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. Jess@sirjstudio.com

Vacation Mode.

Hi Everyone! I am going on a scheduled family vacation.Image result for family vacation free image interracial cartoon

I will be back in soon time with a few reviews and then more of my ramblings. I would love if you could check out some of my older posts in my absence. I will be back after the 27th. We have vacation and then school starts again.Image result for back to school image

I will be mostly logging off of all social media till we return. I really hope everyone has an amazing rest of August and I really look forward to catching up and reading everything everyone has posted once I get back into the swing of things. Love you all.Image result for I love my readers image

Thank you so much for the encouragement and positivity. I can’t wait to come back but I know that my family and I need family time before 5th (he’s already taller than me, gasp!) and 3rd (she’s still a baby, right?) grade.Image result for I love my readers image

Happy end of summer!!

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Solar Panels?

My husband likes the idea of solar panels and he spoke to an agent yesterday. We have talked about installing them on our roof before and let the idea go. I thought about putting holes in the roof of a house we just bought and I did not want that.
****Not My House****
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My opinion now is that I feel like it’s an investment that might hurt us when we try to move. We bought our house and have a mortgage. We are currently trying to save money so we can move to San Diego, hopefully next year.
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Whenever we move we are planning on keeping our house here for a year and renting it out. We want to rent in San Diego for a year. If we love it and never want to leave, we would sell our house here and buy one there. I think a year will give us time to get jobs, figure out the commutes and then see where we would like to buy if we decide we want to stay.
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My husband sees the savings and the value of the Solar panels. Honestly, I would do it if we weren’t talking about moving. If we were saying that we are here and we will stay in this house for the next 20 years, I would sign up. I know that in the past I have heard that it’s harder to sell a home with solar panels that have a lease or loan because the buyer would have to take over the remainder of the lease or loan.
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We have decided that we are going to reach out to our realtor that sold us our home 5 years ago and see what she thinks about the market around here. If, in her experience, solar panels have helped or hurt or did nothing at all if we choose to sell in a couple years. Then we’ll talk about it some more.
Has anyone had any experience is this? What are your thoughts?

Do you ever leave bad reviews?

I was a little upset this past weekend. I have a nail salon and spa that I have been going to for over 15 years. I go there because I love the atmosphere and the people. They were always so warm and welcoming. I have brought my husband, children, sister, niece, my mother… Pretty much anyone who I am super close with. It was a little run down but every single time you walked in you got smiles and hugs. I know about their families, and they know about mine.
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Earlier this year the owner, Grace, decided that she wanted to retire. So she sold it to a husband and wife. They said that  they were going to update it some and keep all the staff. And they did. The first few times I went there I was surprised by how much a couple new chairs and some paint could make a place look brand new. They also upgraded the nail polishes and I really liked that. They added a few new services but kept the old ones and then kept the prices the same.
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The new owner was a former employee, I didn’t know her much though because I have one girl I go to all the time. She gives the best massages… I don’t normally like other people touching me, I get tense. But something about this woman, Y. , just made me relax. I have basically been going to her for the last 5 years.  Over a few months I noticed a change. It was silence when I walked in. No one seemed happy. A few staff had left and there were a few new people. Then I found out that the new owner told my manicurist as well as the woman that my husband always went to, that they were no longer allowed to do mani/pedis. They were only to do massage. I would still go there and tell her that I wanted Y., and she would let her take me but she would hover around us. It was just too much but I figured that as long as I can still have my person, I would keep coming back.
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This past weekend I text Y. and asked her when I could come for a mani/pedi because we are going away soon. She said that she only works there Friday, Saturday and Sunday now. So I asked her what time Friday and she responded with a “I think you should find somewhere else, I don’t think I can take you here anymore.” Then she asked me if I would write a review to let people know that this nail Spa is not the same anymore. And I told her I would. And I did. I changed my 5 star review to a 1. Now I am really sad. I loved that place and I loved those people and I don’t think I will see them again unless they go somewhere else. I told Y. to let me know if she ever goes anywhere else and I would follow.
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I think this is one of 3 times in my life I actually left a bad review.  I kind of feel bad about even though I am also mad that the new owners have ruined one of my favorite places. Do you leave bad reviews?

