Saturday, January 31, 2009

please, please, please

I am asking (okay pleading) Mark for this print from this Etsy shop for Valentine's Day. I am willing to forgo flowers and some candy. Now mind you, Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays thanks to my mom who had the most amazing Valentine's Day dinners waiting for us when we got home from school, including lots of decorations, treats and food. 

Thursday, January 29, 2009

If only I could......

For those of you who read my No Shopping Blog a few months back, you probably remember my "pretend" shopping online. Well, I'm at it again. I just got an email from Nordstrom's and they have a bunch of stuff that's 60% off online. I really likes some of the stuff so I'm posting my favorites today. And if I could, I would have purchased all of it and I'd be excitedly waiting to try it all on!

a gift

I think the best gift someone could give me is a day of nothing on a weekend. A day with no plans and the option to think about what you want to do all day long. A day where you can take your son on an adventure hike and show him the sky, you can listen for birds and discover a pre-drawn hopscotch and teach him how to use it. I recently had a day like that on a Saturday. I noticed Mark and I talked more, we all had more fun and we got absolutely nothing done, not even swapping the laundry. 

Don't get me wrong, I love being busy, I love celebrations, I love all of it. I love seeing a full calendar and fitting in friends and family. 

But like I said, a day with nothing on a weekend is an amazing gift.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

To fill your tummy....

I love to try new recipes, especially healthy ones. I try at least one new recipe a week, this week I have 5 new ones! Tuesday night was night 1 and it was a success. Talk about an easy recipe great for winter! Enjoy!

From Whole Living/Martha Stewart

Chicken Cacciatore with Cremini Mushrooms
Prep: 15 minutes Total: 4 hours, 15 minutes


1 whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces, skin removed
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled plum tomatoes in juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 sprig fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried
Coarse salt and ground pepper


In a 5-quart slow cooker, stir together chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes, flour, wine, celery, onion, rosemary, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Cover; cook on high setting until meat is tender, 4 hours. Do not lift the cover of the slow cooker while cooking. To serve, discard rosemary sprig.

***Note- I made some changes to this recipe based on what I had at home. I used 3 chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken, Monterey mushrooms instead of the Cremini mushrooms, cooking wine instead of the dry white wine and Italian Seasoning instead of the Rosemary. I also think next time I will add some green olives near the end of the cooking for extra flavor! I also paired it with brown rice, pasta would be good too.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

this one's for the boys....

Now don't start hyperventilating, but I do have a very good fav. It may not be something you want (unless you are perhaps my husband), but it is something you should have. In the tiny pic above is the Prime 10 Outlet 1500J Surge Stick (that's the full name). It is a surge protector that has wide spaced outlets, 1500 Joules of protection (I don't know what that means but it sounds really good), auto-shutdown, an up to $200,000 connected equipment warranty, heavy-duty construction-grade metal housing- for indoors and more. Basically it's great for your garage, you can plug a lot into it, it's really long and it mounts to the wall. It was $29.96 at Lowe's and my husband actually used Christmas money to buy it so it must be something good.  For me I appreciate not having to jam things in like a puzzle, there is plenty of space. Happy surging!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

More than just an ice cream act of love

You may be one of those moms who always thinks of just the right things to do with your kids. You have the best crafts and the best rewards for them. I'm not that mom. I'm the mom who just makes it through the day trying to make sure she does at least one stimulating thing for them. I try hard, but don't always follow through on my ideas. Hey, at least I try!

On to my story... Brody was a real trooper throughout our hectic week and dad promised him ice cream. This usually means that we hit up Swirls (local frozen yogurt shop). But, today I had an idea. My idea was to have an ice cream party to reward him for being patient and being good. And you know what, I followed through with it. I had ice cream and toppings. Brody asked us almost every minute, all day, when the party would be and while I was preparing everything, he asked me every second. He was literally beaming with joy. He loved making his sundae and he ate it up.

It's funny how as moms (or just as people) we have the power to make something so routine extraordinary with just a little bit of  care. We have the ability to make a present look extra special, to write a loving and encouraging email, to do something just a little bit more for people. 

My friend Noel mentioned to me recently how she appreciates that I try and make birthdays special. As I think about it, all I really do is make a phone call letting them know how important their birthday is to me, make plans to see them and make sure to show up. It's not the gift, it's the caring

Tonight I cared a little bit extra about Brody and his sweetness and I made the extra effort to make something so normal....special and it cost me less then it would have to go out to ice cream! I only paid for the gallon and had everything else.

