I'm Having SO Much Fun!

Making more jewelry that is, I've made lots of necklaces for my DD, here's the one I made today.

I've made one for my MIL

 and one that's still in process for my mom.  

I've put up a few for sale at my etsy shop and one more thing, I got more supplies so that you can make that gorgeous necklace I made a couple weeks ago.  Go check it out, I have looked and looked on line and it retails for over $100 for one with only a few of carnelian nuggets, no coral or citrine, and I'm selling the kit for only $30.

Two little girl necklaces- for Etsy

I got my last shipment in and my fingers wouldn't stop itching until I'd made a few necklaces, Lilly's in love, can you tell?

Serenity Now-A Mommy's Solution to Staying Sane: Distracted Driving

Serenity Now: Distracted Driving

Check out her cute and short video of her two LO's doing their darndest to keep her attention on them and not the road. At least I know I'm not the only one with cacophonous kids in the back seat.

Threat to National Security

 On ABC News it was reported that school lunches are so unhealthy that they are considered a threat to national security.  Well I could have told them that!  All the people in the lunch programs have been deluding themselves for years that their guidelines, which are ridiculous and full of unhealthy loop-holes, guarantee that our kids are getting wholesome nutritious meals at least once a day.  

I have finally started to realize that a large number of moms today don't know how to cook from scratch except for a few mostly unhealthy recipes that take a long time to make.  Because most of us have been raised by moms that believed all the commercials that touted convenience and nutrition as a nation we have forgotten that you can whip up a tasty and healthy meal from scratch in 10 minutes  very easily.  It doesn't have to take an hour or even 30 minutes to make dinner every night, my favorite things to eat take 15 minutes or less to throw together and they are very healthy and full of flavor.  We have bought in to the myths that the media and food industry have been pushing and now it's time to turn those myths on their head and get back to basic, easy, healthy food.

Myth  Made from scratch is always hard and takes a long time.
Fact    Most meals can be thrown together either completely from scratch or with very little prepared ingredients in just a few minutes.

Myth  You can buy a burger or taco at the fast food joint faster and for less money then it would cost me to fix something filling at home.
Fact    If you plan your meals ahead of time you can eat a large nutritious meal for much less and with better ingredients.

Myth  You need a good helping of protein in every meal
Fact    You only need about 8 ounces or half a pound of protein a day as an adult, more generally means that you are missing the things you need much more of, usually fruits and veggies.  However, you need about 5 cups of fruits and veggies a day.

Myth  Healthy food is bland, only the unhealthy foods taste very good.
Fact    Adding herbs and spices adds little to no extra calories but they do add plenty of great things like antioxidants, so use a light hand with the salt but BRING ON the flavor with all the spices and herbs you want.

Myth  The food industry cares about your health and makes a point of using healthy and safe practices with our food even if it costs them a little more $.
Fact    Well, since I don't consider most of what you find in the local supermarket real food, I guess you could say that it's true but if you really bother to look at what they've done to the food they provide you'de see that there is very little about it that has anything to do with the consumers best interest, and esp. the farmers, and everything to do with padding their pockets.

I'm sure there are more but I'll have to address those another time, from now on every Monday will be "Menu Monday" and I will focus on featuring recipes and tips for inexpensive, healthy meals that take only minutes to prepare.

Fashion Friday - Tips and Tricks

Here are a few links to articles that have many of my favorite tips and tricks to looking fabulous.

10 Ways To Instantly Become More Attractive

7 Slimming Looks for Spring and Summer

10 Fashion Myths from TLC's "What Not to Wear"

Gwyneth Paltrow's Spring Fashion at GOOP

A great site for lots of style tips and trends

Also, I agree with Tim Gunn's philosophy of ten essentials, although I don't exercise so I don't use the sweatsuit alternative, I just add another dress instead. So here is his list:

Tim Gunn's 10 Essential Items Every Woman Needs
• Basic black dress
• Trench coat
• Classic dress pants
• Classic white shirt
• Skirt
• Blazer
• Day dress
• Cashmere sweater
• Jeans
• A comfortable alternative to a sweatsuit

Let's Take Oprah's Challenge One Step Further

I Vow to do my part to eliminate distracted driving.  I will stop using my phone, putting on makeup, eating or doing things for my kids while I am driving.  I may not do this perfectly at first but I will make a point to only do these things when I am stopped and/ or pulled over so that I can help my family and others arrive safely to their destinations.  

