Monday, March 28, 2011

I have messy writing.

My handwriting has been compared to hieroglyphics and too many times have I heard the 'you should have been a doctor' joke when people see what it looks like. Lindsey at Otto's Mom Blogs recently posted a handwriting meme and then tagged me and because I think it's funny and interesting to see your favorite blogger's handwriting I took on the challenge! The results? Even worse than I expected. I decided I'm just gonna blame the bad pictures and poorly chosen paper color. (Apparently we are supposed to use a scanner, but as Alana wisely put it 'I'm not an Office Max, yo'! I mean, do people really have scanners? I don't even have a printer!)

I told you it was bad... I warned you! If I tagged you, you better post yours so I don't feel like such an ass. I can't be the only one with horrible handwriting!


Friday, March 25, 2011

Exciting announcement!

I've been keeping a secret. Over the past month or so I have been working really hard on a top secret project and I am FINALLY ready to tell you guys all about it!

As you all know, I love to do paper crafts. More specifically, I like making scrapbook pages, handmade cards, and DIY party favors. I'm usually working on something all the time, and since I've gotten my Silhouette I pretty much haven't stopped. Normally the things I make are given as gifts or are used to decorate for a holiday or event. However, after much encouragement from friends and family, I have decided to open up my own Etsy shop! I wasn't sure about it at first because it can be embarrassing to put your handmade items out there for people to judge, but I decided I love doing it, and it makes me happy so why not? It's a way to bring in some extra money to support my family and having fun doing it!

For the past month I have been working non-stop creating an inventory for my shop, photographing everything, and then listing it. I can't even begin to explain how hard it has been to keep a secret. Now that I have a good stock of items ready I set the GRAND OPENING date for April 1st which is one week from today! To celebrate the opening, every day next week leading up to it, I'm going to post sneak peaks of the things I will have in my shop here on the blog! That's right, you guys get to see it all before anyone else! AND on the day of the grand opening I will give my blog readers a discount code so make sure you stick around!

I am so excited to share this with you guys and I really hope you like what I've come up with! And to everyone who has encouraged me along the way, THANK YOU! I couldn't have done this without you!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's Wine Wednesday, let's get saucy!

My lovely pal Alana over at Life on the Mom List hosts a fun series called Wine Wednesday every week and this week she asked me if I wanted to participate! Of course I said yes because hello? I haven't drank in about a month and it was time to get SAUCY!

Here's how it works:
  • I drink cheap wine
  • I tell you about it
  • I get drunk and take innappropriate pictures
Sounds fun, right? I chose to review my all time favorite wine, Barefoot Moscato. This is a dessert wine found at Target and most grocery stores. I typically like white wine (the sweeter the better) so Moscato is the perfect choice! You can buy this wine at Target for only $5.99 (and if you're anything like me, you practically live at Target anyway so #winning!) and I would DEFINITELY consider it a steal!

From the bottle:
"...a sweet wine with delicious mouth-watering flavors of juicy peach and apricot. Hints of lemon and orange citrus compliment a crisp, refreshing finish."

This wine is delicious! It has a very light, crisp taste and it goes down really smooth leaving a sweet taste in your mouth. To me it smells like apples and SUNSHINE! It is definitely my favorite Moscato out there and you literally can't beat that price! Moscato is best paired with fruit or dessert or even spicy Chinese food for a cozy night in. Try it with a snack of apples and cheese or a cupcake (both of which I had today... don't judge me) and you won't be disappointed. I would recommend this wine for a girls night or even to have with a nice Sunday brunch!

