Monday, February 27, 2012


100,000 views in one day is crazy enough, but to have it two days in a row. I am speechless, and that RARELY happens!

I'm so thrilled you guys are here and reading what I have to say (even if my crazy ass font makes it difficult, ha), you have no idea.  I am humbled by your kind words and your support, laughing as you respond to those who have negative things to say, and completely inspired to keep these tips coming. 

Here's my promise. At least one Tips and Tricks a month; unless Pinterest, you guys and my brain crap out on me and I cant come up with another idea.

It was amazing to see how many people had such wonderful things to say, and ideas- and a little shocking to see how mean people can be. Another lovely blogger sent me a sweet note to say that I should just delete the meanies and not worry about them, and a few of them I did.  I left others up, because some of them are just funny.

I ALWAYS try to give credit where it is due, I fully admit I'm not that smart. So for the people who told me that I am a horrible human and a "desperate for attention blogger who just wants to get kudos for other peoples brilliance" I say this: If you have nothing nice to say, kindly click the red X at the top right hand of your screen. If you would have read, all you have to do is click the picture and it takes you to the source- or I straight up admit where it is from.  If you are one of the amazing people who leave me a tip in the comments section I always try and give your name (but so many of you are anonymous, its hard!!) and link to your blog when I use it in another post. 

So keep them coming lovelies, and Ill keep writing. 

I love you all more than you know.

Now I'm going to go and make something for dinner and scrape my jaw off of the floor.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Month Five Must Haves

This month it was all about the teeth, so its no surprise that a few teethers made the list this month. But there were a few other things Grayson has decided he needs in his life, so lets get on with it.

Tommee Tippee Stage 1 Chewther

PERFECT for the little one who wants to bite down on something to soothe those sore gums, it fits in like a binky, but has almost like a mouth guard of super soft material that baby can num num num on. It also helps strengthen and develop muscles in the mouth, promoting speech development and helping babies to get ready for solid foods.

The MAM Bite and Brush Teether with Soft Bristles

This is a combo teether/toothbrush that little man can hold on his own and bite away on.  Its super soft and easy for them to grab on you dont have to worry about them sticking the toothbrush too far in the back of their mouths.  We give Grayson his when we're brushing our teeth so he can "brush" with us, but we've also been known to chew on this sucker

With the start of solids came a few instances of red bumps on the bum.  Instead of using a diaper rash cream, I reach for this stick made from beeswax and its the best stuff ever.  We've never put it on a red bump that wasn't gone (or at least not red anymore) by the next diaper change.  It comes out like a deodorant stick, so you just twist it up and rub all over his bum and it doesn't get on your fingers. Plus, it smells fantastic.  We have one for the bum and one for other rashes, and in each case it works like a charm.  Easily one of my favorite baby products of all time, and its organic to boot!

A place to hold a wiggly baby while he attempts to eat, we attempt to eat or Im cleaning/cooking- this is a no brainer.  This chair was super easy to put together, and its really cushy and comfy.  It has a huge tray for toys to keep him entertained while Im working, and the tray top snaps off for easy cleaning.  Its also raises up and down for various table heights and leans back for when he passes out after eating too much.

This super fuzzy, cozy play mat is our current favorite place to have tummy time. We put down a few toys and hes good to go. Grayson loves feeling the soft fur, and he cuddles into it and its just the most adorable thing. On more than one occasion we have gone from play time to nap time super fast- because he passes out on the thing. Plus, come on, its cute as can be.

Super soft, super cuddly and super warm.  Grayson was never a swaddle baby, but he loves to snuggle so he loves getting all wrapped up in this blanket for cuddle and story time with Momma. I usually put it in his stroller, and its amazing how many people tell us how cute he is in his puppy blankie.

Ok, this is a Mommy fave for sure. Its a nice thick pad that you put over the hard plastic of the infant car seat and it makes it so much easier to hang off of your arm. It also comes in tons of super cute patterns and styles, and is reversible, so you get two designs in one. There is also a space to hang a two car seat toys off of, and the super velcro makes sure it doesn't fall off easily. The heavier he gets, the more thankful I am for this thing,  I LOVE it.

Thats all for this month- if you missed months 1-4, check them out here!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Five Months Old

Grayson Boy-

I cant believe that in five short months you have changed Daddy and my life so much, you really are a little miracle baby.  We cant believe all of the things you have learned this month, it really is like you're growing up way too fast.

