Stilettos and Diapers: June 2012


Oh what fun it is with 2 kids.

Yesterday, my bedroom looked like this. I was prepping for a trip to NY for my SIL's bachelorette party and bridal shower. Packing for a family of 4 for 9 days is no joke. Seriously.
I finally got all my stuff in order and the car I thought was so massive, was quickly full. This pic is before we realized the hubs left his golf clubs at home and we turned back to get them.
Cooper gave us a false "I have to poop" alarm about 5 minutes down the road that we got to stop for. Then, about 2 hours into the drive, it was more than clear that Callan doesn't like the car seat like his brother always did. After some back breaking twisting around to try to comfort him, I decided to go sit in the back. Yeah where there is no seat. We had the back row totally folded up with the massive amounts of crap. Someone begged and pleaded and turned down many a car because she they just HAD to have captains chairs. I mean, how can anyone get in the back without second row captains chairs?!?

Callan finally fell asleep. As did Cooper and I. That was only after I thought I would throw up due to my crazy post kid car sickness exacerbated by loud shushing trying to get little dude to fall asleep. I was literally in a space big enough for the diaper bag, in a fetal position when I woke up numb. But, both the boys were asleep, so I knew it was my motherly duty to stay put, no matter the cost. Even if the hubs was had Jason Mraz and Rufus Wainwright on repeat. 

Once the boys decided it was time to quit their ever so peaceful nap, we played the "everybody take turns picking a song" game. Mine were all country sap songs. Hubs were just the artist mentioned above with a splash of Jack Johnson. Cooper's were Kid Rock's It Feels Good To Be Me (where the only word he sings is damn) and The Joker. Both of which I heard no less than 27 times on the way here. 

Thank God we made it, and in one piece.

The misery of a drive was worth it for the magic I felt when I put Callan down to sleep in the hubs childhood bedroom. I'm sure there will be visits to all his old schools, walks to the ice cream store about a block from his house and runs with the new jogger through his little village. These are memories that will never be forgotten. Even if I had to listen to the hubs crooning the Hallelujah chorus for an hour straight. 


Mixup (the web)

I wrote after Blissdom 2010 about the Love Bomb team and their complete awesomeness. Now, the founder of that group, Nate, has started a new site, Mixup (the web). 

What is Mixup?

Nate says "I’m bringing together some of the most interesting and talented web personalities to have some fun, go head-to-head, collaborate on projects, and produce creative, high-quality content."

Part of that go head-to-head bit, is me in a fun little fashion face off with my sweet friend, Summer, where we show off $30 outfits and you can vote for your fave look. 

So go check it out, vote for your favorite, and follow Mixup! 


Grilled Mini Meat Loaves {RECIPE}

How fun are these?!? I got this recipe in my daily Food and Wine email. I love the recipes they send, but they often have fancier ingredients than I have on hand. I'm a big improviser, so here is my improvised version of their delish recipe. 

2 slices of firm bread (I used a couple day old french bread and it worked perfectly)
4 scallions, sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing
1 pound ground beef chuck (or ground turkey)
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (I used shredded and squeezed it into strips. Original recipe calls for fresh mozzarella cubes.)

In a food processor or chopper, pulse the bread, scallions, basil and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until the bread is coarsely chopped. 

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the ground chuck, parmesan, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and blend well. Shape the meat into four thick, 5-inch-long ovals. Make an indentation in the center of each meat loaf, tuck in the mozzarella, then cover the cheese with the meat mixture to enclose it. Reshape the meat into ovals with slightly tapered ends.

Heat your grill and rub the meat loaves with olive oil. Grill on high heat, turning until well browned and firm to the touch, about 8 minutes total. 

The uncooked meat loaves can be refrigerated overnight and brought to room temperature before grilling for an even easier meal! 


10 ways I'm a different Mommy to #2.

1. I looked back from my comfy spot on the couch to see #2 chewing on a flip flop. With #1 I would have literally squirted the antibacterial INTO HIS MOUTH, but with #2, I finished my text, then went to pick him up. I know full well that a little shoe germ never hurt anyone. 

2. We've locked our doors and hung out in the neighbors back yard with the monitor while both kids were sleeping. I would have reported myself for child abuse had I done this for #1. 

3. I was munching on a club cracker. 7 month old #2 pulls my arm in and takes a bite. Instead of doing the finger-mouth-swipe I did with #1, I let him enjoy it. Then gave him the rest of the cracker. 

4. I've noticed #2 seems really happy watching Mickey Mouse Club House with #1. Instead of changing it to Baby Einstein and setting the timer for 7 1/4 minutes, I let him watch. The whole episode. 

5. The middle of the night wake ups and sleep deprivation from #2 doesn't bother me much. I know now that the time flies so very quickly, so I'm enjoying the middle of the night snuggles. 

6. Schedule. What schedule? It just happens when it happens. 

7. I realized Gerber really knows what they're doing with baby food and while I enjoy making it, its so totally fine to give the jar stuff every now and then. Or all the time. 

8. #2 sleeps well in his carseat. So there he sleeps. I'm not even googling to see if this is acceptable. 

