Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!
There will be no more posts until January 2009. I'll be spending my time thoroughly enjoying my family and all the wonders of the holiday season. I wish you all well and many many blessings this Christmas.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Needed: Men's Gift Ideas

The countdown to Christmas is on and for the first time in ten years of marriage, I'm having a hard time deciding what to buy for my husband. I've been searching the top men's gifts lists and can't find a thing. I want something that he will love and remember but that won't break the bank. So I'm turning to my blogging buddies for ideas.
What are you getting your hubbies and do you have any gift suggestions for me?
Thanks for the help!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Universal Studios

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tuesday Toot!

My Tuesday Toot is simple....I survived the Thanksgiving holiday.

I survived:
*2 nine hour drives with the dog at my feet jumping into my lap at every stop and scratching my legs, one child needing to stop every hour since she's still potty training and one child asking every 20 minutes (or less) when we'd be at Nana's house
*getting sick with tonsilitis and feeling guilty about having to stay in bed while hubby took care of the kids and me while we were at his parents' house
*going back and forth from my parents' house to my husband's parents' house and worrying if we were sharing our time between them equally
*travelling all over visiting friends
*2 Thanksgiving dinners full of delicious food and not being able to eat but a few mouthfuls of whatever was the mushiest because of my throat hurting
*dirty laundry the 4 of us accumulated over a 10 day period
*returning home to an empty refrigerator...so off to the grocery store
*helping my son do his "Thanksgiving holiday homework" of decorating a Christmas stocking for his Kindergarten class on Sunday night before school the next morning thus making a huge glitter mess to be cleaned up

This is just a glimpse into the chaos of our holiday. It may not sound that bad, but it was much crazier than things usually are in our family. Things are usually smooth sailing around here and being sick always makes things worse. But I survived. And despite the not so fun for me Thanksgiving, I AM actually looking forward to Christmas even though we will be travelling again. Maybe I shouldn't tempt fate, but I'm thinking Christmas has GOT to be better than Thanksgiving. (I like ham more than turkey anyway.)

Toot Toot

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Smile Award!!!

Thank you Lori for this award. You ARE a super mom and such an inspiration. I love your blog and am so glad you thought of me for this award. YOU have made me smile!

Rules: The qualifications to receive the award are:
A. Display a cheerful attitude.
B. Love one another.
C. Make mistakes.
D. Learn from others.
E. Be a positive contributor to the blog world.
F. Love life.
G. Love kids.

The Rules:
1. Must link it back to the creator
2. Post the rules
3. Choose 5 people to give it to
4. Recipients must fill the characteristics above
5. Create a post to share this
6. You must thank the winner

An the Award goes to:
1. Michelle at Sweet Mady's Paper
2. Sara at My Sippy Cup Runneth Over
3. Teresa at Mimi and Reese
4. Julie at Cool Mom Guide
5. Natalie at Mommy Likes to Party and Little Shindigs

You ladies are awesome. You make me smile every time I read the comments you leave me. You are always so supportive and kind. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday Toot--Bows, Bows and More Bows

My Tuesday Toot today is all about bows. I've been one big bow making machine. I've been working day (as much as possible with Taylor craving my attention every minute--she's in a mood) and night, but it has paid off because I've made some really cute bows that look great in Taylor's hair-- and I'll hopefully sell some too.
Please go check out my bows at Jacie's Designs.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Lemon and Asparagus Recipe

Well, hubby is out of town again but I cooked supper anyway. We had too much leftover of course so I called our wonderful neighbor whose whole family we just adore to come and take some of the food off our hands. She loved the dish and I so I emailed her the recipe. Well I thought I'd share it with other moms too. So here it is (and it really is very delicious.)

Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Lemon and Asparagus (A Martha Stewart recipe)

1 1/2 lbs. new potatoes halved
3 tablespoons of butter (I used more)
salt and pepper
1 package of chicken legs
1 bunch of asparagus trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 lemon cut into 8 wedges
thyme (calls for fresh, but I just use ground 'cause it's in the pantry)

1. Preheat oven 475 degrees. Place potatoes and half the butter in a shallow roasting pan (less than 3 inches deep). Season with salt and pepper. Roast tossing once until potatoes are golden about 20 minutes.
2. Place chicken skin side up on top of potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until chicken begins to brown about 20 minutes.
3. Scatter asparagus, lemon, remaining butter and sprinkle lightly with ground thyme on top of chicken. Roast until asparagus is tender and chicken is opaque throughout, about 15 minutes more.
Serve drizzled with pan juices.

Enjoy ya'll!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wordless Wednesday (video)

Taylor (age 2)-- our future Georgia Bulldog cheerleader for sure!
She knows no fear.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Don't Exercise--PLAY!

We have all heard that obesity among children has become an alarming epidemic. I had never realized just how many young children are overweight until recently. But it seems that lately everywhere I go—the grocery store, my son’s school, shopping-- I see overweight children. I am saddened when I see these children, and it reassures me that I’m doing the right thing all those times I turn off the TV or video game so that we can walk up to the playground and when I say “NO” to my kids all those times they ask for cupcakes, chips and candy.

My husband, my children and I are all healthy weights and we try hard to keep it that way. We eat healthy and we play healthy. Notice, I said PLAY—not exercise. Doesn’t PLAY sound so much more fun? I am a stay at home mom, and while I may get a workout chasing around my two year old, I don’t have a steady workout routine. My elliptical machine and my Leg Magic contraption sit in the “exercise room” collecting dust because I just don’t find the extra time for them. I may not be in the best shape of my life(I doubt I’ll ever have abs or buns of steel), but I am a healthy weight, I fit nicely into my clothes and I’m fit enough to keep up with my kids without my chest pounding and without gasping for breath.

Here are the many things we PLAY to stay healthy:

1. We WALK! We walk back and forth to my son’s school each day. We WALK the neighborhood for a breath of fresh air, nature collecting, storytelling (you have no idea how easy it is to walk a mile when you are pretending you are walking through a jungle and naming all sorts of animals with a two year old), etc. We WALK to walk!

2. We DANCE! We put on a CD and DANCE, DANCE, DANCE! We DANCE when we clean up our toys, we DANCE when we finish homework early and we DANCE to be silly.

3. We PLAY! We PLAY (inside and outside) tag, red light- green light, wrestling on the carpet, touch football, soccer, gymnastics (rolls, handstands, cartwheels and such) and much more!

4. We SWIM! We have a pool and in warm weather, we use it. Almost everyday in the summer, we SWIM, play pool games, play pool volleyball (with a big bouncy ball instead of a real volleyball so it’s easier for the kids to play too), etc.

5. We joined the YMCA! Our son plays soccer on a team at the YMCA. He has practice once a week and a game every Saturday. This is routine exercise for him. The YMCA also has a great childcare area for children. Our daughter gets to go play in there while my husband and I go play tennis for a couple of hours. It costs us some money, but we love the YMCA!

We are an active family. In addition to eating as healthy as we can, being active is what keeps us at a healthy weight, keeps us fit and keeps us close. This lifestyle of PLAY is working for us—PLAY is fun—especially for the kids. They love having Mama and Daddy running around, swimming and dancing WITH them. So join in—for your kids’ sake! Here’s to our health!

Issues with Internet Explorer

Hey everyone! Thanks to those of you who let me know that you have been having trouble accessing my blog. I think it is only an issue if you use Internet Explorer and I have my computer guru genius of a brother-in-law working on the problem so hopefully it will be fixed soon. I use Firefox because I began having issues with Internet Explorer as well and just gave up on it. I must say that I like Firefox better. Everything seems to load faster and it is very easy to use. Anyway, please be patient as the problem is fixed, and please don't stray away too far and forget about me. I love getting all of your comments!
And please, if you are still having problems with getting to my blog and you don't use Internet Explorer, email me so I can pass the info along to my brother-in-law. Thanks.

