About Me

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I have two kids - a girl and a boy - and live in north-central Minnesota, land of snow and ice. Well, for 9 months of the year, that is. I work full-time for a local government, and on my "free time" I enjoy cooking, baking, hanging out with my kiddos, and RELAXING.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Lead Us Not Into Temptation

This morning, as my almost-three-year-old whined and cried and wiggled around her bed screaming, "I'M SO SWEEEEEPPPPYYYYYYYY!!!!" (dear Lord, may she never be a teenager...) and my 18-month old threw himself on the floor in a tantrum because he couldn't play with the other one's Teddy (dear LORD, may no one ever TOUCH THE TEDDY!) I knew it was going to be a long day.

Some days I praise Jesus for work. And that moment when the daycare door closes behind me in the morning? It's like I can hear the HALLELUJAH CHORUS in my head. I love the 15 minute drive to work, listening to the radio, drinking my coffee. It's a good thing.

But, soon enough, the work day is over and I pick up my children. There is that amazing 30 seconds where they are so happy to see you, and run to you, faces smiling, arms wide open, as they just about take you out like a linebacker.

Best 30 seconds of the day. Because the other 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 30 seconds are filled with whining, crying, and calls for "Chee-yos". And plus some more crying and whining. What's a mom to do?

ANSWER: chocolate.

As soon as bedtime hits, I am in the cupboards, fridge, freezer, you name it in search of the elixir of life. (Okay, sometimes coffee is the elixir of life. But mostly it's chocolate.)


Sometimes I like to pretend that all those antioxidants in chocolate mean that the calories don't matter.

Heh heh.

But really, who I am kidding? Not the scale, that's for certain. So, therefore, I have a new mantra:

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the cravings.

I feel like this will be a prayer God will answer, yes?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Recipe Review: Fudge Pops, Homemade Snickers Bars, and Chicken with Garlic

The other weekend I tried out several new recipes.

It's good to just start knocking them off the mile-long list. I was supposed to try about 15 new ones this month, but, well, that didn't happen.

I did try a few, though.

The other weekend we tried these S'mores Fudge Pops. Mine were not nearly as pretty as the picture, but they turned out okay. These were fairly tasty, and I feel a bit better about giving these to the kids than some other store-bought freezer pop.

Next I made these SUPER DELICIOUS Homemade Snickers Bars. These are VERY GOOD. Definitely a five-star recipe. And they freeze really well. I will be making these again. Bonus: even Darren liked them!

Sunday I received some Pampered Chef items I had ordered to tried out the new recipe that went with my Deep Covered Baker: Smothered Chicken with Garlic. Darren loved this chicken. I thought it tasted pretty good. I will likely make it again, although I don't think it will be one of those "oh-my-goodness-I-have-to-have-it-now" meals. It was very moist and juicy, which is always a plus with chicken.

Well, those are my new ones! Looking forward to trying some additional new recipes within the next few weeks.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


We get up early during the week.

It takes me 45 minutes to get to work with a daycare drop-off in there, so we typically leave home around 7 a.m. The kids get up about 6:30 or so to get dressed, get distracted, brush teeth, make a mess, and generally do their level best to make us late.

Breakfast at daycare isn't served until 8:30, so I take pity on the poor things and usually give them Cheerios to eat in the car.

Side note: This is why my car looks like a box of Cheerios exploded in the backseat. A starving family could live off the Cheerios in there for a week.

Sometimes the kids see me getting their Cheerios ready in the morning. Natalie usually tells me she wants the purple container. Easton just whines until I give him Cheerios.

A couple weeks ago Easton started saying, "Bow-bow" for his Cheerios. I immediately thought I had the most brilliant child ever; he knows that his Cheerios are in a bowl! He must have learned that at daycare, I assumed.

Last week it dawns on me as Natalie stands there screaming, "I want purple! Purple, PURPLE, PURPLE!" Easton isn't saying "bowl;" he is saying "purple."

And now, when he requests his Cheerios in the morning, he asks for "purple."

