Cinnamon Burst Cheerios *Review*

We’re big Cheerios fans at our house! The classic Honey Nut Cheerios was Amber’s first “finger food” and hubby and Amber both eat Multi-Grain Cheerios all the time. So when I heard about the new Cinnamon Burst Cheerios I knew that it would be right up our alley of foods to love! Sure enough it’s a big hit with hubby stealing several bowl fulls before Amber even had a chance to tell me “It’s nummy Mommy is it!” (isn’t it)

You can see what else she thought about it by seeing the video above (how cute is she?!) Here’s the “original” song lyrics that we came up with–she ad libbed a little but I think I like her version even better 😀

I love Cheerios Cinnamon *crunch*
It is so fun to munch!
Cheerios, Cinnamon Burst–
It’s the best!
It’s not the worst!

She’s asked for this for breakfast every day since we received it so it’ll definitely be going on the shopping list as a regular buy now!

Disclosure: I was given both the box of Cinnamon Burst Cheerios, information on it, and a Flip video camera in order to do the video and show our opinions. Although this was super duper awesome of Cheerios through My Blog Spark to do, we have always loved Cheerios and the thoughts and opinions are my own (and Amber’s!)

Not So Fat Tuesday ~ Week 10

After *stuffing* more than the turkey on Thanksgiving I was more than a little nervous to step on the scale this morning!!! I was just positive that I would see that I’d gained back a good deal of what I lost and was going to have to completely regret all that nummy yummy pumpkin cheesecake–which would have really been a problem since it already caused such drama earlier (in case you missed the drama be sure to read about it here)

And…the moment of truth…I gained..

Nothing! *Happy dances all around* I actually lost 1/2 a lb!!!

Life continues to be pretty insane around these parts. Little guy still isn’t really sleeping though since the Dr. still recommends feeding him once and then with him getting up early I don’t foresee actually getting a solid night sleep for a loooong time even if he does quit waking up every 2 hours (which I really hope he does….soon!!!)

Tomorrow I have my only Christmas party/eating goodies thing this month so I’m going to enjoy it and then get down to business. I need to quit making excuses since there will always be something going on and “just do it.”  Although I am losing the weight at a nice steady pace (woot) I know that it’s only because of nursing (again) since I haven’t been being a good girl and so I’m still aaaaallll sorts of pudgy. So it’s back to looking at my original goals again and trying to get back on track!
Goals:
Lose 20 lbs to put me back to pre-Tyler weight by 5-23-2011
*7 lbs lost so far! 13 to go
Lose 30 lbs in all to put me back to “Skinny Pretty” weight by 7-23-2011
23 to go!

Be able to pass Coast Guard female PT Standards by 7-23-2011
15 push ups, 32 sit ups, Run 1.5 miles in 15:26

Again–my plan of attack (if I can finally stick to them) Nail down writing in my food journal and send it to Abbey (I have a reeaaallly bad tendency to “forget” to the days I’m not eating well..hmmmm) Start working out 3 times a week, No after dinner eating, healthier eating at breakfast, portion control and all that good stuff!

Did you gain weight over the holiday? What are your plans to get back on track?

Nightingale by Susan May Warren *Review & Giveaway*

The Letters From Home Giveaway!

Enter the Contest: Nightingale is about letters, the power of written correspondence to convey thoughts and emotions to those far away. And sometimes near. Letters are forever, they are something we savor and pull out to read again and again. They are often cherished and kept in a special place.

To celebrate the release of Nightingale, Susan would like you to write a letter. One grand prize winner will receive a Flip HD Camcorder. 5 runner’s up winners will win a signed copy of Nightingale. There are two ways to enter the contest by writing letters.

1. Write a letter to a soldier. At the end of the contest we’ll print out and mail your letter for you.

2. Write a letter to a friend, loved one, family member, enemy. Tell them something you wished you’d told them before. Tell them you love them, or maybe how they touched your life. Perhaps an apology is in order or a thank you. Or perhaps you’d like to relate a funny tale or just share life. Whatever it is, submit it here along with your email address and we’ll send it for you.

Enter here or at the SHARE page on the Brothers in Arms website. Or simply click on the button above!

Book Review:

If I had to use one word to describe Nightingale it would be interesting. In some it came across as very clique and in others it was extremely unique. I found the plot to be predictable and expected (it was very, very similar to the last book I read & reviewed so I’m sure reading them back-to-back didn’t help). The things I found unique, however, was how Susan took real life problems and issues that Christian novels tend to ignore or gloss over and make them a focal point of her novel. Although I might not agree with some of the choices that the characters ended up making I do give her kudos for writing a story which reflects the fallen nature of this world and that even though sin does have consequences God can work it all together for good in the end and is a God of forgiveness. I also love stories which portray the “opposite” side of a story and show that good people, even Christians, get caught up on both sides of war-even the “wrong” side and Susan did a wonderful job of working this into her story as well.

