Sponsor/Swap Partner Spotlight

Guys! I am super excited to introduce you to some awesome ladies. We've got everything covered, single life, mommy hood, a lady who hopped across the country (probs to be closer to me even though we didn't know each other at the time, it was fate) a girl who posts the most amazing recipes I've ever seen pics of and another "fun seeker"who goes to beer and wine festivals like its her job and makes me SO JEALOUS. 

Without further ado, here are some ladies who rock my bloggy world socks off: 

Alicia at Quirkstastic Adventures
Her Favorite Post:

Follow Her on Twitter

Stefani @ Miss Jo and Co.
Her Favorite Post: 
What I have learned from Being a Mother
Follow Her On Twitter

Brie @ Simple Single Girl Life
Her Favorite Post:

Kaitlyn @ Wifesionals
Her Favorite Post:

Mallory at From California to Kansas
Her Favorite Post:

2009's 25 Random Things

Do remember that time you used "Notes" on Facebook to post things that were too long for statuses? 
I do. And I also remember that time when I only had one kid,  thus had far too much time on my hands.
Enough time to come up with 25 random facts about myself.
Lucky for you (and for me, because some of these are funny) I uncovered one such question-aire from January 2009. 
I went through and made snide comments to myself from way back then (because you know, 3 years was so long ago!)
1. I just discovered last night that I need glasses, bad. I put on my husbands and started to cry because I realized how much I haven't been seeing (and now you do have glasses that you never wear because you're too lazy to keep track of them) 
2. My favorite is meal is Velveeta Shells & cheese with ketchup. (still the same, don't be ashamed)
3. I used my "Best Slide" softball trophy as an Oscar trophy and practiced my speech in my bedroom. (true story)
4. I had a make believe boyfriend named Drew Forrester. (ahhhh dear sweet green eyed Drew)
5. I love crosswords and sudoku puzzles (just wait, in 2012 you'll be addicted to apps with angry little alligators)
6. I still pick my nose.(and now you try to act surprised when you're kids do it in public, you're all like, where'd they learn to do that?!)
7. I was never homecoming queen but someone wrote that I was hot on the boys locker room stall in high school and I think that's just as good.(Actually, not that cool. You know what they were referring too and that's just unlady like)
8.When we were little, my big sister and I used to ask eachother "anything funny happen to you today?" every night before we went to sleep and sometimes I'd make things up just to make her laugh.
9. I still sleep with a security blanket I've had for 15 years.(FINALLY threw that thing away!)
10. I have flashed the city of Chicago from a hotel room window on Michigan Avenue.(still one of my shining moments. YOLO.)
11. The first time I french-kissed a boy, I was looking at a poster on the wall with a cat on a tree branch that said "Hang In There."
Found it! Also, the taste and smell of Winterfresh gum STILL brings me back to those make out seshes.
12. I still love holding my mom's hand.
13. I love love love to read.
14. I have had the same hair cut my whole life. Except when Mom cut it off right before kindergarten- I remember I was wearing a sweatshirt with penguins on it. Finally, you get crazy and go brunette in 2011. You're still a total blonde though.
15. I cry when really good people make it through to Hollywood on American Idol. American what?. Now you watch The Voice and the only reason you cry is because Blake and Adam are so flippin' hot. 
16. My eighteenth birthday was the best birthday ever. Ever. A surprise concert with your best friends and limo ride is pretty awesome. Just don't tell people it you were going to see Rascall Flatts.
17. I secretly think about Mike Row and I doing the "dirty job" and my husband is fully aware of this. 
18. Once I called my mom a "trouser snake" in KFC because I heard it on Ferris Bueler's Day Off and had no idea what it meant. (This is still funny)
19. For a long time I thought Julia Roberts was showing Richard Gere lollipops in Pretty Woman when she was showing him her condom assortment.
20. I drink Diet Pepsi every day. (Still going strong. You should get sponsored)
21. Sometimes I plant my Tae Bow DVD in the player so my husband thinks I worked out that day. 
22. I google or facebook search old boyfriends. I am over this. Now I facebook stalk the girls I went to high school with.
23. I really do have a rock and roll grandma.
24.I think my mom's tattoos are hot and wish I could get one. 
25. I used to try on my Aunt Aimee's clothes and prom dresses when she wasn't home. (Was I too embarressed when I wrote this last one to also admit I tried on my other Aunt Jill's Homecoming Queen crown and stared at myself in the mirror??) Must've been. 

