Monday, March 15, 2010

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane...

...okay not really.

But I'm moving.

So, click HERE.




See ya in a sec!

Friday, March 12, 2010


Remember all that chatter about some changes happening around these parts???

Well, ladies and gentlemen (come on Troy, I know you stalk my blog...)...




You may not realize it, but lots and lots of work has been going on in my head, heart, and my little corner of the web.

And you get in on it....


as in a few days Monday.

You excited?

I am.

Nervous too.

How sad would it be if I do my big unveil and...


Come back Monday crazy kids!

See ya soon! ;)

Friday Favorites: Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

You know how you get invited to things and you know you should bring something?

Or, you get invited and you are asked to bring something?
Confession time: 9 times out of 10 I ran by the grocery store on my way over...or....I showed up empty handed.

Gasp. Horrors.

The issue was that I would rack my brain trying to think of something extra fabulous to make and then run out of time or energy, or I didn't know what other food would be there, so I didn't want to make something that didn't "go".

Until now.

Just a note: if you know me in real life and invite me over, know that I will likely be bringing this.

I don't care if you are allergic to peanuts.

Note #2: I made this yesterday just for you. My blog readers. I had no other event to make this, I just knew it had to make it to one of my Friday Favorites posts.

Be impressed.

What? Nooooo...I didn't do it because I needed an excuse to eat the yummy goodness! Puhlease! What do you people take me for?!

Oh yeah. You're right. I'm a cow. It's cool.


1 cup heavy cream
9 pieces of pre-made peanut butter cookie dough*
6 ounces of cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tbls. vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 pkg. of reeses' peanut butter cups

*you can make your own dough if you are an overachiever. I might make fun of you though.

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 inch pie plate with cooking spray.
2. With an electric mixer, beat cream to stiff peaks. (careful you don't make butter!) Refrigerate.
3. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of wax paper in as big a circle as possible. Remove one of the sheets of wax paper and invert dough into pie plate. Press dough up sides of dish. If dough is sticky and paper difficult to remove, refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.

4. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and press down center if puffy. Cool *completely* on a wire rack.

It aint pretty, but who cares? And if you do have friends that care about what your pie crusts look need new friends.

5. In a large bowl, blend cream cheese and both sugars until smooth. Add peanut butter and vanilla, beat until light colored.
6. Fold in (that's fancy cook speak for "mix in gently") whipped cream until no streaks remain.Notice how I have 2 stand mixer bowls? Be jealous.

So I burned my crust a little. Sue me. Still tasted good going down my gullet.

7. Spoon peanut butter filling into cooled crust. Refrigerate at least one hour.
8. Chop up peanut butter cups and sprinkle on top of pie. Melt chocolate chips in a glass bowl in microwave. Drizzle (or pour, whichever) over pie.

Can't you just *taste* it??? mmmmmmm....

9. Serve in small slices because this is really rich. Or be a cow like me and serve yourself a giant slice and eat it until your tummy aches.

Surprise your family. Make this tonight. I mean really, why not?!?!

And without further ado, the winner of the Monkey Foot Designs Wetbag is:


Happy FRIDAY!!!

(p.s. notice how crappy my pictures are? i'm pretty sure it's a sign i need a dslr...just sayin'...)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Can I Complain for a minute?

Today I went to Costco with the kids.

I'm sure I'm quite the sight...Henry and Lucy in the cart next to eachother, and Jill in the ergo on my chest...

...pushing that huge cart full of who knows what.

In all my 5'2" glory.

Some smile.

Some exclaim "How cute!"

But most...

...yes, most...

....have some kind of less than positive reaction.

Mutterings of "Dear God..." under their breath...

..."holy cow"...

or out loud "Boy! You have your hands full!"

Today, one woman (in a disgusted voice) said: "You have your hands poor thing..."

I stopped in my tracks, looked at her and said much more chipper than I wanted

"Yes I do, and I love it! It is awesome!"

She was really awkward and didn't make eye contact the next three aisles we crossed paths.

This is what I want to know:

at what point in our society did we view three, perfectly behaved children...all dressed...teeth brushed...quietly sitting...happy as vile, disgusting creatures?

It shouldn't matter one bit that they were all dressed cute and clean, but even that I can almost understand.

But really, would think I was carting around three filthy, stinky, screaming, diseased hyenas.

