Friday, May 27, 2011

30 Weeks

We're 30 weeks along today, an important milestone for us. When pregnant with ER this was when I went on bedrest; where I would remain for the rest of that long weeks.  I am doing a lot better this time around, being on medication from the start has really kept my blood pressure in check and within the normal ranges. 

It was quite high by now last time and the perinatologist were very concerned about blood flow back and forth and ER's growth rate.  It's so nice to have doctor visits this time and hear how normally everything is progressing; to not have to discuss what they're monitoring with concern.  I'm sure that has also helped with blood pressure, a mommy-to-be less stressed out about the developing baby is just better all around.

I now weight more than I have ever, in my entire life - including the end of the first pregnancy.  I have ten weeks left to go, yikes!  At least the cramping and leg pain has subsided a little bit and so has the ankle and foot swelling, in the past week.  I think that now I'll be able to exercise a little bit more and hopefully keep my weight in check.  The doctors aren't concerned about my weight gain, it's within normal ranges, but I'd like to keep up my energy and minimize what I have to loose afterward.  Plus being active will only continue to help with blood pressure monitoring.  I my belly has really popped out since the last belly shot at 26 weeks, I shared and can really feel the extra pounds when I try to sit up.

If you missed it, you can see our latest ultrasound pictures and find out how baby is progressing in last week's pregnancy update


Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Crafty Soiree #39

Hello to my craftiest friends!  Is anyone else having trouble with leaving comments through blogger?  I visited tons of our party goers but for some reason whenever I tried to leave one, it would sign me in as anonymous and not let me publish my comment, a total bummer :(  Just know that I clicked over to almost everyone, I love seeing what you're up to!  This week I inspired by all the furniture makeovers linked up, here are three of my favorites!
I love the color Melissa at born-again crafter picked for her side table redo, it looks really great with the turquoise tray on it for a pop of color.
These cute stools were hand painted with vintage seed packet designs, Suzy's Artsy Crafty Sitcom.  I'm partial to the one with the peas on it and I can't believe how she turned five dollar yard sale finds into such fabulous seats!
I love the blue and shabby chicness of the chair makeover at Liz Marie Blog, a two dollar chair never looked so good!
Ladies, for being our features this week, we're happy to offer you our special Crafty Soiree Ribbon! It's yours to proudly display! Don't forget to check out today's Crafty Soiree post at Yesterday on Tuesday, we both pick three participants to feature each week so you might have been featured by Malia. But you'll have to visit her to find out!
Now it's your turn to link up! The linky will be open for a week, so you have plenty of time to join us! Here are some guidelines for our guests:
  • Link up your creative projects! Crafts, Kid Crafts, Decor, Recipes, Sewing and Organizing tips are are welcome.
  • Add up to FOUR links to share, you can link up projects from your archives, but please make sure it's not something you've previously linked up to A Crafty Soiree AND you add a link back to the party!
  • Add your links to the specific posts and not your blog's homepage.
  • Add my Crafty Soiree button above or link back to me in your posts, so others can find us and join in!
  • Please comment on the post linked up in front of you. All party goers love meeting new friends... don't just stop there...if you see something that catches your fancy-- stop by and say hi!
  • Please consider following the hostesses, me and Malia, we want to get to know our guests.
  • Most importantly... enjoy yourself and have fun!
Don't forget, A Crafty Soiree is hosted on two blogs, so when you link up on one your link will automatically show up on the other one too! Please note, by linking up to A Crafty Soiree, you're giving permission to feature your project and photos in the future, with proper credit of course☺


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lucky Times Three: 3 Great Wins for Baby

Baby #2 isn't here and already he's beginning to have quite a pile up of goodies!  I've been entering giveaways like crazy, trying to win some neat stuff for him and so far I've managed to win three times!!!  We got this adorable Cotton Tale Bouncer from Bright Starts via Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House.  It was so exciting to get the email from Dee, as this is one piece of baby equipment we don't have from ER.  She preferred her swing, but I wanted to options and I think the bunny is just too cute.  This one plays music, has gentle vibrations, and a removable toy bar.  Most importantly, the cover is washable and the harness to hold in baby will keep him safe.  I can't wait to see him in it and I'll update you all on how he likes it after he's born.

