Saturday, December 7, 2013

Mommy Time...Cherry Chocolate Scones

There are days, even weeks, that I need mommy time even more than others. My husband works long hours, sometimes ten hour days seven days a week. Which, of course, makes my time with my lil man overwhelming, especially five months into the little brother baking time.

Not everything is easy, and I understand that better than most people. Does that mean that I don't get Tina Fey's character in Date Night when she tells her husband about her fantasy? You know the one...a hotel room all to herself with a can of Sprite. Because I do.

But, sometimes I need to do something, and challenge myself. Some of my happiest memories involve being in the kitchen with my mom. Not having her around and being a mom has been incredibly hard....I miss her terribly, and there are days when I need to feel her around me.

So, this week, I took nap time to try something new. Scones.

I found this recipe in a catalog for my local grocery store, and thought chocolate and cherry scones from scratch? Oh yeah!

I tweaked the recipe a bit, substituting fat free half and half and adding dark chocolate chips. And, in reality, there was so much icing, that next time, I'll definitely cut that part in half...unless I have a few cookies just begging for something special...


Double Chocolate Muffin Mix
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Dried Cherries
Zest of 1/2 Orange
1/4 Cup + 3 Tablespoons Fat Free
Half and Half
1 Tablespoon Baking Cocoa
1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips


1/4 Cup Fat Free Half and Half
Zest of 1/2 Orange
2 Tablespoons Baking Cocoa
Pinch of Salt
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 375. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine first five ingredients, then add cold butter in cubes with flour. Use a fork or pastry knife to mix while making butter into small pea-sized pieces. Add cherries, orange zest, and dark chocolate chips. Then, add half and half, dough will seem dry.

On flat surface (I used wax paper so that I could also flip an edge over to help kneaded the dough), dust with cocoa powder then knead for a few minutes. Shape into a circle, then cut into wedges (6-8, depending on how big you'd like). Place two inches apart on greased sheet, bake for eighteen to twenty minutes. Cool.

For glaze, combine ingredients and whisk until smooth. Once scones have cooled, drizzle on scones.

This recipe works with any muffin mix (blueberries, anyone?), and you can change the additions to suit your taste (crushed peppermint candy canes, white chocolate chips, dried raspberries)...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tis The Season For Hostess Gifts!

I always have a secret stash of ready to go gifts at my fingertips. Alright, maybe not right at my fingertips, but at least in a convenient place. You never know, especially during the holiday season, when you'll need a little something.

Traditionally, hostess gifts have been things such as a bottle of wine. While I still like the idea, I know that not everyone enjoys a glass or they may serve it that evening (if it works with the food!). For me, I like the gift to last beyond that night, to remind the person that I appreciate the effort they put in.

I have a friend that has a cute guest bathroom that she has recently renovated, so before heading over to her pre-holiday very mini shindig, I searched my stash...and found the perfect little gift.

Bath and Body Works Anti-Bacterial Hand Soap looks stylish and has a wonderful fragrance that fills the air even after...I picked Heirloom Pear from the Fresh Picked line not only because I adore the scent, but it could work for the remainder of fall and into winter when and if she doesn't want to use her holiday soaps! Plus, the foam version doesn't clog up the nozzle like the other versions.

It was just a little something to say thank you. And I may have brought cake balls. Because who doesn't love a little cake and chocolate?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Things I Love...Hot Apple Cider

A steamy hot mug in your grasp, warming your fingers and filling your senses with delicious aromas. Especially on a morning with first snow covering the ground. Sigh.

And, since caffeine is out of the picture for a few more months (no Ho Ho Mint Mochas...caffeinated, anyway), this was a perfect opportunity to visit a happy memory of my mom. Hot Apple cider (in fact, this exact brand!!) was our special treat, and only in late fall/early winter.

A season full of warm fuzzies and happy memories. All from a simple mug.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Christmas Time Is Near...Oy!! Need Presents Soon!!

Not to complain, but it suddenly hit me that it is almost Christmas time. And I have a two year old. Oy.

