Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Let Them Eat Cake!

Who doesn't love a cute baby eating cake?  This was taken at the wedding we attended over the weekend.  The girl loves her some cake.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Favorite Place to Shop

What isn't on my list of favorite places to shop for a baby/kid?  Target ranks very high because I can find your clothes, shoes, toys, etc but I can also multi task and combo that trip with a shopping spree for mommy!

I've always been a frugal shopper, looking for my best buys for cheap because why would anyone want to pay $30 for an outfit that you'll immediately stain and only be able to fit into for a few months.

My favorite places to find a good deal on kids or baby clothes are Old Navy, Target, H&M, Gap, Carters.  These are just a few but the list goes on and on.  You have to watch for sales.  My biggest piece of advice is to follow all of these places via email as they usually have a deal going on or a holiday sale.  Each of those places run coupons or promotion off and if you can find an outlet store you're guaranteed to find a deal by finding a cheap price and comboing with a coupon!

Where is your favorite place to shop?


Tuesday, May 29, 2012


We're currently on vacation in South Carolina and I had my posts set up but clearly I did something wrong and cannot get my posts to post. So I apologize but look for a post full week next week. In the meantime can Addie beg for a couple votes on top baby blogs? Just click the link on the right of the page and then the cute little owl on the left. Thanks!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tasty Thursday: Crock Pot Pulled Pork

My husband does the grocery shopping in our house, not because he likes it or because I hate it.  He's a bargain hunter and actually spends time in each aisle researching if it's a better deal to buy toilet paper in bulk.  I can't stand it, it takes forever and I'm a speed shopper so I let him do it himself.  So Sunday he came in with his load of groceries which included a 4lb pork shoulder and I thought, what can I do with that.  So I found a great recipe over on the food network website and it was the most amazing pulled pork I've ever had.

4lb pork shoulder
2 large onions
1 cup gingerale
1-18oz bottle of barbecue sauce

How to Make it
Slice one onion and place into crock pot.  Put in the pork shoulder and add remaining sliced onion to top of meat.  Pour the gingerale in and cook for 12 hours on low. Remove meat, strain and save the onions, discard all liquid.  With two forks, shred the meat and discard any remaining fat, bones or skin.  Return the meat and onions back to the crock pot and add barbecue sauce.  Cook another 4-6 hours on low.  Note:  Cooking times will vary depending on your crock pot.  Make sure to check as you approach the 10 hour mark and see what need to be adjusted.  

This freezes well so would be a great idea for preparing for the arrival of a new baby or any other event you would want to prepare ahead of time.  This recipe makes approximately 10 good size sandwiches.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Exhaustion

From Mary's wedding.  The flower girl was wiped out after a hot afternoon running around in a dress full of tulle.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Frugal Find: Target Summer Beauty Bag

Several months ago I signed up for the Target Spring Beauty Bag and just a couple weeks ago, it finally arrived.  
The cute bag included Lip Infusing Primer, Pantene conditioner, Neutrogena Visibly Bright Facial Cleanser, New Simple Facial Cleansing Wipes, and Nivea Extended Moisturizer.

Just in case you missed it, Target is running their announcement currently for the Target Summery Beauty Bag.  Make sure you sign up to get one through their Facebook page here.

Target Summer Beauty Bag

And how cute is that bag?


Reminiscing About a First

Addie turned 16 months yesterday, I know I'm late with my monthly update. Plan to see that towards the end of the week.  But I've been reminiscing about how times used to be.  It was quiet in the house, it wasn't chaotic with toys thrown everywhere.  Her room used to remain in place whereas today I walk into her room only to find she's opened a drawer and begun pulling clothes out and throwing them everywhere.

As I watched her dance at Mary's wedding this weekend I remembered what it was like and though it was much quieter and the house more tidy, I have to say this age is so much fun.  We're constantly cracking up by the things she does.  Just yesterday, Rick snuck up on her and scared her.  It was the first time she screamed when someone jumped out and said, "boo".  It was incredibly funny.  But we couldn't be where we are today without those first moments when she rolled from her tummy to her back, when she first crawled, or when she took her first steps.  So here's a look back on her as she makes her first crawl.

We actually caught this when I was doing a review & giveaway of Fisher Price's Giggables.  I love her little baby muscles.  What are you reminiscing about lately?


Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend Wedding

The reason you didn't see any posts from me Thursday or Friday is because I was doing a lot of last minute organizing for my best friend Mary's wedding.  You may remember one of my first posts when we went shopping for her wedding gown, going out for her bachelorette party, or creating the pinwheels & wedding wreath.  The day finally arrived and it was a hot one.  Here's a few snapshots to hold you over until the full post comes out later this week.