Please go to my Blog Frog Community to take the pledge yourself, if you can't commit to all of it yet at least commit to one and join our discussion.  Let's help make our babies and our roads safer to be on.

Pillowcase Dress

I love this simple little pillowcase dress I made for my dd, it's fast and easy to make and it's the perfect light and cool dress for summer, I can already tell I'll be making more of these as soon as the move is over.

Fashion Finds Friday - Easy Breezy Summer Dress

What a bright easy dress for spring and summer from Old Navy at $12.99  (now $10.99) it's hard to pass up.

Here it is all accessorized in a different color.

BeltJacket and Hobo Bag are from Target  (Can you tell I'm loving corals and oranges right now?)  Shoes are from Kmart

I Made- two new necklaces

I've been wanting to make both of these necklaces for quite a while now but only recently got the last supplies I needed to make them, thanks to all my sales on Etsy.  

The first necklace is a four strand necklace of pearls with a simple little silver clasp, I LOVE the colors!!

The second necklace is a silver figaro chain with carnelian nuggets, little red coral flowers and tiny citrine gems.  It goes well with a lot of my outfits but I like it against a feminine white shirt the best.

So tell me what you think, I'm considering selling the first necklace and kits for the second necklace in my shop.  Yay, nay?

Serenity Now Blog Party, YEAH!!

I was so excited that I found this blog through Imparting Grace today, I was up late with insomnia and I wouldn't have been able to do it other wise since I'm in the middle of a move.  Amanda at Serenity Now is awesome along with her blog and she's in VA to boot!  She blogs about everything and anything with plenty of humor along the way.

She's asked everyone to join in the party by answering a few questions about their blogs and since I tend to be rather literal I figured I'd just answer them as she gave them.

~How long have you been blogging?
     Technically since '07 but I didn't really get into it until last month, now I'm TOTALLY HOOKED.

~Why did you start blogging?
     I started for SO many reasons, I love reading other people's blogs and I follow a new blog almost every day, and then one day I thought, I love to write, I always have a ton to say about things, why not start blogging about it, even if no one reads it at least I have a place to put all my random thoughts and accomplishments.

~Tell me about your blog's title. Why did you choose it?
     I LOVE alliteration, love, love, love it, I also love interesting words that are fun to say and not so commonly used, Maven fit the bill perfectly, I also tend to have a favorite word of the moment that I use a lot in everyday conversation, like obtuse, prolific, fervent, etc.  I wish I could think of more right now, two are on the tip of my tongue but "Mommy Brain" seems to have taken over and won't let them come out.

~What do you blog about?
     Mostly I really just blog about the stuff that comes up in my day to day life just being a mom that strikes me as fun, interesting, helpful, stuff that I would enjoy reading if it were on someone else's blog.

~What is your favorite thing about blogging?
     That I can delude myself into thinking that what I'm posting is actually helping other people and that it's not just me spewing my random and sometimes odd thoughts for my own benefit alone.

~If you had to choose one famous person to become your blog's next devoted reader, who would you pick?
     It's SOOOOO hard to pick just one but I'd have to say Amy Karol from Angry Chicken, I first found out about her by finding her book "Bend the Rules with Fabric" at Michaels and I was so inspired by her ideas that I had to check out her blog and from there I just fell in love, I felt like, "yeah, there's someone out there who thinks like me, only better, MUCH better."  You should really check out her site, she's funny, super helpful and just plain fun to follow.

Wow, this was way more fun than I even thought it would be, I can't wait to do this again.  Feel free to leave comments with links to your favorite blogs, including your own, I'm always on the lookout for another great blog to follow.

Potty Power!!!

I don't know how many other moms have felt like something must be wrong that their kid isn't potty trained when all their friends have been for 6 months or more but I was certainly feeling that way with my ds.  I'd been trying to get him interested in going in the potty for almost two years, I never pushed hard because I know that my son is the type that will rebel big time if you try to force something on him that he doesn't want or isn't ready for.  

I had tried every incentive I could think of and every time I would ask him if he wanted to wear big kid underwear he would reply "No, thank you."  It was so frustrating and I was really starting to think that maybe I was a bad mom until almost two weeks ago my son came up to me one morning, a few days after letting him pick out a "potty toy", and said "I want to go pee in the potty and wear underwear."  I was beside myself with shock but I hurried and got him on his potty chair and got him some underwear that he could put on when he was done.  Well, he sat and sat and nothing happened so he got up for a bit and then tried again and again nothing and then just a couple af minutes after I had helped him get his underwear back on he had an accident.  He got upset but I told him that it was okay and that it was a normal part of learning to go in the potty instead of diapers and we also talked about the signals that his body gives him when it's time to go and I asked him if had noticed a tingling feeling just before the pee came out.  

