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Date: Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 10:00

Sleep – who needs it? Well, actually, we all do. Everyone here in my house knows that if I haven’t slept good through the night, you do NOT want to talk to me in the mornings. Really though, sleep is vital to our health so I’m gonna share MY tips for a great night’s sleep and how to enter to win a heavenly mattress set from Havertys during their HUGE Labor Day sale!

  1. BED - One of the most important pieces of a good sleep is your mattress. My dad always said to spend good money on your shoes and your mattress because you spend much of your life in either/or. You can enter to win a mattress at Havertys until September 1st. (more on that below)
  2. SHEETS – A good sheet set can really make a difference. When purchasing, keep a couple of things in mind; feel and temperature. You don’t want sheets that pill or ones that make you hot.
  3. PILLOW - Finding a great pillow can be a challenge so be patient. And I have found, that the higher end pillows aren’t always the best. Keep your receipts, remembering the terms on when you can return, and try your pillow out for a bit. When you think you have found a good one, I highly suggest stocking up!
  4. ENVIRONMENT - Are you one of those that keep the rest of the house clean but your room is a mess? Uh huh…me too. I have found that going to bed in a clean room can make a world of difference. There is something about walking into a clean room with a bed that is made with fresh, clean sheets! Seriously, try it and see what I’m talking about!
  5. NIGHTLY ROUTINE – A good night’s sleep doesn’t start when your head hits the pillow y’all. Everything that leads up to that, totally affects how well you sleep. I try not to eat (or drink too much) after a certain time and I do something that allows my mind to decompress from the day; reading, a bath, or just sitting outside enjoying the stars.

If you’re looking for a new mattress but maybe can’t buy one just yet, you can always enter to win a mattress y’all! Havertys is giving a TEMPUR-pedic Mattress Queen Cloud Supreme Mattress Set away that retails at $2,699!! HOLY COW, ain’t that a sweet sleep deal! It’s as simple as an online entry form to enter. Just in case you’ve been slacking in your social media skillzzzz, here’s a list of all the places you can find Havertys online! This will be useful because you earn additional entries by using their contest hashtag #HavertysYawn Also, using that same hashtag, you can join in on the fun twitter party they’ll be having on August 27th at 1pm EST!!

​​Let me know what tips you guys have too and let me know if you enter! I’d love to see one of my readers win such a great prize! Good luck y’all!

Visit http://www.havertys.com/ to enter the TEMPUR-pedic conetst for your chance to win a TEMPUR-pedic Mattress!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Havertys. The opinions and text are all mine.

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "Daily Dose, havertys, mattresses, sleep ..."
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Date: Friday, 15 Aug 2014 10:30

I don’t know about all colleges but Toby’s college, Abilene Christian University, requires an iPad for classes.  Toby already had an iPad Mini but since it was something that would be consistently used for class, he wanted a keyboard.  There are tons of keyboard cases out there but nothing as sleek & dependable as the Clamcase Pro Keyboard Case.

Clamcase Keyboard Case4

It looks just like a laptop doesn’t it?!  The Clamcase Pro can adjust to 3 positions thanks to the 360′ hinge; the standard laptop position like above, the touchscreen position, and the tablet position.

Clamcase Keyboard Case7

Clamcase Keyboard Case8

The case is tough too!  It has an aluminum enclosure and polycarbonate shell that make it mega durable…perfect for a college student!  It has a full QWERTY Keyboard that is slightly elevated, which makes it very comfortable.  Clamcase Keyboard Case3

You’ll find that the lithium-ion battery will allow for months of use on just ONE charge. Now that’s awesome!  The Clamcase Pro has Auto wake and sleep and bluetooth connectivity.  There’s even feet on the bottom of the case so that it’s not sliding around everywhere.  If we had to find a flaw, it would be the weight.  It does make your iPad heavier but for us, it’s worth it for the added protection.

Clamcase Keyboard Case2

Clamcase Keyboard Case5

Toby is pretty impressed, expressing how sharp it is.  Me and Toby both agree that the Clamcase Pro Keyboard Case is worth the $129 price tag.  He may end up using this way more than his laptop! If that happens, I may steal his laptop ’cause I’m due for one!

Clamcase Keyboard Case

 

 

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "Tech Talk, electronics, ipad, ipad cases..."
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Date: Thursday, 14 Aug 2014 10:00

Have you guys heard of CoSchedule?  OMYCOW! This social media editorial calendar is the most useful tool I’ve ever had as a blogger.  I was using another editorial calendar but man, it does NOT even compare to what this puppy can do.  Thank you Trisha for sharing this bit of awesomeness that will help simplify my job!

CoSchedule

First off, you can use this in your blog dashboard, or stand alone at the CoSchedule website.  HELLLOOOO!! Already coolness y’all.   It’s so easy to use.  You’ll first need to connect all your social media networks.  It takes not time to do.  With Pinterest, you’ll have to connect each board you think you’ll be scheduling too. Again, that takes all of 30 seconds.  Then you’ll add your blog and viola, everything is connected.  You’ll be able to use it there or head to your blog dashboard and use it from there, if you prefer.  Once inside, you’ll be able to schedule posts quickly and in a visual manner, which I love!  I want to know how it’s gonna look before it’s posted so that was important to me.  Within a blog post, you’ll find a drop down menu like this:

CoSchedule Drop Down Menu

You’ll click on ‘Create Your First Message’ and there will be a list of social networks you are connected to, to the left.  You click which one you want and then you’ll visually see your social media post begin to form.

