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Showing posts from January, 2012

Toddle Along Tuesday: Mommy-to-be Advice

Mama G over at Growing Up Geeky said this week's topic for Toddle Along Tuesday would be advice to new moms-to-be and like so many other "veteran" moms out there I was happy to share my advice even if you all didn't directly ask for it :)

I remember reading a book in the 4th grade called "How to be a Perfect Person in Just 3 Days" (yes, can you believe even in elementary school I was analyzing how can I be perfect?)  Anyways, I'm so glad I read it because the lesson from that book has always stuck with me even to this day and is really fitting for motherhood.  So here is the lesson:

Nobody is Perfect because Perfect is boring.

If you reflect on the times in your life that mean the most to you and the times that you really learned the most about yourself, all of them probably came along with some sort of struggle or hardship.  Motherhood is no different.  That isn't to say you might not be blessed with an "easy" baby, but even if you are, yo…

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday

This theme came to me about a year ago thanks to the ever popularly shopped Target.  I was in there last February and they had all of the Very Hungry Catapillar party items on clearance so I cleaned up since the book is one of my favorites to read with the boys and the colors are great.  I think I got plates, napkins, stickers, cups, invitations, and the table cloth all for about $7!  Score! With help from Pinterest, this party quickly took shape.

Invitations:I ended up creating the invitations and thank you notes from another blogging mom.  Here is how the thank you card turned out.
















Decorations:
Here is my high chair ribbon banner.  I simply cut the ribbon to length to go around the tray then cut different ribbon strips about 1 ft. long.  I used about 7 different ribbon pattern.  I don't sew, but I love steam-a-stich so I just used that on my backing layer, applied the cut ribbons on top, ironed on a backing piece of ribbon and that was it.  This project should easily cost you no…

Slimming Down Sunday

Week 4 Weight Change:  - 1.2 pounds :)
Total Difference:-8 pounds since post-Thanksgiving
Goal Progress:2.2 pounds to go before mini-goal #1 on February 1st.



Notes:  I did great this week on lowering my caloric intake.  I'm sick too, so that is this weeks excuse for not working out (I'm noticing a correlation of excuses and not working out, are you?). Anyways, we did awesome this week not eating out, including the weekend which is also helping me stay on track.  I've got three days to make it to mini-goal one.  I'll see what the scale says then, but so far I am really happy with how I've been doing and have not felt defeated. **Bonus** I wore a pair of pants to work this week that had been hiding out in my closet since before I got pregnant.  Score!




Blog hop.

Chasing Fireflies and Blissful and Wishful have teamed up for Slimming Down Sunday!


Do you have a post about weight loss tips/tricks/struggles/etc, nutrition, fitness, or related? Link it up!

2 rules:
1. You must …

You Won't Be Single For Long Vodka Cream Sauce

I made this dish for my husband, then fiance, years ago for a Valentine's dinner.  I'm a sucker for pasta and vodka, so I thought this was a win-win.  I thought I'd share it with all of you in case you are searching for a dinner to serve your sweetheart soon.  Pair it with crusty bread, a salad and wine and a smooch from your sweetie--but beware you'll have garlic breath!  You might even want to double the batch and freeze it.


You Won't Be Single For Long Vodka Cream Pasta 
by Rachel Ray of FoodTV


Witty Wednesday

My DH received this book as a Christmas gift and it has given us some teary-eyed laughter.

You might have seen some of his work circulate through an email, but this book includes a lot of new additions.

It is a great gift for anyone with a twisted sense of humor like myself, especially for those hard to buy for guys in our lives.

Check out his website too. I AM BETTER THAN YOUR KIDS



Sponsors

Want to get in on the awesomeness that is my blog?  Check out my Sponsor Ad packages below.

My blog has been growing consistently since officially launching it this past January.  Take a look around and see if you'd be a good fit for my readers.


Winter Needs

I do much better in cold winter weather than hot, humid summer weather that tends to make me cranky.

I love to be cozy, especially in the winter.  I picked up this cozy blanket after Christmas for myself from Kolhs (sorry no link) and I am so glad I did.  I debated on if I really needed to add another blanket to the hundreds I already seem to own, but I caved in the end unable to resist the lure of linens and I really liked the design.
It is safe to say that I have been cuddled up with ever since then.  It has one side that is microfleece and the other is a sherpa I think.  It is doing a fine job of keeping me warm this winter and it is so soft. Here you can see my little pup trying to make it his own, lol.