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

how Costco always gets me

I love Costco.

I love Costco almost as much as I love Target, which is saying something. A big something.

Costco is good at what they do. They can sell you anything. Anything! They make it easy and simple: PRICE. PER. UNIT.

And if you do the math, you can easily see that Costco pretty much beats everyone out. At everything.

Two pounds of cheese for $5.98? Yes, please. I'll take it. And actually, I'll take two. Or three.

Last time I went to Costco I bought six 32-oz containers of coffee creamer. That's 1 1/2 gallons. But it was such a good deal!

Here's what else Costco is good at: SAMPLES. Those samples work. At least they work on me. Granted, I am a person who is easily swayed. On my most recent trip I tried a spinach artichoke dip with some crackers. It was good. And, sure enough, after I tried it I wanted that $8 container of dip and the $6 bag of crackers. And now Darren and I like it so much it will probably become a semi-regular purchase.

And that's how Costco always gets me.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Recipe Reviews: Donuts, Chicken, and more!

Here's the awesome thing about rainy weekends: they are a perfect excuse to stay inside and do nothing.

Now, I like summer as well as the next person, but all this push to BE OUTSIDE, and ENJOY THE WEATHER, and SOAK UP THE SUN, man, that's just not me. I'm an inside kind of person. The kind who likes to sit their lazy butt on the couch and watch TV and read all day.

Children have ruined this for me.

But still, summer is so OVERWHELMING with activities. So when it rains, I'm secretly happy. Or maybe not so secretly anymore. But I don't mind a rainy weekend now and again. My regular life is busy enough; I don't feel the need to add extra activities on the weekends. Let's just all CHILL, MAN.

However, here's the thing. The thing is this: I can only do nothing for so long. Then I start to go crazy. Literally on Sunday I started wandering around my house trying to think of something to do.

I mean, something that I WANTED to do. Because Lord knows, there were a million other things I SHOULD DO.

I did A LOT of baking and cooking over the last few days. Thursday I stayed home with a diseased child, and made a giant batch of The Best Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. These babies are delish...I think I ate about 30 over the weekend.

I am not joking.

Also on Thursday I SLAVED over homemade BBQ meatballs with Homemade BBQ Sauce from the Pioneer Woman. Confession: I only made this because I was out of the store bought stuff. I want to try it again, this time NOT substituting Tabasco for Worcestershire. I also made Herb Bubble Bread, which is out of this world, and my MIL's garlic mashed potatoes. And corn on the cob, which doesn't require to much effort other than boiling water and remembering to take butter out of the fridge.

But that wasn't it, man. Thursday was just a teaser for things to come over the weekend. I have a list a mile long of new recipes I want to try, and I am making a conscious effort this year to expand my go-to meals. Sometimes new recipes turn out to be total duds (like most of the freezer-to-crockpot meals I tried this year), sometimes they turn out so-so but aren't worth making again for one reason or another, and every once in a while I find a real winner.

Saturday morning I got up at the crack of dawn to make homemade donuts for my family. Because that's how awesome I am.

Just kidding. I actually slept in until 7:30 or so, and these took just minutes to whip together, so I can't take credit for too much. I have tried one other donut recipe in the past before, and I'd have to say I did like that one better, but these Cinnamon Baked Donuts weren't too bad, just very sweet. Darren ate half of one and said he felt his heart clogging up. Easton and I ate two each, and Natalie just licked all the cinnamon sugar off. Clearly we all have different tastes.

One thing with the donuts: do not DREDGE them in butter and then DREDGE them in the cinnamon sugar mixture. It is TOO MUCH. The butter flavor is overwhelming, and they are plenty sweet without all the extra sugar. I want to try them again, but take it a little easier on the toppings.

After I made the donuts I set about making homemade cinnamon rolls. Because, why not? I used the Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite recipe sites. Okay, here's the thing with homemade cinnamon rolls:

(1) Pillsbury are just SKETCHY. I mean, have you ever looked at them and seriously considered how that whole process works? You beat them out of a CAN, for crying out loud! (I actually do really like these, but if I think about them too long they start to sound really weird. Like, why would I eat that?! Kind of like hot dogs.)

