Saturday, December 10, 2011

Holiday Cheer!

Greetings Friends & Family,

The table is set and the holiday parties are in full swing!

Continued Blessings,

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas Primer

When retailers began putting up Christmas trees in October, the holidays seemed so far away. All the warm weather we've had on the east coast hasn't helped either --except, er, that one Artic storm at the end of last month. Snow and ice. Now that was a shocker! But here we are. Thanksgiving has come and gone and we find ourselves at the start of the Christmas season. I sense that some of us may be worrried that all the talk about sales and gift-giving will get in the way of the true meaning of this time of year. Well, I've got the easy answer to making it purposeful (no matter how many doorbusters they throw our way).

Just keep giving thanks! That's right. Don't let up. Instead, allow that feeling of gratefulness to gain momentum because the holiday season is a wonderful time to reflect. Think about the many blessings God bestowed on you and yours this past year alone. Food, clothes, health, shelter, family and friends. What, didn't you have all those things? How about some of them? One of them? I challenge you to start your celebration with a notion of already being blessed and creating that holiday joy inside your own heart. When you do that Christmas and New Year's won't just be about spending. They won't even be about receiving gifts or making resolutions. As you begin to reflect on God the season will come alive with love and true thanks. Thanks to the Father for the gift of his son, Jesus Christ.

Here's to the most wonderful time of the year!


Monday, November 7, 2011

November is Native American Heritage Month

Last of the Mohicans, cover illustration, 1919, N.C. Wyeth

This year we are learning more about Native Americans.  During the month of November our public library system is offering several free programs and activities where all ages are invited to learn about America's first inhabitants. It's not just what is taught in school about the first Thanksgiving but much, much more. So far the children and I listened to colorful stories from a Native storyteller, checked out some great books and will be attending a program featuring Indian art. There is even a science lesson were the kids can make an interactive project while they learn. I don't know who's more excited, them or me.

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn real history instead of the history many would like to portray. When we can respect and embrace other people's cultural differences, then it means we are comfortable in our own skin.  Loving ourselves is the big step toward loving others. That's my hope for my children and also for the world.



Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall into Autumn

The upcoming week is proof that fall is here to stay.  With temps in the low 40's at night and high 60s during the day, we can't help but snag our sweaters and light jackets to ward off the chills in the air. 

Today was sunny, but breezy so I decided to venture out with my little one to Michael's to shop for some floral arrangements for our table.  I love centerpieces and am overly excited when I actually find time to make one myself.  My daughter was in awe of all the beautiful flowers and colors, picking a few that I purchased to make the array.  And at 60% off I could not pass it up.  It was all so fun and the end result as pretty as I imagined.

Now if my daughter will only allow it to stay in one piece. 

How are you adding fall decor to your home?  We would love to see some pictures!

Continued Blessings,


Friday, October 14, 2011


In order for anything to grow, or be harvested at all, a seed first has to be planted. Once planted, that seed must be nutured. Next? Trust God for the bounty. God is always faithful, so maybe we should try being more like Him. If we only have the faith of a mustard seed, before long we will be walking in the season of His blessings. Some walks are longer than others, so let's make sure our hand is in God's hand while we stroll.

Enjoy the harvest and share the overflow,


Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall-Time Favorites

Everyday as we walk to and from the bus stop my daughter points out the changing colors of the leaves. A few red and gold ones sprinkle the ground and she gasps in awe that fall is finally here. She's not alone because as autumn gains momentum I feel myself coming alive.  I'm not upset over shorter days and cooler temperatures. No, that's my hubby. For me fall is a favorite because of the beautiful scenery, fuzzy sweaters, comfort food and county fairs/festivals (with more yummy food)! On top of that my birthday comes and I get to bless the Lord for giving me another year of happiness and health. It's that perfect balance of not too hot and not too cold and the promise of pumpkins then soon, Thanksgiving turkey.  There's apple picking (I've already had my share of Honeycrisp this season) and plenty of cider and pie to go around. Sweet potato prices are dropping and the evenings get lovelier as the sun lowers in the sky. I breath a sigh of relief at the whole predictable order of nature and just relax into the lazy days of fall.

What are some of your favorite fall activities? Post a comment to share.



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Parent's Helper: Tips for Getting Out the Door On Time

So school's back in session and it's time to whip the household into shape. Try these tips to get off to a good start:

1. Use an alarm clock- Everyone including our 4-year-old has one. It helps if you put it across the room so they have to walk to turn it off. But make sure they get enough sleep regularly. Even the buzzer gets ignored if they are overly tired.

