Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Offically Fallen Off.....

After a great 2 1/2 week long stretch I regret to inform you that I have officially fallen off the exercise wagon....It was good while it lasted. Don't get me wrong, I have still been trying to eat well and all but we have been so busy with school starting and birthday madness that I haven't had time to exercise!! You would think with all the running around I do and playing with the kids I wouldn't need any extra exercise but that is definitely not the case. Sure I'm not excessively overweight but oh how it would be nice to lose the extra 30 lbs. I never lost after having both my wonderful girls. In time I'm sure I will find a way to get it off but I wish I had the discipline and self control to get it done sooner than later. It is harder than you think to be able to eat right with 2 young kids and a boyfriend who has a secret love affair with butter, chips, and my weakness deep fried foods. I try to buy things that are good for me, and the kids have no problem eating  better. It seems that Brandyn is the one who makes it the hardest for me to eat right. Don't get me wrong he likes the veggilicious food I have been making lately but not always and he can't go without his snack food, of course, which makes it extra hard with it lying around the house. I am confident though that by next spring these extra pounds will be off. I have had good starts here and there loosing 5-10 lbs but then it comes back when our schedules make it to hard for me to hit the gym or get enough exercise at home. I mean really after working full time, coming home to play with kids, cooking dinner, cleaning up and finally tucking kids into bed who wants to spend the little bit of free time they have exercising....not me! I will find someway to do it though I just have to keep pushing myself and I know eventually I will make it to my goal. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The ZhuZhu pets are all the rage!

Mia loved her Zhu Zhu pets and all the accessories she got for her birthday. They now have an elaborate habitate that she loves to monitor complete with 3 rooms 2 tunnels a wheel and a slide. Although Drea tends to get a little irritated that every time she tries to play Mia tries to tell her "THEIR RESTING!!!" which inevitably turnes into a fight that they eventually work out. Me and Brandyn are trying to come up with a crafty solution for their storage. Currently we are thinking maybe a large tote but haven't decided on anything for sure yet. Until then they are residing comfortably behind our couch in the living room!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Breaking in the Slip N' Slide

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Mia and daddy broke in the Slip N' Slide the day after her bad both of the girls are still to scared to go down on their bellies! Oh well, they think it is super cool anyways and I think it's cool that it doesn't get nasty stagnant water collected in it like the pool we opted for last year.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Big 04....

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summer, birthday, school 008summer, birthday, school 002Last week my little girl turned 4. This was big for her, she has been waiting and waiting since she knows that when she's 4 she will get to go to school just like big sis! Since her birthday was on a Wednesday we celebrated by going out to eat. I said she could pick wherever she wanted....If you guessed McDonalds you were right. She really wanted to go to play on their jungle gym. We ate & opened a few gifts from mom dad & sis. Then we had some cake...Mia's request...Strawberry cake with strawberry frosting and strawberries on top. We took it with but after all the food we ate Mia was the only one to eat a piece of the cake, everyone else at some later. When we got home one of Mia's grandmas and aunts stopped by and we opened MORE gifts. Needless to say it ended up being a very late night! Mia was quite pleased with her presents. She got new cloths, Zhu Zhu pet stuff, 2 new Zhu Zhu pets, a double Slip N' Slide, and some new dress up stuff. We had a larger party for her that weekend at the park across the street from our house. It included more cake, some light snacks and of course MORE gifts. That day she received some activity things (crafty stuff), more farm/regular animals for her Schleich collection, more Zhu Zhu accessories including the wheel and slide & 2 more hamsters, a baby cradle, cloths, a barbie with a knitted dress from grandma, a new book for her Tag Jr. reader, a hula hoop, and last but not least a butterfly garden where you buy caterpillars and grow them into butterflies you can release! All in all Mia thought her birthday was awesome! and she already has plans for her next birthday....CHUCK E. CHEESE!!!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The First Day of School......

