Tuesday, May 31, 2011

30 Day Shred - Day 31


I finished 30 days of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred yesterday - but I'm not close to being done with it. I plan on continuing the workout throughout the summer. My goal on May 1st was to get down to 130 lbs (starting from 138) and to tone up. About half way through the month I weighed 129 lbs and this morning the numbers on the scale read 133. As I said in my initial post about the 30 Day Shred, the last time I did this exercise program I toned up but didn't see weight loss because I was putting on muscle weight. I think that's what is happening again. Mr. G and I have definitely seen a change in my body. My stomach and legs are much more toned and my arms are stronger (thankfully, Noah weighs 15 lbs now!). 

There are 3 levels of workouts in the video. The idea is to move to the next level after a week. I didn't follow this plan. I did two weeks at level 1 then a week at level 2 and a few days at level 3. Now that I've done the 30 days I think I mix it up throughout the month of June. Maybe Monday, Wednesday & Friday level 1 and Tuesday, Thursday level 2. Weekends level 3? I'll post my progress. 

This is a great workout if you have a busy schedule and don't mind using weights. It's only 20 minutes a day. Twenty Minutes! Can't beat that. I also do light cardio every day and have pretty decent eating habits so it works for me. I think it's time to buy a double jogging stroller so I can start jogging in the mornings and get serious about bathing suit season. :- / I can't believe June is here. Where does time go? I'm pretty sure it was just Christmas. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Human Milk 4 Human Babies - My donation experience.


It has been on my heart to donate some of my breast milk to a baby in need but I didn't know how to go about getting it to the right person. I called my local hospital and they gave me information for a milk bank in San Jose. The process was a bit overwhelming and included lots of paperwork that a mom of two doesn't really have time for. I did a little research on my own last week and found a facebook page for Human Milk 4 Human Babies (HM4HB). On the page, moms post their need for breast milk and hope that a donor answers their request.

For several days I read posts from moms pleading for breast milk. Many of the moms suffered from an illness and can no longer produce milk. Other moms just can't keep up with their little one's demand. On Friday I decided to send out a message to see if there was a mom in need in my area - although many of the moms on the site are willing to drive very far for milk.

Not long after I sent the message I was contacted by a mom who's baby boy was born with a deformity and has had several surgeries since birth. During his time in the hospital, the mom's milk supply began to run low and eventually dried up. After writing her back, I was surprised to learn that she lives only 40 minutes from my house!

The next day, I opened my door to the mom, her husband and their little boy. We spent some time talking about our kids and getting to know one another. It's amazing what they have been through since his birth. Once again I was reminded how blessed I am to have two very healthy babies. Her 9-month old son was about the same size as my 3-month old son.

To be completely honest, it was a little hard packing up the 82 ounces of milk on Friday night, but after meeting the family I wished I could have given more. I hope to help several more babies over the next year. If you have extra milk in your freezer I highly recommend donating it to a baby in need. Check out facebook for a HM4HB page in your state.

The Tale of a Tooth

I do a lot of comparison between Noelle and Noah. I don't mean to most of the time, it's just where my brain goes when Noah does (or doesn't do) something. For instance, a couple of weeks ago I was wondering if Noah should be rolling over so I looked through Noelle's baby album to see when she started rolling over (at 13 weeks). The next day he rolled over.

So last week Noah started acting a little different. His cry changed from a faint whine to a full on SCREAM, he started having runny bowel movements, he wanted to nurse or suck his pacifier at all times, and he only napped in 20 minute increments. Where did my happy and content baby go? 

Could he be teething? Of course not. Noelle didn't get a tooth until she was 6 months old. Noah is only 3 months old.

Then he started chewing on his hands.

Could he be teething? No way. I still have a few more months before that happens.

Then he bit me.

What the heck? 
I ran my fingers across his gums and there it was. A TOOTH! Just about to break the skin. My poor baby was teething! But, but, but...he's not supposed to get a tooth until he's 6 months old! Lesson learned. 

On Saturday my dad let Noah chew on his finger and he could also feel the tooth coming in. That night during his bath I noticed that it popped out.


I also noticed that there is another tooth coming in just above it. I'll admit that it makes me sad. He's growing up so fast. One thing that is good about comparing them is understanding how fast it really does go. Just 3 short years ago, I was rocking Noelle and wishing she could stay tiny and innocent just a little longer. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Target, Sunshine & Party Planning (or lack of)

I made an unplanned trip to Target today. Mr. G needed to go to Home Depot so he dropped Noah and I off at Target while he and Noelle went on their own adventure. I normally hate going shopping without a list because 1. I buy more than I need and 2. I flip through my coupon book a million times because I'm unprepared. 


