Saturday, January 31, 2009

Picture Of The Day #9

This little guy is the reason my kids are woken up from their naps so often by our doggies Mandy and Chloe. They bark their heads off at him, but he is REAL worried they will get him. Can't you tell? lol

See Kai Run Shoes Review and Giveaway

Check out my review blog for a great giveaway.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Hoover Vacuum Contest at Mom Dot... Vote Now!

Update: Thanks to all of my great friends I WON! I am so excited. Now who wants to donate a maid service to come use it for me? lol Thanks so much everyone!

Oh my gosh, please please please vote for me! I can win a Hoover vacuum. I entered a contest at one my fave mom blogs Mom Dot. Anyway, there is 24 hours to vote and I am one of the 20 finalists...

Just click here and vote for number 10. It's really easy to vote. You just click the dot next to it. I would sooo appreciate it. We could REALLY use a new vacuum with Mandy tumbleweeds everywhere! lol

Please share with friends if you want.

MomDot:Where the Blogging Moms Go

While you are there, check out Mom Dot. This is one of my favorite blogs and Trisha is a huge supporter of other bloggers.

If you vote, please come back and let me know in a comment so I can properly thank you!

Thanks!
Shannon

Picture Of The Day #8

Kieran was worn out from playing in the nursery at church and conked out on the way to Grandmommy and Papa's for lunch this past Sunday, January 25. I thought he looked so sweet.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Look, Kieran Won An Award!

Picture Of The Day #7

Two today...

Check out my other blog if you like these shoes... Hint, hint. :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Brotherly Love Strikes Again... Or Not?

video

Picture Of The Day #6

Mom got a camera for Christmas and this was one of the first photos she took with it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Picture Of The Day #5


Okay I cheated today and did two but I wanted to finish the Christmas photos. I just love the second one. It looks like Finley is in awe and Kieran is soooo not impressed. lol

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wow! My Boys Are Growing Up Fast!

Happy 9 month birthday Kierbear! I can't believe you will be one in 3 months!

Happy belated 21 month birthday to Finley (yesterday).

Mommy and Daddy love you!

Wow, any ideas what to do for their 1st and 2nd birthdays? They happen to fall on a Saturday and Sunday this year. I am open to suggestions!

Mmmm... Corn!

I love these photos. I don't think they even need captions! lol I could wait for another Picture of the Day to do them.

Kieran tried corn on the cob (well mostly cob) for the first time at Grandmommy and Papa's yesterday. I think he liked it. :)



Picture Of The Day #4

Kieran just loved his new ride he got for Christmas! I am trying to catch up on some photos for now. A friend told me about doing Picture Of The Day and what I am going to try to do, after I get the Christmas photos posted, is take photos in real time (each day) to kind of tell a story throughout the year! I am going to try... I make no promises! lol

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Picture Of The Day #3

Yeah, I know I am about a month late posting Christmas photos but I am going to try a Photo Of The Day post so I've been saving 'em up to get a good headstart. Here is our tree after Santa came on Christmas Eve.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Picture Of The Day #2

The naughty Christmas elf has returned for Christmas 2008!

Here he is in 2007...


Friday, January 23, 2009

You Think YOU'RE Tired? Watch This Video!

video

Picture Of The Day #1

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

I'm not so sure that THIS is the activity you are supposed to do with this activity table. To each his own I guess. :)


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Watching the Inauguration



Today, the 44th President of the United States was inaugurated. President Barack Obama was sworn in in front of the hugest crowd I think I have ever seen anywhere (Brian Williams on NBC is saying approximately 2 million or more people... wow). The boys and I watched all the festivities on TV and I think Kieran had the best seat in the house.

Hi Mom!
I wonder if Kieran is thinking, "That's a nice car. It's not red like mine but it is carrying President Bush and President-Elect Obama. The only person I haul around is brother and he's usually on my lap! Maybe one day I'll drive the president in my red car!"

"Who am I kidding. I am going to BE president!"

Related post

Winners!

We have our winners in The Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce Giveaway!

Congratulations to our winners in The Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce Giveaway:

#90 Staci who said, "I follow you too. Thanks!"
and
#77 Alicia who said, "from their newsletter DID YOU KNOW . . .The majority of hamsters only blink one eye at a time. Thanks for the giveaway >^..^<"

You two have been e-mailed. Please claim your prize within 72 hours. Thank you to all who entered!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Playing Around With Picasa

I'm just playing with Picasa. I got a new camera for Christmas and I am learning to use it. I haven't learned any of the manual settings yet but I am working on that. I just love taking photos.

