When I knew that I was going to be bringing home two little toddlers I immediately set out to do research on which stroller to buy. I hadn’t owned a stroller in over a decade and couldn’t believe how much things had changed. To be honest the amount of options was overwhelming. Armed with the internet I let my fingers do the walking and read a plethora of reviews. I quickly saw that no two moms agreed on which stroller was best and no one had my specific situation. (I don’t have to explain that most moms start out with infants).
Armed with the knowledge of which strollers I thought would work best for me I set out to different stores to give them a “test drive”. I weighed down several different models with my purse and whatever other items I could find. I knew that I needed to be able to push the combined weight of the toddlers so the more lightweight the better. Again, I didn’t get to build up to this weight starting with infants. After too much research both in person and online I settled on the Baby Trend Double Sit N Stand stroller in the Green Tea color. I wanted to set the stage for what is now going to be my review after owning this stroller for 1 year.
Overall I have been happy with my stroller purchase and I promise you that I have put the stroller to the ultimate test.
Ultimately what I learned was that no one stroller fits all, but there is one out there that will work for you. We’re getting ready to take the back chair off of the stroller so our five year old no longer has to be strapped in. A cool feature of the Sit N Stand allowing your toddler to jump in and out. The combined weight of the girls is getting more than I can push and I’m beginning to notice less outings with the stroller which is sad. Not starting out as babies the window of stroller walks is even shorter than I had hoped. Still, we have photos and memories of going on walks with Mommy and maybe I’ll hold onto the stroller to walk my grandchildren with someday.
*These opinions are my own. I was not paid to write this review for Baby Trend Double Sit N Stand Stroller.
I just finished reading “Goodnight Tweetheart” by Teresa Medeiros, and yes it’s a romance novel about Twitter. It features a cute little washed up writer who describes herself as semi agoraphobic. It’s been years since her first bestselling novel was released and she’s afraid she’ll never finish her next book. Her life revolves around Starbucks and her two kitties until one day her agent sets up a Twitter account for her so she can connect with her few remaining fans and start promoting herself.
To start with she’s a total cynic. But then someone takes her under their wing and starts to get her hooked. She starts to have feelings for this man she’s never seen or heard. Is she falling in love with a guy on Twitter?
I’m not going to spoil anything for you. It’s a cute book. Not her best, but still well worth the read. This is also a really short book, thanks largely in part to it being composed primarily in “tweets”. If you want to read with a friend it even has some discussion questions in the back which could be fun. What’s your favorite romantic story?
Wouldn’t you love to have a year’s supply of strawberries in your freezer, waiting for smoothies, dehydrated fruit roll-ups, and more? I answered yes to that question. A few weeks ago my friend and I decided on a whim to go strawberry picking. There is nothing like eating fresh juicy strawberries that you have picked yourself. As an added bonus (in light of our many food allergies) everyone in our family can eat them!! Since our trip was on a whim, neither of us really paid attention to the weather forecast. On our way to the farm it started to sprinkle….then downpour. Since we had gone to the effort of getting three kids into the car, packed snacks, collected our picking gear, etc. we hated to give up and drive home. My friend and I sat in “the mini” longingly looking at the strawberry patches only 25 ft. away. If only I had brought my Walt Disney World ponchos for us!! We talked to the farmer and decided that it was only a light rain at that point and we had come so far.
It wasn’t hard to convince the 4 year olds to get in the rain and I covered my daughter’s stroller with a blanket. So glad we decided to go for it since it stopped raining after 15 minutes and the sun came out. It was so much fun! The four olds weren’t much help picking the strawberries. They preferred eating the strawberries they picked and frolicking in the patches. But that is the great thing about picking your own strawberries–most times the owners allow the kids to tank down as many as they want for free (explained later).
My daughter didn’t like to be stuck in the stroller but did like the kids feeding her strawberries. She would whine until someone would come give her a strawberry..and another….and another… Let’s just say I was worried to change her diaper the next time. We finally let her loose and boy did she like the freedom.
After an hour and a half or so we picked twenty pounds of strawberries between the two of us! Our family ate half and froze the rest using the flash freeze method. Aimee on simplebites.net has four simple ways to freeze strawberries.