These pictures are courtesy of May Photography who did a wonderful job corralling 6 bridesmaids, 4 groomsmen and 2 crazy flower girls.  What did you do this weekend?


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Bad Hair

Addie's hair is now long enough to put up in pigtail puffs which means it often looks like this once she pulls them out.

Only a cute little baby can pull that off and still look good.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What I Never Thought I'd Do...

When I was pregnant, I told myself there were things I would never do as a new mother.  I swore I would do things differently than everyone else and knew exactly how things would go.  Well, you know how that saying goes, "You plan and God laughs".  Addie is nearly 16 months old and I can tell you I've been caught doing things I previously never thought would happen.  So here's a handful of things I never thought would happen.

1.  Poop.  I've never talked about someone's poop so much. How often, the consistency, the color, etc.  I sometimes catch myself telling non mommy friends because who wants to talk about poop? Especially if you're not a mom.

2.  Food.  I never thought I would let Addie have ice cream before she was one.  Now granted she didn't have a full on personal cone but she did have several licks from ours.

3.  Sleep.  I promised myself I'd never co-sleep.  It scared me.  The thought of rolling over my child and suffocating them while they slept was terrifying.  But show me a parent who has never co-slept.  It works for some people, not for everyone.  In fact, we only brought her into bed when she woke up at 5am to try to get a few more hours of sleep.

4.  Toys.  OMG the toys!  I always thought my house would remain my house versus a kid zone.  Our entire living room is full of toys thrown all over the room.  In fact, I've tripped over toys multiple times.  We're working to contain the toys after Addie goes down to bed so it resembles a somewhat orderly house.

5.  Breastfeeding.  This is a big one.  I knew I wanted to breastfeed while I was pregnant but I never realized how intense it could be.  The pain involved when latching in the early days was painful, the blistered and bleeding nipples, horrific.  I'm glad I stuck with it because it was a really amazing experience and something amazing I could provide to my child.  I judge less now because I realize how painful and difficult it can be.  Especially at 3am when you can't keep your eyes open but you have a 7 pound baby screaming at the top of her lungs because she's hungry but she cannot latch because she's so upset.  It's the later weeks where it becomes a wonderful bonding experience.

I'm sure there's more that my list isn't covering but mommy brain has me moving slowly this morning.  I need my cup of iced coffee to jump start me.  What are some things you thought you'd never do?


Monday, May 14, 2012

A Summertime Drink

I love summer.  I'm a Leo meaning I was born in the hottest time of the year, August.  I love everything about summer, the sun, the heat, the water, so this is my time to shine.  Something I love as much as summer is a cool summer drink.  We all know a mojito or pina colada are classic summertime drinks but what about a drink in the morning.  I also love coffee but who really wants to drink a hot cup of coffee when it's 90 degrees and blazing?  You might, I don't.  I love cool coffee drinks.  Starbucks makes a lot of money off of me in the summer.  Remember this post?

The nerdy side of me has been concocting some science experiments to find the perfect cool coffee drink. I think I've found a good replacement when wanting a taste of coffee without the expense of sweating at 7am.  It's incredibly easy and really tasty!

Here's what you'll need:
Ice cube tray (your choice, I chose to use one from Ikea with a funky star design)
Brewed coffee to your desired strength
Milk (nonfat, whole, again your choice)
Sugar (or some substitute)
Caramel (optional)

Brew your coffee as you like then slowly pour into an iced cube tray.  Freeze for a couple hours until set.

Then, remove the amount of cubes you want and place in a glass.  Remember the more cubes you put in the stronger your drink.  Add your choice of milk.  I used whole the first time and nonfat the second. I prefer a mix of the two for best taste.  Add sugar or your sugar substitute to taste.  

I also added caramel sauce for a bit more flavoring.  Let the cubes melt down a bit until the flavor is incorporated.  Enjoy!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Recipe: Lasagna

Last night I made lasagna for dinner. I love lasagna!  It's rather easy as well and you can clean up as you're baking the lasagna which is great for my mental health.  I hate cooking in the midst of a mess.  Rick doesn't like ricotta so I guess you could say this is a somewhat healthy version of a hearty dinner.  Don't want to make a large portion?  This is the recipe for you.