2. Pre-made breakfast - I love this! On the weekends I double up on batches of pancakes, waffles, french toast, biscuits and bacon. The result is a frig full of homemade food I can pop in the toaster or oven and heat quickly while I do something else. Bacon goes in the microwave and wa-lah! I also keep instant grits, oatmeal and cereal on hand.

3. Nighttime Prep- Teach kids to choose their clothes before bedtime. Make sure shoes, jackets, etc are where they can grab them quickly the next morning. Backpacks should be set and lunches already made. If you're sending a hot lunch like soup, then pack all the other items the night before.

4. Carefree hair - Brushing hair is a lot easier than combing at our house. On the weekend I do hairstyles that will last for about 1 week. My hubby keeps the boy's hair cut low. Each morning I just brush over all their heads, add accessories to the girls and go. 5 minutes tops! I redo it on the weekend. Even if you shoot for 2-3 days free from styling you'll save precious time. Just restyle in the evening, not the morning.

5. Set a reminder - My smartphone starts chiming when we have 5 minutes before departure time. Sometimes it's annoying but at least we have a warning bell to help us wrap it up. The kids know what to do when they hear the bell.

6. Check in- Sometimes kids need encouragement to get going in the mornings. I check on my 3 every ten minutes or so to make sure they are on task and not goofing off when they should be brushing, getting dressed or eating.

7. Turn off the TV - Television turns my children into zombies. They can't hear or function when it's on. If I need to check the weather I do it at night or turn it on briefly then right off again, keeping it as low as possible so they don't hear it. Instead, each day I play upbeat music to get them moving.

If you have more tips, then please share! A pleasant start vs. a hurried one can make a huge difference in how the day unfolds --for everyone.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Most Important Thing

My little one is two now and with that age I had some new expectations.  There have been plenty of milestones on my new journey in motherhood and along with baby crawling, baby walking, baby taking formula, baby weaning and baby potty training I was expecting baby to also assert her independence and want to be under mommie less.  My girl is experiencing the 'terrific twos'.  She demands to do things herself, demands just about everything and expresses her feelings VERY clearly.  I thought, okay she is two now, so she will give me a breather and want to spend less time under mommie and more time exploring, playing with her toys, playing with daddy and mommie a break.  Well what a rude awakening for me. This little one has amped up her demands on me by double.  She constantly wants my attention, for me to hold her to cuddle her, to just plain be in her face.  If I am sitting looking at Elmo's World with her, she wants me to hold her, if I am cooking, she demands to be held, at the park I have to be right there looking at her every move.  On top of that she wants me to carry her EVERYWHERE!

What's a mommie to do?

Give her my undivided attention and let her know that there is nothing more important than her.  She needs that and I can see and feel it.  When I drop what I am doing to attend to her wants, needs or just plain give her the eye to eye, one on one attention she desires, I can see that it means everything to her.

As parents we get busy with our daily chores, but we have to remember our little ones need us.  They need us to edify them and acknowledge them and to reassure them of our unwavering love for them.  Sometimes its easier to do than others for me.  But I remind myself that the day is coming when my baby WILL want that independence and won't much to do with mommie and I stop and regard her.

Kids....just gotta love them.

Photo courtesy of

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fotolia Nails It!

Last month I urged you to try for royalty free images, HD videos, and lots more. Now that I've had more experience with their site here's my full review:

After having a Fotolia account for nearly a month I must say I just love their services!  It is exactly what I was looking for to add fresh photos to Polly&Meek websites and blogs.  Fotolia meets our business needs and helps me feel confident and professional while blogging.

Setting up an account is easy and choosing images is fast! Even better -- the flawless shopping cart. It allows me to see all my selections and download straight to my PC. I can only smile at the speed and organization of everything. That's important to me as a small business owner working within time and resource constraints. And best of all, no more uncertainty while copying images off the Internet. Fotolia nails it! I am a very happy customer.

Try Fotolia today and let their services take your presentation, newsletter or blog up a notch. We did!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Healthy Lunches on the Go!

I just found out that the cost of school lunch is increasing for the fall. Maybe it's just my children's school that's raising prices but it made me really glad that I pack their lunches at home. Here are some of the yummy things we combine in the lunch box to keep them happy and well fed!

1. Sliced pepperoni, cheese squares and crackers
2. Yogurt, granola and nuts
3. Sliced hot dog, heated and kept warm in a thermos
4. Homemade chicken nuggets, heated and put in a thermos
5. Turkey and bacon sandwich
6. P, B and J (for those not allergic)
7. Soup with meat and veggies

All of these choices are paired with fresh fruit, applesauce or a fruit cup, nachos, chips, pretzels or the like. We usually add a small treat of some kind like a cookie or cinnamon and sugar glazed popcorn. They drink water or milk and it's a wrap!

