Monday, January 31, 2011

my star

My little star

Lots of things to post about this week! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

watch it

This video was emailed to me by my awesome friend Lauren W. with a note saying, "Watch this, it takes 20 minutes. Find the time." (I love my friends that tell me what to do because they know I might get too busy). I watched it. I kind of breezed through the first part not connecting fully, but by the end I had shed a few tears with the connection I made. I laugh too because Lauren and I have a lot of similarities, but I think we connected in totally different ways. Which makes me realize that this is a great video for all kinds of women and mothers. I watched it late at night with my headphones in so I would not be distracted.

my new favorite place

Today I went to a Lakeshore Learning Store because I wanted to get something to help my son learn how to tie his own shoes. When I walked in it was like the clouds parted and the birds were singing. Why hadn't I ever been there before? So much color and so much stuff, especially for crafts! I was in heaven. I could not believe all the things that they had that I had looked so hard for in the past. Some things are not in my price range because they are for the classroom, but there were still a lot of things that I wanted to take home. So great! I did find the manipulative to tie shoes and some preschool scissors, which are hard to find. I can't wait to go back to get more.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Remeber this post? Well I tried the oatmeal and it was good!! When I first opened it, it looked watery, but by the time I stirred it, it had plumped up and was so tasty!

I was really curious about the nutrition info, so I looked online:

(Click on it to see it bigger)

and the ingredients:

I thought it would be really bad, but it wasn't. I think it's an acceptable breakfast when you are on the go!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

this and that

Since I can't afford to try this (but want to):

I am going to try this instead:

And since I can't afford to go do this:

I am going to do this instead:

I can't wait to tell you how it all turns out. Fingers crossed! I need some firming on my facial skin and some major whitening on my teeth!

Friday, January 21, 2011

it's friday

I am a busy bee with not enough time to get anything done! Laundry, calendars, homework, soccer schedules....I am drowning in stuff. So glad it's Friday so we can have some fun too.

Hoping you have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

better eating

After my daughter was born I was really into cooking healthy meals for my family. Meals with lots of veggies and good ingredients. I monitored the foods we brought into the house and kept juice boxes and gummy snacks for special treats outside of our home. But after my son was born and our lives became more stressed financially, I lost the drive and the dedication it takes to meal plan and to really pay attention to what we were eating. I noticed that certain types of snacks were sneaking in my house and we would eat a lot of frozen meals. Mostly due to time, money and stress eating. But I'm getting back on my old path slowly, making sure that we are cooking dinners at home Mon-Fri. We are staying clear of frozen food and trying new healthy recipes. I am also starting to read up on nutrition and wholesome foods. I am currently reading this book Simple Food for Busy Families. I have been skimming the book so far but I am ready to dive into their whole life nutrition approach. It's less of a cookbook and more of a guide. I want to start integrating some of the ingredients they talk about. First up will be the Basic Hummus Recipe for my one-year-old. After that I might explore the world of grain and beans more. And I definitely want to try making one of their fruit cobblers.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

i sing loudly

I got a review copy of the Kids Bop 19. I have to tell you that I like it A LOT. First run I was like, "this is cute." By the second run I was picking MY favorite songs and literally dancing in the car. I love it. But what I love most, is that I don't have to worry about what song is going to come on next and if the lyrics are appropriate. I'm addicted and the kids love to have their own special cd to groove to in the car. If you want to hear snippets of the songs you can go to the website!

Monday, January 17, 2011

friendly favs

Today's Favs are brought to us by my friend Vanessa, who always has great taste! She had some nifty new gadgets the last time I saw her so I asked her to be a guest blogger and share some of her newest favs. Enjoy!

