Friday, September 26, 2008

Breaking the bank ...

Our trusty piggy bank has been saving up our spare change for months. We are heading off for vacation and it is time to cash out. Drum roll, please ....... $122.05!!! A nice little chunk o'change to add to our spending cash! See you all next week!!


Note: No ceramic pigs were harmed in the cashing out. The rubber stopper was plugged back into the belly, and Mr. Pig (who is wearing a graduation hat because he is a 'College Fund' bank) was placed gently back up on the shelf.

Couldn't help myself ...


The next book in my reading adventure was Through The Storm, by Lynne Spears. Yep, Britney's mom. I didn't even know she was having a book come out until I saw it displayed at Barnes and Noble. Now, if you are looking for the dirt and gossip on her famous daughters, this is not the book to read. Through The Storm is a mother's account of her famous family and where they came from. The ups, the downs, the good times and the bad.
I have always been a fan of Britney Spears - really! I know she went a little crazy (well, a lot!) and some of her mothering skills have absolutely sucked (but hey - she's human!!), but I really feel for this girl. It saddened me to see her in so much pain and unfortunately, it was displayed for the whole world to gawk at.
I will admit, as an avid celebrity gossip reader, I have shamed Britney and her family for all that they have been through in the public eye. But, I always hoped for the best possible outcome for Britney. No one can deny that the girl is talented. Her last album is even downloaded into my hubby's ipod (sorry to out you, babe!), and after reading this book, you get a whole new perspective as to why this family has been through so much. Lynne Spears does not try to sugar-coat all the drama and issues with her family. She simply tells their side of the story, the side that tabloids do not report on. The behind-the-scenes reasons as to why Britney had a nervous breakdown, how Jamie Lynne became a teenage mother, and the heartaches they have been through as a family.
I am not saying that this book makes the Spears family look like saints and that they just get a bad rap, but it definitely gives a new insight into the world of this most-talked about celebrity family.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

You Just Might ...

Here's my girl crush, Miss Nicole Scherzinger, and The Pussycat Dolls. I saw them perform on Ellen the other day and they were asked the popular question regarding a specific lyric in this song. They said the correct line is "I wanna have Groupies" and not "I wanna have Boobies." I have heard through chat rooms that 'groupies' is the censored version, while 'boobies' is uncensored. Either way, this group is hot! Enjoy the song that has been stuck in my head all day!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hubby, close your eyes ...

Doing a little shopping for the new season ... how can I not? Check out the new additions in my closet!


Victoria's Secret Knit Hoodie Sweater in Balsamic

AE Lace Trim Scoopneck in Blackberry

AE Pretty Pointelle Sweater in Black

AE Amulet Necklace

AE Skinny Henley in Sable Heather


Mossimo (Yes, Target!) Velda Patent Oxford Pumps in Red

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Touchdown Taco Dip

This is the original, Pampered Chef, version of my famous layer dip that is requested at almost any event I attend. I now claim it as my own because I have tweaked the recipe enough to make it my own. This is seriously the easiest recipe and can be double or even tripled depending on the size of the crowd. You can add or omit as you please, creating your own special recipe. I have added chicken, used garlic powder for a quick alternative to fresh, added extra cream cheese, omitted the taco seasoning, served with a side of fresh guacamole, the variations can go on and on .... I make this year round and it is perfect for the fall football season! Guaranteed a hit at your next event!! Be sure to let me know if you try this recipe - comments are so much appreciated here on my blog!!

Touchdown Taco Dip



Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 can sliced black olives
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • tortilla chips

Directions

1. Spread the refried beans in a square stone baker (or a 9-inch square baking dish)

2. In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, taco seasoning, and garlic.

3. Mix well.

4. Spread cream cheese mixture on top of refried beans.

5. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of cream cheese mixture.

6. Sprinkle olives, tomatoes, onions and cilantro on top.

7. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

8. Serve hot with Tortilla Chips!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Welcome Fall!!

Fall decor in my dining room

I can honestly say that the fall is one of my favorite times of the year (Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays and warm Spring days being the other faves). This afternoon, I lounged around in sweatpants under a cozy blanket and listened to the rain fall outside. Being an Oregonian, enjoying the rain is a rare occurrence. Just wait a couple more months and I will be complaining about how depressing our gray weather will be. But today, I was calmed and relaxed. The air smelled so fresh and clean, and the sun breaks were beautiful. I put out my small collection of fall decor this last week, and planted mums in the front yard. The leaves are changing colors and falling from the trees, and I can hardly wait a couple more weeks to take pictures of the boys playing outside. Holiday bazaars are just around the corner, daylight savings is in a few weeks, and before you know it, the holiday season will be upon us (stores are already bringing out Christmas stuff!!). I am looking forward to slowing down a little bit, earlier bedtimes, and fall activities. What a beautiful season ... I am so excited it is here!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Unbelievable!

