Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Frugal Find: Half Off Frappuccino

This is my favorite news of the week!  Beginning Friday, May 3rd and ending on Sunday, May 12th from 3-5pm.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 29, 2013

18 Week Bump Update

This post was supposed to come out on Friday but a lot is going on at work and I just didn't have the opportunity to get it written before it got crazy.  So enjoy your Monday bump post.  I have the strangest shaped bump.  I've never had the perfectly round basketball, more like an Easter egg so you'll see my stomach developing into a long protrusion versus a cute little basketball.

Due Date? September 27th (will confirm a c-section date as we approach September)

How far along? 18 weeks

How big is baby?  About the size of a sweet potato.  About 5.6" and 6.7oz (up almost an ounce from last week and 1/2 an inch)

Weight gain? +3

Maternity clothes? All maternity pants all the time!

Stretchmarks? Nothing new

Sleep? Sleeping really well actually.

Best moment this week? Not only do I feel flutters from the outside, I can also feel serious movements  when the baby moves around.

Movement? Above.  Yes!  A lot of movement.

Food cravings? Starcrunch and Zebra Cakes!

Gender? Find out Friday!!

Labor signs? none.

Belly button in or out? In

What I miss? We went out Friday night for some appetizers and Rick was able to have a large margarita, Addie and I shared a virgin strawberry daiquiri.  At least I could enjoy that.

What I am looking forward to? Friday's gender reveal.

Milestones? Outside movement.

Next doctor's appointment? Friday for the gender reveal!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

On one of my trips to Target I was walking through the grocery section which I never do and I ran across yeast packets.  Where is she going with this?  I hadn't ever really worked with yeast before and thought, this is something everyone should have on hand if they want to make a tasty homemade treat.  So I bought the yeast and it sat in my pantry for a good 3 months before I finally found a recipe worth busting out my yeast for.  It was Betty Crocker's homemade cinnamon rolls and I couldn't wait to try this them this past weekend.


4 3/4 to 5 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 tablespoon half&half or light cream (not required)

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter
*I'd advise double the filling recipe for a super sweet filling.

Vanilla Glaze
1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp light colored corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
1-2 tablespoons milk (start with 1, add more if needed)

1 - In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups flour & yeast.  In a saucepan heat milk, 1/3 cup butter, granulated sugar, and salt until warm (120-130 degrees) and butter almost melts.  Add this to flour mixture along with eggs. Beat with mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, stop to scrap sides then continue to beat on high speed for 3 minutes.  Stir in as much of the remaining flour as possible.

2 - Dust your countertop lightly with flour and turn dough out.  Knead in additional flour as needed until it's smooth, about 3-5 minutes.  Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl, turn once then cover and let rise in a warm place until it doubles (about 1 hour).

3 - Punch dough down in the bowl and turn out again on a floured surface.  Divide the dough in half.  Cover each half and let rest about 10 minutes.  While this is resting, lightly grease your 2-9inch round baking pans.  Begin making your filling by stirring together the brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour and cinnamon and cut in 1/3 cup butter until this mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

4- Roll each half of dough into 12x8inch rectangle.  Sprinkle/spread filling over each rectangle.  Roll each rectangle starting from a long side.  Seal the seams and slice each roll into 12 pieces.  Place cut sides down in prepared pans.

5 - Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap leaving room to continue to rise.  Chill dough 2-24 hours (freeze your second batch if you're not planning to eat it all).  Uncover the refrigerated batch and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

6 - Brush dough with half & half/cream if desired.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until light brown (cover last 5-10 minutes to prevent over browning .  Remove from oven.  Brush with additional half&half/cream.  Cool for 1 minute then invert rolls onto a wire rack.  Cool for about 5 additional minutes then invert onto serving platter.  Drizzle with vanilla glaze. Serve warm.

This recipe will make 2-9inch round pans so if you're not planning to make enough to feed a large family or during a brunch, plan to freeze the second batch.

I will say you're going to need some time and some patience.  Start making this the night before so it can set in the fridge overnight.  First thing the next morning you're able to pop this in the oven pretty quickly for a tasty breakfast treat!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Day in the Life

I'm a type A personality.  I desperately need/crave structure and routine in my daily life.  I hardly stray from my routine and can almost time it down to the minute what I'm doing at any given time.  So here's a snapshot of my daily routine.

6:20 - my alarm goes off and I roll out of bed, unless Addie decided not to stay in bed a little longer.  I'm doing my hair and makeup, getting dressed, etc.

6:50 - pack mine and Addie's lunch.  By this point, if she hasn't already woke up, then she's probably crying by this time.  I run back and get her out of her crib and she runs around the house playing, waking the rest of us up while I go back to packing lunches

7:00 - Addie gets something for breakfast while I finish getting myself together.

