Sunday, August 23, 2009

Friday Faves

Missy at It's Almost Naptime has one of the funniest blogs I've ever read. She's so real and thought-provoking and wonderful I just can't get enough of her! She started a new carnival recently - Friday Faves. This week's theme is the music you are listening to in your car.
So I figured I'd link up my children's favorite that they BOTH have memorized. Even the one year old sings along with "baa, baa, baa". It's super cute.

To see what other people have been listening to, check out Missy's website. It will take you longer than you anticipate. Yeah - she's THAT good :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Emily - This is for YOU!

Oh my goodness! Savvy Mode is having the most amazing giveaway I've ever heard of - SHOES!
Not just any shoes - these are more expensive shoes than I have ever worn in my life :)
Everyone should check this one out, but especially a sister of mine named Emily!!!

Frugal Kid Gifts

Gina from the fabulous Moneywise Moms hosted a carnival on cheap gifts for kids. Since I have to do lots of kid's gifts due to all the siblings I have, I thought I'd add my two cents. Here are some recent popular birthday gifts I've given:

RM turned 8 recently so I used the Mars free chocolate coupons in conjunction with a Rite Aid BOGO sale and bought him 8 candy bars. That was a couple weeks ago and he's already eaten them all :p I've also seen people use this idea for cards (1 starburst, 2 M&Ms, etc.)

LA turned 6 in July & I got him a giant frisbee from Oriental Trading Co. for $5. Then I got a sharpie and wrote messages all over it. You could also use this idea for homemade kites - the idea is to cover the item in birthday wishes and fun phrases.

For my son's first birthday in a couple weeks, I am making banana shaped bean bags and my husband is going to make a bean bag toss out of a sheet of plywood and then I/my sister will paint it to look something like this:

Those are the most recent gifts I've done. I'm sure I could think of more, but my baby just woke up from his nap....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I feel like partying...


Wanna come party with me and 400+ of my friends? :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Things I love Thursday - Coconut Oil!

After coming home from the store the other day I was bemoaning that I forgot to get more coconut oil and my husband said, "You should write a blog about how coconut oil is so awesome."
My husband is a genius.
Coconut oil IS awesome. I was a little sceptical when I first tried it, but I am completely hooked now. Only one, ONE, grocery store in our area carries it :( I have read both that coconut oil is wonderful for you and that it's the worst thing you could possibly eat. We haven't had any problems with it.
I like using coconut oil as a lotion - it makes my skin really soft without a greasy feel, plus it doesn't have a strong odor. It rubs in easily too. I am convinced that coconut oil is responsible for my lack of stretch marks from my last pregnancy.
Coconut oil is great to use for baking. I'm told it makes the best popcorn, but I haven't tried that yet.
The best use for coconut oil though, is as a KY substitute :) Seriously, this is why I buy the stuff.
It. Is. The. Best. Period. Natural, safe, odorless, not sticky or greasy, actually beneficial to your body, it is just awesome stuff. In case you haven't noticed, I really, really, really love coconut oil!

What do you love? Head over to the Diaper Diaries to let everyone know.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

This made me cry.

I found this song on You Tube and I started crying as I watched it. It is just such a sweet testimony for a guy and it made me think of my incredible husband.
I am going to see if my husband will sing it for church (he would ROCK it).
What do you think? Is it just me or is that a great song?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

To ALL Parents

Monday in a Harlem middle school, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told a group of 120 students that administration officials are actively discussing “when and how it might be possible to join” (that is, ratify) the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). As before, she also communicated what a disgrace it is that the U.S. would stand with only Somalia against such a widely-accepted treaty.

This is the first direct public statement by the Obama administration that it will seek ratification of the UN CRC.

In my 30 years of political involvement, I have learned to recognize this as what is called a “trial balloon.” Like in World War I trench warfare, our opponents have “sent up a balloon” to see if it will draw fire. If things remain quiet, they will proceed with their plans to push for ratification of the CRC in the U.S. Senate.

To discourage them from doing so, we need to make sure that our voices are heard with unmistakable clarity. We must let the Obama administration know that we oppose this anti-family, anti-American treaty.

Here’s what we need you all to do:

1. Call the White House comments line at 202-456-1111. Tell them you heard the administration wants to ratify the CRC, and you strongly oppose this giving away of U.S. sovereignty to the UN. Also keep in mind that this treaty gives the government jurisdiction to override any decision made by any parent if the government thinks that a better decision can be made—even if there is no proof of any harm.

