{GIVEAWAY} Mixed Bag Designs

***This {Giveaway} is now CLOSED*** 

I am back to announce the four winners of a $50 Gift Credit to Mixed Bag Designs!  Even if you did not win, you can still use the code “che” and get FREE SHIPPING until September 26th! Now onto the winners…..

Congratulations Linda Syverson, Lisa Giljum, Dawn and Megan C

I am so very excited to be hosting an awesome giveaway sponsored by Mixed Bag Designs!  If you have not heard of them yet, well sit back and let me introduce you to them and their fabulous bags!

Mixed Bag Desings offers a wide selection of reusable eco-friendly bags!  They are made of woven polypropylene and 10-40% of that polypropylene is made from recycled materials.  Heck, the bags themselves are recycleable!  Not only are they eco-friendly, they are fashion friendly!  How awesome are all these print selections!

Partial Print Selection

Partial Print Selection

I was lucky enough to get to test some of these awesome bags and they are amazing!  They are nothing like the reusable bags you can buy in the check out lane.  Most of Mixed Bag Deisgns’ bags can hold up to 50 lbs!  Holy cow my 4 year old doesn’t even weigh 50 lbs!

I use this insulated bag to bring my frozen foods back home from Wal-mart.  It takes me a good 25 minutes to get home and in this heat we have had lately, Michael’s popscicles come home as kool-aid!  It’s large, durable and has an awesome velcro top to keep cold things cold and hot things hot!

I also adore this awesome hold everything bag!  Currently it is holding every beach towel we own as I try to make the transition from summer to winter things in our closets.  I am envisioning it as a great bag to pack toys in when we travel back and forth to my parent’s house!

I am hands down absolutely in LOVE with this medium zippered tote!  It is a perfect gym bag.  Wipes clean, doesn’t retain the stink of my tennis shoes and is CUTER THAN ANY OTHER BAG AT THE GYM!  You know, because that’s what’s important 😉

They have everything from lunch totes (super cute) to reusable snack bags to garmet bags and department store totes!  You see their entire selection at their website or on their online brochure!

Not only are their products awesome, they are awesome!  They offer fundraising also!  Make your next fundraiser GREEN!  I would love to buy these great bags over wrapping paper or magazine subscriptions!  Their fundraising programs offer 50% profit and free shipping!  How awesome is that?

Prize Details:

FOUR $50 Gift Cards
Yep, that’s right I get to give FOUR of you each a $50 Gift Card to get your own aweosme bags!

How to Enter:

Leave a comment below telling me what you already do to be “Green”!  Simple enough, right?
Do you ride your bike to work?  Recycle?  Moderate your energy usage? Use EE lightbulb?


Giveaway Details:

No purchase necessary.
Giveaway entries will begin when this post publishes and will be taken until Sunday September 18, 2011 at 11:59 CST.
{4} Winners will be chosen via Random.org and announced as an update to this post on Monday September 19th.
Winners will have 48 hours to respond via email before I choose a replacement winner
Giveaway is limited to US and Canada residents 18 years old and above only

Bonus {Free Shipping}!!

Don’t want to wait for the giveaway to get some awesome bags?  You can shop online and use the code “che” for FREE SHIPPING!!!  This free shipping code is only valid for shipping to the US or Canada and is valid until September 26, 2011. 

If you want to stay up to date on what’s going on over here at That’s What {Che} Said…you can subscribe to my blog through a reader using that cute little RSS beaker in my sidebar, subscribe via email (below the beakers) and/or follow me on facebook and twitter!  I’d appreciate it but certainly not required! 

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Mixed Bag Designs, no monetary compensation was given and I did receive a sample of bags for hosting.  All opinions are 100% my own.  That’s What Che Said is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed
in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit.

And That’s What Che Said…

Do You Remember?

Do you remember where you were 1o years ago today?  I do.

I was in my third year of college.  I had just gotten out of the shower and I heard my phone ringing.  I let it go to my machine.  It rang again and went to the machine and then rang again.  I was annoyed!  Leave a message I thought Jeez!  I finally answered it and it was my boyfriend almost shouting at me to turn on the TV.  “Turn on a news channel!”  It didn’t really matter what channel I turned the TV to, the pictures were all the same.  The burning twin towers.  When I finally caught my bearings and realized what was going on my heart just dropped as I listened to the news reporter say that one of the planes departed from Newark NJ.  My uncle was an avid traveller for his job and flew through that airport on a regular basis.

I called him.  No answer.  I called my Aunt.  No answer.  I left messages on both.

Next I called my dad at work.  I tried not to be a baby but I cried to him.  He worked in downtown St. Louis and I just wanted him to GET OUT OF THE CITY and go home!  You remember movies like Independence Day where they target all major cities.  Well St. Louis was major in my eyes and he was there and I wanted him out.  Not the most rational thought process I have had, but at the moment everything was irrational.  He reassured me he was safe and sound and I shouldn’t worry.  He called me “baby” like he always did and it did make me feel better.

I remember not being able to turn the TV off.  I remember thinking my professor was CRAZY for not cancelling our stupid lab glass that afternoon.  Luckily it was a nice break from the news.  The death tolls and horror stories just kept rising and so sitting through a horrible class while deriving theories using Mathcad (worst program ever) actually was better.

