Monday, February 22, 2010

NEW winner

There are email issues so I am selecting a new winner for the $25 Kroger gift card provided by General Mills and MyBlogSpark

# 12 - Dolphin Girl said...

WE are huge Cheerios fans at our house.

True Random Number Generator 12Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Free $$ at Kroger goes to...

Thank you to everyone who entered to win the Kroger family gift card provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

The winner of the $25 gift card is...

Christine said...

There are so many good products to list. I guess I will go with Juicy Juice though.


***Christine - your email address is bouncing back to me...please email me to receive your gift card.

True Random Number Generator 7Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

OCD hits again

Last July was a good time.
One of the best in fact.
Remember that episode of the Twilight Zone where the only family on the block with a bomb shelter was being bombarded by their friends and neighbors to let them in because they didn't want to die and it turned into a whole cluster fuck and they all realized how savage they had acted when the whole thing turned out to be a drill of sorts?

This is really nothing like that.
I just really liked that episode because their bomb shelter reminds me of a stockpile pantry.
Thats all.

There isn't anything noteworthy going on this weekend unless you are as excited as I am that I am going to reorganize the stockpile storage pantry.

You say this bores you greatly?

Fine by me.

I get off doing sick shit like reorganizing closets and pantries.
I have some fundamental defect that allows me to stare at empty shelves and see fun putting jars of spaghetti sauce in rows.
And I would even spin this into a business if I could...I would come to your house and organize the fuck outta your closets, your garage and your dressers.
I used to go over to my moms house and clean out her freezer/fridge and her pantry because they were so nasty to look at that I just couldnt take it anymore. Wasnt my house and she didnt mind the clutter.
But I had to do it, like some twisted OCD ritual.
And it totally helps that I rock at it too.

If people think I am weird or just plain bat shit crazy because I like to have a plethora of food in the house as a fail safe then I guess I wont be inviting them over to dinner when the nukes drop and the only person on the block with enough food to last through the radiation stage where we all grow tails in the middle of our backs and our toes fall off is me...then fine.
Wont make me lose sleep at night.
Mostly because I think the radiation would make us nocturnal.
Which would be SO much better for most women...we wouldnt have to wear as much makeup because almost everyone looks sultry in the moonlight.

And who doesnt want to look sultry with no toes and a tail while eating spaghetti, ice cream and cereal at 4am?

Read the original post in its entirety HERE.

snow days

We had a large snow storm hit Ohio last week that you may have heard about.

Since most people around here still flip out at the prospect of a few inches of snow the University closed early on Tuesday and I took Wednesday off of work we had time to play in the snow!

Jeff, Carah and Brady posing for a Kessler family shot.
Carah is holding a snowball maker.
It is the lazy persons way to make a perfect snowball.
We have two.

Me and my trusty snowball maker.

Playing on the swing set in their snow suits was the highlight of the afternoon.

We took a break from the snow and Brady decided to catch snowflakes on his tongue. After I pointed out that he was inside and that snowflakes fell outside the house he swiftly put me in my place by telling me that he was doing it anyways.

My favorite shot of Brady...he is attempting to sneak up on me and fire that snowball at me.
I totally spotted him.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Earn $$ for your school and a Kroger gift card for you

The simple act of cutting out part of a label can earn money for your school!
Box Tops for Education has raised over $300 million and they arent stopping there.
Many of the items you have in your house has boxtops available to cut out and turn into your child's school.

As I stated here the Kroger family of stores is giving you the chance to earn even more bonus Box Tops. By just scanning your Kroger card after you register at you can earn Bonus Box Tops on the items you are already buying for your family.

And thanks to General Mills and My Blog Spark I have one $25 gift card to the Kroger family of stores to give away!
Want to win?

1. (mandatory) Leave a comment telling me your favorite Box Tops for Education product

2. Bonus Entry - Become a fan of There Are Two Sides To Every Schwartz on Facebook then come back here and leave a comment letting me know you are a fan

3. Bonus entry - Subscribe to There are two sides to every Schwartz, then let me know.

All entries must be received by 11:59 pm EST on Friday, February 19 to be eligible. The winner will have 72 hours to respond to email notification or check and respond to the post with the winners name published or another winner will be chosen.

**all information including the gift card giveaway, box tops and general mills were provided by General Mills and My Blog Spark, I also received a gift card for the Kroger family of stores**

Monday, February 8, 2010

If I had a dime for every time I...

Before I became a part time step mom I never gave an extensive amount of thought to the educational system in town.We always receive the highest state of Ohio rating and I am a product of the school system so it must be doing something right!
Now that I do have a mini-adult in the school system I am finding more and more ways that even part time parents like me can help make a difference in our schools...$.10 at a time.

