Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Resolutions

Christmas is over.

There are only 4 days left in 2008. Soon, this year will be over forever and a new year will be upon is. That means it's time for resolutions again. Yipee.

2008 was a rough year for many, but for me it was blessed. I had a perfect, healthy babe. I brought my GPA up a bit more. I did okay financial. I think I did better than expected for someone who hasn't worked since June 2006. I came out nearly unscathed from a horrific car accident. I am happy, healthy, and whole. So what if I haven't lost a pound of baby weight. Their are people who lost their life savings in the Madoff scheme.

So for 2009, I refuse to try to "fix" myself. I am going to forgo the promises of chaning myself. I am constantly changing and evolving anyway. I am organic like that. Instead, my focus is going to be on enriching my life and the lives of my kids. So these are my resolutions:

1. Once a month, we we go to a restaurant that serves food of another culture. Prior to going, we will do a little research. We will find the country in our atlas and on our world map. We will look at pictures and listen to music. Then, we go eat. I know I want to do Japanese, Indian, Greek, and German. I need some other. There's Thai and I am still seven short. Any suggestions? I think we have a Somalian or Ethiopian restaurant. Still need six.

2. Every first Sunday, it's dollar day at the state musuem. We need to be there. On Jan 4, we will be seeing a Leonardo da Vinci exhibit.

3. Zoo once a month, too. We actually do that almost every month. We go more when the weather is nice. So, we missed November, but we can still make December.

4. Read the entire "Chronicles of Narnia" out loud. We are already halfway through "The Magician's Nephew."

5. Gradually move all of our produce to the organic side.

6. Grow at least one veggie and/or fruit this spring. That's a biggie because we are apartment dwellers.

7. Spend less, save more. Put that sewing machine, that crochet needle, and those knitting needles to work.

8. Learn to knit. Even if I have to find a YouTube video to show me.

9. Make the kids hats and scarves for the winter. But not gloves, because gloves are super cheap. You can get 2 pair for $1.49 at Target. I want to make hats as gifts for next Christmas, too.

Oh, and don't forget:

10. Lose 20 lbs. They are New Year's Resolutions

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Right before visions of sugar plums danced in their heads....

I love Christmas.

I love the magic, the mystery, the fun, the suspense, the traditions. Childhood seems so short now. I try to make Christmas as magical as possible for my kids while they are young. They believe in Santa. We have things we do. I want them to have traditions so that they are their uncles and my age, they can reminisce. Tonight, we set out the reindeer feed for Santa's crew. It's birdseed and glitter. We sprinkled it out in the yard. They loved it, though the Astronaut felt it necessary to give it a taste test-yuck! Then the real fun began.

The kids decorated cookies and a gingerbread house. They did a great job. The first time, we decorated, then baked. Didn't go so well. The kids piled on the sugar and sprinkles and all of the sugar carmelized-then burned. Plus the kiddies handled the dough so much it got really thin and hot. So the second batch, we adults made the cookies, then baked. Then I whipped up some quick frosting (powdered sugar, plus milk and a dash of vanilla extract) and the kids decorated them. This turned out much better and we had Santa-worthy cookies.

The Squirrel and her fractured gingerbread man
The Princess and her snowman
The Astronaut and his snowman

Then we decorated a gingerbread house. It was fun. Then everyone got washed up and went to bed without many complaints.

I have to go move the gifts downstairs. I only have a few hours until they are back up. They'll be up with the sun and I have to make breakfast, then start on dinner. I hope all of you are having a wonderful Christmas too.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mmm, yummy soup! [stuff i like]

Align Center
Playing with the bubble wrap
Sit on it? Why? Oooohhhhh....

That fancy little number is the Boon potty bench I won over at Mama Sparkles. It has places for the TP and the magazines, and the deflector is soft and rubbery. It's also a bench. I love it!

Okay, okay, I know Side Salad is only 9 1/2 months old. But really, is it ever too early to introduce a potty? I had the Princess day trained at 26 months and the Squirrel at 22 months. I think I'd like to break my own record LOL.

