Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Renattoni Knitted Baby Booties Giveaway [CLOSED]

I am very excited to have a giveaway up for you! The lovely contributors are from the shop Renattoni:

We are three sisters from Peru who love to knit and sew high-end couture clothing and accessories for babies and children, with luxurious, best-quality organic natural fibers, organic Pima cotton, and baby Alpaca wool. 

Working with traditional textures and fabrics, we make heirloom handknit pieces for babies, and adorable toddler and girls' dresses in cotton, silks, and cotton wools. 

We also sell the yarns used to knit the beautiful pieces at our other shop, Bel Punto.

One of you will win a pair of girl or boy booties! See something darling you just have to get right now? Use the coupon code BABYGIVE for 20% off!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 28, 2014

Fabletics Athletic Apparel

A few months ago, I saw a Facebook ad for Fabletics, an athletic apparel company cofounded by the actress Kate Hudson. I looked around and bought this fabulous outfit:

I absolutely love it! The shirt is airy, long, and comfortable, and I love the style. The shorts are modest and not too tight like other Spandex shorts. A sports bra was also included, but the only size they had left was too small, so I sold it on eBay for half of what I paid for the whole outfit! New members can get outfits for as low as $25 with free shipping. And signing up does not mean you have to continue buying. Fabletics will send you an email on the first of each month with personalized outfits, which you can opt out of buying. If you forget, they give you one free pass. After that, the fee is credited to your account, so it's not lost money but available for once you do decide to buy something again. They also accept returns and exchanges.

The best part is the reviews, which include a fitting rating to help you decide which size to buy. It was very useful for me since I usually don't buy clothes online for sizing reasons. Thanks to the advice others left, the size I chose fit perfectly!

If you are looking for stylish, bright, fun workout clothes, accessories, and equipment, then I highly recommend trying Fabletics! This is the next outfit I want to get:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Whole Wheat Sugar Free Waffles with Coconut Oil

When it comes to breakfast, I don't have much of a sweet tooth. I like hearty but healthy meals that keep me full all morning. This whole wheat waffle recipe does just that! And I love using coconut oil because it adds a hint of sweetness and makes the kitchen smell wonderful while the waffles are cooking.

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or whole wheat white flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (make sure it's measured in liquid form) 
  • unsweetened applesauce or real maple syrup
  1. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Separate the egg yolks and whites. Beat the egg yolks and stir into the dry mixture, along with the milk and oil.
  3. Beat the egg whites and fold them into the batter. 
  4. Cook the batter in your waffle iron and serve the waffles with warm unsweetened applesauce or real maple syrup.

Makes 8-10 square waffles.

Monday, July 21, 2014

7 Years Married!

Sunday was our 7-year anniversary. We celebrated on Saturday by leaving the kids with our friends and going to our favorite mall by ourselves. We started with laser tag. It was just us, so we were against each other instead of teammates. Of course Justin won, though I did get him quite a few times. It was a lot of fun! Next we went inside Wonderworks, a science-based fun center. Some of the things we did:

Can you see Justin's outline?

Making my shadows dance

At home with a flight simulator

It felt really prickly!

hall of optical illusions

We also played a mind game where you move a small ball on a table to the other person's side by relaxing. I won. Thanks, Hypnobabies! I beat Justin at the basketball arcade game too. Pay back for laser tag. We also went on these crazy bikes that go upside down (though I was too chicken) and a 4-D ride. There was a kid area, which included a giant-bubble play center, that we may take Caden to sometime.

After all the fun, we ate at the Cheesecake Factory. My burger was so big I couldn't fit it into my mouth!

Then we browsed the mall a bit. I finally found new sunglasses and got my hair curled at the Herstyler kiosk. Justin found some neat beanbag-like chairs that I will have to remember next time I get pregnant!

We were gone for 6 hours, much more than planned because we had a great time together and awesome sitters. (Good thing too, because Sunday ended up being a crazy day full of church meetings and nap strikes for the boys.) Hoping for 7x7 more years with my wonderful husband!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Inspiring LDS Movies You Should See

Looking for something to watch after church or for Family Home Evening? Watch these inspiring LDS movies currently on Netflix:

Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed

Summary: Paratroopers from a parachute regimental combat team in WWII try to reunite with their unit in enemy territory, helping French resistants along the way. Note, this is not a sequel to the original Saints and Soldiers, just different stories from the same war. Rated PG-13.
My Rating: 4 stars! Believable emotional conflict and likable characters.

Emma Smith: My Story

Summary: The story of Emma Hale Smith, wife of the prophet Joseph Smith,  as told by her older self and her daughter Julia. Rated PG.
My Rating: 5 stars! It was wonderful seeing the story from her perspective; there was much I didn't know about her. Some people negatively remarked about the movie not including Joseph's other wives. Um, did you not read the title? It's about Emma, his first wife and true love. And it does touch upon polygamy. Furthermore, we do not pretend that she was perfect, but we honor all the faithful things she did do.

