Thursday, September 5, 2013

We Have a Winner!!!

I want to thank everybody who entered my first blog giveaway. I appreciate all of my friends who entered and shared the giveaway on their Facebook pages. Blog reader Nadia H was our winner and has been contacted about picking out her awesome custom bib. For everyone who didn't win, I would still recommend going to Kamani Designs and finding a bib that you like. They are absolutely worth the money and make great gifts for anyone with babies or toddlers. I will hopefully continue to do blog giveaways whenever I can because I really did enjoy it. I asked in the contest which pattern was your favorite and other than the ones I already bought, this one is mine.
Picture c/o Kamani Designs

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My First Giveaway!!! I Feel Like a Real Blogger Now.

I have been wanting to do a giveaway for a super long time but wasn't sure how to go about it and how to find a small business person to work with. As luck would have it this one fell into my lap and I couldn't be happier about it. My friend Z has a friend named Lia who has a Etsy shop (Kamani Designs, go check it out now) in Northern California and makes custom snappy pocket bibs and pacifier clips with ADORABLE laminated cotton fabric. I had seen the pictures of her work and had been wanting to buy a few for when E got older. My friend brought me home two adorable pacifier clips from her trip to NoCal (they probably don't call it that) and I was in love. One of the fabrics she has is a super heroesque comic booky font with BAM and POWS and the likes all over it (you'll see it in a minute) that I absolutely loved. As a lot of you know E's room is done in a super hero theme (see that post here) and we pretty much collect anything superhero related. My friend had mentioned my blog to Lia and said I was interested in doing a giveaway and I contacted her about my giveaway idea. So that drawn out story has led you to your chance to win a Kamani Design creation of your very own.

One of the products she makes are these crazy cute bibs made from laminated cotton so they are super easy to clean and don't require constant washing like terry cloth bibs do. They are PVC, BPA, and phthalates free and all around pretty awesome. This fabric is completely food safe, which isn't true of oil cloth and homemade laminated fabrics out on the market today. They are wipeable, washable, adjustable, reversible, and easily packable for travel. Kamani Designs is going to give away a $16.50 credit to one winner and they will get to choose a custom made laminated Snappy Pocket Bib. We took some pictures of our purchase to show you all but she has even better pictures on her Etsy site.
 She wraps these so nicely, you almost don't want to open it (almost)
 My two bibs, I chose the top patterns and let her and my friend choose the back patterns
 The back of my superhero print. I love that they are reversible so its like getting 4 bibs for the price of two!
 Back of the mustache print
 I will admit they are a bit big for him now and he was more interested in eating them then anything else, but the drool wiped right off.

I love them and can't wait to get some use out of them in a few months when we start solid foods. I wish we had had these when my daughter was younger. It would have made spaghetti dinner nights so much easier, and saved me having to wash bibs all of the time. She has washing instruction on her Etsy site but for the most part these should be easily wiped off after use. Use the Rafflecopter below to enter the giveaway. The giveaway ends Thursday September 5th at midnight. The winner will be contacted by myself and put in touch with Kamani Designs to customize your bib. I am super excited about this giveaway, these bibs are great for babies, toddlers, (even the occasional messy adult) and they make great gifts if you don't have kids of your own.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

I Feel Like the Worst Blogger EVER!!!

My goal when I started this blog was to try and write at least 3 days a week, trying new Pinterest recipes, projects, and helpful hints. For awhile I was doing great, then I started slipping, then I got all pregnant and fell of the blogging wagon. I was doing better again and working on my weight loss and back on the wagon again, then last few weeks I have hit another wall. I could blame it on the end of the summer blues, being frustrated with my work-out routine, my bestie flying down to visit me and keeping me busy, and just general mom of 2 kids fatigue, but whatever it is I am in a funk. I have done my weigh-ins every Saturday and this one and I had weight gain in week 11 and have plateaued weeks 12 and 13. I was down to 163.8 on the 10th and back up to 165.4 today. I take complete responsibility for that 1.4 pounds (which honestly for as much as I ate and little as I ran should have been way more).