  • First and foremost this month you got yourself two front teeth. The bottom two to be exact, and they came in together. Daddy was so excited he tried to hold your mouth open to take a picture of them, until you bit him.  Momma has a sneaky feeling you are going to have a little temper on you.
  • You got the go ahead at your four month appointment to start solids, and Mommy made you a bunch of foods to try. So far you have had sweet potatoes (liked them), squash (shivered and wasn't a fan), green beans (you actually gagged yourself), prunes (LOVE them), apples (love them), and bananas (you don't really care for them). You get a veggie or fruit every day with lunch, and then your cereal at night which you always gobble right up. Next up to try are carrots, peas, and pears...we'll see how they go!
  • This month you also started eating/sitting in your high chair and ever since there has been no more relaxing on the boppy to eat.  You prefer to sit up and look around at everything going on around you.  When we eat dinner you sit at the table with us telling us stories and playing with your toys.  Soon you'll be eating with us, and we cant wait (neither can your puppies, they'll be looking for dropped treats!).  You're also getting pretty good at sitting up on your own, and can hold yourself pretty steady for a good amount of time before that big old head makes you fall one way or the other.
  • You're wearing size 2 diapers and size 3-6 month clothes, but they are starting to get too short for you.  Tonight it was a bit of a struggle to get your jammies on, so I don't know how much longer that size will last. Daddy estimates you weigh around 16 to 17 pounds, but we wont know for sure until we go back to the doctor next month for your six month check up.
  • When we took your five month pictures tonight you rolled yourself over from back to belly. You're already a master of belly to back in your sleep, and all of a sudden you are a champ at going all directions. You spent probably 30 minutes rolling from one to the other and back again.

  • You celebrated your first Valentines Day, and the card you got Momma made her cry. We dipped your foot in paint for Daddy and sent cut outs of your little hands to both Grammy and Grandma. You also got lots of presents. Pappy got you a DVD player, Grammy and Pap got you a book that sings and an alligator toy, and Gram and Pap sent you a HUGE black gorilla that says how wild they are about you. You are certainly a loved little boy.
  • You definitely have a little bit of stranger danger, but when you want someone you reach right out for them. People you're not sure of you like to observe first from our arms or the safety of your car seat. You like to touch our faces, and the face of anyone holding you is fair game to your prodding. The other day you pinched Daddy so hard you left a red mark, and its only a matter of time before you start pulling hair.
  • You still love to talk and are getting more vocal every day.  I love hearing you chatter in your crib in the mornings, and when Daddy comes home and you're telling him all about your day.  You also take after Daddy because you LOVE LOVE LOVE to yell at the TV during Penguin games.  When hockey is on, you don't take your eyes off of the screen.  You're the only baby I know who watches hockey, and it is so funny to watch you when you're watching it.

Well my little man, thats all for now.  Im going to end this post and go grab you up out of your swing and carry you to bed, snuggling you as tight as I can.  You're a constant amazement and blessing to me Grayson Boy, and I love you more and more each day.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tips and Tricks- Part 2!

I'm overwhelmed by all of your kind words and emails asking for more tips and ideas, and for all of the wonderful tips you have left for me.  I'm going to try and make it a semi-regular thing here at In This Crazy Life; because lets face it we can all use a little help sometimes!!
 I also had lots of questions asking if you could Pin this/feature this/share this- and the answer is of course you can!  The more help I can be, the better!!
If you left a tip for me, but left it anonymously, then I cant give you credit- but if your name was there Ill certainly let the world know it was from you. If it came from another source, click the picture and it will take you there! 

1. Donna from over at As The Card Rack Turns shared some great tips in her This, That and The Other Post- this one is my fave! Use a dish drainer to organize pot lids, or Tupperware lids in a cabinet.  You can find them in all sizes now, to fit almost any cabinet, and they are super cheap at the dollar store!

2.  A wonderful person left me a sweet note telling me that a professional chef uses lemon juice and salt to clean their aluminum cookware...if its good enough for a chef, its worth giving a shot!

3.  You know how you never get all of the mascara out of the tube before it dries out? I saw on Pinterest that you can add 4-5 drops of saline solution, insert the wand, stir it up and tah-dah! You can do this 3 or 4 times or until you use up all of the mascara.

4. The hubs uses this at work all of the time.  When Painters tape gets dry and hard to peel off, pop it in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds. A little heat reactivates the glue and it works like a charm.

5.  Kim told me in the comments section that Dawn gets any grease stain out, even after it has gone through the dryer!

6. A sweet lovey told me her Grandma stores lettuce in the waxpaper bag from inside a cereal box, and it lasts twice as long. Nothing beats a tip from a Grammy!

