Dec 31, 2008

New Year's Resolution

As I wrote about in the post here, I have decided to recapture my love of reading in 2009. Because I love structure and organization, I'm chosing to read books from a list I am familiar with. The Newbery Medal and Honor Books are for young readers (typically 4th-7th grade) and I did read a good number of them while I was in grade school. I thought going back to this list of books would remind me of my youth, be light and easy reading, and it would give me an opportunity to set goals and check off the books as I read them. I'm probably going to use this blog as a way to track what I've read also, just to keep me accountable.

You can find the list of Newbery Medal and Honor Books here. I've been looking for a better formatted list, something in an excel spreadsheet perhaps so I could keep better track. If you know of one, please let me know.

I did find a few of these books at a second hand bookstore earlier this month, so I was able to get a head start over the holiday break.

Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan was a 2003 Newbery Honor Winner. I had not previously read this book, but I found it to be fun and it kept my interest. In my review, I would say this book is about a young man, struggling to find his place in life, who has found himself living with a artsy homeschooling family where creativity is their passion. Through a series of humorous events, both the family and the young man are able to grow and learn from their experiences of working together.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell was the 1961 Newbery Medal Winner. I remember reading this book, probably in 6th grade, and struggling to get through it. This time around, I was able to read the book in about 2 hours and I was able to empathize with the main charachter. She, a young native american girl, finds herself alone on a small island near California and recounts the many years she survives the hardships and adventures of primative living.

I'll post more of the books as I read them.

Happy New Year!

Dec 17, 2008

CVS & Walgreens 12/17/08

Well, I made my list of grocery items needed for the Christmas dinner I wrote about in my last post. With all of those items needed for the snack mixes, my list got quite long. I decided it might be a good time to take advantage of those $35.95 ECB I earned on my Thanksgiving shopping spree. I also had a great $5 off any purchase of $5 at Walgreens that I had earned during their "spend $25 (before coupons), earn $5 promo. So, on my lunch hour, I was able to hit both stores. Here's what I did:

$4.98 - 2 Peppermint Mocha CoffeeMate Liquid Creamers (one for work, one for home)
$1.98 - 2 boxes of Turtles candy (for grandma's Christmas/Birthday)
$1.99 - 1 box Honey Nut Cheerios (we don't care for Cherrios in a bowl, but I'll find a recipe for some snack bars or donate to food pantry)
$2.50 - 1 package of Harry & Davids Chocolate Covered Bing Cherries (for Nick's stocking)
-$2.49 (BOGO Walgreens Coupon on the Creamer)
-$1.00 (printable coupon from the Coffee-Mate website)
-$1.00 (printable coupon from the Coffee-Mate website)
-$1.50 (Cheerios coupon that came out of Pampers package)
-$5.00 (Walgreens $5 coupon from last week's promotion)

While my CVS trip wasn't as good, I was able to get a good portion of my food list completed!
$2.00 - Candy Bars (stocking stuffers)
$0.99 - Sierra Mist (for my lunch of leftover pizza)
$0.77 - CVS Basil (for the italian beef sandwiches!)
$3.99 - Lays Potato Chips
$0.00 - Lays Potato Chips (on sale BOGO)
$2.99 - Chex Mix (Decided to serve instead of Reindeer Snack Mix)
$2.99 - Chex Mix (Decided to serve instead of Reindeer Snack Mix)
$1.49 - CVS Carmel Corn & Peanut Mix (Decided to serve instead of Carmel Snack Mix)
$1.49 - CVS Carmel Corn & Peanut Mix (Decided to serve instead of Carmel Snack Mix)
$2.59 - CVS Apple Juice (Nick likes to sweeten his iced tea with apple juice?)
$6.00 - 8x10 Picture Frame (to frame our new family picture!)
$3.00 - 5x7 Picture Frame (BOGO 50%off) (Christmas Gift w/ family photo)
$6.00 - 5x7 Picture Frame (Christmas Gift w/ family photo)
$3.00 - 5x7 Picture Frame (BOGO 50%off) (Christmas Gift w/ family photo)
-$35.95 ECB

Once I started loading up my cart with all the stuff to make the snack mixes, I realized I was going to be spending more money, would have more work to do, and since I hadn't taste tested the recipes first, I wasn't sure I wanted to spend the money. I opted the safe, easy route of premade Chex Mix and premade Carmel Corn with Peanuts Mix.