Most children in the world are never formally potty trained. They learn how and when to go naturally. I consider it potty learning and it begins at birth. I don't mean you stick your kid on a potty for hours on end, cajoling and bribing with cookie and Dora stickers. That doesn't work. Trust me, I tried. Think of it as a stage in physical development, like learning to walk. Your baby needs guidance and encouragement. Give it in spades. And teach by example. That's right, open up that door and let your kid go visit the loo with you.

And no, he didn't poop or pee in it.

Oh, and if you see Santa, tell him Gina needs a digi cam for Christmas so I can put really cool pics up instead of crappy camera phone pics. Thanks.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

All I want for Christmas is...[stuff I like]

That's right. I finally decided what I want-a crockpot! I picked up a new crockpot cookbook while shopping for presents. It would make my life so much easier!

That picture I used in one of my favorites. It's Lettuce and I out on the town. With four kids and one income, we don't get out much. That's what made the night so special. Every time I see this pic I smile.

I uploaded this pic to the Sit on Santa's Lap at Ceiva. Isn't this awesome! I thought it was so cool. Then, I did it with each of my kids and they loved it! The pictures uploaded quickly and they loved hearing Santa say their names. What more could I ask for?

I would also love to get a Ceiva digital photo frame. I've never seen anything like this. I could upload all my favorite pictures of my kids and give it to one of their grandmas-it's truly a gift that keeps giving. The Cevia digi photo frame rocks because it is wireless! You plug it into a phone jack. You can even upload pictures from your camera phone. How cool is that? That means I could send pics all the time. Granny could enjoy her grandbabies all the time even though she doesn't live nearby. This is a great gift for anyone who lives far a way.

By the way, don't forget to visit Ceiva yourself and enter got a wish to win $500. One entry is selected randomly every day! Tell Santa that Gina sent you.


Help, please! I have a cookie conundrum....

We are having a cookie decorating party for the kid on Christmas Eve. It will be my ducklings and Smoo's monkey and turkey. The kids are 8, 6, 4, 3, 9 months, and 1 month. We'll probably have some extras, too. We initially planned to bake with the kids but since they are on the younger side, we are going to bake in advance and let them decorate. What kinds of cookies should we make? Smoo is making chocolate chip and I am going to get some Immaculate Baking Co Vanilla Sugar cookies and bake them. (IBC makes the BEST cookies ever!)

My conundrum is this, we want to make 4 types of cookies. I make 2 and Smoo makes 2. What other kind of cookie should I make? And what other type should Smoo make?

I want something that I can use my snazzy cookie cutters on. I was considering gingerbread, but my kids don't seem to like them that much. I like them so maybe I will still make them. Any suggestions (with recipe or recipe links)?

Christmas Dinner

I think that there will be around 18 people at my house this year, more than I have ever cooked for before. I am working on my menu because I need to do my shopping sometime between now and Monday. Here's what I have:

Shrimp and cheese dip with chips
Veggie tray with ranch

Butternut squash soup

Main Course:

Green bean casserole by Smoo

Macaroni and cheese
Candied yams

Yeast rolls
Crescent rolls-thanks to Pink Lemonade and Pillsbury
Buttermilk biscuits

Apple cider
Grape juice
Egg nog
Hot cocoa

Apple pie
Blackberry cobbler
Red velvet cake-can you make that too, Smoo?
Cookies that the kids decorated on Christmas eve

Have I left anything out?

Oh, and a gingerbread house, of course!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

TCP: Stuff I Like

I have been having an ongoing love affair with TCP for years. TCP is The Children's Place. It's my favorite kids store because they sell kids cloths, not small adult clothes. I try to avoid dolling my chocolate girlpies up like little streetwalkers at all costs but it can be really hard given the current offerings in the retail market. I never have this issue at TCP. TCP is also the first place I found jeans with adjustable waistbands. I have slim kids. Add in the bright colors, continous clearance, 15% off coupons and flat $5 shipping and it's no wonder.

