Friday, February 26, 2010

Baby, Oh Baby: The View

Let's talk about sex, baby. Okay, not really. But you can relate almost all topics this week on 'The View' to sex...somehow! Let's just start off with the cast from Jersey Shore. Jersey Shore cast . Pictures, Images and Photos

In all honesty, I thought they would get ripped into harder than they actually did. Joyce, on the other hand, can not relate, nor can she stand the cast of Jersey Shore. She relates "people like them" to people of her childhood. She also feels like they give Italians a bad reputation and portrays them as people they are not. She did however, have some funny/interesting questions for them. To Snooki, (yes, you read that right) "When did you know or believe that you were famous? Snooki's reply: "Oh, at birth." Um...really? Did I hear that correctly? That's right. Her hairdo has somehow gotten her her 15 minutes of fame and she is running with it. Joyce also asked the cast if they used condoms. That one threw everyone for a loop and I think caught the cast off guard. Also, "Do you have a backup plan?" Mike, aka "The Situation" has said he will enjoy his reality tv until his limelight runs out. Until then, he will attempt a career in acting. Okay, let's getting something straight. Just because you are in a reality tv show doesn't mean you have skills in acting. Lord, people! The Jersey Shore cast will be taking over, but somewhere new this time. It will still have the same name, although they will no longer actually be at the Jersey Shore?!
On to Nadya 'Octomom' Suleman. I have to say, watching this segment gave me a serious headache and I felt ill. That woman is seriously off her rocker. Yes, loony bin. Speaking which, she stated that she used to work in a mental institution. Need I elaborate? She was so all over the place and could not answer ONE of the questions that she was being asked. Joyce actually asked her if she was on drugs. She told the cast of 'The View' losing all the baby weight was important to her and she did not do this to be in the media. She also said she did not have any type of plastic surgery to help her lose the weight either. She has 14 children! There is no way that she looks that good and hasn't had some sort of help. She also continued to say that if she met someone in the future, she would have one or two more children with him. No comment. People have such a problem with Nadya because she does not work, and lives off support mostly from her parents. With 14 children, she also says she does not have a nanny, but then later in the show says she does have a nanny that helps her out a few hours a day. It was over the top frustrating since she couldn't get her stories straight. Bottom line: The real questions need to be asked and answered truthfully by Nadya. There is so much evidence of her wrongdoing. Nadya herself has proven she is a pathological liar. In many interviews by Nadya she has said:
No plastic surgery. Medical experts have said otherwise.
Doesn't watch t.v., but says she loves 'The View'.
Doesn't wear makeup. Proof is on film.
Eats healthy. Proof is on video of her at Jackinthebox, Mcdonalds, Starbucks, etc.
No welfare. She had those kids on Medi-Cal, Wic, Food Stamps. Bottom line she was not prepared financially to bring 6 let alone 8 kids into her home.
Used leftover eggs. Medical board found she wanted fresh eggs each time and has a stockpile of eggs in storage.
Last, but not least, the discussion on the very saddening topic, 'Infertility.' The topic of today was all infertility for men and women. Infertility is defined from a year of trying to have a baby. Twenty percent of couples are infertile. At the age of 30, 90% of a woman's eggs are gone.
Causes for infertility:
•Blocked fallopian tubes
Did you realize the cost for treatments? I knew they were expensive, but actually never sat and thought about the actual dollar amount. The average cost for Invitro Fertilization is $12,400. That is just one treatment, which unfortunately, is not covered by insurance. (Some companies do cover) Giuliana and Bill Rancic were the guests discussing their issues with infertility. They discussed that they have been trying for 2 1/2 years and did not for see them having any issues with having a baby. One of the last things that Guiliana said was her doctor did tell her in order for her to ovulate regularly, she would have to gain about 5 to 10 pounds. Whoppi looked at her and said, "You would think if you wanted a baby bad enough, this wouldn't be a problem." Guiliana went on to say that she knows she is being selfish and that it is hard with her career in the media. That's when Whoppi replied, telling her maybe it just isn't the right time for her. You could tell on Guiliana's face she was in total shock. She was arguing the fact that her stylist brings her only clothing in small sample sizes and her sister was skinny when she was pregnant. She did mention she is insecure, but being pregnant, you have to let those insecurities go. Do you want to have this beautiful, precious baby, or not?
Now then, this completes my somewhat harsh, but truthful week in review...for 'The View.'
Have a great weekend!

