Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The ultrasound went really well! Here's the video


It's not the best quality and I apologize.  I used my iphone and the room was pitch black so I would've blinded my OB with the flash hahaha.  It had trouble focusing.  But at the 5:30 mark you can see him moving his mouth a whole bunch and toward the end you can see it's definitely a boy in the lower left corner, head up in the right side.

Everything is going really well.  He's moving like crazy and seems pretty happy in there! We're estimating anywhere between Dec. 23rd-Jan. 8th.  My official due date is January 3rd.  There's isn't enough of a difference to change my due date so we're leaving it as is.  I prefer kind of having a range rather than a specific date, so that was nice.

Definitely still a boy! I'm wondering what life is going to be like with two boys :) I really hope Conrad adjusts well.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ultrasound tomorrow :) 18 weeks!

I have the anatomy scan tomorrow morning at 9am.  I'm just a few days shy of 18 weeks.  We were able to go to a keepsake ultrasound place nearby and we found out the gender (It's a BOY!) right before I was 15 weeks :)  I'm so excited to see how much he has grown!

When I had my last ultrasound, the baby was measuring on the big side which may change my due date.  I'm currently due January 3rd but his measurements were putting him closer to December 31st.  Regardless, this will certainly be an eventful holiday season.  Ohio has some rough snow storms.  We're crossing our fingers for a mild winter and for an easy labor and delivery, too of course.

With Conrad, we had a larger living room and we were able to have a swing and a pack n play in one area.  This time around, our living room is much smaller.  We're thinking about just having the swing in the living room and using a bassinet in our bedroom for a few months.  Conrad's bed is his original crib that we converted to a daybed.  We're going to get him a larger toddler bed and convert the crib back again and move it into our bedroom.  This time we have larger bedrooms which is nice.  We plan on having our little one room with us until he's sleeping through the night, then we may have them int he same room together.  We know the bassinet will only be for about 2-3 months so the plan is to get the new toddler bed for Christmas.  Conrad will be 4 and a half :)

He's starting to kiss my belly now and talk to the baby.  It's incredibly cute.  We're all getting really excited.  Things are going to pick up around here soon.  Tom's new promotion involves a few schedule changes in August and I'm waiting to see if I'm accepted to a few different schools to finish my bachelor's degree.  Lots and lots of exciting things :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Homemade Banana Bread

I love banana bread.  It's one of my favorites for breakfast. I usually can't make it at home because I'm always missing a dry ingredient.  This is the easiest version I've ever found and it comes out so moist and tasty! There's enough for two loaf pans.  It turns out fantastic if your loaf pan is ceramic.  If it is metal or glass, adjust the time to a little bit less to avoid burning (learned this one ourselves).

1 box of pre-made cake mix (your choice! Vanilla, lemon, chocolate, etc.)
2 eggs
1/2-1 cup of chocolate chips by preference
3-4 super ripe bananas
meatloaf pan liners or cooking spray/butter & flour to coat the pans

And that's it!! No oil, no other dry ingredients. We chose a box of funfetti vanilla cake because it's the only one we had in the pantry.  Plus it's fun for our son :)

Mash the bananas with a spoon or potato smasher into a mixing bowl.  Combine the cake mix and two eggs and stir all together.  Pour in the chocolate chips and give it another quick stir.  Be sure to coat the pans well with a disposable foil liner, or butter/cooking spray and a little bit of flour to prevent sticking.  Pre-heat the oven to 350F and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.

Here is the end result.  Perfectly golden brown, very moist and delicious!

Vote for Foodie Friends Friday! :)

Thank you ALL for the delicious food you shared
with us for our Foodie Friends Linky Party!

Please go HERE to vote for your favorite three recipes!
Scroll down to see all the recipes and choose three that YOU feel are the BEST!

I had a lot of fun participating! Can't wait until next week :) I loved tons of the new recipes I discovered and it was great sharing my recipes with all of you! <3

Friday, July 27, 2012

Business Cards For A Side Business?

Do you have a side business of your own?  What do you do? I'd love to learn more.  A friend of mine and I worked on ribbon wreaths for a while last year and I also sell Mark. cosmetics, fashion and beauty products.  It's nice to be able to hand a future customer a business card with all of my information on it.  I like to write down their favorite item on the card and if I can, I'll also write down a discount amount meant solely for that specific person.  It's a nice added touch.

