Thursday, May 29, 2014

Blogger Bliss: The Lovely Month of May

The TruMoo giveaway ends soon!  Be sure to enter HERE for a chance to win a galloon of TruMoo milk. 

I guess it's a trend for me to be a day late for Blogger's Bliss but if you want to join in on the fun be sure to link up with Meg at Borrrowed Heaven or #bloggerbliss on Instagram.  Dannielle and I are doing this together so be sure to head over to Quite Dainty and check out what she's been up to. 

This month summer started and it brought sunshine and joy to my life!  I love these early days of summer.  SUMMER is bliss.

This picture pretty much says it all... floral, shorts, sandals, painted toes, and yup a lovely tan. 

Summer means lots of new sandals including these darling Salt Water Sandals.  Little lady and I got matching pairs for my birthday and I love them.  Probably going to get another pair. 

The heat also mean POOL DAYS!  Our pool is officially open so we have gone pretty much every day this week.  Just like when I was a kid, the little lady loves having lunch at the pool and swimming her little heart out. 

And with the snow behind us we have gotten to go on more outdoor outings... Last weekend we went to the zoo where I thought it would be fun to feed a giraffe.  It wasn't.  It just freaked me out. 

It's unrelated to summer but it brought me bliss this month.  May is a double WAMMY.  It's Mother's Day and my birthday.  Totally blessed on both days especially since cousin Krista came out to spend the special day with me!  We had a blast.

I know I have been missing for awhile but I promise I won't wait too long before the next post.  I tend to take an online break when company is in town but now we are getting back in our regular routine. 

Until next time.  Toodles!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Spring Favorites

Have you entered the TruMoo giveaway?! A free gallon of milk! 

With hopefully the last snow behind us I am happy that it is finally spring!  I love spring weather.  Sun with getting roasted.  Dannielle and I thought it would be funny on share our Spring faves with you! 

You can check out her list at Quite Dainty.  The funny thing is we both put the same thing on the list.  Head over to find out which it is. 


It's almost spring here.  I'm hoping the surprise Mother's Day snow was the last winter weather we get for the next few months.  And when the sun does come out I plan on carrying this with me everywhere.  It's sunscreen in a stick!  I use it on the little ones face and neck because its easier than lotion which can get in her eyes.  I love that its small, easy to reapply and of course great for protecting your skin.


Another spring fave are these Elf eye shadows.  I love Elf because its cheap, the pigments are pretty.  They don't stay on all day but I can live with that.  I love these fun colors for the spring and summer.

I have this bad habit of buying new sandals every spring.  This year's favorite are these ones from target.  So comfy, on sale... it was a win win.  I love them so much I got them in both colors. 


I saved the best for last.  I am in love love love with Forever 21 basics [photo's are from Forever 21].  First up are these ruched bandeau bras.  They are amazing and the best six dollar purchase I've made in a long time.  They didn't get five stars in the site for nothin.  They are SUPER DUPER comfy, lightly padded [with those bathing suit type pads], and adjustable straps.  Love love love love.  The best part is that they are so nursing friendly.  Easy to pull down and back up.  The cheapest and most comfy nursing bra ever.  I love that it's one size fits all too because in a few months nice I'm done nursing ill still be able to use them and not worry that they are too big.


And speaking of  nursing, these tanks are my fave.  I think I own lie 15 in all sorts of colors.  For a $1.80 how can I not own a ton.  They are super comfy and again perfect for nursing.  I wear them under all my shirts and when I have to nurse in public I don't have to show everyone my belly.  I love just lounging with the around the house too.


Now that I've shared my spring faves what are yours?  Time to head out and have some fun in the sun!

Until next time.  Toodles!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Conquering Colic

After having such an easy first baby, the hubby and I were quite surprised with little man.  I'm NOT saying she is any better than he is, they are just different.  The little miss pretty much came out independent. She was sleeping in her crib by herself the second day home, didn't mind being left alone or put down in her pack and play.  She knew how to self soothe herself by sucking on her hand.  As long as she was fed, clean, and not tired she was all good.  She was a good ego boost.

Now the little guy on the other hand is colicky.  He humbled me.  From my understanding, colic is a combination of a very sensitive baby's inability to self soothe and tummy troubles.  He has some  bad reflux making his first few weeks very uncomfortable for the both of us. He completely did away with the sequence of crying... A little whimper, the soft cry, the screaming.  It went from 0 to 60... quiet to screaming and getting him calm was no easy task.  Early evening were the worst!  I had no clue how to work through this since our first trip to baby world was such a breeze.  


But along the way we figured it out and I thought I would compile and share all the things I learned from others. I hope this post helps you or someone you know conquer colic!



