Monday, March 24, 2014

Getting the Look for Less.

I'll admit it. 

When I love something, I usually just find a coupon or wait till it goes on sale.
I never check other stores to see if they have something similar for cheaper.
I should.

*sigh*


Anywho... 
I love J Crew (again, I only buy on sale, clearance or with coupon codes! ;-) )

I found this sweater a few weeks ago and fell in LOVE with it.
It's so very me. 
So very, very me.

However...

It's merino wool. I'm allergic to merino wool. And cashmere, for that matter. :-(

I actually purchased it (on sale, PLUS a 20% off coupon! ;-) ) and had to return it.
Sad day.

BUT THEN!
In a stroke of amazingness,
a friend asked me to stop by H&M for her to see if they had some shirts for her daughter.

And I found this:
Okay, it wasn't this *exact* one.
They don't seem to have it on their website. LOL.
But it pretty much looks like this, 
but a different material. And more flowy.
And for $2 more.
But you know, the same stripey pattern with solid white top. ;-)

And hey, for under $20?
Yes, please. :-)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Organizing the Kitchen!

I thought it would be fun to show how I organize my kitchen cabinets.
We've been in our house for four and a half years now,
and I actually just rearranged this week 
when we re-did our pantry.
Only the island cupboards and cupboards 
on each side of the stove/oven got rearranged.
But I much prefer this set up now. :-)

First off, to the upper right of the stove,
here is our everyday dishware.
We use Fiesta, and I LOVE them.
It took me forever to decide if I should get colors...
all one color, many colors, two colors, four colors, or solid white.
LOL. I ultimately decided that it would be very fun and very...
"not me" to get eight different colors.

SO glad we did. I just love them. :D
Ivory mugs are from Starbucks, but they are discontinued.
These alternatives are cute though! :)

Patterned dishes (also discontinued)
and all kids' dishes on bottom shelf are from Target. :)
'

And to the right:
(some glasses are in the dishwasher ;) )
*Find cabinet shelves here.

To organize kids' sippy lids and straws,
I use this container. Works great. :-)

Upper left of the stove...
Extra Kitchen Aid mixing bowl.
Shelf of protein powders, drink mixes, honey, and molasses.
Pyrex and measuring cups
... and then measuring spoons in this 2-section container
(everything 1tsp and under goes in a small jar).
Bottom shelf is some baking stuff, plus salt and pepper. :-)


Baking stuff and oils, over stove.

Lower left of oven. Juicer (usually stays on counter), VitaMix,
and the grater and nut-chopper. ;-)

Lower right.
Rice cooker and slow cooker.

Lower left of sink.
Food storage containers.
(And popsicle molds!)

Waffle maker and toaster. :)

Under sink.
Probably the messiest cupboard in my house. LOL.
Some grocery bags in righthand corner.
Lefthand corner, I keep some shopping bags/old gift bags
for when I need to deliver something (random stuff) to people. ;-)
*Find shelf here.

Top of fridge:
Bins hold plastic/paper cups, plates, napkins, silverware.
And there are some extra food storage containers
that I use when I make meals to bring to people. :)

Baking utensils.
"Things that cut" utensils in a drawer. Haha.

Silverware.

Ice cream scoops/spades.
Slotted spoons.
Non-slotted spoons (and salad tossers).

Seasoning drawer (in island)
(I actually rearranged after taking this photo. :-p )
Mostly Wildtree. LOVE Wildtree. (I'm a rep.)

Also in island: 
Cutting boards, egg stuff, tongs, random utensils actually. LOL. :-p
(extra fridge water filter)



Under island:

 


This drawer pulls out and holds mixing bowls, popcorn bowls, and strainers.

And that's what I have in my kitchen cupboards and drawers!
Riveting, yes? ;-)





Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Beginning! Well... the *New* Beginning.


I miss blogging. A lot.

So... I'm going to start blogging again. 
This blog turned into an "only photos of my kids" blog, 
and even though I love my kids and love showing them off (hee hee ;-) ), 
I miss blogging for *me*... and gosh darn it, 
I don't have anything that is for *me* anymore, so here goes... 

My blogging hiatus is over! :D

I'll be posting organization tips/photos. 
And some tasty (and easy!) recipes.
DIY projects.
Decorating endeavors.
Hopefully, some scrapbooking. ;-)
Some kids stuff.
Favorite products.
A review here and there.
Favorite things, clothes, can't-live-without-products, etc.
And maybe some... dare I say it... fashion. *gasp*
(Let's face it... jeans, a tee, and TOMS shoes is "fashion" to me. ;-) )

First off, my pantry!

