The giveaway closes tonight. Don't forget, for an additional entry go to my friend Tanya's blog and follow her as well. And don't forget to let us know what you would like to win by commenting here. Kevin is on a short break right now so our home is being turned upside down and inside out as we re-arrange for this sweet new arrival. Details and photos to follow shortly on all that we have worked on! Until then, Happy Happy Friday to you all!

This is what we are thankful for...

...a son who loves to read as much as we do. For little books that have been repaired time and time again not because of abuse, but because of being so dearly loved. These signs of wear on the spine and cover, show the little person he is becoming. We couldn't be more thrilled when we see these little glimpses into his personhood. He takes books to bed, always has them under his arm, is easily amused for long periods of time in the car by them and intently focuses on their content page after page. I know that someday I will look back on these tattered little books and have a hard time getting rid of them. They will always remind me of his intent focus and fascinating little mind as he developed into the little person he is to become.
*** Don't forget the giveaway ends tomorrow! Get your entry in and let us know what YOU want if you were to win!
... until our first ever giveaway closes! So make sure you have taken advantage of all of the ways to get extra entries, details here. In other news we are entering the 3rd trimester, which with a toddler can be a whole 'nother story. More on that later though. Right now I have a darling Little Love begging for another piggy back ride and heaven knows I am going to blink and he will be too cool for me. So with that, I am off to love on this little one. Happy Wednesday!

We are really excited to let you guys know about another giveaway! It must be springtime because the giveaways are popping up everywhere. This is one of the fun parts of blogging and following as I mentioned in my previous blog. My dear friend Tanya has been alluded to and mentioned many times before as we have known each other since Junior High. Her giveaway is for this darling necklace that I have seen on her and loved. It truly is a wonderful little piece.
For details on how to enter, and of course check out Tanya's sweet blog, click here. As an added incentive if you follow Tanya's blog you will get an additional entry into our giveaway. Win, win eh? 
Our crew was small this past week as we gathered to say goodbye to our Monday Mates. To celebrate we enjoyed takeout and some themed desserts. I made Emily's Sugar Cookies (because she is oh so sweet), in the shape of hearts of course. And Chantal's Surprise Brownie Bites (due to the emotional roller coaster she took us on this season). The brownie bites are a favorite cooking light recipe of mine. Then I hid nuggets of either caramel and chocolate, or coconut and Craisins, and swirled a bit of caramel on top. All of the roses used for decorating this season had dried, so I used the petals and buds for decorations. And tons of candles. Oh! And don't miss the blog that Steph and Abbey did on all things fashion and Bachelor, here. 

Monday's we will miss all of your drama!
We hate to do this to you guys, but tomorrow looks to be a little stressful and hopefully exciting for our little family. Supposedly they will be releasing our rotation sites for next year. Which is a really, very big deal for us. We have been holding our breath since we submitted our preferences way back in November. So, if they hold to their end of the bargain we will be spending all of our free time tomorrow and this weekend figuring out our next move. Eek! We will either be physically moving or if possible staying here and rearranging our space like crazy people. Soon. Like Sunday....So in honor of this huge event there is another week to tell us what you want if you were to win the giveaway, and to spread the word (original post here). If more people sign up we might be motivated to sweeten the deal...
Happy St. Patrick's Day! We spread a little luck o'the Irish in our home and thought we would share a little peek with you on this lovely, lucky day!

For the information on the printables we used read our blog here.

It has occurred to me that there might be this question floating around in some of our readers minds. So let's answer it shall we. "Why follow someones blog?"

Having been on the other side of the blogging world, reading but not following, I get the concern and reasoning of why not to follow and think we should clear the air by addressing those first:
 "It's a hassle"
"Will I get spammed?"
"It's kind of creepy for them to know I follow them when we haven't talked since high school"
"I am still a ghost on the internet, this will give out my shopping, parenting, etc... preferences to the world..."
"I only read occasionally"
"What's the point?"

