Monday, January 30, 2012

Making Homeade Baby Food- Move Over, Martha.

At Grayson Boy's 4 month check up we got the go ahead to start on some solid foods, and since he's already been on rice cereal off of a spoon since 6 weeks, we decided to start with some sweet potatoes. 

I've done a lot of reading, and I really wanted to try and make my own baby food using all organic veggies.  I figured, how hard can it be? I cant over cook anything, because its going to be pureed to mush so I mustered up the courage and gave it a whirl. 

Sunday I decided to whip up a few batches- sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots and green beans.  It really was pretty darn easy.  I put the oven on 400 and washed and scrubbed the potatoes, gave them a poke and wrapped them in foil.  The Squash got hacked in half, put in a pan with an inch of water and both went in the oven for about an hour.

Don't judge, this was the smallest squash the store had- it was ginormous.

The green beans and carrots got steamed on the stove top until soft.

Once something was soft, into the super fancy schmancy food processor we got as a wedding gift and still haven't used it went.

Add a little water or formula to thin the veggies out to give a nice smooth puree and pop them into an ice cube tray and freeze up.  The ice cube tray is the right size for a single serving, and you can reuse it time and again.  After they were frozen I popped them into a Ziploc baggie and stored them in the freezer.

All together I probably spent 2 or 2.5 hours in the kitchen making enough baby food to last us a good long time. That one squash made 48 servings alone.
 Now for the real test-

Super excited for some sweet potatoes!

First bite in...

Ma, this is not my rice cereal. This tastes kind of healthy. What are you trying to do to me?

I guess its not too tastes better than the formula I suppose.

Here Daddy, let me help you shovel this into my mouth- because Ive decided I like it!

Good job, Mommy. Martha should be shaking in her boots!

(love this kid.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Holy Adult Stuff Batman.

Tonight we set up a 403b plan with a financial planner. We also picked out life insurance, did a cash flow analysis, made a financial plan and talked about creating living wills.

One question, lovelies,


Well, I mean, I guess when this guy came along...

..but still.

A little over a year ago we were eating junk food for dinner and would actually spend our extra money on ourselves. We didn't do laundry but once a week, and if we would rather go out than clean the house we did.

Tonight, I came home from work, ran the sweeper, moped the floors made a dinner of grilled chicken, baked sweet potatoes, corn and salad.  We ate dinner, I did dishes and a load of laundry and then we sat down with a lady in a power suit and talked about mutual funds and aggressive vs conservative investments.

I feel old and responsible.

So now that the baby is asleep I will put my feet up on the couch, eat a bowl of ice cream and watch American Idol.  Because a person can only take so much responsibility in a day.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I was tagged- Play Along with Me :)

I was tagged by Kristen over at Life With the Ellwoods to answer some questions and pass along- so play along with me, it sounds super fun, right :)

The rules:
1. You must post the rules.
2. Post 12 fun facts about yourself in the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create 12 new questions for the people you tagged.
4. Tag 12 people and link them on your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them.

12 facts about me..

1. I'm an only child.

2. I've never broken a bone. I have however rolled my ankle and torn tendons in it and wished it was broken because then it would just heal right instead of hurting like a bugger whenever the weather changes.

3. My husband was the very first person I met in college. I almost ran him over on the street walking into the Student Union. His fault for crossing a busy downtown street without looking both ways.  Also, I may/may not have called him a few choice names in my car. Ha!

4. I have a new love for "The Big Bang Theory".  Its a new fave for sure.

5. I have seen every episode of CSI and CSI NY...I would have been a forensic scientist for sure if I could stand the site of blood.

6. I was determined to not let Patrick name the baby on his own, however once I was strapped to the table in the OR I told him "Name him whatever you want!"  THAT was the drugs talking for sure.

