Grow your Circles on Google +

Stop in and Grow your Circles on Google + with us today!

Today I am co-hosting a Google+ Link Party!  This party is a great way to grow your Google+ circles, boost your SEO, and get more knowledgeable about G+.  I have tripled my G+ following by participating!

But before you party G+ style check out these Furniture Painting Tips and Tricks to get you amped up about my upcoming Ebook release in July!

If you want to be the first to read my new Ebook – coming in July – sign up to receive all of the info here!

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How To Decoupage Furniture (The Easy Way!)

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Decoupaging Furniture with Shelf Liner

Decoupage

How to Overcome Paint Commitment Issues

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How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

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Let’s get this Google + party started…
Please remember to:
1. Add all of your lovely cohosts to one of your circles.
2. Link up your Google+ url  {NOT your blog url}.
You can find your G+ url by clicking on your Google + profile and copy and pasting it here at the linky party. It looks something like this: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118409660069356554058/posts}
3. Share a post to the public on Google+ with the hashtag #mommyiscoocoo. {see the above status update tips to make it awesome};)
4. Be Social - The more shares a website or blog post gets the better! +1, Comment & Share posts you really enjoy throughout the day with the hashtag #mommyiscoocoo

g+ link party feature

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The Road Trip From Hell { aka What to do in Branson MO }

We are back from a long weekend in Branson Missouri and BOY I am glad we all made it back alive!  What was supposed to be a quick trip to Branson and Silver Dollar City, only a 4-hour drive away, ended up taking us 12 hours to get there and 8 hours to get back home.  I am going to highlight almost everything we did on the trip, just in case you are thinking about visiting Branson.  If you are a skimmer, well, just stay tuned for the Griswold Family road trip highlights.

About 1-hour into our drive, as we stopped off to grab some lunch, a college kid rear-ended us, sending me to the hospital to get me and the baby checked out.  Even though the accident happened at only about 15 mph, the seat belt gouged really hard into my stomach and after a call to my OBGYN he insisted I needed to go to the hospital to make sure everything was A-Okay. 

After monitoring for 6-hours, blood work, an ultrasound, and a RhoGam shot, I was sent on my way with the okay to proceed on our trip with strict instructions to watch out for spotting or cramping of any kind. 

Our little chicken nugget weighs 1lb 9oz and is looking perfect so that helped me breath a little easier. 

 

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We didn’t arrive at our cabin until after midnight and we were all so tired from the events of the day we were happy to crash out.  We stayed at The Westgate Branson Woods Resort in a two-bedroom cabin.  The room didn’t look exactly like it did in the photos online, as the carpet and fixtures were in serious need of updating, but it was more than enough room for the three of us and we would have been grateful to stay in a Motel 6 just to get some rest!  Plus we got a really good deal at a promotion I bought behind my husband’s back I talked my husband into at the Home & Garden Show in March.  The promo included tickets to Silver Dollar City so after some sleeping in the next day, we ventured over to Silver Dollar City for a day of fun. 

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Silver Dollar City had tons of rides for Pre-School aged kids and a few of them even obliged the pregnant crowd. 

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It was pretty hot so I focused on keeping hydrated and eating all of the yummy food at the park.  I had never been to Silver Dollar City so as dorky as it sounds, I was excited to check it out, and it was fun watching Axton have a ton of fun on the rides.

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That night we ate at Shoguns (which we have in OKC as well, but Axton loves it, so we surprised him as a mini-vacay treat) and went shopping for Scott’s Father’s Day gift at the Tanger Outlet Mall nearby.  Remember how I had to make up for my Father’s Day fail?  Scott picked out the Nike+ Sport Watch with GPS at the Nike Outlet.  It has some sort of GPS chip that you insert in your Nike running shoes to track your miles ran.  I hate running, so I sort of glazed over when running was mentioned, but it sounds super manly and perfect for him, and a major step up from my As Seen On TV Car Scratch removal kit! 

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The next day we played at White Water all day (I just realized we didn’t take any pictures at the water park – probably because of the water not being good for our cameras and me not wanting to document my maternity swimsuit) and then headed over to The Landing for dinner and to check out the sites.

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The Landing has tons of shopping, a playground,  zip line, Ride the Ducks, Bass Pro Shops, and a fountain water show (think mini-Vegas) with live music.  There is something for everyone and I would highly recommend it if you are traveling to Branson. 

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On Sunday we headed home, but stopped at Urban Flea Market in Springfield.  I found Urban Flea Market using the Roadtrippers.com app.  If you are going on a road trip, this app makes finding fun stops along the way easy, plus it gives reviews and stories of other people trips as well.  I only bought a milk glass bowl and some home grown tomatoes but I would have bought more if we were in our truck and not in my little crossover SUV.  Some of their large furniture pieces, including a French Provincial china hutch for $125.00, had great prices.

 

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About 20 minutes outside of Springfield my dented up car decided to die by the side of the highway.  Right at an awkward curve in the road next to a guardrail.  Not leaving much room for 75 mph highway drivers to pass by.  Am I the only one who has seen YouTube videos about people escaping a car on the side of the highway mere seconds before someone crashes into it?  That’s all that kept flashing through my mind. 