(2) No one in their right mind is getting up FIVE HOURS before breakfast time to make these. That's be like two in the morning! Fortunately, God invented the freezer. Here's what you can do with homemade cinnamon rolls: FREEZE THEM. You can freeze them after baking, or, my personal preference, you can freeze them right before the second rise. Then, easy peasy, take them out to thaw and rise 8-10 hours before you need them (a.k.a., the night before) and pop them in the oven in the morning. Thirty minutes to fresh homemade cinnamon rolls! Now does that knock the little dough boy out of the park or what?!

(3) I haven't actually baked them yet. This could all be wishful thinking. I will most definitely keep you posted.

Finally, the last new recipe I tried was Grilled Lime Coconut Chicken with Coconut Rice. I'm not crazy about white rice, and it wasn't anything fancy, although it complimented the chicken pretty well. But the chicken. OH, THE CHICKEN. This chicken was GOOD. The marinade was delicious! So much flavor! So much goodness! This one is DEFINITELY a keeper.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


One thing that always bugs me is that Target doesn't open until 8 AM.

This is the weirdest thing of all.

Am I the only one who tries to go to Target before 8 in the morning? I assure you, I am most definitely NOT.

Here's what's awesome about Menards: it opens at 6:30 AM.

Just think of all those construction workers, DIY-ers, and farmers who can get into Menards bright and shiny to pick up what they need for the day.

I am jealous of them.

Sometimes I need to go to Menards at the bright and shiny part of the day, i.e., before 8 AM. Yesterday was one of those days.

Let me tell you, when you are on your way into work at your office job, and you stop at Menards at 7:30 in the morning with all the construction workers, DIY-ers, and farmers, you feel a little out of place in your dress pants and your straightened hair. And your heels.

Oh, your heels.

It's like someone should come over the loudspeaker and all the construction workers can play "which of these things is not like the others." You definitely get some looks going to Menards in heels, carrying a gallon of paint and bee spray.

Clack-clack, clack-clack, all the way to the back of the store for the paint, and then all the way back up again. And every.single.person asking you if you need help finding something. Because you clearly look like you don't belong.

SO. Not that Target sells paint, but if Target DID sell paint, and they WERE open before 8 AM, I would most definitely go there instead. No one looks at you for wearing heels in Target.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Recipe review: Healthy Applesauce Oat Muffins

I made these muffins on Sunday.

Three things:

(1) Don't forget the vanilla extract like I did. They came out a little bland, but still very moist and delicious. I think a little kick of vanilla would make them 100000% perfect.

(2) I substituted white flour for whole wheat because I was too lazy to dig out my whole wheat.

Side note: Does anyone else put their whole wheat flour in the freezer? I came across that tidbit somewhere along the line; it supposedly makes it last longer. Am I the only one who does this? (Read: Am I the only one who is crazy?) Please, someone, reassure me on this.

(3) If you're a little short on applesauce, you can throw in some olive oil.

Huh. I guess in hindsight I didn't really follow the recipe much at all. Just imagine how delicious they will be when you make them and actually follow instructions! Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

a parenting fail

Here is how I've failed as a parent:

My children cannot pick up their toys.

Okay, they can. But they rarely do. And here's why:

1. I cannot stand mess. I constantly follow them around, picking up after them, because I can't even stand to look at the toys all over the house.

2. I'm a control freak. The toys have to be put back in the correct place or I about lose it. Just ask Darren what we were doing the other night 5 minutes after it was supposed to be Natalie's bedtime...he'll back me up on this one, I promise you.

3. It is SO PAINFUL to watch them pick up their toys. They are SO SLOW. I mean, c'mon kids, let's PICK. UP. THE. PACE. I don't have all day to stand here and watch you SLOOOWWWLLYY put that Mickey Mouse figurine in the basket. And by all means, please, let's have twenty billion distractions along the way, as well. "No, you can't play with that now. Pick up your toys. No, we aren't going to color right now. Pick up your toys. Stop messing around. Don't play with that. Easton! Don't dump that out again! NATALIE. Pick up your toys! Easton, put it back. Natalie, for the love of all that's holy, pick up your toys right now or Mommy is going to lose it." And then I start picking them up just to keep myself from blowing a gasket on the kids and/or banging my head against the wall.