Do you have more lunch ideas? Then share them with us!

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts,

Monday, July 18, 2011

Savings Never Felt So Good!

So I am back with a brief update on my coupon clipping time.  I am loving it!

Yesterday, I purchased 4 packs of Pampers Thick Wipes 72 count for $.97 each.  I purchased Breyer's Ice cream for $1.75. How?  With Pampers $1.00 off coupons and a store coupon for Breyer's Ice Cream for $2.49 and an additional manufacturers coupon for $.75 off.  Yeah baby!

Check out this blog for some additional saving tips.

Happy Saving,


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fotolia: Great Photo Website for All!

Interested in great photos for your blog, newsletter, or presentation? Then visit Fotolia online! You'll find royalty free images, HD videos, and lots more. With rates starting at $0.75 per download as well as subscriptions, Fotolia is sure to please. Say goodbye to the threat of copyright infringement and hello to beautiful, legal photos that make your blog pop. Get this! Fotolia is offering our readers a free two week subscription to their site so you can try it out firsthand. The first 3 people to follow us on Twitter will each receive a free trial.


Polly & Meek

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Coupon Savings

Well as Polly put it, schools out for summer! The kids will be home needing atleast three hot meals a day and lots more paper towels, toilet tissue and the like, so as parents, we have to kick it up a notch to keep them happy, full and healthy.

The Jackson residence is popping with four hungry mouths to feed, including a 16 year old growing boy, my 13 year old nephew, 10 year old DSD and nearly two year old. As I was making my grocery list I thought of ways to save even more money. Coupon clipping came to my thoughts.

Now, of course, YES, I use coupons on a regular basis for most of the things I buy. However, one of my new goals is to get more serious about using them on my shopping trips and making sure I take my time to go through ALL of my circular ads to make sure I am getting the most bang for my buck.

I can't tell you how much I have saved on pull-ups and cereal by shopping at Rite-Aid and CVS, where they offer Up Rewards and CVS rewards. It equates to savings that you just can't miss out on. I've shopped at Rite Aid exclusively for the past couple of weeks, because I got a $5 Up Reward plus 20% off on purchases and continuously received $3 coupons when I would go in for subsequent purchases. I got free coffee creamer and Father's Day cards for 3 people for about $2!

CVS has Huggies Pull Ups on sale for $8.99 and a $1 reward for each purchase, plus I had a $3 off coupon because it was my husband's birthday reward. I purchased pull ups there for 15 cents a piece and received a coupon for $3 off a $15 purchase. I went back and got two more packs of Pull Ups and was able to combine all my rewards with the manufacturers coupon that I had for $2 off. I also got $2 in rewards for making that purchase and got the Pull-ups for 18 cents each. You cannot get that deal at Sam's or Costco! I love it!

Today, I decided to search for a coupon organizer. What I have now is no longer effective since all the coupons are basically thrown in one organizer and I have to sift through them. I want a binder with clear inserts so that I put the coupons in alphabetical order and be able to clearly see what I have without sifting through a lot of paper. That way, I can just rush into the grocery store knowing what I have with less work!

I will be sure to update you guys on my savings and tips and things that I learn along the way. I am starting on the 28th with a shopping trip to our local grocery store, Bloom. They have Tuesday, double coupon day for coupons up to $1.99 in value. I am going with all those coupons I have for pampers wipes and rack up. I am so excited that I just can't hide it.

Happy savings,


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

School's Out for Summer! 7 Tips for a Great Vacation

1. If you're using camps, to stretch your dollars further seek out those camps provided through your county or city's parks and recreation department, public school system or neighborhood daycare centers. Girl Scouts and YMCA are usually reasonable choices as well.

2. Turn an ordinary day into super fun by letting the kids have a few friends over for pizza and a movie or water play in the backyard. The kids will love it and there's no need to make dinner that night.

3. Visit a local museum on the weekend. If you plan a short trip on Saturday, Sunday is an automatic day for rest and reflection. Why not make a scrapbook of the pictures from your visit?

4. Look for free shows, events and storytimes at the public library. There is usually a wider variety during the summer and while you're at it, sign everyone up for the summer reading program!

5. Plan a  meet and greet with relatives you hardly get to see. Whether it's a family reunion or just visiting Auntie Elle, kids always glean more from  a trip than you'd imagine. Think of neat things to do in the area and double up on family fun.

6. Capitalize on the long days of summer and fit in 30 minutes of school work. Practice will keep the material fresh and your child will be on target when the school bell rings this fall.