Tonight reminded me that it's important that we try and make other people's lives special with little acts of love. In hard times we need to lift our friends and families spirits.

This blog entry was just suppose to say "Hey we had an ice cream party, here are the pictures." Look what it turned into! I hope it will encourage you to doing something small for someone else by going the extra mile. Remember, it's not how much you do, it's just how much love you put in it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

a little bit of loveliness....

Even if I only have one minute on the computer, I always check out Mary's blog pretty good. Her photos are divine, her words are few and it's usually just the perfect amount of loveliness I need in my day. Thanks Mary!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm behind, sorry! Lots of new favs coming in the next few days!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Sometimes there are things that are so amazing and beautiful to me, that I just wish I would have created them. This is one. I just saw this on Perez Hilton. BEST COMMERCIAL! This is definitely an Amanda fav!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fav Song

This song is called The Fear You Won't Fall by Joshua Radin. I'm a bit obsessed with it, it's lovely and perfect. This video is from 2006. He sings the song with Schuyler Fisk. Did I mention that I love it?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Leap Frog, Leapster 2

For Christmas Brody got the Leap Frog, Leapster 2. All the kids in the neighborhood have their own video game systems like the Nintendo DS and I knew it was time to get Brody something, but he's definitely too young for what the bigger kids are playing. We ended up getting the Leapster 2, which is for 4-8 years old and is very educational. Brody is 3 1/2, so we knew it might be a bit advanced for him, and some of the games are just a little bit hard. But, he plays with it and has the best time and I know that he will continue to grow into it. I was very happy with this purchase and I know it will only get better as he grows older and learns more of the skills.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A great day

Today my mailbox contained one In Style Magazine, one Martha Stewart Magazine and one Real Simple Magazine. All on the same day, I jumped for joy! I actually didn't know what to read first. Of course In Style won and even though I only got to read 1/3 of it in the bath before a 3 year old made me get out, it was devine. I can't wait to carefully devour all three. Yipee!

File Folders

Staples has very cute file folders in different colors and patterns. I have some great purple and green ones and I saw some red and black ones today. What I like about them is that they are really thick, so I don't mind taking them to meet a client or showing them off on my desk because I know they can hold up. For me, I don't need to buy a box of 250 folders that I have nowhere to keep, so being able to buy just a few is a great alternative!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Painting Cabinets

I have been unhappy with our kitchen cabinets since we moved in. I wanted to redo them, but knew that it wasn't in the budget to hire someone. Then, voila, in my inbox, I got an email from my Martha Stewart Newsletter and I see "Easy Home Makeovers" which has a feature on how to paint your cabinets to give it a new look. It seems really do-able and this is something I would love to accomplish before Spring. If you have been feeling the same way, check out the instructions here.

Another great redo on her newsletter was updating your coat closet. Look here for that one.

Monday, January 12, 2009


My fav of all favs are shoes. I love them. I love buying that one pair of shoes that you get compliments everywhere you go. I use to have a pair of black heels that had a big flower on them. It never mattered what my dress looked like, the shoes always got the attention. Unfortunately my new budgeted lifestyle does not permit my old shoe buying habits. So when I got $100 gift card to Nordstroms for Christmas, instead of buying the necessities, like a pair of black pants and a shirt, I opted to spend $97 on a new pair of very unnecessary shoes. The shoes pictured above are Jessica Simpson's- Hello Shoes (I know I'm not a huge Jessica Simpson fan either). I love them. I think they are so hot. You can't really see the zipper that goes down the front. I wear them anywhere I can and yes, I get mass compliments on them. I cannot find them online anywhere, so if you want a pair go to the BP Shoes at Nordstroms and ask.

Speaking of shoes, I love Shoe Girl's Blog. She has amazing shoes, amazing taste and I get a little jealous every day of the beautiful shoes she wears and designs. 

Friday, January 9, 2009

I'm sorry

I've been slow to blog this week, so expect lots of new posts about new favs starting next week! Have a fantastic weekend ahead, we get to go to a princess party for a fav little girl.



