Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tropicana Trop50 Review

Recently, the hubs and I had the opportunity to try out the new Tropicana Trop50 juice.  This could not have come at a better time in our house as Addie and Rick were fighting colds while I was chugging down as much vitamin C as I could to prevent catching their cold.

Trop50 got its name as a result of the marriage of Tropicana and “50 percent” less sugar and calories. Tropicana Trop50 is a breakthrough innovation from Tropicana that offers 50 percent less sugar and calories, and no artificial sweeteners. Trop50 is the first juice beverage to be naturally sweetened with an all-natural stevia-based sweetener. Trop50 is designed to help manage weight goals by offering reduced sugar and calories, without sacrificing great taste.

At 50 calories per eight-ounce glass, Trop50 not only tastes great, but helps you feel good. Each 8-ounce glass of Trop50 squeezes in a full day’s supply of vitamin C and is also a good source of antioxidant vitamin E. Trop50 is available in Orange (No Pulp, Some Pulp and Calcium + Vitamin D), Farmstand Apple, Pomegranate Blueberry, Pineapple Mango, Lemonade and Raspberry Lemonade.

One of my resolutions this year was to lose weight.  The best thing about the Trop50 drink is that I can continue drinking orange juice without sacrificing the calories that I'd rather eat.  And I can make a great cocktail with less calories with some great mocktail recipes.

Right now you can share your secret motivation and you’ll earn a coupon for $1 off Trop50 for yourself and 50¢ off coupons for up to 50 of your friends. You can even submit incognito with a fierce disguise. Bonus: Whether you submit a resolution or not, you can also enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a $1000 gift card.

Limit one (1) $1 coupon per person/email address/Facebook account. Coupons available while supplies last.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends 1/31/2012. See Official Rules for details.

My Advice to Mommies-to-be

If you've been pregnant you've already heard enough advice from people you know and even people you don't.  As soon as people found out I was pregnant they had an opinion they wanted to share.  It was usually from an older woman who thought she knew all just because she had children 30 years ago. I had oftentimes wanted to say thanks for the information but really, please keep your opinion to yourself.  What you thought was the best way to raise your children may not be the best for me.  Especially when I see what your children grew up to be.  :)

Do Your Research.  You have 9 months of planning for this baby so spend the time doing research and making decisions on what you feel is best for you, your baby, and your family.  If you want to cloth diaper, do it.  This was one thing I wanted to do for Addie and our family however Rick wasn't on board.  It's one thing I wish I would have done anyway, they've come a long way since the days I was cloth diapered.

Be Open Minded.  I will throw my opinion in for just a moment so do with it what you want.  I'm a big advocate in breastfeeding.  It's best for your baby and is helpful to you as your body returns to a somewhat normal state.  I was fortunate in that Addie latched immediately after birth, my milk came in quickly, and we had great lactation consultants to help out while in the hospital.  There are days those first few weeks where I didn't think we'd make it.  It's not easy waking up every 3 hours to feed a hungry baby when you're completely exhausted as well.  Knowing you're the only person who can feed your child which is hard when your spouse is sawing logs in the room next to you.  Keep at the breastfeeding even if you feel like stopping.  After the first 3-4 weeks it gets much better.  Addie is still nursing and I still enjoy it.

Go With Your Gut.  The best thing you can do for your own sanity is go with your gut.  Be open to listening to opinions of others because occasionally someone may actually surprise you.  If you feel strongly about a decision stick with it.  You are your child's mother and his/her best advocate.  The most amazing thing I learned while roughing it through those first three months was also the most basic.  You are responsible for this child's life.  While it's an amazing feeling that you have so much responsibility it is also a very scary  thing.  Take one day at a time and enjoy every minute.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Organizing - Vogue Style

One of my 2012 goals was to become more organized around the house.  I have to say with Addie's party planning taking up the first half of the month the house has become a serious cluttered mess and is really not livable.  I have anxiety every time I come in the house but I don't know where to start.

So as I was looking at Vogue's website I saw this great article on products to help with organization and knew it was the universe speaking to me.  Telling me it was time to get my life organized.  The interesting this is I currently do some of these things.

For Your Shoes.  I currently keep my shoes in boxes but these window options are amazing!

The Tool: Linen drop-front shoe boxes, $15; containerstore.com
The Tip: “Beautiful shoes deserve to be seen and taken care of—this option does not trap in moisture but still lets you see inside,” said Graves.

For Your Clothes.  I organize all of my clothes by color and hang on black hangers, though I think it's time to re-organize based on the color scheme their suggesting.

The Tool: Black Huggable Shirt Hangers, $10 for package of 10; containerstore.com
The Tip: “It is hard to recognize that you have six different black skirts when they are not placed together.  After polling friends and testing closets out a million different ways, we have concluded that the rainbow method (ROY G BIV) with white at the beginning and black at the end and lightest to darkest within that makes a closet most appealing for anyone to shop. Also, stick with black hangers, colored ones tend to get dirty.” 

For Your Jewelry.  My jewelry organization is a organized chaos right now.  I love the look of this organizational box.

The Tool: California Closets acrylic jewelry inserts, price upon request; California Closets 646.486.3905
The Tip: “As time changes, so does the style of jewelry.  Having a custom jewelry drawer ensures that everything—from bangles to simple bracelets—will fit!”

For the Toys.  Let's be honest, part of the reason I'm so disorganized at home is because I have a toddler!  Toy organization is a must.  I have a much cheaper remedy, but I still love this basket.

