Wednesday, October 31, 2012

2012 Pumpkin Patch

Fall is my favorite time of year.  There's so much to do outside, the weather is gorgeous, and some of our favorite traditions happen this time of year.  The pumpkin patch is one of those.  So a couple weeks back we took a trip to our favorite farm in Columbus, Lynd's Fruit Farm.  Our first stop was at the market where we found a cool ruler to check just how tall Addie is.

The fields were full of pumpkins, Addie had her pick.

She was more interested in picking up the micro sized green pumpkins.

The wind was crazy that day.

On the way out we stopped to have some fun with the signs.

We tried to get Addie to help the carving process.  She stuck her hand in the pumpkin and then immediately pulled it out and said, "Ewwww" repeatedly.  To the point where now she sees a pumpkin and says "punk, eww".

Rick found a really great pattern for Addie's pumpkin.  

She's in love.  Every day she gets home and instead of running to me and hugging me, she runs to the pumpkin and says, "Lala, eww".

Any fun pumpkin designs you've created?  Do your kids love playing with the pumpkin guts?


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Adalyn's 2012 Christmas List

With today bringing the first snow to Ohio, it's time to get serious about Addie's Christmas list.  Here are a few items we've been thinking she would enjoy to see Christmas morning.

1.  KidKraft Savannah Dollhouse - $109.97.  This is the one big ticket item I'm keeping my eye on.  Because what girl doesn't love a dollhouse?

2.  Fisher Price Servin Surprise High Chair Set - $19.97.  Addie is in love with her dolls and always puts them in her highchair.

3.  Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Say Please Tea Set - $17.88.  Addie is in the new stage where she likes to pretend.  Tea is perfect!

4.  Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Easel - $46.93.  She loves coloring and if I can somehow contain her to one area to color on, perfect!

5.  KidKraft Waterfall Mountain Train Set & Table - $119.96.  Oi, so this list is a little pricey.  We'll only purchase one larger priced item but Addie could spend hours playing with trains.

6.  Fancy Nancy Petite Library - $10.19.  We read Fancy Nancy every night and I'm getting tired of talking about cupcakes and hair so we need to add some new books to the collection.

7.  Carters Sweater Knit Poncho - $19.20.  Loving this poncho!

What items are on your kids' Christmas lists this year?  Would love to hear more ideas.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: Weight Watchers Smart Ones

My loyal readers will know that I'm in a fitness groove right now.  I'm working out basically every day and trying my hardest to lose weight.  What a lot of people don't realize is that what you're eating is a huge part of your weight loss journey.  I try to keep each of my meals within reason but occasionally allow myself a splurge, usually for a party or tailgate.  At work, lunches are my favorite time of day and even more so now that I found Smart Ones frozen meals. The have everything you could think of, breakfast, pizza, dessert, pasta. It's all there for your to choose your favorite options.  Recently I got to try out their newest line Satisfying Selections.

It was fabulous!  A lot of healthy frozen lunches don't taste so great.  This was not one of those.  It was so filling and a great option in your diet pool. Especially if you're running 5 minutes late and don't have time to pack your lunch (definitely not me).  Here's a shot of the product just moments before I devoured it!

Make sure you check out all of the Smart Ones Products at your local grocery chain.  And make sure you take the coupon below with you!

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Smart Ones.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Angel Food Cake with a Salted Caramel Glaze

I found this on Pinterest a week or so ago and I was dying to make it.  Sounded fancy by the title but when I read the instructions I'm thinking, this is doable!

The cake
1 box Betty Crocker white angel food cake mix
1 tbsp. Gold Medal all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
¾ cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup cold water

Move oven rack to lowest position; heat oven to 350°F. In extra-large glass or metal bowl, beat all cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 1 minute. Pour into ungreased 10-inch angel food (tube) cake pan.

Bake about 35 minutes or until crust is dark golden brown and cracks are dry. Immediately turn pan upside down onto heatproof funnel or glass bottle. Let hang about 2 hours or until cake is completely cool. Loosen cake from side of pan with knife or long metal spatula. Turn cake upside down onto serving plate.

The Glaze 
¼ cup butter, unsalted
¼ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup whipping cream
¼  tsp. sea salt
2tsp. cinnamon

In heavy small saucepan melt 1/4 cup unsalted butter over medium-low heat. Stir in 1/4 cup packed brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Bring to boiling, stirring constantly.  Add 1/2 cup whipping cream and return to boiling. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 to 3/4 tsp. sea salt and cinnamon. Cool completely. 



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Leaves & Photos

Every year my husbands family has a family reunion down on a family members farm.  Last year, Addie was an itty bitty baby wrapped up in my Ergo.  This year, she was running all over the place.  The autumn colors were out in full beautiful effect so I'm glad I brought along the camera to capture the moment.

There was a rundown trailer bed which is usually full of hay to give the kids hayrides.

Her first time seeing leaves.

I love this face.  She's so beautiful and I can't get enough of her cheeks.  So kissable!

This picture cracks me up.

And this is her I hear an airplane look.