I spent my entire stash of ECB and didn't earn any back, but I feel I was able to save from purchasing these items at the grocery store.

So, what's left on my list?
5 lb roast (for sandwiches)
2 envelopes of Italian Dressing Mix (for sandwiches)
16 hoagie rolls (for sandwiches)
jar pepporonccini peppers (for sandwiches)
provolone slices (for sandwiches)
lemon juice (to make lemonade)
apples (fruit tray)
strawberries or cherries (fruit tray)
pineapple (fruit tray)
grapes (fruit tray)
(I may find a premade fruit tray that would save time and money, we'll see!)
cream cheese (fruit dip)
marshmellow creme (fruit dip)
butter (just because!)
ice (yes, we buy ice! I know, it's easy to make, but not worth the hassle to me!)
I'm also going to make some iced tea & coffee, but I've got what I need for that.

works-for-me wednesday *Casual Christmas Dinner*

This year, I'm playing hostess for my family Christmas gathering. Since Addyson's immune system is still so weak, we try not to take her out to large family gatherings (or anywhere that we don't have to!). So, this year, we've decided to have some family in from out of town to celebrate Christmas a bit early with us. My parents, my maternal grandparents, and my paternal grandma will be visiting from about 2 1/2 hrs away... not too long of a drive for a one day event. We don't see them as often as we'd like, so this was a good opportunity to have them over. Since they won't be staying too long, I wanted it to be a casual celebration. We don't do many gifts... actually, they only get gifts for Addy now, which is great. We've gone together with my sister and her family and made each of them photo calendars with Addy & Grace's photos through the year. My mom always used to make Italian Beef Sandwiches for Christmas, so I wanted to carry the tradition. Each grandma is bringing a dessert and one grandma is bringing macaroni salad. I thought I'd serve chips too. (I mean, hey, it's casual and we're having sandwiches!) I wanted to have some munchies for sitting around and I thought I'd make two different snack mixes (a savory and a sweet). I'm throwing in a fresh fruit platter too, just so we seem healthy! Easy stuff, most of which can be done a day ahead of time. Since they are coming on Sunday, it gives us plenty of time on Saturday. So, the task of searching for the perfect recipes... where else do I search? is always my go-to. I LOVE that they rate each recipe and there are always lots of commenters posting about what changes they made to make it better. I always look at how many reviews each got and how many changes each reviewer had to make to consider it perfect. Here are the recipes I'll be attempting this weekend:
Caramel Snack Mix - with so many high marks, this one can't fail!
Reindeer Snack Mix - seems to be a great savory snack mix
Fruit Dip II - to be served with strawberries, cherries, grapes, pineapple, and granny smiths
Slow Cooker Italian Beef for Sandwiches - to be served on hoagie rolls with provolone cheese

So, a casual Christmas dinner,, and hundreds of yummy reviews work for me. Read works-for-me wednesday to catch what works for others this holiday season!

Dec 12, 2008

Frugal Friday

My husband often ribs me about my couponing and deal seaking adventures. Want to know how I know he is really proud of me? I went to his work the other day and the women there were asking me how I do it. Apparently, even though he pokes fun of me in person, he's boasting about my achievements to his friends and co-workers. It makes me smile when I come home with bags of stuff for mere pennies and he wants details of each transaction. Well, wouldn't you know it? The other day he says to me "Hey, I've got something to show you that I think your frugal blog friends will find usefull!" Oh, ok... hmmmmm. So he pull up a post on one of the gun lover's forums he belongs to and shows me these videos:

6 Volt Battery Hack! You'll Be Amazed! -

12 Volt Battery Hack -

12 Volt Battery Hack! You'll Be Surprised... -

Crank Charge Your Batteries! -

So, there you go, frugal bloggers. I can't confirm or deny that these are true, but I thought it was funny that my darling husband wanted me to share this frugal find with you all.

Need to be more frugal? Find out what other bloggers are doing to be frugal over at Frugal Fridays by Biblical Womanhood.

