Saturday, November 10, 2012

Don't Go Breakin' My Heart...

On Monday, my husband got a call from our real estate company asking if we had two dogs.
He said yes, and they proceeded to say that we were in violation of our lease & if we didn't get rid of the dog in 24 hours, we could be up for eviction.
Whoa, whoa, whoa!
Unfortunately, by the time that I got off work to try to clear this matter up, they had already closed.
I went home & did my research.
We paid a pet deposit. Our lease says 'pets approved'.
Tuesday, I called the real estate company & asked to speak with the rental manager.
Long story short...even though it says in our lease, in black & white, 'pets approved' the home owner only wants one animal on the property. Therefore, if we don't get rid of our dear sweet Kaiser, we'll be forced to move and it will report negatively on our rental history.
For us, it was painfully obvious what we were going to have to do.
We don't have the time or the funds to move again. I spent all day Wednesday calling local breeders and vets with no luck. I finally had to turn to Craigslist. After a few emails from some pretty sketchy people, I was finally contacted by someone that seemed okay. We emailed back and forth for two days, and we finally met him last night. We really lucked out! Not only was he very nice, he has a house with a yard, and two other [older] dogs that need livening up. As much as I hate to see this cute face go, I'm glad he's getting a good home.

So today, we're all lounging around, being sad and missing our little man.
Have any of you dealt with sketchy landlords?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Happy Loser

Here I am, at a place in life that I wasn't sure I'd ever get to just a few short months ago.
I'm officially 10 pounds lighter (& counting!), which means I've successfully completed another one of my goals.
I'm not going to lie and say that it was easy or that I didn't have days where I wanted to eat everything in my refrigerator, but what I will say is that I didn't give up. It was a long journey for me mentally, physically, and emotionally. I'm not yet where I want to be, but I'm proud of my progress and will continue to work towards my new goal.

Starting Stats:  7/9/2012
Weight - 149
Bust - 41"
Waist - 36"
Hips - 38"
Thighs - 22"

Current Stats:  11/9/2012
Weight - 138.8
Bust - 39"
Waist - 33"
Hips - 36"
Thighs - 21"

It's amazing how shedding a little weight can boost your confidence. 
Next goal: High School Weight!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Work Jam

My husband introduced me to this song last weekend & told me I'd love it because it was a song about thrift shopping. And, heaven knows I love me some rap. Blasting this song on my way to work these past few days has been JUST what I needed to calm my nerves and give me good mojo.

Enjoy!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A New Gig

I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to stay home with Adelei for the past 6 months.
The past few weeks, however, I've been feeling very restless. 
It's not that I don't want to stay home and take care of my daughter, because I do.
But let's be honest. Adult interaction is priceless.
Also, being able to earn extra income is not going to hurt at all.
So, starting Monday, I will officially be a receptionist.
It's a part time gig, so I'll still get to spend plenty of time with my doll baby & hubby, but I'll also be able to get out of the house and make money.

What more could a girl ask for?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Coffee Love

A few weeks ago, Meagan from Local At Last hosted a Java Swap.

I immediately signed up. 
1. I love swaps. 
2. I love coffee.
3. I love connecting with new bloggers.

For this swap, I was matched up with Jamie from Life in a Southern Town.
This match couldn't have been more perfect. 
1. We are both named Jamie. 
2. We are both from the south.
3. We both have an uncanny love for sweet tea.

Here is what I got from Jamie B:

Flavored coffee, a cute cup with my initial on it, a Starbuck's gift card, and [not pictured] a pink travel coffee mug!

Enjoying the coffee Jamie sent me. Love the mug, love the coffee. Makes for a perfectly relaxing morning!
Thanks, Meagan, for hosting the swap. It was so much fun!
Check Jamie's blog to see what I sent her!
 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Recap

The older Adelei gets, the more excited I get about holidays. Last Halloween came and went, and it never even phased us. This year, however, was a little different. Not only did I decorate, but I also made Adelei her first costume! 

We didn't go trick or treating, but she did parade around the house all day looking cute. We were set to go to a party for our playgroup, but had to cancel because she still wasn't feeling well.


The night was low key. We watched the Bubble Guppies Halloween Special and Hocus Pocus. We didn't even have one trick or treater! 
Bring on Thanksgiving!
How did you spend your Halloween?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Snot Rockets and Sunshine

I know it's Halloween and I should have some really cool Halloween themed post, but that will have to wait.
I'm so far behind on blogging, it's ridiculous.

These last few weeks have been the most trying times I've had in a while. Maybe I'm being a little over dramatic, but in the past any time I needed a break or had so much to do, I would just take Adelei to Nanny's. I haven't had that here, so I've found ways to make it work. While I think it makes me stronger and more resourceful, it can be hard and frustrating at times.

Moving on...
Last Friday after play group, Adelei would not take a nap. Usually I just try to do activities that will make her tired [going to the park, playing outside, dancing, chasing the dogs around....you get the idea], but that day, everything was making her cry. She wouldn't eat anything to save her life. Even her favorite show was making her cry. I checked her temperature and it was only 99.8, but I decided to give her a small dose of Motrin anyway. I also gave her milk and rocked her, thinking that if she slept it off she'd be okay. Except she didn't sleep. And after 8 hours of fighting her trying to get her to eat or drink, soothing her a million times, and trying [but failing] to get her to sleep, we ended up at the ER.


