Monday, May 31, 2010


Do you remember my friend Steve? We do this together. Well he did something new... something pretty special (I'm sure you will agree). Watch the video he put together about an engagement. Don't you wish you had something like this to remember your engagement?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

checking in

I'm past the half way mark on my "30 things the first 30 days of my 30's". I'm checking in with my progress! I have 12 items complete with 18 left to do and 13 days to do them. I'm finding that I completed some of them multiple times, others I'm waiting for the right moment and a few are big ticket items. Here's what I have left to do:

#1. Giveaway something I love

#2. Leave an anonymous gift on someone's doorstep

#3. Go on a date with my hubby to jump-start more dates

#6. Set up my etsy shop

#7. Write 5-10 goals for the next decade

#10. Send someone a letter

#12. Start a garden

#13. Sew something out of a sewing book

#14. Write 5 pages for my book

#16. Call my mom/dad/sisters just to say "I love you"

#17. Sleep train the baby

#19. Have the kids pick and do their own good deed

#22. Surprise the kids with a picnic/party

#24. Lose 4 pounds

#26. Put together an emergency kit

#28. Take a good picture of myself as a 30 year old

#29. Pray for a miracle

#30. Do something I hate to do

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I've been getting a lot of compliments on my nail polish color. It's green (like Shrek green). I'm finding that my favorite pedicure colors are a little off-the-wall.

baby purchase

I can't believe I haven't mentioned before how much we love our BOB double stroller. We didn't have to purchase a double stroller with baby #3, but we wanted to. We already have our Bugaboo with the stand board, which is all we really needed. But, we go so many places that require a lot of walking and we loved the ones our friends' all had so we decided to make this our big purchase with this baby. We are so glad we did because we love it. We use it for our outdoor excursions and use the Bugaboo for the mall and every day errands. Great buy!

party party

I love to throw a party (that is what I do after all) and part of what I love about it is making my own decorations. But, what happens when you are throwing your son a Shrek birthday party? We took six, 5 year old boys to see Shrek Forever After last weekend. I know for a fact they do not understand or care about my homemade decorations and they want the real Shrek! So I went to Celebrate Express and was so stoked to find everything I could possibly need for the party. They have every theme you can imagine and the best part is that they give you suggestions for what you might need. I bought my paper goods and favors through them and I was really happy with the outcome!

By the way, we had no idea what to do for the cake, so Mark and I put our heads together and this is what we did. Cute, right? The Shrek figure is cut out from one of the paper plates and I did a bunt cake and mixed my own green frosting (green + yellow food coloring).

p.s. Have you ever driven a bunch of 5 year old boys around....that was the loudest, craziest 15 minutes of my life. No joke.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

post update

We tried the all natural Zarbee's Children's Cough Syrup (I blogged about below). I definitely noticed a difference. Sometimes it made the cough disappear and sometimes it just lessened it, but either way I noticed it did help!


My favorite part of the Wild Animal Park is.... the killer view of the lions. I am always in awe.

letters on birthdays

I'm sure I have told you before that I write a letter to my kids every birthday. I type it up and seal it away for when they turn 18. I just finished writing Brody's letter, as he turned 5 today. Wow, how the time flies by! Reflecting on what kind of boy he is and how much I love him is the best way to finish the day. I can't wait to think of what these letters might mean to him when he is older. Do you want to do something similar but you have missed birthdays already? Who cares! I started this tradition on Brody's 3rd birthday and I went back and made one letter about his birth. I think he won't mind that I missed those first two years. Happy writing!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

health stuff

The nice people at Zarbee's sent me two trial bottles of their new Children's Cough Syrup. Now, cough syrup is something I have never carried in the house because it is not recommended for young children. But, this cough syrup is different. It's all natural and okay for children as young as 12 months. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm actually looking forward to it (as much as I could possibly be looking forward to my kids getting a cough). It was also created by a pediatrician. A list of ingredients are below:

Ingredients: Honey proprietary blend (buckwheat, wildflower), water, natural flavors, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), citric acid, zinc gluconate.

If you want to try Zarbee's you can receive a free bottle by following the steps here. Just a reminder, I haven't actually tried this product yet.... but I want to.


5 reasons why this is one of my favorite desserts:
1. You can make it in less that 5 minutes and it can be made on the spot at a party
2. It's cheap to make
3. It's light and refreshing
4. It tastes good
5. It has no dairy for those people with dairy intolerance

All you do is buy the already made angel food cake in your grocery store's bakery. It's usually with the pre-packaged cookies and desserts. Buy a carton of strawberries. You can either just cut the strawberries up, like in the picture above. Or, in our family we mash them up and add some sugar so it's more like a sauce. Sometime I slice the cake in half and make a layer of strawberries inside too. No matter you do it's great. And, if you find that you forgot you said you would bring something to a potluck, it requires no preparation or thought!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

it's friday already?

