Merry Christmas From Momondealz!

family shot close up

 

Merry Christmas from my whole family at Momondealz!

 We hope you and yours have a wonderful day with your family and friends and we’ll see you back here tomorrow for all of those amazing after Christmas clearance sales!

Cough Definition

photo

 

It’s time of the year where coughing can be an issue…but what is a real cough definition?

Here is my favorite cough definition from the freedictionary.com

To expel air from the lungs suddenly with a harsh noise, often involuntarily.

You may want to check out my post about home remedies for children coughs.

My Family Pictures 2013

family shot

If you’ve followed me for the past couple of years, you’ve gotten to see my family grow with family pictures taken by Angela Douglas Photography. This year I think the pictures turned out great-and I’m having a hard time choosing which to go on our Christmas cards!

boys up close

 

If you’re local to Hampton Roads, I suggest checking out Angela’s page.  She can do just about anything theme you’d like and she is AHHHMAZING with my boys! Since neither one is a fan of sitting still, it’s difficult to get a nice family shot of all of us looking at the camera.  Basically Chris and I have to sit and smile the whole time hoping that one or both of the boys look!  Angela was able to get quite a few of them looking this time around since she told them there were “super heroes hiding in the lense”.  Here are some of the shots she has gotten of us in the past-but remember, she’s wildly creative and if you don’t have an idea, she’ll get one for you.  Plus she does a terrific job at more traditional poses as well!  Below is last year’s Christmas pic-it makes me giggle every time I see it!

kids elf

Virginia Beach Wicked 10K

me wicked

Wowsers!  It has been a day-but what a fun one!

Our day started with the Virginia Beach Wicked 10K (my most favorite local race).  We decided to save some bucks this year and instead of hiring a babysitter, we pushed the boys-for SIX POINT TWO miles!  I was very worried about how this would go since the longest I’ve pushed them without them trying to kill each other was 4 miles-but they did GREAT!  I am thinking the awesome costumes that you could see at every turn helped (and maybe the candy hand outs at miles 4 and 5)!

batmobile

The boys decided this year they would be super heroes again so my husband turned our stroller into the bat mobile and the entire family dressed up.  Despite FREEZING at the start, this race definitely tops my list of favorite all time races!  We even managed to finish in under an hour; this is slower than our normal 10k times, but considering we were pushing around 100 pounds and dressed in costumes (mostly handmade by the way…my tutu was made by Seren Roush we were pretty happy with this!  To top the race off, my 4 year old ran his first race and did a great job completing the Monster Mile!

Will's medal

After the race we decided to hit up Town Center’s and Fairfield Shopping Center’s Trick or Treat since we were already in costumes…you can always use more candy right?!

What Moving Has Taught Me About Friendship

Saying goodbye to our "old house"

Saying goodbye to our “old house”

I’ve not mentioned it much, but we are in the middle of moving.  Everyone knows moving can be stressful and a pain in the butt, and I totally expected that.  What I didn’t expect was one disaster after another, after another, after another, you get the point.

Allow me to tell you just the major things that have gone wrong (it would be the world’s longest post ever if I told you all the tiny disasters as well).

  • We sold our house in 3 days.  While this is awesome, it was not expected and we had very little time to find a new home.
  • The appraisal came in lower than expected and the buyer’s funding was in question so we thought the deal was dead-then with 10 days left before the scheduled close the money came thru for her and we had 10 (TEN) days to find a new house.
  • We found the new house only to get a pretty bad inspection report and had to rent several storage units.
  • House hunting again with only 4 (FOUR) days left before we had to be out of our “old” house.
  • My grandfather passed away in the middle of the chaos and I had to go out of town for the day.
  • Finally found a new home but we can’t move in for another 8 days so we’ve been “homeless” for the past 2 weeks…fun times with a 2 and 4 year old…but this leads to me to what moving has taught me about friendship.

 

My kids surfing away their stress on a playdate with great friends.

My kids surfing away their stress on a play date with great friends.

We’ve been undeniably blessed by friends in the last couple of weeks.  We’ve had friends calling, texting, and emailing to make sure we’re ok and to see what we may need.  We had friends allow us to stay at their house for an entire week while they were out of town, we’ve had family house the kids and I the past week while more friends have allowed my husband to stay in town with them so he can work…and for next week yet another friend has found us an apartment to stay in.  Bottom line, our friends ROCK!

