All posts by sambel203

About sambel203

I am a Wife, Mother, daughter, Aunt and loyal friend. I have always dreamed of being an Author. I wrote a couple short books. 3 are mine, 1 is a story my daughter made up and another one I am about to publish is a story my son made up and illustrated. I am currently working on my next book. Check them out in the links. I am blogging because I love writing and it helps keep me sane. I have challenged myself to write one blog every day I have to work for a year. If you follow my blog, I will follow yours! Thank you for taking the time to check out my stuff. Feel free to send me an email if there is something you would like me to write about.

April stats and New book

So far this month has rocked! I’m getting good view numbers and good likes and follows. I’ve gotten into dedicating a couple nights a weeks to following back and reading other blogs. I am trying to support everyone who supports me too. It’s been a really great experience so far.
I just put together my book of all my books combined. I had a few readers suggest I combine them all together, so I did. Now instead of one book at $2.99 you can get all four in one book for $3.99. I am hoping this will help increase some sales for me. And if you would like to help me out, please head on over to amazon! I plan on promoting this and working on the blog still.
Moving Forward by [Acosta, J.]
Overall, I am much happier with how things are going. I have met some really nice  people and I really do appreciate everyone who takes to time to read, like and comment. I will get back to everyone as soon as I get a chance. For some reason I can’t do everything on my phone, I have to log in from my laptop in order to like and comment when I blog surf. Image result for hearts free image
I’m still trying to figure out pintrest. I pin but I don’t get any clicks. Maybe it’s my pictures? Tailwind makes no sense to me. I just have to sit and learn it but I am finding it hard just finding time. I don’t know. I’ll keep doing it. Facebook is still not working for me to post my blog links. I’m keeping it to post book links for now. Instagram makes no sense to me yet. Anyone use this successfully?
I really love blogging. Between working full time, 2 kids a husband and 3 dogs, I’m just finding it hard to keep up with everything. I also have my first young adult fiction book in the works so I need to figure out how to spend more time on that. I need to add to it and go back and develop my characters more. I’ll figure out a schedule to help me.
I really wish I could sell 100,000 books so I can just cut my hours at work and use my afternoons to write. That would be awesome and is my goal. For now I’ll work with what I got.
How about you? Do you have a schedule?

Health Check

I have a doctors appointment this week. My cholesterol was borderline high when I went for my physical in  January. And my vitamin D levels were deficient. She thought it was because of the holidays. I went back a couple weeks ago and had blood work to double check and it’s the same. I can see my results before going in. So I know I have to make a change in my diet. I’m starting today. Back to the boring low carb salad and chicken or salmon life. It worked to help me lose some weight and I need to be here for my kids and husband. I have to cut my splurges down.
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I had a therapist appointment Friday! Finally! But he’s a psychiatrist. He prescribed me a anti depressant to help me get back on track. I am actually happy about this. I feel like I do need a little boost to help me right now. I’m just dragging ass lately. He also gave me a High dose of vitamin D supplement. He said that he thinks this combined with a low gluten diet and starting back with my exercise will help me get back to myself in a few months. I hope so.
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It’s been a little difficult trying to get through anything lately. Things that I use to love doing, like planning parties and cooking for holidays have just felt like they are hanging over me. If I didn’t have to take my kids to school or work, I would spend a lot more time sleeping.
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So. Today is Monday and I will be starting back on my diet. I will also start back with walking on my 15 minute breaks at work. Now that it’s getting nicer out I have no excuse for not doing a mile per break.
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Those are my first baby steps. In a couple weeks I’ll add the elliptical and the rowing machine back to my morning routine. The machines are collecting dust in my family room right now. Then I’ll add the weight lifting maybe next month. But. Baby steps. I have to go back in a month to this guy to adjust dosage if needed.
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On top of this I heard there is a Grief management counselor in the next town over. I think I am going to call them. I mean, I need to reach out. I can’t just hide in bed right now. I do to many things to not be present. Even if the past few months all I have really wanted to do was disappear. I really can’t. So. Moving forward.