7:10 - I head out for my drive but quickly realize I need my Starbucks to start the day.

7:30 - I arrive to work and spend the next approximately 8 hours working my butt off.

3:30 - I leave work and go pick up my little bug.

4:30 - Addie and I play outside when the weather is nice or watch Strawberry Shortcake when the weather is crummy.

5:30 - I start making dinner and it's usually completely last minute and thrown together.

6:00 - We play some more, either inside or out depending on the weather.

7:30 - the bedtime routine begins.  Every other night she gets a bath.  We'll play quietly in her room and read books.

8:30 - last kisses and lights out.  I head off to take my shower.

8:45 - Watch tv and relax for the evening.

10:00 - I'm in bed for the night.

It all begins again the next morning.  Very groundhog day.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Weekend Trip: Franklin Park Conservatory

This weekend the weather in Columbus turned back to cold so we decided to take a trip to the local conservatory, Franklin Park Conservatory.  They had butterflies from around the world on display flying throughout one of the rooms.  

Chihuly is still in some of the rooms and I love this piece!

Lots of great flowers throughout the rooms as well. This one is one of my favorite.

Addie found the waterfall and went nuts.

I love this picture.  She looks like such a little girl.

Look at my little ham.  She's hanging onto those cheeks!

Another gorgeous flower!

We went back to watch them release more butterflies into the room but someone was done.  We didn't make it to see the release.  She was done.

It was so much fun to see Addie attempt to let a butterfly land on her.  She chased all the kids around and had such a good time.  It was sort of unexpected because there aren't a lot of kids activities.  It was a perfect little trip for our crummy cold day.  I even purchased a couple of discounted orchids on the way out.  Apparently one will sprout and give off the scent of chocolate!  Can't wait to see what it really smells like.


Friday, April 19, 2013

17 Week Bump Update

Crazy to think I'm nearly half through this pregnancy.  So many things to start thinking about and preparing for.  We need a double stroller so we're starting to research which are the preferred strollers within our budget. Like I said, so many things to start preparing for and these next 10 weeks are the best time to do it.  Before it gets too hot and I get too big to even want to think about it.  I'm so excited because I'm finally starting to see a bump and not so much the pudge!

Due Date? September 27th (will confirm a c-section date as we approach September)

How far along? 17 weeks

How big is baby?  About the size of an onion.  About 5.1" and 5.9oz (up 2.5 ounces from last week and over 1/2 an inch)

Weight gain? +2

Maternity clothes? Mostly maternity pants, every now and again I squeeze into non-maternity. 

Stretchmarks? Nothing new

Sleep? I'm still sleeping!

Best moment this week? Felt flutters for the first time from the outside this week!

Movement? Definitely feeling it from the inside but also started to feel some movement from the outside.

Food cravings? I was craving a gyro on Friday and had a really good one.  Also had some local German food last night that hit the spot.

Gender? We will know May 3rd.

Labor signs? none.

Belly button in or out? In

What I miss? Being able to have a glass of wine when I randomly feel like it.  Or a margarita in a couple weeks on Cinco de Mayo.

What I am looking forward to? Developing a round baby bump versus this transitional phase.

Milestones? Outside flutters.

Next doctor's appointment? May 3rd where we do the full ultrasound check for health & gender.  Last weeks appointment went really well.  She picked up the heartbeat very quickly at 158bpm.  She also did the trisomy blood test and we received results back Tuesday that everything looked really great!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Favorite Summer Shoes

Being that it's going to be 84 degrees here today, I thought a quick post about my favorite summer shoes was in order.  I've really not started wearing open toed shoes yet but we're getting there.  This evening may be the first night for it since we're planning to head out of the house for dinner on such a gorgeous day.  So, I've been casually perusing Target, Kohl's & Macy's for some of my favorite shoes.

Merona Emilia Nautical
Merona Erin Braided Sandal
Mudd Platform Wedge Sandal
Circus by Sam Edelman
Krisella Platform Wedge by Jessica Simpson

Clearly I'm drawn to either a basic neutral or a really flashy shoe.  Also, I'm not sure why I'm so drawn to the platform wedges this season especially since I'll be full on preggers throughout the summer and probably terribly swollen.  But how cute is a bump in platform wedges?

What do you think on my picks?


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Target Clearance Find: Sunbeam Donut Maker

I was walking the aisles of Target last weekend just for fun and ran across something I would never normally purchase.  That tiny red clearance sticker caught my eye and I had to stop.  A donut maker!  Look, I don't need donuts in the house.  I have zero self control and love donuts.  As a matter of fact, it's become kind of a recent thing for Rick to stop at Dunkin Donuts every Friday morning and pick me up a double chocolate donut. It's a really bad habit, but I love that donut!  So anywho, I saw this and couldn't resist.