With these experiences and generous offers I’ve truly learned who our friends are.  I’ve been blown away by niceness from most.  Seeing the way that most have really stepped in to help has restored my faith in people and it’s helped me create a list of what friendship is…

Friendship is opening your home, your beds, your family time to others.

Friendship is a hug, a kind word, and a simple “I’m sorry you are going thru this”.

Friendship is asking “How are things?” not because you want to hear the long answer, but because you know your friend needs to vent.

Friendship is offering your friend whatever you are capable of…knowing that a simple cocktail can sometimes help!

Friendship is saying, “Bring your kids over here so you can get things done, better yet, tell me where you are and let me pick them up.”

Friendship is taking the time and energy to help you brainstorm solutions to your problems.

Friendship is not saying “I told you this would suck”.

To those who are reading this that are my friends-and who have helped in whatever way you know how-THANK YOU!  Please know I am always here for you and your family and although I know you don’t expect payback, I will find a way to show my thanks when this mess is over!  To those of you who don’t know me personally, but who may have a friend going thru a rough time-please take the time to offer them help-remember it only needs to be as simple as a hug.  Don’t you want the same when you find yourself needing  a friend?

Best Diaper Rash Cream

diaper rash treat

My son is ALMOST potty trained so imagine my surprise when I changed his “underwear protector” a.k.a pull-up, and discovered a terrible diaper rash!  I was shocked but knew immediately what to do-pull out my best diaper rash cream cure!

For those of you unfamiliar with this best diaper rash cream, let me recap this discovery!  When my oldest son got a horrible diaper rash, I immediately started researching diaper rash home remedies and natural cures for diaper rash.  I settled on trying the recipe below and have never turned back.  This is hands down the BEST DIAPER RASH CREAM ever and far surpasses the popular store brands!

Best Diaper Rash Cream Cure

Mix equal parts of vaseline and corn starch to create a paste.

It’s that simple!



Living With Jewelry

diamonds

 

 

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post

There are lots of people who would love to make a living buying, selling and creating their own unique kinds of jewelry. The reason for this is simple: jewelry is almost universally loved, and it has been an important part of a wide variety of cultures since ancient times. Whether you want to keep, sell or create your jewelry, there are certain things you should keep in mind. Especially when it’s never been as simple or accessible to sell diamonds here.

By following a few recommendations, you’ll be able to dramatically prolong the life of your jewelry. For example, always make sure that you take off any jewelry you might be wearing when performing manual tasks. If you want to give your jewelry proper maintenance, make sure that you buy special polishing cloths and liquid solutions that won’t cause any damage. If ever in doubt, hire a professional’s services to clean up and polish your jewelry. Maintenance is very important if you intend to sell your jewelry at any given point.

Semi-precious stones, crystals, fake pearls and glass are all excellent materials to create imitation jewelry. With some skill and the right selection of materials, it is possible to approximate authentic jewelry that will fool almost everyone. Nowadays, it is very easy to create your own imitation jewelry. Websites such as EBay are an excellent source for imitation materials, in case you want to make this a hobby or even a business.

You’ve probably thought about selling your jewelry to make an extra income. If you’re selling imitation jewelry, your best bet is setting up a website to sell your merchandise. If you want to sell authentic jewelry, a different set of steps should be taken. First of all, forget anything about selling to pawn shop owners. This is probably the worst method of jewelry selling there is. Pawn shop owners will try to low-ball you into selling your jewelry for ridiculously low prices, just to make lots of profit from it later. Their methods of appraisal should always be taken with a grain of salt. The same also holds true with most jewelry shop owners. They will offer you low prices for your precious jewelry. Jewelry shop owners are most likely only interested in the melt value of your jewelry, and won’t care about any craftsmanship or beautiful designs.
If you’re serious about selling jewelry, the first step you should take is hiring a professional appraiser.

If you’re looking for an accurate appraisal, hire a professional if you think your jewelry is worth it. Once you know what your jewelry is truly worth, you can try selling it online, which is usually a better idea than selling locally.

Stop Puppy Mills-Take The Pledge

dog pledge

 

**UPDATE** This pledge ends tomorrow!

We lost our beloved dog last year and plan on getting a new family member soon-and it will be from the pound or a breeder.