1 lb ground turkey
1-26oz jar of pasta sauce (I used Vodka sauce)
Lasagna noodles
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan shake cheese
Seasonings (onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt, pepper, and olive oil seasonings for bread)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Begin boiling water in a large pot and add your lasagna noodles when water is ready.  While water is boiling, begin browning your ground turkey and seasonings.  Add pasta sauce and heat through.  Spread a small amount of pasta mix in an 8x8 baking dish.  Next spread a layer of noodles, add cheese on top of layer of pasta.  Continue 2 more layers, after your last layer of pasta place remaining pasta sauce and the final layer of cheese on top.  Bake for approximately 15 minutes until cheese and brown and sauce is bubbling.  This makes about 4 servings.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How to Entertain a Toddler

Keeping a toddler's attention for any given period of time is a chore.  They are easily distracted when having a temper tantrum, which we're experiencing every day now.  This can be a good thing as we can quickly divert and change the situation or it can be bad because she's no longer focused on what we have given her or guided her towards.  I guess that's part of raising a toddler.  You have to know when to step in and when to throw your hands up and say, "is it going to hurt her or ruin the house"?  If not, then let it be.  It's not worth the drama.

So I know my list of ideas to keep her busy has to be a decent sized list but I also realize I can't put too much time into it because she may not enjoy it for more than 5 minutes.  Right now, Addie loves her books and loves playing outside more than anything.  Her toy box that's overflowing with toys is not holding her attention right now.  When it's nice out we're usually outside walking around or playing with a ball that she likes to throw and kick.

With the weather getting warm, we just purchased the Smiletime Toys Sprinkle Mat which she loves.  She'll play in that for an hour easily so it was a great purchase.  Even if you're looking for some fun activities they don't have to cost much if anything.

Here is my go to list on any given day.

1.  Books.  I've mentioned a hundred times, the girl loves her books so anytime she has the opportunity to read a book she plops herself down on your lap and will wait for you to read the book over and over and over again.

2.  Refrigerator Magnets.  A friend of mine made these for me and Addie loves them. They're fabric letters with magnets sewn into them.  I can see her in a few years spelling out words with these!

3.  Chalk.  She hasn't quite figured out the sidewalk chalk but she loves to carry them around and try to draw.  This is a super cheap dollar store find.

4.  Bubbles.  Like the chalk mentioned above, this is another cheap find.  The girl loves bubbles.  Seriously, can't get enough of them.

5.  Playdoh.  She still prefers to eat this so she's not quite ready for full on playdoh play but it's a cheap purchase and she does really like to feel it in her hands.

6.  Finger painting with yogurt/pudding.  We haven't tried this yet, but I know she'll love it. She's a messy eater and anytime she can play with her food she's in.

7.  Waterbins.  Another fun outside play idea.  Take one of your old bins that you store pictures or disks in and empty it.  Fill it up with water and grab a few water safe toys.  Toss them and let your little one play.  Guaranteed fun!

8.  Dance Party.  Addie likes to dance.  I like to dance.  Turn on the radio and dance together.  You'll get a workout, tire out the toddler, and create a fun memory to carry on as your child grows.

9.  Musical instruments.  Addie loves loud noises so it's no surprise that when we bought her a music set for Christmas she bangs on her drum and blows her trumpet.  If you can't afford the musical instrument set or just don't have one and need entertainment stat, grab a water bottle and fill it half full with dried beans or rice.  Secure the cap and let your little one shake it up.

10.  Target dollar aisle.  I love this aisle for myself, always great finds.  I recently found a water bottle with a spray attachment.  I keep this in Addie's room so I can have it handy when doing her hair.  She loves playing with that water bottle and it was $1.  You're bound to find something in those bins that will entertain your little one for some time.

What do you do to entertain your toddler?  Any good ideas on the cheap?  We'd love to hear about it.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Celebrations

Saturday was a fun day for our family.  It was Cinco de Mayo.  For those of you who are still thinking Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day, then you'd be wrong.  It's actually the day that commemorates Mexico's win over French forces at the Battle of Puebla.  Any who, Rick and I love Mexican.  Between the two of us, we've been to Mexico probably 10 times. It's an amazing country with some really great people.  

When I was pregnant with Addie, I ate so much Mexican food.  People would often ask me if I was having any weird pregnancy cravings and I wasn't.  Or at least I didn't think it was weird, but I ate so much Mexican food, especially salsa.  Towards the end of my pregnancy I was getting heartburn bad.   Immediately after eating bowl after bowl of salsa it would hit me hard, but I couldn't stop.  It was like crack, I was a salsa addict!

So it really came as no surprise that Addie would love Mexican food as much as I did.  She's still not into meat too much but enjoys rice, beans and quesadillas.  Saturday we ate a local favorite of ours and Addie was really reaching for the chips and salsa, which she's never had.  I was really nervous about the chips, the sharp edges, chance of choking, etc. but I gave her a bite without salsa and she loved it.  So after a couple bites, I let her try the salsa.  The salsa was a bit spicy but it didn't even faze her.  She loved it.  

