Sunday, January 31, 2010

a little monday pondering

This comes from a daily devotional I received from my church last Tuesday. I think that it could be useful for anyone of any faith. It's all about self control and what a person with great self-control does. It's a shortened version, email me if you want the whole thing.

Developing Self-Control
1. People with self-control master their moods- they do not let their moods master them.
2. People with self-control watch their words- They put their minds in gear before opening their mouths.
3. People with self-control restrain their reactions- How much can you take before you lose your cool?
4. People with self-control stick to their schedule- If you don't determine how you spend your time, then others will decide for you.
5. People with self-control manage their money- They learn to live on less than what they make and they invest the difference.
6. People with self-control maintain their health- That way they can accomplish more and enjoy their achievements.

"A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls." Proverbs 25:28

sip & see

This weekend we hosted a Sip & See at our house for the new baby. My hubby has a big family and I opted out of having a baby shower since it was baby #3. For those who are not familiar with a Sip & See, you have an open house with about a 4 hour time period where people can stop by and meet your baby. We waited until he was 7 weeks old. I definitely recommend doing this, especially if you have a big family. It's hard to get everyone to see the new baby when you first come home.

For food we had soup & sandwiches, veggies, fruit kabobs, chips, 7-layer dip, salsa, pita chips, hummus, popcorn, cupcakes and assorted cookies. For drinks we had a champagne bar, sparkling cider and lemonade, beer, sodas, water and coffee. Other than the soup in the crock pot, I choose foods that did not need to be cooked or heated up so that I could easily refill. With a new baby it's important not too overextend yourself. And, just from refilling everything I was exhausted. So glad I wasn't cooking anything.

Decorations were minimal. I sewed a few flag banners and made circular hanging decorations. We also put out baby blocks with the baby's name on it and put out beautiful bouquets of flowers.

I always try to use all different kinds of serving dishes I have acquired over the years. Some were crystal, white ceramic, etc. I also made sure to use real champagne glasses, but I did use blue, square paper plates and paper bowls for the soup.

I definitely recommend doing a Sip & See! It was perfect!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


My new babe is 6 weeks old. No matter how much he cries I am in love with him and his babiness. I'm still getting adjusted to having 3 kids though. Case in point: today after picking up Brody and his friend from preschool, I started to walk towards the car when I realized I left the baby in his stroller outside of the portable. I honestly didn't get more than 50 feet away, but I had to run back and get him. Here's to hoping I don't forget my kids anywhere again.

i got an update

What do you think of the new look? I love it! The nice women at Designer Blogs created it for me. Love them!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

home stuff

Did I ever show you the pillows I purchased for my couch? I LOVEEEEEEEEE them. They are small and delicate but totally stand out on my brown sectional. They make me happy and add a little something next to all the toys and junk everywhere. I got them on etsy at dedeetsyahop. I want more! Check out her shop for all her cute pillows. I just saw some new designs in her shop that I really like.

Monday, January 25, 2010

good words

I'm sure most have you watched or saw footage from Conan O'Brien's last show on Friday. I didn't see the whole thing but was able to watch his goodbyes to his fans. I was really inspired by what he had to say. I posted it below and the ending is my favorite. It's words we should all live by- don't be cynical, work hard and be kind. Read below!

"And finally, I have to say something to our fans. The massive outpouring of support and passion from so many people has been overwhelming. The rallies, the signs, all the goofy, outrageous creativity on the internet, and the fact that people have traveled long distances and camped out all night in the pouring rain to be in our audience, made a sad situation joyous and inspirational. To all the people watching, I can never thank you enough for your kindness to me and I'll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask of you is one thing: please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism — it's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."

Sunday, January 24, 2010

fun and cute

How cute are these Peanut Butter and Jelly Sushi Rolls? I saw this picture/recipe in an ad for Jif in FamilyFun Magazine. I would totally make these for a kids birthday party. Recipe below and you can also go to for more recipes.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sushi Rolls

2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons jelly or jam
2 slices of bread

Remove crusts from bread.
With a rolling pin or large soup can, completely flatten bread.

