I really believe that giving kids chores and having them help around the house not only helps you out but teaches them responsibility and also gives them a sense of accomplishment. My 3 year old is always looking for ways to help out but, let’s face it, there are just so many things a 3 year old can do!

Before receiving my Frigidaire Washer and Dryer I had top loading machines which made it impossible for her to reach. Now with the front loading system, I’ve found perfect jobs for Hannah – and for my older daughter too! They have become my washing and drying team! Both of the girls have specific jobs and the appliances themselves actually help them accomplish them.

Hannah, my 3 year old, is in charge of sorting the laundry – she loves this job. Kelsey, my 7 year old, is in charge of loading the washer and measuring out the appropriate amount of laundry detergent which is also helping her math skills What’s nice about the Frigidaire Washer and Dryer is that it automatically saves your last settings so she doesn’t have to worry about what settings to use.

Hannah’s favorite job, however, is loading the wet clothes into the dryer. It never ceases to amaze me how much laundry three little kids can generate! Fortunately the Frigidaire Dryer is a Fits-More™ 7.0 cu. ft. dryer – the largest capacity dryer on the market, which allows us to at least get all of the girls laundry done in one load. Hannah’s folding abilities still leave a lot to be desired so the folding job belongs to Kelsey. With my old dryer not only did the drying take forever but the clothes always came out wrinkled. And while I’m OK with wrinkled clothes in the summer, I try to have my kids look a little more presentable during school. The Frigidair Dryer’s DrySense™ Technology helps the clothes come out virtually wrinkle free so Kelsey can fold them immediately.

Putting the clothes away sometimes is a battle, by this point they usually run out of a steam and the chore thing loses some of it’s appeal. But they are always quite proud of what they’ve accomplished and happy that they have helped mommy around the house!

I’ve decided to start a music based series of blogs focusing around my new life as a single mom. It started with the classic Simon and Garfunkel classic Sounds of Silence. And now, with my move into my new home this weekend in the pouring rain, dividing up the furniture, a trip to the emergency room when I fell on the stairs, trying to unpack and find everything and dealing with the first day of school today, the only song that comes to mind is Billy Joel’s “Pressure.” (For anyone wanting to check out the music video, CLICK HERE.

I freaked out on the movers (three of my babysitter’s able-bodied friends) when they told me that they weren’t going to be able to hook up my Frigidaire Washer and Dryer in the new house – they didn’t think they could get it in the doorway. And no, I’m not over-reacting! The house I’m renting has an old washer and dryer that barely worked. My kids literally threw their clothes in garbage bags for the move so I knew I was looking at two days of laundry at the very least. The 28-minute quick wash and dry cycle has been a saving grace for me. And, after my son and daughter decided to play “capture the flag” outside in the rain on Saturday as we were moving I had a pile of wet, dirty socks that desperately needed the “Whitest White” setting on the Frigidaire Washer which is part of the Advanced Rinse Technology and uses fresh water for the final rinse. For any mom who has boys you know how fast socks and T-shirts are destroyed – this setting is the perfect solution! The fresh water rinse also helps cut down on allergens and, given that all three of my children have been walking around with runny noses and watery eyes, is a big plus.

While my theme song for the week is definitely Pressure, I can honestly say that it is still a calmer and more relaxing atmosphere now that we’re in our new home. For any parent going through a divorce you have my utmost respect. This has been an extremely difficult weekend but I know that my children and I are on the road to a happier life.

Enjoying The Sounds of Silence With My Frigidaire Washer and Dryer

“Hello darkness my old friend…” OK, I know I’m dating myself by quoting lines from this Simon & Garfunkel song (and I really wasn’t even a fan of theirs!) but this song came to mind when I was finishing up chores at 11:30P last night.

As most of you know, I’m going through a divorce and we’re doing this ridiculous thing called “bird housing.” For those of you who don’t know what that is, the kids stay in the house full time and the divorcing parents take turns living in the house. For any of you that are considering this – it’s horrible!

I’m only in the house every two days and, of course, when I’m not here NOTHING gets done! No grocery shopping, house cleaning and, of course, the laundry piles up beyond belief. So, even though we’re supposed to be “co-parenting,” I guess my soon-to-be ex missed the part about co-cleaning. This is the part that kills me. I want to spend every second of the time I have with my kids having fun but I also want to make sure that they have healthy food in the house when I’m not here and – oh yeah – maybe some clothes to wear!