Her temperature had gone from 99.8 to 102. They gave her a large dose of tylenol coupled with a large dose of motrin, and within the hour she was drinking all of her milk AND all of her water while eating some snacks. She was tested for strep throat, and we waited. And waited. And waited. And when we got home 3 hours later, the test had came back negative and they told us to take her to her pediatrician on Monday.
Awesome. Luckily they did give her some antibiotics, so we didn't have to go the whole weekend getting worse.
 
I called the doctor's office first thing Monday morning, and they called me back around noon asking me to bring her in. We got there and saw the doctor, and he was appalled. Apparently, babies this young aren't able to develop strep throat. Also, they told me that her ears looked fine [I told them she had been digging in them, which she usually does when she has in infection]. He looked and said that one was definitely infected, and looked like it was on the mend thanks to the antibiotics, but it was most likely infected when I brought her in Friday. He prescribed lots of medicine, suggested I buy a vaporizer, and sent us on our way.
I'm happy to say that, even though she still has a nasty cough, Adelei is feeling so much better. She's sleeping more normally, she's playing, she's eating [a little bit!], and she's pretty much back to her curious little self!
\
I want to give major props to single moms, to moms whose husbands are gone for business or deployments. This is the hardest [but most rewarding] job I've ever had!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wisdom, but not wiser.

I went last Wednesday to have my wisdom teeth pulled. I was assured that it was an easy process and that I would be fine. I wasn't that nervous.
It was a fairly quick, painless procedure [thanks to the numbing shots and nitrous].
Afterwards was a different story. 
They told me the medicine the prescribed would probably make me sleep all day, and I was totally okay with that. However, it did the opposite for me. It wired me. I could not fall asleep to save my life.
And because I was awake? I thought I was starving. Guess what y'all? Those mashed potatoes and soup just weren't cutting it. Add to that the fact that the taste of blood was making me nauseous, this whole recovery process was starting to suck.
On Saturday, I felt well enough to start eating solid food. Thank God! 
On Monday, things just didn't feel right, so I called the dentist's office. I spoke with the hygienist who helped with my procedure, and she basically told me that I was overreacting and just to keep an eye on it. Awesome. Monday night/all day Tuesday was spent in a sinus medicine induced dazed. And today, the pain was so extreme that I called again, and asked them to please work me in.
And they did.
Turns out I have a dry socket. They had to flush the extraction site and put in some really, really nasty medicine in it. But guess what? It worked. I feel so much better already.

So there's the reason why I haven't been around lately. It's hard to get the energy to blog when you feel so craptastical. Things should be looking up from here on out, though.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Rocking Chair

When Adelei was about 3 months old, I made the decision to not rock her every night before bed. Several of my friends convinced me that rocking her was a bad habit and when I asked her doctor about it, she agreed. The baby needs to learn to put herself to sleep, she said. I understood, and I tried it.
Some times it worked, some times, especially when she wasn't feeling so good, I'd give in and rock her. I loved it and felt guilty all at the same time. Was I setting her up for failure? It's something that I've struggled with over and over again. A few weeks ago, I read about a baby back home that passed away. She was just a little older than Adelei. From what I understand, there was negligence involved. My heart was broken for this innocent child. I couldn't help but hug Adelei more, tell her how much I love her, even though she doesn't really understand my words yet. And that night when she woke up crying, I rocked her. I have continued to rock her every night. I've decided for myself that this is okay. Life is too short. I don't know how many days we have together, and I don't want to take these moments for granted. Until that week, that rocking chair was just a chair. I could count on one hand the number of times it was used. But now, that chair evokes special memories. We rock and sing, we talk and cuddle.  It's our chair. It's our tradition. And I wouldn't change it for the world.

Monday, October 15, 2012

What I didn't tell you...

What I didn't tell you is that...
about 2 months ago,
I threw all of my inhibitions about getting my hair cut out of the window and set an appointment.
What I also didn't tell you is that, 
while I was having lovely conversation with the hairdresser, my hair was suffering.
Gapped up is actually the best way to describe it.
Trust me, when my husband notices that I'm having a bad hair day month, something is seriously wrong.
Don't worry, I got it fixed & my faith in hair dressers [some of them] has been restored.

What I didn't tell you is that...
my husband was in the field last week. As in, left Tuesday morning and I didn't get to see him or talk to him until 11 pm Friday night. It went by surprisingly fast because Adelei and I stayed busy, and I wasn't nearly as scared as I thought I was going to be about being in the house by ourselves at night [I'm weird, I know.]

What I didn't tell you is that...
I'm getting my wisdom teeth pulled on Wednesday. Or maybe I did mention it. But I'm just now starting to get nervous about it. Yikes!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Spooktacular Swap Link Up


A few weeks ago, Sara and I decided to host a Halloween themed swap. Several lovely ladies signed up, and today is the day to show off what we got!


My partner was Sarah from Embracing Chaos. I was so excited when the package showed up at my door, I could hardly wait to open it. 




Sarah sent me some of the coolest stuff! Cute little decoration bottles [which are now sitting on my mantel], a halloween card, a halloween themed [cupcake!] post it note pad, a mini coffin with the cutest earrings inside [she made them!], some jack-o-lantern confetti, and a cute little pen.