I was in there yesterday, looking for a turtleneck for the Princess when I came a cross this monkey and hat. I love it! I ended up buying the monkey and sweaters for Side Salad and Astronaut! I am going back today to get sweaters for the girls. They will be getting the same ones [when she heard this, Princess yelled "I can't wear a BOY sweater!!!" Au contrare, my dear, you can] because the girl's version has entirely different colors that don't look as fab. I'll take a pic later and post it.

My Birthday

My birthday was Sunday. I am now 27 years old. I took my litttle ones to church. It was lovely. Then we just all spent the day together. My oldest brother gave me some money to buy my own gift. My godmother sent me some money. The kids gave me a card. Lettuce gave me a card and a little table that I can use in bed. I really like it! That night, we went to Wild Wings after the kids went to bed. My mom stayed with them. We got the 25 wings deal where you get five wings of each of five different flavors. I also got a side salad. I decided not to drink since it was already late so I had a tea and he had some beer. The wing flavors we chose were Pollo Loco, honey BBQ, honey mustard, garlic teriyaki, and the hottest of the hot wings. I can't recall what they called them. I loved the garlic teriyaki. They were really good! So I decided to try the hot ones. Here is what happened:

Me: Mmm this is pretty good but it's not really that haaa-, Haaaa-, HAAAAA-! ACK! ACK! GAH! MAH TAMB! MAH TAMB!

I sat there shaking my hands back and forth like Plies the rapper. I probably looked like an ass hat. Lettuce just stared at me, like he does when ever strange things happen to me. It felt like I'd just taken a big swig of some good ol' HCl-hydrochloric acid. My lips and tongue felt like they were about to just fall the eff off! I ate a piece of garlic bread-didn't help, and drank some tea-didn't help. I was so shaken that I couldn't eat another one of those. I took them home and gave them to my mommy.

I should have warned her about the wings. Tsk, tsk.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wordful Wednesday

{Before you begin reading, forgive me if I don't make sense. I'm a bit sleep-deprived right now.}

This fancy number was created by Jake von Slatt

The semester is almost over. I have class tonight, and tomorrow and that is it for me. I'll get my grades next week. As I sit up in the middle of the night, trying hopelessly to write an article critique that must be completed by 5:30 pm, my mind {and my fingers} wander about the internet. I came across this image and it completely enchanted me.

I wish this were my computer.

If this were my computer, I wouldn't be sitting here trying to make sense of cognitive and behaviorist theories of classroom behavior management and the affects of standardized testing on teacher efficacy and student motivation.

I would be sitting at a small desk in the attic of my three story Victorian home drinking absinthe and typing poetry about
truth, beauty, freedom; but above all things, love.

I think I need to create something.

If this were your computer, what would you type?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Stuff I want for the kids

Christmas is rapidly approaching. I have been eying some things online for the bunnies. Here ares somethings I heart:

A stainless steel water bottle for each kid. I worry about stuff like BPA. The panda is $15 at Amazon. Bigger bottles are $18 to $20, depending on size.

The entire "Magic Tree House" series, by Mary Pope Osborne. My son absolutely loves these books. He learns without knowing that he is learning. Does it get any better? They are about $4 each on Books-a-Million.

A Putumayo Kids collection! I pretty much want every single cd they make. Right now, they are running a buy two get one free special so my top three are Brazillian, Latin and Animal Playgrounds. We already have the Sesame Street Playground (courtesy of Megret at Muse Reviews) and the kids love it.Pretty much any set of blocks by HABA. Oompa has tons, ranging from about $25 on up. This set, the Fantasy blocks, is $37
The Oak Leaf Layered Puzzle from LivingPlaying which is only $16.99.
The Star music wand. It makes music when you tap it on things. Perfect for a princess at only $9.95 from Natural Pod.

What are you getting your little people?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

We had a date!

That's right! Lettuce and I had a date last night. I have been waist deep in school stuff and was totally stressed out. He said that he was going out with a friend. I commented that he and I should be going out. He said great idea, get dressed and that was all she wrote!