By the way, Dee has another awesome giveaway going on right now for a Bumbleride Natural Edition - Indie Ocean Stroller.  Open until June 13th, it's one you won't want to miss, I already entered☺  Plus she's super nice, I've been reading her blog Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House for a couple of years now so if you aren't already you should start!
We also have something all ready for Baby to snuggle in, our Gunapod was won through Mom Central.  The wearable blanket is the kind of thing ER just loved wearing her whole first winter.  Her's were all pink so I was going to have to go get some new ones, and the Gunapod is so soft and thick, like fleece...perfect.  It very roomy and has a easy access full front zip and another zipper at the bottom.  So I can put zip him in completely or let his feet can stick out to get more air.  The zippers also make it very easy for late night diaper changes.  I can't believe how luxurious it feels.
The latest baby item to be added to my stash is this Happy Blankie, I won as a prize at the Reviewer's Retreat.  It was our first night, at the Meet & Greet Party, and each table had a pretty bag on it.  Based on the color of Vera Bradley Lanyard we were wearing, yes I said Vera Bradley and you betcha I was so giddy to get pick up mine at Check-In! 

It was kind of like a White Elephant Party and because my ID holder was the only one in Blue Lagoon, that I picked because it's ER's current favorite pattern, I got to pick or steal someone else's prize.  Once I took a look at what was inside the bag at my table I knew I wouldn't be switching!

Chase the Dog is a really fun shaped baby blanket that's got soft minky fabric on one side and a satiny one on the other side.  Little ones really love textures, and I just know this is going to be one of Baby #2's favorites.  I'm thinking it might even end up being his lovey since it's got such a sweet puppy face on it.  Ours is the medium size so it will be perfect for going everywhere with him.

After I got back to our room at the Great Wolf Lodge, I read the tag about Happy Blankies and got even more excited.  The mission behind Happy Blankies is so cool and based on the dream of an eight year old boy named David.  He wanted to help make kids happy by giving kids all over the world a special blankie.  When you buy a Happy Blankie, you also get a special code to give one to a child.  It's a small way you can help provide a child with something that's soothing and provides a sense of security.  You even get to choose where it goes.  That's more than enough reason for me to love Happy Blankies, the super sweet designs just make it even better!

Thank you to each of the sponsors and organizations or bloggers who arranged the giveaways!


Disclosure: I won each of the products mentioned in this post, all opinions expressed are personal and posting about each was not a requirement to win. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Great Outdoors on DVD Review

Today fans of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse will be able to pick up the newest DVD release featuring the popular Playhouse Disney show.  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Great Outdoors contains four previously aired episodes starring Mickey and his pals Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Pluto plus a brand new one "Mickey's Fish Story". 

I have always enjoyed watching the show with my daughter. I like how it encourages participation by asking the viewers questions and that it infuses the storyline with learning opportunities. For example in "Mickey's Campout" the characters count how many tents and friends there are. Then they have to figure out how the six of them can share three tents. The answer, two friends to a tent, encourages higher level thinking and beginning division concepts. To help the viewer visualize the problem, the items being counted or discussed are often highlighted by being outlined with a white line. Then the characters usually sum up the solution in a statement, a nice technique any classroom teacher will recognize.

Each of the five included episodes in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Great Outdoors is themed around outdoor fun like camping, fishing, exploring, and heading to the jungle.  They follow the familiar pattern of the show, beginning with Micky walking along the path to the Clubhouse and ending with all the characters doing the Hot Dog dance. In between, the characters are presented with some sort of problem that they must solve by working together. They often resort to unusual and creative solutions using the Mousekatools they have access to by summoning the Mousekadoer, a Mickey head shaped computer by calling "Oh Toodles!" Here is a little bit more about each:

All-New, Never-Before-Seen Bonus Episode:

• Mickey’s Fish Story - Daisy wants to find a fishy-friend for her goldfish Goldy – and we help her find other goldfish in the Jungle where we’re aided by the mysterious conga drummin’ Jungle-Pete! Boom-boom-bap-boom!

Episodes From “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” TV Show:

• Mickey’s Camp Out - Today Mickey and his friends are going to earn Clubhouse “Camp Out Badges” by completing two tasks - setting up camp and fishing for Gummy Fish. Everyone’s planning to camp with a “Tent Buddy”, but Donald decides to camp by himself – and he soon learns that camping with friends is much more fun than camping by yourself.

