Thursday, May 31, 2012

Danielle Jokes

I DVR Ellen everyday so that I can watch it during nap time.  Sometimes my son watches with me and every time Ellen dances at the beginning of the show, he dances too.  We love Ellen!  I have some favorite segments like "What's Wrong With These Photos? Photos", "Clumsy Thumbsy", and "Tony Karaoke" but my absolute favorite is "Classic Joke Monday"!  These jokes are short and most would likely be told by a small child but they are the type of joke that I am known for.  For years, I have been calling this type of joke, Danielle Jokes.  It started when my friends got a kick out of the fact that I only knew one joke and I would laugh every time I told it.  My one joke was...
How do you make a hankie dance?  You put a little boogie in it!
Well, my friends started to send me other jokes like that when they heard them.  Between my friends and Ellen's jokes, I now have a pretty good list going.  Here are a few more of my favorites...
What did the Pink Panther say when he stepped on an ant?  Dead ant, dead ant, dead ant, dead ant, dead ant, dead ant, dead annnnnnnt (sung to the tune of the Pink Panther)

What are Mario and Luigi's overalls made of?  Denim, denim, denim (like the sound effect from the classic game)

What did the Pillsbury Dough Boy see when he bent over?  Dough-nuts
 They may not be the best jokes in the world, but they do make my friends and I giggle.  So, do any of you have any "good" jokes for me?  I would love to add to my list.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Layout and Links

I have been working on the layout of my blog as well as a few of the things you don't see behind the scenes.  I still have a lot of work to do but I am happy with how it is going and how everything is coming together.  I have been trying to get all of my social media on the same page with a cohesive look.  I finally put a banner together for both my blog header and my blogs Facebook page.  I also added my photo to my welcome message so that you can put a face to the woman behind this blog.  What do you think?  I welcome constructive criticism. 

I have also made a watermark to add to the photos that I post to my blog.  It was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be.  I have Photoshop Elements and I found this tutorial on the Clickin Moms blog and it was so easy!  You can see mine on my last Sunday Snapshot post.

I have added a few affiliate links to the bottom of my blog.  The Zulily and Kelly's Closet links will give me a percentage of any sales made that were initiated from my blog.  The Ebates link will give me $5 for every person that signs up using my link that eventually make a purchase through Ebates.  Read more about Ebates here.  I also have a link to the Amazon Kindle on my Reading List page and I will also get a percentage of sales made that were initiated from my blog.  I love and use all of these websites and will never promote anything on my blog that I can't say that about.

I hope you like the new changes and stick with me as I continue to update and (hopefully) improve the look of my blog.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What's in a name?

When I started this blog, I knew what I wanted to write about but I had no idea what it should all be named.  There were so many topics that I wanted to cover that a blog name was hard to come up with.  I didn't want to just pick something for the sake of picking something.  I wanted to love it.  I wanted it to mean something.  One day while looking for a necklace to put both of my kids names on, it dawned on me that both of my kids have red birthstones despite the fact that they were born in different months.  One was born in January and one was born in July.  They are my two red birthstones.  So, I want to know, what's your story?

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Snapshot: Touch-a-Truck

aka...Levi's dream come true

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Friday Favorites

Ok, so this is a little late but it's been a crazy day. I had my first filling this morning and I can tell you that fillings will not ever be on this list! I had never had a cavity before but apparently my pregnancy hormones really screwed up my teeth. I had 5 (yes, that says FIVE) cavities at my first check up post baby. So today, 2 of them were filled. Anyway...on with the list.

1. My Beco Butterfly II baby carrier! Both my baby and I love how comfortable this carrier is! She usually falls asleep when I put her in it and her brother used to do the same thing. Having 2 kids under 2 makes it necessary to wear one of them when I go out of the house. I can actually still wear my son in this carrier on my back without hurting myself. I am actually looking at getting a second carrier so that I can just keep one in the car and one in the house. I just need to decide if I want to get another Beco or if I want to get one of the Petunia Picklebottom print Ergos...they are so pretty!

2. husband gave me the nickname of Cookie Monster when I was pregnant with our daughter because I couldn't get enough of them. He would frequently find the cookie jar almost empty because of the Cookie Monster. Well, I have to say that the Cookie Monster is still alive and well even though I am no longer pregnant.

3. Our BOB double stroller has made it possible to go out of the house with both kids for a walk in our neighborhood. Both kids love it and it is a nice relaxing time for all of us. I have found it to be a great way for all of us to chill out for a while and just enjoy nature. It has become my way to gain a little sanity in my crazy days.