1. McDonald's Oatmeal! Who would've thought, right!? I grabbed this on the morning of our move (since we had NO food in the pantry) and let me say, it did NOT disappoint! I would normally NEVER (and I mean never) grab breakfast at McDonald's, but I'm totally hooked on this oatmeal, now! It would be totally easy to eat in the car, too. Pretty sure it comes in at 4.5 grams of fat and 290 calories; not too bad :)

2. Ikea's Smaland!! Up to one-hour of FREE childcare!!! Need I say more!?!? Really, I dropped Hailey off one day last week and went and casually browsed up and down every aisle of the store (I was tempted to even just sit in the cafe and sip on a cup of coffee!)! She had a blast, too! During my browse session, it got me thinking if there's a limit as to how often I can drop her off??? You can darn well put your money on it that some mom, somewhere is abusing the "free" childcare ;)

3. Boon Spoon: Easy to clean, easy to use, easy, easy, easy!

4. The Miracle Blanket. This puppy is not called the "miracle" blanket for nothing! Two kids later, I've tried EVERY swaddle blanket known to man (or moms, get it??) and this one is by far, the BEST! Justin and I joke that it's kind of borderline a baby straightjacket, but oddly enough, our babies have loved it (and so has every other baby we've recommended it to)! The best part is that it is now sold at Babies R Us.

Thanks Vanessa. Now I have to go to McDonalds in the morning and try the seriously!

i need some new fav suggestions

Do you know what is really consuming my thoughts right now? Good skin and white teeth. My skin is starting to show wrinkles and get a little looser. My teeth also need a good whitening, which you can't do at the dentist when you are nursing. So I am on the lookout for a great face cream to help with fine lines and tighter skin and a teeth whitener I can use at home. And maybe a concealer for the dark circles under my eyes. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

we are gleeks

I know, we are a little behind but Mark and I have just recently discovered the world of Glee and we are HOOKED! We have been catching up via Netflix and we literally jump for joy when the next disc comes in the mail. We just received Season 1- Disc 5 and I contemplated skipping working tonight so I can watch all the episodes in a row. Such a great show!

look what i use now

I just started using fabric softener when doing laundry. Once again, I'm not sure if I am the last person to start using it....I think maybe everyone uses it all the time...not sure. Right now I am just using it on all of our towels, blankets and sheets and I definitely notice a difference. I'm a believer! I tried the Downey Free first, but I might try something with a light scent.

Monday, January 10, 2011

buys me 10 minutes of quiet time

I can't believe I forgot to blog about these Crayola Window Markers! We love them. It's fun for the kids to write all over the sliding glass doors and they wipe up pretty good with the Windex after (maybe an extra wipe or two is necessary). These are not for the outside or car windows, but I did see a blog where a mom used them to label names on wine glasses, which is cute. I got mine at Target!

i love these

I love Disney's Pook-a-Looz plush toys, especially this Alice doll. You know I collect dolls for Piper so I had to add this to her collection! There are like 46 Pook-a-Looz in all (maybe more), if I had somewhere to put them I would collect them all!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

made for me

As most of you know, I have a design business called Creative Nest Designs. My logo is a nest with three eggs in it symbolizing my three children. We have adopted the nest theme for our family. So when I saw this in the Chasing Fireflies catalog I was so excited. It's a pewter sculpture with 3 eggs in it and it says "Bless Our Nest." I have to have it. I told Mark to save the page for a future holiday. In fact, this would be a cute gift for anyone moving into a new house.

beautiful idea

image via Design Mom

I was just at my friend Robin's house and she had all of her Christmas cards in a basket on the living room table. It wasn't just cards from this year, but previous years as well. I loved that idea. But then I saw Design Mom's post about how she keeps a basket like this out all year around and it not only has Christmas cards but baby announcements and other picture cards. She says the basket switches locations through out the year, but it's always around. Periodically she clears out cards she no longer needs to keep, but usually it just keeps filling up. I'm starting this as soon as I get a nice basket to keep them in, I just wish I would have done this sooner!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

awesome toy for 1-year old

I feel like a bad mom. When I use to see these kind of ride-on toys for my first two kids, I totally ignored them. Grandpa & Grandma gifted this to my 1 year old for Christmas and he LOVES it. He plays with all of the blocks and buttons, he walks around it and he sits on it (he can't scoot on it using his feet yet). I think this is his first real toy that he loves (which reminds me I should take a picture of him on it). I think that this toy is best for a child who is walking or at least walking and holding onto things. AWESOME toy!

something new

My new blog is done. It's called My Year of Faith. This blog details 2011 and my Faith in God, my faith in the promises He gives us through His word, my faith in humanity, my faith in the heart and my faith in myself. My hope is that my journey can inspire your journey.