This was such an awesome package, and such a fun swap experience! I want to thank all of you who participated, and I'm looking forward to the next one :)

Don't forget to link up!





Friday, October 12, 2012

Over It

I can't understand for the life of me what it is about children and babies that makes strangers open up, but I'm completely over it.

If that sounds a little rude, I'm sorry I'm not sorry.

I'm okay with someone commenting that my baby has a beautiful smile, or even stopping at our table at a restaurant to say hello. What frustrates me beyond words and makes me fuming mad? Is when someone touches my daughter without permission, and when someone feels the need to tell me I'm doing something wrong in regards to my child.

This has been going on since the first time I took Adelei out in public 15 months ago, but this week it has gotten out of control.

On Tuesday, while at the commissary, one of the cashiers came over to speak to Adelei while I was checking out. Adelei was grumpy & the lady kept trying to make her smile. Adelei was not interested and I made sure to let her know that she wasn't feeling it. The lady touched her leg. I'm not sure if she was trying to tickle her or if she pinched her, or what, but Adelei started crying in full hysterics....
I was beyond pissed.  The only thing I could say was, 'Seriously?' Who does that? Really?
I had to completely stop what I was doing to comfort my child, who was FINE [grumpy, but not out of control] before this woman, this stranger, began messing with her.

On Wednesday, I dropped Adelei off at daycare for a few hours. When I got back, the first thing the teacher said to me was 'Does your daughter not like black people?'. Again, another 'seriously?' moment.
I said 'Excuse me?' and she proceeded to say that every time she got close to Adelei that afternoon, all she would do is scream and cry. This was after Adelei's favorite teacher left & there was only one other child in the room. Was there no possible way that she was just hungry? thirsty? tired? Oh you're right. It was none of those things. My 15 month old daughter was totally discriminating towards you.
Ridiculous.

On Thursday, a lady at Hobby Lobby made the comment that she could tell my daughter was so full of herself. I'm not 100% sure what she meant by that, but the tone in her voice [combined with my lack of sleep] was enough to piss me off. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure all babies think that the world revolves around them.

I like to think I've done pretty well up to this point about grinning and baring it. But, like I said before, I'm over it. I'm not going to stand for it anymore. If someone feels like they have the right to say ridiculous stuff to me, I hope they're prepared for the backlash.

Just for future reference, if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all. And never, ever touch someone else's child unless they specifically tell you that it's okay.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

It's a boy!

Meet Kaiser, the newest addition to our family.
He's an 8 week old Airedale puppy and he's as sweet as sugar!
Not long after we moved into the house, we realized that, even with a yard, Kami still just wasn't herself. I would take her to the dog park from time to time & we would play with her outside every night, but that just wasn't cutting it. Moves can be hard on our pets, too! So after much deliberation, we decided to go ahead and get her a companion.
Yep, that's right. We got a dog for our dog.
And I'm so glad that we did! She has so much more energy now. She's not just laying around all of the time.
Kaiser has brought her back to life.
We love him. He is so smart, and is getting the hang of things around here.
Not to mention Adelei is obsessed...
I think we'll keep him ;)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pay It Forward

When I saw this post on Meagan's blog, I thought it would be a fun way to interact with my readers.

Here are the details... Pay it forward. 
 Within 3 months I’ll create something unique to share with the first three people to comment on this post. But, in order to receive your present you have to play along. Spread the love on your own blog promising to send a little special something to the first three people who comment on your post. You get 72 hours (that's 3 days people) to re-post, or I’ll have to move on to the next person. Please only comment if you’re willing to pay it forward! Who doesn't love getting mail? Especially when it's "just because" mail! If you love getting goodies in your mailbox and enjoy spreading joy to others, be one of the first 3 to comment below (if you're a noreplyblogger, you're automatically out). 

Who's up for some fun mail?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Breaking My Heart

Disclaimer: This post may be a little ridiculous [see title]. Also, spoiler alert.

A few weeks ago, when I saw the commercial for the new show Breaking Amish, I knew I was going to be a fan. Crazy? Maybe. But I'm a sucker for reality t.v.

After watching the first episode, I can honestly say I was intrigued. We set it to record every week & so far, I've been pleased. Some things annoyed us [the whole sushi scene], but for the most part we didn't have a lot of complaints. Last night, Aaron and I watched the fourth episode, and we started questioning things.
The obvious--How did these people sign up for a t.v. show? How do they know curse & slang words if they are so religious & have little interaction with 'English' people? How does one girl have her ears pierced? One guy is 32. Why is he not married with kids in the Amish community? How does the one girl know what a stripper pole is much less how to dance on one?

I only thought about it for a few minutes after the show. Until Aaron came home and said that him & some of his friends got into a discussion about the show & they said it was a sham.
Of course I had to look it up. I found several articles about it online, but THEN I came across this gem.
The blog of an ex Amish guy. He talks about the show from the Amish stand point & tells all the reasons it's completely staged.

Like--
How pretty much all of them left the Amish several years prior to taping. 
Kate has been on a modeling website since 2010.
Abe & Rebecca, who seem to have just met & started dating on the show, are actually a couple with a child together in real life.
Jeremiah and Sabrina both were married. Jeremiah has kids & has supposedly been living an 'English' lifestyle for the past 14 years. 

