Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Project & A Delicious Video

Easter is just around the corner, literally a couple days away and this may be one of the most exciting holidays for us.  Not really because it's Easter, though I love Easter, but because Addie is finally getting it.  She loved the Easter bunny and keeps talking about him and the "Eastah eggs".  It's going to be so much fun watching her see her Easter basket and do the Easter egg hunts.  I've been thinking about fun Easter projects Addie could do and I found one I, and Addie loved!

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So here's the spread.  The paper was from IKEA.  I highly suggest anytime you go to IKEA you grab a roll, or two of this for your kids.  They can paint or draw on it and you can use it if you're worried about a mess.  The paint is acrylic from your local hobby stores, qtips as a mini paint brush, and the egg carton was from, yes the fridge.  The paper eggs were from the IKEA paper mentioned above that I cut into the shape of eggs.

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She immediately got into it.  Very serious about her painting.

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Checking out the paint brush.

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She was so happy with the painting.

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Now that delicious video I told you of.  Out of nowhere, Addie said this the other day.  

We've been trying to get her to repeat it so this morning I said, "Addie, is your smoothie good?" and she said, "No, delicious!".  Hysterical.  Where she learned the word delicious, we have no idea, but we love it!  Happy Friday!  Enjoy your Easter weekend!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Anthony Thomas Factory

A couple Saturday's ago we took a local trip to the Anthony Thomas factory located in Columbus, Ohio for their Easter Open House.  For the better part of that Saturday, they opened up their factory to the public to see how they make their chocolates, popcorn, etc.  It's something I've always wanted to do and Rick did it as a school kid and loved it.  We boarded a trolley which took us to the back of the building to begin the tour.

Addie has been talking about the Easter bunny for weeks.  "Go see Eastah bunny", over and over again.  So we told her we would see the "Eastah bunny" when we got there and she of course turned a little scared.

She must have warmed up to him because it looks like she's petting the bunny.  

After the photos the bunny gave her an Easter egg filled with the Anthony Thomas jelly beans.

Then we climbed to the third floor to watch the process.  See all of those silver piles coming down from the ceiling?  They're full of chocolate!

One side focuses on chocolates the other side focuses on caramel corn.

Rows and rows of buckeyes being formed.

This was the chocolate covered strawberry line.  The lady below dips the tops into chocolate and sets it on the line where it dries.

As it moves down the line, it eventually gets covered in chocolate.

This is the packaging area where they had displays of chocolate bunnies set up.

Addie loved watching the lines move.

I imagine she was thinking, "how do I get to that candy"

This lady was making each Easter basket by hand, filling with various candies.

At the end of the tour, we each got a buckeye to eat.  Addie quickly devoured hers.

We checked out the store at the end of the tour where I was tempted to buy this guy.

It was a really cool experience and even better chocolates!  Anthony Thomas offers tours to the public so if you ever get a chance, stop in!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Women's Spring Outfit

It's still 32 degrees and snowing in Ohio but I know spring is literally right around the corner. I've got my eyes on the extended forecast and it's looking like mid-April is that time.  So in preparation for the weather change, I've been thinking about what outfit I'm going to wear first and I'm loving this outfit I put together.

Merona Braided Yellow Sandals - $15.00
Mossimo Perforated Belt - $14.99
Xhilaration Aviators - $16.99
Essie Hip-Anema Nail polish - $8.00

What do you think?  What are you itching to wear this spring?

- stephanie

Monday, March 25, 2013

Little Lady Luck

It's NCAA March Madness chaos in our house.  We watched basketball all weekend and like most everyone else, our brackets are blowing up left and right.  Ohio State was part of the first buzzer beater yesterday in a really scary game but that Aaron Craft pulled it off.  We had this little lady cheering us on bringing the team lots of good luck!

What did you do this weekend?  Did any of your team plummet?


Friday, March 22, 2013

Easter Basket Ideas

I started thinking about ideas for Addie's Easter basket weeks ago because I knew last year I was running around last minute.  I've been purchasing random pieces over the past month and last Friday finally finished off the basket.  A few pieces are splurges and I wouldn't typically spend money on bigger ticket items, but I did this time around and made up for it with the remaining Target dollar spot purchases.  I managed to purchase all of these items including those bigger ticket items for under $30!