Dec 11, 2008

80's TV Trivia

The other day, Nick and I were reminiscing about watching TV as kids and how there were always such great family sitcoms "back in the day" We tried to one-up each other with trivia questions about shows we watched in the 80s. In the quest to find answers to the ones that stumped us, I did a quick online search (using swagbucks, which gives me points just for searching that can be traded in for gift cards for amazon or other places! check it out... it's free and I LOVE it!). I found a website called In The 80s - Television Trivia Questions. For those of you who are in your late 20s or in your 30s, you will love this list of trivia questions. I'm going to post them here. Click HERE for the answers.
  1. Who was Mallory Keaton's fiance?
  2. Which one of the A Team was a Pilot?
  3. What is the name of the cat in the smurfs?
  4. What's the connection between Benson & Growing Pains?
  5. Who was the leader of the good Transformers?
  6. What was the name of the dog in Fraggle Rock?
  7. What was the name of Punky Brewster's dog?
  8. What was Angela's son's name in Who's the Boss?
  9. What was Michael Jackson advertising when he was nearly killed?
  10. What was ALF's girlfriend from Melmac's name?
  11. What was the name of Arnold's fish on Different Strokes?
  12. On Three's Company, what was Jack's retaurant that he opened and was head chef?
  13. On Three's Company, what's the first name of Mr. Furley's (landlord) tight wad brother who owned the building?
  14. On Three's Company, what city did the trio live in?
  15. On Three's Company, what is the name "Chrissy" is short for?
  16. On three's company, what was Chrissy's father's ocupation?
  17. What current cast member of ER was on an 80's show of the same name?
  18. Who was the bully who terrorized Arnold on Different Strokes?
  19. What was Roscoe's dogs name on the Dukes of Hazzard?
  20. What was the name of the school mistress in The facts of Life?
  21. What were the names of the four main characters of the Facts of Life?
  22. What was the name of the bartender on The Love Boat?
  23. The Jeffersons was a spinoff from what show?
  24. What star of the Breakfast Club was also part of the orginal cast of the facts of life?
  25. What actor was famous for the line "nanoo nanoo"?
  26. What was the name of Facts of Life's Mrs. Garret's gourmet food shop?
  27. On facts of life, what was the name Andy thought up to give to the girls when they needed to form a singing group?
  28. What did Webster call his adoptive parents?
  29. What Facts of Life character was in The Godfather?
  30. Who shot J.R. Ewing?
  31. On Little House on the Prarie, what was the original name for the school teacher?
  32. What is the name of the Dukes of Hazzards car?
  33. On Little House on the Prairie, what was Laura's horse's name?
  34. On One Day at a Time, what were the two daughter's names?
  35. Name the two sets of sibling actors that worked together in Little House on the Prarie.
  36. Who palyed Mork from Ork's son?
  37. On the SuperFriends, what were the Wonder Twins names? (Bonus, what was the monkey's name?)
  38. Which famous talk show host made a guest apearence on Laverne & Shirley?
  39. Name the three children on Kate and Ali.
  40. What method of transportation did Webster use to get from the upper level of the house to the lower level?
  41. In Knight Rider, what does K.I.T.T.'s name stand for?
  42. Mork and Mindy was a spinoff of what TV show?
  43. What was the name of the robot girl on "Small Wonder"?
  44. What show is The Dukes of Hazzard a spinoff of?
  45. On Laverne & Shirley, what was Laverne's favorite drink.
  46. What actress played Laura and Almonzo's niece on Little House on the Prairie?
  47. What is the real name of the 'man of arms' in 'He man and the Masters of the Universe'
  48. How old was John Schneider when he first played as Bo Duke on the Dukes of Hazzard?
  49. On "Three's Company" what was Larry's (the upstairs neighbor) last name?
  50. Which professional wrestler popped both of John Stossel's ear drums during a 20/20 interview?
  51. What was Reverend Jims real last name on TAXI?
  52. What was the name of the head master at the Eastland school for girls on the "Facts of Life" during its first premiere season?
  53. How did Ann Jillian's character die on "Jennifer Slept Here"?
  54. On the show Kight Rider, what was the name of K.I.T.T.s evil double? (Bonus, what does it stand for?)
  55. On Punky Brewster, how was she abandoned by her mother?
  56. What actor was famous for the line "Nanoo, Nanoo?"
  57. What show was Family Matters a spin-off of?
  58. What is the connection between Jeffersons and Good Times?
  59. On Punky Brewster, her best friend Cherri was discussing marrying a guy named Donald...if she married him, what would her full name have been?
  60. In "Family Ties" who was Alex P. Keaton's idol?
  61. What was the name of the bar that the characters from "Three's Company" frequented?
  62. What island did Balki from Perfect Strangers call home?
  63. What was the name of the bar on Dukes of Hazzard?
