Archives for January 2013

#CascadeComplete Gets Your Dishes Sparkling Clean in 2013!

Cascade Complete

In my house, we do a lot of dishes. I mean a lot. There are days when my dishwasher will run at least 3 times – once after each meal. Cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a family of 8, I need a dishwasher detergent that can handle lots of dishes and lots of mess.

That’s why I love Cascade so much. In fact, Cascade Complete tabs are the only dishwasher detergent I will use. I’ve tried switching to the cheaper stuff, but it only frustrates me. My dishes get cloudy, and I have to use 2 – 3 packs per load instead of one Cascade Complete pack. So, in the end, I’m really not saving any money because I would have to buy the “cheap stuff” so much more often.

For this review, Cascade and Social Moms sent me a 3 pack of Cascade Complete tabs to try out. I simply took those 3 tabs and added them to my much larger bag that I already had under my counter. 🙂 I know when I have found a product worth staying loyal to, and Cascade Complete tabs are such a product.

When I don’t use Cascade Complete dishwasher detergent, I find that I sometimes have to run the same load twice just to get it clean. Or my glassware comes out dingy and dull. And when it comes to baked on/stuck on food, I end up running a dish through the dishwasher, take it out, scrape off the baked on food, and then run it through the dishwasher again to make sure it’s really clean.

On the contrary, whenever I use Cascade Complete, my dishes are clean after the very first run through the dishwasher. My glassware comes out sparkling clean, and I actually want to drink from my glasses. Dishes are spot free, and baked on food? It’s no match for Cascade Complete! One run through the dishwasher, and those pots, pans, and casserole dishes come out looking like new.

It’s official in our house. We won’t be using anything but Cascade Complete in our dishwasher!

For more information on Cascade Complete, check out their website:

Also be sure to checkout Cascade on Facebook and become a fan!

Do your dishes have spots? Would you be willing to give Cascade Complete a try and “get sparkling clean in 2013?”


Disclaimer: This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Cascade blogging program, and I received free product from P&G for participating. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here.

Paparazzi Jewelry – Fun Fashion at an Affordable Price {Review}

paparazzi logo

I have a teenage daughter that absolutely loves jewelry. If you could see her bedroom, you would see necklaces, earrings, and bracelets hanging from everywhere possible. So, for Christmas this year, we decided we would get several sets of jewelry for her from a local retail store.

And then, just recently, a dear friend introduced me to Paparazzi Jewelry.  Every item they offer is $5 or less! And the quality is every bit as good as – if not better than – the sets I paid $15 – $20 for at a retail store.

paparazzi accessoriesFor this review, Tina (my fabulous Paparazzi consultant and friend), gave me several items to sample.

First, I had to hide them all from my daughter. 🙂 She sees jewelry, and she goes crazy. She loved each of the pieces Tina gave me, and the first words out of her mouth were, “Oh! I have the perfect outfit for that! I’m wearing it tomorrow.”

Second, I LOVE the fun styles, colors, and choices available from Paparazzi. Every piece Tina had in stock was something I loved and could definitely wear.

Third, and my favorite part, I LOVE the prices! I can actually afford this jewelry. I can buy several pieces – coordinating or not – and it won’t break the bank. With everything priced at $5 or less, I can afford to buy more than just one item at a time. And, just because the price is so reasonable, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality. The jewelry is well made, and it holds up to my 22 month old pulling on it. (It holds up better than much of the jewelry I have purchased from other places.)

Whether you are looking for jewelry to wear with any outfit, or if you are looking for a career that can really take you places, I highly recommend you check out Paparazzi. My personal consultant is Tina Gray, and she can give you all the details about starting up your own business or let you know how to purchase or host a party. Get in touch with her today, and have her start answering all your questions.

Overall, I am super impressed with Paparazzi Jewelry, and I will certainly be purchasing many more items in the near future… as will my daughter!

I want to close out this post by showing you a few more of my favorite pieces of Paparazzi Jewelry:

What are you waiting for? Check out Paparazzi and get in touch with Tina today!