9. Our first date night after #1 was when he was over 1 year old. With #2, it was just over 1 month. And he survived. 

10. Give them the passie. ASAP. Babies are born with a comfort that comes from sucking. My nipples are not. The end. Your kid will not go to school with a passie. #1 is proof of that. 

Moral of the story? Stop looking to see if you're doing it "right" and relax. Enjoy this thing called motherhood from the beginning and don't take it all so seriously. Seriously.   


Father's Day crafts, campfires and cute boy faces.

Our Father's Day was basically amazing. I wanted to make the day as special as I could for the Hubs, my father-in-law and my brother-in-law. 

We started out with cute pinterest-y decorations and McMuffins made by yours truly. 
The majority of our day was spent outside, playing in the yard. I can't even tell you how much I want to blow this picture up the size of my house. Pure joy on those faces. The hubs makes my boys smile constantly and is simply an incredible Father. I just don't know how I got so blessed. 
Daddy, boys and a grill. Does it get any more Father's Day-ish than that? 
The gorgeous weather made for quite the photo shoot. 
That I took full advantage of.
Obviously. I couldn't stop. 

"Brother, please share whatever that deliciousness is that you're eating"
Coop wanted it to be all boys picture day, apparently.
I got a picture of our appetizers, the end. The steak, scallops, chicken and spicy Italian sausage we grilled up followed by Reese's peanut butter pie got eaten too quickly for photos.
We ended every night this weekend, actually with this. Nothing much better than family crowded around a campfire with sticky marshmallow fingers!
And I couldn't have a Father's Day post without pictures of my sweet Daddy. I am pretty much the biggest Daddy's girl there is and these pictures make me smile. Especially the one with my speedo clad Daddy-o.


Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Trifle {RECIPE}


When I posted this trifle picture to Instagram a couple weekends ago, people were asking like crazy for the recipe. As were the people that got to eat it at the neighborhood block party I brought it to. It's a bunch of delicious ingredients, layered into a trifle to equal perfection. The ingredient that is to thank the most for this amazing dish? 
COOL WHIP Whipped Topping.

Trifle bowls and I have a bit of a history. I suddenly wanted one so bad a couple years ago, because what doesn't look more gorgeous in trifle form? I searched everywhere. My mom searched everywhere. Nothing was quite right. Until we went into Walmart one day and BAM! The trifle bowl that was meant to be mine was a $10 beauty with a silver rim. 

Whoa, back to the dish. My sister-in-law made it for a family dinner and I couldn't wait for a chance to make it myself. I do highly recommend buying the unwrapped Reeses...and if your store is out like mine was, drive somewhere else. Trust me! 

The recipe is simple, really.

1 package of Brownie Mix
1 family size bag of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
1 large package Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
2 cups cold Milk
3/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 cartons of COOL WHIP, thawed

Cook brownies according to package directions. 
Cool completely, then cut into cubes. 
Cut the Reeses into halves, setting aside 1/2 cup to use as garnish. 
Mix instant pudding and cold milk with a hand mixer or wisk. (The mixture will be thick.) Add in vanilla and peanut butter and mix well. Fold in 1.5 cartons of the COOL WHIP, reserving the other half to top your trifle.

Time to layer it up! 
Put 1/3 of the brownie cubes into a trifle dish, followed by 1/3 of the peanut butter cups, then 1/3 of the COOL WHIP mixture. Repeat layers. Top your beautiful trifle with the reserved COOL WHIP, then garnish with the reserved peanut butter cups.

Make sure you are serving this to people you want to impress. Because it will. And save yourself some time and write out some recipe cards!

Now, if you're wanting to eat COOL WHIP as an everyday dessert, I'd say go for it! When Cooper sees this blue carton, he get excited.
Because he knows he is going to be getting this creamy deliciousness. 
He ask for dessert after dinner every night. The one he usually gets in the summertime, is this:
Or like tonight, frozen blueberries topped with COOL WHIP. And Mommy just might partake with him. 

Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content. I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all my own.


Toddler Style {A Fashion Post}

So I have this 4 year old, who loves to pick out things for himself when we go shopping. He tells me often that I look beautiful in the dressing room and will wear just about anything I tell him looks "awesome". 

The latter, is how he ended up in this outfit, which I think is adorable beyond words. 
I mean, color blocking and cropped chinos? He's prepping for the pages of GQ in 2026.
I bought these pants for my SIL's rehearsal dinner to go along with our coral family theme. I decided I couldn't let them sit in his closet until August, though! 
The pants were sagging a bit at this point since the pockets were currently stuffed with rocks. 
But my, can he strike a mean pose. 
Shirt: Ralph Lauren, Pants: H&M, Loafers: Gap


Date Night and NY Mets Love

Last week, the hubs and I got out for a date night and we went to see the Mets battle the Nats. I cannot tell you how naked I felt carrying only my phone and ID. 
I wore a jersey that was the hubs when he was 11. I call that vintage. 
Walking in, I was giddy. Hand holding and a bit of bouncy excitement for being out. Alone. 
Of course, the only reasonable first stop sans kiddos, was for beer. 
Crazy overpriced, Washington Nationals beer. 
But it was a gorgeous night! 
The Nationals have these weird President head things that come out to throw t-shirts. Cooper did get some serious laughs seeing the pictures of them, though. 
Even though the Mets lost, (in the 12th inning!) we celebrated their next day's win with some serious piles of wings and fries. 
And now this week, I'm hitting the running hard core. I have 3 weeks until we head to NY for my SIL's bridal shower and bachelorette party. The latter is on a boat. A BOAT. And I must wear a bathing suit. Sweet mercies. Thank goodness my new double jogger came in Saturday!