You could even make business cards for your blog! It's a great way to attract new followers.

VistaPrint has amazing package deals for business cards.  Right now you can get 250 business cards for free! Their designs are awesome.  You can also make your own designs and upload your own images to certain business cards.  Make them super personalized.

Check it out today! Let me know what you think.

Vista Print

Have you signed up for Zulily for your kiddos?

Zulily has the cutest kids clothes! I love the discounts and the selection.  They've expanded to add new things for mom, too! As well as toys, books, cooking items and more for home.

I have a few friends who have snagged the cutest outfits, headbands, hair accessories and shoes for their little ones.

Check out Zulily today and let me know what you think!

Zulily: Daily Deals For Mom, Babies, and Kids

Cheesy Meaty Pasta {Homemade Hamburger Helper}

I have to admit that I absolutely love Hamburger Helpers.  So does our son.  But I know that they aren't that healthy for us.  So today I decided I would try to make our own version in the crockpot.  I don't have any ground chuck on hand, but I did find some frozen pre-cooked meatballs with italian seasonings.  I think they'll work just fine.  This is an easy dump and go meal if you are home during the day or looking for a quick crock pot meal.  The pasta softens within 2-3 hours and the meat crumbles nicely.

It's cooking now and so far it looks great! Dry pasta is in there too.  Everything started frozen or in it's natural state.  I'll update later tonight with the recipe and we'll let you know how it turns out!

This recipe calls for an entire box of pasta so there will be plenty of servings.  Since we have a family of 3, that means plenty of leftovers for us :)

Here's a sneak peek; I know it's hard to tell, but there are broken up meatballs in the mix too:

-1 box of whole wheat pasta (we had penne in the house)
-1.5 lbs. of hamburger or 1 (14 oz.) bag of frozen pre-made meatballs
-1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
-1 jar of water (fill up the spaghetti sauce jar)
-2 tablespoons minced garlic
-1 tablespoon of oregano
-2 teaspoons of onion powder
-1 full bag (2 cups) of shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
-4 slices of sharp cheddar cheese (optional; we like it extra cheesy)

Spread about 1/4 of your spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the crockpot. Layer the meatballs on top of the sauce (still frozen), or place the frozen ground beef on top of the sauce.  Pour the rest of the sauce overtop of the meatballs.  Place the pasta over top of the rest of the sauce, then fill the spaghetti sauce jar to the top with water and pour in the saucy water to moisten the pasta.  Sprinkle about 1/2 the bag of the shredded reduced fat cheddar over top of the pasta.  Cook on low for 3-4 hours.  Be sure to stir often and break up the meat as it cooks.  As it softens, it will break up easily with a wooden spoon.  When there are only about 20 minutes remaining, place the rest of the shredded cheese on top and turn off the crock pot.  If you'd like to have yours extra cheesy, lay the 4 slices of sharp cheddar cheese on top of the shredded cheese.  

I'll update with pictures of our plates tonight after hubby gets home in about an hour!

Snacks and meals for toddlers

Conrad is totally going through a growth spurt right now.  His little body must know he's turning FOUR tomorrow! <3 =]

I'm looking for some meal ideas and other snack items for him.  Here's a list of some of his favorite foods.  I want to make sure I incorporate the healthiest options for him, so if you have suggestions, please share!!

-scrambled eggs with cheese
-yogurt and a nutrigrain bar (apple cinnamon is his favorite)

As you can see, breakfast is what we struggle with the most.  He doesn't like cereal (dry or with milk) and he won't touch oatmeal or toast.  I totally need some more ideas here.

-leftovers from dinner are usually a hit
-pasta of any kind including macaroni and cheese or pesto (his two favorites)
-soups! he loves soups
-lunchables (homemade or otherwise)- he loves the crackers, meat, and cheese being separate
-grilled cheese
-shredded chicken
-peanut butter & jelly sandwich
-pizza (homemade or otherwise)

-pretty much anything we make he will eat, which I'm SO thankful for! We rarely have to cook something separate for him.  We will on the occasional night we have something spicy that we know he won't want.