CoSchedule Social Media Posts

What’s super cool, is you can pick ANY day, ANY time you want it to post.  You’ll be able to do this for any of them so you literally could schedule social media posts a month ahead if you wanted!  SWEEEET!   Another cool factor is that you can literally drag and drop so if a client needs you to change the date of a social media post and you already had it scheduled, you simply drag it to that day.  teehee.  {{in love}}  And guess what bloggers???!!!!  You can additional blogs!  OH YEAH!  You’ll be able to use color coding to distinguish what’s what on the calendar and you’ll be able to navigate the blog you want on the left hand side.  Holy cow….I want to squeeeee.  Seriously y’all.

Sometimes pictures just can’t do justice so I encourage you watch the video.

If that’s not enough, CoSchedule has a pretty amazing referral program that I just love.  Once you see how awesome it is, it’s totally gonna help you save some money by spreading the word.  You’ll get to try it free and then after that, it’s $10 a month or if you pay annually, you’ll save $20.   For each referral that signs up using your link, you’ll receive a discount of 10%. As long as they keep their subscription, you’ll get your discount.  And guess what? There’s more.  If you find that you love it, and I promise you will, you can write a review like I’m doing now and receive 50% off your subscription for the entire year.  WOOHOO!!

So, what ya waiting for?  You know you’re curious!  Check out CoSchedule, the most awesome social media editorial calendar, ever!

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "Daily Dose, blog tools, blogger essentia..."
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Date: Thursday, 14 Aug 2014 03:39

The last time we took a Carnival Cruise, it happen to be our 20th anniversary.  This go ’round, it was time for a family trip.  After losing my dad, getting my mom moved and situated, enrolling one kid in college, another contemplating his dream of cowboying, and one ready for 2nd grade, we were due some rest and relaxation time.  I can’t thank Carnival Cruise enough for sponsoring such a tremendous opportunity for me and my family.

Carnival Magic

For now, I’m gonna give you a quick overview of our trip, but stay tuned for more detailed posts regarding things for kids to do, things for adults to do, and off the ship excursions. I may even throw in a few tips that you might not know about!

2cruise2014

A perk to our sponsored family trip, was being VIP. You could get some of the same perks as we did buy grabbing the Faster to the Fun pass!  We were swept aside to another room where they gave us our cards immediately, and we were able to sit in a nice room with complimentary beverages.  We were traveling with 5 other families so we stepped out of the room occasionally to wave hi. lol  Within a few minutes, we were then taken aboard the ship, into the main lobby where we received complimentary drinks.  I had a Miami Vice, Truett & Toby had smoothies, and my husband enjoyed a beer.  Vacation had truly begun!  We immediately started experiencing random happiness all around the ship.

3cruise2014

When we got to our rooms, we made sure to set some ground rules, particularly for Truett.  We explained how the Sail & Sign card worked, where maps of the ship were, and what to do if he couldn’t ever find his way to wherever he was going.    With that, we let loose and enjoyed the ride.

Sea-esta on the Carnival magic

Having two sea days before our first port, allowed us to explore and enjoy many of the onboard fun & services immediately.  Truett’s favorites were the WaterWorks and Putt-Putt course but he also had plenty of other things that made him happy…..like the ice cream machine.  Need I say more? Seriously, even adults were eating ice cream for breakfast and at midnight. It’s vacation after all so who cares, right?!

I have to say, this is THE most photos me and my husband have ever taken together and I LOVED it.  That’s what a Carnival Cruise will do for you.  It just liberates you and lets you be carefree, fun, and a go-with-the-flow type of person.

menoecruise2014

The first day we really did decompress from our 8hr drive and from “reality”  as we know it.   It was nice to just to soak up the sun on the decks, enjoy the music, and watch Truett be in awe of everything.  And really, to see Toby embrace something so new, was awesome. Our kids have lived very sheltered lives living on those ranches, far from anything.  This was such a nice change of environment for them.  To make things even lovelier, we traveled with 5 other families so we had friends to hang out with too!  This sweet gal, even made our matching shirts for the cruise!

meand shelby

 

There’s sooooo much to tell you guys about but that comes next week so STAY TUNED Y’ALL!! I have cool stuff to share and if my Toby can cruise, you can too!!!!  He thought he would hate it but he loved it.  Until then……

 

 

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "Travel, carnival cruise, carnival magic,..."
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Date: Saturday, 09 Aug 2014 03:38


My son Toby leaves for Abilene Christian University very soon, while Truett will be entering the second grade.  It hasn’t been until the last couple of weeks that it has really start to hit me that I will only have one boy at home.  It’s not just that either, it’s the fact that Toby and Truett are soooooo close.  Toby has always, since Truett was very little, been a very overprotective, awesome big brother.  I don’t think either have any idea how much they’ll miss each other and it makes my heart heavy.

tobytruettcruise

As we’ve slowly gathered items for Toby’s dorm room, he sorta raised an eyebrow when I mentioned that he needed Kleenex tissues.  I explained that because they had a community bathroom and not their own private one, that he wouldn’t be able to just quickly grab tissue for a runny nose and that having some Kleenex at his bedside will be a nice convenience.   I had to give a logical reason because, in truth, Toby could care less about the style of dorm room.  He plans to study and sleep there, not host anyone.  Of course, I wanted to spruce his dorm up just a bit so I bought some of these super cool Kleenex Oval Expression tissues in colorful chevron patterns.  Who would have thought that you could have such Kleenex style with facial tissue?   I bought several and put them all over the house but Toby’s preference was blue to do with his denim comforter.  He said it was less girly that way.  I totally get that.

