Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

May 20, 2015

Exclusive Limoncello Products Now Available at Giant (and a $25 GIVEAWAY!)

I take pride in my Italian heritage. I've painstakingly perfected my homemade "gravy." I speak loudly in normal, everyday conversation. I make Pizzelles at every opportunity. I get tan within 5 minutes of stepping outside. 

It's just what Italians do.

So when I heard that Giant (my beloved grocery store) would be introducing an exclusive line of Limoncello products, you might imagine I was pretty stoked.

For those of you who are uninformed (i.e.: not Italian), Limoncello is a liqueur made from the Sorrento lemon. This flavor is authentically derived from Italy (since, like, the beginning of time, and the rest of the world is now hip to it). Giant is harnessing the special Sorrento lemon flavor and infusing an entire line of products that will be available in-store for a limited time only.

The Limoncello product line includes more than 30 items, from fresh to non-perishable departments. What Limoncello items am I most excited about? Limoncello Olive Oil (hello! We just kicked grilling up a notch!), Limoncello Risotto, Limoncello hand soap, Limoncello candles, and, yes, even Limoncello ICE CREAM.

::be still my heart::

Giant will be sampling products at all stores THIS WEEKEND, May 23 and 24, so stop in and try it before you buy it! Although when the sweet and tangy flavor of Limoncello is involved, what's not to like?

In honor of the fantabulous limited-time Limoncello product line, Giant is giving one of my readers a $25 gift card! That way you can buy $25 worth of delicious Limoncello products for your next Summer Soiree! 

Or you can hide them and eat them all yourself. No judgement here.

The $25 Giant Gift Card giveaway will be QUICK! Entries will be accepted until Friday at noon. I'd love to send the winner the gift cards in time for Memorial Day if possible!

Giveaway - To Enter

To enter, just leave a comment about which Giant Limoncello product you're most excited to try along with your email address. I will choose a winner on Friday afternoon using  You can enter by leaving a comment once per day - so that's a total of 3 entries!

Bonus entries:

1) Share about this giveaway on Facebook. Grab the URL of the share

and copy it into a new comment on this post along with your email.

2) Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter. Grab the URL of the tweet and copy it into a new comment on this post along with your email.

3) Pin this post on Pinterest. Grab the URL of the pin and copy it into a new comment on this post along with your email.

In total, you have the chance to submit 6 entries. HAPPY WINNING!

May 19, 2015

Goodwill: Go Green and Do Good


The Big Move is FINALLY OVER. 

We packed. We moved. We conquered! And in the process, realized we had a lot of STUFF that we didn't need. When you are faced with moving unwanted items, you have 2 options: create waste by throwing things in the trash OR go green and donate!

With all of the talk about doing your part to strengthen local communities and live sustainably, you can do one simple thing – donate, don’t waste. Your donations of clothing, furniture, and other household items divert billions of pounds of goods OUT of landfills and into the hands of consumers who can use them. Even better, your donations help the most vulnerable in our community acquire job placement and receive career training.

Thanks to the job training programs made possible by donations of clothes and household items, more than 318,000 people earned jobs in 2014 – that’s one person finding a job every 23 seconds of every business day. So you’re literally donating your stuff AND helping to create jobs.

You can even calculate how much your donation helps your local community by using Goodwill’s Donation Impact Calculator. Simply input the items you’re donating to calculate the number of hours of career counseling, on-the-job training, financial education, résumé preparation and other services you’ve helped provide.

Moving is a GREAT time to assess your clutter, as is the transition between seasons (ahem, Spring is nearly over and Summer is almost here!). Really, there’s never a bad time to clear the clutter out of your life or to do a wardrobe purge. When you donate your stuff to Goodwill, the revenue from the sale of your donated items helps to create jobs for people who are unemployed or underemployed in your community. That’s cleaning with a purpose.

I love that even celebrities are getting in on the action!

Check out what my girl Anna Kendrick shared:

You can share YOUR "reverse haul" on social media by using #DonateStuffCreateJob and tagging @GoodwillIntl. Use the donation impact calculator to let the world know how many hours of on-the-job training you could be creating with your used stuff – stuff that doesn’t help anyone when it’s stuffed in the back of your closet or under your bed.

May 16, 2015

Love Grows Here

I just got home from a strenuous day of moving. Today, after more than 35 years, my mom moved out of my childhood home. With the help of movers, we hauled boxes, driving and back and forth until everything was secure in her new abode. Today we unpacked dishes, agonized over where to put furniture, and fought to make the cable work correctly. 

When you've lived in the same house for over 35 years, moving is a big change.

Over the past year or two, my mom came to the decision it was time to downsize. My sisters and I have been part of the process, supporting Mom along the way. The decision does not come without a lot of difficulty and emotion. 

As I shared in a recent post, this is a house whose walls hold stories of love and loss, marriage and divorce, abrupt endings and new beginnings. It is where my mom, like a phoenix, rose from the ashes and redefined her life. Here she worked hard, grew stronger, and victoriously overcame some of her biggest life obstacles. Yet, interwoven into this tale of triumph are bittersweet memories of a life long gone, of a woman she used to be.

Today my mom not only left behind a house, she left behind a scrapbook of her life.

One of the reasons my mom was able to let go and enter this new season in her life is that I agreed to buy her house. Hubby and I worked hard to save the money to do the transaction, which took place just a few days ago. I am, once again, a homeowner. And my mom is creating a new home for herself in a place just a few minutes away. There is comfort for her knowing that the home is going to someone who understands the history, someone who can appreciate it as much as she does. And, she can visit whenever she wants.

The process has been strange for me. I'm simultaneously excited to start writing my own stories within those walls, but mourn the life that was. I mourn the loss my mom is experiencing and walk  alongside her as she makes the inevitably strange and exciting and sad transition to her new home.

A few weeks ago, I was sitting on the front step of the house, thinking through the impending move and reminiscing over the many memories our home has given us. I wondered if it would be strange to make it my own. Could this house ever be "ours?" Or would it always be "hers?"And as I sat there, with the sun setting off in the distance and my daughters joyfully running around in the amber twilight, I was overcome with this thought: Love grows here.

Here in this house, I was born into love. I was raised in love. After my parents divorce, my mom rebuilt a life in love. Living at home after college, I fell in love. Over the years, we celebrated holidays in love. And now I have the opportunity to begin the cycle anew, raising my daughters in this home of love.

This home is where love grows.

I made a vow to myself right then that I would honor my mom and carry on this tradition of love. The girls and I commemorated this new journey by adding a personalized garden stone from Personal Creations to our front yard. 

 love this special, personal touch to our flower bed. It's an ebenezer of our journey so far and where the new chapter of our story begins. 

As a way to thank my mom for passing on the torch of love to me, and to commemorate the start of her new story, we shared with her this beautiful Guardian Angel Tree from ProPlants

It's a sweet sentiment, giving her well wishes and safe journeys.

Love grew here. 

Love will continue to grow here. 

This is what it means to be home.

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