  The first helpful tip came from my hubby's co worker.  He told him about GRIPE WATER to help soothe those tummy troubles.  I have never even heard of this but let me tell you IT IS AMAZING!  I know it may not work with every baby but it worked for ours.  If I don't give him some before bed I can guarantee a rough night.  It helps with those tummy troubles for sure! We've been using it for weeks and we noticed it working the very first night he used it.  I also use it during the day when he seems in pain and it works in minutes.  


Don't get me wrong, he still cries and fusses, but its not the no one can help me screaming out of control crying all the time.  He actually whimpers first.  Instead of getting fussy during his alert time I actually get smiles and sometimes even coos.  He is so much more content, doesn't cry after spitting up or eating and is a much happier baby.  Gripe water is all natural, over the counter, and made of fennel and ginger. I love GRIPE WATER. 


Now when I first had my little lady, my friend gave me this book, Happiest Baby on the Block.  I kind of went over it but because she was so easy I didn't really read it or use the techniques.  She just didn't need it. Thank God I kept it because I for sure needed it with this little guy.  I DON'T agree with everything he says in the book, but his technique for soothing colicky babies works!  The idea is that babies have a calming reflex that turns off the crying when you apply the 5 S's.  The 5 S's:  Swaddle, side/stomach position , shhhhhing, rocking, sucking (nursing or pacifier).  This combination recreates the womb experience for them instantly calming them.  Using this exact sequence with VIGOR [loud shhhing right in his ear and tough pats on the bum] works like a dream when he is super tired in minutes.  You can read more about the technique in the book.



This technique has become our bed time routine.  By 7:30 p.m. he starts fussing and getting sleepy.  He gets his gripe water.  I let him cry for a good minute to tire himself a little and then do the 5 S's. It takes minutes and when he's in la-la land I flip him.  Works every night like a dream.  It use to take longer in the beginning but now he knows the drill.  He needed all 5 in that exact order to work.  When he is having a rough day, I do this same drill for naps too. 

So, if you have a fussy baby invest in a good Swaddle like the Zen Swaddle from Nested Bean.  I reviewed it in THIS post.  It's our favorite.  He loves how comfy it is and I love how easy it is.  I can seriously Swaddle him in seconds with this.  I use it every night for him and even during the day for naps when he is just too fussy to go down on his own.  Bye bye startle reflex. 

Now that it's easy to get him to sleep keeping him asleep became the issue.  He just couldn't sleep when it was dead silent, at least not until he reached REM.  For that, insert white noise.  His favorite is the vacuum.  If you have a baby like mine, Youtube acutally has videos of a vacuum cleaner sound for babies.  Ha!  Just search it.  



Between the gripe water, the 5 S's from Happiest Baby on the Block, the Swaddle, and Youtube we are a much happier family.  I am getting more sleep, he is sleeping four hour stretches now.  I am also getting things done during the day now that he can nap peacefully on his own without being carried or rocked.  So if you have a colicky baby try these little tips and hopefully they work for you too!



Until next time.  Toodles!
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Monday, May 12, 2014

Swap.com: The Online Consignment for Mom's

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Swap.com - Kids' Consignment for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
I’m a bargain shopper and really hate paying full price for anything, especially for the kids.  They grow out of clothes so fast at this age I prefer to buy used or clearance items.  For this reason I love consignment shops.  Not only can I buy second hand items in great condition for an awesome price but can also sell the stuff we have collected.   My hubby loves nothing more than me cleaning out the kiddos clothes and making more room for us. 

Did you know there is a consignment shop online!?  Swap.com launched in 2013 and feature baby and kids items from clothes to toys to games.  They also sell maternity clothes!  Wish I would have heard of them when I was carrying the little man.   Swap.com operates just like any regular consignment store.   The items on the site are owned by the customers but inspected, receive a quality grading, photographed, and stored until they are ready to be shipped.  They have over 50,000 pre-owned items in their inventory!
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Buying from Swap.com is super duper easy.  Add items to your cart from the various sellers and checkout when you are ready.  Swap.com ships within one business day.  First time customers also get free shipping and orders over $50 always ship free.  Because Swap.com handles all the merchandise, inspections, and shipping you can trust that you are getting what you pay for.  It’s safe and free from fraud.  You can’t beat the prices, rom 50-95% off retail prices. sawp shop
Selling item’s on Swap.com is also just as easy as buying.  Customers pack their items in a box and ship them to Swap.com who also provides the UPS Shipping slip.  The fee for sending items is a low fee of $8.90 and that includes the shipping and listing the items on the site.  You don’t have to take the time to photograph your items, list them, or ship them!  Talk about a time saver.  Once the items are listed on your account, you can price them.  Swap.com take $1+20% commission on every item sold.  The proceeds are automatically paid to the seller via Paypal within 14 days.   As with any consignment shop Swap.com will only accept items that are clean without stains, like new, in working condition, complete and can be shipped via UPS.
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So you do have oodles of kid’s items and are ready to sell?  Or are you looking for a good bargain?  If you are, then head over to Swap.com - Kids' Consignmentand start saving money and time! 
Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, May 9, 2014

Recipe: TruMoo Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie [and Giveaway!]