Disclosure: "I am a participant in a Mom Central campaign for ABC Daytime and will receive a tote bag or other The View branded items to facilitate my review."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's Not Easy, Being Sickly

So, Davis wasn't teething after all. Maybe he will start tomorrow, but not today. Last time I was at the grocery store, I even stocked up on Baby Orajel, Infant Tylenol, Teething Tablets, etc. Yes, that's right. I totally jumped the gun. I figured he had all of the symptoms and his nurse thought so as well. Until about a day or so later and the poor little guy started wheezing. Umm...not signs of teething. Great. Davis is sick. Of course at first, I started beating myself up thinking how awful it was as soon as I quit breastfeeding that he would get sick! Go figure. His doctor reassured me this has absolutely nothing to do with it. I took him to the doctor last Friday and he has bronchitis. NO FUN! He sounds like a little piglet trying to breathe. It's awful. I went and bought him a humidifier, which I think is helping, but now I'M SICK! Lord have mercy! I have the worst cold. Seriously, all I want to do is lay on the couch and have hot soup. I can not stand being sick. At least I don't have bronchitis, but it is so hard trying to find the energy to take care and entertain him, let alone deal with myself right now. This has been going on for almost a week now, so I wish it would go away! I don't even have the mental energy to write my reviews for 'The View.' Arrrggghhh!
So, please send a massage therapist, a nanny, and tons of soup. Thank you! :)
(Yes, this was a vent post. I'm all done now!)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sit Back and Enjoy 'The View'

Today, while I was enjoying my morning coffee with my girlfriends on 'The View,' (yes, that's right! We go way back!) they had a topic on that sparked my interest. Okay, maybe I wouldn't say interest, but it made my ears perk up a bit. Let me back up a few days. Michael and I were checking our bank account and looking over our credit card statement and noticed a few things were different. It showed us how long it would take us to pay off the card if we only paid just the minimum along with a few other things on there. I just kinda nodded and thought, okay, that's nice. I'll be putting in my dentures paying off a stupid card. Fine, it's not that bad! Thank goodness. Anyway, so today on the show, they had a segment of 'How credit card reform affects you.' how does it affect me? The credit card reform act goes into effect today to help people like you and me not get ripped off by your credit card company. Read the fine print though, people. The credit card companies can still jack up your interest rates, charge fees, and even cancel your credit card without warning. Even though I may be wearing dentures, I would be livid if my credit card got canceled!
Here are a few points that were discussed:

  1. Today, the Card Holder's Bill of Rights goes into effect and requires that banks give you 45 days notice before raising interest rates or changing your fees.
  2. For younger people, the new reform requires that banks may not market credit cards to persons 21 and younger unless they have independent source of income or a co-signer.
  3. For interest rates, they must offer the rate they advertise when you sign up for at least a year, or six months if it's an introductory rate. However, there are no limits to interest rates.
  4. For those people that pay their bill in full and do not pay interest on a balance, credit card companies may start charging inactivity fees.

Just some things to think about. Going paperless with many companies save you not only time, but money too. Yes, unfortunately, you are paying extra for the envelope with your bill weighing about one pound.

This week coming up on 'The View'

Tuesday February 23rd: Ricky Gervais will sit down for a chat. Plus, the cast MTV's Jersey Shore drops by. Get your fist pumping ready, people. You know it's a train wreck, but can't help but watch. Should be interesting to say the least.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Bestselling author Danielle Steel discusses her new book, Big Girl. Certainly she's not talking about her party heiress daughters. Also, Nadya Suleman who famously gave birth to octuplets last year will be making to 'The View.'