7.  Take a day off and let the kids plan the activities. Maybe you go out, stay in and play, cookout or have a pajama day. Whatever they choose, just roll with it. Bring yourself down to their level and enjoy the view!

Have a happy summer,


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Severe Food Allergies: A Blessing In Disguise?

This is a snapshot of the latest addition to my freezer. Ice-cream. Homemade treats are front and center because I have a child with food allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, rice and corn - (think corn syrup) which is in everything including hotdogs and deli meat. Every since she was tested and our fears confirmed, we've carried an epi-pen everywhere, learned to read food labels and ask questions. She's only six now and claims that these allergies have already ruined her life. She even cries about it sometimes. She shows self-restraint now because she knows what happens if she ingests those foods. So in an attempt to make it better and safer for her to enjoy eating, I make as many things as practical.  It's not easy, but it's worth it. Otherwise I buy lots of organic products and spend most of my time dissing processed foods in general.

Once I got her to try the home version of things she began to smile. Then the light bulb came on with the rest of us. We realized that thanks to Lauren we're actually eating better. Although the rest of the family doesn't share her allergies we try to buy things that she can eat too or we cook and bake things together. The result is no allergic reactions for our girl and pleasant, healthy meals and treats for us! Lauren still feels jipped at times because there's something she can't have. But she's knows I've got her covered with some type of delicious alternative or new recipe that we can try out. No mystery ingredients or suprise allergens to ruin her day, just the blessing of being well fed.

Here's to good eats,


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

We pray that your Holiday Weekend is a safe, blessed one and we remember those who gave their lives for our country.

Many Blessings,
Polly & Meek

Monday, May 23, 2011

Au Natural

I took a chance and ventured out to Walmart on the absolute worse day and at the absolute worse time. To compound matters, I had my 21 month old with me and she was a bit restless. I went in to look at rugs because I had purchased one for my front door entrance, but it was not large enough. I decided I needed a runner to cover the space I wanted to cover. I lucked out and found a nice pattern for a reasonable price. On to picking up more hangers so we can keep our clothing off the bed and hung in the closet. Next over to pick up deoderant for my son and some other items for me.

Just as I was focused in on the Old Spice Fresh deoderant I heard a lovely voice say 'Your hair is beautiful'! I thought of my twist out style and stopped my cart and smiled at two young natural beauties. We struck up a conversation about my hair routine and gave each other tips and inspiration. Questions like 'what products do you use, how long did it take you to get the length, how did you achieve this style' were bounced around. I gave up all the details. One young lady wanted to touch my hair and I happily obliged. Shoppers were looking at us wondering what all the lively conversation at the end of the aisle was all about. Our conversation drew the attention of another natural beauty who begin to smile from afar as she realized what was happening and stopped to give her take on everything. She told us about her experience, her children's reaction to her big chop from waist long,permed hair to a teeny-weeny afro. She gave us tips and styles and spoke of the Jamaican hair style that is similar to the bantu knots we use here in the states. I loved every second of it. My little one enjoyed it too, playing with the Jamaican natural beauty's children and chiming in every now and again. The two young, natural beauties said they needed this talk and it was so awesome that it happened right there in Walmart whilst they were there for a hair emergency.

At the end of it all, I walked away very happy to have come to Walmart on that day and at that time...when the world was supposed to be coming to an end. I made meaningful connections with sisters who needed it at that moment. This is the start of something more beautiful than I could have ever imagined!

Peace & Blessings,


Photo compliments of

Monday, May 16, 2011

When Geese Attack!

Aw! Look at the cute little goslings out for a morning walk with Ma and Pa. So little, so fuzzy, so precious. Awww.

After school was out we loaded our pockets with bread, grabbed the camera and rushed down to the pond. At first we couldn't see the geese anywhere, then just as we were about to go my oldest spotted them. So the kids tiptoed closer so they could feed the family and, you know, take part in nature. I stayed put to let them enjoy themselves until I noticed them getting  a little too close. 

The mama goose began shuffling her babies away.  My own maternal instinct kicked in, and I called for the children to come back to me. Several times I called them and they ignored me, too enamored by the goslings to heed. Finally I hollered again and the kids decided to turn and go. Just as they were leaving the Daddy goose got fed up with this triple threat to his babies. He stretched his huge wings and raised up in the air to a height just above the kids' heads. My babies tried to run for it. But it was no use. They screamed and shrieked in terror but that goose just kept coming -- intent on giving them a flogging! (I can't even type for laughing so hard!) I could only watch in horror and humor as they fled. Daddy goose got the oldest one and gave her a good flapping. Then he settled on the ground and calmly walked off with his family. In all of it my middle child lost her shoe and I had to send her baby brother back into goose territory to retrieve it. I was laughing but terrified and there was no way I was going after that shoe! Thankfully my 4 year old saved the day. We all ran away from the pond quickly, some in tears, some chattering excitedly. Oh, and the child who according to Daddy goose, deserved and provoked the whole attack? Well she was thrilled that she'd have new material to write about and share at school. Like mother like daughter I suppose.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Parent's Helper: Meet the Sight Words by Preschool Prep

Here's a great way to entertain and teach at the same time. I came across these DVDs as I researched different methods of teaching my middle child who just happens to be a visual learner. These DVDs are awesome and they work! Each word is introduced through music along with animation. The kids love it!

