Sunday, January 30, 2011

5 months

He doesn't roll over {except those two accidental times mid-January}, he'd rather work on sitting up!  But, he's our finger-chewing, hair-grabbing, raspberry blowing, naked time loving, glasses-stealing, slobber-kissing, super-drooling, jumping, giggling, chubby-cheeked, lovable little cuddle bug.  And he gives the best hugs.

Happy five months to our dear, sweet, Owen.  We love you more than words can say!

 And....blowing raspberries!  He makes the funniest face!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


When the weatherman tells me that I can expect clouds with a few flurries and no accumulation of snow, I take a safe bet that the roads will be clear and I won't have to shovel my driveway.

Instead, I watched a car spin out in front of me and fly into a ditch {thankfully, that person was fine} and I'm going to have to shovel my driveway before I go to bed tonight.  This is not the first the first time that the meteorologists have been wrong, so you think I'd get used to it.  I guess I just want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but then I end up being a little irritated {like now}.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Old faithful trick

I've been using this trick for years {I think I originally read it in some magazine}. It always amazes me how much stuff I would have just thrown away had I decided not to cut the bottle in half.  I'm on day 9 of extra moisturizer for my face!  That's a lot!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday Deals - 1/27/11

Sorry for the slow posts - it has been one busy week!

1.  Dude, 42 Pampers Gift to Grow Points with code VMF776C7HMXXT4A.  No joke.  I got mine!

2.  FREE sample of Hugo Boss's new cologne Bottled Night here.

3. You can download Sister Hazel's (Think 90's band, right?) whole new album, 11411, FREE here.

4. If you're heading to Michael's crafts stores anytime soon, click here to print out some great coupons {$5 off $25 and more!}  Expires Jan. 29, 2011

5.  15% your in-store purchase at Staples with this coupon.  Expires Jan. 29, 2011

6. Don't forget to get your FREE WAFFLE from Waffle House with this coupon.  I would just loooove a Waffle House nearby right now!

7.  FREE sample of Nexxus ProMend here.



Monday, January 24, 2011


One by one, we're all getting colds over here.  Funny how illnesses really do just pass through the whole house!  The only good part about the two little guys getting colds is that I got to whip out my Nosefrida!  I've had it for awhile, just knowing that they'd get a cold at one point or another!

Parents, do yourself a huge favor!  When it comes to a nasty cold, the thick stuffy mucous involved is nearly impossible for little ones to blow out themselves.  And, stop playing around with that blue bulb you received at the hospital.  It will never render enough power to clean out that little nose when there's a cold, and if you don't use it properly, you could cause damage to the nasal passage.  I'm always nervous using it with Owen because he's always just suddenly jerking around.  I can never rely on him to just sit still {Isaac either, for that matter!}.  Nosefrida has spared me many sleepless nights {even though Owen is going through a phase where he's just getting up.  Blech!}.  I'd be in much worse shape without it!

It's real name is Nosefrida - The Snot Sucker.  Direct from their packaging, it says:

It's Smart
It's Swedish
It's maybe a little strange.
It's completely hygienic
thanks to the included filters.

Best of all, it works.  Also, it makes blowing his nose fun for Isaac.  Poor thing.  His nose is getting a little red and chapped from blowing and wiping.  But he really loves to help mommy suck his snot.  :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

DIgital Photo Keychain Winner has chosen the winner!  Congrats Cheri!  I've sent you an e-mail for details on how to claim your prize. 

I'm working on a couple more giveaways at the moment.  They're good ones, so stay tuned for those! :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday Deals - 1/20/11