He called his friend and told him I was coming, too.

We went to Copper River, a really nice restaurant not far from us. He had a couple of beers. I had two Goose and pineapples. His friend had something. We all split a Fredo Bodean pizza (bacon, mozzerella, bleu cheese and roasted peppers-yum!) I wish I'd taken a picture of the pizza LOL Anywho, his buddy snapped this pic of us.

Good times.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Astronaut

This is the Astronaut holding the Side Salad.

The Astronaut is a really, really good kid. He is that kid who is always well behaved and helpful, kind and generous, insightful and thoughtful. Sometimes, I can't believe he is mine. Astronaut is 8 years old and in the second grade.

He is my firstborn and I love him so much. A has been there for it all, all the ups and downs of my adult life. I had him when I was 18, just four months after graduating from high school. He was my reason. The reason I worked, the reason I went to college, the reason I did everything positive that I did. He still is, along with his sibling.

That's it. I just thought I'd do a post about him. He is a special guy

Friday, November 28, 2008

Win some dipaers!

We have been cloth diapering since Side Salad was 2 months old and we love it! It is so easy and it makes diaper changes-dare I say it?-fun! I have a varied stash and I rarely meet a diaper I don't like. I probably have close to fifty dipes, including prefolds. Here are the benefits to going cloth:

  • less waste-no trashcans full of stinky dies going to the landfill. helps me sleep a little better at night knowing i do my part to take care of the planet
  • possibly save money, but if you are like me, it's a full blown addiction and you don't save a red penny. but the upside is the booming resale market so at least you get a return
  • no midnight diaper runs.
  • no diaper rash
  • super cuteness
  • no poopy blowouts
There are some downsides. I can't think of any. Maybe the added load of laundry? That's all i can think of.

It's cloth diaper month and Andrea over at Momma in Flip Flops2 is giving away lots of diapers.

  1. A diaper and line and cover from Motherease
  2. A Baby Kicks hemp fitted from Diapers Etc
  3. A bumGenius 3.0 from Simple Wonders
  4. A pocket of choice from Preston's Pants
  5. An AIO from Lil Impressions
  6. A Thirsties Fab Fitted and cover from Diaper Style
  7. Not one, not two, but THREE Bumwear one size diaper from Bumwear
So mosey on over to my favorite blog that I didn't write and try to win! The contests start ending today...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Meddler

Now let me give a little background info.

Squirrel and Side Salad are biologically the children of Lettuce. Princess and Astronaut are not. We have been together since Astronaut was three and Princess was one. Meddler has more than once purposely started probs with Lettuce and I.

Back when Squirrel was a little baby, she single handedly destroyed our first family vacation to go see Lettuce's mom. I know she isn't the only one to blame, but even her husband told her to cut it out. She didn't and it just made things VERY bad.

She took Squirrel to a family reunion. Lettuce is her nephew. How is HE not invited to a family reunion, but the baby is? I don't understand.

Today, she claimed she wanted to take Squirrel visiting. It turns out, she took her to a family dinner. WTF?? What about Lettuce?

He claims these things don't bother them but they do. It's just plain rude. And hateful. He has a strained relationship with his family already. This just makes it worse. But, he acts like he is scared to stand up to her. It makes me mad, but if I say anything, I am the bad guy. I think that she tries to pass my daughter off as her daughter. I know it sounds strange, but if you were here you would understand. Many of his family members have only seen her with Meddler, never with Lettuce and I. I am annoyed at the situation and frustrate with Lettuce. It is disappointing. He is a grown man. He doesn't have to kiss her booty all the time.

Well, gotta go-my baby just got back!

I am thankful

I am thankful for so much this year. My family and my children, my health, my life. All the love that fills my home. I am even thankful for Lettuce, though we are currently on the outs. Thanksgiving was lovely. My mom was here and all four of my brothers. My oldest brother brought his fiancee and two of her kids. Lettuce's little brother Junior came, too. Though we didn't get to go to Charleston, I still had a great day. My oldest brother and I split the cooking. We had:
Collard Greens-me
Black eyed peas-him
Apple Pie-Mrs Smith
Cranberry sauce, jellied and whole berry-Ocean Spray
Sherbet punch-me

It was just delicious.