I can' You will have to forgive me, but I am just so tired and I can't catch up from vacation. Maybe it's the 3 kids, not sure, but I haven't been able to get anything done since we got back. This picture above is the disaster that is my desk. It's ridiculous. Hopefully I will be able to catch up this weekend!

I promise lots of posts next week. Please come back.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

a new fav

My lovely friend Vanessa gifted me one of these Copco, eco-friendly To Go Cups. I love it! Mine is for cold drinks (pictured on the left above), but you can also get one for hot drinks (pictured right). It's even cuter in person and BPA free. I can't wait to use it at like a fast-food place instead of one of their cups, I wonder if places will mind as long as I pay for a drink? I'll let you know. You can pretty much find them at a ton of stores like Target, Macy's, etc. Drink up!

Monday, May 17, 2010


I'm excited about some pretty things I got for my 30th birthday! All I want to wear this summer is a cute pair of jeans and a white, ribbed tank top. These pieces will accessorize it perfectly! Everything purchased at Nordstrom.

summer is coming

If you use a beach umbrella, you need to have a beach umbrella anchor. Last year we bought one that was plastic. However, Mark bought one in Florida that is metal and it is SO much better. It's called The Original Sand Grabber and he got it at Walmart for around $10. If you don't know what it is, you corkscrew it into the sand and then put your umbrella into it. It holds it tight and you don't have to worry about your umbrella flying away or falling over. A total must-have for beach bums.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

travel stuff

Just got back from vacation and we survived! 7.5 hours of traveling, on two planes each way, with 3 kids, it was crazy but successful. Trust me, people reminded us we were crazy plenty of times, but we are brave. I would much rather travel with the kids then not travel at all. Plus, we've been doing this since Brody was a baby (he's been to 7 states already and Piper has been to 5), but we have never done it with 3 kids. Mark and I made a list of all the travel advice we could think of. Some of it may or may not apply to your family or your travel plans, but if one thing helps we would be happy (and no, we never drug the kids).

Travel Tips with Young Kids

Airplane Tips (we travel Southwest)

1. Pack fun bags for the kids. Put a bunch of new, different types of things in each one and do not let them see it until they get on the plane. Between the two older kids we had Wikki Stix, card games, Leapfrog, DVD players, new movies, paper, markers, crayons, little toys, Barbie, jewelry crafts, stickers, etc. Trust me, I didn't spend a ton of money. Most of it was from the $1 bins at Michael's.

2. Do not take a million carry-ons. We had 2 car seats, a boppy, a backpack for Mark and a rolling bag for me. The kids do not need their own bags and you do not need a purse too. Make it as simple as possible.

3. Always check in curbside so you can unload all your bags and get rid of them right away. It may cost you a tip but it's well worth it and less lines for the kids to wait in (they will have enough of those). The curbside guys can do pretty much everything that can be done inside. Even on our return flight we did curbside before we returned the rental car.

4. Since we are a family of 5 (needing 4 seats and a lap infant), we had to split up on the plane. The hardest child goes with one parent (our 2 year old), and the two easier (baby and 5 year old) with the other. Dad and the 2-year old sat behind me and the other two, so she would be kicking our chairs and no one else's.

5. Always nurse your baby on takeoff. It's worth having a hungry, crying baby when you are waiting to get on the plane then to have a fussy baby at takeoff. Plus I try to time those feedings with naps. It's the one time that nursing-to-sleep is your best option.

6. I always take my boppy (and of course nursing cover) on the airplane. Easier to nurse baby and have the baby sleep. I even keep the nursing cover on to let them sleep easier.

7. Some airports (not all), will let you take a Smart Carte (luggage carriers) all the way up to the security belts so you don't have to lug all your crap in line. So nice!

8. Southwest lets you take 2 bags per person for free. Save a few bags in case you want to bring stuff back.

9. If you have a lap child it is SO worth it to take your infant seat (don't forget the base) with you on your flight. If the flight is not full, you get to have a free seat for the baby. If the flight is full, you just check it at the gate and it's waiting for you when you get off. First thing we do when we get to a gate is go to the counter and find out if it is a full flight. On our flights this vacation we got to have that extra seat 2 out of 4 flights. So worth it!

Hotel/Vacation Tips

1. Before you get to your destination, find the closest Target/Walmart and MapQuest it from your hotel. Make that one of your first to-do's so you can buy snacks, extra diapers, etc.

2. Say yes to help. Let whomever wants to help you, help you. Let airport people help you, flight attendants, hotel people, etc.

