Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Happy Birthday Little G!!


Little G’s first birthday party was several weeks ago now, but it is certainly worth mentioning, even at this late date. What a success! This is the first time I’ve thrown a party without my stepmom’s help, and it turned out great. We had a lot of help from two of the Aunties, which was much appreciated! We decided to do an Under the Sea Pool Party because Little G just loves swimming and watching sea creatures, plus the in-laws have the perfect party room at their condo, which is right by the pool. We had way too much food, but other than that it turned out great. Below are some pictures of the party, and instructions for my DIY favors.



  • 16 glass baby food jars, empty, washed, and label and sticky stuff removed
    • I used Goo Gone and a paper towel to get the sticky stuff off, then washed again
  • Blue acrylic paint
  • Acrylic gloss paint
  • 2 Paintbrushes
  • 1 or 2 bowls
  • Newspaper
  • Water
  • Silver fine glitter
  • Sequins or confetti (themed to match your party theme if possible)
  • Hot glue gun & glue sticks


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Lay out newspaper on a hard flat surface. I used an old magazine and our kitchen counter since I didn’t have newspaper or a table to use. Lay the baby food jar tops, opening down, on the newspaper. Then you will want to paint the tops, making sure to paint the whole surface but get as little on the rim as possible, because it will stick to your newspaper. You can either mix the paints, or use blue first, let it dry, and then paint the gloss paint over it. I have tried both, and they give the same results. Once they are dry, do a second layer, and maybe a third, so you can’t see through the paint to the writing on the jars.


Then fill the jars all the way to the rim with water. Depending on what color glitter and confetti you are using, you might want to add food coloring too, but mine were multi-colored, so I left the water as-is. Then fill with as much glitter and confetti as you like. I put quite a bit, since I wasn’t coloring the water and wanted it to be fun & festive. Then carefully hot glue the inside rim of the top, or the outside rim of the jar, and quickly twist the lid on the jar tightly, before the hot glue dries. Once dried it is sealed. You still want to keep an eye on little ones, as it is still possible to unseal the lid with enough determination. I’m sure Little G could do it, if left to his own devices for long enough! And there you have it, easy DIY party favors! Comment and tell me what DIY party favors you have made for your children’s parties, I am always looking for suggestions for next year!!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Love you to ‘pieces’, Daddy!

Someday I will get in the habit of posting weekly, or maybe even more often than that! What a novel idea.

What a whirlwind the past few months have been. I found out I am losing my job, but in order to convince us to stay until they officially close us down, they are offering a pretty decent bonus, but we only collect if we stay until they close us down. If we leave, even a day before they close, we get nothing. It’s definitely clever on their part, but also kind of stinks for us. The good thing is that we will get a 60 day notice before they close us (or eliminate that specific position) so we will have time to look for another job. I love my job, and I love my company, but I don’t want to go through this situation again, so I am planning on staying in my field of finance, but leaving the worker’s comp industry. Maybe I will go work for a school, so I can have time off to spend with little G. Who knows. It will be interesting to see what God has in store for me in the future. I have a few ideas of what I would like to pursue, but only He knows what will be. As my grandma always said, “We’re not in charge, and it’s a good thing we’re not!”. Gosh I miss her…

Anyways, the purpose of this post was to share with you what we did for our Father’s Day craft. I had ordered my husband the football jersey that he had been bugging me to get him FOR MONTHS, and it was supposed to arrive the Thursday before Father’s Day. I had it shipped to work so that Mr. Nosey wouldn’t see what it was. If he’d seen the package from, he would’ve known right away what it was. I was working from home that Friday so we could leave right after work to go out of town to visit my family for the weekend, so I was anxious for it to arrive on Thursday. But it didn’t. Sure enough, it arrived on Friday, to work, while I was at home. Of course. For those of you that don’t know, I do not live close to work, at all. So it’s not like I could just drive on over real quick and pick it up. One of my coworkers was nice enough to offer to bring it to me, but she didn’t get out of work until 5pm, and we were leaving before 4pm. So I by husband that he would not have his present to open on his first Father’s Day. To top it off, I’d bought him a really sweet card, and hidden it in the room, again so Mr. Nosey wouldn’t see it, but about 30 minutes into our road trip, I realized it was still hidden in the bedroom!! To this he said, “Great, the best first Father’s Day ever!”. Mind you, he was joking around, but I’m sure he was disappointed, and I don’t blame him. I was in big trouble and I needed to figure something out quick! Like most young families, we are on a pretty tight budget, so the jersey was just about all I could spend money on. I hadn’t gotten him a separate gift or card from little G, so I knew doing a DIY gift would be the easiest and least expensive way to go. Little sis is pretty crafty, so I knew she would be up for helping me out. We looked on pinterest (LOVE pinterest!!) and found a few cute ideas involving kids and pictures, so we took aspects from a few different pins and made it our own. Here are the links for the original ideas that we looked at:

You can also peruse my Father’s Day board for other ideas at

For our craft, we decided to make a picture frame, with puzzle pieces around it, with a picture of little G holding up a sign that says “I love Daddy” with Scrabble letters.


Wooden Frame – unfinished

Blue Acrylic Paint

Acrylic Gloss Paint

Paint brushes

Small Puzzle

Hot Glue Gun & Sticks

Scrabble Letters

Painters Tape

Chalkboard Hanging Sign

One cranky Little G

What we did:

First I painted the frame because I wanted to give it time to dry. I painted it blue. Then realized the acrylic gloss paint was supposed to be mixed with the blue paint. It said I could also use it as a finishing coat though, so that’s what I did. Oops! Once it dried, little sister hot glued the puzzle pieces to the frame. She is the artiste so I left her arrange them for me. We used a lion puzzle, because we thought the colors would make the blue pop more, which they did, and because Little G’s room is Lion King themed. Little sister then taped the scrabble letters to the chalkboard sign, because it had to be perfect and centered just right. She’s a little bit OCD. Maybe a lot…Then came the fun part, taking pictures. Within about 2 seconds of handing Little G the sign, he started peeling off the letters and immediately put them in his mouth. Choking hazard, anyone?? We took them away, he got mad, we stuck them back on, gave him the sign back, and would repeat, while little sister was trying to snap as many pictures as possible at the same time. We went back and forth like this over and over again. We tried different locations in her apartment, tried standing, sitting, squatting, etc. She used the rapid fire feature to just keep taking pictures to try to get at least one good one. Oh, I forgot to mention, she has a very needy Jack Russell too. The whole time, all he wanted to do was play ball, so in between shooting pictures, she would have to grab the ball and throw it as far as she could across the room to try to buy us a little time. Oh to be a fly on that wall that day…We finally had to lock him up in the bedroom because it just wasn’t working. We got a few decent pictures of him smiling, but we (she) decided this one was the best. I have to say, I am really happy with how it turned out, and hubby loved it! I decided to write “I love you to ‘pieces’” in the card, instead of on the frame, because I like the way the frame looks with the puzzle going the whole way around it.

father's day


Until next time…xoxo

Friday, September 20, 2013

Maternity Leave

I went back to work this week, which got me thinking about maternity leave, and how little the US does to support new mothers. I did some research and what I found shocked and disappointed me. According to an article from The Huffington Post, 176 countries guarantee paid leave to working mothers, and some provide paid leave for fathers as well. There are a very few who offer no paid leave for new mothers, including Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Lesotho, and of course the United States. According to a report by Save the Children, more generous maternity leave policies can greatly impact a child’s life, because they typically are breastfed long, and resulted in a longer life expectancy as well.


According to The Nation magazine, the lack of paid maternity leave in the US causes many young families to go into debt. The most disappointing fact in this article was that “almost 30% of employers offered paid leave for new mothers in 1998; only 16% in 2008”. I just can’t understand why companies are cutting back on maternity leave, instead of making it better. As one of the most powerful countries in the world, I would expect that we would want to be a leader in taking care of those people who are supplying the future generation.


So here I sit after three days of work. The little one is sleeping away, because he is so exhausted from crying all day for the past three days, because he has been refusing to take a bottle because he misses Mommy and knows “breast is best”. Hopefully before I have the next one these policies will start to change for the better.


Sources: (This link has a list of several countries and their respective maternity leave policies.)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

We hate shots!