17 Miracles

Summary: Real pioneer stories and miracles shown as if they all happened to one handcart company. Rated PG (not for younger audiences as there are many disturbing images and frightening situations portrayed).
My Rating: 4 stars! Only 4 because the title is misleading: it's not a happy story full of miracles, but a nonstop sob fest. I used up a whole box of tissues, I couldn't stop crying. The main actor was astounding!

The Saratov Approach

Summary: The true story of two American missionaries serving in Russia who were kidnapped and held for ransom in 1998. Rated PG-13.
My Rating: 5 stars! Exceptional story of courage, faith, and love.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I'm Sorry

After having my VBAC, I dealt with a lot of emotions. Although I had a successful birth and healthy baby, I was a little disappointed that I had to get interventions and jealous of friends who had natural and/or quick births. And I was hormone crazy like any other woman who just gave birth. So I expressed my hurt by hurting others: I bragged in a post about how quickly my body bounced back. Very mature of me, not. Then today after I read the article "You Had a Baby? This Is How You Get Your Body Back!" on a newly discovered site, Beauty Redefined (more on that coming!), I felt awful. I would like to apologize for the body shaming. The only bouncing back your body needs to be doing is with a baby on your knee. Again, I'm sorry if I made any of you feel negatively about yourself.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Rec Center

The rec center here is open weekday mornings for young children and babies to play. There is a toddler room, bounce houses, and cars to ride on. And all for free! We've been going as a family since Justin doesn't work in the mornings. It is a short walk away too, so I can take the boys if Justin isn't available (except if it's raining or snowing, which unfortunately are the days when we need to get out of the house the most). We went for the first time last Wednesday and the boys had the time of their lives. Gabriel loved the bouncy balls the most, and Caden the cars of course.

What play places do you like to take your kids to in your town?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Birth Jokes


Things Not To Say During Childbirth

-- Do you think the baby will come before Monday Night Football starts?
-- I hope you're ready. The Glamour Shot photographer will be here in fifteen minutes.
-- If you think this hurts, I should tell you about the time I twisted my ankle playing basketball.
-- That was the kids on the phone. Did you have anything planned for dinner?
-- Remember what we learned in Lamaze class! HEE HEE HOO HOO. You're not using the right words.
-- Your stomach still looks like there's another one in there.



~A guy phones the local hospital and yells, "You’ve gotta send help! My wife’s in labor!" The nurse says, "Calm down. Is this her first child?" He replies,"‘No! This is her husband!"

~Somewhere in the world a woman gives birth to a child every minute. We have to find this woman and stop her.


Friday, July 4, 2014

Just Justin

I write so many posts about the kids, and now it's the husband's turn in the spotlight. Justin has been on fire at his new job. His superiors are in constant awe over his skills, knowledge, and, most of all, efficiency. He implemented customer service changes that brought their department to the top. He already has worked his charm and can sometimes get a free lunch or snack, and he golfs with his bosses. Most important, Justin enjoys working there. No more stress and a lot less drama. Now when he comes home, he's only physically tired. The only dislike we have is that he works so late; at first he got home around 9, but lately it's been 10. And to think I complained when he sometimes got home from his old job at 7 or 8!

We hang out in the morning, run errands, and go to the park when it's not raining. Sometimes we will go out, but we're usually rushed because nothing opens until 10, Justin has to be at work by lunchtime, and it takes half an hour to drive anywhere.

For Justin's birthday, we had dinner one of the days he was off. We went to a new hibachi place instead of returning to the one we liked in Syracuse. The food wasn't as good, but Caden loved the show because the cook squirt water into his mouth. On Justin's actual birthday, we went to a diner at his work for lunch before his shift started.

On Father's Day, the Primary kids sang and gave tie clips to all the men. Caden wrote a cute little note with his. He also gave Justin a couple things he made at the library. The boys love their daddy so much. Caden loves to go wherever Dad is going. Gabriel gets so excited when he sees Dad in the morning and even snuggles with him sometimes at night. I am so glad we have Justin! He is a great husband and father.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Quick & Easy Southern Stir Fry

When you need a quick and easy dinner, this recipe is perfect! It's also a great way to use up that leftover rice or spinach.

  • 3 cups cooked rice (1 cup uncooked)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. crushed or minced garlic
  • 1/2 can corn
  • 1 can black-eyed peas, drained
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • salt to taste
  1. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onions are opaque.
  2. Mix in the rice, corn, and black-eyed peas, and heat through.
  3. Add the spinach and seasonings and cook until the spinach wilts, stirring often.
Adapted from Betty Crocker's Fix-It-Fast Family Favorites.
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