Did I miss any? Phew that feels good to name the elephant in the room. <wink> Let's tackle these one by one.
 "It's a hassle"
If you don't have a google, twitter,yahoo, AIM, netlog or openid account this might, hear me, might be true. Nowadays most people have at least ONE of these accounts for some reason or another. If you have any one of these accounts it is about a 30 second process. Really.
"Will I get spammed?"
While I have heard this concern voiced and I am sure that there are some blogs out there with tiny minions or hoards of unemployed people at their beck and call to track down your information in order to send you spam, it isn't likely. Most blogs are written by people like ourselves. For fun, in our spare time <whatisthatreally?>,in an effort to become a part of the new movement of journalism. One that is more specific and individualized. We don't have any minions to track down your information, that we can promise you!
"It's kind of creepy for them to know I follow them when we haven't talked since high school"
This one makes me laugh. You would be surprised who might follow openly and trust us, a high school contact is a friendly face. Not to mention, you found out about our blog from where? Facebook? Twitter? Don't you think we crossed that bridge long ago? It is flattering and not creepy, promise.
"I am still a ghost on the internet, this will give out my shopping, parenting, etc... preferences to the world..."
Hmmmm, well hate to break it to you but most of your information is already tracked, and not because you follow a blog. For example: there is an option to add a box to the side of your blog that shows where each person who is popping in is from and how long they have stayed. This is regardless of whether they are registered as a follower or not. The information is there just because you clicked....<cuedoomsdaymusic>
"I only read occasionally"
Ok, but you do read it, albeit occasionally. So why not let us know who belongs to that unique IP address that keeps popping in. Help satisfy our curiosity for goodness sake!
"What's the point?"
Here's the kicker. We will only speak for ourselves on this topic. Our approach to this blog is that it is part personal, but hopefully more informational and helpful. We see blogs as many do, as the new frontier for journalism. It is our hope to be apart of this new movement. That said the more followers we have the higher our credibility to strangers. The higher our credibility the more we are able to qualify for better items for giveaways, be picked up and linked to by other sources and have our voices heard. For us this is an experimental venue for Abbey to work on establishing her literary voice. That said we covet your comments. Not really for grammar feedback (due to the speedy process of posting) but rather for content. And as a follower we are able to put the criticism or praise in context. Comments also help steer the direction of a blog. What is it that resonates with our readers, is it helpful and/or different; all of which can change the direction of a blog. Trust us, the powers that be are watching blogs carefully and from them they are taking their cues. Personally we have gained much from the blogs we follow. Product reviews, parenting ideas, homemade ideas, travel tips. You name it we have learned it is possible to find a blog post on the topic. As followers we now trust the sources in a way we hadn't before. 

Phew, lecture done. As we have said, we hope to be of help to those out there. And we know you are reading. Yes you are being tracked. So why not take part in the perks of following (giveaways, etc..) and help us at the same time? We are so incredibly grateful to those that follow us, whether you have clicked to "officially" follow or not. Our welcome to the blogging world has been warm and we are excited to see where this takes us!

*This information is for blogs written using the format, which we are most familiar with and are using.

We have posted a list of goals for the year, month by month, that you can access at the top of the page or at our post here
For February we wanted to review the goals and give you a little update! 

February (5 month Prego)
Increase my running to 5 miles
~ Close, I am holding steady at 3.5-4 Miles without getting short of breath, which is how my doctor said to gauge if my heart-rate is too high. Not too bad.
Plan and throw Kate's Birthday
~ Success! While the original plans were canceled our altered approach was equally fun and we were able to celebrate our dear friend. Post here.
Inventory baby items
~Done! The more intense detailing of little sleepers might need a little more attention, but there is a list, it is thorough and we are on our way to being ready for this sweet little boy.
Return borrowed items
~Check! So excited to have a clear idea of what we have and what we need.
Get Rowan into swimming lessons
~Project Fail. Not sure why this is so difficult. Maybe because I don't swim?
Finish Rowan's Birth Story
~Complete and being edited. If you want to take a peek I would love to share, just let me know! This was emotional to say the least and I am SO happy to have it written this far in advance of the next grand adventure.
Trip to Olympia
~Check! These trips are far too short and far between. Something I am going to try to fix. 
Read: Shepherding A Child's Heart by T. Tripp
~ Read most of it and will not be reviewing it for a variety of reasons. If you are interested in why, please feel free to let me know. I am more than happy to share.
* Find out what we are having! (Feb. 3rd) BOY!!!

