Thursday, January 31, 2013

Almost halfway there #Pregnancy Week 19

How Far Along: 19 Weeks Pregnant {19 weeks 5 days}
Due Date: June 22nd, 2013
Boy or girl: Big gender reveal to come soon … I know, but I am trying to be a little creative with this reveal and think a little intrigue will be fun!
Bump Picture: Bump, bump, bump {baby}… Bump, bump, bump {baby}… Bump, bump, bump {baby}… I am having a total Sheldon Cooper Big Bang Theory moment. Oh and I took the picture myself again this week {I am sure that ME holding the camera was the first clue}.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Brotherly Love

It seems this week that every time I have turned around my two boys were connected at the hips. They have had their heads together laughing at one thing or another. They have been playing nicely together. They have been reading to each other. They have been snuggling up together to enjoy their favorite shows. It has been really sweet to be able to witness and it makes my heart happy to see my children getting along so well.

Brotherly Love

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

EASY Homemade Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Easy Homemade Chocolate Covered Strawberries

I love fruit {as do my children} and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner I have been looking for fun ways to combine two of my favorite things – chocolate and fruit!

Over the holidays this year I made my own no-bake chocolate truffles and I created my own dark chocolate shells. It was surprisingly simple. So simple in fact that I took a cue from that experience and used it to make my own dark chocolate covered strawberries for the boys. The gobbled these up like it was no one’s business and when they were all gone, they asked for more.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Product Review: Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail by Munchkin {Giveaway}

Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail by Munchkin Review

There is very little in my world that smells worse than dirty diapers. I am not a fan. In fact I don’t know many people, if any, who enjoy this smell. It is just one of the unpleasantries that parents have to deal with. Like spit up and sleepless nights, dirty diapers are a rite of passage into parenthood. But that doesn’t mean that you have to hold your nose and suffer in silence.

Munchkin, a brand my family has been using since the birth of our first child in 2009, has come out with a new diaper pail to combat the stink of dirty diapers.  The good people at Munchkin have teamed up with Arm & Hammer to create a diaper pail that seals away odor after each and every use. It is really easy to use and really easy to refill… Did I mention that it really does a great job of eradicating the stench of dirty diapers from my home?

Finding out the Baby’s Gender

Baby Girl or Baby Boy Gender Reveal

When people find out that you are pregnant they usually immediately follow up with the question “Do you know what you are having?” or “Is it a boy or a girl?” This is pretty typical, or at least this has been my experience when sharing my news. I do not find this question insulting or nosy. Heck, I am probably guilty of doing this too!

While some people choose to keep the gender of their baby a secret, I feel the need to know.  I am a planner and an organizer and I am way to type-A to not find out. I like to nest. I like to buy clothes and baby gear. I like to get the nursery decorated. I like being able to refer to the child growing in my belly by name. There are about a gazillion and one reasons why I feel the need to know. Mostly, it is just because I simply lack the patience to wait and be surprised.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Product Review and Giveaway: Motorola MBP36 Remote Wireless Video Baby Monitor

Motorola MBP36-2 Remote Wireless Video Baby Monitor

Baby monitors have come a long way in a short amount of time and I could not be more impressed with the thought and innovation that companies are putting into their products. I am specifically referring to the Motorola Digital Baby Monitor.

The short version of why I am such a fan of this monitor is quite simple. It does it all. It has video capabilities, audio capabilities, zoom capabilities, comes with a rechargeable battery, and can be used day or night. It is user friendly and in all honesty – I think it’s really just fun to play with! Right now I have one camera in my preschooler’s room and one camera in my toddler’s room. I have a lot of fun just seeing what the kids are up to in their rooms when they think no one is looking.

When I had my first child in 2009 we received an audio only baby monitor as part of our registry. When baby number 2 came around we upgraded to a single camera video monitor. And now that baby number three is coming we are upgrading once again to a double camera digital video baby monitor that has all the bells and whistles and is easy to use!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Kid Craft Failure: The not so PUFFY paint.

Puffy Paint Failure

I share the good, the bad, the successes, and the failures here. This week our Kid Craft was a HUGE failure. Seriously. Have you seen the picture of the Cookie Monster Cupcake pin on Pinterest where the original pin is super cute and then the attempt to make the pin was a disaster… that was this week’s craft.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Getting worn out easily this time around #Pregnancy Week 18

How Far Along: 18 Weeks
Due Date: June 22nd, 2013
Boy or girl: We don’t know the gender yet… but will find out soon!
Bump Picture: Here I am… bumpity bump bump bump.

Pregnancy week 18

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Day off spent at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry!

Museum of Science and IndustryMuseum of Science and Industry

I know that I have said it before and I will say it again, I absolutely adore Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. Even on a super crowded day {I mean seriously crowded… the most crowded I have ever seen it!}, my family was able to walk around, explore, and enjoy this attraction to our hearts content. This was a great way for our family to spend Martin Luther King Day!