  64. In Knight Rider, what's the real last name of Michael Knight?
  65. Elizabeth was the "Starchild" on this sci-fi show.
  66. My dad was a big kid, a big RICH KID. What show was I on?
  67. What was the name of the helicopter on Riptide?
  68. What does ALF stand for?
  69. What media icon invaded Network 23?
  70. On what show would you find Gary Gnu?
  71. If you heard the words "Hey You Guys!" what TV program was about to begin?
  72. What was Webster's adopted mom and dad's name
  73. What sitcom was "The Facts of Life" a spinoff of?
  74. Where was Hawkeye Pierce's hometown in the show M*A*S*H ?
  75. What was the name of the short lived spin-off of Three's Company?
  76. Name the children on "Just the Ten of Us". Bonus: Name the dog.
  77. What show was Just the 10 of us spin off of?
  78. What was the name of the neighbors that lived next door to ALF??
  79. What was the name of the actress who played "Melonie" on the show "Webster and Melonie"?
  80. Who played the Uncle on Family Ties?
  81. What was ALF's real name?
  82. What was the name of the bar/restaurant on THREE'S COMPANY?
  83. What was the connection between Family Matters & Full House?
  84. What ws Balki Bartokamus' occupation when he lived in Mypos?
  85. On Night Court, who was Harry's idol?
  86. Who was the famous TV painter from the 80's?
  87. What show was a spin-off of Transformers?
  88. What TV personality did Doritos commercials?
  89. What was the connection between The Facts of Life and ER
  90. Who played Jo's sailor boyfiend on the Facts of Life?
  91. How many children did JR Ewing knowingly have that lived on "Dallas"?
  92. What is the real name of Jem from Jem and the Holograms?
  93. What 80's Pro-Wrestler was turned into a G.I. Joe character?
  94. In Battle Star Galactica, What was the name of the human leader of the Cylons?
  95. Who all lived in the house of "Full House" when the show ended?
  96. What were the two dogs names on Magnum PI?
  97. What was the full name of Mangum P.I.?
  98. On M*A*S*H, what was the name of BJ's wife?
  99. What did the "P" in Roscoe P. Coltrane (from Dukes of Hazzard) stand for?
  100. What was the name of Vanessa's last boyfriend on The Cosby Show?
  101. What was the name of the detective agency in Moonlighting?
  102. What was the name of the t.v. show with the theme song that began: "Believe it or not, I'm walking on air..."?
  103. What was the name of the woman who helped run the school for the blind on "Little House on the Prarie?" (Besides Mary Ingalls)
  104. What was the name of Murphy Brown's news program?
  105. What was the date in 1955 did Marty from Back to the Future arrive on.
  106. On Full House, what was Jesse's REAL first name?
  107. What is the connection between Growing Pains and Full House?
  108. What current popular sitcom star played Michael P. Keaton's girlfriend Lauren Miller on Family Ties?
  109. What was the real name of the hospital on St. Elsewhere?
  110. In the show "The Equalizer", what did the hero (McCall) call his former superior from the "agency"?
  111. On "Out of This World" what planet was Troy from?
  112. What was the Saved by the bell series with Hayley Mills originally called?
  113. What was the name of He-man's legless, wizard friend?
  114. What was the primary occupation of characters in "Falcon Crest"?
  115. What was punky brewster's best friends name?
  116. What Georgia town did the first Dukes of Hazzard episodes take place?
  117. What was Al Bundy's nickname during the dream sequence with all of the women in his bedroom?
  118. What is the connection between Gimme a Break and Family Matters?
  119. What was the name of the Other short-lived spinoff of "Three's Company"
  120. What 80's spin off of a 70's tv show did Martin Lawrence play on?
  121. What does M.A.S.K. stand for?
  122. What was crocketts first name on Miami Vice? His nick name was Sonny.
  123. Name the three main bands featured on the cartoon series 'Jem' during it's entire 3 year run.
  124. What was the name of the home that Sofia Patrillo lived in before moving in with her daughter on the Golden Girls.
  125. What Famous congressman was on an episode of the Golden Girls?
  126. What Show did the Simpsons first appear?
  127. how did Rose Nilin's husband Charlie die on The Golden Girls?
  128. Who was Michelle's first boyfriend on Full House?
  129. Can you name the 5 original MTV VJ's?
  130. The Jefferson's was a spinoff of what show?
  131. In the cartoon show My Pet Monster, what were the only things that could send Beastor, Monster's enemy, back to the monster world? Bonus: When these items were put on Monster, what did they do to him?
  132. Ben Affleck played CT on what 80's science education television show?
  133. On Diff'rent Strokes, what pet did Arnold keep in his room? What was it's name?
  134. What was the name of the older brother on Happy Days?
  135. If you saw a segment of "Mathnet," what show were you watching?
  136. What was the name of the principal on Saved By the Bell?
  137. on Different Strokes, who got kidnapped?
  138. What was the name of the castle that gave He-Man his powers?