Fun Christmas Activities for Kids

Prima Princesssa, Preschool activities

As you know we’re big Prima Princessa fans over here! You can find some cute games and videos from them on their Preschool Games Page. The videos feature a dance along and “freeze” game that I’m going to have Amber play along to tomorrow (good exercise and lots of fun!) along with another vido that give a reminder on how to make paper snowflakes–classic kids craft idea! Be sure to hop on over and check it all out!

A Walk in My Shoes *Review*

Yesterday I posted about the upcoming Family Movie Night on NBC this Friday (12/3/10). In case you missed it you can read that post and see the preview for the movie Here.

I was allowed to watch a pre-screening of A Walk in My Shoes in order to do a review of it. (Aren’t I so special?!) I watched it last night and I was so impressed! The acting was great, the story line unique and moving and the characters real and gripping. I loved it and am personally going to recommend that my two best friends and family watch it this Friday because I know they’d all love it! The fact that it deals with a former Marine and another Marine’s family probably had a lot to do with how much I loved it as the military is near and dear to me.

I truly enjoyed this movie and would highly recommend it to anyone. It would be a great movie to watch with your family especially if you have older children as it would provide many thought provoking questions and opportunities to talk about serious issues in life with them. I hope you’ll tune in to NBC this Saturday, December 3, 2010 at 7 pm CST to watch and that you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

Family Movie Night ~ A Walk in My Shoes 12/3/10

These days it’s hard to find much on TV that is family friendly. Even so called “family” channels are full of programs that I won’t watch–let alone let my kids see! Thankfully many families feel the same way and to help fill the void of prime time TV NBC is bringing back Family Movie Night. Be sure  to tune in next Friday, Dec 3, 2010 – 7pm CST to watch A Walk in My Shoes. It looks really good and I’m looking forward to seeing it!

You can Like Family Movie Night on Facebook Here or find out more information about the movie on the website here And please feel free to share this info!

A Walk In My Shoes – 2:33 TRLR from Moms4FamilyTV.com on Vimeo.

Planetary Personalities *Review*

“I’m an independent girl. No moon is in my life. He’d only follow me around..beg me to be his wife.” ~ Venus
The entire Planetary Personalities book is filled with adorable, funny, and clever phrases like the one above about the all planets . I love how it takes all the different facts about the different planets (including Pluto with a jab at the scientist who decided it wasn’t a planet–which I love) and presents them in fun and easy ways a child can understand. Although it is above Amber’s level right now (it would be perfect for elementary students!) She loves looking at the darling illustrations and I shorten the book by reading just a few of the rhymes so that she can listen and enjoy it even now. I will definitely will be using this to teach both Amber and Tyler about our solar systemï»ż in the coming years!
This would be the perfect Christmas present! Fun and funny so that kids will love it while being sneakily educational all at the same time!
You can find out more about Planetary Personalities and order it on the Shoddy Shirt Books Website!

Thanksgiving Baking Epic Fail

“babies in bed, homemade pumpkin cheesecake and cranberry sauce in the fridge, about to put on some soft music and make Bob’s pecan pie and then pop in a movie to watch on our new HUGE tv. ♄”

This is what I posted as my Facebook status as I waited for the oven to finish pre-heating for the mentioned pecan pie. Hubby was off for a boys night out and I was settling in for a perfect night.

Just as I thought that the blasted fire alarm went off. I lept up from my chair and ran into Amber’s room to reach her just as she started screaming (poor little kiddo is extremely scared of any loud noises and alarms are the most terrifying things to her). After grabbing her it was time to run and grab Tyler who had also started crying. The universal alarm in our building has this awful habit of going off at random points for no good reason. It’s so loud that it makes your ears ring and your body shake (bad bad!) I had noticed that this sounded different, just a little softer, but figured they’d finally turned the blasted thing down to a somewhat reasonable level. After bundling the kids up (with them both screaming the entire time) I walked out into the hall……

Only to realize instead of getting louder the noise had gone away.

Step into apartment–alarm going off

Step into hall–nothing

OH! It was *my* fire alarm that was going off….oh great. So back in I go (kids still screaming) to try to get it to stop. After standing on a footstool on top of a chair (dangerous yes, and no I’m not really that short–our ceilings are very high!) I figured out that I each alarm must be wired to each other (they were all going off) and this would be no simple pop-out-a-battery deal. At that point I haul the kids out on to the balcony and call hubby. Of course he’s in the middle of downtown Boston and no help so I tell him to forget it and call maintenance. I hear him tell his buddies “so apparently my wife is having another man come take care of her” *laughter in the background*

Yeah har-har very funny guys.

