Saturday, September 10, 2011


Grandma's 90th party favors!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Honey face wash!!! LOVE IT!

I am so excited to share with you my latest craze over the past few weeks. After hundreds of dollars wasted I can not believe that I have the perfect facial products sitting in my kitchen pantry. This really is the best thing since sliced bread!!!

I have very sensitive skin. Not to the point that I get rashes or irritation, but to the point that I have to be very careful about which products I use on my face because I get red itchy eyes, super dry skin, and the occasional small bumpy breakout. Recently, I wanted to find something more natural to put on my face. Something that didn't have many ingredients and something that didn't have the undesirable parabans and chemicals.

I searched high and low and read a TON about the "Oil Cleansing Method", it sounded nice but I was a little nervous. I continued my search and started to read a ton of great stuff about Honey!!! People were actually using natural honey as a natural face wash and reporting excellent results. I went straight into my kitchen to grab the golden bear and I washed my face. It felt clean and moist and I was excited that I started to try different variations for the next couple of days. I tried honey and brown sugar and honey and baking soda both with great results. My skin was refreshed, clean, and hydrated. So how does it work you ask???
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Well, Honey has a ton of antibacterial and healing properties that is great for acne and sensitive skin. It also helps your skin get back its natural pH and acidity.Many people have been using Honey for wounds and burns and they just apply it to the skin and leave it on the wound for several hours. To use Honey as a wash, I simply take a teaspoon of honey and rub it all over my face. I pay special attention to my trouble areas and then I let it sit for a minute and the I rinse with warm water. Make sure to use raw or natural honey...and not honey flavored syrup!!! If you are looking for some extra exfoliation try baking soda or brown sugar to the mix. I usually add about a half of a teaspoon. It is so delightful and I still can not believe how well it works!!!
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Try it as a daily cleaning regimen or simply as a mask!!! Your face will Thank You!!

And stay tuned...because I have some other amazing uses for things in your pantry coming up soon!!!

I am linking up to:

Confessions of a Frugal Mind

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Still a Newbie here!

I am working on a lot of great posts for next week. I have even worked out a blogging schedule for myself.

In the meantime, I am still a "Newbie" and wondering if more of you will comment and follow my blog?

I am eager to please and want to become a better blogger, so please leave me feedback and help me to become better!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Much to do... putting the kids to work!!

It's that time of year, here is CA it is really warming up. It is Sunny and breezy and wonderful. The park down the street is calling our name, the water table outside looks so appealing for the kids, and the swimming pool will soon be just right. All this to say, that soon we will not want to be indoors at all so I have much to do in the line of spring cleaning.

This week I noticed that the baseboards were looking a little dusty, so this is first on my list to do. I researched a ton of different methods for cleaning  baseboards and found one I think will be simple enough, yet effective. I even figured out a way to have the kids help!!!
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Step 1- Vacuum baseboards

Step 2- Clean baseboards
1/4 cup of fabric softener
1 gallon of water
3 microfiber rags (1 for me and 1 for each kid)
With this method, you can easily clean any leftover dust or grime and repel any future dust since the fabric softener naturally repels static electricity (which attracts dust).

My kids are age 3 and 1, but I am noticing that when I am focused on a task or a chore, they seem to suddenly need my attention. I have found that if I can get them involved, they are a lot less likely to distract me from my housework. They are kept busy and out of trouble and I have some extra work company! It works for me!

Do you have any clever or easy tips for cleaning baseboards? Please share!!!

I am linking up at:

Monday, March 21, 2011

A bowl full of lemons.: Silhouette GIVEAWAY!!!!

A bowl full of lemons.: Silhouette GIVEAWAY!!!!: "My new Silhouette SD machine finally arrived and I'm dedicating this week to my Silhouette creations. I'm also giving away a Silhouett..."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Check out this awesome giveaway!

My sweet friend Allison over at Eisley Rae clothing is having an awesome giveaway! She makes some darling stuff and you would be one lucky person to win the gift certificate she has up for grabs!!!

Button up!

GO visit her blog and her Etsy shop!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cash only Christmas- Start Now!

I am linking up with "Works-for-me wednesday" over at
works for me wednesday at we are that family

After following a strict budget and using and envelope system for almost everything, we have managed to become debt free in the sense that we no longer charge our expenses. If we want it, we try to save for it and pay with cash. If we need it, we pay out of our emergency savings, but most everyday things; groceries, gas, Dr. apts, eating out and regular bills are paid with cash or our checking account.