So yes, this bums me out. Maybe it's not a big deal to anyone else, but I feel like I was lied to. 
I probably still would have watched if they would have just said to begin with that this was a show about ex Amish young adults experiencing 'English' culture. But the fact that they've repeatedly said that this is the first time they've left the Amish & that this is the first time experiencing all of these things, really leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

If you want to see more of the lies exposed, go here.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Drama in Suburbia

Growing up, I lived in a very small town. There was an entire acre of land standing between our house and our neighbors. Pretty much everyone had animals of some sort whether it were the usual dogs & cats or cows & goats. I never knew I'd miss 'country' life so much.
The past 5 years, I have lived in an apartment. It was fun at first, but got old quick. The lack of space and no yard to call my own was something I was ready to leave behind.
When we moved into the suburbs, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. 
I had never lived in a housing area before. My husband had, but even still, the houses weren't this close together. I was just ecstatic about finally being in a house. A few weeks after we moved in, the high that I was on began to fade. I still love this house, but getting used to neighborhood life is taking more time than I would have imagined. 
Yesterday morning, as I was in the kitchen getting the coffee started, we hear a knock on our door. Aaron answered, and it was one of our neighbors. She proceeded to say that if we didn't get our dog's barking under control, she was going to call the cops on us. As soon as she said that, my blood started boiling.
First of all, my dog rarely barks. She does bark at people she doesn't know, in situations where she's scared, and when she's being protective. So yes, from time to time, when she's outside, she will bark....especially when she smells an animal or person close to our fence. What annoys me most [other than her threatening to call the cops on us]? Is that the lady said that she has 'tried to be nice to the dog & feed her treats'. UMMM, hello! Obviously if you're trying to get at the dog through the fence and she is BARKING at you, she doesn't like you or she thinks you are trying to endanger her family. If she doesn't want your treats & continues to bark/growl at you, take a hint. She's also claiming that Kami wakes her up at 3:30 am barking, which I know is untrue because Kami sleeps in our bedroom! I don't let her out in the morning until Adelei wakes up, which is usually 8:30 or 9.  I just honestly don't see how this is possible when I am home 90% of the time [in other words, I know if my dog is barking to bring her inside!]. I don't know whether it's true or not, but she says some of the other neighbors have complained as well. She also told us that we needed to keep our dog inside [she's an inside dog, but obviously I let her out to do her business & get exercise], and that we need to video tape Kami while she's outside. Getting the cops called means we'd have to pay a fine, and if they reported it to our real estate company, we could get evicted. I miss living in a place where, if a dog barked or rooster crowed, no one got their panties in a wad.

p.s. Did I mention there are other dogs in the neighborhood?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September Birchbox


I love getting perfume samples in my boxes! It's a great way for me to try new scents without pay a fortune and having a ton of bottles taking up space on my vanity. This one, however, was just not my style. It was very...'mature' smelling. As in, it's something I would expect Nanny to wear to church on Sunday. It's not a bad scent, it's just not one that I want to wear. [full size $83]

Where was this 8 years ago? You know, when I would actually go over to people's house and stay the night. I needed this then, seriously. The gel cleanser is very gentle, yet effective. The ideal skin perfect finish is awesome and reminds me of a cross between a BB cream and mark.'s matte chance. Obviously my 25 year old self isn't going on any sleep overs anytime soon, so I'm not going to be throwing down the cash for this, but if they sold it in larger portions, I would definitely think about getting the finishing cream. [$19]

This product felt like straight up sand paper on my face. I understand the importance of exfoliating, and it's nice to have soft skin, but this? This is not worth it. I tried this product twice, hoping the second time would be a little better, but no. The back of the container even says that your face will be noticeably softer, a result that I didn't feel. If you have tougher skin, give this a try. If your skin is already soft and/or sensitive, don't even think about it! [full size $34]

This was my favorite item in the box! As soon as I saw the color, I couldn't wait to try it! It's such a perfect color for fall, it's neutrally, shimmery heaven. I'm not typically a huge fan of color club, but they did something right with this one! [full size $8]

Even though my hair isn't long enough to put in a pony tail, I still loved seeing this cute little elastic hair tie in my box. I can't tell you how well it works, but I can tell you that I'm saving it for when I do grow my hair out again! Too cute. [pack of 12 $22]

I was not at all interested in these. I am not huge into make up, so I only have 2 different brushes. And maybe because they were cheap? But don't feel the need to guard them. [variety pack $5.50]

If you're interested in trying birchbox, I definitely recommend it! Also, if you sign up through me, I can earn points!


Also, don't forget to sign up for the Spooktacular Swap!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tricks and Treats

Halloween is right around the corner, and seeing all the fun decorations at Hobby Lobby and all of the yummy candies filling the grocery store shelves is definitely putting me in the mood! Who says adults can't have fun on this awesomely scary holiday? Let's celebrate blog swap style!

Here is what Sara & I came up with....
Swappers will create a box full of Halloween fun! Boxes can include, but are not limited to: Halloween decorations, candies, make up, scary movies….you get the idea! Anything Halloween themed! 

Who can participate? 

• Followers of This is Me; Consequently. & Sara’s Organized Chaos
• US Residents or bloggers with APO addresses 
• Active Bloggers only [at least 1 post per week!]

