Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thursday Deals - 12/30/10

**Updated Friday, 12/31!**

1. Take an extra 20% off at Kohl's with this coupon.  Expires Jan. 1, 2011

2. Buy one Kikkoman Soy Sauce, get one FREE with this coupon!

3. Free Junior Shake at Arby's with this coupon.  Expires Jan. 2, 2011

4. FREE sample of Emergen-C Blue here.  Support your immune system! :)

5. 10 more Pampers Gifts to Grow points with code CONGRATS2NEWMOM

6. Sign up for another FREE sample of Purina ONE dog or cat food here.  Scroll over to tab #3 and click the button!

7. FREE sample of Hearos Ear Plugs here - choose from three different ones. After signing up, you will need to click on a confirmation link that will be e-mailed to you.

8.  With tax season coming up, you can get the H&R Blocik software at Target for about $24.99 after gift cards and coupons.  This week, Target is offering a $10 gift card with the purchase of the software, and you can also get a $10 off coupon here {click on electronics tab!}.

9.  Through January 9th, get 99 prints for 99 cents at Snapfish with promo code 2011PENNY!

4 months

I can't believe Owen is already 4 months old! He learned how to stick out his tongue this month and loves doing that. He's showing all kind of interest in sitting up and no interest in rolling over. Oh, and his sleeping has gone considerably backward, so we're working on figuring that out. I sure miss sleeping all night long. He had us spoiled! Happy 4 months little guy!

**Update 1/5/11**
At his 4 month appt., he was 15 lb, 15 oz and 27 inches long!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I like to do this every year, and it never ever gets old! Ever!

Here's Isaac's fave:

Monday, December 27, 2010


We're slowly being icicled into our house.  We've actually broken them off a few times already, but at this point, I'm just curious to see how big they'll get.  We'll just use the side door for the time being.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours,  
wishes for a very safe and merry holiday season!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday Deals - 12/23/10

1. Haven't seen those Gifts to Grow points in awhile, but here you go Pampers fans {even if you don't have a kid in diapers, you should just sign up for an account, and build up FREE points to get great prizes.  I just cashed in a small portion of my points for this!}!  10 more points each with codes GTGWELCOME10PTS and NEWWIPESPACKAGE

2. FREE sample of Arm and Hammer Toothpaste, they'll send you a confirmation e-mail and you'll have to click the link inside the e-mail to verify it and get the sample.  Copy and paste:

3. Sign up here to get a coupon in the mail for a FREE bottle of Excedrin {up to $5.99 value}.  Quantities are limited, so hurry.  I got mine! :)

4. Print this coupon for 30% off any one item at Old Navy through 12/24. 

5. Get your FREE cup of Yoplait yogurt here 

6.  Bath and Body works is offering a FREE lip item {up to $8 value} with any purchase using this coupon, or promo code ANYLIP.  I'm a fan of the Bigelow Menthe Lip Shine!

7.  Buy one, get one FREE movie tickets through Fandango.  You can only use it once per e-mail address, so if you have more than one, take advantage of it.  You can select movie dates beyond the expiration date of this offer {12/26}.  Use promo code SAMSUNGTAB.

8.  Ever wanted to try Green Nutrition?  Get a FREE sample of Green Magma bars here.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I have a love-hate relationship with bibs.  I never had to worry about it with Isaac because he never wanted to wear them.  Owen, however, needs them.  He'll drench his outfit within an hour without one.

I like: that they keep him dry, that they're a built in burp cloth because I'm always forgetting to pack one, and that they come in different varieties.

I don't like: the fact that I feel they ruin the look of cute outfits {know where I can find some cute ones?}, and that - no matter what - Owen flips them up over his head, and then gets mad.  See what I mean? 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I think this is our dog.  I picked her up yesterday after her haircut, and she looked like this.  Yeeee, she looks ridiculous.  I think her last cut {from the same place!} was much better!

Monday, December 20, 2010


Isaac had a little run in with our wok as Blake pulled it out of the cupboard this evening.  After finally getting the bleeding to stop {and a little consultation with my Dr. friend, Abby!}, it was obvious he needed to go to the hospital.  Four stitches, some tears, screams {"Daddy, come get me!  I'll be a good boy!"}, and a bunch of cookies and candy later, he's fine for now.  But,  he's going to have quite the week:  stitches tonight, having the mole on his foot checked out on Wednesday {guessing they'll remove it...again.}, stitches out on Saturday.  It's a good thing it's Christmas.  All of the presents, cookies, and candy should keep him distracted!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Holidays and friends

You know, I really need to appreciate my friends more year-round.  Here are two recent reasons why:

1.  They make me laugh, all the time.  And then they send me Christmas cards like this. Hilarious.  Love it Jen! 

2.  They read my blog and bring over Peppermint Bark using the recipe I posted.  And, it was super delicious!   Thanks Amanda!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Clever gift wrap

I saw this clever way to wrap a small present and knew I wanted to try it ASAP.  I had one small gift in particular, that I just could not find the right sized box for.  This worked just perfectly.