This is all fine and dandy and it works really well for our current financial situation, but we still have very little leftover to spend on extras that are NOT budgeted for. In the past few years around August or September, we would sit down and budget our very modest Christmas budget. I have done well with it and managed to chase sales, bargain shop, and most importantly shop the awesome Amazon sales!

This year I want to do something different, I want to pay for Christmas strictly with gift cards, points, coin jars and "extra" income not part of our regular finances. There are several ways I plan to make this happen, and I know you can too! Today I will just blab about two that I am already doing...yup in March!

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Swagbucks: sign up for Swagbucks and do your regular everyday online searching through their site. Every time you search you get a chance to win points and then the points can be turned in for gift cards. Target and Amazon gift cards are what happen to be at the top of my list, but there are several other options for redeeming points, ranging from gift cards to merchandise. It is super easy! I added the toolbar to my computer from their site and make sure I am always signed in. I kid you not, I win points every single day and have already made enough for a $25 gift card in just one month. Go ahead and check it out!! use this link and you can sign up and earn some free bucks now!!! Also, you can add a banner to your blog or your facebook and have people sign up and you will earn a ton of swagbucks that way.

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 My own mini- business which is really (Mama's girl time). A friend of mine told me all about Vault Denim and got me hooked, her family has partial ownership in the business so I knew that it was legit. I love it because it is the easiest most fun money I have ever earned, I mean who doesn't love to shop? Denim parties are a simple success because there are so many people out there who buy these same designer jeans from department stores, but we offer them at a fraction of the price! How you ask??? Well, vault buys all of their denim straight from the vendors overstock. They have worked for years to develop professional relationships with these high end vendors so that we can bring designer jeans straight to your doorstep! Yes, there are many denim party type business out there who bring you seconds, damaged, or imitation jeans, but we are not one of them. These are 100% Authentic and real designer jeans. I plan to save all of my income from my parties and save it for Christmas.
If you think you would like to sell designer jeans and become a Vault Denim fashion consultant, comment here or send me and email. I would be more than happy to sponsor you and give you any information to get you on the road to making some extra cash, while hanging with the ladies:) Best part about Vault is that there are no costly start up fees and you don't have to pay for your inventory, you simply check it out for a day or two, have your party, and return what you don't sale!!!

Anyway, I have a few more frugal Christmas tips to share later down the road, but I just wanted to remind everyone that Christmas is only 9 months away, so why not start some sort of savings or extra income plan now!! I can't tell you how awesome it feels to start off the New Year after Christmas, knowing that everything that was gifted is paid for in full. No credit bills or interest!

So what about you? Do you have any awesome saving tips for the Holidays?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Stomach Flu Blues;/

Our whole house was hit by the stomach flu this week. No fun at ALL! In the midst of all of my misery I have been reading a ton of different blogs, and trying to figure out ways that I can improve my own.

I confess that someday, I hope to be one of those awesome mommy bloggers that actually has a good amount of regular readers. Since this blog is so new, I am still learning and getting into the swing of things.

I would LOVE to know from anyone out there who IS reading...

What can I do to improve my blog?

What is it about other blogs that you frequent that makes you want to go back?

Any help or constructive criticism would be appreciated!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Works for me Wednesday- Kid proof bedding

Every Wednesday, I will be linking up to "Works for me Wednesday" over at Go check out all of the amazing mom tips, you might just learn something super cool!! She also has an awesome giveaway going on, so check it out!

works for me wednesday at we are that family

Have you ever been awoken out of a joyful slumber by the cries of a sick baby, a potty training toddler, or simply a diaper malfunction (the kids not yours)? I have! I always stumble into their rooms and then get the kids cleaned up and then try to make their bed and clean up any mess without waking the rest of the house. I don't know about you, but I am just NOT my best at those crazy hours in the middle of the night.

Luckily, I came  across a VERY clever solution to this while reading some tips on my Birth Board (love you Yuku ladies!!). Now, I simply make my 3 yr old daughters bed as follows; mattress protector, fitted sheet, another mattress protector, another fitted sheet, and then the rest of the normal bedding. It is genius really, I mean I wish I would have learned about it long ago. Now, whenever either of my kids wakes up because of a tummy bug, an accident for my 3 yr old, or a diaper malfunction for my baby boy, I simply clean the kid up, grab the top fitted sheet and mattress protector, throw all soiled clothes and bedding into the garage, tuck the little darling back into bed, and go back to sleep. The night is much too short to be re-making a bed and doing laundry at such un-Godly hours. This mama NEEDS that sleep.