** Tip: The farmer told us to leave any strawberries that had white on them (not fully ripe) out in a single layer on the counter for a day or so before putting them in the refrigerator or freezer. Once you put them in the fridge they will not ripen anymore (like other produce).
Get out and start picking!!
It’s my belief that it’s never to early to instill a good work ethic in your child. This belief may somewhat be fueled by the fact that I have six children who have made an art form out of mess making. With older children it can be easier to find ways for them to help out around the house, but don’t underestimate your toddlers because they too have the ability to contribute. Plus, unlike your older children, your toddlers typically enjoy being given a chance to help out Mommy. Be sure to give limited step by step instructions to help with your child’s language development. As an added bonus each of these chores will build your child’s self esteem and teach them necessary problem solving skills.
1. Organizing Shoes - Teaches the ability to sort while handling that messy shoe pile by your front door.
2. Cutting Coupons - Focuses on fine motor skills using scissors.
3. Wiping The Bathroom Sink - Give a lesson in health with teethbrushing then a lesson in cleaning up after.
4. Matching Socks - This can be a fun chore that also focuses on building your child’s math skills. 1 + 1 = 2
5. Watering Plants - Great opportunity to give a lesson about the environment and the importance of drinking water.
6. Wiping Down Floors & Trim - Give your a toddler a wet rag and let them go wild knowing it’s developing their fine motor skills.
7. Cleaning Up A Spill - This chore teaches cause and effect which is important to your child’s cognitive development.
8. Help Putting Away Groceries - Sort items by shapes (cans, boxes, bags) then work on math skills by counting the items in each group.
9. Prepare a healthy snack - Peeling a banana focuses on your child’s fine motor skills and allows you to teach your child about healthy eating.
10. Dusting - A fun chore to do as the sun sets where your toddler can engage in imaginitve play trying to catch all of the dust fairies.
So on Mother’s Day Eve we sat down for dinner.
Very RED sauce.
My sweet husband did not want my daughter to get the sauce on the area rug so he moved her away. Near the window to be exact. Bless his heart…he had great intentions. Who knew that she would take her tomato sauce hands and decide to grab the curtains. The beautiful cotton-linen Pottery Barn curtains that I bought on super sale a few years ago. We both saw her before it was too late. My mouth uddered a shrill, “Ahhhhhh!” My husband shocked shouted, “Noooooo!” and ran over to detach her small red hand from the once tan but now red curtains.
Panicking I ran to my trusty friend, Googly Bear…..good ole Google. Quickly I scanned 1st if I could wash the curtains. Reading that washing the cotton-linen curtains may result in a 7-inch shrinkage, I quickly moved to removing the stain. One of the the 1st results I came to was this video: http://video.about.com/laundry/Remove-Tomato-Sauce-Stains.htm
The host suggested first sprinkling baby powder without any additives to absorb any oils. There wasn’t any plain baby powder in my house so I skipped this step crossing my fingers that this would be o.k. Next their suggestion was to pour boiling water over the stain. That is all. Hmmmm…sounded too good to be true. No stain sprays, solutions, etc. ?
I decided to document my attempt to get the stain out thinking it would probably be a flop.
What do you know….not a flop. So, not to leave you hanging, I will tell you what I did next. I ended up pouring three kettles of boiling water total on the stain. The curtains dried for a day or so and you can hardly tell there is a stain. Only I would notice a slight discoloration. Lesson: Never underestimate the cleaning power of water. And of course, never put your daughter near curtains while eating. Now to decide to hand wash the curtains, take them to the cleaners, or just hang them back up as is. Below is a after picture. Sorry about the yellowish tint….it was taken in different lighting.
I may seem ungrateful for already having a day dedicated to me, but I feel there should be a weekly or at the very least monthly celebration for mothers. Let’s be honest, we deserve it. We seldom take much needed breaks in our overly demanding job as moms. If you’re like me you feel guilty for carving out time for some much needed R & R.
My advice, this Mother’s Day is to do at least one thing for yourself. Take the challenge to do one thing a month every month this year. Let Mother’s Day be more than one day. Have another Mom be your accountability partner and take the challenge together. You’ll be a better Mommy when you remember to take care of you.
