Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Love Bean's Memory Box

Instead of making Love Bean a scrapbook, I'm filling a memory box. I actually stole the idea from Alexis, but she doesn't mind. Maybe she'll share the Princess' box, now that I'm sharing the Bean's box. 

I still haven't decided how I want to decorate the outside of the box. I think I'm going to wait until she develops more preferences, and then I'll go with like her favorite color or something. So it's still white right now, and I just stenciled her name on it.
Inside there are twelve dividers, each one is labeled with the name of a month. At the end of each month, I decorate a little 4x6 card and on the back I write a few of the fun things we did as a family, or any milestones she hit. So, far I'm actually a little disappointed in my level of creativity, but I plan on stepping up my game!

September's card included her hospital photo and the tag from her hospital cradle.
Here are a few others I've added over the past few months. I still plan on adding a photo to January and February's, but I need to get the printed!
December 2011 - I used one of our Christmas cards
January 2012 - yes I originally wrote 2011, that's why the second 2 looks funky
February 2012
I plan continuing to do one card per month until she graduates from high school. And I decided to organize them by month instead of year, because I thought it would be fun to compare her growth, achievements, and looks at the same time each year. Year over year.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I am in need of a organizational guru! Any takers!?! This is a post that I need ANYBODY with an idea or opinion to post on. I am trying to get organized and tackled our full bath today. I felt like I was doing good until I moved to this portion...

I know, this is just a disaster.
We are going to be remodeling this bathroom this summer/fall. So I want something that will work when we remodel as well. We will be have open shelves there. Hopefully somewhere else for the towels as well.

So I need help BAD!!!! Please I need your ideas!! Or even better share pictures on our facebook wall of your organized bathrooms!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

On the Right Track

Hey Hey! I thought I would pop in to give you a little update on our running endeavor! We are starting week 4 of the 9 week program. To be quite frank the 2nd week was the worst. I was so sore and thought I was dying...well ok maybe not dying. It was hard carrying girls, running up the steps for week 2. But then  I did the first day of week 3, easy as pie. It was actually enjoyable. I really, really, really hope I can start loving to run! I don't mind it for the most part. I sit there and think of everything I can be doing, don't worry none of it is productive stuff!haha.

Which brings me to my next thing, productivity. I have been quite possibly the least productive stay at home mother this past week. I intend on fixing that this week. Meals will be on the table at a set time each night, dishes done (which actually that is about the only thing i did do last week) and laundry kept up. I really want to get this house under control before Gatlyn comes home. So also on my list for the week is to get his room in order. Oh yah, and I am going to take more pictures with my actual camera!

I also wanted to give an update on Gatlyn. He had surgery on Friday and he has been recovering so well. Thanks to the Big Guy he is already eating and pooping. He is such a inspiration and example of miracles. I am so thankful for him and my girls. God is great! I want to also step out and say what a great church family we have been blessed with. They are so helpful and I couldn't be more honored to be apart of the congregation at Kilpatrick United Brethren.

These pictures aren't that recent. I brought my camera in from the car and took some pics tonight. Other than the ones of Jo in her undies, they could be as far back as Christmas:)

Aww, so little then!

This would be what we left our mailman for Christmas!

Pudding with Sprinkles!
                                                    The girls with Stelly and Jamie opening Stelly's gifts I'm sure.

                                          Jess is always enthusiastic.

Nanner time

I made her stand outside because it was New Years Eve. No snow and not that cold!

My baby boy and one of his favorite nurses!

Sleepy boy!
Not Grandma Cathy's first time but Poppy Ladeans first time!
First time! 3 generations!

First time holding Cowboy

Poppy's first time!

Poppy again! way more recently

It's a good time up in the NICU! 

My birthday brownies and 2 little cuties!

These girls cray! Before our Valentine's Date with Daddy!

She caught me.

This is our crazy Jo being herself.