This ended up being a much more successful trip than I expected. Here's the breakdown:

Lime Green Mossimo T-shirt $8.00 on sale for $6.00
$3/1 Mossimo Apparel
=$3.00 
I found one of these tees in the 75% off section last week and scored it for less than a dollar! Keep an eye out!

Wonka Chocolate (YUM) Clearance price $2.44
$1/1 Wonka bag
=$1.44

Suave 3-pack Clearance price $3.50

Bounce 3 month fabric softener sale price $4.50
$1/1 Bounce Bar
=$3.50

Tide $7.99
$3/1 Tide Laundry Detergent
=$4.99

2 Caress Soap Bar 4-pack sale price $3.00
2 $1/1 Soap Bar 4 or 6-pack TQ
=$2.00 each

2 Up&Up Hand Soap $1.57 each
2 .50/1 TQ
$1.07 each

2 Revlon Nail Clippers $1.59 each
$5/2 TQ
= Free + $1.82 overage

Relvon Nail File $1.27
$2/1 TQ
= Free + .73 overage

And because I did two separate transactions, I got 2 more $5/1 Revlon Tools coupons and 2 $2/1 Revlon Tools Target Coupons!

We snuck in a trip to the beach this week and had a wonderful time soaking in the sun and enjoying some family time. Noelle absolutely loves watching the ocean waves and playing in the sand with her bucket and shovels. It's terribly hard to convince her that it's time to pack up and get in the car.



I think I'm in denial that my baby is turning 3 in a few weeks. I haven't started planning her birthday party yet - even though the invitations are out. She desperately wants an Ariel birthday party and I'm completely uninspired. Any ideas? Here is one of the pictures from the invitation. I obliged her "princess" request.


Happy Memorial Day weekend :-)

Revlon Coupon Giveaway Winner!




CONGRATULATIONS.....

KELLY!!!!!!
"The nail clippers are always disappearing at our house. If hubby asks me where they are one more time I may scream : )"

Comment #6 was chosen using a random number generator.

Thanks to everyone who entered!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Revlon Tool Coupon Giveaway (CLOSED)

Happy Tuesday!

A few posts ago I shared my stockpile of Revlon nail clippers which I've been collecting for free using the Target Revlon Tools coupons. Every time I purchase 2 nail clippers (or other Revlon tools) 3 more coupons print out of the catalina! It's been going on for several weeks now and I've accumulated quite a stockpile to donate to my church and I have 3 coupons to give away to one lucky reader!

The winner will receive
$5/2 Revlon Tools Manufacturer Coupon
$2/1 Revlon Tools Manufacturer Coupon
$2/1 Revlon Tools TARGET COUPON!

Hopefully your Target is printing these out when you purchase Revlon tools so you can start a collection of your own to keep or to donate. You can stack one of the MQ with the TQ for big savings!

To enter:
(1 entry) Simply comment on this post and include your e-mail address.

Bonus entries

(1 entry) Follow me and leave a comment telling me that you've done so (with e-mail address).
(1 entry) Share this Giveaway on your blog and leave a comment telling me that you've done so (with e-mail address).

The winner will be chosen at random. Giveaway ends on Friday, May 27th at 3pm EST. The winner will be contacted via e-mail and has 48 hours to claim the prize or another winner will be chosen.


Good luck!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Refinished Desk

When I was pregnant with Noah I found this desk on Craigslist for $20. I has beautiful lines and details that will work in Noelle's room but it was unfortunately spray-painted black...poorly spray-painted. It needed some major TLC which is what I was finally able to give it.


First I sanded it down to a smooth surface and wiped it down with a wet cloth.


Then I primed, primed, and primed again. Seriously - 3 bloody coats of primer.


I also lightly sanded it between coats of primer. 
Next step - Paint!
I mixed 1 cup of Noelle's wall color with 1 cup of white and added a shot of Floetrol.
Floetrol is absolutely imperative when painting furniture. It makes the brush strokes disappear, therefore giving you a smooth surface. 



I bought new silver handles but decided first to paint the old ones to see if I liked them. Luckily there was just enough Heirloom White left in my paint cabinet to cover all 4 of them. 

 I ended up loving the look of the off-white handles against the soft green. 


Here she is!