2. Call Ambassador Susan Rice’s office at the United Nations. Tell her that you want her to represent the United States to the world rather than trying to get the United States to go along with international law initiated by the UN. Her office number is 212-415-4000.

3. Contact your Senators and urge them to oppose ratification of this treaty. (Find your Senators’ contact information by typing your zip code into the box here.) Ask them also to defeat it once and for all by cosponsoring SJRes 16 – the Parental Rights Amendment.

It is very important that we speak up right now. Please call before you close this email!


Michael Farris

(I called - would you?)

To learn more about this latest attack on parental rights, visit the Parental Rights website.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Unfortunately Courtney

I was reading Kathryn's blog the other day and she was talking about how a friend of hers did a search with "Unfortunately (their name)" in Google and wrote a little story with the results that popped up. I thought this sounded like fun & I am totally burned out after writing 32! articles this past weekend. (I can tell you all kinds of cool facts about lobsters, the Foreign Exchange market, real estate, buying a boat, internet scams, etc. I am a plethora of weird information :)

The greatest disappointment, perhaps, is that one can imagine an interesting play here; unfortunately, Courtney didn't write it, and one can only wonder...

Unfortunately Courtney was afraid of the photographer and cried.

That's the NBA and unfortunately Courtney is getting a little of that right now.

Unfortunately, Courtney just doesn't have time to surf during the school week.

Unfortunately, Courtney cries at everything

Boo hoo :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Moving on...

I'm back! Did you miss me oh imaginary blogger friends? Since my last post I:
Celebrated my third anniversary (with a great deal on steak from Giant & my wedding video now also known as the "daddy movie")
Turned twenty-four (I only changed 2 diapers on my birthday!!! That's a record for me :)
Got hired as a free-lance writer (something I have always wanted to do)

So what does this mean for the future? I won't be posting every day anymore so I can write for my job, but I will still update this blog once or twice a week about whatever I feel like.
I know there are more creative/focused/better blogs out there so if you are reading mine - THANK YOU! You deserve a medal or something :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I am on vacation for the next two weeks.  I want to think about the direction of my blog and maybe you'll see some changes here after that.  I also want to focus on my anniversary and birthday with my family.  So until then, I'll still be around and available, but I won't be blogging.
See you in June!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Brotherly Kisses

I turned around and caught sight of Will leaning on Evan's highchair to give him a kiss the other day.  It was so precious I grabbed the camera to catch the moment.  Brothers=love.  So very special :)  It just gives me warm fuzzies all over.

Check out the Diaper Diaries for more Things I love Thursday.

(Bet none of them are as sweet as this though :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Tribute to my Husband

Today is my handsome husband's birthday.  He is turning 32.  In honor of this momentous occasion, I thought I would post 16 (half of 32) things I love about him :)  These are all from THIS LIST I made for him one year.  I was going to post 32, but it's midnight & I'm tired...

1.  My husband is the most grateful person in the world.  Seriously, he thanks me for little things or things I don't think he notices.  He really challenges me in this area cause he is so much more content than I am.

2.  His voice.  He is an amazing vocalist, but even just hearing him talk makes me smile :)

3.  His wittiness.  He is SO clever it kills me.  One line quips that are hysterical = my hubby.

4.  Related to number 3, his sense of humor.  My husband can make me laugh so hard!

5.  How patient he is with people.  He plays the same game over and over and over with Will and never get impatient with him or stops until Will loses interest.  It is so neat to watch them play together.

6.  How smart he is - my husband is so amazingly talented & smart.   He knows how to do EVERYTHING.  I'm not kidding.  He really does!

7.  How he is sensitive to my feelings.  This especially means a lot to me when I'm PMSing :)

8.  How excited he gets when he has an idea.  He gets really enthusiastic & it's contagious.

9.  How persistent and hard-working he is.  He worked for YEARS to build our house while also working full-time.  It's amazing to me.

10.  I love how my husband shares his worries and concerns with me.  I try and ask him occasionally what I can pray for him & he is always so open with me.

11.  How his dream is not to be rich or important, but to own his own business and work at home.

12.  How he treats his mom.  This is something I noticed and liked before we got married.  He shows such respect/love for his mother.  How could I not fall in love with my man?

13.  How he calls me every day on his lunch break.  Even if we have nothing much to tell each other, just having him think of me & connect with me is so awesome.

14.  How he is always willing to help others.  If someone needs something done or help with something, my husband is the one they call.  Because he knows how to do it & because he is always willing.

15.  How he kisses me at stoplight/stop signs.  This was something we started when we were engaged & I love how he still does it!