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summer, birthday, school 089The first day of school is always very exciting. I was not sad at all to watch my littlest finally be able to attend school like her big sis! She was so excited to be able to go this year even though 4K is only 1/2 days. Big sis is officially a 1st grader this year, I think I am more sad about her being in 1st grade than the little one just starting. I like to see them go off but 1st grade! It doesn't seem like that much time has passed since she was my little piggy! Such a smart girl and growing by the second. They both are so excited to learn, I sometimes envy the pureness I see in them. To be that age again! I would not want to start over but to be 4 or 6 just for 1 or 2 days.....I think it would be very enjoyable. Especially if it were in the same settings with old friends and classmates. Anyways back on topic...we had a pretty good day for the first day of school except I was running a little late due to the fact my camera once again came up missing. I found it with seconds to spare as we rushed out the door and to the school. Good thing everyone is late on the first day! Despite us getting there with only minutes to spare till 8am we were met by a long line of parents waiting to sign into the school to take their little ones to their classes on the first day. There were no tears by me or the kids which is always good and when they got home they both agreed that it was going to be a good year.
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Friday, September 3, 2010

Veggie Pizza

Veggie Pizza
Originally uploaded by Sunstarr04
The other night we made some awesome pizza! It was originally going to consist of Italian sausage, bacon, mushrooms, cheese, sauce, pepperonis and olives.....then I had a great idea....since most of the meat Brandyn wanted was super greasy and I have been trying to eat better I decided to make a different kind. Brandyn was really tired when he got home so he didn't protest as long as I was cooking and he was just helping he didn't care! First we prebaked one of those Pillsbury crusts you can get by the biscuits till it was golden and firm. While it was still warm I basted the crust with olive oil and sprinkled about 5 cloves of minced garlic on it. Then sliced tomatoes (red & yellow from grandma's garden), onions, fresh basil, and artichoke. Then it was lightly covered with pizza cheese blend and Mexican cheese blend I got at Wal-mart. Lastly I cut green scallions for the top with a light sprinkling of salt & drizzle of olive oil to bring the flavors together and put it in the oven till everything was warm and melty. Since there was no sauce the crust stayed crispy and the tomatoes were soooooo good on there we didn't even miss the sauce. Brandyn didn't even miss the no meat part! He just kept telling me it was delicious! We will definitely be making this again soon. The only downside is the kids don't like it, oh well you can't win em' all! Mia had noodles instead.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Finally The Pics Of My Bruschetta!

Ok, so I found my camera, safe and sound, and put the pics from my delicious Bruschetta below!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Shark Week Project Finally Finished

So I finally finished my shark week project. I sketched out a shark and made some products in my Zazzle store. Currently 2 T-Shirts displaying "Sharky The Shark". I have to admit he's pretty good looking. Stop in and check it out sometime. I am trying to find time to make more products in here. I was thinking about making a "Sharky The Shark" coffee mug....kinda how I feel in the mornings!...I would love one for work. Short on time today, I am trying to finish my girls bedroom makeover. They are very excited and have been helping me every day. There will be a post and some before & after pics when we are finished (If I can find my camera :)). Got to go, be back posting soon!

P.S. If you cannot see "Sharky The Shark" items check back soon they may still be uploading.

Update: Insanity Workout

Ok, I thought I would post an update for this Insanity workout I have been doing. It is going good so far I haven't missed a day yet. I did change the 1 day you don't have to workout from Sunday to Saturday but that is just because our Saturdays tend to get a little busy! If I am counting right I only have 50 days left and I can already feel myself having an increased amount of stamina during the workouts. Yesterday I only had to take 2-3 extra breaks at the end of the workout but the people on the video did too so that made me feel better about it. It is definitely an insane workout, I have never sweated so much in my whole life!! I can't wait to see the results. If your interested in trying to trim down and tone up I urge you to check out the program. It's totally worth it and it's only 42 min or less a day.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Delicious Bruschetta!

