Stilettos and Diapers: October 2012


On losing a basement and finding perspective.

The past 2 days, we've been powerless and dealing with a gift that hurricane Sandy left us as she passed through...a wet basement. 

We checked the sump pump because the rain was coming down so hard and it was close to full. We decided to try to barrel brigade it out, but we couldn't keep up and were left with about 5 inches of water in the entire basement. It was so devastating to be trying so hard and then have to give up because we were making no progress. 

Luckily, since we were afraid of the problem before it became one, we got most of our stuff to higher ground. It required us being up until 3am, wading through water, but we did it. Tuesday, we got this bad boy in the culdesac to help pump the water out of ours and 3 of our neighbor's basements. 
The water was mostly gone after that, but that carpet is soup and there is water soaked up in about 12 inches of the sheetrock. There is a crew down there today stripping carpet, sheetrock and baseboards and drying everything out. 
There were some casualties, of course, including a couple boxes of stuff I had saved from our wedding and all our luggage. You better believe there have been waterworks several million times out of me. It's been emotional. Our insurance company told us nothing was covered. Then another agent said it was. Then another wasn't sure. 

But I've seen a lot in a different light. Once our power was on and we could see some of the devastating pictures on the news, it made my swimming pool of a basement seem like not that big of a deal. We're safe. We have 2 other floors of our house and no one lost their cozy bed. 

I've realized I have held too much value in things and mementos that I'm never going to look at. That are sitting in boxes. That I was cursing at 2 am while we were trying to save them. I am purging the stuff like you wouldn't believe. 

Yes, we're cold. We can't run the heat for 2-3 days to make sure the mold doesn't spread through the vents. But we have electricity for our space heater and a snugly fireplace. 

Yes, it's sad to see our first house that's only 2 years old have so much destruction. But it's a house, not a life. 

Yes, I'm irritated that our house is a disaster with basement stuff everywhere for Callan's 1st Birthday. But that 1 day from 1 year old is happy and healthy. 

Yes, it's an enormous hassle. And time. And money. But it could have been so much worse. 

And I'm so very thankful. 


Halloween Playgroup Fun and Printables!

There isn't much that would keep me away from a good theme party. I offered to host playgroup last week because I wanted to use this awesome printable party pack from RV Parties. It was so easy. All you do is print on card stock, cut and decorate! It took me all of 30 minutes the night before to fancy up my dining room. 
You still have time to buy a kit from RV Parties for Halloween! Just visit their Etsy store, buy your kit for $5 and you'll be decorating in no time. They also have tons of adorable party kits for Birthdays, showers and more! Can't wait to show you what they've done for little man's 1st Birthday! 
Apple cinnamon muffins are so much tastier when they are wrapped up and decorated with ghost and black cats! 
Remember at Easter time when I made Bunny Bait? Well, I mixed things up a bit for Halloween and used Reeses pieces and fall sprinkles. You better believe it was gone that day. I ate entirely too much. 
Probably my favorite thing about Halloween? Mary Janes. Sticky, peanut buttery goodness. 
But with all the fun for the kids, there had to be some for the Mommies! Hello, yurbuds
I am in love with these earphones. First of all, they are smaller sizes for women. The regular white ones that came with my phone will not stay in my ear for the life of me. I was so happy the first time I ran with the yurbuds that they didn't fall out! They are sweat and water resistant and have a TwistLock technology that ensures they will not fall out. 

Every Mom in my neighborhood is a gym rat. Races, mud runs, zumbathons, you name it, they've done it. I knew that they would all love the yurbuds in this kit along with a sweat band, towel and Luna bar! 
The other awesome part? They come in fun colors! Pink, teal, yellow, green, purple and orange. I (obviously) snagged pink! You can find yurbuds exclusively at Target. Christmas list, anyone? 

Thanks to yurbuds and MomSelect for provided me with the earbud kits for me and my neighborhood mommies. I was in no other way compensated.


Hair How-to: Curling Iron Waves

About 2 years ago, my stylist sis-in-law showed me how to curl my hair. I was curling in all the wrong directions and this made all the difference in the world. I curl 3-4 days/week and it takes me only about 10 minutes now that I have it down pat! 

Tools needed:

Hair clip
1" curling iron (I just use a Conair adjustable temp one from Target)
Hairspray (I suggest an aerosol and I use Loreal Elnett)
Hair, hair tutorial, hair do, how to curl hair
1. Grab the top half of your hair and clip it on top of your head. Spray the bottom layer with an hair spray. 