Great Wolf Lodge Review

This past week was April Break for the kids. One of my friends booked a room at Great Wolf Lodge in Pennsylvania for her daughters birthday present. She has 2 kids and her daughter wanted to bring her best friend. My friends husband couldn’t get the time off from work and neither could her cousin so she asked me if I could get the time off and bring my two kids. That way her youngest daughter would have someone to ride the water slides with. She said she already paid for the room and 6 passes are included so I would just have to pay the $50.00 per night extra for the 7th person. I was like sure! I was able to get the time off of work. Image result for great wolf lodge poconos free pictures
I don’t know if you have ever priced these places, I have, and a suite on a week when the kids are off from school can easily run $600.00  a night. Then you have to pay for the extra things there are to do there. My friend had purchased a package for each of the kids she was bringing called a Wolf pass. I bought these for my children when we arrived. It was $60.00 each and it included a cup of candy, a game of mini golf, a game of bowling,$5.00 to the arcade,  a free ice cream, the mirror maze, and a wand and quest package. At check in each kid gets a pair of wolf ears.  I thought they were adorable, my son thought they were not cool. I still made them all put the ears on so I can take a picture. ( I will not post if cause he was embarrassed) Image result for great wolf lodge poconos free pictures
My friend booked the kids club house suite. It has a little “cabin” with a bunk bed, a twin bed and a TV. One bathroom. A little microwave and mini fridge and sink area for snacks. A little table to sit and eat, a queen bed, pull out sofa bed, fire place and balcony. The room was bigger than I thought it would be! We got there early and you can check in early and go to the water park till your room is ready. So that’s what we did. Image result for great wolf lodge poconos free pictures
The kids took off once we were in the water park and my friend and I took turns buying a drink at the bar and then bringing our stuff up to the room. I was really surprised by how much there is to do in the water park. There’s a 4 foot deep pool with basketball hoops, a lazy river, a wave pool, a little kids section and a big wet like obstacle course type play thing to climb on. Plus, lots of water slides. In the water park there is a bar and a place to get food. I order 3 chicken finger meals and it came to like $35.00. Not too bad for a water park, I thought. Image result for great wolf lodge poconos free pictures
After the kids were done playing we went to the room, let them snack while everyone showered and then headed down to the arcade. The arcade is pretty cool too. There was a lot to do to win tickets and a lot of cool prizes. Then we headed over to get our wands and start our quests. Related image
The quests are pretty cool. There are 4 hallways and you run around and wave your wand at things to complete the quest clues. The kids were all about it for the first night. For dinner, I bought 2 large pizza’s and some waters and it came to around $52.00. We went back to the room to eat and then the kids asked if they could go do more quests. We said sure, so they took off and completed a few more quests and my friend and I got to chill for a little bit. Then we took a couple kids to the nightly dance party they had. It was alright. Image result for great wolf lodge poconos free pictures
When you check in they give you a list of all the activities they have for the kids through out the day. There’s a bubble party, a story time, some nights have a movie and then there is usually a dance party. The kids danced for a few minutes but then they got tired and we went back to the room. I was tired too! Image result for great wolf lodge poconos free pictures
Hibernation time is from 10 PM till 8 or 9:00 AM. That’s when everyone is supposed to be quiet. I went to bed around 10:00 and the kids stayed up in their little club house. My daughter slept with me on the pull out and my son slept in a sleeping bag on the floor. He wanted to sleep in the sleeping bag. Otherwise, I would have shared a bed with my friend and my kids could have shared the pull out. The pull out was not terrible. I was able to sleep on it.
The next day we had breakfast in the room ( we made bacon in the microwave and we brought cereal). Then we headed to the arcade to finish playing ( we added $10.00 to the cards) and collect our prizes. Then we went back to the room to change and head to the water park. Now, I am going to tell you a secret. Image result for great wolf lodge poconos free pictures
We lost a child at this point. And not one of our own, the one that was the birthday girls best friend. What happen was I took 3 kids with me to go start changing for the water park and my friend was staying with the other 2 kids so they could get their prizes at the arcade. Right after we left the birthday girls best friend decided she wanted to come with us. Since we just left, my friend was like “Sure.” Well, while we were walking down the hallway to the elevator I never saw the best friend. We got to the room and the kids started to change and then my friend came in and said “Where’s BGBF?” (Birthday girl best friend) and I was like with you! And she said that BGBF had left to come with us. And I said I never saw her. Then she said “Stop playing with me.” And then we freaked the fuck out. I ran down to the Arcade, I ran up and down halls, I ran through the parking lot, I checked the bathrooms. I thought maybe she had followed someone who looked like me. I don’t even know. I went back to the room and my friend was about to head down to have BGBF paged and she walked in the door crying. She had run up the stairs, got to the room, changed and went to the water park and we totally missed each other. Yes, the elevators are slooooowwwww…. Usually, you are supposed to have a parent with you to get into the water park, but if you tell them your parents are already in there, they believe you and let you in. So BGBF sat in the wave pool for 20 minutes waiting to find us and then gave up and went back to the room. That was nuts. Image result for great wolf lodge poconos free pictures
After we found each other, we all went to the water park and I floated in the lazy river for a half hour and then read my book club book. We went back to the room, showered and headed down to play mini bowling, mini golf and collect the cups of candy, we went to dinner at the buffet. The buffet is BLAND. The kids barely ate anything except the pasta. It was $148.00 for 5 kids and 2 adults. Plus I added a 18% tip. After we ate at the buffet I was really tired. Like super tired. We went back to the room, let the kids go down to the mirror maze and to get ice cream and we just chilled. Related image
I think two nights was plenty to spend there. I was tired coming home and being that Easter was a few days away, I felt unprepared and started to get anxious thinking about it since I didn’t get anything yet.
I would try another indoor water park. I have heard good things of Kalahari and I would like to try that next year. The kids had a blast. I mean they thought it was really cool. In May, Great Wolf has an outdoor ropes course and after memorial day, they have an outdoor water area too. Image result for great wolf lodge poconos ropes course free pictures
My daughter says the water park was the most amazing part and she would go back in the summer.
My son said it was awesome and her would love to go back.
I would go back if I was able to find a Groupon or discount. $600.00 a night is really expensive to me especially when you are paying for food and other things while you are there.
If I go with my friend again we decided we will get a 2 bedroom and split it, which might be cheaper. What are your experiences? Have you gone to an indoor water park, what did you think? Will you go back?