Thursday, February 25, 2010
Hear the stars of the Style Network's Bill & Giuliana, Giuliana Rancic and her husband Bill Rancic, discuss their infertility struggles.They will also talk to other infertile men and women.

Friday, February 26, 2010
Regis and Joy Philbin treat the audience to a special song from their new CD, Just You. Just Me. Say it isn't so, people!

Disclosure: "I am a participant in a Mom central campaign for ABC Daytime and will receive a tote bag or other The View branded items to facilitate my review."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hmmm...What Shall I Give Up?

Okay, well it's that time again. Lent, that is. Or Mardi Gras season. Or Crawfish season. Oh, crawfish....Yum. Yum. Okay, back on track. So I have to give up something. This is always so hard for me. I mean, I am awful! I used to give up chips and salsa because I am just flat out addicted. I have one and it's all over. I can't stop. Must. Take. Chip. Basket. Away! But seeing as how we don't eat at many Mexican restaurants anymore, that would just be way too easy. Not even I can cop out like that! So, what shall it be? This is rough.
I thought I would give up caffeine. But that thought made me laugh. Hahaha...who am I kidding. No coffee in the morning? I think not! The best part of waking up, is Folgers in your cup. Right?!?
So, for about a millisecond, I thought about the computer. Whateva. Moving on.
Pizza. Possibly. But I love, love making homemade pizza. Next.
Sweets. This I should just do period!
Wine? We drink wine in church. Surely they wouldn't expect me to give this up. That would just be a sin in itself.
Final decision? I've decided to give back for one. I'm doing a walk for babies in April and I'm so excited about it. My mom and Michael have joined my 'team' and we are all going to be doing this together. Honestly, I didn't realize raising money would be so difficult. I think anything will help and I'm hoping I can get closer to my goal. If you would like to help us out, please visit:
No meat on Friday. I'm going old school.
I'm going to ATTEMPT no caffeine expect for my morning coffee. So no occasional Diet Coke. Argh!
What are you giving up? Anything? I should probably give up more, but I figured this is a good start! Maybe I should have added that I'm Catholic.

Friday, February 19, 2010

My Punkin Is 6 months!

Time is flying tooooo fast. We are at mach speed again, and I just don't approve. Man, I swear, it seems like I was just pregnant with him.

I love all of the little milestones and just wish I could hold on to him as a baby just a little bit longer. Yes, I know he's only six months, but he'll be starting kindergarten soon! Haha...kidding. He is sitting up pretty good most of the time. I learned just yesterday that if I have one of his videos playing, he will sit on his own for almost the entire thing. How sad is that!?! We're getting there slowly, but surely. He rolls from his belly to his back, but still hasn't managed from his back to belly on his own. And boy does my little man love his food! I can't shovel the food in his mouth fast enough without him making grunting noises at me. Even if it's just cereal! He would probably eat the whole box if I let him!

We just did 'Mommy & Baby Yoga' and I think my butterball has a few extra pounds of stuffing. Talk about a workout. Gee whiz! It's funny to watch him though while I'm doing it. He loves being in the air and hanging out with me (for now) so he actually loves it. Plus, I have to make silly cow and cat noises which he finds funny. He still thinks his fake cough is just the most hysterical thing in the world. It seriously cracks me up. Especially when he's trying not to laugh and cough at the same time. Such a ham!

(This is him not yawning, but getting into a fake cough marathon!)