Sadly, the place that has been my second home for fifteen years has...well, not grown with me. Unfortunately, my former full time turned part time job isn't as mommy/pregnancy friendly as I had hoped. Which translates to no extra (though incredibly tiny!!!) spending mula.

What's a stay at home mama to do? (Besides teaching bellydance twice a week, of course.) Sell her extra clutter on eBay.

Truthfully, I've thought about a yard sale, but 1.) It's way past the season, and 2.) Most of what I have may just be above yard sale price. I know this, because I occasionally hit a few myself, and know that most people are intense bargain shoppers. Plus, who doesn't like shopping in their nice warm home with a steamy mug of goodness either on their phone or computer?

I'm a creature of comfort.

So, officially today, I am attempting to sort through the office that has become more storage than office/practice space, and seeing how much holly jolly I can find.

Wish me luck.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Things I Love...Cake Mix & Pudding Cookies

I admit it. Maybe, just maybe my awesome red velvet cookies are made from...cake mix.
Usually, I stick to funfetti or red velvet. Today, in honor of the crisp falling leaves decorating my front walk way and hot apple cider, caramel apple cookies it is.

I may not be the first person to try this...because I was definitely was the last person to know how yummy cake mixes are when you add a box of pudding (even when it's already in the mix)! So, why not try this trick with cookies, too?

Tips and tricks: Mix one box cake mix, one box pudding mix, two eggs, one third cup oil together and chill in refrigerator for half an hour (or in the freezer if you're impatient like me!). Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. I used the dulce de leche sweetened condensed milk recipe to top them off.

Yummy, soft cookies, perfect with a mug of hot apple cider!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mommy Time, Take Two!

According to my pregnancy app, I've reached that milestone of glowing somewhat happiness.

The second trimester. The blissful place of no more fatigue, bye bye morning sickness, and joyfully sharing the news (no, I've not been consuming copious amounts of Twinkies, I'm expecting!). Truly, I'm hoping this will all come to pass. The sharing, check. Morning sickness so bad I actually had to ask my doctor for help (and I'm not big on meds) as well as trying to keep up with a two year old while constantly wanting to nap? Gladly, I will let you go!

Honestly, the nausea has slowed up its relentless onslaught of the last few months, although it still likes to remind me once in a while how much time we've spent together! Energy? Let's just say today, I washed AND put away the laundry.

And while celebrating, I've noticed that maybe my me time has, once again, fled with the sultry summer weather. Therefore, I'm starting the mommy ritual once again. Once a day (or even...gasp...twice!!!) this expectant mama of a two year old will be doing something for herself.

Today, I've decide to combine my Pinterest Addiction (yep, in caps) with mommy time to make a hearty fall soup. This may not be most mommy's ideal moment of snuck in bliss, but I love soup...especially during the first few days of fall!!

Zuppa Tuscana a la Olive Garden it is...from here...

Zuppa Toscana (in the crock pot). -

I love how this fellow Blogger actually put in her blog that it is perfectly okay to adjust the recipe to what you would want. I think we get so caught up on making everything perfect, we forget that we can truly make anything ours. Personally, I like a more rustic feel to my soups, so I chose to leave the skin on (and I admit, it was easier with lil man to just clean and cube!) and use white as well as red potatoes. Plus, I used a lighter fat free base and am going to use whole milk vs. cream. Because you know I'll make up for it with bread with rosemary garlic butter ;-).

Of course, this is early stage crock cooking...but it still already smells delish.

And I really need to fit in some yoga sometime....

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Joys Of Lil Man And Mommy's Phone

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The above has been brought to you by my adorable and apparently tech savvy almost two year old lil man. After he rearranged the icons on my phone, of course.

All of this obsession with mommy's phone began, as most bad habits, with trying to make life easier. In July, mommy (that's me) took a trip.across the country to take part in a bellydance/yoga intensive for five days, leaving daddy to fend for himself. This would be the first time I would be leaving my boys for linger than eight or nine hours, and I wasn't quite sure what I was mire worried about, me or them!