3. Rent a car. I know it gets expensive, but look for good deals. The minivan was good for us this trip. Do a lot of research. It's worth it to be able to get to the grocery store, look for cheaper food, etc. Now don't forget to find out how much parking is at your hotel ahead of time. It's VERY expensive to park at hotels in New York/San Francisco so you might want to split your time or consider other options.

4. Pack a small first aid kit, a screwdriver/multi tool, extra batteries, and lots of plastic grocery bags. Trust me.

5. If your baby loves a baby swing.....either take or buy a travel swing. We bought one the first day of our vacation and it saved our asses. It wasn't cheap but it went everywhere with us (on the beach, at the pool, visiting family, in the room) and we brought ours home with us in our luggage or we could have left it in the box too.

6. If you are staying at a resort, especially on the beach, do not get suckered into renting cabanas every day. At close to $50 a day, it can get crazy for a week. But you also need your kids to have a place to rest without going up to the room all the time. We went to Walmart, bought a $20 heavy duty beach umbrella (and a corkscrew digger for it) and a $15 beach chair. We put it up every day and it was perfect. We also brought both things home with us.

7. Our hotel's self-parking was kind of far. So for $4 extra a day (minus the tips) we parked valet. SO WORTH IT with 3 kids! We called down for our car ahead of time whenever we were leaving. Easy, easy. I never had to wait for Mark to bring the car around.

8. If your hotel has a Concierge or Club Level, think about staying on it. We had breakfast and snacks all day, as well as free drinks and water. That stuff gets costly after a week so we felt like we saved a lot of money. If the price difference is reasonable, definitely consider it.

9. Really think about what you are packing, especially for long vacations. Do not take everything with you. I pack enough diapers for 2 days and buy diapers there. I don't take all the food we own, but take snacks for the plane and food in our bags to start and buy more when we get there. Balance out your needs.

10. My last tip brave. Traveling with kids is work, but it's rewarding. You set the tone for their adventure. I prayed for peace and patience before we left. They were amazing. I didn't get to relax or read a book on the plane, but I kept them busy and it paid off.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

30 things i want to accomplish the first 30 days of my 30's

S0 my 30's are officially here! (Happy Birthday to me) I decided to start my 30's off the way that I want them to be characterized after they are done. I want them to be remembered as 10 years of continually doing things to better myself and other people. I am excited for my 30's and all the possibilities they hold for me. I know that I am going places and I want to be prepared for the adventure. So here are 30 things I want to accomplish the first 30 days of my 30's (May 14 - June 12). They may seem like no big deal, but each one serves a purpose to continue/start/remember/stop doing things that are important to me. As a whole they make up the person I want to be more of. Now let's get started, I will keep my checklist on me at all times, and I will let you know what happens on June 13th. Maybe you will be the recipient of one of my to-do's!

30 things I want to accomplish the first 30 days of my 30's

1. Giveaway something I love

2. Leave an anonymous gift on someone's doorstep

3. Go on a date with my hubby to jump-start more dates

4. Give a stranger a compliment

5. Donate to a new charity

6. Set up my etsy shop

7. Write 5-10 goals for the next decade

8. Do a good deed for a friend

9. Do a good deed for a stranger

10. Send someone a letter

11. Try something new (anything)

12. Start a garden

13. Sew something out of a sewing book

14. Write 5 pages for my book

15. Buy myself a present

16. Call my mom/dad/sisters just to say "I love you"

17. Sleep train the baby

18. Teach my kids a valuable lesson

19. Have the kids pick and do their own good deed

20. Give a friend a compliment

21. Surprise hubby with something

22. Surprise the kids with a picnic/party

23. Try a new recipe

24. Lose 4 pounds

25. Bite my tongue when I am about to make a negative comment about someone

26. Put together an emergency kit

27. Have a whole day where the kids pick whatever they want to do all day

28. Take a good picture of myself as a 30 year old

29. Pray for a miracle

30. Do something I hate to do

Monday, May 10, 2010

a non-fav and a copy-cat

I'm posting about a non-fav.....I don't like to do it often, but here it goes.

My non-fav are the jelly beans at the mall candy shop that look like Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. Mark and the kids bought me some for Mother's Day. I hate that they got duped, because they taste nothing like the real deal. In fact, they are kind of gross. Don't you hate it when that happens? You can't always copy a good thing.

On the other hand, I went to Michael's and bought the kids the copy-cat version of these. They only cost like $1/box and they are awesome! Great fun for little hands (and adults too, Mark and I had a flower building contest). Found them in the $1 bin aisle.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

new sponsor and a special promotion

If you read my blog, you know I LOVE pilates! I never get sick of it and my body loves it too. So I am thrilled to announce my newest blog sponsor Studio 5 Pilates & Yoga. Rachael owns Studio 5 and has helped me get my body back after the last two babies (still working on it after the last one). So besides announcing her as a sponsor, I also asked her a few questions.