The desk fits perfectly in Noelle's room and she wasted no time filling it with crayons, paper and a few toys. 


My last step was 2 coats of Polyurethane to make it nice and shiny.


Wow, this post makes it look so easy! It actually isn't a whole lot of work - just a whole lot of time and patience - Prime, wait, sand, repeat. Paint, wait, sand, repeat. And hope that in the end you have a piece that you love and will keep for a long time.

If you're looking for detailed information on how to paint furniture check out this post from Centsational Girl and this post from All Things Thrifty.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Silhouette Portrait - Master Bedroom Decor DIY Part 2

One piece that I had to have for our Master Bedroom gallery wall is a silhouette picture of Noelle. But how on earth do you trace the profile of a wiggly 2-year old? Well, I figured it out. The trick is not to trace, but to photograph.

First, I took a profile picture of Noelle and printed it out.


Then I cut out the photo and traced it on to black construction paper (and made her pony tail a little more interesting).


The last step was to frame it! I put decorative scrapbook paper in the background.




This frame was previously a nasty brown color but I liked the detail so I looked through my many sample paints and picked out a light blue.



 I can't wait to hang it!

Update!
It is now hanging up in the Master Bedroom Gallery Wall.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Extreme Couponing Moment

I mentioned in an earlier post about the Revlon Tools coupons that I've been using to get free nail clippers at Target. Every time I use the coupons to get FREE nail clippers, 3 more coupons print out:
$5/2 Revlon Tools
$2/1 Revlon Tool
$1/1 Revlon Tool


The best part of this deal is the overage. I've used it to start a stockpile of shampoo and conditioner - for absolutely FREE. The small clippers are $1.59 so if I buy 3 and use the $5/2 and $2/1 coupons, I make $2.23.

I'm giving all of these nail clippers - and any more that I can get - to my church which puts together boxes of food/supplies for needy families in our community.


In other Target news I used the new clothing coupons today to score some nice tops on clearance.

Coupons:
$3/1 Mossimo
$2/1 Any top

Merona top $2.50
used $2/1 = .50

 Mossimo top $4.98
used $3/1 = =$1.98
Merona top $6.48
used $2/1 = $4.48 (not that great of a deal but I'm a sucker for ruffles)


Merona top $2.50
used $2/1 = .50

Four shirts for $7.46!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Noah - Month 3



My sweet boy turned 3 months old yesterday - my how time flies. He is the most incredible, happy, lovable, gentle and fun little boy. When he's awake, I soak in as much of him as possible. I can't get enough of his grin and the adorable little dimple on his chubby left cheek. 

On Sunday morning, Noah was presented to the Lord in a dedication service at our church. Here we are after the dedication with Pastor Jeff - who married us 6 years ago.



Here is what Noah is up to these days...

He LOVES to play in his exersaucers - with Big Sister showing him how it all works. 


The "everything in my hands goes in my mouth" stage has begun.

He no longer needs to wear a bib at all times :)

He is so close to rolling over.

There's a lot more cooing going on.

He still loves bath time and still hates riding in the car.

He hasn't had a bottle in 3 weeks and has become a pro at breastfeeding.

Noah sleeps from 8pm - 3am then nurses and goes back to sleep until 6am and if I'm lucky again until 8am. I pump every night before I go to sleep and again at 3am and have built up a large stockpile of breast milk.

And this is what it looks like when I hold my whole world in my arms.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Garden Basket - Master Bedroom DIY decor Part 1


I know no one is on the edge of their seat waiting for the Master Bedroom reveal - but just in case you were wondering, it's still a work in progress. For some reason I thought finding the perfect driftwood and eclectic group of frames/artwork for a gallery wall would come together quickly. Ya, not so much. But it IS coming together so I wanted to share the little details that I complete along the way.

I found this adorable little garden basket at Michael's on clearance for $3 and knew it would be perfect to hold a knick-knack or two on our dresser.


Although "Blossom" is perfect for Spring, it won't work for the rest of the year and I'm only a decorate-for-the-seasons girl up to a point. So I busted out some painters tape and our wall paint and added a stripe to cover up "Blossom" and added a few stripes along the handle. Then I used sandpaper to distress it out a bit more.


It looks darling on the dresser along with my Mother's Day tulips and a starfish.


I have a thing with having one piece in a room match the wall color. I think it looks elegant.


I get such a thrill out of little things like this. Do you find trinkets at stores that you can't wait to makeover to fit your space?

