Don't forget to Pin It!


Friday, December 13, 2013

The Christmas Song

I almost didn't do a post tonight. The girls took a late, and long, nap, so bedtime was a bit later and more hectic than usual.

Usually, Pumpkin gets a song before bed. It's always been the same 3, although she includes another one every once in awhile.

But since it's late, and it is the Christmas season, I'll post to you all the best rendition of The Christmas Song ever recorded as far as I'm concerned (although *N Sync's is a close second) and is one of her most requested bedtime songs.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pizza Underground

This. Is. Awesome.

Everyone remembers their first celebrity crush. Everyone has had one. Mine were Macaulay Culkin and Devon Sawa. I even share a birthday with Mac, which meant it was fate, obviously.

Devon Sawa is still looking pretty nice and has a reoccurring spot on the CW show "Nikita". With another 90s teenage heartthrob, Shane West. If you didn't know about it, now you do.

But Macaulay Culkin hasn't been in the limelight too much lately. Ever wonder what he was doing? No? Bet you do now....

Brian found this out. I tell ya, best husband award.

He is in "an underground cover band that only sings about pizza."

Yes. Pizza.

You can read about it here. The article even lets you listen to the demo.

(CD cover picture taken from the Huffington Post article I linked to above.)

This is amazing. I can't wait to hear more. But not until our next pizza order. I have a feeling it'll be making me hungry.

I just thought you should all know about this.

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Little Bubble In My Water

YAY! We have our tree! It's up, but not decorated. I'll be doing that over the next few days. It's so much better than the first one we had. It should be... it cost more.

(Old Tree)
(New Tree)
Just look at the difference there!

Snowflake wasn't too happy to see us take down "Christmas", but they both enjoyed seeing a new one put in it's place. It even smells better than the other one. So glad that's done!

But does anyone else like Seltzer water?

It's an acquired taste, that for sure.

We've grown to love it here. The girls call it "pop water", and that's kinda what it is. And they think it's just clear pop, so I'm ok with that. They willingly drink it thinking they're getting the bad stuff.

My personal favorite is cherry.

At Target, there's this line called Simply Balanced. I've never paid much attention to it before, but in the juice and tonic water section is this little box of sparkling juices.

I've always wanted to try it.. it boast some pretty awesome stuff. Like it's 70% juice and 1/2 a cup of fruit in each can. I've tried similar before, but because I didn't care for seltzer, I didn't care for them. Now that I like seltzer water though... man these were great!

(Box doesn't open nicely.)
It's especially a great pop replacer if just the seltzer water isn't thick enough. I can't wait to try the other flavors. It's not the cheapest thing in the world, that much fruit wouldn't be, but it's not going to break the bank either. And as a bad blogger/shopper that I am, I forgot to even check the price. I want to say $6ish? For 4 cans.

It's worth a try if you want something different. And as always, there's coupons and Cartwheel to add on top of the RedCard for Target shoppers!

It's the holidays. It's a nice, lighter drink to add to your rotation of eggnogs and cocoas.

Friday, December 6, 2013

All Together

I would love to sit here and show you wonderful pictures of my house all decorated for Christmas.

(Still how the tree looks... it's going back)
I would love to tell you how every card is hand written and sent out.

(Still in box)

I would love for all of that to be true. 

It's not.

This is the first year I haven't had things done by now. Although, I do have most of my shopping done, even if all the gifts are in their bags on the living room floor and downstairs bathtub. Yes.. we hide in plain site.

(About 2/3rd of the gifts chilling in the tub)

I'm not one of those bloggers that have it all together all the time. And it sucks. I used to be.... before children, and school, and work, and everything else. 

Used to.

(Still up)

But right now, the house is a mess, fall decorations are still up... even some Halloween ones... 

(These are all still up, too)

And the kids are happy. They're dancing and playing and singing silly stories to each other.

I guess I have it all together after all.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Chalk Fire

No post last night. Just so tired.

The girls were, too. We all crashed. And hard. I never heard Snowflake in the middle of the night (like usual) or Brian getting out of bed to get to her. Nothing.

I think the holidays are just gonna kick my butt this year. And that's fine.

We have a tree up. Not decorated yet. I think we're returning it. Yes.... I think I dislike it enough to go through the hassle of returning it and getting a new one. I've never done that before.

It's just so puny.

And I took down some fall decorations and even changed the chalkboard picture on my mantel in the living room. Pumpkin's birthday was a month ago and it still said "Happy Birthday" on it. Not anymore.

This isn't going to last long, I can tell. There's already smudgy hand-prints in the middle of it. That's alright, it's just chalk.

So what did all of you get done over the Thanksgiving break? More than me, I hope.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday

It's just another Cyber Monday... ohhh oh-ohh.. Wish it was a fun day....

Sing that in your head and the ohhs will look better.

Anyways, how was your Thanksgiving, everyone? Are you all as stuffed as the bird? We're still working on the leftovers.

Black Friday was a bit of a bust. I refuse to go Thursday, or super early even, and we never really have. And never had a problem getting the good deals. We watch the ads, there was just nothing really to go after. Not for us anyways.