This is post margaritas for anyone wondering (just kidding)!

You've got something on your face there.

Addie's view.  Love this.

We had so much fun and Addie loved every bit of our lunch.  She even ate a lot of food which she hardly does these days.

Addie is such a Mexican natural, just doesn't have the complexion.  She should be a natural the way I ate Mexican and our visit to Mexico while she was still in utero.  What did you do this weekend?


Friday, May 4, 2012

Frugal Find: Starbucks Happy Hour Begins Today

The Starbucks Frappuccino Happy Hour begins today at 3pm and will run every day until 5pm today through Sunday, May 13th.  You can purchase your favorite frappuccino for half off!  I'm counting down the hours until I can get a Caramel Frappuccino!  What's your favorite flavor?


Middle West Spirits Distillery

A little Columbus, Ohio love for any of you who may make trips to Ohio.  I heard about Middle West Spirits from a former coworker who loved it and raved that we had to go.  So, this was our April date envelope.  I don't think I've ever told you about our date envelopes so I'll make sure you get an update next week on what these are and how they started.  

Any who, Middle West Spirits is a local micro-distillery set in the Short North district of Columbus which is a really hip neighborhood split nearly equi-distant between downtown Columbus and The Ohio State University Campus.  Here's a blurb from MW's website:

Set in the heart of Ohio, Middle West Spirits is an ubran micro-distillery that draws inspiration from its surroundings. We are mindful of the immense resources we have nearby, and make every effor to use them.  

Rick and I went with Rick's brother Joe and his fiancee, Loralei last Friday for a tour and tasting of the distillery.

This is a view from the outside, you can see into the distillery.

Joe & Loralei

Rick & me
This is the assistant distiller.  Fun fact, he has a good taster and sense of smell and can pinpoint where  they are in the distilling process just by scent.  He's also responsible for crawling into those stainless steel cylinders to clean them out. He has to slide through the side door you see on the right of this picture.  Eeek!

Wafting for the smell of the liquor in the distilling process.

Where the whiskey is stored.

MW shares these barrels with another local company Rockmill Brewery.  On the flip side of this is the MW branding.

The co-owner
The products, from left to right, OYO plain vodka, OYO honey vanilla bean vodka, OYO stonefruit vodka, and OYO whiskey.  My favorite, the stonefruit hands down.  I don't like drinking any alcohol straight and the stonefruit is so smooth it could easily be sipped.

The experience was so neat and to see it happening right in the midst of Columbus was even more exciting.  You can check out the Middle West Spirits website here, their Facebook page here, and look at ordering here.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Adalyn's Bedtime Routine

Addie has finally turned the corner and is sleeping approximately 10 hours every night.  It's amazing!  If only I could get her to sleep until 7, we'd be in perfect shape.  She gets a bath every other night so as not to dry her skin out and she's not crawling around in the dirt all day so she's not that dirty.  Our bedtime routine goes something like this:

7:30 - Addie starts to get really cranky and it signals that it's time to start the bedtime routine.

7:45 (on bath nights) - We asked if she wants a bath, she immediately stops what she's doing, looks up and says, "Ba!".  Then runs down the hallway to the bathroom where she proceeds to stand at the door and beat on the door and whine.

7:47 - we strip her down and put her in the tub where she proceeds to drink the water, lay down and splash, throw her toys out of the tub, and play the stand up/sit down game.  This is a game to her, not to me.  She stands up with a troublesome grin on her face and I tell her to sit down (because I know she'll fall at some point).  She squats for a second, then immediately shoots back up and starts cheesin.

8:00 - bath time is over and we take her to her room to put on the night diaper, PJs, lotion, brush her teeth, then let her brush her own teeth while I comb her hair.

8:10 - we sit in the living room on the couch and she drinks her bottle and plays with her hair to wind down.

8:20 - she's finished her bottle and we go into her room and sit down and read for 15 minutes.  Lately she's been in this routine where she only wants me to read her Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss.  It's really cute how excited she gets, but seriously, how many times can I say, "No Pat no, don't sit on that"?!

8:35 - I turn on the white noise machine and let her listen to the ocean as she falls asleep.  She goes down with her Fisher Price Seahorse and a book.

8:40 - on a good night, she's already asleep at this point.  On a bad night, she's begun her meltdown and could cry for 20 minutes.  Occasionally I cave and snuggle her in the glider and we glide for a few minutes until she's asleep.  I know I have to stop this, but it's my favorite thing to do with her since I only get to do it sporadically.



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