Friday, October 30, 2009

Double 30 day challenge

I love to challenge myself every now and then, it makes life more interesting. Lately I have been inspired to try not one but two 30 day challenges. "inspired" for a few reasons.

The first challenge, and perhaps the most important, is the 30 day clean eating challenge.
for thirty days starting nov. 1st. i am cutting out the junk, after the baby, my body just doesn't seem to have as much of a taste for junk as it used to, my sweet tooth died down, and greasy food doesn't sit well. Instead, I will focus on eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes and meats. Nothing fried, or with added sugar. Liquids will consist of water, coffee (which I really can't stand to give up) or low sugar juices.

This is not only to see if I will lose weight, but to make me FEEL better, I have been feeling really sluggish lately, a product of constantly tending to the baby, work, housework and everything else on gods green earth.

I am also doing this to get in better physical shape to work out, in two weeks I am going to renew my gym membership, in the mean time i really need to make sure I am feeding my body properly. I feel good about this and hopefully it will also be a little fun.

I go grocery shopping tonight, so I have to make sure that I get plenty of fruits and veggies,lean meats and breads. They always say to shop on the outsides of the grocery stores , not in the middle isle were all the junk is. And that what I intend to do! i have to grab a battery for my scale tonight so I can see were i am starting from. ( haven't weighed myself in ages!)

Challenge #2

In an effort to save money in these tough times, I will take the 30 day no spend challenge. This....will be a tough one, I will not let myself buy anything but necessities, not necessities like (omg I NEED that purse) but more like OMG my baby NEEDS his formula.

I can only spend money on:
Baby food or care items
weekly groceries
bills (of course)

I cannot spend on:

clothes for me

anymore shoes (this is why I have strategically planned it out to start on sunday, because I have a 50% off coupon for boots i really want this weekend lol)

Makeup (yup i have to scrape out every last bit of what I have until the month is over)

unnecessary baby items (like more clothes)

Sweets or things from the vending machine

Coffee stop in the morning ( I am going to have to deal with free office coffee :( )

The purpose of this is to save a little bit of money and learn to keep record like a fox. Marking down every little penny I spend.

There is one small loophole here, since I am making Christmas gifts, I do need to make one trip to the craft store to get everything that I need in one fell swoop. Then that's it. No new crafts or projects until later in the year.

Maybe I am being a little bit tough on myself but these are two things in my life that need order. And I am kind of excited about giving it a go!
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Growing up

Just 3 short months ago, in what sometimes felt like an eternity, especially during hard times. The most beautiful child in the world (of course in my mind lol) came into my life and changed it forever. Never have I thought I could love one single thing so much, how my heart almost bursts at the thought of him.
His little toothless grin brightens up my entire day in ways that I never deemed possible.
On Oct. 17th he turned 3 months already; I am fascinated with the rate that my little man is growing up.
Half the time he doesn’t want to sit still, but rather stand on his own two feet, of course we have to hold him, but his legs are so strong, and if you put him down on the floor and hold him, he takes small steps. I fear this kid is going to go straight from sitting to running, no crawling lol.
You can see two little bumps under his gums, evidence of his impending teeth, and he chews on everything. He eats like a horse, we started putting a little rice cereal in his bottle because I couldn’t keep the boy satisfied. He seems to really like it.
Looking at him and asking him “who’s my stinky boy?” sends him into a fit of silent giggles every time.

He loves to watch TV although we try not to put him in front of it too often, Him and I watch cartoons on Saturdays and in the mornings during the weekdays he likes to watch Curious George. And absolutely loves to watch football! He seems to be a Cleveland Browns Fan, although I am going to chalk that up to his preference of bright colors, poor kid doesn’t yet know how bad the Browns actually suck.

He also loves to play “flying baby” where I lay on my back and put him on my shins and move them towards my chest, this is also a great way to tone my abs I found out!
He loves to lay on daddies chest and drift off to sleep, and he loves to calm down on mommy shoulder when he is scared or needs a cuddle.
When you put him in his car seat, he plays with this activity bar that we have strung across his car seat, just the past few weeks he really has begun to notice it. Flipping the toys and pressing the buttons, examining each one like an engineer concentrating on a piece of machinery. To watch his little mind work, is unbelievably entertaining.
At the rate that he is growing out of his clothes, I worry that he is growing up too fast, I just wish he would slow down lol. There is so much I never understood until I became a parent. And honestly it’s stuff that you could ONLY understand once you become a parent.
He is our joy and right now there is no place that we would rather be.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Things I love for the month of october

1. This black lace jumpsuit by Stella Mcartney, is so very kewl!

2. Avons new Reversalist Night Cream ( it is technically made for 40 and over, however it really turned around my post pregnancy skin and I am now devoted!