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Everything in the basket is from Target.

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My splurge items were the sheep ($5) and the hooded robe ($14.99).

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Here's a rundown (again, everything was purchased at Target):

Sheep - $5
Hooded Towel - $14.99
Sesame Street Board books - $1 each ($2 total)
Mini duster & dust pan - $1
Plastic Sandwich bags - $1
Fork/Spoon - $1
Sidewalk chalk - $1.92
Shovel & trowel - $1 each ($2 total)
Bug net - $1
Total - $29.91

What items did you find to fill your children's baskets?


PS.  Don't forget about the Shutterfly giveaway going on now.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tasty Thursday: Twice Baked Potato

It's been a while since I did a Tasty Thursday post and after making this earlier in the week I knew I had to share it with you.  I'll be honest, I was thinking "mmm, I could go for a twice baked potato tonight for dinner" so I just threw something together.  Sometimes this works for me, sometimes it doesn't.  This time, I blew it out of the park and I'm keeping this in my back pocket for an easy go to side.

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2 large potatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sour cream
salt & pepper to taste

Bake your potatoes until soft.  Or take the easy route and nuke them in the microwave until a fork easily pokes through.  Cut potatoes in half and scoop out most of the potato goodness into a separate bowl.  Place potato boats onto a cookie sheet to later fill.  Add cheese, crumbled bacon, butter, sour cream, and salt & pepper into bowl with potatoes.  Mix well with fork until potatoes are nearly mashed (a couple lumps are okay).  Divide mix into four equal parts and add to your potato boats.  Bake at 400 for approximately 15-20 minutes and broil on low until potatoes get a little color.

Add a dollop of sour cream, extra bacon (if you really love bacon), and scallions or green onions for extra flavor.  This is reheats really well so leftovers are perfect!  Also, this would be fun to have for a party and would probably freeze well also.


PS.  Don't forget about the Shutterfly giveaway going on now.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Weekend Fun

This post is all about our weekend in pictures.  Addie and I had Friday night to ourselves so we made oatmeal raisin cookies, though I didn't manage to capture that picture.  I did manage to turn back in time to see her tongue just inches from the paddle on my KitchenAid!  It wasn't moving and she just wanted a little taste to make sure it was safe.  I think I still would have eaten those cookies if she liked the entire paddle. Since Rick was out of town Friday night and didn't return until Saturday morning, Addie and I had a breakfast date.  At Chick-fil-a of course!

She could hardly sit still because she wanted to play so badly.  I manager to get her to eat half of her fruit and a couple small bites of her cinnamon cluster.  Then it was play time.

We got to Chick-fil-a around 8am so it was deserted.  She had the play area to herself for the first time ever and she enjoyed every second of it.  "Mama, I see you" she would shout from the car hanging from the ceiling.  She had to have gone down that slide 30 times.

Late morning on Saturday, Rick finally joined up with us and we went to tour the local Anthony Thomas chocolate factory. I'll make a separate post for that one.  But that's where I got this guy.

Sunday was St. Patrick's day so I made green pancakes.

With blueberry syrup so don't be scared of that strange color combination.  

And you can't participate in St. Patrick's day without some green in your outfit.

There's an air mattress in our living room because Rick wasn't feeling well Saturday night.  Addie loves it because she can bounce.  I really need to get her to one of those bounce places, she'd love it!


PS.  Don't forget about the Shutterfly giveaway going on now.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Photo Bloopers

It's been a while since I brought you photo bloopers.  In fact, the last time I showed you Addie's bloopers was nearly a year ago so please take note how much my little girl has changed!  I thought I'd post a few over the past several months for your enjoyment!  This one for example is super cute at first, mommy & Addie sharing a kiss.  Until you get up close and it looks like she's going to eat my lips!

This one cracks me up.  Again, it's cute at first and then you can just imagine Addie giving a little gremlin noise while making this face.

This is one my mother in law took at her house.  I can't even figure out what's happening.

Lastly, this is usually what I see when taking some photos when featuring a sponsor or review.  For every one great picture, there's another one like this in the mix.