If you're cool with all of that, click here to sign up!
Also, if you are participating, be a doll & grab the button to put on your sidebar, or tweet about it!
The more people who join, the more fun it will be :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pushing Through the Burn

For months, I've been contemplating buying an elliptical.
Last week, I took the $200 plunge.
Thinking about it was getting me no where.
Prior to this, I considered going to the gym a few days a week since the gym on post is free.
Except they don't have childcare.
And my husband 'doesn't have the time' to watch Adelei when he gets home from work.
So, I'd have to take her to daycare on the days that I wanted to go...which would take the experience from free to close to $80 a month if I went 5 days a week.
Elliptical it is!
It arrived Thursday, and it took me no time to put it together.
I'm not going to lie and say the directions weren't confusing, because they were.
I'm pretty smart & have a ton of common sense though  [thanks, Nanny!], so I didn't have any trouble just figuring it out on my own.
I am loving it!
It's easy to get my work out in while the baby is napping, and it doesn't take up very much room in our garage.
 I didn't realize how out of shape I was until I started my first 'run'. Within the first few minutes, my quads were burning so bad I slowed to a walk. And that was with basically NO resistance!
I set my goals, though, and stuck to them. I pushed my way through the burn, and kept going. 
It wasn't easy the first few days. However, I am working my way up slowly but surely.

Day 1: No resistance - 1 mile, 8 min 23 sec
Day 2: Level 1 resistance - 1.5 miles, 11 min 46 sec
Day 3: Level 1 resistance - 2 miles, 13 min 58 sec
Day 4: Sunday [rest]

I do realize that running on an elliptical is way different than running on pavement or grass. I know I couldn't do a 9 minute mile on an actual surface right now, but I do feel good that I'm at least working towards my goal to get fit.

If you have the myfitnesspal app, you should add me on there! Username = jakintheb0x

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Best Buns Ever

A few weeks ago, while on a thrifting trip, I picked up this bad boy.
It was practically brand new. 
Probably a wedding gift that was never used.
The inside was flawless & the outside was almost just as perfect, 
minus a few blue scratches. 
I made a $15 bet that it would work, and [not so] patiently drove the 10 minutes back to my house.
As soon as I got inside, I plugged it up & wa-la! It lit up like a Christmas tree.
I was ecstatic.
I immediately got online to download the user manual & get recipes.
The next morning I went out to get ingredients so I could begin my bread baking adventures.

Because of my resolve to become healthier, I have greatly limited my bread intake.
But, when I do have bread now, I don't feel bad about it.
I am making my bread fresh, free of nitrates and preservatives.

Not only do I feel like I'm doing something great for my family, but I'm also saving a lot of money!
Never again am I going to spend $3 for a pack of hamburger buns that are going to sit on the shelf and get moldy before I use them all. I'm not going to buy canned cinnamon rolls because I can make them for half of the price & they taste so much better. I will not buy Sister Schubert's rolls [even though they are delicious!] because now that I know how to make them, it is so much cheaper. And [dare I say?] better.

I'm taking you on my bread baking adventures.
You do not need a bread maker. 
The $10 you spend on ingredients will likely make a few loaves of bread, cinnamon rolls, yeast rolls, and buns. Trust me, a bag of bread flour and a jar of yeast will go a long way.

Our first stop--
The Best Buns Ever...
Seriously.

I used this recipe.

1. Put all of your ingredients in your bread maker & turn it on. Walk away & let it do it's magic.
If you do not have a bread maker, you can do this with a mixer, you just need to stand and supervise.
2. Once dough has risen for the first time, dump it out of the bread maker [or mixer] and onto a lightly oiled surface. Separate into buns. HINT: make them smaller than fist size. They will rise again & if you make them any larger you will have ginormous buns. When you get them separated, cover with a cloth in a warm area [I do mine on top of the stove while it's preheating] and leave to rise again. Do NOT skip the second rise.
3. Risen buns, pre-tan. Lather them with an egg wash, sprinkle on some sesame seeds if you're feeling fancy.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, according to the directions. It's 12 minutes to perfection in my oven, so just keep an eye on them.

I have made these on 3 separate occasions. Two of those times, we have had company & I got rave reviews.
Try them. It might take a little time out of your day, but I promise you it's worth it.
You can thank me later.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Daycare Blues

A few weeks ago, I decided that it would be best for both Adelei and I if she started going to daycare one day a week. 
She needs more interaction with children.
She needs interaction with other adults.
I need a little bit of time to myself.
Luckily, hourly care on post is super cheap.
Last week was the first time I took her, and honestly...I was a nervous wreck. She didn't even notice me leave, she was too busy playing with toys.
I was so proud of her! I was scared she would freak out & I would end up taking her back home.
But the entire 3 hours she was there, I spent my time [running errands] constantly thinking about her.
Is she crying? Is she playing? Is she being a sweet girl?
Will she take a nap? Will she eat her lunch?
When I went to pick her up, she was sitting in the teacher's lap, being rocked while most of the other kids took a nap. Not my girl, though. She smiled really big and ran over to me when I came in.
It was the best feeling ever.

Thursday, I dropped her off. This was her second time, so she wasn't as shy as before. She walked right in and started 'talking' to another baby. This time, I wasn't as nervous. I had a dentist appointment, and barely had any time to wonder what she was doing. When I went to pick her up, she was laying down on a cot. She wasn't sleeping, but she was being quiet while the other kids slept. When she saw me, she finally realized I had left her & she freaaaaaked out.
I mean full on water works, hyperventilating and all! Who knew mommy being gone for 3 hours could cause such hysterics!
I know that her going just one day a week doesn't help her social skills a whole lot, but we've also joined a local Mommy Playgroup that meets once a week as well.

