Monday, February 28, 2011


Today, I shall spend some time with my beautiful children, for I am lucky to have them in my life. There is a lot of things that happen in life to remind us that we are not guaranteed tomorrow, so it is best to focus on the right now.

On Thursday, February 17th, sweet little Maddie Paige Staats went to heaven at only four months old. Today is the TINY WINGS AUCTION/BENEFIT please stop on by and share the love. I know, Ripsi & I have our eyes on some cute headbows! The auction starts today at 12:00pm cst, and will end Thursday at 8:00pm cst.

For more information on the loss of baby Maddie, please visit her mother's BLOG.

Our heart's go out to you. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

Friday, February 25, 2011


I ran into a bit of advice the other day that has been literally glued to the back of my mind. I can still hear his words vibrating in my ear drums. "If there is something you really WANT, you need to get out there and take it." By taking it, he doesn't mean stealing it or undeservingly falling into it. He means working hard for it, striving for it, taking every rung of that ladder no matter how difficult it shall be or how many people try to tear you down.

Those ahead of you will bash you. Will laugh in your face. Try and get you to back down; to fail. However, it isn't because you can't do it, it is because they don't WANT you to do it. For if you do succeed, you are taking from their business. You are taking what they have, and in turn, making them work harder.

His advice sticks with me, because I know it is true. Years ago, he was just like me. He had dreams & passions that he wanted to reach. (That now, he successfully has.) Even though our goals are not the same, we thread the same line. We both have the drive to break out of the way this economy is unequally structured.

My excuse for standing still was the money. I don't have this, or I don't have that. He just smiled and assured me, money comes and goes. You don't need the fancy stuff to start with, you just need your name out there and everything will slowly begin to fall into place.

I've wanted this for so long. It's about time I listen to my heart.

The pictures scattered throughout this post our Ripsi's three month photographs. That's right! Baby sister is officially three months as of yesterday. Can you believe it? I hardly can. She is more beautiful as every day passes, I'm on lucky girl to be able to call her mine.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

EMBRACING A MILESTONE {rice cereal, attempt one}

My daughter is hungry.
She is hungry right now. She was hungry a hour ago. She'll be hungry a hour from now. I can give her any amount of formula, & nearly five minutes after she's finished her lips are smacking & her hand is attached to her mouth. This liquid breakfast, lunch, & dinner just isn't satisfying her growing tummy. So, I know I am early, but I've decided to give her a little something thicker to help ease the wait between a few of her feedings.

We've introduced the lovely thing called cereal.

Rice, Grain, Oatmeal, Barley. The options were endless! I stood in the isle, my eyes scanning each & every one of the boxes trying to decided just what was right for my daughter. I picked up one box, stared intently at it, & plopped it back on the shelf. I repeated with the next. After I scanned all boxes, I re-picked each one up again... Daycen never liked his cereals, he refused to eat them. He was formula til six months before he would even attempt to get a solid down his throat.

I settled on rice cereal. Only because I hear most people mention it when they talk about starting their children on solids. Did I make the right choice? I haven't any clue. I felt like a first time mother all over again, and to be honest with you - it felt wonderful to be excited about something so minor!

I got home & plopped Ripsi into the highchair. The second I had, I heard a disgusted sound float in from the living room. The next thing I know, Daycen is standing next to me - his index finger pointed directly at his sister's face. "Out. OUT!" Oh, yes. I had forgotten to wean Daycen away from his high chair. I really had meant to.

I mixed up the cereal, & began to spoon feed Ripsi. She instantly spit it out at me. I'll be honest, by spit, I mean sprayed! I didn't give up, I continued to spoon feed her. I'm not sure if she actually ate any of it, but it was all over her bib & all over her face. She seemed to enjoy it though! She giggled loudly & flashed big smiles in between spoonfuls. (I'll be honest, it's probably because she was sitting straight up in the highchair, rather than the fact she was nibbling on delicious cereal.)

I'm not entirely sure if we will continue this meal as a routine. However, it was a wonderful experience for the both of us!

But for now, I think we will just stick with our formula. At least for a few more weeks.

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!
Please, vote vote vote.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Naomi is a firm believer that headbands should not exist. During a recent play date, Aripsimae tried on her new headband, the second it was around her head you could hear a wail come from her older cousin. STOMP. STOMP. STOMP. She stood in front of Ripsi, her arm outstretched trying to rip the elastic off her head.

Baby Ripsi was confused. She loves her headbands. (at least at this current point in her life.)

I'm not going to lie, Daycen even tolerates those flowers stuck on elastic. Granted, he only lets me set them ontop of his head for a picture, never fully on him. For such cooperation though, he is always rewarded with a juice box of his choice. I swear, that two-year-old would do absolutely anything for juice! I really should convince him to vacuum the rugs, and swiffer the floors - I'd let him have a juice box per task!

I say that now, I'd regret it once he was sugared up.