Kleenex Expression Oval Facial Tissue

As we count down the days until he leaves home for college, I have used my fair share of tissues.  Since not much can cheer me up during this time, I can at least have a cute Kleenex design tissue box by my side to brighten the moment, right?  Hey, whatever works you know?

dorm room essentials

Anyways, in honor of Toby heading to college, I wanted to share with you what Toby’s Dorm essentials are.

  1. Of course, Kleenex Expression Oval Facial Tissue boxes are especially handy when you don’t have your own bathroom to grab some TP.  Plus, these super cute designs help spruce up a dull guy’s dorm room.  And really, they are just soft and nice to have for blowing the nose. Yep.
  2. Having a desk lamp that can stretch out is pretty handy for when lazy bones doesn’t want to sit at the desk, but instead lay in bed.
  3. Fridge with dry erase board  is fantastic for remembering birthdays and to-do’s.
  4. Towels!  And if you’re lucky enough to have a special lady in your life to embroider their initials on them, that’s even better. Then you don’t have to worry about who’s taking your towels!
  5. Toby likes a clean environment so he definitely recommends a cordless vacuum for hard floors and area rugs.
  6. Coffee maker is a must.  It can be used for coffee but also hot teas and may become a necessity during test time.
  7. Hangers y’all.  There won’t be much drawer space for things so make you send hangers so they can hang up as much as possible.
  8. Gotta protect those electronics with a good surge protector.  We recommend one with USB ports so that portable electronics can be charged without taking another plug.
  9. Bed throw pillows.  There also won’t be much room for chairs so having these types of pillows will allow a friend to sit back against it on the bed.   Kinda handy!
  10. And finally, not shown in the picture but totally an awesome essential to have….bonus tip for the GUYS……an umbrella!!!  Thanks to Toby’s great Aunt Kathy, Toby has learned that an umbrella is absolutely necessary for two reasons.  1) obviously it will protect you from the rain and 2) it will protect you and the ladies from the rain. Yep, have an umbrella and that girl that doesn’t want to get her hair all wet will be running to get under that thing!  Chick magnet yo!

IMG_3014

So as I sit and watch my son sort through college emails and finalize everything, I remember when he was born and those tiny little fingers.  I remember when he was 2 and so dramatic when he’d fall down, telling me he was bleeding.  I remember when he was 13, running around the rain with his little bitty brother.  I remember high school graduation and his chest boasting with pride.  So even when away at college, I’ll always remember his beautiful smile…….and that my friends, is why I also need Kleenex Oval Expression Tissues.

IMG_8596
Disclosure: Compensation was provided for my time & efforts courtesy of Kleenex + Walmart. All opinions and stories are my own, always heartfelt, and the truth. That’s just how I roll.

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "Lifestyle & Family, college, dorm essent..."
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Date: Saturday, 28 Jun 2014 06:05

Sin seems to be on my mind pretty regularly these days.   Obviously we all sin and even acknowledge our sin most times, but what’s interesting, is how we all justify it.   When we justify sin, in my opinion, it’s a blatant disregard for God.  We are pretty much saying, we don’t need Him and that Jesus dying on that cross for our sins, was for nothing.  When we justify sin, we do it because we want what WE want, and not what God wants.  You know, being selfish, as usual.

My heart holds much conviction about certain things;  things that affect me, my family, and my friends.  And because of this, I struggle with how to deal with my own sin…….and the sin of others.  Maybe you can’t relate, but maybe you can?   I’m really bad about comparing sin.  You know, like, I drink way too much soda (when I know it’s not good for my body), but it’s not as bad as, say, alcohol…..right?  Justifying sin.

So why is it so hard to be good?  God did make each of us unique, but we are also to be of the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23 “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.”

God asks us to change and put off sin, not make excuses for it.   When WE control our flesh, Satan boldly and creatively slithers his way in and justifies our sins.  But when we allow the Lord to work through us, we can choose to change how we sin, and how we deal with sin.   We need to constantly ‘inspect’ the fruit so that it doesn’t get rotten.

I pray that God will continue to lay conviction on my heart on things He wants changed.   I pray that the conviction is so heavy and undeniable, that my only choice will be to change into what He wants me to be.

Ephesians 4:20-25 “But that isn’t what you were taught when you learned about Christ. Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness — righteous, holy, and true. So put away all falsehood and “tell your neighbor the truth” because we belong to each other.”

 

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "Spiritual Food, God, sin, spiritual food"
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Date: Tuesday, 17 Jun 2014 15:20

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Rust-Oleum® via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Rust-Oleum®.
If you haven’t heard of Rust-Oleum NeverWet™ Moisture Repelling Treatment, don’t worry, neither had I.  Thanks to my son Toby, I got a winded explanation of what it is.  Apparently, it’s awesomeness in a can.
Rust-Oleum Moisture Repelling Treatment

Basically, Rust-Oleum NeverWet™ repels water.  You spray it on in a 2 step process and magic happens.  Since I hadn’t heard of it before, Toby was quick to show me exactly how cool it was.  He took a white tshirt and did the neverwet process on it.  Once it was dry, he put it on.  Next thing I knew, he was grabbing condiments out of my fridge, specifically mustard and this is what happened….

