Stilettos and Diapers: November 2011

11.30.2011

Stuffed Baguette Appetizer {RECIPE}

Before baby was born, I actually left the house. And actually went to parties. The last neighborhood party we went to, I made this stuffed baguette al la Pinterest

The filling is a goat cheese mixture with olives and sun dried tomato so it has tons of flavor. It would be a perfect dish to bring to a Christmas party!
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 First step is taking all the insides out of the baguette without breaking it. I decided to slice it in half and work with 2 separate pieces instead of totally ruining the bread.
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Chop up your filling, beat cream cheese until smooth and mix in goat cheese. 
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Then just smush it all up with your spices.
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I used a little spoon of Cooper's and a super classy Hard Rock Cafe shot glass to cram the filling in both ends. Then I used the fail proof method of crossing my fingers and hoping all the filling met somewhere in the middle. 
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Wrap the entire baguette tightly in plastic wrap and chill it. I did about 6 hours before slicing  into these pretty rings.
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Recipe:
Baguette about 14-inch long
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
4 oz fresh goat cheese
1 large garlic clove, minced (I used garlic powder)
½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper (about 1 medium)
½ cup finely chopped sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped Kalamata olives
2 oz finely chopped spicy salami (I skipped this ingredient)
 2 Tbsp minced Italian parsley
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste (I didn't add any since the olives are so salty)

I had to keep re-arranging the slices on the plate to cover up how many I was eating. They were really that good! 

11.28.2011

I've been busy...in the bathroom.

I've been an absent blogger. Yes, I have an almost 4 week old, so I have the perfect excuse. But he's not the one keeping me busy. 

Its this guy
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And this room.
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It started the day before Thanksgiving. The day before we were to have 13 people staying in our house.

Cooper went to the bathroom and came out to tell us that there was "a whole bunch of toilet paper in the potty". The poor hubs had to fish tons of it out before we could flush. 

Since Cooper has had an interest in the toilet paper lately, I decided to put the toilet paper on a shelf we have in the bathroom instead of on the holder. Problem solved. So I thought. 

Later that day, Cooper came out of the bathroom and said "guess what? That white thing went in the toilet. And then I flushed it down!" That white thing happened to be the toilet paper holder thingie. It was now wedged in the toilet that was full of water. We searched online for tips on how to get it out, only to find people complaining about $800 plumber bills and toilets that had to be cracked open. I was ready to cry since our only downstairs bathroom was unusable when hubs saw someone suggested using a shop vac to suck it out. Hubs was going to go buy one on the way home from work. I called my sis who suggested a wire hanger to fish it out. I dug and dug and literally screamed when I saw that white thing pop up into the bowl. Then I promptly threw it away and called to tell the hubs the good news.


That brings us to Saturday. I went out shopping with my mom and sisters. Apparently while I was gone, Cooper had been playing with one of Callan's bottles. He came out from the bathroom and told the hubs and my bro-in-law (who were deeply engrossed in football) that he poured the pee in the potty. When hubs went in to asses the situation, the bottle was in the sink with pee remains in it. Coop peed in the bottle and poured it in the toilet. What the frick was going through his head? At least we know he's a good aim for when I make him do that on our next road trip. 


And now, I kid you not, as I was typing the previous paragraph, Cooper went in for his after nap potty and filled the toilet with what remained on the toilet paper roll. 


Now, I admit the toilet is pretty fascinating. Swirl, swirl, swirl and then the contents magically disappear. But seriously, how do I put a stop to the toilet fascination when there is no way I can escort him to the bathroom every time? The plunger and toilet snake are working overtime and I'm pretty sure we're creating some serious backup in our pipes. All while Cooper is in the bathroom having the time of his life. 

11.22.2011

Happy 3 weeks!

My new sweet boy is 3 weeks old today! Can't believe how fast the time is already flying by.
This is his favorite "don't steal my passie" pose. 
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I'm in love with a boy...well, 3 to be exact.
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Big brother Cooper just loves snuggling with Callan. And it terrifies me every time! Gentle, gentle, Cooper is often heard around here. Hehe.
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And we're still not lacking in the crazy face department.
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But y'all, seriously, 2 kids is no joke. I'm just trying to adjust to our new norm while keeping my head above water. And I'm doing a pretty crappy job. Sitting on the couch making your 3 year old watch movies all day isn't parenting at its finest, but hey, they're both alive. And fed. So even though neither has had a bath in a week, I'll call it a success. 

Head & Shoulders Review + $50 Visa Gift Card {GIVEAWAY}


Head & Shoulders, along with BlogHer, asked me to review the Eucalyptus Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care. I have dry skin anyway, but in the winter it gets crazy. For some reason, this year I have the pleasure of having a dry scalp. Misery, I tell ya. I was shocked as I turned to friends and twitter for advice, at just how many people deal with the same issue. It can be ridiculously embarrassing to have, especially when your fave wardrobe color is black.