Really, my husband is incredibly capable (besides asking what to give lil man for dinner every night and timidly changing the dreaded number two diaper!) so, really I wasn't to worried. The only thing I asked was that he try nor to get him into any bad habits, since I spend eleven hours a day with lil man.

And then, I came home. Of course, I received updates every day, a bit sad because at first he seemed to not notice mommy was gone (but then he started walking around the house saying "mamamama") and everything seemed good.

Until I went to change a diaper. Turns out, daddy decided to use his phone to distract our lil man and make his job easier. Not to mention, let him fiddle around with it after for a few minutes, too. And anyone who has tried to take a "toy" away from a not quite two year old knows the meltdown that usually follows.


So now, it is almost impossible to do the dirty diaper change without the phone (it seems videos of himself and the commodities app are ever amusing) is impossible and the after effects are even worse.

Thanks, daddy. And, next time our son freezes up mommy's phone, or records mommy changing his diapers, I will forever think of you. (As long as he doesn't buy anything I wouldn't want, we are all good!) And the endless giggles as he watches himself are kinda worth it.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Lil Man's First Race...With Someone Special

When I was three years old, my mom took me to my first auto race. The open wheel series that took over our lake front airport for four days of roaring by the shore full of loud purring engines, the smell of burning rubber and fuel, bright colors and people from all over the world. You would think I'd have been terrified, but I loved it. And so began a love affair that still has a spark. The memories I shared with my mom are some of my favorites, the two of us walking pitlane or even just enjoying the sights and sounds.

Happily, the man I married loves it almost as much as I do. Note that I said almost.

When we found out we were going to have a little one, I secretly hoped that he would share in that love. Since the day we brought lil man home, he's watched all types of racing. Then there's the plethora of matchbox and toy cars that are floating around and underfoot.

This past Friday, we took lil man to his first race at the track where my parents and I camped at the actual track so many times. Trees, camping (in an RV, of course!), good times, and morning to evening racing. Of course, he is still a bit young to camp and stay all weekend, but for a few hours, we watched cars, walked around looking at the track, and smiled and giggled the whole time.

And I just knew there was someone special with us the whole tilme.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Things I Love...Already Famous Nail Colour Sephora by OPI

I've pretty much resigned myself to the changes in my life since little man made his entrance into the world. Long, hot relaxing showers...actually doing my hair every day...even actually getting dressed out if jammies. Although, that last one doesn't happen as much as I'd like. Jammies all day is fun sometimes.

And doing my nails. Nap time is jam packed with as much as I can fit in, which usually consists of a quick lunch, shower, and either dishes/yoga/laundry/bellydance. That is, if I'm lucky.

To keep myself feeling pretty (silly, but as a mommy, I need those fitly things!), I've found the easiest way to jazz up my nails quickly is metallic nail polish! Not only do you get a splash of sparkle, it dries really fast!!

So, here's to my new favorite color: Already Famous Nail Colour by Sephora By OPI. A great neutral metallic that makes mommy time fit in with everything else!

Friday, June 7, 2013

No 'Poo...For Real

When I became pregnant, I instantly became aware of certain things. First, whatever I used had to be healthy for my lil jellybean. Second, diapers and baby clothes are expensive.

Confession time. I love my Coach purses, my Victoria's Secret, and Yankee Candle. (We won't mention my Teavana problem because that developed later.) And now, I had someone else to buy things for! With less money.

Back to the issue at hand. I gave up alcohol (I can't believe this is an issue), caffeine (withdrawl sucked), and started looking at the chemicals in my everyday life. A consumate product junkie, I owned a plethora of hair and beauty products. They owned my credit cards.

The sad part was most of these miracles were liars. Pretty little yummy smelling liars. And so they sat in my bathroom closet, a fancy island of not so misfit products. My hair is thick, long, and has a natural curl that easily straightens but doesn't stay the way I like. Drizzle, extreme volume that only seemed to get better the longer I didn't wash it. Ew...kinda. My favorite stylistic actually told me years ago to not wash my hair more than twice a week. I could rinse, even do a little conditioning but no shampoo save for those two times.