So that’s why I found myself racing through the house like Mary Poppins last night after they went to bed, cooking meals to be frozen for the week, dusting and doing about 6 loads of laundry! I checked out the Quick Wash and Quick Dry setting on my new Frigidaire Washer and Dryer which did the trick. Both of them work in 28 minutes! This was multi-tasking at its best! I became a laundry queen … washing, drying, and folding. That’s another cool thing about the Frigidaire – it has TimeWise™ technology so wash time is the same as dry time. Before this, I would have to sit around with a load of wet clothes while I waited for the dryer to finish. Now, it’s beautifully synchronized! When I was finally done with the other chores and could sit down for a quiet moment I would still need to wait for a few loads of laundry. This is when I silently thanked the laundry Gods once again for my new washer and dryer. The washing machine is so quiet that I actually found myself running into the laundry room a few times to see if it was actually going – no loud rumble or noise from the water.

It’s strange feeling like a guest in your own home. And I never thought I could work harder than I did but as a single mom it’s just got cranked up a few more notches. But, I feel more accomplished and happy than I have in a long time! So, last night for the first time in a long time, I sat down, turned on some music, turned off the lights, poured a glass of wine and toasted my new life. And then I folded that last load of laundry!

(For those of you not familiar with this great Simon & Garfunkel song, click here and you’ll know what I mean about it being a perfect song at the end of a long day)

This was a challenging week for me.  I'm in the process of a divorce and my children's father decided to take them away for a four-day vacation.  My first reaction when he mentioned this to me was surprise and then mild annoyance.   But then I quickly remembered my reaction when my divorced girlfriend's would tell me about their ex's taking their kids away.  I would tell them to enjoy the time alone.  Boy, until you're part of "the club" you really don't know what it's like.   When they left on Monday I was heartbroken.  I travel a great deal when I'm on media tours but it's different when I'm on the road away from them -I know they're home in their routine.  When they're away I have no idea what's happening.  But I knew I had to put on a happy face for them and be excited.  It was a good bit of acting on my part! 

This is a brave new world for me – single mom.  I'm figuring my way through it and I'm sure I'm going to make mistakes along the way and I know there are going to be some hard moments.  It's not a club I ever thought I would be a part of but here I am.   I'd love to hear your stories about your experience with divorce.  I'm learning that we all need to stick together and support each other!

This past summer I had the chance to visit an incredible vacation home in Vail.  Thanks to The Society and Peak Properties, I spent two luxurious days in a multi-million dollar home with quite possibly the most gorgeous mountain view I have ever seen.  The Society, a new travel company, puts travelers in any one of a number of luxury home and condo rentals in beautiful resort destinations around the world.  They focus on giving travelers a home away from home in their vacation destination.
With the holiday season upon us, The Society wants to offer families a chance to getaway and experience one of their beautiful properties, for free! Even in these hard economic times, families still want to get away for a memorable vacation that is high quality and reasonably priced. A home rental gives your family a chance to connect while cooking dinner in your own kitchen, cozying up to a movie at the end of the night, or running into locals in the neighborhood to give you insights into great things to do in the area.
In order to help preserve the American family vacation, The Society has called upon their partners to brighten the upcoming holiday season with a series of ten 5-night vacation giveaways.  The Society and their Luxe Alliance members have collaborated to offer luxury stays in amazing vacation rentals and villas in locales such as Cabo San Lucas, Telluride, Sedona, Vail, Keystone, Orlando and more.  Between November 5, 2008 and January 28, 2009 participants can sign-up here (www.thesociety.com/giveaway) to register and become eligible for one of the ten vacation giveaways.  Additional entries can be earned by those who complete The  Society Match Maker Request here.  Lastly, all participants will receive a 5% discount coupon off their next booking, provided by The Society. 
Looking forward to connecting with you about this great chance to spend quality time with your family and good luck!

Today my son reminded me that this week will be February 1st which can only mean that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Every year I find myself scrambling to find some small but clever gift to get him and my daughters.  I try to stay away from the sugar-laden chocolate but, let’s face it, it’s Valentines Day and their just has to be a sweet treat!  That’s why I was so excited to learn about Fruit Roll-Ups new offering, My Fruit Roll-Ups.  They’re the fruit flavored snacks that we all know but now they can be customized and personalized with a message that you create.  When you visit the site, www.myfruitrollups.com, you can select a picture from a variety of categories including special occasion, sports, hobbies or animals.  Then you can add your personalized message.  My son is crazy for Fruit Roll-Ups and when he gets some delivered to his home for Valentine’s Day that say "You Rock Spencer, Love Mom" he’ll be completely excited! (And another one for my hubby isn’t a bad idea either!)

General Mills is so convinced that you’ll love My Fruit Roll-Ups that they’ve invited me to host a contest for Valentines Day.  Send me the sweetest message you’ve ever created or received – either from your kids or that special someone – and I’ll award the three people with the sweetest messages a promotional code to put that message on a box of My Fruit Roll-Ups.   But respond to me as soon as possible so that you can receive these in time for Valentines Day.