Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Marilyn's Going to be Two!


Marilyn is going to be two in November. I just ordered her birthday present online. I know it's a few months in advance but I've been watching the prices for everything go up the past couple of weeks because the holiday season starts at the end of August believe it or not. I found this out when I worked in retail.
I told my husband that Marilyn really doesn't need another baby doll because she got one last year. He used the line that she would like another one more like her cousins doll. Don't act surprised because I know I have told you before that Marilyn is spoiled.
I got the doll at Toyscamp.com because they had free shipping and their prices are pretty low for the brands that they carry. I also went to RetailMeNot.com and found a promo code for 25% off. The same doll at ToysRus is over 45 dollars with the shipping. I think I did ok getting the doll for less than 30. The little mommy from fisher-price are 35 dollars at ToysRus for heavens sake!
We are also looking for a baby doll stroller that is affordable and won't fall apart in a week. Most of the doll strollers that look like that are not going to fall apart are over 20 dollars. If anyone knows of a more affordable doll stroller let me know. I am starting to debate on getting one from ebay for just the frame and making a new seat.
The doll is cute, it's the same brand as her other baby doll, about the same quality of the American Girl Bitty Baby doll but less money. I am sure that it will hold up to lots of love.

Jason's Cavity Maker Cake

So this is the BEST of the best chocolate cake recipie. It is in our family cookbook. My little cousin Jason invented it about seven years ago. My little cousin is now 16 and able to go on dates. When did that happen?

Ok, so here is the recipie:

1 devilsfood cake mix (pilsburry is the best)
1 large box of jello instant chocolate pudding
12 oz chocolate chips
16 oz sour cream
3/4 cup milk
3 eggs

Mix the dry ingredents and then add the wet ingredents. Put in greased baking pan and bake at 325 (his recipe has a higher temp, but I it seems to taste toasty whenever I cook it at that temp) for about an hour until the middle springs back.

This is my favorite cake. It has gotten to the point where we have given up on buying any kind of cake because I know that I can make a better tasting one at home.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Jiffy Cake Mix

I don't know about all yall, but these cake mixes taste like dirt to me. I remember getting them as a kid for the Easybake oven. I think we bought them this time around because of the smaller portion size. Our family normally tosses half of the cake in the trash.

What is normally wrong with the Jiffy cake mixes: Too dry, weird after taste, texture is off.

Because I want to use up what we have in the pantry I decided to doctor up the cake mix. It turned out good. This is what we added:

1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup milk
1 jiffy mix
1 egg

Mix together and stir in a spoonful of sprinkles for a "funfetti" effect. Baked in a greased pan at 350.
We served it with butter cream frosting and more sprinkles. I didn't get any more pictures because my camera ran out of batteries. The cake really turned out well.

Friday, August 27, 2010

More Flowers

Spencer took Texas to "work" yesterday. He called me, I could hear Texas' voice and Texas' friend, Wyatt in the background. Spencer took the kids fishing. The day before Texas was a terror and I needed a break. It was just one of those days where you get one chore done and while I was doing that one chore, four more chores were created by two little tornado's. Two little tornadoes that kept on throwing fits and driving their mother crazy!
It was a nice break having Texas go fishing. I was able to have some "me" time. I was able to put the house back to normal. The house still isn't clean, but it's normal. I was also able to make some flowers. I imagined them to look better than they came out. I really should start selling them. I guess Marilyn can wear a different one each day, but that is a whole bunch of headbands... Ok, here I go. The flowers are for sale, send pictures to your friends and family, I'll do custom orders. Small flower headbands cost $1.50, large flower headbands cost $3.00.


