Saturday, March 8, 2008

I am a germaphobe. I am really a germaphobe in the kitchen when it comes to cutting raw meats. I have labeled my cutting board with a sharpie, one side for fruits and veggies and the other for raw meats. The problem is that sometimes the sharpie wears off. For a germaphobe this is really a problem.

These cutting boards are a great solution. There are 4 different boards labeled to cut different items so there is no cross contamination. A little spendy, but a really great idea. $85

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Lame Blogger

Sorry I have been such a lame blogger. I have had and continue to have a number of family situations that have kept me from blogging the things I love lately. Be back soon with more posting. If there are any readers out there that have some things they love, please share email me at Tell me what it is you love and why you love it.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Darling Hats for kids/babies

I am quickly becoming a hat junkie. Olivia has a couple hats and if I could keep one on Autumn I would put her in a hat every day. Here are a few sites that offer great hats.

Jamie Rae Hats

Adorable hats made from super-soft rib knit stretchy polyester for a comfortable fit. They have hats, headbands, hair flowers, toddler hats and especially for those that live in a warmer climate, sun hats. I also love that they have boy hats. If I have a little boy, he will be having one of these adorable hats. Pricing: $14-$28


Little Lids

Vintage style hats. Very sweet. Very dapper. They even have top hats. Pricing: varies--found some good sale hats.



I've said it before, I'll say it again....I LOVE ETSY. If you have not been there, you must. They have a wide variety of GREAT hats, almost all of which are hand made. They have playful hats, funky hats, crocheted hats, visor hats...tons and tons of hats.

Friday, February 8, 2008


I got this cute catalog from babystyle today in the mail. Look how cute thier new lines are. The boys outfits are so handsome. Adorable.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Baby Bargins

A friend's blog reminded me of this great book. Baby Bargins is great. Baby Bargins is a Consumer Reports type book for baby stuff. It was especially helpful when deciding which things I should put on my registry when we had our first baby. Sometimes there are items which are worth the extra money, and sometimes the cheaper item is just as good as its more expensive counterpart.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Nick Jr Magazine

I am never good at saying no to the guys that come to your door selling things. I start off saying no firmly, but then end up saying yes once the guy tells me he is trying to make something of his life by selling his item.

One of these items I recently bought was a magazine subscription to Nick Jr. Magazine for my daughter. Olivia loves to get mail and even loves it more when she sees her favorite shows on the cover of her mail. She "reads" it for quite awhile and goes back to it to "read" again and again. I need to be better about going through it with her as there are lots of educational items and games to play. It is geared for the preschool age group and is good idea for a birthday gift (better then some cheapo toy they don't need). Costvaries.

Breast-feeding moms - LOOK!

Okay, it's an expensive toy. But imagine never again having to prop a book open with two pillows and your toddler's toy blocks (or the TV remote) so you can read while you're nursing.

And no more trying to hold the book one-handed, turn the page and balance your drink without spilling on the 3 loads of laundry you're using to prop the book because you can't find the pillows.

Enter the Kindle. Just imagine. . . 90,000 books at your finger tips, one-touch page turns. And it looks and reads like real paper.

I adore real books, and I will always want to be surrounded by them. But as an avid reader and a breast-feeding mama, I love this product. Check it out on Amazon.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

State Cards Memorization

We all know kids are eager to learn new things. Their minds are amazing sponges. It blows my mind every time my 4 year old remembers something obscure I have told her, definitions of words she has asked me about, words to songs she hears, recognizing signs she sees (since the age of 2 she has known what the Starbucks logo is--I say slightly embarrassed) and even memorizing short scriptures. It is humbling (when she picks up words like "crap") and such a huge responsibility.

My friend Betsy insists her brother is smarter then her because her mother, Diane, flashed the United States flash cards to him and not to her when they were children. Last year while visiting Diane, she brought out her flash cards for Olivia (my then 3 year old). Olivia was very excited and eager to learn. She flashed each of the 10 cards, said the name of the state, and then repeated this processes 3 times a day for 5 days. By the end of the time Olivia could correctly identify the states. When I got home I bought some flash cards and we started learning them. She quickly learned about 25 states. We haven't been consistently doing them for a number of months, but picked them up today and she remembered the 25 she had known before plus a handful of states she only saw a couple times. I was impressed (of course I was, I'm her mom). It is fun to learn with her and a nice way to spend time together.