-carrots (only if they are canned or steamed.  He likes them super soft)
-yogurt covered raisins
-mashed potatoes
-CHEESE *his absolute favorite*

We can normally find a way to give him a well balanced meal.  I just wish there was more variety.  He is entirely too picky.  We've tried re-introducing foods he did not like in the past and he continually will not eat them.  It's tough on a super tight budget.  We can't afford to waste food at all right now.  Vegetables are the hardest.  Thankfully he will eat them when they are in soup.  We have soup quite often for lunch.  I'm totally running out of ideas recently.  I want to introduce new things and make them staples.  Any ideas?


Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party!

I'm so excited for the linky party tomorrow! I submitted 3 of our recipes; Crockpot South Of The Border ChickenCrockpot Chicken Dump, and our Stuffed Pancakes.

This is such an awesome idea! The recipes will be posted on 10 different blogs from sponsors that are hosting the linky party.  It's a great way to network, share your recipes, meet new friends and find amazing new recipes for you to try too!

Do you have a recipe (or 3!) you want to add?  Check it out!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Crockpot South Of The Border Chicken

Mmmm this smells soooo good!! So it's a really stormy day and I decided that I would just throw together a quick crockpot meal on the fly.  We tend to have a lot of Mexican ingredients around the house since that's my biggest craving this pregnancy ;)

Here's a picture of everything I used, and everything going into the crockpot.

Here are the ingredients:
-4 frozen chicken breasts
-1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables (Mexican style; we found zesty corn and black bean blend from our local Giant Eagle)
-1 (4.5 oz) can of chopped green chiles (do not drain them, you'll need the liquid for cooking)
-2 tablespoons of minced garlic
-2 tablespoons of Cumin
-1/2 jar of Mild Salsa
-Salt and pepper to taste

I'm also making a side of Spanish Rice (Rice-a-Roni).  I'm not a big rice maker.  My husband normally does this.  So I'm hoping it turns out well.  I'm going to adapt the box version to a homemade version next time and I'll let you know how that goes!  This time I just followed the recipe exactly as it was listed.


Hubby is on his way home! As soon as we have our plates all set to go, I'll get a final picture :) I'm topping my chicken with sour cream and shredded low fat Mexican blend cheese.  Can't wait!

He put his in tortillas and when I went back for seconds, I asked him to wrap my chicken in a tortilla too :) So yummy!


If you give this recipe a try, let me know what you think!

Part of Foodie Friends Friday!

The Hair Dare: 365 days of no cutting, dying, or styling

I really miss having long hair.  After I had Conrad, my hair got super brittle and thinned out a LOT.  I'm still having breakage issues.  I recently had my hair trimmed and dyed (highlighted) May 1st, right before our wedding.  (That reminds me, I should make a post with our wedding photos!)

From today forward I will no longer be styling my hair with any products, or using heat.  I am going to buy a wide tooth comb and use it instead of a brush.  My hair will air dry and I will take monthly pictures to monitor my progress.  I am taking a pre-natal vitamin, but will take a different vitamin for hair skin and nails after baby boy arrives.

I'm curious to see how my hair will behave while pregnant! It's worth a shot.  If I have to do this twice, I totally will.  I will update with a picture later today!

My 365 day challenge begins.... NOW.

Start: July 26, 2012
End: July 26, 2013

-Deep condition only 1x a week
-Wash hair a maximum of 3x a week
-No hair styling products
-No heat styling
-Use a wide tooth comb to untangle hair
-No dying
-No new hair styles, trims only every 3-4 months
-Update with a picture once a month

I will try to get a better picture in the next few days.  All I have is my iphone right now until I can find a memory card for my good camera.  But as you can see, it is dry, the color is faded, it's very brittle and is super wavy.

How will big brother adjust?

I'm a full time stay at home mom. I attend classes online or at night a few times a week. I've had my entire summer off and I'm waiting to hear back from a few colleges to see if I can complete a bachelor's program. Conrad does not attend preschool or daycare. I'm nervous he isn't going to adjust well to having a little brother. We talk about it all the time. He pats my belly and talks to "his baby" and it's so adorable. He helps me around the house all the time and for the most part he listens and takes direction well when it's needed. I hope the trend continues and he'll be willing to help me when I need something for his little brother.

 I know he enjoys his time with me and I hope I can figure out how to balance everything. My husband will be able to take 12 weeks off to be home with us and have his own bonding time. We are so thankful. I think it will really help. My concerns are after he goes back to work full time and I'll be doing this on my own half the day. Don't get me wrong, I'm very excited. I'm just also very anxious.