7. I still have my teddy bear I slept with as a child.

8. Im terrified of scary movies, will not watch them.

9. At work, I am the organized lady. At home, it takes me 30 minutes to find my keys some days.

10. My favorite place in the world is the Outer Banks- can't wait to take Grayson boy there.

11. I learned to read when I was 4.  

12. I drink regular Coke in the mornings. I need the caffeine buzz.
Kristen's Questions:

1. What is your favorite color and do you have it in your home? Where?
Im a pink girl. It just makes me happy.  I have little touches of pink in lots of places, but my master bathroom has pink walls with white bead board.  Love it.
2. What was your favorite home decorating, crafting, or clothing trend of 2011?
Flare leg jeans came back- Im not a boot cut girl.

3. What is your favorite TV show?
CSI or the Big Bang Theory

4. What is your favorite household chore?
I love to do dishes. Mainly because I hate the look of a sink full of dirty dishes.

5. Have you ever ruined anything in the wash? If so, what?
Alll the time. I hate laundry, its evil.  Most recently, a wonderful pair of blue work pants that after I took them out of the dryer and they looked 5 sizes too small I realized the tag said Dry Clean Only.  Im pretty good at just dumping EVERYTHING in together- the less time I have to spend in the creepy basement the better.

6. How many children do you want?
Two or three.

7. What was your favorite subject in school?
Speech and Debate or Science- but I chose to teach Science because it wasn't as easy for me to get.

8. What is your favorite holiday? Why?
Christmas- I love all the traditions we have, and Im super excited to share them with Grayson.

9. What is your favorite hair care product?
Aussie Scrunch Mousse- works like a charm on the mornings when you just dont feel like doing your hair.

10. Have you ever mowed the lawn?
Yup, I grew up on 2 acres.  They put me on the tractor with my cd player and made me cut it all.

11. What is your favorite kitchen tool, gadget, etc.?
The Pampered Chef Can Opener- no more sharp edges!!

12. What is your favorite snack?
Sour Patch Kids or Chips and Salsa- depends on my mood.

My tags:
Olivia at Her Random Rants and Rambles
Mariah at Formula Mom
Janette at Est. 5.26.07
Ashley at Me and My Boys
Rachel at Thats Life
Brandi Yee at Yee Wittle Things

My questions for you:
1. What is your favorite thing to make for dinner in a pinch?
2.  If you could have any job, what would it be and why?
3. What was your biggest epic fail moment of 2011?
4. If you had $500 of free money to spend on anything, what would you buy?
5. What is your favorite new home find? (kitchen gadget, home decor item, vintage find, etc)
6. In photos- black and white or color?
7. What is your favorite vacation spot?
8. What was the best day of your life?
9. If you could have any super power what would it be?
10.  Name the one room/space in your house you're dying to redecorate.
11. Early to bed or early to rise?
12. What is your biggest fear?

Please send me a link to your posts!

Four Months Old

My Grayson Boy-

You are four months old today. Four months seems like such a short time, yet you have done so much in your short time here with us.  You constantly amaze me with the things you can do, and I'm so proud to watch you learn new things and grow up.

When Daddy and I put you in your crib to take your pictures this month, we realized that you touch both sides. You really are getting so big. At your four month well visit you weighed in at 15 pounds 10 ounces and were  25 inches long. You also had to get your shots, Daddy took you because Mommy can't bear to see you cry.  Grammy offered to go with Daddy, but once she learned that you needed shots she also refused to go.

This month you have learned so much and done so much its amazing to me.
  • Your first Christmas was super fun, and Santa spoiled you rotten.  Everyone agreed that you made this holiday extra special, and you were so curious as to what was going on around you.
  • You celebrated your first New Years, and none of us made it till Midnight.  I did manage to sneak into your room and smooch you around 2 AM. You were Mommy's first kiss of the New Year, don't tell Daddy he'll be jealous.