The only other thing I did was get the "Potty Power" DVD and he and my 18 month old dd both love it and they sing the songs to it all the time, in fact I let a friend borrow it and they both asked for it and were sad that they couldn't watch it right then.  In fact they are watching it again right now.

Well that was it, he is now potty trained, he hasn't had a single accident since and although he does ask to wear diapers every once in a while I just ask him if he want's to be a big kid and remind him that his toy has to be taken away if he has an accident or needs a diaper and he doesn't get it back until he goes in the potty again and then he decides to use the potty.  He has even gotten up in the middle of the night to go potty and has only had one wet diaper at night since he started.

I'm so proud of my big little guy, and I'm so glad that I waited and didn't push it, it really couldn't have been easier.


I SERIOUSLY LOVE eShakti and their dresses, this one is my favorite at the moment but they have so many wonderful dresses, skirts and tops that it can be hard to pick a favorite.  You can customize every order to fit you perfectly, including adding sleeves or removing them or even changing the hem length.  Who doesn't fond a dress they think would be SO GREAT if only you could just make one or two little adjustments like that.

Fashion Friday - stretching your fashion dollar

I thought I would try to have some fun and sometimes serious posts about fashion and looking good and feeling great no matter your age, weight or income.

We're all trying to save money these days and many of our wardrobes are suffering from it, here are my tips to having a great wardrobe without breaking the bank.

  1. Buy quality where it counts and save everywhere else.  My husband HATES that I always run to the clearance racks first in any store or that I'm just as happy shopping in a thrift store as a high end store and yet those thrift store finds are why I can afford to buy that $150 dollar purse that I have always wanted.  (And it was $350 retail)
  2. Buy only what you'll really wear.  There have been studies to find out what we really wear and what tends to sit in our closets and they have found that we only really wear two weeks worth of clothes regularly and the rest are rarely worn if at all, so why not clear out all that clutter and fill your closet with clothes that you really love and wear?  My rule is that I have about ten outfits for each season, then about ten "all season" pieces that are simple, classic and go with just about everything and ten trendy items.  I spend most of my money on the ten "all season" pieces and the least amount of money on the ten "Trendy" pieces.  My seasonal pieces are really only going to be worn about twice a month which means 6 times that season so nothing gets worn out, my "all season" pieces get worn a bit more but are still cycled through with the rest of my stuff and my trendy pieces may be worn a lot more but I know that I won't be wearing them next year so I don't care if they've bit the dust by the end of the season or year.
  3. ALWAYS shop with a list.  Don't just go thinking you'll just see what you find, know what you have, what you need and what you are looking for.  Have two lists, what you need and what you would like if it's the perfect item.  For example, I was on the lookout for the PERFECT classic trench coat, no matter where I went I kept an eye out for it, I saw a lot of coats I liked but none of them were "perfect" so I would just pass them by knowing that the coat I had would get me by just fine until I found it.  Lo and behold I found what I was looking for at H&M for only $50,  it's perfect, I LOVE it and I'm so glad that I had passed up all the other ones because now I feel great every time I put it on knowing that there aren't any other's I'll wish I'd gotten instead.
  4. Buy only what you LOVE!  This really fits with the 2nd point but how many times have you gone into a store, not found what you wanted but you felt like you NEEDED something so you just bought whatever was there and left, still feeling down about yourself because deep down you think it's your fault that everything doesn't look fabulous on your body.  Now think about how often you actually wear that item and how you feel every time you do put it on.
  5. Don't be afraid to snip, sew and spruce up.  "Ready to wear" clothes are made to fit the "average" body and since no one fits into the average perfectly no clothes are truly "ready to wear".  If you can find a great little dress that fit's your hips or chest but is too big in the waist, bring it in, always fit the largest part of you and tailor the rest.  If you find this "really cute" but plain top in a thrift store for only a couple dollars spending a couple more and a little time in adding that little something that takes it from drab to fab is well worth it.  If you have an old skirt that still fits and is in great shape but is outdated, maybe you could shorten the hem or add a great new belt.  
  6. Utilize your friends.  Maybe they can give you some great clothes they can't wear any more, tell you about some great places to shop or just give you an honest opinion, any way you look at it having good friends around makes everything nicer.
  7. Take your time.  Don't be in a hurry, having the perfect wardrobe is an ever changing thing so if your clothes aren't what you love and feel great in just take your time buying one piece at a time and getting rid of anything you don't love or wear.  You'll be surprised how quickly your attitude and wardrobe will take shape and be everything you always wished it could be.