A couple of helpful thoughts if you want to get this started:

1.We only do the flash cards when she is excited and eager to learn, I want this to be a fun time for both of us. Usually she asks me to do them.

2. My friend Diane said she used this flash card technique for anything her kids were interested in. She would flash cards about dinosaurs, construction equipment, really anything they liked.

3. Start with 10 cards at one time, otherwise it will be too overwhelming.

4. I've found this is a huge self esteem builder for Olivia. I am able to tell her how proud I am of her hard work, listening skills, and eagerness to learn. We have also discussed how she feels when she recognizes the states and how important it is for her to feel excited inside for her achievements and hard work.

**The down side to this is that all of my kids are going to expect me to teach them the states, otherwise the will blame me if they are not as smart as Olivia. :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Baby Bean

I love this line of boutique clothing for girls from Baby Bean. All of the items are hand made from vintage fabrics. Darling, simply darling.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Plantable Cards

This is so cool. You send these great cards to your friends, they plant the card and wildflowers grow. Very cool.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Feed the Hungry

I saw this posted on a couple blogs today and wanted to pass it on. Improve your vocabulary AND fight world hunger. I really like the way it adds rice to the bowl as you get words correct.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Responsibility Chart

We bought this for my 3 year old to supplement his homeschool curriculum. It truly does teach responsibility (with the parents' involvement, of course) and my son loves to see the magnets lining up on a perfect week.

We had already started paying him an allowance to teach him the value of money and how to tithe and save. This helps us keep better track of whether he is earning his allowance each week.

Melissa & Doug products are so great. We love the sturdy construction and colorful graphics. It is made of wood (all the pieces are thick wood and magnetic) and weighs quite a bit. It comes with two blank white responsibility labels for making your own.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Real Bugs Discovery Kit

Another cool product I just saw from Toys to Grown On. The Real Bugs Discovery Kit is a great education toy and would be great for any child. It would also be great for homeschooling. $19.95

Art Easel and Caddy

I love this clear art easel ($79.95)from Toys to Grow On. It is really fun and different. It gives your kids a different perspective while painting and doing artwork. You can use tempera paint, fingerpaints, easel crayons or traditional paper.

I also love the idea of this
paint caddy ($24.99)from TTGO. Since I am an organizational freak, it makes me smile.

TTGO has a ton of great educational toys and is worth your time to visit their site.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Pear Jacket

This has to be the cutest product of all time. No more bruised pears for me! All I need is a Pear Jacket and when lunchtime rolls around, my pear will be blemish-free (and cozy too!).

I know, it's pure indulgence. But hey - maybe it will help our kids eat more fruit?? (now they just need to make a broccoli jacket. . .)

They also offer an Apple Jacket that is cute as a. . . well, a button.
Yet another great product found on

Nursing Bracelet

My friend Wendy gives these great nursing bracelets as shower gifts. She gave me one when I was pregnant with Autumn. Milkbands are really great. When you are suffering from lack of sleep, and when your brain is just mush, milkbands really help you remember what side you left off. They also have holes and pegs with numbers so you can move the pegs to record what time you fed your baby last or to keep track of how long they nursed. No more safety pins on your bra or switching bracelets from wrist to wrist.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Personalized Books

My grandmother had this book created for Olivia. It is personalized for her and includes her birthday and the name of three of her friends. She loved it. Identity Direct has many books, clothes, and stationary you can personalize.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wood Teether

I love this wood teething ring. It is handcrafted from cherry wood, finely sanded and finished with non-toxic drugstore-grade mineral oil. It has a hidden rattle too! So easy to clean and looks like an heirloom piece.

I found it at Click here for a direct link to this product.

Smoke detectors don't work??

I had a very scary realization a few days ago when I got a news story forwarded to me. They discovered that most, if not all, children will sleep through a smoke detector and never know anything was amiss.

My first realization was that my son is a heavy sleeper and would undoubtedly sleep right through the alarm. Why my common sense had not yet told me this is a mystery.

My second realization was that smoke and heat rises. Because our room is on the ground floor and our children's rooms are on the second floor, it is even more important for us to have a good escape plan in place - and fire alarms that wake our children.

Watch this to get the full story.