I couldn't help but make this a few days ago. I was inspired by a relative's blog post a few weeks ago and by a coworker who just brought in some fantastic bruschetta she made at home. It was so good!! Most of the recipes I looked at told me to parboil the tomatoes so I could peel the skins off...what busy mom has time for that!....I simply cored and peeled the tomatoes without cooking them first and they turned out GREAT! Then I seeded and diced them. Then I chopped/diced some basil & garlic. I sauteed the garlic with the olive oil and poured that over my tomato basil mix. I think I may have sauteed the garlic a little too long, it turned kinda crispy in the oil and most of its flavor was lost so I added almost a tablespoon of garlic powder and a pinch of garlic salt and it really set it off! While it was marinating on the counter I sliced some sourdough bread and sprayed both sides with cooking spray. With the oven at 350 degrees I toasted the bread. When the bread was done I topped it with the tomato mix and some slices of whole milk mozzarella cheese, I couldn't find any fresh at the store and this tastes just the same. Then I put them in my toaster oven and broiled them another 5 minutes. They were amazing! and the best part.....left overs!! I made 6 breads the first night and there is still enough left for at least 4 more...mmmmmm.....Thanks for stopping by! more posts to come!

Friday, August 13, 2010

I have started a new workout program that has kept me pretty busy the last few days. It is called Insanity and it's by Beach Body. You may have heard of it....anyways it is a 60 day workout that is not necessarily for weight loss but you definitely lose inches and tone up. ( I am sure you lose weight but you gain muscle weight so you don't necessarily see the difference on the scale even though you look different when you're done.) 4 days down 56 days to go, at least you get Sundays off! Hopefully I can stick with it and get back into shape. I am not to overweight but I would like to rid myself of some fat and "define my curves" some! 2 kids and an unhealthy eating habit can really get in the way of a good body. Maybe I will get the courage to take some before pics since I just started and post my results on here when I finish the program.....maybe it will give me some motivation to stick with it. I have decided it is not just time for an eating or exercise change but a whole life transformation! Keep checking up with me to see my progress. If anyone else has tried this workout PLEASE let me know your results. Any comments are welcome, I am looking for all the encouragement I can get. It always seems like I start out strong but then let other things in life get in the way. I don't know would think it would be a lot easier to make your body first priority but usually in our fast paced lives this seems like it's always on the back burner.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gone To Long!

Sorry for the break from posts. I have been a busy little bee lately trying to get things done and keep up with all my tasks. So I never did a craft last week although I kinda started a T-shirt design for my new Zazzle account. I was theming it for shark week, too bad I missed the timing on that one, oh well I will still have a cool shark shirt for sale even if it doesn't correspond with shark week exactly :). I will put some pics and a link up as soon as I finish the final touches.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Global Leadership Summit - August 5&6 2010

I am so excited to be attending the 2010 Global Leadership Summit. I am even more excited that my church, Central Christian in Beloit, WI, was selected for one of the satellite locations! This conference goes for two days 9am-5pm and talks about stepping up & stepping out to be a leader in your life, relationships, community, and church. I have watched some of the previous speakers and it seems like it will be very fulfilling. Below I have taken an excerpt from the website for a full explanation of the Global Leadership Summit.

It started in one city with 2,200 leaders from 300 churches in 1995.
In 2010, The Global Leadership Summit will reach 350 cities across 50 countries, challenging more than 120,000 leaders from 10,000+ churches!
Effective leaders are the agents of transformation. They call out what's wrong, set goals, launch initiatives, motivate, challenge, and move people to get on the solution side of solving our worst problems. Pastors, teachers, business leaders, law enforcement officials, politicians, musicians, athletes, and others are answering the call and choosing to lead where they are to make a lasting difference.
Far more than an annual training event, The Global Leadership Summit has become a galvanizing event in this worldwide leadership movement. Leaders representing an amazing diversity of race, cultures, ethnicities, languages, and denominations are coming together to give themselves to redeem and restore this broken world.
As God compels, I hope and pray that you will join us.

excerpt from: 

Photo Courtesy of

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Why pay so much for baby food when you can make your own?