1.  Get your 20% at Big Lots coupon here.  Valid 1/22-1/30

2.  FREE 8x11 Classic Photobook at Snapfish, just pay shipping.  Use code SOAPBOOK.  Expires 1/22.

3. FREE sample of the new NatureLuxe Make-up from Cover Girl here.

4. FREE sample of Maggi soup here.

5. FREE sample of Beneful Incredibites Dog Food here.  I think Sophie gets the most FREE samples in this house! :)

6.  Choose your FREE sample of a John Frieda hair care product here.

7.  Rent a couple of FREE movies from Blockbuster express with codes 14CHD2x {expires today} and MRC37H {expires 2/25}

8. Have you signed up to get your FREE cup of Yoplait yogurt?  Sign up to get your coupon here!

9. Ladies, get your FREE Being Girl sample kit here.

10. Boost your Gifts to Grow points with 10 more using code 4WJDHKU4RPP6PT2

11. Cat Lovers - Get a FREE sample of Young Again Cat Food here.

12. If you suffer from split-ends, give Nexxus ProMend a try with this FREE sample!

13. Do you like Chili's?  Then make sure you take along these coupons for a FREE appetizer, a FREE Brownie Sundae, Three FREE Sweet Shots, and $5 off two entrees.  Too bad you can't use them all at the same time! ;-)

14. 20% your Table's entire purchase at T.G.I.Fridays with this coupon.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Smart Phone

I just upgraded to a smart phone {HTC Desire}.  Now, I feel dumb!

However, I will say that I already feel very organized and ready for all the new {big} things coming up in the next few weeks!  Thank you Android Calendar for syncing all of my Google stuff into one place!  What new {big} things, you ask?

Well, let me share!

1.  I'm dusting off the old real estate license and jumping back in.  Currently I'm working toward re-taking the test {read: studying...a LOT} so that my continuing ed is all up-to-date.

2.  Hosting a cloth-diapering informational session at the local library at the end of the month.  I've got a few people interested already.  Since it's a fairly new concept to the area, I wanted others to have a first-hand account of what it's really like to cloth diaper in the 2000's, be able to see and touch the product, ask questions, and know that if they want to explore this realm, that there is someone nearby to help them out with any questions or concerns.

3.  I'm going to become a certified Kindermusik teacher and offer classes in my area.  My audition/interview is next week, and my classes start on the 30th of this month!  I'm REALLY excited about this, given all of the positive feedback I've received.

4.  We're having another baby!!!! hahahahaha...YEAH RIGHT!  Not yet, anyway.  I just thought I'd be clever and sneak that one in.

I'm really looking forward to all of the new things coming my way.  It'll be nice to have some sort of stability again, considering all of the circumstances with my former employer.  I'll be happy to sort of leave that behind.  On to new adventures!

P.S.  Have you entered for your chance to win that digital photo keychain?  Even if you don't want it, I bet you could think of someone who would!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

{CLOSED} Giveaway #2: Philips Digital Photo Keychain

Dear Readers:

This was a popular gift from my students this year {same color and everything!}!  It's a great little gadget, but I don't really need more than one.  Blake already complains that I have too many things on my keychains. :)  So, I'm sharing their generosity with you!

 When you win this, you can tote around up to 100 photos and enjoy them anywhere on your bright 1.5" screen.  This giveaway will close Friday, Jan. 21, 2011 at noon. will choose the winner to be announced here on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011.

There are two ways to enter to win.  Leave a separate comment for each to get the entries along with an e-mail address so that I may contact the winner with details on how to claim your prize:
1.  Leave a comment telling me which pictures you would upload and share {kids, vacations, new car, friends, family}
2. Follow my blog {with Google friend connect - you can see it over there -----> }and leave a comment letting me know that you do.

Good luck!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bedtime Stories

We've read to Isaac since he was a baby.  To this day, reading is one of his favorite activities.  Lately, he wants to "read" us his stories {recite the book because he has it memorized!}.  I remember my niece "reading" as well when she was younger.  At any rate, here are a couple of his stories.  I wish I could record them all.  Much of the time, I'm just amazed at what he knows, and it's SO CUTE to listen to him "read". I tried to get the words in each of the books so you can see that he is saying them almost word-for-word.

In Pajama Time, he still needs a little help, and then he realizes I'm recording him, so he whips out his inner divo, "I don't know that page."  Blah.  Either way, not bad for 27 months old!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Normally I'm not a huge fan, and highly skeptical, of websites that claim you can just earn points for prizes by basically doing nothing out of the ordinary.  I decided to take the plunge with Swagbucks after reading about it all over the internet for months.  I must say, I'm pretty impressed with it so far.  I"ve only been using it for a few weeks and have already earned almost 1,000 SB's.  I answer the daily polls, use their search engine, play their games, and pay a visit to their surveys tab.  You can earn more in lots of other ways if you really want to get into it {I follow this site which releases tips on where to find swagcodes for extra SB's - I would say I've probably gotten around 150 SB's from them!}.  With just my tiny amount of SB's and very little effort, I can already buy two $5 e-gift cards {450SB each} and still have some SB's left over!  I told Blake that I was going to just save my SB's until I could buy the ultimate item from the Swagstore.  Want an iPod Touch?  Only 22,999 SB's from the swag store!  At my rate, I'll earn that by the end of the year.   Really, I'm hoping to earn enough points to help fund Christmas next year.  I did a lot of my shopping on Amazon this year, so maybe I can defray some of my costs by hoarding SB's! :)