Marked down to $8.98, originally at $29.99, I thought "why not?".  So I bought it thinking if nothing else, Addie and I will play with it once or twice a year and it'll be worth the $9 sticker price.  The donut maker comes with a recipe book and we had everything we needed to make a batch of donuts and icing.  So Sunday morning, after Addie woke up we got to making our donuts!

They came out really well and taste pretty good for being homemade donuts.  The chocolate icing is spot on to a bakery's chocolate icing so I need to perfect the chocolate donut to make my favorite double chocolate!

Clearly Addie thought it was "Delicious"!

Do you have any of these cheesy do it yourself maker type products?


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Easy Blackout Curtains

Look, let's be honest with each other.  If you have a young child, they're probably going to bed around 8ish and wake up around 7ish (Addie is 8:30 to 6:30).  Not too bad, but it gets difficult as we get into the summer months and our days our longer.  Which is awesome, but if you have a little one, these daylight hours can be killer on their sleep schedule.  So I had been thinking about tackling another craft project and this one I kind of just "winged" it.

Totally should have been sleeping here but the curtains weren't up yet so I had to stop and put them up so she could take her nap.

So I already had the curtains in her room that I purchased a couple years back from Target.  Next, I knew I needed black out fabric so I headed out to JoAnn Fabric to find the fabric.  I purchased 3 yards at 6.99/yard plus I had a 50% off coupon so I only paid $10 and some change for the fabric.  Then I was thinking, how do I want to attach this fabric.  I really didn't want to sew it on so I purchased some velcro.

I purchased 2 of these and only applied to the top of the curtain.  I wasn't really concerned about the bottom or sides at this point and wanted to make a change pretty quickly.  If you don't have sewing skills, make sure you buy this "heat activated adhesive". 

So you line up your adhesive on your black out fabric and then match up the other piece on your curtains.  Make sure the adhesive is sticking to the "ugly" side of your fabric & curtain.  Once you have your adhesives where you want them, bust out your ironing board and set your iron on the highest setting with the steam on.

You'll see in the picture above that the adhesive is on the bottom side of the black out fabric and I used an old towel to make sure I didn't burn the fabric.  Hold the steam on for about 90 seconds and move to the next spot.  Continue until you're done with the first piece of fabric.

 Do the same thing with your curtain.

 Once you're finished, line up your pieces and hang on the curtain rod.  Trim off the bottom of the blackout fabric that you don't need.  I still had a bit more than 1/2 a yard leftover that I needed to trim off.

Here are some before & afters. The pictures below look somewhat similar but you can see there really is no light coming through on the right.
The pictures below is what the room looks like with & without the fabric.

I love the picture on the left, Addie's making faces...haha.  The picture on the right is no flash on my camera with the curtains with the fabric.  You can see a little light coming through the side, but for the most part it's a huge impact in the room.  We'll see how it helps as we get further into summer.


Friday, April 12, 2013

16 Week Bump Update

Another week has past in this pregnancy, before I know it I'll be half baked. At this point, most friends and family know and a couple of coworkers.  I still haven't told my boss because we don't work very closely.  I'm in OH, he's in IL so we never see each other and we don't talk often.  Should be hearing from him this week so fingers crossed that conversation goes well.  I have no idea why I feel like I'm in trouble when I announce to people...

Due Date? September 27th (will confirm a c-section date as we approach September)

How far along? 16 weeks

How big is baby?  About the size of an avocado.  About 4.6" and 3.5oz (up 1 ounce from last week and over 1/2 an inch)

Weight gain? +2

Maternity clothes? I can still squeeze into a few non-maternity pants, however at work I'm wearing maternity for comfort.

Stretchmarks? Nothing new

Sleep? Sleeping well each night.

Best moment this week? Meeting my best friend Mary's little Liam who was born Tuesday evening.

Movement? A few light flutters feeling like a twitchy stomach.

Food cravings? Nothing new this week.  I'm back to eating salads for lunch at work but the weekends I get to enjoy.  :)

Gender? Not sure yet.

Labor signs? none.

Belly button in or out? In

What I miss? I'm going to WI in a couple weeks for work and I know everyone will be doing a lot of drinking but I won't be able to participate in that fun.

What I am looking forward to? Starting to actually show.  I need a bump because right now I'm looking fat.

Milestones? Officially in the second trimester by a several weeks

Next doctor's appointment? Today!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Feel Better Already

It's amazing.  Age two is well known as being the terrible twos.  Let me preface what I'm about to say with, we have those moments.  We have full on meltdowns, a lot of whining, some tattling, thankfully no hitting but we have them.  But this is probably my absolute favorite age. Lots of parents say this every 6 months or so as their child ages but I think this might actually be my favorite.  She's talking, pretty well too.  She says the word "delicious"!  She's really kind and caring and a little sensitive.  She's not shy when interacting with kids but is with adults.  It's moments like the one we experienced yesterday that made my heart smile.

