Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Cooking

My family has this HUGE Christmas Eve tradition.  We get together at my moms house for a Christmas glutton feast! That's the only time I get my mom's famous pot roast (a favorite).  The schedule's changed a bit over the years but it consists of church, family photos and tons and tons of food. This year was going to be a big one since all the babies were going to be there (sister's 2 boys, cousin's 2 girls, cousin's 1 boy, cousin's boy and girl).  We were the only ones not able to make it.  

This was our first Christmas that alone.  This was my first Christmas that I hosted a small dinner and cooked everything all by myself.  We invited over my hubby's cousin and his niece for dinner.  The menu I planned was a 8 lb. roast made with a dry rub, steamed vegetables, scalloped potatoes, rice and blueberry pies for dessert.  I started cooking around noon since everything was for the oven and I have a few dishes to prepare.  I was very pleased how everything turned out.  Next time I would get a bone out roast.  Trying to slice it with the bone in was a pain and the slices came out uneven.  I would get an elevated baking pan so the roast doesn't sit in the fat that comes out.  The fruit pies were easier to serve and cut after they've been refrigerated.  The last thing I would change is when I started cooking the roast.  The guest didn't show up until three hours after I finished cooking and I would have like for them to try it hot instead of microwaved.  How did your Christmas meal turn out? 

Tears Don't Describe

I wanted to share something with you today that our family has been dealing with for the past year and a half. Ever since I started Izzy on solids we've had a love/hate relationship with the potty. Initially, it was just constipation but now it's developed into a psychological problem. She was so afraid of it hurting that she started holding in her poop as long as she could. It just made she problem worse because by the time she would finally poop it was hard as a rock.

We've been working with her old pediatrician from the beginning by changing her diet, increasing her fluid intake and even adding fiber supplements. No matter how many times I went to my pediatrician about it she opted for a conservative approach. Every well check, every drop in for colds I always told her Dr. that she still was having painful poop. She kept assuring me that I was doing everything right and she didn't think it was a good idea to be too aggressive.

I felt SO helpless. Every time Izzy would try to poop she would scream in pain. All I could do was rub her back and tell her "mommy was there". It's been a year and a half of everyone ELSE (family) telling me what I was doing wrong. DON'T YOU THINK I F-ING KNEW THAT ALREADY?!?!?!?!  I did everything the doctor told me and still I couldn't convince my baby girl that it was okay to poop.  I could tell that all the changes I made to her diet made a difference.  I could see every time she felt that urge to push and she would stop and wait until it passed.  I could see all the looks of fear on my baby's face every time she couldn't hold the urge to push any longer and she was scared of the pain. I felt so frustrated that I couldn't make it better.  I felt so angry that EVERYTHING I was doing wasn't working.

We have a new pediatrician since we moved and I brought her in for a cold this past Wednesday. Fortunately, I mentioned to her Izzy's poop dilemma. The Dr. gave me a plan and explained why the other one didn't work.  She explained the WHY! Within 36 hours she has her 1st poop without tears.  At day 5 she's poops SOFT stool every other day. I can't begin to explain how relieved, grateful, and emotional I feel. It doesn't hurt anymore.  She's still a little scared right before she starts pushing but she doesn't SCREAM in pain. That has been the BEST Christmas present I could have gotten.  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordless Wedsneday

Influenster Holiday VoxBox: Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-On Manicure

Right before bed I decided to try out another product from my Influenster Holiday Vox Box.  This one is the Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-On Manicure.  First off, it's so rare that I have my nails done and this was a great treat for me.  Every time I've tried to paint my own nails one hand comes out great while my right hand is a huge mess.  I tried press on nails in the past but the mess from the glue was too much of a hassle to use them frequently.

My first impression when I pulled them out was how pretty they were.  I got the Chic Mystique style which is a neutral blush color with a white and silver design of a flower.  The design still allows some expression while the blush color is professional enough for the office.  The length is also perfect for me.  They're short enough to type on the keyboard, button or zip up my pants and do chores around the house in. The glue holds through most daily activities and even a gentle upwards pressure.  The only thing I've done that made me concerned was trying to peel an orange.  I also noticed that they don't feel heavy.  Hmm, that's going to take a bit to explain.  When I used acrylics or other press on nails they felt heavy on my real nails.  With the exception of my thumbs these feel the same weight as using regular nail polish.  The only thing I would do next time is do my cuticles first so it looks more like I went to a nail salon.

My final verdict?  I think the Broadway imPress Press-On Manicure would be a great to add to my beauty arsenal.  They are perfect for someone that can't paint both hands without messing up.  They will come in handy for a last minute "finished" look when I don't have time to spend at the nail salon.  Have you ever rushed out the door to a job interview, a date, or a night out and looked down to find you forgot to do your nails?  So have I! This blogger plans on having a few packs for "just in case".  What about you?

