Friday, July 30, 2010

Toilet Brushes-I'm Talkin About it!

Have you ever had a conversation about a Toilet Brush? Probably not at any length if you're like a majority of people. 

Toilet Brushes are quite possibly not only the nastiest but most ironic "cleaning tool" ever invented.  I mean sure it gets those usually "unmentionable" spots clean in your toilet but EEEEEWWWWWW!!!  Most of the toilet brushes I've seen in peoples homes sit and drain in a little nasty puddle of doo...say you rinsed it all you want..ICKY..YUCKY EWWW..whether you cleaned or Molly Maid cleaned...GROSS!!

Toilet brushes and toilet paper..
they do have the nastiest jobs ....
I'll spare any creative writing talents 
in this arena and simply let you concur 
that yes..they have nasty jobs.

There are a variety of Toilet Brushes out there....for instance

or there's

You've got choices right?!  For me,  NONE,  that's right,  I said NONE of these options will thanks..

The best invention ever....(no I was not given a sample or compensated in any way for this!)
Did you hear that...birds are chirping, grass is greener  and LOOK...toilets are cleaner!!  NO dirty nasty icky yucky toilet brushes here!  Okay..Maybe it's not the kind of Magic Wand you were dreaming of ...but it's a wand and it works and it doesn't store poo in it's bristle that you thought you rinsed out by soaking it in bleach or some other chemical something or other.


on still using a toilet brush there are rules to follow..

Toilet Brush ETIQUETTE if you will.......

And in closing I present them to you now.....Have a nice day:

Budget Boosters

Sunday, July 18, 2010

GAME ON! iTunes App Recommendations.

I posted the other day about a cool website called The iPhone Mom.   So, this post, is inspired by the fact that I've found some nice apps through her I thought I'd pay it forward and make a few recommendations here as well.

My husband and I are always looking for fun games for the kids, and for us.  Yes..we play the games too. 

Did you know you can sync all your iPods, iPod touches, iPads and iPhones to one iTunes account so you only have to purchase the applications one time.  You can have up to 5 different computers synced to the same itunes account to share the applications/music/podcasts/movies etc.

Here are a few fun game recommendations:

One game I am ABSOLUTELY addicted to is WORDS WITH FRIENDS by NEWTOYinc.

This is a social game and is basically SCRABBLE on the GO!.   You can have several games going with different people at the same time.   You get 7 play on your iphone/ipod/ipad and your friend gets a little notice on their device that's it's their turn to play.  Games can take a day/week/month.  You just play when you get a rush..  My user name is Robinwordnerd (that's right I'm a nerd and I own it!)

Another wordgame that is a single player game is Jumbline .
You get a set # of letters and have to make as as many words as possible out of each letter grouping.  (this is great practice for figuring out words when you play scrabble or Words With Friends!)

  A family friendly game -ANGRY BIRDS- (Don't let the name scare you away.) a great way to pass time in the Dr's office, carline, sports practice, or just because you want to beat the next level because you're competitive.
Now I saw this thing on the #1 App spot a long time before I actually purchased it. I purchased it because of a review I read at The iPhone Mom.  I figured okay..I'll try it out.  My husband snubbed it at first..but once he played it a little he was on board to conquer the challenge.  I've been surprised (I'm not sure why since it was on the #1 spot) at how many people are playing this game too...:)    Kids and parents alike will enjoy this game...READY, AIM, CONQUER.

Alot of the games in the iTunes store come in a LITE version. What that means is, you get to check out the game before buying the full version.  You won't get all the levels or all the features of the full version.  Most games are between 99 cents and 2 or 3  dollars...some are little more but watch for sales.

As The iPhone Mom  states on her website ..there are so many apps that can get lost in the shuffle of the thousands of apps that are available.  So I wanted to list some  games and websites that will help you sort through the overwhelming number of apps that are available.

       (these are not my children..but captured the essence of boredom so well I had to use this pic!!)

