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.