Gabe got a couple of his two month vaccinations on Monday. We decided that we want to split them up, so he isn’t getting so much medicine, etc, at a single time. We have decided that for our family the benefits of vaccinating outweigh the risks because hubby works at a hospital and there is no telling what kind of diseases he comes in contact with, and even though he showers before touching Gabe every night, we still think this is the best choice for us. We decided to do the oral Rotavirus and the DTap, Hib & Polio (one shot) first, per the doctor’s recommendations because those are less likely to have side effects than the Hep B and PCV, which he will get in two weeks. Gabe was such a good boy, took the oral with no fuss, probably because he is used to getting his Vitamin D that way (and his gas drops occasionally). He barely cried on the shot too, and that was a BIG needle (I made the mistake of looking!). So we went home thinking that he would be ok, since he was fine when he got the Hep B at his week-old appt. He slept for awhile, then woke up right before hubby left for work, crying. And he just kept crying and crying, for an hour, uncontrollably. He wouldn’t nurse, singing & rocking didn’t help, nothing helped. He’d fall asleep for a minute or so & then wake up crying again. Thank goodness my mother-in-law happened to show up about that time, and saved the day. She said he was probably hurting at the injection sight, and suggested giving him Tylenol to help with the pain. I hadn’t thought about that, and hadn’t planned on giving him Tylenol since he didn’t have a fever. Well, I didn’t even have Tylenol. She sent her husband to the store to get baby Tylenol & then we gave it to him. Within 20 minutes Gabe started to calm down. He did much better the rest of the day, though he still wouldn’t nurse well and was pretty clingy, but at least he wasn’t screaming uncontrollably! He had another meltdown about an hour before Robert came home (Mommy might’ve joined in on the meltdown at that point too), but then fell asleep and did pretty well overnight. He was about the same the next morning, until about 3pm, and then he started having trouble again. He wasn’t crying like before, but he was just awake. WIDE AWAKE! He was clingy, and still wasn’t nursing well. From 3pm-3am he slept for a total of 2 hours, and not even 2 hours straight! By the end of that 12 hour stretch he was completely exhausted (as were Mommy & Daddy), starving, & fussy beyond belief. He finally passed out a little after 3am, and thus began the road back to normalcy. Three days after his shots, Gabe is finally his happy self again. We will definitely be more prepared next time, with Tylenol, patience, & some extra help too! Needless to say, in this household, we hate shots!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What a day!

So I haven't posted in a looong time. Things have been super crazy! Working full-time, taking accounting classes, and starting my Mary Kay business back up! And still trying to find time for friends and family! But things are great!

Here's how today went. Got to sleep in for an extra 30 minutes, woo woo! Got to wake up with hubby, which was great, even though it was 7am. Went to the courthouse to apply for our passports. We thought we were applying for the passport cards, but the lady on the phone gave me the amount for the passport book, and since we were paying with a money order, we decided to just go for it. We agreed that we will need to fly somewhere internationally in the next 10 years to make it worth the money! ;) We are already throwing around ideas. Hubby suggested Ireland so he can see where they filmed part of Sons of Anarchy. We'll see. I'd like to go to an island in the Caribbean, or to British Columbia, or to Spain, or to Australia, or to...well, you get the idea! Anyways, the ladies at the courthouse were really nice and got things taken care of quickly. They said 2-3 weeks for the passport to come, which is good since we leave in 25 days!! I'm really going to have to work on my base tan over then next few weeks if I want to keep from burning while we're on the cruise!

So then we went to Starbucks so I could get breakfast because I'd seen this Cage-free Egg White, Turkey Bacon, & Cheddar sandwich they sell the last time we were there and really wanted to try it. It was ok, but not great. I love that they use cage-free egg whites and turkey bacon, but I have to be honest, the egg white & cheese english muffin from Subway is much better. Plus, then I can put tomato on it too.

Got to work a few minutes early, and got to save 15 minutes of my PTO time. Woo woo again! Work was crazy. We have so much work to do, and not enough time. But on the upside, my new Scentsy warmer came in today so I got to bring that in & set it up. Everyone LOVED it! I love it too! The scent I got is called "Be Still" and it was very relaxing which helped me keep the stress away almost the whole day. I did have a little freak out at the end of the day, but that's a huge improvement! Here's the picture of the warmer.

Very zen-like right? You can't really tell, but it actually glows when you have it turned on. Super cute! And I can use all the zen I can get while at work!!