• Mickey and Minnie’s Jungle Safari - Minnie is determined to snap a photo of the rare Hula Hibiscus that only blooms once a year. So the sensational gang go off on a jungle safari and explore new territory to find this legendary flower.

• Daisy in the Sky - On Balloon Day, Daisy grabs a large batch of balloons and gets literally carried away along with Minnie and Pluto, who couldn’t hold her down. Mickey, Donald and Goofy kick into high gear to save their friends: they use a Giant Candy Cane (to rescue Pluto), a Party Horn (to warn animals out of the way), a Piggy Bank (to weigh down one side of an elevator so that Mickey can reach the top of the lighthouse), and a Toy Hammer (to fix the Ferris wheel).

• Daisy’s Grasshopper - Daisy has a new pet grasshopper named Wilbur, but the playful hoppin’ fella hops away – and we help all our Clubhouse friends hop after him and find him before the end of the day. Boing-boing!

Included with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Great Outdoors on DVD + Digital Copy is a Mickey Mote, a red Mickey head shaped remote control, that your child can use with it to "Watch and Play".  This enables him or her to interact with the characters by being able to indicate the answers to questions posed throughout the episodes.  The Mickey Mote will work with this DVD along with any Disney preschool DVD that has Discovery Mode.  There are two levels of play so children will continue to be challenged as they grow.

Unfortunately for us, we couldn't get ours to work; my husband is pretty techie so I am wondering if it might have broken during transit.  I think it's a great idea, I like how there are only four buttons making it easy for young kids to use it.  On the plus side, you don't have to have a Mickey Mote to use it, a regular DVD remote will work.  ER had no problem using ours to play along and she was pretty excited to use the "Big People" remote, something she normally isn't allowed to touch.  She's almost five, and ready for something with all those buttons but I can see how the Mickey Mote, with fewer buttons that make it less likely the wrong one will be hit by accident, is preferrable.

As regular viewers of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, we already knew we'd love this DVD.  Things that really make this one a hit with us are the overall theme of this collection, being outdoors is always something to encourage, and the fun situations that will appeal to both male and female preschool aged Disney fans.  Plus it was great that something we'd never seen before was included.  We also loved how the DVD gives us something extra and makes the viewing unique, by adding the ability to interact with it.

You can purchase Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Great Outdoors starting today.  Suggested Retail Price: Mickey Mote Play Set includes DVD + Digital Copy + Mickey Mote = $29.99 U.S. / $35.99 Canada.  The 2-Disc Combo Pack includes DVD + Digital Copy = $19.99 U.S. / $24.99


Disclosure: A complimentary copy of this product was provided along with PR materials used in this post.  All opinions and experiences related are personal and unbiased.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Be Inspired Kit Release: Limited Time Cluster Freebie

The day before, on May 7th, we went to a Mother's Day Tea with my Godmother and both of ER's Grandmothers.  We shared a table with my good friend Margaret, her two daughters, and both of their Godmother's.  It was such a lovely event!  The pictures were perfect for the brand new kit from Adorible Digital Design, Be Inspired.  I used the kit to create an accordion fold out book.  Before I show you some pictures of the inside, let's take a look at Be Inspired.
The designer Louise created the Be Inspired for times when bad things happen, but life goes on.  This is mainly reflected through soothing color palatte and the premade word art options with encouraging phrases. I really like the different styled fonts used for those.  It's also a great multi use kit.    A blue polka dot alphabet coordinates and helps you personalize any words or titles you'd like to add.  There are lots of pretty flowers, buttons, leafs, hearts, and tags you can use for journaling.  A banner, colored string & stitching, and frames help make creating your projects a snap.  The designed papers are bold and graphic and come with coordinating solids, not shown above.  Please note the ornate frame used on the front of my design team project IS NOT included, that's been recolored from the Colours of Spring kit.
Here is how the mini book I made with Be Inspired unfolds.  The Mother's Day Tea was a fun excuse to get dressed up and for each girl to bring a special doll, some even came dressed like them.  Little finger foods were served and there was entertainment in the form of a ballet show, storyteller, and some dancing finished up the afternoon.  ER was absolutely mesmerized by the dancers and their beautiful costumes.
The colors of Be Inspired provided a great backdrop for my pictures, which had a lot of busy colors in them.  They really pulled everything together and provided a lovely way to showcase my favorite photos from the day.  It was easy to decorate each mini canvas with few elements, that adds a special touch without overwhelming things and really let all the designs of the patterned paper shine. 