 Depending on finances, we may enroll Conrad into pre-school next Fall, or we may be able to enroll him directly into kindergarten. I need to look into it. I have a lot on my plate trying to figure out where my life is going to be in the next 2 years. I'm going to try to finish my bachelor's degree before Conrad is in the 1st grade. It's my goal. I'm really hoping I get accepted into an online program and the financial aid is enough to help us out. I want to be home as much as possible with our kids.

 For those of you with more than one child, how did your oldest adapt from being the only child to the older sibling? Any tips or advice you can provide? Thanks!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Herb and Cheese Stuffed Burgers. I don't want my burgers any other way now!

We made Herb and Cheese Stuffed Burgers for dinner tonight with a side of steak fries.  I am totally stuffed and they were so delicious.  I have one left for tomorrow and I'm totally looking for lunch!  The original recipe came from a Taste of Home 2011 cookbook and was uploaded on the blog Full Bellies, Happy Kids.  I'm in love with everything on her blog :)  Please click the link for the full recipe.  Since we did not change anything, I would rather have the recipe remain on the blog I found it, originally :)


We followed the recipe except we added a slice of cheddar cheese, a slice of tomato and a couple slices of avocado on the top of ours.  We didn't make homemade buns, but they were delicious on freshly made kaiser rolls from our local grocery store. My husband agrees that we may not make our burgers any other way now!


Here you can see the toppings and the cheese mixture in the middle.  It is so delicious.  I love savory burgers.  The burger itself got a little bit of char on it from our skillet.  And the char is added flavor, in my opinion.  You can make these burgers on a grill, a griddle, or in a skillet with a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil.  These can be adapted to turkey burgers as well, although I would recommend using egg in the breadcrumbs mixture as a binding agent.  

Let me know what you think! I'm going to write this recipe on a card so I never lose it!! 

I found two amazing ideas!

I love Pinterest.  Seriously.  I just found two awesome ideas that I can do for pretty cheap!

Here's the first one: http://jhsmith88.tumblr.com/post/25449246805/i-think-im-going-to-start-craft-blogging
It is a canvas painted and covered with scrapbook cutouts.  I love the flower design, but may try a design of my own and with a different background color.

This is the other one that I will probably do first.  http://eighteen25.blogspot.com/p/subway-art-collection.html  I want to find my own frame, and either paint it or scrapbook/mod-podge it up and change out the inside picture every time the season or new event happens.  It would be gorgeous to display and fun for the kids to watch as it changes from time to time.

The crafty side of my brain is totally churning today.  I also want to take sewing and crocheting classes so now I am off to find out more about the ones offered at Joann Fabrics :)

When I get around to doing these two projects, I'll post my DIY and step by step guide so you can see how it turns out!

Cheap DIY crafts?

I have a lot of free time since I am a stay at home mom, but I don't have a lot of money for the same reason. What are some crafts I can work on to add decoration to our living room, Conrad's room or our bedroom?

I am going to start working on a quilt soon.  I wish I had a sewing machine and I actually knew how to use it... I thought about taking some classes at Joann Fabrics.  They have the most adorable quilting fabrics! Share with me your most recent craft creations! I'd love to see them and try a few, myself!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thought I'd share some pictures :)

Here are a few pictures of Conrad from our wedding and other recent outings.  He looks like such a little gentleman! I can't believe he's going to be 4 on Saturday.  We're treating him to Chuck E. Cheese and getting him a Power Rangers birthday cake.  I stay at home with him and he doesn't have very many friends his age so I think this will be a really fun treat for him.


The family pictures are courtesy of our friend Ashley Pennington of Sonshine Photography :) Visit her blog too! http://youaremy-sonshine.blogspot.com/

Almost 17 week belly picture :)

I need to get a new memory card for my camera so I can post some decent pictures! But for now I have one from my phone.  I'm in love with my belly already.  I wish it wouldn't get much bigger than this, but I know it will haha.

I can no longer see my feet when I walk down the stairs.  It's time to take things super slow and be extra careful.  Our son is getting more excited since he can tell my belly is growing larger.  He talks about "his baby" all the time and he is currently going through his toys in the basement to find his baby toys so he can share them with his little brother :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

They say every pregnancy is different....