So here is what I've decided: no more toys. My children aren't allowed to have toys because I just can't handle it any more.

I mean, probably I should just learn to have more patience and teach them to clean up after themselves, but let's face it, it's just easier on everyone involved if I just start exiling the toys. They can just watch TV all the time, anyway, right?

Monday, June 2, 2014

my new toy

I got my Fitbit Flex over the weekend. I ordered it for myself for Mother's Day.

Thanks, honey! 

It was back ordered, because it's so awesome, so I finally just got it a few days ago.


Darren thinks the government is secretly tracking me through it. I think if I'm ever abducted then maybe they can use it to find me.

The Fitbit tracks activity levels, and when synced with myfitnesspal it's a pretty powerful weight loss tool.

I've been using myfitnesspal off and on since I had Easton, and let's just say the Fitbit bumps it up a notch.

The things they can do with computers these days. Wait, computers? More like phones.

Now, if you're wealthier than I am and have an iPhone 4S or better, your Fitbit can sync right to your phone through passive bluetooth technology. Which will then sync to your myfitnesspal app. Or, if you're poor like me, your Fitbit will sync to the "dangle" (yes, that's it's name), which you leave plugged into your computer, every time you are within 20 feet.

The Fitbit battery supposedly lasts 5 days or so. Mine was 60% charged when I put it on 36 hours ago and it's still going strong. Fitbit is water resistant, so you can wear it in the shower. You can also buy additional bands to coordinate with your outfits. 

That is next on my priority list.

AND, by far the most interesting thing Fitbit can do is track your sleep patterns. Sounds crazy, no?

This is me, last night.

Look at that, logging my solid 8 hours!! Mostly. Please notice that I was restless for a total of 22 minutes, over FOURTEEN different episodes. I literally looked at the clock every 30 minutes from 9pm to midnight, I swear. I also woke up once in the middle of the night because Easton's monitor went crazy.

But isn't that COOL?! So interesting to see.

Pretty fun, huh?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Devil in the White City

No, not my sister.

Last fall my sister, mom, aunt, and I went on a girl's weekend to Chicago.

Arts, culture, history, architecture, shopping, what's not to love?

I'll tell you what's not to love...the heights.

I think my sister almost peed her pants.

But aside from that, we had a blast seeing the sights and soaking up all the arts/culture/architecture we could. Which I have to say, isn't a lot. Three days was perfect. Give me the lake over a skyscraper any day, but it's still fun to see new things.

Our favorite thing in Chicago was our Segway tour.

And yes, we totally did that. And yes, those people always look ridiculous, but I have to say, it is so.much.fun. (And yes, that is a crown on my sister's helmet.)

During our tour our guide mentioned the book Devil in the White City, a book set in old school Chicago during the World's Fair, and I put it on my mental to-do list. And being that I have so much free time on my hands, I immediately started it.

Not quite.

But I consider the fact I have e-borrowed it from the library a good step in the right direction. Never mind the fact it's still on my computer and hasn't even made it to my Kindle.

I'll get there. On the plus side, the awesome thing about having such an old-school Kindle is that books can only be put on via download, which means my library books never expire, as they are stored on my computer! Does this happen to everyone? Is this a major fail of the e-lending library? Or is it just me and my first edition Kindle benefiting from this lack of technology?

I kind of feel like, why would I ever buy a book again?

Answer: the library doesn't have every book. Sacrilegious!!

But I digress. Devil in the White City. It's on my short list. I'll let you know how I liked it.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Book Review: the blue bistro

I've read a few Elin Hilderbrand books this year, on the recommendation of my mom and sister.

The blue bistro was by far my favorite (so far!).