My poor baby isn't feeling well these past couple of days and I think we are at the beginning stages of teething. Oh, yes! I am just so excited. I am glad, however, that his teething and colic were not at the same time and that we managed to get a small break. That would have been rough! But the poor baby had a slight fever and just sounds awful. Runny nose, coughing, etc. I just hate it for him. Right when I stop breastfeeding and he gets sick. Coincidence? UG! I didn't realize all of the different symptoms of teething. This will be fun. He's doing pretty good with it so far. I have teething tablets on standby and Tylenol ready to give! He sounds like a little piglet trying to breathe, so I still wonder if he has a slight cold as well. We have our 6 month checkup on Tuesday (which I dread! I think they hurt me worse than him!) so we'll see then. Until then, I'm giving extra doses of cuddles!

It still amazes me how much I love much it hurts. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I feel like I need to thank him. I am so blessed to have him! He's beyond amazing. (Okay, I'm done with the sap now!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What's For Dinner Wednesday?


This is two recipes in one today. I know, don't get too excited! The leftovers from the first recipe, you make another meal with. And let me tell you, they are delicious!

Fontina Risotto With Chicken

4 C low sodium chicken broth

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 1/2 cups arborio rice (risotto)

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 C dry white wine (I just used cooking wine...I know. Shocking!)

Freshly ground pepper

1 C coarsely grated fontina cheese, plus more for garnish

8 oz deli smoked chicken breast, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)

1/4 C roughly chopped fresh parsley

1) Bring the broth and 4 cups water to a simmer in a saucepan; keep warm

2) Meanwhile, melt 4 tbs butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and thyme; cook, stirring, until the rice is glossy, about minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Add 1 tsp salt. Ladle in the hot broth, about 1/2 c at a time, stirring constantly, allowing all of the liquid to be absorbed before adding more. Continue until the rice is just tender, 20-25 minutes.

3. Remove the thyme. Stir in the Parmesan and salt and pepper. Gently stir in the fontina and chicken. Reserve about 2 cups risotto for Risotto Cakes. Divide the rest among bowls; top with parsley and more fontina if desired.

Serves 4

Total time: 35 minutes

With the leftovers:

Risotto Cakes with Mixed Greens

2 tbs chopped chives or scallion greens

2 cups leftover risotto, chilled

8 small cubes fontina cheese (about 1 1/2 oz)

1/2 C panko or other breadcrumbs

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, plus more for shallow frying

salt and pepper

8 C mixed greens

1/2 bulb fennel, very thinly sliced

1 tbs fresh lemon juice

1)stir the chives into the chilled risotto. Form into 8 patties, using about 1/4 C risotto for each. Press a hole in the center of each patty and stuff with a cue of fontina; pat risotto around each hole to cover.

2) Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Lightly dredge each risotto cake in the crumbs, turning to coat evenly. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

3) Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a medium nonstick skillet over med. high heat. Fry the cakes, 2 or 3 at a time, until evenly browned, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel lined plated to drain; season with s&p

4) Combine the greens and fennel in a bowl; drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice; s&p.

** Two cakes with salad have about 445 calories. Not bad!!


Wordless Wednesday

At Gramps and Nana's, he got to enjoy bubbles for the first time! And his first time sitting in a high chair. He did so good! :)


Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I'm A 'The View' Ambassador!

I am so, so very excited to announce that I have been chosen as an ambassador for The View! Yes, that's right, The View. The women you love, or love to hate, discussing hot topics that you may talk about to with your girlfriends.

I honestly haven't been watching the show as long as a lot of women out there, but have always tried to when I get the chance. Now, I actually have a chance almost daily. Davis' feeding times or nap times always fall around 10am, when it airs in my city. So, I get to either feed him and watch, or have some 'me time' and watch alone. Ahhh...alone. Okay, sorry. I spaced out.

And, as part of The View Brand Ambassador program - I'm going to be getting the inside scoop on upcoming guests/storylines for The View! And I'll be telling you readers ALL the details as I get them! I'll also have the opportunity to provide direct feedback to the ABC Daytime marketing team - so if you have any thoughts, or suggestions about "The View" be sure to share them with me, and I'll pass them along! Who is your favorite host? Who do you wish they would have as a guest??