[The only problem was Meddler, the aunt (Lettuce's aunt, his dad's sister, a family member who does not know her place and often instigates issues between us) wanted to come and get Squirrel. I am going to do a post about that next. Anywho, I think it's inappropriate to 1) treat one child specially while ignoring the others, 2) expect a three year old to spend time with you instead of with her immediate family on Thanksgiving. I didn't want drama, so I let her go, but I am not happy.]

After dinner, all the adults fell asleep on the couches and floor and then we woke up and played Scattergories, our favorite game other than Monopoly.

Happy Turkey Day, ya'll!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wordful Wednesday

This is my first WW. I found this old pic. It is from about 1985, when there were only two of us. I am about 3 and my little brother is about 1. He and I are so close. He is the father of 4 (1 bio kid, and his fiancee has 3) and I am the mother of 4. Our kids are 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 3, 15 months and 8 months old. They were all here yesterday, along with his friend's 2 year old and my BFF's 3 year old and 8 day old. That's right, 11 kids. Pure pandemonium, but insanely fun. The contrast between yesterday's circus and the peacefulness in this picture is so very stark. But this pic, that's where it all started.

My "Large" Family

The average woman has about 2.1 kids. I have 4 and I am not even 30. So we are labeled a "large" family. And being that I am pretty young, I honestly can't say I am done yet. Now, both Lettuce and I came from "large" families; we are both the oldest of four children. We are used to this. In fact, I don't really think I have that many kids. 6, 7, 8, that's a large family. I think we are normal. Even though it appears that we are above average on the kid count. Anywho, my number of kids seems to floor everyone I encounter. Typical scene:

Stranger: Aww, what a cute baby! Is he your first?
Me: Thank you. No.
Stranger: Your second?
Me: No.
Stranger, with eyes bulging incrediuously and speaking slowly: Your....third?
Me: No.
Stranger, rolling prostrate on the floor while gnashing their teeth and foaming at the mouth: Your FOURTH?!?!!
Me: Yes. I have two boys and two girls.
Stranger, face turning purple and pupils dilating: OH MY GOD!!!!! YOU DON'T WANT ANYMORE, DO YOU??!?!!??
Me: Well, maybe one or two more. I love being a mother.
Stranger spontaneously combusts.

That was a dramatization. But people are awfully presumptuous. They ask all sorts of invasive questions. Obviously, they think that the niceties of society will prevent me from making snarky answers. Obviously they are wrong. Here are a few of my favorite answers to silly questions.

Stranger: I hope you got your tubes tied.
Me: No, I am not spayed.

Stranger: Are they all yours?
Me: No, they followed me from the produce section.

Stranger: I would never want to have that many kids.
Me: Well, with kids like mine, it's easy to see why I want more. But all kids aren't like mine so I could see why some people don't want more.

Stranger: I don't know how you handle all those kids.
Me: We don't all have the same limitations.

Stranger: You have FOUR kids?
Me: Well, four with me. I left the rest at home.

Stranger: Are you going to have anymore?
Me: Well, we do have one more empty seat in the minivan...

If you ask a stupid question, you will get a stupid answer. What annoys me is how people feel as if they have some sort of bearing on how I form my family. Even my family does this, though not as much as they used to. Probably because of the answers they kept getting. So, here is a list of things you should never say to a MoM:

Do they all have the same Dad?
Why did you have so many of them?
Just HOW old are you?
Why would you do that to yourself?
I hope you are finished?
Did you get your tubes tied?
I hope you got your tubes tied?
Why didn't you get your tubes tied?
Anything involving getting tubes tied?