It´s hard to believe that the simple act of clipping Box Top coupons has raised over $300 million for our kids´ schools. Now you can earn even more money for the school of your choice because from now through March 18, the Kroger Family of Stores is giving you the chance to get even more Bonus Box Tops.

All you have to do is register at and select the personalized offers that you would like to receive.

Once you register, you will automatically receive 5 Bonus Box Tops just for signing up! You will also receive custom offers for bonus box tops for purchasing participating General Mills products. The offers you select will then load onto your Kroger Shopper Card to be redeemed once you purchase the items. The great part is there´s no clipping! The Bonus Box Tops will automatically go straight to your chosen school. Just remember to scan your card when purchasing the participating items.

Here are the details of the offer:

  • Get 3,4, or 5 Bonus Box Tops when you buy the corresponding amount of participating General Mills Cereals
Participating cereals include Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, , Cookie Crisp Sprinkles, Trix, Reese´s Puffs, Cookie Crisp, Golden Grahams, Kix, Fruity Cheerios, Dora the Explorer, Honey Kix, and all varieties of Cascadian Farm
  • Get 3, 4, or 5 Bonus Box Tops when you buy the corresponding amount of participating Yoplait Kid products
Participating products include Yoplait Kids Yogurt Drink, Yoplait Go-GURT, Yoplait Kids Lowfat Yogurt, and Yoplait Trix Lowfat Yogurt
  • Get 3, 4, or 5 Bonus Box Tops when you buy the corresponding amount of participating Pillsbury products
Participating products include 8 ct. packages of all varieties of Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits, Pillsbury Grands! Cinnamon Rolls, Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls, Pillsbury Flaky Twists, and Pillsbury Sweet Rolls

**All of the information and boxtop giveaway were provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark**

Friday, February 5, 2010

A pirate seemed like a cool job as a kid but I never was allowed to cap my teeth gold. Naturally it took away from the overall effect.


Not time for changes just yet.

Quality changes take money time.

And lovely drunken binges to come up with neat-o fonts and buttons and links.

Creativity is something that I have.

In spurts.
Link bad gas from eating too much cabbage and nervous facial ticks.

Plus most people don't take sound advice or ideas from a kid with an eye patch.
That is what most kids remembered me for in elementary school.
Not my sense of humor...shortness of stature...or even my ability to entertain a crowd of girl scouts by eating oatmeal cream pies whole at the age of 5.

My pink plastic glasses with hearts in the corners (it was 1986) and my eye patch were classy in the era of the cabbage patch kid, teddy ruxpin and Jem and the Holograms (not to mention Saturday morning cartoons in general which absolutely rocked...not like the shit they put on tv today).
Luckily my mom thought I was cool.

And she had enough brains to never take any pictures of this awkward time b/c I would have to cut her right index finger off or something.

Second thought.
I would have to hire someone for finger cutting...there is bone to be cut through and I don't know if I have the stomach for that.

I think that may be something that would cause me to lose my bowels.
Again, much like cabbage I guess.

Either way I am headed forward...balls out kinda style.

I am sure it will resemble Tara Reid flashing everyone her boob at PDiddy's birthday.

All *surprise* with jazz hands to make it a bit more exciting.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

This is it! And, this has nothing to do with Michael Jackson. I dont even really want to see that movie because all I can do is stare at his 'nose'.

I am totally taking the next step in the blogosphere food be on the lookout for some fairly major changes coming your way.



Wednesday, January 27, 2010

no more struggles at dinnertime

The kids arent really old enough to care what their dinner is going to be ahead of time.
Which is good for me because then I get to make whatever I want!

They eat the typical kid dogs, chicken nuggets, grilled cheese and anything Jeff and I are having that I think they'll dig. (people still say dig, right?)
They eat pork chops, meatloaf, spaghetti (a house favorite) and they have a love of tacos as well.

Most nights our struggle with the kids during dinner seem endless.

Carah likes to take an hour or more to eat.
Seriously an hour.


She is 6 and she is good at it.
She talks.


She is 6.

I shutter to think of her phone usage when she gets older.

And Brady is excellent at being 2 1/2.
In fact I believe he is testing the very definition of 2 1/2 currently.

Some days he eats in 15 minutes...some days over an hour.
Depending on his mood of course.
He has a recent tendency to store food in his cheeks during dinner.
After 6 or so bites he resembles this:

And while it is adorable we constantly have to push the food back onto the other side of his teeth so he can chew and swallow!

Then they drop their food, knock the milk over, elbow in the ketchup, sneeze in their sandwich...its never ending.

Where does the easy, no struggle part come in?

The one time that Jeff and I have found where the kids eat willingly, without prodding and hour long meals and act like angels is when we have our special family picnic nights.

In November we started having family picnics every other week.
Yes, we still live in Ohio.
Where it is 19 degrees out currently.
And snowing.