It's no surprise I love The Container Store.
I love containers. I love organizing.
And well, I worked there for two years. LOL. ;-)
Truth be told, I had never stepped foot in a Container Store
until the day of my interview.
True story.
I had *seen* one.
I had looked in the windows,
but I never really had time to go. *sigh*
(I regret that now. :-/ )

Anyway, I adore their products, but especially elfa.
We now have elfa in SIX rooms in our house.
(Okay, seven if you want to count 
the cabinet-sized drawer unit in our master bath's linen closet. ;-) )

Our pantry was the 7th space, and boy, was I excited!

I forgot to take a "before" shot, but here is the "during" shot (taken with my crappy phone camera)! LOL. ;-) 

Here's the completed, full-pantry shot that I posted on Instagram. :-)


We already had the Door & Wall rack, but I did rearrange that just a bit, 
since our new shelves created a more efficient space.



And here's the top half of the pantry:

Product list:

Stackable handled basket (discontinued, but looks like this item replaced it).
(That basket holds lunch bags and extra water bottles.)
Handled baskets.
Snack container (similar one here or here).

Bottom half:

Same handled basket above. Holds recycling.
Pet food container.
Small crunch can (holds dirty linens, hand towels, bibs, etc).
Behind the crunch can, I have the food processor and coffee maker 
(two things i really don't use anymore...
coffee maker is for guests and food processor doesn't get much love, now that i have a VitaMix).

I'm glad it's done,
and I love the way it turned out. :-)

I'll be posting a "kitchen cabinet tour" tomorrow! :-)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Holiday Card Tip


It's holiday card time! WOO! 
I thought I would post a helpful grammar tip 
for those of you sending out holiday cards! :)



When typing out your last names, 
let's all remember that there are no apostrophes in last names. ;) 

How to write your last name on a holiday card:

The Kleins
The Joneses
The Smiths
The Andersons
The Littles
The Linzes

NOT:

The Klein's
The Jones's
The Smith's
The Anderson's
The Little's
The Linz's

You simply add "es" or "s" to the end of your name. 
Simple as that. :) 

Why? 
Because your last name is plural (more than one of something/someone), 
not possessive (something belonging to something/someone).
Even if you were to write your last name as a possessive (the Kleins' cat), 
you would still add the "s" and *then* the apostrophe. :) 

If you don't like the "look" of it, you can simply say:

The Klein Family
The Jones Family
The Smith Family
The Anderson Family
The Little Family
The Linz Family

If you're not sure whether to add an "s" or an "es," 
you can Google it, 
or email/leave me a comment,
and I'd be happy to help! :)

Happy Holidays! :)


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Asking Time to Slow Down.


I love the first day of school. Even now, when I'm not in school,
and my children are not old enough yet, I still love it. 


It's so neat to open up my Instagram and Facebook
and see my friends' kids going off to school. Makes me teary-eyed for them.


Not sure what it is with these photos lately (the past few weeks,
since everyone starts school at different times. LOL), but they make me cry.
I guess because I remember when my friends' "big" kids were babies.
And now they're big, and *I* have babies.
And soon my babies will be bigs and off to school. :(
I wasn't expecting to cry, while seeing all these.
Really, I wasn't. But then I see more photos and hear more stories,
and I lose it. *sigh*
Not sure if I'm crying because I feel them... their bigs (that used to be littles)
are all going off to school, or if I'm crying because that will be me soon...
seeing Hattie off to school and watching Meyer be sad
that his big sister is away from him all day. :(
Probably a mixture of both.


I just want to say, "Time!! Darn you! Slow down! PLEASE!
For the love of everything that is precious in my little world!
SLOW DOWN!" 


We went to a playdate today. My friend Angela and I had our daughters, 7 weeks apart (we met in birthing class) and our sons, 11 weeks apart. How cool is that?
This was the first time our sons "met," and as you can see,
they were both pretty stoked about it...

This was only seconds before Meyer accidentally clawed at Asher's head, 
and he proceeded to scream bloody murder. LOL.
And so, it begins. ;-)
The girls were too busy playing to have their picture taken.

Just another reminder that it goes SO fast. 
Soon, they will be in school, and I'll be a blubbering mess because,
"My babies are going off to school, and it goes so fast!"
*sniff* *sniff*


Monday, March 18, 2013

Growing up: Hattie at 18 Months


EIGHTEEN months old? A year and a HALF? 

Wow, they aren't kidding when they tell you it flies by.

(Okay, technically, she is 19.5 mos now. LOL. But I completely forgot to post this after typing it up!
GAH! I scheduled it, and it didn't post. :-/ )

So... a month and a half ago, at 18 mos...

Weight: 22 pounds, 8 ounces
Height: 33.25 inches
(I had to go out and buy her 2T pants!! Crazy!)