16.  His heart for Christ.  My husband loves the Lord & everyone who knows him knows that.

I love you so much honey!  You are the best husband anyone could ever wish for.  I'm so grateful to God for giving you to me!  Happy Birthday <3

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My hubby's birthday cake

My handsome husband's birthday is tomorrow.  We are going on a date :)  Probably to go snag a bunch of birthday freebies and go to a movie.  However, I was brought up with the philosophy that birthdays are very important and the bigger you can make them, the better.  So today Will & I are making his daddy's birthday cake.  If you have an Oreo lover in your life, I definitely recommend this cake :)  It's the Cookies & Creme cake from the Chocolate Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn.  I adore this book.  Each recipe starts with a cake mix & doctors it up into something special.  Plus, I can't tell you how many times I have used this book just for her fabulous fillings/icings/frostings/chocolate sauce recipes.

I will update this post later with a picture of the cake when we've finished...stay tuned :)

For more great recipes, you should know the drill by now - visit Blessed with Grace & Balancing Beauty & Bedlam for delicious recipes.  I know I usually find at least two a week that I MUST try that week!

Monday, May 11, 2009


After I put Will to bed the other night it was very quiet so I figured he had gone to sleep.  A little while later he started calling me.  I opened the door and he handed me a diaper.  A dirty diaper.  From the trash.  That he had opened.  And FINGER PAINTED with.
I discovered something that day.  I can handle blood, vomit, and even blowout diapers with no trouble.  But I have a LOT of trouble cleaning up poop the second time after my son has played in it.  D.I.S.C.U.S.T.I.N.G.
I cleaned up Will's hands, changed his clothes, cleaned the walls, floor, and trash can, but when I came to the lid of the trash I was done.  It was beyond gross.  I ended up throwing it into the front yard for the rain to wash it off.  (Yeah, I'll bet it looked weird, but I was done.)  This is what it looked like when I first saw it.  (Those with weak stomachs should look away now)  Nasty huh?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Having fun...

I made a "virtual me" on Caress' website.  I only wish I looked this good :)  Really makes me want leather pants though...
Found this fun game via the IE Mommy.  She has partnered with Caress for a great giveaway going on right now...if you're interested :)

Other than the incredibly great body, expensive clothes/accessories, & perfect skin...this pretty much looks like me :p  It's fun to play with anyways.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I found this at the grocery store the other day & impulsively purchased it thinking it might be useful.  I AM SO GLAD I DID!  My son, being a typical two-year-old boy falls down a lot.  Before it was sometimes difficult to distract him/calm him down from being upset.
Today he fell pretty hard and smacked his head.  No injuries or anything, just a little bump & a very upset kid.  So we pulled out Elmo.  He calmed down almost instantly & put Elmo on "to kiss the owie" for longer than I can usually keep ice on him.
I decided today that I love Elmo :)
To read things that other people love, or include your own, visit the Diaper Diaries for Things I love Thursday.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Balancing Hubby & Kids

I was all set to post part 3 of my Discipline series, but Janeen of Christian Frugal Mama started a new carnival: Wednesday Wifehood & I really want to participate!

How do you keep your husband as the top priority when your children are little?  This is a constant struggle, at least for me.  You know the old proverb "a squeaky wheel gets the grease?"  Well, kids can be a very squeaky wheel!  Here are some things I try to do on a regular basis to remind my husband that he is the most important person in my life.  After all, my kids will eventually grow up & leave me, but my husband will be with me for the rest of our lives.
1.  As soon as my husband walks in the door, I try to stop what I am doing and kiss him, ask him how his day went, & offer him something to drink/snack on.  I want him to know that I've missed him & that his comfort is a priority to me.  I don't always do so great at this - some days I feel like he walks in the door & I start babbling about my day, but I'm trying to be better about that.
2.  Once our boys go to bed, I try to spend at least an hour of time focusing on my husband.  We've started recently exercising together & it's been such a nice quiet time to talk & reconnect.
3.  I always go to bed at the same time as my hubby.  This is a hard one for me.  My husband gets up early to go to work, so he likes to go to bed early.  I was raised a night owl & LOVE staying up late at night.  But by going to bed with him, I get to show him that I would rather be with him than do anything else.  I do sometimes stay up late & work on the computer, but only after my husband is asleep & next to him in bed (laptops are awesome).

