Saturday, January 28, 2012

Life in Reviews: The Grandma Project

Ellen, blogger at Life in Reviews and owner of Word Couture Consulting, is taking submissions for her "time-tested" and "real food" cookbook.

I know in my family, Grandma N. is famous for her Lebanese cooking and her chocolate chip pancakes at the cabin. Grandma G. knocks your socks off with her Tuesday morning monster cookies and anytime buns!

We all have enjoyed those semi-secret recipes and now is the time to share your stories with the world!

Flyer Credit // Life in Reviews

Good luck, Ellen!

Friday, January 27, 2012

31 Days to an Organized Home: Day 2 - Master Closet Part I

Please visit the 31 Days to an Organized Life blog post to learn more about my goals!

Let me start by saying, I am only on Day 2 (and technically haven't organized anything) and I don't feel like doing any cleaning today.

The boys got up at 7 a.m., we played all morning and had breakfast. Then, I took them to see Great Grandma and stayed until 1:30 or so. With both boys sleeping, I am pooped out! All I want to do is sit in the chair with my diet coke and look at cloth diaper stuff on the Internet.


But, this is why we set goals for ourselves right??

The master closet in our bedroom is packed full...of only my clothes. Yup, I get the whole thing to myself. I know this luxury of solo storage space will come to an end someday but that day, is not today.

I keep my hanging clothes pretty well organized as such (from left to right):
Maternity (which I have vowed to stop wearing now that James is 3 months old and I am only 9 pounds from happy weight)
Old Sweatshirts (which aren't my favorite but I keep for outside/bonfires or sweatshirts that have sentimental value like my Bennie ones)
Empty Hangers
Scarves/Jewelry Rack (I never use any of the jewelry in there!)
Dresses (most of the regularly worn dresses are closer to the tops & the more fancy occasion or not my favorite-but can't get rid of dresses-are to the far right)

Now that is said & done, the 2 shelves include 4 storage bins separately containing (from left to right):

Pajamas (there is also a pajama drawer in my dresser...)
T-shirts (your basic tee with some print on it like 'California' from our honeymoon or 'Race for the Apples 5k' sports shirts)
Tank Tops

As you can see they are so jam packed full of crap.

Above and next 2 these 4 bins is about 40 pairs of shoes.
There is also a cubby full of shoes, a hanging shoe organizer and a Coach bag full of flip flops.

Yikes. That hurts a little bit writing that out.

As I started stacking and sorting shoe boxes, right to left, I feel like the Egyptians building the pyramids of Giza. That is how many shoe boxes there were.

And as I decided which t-shirts to keep and which should stay, I decided the 5 Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon shirts could stay but, the lime green 'save a horse ride a cowboy' baby-tee had to go.

I also came across my old Nike jogging shoes. I thought to myself, I should save these, I might need them for extreme outside running the Warrior Dash. Then I laughed out loud and put them in the 'give away' pile.

After the shoes were organized and I had gotten half way through the clothing bins, the boys woke up. So I had a 30 minute break. Then David played with the 'Warrior Dash' shoes and James sat in his bouncy seat entranced by the ceiling fan while I quickly finished the last bin full of itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikinis...

In the end? All in all it looks very nice. I still feel I don't wear a lot of what is at the top of my closet. However, there is tons more room to put more storage up. Maybe some items from my dresser or maybe to buy a few more pairs of shoes...

Next up? The bottom half of the master closet....

David is Turning 2 & So is Zulily!

I have to say, I could break the bank at Zulily. To many good things for Mama, baby & home. I am super careful with how much I pay for things & most of the time, it seems like Zulily can beat almost any price out there.

While, David is turning 2 in March, we already decided not to throw a big party. But seriously, after seeing such extremely cute things on Zulily to celebrate the websites 2nd Birthday, how could I not?





Codes to use:
SAVINGSZU546 10% off $30
GA5867 for $5 off  $50

What is it about a banana bunch on my counter...

...that makes me so happy?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Morning is...


Helping Mom.







Brotherly love.

Morning favorite.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What's in Your Diaper Bag?

I treated myself to a little splurge a few days ago at GILT. I probably visit the site every week and have never broken down and bought anything. Until now... The Skip Hop Duo diaper bag in willow dot.

Photo Credit // Skip Hop
Photo Credit // Skip Hop

Photo Credit // Skip Hop

You can find this item at under Baby& Kids>Baby Boutique>Gear

It has been a little chaotic packing my diaper bag for two children. Especially, with the youngest in cloth diapers which take up the most room. Unlike my husband who, gasp, goes places with David without a diaper bag, I need to be fully prepared for any situation if I go anywhere.