  • This year you were also here to celebrate Mommy's birthday out of the tummy.  On my last birthday we didn't know you were coming yet, and this year I had my wiggly giggly baby in my arms. It was the best birthday ever if you ask me.
  • You learned to jump like CRAZY in your jumparoo from Santa.  You could spend hours in that thing if we'd let you.
  • You found your hands and started chewing away. I think you're starting to get some teeth because not only are you chewing on every thing, but you're also a droolin fool.  Like you go through three to five bibs a day at Grammy's alone.
  • You spend tons of time staring at your puppy dogs. Kaos and Gizmo are your favorites in this house for sure, and they're pretty fond of you as well.
  • You have mastered rolling from belly to back, and you're sooo close to rolling from back to belly. You just cant figure out how to move your arm out of the way, but once you do you'll be rolling all over the place.
  • Its pretty easy to get you to laugh out loud, all we have to do is play Peek A Boo with you and you get the best case of the giggles.  Daddy and I can't help but laugh so hard when you giggle, and that usually makes you laugh harder.
  • You moved up to size two diapers and 3-6 month clothes, and I have to say you are one handsomely dressed dude.
  • You've started to reach for things you want, and have pretty good arm control. Today at Grammy's you saw a magnet on the fridge that you decided you wanted, and you just reached out and plucked it off.  Grammy said you were so proud of yourself you smiled and laughed, then you threw the magnet on the floor and reached for the next one. I think Pappy will be Grayson proofing the house soon, and he doesn't mind one bit. He really does love you.

    Well my favorite baby pickle, thats about all for now.  Thank you for choosing me to be your Mommy, it is the best present I could have ever asked for.  Daddy and I thought we had it all before you, but now we know that with you we really do have everything.
    Love you more than words my little man.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cheesy Bacon Potato Rounds

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and was dying to try it.  I'm a sucker for a good potato skin, but they're not the healthiest. Now while this recipe wouldn't fall under the healthy column, I will say it is much better than the deep fried version.

They're super simple to make. First take a potato, wash it well and slice it to about 1/8 inch thick.  Spray each side with cooking spray and pop into an oven set to 400* for about 10 minutes.  Flip over, add some salt, and cook for another 10 minutes.  This will give you soft centers with crisp edges.  If you want the whole potato crispy, cook longer, about 40 minutes total. 

Once cooked, take out of oven and sprinkle a little cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon on each round and pop back in the oven until all melty.

 I served mine up with some thin sliced chicken breast and the hubs seriously ate like 10 rounds. 

I showed some restraint, I only ate five.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Month Four Must Haves

This month Grayson has been starting to actually PLAY with things. He wants to figure them out, he wants to see how they work and he wants to interact with them. I absolutely love it, because hes getting to be so independent and fun but it breaks my heart to see him grow up so quick.  My guess is that every momma and daddy out there knows this feeling all to darn well.

This month our favorite things are

He wasn't too sure of it at first, but he loves it now.  He realizes that he has to jump to get the music to keep playing and he really goes to town on this sucker.  Park him in this in front of the TV and I'm guaranteed about 30 minutes of un-interrupted time.  He was a little short at first, so we just stuck a Vera Bradley box under his feet and it works just fine.

Our neighbors bought Grayson this for Christmas and he is obsessed. If you press the large red button, then all of the instruments will play but you can hit each instrument individually then add others in.  Grayson loves hitting each light and watching the turtle make music.  He babbles away and presses buttons and its the cutest darn thing. 

At first Grayson wasn't too thrilled with this, until he realized that when sitting in it he is at eye level with Mom and Dad.  Now, he loves it. He sits in it all the time and couldn't be happier, especially when Mom and Dad are eating and hes on the kitchen table between us. We also take it to restaurants and don't have to worry about him falling out of a high chair.

Peek a Boo is our new favorite game, and this bunny is our favorite person to play with. If you cover his eyes with his ears, then uncover the bunny says "Peek A Boo!"  Grayson laughs every single time. He also lights up and sings songs and talks, and our teething little man has decided that this bunny's nose is one of the best things to chew on.