Not too bad considering all of the extra things life brought our way this month. I have struggled to get all of the posts up that I have written because of my ancient computer. Working with blogger and navigating the picture element of blogging is a learning process. I am so glad I am figuring it out now! Thanks for reading, we love to hear from all of you!
Labels: 2 comments | edit post soup at a time. Which is what my little emulsifier does for my life, simplifies it in so many ways. This lovely little tool was a gift from my sweet Aunt Geri a few Christmas' back.
Aunt Geri, Baby Boy, Kevin, Mom (popping in), Me, Uncle Alan
 I have used it over the years for many things, but mainly for soups. It is so easy to clean and store that I have a hard time remembering the process of pulling out my blender (because we don't have counter space for it to be out), transferring my soup, blending quickly then trying not to splash as I transfered it back to the pan. Always keeping the blender out in case I needed to add something and re-blend. 
Ugh, really? Did I really do that for so many years? What was I thinking?!?
Maxi-Matic EHB-1000X Elite Cuisine 200W Hand Blender and One Touch Button, White
Elite One Touch Hand Blender, the one I own.
 I am incredibly thankful for this little gift and have thought of adding it to my list of giveaway items as I can't imagine having a kitchen that isn't equipped with one. Simply torn on the varied reviews online for the different brands. It makes me think I got lucky with mine as it has served me well for years and was not expensive. 
Do you own one? What is the brand? 
What is your favorite use for this sweet little tool?

Play along with us! Every Thursday we will post something we are thankful for, and I would love it if you did so as well on your blogs.The Button is on the right hand side of the page, just click, copy and paste. Oh! And let people know where you found it! It is medicine for the soul to give thanks and when done regularly contentment comes into reach. And it can be anything, silly, personal, or blog related. Just take a moment to give thanks!
So we are coming to the end of the 2nd trimester and the cravings are gaining momentum. My rule of thumb has always been that I must truly crave: "to long for; want greatly; desire eagerly" as it is defined in the dictionary, for at least a week. At that point I address how to satisfy that craving, sometimes I fully give in but in moderation. Other times I work hard to figure out an alternative that is equally satisfying. This is a tactic I have used for a long time, even when not pregnant, and works well with my list-making personality.

All of that to say that I have had a craving for the following for over a month now and am going crazy trying to figure out how to satiate my desire. Oh yes, a MONTH. Flying Squirrel Peanut Butter is based out of Eugene, OR and wow! Take a peek at what they have come up with! (Oh, and how cute are those labels? As if I needed more convincing...)

Spazzy Squirrel 
Peanut butter just got interesting. Nutmeg, cinnamon, coconut, raisins, and chocolate chunks come together to blow the socks off any traditional peanut butter.

Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed 
Need a boost of squirrely energy? Spread on this PB swirled with coffee and dark chocolate and you too can gather enough nuts in time for winter... or whatever it is you wanted to get done today.

Has anyone tried Flying Squirrel's products? Which one should I try?
Labels: 5 comments | edit post
Kevin is Irish, well part Irish. I think I am more proud of his Irish roots than he is and LOVE when the holiday of leprechauns rolls around. We have always looked for Irish names for our children and this time around isn't any different. All of this time spent with my nose in Irish name books has me super excited to decorate for St. Patrick's Day this year and I have a wonderful free download for all of my readers out there. Lindi over at Love The Day has a great set of downloads that can be yours if you click here. I am looking forward to using the cupcake toppers to spread some Irish cheer. Only 9 days left!

I was hoping for some input here people! I personally have many things I would like to gift to our readers and have had a terrible time deciding. So I will let the winner make the decision! You will get your choice of one of my favorite things.

Felt Food Set of cookies with a little baking pan and recipe card to assist your little baker.
Indestructible Baby Books great baby shower gift that would be the talk of the party. 
My favorite kitchen assistant, this handy little juicer
My favorite Cupcake Stand that I genuinely believe should be in every home that has space constraints. 
Or one of the sets of cookie cutters that I have been eyeballing for awhile.

