Monday, September 28, 2009

Madison's Nursery Featured at Spearmint Baby!!!

I adore Spearmint Baby.  Her blog is for the most part all about decorating nurserys and children's rooms.   Her ideas are beautiful as is her own home.  I am beside myself excited that we made her blog!  Check it out!!!


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Fall Shoes

This is the first fall that I have needed to buy shoes for Madison.  I did not put shoes on her until she turned one this past April. I have probably put too much thought in to her fall shoes. My friend, Amanda, inquired about my findings so I thought I'd share!  

I think I have mentioned several times that she wears Pedipeds.  They are soft and you can dress them up or down!  She sported these all summer...  Pediped Olivia in White




I started my search for fall shoes back in August.  I've been searching on-line and found several CUTE shoes.  However, I figured out that I have no idea what size Madison might wear.  Pediped are sized 6-12 months, 12-18 months and so on.  So I took Madison last week to get measured at Stride Rite.  It was a pleasant experience and I learned that my daughter is a 4.5, but that I should buy a 5.  I really had no intention of buying any of their shoes, but I felt so guilty.  The man was SO NICE and there was a pretty cute pair of brown Mary Jane's.  I spent over $50 dollars on one pair of size five, brown Mary Janes.  I walked out of the store popped my trunk to put up the stroller and the argument in my head began... My child does not need a $50 pair of shoes she will out grow in a few months.  So I shut the trunk and strolled right back and returned them.  Good for me! :)

Here is what I have decided on for Madison's fall shoe wardrobe. 

Stick with what you know works...  Pediped - Isabella in white.  I am not a fan of white shoes on adults especially after Labor Day, but they are a must have for a toddler!  You'll see what I mean in the near future.



I also bought the same pair in brown...




I will be adding a pair of Squeaker Sneakers or Squeak Me Shoes too.  They are so stinkin cute!  They squeak when your baby walks.  If it's just too much for you or it's not an appropriate location to have your child squeaking when they walk you can take the squeaker out. 

Squeak Me Shoes...  (Jason HEARTS these...)


I heart these....





Squeaker Sneakers....  I am DYING for a pair of these orange for the fall season.  However, the only size I can find available is a size 3.  Let me know if you can find a five!!!



Even though I love the polka dot red ones above, I will probably get this more plain pair.  I think they may be more versatile.


So there are my toddler shoe thoughts!!!  Let me know if you have any you have found and LOVE.  I know there is an endless selection out there!



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Friday, September 25, 2009

Show Us Your Life - Favorite Dessert Recipe



I have two favorite dessert recipes.  I alternate between them when I have to take a dessert to any type of gathering.

I got this recipe out of my Southern Living cookbook.  These are delicious!  I even took this one to a cookie exchange last Christmas.





Oatmeal Carmelitas


Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, melted
1 (12-oz.) package semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)
1 (14-oz.) package caramels
1/3 cup half-and-half

Preparation

1. Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add butter, stirring until mixture is crumbly. Reserve half of mixture (about 2 3/4 cups). Press remaining half of mixture into bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan. Sprinkle evenly with chocolate morsels, and, if desired, pecans.

2. Microwave caramels and half-and-half in a microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 3 minutes. Stir and microwave at MEDIUM 1 to 3 more minutes or until mixture is smooth. Let stand 1 minute. Pour evenly over chocolate morsels. Sprinkle evenly with reserved crumb mixture.

3. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

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This is probably my favorite dessert recipe of all time! 

Cheesecake Brownies

Crust
1 box yellow cake mix
1 egg
1 stick butter, melted

mix together and press into a 9X13 inch pan

Topping
3 eggs beaten
1 eight ounch package cream cheese, softened
1 box powdered sugar ~ 3 cups
1 tsp vanilla

beat together and pour topping over crust

Bake at 350 degress for 45 minutes or until slightly golden.



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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Move Update




I haven't blogged about our move for quite some time. I simply did not have any information.  We have finally begun the process to get our house on the market.  We hope to have a sign in the yard with in the next week.  Jason will be going to Austin soon on business and to further our search for a new home.  I hope to follow in a few short weeks.  I have no interest in going until we are ready to buy.  I just don't want to find "the house" and not be able to go ahead and make an offer.