Freebie Alert: Blog Train Featuring Be Inspired Clusters: Available ONE Week Only!

I turned two of the clusters I used in my fold out accordion fold book to create cluster freebies for you!  You can snag them for just one week, along with the clusters the other design team members have made.  Download the cluster above, here. and the cluster below, hereSorry, links expired!  The clusters are now availbe for purchase, click here to see more.  Please remember these are for personal use only.
Continue along the Blog Train to collect the rest.  You should've come from Amanda, the next stop is at Larissa's.  Have fun seeing all the page layout examples at each stop.  For a full listing head back to Adorible Digital Designs, where you can also find purchasing information for Be Inspired and find out how to win it!!!  Here's a preview of all of the gorgeous clusters, available for free this week (links expired) and for purchase afterward:
If you download my freebies, please leave me some comment love and let me know what kind of hybrid projects you'd like to see!

Shared on: Scrappy Saturday's at Scrappy Gifts.


Disclosure: As a member of the Adorible Digital Designs Team, I receive access to kits to create promotional items.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Introducing Totally KooKoo! Product Review

A new line of toys is coming to Toys”R”Us stores nationwide starting this spring and summer.  We got to be one of the first to see the Totally KooKooTM collectible figurines.  Each is colorful, with expressive eyes, and colorful beaks.   The 1.25” birds are packaged in a special KooKoo Birds surprise foil bag with field guide.

My daughter really likes the KooKoo Bird we received, shown above.  Part of the KooKoo Bird is flocked; the texture is a nice touch!  They are packaged in a similar way to trading cards only bulkier because of what's inside.  I can see how it would be very fun for kids to pick out their own foil bag and their excitment when they tear it open to find out which new bird they'll be adding to their collection. 

The KooKoo Bird inside is small so a whole collection wouldn't take up a lot of room and they are fun to bring along to be played with out and about.  Ours regularly heads off to preschool with ER.  The only downside I can see, they are small, so families with little ones will need to be careful with them, as they should be with any small toy or object.  I think the surprise foil packs make a very fun small gift or reward kids can earn.  ER has already told me which other ones she wants and the list keeps growing and growing, it's safe to say KooKoo Birds were a hit in our household. 

If your child likes playsets as much as mine does, there will be a Totally KooKoo Clubhouse and KooKoo Carset.  Both come with stickers so they can be personalized and KooKoo birds are available in 2- and 4-pack box sets for them. The cars sound neat because interchangable parts mean kids can mix and match to make their own unique vehicles that also have a spring action.
The Totally KooKoo collection will also include several different sized animal plushes, like the "Totally KooKoo Bird ReTweets". As someone who uses Twitter, I think the name is kinda clever as they basically take what they hear and then through animatronics “retweet” it as they move their beak and flap their wings in sync. I haven't seen one yet, as they should show up in stores for holiday 2011, but they sound really neat and I'm most excited about this part of the line as my daughter likes all the "real" acting animal toys out there.

As you can see there is a lot of fun things planned for Totally KooKoo! Find out about all the new breed being released, including the a-dog-able KooKoo Kennel and the KooKoo Pops monkeys, arriving at retail for holiday 2011 by follwing them on Twitter.


Disclaimer: PR materials were provided and utilized in this post and a complimentary product reviewed was also provided.  Experiences and opinions related within are personal and unbiased.

Friday, May 20, 2011

29 Weeks

Side View of Baby's Head

We just got back from our ultrasound, and I can't get over how much bigger he looks from the 20 week one!  Baby is about 3 lbs., which puts him in the 50th percentile, so right on target size wise.  Being diabetic, the concern is always about a baby too small or too big so I'm really happy with his growth.  We got to see him practicing breathing and while he is still breach, he did do a full flip during his on screen time.  Good to know he's got plenty of room to move around.  Fluid levels and everything else looks really good so I don't have to go back for another four weeks.