But, then the bun in the oven happened. And no more diet soda. (I miss Dr. Pepper still.) Then, I noticed other things. Margarine is like plastic? Chemicals?

I'm not perfect. I still use some things now. But, a friend of mine sent me a no 'poo link after I complained about my straw-like ends and endless drying time that made my hair time even more difficult. A one year old makes life soooooo different.

The good news, I learned, was that I kinda was already doing this with my infrequent washes. Plus, since mommy-dom had cut down on hair styling time, I was already almost product free (still love my Fructis 3-in-1, though).

What could it hurt?

I'm trying it, not only for my hair quality, but more poor credit cards still haven't recovered.

Here's the deal. It isn't as Ew as it sounds. Your hair has natural oils it produces that are stripped out by chemicals and then we try to put them back in...which either dries it out or makes you have your very own oil spill. By shampooing less, or instead using natural ingredients, your hair eventually (faster for some) balances out. You still clean your hair with, for example, baking soda mixed with water (I'm trying 1 tbsp per cup of h2o) and conditioning/rinsing with apple cider vinegar (which my hair stylist recommended once, too!). Yes, I admit, there's a stinky smell when it is wet, but once dry, it disappears. (I'm going to try a few suggested things for this, too, like honey and essential oils.)

So far, my hair is soft and actually smells clean. We will see if I have the horrible transition stage (fingers crossed) and how things go. I'm hoping to try out a honey/aloe treatment and a coconut oil mask, too.

And, if I save money, how can that be bad with fabulous hair?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pinterest Addict...Coffee Creamer!!

There isn't a morning that I wake up and don't want a nice hot mug of caffeinated goodness. Even if there are times that I half caff it, the ritual of coffee in my hands to start the day makes the day seem full of possibility (even that includes lunch in lil man's hair, floor, and maybe the ceiling).

I love flavored coffee creamer...vanilla, cinnamon, caramel, mocha, sugar name it, I love it. But, there are weeks that I skip my little treat, not just for cost but because I'm seriously starting to read labels. If there are too many things I don't recognize, I tend to skip it.

Enter Pinterest! (Of course!!)

I actually found this homemade pin on a friend's board who is getting to know her kitchen. And she's very picky. So I knew it had to be good.

And, it gave me something to do with all those spaghetti sauce glass jars and a glass bottle from the vinegar that went into the natural weed killer.

All you need is a can of sweetened condensed milk (I've even tried the fat free one), milk of your choice, and flavoring (I added vanilla extract and ground cinnamon).

For my batch, I emptied half of the sweetened condensed milk into a jar, added one and a half teaspoons vanilla extract, a dash of cinnamon, and filled with skim milk. Put the lid on, shake it up, and you are ready to go. Since I usually add skim to my creamer to lighten it up, this ratio works wonderfully for me. For convenience, I funneled it into the empty vinegar bottle (it pours easier!). Then, I use the mason jar to make the rest and store in the refrigerator. You need to shake it up before you pour ;-), but so worth it.

Now, I have over two weeks of yummy morning moments to enjoy for less than the cost of a single ready-made bottle. Moments that will be enjoyed, even as we read our morning books, race our cars on the dog, and drop our Goldfish crackers all over the floor...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Weekly Pinterest Addiction...Eco-Friendly!

Not only does Pinterest feed my dessert addiction (where else can you find an Oreo Red Velvet Truffle Brownie???????), but my poor pitiful yard may get a little attention out of my early morning browsing.

Before lil man, I spent hours in my yard, enjoying digging in the dirt, planting flowers, rearranging the stones and plants, and just being outdoors. Okay, maybe not hours, but pretty darn close. But, in the last two years, that in touch with nature time has gone to the wayside.
Until lil man discovered how much he loves it. He is my boy, after all!

So much changes when you have a baby. I've become more and more concerned with things that I may have taken for granted before. I've always been a recycle and try to do best for the environment kinda girl. But, even I admit that there were more things I could've done.

