Thursday, July 31, 2014

Shell Game by Think Fun {Review}

As you may have heard, I am recovering from a wonderful week at the beach. I'm trying to get back into the swing of things, and that means blogging responsibilities too. Good thing I got this awesome game to review! It's called Shell Game and it's got sand (pictures), crabs, and shells! What a perfect way to ease back into the real world!!

Shell Game is a fun game to test your memory and improve your reasoning skills. Much like the game played on the streets of New York, in this game you've got to remember where an object is and track its movement. That's where the similarities end, though. No one will trick you out of your money in this game!

The object is to set up the crabs and shells in the way indicated on the top of the game board and then move them to the new locations shown at the bottom. There are various lines drawn to indicate which paths the shells can travel.

It's fairly simple to set up and get started, but it's not an easy game to master! There are four levels of play: beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert. The play gets harder as you work your way through the book.

I started with the first beginner challenge and finished it quite easily, but after that I got a little stuck. Actually, I got embarassingly stuck! (And I had to cheat!!) But I went back and started over and was able to figure out the pattern.

I really enjoyed playing this game and if you enjoy memory and logic puzzles, I bet you will too. And by the way, Henry wants me to point out that he can play this game just fine, thank you very much.

You can find Shell Game at the Think Fun website.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Liebers Take on Myrtle Beach!

Did you miss me last week?  I missed you! I missed reading your posts and answering your comments. But I'm getting caught up! I promise!

We were busy on vacation! We had a family trip to Myrtle Beach with Ken's family.  Our most recent beach trip was about 8 years ago, so neither of the boys had ever been before. True, we did walk on the beach in Florida two years ago in November, but it was just a brief visit and the water was too cold to enjoy.

This year we lived it up!!  We had a house two blocks from the beach. Ken and I had the bottom floor along with the boys while his brother and sister in law had the upstairs along with Papa, Frances, and her cousin. Our house also had a pool, which turned out to be a really good thing because Benjamin doesn't care for the waves. He did, however, LOVE the tide pools we found on the beach almost every day!

Frances and Henry were like little fish out jumping in the waves, running up and down the beach and trying to body surf. Every morning when Henry came into our room the first words out of his mouth were, "Can we go to the beach?"

One day we walked up to an inlet where there were tide pools galore. Benjamin was in heaven!!  We found all sorts of fun things in the tide pools too: snails, crabs, conch, shells, seaweed, and a few seagulls looking for the aforementioned edibles.

We ate at an all-you-can-eat buffet one night and discovered that Henry loves crab legs!  He's asked for them several times since then and I haven't got the heart to tell him they aren't a regular staple of our diet (or budget)!

We also got to check out a mini golf place with a pirate theme. The kids loved it and Henry won a free game (which of course, we couldn't use because we were leaving the next day). 

I got my wish of a good storm while were there. There was LOTS of thunder and lightning. Only problem was that it happened in the middle of the night. I was torn between trying to sleep and wanting to watch the show. The next morning, Ken humored me with an early morning walk on the beach. It was too cloudy to see much of the sunrise, but we had a good walk and got a few pictures anyway.

Speaking of pictures, that's my biggest semi-regret from this trip. I didn't want to be attached to my phone the whole time, and I was worried about taking it to the beach, so I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked. However, I did appreciate being able to live in the moment and be truly present to the kids and the rest of my family while were there.
All in all it was a wonderful trip. Although, I do appreciate sleeping in a bed without sand!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

#TuesdayTen: How Deserted is this Island, Really?

Tuesday!  Time for a list!! But I'm still recovering from vacation!!  I have emails to read, reports to send, laundry to wash, and groceries to buy. However, I'm supposed to write a list of ten things I'd take with me to a deserted island and that prompt just sounds too enticing right now!! Even though I just got back from a week at the beach, I could totally go for a stretch on a secluded island right now! I've got sand on the brain...or maybe sand in my brain!! Who knows!?!

What would I need to survive on a deserted island?
  1. Sundresses
  2. Sunblock and aloe
  3. Books
  4. Puzzles
  5. A fan
  6. Someone to wave the fan...
  7. Beach umbrella
  8. Cozy towel
  9. Cold drinks
  10. Sandwiches
What would you need to survive on a deserted island? Are all deserted island located in tropical areas? Inquiring minds want to know!! Share your thoughts in the comments or link up your own post below!





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We hope you have enjoyed our #TuesdayTen lists! If so, please link up one of your own and share your post using #TuesdayTen!