The folks at Head & Shoulders sent me the advanced formula shampoo and conditioner. I have used Head & Shoulders before, but this one has the added benefit of eucalyptus, which I love.

Head & Shoulders collection of soothing products promises to ease three scalp and dandruff problems: dryness, itchiness and sensitivity. With 84% of surveyed scalp issue sufferers concerned about these issues, Head & Shoulders has combined the effectiveness of their HydraZinc formula to alleviate these conditions, leaving your hair beautifully flake free.


Beyond leaving behind a clean scalp, the foundation for great looking hair, Head & Shoulders' new collection goes one step further to excite and indulge your senses with fresh, naturally inspired fragrances including almond oil, eucalyptus and aloe vera.

I have used both the shampoo and conditioner for one week and have seen a noticeable decrease in itchiness. I've been leaving it on for a couple minutes while I bathe, and it makes my scalp all tingly. A total feel good tingly, not like my head was on fire. It has helped decrease a flaky scalp, and my hair has been super silky. That was one thing I was not expecting, at all, out of a dandruff shampoo.

The only negative? I broke the top right off the bottle of conditioner. Now, I'm not putting this past user error at all, but I seem to have this problem a lot with the bottles that sit upside down on the lids. I need to come up with some idea to make the bottles blogger proof. Hehe.

Overall, I am extremely happy with the new Head & Shoulders. This is definitely a product that I will continue to buy and use, especially in the winter!

BlogHer would like to give one lucky reader a
$50 Visa Gift Card!

How to enter for a chance to win:

Tell me how do you change your beauty routine in the colder winter season from the warmer seasons?

Rules:

No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post.
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post.
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.
Winners will be selected via random draw and will be notified by e-mail.
You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The official rules are available here.


This sweepstakes runs from 11/21/11 - 12/22/11

Be sure to visit the Promotions & Prizes page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!
Want more great tips for winter hair care? Check out the newest “Looking Your Best” post in the Life Well Lived section of BlogHer.com.

11.21.2011

Dove Nutrium Review + $100 SpaFinder Gift Card {GIVEAWAY}


I have very dry skin. Always have. I had eczema as a kid and have always
struggled, especially in the winter, with dryness. I am always getting suggestions
for different body washes, lotions, anything to make my skin less um…nasty.
Now that I am pregnant, it really is worse. Some people get the glow. I get the
flakes. I lotion up constantly. So, when I was asked to do a review of Dove’s
Nutrium Moisture Body Wash, I was all over it. Try something new for free that might actually make my skin better? Yeah, boy.
The Dove Nutrium Body Wash is fantastic. I was sent the Deep Moisture variety
and I love the way it lathers. I really can’t stand bar soap because of the lack of
bubbly. I love the suds, mmkay? The tons of foamy lather is perfect for shaving
my legs, too. (Lord knows I don’t have time to use shaving cream anymore.)

I was impressed especially with how my skin felt afterwards. I feel like I always
buy body washes that say “deep moisture” or “for dry skin” and don’t feel
like they did anything other than clean. Not this one. I honestly see and feel a
difference.

Taking care of your physical and mental health seem to be right at the top of most
people’s priorities, but I think skin care tends to fall by the wayside. I have really
been making an effort to “treat” myself to products that are going to keep my
skin feeling and looking its best. The Dove Nutrium Body Wash is a great choice
because it doesn’t break the bank while providing amazing results.

Tell us how Dove Nutrium Moisture Body Wash could nourish you for
a chance to win a $100 SpaFinder gift card from Dove and BlogHer!

Sweepstakes: Each comment posted in response to the prompt garners an entry
into a random drawing for a sweepstakes prize.

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry
methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post.

b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment
on this post.

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on
this post.

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about
an alternate form of entry.

Now go visit the BlogHer roundup page for more chances to win! 

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random
draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new
winner will be selected. Sweepstakes run 11/21 - 12/21. The Official Rules are available here

I was sent product to sample from Dove and BlogHer as well as monetary compensation. The opinions are all mine. I was in no other way compensated for this review.

11.16.2011

Wordful Wednesday - A family that plays together

Can you guess what team we cheer for?
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After that one, I stripped the kids to try and take a picture of them. 
It turned out pretty awful and Coop looks like a vampire. I guess I'll leave the picture taking to the pros. 
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Wordful Wednesday is brought to you by:

11.15.2011

And before baby...there was Halloween.

I didn't know that all my back pain on Halloween was really me in the early stages of labor with the littlest man, but it was. And that made me miss posting all the happenings this year. 
So quite severely delayed, here's Halloween 2011.