At the time we used this product my daughter was five years old and in kindergarten. My four year old begged to watch the program too and he learned quite a few words along with his sister. Although my younger one didn't absorb the material nearly as quickly as my five year old, I still think this product is great for learning all sorts of sight words which don't following the traditional rules for sounding out and deciphering as most words in the English language. We used 3 different "Meet the Sight Word" DVDs which covered about 45 sight words. My daughter learned 40 words in 10 days and my son learned 22. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend this product.

If you're unable to purchase this DVD through Amazon, then visit your public library. They may be able to put you on a wait list if this is a high demand item. It's worth it until you can get your own.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter Monday!

Now after the sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulchre. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. Lo, I have told you." So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell the disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Hail!" And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Celebrate Easter With Lovely Inspirational Baskets

We've packed these baskets with lots of love and goodies to help your child enjoy the occasion without losing the message within. Each basket has a boy or girl theme and contains a variation of the following:

Pail with shovel
1small cross for decorating
15 Hershey's milk chocolate eggs
1 chocolate bunny
2 eggs pre-filled with candy
12 magic markers with a Disney/Disney Pixar theme such as the fairies, princesses, Toy Story3 or Cars
hair bands for girls
water gun
mini bubbles
small notebook
coloring book
jump rope
stuffed animal or toy
* 1 softcover copy of our children's picture book, Sisters Are From Heaven (optional)


View images below to select a basket. Happy Easter from Polly&Meek!

001 - Spidey and Friends Basket

Contents of Spidey and Friends basket: Marvel Super Hero Coloring & Activity pad, toy monster truck, water gun, Disney Pixar Cars jump rope, Disney Pixar Toy Story 3 glider, Disney Pixar Cars set of 12 markers, 1 small cross for decorating, .84 fl oz. bubbles, 1 chocolate bunny, 15 Hershey's milk chocolate eggs, 2 pre- filled eggs by Florida Natural, bucket with shovel.

Spring/Easter Baskets

002 - Purple Lamb Basket

Contents of Purple Lamb basket: 1 Purple stuffed lamb, set of 3 pink butterfly hair bands, Disney Fairies set of 12 markers, 1 small notepad, 1 small cross for decorating, .84 fl oz. bubbles, 1 chocolate bunny, 15 Hershey's milk chocolate eggs, 2 pre- filled eggs by Florida's Natural, bucket with shovel.

Spring/Easter Baskets

003 - Bug Kit Basket

Contents of Bug Kit basket: 1Bug Kit containing a net, tweezers and bug keeper, Disney Pixar Toy Story 3 set of 12 markers, Marvel Super Hero Coloring & Activity pad, 1 toy monster truck, 1 Disney Pixar Cars glider, 1 water gun, small cross for decorating, .84 fl oz. bubbles, 1 chocolate bunny, 15 Hershey's milk chocolate eggs, 2 pre- filled eggs by Florida's Natural, bucket with shovel.

Spring/Easter Baskets

004 - Teapot Basket

Contents of Teapot basket: 8 piece teapot set, 1 Disney Fairies jump rope, 1 set of 3 blue butterfly hair bands, 1 small notepad, 1 small cross for decorating, .84 fl oz. bubbles, 1 chocolate bunny, 15 Hershey's milk chocolate eggs, 2 pre- filled eggs by Florida's Natural, bucket with shovel.

Spring/Easter Baskets

005 - Small Rabbit Basket

Contents of Small Rabbit basket: 1 small green/white stuffed rabbit, Disney Fairies set of 12 markers, set of 3 blue butterfly hair bands, 1 small notebook, 1 small cross for decorating, .84 fl oz. bubbles, 1 chocolate bunny, 15 Hershey's milk chocolate eggs, 2 pre- filled eggs by Florida's Natural, bucket with shovel.