 
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Monday, July 28, 2014

#AskAwayFriday (on Monday) with Christy from Sweet and Savoring

We just got back from a week at the beach and I'm trying to get back into the swing of things at home, at work, and on the blog. We had a great time on vacation, but it was nice to sleep in a bed free of sand last night! Our beach house ended up not having any wi-fi and after a very brief moment of disappointment I was truly glad to enjoy a week mostly unplugged.  I did, however, regret not being able to fulfill my end of the #Ask Away Friday bargain I had set up, so I'm doing it today.

I am swapping with Christy from Sweet and Savoring. Christy is a grammar nerd from New York and she is currently in the process of moving. You should check out the stunning photography on her page, as both she and her husband have skills behind the lens!

If you're not familiar with #AskAwayFriday, it's a great way to meet new people and get really nosy! You pair up and swap ten questions with your partner to be answered in a post on Friday. #AskAwayFriday was created by Penny of The Real Housewife of Caroline County, and is now hosted by these #AskAwayFriday hosts…
NEWAskAwayFridayHost550
Tamara from Tamara Like Camera,
Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter,
Christy from Uplifting Families,
Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings
and
Amber from Bold Fit Mom
 
And now, on to the questions!!

1. I love your kids' names! Were they named after anyone, fictional or real life? 
Frances is named after both of my grandmothers. Henry is named after Ken's grandfather and father (and Ken). We were trying to stick with the theme of family names, but when Benjamin didn't turn out to be a girl, we had to do some fast thinking in the hospital.  I have a cousin named Benjamin, but ours wasn't really named after him. I like him and all, we just didn't pick the name to honor him for any special reason. Ben's middle name is Alan, after my brother. That's why you should definitely ask Benjamin what his whole name is!! He'll tell you it's: "Benjamin Uncle Alan Lieber."

2. Think back: what was your wedding cake like? Who made it? 
Our wedding cake was made by a local bakery. I was a pretty simple 4-tiered cake with white frosting and and white and yellow daisies on it. I don't remember the flavors. I think they were basic ones: chocolate, vanilla, and a fruit-based flavor. I remember requesting the top layer be a pound cake or something that would freeze well.  

3. It was fun reading your summer bucket list! Do you have a favorite summer vacation memory from your childhood? 
My favorite summer vacation memory would have to be the year we went to Alaska to visit my mom's family.  I got to stick my toes in the Pacific Ocean (it was too cold to swim).  The weather was perfect; mostly 70 degrees in August, but there were lots of mosquitoes.  I remember being fascinated that you could see snow capped mountains of fin the distance while you were standing outside, comfortably in shorts and a t-shirt.

4. Without the labels of wife and mother, how would you describe yourself? 
That's a toughy!! I feel like those are the two biggest descriptors in my life. However, I am also a daughter, sister, and friend.  I enjoy spending time with people, but also crave moments of solitude in each day. I enjoy reading, doing craft projects, and spending time in nature. 

5. You have three children: which of your pregnancies do you recall the most fondly? Which one was the most difficult for you?
I think Henry's pregnancy was the best. I mostly knew what to expect and I was excited to be pregnant. Frances' pregnancy was difficult because I had never been pregnant before and we hadn't necessarily been trying to get pregnant. I was also pregnant through the summer with her. Ugh!  Benjamin's pregnancy was difficult, because I was going through a very stressful period and I wasn't terribly excited to be pregnant.  Then, of course, I felt awful for not being excited which made it all worse.  I'm not one of those women that love being pregnant. I have had three large babies (for my body size) and carried all three of them past their due dates (10 days, 12 days, and 8 days).

Benjamin at about 8 months gestation
6. Tell me about how you blog. Do you have a dedicated office or spot in your house where you write your posts?
Do you promise not to tattle on me?  I frequently blog in  my down time at work or on my lunch break. Technically, I don't own a computer or laptop to work from, so it's the easiest place to get work done. I do use my iPad at home on the couch for some of my blogging, but it's not ideal, especially when it comes to adding links or pictures.

7. You wrote about your veggie garden in another AAF post. What do you do with the abundance of squash you have growing? (I love to make squash and basil waffles!) Any favorite squash/zucchini recipes?
I am honestly a new squash person.  I never really liked it growing up, but I had to try it one night to get the kids to eat it and then I decided it wasn't so bad!  Just last night, after getting back from vacation, Ken told me I was going to have to learn how to make zucchini bread, because we have a lot!!

