Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Giveaways Galore!

April Showers is doing an entire month of giveaways! How awesome is that!?!? Giveaways are so fun, did you see that I actually won a giveway this past week? So fun and exciting! Okay so all you have to do is just post about April Showers' Giveaway Month to gain entry to EVERY SINGLE giveaway! How easy is that? Oh but you have to post by March 31st, 11:59 pm so hop right on that one and add it to your blog post for today or make a second blog post! Just click on the button below to go to her site!

Heirloom Bloomer Giveaway

Carrie from This Momma Makes Stuff (one of my favorites) is also giving away both pairs of heirloom bloomers that were featured on Ucreate last week. To enter her giveaway, simply go HERE and post a comment following her instructions.

On-The-Go Inflatable Potty Seat Review And Giveaway!

Enter to win this product in either Solid Blue, Solid Pink, Blue with a smiley face, and Pink with a smiley face by clicking HERE.

Use Your Marbles GIVEAWAY!

Good Decisions = Positive Rewards! Just Use Your Marbles!

A reward system to encourage your child's good behavior! Read the review at Mommy Moments and enter to win!

Also....there is still time to join the Mommy Moments McLinky Party! It ends Wednesday night!

So I Feel Kinda Cool....

I feel kind of cool watching the new season of Dancing with the Stars. Why? Because Brooke Burke is the new co-host and I actually got to hang out with her fairly recently at a small web event in October 2009. I was in CA for eHow and the CEO Richard Rosenblatt (seems like the coolest CEO and nicest guy) introduced me to his wife Lisa and Brooke who run the website ModernMom together. It was really fun getting to meet them all, although I felt just little okay a LOT out of my league...you know that feeling at a party, everyone is talking about what they do...and when you are a stay at home mom, it can be intimidating. Actually, I recently got a message relating to this in my MOPS e-newsletter, I might as well share because I could totally relate! I mean I was there because I write articles on eHow, but it's not a "real" job, just something I do! And then talking to these 2 super successful (and famous) women! It was exciting and fun, but definitely intimidating, even though they were incredibly nice. And being that they are both moms, we did have some things in common to talk about, so that helped!

So What Do You Do?
By Esther Feng

“You wanna go to this cocktail party with me?” my husband asked me.

The first thought that had popped into my head was, It’s two days away! That’s not enough time to find a dress. I could have found a dress if I’d tried. My real reason for avoiding the event was the inevitable question, “So what do you do?”

Without fail, I’ll be standing next to my husband, nodding to the small talk and eating shrimp cocktail (hopefully without getting sauce on myself). And then someone asks me, “So, what do you do?”

I don’t know how to answer. I can’t say “I’m a teacher.” It’s been five years. Saying, “I’m Grace and Sarah’s mom,” isn’t relevant. I don’t want to be holier-than-thou with “I’m doing the most important job of all – mothering.”

It’s not that I can’t schmooze – I’ve just discovered that I don’t connect with people who have “real” jobs. They don’t want to talk about baby poop, breastfeeding, potty training or piano lessons.

I feel insignificant and intimidated by women who make important decisions all day while I decide between grilled cheese and PB&J.

Many days I wish for reading material more stimulating than Goodnight Moon – for the opportunity to create something more meaningful than macaroni glued to a box.

But being a stay-at-home-mom is what God has asked of me in this season of life. Maybe one day I’ll have lots to say when asked, “So what do you do?” But for right now, I’m proud to be a stay-at-home-mom.

God, remind me that I’m already significant in your eyes.

PS- if you haven't joined yesterday's McLinky Party "My Mommy Moments" there is still time! Check it out!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Birthday Girl! 3 already!

I can't believe my little sweatpea is 3 years old already! Boy has the time flown by!

I was really feeling like I could go into labor any minute since Friday night...before her party! During her party I was having contractions and kept thinking "what if my water breaks here at the park!" but didn't happen. Today I was really hoping I wouldn't go into labor...I mean, their birthdays will be close together, but who wants to have your younger siblings birthday on the EXACT same day as yours? Well, only 40 minutes left of the day and I think we're in the clear!

Don't forget to link up your mommy moments, the party is open till wednesday!