I got home from lab and my Aunt had called me back and told me that my uncle was safe.


As I think back on that day now, it might hurt a little more now than then.  I am a mother now.  I am a wife now.  I feel so much more aware of the pain those families had to go through now that I have a family of my own.  The fear I have of something like that happening today is just unmeasurable.  Then it was just me.  Now it is my family.


The National 9/11 50 states flag tour ends here in Joplin, MO today.  The final stitches will be completed using flags that survived the May 22nd Tornado.  If you care to read more about this tour you can click here, where I found a great article.

Again…this is very close to home today.  Remembering 9/11 and remembering the tornado.

Kiss your loved ones and squeeze them extra tight!  I am sure I will.


Thank you to all who have died, served and are continuing to serve for our country.  Thank you to their families as well.  The wifes, husbands, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers who have also given for this country through your pain of losing or missing a loved one while they protect us all.

And That’s What Che Said…

We Both Are Learning

Well…today was day 4 of Pre-K.  The morning started out great.  Michael woke up in a great mood, got dressed, ate breakfast, played with some letters and his little brother.  He sang on the way to school and asked me 8 million questions and how to spell a few words, or rather spelled words for me.

I turned left from Main St. onto 10th St. and that is when the devil himself jumped into my 4 year old!  OH. MA. GAWD!

He flipped the eff out!  “I don’t want to go to school!” “I want to go home with you!” “I am not going, never!” “I will go home and take a nap!”

“Michael, you love school!”  Nothing like telling the poor kid how he should feel!  “You get to do letters and play with your friends and…”

Then it turned into blood curdling SCREAMING “I don’t want to go to school!”

I turn into the school parking lot and tell him to hush up and get out we are going to school.  I am a firm believer in teaching kids they need to learn to deal with life. The happy parts and the not so fun parts.   We wake up when our alarms go off, even when we don’t want to.  We go to work, even if we don’t want to.  We clean our rooms and brush our teeth, even if we don’t want to.   Freddy and I really want to instill this lesson to our boys at an early age so that we are not dealing with a 21 year old who should be acting like an adult but instead is jobless and wanting us to support them because they don’t feel like working.  True Story.   But back to my 4 year old…he is screaming and crying.

I have to shut the car door to avoid some of the judgey-judgersons in the parking lot staring in our direction as they prance their little pigtailed princess into school skipping along all happy and good and not screaming…  “Screw you and your snotty looks!’ I think to myself.  “He was happy yesterday!”

I wait several minutes standing outside of my car before I go to the opposite side of the car and retrieve Ryan from the screaming sibling next to him and shut the door again and wait another several minutes.  All the while, I am digging into my brain for something to say to him that will click in his head and get him out of his funk….if you can even call it a funk.

As any good mother does I got down to his level and told him how much I loved him and how we should talk about our feelings and express them in a non-screaming way I threatened to get rid of all the popsicles in the freezer if he didn’t get out of the car!  HAHA!  It worked, out he came, slowly but surely, but still screaming…

I normally do talk with him and it normally works…this was NOT A NORMAL kind of situation.  We were past any stage of normal right now.  I needed divine intervention for this situation.  I needed a Miracle.   I needed MAGIC.

Another 17 minutes later we are at the double doors of the school.  He was taking a step about every 45 seconds.  His teacher saw me and came out and she and I chatted for a few minutes about how he had a great morning and somehow it turned into this and then I just said good-bye to him and left.  I watched her try to talk to him, he refused so she picked him up and took him into school while he was screaming for me.  *SIGH*

I was thankful I was bringing him into a Catholic school because there was bound to be a priest around somewhere who could exorcise this demon from my sweet boy!!!

When I got back into the car I was SWEATING.  Sweating from the exhaustion of reasoning with him and sweating because while all this was taking place I am HOLDING Ryan.  His has the nickname “Chunky Monkey” for a reason!  Arm is still tingling!

I got a phone call from his teacher about 5 minutes later that he did indeed calm down and the teacher’s aide in his class mentioned his friend Jacob and that’s when Michael told her that yesterday they bumped into each other on the playground (which the teacher’s aide saw) and then Michael told his teacher that Jacob hit him (which his teacher’s aide did not see).  The two boys talked and hugged and apparently all was well. His teacher also reminded Michael that he could tell her things like that and that is not considered tattling.

When I walked up to the doors to wait for Michael to be dismissed after school today, I was not sure what to expect.  Out he came and his teacher gave me the “Perfect/A-OK” sign and sent him over to me.  After he hugged me and hugged and kissed his little brother he was talking to some of his friends, his teacher came over and told me he honestly had a perfect day and did great and she hopes it was just a fluke.  She offered many attempts at explanations for me:  Maybe because it was Friday?  He is always tired and crabby by Friday.  It was the first week back to school?  We had travelled 10+ hours each way over Labor Day weekend?  Maybe he was just tired.  Maybe he was just mad at Jacob?  I was thinking to myself  “Maybe he was possessed!?”  We will never know.  But I am thankful for his teacher’s patience and understanding and am super thankful she never gave me that judgey-judgerson look!  She told me I did great by walking away and making him stay.  She teaches him and she teaches me!  After a morning like that I appreciated her nice words to me!  Made me feel better for threatening the popsicles 🙂

I really, really hope we don’t have to do that again on Monday.  Like really, really, really….