This baby was such a good model. She stayed still and didn't even blink!
They came out cute don't ya think? (well, all but the daisy. The daisy looks too retro)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Just Because She's Spoiled

Marilyn is the most stuborn little girl I have ever seen. She will seriosly scream for two hours because she wants chips instead of her dinner. If she doesn't have her baby doll or her bear at night it is the same thing.
When we were at the family reunion, Marilyn kept on taking one of my neices baby dolls and claming it as her own. I hept on hearing "NO!" and "MINE!" in her little voice. Those words were folowed by a fast little pitter-patter of her little feet. After the little pitter patter there I was snatching the doll away, folowed by death screaches, then folowed by my sister in law finding another doll and handing it to Marilyn.
Marilyn does this to get her way, and it works. Daddy gives in. Now daddy wants to buy her another baby doll for her birthday. She has a baby doll but the daddy wants me to find a baby doll just like her other one but a couple inches smaller. Sounds like a chalenge!
Oh and Spencer also wants me to find a doll stroller that wont fall appart. They had a deal on Gilt.com but I passed it up hoping that I can find a better deal on black friday.


Aside that I found some super cute flowers. Not saying where because they were still expecive, but I couldn't pass them up. My freinds tell me that Marilyn has alot of hair assories but that is because I make almost all of them. I also like to have bows that match every outfit, the same with shoes. The home made bows and flowers are so much better than the store bought ones that I have: They cordinate with more outfits and I don't really need to worry about it getting lost because they cost pennies to make (about 25-50 cents per flower and about 10 cents per headband).

Here are the ones that I bought. Do you see what I mean? They are super cute. I want to see one close up to see how they are made and then I want to try to make one.

Here is my Miss Marilyn wearing one of the headbands that I made♥

... and then a bunch of headbands that I made for my cute little neice. I need to go and get some more silk flowers. I think all of those headbands cost about three dollars to make.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Guess who's back?

So I got back yesterday from my trip to Utah. We made it to the funiral within minutes. After that we went to Spencer's parents house. They were doing a family reunion the same weekend. We were able to see some freinds and visit with most of our family.
I was able to finaly meet my niece Zoe. I gave her a bunch of headbands that I made her cute little head. We had a little lunch with my mom and a couple of my sisters. I taught my little sister Amber how to curl her hair with a flat iron when I was there so I was able to acomplish something :P
My other little sister was out of town in California when I was up in Utah. It's weird how things work out like that.
I never was able to give my nephew Nathaniel his birthday present in person because my sister and her husband didn't want to see my face.

Durring the family reunion we went camping. TEXAS LOVES CAMPING! My brother in law and sister in law brought up their dog. Marilyn loves dogs more than you can imagine. Seeing most of the family was a treat.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Zulily Code

BTSBLOG10

This code is for 10 dollars off of 30 dollars at Zulily.com. I have done post about them before. I have gotten a bunch of shoes for Marilyn there (I think I have placed about five orders through them). With the promo you can get something special that most other kids don't have for your little ones. It's another one of the sites where the inventory changes every day. I don't know how long the coupon code is good for. This code is brand new.

Gilt-ty Pleasure



I guess someone that I sent the link to gilt.com to liked something that they had because I had another credit for 25 bucks. I just got 20 pairs (or 40 socks) of Little Miss Matched socks for 95 cents. That is the price of shipping and all.

So here is the link again:
http://www.gilt.com/invite/buffnclean

If you invite a friend, on their first order you get a credit of 25 dollars. The prices at Gilt.com are a little bit high, but about half the price of the manufacture site. These boutique sites have items that hardly ever go on sale and that is why they only have them for a couple of days. You may find brands like Right Bank Babies or Elephantito on this site for 50% off or more (so you are getting Wal-Mart prices on Rodeo Drive clothes).

I am pritty excited about all of the socks!

I also just got a "groupon" for gap. I talked myself into the groupon because I gave my Carters punch card to one of my friends because I didn't want to spend another 60 dollar there just to get 10 dollars back. She was saying that she needed more winter clothes for her little girl so I just gave it to her. I think I got everything that I wanted from Carters. Gap has clothes in my size so maybe I can get myself some new jeans.

Nails


I gave myself a sharpi marker manicure on one hand. Then I realised after I was done with my left hand that I am for sure not a lefty. I am for sure that I'm not talented enough to do both hands and have both hands look good.
I did the manicure in the first place because my nails are growing. My nails hardly ever grow. Out of my excitement and boredom, I tried to make my nails cute.

Because of my lack of skill, I changed it up a bit and this is what they look like now.