What are some ways YOU show your husband he is The Man? 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

BLT Pasta Salad

This is without a doubt my favorite salad in the whole world.  It just tastes like summer!
Wanna make your own?  This is what you'll need:

This recipe is from Taste of Home Magazine.  It's super easy - cook up a 16oz box of pasta, chop the veggies, cook & crumble the bacon, and mix it all up.  Then combine 1.25-1.50 cups mayo, 5 teaspoons vinegar, salt & pepper.  Mix into the salad & you're done.  YUM!

Want more great recipes? Head over to Tempt my tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace & Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty & Bedlam.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cleaning in the Rain :)

Ha, ha - okay, so my title may only amuse me, but I thought it was funny :)  Made me start to sing..."I'm cleaning in the rain, just cleaning in the rain..."  Yeah I know, I'm such a dork.  It's been raining for the past several days here and the forcast is rain for at least the next couple days :p
My handsome hubby & son washed the car this weekend.  It was so cute I just had to take pics and post them.  For those of you with amazing eyes, yes my son is using a hand broom as a scrubber.  It works really well!

Saturday, May 2, 2009


It was rainy outside all day today.  So we painted with watercolors.  Will LOVES to paint.  I stayed really close to him the entire time and he (thankfully) kept the paint on the paper/table/himself.
The recipe for the paint was incredibly easy and non-toxic.  Good thing too, cause of course the first thing Will did was taste it!
The fizzing action of this paint is awesome - every little boy (& probably girl) will think it's the coolest thing ever :)

Non-toxic Watercolor Paint
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons corn syrup
3 tablespoons baking soda
3 tablespoons vinegar
small containers & food coloring
We made four different colors: blue, yellow, orange, and green.  Although after Will got tired of painting he combined colors all into one very green color.  We hung the pictures up in the window to dry.  Aren't they so festive & spring?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Birthday Bash for the month of May

MomDot is doing a different giveaway every day for the month of May in honor of one of the author's (Trisha's) birthday.  They are also giving away a swingset!
Since my birthday is in May too I will definitely be participating.
Happy Birthday Trisha!!!

Results of chopsticks giveaway...

Congratulations Michelle! I have emailed you. If I don't hear from you by Sunday I will do the random thing again and choose another winner. This whole giveaway thing was fun! I think I will do them more often :)

True Random Number Generator  4Powered by RANDOM.ORG

The Total Gym XL

My husband and I have just started regularly exercising together.  He wants to get in better shape, I want to fit into this adorable/sexy dress I have for a wedding the end of May.  We got a total gym for free (from our in-laws basement) and have had it set up in our bedroom for occasional use for an embarrassingly long time.
We are only doing two different exercises that are supposed to work 80% of the major muscle groups.  All I know is, it really makes you sore all over!  I think that's a good thing :p
If you ever see one of these at a garage sale/craigslist/etc. & have the room for it - I'd encourage you to get one.  They are SO easy to set up & use.  Just make sure if you have a cat he doesn't sharpen his claws on it.  Our ex-cat had the habit of doing that.
What do you love this rainy Thursday?  Head over to the Diaper Diaries to link up :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Because Being a Mom is Hard Work...

Eighty MPH Mom is hosting a Mother's Day giveaway with tons of cool prizes over at her blog from May 1-May 8.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

8 Things Meme

My friend Kathryn tagged me in a meme so here goes:

Eight Things I'm Looking Forward To:
  • My Wonderful Hubby's Birthday in two weeks!
  • My birthday at the end of the month
  • My third wedding anniversary & celebrating with the best husband ever at Cheesecake Factory :) :) :)
  • Evan's first birthday in August
  • Christmas (cause I just love Christmas)
  • Someday singing in church again
  • Having my parents/in-laws over for dinner
  • meeting my Lord in heaven & being in the presence of God! (borrowing this from Kathryn - thanks babe!)

Eight Things I Did Yesterday:
  • Moved a futon by myself
  • Went to the library
  • Made dinner
  • Changed poopy diapers
  • Vacuumed
  • Kissed my husband
  • Texted my brother
  • Read blogs/blogged

Eight Things I Wish I Could Do:
  • shape-shift
  • have a clean house without effort
  • see through walls
  • draw
  • be perfectly in shape without exercising
  • fly
  • keep my laundry room empty
  • sit and read books for hours
Eight Shows I Watch: (occasionally)
  • Seinfeld
  • American Idol
  • Lie to Me
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • The Office
  • Kitchen Nightmares
  • Cops
  • The Cosby Show
Eight People I Tag:

REALLY want to win!