Pretty stinkin’ cool huh!  We did this for fun just but I wanted to share with you so that you could get the whole idea of how it works.   While I could think of 100 things on what to spray the Rust-Oleum NeverWet™ on, I simply wanted to make my bird feeder a little tougher against the Texas wind, heat, and rain.

Bird feeders can get expensive but I bought this little one for $3.97. I used Rust-Oleum red spray paint to give it a quick makeover.  Once dry, I started the NeverWet process.

rust-oleum neverwet

rust-oleum neverwet2

rust-oleum neverwet3

You start with Step 1, the base coat. You spray a coat of Rust-Oleum NeverWet™ and let dry 30 minutes.

rust-oleum neverwet5

Once the base coat is dry, you go to step 2 and spray a coat of the top coat.  You’ll let this dry as well and then repeat.

rust-oleum neverwet6

The Frosty Clear Rust-Oleum NeverWet™ does discolor slightly to a flat frost finish.  You can see in the final photo that it wasn’t that noticeable on this particular project but you should always test. When we tested it by pouring water on it, you could see the water beads roll right off the bird feeder.  SUCCESS!

Rust-Oleum NeverWet™  can be used on metal, wood, aluminum, galvanized metal, PVC, concrete, masonry, asphalt, vinyl siding, fiberglass, canvas, most plastics and more.  It is NOT recommended for clothing or electronics.  As I said above, the white shirt demo that my son did, was just to show you how it works.

bird seed

I could think of tons of other uses too but I wanna know what you would use it on?  I think my next project is to repaint my metal wagon wheels and then apply the NeverWet to minimize rust!
Rust-Oleum NeverWet LogoRust-Oleum®’s NeverWet® contains breakthrough technology that protects virtually any surfaces with a superhydrophic treatment that dramatically repels water, mud, ice and other liquids.

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "DIY & Crafts, diy, rust-oleum"
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Date: Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 12:39

What better way to kick of the summer than with a $100 Kohl’s gift card giveaway!? With all the hustle and bustle of the summer months, and the kids in need of activities and more of our time; a $100 trip to Kohl’s –just for mom– may be just what the doctor ordered!

The 411 on the $100 Kohl’s Gift Card Giveaway

Who?

You, of course!

Note: giveaway is open to the Continental US, Hawaii, Alaska, and Canada. However, if winner chosen is in Hawaii, Alaska, or Canada, they will receive an e-gift card instead of one via snail mail.

What?

$100 Kohl’s Gift Card.

When?

Giveaway will be open from June 5, 2014 – June 27, 2014. Winner will be chosen at random on or about June 30, 2014 and their name will be displayed in the Rafflecopter widget below. If winner does not respond within 48 hours, an alternate winner will be chosen.

How?

Just leave a comment below telling us what you would do with the $100 Kohl’s gift card if you won, and leave the rest to fate! ;)

All other tasks are optional to increase your chances of winning.

This giveaway is sponsored by:

Moms of Faith
Director Jewels
The Neighborhood Moms
Blog By Donna
Inspired Moms Club
A Cowboy’s Wife
This Mama Cooks! On a Diet
This Roller Coaster Called Life
Living Smart Girl
Mrs. Wright Writes

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:Kohl’s is not affiliated with this giveaway or its sponsors. Prize is being provided by sponsors mentioned above.

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "Giveaways, giveaway, Kohl's"
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Date: Friday, 30 May 2014 21:52

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Rust-Oleum® via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Rust-Oleum®.
The kids are out of school, the Texas heat is in full swing, and grilling has begun!  It’s time to spend our evenings in the backyard y’all!

 Rust-Oleum® Universal® Gloss Spray

This year, we needed a new patio set but with Toby’s graduation, we needed to be a little more money conscious.  We decided to give our current patio set a fresh look by repainting the furniture with Rust-Oleum® Universal® Gloss Spray and recovering the cushions.   In total, for 4 recovered cushions and 4 cans of Rust-Oleum spray paint, we spent just under $80 bucks.  Unfortunately, you won’t get to see the cushions yet, as they didn’t arrive in time.  Here’s the dull brown look the set had before…

IMG_2037

 Rust-Oleum® Universal® Gloss Spray

Rust-Oleum® Universal® Gloss Spray is pretty cool because you can spray from all angles; sideways, upside down, etc.  It has a very comfortable spray trigger.  My hands have cramped up from other spray can nozzles but I didn’t have that issue with this one.  There’s also a red pin that you pull out to use the spray for the first time.  It’s a nice little safety feature to prevent accidental spray leakage on its ride home from the store!

 Rust-Oleum® Universal® Gloss Spray 3

I thought this coverage was gorgeous and sprayed evenly.  I did 4 chairs and a table with 4 cans.  I had a little left in the 4th can.   You can’t beat the price of repainting vs buying a new patio set!  I think it looks beautiful and when I get my cushions and add a few accent pieces, it will feel like home!

 Rust-Oleum® Universal® Gloss Spray 2
I really love this particular type of spray paint. Coverage is great, price is fabulous, and the nozzle makes it a breeze with these old hands! I totally recommend y’all try it for a project. Maybe you’ve got an old mailbox that needs a new look or some planters that need sprucing up. I challenge y’all to try it and see what you can make drab into fab!

Rust-Oleum Universal LogoRust-Oleum ® Universal® Spray Paints offer a variety of on-trend colors and unique finishes, and boast the first-of-its-kind 360 degree any-angle delivery system that allows DIYers to tackle those hard to reach areas, even upside down.