We still managed to spend too much. And got about a third of our shopping done. YAY.

I'm taking Pumpkin out this week to use the 20% Target coupon they gave out to get stuff from her for everyone. That'll be fun. It'll be the first time she gets to be truly involved. So everyone better like it. LOL

But today is Cyber Monday. Anyone going to be scavenging those sales? You can score some good stuff if you try. And don't forget, to use my Ebates referral link to get money back on all the online shopping as well!

I'm having a bit of tree stress, so I'll be working on that this week. Hopefully we'll have a solution and I can get back on to my merry way and show you some crafts and decorating. I might take some random days off here and there because of the season. It's so busy. And, especially with trying to get the tree decorated, no one can help me. I'm too picky.

And I'm allergic to, I'm assuming, the pine sap. I get a rash every year decorating and watering the thing. But I refuse a fake for the main tree.

So those are my plans, what are yours? All decorated already? Don't do it at all? Somewhere inbetween? Tips to not break out in a rash up to my elbows while stringing lights? Leave it in the comments to share!

 P.S. Sorry about the pictures. Every single one I took is blurry..... Crazy, active kids and impatient photographer (me) using an iPhone. This is what I got. But at least I captured the memory.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I forgot to write in the post last night that I wasn't going to be writing any more posts this week... opps

So Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm waiting for Pumpkin and Snowflake to go to bed to I can finish cleaning and start food prep. Talk about being behind So I snuck on here to do a  quick post. Early Friday, we'll be shopping.. so no more post for the week!

Enjoy your holiday kick-off!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tangle Teezer

For the past 2 years, it's been a battle with Pumpkin's hair. The first year it mostly just fell out, but after she turned 1, it started growing. And it turned out she has my hair.

Poor child.

Hair brushing  s an evil pair of words guaranteed to make us all cry.

(I could not get the "Tangle Teezer" to show up in the pics... sorry)

Our normal brush broke, so I finally caved and bought the Tangle Teezer on Saturday.

This thing is like a dream come true.

Best Friend even asked for it for Christmas.

It's not perfect, and really bad knots still need sprayed with detangler, but it's so much faster and easier. The girls even use it on my hair and it doesn't hurt me!

Of course, in my excitement that she finally sat down to brush her hair, I didn't get a chance to take pictures.

So I took pictures of my hair for you.

This is my usual hair style. This is pretty much what Pumpkin's hair looks like in the morning... without a ponytail holding it in place.

And this is my hair down, and unbrushed. You can see the knots. This thing runs right through them without snapping! It's quite amazing. We're all fighting over it now. Even Brian.

So for any of you with knotted up hair and daily fights with little girls... here's a great stocking stuffer.

I don't know why they're listing it so high, but it's only $10 at Target.

Your head will thank me.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Turkey Finger Puppet

We were watching Activity TV one day for about a whole 4 minutes. During those 4 minutes, they made a turkey finger puppet. It is really cute. Pumpkin wanted to make one, but she hasn't behaved long enough to make it yet.


That means I don't have pictures for you.

Whenever she decides to sit still long enough and listen, we will make one, and I will add the photos for you all to see. Whenever that is.

So I'll include the information here for you and maybe one of you moms with better listening children can send me pictures of your kids' turkeys? Just so I can have some kind of picture to post?

Here's the link for the print out with directions and the pattern to trace. You don't really need to do the googly eyes or the straw and string part of it. We weren't going to use the straw. Obviously we still have a ton of eyes to use up though.

Link to the pdf file to make the turkey finger puppet.

And here's a link to the video to see how to do it. It's a bit cheesy, but sometimes watching instructions are easier than reading them.

Link to the video to make the turkey finger puppet.

I really wish I had a picture or 3 for you. Maybe tomorrow.

EDIT: Guess who finally made them! YAY! Here you go!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Best Italian Salad Dressing


I mean it.

I don't like Italian salad dressing. I was never a fan. Which is weird since italian hoagies were very popular food items amongst my friends growing up. I was more of a Ranch girl. And a few handful of vinaigrettes. But never Italian.

Until my job.

One of the perks to my job is that I get to eat. As the hours and children have grown, thankfully, so has my food "allowance". Over the summer, I would try to get Pumpkin to eat something other than toast there. She doesn't only ever eat toast, but for some reason it's best at Ethel's. Even now, as soon as we get there after dropping Pumpkin off at school, Snowflake immediately asks for "toast and pop" (Ginger Ale spiked water). So while trying to get her to eat something, I would put out a few pieces of lettuce ("leaves" they call it) and she liked that. Then, one day Best Friend was with us and she wanted cucumber with dressing. Pumpkin wanted it, too. I've never seen this child of mine eat so many cucumbers in my life. It was a game changer.

Last week, I wanted some cucumbers and salad dressing to go with our grilled cheese sandwiches. It was a rare day that it could just be me and Pumpkin, so we ate this together. She originally wanted 4 thin slices. she ate a quarter of a cucumber. She kept wanting more! So I asked for the recipe.

The next day I was there, there was a salad dressing kit and a packet of the spices waiting for me. Best. Random. Gift. Ever.