I am still doing the ab and squat challenge and it is going well (see that post here) but I have reached a point where I have to carve time out of my day to do the workouts and that is making it super challenging. We as a family are struggling to get down a rhythm now that I am officially back to work. It doesn't help that my husband has been working excessively this week and that makes it even harder to fit everything in. I struggle to stay organized enough to remember all of the things the kids need everyday let alone try to get into a routine for myself and my health. I keep reminding myself that I am not alone, lots of new mom's of two struggle with life balance and organization. I love my kids, husband, and job but they just take so much out of me there doesn't seem much left to worry about me. I am hopeful in a few weeks we will have our routine down and in October I can start taking E to the child watch at the gym (6 months and older only) I will really be able to get my butt kicked back in high gear. That being said, I am still in a funk, and feel like I'm not sure how to realign all of my priorities to get where I need to go. I am working on it, and that's the best anyone can hope for I guess. So as not to leave this post on a sour note, here are a few of my joys from the last few weeks.
 Bye Bye Blonde, Hello Brown
 My Instagram cuties
 K got her ears pierced (after lots of begging and us explaining everything the process multiple times)
 K started gymnastics classes and LOVES them!
 My present to myself, going to use it for the first time on Sunday
My little man turned 4 months old on Wednesday. He was 14.8 pounds and 25.25 inches long. Still only in the 38th and 36th percentiles but growing right on track.

I do have my first giveaway coming up later this week (more details soon) and I will let all of you know about how I am coming on beating the end of summer blues Hopefully soon I'll be like Stella and get my groove back (I know literary reference, I'm a librarian, I can't help it).

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Week 10 Weigh-In and My 30 Day Ab and Squat Challenge or Why My Thighs Hate Me

I started this entry yesterday, got the title done and then got distracted with normal mom of a infant stuff. It is now currently a half an hour into nap time and we are giving it another go. Summer is winding down and I have been getting a little stir crazy. I love being home with E all day but I also LOVE my job and I am a little itchy to get back. I have a million ideas for this school year and I just want to hit the ground running, without the pesky morning sickness that slowed me down last fall. I really wanted to be back into my old work clothes by the time I got back to school, but unfortunately I don't see that happening (not without a wicked stomach bug, which I am not advocating). I know I have made huge strides in the last 14 weeks but I have gotten stuck in a rut. I am still doing OK in eating but I stopped tracking weeks ago and now that Couch to 5K is finished I felt a little lost. The last few days of July I was hunting Pinterest for some sort of challenge or new workout routine and I came across two different 30 day challenges I wanted to try. I still want to keep running (but only at the gym until this heat wave that we in North Texas call August is over) but I needed something else and these fit the bill. (I take no credit for the images but there was no referring webpage for either.)

What I like about these challenges is that you have all day to complete it, so your not stuck trying to get in 70 squats in half an hour. That being said, you have to remember to do them throughout the day or you will be stuck doing them all right before you go to bed (like I did on day 5). I am on day 7 and the squats are killer and the planks suck as well. I hope to see a change but at the moment the only change I've noticed is how sore my thighs and bum are (no pain no gain right). The scale this week was kind and it was appreciated with as little as I felt I got accomplished.

This make a 2.2 pound loss for the week and only 2.4 pounds until my the 20 pound weight loss mark. I hope I can get my butt in gear this week and make it happen. I have to go clothes shopping next week for some new work clothes and I'm not thrilled in the sizes I'll have to buy, but I still had a big personal accomplishment this week. I actually fit into a pair of me pre-baby fat jeans and I haven't had to wear the pants of shame in 2 weeks. I still wear a pair of capri maternity pants but mostly because I'm cheap and haven't wanted to go shopping yet. I can't wait to kick it in gear the rest of the week and see that scale on Saturday.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Won-ton Wrapper Mozzarella Sticks

I have been wanting to try the pin FOREVER and had never gotten around to it. I had actually bought packs of won-ton wrappers a few different times to recreate this pin and had to throw them out because they went bad. The original pin is here and has great pictures and instructions. It's pretty simple though, take a regular mozzarella stick, wrap it in won-ton wrapper (corner to corner like your wrapping a crescent roll), tuck in the sides (use a little water to get the wrapper to seal, and place on cookie sheet (if baking) or in an oiled pan (if frying). I decided to try it both ways but I only made a few (because I was home alone and I figured if I made more I would be tempted to eat them).
 The ingredients 