If you see a MoM, the best thing to do is just congratulate her on her beautiful family and move on. It will make her day. It's not easy being the MoM, but there is no greater reward than looking at your children interacting with each other. It is an awesome sight. It's stressful job but I wouldn't want it any other way.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My new wetbag! [stuff I like]

This is my new wetbag. It's black with a green butterfly pattern. Obviously, I did not take this picture because it looks good whereas my pictures suck. I really need a new camera.

I see the pattern as a compromise; green and black for Side Salad, butterflies for the Mommy. Anywho, I got it from SMJAE on Hyena Cart, which I heard about on Momma in FlipFlops2. Andrea always knows where the good stuff is . It was $12 bucks, far less than the twenty bucks or more everyone else seems to want to charge. And it's pretty roomy. There's a zipper at the top to keep messes in and everything. And Michelle ships super fast, which is always a plus for me. I needed a new wetbag like the day before yesterday LOL I really want another one, which is why I entered Andrea's giveaway on Momma in FlipFlops2. You should, too. Even if you don't win, Andrea's got a coupon code.

I am not telling what it is. You have to go find out yourself.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

PANDA-monium!!!! [stuff I like]

I wont that giveaway I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. It was the one from Andrea of Mama in Flip Flops2 for a $25 gift certificate to Happy Panda, my new favorite baby brand. This stuff REALLY fits. Side Salad was over 9 pounds at birth and is growing like a weed. When I shop, I usually buy him size 12 months. He is 8 months old now. Anywho, HP is for cuties like him, but I would also suggest them for any cloth diapered baby because the pants are so roomy! The pants accommodate fluff in the trunk. Here is my happy little panda, before he crawled off:

My new goddaughter

I just realized that my little sweetie is almost a week old and I have yet to mention her. My BFF had a baby last Monday. This is my little goddaughter. For blogging purposes, her name is Sweetie. She was 7 pounds 10 oz and 21 in long. She is pure spun sugar.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Christmas List

"Won't you trim my Christmas tree
With some decorations bought at Tiffany's...."

I have been giving a lot of thought to my birthday and Christmas, seeing as how they are only 11 days apart. I am nearly finished my shopping. But what do I want? I know you all want to know so here it is:

A Sleepy wrap
A gift card to a store where they don't sell anything for kids because if they do, I'll buy stuff for the kiddos.
Carol's Daughter Ecstasy Collection, all of it.

I can't think of anything else for now.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

BEYOND pissed off!

Have you seen the new Motrin ad? (That's a YouTubeclip because I think Motrin's site is down.) My cousin Stacy told me about the add earlier today and I moseyed on over to Motrin to take a gander myself. What. The. Hell. Motrin has lost their mind. It seems to me that they have taken a stance against baby wearing. Seriously, Motrin. That's how you want to up your sales. By insulting the way mothers have taken care of their children since the beginning of time? I am sure the women in Africa and Asia who carry their children on their backs are doing it for the cool factor. And since I live in Amercia, the only reason I am doing it is to fall in line with this "fad." It has nothing to do with my baby being happy or being able to do things for my older kids. I just want to fit in.

Screw Motrin.

November 12-18 is International Babywearing Week. I am going to celebrate babywearing.

I am not done ranting yet, but I wanted to let you know that before I get too deep into my anger. It's like they are trying to stop mothers from carrying their babies. Why? I don't understand. Why does it bother others? My baby is happy and so am I. If I get an occasional backache, so be it. Hell, it hurt a lot more having the little bugger. Furthermore, maybe I am reading too much into this, but I don't think babywearing makes me look tired and crazy. I really dislike this ad. I am really pissed.

On that note, this is reminiscent of the campaigns against breastfeeding and midwives of last century. Mamas, we have to educate ourselves lest we forget how to mother naturally. We don't need all this advice that is driven by greed. We don't need anyone to tell us that our bodies are not competent.

Okay, off my soapbox...for now....

Friday, November 14, 2008

My CUSTOM Scuttlebutts have arrived [stuff i like]

Arrgh, me hearty! Gimme your booty!