3. Makeshift pumpkin lattes! I have been horribly broke lately, so I make my own pumpkin lattes from General Foods International Coffees Vanilla Caramel Latte mix ( wich actually foams!) and then dust it with pumpkin pie spice! MMMMMMM...toasty fall goodness on the cheap!

4. Embroidery, I recently taught myself how to hand embroider, and OMG I am now addicted! I recently ordered some really kick ass patterns from sublime stitching, I could sit and do it all day, it is so relaxing!

5. Felt Softies! I also recently got into making these cute little guys, it helps me to practice my hand sewing and embroidery and it's so fun! Softie By Vivikas on Etsy

6. The Sophie Giraffe, OK I don't actually HAVE this thing yet but thanks to some very informative moms, I have ordered it for the little one, apparently there is this huge story behind Sophie, she is made in France out of natural rubber and painted with food gray dyes, she squeaks and baby's love to chew on her, she is very soft but her ears , horns and feet are firm rubber. apparently babies freaking LOVE this thing! I got it for Hudson because his little mouth is too small for teething rings and he is starting to reject pacifiers. So he chews on his fingers alot. I sure hope he likes it!

7. "soups season" it's the time of year when I go freaking nuts making soups and freezing them for the winter, french onion, cream of potato, stuffed pepper soup, beef stew, and of course chicken and dumplings...mmmmmmmm
8. The loads of baby laughs (although mostly silent) from my son! makes my day!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tutorial-How to make baby leg warmers out of an old sweater

This project is so easy it’s almost sick.

For quite sometime I have wanted to make baby leg warmers for Hudson, because even though he has super delicious chubby legs, they do get a bit chilly in our drafty house. Baby leg warmers are nothing new, but the original “Baby legs” are too expensive, and since kids tend to grow out of them so quickly, I rummaged around my house for old sweaters so that I could make my own. I found a red sweater and a fluffy royal blue sweater with holes in it.

Here is what you will need to make your baby leg warmers:
1. One or two old sweaters
2. Sewing machine (unless you are good enough to hand sew them)

Cut somewhere on the sweater were there is a finished edge, like the bottom part of a sleeve. Cut open the arm so that it is one flat piece.

Fold up the bottom piece were you cut and sew across it with a zigzag stitch to make a more finished edge.

Fold inside out and sew with a zig zag stitch(this allows for more stretch) straight up the side.
About an inch to quarter of an inch in depending on how chunky you little monkey legs are.

You should now have a tube with two open sides, you also now have one baby leg warmer!
Repeat these steps again and you will have two!

Here is what they will look like!

You can also make these out of Cotton knee socks, which I think is a real cool idea, Target has lots of them with really cute designs, next time I am there I am going to grab some and make some more. As you can see, the lil man really seems to enjoy them!

I also made these cozy wrist warmers for work ( our building gets REALLY cold in the winter)

Happy crafting!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Test Kitchen-How to roast a chicken

Ever roast tasty bird before? Neither had I until yesterday! It's quite simple, easy, cheap and HELLO DELICIOUS!!

You will need:
1. A Roasting or Frying chicken ( I used one under 5 pounds)
2. Sea salt and various herbs ( I used whole thyme,Sea salt and pepper, and Mrs. Dash Garlic blend)
3. Twine to truss the bird
4. Stuff to stick in the bird while it is cooking ( onions, celery, anything that gives off a flavorful taste)
5. Olive oil or butter
6. Roasting pan or large cake pan

Set your stove 425 or 450 (my stove runs a bit hot so I set ti at 425)
Stick a roasting pan or large cake pan in the oven empty, the pan should be hot when you put in the chicken. And also add about a cup or cup and a half of water.

Start off by rinsing the inside cavity of the bird and removing the giblets.
Then make sure to cut off an excess fat hanging around a and feathers still around.
Cut out the neck.

Next it's time for the chicken to get a massage. You can use a tablespoon of butter or a bit of olive oil. Rub it all over the chicken like you were helping it relax from a hard chicken day.