Spread 1 tablespoon peanut butter and 1 tablespoon fruit spread on each slice of bread.

Roll each slice into a tight spiral.
Cut each spiral into 4 pieces.

Friday, January 22, 2010

i'm selfish

Have you ever found something that you love so much that you don't want anyone to know where you got them from? You want to be the only one you know that has them. I am having that feeling right now. I just got these shoes in the mail for my new little one. He's wearing them. They are perfect, soft, amazing and adorable. I also ordered them in green. So here's where I got them (even though I didn't want to tell you).

I also ordered these tie shirts in every size for this year.

Me loves!

let's have fun!

This fav comes from my lovely friend Noel! Pretend City Children's Museum is located in Irvine, California. It represents a small interconnected city that "empowers children to learn about and meaningly connect with and expand their world." I have only heard great things about it from Noel and others. Noel said, "Cole LOVED it. We did not have a chance to do everything because Cole spent so much time on the first half! They have a market, a garden, post office, beach, house...and so much more. Cole had the most fun in the water area and the example of the trash system." Just looking at the website it looks like so much fun for the kids! I think we might visit it this weekend. Check it out here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

write it down

Do you ever stop and say to yourself, "where has the time gone?" Our daily lives are consumed with errands, chores, and to-do's. I was noticing that I wasn't giving the proper time to prayer. And, when I was praying, I would get lost in my prayers thinking about other things. Now something similar may apply to you, but not with prayers. Maybe you just haven't had time to think about your wishes, things you are thankful for, etc. Well I started my own Prayer Journal. I write in it Sunday nights for the entire week. I write down all the things and people I am praying for and I make them specific to that week ahead. Then the next week I start new ones. I will also write down bible verses that give me inspiration for that week (maybe yours are special quotes you heard). Either way, I noticed that it gives me some time to fully devote to where I am at, as well focus on other people I am thinking about. Through out the week I revisit them and they are already fresh in my mind. I know that I need to grow in my daily prayers and "ME" quiet time, but for now I feel like I found a way to help me go in that direction. It's really about finding a few minutes to center yourself. I really recommend it in any form that you would see fit.

(And to my friends now you know when I say, "I'm praying for you," that I really am! Or if you want me to add you to my prayers email me at

Sunday, January 17, 2010

hip hip hooray

I'm super excited because pretty soon my blog will have a makeover! Hopefully by the beginning of February I will have an updated look. Can't wait.

the breast stuff

This post is for the moms who breastfeed. Since it is a large part of my life right now (every 3 hours), I have to share my favs.

These are my favorite nursing pads and I have tried them all! They are soft, not flimsy and are at a great price. I get mine at Target.

I have also found that you can get great nursing bras at Target. For me, I prefer buying a bunch of cheaper nursing bras over one expensive one. I can't do laundry fast enough and they are all really comfortable anyways. I also love to have a few nursing tanks from Target for night time or just for lounging around.

And of course the best thing ever invented, the Bebe au Lait Nursing Cover. I know there are other brands that do the same thing, but this is what I have and I love it. It's 100% cotton and I throw it in the washer all the time. I didn't have one with my first child and I use to cry trying to nurse places. I never had a blanket big enough to cover me and I always felt awkward. I take this cover EVERYWHERE I go. I never leave the house without it. It makes it easy to nurse in public, in the car or at home if you have guests over. A nursing cover is a must have and I love this one. I got mine a couple of years ago at Nordstroms, but I know they sell them all over.

Almost 5 years ago (and 3 kids later) I bought the Medela Pump In Style breast pump and it's still going strong! I used it daily when I worked and I use it now at home. I know that's it's pricey but I think it was a great investment for me.

And, I've already said a million times how much I love my boppy!