What are some free [or cheap] things you've done 
with your children to help develop social skills?

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Easy Way & A New Shake

I've been back on my shake routine for a little over a week now, and I've been looking for more convenience. My spinach doesn't really hold up for very long, and I'm not a fan of going to the grocery store more than once a week. So, I decided to make spinach cubes & keep them in the freezer.
Not only does this keep the spinach from going bad before I'm able to use it all up, but it also saves a lot of time in the morning.
If you have a full size blender, I would definitely suggest using that when making the cubes.
All you need is
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 bag of spinach
Ice cube trays or a mini cupcake tin
 Pour all of the milk in the blender & fill the rest with spinach. If you're using a full size blender, I would suggest still adding just a handful of spinach at a time so you don't over work the blades. It's basically going to look like spinach milk. There is no thickness to this whatsoever.
Once it has blended down, add more spinach & blend again.
 Disclaimer: This process may not work as well if you don't have a super cute helper. ;)
 If you're using a mini blender, you will have to dump some of the liquid before you can continue with the rest of the bag. I had to do this twice. But the steps are pretty simple. Just keep about half full of liquid, half full of  spinach until you're done with the entire bag.
 Then pour it neatly into ice trays or a mini cupcake tin. If you don't use ice trays, you need to lightly spray the surface of the cupcake tin with nonstick spray.
 Pop them in the freezer over night & they will be ready to go in the morning!
I use 3 cubes in each shake. This process, for me, made 8 days worth of cubes.
When you pop these out of the molds, store them in a freezer bag to take up less room.

And as promised, a new shake recipe.
Here's the old one, in case you missed it.
I got tired of bananas.
I tried a few other fruits, but none that were blog worthy.
This, though. This is heavenly.
I can see myself drinking this for a very long time.

1/4 cup Low Fat Vanilla Yogurt
[use vanilla greek yogurt for a creamier shake]
1 tbsp peanut butter
8 oz 2% milk
1 tsp honey
dash of cinnamon
3-4 spinach cubes
4-6 ice cubes

Put all ingredients into blender & blend until frothy.
Milk & honey? I told you it was heavenly. Just try it. Don't be scared of the spinach.
If you're worried that this won't hold you over until lunch, don't be.
It will, unless you're doing a lot of activity.

What is your go to shake recipe? Even though I love, love, love this one, I'm constantly looking for new ideas!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Detoxing

When Nanny was here, I told myself I would take the chance to indulge. Up until that point, I had quit sodas & sweet tea. I had rarely been drinking coffee. Fried foods were on my cheat list, which didn't happen very often. But I didn't want to spend her time here saying 'no'. The way I grew up eating is vastly different than how I eat now, but I still miss it sometimes.
So, while she was here, we enjoyed coffee on the porch every morning. We had sweet tea.
The few times we went out to eat, I had soda.
When I ran errands, leaving Adelei at home with her, I treated myself to Starbucks [this may or may not have happened every other day].
Because I was drinking coffee in the morning, I quit eating breakfast. We ate sandwiches pretty much every day at lunch even though I had been limiting my bread intake before her arrival.
I didn't even bother weighing myself, because I also didn't take the time to exercise when she was here.
Shame on me.
The biggest problem with all of this? Is that I didn't stop when she left.
I was kind of in a funk. 
I still wasn't eating breakfast, but lunch time also passed me by & I never felt hungry so I didn't eat.
I had to cook, and I knew that if I didn't eat dinner Aaron would be suspicious, so I ate a little every night.
What had gotten into me? 
Whatever it was, I had a breakthrough. One morning last week, I stepped on the scale. 
It was going in the wrong direction!
I was furious with myself. I decided right then, I needed/wanted to get back on track.
So that is what I'm doing. I've starting drinking my shakes again in the morning, going for walks with Adelei, planning my meals so I eat healthy. The first few days of detoxing are always the worst, but minus the caffeine headache, I'm doing well.
 And hopefully soon I'll have a better update.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tot School Supplies

While I was researching and creating Adelei's curriculum, I started writing a list of things that I wanted to get.
My first stop was at the Dollar Tree, and I was so, so surprised by all the wonderful things they had!
I know I'll be picking up more things along the way, but here was my loot from my first trip.
Large Zip Lock bags, Giant Art Pad, Hair Gel*, Disney cardboard book, Wild Animal Fruit Snacks, Die Cut Letters 69 ct, Teddy Bear Cookies, Playskool Shapes workbook, Disney Colors workbook, Sesame Street Alphabet with Elmo workbook, Fisher Price Zoo coloring book, Foam Letter Stickers 124 ct, Playskool Number Flashcards/Alphabet Flashcards/Colors&Shapes Flashcards/First Words Flashcards, Animal Window Clings, Highlighters, Mini Marshmallows, Bubbles, Stickers 300 ct

All of that for less than $25. Can you believe it? I can see SO many projects with all of these goodies we picked up today, I can hardly wait! 