This has got to be one of my favorite toys. You plug Scout into your computer and after about 5 minutes he knows your kiddos name, favorite color, songs, food and animal.  When Grayson squeezes his paw and he starts to sing the Grayson song, he gets this look of wonder like "Hey, this puppy knows my name!"  It has tons of games, songs and features and is totally adorable. Oh and whenever he barks it scares the beans out of our two real dogs, which I have to admit is pretty darn funny.

Thats it for this month.  Now that both Grammys know we like toys, more and more have started to appear at our house- so Im sure Ill have a whole new crop next month. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow Day!

We woke up this morning to 5 inches of fluffy white stuff.  Now, Im a little peeved that Mother Nature couldn't do this on a school day but I'm okay with it as long as I don't have to drive in it. 

After breakfast we bundled up little man and took him outside for his first snow experience.

He LOVED the snowsuit. My child is the kid who hates to be cold, so he was in his glory.  

Not too sure of it until we laid him on his back and let him wriggle in the snow.
Then, he LOVED it. 

Little baby snow butt print- oh how I melt!

If its cold and snowy where you are, hope you are enjoying your snow day!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Quick Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

I love soup. It just makes me happy.

What I don't like is it taking for-ev-a to make. I also am not a fan of the crappy stuff from a can after learning this delish recipe.

(Adapted from Rachel Ray)


2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
Salt and pepper
2 quarts of chicken stock
1 pound chicken breast tenders
1/2 package of egg noodles


Place a large pot over moderate heat and add 1 quart of chicken stock.  Add chicken tenders and cook covered for 8 minutes.  While chicken is cooking, chop veggies. Remove chicken from pot and toss in the kitchen aid mixer to shred. (Use the paddle attachment, put it up to 5 or 6 and shreds it perfectly!) Add the veggies, 2nd quart of stock and bay leaves to pot and cook for about 7 minutes before adding the egg noodles. Cook for another 7- 8 minutes or until noodles are tender.  Add chicken back in to heat through and season with salt and pepper to taste.  If soup is too thick add up to two cups of water to thin out. 

So good and so quick- perfect for a cold weeknight. I make mine with a side of Cheddar Bacon Bay Biscuits- since they only take 10 minutes they're the perfect side. Yum!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

 My boys watching the Steelers lose on Sunday
 Niether one would look away from the TV for a picture.
 Naps on Mommy = L.O.V.E.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

Hubs is working nights this week- we've seen each other a total of about 1.5 hours each day since Monday. I keep telling myself its only a week, but truth be told it sucks. It sucks and I am tired, y'all.

I don't know how single parents do it- or the parents who work opposite shifts.

It doesn't help that I'm already a light sleeper now that Grayson has decided its super fun to roll over in his crib at night. Only problem is he wakes up when he does it.  If you catch him quick enough he will go back to sleep, so I have the monitor cranked up so loud I swear I can hear him stretch.  That combined with two dogs who NEVER bark suddenly going spastic when a dust bunny hops makes for little sleep for this girl.

Seriously, we could go to Hawaii with the bags under my eyes.

Yesterday was also my 27th birthday.

I thought it was going to be a pretty miserable day, but its amazing how people make you feel loved.

My Momma surprised me with a waffle with a candle in it and a new pair of Coach dress shoes in the morning. My kiddos brought me cards, a crown and each class serenaded me with a loud rocking version of Happy Birthday (my ears were bleeding- even the principals came in to sing along).  My favorite co-workers and best friends got me a cake (which may or may not have been my birthday dinner) and a Macy's gift card. The hubs bought me a tons of presents and Grayson boy gave me a card and these babies.

The Elsa Peretti Bean Earrings from Tiffany's.

That's right, my baby Bean bought me beans.

I sure do love that kid. And the Dad he has that paid for these babies.

So turning 27 wasn't as bad as I thought- and I still get to celebrate with friends this weekend.