Pesticides/chemicals scare the bejeezus out of me, not only for my pup, but for my son. And then, there's the whole bee situation. I used something I thought was safe before, but now, I'm not so sure.

Enter Pinterest! After doing a quick search I found a "recipe" for a non-toxic weed killer, which I did a bit of back-up research on, as well.

White vinegar, table salt, and dish soap. Easy, safe, and much cheaper.

Most of the info I scoured recommended applying the mixture (I cut down the "recipe" to a pint of vinegar, 1/8 cup salt, and dash of dish soap) about three times, in the early morning, for the best results.

I wanted to get pictures of my before and after, but I was too anxious to get to spraying. I can tell you it worked just as well, if not better than the times I used Round-Up.

But this time, I feel so much better about having playtime, for all of us, outside!!

I loved the safe/eco-friendly aspect (to which I was playfully teased), and the husband loved the cheap (to which I playfully teased back).

Friday, May 17, 2013

Things I Love...My Teavana Mommy Bliss Blend

My Teavana journey has had its ups and downs. Honestly, I adore that my husband realized that I needed something special, even for just a few moments.

The beauty of this present (which was for my birthday last year) is that there are endless possibilities of additional gifting options...

There are a multitude of teas available, and while there are times I've felt a bit pressured at my local Teavana store (there so much to choose from...but I don't need another teapot!) I adore exploring my app and the online store, reading all the descriptions of each tea.

But blending teas? Really?

So, I tried it for myself. Here's what I call my Mommy Bliss Blend. Hot, and steaming for a comforting few moments or chilled for an afternoon walk with little man in the park.

Morrocan Mint and Exotic White Peach. Mmmmmmm...refreshing with a hint a paradise. Just what the mommy ordered.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Real Life Mom

I find myself fighting off resentment of "celebrity" moms being applauded by the media.

Let me start by saying this. My choice (and it was a choice even though, for me, there was no other path) to leave my full time job that paid fairly well to stay home with my son is one many mothers face. In no way am I just a stay at home mom, because I do so much more. I am a mother, a housekeeper, a cook, a wife, a dog walker, a gardener, and that's just the things I take care of. There are things I do for me, though my time is limited. I have a small hobby/hopeful business.

No one helps me. I wish my mother were able to hold her grandson and give me advice. My father isn't in the picture. My husband's father is wonderful and is a fabulous babysitter if lil man is sleeping ;-). I adore him, but know that though he would help in an emergency, day to day would scare the bejesus out of him.

So when I hear how wonderful a "celebrity" mother is, how great she looks, and how she juggles everything, it actually makes me sad and sometimes a bit angry. These moms, as wonderful as I'm sure they are (yes, no matter what, being a mom is THE BEST!!), the team of people "helping" are what make this mom fabulous in an unachievable way for the average mommy.

The media applauding these women while forgetting about all the mamas out there that don't have all the things that money can buy is sad.

I didn't have a baby nurse. I stumbled through the first few months with my books, app, and husband. Nanny? Nope. No one to pass the baby off to as I went to get my hair done, work off the baby weight at the gym, or have a girls night out. Night out? I could barely stay up past 7 at night! No hair person, make-up artist, no stylist, or personal trainer.

I didn't get my hair done until my son was almost four months old. The dishes piled up more often than not, floors that desperately needed cleaning stayed that way longer than I would have liked, and social media became my touchstone to the outside world.

Date time with my husband? My "momjo"? I laugh.

Baby weight? That wasn't as hard thanks to breastfeeding. But toning it all back up? Not until almost a year and half later and I've learned how to juggle it all.

(And if you have all of this, go for it. But, can't we celebrate mommies who don't?)

To all of you mom's who do it all on your own, I celebrate you. Every day.

And, yes a teeny weeny part of of me may be a but jealous. But I wouldn't trade the time with my little man for any of those "helpers"...except maybe a housekeeper. Because that would mean more tickle time.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Ah, The Great Outdoors, And My Little Helper

There's nothing better after a gloomy, long, and chilly winter season than spring and sunshine to rev up the vitamin D. Especially when you've been cooped up for months with a one year old.