  139. Name the twins on the Thundercats.
  140. What planet did the Thundercats live on?
  141. On "Who's the Boss?", what was Samantha's liscense plate on her first car?
  142. What short-lived sitcom featured Snow White and Prince Charming living as husband & wife?
  143. On M*A*S*H, what was Walter 'Radar' O'Reilley's home town?
  144. What did Archie Bunker on 'All In The Family' call his son-in-law Mike?
  145. On the show Tour of Duty, for each of the three seasons the show ran for what were the three locations the team was based?
  146. On night Court what was Bull's IQ? (hint: it's the same upside down as it is right side up.)
  147. What was Rosanna Arquette's character's name in "Desperately Seeking Susan"?
  148. In "Desperately Seeking Susan" two different women circle Jim's personal ad in the newspaper. With what(name both)?
  149. In Desperately Seeking Susan: what's the name of the shop from where Susan gets the sequinned boots and later Roberta buys Susan's jacket?
  150. Name the connection bewteen the "A-Team" and "Battle Star Gallactica?"
  151. What was the name of the robot on Buck Rogers?
  152. What planet did Alf come from?
  153. What was the name of the helicopter service that was the cover for Airwolf?
  154. What are the names of the Simon brothers from Simon & Simon?
  155. What did AJ stand for in Simon & Simon's AJ Simon?
  156. In Simon & Simon, what unusual thing did Rick live in? (Bonus: Where was it located?)
  157. In Simon & Simon, what kind of vehicles did Rick and AJ Simon drive? (Bonus: what was the NAME of Rick's vehicle?)
  158. Where did Simon & Simon take place?
  159. What was the name of Magnum PI's suave superspy alterego?
  160. Where did Thomas Magnum grow up as a kid?
  161. In Magnum PI, what was the name of the charter service that TC ran?
  162. In Magnum PI, Rick was not Rick's real name. What was his real name? Bonus: Why did he call himself Rick?
  163. In Magnum PI, what was the name of the club?
  164. In Magnum PI, what kind of car did Higgins drive?
  165. In Magnum PI, where did Higgin's "illegitimite half brothers" come from? What did they do?
  166. Thomas Magnum's dad was played by what actor? Bonus: What other show was that actor also a regular on?
  167. Why was Wesley from Mr Belvedere afraid to go to junior high?
  168. What is the connection between Good Times and Different Strokes?
  169. What were the 3 Chipettes names on Alvin and the Chipmunks?
  170. On Knight Rider, who was Garthe Knight?
  171. What is the name of the cartoon that had ponies of all colors of the rainbow, and had a design on their butt, there were pegasus, unicorns, and earth ponies and they talked? Bonus: What was the name of the girl that took care of the ponies???
  172. Name the spinoff show from Who's the Boss? Bonus: name the connection between it and Tom Hanks.
  173. Who replaced Bo and Luke Duke?
  174. On Magnum, P.I., what type of vehicle was Robin 3? Robin 2?
  175. Who are the three annoying neighbors in "Small Wonder"?
  176. What city provided the setting for One day at a time?
  177. On the show Cheers,What was the name of the restaurant above the bar.
  178. What is Iola cat that died on the episode of Mamma's Family.
  179. Who steals a new razor on Little house on the praire?
  180. What was the name of the home of the Care Bear Cousins?
  181. What is MacGyver's first name?
  182. On "It's Your Move," what is the name of the rock band that Mark and his friend Eliot pretended to be?
  183. In the cartoon Jem and the Holograms, what was the name of Jems computer.
  184. On Night Court, Harry had a "statue" of what animal in his office?
  185. What was the first name of Sledge's partner on the show Sledge Hammer! ?
  186. What is the connection between "Silver Spoons" and "Family Ties" ?
  187. In the show Cheers, what was the name of the bar that always played practical jokes on the gang at Cheers?
  188. What were the names of Amanda's boys on Scarecrow and Mrs. King?
  189. What was the club house of the Get Along Gang?
  190. What was the name of the comic strip that "Henry Rush" (Too Close for Comfort)wrote?
  191. Who was the leader of the bad guys on Hulk Hogan's Rock N Wrestling that annoyed Hulk Hogan and his freinds?
  192. On "You Can't Do That on Television", what were the two things that dropped out of the sky onto the actors' heads and what had to be said to activate them?
  193. What did He-man say when he lifted his sword and gained his strength?
  194. What 80's group sang the theme song to "Square Pegs".
  195. What 80's cartoon theme song did Ricky Martin sing?
  196. What 80's cartoon was a showcase for 'New Wave' Music videos?
  197. What cartoon featured a boy with a community of tiny people living in his wall?
Please note that the author warns: "I am no longer accepting submissions for trivia questions. I received too many incorrect answers, and poorly asked questions for this page (I must get corrections for half the items entered here). So this is the final list of questions, if you have corrections, please send me email."