Disclaimer:I am a participant in a Mom Central campaign for ABC Daytime and will receive a tote bag or other The View branded items to facilitate my review.
I'll keep everyone updated with my 'assignments' whenever I get them!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

It's A Process...

To swaddle, or not swaddle...that is the question. Yes, that's right. At almost six months old, (insert sigh) Davis is still being swaddled. Some of you I've talked to and you're having the same issue, so at least I know I'm not the only one. But goodness child, let the thing go already! Not happening. I seriously didn't know I would basically have to wean him from the swaddle. As long as he doesn't start going to preschool with a swaddle instead of a blanket, we are good. (KIDDING! And besides, thank goodness they don't make them that big. We would have issues there. And how odd would that look!?!)

I tried to go cold turkey on him and just not swaddle him at all. Grant me the strength dear Lord. That was awful. I felt as if I had just returned home from the hospital and was back to no sleep again. I actually had to research on how to drop the swaddle. Sad, but true. What were the results, you ask? Well, like I said, it's a process. For the first few days, I only swaddled one arm during his nap times. Since he was fighting sleep and did not nap very well, I would swaddle both arms for him at night. Zzzzz...the house was silent. I did that for about 4 days and then left his one arm out at night. By that time, he was used to it. Now I am on to two arms and someone is NOT happy with me. Actually screaming as I am typing. For the most part, he does pretty good with two arms out, but is still having his fun screaming sessions. After a few days, I will make the big jump and have both arms out at night. Serenity now!

Davis sometimes falls asleep while I'm holding him (which I LOVE by the way) and if he jumps, it still scares him. So I can understand the still wanting to be swaddled thing. He is still used to being all bundled up even from when I was pregnant with him. But it's time. Yes, I can see you nodding your head in agreement! :) **crossing fingers**

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What's For....Snack?


Okay, I know I usually do dinner posts, but this dessert/snack is tooooooo good to not post. I had it about a week ago and melted. I told my husband whenever I have a bad day, please make this for me. It's amazing. And not everything sounds like it goes well together, but just trust me!

Panini with Chocolate and Brie (this makes 6 servings. reduce to adjust)

12 slices of sourdough bread

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

12 ounces Brie cheese, thinly sliced

1 (12 ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips ( we used something very similar to Nutella...delicious!!)

1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Preheat the panini press (We don't have a panini press. If you have a skillet with the lines on it for meat etc., use that and press another pan down on top. Gives the same effect as a panini maker! And it's cheaper!)

Brush both sides of the bread with the olive oil. Place in the press, close, and grill the bread slices until they begin to turn golden. 1 to 2 minutes. Removes and place 2 slices of cheese on one slice of bread, top with 1/3 cup chocolate chips (or spread nutella) and sprinkle with basil. Top with another slice of bread. Return to panini press until chocolate begins to melt about another 2 minutes.

Cut into 2 inch rectangles or small triangles.

This is soooo good! Can you tell I am in love with it?!?

Happy Eating!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Implementing Structure and Routine

When I was pregnant, deciding on whether or not we were going to have a schedule/routine for Davis was one of our biggest decisions. What would the benefits be? Are there any? Is it even worth it? And of course, will it even work? I have to say, that if we did not have a schedule/routine for Davis, I think I may be a mad woman. So many people let the baby decide when he's hungry, when he wants to sleep, when he wants to play. That's wonderful if that works for you, but I don't want to let my baby dictate my life. I was on recently and had a post up asking a question about a four hour schedule. Everyone that I spoke to had similar schedules and agreed they work best to help the child learn and grow. Except for one not so nice lady telling me she lets her child do whatever they like and I was such an awful person for doing this. She obviously wasn't the brightest person ever, seeing as how she couldn't even spell and her 6 month old baby still wakes up 3 different times during the night. So, I decided to write a post as to why I have a schedule, and some of my opinions about it.