And I would be inclined to agree.  On Saturday night I was out shooting pool and seeing a local band with my mom and a few of her friends.  Without warning I fainted.  I was reaching for my purse across the table, all of a sudden I started falling to the right and I smacked my arm on the table on the way down and slid down a wall, then thumped onto my spine right above my butt.  OUCH.

One of the bartenders I know there called 911.  No I wasn't drinking.  It's just a fun place to go and hang out and I've been there several times.  The ambulance showed up in record time.  The EMTs checked me out and all my vital signs came back normal, but I still wanted to go to the hospital.  I was given two liters of IV fluid and was monitored for a while.  My pulse and blood pressure fluctuated a lot.  I still feel a little off today, two days later.

I followed up with my OB and he told me it's rather common during pregnancy.  My blood flow is like a river and the baby is like a reservoir off to the side and the pregnancy was an open door to that reservoir... so my blood pressure will probably remain low for quite some time.  He told me to increase my salt intake and to stay really well hydrated.  The salt will bring my blood pressure up a little bit which would help a lot.  So we'll see how this goes.  I'll be "at risk" for fainting up until 30 weeks, but he doesn't expect it to happen again now that I know some prevention measures.  I'll be 17 weeks in just a couple of days.  I see him again the 31st for the anatomy scan.  Hopefully this pregnancy won't be very eventful! With my son, I was just fine.  Didn't really have any issues at all.  This is surprising.

Crockpot Chicken Dump For Dinner!

So it's about 2 o'clock in the afternoon and my husband will be home around 5:30 or earlier.  I have no idea what to do for dinner... so I head to the kitchen pantry and lazy susan and start looking around.  We have some frozen chicken breast, a can of corn, a can of white beans, a can of diced tomatoes that are seasoned with roasted garlic and onion, a can of sliced carrots, some cream cheese and some sour cream if I need it.  Sounds good, right?  It's in the crockpot all together now with some salt and pepper.  I have no idea how this will turn out, but I will post pictures as soon as it's done!

If it's a hit with the family I will post the entire recipe :)

It is totally delicious!! Like I said, I literally just scoped out the kitchen for the ingredients we had and the results are sooooo yummy.  Here's what we used:

4 large frozen chicken breasts
1 can of diced tomatoes seasoned with roasted garlic and onion
1 can of no salt added golden whole kernel corn
1 can of small white beans
1 can of sliced carrots
4 tablespoons of cream cheese (I had whipped in the fridge, plain is just fine)
salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Mashed potatoes, instant rice, or thick sliced bread
(I had this on top of instant rice that was cooked in low sodium chicken broth for extra flavor.  It was divine. Hubby had his over mashed potatoes and then also decided to spread some on top of bread for an open faced sandwich.  All three options are really tasty, or you can just eat it without anything else and it's still yummy!)

Place the frozen chicken in the bottom of the crockpot.  Layer the tomatoes, corn, white beans and carrots on top of the frozen chicken.  Top with 4 tablespoons of cream cheese, and season to taste.  (We used about 3 big pinches of salt, 3 big shakes of pepper, and 3 big shakes of garlic powder).  Put the crockpot on low for the best results for about 4-6 hours.  Stir every hour or so and break the chicken up as it gets softer. You can shred the chicken if you would like to or leave it cubed.  It will be very moist either way.

Here's what it looks like when you pile everything in before cooking:

And this is the final result with rice that I gobbled up :)

I hope you give this a try! If you do, let me know if you like it! And remember, you can do this yourself with ANY canned or frozen ingredients you already have on hand!

Part of Foodie Friends Friday!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

One Skillet Taco Pasta

Tonight we had no idea what to do for dinner.  I looked through all of the cans and spices we had lying around and started looking on Pinterest for ideas.  We came across a taco pasta recipe and used what we had at home. If you are using a taco seasoning packet, you really only need to use about half of it.  Reserve one half for when the meat is browning, and the other half after some of the ingredients have been mixed together, as shown in the recipe. Since this recipe uses the entire box of pasta, there will be plenty leftover!!

This recipe can easily be adapted to a healthier version with either Boca crumbles or ground turkey!

Here is the original recipe: http://www.overworkedsupermom.com/2012/03/supermoms-sunday-recipe-taco-pasta.html
Here is our version:

1 box of medium shells pasta
1-1.5 lbs. of ground chuck
4-5 tablespoons of minced garlic
1 packet of taco seasoning (or make your own like we did! Equal parts cumin, chili powder, salt, garlic powder, and pepper)
1 (14 oz) can of Rotel Mild diced tomatoes and green chiles
3 oz of cream cheese
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 small can of tomato sauce
shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Recipe: Bring a large pot of water to boil, cook the shells according to the package directions, drain and set aside with the lid on to keep the moisture in.