Friday, February 24, 2012

More on Alexis

1. What's one thing you have that you should really throw away, but can't?

I have a pair of shoes which I love, they don't look to old, but if I take my foot out of them they smell old. But I love them and they go with a lot outfits and I don't want to throw them away.

2. What was the last movie you saw? 

Hmm.. I believe it was Warrior. Which is an awesome movie and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. I do however watch a lot of TV online. Currently lovin' Parenthood, Up All Night, The Firm, Modern Family, Once Upon a Time, SMASH, and Teen Mom. Yes, lol, I keep busy. 

3. What's your favorite drink? 

Fountain pop is my weakness. I alternate between Pepsi and Mountain Dew. Alcoholic beverage. I'm not a huge fan, but I like an occasional beer, or my mothers sangria she makes. 

4. If you could invite any 5 people, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would invite?

This is a toughy. Christian Bale because he is my all time Hollywood crush. My two sisters because they always make a boring party a riot. Marilyn Monroe, well because that would be interesting... and Chef Morimoto because heck we will need somebody to cook!

5. Describe yourself in 7 words or less.

Mommy, Motivated, Strong, Funny

6. What is your favorite piece of clothing and why? 

My gray cardigan because it goes with anything and everything and it was $4. 

7. What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you WISH more people COULD know? 

I love to cook and bake (and I am pretty good if I say so myself).

8. What is your favorite childhood memory?

Holy moly, I have a ton. I had a very fun childhood. I would have to say I love telling stories of me and my sibs playing outside. We played a ton outside and had wild imaginations. We played Pocahantas...of course Mal had to be John Smith, I had to be Nakoma, and Jamie got to be Pocahontas. But that's okay she made the fool out of herself sitting alone talking to the pine tree pretending it was Grandmother Willow. We also had horse races on our bikes, feeding them grass and pine needle concoctions after, frog hunting in the woods (we thought we could bring them to the house, breed them, and sell them), Cowboys and Indians (for Owen's sake), Dinosaurs when it was snowy (yes Mallorie would sit on an egg in her dinosaur nest), Maple syrup stands instead of your typical lemonade stand, and of course restaurant which would entitle us sneaking (or sending the person who we thought would get in trouble the lease) to the outside water faucet or dad's sink for water for the mud pies but it seemed mom had the ears of a deer and every time would yell "I HEAR YOU!"

9. Would you rather be too hot or too cold? 

When I am going to sleep too cold, but any other time I'd rather be too hot. 

10. What are you wearing as you type this? 

Sweats and a T.

11. What's one thing you want to do before you die?

Plan a road trip around the restaurants that make it on Diners, Drive ins, and Dives on the Food Network. Go on it and eat delicious food everyday. 

12. How would you describe you parenting style?

I would consider my style as a whole lot of love and pretty chill. I don't like to freak out about a lot of stuff and just go with the flow. Every mom is different with what works for them and this works for me. I love to love on my Ruthie girl but I think it is really important for her to be able to play by herself and have a sense of independence. She does great with this and I enjoy watching her chase her shadow and talk to herself in the window. It may be evil but I love when she cries when I leave for work and smiles and crawls to me when I come home (that may be the best feeling in the world). 

13. What kind of parent do you strive to be?

I want to be able to be a parent that can help Ruthie in any situation she gets into. Life always throws us curve balls and I have been so lucky to have parents that are there and supportive no matter what. I want Ruthie to be able to be to feel like she can come to me and trust that I will be there for help and support for her whenever she needs it

I also want to be a parent that encourages Ruthie to do whatever she wants/enjoys. I don't want to be the parent that forces her to play sports or any other activity. If she doesn't want to, she doesn't want to. I don't want to force her to be what I couldn't be or was in high school, but hey if she is a good singer or actress I wouldn't mind ;). 

14. What's one thing you never said you would do, that you now do?

I have no idea.... asks my sisters I am sure they'll tell you something. 