August Goals

Ah, August. I can’t believe it’s here already. The last month before school starts again. In July, my goals were to support other bloggers and try to post 3 blogs a week. I did support other bloggers (not as much as I wanted to but as much as I could), I did not post 3 blogs a week.
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The summer is a little tough for me. My job has Summer Fridays, a half day every Friday for the summer. I took the rest of the day off so I am off every Friday. I love it. I get to do my grocery shopping early, I meet my husband for lunch with the kids. And then I take the kids out after to do something fun. Bowling, the aquarium, the beach or park… Something to be out. Then we go home and swim in our new mini pool and I cook dinner. It’s just an extended weekend and I changed my mind about 3 blogs a week. 2 is good for now. I really enjoy that extra day to hang out with my kids and just relax. So, I really haven’t tried that hard to post 3 blogs a week. I think I did once and the other weeks I managed 2. It’s whatever.
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I’m not mad at myself. I am happy that I am not forcing it.
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So I am going to adjust my August goal. Continue to support other bloggers. Aim for 2 blog posts a week. That’s it because this is going to be another slower month. We have a vacation for a week coming up. I will not be posting at all that week. I will be putting my phone down and relaxing with family and friends. We’re going to Williamsburg, VA to explore this time. My other friend is getting married in November so I have a bridal shower, and book club. Plus, I need to take the kids and my niece back to school shopping. It’s going to be a busy month, but a fun month.  I still can’t believe that it’s already August.
What about you? What are your goals? How’s your August look?

Little Me, Big World… Excerpt

Hi Everyone! I am so proud of my new YA fiction book. I really enjoyed writing it and I really hope you enjoy reading it.

Chapter 1: 5th grade me

 

Hi. My name is Jessica. I’m about to be 10 years old.  I am going into 5th Grade at Riverside Elementary School.  My teacher this year is Mrs. D and she is very strict. In fact, she is known as the meanest teacher in the entire school. I heard she once hit a kid with a ruler because they spoke without raising their hand.

 

I can tell this year is going to be tough. One of the biggest reasons is that I don’t have many friends in my grade. I am not like the popular girls. I’m not a Girl Scout, I don’t have pretty clothes, and I don’t do gymnastics.  Every year in elementary school it seems my friend circle shrinks a little more. This year I have about 3 girlfriends left that talk to me, Joey, Rebecca and Azra.

 

Besides my 3 school friends I have a secret crush on a boy named Deacon in my class. He is so cute. I have liked him since the 4th grade but he’s popular and I am not. Still, I hope that maybe he’ll notice me one day, so I try to suck in my tummy every time he walks by. He never notices me, but he is the cutest boy I have ever met.

 

 

Even if he did notice me, I don’t know how to speak in front of him. I just freeze and I don’t say anything. Nothing is better than something stupid, right? I don’t need any more reasons for everyone to laugh at me in school. I’ve made it pretty easy to be laughed at already.

In second grade I peed my pants at recess. In third grade I threw up in a popular kid’s mom’s brand-new minivan on a class trip to the beach. In fourth grade I faked a sprained ankle when I really just broke my toes running away from my oldest brother. I decided to use my other brother’s old crutches. I thought that it wasn’t actually lying, I did break my toes, it just wasn’t I-needed-crutches-serious.

 

The nurse called my mom and I had to go back to school the next day and walk on my heel with my toes taped together… No crutches. I got made fun of for a month. I plan on lying low this year and just trying to make it to middle school.

 

I live in a little town called Riverside. It’s nice, minus the not having very many friends at my school.  It’s the first day of school.  My summer felt long, and I loved every minute of it and now I am stuck back at school all day. The weather is nice at least.

September is my favorite month of the year. I love fall, and it just so happens that my birthday is also in September. I walk very slow to get to my new class. We are the top of the top now. 5th grade. The last grade before you go to middle school and become the smallest all over again. None of my friends are in my class this year so I have to wait till recess to even talk to them. This is going to be terrible.

 

 

I walk in and see that my assigned seat is right in the middle of the entire class. I totally prefer the sides. I hate being in the middle of anything. My class neighbor is this girl Rebecca. Not Rebecca my friend in another class: Rebecca the most popular girl in the entire school. She also hates me for reasons that I have never figured out.

One time I heard her telling Stephanie, a girl who was my friend in 2nd grade, that I smelled funny and dressed like a boy. I do dress like a boy, that’s true. My clothes are mostly hand me downs from my two older brothers. Today I am wearing brown corduroys and a mustard yellow t-shirt. At least my shoes are new.

 

My hair is long, straight and boring brown. I am trying to grow my bangs out, but they are only long enough right now for me to tuck them behind my ear. No matter what they always fall forward.  There’s this boy named Tim that calls me bald eagle because I have a scar on the top of my head, right in the middle of my scalp. A big bald spot from when I had cradle cap as a baby. My mom said I scratched it so much I made it scar so no hair ever grew there. I tell people that I fell down the stairs and my hair got stuck on bubble gum and it ripped it out and then no hair ever grew back…..

 

Keep Reading…

NEW BOOK!!!!

Hi Everyone!!! I know I have been slacking a little on my blog lately but it’s part summer and part I have been working really hard on my new YA fiction book! I really love this book. I hope you love reading it as much as I loved writing it… and reading it… and writing it… Here it is:

It’s about:

Jessica is 10 years old and is starting to learn about growing up and changes in friendships. She has to learn how to make new friends but first she has to get through the 5th grade play without fainting on stage in front of the entire school.