The first few times we journeyed out of the house, everything fascinated lil man, and now that the world is turning green again, he loves plants. Always the little helper, my lil dude has always assisted in watering our indoor plants (while I follow behind with a towel or two). Once he figured out he could do the same outside, the watering can became his new favorite plaything. But, getting the water into the pot wasn't as fun as watering our landscape rocks, or the outside of the pot.

One day, my lil helper found his new favorite commercial..the Home Depot build that beautiful topiary-esque flower power tower.

Inspiration!! He could totally water this all over, and even help me (well, a little!!!!) choose the flowers (though most were seedlings that grew from last year popping up unexpectedly and happily - money saver!!).

The only drawback was that the "fencing"material I used (and was suggested when I couldn't find the exact same type) wasn't as sturdy as I'd like, so I used a few tomato stakes to give it a bit more shape. I used biodegrable Eco-friendly landscape material (that I'll use for my fairy garden, as well).

Here's our silly creation...I only hope all the watering and love from both of us will make it grow in as the summer approaches!

Even if they never grow in completely, I know the memories we will make will be more than enough.

The happiness as he giggles and waters our creation...priceless.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Fix It, Mommy...Or, Oh Crap!

I had a scary realization today.

After years of having my mom, boyfriend (now husband), and father-in-law fix things, I have become that person for someone else.

This terrifies me more than anything. Except maybe big nasty spiders and sharks.

Utter and terrifying panic. Because, here is this adorable little person coming to me with a sad and confused expression, with the expectation that mommy will make this all good, just like she does with everything else.

So let me rewind a bit to Easter. Grampa asked us what would be good for lil man to get from the Easter Bunny. Don't get me wrong, we would totally eat his chocolate. But, then again, grampa always gives mommy and daddy chocolate bunnies so...since lil man loves daddy's mini flashlight, guess what we told him?

Yep., light up, almost mini light saber-esque.

Here's the culprit.

The little bugger should look like this when you turn it on...

And sometimes, blink. But, the inner workings seemed to misunderstand the whole concept.

So, lil man wants mommy to make it get its act together.

Scary stuff. Me, fixing things? I'm capable, don't get me wrong, but this is a whole lot of pressure. Disappointing lil man is not an option. Once in a while, it takes a little tap. Sometimes, uncap it, take it apart, and put it back together. Other times, a good old smack. Which lil man imitated, much to my chagrin.

But, I've learned I mysteriously now have that superhero mommy super power. The ability to fix just about anything.

And if that fails, super power that never let's me down.

Tickle time ;-)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pinterest Addict...Detox Water

I'm not entirely into the whole detox craze. I get it, you want to flush the nasties out, yadda yadda yadda. But, I like some of those least I drink half caff coffee now ;-)

But, my water intake has hit the skids, mostly because, you guessed it, I'm focused on lil guy. When nap time comes, I inhale lunch (which I'm trying to make vegetarian), get a little housework done, and fit in mommy time. If I'm lucky.

Two friends of mine did a three week detox, and were raving about how great they felt. I was a little envious, I admit it. But I just knew I wouldn't be able to go all in.

Enter my Pinterest addiction.

I searched detox, and found some fabulous water DIY's that seemed like I could fit them into my lifestyle, my way.

I love water, and was a huge agua consumer before my bundle of joy. Somehow, I let it get away from me. But, I knew I get drink a glass first thing in the morning before my coffee, and one before each meal. Plus, sprinkled through out the day. Especially if I actually made a concoction...

First up, blackberry sage...mostly because my sage is making its Spring debut!!

Using my pestal and mortar (dear lord, let me have spelled that correctly!!) that desperately needed to be used instead of collecting dust in a cupboard, I gently pressed on the sage, just enough to let the oils release.

Gorgeous, aren't they?

These beauties were gently smooshed (I love that word, even if it isn't real!) them, then added them with the sage to a pitcher filled with filtered water.

It slept overnight in the refrigerator, and was ready.