5 Benefits of Pilates?
· Improve strength, flexibility & coordination
· Enhance mobility & stamina
· Tone & build long, lean muscles without bulk
· Offers relief from back pain & joint stress
· Engage the mind, enhance body awareness, reduce stress & boost energy

5 Favorite Workout Songs
· I Gotta Feeling- Black Eyed Peas
· Where the Streets Have No Name- U2
· Nickles & Dimes- Social Distortion
· Forever Young- Jay Z
· SexyBack- Justin Timberlake

5 Things She Can’t Live Without
· My hubby, Mr. Hrisca
· UGG boots (literally live in them)
· Teppanyaki food
· Scarfs
· My DVR

Seriously Rachael is the best instructor and Studio 5 is such a great studio (they have yoga and barre classes too). Rachael is having a special promotion for my blog readers! She is having an "Amanda's Fav's" special which is 5 classes for $100 + a Barre class! That's so good! This offer expires June 1st. I promise you'll love it!

happy mother's day to my mom

I adore my mom! Here's what I told her I like best about her:

“She never was afraid to tell me no,
she always tells me the truth,
she is her own person and never
tries to be anything different.”

My mom is an individual, she's strong, she's giving and she taught me to be independent and generous. Isn't it funny that we don't really appreciate our moms until we become moms ourselves? Now I know why she was so strict and I'm grateful that she didn't give me everything that I wanted. So on Mother's Day I celebrate the fabulous woman who raised me.

I love you!

(my mom hates getting her picture taken so I could only find this profile view)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

winner winner

Congrats to the winner of the We Choose Joy Giveaway, it's perfect that her name is Joy!

Anonymous said...
I LOVE the tie shirts....too cute!!!!

Thank you everyone or entering! Please keep We Choose Joy in mind for baby showers or cute gifts! You won't be disappointed!

Friday, May 7, 2010

new decoration ideas

I am always looking for new ideas for party decorations and I think these Paper Globes are my next try! Click here for the Standing Paper Globes tutorial and click here for info on the Hanging Globes. Now I just need a party.......

Thursday, May 6, 2010

stay tuned...

I am turning 30 in 8 days. I have seen so many bloggers do a list of 30 things they want to do BEFORE they turn 30....but not me! I have composed a list of 30 Things I want to do the first 30 Days of my 30's! I will give myself 30 days to complete my entire list and I am excited. They are things that express how I want my 30's to be in obvious and subtle acts. Can't wait to share and maybe inspire others to do similar tasks.

don't forget to enter!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway a few posts below! Tomorrow is the last day to win a cute tie onesie/tee or a oneise/tee with your baby's initial on it!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

don't gossip....but

We all know gossip isn't good, BUT if you love celebrity gossip, you need to get this app for your iPhone. It's the Gossip Junkie App. Basically it is the one-stop-shopping for all your celebrity gossip sites on one screen. It really is a Gossip Junkie's dream. Go to iTunes and search "Gossip Junkie." You're welcome.

my feet are happy

Okay I got them and I love them. Soooooo comfy!! TOMS Ash Canvas Classic Shoes. I want another pair now! I don't feel guilty wanting another pair because of the One for One. With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

a new sponsor & a giveaway! (hooray)

I am so excited to introduce my new sponsor, it's Rosie from We Choose Joy! Now if you know me personally you have already seen my son wearing the So Handsome Tie Bodysuit! So cute right? He has one in every size for his first year and I have given many as gifts. They are definitely a fav and the tie can come in a bunch of different fabric choices.

In Rosie's shop you can also find the LMNOP Tees/Bodysuits. You can pick any one of her fabrics to customize the onesie with the first letter of your baby's name.

I am also in love with her eco friendly hats and shoes (yes we have some of those at our house too)!

Now, Rosie is giving away either a So Handsome Tie Bodysuit/Tee or a LMNOP Tee/Bodysuit of your choice! So cool right? I know your little one will look adorable in either one. And, if you don't have a little one of your own, it's the perfect baby gift for an expecting mother (I just got a bunch of "oohhhs" and "ahhhs" at a baby shower where I gifted one this weekend).

Here's how to win:

1. One entry for posting a comment telling me what your fav item is in her shop.
2. A second entry for purchasing any single item and if you win, you will receive any set hat and shirt of your choice.
3. Two more entries for buying a hat and shirt set, and if you win, you will receive a $50 gift card.

This adorable giveaway will end at 5pm PST on Friday, May 7th. Good luck!