Enjoy this TV Trivia!

Dec 10, 2008

works-for-me wednesday

Can you believe that I haven't read a book (besides a book to Addy) in years? Yeah, it's true. It's sad. I used to read all the time.

Just recently, my sister in law explained a project that she's working on. It's called 30 by 30 (or something like that). Many of her friends will be turning 30 in the next year or two and they've decided to make it a joyus occasion. Some of them are writing lists of 30 things they want to accomplish by their 30th. Some are writing lists of 30 places to visit, 30 foods to try, 30 people to meet... you get the point. My sister in law is asking her friends and family to each suggest a book for her to read. She'll be reading 30 books (one a month) until her 30th birthday. She's asking for suggestions because she wants each person to choose a book for her based on something they enjoy, something they think she'll enjoy, something meaningful to them, something that reminds them of her... etc.

The book that came to mind was My Side of the Mountain, written by Jean Craighead George. I read it first when I was in 4th or 5th grade? It's a Newbery Honor Book from 1960. It's a book about a young, adventurous boy who resourcefully survives alone in the mountains. As a young girl, I dreamed of running away to follow in the character's footsteps, learning as I traveled, about life and living. The reason I am going to suggest this book to my sister in law? She's an adventurous soul who has traveled the world and lived, quite resourcefully, in many different places. While she strives to help others, she also seems to always be looking for the next place. I hope this book helps her understand that it's ok to live in the moment and enjoy your surroundings but also helps her celebrate her adventurous spirit. We are all so proud of her accomplishments. Holding a Masters degree from Georgetown University, I'm sure she's expecting her friends and family to reccommend heavy themed non-fiction journals and such, but I hope she will enjoy what this book has to offer.

Since she's also asked us to scale back for Christmas this year, I am looking to purchase a book for her from a second hand store. I searched the two second had book stores in our little town and wasn't able to find this book, however, I did find 7 other books that I remember reading as a child that happened to also be on the Newbery Medal/Honor Book list. So, my resolution for 2009? Read more! I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for the books from that list and I plan to try to read the whole list.

So, my sister in law's 30 by 30 project has inspired me to make a great resolution for my life. Looking to others for inspiration works for me. So do second hand book stores!

Read about what works for other bloggers over at works-for-me wednesday by Rocks In My Dryer.

Dec 9, 2008

Finished Product: Family Photos

Are you tired of hearing about my family photos yet? Well, I promise this is the last post about them until next time. You can see a preview of the photos over at our photographer's blog: nicolegreenphoto. For the full version of the photos, you can check them out here, but you'll need a password. If you can't figure out the password, comment me and I'll pass it along.