Having a regular schedule can be stressful for you and I, but having one for baby provides framework that orders your young child's world. Children thrive on sameness and repetition. This helps them to learn and feel more self confident in their environment. Babies, especially, need routine as far as sleeping, eating, and even activities that lead up to those. "Knowing what is expected cuts down on parenting struggles," says Jodi Mindell, child psychologist and author. Schedules and routines give you control over the situation, which also reduces anxiety because both you and your baby will come to know what to expect next. When it comes to implementing a routine into your life, flexibility plays a vital role. Routines also help babies learn to self-settle and how to be great sleepers. It also helps children deal with separation from their parents and allows them to feel secure and safe. (For example: Davis was sleeping through the night at 8 weeks...on and off for a while....having being used to his sleep schedule. He has now been sleeping 12 hours straight through the night for a few months.)

Routines also help parents know what is wrong with their baby. It helps them to differentiate the different types of cries and what the baby is needing at the time. After you fall into a routine, you will be able to learn the hunger, sleepy, or bored cries. (Davis does this one quite well!) Right around nap time for Davis, he is ready to go down and wants to be put in his bed. If he is kept up too long, he will let us know...for sure. But we also have to be flexible with the schedule as far as getting out of the house and doing things. If we are planning on going to be at someones house for dinner that cuts into his sleep, we are those parents that will bring his pack and play and set it up in a guest bedroom. Otherwise, the night just is not fun at all. He is really good at being able to sleep in new places and will just fall right to sleep.

An infant's brain grows faster during the first year of life than at any other time. By the age of one, their brain will more closely resemble an adult brain. The foundation for healthy physical, emotional, and intellectual development is laid during this time period. Acclimating your infant to a routine has many benefits in these areas of development. By responding to hunger and the need for physical activity, you are providing for healthy physical development. Being attentive to their needs allows them to develop strong bonds and teaches them to trust their caregivers, thus increasing emotional development. Since the most effective learning comes with repetition, intellectual development is strongly supported by a structured routine. The repetition of the routine is what the baby remembers, thereby nurturing memory skills.

We absolutely love having a schedule/routine for Davis and so far it has worked wonderfully for us. No, we are not "programming our child" or strict and freak out if something goes wrong. Having this routine also leaves Michael and I with much needed time to ourselves everyday. As soon as Davis is in bed, it's "our time." Whether it's a late dinner or watching a movie, it has really helped us out a ton to relax and unwind.

Friday, February 5, 2010

My Love/Hate Relationship

I have a love/hate relationship. An 80 pound love/hate relationship to be exact. My black mouth cur, Dexter. Now, I love this dog to pieces, but getting rid of him has crossed my mind a lot. Okay, almost every day since Davis has been born. It was my idea, actually, to get Dexter in the first place. I even told Michael if he didn't come with me to go pick out a dog, I was just going to show up with a new, cute puppy at the house. So, he came with me. I picked out the one I wanted anyway. And he's the runt of the litter! An 80 pound runt! If you are wondering what in the world is a black mouth cur, it's a southern hunting dog. Seen Old Yeller? That's the kind of dog we have. I don't for see him trying to wrestle a wild boar, so I think he's safe. When he was a puppy, I took him everywhere. I even tried to take him to crawfish festival and put him in a baby sling around me. Unfortunately, after several hours of driving, we arrive to find out that no animals are allowed! But little did I know in about a year from that day, I would be carrying Davis in the same sling!! Dexter is also so wonderful with Davis. It's so cute. He gets super protective and just guards his crib like it's about to be attacked or something.

