Monday, August 31, 2009

the goods

We have a Home Goods down the street and I love it. They don't always have what I'm looking for, but when they do it's dead on. This weekend was a lucky weekend where they had everything I needed! It's also such a great place to go for holiday stuff! Remember these Martha Stewart glitter skulls?

Well online they are between $24-$34 for one skull and some bones. Well I got a large green skull, a medium skull and a glitter pumpkin for $19! They might not have been Martha but they sure look similar! So excited.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

guess what we are making??

Wish us luck! We are following Design Mom's creative lead and making this toddler bed, just with different fabric for Piper. If we get through it, we'll post pictures! Can't wait to start on it.

We couldn't decide on buying Piper a toddler bed or a twin bed. Neither are cheap. So we decided to go this route and make her one instead. If Design Mom's calculations are right, it should only cost us around $37 to make (that does not include a mattress, but you can use your crib mattress if it's available).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

baby pink

I won this Trend Lab Moses Basket in a celebrity gift basket. I LOVE it but I'm having a boy. It retails at Babies R Us for $99 and I'm selling it for $50 (plus $6 shipping) on Ebay. Anyone interested??? Too cute to not offer around!


These leggings from Gap Maternity may be the most comfortable pants I have ever put on. I could wear them for days if I never left the house. I even wear them when I do paired under a long shirt or short dress. They are the best and worth the $26.50 I hesitated to spend!

so yum!

I don't love specialty cupcakes like Sprinkles. The only cupcakes I like are out of the box. But imagine my surprise when I bit into a cupcake from Whodidily Cupcakes in Montecito, California..... mmmmmmm. There are no words. It was white cake with white chocolae chips in the middle and sweet white icing. It sounds like too much, but it was heaven. If you are anywhere in the Montecito/Santa Barbara area you have to try them!

Whodidily Cupcakes
1150 Coast Village Road, Suite E
Montecito, CA 93108
(805) 969-9808

Sunday, August 23, 2009

so excited!

This doll bed from Pottery Barn Kids is $49 (on sale from $69), plus an additional $19 for the bedding.

This doll bed is $19 at Ikea and the bedding is included.

I am a huge fan of Pottery Barn Kids and love to buy all their doll stuff. But I couldn't pay the price they wanted for their doll bed, sale or not! So we bought the Ikea doll bed and we can't wait to paint it white and maybe make some cute new bedding. No matter what we do it can't come close to what it costs at PBK, but I know when I'm done with it it will look just as cute and it will be a great surprise for Piper on Christmas morning! Hooray!


This weekend was a dear friend's wedding and I feel fortunate to have been a part of it! I have to tell you that I loved the company who did the hair and makeup. They are called Something Blue Stylists and they were great and so much fun! To say that the bride looked anything less than gorgeous is an understatement!!!


Thursday, August 20, 2009


Did anyone else get the Grandinroad Halloween Haven Catalog today? Well Martha Stewart collaborated with them on Halloween decorations, and this catalog made Mark and myself drool. Parts of it actually scared me a little. If you love Halloween as much as we do, you have to check it out online here (although it's not as impressive as seeing it all in the catalog). Here are some pics of the Martha Stewart stuff, but even some of the non-Martha Stewart stuff is CRAZY like the last picture!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


At the end of the day, I feel like my kids are still not getting enough vegetables in their diet. I've got the other food groups covered pretty well. So I started buying the Trader Joe's vegetable trays. They are only $4.99 and I set it out on the table at lunch every day and let Brody eat as much as he wants. Usually I don't provide ranch as a dip for any of our meals, but you know what, he dips a small amount and I love the number of veggies he eats this way. I think the $4.99 is worth it because I don't have to do any chopping or storing!

Monday, August 17, 2009

etsy finds

I love these digital art prints from John W. Golden's Shop. I get sick of seeing the same type of artwork for kids room, but this is so us and there are so many choices for a boy or girl. So cute!

I love these hats at Cite' Fuzz, there is one for every child in the family! A must have!!!

Digging the custom skirts at DressReHERSal's Shop. They have cute one's for the holidays too!

Love the custom birth prints for your nursery at trendypeas's shop! I think I need to get one for each kid. I would love to have their statistics up and I can see this staying in their room for a long time!