CopyCat Panera Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken Salad {RECIPE}

I was so excited when I found out that Panera had brought back their Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken Salad. As I was eating it last weekend, I though, "I sure would eat more salad if I could eat this one every day". But when I seriously started thinking about it, I totally can. And now I have no excuse for eating crap. 
PaneraStrawberry Poppyseed
I made this salad like a buffet. People can take as much or as little of any ingredient as they'd like. Another reason, is that you can prep all the toppings in advance and just put it together when you're ready to eat it. No soggy salad. 
I have a beloved poppyseed dressing recipe that you'll find below. This pomegranate blueberry vinaigrette from Wegmans makes a fantastic addition to this salad as well. 
There is no real recipe for the salad, just add as much of each ingredient as you'd like.

Romaine lettuce (I used spring mix and spinach above)
Strawberries, sliced
Pineapple, diced
Pecans, hand broken up
Chicken, grilled and sliced into thin strips

Poppyseed Dressing:
1/3 c Vegetable Oil
1/2 c Sugar
1/3 c Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Poppyseeds
1/2 tsp Salt

Put everything into a dressing shaker or a mason jar and shake well until combined. 

Enjoy your healthy eating! 


7 Month Fabric Photo!

June 1st marked this guy's 7 month Birthday!
See those 2 little weapons in his mouth? Those are his newest possession. I thought the drooling would at least slow down a bit after they came in, but no. We're still going through bibs like whoa!

Moving now consist of lots of rolling, backwards scooting and a weird forward thrusting while sitting. Not sure how he does that one without falling over, but he does. 
Dude's got skill.
Eating is now anything I will give him as well as anything he snatches off his brothers plate. He is quickly loosing interest in nursing and just wants to be a big boy. He's packed on some weight this month and is right at 21lbs.
He is sleeping from 7pm - 5:30am, then nurses and back to sleep until 7ish. The hangup? He'll only sleep like that in his carseat. He hates lying flat! Lets just pretend this is acceptable.

He is still the happiest baby I've ever seen. Cries when he's tired. Laughs most all other times, especially at his big brother, and is just content. Thank goodness. 

Cute blanket courtesy of my sweet friend, Lisa.


Molly Maid Review + {GIVEAWAY} {CLOSED}

Congrats to the winner, Krysta

I'd like to think of myself as a pretty good house cleaner. I actually love to clean and my Momma taught me pretty well. Lately, though, after 2 kids and only part of my sanity left, the thought of hiring a cleaning service has crossed my mind more than once. 

I was just introduced to Molly Maid's Cleaning University. They give you house cleaning tips and tricks to save you time and money. Sometimes, the answer is just how to be more effective in what you're doing. There are a series of videos that feature how-tos that are quite useful. This one on how to clean your shower curtain is a great way to save money. 

The other videos I liked a lot were the tutorial on how to get out sweat stains, (I know we aren't the only family with ruined white t-shirts!) as well as one teaching how to remove that ring around the collar.

The folks at Molly Maid not only are giving out these fantastic tips, but they're also giving away a prize pack with things to pamper yourself after you've done all that cleaning! 

Win a “Take Care of You” gift pack from Molly Maid ($50 value)! 

This sweepstakes will end June 7 at 11:59PM PT, so enter now! A winner will be selected randomly from the comments on June 8 and contacted via email, at which time the winner will have 48 hours to respond with shipping information before a new winner is selected. Please make sure you’ve provided an email address where you can be contacted!

Enter up to five times by doing each of the following:

  • One Entry - Tweet about the Molly Maid sweepstakes (you can even use one of the handy-dandy Tweets below, if you like) and leave a comment here with either the Tweet or the URL to the Tweet. Please be sure to tag your Tweet with #MollyMaidTips.
  • One Entry - Tweet out the URL to one of the Molly Cleaning Institute videos and leave a comment here with either the Tweet or the URL to the Tweet. Please be sure to tag your Tweet with #MollyMaidTips.
  • One Entry - Post about this sweepstakes on Facebook, and leave a comment here saying what you posted. Please tag the post with the #MollyMaidTips hashtag.
  • One Entry - Write a blog post including at least one of the videos, and  -- you guessed it -- leave a comment here with the URL to the blog post.
  • One Entry - Just leave a comment on this blog post telling us about your favorite cleaning tips. They could potentially be included in a future video!

Please leave a separate comment for each entry! 

Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content. I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all my own.
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