I made it that night (last Thursday) and Pumpkin has had 4 salads, and carrot sticks dipped into it since. That's in 4 days. 3 of those salads were on Friday.

Snowflake tries it, but doesn't like it. And I'm ok with that. She's trying it. She's not even 2 and wants to try salad. I'm pretty lucky.

So to the recipe, shall we?

First you buy this:

It's under $3 at Walmart. It's what creates the magic. It comes with 2 packets of Italian seasoning. That's not the one you want. Sure, if you like regular Italian, this might be fine. I was suggested to use it over ground meat while it's browning before adding tomatoes to make spaghetti sauce. Seems like a perfect use for it.

^^THIS is the seasoning packet you want. It has all the taste of Italian but not as strong. It's perfect.

Then you follow the directions on the bottle. Yes, that simple! The bottle is marked "V" for vinegar, "W" for water, and "O" for oil. The box tells you different recipes to try using different vinegars and oils. I just used normal white vinegar and olive oil for mine. But like always, recipes I "follow" are ever so slightly altered.

Fill the vinegar up to the "V" line.

Fill water up to just past the "W" line.

Pour in flavoring packet.

Here's the biggest difference. Pour in about a teaspoon of sugar. Sorry the picture is blurrier than normal, I realized I was pouring in a bit too much sugar while trying to take the picture left handed.

You can see there's a bit too much sugar in there on the bottom, but aren't those layers pretty?

Then you shake all the ingredients up together. I think the excess sugars didn't dissolve all the way, and that's fine with me.

Pour the oil in until just over the "O" line. Vinegar and oil doesn't mix, so you'll get pretty layers. So more shaking. 

And you're done! Isn't it pretty? It costs less then buying it already made, tastes better, and much prettier on the dinner table. And it'll last up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator. So it won't go to waste.

Then watch as everyone fights over it to eat. Maybe not, but you'll feel good about controlling some of the ingredients you're eating, and it definitely upped our veggie count. We just had to buy another head of lettuce.

They have other packet flavors, and you can always create your own, so I'm excited to try other ones. And for a girl that never measures anything, having the bottle marked for me is a nice bonus. No worries of it being too vinegary or oily.

So what's your favorite dressing? Have you ever made your own before? Other recipes for me to try? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Ritz Crackers: Regular Evil or Super Evil?

(A lunch I served Ethel.... healthy enough?)
Totally stole that title from a friend of mine, not gonna lie. I posted on Facebook for some blog post ideas, and this one seemed like a fun one. Jeni from actually gave me that idea and title.

I feel like she should be the one writing this though. She's from Canada, where this wonderful Ritz cracker incident happened. I know we live in the states, but you heard of it. Right?

In case you haven't, here is a Reader's Digest version: A Canadian mother got fined $10 for failing to include a grain in her children's otherwise healthier-than-most-of-our-dinners-here lunch and the school had to supplement with Ritz crackers. Go ahead and read about it here.

(Picture taken from here.)
Don't get me wrong. Grains are great. All the food groups are. Especially the food groups that include cake and bacon. But what if they had an incredibly enormous amount of grains for breakfast, so the mom wanted to balance it out? Or for the family that can't have any dairy? Or those that are vegan? Is the school going to give those kids cheeseburgers to "balance the meal"?

I'm sorry. If this was a reoccurring issue and the school was genuinely concern for the malnutrition of the kids, I get that. Probably should have spoken to the parent first, though. And are Ritz crackers even considered healthy? By the looks of the ingredients list, it doesn't seem like it. "Enriched flour" is a great grain, eh?  And what about the crackers costing $10?

What do you think? School's right or the mom? Should have this been handled a different way? I dunno. This just all baffles me. There's just no choices left to make for yourself or your family without the whole world knowing about it.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Family

A week to go until Thanksgiving. Is there even a Thanksgiving anymore? With all the stores opening earlier and earlier, it's like we're slowly getting rid of all our holidays. Soon, it'll just be New Years Eve and Christmas. Although, those aren't cared for as much as they used to be.

I took yesterday off from posting a blog. I was just so tired. With the time change and weather, I think the cabin fever's starting to hit the girls harder than usual. We've been trying to keep busy on weekends, but that doesn't help with during the week days.

But anyways, I'm thankful for my family. All of them. The ones constantly in my life, the ones that pop in from time to time, and even the ones that seem to be around only when you need them. But for how little I might "see" or talk to them, I know they are there when needed. That's a nice feeling.

Brian and the girls haven't been able to be around a lot of my family. Most of them live far away. And some are just estranged. But we're huge. It's kinda of amazing. I know it's odd to maybe not talk to my Grandfather that lives down the street, yet I talk to my Great Aunts at least once a month. Not to many people even have "Great" anythings. Even my girls have met, on a regular basis, their "greats".

And I'm thankful for that. I'm thankful that my family is there and around. I'm thankful that I have a choice of who to go to when I need advice for something or help. I'm thankful that my girls get to see a generation gap be friends to one another.

I'm thankful that this Thanksgiving is bringing in another aspect of being with different parts of family.

It seems like each year, a new family member comes out of the woodwork to join us, and I'm thankful for that. For that comfort that only being a family can bring.