Simply Being Mommy is hosting a giveaway for a Douglas Plush toy HERE.  I REALLY want to win!
They have such cute stuffed animals :)

Homemade Applesauce

I love homemade applesauce!  I love how yummy it tastes and how easy it is to make (not to mention what a nice, fast baby food it is :)  I was recently blessed with an abundance of free, very fresh, very bruised apples.  So I thought I would walk you through how I make applesauce in case you've never done it.  Sound good?
For more yummy recipes, check out Blessed with Grace & Balancing Beauty & Bedlam.
My giveaway ends soon to - so please don't forget to enter if you haven't already - the link is in the sidebar.  Thanks!

So first I chopped up the apples.  I was trying to do this quickly because Evan didn't want me to chop apples, he wanted me to play with him.  So I didn't so much "chop" as slice-into-fourths-peel-and-call-that-good :)
Here are the apples & about a quart of water.  I cooked them for about an hour until it was all nice and mushy.

Then I added some cinnamon, nutmeg, and a little apple juice (cause the apples I started with weren't very sweet).  Now, if you like chunky applesauce, you can eat it like this.  However, my boys don't...
So I used my smart stick to blend it into apple perfection :)

Monday, April 27, 2009


I didn't do a whole lot of cleaning today.  I just didn't want to.  Instead, I took my little brothers to the library, made applesauce, vacuumed a little with Will, and played with my boys.
Just a slow, hot Monday.  It was kind of nice.
When my husband got home from work he put screens in some of the windows so we could have a nice breeze through the house.  I swear it lowered the temperature in here by ten plus degrees!
I am thinking about going to Shoppers tomorrow for their double/triple coupons, but I'm not sure if I really want to expend the energy.  It was pretty difficult to shop last time with both my boys...hey I don't think I ever told you about it!  It was a rainy, dreary day, but I was determined to go grocery shopping.  I had my coupons/list all planned out & by golly we were going to do it!  My boys were SO good - they obeyed and didn't whine/fuss at me.  I spent $92 and saved $119 :)  This is what I got:

Some vitals like toilet paper, laundry detergent, & new sippy cups which we were in need of because someone *coughWillcough* has a tendency to throw his cups from his high chair when they are gone.  Sippy cups crack easier than I thought.  Some frivolties like chips (treat for my hubby), cake mixes, & salad dressings that were just too cheap to pass up!
What this picture doesn't show is my two boys falling asleep in the car on the way home, or me crashing after putting kids to bed/perishables away.  I was sooooo tired!
Great savings, but I'm not sure I have enough energy to do it again tomorrow.  I'll let you know...

In other news, I discovered a really cool site today - My Moms View.  She has a giveaway EVERY DAY!  The one I am most interested in right now is the toy wranglers from LuvLoo.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Discipline - part 2

My craft for this week was plastic bag pom-poms from Craftastica.
Since I didn't finish this post in time for Wednesday this week I figured I would just post it today.
I am doing a book review series (otherwise known as your own personal sparknotes :) on the book "Don't Make Me Count To Three" by Ginger Plowman.

Chapter 3 focused on heart issues.  Ms. Plowman talked about not talking TO your child, but WITH them.  She says not to ask "who had it first?" and met out justice, but to get to the attitude of their heart and address it with Scripture.  Ultimately, our goal is to help our kids recognize what is in their own heart and think like a Christian.
"In all conflicts, we should begin our training by seeking to understand the nature of the internal conflict that was expressed in the outward behavior."
This is really a struggle for me.  It's so often easier just to ask "who had it first" and solve the conflict quickly.  I need to remember that solving the outward obedience now isn't taking care of the heart attitude.

Training children in righteousness is the theme of chapter 4.  The main point is to question your children to get back to their motivation for their actions.  The biggest thing I learned from this chapter is to role-play/practice correct behavior when you are disciplining.  For example, Will's uncle sometimes likes to pick on him.  We have been practicing telling CJ "no-no" and coming to mommy.  One thing I thought Ms. Plowman overlooked was praising children for obedience.  I thought it was a good addition to the practicing correct behavior.  Praise good behavior.  I try to do this with Will and it really seems to reinforce and encourage his actions.

Stay tuned for part 3 coming Wednesday...
This post is linked to Family Friday over at Homemaker Barbi.  It's a new carnival that looks really neat if you'd like to check it out!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Vacuum Cleaner

(picture credit)
  Make sure to visit the Diaper Diaries (assuming you didn't just come from there :) for more Things I Love Thursday.