But please, no more ears still hurt.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


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Tips and Tricks

Ive been working on this post for awhile now, as I find these neat tips and tricks I wanted to keep them all together and be able to share them with all of you lovelies!

I have tried all of these, so I know they work. Just call me Martha Stewart- you know, sans the jail time.  Some are from pinterest, some are from my grandma. If I got them from somewhere, click the picture and it will take you to the genius who came up with it :)

If there is no picture, then I have no idea where I heard it- or I would cite it!
1. I looked for months for this tip- and it came from Vivienne over at the V-Spot Blog. To clean the grease off of the burners on the stove- put them in a zip lock baggie with about 1/4 cup of ammonia and seal the bag. Then let it sit overnight (outside is best, in case the bag breaks and you can avoid the stink!) and the fumes will take off the burned on grease and you can wipe it away with a sponge in the morning.

HOLY CRAP. Vivienne, you have no idea how much time I have wasted scrubbing those stupid things. You are a genius.

2. Kim had the BRILLIANT idea how to clean our shower heads: to get the built up residue off of your shower head, tie a baggy of vinegar around a shower head. Leave it there over night, and it will clean everything off with no work! (PS- Go check her out at Tales and Tips from A Real Life Housewife, shes full of great ideas and sweet as can be!)

3. To keep spaghetti sauce from staining your plastic ware, spray the inside of the storage container with a little bit of non-stick cooking spray. It will prevent the red from soaking into the plastic. If they still smell like sauce after you've washed them, place a cut up lemon inside and zap it in the microwave for a minute. 

4. If you frost a cake and are going to store it in the fridge, wet a piece of newspaper and set it on a plate. All of the fridge odors will go into the newspaper and not the cake. A great hint for if you have a fridge full of food for a party.

5. The sun is a great bleaching agent. You can place wet fabrics or plastic ware into the sun and it will bleach the stains out for you.

6. From, aspirin can not only prevent heart attacks but also remove sweat stains, take the green out of blonde hair in the summer, treat pimples and get rid of dandruff.  To remove sweat stains crush up enough pills to make a paste with water to cover the stain. Let set and then wash as usual. To remove the green from the pool from your hair, dissolve 6-8 tabs in water and let soak onto hair for 10 minutes. For problem acne, make a paste and apply directly to the pimple. For Dandruff- crush two aspirins and mix it into your normal amount of shampoo (regular shampoo, not the dandruff kind!) you use in the shower.  Let sit on hair for a few minutes and rinse away the flakes!

7. Tossing a few pennies in your garden to make your hydrangeas blue. (My grandma also swears it prevents slugs, but I dont have slugs in my garden so I dont know if this is true or not!)

8. Oh Martha, how I love thee. Store your sheets in a pillowcase. Keeps everything together and it makes for easy, compact storage.

9. A Real Simple Tip- Once you open the brown sugar, toss a few marshmallows in to keep it soft.

10. This one came from Shape Magazine- To remove stains from nails after wearing a dark polish, scrub nails with a whitening toothpaste and a nail brush.

11. To make your own nail polish, make a little pile of eyeshadow (great idea for the broken shadows we all have lying around!) and mix in a little clear nail polish. By using a matte topcoat, you can even get the Matte look here from Nevertoomuchgliiter!

If youre into nails, you have to check the awesomness out that is her blog. I die.

12. When you cut up an apple keep it from turning brown by using a rubber band to hold it together in its original apple shape.


13. A bounce sheet in your back pocket will repel mosquitoes. Place them around your house to repel mice as well.

14. Found on To get the water spots off of chrome faucets, after cleaning rub them with a piece of waxed paper- it will keep the water spots and fingerprints from sticking to the clean metal. You can also use a piece of waxed paper on your swifter sweeper. Just rip off a piece the size of the sweeper, attach, and wipe away. The dirt sticks to the paper- so much cheaper than buying the refill kits.