1. Buy a New Outfit
2. Get a Professional Mani / Pedi
3. Get a Massage
4. Take A Long Bath
5. Go To Lunch With A Girlfriend
6. Read A Fun New Book
7. Watch A Movie By Yourself
8. Buy Yourself Flowers
9. Have An Alone Day At Home
10. Find A New Perfume
11. Get Your Favorite Carry-Out Food
12. Order Something Online You’ve Been Hoping for.
*Even if your finances won’t allow monthly splurges you can still make yourself feel special. Paint your own nails. Grow some flowers. Put the kids to bed early and watch an old movie. The important thing here is to pamper yourself.
In almost 8 years of marriage I’ve never been able to interest my husband in a single theatre production. So when he told me he wanted to see the Beatle’s Rain there was no way I was telling him no. We’re the classic example of opposites attract. He’s Mr. Heavy metal & screaming guitars… while I prefer the “Cranberries” or Damien Rice. We only agree on a few bands: The Beatles, Queen, and tATu. Our budget is tight so we were in the nosebleed section.. but our friend made a great point when he said
Being this high up just makes them look even more like the Beatles!
We realized pretty quickly that we were on the young end of the viewers spectrum. Most of the crowd was in their 60′s. The Beatles songs were interspersed with footage from the 50′s, 60′s, and 70′s that gave me a whole new appreciation for the social climate the songs were originally penned in. With 3 kids it was pretty nice to feel young again. This was the ultimate people watching experience. This show had audience participation like I’ve never seen before. They were dancing, singing, and arm waving as they fondly relived their youth.
This was a family friendly show and if tickets weren’t so expensive and my kids were a little older I would have happily taken them with me. My only regret is that we went on the last night and I couldn’t make my parents go too! Are there any plays or shows that you’d recommend?
I L-O-V-E to change my hair color. For the last five years I’ve been addicted to new styles. If you haven’t seen me in awhile chances are I look different. (click here for my hairstyle gallery) In my constant quest for change it often leaves my hair less than happy with me. This makes the challenge of finding proper hair care products very important because there is one look I’m not yet ready to try… bald.
Last month I saw a commercial for Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner. Darn those advertisers knowing exactly which shows I watch. The model smiled with her perfect flowing shiny hair (don’t they always). Curious about the whole Keratin trend I decided to pick up the shampoo/conditioner combo the next time I was at Target. Here is my review after one month of using the products.
I could immediately tell a difference from the Garnier Fructis Color Shield Shampoo and Conditioner I had been using preveiously. The Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Shampoo is very thick and felt like a glaze of protection coating my hair. I liked how the shampoo felt on my hair, but not the sticky residue it left on my hands. The conditioner had a similar “sticky” feeling that needed to be washed off my hands with soap and water.
I noticed less frizz even after blow drying my hair. My color faded, but no more than with other color protection products. I definiately liked the smoother feeling, but began to notice that my hair was much drier than it has ever been.
Overall I like the Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner, but I feel it is too intense for daily use. I did notice less frizz and smoother hair, but the over drying made styling more difficult. The price is right for sure and maybe your hair will react differently than mine. As for me, I’m going to continue to use it, but alternate it with Garnier Fructis Color Shield Shampoo and Conditioner.
These opinions are my own. I was not paid to write this review for Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner.
Learn how to fix your old couch so you don’t have to spend money on a new one with Joquena from http://www.modernhomemakers.com Learning how to reupholster a couch might not be as difficult as you think.
Hello. This is Joquena with Modern HomeMakers, and today I’m gonna show you how to fix your ugly couch. So we’re gonna take you from ahhhh my kids have destroyed it. My nice pleather sofa here, to ahhhh my new couch that only cost me $60. O.K. so first think we’re gonna do is we need to go shopping for upholstery fabric. You want to get upholstery fabric because it’s more durable. So I got mine on sale and I’m only doing the bottom cushions of my couch ‘cause nothing else has problems. So this whole project is gonna cost me like 60 bucks and I’ll probably have leftovers to do pillows.