Loved it!! Crisp, with a mild fruity flavor that balanced the earthiness of the sage, this quickly is becoming one of my favorite Mommy all that goodness is supposed to rev up my metabolism.

Can't wait to try the next one ;-)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Spoon, Why Can't We Get Along?

Like any good expecting mother, I bought those cute baby spoons. My shower registry was the epitome if baby utensil safety. No crazy spear eye stabbing forks here! Even sporks were eyed with caution.

When the time came, I happily washed and readied my trusty baby spoons. Feeding my lil dude at six months old was such a milestone for me...and provided endless entertainment and giggles.

Then, the day when he wants to feed himself. Or, as we liked to call it in our house, time to bang on the bowl and splatter the food all around. And makes sure mommy isn't wearing white. Or what she's going to have on for outside the house ;-)

That spoon? Suddenly, food was falling off of it, landing on lil man's cheek, the name it! To get that cute, adorable spoon angled in the correct way to actually keep gooey baby cereal (and, gasp! peas!) on it as it makes its way to its destination became nearly impossible.


Then, at a first birthday party for his cutie pie playdate girlfriend, my husband was playfully stabbing bits of pineapple, strawberries, and grapes and feeding them to him. Suddenly, as he is want to do, lil man grabs a nearby plastic fork, stabs a strawberry, and neatly puts it into his mouth with a big grin.

It terrified me!! This wasn't safe, my mommy voice screamed! But, daddy, who is the poster boy for safe daddy (don't get me started on the apps!) was sitting back as cool as a cucumber.

This feared utensil, over the next few months, helped him figure out that angle as well as food on your fork (or spoon) is the way to feed yourself;-)

Of course, I still eye that fork cautiously...and there's plenty of clean up at meal time. But, there's also giggles, smiles, cereal going into his mouth, and very proud mommy and daddy watching it all!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Things I Love...And The Need To Be Sleek

As I approach every new day with my little guy, the things I used to do just for me have fallen by the wayside. Long hot showers, painting my nails, hour long yoga practices, and sadly, my hair has suffered the brunt of mommyhood.

Thick, long, and full of unwanted volume, I used to condition and style my hair into submission. Palms full of serums, slippery and combing through as I dried section by section. Which could take over an hour, with styling.

Ah, the good old days.

Because who has time to do all that when your one year old wants his milk, snack cup, blankie, a cookie, orange, kitty, and a ride on Lightning McQueen? Especially the slick hands. Washing my hands is now a team sport ;-).

Then, I found this gem.

Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Sleek Finish 5-in-1 Serum Spray.

No more slippery hands, no combing through. And, my hair isn't product heavy but still has all benefits of that hard work. I just spray after air drying (and sometimes before) and twist up in a quick knot while I do mommy duty. One and done. And it smells fab.u.lous. My own little spa moment.

I'm in love...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Whole New Way To Decorate

I never could understand how grown adults would let primary colors (and not to mention leggo mines) take over their homes. Convinced that I could somehow escape the "take-over", I vowed to only have two rooms that had lil dude's toys in them. His nursery, and our rec room.

But, I forgot that having a baby sleeping in our bedroom would inevitably leave a thing or two here and there.

Then, my husband decided the less tv, the better. (Because, of course, all I do is lounge around all day and watch soap operas.) Thus, our hearth room became home to leggos, blocks, and Lightning McQueen.

Which leaked into the kitchen.

But, at least each toy makes giggles and squeals of delight fill the air.

With the occasional burst of cursing when you find a stray leggo...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Things I Love...Spring!

Everyone experiences Spring Fever in different degrees. Whether you are at work, longingly gazing out a small window as you walk by, or at home with a little guy who isn't quite old enough to get why mommy is going stir crazy, it happens.

Cold, frigid air that makes you want to stay under the covers. The snow that just keeps coming and piling up. This makes bundling up said lil man a monumental task (patience isn't yet one of his traits), so leaving the house in the slush and mush becomes less and less appealing.

Then, suddenly.. Hockey is a sport I can get into. Tall men, a sexy accent here and there, and the games are fast paced (and a twenty minute period usually takes close to twenty minutes real time!). The lockout mad this girl a bit sad this year. As I pouted, I would see this cover here and there, but after being disappointed by other "hockey" novels I was book-shy.