Disclaimer: I received several pieces of Paparazzi jewelry in order to facilitate my honest review. Opinions expressed are 100% my own. No other compensation was received.

Getting the Super Mom Complex Under Control

beth moore quote

In my effort to PURGE this year, I have decided that my Super Mom Complex needs to be reigned in and brought under control.

I don’t know how you are as a mom, but I think I can do it all. The problem is, I’ve been doing so much for everyone else that I have neglected to take the time for myself and my marriage.

So often it seems like hubby and I get pushed to the side. The kids need this, the kids have to go here, the kids, the kids, the kids. And, I try to do everything I can. But, I’ve had enough. My relationship with Christ, my quiet time with Him, AND my relationship with my husband all need to come before anything else.

Now, hear me out. I am not saying that I’m going to stop doing things for my kids. What I am saying is that I’m going to be much more selective about the things I do for them. Do I need to run myself ragged  trying to get everything done they need to get done? (“Moooom, I need 4 dozen cupcakes by tomorrow!”) Absolutely not. I will still do my best to help them, but they are going to have to learn to be more responsible to do things for themselves.

On Tuesday, I went back to my OB/GYN for my 35/36 week ultrasound and check up. At my last appointment, I had been diagnosed with tonsillitis and treated with antibiotics. The doc took another look at my throat and told me that it actually looked worse than it did at the time of diagnosis. For the past 2 weeks, I have killed myself getting the boys to their surgeries, doing things for the older kids for school, ushering the kids everywhere they needed to go, and doing all the chores that the kids somehow seem to always get out of, that I neglected to take any time for myself and just rest. Now, I have to go see a specialist because this infection is so severe that it can actually become dangerous during pregnancy. If I had just taken a few hours here and there and taken a nap – or even just rested, I might not be in this predicament at all.

Then, yesterday, I was listening to the radio, and I heard the Beth Moore quote that I posted above, “No one can do a thousand things to the glory of God.” It was like a stone right between the eyes. Like God was speaking to me through the radio.

I try to do so much for everyone else, and I say that I’m doing it all to the glory of God, but I can’t be. If I am taking on so much that I can hardly function, I am not doing anything for His glory.

Therefore, I’m calling a mom time out. I’ve got a baby coming in the next 2 – 4 weeks, and I need to just chill out until she comes. The kids will be fine, and if they need something, they are perfectly capable of getting off the couch and getting it themselves. I need a break.

Are you suffering from the Super Mom Complex? What have you done to get it under control?

After Ear Tube Surgery

Recently, my 21 month old had surgery where they removed his adenoids and put tubes in his ears.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

After we got home, I had about a bazillion questions, but the more I googled, the more frustrated I became. I just couldn’t find any answers to all the questions that I had.

So, I figured I would put up a post and tell you what you might expect to see after your child has a similar surgery. Please note that what Gage experienced after his surgery may not be what your child experiences, but since I couldn’t find any information out there, I want people to have a starting point.

First, the inside of your child’s ears will be gross. I mean really, really gross. There’s lots of drainage, and the gunk builds up in the ear canal and directly outside of it. This is normal. And, thankfully, it disappears within just a few days. (Where it goes, I have no idea… except for the chunk of gunk Gage pulled out of his ear and then handed to me. Ick!!)

There will be discharge for several days after surgery. With Gage, his ears actually started pouring out blood. This absolutely freaked me out, so we called the doctor that performed the surgery and then headed to the ER. It turns out that Gage’s ears were probably infected at the time of the surgery, and that is what caused them to bleed so badly and run a very high fever.

They started Gage on another round of antibiotics, and by the next day he was completely back to normal. No more bleeding ears, no more fever, just his happy little self.

Typically kids don’t have any issues after surgery, but it IS possible for complications to arise – especially if your child’s ears were infected at the time of surgery.

Also, if your child has their adenoids removed, they will have VERY bad breath for at least 2 weeks. (Though it can last up to 4 weeks.) If you are pregnant, the smell of their breath can literally knock you to the floor. It is bad. But, it is normal, and it is all part of the healing process. Their nose will also run quite a bit. Keep lots of tissues or Boogie Wipes on hand.