Happy nursing!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

V's Fav

This fav is from my friend Vanessa. It's the Rattan Step Basket from Ballard Designs ($39) . She got this as a gift last Christmas and here's what she says about it, "no more messy-looking piles of "stuff" that needs to be taken, it all stays organized and it's even got a detachable part of the basket, which makes carrying the "stuff" up, so much easier!" Sounds perfect for any home. Thanks V for the fav!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A new baby makes blogging a little more challenging. I know this phase will pass soon! So please stick with me, I promise I will post daily in the upcoming weeks! Until then feel free to email me any new favs you have at


Monday, January 11, 2010

have you tried it?

I keep hearing about the Perfect Brownie Baking Pan on Facebook and how much people love theirs. I think I want one. I think I saw it at Target and online at Who has one and do you love it?

an apple a day

It's amazing that something so simple like an Apple Corer, can make lunchtime so easy. I never would have thought that I needed or wanted one. But we got one as a gift and I use it all the time. An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Ours sells at Crate and Barrel for $14.95 and it has a nice little cover.

cooking things up

Piper got this kitchen from Target for Christmas. We love it! Sure, it's not Pottery Barn Kids but it's darn cute and she has so much fun.

She also got these plates/bowls and cookware set from Ikea. what a great buy. The plates/bowls are $9.99 for a 12 pack (they feel like ceramic but they are made of tough stoneware) and the cookware set is $9.99 for 4. Seriously so cute to watch them play!

catching up

The more kids I have, the more I forget to keep up on our family photos. I'm great at taking them and loading them into iPhoto, but that's it! So last week I uploaded all of 2009's photos into Kodak Gallery and ordered them.

Now I know that people are steering clear of traditional photo albums and having Photo Books made, but I still like traditional photos and having a hard copy. I am also not a fan of multiple albums per year, so I always order one big album per year and have it personalized with our name and the year on it. I get my albums from Exposures and this album can hold up to 480 4x6 pictures (I take a lot of pictures). I'm ordering my album now and can't wait to fill it up. And hopefully for 2010, I'll do it throughout the year and not just at the end.

Another thing I forgot to show you that I love from Exposures is this Custom Photo Ornament. Every year I have that year's photo with Santa put on one of these and they look so pretty on the tree!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

must have

So thank you to my dear friend Vanessa P for gifting me these Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners. I finally used them tonight (while cooking her chicken taco recipe which I will share soon) and I'm not sure why I ever scrubbed my crock pot before. Seriously, if you crock pot as much as I do I would plan on purchasing these bad boys and using them for a fast and easy cleanup. I think she said she got them at Target. Thanks V!

p.s. If you don't use a crock pot, I would run out and purchase one asap. It makes life so much easier and you can guarantee an easy and healthy meal on the table with little fuss.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

my kids love them

My dad got these CamelBak Kids' Water Bottles for the kids' stockings. We love them! Great to take anywhere, easy to use and BPA free. Only $14 each at L.L.Bean and they come in different colors and patterns.


Word of these new lunchboxes came from my friend Alison! They are the Yubo Lunchboxs. They are really cute and best yet they are dishwasher safe, antimicrobial, recyclable and bpa free! Plus they have little containers for the inside, a custom icepack, and you can change the faceplates. Wowzer! If anyone has one or tries one, let me know what you think!

Monday, January 4, 2010

book review

I was able to get an advanced copy of the new book Sneaky Fitness: Fun, Foolproof Ways to Slip Fitness into Your Child's Everday Life. This book is by Missy Chase Lapine, the author of The Sneaky Chef (New York Times Bestseller) and fitness expert Larysa DiDio. It's for parents who want to find "sneaky" ways to add exercise and calorie-burning activities into their child's daily routine. It also has 50 new Sneaky Chef recipes.