What is your favorite family friendly attraction?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Quick and Easy Chicken Parmesan Recipe

love chicken parmesan. I like to pair it with a little salad and some garlic bread for a well rounded meal… but in a bind I am perfectly content with just the chicken parmesan. In fact it might be my absolute favorite meal to eat.

Some restaurants make phenomenal chicken parmesan and some restaurants completely botch it. My favorite chicken parmesan to eat is the chicken parmesan my husband makes. It is tender, juicy, and crisp all at the same time. I love it and am excited to share the recipe with you!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Kid Craft: Volcano Vacation

I told you last week that I was planning on trying out more kid crafts with the children in order to keep us sane this winter. Since we are stuck indoors a lot we will be getting crafty more and more often - at least this is the goal. I am happy to say that we stuck with it and had ourselves a good time in the process.

This week’s indoor activity for the kids involved a little science. We made some volcanoes and then we made them erupt. I call this little activity Volcano Vacation. We make volcanoes and it is a vacation from the ordinary… that and I am a fan of alliteration.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Bump is slowly taking over: #Pregnancy Journal Week 17

How Far Along: 17 Weeks
Due Date: June 22nd, 2013
Boy or girl: We don’t know the gender yet… but will find out soon!
Bump Picture: For some reason I was unable to take a very flattering bump picture this week. The ones I liked were out of focus and the ones that were in focus I am not a fan of. This is the best one of the bunch… Still not a great one though. * I may be slightly hormonal and more than a little crazy – please be kind *

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Karate reminds me of a little movie about Russian Royalty …

Whenever I think about karate I think about the 1997 Fox Animation Studios film called Anastasia. I am reminiscent of a little bat named Bartok – who I found hilarious. I just cannot help myself. It is just where my mind seems to wander. 

There is one quote in particular in which Bartok is talking to Rasputin about Anastasia that comes to mind… “Just wishing I could do the job for you, sir. I'd give her a HA! And a HI-YA! And then a OUU-WA! And I'd kick her, sir.

My oldest son is enrolled in a karate class and loves to show off his – and I quote – “Cool New Moves”. I am quite sure that these all have official name, I just don’t know them as of right now. These moves consist of his karate kick, a downward arm motion, a punch, and a bow. But his favorite is the totally the kick. Every single time he does it I hear a little bat named Bartok in my head going HA! HI-YA! and OUU-WA! …and I giggle.

By the way – I am huge fan of the little karate outfit. I think it is called a Gi. I call it adorable.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Product Review: JJ Cole Broadway Stroller

As many of you know I am a bit obsessed with baby gear. I love it! I am a baby wearing - stroller watching - swing/bouncer enthusiast.  I have no shame when it comes to how much I truly enjoy baby gear and I love sharing my obsession with you.  {Happy dance}

I have acquired quite a few strollers over the last couple of years. I have bought some, blogged some, been given some as gifts, and have also been lucky enough to win a couple as well. My husband thinks my stroller obsession is hilarious, but I use each and every one of them for different situations. And he finds new ways of storing them efficiently in our garage.

My latest obsession is a single stroller by JJ Cole Collections. It is the Broadway Stroller and I use it whenever I am in need of a single stroller. Why do I like this stroller so much? The JJ Cole Broadway Stroller is extremely versatile and easy to use. It is super sleek looking and you can easily and affordably change out the colors whenever the mood strikes.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Letters of Life … Looking at life through different perspectives.

the letters of life blog

A friend of mine recently created a space of her own on the World Wide Web. She created her very own blog. But this is not your typical blog. It is a compilation of humorous letters written from various perspectives to various audiences.

The best part is that these letters are funny. They are funny in a completely PG family friendly way. There is no vulgar language and there is no inappropriate content. The author is witty and uses perspective to tell a story that you might not have ever considered.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Kid Craft: Home Made Slime Activity

How to make Homemade Slime

I have been racking my brain trying to think of some fun things to do with the children indoors now that the weather has turned chilly. While there is no snow on the ground, and yet it is still too cold and windy for outdoor play. This means that the kids and I are trapped inside a lot…. This usually spells trouble.

In order to avoid cabin fever and children bouncing off the walls I have decided to turn one day a week into craft a day. We will be working our way through a list of crafts and activities. I will then come back here and share them with you. At the end we will chose our favorites and create a boredom jar out of all of the crafts and recipes {free boredom jar printable to follow}. 

This week we made homemade slime.  I have two little boys, so slime was a HUGE success in our house. We even saved it to show to daddy once he got home from work.  The slime was super easy to make and surprisingly not that messy. Clean up consisted of washing two bowls and two spoons and sweeping the floor {which kind of needed it anyways – toddlers are messy eaters}. Here is the recipe...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I keep growing and growing and growing… #Pregnancy Journal Week 16

How Far Along: 16 Weeks
Due Date: June 22nd, 2013
Boy or girl: We don’t know the gender yet.
Bump Picture: When I look down now I see bump and then my toes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

When the big brother is away, pirates come to play!

