Monday, November 8, 2010

Coming Up: CSN Stores Review!!!

After seeing so many of my fellow bloggers host reviews and giveaways for CSN Stores I am so happy to finally be doing a review of my own. CSN has over 200+ unique stores where you can find anything from a new counter stool to cookware, shoes to clothes, a new lighting fixture to kids furniture. CSN is letting me order something and review it and since my husband's birthday is coming up soon, I thought I would let him pick out the item of his choice and we can review it together. Check out CSN Stores for yourself and keep an eye out for my upcoming review!!!

Full Fridge

Does it make anyone else happy to have a fridge full of groceries? Since having the new baby I have not ventured out grocery shopping with both kids during the week. So I have started making a list for a weeks worth of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners and I go grocery shopping once a week on Sunday mornings while my husband stays at home with the kids. Not only is this more convenient, but I really enjoy the couple of hours that I get to spend by myself. And I get to concentrate on shopping which makes using my coupons and searching for deals even easier. I find that my produce stays good for about as long as a week but not much longer. I also put all my meat in the freezer until the day before I am ready to use it and then I put it in the fridge to thaw. And I also put my bread products in the fridge so they don't go bad. This is such a change from my life pre-second baby. I used to go to the store three and four times a week and not meal plan that far into the future. The other problem I used to run into was buying my produce at Walmart. I love Walmart for most things because their prices are so low. However, their quality of produce sucks and it would go bad sometimes a day after I brought it home. Now I go to a higher end store and get my produce separately and it generally stays good for the whole week. There are few things that make me happier than opening my fridge and seeing it full of food. It is very comforting to know that I have food for the entire week and I don't have to think about what to make that particular night. Thanks to my meal plans I know exactly what I am making for the whole week. The nice thing too is I plan to have leftovers. So on that night when I am just too tired to cook dinner, we can have leftovers instead of ordering Chinese food or a pizza.

The Age of Opinions

Well it has finally little 25 month old Peanut has developed an opinion on just about everything. She wants to assert her will on what movies she watches, what clothes she wears, what she eats, everything. That is all fine and dandy except for the fact that she changes her mind at the drop of a hat. For example, she will say she wants to watch Nemo. Then as soon as I put Nemo in the DVD player, she wants to watch Big Bird. Or she picks out the pajamas she wants to wear before we take a bath and then as soon as we get out of the bath she wants different pajamas. This morning I was giving her some strawberries and she only wanted certain ones on the plate. If I don't somehow read her mind or cater to her every whim she has a complete meltdown. She definitely is a girl. She changes her mind about every two minutes and everyone else just has to deal with it. Seeing as I am with her 99% of the time I guess I am the one that just has to deal with it. Which means trying to ignore temper tantrums until they flare out. Oh the joys of motherhood.

Farm Rich Snacks and Appetizers Review

So as I said in my last post, this past weekend I had my family over for "Family Football Sunday" where we watch football all day and have snacks and dinner. Another really tasty treat that we had as a snack was Farm Rich's Quesadilla Slices. They were these big slices of tortillas filled with cheese and chicken and then sealed so the filling doesn't leak out when you cook them. They were really quick to prepare in the oven and were another big hit with my family. I served them with salsa for dipping, but I could even see eating a few of them for lunch with a salad. Farm Rich has all sorts of other really yummy looking snacks and appetizers in the freezer section and I had a really hard time choosing which one to get because they all looked good. I have tried the panini slices before and they are great too. I would say any of Farm Rich's snacks would be perfect for entertaining company in a casual setting or even for Superbowl Sunday. They really were tasty and everyone in my family really liked them. Check out Farm Rich's website HERE for more info and coupons.

I received a sample product for my review but I was not otherwise compensated and my opinions are my own.

SeaPak Seafood Review

Every Sunday my family gets together for a day of family, food, and now that it is fall, football. Yesterday was my turn to host so I was tasked with providing snacks for my husband, parents, daughter, and brother while we watched the game. One of those snacks I bought was SeaPak's popcorn shrimp. I love shrimp but I am normally skeptical about buying it because it normally is really small shrimp and not very crispy breading when you cook it yourself. I have to say, I was very impressed with SeaPak's popcorn shrimp. The shrimp were a really generous size and the breading was nice and crispy when cooked in the oven. It also was quick to prepare, about 15 minutes in the oven. Best of all, it was pretty affordable at under $6 for a large box. And it was enough for everyone to have a generous taste. In this case, I did receive a coupon from the company for a free product, but I honestly would purchase another SeaPak product in the future and was very impressed with the quality and taste of the Popcorn Shrimp, as was everyone else in my family. For more info about all the products that SeaPak has to offer, go to

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

High School Reunion

This past Saturday my husband had his 10 year high school reunion. I graduated from the same high school as him a year later and we were dating in high school so it was like a reunion for me as well. What a fun and surreal experience!!! First of all, it was my first time out and drinking since I had the baby so it has been almost a year since I have had more than one drink at a time. Then to see all these people I hadn't seen since high school (some of whom since college) was really interesting. In the days of facebook I know what is going on in many people's lives since high school so catching up wasn't really that hard. Plus, being a 10 year reunion, everyone pretty much looked the same, just a little puffier. It was great to catch up with people but I felt like I couldn't really get the full story on anyone since I was trying to chat with every one a little bit. We ended up having a great time (maybe a little bit too much of a good time) and the next day we were hurting. It was worth it in the end and now I can't wait until my reunion next year.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Slow Cooker Favorites

Today I am making one of my favorite slow cooker recipes, Chicken Tacos. It is so easy and tasty and that is why I love it. You take 1 packet of taco seasoning and put it into the slow cooker bowl. Then you add one cup of water to dissolve. You add one package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (depending on your preference) and cover with one jar of your favorite salsa. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring it and shredding the chicken every couple of hours if possible. Put it in taco shells and voila, you have chicken tacos. I love using the slow cooker whenever possible, especially if I have a long day out of the house or have a lot of cleaning to do. What is one of your favorite slow cooker recipes?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Things Have Been Crazy!!

Hey Guys. I'm sorry I haven't posted anything here in a while. Things have been crazy with the new baby and it seems no matter how hard I try, I can never have a clean house, the laundry done, the shopping done, and then have time to update the blog. I promise to set aside some more time to update things and keep an eye out for some updates. Thanks for following me.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Check out this Great Giveaway for a $2000 Serta Mattress

I NEVER blog about other people's giveaways but I had to write about this one because it is just so awesome and I REALLY need a new mattress. Mine really sucks and I really want to upgrade to a King Sized so this is one I really want to win. Go to and check out which mattress you would get if you won and then go to Survey Junkie and enter her amazing giveaway. I hope you win (but I really hope I win!!!).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Does Anyone Else Do Surveys?

Does anyone else do surveys online for points or cash? For the last few months I have signed up with a few survey companies with mixed results. Some of them I get invitations on a daily basis and qualify for most surveys. The surveys are not too long and you earn points that can be converted into cash or gift cards. These are Ipsos by I-say and Global Opinion Panels. Some of them I get surveys all the time but I NEVER qualify for them. It is really frustrating because I spend about five minutes on the preliminary questions and then don't qualify for the surveys. A good example of this is Survey Savvy. I am using these surveys as a way to earn some extra cash for the next few months. Coming up I have my brother's fiance's birthday, my mom's birthday, my brother's birthday, my husband's birthday, my sister's birthday, my mother-in-law's birthday, Christmas, my father-in-law's birthday, and my nephew's birthday...all between now and February. Does anyone have any suggestions of survey sites that actually pay off? I really enjoy taking the surveys as long as I qualify for them.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Baby is Two Years Old!!!

Two years ago today my life changed forever. It certainly was not the BEST day of my life. My labor and delivery was absolutely horrible. However it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It let me know that I was capable of anything. The joy that my little Peanut has brought to my life is immeasurable. She is the smartest, funniest, and sassiest little girl I have ever met and I still can't believe that I could ever create something that beautiful. I love her more than life itself and I can truly say I would do anything for her. Happy Birthday Peanut!!!