Spring/Easter Baskets

006 - White Lamb Basket

Contents of White Lamb basket: 1 stuffed white lamb, Disney Fairies set of 12 markers, set of 3 orange butterfly hair bands, 1 small notepad, small cross for decorating, .84 fl oz. bubbles, 1 chocolate bunny, 15 Hershey's milk chocolate eggs, 2 pre- filled eggs by Florida's Natural, bucket with shovel.

Spring/Easter Baskets

007 - Small Easter Basket

Contents of Small Easter basket: 1 small green/white stuffed rabbit, 1 small cross for decorating, .84 fl oz. bubbles, 1 chocolate bunny, 15 Hershey's milk chocolate eggs, 2 pre- filled eggs by Florida's Natural, decorated cardboard bucket or collapsible bucket.

Spring/Easter Baskets

008 - Boy's Spring Basket

Contents of Boy's Spring basket: toy monster truck, water gun, Disney Pixar Cars jump rope, Disney Pixar Toy Story 3 set of 12 markers, .84 fl oz. bubbles, candy, decorated cardboard bucket or collapsible bucket.

Spring/Easter Baskets

009 - Girl's Spring Basket

Contents of Girl's Spring basket: 1 Disney Princesses jump rope, 1 set of 3 butterfly hair bands, 1 small notepad, .84 fl oz. bubbles, candy, decorated cardboard bucket or collapsible bucket.

Spring/Easter Baskets

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Summer holds wonderful new beginnings.  Our 2011 Red Rose Calendar is a vivid reminder that although there is lots of rain in April, it yields beautiful, aromatic flowers for us to enjoy in May. 

Celebrate new beginnings with us!  Our 5 x 7, magnetic, 2011 Red Rose Calendar is laminated for durability and allows you, our valued customers, the ability to showcase on your locker, refrigerator etc. for quick reference.  Ecclesiates 3:11 is prominently displayed.  The verse reads "He has made everything beautiful".

This calendar is handcrafted and sold exclusively by Polly & Meek.  It is only available by special order, so please contact us via email @, via this blog or on facebook to place your advance order.  And at $3 plus S&H its a steal!

Peace & Blessings!


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Allergy Suffers Beware!

Spring is finally here. But while cherry blossoms and daffodils are blooming all around us, allergy suffers beware. Pollen is lurking. If you're wondering how to cope when the sunshine is beckoning, then I've got a tip for you. The pollen numbers started rising several weeks ago, you know getting cranked up for the main event, so you have to follow suit. Start taking your allergy meds NOW! Even if your're not feeling the effects of hay fever yet, you need to get your body ready to do battle. Nowadays you can purchase allergy medicine over-the-counter. And here's the best news yet, brands like Claritin and Zyrtec are available in a children's formula. So get the whole family out and enjoy the fresh spring air without fear of the yellow stuff and don't forget to stop and smell the flowers.



Saturday, March 26, 2011

Flower Power - How to ensure your flowers survive frost or snow

After a few weeks of mild-high temperatures I was completely baffled to hear that we will get light snow in the DC metro area this weekend.  The beautiful red tulips my husband planted last year and the lavender Chrysanthemums are already blooming.  Not to mention he planted two more rose bushes after he thought the one I pruned last year did not survive.  Luckily it did.  He noticed it sprouting the other day.  About two weeks ago we planted strawberries and grapes in the backyard, as well.  All that planting, tending, watering and fertilizing adds up, so naturally we wanted our flowers to survive this cold snap.  I went with the quickest method of covering the rose bushes with mulch and a small tee-pee of plastic secured to the Earth by rocks.  I covered the strawberries and grapes with a layer of plastic tarp. The tulips and chrysanthemums will survive on their own.

If you are seeking ways to protect your flowers, take a look at this link for tips.  I'll be sure to report back in in a few weeks to let you know how the plants are doing.

Stay warm yall & as always continued blessings,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

And the Winner Is...

Thank you all for your very delicious entries into the CSN giftcode giveaway.  All the meals were great and we could hardly stand to read them because they sounded so tasty. You all kept it healthy and that was a plus. Be sure to try some of the new or different ideas that were posted with this contest. Well, there could only be one winner this time, so without further ado...Domestic Diva you own it!  Please check your inbox for a special message from Polly&Meek.  Thanks again for visiting our blog. Keep reading and check in soon for upcoming projects!



Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Wedding/Anniversary 2011 Calendar

Perfect for the new bride and groom, newlyweds or couples celebrating their anniversary!  Laminated 5 x 7 magnetic calendar. $3 plus S&H..

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tools of the Trade - $25 CSN Stores Gift Giveaway!

Cheap and battered pots were ruining our meals. So I decided to fight fire with fire by replacing my cookware. At my house, meal time is crunch time and I can do without suppertime sabotage. If you're also in the market for kitchen aids, then sites like Le Creuset have just what you need. Plus you could win a $25 gift code!