We may not be excited about Paul Frank going to Target but we were excited to see Shaun White's new line at Target for boys. I really liked the button down shirts, hoodies and pants! I think the most expensive item is $17.99 for the pants. It's about time Target has clothes for boys that look as good as the girls section!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

my new friend

I finally got a sewing machine, it's a Pfaff! Woohooooo! I can't wait to use it for my business, I have so many things I want to learn to make for party planning and for kids items. Practice, practice, practice.

poopy diapers

We love these Classy Kid Inc. Disposable Diaper Sacks. They are earth friendly and so useful when we are out. We take them everywhere to throw out poopy diaper. My favorite part about them is that their scent isn't overwhelming like the ones that smell like baby powder. I buy mine at Babies R Us for $3.29 and they come in packs of 75.

recent etsy finds

Last Sunday I did some searching on Etsy for things I'll need in the future (and some I just want). Here are some stuff I found that I liked!

This print is from Flor Larios's shop. So beautiful! I really like all her prints but I would love to buy an original piece!

I really need some new pillows for our couch, has anyone ever noticed how expensive pillows are?? I came across Marie's Cosy Cushions and I loved all the fabric prints that she has! And affordable, especially if you already have pillow inserts!

More wall decals, but these aren't for kids. Why do I love these? They remind me of wall paper but are so less permanent. I am a lover of wall paper in certain rooms (that's what happens when you work for a homebuilder on their model homes). I honestly hope to get use out of these soon! You can find a bunch of different styles at Byrdie Graphics.

I love all the custom heart embroidery at Minature Rhino. I would love one hanging above our bed, so simple yet loving.

I must have been on a mermaid kick, but I came across this doll at Tiny Green Apples. Piper is really into dolls and I loved how sweet this sleeping mermaid is. 

I'm thinking I need to make my Etsy searches a weekly thing for this blog!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

one cute costume

As you know we LOVE Halloween and have already been talking about what the kids can be this year. I saw this new cupcake costume at Pottery Barn Kids and I am dying at how cute it is! Too bad Piper isn't big enough! I also noticed that PBK's costumes are more affordable this year. Granted this one is $59 but last year it would have been $89. They have costumes starting at $29 so hooray for PBK for realizing that we don't have as much money in our pocket for holiday dress up!

for the love

Will someone please buy these boots for fall and pair it with black tights and a cute dress. I want them! I'll actually be jealous if you do buy them, but they are too adorable to not be worn. My pregnant feet will be way too tired to wear them, plus they are close to $200 so I can't buy them to just stare at them.


Time to revisit my resolutions for 2009. I mean I only have 145 days until the end of the year! Here were my resolutions from the beginning of the year. Tonight I put in red how I am doing:

Amanda's 2009 Resolutions
1. Continue to find healthy options for my family in food and recreation (organics, vegetarian meals, new foods). Yes, still doing this, but should be exploring a lot more.
2. Make my own health a priority and find time for diet and exercise. Maintain the same weight for a whole year. Ha, ha, ha- didn't think I'd get pregnant huh? I try to eat healthy but this has kind of gone out the window since I can only do so much. When I wrote these I never imagined we'd be pregnant!
3. Move away from the things I flock to when things get hard (coca-cola, sweets & shopping). Shopping- doing great, Coca-Cola- still addicted. Sweets- somewhere in the middle. Need to work on this.
4. Get at least one full night's sleep a week (a full 8 hours)- Barely, but I try. I am up and it's 12:28am. Need to be better at this.
5. Take my business up one level through marketing, website changes and cost solutions. Working on it now! I've done good this year so far.Can't wait for Christmas card time.
6. Make decisions based on what is best for my family, not others. Yes, yes, yes!
7. Date night at least once a month! I think but we are SO bad at this, must make this priority ASAP before baby comes.
8. Create at least one fundraiser in 2009. Looks like it will have to be a Christmas fundraiser?? Anyone want to help?
9. Find small pockets of "me" time to decompress and be creative. Ha, ha, ha....sometimes I get a bath.
10. Make fashion a priority, well at least anytime not Mon-Fri from 8am to 5pm, meaning dress up on the weekends and any outing. I try so hard.
11. Change someone's life in 2009, make a lasting difference. Make this a priority.
12. Remind my friends' how amazing they are and compliment a stranger at least once a week. I do not do this enough, so glad I'm reminding myself.
13. Help my husband reach a dream of his. Mark?? Hurry up, come up with a dream :)
14. Actually begin to write down the words in my book, get it on paper. I started! So far I did the Preface, but hey, it's a work in progress.
15. Pray more. Yes I do!

Okay now time to revisit yours and finish off the year like we started it. If I can help you with any of yours let me know!!! 


Friday, August 7, 2009

things i'm selling to buy a new purse

As of right now I have 1 day and 16 hours until my ebay auction ends. I only have one watcher on one item. Blah! I won these in a celebrity gift basket.