 

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I grabbed Axton and hightailed it out of the car and as far away from the highway as I could.  I refused to let Axton go from my grip for fear he would run out into traffic or a semi would over turn.  Looking back I realize my mother’s worst-case scenario imagination was in full-gear.  Finally Scott convinced me to put him in a stroller and sit down since it was over 90 degrees outside.

 

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And it was HOT.  We tried to drink as much water as we had on hand and patiently wait for the tow truck to arrive.  Negativity started to set in.  “Why can’t we just have a nice weekend?”  After having 2 shows this past month, some dizzy spells and blood pressure issues, I really could have used a relaxing weekend.  But it seemed like around every corner bad luck was waiting for us.  We don’t get a chance to get away and spend time as a family very often and I just sulked in the hot sun, feeling sorry for myself, and trying not to cry in front of Axton.

 

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After the tow truck arrived my husband suspected that the gas gauge was broken from the wreck and with a little gasoline, my car started right up.  We traveled to the next gas station to fill up and have an ice cream break to cool off.

Looking over at Axton across the table I realized that we were all safe.  No one was hurt.  Our baby is healthy.  Scott and I worked as a team and didn’t kill each other through all of the bumps in the road.  Some people would love the luxury of having a family trip out of town and all I could do was dwell on the negative.

Even though our little road trip was far from perfect it was a few days of family time I will be grateful for no matter what.

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Why We Eliminated Red Dye #40

Have you heard about Red Dye #40?  Until recently the concept of dyes in our food was foreign to me.  Sure, we eat fairly healthy.  I try to buy organic from the dirty dozen produce and I also buy organic chicken.  But we are also guilty of being crunched for time and sliding in an EZ Mac or Lunchable on occasion as well.

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About 6 weeks ago I took Axton to a friend’s birthday party at the Science Museum, his absolute favorite place to go.  But instead of acting happy and excited he was acting strange.  He refused to participate in the birthday singing, the scientist demonstration of making ice cream, and then once he had cake he started acting extremely rude and acting out.  My best friend, who was at the party, called me later that week and asked me if I had ever considered eliminating Red Dye #40 from Axton’s diet.

Um, no.  What the heck does that even mean?  And am I a bad mom for not knowing about this?

She explained that she had a friend who’s son was acting out terribly and in a desperate attempt to find a source to the problem she eliminated Red Dye #40 from his diet and within 48 hours she had a brand new, well behaved child. Soon I started digging for information on Red Dye to find out more information.  Unfortunately I didn’t find much solid evidence when it comes to hyperactivity and Red Dyes.  Most of the studies show children with ADHD can be sensitive to Red Dye and many countries have banned it or require labeling that states “may cause hyperactivity in children.”

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I started looking at the labels of the food Axton had eaten the morning of the birthday party and I was shocked to realize every single thing I fed him had Red 40 in it!  The blueberry waffles, the strawberry yogurt, and then the cake icing at the birthday party.  I was convinced he was melting down from being fed a buffet of Red 40 all morning.

I decided to cut it out of his diet for a week just to see if there was a difference.  I was surprised to see how much of our food contains Red Dyes.

Blueberry Pancakes

Waffles

Anything Strawberry Flavored – Including Yogurt.

Pepperoni

Gatorade

Strawberry Lemonade

Tons of junk food – like M&M’s, gummy bears, and stuff we save for a special treat but still would allow him to have on occasion.

Even the Strawberry Flavored Yogurt at our favorite Fro-Yo shop has Red Dye in their “healty” yogurt!

Many chips like Cheetos and Doritos have Red Dye as well.

And after testing the waters  without Red Dye #40 I would have to say I am a believer that children can be sensitive to Red Dye.  Sure, all 3 & 4 year olds have their moments, but I can definitely see a difference in behavior.

Just last week we were able to sit through an entire movie at the Dollar Theatre together on a Mom & Son date.  Instead of a special snack of Gummy Worms & M&Ms we had white cheddar popcorn and a small chocolate bar as a treat.  The moving going experience was night and day difference.  In the past 6 weeks the meltdowns have been so few and far between and I completely contribute it to my awesome parenting.  Oh. And reading the labels and being more conscience of what dyes we are putting in our bodies.  It has made us eat even healthier and forces us to eliminate so much junk food from our diets.

I know this post isn’t DIY related but I wanted to write it in case you are considering eliminating Red Dye from your diet.  I would encourage you to try it and see.  It’s not that hard and so worth the results – even if it’s just an excuse to eat healthier for the whole family.

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Design {An Office Remade}

I’m love my job doing interior design.  I love getting to transform a blank slate into something beautiful and full of character.  Recently one of my clients moved into a new home; and was in need of an office for her husband who works from home.  So, we gave this new, track home a manly, industrial makeover.

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Do you have a space in need of a makeover or a little sprucing up?  Visit my website and contact me, I’m ready to help!

 

 

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