LOVE it! and it WORKS for me!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Skidders Review

I have a 16 month old little boy who is quite active! He keeps me on my feet and is always on his. When we are home and just hanging out, I like for him to keep socks on his feet so they can be warm, but he will have none of it. He is constantly pulling them off.  He also didn't seem to want to keep shoes on at home, so I am was in a bit of a predicament.

So one day when we were at a playdate, a friend of mine had her baby boy wearing a pair of Skidders. They looked so comfy, but still had a little bit of support for their growing feet. I found a pair of Skidders at Target and thought they were a great deal $12!!! Wouldn't you know my son keeps them on! He loves them and so do I. I call them his slippers and it is nice that he always has something on his feet that will work for our impromptu trips outside all day long. They are great. Cute designs, comfortable and easy to get on off for mom, but not to tempting for baby;)

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My First 'Works for me Wednesday'!! "Finding quality substitutes"

I LOVE to shop! But I HATE to spend money unnecessarily. I really do like what the typical woman my age does, but I just have a hard time justify large purchases if I can find something just as good for less. I really depend on quality and I have found that often times, you do not have to spend big bucks to get qquality items.

For example: I love the concept behind Toms shoes. I mean who wouldn't want to have a pair of shoes donated to a third world country every time they bought one for themselves right? The only problem is that I do not want to spend $44 on a pair of casual everyday shoes. Also, I am ALL about comfort and while these shoes are SUPER comfortable, I will admit I am not crazy about the way they look. Luckily Payless shoe source offers an affordable substitute! They too donate a pair of shoes as part of "the good shoe project" and they only charge $20!!! Score!!! The shoes are so comfortable and cute to slip on for quick trips outside and they hold up well too. YEAH!

Look at how similar they are:
Womens Black Canvas Classics TOMS Shoes Side
Brands AirwalkHope Canvas Slip-On
Works for me!
Another example is dishes. We just recently bought our first house, but we have been married for five years. We never had a nice set of dishes and I was always waiting until we bought a house. I found the dishes I wanted from Pottery Barn . I LOVED the classic look of them and wanted them badly, but had a bit of sticker shock when I saw the price of a full set!!! I mean I had a LONG list of things I wanted to buy for our new house and I could not spend that much on dishes. So I did my research and went to pretty much every store possible until I found the look I wanted for the price I could afford.
Finally, I found the perfect substitute!I found a wonderful set at Jc Penney and I am so so happy with them. The quality is excellent, the style is exactly what I wanted, and the price was unbelievable. I got a 72- piece set on sale with a coupon for $67!!!
Check these out:
Pottery Barn
Emma, 16-Piece Cereal Bowl Set, White
Jc Penney
I can't get the picture to load, so I will have to take my own and add it later...but they are fab!
Finding quality substitutes at affordable prices WORKS FOR ME!!

MIA! but I am back to stay!!!

I am back.

I plan to blog regularly from now on, and I hope to be consistent. I had a bit of a hard time adjusting after vacation and after hearing about baby Reese. I seemed to really battle with my anxiety and just could not seem to accomplish much at all. I have been praying and really trying to focus on cherishing every moment with my kids and I am feeling a little better now.

I have also been trying to get into a household management routine. I am just disorganized and frazzled the majority of the time, so it is time that I really get into some routine.

I am setting small goals for myself, and at times it feels so juvenile and pathetic, but whatever works! My goal for the time being is to finish one load of laundry a day. I am not doing that well with it yet, but everyday is another day that I can challenge myself to do it!

I am also trying to limit my online time. I LOVE the Internet. I LOVE reading blogs, visiting my birth board, and just touching base with the outside world via facebook. I think it is because I sometimes feel quite isolated being home with the kids. Regardless, I need to spend time doing things that matter more to my family and somehow balance that with my "free" time.

Anyway, wish me luck! I have a list of posts that I need to catch up on.

Happy March Everyone!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Back to reality, and oh so sad:(

I am part of a birth board. I joined it sometime during my 10 weeks on bed rest when I was pregnant with my daughter, she is almost four now. This is an amazing group of woman and we all have April 2007 babies. We have bonded together and even when babycenter switch formats and changed our birth board, we all migrated together over to another site and have been there together ever since. we have a sisterhood of around 200 mothers and I feel very close to many of the moms on the board. I have met many of them in real life and absolutely adore them.

While I was gone in Florida, tragedy struck our board. A fellow mom who also has a post 2007 baby, lost her baby girl to SIDS. I found out when I got back in town and was completely blindsided and devastated. Knowing this mom, Shannon, it just hits so close to home. She is the nicest and most loving mother. She is a great friend, one of those people who can lighten even the most darkest moment for others.Yet here I am, helpless and unable to offer her anything but online support and love from a far.