She LOVED her new Green Toys Tea Pot Set and played with it for over an hour tonight. She also loved the Strawberry shortcake with reversible frosting and strawberries I made for her, with a wooden cake stand (I'll post the pics of these later this week). She played with that up until we realized it was already 9 PM and had to pry her away and get her to bed! The evening went by so fast!

She had such a wonderful birthday this year combined with her party with her adorable little friends over the weekend and tonight she visited with Grandparents on Skype while opening presents and...got to eat more blue cupcakes! (I was really excited to make a cool cake or cute cupcakes...but ran out of energy and just got some from the Walmart bakery...sometimes you just gotta do what's easy!)

PS- Sorry if my posts become increasingly disjointed, random, or don't seem to flow right...the closer I get to having this baby, the less ability I have to focus on anything! If I didn't already have some ADD, I definitely have it now! lol
see MoMmY BRaIn

My Mommy Moments McLinky Party

This McLinky Party is a followup to my recent "Mommy Brain" post. In the spirit of sharing, bonding and being able to laugh not in ridicule, but because you can relate...blog about your best/worst (however you see it) "mommy moments" and link up here! Then be sure to click on and read each other's "mommy moments" and comment! I'm keeping this party open till the end of the month.

I'm REALLY looking forward to some good stories/confessions!!!

1. Enter the link to your specific "Mommy Moments" post, not your blog homepage.

2. Please include a link back to me in your post or you can just post my button somewhere on your post.

3. Please visit the other party participants and leave them a comment.

4. Please put your link in the comments section as well, just in case.

As I mentioned in my previous post, one thing I did on more than one occasion due to mommy brain was leave the house with my arms full with everything I needed, but after walking halfway down the sidewalk to my car, realized I had no shoes on! I also have put the milk in the pantry once!

The worst Mommy Brain moment that I felt SO guilty about and never wanted to tell anyone was the time I forgot to buckle my daughter in her car seat when she was a baby. I had a snap n go stroller (which is awesome I would recommend those to anyone just don't make this mistake!) and went to meet up with some friends who wanted to see the baby. With a snap N go, the car seat just sits right into the stroller. While visiting with my friends, they had unbuckled her to hold her, then set her back in the car seat and put her blanket back on her. Later when we left, I just took the car seat out of the stroller and snapped it into it's base in the car. When I got home and brought her into the house, I took the blanket off her and I realized that I never re-buckled her into the car seat! I felt SO awful and extremely thankful that nothing bad had happened on the way home!!!

And my worst Mommy Moment was when I had a staff meeting at the art school I worked for to share the summer art camp curriculum I had developed with the other teachers. I brought my daughter with me because everyone wanted to see her. I tried nursing her before we left but she wouldn't eat. We were about halfway to the studio when she just started screaming hysterically in the car so I pulled over at this secluded park and tried nursing her in the car. That seemed to be doing the trick, she was ready to eat now! As she was nursing, I felt something warm between my legs....I picked her up and realized she had just had diarrhea/poop water that went strait out the back of her diaper and all over my lap, spilling between my legs and pooling on my seat. I was wearing off-white pants, and sure enough I look at her and she's pretty much clean..it just literally all poured out the back of her diaper onto me. I had a change of clothes for her in the diaper bag...but not for ME! So I had to turn around and go home to change. We lived in an apartment complex with horrible parking so I had to walk all the way from my car to the apartment looking like I was the one with diarrhea as it was all between my legs and down my back side from the poop water pool she had made on my seat. I had left thinking I would be early to the staff meeting and ended up being like a hour late! It was a poopy situation to say the least!

Friday, March 26, 2010


Wahoo! Well I just got a fun surprise in my email! I found out that I won this giveaway over at One Small Change! I am the winner of these cute reusable produce bags made by Stephanie over at Gypsy Forest! Thank you to both Hip Mountain Mama for hosting the giveaway and Stephanie for providing her adorable reusable produce bags! I can't wait to see them in person and put them to use! I'm just so excited I just won a giveaway....yay!