*I know the hair gel seems really random, but I will be using it as well as the zip lock bags to create sensory experiences for Adelei!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Alphabet Board

I have always been a very hands on learner.
I can't just hear something and remember it.
I have to hear it, see it, write it down, read it over & over.
I'm only guessing that Adelei may be the same way.
Regardless, I decided that, to aid in her learning, I wanted to make her an Alphabet Board.
Start out with a piece of 20x30 foam core. You can use poster board if you prefer, I just wanted something that was a little more sturdy & would stand up against my rambunctious toddler.
I bought these die cut letters from the dollar tree, but they also sell them at Walmart.
All you have to do is line up your letters, add a little glue, & ta da! 
Note: I used yellow & blue instead of black & white so this can also be used when I'm teaching her colors!
If you're worried about the letters coming off, you can put a coating of Mod Podge over the top. I skipped that step, though.
This is a very simple project that will act as a visual reference and help enhance the learning process.  The whole project cost about $3 & took less than an hour. I know that we are going to get a lot of use out of it over the coming weeks!

With an alphabet board, you can:
Sing the alphabet while pointing to the letters
Have your little one trace the letters with their finger
Get your little one to point to the letters as you call them out

What kind of learning aids have you created for your little learner?



Saturday, September 8, 2012

Pure Madness

Last night was the first night this week that I've been able to put Adelei in her crib and walk away. 
Every other night this week was a struggle, a fight.
Teething sucks.
More specifically, molars suck.
Not only is my sweet girl in pain, despite the tylenol & teething tablets, but it's also very emotionally draining for me. Yesterday, after 3 days of whining & grumpiness, my mind kept wondering 'when is this phase going to be over...?' I hate seeing my normally happy baby so...different.
Luckily, today was much better. 
She was still refusing to nap, but she was happy for the most part.
The only real plus side to all of this madness? All of the kisses and cuddles I'm getting. I think she knows it's been just as hard on me as it has been for her. She's been extra lovey lately, and I'm embracing it fully.

Any tips or tricks from experienced moms on how to deal with a teething toddler?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Learning with Adelei

I mentioned a few posts ago how fun my daughter's age is.
She's picking up on things & learning so fast, it's amazing.
Not that she hasn't been learning all along, but her brain is a sponge right now and I love it.
She has inspired me to create a curriculum for her!
My husband looked at me a little crazily when I told him what I was doing, but after all, I do have a degree in education, so it's not like I'm not going into this blindly.
After I put her down for a nap, or put her to bed at night, I pull out my computer and start researching & planning. What I know for sure is that the first step will be a 26 week curriculum learning the alphabet, colors, simple shapes, and numbers 0-9.
I cannot even to begin to express how passionate I feel about this right now. 
I know teaching is something that I am meant to do with my life, and I am so grateful that I have the ability to stay home & teach my daughter.
As we go through the curriculum, I will be sharing our activities, ideas, tutorials, and pictures of my sweet girl in action, so be sure to check back! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ready for Halloween?

With Halloween just around the corner, I wanted to offer all of my blogger friends a sweet deal!
All solid color tutus are on sale for $10
Any size 3 mo - 6 yrs
One color only

All two color tutus are on sale for $13
Any size 3 mo - 6 yrs
Any two colors

 

Just think of all the costume possibilities:
Ghost, Pumpkin, Bumble Bee, Ballerina, Owl, Witch, Fairy, just to name a few!

Leave your email in a comment on this post if you're interested, or email me at jaksart@rocketmail.com to participate in this offer.
Sale ends Sept. 30th.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Can You Believe It?

My baby is walking.
WALKING!
It seems like just yesterday, we just sat around enjoying each other's company.
And now?
We're constantly on the move.
Have I told you how much I love this age?
Because I do.
Never a dull moment.

Monday, September 3, 2012

August Birchbox, a little late!

Obviously, I'm a little late on sharing my goodies from August's birchbox.
Here is what I got:
via the birchbox website

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25+
I kept hearing about BB's, but was never interested enough to buy one. When I saw this in the box, I gladly tried it. I don't wear make up daily, but I will definitely use this on the days when I need to run to the store but don't feel like doing 'full face' make up. It's just enough to smooth out my skin and still looks natural. [full size $32]
LÄRABAR® über
I'm always skeptical about protein bars, but LARABAR never disappoints! This time, I got the Apple Turnover flavor and it was DElish! I will definitely be picking up a few of these the next time I go grocery shopping! [5 bars for $9]
Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur
A few months ago I received The Original Viva la Juicy sample & fell in love. This new, sweeter scent is equally appealing & will be on my Christmas wish list. It's the perfect date night perfume! [full size $70]
DDF® Brightening Cleanser
I am a face wash snob. Because of my weird skin issues, when I find a cleanser that I like, I stick with it. Lately, I've been wanting something new, and this may be JUST that. It's gentle, but feels like it's working [I hate face washes that are too smooth!]. It doesn't dry me out, and I have noticed  that my skin looks a bit brighter. The best part? Birchbox sent me a HUGE 'sample'! [Full size $38]
LiQWd Professional Volumizing Catalyst
This is the only thing in this month's box that I was less than impressed with. When I saw it originally I was super excited. After my recent [disaster] haircut, I've been needing more volume. It even came in a cute pen style sprayer. The problem? The sprayer didn't work. I even tried taking it apart to see if it was clogged. It didn't work. I then put a little of the product on my fingers & ran it through the roots of my hair before I blow dried. Unfortunately, my hair still looked pretty lifeless. I know it doesn't mean the product sucks, but the packaging did, and that was enough to turn me off. [Full size $22]