 Be sure to tightly fold in the sides (this is important, you'll see why in a second)
 In the pan with a tablespoon of olive oil
 Almost done, you can keep rolling it around in the pan or flip it from side to side with tongs to get the whole thing brown and crispy
 Finished and looks delicious
 Its baked companions, not so much

So you can obviously tell that I didn't tuck the ends in very well on these two cheese sticks. They went in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and this is what I took out of the oven. I did try them, and they were not good. The won-ton wrapper was super crispy like a cracker but had almost no flavor. These are the healthiest of the two options but definitely not the tastiest. The fried ones are only around 150 calories each, and I have to admit they are worth it. I made one yesterday because I had just used the pan to saute some squash and thought, what the heck I'll make my self a cheese-stick. The cheese wasn't super melty but that probably has to do with the quality of the cheese. Trader Joe's has these really rich mozzarella cheese sticks that I want to try this with, I have a feeling those will be AWESOME. They are no breaded cheese-sticks but they don't pack the calorie punch those sticks do either. If you want to feel like your eating something bad for you without actually eating something bad for you these are great. The best thing is you can easily make one or twenty as the process doesn't take long at all. But please whatever you do, don't bake them and if you do make sure to seal the ends tight. Happy eating!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Week 9 Weigh-In or Sorry It's So Late, I've Been Tired

I thought I had lucked out when E starting sleeping through the night at 8 weeks, I reveled in the gloriousness of a full nights sleep, but he was only lulling me into a false sense of security. Last week we hit the wonders of sleep regression, which is common for babies his age, but it is hitting me hard. He was up at least twice a night wanting to be fed and no amount of calming would work, it was boob or bust. I shouldn't complain, at least he was sleeping a few hours at a stretch and napping some during the day. I know it could have been a lot worse, but it has been rough none the less. The only benefit to this sleep regression mixed with a growth spurt is that he has been nursing a ton, which has aided me this week in my weight loss. I ran twice and worked out with Jillian twice but other than that I pretty much did nothing but nurse and read e-books on my iPad. E gets total credit for my weight loss this week, so yeah for hungry babies!

So as I am writing this I realize that I took my weekly scale picture with Joe's phone and not mine (this is because my phone spent Friday night and Saturday morning at Target because I left it on the counter at customer service because of the aforementioned lack of sleep) I will add this picture later but it was 166.6. Now other than the slightly creepiness of having a weight that includes 666, I am very happy. A 2.4 pound loss on a week that didn't involve a whole lot exercise on my part is pretty awesome. I can see some of the weight loss when I look in the mirror but my mommy tummy doesn't seem to be making any effort to shrink as I had requested. I'm going to have to focus on core stuff and find a new workout regime along with my running because I need a boost in the toning department. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I have one last day of Couch to 5K to go, though I should have been done last week (see excuse above) but my times have gotten better, especially for treadmill running. I'm going to try to go to the gym tonight and finish up C25K in style and try to figure out what my next step will be.

In other news we went on our family staycation at the Great Wolf Lodge on Sunday and Monday. I kinda of pushed Joe into it and told him we needed some kind of getaway since we weren't going anywhere else this summer. Our GWL is only about 45 minutes away in Grapevine, TX so travel wise its perfect and I knew with all of us being so pasty (or as Joe would save, cave dwellers) an indoor water park would be perfect for us. If you haven't been and you have the chance go. It's a bit expensive per night but if you factor in the cost of the room, 4 water park passes for 2 days (you get to use them the day you check in and the whole day after you check out) plus the convenience of everything being really centrally located, it's actually not terrible price wise. None of us, except maybe E, wanted to leave and we wish we had added on an extra day. We will definitely be going back, and K has yet to stop talking about it since we got home. I have a few posts to write this week (depending on E's nap schedule) so I'll leave you with some pictures from this week.
 Best time so far on the treadmill with 30 minutes of running
 4 people for one night 45 minutes from home, can you say overpacked?