New Maru & Friends "Maru" Doll. 21” all vinyl doll for play. Retails for $110.00, starting bid $80.00. Doll and accessories included: long sleeve shirt, vest, skirt, tights, underpants, hat, and matching purse with boots. Hard cover storybook and Certificate of Authenticity. Doll sculpted by award-winning collectible doll artist, Dianna Effner. Made from the finest materials and tested for safety for children 3 years and over

Liz Lange Natalie Diaper Bag in green. Comes with a carry-all case inside, but did not come with the changing pad or bottle holder. Has a detachable strap. Retails for $200, starting bid $125.

I haven't put this bag on yet, but it's my current l.a.m.b purse. I bought it for around $400 over two years ago, it's still in great condition but has been used. I honestly still get compliments on it everywhere I go. Planning on selling it for $75. I'm only parting with it because I need something even bigger (this is great size with lots of room) to throw all my crap in for being a mom of 3 (I can't believe that I'm going to be a mom of 3-crazy!).


We use to have a spice rack, but it never fit anyplace well and it just didn't work out. You had to put everythng in certain bottles and label them. So we just threw all our spices in our pantry and we search for them as we need them. We are use to it. Lately though, I was thinking that this isn't working out, but I didn't want to go back to the spice rack, I wanted something that different size spices could fit in. I went to Costco and found these OXO turntables for the pantry. They came in a pack of 2, one 11" turntable and one 16" turntable for around $19.00. I love them! I know they are nothing new, my mom use to have a wooden one. But these are plastic and sturdy. The smaller one fits ALL our spices, no matter what size. The larger one fits canned goods and anything else. Such a good buy and I feel instantly more organized.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I CANNOT wait until Piper can fit into Crewcuts (J Crews kids line). I know I won't be able to afford to get a lot there, but their clothes are beautiful. I am obsessed. I'm not too far away, their sizes start at a 2. I'm so excited! The way their clothes make me feel, is how I feel at Anthropologie. Here are two of my favorite spreads from their Crewcuts catalog.

meal planning

Yes, I am a meal planner. Not only that, we try new things all the time (which is a good thing only half the time). When I plan my week, I am very conscious of the nutrition facts in my meals, however I have at least one meal where we make something that we really like and ignore how bad it is for us. Where do I get my recipes? I go to Cooking Light Magazines, the Biggest Loser Cookbook, Everyday Food magazines, a few other cookbooks, old recipes and anyplace else I come across great stuff. But I don't use recipes unless they have the nutrition facts at the bottom, just so I know what we are getting and so I can keep my portions sized right. So important!

So below is an example of a week's worth of meals. I plan 5 meals per week and the other two days are either something out of the pantry or we go out!

Monday: Chili Mac
Wednesday: Pasta Primavera
Thursday: Grilled Chicken w/ Green Beans & Tomatoes
Friday: Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

I have a ton of recipes so there are never two weeks in a row where we have to have the same thing! 

Two of the meals above have links to the recipes that I have already blogged about. The other three recipes are below!

Chili Mac
from Cooking Light Five Star Recipes


8 servings (serving size: 1 cup beef mixture and 2 tablespoons cheese)


  • 1  pound  ground round
  • 1/2  cup  chopped onion
  • 1/2  cup  chopped green bell pepper
  • 3  garlic cloves, minced
  • 2  cups  cooked elbow macaroni (about 4 ounces uncooked)
  • 1/2  cup  water
  • 1  tablespoon  chili powder
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1  (14.5-ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
  • 1  (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1  (8 3/4-ounce) can whole-kernel corn, drained
  • 1  (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1  (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese


1. Cook first 4 ingredients in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble beef. 

2. Drain well; wipe drippings from pan with paper towels. Return beef mixture to pan; stir in macaroni and next 9 ingredients (macaroni through tomato paste). Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon onto each of 8 plates; top with cheese

Grilled Chicken with Green Beans & Tomatoes
from Real Simple Magazine

Makes 4 servings


  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1  clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4  6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  •   kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound green beans
  • 4  plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise


1. Heat grill to medium-high. In a small bowl, combine the cilantro, garlic, lime juice, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the oil.

2. Rub the chicken with 1 teaspoon of the oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In a large bowl, toss the green beans and tomatoes with the remaining oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

3. Grill the chicken until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Grill the green beans and tomatoes, turning the green beans often and the tomatoes once, until tender and charred, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with the vinaigrette.

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
from the back of the Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix

2- lb. boneless beef chuck steak, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
10 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 envelope Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Beefy Onion Soup Mix
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves, crushed
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 container (8 oz.) sour cream

Toss beef with flour in slow cooker. Stir in remaining ingredients except sour cream. Cook covered on LOW 8 to 10 hours or HIGH 4 to 6 hours until meat is tender. Stir in sour cream. Serve, if desired, over hot cooked noodles.