Having a baby can be quite challenging to new parents, not just with the 3am feedings and diaper changes but also financially. Diapers, Dr. visits, clothing, specialty soaps & lotions, and a array of "equipment" (strollers, cradles, cribs, bottles, silverware, containers, bathtubs, bottle warmers, swings, bouncers, etc.) can all add up. Then when your baby hits the stage when they can start eating solids many family's  are faced with the added cost of purchasing specialty jars of food

What many people don't realize (probably because they are tired from all that parenthood dishes out) is that most of this food can be made right in your kitchen while your cooking for everyone else! Take for instance your baby has finally moved on to solids and your making baked chicken with pasta and peas for dinner. Simply steam the peas and before you butter them for the rest of your family take a scoop out and mash with a fork in a separate dish for the baby. If you need them really pureed you can use an inexpensive food processor and a little water. They come out the consistency of the jar food except fresher, healthier, and cheaper.  You can even use this technique for when they move from fruits and vegetables to meat just remember that baby food does not need additives like butter or seasonings. Their sensitive pallet & digestive tract will find the food delicious in it's natural state even if you don't :).

5 Things That Will Keep Your Child Busy No Matter Where You Are

1. A retractable sewing tape measure. Most any measuring device will do but a retractable sewing measure is the absolute best. They are like the kind you use for building but smaller and not made of metal :) . I found my kids LOVE these and will play with them for at least 20 min if not longer.

Photo Courtesy of

2. A small note pad and pen. Who can resist drawing? If your kids are of school age you can use it to practice words by playing hangman.

3. A zip lock bag of assorted lego pieces (including at least 1 lego man). All kids like legos and having a small bag of them for when your waiting at the Dr. or for your table at a restaurant can be a real sanity saver.
4. A container of silly putty (as long as your kids are not to little). These little containers of putty are really fun to play with and only contain enough to keep in your hand.

5. A deck of cards. Even if your kids don't know how to play any real card games they enjoy playing with just the cards in general.

Long Car Rides + Young Kids = Cranky "How To Be Prepared"

As I mentioned in earlier posts I have 2 young kids (3 & 6) that love to go places but often hate the car ride. Now don't get me wrong short rides are no problem: going to the store, over to the gas station, & stopping by to see grandma and papa are always enjoyed. It's the other ones, the long ones, that they despise! Take for instance our 6 hour car ride every year to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The moment the word Vacation slips out of mommy or daddy's mouth they are ecstatic! When are we going? What can I bring? they could go on and on for hours.Then after weeks of preparations & packing the day finally arrives when we all pile in the car to leave and before we can even get out of the county it begins......."When will we get there?"........"How long does it take?"......and always..."I gotta go potty!". After many years of taking this trip I think we have succeeded in finding the best way to occupy young kids on long rides. You will still get the occasional "How close are we now?" question but for the most part you will have a very good ride.

1. First and foremost if you ever have the opportunity to drive in the evening TAKE IT! Often we will leave before the sun comes up or as it starts to set. This time of day is prime time for kids to sleep and the more they sleep the less they are bored.

2. Portable CD players or MP3 players, if you can afford them and your kids are big enough to use them. Our youngest was finally able to use one this year and it was a real treat for her. We found head phones that were comfortable on their ears and when they were not sleeping they mostly listened to music and looked out the window at the scenery.

3. A clipboard with paper, pencil, and colored pencils. Notice how color crayons didn't make the list here. It is up to you but we found in the past that crayon can not only rub off on seats easily but also melt in the sun. Fair warning for all long trip takers! :)

4. A hand full of easy to read story books or picture books. Although you may want to make sure your child is not easily affected my motion sickness.

5. Lastly, hand held video games or a portable dvd player. These we haven't utilized yet. The girls are still a bit young for hand held games and we have been trying to instill upon them that TV is not always the answer to boredom.

So there is our sanity saving list to all those in need. I hope it will be of use to many! What ever you do don't leave unprepared.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Possibly Sharks in the Future!

Courtesy of the Discovery Channel
I need to figure out my craft for the week today and as I was perusing through the channels last night looking for something to watch when I discovered SHARK WEEK! I was so busy I totally forgot. After quite a bit of thought I decided whatever my craft is for the week it needs to somehow involve sharks. I haven't quite decided what I wanted to do but hopefully soon!!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Finished Product

I was able to finish my weekly craft last night but I also had to help my best friend move a few boxes to her new apartment so I am just finally getting the pics up this morning. 