Maybe I can convert him to lemon water, and he'll do chores for a less sugary treat. I could than attempt to convert Naomi into a headband wearing toddler! Neither of them are probably a realistic concept, but either way I will continue to pretend Daycen cleans up after himself (yes, I do see my mother cleaning up his toys while he continues to play with his cars. I just block it out of my memory thank you very much.) and I'll make believe Naomi enjoys her headbands. (even though she rips them off her head as soon as I snap a picture.)

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!
vote vote vote. We want to make top 50!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

THE NEXT MICHAEL PHELPS {minus the leaked bong photos}

This past weekend Daycen went to his very first birthday party, which happened to be a pool party! (score on making it a extremely memorable event.) I figured that he would be cautious of the pool, maybe a little frightened by it. Oh, boy was I wrong! The second he was beyond the gates, he scampered across the wet tiles to the kiddie pool. He seriously couldn't get in there fast enough! He splashed, ran through the water, and even face dived into it a couple times. He never cried, nor made any fuss. He was genuinely happy. Well, happy until it was time to get out. Yet, he didn't make too much of a scene, just reached for it & gave a little whine. (And multiple times during the meal/gift opening he'd run out the conference room doors towards the pool area.)

I'm pretty sure the blow up children's pool in the back yard isn't going to hold up to the real thing this year. I have a feeling this summer will be trips to the local splash pad and outdoor children sized pools. At least though, one of my children will find the small outdoor pool a blast since she just watched from the sidelines.

I'm not going to lie. What a splendid way to spend the day before a foot of snow dropped onto our little town. It sure helped cure a small portion of our spring fever, even though I'm still longing for brisk walks to the local ice cream parlor.

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Dear groundhog,
Thanks for lying to us about Spring being on it's way.
a cold angry little family

It's been snowing for the past twenty-four hours, actually let me rephrase that - we are stuck in the middle of a blizzard. (and not one of those delicious ones from Dairy Queen.) As of midnight they measured the snow fall at a record of 8.7 inches - I don't even want to guess where it is at currently since it hasn't really slowed down.

I guess we are snowed in this morning. It might be a good time to try and catch up on all the things we have been neglecting last week since the weather was so wonderful...

Things like the laundry.

I think each kid has at least two loads. My clothing pile is overwhelming, I'm sure if I gathered it into a pile it would reach my waist, or higher. We haven't one clean towel in the house (except if you could the ones in the dryer currently.)

Perhaps the dishes will require some attention this afternoon as well. The dishwasher is full & ready to go. As well as the pots & pan ready for a bubble bath in the sink. Yet, I'm less than thrilled to accomplish this task - despite our new hot water heater, it still seems to take forever for our water to heat up. (Just ask Ripsi when it's time for a bottle. She'll tell you with tears in the corner of her eyes that it takes an eternity.)

Speaking of Aripsemae...

Maybe I will just take her lead and enjoy this as a day to snuggle.

Whether I decide to do house work, or snuggle - I just cross my fingers this snow storm passes soon. We were just about to lock away our trusty boots for some open-toe shoes!

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

Friday, February 18, 2011


This weekend our little family is invited to a pool party at a local hotel for a little boy named Jaxon. (Who is turning three by the way! Congrats!) Most of the items swimwear items that I had purchased for Ripsi are in the size up (thankfully last year I insisted on picking up a 3-6 swimsuit because it was just too cute to pass-by.) However, that is ALL she has! A couple days ago I ran across a really old return for a boys swim coverall. It was on clearance for a whopping $2.97!

I brought it home with me that night & compared all my fabric remnants to it til I found the perfect shade of green to match with it. I cut about an inch & a half stripe of fabric. Fold the stripe completely in half & loosely stitch it together. As you pull your tread, you'll get stripe will crinkle up & you can adjust the ruffles to your liking. The tighter your thread is pulled the fuller your ruffles will be. (It is a lot quicker if you use the gathering function on your sewing machine. I, however, find it easier to make the perfect ruffles by hand.)

Once your ruffle strand is completely to your liking, you can pin it inside the hood of the garment.

It should now look similar to the pictures above.

At this point, you can bring out your trusty sewing machine! Sew along the edge of the ruffle you created, removing the pins slowly as you go. Once a pin is removed, you'll need to re-adjust the small section to ensure it stayed lined up.

Simple as that & you're done! I just added a couple flowers to the front to give it a little more of a feminine touch. Next, just add baby & you are ready for a day on the beach! (or in our case, next to the pool!)

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Daycen is becoming my little photographer assistant. (I guess, he believes I need one.) The entire time during Aripsemae's "photoshoot" he sat on my lap & giggles when each picture popped up on the viewfinder. He'd make silly comments about his sister like, "funny!" "cute!" "Uh-OH!" It was rather nice having him entertain her, & it was also awesome that he wanted SOMETHING to do with her. (yes, he still has that small tendency to pretend she doesn't exist.)

Yes. I realize I need to take the laundry upstairs. I'm just a bit behind in housework...

and to be honest with you - it isn't getting done today either.

Just a reminder to everyone, if you LOVE the headband Ripsi is wearing in this post there is a GIVEAWAY going on below for it, HERE
It's our first giveaway, so please be a sport & enter. =)


With all the love still floating around in the air after Valentine's Day, Aripsemae & I decided to share the love! We are giving away one of her Chocolate Sunburst Headbands!