I can’t tell you how much fabric to buy, because I don’t know how big your couch is. So you know, if all else fails take your lovely cushion with your to the store and make sure it’s wide enough to go around. So, first thing we need to do is we’re going to trim away so we have a smooth surface. So, have my scissors here. For me I am not going to remove anything that I don’t have to. So I just want it to be smooth so you cannot see when you get the new stuff on there. This stuffs even tearing right off.
So you can’t see any uneven surfaces. So what you’re gonna do is lay it on top of your new fabric, which I have up here as my tablecloth for today. Top side down. Ewww it’s yucky down there. And what we’re gonna do is leave about an inch of space around the cushion. This is your seam allowance, so that much around. We’re just gonna cut all the way around in the shape of the couch.
This is one of those projects where I recommend you just use the floor in your living room because it’s a big cushion, it’s a big project. Now what we’re gonna do, we’ve gotta do something around the sides. So, we’re gonna leave a little more extra space on this one because we’re gonna hide how we stitch it to the couch on the bottom. Couch is ugly on the bottom. We don’t really care at all what it’s gonna look like but we’ve gotta have enough overlap to come past the sides and down to the bottom. So what I’m doing is, yeah that’s more than enough space ‘cause I’ll be able to take this, if you come in, turn this, you look from the side I’ve got that inch of space that we need to sew and then I’ve got a whole bunch extra to be able to stitch to the bottom.
You don’t want to see any of the yucky how it attaches to the cushion stuff. So, to figure out how much we need here I’m going to roll and move with the couch. And then we’ll drag it down, and drag it down, and drag it down, and one more. Oh no, scissors down. And then we’re gonna do some extra on the end because you can always make something shorter, but we all know you can’t make it longer again. Okay, so that’s enough to get it up to the point, and we’re going to keep that on there as extra. So weve got enough of that. So I’m gonna do several inches extra as a buffer for when I’m sewing it to the back. At this point I’m going to get rid of the couch cushion because we’re just making sure it’s straight with itself. And I’m gonna pause so you don’t have to watch me do this whole thing and we’ll come back in just a second.
Alright so we’re back again and we’ve got everything cut and this is the point where if you have any wrinkles now is the time to iron. And I forgot to say you don’t have to wash your upholstery fabric because you’re never going to be throwing it in the washer unless you up my design and add zippers so you can throw it in the machine. I actually chose not to on purpose because I didn’t want to risk any color changes because this fabric is really expensive. Double checking that it’s big enough, it’s fitting over the thing, and this, if you go all the way around with it real fast you’ll see that it’s got more than enough space to go all the way around.
Now it’s time to have some fun with sewing. And what we’re gonna do, once again we’ve got lots of extra for the width around because we’re gonna trim it when we get closer to the end. Because as you round corners you might have some give and take. So what we’re gonna do is we’re going to take our square piece and make sure that it matches up with the right side of fabric , so good sides together, matching up with here. And I’m gonna hide, for the way my couch cushion is you’re gonna hide your ugly side. So the bottom is ugly, but I don’t want my nice cushion that everyone is gonna see to have my seam on it. I’m gonna hide that where they hid all the ugly stuff in the back here. So this is the where we’re going to do all the work back here. So for me, that would be like right in here is the back of my cushion cause it’s longer. So that’s where I’m going to start pinning , good side to good side, and we’re gonna just pin all the way around. And if you can sew a straight seam you can reupholster your couch cushion.
So just pinning all the way around and I’ll show you how to do a corner and then we’re gonna pause again so you don’t have to sit here and watch me pin all the way around. So we’re at a corner here and I’m just gonna pinch it a little and turn it. And then keep on going. We’ll be back in a bit and I’ll show you what it looks like when it’s all pinned. Okay so you’ve pinned all the way around and I went ahead and I slipped it on my cushion just like it’s gonna be so that we can get rid of this big chunk of excess I told you to have on there. And you can see I folded over the corner where I started so we’ve got some give in there and I’m gonna meet this up just where that would be and I’m gonna do the same, I don’t know is that about an inch and a half of extra. So, we’re gonna clip that and just try to get it off without making a big mess. So we’re gonna cheat and use our fabric here cause we’ve got stripes we’ll go about the same distance down. So you’ll have to measure if you don’t have this awesome stripey type pattern.