I think the photos turned out great. We had a hard time getting Addyson to smile, but I think it captures us pretty fairly. The time we spent with Nicole and her boyfriend, Dan was a blast, as always. Nick and I feel so thankful to have friends like them.

Enjoy the pics!

Dec 5, 2008

Photo Shoot Accessories

Black sweater from Kohl's for Daddy
(hard to find bright colored sweater for dad's on short notice)
(may try to get him to wear a red scarf we have at home to brighten him up)

Mommy's Scarf from New York & company...
(to be worn with a teal sweater I already own)

Addy's sweater from The Children's Place
(to be worn with matching hat)
Socks for mommy from Target
(for the cute picture with the stockings & ornaments, probably will wear the stiped ones)

I found a lollipop similar to this one in the Target $1 spot, so I picked it up for Addy in the photo shoot too, thought it would be so cute.

I also got Addyson a cream cable knit sweater (found on the clearance rack at The Children's Place) to wear for some of the photos too. I'm going to look today for some little black shoes for her to wear... something other than the pink and white tennis shoes she has. We're all going to be comfy and wear jeans. Now I just have to worry about Addy's hair. It really needs to be trimmed, but I'm afraid to have it trimmed right before photos (it'll be her first haircut!). It's too short and fine to really do anything with, but it sticks up and out over her ears. I'll have to remember to carry her brush.

Dec 4, 2008

Family Photo Time

Last year, we did a few impromtu photos near the Christmas tree and ordered Christmas Photo Cards from Walgreens. This year, our wonderful photographer, Nicole Green, will be capturing our family for the Christmas Card.

We were introduced to Nicole when I found her contact info on a website for the American Child Photography Charity Guild. Nicole was gracious enough to come to the NICU to photograph Addyson.

Those photos we have of the three of us during such a tumultous time are priceless.

(photo by Nicole Green)

We hired Nicole to take photos of Addyson this past spring for her 1st birthday.

(photo by Nicole Green)

Once again, we were in awe of the beautiful art Nicole creates. When we received an email from Nicole about doing Christmas Cards, we knew we couldn't pass it up.

For those of you that are wondering, yes, it does cost more than going to the photo room at JC Penny or Target, but for our family, it's worth the cost. The finished product really is art to us, not just a family portrait.

We are doing a mini session and will receive 8-10 proofs to choose from, which is great because I don't think I could choose from 97 (which is the number of proofs we got for her 1st birthday session!). I'm hoping to get most of them with just Addy and one or two of the family.

This is the look I'm hoping to achieve with the photos... (all following courtesy of FOTOSEARH)

Dec 2, 2008

Laundry Room Round-Up!

This month over at I'm an Organizing Junkie, the Monthly Organizing Round Up focused on Laundry Rooms. It's my first time playing along, so hang in there!


Can you see the laundry detergent that has stained the walls? I think the white paint is the original white builder's paint from 1984.

Are we the only family who doesn't put the clean laundry away?

Ok, seriously... this is lint, cob webs, detergent grime... you name it, it's been there as long as we've lived here because we've never cleaned this space since we moved in... 5 years ago. I'm so embarrased, but not anymore!


My husband helped and we moved EVERYTHING out of the Laundry "Closet", including the washer and dryer. We scrubbed down the floors, walls, and everything in between. The washer even got new hoses and the dryer vent was cleaned out. It was GROSS! We painted the walls and the shelves a lovely blue color by Sherwin Williams called Drizzle. Everything was put back into containers for organizing. I have to admit, these are NOT the containers I intended to photograph. I had chosen some wonderful white wooden crates to be used, however when I went to purchase them, the store was out of them. I'll keep checking back in hopes that I can finish the laundry area like I had intended. I store my lightbulbs, cleaning supplies, and extra rolls of paper towels in this space as well as my ironing board & iron.

See the cute scrapbook ribbon I used for the light pull instead of plain string? So cute!

Believe it or not, this was a WEDDING present!

Tip Jar (for loose change found in pockets or for TIPS!)

New door knobs!
I'm now inspired and my husband is ready to tackle the hall bath now and replace the flooring in there! I'm shooting for new countertops and maybe a new cabinet too. I think I can get a good deal at work! But first, we need to replace our entire HVAC system in our house! Anyone up for a fundraiser?!