We have begun our search on-line.  We've already had our fair share of arguments.  We have done this before and I'm sure I'll get my way.  (JUST KIDDING!)

One of my desperate "wants" is white cabinets in the bathroom and kitchen.  Jason met with an agent in a new subdivision and expressed this preference (mine not his).  He told Jason that "you won't find that here, that is an east coast thing!"  He also said that it would make for a harder resale. 

My current kitchen...





In my DREAMS kitchen...  (an actual model home in Austin..found out that is in Dallas.. oh yes.. I contacted the builder!) 




I did laugh at the agents response at first.  However, I would dare say that 99% of the homes we have seen on-line have dark cabinets.

Don't get me wrong.. dark can be beautiful, I just prefer white.  (Another model home).





TO BE CONTINUED...



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Friday, September 18, 2009

Playing in the Rain PLUS Fluff Friday Giveaway




Rain, rain, go away!!!  It's been raining for several days.  It's also warm so after dinner I stripped Madison down and took her outside.  Of course she did not want to play in the wet grass, she much preferred the wet deck.  It was just sprinkling, but she thought it was great.  I put on my raincoat.  Unfortunately, she would not let me wear it.  The hood was freaking her out.  I can't really say I blame her.








Here's the info for the giveaway.  In case your are curious, Madison is sporting the BumGenius AIO in Grasshopper. 

The Cloth Diaper Whisperer


This is the Cloth Diaper Whisperer's latest giveaway.  It's for a chance to win my most favorite cloth diaper, the BumGenius 3.0 one size fits all! 




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One Year Ago...



I find myself wondering all the time what Madison was doing this time last  year.  If I look back to these photos taken September of 2008 I am amazed.  It goes by just way too fast!   Since I did not start this blog until the beginning of this year I wanted to share my baby girl one year ago!

This time last year Madison had just found her feet.  I loved taking photos of that...




She had also just started to sit up! (At 5 months old!)



I love this little outfit.  This picture was from her 5 month photo shoot in the white chair!




Late September, we had her baptized at Jason's hometown church in Greenville, SC.   I love this dress.  It's from the Castles and Crowns  "Believe" collection.  If we have another daughter she will wear it and if we don't, this will be one of those dresses I'll save forever.



I can't tell you how many nights I went to put Madison to bed after Jason had given her a bath and found this... I couldn't help but laugh!



If I had to choose a Fashion Friday outfit from last year, it would be this one.  (Today's Fashion Friday was rained out!!)  This was my absolute favorite thing to dress Madison in... It was from Gymboree!!  I LOVE tights... I have already purchased a few pair for this year and I can't wait to share!







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Show Us Your Life - Dinner Recipes






This was easy for me.  I didn't have to think twice what "go to" recipe I would share.  My dad is an amazing cook.  He made up the following recipe.  I have had this all my life.  I never thought twice about the name until I grew up!  I make this for friends who have had babies, a death in a family, or for a sick neighbor.  I tend to not even give them the name.. I'll mutter that it's a sort of Italian dish. :)  Don't let the name scare you.. it really is very delicious and it really is my go to meal! 


WHO FLUNG DUNG!


Ingredients:

16 oz. dry pasta (I like Cavatappi or twists, macaroni, wheels, etc.)
2 lbs. or more, ground beef (the leaner the better)
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper (optional)
1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
3 large cloves garlic
4 cans of stewed tomatoes chopped with juice
¼ cup Ketchup
3 packages Taco Seasoning
2 tbs. chili powder
2 tbs. cumin powder (or to taste)
1 tbs. garlic powder (or to taste)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Tabasco sauce (if needed for heat and to taste)
1 package (8-12 oz.) grated, sharp Cheddar cheese
Sliced black olives (optional)

Directions:

Cook pasta until al dente and cool in water until ready to add to sauce. Do not over cook; will continue to cook when baked later.