First lead in toys, now melamine found in baby formula. Note to China: Pick on someone your own size! Babies and small children do not deserve to be poisoned and killed because of irresponsible factory workers!
And how disgusting is the following statement ... makes me so thankful that I live in the US where our food is strictly monitored!

A senior dairy analyst said Chinese farmers were cutting corners to cope with rising costs for feed and labor.

"Before the melamine incident, I know they could have been adding organic stuff, say animal urine or skin," said Chen Lianfang of Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant Co. "Basically, anything that can boost the protein reading."

But he and others expressed skepticism that so many farmers would know to add melamine to milk. The chemical is not water-soluble and must be mixed with formaldehyde or another chemical before it can be dissolved in milk.

Can someone please tell me why animal urine and skin would be considered organic for human consumption? Gross!!

A Beautiful Survivor

With football season under way, I thought my next reading venture would be a book by Mr. Brett Favre's wife. Don't Bet Against Me, by Deanna Favre, is about her life, her marriage to an NFL star (including their not-so-perfect start to their relationship), being a mom, her battle with breast cancer, and her faith. She talks about her foundation she started after her fight, and the charities that she and Brett are so involved in.
Deanna Favre gave a wonderful insight into her world, and I am happy to pass along her book to anyone interested.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Today's Snacking Pleasure ...


Chocolate chips and iced, sweetened green tea. Yum!

Fall Season Line-Up

I am always sad to see a break in a TV series. Season finales are actually quite frustrating for me. They build you up in a suspenseful or dramatic episode, then make you wait until next year to find out what happens next. Sigh. In Plain Sight, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and The Closer are the latest to end until next year. And, my (yes, I own them) Army Wives will be wrapping up in a few more episodes. So sad.
At least with the close of one season, there is a new season to take over and keep me occupied. I have a couple new shows and a few returning favorites. Here's my weekly DVR schedule (I have to record everything due to my 'momnesia') ...

Sunday nights on Lifetime, 10pm - Army Wives

Monday nights on MTV, 10pm - The Hills

Tuesday nights on CW, 8pm - 90210, and at 9pm - Privileged
on CBS, 10pm - Without A Trace
on NBC, 10pm - Law and Order SVU

Thursday nights on NBC, 9pm - The Office (my hubby got me into this show now that King of Queens is no longer running new seasons)

Friday nights on CBS, 8pm - Ghost Whisperer

What are your favorites? Which shows are you bummed to see close for the year?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

So sorry we bothered you!

This morning I met up with a couple of my friends for breakfast after I dropped Maddox off at preschool. We went to a local family restaurant and we had two little ones under age 2 (my little man and little Miss Sara). Within the first 20 minutes that we were there, a tall guy, long blonde hair, in his mid-late thirties I would say, was seated in the booth behind our table. He seemed to stare at us girls as he was being ushered to his table, but I figured he was just admiring our cute selves. A few minutes after he received his drinks, I see him lean over and stare at me. I ignored him, of course. What a weirdo.
Anyways, within minutes, this guy got up from the booth, looked over our way again, grabbed his drinks and table settings and moved to the next table away from us. Apparently, he was annoyed by our little ones (who, by the way, were being so patient waiting for their breakfasts!!).
Okay, now I completely understand that not everyone (especially guys), are into children. But hello! We are in a family restaurant - one that I visit on a weekly basis - and our kids were being pretty darn good! So whatever - he needed to move away from us. No big deal, right? Sure, until he then picked up all his stuff one more time (when his leggy blonde friend in high heels and short skirt showed up) and moved to the farthest possible table away from us. Even his waitresses (yes, plural due to changing sections 3 times!!) looked annoyed!
I didn't take an offense ... we were probably just interfering with his macking skills and hook-up potential. So sorry we bothered you, dude!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bragging Rights

I couldn't help but post this adorable picture of my boys taken this weekend. I love these little guys so much!! Happy Monday!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Calling all mommies ...

My wonderful friend, Angie, has debuted her new photography business this year and has created a new line of Mommy Cards (aka: Playdate Cards). These cards are the 'business cards' of moms and are personalized with your contact information and adorable picture of your kiddos. Simple and sweet! My little man has new friends this year at school and in other activities and I am going to love handing out my cards, rather than trying to hunt down a pen and scratch piece of paper, when I meet new moms. Angie has a great price for her cute and creative cards, only $20 for 50 double-sided cards!! Check out her website or her blog to see all the styles and to get your order in!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bet you've never done this before ...

So I was driving home last night, boys sleeping in the backseat, and an oncoming driver flashes his brights at me - why? I have no idea. My high beams were not on and I wasn't speeding ... maybe it was simply an accident. Anyways, as I get flashed, something hits my front windshield on the passenger side. I thought to myself, "That was a huge bug!" I glanced over and noticed that this huge bug was stuck in the windshield wiper, and it's wing was flapping in the wind. Gross! I was just about ready to turn the wipers on to release the dead insect when a street light illuminated the Tahoe. OMG! I did not hit a bug ... I hit a bird! Wait a minute - birds don't fly at night! (Do you like the thoughts running in my head?) I drove under the next street light and saw the creature - A BAT!!! I HIT A BAT!!! And it was stuck on my car!!!!