My boys are all about pirates. They love to play with pirate ships and dress up as pirates and run around the house. They love to watch Jake and the Neverland Pirates on Disney Junior as well. Our home is very pirate friendly, so long as you know what pirates say {Yo, Ho, Ho} and what pirates wear {Pirate Hats and Hooks}.

Playing PiratesPlaying Pirates - Captain Hook

While my oldest was at preschool this week my youngest decided that he needed to play pirates with mom and he wanted to wear his brother’s pirate hat. We had a great time showing off our hooks and yelling “Aaarrgg!” throughout the house.

Is there something special that your little ones like when playing pretend?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Not your classic grilled cheese sandwich

I have been on a cold weather hot meal kick lately. I love soups and I love hot sandwiches. And while I am a huge fan of grilled cheese, the traditional grilled cheese sandwich just has not been cutting it for me lately. So I decided to spice things up a bit today and take a chance.

I thought I would raid my fridge and see what came about… dangerous, I know. Especially after spending some time on Pinterest this morning ogling over brie and hazelnut and pear grilled cheese and every variance in between. Some of which I pinned to try at a later date.

Since lunch time was fast approaching there would be no quick trips to the grocery store to pick up must have items for the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich. It was make or break time and I went a little cheese happy. So what did I make? Not your classic grilled cheese sandwich, that’s for sure. First things first, I had to check out my cheese situation in order to decide on the flavor I wanted to go for. I had shredded low fat mozzarella cheese, sliced provolone, and American cheese…hhmmmm. Combine the power of multiple cheeses, or stick with one? Who was I kidding, the more cheese the merrier!

After a quick glance at my condiment section I decided that the ranch was out- I have been eating a lot of raw veggies in ranch sauce lately and I wanted something a little nuttier. I decided to use my pesto sauce as a spread for my sandwich, it had been a while since I have eaten pesto {hubby is not a fan}. So I threw some stuff on the counter and went to work making my ultimate grilled cheese pesto sandwich. Sounds yummy, right? It totally was… I ate two.

Ultimate Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Monday, January 7, 2013

Home Improvement Update: Paint, Paint, and more Paint!

While I took the boys over the holidays to visit my family my husband was busy painting. He was kind enough to paint the master bedroom and our youngest son’s bedroom. Both rooms were adorned with painted borders. As mentioned before the new home had quite a few borders {I am not a fan of borders}. We are now down to just one room with borders – the laundry room.

I went back and forth about the paint colors I wanted to use. Our old bedroom was a tan color and I loved it. Our bedding and furniture went well with tan walls. We had a whole tan, white, soft blue, and sage green color theme going in the room. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do that again or change things up. At the old house we painted Steven’s nursery green and I did not pick out the right shade of green, it was just too dark. So I decided to go with a blue this time around. The grey is Behr Subtle Touch 790E-1 and the blue is Benjamin Moore Harbor Haze 2136-60.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Shopping at DOM itp European Housewares in Woodfield Mall

DOM itp

I was recently invited to have a ladies night in at DOM itp European Housewares – a fun and unique store that I cannot wait to visit again. I met up with some Chicago area bloggers to learn more about this store and its unique wares. It is not often that I get to go out by myself and enjoy a night out with the ladies. I had a blast!

What is DOM itp European Housewares? It means house {Dom} etcetera {itp}, and there are some exceptional and interesting items to be found there. My favorite room was by far the scarf/hat room in the back. There are some beautiful purses there as well, but I was all about the knit scarves and ended up buying three!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Into maternity clothing #Pregnancy Journal Week 15

How Far Along: 15 Weeks
Due Date: June 22nd, 2013
Boy or girl: We don’t know the gender yet.
Bump Picture: tada! Here I am getting bigger by the day. I feel huge already, although my sister-in-law says I look tiny {thanks Wendy- you totally get brownie points for that}.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Back From Break!

I am back from my break and ready to clean things up and get organized. I thought I would start my year fresh so on New Year’s Eve I took down my Christmas tree and all of my holiday decorations.  Everything got packed away and put back into storage for next year. And since I did not share any pictures of my Christmas tree over the holidays {due to being on break} I thought that today’s not so Wordless Wednesday would be a great time to share my children’s Christmas morning Christmas tree.

Under the Christmas Tree

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year: Hopes and Goals for 2013

2012 was a busy year for my family.
  • We sold our townhome and bought a new home closer to family. The move was interesting with two little ones around directing traffic and giving directions.  We have been fixing up the new home to meet our style and needs, and that in itself is a work in progress.
  • Sadly, a very dear member of my family passed away this year {love you Grandma} and I flew to Los Angeles to say my goodbyes.
  • I was lucky enough to be able to attend BlogHer12 in New York and even had time enough to make a little vacation of the trip.
  • We found out this year that we will be expecting a new baby come June 2013 and we are thrilled!

These are just some of the major events of 2012 and I can honestly say that I had a very blessed 2012. I cannot wait to see what 2013 has in store for my family.

What are you hoping for in 2013? Do you have a resolution or a goal for the coming year?

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