While it makes me mad inside, I am angered more for my children. I do not want them to feel they are icky or gross or meddlesome to others just because they exist.

It's just plain sad. I feel sorry for people.

And while I'm pissed off and complaining...

TWO grown men...stood next to me in the aisle...waiting their I visibly struggled to haul a FORTY POUND BAG OF DOG FOOD into my cart...WHILE WEARING A BABY STRAPPED TO MY CHEST.

Moms, please teach your sons to be chivalrous. Kind. Polite. Helpful.

I don't care what any feminist says.

Manners are important. And a woman trying to lug a package equal to a third of her own body weight could use a little help. And she shouldn't have to ask. Because you should have been raised to know enough.

Rant over.

Thanks for listening.

Answers: Part 1

I want to know how you and your husband met. Did you know he was the one right away, or did it take a while of dating? How long have you two been married? And how did he propose to you?
Those are some big questions! They'll take up their own blog posts later stay tuned for those answers. :)

What is one quirky thing about you?
ONE quirky thing???? Geez. I could list a million. But one I can think of off the top of my head is that every time I pull a cup out of the cupboard I blow into it. Presumably to blow any dust out??? No clue, I just do this absentmindedly and always.

did you play sports in your younger years?
BAHAHAHHAHAHAHA...!!! ::gasp::
No, no I did not. You see, playing sports requires first of all...coordination. Of which, I have none. None. No really. None. It's embarassing really. I have a hard time following along to exercise videos...I turn into a twisted mess. Which brings me to the next point: sports also require physical activity...of which, I am decidedly *not* a fan. I hate exercising, I hate sweating, I hate the exertion. It's any wonder I don't weigh852 pounds...

how long did you and husband wait to start a family and what was your thought process with the timing/married years under your belt/etc. ?
Henry was born at 1 a.m. on June 23, 2007. Our 5 year wedding anniversary was June 22, 2007. So, he was kind enough to wait an extra hour so that we wouldn't have to share the day. :)

Andy and I are planners. We like things to be "just so". Control issues much? yeah. We got married young (think: 21), so we felt like we weren't in any rush to add kids to the mix. I started getting baby fever by our third year, but Andy wasn't ready. You see, we had all these things we *had* to do first:

His business (he's self employed) had to be steady, we had to own a house, and we had to be able to afford for me to stay home.


Luckily, God knew better than us (weird.) and decided that we would have a family even before everything was just "perfect". So, I got pregnant 5 weeks into a brand new job...that I couldn't afford to quit from...because Andy's business was nowhere near ready to support a family...all the while in a rental home.

I worked full time, we bought a house when Henry was 9 months old, I kept working, got pregnant with twins (when Henry was a wee 15 months old)...and then quit my job.

So it all worked out in the end. Because it always does.

Despite all our well-intentioned plans. God loves laughing at me. He thinks I'm pretty silly. And stubborn.

I now giggle a little inside when people lay out their 5 Year Plan.

I don't think it really matters how long you "wait" to have kids. Kids are awesome. They are a blessing. They drive you bananas, but they are rad. It was nice to be able to just pick up and go and not have to answer to anyone but ourselves on Saturday mornings, but then again, the longer you wait, the harder that transition will be, you know? Ultimately, I think the timing was just right for us...but I don't know anything. Really.

Having three kids in 25 months?
Whole other story.

what's your favorite kind of food?
Italian. Lots of cheese. Grease. Loads of bread. And anything vinegar-y. Salt & Vinegar chips...pickles...stuff like that.

what is your favorite meal to make?
I don't really have a favorite meal to make, but I do love trying new recipes and tweaking old ones to change them up. It's easy to make tried and true know, the stuff you can whip together without thinking because you've made it 1,862 times. So that's no fun. Bring on the homemade breads and the pies from scratch! But first, no crying babies...

what kind of things do you make henry for lunch (i feel like i always make the same 3 or 4 things for dillon and am wondering what other people make for their kids)?
Henry went through a (long) phase where he would only eat PB&J...on whole wheat. Now I'll make him rice and beans, turkey sandwiches, egg salad on pita bread, tuna, broiled chicken just depends on what I'm eating and what mood I'm in. But I'm in the same's usually the same things over and over and over...

what was your first job?
My first job was working at Blockbuster Video. I ended up becoming a Manager and worked there for like 4 years? I can't remember. I just remember it being really stressful and being really tired. And having lots of funny stories from that time period.

when you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Honestly? A travel agent. Weird, huh? I "stole" a bunch of those little pamphlets from a travel agency when my grandma booked a flight to Portugal once...and I used to sit and pretend that I was booking fabulous trips around the world for people. When I was a teenager I wanted to be a doctor. Which is weird because I hate hospitals. Then I wanted to be an architect. Until I realized how many math classes I would need to take. I became an urban planner in real life, and am now a mommy.