Here's a list of games my kids really like...(my kiddos are 9 and 6) and I love them because they significantly reduce"the WHINE factor" throughout our crazy days that are not always kid oriented  and fun in nature.     Yes..I realize there are other ways to entertain crafting a homemade volcano, making your own playdoh...but for days when getting your creative crafting on isn't an when you know you're going to spend a majority of your day in the car...these are lifesavers..for me and my kiddos.

This is one of those games we bought for the kids and ended up playing it ourselves too.  It's one of those unwind, don't have to think to much about it games.  My Dad...LOVES this game as well.  when they come to visit..he snatches the iPod to play games.  (now that's a FAMILY game)

Soosiz is one of the newer games we've purchased.  It somewhat reminds me of The New Super Mario Bros. game. There are several worlds to conquer and within each world there are several levels.


Chop Chop Ninja

This Jelly Car app doesn't look like much..but my kids played originally on an iPad when we were at the Apple store.  It's a really cute game...we've had it a while and they still play it a lot.

This is just a drop in the bucket! 

For more suggestions/ideas and reviews check out some of the following websites: (they should help you narrow down your choices instead of wading through the iTunes store in hopes of finding a hidden gem of an app!)

The iPhone Mom

Well..these should keep you busy for a while.  :)

I also suggest using the GENIUS feature on your iTunes account.  It makes suggestions for games and other apps you might be interested in according to the purchases you've already made.

Happy App hunting... and game playing ...and Boredom Busting. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Scrapbooking- Digital? Or Not? It may be easier than you think!!

I remember my first experience with scrapbooking.  I was overwhelmed by my sisters Creative Memories paper cutters, stickers and background papers.
Beautiful Albums with page protectors and memorabilia pocket holders.  Ooooo ahhhhh.  So, in an attempt to join the scrapbooking lovefest  I bought the stuff and made an album, while purchasing enough product to make 20.  I never made it past #1. (I know it's shameful! How will anyone know our story, will our kids remember their childhood...if they don't, it's all my fault because I failed to chronicle every birthday in a bedazzled photo album that would last through eternity because it was acid and lignen free!!)  AHHHHHH... Wake up from this nightmare Robin ...wake up I say...wake up!!!!!

Scrapbooking has since that time, evolved into DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING as we're talking something that interests me even more and that I actually will do!!  okay..we're on to something.  Hanging with my computer AND simultaneously chronicling our family history. I am a computer geek/nerd/techie whatever we're calling people like me these days so this...rang my bell, got my attention and had me buying Photoshop.  Woo hoo.... I was so excited.     So I get all this software, learn how to use and make some pretty cool photo albums to boot.  I'm pretty proud of myself for taking the more technical route as the paper scraps and stickers were a little too crafty for my nerdy old self.

 Scrapbooking can be as hands-on, as digital, as effortless as you want it to be.  Anything from..cutting and pasting and taping and adding bling bling to..utilizing Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, iPhoto and now... cool sites like:

So..with the FACEBOOK craze or nonsense or addiction (again...whatever term you fancy just fill in the blank there!)... Pixable is about the easiest photo album I've ever put together.  Not only could I upload photos to my album from my Facebook account but it also uploaded the Description of the Picture to the I loved that!! 

Pixable also gives you an option to add photos from your computer, flickr, Picasa and Photobucket.  You can choose a quickmix which Pixable will randomly mix all your photos into the album along with corresponding titles and you are ready to print or share with others.  Or if you want more can choose the lay out, add text and arrange the photos however you'd like on the pages.
It's a wonderful timesaver.....

Check it out! Pixable
If you're a MAC person- iphoto is amazingly easy to use for scrapbooks as really don't need anything else..unless you're like me and want to do "just a little more" than what the standard programs offer.

Here are some other digital scrapbooking sites I use or have used in the past.

great for getting ideas and for downloading digital items to use in more personalized scrapbooks for the do it yourself digital scrapper.
you have a download here..which pixable doesn't require. But the quality of the books are great and they have wonderful customer service!
Creative Memories  offers paper and digital scrapbooking options
more for do it yourself digital scrapbookers.
Kodak Gallery
ready made photo albums with some personalization options

There are TONS of websites that make digital scrapbooking easy and soooo user friendly.   Regardless of whether you consider yourself  "techsavy"  or just an "email checker"...There is a program out there for you...