There is a new campaign from the Humane Society that wants you to help Stop Puppy Mills-simply by taking the pledge.  Here’s a message from the society:

Pet stores that care about puppies don’t sell them. That’s because the majority of pet stores that sell puppies carry dogs from cruel and inhumane puppy mills. Puppy mills are like dog-making factories with the mother dogs spending their entire lives in cramped cages or kennels with little or no personal attention or quality of life. When the mother and father dogs can no longer breed, they are discarded or killed. Consumers who purchase puppies from pet stores or over the Internet without seeing a breeder’s home firsthand are often unknowingly supporting this cruel industry.

This is a terrific cause to help protect puppies-I already took the pledge!

Would You Kill For Your Kids?

DSCN6045

Now that’s an interesting title of a post uh?  But think about, REALLY think about it…would you kill for your kid(s)?

This past weekend we attended a BBQ and a guest brought a pet, a really cute, but very hyper dog.  There were 5 young children at the event and the dog had a ball chasing the children.  This was not a problem until he began nipping at them.  Then, faster than we could get to him,  one of those nips became a bite.  A real bite, with real bite holes and real blood-and real tears and screaming.  In the next few seconds, things got a little crazy-with the dog owner grabbing and yelling at the dog, me grabbing my screaming and crying son, the host running to grab bandaids and ointment, and my husband chasing after us inside the house.  In the heat of the moment there may or may not have even been mention of harming the dog.

So the next day, after much peroxide and neosporin (every mom knows how much fun that is) everyone was much more calm.  The doctor had put my son on precautionary antibiotics and I was changing the bandaid on the bite when I got to thinking. How far would I go to protect my children.  Would I harm an animal or person who was actively trying to hurt my child? Could I actually kill for my kids? The answer is absolutely.  No doubt about it.

Am I a law abiding citizen? Absolutely.  Have I always been a “rule follower”?  Pretty much, yep. However, my job as a mom is to love and protect my children and I will do anything in my power to do that job.  Do I hate guns?  Absolutely?  But have I gone and taken training in order to use one to protect my home and family? Absolutely.  Do I love animals?  Yes. But if one is on attack towards my child and my choice is between the animal and my child-that animal is going down.  The term “Mama Bear” seems rather weak for the strength of feelings I have about protecting my children.  Even before becoming a mom, people knew I am the type of  friend and family member who has no fear of protecting and sticking up for the ones I love.  But now that I get called “Mommy”, world watch out-you hurt my children <on purpose> I’m coming  after you!

So, what are your thoughts?  Would you kill for your kids?

How To Make Strawberry Jam

Each week I bring you a craft that is fun and frugal. Strawberry fields are in full bloom around here so I thought this week I would tell you how to make strawberry jam!  It’s not a craft per say, but it definitely involves the kids!

If you’ve missed any previous crafts, check out Momondealz’s Kids Frugal Fun page.

Just a side note, I laminateas much as I can when doing crafts…it really helps to preserve them.

Remember, if you love any of my crafts, be sure to Pin them on Pinterest!

My kids LOVE strawberries and strawberry jam, so I thought, “Why not make strawberry jam?”  Luckily I have a friend who taught me how to make strawberry jam!  Besides the advantages of knowing exactly what ingredients are in what I am eating and getting in some quality family time, it has even served to help us save even more money!  I thought you may want to have the recipe so you could try it out for yourself!

Step One:  Pick you own fresh strawberries!

Step 2:  Wash Strawberries and cut them into small pieces.  Cover them in sugar (about 1/2 cup of sugar per 2 cups strawberries).
strawberry cut
Step 3.  Cover and let sit 6-12 hours.  I let mine sit overnight and they had the perfect amount of juice in the morning!
Step 5:  Bring berries and liquid to boil.  Turn down to around a simmer and cook for 3 hours.  While cooking, follow instructions on canning jars to prepare them to be filled.  Mine required them to be washed and then boiled.
Step 6:  Can the berries!  People have their own methods to do this.  I am a “rule follower” so I stuck to the directions on the box that came with my canning jars.  This involved pouring mix into the jars, wiping excess, and then reboiling after putting the cap on.  Some people just tip the jars upside down and let them seal that way.
Step 7:  12 hours later, enjoy, OR save the jars for up to a year!  Yum!!