If you have any complications after your child’s surgery, CALL THE DOCTOR. They will be able to tell you exactly what is going on, or if you need to take a trip to the Emergency Room.

For the record, I have noticed a HUGE difference in Gage since his surgery. I absolutely believe he can hear better because now he is trying to talk so much more, and his words are so much clearer. He is sleeping through the night, and he is just as happy as can be. I am so glad we had this surgery done. Even though there were complications, I still think this was the best choice for him.

Did your child have tubes put in his ears? What was your experience?

Angry Dad Screams at Daughter: What Would You Do?

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Today my 4 year old had his second dental surgery. I knew it was going to be more complex than his last surgery, so I was prepared to sit in the waiting room for awhile. I was not, however, prepared for what would go down in the waiting room while we were there.

My husband couldn’t go to Parker’s procedure with me today. His work schedule just didn’t allow for it. Since I had a sitter for Gage, I wasn’t too worried about it. After all, I’ve taken the kids to lots of doctors appointments and procedures alone. This wouldn’t be any big deal.

Shortly after we arrived, they ushered Parker back to get his vitals and give him a dose of happy juice. With Parker, the happy juice kicks in after about 10 minutes, and I cannot let him off my lap. He would seriously hurt himself if I did.

Just before Parker got his happy juice, a dad and his daughter walked into the dentist’s office. They signed in, filled out the paperwork, and then sat down. Just before they took Parker back to sedate him, the little girl received her own dose of happy juice.

Rather than sit his daughter on his lap, the dad put his daughter in the chair beside him – which also happened to be right next to me. Then, he hands her his iPad.

Ok, I thought to myself, he’s got a good 10 – 15 minutes before her happy juice kicks in. Hopefully he’ll be smart enough to take the iPad away from her.


10 minutes after she got the happy juice, the little girl decided she wanted to get up and walk. As she went to get up, the iPad flipped off her lap and landed face down on the wood floor. You could hear the screen shatter as it hit the ground.

The dad flies into a rage, screaming at his daughter for doing this. He’s calling her stupid, an idiot, and all sorts of other names that horrified me.

I couldn’t hold my tongue. I turned to him and said, “Sir. Calm down.” He then goes off on me… telling ME what an idiot his daughter is and if she hadn’t been so stupid, this never would have happened.

The poor girl is in tears by now. My heart is breaking and I say, “It wasn’t her fault. It was an accident.”

To which he replies, “Yeah, an $800 accident that never should have happened and only happened because she’s too dumb to hold onto the iPad.”

At this point, my blood is boiling. I mumbled, (making sure it was plenty loud enough for him to hear me), “You are the idiot that gave your six year old an $800 iPad to play with while she’s on happy juice.”

He tells me to “BLANK off,” and that’s the end of our conversation. (Although I had SO much more I wanted to say.) He then proceeds to call someone, (I’m assuming it was his wife), and tell them how stupid his daughter is…

I immediately sent a text to my husband, using my “angry thumbs,” and tell him how upset I am over how this guy is treating his daughter. All I wanted to do was snatch up that little girl and tell her it was ok… and then punch her father in the face.

They came out shortly after that and took her back to sedation, so I was left alone in the waiting room with this guy. I’m proud of myself for showing self control, because honestly – all I wanted to do was slug him. Hard.

I am not a perfect person, and I am not a perfect parent by any means. But, when I make the mistake of screaming at my kids, (which I do more often than I would ever like to admit), I always apologize. Usually immediately, but if not, I apologize shortly afterward. Then, that night, I make it a point to pull that child aside at bedtime and pray with them. I confess my sin to God in front of them so they know that not only do I need to make things right with them, I also need to make things right with God and get His forgiveness as well.

To watch this dad scream and yell at and about his daughter literally ripped my heart out. While I am thankful she was on happy juice, and she probably won’t remember this first hand, I have a horrible feeling that he will never let her forget it.

