Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sisterly Love Does Exist...

Isabella and Madelyn love one another. It isn't always sunshine and rainbows over here.

But then there are moments such as this one that make me proud of my girls and their love for one another.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

9 Months Old...Shut the Front Door!

9 Months



Baby food hating

Big people food loving


Toothless smiling

Momma milk loving



Cat food eating

Sweetest baby ever.

The One With a Toot. Or a Series of Toots.

This past weekend we made the drive to Texas to see Leo's family. The girls did so well (the trip home was another story...) and Isabella begged to stop at the rest stop with the huge Texas star once we crossed into Texas.

I take her into the bathroom and as we are washing up we hear something. Someone was just letting them rip in one of the stalls.

I, being the mature adult that I am, hold in my giggles. Isabella on the other hand? Not so much.

She starts looking around, trying to figure out where it was coming from. She then looks up at me once all is quiet again.

"Mommy?" she asks. "What was THAT?!"

I rushed us out to car and by then I died laughing. Leo asked me what was so funny...

As I finish telling him we both look at one another with tears streaming down my face from laughing so hard.

Let it be known--children? Have absolutely no filter. And I?

Find that absolutely refreshing.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Chasing Rainbows--Book Pick of the Week

Bernadette (or Bernie as she is referred to throughout the book) has just lost her father. His death was unexpected and took a toll on Bernie. Her husband has left her--five years after the death or their baby daughter--for another woman. She quits her job where her boss is best described as nothing more than a jerk. With no job, no husband and recently losing her father unexpectedly, Bernie takes her life into her own hands and figures it's no time like the now to begin to live the life that she wants.

When it seems that Bernie's life is going down a downhill spiral she begins to solve the book of cryptograms that her father left for her in the wake of his death. Every puzzle that she solves somehow relates to Bernie and her life.   At first it seems that her life will not get better, but Bernie starts to realize that her father has left her answers to puzzles and these answers begin to slowly let Bernie realize that maybe her father really did know best.

With her best friend by her side, a new and mysterious neighbor down the street, she realizes that sometimes in order for us to be happy and fulfilled we sometimes need to chase the rainbows and find our happiness there. 

I loved Chasing Rainbows. Kathleen Long wrote an addicting novel and made me smile, laugh and at times, want to curl up beside Bernie and cry. Her writing style was smooth and I loved how I could pick up Chasing Rainbows and not have to read for a long time to feel any sort of connection to her characters. 

I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this book to my readers if you are looking for a light read with a lead female character that you want to cheer on and relate to on some level. 

Kathleen Long is RITA nominated, RIO Award and two-time Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence winning author of fourteen novels of contemporary romance, romantic suspense and women's fiction. Her additional honors include National Readers Choice, Holt Medallion and Booksellers Best award nominations.

Buy Chasing Rainbows on Amazon or Barnes and Noble today!

I received a copy of Chasing Rainbows from Chick Lit Plus. All opinions above are my own and no other compensation was given. Thank you, Chick Lit Plus!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Homemade Playdough = Messy Fun!

I write on my blog a lot that I get sad when my daughters get older. But there is a part of me that loves to experience them growing older as well. Isabella is now well over 4 years old and she is fascinated with assisting me in all that I do. Well, with the exception of picking up toys or making her bed.

But if I suggest that we do a fun project together or bake something with one another? She is all over that! She grabs her helper stool and gets to work by pouring, measuring, stirring and throwing away trash as needed. I love it. It's as if I suddenly grew an extra set of hands--and who hasn't ever wished that they had more hands available to help?

Today we made homemade playdough. We usually buy them playdough at the store, but I have seen so many fun ideas floating around online that I wanted us to try it out for ourselves. I crossed my fingers, grabbed my assistant and got to work.

You will need:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 tsp creme of tartar
1 cup water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
few drops of food coloring of choice (I used ~6)

Mix together the dry ingredients in a saucepan. Stir together. 

In a liquid measuring cup get your water, add the vegetable oil and food coloring. Pour into saucepan.

Stir all items together and have your stove set to medium. Constantly stir together. After a couple of minutes the dough will begin to peel away from the pan. This signals that the dough is ready.

Remove from stove. Sprinkle some flour on a hard surface and knead with hands. To store the dough place in an airtight container or bag. Make sure no air is let into whatever you are storing it in as that is what will dry out your dough.

And that is it! Super simple, super fun. We colored ours pink and we have a list of colors that we want to test out. Isabella loved having some one on one time with me--and loved being able to make some messy fun with her mom. It's not all of the time that I encourage us to make a messy fun project.

Do you have a messy recipe that your little one loves? Submit your fun and messy recipe to Clorox Clean-Up Recipes for Fun site and Utimate Mess Party contest. Your recipe must fall into one of the four categories: Wacky Science, Arts and Crafts, Kiddie Cooking or Creative Cooking. There are a lot of fun recipes over there and if you do submit your recipe for fun you could win one of many prizes to include a grand prize of $10,000!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox Clean-Up Recipes for Fun blogging program, for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on this program, click here and see the Terms link.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sick Day.

My sweet Brynlie is sick today. My heart aches when one of my girls is sick...I feel so helpless.

Here's hoping that my sweet Brynlie will be feeling much better by tomorrow. I miss her smiling, laughing, trouble making usual antics.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Valentine's Tradition...

My Mom has made a strawberry pop cake for as long as I can remember--seriously. It's a Valentine's Day tradition and SO good. Not to mention that it's insanely easy to make.

