Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How I know I live with a toddler Tuesday

Funny clippits and snippits of my weird boy...

* Laundry day and he decides to hang out in the hamper

*Cleaning Pound Cake for a diaper change.

* Shadow play... he was really getting into it! He thought it was fascinating that he could 'see' himself on the wall.

* While I was putting the sheets on the bed, he decided it was time for a potato sack race.

* Pretending to sleep while he uses the rug for a blanket.
* He wears socks on his hands like 'golf gloves'.
* He walks around with a bag over his head. And runs into things...

Monday, March 29, 2010

New York, New York

The past 5 days I was in NYC. I didn't want to post about it before we went because I didn't want to end up on Please Rob Me and get robbed. There will be a bigger post about this, but for now since I don't have my computer for a day or two, you get someone else's pictures.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

AJ's Birthday Paper Goodies

Since my little boy is truck obsessed (especially construction trucks) we decided to do a construction truck theme this year for his birthday party. He had 3 friends over (and I had 3 of my friends there too ;)) and it was basically a playdate with pizza. And cake. And presents.

The Invitation
The Cookie Favors
(we brought them for his gymnastics class)
The Goody Bags and Cupcake Picks
(the goody bag included a CD mix of cool kid's music)
The Thank You Note

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Book Review: The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

Another magical story by Sarah! She writes romantic Southern stories with a slight supernatural twist. There aren't werewolves or vampires or anything kinda 'normal'. It's something slight like the wallpaper that changes on its own with the occupants mood. All of her stories (Garden Spells and Sugar Queen are her other highly recommended reads) involve sweets which is a fun touch. I anxiously wait for her books and then relish reading them. I never want them to end (however, if they were neverending, I'd never get anything done!!) and am disappointed when they do. I want to be friends with her characters or live in their towns. That to me, is a great book.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How I know I live with a toddler Tuesday...

I walk into moments like these...

...my two boys sleeping on the couch on a Sunday afternoon.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Giveaway! Kitchen Belleicious and Red Letter Word

Here is an awesome giveaway from Jessica over at Kitchen Belleicious with the artistry from Dee at Red Letter Word...

Chop, chop! It's over on Wednesday!! Head over and enter your name!

Beachcomber Cookies

Please head over to my friend, Serena's blog for this recipe for Beachcomber Cookies. Coconut, butterscotch chips, oats and chocolate chips... divine! And I just love the name too. Also make sure to take a look at her gorgeous photos- she is amazing. She's so magical and romantic! I wish she lived closer so she could take some pictures of my family but alas she is in NC. She'll just have to visit her friend in 'Sconi sometime! Hear that Serena? Love you! ;)


Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Girl Scout Cookies are here! Finally!

I have a total weakness for Samoas, Tagalongs and Thin Mints. I intend to gain back the weight that I have recently lost by overindulging. Actually, I can resist Thin Mints but I bought some anyway. Yum! Those girls sure can bake!!

I was a Girl Scout until 8th grade. I thought it was a fabulous experience. I would have gone through high school but we didn't have a troop left. I really did love everything about it. So that is just some random knowledge about me. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Book Review: Easily Amused by Karen McQuestion

I needed something that was a quick, mindless read and this fit perfectly. Good, not great, predictable... A fine read as I waited for Sarah Addison Allen's The Girl Who Chased the Moon. Speaking of that, I didn't get a chance to read the whole book yesterday (its release date) but I did get a really good start! And, of course, I am loving it!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How I know I live with toddler Tuesday

So, did you read Monday's post about the cupcakes? This happened on Monday afternoon... I was downstairs cleaning up AJ's mess (really I was filtering through his toys getting rid of some and moving some of the 'baby' toys to a different room) while AJ was upstairs doing something else. After a few minutes of him upstairs and me downstairs, he starts coming down the steps with a ring of chocolate around his mouth, yelling "Mama!" He took the Tupperware container with the 6 or 7 leftover cupcakes in it and proceeded to stick his face in it and eat the top of the cupcakes as if he were eating out of a trough or bobbing for apples. Hello? Where are your manners kid? Why are you eating like you are in a pie eating competition where you can't use your hands? I don't get it. I am probably encouraging the behavior to continue by taking pictures of it... but oh well. It was funny. He is an interesting character.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes and Frosting

My friend, Laura, has a son with a nut and dairy allergy and gave me these recipes. Honestly, I was skeptical. I'm not really crazy about cupcakes (apparently I am the only one...). I think they are cute but eating them (especially frosting) is not my thing. That being said, these cupcakes are really good. Very moist and chocolatey. I made them for our playgroup for AJ's birthday and they were a hit except with my son who is apparently just like his momma. I'm making cookies for his birthday next year. He likes those better apparently.
Chocolate Cupcakes
* 3 cups flour
* 2 cups sugar
* 1/2 cup dairy-free 100% cocoa powder (she told me that I could use Hershey's, so I did)
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 cups water
* 2/3 cup vegetable oil
* 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Beat with spoon or wire whisk just until batter is smooth and ingredients are well-blended.
Line 24 cupcake tins with paper cupcake liners. Fill cupcakes almost full. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until done. Let cool on wire racks and then frost.
Makes 24 cupcakes (or 22 in my case)
Chocolate Frosting
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) dairy-free margarine, room temperature (I used Earth Balance Buttery Spread, found in the fridge in the health food section of the grocery store)
* 2 1/2 tablespoons of honey
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/2 cup dairy-free 100% cocoa powder
* 2 1/2 tablespoons of water
* 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Place margarine, honey and vanilla in mixing bowl. Sift cocoa into this bowl. Using electric beaters at low speed, cream these ingredients together. Add water and sift powdered sugar into mixture. Beat with eletric mixer on medium speed until well mixed.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups of frosting

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Super AJ!