7. Cut a slit in your empty toilet paper rolls and slip them over rolls of wrapping paper to keep everything nice and neat. You can use a piece of tape to make it smaller for thinner rolls, and it keeps the paper from getting all messed up!

8. If the grout in your kitchen or bath is getting a little funky, and its light in color, you can buy Emery Cloth (sold in the pluming aisle) and sand it down lightly to get rid of stains. Then apply a grout sealer to prevent any more staining. This works best if you have sanded grout, according to the hubs.

9. To prevent hair and dirt from sticking to your baseboards, after cleaning them rub a dryer sheet over the surface. The fabric softener will help to repel dirt. Just remember to re-apply every so often!

10. Good old Martha taught us that rather than buying those ridiculously expensive anti-slip mats for a rug, just turn it over and run a few lines of acrylic-latex caulk every 6 inches or so. Let dry and flip over and your rug wont be going anywhere!

11. To keep stainless steel appliances clean, use a little bit of baby oil on a soft cloth and buff into the surface. Then wipe clean with a dry cloth. It prevents fingerprints from sticking to the surface. If you dont have baby oil, use some Pledge. Bonus for the lemony-fresh scent!

12. LKBridges told me that you can use vinegar and crumpled newspaper to clean windows with no streaks.

13. Picked this one up from Rachel Ray- cook bacon in the oven rather than in a skillet. Pop it onto a tray and bake at 400 for 10 minutes to ensure that all of the bacon gets done at the same time, plus, no bacon grease to get everywhere!

14. Jes left me a tip on how to get rid of water marks on wood furniture. Use a hairdryer on a low setting to dry the water out that is stuck between the layers of varnish. She said it works best on fresh stains, but it can work on old ones as well!

15. A sweet blogger who must know how cheap I am left me the tip that you can reuse the foaming soap dispensers. Simply fill them with water and a teaspoon of antibacterial dish soap and voila. Instant cheap refill!

16. Another fun use for wax paper from a reader- slide it on the bar in your closet to make hangers slide oh-so-nice. I gave this a try and it worked like a charm!

17. Baking soda and vinegar will do a multitude of things in the kitchen. Use it as a drain cleaner, to clean the tops of glass top stoves,  or to clean the grease off of the bottom of an oven.  Just put the baking soda down first, then add a splash of vinegar and let the chemical reaction do the work for you. (This will also make a heck of a volcanic explosion- just add a little orange dish soap and red food coloring to make the lava!)

18. The lovey lady from Maw Maw's Rocking chair left us a few of her faves: spraying the car door seals with baking spray prevents freezing in cold weather; car wax also works great to keep fiberglass tubs shiny, and makes them resist soap scum; use toothpaste, not scouring powder on cast iron tubs to avoid scratching the enamel; polishing with car wax in bathroom sinks keeps toothpaste from sticking; coca cola is a great toilet cleaner; and my favorite, wrapping fridge shelves with plastic wrap cuts down on cleaning time when little hands spill things. (Congrats on your grand baby to be!!)

19.  This works wonders for warts- instead of spending tons of cash on the special band aids, just take a square of duck tape and cover the wart.  It cuts off all of the oxygen and kills it without having to put that burning liquid on.

20. From, when you buy the super packs of ground meat. Bring home and put into gallon zip lock bags, then use a ruler to create divisions within the food, forming individual portions. This way when you freeze the entire bag, you’ll be able to quickly break off just as much as you want to use, no more.

21. Did you know that weeds will not grow through wet newspaper? I saw this on Pinterest, and backed it up from BHandG.  When planting flowers mix up the dirt, then place a thick layer of wet newspapers down around the plants.  Then cover with your top soil and mulch.  Apparently weeds can get through plastic, but not this stuff. (I wouldn't know, I can only get weeds to grow- I kill pretty much everything else!)

22. Instead of buying expensive hangers to keep wide necked and silky tops from falling off- just take out your glue gun and make a zigzag pattern on the top of the hangers where the clothes would normally hang.

23. Found this on Pinterest and did myself a little happy dance. You can wash and reuse your cricut mats.  Just buy a cheap scrubber from the dollar store- the kind that does NOT have metal in it. The plastic kind. Then use water and a drop of dish-soap and scrub quite vigorously. Wipe off the excess water and allow them to air dry and they should be like brand new. Ill be trying this tonight for sure.

24. Also from Pinterest- Bar Keepers Friend Liquid Cleanser and powdered cleanser will remove scratches from dishes.  According to the lovely over at Outnumbered the blog, it took her plain white dishes from old to new again.  All she did was apply a bit to a wet sponge and use some elbow grease, and they look fantastic!