So cI am managing a full blown diaper addict. I was doing well, but fell off the wagon upon seeing Scuttlebutts. I stalked for a while until a custom spot came up and leapt on it. I decided to go all in and get four. The main reason I did it was because she has a fantasic array of fabrics and I simply could not pick one. It was impossible. I went with OCV on the inside but she as OBV, too. I think she has hemp but I'm not the biggest hemp fan. I am glad I got four. Best. Choice. Ever.

Here are my dipes. I obviously didn't take this pic with my crappy little camera phone. This is the pic that Jen sent me right before she mailed them.
Jen made this beautiful fluff by hand. They are so professional. She obviously plays close attention to detail. Check out the little applique. Isn't it cute? And it keeps them with the right diapers. Genius!I ordered some BabyLegs (cause I am fluffy like that) to go along with them.

I am a stickler for customer service and Jen communicates frequently. I love that. It was a joy giving her all my money and I look forward to buying more if I can catch a custom Spot!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Reflections and Rantings on Hurtling Towards 30 at an Astonishing Rate

Next month, it will be my birthday again. I'll be 27 years old. I could have sworn I was 22 five minutes ago. I am not sure what is happening. Each birthday comes faster than the last. Every time I look in the mirror, there is a new gray in the skunk-like streak that is emerging from my hair line. I am beginning to look more and more like my gorgeous mother. I sound like her too. Hell, even I can tell her voice from mine anymore.

I think approaching my thirties is awesome. Thirties seem so mature, so debonair, so classy. I am actually kind of excited. I probably won't be saying that in a few years. This year, I'd like to have a really classy party, with jazz music. I want my friends to dress up. I want to play Charades and Scattergories. I want a mature chi-chi menu. I want a cocktail party.

We could have Cosmos for the ladies, dirty martinis for the gents. For food, deviled eggs, cheese fondue, fancy pigs in a blanket*, and cupcakes. And the music; I have a big band CD and I could get a jazz one. What to wear, what to wear? How about this sassy little number from Igigi:

Or this one, from Forever21?

I have some sassy black peeptoe slingback pumps that would look great with either. I have to admit, it almost seems like a dress up party for grown ups but I think it would be so much FUN!!!!

Fancy Pigs-In-A-Blanket Recipe (so's I won't forget)

Puff pastry

Dijon mustard

Sausage or frankfurters in different flavors (I used organic apple and Gouda chicken sausage, chicken chorizo, and sun-dried tomato and basil-flavored sausage)

Caraway seeds (optional)

Grated cheese (optional)


Roll out puff pastry. Cut dough into rectangles that are long and wide enough to wrap around an entire sausage/frank. Spread a think layer of Dijon mustard on each rectangle. Sprinkle with cheese. Roll dough around sausage and seal seam by pressing dough together. Cut franks crosswise into thirds and arrange on greased baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with caraway seeds. Bake in oven at 375 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No More Pinchies! [stuff i like]

Side Salad is a notorious pincher. He is my 8 month old (has it been that long already?) nursling. He is a hefty little guy with awesome fine motor skills. That is my nice way of saying he pinches very, very well. He loves to pinch while he is nursing. I think he does it to make sure he has my full, undivided attention. Sometimes if I nod off, he'll kindly pinch me to make sure that I am staring at him while he nurses. It's a service he provides for free. Anywho, I saw the nurse purse on a blog a while back and tried to win one. Didn't win, but ordered one anyways. I have to say, it's the best $12 I've spent in a long time. Side salad toys with it, turning it over in his sweet little hands. I got it from Risky Beads on Etsy. The best part is, it's a really pretty necklace. The one I have is called Fidelity, and it looks like obsidian.

Quite lovely, whether you are nursing or not. Check her out if you have a pincher or if you like one of a kind pieces. She sells a lot of things other than the Nurse Purse and she ships super quick-a huge plus when you are being pinched! Tell her Regina sent you.
Here it is, clutched in his tiny little claw:

Here is Side Salad nursing-no pinchies! He has his hands wrapped around it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Giveaway Alert! Time Two!!!