This last one is just for fun. When I was loading up the pictures about a dozen pictures that I didn't take came up. I know exactly whose little toes those are because one of my children always wants to go bear foot, and the other always wants to wear shoes.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fun.

Spencer's best friends grandpa past away. His funeral is this Friday. So we get to cancel all of our plans to go out to Utah. Hey you can spell funeral with out fun.
My little sister is coming out to California because one of her best friends is getting married this weekend. So I am going to miss her. She will be here and I will be there.
I had to mix up all of my weekend plans. My kids are going to miss a birthday party. Texas good Friend that moved away six months ago is going to be in town. I had to reschedule all of kenpo classes and the double date that I had planed for the weekend has gone down the crapper.
I am going to try to make the best of our trip out to Utah. This weekend will be the my husbands family reunion so we'll try to make it to part of that. I am hoping that Spencer and I can go on a date to my favorite restaurant in the whole wide world: The Bohemian. I also hope to meet my new niece Zoë.
Tonight Spencer, the kids and I went to Target with some coupons and got a bunch of snacks and juice boxes for the trip. I figure that gas station junk food cost twice as much or more. We got an awesome price on the juice boxes. An 8 pack for less than a dollar each. They are normally three bucks a 8 pack. My friend traded me some coupons (YES!). I also had coupons for some of Spencers favorite snack: Bugles, and chex mix. And the kids got some of their favorites: fruit roll ups. I had a budget and I stayed in budget even though Spencer did sneak in some ice cream and hot fudge (I saw him sneak it, if I thought that we would need to use the card I would have him put it back).
I said that I was going to finish packing today. I only am a quarter of the way done. I should get off of the computer and get my butt in gear.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What have you been missing?




Here are some of the pictures of the chicken stew that I made. All of it was eaten. Everyone loved it. I posted the recipe last week when I made the stew but I am posting pictures now. I guess I will update that post too so it will have pictures.



I got a haircut on Saturday. I gave the lady the picture of how I wanted it and she cut it much shorter than the picture. When I got home my husband confested that he didn't like it. I put the flat iron to it and he said that it looked better.



I got the Toobydo baithing suit for Marilyn in the mail today. It fits too. She had two other baithing suits that she could wear, but one of the suits was too small and left dents in her sholders and the other was too big and wide. The big one I think will always show her nips. Her new one fits her long torso much better.

Oh, The day has been going along slowly. I have a four year old that needs a nap and a one year old that was waken up by the four year old durring her nap. So I've had two chidren that have been throwing fits all day. The younger one isn't has bad as the older one.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dapi Update

The Dapi is the most affordable cloth diaper on the market that I have found other than the good old trifold diapers. They cost about 3 bucks a piece. I bought one to try it out thinking that it would be like the kisaluv brand because some of the reviews said that. They have no anti leak or water barrier on the diapers so you do need some kind of water proof pants to go over them. They are like the trifold diaper without the pins.
I washed them and they shrunk: They shrunk a lot. It was a large and I would say that the size now is in between a small and a medium because I washed them in hot water before putting them on my babies bum. Because they shrunk so much the Velcro rubs on my baby's skin :(.
These diapers did give me a good idea though. Now I kind of want to buy some trifolds, cut them to be contoured, and put a waterproof layer on the outside and some snaps and voila: a all in one diaper! Now all I need to do is get my sewing machine that has been broken for the past couple of years fixed and get some suplies to make them.

Long Day

This morning started off as a long day. The alarm clock died, so my husband goes running out of the house when he hears the street sweeper. He tries to start the truck and the battery is dead. Sure enough, we get a ticket.
Marilyn wakes up puking.
I get a phone call from Texas' freinds mom that was suppose to come over yesterday asking if we have time today for a playdate. Of course we do, I'm just not going to mention anything about Marilyn's vomit that I just cleaned up.
Texas only wants to eat cookie dough today.
I get an email saying that my whole order from JC Pennys was canceled because I ordered $10 worth of stuff, and I had a $10 off $10 coupon and they didn't want to replace and ship out a backordered item. Made four calls to customer service to see if I could still get the shoes that I ordered with the discount that I had before.
My husband breaks me the news that he might not go fishing because we don't have enough money in the bank account. I want him to go because he comes back relaxed from trips like that. He finds out about my stash of money that was hidden in my box of whitestips when I offered to give him money to go. Now I need to make a new stash of money. That money was the "surprize, we have shelves" money. My husband is SPOILED!
Days like this can only get better. I just feel rushed. It's only 1:30. I need to go grocery shopping today or tomorrow and there is also a womens activity for church and Kenpo.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Gilt Credit