The blue eyes.  I've never caught her blue eyes so well as I did in this picture.

Such a great time.  I can't wait to take more pictures over the next several years.

Don't forget to enter in the Shutterfly giveaway here.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Adalyn's Current Obsession

Every kid goes through phases.  What they like to play with, what they like to wear, what they like to eat.  Addie recently started eating eggs after months of disliking them.  Right now, she's obsessed with punk & gur also known as pumpkin & gourd.  We have plastic pumpkins & gourds on the mantle and once Addie found out what they were she continued to walk out in the living room and say "punk, punk, gur, gur".  Pair that with our recent trip to the pumpkin patch, that's all we hear.  

So we bought her a couple mini pumpkins and gourds at our recent trip to the pumpkin patch.  She carries them around all the time.  It's so cute, her and her mini pumpkin.

Don't forget to enter in the Shutterfly giveaway here.


Monday, October 22, 2012

30 Day Shred Update: Level Two Complete

I have to admit, I'm so happy this level is done.  I wasn't really motivated and I thought level two was really boring.  I just couldn't get into it.  I also don't feel like I've changed much from level one to level two so I'm ready to hit the ground running on level three.  So without further adieu, level two results.

And here's a picture of level one's completed results and level two's front on comparison shots.  I literally see nothing here.  I actually think there's more definition in the level one ab shot than level two.
Finally the side by side comparisons from level one and level two results.  I could maybe convince myself that my stomach is getting a bit smaller but I still don't notice a huge difference here.
Level two results on paper.

Arms - 11.5" both arms (down by 1/2")
Bust - 37.75" (no change)
Thighs - 23.5"  (no change)
Upper Waist - 32.5"
Lower Waist - 35.25" (up by 1/4")
Hips - 39.75" (down by 3/4")

Total change - down by 1" which is a bit shocking since I thought I wouldn't see any change whatsoever.  Again, no change in weight.  I really don't think the program will reflect a weight change, for me at least.  

On another note, my running is going really well.  I haven't seen any results in the scale at this point but I'm running on average about 17 miles a week.  I'm really hoping to see the scale change from the running as that's always been where I see progress on the scale.

If you look back at my level one results and add that to level two, I'm down a total of 2 3/4"!  You can read about all of my results here, here and here.

Don't forget to enter in the Shutterfly giveaway here.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Holiday Giveaway Search

Can you believe there are 68 days left until Christmas?  What's even more unbelievable is that I've already started shopping.  This may be the earliest I've ever started!  Right now I'm looking for fabulous vendors, Etsy shop owners, individuals who are interested in taking part in a fabulous 12 day giveaway event taking place November 26th to December 7th.

Each day a new item will be up for giveaway to readers.  Several bloggy friends will be participating in the event as well so you have the ability to reach not only my readers, but other blogs who link up their giveaways.  The giveaway items could be for a mom, child, spouse, or the reader themselves.  I'm open to many options and am really excited to offer this to my readers.  If you, or someone you know, may be interested in this awesome opportunity to get your name out, please contact me as soon as possible to ensure your place in this fabulous giveaway!

Readers, make sure to stay tuned as we approach the end of November.


CLOSED - Shutterfly Holiday Cards

We're quickly approaching the end of the year which means we're also quickly approaching the holidays.  With the holidays comes gatherings with family & friends as well as some gorgeous holiday cards.  I love receiving cards from friends and family and have them on display in our kitchen until the new year.  I really love creating and mailing out our holiday cards as well and Shutterfly is one of my favorite places to start.  Just check out this super cute, simple holiday card design.

You can check out other gorgeous cards like the one above as well as Shutterfly's special offer page where you can find great offers on discounted photo books, calendars & canvas prints.  You can also hear and see more from Shutterfly by following them at any one of their social media sites:  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +, and their blog.

Ready to get excited...

Shutterfly is kind enough to offer one of my readers the chance to win $50 off your total order!  Make sure to enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter feature below.  Good Luck!

- stephanie

Note:  This is a sponsored post by Shutterfly though all opinions stated are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Review: Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser & Fragrance Mist

Living under one roof is me, Rick, Addie, and Chloe our 9 year old dog.  Now, I smell like roses, let's be honest.  Rick, Chloe & Addie though, they are rotten.  I always have candles, plug ins and other scents hanging around the house to make sure the house is smelling fresh.  So when I got the chance to review the Glade Expressions Collection Fragrance Mist & Oil Diffuser I was super excited to see if either product could make our house smell fresh again.

The Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser lasts approximately 30 days and you don't plug it in.  It sits nicely anywhere in your home and has a great modern look to it.  It's currently living in our bedroom but I'm planning to move it to the living room for the holidays.  When you think diffuser you think a bottle of oil which can be spilled especially with a toddler running around however this is spill proof.  I chose to purchase the Fuji Apple & Cardamom Spice and it's a perfect smell for this time of year.