Much. better.

Okay, that is all for today. If you got anymore up your sleeve, let me know!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wishing Wednesday

I read somewhere that the reason women love purses and shoes so much is because they don't make you feel bad about yourself.

Think about it: they always fit (and if they don't, who cares if you need a bigger size?!).

I think that the only thing better than shopping for new shopping for new shoes *while wearing* new shoes! :)

And with that, here are some of my fave shoes and purses for now:

Lovely People

Mini Truffle in Yellow

Pierre Dumas

Steve Madden

Via Spiga

Melie Bianco


Andrew Marc

(I know that last set doesn't "match", but when you have the attitude to wear red shoes, you can tote a purple bag too!)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ask Away

So, if you read any number of blogs, you know that the lastest "trend" is to have your readers to ask you questions.

I've really enjoyed not only reading the answers from some of my favorite bloggers, but also seeing what questions people have.

Since I'm having a bit of writer's block anyway...I thought I would be a total copycat.

Because I have no new ideas people.

Besides, I wanna be a cool blogger too.

The "in crowd" you know.


Leave me a comment with any question(s) you might have.

What's my favorite color?

If I could be any animal, what would I be?

You know, the important stuff.

Obviously, anything inappropriate will be deleted and ignored.

Just sayin.

I'll answer them in a follow up post soon.


And just because posts without photos are boring, I thought I'd toss in these pics of Baby Jilly and her 90 year old great grandma...who, by the way, are like long lost 90-years-removed twins. See for yourself:

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Phone Call & A Coupon

A couple of quick (and *completely* unrelated) things:

1) Compassion International called me a few days ago. As in, a LIVE PERSON made a personal phone call...not a pre-recorded message...not a mass email with the name changed...but a real human being telephoned me...I can.not say enough good things about Compassion International!... let me know that they were finally able to track down Robenson (a little boy we have sponsored in Haiti). He and his family are fine, however, their home did sustain some damage. I just about burst out into tears. I prayed and worried for my little guy so much! PRAISE GOD!

2) Remember my Swiffer Vac review? (see, I told you they were totally unrelated!)...well, since then, I have had like 6 people tell me that they went out and bought one based on my post! (Swiffer, my compensation check can be mailed to...) Anyway, I think that's pretty funny...but just yesterday, in the Sunday paper, I saw a coupon for $10 OFF a Swiffer Vac starter kit!!! Holy Moly! $10 off is a lot!!! I don't need it, sooooo....the first person to email me their address to jeannett_gibson {at} yahoo {dot} com will get it mailed to them! :)

*UPDATE* The coupon has been claimed by Carrie!

But don't fret...just hunt down someone you know who gets the paper and beg them for their coupon!

Keep scrolling down for this week's giveaway!!!

Giveaway: Monkey Foot Designs



Anyone who cloth diapers knows that a wet bag is a *must*.

I mean, how else would you be able to tote around a dirty diaper in your Petunia Pickle Bottom bag?

And puhleease...don't *even* suggest a plastic grocery bag!

Just because it has a poopy diaper in it doesn't mean it can't be cute! :)

But Jeannett...I don't do cloth fact, my kid is well beyond the diaper stage! I have no need for this!

Really now...

-Summer's coming up. Swim lessons? Beach trips? Running through sprinklers at a friend's house? A wet bag is a PERFECT way to haul the dripping stuff home.

-In the middle of potty training your toddler? Accidents happen. In public. 'Nuff said.

-No kids? Do you go to the gym? Need a place to toss your stinky clothes in? Or maybe your own swimsuit after a few laps in the Olympic sized pool? (I can't relate since I don't exercise, but I can imagine this being a problem...)

-And really, with as cute as these bags are, you can just use it AS. A. BAG. for whatever. It doesn't *have* to carry wet stuff just because it's called a wet bag! ;) Lunches, snacks, coloring books...whatever!

