Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Last Chance

Ok, so I was mistaken yesterday with the contest ending. I thought it was the 30th, but it's apparently today at 8:00 PM EST. We are only behind by a handful of votes, and the photographer might have even encouraged me to get more votes to win because some of the other contestants and their voters have been a little...umm...rude.

First, go to Belle Lumiere's page and click LIKE at the top

Second, click HERE and click LIKE for our picture.

Silly Girls










And Audrey's first pigtails. She needs more hair!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Videos

Some videos. Mainly for grandparents. Unless you want to watch close to 5 minutes of my kids mooing, saying goodnight and amen.

Another Birthday Post

Just a quick post, but I'm super excited because I bought the girls' their birthday gifts this weekend. Like I said, I'm keeping what I give them minimal, because I know that their friends & family will go overboard (ahem, mom). Therefore, I just bought each of them one toy, and will be making them a blanket to go in their big girl room that I plan on doing over Christmas break.

Natalie is in love with Littlest Pet Shop toys. It all started with one she got in a happy meal at McDonalds. She loves little toys (just like my sister used to). I didn't want to get her sets, because they do come with smaller pieces, but this collector set was perfect because it just has the animals. She's going to love this!

Audrey likes anything that is loud, or looks like technology. I thought this Princess CD player would be perfect for her.

And the blanket I am making is somewhat similar to this pattern. I'm really just writing my own pattern for it, so I'll post that later when I make sure it works :) I'm using lime, purple and aqua.

Because this is what I want to get the girls for Christmas. Love it!



Sunday, August 29, 2010

Say Hello To My Little Friend

So yesterday, the girls and I were getting ready for a birthday party. I was chasing Natalie into the playroom to brush out her hair (to get her curls, I spritz with a water bottle, brush out, then scrunch it up). I heard Audrey out in the living room go "Ohhh, what's dis?" and figured she had somehow climbed onto the table or grabbed something off the kitchen counter. So Natalie and I walked out into the hallway and I saw my child trying to pick up a SNAKE!!

I grabbed Audrey and tossed her over the back of the couch, and vaulted over holding Natalie. My cat has a kitty door to the garage, where she likes to go and hang out to get away from the girls. Well, apparently the snake crawled under the garage door and Milo felt the need to bring me a present (she brought in a lizard a few weeks ago). So here we are standing out the couch, while the cat is playing with her new friend. The girls kept trying to get down and see what all the hub bub was about. The snake was pretty mad, so it's lunging and biting my cat, and Milo just kept pawing at it and playing. She finally grabbed the snake and tossed it ONTO the couch! So I grabbed both girls, leaped to the chaise lounge (because obviously I'm not about to step on my floor ever again), and then leaped to the table. I buckled both girls in their high chairs, sat on the table, and called my dad to come rescue us. Thankfully, within 5 minutes Grandpa the Animal Hunter came over and took the snake outside.

I told my cat if she brings one more little friend inside my house, she's a goner!

Edit: Oops! I forgot to say that the girls had a BLAST at the party! It was at Gymboree and they got to play games, sing, play with bubbles, see a clown, and jump on stuff. It only took about 5 minutes for them to warm up to being in a new environment - and they were much less clingy than normal. I didn't take my camera, since the whole snake thing threw me off. But I do have 2 pictures my friend Michelle took of the girls. Don't they look so happy? Lol. They wanted to go back out and play. Oh, and I've go the weird kids who asked for forks and fruit, and didn't eat their cupcakes.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Halloween Costumes

Ok, I've done it! I finally picked what we'll be wearing for Halloween. I literally start thinking of costumes for the next year the day after Halloween. It is hands down my favorite holiday - because I love candy and dressing up. I debated back and forth on Star Wars themes or Disney Princesses, but both require the girls to wear stuff that might be too hot, or things on their head. I'm not too sure they like hats or hoods, so I nixed those until they are older.