Ok, so the other day I posted about the site Gilt. When I placed the order through them they were having a promotion where if you ordered any children's item you would get a 25 dollar credit. So I bought a 10 dollar item that day. Sure enough, once the credit can be used most of the items on the site are over 30 dollars. I waited a couple of days until they got some things in that were more affordable. When I was looking Texas saw these lunch boxes and wanted one.
I looked online for just generic lunchboxes like the ones that I had when I was a kid. I even called my mom and asked her how much they cost back when I was in elementary school. Back then they were about 10 dollars and they came with the thermos. Now they are 20 and you need to buy a thermos separate from the dang thing. So they come out to 40 bucks for both the box and the thermos. That is too much money to spend on something that you replace every year.
Another reason that I am justifying getting this: Most of the time that we go to the park, all of my sons friends bring lunches, and because his little lunch bag isn't big enough, I pack the rest of our lunch in a used grocery bag. If I don't pack a lunch we go and get some fast food (which is bad for my wallet and bad for our health).



So this is the "Lunch Box" that we got: The Goodbyn lunchbox. It is more of a food storage container. It is really cute. It comes with stickers to decorate the front of the thing. There are little sections so there is no need for a gazillion plastic baggies and there is a bottle that fits in the middle so less trash there too. I'm going to be so green :P

Hopefully I will be motivated to use this thing just like using my reusable water bottles. The water bottles paid for themselves the first trip to an amusement park. So I am sure that these lunchboxes will save us money after the first couple of uses. These things retail for about 25 dollars. They are on sale over at Gilt for 15 and then I had my 25 dollar credit.
I looked up the tupperware lunch set that they have and it retails for the same price: $25. It comes with a tumber, sandwitch container, a snack container and a bag. The bigger one cost more. For thermos brand lunch boxes it's not too bad. Prices from $7 (for just the bag, not a box). When you try to find ones with the thermos is when it get pricy. Wow, the weirdest things make me feel poor.

Zucchini Stew

Ok, when you look at the title you think, "what the heck is Jen doing?"
This is really a chicken stew that I made with leftover zucchini that turned out really well.

What is in it:

1 lb chicken thighs
1 lb shredded zucchini
3 medium sized carrots diced
2 large potatoes diced
1/2 lg white onion diced
1 can of stewed tomatoes
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp season salt

Because our friend gave us so much zucchini I have been loosing ideas and ways to use it. Zucchini has lots of moisture in it so when you over cook it, the zucchini turns to mush and adds bulk to the stew. You really can't taste the flavor of the zucchini in this stew so if you do want more of the zucchini flavor wait about an hour before serving and dice up some more and throw it in your crockpot. I just threw all of the ingredients into the crock pot and let it cook for about five hours. You shouldn't need to add water. You may want to add a slurry (four and water mixture, same as what you do to make a gravy) at the end to thicken the broth up. I put in the vinegar because it needed more of the savory flavor and we didn't have any red wine because I am alcohol free.

Later on I'll post some pictures of the stew for everyone to see :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Gilt

Sorry for not being on here in forever. I have some family in town so I have been entertaining her and her daughter the past few days.
I just wanted to let you know about another one of those cool shopping sites.

http://www.gilt.com/invite/buffnclean

If you sign up through this link and buy something you can give me a 25 dollar credit :P Ok for real though: Right now they are having a crazy good sale where if you buy any children's item, you get a 25 dollar credit to use for later.

I tried to copy the picture of what I got but it wouldn't let me so here is a link:

http://www.toobydoo.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=8_63&products_id=276

They were out of the red bathing suit so I got it in blue. Oh, and there is no way that I would spend 40 dollars on a bathing suit for Marilyn. It cost 10. Then I am getting the 25 dollar credit. Yeah for me :)