15. What is one thing you do differently than your parents?

Umm, I work and will work full time someday (not that I want to).  My mom has never worked and has always been a stay at home mom and wife. Although I want to be that someday its just not in the cards right now. J's in the same boat and sometimes I think it hard for our mom to get our struggles with having to work (Sorry mom, but its true!) 

16. Best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Not to quit school. When I got pregnant with Ruth I was tempted and almost put school on hold and   went to work full time. However someone told me I would regret it and it would be harder to finish school later when Ruthie was bigger, so don't quit,  just finish. So I took that advice and doubled up on classes and will now be done with school a semester early. It is/will be the best feeling of accomplishment to finish school and be done with it. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More About Jamie

1. What's one thing you have that you should really throw away, but can't?
I have a bag of paper shopping bags. I never use them, but for some reason can't seem to bring myself to get rid of them.
2. What was the last movie you saw? 
Let's see, last night I fell asleep while watching True Grit, and a few days before that I fell asleep while trying to watch Tron. But the last movie I watched in entirety was Family Stone.
3. What's your favorite drink? 
Like my sister, I love me some Dr. Pepper. Alcohol beverage, whiskey sour
4. If you could invite any 5 people, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would invite?

Zac Efron and Leonardo DiCaprio, because every party needs some eye candy. My Great Grandma Smith, because Stella is named after her and I'd love for her to hear all about Stella. Chief Sitting Bull, because I wanted to be an Indian at one point in my life and his perspective on American History would be incredibly interesting to hear. Lastly, Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine, because I love her music and her hair, she could serenade us after dinner.

Eclectic Bunch I'd say :)
5. Describe yourself in 7 words or less.
Mother, wife, Goal oriented, curious, creative, predictable
6. What is your favorite piece of clothing and why? 
This is a hard one! I honestly, don't think I have one. Maybe my skinny jeans? I wear those the most.
7. What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you WISH more people COULD know? 
I think to some people, I seem a little stand-offish, but I'm really not. I'm actually very friendly.
8. What is your favorite childhood memory?
My childhood rocked. It's hard to pick just one memory. But the one I instantly thought of was our trip to Montana. The entire trip was awesome! The good ol' club wagon broke down on the side of a mountain, dad jumped fell out of our raft in a rapid rock garden, I almost tumbled out of the back of the van (with all of our luggage) while trying to get pictures of the bison that were following us, swimming in the river, hiking to a waterfall...and many many cool things!
9. Would you rather be too hot or too cold? 
If you sweat like I do, you'd agree—too cold!
10. What are you wearing as you type this? 
Faded black jeans, baggy white t-shirt with green stripes
11. What's one thing you want to do before you die?
Tim and I want to vacation in all 50 states
12. How would you describe you parenting style?
Extremely laid back. I'm sure this will probably evolve as Love Bean gets older. Especially when she starts to get interested in boys!
13. What kind of parent do you strive to be?

I want to be the kind of parent that Stella wants to come home on the weekend and visit, that she knows she can confide and trust, laugh with and cry with. The kind of parent that she wants approval from. Not because she needs it to feel validated or to feel loved, but because she respects me and values my opinion. But most of all I want to be the kind of parent that shows unconditional love that never fails and is always waiting with open arms.

Luckily, I have felt that kind of love and I have many role models of that kind of love in my life.
14. What's one thing you never said you would do, that you now do?

Nothing really comes to mind. Although I do think I once said, "I could never live in the city." Now look me, living in one of the largest U.S. cities and with a husband and baby no less :)
15. What is one thing you do differently than your parents?