Natalie will be Alice in Wonderland

And Audrey will be the Queen of Hearts

And I will be the Mad Hatter. I only bought this little hat for $12 on Amazon, and will piece my outfit together from things I have or can find cheaply. I'm going with the Victorian theme from the new movie - instead of the $5 hooker costumes I saw online.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Birthday Present Ideas

Ok, so the girls' birthday is right around the corner, and I'm trying to think of things that I'd like to get them. To be honest, I'll probably only get them one gift each - because their party is going to be fairly big. But I've already had friends & family members ask what the girls want (um - my cell phone, sharp objects and choking hazards are what they try to swipe the most often) or need. They'll be in 18-24 month clothing this Fall/Winter, so that's probably what I'll focus on buying. They only have one Fall/Winter outfit so far, and that is their birthday dress! We have toys coming out the wazoo, so if it's loud and obnoxious, please don't buy it :) And Michelle - I'll be looking out for our finger paint (the joys of revenge for buying her children PlayDoh for their birthday!).






And my mom has been wanting to get this for the girls since before I even had them - I'm thinking this year they might finally be old enough!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Deal Alert!!!

Ok, hurry and do this because I think it expires soon (update: it's sold out already - boo) - I found it on one of my mom message boards and thought I'd pass it along. I just got a $30 gift card and used it to order a few things for the girls' birthday.

1. Sign up for Plum District.

2. Add the deal for Kitsel to your cart (right hand side).

3. In the promotional code area on the checkout page, type in the code WELCOME for $5 off.

4. Once you see the $5 credit, again in the same promotional box, type in KITSEL for another $10 off. This will take $10 off your total, which will bring your checkout total to $0!

5. It will automatically put the coupon for Kitsel in your account & you can start shopping right away. You get a FREE $30 gift card.

I got the girls a cute little lunch tote for when the start pre-school next Fall (OMG are they THAT old already?!). They were $16 each, but I only paid $7 total including shipping after the gift card.

Finished!

Whew, I finally finished Audrey's fair isle hat. It was the first time I've worked with more than two colors, and the first time that I've really done a pattern (not just switching off). I was actually impressed at how easy it was to do! I've had several people ask for the pattern, so HERE it is. You will have to join Ravelry to view it, but trust me when I say it is worth it. I have a Candy Corn hat that is next in line, and then will attempt to make the girls jackets for the fall and winter.






And in case you are wondering why Mr. Bear is the model for the hat, it's because my children went to bed at 6:45 last night. They were begging and pleading, and wouldn't even give me time to put their jammies on before passing out. This is less than 2 minutes after tossing Natalie in her crib:



And this would be the reason I was up until almost 1 in the morning. I had to wash, dry, hang, tag and sort by size all of their clothing from last Fall and Winter to consign. There are still huge piles of clothing that I didn't have enough hangers for, or time to get ready. I'll end up donating that.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

At this rate, my school year will seem like it's over in just a matter of weeks. The days are flying by in a huge blur - which is fine for work, but makes me sad that my time with the girls is also flying by. A little over a month and they will be TWO! I totally can't believe it.

Monday I had a department chair meeting for social studies at our district office downtown. I didn't get home until 6, and by then the girls were already starting to get tired. We ended up grabbing some Mexican food for dinner and then I put them to bed. Yesterday I took them to Chick-Fil-A as a treat. It was so cute because they both "Mooo-ed" the entire time we were there. I guess they like cows? Unfortunately, Audrey spied the indoor playground there, but there were a lot of wild, big kids playing on it. So my mom and I decided to take them to the park to play. At first I thought this would be a bad idea because it was encroaching on bedtime, but the girls had a BLAST! They played for well over an hour, and were sad when we had to leave (Audrey even tried to escape and run back to the playground). Natalie loved the swings, and Audrey loved climbing and going down the slides. Natalie absolutely hated walking on the mulch, but was fine on the concrete or the wood. When we got home, the neighbor across the street brought out watermelon rinds to feed to the cows so the girls could see them up close. By the time I got them into bed, it was 9:00. Talk about a loooong day!

(See - Natalie's mad because she's near the mulch. Drama queen!)