The headband comes in various sizes; you can either go off the generic 0-3/3-6/6-12 sizing or give me the exact circumference you want the headband to be! (you can find this out on any of your doctor visit paperwork, or take a measuring tape to your sweeties head!) The band color can be either white as pictured, or black. If your little one (OR yourself!) would prefer the flowers on a hair clip, that is an option as well!

Here's the simple rules & how to enter this giveaway.

- Leave a comment telling me who you would give this headband to (or if you plan on keeping it yourself if you win!)

- Please leave your e-mail address in the message if you don't have an established blog. I need to be able to get a hold of you to let you know you've won! (you're welcome to post your e-mail like this; NAME (at) HOTMAIL (d0t) COM if you're worried about leaving your real e-mail in cyberspace!

- Please, only ONE entry per person, send a friend to win it for you if you want a better chance. (see! there is ways to have better odds!)

- Open to everyone. I don't limit to just the USA. International readers, please partake in this giveaway as well.

- ONE winner will be picked by

Winner will be announced the next day.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

THE WINTER FESTIVAL {formerly known as sled dog days}

Earlier in the month we attended WILLOW SPRINGS GARDEN'S winter festivities. For the past two years we have been attending nearly every one of their functions, which in turn the profit from these events go to restoring the round barn that is on site. So, not only are we having a blast but we are helping restore a beautiful part of the area's history. I'll admit, because I was married on the grounds of Willow Springs there is a soft spot in my heart, as well as for the lovely couple that runs it.

Lucky for us, the weather was beautiful this weekend. (Yet, not as beautiful as it is outside right now! Yikes! Do you see all that melting snow?!) The dogs were energetic, which in turn made Daycen wild. I'm almost positive that his laughter could be heard miles away! We were limited for time though, and wanted to enjoy the other activities inside the townhouse so we only watched one dog sled run. (They were literally racing all afternoon into dusk! If you love this type of activity you really should consider attending next year!)

They both forgot their boots at home! At least Andy carried Daycen so we only had one pair of wet socks!

Once inside the townhouse I enjoyed a nice warm cup of coffee, while the boys indulged in a freshly made hot dog. After our snacks, we partook in some of the contests they were running - we tried to win a bird feeder, as well as the coloring contest for the stuffed dogs. (I have a feeling we didn't win, I've been checking my phone for days and we haven't received a congratulatory voicemail.)

We left the festival with smiles on our face, warm treats in our stomaches & a bag full of puppy dog chow. (Which I wasn't going to share, but broke down to large blue eyes and a poorly spoken "please". It sounded more like cheese, but it melted my heart either way.)

The Spring festival is at the end of April. Mark your calenders & join us!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

HEART-SHAPED PIZZAS. { diy recipe }

Every Valentine's Day eve, we create Heart-Shaped pizza's from scratch. We checked the prices of local pizza places that create these types of treats for the holiday & have found if the ingrenidents are on sale (which this year they were!) you can create two to three pizza's for the price of one already pre-made. Plus, the fun that goes into making them, & adding other toppings other than your typical pepperoni was the best route to go!

Our Valentine's Day post LAST YEAR got a lot of traffic the past two months. I've also received a few questions in my inbox on how to craft these. To be complete honest with you, we wing it every year! But, I know saying that doesn't really help. So, here is a simple attempt to make your creating a little bit simpler.

We buy the 75 cent box of jiffy pizza crust (yeast is not my friend, I cannot handle baking with it, so we chose the less of a headache.) With the mixture, all you do is mix it with 1/2 cup of hot water - place a towel over the bowl wait five minutes & you are ready to roll! Normally while my crust is forming, I dice up the fixings for the top of the pizza. My family is a fan of pepperoni, mushrooms, & black olives (except my husband, he hates those olives! So, to keep him happy all our hearts were half & half.)

Here comes the hard part, the rolling of the crust. Make sure you lay down plenty of flour, I'm talking more than you'd need for cookies! Coat both your table, dough, hands, & rolling pin. I start by molding the dough into a oval shape. Than I slit the top of the oval down the middle. (I know, I should have taken pictures, but my hands were so gooey.) With the rolling pin, I started at the bottom & rolled up in both directions to form a image that sort of resembled a heart. Once it was rolled, we lifted it & set it on the greased pan. From here, I perfected the heart, pulling it this way & that.

After perforating the crust & raising the edge of the pizza's to ensure that the toppings don't roll off, we covered our pizza's with sauce & toppings. I recommend taking it easy on the fixings, a little goes a LONG way.

Bake the pizza's at 425 degrees for 18-20 minutes (or whatever your crust packaging recommends.) Pull them out, let cool for about five minutes (otherwise the tip of your tongue maybe burned from your delicious sauce & melted cheese!), & serve.

I hope everyone had a fantastic day with the ones you loved yesterday. I can promise you we did! Even though our little lady wasn't being so lady-like in her dress...