Master of Disguise

Thanks to my wonderful mother who spoils the crap out of her, my little Peanut has developed quite the taste for all foods junk related. She loves chips, cookies, ice cream, chocolate milk, and candy. While these foods are ok in moderation in my opinion, it has been quite a struggle to get her to like anything that is healthy for snacks during the day. So I have tried to be creative and disguise some healthier choices as junk food. For chips, we use baked vegetable straws made from spinach and beets. For cookies, chocolate flavored rice cakes. For candy, yogurt covered raisins. And for ice cream, I bought go-gurt tubes and freeze them. She now asks for "ice cream" every night and enjoys the cold yogurt treat. And for juice, I give her half water, half

V-8 fusion, the fruit and vegetable juice. While I know that these are not a substitute for fresh fruits and veggies, they are a great alternative to the junk food that is really bad for her. Does anyone else use any smart mommy tricks to get healthy food and snack into their kids? I would love to know.

A Really Tasty Barbecue Sauce Recipe

I just wanted to share a really good recipe for barbecue sauce that I made the other day that I am now obsessed with. It is tangy and slightly sweet and spicy all in a good way. We put it on chicken but it would go great on ribs, pulled pork, or as a great condiment. The recipe makes quite a bit so you could save it and use it on many recipes.

Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce

Adapted from Alex Guarnaschelli


3 cups ketchup

2 cups cider vinegar

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons dry mustard

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 cup chili powder (yes I know this sounds like a lot but it tastes great, trust me)

1 4 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into three pieces

5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

2 lemons, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices


In a medium sauce pan, combine the ketchup, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, sugars, dry mustard, Dijon mustard, and chili powder. Whisk to blend and incorporate chili powder. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, and lemon slices and stir to combine. Simmer for about an hour or longer, until the flavors blend. Discard the ginger pieces before serving. Enjoy!!!

Mommy Needs a Movie Night

I really need a movie night. There are so many movies that are coming out or that are out right now that I want to see, first and foremost, "The Social Network." I absolutely love Aaron Sorkin from his days writing on "The West Wing." I recently watched all the seasons again on netflix and I just love his style of writing. He is also kind of crazy which I love. For example, I saw him on "The View" last week and he said he takes 7-8 showers a day. That is crazy and awesome all at the same time. I also love David Fincher from "Seven" and "Fight Club." Jesse Eisenberg was awesome in "Zombieland" and of course Justin Timberlake can do no wrong in my eyes. Has anyone seen "The Social Network?" Was it good? My husband and I really want to see it but with the new baby and him working weekend nights I just don't know when we will be able to go see it. I also want to see Wall Street, Case 29, and Let Me In, but I am sure those will have to wait until I can get them on Netflix.

Winner of the Stride Everyday Panties Giveaway

The winner of the Stride Everyday Panties is #3 KateConrey!!! I have emailed her and she has 48 hours to contact me back or I will pick a new winner. Thanks for entering.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

What Was I Thinking?

I just have to put this out there...why did I ever think it was hard to have an infant the first time around? This may piss off those of you with one child and it probably would have pissed me off before I had my second baby. But really...why did I ever think it was all that hard? Babies are easy for the most part. The hardest part is the sleep deprivation. The first time around, the adage of "sleep when the baby sleeps" can hold true. I wasn't going back to work and I didn't really have that much to clean or do so I really could sleep when the baby slept. I will admit that at first it is a really hard transition from having no kids to having one baby. You can't eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, go out, ect when you want to. However, you still can sleep, eat, and go to the bathroom at some point. Now that I have two, I am finding that exceedingly difficult. I can no longer "sleep when the baby sleeps" because while the baby sleeps, my two year old is up and playing. I think the sleep deprivation is really getting to me. For example, I got about 3 hours of sleep last night. That wouldn't be so bad if I knew I could take a nap at some point today. But I know I most likely can't. Because if Peanut decides that today she actually wants to nap, my little Pumpkin will inevitably be awake. Or vice versa. It is so daunting to wake up in the morning after what seems like nothing more than a cat nap and know the feeling of tiredness will not go away the whole day or night and that the next night will be the same story. Yes I know that this is what you get when you have kids. I get it. I know that I will never feel rested ever again, or at least until my kids are in college. And I am sure that those of you with more than two kids or twins are just laughing at me. I know the me with three kids will laugh at the me with two kids, but I am just so damn tired!!! It will get better, I know. As soon as Pumpkin decides to sleep through the night I will feel like a human being again. But as I told my husband the other day, right now I feel like some sort of disgusting, lactating, hermit zombie.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My House Smells Like Poo

No it is not a figure of speech. Oh sure, my house is dirty right now. In fact, at times, it looks like a house from "Hoarders." But it doesn't just smell. It smells poo. With two kids under two pooping like it is their jobs and two dogs that have decided that since the new baby has been born that they would no longer like to be house trained, my house literally smells like feces. I have two diaper genies that seem to be full at all times and then all the garbage cans in our house are full of poopy diapers. I think it may be time to potty train my oldest, if only to save my home from becoming a fertilizer factory. Any one want to send me a housekeeper?

Stride Everyday Panties Giveaway Ends 10/1-LOW ENTRIES!!!

Hey Everyone. When you get a chance, come enter my latest giveaway for Stride Everyday Panties that ends this week. There are really low entries so you have a good chance of winning. I tried theses panties out and they are awesome. You can enter HERE. Good Luck!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What Exactly CAN I Do Now?

Let me first start by saying, I am SO glad not to be pregnant anymore. From the morning sickness to the sore joints and muscles, I was ready to be done. Now that I feel good again I am ready to get moving. But guess what? I can't. That is because I had a c-section, my second. When I went for my two week check-up yesterday the doctor really scared me. She said if I wanted to have a 3rd baby that I really need to take it easy to let my uterine incision heal properly. She said that I shouldn't lift anything heavier than my baby in her carrier, not even my 2 year old. For those of you with multiple kids, I'm sure you know that this is next to impossible. Now that my husband has gone back to work, I am on my own all day, and for three nights a week I am on my own as well. I am not quite sure how bath time is going to work with me not lifting Peanut. I am trying my best not to lift her but when she begs me to pick her up, I can't exactly explain to her that Mommy needs time for her uterine incision to heal.

I'm sure most of you would love to be told to rest on doctor's orders. When my husband was home with me for the first two weeks this was great. All my chores were done, errands were run, and food was prepared (although I did make a lot of freezer meals before I had the baby, I can't give him TOO much credit). Now that I am on my own, there is so much that needs to get done. The house is a mess and about 1000 loads of laundry need to be done. Which leads me to another thing. How is it that 1 tiny little baby could have all of a sudden doubled my laundry load? The problem is, I can't lift and carry the laundry baskets. So all I can do is get the laundry pre-treated and sorted for my husband to do later. I can't vacuum or wash floors, clean my bathroom or wash my dishes. I'm pretty much supposed to sit on a lillypad and breastfeed for the next 4 weeks. I guess I will be blogging a lot in the near future.

P.S. If you are finding me from a blog hop, leave me a comment so I can follow you back. Also, PLEASE enter my latest giveaway HERE. There are really low entries so you have a good chance of winning.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Blog Feature on Simply Stacie

Simpy Stacie

Hey Everyone. I just wanted to let you know that Simply Stacie is doing a bio on me today on her blog. It would be great if you guys could check it out, HERE. If you are finding me through Simply Stacie, Welcome. Please stop by and enter my latest giveaway HERE.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Breastfeeding is Hard (or Stating the Obvious)

I now know why some women choose not to breastfeed. It is really hard at first. It gets easier, but it starts out really hard. When I was in the hospital with Pumpkin I truly understood why this was so hard. First of all, she was a VERY sleepy baby. She really slept for like 6 hours at a time and waking her up was really hard. So breastfeeding her every 2-3 hours was impossible. Then when she finally woke up, she was so hungry that she got very upset and had a very hard time latching on. So I would spend 45 minutes trying to get her to latch on to no avail. Then she would be upset and I would be upset because I felt like a failure, especially since I had breastfed my other daughter for 12 months. I thought I would be a pro this time.

