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!!