Anyway, one of my best friends suggested using Picasa from Google for editing (cropping, etc.) so I played with a photo I took at the park the other day and I really love how easy it was to improve photos (crop, edit, correct color, etc.). I have a lot more to learn, but here's a photo of Kierbear to start your Monday off right.

Have a great week!

P.S. What are your favorite photo sites, books, etc. for someone wanting to learn more about advanced photography? Any advice is appreciated!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mr. Picky Pants and His Pita Pizzas

Anyone have a picky eater?

Now that my oldest is getting more independent he has an opinion on everything. Imagine that! He is putting his foot down and it is making mealtimes difficult. One day he will love a food and the next he wants nothing to do with it.

My youngest, on the other hand, will eat anything you give him and gets upset that he can't eat everything that we can.

See how happy he is eating his Mum Mum?

Back to my oldest. He used to be just like my youngest. He would eat just about anything we gave him. I figure that stage is coming for Kierbear too so I better learn some creative cooking techniques.

My big boy loves any type of crunchy food like chicken nuggets, toast, pizza or french fries. Well those items aren't exactly the healthiest. I am trying to come up with healthy crunchy foods.

So, yesterday for lunch, I took some whole wheat pitas and brushed them with (no salt added) plain tomato sauce then sprinkled on some cheese to make a healthier pizza for him. He seemed to like my creation and even helped me make it. I think next time I'll add a little shredded chicken and some veggies.

Here he is picking out some spices for his healthy pita pizzas.

Here he is getting Mommy a pot holder so she won't burn her hands. Such a caring, sweet boy. :)

And our finished product. Nothing fancy! lol

My question is... do you have any healthy recipes that fit my toddler's above mentioned criteria? I have heard that corn flakes makes a good "breading" for chicken nuggets but I haven't tried that yet. I'd love any recipes or ideas you may have.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Maybe it's just me, but it seems like the cup sizes in kid's meals are getting a little out of hand... When will the supersizing epidemic end? :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

As Seen Through Little Eyes...

We took a short family trip to San Antonio the week of Christmas. The weather was great. We stayed on the Riverwalk and had a beautiful view and a wonderful time thanks to Aunt Kimie. We visited with family, had good food and some relaxation. What more could we ask for?

I snapped these photos right before we left. The boys were getting stir crazy cooped up in the hotel room until I let them out on the balcony to check out the view. I think they were mesmerized.

To me it looks like they are saying...

"Wow, what a great view of the city. Look at that beautiful church and the Christmas tree and the river (below out of the photo frame)..."

"Don't you think, brother?"

"Yes, I think it is beautiful, too, brother! Too bad this fancy baby gate is in our way!"

Monday, January 12, 2009

Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY (Closed)

Toddlers are notoriously finicky. With that being said, I am always looking for something that mine will eat. One day he will gobble a food down and the next he wants NOTHING to do with it. It makes it difficult to know what to cook. Know what I mean?

Well, recently, I got a bottle of a sauce called The Original Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce to try out. We are dippers in our house. I love to dip my french fries in ketchup or ranch. I enjoy dunking my pizza slices in ranch and I like to dip my steak in some sort of steak sauce. So, I was excited to try out a new sauce.

Here is some information from their website:

How does anything really good get its start? Where do great products come from? Usually they are the result of much time being exerted and a tremendous amount of love being invested. At that point you can say, "That's mine! I made that." That's the way Country Bob Edson created his All Purpose Sauce.

In 1968 Country Bob perfected the sauce of his dreams. After years of giving the sauce to friends and family he began to sell it in 1977. The reaction was overwhelming just as it is today. Almost everyone who tries Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce becomes a lifelong user. And why not, it is the perfect complement to practically any meal set on your table.

It was actually October of 1982 when Country Bob, Inc. became the company, which remains today. Bob Edson, Terry Edson, Al Malekovic and Reed Malekovic formed a corporation with equal ownership. Since that time Country Bob's distribution has magnified regionally in all directions from our corporate office located in Centralia, Illinois. Even with the tremendous growth we have not forgotten where we came from, continuing in our relentless pursuit of product excellence.

Along with our All Purpose Sauce we have expanded our product line to include BBQ Sauce, Seasoning Salt and Spicy All Purpose Sauce. With our fully automated bottling line we also have the capability of producing Private Label products for stores or restaurants.

It would be nice if we could claim responsibility for the success of the company, however, credit must be given where credit is due. Proverbs 16:3 says, "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." We have placed true ownership of Country Bob, Inc. in the hands of God. "Christ is our CEO" and He is an Awesome Boss!