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "DIY & Crafts, Home & Garden, diy, home d..."
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Date: Sunday, 13 Apr 2014 03:33

Recently, I embarked on a journey across the ocean, into the not-so-deep Mexico.  I call it a Brandcation, but you’d probably know it better as a cruise.  More specifically, it was a Royal Caribbean cruise on the Liberty of the Seas ship.  Thanks to the fabulous sponsor, Royal Caribbean, I had the opportunity to sail away on a 5 day/4 night cruise, along with 39 other bloggers.

Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas

Imagine my fear of being with 39 other bloggers, that I didn’t know.  Just a handful I knew online but that’s about it and as an introvert at heart, I was terrified of being ‘that girl’.   And in the end, the women were absolutely fantastic, but it was ultimately the activities on the ship that made all the difference at getting me out of my oh-so-comfy box.

1. Cupcake Decorating at The Cupcake Cupboard

When the class is given, there will be several of you decorating at once.  You’re sitting there with people you know, some you don’t, sizing up each others capabilities. You know, figuring out who’s gonna make the best darn cupcake ever, right?  But if you’re the shy girl, you’re just praying that yours won’t be considered a new trend in modern art.  You’re probably hoping that nobody is looking at yours , especially all the people that are walking by staring at everyone taking the class. Within 5 minutes, you realize that most everyone is no master at cupcake decorating and their cupcake looks as though it belongs in the same art gallery as yours.  You’re laughing & surprised at how well you’re doing, and even making friends with all the folks passing by, who happen to be telling you how awesome you’re doing.   Totally fly y’all!

cupcakecupboard

2. Vitality Spa

When we arrived at Cozumel, I got off for just a bit of shopping but actually ended up going back on the ship.  It seemed like the perfect time to browse the ship since so many get off at the ports.  Since this was a work related trip, we had several to-do’s that kept us busy so when I found myself at the Vitality spa, I decided to step outside of my comfy box and get ‘the works’.  They were having a special where I could get 5 different things for $99 bucks and since my hair was becoming a close resemblance of someone who had just been electrocuted, I decided to splurge on a haircut as well!  I know, I know…you’re thinking that had to be crazy expensive huh?  Well, it was more than what it cost here, $79 to be exact, but I have to say, they did an amazing job and TOOK THEIR TIME!! The problem with salons these days, is they seem to always be in such a hurry to get you outta there that they forget that for some of us, this is a luxury.   As far as the spa treatments go, they were incredible.  Andi tended to me and she made me feel very comfortable, knowing darn well that it really wasn’t my thing.  I had a mini facial, massage, foot & leg massage, and then sun glow applied to my face.  Considering I didn’t have any makeup on, I think the bronzer made a big difference in how I looked!  I absolutely believe that the spa treatments and haircut & style, totally made me fly!  And with that, here’s my before and after……

beforeafterhair

3.  Catacombs Night Club

If there is anything that can turn a shy girl into a fly girl, it’s dancing, YO!  Catacombs was a fun little night club that had us ladies whoopin’ it up for hours!   They played everything from the 70′s to the current hits of today.  It was a blast!  Not only was it fun to dance, it was hilarious to watch others dance, because you know, not everyone has skillzzzz.  Even so, props to everyone who gets out there and ‘kicks it’. I wish more had the guts to dance!!!!   Most of the night, there was a big group of us girls dancing in the center but there was once where they all ditched me!  Actually, they were just faster than me at getting off the dance floor and within seconds, this guy started dancing with me. EEEEEK!!  I’m not even sure what kind of dancing it was and even though there were plenty of awkward dancing moments, I just went with the flow.  I don’t think his boyfriend was too thrilled though….Thanks girls, for leaving me out there!!!

dancing

4.  On Air, Karaoke Style!

As someone who loves to sing but stinks at it, I’m sure it’s obvious that Karaoke would NOT be my thing.  In fact, it never will be and I’ll probably never do it.  When we got there, the waiting list was already filled up. We were bummed, until we turned around and saw the Karaoke booth! Oh yeah, a sound proof booth y’all!!  That was pretty stinkin’ awesome.  Even more awesome, is listening to a bunch of girls sing ‘Girls Just a Wanna Have Fun’ at the top of their lungs.  And even though I hid in the corner and laughed more than I sang, I still feel pretty darn fly for trying to participate.   And because I don’t want you to miss out on the amazing voices of these bloggers, Jessica was happy to share the recording!  Enjoy y’all!

karaoke

5.  Casino

How could I not try my hand at the casino slots?  You can’t win if you don’t play right?  Two of the 4 nights, I mosey’d on in to see just how lucky I was.  Considering that I won $100 bucks, I guess you could say I was pretty darn lucky!  Since I won, I tried the next evening. I put in $20 and and ended up cashing out at $300!!  I played the same game, Alice in Wonderland, and it was great! There’s all kinds of bonuses and it makes all sorts of sounds that are just fun.  Having been to several casinos, I was impressed with the various styles of machines. They had plenty for everyone and there was always some sort of slot tournaments or bingo games happening while you were in there.  I never played any of the poker but I heard all sorts of winning going on around me.  Since I ended up winning $400 on my Royal Caribbean cruise, it totally makes me fly.  I met some cool old ladies too that had me talking to my machine, you know, to help me win and all.  Guess it worked!

casinocruise

While I’m not obligated to write any more posts about Royal Caribbean, I plan to since I have much more to share.  Simply put, my Royal Caribbean cruise on the Liberty of the Seas was absolutely fantastic and I can’t recommend it enough y’all!