I'd say one thing that's different for us is the division of childcare when we're both home. Growing up I remember my mom pretty much being in charge of our day-to-day stuff like getting dresses, meals, etc. (sorry dad if you did do some of this :) But since Tim and I both work full time, when we're all home together we divide things pretty evenly, so that neither of us has to come home from working all day only to work all night, while the other sits around.
16. Best piece of advice you have ever been given?
I will echo Mallorie said and what our mom told us—never wake a sleeping baby—I don't wake Stella up for anything, and I don't try to keep her up. If she wants to sleep, she gets to. Babies know when they're hungry, she's not going to sleep so long she starves. Babies need a lot of sleep and I've read that they actually sleep better at night, if they've napped more during the day. It's easier for them to relax and they're not over stimulated.
 I don't know where I actually heard this, but something that has saved many of our arguments from becoming full fledged fights is NOT following the common advice, "don't go to bed angry with each other" Sometimes it's better to just go to bed and sleep it off. In the morning most of the time, we both are in much better moods and don't even bring up the night before.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dig a Little Deeper with Mal

1. What's one thing you have that you should really throw away, but can't?
hmmm...I really don't know. I don't even have an idea. I don't get attached to much and since I lose anything I do, I can't think of anything. sorry!

2. What was the last movie you saw? 
Currently watching What Happens in Vegas

3. What's your favorite drink? 
Dr. Pepper is my favorite drink...ever! I love it, I try to give it up but I just don't want too! It is either Dr. Pepper or water for me:) If we are talking alcoholic though, I don't really like anything. I will down a vodka and cranberry though when needed;)

4. If you could invite any 5 people, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would invite?
Oh my, this question is hard. I would have to say I don't think I would have anyone famous. I would invite a few of my relatives to ask questions. I love hearing Jess' Great Grandma Richardson's stories. So I would invite my Great Grandpa Williams, Great Grandpa and Grandma Smith and my Grandpa Dykhouse's biological mother. I never met either of those three and would have been great to know them. I would love to hear what they had to say. Then I would also have to invite my friend Emily, although not best friends, we were friends and it would be fun to catch up. I find it funny sometimes when I think about a time when we were at my house. We were waiting for her mom to pick her up and she was talking about how she liked Jesse. It makes me chuckle:) 

5. Describe yourself in 7 words or less.
Love. honest. dependable. trusting. hopeful. faith. competitive.

6. What is your favorite piece of clothing and why? 
My black yoga pants they are so comfy and they never look dressy. But I think you can dress them up a little...right? 

7. What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you WISH more people COULD know? 
I care what people think, I get nervous around new people and I would do anything for my family. 

8. What is your favorite childhood memory?
I love remembering our family vacations. Jamie and I in the backseat doing who knows what and Alexis and baby bro would get so mad. I think they felt left out:( It was one of the times where Jamie and I actually got along good;)

9. Would you rather be too hot or too cold? 
too hot!!!! I do not like being cold. 

10. What are you wearing as you type this? 
haah, black yoga pants, black longsleeve and purple cardi

11. What's one thing you want to do before you die?
That's a tough one. Hmmm...currently it would have to be take the kids to Disney. I know they would love it and what makes them happy, makes me happy! 

12. How would you describe you parenting style?
I would say I am laid back for the most part. I expect a lot of my kids though. I use time out, sometimes spank, and always follow through.

13. What kind of parent do you strive to be?
I want to be that parent whose kids fear them in some aspects but trust them also. Wait...does that exist, can that exist? Either way I think I would rather have my kids fear what I think than walk all over me. I am NOT their friend now. I have a responsibility to make them good human beings. We can be friends later!?

14. What's one thing you never said you would do, that you now do?
I always hated when my parents said, "Go ask your dad" or "I don't know go ask your mom." I do this all the time. 

15. What is one thing you do differently than your parents?
I let my girls help in the kitchen whenever they want. I like that they want to to do that. Although sometimes it takes longer it is usually a fun bonding time. I should put a disclaimer out there that obviously there are times when it is too hot or something where they can't help. My mother wouldn't let us in the kitchen when d she cooked. C'mon mom is it really that bad!? haha!!

16. Best piece of advice you have ever been given?
-Never wake a sleeping baby-I believe I heard this from my mother and good family friend Nancy as well.
-Also I read somewhere to tell your kids what your plan or schedule is for the day. They said it would eliminate a lot of questions. I think this worked. Andi wakes up every morning asking what we are going to do today. 
-Just do you.
-Don't say something that you will never follow through with.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What's for Dinner?