I'm getting their fall and winter clothing from last year ready to consign. My drop off time is tomorrow afternoon. I only have one out of four garbage bags of clothing tagged and hanging. Um....I have a lot of work to do today! Friday I'll finally get to relax for an hour after school with some of my co-workers, and Saturday the girls have a birthday party at Gymboree and their dad wants to take them camping that night. Like I said - we are busy, busy, BUSY!

***Also, thanks to everyone who has voted for Natalie's picture! We are in second place by only a few votes. The voting ends Friday, so if you've not done it yet, please vote! ***

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Photo Contest

Ok, so I entered a picture I took of Natalie into a photo contest with my photographer. If we win the contest. she's offered to take pictures of both of my girls for their birthday! So....can a girl get a little help??

It's a 2 step process to vote involving Facebook.

First, go to Belle Lumiere's page and click LIKE at the top

Second, click HERE and click LIKE for our picture.


That's it! If you vote, thank you SO much. It really means a lot to me. Otherwise we might be going back to Olan Mills for some more awful portraits, hehe.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Big Girl Drinks

So the girls dragged their chairs to the kitchen counter and climbed up to grab some water from the flat that was open. They thought it was just so funny!








Saturday, August 21, 2010

First Pigtails




Friday, August 20, 2010

Adventures In Knitting

I'm going to try to knit the girls a new hat for this fall and winter. I knitted a few things for them last year, but they were my first knitting projects in years and were a little small (I apparently am a tight knitter). I'm also deeply terrified of using the purl stitch to begin a hat off with, so that might be my next project - but not this one!

I'm going to knit each girl a fair isle pattern hat. Not an intricate one, but something more simple like this:

I chose green, pink, cream and purple as the colors I'll use.



I also really love this Lollipop hat, and think it would be pretty easy to knit - and it is so fun looking.



My ultimate goal is to make them a newsboy cap. I'm not sure I'll be able to pull it off, but I really love the look of these. That, and I don't know how to crochet!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I'm A Slacker

Ugh, I'm such a slacker. Like, seriously horrible. I've not been to the gym in two weeks. Why? I'm lazy. Well, ok, not so much lazy as I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off at work, and when I get home, I'm still busy playing with the girls, getting dinner ready, baths, cleaning up, doing dishes and laundry, and trying to go to bed before 11.

I feel horrible about myself. The first week of work is full of pot luck breakfasts, catered lunch, going out to eat with coworkers you haven't seen in two months - and that killed my "eating right". This week has been better, because I eat fruit, yogurt or a cereal bar before school, a packed healthy lunch, and then cook dinner at home. But I still feel bad for not going to the gym. I know if I did go, I'd feel more energetic than I do now. It's just actually getting myself (and two kids) there that's the problem. I dread that process, but enjoy it once I'm on the treadmill jamming out to some Eminem. So my goal is to go tomorrow (I would tonight, but I'm having people over for dinner) - and try get there at least 3 other nights during the week.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mini Meat Loaves

As a child, I had an inate fear of meatloaf. I absolutely would not touch it. I thought it might be the grossest meal on the face of the planet, and often wondered why grandmas thought it was appropriate fare to cook their grandchildren that they claimed to love.



A few years back, I decided to try and get over my meatloaf phobia. I scoured the internet and cookbooks for the perfect recipe. I finally found one that seemed doable, and I tweaked it just a bit. So I present to you an edible, delectable meatloaf recipe.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 pound ground sirloin
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine ketchup, worchestershire sauce (which, by the way, I can never pronounce) and mustard, stirring well with a fork. Reserve 2 1/2 tablespoons of the mixture. Combine remaining mixture, beef, and next 6 ingredients (beef through egg) in a large bowl, stirring to combine.

Divide beef mixture into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into mini loaf; place loaves on a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray.

Spread about 2 teaspoons reserved ketchup mixture evenly over each loaf. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until done.



You can also use individual foil pans. I can get 5 for $1.89 at the grocery store. Also, once you've shaped the meat into a mini loaf, you can freeze until you want to bake it. I like to serve my meat loaves with corn and mashed potatoes.

 
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