2. Take a small section in the front.

3. About 1/3 of the way down the strand, clamp the hair in the curling iron.

4. Turn away from your face. (That is the key to the whole look. Always curl away from the face.) Hold for a couple seconds. 

5, 6, 7. Slide the curling iron down, then twist back up to the starting point. Repeat as necessary, leaving about 1" at the end uncurled. This usually takes me 3 twist.

8, 9. Continue curling until all your hair is in the front. Spray the curls. 

10. Let down the top layer and spray it. 

11, 12. Repeat the same steps as the bottom layer, always curling away from the face. 

13, 14. If you have long bangs, clamp them in the curling iron at the very end and curl them back one twist. 

15. Spray to your little hearts content. I tend to go a bit heavy. You can run your fingers through your hair before you spray if you want to loosen up the curls a bit. 

Here is the finished result on a few different occasions.

The key points are that you start about 1/3 of the way down your hair, you leave about 1" straight at the end and you always curl away from your face! 

Happy curling! 


Fall Fave - Chicken Tortilla Soup (Recipe)

I posted this recipe from my sis last fall, but I made it again this week and it's definitely worth a repost. 

2 Cans {EACH} Cream of Chicken, Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Celery Soup. (I used the reduced fat)
2 Cans Campbell's Cheddar Cheese Soup
2 Cans Chicken Broth (Same size as soup)
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Cup Salsa (I used hot)
1 Onion, Chopped
2 Clove Garlic, Minced
1 tsp. Red Chili Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour.

{Add in}
4 Chicken Beast, diced and sauteed
1/4 cup fresh Cilantro, chopped

Simmer an additional hour.
Slice 1 package tortillas into strips
Roll up and quickly fry in olive oil.
Top soup with tortilla strips and shredded cheese.


Graco Event and Babies R Us (Giveaway)

Last weekend I got to host a fun event at Babies R Us to show off the amazing new Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40. This carseat is like the mercedes of carseats. Fitting babies from 4-40lbs, this is the one and only infant seat you can safely use rear facing up to 2 years old. 
I don't know about you, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommending keeping babies rear facing until the age of 2 seriously terrified me. Callan's feet were up on the seat at 9 months. Since I make large and in charge babies, this seat is the perfect way for me to keep my him (my 24lb bruiser) 5 times safer than in a forward facing seat. 
The base has 8 recline positions for the most leg room of any rear facing carseat. Plus, it has the adorable little feetsie kick plate! But my favorite part? No rethreading. That's right. All you have to do is move a lever and the the straps move right up. It's practical a infant mother's miracle. 
I had a great time at the event, not only teaching people about the new carseat, but snacking, playing trivia games and chatting with new friends. 
Amy, of A Little Nosh, won a carseat in our first session! Love, love how willing she was to fun up our pictures! 
The always fabulously dressed, Kelly, of Mrs in Training, was there to help me out. Don't know what I would have done without her! 
And, I got to see my sweet friend, Tonia, aka, The Chatty Momma. I love how local events bring some of the same bloggers together over and over again. 
Babies R Us has teamed up with Graco to be the only store selling this fab carseat. And guess what? They want to give you some BRU shopping money! Use the rafflecopter widget below to enter to win a $25 gift card to use for any of your baby needs! 

The Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 – the first and only newborn to two-year infant car seat that actually grows with your baby from four pounds all the way up to 40 pounds. The car seat is designed for a parent on the go. The infant car seat can be easily removed from the base and used as a carrier when the infant is small, providing portability and convenience so you can easily move your infant in and out of the car without disturbing them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made the recommendation to keep all children in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2. Graco set out to make this product so parents can keep infants rear facing longer while still keeping them comfortable.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. The opinions and text are all mine.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


That time I acted like a grown up. (A Fashion Post)

This past weekend, I had the fun opportunity to host an event for Graco at Babies R Us. It was total fun. I'll tell you more about it later, but for now, here's what I wore for my "big girl" gig. 
This top? Still trying to figure out how I lived without it before a week ago and how I can manage to wear it on a daily basis. I lurrrve. Its the Kentucky Priss Top from Kiki La'Rue, one of my newest sponsors! I want everything in the shop and you're going to as well. 
My favorite part, obviously, is the back. So different, but I can still wear my regular bra. (Totally essential, ya know)
Why only wear a necklace as a necklace when you can wear it as a triple layer bracelet?
Top: c/o Kiki La'Rue, Pants: Target, Necklace: GroopDealz, Bracelet: c/o Outfit Additions, Shoes: Target, Sunnies: Prada (gift)

You'll find everything you need at Kiki La'Rue for everyday right up to a big event. They even have a gameday collection that features styles and colors you'll want to be tailgating in. So spruce up your Monday and get your shop on! 