Something old and something new

This post is about two favs. My first fav is my washing machine. Something you should know about me, I put everything in the washer. I have washed heels (not leather), seat cushions, dry clean only items and more. Things I'm unsure of I just put in the "hand wash" cycle and off it goes! Of course I always do so with the knowledge that it might get ruined, but I've never been disappointed. However, on a side note, please do not wash things and then have them get ruined and be mad at me. It's all at your own risk. A second fav, old things. Okay I actually don't like old things. I'm not even a clean person and I'm not good with old dirt or filth. So when my parents told me to either take the old Cabbage Patch kids home or they were toast, I hesitantly said okay. I was thinking in my mind, there's no way Piper is playing with my 23 year old dolls. But..... we washed them and all their accessories and they are CLEAN! They look great, and I am so excited to have them back. One of them freakishly reminds me and Mark of Michelle Duggar, that woman who keeps having kids and is at 18 now, but Piper doesn't know so it's okay.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Biggest Loser

You already know how much I believe in this show! New season started last night. It's on NBC on Tuesdays at 8pm/7pm c. Get ready to be inspired, learn tips for better eating, and to watch people transform into more confident human beings before you eyes. The best, most worthwhile, reality tv on right now. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Design Mom - Guest Blog

(I heart Design Mom's blog, she has great style and she's fun to read. I hope you enjoy her fav's)

A few of Gabrielle Blair's (from Design Mom) favorite things.

A Good Pair of Heels

Try wearing heels on a everyday errand -- like to Costco -- even just with jeans and a t-shirt. They make even the most non-glamorous outings seem important. Maybe it's just my imagination, but I swear the employees treat you better too.

Getting a Good Deal
Doesn't it feel good to find a great price on something? I found a $350 Spyder ski coat for my husband at TJ Maxx for $120. Score!

Graphic Design Blogs
They remind me of what I studied in college, what I surrounded myself with during my former career, and why I love it. A great one is Hi + Low. It's not entirely graphic design, but it mostly is, and the author (Abby Clawson Low) has a flawless eye and never ending good taste.

Pear Jelly Bellys
I don't love every flavor of Jelly Bellys, mostly just Juicy Pear. They are so yummy. Ben Blair gave me a whole pound for Christmas and they didn't even survive till the 26th.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Johnson's Buddies

I LOVE this new soap by Johnson & Johnson. It's made just for kids. It's the Johnson's Buddies Easy-Grip Sudzing Bar. Your child can wash themselves at bath time now (or at least try to learn how). It's shaped for kids and there is a pouch that is over the soap so it doesn't slip. Genius! They say it lasts longer than an average bar of soap, it's allergy tested and has a nice light scent. I know that kids love independence and by letting them use this soap, it's once less thing to fight about. No, seriously, why didn't I think of this? I paid around $1.97 at Target for it. It's a must have (okay maybe not must, but I totally recommend it)!

Salad Plate

I just heard about a new diet book based on eating off a smaller plate. I guess even our plates, not just our portions are getting bigger! But I've already been doing this for like 9 months now. I only eat my dinners off of a salad plate and no second helpings. Trust me, there is plenty of food and after awhile those regular plates look gigantic. 

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Did you have a gloworm when you were little? I did and I remember loving it. We just bought the baby the new miniature version by Playskool and I adore it already. I have been wanting to find that one object that I can always put in her bed with her, especially for nights where we are at someone else's house and she is not in her crib. You just squeeze it, the face lights up and it plays soothing lullabies.  It's simple and sweet just like my baby girl. It was only $9.99 at Target and worth every penny so far. I'm hoping it will provide her a little bit of security. It's for 0-12 months. I can almost remember the song in the commercials from when I was little!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Toys R Us/Babies R Us

Are having some great deals right now, especially on stocking up on baby items and on toys!

Champagne Punch

From what I hear the champagne punch I took to a New Year's party was a hit. It's from a recipe my parents use to make for parties. It is ridiculously easy. So here it is!

New Year's Champagne Punch

1 quart orange sherbet
2 quarts fresh orange juice
1 (2 liter) bottle of ginger ale chilled
2 bottles of champagne chilled

Place the orange juice, ginger ale and champagne in the refrigerator to get them well chilled. In a large bowl, place the block of sherbet in the center and pour the orange juice over the top. Next, pour the ginger ale over the sherbet. Finally pour both bottles of champagne over the sherbet. Stir gently to mix the liquids, resulting in a foamy top. Serve immediately.

Makes 35, 6 oz servings.