Want to swag with me?  Sign up here and get started with 30 FREE swag bucks.  Plus, if you sign up today, you can get 30 MORE FREE SB's by entering code SBGames in the "Gimme" box.  That's 60 SB's just for signing up.  If you like it, refer your friends for opportunities at more Swagbucks.

What do you think of these sites? At least worth checking out, right?  Happy swagging!

Thursday Deals - 1/13/11

1.  You can try Kellogg's new Crunchy Nut Cereal for FREE with a mail-in-rebate.  Just look for the box at your local grocery store that has the "Try me Free" label on the front.  I saw it tonight when I was grocery shopping, but didn't pick one up because I already had waaaaaay too much cereal in my cart!

2. With the cold and flu season in full swing, make sure to register for your FREE Get-Ready Hand Washing timer here.  You can request up to three of them, while supplies last.  Definitely a neat tool for teaching your kids how long to wash their hands.   I'm interested to get these because I think sometimes I cut my hand-washing short!

3. FREE 5x7 Photo Book from the Kodak Gallery.  Just pay tax and shipping, which will end up being around $1.99. Great deal!

4. FREE sample of Nature's Select Premium Pet Foods here!

5. FREE 22oz drink with purchase of any size snack favorite at Arby's with this coupon.

6. Need some cough drops?  Score some FREE halls at Target by stacking this coupon {you'll need to register at the Halls site} and this coupon {under healthcare}.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Potty train

Well, here's one of the reasons for the slow posts this week:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chicken Potato Chowder

This is a lunchtime favorite in our home.  Isaac, especially, loves this one.  I don't use the measurements below at all,  I just kind of eye it.  I also use canned chicken breast to make it a quick lunch!


1/3 C. diced and cooked boneless breast or ground chicken
1/4 C. cubed and cooked potato
3 T. shredded mild Cheddar or American cheese
1/4 C. milk
2 tsp. butter
Peas, carrots and/or corn

Mix chicken, veggies, potato, milk, and butter in a small saucepan. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in cheese. Serve warm.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Today, we're sitting back and relaxing with a cup of hot cocoa by our fireplace.  Thanks IPTV!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Italian Stracciatella with Mini Meatballs, Tender Cheese Tortellini and Baby Spinach

I know that sounds like a long name for a dish, but it's soooo good.  Don't let the name fool you, it's really easy to make and doesn't take too much time.  With a baby and a toddler running around, I don't have loads of time to focus on making dinner!

Since it's going to be really chilly in Iowa this weekend, I recommend making this soup and let it warm and comfort you through the cold temps.  I might just make it again, even though we had it earlier this week.  We ate it with some bread sticks and cranberry cocktail, but I think it would taste phenomenal paired with a nice glass of wine!  We reheated it today for lunch, and it was just as delicious!  To add more broth to the reheated mixture, I just added a little bit more chicken broth.

Husband rating: A-!!!  And that's coming from a guy who isn't a huge fan of soup!

Italian Stracciatella with Mini Meatballs, Tender Cheese Tortellini and Baby Spinach  **with my edits!**


  • 1 egg
  • handful parsley, finely minced
  • big pinch of Greek oregano {I used the Cavendar spice that I have}
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 pound ground beef


  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • Mini tortellini {I just bought a pre-made kind at Wal-mart}
  • 1 egg
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated for topping

  1. In a bowl, combine the egg, parsley, Greek oregano, garlic, parmesan and Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. Mix together. Add the ground pork and beef and mix for a couple of seconds more until flavors are incorporated into meat, don’t over-mix. Roll into tiny balls the size of marbles.  {I just threw them into the chicken broth as I was rolling them and added the tortellini when I was done}.