Tuesday Toot

Toot Toot! Christmas shopping ---done! Well about 95% of it anyway! Hubby and I went early this year (2 weeks ago) and got just about everything off the kids' lists. There's only a little bit left for us to get. Our goal this year was to try hard to get the hectic stuff (shopping) out of the way so we could really enjoy the season with the kids doing fun stuff like decorating, watching Christmas movies while curled up on the couch with the kiddos in pj's, reading The Polar Express (Grayson's favorite) every night and visiting friends and family. Besides, getting the necessary shopping done makes it so much more fun to go browse-shopping when the mood strikes in December because you don't feel like you are on some mad mission in which you are prepared to beat down that woman who just put the last Darth Vader Starfighter or Sleeping Beauty's Walking Horse in her cart. Christmas shopping in December can get downright dangerous. That's why this year I started in October. Toot Toot.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Love Your Blog! Award

Michelle, my friend, you are too sweet. Thank you so much for this award, for your kind words in all your comments and emails, and for all your support. I am so grateful to have found your friendship. You helped inspire me to get back into creating my gift buckets, and I want to thank you for that. You are one great lady! Visit Michelle's blog at Sweet Mady's and check out her sweet creations at Sweet Mady's Paper.
And now I want to pass this award on to Heather over at "This is the day..." Ps 118:24. Heather, I love your blog, girl! I love the way you tell your stories and the fact that I can relate to them so well. I'm so glad I found you on SITs. Thanks for the many laughs!

Unsafe Halloween Candy Alert!

You may have received an email regarding Halloween candy that was made in China being unsafe. Apparently, certain candies made in China--namely chocolate pirate coins-- contain the toxin melamine. This is the same chemical that has been found in baby formula in China and is making thousands of Chinese babies sick.

With so many urban legends being sent around the internet, we usually click delete and rarely think twice about most of the email warnings and forwards we get. Well, it appears that this time around, there's actual evidence backing our reason for concern when it comes to these specific candies. Latest reports explain that the tainted chocolate pirate coins were not sold in the United States. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recalled no candy made by American companies due to melamine contamination, although some candy by Chinese makers was recalled in Canada.

The FDA has researched imported foods, including candy, and has found no instances of melamine contributing to sickness from any food products. However, it is still wise to thoroughly inspect those bags of candy your children bring home on Halloween and throw away any chocolate coins you find as well as any other suspicious or partially opened candy. "Better safe than sorry," my Mama always said. And yes, I say it to my kids too. :)

***Other popular candies made in China include Spongebob Gummy Krabby Patties and Hannah Montana Picture Ring Lollipops. (We'll be throwing away any of those too.)

Stay safe this Halloween!

If you'd like more information regarding the harmful candy, click here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday--Playing with the Kiddos

Rolling around and having fun.
Kiss me Mama!
I'm gonna get you!
My sweet little prince.
me: "Super baby!" Taylor: " I'm flyin' Mama!"

Ride the horsie.

She's a squirmy little booger.

Usually I post about a craft on Wednesdays, but lately the only craft I've had a chance to work on is hair bows. Since I've already posted about those, I thought I'd do a Wordless Wednesday (well almost wordless.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More Hair Bows-Tuesday Toot

First let me apologize for some of the photos being turned sideways. I rotated them, but blogger doesn't seem to believe me. Anyway, my Tuesday Toot this week is showing off the hair bows I've made for my precious little girl. We've all been fighting a bad cold the past few days and while we were stuck in the house wiping noses and resting, I managed to make these cute bows. Aren't they adorable?
Toot tooting my horn.

