happy mother’s day!

I hope that all of you moms, grandmothers, godmothers, mothers at heart and heck — anyone who has a mom enjoyed a beautiful Mother’s Day yesterday. I know I did! Laura needs a better understanding of the day, though. Apparently she just wanted to be with me so much that she wouldn’t really sleep unless I was holding her the night before, LOL. Luckily I’ve learned to sleep in the chair in her room. Plus, I got to sleep in yesterday morning to a blissful 7:10. It was wonderful! When I came downstairs, a big mug of tea was ready for me and a bunch of cards and presents were on the kitchen table. Oh, my sweet boys!


Noah had given me his card and an impatien plant after nursery school on Friday. Jake made me a wonderful card in computer class at school. The kids must have been instructed to write about something they love about their mom on the inside of the card. He declared that he loves when I make my homemade pizza 🙂 He also gave me a little coupon book to cash in for chores (and kisses). From all the kiddos I got a planter they’d made they day before at Lowe’s, a copycat restaurant recipe cookbook (with so many amazing-sounding recipes in it — stay tuned for these!) and a Phish CD I don’t have (that D. found at Dollar Tree of all places)! Drew also gave me a beautiful card and the boys picked out another one together.

But the really shocker was this big box everything else had been sitting on top of, or in front of: a Keurig!!! I’d mentioned that I was saving up my Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks for one. D. found an amazing deal last week and wanted to surprise me. Well, surprise me he did! And yes, the coffee is totally amazing. So much better than anything I’ve made in quite some time.

After a yummy breakfast of eggs, toast, and delicious coffee, we got ready and went to opening day of the Rhinebeck Farmer’s Market. We picked up a sourdough baguette, garlic-rosemary goat cheese, dill pickles, and pickled eggs. Moms also got free seedlings, so each of the boys chose a snapdragon for me. It was very cold yesterday, so we didn’t stay long.

We came back home and D.’s mom, aunt, and brother came up for a visit. We enjoyed a yummy lunch of grilled chicken, sweet potatoes, cole slaw, pinot noir and cheesecake.



The power went out halfway through the time needed for the potatoes to bake, so I threw them on the grill for the rest of the time and they came out so much better! I know how I’ll be cooking them for the rest of the summer.

My brother-in-law brought me some of my favorite cupcakes that his girlfriend had sent for me. Oh, Crumbs… so delicious!


All in all it was just a wonderful day with my family. The only way it could have been better is if I’d seen my mom too (though I talked to her first thing in the morning). I wish I’d remember to take more photos. Sometimes I see people put slide shows on their blogs to show their pictures. But a few is better than none, right?

Anyway, now it’s back to the daily grind. I have to say that my week is off to a pretty great start, though!

i ::heart:: swagbucks

Search & Win

So I just cashed in a bunch of Swagbucks for yet another Amazon gift card and it occurred to me — I’ve really made out well with them! I signed up for Swagbucks last June or July and since then I’ve traded in SBs for $80 worth of Amazon gift cards, a $5 Alice.com gift card, and a subscription to Family Fun magazine. You do earn more bucks when you refer people to the program, but I haven’t had that many. Most of what I’ve earned is by searching the Web and keeping my eye out for extra codes. And most importantly, I have not received any junk mail or spam from them.

How does it work? Simple. You earn “swagbucks” just by searching the Web through SB’s website or toolbar. There are no surveys to take, no e-mails to open, nothing to click-through. Seriously it could not be easier! I’ve participated in many online rewards programs and Swagbucks is my favorite, by far. Occasionally I take the time to write about them because I feel that most people can benefit from this program, especially if you do a lot of Web searches. (As a freelance writer, I’m constantly looking up information.)

So, if you want to start earning free prizes, consider signing up today! You will get 30 swagbucks to get going.

coffee break

I’ve been getting in on a lot of great sampling programs lately, and this week a big box from Sample Showcase (sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service) arrived in my mailbox! I signed up for it a couple weeks ago and was shocked that I was accepted; many people weren’t, so I guess they were looking for specific demographics. I enjoy getting free samples, no matter how small but it was really fun to open a box and find lots of different things (including coffee and chocolate, both of which I am enjoying on this beautiful Friday morning!):

free samples!

What a neat way to get people to try your product. You can enter your e-mail address on the site to receive a notification when the next round is available. I don’t often post about freebies (I leave that to frugality blogs that do a much better job than I ever could), but this one was a lot of fun and I just had to mention it!

jake’s first communion

Oh, hi! Yeah, I just remembered that I have a blog I haven’t updated in quite a while 😉 Actually, I’ve just not had the time to get around to it. I am sure you can understand. May is a busy month at Chez Carol. It started out with a beautiful Saturday and Jake’s First Communion! Even though it was just family attending the party afterward, I still had invitations made up (oh VistaPrint, how I love thee)!

The children were all adorable, but naturally I think that Jake was the handsomest of all. I still can’t believe how grown-up he looked.


The Mass was nice (though a little long, in my opinion). Also, the choir was a little weird — and it’s not just me who thought that. It was very… um… operatic I guess one might say? I think simpler would have been better, but that’s just how I am. Here’s a photo of D., Jake, and myself:

Jake's First Communion

Jake had been so excited for his big day, and we had a great party at home after. Drew’s aunt made sausage and peppers and I made baked mac & cheese, meatballs, and salad. Mom brought a fruit platter. For dessert we had cream puffs and mini eclairs. I should have taken a photo of the spread! It was all so good. Everyone really seemed to have a great time and we were worn out by day’s end. Although it was a stressful year dealing with all the requirements, everything went so smoothly. I could not have asked for anything more!