Giveaway Madness

31 07 2008

If you never win anything, this week is for you. There are over 800 different blogs giving away all sorts of items from target giftcards to homemade trinkets with Bloggy Giveaways as the headquarters.

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I am obsessing about all things baby-related (that’s right, dh!) so here are a few contests I’ve noted just for like-minded people:

Chicco Trevi Twin Double Stroller (better hurry, ends 7/31) from La La Girl

The ultra-hip 2008 Bumbleride Flyer Stroller from Mom Dot (ends 8/31, so you’ve got time)

A copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding from Attachment Parenting International

Clean that kid off with Huggies Clean Team Kit from Shake the Salt or a duck Bath Luve tummy warmer from Lille Punkin’.

After bathtime, warm baby with a boutique personalized baby blanket from An Island Life and Kennedy Grace Boutique.

Make cloth diapering more user-friendly with an Out and About wetbag from School teacher by day, Superhero by night. Hurry—ends Friday night!

Pick up extra baby supplies with a $50 gift card to Target from Unexpected Bliss or organic baby food with a $25 gift certificate to Whole Foods from dkMommy.


For the big sisters and brothers:

No visit to the pool is complete without Huggies Little Swimmers from Dates to Diapers

More to be added later, just think I ought to sleep once in awhile.
Don’t forget to visit our giveaway here.

Children’s Programming Sabotages Diets

31 07 2008

I came to the realization the other day that I am always hungry because the shows my son watches (or are on in the background sometimes while he plays) always make references to food.  For instance on Clifford there is a dog named T-Bone and another one named Hamburger.  Then on Super Why the episode was about the hen making cornbread for her chicks.  Of course that made me think, hmm, cornbread, sounds good.  So I made some cornbread for my chickies.  Then since I had the oven on I made homemade granola (for the first time).  I am HOOKED!  It was super easy and SO yummy 🙂  My husband can’t stop eating it!  I just followed one of the recipes from my favorite cookbook, altering it a little to take into account the ingredients I had on hand. 

While that was baking I bagged the rest of the salmon that we brought home this past weekend.  Our new idea is to bake it right when we bring it home, flake and debone it, then package it in meal size portions and freeze.  I think it’s going to make it a lot easier to just grab some salmon and use it in meals like salmon alfredo, salmon patties, salmon casseroles etc.  Anyway, here are a few pictures of that fateful morning 🙂


This is the catch from the weekend.  Seven fish in total.  We estimate this is about 25 fish this season.  With us eating maybe 1/2 to 1 fish a week it should last us until the beginning of next summer!


After all the cooking, flaking, vacuum packing, etc.  the kitchen was a mess.  I try to be the kind of person who cleans up during the cooking process but it never works.  I was really tired from standing so I made myself a bowl of the still warm granola and sat down to rest…


After I finished I set the timer for 15 min and cleaned everything but the dishes.  Those took two loads in the dishwasher (because the baby was up late the night before so the dinner dishes hadn’t been done).  Anyway, before and after photos 🙂  Maybe not too impressive to anyone else, but with a toddler running around taking off his diaper and a teething baby, this was quite an accomplishment for me 🙂  Setting the timer is always great motivation.  You can do anything for 15 (or 10 or 5) minutes.  And usually once I get started I can finish even if the timer goes off.




Flashback Photo

30 07 2008

I was looking back at photos from a few years ago and found this one.  Our first son was about 6-7 mos old when this was taken.  It sums up what we all feel about Notre Dame football these days “please God, let us win again!”  Below that are comparison photos of him today, as well as his little brother at the same age.


Lunch at Cabela’s

29 07 2008

On a recent road trip, we made a lunch stop at the brand new Cabela’s Outfitter store. A tasty lunch was followed by a stroll through the Savannah, the Tundra, and more. They have very impressive displays! This store even had a walk-through aquarium (see photo gallery #17 on their site), which was by far, Bean’s favorite part of the visit. Our only purchases were chocolate pretzels (stay away from them, they look better than they taste) and a mosquito patch (which we haven’t tried yet). Here’s Bean’s closest encounters with moose so far: (Jennifer can top any moose story I have) 










PS–Have you visited our giveaway yet? You could win a subscription to Country Home!

Gross Things in My Garden

28 07 2008

After two weeks straight of rain, and a four day camping trip, my garden has been showing signs of neglect.  So I took advantage of the baby’s long nap and my toddler’s good behavior mood and spent some time picking weeds, and doing other outside chores.  Overgrown weeds and almost blooming broccoli weren’t the only things to greet me today.  I found a dead bird smack in the middle of my flower patch.  Yucky, but my other thought was ‘poor thing’.  I think it might have been the bird we saw hopping around with a broken wing last week but I’m not sure.  I’m just glad I was able to move it out of there before my boy saw it and wanted to play with it! 

Then when moving some border stones around I stumbled upon a colony of slugs.  YUCK YUCK AND TRIPLE YUCK.  One is bad enough, but 30 or more…  ugh, I am sick to my stomach just thinking about it.  Being married to a hunter and having been through pregnancy and childbirth twice, not much grosses me out anymore.  But slimy, disgusting, althchkk (can’t even come up with a word for that sound!) slugs are GROSS!  I probably used half a box of Borax on the ones I found, and hope we have some cheap beer to set out some traps later.  I don’t want to waste the Killians on those things!