A tiny purple beacon of hope appears...I had hanging baskets of pansies last year, and seeing this little present made something inside me melt.



Flowers that were a surprise present just to make me smile last year that I forgot I had planted.

And finally, one of the bulbs from my Mother's Day flower arrangement.

Suddenly, hope seems more abundant, smiles appear effortlessly, and the birds are a beautiful way to start the day.

Then, I realize I'll have to start shaving my legs more often. With an eighteen month old.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Good Things

As I sat yesterday, staring in disbelief at the tragic story unfolding yesterday, I was thankful that my little man was still too young to understand what had happened. For some reason, all I could think was whomever was responsible couldn't have been a parent. Because no one would want that to happen to their child.

And then, as I scrolled through my Twitter feed looking for information and trying to not let him see how emotional I was, someone's tweet caught my eye.

You can walk away from it. You don't have to watch.

And I did. I went outside with my little guy, and played in back yard. We ran through the hallway, laughing and giggling. There were mandarin oranges (his favorite snack), leggos, and blankets that were snuggled.

Then I realized something. The good things, the kind acts, and those moments that touch you are abundant, sometimes small and we don't notice them right away, and far outweigh the bad. When the bad happens, we have a choice. Focus on the good, every moment, and every person.

And I did, and always will.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Things I Love...Mommy Time!

My moments, the ones that are mine and mine alone, have become an even more precious commodity.

Sometimes, they drift in and out of my day. Between the being dragged around to check put light switches, playing with the dog's water bowl (and subsequently cleaning up the water from said activity), diapers, cruising in Lightning McQueen, and endless snacktimes, I need a little reminder of me time.

The thing I love for this? My three votive holder from Yankee Candle.

I love that I can make my own scents that fill the air as I buzz by, either with one single scent or three to make a custom fragrance.

This time? S'mores...makes me long for a summer night, sitting outside watching fireflies light up the night while enjoying yummy gooey chocolate-ness.


It's a good thing I just stocked up...time to take Lightning around the block...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Things I Love!!

Early get up, pull out the bowls and place them on the counter. Mind you, you haven't had your coffee as of yet.

You pour the lil one's cereal into one of the bowls, then scowl grumpily as you note the excess feral now dusting your counter. Because someone (ahem, daddy!) can't seem to neatly open the box so that the cereal doesn't have a party on your black granite countertops.


The new Gerber baby cereal packaging has a freshness seal, and you can scoop or pour with minimal mess!

Sigh...if only I can get daddy to rinse the bowls after.

Suggestions, anyone?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

And, Who Has The Time?

I actually just sat here and stared at the blank page.  Because, it has been eighteen months since I had my little man.  A year and a half.  I was so filled with ideas, bursting at the seams, ready to tackle the world and prove that I could make my own rules.

Well, I have.  But not in the way I thought.

I envisioned taking little man out, taking over the world.  Still being able to focus on myself and be the best mom in the world.

Little did I know, he would teach me the new rules.

The dishes...will pile up.  But, he helps unload the dishwasher. Which terrifies and tickles me simultaneously!

The dog's water bowl will double as a scoopable water filled mess.  So, now I know what kind of water toys to get for Summer!

Showers are still special, but no longer the fifteen minute hot sanctuary they once were.  Fast, efficient.  And sometimes, especially in the winter, you skip shaving your legs.

No longer a night person.  Unless you sleep on the floor next to the crib instead of taking the baby to bed with you.  And the morning really is the best time to have a cup of coffee, do some yoga, dance.  If he doesn't wake up early.

Money matters.  Because I can't get enough of plaid shorts and hats.  Which don't always stay on his head.

And, time is precious.  Play is better than anything else you could be doing.  Who has the time to worry, be angry, or take things for granted when you see that smiling face or hold him when he has a fever?

My favorite thing he has taught me?

You can be happy.  Giggle. Live your dreams.

All while being a mom.