Thursday, June 30, 2011

ZhuFu - The Wisest of All Zhus

There's a new trailer for the Quest for Zhu, the first feature length film starring the Zhu-Zhu Pets, coming to DVD this Fall. In this week's trailer, you'll get a sneak peek at the other side of the Zhuniverse and meet ZhuFu, the wisest of all the Zhus! 

Check it out here:

Learn more about the Quest for Zhu here and here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


“If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever.” The Crow
When I was a little girl, I played library with my books. I cut up little slips of paper and wrote my name on them. Each slip had a number and each book had a slip. I kept a list of all my books and their numbers on a sheet of lined paper on my bookshelf. There was a spot next to each title on the list, where I could write the name of who ever I loaned a book to. Not that anyone ever borrowed my books.

I was lonely then as I find myself tonight. I wish I could summon the innocence of that little girl. Back then I had all these ideas about life. I thought that destiny was tangible, that everything you wanted you would eventually receive, that fate was a force that worked with you, for you and not against you.  That everyone got a happily ever after.

I’ve lost so many people I love since then. People who didn’t live to see their happily ever after. People who deserve to be here.  People who still had places to go and people to meet and lives to change. People my boys will never know or never remember.

Pictures and memories are all I can offer my boys of these people.

This is Grandmom Anne. She would have loved you so much! She liked to do puzzles too, just like you do.  She loved watching the birds. Cardinals were her favorites, she liked blue jays too. When she was a little girl, she could sing and dance just like Shirley Temple. Grandmom Anne made the best iced tea the world has ever known. She was the bravest woman I’ve ever known.”

“What made her so brave, Mom?” Sean asks.

Her parents were alcoholics. She once worked in a hot factory rolling cigars for hours on end. She lost the great love of her life when her babies were small. She worked hard, so hard and did it all on her own. She was made of something powerful, she was indestructible, she was inspiring, she was...

“She used to feed the squirrels cookies right from her hand.” I tell him.

“Wow…you’re right, Mom. She was really brave.”

"Mom, tell me again about when Aunt Peggy took me to the beach.”

“Aunt Peggy took you and Kevin to the beach.” I tell him.  “You played games in the arcade. You told Aunt Peggy the sea gulls made you nervous and she thought that was really funny.”

“And she let me have soda , Mom. Remember she let me have soda?”

“Yes Buddy, she let you have soda.”

“And remember she always called kisses “smoochies” instead of kisses?”

“I remember, Bud.” I tell him. 

“Yeah…I remember too.”

But some day...some day he won’t remember. 

I’ll remind him.

It’s my job to keep everyone alive.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Another tease from our friends in the Zhu-niverse...

You may have seen my post a few weeks ago announcing the coming of the Zhu-Zhu Pets in their first feature length film, The Quest for Zhu, coming this Fall.

We're HUGE Zhu-Zhu fans at our house and I'm so excited for this movie to come out. The trailers looks so cute, I just know my kids are going to love it!

If you can't get enough Zhu-tastic action either, I've got great news for you. Our friends in the Zhu-niverse have released an extended trailer for The Quest for Zhu!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mott's For Tots - Savings Alert

Have you heard about Mott's for Tots? Kids love it for the yummy taste, Moms love it for several other benefits:

* Mott's for Tots contains 40% less sugar than regular juice

* There's no artificial sweeteners

* Mott's for Tots contains 100% of your child's Vitamin C needs

* It's available in multi-serve bottles as well as convenient nine-packs of individual juice boxes

* Mott's for Tots is made from 100% juice and is pre-diluted with purified water

* It's available in 5 delicious flavors:


-Apple White Grape

-NEW Immune Support Fruit Punch (with vitamins A, C & E to support a healthy immune system)

-NEW Bone Health Grape (with calcium and vitamin D to support healthy bones)

-NEW Mixed Berry 

Click here to watch a short video and hear what kids love about Mott's for Tots from real kids just like yours and hear why Dr. Sears gives Mott's for Tots his seal of approval.

Ready to try Mott's for Tots? Sign up for more info., major savings and maybe even a sample or two at Vocalpoint.


