Stilettos and Diapers: February 2011

2.25.2011

Fashion when weather can't make up its mind.

The weather here is nuts. It was 70 last weekend and in the 40s and rainy this week. Misery. I pulled out the spring-y clothes last week, but now I'm just confused.

One thing that I always love and will continue to wear until my legs aren't pasty white, are tights. This post is old, but I love Shana's take on boots and tights and what goes together. She inspired me to wear these gray tights with brown boots and I kindof love it.
 Then there are layers so when the sun peeks out for 5 minutes, I can pretend its summer and take off my chunky cardi.
 I ordered several statement rings on F21 clearance last month and lurrrve them. They make me feel suddenly put together.
 I'm not a huge headband person, but Coco's Boutique sent this to me and I think its adorbs! Sooo adorbs, that she is letting me give one away to you! Check back next week for a giveaway!
Outfit Deets
Shirt - Wal-mart
Shorts - Target
Sweater - Target
Tights - Kohls
Boots - Target
Ring - F21

I realize I totally need a long necklace with this outfit, but that was an oversight. I think I need to add some of those to my jewelery collection anyways. I guess a trip to my sisters closet in Georgia is needed...muahahaha.

Happy Weekend Y'all!

2.24.2011

E-Mealz Review + Giveaway + Recipe!

SAVE TIME AND MONEY WITH E-MEALZ MEAL PLANS

Ever cringe at the thought of deciding what to make for dinner? Ever flip through cookbooks just to realize you're missing half the ingredients to make anything you want?  

Enter the solution: E-Mealz

Endorsed by Dave Ramsey as no-brainer saver of time and money, E-Mealz creates your meal plan and shopping list for you. If that isn't convincing enough, they plan the meals based on sales at the store of your choosing, or your specific diet needs. They allowed me to try them out for the month and I choose the Low Carb plan. It isn't NO carbs, just low, so its filling and healthy. I have a pretty picky husband so I made some substitutions here and there, but the menu is great.

For $5 a month, you have your choice of meal plans:
Low Carb
Low Fat
Point System
Gluten Free
Couples Only
Vegetarian

Or store specific plans:
Kroger
Wal-Mart
Publix
Aldi
Ralphs
Any-store

Check out their twitter, facebook, and blog for testimonials, tips for money saving and making more time to spend with family, and awesome recipes!

The recipes are simple and delicious. I made beef lettuce wraps, bacon wrapped chicken and tilapia tacos this month. All were easy, quick and got thumbs up from the hubs. {This is a big deal, y'all} 

One of my favorite recipes is a side dish that I think will become a staple is:
Garbanzo Bean Salad
 Chop veggies
 Add seasoning
 Add olive oil
 Toss and chill for 2 hours
Isn't that easy? I ate leftovers for lunch the next day with some feta sprinkled in. Mmhh, mmhhh.

15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
1 cucumber, chopped
¼ c chopped onion
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
½ red bell pepper, chopped ( I used a green one because it was about to go bad)
1 T fresh chopped parsley
½ c olive oil
¼ t oregano (ran out of oregano so I used basil)
Salt & pepper to taste
 
Are you ready to give E-Mealz a try?
 
If you sign up before March 1, 2011, you can get 15% off your total purchase using the code BLISS.

But, thats not all! One reader will get to try 3 months of E-mealz for free!

How to enter:
Follow Stilettos and Diapers and leave a comment! {mandatory entry}


Want extra entries?
Follow Stilettos and Diapers review blog {1 extra entry}

Follow Stilettos and Diapers on twitter {1 extra entry}

Follow E-Mealz on twitter {1 extra entry}

Grab my button {2 extra entries}

Like Stilettos and Diapers on Facebook {2 extra entries}

Please leave a separate comment for each entry
{Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you are the winner!}

Giveaway ends Thursday, March 3 at midnight EST

I was given a month subscription to E-Mealz in exchange for this review and giveaway. I was in no other way compensated for this post.

2.23.2011

Hallmark Recordable Storybook {GIVEAWAY}

Before I went to Blissdom, I got a big "prep for bliss" package in the mail that included this precious recordable storybook from Hallmark.
I recorded myself reading every page and wrapped it up for Cooper. He was super excited. Can ya tell?
I had a couple favorite things about the book. #1 - It has thick pages. Not quite board book thick, but thick enough that your little one won't destroy it. Win. #2 - It has a recording lock. After you get done recording, you remove the battery cover and move the switch to lock. This way, your little one doesn't delete your recording. Smart.

Am I the only one that loves indestructible kids items?