With Peanut, breastfeeding went very differently. I delivered her via c-section and was under general anesthesia so I couldn't breastfeed her right away. Her blood sugar was really low so they gave her a bottle of formula the minute she was born. They also had to do quite a bit of suctioning to get her revived when she was born, and she ended up with a sore on the roof of her mouth that made her really reluctant to eat. We did everything we could to get her to eat that first week in the hospital so most of the time we gave her formula and I pumped. This really had no effect on her future ability to breastfeed and in fact she never, EVER, took a bottle after breastfeeding was established (to my detriment I might add, since I had to go back to school when she was 3 months old).

The thing that was hard this time around was all the conflicting advice I was getting in the hospital. The nurses kept telling me I had to wake her up to feed her, which was impossible. This involved getting her completely undressed and rolling her around until she woke up. I know she had to eat, but I always heard that you should never wake a sleeping baby (j/k). Then my pediatrician kept saying not to worry about waking her up to eat, that she would wake up when she was hungry and that she didn't really need much in the first few days of life. Then the lactation consultants all were giving me different advice as to how to get her to latch on. My head was spinning. At three in the morning when I hadn't slept at all in 2 days, when my baby was crying and hadn't eaten in 5 hours, when I was trying to get her to latch on for 45 minutes, that bottle of formula sitting on her bassinet was looking pretty nice to me. So I gave it to her. And you know what? She ate every ounce and I didn't go to mommy jail.

I now know why many women choose to formula feed their babies. I have made a commitment to myself to want to breastfeed my babies for a year and I am willing to continue trying until I get it. But for women who are on the fence, who don't have support from their spouses or families, and their babies are not easy breast feeders, I can see why they give up. And everyone, other moms, doctors, nurses, should give them a break. I felt like when I told the nurses in the hospital that I gave my baby formula that they were going to punish me.

Guess what? Even though I gave my baby several bottles of formula, she is now, at 13 days old, a great breast feeder. So it goes to show that if you stick with it you CAN breastfeed. But I have a fantastic husband that truly supports me, that lets me rest, that helps me out when he can. But breastfeeding is hard, and if you need to formula feed, there is nothing wrong with that.

PLEASE, come enter my latest giveaway HERE. There are really low entries so you have a great chance at winning.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Child is Born

Sorry about the lack of posts the last week but I was busy having a baby!!!
Introducing my "Pumpkin," born September 3rd at 9:44am. She was 7 pounds, 3 ounces and 18 1/2 inches long.

I am happy to report that her birth went very well. For those of you who regularly read my blog, you know that I was incredibly nervous about my scheduled c-section since the birth of my last baby was not so great. This time was absolutely wonderful. I was nervous waiting in the pre-op area before hand but when we went back to the OR things went very smoothly. I got numb very quickly and the anesthesiologist was great. The doctors were very quick getting Pumpkin out and she was perfect. When they wheeled me back to the recovery area I was feeling great and chatting with everyone. I even managed to breastfeed in the recovery room. I did start having nausea and vomiting in the recovery area and it persisted for the next 24 hours, but honestly I didn't care because I was so happy everything else went great. We were in the hospital for 3 nights but I was anxious to get out the next day because I was feeling so good. I was able to get out of bed shortly after the c-section and walk to the bathroom and I credit that with a speedy recovery.

Things are going great so far at home. I am happy to have my husband at home with me for now and this next week to help me out as I am still recovering. I still haven't had that first margarita as I am still on Vicodin but I will let everyone know when that momentous occasion occurs. Thank you everyone for the good thoughts about the delivery. I will try and get more posts written in the next days and weeks about my precious little newborn.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I am Having a Baby Tomorrow!!!

So my C-section is scheduled for tomorrow at 9am and I have to be up tomorrow around 4:30am and there is not a chance that I will be sleeping tonight. I am way too nervous and anxious. I don't really no what to expect because I was under anesthesia last time and I hope this time I can be awake. I will keep everyone posted but I probably won't write a post for a while. Make sure to enter my latest giveaway while I am gone so I have lots of entries waiting for me when I get back. Wish me luck!!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stride Everyday Panties Review and Giveaway

The story of Stride Everyday panties begins with its founder, Wendy Spencer. She started out as a marathoner that continued to run throughout her pregnancy. After the birth of her son, she noticed that, like many if not most women who have had a child, she was experiencing stress incontinence. She looked for options to deal with the problem of occasional leaks and found pantyliner to be both expensive and not environmentally friendly. She also wanted a solution to make her feel sexy. This lead to the development of the Stride Everyday panty.

The Stride Everyday panty is unique in that has patented fabric technology in the panty's gusset that essential replaces the need for panty liner. This technology wicks moisture away from the top layer and deodorizes to keep you and your clothes dry. One of the best things about the Stride Everyday panty is that they offer 4 different styles of panties to allow you to choose the style that makes you feel the best, available in all different sizes. It also is machine washable up to 100 washes and can save you about $125 a year on panty liners. These panties are great for exercise, pre and post-natal, traveling, back-up protection, or just every day comfort.

The panties have been praised by the media and celebrity stylists, such as Gretta Monahan, TV personality and co-host of Tim Gunn's Guide to Style. They are also featured in the most recent issue of Shape Magazine.

My take? When I was first approached about doing a review for a panty I was a little uncertain. Then a panty that was meant to deal with stress incontinence? Then I really wasn't sure. The fact is, if you are expecting a child or have had a child, this is something that most women have to deal with, but not really something we want to talk about. But after carrying a 9 pound baby the first time and a pretty big baby this time, this is something I need. Getting kicked in the bladder all day long is not so much fun.

So truth be told, I am in LOVE with these panties. I was sent the seamless and mid-rise panties to try. They are made of this great, micro-fiber kind of fabric that is so comfortable to wear. The rise on both is great too, as I am not the kind of girl who likes to wear granny panties. The panty liner in the gusset is great too. You really don't feel like you are wearing anything extra. I HATE pads and panty liners as I feel like they never stay in place. This is a great alternative. The only thing I don't like is that I wasn't approached earlier in my pregnancy to review these because I would have worn them the whole time. But I am sure that I will get great use out of them post-partum. I really would recommend them to any woman who is expecting, has children, or even for child-less women as back-up.

Buy Them: These great panties can be purchased online at and until November 30th, 2010 they are offering a 30% discount on all orders over $35 for Mommy's Margaritas readers. Just enter the code STRIDE4U at checkout.

Win Them: Stride Everyday is offering one of my readers their own panties in the size, style, and color of their choice.

To enter, first you MUST be a public follower of my blog via google friend connect. Click the "follow" button on the right hand side of my blog if you are not already following me. (Don't leave me a comment saying that you are a follower, just do it). I will be checking to make sure you are a follower if you win and will pick a different winner if you don't do this first. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. Also make sure to include your email address in the comment so I can contact you if you win.

Mandatory Entry (Do this one first):
1. Visit Stride Everyday and tell me one thing you like about the product.

Extra Entries:
2. Subscribe to my blog via email (at the bottom of my blog) for 1 additional entry.
2. Blog about this giveaway and leave a link for it in the comments for 3 additional entries.

3. Grab my button and post it on your blog homepage and leave the link in the comments for 3 additional entries.

4. Send an email to 3 friends with the link for this giveaway and cc for 3 additional entries.

Open to US and Canada

Giveaway ends on October 1st, 2010 at 11:59 PM CST. The winner will be selected by and will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond back before a new winner is selected.

I was sent a complimentary sample product for my review but my opinions are my own.

Tuesday Blog Hops

I need something to keep my mind busy today as I am having my scheduled c-section on Friday so leave me a comment so I can follow you back. Thanks for stopping by!!!