Now, don't get me wrong, I still love Dexter. I'm sure if you have a dog, you can relate to me on this. I feel like I clean up more after my dog than I do my baby! He's house trained, so I'm not talking about that. But I clean the floors just about every day! This gets so old I can't even express it enough. He sheds so much. I have a furminator, and while this helps, it doesn't stop the hair from growing. This would be nice! Davis has tummy time everyday and then I notice hair all over the rug, the carpet, the kitchen, everywhere. Serenity now, people! Or he'll track in mud right after I just got done mopping the floors. Lord have mercy, that dog may end up like Old Yellar after all. (kidding..kinda)

Which brings me to my next random thought for the day. I seriously want a Shark! Yes, that's right. I am dying for a new mop. What's gets me is the price. $100 for a mop?!? What the...hmmm. I've heard from friends that it works wonders. It steams and sanitizes the floor and is also quick drying. If my birthday were tomorrow, I would ask for one, and I've never been one to ask for any kind of appliance for a birthday. What's also nice is I've heard that if there is stuck on baby food on the floor, it steams and picks it up great. I think sooner or later, I'm going to break down and buy one. I just hope it doesn't break down and fall apart!Do you have one? Do you like it? I'm trying to get more feedback before I make my big splurge....for a MOP! Wow! Never saw this coming!

I know at the end of the day, I could never, ever get rid of this dog. I love him to pieces, but my God, this whole shedding and mopping thing everyday is getting a little out of hand. And I promise, he won't end up like Old Yeller!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

And the Award Goes To....


I was recently given the 'Sunshine Award'...which I was very excited about...from Heather at Acting Balanced. But there are rules to the game I must obide. Yup, that's right. I must pass on the bloggin love! (Does anyone know where these come from, by the way? I've been searching, and searching, and can't find anything! UGG!)

Here are the rules:
- Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
- Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.
- Link the nominees within your post.
- Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
- Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

Choosing 7 people is hard, I gotta tell ya!! I'm thinking...I'm thinking....

1) A Daily Scoop of Chaos: Doesn't everyone feel that way? She's got her hands full and still seems to find the humor
2) Baby Mama Drama: She's about to have a baby!!! Check out her journey to motherhood
3)Balanced Moms: I love this blog. She's all about decluttering the clutter, but still finding time for herself. Love it :)
4)Creative Attempts: Such a little Martha Crocker. Everything she comes up and makes looks wonderful!
5)Humes Party of Three: Danielle is just the sweestest person! I love reading her blog and seeing all the great pictures of her beautiful daugher!! She's realistic and has a great sense of humor.
6)Things I can't Say: Shell tells it like it is and I love it. Great informative posts with a great sense of humor.
7)I've Been Thinking: So true to herself and honest. I love blogs that are straight shooters and have a sense of humor. And her lil one is just too cute! 8)

Happy Blogging! :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What's For Dinner?


**Since I did not post a recipe last week. I decided to post 2 today. Now, don't get too excited. I know you're going to want to run out to the store right away. Just try to contain yourself and avoid drooling on the keyboard. The first one we had last night, and let me tell you...AMAZING!! Perfect for a blah, cold day too! Enjoy :)

Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Shoulder
1/2 C low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 C brown sugar
1 to 2 tbs chili-garlic sauce
1 tbs grated ginger (again, I didn't use this b/c I'm allergic to it.)
1 tsp Chinese five-spic powder (optional..didn't use)
Kosher salt and pepper
2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder (I couldn't find one and used a pork butt, which was just about the same) trimmed of fat and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 C long grain white rice
1 medium head bok choy, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)
2 scallions, sliced (or green onions)

-In 4 to 6 quart slow cooker, combine the soy sauce, sugar, chili-garlic sauce, Ginger, five-spice powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add the pork and toss to coat. Cook, covered, until the pork is tender, on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
-25 minutes before serving, cook the rice according to package.
-Meanwhile, skin off and discard any fat from the pork. Gently fold the bok choy into the pork and cook, covered, until heated through, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve with the rice and sprinkle with the scallions.

Hands on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 4 to 8 hours
Serves 4

WHO DAT!!! Crawfish Etoufee

6 tbs butter
4 tbs flour
2 C chopped onion
1/2 C chopped celery
1/2 C chopped bell pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 1/2 cups fish or shrimp stock
1 C peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Hot pepper sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 pounds crawfish tails, the fat
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 C chopped green onions
1/4 C chopped parsley

Cooked white rice, for serving

In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 4 tbs of the butter and whisk in flour to combine well. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until roux is a peanut butter color. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme and cook until vegetables are soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add stock, tomatoes, salt, red pepper, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil.

