Archive of ‘Sentiments’ category

Support Education: Box Tops


This is a sponsored post (but I believe in the mission and participate in the program!)

It began in California in 1996.

General Mills wanted to create a program to help support education and benefit America’s schools- so, Box Tops for Education was born. Two years after it started, over 30,000 schools were clipping Box Tops and earning cash to buy the items they needed: playground equipment, books, computers, and more.

Over the next four years, the Box Tops for Education program doubled to include popular brands like Pillsbury, Old El Paso, and Green Giant. By 2004, over 82,000 schools across the nation participated in Box Tops, earning more than $100 million toward education.

TODAY, America’s schools have earned over $719 million, and you can find Box Tops on hundreds of products throughout the grocery store.

Typically, each Box Top clip is worth 10 cents for your school. However, by purchasing three specially-marked General Mills Box Tops items at Sam’s Club, you can earn your school an additional 100 eBox Tops.

How, you ask?


Purchase three General Mills Box Top products and enter your receipt on to earn 100 eBoxTops.

You can also purchase 6 General Mills Box Tops products and earn 200 eBoxTops, 9 products to earn 300 eBoxTops, and 12 products to earn 400 eBoxTops.

What. A. Deal.

Redeeming your box tops through Sam’s Club is super easy and you can do it here. You must purchase the products between 8/16/16 and 11/16/16. Email your receipt to Once validated, come back to to enter eBoxTops code and assign to your school.

I’ve been a member of Sam’s Club for roughly a decade. The samples reeled me in, but the bargains kept me. I’m so glad I can get a good deal on items for my family while helping to give back to the community.

Cheers to that!




Look for box tops like THESE.


    Paybacks: It’s Not Worth It


    They say paybacks are hell. But who are they hell for?

    Last week I was in a car accident while I was driving with my 4-year-old daughter.

    Her school has chapel services that begin at 8:15. I don’t ordinarily get to take my daughter to school because of work commitments, and so being able to attend chapel with her is extra special.

    Many of the parents attend with their children, and I’m hypersensitive about being an “absentee mom” who is always at the office.

    I don’t want to fast-forward twenty years and hear my kids are sitting on a shrink’s couch humming Chapin’s “Cats in the Cradle.”


    As I was at a stop light waiting to turn left once it changed from red to green, I felt another car slam into my bumper and heard a corresponding crash. I looked at my daughter, who was safely in her car seat, and made sure she was ok.


      Miss Understood: How Assumptions can Ruin Relationships

      How making assumptions can ruin great relationships | The Champagne Supernova

      As an attorney, my career is devoted to collecting information, assessing the information, and reporting the information to my clients.

      I try to predict how a jury will react to the information and whether they will find a plaintiff, his or her medical providers, and witnesses to be credible. (After all, just because I perceive the “star witness” to be a lying schmuck doesn’t mean a jury will see him that way.)

      The devil’s in the details, and I try to turn over every rock so I don’t miss something important. The minutiae that accompany “lawyering” can be daunting, and I wrote an entire blog post about it here.

      You would think I’d adopt this “information collecting” to my personal life.





      I’ve done it all.


        Election Season: I Don’t Care About Your Politics


        Ahhh… politics and election season.

        It’s a time you’re reminded that your “friends” think you’re an idiot because you can’t see how wrong your political ideologies are and how much of a lying, phony, nincompoop the person you’re voting for is.

        A time that people use the internet as a means of polarizing one another and promoting their own political agendas.

        It’s a time people share “news” stories in an effort to demonstrate their “side” is correct, and this is why you should agree with them and “see the light,” dagnabit.


        Raise your hand if your opinion about something important has ever been swayed by a social media status update or an adversarial conversation with someone who vehemently disagrees with you.

        (My hand is down.)

        What people ignore is that divisive comments carry an implication that someone isn’t “smart enough” to know what the issues are, understand the issues, and make an informed decision.

        I’ve been down the rabbit hole in the past. I’ve participated in dead-end conversations like these.

        It doesn’t feel good.

        When I was in law school (what seems like many moons ago), I was standing in a group having a conversation with a classmate who was a bleeding-heart (political party, which I won’t name, because that could make people miss the point). She clearly had different political philosophies than the rest of the people in the group and, in an ill-fated attempt to suggest that her views were right, and everyone else’s were wrong, she declared:

        My parents are highly educated, and they are huge financial supporters of (politician) and (politician’s) charity organization.


        So you’re assuming nobody else’s parents are “highly educated?” What if some of our parents couldn’t afford a formal education, but remain informed? Do their views not count?

        She’s a nice girl, and I haven’t seen her in nearly a decade but, when I think of her, I’ll always remember that ridiculous comment.