Tortellini with Butternut Squash Sauce (Recipe)

I made this dish yesterday for a lunch date. It was delicious, easy and so totally a perfect fall food. Even more perfect, is using cleaned and cut butternut squash. These things are worth every penny of that extra $1 per pound. 

1 package frozen tortellini (4 servings)
2 cups cooked butternut squash (about 1/2 lb)
1 small purple onion
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp plain greek yogurt
Parsley for garnish

Boil butternut squash until very soft (20-25 min). While boiling, slice onion and sautee until browned. Drain squash and place in blender with half the cooked onion. Add water, parmesan cheese, salt and nutmeg. Blend until smooth. 
Pour into squash pot. Stir in greek yogurt and reserved onion. Add water to reach desired consistency as needed and heat through.

Pour over cooked tortellini (or other pasta of choice) and sprinkle with parsley. 

Eat up! 

Warning: Technically makes 4 servings. But I could eat it all by myself. 


V.I.P. Graco Event at Babies R Us! Who's joining me?!

This Saturday, October 20th, I will be hosting a fun event in honor of Graco's latest SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 carseat launch! This is the only infant seat on the market that provides rear facing protection for babies up to 2 years! Visit Graco Safety to check out the carseat and follow along on twitter with the #gracosafety hashtag to learn more.

By attending this event, you can try the carseat hands-on and you'll have a chance to win a free SnugRide carseat! ($219.99 value) One will be given away at each of our 2 sessions! There will also be goodie bags, trivia games and raffle prizes. You can come to whatever time works best for you, but you don't want to miss this! 

Everyone is invited, but bloggers have special incentives! One of the attendees from our 50 nationwide events will win a ticket to your choice of Bloggy Bootcamp 2013. (That includes airfare, hotel and registration.) 

Interested? Comment with your email address so we can make sure to have a spot for you!  


Mom 411.

There isn't a time that something goes wrong that I don't immediately think "I need to call my Mom". 

Mom's always know what to do

Just this past week, I've called my mom for multiple incidents. 

Callan hit his mouth on the chair and his lip is bleeding. Yes, I'm a nurse. No, I can't remember anything that I'm supposed to do and I feel like a horrible Mom. 

My boob hurts. Pretty sure its a clogged duct. Do clogged ducts make you feel close to death? Should I just drink wine and go to sleep? Okay then. 

Is it normal for my 4 year old to want to be spending so much time in the bathroom, umm, hanging out? So when I tell him to stop touching it, do I have to say the word penis?

You know how Callan gags himself? Well, he's thrown up 3 times today. Is there such a thing as baby bulimia? Should I stop telling him he's a chunker?

My biggest concern is where all this vast knowledge comes from. I mean, I'm a Mom, but I can't answer these questions. There sure didn't implant me with the chip holding all the smarts when I left the hospital.

So I'm just hoping that someday, I'll get my act together and can be Mom 411 for my kids. Or that they have really smart Mother-in-laws they can call instead. 


Frizzed to flat. My new favorite straightener.

I have almost always had long hair and for the longest time, I would just wear it without really styling it. This means I had frizz head. Not cute.

I started using straighteners just a few years ago and what a difference they make! Only thing is, my at home straighteners never made my hair quite like it felt when I left the salon. I love that silky smooth feel I got, but couldn't recreate it. I thought it was just my skill, but I was wrong! 

Misikko recently contacted me about trying one of their customers choice products, the Hana Professional Flat Iron
I was shocked when I got the package in the mail and opened it to find an array of gorgeous goodies! The 1" flat iron comes with a leather pouch, a heat proof silicone mat and a 2 year warranty. 
This is what my hair looks like only washed and blow dried. I need to get some dead ends trimmed, but oh my frizzers. 
Very happy with the results after using my new Hana Salon flat iron! 
The flat iron has advanced Tourmaline Ceramic Plates for Maximum Frizz-Free, Conditioning Shine that I can see and feel. There was no pulling or snagging my hair while I used it, either. It heats up super fast and has a swiveling cord so I wasn't tangling myself up in it while I did my hair. On top of loving my new flat iron, I was impressed with Misikko and their service. They offer free shipping with all orders over $75 and hassle free returns. 