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Momondealz’s Top Hits From 2012-Year In Review + Goals For 2013

Momondealz has grown dramatically in the past year and I have to thank YOU for that growth!  It’s been a great year and I even met my goals from last New Year’s!  Here are my favorite posts and highlights from 2012!

Favorite Series of 2012:

 

One of my favorite highlights of the year was becoming a guest on WGNT News every Wednesday morning! I really love the staff there and we have a great time!

Last year I shared with you my personal and professional goals for the year.  I am pleased to say I met all of goals and have decided to share with you my goals for 2013.  I am holding myself more accountable by sharing these with you and will keep you updated throughout the year.

Professional Goals:
My goals with the blog are pretty simple and you can actually help me out with these goals!

1.  Publish even more kids crafts and toddler posts. I want to expand on the posts I already do about educating children and would love your input.  What topics would you like covered?  What subjects or areas does your child struggle with?

2. Host more giveaways for my readers. I get a tremendous response when I do giveaway “events” with other bloggers but I would like to host even more individual giveaways. I know my readers like free stuff too so if you know of any friends or family members who would like easy advertising, please send them my way!

Personal Goals ( in no particular order)

1.  Run, Run, and Run some more.  I began my running journey in March of 2011 and have since completed several 5k races, some 8Ks, two 10ks and even a half marathon (I NEVER thought I’d say that)!  I would like to run at least 3 half marathons in 2013.  Running is my outlet and time for me to clear my head.

2.  Get more sleep.  Because I only blog when the kids are sleeping, that means I don’t get much sleep.  This is just bad living.  My goal is to be in bed by 10:30 pm every night!

I have several other personal goals I will keep you up to date with including decluttering our home, joining a small group at church, and having more date nights with my husband.

What are you goals for 2013? I would love to hear them!

 

 

Making Memories: Seasonal Fun

This series on how to make the most out of the time you have with your children is brought to you by Amee at Madame Deals and Sharon at Mom on Dealz.

Fall is upon us and there are sports, school, and a variety of other activities that can absorb your time.  Don’t forget to take advantage of beautiful weather and memory making traditions during this season! Whether your children enjoy scary escapades, or more traditional hayrides and pumpkin picking-be sure to take the time to do one of these things. My kids absolutely love picking out pumpkins and even though they can be pricey to buy, we let each member of the family pick their own.  Then each person chooses how to decorate it or carve it.  This year my boys have chosen to paint their pumpkins and my husband and I will carve ours. As you can see below, the boys did an awesome job with their art.  I’ll be sure to post our jack-o-lanterns on my facebook page when they are done this weekend!

Fall Fitness: Week 6-Do It Yourself

Welcome to my new series: Fall Fitness!  If you’ve missed any of the previous posts, check them out here!

If you pay close attention to my Facebook page, you know I enjoy running as my main form of exercise. Unfortunately I hurt my back a few weeks ago and have been unable to do very much physical activity-which has driven both my body and mind NUTS! Also, it’s made me a bit lazy on menu planning since it’s been difficult to move from my heating pad! Sadly, this has led to way too many take out meals. I am pretty much 95% healed so it is time to get back into shape-both physically and financially! I will be writing this series “Fall Fitness” to hold myself accountable and to hopefully gain some team mates in the process (that would be you)! I will share my goals, menu, and tip each week that will hopefully keep us fit thru the fall!

Update from Last Week:

I met all my fitness goals!  I ran a total of four 5ks and then my longer run day was 5.25 miles for a total of 5 runs.  I also did complete Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 three times.  I actually lost 1 pound but my measurements stayed the same.

Fitness Goals for Week 6:

1. I will continue to run 4-5 times since I am registered for the Wicked 10k race in October.  I did well last year but want to crush that time…we’ll see.
2.  I want to complete 3 or 4 Ripped in 30 workouts.  I really love how I feel when I get a complete hour of workout time in the morning so combining running with this workout is perfect.