After listening to the “Do not call this line unless one of the following things is going on…..*follow 12 minutes of what you can call for*” message twice due to my cheek hitting the wrong number I finally got ahold of someone who said they’d send someone over to turn it off. While we waited Amber kept telling me how it was just “so scary” and Tyler screamed while we enjoyed the brisk night air of New England in November. Joys.

The alarm turns off suddenly and just then I hear a knock on the door. I go open it to the maintenance guy who I tell–“I swear it just turned off!!!!” Thankfully he was a very nice guy who believed me when I said I honestly wasn’t even cooking at the time and certainly hadn’t burned anything. As Amber would say he quickly “Fixed the beep beep all better.” and went on his way after wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving and helping me not feel like such an idiot. Nice guy!

Then it was time to try to do bedtime routines part II and get both kids settled back in bed. Tyler went down fairly easily but Amber took an entire episode of Calliou, 2 stories, and a lullaby to calm down.

By now it’s 10:30 and I go to investigate the oven. Upon opening I see a black charred mess on the bottom of the stove. So that’s what made the stupid alarms go off! (and I honestly still have no idea what caused it since I don’t know of anything that spilled in there) here’s even proof that I didn’t burn (or spill) the pumpkin cheesecake just so you know I’m not lying

Next comes 30 minutes of me scrubbing and scouring the oven to make sure we don’t have a repeat of what just happened.

Around 11 I start to make the pecan pie. Pre-heating is going well with no smoke anymore and I get everything together and pop The Way Home in to watch while it bakes. 30 minutes in I have to take the pie out to cover the crusts so it won’t burn. Upon putting it back into the oven I somehow tip it to the side and sploosh–pecan pie filling ALL over the bottom of the hot stove and smoke billowing everywhere.

Cue me going into hysteria running around like a mad woman openings doors and windows, turning on fans, and hopping up and down flinging my arms in the air to disperse the smoke before it sets off the alarm–again.

Then I had to let the oven cool down

So I could again scrub the blackened charred goo

To make sure it was no longer smoking

So I could cook that stupid pie once and for all

I crawled into bed at 1 a.m.

to have Tyler wake up and need to eat

as soon as he was done hubby walked in the door and when he saw I was awake wanted to chat about his evening

Que me collapsing into bed around 2 a.m. knowing Tyler would get me up at least 3 more times before needing to wake up for good to tackle cooking an entire Thanksgiving meal the next day with a cranky baby and toddler.

Thanksgiving Baking. Epic. Fail.

Truly Thankfull Today

When I stop to think about just how much I really do have to be thankful for today it overwhelms me. God has blessed me so richly that it’s hard to believe the life that I’m living is mine. On top of sending his Son to die for me so that I can have salvation (John 3:16) He heaps blessings on me daily!
All of my life I wanted to marry young, have babies, and stay at home to take care of them. Now I have two beautiful, healthy, happy children and a loving, handsome husband that is my very best friend and who I have so much fun with.
I’m blessed and so lucky to have not one, but four best friends that can really be called that. I mentioned my hubby, then there is of course my mom–who I call daily and is just so very loving and understanding and supportive. Then I have my long time (I don’t want to think about how long now–it means we’re getting old!!) best friend Heather. Though we have developed differences of opinions and tastes as we’ve become adults I consider her my sister and love her so much! Then there’s Lara–my best friend who is so much like me it’s a little scary sometimes. She’s the one who understands what it’s like to be a military spouse, to handle potty training issues on top of no sleep, to be a Western girl through and through but have to live else where. (not to mention she’s my fellow Jane Austen junkie 🙂 )
I have a beautiful apartment in beautiful Boston. I have a job that I absolutely love and I get goodies in the mail just to run my mouth about them by blogging–a blog that people (other than the above 4) actually read!
Yes…when I stop to think about all that and so much more that I have I am filled with thankfulness. I’m blessed more than I can imagine and try to keep that always in mind.
Hope you had a wonderful, beautiful day with family and that you reflected on what blesses your life!

From Photo Books to Christmas Cards….

Shutterfly has got you covered! Although I’ve never used Shutterfly to get holiday cards before, I have purchased from them. Last year I got my dad a small soft covered photo book of our wonderful dog Billy as a memorial to his very favorite pet. It was a very moving gift that he appreciated. This year I’ve already purchased from them again and got a hard cover photo book for a member of my family that I think looks like it turned out wonderfully! They’re super easy to use and as a scrapper I’m super picky about “drag and drop” things but I’ve been very happy with both of the books I made! I can’t wait to get photo greeting cards from them! This one popped out at me right away–I love it! And I have the perfect picture to use for it already! There are so many cute ones though I just might change my mind…

They also carry a line of beyond adorable baby announcements! And with a friend of mine having a baby next week and my best friend due in May I definitely have lots of people to recommend them to!
Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly, follow the arrow –> http://bit.ly/sfly2010