Today...I'm feeling grateful for a few things that I just wanted to share. The day started off with a small thing...all week I've been pretty much an insomniac and unable to sleep and last night, I slept through the entire night! So I was VERY grateful for that! AND along with my insomnia this week, i've been so tired every morning and amazingly, my daughter must be having a growth spurt or something because every day this week, she didn't make a peep until at least 10:30 am so I could catch up on sleep in the morning that I couldn't get during the night!

But I'm also just very grateful for my husband. He is so supportive and willing to jump in at anytime to help me out. He does so much around here and I really can't complain about having a lazy husband who doesn't help me. He's hands on with our daughter when he gets home from work, he enjoys making dinner so I don't always have to worry about what to make, while I'm putting our daughter to bed, I'll often come out of her room to find he's cleaned up dinner and picked up the living room, he never hesitates to pull out the vacuum if he notices it needs to be done...and he can always make me smile even when I'm in the worst mood (which has been often lately!). He truly is my best friend and I'm just so grateful for all that he does for out family.

I'm also super grateful to have a sister. My sister and I now live VERY far apart and we don't talk on the phone everyday, but she is just the best! AND she just got a plane ticket to visit me this JUNE! She got it last night and I am just so super duper excited!

I'm feeling very lucky today!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mommy Brain

I know some women hate the term "mommy brain" or "pregnancy brain" but it does exist whether they want to admit it or not...some kind of malfunction that seems to happen to your brain when you get pregnant and doesn't really get much better once you become a mom. The severity of it can change depending on how much sleep you are getting, but so far...in 3 years (for me), it has never gone away completely. Someone who used to feel pretty sharp can suddenly feel like their brain is mashed potatoes and can't organize a single thought! Like a never ending "brain fart".

Usually it's men who are the forgetful ones when it comes to special dates and anniversary...well this year I'm 0-2! January was our 3 year wedding anniversary and it never even occurred to me until my Mother in Law called and was asking us about it...and the funny thing is...when she asked us about our anniversary plans...I had no clue what she was talking about! I thought SHE was confused because I couldn't think of what anniversary she was referring to. Anyways, so we blew that one. We made each other feel better by saying...well...it's just because we dated for so long, we're still just used to celebrating that anniversary! So we figured we'd make up for it come our "dating" anniversary in March....this year is 9 years together (after "Spanish night" we teamed up for one of our high school spanish assignments and have pretty much been together since). Well, yesterday my husband informed me that I had forgotten something. He informed me that our 9 year anniversary was like a week ago and it never occurred to us....again! Well, I can't get mad at him for forgetting....guys do that all the time...usually we are there to remind them....but at least he was the one to realize it! I was totally oblivious.....again!

Now I'm remembering how absent minded I was after I had my first daughter...on more than one occasion, I would be leaving the apartment....I would make sure I had everything I needed....baby-check, purse-check, diaperbag-check, dry cleaning-check-...and whatever else...check check check. Then as I walked down the stairs of our apartment heading for the parking lot, I would realize something was missing...hmm....what could it be? OH RIGHT....I'm barefoot and need to go back and put on some shoes.

I had my daughter within a year of graduating college, and when things like this would happen, I would just be so baffled...What happened to my brain????!?? I know it used to work not that long ago....pretty well! Now, it's not super uncommon for me to have a conversation with my hubby that goes something like this:
"Hey babe?!"
he responds "yea? what is it?"
"um, I have no idea..."
"ooooookay then..."

Anyways, so this is just a rant on mommy brain...it's been getting to me a lot lately...and I'm sure once this baby is born and sleep deprivation really kicks in...it'll only get worse! I'm SCARED! lol. I blame it on mommy brain but I also attribute some of that stupidness on Hashimoto's! I almost cried when I went to an endocrinologist this past year and he said to me "I bet you have a hard time holding onto a thought, you probably sometimes feel like your brain is a pentium 4 running on a pentium 3 processor...you have stuff in there, it's just hard to process it fast enough sometimes...it's as if something is always on the tip of your tongue but you can't spit it out"...um YES! HOW DID YOU KNOW DOCTOR! That's one of many parts of hypothyroidism...

So what are your "mommy brain" stories? I'd love to hear them in the comments or post on your blog and leave your link here so we can all laugh at ourselves together!