Some times the outtakes are the best and you can't bring yourself to erase them from your computer.


PS.  Don't forget about the Shutterfly giveaway going on now.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Shutterfly Yearbook Giveaway

We take a lot of pictures throughout the year.  The problem is we tend to take the pictures, load them to the computer and forget about them.  But Shutterfly has found a way to take those pictures sitting on your computer and make a photobook out them.  What better way to organize them by making a family yearbook each year and placing all of those forgotten pictures in a photobook.  When friends and family come over you can pull out the yearbooks already in order for you!

I love these Shutterfly Yearbooks!  If you have kids in school these are great for saving all of those straight A report cards, team sporting events, etc.  Make it a school year to remember.  Shutterfly Yearbooks are the easiest way to preserve school memories.  Shutterfly provides a lot of helpful hints & tricks along the way to make creating a Yearbook easy!  Check out more on here.
The fabulous people of Shutterfly are offering my readers a chance to win an 8x8 – 20 page hardcover photobook!  Find out how you can enter below.

GIVEAWAY Enter for a chance to win Shutterfly's 8x8 - 20 page hardcover photobook.

HOW TO ENTER Simply follow the instructions below to enter this giveaway using Rafflecopter - it's easy! You can enter daily by tweeting about the giveaway plus the more steps you complete, the more chances you have to win! The first option is mandatory, no other entries will count unless the first entry is completed. Open to US residents only. Giveaway ends on Monday, March 25th at 12:00am.

Note: This is a sponsored post by all opinions are mine!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 14, 2013

An End to Google Reader

If you haven't already heard, Google announced yesterday they will be shutting down Google Reader effective July 1st.  If you follow us through Google Reader currently, I don't want to lose you as a reader and hope you feel the same with me as a blogger.  So here's your alternative, Bloglovin!  

I really love Bloglovin, it's so simple and clean  and give you a little preview of each post. Just sign up and search for My Messmerized Life and add me to your list of blogs you follow.  Or find me here.


Product Love: Cafe Escapes

It's mid-March, spring is less than a week away and it's still freezing here in Ohio.  Literally, 32 degrees yesterday.  I feel my body getting older because I physically can't stand being outside when it's this cold.  My whole body starts shaking and my bones hurt.  Brr, it's so cold!  So I often find myself reaching for a warm cup of coffee and most recently anything from the Cafe Escapes line of k-cups!

Choices in the Cafe Escapes line are Chai Latte, Milk & Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa, Cafe Mocha, Cafe Vanilla & Cafe Caramel.  This is a great line for anyone who doesn't like coffee but still needs a warm drink on a cold day.  Or if you're looking for an alternative to that cup of coffee or even for your child who wants to share your drink.  At 70 calories or less and gluten free, this drink is bound to make everyone happy.  The aroma each cup gives off immediately warms your soul before ever taking a sip.

I'm loving these and you can too by picking up any one of these K-Cup packags at most grocery & retail stores nationwide as well as online at Cafe Escapes, Green Mountain Coffee and Keurig.

PS.  This is not a paid post, however I did receive this product for free to try & share with my readers.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Product Love: Little Maven

This weekend I was out at JCPenny returning a gift I received from Christmas.  Yes, I am that slow returning things, it's a problem I'm working on.  I just so happened to park near the little kids section so of course I had to check out what was out for spring.  The first thing I saw when I walked through the door were these two cute outfits by Little Maven.
Seriously, I'm dying over the turquoise tunic.  I didn't purchase anything while I was there but I'm seriously regretting that decision and may have to go back for that tunic.

In case you don't know, Little Maven is a line created by Tori Spelling that she recently partnered with JCPenny to carry.  I'm so excited about this because the clothes are adorable and the price point is super affordable.  I'm really hoping the line expands because what they have now is great, I just want more!

PS.  This isn't a sponsored post, it's just me sharing my love of little kid fashion!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

TAT: Mommy Pet Peeve's

Yay, Toddle Along Tuesday is back!  I'll be honest, I've been having some trouble staying focused with the blog.  I think some of it is work, some if it is weather, and some of it is me not being committed.  So I'm doing my best to get excited about it all again. TAT is always a day I am guaranteed to have topic to share with you.  So this week's topic is Mommy Pet Peeve's and let me tell you, I've got a lot of them so let me just list them for you.