I recently upgraded two of my skillets and now the whole family is reaping the benefits. The pans are so sleek and beautiful, I make an extra effort to cook healthier meals each time I use them. Even the kids are excited. They love being able to help stir food in those shiny new things. (They also tend to eat a lot more when they help cook!) In addition to the scrumptious food, it takes less time to clean up after dinner because the new pans don't normally have to soak overnight. Now that's a product worth it's salt! And here's a tip-- preserve those non stick surfaces by using wooden or plastic spoons and stirrers. Umm, I can taste the yummy stir-fry already!

How to win:

If you're ready to cook it up in style then describe a mouth watering dish of your own and you could win a $25 gift code redeemable at any CSN online store! Post your dish here as a comment to this blog or on our Polly&Meek Facebook page. All entries must be posted by 6pm on Sunday, March 20, 2011. The most delectable dish wins. No desserts please. We'll read the entries and announce the winner on our blog on Wednesday, March 23, 2011. Please note that CSN only ships to the US and Canada, and that there may be international shipping taxes to Canada that the gift code cannot cover.



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Season for Sacrifice

I am observing Lent again this year and began my quest on Ash Wednesday to take this special time of year to recommit to keeping my temple clean and drawing even nearer to God.  I am happy and excited about this period of self-sacrifice and am pleased that my husband has joined me this year.

I had attempted to 'give up' something in years past...maybe in my mid twenties, but always seemed to fail at the task.  Most times it was chocolate or something along those lines and every time I failed.  Back then, it was me giving up something just to give it up and had nothing to do with the true reason for Lent.  I did not fast and pray or ask God to guide me.  Now that I am in my mid thirties, I am happy to say that something has happened in my life, sort of like a switch going off or a turning point.  Whatever happened I am a much more spiritual person, one who knows without a doubt where my help and strength come from and one striving everyday to be more and more like Christ. This is the reason that I am committed to observing Lent and committed to staying the course.  Jesus made the supreme sacrifice for me by dying on the cross and before that he wandered in the wilderness for 40 days without food.  He was tempted by Satan at every turn, but he held fast and relied on the Scripture to keep him near to God.  This is what I do when temptations arise.  I hold fast to God and instead of reaching for a steak or chicken breast (smile), I reach for the word.  It fills me up and keeps me whole.  It motivates me to trust in God and continue to watch and pray.  It gives me great peace.

My husband joined to support me this year, as I joined last year to support my sister.  I pray that each one of us observing the season can motivate others to do the same.  This is what God loves and we will be blessed beyond reason during this season and always.

Continued Blessings,


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Parent's Helper: Products To Promote Early Literarcy and Learning

When our oldest child was one we bought her a Little Touch LeapPad by Leapfrog. The electronic and interactive story reader introduced all the fundamentals of reading, along with music and math basics. That was six years ago. Now two children and several products later, Leapfrog totally rules our home. Their educational products are the best at keeping children engaged, whether they're preschoolers or in grade school. Our kids' favorite learning tool is the Tag Reading System. I purchased this product in 2009 as Leapfrog phased out a few of their earlier systems, including our beloved Little Touch.

The Tag comes in two versions Tag Jr. for children ages 2 to 4 and Tag for ages 4 to 8. This product is great because children can do self guided learning as well as work with a parent's help. However to reap the benefits of this niffy gadget, a PC and internet connection are required. That's because the audio file for the each Tag storybook must be downloaded before the child can enjoy it. Access to a home computer makes this quick and easy to do.

The Tag's premise is an electronic pen which serves as the reader and a book that responds to a touch of the pen. So when the child touches the pen to the book pages, it will read the story aloud, read one word at a time, test reading comprehension, play fun story-based games and more. To find out exactly what your child is learning you must plug the item into your computer and log on the Leapfrog site. There you can see your child's personal learning path, collect rewards and check out even more awesome learning toys and accessories. I give the Tag reader 5 out of 5.

Questions or comments on my children's experience with this product are welcome.



Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy March!

Spring is right around the corner and I cannot wait to get out and enjoy great outdoors. There is so much to see and do and I will be one of the first to hit the pavement with my little one and see what Mother Nature's been up to this winter.

Here are a few important highlights for March:

  • Lent season begins on Ash Wednesday March 9th.
  • Daylight Savings time begins on March 13th. We spring forward and lose an hour of sleep, but gain an hour of daylight!!!
  • First day of Spring is March 20th and this coincides with Purim.
I am excited about what this new season has to offer and cannot wait to share all my adventures with you all.

Stay tuned!!!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Praise for Sisters!