In my heart, I hoped that John Quinones with ABC’s WWYD would come out from behind closed doors and tell me this was all just an act. But, it didn’t happen. That poor little girl really had to suffer through a verbal beating from her father.

I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. I felt the need to step in and protect that little girl. Would you have done the same, or would you have made a different choice? I’m interested to hear what you would have done.


Alexa Mania Monday – ON HOLD

I have decided to suspend the Alexa Mania Monday Blog Hop. I have not decided when – or if – it will be back. I need to take some time to see if it’s really worth it or not.

Today, my 4 year old goes in for his second dental surgery. This one will be much more complex and more painful than his last surgery was. Since I’m having so much trouble getting a linky to show up in any post, and I have to leave my house so early tomorrow morning, I need to just put this meme on hold.

Tell me your thoughts on the Alexa Mania Monday. Is it working for you? Is it worth the time and effort it takes me to put up the post, check it regularly, and then follow through?

I’d love to hear what you think!

Changes Coming to Blessed Beyond Words

For the past several months, I have been feeling quite overwhelmed with keeping up with reviews, giveaways, and everything else on this blog. With the arrival of baby #7 just weeks away, I have been terrified that this will only get worse.

It wasn’t until this week at our church’s revival that it hit me: I am using my blog for all the wrong things.

So, I plan to make some big changes around here. There will not be as many product reviews and/or giveaways. I know, I know. This is going to kill my stats and social media ranking. That’s ok. There will still be some reviews and giveaways, but I will be much more selective about the products offered up to my readers. Why? Because I don’t want to share “fluff.” I want to share things that my readers genuinely need and want to hear about. I do have several commitments that I need to follow through with, so expect a few review posts in the immediate future, but they will slowly start to trickle off.

I will also be using my blog more to discuss topics I believe my readers want to hear about as well. You will see lots more posts on cloth diapering, parenting, relationships, faith, and (once the baby is born) weight loss. (Remember that 40 pounds I lost? Yeah, I found it. Now I have to lose it all over again!)

Also, if there are more topics you would like me to discuss, please don’t ever hesitate to use the contact form to let me know! (I’m also putting one in the sidebar for quick and easy access.)

I have a feeling that this will cause me to lose many subscribers and followers, but that is their loss… and then they will miss out on the giveaways I do host! I just really feel that I need to use my blog to help and encourage mothers out there… not bog the internet down with more useless mumbo jumbo that just takes up space.

2013 is going to be a great year, and I am genuinely excited about these changes. I hope that you will stick around and see what I have up my sleeve. Heaven knows I’ve got lots to talk about. 🙂

Thank you to my faithful readers and friends in 2012. I’m looking forward to spending 2013 with you as well!

My Word for 2013: PURGE

2013: PURGE

For the past month or so, I have prayed about the word God would have me to keep in mind throughout 2013.

I’ve finally found it!

My word for 2013 is PURGE.

Here are 13 ways I plan to PURGE my life this year:

  • I will PURGE the things in my life that hinder my relationship with Christ.
  • I will PURGE any thoughts or reactions that might harm my relationship with my husband.
  • I will PURGE the things in my life that keep me from spending time with my children.
  • I will PURGE from my home the clutter and things I no longer need and either donate them or throw them away.
  • I will PURGE from my life relationships that do not foster my relationship with Christ.
  • I will PURGE from my heart any bitterness or unforgiveness that may be hanging around.
  • I will PURGE from my eyes anything that does not need to be set before them. (TV shows, movies, etc.)
  • I will PURGE from my Bible verses that I can memorize and apply to my life.
  • I will PURGE from my diet foods that do not help me meet healthy living goals I have set for myself.
  • I will PURGE from my mouth any desire to gossip or say things that could harm another person.
  • I will PURGE from my mouth any desire to “snap back” or get angry.
  • I will PURGE my desires to nag my husband or children and instead use words to encourage and uplift them.
  • I will PURGE through last year’s Prayer Journal, rejoice in the blessings God has given us, and start a new journal for this year.

Those are my goals for 2013. While they will not be easy, I rejoice in the fact that “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phil. 4:13)

What’s your word for 2013?