 Hallmark has multiple recordable story books available. Although I don't leave Cooper much, I think getting a recordable book for him from Hallmark will become a travel tradition. The bedtime routine is ridiculously difficult to maintain and having Mommy's voice is comforting. As weird as it is to hear my own voice, I actually sound like myself in the recording.


Hallmark is giving a copy of one of their best selling recordable books, All The Ways I Love You, to one of you awesome readers!

How to enter:

Follow Stilettos and Diapers and leave a comment! {mandatory entry}

Want extra entries?

Follow Stilettos and Diapers review blog {1 extra entry}

Follow me on twitter {1 extra entry}

Grab my button {2 extra entries}

Like Stilettos and Diapers on Facebook {2 extra entries}

Add your Perfectly Imperfect Moment to Hallmark's VisibleMash - The mosaic capturing life's special moments. {3 extra entries}

{Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you are the winner!}
Giveaway ends Wednesday, March 2 at midnight EST
 
If you are in need of personalized greeting cards or party plates, go to Hallmark and use the code BLISS30 for 30% off your total purchase!
 
I was given a copy of the Hallmark book, All The Ways I Love You. I was in no other way compensated for this post.

2.22.2011

My first real grocery haul.

Why for the love of all things holy have I never seriously used coupons?
My sister has always been so good with it and told me to do it, but I think I've just been lazy.

I got a flyer from Harris Teeter a couple weeks back with a $10 off $30 coupon in it. I had never been into the store, but it was relatively close, so I thought I'd try it out. When I was there, I noticed the prices were generally more than my normal store, but they had great sales. And I had the coupon. Sweet.

The cashier told me they were doing super double coupons in a couple weeks and I should come back. So, I started doing a bit of research on their sales and got excited. They double any coupon up to $1.99, up to 20 coupons a day, and will stack store coupons and manufacturer coupons.

There are these amazing sites that spell it all out, too. Like I didn't have to do anything but clip my coupons and print them from the links they give. Try Southern Savers, My Frugal Adventures and The Frugal Girls.

Okay. On to the loot. Here is all the stuff I got.
3 bags of Snyder's Pretzels
5 Bottles of 100% Juice
1 Bottle of Simply Lemonade
5 Boxes of Barilla Pasta
2 1/2 Gallons of Organic Milk
2 Boxes of Fruity Cheerios
1 Box of Golden Grahams
2 Boxes of Betty Crocker Potatoes
1 Box of Blue Bunny Ice Cream Cones

My total was $67.19 before coupons and $19.17 after.

Now they only do the super double coupons every month or so, I think, so the deals aren't this good all the time. I am very happy to store dry goods and freezeable stuff to save this much money!

At the end of the day, it just comes down to this: everything I save on groceries goes straight into my shoe fund savings. Why should I pay full price when I don't have to?

2.21.2011

Hearty Butternut Squash Soup {Recipe}

I've been sick this weekend and soup is all I want to eat. I am a huge fan of butternut squash soup, but they usually aren't filling enough to eat for an entire meal. (Or maybe I'm just a piggy) I added some potatoes to this one, so its really hearty and even the hubs was full from it.
 Saute onion and butter in a large pot.
Add diced squash, potatoes and chicken broth.
 Add all your pretty spices and boil 40 minutes, or until tender.
 While squash mixture is boiling, puree cream cheese in blender.
 Add squash mixture by spoonfuls to blender.

 And blend until smooth.
I had to split the mixture in half to make it fit.
 Return to the pot and heat through, but do not allow to boil.
1 Onion, diced
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Large Butternut Squash, cubed (mine was 3lbs)
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 cup Water
1/2 Chicken Bouillon Cube
(You could use 3 cups of chicken broth instead of water and bouillon, but I ran out)
4 Potatoes, cubed
1 Tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Red Pepper (or Cayenne if you like it hot)
1 8 oz package of Cream Cheese

Its really that easy. No meat to defrost and only dirties up the blender and pot. My kindof meal. I think its pretty fool proof, too. You could do more or less potatoes if you wanted, or different kinds of spices.

Me and my raw nose are going to curl up with some tissues and my DVR now. I hate being sick.

2.18.2011

Someone does fashion post around here?

 My last fashion post was January 7. I know, shame, shame.
It's not because I'm trying to hide a baby bump (as one person suspected) although, I would LOVE it if I was! I was busy, busy for a couple weeks and kept forgetting to take pictures. Then this week, I have been doing nothing. Sweats and tees and staying indoors all day.

But then it got warm. And sunny. And I got happy and busted out some not-worn-in-awhile clothes.