Menu Plan for Week 6:

  • Monday:  Mexican Monday-This never changes for us-stop by my house on a Monday evening and there will be soft tacos.  This Monday is my husband’s birthday but he insists he still wants tacos.
  • Tuesday:  Ground turkey spaghetti
  • Wednesday: Leftover night
  • Thursday-Saturday  I will be at Savvy Blogging Summit and my husband will have my mom helping with dinner-I don’t have to plan!
  • Sunday:  Grilled chicken with balsamic potatoes and peas

Tip of the Week:

Do It Yourself:  Save money by doing things yourself such as making your own diaper rash treatment, your own household cleaners, and so much more!

Fall Fitness: Get An Accountability Partner

Welcome to my new series: Fall Fitness!  If you’ve missed any of the previous posts, check them out here!

If you pay close attention to my Facebook page, you know I enjoy running as my main form of exercise. Unfortunately I hurt my back a few weeks ago and have been unable to do very much physical activity-which has driven both my body and mind NUTS! Also, it’s made me a bit lazy on menu planning since it’s been difficult to move from my heating pad! Sadly, this has led to way too many take out meals. I am pretty much 95% healed so it is time to get back into shape-both physically and financially! I will be writing this series “Fall Fitness” to hold myself accountable and to hopefully gain some team mates in the process (that would be you)! I will share my goals, menu, and tip each week that will hopefully keep us fit thru the fall!

Update from Last week:

Actually last week’s Fall Fitness was a terrific guest post, so this is actually an updated from 2 weeks ago!

I kept up with my fitness goals and actually just finished the last of the 4 workouts in Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30. I have lost a total of 5.5 inches and only 1 pound.  Not a huge amount, but my goal was pretty small and muscle does weigh more than fat!  Plus, because my back is still “iffy” during workouts, I modified a lot and used low weights.

Fitness Goals Week 5:

1.  I plan on redoing the Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 program for then next 4 weeks and upping the poundage in weights.  However, instead of 5 times a week, I plan on doing it 3 times.
2.  I plan on running 5-6 days a week for a minimum of 3 miles each time.

Menu Plan Week 5:

  • Monday:  Mexican Monday-This never changes for us-stop by my house on a Monday evening and there will be soft tacos.  We’ll be using shredded chicken for this week’s tacos!
  • Tuesday:  Baked pork chops with brown rice and broccoli
  • Wednesday:  Ground Turkey spaghetti
  • Thursday:  Leftover night (soccer practice so needs to be easy)
  • Friday: Whole wheat pizza using a store bought crust and adding lots of veggies.
  • Saturday:  Husband’s choice
  • Sunday:  Chicken & Dumplings

 

Tip of the Week:

Get an accountability partner in your finances and workout routine.  One of the reasons I decided to blog about my goals is to hold myself accountable for them.  My husband and I are also each other’s partners for our goals.  You can enlist a friend, family member, or coworker to help you.  Tell your partner your goals and ask them to check in with you to ensure you are reaching them.  This doesn’t even have to be someone who lives near to you.  One of my friends that lives 2 hours away has started  an exercise routine and I am her accountability partner.  Every other day I text her and ask “How’s it going?” and she responds with how long she walked for, or used the elliptical for, etc.  You can do this with your finances too.  No on needs to know “all of your business” but tell them you are trying to cut back on eating out, or buying shoes, or whatever your splurges are-and have them call you out if they see you with a Wendy’s bag (or hot new pair of shoes). You get the point-having someone know about your goals can help motivate you to reach them!

24 Hour Fitness

Fall Fitness-Guest Post: Make A Plan

My new series “Fall Fitness” was started a few weeks ago to get myself (and hopefully others) back on track with both physical and financial fitness goals.  This week I’ve brought in a guest blogger to give you a different perspective on your fitness plan.   If you’ve missed any of the previous Fall Fitness posts, check them out here!

Hi all! My name is Sarah and I blog over at There She Goes…Running in Virginia! My mission at There She Goes is to provide resources for active females of all ages, and runners of all levels with practical tips about nutrition, product reviews, and first hand accounts of how being active and healthy can change your life!

Lets be honest here…

How long has it been since your last workout?

 

I’ll wait – go ahead…do the math!

For me? It’s been since I arrived here at our new house…3 weeks ago. Before that I stayed a few days at my parents house (visiting) while my husband finished packing our apartment (we have small children so being gone was the best I could do to help!).

At my parents I was walking roughly 2.25-3.50 miles a day with my father. Before that…well, it had been off and on for months. You see – I just had baby #2 (June 25th) so that last trimester was a challenge. I gained 40lbs and gave birth to a 9.5lb, 21inch long baby!