Well, back to good things.  Some of the tomato plants have blossomed.  The broccoli is looking about ready to be picked.  It actually looks a bit beyond ready, but I’ve never grown broccoli so how can you tell?  I was expecting larger heads, but I guess I got a mini variety?  The lettuce I thought was leaf lettuce is forming heads, so I guess that’s it for picking salads.  The herbs (dill, parsley, chives, tarragon) I planted are coming up nicely.  I think I may pot a few in a couple of weeks to bring inside for the winter.  Especially the dill to go with all the salmon we’ll be eating.  So despite this looking like the coldest summer on record (can you believe there have only been 35 days it’s hit 60 or above?), I have had some success with gardening.  I’ve already started looking toward next year and things I can do to prepare so that next year I will have more luck!

Happy Birthday to You Giveaway!

28 07 2008


Little Bean has been singing Happy Birthday a lot lately. She sings “Happy Birthday to the raindrops,” “Happy Birthday to Maisy,” “Happy Birthday to me,” and, my favorite, “Happy Birthday to the people.” Well, today we’re having a little “Happy Birthday” giveaway to celebrate our tranquil 2 months of blogging. We’re having fun, and we hope you are too!


Our present to one lucky reader is a free 10-issue subscription to Country Home Magazine. Their magazine “is for the home enthusiast who creates a warm and inviting home that reflects her personal style. Every issue encourages readers to have fun and break the rules by blending styles from traditional to contemporary, eclectic to romantic and rustic to urban. “

All you need to do to enter is to leave us a comment below describing the most memorable birthday party you have ever been to. The question is not that difficult, so any generic comments that don’t relate to the question (such as “enter me” or “hey, pick me”) will be disqualified at our discretion. If you’re so inspired to get a 2nd entry, you may also enter by posting about this giveaway on your own blog and leaving a second comment with the link.


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Here’s all the fine print you need to know:You can participate even if you don’t have a blog. If you are a non-blogger, be sure to include an e-mail address to contact you with or stop back here after the contest ends to see if you’ve won. We’ll choose the winner at random after 8 p.m. EST on Friday, August 1, post the winner here that night and contact the winner via his or her blog or email. If we don’t hear back from the winner within 4 days, we will draw another winner.  Only US addresses are eligible.

Hurray for Bloggy Giveaways and all the awesome bloggers out there that are participating in their quarterly carnival! Go check them out!

Don’t forget to tell us about a memorable birthday party in your comment!


Meal Plan Monday in MA

27 07 2008

Another week, another meal plan! Food has not been a friend to my preggo belly lately, but hopefully this week I’ll transition from the queasiness of the 1st trimester into the bliss of the 2nd.

Meanwhile, I wanted to share this nifty brand that I discovered in my local mega-mart: Bilinski’s Gourmet Meats. They’re natural and organic, but don’t taste like the packaging like some natural products I’ve had. I had to stop my dh from eating all the beef franks the last time I bought them so I could have seconds the next day. Bilinski’s is a New York family-owned company, so I’m not sure if their products are available outside the North East. But if you do see them, give them a try!


Monday: Saturday’s Roast Chicken: Part II (I adapted the giant turkey recipe for a tiny chicken) & potatoes

Tuesday: Leftovers that are taking over the fridge

Wednesday: Broccoli & Cheddar Quiche with a Fruit Salad

Thursday: Mac’n’Cheese with Hotdogs and Salad

Friday: Baked (or Grilled) Fish and Creamed Spinach

Saturday: Forage for something in the fridge. There will be leftovers…

Sunday: Breakfast for dinner–Sausage and Waffles


Looking for more yummy recipes? Stop by I’m an Organizing Junkie.

You made it down to the bottom of the post! Check out our 1st giveaway to win a subscription to Country Home magazine.

Truely it’s Orangey!

27 07 2008

     I was so excited this week to find my grocery store has started to carry True Lemon products. I had tried a free sample over a month ago and was really impressed. True Lemon is a crystallized lemon substitute in convenient little packets. Just think, when you sprinkle sugar on something, it gets sweeter; but when you sprinkle True Lemon, it gets “lemony-er” without any extra calories! It’s a great pick-me-up for drinking water or a quick & tasty addition to marinades and rubs. The company also makes a lime and orange substitute.
     I had been carrying a coupon for the product around with me for awhile, so when I saw it, I decided to buy a box of True Orange. Back at home, I started to make a fruit salad. Maybe they were just old, but my oranges had no flavor. I diced them anyway and then sprinkled them with a packet of True Orange. When I mixed them in with the rest of the fruit and tasted the salad, my mouth did a little happy dance! It was the best fruit salad I’ve had in a long time; hurray for True Orange!
lemon Ok, so you’ve heard me go on about it….Isn’t it time for you to try it too? Visit for your free sample and tell me what you think.

A little drawing of us

25 07 2008

Even though excessive and gaudy signatures on message boards are one of my pet-peeves, I might consider using this cute drawing once in awhile:

Pyzam Family Sticker Toy
Looks a lot like us, except dh just got a haircut, my hair is unruly, and little Bean’s hair is usually just scruffy looking. Oh, and my pregnant ankles are not that skinny!

What’s for Dinner?

24 07 2008

Since I didn’t get to post a meal plan this week, I thought I should at least invite you into our kitchen for dinner. Here’s what’s on the menu: Spaghetti & meatballs! I found these neat fusilli noodles. The meatballs are leftovers from last week (hence they’re frozen in a wad right now.) I’m going to go fix some green beans too. Enjoy your dinner!



PS-I did move the noodles to a larger pot to cook!