My Thoughts:
This sauce looks a lot like regular steak sauce when you open it but it smells awesome, with a touch of sweetness and garlic. It is really yummy with something extra that I haven't tasted in other sauces. The first thing I tried it with was chicken fried steak fingers and fries. Mmmmm! It was really good. A few days later, I baked some chicken breasts brushed with this sauce. They were super good. And, guess who ate both of these dishes? My picky eater toddler. Yay! I have also tried this as a substitute for Worcestershire sauce in a snack mix recipe I love. Oh yeah, it was great! I think I will make it with Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce from now on.

There are lots of yummy sounding recipes at their site as well. I plan to try several of them.

Wanna try it out?

Buy It: You can buy this great sauce at many local stores. Just check out their website for a location near you. Hint: You might just find a very valuable coupon on their site, so check it out.

Win It: I asked Al Malekovic if I could offer my readers a bottle to try. Guess what? The company is offering TWO lucky readers TWO bottles EACH of the sauce to try out! Believe me, you want to try this sauce out.

1st Required Entry - Go to Country Bob's Online then come back here and mention something you read on their website that caught your attention (maybe a recipe that looks good?) in the comments of this post. Please include an e-mail address. If I can't contact you, you can't win!

For additional entries, subscribe to my feeds, follow me on Blogger and follow me on Twitter. You can have one additional entry for EACH of these things you do. If you do all FOUR of these things, you can have unlimited entries after that until the contest closes. All you have to do is mention something you saw on Country Bob's website in each comment.

This contest is open to US residents and closes on January 20th at 8 a.m. Central Time and the winners will be chosen randomly.

I Heart Etsy - Shelly Schwartz Studios

I love Etsy.

This Christmas season I wanted to find different, one of a kind presents for those on my Christmas list. Unfortunately, I figured out how cool Etsy is a bit late to buy all my presents there this Christmas. I think I will be using Etsy A LOT in the future. One cool thing is all of the cool handmade items. Another thing I love is that there are so many work at home moms (WAHMs) on Etsy and I love supporting other moms.

I will be doing a few posts on some Etsy faves in the near future... Here is the first.

Obviously, my boys nicknames are Finleypotamus and Kierbear. I am all about personalized stuff but was having trouble finding cute personalized ornaments I liked. Well, I came across an Etsy member that sculpts the most awesome, detailed works of art out of Polymer Clay. Her name is Shelly Schwartz and her Etsy shop is Shelly Schwartz Studios.

I sent her a custom request for ornaments for the boys (another thing I love... custom stuff just for you that no one else will have) and she and her daughter worked their magic. I told her what I wanted right down to the colors in the scarves. Her daughter, Kari, sculpted the adorable hippo and Shelly sculpted the bear (holding his own bear - how cute!). I was in awe at the detail when they arrived. They are signed too. This is definitely not something you will find mass produced and they can be handed down for years.

Look at these adorable guys...



Well, after the awesome service I received from Shelly, I just had to have her make another ornament for me. She went really above and beyond on this one. I decided at the last minute, a week before Christmas, that I wanted this because a figurine I had ordered from another site was a no-show. My husband and I have an inside joke about goat figuriness that goes back for several years. In short, every year I get him sort sort of goat figurine for Christmas. Shelly sculpted this adorable daddy goat with his two baby son goats to depict my hubby and my boys. I nearly cried when I saw it in person. It's just so perfect. And, the price for these custom pieces was AMAZING. Well worth the money I paid.

See? As beautiful as they are in the photo, they are even more special in person.



These ornaments are just the tip of the iceberg. Check out Shelly's website for more of her amazing art. You can even get your own pet sculpted in clay.

I highly recommend Etsy (and Shelly Schwartz) for your next gift giving occasion.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mama's Got a New (Diaper) Bag: The Bumble Collection REVIEW

I am in love.

No, seriously. I am as in love as you can be with a baby accessory.

The Busy Bee Backpack from The Bumble Collection's new Buzz line arrived tonight and I have spent the last couple of hours "playing" with it. I'm like a kid with a new toy. It's truly like no other diaper bag I have ever seen. It's like they read my mind.

It has everything I need.

As you know, I am blessed with two little boys born a year and a day apart. My current diaper bags just weren't working for us. I needed more room and, not only that, I needed a bag that was easy to use. When I am out and about with the boys, I usually have them both in the front part of the cart (If I'm lucky enough to find a grocery cart that is a double). If not, I take the double stroller in.