Hosting Easter

Hi Loves! I took a day off to take the kids to an indoor water park in PA with my friend for two nights. It was us and 5 kids and those places are nuts. There is so much for them to do. Everyone is walking around the hallways with wands completing Quests. There’s an arcade, bowling, indoor mini golf, a mirror maze and of course the huge indoor water park. Every hour or so they have free activities in the lobby. After memorial day they have stuff outside too. An outdoor pool and a ropes course.  It was nuts. We got home and I am like I need silence for at least a couple hours. I will write a review and post in a couple days.
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I am doing Easter again this year. I am expecting about 10 Adults and 5 children. It will be fun! I am drawing a blank this year on what to cook. I usually cook the entire house on holiday’s. In the morning my kids will have an indoor easter egg hunt and then I start cooking after coffee. Right now, the weather looks nice for Sunday. 62 and partly cloudy. Fingers crossed this holds true because I would love to do an outdoor easter egg hunt once all the kids get here.
When it was March I looked at the calendar wondering when Easter even was this year and it seemed so far away, so I kind of forgot about it. Now I am starting to freak out because I haven’t even planned the menu yet!
This is the menu I am thinking about so far:
Ham in the Crock pot. I made this one year and thought that I ruined the ham, it was falling apart. To my surprise, everyone actually loved it. Now I make it twice a year, Easter and Thanksgiving and everyone takes home leftovers. It’s seriously the most easy thing to make, ever. Even my mom was surprised and now she makes it this way too!
Turkey in the Fryer. My husband will cook this outside. He has defrosted the Turkey and it will be in a brine for the next couple days. Everyone seems to love deep fried turkey. I like it. I am totally okay with having some only twice a year. Image result for deep fried turkey free images
Scallop Potatoes from a box, because that’s how I like them. 🙂
Stuffing from a box. I do throw some chopped up celery and onion in there.
Corn from a can.
Roasted Carrots. I honestly just love carrots and I don’t cook them enough. When I big cook, I always include them. This year I think I might try these ones.
Salad on the side.
Beet Salad because I know my mother in law likes beets. This is a good recipe and super easy if you buy the beets already cooked and skinned in the produce aisle.
I’m going to chop up a pineapple on the side just for whoever.
Biscuits. Regular and monkey bread. Monkey bread I made one year and everyone likes them. This is the recipe I use.
I always make Rice because that use to be all my kids would eat. I just make a pot.
I am going to ask my brother in law to bring mac and cheese. He makes the best home made. I really should ask him the recipe but I like when I don’t have to make it. 🙂
My mother in law is bringing Pastelitos.
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My sister in law always comes up with some new drink and she becomes the bartender when she comes over. A few years ago she made a garlic vodka, I keep a jar in my fridge always now.
And dessert… Brownies, cookies and cupcakes.
I set everything up Buffet Style and we’ll eat, hang out and have a good time.
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I hope everyone has a great Easter! What do you do for Easter?