Friday, June 17, 2011

How To Make Rainbow Cupcakes

We kicked off the first day of summer vacation today with a Rainbow Brite Play Date for the boys and a few of their favorite girls. I uncovered one of my favorite movies as a little girl, Rainbow Brite and the San Diego Zoo Adventure, and my guys quickly became obsessed with it!

Our Rainbow Cupcakes were a big hit! They're fun and easy to make, here's how:

1) Prepare a yellow or white cake mix as per the directions on the box. Then divide the cake better evenly into six small bowls. There's no need to measure, it doesn't have to be perfect, just eyeball it. Each bowl of batter will be made into a different color of the rainbow by mixing in food coloring.

For red - 18 drops of red

For orange - 12 drops yellow,4 drops red
For yellow - 12 drops of yellow
For green - 12 drops of green
Blue - 12 drops of blue 
Purple - 9 drops of red, 6 drops of blue 

2) Place baking cups in cupcake pan. Divide the purple batter evenly between in cup, then the blue on top of the purple. Then green, yellow, orange and red. Bake cupcakes as per the directions on the box. 

The result is really cool rainbow or tie dye cupcakes. I'll definitely be making these come next year for St. Patrick's Day! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We Use Coupons!

Have you checked out It's a fabulous online resource for both beginner and seasoned couponers! You can get the latest deals and scenarios from your favorite places to shop, look up a coupon you need in the coupon database or get coupons you want from couponers in Trader's World. This is a fantastic site and membership is free, sign up!

Looking for my Coupon Boot Camp? Get all the posts here.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Support The Faces of the Future Campaign

Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), in partnership with Microsoft and Comcast, has launched the Faces of the Future campaign (, designed to raise awareness about the importance of digital literacy. The campaign features youth from across America who have been positively impacted by the Club Tech program and shows how technology can transform lives.
Historically, Boys & Girls Clubs have been known as safe, affordable places where parents could send their kids to play sports, swim and get help with their homework. But now they are much more than that. The Club Tech program helps prepare young people through technology, tapping into the potential of future journalists, graphic designers, engineers and photographers.
Boys & Girls Club members, age 6-18, learn various skills from word processing and presentations to music production and filmmaking. Nearly 1 million kids and teens participate in the Club Tech program at more than 3,600 Boys & Girls Clubs around the world. Research has shown that participants not only learned the fundamentals of computers, but they also discovered how to harness technology in a way that made them more literate in current affairs and other topics that spill over from school and home.
Throughout the campaign, the Faces of the Future Showcase will feature artwork, music and films created by youth using the Club Tech digital arts curriculum. People all over the world will have the opportunity to see what young people can accomplish through technology when given access to the right tools and opportunities!
Speaking of accomplishments, Boys & Girls Clubs of America needs your help in reaching an important milestone--35,000 fans on Facebook! For every 10 likes they get, a Club member will receive Microsoft Office 2010. By clicking the "like" button, you're not only showing your support for an amazing cause, but you're literally putting tools in the hands of children who need them most.

**In full Ddsclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a gift card in exchange for this post.  No monetary exchange took place.**

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The best news I got all day... (The Quest for Zhu)

Have you heard about The "Quest for Zhu"? You haven't? Well...have I got some exciting news for you!

"The Quest for Zhu" is the first feature-length animation from Zhu-Zhu Pets! That's right, folks...the Zhu-Zhu Pets are going to the big on the screen! You heard it here first, kids.

The movie is in partnership with Universal Pictures and will debut in the Fall of 2011. "The Quest for Zhu" will bring the Zhu-niverse to life in 3D. It stars the four original Zhu-ZHu Pets characters - Pipsqueak, NumNums, Mr. Suiggle & Chunk - it's a tale of adventure of heroic proportions that Zhu-Zhu fans of all ages are sure to LOVE!