Friday Fashion Finds

This great little classic dress from Banana Republic can be dressed up or down and is so easy to wear and will be in style for years to come.   For a simple casual day running around doing errands you can wear it with these super cute flats and bracelet.
Or for a night out wear this beautiful necklace and pair of classic red heels.

All my "shopping" was done at one site because I love "one site shopping" every week I'll make sure to feature at least one "all season", one seasonal and one "trendy" item along with finding those same great items on sale whenever I can.  Let me know what kind of outfit you'd like me to shop for next week

How Food Becomes Abuse

We all want what's best for our children, even when we don't want what's best for ourselves, and yet so many of us are feeding our kids what is cheap and easy and thus killing our kids.  Not that it's all our fault, not by a long shot just look at all the things the food industry has done to our food to fool us into thinking that the garbage they are selling is delicious and good for you.  I was eating one of those "lean" frozen sandwich pockets, the chicken artichoke and spinach one, and while I was reading everything it was saying about the importance of eating lots of different protein, I also checked out the ingredients, the chicken was made from "Modified Food Starch" and chicken flavoring, WHAT?!?!?!!?!  Here I thought I was getting meat but NOOOO, it's really starch manipulated until it has the consistency of meat and then flavored so I'd be fooled into thinking I was eating the real thing.
Not only that but I have started to notice odd things in my food like titanium dioxide, which is used for sunscreen, is in some of my soups and ice creams and shakes so that it looks "Extra Creamy", YUCK!!!!!!!  They spray our meat, mostly beef and fillers with ammonia but they don't have to list it as an ingredient because it's not an "intended" ingredient.  How does that work, do they just "accidentally" spray the meat with ammonia EVERY time and then just say oops, I mean if they know they are putting it on the meat, even if it is to clean it, wouldn't that make it an ingredient?
I was okay for a long time with all the weird ingredients that I couldn't pronounce for a long time, I figured that they were just there in tiny amounts and only as preservatives so I didn't worry too much about what they were but now I'm just disgusted and grossed out by all the crap they do to our food and pissed off that they have gotten away with it for so long.  Not only do they put weird things in there but they design it to be addictive and make us crave more than is healthy, no wonder our kids are the fattest generation and are getting ADULT DIABETES, sorry "type 2" which used to be only adults.  And now our nation is dropping off like flies from our massive consumption of all this crap they've convinced us is food.
By the way, why isn't anyone talking about the fact that Type 2 Diabetes is a disease you CHOOSE through what you eat and how you live but that's a soapbox I'll have to leave for another post.

I'm sorry about the soap box, I promise not to post things like this very often.

I'm being featured!!

On Coupon Clippin Mommy!  I love this blogger and she has posted a review of my Turquoise Teething/ Nursing Necklace along with a giveaway and sale for all of her followers.  Check out her wonderful review here.

Super Easy Upside Down Pancake

I made this for breakfast this morning, I sprayed a small ceramic baking dish with cooking spray, poured a little sugar in the bottom to coat and then covered the bottom with thinly sliced strawberries.  I mixed up the pancake batter just like I always do for my "Happy Pancakes" except that I used "strawberry applesauce" and blueberry wheat pancake mix because that's what I had on hand.  Pour the pancake batter over the strawberries, put the dish in the microwave and cook on high until a knife comes out clean in the middle,  about 3-8 minutes.  Turn the Pancake over onto a serving dish and out a few fresh slices on top and VOILA you have a yummy breakfast that seems much fancier than boring old pancakes and you didn't even have to turn on the oven or sit at the stove babysitting them.

You can also do this easily with apples, pears. plums, etc.  it's best to cook the slices a bit first if you are using apples or pears but if I'm feeling lazy then I just cut the slices with a veggie peeler and then the slices are so thin that it doesn't matter.

More Babies

For those of you who want to watch the trailer over and over like my kids and I do here it is!!  I can't wait to see it.