Sisters Are From Heaven" is a heartwarming story about the love between sisters. Not excluding moments of difficulty, pain or upset, the pathways of a relationship between two sisters are described in text and represented in colorful photographs of two real sisters in daily familiar situations and settings involving work and play activities. Co-created by two talented sisters, with photographs of their daughters, "Sisters Are From Heaven " seems designed to appeal to young, preschool age children, to help them pursue the best in their lives together. Emphasizing the God given gift of family and siblings, "Sisters Are From Heaven" is bound to please, attract and gently enlighten. Parents and siblings will welcome it and make it a favorite.
-- Midwest Book Review

“This is a sweet treasure that pays homage to sisterhood...
To sisters are a gift from heaven.”
-- Mary Rand Hess, Children’s and Young
Adult Writer

“Tamika has done an exquisite job of turning everyday moments
into lifetime treasures that anyone can enjoy.
Onjeinika’s simple yet elegant writing style delights
me and my young children and has provided
countless hours of enjoyment.

“Sisters Are From Heaven” shows what can happen
when we wisely invest our time and talents
to the glory of our Creator. A timeless representation of
sisterly respect and affection.”
-- Donna Maria Coles Johnson, Founder and CEO, Indie Business
Media, LLC and host of the Indie Business Radio Show

“Love shared between sisters transcends the familial
connection and ultimately serves as a model for other relationships.”
-- Brooke Kenny, Staff Writer, The Gazette

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Sunday Siesta

When we were growing up we couldn't play secular music, card games, watch TV or do much of anything on Sundays. Sundays were sacred and my grandmother wouldn't allow such activities. We'd all go to church together, come home, have an elaborate meal and dessert then, like clockwork, take a nap. Seemed as if everyone in the house would pass out simultaneously. It was the most wonderful peace and quiet I've ever know. We'd wake up an hour or two later and read the newspaper or do something quietly before having dinner. It was a blissful time that served my mind and body with some much needed rest. We kept that tradition until I left for college.

Now with a family of my own, Sundays are different. We still go to church, but there's no break from work and definitely no quiet time. So yesterday I announced to my household that I am hereby reinstating the Sunday afternoon nap. It is after all, one of the very reasons why Sunday is my favorite day of the week. That and the, no work shall ye do, command written in the bible. Love that. So next week instead of starting a load of laundry, vacuuming, organizing or doing anything I'm going to curl up on my bed with the softest of blankets and take a nap. Whenever, I wake up the world will still be waiting and I will feel a little more prepared.



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Say Hello To My Little Friend

What if I upgrade to a smart phone and then I can't function without it? What if I become addicted and walk off the side of a cliff (or into a fountain) while texting? What if it costs too much? All these questions and more went through my mind before I finally decided to take the plunge. But that's all behind me now and I couldn't be happier. All the convenience and peace of mind my new smart phone provides is a definite bonus. No scary stuff here.

I use my phone to provide more accessibility to my electronic calendar and any important emails I may receive when I'm not at my desk. And when it comes to texting, I now have a full keyboard so I can say it fast or even send a short email in seconds. It's not the latest or fanciest smart phone but it allows me to use my WiFi service at home as well as other free hot spots. That saves me money! Another feature I love are the free apps for all kinds of things like my favorite radio morning show, workout plans, and shopping lists. The bells and chimes are the best. Reminders that I program into my phone help keep me on time for appointments and events.

In order to seal the deal, the salesperson said I could try out the new phone for 30 days and return it if I didn't like it. She helped me add the cheapest data plan required in order to get a smart phone and then downgraded other, little-used features on my cell phone account. My overall bill is less than before. So after only two weeks since giving it a go, I'm sure I made the right choice.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King Day

I've been motivated to hear the MLK speech all day long. It was supposed to be the very first thing I did when I came down to start my day today, but somehow I failed at that. After breakfast, I collapsed on the floor and fell into a slumber as my little one played with her toys, my son cleaned the kitchen and my husband lounged on the sofa. When I woke it was time to put the little one down for her nap and start my week's worth of dinners (more on that in another post).

The day progressed on. I got the laundry washed and folded, put most of it away and looked at a Ghanain movie I borrowed from a friend. Still no MLK speech.

I had committed to begin exercising again today. So as I was trying to get my mind right for that and as my son said 'this is the first day of your recovery'...I grabbed my iphone and searched for the March on Washington footage. I found one that was 17 minutes long and was instantly motivated to hop on my treadmill and listen to it.

I listened to the speech and got my workout in as well. Best 30 minutes of my day so far! Who knew exercise could be so much fun?

Happy Birthday to Martin Luther King, Jr.!