I love my vacuum cleaner.  I realize that may shock some people since I greatly dislike cleaning.  What can I say?  I'm weird :)
I have a Kenmore Progressive Canister Vacuum.  I had never tried a canister vac before getting married.  I wasn't too sure about it to tell the truth, but my husband convinced me.  He was right (as usual).  It is the best vacuum ever!  It's light to push, which is great since I'm ususally holding a little one while vacuuming.  It's easy to vacuum in the corners of the ceiling while I'm standing on the ground - this is amazing since I am 5' 3".  It has several different, easily attachable parts, which means I can use the vacuum on the ground, high chair, couch, and rug without any difficulty.  It has great suction and I've never had an issue with anything tangling in the beater bar.  The cord is LONG and retractable (that is Will's favorite part, pushing the button to wind up the cord) and everything packs into the top of the vacuum for easy, compact storage.  The best part?  This vacuum retails for around $300, but we found ours on Ebay for $100.  AND it lasts - my mother-in-law has the same vacuum.  It's ten years old and still going strong!  So that's what I love today.  Excuse me, I think I need to do some vacuuming now :)

PLEASE enter my giveaway in the sidebar if you haven't already done so!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

PBJ Pizza

Welcome to readers that came from Balancing Beauty & Bedlam & Blessed with Grace!  Please be sure to enter my giveaway in the sidebar :)
If you have not done so, be sure to visit the other participants of Tempt my tummy Tuesday and Tasty Tuesday.  There are some really great recipes!

I've been trying to make homemade pizza once a week this month.  (1) Because it's economical.  (2 & mostly) Because my hubby/kids adore it.
This past week in addition to our normal entree pizza I felt like something fun and different for dessert.  When  I was a kid I remember going to Hungry Howie's Pizza in Florida with my grandparents.  They served a peanut butter and jelly pizza that I loved!  I thought I'd attempt to recreate this childhood favorite.  What do you think?

The "recipe" was really easy too.  I made homemade pizza crust using THIS recipe from Money Saving Mom.  Then I poured melted peanut butter and melted jelly over the top.  I put a strudel-type topping on top with 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of flour.  I baked the whole thing for 12 minutes and voila!  PBJ Pizza that my hubby and boys gave their stamp of approval.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rainy Monday

On this very cold, dark, rainy Monday I think I am going grocery shopping with both my boys.  It will be fun - in a crazy, trying to do five things at once sort of way :)
Mondays also mean laundry for me.  I don't really like laundry.  One of the WORST things about laundry is socks.  And the fact that no matter how many times I put both socks in the wash, one of them disappears :-p
BUT today I came across the coolest website/giveaway that solves the problem of the missing/mismatched sock!
Check it out here at Katydid & Kid.  Em - this is totally your kind of thing!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fridays are so nice!

This is an easy, cheap, romantic, and personal gift that anyone can do!  For Christmas one year, I got a posterboard and a bunch of sharpies.  I made a list of 100 things I love about my husband.  Then I simply covered the posterboard.  I also added some little doodles here and there to make it more visually interesting.  Now it hangs in his workshop/garage.
So simple, but so cool!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fruitsense Drinks

  Last time Shoppers had triple coupons I picked up several bottles of Old Orchard Fruitsense drinks.  The first flavor I tried was the key lime colada.  Blech!  The coconut left a very chemically aftertaste.  It was baaaad.  I decided to give the juice another chance (since I still had several bottles) and opened the kiwi dragonfruit one afternoon.  It is labeled the "energy" flavor and I really needed energy that day.  I was pleasantly surprised at the taste - MUCH better - light and fruity; it tasted like watered down juice.  (But not like apple juice, you know how some juices are labeled "strawberry banana cocktail" or whatever and you look at the ingredients and it's apple and grape juice?  I hate that!)  It actually seemed to work giving me energy too.  I don't know if it was actually the "energy" properties or just the fact that I took the time to drink something, but I had more spring in my step to deal with the rest of the day.  I have also tried the pomegranate blueberry mangosteen flavor and while I didn't like it as well as the kiwi, it also has a pleasantly light taste.  There are two other flavors of Fruitsense: cranberry raspberry & tangerine grapfruit, but I didn't have THAT many coupons :)
I don't think I would purchase these full-price, but with coupons they make a nice occasional treat from water.  They would also be perfect for when you are sick, since they have all sorts of added vitamins.  I don't know that I would go straight to "love" for Fruitsense...though I do strongly "like" it.  Have you tried Fruitsense?  What did you think?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Hey Babe"

My hubby called upstairs to me today to ask me a question.  "Hey Babe, where are the such and such?"
Will, the recently turned two year old parrot was standing by his daddy, "hey babe, hey babe, hey babe."