Freaking out (but remaining in full control of the car - ha, ha), I called my hubby to explain to him that he had the manly duty of taking care of the removal when I got home. And of course, he did (I love my man - he takes care of everything!!). He did think it was funny though that I had to take pictures so I could blog about my rare incident.

As much as seeing a dead bat up close and personal creeped me out, I was sad for a moment. This poor little thing was just minding his business when he was blinded by some bright lights and flew his little self right into his death. I don't think he suffered, but I am sure his bat buddies are wondering what happened to him. LOL!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We Will Not Forget




Tears rolled down my face this morning in remembrance of the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. There is still so much pain in the hearts of those who lost their loved ones on that horrific day. My thoughts and prayers go out to them today. God Bless.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Well, hello Doctor!

Fox has a new show that premiered this week ... The Doctors. It is on weekdays at 3pm, and has a panel of 4 doctors from different fields discussing medical issues that everyday people want to learn about. Questions are asked and answer, and of course, Hollywood has picked a very good looking panel of doctors. Apparently, the ER doc was on The Bachelor a couple years back ... Dr. Travis Stork, and might I add that he is definitely eye candy!! LOL!
If you are home in the afternoons, check out the show - an OB/GYN, a plastic surgeon, the hottie ER doc, and a pediatrician - all up a mom's alley!! Ha, ha!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Huh?

Momnesia ... an actual diagnosis of sorts. Hormone levels in new moms that can cause forgetfulness and disorientation. A mental fuzziness with lapses in memory.
The suggested treatment: get plenty of sleep, exercise, write down lists, and keep a day planner.

I am no longer a new mom. I have two boys, ages 4 1/2 years and 23 months old. Before kids, I had a stellar memory - phone numbers, account numbers, appointments, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, events, etc ... You name it, I knew it. I didn't have to keep a calender, everything was in my head. Jump ahead to present day, and I can't even remember what I did yesterday without taking time to really think about it. I always forget to get things at the grocery store, and sometimes will have to go back 3 times in order to get what I needed. More seriously, I have even started forgetting to pay bills! I'll be in the middle of conversations and forget what I was talking about. If I don't have it written down, I'll forget all about it. Arrggg!!

I can't stand this handicap I have developed and it has actually gotten worse the older my kids have gotten. It drives me crazy! I am thankful the symptoms are only minor in my case. I have heard of moms leaving their kids places and not remembering where, or forgetting to pick them up. In those cases, I think their heads need to be examined further for a possible brain tumor!
In any case, this mental issue is so frustrating! Anyone have any ideas to help me regain my brain power? I am working on my sleeping habits, and I have a calender that I try to remember to fill in (ha!). Any and all suggestions are welcome ... help me out girls!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOHH!!!!

I went to the U of O game on Saturday with my hubby ... gorgeous, sunny day, rockin' my cute tee, hanging out with my man, and cheering on the Ducks - perfect!! We beat Utah State 66-24.

GO DUCKS!!


Friday, September 5, 2008

I love to shop, shop, shop!

Shopping ... it's what I do. I am a wife. I am a mom. I am a shopper! The mall is my domain; my little haven. American Eagle, Target, Old Navy, Nordstrom's ... they make me happy. Juicy Couture is my designer weakness, but I usually try not to spend the big bucks on clothes and shoes. I love Children's Place for the boys, and I never pass up an outlet mall!! I don't tend to be a big spender (at one time), but eventually all my small purchases add up. My amazing hubby is pretty tolerant of my addiction. What an incredible man!! I think he will be happy to know that I now get cash back when I shop! Oh yes, you read that right ... CASH BACK!! Thanks to a wonderful blogger, Sasha, I now get a percentage back on purchases made at my favorite stores online. She introduced me (not personally, but on her blog) to Ebates, an online site that has over 900 stores that give cash back on purchases made. What a brilliant idea - getting paid to shop! If you are a big online shopper, or just prefer to make random purchases online, go to this site and sign up. It's that easy - and it's free! If you put my email address (aprilbaker23@yahoo.com) as your friend who referred you when you are registering, then we both will get an extra bonus! Sign-up only takes 20 seconds ... seriously! So go sign up and have fun shopping (and collecting your cash)!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New Blessing




Natalie Jane



(picture by Emily)

My beautiful niece, Natalie
Born 9.03.2008
8:08 am
7 pounds, 8 1/2 ounces
19 1/2 inches long

Both mommy and baby are doing great!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

9O21-Oh yeah!

A favorite in the past ...

... a favorite now! I am hooked on the new series and added it to my DVR!


It's not fair to compare it to the original series just yet (or ever for that matter), but this spin-off will definitely be entertaining. I am loving that Kelly and Brenda are back and am so excited to see who else may return! Maybe some more eye-candy, like David or Dylan, will come back, and I have already decided that Annie and Ethan belong together! Who else watched the premiere? What did you think?
 
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