I am comforted by the fact this wonderful group of woman banned together and raised over $1800 to help pay for funeral expenses, they are sending care packages to Josh (the April 2007 baby big boy) for as long as they can manage it, and there were even a handful of the group that flew and drove to Oregon to be with Shannon tonight for the viewing and tomorrow for the funeral.

I feel lucky. Blessed to be part of such an amazing group of woman, I know they all care so deeply about one another (and me). Proud to know that Shannon is feeling the love during the terrible time. This group of woman is so amazing and they know how to come together when ever anyone is in need and Shannon deserves nothing less right now.

My anxiety has been out of control since I heard the news, and I can't help but wonder how things like this can happen to someone so wonderful. I have faith that the Lord has plans and that baby Reese is resting peacefully in his arms, but still when things like this happen to people I know...I feel heartbroken for their loss and have such a hard time recovering. I feel it so deeply and have a hard time sleeping.

I wish I could be with Shannon right now and give her a hug.

Baby Reese was an Angel on earth, and now she is an Angel in heaven.

Please continue to pray for Shannon, AJ, and sweet little Josh as they begin to move on. Pray for comfort and healing.

Reese Holland Becker

We are back from Walt Disney World

We had an amazing time in Florida. It was a dream vacation and I was just so happy to be able to spend such quality time with my family.

We ate, we went on rides, we met characters, we ate some more, and we relaxed. Most of all we laughed together and enjoyed one another. This was a priceless time for us. It was filled with memories we will never forget and we have the 859 photos to prove it.

Now it is back to the grind, back to getting organized, back to time management and penny pinching. Why am I so overwhelmed?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Heading to Walt Disney World!

Well it is official, the family and I are heading to our first big vacation TONIGHT! We are going to spend 8 glorious, (I hope), days at Walt Disney World. I can not wait to come back and give you my reviews of all of the restaurants and resorts. Wish us safe travels!
This of course means that I will miss week 2 of the challenge and will have to catch up later. It also means that I will not be blogging while we are away, hubby says I have to leave the computer at home;/ He wants me to relax and just enjoy being together. I couldn't say no to that!
Have great week everyone!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Making Progress, and it feels so good!

I have been hard at work with my " household management" binder. I don't know why I never thought of this before. Having all of my lists and notes and calenders in ONE easy place. DUH! Thankfully, I stumbled across A Bowl Full of Lemons and joined the weekly challenge. I completed the challenge yesterday and can not wait to share the results with you!

The tabs the relate to my nest are:
To do
Meal Planning
and Family Info
I found a ton of free printables online and from various blog suggestions! One blog that I found particularly helpful was Tips from a mom of 3. She has several lists of free printables and links to other blogs that you can follow, not to mention that her blog is just fabulous in general.
Here are the specific printables that I used:
-For my weekly family and household management schedule and my household management checklist (of tasks) I used  these printables from Everything Mom. This site is a great resource for any Dis- organized dud like me!
-For my week at a glance calender, I was a big copy cat and used the same one that was shown on the challenge at A Bowl Full of Lemons. She got her free printable here at Mommy Tracked.
- For My cleaning checklist, I found a simple one at, she has some really great "home management hacks" and printables to keep you organized in all aspects of life!
- is where I was able to pick up some great meal planning printables as well as freezer and pantry inventory sheets. There are a ton of helpful downloads listed here .
I am still working on finding some more printables, but for now I feel like I am definitely headed in the right direction!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Challenge # 1- Homemaking Binder

If you would have told me years ago that I would someday be the mom that followed strict schedules and lists, I would have laughed. In fact, I remember years ago commenting to my husband about his mother's list and strict cleaning schedule. I thought it was a little lame to have to make lists and follow such a rigid schedule, but what did I know? Apparently not a whole lot about managing a household! It was only a few months after I had my daughter that I quickly realized that as soon as I was  responsible for more than just myself and my own stuff, it was incredibly hard to keep it all together. I was sleep deprived and had little to no focus on when the last time I did laundry was, or what I was going to cook for dinner next Tuesday. I guess the lists and schedules are really just one of the ways a busy mom can keep it all together! I have since adopted lists and schedules (though I rarely follow them), and meal plans, but they are all spread out in different areas of the house. Keeping them all in a binder is a genius idea! So, here goes nothing! Off I go to collect the necessities I need to someday be (gulp), just like my Mother- in- law???? Hey, whatever works!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Miss Dis-organized!