We're ordering Chinese. But if you're more ambitious than me, you should make these shrimp tacos. I've made them once before, they're super duper yummy!

Chipotle Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Lime Coleslaw

1 lb of medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 corn tortillas
1 tsp kosher salt for the shrimp
1 tsp cracked black pepper for the shrimp
1 TBSP olive oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, minced
1 tsp of the adobe sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
2 TBSP of olive oil
2 TBSP cider vinegar

For the Coleslaw: Mix all together and refrigerate
1 bag of coleslaw mix
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
juice of 2 limes
1 medium avocado, mashed
1/2 tsp paprika

Season the shrimp in a ziploc bag with 1 tsp salt, pepper and olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Mix together the brown sugar, chipotle pepper, adobe sauce and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat a grill pan to medium-high and cook shrimp for 3-4 minutes until slightly curled. Now add in the sauce and toss, making sure to coat all the shrimp. Cook for another minute or so until pink and then serve.

Meanwhile, heat 1-2 TBSP of vegetable oil in a shallow skillet and grill the tortillas, until slightly charred and pliable, about 20 seconds per side. Serve with the shrimp and avocado lime coleslaw.

Recipe originally found here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Right Now On Pinterest

Happy Valentine's Day! We hope each and every one of you had a day full love, laughter and sunshine.

The three of us have been Pinning for awhile, but it seems to be something that has caught like wildfire! Isn't it so addicting?! Tonight we wanted to share a little eye candy with you—some of our favorite pins. Enjoy.

*Links to all of the featured pins are below. Sorry they aren't in the order of the image, maybe next time*
Owl Measuring Cups, Life's Too Awesome, Summer Outfit, Roger Benton table, Ruffle Bathing Suit,
Heart Shaped Potatoes, Let God poster, Easter Basket, Wood Plaque Photos, Book Shelf, Tattoo, Beef Tacos, One Shoulder Bathing Suit, Casual Outfit, Constant Fear

Monday, February 13, 2012


The last three weeks in church our sermons have been about money. This has opened up my eyes and heart a little bit.

I am a regular attendee at Kilpatrick United Brethren. I love the church and the support and family feel I get when I am there. I remember when it would be a big deal if there were 60 people in church. Now on the regular we have possibly 200+. I don't know for sure but I believe it is well over 200. Do not quote me on that though. Either way it has grown. 

The week before the sermons started I felt in my heart that we NEEDED to start tithing to the church regularly as well. I don't know where this came from, honestly, we are pretty tight with spending so much on gas/bills, etc.  But I felt it in my heart and talked to Jess and he agreed. We discussed it for awhile. I stated, "I just feel like we have been given so much. Not money or anything materialistic, but, Gatlyn's life. I want to thank God for that." Honestly I am so grateful I just don't know any other way. So we go to church check in tow and lone behold the sermon is on MONEY! I guess somebody had that planned;)

The next week we were struggling. Like if we were to put the check in the offering plate it was kind of like we will just be late on a bill here and then we will have enough gas money for the week. I am not saying this for sympathy. I am wanting to share my heart and maybe someone in a similar situation will get something from it. So at church that week we get let out and somebody comes up to me and says, "You probably already know but, we did a grocery shower for you guys." I instantly tear up one because I had no idea and two how generous. I was not expecting that at all. I have always wanted to help others and am rare to accept help. I believe this was God telling me not to worry He has got our back. TRUST him. 

So Thursday came around again and it was the first thing I took out. I didn't even think twice about it. NOT because I was expecting something amazing like that to happen again. But because God is why my son is here with us, GOD is the reason for EVERYTHING I have big or small. I am thankful for that. I am JOYFULLY giving to him what is really His. God provides and he knows our hearts. What a wonderful creator we have. I am seeing this more daily. 