Please give it a read. I am working on the follow up to it now. Hopefully I will be done by October.

 

Thorne Vitamin Review

****Disclaimer**** There are affiliate links in this post. I do make a small commission off each purchase you make from them. I would never promote products that I do not believe in 100%. You can count on my honest opinions on all products listed in any of my pieces. Thank you.

As you all know, I have been going through some health shit lately. Mental and Physical… This past year I’ve had more blood taken then when I was pregnant both times. I had ultrasounds on my neck, on my uterus… I have PCOS, Hashimotos (but my thyroid is still okay for now, they say) also my vitamin D levels were deficient. Currently I am waiting on a cholesterol check because the bad one was high all of a sudden this past physical. So I don’t know. Anyway, I say all this to say it all started back in October. I woke up and thought I was dying because my stomach was killing me. I went to the doctor and told her that since my father had died I was drinking a lot… Mostly just so I could go to sleep. I thought I broke my liver. She touched my stomach and I almost screamed. Turns out it was acid reflux. She gave me medicine, told me to get some blood work and sent me for a chest x-ray to make sure my lungs were clear. My blood work came back with the Vitamin D deficient and I was told to get a good high dose over the counter and come back in a few months to test again. So I went to Costco because I like to buy in bulk. Related image

I bought the Costco brand Vitamin D and I tried to take them, I really did. I even started to eat breakfast to try to help me not feel so nauseous but a couple mornings no matter what I did, I would throw the vitamins right back up. One morning I was walking out to my car to drive the my kids to school and I puked right outside my car. My kids were like “Oh my god! Are you okay!?” I explained to them that it was the vitamins and I wasn’t really sick… Then I tried to take the vitamins before I went to bed but I don’t like feeling gross if I don’t go to bed fast enough so I started to just forget. Image result for vitamins that make you feel nauseous free image

Around this time I was also feeling really crappy mentally as well. My father died in a farm accident last July and it was my first holidays without him. I just felt crappy physically and mentally.  I got on a list for a psychiatrist in January. Meanwhile, my primary care doctor was trying to figure out why my cholesterol was going up with the results from the next blood work. She told me it might be because of the holidays and food and to continue taking the vitamin D and come back in 3 months.

In April I was able to get in to the Psychiatrist. He gave me Wellbutrin to help me get my ass up in the morning and not feel so miserable all day. He gave me a high dose vitamin D and told me to start with that and come back next month. Image result for high cholesterol low vitamin d free image

I went back to my doctor and she said guess what? You need a high dose vitamin D and your cholesterol is even HIGHER. I was like I am eating Oatmeal. I am taking 5000 vitamin D a day and I want to give it 3 months before going on any more medicine. She said okay.

The vitamin D I have been taking is amazing. I am not nauseous. I have been taking it for 3 months and I feel amazing. So amazing that I signed up to be an ambassador for the company. It’s really incredible how much of a difference I feel just waking up in the morning.

This is the Vitamin D I am taking till I run out and if you are deficient and having a hard time finding a vitamin that doesn’t make you feel like vomiting 15 minutes later, give this a try. Vitamin D-5,000 . I think it’s amazing. You do have to take it with food so it absorbs better, but I didn’t feel like puking at all, ever.

I do take a probiotic everyday and my psychiatrist recommended I add fish oil. Which is something I have heard before. So I also started taking this a month after the vitamin D with dinner. Omega Plus™ . I swear I feel even better. I think my skin looks better too, honestly.

 

The last thing that we added was a basic daily vitamin that I will continue with that after I get my vitamin D to where it needs to be. This I have been taking for the last month and I really can’t tell you how amazing I have been feeling lately. Basic Nutrients 2/Day

 

I highly, highly recommend these vitamins. I am currently waiting on my next blood work results from my tests this morning. I have also added walking more and I will be adding in some cardio and weight lifting in the next few weeks.

This is my link and if you are looking for some amazing vitamins, I would really recommend at least trying these. I have bought all the ones I have tried, nothing was given to me for free. I just liked them so much I signed up to help promote them and maybe get a little discount along the way.

