You are Where You’re Supposed to Be


I was sitting in the Courthouse cattle-call room waiting for a hearing to begin when my colleague’s casual statement left me hurting for days.

There’s a group of ten of us going to dinner over Labor Day weekend since Lauren Strickland and her husband will be in town. Any idea where I can rent a party bus to drive us around?

“Wait, what?” I thought.

As background, I went to law school with Lauren and we were close friends (in my mind) before she and her family relocated to Houston to accommodate her husband’s job in the oil industry.

Until she moved three years ago, Lauren and I spent a good amount of time together. I hosted her son’s first birthday party at my house when her own home was under construction and arranged a meal train when her mother was in a car accident.

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    What an Eighty Year Old Wished She Knew in Her Thirties


    My grandmother turned 83 years old in May. She was born in the bedroom of a small house in Minersville, a lower-income neighborhood of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, highly populated with workers of the then-thriving Bethlehem Steel mill. Despite her own parents’ lack of education, my grandmother and her brother went on to earn college degrees and both of them subsequently became elementary school teachers.

    My grandmother served her local community as a teacher for three decades before she retired in 1993. Always passionate about politics and making a positive influence, she was on the local Housing Authority and served as the Johntown’s Deputy Mayor.

    Despite all of her successes, my grandmother also faced many hardships. Raised a devout Catholic, my grandmother has been married three times, which was taboo for her generation from a religious and social standpoint (although it is worth noting that she and my step-grandfather have been married four decades- third time’s the charm!) Her first husband, my biological grandfather, left her with year-old twin daughters on Christmas Eve in 1957 when he told her he was heading to the grocery store to purchase cream soda and he’d “be right back.”

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      Make Thanksgiving Preparation Easy with Beall’s Outlet


      Thanksgiving brings many things to mind.

      Pilgrims and Indians.

      Cooler weather and colorful leaves.

      Time off from work and school.

      Hanging out with family and friends.

      Having to hit the gym twice as hard to make up for all the turkey, trimmings, and libations that will be consumed.

      And let’s keep it real… stress.

      While I love the overall feel of the holidays, all the little details that go into it can get stressful.

      Do we have enough sheets and towels to accommodate overnight guests?

      What about dinnerware- do we have table settings for everyone?

      Can Martha Stewart (or my Fairy Godmother) come over and make my house look festive?

      Do we have sufficient bakeware or should we just make reservations?

      Fortunately, Beall’s Outlet has really helped me get ahead of the eight-ball when it comes to planning for the holidays. In fact, it’s a one-stop shop for everything I need to make hosting Thanksgiving a great success. From measuring cups and baking pans to home decor, bedding, bathroom necessities, and table sets, Beall’s Outlet has enabled me and my family to get ready for Thanksgiving without spending valuable time and money.

      With products discounted as much as 70% off retail, the value is unbeatable. 

      We bought everything we needed to get us ready for Thanksgiving by making one simple shopping trip to Beall’s Outlet. This included serving dishes, pie platters, festive salt and pepper shakers, holiday decor, and a scented candle (pumpkin spice) to boot.

      How to decorate for Thanksgiving at Bealls Outlet | The Champagne Supernova

      Decorating your home with Bealls Outlet | The Champagne Supernova

      Fall themed kitchen decor | The Champagne Supernova

      Below are photographs of me and my girls making our signature Banana Bread dish for a Thanksgiving appetizer. All of the cooking utensils featured in the photograph were purchased at Beall’s Outlet.

      How to simplify your holidays with Bealls Outlet | The Champagne Supernova

      Here is the recipe:

      • One box of banana nut bread mix from the grocery store (you could do this from scratch, but #aintnobody got time);
      • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil;
      • 3 large eggs.

      Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the vegetable oil and eggs with the mix. Stir the ingredients and pour them in a 9 x 5 bread tin purchased at Beall’s Outlet. Place the tin in the oven for 40 minutes.

      Voila!

      I even created a tablescape with items I purchased at Beall’s Outlet.

      Spreading Thanksgiving cheer with Bealls Outlet | The Champagne Supernova

      Wow, I never thought I would ever be able to get my act together and actually create my own tablescape!

      Want to enjoy even more savings on top of Beall’s already low prices? Then sign up for their One Card loyalty program. Becoming a member is easy and literally took two minutes- you can sign up directly in the store with a sales associate at the check-out counter. It’s FREE and will save you a lot of moolah in the long run. What are the rewards?

      • A $5 coupon for every 200 points you earn. That’s 1 point for each $1 you spend at Beall’s Outlet.
      • 15% off your entire purchase on Monday for those 50 and over or on Friday for those 49 and under.
      • The best customers receive exclusive offers and promotions throughout the year.

      Cheers to a great Thanksgiving, everyone, and cheers to Beall’s Outlet for making Thanksgiving easier on my mind, time, and wallet.

      Thank you to Beall’s Outlet for sponsoring this post. Although they gave me money to shop at their store, all the thoughts, styling ideas, and tips in the blog post are my own.

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        Junior League of Tampa Holiday Gift Market 2017


        Funny Santa Pictures at the Junior League of Tampa Holiday Gift Market 2017 | The Champagne Supernova

        He’s making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty or nice…

        Hark!