And ventured into the back yard for some pics in the warm sun.
Love this new F21 ring. Coral is where its at for spring. See here. And here. And here.
That lovely fence (that I'm calling coral) will be gone soonish...I hope. Come oonnnn HOA.
Who doesn't love 70 and sunny?!?
Outfit Deets:

Jacket - Aeropostale
Tank - American Eagle
Boots - Target
Socks - Stole them from my Grandpa. No lie. I love 'em.
Sunnies - Prada
Ring - F21
Necklace - F21

Skirt - This one is embarrassing. Kindof. Hubs said I shouldn't tell you this, but I'm not really someone that can keep a secret...so here it goes.

Its a shirt. A maternity shirt. But I love it and its stretchy and it works perfectly as a skirt for a non preggo person. So consider yourself inspired. Go closet digging and find yourself a "new" piece of clothing.

Happy weekend y'all!

2.16.2011

The computer generation: Techie baby.

Last fall, we got an iPad. I use it all the time, but realized a couple weeks back that Cooper apparently uses it, too. He figured out the unlock thing and can totally go to iTunes and play the music without us ever teaching him how.

When I was working over the weekend, my sweet hubs decided to get Cooper an app. He got him some alphabet painting thing that he really loves. Problem is, he really loves it.

We had our neighbors over for dinner Sunday and he was playing it a lot while I was cooking and doing last minute cleaning. Monday morning came and I couldn't find the iPad anywhere. I searched all over the place. For 3 HOURS. I kept asking Coop where it was and he would say he didn't know.

Then I went to do my monthly task #3 on the cleaning schedule: Organize the toys in the basement and there I found it.

In the toy chest.

Last night he took himself to the download page and said "I need more games, Mommy". So I got him a Toy Story game, because I'm nice like that.

But now he won't give it back.
He just keeps saying, "thanks for my iPad". {at least he has manners}
He grabs it out of the office, sits on the couch and goes right to his games. At 2 freakin years old.

I'm completely certain we'll be tweeting each other in no time.

{If you were wondering, my child does indeed, like any good techie, stay at home in his pajamas all day.}

2.15.2011

Sugar and chocolate and pink and red.

 Valentine's Day was so fun!
I made these lollipop flowers as a centerpiece.
 Seeing it in pictures makes me think I went just a bit overboard.
All of our red drinks and festive plates ready for breakfast.
Heart shaped and pink sprinkled pancakes with strawberries.
His little morning face melts me.
Checking out his new Toy Story game.
This kid LOVES to make cookies!
And make them we did. Lots of them. Not sure why either because I'll be eating them for daaaays.
Hubs and I had our fondue in the living room after we put Cooper to bed. And yes, that is a MASSIVE pile of carbs. Bread and potatoes. We did eat meat and veggies, too. Just nowhere near as much.
Then chocolate fondue dessert. I went a little nuts and made chocolate covered strawberries and huge chocolate white chocolate caramel pecan covered apples.
Spending dedicated time with the hubs made me realize how nice it is to just chat over dinner. After becoming a parent, its easy soo easy to put all the attention on your child and forget about your marriage. So, we decided to eat dinner after we put Cooper to bed once a week. I'm excited for "date night" even though we'll be staying in and following up dinner with The Bachelor. Hehe.

2.11.2011

How to spend Valentine's Day without a babysitter.

Valentines Day becomes a smidge different once you have kids. The going out late once the kid is asleep, $50 for a sitter and having to be home by a certain time just kindof puts a damper on things. The first year we had Coop, we had a fondue night in. Cooper was 9 months old, my thyroid was acting like it ruled the world, and I threw some cheddar in the pot and called it romantic. Last year, we were about to move to DC and we spent the night with our great friends in California playing the newlywed game. {Which was awesome, btw}

This year, we're giving the fondue pot another go at it. After all, its only been used once and is pretty sad in the cabinet. I bought this one from Crate and Barrel when we were in California and I am ditching the cheddar in exchange for good fondue this time.

Valentines Day Menu:

Breakfast
Heart shaped pancakes
Berry compote
Whip cream

Dinner
Gruyere and swiss fondue with filet mignon, potatoes and mixed vegetables
Homemade parmesan french bread
Argentine Malbec

Dessert
Espresso chocolate fondue with fruit, marshmallows and shortbread
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Champagne

I've been prepping all my little table goodies to lay out in the morning and I feel a bit like Santa on Christmas! Cooper will get his goodies in the morning, then we will have our dinner once he goes to bed at 7:30.
For me, I just assume enjoy a quiet night at home. Don't get me wrong, I luurve going out for a date night. But not having to worry about holding my stomach in, reservations, a sitter, and crowded restaurants is quite alright with me. And I'll still dress up and make it special. We won't just sit and watch the bachelor. Wait...the bachelor is on Monday. Nevermind. We'll be watching it.

What are your plans for Valentine's Day?  