 

 

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "Travel, cruise, liberty of the seas, roy..."
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Date: Thursday, 20 Mar 2014 15:10

Here’s an easy and fun way to dress those plain ol’ marshmallow peeps you see everywhere!  Chocolate dipped with sprinkles y’all. Doesn’t get any easier than that and what a great treat for the kiddos school party or church Easter egg hunt!

Chocolate Dipped Bunny Marshmallow Peeps

Push a stick through the bunny, dip in melted chocolate, and sprinkle with all the colorful sprinkles! It makes you look like you’re super food crafty but it seriously can’t get much simpler than that. Oh wait, actually it can because I have some cookies coming soon that are even easier.  It just adds a fun touch to the same ol’ thing put out every season.   Come on now, you know you want to be #thatmom, the one bringing all the cool treats.  You don’t have to pretend with me. You want the recognition without all the work….uh huh.  Enjoy y’all!

Chocolate Dipped Bunny Peeps

 

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "Food DIY Gifts & Crafts, Sweet Treats, c..."
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Date: Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 00:27

While being a Walmart Mom has brought me a flood of opportunities, in many ways, it has also prevented them.  Being so exclusive with Walmart meant that I couldn’t work with Sears, Best Buy, Kohl’s, H.E.B, etc.  Not necessarily because Walmart didn’t allow it, but because it was a clear conflict of interest on both sides.  I totally understood that and it was a sacrifice I chose to make to continue my Walmart relationship.

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After several years as a Walmart Mom, we’ve decided to part ways. I’ve greatly enjoyed my time with them, but I’m so stinkin’ excited at the prospect of being able to work with other companies and brands that I previously had to turn down!  I believe in the whole “when one door closes, another opens” saying, and I do see new opportunities in my future…….God has a purpose for me and I welcome it with open arms.

 

 

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "Daily Dose"
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Date: Monday, 17 Mar 2014 13:17

Happy St. Patrick’s Day y’all!  Here’s a super fast St. Patrick’s Day treat for you that takes just 5 minutes to put together; Marshmallow ‘POPS‘.

Marshmallow Pops

Just place a large marshmallow on a stick, melt your Wilton candies, and drizzle!

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Be sure and also check out the Oreo truffles too. They are delicious and a simple, fun treat to make.

St Pattys Day Oreo Truffles

May you be blessed with luck this year!

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "Daily Dose, Holiday, holiday treats, par..."
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Date: Friday, 28 Feb 2014 10:00

St. Patrick’s Day has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole bunch of green y’all!  Today I’m sharing some fun & easy-to-make oreo truffles for St Patty’s Day.

St Pattys Day Oreo Truffles

We devoured our Pecan Truffles using Oreos during Christmas so I knew a St Patrick’s Day version was in order!  These Oreo truffles are so good too and a little easier to make than my other ones.

Honestly, when I think I St. Patrick’s Day, I think of pinching and clovers.  I’ll admit though, I’m hoping that these little things we celebrate together, just make them more family oriented as they grow up and have families of their own.   Last year, we made a fun Shamrock Wreath and Truett just loved that. He ended up giving it to his teacher. That little suck up! Just kidding!! He’s always been a giver.  We also made a simple Lime Sherbert Cooler since our Texas weather was really warm already.

I am loving all the Wilton Candy Melts!  Do y’all use them?  Our Walmart has a whole selection of colored candy melts to use, along with some other great Wilton goodies! Y’all know I’m a fan of Wilton!

Hope you guys enjoy these Oreo Truffles and have lucky St Patrick’s Day!

St Patricks Day Oreo Truffles

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "Desserts, Holiday Cooking, Holidays, st...."
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Date: Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 10:00

How does one celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss?  Well by reading of course!  March 2nd, kids will be reading across America to celebrate the special day, and Truett is no exception. He’s already started with a new Dr. Seuss book we got in the mail.  He already has several other books but the fact that this one was a little more advanced, was perfect for his reading level.

Dr. Seuss Happy Birthday to You

You can build your Dr. Seuss library for a bargain by shopping at Walmart! To celebrate, the regular priced Dr. Seuss beginner books will be on sale for $5 bucks (reg price of $8.99) and the Dr. Seuss board books will be $3.50 (reg price of $4.99). I encourage you head to your store and buy one and get to reading with your kids, or maybe your nieces and nephews!  There are so many Dr. Seuss books you can choose from. There might even be one or two you’re not familiar with!  How fun would it be to discover a Dr. Seuss book with your child?!  For example, I’ve never even seen Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book!  Where have I been? Seriously, this is a classic and I’ve never read it.  When Truett was in Kindergarten, the school was decorated in a Dr. Seuss theme. Down the halls you’d see his quotes and vibrant, huge posters of the characters. It was awesome!  The kids loved all the props and were totally pumped about reading.  I think that should be a regular thing at schools!

Dr Seuss Thing 1 Nutter Butter Treats

How else can you celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday?  By whipping up some fun, super cute treats for those kiddos reading across America!  This would be such a great idea for a reading party at school!  Thing 1 and Thing 2 are popular characters in the Dr. Seuss collection and are pretty darn easy to make really.   Enjoy the recipe and the reading!!

ThingSteps

Thing 1 and Thing 2 Nutter Butter-10

Disclosure: I am an official Walmart Mom. Walmart has provided me with compensation and gift card in return for my time & efforts to create this post. Opinions are my own, always.