Fortunately, there is hope. Most children - even heavy sleepers - will respond to their parents' voices. One company, KidSmart, set out to develop smoke detectors that use a recorded loop of Mommy or Daddy yelling "Get up!" and other messages. You can visit Popular Science for more information or purchase a Signal One Vocal Smoke Alarm on various websites. Not a pleasant topic, but keeping my children safe is my job. That makes this product one of mommy's favorite things. Worth a look.

Webkins. . .

. . . I kept hearing the word in passing. Then I saw them in Costco - a two-pak. "What in the world are these Webkins?" So on Christmas Day I was nursing my 4 week old and decided to use the time to investigate. Thanks to my veritable wealth of internet-knowledge (okay, I googled it) I found the Webkins website in two seconds flat.

Turns out this is a really cute idea. Webkins (Ganz Inc.) are stuffed animals. You buy one, your child goes online and "adopts" it, then it becomes a virtual pet. The pet gets its own room, and you can earn Kins-cash to buy more "furniture" and "food" by going to the learning center or game room. The child needs to feed and exercise the pet regularly to keep it happy. (sound familiar?) Your child's pet can even have their friend's pet come over for a visit. And it's a worry-free site - there are fantastic safeguards to prevent location and name sharing.

One could criticize the ever increasing virtual state of our world, but I'll save that for another blog. As a mom, I think this is a really cute idea for my child. Get the whole story for yourself by clicking here and taking the tour.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 for Dresses

I'm a sucker for a beautiful dress. And this season's (okay this summer's season's) dresses are right up my alley.

The other day I was searching for a new little black dress and came across this one:

And it only cost me $30.

I think I'm addicted.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Starfall is an excellent website out there that teaches children to read. It's self-led, so all the child has to know is how to move a mouse and click. There are no external links, so parents don't have to worry about the child ending up on a store site. Both of my children will spend hours on the site if I let them, and the bonus is they're learning how to read at the same time.

My favorite part is that they can go anywhere on the site, even if they don't know how to read, and learn a little bit and have fun at the same time.

Go check it out!


As she lifted the warm paper cup to her lips and took a sip, a slow little smile formed on her mouth, as the flavor touched her taste buds the smile grew bigger, she was good.

Drinking coffee was not part of my life until I graduated college and moved to gorgeous Washington State. It was then my love affair with beautiful, beautiful Starbucks began. My family and friends in the northeast cringe as I denounce their beloved Dunks, but Starbucks just puts a smile on my face. Plain and simple, Starbucks makes me smile. Frappuccinos, White Chocolate Mochas, and the beloved, seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte...I love them all. Yes it is expensive, yes I know how much it costs per gallon, but it sure is good. I love putting both hands on my warm cup and just soaking in the yum on a cold day. I love a good Carmel Frappuccino during the hot Texas summer.

Oh, you are not in to coffee, no worries, Starbucks offers non-coffee Frappuccinos. Their Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino is Olivia's favorite (thanks Dunkle Scott), it tastes like a frozen hot chocolate and is very great. Also, the Carmel Apple Spice is a wonderful holiday favorite.

Word to the wise, please don't burst my bubble with tales of how many calories and fat grams are in each cup, I might tell you to quiet down. I want to be ignorant. :)

Off to go get my grande, decaf, nonfat, extra hot, white chocolate mocha WITH whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Any readers out there have a guilty pleasure they like to splurge on?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Good Night Chore Cards

If your children are anything like mine or my friends children, at times they give you difficulty when you tell them it is time for bed. The ancient stalling tactic. These same tactics have been used forever by children all over the world. Amazing isn't it. Olivia has had some nights where she pulled out all the stops, "I'm hungry" followed quickly by" Mommy, I need another animal." Then there is the classic ""I'm thirsty." The one that is always the winner in our house is "I've got to go potty." Who wants their child to wet the bed, even if it is their 10th time to the potty? I have to say when we are having a night like this I can get annoyed. There might not be a solution to this problem completely, but the Good Night Chore Cards from One Step Ahead might help.

My husband and I have made it a nightly habit to clean up the kitchen and living room so we can start fresh each day. We tend to forget to have the kids help us clean up. I think it is important to learn they need to help in the clean up process. These cards would also help remind us to have the kiddos help clean up at least some of the toys to instill this process in them at a young age.

The cool feature about these cards is the ability to turn them over and for your child to get a sense of accomplishment. There is even a blank card for you to add your own chore to the group. I wish they had thought to include more blank cards though. Also, for you mom's of boys they have blue cards as well.