Thorne – Jessica Acosta

 

 

 

Family Lion King Movie Review

I was really excited for this movie. I had watched Lion king on repeat as a babysitter and I was really hoping for a new take on it. There may be a few spoilers in this review but only if you have never seen the original Lion King before.
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My son (10) :
I liked it.
My daughter (7) :
She fell asleep half way through. To be fair, she was at her first sleepover the night before and pretty exhausted already. She said “Good”.
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My niece (14):
It was good. Unrelated to the movie. The girl next to me talked too much and was annoying. Also my mom on the other side of me kept saying the lines before they did and singing. Ugh. H. As in Hhhhhhhhhhhhhh. (she didn’t actually say the H thing now, but she has said it before to me and I just thought it belonged here.) Related image
Me (37):
I liked it. I thought it was good. I really expected something a little different and it felt totally the same. I knew everything and practically every line before it was said. I really was hoping for a little bit of new life. Look at that cast! Let them LIVE a little.
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My sister (34) :  I loved it. I actually liked that it was practically the same. I am happy they barely changed anything. The new songs weren’t my favorite and Zazu was not what I expected at all. The new versions of the same song felt not as magical as the original. Like they were toned down a little. I didn’t like this Zazu and he doesn’t sing about his lovely bunch of coconuts. I wish they actually kept that.
I actually agree about the coconut part.
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Overall, would I see it in a theater? Ehh, maybe once on the discount day. Would I watch it again on Netflix? Yes. Would I buy it? Probably not.
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My husband actually refused to see this movie with us. He said he didn’t think a new lion king was necessary. Honestly, it didn’t feel new at all.
I loved Timon and Pumbaa in this movie and if they did a live action Lion King 1 1/2… I would totally watch it.

Sleepovers and Summer Update

Hey Everyone! The annual party went great. Even though it was hot as hell, everyone seemed to have fun. I didn’t even think to take pictures honestly. I was just trying to get everything out and ready. We did buy misters for the deck and that did help during the day. Towards the end of the night it was more like a sprinkler system though. Between the misters and the 2 1/2 foot pool, it seems like no one over heated and everyone had fun. Till next year!
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My 7 year old daughter had her first sleep over at a friends house last night. I was honestly a little sad. I missed her in the evening but she did call and she seemed to be having so much fun, so I was happy for her. According to my friend it did take her a while to fall asleep, but she did and slept through the night. So that’s good. My 10 year old son has had sleepovers at our house but he hasn’t actually slept out yet so this was really the first time I didn’t have the children home at night. It was weird for me, I think I’ll be okay. Haha.
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I booked my birthday trip to Cape Cod in September. I love going to the cape in September. It’s right after the summer season and it’s usually not that busy but still  beautiful and fun. This year my sister, niece and mom are coming too. This will be our 3rd trip there and their first. I can’t wait to just walk on the beach and look in the tide pools.
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My mom came down from Cooperstown, NY for the summer party this past weekend. It was really good to see her. We talk most weeks but I haven’t seen her since March.  We went to visit my dad’s grave on Sunday before she left to head back home. I cried in bed before we met up. I miss him. I missed him at the party. I miss him a lot. Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of his death and we have a department meeting at work. I just hope I’m not an emotional mess.
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That’s where we are at for the Summer right now! Half way through and one more vacation to Virginia in a few weeks. I am looking forward to that. Tonight we are going to see the new Lion King movie. I will have a family review tomorrow.
How’s your summer going?

Annual family picnic menu

Every year since we bought our house (5 years!)  we throw an annual family party. Usually we have 15-25 people. This year I am hearing we may have 30-35. Also, we’re having it on Saturday which means it will be right in the middle of our first heatwave of the summer. It’s going to be 95 but feel like 105. I think that might be the hottest day of my life. So… We bought a 2 1/2 foot deep pool that’s 10 feet around. We set that up last night. I have a deck with a huge umbrella. I have a canopy for the yard that I will set tables and chairs under. And then we have central air in the house so if it’s absolutely terrible, we can all be in the house where I am going to set up the food on 2 tables. I swore to myself that I wasn’t going to go crazy this year but as I am hearing that the count is going up, I am getting nervous about food and so I think I am over planning but I figure at least everyone can take something home.
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This is our menu:
My husband and my best friends husband will be manning the grills and deep fryers outside… Two grills, charcoal and gas and a double deep fryer.
They will be making:
BBQ Chicken Thighs
BBQ Kielbasa
BBQ Ribs
Hot Dogs
Hamburgers
Elote Corn
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Deep Fryer will be making Onion rings and french fries and possibly plantains.
Inside I will be chefing up the salads and desserts with my mom. Also, making a 12 lb Ham because I have it so why not?
I’m making a regular salad and a beet salad.
I am making Brownies, Cupcakes and garlicky, buttery monkey bread muffins. And probably Chocolate chip cookies because I just start making my entire pantry at some point.
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My mother in law is bringing Macaroni salad and Potato salad and Pastelitos
We’ll also have watermelon because it’s a summer BBQ and a couple dozen fresh clams and oysters.
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Then we’ll have a variety of beer, wine, spirits as well and non alcohol beverages.
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I am hoping that despite the 100 degree weather, everyone will have a good time and there will be enough food for everyone to take a tray home. I just have to remember to eat because usually at these things, I am running all over and I drink but I barely eat.
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Wish us luck, please! Also if you’re around CT and don’t mind the heat, come on by!