1.  People who chew with their mouths open - this will include people who pop their gum as they aggressively chew it as well as people who toss popcorn in their mouth and start chewing so I have to hear it.  It's rude and it's disgusting.

2.  When you leave cupboard doors open, ahem, Rick does this all the time.  How hard is it to take your pointer finger and press it lightly against the cupboard to close it?  Not hard, God gave you those hands for a reason.

3.  When you don't throw your laundry in the hamper.  Again, Rick, it's not that hard.

4.  When you don't put the toilet seat down.  This bugs me, but it really bugs me when you have a kid and you don't put both seats down and then you find your kids playing in it.  Ugh, gross.

5.  People who talk really loudly at work.  Because I'm not working or trying to speak with someone on the phone.

6.  When I'm on the phone at work and someone comes into my office and a) stands and waits until I'm finished or b) tries to talk to me when they can clearly see I'm on the phone.  If I have the phone next to my ear, assume I'm unavailable, because I am.

7.  Double parkers.  There are lines for a reason, we all learned to color inside the lines in kindergarten and learned how to park a car when we were 16.  Your Dodge Ram is nothing special, get it in the lines.

8.  People who drive slowly in the fast lane.  Again, we all learned that you pass on the left.  You don't cruise in the fast lane at 65 mph.  And you certainly don't go less than 65 in that lane.  Get out of my way.

9.  My dog Chloe, paces.  Back and forth.  She lays by the front door then feels that's not the spot she wanted so she gets up and moves to another spot.  Just lay down, sit still.

10.  People who talk too much.  If you're noticing me only say, "Yea", "Uh huh", etc., please note you're hogging the conversation.  People who rule a conversation are not conversing, your preaching and I don't want to be preached at on a daily basis.

Oi, I know I have more, but that's a pet peeve of mine, people who complain all the time.  So I shall stop! 

What are your pet peeves?


Monday, March 11, 2013

We Survived!

We survived the time change!  I'll be honest, I was nervous but for the most part things transitioned smoothly in our house.  I will say that the first night/morning of the time change does typically change with little to no interruption to our normal schedule.  It's the next couple nights and mornings where the time change sneaks up.  Just when you think you're in the clear and you're being woken up at 5am wondering what is going on.  So fingers crossed, these next couple nights are also a non issue!

Saturday we were hungry and feeling mexican and found this place, new to us, that has an all you can eat lunch for $6.99!  Basically whatever you want, you just keep ordering and it keeps coming! I was only able to make it through a chimichanga and a quesadilla.  Plus all those chips and salsa.  I could make chips & salsa a meal.  Miss Addie is definitely her mother's daughter.

It was a gorgeous weekend in Ohio.  We finally got a hint of spring, 60 degrees on Saturday and 68 and sunny on Sunday.  Gor.geous!  Columbus is a great city in the spring/summer/fall months.  There's so much to do so we're itching to get out and experience the city!

How was your weekend?  Did the time change kick your butt?


Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy Friday!

Let's make it a good Friday okay friends?  Mine is starting out fabulously!  I have my Mumford & Sons station on Pandora playing all my favorite bands including a new personal favorite Ray LaMontagne.  Plus it has to be a good day when it starts like this.

Enjoy your weekend!

PS.  Don't forget you have a few days left to enter the Mightee Kids "Thanks, Dog!" t-shirt giveaway.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Addie Blings

I have to keep an eye on my jewlery, otherwise I find little Miss Addie walking around the house covered in diamonds.  Ah, jk about the diamonds part.  But she does like bracelets and necklaces so anytime I'm wearing something she quickly hops up on the couch with me and asks to wear what I'm wearing.  "Mama, Addie turn now".

She does have a couple pair of sunglasses but these with all the bling are a favorite of hers.

Don't mind the mess in our living room.  If you have a toddler, you realize this is your life.  Oi, this girl makes me smile everyday!