Sunday Social

Sunday Social

1. What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid? Hands down the year my grandma made my sister and I poodle skirts. It was the first time I got to wear make up too. I loved that Halloween... 

2. If you could go back and dress up as something what would it be? I would have replaced my plastic Strawberry Shortcake mask with the scratch and sniff apron with a real costume, complete with her red hair and striped stockings...
3. Favorite costume as an adult? 
Well, that's an easy question: 

Poster board, paint, and a lot of 30 packs...

4. Favorite Halloween Candy?
Mini Reese's peanut butter cups, Tootsie Pops and Mini Twix....or prrreetttty much all of it, except that peanut butter taffy in the wax paper. 
5. Favorite Halloween Memory?
 Once  I was a sun flower and there was a huge storm and I remember lightning striking a tree right in our front yard as we were  going across the street to trick or treat. Because of the storm, we only made it to one house, but they gave us most of their candy because we were the only ones! 
 I had a lot of great costumes growing up so it makes for lots of fun memories.
6. Whats your favorite scary movie? 
Amityville Horror for sure! (the newer one with a half naked Ryan Reynolds. Nuff said. 

Happy Halloweenie!! 

Cara Box Swap

Wanna know what was in my Cara box from Allie at 
Little Mouse's House? 

Cara Box

Allie sent me the most thoughful Cara Box. It was filled with items that I really enjoy and I knew that Allie must have spent time on my blog really getting to know me.
There were stickers and envelopes and paper to help me create some fall themed cards, a key pendant, which are my favorite, and some feather embellished earrings, inspired by some that I posted about buying. She also sent me pumpkin spice coffee and awesome nail polish and the best scarf I have ever seen! There's also a tshirt transfer for R2 that said "my mom's foxy" which is too cute! 

I loved Allie's little personal touches like writing little notes inside the box to explain why she included some of the items. Like I said, it was all so thoughtful! 

I really enjoyed getting to know Allie and have a feeling it's the beginning of a long lasting blog friendship! 

Also, thanks again to Kaitlyn at Wifessionals for such a great swap! 

Book Review: The Diviners

The Diviners by Libba Bray
The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)

How COOL is this? A trailer for a book! 

I die. I love movie trailers, as in I watch them like most people watch full episodes of sitcoms on Netflix. Join my addiction at Rotten Tomatoes.
Why watch a whole movie when
 someone has already put the best parts in a 4 minute montage??

As you can probs tell, this book is a super natural mystery. Normally, it's not my go to genre but with Halloweenie coming up, I thought it would be a fun mix up. I also listened to this on audiobook which I am glad I did because the voices really added to the creepiness of the book.

The synopsis is this: It's the 1920s and 16 year old Evie O'Neill is busy causing trouble with her spicy attitude and constant addiction to stirring up trouble and getting attention. She's a super cute character who spouts of the funniest 20s-ish sayings through out the book, like "everything's jake, that's just the berries! and I'm posi-TUTE-ly certain!" I want to bring those diddies back, so watch out! 

Evie has a gift that she keeps to herself. She can read objects. As in, she holds a personal object of someone's in her hand and she can see that person's secrets in her mind. It plays out like a movie in her head. Which is how she ends up in big trouble with her parents and they ship her off to New York City to live with her Uncle. Someone needed to tell her 'rents that shipping your 16 year old off to the Big Apple during the prohibition is hardly a punishment. 

Here's some addition background from GoodReads: 

New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.

Evie, her pals Mabel and Theta, plus her uncle and his warden Jericho and a pick pocket named Sam Lloyd are some of the most entertaining, well-developed characters I have read about in a long time. Each one is so unique, it's hard to believe one person (Bray) created all of them. 

All of the characters play an important role in catching this killer that is terrorizing NYC.  It turns out that Evie isn't alone in her powers...