Familylicious Reviews

Tuesday Tag-Along

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Anticipation is Probably Going to Kill Me

With my c-section being scheduled for this Friday, I honestly have no idea what I am going to do with myself this week. This past week I was nesting hardcore and got the majority of my house organized, going through every closet, drawer, ect. until I knew where everything was. I also got a lot of freezer meals made and cookies baked for everyone who is going to be visiting us when the baby gets here. I have done every scrap of laundry in my house. I really don't know what to do right now. My brain hurts and I feel so incredibly anxious.
I can't go anywhere because I don't have a car this week. I can't go to the pool because it is closed during the day with the kids being back in school. Maybe I will just straighten and straighten and straighten some more. Or maybe I will spend the week entering every giveaway possible that I normally don't have time to enter. I just feel so guilty doing nothing but maybe I will just hang out and watch some movies with Peanut. All I know is this anxiety is going to kill me. I am not a patient person in any way, shape, or form so having to wait for the birth of my child really hard.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Scheduled C-Section is Not So Magical

So my c-section has been scheduled for a week from today, September 3rd, and I am having mixed emotions about it. With the type of incision I had last time a v-bac is not possible so I knew early on that I would be having a c-section. While it is great to know the exact date that I will be having my little girl, a part of me wishes I could have a "normal" birthing experience.
Last time I was a week overdue so they induced me. This lead to a long and painful labor that eventually led to a c-section. Knowing now what I did not know then, I probably would have not let them induce me. Even though I was frustrated and exhausted with being pregnant at the time (which I pretty much am now too) I think I would have let my body do what it was supposed to do naturally. There was no medical reason for them to induce me. I was doing fine and the baby was doing fine(she was big but that was it). It was a practice in a prestigious hospital and I think they just wanted to have the baby born when it was best for them. I think I also would have tried to walk a lot more during early labor and not gotten an epidural as soon as I did. But we can't dwell on the past and I can't change what happened.
This time I just wish my body would go into labor on its own. I have been having contractions off and on for a few weeks now but my doctor confirmed this morning that I am not dilated at all. It is really frustrating, especially since I could essentially have no contractions whatsoever and still have a baby. I want that clique experience of waking up in the middle of the night, having contractions regularly for a couple of hours, going to the hospital, and having the baby. Or even better, having my water break so I KNOW I am in labor.
I guess I have to look at the positives. Knowing the exact date that you are having your baby on is very convenient. I can I have my house clean, my bags packed, and my frozen meals made. We also are planning on going out for a "last meal" the night before the c-section so I can indulge on my favorite Mexican food on last time before being in the hospital for 4 days. I can make sure Peanut has a place to stay that is not rushed or last minute or inconvenient for her grandparents. I can make sure I have someone to come and take care of our dogs. And lastly, I know that there is an end date to this pregnancy. I know all pregnancies must come to an end but at least mine is at 39 weeks and not some uncertain date in the future.
Ok, the more I look at it, I think the planned c-section thing isn't that bad. It's just all very clinical, not very magical. But I would be willing to bet that as soon as I hold my new baby girl in my arms, that is when the magic begins.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Peanut is Putting Us Through Baby Training

Well, Peanut does not want to sleep at all anymore I guess. At least not at night. For the past couple of weeks she has been waking up in the middle of the night, hysterical. She runs to her door and yells for us, we put her in bed with us and most times she just sits there awake. She is very squirmy too so it is really hard to go back to sleep. The problem is, she is so tired from not sleeping at night that she takes like 3 1/2 hour naps at 2pm every day and then can't go to bed at night. I am praying that the new baby is a good sleeper because I have dealt with Peanut's inability to sleep like a normal human being since the day she was born.
I keep telling my husband that Peanut is putting us through training for the new baby. That we are getting used to waking up at all hours of the night and then putting ourselves back to sleep as soon as possible. But he tells me that he doesn't need any training. He KNOWS what to expect when the new baby is here and he doesn't need the practice right now. Always the optimist he is.
Yesterday was the best. Peanut went out for a while with her uncle and he took her to the park and the pet store. Then he was going to take her for ice cream but she fell asleep on the ride there so he took her home. I grabbed her and went to lay her in bed when she sat straight up and started chatting as if she never was asleep. The problem here is that when this happens, she thinks she has taken her nap for the day, even though she was only asleep for ten minutes. Then she fights me tooth and nail to take a nap for the rest of the day even though I know she is tired. She finally passed out at around 3pm and I had to wake her up at 5:30pm because I didn't want her going to bed at midnight. We put her to bed without a fight at 9pm, then she woke up at 1:30am and my hubby tried to get her to go back to sleep until 3:30am. Then I just yelled to put her in bed with us and she fell asleep until 6am. So that was pretty fun. She is just so off and I am off and we are all off together. And I know that in about a week things are just going to get worse.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Quest for the Perfect Diaper Bag

Now that my due date is looming and I have come to the realization that I will have two children under 2 in about 12 days, both of whom will be in diapers, I am now on a quest for the perfect diaper bag. I still have 2 diaper bags from Peanut but these in no way will meet my needs with the new baby. I guess I was being optimistic when several months ago I believed that Peanut would be potty trained by the time the new baby got here. Now I realize that milestone is months away, as I don't really think I will be able to attempt to potty train her in the first few months of caring for a newborn.

With Peanut we purchased a gender neutral, smaller diaper bag that worked for what we needed at the time. My husband wanted to have a diaper bag that he felt comfortable carrying when he was out by himself so I agreed to get a hunter green bag. It is really ugly and does not have a lot of space. I quickly realized that everywhere I went, I had to carry a diaper bag and my purse, and that was a pain in the butt. We also got a free bag from the hospital we delivered at, this one a bit more spacious, but still with the name of the hospital printed on the outside. Not very fashionable.

For the past several months I have just been putting Peanut's stuff in a large purse I have and carrying that. While I feel more fashionable this way, it still presents a few problems. First, there are no compartments in this bag so everything settles to the bottom. There have been many times where I have been at the grocery store and had to pull out a stack of diapers, wipes, books, ect. just to get to my wallet. Secondly, if I am going out without Peanut this bag looks so sad flopping emptily with just my wallet, phone, and keys in it after I have taken all the baby stuff out. It's just not practical.

This now brings me to my quest for the perfect bag. The first thing I am looking for is space. It needs to have several compartments so that I can separate the new baby's stuff from Peanut's stuff. And if I am going out for a full day this includes diapers for both, lots of wipes, toys, changes of clothes, bottles, ect. I am also looking for space for my stuff as well so I can just slip my wallet, keys, phone, and coupons into a compartment when I go out with the kids, and then easily transfer them to a purse when I am not with the kids.

The next thing I am looking for is a fashionable bag. I am not the most stylish lady on the block and I certainly don't carry designer bags. I do however try to feel like a girl on most days. And with a fresh c-section scar and breast milk leaking from your nipples, I think that is the time to want to feel a little good about yourself. That is why I want my diaper bag to feel like a really stylish, over-sized purse. I don't really care for the messenger style of diaper bag because it makes me feel like I am in school again. I just want something that looks and feels nice to carry.

The third thing I am looking for is affordability. The problem I have been finding is that this bag exists, but it comes in the $100 plus price range. There is no WAY I can see justifying spending that much money on a bag. Even in my pre-baby days, I could not see spending that much money on a purse for myself. Now with two kids and trying to save up money to go back to school, there is even more incentive not to spend like a wild-woman on a bag, especially when I have two at home that I CAN use in a pinch.

Tell me, does this bag that I am looking for exist? Can I afford it? Does it have enough space with separate compartments? Is is fashionable? Can I carry it like a purse? Help!!!

Winner of the Only Sunshine Boutique Custom Frame: Take 2

So the winner of the custom frame did not contact me within the 48 hour time frame so I had to pick another winner. The winner is...

Congrats Sassy! This winner has been emailed and has 48 hours to contact me or I will pick a new winner.

