September 29, 2010

Shutterfly Winners Announced!

I'm so pleased to announce the winners of my first ever give-away! I'd like to thank all who entered and who read my blog. I truly appreciate each and every one of you who to take the time out of your busy schedules to read my little bit of insanity.
And the winners of the 10 FREE 5x7 FLAT STATIONARY PHOTO CARDS from Shutterfly are:

- Kim C!                    -katie and the little things                   - Kat at For Love Of My Oceans!        

I hope you enjoy your photo cards Mamas!

September 27, 2010

Having No Shame

As you may have read, the Not Blessed Family has been under the weather lately. The other night N.B.Daddy begged in a pathetic voice for some soda- it was the only thing that would help his sore throat, he explained in an extremely whiny, pathetic voice. So the Spawn and I loaded up in the car and ran over to the drugstore. I didn't mind actually- we have all been stuck at home lately and it sounded a little fun to escape the sick house. 
Unfortunately, it seems that our cabin fever made us forget what it was like to be in the outside world. The Spawn went nuts in the store- "Look, candy, can we get a candy!" "Mom can we look at toys?" "Look, it's Fushigi Mom, can I have Fushigi for Christmas? Or my birthday, which comes first?" "Mom can we look at toys? Mom look it's Halloween, look at the Halloween candy!" After about 10,000 questions my resolve started to weaken and my vision started to blur. Okay, okay, okay- get a candy, look at toys. Okay- I give up, and you win. I figured we all deserved a little treat for having such a tough week anyway.
As we walked up to the register, I took a gander at my cart.... and I started to get a little embarrassed. Soda, gummy bears, a huge chocolate bar, rubber duckies and gummy eyeballs. A little plastic toy. Junk, junk, junk and more junk. As I put our items up on the counter I got more sheepish- what kind of person drags her raggedy, sniffley, crazy kids into the drugstore late at night just to buy garbage? The only way it could have gotten any better would have been if someone had puked on the floor. But I held my head high as I swiped my card. I reminded myself I had no reason to be ashamed. Who cares if my kids and I have been wearing the same clothes for 3 days? Who cares if I have boogers on my shoulder and buy Pepsi at 9 p.m.? No one does! Shame needs to go out the window when you are a parent. I mean, really- if you are brave enough to push a baby out on a table in a room full of strangers while your lady bits are flyin' in the breeze, you can do anything. 
We took our junk food and prizes home and enjoyed the rest of our evening greatly. And shame free. 

And don't forget to enter my Shuttefly give-away here!!

September 21, 2010

My First Give-Away- Shutterfly Photo cards!!!

I'm sorry I've been MIA lately, my dear mama friends. A nasty virus has struck down the Not Blessed Mama family with great force. We are slowly getting back to normal, and I am so excited to tell you..... I'm doing my first give-away...
I have been using Shutterfly for about 6 years now and can't say enough about them. I love their photo editing tools. Last Christmas I made this for my mother by editing the photos in Adobe and then making a poster using Shutterfly's collage tool:
And sometimes I just order a simple 4x6 with a cute border as a holiday gift, since no one in my family ever needs anything:

With your 10 FREE 5x7 FLAT STATIONARY PHOTO CARDS, you can make cute Christmas cards  using 1-4 photos, festive Halloween cards or invitations with many cute borders or templates, or even fuss free Thank You notes that are ready to be mailed out. 
My only rule for this contest is that you may enter once a day- by leaving a comment here on my blog. Leave your e-mail if you are not a follower. 
If you'd like to follow my blog, I'd love you forever. If you'd like to check me out on Facebook or Twitter, that would be sweet too.
Per Shutterfly's rules, one free credit of ten cards per account, expires 12/31/2010. You are responsible for shipping (Shutterfly just let me know), which looks to be $5.99+tax. Value of this gift is about $20. Shutterfly is also giving me a set of ten free photo cards to host this give-away.


Thanks so much to my loyal readers for all of your wonderful support, and good luck!

September 17, 2010

{this moment}

From Soulemama:
"A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see."

There is no way this costume is going to make it to Halloween.