Additionally, in a large skillet (we used a very deep skillet), brown the ground chuck over medium-high heat. Season the meat while cooking with some of the taco seasoning.  Reserve the rest for later.  After the meat is browned, drain out the fat.  Add in the can of Rotel, the minced garlic, and the remainder of the taco seasoning.  Simmer over low-medium heat for 3-5 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Stir in the cooked shells, the cream cheese and sour cream.  Keep stirring until the cream cheese has melted well and you end up with a smooth and creamy sauce.  If you find that your sauce is too thin or there isn't enough, add 1/2 can of tomato sauce.  Simmer on low-medium heat to let thicken.  Place into serving bowls, add a sprinkle of cheese to each bowl if desired.

Homemade Stuffed Pancakes!


For brunch today, my husband decided to bring iHop home to the kitchen table. I didn't complain :) We had stuffed pancakes with a side of cheesy scrambled eggs and some turkey sausage links. My pancakes were topped with strawberry pie filling from a can and his were topped with a sliced banana. My son and I opted to add chocolate chips to our pancakes as well. I'll admit this wasn't the most healthy brunch we've made, but it certainly was a delicious treat. This is a very simple recipe that can be adapted to make any type of stuffed pancake. In the recipe I included how ours were assembled and what optional ingredients were used. If you give this a try, let us know how it turned out! I hope you enjoy!

If you do not have a recipe for pancakes and would like to make them from scratch, here is a good recipe to use: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/good-old-fashioned-pancakes/

-one jug of bisquick pancake mix (or use a made from scratch pancake recipe)
-one small banana one 14 oz can of strawberry pie filling (you only use about 3 tablespoons per serving)
-one can of Duncan Hines buttercream frosting
-one bag of chocolate chips (optional)
-maple syrup (optional)

 Recipe: Make pancakes according to the directions. If you are adding chocolate chips, wait until the pancake is cooked on one side. Sprinkle in as many chocolate chips as you would like on the uncooked side after your first flip. Be sure to flip the pancake once more to ensure the chocolate chips nest inside the pancake. You can assemble the stuffed pancakes anyway you would like. I chose to use one pancake on the bottom, then spread about 2 tablespoons of cream cheese frosting on top, placed another pancake on the top of that and added about 3 tablespoons of strawberry pie filling on top. My husband's version, triple stacked: one plain pancake, 2 tablespoons cream cheese frosting, one plain pancake, 2 tablespoons of cream cheese frosting, a third pancake, 2 tablespoons of cream cheese frosting and then one sliced banana placed all over the top layer. He also used a few tablespoons of maple syrup drizzled on top for extra flavoring.

Part of Foodie Friends Friday!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Puffy Quilt

This is the first craft I want to start working on for the baby on the way :) If I'm successful I really want to make more!! http://lsp-projects.blogspot.com/2011/08/puffy-quilt-tutorial.html
It's so cute. I want to use a lot of different textures like corduroy and minky for tummy time. Have you ever made one before? I'm going to attempt it free hand-sewing since I don't have a sewing machine. Think it's possible? I'm going to price out everything this weekend. I want to get started really soon. The biggest appeal to me is that I can sew one square at a time and take my time.

Cloth Diapering

When I was pregnant with Conrad we were in the process of moving and we wouldn't have a washer and dryer in the apartment with us. At that time we decided disposable diapers were our best option. This time around, however, we have a washer and dryer in our basement and I'm leaning toward cloth diapering. We're looking at one-size All-in-twos with removable liners. It seems like the best choice. We can keep the same diaper cover on all day as long as it doesn't get soiled and just change out the soiled inserts. Have you had any experience with cloth diapers? Give me the details on the good, the bad, and the ugly. I'd love to know more. Thanks!