On a side note, does this ever happen to you giveaway bloggers? Do people fail to contact you and you have to pick a new winner?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Winner of the Only Sunshine Boutique Giveaway

And the winner is...
True Random Number Generator

True Random Number Generator

Min: 1
Max: 29
Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Congrats Made.By.Jess
The winner has been notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or I will pick a new winner. Thanks to everyone who entered.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Old Navy Coupon Giveaway Winners

And the Winners Are(according to
#17 Carol
#18 Josee
#52 Tales of a Young Mamma
#24 Sthompsonfoto
#45 Ellecee
#1 Tracie
#15 Lisa
#47 Sassy
#26 Bi
#12 Celeste

The winners have all been notified by email. Thanks to everyone who entered!!!

2 Giveaways Ending Tonight!!!

Don't forget to get your entries in for 2 giveaways I have ending tonight, 8/20. The first is a custom picture frame from Only Sunshine Boutique. It has pretty low entries so you have a good chance of winning. Enter HERE. Entries will be accepted until 11:59PM Central Time tonight.
The second giveaway ending tonight is 1 of 10 $50 off a $100 purchase at Old Navy. Enter HERE. Entries will be accepted until 9:00PM Central Time tonight.

Good Luck Everyone!!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hurry!!! Last Minute Old Navy Coupon Giveaway!!!

I will be giving away 10 $50 off a $100 purchase coupons to Old Navy tomorrow. To enter, first you must be a follower of my blog. If you are not, simply click the follow button on the right hand side of my blog. Then, leave a comment with your email address and tell me who you would be shopping for if you won. I will randomly pick 10 winners by 9pm Central Time tomorrow, 8/20, and you will have 24 hours to respond and claim your coupon. These coupons are printable and must be redeemed from 8/20-8/26 only. This is a great opportunity to save on back to school clothes or your new fall wardrobe. Hurry and enter while you can.

Here is some more info on the Weekly Deals At Old Navy:

Say hello to a change in seasons by changing your look! Be chic and comfy with the Old Navy Item of the Week: Women’s Tie-Waist Sweaters. A shawl collar & tie-belt are a fab combo for dressy or casual style. Either way they’re: $20, reg. $39.50, 8/20–8/26. In-store only.

Get a glimpse of the fall must-have at under the “Weekly Ad” tab. While you’re there, dig around for this week’s highest-value, unlimited coupon: $10 off $50. Click the “Barker’s Bones” tab-play once a week for super savings! Happy digging! Ask readers: Women’s Tie Waist Sweaters are a fall must-have. What else is on your must-have list: Old Navy boots, a new lightweight jacket or dare we say, both?

M80 contacted me on behalf of their clients but I did not receive any compensation for this giveaway.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Versatile Blogger Award

Thanks so much to Life of A Twingle Gal for giving me the Versatile Blogger Award!!

Here are the Rules:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award

2. Share 7 things about yourself

3. Pass the award along to 15 other bloggers you recently discovered and think are fabulous

4. Contact the bloggers you chose and let them know about the award

Seven Things About Me:
1. I am currently studying to get my second bachelor's degree for nursing

2. I have been a singer my whole life and have performed at Lincoln Center in NYC and The Disney Castle Stage in Orlando

3. I used to work as a Casino Host at two different casinos

4. I wanted to go to law school when I graduated college but after working as a paralegal realized I hated it

5. I took 4 years of Italian in college just for fun, but I am not sure how much of it I could remember now

6. My elbows are freakishly double jointed.

7. I would love to eat all organic, but it is just too damn expensive

15 other bloggers I follow and think you should too:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Melting Pot Review

This past Saturday my husband and I went to The Melting Pot to celebrate our anniversary. If you have never been to The Melting Pot or even heard of it, it is a fondue restaurant that offers cheese, main course, and chocolate fondue. And boy, do you get your fill of fondue. I chose The Melting Pot for our anniversary because first and foremost it is a romantic experience from start to finish. I also chose it because, being 9 months pregnant, the only fun thing I can do is eat. And it is really a great place to eat.
First of all, we had my parents watch Peanut for the night and the next morning so we could take our time at dinner and enjoy ourselves. We sat at a very private booth off of the bar and for the most part were by ourselves. That really set the mood. We decided on the specialty "Pacific Islands Big Night Out" for our meal. This includes a cheese fondue course, a salad course, a meats course, and a chocolate fondue course. A ton of food, I know. The cheese included with this was called the Feng Shui Cheese Fondue. It included white wine, mirin, Sake, Gruyere cheese, and horseradish and chive Havarti Cheese. There is a burner in the middle of the table and the server prepares the cheese in a pot in front of you. The burner keeps the cheese nice and melty, perfect for dipping. They provide veggies and different kinds of bread for you to dip in the cheese. This fondue was excellent. Very unique tasting but creamy, a little spicy, and delicious. My husband and I both loved it.
The next course was the salad. We both ordered The Melting Pot Salad with the sweet and tangy house dressing. It was a standard house salad but the dressing was great and the salad included hard boiled eggs, which I love. For the main course we chose the Fondue Fusion with the Bourguignonne style of fondue, which is simply canola oil. The meats included with the Fondue Fusion included lobster tail, sesame crusted teriyaki sirloin, citrus infused pork tenderloin, ahi tuna, garlic chili chicken breast, kiwi lime shrimp, spring vegetable dumplings and fresh vegetables. It also included 2 types of tempura batter and tons of different dipping sauces. It really is a romantic and fun experience cooking your food with your partner, trying different things, and basically sharing the same meal. This is an experience I think is unique to the Melting Pot. We both really loved the main course from start to finish.
The final course was the chocolate fondue. For this we chose the traditional fondue, which was dark chocolate with a swirl of creamy peanut butter. They include pound cake, brownies, rice crispie treats, strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, and chessecake for dipping in this. Let me tell you, this course is heaven. It almost put me over the edge of being full, but not quite. It was so creamy and delicious and the peanut butter added a little extra something that made it extra yummy.
You might be asking yourself, how can they eat this much food? Truth be told, it is a lot of food and you certainly won't leave hungry. But from the beginning of the meal we told our server we were celebrating our anniversary and were in no hurry. This allowed him to pace the meal slowly and allow time to digest in between courses. We found ourselves getting hungry in between courses and that was a good thing. In addition we never felt rushed to get out. I hate when you feel rushed at a restaurant and the server did a great job of matching the pace that we were looking for. From start to finish, we were there for over three hours!!! We were having such a great time that we lost track of the time.
The best part of the meal is that it is affordable. The big night out was only $84 with everything for the two of us. Not including drinks and tip, I find this to be a great value for all the food you get.
All in all, we had a great anniversary dinner. I would recommend The Melting Pot to anyone who is looking to celebrate a special occasion with that special someone. It was romantic, fun, affordable, and most importantly, delicious.

WooHoo 100 Followers!!!

Wow, I reached 100+ followers and I am so happy!!! I can't thank all of you who follow me and read my blog enough! You make me feel like what I write actually matters and that means a lot to me. I especially love comments so keep them coming! Love you guys!!!

Tuesday Blog Hops and The Like

Hello Everyone! Sorry about the lack of posts over the weekend...I was without Internet and it sucked. I thought I would do some blog hops this week since I haven't done any in a while AND I am so close to having 100 followers that I thought I would try and push it over the edge. If you are new to following me, make sure to leave me a comment so I can follow you back and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE come enter my latest giveaway HERE. It ends this week and there are very low entries so you have a very good chance of winning. Thanks for stopping by.


To-the-TOP Tuesday

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happy Anniversary to Me!

5 years ago today I married my best friend. Clique, I know, but he truly is my best friend. We have been together for 12 years, through high school, college, being apart for long periods of time, working opposite schedules, moving a million times, layoffs, 1 beautiful baby, another beautiful baby on the way, losses and gains, trials and tribulations, death and birth, and everything else that goes into a marriage. I couldn't survive without him and I KNOW he couldn't survive without me(haha). Look at the picture above. That is from our honeymoon. Don't we look tan, thin, young, and well rested??? Marriage, kids, and life may have taken its toll on our looks but we are better people now than we ever were. Happy Anniversary Hubby!!!
Don't forget to enter my latest giveaway HERE

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What Do I Have to Do to Get People to Enter My Giveaways?