I sat on our deck steps and watched her play in our backyard and then she ran over to me, picked up a tiny stick and started painting my toenails and proceeded to say "feel better already".  I have no idea why she said it or why she thinks by painting my toenails I would feel better.  I wasn't in a bad or sad mood.  I was actually quite happy to be outside with her enjoying our nice weather.  By doing this though, she did make my day that much better.  It was one of the sweetest moments and I just happened to capture it on my camera phone.  I immediately Instagrammed it and it's become one of my favorite pictures of her.  

PS.  Those blue eyes really are that blue!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wednesday Wardrobe: Target Clearance

Still warm here in Ohio.  Yesterday we hit 82, seriously I can't get enough of it!  So today, I had to wear a dress into work (yes this bathroom has not been updated since 1980).  Check out my under $5 Target score, can you guess which item it is?

Let me give you a hint, it's that dress!  I don't ever have luck in the Target clearance section but somehow I stumbled into this winner!  It's more minty green than this picture is showing you.  My Old Navy jacket from probably 10 years ago that I'm still rocking.  I found my jewelry pieces off discount sites, I can't remember where I found the necklace but the bracelet is from Groopdealz a while back.  Somehow I cut out my shoes, but I'm wearing a dark nude pair of pumps from Target as well.

Any great Target finds lately?


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring is Officially Here!

We finally had some great weather this weekend.  Sunny and 70 degrees, still a little windy for our area but it was gorgeous.  We decided Sunday was too nice not to take full advantage of!  We started our day off perfectly with this gem.

Cuties, strawberries, pineapple, carrots, tomatoes, spinach and a banana.  A touch of water and you're left with this high nutrient smoothie.

After mass Sunday morning, we headed over to Trader Joe's to grab a couple things for our impromptu picnic.  Addie got her first go at her own cart.

She can't quite drive in a straight line so I was backseat driving with her.

How cute is that?!

We headed over to a local park where we sat in a shelter house and ate our picnic lunch (sub sandwiches, pretzels & chips, fresh fruit and some water to prepare for our hike.

About an hour into exploring and hiking, someone crashed for about an hour nap.

We ended the day at my parents for dinner.  Steak, potato pancakes, fresh caprese salad and some ice cream for dessert.  Such a gorgeous weekend.  I cannot wait until we finally get consistent weather around us.  We're preparing for rain now but we'll take it if it comes with the occasional 70 degree sunny days here and there.  What's the weather like in your area?  Finally changing for you?


Monday, April 8, 2013

Mightee Kids: Kids on Bikes

This months feature for Mightee Kids is Kids on Bikes.  Kids on Bikes helps children from the inner-city get bikes and empowers kids and their families to lead healthy, active and happy lives through biking.  You'll remember from previous posts that Mightee Kids "helps kids help other kids around the world...one tee at a time".

When you sign up to be a Mightee kid, each month you'll receive a t-shirt focusing on that months target charity.  And, you'll be giving back because $5 of your monthly cost will go directly to that charity!

Addie's approaching the age of balance bikes and we're thinking about slowly introducing her to these early age bikes to give her that exposure.  Staying active and healthy is super important to our family and bikes are really a great way to stay active!

Addie loves bicycles.  When kids ride by on their bikes Addie says, "ooh, kid bicycle".

She looks like such a little girl these days it's crazy.  

Find out how you can help support the cause this month or any future months at Mightee Kids website!


Friday, April 5, 2013

15 Week Bump Update

Wednesday I made a huge announcement and if you happened to miss this, well surprise!  So, today marks 15 weeks in my pregnancy and I thought I could provide you with a snapshot of what it's like during each week.  

Due Date? September 27th (will confirm a c-section date as we approach September)

How far along? 15 weeks

How big is baby?  About the size of a naval orange.  About 4" and 2.5oz

Weight gain? +1.5

Maternity clothes? Not yet, however I'm approaching it in the pants.

Stretchmarks? Nothing new

Sleep? Sleeping well each night.

Best moment this week? Our announcement to family and friends.

Movement? A few light flutters feeling like a twitchy stomach.

Food cravings? So far this entire pregnancy I've been craving a whole lot of terrible food.  Salty & sweet.  I'm making myself eat salad every day to attempt to offset that terrible eating.

Gender? Not sure yet.

Labor signs? hopefully I won't be answering this one for a while.

Belly button in or out? In

What I miss? Nothing yet, however I'm sure I'll be missing a nice alcoholic drink as we approach those nice days.

What I am looking forward to? Starting to actually show.

Milestones? Officially in the second trimester by a couple weeks

Next doctor's appointment? April 12th

PS.  Don't forget to enter the Real Kids Shades giveaway.



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