I am so Disorganized! I always have been really. This past June we moved into a new house and I was determined that THIS time I was going to be organized. I was going to be that meal planning, coupon clipping, laundry sorting, pantry stockpiling, mom who has her stuff together. Really what happened though, was that as soon as we moved in I got completely overwhelmed with deciding where to put things and how to use my space. Needless to say, I didn't get very far but I am still determined to change my ways and put "Miss Dis-organized" to rest for good!

I am super excited to join this challenge over at "A bowl full of lemons"! If you are like me and could really use some direction and inspiration when it comes to organizing, join us! There is one challenge per week and it seems like they could be something simple like "purge your winter clothes" or it could be something like starting a meal plan.

I will be on vacation for the first week of the challenge, but I plan to do double duty when I get back the second week in February!

Happy blogging!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Melt- In- Your- Mouth crock pot recipe! Who knew?

Did you know that you can make meatloaf in a crock pot????? This is a great recipe. It is so easy and so good. I have the hubby who loves his meat and potatoes, but sometimes I just don't have the energy at the end of the day to prepare a meatloaf. This is perfect because I can prep dinner while the kids are eating breakfast, and then go on about my day!!! Definitely give this one a try! It is tasty and moist and sure to be a family favorite.

YUM!!!!!!!!! It was juicy and moist.

The Itzbeen Baby Care Timer- Review

Itzbeen Baby Care Timer - Blue - Coast Innovations  - Babies"R"Us
I LOVE this gadget so much! It saved my life during the newborn days. It was great to be able to put in all of the info of when he was last fed, changed, and when he last slept. I was  overwhelmed caring for two and there was no way I could remember all those details. This was great.  I would recommend this to anyone having a baby!!! It is easy to carry around with you, and super easy to use. I had not one single complaint and have since bought this for two friends who have both given it a two thumbs up!

Summer Infant Day and Night Video Monitor- Review

Summer Infant Day and Night Video Monitor - Summer Infant  - Babies"R"Us
I love this monitor and have had it now for almost 3 years. It is so great to have because it gives me the piece of mind that I need to make sure my kids are safe in their beds, and not causing any kind of mischief or putting themselves in any kind of danger. We used it successfully both times we  did the "cry it out" method with our toddlers. It was nice to be able to see if the kids really needed us or if they were just fussing because they didn't want to be in bed. It has also worked well to be able to tell if they are really waking up or just stirring. I would definitely buy this all over again. I think it is a great value for the money and it has lasted without problem for quite a few years. We have two cameras and one monitor and we live in a 2 story house.

My only complaint is that the sound monitor is never silent, it has this soft "shhhh" sound that kind of drives me bonkers at night so I turn the sound part off. WE mainly only use this monitor downstairs so that we can see what is going on, so it doesn't really effect our use of this product at all.

Disclosure: All of the opinions in this review are of my own and were written on my own free will. There was no compensation to write this review.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

White Chicken Chili - YUMMY Recipe!

My friend Lauren is an amazing domestic diva, she can do it all from crafts to cooking. She has a recipe blog and  if I were you I would go and check it out. Every recipe on that blog is perfection. I especially enjoy the cornbread and the vanilla bean cupcakes. YUMMY.
The latest recipe I tried this last week was the white chicken chili. It was AMAZING. My entire family enjoyed this recipe and it was so easy. I ended up cooking the chicken breasts first (frozen) in the crockpot and then about 2 hours before I wanted to eat, I threw in the rest of the ingredients and kept the settings on low! so easy.
White Chicken Chili
Lauren Perry

1 can of chicken broth
1 jar of verde sauce (its over by the Pace
Picante- I like mild)
3 breasts of chicken cooked and shredded
3 cans of White beans drained
1 small container (not sure size) of sour cream
1 small can of chopped green chili's (the blue
ortega can ones work great- and I only use 1/2
small can)
few shakes of garlic salt and pepper
1 can of corn drained
1/3 cup of shredded cheese (like mild cheddar
or mexican)
maybe 1 TBS of sugar to give it a little

throw it in a pot and cook it, too easy and

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Building a blog is hard work!

It is so hard making all of the big decisions! The name, the colors, to use a cute template or to keep it simple, and then the dreaded HTML. I thought I was quite computer savvy, but not so much when it comes to learning HTML for things such as making the tabs menu and other things that you would never think about. Thank Goodness for other blogs that have tutorials to teach people like me, how to do those things. I can not wait to share with you some of the great tutorials I found to help create my blog. So stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's 2011! I want to live it up!