Better yet, I just had an idea! (really!) Let's do the first ever McLinky Party on my blog! Just write a post about your "Mommy Moments". Link up here! Tell your friends! The party will be Monday, March 29...come back with your Monday Mommy Moments posts! Mark your calendars and be sure to come back to link up! and be ready to laugh together as we can all sympathize! It can be a new or old post!

My Mommy Moments
McLinky Party
by Candace Creations
Monday, March 29

Don't Miss it!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Diaper Cake!

I'm feeling pretty special this week! Over the weekend, I was treated out to a girls night out before this little guy arrives (about 19 days left)! I've met some great moms through my playgroup that I found through meetup.com and one of those great moms made me this AWESOME diaper cake! Isn't it so cool? I've heard of them but had never seen one before! This morning, my daughter was really amused by it...she kept saying "diaper cake.....don't eat it!" and giggling. But as I started to take it apart, she gave one of the diapers a quick lick...just to make sure she wasn't missing out on something good! haha.

She (my friend) also made these adorable burp clothes!

And then she ALSO did something really cute and thoughtful, she had a little book made for me with recipes and advice from her and the other moms in our group. The recipes were all yummy favorite dishes that are easy to put together after you have a new baby....It turned out SO cute! Best of all was the TURTLE CHEESECAKE we sat and ate over the course of a fun girls night (no hubbys or kiddos!) at the Cheesecake Factory!

Moving to a new area where you don't know anyone can be really hard. And it seems once you become a mom, it can become even harder to make new friends. It's so important to reach out and get involved whether you are in a new area and know people or not, there are tons of other great moms out there! We don't have to be all alone. Two great resources for me have been finding a playgroup through meetup.com and MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). There are lots of ways to get connected in your area, for more ideas, check out this article HERE. It can be too easy feel isolated but it can also be very easy to get involved!

And...I guess I might as well show off a belly shot!

37 Weeks and 1 Day

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Relaxing Lavendar Eye Pillow

Since I've gotten my sewing machine this past Christmas, I have made quite a few things for other people, but I haven't made anything for myself! So today I finished up this relaxing Lavender Rice Eye Pillow encased in a pretty satin fabric. I made a bunch of lavender rice heating pads with cute flannel covers for Christmas gifts so I just used some of my leftover muslin, rice and dried lavender to whip this up. It smells SO good and feels great over my eyes. For making cute looking heating pads, there is a GREAT tutorial that I used over at V & Co. And I modified it to make the smaller eye pillow.

Now if you'll just excuse me...my new lavender eye pillow is calling my name and it might just put me to sleep for the rest of the afternoon!

Creations by Kara

Monday, March 22, 2010

May Contain Lead? CRAP!

My daughter LOVES to play with her tea set and host tea parties. She received an adorable tin tea set by Schylling a little over a year ago and has used it so much. However, my daughter doesn't like to just pretend, she likes my to put a bit of water in the tea pot so she can pour it into her tea cups and drink it. I didn't think much of it...then my husband noticed the inside of her tea pot was started to get a bit rusted, that can't be healthy. One thing lead to another and I was looking at her exact tea set on Amazon and it said a warning that the product may contain lead or produce lead dust. YIKES! Well, I just tried to find it again and now I don't see that same warning, however, in the meantime, I spent tons of time combing the internet trying to find a replacement set that actually advertised as being SAFE to drink out of. It was actually really hard, so I pretty much decided to rule out anything made in China and eventually found this BPA and Phlatelate Free Tea Pot Set made by Green Toys.
So this will be her replacement set. It's made from is 100% recycled material and is actually advertised as being non toxic and safe for children to drink and eat out of...This was the only set I could find that clearly stated this. It's not AS cute as some of the other tea sets out there, but at least I know it's safe. I'm not ussually crazy about checking these things, but when it comes to toys that are constantly being put in your kids mouth, you want to be careful! I can actually feel good about this set as well as it's environmentally friendly...which is something I've been trying to work on more since joining the One Small Change Challenge.

If your little one loves tea parties or you are trying to think of a gift for a little girl, I would definitely recommend this tea set, it's durable, safe to play with and drink with, totally non-toxic, made in the USA, and helps the environment. And unlike some "green toys" that tend to be more boring to look at, this tea set is still colorful and cheerful.