Monthly box subscriptions

I always look at monthly box subscriptions and I always want to try some but I never know which ones to buy and I get really overwhelmed looking them up and then I just give up and never actually order any.
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These are a few of the ones that I looked at.
I just think these boxes would be cool to get. To me, it’s a little pricey but I keep looking at it. One day I will take the plunge and do the annual subscription for a year. The yearly fee is $270.00 for 4 quarterly boxes. I think it would be fun to try this for a year. Maybe that’s what I’ll get myself on my birthday.
The Allure Beauty box looks really cool. . And for $15.00 per month it seems doable.
Birch box is one I have heard before. My coworker had it. She loves getting samples so she enjoyed this box. She said there were some samples that she didn’t care for and she didn’t renew her subscription after a year.
This $15.00 a month.
Kawaii boxes
I actually did order one box for my daughter and she looooved some of it. I think I loved the things more than she did. I might order it again when she gets a little older. It’s $22.00 per month. Honestly, the things I kept, I still have.
Loot Crate:
I have looked at this to get for my son. It’s $20.00 per month.
beef jerky boxes.
Because I love beef Jerky. It’s $28.00 per month and I think both my husband and I would enjoy this. I still might get it. My husband has been in the habit of trying out beef jerky recipes at home so I haven’t actually needed to buy any beef jerky in a long while.
There are other food ones, there are fashion boxes, makeup…. There are monthly boxes for everything and if I could afford it, I would probably subscribe to as many as possible. It would be like Christmas every day. It would be awesome. But then I would have to clean up, and there would be a lot of things that I probably wouldn’t use, so then it would be a waste. That is my exact thought process every time I look at these things. Then I close all the tabs and I don’t order anything.
What’s your experience? Do you get a monthly box? Have you tried monthly boxes? Which ones do you love?


I wanted to write a really great blog today but the truth is I am feeling a little down on myself today.
I ate a lot over the weekend, there was cake and pizza and steak and wings… I drank beers.
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I just feel really huge today and my stomach hurts. I didn’t actually gain anything according to the scale, but I just feel gross. Like a big fat blob.
It’s Monday too, so that doesn’t help. I am off work the rest of this week.
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I will try to post some blogs but I will be taking the kids with my friend to an indoor water park tomorrow through Thursday. And even though I feel like a whale, I will be getting in a bathing suit because my kids will want me to play with them in the pool and they don’t care if I am feeling gross. They just see me as Mom with or without the 10 pounds I keep losing and then gaining back. So I will Suck it up (or in, but not really because who the hell really cares) and have fun.
I hope you all have a great week!

Weekend plans

It’s Friday! Thank the heavens. Next week is April break for the kiddos too! Yay for all. Related image
This week felt long to me. This weekend is going to be pretty low key.
Tomorrow I have to clean a little and then my husband and I will be working in the backyard to fence it in and I want to fix up the side of the garage. It just looks like it needs help. We have a detached garage and between the garage and the deck there is a little area to walk into the backyard.  It’s where all the water falls when it rains so no grass ever grows there and it is kind of a muddy mess right now. I want to put stones down and make it kind of a walk way. Something sort of like this:Related image
We’ll see what happens. I’ll probably do a blog about it with pictures when we decide what to do. That’s my plan for Saturday. Followed with wine and a movie on Netflix.
Sunday I am taking to kids to a friends house for her daughters family birthday party. The same ones we are going away with for a couple days next week. That should be fun. Then it’s Monday. Weekends go by way to fast! I only work Monday next week though so it will be a break for me too. Next week is going to be fun! Image result for spring break free cartoon image
I am trying to decide if I should write new blogs to post while away or if I should re-post some older blogs that didn’t get many views because I was just starting out. I am leaning more towards writing new posts because that was my original challenge to myself. Back in November my challenge was to write one blog everyday that I have to work for a year. This is an unplanned vacation so I feel like not posting is breaking my own rules.. We’ll see.
What are your plans for the weekend?