Monkey Foot Designs not only makes wet bags, but they make THE wet bag...

"...the lining material has sealed seams (which means that the wet and odor stay *in* where they belong!). The seals are permanent, so you can wash the bags time and again and the seams will stay sealed and wet-proof! (it's impossible to make a truly "waterproof" bag, but this bag comes close!). My bags also have snaps on the straps, so you can attach them to your stroller or where-ever else suits your fancy :)"

Kris at Monkey Foot Designs wants to give YOU one of her large wet bags (14" x 14") in Almond Sparrows (one of her most popular prints!).

As always, you have five ways to win.
Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry.

1) Visit Monkey Foot Designs and tell me how you would use your wet bag.
2) Follow me on Twitter
3) Tweet about this giveaway
4) Facebook about this giveaway
5) Blog about this giveaway

Winner to be announced first thing Friday morning!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday Favorites: Burt's Bees

I *heart* Burt.

And all his crazy bees too.

I have been loving and buying Burt's Bees products...WAY before it was cool to do.

Back when you couldn't walk into Target or WalMart and buy it.

Back when only health food stores carried his stuff.

You know why? Because I'm a trail blazer like that.

Watch out.

It all started a few years ago when I just got sick. and. tired. of smelling like Petunias, Whispering Jasmine, Strawberry Cream, or Plumeria.

Look, those are all great, but at some point I just wanted to smell like...*LOTION*.

And frankly, some of the brands were overpowering...or if I put them on my legs too soon after shaving, it stung....which caused little red bumps...which is completely COUNTER PRODUCTIVE to why I even bothered to shave in the first place!

If I knew I was going to have to wear pants anyway, I'd have gone Beast Woman and saved myself the trouble.

Don't lie. You know you do it too.

Enter Burt and his Bees.

It started with the lotion.

And then the (mild) obsession with the lip balm.

And then the hand wash.

And then the baby shampoo.

Baby lotion.

Diaper cream.

Men's shave oil.

Men's after shave.

Men's shave cream.

Cuticle cream.

Foot cream.

Pretty much, you name'll find it in my house.

Burt's Bees fanatics really.

I would bet there are close to 32 tubes of lip balm strewn throughout my house.

No lie.

I just love that it doesn't smell like a funeral parlor full of flowers and I do love that it's all at least 90% natural.

Particularly for my babies.

I get all weird and granola crunchy when it comes to my kids.

No Johnson's & Johnson's here.

No sir.

Only Mr. Burt.

And his bees.

Do you love Burt like I do? What's your favorite product?

How many tubes of lip balm do you think are floating around your house right now?

And the winner of the CitySlips is:



Thursday, March 4, 2010

I coulda SWORN I've posted this before...

Oh wait...

That's because I HAVE posted this before.

Henry circa March 2008:

Lucy circa March 2010:

Like any good mother, I ran around looking for my camera *before* pulling the dog food out of her mouth.

Sometimes I think blogging might be bad for your health...or my kids' anyway. :)

Don't forget, today's the last day to enter the CitySlips giveaway!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wishing Wednesday

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that I love to cook. And, I love kitchen gadgets.

Sadly, it seems that most of my kitchen gadget love is also on the pricey side.

The. BOWL.
The glass bowl.
You can buy it. Separately. This is bad. It has taken *all* will power to not "accidentally" buy it.
It's actually not available until April 1st, but you can pre-order it.
I secretly hate you if you do this.
"Why do you care about a glass bowl so much???" the husband asks.
"Um, because it's pretty. duh. And because then you can toss it in the dishwasher."
They got themselves some real geniuses working at KitchenAid.

A pot filler over my range. Not because I need it very often but because it's just cool.

Viking Range. Need I say more?

I am an ice chewer. It's bad for your teeth, I know.
My favorite KIND of ice???
What I call "rabbit pellet" ice.
You know, those little soft nuggets of icy perfection you get at certain fast food joints???
Yeah, well...these babies MAKE that kind of ice.
Ice nuggets and Dr. Pepper.

What kitchen-y gadget is on YOUR wishlist???