I have always been a bit hesitant to post personal goals or resolutions where other people can see. Maybe this is because  I know that as time goes on, I may not succeed in accomplishing them and then I will have a ton of people who will know. On the other hand, what better way than to hold yourself accountable by putting it all out there. So here I am, sharing with you some of the things I will working on for 2011.

1. I want to blog regularly. I find it relaxing, therapeutic, and a great outlet for me to escape to>
2. I want to attend a Blog Conference! Like Really really bad. I currently have my heart set on "BlogHer 11", and it shouldn't be too hard considering it is in my neck of the woods this year in Sunny California. Now who wants to go with me???
3. I want to live it up. To me this means to live more for today and not worry so much about the future. As long as I am living according to God's will today, I should not be overly concerned about the "what ifs?" in life!
4.I want to work out more. UGHHH so Cliche, but really I am almost 31 years old and I just do not take care of myself like I should.
5. I want to make more time for myself. This means getting out more. I will plan times to get out at least twice a month. I need it and I always feel so refreshed after a few hours away from the kiddos.
6. I want to become a coupon queen and learn to shop for free! Yep, you heard me. More on this later, but I can not wait to see the fruits of my labor!
7. I know this may sound strange, but I want to spend less time on the computer and more time doing something that serves my family. If this means more reading stories, taking walks, baking, or even doing laundry to bless my family, well then so be it!

Bring it on 2011! I am ready to make this an amazing year!

Make 5 Dinners in ONE hour.

I have to share about this blog I found a few months ago.

 First, I should share that I have been doing my own "Meal Plan" for quite sometime. It usually consists of rotating our favorite recipes over the course of a few weeks. This worked very well in the budgeting and planning department, but I started to realize that there were some evenings when 4 pm would sneak up on me and I would be trying to juggle several different things and get dinner on the table. I started to wonder how I could give myself a little bit of a break when needed, but still feed my family healthy food. I started to read a ton of meal planning and meal freezing blogs and came accross Michelle's blog at 5 Dinners 1 hour!

At first I was a little resistant. I mean can you really prepare 5 HEALTHY meals in one hour? I sent Michelle a few e-mails expressing my concerns and asking a few questions. She was great and offered to let me try a month subscription to her recipes. Michelle's plan is amazing! It has great recipes, a shopping list, very clear instructions, and a nice variety. I ended up subscribing right away because I knew that this was something I would use! It has come in handy, and even when I don't make all 5 meals in 1 hour, it is still great to know that the recipes I have are quick and easy.

Here is what Michelle has to say about her blog:
I have created a plan to cook all 5 dinners for the week in just ONE hour. All the menu plans have family friendly meals that feed 4-6 people and no, they are not all casseroles. :)

The meals are fresh, not frozen. They keep in your refrigerator until ready to heat and eat.

You can subscribe to my menus below. Each month you will recieve 4 weeks of menus so you can cook 5 dinners in ONE hour too!
It's only $15.00 for a 3 month subscription. That is only $1.25 per menu!

Thanks Michelle for you awesome taste in food and for making my evenings much less stressful!

Check out Michelle's blog and let me know what you think!

The Mamma Bird!

Hi, I am Vanessa. I am 30 years old, and was married to my wonderful husband, Darren, on July 30th, 2005. I am currently a Stay at home mom to our Daughter, Hailey, who was born in April 2007, and our son Caleb, who was born in October 2009. I am a family woman all the way, and love everything about being a Wife and a Mother.

I am a Christian, and very proud to say that God has truly blessed me with this beautiful family and life. He has given me strength to overcome some seriously tough times and has brought me the utmost joy in the people he has in my life. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that we have to live for today according to the Lord's will, because we never know what tomorrow may bring.

The things that feed my soul are:  family, friends, travel, church, cooking, crafting, reading, disney, blogging, musical theatre, and deal seeking. I am a frugal mommy who loves to be a consumer, but who wants to make sure I am getting my moneys worth! I love to find deals and share them! The main focus and inspiration for this blog is so that I can share my opinions on all types of different products and experiences. I will also occasionally regale you with all of the funny and chaotic happenings here in my home with the family. I assure you it is NEVER a dull moment in Nessa's Nest!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dr. Sears Books: The Baby Book and The Vaccine Book

Becoming a first time mother is overwhelming on so many different levels! For me, It was especially overwhelming to have to make decisions that could affect her health forever. I mean deciding whether or not her low grade fever combined with fussiness was due to a virus or a simple bout with teething was pretty stressful. I usually like to yield to the side of caution, but at the same time I didn't ever want to be known as "THAT mom" by the Doctor. I will admit that I did take my daughter into the Dr. office only to be told she was teething on more than one occasion, but I digress. Deciding on Vaccinating my newborn baby, in the height of vaccination debates, was even worse!!! It is just so hard to know, so much information to sift through, and so many sides of the coin to take into consideration.