I needed a bag that I could fit EVERYTHING in so I would just have the bag, the stroller and the boys. I wasn't sure it existed. THIS is the bag! See, with two boys that are both in diapers, both crawling, and both need to be carried everywhere, I need my hands and I need a bag that has lots of room and is difficult for them to get into (I can't tell you how many times one of my darlings has EMPTIED the diaper bag in the grocery store aisle while I turned for 10 seconds to grab some milk). I also need a diaper bag that doesn't slip off my shoulder and allow the contents to fall all over the place. In addition, I need a bag that has room for both of the boys items in compartments that are easy to get to one handed. This bag has all of that. Seriously!

Here are my favorite things about The Busy Bee Backpack from their new Buzz line:

Feature: Backpack, Messenger, Stroller Bag in Exclusive Bee Quilt with lining in Exclusive Print
My Comment: I LOVE that it's versatile. I can throw it on my back and have both hands free for when I have to carry the boys at the same time. I also love that it can be used on the shoulder or across the chest and I really really think the straps for the stroller are just genius! You can clip it on the stroller and it doesn't slip.

Here is a photo I took of the front of the bag with the shoulder strap. It's adjustable and I love that.



Feature: Water and Stain Resistant and Machine Washable
My Comment: This is a great feature. I cannot tell you how many times I have had a bottle liner leak and formula dribbled everywhere.

Feature: Snack Bag Included
My Comment: I love this snack bag. It is partitioned off so I can put one boy's snacks in one side and the other boy's snacks in the other side. This is a great feature for Mommies that have multiple children that can't eat the same thing. I don't have to dig all over the place for spoons and their dry snacks, because there is a mesh compartment included as well.

See how pretty it is inside (but still very functional)?



Feature: Removable Shoulder Strap, Pop Out Backpack Straps and Stroller Straps Included
My Comment: See my previous comments and photo. This is one of the major selling features of this bag, in my opinion.

Feature: Detachable Fold Out Changing Pad
My Comment: I like that the pad is made out of the same soft material that lines the bag but is easy to clean (I tested it).


Feature: Top Zipper Pocket for Easy Access to Personal Items
My Comment: This is a neat feature that I have never seen before in a diaper bag. It's perfect for super easy access to wipes and diapers. I can't tell you how many times I've dug through a diaper bag trying to find a diaper and a pack of wipes. I don't even have to take the bag off the stroller. Awesome feature!

Here it is...



Feature: Optional 45 degree opening using featured Side Zippers
My Comment: This is a feature that I could see myself using on an overnight trip for easy access.

Feature: Multiple Zipper and Elastic Pockets for Added Storage Space
My Comments: Who doesn't love more storage space?



Do I recommend this diaper bag? What do you think? Absolutely! I want to go somewhere right now just to use it!

Check out The Bumble Collection's website for retailers. And, while you're there, browse the entire site for great carseat covers, diaper bags, snack bags and more. They have beautiful designs.

And, don't forget The Bumble Factory Outlet is open through tomorrow (Jan. 11) and you can save 40-70%. The site is offering all the celebrity faves and must have discontinued Bumble products. The Bumble Factory Outlet will hold a limited amount of sales throughout the year. Portions of the proceeds will benefit local children’s charities including Horizons for Homeless. You can get to the outlet through their main website (top banner).

Click here for related blog post.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I Will Never...


At this age, there are not a lot of things that keep the boys occupied at the same time, together, for long periods of time.

In comes the sandbox.

This is an item I never thought I'd love but I do because they love it. Sure, they get sand in their hair and other places you wouldn't even imagine lol but it's so worth it. Finley enjoys taking a sand bath (dropping handfuls over his head) and Kieran thinks it tastes pretty yummy.

Before I had kids, there were several items I said "No way will my kid have that". I was also guilty of saying, "My kid will never (insert naive statement here)". Um, yeah right. I have learned to omit the word NEVER from my vocabulary because if it makes my kids happy and doesn't do them any harm, I am all for it.

So, what is something you said you'd NEVER buy your kids or something you said you'd NEVER allow your kids to do that you are now all for?

I just had to add an e-mail reply I got from my Mother-in-Law that I thought was great.

"I said I would never say, "Because I'm the Mom, that's why!" I would always have a logical and valid reason for not allowing my child to do something or for requesting that he do something. And, of course, I just knew that my little boy would angelically comply with my wishes."

"That was, until I realized that I had in my arms a little genius who was born with more logic that I would ever possess. For instance, when he was about four, I would ask politely for him to put away his toys before bedtime. He would respond, equally politely and with great patience, "But Mom, I have everything just the way I want it. If I put it away, I will just have to do all this work over again in the morning. Why do I have to put it away?" To which, I patiently responded, "Because I'm the Mom, that's why!"