So what's this book all about? It breaks down a child's age into 3 categories: Preschooler (ages 2-4), Grade-Schoolers (ages 5-8) and Tweens (ages 9-12). Each activity is labeled with which group would benefit from it. I mostly paid attention to all the preschool activities. I think this book is great for the parent who wants to get their kids to do more, but has no idea what to do! Pretend play is hard for a lot of parents. There are activities like "Window Washer" where your child takes shaving cream or colored soaps and you let them draw on the outside of a sliding glass door. You then hand them a bucket of water, sponges and/or a squeegee to wash it off. By doing this activity your child will burn 27 calories in 20 minutes and they are moving and stretching. Each activity tells you exactly what you will need, what age group can play, how many kids you need (some of these are great for parties) and when the prime time is to do them. It also tells you the fitness factor, calories, sneaky supercharge and safety precautions (like don't use menthol shaving cream).

I know lots of really creative parents who already do amazing activities every day with their kids. But for a mom like me, It doesn't hurt to have a book full of ideas to keep my kids entertained. Plus, we don't want to be raising couch potatoes.

You can buy it here!


Cafe Rio just opened up here in Southern California. Totally lived up to the hype. Pork tacos are yuuummmmmy! They are opening lots of locations. You can find them in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada and Utah. Enjoy!

potty time

We have these Kandoo Flushable Toilet Wipes in every bathroom of the house for our 4 year old. It's not easy for kids to wipe, especially with regular toilet paper! A must have for little hands.

right now i can't live without my....

(I set up a whole changing area downstairs)

(I use mine as burp cloths and blankets and yes the ones at Target are just as good and cheaper)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

eat smart

Time for me to get this baby weight off! Unfortunately I can't exercise until end of the month due to my c-section, but I can kick start my diet. And when I say diet, I mean feeding myself and my family healthy meals and snacks. I don't buy into fad diets.

I just read this quick article in Everyday Food about ways to upgrade your diet. It's 15 ways to make healthy eating easier. Although most of it is common sense, I think it's just a great reminder of ways to maintain good health.

1. Kick start with protein- eat a protein-rich breakfast, you tend to consume fewer calories through the day

2. Rethink your cooking- don't fry or saute, try poaching, roasting or cooking in parchments instead.

3. Swap it out- use simple substitutions to cut calories: pick yogurt instead of sour cream, mustard instead of mayo, and lean ham instead of bacon

4. Don't drink your calories- replace fruit juices, lattes and sodas with seltzer water spiked with lemon, lime or cucumber slices. Or go for coffee with a splash of milk.

5. Pay attention to portions- a serving is the size of a deck of cards (starchy foods the size of a tennis ball). Eat as much veggies as you want.

6. Go easy on the oil- don't pour it straight into the pan. Use measuring spoons, or a pastry brush to save calories.

7. Boost your vegetables- reduce the amount of meat and increase the amount of vegetables on your plate.

8. Choose lean protein- lower-fat meats, such as skinless chicken and turkey breast or beef and pork tenderloin, and eat more fish and meatless proteins like beans and tofu.

9. Slim down your salads- Reduce the dressing, cheese or croutons. Reduce the oil in your dressings or use low-fat buttermilk as a base. Toss salads with enough dressing just to coat.

10. Add fat-free flavor- enhance dinners with a touch of vinegar, citrus juice, spices or fresh herbs.

11. Fill up on fiber- beans, whole grains and legumes have lots of fiber and help you feel fuller longer.

12. Snack smart- choose snacks like fruits, carrots, hummus and sliced chicken breast.

13. Savor some soup- brothy soups are usually low in fat and help fill you up.

14. Eat slowly- take your time and stop eating when you are almost full.

15. Don't deny yourself- finish your meals with low-fat treats like angel-food cake, meringues and fresh fruits. Or enjoy a small portion of our favorite dessert or a few squares of bittersweet chocolate.

keep calm

For those of you who have this (mine is pink):

I just saw this:

Just something cute to add!

Friday, January 1, 2010

we love it

Thanks to my sister Jen, my whole family is now obsessed with the Keurig Single-Cup Brewing System. She got one for Christmas, Mark loved it and used his Christmas money to buy one (we got ours at Costco)! They have different models, but no matter which one you get it's easy to use. I don't even drink coffee and I find myself having a nice cup of tea every night. It's so great not to have to make a whole pot of anything.