A Christmas Story House Tour: A Journey back to Childhood

As we turned onto W. 11th Street in Cleveland, Ohio it seemed like any ordinary street, in any ordinary neighborhood, and then we saw it, that house with the green trim that was unmistakably the Parker residence from the movie, A Christmas Story.  

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And it was then that my anticipation level skyrocketed! It is fascinating how a mere glance at the house can stir up so many emotions. I was suddenly transported back to my own childhood; the emotions conjured up fond memories & feelings of Christmas pasts. I was literally just like one of the kids as we raced into the gift shop to purchase our tour tickets.  

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And just like one of the kids, it felt like I waited for an eternity for our tour to begin, (when in all actuality it was only like 10 minutes, haha!). When the tour finally began it took everything in me to restrain myself from being the first one in line. I did manage to gathering up enough restraint to allow the shorter children to go in front of me, which was a huge hurdle, guess who was rewarded for her good behavior afterward in the gift shop?

As we entered the house my inner childlike spirit had a mini spaz attack, it was spot on from the scenes in the movie! I did manage to maintain composure on the outside, well almost, I wanted to touch everything! And guess what? You can (technically, everything in all but one room)!!! When I heard that my adult self & inner child collided, giving one another a virtual high five, yippee!! Let the fun begin!!!

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We were able to pick up “The Old Man’s” award, sit on Ralphie and Randy’s beds, we reenact a few scenes from the movie, and more!

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We also learned a lot about the history of the movie, characters, actors, etc., like the fact that the year they filmed the movie Cleveland didn’t receive any snow so they did whatever they could to make snow….queue the foam!




And that the actress who played the school teacher was pregnant when they filmed and she didn’t want to go too far from her in Canada where there just so happened to have a lot of snow so they filmed the other scenes in Canada. There is much more but you’ll have to take the tour yourself to hear those nuggets of trivia.


After touring the house and the museum (image above shows actual toys that were in the movie) it was time to reward that inner child, and my actual children with a trip to the gift shop.

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There were so many magnificent souvenirs to choose from and all children were pleased except for one, my son. He so desperately wanted a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle, just like Ralphie’s. I entertained the idea for a moment, then culminated the day with a rather appropriate decision and infamous quote, one I am surprised my son didn’t see coming. No, because, “You’ll shoot your eye out.”

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You too can deny your child a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle and allow your inner child to come out and play at A Christmas Story House open 7 days a week (except major holidays), 10am-5pm.  Cost, Adults: $10.00 Children 7 to 12: $6.00 (Children 6 & under: FREE) Seniors: $8.00 For more information click here .

What is your favorite scene from the movie?



The children are asleep; you are watching television when suddenly someone starts kicking in your front door…what do you do? Are you prepared for a home invasion?

What comes to mind when you hear the words ‘Home Invasion’? When I hear the words ‘Home Invasion’ I think of Primetime television sensationalizing scenarios in order to boost ratings, that blockbuster, Panic Room, with Jodie Foster, and the rare story you hear about on the evening news.  It is something that happens in Hollywood scripts and to other people, not me. That is until I came across some startling statistics that rocked my naïve world.

Did you know…

  • An estimated 3.7 million household burglaries occurred each year on average.
  • Around 60 percent of burglars used forcible entry to gain access to a home.
  • 33 percent of intruders enter a home through the front door. (Hollow doors are exceptionally easy to kick in).
  • Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report states that a household member was home in approximately 28 percent of burglaries. Alarmingly, a household member suffered some form of violence in seven percent of burglaries. (source
  • Drugs – both illegal and prescription – are a driving force behind many of today’s burglaries and home invasions.
  • As reported by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), “drug use and criminality are closely linked.” According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), of the inmates housed in U.S. jails and prisons: Over 80% have a history of drug and/or alcohol abuse. Approximately 50% are addicted to some form of drug. Approximately 60% of suspects arrested for a crime test positive for illegal drugs. Upon release, up to 80% of drug abusers commit another drug-driven crime. Approximately 95% of inmates that get released from jail or prison resume their drug use. (source)
  • An estimated 10,000 people in the NW Ohio region are addicted to heroin and other opioids.  (source)


These statistics shook me to my core!! What if we did have a home invasion, how would I handle it? How would I protect not just myself, but my children too? I have to be honest; this momma bear was ill equipped for protecting her cubs in the case of a home invasion. That is until I attended this month’s Ladies Night Out’s Personal Safety Awareness Training!!

