Thursday, April 30, 2009

Zutano Contest

Ok I don't like spamming you too much with contest entries, but I really want to win this one!

It's a giveaway for $75 to Zutano! Isn't their new Itzy Bitzy line to die for?
Ack. The cuteness.
I especially love the "snails" for girls and the "celery dot" for boys.
I so wish I knew the gender of this kiddo!

If you want to enter for a chance to win head over to The Soothie Ranch!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Baby Shopping

I'm unsure as to when I should actually start getting stuff together for this kiddo. I guess a part of me is just not convinced this baby is coming for sure. We've talked about names a lot, but are no closer to agreeing on one. I've put in a diaper order with my friend Deb, but that was mostly because I didn't know her timeline. Heck we haven't even decided where and with whom I'm going to deliver this kiddo.

In the meantime I started a wishlist of stuff I'd like to get for the new babe. Only a few things are really necessities I suppose. So we shall see what I actually acquire by September. I like using Kaboodle because I can add stuff from anywhere on-line and if someone gifts me something they can mark it off on the main list.

You can click through to see the whole list.

(No kickbacks from Kaboodle. I just though they offered a cool service.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

show n tell

I got this gorgeous mama/sling baby glass pendant at the LLL conference from Family Tree Glass. The pic is a little dark. The sling part of the figure is more a teal color. It's only about an inch and a half tall in person.
Brooke makes all these beautiful glass pendants by hand. Aren't they gorgeous? She said she loved trades and I was able to swap some products in exchange. yay!

She has pregnancy, breastfeeding and family pendants as well, but this one was more my style.
Here's the link to her on-line store.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

LLLove

Yesterday was the first day of the La Leche League of NJ conference. It was great. My wonderful hubs manned the store's booth while I got to sit in on a few sessions. It was cool to see so many happy babies riding in carriers and nursing whenever they needed to. A rare sight in our culture to be sure.
It was all so.... normal.

There were many loving daddies and some toddlers and older kids too.
What I didn't see (or hear) were screaming babies or tantruming tots. That struck me this year for some reason. Maybe it's because I was aware of how many babies there were. The only one I heard even cry was a little girl that fell down and bumped herself. I mentally compared that to the noise level at the mall or the boardwalk or any other public place there are babies and young children. (My kid included!)

I guess it was just nice to be around a lot of other young families. And after hearing about birth, breastfeeding and babies all day I am so ready for this little one to be here already!

I'll post more about what I learned later this week when I have a chance to reflect.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Half Way There

I made it half-way! Starting to get a little anxious to feel the baby move. Thankful that my appetite has come back. I like the caption on the ticker today. A margarita does sound good about now. Maybe I'll settle for some Italian water ice or something. :)

pregnancy calendar

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Hey peeps. It's earth day! (Ok, I'm a little late.)

It's all been said around the blog-o-sphere today.

I worship the Creator and believe it's our job to be good stewards of all we have been entrusted with. Hopefully my small efforts to "green" our home is a reflection of my gratitude and good stewardship.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Linky Love

I keep bookmarking all these great posts and I thought I'd share!

Can you tell I've been craving carbs?
These Applesauce Muffins on Little House look yummy and I loved this Whole Wheat Cinnamon Roll tutorial from Everyday Food Storage.

20 Household Uses for Vinegar
Awesome list on Simple, Green, Frugal. Did you know that vinegar kills 99% of bacteria? And it's (obviously) non-toxic! I keep a spray bottle filled with 50/50 filtered water/distilled white vinegar and some lavender essential oils. It's a great all-purpose spray and is safe enough I can let W use it.

The Importance of Family Rituals
A lovely post on Simple Mom. I like to think it's the little day to day things we do with our family that will be remembered over time.

FREE Download: Days of the Week Hanger Tags
A cute way to organize your kiddo's outfits and to teach older kids how to plan for the week.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

No-Spend Month Day 22

Well, I made it about 2 weeks before buying an egg McMuffin. : (

For some reason I've been craving them this pregnancy. The rest of fast food is a big turn off though. So that hasn't been much of a temptation. I was good for another week until last night. We had some family time on the boardwalk to enjoy the lovely weather. We went ahead and bought dinner at my fav Cafe and then split a monkey bread.
My appetite is coming back! I think I'm going to have a hard time resisting the temptation of take-out the rest of the month. I guess I need to find some new snack ideas I can make at home.

As far as everything else goes, the challenge has been a good exercise. It's pretty apparent that my "latte factor" is convenience foods. It's been a good discipline to get back into cooking dinner from scratch each night. I can see that this exercise has been good for the hubs too. For example he started bringing home big sturdy copy paper boxes since we needed more storage. Normally he would have just gone out and gotten some more of the plastic bins. So I can see us both getting a little more creative.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kids Safe Chemical Act

I just watched a very interesting video on Green Mom Finds. (It's about 22 minutes long.) The video focuses on a study done on newborns to test the levels of industrial chemicals in their cord blood. The results are pretty shocking.

I was amazed that the current law regulating toxic chemicals was passed in 1976 and has not been changed since! Not to mention 20,000 new chemicals have come on the market since that date.

We all know that there has been a rise in autism in recent years. Cancer, certain birth defects and infertility are also on the rise. It makes you think.

Watch the video and sign the petition on http://www.KidSafeChemicals.org

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Disclaimer

I apologize in advance if I say anything offensive in the next 5 months.

For some reason this pregnancy has broken the filter between my brain and my mouth.

I tend to be snarky to begin with but do try to tone it down a notch so people don't think I'm a complete jerk. Thinking before I speak has somehow evaded me lately. So if I say something offensive, know that I'm not doing it on purpose.