25. Use conditioner to shave your legs. Not only is it cheaper, but it is ALOT more moisturizing, so your legs wont be all dry and itchy after you finish shaving.

26. Reheat pizza in a skillet on the stove to make an extra crispy crust.

27. To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle on a little cayenne pepper. It wont hurt the plant and the squirrels wont come near it.

28. From Real Simple  to get baked-on food off a glass pan or an oven rack, use dish washing liquid and a ball of foil in place of a steel-wool soap pad, to get baked-on food off a glass pan or an oven rack, use dish washing liquid and a ball of foil in place of a steel-wool soap pad. Its a great way to reuse the clean side of foil.

29. Line your fridge shelves with Glad Press and Seal paper. Just press down to create a seal that will keep your shelves nice and clean!

30. A piece of chalk placed into your silverware bag will draw in moisture and prevent the silver from tarnishing.

31. Real Simple comes through again- to get the gunk off of the bottom of your Iron, place it on a low setting and run it over a dryer sheet until the residue disappears.

32. To remove small stains from suede by gently rubbing the file (either side) across the problem area a few times to get rid of the splotch and refresh the nap.

33. The next time you have green onions, don't throw away the white ends. Simply put them in a glass of water (make sure they are submerged!) and place them in a sunny window. They grow super quick and you can grow as many as you want.

34. Make your own microwave popcorn- just place  1/2 cup of corn kernels into a brown paper bag. Fold the top over two or three times  and pop it into the microwave on high on your popcorn setting.  Or if yours doesn't have one of those, pop it in for three or so minutes and stop when the popping noise slows to every 1 or 2 seconds. Then you can take it out and add your own toppings. Fresh butter and garlic salt, or fresh grated parm cheese in this house. Yummm.

35. Cut foam pipe insulation to fit sides of container... and cut slits in foam for a super easy paint brush holder.

Hope you find something useful from this list, lovelies- keep your eyes peeled for more to come!

Missed Part 1? Check it out here! Tips and Tricks July can be found here!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Little Valentine

Valentines Day has always been pretty low key in our house.  Im not about to go wait an hour for a table at a resturaunt that you can normally walk right into, and it drives me bonkers the way they mark up flowers for the day so I always tell the hubs to skip 'em.  Its not that Im Anti-Valentines Day, I actually love the holiday, Im just not a fan of the hoopla.

We usually do homemade presents, and the hubs makes me dinner.  This year Grayson boy helped Daddy make me some brownies, and they made me a card with his little hand and footprints on it. We had homeade Chicken Parm and sweet tea (a little secret, the hubs makes the BEST sweet tea ever, Micky D's pales in comparison). 

Best of all I got lots of baby smiles and giggles, which made this Valentines Day the best one yet.

LOVE this face. haha.

Sorry Hubs, but you've got some stiff competition for my cutest Valentine...and that kid most def has my chubby cheeks. Love <3

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Teething Troubles

Yesterday we discovered two little white bumps under Grayson Boy's gums.

My baby boy is getting his first tooth (or teeth- it looks like it may be two bottom ones coming in at the same time).  Kind of explains why hes been a droolin fool and chewing on his fingers like crazy.

We've been doing the orajel route and offering him teether after teether but so far we haven't found one that he really likes.  We have Sophie, and hes just not too into her. We've also tried one that vibrates, but its so big he really cant get his little mouth around it.

Luckily, hes still super pleasant most of the time.  When he gets really cranky that's when we pull out the orajel, but it is affecting his eating/sleeping patterns.  My wonderful boy who has slept through the night since week 5 is now waking up around 3 AM hungry. I'm seriously praying that once these teeth make their appearance he goes back to his habit of being knocked out cold at 8:30 and waking up at 6.

But really, who can be grumpy when this guy wakes you up?

Not me, thats for sure.

So here is my question for all of you Mommas out there- what did you guys use for teething pain?
A favorite teether, a tip, a trick, a prayer; share 'em all cause we can sure use them about now.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ravioli Lasagna Cups- Thank You Pintrest!

Its a whopping 19 degrees outside, and we need to go grocery shopping.  So it was one of those what can I make with nothing defrosted kind of nights. Thank you Pintrest Gods for this idea.

Individual lasagnas made from meat raviolis baked up in a muffin tin.

All total, this took less than 20 minutes to make- no lie.  I like to call it a fake out meal, the kind where it seems like it would take a long time to make but doesn't. This could also be super cute as an appetizer at a party.