Healthy Diet for Toddlers and Young Children

One of the things moms focus on the most is what goes into our kids' bellies. From the moment my little ones were born, I worried if they were getting enough milk when they were nursing. And then when they started on solids, I was careful to make sure they had the right servings of vegetables and fruits in addition to their nursings each day. As they became toddlers, I was determined to offer only healthy snacks, well balanced meals and milk or watered down juice. It wasn't all that difficult when they were very young.
However, now that my children are five and two, I have had to really stick to my guns when it comes to what they eat. Sure it would be much easier for me to just put a microwaved corn dog and some potato chips on their plate each day, but that is a habit that could be quite harmful. I'm not saying that my kids don't get their share of corn dogs and cookies. But the point is that I try hard not to make it a habit. What I do try to make a habit is healthy eating. We do that by keeping good snacks in the pantry and by my cooking as many meals as our schedule allows. I cook meals that I know are healthier than we would get if we were eating out.
Another thing that I try to keep in mind is that children have small bellies. They aren't supposed to eat as much as adults do. When a child is hungry, he or she will eat. And if what you put in front of them to eat is healthy, they will eat it if they are hungry. You don't want to fill up those little tummies with junk if you expect them to be hungry enough to want to eat something healthy at mealtime. Small, healthy snacks are best. Our family pediatrician put it best when he offered the advice-- You decide what; the child decides when. So you decide what the child eats and he or she decides when. Don't force feed your children. Making a child who isn't hungry finish his plate can be another very harmful habit. I am guilty of this as well when I think my child should be hungry. But then I have to try to remember to let my children determine when they are hungry, and I will be ready with something good for them to eat.

To help, here is a sample daily menu for my two year old:
Breakfast- 1 sippy cup full of 2% milk or orange juice, 1 slice of toast with light margarine, 2 slices of turkey bacon
Snack- 1 sippy cup full of half water/half apple juice, 1/2 cup pears, handful of goldfish crackers
Lunch- 1 sippy cup full of 2% milk, spaghetti with lean hamburger meat sauce in toddler bowl, 2 carrot sticks, 1 small butter cookie
Snack- 1 sippy cup full of half water/half apple juice, 1/2 sliced apple
Supper- 1 sippy cup full of 2% milk, 2 chicken tenderloins (baked), 1 dinner roll, 2 tablespoons of green beans, 2 tablespoons mashed potatoes, 1 sugar free popsicle for dessert

Here is a sample daily menu for my five year old:
Breakfast- 1 small bowl of cereal with 2% milk, small child's size cup of orange juice, 1 slice of toast with light margarine
Snack- snack sized box of raisins and cup of water
Lunch- 1 low fat peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich, goldfish crackers, 4 carrot sticks, 1 apple, apple juice
Snack- Sunkist fruit snacks and water or milk
Supper- 3 or 4 chicken tenderloins (baked), 2 dinner rolls, 4 tablespoons of green beans, 4 tablespoons of mashed potatoes, cup of tea, milk or juice, 1 sugar free popsicle

These menus are just a sample of what my kids eat in a day. Believe me, there are days that consist of toaster waffles at breakfast, hotdogs for lunch, and McDonald's for supper. But those days are very rare. We really do eat well and our kids are learning some good, healthy eating habits because we are modeling those habits for them. In a society that is becoming more and more obese, we need to get back on track and help our kids make good decisions when it comes to food. Moms--we need to tap back into that focus we had on what we fed our little ones when they were babies and use that to create healthy eating habits for our toddlers and young children so that they will grow to become healthy teens and adults.
Here is a link for further information on keeping your kids healthy.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Featured Blogger on Wellsphere