The Tool: Round log basket with handles, $375; mecoxgardens.com
The Tip: “Consistency and predictability are key when organizing a child’s room. All toys must be stored in the same containers and labeled appropriately (i.e., action figures, costumes, puzzles, crayons). When the child is younger, adding a picture next to the label helps foster early literacy skills as well. “ 

For your Makeup.  Again, this product has a hefty price tag but I love the concept.  I'm guilty of buying more products than I'll ever use and I know I won't get rid of any of it.

The Tool: Uten.Silo I, $465; For information: vitra.com
The Tip: "Makeup can be so tough because many women have a hard time letting go of it, but keep in mind, makeup expires too! It's nice to put restrictions on the amount of space you have. When you run out of room in a container, you know it is time to get rid of some things. "

These are only a few ideas I found over at Vogue, for the entire list check them all out here.  How do you stay organized?  Do you have a product you love?

Happy Birthday!

Nope, not Addie's nor mine or Rick's.  It's my dad's birthday today!  So happy birthday to my dad!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Adalyn's Monthly Progression Photos

I'm a huge, huge, huge fan of Young House Love, so when I read about Clara's monthly photo project I knew I wanted to do the same thing with Addie.  I just loved how much you visually see the changes take place over time.  In the midst of raising a newborn, then an infant, then a toddler you sometimes forget about those first few months.  Especially when someone doesn't want to sleep.

At the time I started taking these photos I didn't yet have Photoshop so I had to purchase Monthly Onesie Stickers which I found at that Purple Possom etsy shop.  And, it looks like the ones we used are currently on sale.  The backgrounds I've used were either a yard of fabric I picked up from a craft store or something I had around the house.

We pulled all of these pictures together and put them together on a banner at her birthday party to show off how much she has changed since birth.  We really think she'll enjoy these pictures as much as we have.

NOTE:  The key to keeping your baby from moving is one person taking the photos (me), and another person keeping them entertained just above your head (the husband) along with a handful of puffs!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Adalyn Turns One

We've been counting down the days until Adalyn's first birthday and Saturday it finally arrived.  After much planning and idea boards over at Pinterest that you can read about initial planning here, invitations here, menu thoughts here, dessert ideas here, and decoration ideas here, the day finally came together.

We had the party at a local community clubhouse which really worked out as far as space was concerned.  Our tiny house just wouldn't have held that many people for a first birthday party.  The downside is I had to make everything and then transport it and set up the day before whereas having it at our house I could have set up a week in advance and saved the cooking/baking for later.

Decorations.  I made a lot of decorations via ideas from Pinterest.  I started all of this weeks before her party because it was something simple I could accomplish and forget about until the party.

Happy Birthday Adalyn!! Banner
Party Lanterns

Monthly Photos

Cake Bunting

Highchair Ribbon
Food.  I had a really hard time deciding on the menu.  I really wanted to do the chili/baked potato bar but Rick nixed the idea.  I have to say it would have been easier than what I decided on.  Here's what the menu looked like.

Cheese & crackers
Hot dog bar
Buffalo chicken dip
Pasta salad
Veggie Pizza

Drinks.  You can't eat without washing it all down right?  So I wanted to have something pretty simple as far as drinks went.  I originally was going to do pop however I knew if I did that we'd have a lot leftover and we don't drink pop so we'd be stuck with all of it.  Instead I found a great punch recipe from my girl Paula Deen.  It was fabulous, but be prepared it's full of sugar.  You'll notice the gray and white striped straws that go with the original color scheme, gray with pink/teal.  I found those here.

I also really wanted the hot chocolate bar.  I mean we are in the middle of winter in Ohio so it was perfect for the party.  I found the recipe here.  It was tasty!

Marshmallows, whipped cream and Bailey's to compliment.
Dessert.  The dessert bar was my favorite part.  I'm a girl who loves desserts so I knew I wanted to have a variety of options available to eat or take home.    Also, I decided to forgo the typical birthday cake and do a smash cake for Addie and cupcakes for everyone else.  The dessert bar consisted of Addie's smash cake, cupcakes, brownie bites, #1 rice krispie treats, oreo truffles, and teal/pink suckers.

Notice the gray straws - multipurpose
Gifts.  We opened some presents.  She got a variety of things, toys, clothes, Tiny Toms!!!!!  She also got a cute chair and a lady bug riding toy.

She looks like a princess in this chair

I guess she'd rather lay on the chair then open gifts.

Cake.  Then we all watched her with the cake.

We sang Happy Birthday.

She wasn't really sure of the cake.  The icing was a buttercream icing which I iced the night before so it wasn't soft and fluffy.

This is her, eww I don't think I want to touch this face.

I attempted to feed her a piece thinking if she had a taste she'd like it.  This was her avoiding me.

We gave her a spoon to play with the cake thinking she might try it once she started breaking it down.

She'd rather feed her momma :)

I finally snuck a taste to her.

At this point, she realized she likes it.

So I may as well eat it now.

She was really breaking it up and pulverized the cake.

 This is her clapping!  We say, "Yay!" and she claps.

I love this picture of her smiling.

And this is our only family picture we captured.  Please ignore my awful look.  I've been instructed to wear glasses 100% of the time and I need a tan.

It turned out to be such a wonderful day and even with a cold she hung in there and enjoyed herself so much. I can't believe how much she's changed and cannot imagine how different she'll be a year from now.


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