had just dropped them in her own bathroom.

Here we are about to head into the show (debit card tucked safely in pocket)



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Story Land Coupon

Are you planning a trip to Story Land in New Hampshire? We've been once before and are thinking of heading back but just haven't pulled the trigger with booking it yet.

If you're thinking of going, check out this coupon HERE to save $3 per full price ticket on up to 8 people. It could save you up to $24. Not bad at all! Check out the link for full details.

Me and the kids at Story Land in 2011. Look how little they were!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Running My First 5K

Saturday morning I set out to run my first 5K. For a lot of people a 5K is no biggie but it was a huge biggie for me. I only started working out in April after about a five year hiatus. I've actually never been big in to working out. I had never run ever in my life before the last few months. And although I was hoping I would be one of those people who picked it up easily and loved it, I've learned that I'm not that person. I struggle with running and honestly don't like it. But sometimes we have to do things that are hard and sometimes we have to do things we don't like - so I run.

Last week I felt like everything was telling me to back out of the race. A heat wave and an ankle injury made me way less prepared than I wanted to be heading into it but I knew I had to do it. When the horn blew at the start and I took off with the pack of runners I felt amazing. I couldn't believe what I was doing - I was RUNNING in a RACE. It felt so great. That great feeling lasted about 3/4 of a mile before it was taken over by the WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING??? thought that remained with me for the rest of the race. I feel like marathon runners hit "the wall" around mile 20 or so. I hit it before mile 1! It was so hot, so so hot. I ended up having to do a run/walk combo in order to get through it. I felt like it was never going to end. I literally remember thinking that it was the worst thing I had ever done in my life and that I'd rather go through natural childbirth again. Dramatic? Perhaps, but totally what I was thinking!

I ended up finishing the race at 41:01 with a 13:13 pace. It was slower than I wanted but since it was my first one and given the heat I'm happy with it. After I finished, sat for a few minutes, and downed several water bottles, that amazing feeling that I had at the beginning of the race returned. Umm...hello...I had just RUN a RACE! It's honestly something I never thought that I would do. I was on a high from it for the rest of the day. Oh, and my ankle held up great for the run. I iced it when I got home because it was starting to bother me but not as bad as I thought it might. So yeah, first 5K done and a total success (minus the heat and minus the whole wanting to shoot myself on the course part)!


Who just ran a 5K? This girl!

This was the temperature at 9:45am when I crossed the finish line- HOT!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Sound Not Working on iPhone 5?!

My camera was not working properly on my iPhone 5 so after two trips to the Genius Bar I ended up with a new iPhone. I set it all up last night but then today noticed that I wasn't receiving sound notifications. I first noticed it for texts and Facebook notifications so I tried calling myself from another phone and it didn't ring. I checked out the Notification Settings and everything was fine. I could even listen to the sound of the ringtones in Notifications but wasn't receiving any. Do Not Disturb was also not on. Upon further investigation, I also couldn't hear any sound in most apps but my iTunes music worked fine as did Pandora.

I was starting to think that I would need to go BACK to the Apple store for the third time in three days and was going to LOSE it. However, it turns out that my phone had been put on silent. Do you know where the silent button is because I sure didn't. It is a thin switch located above the volume button on the left hand side. If you see orange it means your phone has been put on silent. If it's on silent, there is no indication of it on the actual phone so (like me) you wouldn't know it was on. So there you go, problem solved. I'm sharing it with you in case this happens to you someday and you are about to lose your mind. If you already knew this information then clearly you are smarter than I am.

See that little orange line? That means silent!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Frustrating 5K Training

My first 5K is on Saturday. I currently cannot run two miles straight. It's actually debatable if I can even run a mile straight. The forecast for the next week up to the race (and including Saturday) is 90 degrees and humid which is when I feel like I can't run at all. Yesterday my ankle started bothering me which it has not done for months. So I'm back from boot camp today and rocking an ankle brace with an Ariel ice pack.

I'm trying not to feel too discouraged since I know that worst case I can just walk the 5K. I just hate it when a plan doesn't come together the way I want. Argh!

BUT don't let my negative nelly-ness stop you from joining me on Saturday. You can find out all the race details HERE!

Sometimes it's hard to look this cool

Monday, July 8, 2013

Top 5 Reasons I Love the Fitbit

I recently purchased Fitbit One which allows you to track your steps, distance, calories burned, stairs climbed, and even your sleep quality. Like so many before me, I have quickly become addicted. Here are the top five reasons why I love it:
  • It's easy to use. Put the tracker in your pocket or bra and just do your thing. You can then check your results directly on the Fitbit or on your phone/computer. Trust me if you get one you will constantly be checking it!
  • It encourages you to add extra steps to your regular day. At Target yesterday, I parked further away than I normally would. After taking out the compost, I walked a lap around the yard. The little things add up to lots of extra steps!
  • It tracks your sleep and determines if you are restless or awake during the night. I find this particularly interesting given my sleepwalking habits. I'll see sometimes that I was awake for several minutes during the night at a time. Wonder what I was doing?!
  • The kids are in to it. They have started asking me how many steps I've done so far each day. They're also quick to comment if they think my number is too low!
  • It has a silent alarm. You wear the tracker to bed on your wrist in a little bracelet type thing that it comes with. When the alarm goes off it sends you silent vibrations that wake you but not anyone else. This comes in super handy for boot camp mornings when I don't want the rest of the house up at 4:45am!
Some other cool things about Fitbit are that you can link up with other friends who use Fitbit to help encourage each other. Fitbit also links up with several other apps (like My Fitness Pal) so you can transfer the data between the two. Not too shabby, eh?

The Fitbit One runs for around $100 so it's not cheap but I am really enjoying it. You can head on over to Amazon HEREand purchase one of your very own. Once you do, come back and tell me if you've become obsessed with it, too!


10,000 steps a day is my goal!
*I purchased the Fitbit One with my husband's hard earned money. No compensation has been received for this post. I simply wanted to share this product that I like with you.*

Monday, July 1, 2013

Summer Bucket List for Kids

We are starting week three of summer vacation here and we have been busy bees working on our Summer Fun List. It was fun creating the list with the kids and now even more exciting checking items off our list (Oh, how Isabelle and I love lists!). I'm not going to lie, it's unclear who is having more fun with this "project" - me or the kids!

Here are the items from our Summer Fun List:
  1. Meet Dadda for lunch
  2. Go to the beach
  3. Go to the playground
  4. Go to the zoo
  5. Swim in a pool
  6. Have ice cream for lunch
  7. Have lots of playdates
  8. Roast marshmallows
  9. Have sleepovers with cousins
  10. Go exploring in the woods
  11. Play on the swingset
  12. Look for deer
  13. Go on a slip and slide
  14. Eat junkie treats with friends
  15. Catch butterflies
  16. Smell flowers
  17. Go bowling
  18. Go to the movies
  19. Have a water fight
  20. Ride bikes
  21. Have a picnic
  22. Build a sandcastle 
  23. Swim in the ocean
  24. Play with chalk
  25. Blow bubbles
  26. Go for a walk
  27. Eat pizza outside
  28. Wash a car
  29. Jump rope
  30. See a rainbow
  31. Look for ladybugs
  32. See the stars/moon and look for aliens
  33. Play mini golf
  34. Have a pajama day
I think my favorite activity so far was having ice cream for lunch. Oh, and I'm looking forward to looking for aliens! Do you have a summer bucket list? Are we missing anything good?

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