These where the materials I started with: teal thread, 1 small piece of scrap material, 1 large piece of material, a sewing needle, some scissors, a recycled card board tube and some batting.

Here is the finished product:

I also have pics of the first one I made a while back:

.....And here is the both of them together:

This was a really fun project this week and I can't wait to decide what to do next!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Crafters Promise

Ok, so one of the things I love to do is craft. Some people may wonder what type of crafts I enjoy, I would have to say ALL OF THEM! Currently I sew (simple purses, Halloween costumes, crazy quilt items,etc.), make recycled (acid free) paper, create hemp accessories (Necklaces, belts and bracelets), assemble cute magnets from glass flower weights and magazine clippings, scrapbook, paint, draw and decoupage. I am also working on finding some wax melting pots, like the ones we used in high school, so I can get into batiking. Alas in the craziness of everyday life, working full time and having 2 children, my crafts often find themselves on the back burner waiting for the day that I am not totally exhausted to come so they can get done. Well no more! I have officially decided (as of yesterday) that if I continue waiting till I am not tired to make them they will never get done. Lets be serious what mother of 2 small young children has spare time laying around? NONE!, and if you can manage a small tidbit of free time your almost always tired. So now I am officially making time for my crafts and plan to post pictures here. Ideally I would like to make 1 craft a week and place it in my "collection box". When my collection box is full I plan to make an Etsy account and sell all of my cool items. This will hopefully help me stay motivated and keep on track. I started a craft last night to kick off my "weekly project" and hope to have it finished in a day or two for you to see. My latest project is making sewing holder /pin cushion combo cup out of fabric (mostly scraps and remnants), a heavy duty cardboard tube (recycled from my workplace), some batting, left over sewing accessories (such as buttons), and some thread. They really are cutie and not only do they come in handy for scissors, seam rippers and pencils but also pins, needles,any anything else pointy that may need a cushion :). A few of my friends raved about them so hopefully everyone else will like them too!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Bathtime Helper That Saved Our Sanity!

Everyone knows how sensitive kids can be, especially when it comes to rinsing out soapy hair in the bath tub. Our bath times use to be a battle when it came time to wash hair. Everything we tried was not good enough and ultimately led to tears. Then one day when I was in the store I came across something called a Kids Shampoo Rinse Cup. I immediately ran to check it out, anything that might help me from loosing all my hair during bath time was well worth checking out to me!, and it was PERFECT! I paid about $8 for it 2 years ago and it has been worth every penny. It was a little tricky at first convincing my youngest to let me try it on her but after watching me test it out on big sis she was ready to give it a try. The soft rubber front is what really makes it great, it allows you to hug their forehead so there is no drips into their sensitive eyes. I don't know what I would do without this. We never have trouble in the bath anymore and since using this cup we have adapted a new bath time routine: First wash hair & body then they can play as long as they like. It has really worked wonders for us. THANK YOU RINSE CUP!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Whoever Made Up The Phrase Terrible 2's Must Have Been Confused!

I have been blessed with two very beautiful little girls. They are the light of my life and like many other kids they go through stages, some a bit tougher than others. As they have grown I heard the same old things from everyone. "The time goes so fast enjoy it while their young", "They'll be walking before you know it", "Just wait till she hits terrible 2's". Except that this last one has not been entirely true in our case. For our family the age of 2 was not to exciting, actually it was pretty regular (except for some small potty training mishaps). For us the terrible age seems to be 3! This is the age that they really seem to be testing the rules & finding their personality. Once our older daughter hit 3 our lives were filled with melt downs, tantrums, incessant whining, and stubbornness. Since then she has grown into a very fine, sweet & smart 6yr old that we are very proud of. However her little sister seems to now be struggling with the same "Terrible 3's" we previously encountered. It was so bad last weekend that after a bit of discipline for not holding on to her sisters hand while we were crossing the parking lot she informed me that "IF YOU WEREN'T MY MOM I WOULD HAVE A DIFFERENT MOM!". Ahh, the joys of parenthood....makes me wonder if anyone else has encountered these "Terrible 3's" instead of "Terrible 2's". All we can really do is continue to stand a firm ground and pray that this "stage" will be over soon.