Today is weigh-in day at Weight Watchers and I almost chickened out and took a no-weigh-in pass, but I sucked it up and weighed, and I lost!! I was really surprised because I haven't been doing great on tracking, and I had a lot of sodium today, plus half of a cupcake for a coworkers birthday. I only lost 0.4 lbs, but as my Weight Watchers leader says, there's a minus in front of the number and that's all that matters! Of course then I went to Moe's for Free Queso Day and totally blew it! LOL! But I will pick myself back up tomorrow and make up for it!

I also pledged to donate to SpiritFM which is the Christian radio station that is basically all I listen to anymore. They are doing Share-a-thon to raise money because they are a non-profit radio station and it just felt like the right thing to do. It isn't as much as I'd like to give, but I'll get there!

So I got home, ate way too much (chips & queso), and as soon as I'm finished, I get a text from my sister asking if I want to do The Color Run in St. Pete this year. I had no idea what it was, but looked it up and am now so excited for it! It's like God knew I needed that kick in the butt after eating all that junk food to give me motivation to stop over-eating and start losing weight. And what better way to do that than to train for The Color Run. I had found a program a year or so ago called the Couch To 5K, and did it for a little over a month, but then got too busy and didn't make the time to keep up with it. But now that I have a reason and a timeline, I will start again and I will be in great shape by the run in December! Training starts Tuesday! I can't wait!!

Wow, what a day! I think I'm going to go read a little bit in my textbook, write in my thankful journal, and call it a night! I'm exhausted! Can't wait for tomorrow though. My friend is having a Scentsy/31 Gifts party, where I will probably buy even more Scentsy stuff! Have a great one! xoxo


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Healthy Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is a healthy twist on the typically mayonaise-doused pasta salad recipes.  The other great thing about this recipe is that you can adjust the amounts, add or delete ingredients, or basically change whatever you like based on your tastes.  Here is how I make it!

Bowtie Pasta (I used 1/2 of a box)
2-3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Everglades Seasoning (I believe this is only found in Florida, but you could use other seasonings if you can't get Everglades)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Freshly Grated Parmesean Cheese
2 Cucumbers
2 Tomatoes

Recipe Directions
Sprinkle Everglades Seasoning on chicken breasts
Bake chicken breasts in the oven at 350° (I had particularly thick ones and they took almost an hour)
Boil Bowtie Pasta according to directions on the box (I boiled mine for 14 minutes)

Drain and Rinse Bowtie Pasta until slightly cool

Peel skin off of cucumbers
Slice cucumbers and tomatoes into bite size pieces

Slice chicken into bite size pieces

Put Bowtie pasta, cucumbers, tomatoes, and chicken into large bowl

Pour 3 tbsp Olive Oil onto mixture
Add grated parmesean as desired (I tend to use a lot!)
Add extra Everglades Seasoning onto mixture to taste
Stir and ENJOY!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"Sedimentary Rock" Cookie Bars

I first discovered this fabulous recipe while doing an internship with a 4th grade class.  The students were studying different types of rocks including igneous, metamorphic, and of course sedimentary rocks.  According to "For thousands, even millions of years, little pieces of our earth have been eroded--broken down and worn away
by wind and water. These little bits of our earth are washed downstream where they settle to the bottom of the rivers, lakes, and oceans. Layer after layer of eroded earth is deposited on top of each. These layers are pressed down more and more through time, until the bottom layers slowly turn into rocks.  There's your little science lesson for this post! These cookie bars are layered and pressed down like sedimentary rocks, so it was a fun way to teach kids about the rocks.
Now for the delicious part!

Sedimentary Rock Cookie Bars Recipe

Cooking spray or other nonstick product
1/2 cup melted butter
2-3 cups vanilla wafer cookies (use as much as desired)
1 can (14oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup broken pecan pieces
(If you really have a sweet tooth, you can use 1 cup each chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and pecans.  I prefer only the 1/2 cup each.)

1. Spray the bottom of 13x9 pan with cooking spray to avoid sticking (I always forget this step!)
2. Melt butter and pour into bottom of 13x9 pan
3. Crush vanilla wafers with rolling pin (it's okay to have a few small pieces)

4. Sprinkle broken vanilla wafers evenly on top of butter.
5. Pour can of sweetened condensed milk over cookies
6. Sprinkle chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and nuts over condensed milk (add or delete amount as desired- I believe the original recipe calls for 1 cup of each, but it was way too much for me)
7. Gently press down the layers

8. Bake on 350°F for approximately 25-30 minutes (I usually only do 25 and they're great)
9. ENJOY!!

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