        I think most people are “smart enough.”

        Smart enough to know someone’s support for Donald Trump doesn’t make them a bigot, their support for Hillary Clinton doesn’t make them a freeloader, their support for Bernie Sanders doesn’t make them a communist, and their support for Ted Cruz doesn’t make them an ignorant Bible-thumper.

        It’s more complicated than that.


          Baby Bellies: Don’t Ask if She’s Pregnant

          How do you know when it's okay to ask a woman if she's pregnant |The Champagne Supernova

          Rule of thumb. Or bump.

          Two years ago, I did something evil.

          It wasn’t planned and, for all my lawyer colleagues, there was no malice aforethought.

          It happened one week after I delivered my second daughter.

          Overcome with a cornucopia of dreadful emotions, my husband convinced me to get out of the house and treat myself to a good old fashioned mani-pedi.


          So I got into my mom-mobile and skedaddled to the nearest “spa,” one of those stereotypical Asian nail salons wedged between a dry cleaning place and Mediterranean cafe in a strip mall.

          I’d been there a couple times before, but stopped going because, despite there being multiple female technicians, I always got stuck with the older man who never stopped talking.

          Don’t get me wrong.

          I love chatting.


            Parenting in the Trenches: They’ll be Older Tomorrow

            My girls at ages 1 and 3. This was taken a year ago, but seems like it was two weeks ago. Photo by Synthia Therese Photography.

            My girls at ages 1 and 3. This was taken a year ago, but seems like it was two weeks ago. Photo by Synthia Therese Photography.

            I remember strangers approaching me when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, placing their hands on my stomach, asking whether I was having a boy or a girl, when I was due, and whether I had chosen a name.

            I received all sorts of parenting advice, most of it unsolicited.

            Which strollers and car seats were the best.

            Breast or bottle.

            Pacifiers or loveys.

            “There’s nothing wrong with letting your child ‘cry it out.'”

            There was one piece of advice I remember most.


              Bag Lady or Beach Babe


              My family and I recently went on a week-long beach vacation in Boca Grande, Florida, and I quickly realized my beach-going of yesteryear was long gone. This week’s guest post from my friend, Julie Bedford, hits the proverbial nail on the head regarding the ordeal of taking young kids to the beach. Julie and I were college sorority sisters at the University of Florida and she hails herself as a “Potty Mouth in a Sweater Set” at her hilarious blog, The Bedford Wife. (Really, it’s one of my favorites). Cheers, and thanks, Julie!


              There are many blog posts on what to bring on a family beach trip.

              Posts like “How to Pack the Perfect Beach Bag in under 30 minutes” and “The Ultimate 10-Item Beach Packing List” and “7 Essentials for A Family Day at the Beach.”

              We took our son to the beach the week after Christmas (because it’s 90 degrees in the dead of winter) and I can tell you, all of these articles are…ahem…crap.

              If you are over the age of 18 and/or married with children, then the truth is, you’ll take 27 tote bags of sh&t with you on your next beach trip.

              Gymboree Sale On Now!

              It will not take you 30 minutes to pack.

              It will take you 7 hours, and you will still forget something.

              You will venture to the shore with saddle bags of:

              bathing suits, sandals, hats, protective eyewear, diapers, underwear, change of clothes (or two, or three, or ten) snacks, water, sippy cups, pacifiers, shade screen, stuffed-animal lovey, baby blanket, umbrella, sunscreen, face-sunscreen, snorkel, flippers,
              surfboard, volleyball net, frisbee, asthma puffer and medication refills, baby-sensitive-skin sunscreen, sand toys, seashell-collection-bag, kite, 57 beach towels, sheet, hair tie, baby powder, bug spray, band-aids, tampons, change for the parking meter,
              cash for the snack bar, lawn chairs, cooler, fishing pole, your phone with the fancy new all-weather case, the Nikon…

              My husband parks the car and leads the way to the perfect spot.

              He scouts out this spot like a hound dog on a crime scene.

              No, no… not here.

              Sniff. Sniff.

              Yes, that’s it… 15 more miles in that direction.

              He is a sleuth, and I am his bag lady.

              I am out of breath from carrying so much sh&t across the Sahara desert, and also from being a little fat (it’s the week after Christmas, remember.)

              However, I am wearing a Spanx bathing suit, which is very flattering, thank you very much.

              I am also wearing a tunic, sandals, and large sun hat.

              Suddenly, like a flock of seagulls, a dozen barefoot teenage girls flutter past me.

              I am blinded by their glistening tan skin.

              Do you know what they are carrying?


              They are prancing about without so much as a cover up.