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Summer 2011 Reading List

Anyone that knows anything about me knows I'm a huge fan of books and an avid reader. I'm with a book in hand more often than I'm not. I've lost countless hours of sleep because I simply couldn't put a book down. I love the magic of getting lost in a good book. I love a book that pulls me in, that makes me think, makes me feel, makes me grow. I also like to make lists. If you're looking for some summer reading inspiration, here is my Summer 2011 Reading List:

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova - I read Lisa Genova's first book, Still Alice, and it was phenomenal. One of those books that you can't stop thinking about for days after you've finished it. I'm really looking forward to reading her second book. 

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult - Absolutely love her. One of the best female authors of our time. I've read almost everything she's written and each new book has been better than the last.

Love You More by Lisa Gardner

The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman   

I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman

If You Ask Me: (And of Course You Won't) by Betty White

Identical by Ellen Hopkins - My cousin got this for me quite awhile ago and I keep putting other books in front of it. I read Ellen Hopkin's Tricks and was surprised to really enjoy. I will read this book by Labor Day, I promise Dana.

The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Midnight by L.J. Smith - I love me some vampires, I admit it. This is an excellent series. 

Traveler by Ron McLarty - See? I do read the occasional book by a male author.
I ready McLarty's The Memory of Running and I highly recommend it. Probably the best book I've read in a year.

The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart - Don't know anything about this book or the author, but it was $3.00 at Big Lots and I liked the cover. :)

Lies that Chelsea Handler Told Me by Chelsea Handler - She's a riot. I wish she lived next door. 

Tick Tock by James Patterson

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - It's my favorite book of all time. I read it at least once a year. I've probably read it 25 or 30 times. 

Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds by Jenny McCarthy 

The Hour I First Believed by Wall Lamb - You must read She's Come Undone also by Wally Lamb. 

Once Upon a Time, There Was You by Elizabeth Berg - I read Berg's The Last Time I Saw You last summer and it was a wonderful feel good work of fiction. I'm hoping this is more of the same.

Clara's War: One Girl's Story of Survival  by Clara Kramer

Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love by Matthew Logelin - I read a 6 sentence description of this book and cried, ok?

The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman - One of my favorite author's of all time!

What's on your summer reading list? I'm always looking for good book suggestions. :) 

I got one of these bad boys for my birthday. I'm so pathetic, I haven't even take it out of the box yet. I need to get on that.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Philosophy of Charles Schultz

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the Peanuts comic strip. 

There's a lot of wisdom to be found in the Peanuts.

Answer the following:

1) Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2) Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3) Name the last five winners of the Miss America Pageant.

4) Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5) Name the last five Academy Award Winners for best actor and actress.

6) Name the last decades worth of World's Series Winners.

My responses?

1) Bill Gates, some guy in India I saw on 20/20...

2) Heisman trophy? That's football, right? (Right?)

3) Umm...

4) Jimmy Carter, Toni Morrison and Elie Wiesel have all won Nobel Prizes. They're the only three I can think of. 

5) Honest to God, I have no idea.

6) Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies...

How did you do?

The point is that none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. They are  the best in their fields, but applause fades, awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. 

Now see how you do on this one:

1) Name five teachers who helped you on your journey through school.

2) Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

3) Name five people you enjoy spending time with.

4) Name five people who you can lean on during a difficult time.

5) Name five people who have changed your life. 

I'm willing to bet that was a lot easier.

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most certificates on the wall or the most money in the bank...they are the ones that care. The ones that came in and never left, no matter what.

I'm so blessed to have so many amazing people in my life and so thankful that my kids do too. 

"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia." - Charles Schultz

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Doing The Mom Thing

Stay-at-home Mom, Housewife, Cinderella…whatever you want to call me…I’m growing weary of who I am, of all that I do and the constant reminder of what I don’t.

My father actually said to me once, “What is it you do all day?”

I sit on my ass and eat bon-bon’s all day, Dad. That’s what I do.

I just laughed and walked away…because when it comes to Frank, sometimes all you can do is laugh and walk away.

I ran into an old friend from high school at the store awhile back, we exchanged pleasantries and she filled me in on her college educated, kid-free, exciting life.

“So, what are you up to? Where do you work?”

The dreaded question.

I gave the same response I always give whenever anyone asks me what I’ve been up to or where I work: “I’m just doing the Mom thing. For now anyway.”