Still haven't decided on a name, we have narrowed it down to two but I can't seem to make a final decision.  Brad is fine with either and really doesn't have much of an opinion other then when he exercises veto power.  I'm thinking that when our little love finally joins us, we'll hold him and just know.  At least that's what I'm hoping.  ER is still lobbying for "Bob Steve".
View of Baby Head from Above

Over all I am doing fine, I have the normal discomforts but have been able to do some exercising and be a little more active.  On the flipside I have begun to have some swelling in the feet and ankles so after I have to stop and have more periods of sitting with my legs up.  But at least I'm not in as much pain just standing, that was pretty stinky.  My sister-in-law gave me a prenatal yoga video to watch and I'm hoping that will help too, have any of you tried doing yoga to help with growing pains?


Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Crafty Soiree #38

Hello Crafters!  I haven't had time to play around with my paper this week, because I've been gone in Pennsylvania, visiting family in Philadelphia and attending the Reviewer's Retreat at the Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos Mts.  We were gone six days and the whole trip was a whirlwind of activity!  I hope to get some creating in this weekend, but have a feeling laundry will be calling my name, darn it! 

Before we get to the features, if you get a chance, since I know a lot of you are followers, and if not, well...why the heck not?  I'm super nice 99% of the time, promise!  Make sure you enter my 1000 Follower's Giveaway for a Vera Bradley wallet!!!  I've also got two more giveaways going on too, for a Pirates of the Caribbean Prize Pack that ends tomorrow and for a Wubbzy Saves the Day DVD, that's one cute children's show and DVDs are always handy for entertaining the kiddos in a pinch! 
This week I noticed some projects featuring chalkboards were popping up, like this Art Activity Wall with Sliding Ladder at Girl In Air, all I can say is wowza!  How 'bout coming over and doing that at my house Michell?  I can't believe how much fun she managed to cram into one space: chalkboard, magnets, dry erase, AND a ladder! 
If you can stand some more coolness, how about this amazing makeover at bugaboo, she took a thift store find to fab and made it not only something fun to use but also with great looking chevrons, which are SO IN right now!  Her son can be creative, learn, and look like the hippest kid ever with this on his lap!
If you're looking for a quick way to add a little bit of chalkboard love into your home decor, make friends with the kitchen and bath designer at your local home improvement store and you might just end up with materials for making tons of cute tags, as seen on Designer Garden.  Can you figure out what they're made of, go check it out to see if you're right.
Ladies, for being our features this week, we're happy to offer you our special Crafty Soiree Ribbon! It's yours to proudly display! Don't forget to check out today's Crafty Soiree post at Yesterday on Tuesday, we both pick three participants to feature each week so you might have been featured by Malia. But you'll have to visit her to find out!
Now it's your turn to link up! The linky will be open for a week, so you have plenty of time to join us! Here are some guidelines for our guests:
  • Link up your creative projects! Crafts, Kid Crafts, Decor, Recipes, Sewing and Organizing tips are are welcome.
  • Add up to FOUR links to share, you can link up projects from your archives, but please make sure it's not something you've previously linked up to A Crafty Soiree AND you add a link back to the party!
  • Add your links to the specific posts and not your blog's homepage.
  • Add my Crafty Soiree button above or link back to me in your posts, so others can find us and join in!
  • Please comment on the post linked up in front of you. All partygoers love meeting new friends... don't just stop there...if you see something that catches your fancy-- stop by and say hi!
  • Please consider following the hostesses, me and Malia, we want to get to know our guests.
  • Most importantly... enjoy yourself and have fun!
Don't forget, A Crafty Soiree is hosted on two blogs, so when you link up on one your link will automatically show up on the other one too! Please note, by linking up to A Crafty Soiree, you're giving permission to feature your project and photos in the future, with proper credit of course☺


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Carrabba’s Italian Grill: Pasta Personality Quiz & Limited Time Features