A basic synopsis of the class offered at Cleland’s Outdoor World ….

Personal Safety Awareness Training

Discuss how to take a pro-active approach to personal safety. The class begins by focusing on planning for known and unknown surroundings, situational awareness, and non-violent and non-physical methods to protect yourself. The class then explores how to deal with conflicts and confrontations, including techniques and products available to safely remove yourself from a dangerous situation.

Topics that are covered include:




 Self-defense products including sprays/gels; stun guns; Tasers; flashlights.

 And other options to help keep you and your loved ones safe.

This class is dedicated to teaching individuals of all ages and genders how to avoid being a victim in the home, at work, at school or in every day travels.


The class was a great refresher for some scenarios and very informative in others, particularly home invasion. I liked the fact that the instructor wasn’t trying to instill fear in us but rather to educate and build our confidence so that we would be prepared for any situation. She really ran home the idea of having a PLAN! Do you have a plan? Here is a scenario she gave us…it is late Sunday night, you just put kiddos to bed, you’re sitting down on the couch watching television, and suddenly someone starts kicking in your front door what would you do? This one stumped all of us moms because quite honestly we all let our guards down once we are inside the comforts of our homes. What evolved was a great discussion.

We addressed the fact that we spend so much time talking about fire safety with our children, in school, in scouts, we have a plan if there is ever a fire in our home, etc. And we talk to our children about stranger danger and run scenarios about what they should do if they ever get lost. But we never discuss the possibility of a home invasion, why? Well, because, quite honestly, we don’t want to scare the crap out of them! We just got them all sleeping in their own beds and we would like to keep it that way, right!? At least that was my thinking and then I realized I was doing them a disservice. I am their parent and I am responsible for keeping them safe, safe from everything, and sometimes that means not sheltering them as much, and educating them on some of the realities of life (in an age appropriate manner).

The day after I attended the training I sat my kiddos down and we had a discussion. I am happy to announce that we now have a plan! We decided on a safe room, an alert word, and I even have a safety tool (the instructor made it clear that they are tools for maintaining safety…the various tools she educated us on included…pepper spray, stun gun, & Taser).

Thanks to the training and our plan I am sleeping better than ever at night. If you don’t have a plan I highly recommend you have a family meeting and come up with a plan because your family’s safety is the most important thing in this world!

If you have noticed someone you know has suddenly gotten involved in illegal activities it might be because of some type of alcohol or drug addiction. The statistics above clearly show there is a worrying correlation between addiction and crime. Luckily there are many places that are willing to help. Consider enrolling your friend or family member in an Nj drug rehab center in order to help them get their life back on track before it’s too late.

Here are some great resources I came across….

21 Cheap And Effective Tricks To Keep Your Home Safe

How Thieves Use Social Media To Rob You

These 32 Rooms May Seem Normal At First… Til You Find Their Hidden Secrets. Then They’re GENIUS.

5 Tips For Preparing A Defense Against Home Invasion


Kids’ Review Monster Jam

We went to Monster Jam last night! The kiddos had a blast! Well, 2 out of 3 of the kiddos had a blast. Our 5 year old had issues with the noise, so her and daddy watched via the television in the lobby while enjoying refreshments. They had their own little daddy & daughter date. The older two, our 8 and 10 year olds lost their minds in all the noise; they were cheering, jumping up and down, and simply beaming with joy!

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I thought it might be fun to let the kiddos share their take on the evening. So without further ado…

How excited were you to go to Monster Jam?

10 years old: “I wasn’t too excited until Friday morning and then I was really excited!”

8 years old: “I have been waiting a year for this day and it finally arrived but I am sad because it is over”.

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What was your favorite part of the evening?