First, I have to say Happy Birthday to my very special little boy, AJ, today! He turned 3. He's such a sweetie pie. I love him dearly. We are having a small party (3 friends) over today for pizza and a playdate... maybe. My baby has a cold and hopefully he won't be so bad that he can't have his friends over. He still has plenty of energy! I will do a post about all the special birthday treats that I made for the party (I tend to go overboard according to my husband but this is the stuff I live for and like doing!). We weren't going to have a party since almost all of our family is out of town but then I was hanging out with 2 of my friends one Sunday and we were trying to get a date to get together and I just decided to do it so that we could all be together again. The 3 friends that are coming over used to be our playdate bunch and then life kinda got in the way. One moved, one of the kids started preschool and we just don't get together like we used to. So thus the party... An excuse to get together and then I also get to make some cute paper things!

But this post isn't about AJ's party. That's another post, for another time. This one is about Super AJ! My mom and I were at the One of a Kind Art & Gift Show in Chicago in December (I know, I know, I still need to blog about that too!! Now I can since all have received their gifts...) and I spied these adorable towel wraps by Wonder Kids and my mom said she could definitely make it. So she did. Saved me about $30! They sell for $38 and I bought a bath towel, hand towel and wash cloth at Target for about $8. They are really thick and soft and they had so many bright colors to choose from. Don't worry, I didn't really rip off Wonder Kids idea. Well, I did, but Martha Stewart was making superhero cape towels almost identical on her show one day with a tutorial so... Anyway, this is the one my mom made for AJ.

He's under the weather in these pictures so that's why his eyes are a little tired and puffy.

Didn't it turn out super cute? I just love it and it is perfect for swimming lessons because of the button in front so he doesn't trip all over his towel. Thanks Mom!! :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Book Review: Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) by Charlaine Harris

A Short and sweet book review... I was a little bored since I knew what was going to happen. I like True Blood (the TV Show based on this series) so much better. The characters in the book lacked depth. I had a hard time picking it up to read...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How I know I live with a toddler Tuesday...

Meet Pudding (brown dog) and Pound Cake (yellow dog). They have to go potty or so I have been told. This is the scene that I walked into one day with my almost 3 year old. Good thing he doesn't actually use that potty (he likes the big one) or this would be cute and then after you thought about it for a couple of minutes, gross. Now if I could get him to go on the potty all the time I'd be set. Pound Cake has also worn diapers and gotten the wipe down. He loves those dogs and takes very good care of them most of the time... I have found Pound Cake stuffed in the Little People silo too. And in the seat of the tricycle. And in a drawer...

Oh, and I am going to paint that bathroom. I hate that color.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Raspberry Dump Cake

I saw this cake on Stacy Says (only she used peach) and since I have to make a cake for our church's Lent fish fry and this one was seriously SO easy, I decided to whip 2 up (basically so I could try one). The second one (well, technically the first one since I haven't made the one for church yet- Thursday I will make it) is for my hubby's office since they are the ones I pawn off all my delicious baked treats to so my ass doesn't blow up. This one I could eat all day. It is SO good!! If the recipe wasn't so easy, I would have sent you to Stacy's blog but I can type it up for you! She's a funny chica regardless so maybe you still should go visit her blog...

What you need: 2 cans of any flavor pie filling, a box of yellow cake mix and a stick and a half of butter. Yeah, I know. That's it.

Preheat the oven to 350. Dump (thus the name, I know it sounds unappetizing but it is AWESOME!!) the 2 cans of pie filling into a 9x13 pan. Then dump the box of dry cake mix on top of the fruit and make sure it is evenly distributed over the fruit. Slice the butter up and place it on top like the picture I have provided for you. I know, I know. It doesn't look right, does it? It is. Believe me.

Pop it into the oven and bake it for 45 minutes. Can you smell it? That's what heaven smells like.