The murder scenes are gruesome and actually pretty terrifying. I couldn't get them out of my head. But then the next minute, Evie is saying something like "that's posi-tutely the jimmies!" and you loosen up soon after.

The killer is a very cool character and there are a lot of elements like spirits, super natural powers and creepiness that does keep you on the edge of your seat.

Read it, if you like this type of make believe, thrillers, the 20s and aren't afraid of a little blood. 

The only downside is that after the plot has climaxed, it's kinda of boring even though the books goes on for a couple chapters after the most exciting part happens. I think Bray should've ended the book on a higher, most exciting note. But there's definitely another book coming, I can tell because of the way it ends, plus the website calls it a series. (I'm a real detective, see?) 

Happy Friday, Fraaannndss! 

Today, I am linking up, check it out! 

It's Okay Thursday, Guilty Pleasures

Its Ok Thursdays

It's Okay Thursday which means it's time to come clean.

It's Okay to have guilty pleasures. 

Per the urban dictionary: 
 A Guilty Pleasure is: 
1 .something that you shouldn't like but like it anyway
2. Something that you love to do but you just cannot admit that you do it. 

Such as these:

So there you have it, I've come clean about my current guilty pleasures.

What are yours?

I love you even though you poop your pants

I had a funny moment this weekend and I wanted to share it with you. 
It had the potential to be a very bad moment, but as always, I handled it with grace and patience, so it was no big deal. HA. Sha right.

So, While at my bake a thon, everything was going totally smooth. The goodies were cooling on the stovetop and my friend and I had just twisted open some Angry Orchard and were chatting. Then R1 came into the kitchen with a worried expression on his face and lacing his fingers together the way he does when he is nervous or in trouble. 

"Mom" he whispers to me, "I accidentally just pooped my pants."
So matter of fact, so polite.

R1 is almost 5 and has been potty trained since he was 27 months old. 

Strangely, I felt this calm come over me, like "okay, I can handle this." I immediately remembered overhearing a mother in a bathroom yelling at her son for doing the same thing. This was years ago, when I was still a kid myself and I remember feeling so bad for that kid because she was being so mean to him. I wasn't going to do that. And trust me, yelling at my kids is a battle I lose all the time. But this time, I was chill.

After assessing the damage in the bathroom, R1 and I determined we needed to go home. I felt like giggling almost, because sometimes tragic events that are actually not that big of a deal in the long run are just funny.

Shit happens. 

When the little boys he was playing with asked him to come back outside, I came to his rescue and said "Boys, we have to leave, it's a school night and we have to get baths started, thanks so much for playing with Ryder!"

I quickly gathered up our stuff and out the door we went. I noticed in the car that R1 did every thing in his power to not sit on his bum. My heart lurched in my chest for him, not that I have memories of having poo in my pants, but I knew the emotional toll embarrassment can have on you.

In the car R1 asked me not to tell his dad. After a brief back and forth inner monologue, I decided that this was one of the times it was okay to lie to my child and I told him I wouldn't say anything to Big R.

But there was no way Big R and I weren't going to get a giggle out of this. I mean, he pooped his pants. Come on. It's a little funny. 

I told Big R the story after R1 had gone to bed that night. We had a giggle about the finger lacing habit and the conversation R1 must have had in his little brain with himself when he realized it was too late.

As I was tucking R1 into bed that night, I put my head on his chest like I always do when I tuck in him and tell him I love him while he plays with my hair. 

He said "I love you, mom. Even though you yell alot."

And I said, "I love you, too. Even though you poop your pants."

And then we giggled together, even steven. 

A pumpkin patch and a bake-a-thon

This weekend went by in a blur, but as I sit here in the silence of of the house, I can't help but think about how fun it all was.

I am so content, I wish this feeling could last forever, but I know it what will seem like just a few hours, it will be morning and my family will be running around like crazy people getting ready for work and school.

Big R was home because of the rain on Saturday, so we went to a pumpkin patch for the morning and had so much fun!  They had a petting zoo, obstacle courses, a play and you could buy hot dogs on sticks to roast over fires for lunch. The kids were having so much fun they didn't have time to misbehave ;)

When we got home, I started making dinner for a friend of mine who is 32 weeks pregnant and is on bedrest until the baby comes. I made baked zitti, green bean casserole and peach cobbler to bring her family. 