We are Family Guyyyyyyy! Slightly inappropriate for a young child to know who these characters are, but he does and we had a blast at our Neighborhood Halloween party.
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The next day was Trunk-or-Treat at our Church. Cooper decided he wanted to be a monkey. It was one of his 3 costumes from last year that he never got to wear.
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People didn't mess around with the decorating of their cars.
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Good thing that little hand could pop out for candy snatching!
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My big pregnant bootay and my sweet little monkey only 2 days before I had 3 men in my life!
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Halloween night was Cooper's favorite costume and what he asked me to dress him up as:
The Red Angry Bird
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Knocking on doors and stockpiling enough candy to last us a year.
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And how nice of the hubs to snag a picture as I grab a little candy to feed my unborn child.
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I realize 3 costumes may have been overkill, but it was so much fun to dress Cooper up! I can't wait until next year when the boys can go as a pair. Bacon and Eggs? Siegfried and Roy? Cookies and Cream? Can't start the planning too soon!

11.11.2011

Its time to party!

Cause its my BIRTHDAY!

I think that playing the lotto this year may be in order. 

Today being 11-11-11 is cool for everyone, but today I'm turning 27. Eeek!

And to make things even more special, I had a baby due today that was born on 11-1-11.

Last night we had a little Birthday celebration with my mom and sis complete with caramel cheesecake and Skinny Girl Margaritas. The partaaay will continue this morning with our family tradition of a pancake breakfast. (Plus Pumpkin Spice Lattes, of course)
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They will be headed home today, but the hubs promises a fabulous meal tonight. I'll let y'all know how that goes. He sure is all heart, we'll just see how that translates in the kitchen!

I can say for sure that on this Birthday especially, I feel so very blessed. I am happy to be part of the 3 men and a little lady household!

11.10.2011

Callan Joseph - A Birth Story

Sometimes, the best laid plans just don't work out how you expected. Here is a perfect example. 

My repeat c-section was scheduled for 11-4-11. I was to arrive at the hospital at 6am, the surgery would start at 7:30 and we would have our little bundle around 8. I would be in full makeup, be wearing my cute "on the way to the hospital" outfit and have my adorable PUSH! hospital gown in my bag. 

In the week leading up to that all exciting Friday, the hubs would leave on his business trip to Chicago Tuesday and be home Thursday mid-day so we could have our last family of 3 dinner. I would be covering up those premature grays, get my spray tan on and pick up my mom from the airport. I would clean the house and have the wine cooler fridge all stocked up. I would finish packing my bags and lay out all of the outfits I wanted Cooper to wear to the hospital. 

On Monday (Halloween), I woke up and my lower back hurt so bad. I have had back surgery and will have totally random pain, so I didn't think too much of it. I laid on the heating pad and took a long shower. It felt better, so I ran to the store to pick up a couple things for dinner. My back started hurting a bit more. I called my mom and sis while I was there to ask what back labor felt like. I just felt off and thought maybe something was happening. In the back of my mind, though, I knew Cooper was 2 weeks late and the chances of me going into labor 10 days early were slim shady. 

That night, we went Trick-or-Treating through the neighborhood, I ate my entire pregnant weight in candy and we vegged in front of the TV. 

Then the contractions came. 

They were every 3 minutes or so, not too long, but uncomfortable enough to make me cringe. And make me teary eyed. I told the hubs I should just go to sleep and see how I felt the next day. The contractions woke me up almost once an hour, but the frequency was way down.

Tuesday morning, the hubs was all packed up for his flight. I was having some contractions, but they were about every 10 minutes, so I thought nothing would really come of them. He told me to call the Doctor just to make sure, but he had to leave for the airport if he was going to make his flight. I was going to call him as soon as I heard back from her office and we would make our plans. I didn't want to call because I wasn't ready. Waterworks flowed easily, just as they did the entire pregnancy and the hubs asked what would make me feel better. All I could mutter through the sobs was "I have grays and I'm white as a ghost".

We didn't have time for hair coloring, but I was in my bathing suit with my ever so gracious hubs can tanning me in no time. 

Hubs left for the airport and I waited on the call. By the time I talked to her, my contractions were every 3 minutes and about 1 minute apart. She said head to the hospital. Since my Mom wasn't in town yet, I called my brother-in-law who left work to meet us at the hospital to watch Cooper. I finally got out of the bathing suit, threw some more clothes into the suitcase and waited on the hubs to make his way back from the airport. 

We got to the hospital at 11:15am. Got Cooper set up with my BIL in the lobby with movies, iPad and snacks. I was brought into Labor and Delivery triage and hooked up to the monitors. I could see and feel the contractions coming, but they weren't too painful so we weren't sure if they'd keep me or send me home. We were in there about 20 minutes when the Anesthesiologist came in to check my back. I said "does this mean I am having a baby now?" Yep. Yep it did. My Doctor then came in and said I was having plenty of contractions to go ahead and do the c-section. 