She is such a sweetie and wants to give hugs all day long.

Even to perfect strangers. LOL. :-)

Her vocabulary as of today (Feb 6th, 2013):
Mama
Dad/Dada/Daddy
Yia Yia (her honorary grandma who lives down the street)
CC (her Auntie Camille)
Hi
Bye
Bye, Guys!
Yes
No
Boo!
Uh-oh
Choo-Choo!
Whoops/Whoopsie
This
What's this?
Those
That
Who's that?
Out
Go
Baby
Dog
Kitty
Duck
Door
Hot
Doll
Eyes
See
Ball
Buzz (this may or may not be her favorite word... ;-) )
Sun (her other favorite word)
Moon
Stars
Orange (favorite food)
Bubbles
Pool
Bird
Tickle
Book
Rio (the movie)
Ice
Please
More
Done
Down
Potty
Poo-Poo
Nurse
Bite ("A bite?" when she wants a bite of something)

(In the last month and a half, I swear she's added at least 20 more words. LOL.
She's a talker. ;) )

Even though she talks a lot, she still signs a lot too, 
which is great for the words she can't say yet.

Wants to grab for the iPhone any time she can...

She still loves to read and play with dolls and balls. 
She also loves dress-up.
Her dollhouse and doll stroller (or shopping cart) are her favorite toys 
(along with her dolls, obviously).
She asks for her "Buzz" doll all day long.

(We also have a smaller Buzz action figure for the car. LOL.)

Loves to be outside. Exploring...


Or climbing fences (LOL!)

She LOVES looking at photos of her Dad. 
EVERY day, she asks to look at photos of him.
I finally pulled out a scrapbook the other day, and she LOVED it.
Dad on every page! LOL. She was in Daddy-Photo-Heaven. ;-)
Every page, she'd turn and yell, "Dad! Dad! Dad!"

They love to cuddle when he gets home from work.

SUCH an amazing eater.
(I take TONS of photos of her eating because I feel like she's eating most the time. LOL.)
Favorite food is definitely oranges, and even if we don't have them
in the house, she asks for them EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.
It's pretty much the first thing out of her mouth every morning...
"Hattie, what would you like for breakfast?"
"Orange! Orange! Orange!"

But her other faves are:

soy yogurt:




cereal:





grapes, raisins, peas, corn, pasta, rice, pancakes, hot dogs, and eggs.
Still, the ONLY thing she will not eat is potatoes (not counting French Fries. ;-) ).
I do keep trying. I kept trying with hamburgers, and she finally ate them! :-D

Can now drink from a cup without spilling! WOO!
(For the record, I usually still give her a cup with lid and straw. LOL.)

Still a great sleeper. :-)

She *has* had separation anxiety for the past few months. :-(
Hoping that passes soon.

Wow, I love this girl so much.
We are so blessed to have her.
Every single day, I can't get over how wonderful she is. :)


I'm so excited for her to be a big sister!
It doesn't hurt that she *LOVES* babies. ;-)



Thursday, December 13, 2012

Growing Up: Hattie at 16 Months


Well, totally skipped 15 Months, but whatever... I'm pregnant and allowed to skip months. :-p


Weight: 21 pounds, 9 ounces
Height: 32.5 inches

FINALLY IS WALKING!! YAAAAY!
On November 12th (while at the park), she just took 25 steps out of nowhere! LOL.
Three days later, she was walking half the time, while still crawling the other half.
By November 20th, she had stopped crawling!

She is a TALKER! 
Her vocab is about 30-40 words now, but a lot of the times,
she just babbles on and on... and on..., and I can't understand most words. LOL.
She grabs everything she can, puts it to her ear (pretending it's a phone),
says, "Hi!" and proceeds to talk away!
It's so cute. She even talks in her sleep! ;-)

Finally has opinions on foods. This is brand new!
Faves are grapes (GAH!!! wants them constantly), rice, beans, pasta, cucumbers and sugar snap peas.
Still "nurses," but since I've dried up, she also drinks lots of soy milk sippy cups. LOL. ;-)

Got her first haircut on Thanksgiving Day.
These two photos are closeups of the occasion...

Has 14 teeth.

Does a lot of sign language still.

Loves saying, "Bye!" and "Hi!" to EVERYbody and EVERYthing.
She even said "bye!" (and waved!) in her sleep one night. Tee hee.

Loves giving kisses and hugs.

Loves playing with dolls, balls, her flashcards, a cell phone (my old one), and books.
Still LOVES books, but now that she's walking, she reads far less and plays far more.
Her doll stroller, shopping cart, and doll house get LOTS of use.