I was just wondering what I have to do to get more people to enter my giveaways. It seems like both times I have done a giveaway I have had to beg people to enter and I am just wondering if there was something I should be doing to get more people to enter. I really want to continue to do giveaways but it is discouraging when very few people enter. I know most people look for the "big ticket" giveaway items but I feel like my giveaways are very easy to enter, especially if you already follow me. I was still hoping to do a giveaway for a Baby K'tan Baby Carrier after my new baby is born but I don't even know if that is something people would want. I need some feedback here. If it just is that you haven't had time to enter any giveaways I certainly understand as I don't really have time either. If you have time, enter HERE now. I am doing this to help out a friend who is just starting her "mommy business" out and I would love it if you readers would check her out. Thanks so much!!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

No Air Conditioning is No Fun

All day Sunday our entire family (my mom, dad, brother, his fiance, sister, her boyfriend, my hubby, Peanut, and myself) went up to the Wisconsin State Fair. It is a tradition for us to go every year and I have been going since I was born. I went when I was pregnant with Peanut, last year when she was under a year, and I was determined to go this year, 36 weeks pregnant and all. It is so much fun, eating all the food, looking at all the exhibits, seeing all the animals, watching bands, taking Peanut on pony rides, and watching her daddy take her on the giant slide (twice, she begged).
It really is a physical challenge to do the whole fair pregnant. For one thing, it was SUPER hot on Sunday and very humid. Secondly, there is quiet a bit of walking to do which gets to be a lot pregnant or not. And it is a very long day...we got up at 4am and didn't get to bed until midnight. When we finally got in the car to go home we were exhausted.
Before we left in the morning, I turned the A/C up to 78 degrees so we weren't wasting electricity while we were gone all day. When we got home I turned it back down (way down) and we went to bed. It was hot when we went to bed but I figured it would cool down eventually. All through the night I was sweating and tossing and turning, but I thought it was just me since I am hot all the time these days. I accidentally left the alarm on my phone on for 4am and when it went off, it woke Peanut up. So she got up and ran into our room and I sent my hubby downstairs to see what was going on with the air conditioning. He was downstairs for like 30 minutes fiddling, running up and down from the basement and finally came back up with the verdict. Something was wrong with the air.
We slept a little longer (not well at all) and got up. It was PAINFULLY hot in the house as it was 90 on Monday with 80% humidity or so. My husband took his shower, I quickly took mine and threw Peanut in with me since we were all drenched in sweat, and we all got dressed, sweating the whole time. He dropped me and Peanut off at my parent's house for the day so we could cool off.
My hubby called some a/c guys to come out but they couldn't come out till today. When we got home last night, we set up the air mattress, the baby mattress, and put a sheet on the couch in the living room because it was about 15 degrees cooler downstairs than it was upstairs. I put some wet washcloths in the freezer, turned the ceiling fan on high, and we settled in to sleep.
Sleep we did not. Poor Peanut kept waking up all night drenched in sweat and my hubby put her in the air mattress with him (I needed the firmer couch for my back). I could not fall asleep to save my life and kept sitting up and nodding off. I was covered head to toe in sweat and kept putting the cold washcloths on my head. I even got up a few times to stick my head in the freezer. Needless to say, all of us got very little sleep and it was one of the most miserable nights of my life.
Don't get me wrong, I am not a spoiled girl. I didn't have air conditioning in my apartment in college and I did fine. I know that A/C is a luxury and I should be grateful that I have it. But when you are 9 months pregnant and used to it, it is quite a shock to the system. Plus, this summer has been especially hot and humid. And to put it in perspective, when my husband got up in the middle of the night, the thermostat said it was 89 degrees in our room. That sucked.
Finally, the repairman came today and had to replace the blower and the belt but by 1pm I had air again. It felt like heaven. I could move again. I could finally get my house straightened from the weekend because it was too hot to do anything. I could cook in my kitchen. Thank the lord!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Well That's Ironic

Couponing to Disney

So as many of you saw and commented on, my last post was all about how I have entered so many giveaways and haven't won anything. Well today I got an email that I won one. And not just any giveaway, a really good one. Something I am going to be needing really soon. I won an Avent Double Electric Breast Pump from Couponing to Disney.

Needless to say I was shocked and completely surprised. I really want a good breast pump because my last baby refused to EVER take a bottle. This baby really needs to be able to take a bottle because I am going back to school shortly after she is born. I guess Karma does exist sometimes. Or maybe just putting it out there brought me some luck. Or all of you who wished me well and hoped I would win something too helped me too. Whatever it is, I thank you.
While we are at it, PLEASE enter my latest giveaway for a Handmade, Custom Picture Frame from Only Sunshine Boutique. She just started her store and blog and could really love some bloggy love. Thanks guys!!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Does Anyone Actually Win One of These Things?

I am putting it out there...I want to win a giveaway!!! I feel like I have entered every giveaway imaginable in the past two months with nothing. I am not asking for much. It doesn't even have to be a big giveaway. But it would be nice to win SOMETHING. I think I am just bitter. My luck outside of bloggy world has not been so great as of late so I feel like maybe Karma owes me. I know that certainly is not how the world works but it still would be nice to win. I have a baby coming in 3 weeks. Come on people. I really am convinced that no one actually wins anything. #345 Carlasmommy said "I like the one with the green stripes" is made up, right? You are just keeping the giveaway prize and giving it to your sister, right? I know you aren't really. That would violate our blogger code of ethics. Maybe doesn't like me. That could be it. I don't know. I give up. Can't a girl just get some free swag already? Ok...that's my rant for the day. Sorry. I'm cranky and humungously pregnant.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Only Sunshine Boutique Giveaway

A friend of mine from high school recently started her own business from home, Only Sunshine Boutique. Liz started the business after a few big changes in her life. She had her first baby this past December and she became a stay at home mom after her son was born. When she was preparing for her son's arrival she found herself making a lot of homemade things for his nursery: she painted pictures to match his bedding and painted letters to spell out his name to match his room. Since her son was born she has also taken up photography taking tons of pictures of her son.

While looking for something she could do from home, she decided to combine her love of crafting with photography. That was how Only Sunshine Boutique was born, when she started making custom picture frames. Liz says her picture frames are for all other parents or grandparents who have that perfect photo of their little one that deserves the perfect frame to display it in.

She currently sells custom handmade picture frames as well as some of her photography. In the future she plans to expand and offer additional nursery and home decor products.

You can purchase one of her adorable (and affordable) frames or beautiful photographs at her Etsy page, Only Sunshine Boutique.

Liz has generously offered one of my readers a custom frame of their own, with the colors and word of their choosing. The frame has a slightly distressed finish and includes glass, a finished back which is painted brown, a peg for the frame to stand, and a protective coating which gives the frame a professional finish and protects it from scratches and UV rays.

To enter, first you MUST be a public follow of my blog via google friend connect (I will be checking so make sure you do this first). Click the "follow" button on the right hand side of my blog if you are not already following me. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. Also make sure to include your email address in the comment (if it is not in your profile) so I can contact you if you win.
Mandatory Entry:
1. Visit Only Sunshine Boutique and tell me what frame you would like to have.

Extra Entries:
2. Subscribe to my blog via email (at the bottom of my blog) for 1 additional entry.

3. Like Only Sunshine Boutique on Facebook for 1 additional entry.

4. Follow Only Sunshine Boutique's blog for 1 additional entry.
5. Blog about this giveaway and leave the link for it in the comments for 3 additional entries (leave 3 separate comments).

6. Grab my button and post it on your blog homepage and leave the link in the comment for 3 additional entries.

Open to US and Canada
Giveaway ends August 20th, 2010 at 11:59 PM CST. The winner will be selected by and be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond back before a new winner is selected.