We love Carrabba's Italian Grill, it was one of the very first restaurants our daughter ever went to, alright so she may have only been one week old, but everyone else enjoyed it!  It was to celebrate my mom's birthday and to thank her for quitting her job and coming out to stay with us while I was on seven weeks of bed rest.  It was a very special meal indeed and the John Cole dessert they brought my mom at the end of our meal is NOT to be missed!  It sounds so simple but is so so good, " Blue Bell vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce and roasted cinnamon rum pecans." the pecans make it amazing!  I've had it several times.  The Zucchini Fritte appetizer and Mama Mandola’s Sicilian Chicken Soup are both great ways to start the meal.
You might remember that I recently mentioned that we were just there for lunch on Mother's Day.  Italian food is one of my favorite kinds and Carrabba's is a such a family friendly place, with absolutely delicious food and a great activity booklet for our four year old, plus our server brought out pizza dough for her play with while we waited, so fun!  It was the perfect meal, good food and relaxing!  I just love their pomodoro sauce and it was fun to see that Carrabba's Pasta Personality Quiz on Facebook, matched me up with their spaghetti & meatballs.  It was spot on as that was my very favorite meal growing up and it's exactly what ER ordered; it continues to be a well loved dish!
It says that, "You’re genuine and well loved, like Carrabba’s Spaghetti and Meatballs. Your warm and comforting personality makes you everybody’s best friend. So go for our equally popular hand-prepared meatballs over perfectly cooked imported spaghetti."  That's me don't you think☺  It'd be really fun to see what your Pasta Personality is, take the quiz and let me know what your result is in a comment.  I'm curious to know if it matches up as well for you too!

If that doesn't make you hungry enough, here are Carrabba's latest Limited Time Offers, available now through July 2011.  Which will you be trying?  I was THIS close to ordering the Paremsan-Crusted Chicken on Mother's Day, and I'm so glad to hear I have time to go back and try it, sounds awesome, yum...lemon vinaigrette!

Featured Signature Pasta Meal:

Pasto Rambo – Named for the chef who created it, it’s made with shrimp tossed with imported Italian linguine, spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes sautéed in our basil lemon butter sauce. Lobster is available instead of shrimp for an additional cost.

Other Limited Time Offers:

Parmesan-crusted Chicken – Topped with fresh arugula and grape tomatoes tossed in a hand-prepared lemon vinaigrette, served with choice of side. Substitution of wood-grilled chicken also available. Pairs well with Estancia Pinot Grigio.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin – Three pork tenderloin medallions wrapped with prosciutto, wood-grilled and topped with an apple and fig infused port wine sauce, served with the vegetable of the day. Pairs well with Coppola Pinot Noir.

Limoncello Bread Pudding – Back by popular demand! Brioche bread pudding made with fresh Madagascar vanilla beans and a rich custard, served hot out of the oven. Topped with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream and drizzled with Carrabba’s homemade Caravella Limoncello liqueur sauce.

Now Introducing:

Peach Sangria – Carrabba’s new light and fruity Peach Sangria blends Copper Ridge White Zinfandel, Absolut Apeach vodka and Patrón Citrónge with a splash of citrus. Topped with a fresh lemon wedge and strawberry, it’s a taste of the Amalfi Coast in spring.

Locations: Visit for the closest Carrabba’s location. There are more than 230 locations nationwide.

My Family's Signature Pasta Dish: Mom's Pasta Salad:

If that has you thinking about pasta tonight, I'd like to suggest my mom's pasta salad.  It makes an appearance several times during the year, especially at pot lucks and I love it.  I have cravings for it all the time, and the chunks of fresh veggies make it great for a meal with the addition of some grilled chicken.  I'm not sure how the recipe came about, but my mom's been making it for as long as I remember.  It was one of the first recipes I asked her to share when I moved out.
  • 1 box of rotini pasta
  • 3-4 hard boiled eggs
  • three quarters to a whole red bell pepper chopped coarsely
  • 1 green onion sliced thin
  • 1 carrot schredded
  • 1 cucumber quartered and sliced thin
  • half a packet of dry Italian dressing mix
  • light mayonaise
  • Marzetti's Slaw Dressing
  • water to taste
Make box of pasta. Meanwhile, cut and prepare other ingredients. Drain pasta and let cool. Mix it with eggs and vegetables.

To make the pasta salad dressing combine loosely filled half a cup of mayonaisse with slightly less than half a cup of slaw dressing and stir to combine. Add a little bit of water, if you think it's too thick and stir again. If about a cup of creamy dressing seems like a lot, you can reduce the amount of mayonaisse and dressing added but keep in mind it is going on a full box of pasta and quite a bit of vegetables.