Salt the inside of the chicken with about a tablespoon of salt and alot of pepper, make sure to really get all up in there and rub it in.

Then stick in your veggies (you will not be eating these ones so no need to remove onion skins an what not, these are for flavor only) cut and onion in half and shove it up there, I also cut up some celery and stuck it in there, plus some fresh thyme. But you could use a number of things, garlic, apples, lemons, ginger ect.

Now it's time to truss the bird. Instructables has a great tutorial on this HERE

Trussing is basically tying the legs closed and wings to the sides to keep the chicken moist, .....(Yes Julia I ACTUALLY used the word MOIST, trust me I am cringing right now, but there really wasn't any other way to say it lol)

Finally you want to season the outside with whatever you like, just use a ton of seasoning and also it is important to salt and pepper the outside as well, use more than you think that you need. Next, open the oven and stick the bird in ,breast side up into the hot pan. Cover LOOSELY with foil (you are doing this to avoid scorching the skin)

Shut the door and salivate for 45 minutes while the bird fills your house with a wonderful tasty smell.

Every 10-15 minutes or so, pull the chicken out and baste it with it's own juices.

After 45 minutes, check the chicken, Or Poke around it with a fork, if the juices run clear, it's done.

Then take off the foil and let it cook for about 10 minutes or so to let the skin get all nice and browned, longer if you like your skin crunchy, just no longer than 20 minutes or so, or you may get a dry bird.

The you will want to pull the bird out and cover TIGHTLY with foil, the bird will need to rest for another 20 minutes, then your ready to eat!!!

Enjoy with some roasted veggies or mac and cheese! Yummy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


The other day the baby was sitting quietly in his swing, Bill had him turned toward the TV watching fox news.. I came into the room, saw this and turned him away from the TV. "what did you do that for" Said Bill. "I don't want him watching this crap" I said. "He is a baby heather he probably doesn't even know whats going on" said Bill. But maybe he DOES know whats going on,at such a young age, I don't want his little mind exposed to the violence, politics, cheating ,lies and stealing that we see on the news, ESPECIALLY fox news, the republican soap box as it were which often times scares the bejesus out of me! That night we went to a birthday party, and over Manhattans discussed politics with our hosts,who brought up the fact, that maybe political parties shouldn't exists because often times you are taught to hate one or the other without ever knowing what each party really contributes.

For example, i was raised a devout democrat, my father, the union man drilled it into my head that republicans were all greedy rich business owners who were against pro-choice and basically who were war mongers.
So i grew up resenting republicans........but I wasn't really sure why....
What I would love to know is, what influences us? What influences and sources, drive us to make the decisions that we make? and if there were no influences and we were left to our own wills, would we make those same decisions?

It's something to really think about....

I want my son to make his own decisions, I will not tell him that one party is more evil than the other because they are BOTH evil, which is why I recently switched from democrat to the independent party, because I WANT to make my OWN decisions and don't want to be tied down to any one entity.

But it goes beyond politics, what about racism? Bill was raised in a very conservative, not racial but...well....lets say closed minded family. Even though he grew up in a predominately racially mixed part of Cleveland. I on the other hand grew up in a predominately black community, and was taught to love all people. But I am not a bleeding heart liberal, I still have my boundaries, I have this open mindedness because my parents never pushed me one way or the other, they let me decide for myself. My mother had lots of gay friends, black Friends, I had puerto rican, Spanish, and black friends. I loved surrounding my self with different cultures(still do), I even spent thanksgiving with my black neighbors one year just so I could see how different it was from our thanksgiving.And Passover with my Jewish Boyfriend, went to church with my puerto rican neighbors, My parents wanted me to be exposed to all those new things.

Bills parents.....not so much. I don't hold it against my husband, it was the way he was raised, but I often wonder if he wasn't influenced by his parents, would he feel the same way?

Would I feel the same way if I was raised by HIS parents?

I don't want to push Hudson into one field or the other, I want him to make his own choices. But the media and government have alot of pull in what children see and what they are told. So the best thing that I can do is to raise him to be wary of that and to search to find the answers within himself.