10 things I would tell my younger self

I was thinking about a what I would tell my younger self last night.
Here’s a few things I would tell me. Image result for 10 things I would tell my younger self
1.) Nothing good happens after midnight, go home.  Unless you’re up to nothing good, then stay a little longer.
2.) Get some sleep, you’re going to miss it in 10 years. ( I think this is because we are currently working on crate training a puppy. I miss solid sleep so much right now.)
3.) Start to save your money now. Why are you not investing yet? It’s for you in the future. (Put down the latte, pick up an iced coffee and put that $3.00 you saved in the bank.) Image result for investing free image cartoon
4.) Don’t stop writing. It’s what you love and it also helps you process your thoughts.
5.) Go to the dentist regularly, not just when your tooth hurts. Image result for scared of dentist cartoon free image
6.) Take a few more trips alone. Pick a city, get a room and explore. (these were some of my favorite trips pre family)
7.) That psychic in New York was right about everything except the 3 kids… Unless she meant dogs, then she was 100% Correct. Image result for psychic free image cartoon
8.) Go to more Museums instead of window shopping.
9.) I know you want it, but it doesn’t fit and you aren’t going to lose that 5 lbs. Put it back.
10.) Keep your credit card debt down and your score up. You’re going to need that in the future and it takes a lot of work to fix it.
This is just a quick list of a few things I would tell my younger self. And I am sure that the list will grow and change as I get older! What are some things you would tell your younger self?

Kids and life… I’m still learning.

I have two kids. A 7 year old girl and a 9 year old boy. Next week is April Break for them. We were planning on having MeMa come and watch the kids Monday thru Thursday and then Friday my husband and I are taking the day off for our 11 year wedding anniversary. We don’t have anything planned for the anniversary, we just took the day off to hang out all together. Image result for 11 year wedding anniversary cartoon free image
This past Tuesday my friend was telling me how she booked a suite at one of those indoor water parks for her daughters birthday and she is taking her 2 daughters and her birthday daughters best friend. Our kids have basically grown up together. They are honestly more like cousins than anything because they have been to every Christening, first communion, birthday party (both family and friends), family picnics, even some holidays, and plenty of play dates through out the years. So my friend was telling me how she was going alone and wished she had another adult to go with her and then she asked if I wanted to come with the kids and share their room. I would only have to pay for the extra $50.00 per night for the daily water park pass and then obviously for our food and activities… Image result for great wolf lodge free image PA
I asked my husband if he minded if I took the kids Tuesday to return on Thursday and he doesn’t care. They’re off from school anyway and he has to work… The thing he really cares about is that Me ma would only be coming for one day so he will be missing all the dinner she makes when she comes to watch the kids… He’s joking, kind of. He’ll be home to take care of the dogs. I have plenty of vacation time so why not??? Image result for great wolf lodge free image PA
Tuesday I skipped into school to pick the kids up and I was like “Guess what??” Wanna go to the indoor water park??? The only catch is you two have to share a pull out bed.  And to my surprise BOTH kids were like, nah, maybe some other time! I was honesty shocked. When I was their age, if someone asked me to go away with them, I would  have slept on the floor in the closet to go. Just mention a hotel and you could have taken me to the next town over and I would have pretended as if I had never seen it before. Are my kids spoiled?
After telling them all the other fun things there are to do at this resort, my daughter changed her mind. My son gave me a couple excuses about why he wanted to stay home, but the main reason is he wants to sit in front of the television and play video games all week with his friends. I told him that there will be a daily time limit and he would not be doing this and then he decided that maybe he will go after all. Image result for great wolf lodge free image PA
I am honestly still so shocked over their initial response. I don’t mean to sound like an old fart “back in my day, blah, blah, blah…” but that’s how it feels when things like this happen.
So this is where I am at. I am both super excited to go but also like, why am I the only one who is excited? We’ll see how it plays out. But does this happen to other people too? Do you get so excited about things and your kids are just like, Meh?

I am so tired.

I forgot about puppy training. When we adopted Max two years ago, he was pretty much crate trained already. He wasn’t house trained but I didn’t mind teaching him to go outside. Max would actually put himself to bed in the Crate when he was tired. Image result for german shepherd puppy in a crate free image
(***Not Luna, free image on google***)
Luna is NOT crate trained. She was adopted from a farm and I assume she doesn’t understand why she’s the only one in a crate overnight. It’s because she needs to be trained still and she likes to chew and I don’t trust her to not pee everywhere while eating all my furniture. So she is crated at night and when we are out. My husband walks them in the morning, on lunch and at night. We are fencing the back yard this weekend so we can let them out to run around too now that it’s getting nicer out.Image result for sleepy cartoon lady at work free image
So I am exhausted because Baby Luna cried a lot last night. My husband got up at 4 AM and took her for a walk in hopes that it would help her sleep for a few hours. It seemed to help. We got a combined total of about 3 hours. We’ll get there. I just forgot about this whole part. Image result for coffee more free image
I was going to write about spring today, but that might have to wait till later in the week. I am also going to put something together about our surprise trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Pennsylvania next week. That’s coming up too. For now, it’s coffee and lots of it, all day. Happy Tuesday!