PS.  Don't forget to enter in the Mightee Kids t-shirt giveaway.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Time Change with a Toddler

Sleep patterns and young children.  If you have a young child you might be so unlucky like I am to have a little one who doesn't really care for sleep. She's somewhat inconsistent in her sleep patterns and we haven't been super strict on getting her to bed within 10 minutes of her typical bedtime.  Bedtime is usually 8:30 but lately it's been closer to 9:00.  With the time change this weekend, that's bad news for all of us.  In order to prepare Addie and us for the time change we've slowly started shifting her bedtime back each night.  If you're a newer parent, you may not have even thought about the time change and how it affects kids but trust me it does.  If you're not prepared for it, it can affect their sleep for several weeks.  So here's how to slowly adjust and be prepared.

Night 1 - Sunday night - In bed by 8:45

Night 2 - Monday night - In bed by 8:30

Night 3 - Tuesday night - In bed by 8:30

Night 4 - Wednesday night - In bed by 8:15

Night 5 - Thursday night - In bed by 8:15

Night 6 - Friday night - In bed by 8:00

Night 7 - Saturday night - In bed by 8:00

Night 7 is when the time change happens so that 8:00pm bedtime is really like a 9:00pm bedtime so we'll have to slowly adjust next week as well to get her closer to 8:30.

Night 8 - Sunday night - In bed by 9:00

Night 9 - Monday night - In bed by 9:00

Night 10 - Tuesday night - In bed by 8:45

Night 11 - Wednesday night - In bed by 8:45

Night 12 - Thursday night - In bed by 8:30

This would be our target bedtime so moving forward we would continue to make sure she's in bed by 8:30 each night.  It's important to slowly shift bedtimes versus what adults naturally do because we're able to quickly adjust.  Kids need routine so make sure the change is gradual.  It'll be much easier slowly adjusting versus a sudden change.

Also, make sure to remember that if your child usually wakes up at 6:30 like mine, for example, this is now a 7:30 wake up time.  So wake up time will slowly adjust as well.  By shifting the bedtime routine you'll also slowly shift the wake up routine which can be just as scary if you have a cranky toddler like mine.

Good luck & be prepared to do it all over again in 6 months!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Favorite Easter Styles for Babies

So far, I've shown you my favorite Easter styles for toddler girls and toddler boys and now I'm going to show you my favorite Easter styles for babies!  Hello!  Babies dressed up in cute dresses and ties is about the cutest thing ever.  Here are my favorites.

I love each of these, but the little boy outfit "Mint Condition" is super cute as is the little girl outfit "Easter Lilac Dress".  Can you imagine twins in those outfits?  How cute would that be.

PS.  Don't forget to enter the Mightee Kids t-shirt giveaway.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Mightee Kids: February's Canine for Kids!

Last month I told you about Mightee Kids.  An awesome company who thought up the idea to offer a t-shirt each month featuring an organization who helps out children.  

We want to inspire kids to love others who are less fortunate. We want them to act on what they learn. We feel that this genuine care for others starts at home, taught by parents who also know how to love and care for others. Our packages are meant to provide an experience in which parents can sit down and teach their kids of how other kids need their help. We want to not only help them donate to others, but we want to guide them to continue to keep giving and loving for their unfortunate friends.  We want to develop Mightee Kids that help others, one tee at a time.

This month, Mightee Kids is donating $5 of every sale to Canine for Kids.  Assistance dogs are provided for kids who need physical or emotional assistance.  To be honest, I didn't realize there were so many types of assistance dogs.  Hearing dogs, service dogs, guide dogs, balance dogs, social dogs.  So many dogs trained to help kids, how amazing!

Addie was so excited to open her box this month!

The suspense...

Checking out the tee.

I love this months tee.  

Yay, I love my tee!

Want to find out how you can get your own tee each month and help support a great cause?  Go to Mightee Kids and read about monthly subscriptions.  Or try to win a shirt now!

GIVEAWAY Enter for a chance to win February's Mightee Kids Thanks, Dog t-shirt.

HOW TO ENTER Simply follow the instructions below to enter this giveaway using Rafflecopter - it's easy! You can enter daily by tweeting about the giveaway plus the more steps you complete, the more chances you have to win! The first option is mandatory, no other entries will count unless the first entry is completed. Open to US residents only. Giveaway ends on Monday, March 11th at 12:00am.

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