We made a couple phone calls. Took a picture of my large and in charge self in the hideous hospital gown and away I went. Before I knew it, I was being snuggled by a big dude that happened to be the surgical assistant while getting my spinal block. That took a couple tries since my vertebra are fused together so I was sure I was going to be paralyzed.

Last c-section, I was so exhausted from laboring for 39 hours and I didn't give a crap what was happening. This time, I cared that my legs were spread wide open as people milled around the room chatting about their dinner plans. I cared enough that when they started cauterizing blood vessels, I asked if I was on fire. Seriously, that is the worst smell ever
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I heard "this baby is big", "this baby just keeps coming out...he's so long!" and at 1:32pm, our sweet little man came into the world. 8lbs 10oz, 22.5". Almost 2 hours from the time I walked into the hospital, I was a mother of 2. We went into the recovery room for a while and by 4:15 we were happily in our room with Cooper coming in to meet his baby brother. 
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My kitchen had dishes in the sink, my fridge looked ransacked, Cooper wasn't in his Big Brother shirt and I wore the bloody awful hospital gown in my first picture with my baby. But you know what? It didn't matter. Callan has a ridiculously sweet birthday and we are all healthy and crazy happy.  
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Finally home sweet home and everything is going better than I thought. 
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I still have only left the house for Callan's newborn weight check, but I feel really good. So good, in fact, that baby #3 doesn't completely freak me out. Okay, kinda.

11.08.2011

Bounce and BlogHer Review + $50 Visa Gift Card {GIVEAWAY}


I got the fun pleasure of reviewing the new Bounce Dryer Bar! This is a perfect invention for someone like me since I happen to be quite forgetful...and hate doing laundry.

I was sent the dye and perfume free version since I have little booties that I'm washing clothes for. The awesome thing about this bar is, you stick it and forget it! Since my last, oh, 300 loads of laundry haven't had the fabric softener sheet added because I CAN'T REMEMBER, this is super handy. With the bar, it's automatic!
This is the Bounce Dryer Bar stuck to the inside of my dryer. I will admit, it does look kinda nasty. This was after I did a few loads of laundry and a little lint and hair got stuck to it. Not a big deal, though.
How often do you stick your head in the dryer to take pictures?
My very first load with the Bounce Dryer Bar was our sheets and towels. We use the T-shirt sheets and usually, when I get them out of the dryer, I almost get electrocuted. I have to literally peel them apart as sparks fly out. Now, you would think I would remember the dryer sheets, especially with this kind of load, but I don't. The Bounce Dryer Bar made it way too easy!

A load with hubs undershirts in it was noticeably softer. And? My hair didn't stand on end when I pulled on my shirt. You'd think remembering the dryer sheets would be more important to me simply for that benefit! Haha. I am so happy with this simple Bounce Dryer Bar!

Basically, you are getting the exact same benefits as the Bounce fabric softener sheets, but with months of automatic freshness, softness and static-control. It is seriously easy peasy. When it is almost empty, you will no longer be able to read the word "Bounce" on the bar, then it will show the word "replace." Simply put a new bar right into the holder already stuck in the dryer. Have a load that you don't want to have softener in? The bar releases easily from the holder.

The Bounce Bar comes in 2, 3, 4 or 6 month sizes and in Fresh Linen, Free and Outdoor Fresh scents. Trust me on this one, you are going to love it.
You can learn more about them on Bounce's Facebook page.

Want to try the Bounce Dryer Bar for yourself? You can win one and a $50 Visa gift card from BlogHer and Bounce right here. Leave me a comment, or answer this question: 
What is your least favorite thing about doing laundry?

Rules:
         You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post.
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post.
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

No duplicate comments. Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.
Giveaway ends Tuesday, 12/6 at 5:00PM PST
Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.
You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.

I was given a Bounce Dryer bar to review and was monetarily compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are mine. 

For more opportunities to win, visit the Bounce round-up page on BlogHer.com to read other bloggers' reviews!

11.03.2011

Surprise Baby!

Just when I thought I had 3 days left to finalize all the scheduled baby plans, baby decided he wanted to change things up.

Meet our newest family member:

Callan Joseph
Born 11-1-11 at 1:32pm
8lbs 10 oz, 22 1/2in long
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I still can't believe I'm a mother of 2!
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So happy as a family of 4!!
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Today's going home outfit
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Sweet big brother!
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I will be a bit MIA as we adjust to our new daily routine. Like explaining to a 3.5 year old why babies eat special milk from mommies. Wish me luck on that one!
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