I have to say you can't argue with his logic! lol

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A FinleypotaMUST Find: The Bumble Factory Outlet

For the last few weeks, I have been trying to find a diaper bag that works better for my two boys. I currently use a really nice looking tote bag but there just isn't enough room and it's hard to find things in it. To top it off, it's always falling down my shoulder when I am carrying the boys to the car and it doesn't hang well on the stroller.

In my search, I came across the awesome and beautiful looking bags at The Bumble Collection. I immediately fell in love with their designs and I loved all the features and how roomie the bags looked. In addition, I really love that they can hang easily on strollers! Imagine that?! I also loved that The Bumble Collection has snack packs and gorgeous carseat covers.

I decided to find out more about the company and their bags and was intrigued to find out about The Bumble Collection Outlet.

I started browsing the site and it was love at first site. Just look at this awesome looking bag available through the outlet. It's called the Jessica Messenger in Blue Latte. You know I love blue and brown!


Here is more information directly from the company regarding the The Bumble Collection Outlet.

"We are launching our Factory Outlet on Dec 29, 2008 at 10am PST and run thru Jan 11, 2009 at midnight PST. The site will have a link from our site so you should visit The Bumble Collection website to link directly to The Bumble Factory Outlet - it has the Bumble Collection diaper bags and children’s accessories that will be from 40% to 70% off - this is quite the opportunity to score an incredible diaper bag and/or accessories!. The site will offer all the celebrity faves and must have discontinued Bumble products. The Bumble Factory Outlet will hold a limited amount of sales throughout the year. Portions of the proceeds will benefit local children’s charities including Horizons for Homeless."

"A portion of the proceeds incurred from this The Bumble Factory Outlet website will benefit many charities such as Horizons Homeless Children. Horizons provide homeless children in Massachusetts with the nurturing, stimulation and opportunities for early education and play that all children need to learn and grow in healthy ways. They not only provide early education and care for these families but more importantly they teach parents the tools they need to achieve social and economic self-sufficiency. For more information on this great organization, please visit: Horizons for Homeless Children. We hope that this website can be benefiting for our partnering organizations. Please help us make a difference."

They also have a new line call Buzz.

According to their website, Buzz is "an entirely new collection of designer-driven diaper bags, with touches from its sister line of Bumble Bags. Buzz allows more mothers to take advantage of our Bumble products, and have the look, feel and functionality of a designer diaper bag." The Buzz bags on their site are currently offered in blue, green, red and black and look really nice.

My Buzz bag is on it's way and I will be sure to let you all know how it works out for us. I am hoping it will be easier to find things for both the boys when one is crying for a bottle and the other is thirsty for his sippy and wants some snacks. The backpack/messenger/stroller style is what I am really looking forward to trying out. It looks very versatile. No more shoulder slips? Yay! I have heard nothing but rave reviews so far.

But, don't delay. The Bumble Collection Outlet is only open until January 11, 2009 and there are some awesome deals there for a great cause. If you aren't in need of a bag, don't forget upcoming baby showers!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What's More Fun Than Dental Work?

Do you know what's more fun than dental work?

Give up?

Answer: Taking a 20 month old that does not want to sit and waste time for one moment (there is WAY too much in life to explore to sit still for more than .025 seconds at a time, y'all) to the dentist for a check-up. Finley started getting teeth at 5 months and grew about 10 overnight (seriously lol!) so the dentist likes to keep an eye on his teeth.

He was not having it!

Luckily, the dentist finally got a passing glance at his chompers and he's good to go for six more months. Woo!

Know what's more fun than taking a 20 month old to the dentist by yourself?

Give up?

Taking a 26 month old and a 14 month old to the dentist by yourself (coming up in six months). Who wants to volunteer to help? lol

I do have to say that our dentist is AWESOME though. If anyone wants a suggestion on a pediatric dentist and lives near me, let me know.

Oh, and know what tops off a fun day at the dentist with my sweet toddler?

Dropping my full sweet tea from Sonic in the parking lot on the way in. Bummer...

Off to the ENT next...

Tuesdays are fun! :-)

Monday, January 5, 2009

What's Yours Is Mine and What's Ours Is Mine?

Um, dude, didn't Mommy and Daddy get us our OWN NEW ride on toys for Christmas?

This totally isn't a 2-seater!

Mom, seriously, put down the camera and do something. I'm marking this all down for the future, people!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Parked Out


Yesterday, we headed to the park to tire the boys out before naptime. Do you think it worked?