Add to pasta, egg, and vegetable mix. Stir to combine. Shake up dry Italian dressing seasoning packet to combine contents and then sprinkle approximately half on top of salad. Stir to combine. Add more mayonaisse if the mixture looks dry. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Helpful Tips from my Mom: Stir the dry Italian dressing into the mayo/Marzetti combination. Use fat-free milk to thin the dressing if it's too thick. But whatever makes sense to you will work. Use 2-3 green onions per box of pasta, depending on your taste. If in a hurry use pre-packaged julienned carrots, instead of shredding.

Tell Me!
Does your family have a Signature Pasta Dish you make over and over, do share!  When we make pasta dishes at home, they tend to usually be cold pasta dishes.  I'm afraid our hot pasta meals usually start with, "Open can," but that's why we love going out to places like Carrabba's, since we can't make anything nearly as tasty at home. 

Their signature pasta dishes are full of rich layers of flavor, the kind that taste like they've been melding together all afternoon and are just so delicious.  If you haven't been to a Carrabba's yet, I highly suggest you do, the whole family will find something to like.  Also, don't forget to also tell me your Carrabba's Pasta Personality Quiz!  I'm going to have my husband take it too, and see if something with alfredo sauce comes up for him, that's always what he orders. 

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Carrabba’s blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

1000 Followers Giveaway: Featuring Vera Bradley!!!!

This giveaway is now closed, thank you to all my followers for their support. I wish I could send a little Vera to all of you! Congratulations to Nancy, comment #69, who said."I love Vera Bradley and I am one of your loyal followers. Thanks for the opportunity to win!"
Last week my number of followers through Google Friends Connect hit 1000!  How exciting to hit four numbers; it's been a wonderful two and half years or so of blogging.  I am so thankful for each and every one of you!  I love meeting new friends, sharing experiences, and reading all your comments.  Since you're all followers ☺ I'm sure you already know I'm a big fan of Vera Bradley, so a giveaway featuring one of my personal favorites seemed like the only way to celebrate!    

I have a beautiful One for the Money Vera Bradley wallet in one of very favorite patterns ever, Baroque, for one of my followers!  Baroque is so much cuter than a basic black bag but neutral enough to be used every day with everything! I love this particular wallet because of it's kiss lock coin purse.  Kiss locks always feel ladylike and dainty to me:)  There's also a clear ID pocket on the outside, so handy for when you need to flash ID, since you don't have to open your wallet to do so.  Attached to the inner pocket is a key ring, a nice spot to attach all those little store loyalty cards.  The contrasting trim on the front is really pretty, retail value is $25.00.

The official description from Vera Bradley is:  This wallet definitely gets “two for the show” with the kisslock coin purse located right inside! Use it for coins, gloss or a small compact. Two more pockets hold everything else, from cards to cash.
To Enter:

This one is simple!  All you have to do is be a follower through Google Friends Connect of my blog, leave me a comment on this post so you'll be officially entered:)  That's the mandatory first entry!

If you also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Subscribe to my Feed via EMAIL give yourself another entry for each...leave a separate comment for each.

I'll pick a winner on the 31st and this giveaway is open to all my readers, worldwide.  (I realized after posting this that I had it open for just one week instead of two and have extended the giveaway period.)


Disclaimer: This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Vera Bradley and is sponsored by me:)  Photos from the Vera Bradley product listing on their website.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Giveaway: Wubbzy Saves the Day on DVD

This giveaway is now closed, thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to...At Home With Michelle, comment #6, who said,"I subscribe to your blog via email too:")

Everyone’s favorite cute and quirky yellow bendy-tailed character is back in action with “Wubbzy Saves The Day,” a brand new DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment now available nationwide! The high-energy title features six engaging episodes packed with age-appropriate lessons for preschoolers all about sharing, caring, being yourself and helping others. And “Wubbzy Saves The Day” comes to the rescue with adorable special features including a fun printable growth chart.

In “Wubbzy Saves The Day,” viewers join Wubbzy as he hosts a bird-watching slumber party, has a memorable picnic in the park with Daizy and Widget and much more! Plus, they’ll find out whether Wubbzy can help a lost group of baby “chirpees” find their way home or stop a snoozing “Moo Moo” from vesting kooky spells all over Wuzzleburg! Complete with toe-tapping tunes that will get little ones moving, “Wubbzy Saves The Day” is a winning choice for any family’s DVD collection.