I was not compensated for this giveaway and the opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Newbie Blogger Questions

I don't really have anything substantial to blog about today so I thought I would take this opportunity to ask my fellow bloggers to answer some questions I have about blogging. Any help that anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated. I'm sure many others have these questions but they don't know who to ask. Please just leave a comment. Thanks so much!!!

1. How do you number the comments to make it easier to count the winner for giveaways?

2. How do you screen grab the box from and put in in a post to show the winner for a giveaway?

3. How can you get companies to approach you about reviews/giveaways?

4. What is a respectable number of followers to have before you approach companies about reviews/giveaways?

5. Is it necessary to have a facebook or twitter page to promote your giveaways?

6. Is it important to accept every blog award given to you or are most of these made up things?

7. When responding to comments should I just add another comment, send an email, or comment on the other person's blog?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

The warm weather and lots of rain we have been getting here in Illinois has lead to an overabundance of HUGE zucchini in our garden. As a result, I have made 8 loaves of awesome zucchini bread and frozen a bunch of them. Every morning I have a slice with some cream cheese and it makes a really tasty breakfast. Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
adapted from Paula Deen

3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. baking soda
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (use whatever you like, I used pecans in some, walnuts in others)
The zest from one orange

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2 9x5 inch loaf pans really well with cooking spray.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and baking soda.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until they are light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue beating until well blended. Beat in the oil and vanilla. Stir in the zucchini, nuts, chocolate chips, and orange zest. Stir in the sifted ingredients. Pour into prepared loaf pans.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven, cool in pans for about 5-10 minutes, and then cool on a rack. It can be served at room temperature but I really like it chilled.

Makes 2 loafs.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pain, Pain Go Away

Sorry about no posts for a few was a very busy and stressful weekend. And now I am in pain. Although really that is nothing new. This pregnancy has been fairly easy. As I am sure many other moms will attest to, you don't really have time to notice all your pregnancy ailments during your second pregnancy, especially if your first child is still under two.

I mean, I did notice my morning sickness this time around. It came with a vengeance. In fact, that is how I knew I was pregnant. It started about two weeks after I got pregnant and started to taper off around 12 weeks. Last time it lasted around 5 months and was just as bad. Only difference was, if I was feeling particularly bad, I could just lay in bed and sleep until I felt better. Not so much this time. It basically went, vomit while my other baby hangs on the back of my legs and then get up and feed her breakfast. There was just no time to indulge myself.

The thing that has been really paining me since my second trimester is pubic bone pain. It seems to be a pretty rare condition and it certainly is not covered in "What to Expect When You Are Expecting." The clinical name for this condition is Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction. What happens is my pregnant body over secretes the pregnancy hormone Relaxin that helps loosen my pelvis in preparation for delivery. The result is loose ligaments basically throwing my pelvis out of joint, with nothing that can be done to bring it back into alignment.

What causes me to be in pain? Pretty much anything. Laying in bed for a long period of time, sitting for a long period of time, walking for a long period of time, bending down, turning over in bed, separating my legs, even putting a pair of pants on. After speaking with my doctors several times about this, they basically have said that there is nothing that can be done. I have begged them to give me any sort of pain reliever because the several daily doses of Tylenol I am taking at this point are just not cutting it. Nope, they say, nothing will help. I secretly think they are sadists (not really, I just hurt).

Last night, I really couldn't sleep. When you have SPD sleeping is the most uncomfortable time. The pressure of your legs on top of one another really puts strain on your pelvis. So I wedge a pillow between my legs and pray for relief. We went to the racetrack yesterday with my family where we sat in very flat uncomfortable chairs, then sat at a restaurant with uncomfortable chairs, followed by a long car ride home. This left me in so much pain that I literally cried myself to sleep. Or what can best be described as sleep. It basically meant nodding off for 20 minutes because I was so exhausted followed by searing pain and desperately trying to find a comfortable position for about an hour. Not so much fun.

I'm not trying to complain. I know that pregnancy is not meant to be a comfortable time. Its just I have never experienced a pain like this and certainly not one that really never is relieved ever. I'm just tired and I can't wait for this baby to be born. If only to be able to walk again.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Couponer In Training

I came across a really great blog, Couponing to Disney, a few weeks ago and it has really inspired me to start couponing more diligently. I have been a coupon user for a few years but really more of an amateur. I would use a coupon here and there. I wouldn't clip from the Sunday paper, just basically use the ones that I stumbled across. So in my never ending quest to become a better wife, I have decided to try and coupon as much as possible. I am not couponing for a trip to Disney or anything in particular, but if my husband works so hard so that I may stay home, I can at least try and save us some money.

This past Sunday I bought the paper and I had my mom save her coupon insert. I also check couponing to Disney every day because Kristin, the author, posts all sorts of deals and printable coupons. I bought a couple of small, purse-sized accordion folders to organize and I got started. In this first week, there are a few things that I have learned.

1. If there is a product that you really need and you are brand loyal too, check out their website. Most will offer some sort of coupon for signing up with their email newsletter. I personally have two email accounts and I use the one I don't use as much for this purpose. I got coupons for nestle chocolate chips and biore face wash this way.

2. If you really like a product, tell the company. I wrote a nice email to Hawaiian Tropic about the lotion I wrote a blog post about and they are now sending me some coupons.

3. Check the packaging of your products for coupons. I found a deal on the Hillshire Farms lunch meat container for $5 in coupons for telling them that their meat tastes good.

4. Keep your coupons with you when you go to the store, even if you don't plan on using them. I was planning on getting a specific lotion today but the store didn't have it. I did have a $3 off coupon for another lotion with me and ended up getting a better deal.

5. Sometimes coupons aren't really worth it. I have discovered that a lot of times, simply getting the generic version of a product as opposed to the one that comes with the coupon is cheaper. I always buy generic whenever possible and I want to get whatever product is cheaper.

6. Check your junk mail. I just looked in the ad for Meijer and saw they have all sorts of products this week for $10/11. This includes Coca-Cola 2 liters, toothpaste, deodorant, kids shampoo, and all sorts of food products. This might be a time where it is worth it to stock up.

7. I need someone to be my tutor for using Extra Care Bucks and coupons at CVS. They seem like they have some great deals I think you need your doctorate to figure it all out.

I don't really know how successful I was this week. I tried to find coupons for everything I needed but sometimes they weren't worth it. My goal is to be like one of those amazing women who can get $200 worth of stuff for like $10. Any of you fellow bloggers one of those women??? Any tips you can give me would be appreciated.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hawaiian Tropic Lime Coolada After Sun Moisturizer Review

I just wanted to tell everyone about one of my favorite things this summer. It is the Hawaiian Tropic Lime Coolada After Sun Moisturizer. I use this lotion daily after I get out of the shower as my daily body moisturizer and the results have been fantastic. I try to spend at least a few days at the pool each week and I have built up a pretty good tan. The whole time I have been using this lotion I have not peeled once. And my tan has not faded at all. I also slather it all over my pregnant belly and it has kept it itch free and (relatively) stretch mark free as well.

I absolutely love the way it smells too. It kind of smells like key lime pie mixed with sun tan lotion. It really is refreshing and the scent lasts all day long. It contains aloe vera which can ease your burn as well as cocoa butter to moisturize your skin. I'm telling you, after using it all summer, my skin and tan has never looked better.

The other great thing; it is really affordable for a daily body moisturizer. You can buy it online HERE for $7.69. I have also found it at Walmart for even cheaper. It really is a great product and I probably will use it all winter as well.

I purchased this product on my own and was not compensated in any way for my opinions.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Wear Your Seatbelt!!!