        The Junior League of Tampa‘s 14th annual Holiday Gift Market presented by Publix returns in 2017- and it’s better than ever before. (I mean, how do you top something consistently amazing?)

        via GIPHY

        Last year, I provided tips for how to hide all of your Holiday Gift Market loot from your husbands. This year, we are relishing in how to torment treat your children to photos with the Big Man Himself.

        via GIPHY

        Great News…

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          Attention Parents: It’s Okay to Bribe Your Kids


          It's ok to bribe your kids | The Champagne Supernova

          The cutie pie in this picture is my friend’s son, Andrew. He is five years old and in Pre-Kindergarten. My friend told Andrew’s older sister she would buy her a $50 toy if she got all 300 of her sight words correct. Andrew asked if that counted for him as well, so my friend agreed. Andrew worked really, really hard to achieve his goal and got all of his 300 sight words correct. Look how proud he is in this picture. Go, Andrew, Go! And go, mama, go! You gotta do what you gotta do and figure out what works for kids.

          It’s not every day I get inspired by the MTV show My Super Sweet 16.

          For those of you who have never seen it, it’s a reality show that follows privileged fifteen year-old girls and their friends as they obsessively plan their Sweet 16 parties.

          These parties are often over-the-top and are the equivalent of hosting a wedding. Ornate invitations. Hundreds of guests. Famous DJs providing the entertainment. Hoochie mama gaudy dresses. Hairdressers and makeup artists. Behind-the-scenes drama.

          More often than not, watching the show is like watching a train wreck.

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            Smiles: When Should My Child First Visit An Orthodontist?


            Find an orthodontist in Tampa Florida | The Champagne Supernova

            This post is sponsored. All opinions are my own.

            There is perhaps no greater joy for a mother than to watch her baby grow up smiling! All moms should know their options to best care for their child’s happy, beautiful smile.

            Braces are an important rite of passage in a child’s life, giving children the benefit of straight teeth, improved self-confidence, and healthier smiles. But how should moms know when it’s the right time to visit an orthodontist?

            The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a child have their first orthodontic visit by age 7, which may surprise you.

            Why age 7- my child’s permanent teeth are not fully grown in?

            Exactly!

            Upon speaking with the orthodontists at Hess & VanLandschoot Orthodontics, I learned that early orthodontic treatment can prevent more serious treatment as a child grows older and can save you and your child time and money down the road.

            Early detection is the best protection!

            Growth problems including crossbites, severe overbites, underbites, crowding, and problems caused by excessive thumb sucking, teeth grinding, and mouth breaking are often apparent at age 7. Intercepting these problems at a young age can prevent more invasive treatment like tooth extractions and jaw surgery, which are often necessary to treat severe orthodontic problems once a child’s permanent teeth are fully grown in.

            Keep in mind that early screening doesn’t mean treatment has to start right away. In fact, most kids don’t begin active orthodontic treatment until they are 9-14 years old. However, Hess & VanLandschoot Orthodontics offers complimentary consultations, allowing you to get all the facts and make the best decision for your child at an early age, when it might benefit your child the most.

            October is National Orthodontic Health Month and the perfect time to make that first visit to the orthodontist. For more information about when to see an orthodontist and to schedule a free first visit, click here.

            Cheers!

              Dear People Without Kids: You Don’t Get to Judge Parents. Ever.


              People who don't have children of their own aren't allowed to judge parents | The Champagne Supernova

              Here’s a new rule.

              If you don’t have children and/ or never had to raise children, then absent blatant emotional or physical abuse, you don’t get to judge people who are real life actual parents.

              Like, ever.

              I recently shared an article on my blog’s Facebook page about how people who choose to not have children are not entitled to live in a child-free world. A guy named Joseph commented that “when kids are misbehaving in an intolerant manner, it is almost always shitty parenting.”

              [Exact quote]

              When I replied to his comment simply asking (more…)

                Family Night In: Live a Healthful Life with Earth Fare


                Healthy living at the Earth Fare grocery store | The Champagne Supernova

                This post was proudly sponsored by Earth Fare. All opinions are my own.

                Hear ye, hear ye!

                A healthy and delicious food chain is opening another location in Tampa Bay!

                Founded in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1975, Earth Fare is a specialty organic and natural foods grocery store. Their full-service philosophy incorporates the highest food quality standards in the industry with compelling value, friendly and knowledgeable service, and a superior shopping experience.

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                  Souper Easy Mom Hacks with Progresso Organic Soups


                  Delicious organic soups from progresso | The Champagne Supernova

                  Ring the bells! I have a newly-discovered Mom Hack!

                  As a busy mom of two young girls who are always on the go, the term “organic” used to intimidate me.

                  Until recently, I thought “organic” was reserved for people who took five meditation classes a day, shuddered at the sight of refined sugar, and had abs like Madonna.

                  That philosophy is out the window.

                  Progresso has added an organic option to its already-great collection of soups, which makes it super (souper?) easy for me to make healthy choices when I’m on the go.

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                    Prank Calling: Joquetta Jackson and the Infamous Sheet Cake


                    prank calls | The Champagne Supernova

                    Now that the cat is out of the bag about me being immature, I want to share a story about an old and dear friend, Joquetta Jackson.

                    Joquetta works hard as the bakery manager at Winn-Dixie, a popular grocery chain in the southeastern United States.

                    While she knows how to make things like cookies and pastries, Joquetta’s real “bread and butter” (see what I did there?) is sheet cakes.

                    Joquetta’s got a sheet cake to celebrate every occasion.

                    Paternity determinations.

                    The syndication of Friends.

                    Finally removing that pesky hangnail.

                    Her creativity knows no limits.

                    Only Joquetta Jackson isn’t a real person.

                    She’s a fictional character my friends and I created for the purpose of prank calling innocent victims in college (oh God, and law school) when we should have been doing more important things like studying for exams, working out, washing our hair… the usual.

                    People were always so confused when we called.

                    I’ll begin with my now father-in-law. (I wasn’t married at the time.) It was 2007 and the 30th anniversary of Elvis’ death.

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