Some people ask how I deal with it. With it all. I would be nowhere with out the Big Guy upstairs, my AWESOME husband and my wonderful family. God grants me the peace I need to go on with daily life. If I didn't have him and trust in his plan I would be a hot mess. (Not that I am not a hot mess on the outside!haha) I still have my bad days where I don't have the motivation to do much, then that night Jess seems to come in without fail and just pick up where I should have been. Whether it is dishes, picking up, or getting the crazy kids under control. 

Now, how is Gatlyn?!? I am just so proud of that boy. He amazes me more everyday. He so far has been cleared on the ROP and his eyes are fully mature. We are talking about home within a couple months which probably seems like a long time. To me it sounds so much better than what we have heard in the past. But, keep in mind things can change so fast. Hopefully instead of back tracking we can keep going further. He is also at the highest he has ever been on his feeds:) And lower on the TPN. Thank you for all your prayers. Please continue to pray for his feeds. 

"So don't worry about these things, saying 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will five you everything you need.
Matthew 6:31-33

Friday, February 10, 2012

Baby Food Continued

So the last post on baby food seemed to be a hit and a lot of Q's and A's came with it. So I thought I'd do a little continued post, since last time I didn't really do a how to. I am sure many of you have figured it out and our having a grand time makin' yummy food for your babes. But for those who have yet to take a stab at it or for those looking to do it in the future, you may find this how to helpful. Also some tips and tricks along with some delicious recipes! Oh yeah and if you have started to make it share some favorites!

First step: Of course first ya gotta purchase your produce. Really any vegetable or fruit that you would like or I guess your baby would like. :)

Second step: Clean and peal the produce. Take the time to peal, clean, and seed. Wouldn't want the little ones choking!

Third Step: Steam. Keep in mind that fruits that already have a lot of juice and soft texture don't need to be steamed. Like bananas, kiwi, or papaya to name a few. If you don't have a steamer don't worry the microwave works just the same. Just get a baking dish with a lid add about an inch or two of water and your produce and heat covered for about 5 to 10 minutes. Depending on the produce and the size. I even choose to do squash the microwave way instead of the steamer, because it is a pain in the butt to peel and dice. If you have a big enough pan you can cut it in half, steam, and then scoop it out with a spoon.

Fourth Step: Puree. After you have your produce diced and steamed switch it (along with the juices from the steamer!) to a food processor, blender, magic bullet, baby bullet, whatever ya got that will chop it up! Basically get to the consistancy your baby likes. Add water to make it more running if that's what the cutie prefers. Ruthie girl likes hers thick and chunky :)

Fifth Step: Store. Decide what to keep out and what to freeze. I usually pick a veggie and a fruit. Then store the rest in the freezer. I did receive a great tip to freeze it in ice cube trays that way you can pop one out whenever needed! Although Ruth would eat a whole tray in one setting haha.

Some more tips-
-I like to take the really juicy fruits like pears and puree them really running and add them to her bland cereal in the mornings. She really loves those special mornings :)
-Cinnamon is another treat I like to add in sometimes to almost any of the fruits!

So there is a step by step with a few extra hints. I am sure there are more hints and other ways to do it, so if anyone has any tips or advice, do tell!!

Latest Experiment!

Ruthie has been LOVING yogurt, and I have been buying the Gerbers yogurt cups, Until I thought uhhhh I should make her flavored yogurts too! So tomorrows baby food makin day and I will be trying this.

Creamy Plum Puree

1 cup plum puree
Plain or Vanilla yogurt
Apple juice or water

Basically I am going to combine these until I get a consistency the princess likes. I am sure this would work with any fruits. She's gonna love it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Couponing Take Two

Tonight I'm revisiting couponing. So far, I've been doing pretty good. I've got toiletries and other non-food items on lockdown. I'm still trying to get into a good grove for actual groceries. 

A few days after my first couponing post, both of my sisters (in separate conversations) made the same comment, "I made my grocery list, but I didn't have coupons for any of my items." I'll tell you all, what I told them; to get the really good savings, you have to plan your list around your coupons. It's hard, especially when you're starting and you don't have a lot of coupons saved up and/or you've depleted most of your essential on hand items, and need to do a BIG shopping trip (this is usually my issue).