I give this wine 5 out of 5 corks because it's delicious and cheap (like all the great things in life are)!  Now go try this wine and let me know what you think! And don't forget to check out Heather, Lindsey, and Alana's blog for more Wine Wednesday fun!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I never would have guessed how drastically my goals would have changed after having a baby. My plan had always been to return to work when Cayden was 6 weeks old, take off one semester and then return to school, and one day be a successful career woman. After Cayden arrived everything changed. It was physically painful to be away from him and I felt like I was missing everything. I was unhappy at my job and miserable that the only time I got to spend time with my baby boy was after work from 6-8pm. Luck was in my favor though, because not even 2 months after returning to work I lost my job. I was ecstatic! Not only would I get to spend all day, every day with my little guy but I would get unemployement benefits until I could figure out a plan for working at home. I've been home with Cayden for about 4 months now and not a day has gone by that I haven't been thankful. I see every smile, every tear, every milestone he hits and I know this is how it SHOULD be. I want to stay home and raise my babies. I still haven't returned to school and honestly, I don't know if I want to. I had always dreamt of being an elementary school teacher, and having my own classroom with field trips, history projects, and arts and crafts. I loved school growing up and I love children. However, every time I turn on the news I hear about budget cuts, union strikes, pink slips, 60 child classrooms, and online schools. Just recently I read an article saying that in 20 years there would be no more traditional classrooms and teachers. Not only does this make me sad, but it scares me. I don't want to spend time going to school getting a degree that is worth nothing for a career that has no future. I am terrified to send Cayden off to a school with metal detectors, drugs and bullies just to be taught by a stressed out under-paid teacher who doesn't have the time or energy to worry about whether or not my son is reaching his full potential. And after nearly 6 months of thinking about it, I've realized that I can have it all. I can be a full time mother. I can teach him myself. I can be with him day after day and have full control over what he learns and experiences on a day to day basis. I want to protect him and shelter him and shape him into a good person. I want to homeschool.

I've been thinking a lot about my long term plans. I know that I want to try for another baby in the Fall, but I also know that it will put a huge financial strain on us unless something changes. Living in California is NOT cheap, ESPECIALLY  the Orange County/Los Angeles area where we are. We pay more to rent a 1 bedroom apartment then my sister (living in TN) pays for the mortgage of her 3 bedroom home. Not only is it expensive, but I (personally) feel that this is a toxic place to raise a child. Around here the focus is on money and labels and possessions and outer beauty. I know that it's like that in every state, but it's magnified 100x here in Southern California. We are just a short car ride away from the fashion capital of the country and celebrities in multi-million dollar homes. My entire life I have felt that I didn't belong here. I know most people think that CA is the perfect place to live with the perpetual 70 degree weather and beaches, but it's not for me. I'm ready to move to another state. I want to see the seasons change. I want to see the brilliant colors of trees in the Fall and I want my kids to get snowed in and run around barefoot during scorching hot summers. I want to be able to afford my own home with a big porch and actually have LAND and SPACE for my kids to play and explore. I don't even like the beach... I'm a pale, white Russian girl and trust me when I say that I look ridiculous in a bikini. I could care less about the new iPad and would rather spend my time baking apple pies with babies under foot. I truly just want to live a simple life.

Mando and I have talked about our future plans and feel bad, like I've blind sighted him with all these new ideas and plans. When we first met I was working in the corporate world, wearing 5 inch stilettos everyday, going to the gym 3 times a week, and partying all weekend. I had no idea I would turn into this person who just wants to stay home and raise babies, homeschool, bake, and grow a garden. But I can't help the person I've become, and the reality of the situation is that this is the future I see for myself now. This is what I want out of life.

Of course Mando, being the amazing man he is, supports me 100%, but I know that it will be hard for him. He hates change and it will be terrifying for him to up and leave the place where he (and I) were born and raised. And his family. It will be so, so hard for him to leave his family. I honestly don't know if he could do it. I have a small family, and we're all spread out anyway, so I know it wouldn't be so hard for me. Mando's entire family is here though, along with his childhood friends. We've talked about it though, and we both agree that moving would be in our best interests as a family. We could have more babies and live comfortably and take vacations. We don't want to move far. I'm thinking Portland, or maybe Austin so we'd still be close enough to trip home if we wanted. Hopefully after getting married within the next year we'll be ready. Right now it's just a dream, but I'm ready to make it our reality.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patricks Day!

"May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!" -Irish Proverb

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Favorites, My 100th post, and the GIVEAWAY WINNER!

Wow, my 100th post... First of all, I can't believe I made it this far! I started blogging back when I was pregnant with Cayden and my posts consisted mostly of the day-to-day ramblings of a pregnant woman with some pictures thrown in. And while I do still ramble, over time my blog has developed into what I envisioned it to be... recipes, crafts, pictures of Cayden, giveaways, and most of all, creative inspiration! Now that I have a new camera I can't wait to keep growing and developing my blog into a place where you can go when you want to feel inspired. I just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who takes the time to read my posts. One of the ways I like to thank my readers is by having giveaways to give you all a chance to win something I think you'll love! So without further ado, here are the winners of the Bountiful Blessings giveaway!

Winner #1 who wins any item of their choice from the Bountiful Blessings Baby Boutique is...
Michelle S.!

Winner #2 who receives a 50% promo code to use on the item of their choice is...


CONGRATULATIONS! Please leave a comment with your email address and I will contact you shortly. If I do not hear from you in 48 hours I will have to choose a new winner so please be in touch! 

Now, let's get down to business. It's Friday and you know what that means... it's time for this week's Friday Favorites! Even though I live in Southern California, the land of 70 degree weather, I still look forward to Spring every year. As soon as March rolls around the days get warmer and the sun shines brighter and I start craving the outdoors. Picnics, gardening, camping, the beach... I love it all! This is Cayden's first spring and I can't wait to show him all it has to offer. As the warm weather approaches, more and more Spring items start to pop up on Etsy and it has inspired me to get outside and enjoy this beautiful weather! 

When is the last time you flew a kite? I can't even remember, isn't that sad? This kite pillow cover makes me think of running down a grassy hill as a child and I love it. I can almost *feel* the green grass under my feet.

This sign was created 'as a tribute to fresh food' and was made from recycled farm machinery. I love farms and the life of hard work and simplicity that goes along with them. I want to hang this in my kitchen and bake a pie.  

This fabric flower headband makes me think of Easter dresses, tights, and Mary-Janes. Have any of you started decorating for Easter yet? It's one of my favorite holidays and I can't wait to make Cayden's first Easter basket!

I'll be honest, I've never gardened before. I have this irrational fear of worms and they tend to pop up out of the soil when least expected so I've always stayed far, far away. However, this year I'm determined to plant a little garden at my mom's house. I want big, colorful flowers that will be in bloom in time for Cayden's first birthday party! I adore this vintage watering can... now I need to find the perfect straw hat to match! 

I've always wanted to throw a Spring garden party. Lemonade, a big salad, fresh bread, and angel food cake for dessert. Mmmmm. I would definately decorate with some flowers and this darling Spring bunting banner.

I adore vintage silverwear. I love looking at it when I go antique shopping and I would love to start a collection one day. Hammered spoons have a classic and unique look and can be used for anything from keepsakes to these garden markers.

Thanks again to all of my readers and for everyone who participated in the giveaway. If you didn't win, don't fret! I have another one already lined up for you. I'll post it soon so keep coming back!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Favorites: Let them eat cupcakes! {GUEST POST}

Hello there! I just wanted to pop in quickly to say that I did a Friday Favorites post, but you'll have to visit my sister's blog to see it! Her hot, British fiance is visiting so she asked me to do a guest post in her absense. Make sure to check it out, because the theme is CUPCAKES, people! And I may or may not have created the best recipe ever for OREO CUPCAKES. Yeah, you definitely don't want to miss it. Go here to see the complete post!

Have a great weekend everybody!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Recipe - Garlic Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo


I make pasta ALL THE TIME. It's usually a quick and easy meal for me to throw together on a busy night. Normally I'm a marinara gal, but I also love me some fettuccine alfredo. A few days back I was having a major craving when it hit me that I've never made fettuccine alfredo from scratch before. I knew I had to get on that right away.... it couldn't be that hard! But when I started looking at recipes online I couldn't find the right one. They were all missing the ingredients I wanted or had strange spices in them. I then decided it would be a good idea to make up my own recipe (for something I'd never even made before). I just took the main ingredients for the alfredo sauce and added some of my own. I also wanted to add garlic and chicken because, obviously. Luckily it turned out great except for excessive lemon flavor, but I've adapted my recipe below to remedy that. I love how there's so many different ways to eat this dish (with chicken, shrimp, garlic, broccoli, etc.) and this is something I'll definitely be making again!

(I'm just going to apologize right now for the bad photos. I have no natural light in my kitchen and I made this late in the evening)


Garlic Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

  • 1lb fettuccine noodles
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups grated parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper

Start by cooking the pasta in a large pot of boiling and salted water until tender. It took me about 12 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Chop your garlic into small pieces. Don't worry about being perfect, they can be rough and uneven pieces.


Meanwhile, add your butter to a LARGE skillet. I used the largest skillet I had and it was still overflowing so go big! Over low heat, melt the butter and then add your garlic.


Let the garlic and butter simmer until the garlic turns slightly brown.


Stir 2 1/2 cups of the cream and the lemon juice. Increase to medium heat and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat. Add the pasta and toss. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of cream, and Parmesan to the skillet. Add the lemon zest, nutmeg, salt, and white pepper.

Toss the pasta mixture over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Since I was using pre-made chicken strips I added that in at the end. I steamed some brocoli and baked some garlic bread to serve with. It was delicious!

Enjoy! If anyone else makes this let me know... I'd love to hear how you liked it!