A note on Scrapbooking Retreats-  Did you know that if you have an opportunity to attend a scrapbooking retreat- all you have to do is load up your laptop and go! That's right..scrapbook retreats now include digital scrapbookers as well! 

I know, in every realm of scrapbooking there are die hard enthusiasts on each end of the spectrum.  My personal thoughts are what fits your personality. If you like cutting with cool scissors and creating layers with photo tape and using stickers, go for it.  If you enjoy creating things in Photoshop, or other programs..get your creative tech on and amaze your family.  If you just simply want to upload photos...and be done...that's okay too.  The great thing is...regardless of your preference...getting the photos into albums is always a fun thing for we sit around at holidays or the grandparents visit and can see what we've been up to all year.   It's worth it..whether you spend 5 min or 5 days creating a page...I'm thinking, you'll be really glad you did it!!

By the way- I do get my "manual" scrap on at times.. I own a fun little machine called a CRICUT  this thing is AMAZING.  Yet..since I do most of our albums via digital..the Cricut at my house, is used for school projects, homemade cards (the KIDS LOVE TO USE IT) and bulletin board projects and number of other things...if you do more "cut n paste" scrapbooking it's well worth the investment!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center...Why Bother??!!!

We have been to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center several times over the past few years.   It quite simply blows the whole Zoo experience out of the water!!  (all photos in this post are from our most recent trip to Fossil hopefully you can get a true idea for the experience.)



Fossil Rim is a couple of hours South of  where I live .... so we drove a few hours (it's Located by Glen Rose, TX) spend a few hours in the car driving through the wildlife center.  Some people ask, "WHY WOULD I DO THAT? here's a little

click on thumbnails of any picture to see a larger version

It is a fun up close and personal experience with the animals.


Jeff's having a little stare down here! Actually, he put food on the window ledge to get the animals to come up to his window so we could get cool shots like this!




The tour is very laid back. Because of  the very slow pace of the drive, kiddos are not restricted by car seats and seat belts.



When you first pay for your tickets and pick up 1 bag of animal feed.   You are supposed to toss the feed out the window.  Many people (although not recommended) let the animals eat out of their hands.


It is quite entertaining to be cruising along...and have a Zebra sticks its head in your window!  Or..have a giraffe  bend down and eat from your hand.
(at one point the Zebra reached in and turned on our blinker!!)



(be sure to click on the thumbnails above...
my neice had a blast trying to get the giraffe to eat out of her hand!)

About 1/2 way through the tour...there is a LOOKOUT point...a place to go to the restroom, have a picnic or buy lunch.


And a great place for a group photo and of the beautiful scenery!!

There's a gift shop and a petting zoo as well. ( for those too timid to actually stick their hands out the window along the way.)    This is a great opportunity for kiddos to get out and run a little before you finish up the tour.

Fossil Rim is a great experience and in my opinion, a must see.   Today for our vehicle..the youngest was 6..the oldest..was over 40...and we all had a great time!




On Wednesdays, entry is discounted about $10 off.  You can also get a coupon if you have an Entertainment Book for a Free child's ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket.  It's a fun day trip..but if you're looking for a little can stay overnight on sight or go camping really close by at Dinosaur Valley.    It's just a hop skip and jump from Fossil Rim.

And you can feed the Cheetahs!


Just kidding..the Cheetah's and Rhino's are in very large enclosed areas, but you are still able to see them up close yet safe from becoming their afternoon snack.  :)




Whether you like to just hop in the car and go or prefer to load up your car with picnic food and snacks, Fossil Rim is a great day trip.  Go on a whim or plan ahead...either way, you'll have a blast.  Don't be can always role up your window if the animals make you nervous or get too close for comfort.