Sure, I may have occasionally gotten in a little brisk walk or even a very slow jog w/ my toddler riding her tricycle those last 3 months but mostly I just prepared for what was coming next and working.

Regardless of my life circumstances…I fell off the health & wellness wagon hard!

 

 

Falling off the workout wagon hurts. The initial fall is usually so slow; so subtle we barely feel the impact. As the sting of the road rash sets in…we know we should be doing something more. We should be better than saying, “I’ll workout tomorrow”, or “I’ll try to do better starting next week!” I don’t know how many Mondays have been my NEW BEGINNING! While those words echo through our minds, roll off our tongues – we wonder – “How many tomorrows have I racked up avoiding “TODAY?”

 

Sure, I’ve got excuses and allowances I give myself to feel better about not working out:

  • I’m tired
  • I had a baby
  • There’s not enough time
  • It’s too hot outside
  • I have a million other things to do

And the list could go on…

 

But here’s the reality of all those excuses:

  • I stayed up too late
  • I had a baby 3 months ago…can’t use that excuse forever
  • It only takes 15min to get a workout in (I know I waste more than 15min on FB multiple times a day) – Read Fast 15 for a quick workout idea.
  • So stay inside: do a workout DVD
  • Even though I’m staying busy w/ all my million “to-do’s” there is only one thing on my mind – my avoidance of getting back on the wagon!

 

So what do we do now? How can we fix this?

We have to remember that each day is a new day and a new opportunity to start fresh.

Since I’m a planner let’s map this out!

 

1st Step:

Making a plan of action! For me: the house is the most quiet in the mornings and during naptime. There are two perfect windows of time – where can you find one or two windows of time in your day?

I can’t leave the house b/c the kiddos are sleeping in both windows of time so I’ll have to be creative. I can do a workout DVD (I’ll admit it – I have about 10 different DVD’s that collect dust!). I can also do Crossfit type exercises – stuff that doesn’t require any equipment. Where are your windows of time? Are you at work, at home, in the city, in the country or near a park – parking lot – stairs?

 

2nd Step:

Take a deep breath…and go clean out your pantry and fridge. There is nothing more deflating to a new plan of action for health and wellness than a bunch of junk food temping you each and every day. Even the cleanest/healthiest eaters have a few items they could toss.

For me, it just takes one or two items (calling my name from the pantry) to start the downward spiral of munching/eating poorly. Sometimes I even eat the kids’ snacks…I know – pitiful! Hey, if I don’t need those animal crackers…neither does she! Lol! But lets just be honest – she doesn’t even like them – I’m eating them little by little to avoid “wasting” them. Which leads me to Step #3.

 

3rd Step:

Get over your attachment to “wasting” food. If you slipped up and bought a few things (or just one) that really DON’T need to be eaten by you…TOSS IT! Or if it’s unopened donate it or take it to work and put it in the employee break room. Let your solidarity be the example! Don’t just eat things to get them out of the house and into your belly (and I am speaking from experience). We all do this – get over it – and throw it away or give it away.

The last time I cleaned out my pantry was April 2011 when I decided to go Paleo. I put all the items I would no longer need, eat, or cook with into a book and let my neighbors pick threw it.

 

4th Step:

Get out of the house! Step away from the computer and go for a walk. Breathe some fresh air! Are you at work right now? Go walk the steps in the stair well right now! Not in a multi-floor building? Walk to your car and back. Pretend you forgot something really important in there…like your MOTIVATION!

Not at work – are you at home? Regardless, stop clicking the mouse aimlessly – GO!

 

5th Step:

BE PROUD! Be proud about being motivated – and come back and read more!

 

I’ll leave you with these thoughts…

It’s not about gym memberships, workout accessories, or even proper footwear right now.

What it is about is YOU finding 15 minutes each day (or just 3 days a week) where you put YOU first. 15 minutes where you are more important than anything else.

Put yourself on the top of your daily task list

and I promise you’ll see and feel a difference.

 

If you’re looking for a challenge to jumpstart your health and wellness goals OR if you just want to end this year with a bang – then please join me over at my blog for some great group challenges I’ll be leading my readers through starting Monday, September 17th, 2012.