I will still be posting here on Amanda's Favs, because after all, it's my baby! I love this blog and my readers. So keep checking back.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

i did it

I have some really clean friends, they put me to shame. I use to have a cleaning lady but she's on hiatus for now. I am hopeless when it comes to cleaning. If I have to do it I can. But just normal, regular cleaning is hard for me. It is time to force myself to clean. So I made a schedule and I figured I may not be the only one who needs a little structure. In the end I think that this will actually give me more free time because I won't have to have these long days with a ton of cleaning to do. Maybe now people can pop over for a visit :) Who am I kidding, I still have 3 kids and lots of messiness!

And yes....I have THAT much laundry!

Monday, January 3, 2011

happy again

How did we ever live without a rice cooker? We use to have one, but it disappeared. So we made rice every possible way (in the bag on the stove, in the microwave in the bag, regular on the stove). Then we bought a new one ($14.99 at Target) because I just want non-mushy or non-overcooked rice and now I am happy again. The rice is perfect. I mix it in with baby food or add a tiny bit of butter for me. I make white rice and brown rice. I just buy bags of rice now, not boxes. I love it!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


This post is for all of my Southern California readers! Unlike what seems like every friend I have on Facebook, we do not have Disneyland passes. We did once, like 4 years ago, but I didn't like the restrictions on it and we don't want to pony up the large sum for our family to get them (sidenote: I see that you can now make monthly payments on passes, which explains why so many people can afford them). I was just reading the OC Register and saw this article. It seems that from now until April 14, 2011 Southern California residents can purchase a Southern California Resident 2-Day 1-Park per Day Ticket. From what I understand you basically get two tickets for $99 and the first one has to be used before May 14, 2011. Here is what it said on the OC Register:

"This year’s ticket can be used at either park — two visits at one park or one visit at each park. The two trips can happen any time between now and May 14."

“Our new offer gives local residents flexibility to choose which park, and a longer time period in which to visit,” said Betsy Sanchez, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman.

Now I am reading it a little different on the Disney website, that you have to make sure your first visit is before May 14, 2011 but you have to purchase it before April 14, 2011. Either way it is worth looking into since regular admission is $76 and $68 for kids. When I computed the cost for my family, it would cost an extra $77 total to get two days worth for all of us. Totally worth it, right? I am going to get more details but I would definitely take note too!

it's time- my 2011 resolutions

If you read my blog post below, you know that I am starting something new in my life. I had written out all my 2011 resolutions prior to this. In fact, I wrote down 19 specific resolutions that only needed to be fine tuned. A few minutes ago I started to fine tune them and realized that I need to get rid of of them all. For once I need to be less specific. 2011 is unlike any other year I have had before (you will know more about the theme of this year soon) and so I shouldn't treat it the same. So, with surprise and a definite inconsistency from previous years, here are my resolutions:

2011 Resolutions
1. Have faith
2. Try harder at everything
3. Be better

It's weird, these resolutions are so vague in nature, but I know exactly what they mean and they each create a feeling in me. Nothing like my 2010 or 2009 resolutions. But these are what I need this year and maybe I need to create a little less stress and pressure on myself for once and have faith that I will create a better "me" on my own.

I'm not going to lie though, I feel like I'm letting you down with these resolutions! I aim to inspire and these seem less inspirational then usual!

Have you done your resolutions yet?

(photo by Whitney Hartmann Photography-

something new

I have started another blog....a blog about faith. I can't wait to share it with you, just waiting for the page design to be done. Amanda's Favs is not going anywhere, I will be doing both!


Saturday, January 1, 2011


I tried these on....I must be between sizes because I couldn't get my size off my feet and the next size up was too big. You should have seen me pulling them to try and get them off. I was disappointed!

I finally saw this movie. It wasn't as bad as people said it was!

I am drinking this again. I broke my obsession. Now I know it was a true addiction.

I'm still staying away from this. I'm not starting that back up again.

play time

My kids love this Melissa & Doug Ice Cream Scooper Set. The scoopers are magnetic so it's kind of fun for them to stack the ice cream on. I don't know what it is, but it has provided a good amount of entertainment time! I found it cheapest at