If you're interested in trying birchbox, I definitely recommend it! Also, if you sign up through me, I can earn points!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Nan visits Oklahoma

Two weeks ago today, I received a phone call from my Nanny saying that she and my aunt were on their way to come visit me! 
After 3 long months, they were finally able to come see us. That was the longest I've ever been without seeing her, and I was definitely ready to give her a big hug!
While they were here, they helped me finish unpacking the last few boxes I had & put everything in it's place. They helped me get my patio whipped back into shape & helped me organize the garage.
We did some fun stuff, too.
We spent a lot of time just talking on the patio, reading/playing with Adelei, and watching movies.
I took them with me on a thrifting adventure one day, & we made our way to Oklahoma City for a trip to the Zoo & outlet shopping.
Their 10 days here went by all too fast! Before I knew it, Wednesday was here & we were saying our goodbyes see ya laters.

The rest of Wednesday was a little morose, but just knowing I'll get to see them again at Christmas time is getting me back to my old self again.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

On being M.I.A.

My Nanny & my aunt have been here since last Saturday, & will be here for a little while longer, so I've taken a little break from blogging while they're here.
Don't worry. I'll have a few interesting stories to tell you soon.
In the mean time, check out this give away over at 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What's New?

When I started making charms, I found myself very inspired.
I started out with just a few simple charm ideas, and they have exploded!
I usually get tired of my 'hobbies' fast, but I'm still very motivated with these.
I'm constantly brainstorming for new ideas, trying to figure out things that will appeal to my customer base.
Here are a few charms I've done recently:

As I said before, I'm always looking for new ideas. If you have something in mind that I don't currently offer, please feel free to email me & I would be glad to try to make it for you!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Easy Chicken Salad

I've found that if I have my lunch planned out [or even made!] for the week, I am less likely to eat a bunch of junk. One of my go to lunch recipes is this easy chicken salad!
Ingredients:

 2 Cans chunk chicken [drained]
1/2 bag craisins
1/2 bag glazed walnut pieces
Mayo

In a large bowl, add chicken. Use a fork to shred chicken before adding other ingredients. Add craisins and walnuts. I start out by adding 1/4 cup of mayo. I love mayo, so I always end up adding more, but this is a good starting point. You want it to be moist, but not drenched. Pair it with bread for a sandwich, or with lettuce & crackers for a healthier alternative! It's ready to eat as soon as you make it, or you can let it sit in the refrigerator over night to let the flavors merry.


The best part of this recipe [other than being so simple & delicious] is that you can easily adjust the proportions depending on your preferences. Don't like cranberries? Add raisins or apple chunks. Don't like walnuts? Add pecans or almond slivers.

Another perk of this recipe...you get 5-6 lunches out of this for just $5.08 *
Here's the breakdown:
2 Cans of Chicken $1.59 each
Bag of Craisins $1.29 [.65 cent for amt used in this recipe]
Bag of Glazed Walnuts $2.49 [$1.25 for amt used in this recipe]
*I didn't add mayo into the price bc that is an ingredient most people have on hand.

There you have it. 
Cheap, easy, delicious. Can't beat that! 
Enjoy!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Goal Update

A little over 3 months ago, I posted a list of goals I was hoping to accomplish by the end of the year. I did it as a way to hold myself accountable. If I had people asking about my goals, maybe I wouldn't give up on them. So here is a quick update:

-Lose 10lbs 
As of today, I'm down 8lbs & feeling so good about myself! I know I can reach this goal!
-Make at least 2 garments for myself that I will actually wear! 
I haven't actually made myself anything, yet. But I've been getting ideas on Pinterest.
-Make a quiet book for Adelei 
Same as above! Maybe I should stop pinning and get busy? 
-Start couponing more seriously 
I'm still working on this. I DO coupon, just not 'seriously'. I don't leave the store saving more than I spend. But the lovely Sara just sent me two 'how to' books, so hopefully soon I will.
-Try 1 new recipe per week 
Absolutely! I've been meaning to blog about my new adventures in the kitchen, but I always think about it after I get done eating. Oops!
-Blog daily [not including weekends] 
I've decided that this isn't really realistic for me at this point in my life. Maybe if the blogger app on my phone didn't suck, but I don't have a lot of time to myself during the day, and when I do, 72% of the time I don't feel like blogging. 
-Create my own button/header, etc...revamp blog 
DONE! 5/9/12
-Create Adelei's 1st year scrapbook
No progress. It's still packed up.
-Create & maintain bill/budget notebook 
DONE! 6/12
-Exercise daily 
Yikes! This one varies. I try to exercise daily. But sometimes it just doesn't happen. Usually I get it done when the baby is napping, but sometimes this Momma needs a nap, too!
-Start taking vitamins 
I'm not going to lie, I totally forgot about this until just now.
-Establish a health/beauty routine & stick with it 
I'm not really sure where I was going with this? But for health, I've started eating so much better/healthier & I exercise [usually] 5 days a week. As for the beauty part....I go days [sometimes even a week+] without doing anything with my hair or putting on makeup. I'm some what crunchy.

So there you have it. I'm hoping the next 4 months are as equally [or more] productive as the last 3.

Don't forget about my giveaway!
Also, check out my sister's shop. She's giving away a children's outfit!