Of course you could let me pick and I might accompany one of the above items with something special I have yet to share on our blog. I think I have been watching too many game shows! <wink>

Here are the ways to enter:
1. Be a registered follower of our blog. So click the follow button on the right hand side!
2. Post about our blog/giveaway on your blog.
3. Leave a comment on this post stating what you want if you were to win.
4. Refer a friend and have them say you sent them.

This giveaway closes on St. Patrick's Day, March 17th. The winner will be announced March 18th and selected by random  number generator. 
He is stoked about our upcoming giveaway, can you tell?

On Monday we will be announcing what we will be giving away to one lucky follower! So click to follow us so you get the notice as soon as it is posted. All registered followers will automatically be entered once, additional ways to be entered will be posted on Monday as well. What are you hoping we giveaway? Leave us a comment, we might be swayed <wink>.

As a foodie I love everything that goes with a meal and how it marries the flavors. Beverages that are well-crafted many times get overlooked. The little details in fresh squeezed juice, spices, exotic ingredients just delight my taste buds! Being pregnant I am inspired constantly to find the perfect substitutes for some of my favorite beverages. So today I bring you one of my new favorites, a virgin, mix free Margarita.

I was inspired by this recipe but wanted to tweak it a bit for my own taste.

  Lime wedge (optional)
  Coarse sugar (optional)
3 freshly squeezed limes
2 fresh squeezed oranges
1 fresh squeezed grapefruit
Sugar Syrup (equal parts sugar and water boiled and cooled)
small  ice cubes


1. Rub rims of glasses with lime wedge; dip rims into a shallow dish of coarse sugar and shake off excess.
2. Combine equal parts lime, orange, and grapefruit juice over ice in glass. Add a splash of sugar syrup, stir. Top off with a splash of 7-Up.
* I like to build mine rather than blend, although I am sure either would be delicious. I had juice left over after having 2 of these, but it is so much easier to squeeze everything all at once. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

If you are playing along with us here is a prompt for today: 
What are you thankful for in your kitchen?

Today we are thankful for these adorable new additions that we found at Target for $1!!! Perusing the dollar section you never know what you will find and this past week we struck gold when we found these little bowls. They are actually in the gardening section and would make adorable planters, but even more adorable popcorn or snack bowls. They have already been initiated with Monday nights Bachelor Popcorn ritual and have the green light!
Perfect for parties too! Scattered around a food table with little snacks and treats. Oh! And did we mention the flattering shade of yellow and green we purchased them in? Perfect for all of our Football gatherings as well. Oh yes, these little loves make us very grateful!

Play along with us! Every Thursday we will post something we are thankful for, and I would love it if you did so as well on your blogs. It is medicine for the soul to give thanks and when done regularly contentment comes into reach. And it can be anything silly, personal, or blog related. Just take a moment to give thanks!
This past week my sweet friend Jessica and I came together to create a birthday present for a lovely little girl turning one. We decided after much debate to craft a set of felt play food and were absolutely thrilled with how they turned out. She blogged about this fun activity as well here

The Apron Jessica made...
Breakfast! Jessica made eggs, bacon (not pictured), a tea bag and cinnamon rolls. Then the cupcake was an accompaniment to my sugar cookies for dessert. The strawberries went with lunch, which I made.
My creations. Lunch was a sandwich with tomato, cheese and lettuce. For dinner there is a chicken leg, mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans. The sugar cookies were for dessert of course!
We packaged each meal separately in little plastic bags that were tied with ribbon. That way it was easy to see what was for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. So much fun!
Below are some links that we perused while trying to come up with our plan. Let me know if you make any of them! I am incredibly excited to make a set for Baby Love as he is very interested in all things in the kitchen. What a great way to involve him in the cooking process!
I am in love with my newest find. This wonderful and incredibly creative blog Pugly Pixel has some incredible ideas and currently has some great free downloads. So if you are a blogger wanting a new look pop over, she has some great designs.

She also linked to a designer that has some gorgeous free designs that I have already rushed to download. Mellow mint has sets of high resolution downloads that include such images as old maps, keys, and textured images to use for backgrounds. As a frequent party planner, these resources are invaluable. Now to design some invitations, or cards, or maybe some great images for redecorating the boys room.....What will you do with these free downloads? Let me know!