There's even a cool certificate on Wubbzy's official Facebook page, that you can use to award your child for any "Wubb-tastic" deed!

While I have not personally viewed this particular DVD, we are fans of the show, watching it regularly, and have several other titles in Wubbzy's collection.  The show is imaginative and uses songs and music to help reinforce the theme of each episode.  One of my favorite things about Wubbzy is the unique and colorful world he and his friends live in and how they model the way good friendships work.  Positive social interactions and life lessons are the main focus for this preschool friendly program.


One reader will win a copy of Wubbzy Saves the Day on DVD!

To Enter:

Tell me something "Wubb-tastic" a child in your life has done lately.

Extra Entries:
  • Publically follow my blog on GFC.
  • Leave a meaningful comment on a non-giveaway post.
  • Follow me on Twitter and tweet this giveaway using @KTnestingspot in it.
  • Subscribe to my blog by EMAIL.
Giveaway open to US residents now through May 30th at midnight EST.  Winner will be chosen via, notified by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new one is chosen.  Good Luck!


Disclosure: PR materials were provided and used in this post.  The giveaway prize has been provided via a PR rep and no other compensation was received.

Friday, May 13, 2011

New Sleepwear from HALO: ComfortLuxe™ Coverall - Product Review

One of the things I was worried about when we had our daughter, was how would I know if she was comfortable or not?  Babies can tell us if they are too hot or cold, okay well yes they can cry but their cries could be for any number of reasons such as hunger too.  Since both of my babies will be born in the summer, I know it can some times be confusing, because even if I'm hot and sweaty, the baby often still needs a hat and blanket. 

When I found out about HALO® ComfortLuxe™'s innovative fabric, that outperforms cotton by wicking away moisture and regulating your little one’s temperature, I wanted to know more.  I've learned that it’s breathable, dries twice as fast as cotton and most of all it is comfortable. In fact, ComfortLuxe™ Sleepwear is the only sleepwear to be awarded the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association and helps little ones with sensitive skin stay comfortable.

Sensitive skin runs in our family, and in my opinion you can't be too careful with your baby's skin anyway.  With ComfortLuxe, they'll stay cooler when it’s warm and warmer when it’s cool, for healthier skin and more comfortable sleep.  As any parent knows, a baby that has more comfortable sleep equals more sleep for mommy and daddy too!
ComfortLuxe Sleepwear is available for newborns to children size 4T in the following styles: ComfortLuxe™ Base Layer, coverall and two piece set. The two piece set is available in two lightweight fabric styles: Silky (smooth texture) and flannel‐feel (soft and fuzzy texture).  Coverall and Base Layer are available in the ComfortLuxe Silky fabric.
We received a coverall in the ComfortLuxe Silky fabric.  To me, it definitely felt lighter and more breathable than cotton and I liked how the fabric felt against my skin.  Built in features like fold over cuffs to cover up baby's hands to prevent scratching are nice.  I also liked how the zipper begins at the foot so the pull is no where near baby's mouth.  Inside the coverall the zipper part is covered so that doesn't rub against baby. 

The blue color is a nice royal blue as opposed to pale baby blue, which I prefer.  I'd like to see some more options in pattern or colors, as I normally don't choose solids for baby clothes because I think prints tend to be cuter.  I realize that's a little nit picky, just a personal preference, and if a print can't be added to the line a gender neutral option like green or yellow would be nice as then I'd be more likely to get one as a baby shower gift.  I do like how the dog printed on it is not a licensed character, as that's something I like to avoid. 
I am looking forward to seeing how our baby likes his ComfortLuxe coverall, our sample is 3-6 month size and I think it'll fit in late fall/early winter.  It'll be perfect then as if he's like ER was, he'll still be wanting to be swaddled or in a blanket sleeper like the HALO Sleepsack or ComfortLuxe Base Layer.  I anticipate the coverall being a great layering sleeper and a way to help him from getting too hot.  I'll update you on how we like our ComfortLuxe coverall when Baby #2 fits in it.

In the meantime, you can find out more about ComfortLuxe™ and the science behind their innovative producst on their website and on their Facebook page.


Disclosure: A complimentary sample was provided and no other compensation was received.  The experiences and options within this post are personal and unbiased.
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