Easy Crockpot Chicken Tacos


We've made this recipe twice and it came out fantastic both times. You can serve it over rice, on chips to make nachos, in soft or hard taco shells, or on a bed of lettuce! It's soooo incredibly simple. As many chicken breasts as you'd like (we used 4 frozen ones), a package of taco seasoning (or your own homemade seasoning like we used with cumin, salt, pepper, and chili powder), and one jar of any salsa (we used black bean and corn salsa since it's mild). Our son loves it. Seriously some of the juiciest chicken I've ever had in a taco. We serve it with a side of rice. We made tacos and I put shredded Mexican cheese and a dollop of sour cream in mine. The original blogger used some guacamole which would be yummy too! We had plenty leftover for Tom to take to work the next day, too! Any recipe that gives us leftovers and is fairly cheap makes our family happy ;) Doesn't this recipe look good? Let me know if you give it a try!

He's going to be 4!

Where has the time gone? My baby boy is going to be 4 in just 8 days! He is growing into such a gentleman. He is very polite but he still has his moments of toddler tantrums. Thankfully it's getting much better. We are still working on potty training and I've been slacking on my part from the exhaustion of pregnancy. I'm really hoping to get him fully potty trained before his little brother arrives. It's our long term goal right now. I've been researching different tips and tricks on Pinterest and I have a few ideas up my sleeve that I'm willing to try very soon. He's sooooo incredibly excited to be a big brother! I had a bit of relief when we found out that we're having another boy, because Conrad didn't want a little sister as much as a little brother :) It will be fun to have them room together when they are older. I'm excited to start this new chapter with two little men in the house!

16 weeks!

I can't believe we're going into our 5th month of pregnancy already. I'm almost halfway done! It feels like time is flying. I uploaded recent pictures of my ultrasounds and belly on instagram a couple days ago. I'm starting to feel movement!! It's so amazing. My husband can't wait until he can feel him move on the outside. It's such a unique bonding experience. We are thinking of names and haven't settled on one quite yet. We think we know the first name but can't decide on the middle name yet. Our son Conrad is so excited to be a big brother. Just yesterday he was playing with his stuffed animal polar bear, acting like he was a little baby. Cradling him, feeding him an imaginary bottle, etc. It's so adorable. He's going to be a great helper!

What are some of your favorite recipes?

Please share your favorite recipes with me! I've been pinning all of mine on pinterest but I plan to share our favorites here with you :) Bare in mind not all of the recipes will be our own creations and I will give credit to the original creators. If it's delicious for us, it might be delicious for you too! I'm always looking for ways to save money and create large meals with leftovers for our growing family. Have any tips or recipes to share?


I love working on DIY projects. I have SOOOO many I want to get started but I am unemployed right now and money is tight. I make custom wreaths with my friend Heather and I am also going to try my hands at sewing baby puff quilts very soon! If it is a success, I plan on keeping it as a hobby and possibly selling them. I don't have a sewing machine so everything will be done by hand. I also like photography and decorating photo frames. We are going to be designing a playroom in our basement soon and I can't wait to share it with you! Check back for updates!

About me!

My name is Mandi. I am 26, my birthday is March 13th and I am married to a fantastic man named Tom who will be 35 in October. We have an amazing son named Conrad who is 4 years old and he is expecting a little brother around January 3rd! It's pretty exciting around here right now. We have a house full of boys. How do I handle it? It's a blast. We also have two cats {Sasha and Pixel} and a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Mozart {aka Mozzie}. I'm severely outnumbered. I'm thinking about adding a female pet to the mix, eventually! In my spare time I dabble in makeup, photography, food, and crafts. I plan on updating at least twice a week with the fun things we have going on around here. I hope you enjoy this blog! Feel free to ask me any questions. I love sharing! ;) **Ashley Pennington of Sonshine Photography http://youaremysonshine.com/ took this adorable family photo of us!**

Mark. Makeup!

In my spare time I love to play with makeup. I'm going through some of my photos to share some of the makeup looks I've created. In the meantime while you wait, check out my mark. e-boutique http://amanda.mymarkstore.com for the latest trends in jewelry, fashion, makeup and more. I love this brand. Everything is really high quality (comparable to items sold in Sephora!) and new items come out every month!

Dabbling in blogging

I'm just getting started and fiddling with the layout, gadgets, text, etc.  So be sure to check back soon! My goal is to update at least twice a week, if not more.  I'll be sharing different recipes we are trying, how my pregnancy is going, parenting tips and tricks, general family updates, crafts I'm working on, makeup tips here and there, and more! I hope you enjoy! Feel free to leave comments with questions about me and my family.  I love sharing ;)