***Disclaimer: I feel really compelled to say this, even though I truly hope that any of my readers would just know this without me having to say it. This wishlist is a silly, fun, unrealistic post of fun material things that I think are cool. My *true* wishlist is much more heavy. Much more heart wrenching. My real wishlist finds my heart breaking for children around the world with no mommies. Children who have curable diseases but no medicine to fix them. Souls who are hurting. Mouths that are thirsty. These Wishing Wednesday posts? Just silly fun. That is all. Please don't think I'm a super shallow, materialistic so-and-so.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Baby Shower: Cute As A Button

My friend Christine is having a baby girl (after having two boys), so a shower dripping in pink was the only option.

I went with "Cute as a Button" as my theme.

Wanna know how to save money and still pull off a super cute party?

Before I begin, I have two things to say:

1) I am not an expert party planner. That title goes to Lindsey. Frankly, I learned all these tricks from going to enough of her parties. I'm just passing it along. Doing my part, you know.

2) STEP AWAY FROM THE PARTY AISLE. Put down the crepe streamers. Don't even *look* at the latex balloons. And if you even so much as glance at the matching plate/cup/napkin sets, I will reach through this computer screen right. now. Don't think I won't turn this car around...

Oh wait...

First, keep in mind what holiday/season it is. Trying to throw a lavender party in the middle of December can prove to be a challenge. Valentine's Day was only 2 weeks before the shower, so I decided on pink/red/white...but NO hearts. I wanted to take advantage of all the pink/red decor in stores (and on clearance on February 15th!), but I didn't want to confuse the shower for a Valentine's Day party.

A banner strung on red grosgrain. (I own a Cricut...if you don't, find a friend who does and borrow it).

Another money saver is to use fresh flowers wherever you can. It adds lots of color, and it's always festive and nicer looking than those weird honeycomb centerpieces you buy at party stores. I always go to Costco for my flowers. You get a ton for cheap.

Scour your house for things you can re-use. I already owned this runner and I have a few boxes of mason jars for stuff like this. Some grosgrain ribbon and a big pink button hot glued on adds some detail.

Don't spend a ton of money on paper napkins. Buy solid napkins in a coordinating color and then stamp them. Michael's sells a bunch of stamps for $1 and it only takes a minute. Ideally, I will one day bite the bullet and just buy a big bunch of white cloth napkins. Keep in mind that the fewer paper products you have, the nicer your party will look AND the cheaper it will be.

Again, mason jars as cups in lieu of matchy paper cups. Pink straws bring in more color.

Remember how I said to scour your house?...notice the red pitcher? Perfect. Also, make it a point to incorporate your party colors into your food and drink. It just adds one more level of detail to your decor. Without succumbing to balloons and streamers.

Invest in plain white serving dishes. White is key. That way, you can use them for any party and any color scheme. And when I say invest, what I actually mean is buy random white pieces whenever you come across them on clearance. I have good luck at Kohl's. The "runner" you see there? Just four rolls of ribbon strung across a white tablecloth and some extra buttons sprinkled along. Speaking of me a favor and promise yourself to never buy those icky plastic ones please. "Invest" in 3 or 4 white tablecloths. Use them over and over.

Um, I pretty much hate streamers. Unless you can come up with a fun and funky way to use them, don't do it. I usually make Martha Stewart's Tissue Pom Poms, but I feel like I've used those the last few parties I've done and I was tired of it. So, this time I cut a bunch of pink/white/red circles, taped them to thread, and then hung them from the ceiling.

Throw parties as a team if you can. You know all those people who call and ask if they can help? And you know how you always say "oh no, I'm fine!" Knock it off. Accept the help. You get no brownie points in heaven for throwing showers solo.

In this case, Kate and Ruth were in charge of food for the shower. I knew Joy owned these cake stands (because I covet them everytime I go to her house), so I borrowed them.

Feel free to raid your friends' houses too. Well, that is, if your friends have good taste. If they don't, please refrain.

White blank notecards stamped in pink. Set stuff like this out. Again, might as well take advantage of the detail.

I paid Joy to look this happy. That, or she's packing a flask of something...and I don't think it's Sunny D. ;)
I only include this because it makes me laugh. Poor Jill looks like she's a bit afraid of being dropped.

Here is Kate holding Jill...who incidentally looks more like Kate's daughter than mine.

Did you really go out and buy new dresses for your girls just so that they matched the party????!!!

I plead the fifth.

Thanks to: Kate, Ruth, Dori, Debbi, Joy, Lindsey I., & Laurie for all your help!