If you're committed and persistent you can really save a lot of money! I wish I had some of my receipts, so I could give you all exact numbers, but alas I didn't think ahead. But I can share some numbers that are in the ballpark

On one trip to Walgreens I purchased, 3 bottle of Softsoap Hand Soap, 2 cans of shaving cream and 2 baby wipe refills. My total came to around $23. After coupons I ended up paying $10 and some change. That means I save about $13 and saved more than I spent!

I sent Tim to CVS with list and coupons in hand. I can't remember what was on the list, but I remember he paid $13 and saved over $20 and got a $10 cash card for our next CVS trip, so essentially we got everything for $3!

Saturday at Target, in the course of three transaction we saved a total of about $40. In the first transaction I purchased to value boxes of Pampers Diapers and a small pack of wipe refills for $54 (they were on sale and I had a $2 off coupon) on that transaction I got a $15 gift card back. I applied that to my next transaction which was 2 value boxes of baby wipe refills that were already on sale for $12 each, so I essentially got one of those for free, and I also got a $5 gift card. I used that gift card on the final purchase, a fleece Harajuku Mini jacket that I had been longing to buy for Love Bean. The jacket was originally $25, but was on sale for $7.50. So after my using the gift card, I got the jacket for $2.50 +tax!

I know taking the time to clip coupons, study sale ad and plan your shopping trips is time consuming and somewhat overwhelming. So, I hope these savings stories have been encouraging! If you have a super savings story, share 'em with us either here in the comments or on our Facebook page! And if you haven't already, go ahead a "like" us on Facebook :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mamas on the Move

So I was talking to Alexis about how I need to get in shape. Need to exercise, feel better and look better. After talking we decided that we should train for a 5k. Mom and Al had already decided they were going to do Couch to 5k-I decided to join in on the fun (i hope i can see the fun). Weight loss for me has not necessarily been a struggle. It has been more like I haven't chose to do. Anytime that I decide I want to lose weight I do. . . then I get pregnant again! haha! So now that I am DONZO having kids I want to get back into shape quicker so I can have the energy to enjoy my kids. I don't know if you have seen them lately but I cannot keep up is an understatement. I am well aware I will not be running around with them all day. But I definitely want to have energy to spend time with Jess when he gets home. 

Back to the program. Alexis and Mama downloaded the 9 week program Couch to 5k from Itunes. The 3 of us did our day of week one. It is timed out so you walk/run a 5K each time. So we will do this workout 3 times this week. In between I will be doing my Wii workouts. Let me know any great workouts you do! I like a change up. We are also still deciding on which 5K to run, any suggestions would be awesome! 

I'm running the 5K to help me shed this last bit of a "baby weight" that I'm still carrying around. Mallorie's phone call yesterday was just what I needed to stop making excuses and starting doing something. Getting back in the exercising mind set has been hard for me. Prior to getting pregnant, I had been training for a 10K and at the time was running 4 miles a day. I continued exercising through my first trimester, but I haven't really done anything since. 

There are three things (or should I say excuses) that have been keeping me from taking action

  1. Most of my pre-baby clothes still fit. Sure they're a little tighter and don't look as good, but I could wear my skinny jeans like 3 weeks after I had Love Bean. 
  2. I don't have time. But I could easily make time, it just might mean getting up at 5:30am instead to 6:30am
  3. Everything I've read says to lose "baby weight" in a healthy way, you should give yourself 9 months and it's only been 4, so I have lots of time. But I'm sure this wasn't meant to be a free pass to drink tons of pop, eat lot's of chocolate, and to sit on my butt all day every Saturday
No more excuses, I'm getting back in shape! And I'm excited to being doing it with my sisters. Having them to hold me accountable will be so helpful in keeping my on track.