September 15, 2010

10 Glorious Things Someone Should Have Told You About Motherhood

When you become pregnant, you will get a boat load of unwanted advice. It's usually either common sense stuff, or bat-shit crazy stuff (like someone cautioning me against cats stealing babies' breath). Well, Not Blessed Mama is here to tell you ten wonderful things about being a mother that no one else will. Because I'm cool like that.

1. Your child's leftovers will someday be irresistible. You will be eating other being's chewed up food and table scraps and calling it dinner. 
2. Say good-bye to your bosoms. Just say goodbye. It will be worth it, but.... just say goodbye.
3. Scrubbing poop out of carpet really sucks. Really. Also? Picking it up is really, really nasty.
4. Like going to the bathroom with the door closed? Better get over it.
5. The feeling of warm spit-up/vomit in your hair is gloriously indescribable. The feeling of cold, hard dried up spit up that's been in your hair for 3 days because you didn't have 15 free minutes to take shower? Even better. 
6. Might as well change your favorite foods from chicken alfredo and anything-that-requires-more-than-one-pot to mac n' cheese and anything-that-requires-only-one-pot.
7. Someday your kids are going to drive you so crazy, you are going to feel like chucking them out the nearest window. You will feel no remorse at the thought. But don't worry about it- it's like "look but don't touch." 
8. You know those magazine photos of women gently cradling their pregnant bellies in their arms, looking serene? Real preggo bellies don't look like that. Hello, stretch marks. 
9. Fart jokes will be the commonly accepted form of humor in your house at some point.
10. There is no harder job in the universe than being a mother- and none that are more worth it either. 

Aww, yes, I had to end it on a positive note because Hallmark is sponsoring this post! Just kidding, they're not. I wish they were though- what's a girl gotta do to get some damn endorsements around here? Hellooooo, Mike's Hard Lemonade (especially Black Cherry)???

September 10, 2010

{this moment}

From Soulemama:
"A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see."

September 7, 2010

Like Breastfeeding? Then Un-like Regretsy

Not Blessed Mama is always tardy to the party. I was late to Myspace, Facebook, Sons of Anarchy, blogging, Twitter, iPhones, True Blood.... I guess I'm just too busy traumatizing the Spawn for life trying to be a loving mother and wife. So when I finally stumbled upon Regretsy, it was already wildly popular- and hilarious. I was hooked, and it took me about 3 nights of staying up until the wee hours of the morning to read every single entry. You see, Regretsy takes funky crafts and whatnot from Etsy, and mocks them mercilessly. April Winchell, the site's author, has a sharp tongue and a dirty mouth- the results are hysterical. I love her kind of humor- similar to Lisa Lampanelli, my favorite comedian. A kind of no-holds-barred, everything is fair game attitude. I consider myself to be in that category- I'm definitely an equal opportunity mocker. 
I was quite thrilled to find Regretsy on Facebook, as I was developing a secret girl crush on April. Until...... dun dun dun (ominous music playing).... the day of the Milky Milky Necklace. Some well-meaning mother crafted a necklace made to look like a set of boobs, to comfort her daughter who was weaning. I must confess to you before I continue- I have been producing milk for the past 9+ years. I've nursed 3 gorgeous, healthy Spawn, and it is something that is quite important to me. But I'm not up-tight. I can take a joke- and I had no qualms about people mocking this nursing/weaning necklace. Because, let's be real, giving a small child a set of silver knockers to wear around her neck is..... uhh... possibly just a little itty bitty tiny bit bizarre. 
Unfortunately, the mocking did not stop at the necklace, as I had expected might happen. Many people were making deregatory remarks about "lactards"- a horrible term that I think is pretty self explanatory. April (and most of her minions) think that breastfeeding is so normal and natural, it's like pooping. Seriously, it was compared to defecation. It's just a natural bodily function no one should be proud of. Unfortunately this line of thinking doesn't make sense- per the CDC,  in 2007 33% of babies were exclusively breastfed through 3 months of age, and approximately 13% were exclusively breastfed through 6 months. Those are pretty dismal numbers. If breastfeeding was as easy as going to the bathroom, don't you think that a lot more women would be doing it? Let's face facts- nursing is not always easy. You constantly need to be physically available to your baby, or pump milk in preparation of any separation. You must watch your diet, and avoid foods that bother your child- as well as caffeine and alcohol. You must sacrifice your body for your child's well being- and it is such a totally awesome, wonderful and glorious thing, mothers do it all the time. It is well worth the price. 