Peach cobber the easy way: 2 cans of sliced peaches in heavy syrup and a yellow cake mix. Pour the mix over the peaches and pat down firmly. Bake a 350 for 45 minutes, sprinkle with cinnamon and serve with ice cream.

They have a 4 and 2 year old, so I was hoping to help out any way I could and who doesn't love dinner delivered! We stayed over there and had dinner while the kids all played. It was so nice! 

Today I brought leftovers to the bean field for Big R and his dad and R1 stayed with them to ride in the combine and R2 and I went home. While she napped, I made a couple of felt flowers, cleaned the house, basked in the glory of the fact that I was having such a stressless afternoon! 

This afternoon, the kids and I headed over to my friend Tisha's house. We had decided to get together and bake and we had so much fun! The kids played while we cooked up a storm. 

 I made dark chocolate raspberry bread 
Be still my heart

I also made these sweet little things :) 
I plan on saving these treats to serve at book club tomorrow night, which I am hosting. I hope they last long enough to make an appearance! 

Tisha made this masterpiece: 

Tisha also introduced me to this little friend in a bottle: Angry Orchand Hard Cider. YUM.
 It was so good to hang out with her. We are planning a Christmas craftathon for November. 

Our pumpkin patch visit: 

Sunday Social

Sunday Social

1. What do you value most in life?
My husband and children first and foremost...I've never known such unconditional love.

2. What do you think is the greatest invention in your lifetime and why? I think the cell phone is a pretty obvious choice. I think everything that goes with it has completely changed  the way we live. Our home phone line is practically obsolete and it's funny because I lived for our landline as a pre teen. I remember hiding the cordless phone in my room and the constant fear that someone was on the other line listening. Cell phones means more privacy, always being available and way more entertainment than generations before us have ever been used to. 

3. What do you think is the secret to a good life? The secret to life is there is no secret (Thanks Faith Hill), but if I had to choose something, I'd have to tell you that there's something to be said for just letting yourself be happy. Don't stress about the little things, let people help you who want to, be quick to give your love and understanding even if you are wary, because eventually, that will be given back to you tenfold. I know that if I just let it flow, I'd be much more chill. Just let the ones who love you without you even trying, love you, let the things that make you happy surround you and don't go searching fo no trouble. ;) 

4. What would you most like to be remembered for when you’re gone? The little things I do for the ones I love that may not be a big deal, but always just let you know that I cared and was thinking of you. 

5. What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of? Being a mom and having two healthy children who love their mommy and think she's neat :)  Their smiles are like crack .

6. If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play you? Alicia Silverstone. I love her hair and wanted to be her circa 1997 and never really got over the girl crush! 

Rapunzel Wig

I made Reese a Rapunzel wig for Halloween and I can't get over the cuteness :) 

She calls Rapunzel "Princeth with long hair"
I wanted to make her a wig to look like Rapunzel in Tangled when she went to the town and the little girls braided her hair. I searched for wigs on Pinterest and Etsy and figured I would just make one myself, so here's the process: 

My supplies: 

 Ok so first I cut the entire thing of yarn in 4-ish foot strips and bundled them all together. 
Then I wrapped the head band in the yarn.

 Then I enlisted the help of Big R and we braided the yarn. Mostly, he braided, because he's awesome like that. ;) 

Oh yeah and I had some extra purple yarn so I added that into the mix to give it some color.

 During the braiding process, it didn't  go entirely smooth, so I had to be honest and take a picture of this "tangled" mess! Ha nice pun! 
 So when it was all braided, I found the middle point and glued that along the outside of the head band. 

 Then I twisted the two strands together. This is the point that I did a happy little giggle when I realized how cute it was turning out to be :) 

 And next I started hot gluing flowers to the hair. I used a mixture of silk flowers and some felt flowers I had made.

 and then voila! 

 I still have to tie it in places so the hair stays twisted together but I couldn't wait to have Reese try it on.

I think she likes it! 

What are  your little ones going to be for Halloween?