Some of my other favorite safe toys are

Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether
Green Toys Dump TruckGreen Toys Tool SetPlanToys Dancing AlligatorPrince Lionheart Wheely Bug, Bug, Smallgreen sprouts Ring Cool Soothing Teethergreen sprouts Teether KeysPlanToys 50 Construction Set

Friday, March 19, 2010

Family Fitness

So among all the parenting literature and advice you have read, I'm sure you've come across the statement (as I have numerous times) that it's important to exercise with your kids and to let them see YOU exercising. Well, today my back was killing me and I REALLY needed to do my prenatal yoga DVD to get the blood flowing and loosen up and lighten up before I ran to the hospital begging to be induced running over anyone who might get in my way!. I normally try to do my Prenatal Yoga when my daughter is sleeping...it's just easier that way. But hey, I needed a change of pace ASAP and it's supposed to be so good to exercise with your kids.

As you can see, my little girl (almost 3) was very into doing yoga with me. I kept thinking, "aw this is so adorable! She's actually trying to do it all with me!" and grabbed my camera to snap some pictures....

Well, this is AFTER I didn't have the camera turned on anymore.....

Monkey Swinging from a Tree Pose

After we were all done our circus show yoga, my sweet pea wanted to color so I decided to sit down with her and illustrate what yoga really looks like when you are a mom. These were just 2 of our modified poses.

Child's (Climbing on Me) Pose

Simply Designing

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dinner - Spaghetti Carbonara

Tired of boring spaghetti for dinner? If you are like us, we eat a LOT of pasta...it's fast, easy, cheap, convienient and we always have plenty in the pantry. However, my hubby was getting tired of the same old same old so he (my sexy chef) went over to Video Jug, a website he uses often for inspiration when cooking. He found this great How to Make Spaghetti Carbonara video with the recipe and instructions. It's still a rather quick meal, but is something a little extra rich and special than your ordinary pasta diner!

Step 1 :You will need…

  • 7 oz dried spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 bacon slices, chopped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 ¼ oz parmesan cheese
  • 4 tbsp cream
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 2 saucepans
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 colander
  • 1 bowl
  • 1 spoon

  1. Step 2: Cook the pasta

    Prepare a pan of boiling water and season with salt. Place the pasta into the pan and push it down with your wooden spoon, so that all the spaghetti is submerged under the water. Add half of the oil and cook for roughly 7-10 minutes.

  2. Step 3: Render the bacon

    Meanwhile, into a warmed second pan add the olive oil, then the chopped bacon. Stir and let it render, stirring for a few minutes. To render simply means to melt the fat. Then turn the heat off.

  3. Step 4: Combine the egg yolks, parmesan and cream

    Place the egg yolks into a bowl, then the cream and the parmesan cheese. Combine it all together.

  4. Step 5: Drain the pasta

    When the pasta is cooked, transfer it into a colander, then place the colander back on top of the saucepan to drain the excess liquid.

  5. Step 6: Cook the egg mixture

    Once the pasta is thoroughly drained, quickly place it back into the pan of bacon fat and stir well to coat the pasta. Then pour in the egg mixture and mix thoroughly.


      It is very important to use the warmth of the pasta to cook the egg yolks. But do not overheat as you'll end up with scrambled egg

Step 7: Serve

After mixing thoroughly, season with salt and pepper and add the chopped parsley. Use the tongs to place a generous helping onto each plate.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lace Tealight

Okay so here are some awesome projects I just came across today that are going on the "I've gotta make this!" list!

These charming Lace Tealights from Mint are just so pretty and simple to create and make for a perfect gift or favor! You can view the tutorial HERE. I've never really paid much attention to doilies not thought of any ways to use them beside letting my daughter glue them into her little collages, but now I'm going to be keeping an eye out! I already have someone in mind who would adore receiving one of these pretty little things!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Double Sided Puzzle

I thought I had a good idea when I started saving cereal boxes to use for making puzzles. My plan is to modge podge some pictures my daughter would like and then cut up into puzzle pieces. Well, I just received this in the mail from my Mother-in-Law the other day. She was having a similar idea and recycled an old calender and made this cute double sided puzzle for my daughter! She used the front cover of the calendar, which had a picture on both sides, cut it up and then covered both sides in contact paper! It looks really great and we just store all the piece in a ziploc baggy. Another great way to reuse what you have lying around the house into free new things for your child to play with!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Putting Ourselves Out There...