Ken and I totally cracked up.
Sometimes being called "babe" is almost better than being called "mom".   Almost :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My very first giveaway!

Welcome Tempt my tummy Tuesday & Tasty Tuesday readers!  For yummy recipes, visit Blessed with Grace on Tuesdays for the Tempt my tummy Tuesday carnival.  For even more yummy recipes, visit Balancing Beauty and Bedlam for Tasty Tuesday.

I love Asian food.  Vietnamese noodle soup (pho bo), spring rolls, chicken teriyaki, coconut milk rice, general tso's chicken, beef broccoli, curry, baklava, egg drop soup - it's good stuff!
Because I like asian food so much, I have put it as a category once a week on my monthly menu.  Once every week this month we are going to have some kind of homemade asian food.  This is where you come in.  Because as much as I love asian food, I sometimes get in a rut as far as new recipe ideas.  So...
I am hosting my very first giveaway!  I have two packages of Kame bamboo chopsticks to give away:
That is 10 pairs of chopsticks!  They have pretty red, shiny lettering on them.  I have no idea what it says :)  They are reusable and hold up really well!

To enter: 
Leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite asian dish is
Extra entries: 
Subscribe to BooksnBoys and leave a comment telling me you did so
Blog about this giveaway and post the link in the comment section

Contest is open until April 30th.
Winner will be chosen using & announced May 1st.
Please make sure if you are not a blogger that I have a way to contact you!

Monday, April 13, 2009

My Hair Makeover

I was looking for a new hairstyle recently and after I saw the IE Mommy's chic transformation I knew I had to try it for myself.  A HUGE thank you to Tammy & Erin for their sweet encouragement and advice.

Creative or Crazy?

Last night I was sorting laundry to give me a head start for today.  Sorting laundry is a really boring job.  So I did what I often do when I'm faced with a mindless task (and don't have children to entertain): I started writing in my head.  
The laundry I was sorting started taking on personalities and talking to each other.  The dark laundry was bored and rather uninterested in anyone else, "Yawn, she's cleaning us again."  "Did you catch that movie the other night?"  "No, he wore me the day he went to the dump."  "I went to Kohls the other day - have you seen some of the cute spring dresses?  Rowr!"
The bleach load (white washcloths, white towels, etc) was like a bunch of guys comparing scars.  "Oh yeah, well I cleaned up sugar syrup that had boiled all over the stove!"  "Ah, that's nothing.  I cleaned up that poopy diaper the kid smeared all over his walls."  "Guys, guys, I have you totally beat.  I cleaned up vomit - not once, but twice!"
The light laundry is elitist.  They are the ones always complaining.  "He-llo?  It says 'dry clean only' on my tag!  Can't you read?"  "What is this gray shirt doing in OUR load?  He's not a light!"  "Peace, man.  Gray is the new white - haven't you heard?"  (That was the gray shirt, he's kind of a hippie)
Maybe it's kind of a crazy thing to do, but it always makes the task more enjoyable for me :)
What weird/crazy/creative things do you do to make mindless jobs more fun?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lazy Saturday

I got REALLY behind with google reader this week.  I had 200+ posts that just kept building up.  Thanks to some late nights, I got it back under control, but whew!  It constantly amazes me how much information is transmitted instantaneously over the Internet.  Here are a couple of my favs for the week:

I recently had a horrible experience at Walmart and "called corporate" for the first time.  Southern Savers has this wonderful post about calling customer service as well as numbers/email addresses for several stores.

This post on credit cards from the Simple Dollar was very thought-provoking.  I don't ever agree with everything Trent says, but he is interesting and usually makes some good points in his posts.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Very fun weekend project!

A couple weeks ago my husband built our boys the coolest ball pit EVER!
Last year at a garage sale I scored an inflatable ball pit complete with a couple trash bags full of balls.  The ball pit has several holes that we patched.  All was well for a few weeks, but then the pit started deflating again.  Despite our best efforts, it just had too many holes to be salvaged.  So we stored the balls in a laundry basket.  This meant they spent more time dumped on the floor than actually in the basket - not so fun to play with :p  We looked ALL over last summer for one of those hard plastic swimming pools, but were unable to find one.  Finally my husband said "you know, I could just make a pit..."  My response was "this weekend?"  So he did.  I assisted.  Sort of :)  
This is the finished ball pit - cool huh?

My incredible husband built a wooden box with wood we had on hand.  Then we got 1" foam from Joann fabrics and stapled it around the top.  We covered the entire structure with vinyl (easy to clean!) stapled nicely.