Hopefully the hubs (and my friends) will still love me a few months from now!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

COUPONING!

In case you haven't heard, saving money is a big topic of interest these days. I subscribe to a few money saving blogs and couponing has been a hot topic. Coupon Mom was even on Oprah a few weeks ago.

Last week I listened to an interesting podcast on The Motherload all about couponing. It has inspired me to up my efforts!

CVSing is what got me back into coupons. (That would be shopping at CVS combining coupons and the Extra Care program to get stuff for free, cheap or even earning extra bucks on a purchase.) Money Saving Mom lists the good CVS deals each week and links to printable coupons if applicable.

We try to eat a good percentage of organic and whole foods. So I originally thought that couponing was not for our family. However, CVS has started carrying some more natural products and homeopathic remedies which I find appealing. I still don't take advantage of a lot of the deals, but if I can get toothpaste or deodorant for free I'll donate it.

If you visit manufacturer's sites you can often get printable coupons or join mailing lists. This has helped me find coupons on organic products. I've also noticed that there are organic/natural coupon flyers in the stores around this time of year. (Earth Day is coming up.)

I had wanted to try GroceryGame.com, but have heard mixed reviews. They do offer an $1 trial, but since it's a paid service I will probably stick to all the free info out there. The basic principle is matching up manufacturers coupons + store coupons + sales + rebates to pay as little as possible. There are often opportunities to get free products or even make a few cents back.

Other resources I've found helpful:
http://www.afullcup.com/
http://www.survivingthestores.com/

And some printable organic coupons:
http://coupons.mambosprouts.com/online_coupons


http://coupons.stonyfield.com/new_coupon3.cfm


Anyone else have some links or tips to share?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Gardening Setback

I am having a tough time getting this garden set up. K hasn't been able to help me much and I realized yesterday that it's basically going to be impossible for me to do alone.
My brother came down and built me some boxes so that was good. K did pick up the vermiculite I needed.

But actually assembling the garden is proving to be a challenge. I have no where to mix up the soil. No wheelbarrow to move my compost. I tried putting everything in a trashcan with the intention of rolling it across the lawn. Nope. The lid didn't lock on and I wound up carrying the darn thing instead. Meanwhile my son stood inside the doorway and SCREAMED at me for no other reason than he is two and grouchy. Did I mention that the hose is turned off for the winter? The only way to turn it back on is to go under the house in the crawl space and turn it on. Not doing that in my current condition.

I've already dumped too much $$ in the set-up to give up now. Sigh. Maybe by June I'll actually have something in the ground?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The un-killable Plant

If you have a brown thumb, try out some Aloe plants. Not only are they great for soothing burns and scrapes, but they are beyond hearty. I have heard it said they "thrive on neglect." They don't like too much sun or water which is basically the opposite of most plants.

Case in point:


I put these in my garage to prevent them from getting killed by frost last fall. I had intentions of moving them to the house, but I basically forgot about them. They might have been watered once the entire winter, but I'm not sure. Today I moved them outside again to get a little rain and to be neglected on my porch all summer.

I wish I could say the same about my sad sad boston fern... : (

Friday, April 10, 2009

today...

The boy dumped over (another) flower pot and broke a saucer, rolled the patio furniture across the yard, pinched his fingers in the gate, splashed a ton of water out of the tub, spent a whole lotta time in the time-out chair, took off his diaper and peed on his mattress.
(Note to self: Buy mattress protector ASAP.)

I finally got him to sleep in my bed and ate ice cream for lunch. Sigh.
I wonder why they call it "terrible two's"? :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day 8: No Spend Month

Another random No-Spend update...


I had to make an exception this past week to buy a bday gift for a party we were going to.


I also did some CVSing but I used some ECB (extra care bucks) that were going to expire otherwise and any out of pocket money came from the grocery budget. My new ECB are good until the beginning of next month so I'm stashing them away.


As the month wears on I can see how this would get easier with time.


I do have to say that I'm generally pretty thrifty and don't spend much on a regular basis. (Hello, no disposable income!) But I can see how ordering out or even picking up a snack while I'm out running errands is probably my biggest temptation. It takes some extra planning to have snacks on hand for when I need them. My appetite is still not normal so I'm trying my best to get by.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

the hierarchy of food

This is a wonderful post by Rhonda about The Hierarchy of Food. It's all about doing what we can to make healthy choices for our family while keeping a realistic eye on our budgets. I love her ballenced approach.


Which reminds me, the EWG put out an updated produce pesticide list. Be sure to print out your produce guide!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Day 3: No Spend Month

Yeah, so I went into this without much of a plan.

I figured if I planned things out I might wind up spending more in anticipation of the experiment. Which of course would defeat the whole purpose, right?

I think I need to get my butt in gear and do some grocery shopping and menu planning. (This pregnancy has really been kicking my butt. Maybe because I'm a few years older?) It would also be a good idea to come up with some free activities to do with the kiddo this month. I hope the weather warms up again soon!

Wouldn't you know that I've been getting tons of SALE emails and fliers. It seems like the prices are lower than ever in an attempt to get people to loosen up the purse strings. The one that tempted me the most was for the photo studio. I haven't had professional pics taken of W since his baptism. Every time I get close to going I talk myself out of it and sometimes enlist a friend to help do a home photoshoot. (cough dirkey cough) Maybe it's time to do that again.

Then Suzie Orman was on Oprah yesterday talking with people who are out of work and in big trouble financially. It's crazy how quickly your savings can evaporate and your debt accumulate when you loose your income for even a few months.

That scared me straight! I need to start thinking of ways to pinch more pennies so we can save more. Thus the point of this whole experiment.