Broadway imPress Press- On Manicure comes in 36 different colors and patterns which retails for $5.99 for colors and $7.99 for patterns.  They are available at CVS, Rite Aid, Duane Reade, Kmart, Walgreen's, Walmart to name a few.  For a full list of online and in-store retailers, visit  You can find a "How To" video at the site and if you stop by now there is an exclusive coupon available to try out your first set.  Also check out my vlog review on Broadway imPress Press-On Manicure.

I received this product complimentary through Influenster's VoxBox program to review.  All opinions are 100% my own. To learn more about Influenster please visit

Influenster Holiday VoxBox: Mentos Pure Fresh Gum Review

Mentos Fresh Gum
Quick Take: The box is really hard to open. I had to use my molars when the tag ripped off.
Usage Tips: Love the container with the pop off lid. Small enough to fit in your pocket or purse.
I was really excited to try this gum. I'm a huge fan of the original and loved the crunchy outer shell.

The Verdict: The outer shell isn't as crunchy as the original. Otherwise, gum's flavor lasts a long time. Love it!

I received a full sized package of Mentos Pure Fresh Gum to review as a member of Influenster's VoxBox program.  Please check out for more information about the VoxBox program.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I'm a Believer!

Okay I'm going to totally gush on this post so if you ever thought about ways to save money keep on reading.  Here's my check list: I'm a stay at home mom, we just moved to a different state and we just bought a house.  All three of those things could probably tell you that we recently spend a HUGE bulk of our savings and we need to save every new penny that comes in our doors.

I save $70.44 on this trip.
The hard part? My hubby and I are admittedly impulse buyers. It doesn't matter if it's the grocery store or the mall we tend to walk home with things we weren't planning on coming home with.  It didn't matter very much before while we working but now that kind of spending is just asking for trouble.

I've always been interested in couponing. I've seen the shows and read other mom's blog and I was always amazed that they could find such great deals.  I've kept an eye on a really great blog called The Coupon Project for the past year but I was never serious about trying all the tactics.  I really tried out her tips this week and I'm AMAZED.  On average at each shopping trip I save about 50% from my bill.  My refrigerator and pantry are completely stocked with food.  I even have meats and produce too!  The best part is I'm under $80 for the grocery budget I set for this month.  So besides milk, fruit and orange juice we're good for the next month.  I love the fact that I can provide my family healthy meals, save money in the process and not have to run to the store all the time.  Her blog is really easy to follow, she provides the place, deal, coupon link, making and keeping to a budget.  I highly recommend her site if you've ever been interested.  I can't wait to see what kind of savings I'll see after I've been at this for a few months.  Are you a couponer?  What's the best deal you've gotten?

Influenster's Holiday VoxBox

Just received my Holiday VoxBox from Influenster! Open it up with me.  This is my 2nd VoxBox from Influenster.  I received this product complimentary to test through Influenster's VoxBox program.  To learn more information about Influester please visit:

The Holiday VoxBox includes:

Impress press-on manicure by Broadway nails
Softsoap Coconut Scrub Bar Soap
Montagne Jeunesse Face Mask
New York Color Liquid Lip Shine
Mentos Pure Fresh Gum
Bonus - Garden Botanika Heart Fragrance Sample

Settling In

Wow! I can't believe almost a month flew past since my last post.  I'm still alive and kicking in the Greater Northwest.  We recently relocated here towards the end of October due to my hubby's job.  The two of us took our time and really thought about where to choose for his next assignment.  We wanted to move to a place that we could see ourselves permanently settling down and raising our child (+ potential future children).  I won't go through how we made the decision but I will update you on how we like it.

I ABSOF-ing LOVE LOVE LOVE it here.  I can honestly tell you that I haven't been this happy in a long time.  I love the cold, wet, weather.  No, I'm not pulling your leg I really mean it.  I've always preferred cooler weather were I could add layers to be comfortable rather than weather that was so hot you cold sit still in the buff and still be sweating.  It's a slower pace here, the speed limit is 60mph and strictly enforced.  I guess since I know I can sit back and enjoy the drive without worrying too much about other speeding drivers.

It also feels like everything is falling into place relatively easily.  I say that (knock on wood) with my fingers, toes and eyes crossed that it stays that way.  I met and made a new female friend that I can say she's becoming a good friend.  I was able to find two toddler playgroups for Izzy to make new friends.  We found and bought a house that we love and we're excited to move in when it's finished.  We found out that we have family here and they live very close to us.  I was able to endorse my license to this state without any hassle.  The last two pieces are for me to find a job I love and someone we trust to watch Izzy while I'm working.  I hope those pieces fall into place with similar ease.  Thanks for reading!
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