I love this giveaway so much that I didn't want to tell anyone about it. Andrea at Momma in FlipFlops2 is giving away 2 $25 gift certificates to Happy Panda. It's a store for babies that don't skinny dip; they chunky dunk, if you know what I mean.

As you can see, this giveaway was obviously tailored just for me. This is the onesie I want for Side Salad

So mosey on over and visit Andrea for your chance to win. Heck, she's giving away two-maybe both of us will win!

Also, win 20 freakin' pairs of BabyLegs!!!!
Win 20 Pairs of Baby Leg Warmers from babySNAZZ!
I heart BabyLegs. Side Salad already has:

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Heart Photobooks, too

I really love photobooks. I had no idea that I loved them until last week. CafeMom selected me for a shutterfly influencer and I made my first photobook. I am waiting for it to arrive, but I love my results online: check it out!

So, in my effort to spread the love, I want to let you know about a lil deal I got from Mama in Flipflops2 blog.

is an on-line service where you can make your own custom photo book and right now you can get one with up to 120 pages (soft or hardcover) for Free. You do have to pay for Basic shipping ($6.99 for Media Mail and $8.99 for Standard Ground). These books start at $13.95 for a soft covered 20 page or $24.95 for a hardcover so this a fabulous deal!

How do you get in on this fantastic deal you ask? Well there are only 3 simple steps.

~Sign up with Inkubook by October 24, 2008 and start your book.
~Using the "Invite Friends" feature, invite someone to join Inkubook and submit a few photos to include in your book.
~Finish your book then order it within 30 days of when you joined Inkubook. Use promotion code BBY944, which is good for any book up to 120 pages!
Read more about this amazing photo book deal at Inkubook.

So RUN to Inkubook and get started!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

*sigh* Procrastination and the party

Saturday is the Astronaut and the Squirrel's combined multiage birthday party. I have 2 October babies, with their birthdays being only 9 days apart. I've grown weary of throwing two parties so this year they are having a party. Yes I know they are 5 years apart (Squirrel is 3 and Astronaute is 8) and different genders. But the same kids come to the parties and I think I picked something that will accommodate all the kids: a puppet show! We're going to the Marionette Theatre to see the "Wizard of Oz!"

The party is Saturday at 2. I think I should order the food. So far, all I ordered is the cake....

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

This dress just plays perfectly into my love of all things historical romance. I love the decadence of Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antonitte" (you know, with Kirsten Dunst). Even though I watched it last week, this dress made me want to watch it again.

If i win this one, I am making all sorts of mini cakes topped with strawberries for my girls to eat and I am getting them a small dog.

And an elephant.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I heart Books

I am a prodigious bibliophile. I love to read. I especially love historical fiction. It tends to be exciting and romantic. I am currently reading (and I use that term lightly; i have had soooo much homework that i haven't done much reading lately) "Confessions of a Jane Austin Addict," by Laurie Viera Rigler. It's not your normal period piece as it starts in current times and features a heroine transported by a curious combination of literature and Absolut. I find it witty and intriguing. Plus, it was only $2.50 at Food Lion.

Shenandoah Costume GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Shenandoah Costume GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Is this not the most beautiful costume you have ever seen? The mama over at Grosgrain makes these creations by hand. I wish I had a thimble full of this mama's talent. Check her out and maybe you can win!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Another Giveaway: Jewelry

Those of you who know me IRL know I LOVE unique, unusual jewelry. I love long dangely things that sparkle. Well Twisted Silver is having a giveaway through "I Never Grew Up." You can win this necklace:

or this bracelet:

Personally, I like the bracelet.

Check for even more gorgeousness, like the Fusion earrings.
All you have to do is mosey on over and enter.

Good luck!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Giveaway Alert!

I am a sucker for personalized things so I am loving this giveaway. It's for a monogrammed burp cloth set from Preppy Monogrammed Gifts (hereafter know as PMG).

I love PMG and I am so happy that Momville found them for me. I plan on ordering a bracelet so I can be the envy of my fellow KDEs.

Maybe they'll post a coupon code....

Anywho, giveaway is at