Hello all! I'm very excited to share with you that I have joined the Wellsphere team. I am now a featured blogger in the Parenting community on Wellsphere. I consider my health one of my top priorities. I want to show my kids (not just tell them) how to live a healthy lifestyle. If I lead by example, they will be more likely to develop and keep living a healthy life. I've always said I wanted to live to be 100 and hold as many great great grandbabies in my lap as I can. Wellsphere may just help me do that.
I've devoted my Mom Stuff blog to sharing information with moms that will help them in as many ways as possible. Mom Stuff has a little bit of this and a little bit of that--everything from parenting tips and recipes to crafty ideas and fashion finds. I hope to share with the Wellsphere community my ideas and thoughts on parenting as I do with my current readers. So please, stop by Wellsphere and check it out. It is an excellent resource to guide you as you set your goals for a healthier you.
Here's to living to 100!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fashion Friday-- Retro Baby Vintage Tees for Kids

You all know that I try to find something fabulously fashionable for Fridays. Well Grayson has gotten into Star Wars. “Gotten into” is an understatement. He is obsessed. So I’ve been doing a little searching to get ready for Christmas and was looking for a cool Star Wars tee. Now it’s just not my taste to let my kids wear cartoon character clothes. They don’t have Dora, Cars, Disney Princesses or anything like that unless it’s on their underwear where it can’t be seen. I just don’t like those clothes. So I was looking for a Star Wars tee that isn’t too tacky—something vintage looking. TAADAA....found it at the Retro Baby.

Retro Baby has adorable onesies and tees for your little ones. Grayson is going to love the Star Wars tees I’m going to get him. And whether you have a rocker babe or are into vintage prints, this shop has something you and your kids are bound to love.

Go ahead and browse the Retro Baby shop. You’re going to find some cute stuff at great prices. And with Christmas right around the corner, these tees could make great gifts.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Crafty Wednesday- How to Make Hair Bows

Well, if you got a chance to stop by here yesterday, you saw that Tuesday’s Toot was about my learning to make hair bows for my little darling. So far I have made three types of bows. One is a Pony-O, one is a Pinwheel Bow, and one is a Butterfly Bow. I am by no means an expert yet, but it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. It was actually pretty easy and fun. The best part is that this is a craft that is not only rewarding for me, but my little girl loves the bows too.
If you would like to know how to make hair bows for your little cutie pie, just follow these steps.

1. Find free “How to Make a Hair Bow” instructions on the internet. I used the following:

The Pony-O was so easy and turned out really cute. See instructions http://bowdesigns.50webs.com/festive_ponytail_holder.html

Take note – the Aleene’s Stop Fraying glue darkens the edge of sheer fabric. However, once the Pony-O is in the hair, you can’t tell.

The Pinwheel Bow was the most difficult to make. I had trouble with the pinching/folding and with getting the tails to act right. It still turned out cute, but I will have to practice it a few times before it will turn out the way I want it-can’t help it-I’m a perfectionist.

The Butterfly Bow turned out really well. It wasn’t very difficult and you can use so many different sizes of ribbon. I will be making this one again for sure.

2. Get your materials. I didn’t find everything I needed from Michael’s craft store. The ribbon was reasonably priced, but they didn’t have the alligator clips I wanted. I will be buying off the internet from now on. Hair Hardware looked like they had some good deals.

3. Set aside some time and enjoy making your little princess some cute hair bows.
I have definitely found myself a new craft that I love. I’ll be sure to share photos! Have fun!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tuesday Toot--Bows for my Cutie Pie

I may not be the craftiest person in the world, but lately I have been trying a few things. Taylor is going to be a Georgia Bulldog cheerleader for Halloween this year and I was having trouble finding a cute bow to go with her uniform. So I decided to make one. Toot Toot! Here it is. I'm very proud of it. It really did turn out cute.

Here is another bow I made to match a few of her outfits. I'm hoping to get good enough at making them to sell a few throughout our neighborhood. It is full of little girls--and little girls just gotta have cute bows.

I just got some cute pink and white polka dot ribbon and blue and brown striped ribbon. Once I make up some more bows for my little cutie pie, I'll be sure to share. And if you are interested in learning how to make bows, come back tomorrow for my Crafty Wednesday post and I'll share.