Favorite books: Mother Goose, Little People's Let's Go to the Farm,
Biscuit, and First 100 Words


Oh, we love this girl so much! She's so wonderful.
We're so blessed to have her in our lives.
She's going to be an amazing big sister (to a little brother!) in May! ;-)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Growing Up: Hattie at 14 Months

Literally, feels like she grew up over night.
She feels like SUCH a big girl to me! 
So amazing and fascinating.


Weight: 20 pounds, 2 ounces (40th percentile - FINALLY hit 20 pounds! WOO!)
Height: 31.5 inches (90th percentile)

Has 12 teeth.

Still not walking, but I'm not worried about her development...
She climbs on *everything*

and into *everything*. Tee hee. ;-)

She's in gymnastics now and loves it. :-)

Favorite thing to do: READ! Hands down, reading.
She asks to read SO much during the day;
I decided to count how many times she asks.
The grand total? SIXTY-ONE times in one day!
And yes, I read to her 61 times. LOL. ;-)

They're all sorts of different books too.
Picture books, rhyming books, story books, flashcards.
Anything ranging from 5 pages, to 35 pages.

Favorite book: Each Peach Pear Plum
(we probably read this 10-20 times per day)

She LOVES the computer. Probably all babies do. LOL. ;-)
If I forget to pull my chair away from it, here is what happens:


And I say, "Hattie... are you supposed to be up there?"
And she looks at me like, "Oooooh... busted."

Favorite stuffed animal: Ginger the Giraffe
(a gift from my mom when when we took Hattie to the
Como Park Zoo in St. Paul, MN)
She sleeps with it EVERY night/nap since we got it. :-)

Still LOVES taking baths. 
For the past month or so,
she's been "swimming" in the bath... 
freestyle and breaststroke in just that four inches of water.
Makes me laugh every time. :-)

Has the most amazing attention span.
She can probably read books for a good 30-60 minutes at a time.
She can watch Toy Story/Toy Story 2 straight through, in one sitting.
(My cardinal rule is "no TV," *but* we were both sick for several days,
so I put my rule aside. This was a special circumstance.
She still asks to watch it all the time. LOL. :-p )

Wish she didn't love the iPhone so much... ;-)

Says:
Mama
Dad/Dada/Daddy
Hi
Bye
Yes
No
Uh-oh
This
Those
That
Out
Baby
Books ("bups!")
Ball
Dog
Doll (pretty much sounds just like "dog")
Bird
"O"s (faux Cheerios cereal)
Tickle, Tickle, Tickle (cutest thing EVER. Need to post video.)

Loves hanging with her daddy. :-)

Signs:
Hello/Goodbye
Milk
More
Please
All done
Thank you
Baby (SO cute!)
Bath
Giraffe
Monkey
Dog
Airplane
Car
Outside (people think she's waving when she signs this,
but her wave is very distinct and different than the sign for "outside.")
Shoes
Night-night/Bedtime
Book
Tree
Potty


Speaking of potty, Hattie is pretty much completely
potty-trained for nights and naps. 
I say "pretty much" because maybe once a week, 
or once every other week, her diaper will be wet 
by the time I get her to the potty.
Some days, she just wants to lie and cuddle with me
instead of heading to the potty, but I'm pretty sure
this only happened on days she was sick or teething. :-/

But 90% of the time, as soon as she wakes up, she crawls out of bed
and heads (crawls... ;-) LOL) to the potty on her own. (I just follow.)
She still asks to go potty while we're out, in the car,
and while she's playing. However, while she's playing,
she probably only asks to go, every other time, sometimes less. LOL. ;-)
Dolls are just more important than the potty sometimes,
which is just fine with me. :-)
I don't push her. :-)

Such a doll face.
Speaking of dolls, they're pretty much the only toys 
that she wants to play with right now. 
She loves pushing them in her stroller
and grocery cart... both birthday gifts. :-)

She also loves balls, her shape sorter,
and her stacking bowls. She also loves purses 
and playing "dress-up," which is SO cute!

When she wants to be held or wants to give a hug,
she holds out her hands like we do.
SO cute. :-)


Is starting to help pick out her clothes and shoes,
and helping me get her dressed. Also adorable. Hee hee. ;-)

Still such a great eater and will eat *anything* I put in front of her.
Favorites are blueberry pancakes, pasta, cucumbers and all fruit.
I can't even figure out which fruit she likes best...
she shakes with delight when she sees all fruit. LOL. :-p



We did just find out she's allergic to tomatoes. :-(
Seriously broke out in a rash within seconds. Poor thing.
So that's tomatoes, nuts, and dairy. *sigh*
I'm hoping she outgrows the nuts, at least. :-p

Well, that's A LOT of info for 14 months,
but I wanted to make sure that I documented everything. :-)