Save that for your scrap pile for pillows and I’m going to go ahead and pin that in the same position. And that’s still leaving you with some excess just in case you make a booboo or it doesn’t go right when you turn it or whatever. You could always rip out that seam. So at this point you’ll notice it fits of the couch cushion you know, but you’ve got like a fingers width of extra space on the corners. This is your chance, treat this like a dress form and you are gonna custom size this baby down to where you want it to be. So fidget with your pins. You don’t want it to be tight cause it is gonna have to fit on there, but you want it to fit, so just, and it should be mainly th corners that you have issues with. So I’m going to finish all the corners and when I’m done it should be reasonably snug, you shouldn’t have a bunch of billows and stuff in your fabric. It should lay flat. So I’ll be right back.
So I’ve taken it off the cushion and you can see I’m at the ugly back side and I’m gonna start on the second flap here so we can end up there and you are just gonna go all the way around and you’re gonna stitch right where you put those pins because that is your magic spot. So we’re gonna go all the way around and we’ll be back in a little bit. Okay so you took some time with your sewing machine and you sewed all th way around. And if you had any parts at this point where it didn’t look right when you slip it over the front like if you’ve got a big gap or something go fix those now . But now what we’re gonna do is starting from the pretty side on the front of your sofa cushion not the ugly flap side you’re going to make sure that all of your seam allowance is gonna go down cause if you don’t do that you might see it in here so we’re gonna push that all down towards that part and were gonna all the way around the sofa, or all the way around the cushion doing that. And because we’re in the front where it matters most what you see we’re gonna line up and make sure it’s good so and then we’re gonna pull and we’re gonna start pinning the bottom, so I’m just gonna throw a quick pin in here. We’ll come around and we’ll do some more detailed stuff in a bit. Man couch cushions are big. So you can see we’re gonna start pulling around.
One of the things that we’re gonna have to do is after we get it pinned in the front we’re gonna take some there’s gonna be some excess and we’re gonna take it and make a nice seam with that which we’ll be hand stitching later. So I’m gonna go ahead and put my pins for that right there and we’re gonna go all the way around and do the same thing where we’re constantly pulling it tight and making sure that everything looks even from the top so when we come back you should have all this gone and pinned to the bottom. And we don’t care what it looks like on the bottom because no one’s ever gonna see it. So we’ll be back in a bit.
Okay so you’ve got it pulled tight all across the top probably took you fifteen minutes or more like it did me and at this point your bottom’s still really ugly we were just pinning it to get it out of the way. To be the right tautness if you will for the thing. So from the front we’ll have folds, it’s kind of like wrapping a present, we’ve folded it to take our excess there we’ve done that not on the front but to the side of the front on each spot and I also did the same thing in the back where we’ve got our flap of excess and two of those so just play with it til it looks nice from the top and now comes the fun part and that is where we have to get some sort of flatness over here so it really is just like wrapping a present. So we’re just gonna fold things and we’re gonna turn it under so that it can’t fray all over the place. See how I just turned that under. Then I’m gonna shift my pin over here and there’s just no easy way to do this you’re gonna have to old needle and thread style here and they sell these really cool things called upholster needles and they’re curved see how it’s like a u and that makes it really easy to come out. But just to prove that you don’t have to have one of those I’ve threaded just a normal needle and what you’re gonna do is always hiding your thread and very tediously, and obviously you’re gonna go all the way around and you’re gonna make this whole thing flat and you don’t care if you see this you just don’t want it to ravel everywhere. But very tediously you’re gonna go through and remind yourself that you’re saving several hundred dollars on a new couch cushion so this is worth your time and just tediously going through.
Now you want to be really careful when you’re on the front end doing these ones because you don’t want to see the thread. Be really careful with your thread choice and try to hide the thread as much as possible. So I’ll come back probably in half an hour when I’ve got this sewn and I’ll show you what this looks like completely done. Okay it was hard work but you just saved a bunch of money and your couch is done, unless like me you’ve got one more cushion to do but I’m out of time today the baby is gonna wake up any minute. So I’ll give you the sneak peek you can see how good it looks before but it’s ugly on the bottom and no one cares cause you’re never gonna see it. And that’s pretty much it. Enjoy your new couch and don’t let those kids put their shoes on it cause that ruins it.