Monday, May 9, 2011

10 Minute Rule


Happy Belated Mother's Day!

My Mother's Day was the same as the previous two - Mr. G wakes up and takes Noelle to get me a newspaper, a Mother's Day card, and flowers (he's not so good in the gift department). Then we head to church and enjoy the day together.

Being a mom is by far the hardest thing I've ever done. Every day is a challenge, but also a joy and a precious gift. Gazing into their eyes takes my breath away because it is so amazing that they are my children. My little people who I love beyond words. I desperately want to be a good mother to them.

Which brings me to the topic of this post. One is much easier than two. Being out numbered during the day has left me scrambling for time to do chores, shower, run errands, etc. Before Noah, I would wait to do everything during Noelle's 2 hour nap so she could have all of my attention in the morning and afternoon. And even with 2 hours I usually didn't get it all done or have much time to myself. Well now I don't have 2 hours alone so a few weeks ago I started doing chores throughout the day with a 10 minute limit. This system allows me to have
1. Plenty of one-on-one time with both of the kids
2. Time for myself
3. Sanity.

Basically I know it will take me 10 minutes to do most of the chores around the house. Instead of tirelessly attempting to get them all done at the same time I give myself 10 minutes periodically throughout the day to do ONE chore.

For example, in the morning while Noelle is eating breakfast and Noah is hanging out or napping, I take 10 minutes to unload the dishwasher and load the dishes used for making breakfast. Then later I'll take 10 minutes to fold laundry or vacuum. I've found that the max I've spent on one chore is 15 minutes and that's when extra attention is needed. Before I start the chore, I let Noelle know what I'm going to do and ask if she would like to help. She loves throwing dirty laundry into the washing machine and helping me fold the laundry (she finds all of her clothes and puts them in a pile).

When the 10 minutes are up we play in her playroom or do some reading or coloring. This way she helps me, then I help her. She looks forward to doing chores now because she knows that it won't last long. Rather than me always saying, "Mommy has to clean up" I now say "Let's dust the living room together then we'll play with your doll house."

Now I use the time that I have when they are both napping to have a few minutes to myself. I also use the 10 Minute Rule for blogging, facebook, finding coupons, and emails.
Looks like my time is up!

Have a great week!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Noah 12 Weeks

A short clip of my sweet boy.

video




Friday, May 6, 2011

Winning and Free Stuff



I saved over 60% on my Target trip yesterday!

Here is what I got for free or close to free:


Suave Shampoo $1.89
.50/1 Suave Professionals
.75/1 Suave Professionals Target Q
= .64

Suave Hair Spray $2.74
Free Suave Professionals Styling Product (up to $3.00)
= FREE

2 Jergens Natural Glow Lotion $1.99
2 $1.50/1 (does not exclude trial size)
= .49

2 Revlon Tweezers $1.87 each
$5/2 Revlon Tools
= FREE

Revlon Nail Clippers $1.97
$2/1 Revlon Tools
= FREE

Two more $5/2 Revlon Tools coupons printed out at the register so I'm going back to use them up and hopefully get 2 more, then 2 more, then 2 more. I currently have 4 nail clippers and 4 tweezers. I'm stocking up to give to my church.

Merona Boxers 30% off for $3.50. I'll check back this weekend to see if they go half off. There were several patterns on clearance.


My FREE Febreeze Teacher Appreciation Giveaway came yesterday!

I got a Green Citrus wooden wick candle and flameless luminary. They smell amazing!



I'm a WINNER!


I checked my e-mail this morning and was thrilled to see that I won a Mystery Envelope from Totally Target! Mystery Envelopes were a quick giveaway yesterday. I *really* wanted the Target P&G insert, but I can't wait to see what's in my envelope!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dr. Seuss Birthday Party


My sister, Tina, is the Queen of planning parties. She threw my Nautical Baby Shower back in January and has thrown the most adorable birthday parties for her two little ones. For my nephew Evan's 2nd birthday she put together a Dr. Seuss themed party. Here are some pictures of the fun day.


"No! Not in the house!" Said the fish in the pot.
"They should not fly kites. In a house!

Delicious Cupcakes!
I loved the cotton candy-topped cupcakes.


Food Table


Blue Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries and Green Eggs & Ham

Peppermint candy napkin holders

Red Fish, Blue Fish Centerpieces


Marshmallow Cat in the Hat pops

House Decor



Tina made this DIY balloon wreath for the front door. She lost count on how many balloons were used. I can only imagine.



Tina with the Birthday Boy