In addition to a cozy blanket I must moisturize multiple times daily in the winter.  I find that my skin gets horribly dry and itchy if I don't.  Ahava is one of my must have lotions to keep away the dry skin. I love their entire line of products!



What are your winter needs?


Slimming Down Sunday

Week 3 Weight Change:  - 2 pounds :)
Total Difference:-6.8 pounds since post-Thanksgiving
Goal Progress:3.4 pounds to go before mini-goal #1 on February 1st.
Notes: This week was pretty good.  I'm really not sure how I ended up doing so well, but I'll take it.  I tracked food 4/7 days, but I have a good idea of my caloric intake so I was very conscientious of that even though I didn't get a chance to log it.  I only got to work out 1 day this week, but that is better than nothing.  I really don't know where people find the time to work out.  I know it gives you energy, but I'm exhausted during any free time I do have which usually is after 8 or 9pm.  Working out after work is ideal, but I've got things going on usually at least 3 days a week between doctor appointments and work related things.  
I'm one week out from my mini goal #1 but I'm moving in the right direction.  Stayed tuned to see if I meet it or not!

Happy Birthday Cameron!

Happy Birthday to my little man!


Every Mom is Crazy about a Sharp dressed baby

As a girl of course I dreamed of having a little girl someday to adorn with pink frocks, but who knew dressing boys could be so much fun too?

My favorite spot for boys fashions is generally Gymboree.  I love the quality of their clothing and they have amazing deals when you get them at the right moment.  I also like how the clothes coordinate with colors more than anything.

My other go-to spot for the boys clothing is TJMaxx, Marshall's or Burlington Coat Factory.  There I have been able to score lots of brand name items for mere dollars.  Again, I don't have to sacrifice quality for price.

If my wallet was a bottomless pit that just loved to refill itself, I'd shop all the time and Janie and Jack.  Their clothes are so adorable.  Practical, perhaps not, but there is nothing cuter in my opinion than a little baby boy dressed up looking like an old man and when you can buy a blazer with suede elbow patches, that is exactly what you get.

These are a few of my favorite outfit…

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka

Chicken Tikka is a new dish that I'm adding to our dinner rotation.  I don't have too much experience with Indian food, but this sauce  looked yummy.  It is a mild curry sauce that didn't disappoint and helped change up boring chicken. Bonus -- my 4 yr. old thinks it has a funny name so he was eager to try it and it was mild enough for him.

Ingredients:

1 Jar of Tikka Masala sauce
3-4 Chicken Breasts (boneless)
Basamati Rice (cooked)

Preparation:
Place Chicken in slow cooker, add 1/2 jar of sauce, cook on low 6 hours.
Add remaining sauce once chicken is cooked and serve once warmed through
Serve with rice 

Can you get a dinner any easier than that??

The manufacturer of the sauce also has this non-slow cooker traditional recipe.
Traditional Chicken Tikka Masala


Witty Wednesday

Slimming Down Sunday

Week 2 Weight Change:  +.6
Total Difference:-4.8 pounds since post-Thanksgiving
Goal Progress:  5.4 pounds to go before mini-goal #1 on February 1st.
Notes:  So I started off the week with a loss and then Friday came.  Lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings and a late dinner with drinks at TGIFriday's is not what I recommend doing before a weigh in.  :(  I also wasn't able to workout after work this week as I ended up having a meeting ever.single.day.  Excuses, excuses.
I have better hopes for this week but I also want to keep my goals and lifestyle realistic for me.  I did succeed in tracking all my food this week.  The good.  The bad and the ugly.  I didn't go over on any of my days except Friday.  (cue sad trombone).

Meanwhile, DH has been doing awesome and is down 6+ pounds.  I'll have to write about this later, but I'm convinced different sexes handle weight differently.

Don't forget to join my link up!





Do you have a post about weight loss tips/tricks/struggles/etc, nutr…

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

I love spicy Buffalo Chicken and this tasty recipe was a snap to make.














I found this on Pinterest originating from here but below is my own variation and recommendations.