I wish that “doing the Mom thing” were as easy as it sounds. I always feel the need to add the “For now anyway.” Like I need people to know that I do intend to rejoin the workforce at some point in time. I sometimes feel guilty or less than because I don’t work.

“That’s……awesome. You must be bored to death though….”
That’s what she said. That I must be bored to death.

Yeah. I’m so bored sometimes I just sit and cry. It’s great because the kids have this auto-pilot switch that I flip and then they can just do everything on their own. They hardly need me for anything. I just sit back and relax all day. Paint my toenails. Watch the soaps. I’ve even got the little one calling the insurance company and making his big brother’s doctors appointments. It’s great.

That’s what I could have said. Instead I just laughed and said, “I wish.” Told her it was great to see her and walked away.

I’ve learned in life that sometimes you just have to walk away.

I could explain the AM rush of waking, washing, breakfasting, dressing, brushing, backpacking and bus stopping.

The piles of laundry that grow like mold. How there’s always more laundry, no matter how much laundry I do.

How someone’s always thirsty, hungry, cranky, coughy, sneezy, angry or some other form of uncomfortable or upset.

I could explain the afternoons of sweeping and lunches and snacks and meltdowns and putting shoes on and taking shoes off and time-outs and sweeping and meltdowns. And more sweeping. And more meltdowns.

I could explain all about the job I have, the work I do, but unless you’re doing it too, you wouldn’t understand.

This job where you’re on call 24/7. This job where there’s no breaks. No vacations. And no paycheck.

This job where so much is expected of me and I can’t ever be enough.

I need more hands. And arms and legs.

And brooms.

There’s always a want, a need, a nose, a mouth, a missing shoe or puzzle piece. A diaper or battery that needs changing.

I’m always out of milk or bread or patience or time.

Some times I collapse at the end of the day. Only to wake up and start all over again.

This job is never ending.

A friend said, “I don’t know how you do it.” The truth is, some days, I don’t either. Some days I want to run screaming from the house. Some days I want to tell my boss to take this job and shove it. And then I remember that I am the boss. And that I work with the two most amazing little people the world has ever known. Little people who I’m quite certain will grow up to change the world. They way they’ve changed me.

I complain, mostly to myself, about cooking and cleaning and laundry and crying kids…but the truth is: I love this job.

The truth is: It’s all I ever really wanted to do.

When I was 4 or 5 I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. At 6 I decided I wanted to be a nun. (You can totally see me as a nun, right?) Sister Regina Angeline was a nun and a teacher and I figured she had the best of both worlds.

In 5th grade I fell in love with both Billy Smeltzer and Patrick Swayze and decided that being a nun was out.

Throughout school all I ever really thought about being when I grew up was a teacher. I was fortunate to have a lot of amazing teachers who inspired me to want do to their job just because they themselves were so awesome. I also had a few teachers who really sucked. And they inspired me to want to teach too. To be better then they were. To be the kind of teacher who’s remembered by their students long after they’ve left the classroom. The kind of teacher that teaches you about yourself.

I always pictured myself growing up to be a teacher, but I also always pictured myself growing up to be a Mom. There was never a time, not even as a teenager, that I didn’t want to have kids. I just always sort of knew I’d be a Mom.

And now I am. And there’s some days where it still blows my mind.

I am what I wanted to be when I grew up. How many people can say that? Not too many.

I’m not sure about being a teacher anymore. I want to be a writer. I want to design jewelry and hock it on QVC. I want to help people. To make a difference. I’m 28 years old and I’m not sure what I want to be now that I’m a Mom and “a grown up”. I’ll figure it all out soon enough, but for now, I’m just doing the Mom thing.

That’s my job. I don’t ever want to quit.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


When I'm not here, I'm sometimes over here at Cape May Mom's.

You can read two of my most recent posts and see what I have to say about sibling rivalry and being a rat.

Cape May Moms is a website dedicated to connecting moms in the Cape May County area. You can read articles from other moms, find out what's going on in our community...maybe even win something. Check it out. 

Currently reading: