Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

Here's the Christmas card we are sending out to all of our family and friends this year! I would have loved to send a Christmas card to all of my blog followers but I think that would have been a bit pricey, seeing as it would have put me at sending over 100 cards. Every year so far we've gotten are cards off of Shutterfly, along with some other gifts and prints! I love Shutterfly, if you never checked out there website...I highly recommend it! You can always find a great gift idea!

Happy Holiday from my family to all of yours!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Enjoying the Carousel at the Mall.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


The stomach bug has hit our one was safe. Being miserable and trying to take care of a 17 month old is nearly impossible! Eric and I are feeling a little better today.I finally have been able to drink something and eat a tiny bit. Claire is on her way up too (although she did have a 2 puke episodes this morning) but she wanted food and water after so I'm hoping the stomach bug is about to leave our home for good. I Lysoled my whole house this morning, I hope it will help! I just want us all finally normal by Thursday. Thursday is my dad's birthday we have reservations to have dinner at PF Changs! Plus Christmas is creeping up on us and I still have tons to do!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Great Elf Off

I've seen people "Elf" themselves in the past but never thought too much of it...until this year.I watched a few videos and new instantly that I must "Elf" my family! I had so much fun going through pictures and trying to find the perfect ones! Thank goodness my family and I are totally goofs; I was able to find three pretty awesome pictures! Enjoy!

Want to make your own, and join a linky of other people making funny videos? Link up here:

Elf Off 2010

Happy Holidays from my Elf family to yours!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Why Do Dogs Hate Mail Carriers....

I think between 10am - 11am is the most annoying time of my day. It's when my snail mail gets delivered and when my two dogs go CrAzY! It's so annoying and so overly loud. Don't get me wrong, I love that they are protective and bark but they bark at EVERYTHING. They will even bark at a damn leaf floating by. From mail carriers, other dogs, squirrels, to snow...if you are outside there window you will get barked at. I have a huge picture window and my couch backs up to it and that's where they sit, waiting for anything that they can open their little mouths and bark at. My window is covered in saliva and snot every day and every night I clean it and just to repeat the very next day. I love my girls but sometimes, they drive me nuts. I'm not for shock collars but I wish they had something less mean to solve a little barking problem! I've tried the spray bottle of water, shaking a can of marbles at them, the newspaper trick and nothing, nothing works! I guess it's just the joy of being a pet own! I think my next pet will be a cat...or maybe a fish!

(FYI: the barking attack is happening at this very moment...)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Family/Holiday Pictures 2010

Photos by LaRoche Photography
Please don't copy this pictures! Thanks!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Ideas

So this year, Eric and I haven't been focused on ourselves for Christmas. We are so excited about Claire's 2nd Christmas but 1st Christmas she will actually care about her toys. Seeing as last Christmas she was 5 months old and just sat there! We have put all of our time, money and thoughts towards Claire (which we are totally fine with). A few weeks ago, my mom and dad asked for our Christmas list. Of course, I've been making Claire for awhile but mine and Eric's were not even in the making. Immediately, I thought..."what do I need?" It was really hard for me to make a full list of items that I needed or wanted for my parents and Eric's. Usually, I have no problem but this year, my focus was Bug. I managed to write down some things but I know they will have to do the rest on their own. Realizing that Eric and I didn't have anything major on our list to share between each other, we've decided to get something small from Claire for each other and then find one nice thing to get each other.

We really have always wanted the single-brew coffee makers so we thought that would be a great gift for Christmas for each other. We are not sure which one we want, there are two options:

There's the Tassimo one:
and there's the Keurig one:

both have great coffee, hot coco, iced coffee, latte flavors. The Keurig one is probably the one in the lead because you can buy the refill coffee packets at Costco! We will probably go this weekend to check out both options from Bed Bath and Beyond (yay for 20% off coupons).

I'm excited about this present because I love making tea or hot coco but I hate warming up the water or milk in the microwave. I feel like you can never get it the perfect temperature. These two machines would solve that problem! Another plus is, we will probably be saving money by not going to Starbucks or other coffee shops so often, since we have so many type of coffee and flavor options! I'm excited for Christmas! I can't believe it approaching so quickly! I better get to wrapping the gifts I do have and head to the store for the items I don't have!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This is what I get to wake up to every morning...Love!

Monday, December 6, 2010

DIY Chalkboards

I wanted to make Claire a spot where she could be creative. Well, we had enough room in the living room and her bedroom, so Claire actually got two art centers. The one in the living room is her main chalkboard area and the one in her bedroom (also has a chalkboard but it's mainly for looks) is where she gets to do all her other fun art projects, like coloring, playing with play-doh and finger paints. She loves her centers and she's actually really good with coloring with her crayons. She loves to change her crayon color every few seconds but hey, she likes options! She also loves when some one plays chalk with her! She'll have you draw a picture and then try to draw over it. We do still have to watch her very close because she does enjoy licking/eating the chalk, crayons, and play-doh. Thank God, they are all non-toxic!

If you haven't thought about an art center for your toddler, you might want to consider it. It gives them something else to play with though out the day and it will help them with their hand/eye coordination and creativity. Claire loves it and I'm sure your toddler would too!

What you need to make a chalkboard:

1. Head to your local Goodwill (Theft Store) and find a picture in the size and shape you want. You can do a medium to large size so you can hang it on the wall or you can do a smaller size and make it a lap chalkboard. (No worries, the chalkboard paint goes right over the glass frame)
      * The two pictures I got to make Claire's chalkboards were $2 and $4 - so really cheap!

2.  Head to your closet, garage, basement or wherever you might keep old paint - You will use this to paint the frame, the color you want.

     *  I used our kitchen color and an accent color from Claire's room to paint both of the frames

3. Chalkboard paint (I found mine at Menard's for $9.99) - There are different color's you can choose from, I went with normal, black. Also, don't let the $10 price turn you away - I've made two chalkboards, paint a tray to put on my coffee table and will be making two more chalkboards for Christmas presents and I still have a ton of paint left!

     * After painting the frame the color you want, make sure it's dry and you can paint the glass frame with the chalkboard paint. After you get the first coat, you have to wait at least 3 hours before you can apply the second coat. I recommend at least two coats. I did two coats for Claire's and they work great!

4. Pick up some chalk (We use side-walk chalk because it's easier for Claire to use - I found some at Wal-mart for $2.99)
     * Her chalk, I keep up on a shelf in the living room. If I did not she would be drawing with chalk all over my house!

5. Pick a spot and hang the new chalkboard up! (You have to wait 36-48 hours after the last coat before you can start drawing on it)
      * Claire has a chalkboard in her room and in the living room - she loves them!

Here are Claire's Art Centers:
Claire's bedroom chalkboard/art center

Claire's living room chalkboard

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Very Yummy Recipe

I found this recipe on  "" I immediately knew this was something I wanted to make. After reading the recipe, I said, "I'm basically finished before I started"! That's how amazingly simple this recipe truly is...but don't let the simplicity fool you, the taste is amazing!


  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar and spice. Mix well, and pour into a 9x13 inch pan.
  3. Sprinkle dry cake mix over the top, then drizzle with melted butter. Top with walnuts.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
Now, go and enjoy!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Over Year of Having a Green Butt

A year ago, when Claire was 4 months old. I was out and about and happened on this cute little baby boutique in Orland Park, IL - "Cutie Poops and Bottoms". You can read about it here. At that time, anything baby related I had to check out. As soon as I walked it, I was greeted by the owner. She was very nice, informative, and helpful. I stayed for awhile, learning all about the wonders of cloth diapering. By the time I walked out of the doors, I knew Claire's butt would be green in the very near future. All I had to do was convince Eric!

The following weekend, I convinced Eric to take a drive out to Orland with me. We got their, the owner did her little education bit about cloth diapering. I was hooked but the question was Eric...he was! He loved the thought of saving so much money! We started off small and started with 2 "Happy Heinys" all in one, one size fits all cloth diaper. We used them for a week or so, getting the feel for them, seeing how Claire did. Everything came back as an A+. We feel in love. We went back and order a bunch more, 13 to be exact.

Over the last year, we used them every day, every night. We've add a few different types of cloth diapers into Claire stash: Bumgenius, fuzzibunz. We love them both! The routine of cloth diapering is so simple. Wash, use, wash, use and so on. Claire rarely gets diaper rash, we don't have to go out and buy a box of diapers every week or so. We even got our good friends to go give their son a green butt! Our families learned how to change a cloth diaper (it's really pretty similar). We were using good old regular Tide for the longest time until just recently, I heard of a great new eco-friendly detergent - "Eco-Sprout". We gave it a try and to our surprise, it works great. Claire's diapers smell so fresh! We highly recommend giving it a try but if you can't afford an eco-friendly detergent, Tide works great too.

I know we will continue to be a cloth diapering family. I've witnessed the positive aspects of cloth diapering, I'm telling you the truth, it's awesome. If you ever wanted to give it a go, do! Don't be scared- it's really simple! Plus, who doesn't love saving money over the years (from birth to potty training).

Here are some pictures of Claire in her cloth diapers:

Here are some examples of the cloth diapers we use: (Aren't the colors cute?)

Happy Heinys cloth diaper
Bumgenius cloth diaper

Fuzzibunz cloth diaper

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thank Goodness for Firdays (and weekends)

TGIF, everyone! The week started out crappy but is ending pretty nicely! Despite all Claire's teething issues, she's doing much better. Not sure if here teefers broke through or the pain as just decreased - she will NOT let us in her mouth!  Oh well. Yesterday, was Eric and I's 4th anniversary. We had a nice dinner at a cute little restaurant in downtown Valparaiso, In - just the two of us, no baby. It was weird but so relaxing, just what we need! Tonight is Eric's Holiday party for work (yes, the job he started on Monday - which by the way, he absolutely positivley loves!). I get to dress up again and spend the evening with my hubby. We rarely get evenings like this, so it's pretty exciting for me! I love dressing up, I just don't have much reason to any more. Since becoming a stay-at-home mommy, yoga pants and sweat pants is basically what I sport Monday-Thursday. Tomorrow, Saturday we are going to head downtown to either Scince and Industry Muesum or the Children's Muesum to celecbrate our anniversary with Claire. Sunday we are having friends over to grill out- so Sunday will be nice and relaxing. I just hope the "grill out" part happens...I'm pretty sure snow is in our near future! Boo. Oh well, the weekend will be full of fun, no matter how much snow is dropped on Chicago!

Well, I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy 4th Anniversary

Today is Eric and I's 4th wedding anniversary! I can't believe it's been 4 years, 4 awesome years! We have done a lot over those 4 short years and I wouldn't have changed one thing! I've enjoyed every moment of being husband and wife! I married my best friend and his given me the world, his given me my daughter! Here's to another wonderful 4 years (and many, many more) - I can't wait to see what will happen!

Here are some pictures of Eric and I over the last 4 years:

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