I just watched the video above from Wanna be Balanced Mom (super cute video by the way). I loved her post that included this video, it spoke to me very personally. I know exactly what it's like....way too well, to not do things or pursue things we want to do because of fear of what others will think. Singing is a major one of those things for me! I used to write songs all the time, and still work on them when I manage to sit my butt down at the piano...but I've always been WAY too afraid to ever share them with anybody. I get so embarrassed, worrying what other people will think, that I can't even bring myself to share the things I've done or created (minus my simple crafts on this blog! lol! That's easier, it's not IN PERSON! lol). Anyways, my own husband has only heard one song of mine, I did get the courage to sing a song I wrote for him back when we were dating and about to go off to different colleges. I made him sit where I couldn't see him, so I felt like no one was there...and I still was shaking so bad...and that was a one time deal. lol.

I was really inspired by Crystal's courage here. It really hit home and I hope I can be more brave like her and not let my fear of what others may think hold me back from fulling doing the things I enjoy, or from trying new things and just do a better job of putting myself out there. I mean, this may sound rediculous, but I've been too nervous to host a playdate at my home for my playgroup because I'm always worried what people will think about our apartment since most other families live in a house. Crystal's message just helped me realize how much I do this without realizing what I'm really doing, how I'm limiting myself, and helped me realize I need to KNOCK IT OFF! :)

Being a mom has made me more aware of this issue as well. I don't want my daughter to limit herself from doing what she loves and sharing it with others, or fulfilling a dream because she is worried about what others may think, from fear of failure or rejection. I want her to live life and give it her best shot! If I'm not willing to put myself out there, how will she learn to do it? I can encourage her as much as I want, but I do believe we teach more by example than anything else.

Thanks Crystal, for being an example for me!!!

Just a little something to think about....

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wooden Memory Game - Tutorial

Looking for an easy project to do today???

Remember playing the game "memory" as a kid? Heck, you might even still play it now! Well, I was trying to think of some education toys for my daughter who will be 3 in a couple of weeks. I was browsing Amazon and came across this cute wooden memory game set.

Of course when I saw these, I thought about making my own! So I headed to good old HobLob so conveniently just around the corner and picked up some wooden cards (very inexpensive)! Then I had a thrifty day at Micheal's earlier this week, all the $1 bin items were on special 2 for $1. So I picked up a pad of coordinating papers for 50 cents. The rest of what I needed I had at home in my pile of crap in the corner of the dining room craft room.

Here is the awesome tutorial so simple you don't really need one for making your own set of wooden memory cards!

images for the cards
wooden cards
coordinating set of decorative papers

contrasting paper

modge podge

foam brush

paper plate

Google search "animal clipart" "animal silhouettes" or just use basic shape...depending on what your theme is. You could use insect silhouettes, construction equiptment, vehicles, their favorite cartoon characters...whatever!

Print out your selected images and cut them out.

Trace your images onto the back of your decorative paper and then cut out. Repeat, making two of each image.

Using a contrasting decorative paper, cut out rectangles just smaller than the wooden card for a backdrop. I had 12 cards so I needed 12 rectangles.

Using a foam Brush, apply a layer of modge podge to the entire surface of your wooden card. Carefully line up your paper rectangle and press down. Set aside to dry and repeat until all cards are done.

Starting with the dry wooden cards, apply a second layer of modge podge over the paper rectangle that is now dried to the wooden card. Line up your animal silhouette (or whatever image you are using), press down and smooth out using your foam brush. Brush a layer of modge podge over top of the entire card and set aside to dry. Repeat to complete all cards.

Allow your set of wooden cards to dry completely. Then wrap as a gift or start playing with the kids!

This would make a great little handmade gift for boys or girls! Need something cute for their Easter Basket???

A Classic Game for exercising the memory! Let the family fun begin!