15. If you get a water mark on a wooden table, rub the stain with Petroleum Jelly and let sit for 24 hours. Then wipe off the excess and polish as usual.

16. Cornstarch will untangle all kinds of knots. Rub some into the knot in shoelaces, chains, string etc and watch as it comes apart.

17.  Found her on Pinterest- and Diane from In My Own Style has one of the best why didnt I think of that ideas ever. When painting, wrap a rubber band around the can over the opening. Then you can dip in the brush and wipe the excess paint off onto the rubber band, rather than the edge of the can.

18. You can make your own ice packs by filling a zip lock baggie with dish soap, then placing into a second baggie to seal in leaks. The soap wont freeze totally, allowing you to mold it to your body. Bonus, you can get a few packs out of a $1 bottle of soap from the dollar store.

19. To make perfectly shredded chicken, simply toss hot/warm cooked chicken into the mixer with the cookie paddle attachment. Turn it on speed 5 and in about 30 seconds it will have done all the work for you. This came from Simply Healthy Family- and if you like to eat you NEED to check out the recipies over there!!

20. When you take down Christmas lights, wrap them around a square of cardboard for storage. A good use for all of the shirt boxes that get ripped open Christmas morning. Keeps them untangled and easy to put away.

21. When hammering in a nail, use a clothes pin to hold the nail in place. No more hammering your fingers!


22. You can make your own magic erasers for cleaning by simply buying some melamine foam. You can buy 30 of them on Amazon for $15. No more paying $4.69 for four!

23. The tip came from Pinterest and linked me to Jaimelyn from over at I {heart} Nap Time. let us in on this AMAZING secret- baby powder will remove sand from skin. Perfect for keeping feet clean!

Head on over to I {heart} Nap Time and see some awesome recipies, craft ideas and overall awesomeness.

24. Soak old paint brushes in HOT vinegar for 30 minutes and then wash. The old paint will come out and they will be as good as new. Just one of the many ideas Ive found on This Old House :)

25. Chalk will remove grease stains from clothes. Simply rub the stain with chalk, then toss in the wash as normal. I learned this when I was student teaching :)

26. Add some Velcro to a dish towel to keep it secure on the handle of the oven.

27. When a sweater gets pilly from being in the dryer, run a cheap disposable razor over the fabric to shave off the fuzz! They used to make little machines that were basically mens razors for this back in the 90's.

28. From Martha- save cabinet space in the kitchen, hang a tension rod and use S hooks to hang pots and pans. Then a magazine rack attached to the door will hold lids in place.  Also, tension rods turned vertical will sort cookie sheets and pans so you don't have to move a bunch of stuff to get the pan you want.


29. To clean a cast iron skillet, toss about 1/2 cup coarse salt into the pan and rub with a soft sponge. The salt removes excess oils and takes off the bits of food without messing with the seasoning of the pan.


30. Did you know that strawberries can be hulled using a regular drinking straw.  I most certainly did not. Thank you Williams and Sonoma for charging me $8 for a strawberry huller for nothing...
31. Iron a little baby powder into the under arms of your white shirts. It will keep oil from seeping into the threads, thus keeping them white.


32. Bed Skirts can be really costly, so take a tip from Martha! Get an extra fitted sheet and cover the box spring. You can get the plain ones for around $7 from target.

33. I found this from Chica and Jo a super long time ago, and it has saved me hours of aggrivation. When painting something, use a few push pins in the back of the object to lift it off of the table. No more sticking to whatever its painted on! It took me forever to find the link, but check out tons of their DIY ideas!

34.  Tired of having your shoes bang around in the dryer? Check this guy out.
35. Keep the stove top clean by applying a thin layer of car wax, then wipe it off. It keeps food from sticking. Anything that sticks easily wipes away with a magic eraser!


That's all for now, lovelies, if you have any tips and ticks please feel free to pass them on!

Tips and Tricks Part 2 is up and running- check it out here!!