Ingredients:
3-4 Chicken Breasts (I used fresh)
Franks Red Hot Sauce (regular or buffalo)
Dried Ranch Dressing Mix
2-3 tbsp. butter

Preparation
Place Chicken in Slow Cooker
Pour approx. 1/2 bottle of sauce on top
1/4 to 1/2 of the dressing mix.  (I used 1/2 and found it to be too salty)

Cook on low for 6-8 hours

Shred up the chicken, add more sauce or a little water if necessary, but the chicken will shred up perfectly.
Put butter on top for about 15 more minutes, stir and then serve

**I think adding a little cream cheese to this recipe also might be a nice addition, but I'd melt that in the slow cooker prior to adding the chicken**

This is so yummy and very versatile to serve with anything.  I especially love it mixed in a cool salad with a little ranch dressing.  With the Super Bowl coming up too this would be a…

Witty Wednesday

I love to laugh.  I mean who doesn't?  So I decided since I get so much humor from the interwebs that I'd take Wednesdays to share things that have made me smile.  Hopefully they make you smile too.



This one has been floating around pinterest.  WDYT?  Do you agree?

Toddle Along Tuesday - Playroom Sanctuary

Our starter home was a great place to live, but with only one child at the time we soon realized that our house was being taken over by toys.  We've pleaded with family and friends that they boys don't need anything, but to no avail.  DH and I are not good at saying no to things either, so when we were looking for a new home, a basement/playroom area dedicated solely to the mess was at the top of our list.

We love the layout of our current house which includes this sweet 400 sq. foot space.  We had the unfortunate issue last spring with the basement that we are still dealing with the county over, but we really wanted to get it back to working order ASAP, especially now that we had 2 little monsters to tear it up.

I will admit there was a wee bit of staging for these pictures, but mostly just toys were put in their places and not all over the floor.  I've been able to find some awesome things at garage sales for just a few dollars that the boys love(table, car/train table,

Slim Down & Shape Up Sunday

I like most women today struggle with my eating habits and being over weight.

I am changing my behaviors and I know this is a great challenge ahead of me, but I know the reward at the end will be worth it.  And no, that reward is not just reaching some magical number on the scale, but I am seeking mental freedom more than just physical changes.

Freedom from guilt.
Freedom from shame.
Freedom from embarrassment.
Freedom from past habits.
Freedom from the reflection that I don't love.

I hope to obtain confidence and release of the mental anguish I have been experiencing about my self-image for more than two decades of my lifetime.  That is a lot of wasted energy that I have to make up for.

This Week's Info:
Weight Change:I'm down .2 lbs. this week but it is that week of the month, so I'll take it :)
Total Difference: -4.2 pounds since post-Thanksgiving

Goal Progress:only 4.8 pounds to mini-goal #1 by 2/1/2012 which also happens to be my 1st goal for 2012

Notes:DH has decided …

Hello 2012

It is no secret that I fail at following through with most things in my life.  My self-discipline is the area in life I wish to improve the most, however I'm pretty sure it is a personality trait I'm stuck with.  That said, I'd like to accomplish some of the following things this year.

I've heard some people complain about the celebration of New Years, but I really like it.  Nothing like a fresh start and anticipation of what lies ahead in the next 365 days.

So here is what is on my list for 2012 goals:
obtain my pre-pregnancy weight by Februaryobtain my wedding weight by October and my 7 year anniversaryparticipate in at least one 5k walk/runtake a vacation with just the hubbyread 3 "fun" booksde-clutter this mad housestart saving for the kitchen remodel (this goal I hope to have in 2017)retire wearing my judging pants.  I wear them far too often and I'll probably post about them later.Blog more.  I love reading blogs and I really want to put more out th…

Let's get this blog rollin'

New Year New Followers Fest! So for the New Year we thought it would be fun to do a major blog hop with lots of hosts! Hopefully everyone can get some new followers, and we can find some new awesome blogs to follow ourselves! This super awesome blog hop is hosted by the amazing blogs below:



Krista from ArmyWife-Style


Kacie from Chasing Fireflies


Whitney from Everything Happens for a Reason


Nykki from Another Day In Paradise



Katie from The Life of an Army Wife





Nancy from The Chrancy Family





Victoria from Smiles 'n' Snuggles





Stephanie from Moments That Take My Breath Away








Nicole from Our Pregnancy RoadTrip And Beyond





Stephanie from My Messmerized Life





Kelli from The How To Mommy





Annie from Letters to Mo
Don't forget to follow me too and grab my button :)

So the rules are:
* Visit each host, and any of the people linked up that you find interesting. The more you follow, the more followers you get in return, leave a comment telling them you found them from the New Years New Followers …