So here's how you do it. 

Take a bag of frozen meat raviolis out and toss them into a pot of boiling water.  Grab muffin tin from the pantry and spray it with cooking spray. When they float, toss one in each cup of muffin tin.

Top with a pinch of shredded mozzarella and provolone cheese and a spoonful of spaghetti sauce. We always have this on hand in the freezer in zip lock baggies because when I make sauce I make LOTS of it; but a jar of marinara would do just fine in a pinch as well.

Toss another ravioli on, then sauce, then cheese. Top with a little sprinkle of Italian Seasoning to make it pretty and pop into an oven at 425 for 10 minutes.

Serve with a nice green salad (love me some bagged lettuce!) and garlic bread and you've got yourself a meal.  I served four individual cups per person for a dinner sized portion, but that was too much for me to eat so I could have done just three. 

They were ahh-mazing, give them a try!

Friday, February 10, 2012


So Ive spent the week sick as a dog at work. Sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, clogged ears- the works.

Thanks to the bean, I have zero sick days left so I toughed it out.  Thursday I must have gone through a whole box of Kleenex, it was awful. 

The kids for the most part, were pretty well behaved. They talked quietly and when I tried to croak out some directions they told each other to shush so I could be heard.

Then today I get this:

Student- "Mrs K, are you feeling better today?"
Me: "A little bit, thanks for asking"
Student: "Yeah, your nose looks a lot less ugly today than it did yesterday!"
Me: "Uhhh..thanks."

Yep, Im a lucky lady.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Valentines Day Love Banner

Today I had a little time to think of what I wanted to do for my Valentines Day mantle.  I dont usually decorate the house too much for Valentines- just a wreath on the door, festive placemats (kind of my weakness, not going to lie), a table centerpiece and my mantle.

I saw this tutorial on Sarah's blog Life Sweet Life and I thought it would be perfect to hang up to complete the Valentines Day love.

It is super easy to make, and really only took about 45 minutes.

1/4 to 1/2 yard of burlap (which is $3.99 per yard at JoAnns- its a steal!)
Triangle template
LOVE letters printed on their own sheet of paper
Scissors, Paint brushes, tape and a glue gun

First start by tracing your triangle template onto the burlap, then cut out the triangles.

Then, making sure your drawn on side is down, lay a triangle over one of the letters you've printed out.  I used Elephant font and it was sized at 300.
Tape the triangle down with a piece of tape so it doesnt take off as you paint.
Since the burlap is nice and see-thru you can see the letter behind it, so you simply trace the outline with a paint pen or a paint brush if you have a steady hand.

Fill in the rest of the letter and set it on a paper towel to dry.

Once they are all dry, flip them over and attach a ribbon with a hot glue gun and Volia.

Since I already had everything except the ribbon and burlap, this project cost me a whopping $4.

Now the hubs wants one for Birthdays, Spring, and Christmas. So I told him what any loving wife would, "Get to painting then, dear!"

Now, I think that blue Mason jar needs some burlap roses. In red.

Pick My Plum Challenge

Manic Mother

I took the PYP Challenge! As I was blog stalking one day, I saw a challenge posted by Janette over at Est. 5.26.07 all it said was the first 10 people who comment will receive a fun challenge in the mail. I quickly said "I'm in!" and a few days later this little beauty was in my mailbox.

How fun is that tape??

Any who- I was super excited and ripped right in to find a sweet letter and my surprise

It was a gorgeous iron display holder. I was shocked because the curly design fit in with all of my design elements in the house- it was perfect! So now my challenge....what to put on display?

After some thinking I finally decided that it was time to make Grayson's shadow box to display his coming home from the hospital things.

11x13 shadow box ($24 at Joann's- on sale for $12)
Two sheets of boy themed scrapbook paper to cover the back
Glue Dots
Sewing straight pins
Various mementos from the hospital (coming home outfit, hat, nursery Id, hospital bracelet, and a card from flowers that he received from his God Momma)

First, I covered the back of the foam board back with scrapbook paper.  I just attached it with some glue dots.
Then I arranged the items and secured the clothes with straight pins, and the paper items with a few glue dots.
After everything was attached, I popped it back into the frame and stuck it on the stand.

I love the way it turned out.  I plan on displaying it on our buffet in the dining room- because who says only pictures need to be on display?

The best part is when I decide that I want to change it up, the beautiful stand will easily hold almost anything!

Thanks for letting me take part in the challenge Janette, it was super fun- and now I want to get more to match.  When it comes to Pick Your Plum I smell another addiction coming on!