I wouldn't go so far as to say it's the best book I've read so far this year (I'm currently reading my fave author's newest release, Undetected, and it is already taking the cake), but it's a good read.

Friday, May 2, 2014

And So It Happened.

Easton has been referred to the ENT specialist.

This was not a shock to me. My poor little boy has had more than ten ear infections this past winter.

According to the all-knowing internet, rule of thumb is greater than four per year puts you in the category "may needs tubes."

And we all know the internet never lies. HA.

But still, more than ten?? That is excessive. Extreme. Ridiculous. I blame those other germy kids at daycare for spreading their colds around. Never mind that mine are there more when they are sick than when they are well. (I have to say, this winter has given me a new appreciation for parents who bring their children to daycare sick. Hey, man, I get it. It happens. A lot.)

We have an appointment towards the end of this month for a consult. I am hoping that tubes will help solve our problems, but I am dreading them at the same time. Oh, the horror stories.

But in the end, if it will help with the infections, I am all for it. No one likes to be sick all the time, and now those doctors scare you half to death with stories of antibiotic resistance. As someone who is allergic to most antibiotics, that's not a picnic either.

Hopefully my baby will get some help soon.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Day

Happy May Day! Spring is here! Let's celebrate!

Or not.

Okay, confess, who delivered a May Day basket today?

I always thought that would be kind of fun...dropping off a basket at someone's house, ringing their bell, and then running away. Hiding somewhere and watching while they try to figure out what the heck is going on.


Okay, another confession, who got a May Day basket today?


I have an awesome coworker, who actually doesn't even work here anymore, who gave me a yummy bowl full of candy. That was the candy was yummy, not the bowl. The bowl was styrofoam. I didn't try it.

The candy, I ate. All of it. In about 30 minutes and then I felt sick.


Monday, April 14, 2014


Since I started my new job, I have been taking the vehicles to get oil changes at the Valvoline near where I work.

I love the Valvoline. So quick. So convenient. So reasonable.

Today I took the truck. Now, I have had a few embarrassing oil changes in the truck before; namely when I have not been able how to open the hood, or when I don't know how to get the mirrors in and the poor guys have to keep crawling under them.

But not this time. No, sirree. I double-checked that I knew how to open the hood (it's a hidden lever, I swear!) and I knew that the mirrors just needed a good, solid push to fold in.

I was ready.

I managed to pull into the garage without hitting either of the side mirrors (a gold star if there ever was one) and parked the vehicle. Got the spiel on Valvoline from the tech, who I recognized. I recognized them all, which worries me a little, because it's possible they recognized me. Or at least, they will now.

During the all-point inspection, or whatever the tech called it, it was noticed that I had a brake bulb out. The tech said he could replace it and I told him to go for it. This was the beginning.

After he had replaced it he instructed me to turn the key "two clicks" and tap on the brakes. I obediently turned the key one click, which turned on the accessories, and then started to turn to the second click, only WAIT! There ISN'T a second click. I started the vehicle. This immediately led to a lot of "WHOA, WHOA" from all the guys, including the one who was lying beneath the vehicle. Sorry, man. Probably about gave you a heart attack, huh? I turned it off before it even finished starting, but STILL. That was embarrassing. But c'mon, I can't take full blame for this, can I? I say we come up with a less confusing way to ask people to put the vehicle in the accessories position. Maybe like, "TURN YOUR VEHICLE TO ACCESSORIES." I mean, doesn't that seem reasonable?

You know what else was embarrassing? Having to sit there while they finished, just knowing they are thinking you are dumber than a box of rocks. Granted, I'm sure I'm not the first one to do that, and I probably won't be the last.