Skim surface, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add crawfish tails and fat, lemon juice, green onions, and parsley and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining butter stir to combine well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve over hot rice!


Wordless Wednesday

Mama, please don't get me out. I love the baths.
Ahhhh.....what a life!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Controlling the Chaos

Ever feel like pulling your hair out? Sure you do!! Who doesn't have those days...more often than you would like to. I recently wrote a post and mentioned how I am more organized now and actually keep a binder now for it. Believe it or not, I have had several people ask me questions about it, so I thought I would just save time and write it in a post. I decided to make a binder for the simple fact that sometimes everything I need to do at home can be completely overwhelming. I hated looking at the house and thinking I had to clean the whole thing in one day. Let's be realistic, here! NOT going to happen. Now, I am totally not an anal person, OCD, or rigid on keeping my life in order. How this happened, I have no idea. But keeping this binder has been a life saver. My family looks at me now like I have a third eye. Whatever though, it works for me.

So, I've separated the binder into different sections with dividers that have tabs and pockets. The sections are: House Duties, Monday through Friday routine, Davis' routine, Menu, and Coupons.

House Duties: This is much easier than trying to cram everything in a day or two. Some days I don't have to do anything for the simple fact that it's been done already.
One page I have Daily Tasks. This includes: Defrost food/dinner prep; Straighten up; Dishes; Sweep kitchen if needed; One load of laundry-wash/dry/fold/ put away; Wipe down counters/sinks; Water plants...that I have now mostly killed all of
Every Week: Clean kitchen/bathrooms; Change sheets (every other); Grocery list/shopping; Empty trash; Dust; Vacuum; Mop
Monthly (If Needed): Base boards; Window ledges; Ceiling fans (quarterly)

I broke down easy tasks for everyday. Like I said, there are some days where I don't have to do anything.
Monday: Daily tasks; Make grocery list; Empty trash; Dust (if needed)
Tuesday: Daily tasks; Grocery shopping; Trash Day; Bathrooms
Wednesday: Daily tasks; Kitchen; Monthly item if needed
Thursday: Daily tasks; Sheets (every other); Mop kitchen and back room
Friday: Daily; Any remaining errands
**I know this sounds like a lot, but it maybe takes me 30 minutes max a day to do this stuff.
Next tab is Davis' routine. I did this one at first to try to help me figure out when was the best time to get out of the house to go to the gym, meet with friends, group dates, etc. Seeing his feeding/nap schedule down on paper helped me to figure this out. My big thing is working out everyday. If I don't go to the gym, I walk for an hour, or do Mommy and Baby Yoga. OMG! That is getting so much harder. My little butterball turkey has some extra stuffing now!! But I usually get out of the house everyday. I would go nuts if I stayed inside all the time. Just because I'm a stay at home mom, doesn't mean I actually stay at home all day. (I say this because people actually think this.

Next tab for me is Menu. I make a menu list every week of all the dinners that we are going to eat. Why?? Otherwise I would just go to the store and buy stuff and have no idea of what we would actually be eating during the week. This saves so much time and money. If I know what I'm making ahead of time, I can start to prepare it during the day and try to have it ready when Michael gets home. So I write out all of the dinners on a piece of paper and keep that in the front folder of the tab. In the back folder are all of the recipes the correspond. This also works great because if Michael is cooking that night, he can just go grab a recipe. This is a lifesaver :)

The last tab is for coupons. I try and cut coupons if the newspaper ever has any!! So I have them all together in the binder. Whether they are for restaurants or groceries.

So, I hope this helps for those of you that have asked me questions about it. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask me. Like I said though, I did this to save time and give me peace of mind. Not because I'm a crazy anal person! It helps a TON!