8. What is the one vegetable you can't stand no matter what? 
I am not a fan of eggplant. I've learned to eat it on occasion, but I don't care for it all that much. Another one I won't eat at all is okra!  Blech!!  It's just so slimy!! Ken, Frances, and Henry love it though!

9. Would you rather go on a cruise through the Mediterranean or to Alaska? (both in the summertime!)
As much as I would love a Mediterranean cruise, I'd have to pick Alaska. I'd also have to take my mom with me. I know she misses her family and this would be a great way to see where she grew up and visit relatives I haven't seen in over 10 years!

10. And lastly, my favorite question. Please write a haiku about yourself!! (a three line poem in which the first line has five syllables, the second has seven syllables, and the third has five)
How fun! I love haiku!!

I am wife and mom
I love family and friends
Life is full of joy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

#TuesdayTen: Relaxing on National Hammock Day

When I was a kid our family had a hammock. I remember my dad relaxing in it with a glass of (unsweetened) tea and a good book.  Actually, if memory serves, more often than not her was "resting his eyes" with the book open on his chest.  My brother and I used to get in the hammock too. Sometimes we managed to get ourselves situated correctly and relax. Other times we enjoyed tipping each other out of it and spinning around in it.  Good times!

Today is National Hammock Day, so it's a good day to think about relaxing and hanging out. Along those lines, I present to you my favorite ways to relax.


1. Reading a good book on the couch
2. Sitting in a chair in the front yard, soaking up rays on a hot day
3. Taking a bubble bath
4. Calling in sick for a mental health day and enjoying the silence of my house
5. Going for a drive with no destination in mind
6. Convincing the kids to "fix" my hair and letting them brush it
7. Rocking in the rocking chair while the kids are drifting off to sleep
8. Vegging out with some games on my phone or iPad.
9. Going to bed early and creating a dream to (hopefully) enter into
10. Using a new lotion or hand scrub for some aroma therapy


Now all I need is a few more hours in each day to enjoy these pursuits!  How about you? What's your favorite way to relax? Tell me in the comments or create your own post to link up!






#TuesdayTen is hosted by:

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We hope you have enjoyed our #TuesdayTen lists! If so, please link up one of your own and share your post using #TuesdayTen!

 
  RULES:
1) Link up a post, old or new, pertaining to the TuesdayTen topic for this week and add our TuesdayTen button to your post or sidebar.
2) Please do not link up contests, product reviews, or sponsored posts. Links not pertaining to the topic will be removed at the hosts' discretion.
3) Visit your hosts and follow them on social media.
4) Visit as many other linked posts as you can and show those bloggers some love by commenting and/or sharing.
5) By linking up you agree to be subscribed to out #TuesdayTen mailing list. Emails are only sent once a week and you can unsubscribe at any time. If you would like to be added to the mailing list without linking up, click here.
 
Come link up again next Tuesday, July 29th, when the topic will be 10 Things You'd Bring to a Deserted Island.
 
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

#AskAwayFriday with Carol from Battered Hope

Happy Friday!  I'm so excited for today because I'm having a jewelry party to help my friend Heather show off the new line for Premier. I've been working my hiney off to get my house ready and I am so proud of myself!! A jewelry party is the perfect motivation and reward for all my hard work! (I'm still treating myself to a massage at the end of the month, though!)

Today for #Ask Away Friday I am matched up with Carol from Battered Hope. Carol blogs about the trials and tragedies in her life and how she has overcome them. She is a true source of positive inspiration on the web.  She shares stories about her life, dogs and motivational thoughts. If you need a pick me up or a kick in the butt to get moving, you should check out Carol's blog!

If you're not familiar with #AskAwayFriday, it's a great way to meet new people and get really nosy! You pair up and swap ten questions with your partner to be answered in a post on Friday. #AskAwayFriday was created by Penny of The Real Housewife of Caroline County, and is now hosted by these #AskAwayFriday hosts…
NEWAskAwayFridayHost550
Tamara from Tamara Like Camera,
Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter,
Christy from Uplifting Families,
Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings
and
Amber from Bold Fit Mom
 
And now for my answers to Carol's questions:

1.  One of the things on your Bucket List is to have a blog post go viral. Do you have a favorite post that you felt should have gone viral, and if so, why? 
That's a tough question to answer!  I can't say that I've ever written a post, hit publish, and thought "that ones' gonna go viral!"  I don't even write posts with the intent of going viral.  For now I get a huge kick out of seeing someone I've never heard of or interacted with Pin something I wrote on Pinterest.  That tells me that my posts are going out beyond my own circle.  With that said, I think I've written some pretty good posts over the years.  10 Friends Every Woman Needs was one that sat in my head for a long time before coming out.  I also firmly believe what I wrote about allowing my children to fail, even though it goes against current parenting practices.