This also applies to every other aspect of our lives, we are influenced in some way in every decision that we make, influences can be good, they can provide us with more information when were are not sure what way that we need to go, but they can also stifle us, or pressure us into the wrong decision.
So next time you have a tough decision to make, or even if its whether or not you want the Twix or the snickers in the vending machine, think about this, think about WHY your making the decision that you are, and more importantly seek out what your heart really wants, because with that you can't go wrong!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Baby Bear Hat

It was pretty easy to make (even though I had to make it a total of THREE times!!, Because I couldn't get the size right lol) it's really only took me maybe 20 minutes after I got my self straight on his head measurments, (his head is alot bigger than I thought lol!)

I still ended making it a bit too long, this is good, because it stretches, i just rolled it underneath, and when he gets a little bigger can just unroll it :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Knitting and Craft ADHD

Image by Feltmates

So I have had so many craft projects on my plate lately it's downright mind blowing, ever since Hudson's colic went away, I find myself with more time in the evenings to do fun stuff and it's like sudden craft explosion at my house. I mean I have my grubby little hands in everything!
But this year I have a goal; to learn how to knit,(after I am done making Hudson's "fleece bear" hat and mittens of course)

It's something I wish I would have asked Mrs. Life the long since passed away neighbor I had growing up, to teach me. I regret never asking her, because I think old ladies know how to knit the best, and they are very patient breed. Which is needed when teaching me a craft, because I love to just jump right in and get my hands dirty.
I have always been just slightly too chicken shit to give it a real go, once, a friend at work tried to show me years ago, and i got so frustrated with it I damn near threw the needles across the room.But that was before I learned to sew and learned a little patience, every time fall comes around i get visions of me sitting in a coffee house on the couch next to a fire curled up with my needles and bag of soft fluffy yarn, crafting some magnificent sweater or something. That image haunts me ever year, and every year I refuse to give in "I'm too busy" "I don't have the patience". But this year my friends, is different , this year i WILL give in.
My friend Julia knows how to crochet, but aside from afghan blankets, I don't really care for the look of crochet, besides, with knitting you can do felting and make the cute animals you see posted here, I mean HOW CUTE ARE THOSE????????? I have a kid I can make him some stuff!
My new Craft obsession is Craft magazines Blog, it's full of things I want to do, and has loads and loads of way kewl knitting projects. I want to do them all!!!!! ahhh But be still my heart, I must first learn the art of "Casting on and casting off grasshopper".

Image by Feltmates

It just looks so relaxing, like I could just knit away my worries and stresses, I AM going to do this, so here is to giving it a try!!! More on this later gators! And please if any of you know of any resources for learning please please let me know! I may knit you a leg warmer in return....but just one :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Busy Lizzy

his weekend was simply excellent, I got to spend time with my little man and take a few cute photos of him for fall. Here are a few of the many that we took:

This kid loves to be nekkid, LOVES it!

I also did my hair retro style and wore a flower made by Rascal.

I made an attempt, albeit feeble, at painting pumpkins like the ones I saw here. but failed miserably, you were supposed to stipple black paint over a doily used as a template, to create a black lace effect, but the paint smeared :(. next time I may use spray paint, I think it would work out better. Still they turned out kind of creepy! And look nice on the porch!

I also made it to the craft store so that I can start Hudsons fleece bear hat! YAY!

I rounded off the weekend with a sunday dinner at Grandmas. Plus TWO of my friend got engaged! How great is that! Congrats Mary and Ingrid!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Random things

So I was able to get out for a bit last night and do some much needed retail therapy.
I initially went into Sephora to just look around and sniff some new perfumes, play with the make-up ect......oh who am I kidding? we all know I can't set foot in there without buying SOMETHING. So I bought this:

Initially I just wanted to solid perfume, however I noticed that the solic was 9 bucks and for 4 bucks more I could get the candle AND a body butter AND matches even! Sounded like a deal to me, I am not a huge heavy perfume wearer so a light fragrance like this really suits me. PLus it makes my husband need to come in closer for a sniff.

Then of course I felt the need to spoil my kid and got him some PJ's (wich I am not exactley sure will fit) the boy is getting so big so freaking quick.

This weekend the baby and I are going to Jo Ann Fabrics to purchase some fleece for an animal fleece "bear hat" that I am going to begin making him, look for the finished post coming soon on that!

On my lunch today I am going to the craft store to pick up a foam pumpkin so that I can do this to it

as seen on this lovely gals blog. well as pick up some yummy fall candles in Pumpkin spics and nutmeg to make our home warm and cozy.

I also plan on trying out the hair styles of this pretty lady:

Well Busy weekend ahead! Here is hoping that I get it all done!