If you need a new flat iron, (or even if you don't!) get a Hana professional. There is a massive difference in this one and the ones I've bought from Target for $20. Your hair will thank you. You're welcome. 

I was provided the above product in exchange for my review. I was in no other way compensated. All opinions are mine. 

17. Show & Tell.

I've only been trying to link-up with Becky for months. Finally getting er done. 

1. When you were 17, tell us what kind of car you drove, where you worked, and what you were usually up to on the weekends. 

When I was 17, I didn't have a car. I had back surgery when I was 15, so I didn't even get my license until I was almost 17. I did rock my Mom's minivan quite a bit, though. It held lots of friends.  

I, um, didn't have a job either. My parents just wanted us to focus on school and not worry about working. Back then I thought it sucked to not have a job, but now that I look back on it? Pretty awesome.

My last year in a kids church band was when I was 17. We travelled all over the country and to England together. We recorded 3 albums. It was such a fun time in my life!   

2. Show us a picture of you when you were 17 {roughly}.
Ahh, senior picture. I was 17 when I graduated high school and couldn't be happier to be finished! 

3. When you were 17, tell us what you wanted to be when you "grew up."

I delivered my baby sister when I was almost 14 and I knew from then on what I wanted be a nurse or midwife. I wanted to help people and for some strange reason, loved the idea of wearing scrubs. I also knew I wanted to be a Mom. I dreamed about my wedding, being a wife and making lots of babies.  

4. When you were 17, tell us the kind of boys that you dated. Did you have a type? Do you have a relationship you remember well? Tell us about it.

I ended a serious relationship and started a new one {with the hubs} when I was 17. It was a busy year! The only common denominator in the guys I've dated is height. I like 'em tall.  

5. When you were 17, tell us where you pictured your life 10 years from then. Did it turn out the way you expected it to? 

I pictured myself at 27 to be a stay at home mom. To have dinner on the table and a clean house when the hubs got home from work.  

1 of those things has turned out as expected! Even though there was a time, pre-kids, that I thought I wanted to go back to work instead of staying home, I'm right where I always thought I would be. Well, minus the clean house. 



Sponsor lovin: Good people, good stuff.

Recently, I opened up my blog to sponsors and have had the most amazing stores and bloggers fill up my sidebar. I have to take the opportunity to share them all with you! 

First up, is RV Parties. They have adorable party kits to make any party you throw look amazing and professional. Its no surprise that I choose one of their designs for Callan's upcoming 1st Birthday! They also make custom melamine plates that are adorable! 

Shop on Etsy

I've been reading Heather's blog for over 2 years; back before her gorgeous Maui wedding. She is now a wife, Mom to an amazing fighter of a special needs toddler, Brayden, and a gluten-free eater. Her blog shares her amazing, inspirational journey of life and Motherhood. 

Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: heather1209

I think our mutual love of the NY Jets is what made Pam of Our Love Nest and I friends. We sealed the friend deal over lunch not too long ago. She does a lot of DIY's that you're not going to want to miss and has a wardrobe I'd like to steal. 
Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram: OurLoveNest 

Can I just tell you that I am pretty much in love with Kiki La'Rue and the sweet Becka behind the shop? The Texas based boutique sells clothing and accessories that are affordable, stylish and unique. This is a shop you're going to want to shop at!

I love when bloggers I know start new ventures. Thats just what Alison of Sunshine and Lavender has done! She hand makes the most adorable pillow covers and I just gush over the Mama and me matching aprons! Her prices are already great, but she is offering Stilettos and Diapers readers 10% off all purchases this month with the code "SDTEN"! 
 Shop on Etsy

Wilson Custom Prints specializes in completely custom pieces. Their framed collages are completely handmade and unique to their shop. They can also create vinyl banners for your party or business. With all the specialty work they do, it's amazing that their prices still rival the competitors!
Shop on Facebook or Etsy

There you have it! The people are the best of the best, in my opinion. Get on over and do some blog reading and shopping! You won't be disappointed. 

Happy Friday! 

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