The Glade Expressions Fragrance Mist hangs out in our bathroom.  Again, it has a sleak look to it so it blends with the rest of our modern style.  The mist comes out really nice and helps freshen up a room with any stench.  I use this after I work out in our living room.  I picked out the Cotton & Italian Mandarin scent and it's my favorite.  It's so fresh and clean smelling.  Love this!

The starter kits include the decorative holders to blend with your decor as well as the scent refills that you can purchase when you run out.  

Check out how the products work:

Check out their Facebook page for great products & savings.


Note:  I received the Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser & Fragrance Mist starter kits free of charge in order to review the items.  No other compensation was received.  The review provided is a true review and based solely on my opinions.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Our Wedding

I've shared a lot about our life, struggles to get pregnant, several miscarriages, Addie's birth, etc.  What I haven't shared is our wedding day.  So sit back and enjoy pictures from 6 years ago.

Such a great day.  We had nearly everyone at the reception dancing and we've all been to those weddings where no one dances.  How lame are those?!  Come check out other weddings today on Toddle Along Tuesday.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Flying with a Toddler

About a month ago, Addie experienced her first plane ride when we went on a family trip to the Outerbanks.  Leading up to that first plane ride I was terrified.  I hate to fly.  Sweaty palms, intense yoga breathing and serious meditating.  It's how I spend my time during take off and most of the flight but when you have a toddler with you, it's a different type of fear.

We've all been on those flights with young children where you spend your entire flight with a child screaming next to you.  You never want to be on the flight but you know who doesn't want to be on that flight more than you?  The parent of said child.  As the parent you realize it's driving everyone around you nuts, but your main concern is figuring out how to distract your child and get them to stop screaming.

So weeks before our flight, I began making a list of things I thought would be a good distraction for Addie.

Food.  Bring your child's favorite foods.  For Addie, it's cheese, animal crackers, and those fruit pouches.

Plum Organics Second Blends, Raspberry, Spinach and Greek Yogurt, 4-Ounce (Pack of 12)

Drinks.  Addie is really only consuming milk and water.  I'm avoiding juice as they're full of sugar she does not need.  So we came with milk and water which you can bring through TSA, they just do a test on the liquid.  But, it's a good idea to also bring a juice box as a one time immediate use.  Either way, make sure you have something as children don't know how to pop their ears and drinking will assist in this.
Comfort items.  Bring something your child uses as a comfort item.  For Addie, it's Violet and a soft blanket so both were in our carry-on bag.
LeapFrog My Pal Violet
Toys & Books.  Addie loves books, so I brought her favorite book along with a small container of play-doh.  It keeps her occupied for 30 minutes and in a flight, 30 minutes is a long time.
Case of Colors
Music & Videos.  Invest in a portable DVD player & an iPod.  Even if your child only watches 30 minutes of a video, that's another 30 minutes you've distracted them.
Sony DVP-FX970 9-Inch Portable DVD Player
Special Toy.  Something new, something they've never seen before.  New toys are guaranteed to consume 30 minutes of your child's time.  I found the Crayola Color Wonder.  Best. Toy. Ever.  Kids love to color, however crayons and markers get on everything.  This is fabulous because they can color but the markers are invisible unless you're on this special paper.

Crayola Color Wonder Travel Tote (colors & styles may vary)

Special Snacks.  Again, something new.  A snack you wouldn't typically give your child but would if it meant they wouldn't disrupt the entire plane with a fit.  Chocolate is a big one and if they won't eat then you can.  Suckers are an amazing option as well.  Kids love suckers.
Saf-T-Pops Assorted 60 ct. box

Medicine.  Addie was teething and with air pressure I figured her teeth may be worse while flying.  Make sure you have some type of tylenol or any medicines you may need while in flight.
Hylands Teething Tablets
Patience.  This is for the parents of course.  There may be a moment when your child starts getting antsy or in Addie's case, has a complete meltdown for no apparent reason.  You'll start getting stares, even a crazy passenger who thinks you may actually pass your child off to them to walk up and down the aisles.  Just keep your patience, your doing everything you can and eventually they'll either pass out or settle down.

Flight Attendants.  Don't be afraid to ask them for help.  They've been on thousands of flights.  They've seen many children fly so they know what works and usually have snacks or coloring books for your kid.  All of the flight attendants on our Southwest flights were amazingly nice.

Don't be afraid to fly.  For us, it was 2 hours of flying and potentially having a meltdown or 10 plus hours of driving and guaranteeing at least 3 meltdowns along the way.  It was worth it.  If you have a layover make sure you let your kid run around during the layover.  They'll need to burn off that energy when they've been cooped up in a plane for hours.  It was much easier than we thought it would be.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Forbes Best Cities for Working Mothers

I'm a working mom.  It's challenging because when I'm at work I'm thinking about Addie all day long, missing her terribly, but knowing that it's what I have to do for our family.  I happen to be lucky enough to be living in the nations numero uno city for working mothers for 2012!  How cool is that?!

Safety, healthcare, education, avoiding an hour long commute are all on the list of factors Forbes took into consideration when determining who was number one.

Read all about Columbus and the other cities who made the list to see if yours was one of them.



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