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "Desserts, Dr. Seuss, kids, reading, reci..."
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Date: Saturday, 22 Feb 2014 15:37

Sounds pretty amazing huh?  One of the reasons I quit going to several of the blogging conferences, was the fact that they are becoming so huge and impersonal. It got to where everyone was avoiding the conference itself and just networking on the side, because we all know what kind of connections can be made through those small, intimate meetups.  Brandcation is nothing like those blogging conferences and everything about intimate networking.

Liberty of the Seas - Royal Caribbean

On April 3rd, I’ll be sailing off on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas cruise ship.  It’s an impressive ship that I just have to tell you, has an ice skating rink!!! Holy moly is that cool! I have never tried to ice skate but I am sooo gonna on this trip!  While I’m excited to share more about the ship with you, I’ll wait until I’ve actually experienced it so that you can get a more personal review through my eyes.   I can’t imagine the cruise being anything less than spectacular so I can’t wait to share more about each part of the ship and what it has to offer!

Brandcation is hosted by Momdot and Brandfluential.  If you only knew the amount of work these ladies put in to organize such an event.  The tiniest details receive so much focus, even when they’re picking your roommate.   It says a lot about who they are and the kind of event they want you to experience.  Even more, in my opinion, what makes this event (in its 6th year) amazing, is the size.  Because it’s a smaller group of attendees, it allows for more in-depth conversation that leads to creative thinking, fresh perspectives, and brand experiences.   As a 7 year blogging vet, things can get old real quick and sometimes, it takes a more of an out-of-the-box event to refresh the mind and renew the fire under my hiney to create new, fresh content and make this blog better for me, and YOU.  Oh, and another neat thing they do……each attendee gets dedicated time to speak to the group about their sponsor.  That’s pretty awesome – undivided attention about our sponsor.  That’s what I’m talking about y’all. And we don’t have to rent a booth or pay extra to do it!

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If you want to follow me during my blogging cruise, watch for the hashtag–>  #SeasTheDay and if you’re interested in the ship Liberty of the Seas, click here to see all the ship’s details.

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "Daily Dose, blogging cruise, blogging ve..."
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Date: Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 20:38

Prepping has gotten kind of a bad rep lately. Thanks to reality TV shows and wackadoodle websites, people have started seeing “prepping” as something that only really out-there crazy people do because they are convinced that the end of the world or the zombie apocalypse is just a couple of months away. The truth is that there is more to prepping than that and, as anybody who lives a rural lifestyle can tell you, it’s not about zombies. It’s about being able to keep yourself and your family alive if there is a disaster or an emergency, or if you simply find yourself unable to get into town for a while.

If there is one good thing that has come out of these recent weird cold snaps (snow in Texas? What?), it is teaching people not to take their urban lifestyles for granted. Sometimes you really won’t be able to get to the store. Or, even if you can get there, it will likely be sold out of whatever brand of chips you like best because the supply trucks couldn’t get through. People who live in cities like Houston and Dallas got to see firsthand how important it is to have some sort of stock on hand, “just in case.”

That, my dears, is what “prepping” really is. So how do you do it?storage

Where to Put All That Stuff

Most preppers aim to have at least a year’s worth of supplies on hand for emergencies. You might not be able to do that yet, especially if you live in an urban setting so, while you’re learning and getting started, aim for a six-month store.

The first thing that you’re going to have to do is carve out some space. When you live in the middle of nowhere, that’s not the biggest deal. We can simply build a shed and padlock it (zoning codes are a little more relaxed out here). When you live in the city, though, you might have to find a safe place outside of your home. You might even need to rent a storage unit. Houston and other cities usually have tons of these spaces available. A quick search should turn up the Storage.com monthly units available in Houston Texas (or Dallas or Austin or wherever you are). There might even be some really close by.

If you do find yourself having to use a unit for self storage, Houston residents and other urban dwellers should follow the 5:1 rule. Basically you keep five months of stuff in your storage unit and one month of stuff on hand in a closet or something. This way you’ll have something on hand, giving yourself some “wiggle room” to transport your supplies home if something truly bad happens.

What Should You Store?

Most people, when they think of “prepping” think of creating a vast pantry full of dried goods and bottled water. That’s a good start, sure, but there is more to it than that. Here are the things you need to focus on:

Sustenance

The best thing you can do is figure out how to preserve and store the foods you’re already used to eating. So many newbies think that they’ll simply adapt to whatever they’ve stored because that’s what’s there. It’s better, though, to work with foods you already know and like. As you’re putting together your food stores, remember that you need to be able to provide at least a couple thousand calories of food per person per day so work off of that, making sure that your nutritional requirements are met. Use one of the many checklists you can find all over the web as a great place to start getting ideas.

Equipment

As much as the experts might discourage you from thinking this way, prepping is kind of like long term camping. So you are going to want to have everything on hand that you would need for a yearlong camping trip. This includes:

  • First aid and basic medical equipment
  • Hunting and trapping equipment
  • Cooking and food prep equipment
  • Durable clothing and footwear
  • Soap and other personal hygiene supplies
  • Portable water filters
  • Fire building supplies
  • Solar powered chargers (reduces your need for an excessive amount of batteries)
  • Batteries (you won’t need as many if you have solar powered chargers but you’ll want them as backup power supplies anyway).

This is just the beginning. The same sites that give you checklists for food will have lists of equipment and types of clothing to have on hand.