Granted, David really doesn't need much anymore. Soon, we will be rolling into potty training week and he will need even less.

My diaper bag contains the following items on a regular day:
FYI David is 23 months & James is 3 months. (D=David, J=James, M=Mom)

J- 3 cloth diapers (I like Charlie Banana for day trips) & 3 disposable
J - Burt's Baby Bee Diaper Ointment
J - Burp cloth
J - Receiving blanket
J - Changing mat
J - Extra outfit
J - Comb
D - 3 disposable diapers
D - Snack
D - Sippy Cup
D - Crayons
D - Palmer's Lil' Face Butter
D - Petroleum Jelly
M - Wallet
M - Coupon Book
M - Keys
M - Phone
M - Hand sanitizer
M - Travel Kleenex pack
M - Mini-makeup bag (chap stick, concealer ect.)
M - Travel baby wipes case
M - Nursing Cover

This list doesn't even included hat, mittens, coat, boots.

I have done a lot of researching and I have found the Skip Hop to be highly rated for Mom's on the go. It has convenient clips that attach to the stroller for out & about trips. This will come in handy for me as I get knots in my shoulders from carrying my diaper bag cross body. Don't think I am a wuss...I just have a lot to carry.

What's in your diaper bag?

Free Shipping at Joann Fabric - No Minimum

Get free shipping at Joann Fabric with no minimum purchase January 24-January 28!
Use code gyq28 at checkout.

There is also a in-store coupon for 20% off your total purchase, including sale and clearance items!
Get the in-store printable coupon here.

Also, visit Joann through Shop at Home and get 5% cash back!

I looked through some of the sale/clearance fabric and home wares found a few things I liked:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Free Valentine's Card from Tiny Prints

Tiny Prints is offering a free Valentine's day card today! I love sending out these cards to my family. They have super cute designs and you can upload your own photos to make them super personal.

I also like that you can have the card sent out whenever you want. I had one made for Pete and it will be delivered on February 13th.

Personalized Valentine's day card from Tiny Prints.

The details?
1. Visit Tiny Prints and select a Valentine's day card. It must be a Valentine's day specific card. Not a Birthday card or thank you note.

2. Save your card. I find the site can lag a bit depending on how many users are on and I always worry I will lose my card!

3. Approve the design of your card and enter your information. Be sure to select "mail card to me first" and get the card shipped to you for free. Or save a step and select "mail to recipient" and have them add a stamp and send it to your loved one for $.44.

4. Enter code: TPGFREE17A in the promo code box before checking out. You won't even need to fill in your credit card information if you are sending the card to yourself!

This is good today only so get your card now!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Why Try to Get the Baby to Sleep? So I Can Shovel?

I have come to the realization after a few years of marriage (3.6 to be exact!) how blessed I am to live in a "traditional" household. Believe me, it is not for everyone! As much as the "you go to work & I'll stay home" bit can get a little tiring now and again, I find myself finding joy in the routine of taking care of my husband, children and home.

Even though some days are long and my patience can be short, I really wouldn't have my role in the home and in my marriage be any different. Basically, I take care of chores inside the house and Pete takes care of the outside chores.

I do ask Pete to complete a few minor and major tasks I probably could or should be doing myself. Which, in 90% of days, he completes. This doesn't count the fact that he leaves the house at 7 a.m. (on a late day) and returns at 7 p.m. (on an early day) to provide for all of us and allow me to stay at home with our kids. On the same note, I am with our kids 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. but you can still find me folding laundry at 10 p.m.

Pete's tasks include but are not limited to:

Roll out the garbage cans to the curb
This does not include fill the garbage cans with full garbage bags. Half the time I remember to be sure to get that bag of diapers from the nursery out, no matter how full it is, and half the time I forget. I dislike when I forget.

Pick-Up Beer
I know I go to the grocery store and pick up 4 bags of groceries and carry them into the house with 2 kids and a diaper bag but, picking up a case of beer requires an entirely different set of muscle groups I am not equipped with.

Fill Cars with Gas
I admit. This is pretty pre-historic. But it's cold outside and I have my kids in the car. Just do it. Thank you.

Mow the Lawn
I haven't mowed the lawn once in my life. My Dad might have taken me for a ride on his John Deere tractor once-upon-a-time, while mowing, but I have never operated a push mower. Don't even know how to turn it on. Errr, start it?

Fix, Hang or Put Batteries in Anything which Requires Screwing or Un-Screwing
Yup. The kids and I play with toys. We don't put them together.