  1. Bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a large pot. Throw in the mini meatballs and tortellini. Simmer for 8 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, beat together the egg and sea salt. Slowly stream the egg into the pot while whisking the broth quickly with a fork to form stracciatella.
  3. Place a portion of the baby spinach in a soup bowl. Pour hot soup over spinach and top with freshly grated parmesan.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Conversations with Isaac

We've been chatting a lot with Isaac about potty training.  To get him hyped up about it, we ask very excitedly, "Isaac, are you ready to potty train?!"  He of course usually dances around on his toes and says, "Oh yes! It will be very fun!"

Yesterday, he was sitting in a cardboard box.  I asked him what he was doing.  His response?  "I'm riding the potty train mommy! Choo choo!"

Thursday Deals - 1/6/11

Yippee!  The first deals of 2011! :)

1. Buy one Special K cereal, get one FREE with this coupon.

2. FREE sample of Post-It Durable Tabs from 3M here.

3. Everyone needs a little more Vitamin D during the winter months.  Snag a FREE sample of Nature Made chewable Vitamin D here.

4. Oh, how I wish I was near a Waffle House.  I would SO take this coupon and get a FREE Waffle!  Expires March 1, 2011.

5. $5 off $15 at T.G.I.Fridays with this coupon.  Expires January 13, 2011.

6. Get your coupon for a FREE appetizer or dessert with two adult entree purchases at Olive Garden here!  Up to a $9 value! This makes me crave their Black Tie Mousse Cake.  Expires January 31, 2011.

7.  Get a FREE sample of Dentek Comfort Clean Floss Picks here.

8. Get a FREE sample of Purina ONE Smartblend Dog food from Sam's Club.  No membership required.  There have been so many offers for this sample from different places, that I've already gotten two in the mail, with two more on the way!  Sophie's a huge fan of it too!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Order - again

Remember this post on Isaac's love for lining things up?  Don't worry, he's still lining up the potatoes! But lately, he lines things up according to color and shape as well.

First up, here's a picture of a Melissa and Doug shape puzzle, lined up by color {sorry for the crappy cell phone picture!}.

And, here's one of Owen's Christmas presents, stacked up large piece on bottom, small piece on top, and sorted by color:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Taking pictures...

...of our two boys together is really a challenge!  Eventually, we just give up and hope we managed to get at least one good one.   Here's a sneak peek of how much "fun" we had trying to get pictures of them in their Christmas outfits!

Cosmo fail

Any woman knows that you can rely on Cosmo for just about anything, including letting us know that Denver has just been moved to Wyoming!

 Thanks for the tip, Erin! :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Healing up

It has been two weeks since Isaac's run in with our Wok.  He's healing up nicely.  This picture was actually taken a couple of days ago, but I'm fairly certain that once it's completely healed, you'll barely be able to tell it was there!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New year, new projects

Happy 2011!  Among our New Years Resolutions are plans to tackle/figure out some of our little house projects.  First up, that mold growing on the bathroom ceiling above the shower.  I know it's growing because there isn't sufficient air flow/venting there.  But, that area is oh-so-cute framed off by the little archway.  Before we moved in, we removed the old shower rod that completely blocked the archway, and currently keep our curtain slightly below the arch.  Recently, we have been keeping the shower curtain partially open while we shower to help with the air flow.  But, the mold that grew previously was still there!  We've already removed it once with just a generic cleaner, but it did NOT work.  Then, I found some internet instructions.  We followed them to a tee, and you can barely tell the mold was ever there.  I forgot to take a before picture, but you can still see where some of the mold spots were mid-project.

The problem area

And in case, that link becomes broken in the future, here are the instructions:
  • Wash the area with a cleaning solution of mild detergent and warm water.
  • Let dry.
  • Mix ¼ cup of bleach with one quart of water and apply the solution {we actually used 1/2 and 1/2 for our solution}. Wait for 20 minutes and apply a second time. Allow another 20 minutes to dry.
Mold Prevention Now that the ceiling is clean, mix a solution of borate-based detergent (such as Borax) and apply it. This solution should not be rinsed, but left to stop mold from growing in the future. Borates have stain removal properties and control bacteria and fungi.