Go ahead and get out a fork and start eating it! Stop wasting time! You don't need to let it cool- you've been smelling that cake for the last 45 minutes, dig in already. Just kidding, let it cool for awhile. I don't want you to burn your mouth because then you can't taste anything. You can see where (the bottom left corner) I took a little sliver of it out to try it. I definitely wanted to keep eating. I shouldn't have made it in a 'take to work disposable pan' because then I could have had me a piece and it not looked so obvious. Oh well. This is going to be one of my go to recipes for when I have to bring a baked item somewhere. I am already planning to make it for our 4th of July Bash... I'll need to make it sooner than that though!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bunny Hop Swap

I am all for something fun like this Bunny Hop Swap from Life from Pippy's Perspective... It is a totally awesome way to get to know other bloggers and score an Easter basket from your swap buddy!! I don't know about you but I don't get an Easter basket from that Bunny who leaves them for all the kidlets so I am pro-Bunny Hop Swap. Deadline to sign up to send an Easter Basket to another blogger and get one in return is March 15th. Pippy will then match you with a swap buddy and send you their email address so you can get their address. Then baskets have to be sent by March 31st so that your buddy gets hers by April 4th (Easter). You get to fill your basket with all the little stuff you love like nail polish, lotion, notecards, muffins, whatever small fun stuff you want. Do you think my buddy will at least get some notecards? I think there will be quite a few handmade (and maybe homemade) items in the basket I send. Hmmmm...

Honestly, this comes at a bad time because I have a million and five things to do BUT I am still going to do it because I LOVE this stuff! Go sign up now!! Maybe WE'LL be buddies! :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Playlist! Woo hoo!

Love new music! This playlist has a few older songs on it as well as new ones... Enjoy!

Jason Myles Goss
Bon Iver

  1. Bubble Toes/Express Yourself (Live)- Jack Johnson
  2. No Reason- All Night Chemists
  3. Miss Magnolia- Matt Costa
  4. Angeles- Elliott Smith
  5. Black River Killer- Blitzen Trapper
  6. Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)- John Lennon
  7. Where Does the Good Go- Tegan and Sara
  8. Hallelujah- Justin Timberlake featuring Charlie Sexton
  9. Constellations (Live)- Jack Johnson with Eddie Vedder
  10. Get Away- O.A.R.
  11. Twilight Serenade- Jason Myles Goss
  12. Woods- Bon Iver
  13. Honey, Let Me Sing You a Song- Matt Hires
  14. A-Punk- Vampire Weekend
  15. Golden Train- Justin Nozuka
  16. Hotel Song- Regina Spektor
  17. Hold On, I'm Coming- Sam & Dave
  18. To Be Alone With You- Sufjan Stevens
  19. Behind the Moon- Matt Costa
  20. What You Thought You Need (Live)- Jack Johnson
  21. Redemption Song- Bob Marley

If you take anything away from this playlist let it be Jason Myles Goss' Twilight Serenade. I love it times a thousand! 14-17 were put on this playlist because I needed to make room on the last one, seen here. That one was just too long to fit on a CD. Bon Iver's Skinny Love and Flume are better than the haunting Woods, but I already have those two on other playlists. And the lead singer (and his manager brother) is from Eau Claire, WI so that makes him even better. Angeles has been on my radar for a few years but I always forget to download it. Tell me that O.A.R. doesn't sound very similar to Dave Matthews Band. I am actually talking about the 'Band' part of DMB... Crazy! Hallelujah is beautifully sung by JT and it rivals my favorite version by Jeff Buckley. Hope you all enjoy the new music!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Caught by Harlan Coben

Apparently March is the month for my favorite authors to release new books! Can't wait to read this one!! Hopefully it'll be available on my Kindle on its release date of March 23rd... If not I don't know what I am going to do!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How I know I live with a toddler Tuesday

AJ is trying to jam to my ipod, except my ipod isn't plugged into the headphones...

See those nice crayon doodles all over the floor? Yeah. He wanted to play hopscotch. Good thing we didn't put in the nice birch floors (see in background of 1st picture) over this tile yet for pretty much this reason. You know what the kicker is? Dear sweet daddy-o was sitting about 2 feet away while this was going on and didn't even notice. Guess who's on clean up duty of that little mess... Better break out the Magic Eraser, daddy.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Jason Bateman, I love you but WHY??

I love Jason Bateman. He's on my 'list' and everything. I have loved him since back in the day when he was on Silver Spoons. :) I was heartbroken when Arrested Development went off the air (comedy genius- movie better be coming out soon!!)... So why oh why would you do a movie like Couples Retreat??

It was awful. I only laughed at the little kid who had about 5 minutes of screen time. With a cast of funny people why couldn't this movie have been better. I miss Veronica Mars which starred the always adorable and snarky Kristen Bell (did you hear she got engaged to Dax Shepard?? Didn't see that coming...) and she has been grossly underused in the movies she has been in.
Now I have to rant about something you won't see coming. Jason & Kristen are married in the movie and are having issues with infertility. Infertility is not the end of the world. I know it is very personal and heart breaking because I am infertile. I have to say it was one of the best and worst things to happen to me. Worst for obvious reasons but the absolute best because it brought my husband and I even closer and I never would have been blessed with AJ. There are options if you are infertile. Plenty. In the movie it was the end all, be all. Bugged me completely. But that wasn't why I didn't like the movie- it was just bad. Done ranting. Sorry.

(500) Days of Summer, however, was honest. Joesph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel are sweet.

Shutter Island? Can't wait to see it. Haven't yet but I did read the book which was awesome! My husband won't go see this with me and this is a movie that I don't want to see alone. Anybody want to join me for it?