In Dutch oven, large skillet or wok, brown ground beef. You may need to drain occasionally to remove fat and liquid. Once browned, hold to add later.

While browning meat, in separate skillet add two tbs. olive oil and sauté all vegetables. Cook until tender and add to cooked ground beef.

Add chopped stewed tomatoes with juice, ketchup, Taco Seasonings packages and remaining seasonings. Adjust seasonings with salt, pepper and Tabasco.

Cook until liquid is reduced by 1/4, stirring to mix. Then, add drained pasta and stir through.

Pour into two, 9”x13” casserole dishes (or brownie pans) and cover with cheese. Sprinkle sliced olives over for decoration and flavor (optional).

Bake at 375 degrees, covered with foil for 15 minutes, then uncover and cook for additional 10 to 15 minutes until cheese begins to bubble. Remove and let rest for about 10 minutes. Serve with salad and French bread. Will serve a bunch!

What also great about this dish is that you can freeze it.  If I'm making this for just my family I will cook and serve one batch and freeze the other.  Just bring the frozen pan to room temperature and cook as directed. 

ENJOY!!



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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

GO Georgia .... Tech????

I was born and raised in Georgia.  Pretty much all of my family still live there.  My daddy went to UGA and I grew up going to the games.  It's who we cheered for and black and red is what we wore.  It's just what I knew.  I remember watching a GA vs. GA Tech game and literally hating those silly Yellow Jackets.  What a stupid mascot I thought.  Our Bulldog could take care of him in one chomp.  I even had a UGA shirt with my name on the back in velvet letters.  When I grew out of it, I stripped down my cabbage patch doll and she wore it.  I swear to this day she is somewhere in the attic with that shirt on. 

I attended North Georgia College in Dalonega, GA.  We didn't have a football team so I continued to root for Georgia.  After all, it's in my blood.  Well wouldn't you know my second year in college I fell in love and married a Georgia Tech boy?  It took a little while for my dad to get past that flaw in Jason and I just wasn't sure how I would change my heart.  In the end I cheer for GA Tech...unless of course they play Georgia. 

As for my daughter....  

I'm not sure if she just didn't feel like taking pictures or hated the outfit (my daddy would be so proud!) , but I did get one of her cheering!
 

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Consign Me Up!!!

Several churches in my area do consignment sales twice a year. I've heard they were great, but have not been until this past week.  Madison is good on clothes, but has grown tired or too big for her toys.  I've learned that toys can be expensive and interest can be fleeting... so I decided to check out the sales.  My friend Amy and I loaded up our babies in strollers and hit two of the churches.  There were crazy busy with moms running around grabbing up anything from baby essentials to clothes and yes... toys! 

My favorite find would have to be the bead rollercoaster.  I paid a steep $20 for it.  It's seems brand new and when I looked it up on-line I found that it retails for $60!!!  Madison loves it!  (She also loves the popper pusher thing.  Amy found one for $1.00.  I paid $5.00 for mine.)

This Melissa and David puzzle was still in the wrapper.  It makes the animal noises.
100 plus Duplos!
And a complete set of blocks!
Hopefully, they have these in Texas! :)

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Madison's Fashion Friday - More Dots!

Madison and I were playing out front last night and she was in nothing, but her diaper.  (I stripped her down because she managed to drench herself with the dog's water..again!)  I was talking to the neighbor and she started running for the street.  I got in front of her and turned her around and gave her a gentle push on the bottom.  Well... she fell and skinned her knee.  I felt HORRIBLE!  She has now learned the word "boo boo."  She'll grab her knee and with a pitiful face say "boo boo..."  Oh the agony!  So today she wore pants!  Oh how cute are these pants?
    
Speaking of boo boos.. look at the mosquito bite on her face.  I actually saw it biting her last night and that was his last bite after I got to him. 
I love this picture... she looked up and saw birds.  
Pink pedipeds to match!
What was I doing on this overcast September afternoon while Madison was playing in the yard you ask?  Why drinking an Iced Decaf Pumpkin Spice Latte of course!  I did request "no whip."  I decided that her error was meant to be and didn't say a word.. :)

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