Then he inserted the pvc/net from the inflatable pit and we filled it with balls.  We were going to put a rug in the bottom of the pit, but we forgot so it's open to the floor.  My boys LOVE it and I love that the balls are contained where they can enjoy them :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cuisinart Smart Stick

I received the Cuisinart Smart Stick as a wedding gift from a chef I worked with.  She told me that I would absolutely love it.
She knew what she was talking about!  I use this almost daily for a mulitude of tasks.  The chopper is great for fast food prep (onions, baby food, nuts, etc.) and the blender is great for pureeing soup/sauces in the pot.  The whisk attachment is only good in a deep bowl, but 
I have found that to be true with any electric whisk.  Cleanup is a breeze as almost all of the parts release easily and go into the dishwasher.  Light, easy to handle, and quick to use!  I love it!
If you'd like to see more stuff people love, head over to the Diaper Diaries for Things I Love Thursday :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Discipline - part 1

I recently finished the book "Don't Make Me Count to Three".  It is "a mom's look at heart-oriented discipline" by Ginger Plowman.  It was a really helpful book on not just making your child behave on the outside, but getting to their heart/mind.  It's still a little early for a lot of the concepts for me/my boys, but I'm trying to apply as much as I can.  Here is my breakdown of the book and what I learned:
Chapter 1 dealt with "the high calling of motherhood".  Mrs. Plowman began the book by reminding me that although being a mom a lot of times feels like a forgotten/unimportant job, it is a vital, skilled job that we need to perform with passion.
"Being a mom is more than being cook, chauffeur, maid, counselor, doctor, referee, disciplinarian, etc. (just to name a few). It's about molding character, building confidence, nurturing, training, and guiding. There is nothing like the influence that a mother has on her child. A mother's influence has enormous potential to shape the person a child becomes, for good or ill."
This chapter was such an encouraging reminder for me!  Since the world in general does NOT value stay-at-home moms very highly, it is so easy to become discouraged and feel like I'm not doing anything important.  Plus, the challenge to parent with passion and be excited about parenting was motivating to me since I do tend to sometimes just do enough to get through the day and nothing more.
Chapter 2 is about the definition of discipline.  Mrs. Plowman first addresses how the world today associates discpline with "punishment that involves anger".  She then goes on to talk about how many parents today who are trying to set standards for their children focus only on the outward behavior.  "[I]f they can get their children to act right, then they are raising them the right way."
Both of these viewpoints are wrong/falling short of the true purpose of discipline, according to Mrs. Plowman.  She gives the Biblical definition of discipline and its purpose.  She sums up the chapter with this thought," We must help our children understand that their straying hearts produce wrong behavior...If you can reach the heart [of your child], the behavior will take care of itself."
Yikes this is a long post and I've only made it through two chapters out of twelve!
I guess I will have to split this review up over several posts...I hope you don't mind.  Writing out an explanation of what I learned really helps me remember and better comprehend things so I appreciate you being my sounding board :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Marshmallow Worms

I'm linking up with two Tuesday carnivals: Tempt my tummy Tuesday by Blessed with Grace & Tasty Tuesday by Forever, Wherever.  Check em out!
This is one of those "keeping it real" posts.  I made marshmallows today for the first time.  Some parts went well, some parts didn't...
I used THIS recipe from Martha Stewart because I was trying to make homemade peeps.

Here are my ingredients - really simple.  Sugar, water, and unflavored gelatin.
Soak the gelatin in cold water.
Sugar and water, boiling to the soft-ball stage.
Combine sugar syrup with gelatin and blend for ten minutes.  This is when I started...
This is at 5 minutes...
This is when it's finished at ten.  See how it's holding its shape?  Then I was put it in a pastry bag and I was supposed to pipe the shapes directly onto colored sugar.  Here is where I had problems.  Up to this point it was pretty straightforward/easy.
This is my first attempt at a peep.  It's pretty pathetic looking.  It was IMPOSSIBLE to get the marshmallow to pipe nicely :p
These are supposed to be bunnies.  Don't laugh.  Okay, you can laugh, but just don't tell me you did.  After this I gave up.  Piping marshmallow just wasn't working for me.  As a result my kids are getting marshmallow worms in their baskets.  They will probably think worms are cooler than chicks/bunnies anyway.
Will got to try a marshmallow.  He thought the texture was kind of weird, but he ate the whole thing.
Have you ever had a recipe not turn out quite like you expected?