I have attempted shoveling quite a few times but I usually have some excuse to not finish like:
1. Oop! David's up! At least, I think he is up. I better go check (even though I have the monitor in my pocket - volume to 100 & vibrate on - he could sneeze and I would know it).
2. These gloves aren't quite warm enough. Huh, while I am in the house I might as well just stay in here.
3. This just plain sucks.
4. Pete should really be doing this.

In exchange for these completes tasks I will do:

Everything else.

I will do the dishes 109 times to not have to put gas in my car. I am dead serious. Likewise, Pete would rather go to the gas station the do the dishes. Both things need to get done. So, I really find it a win-win.

Now, what is the point of my blog post today?

What about those times when Pete does the dishes? Dear God! Does that mean I have to fill up the car with gas? Nooooooooooo!

Settle down Sally.

Awesome thing about Pete and I is, we don't even need to address who does what. We just know it and we just do it. We don't have to argue. We don't have to have endless discussions containing who did what, when or how. We both love each other, and our life and we want to keep it that way. So, we just get our crap done for lack of a better expression.

Then there are those bonus days when, how awesome, I get out of the dishes. And days like today, when I shoveled the driveway for Pete.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Planning a Party: DIY Water Bottle Labels

James' Baptism is next month and I have begun thinking and researching what I would like to do! We had a quasi-disaster at our home last winter for David's first birthday party. Our supposed to be heated garage, to accommodate 55 friends and family members in our modest home, wasn't heated at all...

Therefore, Pete and I (or should I say, my Mom and I) decided to have the Baptism party at our church's gorgeous hall following the ceremony. The hall is huge so we rented a 1/4 hall that will comfortably fit 8 tables of 8. Perfect for my 50 or so guests. Also perfect for me to have a little fun with decorating and not go crazy on expenses.

I will know more when I know what is available for me to use at the hall but I am hoping to have a cake/photo table, drink table & buffet/food table.

David started his afternoon nap at 1 o'clock this afternoon. James subsequently napped in my arms for the last hour or so, where I scoured the Internet for handed of course! In particular, I became obsessed with:

DIY Water Bottle Labels:

Photo Credit // Hostess with the Mostess

Photo Credit // Life's Sweet Life
Photo Credit // Glorious Treats
To complete my water bottle labels I will need to pick up some water proof paper or use packaging tape to wrap the labels around the bottles to prevent the images from running.

I designed my labels on Photoshop 7 & set the image size to 1.88 in x 8.25 in. After the image was designed, I merged the layer and copied my image an extra 4 times so I can print 5 labels per sheet.

First run at designing bottle labels.

Get my PDF file here and customize the label for your own use!

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Adventures with Occupation: Housewife!

Photo Credit // Flying Fig Photography

Thank you to all my wonderful family, friends and followers who have supported me through Top Drawer Life and Vintage Style. While I continue with my passion for vintage, I am taking another approach to blogging by writing about my other passions as a wife and stay at home mother.

Occupation: Housewife is a new adventure I hope to share with all of you.

Please follow me here...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What's for Dinner? Cheeseburger Pie

Photo Credit //

You know how your Mom always seems to make that perfect meal that is satisfying and tasty without trying too hard? That meal for me is my Mom's cheeseburger pie. She would tell me after I married you could find it on the back of the Bisquick box...sorry Mom, cat's out of the bag.

I wouldn't even make my own cheeseburger pie until after the birth of our second child. And why?

The little guy came a few days late and I had completely emptied our pre-stocked fridge for after baby. I had my Mom go to the grocery store with a detailed list of all the things I needed. We shop at the same grocery store and I remember explaining the route she should take, "head down the ethnic food aisle and 3/4 off the way down you will find the Szechuan Asian Noodles I pair with my pork chops. From there you can turn round the corner and head down Italian for my spaghetti sauce & pepperoni." My Mom was probably like...oooookkkaaayyyy. But, being amazing, she picked up everything I needed plus a few bonus items like French toast sticks for David & Bisquick for me.

Bisquick is one of those universal easy ingredients, like flour, you can throw into and use on its own to create a multitude of meals. Pancakes? Yes. Waffles? Yes. Rolls? Yes.

Even better? Pot pie crust and its brother, cheeseburger pie!

Recipie via

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt     
1  cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1/2 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1 cup milk
2  eggs
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Brown beef with onion (I added a little onion and garlic powder) and place in greased pie plate. Mix all remaining ingredients and pour over meat. Sprinkle extra cheese (I also added bacon bits!)on top of mixture. Cook for 25 minutes and let rest 5 minutes.

I paired with meal with beer bread and a salad.

What I like most about cheeseburger pie is it is filling without the carb load. The meal is so protein packed with beef and egg and the Bisquick it so light as it sticks everything together!

What's for dinner at your house? Have you tried cheeseburger pie lately?
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