 Playing in the kids area
 She loved the wave pool
 Family picture at dinner
 Daddy's turn in the wave pool
The face of a child who didn't want to leave

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Dawn Stain Removing Challenge

I'm sure you all have seen the pins stating that Dawn and hydrogen peroxide are absolute best clothing stain removers on the planet. I knew at some point I would have to test this one, since I have 3 great stain creators living in my house. I usually don't buy Dawn, only because I'm cheap, but it was .99 at Walgreen's last week so I thought this could be the week I give it a shot.

The instructions are pretty simple, mix 1/4 cup Dawn to 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide in a container or spray bottle, scrub (or spray) the mix onto the stain, let set overnight, and wash as normal. Different bloggers have done this challenge with a multitude of different types of stains, but I had seen in a few pins the claim that this mix could eradicate old nasty pit stains from undershirts and I just happened to have that type of undershirt sitting in my laundry basket. Also, having a 3 month old means have an occasional poop-splosion stain to deal with. I am apologizing upfront for you having to look at my husband's pit stained t-shirt and a poop stained onesie of my son's.

In goes the peroxide (1/2 cup)

Dawn pouring action shot

Nasty pit stain

Small poop-splosion

Different pins go about this part differently, some saw put it in a spray bottle and spray in on, some saw scrub it. I chose to scrub them to hopefully get the best results

The Results: After scrubbing I let them sit overnight and washed them with a small load on a perm press cycle using All Free and Clear as my detergent. Here is what I found

The mixture most definitely got out the poop stain, there was not a trace to be found. This was a fresh stain and I have yet to try this on a set in stain (but I will). On the pit stain, I will say there is noticeable difference in the stain but it is not gone (it is kind of hard to tell in the picture). These stains are old and set in and I think other than a bleach, there probably wouldn't be anything else that would get these stains out. I think this is a great stain removing idea and much cheaper than buying Shout or the other spray stain removers. I wouldn't tout it as a miracle remover but it is a cheap and effective stain remover to keep around the house. I will probably put what I have left in a spray bottle and keep it in my laundry room cupboards, but I will probably still scrub at it after I spray. I dare you to try this on your next stains and see if it works and let me know. I'm sure there are stains it has no effect on and I would like to know what it works on and what it doesn't, or if you have an even better stain remover that Pinterest hasn't heard about yet.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Week 8 Weigh-In, Week in Review, and Goodbye 170's!

This post is going to be short, mainly because not much happened last week. I started to feel crappy on Sunday with the same sore throat and sinus drainage I had a few weeks ago. This also coincided with the 3 days of rain we got here in North Texas which is uncharacteristic for Texas in mid July. I have decided that I must be allergic to something the rain brings in because every time in rains down here my sinuses decided to go all Niagara Falls. Sufficed to say I felt like crap and that made running, working out, and generally functioning difficult. I managed a treadmill run at the Y on Monday and Saturday and now am a day behind on Couch to 5K. I ate ok this week but that had more to do with feeling bad and not being hungry than anything else. I had a huge fear of backtracking when stepping on the scale because I had barely worked out at all. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this on the scale Saturday morning.
That makes a pound for the week, and with the way this week was I consider that a huge victory. Couch to 5K started me on 28 minutes runs and both of them so far have killed me. It might be because I HATE treadmill running and I will be happy when I can run outside this week (unless its ridiculosly hot, then its back to the dreadmill with me). I am extremely happy to be out of the 170's and I hope I never see them again! I want to keep running but I am starting to get bored with my workout routine in general. I am thinking of trying one of those 30 day challenges I see all over Pinterest but I haven't decided which. Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated. I did find a body wrap package on Groupon but I haven't had a chance to call and schedule my appointment, so I will definitely be reporting on that soon. A few good things did happen this week so I'll leave you with those.
 My best Couch to 5K yet, 5 minute warm up, 28 minute run, 5 minute cool down
 Pool party with friends
Waiting for fireworks over Lake Grapevine
 Great fireworks and K was totally cool with them, big improvement from last year
Helping Mommy make blueberry pancakes for brunch
 E turned 3 months old on Sunday, he also rolled over from back to belly on Saturday morning