So then, everything is all finished up and I am having them reset the "OIL CHANGE" flashing annoyance on my dashboard, which I had forgotten the last time, so literally it had been there for a solid 5,000 miles or so. The tech is telling me how to do it since the select/reset switch is on the right side of the dash, too far for him to reach easily. So we get her all set and they tell me it's good to go, only there are still things flashing up there, which I am distracted by. The supervisor opens the door and starts motioning me to pull out, only when I put my foot on the gas nothing happens. What the heck? Does this have anything to do with the flashing lights on my dash? I try the gas again. Nothing. I put the truck back in park and tell the tech that nothing is happening, while pointing at the things on my dash asking if that's okay. I can only hope he was moderately confused by what I was saying (although I doubt it). In any case, the next words out of his mouth were "it's not on" and "yes, that's okay."

Yes, the truck wasn't on. I was in FLIPPING ACCESSORIES, of all things. These people probably wonder how I even managed to obtain a driver's license.


You know what's better? I have to take the Escape later this week. And let me tell you, having worked in customer service before, you remember the idiots.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Spring is always so motivating, especially now that Darren and I are homeowner's. There are a variety of summer projects to get done, and never enough time to do them.

Spring fever has hit hard at home, with multiple lists of all the things we want to get done this year. Of course, most of them we wont' get to, but we can dream.

We have been enjoying the nicer weather the last week. The kids have loved being able to go outside again, after a loooong winter indoors. Poor Easton was only able to wear his winter gear three times! We hardly played outside at all; it was so cold. Hoping we have seen the end of winter for the next 6 months or so!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Recipe Review

We tried a lot of new recipes over the weekend.

This is one of my goals in life: expand my "go-to" recipe base. Because, you know, meatloaf and Hamburger Helper get old. And what is in Hamburger Helper, anyway?

So anyway, of course I have a list a mile long of all the recipes I want to try, and slowly we are picking away at them. Here's what we tried since last Friday:

Cream Cheese Banana Bread with Sweet Cinnamon Topping
Pretty tasty switch up on the old run-of-the-mill banana bread. Not a lot of banana flavor, but that could be related to the sweet vs. starchy element of bananas used. The cinnamon topping was tasty. I did not like this bread warm, fresh out of the oven, and vowed not to make it again, but when I ate it the next day, cooled, it was much better. Will I make it again? Probably.

Sticky Sesame Chicken
An okay substitute for restaurant Chinese. This recipe was easy enough, but kind of time-consuming, what with the breading and frying of chicken. I used extra chicken, and doubled the sauce recipe, and it was very sweet, even when mixed with rice. One of those things that at first tastes really delicious, and then as you finish makes you feel sick. Kind of like real Chinese. And Mac 'N Cheese. I think next time I would omit some/all of the sugar in the sauce recipe, and probably also have a better chicken-to-rice ratio to cut some of the sweetness. I am also tempted to try it without breading the chicken, as that would be a major time-saver, and since I had too much chicken in my pan and had to stir it around so violently to cook it, the breading ended up mostly falling off, anyway. Will I make it again? Probably, with changes.

Bacon Cheeseburger Wraps
These were good. Of course, anything with bacon is good. Usually. But these we really enjoyed. A little different than a regular old burger, a little more time consuming, as well, but overall they were pretty tasty. I think the only change I would make is to increase the amount of sauce added to the beef. More sauce = more deliciousness. Also, the recipe says it serves four, but I used medium-size tortillas and we got 8 of them. One was plenty for me for dinner; Darren ate two. Will I make it again? Yes.

BBQ Chicken Pasta
Let me preface this by saying that I have a love affair with BBQ sauce. I could easily do without ketchup and eat only BBQ for the rest of my life. Fries, burgers, you name it, I love it with BBQ. Okay, maybe not hot dogs. But with the exception of hot dogs, BBQ rocks my world. I really enjoyed this recipe. It's not like it's a major wow-factor recipe, like something you would want to eat on a weekly basis, but it's a fairly quick and easy weeknight meal (and it's a one skillet meal!), and it gets the job done. I did enjoy it more than Darren. Easton ate it okay, and Natalie wouldn't even try it. It's not as cheap as spaghetti, but it isn't too expensive, either. Will I make it again? Yes.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Why I Love...

...Target Cartwheel.

The Cartwheel app combines two of my favorite things: Target and saving money. Therefore, I love it. Obviously.