So we lay down a blanket in the family room, we all get in our pajamas and we eat our dinner as a picnic.
Only inside.

We generally put on a kids television show as a special treat (the kids dont watch much tv at our house) and we all have a great time laughing at that crazy Lily on Hannah Montana or dancing to the Mickey House Clubhouse song 'Hot Diggity Dog'.

It may not be the structured meal that we typically enforce but it also lets the kids know that Dad and Amanda can let the rules slip every now and then for some family picnic time.
Plus we try and use paper plates which makes it easier on me come dishes time!
This is what works for me...see what works for everyone else here!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

They have the right idea

Breakfast is a necessity in my house.
I have to eat it everyday.
I have the kids eat it everyday they are with us.
And there is something that typically goes hand in hand with breakfast.


We all crave it.

We all want some.

Doesnt matter how we get it or in what form...we need it.

But there are some foods that dont have to have that much sugar in them.

Ice Cream.
Try some with a lower sugar content and you'll be surprised at how much flavor there is without added sugar.

Yup, syrup with lower sugar is just as satisfying as the rea
l deal.

And while I am certain I could go on and on I will stop with only 1 more.

General Mills Cereal.

Say, what?

The kids love cereal just as much as I do and it is easy to get side tracked into letting them eat the type of cereal they want.


Full of extra forms of sugar that they dont need. (you know...the good stuff)

Carah is in kindergarten and needs to concentrate all she can to continue her brilliance with reading.
While Brady is nearly 2 1/2 and he needs to learn simple rules of life.
Neither has the time to let a sugar overdose or hunger sidetrack them throughout the day.

That is why it is so fantastic that General Mills has committed to lowering the sugar content in cereals advertised to kids under 12 to single digit grams of sugar per serving.
They are also increasing essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin D.

General Mills let me try a few boxes of cereal through MyBlogSpark. They also gave me essential information about breakfast and ready-to-eat cereals.
I was admittedly skeptical.
I love my healthy cereals but when I am jonesing for a sugary bowl of goodness thats exactly what I want.
I had a few varieties of General Mills cereal provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark and we loved them (naturally!)
We all decided that we will probably notice when they take a few grams of sugar out of these cereals. Our days will be better for it.

The benefits of cereal are astounding, especially when you really dont take the time to think much about the food you are putting into your body.
Whole grains, added nutrients, lowers the likelihood of obesity, lowers absenteeism in school, kids perform better at school and have higher test scores (when they eat breakfast).

Seems like a reason to keep eating a healthy (and still fun) breakfast to me!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

what about what?

Being a pretend runner had the ability to take its toll on me this year.

With all of the training.
And sweating.
Extra loads of laundry from the profuse sweating.
And walking and pretending it was running.
Buying new running only shoes.
Buying new shorts and more new tops.

I didnt make any resolutions this year because I always seemed to forget about them come February 1.
But running was something that I was going to do this year.
No matter what.

Well, what happened.

I had my fourth knee surgery in early January...took a few semi-restful days off of work...and when I asked my physical therapist at my first appointment what he thought about me running a few 5K's this year his response was laughter.

Not a nice manly giggle or chuckle.

No, it sounded more like the Witch Hazel from looney tunes.
Except in a deeper voice.

So at least I know I am not allowed to run for the rest of my life so that will get me out of something in the future... this one goes into the back pocket to use whenever I deem necessary.

I need to find something to do with the supercute running tops I bought in 2009 to make myself want to run...

I guess my next resolution is to join Club Mongo and eat my weight in stir fry this year when our new bd's Mongolian Grill opens in Toledo.
This may actually be something I can accomplish?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

the ultimate fun sucker of 2010 (thus far)

2010 is already testing my strength and my ability to find things to do when I get sick of watching TV and DVR's.
Did I really just say that out loud that I get sick of watching TV?


Seriously...when you are forced to laze around it sucks the fun out of doing it because you want to. Forced sick time is a fun sucker.

I had arthroscopic knee surgery on Monday and I am quickly recovering. This is my 4th knee surgery so this is nothing new to me at all.
I have been off crutches and heavy pain medications since Monday as well.
I kind of kick ass.
Major kinds of ass even.

But after my first physical therapy appointment today I am realizing that I am going to take 2 amazingly nice Vicodin and sleep my way into non-knee pain bliss. Until 4 hours later when they wear off and I need repeat said process. Which is my favorite thing to do at 2am.
What is yours?
Nothing as cool as this...I am certain.

And apparently I am 'over doing it' with my vertical time and I need to spend more time resting on the couch with my knee elevated.
Which means...dirty house, neglected chores and fast food.
All of which are magnificent things...when they are not forced.
Stupid knee surgery has become the ultimate fun sucker.

But on the other hand Jeff has been a doll.