-Buy a box of white cake mix

-Substitute strawberry pop for the water (so you will use strawberry pop, oil and egg whites. NO water)

-Bake as directed

I also make a strawberry frosting. It's insanely good!

-Powdered sugar

-Melted butter (a couple of tbsp)

-Softened cream cheese

-Strawberry pop

Dump in powdered sugar, butter, cream cheese and a small amount of strawberry pop. Mix with your mixer and add more powdered sugar/strawberry pop as desired. Mix until frosting consistency.

I don't have the exact frosting measurements...I just add until I get the frosting that I want.

Top your cupcake with red hot candies, candy, fresh strawberries, sprinkles--or anything that you would like. You'll then end up with the most delicious cupcake ever.

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

I Have a New Love...

Meet my newest friend, the new love in my life:


The Nikon D5100. I sold my D40 & begged pleaded treated myself to a little bit of an upgrade. It is everything and more that I anticipated.

Hope you don't mind the sure to come flood of pictures that are to come in the days, weeks, months, years ahead?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Loves Madonna? Check.

I remember as a girl the love and adoration that I held for Madonna. Vogue? One of my all time favorite Madonna hits ever.

I found it not quite coincidental that Brynlie discovered her own love of Madonna during the halftime show during Sunday's Super Bowl.

Here she is dancing her little heart out to Vogue such as I did so many years ago (and may or may not have been doing on Sunday night as well...):

Madonna rocks, Mommy!

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Kitchen Sidekick

Raise your hand, nod your head or murmur in agreement if you have a child that loves to be your assistant in the kitchen. Maybe they are younger like my Isabella, or perhaps they are a tween and have recently decided that cooking is cool again. Luckily for me Isabella is in love with being my sidekick in the kitchen and I? Love this about her.

Whether she is helping me to gather the necessary ingredients, measuring with my supervision (I may love her help, but I kind of want my food to taste decent, too), or pouring in ingredients as directed, she is so enthusiastic about being my kitchen helper. She is an amazing helper and so eager to learn how to cook. A  task may seem trivial to an adult, but to her it means the world to be helping Mommy out.

As a parent I believe that one of the best gifts that I can give my children is proper nutrition. When I say give them proper nutrition I do not mean by only feeding them a healthy, well-balanced diet, but to teach them the life skills to know what being a healthy eater truly means. Sure, I can just give them their whole grains, fresh fruits, fresh veggies, but how will that help them when they are old enough to make their own healthy choices? This is where teaching in the kitchen comes in to play in my home.

If you are thinking to yourself sure this sounds like a good idea but how do I make this happen, I have a few ideas on how to incorporate the entire family in cooking healthy meals for all to enjoy:

  • Make a meal plan on Saturday and on Sunday do the grocery shopping for the week--as a family. Let your children be involved in picking out a healthy side dish or main course for a certain day. Once they are involved with the decision making they may be more apt to want to be involved. At the store let them help pick out the products that are on your list. 
  • Make meal time fun! Do you sit around the table as a family? If not, I encourage all parents to do this with their family. Maybe start a new tradition that you do at the dinner table. Have interesting dinner conversations, have each person ask another family member a question about their day, etc. Sometimes dinner can be so rushed that it is easy to scarf down your meal, leap up and rush around. Try for a more laid back type of dinner a few times per week and see if that makes it more enjoyable.
  • Let your children (age appropriate of course) help out in the kitchen. Have them help tear up lettuce for your fresh salad. Allow them to measure out your brown rice that is for a side. Tear up that fresh head of broccoli to be cooked. 
  • Remember that your plates should be a rainbow of colors at meal time. While doing your meal planning ask your children which yellow/red/green fruit/veggie/side they would like for the meal. What is a healthy (and kid loved) side that everyone would love? Could you mix all the ingredients together to make a great dish and serve it with brown rice? Use your imagination in this and see what your children will come up with.

There are so many different, fun and interesting ways to make eating healthy a fun activity for the entire family--children included! With our country's overweight and obesity percentage on the rise it is up to us, as parents, to ensure that our children are as healthy as possible. Make it a fun time for the entire family to be healthy and to get on track towards a healthier lifestyle.

Uncle Ben's is hosting a wonderful contest Let's Get Kids Cooking! on Facebook. It's super simple to enter: 1) Cook a rice inspired dish with your child and help inspire healthy choices. 2) Film your child(ren) sharing their enthusiasm in the dish and what they learned. 3) Upload the video on Uncle Ben's Facebook page on the enter contest tab.

You have until February 26th 2012 to enter--good luck!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Uncle Ben’s blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Madelyn has been having a hard time lately sharing me with her sisters--or anyone for that matter. I knew that this day would eventually come, but I also assumed that it would have hit a little sooner than now.

She cries constantly if I am unable to hold her right then and there when she wants me to. This is usually when I am feeding Brynlie or rocking Brynlie to sleep. It breaks my heart that she is hurting so much with adjusting to a new baby sister.

I am trying to make it easier on her and trying not to get frustrated with the amount of tears and tantrums that are occurring on a regular basis around my home. Believe me when I say she cries a lot. It's hard being a mom and seeing your child hurt in a way that we try to fix, but all that will truly fix it is time and acceptance on her part.

Until this phase passes I will keep showing her how much I do love her. I hope that when she is old enough she will understand how much I love her and how much this is hurting me to see her struggling like this.