1. Find a canned good with the pop top/pull tab opening feature
2. Open the bottom of the can with a can opener and empty the contents {eat what's in it!}.  Do not cut the bottom off entirely.
3. Wash and dry the inside of the can; remove label
4. Measure and cut wrapping paper the size of the can.  Wrap around and secure with tape or glue.
5. Nestle your small gift inside - you can also add filler like confetti or candies
6.  Close the bottom and seal by using a hot glue gun around the open edge
7.  Decorate
8.  Watch your recipient open!  How fun! :)

Some small gift ideas:  gift cards, certificates, gloves, nail polish, socks, mini lotions, money, jewelry

Friday, December 17, 2010

Granola bites

I suck at making granola.  For real.  My older sister gave me a great recipe, but I always end up burning it because I get distracted with the kiddos and forget to stir it at just the right moment.  Or, my timer is beeping at me, but I'm changing a diaper, and that extra minute is just too much for the finicky granola!

Then, I found this recipe.  Super easy, and I love that it packs an extra nutritional punch with the flax seed and wheat germ.  You'd never know it was in there watching Isaac gobble these goodies up!  Mine turned out a little more brown {though not burned!} than it probably should have, so I'll just knock a couple minutes off the bake time next time.  I'm guessing it's because I used a mini muffin pan instead of the silicone cups.  You can also make granola bars using the same recipe, but it just seemed like a little too much extra for me at the time.  I might give them a go eventually.

Granola Bites

2 1/2 C. quick oats
1/2 C. crisp rice cereal
1/2 C. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips {I used reg. chips because I didn't have the mini!}
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. canola oil
1/4 C. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
* optional: ground flax seed and/or wheat germ {I use 3 heaping Tbs. or so of each}.

Mix all ingredients {except for the chocolate chips} really, really, really well. Start with a spoon, finish with your hands. Make sure everything is really blended. If your mixture seems dry after mixing then you may need to add a little more oil and/or honey - a teaspoon at a time - until it starts to clump up a little.  Then, stir in chocolate chips.

Holding the mini muffin cups, scoop the granola mixture in and form the mound compactly. I use a rounded tablespoon to help form them, a small cookie scoop would work too. You need to use both hands to press the granola and support the muffin cup at the same time. Line them up on a baking sheet to place in the oven.  Bake 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until tops are golden.

**If you use a mini muffin pan, make sure you grease/spray the pan before adding the granola.  I used the spoon idea to help compact the granola into them.  I'd say cook them for 8-10 minutes in the mini muffin pan.  Once they cool, they pop out really easily with a butter knife.

Thursday Deals - 12/16/10

Sorry for the late post. I was working on my Christmas cards last night, so didn't get around to finishing these. :)

1. Don't forget to pick up your FREE sample of Vaseline Intensive Rescue Lotion here.  I swear by the clinical therapy stuff - especially in the winter!

2. Dec. 17 -19, print this coupon and take it to Bath and Body Works for your FREE 2 oz Island Escape Lotion.  No purchase required.

3. FREE Cini-sopapilla bites at Taco John's with the purchase of Nachos Navidad.  Print your coupon here.  Expires 12/28.

4.  FREE Turnover with any combo purchase at Arby's with this coupon. Expires 12/20.

5. 25% off your entire purchase at T.G.I.Fridays with this coupon.  Expires 12/27.

6. Wal-Mart is having an in-store event starting tonight, 12/17 at 9 p.m.  You can get a Nintendo Wii for $199 with a $75 gift card.  If you're in the market for one, this is a steal!

7. Dang!  Isaac would love this Schwinn Roadster Tricycle for only $34.99 + FREE Shipping at Amazon.  It's marked down from $89.99.  I don't know how long this will last, so snatch it up!

8. Save $5 on any two dinner entrees at the Olive Garden.  Get your coupon here.  Epires 1/23/11.

9.  Don't forget, today is also FREE SHIPPING FRIDAY!   Details here.  Thanks Jen!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I think Owen has had enough of this paparazzi mama.  Really mom?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas cheer

Every year, I take my choir caroling at one of the assisted living centers around here.  The folks there really appreciate the live holiday music and it always puts me in a good mood.  This year, one of my choir members has a spouse who has been ill and hospitalized for 80+ days.  At her request, we also stopped at the hospital to sing a few carols in her husbands room.  His face lit up with joy, and as we finished she said to him, "Merry Christmas Honey."  That was my favorite part of the whole evening. 