10 years old: “The Freestyle, Zombie Hunter was the best and it was a girl driver!”

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8 years old: “The Freestyle was awesome but I thought it was really AWESOME when Grave Digger flipped TWICE!!”.

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What Monster Jam truck is your favorite?

10 years old: “I can’t decide, it’s between Zombie Hunter and Grave Digger”.

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8 years old: “Grave Digger!!”


You know how mom is looking for a new car? What if I got a Monster truck?

10 years old: “You can’t do that”.

8years old: “That would be the coolest! Yes, do that! Get one like the Grave Digger”

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What would you tell other parents out there who can’t decide whether or not to take their kids to Monster Jam?

10 years old: “Do it, take them, girls and boys.”

8 years old: “If you want to be good parents, take them to Monster Jam”.

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And there you have it folks, from the mouths of babes! I guess the only thing left to say is, Enjoy the Show!!

Show Dates & Times

Saturday, March 5   2:00 PM   7:00 PM

Sunday, March 6   2:00 PM



Monster Jam® at Huntington Center Friday March 4th– Sunday, March 6th. Tickets start at just $15! Purchasing Link   http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/65566/1542376  or order over the phone by calling 1-800-745-3000




Perfectly Posh Review & Giveaway

These gems arrived two weeks ago & my life hasn’t been the same ever since!


Don’t know what Perfectly Posh is? Don’t worry, I was totally clueless too!

Perfectly Posh is fun, hip, & responsible papering…..

For as long as a girl has needed to care for her skin, she could find FUN products and she could find GOOD products, but it was difficult to find products that were both fun AND good. Perfectly Posh offers products you’ll feel good about putting on your skin. They feature:

  • Pampering products made in the USA
  • Gentle, natural ingredients
  • No parabens, paraffins, sulfates, lanolin, or fillers
  • Lots of natural butters and essential oils
  • Many vegan options
  • No animal testing



You are probably thinking, that’s all nice and all, but does it provide real results? I know I was a sceptic. Let’s be honest, some of those “responsible” products out there just don’t deliver that girly, I just got pampered, my skin is so smooth, silky, and smells amazing result we want. Ladies, we bust our butts all day, we deserve not to be disappointed by our beauty products!


So I opted to take one for the team…after a long day of doing everything for everyone else (I beat my all-time laundry record that day and completed, as in, washed, dried, folded, & put away 7 loads of laundry…I am having the trophy made-up as we speak. Ha-ha!) I gave Perfectly Posh a try.



Smashing Good Pumpkin Face & Body Clay was the first Perfectly Posh product I tried. Thoughts that ran through my head as I applied the Clay to my face….

This smells amazing!

Is this stuff edible?

Goes on smooth

Ooh….tingles a little…I like it.

Ahhh….is this what a Spa experience feels like? I. AM. SO. RELAXED.

Maybe I will lay down….what if I fall asleep with this on?

And then sadly it was time to wash it off. But no need to fret because I followed it up with another Perfectly Posh product!! I applied the Night & Day moisturizer and nothing but SMOOTH!! Smooth as a baby’s bottom and best of all it is Vegan and has NO petrolatum in it. In fact, the first two ingredients, water & organic olive oil!! Talk about winning! Yep, this momma is officially hooked!!!

What I like best is the fact that while frequent trips to a high end Spa are not in this SAHM’s budget Perfectly Posh products are and they deliver similar results, no joke! But you don’t have to take my word for it, give it a try yourself. Give Jen a call today, because you deserve to be pampered!

Jen Kopitke







Enter to win this awesome Posh To Meet You set! Includes Big Fat Yummy Hand Creme, a Chunk, and a Lip Balm!  (Valued at $19)

To enter simply complete the following….

  1. Join Jen’s VIP group on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/102254036794263/  
  2. Share this post on Facebook
  3. Peruse Jen’s Perfectly Posh site; click here  & then post a comment to this blog post stating which Perfectly Posh product you are most excited about trying out.

Winner will be randomly selected March 15th @11:59pm & posted on the blog and blog Facebook page the 16th. Best of luck ladies!