This past Saturday afternoon my husband and I decided to take our daughter to our favorite burger joint and ice cream parlor that is about an hour away. We save it for a treat and only go about twice a year so we were very excited. We had to take the highway there and along the way we got stuck in traffic. As we pulled up to the accident, we saw an SUV on the other side of the median flipped over and in very bad condition. Then on the other side of the highway there were other vehicles stopped and directing traffic. There were no emergency vehicles on the scene yet so it must have just happened. As we passed I looked more carefully and to my shock and horror, on our side of the median, was a dead body, upside down against the median, covered with a blanket.
My first thought was maybe there is something that I could do to help. I am a CNA and a nursing student and I know basic lifesaving skills. Then I thought, you are 8 months pregnant on a very busy highway and CPR doesn't help if you are already dead. My third thought was sadness. Someone's whole life was wrapped up by people driving by, gaping at their dead body as they went about their day. I still can't get the image of her red and white socks out of my mind.
After doing a little research, I found out that this was an 18 year old girl. She was driving with someone else, they got a flat tire at 65 miles per hour, the SUV hit the median, and flipped over, ejecting the driver. The most likely reason she was ejected: SHE WASN'T WEARING HER SEATBELT!!!! The passenger, who was wearing his seatbelt, escaped with minor injuries. Now there is no telling if the driver would have lived had she worn her seatbelt, but I am pretty sure she wouldn't have been ejected from the car.
Car accidents happen every day. We don't really think about them because to be honest, we can't. If we thought that every time we got in the car we risked our lives, I don't think many people would go anywhere. My point is this. PLEASE, wear your seatbelt. PLEASE. Put it on before you put the car in drive and take it off after you put the car in park. And wear it properly. Put both the lap and shoulder belt on. I am guilty of this because the shoulder belt is so uncomfortable over my belly. But after this weekend my discomfort isn't worth my life. And make sure your children wear their seatbelts or are securely strapped in their car seats. I can't tell you how many times I have been driving and seen kids in the back seat running around, clearly without their belts on. This is something simple that we have heard thousands of times before but it is true, Seatbelts Save Lives.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

And The Winner Is...

Congrats to Ethnically Ambiguous, winner of the Belly Charms Sterling Silver Toe Ring. She now has 48 hours to contact me or a new winner will be drawn. I did have to draw a second winner because the first winner was not a follower of me on Google Friend Connect. Make sure you are a follower of mine for any future giveaways.

True Random Number Generator

Min: 1
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Ethnically Ambiguous said...
i follow belly charms on twitter @chint76

July 19, 2010 1:46 PM

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My First Giveaway Ends Today!!!

If you haven't already, make sure you go enter my very first giveaway. It is for a Sterling Silver Toe Ring courtesy of Belly Charms. You still have until Midnight Central Time to enter and there are multiple ways to earn entries. I will notify the winner via email tomorrow. Good Luck!!! Enter HERE

Friday, July 23, 2010

Baby K'Tan Review Part 1

I first saw the Baby K'Tan baby carrier in a boutique baby store in my town several months ago and really fell in love with it but I couldn't test it out because they didn't have my size . A few days ago I received it in the mail and was even more impressed. With my last baby, I had a "baby bjorn" style carrier that had buckles and straps and did not allow for much skin to skin contact. It was very difficult to get on and off when I was by myself, especially with an infant. Needless to say, I did not use it very much.

When I learned I was pregnant again I was determined to find a better solution to my baby wearing problem. I knew that with a busy two year old to chase after, I was going to need a baby carrier more than ever. I had tried out the traditional ring slings before but ultimately found them too confusing and time consuming to put on.

The baby K'Tan baby carrier is a cross between the traditional sling and the "baby bjorn" style baby carrier in that it is already put together for you, but allows for multiple baby carrying positions and more skin to skin contact. It also features a two shoulder sling design that allows for more back support as baby's weight is distributed across both shoulders. I was also concerned after the recalls of baby slings as I wanted to make sure the sling I chose was safe. Baby K'tan is in full compliance with the CPSC warning and recall and includes instructions and has videos on their website about how to wear your baby properly.

The baby K'tan carrier is also machine washable and dryer safe, something that my old carrier was not. You also buy the carrier in the size that fits you so you aren't left with tons of extra fabric like the traditional ring sling. It is even designed to support your child's weight up to 42 lbs.!!! I don't know of any other carrier that can support that much weight.
I call this review Part 1 because as I do not have my infant yet, I can't review the ease of putting my baby in the carrier or how useful it is just yet. I can tell you that the color and fabric are beautiful. The fabric feels so comfortable, like a really comfortable cotton t-shirt, just a little thicker and more durable. I ordered the warm cocoa color and I really like how it looks. The carrier comes in several other colors as well. It even comes with a hat for your infant and a sash that can accommodate other positions as your baby grows and to support kangaroo care.

I have to admit I was a little intimidated at first when taking the carrier out of the box in that I was unsure how to put it on or if I was going to be able to figure it out. I took one look at the basic cradle hold in the instruction booklet and figured out how to do it on my first try. I even took it upstairs to my husband to show him how to do it. He even said that he wants to wear it!!
There are 8 other positions to learn that are detailed in the instruction booklet and online in videos on their site, but until my baby is big enough, those won't be necessary.

Now for the bottom line: the price. The baby K'tan carrier can be purchased on the site for $59.99. This is a little pricier than the old fashioned ring sling, but I think it is comparably priced to the "baby bjorn" style carriers. And with it having so many positions to choose from, I think the price is well worth it. You can buy one for yourself at Baby K'tan.

Keep an eye out at the end of August/beginning of September. When my baby is born I will be doing a second review and plan on doing a giveaway of a Baby K'tan Baby Carrier at that time to one of my lucky readers. Stay tuned!

I recieved a Baby K'Tan Baby Carrier at a discounted rate for the purposes of a review but the opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Just Call Me Mommy: The Naptime Slayer

After writing two posts about how naptime is my nemesis, I am happy to report that for now (fingers crossed, knock on wood) I have defeated naptime. How did I do it you ask? Well, a few ways.
The first and most important thing in my opinion was patience. Anyone who knows me personally will report that I am not the most patient person in the world. I generally want what I want when I want it. Add to it the fact that I am a big, huge, cranky pregnant lady and you get someone who has no scrap of patience left in them. But at my wits end I vowed to take a breath and give my Peanut the patience she deserved. So every day at naptime I take the time to read her three books of her choosing, the same as at bedtime. I also had to realize that even though I may be ready for naptime to begin at noon, Peanut does not feel the same way.
Another thing I did was to distinguish naptime from bedtime. The first thing I did was call it our "quiet time" instead of "night, night" or "bed time." I tell Peanut that it is time for her quiet time and that Mommy needs her quiet time too. I turn out the lights, read her stories, and turn her music on. Then, instead of at bedtime, I put a gate in front of her door. That way she can see me and knows that she is not locked in her room for the rest of the day. This has eliminated the head banging on the floor or the door.
Finally, I have tried to keep the time for naps consistent. Generally we are taking naps at about 2pm. I try to be home around this time every day so that she can get a good nap in and doesn't lose her routine. While this does put some limitations on our schedule, I think it is important for now.
Peanut still cries sometimes, but not the hour long tantrum that used to accompany our old naptime routines. She doesn't bang her head or the door. Sometimes she falls asleep on the floor in front of the door which really touches my heart because I know she just wants to hang out with me. She generally wakes up about a half an hour later when I tell her to go lay in her bed and she does. I am totally amazed by this because this is a complete 180 from previous naptime experiences.
Maybe before was a phase that she was growing out of. Maybe she was in pain from getting her last few teeth. Maybe some of the things I am doing are actually working. I don't really care if is any or all of these things. For now, naptime is no longer my nemesis.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Should I Join Facebook or Twitter?

I am wondering if I should start a facebook page or a twitter account for Mommy's Margaritas. I have a personal page for myself but I like to keep that separate from my blogging world for the most part. I would really like to grow my blog but it seems like it takes enough time already to keep up with it without having to manage a facebook page or twitter account. On the other hand, I would really like to do more reviews and giveaways and this might be a way for me to get my blog's name out there. For those of you who are on facebook and twitter with your blogs, does it require much more time out of you to maintain? Is it a good thing or overexposure? I need some advice.