I started reading everything I could get my hands on and I learned so much, and became a little more confident in my ability to make these decisions for my child. I will say though, I found (and still find) myself going back to the same two books over and over again.  Here they are:

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The Baby Book: this is a great go to resource for anything from pregnancy to behavior. I still use it to refer to things regarding my 3 1/2 yr old and I of course use it for my  1yr old. It is great information and easily laid out and organized in an easy to understand format. Fevers, Rashes, Sleep is all in there! I strongly recommend this to any new mom. It would be an excellent gift option.

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The Vaccine Book: This book helps to take a big sigh of relief! It is laid out in such an easy to follow format. All of the vaccines are explained in great detail as well as all of the childhood diseases the vaccines are given for. There are a few different vaccination schedules in there that you can choose to follow should you decide that you want to do a delayed schedule. I really enjoyed how the book gives all of the information and the statistics, but it does NOT give the Doctor's biased opinion at all. Just plain facts in a simple format so that you can interpret and make an educated decision. I carry this with me to each Dr. apt, and I reference it often. This book is great regardless of how you choose to handle vaccinations with your child because it also list all of the possible reactions caused by specific vaccinations. Overall, I think there is nothing better that a parent can do than to empower themselves with all of the facts and this book does a fair job of that without pushing anybody Else's opinions.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack Diaper Bag!

I have to share about my Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack! First, I will let you know that I am NOT a bag person. I do not own expensive purses or bags and have never had an interest in doing so. Still I am ALL about utility and convenience. I first saw this bag in action when a close friend of mine got it. I loved how she could wear it as a backpack and still be stylish, she could have her hands free for her children, AND she could still carry all of the essentials. I also must say that I, am an over packer!!! I always think I need more than I do. Well, this bag my friends, fits the tab for me. I drooled over this bag for months before my husband finally drove me himself to Nordstrom and insisted that I get it! Our second baby was due the next month, and he wanted me to have something nice that I wanted. It worked out well since I had a few gift cards that I had never used.

Here is why I love Petunia Pickle bottom boxy backpack:
- The backpack/messenger bag option. You can change it back and forth just by tucking in the extra strap.
- The built in changing pad. How awesome is that, and it comes off so you can throw it in the wash.
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- The fact that it can hold all of MY stuff.
- I have the Glaze material and I love how easily it wipes clean!
- It is comfortable to wear, and my husband often wears it as well!

What I wish I could change:
- The price. These things can get a little pricey. They range from $140 to $180. As a frugal mommy myself, I have a hard time justifying that kind of money on a bag! But that is just me, and they DO go on sale.
- The Chenille fabric snags easily. I got the glazed and highly recommend that style of bag, but I have friends who have the Chenille and they have all complained about the snagging and balling up of the fabric. Not especially good considering this bag had a very large Velcro closure. Velcro= not great with fabric that snags easily.
- The Velcro. I have a love hate relationship with it. It is good that I can quickly and securely close the top flab, BUT it has gotten caught on a few of my sweaters. Kind of a pain!

Bottom Line: if I was not so frugal. I would own a few of these and I would buy them for everyone I know with kids. I would also invest in their other lines like handbags, wallets, beddings, blankets, and accessories.

Check out the Petunia Pickle Bottom Website:
Be prepared to drool:)

* Disclaimer: all of these opinions were written on my own free will. I was not compensated in anyway from Petunia Pickle Bottom or any of its affiliates to write this review.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Moby Wrap!

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I LOVE my Moby wrap. My mother-in-law purchased it for me in 2007 when my daughter was about 7 months old. I was IN LOVE with it and so mad at myself that I didn't get one sooner. I mean, I couldn't help but think of how much more productive I could have been in those early months with a young baby who seemed to have her witching hour RIGHT when I was supposed to be preparing dinner and welcoming the hubby home from work. I still got quite a bit of use out of it even though she was already 7 months when I got it, and when baby #2 came along, I could not live without that thing. I went trick-or-treating with him snugly tucked away in my Moby when he was just 10 days old. He was warm, comfortable, and fast asleep leaving me with TWO free hands to help my daughter and enjoy that experience with her. This is something that I think every new mom, and especially mothers of two or more should invest in!