Exercise for me after Ruth was very stop and go and eventually got to stop and never do it again. Things get busy and it seems like my exercise and eating habits were the first to go on the back burner. So like Mal said, my Mamma and I were talking about it and decided we needed to get serious. We convinced the sissys (no pun intended)  to get serious to and train for the 5k. I am using the couch to 5k podcasts on my ipod which are really nice but those are only for 3 days of the week . The other 3 days I am doing a circuit which includes jump roping, abs, and some other good stuff. I am trying to just take 30 minutes out of my day to exercise as well as watch my portions and what I eat, especially cut back on my pop! Its Day 2 for me and I am feeling great I just hope I can keep it up and get to the "high" or addiction everyone talk about exercise. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Snack Attack

With Superbowl Sunday this weekend, we thought we'd share our go to snack/appetizer

I make some mean guacamole, and by mean I mean delicious! It often gets requested that I make it for family get-togethers. I'm always happy to oblige because hubs doesn't like guac and I can't eat a whole batch by myself before it gets brown and yucky. If you decide to try making it, let me know how it turns out! 

What You'll Need
- 4 ripe avocados
- 2 limes
- 1/2 red onion (chopped)
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- 2 serrano chilies (sliced)
- 1 handful fresh cilantro (chopped)
- salt and pepper to taste
What You'll Do
Halve and pit avocados. Scoop out flesh with a spoon, into mixing bowl. Then mash with a fork, leaving some chuncks. Add remaining ingredients and fold everything together and gently mix. Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on/over the guac (so it's touching it, you don't want air to get in) and refrigerate for about a hour before serving.
Tips: It has a little bit of a bite to it. To cut the bite, just remove the seeds from the chiles. Also, to keep it from turning brown before serving set one of the pits in the bowl with it. The flavor develops as it sits, so make sure you give it time in the refrigerator before serving!

I found a new recipe this year that seems to be a hit. I am a big fan of all buffalo chicken stuff so if you are two you'll love this! These buffalo chicken bites are a perfect delicious super bowl sunday dish to pass!

What You'll Need

For the filling:
1 C diced cooked chicken (I'll use leftover shredded chicken)
1/2 C crumbled blue cheese
2 TB shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 C Franks Original Hot Sauce
4 TB butter

For the breading:
1 C warm milk
2 TB brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp yeast
2 1/2 C flour

What You'll Do

Combine all filling ingredients and set aside. Combine al breading ingredients and left rise until doubled (sometimes I skip this step, if I am in a hurry). Divide dough to make 4 different ropes and roll out in to rectangles. Place filling on one side and fold dough over and pinch together. Put in oven on a greased baking pan @ 400F and bake until golden brown and oozing with deliciousness. 

I am a huge dip person. Give me a block of cream cheese and check out what I can do:) I will give a couple different recipes. 

Peanut Butter Cheese Ball
1 pkg cream cheese
1 cup Powdered Sugar
3/4 cup Peanut Butter
3 Tbls Brown Sugar
3/4 cup Milk Chocolate Chips
3/4 cup Peanut Butter Chips

What You'll Do
Beat cream cheese, peanut butter and sugars. Then spoon into plastic wrap, pull up all four corners to form ball. Place in freezer for 1-2 hours or until it can keep the shape. Then take out of freezer and plastic and roll in the chips. Put the ball of goodness on a serving dish and cover. Put back in the freezer for another 1-2 hours and then serve with graham cracker sticks, teddy grahams, or my favorite APPLES! I have made this a lot quicker and it just isn't as firm. But it definitely taste just as good! Enjoy!!

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip

1 pkg cream cheese
1/2 cup Butter
3/4 cup Powdered Sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Cream all together and then add in the mini chocolate chips. I chill mine but, make sure to take it out a little ahead of your desired serving time. You don't want you crackers to break of in the dip!
Serve with graham cracker sticks or nilla wafers ( I prefer mini wafers!)

Maybe try one of these for your Super Bowl get together? Or if you are watching by yourself, treat yourself!