              I take that back, one of them was carrying a radio.

              Because the only thing one really needs at the beach is Nick Jonas.

              (Incidentally, I forgot “music” in my above-mentioned packing list.)

              Why do I have 1,000 things, and they are drip drying half-naked in the warm winter sun?

              Because they aren’t afraid of anything, and I am afraid of everything.

              I am afraid that someone will get hungry, or tired, or melanoma (or bored God forbid) during the 2-4 hours we will actually be at the beach.

              I get so caught up in preparation, I sometimes forget the entire point of going to the beach is to HAVE FUN.

              Oops, mommy forgot to pack a positive attitude!

              When I finally settled into my lawn chair (so comfy, with the cup holder!) and caught my breath, I watched my son fly a kite for the first time.

              I realized, I love my life as a pack mule mom.

              There is nothing like building sandcastles and digging tunnels to China.

              Or collecting sea shells.

              Or eating too much ice cream at the Twistee Treat.

              Which brings me back to that Spanx bathing suit, and the cover up, and that bucket for the shells, and some extra cash….and…

              Ugh, we forgot the shovel!!!!!!!!!!!

                Real Life: 11 Ways Being a Lawyer Makes You Crazy

                How and why being a lawyer makes you go crazy | The Champagne Supernova

                Me and a close friend on law school graduation day in the year 2007 B.N. (Before Neurosis).

                On her first day of law school at Harvard, Professor Stromwell advised Elle Woods and her classmates:

                “A legal education means you will learn to speak a new language. You will be taught to achieve insight into the world around you, and to sharply question what you know.”

                No truer words have been spoken. Before I was an attorney, the world was riddled with rainbows and butterflies. Bad people only lived on Melrose Place and nobody habitually lied or cheated.

                Being a lawyer has opened me up to the world of the worst. It’s also been a giant mind game that’s difficult to shake. Every day is mental chess: staying one step ahead of your opponent so you aren’t caught off guard, upset your boss, or worse, the client.

                After all, you have to pay the mortgage.

                Once you’re a lawyer, being normal and mentally stable is impossible.

                Here are eleven ways being an attorney makes you go irrevocably crazy.

                Pun intended.


                  Lady and Kuma: The Rescue Dogs Who Rescued Us.

                  Labrador retriever rescue dogs | The Champagne Supernova

                  It was November of 2009 and my husband, Jason, and I were five months hot off the heels of our wedding. We were living in a tiny rental home on Davis Islands in Tampa and I was burning the midnight oil working for Lucifer while Jason was busy studying for the engineering licensing exam.

                  We were far from having children and I needed a project, so we decided to get a dog. We were looking for only one, and because we didn’t want the responsibility of training a puppy, decided to adopt an adult. After researching breeds, we decided to go with one that was family friendly, smart, and physically active.

                  It would either be a lab or a golden retriever.

                  We did some digging and discovered the Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida, a non-profit organization dedicated to placing Labrador Retrievers in permanent homes. After filling out an application and having a volunteer come to our home (to make sure we weren’t wackos), we were given the green light to navigate their website and locate available dogs to meet and potentially adopt.


                    Parents: Stop Saying “It’s Hard”

                    Parents: stop telling your kids school is hard! | The Champagne Supernova

                    Are children less likely to succeed at something when they are initially told, “It’s Hard”?

                    Would they have flourished if they didn’t have preconceived notions of potential failure that were planted by adults?

                    By shutting our pie holes, let’s give our children better chances of success. 

                    Let me illustrate.

                    In my young childhood years, I was a perfectionist. So much so, I think it could have been a borderline personality disorder, if those things would have been routinely diagnosed in the 1980s the way they seem to be these days.

                    Parents: Stop Telling your Kids Things are Hard! | The Champagne Supernova

                    Me in 1986. Apparently, someone told my mom giving a home perm would be hard.

                    Eventually, my aspirations of academic perfection were superseded by an interest in boys, MTV, and being social with friends.

                    Moving to a new town, my parents enrolled us at a small private school, where adults said would be much more challenging because of the stereotype, which truth is immaterial, that private schools were more difficult than public.

                    On top of that, I’d be enrolled in Algebra, which adults warned would be really, really difficult.

                    Not a knock on my parents. Just adults in general.

                    While my strengths and interests were more aligned with social studies and language arts, I had always performed just fine in math and science.

                    There’s a formula. Plug the formula into your Ti-83. You get an answer. Boom!

                    Ultimately, I took to heart what adults said about Algebra being hard, used it as an excuse to slack off and not pay attention in class or do well on tests, and it became a self-fulfilling prophecy because I earned a B instead of the usual A.

                    It was my first B. Ever.


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