2.10.2011

Its been awhile since...

...I blogged about this little man.

My reason for starting this blog, being a SAHM and having gray hairs.

It hit me that my baby will be 3 in 2 months. {Insert freak out/meltdown}

My Cooper-man is 2 years 9.5 months. He is just about 40 lbs and wears a 4T.
Yes, we {well, the hubs} makes large babies.

He frequently tells me to "get the stuff out of Mr. Potato Heads butt" and "Dang it" is his current favorite phrase. He can spell his name, count to 14, and sing his ABC's. He loves "finger polish" except for the fact that it is only for girls. He is a serious homebody and always says "no thanks" when I tell him its time to go somewhere. He repeats EVERYTHING.

He is starting to go on the big boy potty and knows he will get new Toy Story underwear when he is completely potty trained. He has a big boy bed set up in the room across from him that he is getting used to and I don't think it will be long before we move it in!

I am shocked at how fast the time flies. I am one happy Mommy!

2.09.2011

A fine day for poop scooping.

We have a new neighbor. With a dog. A big one. And she keeps walking it down the street to poop in my yard.

Then she leaves it there.

Back up: We live on a cul-de-sac. There is no house at the very end, but our property line meets our neighbor directly across from us in the middle of the street. I think people must think that it is common ground down at the end, but its our yard/wooded area.

We decided the best thing to do is put up a sign, so hubs made this and got it laminated. {I think it should have actually said no POOPING, but hubs didn't want to use "that word". Hehe}

Then he put it on a stake,And put it up for the world to see.

We decided to pick up the poop that was out there since its getting warmer and I don't want it stinking it up. We got a shovel and went to town. {BTW, those trees fell during the big snowstorm we just had. They will be gone soon.}

Once we got started, I realized just how much poop was out there.

It.Was.Everywhere.

Literally a pile of poop for every day they have lived in the neighborhood. (1 month-ish) We filled a large trash bag 1/2 way with POOP. It was so heavy the bag started to break and hubs had to carry it. My blood was boiling.

Who does that?

Even if it was common ground and not someones personal property, wouldn't you think about the fact that very soon, it will be a land fill that makes the entire street will smell like sharts?

2.08.2011

The Cleaning Schedule

I love clean. I live better in clean. But since I became a mom, I have a hard time keeping clean. Its just hard to squeeze in between nap time, mealtime, playtime and do it at a safe time where Coop won't get into all the cleaner.

I have heard of people doing cleaning schedules before, but never tried it. I thought I would never have a completely spotless house. Then I tried it and its fantastic. Everything is just continually clean. I feel very accomplished checking my "chore" off the list and never overwhelmed with tons of task.

So here is the breakdown:

Monday
- Dust, sweep, vacuum

Tuesday
- Monthly task, laundry

Wednesday
- Bathrooms, sheets and towels

Thursday
- Dust, sweep, mop

Friday
- Iron, laundry

Monthly Task
Week 1 - Dust baseboards and stair rails
Week 2 - Windows
Week 3 - Organize basement/toys
Week 4 - Misc make-up (in case I missed anything)

My entire downstairs is hardwood with exception of the living room, so the sweeping and dusting is required twice (or more) a week. I also have a husband who REFUSES to take anything to the dry cleaners because they will beat up his clothes. {Therefore the hours and hours of ironing} I scheduled that on Friday so I could watch all the shows I recorded that week while I iron and not feel guilty. Teehee. I'm a thinker.

So what do you think? Are you a cleaning scheduler? Going to try it out?

2.04.2011

Chicken and orange and kale, oh my!

I saw the end of this recipe on Rachael Ray's 30 minute meals then I tweaked it a bit. Its delish and healthy!

Orange-Balsamic Chicken with Kale
The Players
Heat olive oil in a skillet
Season chicken with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning and cook 5 minutes on each side.
Make sure its cooked through and lightly browned. Drain off the oil.
Love the pretty bottles balsamic vinegar comes in.
Whisk orange marmalade, balsamic and chicken stock together in a small bowl.
Pour over chicken and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
Mmmh, kale. This is my new FAVORITE food. It is full of vitamins, minerals and cancer fighting properties. So eat it.
Just pull the leafy part away from the stem and tear into bite size pieces.
Put it in a large pan and add about 1/4 cup water or chicken broth.
Cook until it shrinks down to about half the original size. About 5 minutes.
Put kale on a platter and put chicken on top. Pour a little sauce over the top of everything.
Recipe
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1/3 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock

1 lb fresh kale

I only used 2 chicken breast, so I cut the seasoning in half. Sill made the same amount of sauce to have enough for drizzles sake.

Happy weekend y'all!
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