2.   Your children are quite young. How do you think your life and/or career will change when they are in high school, college and beyond? 
I don't know if I want to think about that!!  I enjoy working and I work full time. My job is amazing and flexible and I don't see any real reason to leave it, so I don't imagine that much will change professionally.  The kids have been gone in different combinations this summer, and I'll admit it's been nice to take it easy a bit on the parenting parts.  I hope that we continue to have a strong relationship as they grow up and start to move away (physically). I hope that they will stay close when they begin their adult lives, but I won't be offended if circumstances take them elsewhere. My job is to raise them into mature, responsible adults and I'll never know if I succeeded unless they go out on their own eventually!

3.   What five words describe you best? 
Fun
Silly
Easy Going
Loving
Short

4.   When you and hubby have a night alone together, what do you like to do? 
With kids and work schedules it's not always easy to go out together, but we do have evenings to ourselves after the kids have gone to bed. We enjoy watching TV together. There are a few shows he's gotten me hooked on and we tend to binge watch them from the DVR.

5.   You have co-authored a book, The Mother of All Meltdowns. Do you see a sequel in the future? Or do you think you will write a different type of book? 
Crystal says there's a sequel on the way, this time discussing relationship meltdowns. I've bowed out of that one because of Ken's desire to stay private. Crystal promises the book is not about smack talking your spouse, but I can't tell a story about us without his consent, so I won't.  I've thought about a different story, but nothing has solidified yet. I'm working on developing a few characters in my head and thinking of how to put them together though.  Who knows if it will ever see the light of day!

6.    I see that you liked movies such as The Breakfast Club and Star Wars. What is your absolute favorite movie from last year? What about a book? 
Last year I really enjoyed Catching Fire. I read the books and thought they were well made into movies. I also enjoyed Frozen. Incidentally, those might be the only two movies I saw in the theater. I'll have to ask my movie secretary (Ken). He keeps better track of things like that!

7.   In what capacity are you involved in your church? Would you like to be more involved and if so, how? 
I love being involved at my church. Up until Benjamin was born I was the Youth Minister and I coordinated all the middle and high school religious education and social activities.  That overlapped slightly with teaching the Children's Church program. I started teaching Frances' class when she was three and I am getting ready to start my 8th year with that program.  I coincidentally spaced my kids out enough that I can teach them for three years )ages 3-5) and then start over with the next sibling!  When Benjamin is finished with that program, I'd like to volunteer with the youth ministry program again.  I also LOVE helping with Vacation Bible School.  I've been a group leader and I've helped with crafts. The past two years I've been the game leader. It's one of the highlights of each summer!

8.   What do you enjoy the most about blogging? 
Hands down, without a doubt, it has been the community!  I blogged for a long time before I found a community and, while I enjoyed it, it didn't draw me in like it does now. Plus, I feel a responsibility to keep it up now more than I did before. I used to go weeks without posting anything at all and now I try to post every weekday. In fact, I've joked that blogging makes me a better mother!

9.   What is your coveted job? 
If the opportunities were limitless and I had the chance to try any profession in the world, I'd love to be an archaeologist.  But I'd probably get hot and hurt my back after a while.  Then I'd come back to the job I have now where I love what I do and the people I get to see every day!

10.   What types of foods do you enjoy cooking the most? What about your hubby? 
I enjoy cooking all different types of things. I enjoy trying out new recipes and letting the kids help me out.  In fact, just three nights ago, Henry insisted on getting the fish sticks ready for the oven and Benjamin wanted to make the rice. Then I told Frances she was in charge of the fruit and vegetable and she took care of it!  Then they bragged to Ken that they had cooked the whole dinner by themselves and he rolled his eyes and grinned at me. I didn't steal their thunder.  
Ken likes to grill and he likes to grill meat. We often have meatless dinners when he's not home, but I would never dare to try serving PBJs for dinner when he's around. He's got to have meat with every meal!

That's it for our swap! I hope you stop by Carol's blog, Battered Hope and check out her answers to my questions.  In the comments you can tell me what kind of food you love to cook.
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