Peppermint Bark

What's all the hoopla around peppermint bark?  I've never had the stuff, but they sure charge a pretty penny for it at Williams-Sonoma {that's their bark below, and FREE shipping!}.  I'd like to try it, so I went and found a recipe on the internet, and I do really like the festiveness of it.  One of my favorite parts about the Christmas Season is all the goodies involved, but I'm quickly running out of time to make it all.  Can someone please make this and send it to me? :)  Pretty please?

Peppermint Bark

12 oz chocolate chips
1 pound white chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup peppermint candy, crushed

Preheat oven to 250. Line a 9x13 pan with foil, letting it hang over the sides. Spray foil. Pour the chocolate chips in an even layer on the foil. Place in oven for 5 minutes or until almost melted. Remove from oven, smooth with an offset spatula or knife. Place in refrigerator until cold and firm, about 20 minutes.

Melt white chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a metal bowl over simmering water (don’t let bottom of bowl touch water), until chocolate is almost melted. You can use your microwave for this if you’re brave! Remove bowl from water and stir until completely melted, stirring in extract. Let cool a little bit so it doesn’t melt the chocolate layer when you pour it on top. Pour this over chocolate layer, and, working quickly, spread to cover. Sprinkle with crushed candy.

Chill until both layers are firm. Lift foil out of pan and shake off excess candy. Trim edges. Cut into 2” wide strips. Peel bark from foil and cut each strip as desired. Chill in covered container. Makes about 2 pounds.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Two things

It's amazing the little things you can learn from children.  Here are a couple recent ones for me.

1.  Eat slower.  Enjoy the little things.  Isaac made this donut hole last forever, savoring every last bite.

2.  Rest.  Be at peace. Slow down.   I could watch either of my boys sleep forever.  So peaceful.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sopie is such a freak

Meet Sophie. She's not new to the family {you've probably seen her traipsing around in the background in many of my pictures}. She's been around for 7.5 years, but I feel the need to dedicate a post to her because, while she can sometimes get on my nerves, she really has adapted to life with the two boys in the house very well, and over the course of her life, she has become less of a child to us and more of just your regular old dog.  She really is a very good dog.  God bless her.

She loves: Staring, having her belly or ears scratched, sleeping {on her back, in her bed, on the couch {tsk, tsk}, on piles of laundry, or wherever else she generally feels comfortable}, eating, treats, chewing on rawhides {preferably ones that have already been chewed by some other dog}, barking whenever she thinks someone is outside of our house, panting like crazy when we get home {to the point that it is annoying!}, following Isaac around in the hopes that he'll drop some food for her, running toward Owen whenever she hears a burp because she thinks that spit-up will follow {it's totally gross, but she did it with Isaac too...I can't make her stop!}, performing her tricks, walks, being overly friendly to dogs she doesn't know {or dogs she does know for that matter.  Really, she kind of acts like an idiot sometimes!}, playing hide and seek games {go see mama, go see daddy}, and a nice car ride.

She hates: being groomed, having her nails clipped, watching us leave the house, and having us tell her she has to wait an additional 30 minutes to eat because, "Sophie, it's too early!" or that she can't lick up all that food Isaac is spilling/throwing at the dinner table.

Here she is, staring longingly at something Isaac dropped on the floor.

P.S.  Jen, this post was practically made for you!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rub a dub dub, snowman in the bathtub

What do you do when your two year old wants to play in the snow, but you're busy with a baby, and the wind is nasty?  Bring it indoors!  We packed up some snow in a little ice cream bucket, and let Isaac play with it in the tub.  Next time though, I'll remember to put on his mittens {his hands were FREEZING when he was done}, and slip some shoes on his feet so his socks don't get soaked.  Clearly, I was just so excited about my brilliant solution to his begging to play in the snow that I just discarded all practical thoughts about what it actually takes to play in it!

Friday, December 10, 2010


I love the look of pure joy on Isaac's face.  He's just soooo excited about our piano.  Too bad I know it's not going to stick around when he's actually taking piano lessons down the road and I'm making him practice! :)

Rare Friday deals

In the spirit of the Christmas Season, I found some great deals I really want to share, just in case you see something you can snag!  How are you doing on your Christmas shopping?

1. Walmart is offering an awesome deal on Legos right now.  Buy a Lego Duplo Bricks and More Bricks box for $29, and you'll get a bonus $20 eGift Card!  Plus, Site to Store shipping is always FREE.  I wish I wasn't already done shopping for Isaac.  He loves his Legos!

2. Remember yesterday's deal from SeeHere of 60 photo cards for $4.80 + tax using code 50cards?  Well, now they're offering FREE overnight shipping! Expires Dec. 12.   I totally took advantage of that card offer, but missed out on the overnight shipping deal. Bummer. 

3. Snapfish is offering 50 FREE 4x6 prints + FREE shipping for EXISTING customers.  Just make sure you have at least 50 prints in your cart, and enter coupon code HPINK50.