It might seem extreme to prep for an emergency you’re pretty sure won’t ever happen. But if snow in Houston and Dallas teaches us anything, it’s that we can’t always predict when we’ll actually need to be stocked up.

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "Daily Dose"
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Date: Monday, 10 Feb 2014 05:47

There’s still plenty of cold days, here in Texas, to enjoy some good ol’ chili.   Thanks to my Toby, we have been eating a lot more fruits & vegetables and I gotta admit, I’m the first one to open a can, so it’s been a challenge using fresh produce for recipes.  Even so, I wanted to make some fresh veggie chili, using just that, fresh vegetables.

Fresh Veggie Chili Beans

This particular recipe is great when you you’re grocery budget starts dwindling  ’cause you could easily omit the beef and still have great chili.   Beans are affordable and the fresh produce used in this recipe, are very affordable, at least at our Walmart they are.   Our Walmart’s produce selection has been pretty great lately; fresh carrots, celery, taters, cabbage, etc.  We’ve been eating a lot of carrots and taters lately so I switched things up and went with tomatoes, peppers, and onions!  I’m starting to become obsessed with the produce section!  I owe that to Toby, my 17yr old. He’s so focused on eating healthier, that we’ve both learned a few new recipes using fresh produce, where I’d normally open a can.

chili (6)

So pretty huh!!!  I’ve always bought the roma tomatoes or the ones that come 3 in a plastic container, but I’ve been buying the Village Farms (from Marfa, Texas)  Tomatoes on the Vine and man, they are so good! And hello, Marfa is local.  We use to live really close to Marfa (at Van Horn) a few years ago.  It’s great to see Walmart bring in local produce like that.

chili  (7)

We’ve been incorporating more beans lately just to keep our bodies filled with fiber.  I used canned beans for this but you could absolutely use dried beans. I just drained the juices from all the cans and rinsed.

chili(8)

Hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

Fresh Veggie Chili

 

Disclosure: I am an official Walmart Mom. Walmart has provided me with compensation and gift card in return for my time & efforts to create this post. Opinions are my own, always.

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "Lunch Specials, Main Dish, beef, chili, ..."
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Date: Saturday, 08 Feb 2014 11:00

Raise your hand if you’re in favor of supporting American jobs?  Duh right?  Well if you haven’t heard the buzz yet, I’m here to share with you, Walmart’s commitment to invest $250 Billion dollars in products that support American jobs.

american_jobs

A quick little bit from Walmart:

We plan on doing this by increasing what we already buy and by helping to onshore U.S. production in areas such as textiles, household goods, and toys.  Learn more at www.walmart.com/AmericanJobs.
We will grow U.S. manufacturing on two fronts. First, by increasing what we already buy here in categories like sporting goods, apparel basics, storage products, games, and paper products. Second, by helping to create U.S. production in high key areas like textiles, furniture, pet supplies, some outdoor categories, and higher end appliances. These are just a few examples; we are looking at many more.

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If you pay any attention at all, you’ve probably seen something in your store that is local, whether it’s fresh produce or honey from the local bee farmer.  Walmart is going further and bringing jobs back to America.  It could be from buying candles from a local supplier, like Hannah’s or maybe factory parts, Made by Mike…

I’m just thrilled to see the commitment that Walmart is making. And who wouldn’t want more “Made in the USA” products on stores shelves?  Learn more about Walmart’s “Made By” commitment across their social channels at www.walmart.com/madeby.

Disclosure: I am an official Walmart Mom. Walmart has provided me with compensation and gift card in return for my time & efforts to create this post. Opinions are my own, always.

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "Daily Dose, american jobs, made by, made..."
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Date: Wednesday, 05 Feb 2014 17:21

This Valentine’s Day Dum Dums Candy Bouquet would make a great teacher gift or youth pastor gift!  It’s so easy to make and is sure to bring a smile to all.
Pin this!
Valentines Day Dum Dums Candy Bouquet

I’ve seen similar bouquets over the years but never made one.  What I love about this craft, is that little hands can help!  I mean seriously, you’re just pushing in Dum Dums into styrofoam. Easy as pie y’all!   If you don’t already have a planter’s pot, and can’t find one in red, just buy any color and paint it. That’s what I did.  Walmart has everything you need to make this candy bouquet. They have a HUGE bag of 300 Dum Dums for less than $5 down the candy/cookie aisle and you can find the styrofoam ball & paint in the craft section.  candy bouquet steps

dum dums bouquet

Valentine’s Day Dum Dums Candy Bouquet

Supplies Needed:

  • Big Bag of Dum Dums (Mine was 300 count)
  • Planter’s Pot
  • Styrofoam Ball (bigger than pot)
  • Strong Glue
  • Paint & brush if you can’t find preferred color planter’s pot  (I used the $.88 cent paints & foam brush)

Instructions:

  1. If needed, paint your pot.  Allow to dry completely. It took 3 coats for mine to be completely covered.
  2. Glue your ball onto the pot. Just take your glue and go all around the top of the pot.
  3. Place ball on pot and press firmly for a minute or so.  Allow to dry completely!
  4. Stick Dum Dums into styrofoam. I recommend starting from the top middle and working your way out.  Do this until entire ball is covered.  I actually used my entire bag of 300 Dum Dums!!

Dum Dums Candy Bouquet

 

Disclosure: I am an official Walmart Mom. Walmart has provided me with compensation and gift card in return for my time & efforts to create this post. Opinions are my own, always.

Author: "A Cowboy's Wife" Tags: "DIY & Crafts"
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