Target Cartwheel is a smartphone app that allows you to save on items you purchase at Target. One of the best things about Target Cartwheel is that you can combine the offers with manufacturer's coupons, Target coupons, regular sales, AND your Target RedCard. There are some good deals to be found here!

The only downside to Cartwheel is the amount of offers you can select at one time. When you first begin, you can only select 10 or so offers at once. As you use Cartwheel you earn "badges" which increase the number of offers you can use at once. I currently have 19 offer spots. A great feature is that you can use each offer up to six times per day. Cartwheel also has special "collection" sections, one of which is the Target Weekly Ad Double-Dip, where you can use Cartwheel to save additionally on items already on sale. Discounts range from 5% to 30%.

So far in the past couple months of using Cartwheel I have saved $67.86. That is real money. 

And, there is good news for people too smart to pay for smart phones: you can use Cartwheel online! Just select your offers and print your bar code. Your bar code never changes, so once you print it you don't have to keep printing it; just hang on to it.

You can sign up for Cartwheel on your smartphone through the app store, or here:


Tuesday, March 4, 2014


I had a bad day yesterday.

Bad days are unusual for me. I can usually "rise above" most situations, and while I might get mad at the kids, or upset about something, it usually doesn't bring me down for long. Sure, there are long days when I'm ready for the kids to go to bed, or days where I just want to spend the evening zoning out in front of the TV (read: every day), but for the most part, these days don't affect my overall mood. In general, when I have a bad day, it's because bad things happened.

Yesterday was different. And it wasn't even a sequence of events, or anything in particular that happened (although these things did contribute to the bad day), that caused my day to be bad. It just was.

It's hard to explain, but it was like instead of projecting emotions out, it was like I internalized everything, all the negative things, large and small, that happened during the day.

After the kids went to bed, I told Darren I had had a bad day and just wanted to go to sleep. He asked what had happened. I said, "Everything." What I meant was, life. Life happened, and it was just too much for me yesterday. I just couldn't even deal with the day anymore.

It was the strangest feeling, to be so upset about nothing in particular, and everything at once.

I'm glad yesterday is over.

Monday, March 3, 2014

my little chatterbox

Easton turned 13 months old at the end of February.

He sure is a talker! He talks way more than Natalie did at his age. I'm pretty sure the only thing she said was "moo." And actually, she might not have even said that yet.

Easton loves to talk! His favorite words are "ball," "bye-bye," and "night-night." He also says:

-baa (like a sheep)

I think he says a few more, but it's hard to think of them on the spot. He is getting so big everyday, and I'm sure will be saying so many more words within the next month! Last night I told him, "night-night" and he waved his little hand bye-bye and told me back, "night-night!" Too cute!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Why I Love...

...Checkout 51.

Checkout 51 is a smartphone app that gives you cash back for groceries you purchase, similar to Ibotta. 

Simple. Buy groceries, earn cash back.

Easy. Use your smartphone to snap pictures of your receipt and upload to the app. Most receipts are reviewed within 24 hours and your account is credited.

And real. I often found with Ibotta the products listed were too random, stuff I never bought anyway. So far with Checkout 51 I have earned cash back on bananas, eggs, milk, bread, Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks, and Folgers coffee. That was only in two weeks. There are some non-grocery items on there, too, like Glade products and Shout spray (a staple in our house!). 

I am always, always, looking for ways to cut down my grocery and household expenses, and every little bit counts!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Funny how that works...

Life, that is.

I can't believe how busy I have been these last six months...which would be the last time I wrote a blog post.

I only missed a few monthly Easton summaries. He would be almost on month 13 now, having just celebrated his first birthday in January. I can't believe he is so big already!

Natalie is two and a half and is no longer a toddler, which is really crazy for me. I can't believe how big she is getting, either!

I have been working full-time since the beginning of January, which has been a big adjustment for me, but so far we are making it work, although it does mean our weekends are more filled with chores than fun. Hopefully someday life will slow down a little bit, although I have my doubts.

So, let's try this regular (sort of) blogging again, shall we?