4. Send your little ones or someone you know a personalized phone call from Santa!  Get started here.  Hilarious!

5.  Getting something at Staples?  Take along this coupon to get 15% off your purchase!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday Deals 12/9/10

1. Score a FREE travel version of Hungry Hippos at Target or the Pictureka card game at Walmart {$4.99} with this printable $5 off one Hasbro game coupon!

2. FREE sample of Garnier Fructis Anti-Dandruff shampoo here.

3. Have you gotten your Christmas cards yet? If you're in the market for photo cards, you can get 60 of them for only $4.90 SHIPPED from SeeHere. Use promo code 50cards! Offer expires Dec. 12.

4. Get your FREE sample of Dream Water at Wal-mart by signing up here. Interesting....not sure if I really trust this. What do you think? Has anyone tried it?

5. Get $10 off a $10+ purchase at Bath and Body Works with promo code F102785. You'll still have to pay shipping though.

6. Sign up for another FREE sample of Vaseline Intensive Rescue lotion here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Don't mess with the 2 year old

Kix cereal recently changed the size of their little corn puffed balls. They are smaller. I think supposed to be a little more toddler friendly. As an adult, I honestly didn't really notice the difference because they still taste the same. Isaac, on the other hand, now wants NOTHING to do with Kix. He'll put them in his mouth and spit them out. He'll say, "Isaac wants big Kix." Much to our chagrin, the old style Kix were no longer available. I called General Mills to give them Isaac's feedback. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like the old Kix are going to come back {but maybe in a few months, Isaac will have forgotten about that original sized Kix anyway}, but they sent me a nice letter and a couple of awesome coupons. FREE box of cereal {up to a $6.00 value!}, and $1 off any General Mills product. Two thumbs up for GM customer service!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Baked Spaghetti

I don't know what it is about spaghetti, but whenever I make just a regular old spaghetti, I taste it all day and all night. I do enjoy it, but I'd like to limit the enjoyment to just the span of time that I'm actually eating it.

Enter this baked spaghetti recipe {in the local school's cookbook}. I think perhaps the cream of mushroom soup and the cheddar cheese help neutralize the acidity of the tomato based sauce. That's just my hypothesis. Either way, it's delicious, and I love the way it just melts in my mouth.

Since it makes such a large amount, I usually end up freezing 2 extra family meals worth, and then just defrosting and popping in the oven for about 25 minutes for a quick meal when we need it.

Baked Spaghetti

1 lb. hamburger {I've used ground turkey as well!}
12 oz. spaghetti
1 (26 1/2 oz.) can spaghetti sauce {or make your own!}
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 c. (10 3/4 oz.) cream of mushroom soup
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese

Brown hamburger, drain. Combine with spaghetti sauce. Cook and drain spaghetti. Place 1/2 of spaghetti in a greased 9x13 inch pan. Top with 1/2 spaghetti sauce mixture. Sprinkle with 1 c. cheddar cheese. Repeat layers. Mix soup and water until smooth and pour over casserole. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

*Sorry I forgot to grab a picture!*

Sunday, December 5, 2010


My parents bought a new camera. Over Thanksgiving, my sister, Jen, went crazy photographing things, and took this picture. I like it. I want to go back to Taiwan.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


I miss being a kid. Snow was so much fun then. I'm tainted as an adult. Having to drive in and shovel the snow has basically ruined it for me. I do love to watch Isaac play in it though, and having him around has forced me to get back out and remember how much fun snow can be. That being said, I always think the first real snowfall of any year is just so beautiful. This year's first snowfall was 6 inches! Check out my bundled up boys:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday Deals 12/2/10

Happy December {Can't believe it!}!

1. Print this coupon for $5 off a $5 or more purchase at Hallmark Stores. I think you can print it twice for use in two separate transactions, but you'll need to a Gold Crown Member to use it. Not a member? Never fear, sign up here for free! Great deal!

2. Want to try Wendy's new natural cut fries with sea salt? Print this coupon for some FREE fries. No purchase necessary!

3. For the 25 days leading up to Christmas, Amazon is offering a FREE DOWNLOAD each day of holiday songs. Check them out here.

4. Need a new printer? Walmart has the HP Deskjet 1050 on sale for $27 + FREE shipping to home. Check it out here. Sweet deal for me because I actually do need a new printer.

5. Gifts to Grow points! Get 10 more with code DEC2010FACEBOOK

6. Download the Veggie Tales Incredible Singing Christmas Album for FREE from Amazon.

7. Old Navy is offering their swanky tanks for just $5 in store only this Saturday, 12/4. Take in this 30% off one item coupon, and you get one for just $3.50!

8. Get one FREE individually wrapped Greenies Dental Chew for your dog, here.