- It is super easy to put on by yourself once you get the hang of it!
- The baby is comfortable and safe.
- Getting the baby in and out is simple.
- Nursing in the Moby is a breeze!
-There are tons of cute patterns and colors that you can get.
-They are affordable and maintain a good resale value!
-I can wear it for several hours and not feel a lot of pressure or pain. The weight is very well distributed throughout you back, waist, and shoulders.
- You can put Toddlers in it as well and wear it in several different positions!!! AWESOME!

- It can seem a little overwhelming to put on until you get used to it.
- There is so much fabric that it can sometimes get a little dirty from touching the ground while putting it on. This is especially true for women of shorter and smaller stature like me.

Overall, I would highly recommend The Moby Wrap to any mom out there looking to multi task with daily life while still snuggling with their little ones!

* I was not compensated in anyway by The Moby Wrap company. All of these opinions are of my own and were written on my own free will.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The City Mini by Baby Jogger

#1: The City Mini stroller by Baby Jogger-
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I can NOT say enough great things about this stroller! I have the double since I have two young children, but I have had the pleasure of trying out the single and it is just as nice. This thing is so well built!!! Even my husband is in love with it and has to tell everyone just how great it is. Here is what the Baby Jogger website has to say about the product.
The City Mini captures the essence of urban mobility. Its lightweight design makes it perfect for running errands or all day excursions in the urban jungle.

  • Patented Quick-Fold Technology - allows you to fold your stroller in one simple step
  • Swivel front wheel for precise maneuverability can lock into place for long distance strolling
  • 8" lightweight, quick-release EVA wheels with sealed ball bearings
  • Padded seat reclines to a near flat position with a vented seat top and retractable weather cover
  • Patented universal accessory mounting bracket – accessorize your stroller with ease
  • Large multi-position sun canopy with clear view windows
  • Rounded handlebar for pushing comfort
  • Front wheel suspension provides a smooth comfortable ride
  • Seat back storage compartment
  • Under seat storage basket
  • Adjustable five-point safety harness with shoulder pads and buckle cover
  • Rear parking brake
  • Fold strap to keep stroller folded for transportation or storage
  • 50 lb. weight capacity on stroller
The things I love about it personally are:
*The recline/The sunshade- OMG so awesome that I can have one kid awake and one asleep, one kid shaded and one kid exposed. When my son was an infant, he spent many trips to Disneyland tucked comfortably away in this stroller while my daughter happily got in and out to visit characters or go on a ride.
*How easy it is to push- Whenever people stop me in a store or at an amusement park to as about my stroller, I always show them how easy it is to push and steer with just one hand. It is hard to believe, but I can easily talk on the phone, drink a coffee, or hold one of the kids and still manage this stroller just fine!
*The size: My husband SWORE we would never get a side by side, until he tried the City Mini Double. This puppy fits easily through my front door! I have never had a problem getting through isles or doors at the mall. It also folds up to a very manageable size and fits nicely in the trunk of our Yukon, but I COULD fit it in the trunk of a sedan easily.
* The ease of folding/ the weight: Alright, so I have to admit it is not a one handed operation to fold this stroller, but it is one step and easy as can be. I am a very small framed lady and have no problem grabbing the two handles and collapsing the stroller and then lifting it into the trunk. Same with getting it out and setting it up, which I have done with one hand.

My cons:
hmmmmm let me think.

Okay I guess my only con would be the price of the accessories, They are quite expensive but NOT necessary at all. I found perfect substitutes for all of them for much less $$$. More on that to come real soon.

* All of these opinions are of my own, I was not compensated in anyway by Baby Jogger or any other company for this review. My City Mini Stroller was given to me a gift from my registry.

New Mom's Top 10 list! Otherwise Known as MY TOP 10.

After nearly 5 years of being in these child bearing years, and most of that time being spent Gestating or lactating (as my friend Stacy would say), I have really learned a-lot about those baby/mommy centered products that really do hold up to their hype. There are even a few I have come across that have not received the hype (in my opinion) that they deserve, but that are still FABULOUS! So here they are! Tried and true...

This will most definitely take a few different posts so stay tuned for the actual reviews, but here is a little sneak preview of what is to come;)  I wish I could be like Oprah and give these all away to my readers. Now THAT would be awesome!
View Image     Go to fullsize image    Go to fullsize imageGo to fullsize image Go to fullsize image Go to fullsize image Go to fullsize image Go to fullsize image    Stay Tuned.