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TruMoo for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

We are milk LOVERS at this house.  My hubby jokes that it costs more than gas per gallon because I can drink it all day long.  My world is rocked when it is combined with my first love... chocolate.  Oooh chocolate milk [it's my kryptonite no joke].  Apparently, everyone else in the house loves it too.  I bought a quarter gallon of TruMoo chocolate milk to make these delicious peanut butter banana smoothies and by the time I went to make the smoothies the milk was almost all gone!  Guess the hubby and the little lady were gulping while I wasn't looking.  Lucky there was enough for the smoothies, which came out yummy and yup their healthy.
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I love TruMoo chocolate milk because it isn't super duper sweet.  Believe it or not I don't like my chocolate milk to taste like a melted chocolate shake.  TruMoo starts with fresh milk that contains no artificial growth hormones and is sweetened just enough with chocolate.  It contains no high fructose corn syrup so you don't have to feel bad about giving it to the kiddos.   If you have trouble getting your kids to drink milk, this is the way to go... tell them there's chocolate in it!  My mom use to put chocolate in my oatmeal to get me to eat it and as gross as that sounds it worked.  As you can see we don't have a milk problem here!  In fact I've been using TruMoo as a dessert and reward for my picky eater for finishing meals.  
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My little lady may love milk but is not a big meat eater so I have to find lots of protein substitutes for her.  Peanut butter banana smoothies are great for protein and super easy to make.

Ingredients:
Trumoo chocolate milk
1/4 peanut butter
2 tbsp chocolate syrup
1 ripe banana frozen
1 cup ice
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Put everything in the blender.
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Then get ready to let it rip, with the lid on of course. 
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If you want an extra chocolate taste, line the cup with chocolate syrup.  If not, then pour into your cup and enjoy!
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Trumoo comes in other favors too!  Visit TruMoo for more information.  Be sure to show them some love and like TruMoo on Facebook.  


Visit Sponsor's Site  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Recipe: Easy Crispy Fried Shrimp

Our internet has been down so I have been taking a mini social media vacay.  It's actually been really nice, the house is clean, the laundry is done, but I do miss being online.  Thought I would skip my workout today, pop in and post a quick recipe now that we have internet

This is my sister's recipe and while she was here we did a lot of cooking together.  She made this super easy fried breaded shrimp and I've been craving it since.  The shrimp was on sale for $2.50... what a steal!!   We made it a few weekends ago for our surf and turf dinner.   Doesn't it look yummy?!

I can't believe how easy it is to make.  He are the ingredients:


Shrimp
Box of Panko
Eggs
Flour
Salt and pepper
Oil 

If you are wondering, this is the box of Panko she uses from the Asian aisle at the grocery store.


Wash the shrimp and peel the skin leaving the tail. 

 Then arrange your assembly line of ingredients.  Add salt and pepper to your flour.  You'll first dip the shrimp in the egg.  Then the seasoned flour.  Back into the egg.  Then into the Panko.  It's best to do it I batches as opposed to one by one.

Lay the shrimp onto a plate until you are ready to fry.

Heat some oil to medium high heat.  Once the oil is hot, use tongs and put the shrimp in.  Flip it and cook until the skin is crisp and golden.

It went perfect for our surf and turf dinner.  Restaurant meal for half the price!

Until next time.  Toddles!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Blogger's Bliss: Visitors

I always seem to be a day late but better late than never right?  Have you checked out Dannielle's Blogger's Bliss at Quite Dainty?  Looks like she had a pretty fun and eventful month!  If you want to join in on the fun, link up with Megan at Borrowed Heaven or #bloggersbliss on any Instagram photo.  Whatever it is that is that brought you bliss for the month of April!

April for us was awesome blossom.  We got to know our little man but also got oodles of visitors.  First my mom came, then my sister a few days later, then my in laws a few days after that.  Not only were we able to spend quality time with family but I got tons of help with the baby.  Each visit was special and we all had a wonderful time.  So much so our little miss would bawl every time our visitors left.  We also took a few mini trips when my in laws were here.  How sweet is this picture of the little lady and her grandpa?  She loves him so much.  Photo creds to the hubby for this one. 

This is totally unrelated to our visitors but Spring has brought on some lovely weather we have been able to grill a lot more often.  I love love love grilling.  Grilling = bliss.  Good food, it's easy, and the clean up is a cinch.  Who doesn't love grilled chicken?!

I love yummy grilled veggies just as much!

So what's your bliss?

Until next time.  Toodles!