And by the way, my feelings about the lactation police have NOTHING to do with breastfeeding.

It's when you start taking yourself and your body so seriously that you think you're a fucking superhero for feeding your kid that it turns a corner.
August 7 at 11:30pm

This is a quote from April Winchell on the FB discussion. April, I invite you to ask your mother if she nursed you. If she did, please tell her that the 9 months that she lovingly carried you inside her body and then nourished you with milk from her bosom are nothing special- they're akin to taking a crap. Giving you life and nourishment solely from the power of her own body is like eating a burrito and then dropping the kids off at the pool- it's not serious, it's not special and anyone could do it without a second thought. Wrong, Wrong, and Wrong again. It's hard work, but it is mind-blowingly insane the amazing things that a woman's body can do, and the sacrifices she will make for her child. And breastfeeding women  are fucking superheros, thankyouverymuch.
End rant. 

September 2, 2010

Retail Therapy- and, Being Thrifty is Nifty

I'll admit it- I love shopping. Sometimes a little mindless browsing is exactly what the Doctor ordered, and it comes with far less side effects than Valium or Prozac. But the thing that thrills me isn't just walking into a store and buying something. The real excitement lies in the finds- the steals. My name is Not Blessed Mama and I am a Bargain Shopper. 
My frugal shopping tendencies began with getting excited about the clearance racks at Target and the mall. My eyes were constantly scanning for the "50% Off" signs, and I could spot an orange clearance price sticker a mile away. This was all well and good, and very enjoyable for many years. UNTIL I discovered thrifting- oh, the sweet joys of thrift store shopping. If you have not stepped foot in a thrift store, I am strongly encouraging you to promptly enter the one closest to you and have a good look around. 
Generally I categorize thrift stores into two different categories- dirty or clean. Don't run away! Give me a chance to explain. "Clean" thrift stores are generally big, well organized stores (possibly chains, like Goodwill or Salvation Army) that are neat and tidy. They're a good introduction to thrifting. I recently visited a thrift store that not only had employees on wireless headsets, but also a security guard. Fancy schmancy! There are many great deals to be found at clean thrift stores (especially on sale days, when certain items- or the whole store- can be marked down), but those niceties come at a price. "Dirty" thrift stores are where you are going to find the awesome steals- and yes, unfortunately, they are dirty. Bring wipes and hand sanitizer. My very favorite dirty thrift store recently went out of business and I was devestated. I cannot even tell you how many things I bought there- sometimes I'd make a weekly trip simply for the 50% off sale day. A few buys that stick in my head were brand new crystal making and volcano sets for $3 (homeschoolers, thrift stores rock for schooling supplies) and Spawn#2's beloved black knee high boots for $2. You can really find any and everything in a thrift store- name brand clothing of all sizes, gifts, items new in boxes and with tags, holiday decorations, furniture and household items- you never know!
If I have not yet sold you on the idea of thrifting (and I didn't even mention the amazing environmental impact we're creating by shopping at and donating to thrift stores), I'd like to share some of my finds with you. 

This is probably what I'm most proud of- my $.99 desk, which was also on sale for %30  off. Total cost on this desk came out to a little under $10. I tried to talk myself out of buying that 70 cent desk (which also came with a few cents inside of it), but it kept calling my name. I felt like an idiot cramming it in the trunk. But I absolutely love how it turned out, and it only took my sister and I a few hours for the marvelous transformation. 
This is Spawn#3's Halloween costume. $3 plus 50% off- how can you beat that?

Dresses for Spawn#2- Floral no-name brand $1.50, Gymboree striped $4,
 blue shiny Hanna Andersson $3- all with an additional 50% off!
This really cool Harry Potter umbrella- $4 plus 50% off. 
And check out these awesome H&M swim shorts for Spawn#3, $2 plus 50% off. 

On my most recent shopping trip I also got a bunch of books for the kids (including Captain Underpants) which were all under 30 cents. If you are not already a thrift shopper, I really hope this post has inspired you to see what treasures your local thrift store may hold. And if you are a seasoned thrifter- anyone feel like shopping?
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