That’s What Che Loves August 2011

Can you believe August is already over?  Heck with the Labor Day holiday in there we are already into September, sorry I am late!  Where did summer go?  Although I have to say, with what felt like 100 days of above normal temperatures down here (sweltering heat) I am a smidgen looking forward to fall!  Before we get to falling leaves and bonfires, let’s talk about some things I loved in August!  Who knows, maybe you might love them too!

Erin Lynn Designs
My girlfriend Steph was the lucky duck that won some awesome onesies from Erin when Erin’s  facebook page reached 100 fans.  You can see what Steph had made here.  I contacted Erin to make a few for me for baby gifts.  Erin was awesome to work with and even though I specified my favorite phrases to be stencilled, it was Erin’s font and color choices that made them fantastic!  The three onesies came packaged up all cute so you could ship directly to your recipient if you needed to.  Erin’s holding another contest when she reaches 200 fans.  Head on over and show her some love and check out her wonderful creations.


It should go without saying that I love these.  I love everything about these from their slice of lime to the salt encrusted rim!  These were exceptionally refreshing in this HOT month!

Jello Shots

I have always loved these!  But honestly had not had one in so long…like maybe my 22nd birthday?!?  So having them again on our Mommapalooza float trip just reminded me how these  little plastic condiment containers filled with alcohol infused jello goodness are like when you are in 4th grade and found out your mom packed a pudding cup in your lunch bag.  But better…MUCH better!  Who knew sucking something out of a plastic dish could give so much joy?

And That’s What Che Said…

First Day of Pre-K

Tuesday was Michael’s first day of Pre-K.

For all of you reading who do not have children, or for all of you reading whose children are grown, Pre-K is not to be confused with Preschool.  Pre-K is like SO. MUCH. COOLER.  Pre-K is like 4 year olds you know…not those little 3 year olds in preschool.  Pre-K kids get to go to Kindergarten next year, as like in real school, that you go to all day long.  BIG difference…

I used the X Pro ii instagram PSE action for this photo and added the words (but blurred his name!)

Michael is going to St. Mary’s this year and it was one of the schools that was destroyed by the tornado we had here in Joplin, on May 22nd.  The school system was lucky enough to have previously owned an empty warehouse on the grounds of the high school.  They originally were going to tear it down but the bids came in too high.  Thank goodness for that!  As in true nature of these amazing people down here they renovated an old steel warehouse to house the 210 displaced students over the course of the summer months.  The renovation wasn’t even complete until this past Friday, September 2nd!  Teachers spent their labor day weekend, laboring to get their rooms set up.  The teachers and students will have a few routines and kinks to work out over the next few weeks because there is not a library, cafeteria or gym in the new building.  They will just use the High School facilities next door.

Based on the huge smile I received when I picked Michael up, I am thinking he will get by just fine!  Here’s the main points I dug out of him about his first day of Preschool Pre-K:

  1. He colored a picture of a mouse with cheese.  He colored the cheese yellow and the mouse brown.
  2. They played outside at recess but not on the playground (because it is still being built) but just in the grass and he played tag and race cars with his new friends.
  3. He sat on a mat and did what his teacher told him to do (good boy).
  4. He sits right next to the magnetic letter board (life could not be better).
  5. They had cookies for snack, but with water, not milk, because the milk truck didn’t come to the school yet.
  6. He can’t remember any of his friends names except:
  7. There is a GIRL in his class with his same name (remember Michael is his blogging name?)  His exact words: “MOM!  There is a GIIIIRRRLLLL  in my class with my same name!  A GIRRRRRRRLLLLLL!  (laughing)  But her name doesn’t have an “e” in it, so it’s OK!”

And as simple as that, her same-not-containing-an-e name was just fine because of the missing letter!  That kid cracks me up!  He wants to go back…so we considered that a good first day!

Letters make everything in the world right for him!

And yes, I know he is holding a sign that says “Preschool” but I didn’t have one that said Pre-K and I had not been lectured on the difference between the two until after he came home from school!  😉

And That’s What Che Said…

Personalized Teacher’s Gift

I got this fabulous idea from Mostly Food and Crafts.  Genius and so simple.  LIke I have whined about a few times before, I don’t have a Cricut or Silhouette so I just used some scrapbooking stickers again.

I pulled the front and back labels off the bottles of hand sanitizer.  I have found, the Germ-X brand’s stickers remove the best!  Note: If you do get some sticky residue left behind, simply soak a cotton ball or piece of paper towel in vinegar and allow to sit on the sticky spot for about 5-10 minutes and then wipe off!  The vinegar breaks up the glue.

According to Michael’s welcome letter, his teacher goes by “Mrs. H.” so I applied the stickers and Wah-Lah!  Whole project took less than 5 minutes for me and now Michael has a cute, practical, gift for his teacher on the first day of school!

And That’s What Che Said…