4. Baby pigtails

Have a great weekend! It's going to be beautiful here and I am excited to spend the weekend with my family and some friends!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's the little things

"Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people." -Nicholas Sparks from The Lucky One
Having kids has taught me that its about the little things in life.  Seeing the excitement and wonder in my children's eyes is like nothing else in the entire world.  This past weekend was Mother's Day and we spent the weekend with my Mother-In-Law.  On Sunday morning, we took the kids to a park by the ocean and it was there that I watched my son put his hand in the ocean for the first time.  I loved watching the expression on his face as he felt just how cold it was and the intrigue in his eyes as he watched the seaweed sway back and forth with the waves.  We found shells and crabs and even flew a kite on the beach.  Firsts like that are memories that I will cherish long after he has grown.  Mother's Day could have been just another ordinary day but because I spent this day with the ones I love, it was extraordinary and a day I won't soon forget.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Meal Planning with Printable Worksheet

*Updated 5-5-2013 Downloads can now be purchased in my Etsy shop*
Meal Planner
Meal Planner with Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

I am an organized person by nature and I love lists! Meal planning for me is one big organized list. When I go grocery shopping I like to have a plan in place and a list to follow. I have found that when I plan meals and make a list ahead of time, I spend a lot less money. It also makes it possible for me to only go to the grocery store once a week. With 2 kids, going to the grocery store is quite a task so going only once a week is almost necessary. Also, when you are going to the grocery store multiple times a week, you end up spending a lot more money in the long run.

I set up a spreadsheet for my weekly meal plan and shopping list. I have it set up so I can fit two worksheets on one sheet of paper. One half of the worksheet is 7 boxes, one for each day of the week and the other half is a place for my shopping list. At the bottom of the page is a box for anything else that I need to make that week.  See the end of this post for a free printable version of this worksheet.

I print off a bunch of these worksheets at a time and hole punch them and put them in a mini 3-ring binder. The inside pocket of the binder is where I keep my coupons. I still need to find a better way to organize my coupons but that is for another time. 

When I plan my meals for the week, I go through my binder of recipes to help give me ideas. This binder is one that I have put together over the last few years of recipes that I have clipped from magazines or printed from the internet. Each sheet in in a page protector to save it from my messy cooking.  If I find a recipe that I want to use that week, I put a sticky tab at the top of the page with the day of the week that corresponds with my list so that it is easier to find on the night I want to use it.  You can see these tabs at the top of the binder in the next picture.

It is organized into 11 categories, you can see these tabs on the right side of the next picture.  I have an index in the front that I have sorted alphabetically and by category. I have a subscription to a magazine called Simple & Delicious and when it comes, I go through it and rip out any recipes that I want to try and those get added to my book. The rest of the magazine gets recycled so that I don't have piles and piles of magazines to go through.

After I have made my list of meals for the week, I go through the list and figure out what I need to get at the grocery store.  When I make my list, I mentally go through the store and make my list so that everything is in order of how I will come upon them in the store.  This makes it much easier when I am shopping and eliminates any backtracking through the store for forgotten items. 

Once I am done shopping, I take my list and post it on the bulletin board in my kitchen.  The planned meals don't always get made on the day they are listed but I know that I have seven meals planned and the ingredients I need to make them.  Below is this weeks list of meals and the shopping list I used when I went shopping today.

I hope that this will give you ideas on how to make your shopping trips more organized and helps to battle those last minute panics of what to make for dinner.

*Updated 5-5-2013 Downloads can now be purchased in my Etsy shop*
Meal Planner
Meal Planner with Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sewing 101: Padded Camera Bag Insert

My best friend has been wanting me to teach her how to sew for a while now, we just needed the right project to work on. It just so happened that she found a new purse that she wanted to use as a camera bag the same week that I found a tutorial on how to do just that. After finding the materials we would need at my local Joann Fabric, we headed back to my house for our first lesson.

After we got everything all prepped and cut, I got my machine all set up while she preoccupied my kids. I wasn't sure just how much she knew about sewing so I gave her the benefit of the doubt and jumped right in. After she did the first line of stitching, I quickly learned that we needed to start with the basics when I told her to lift her foot so we could turn the fabric and she proceeded to lift her right foot off the foot pedal instead of lifting the presser foot. After going back and explaining a few more things about sewing in detail, she was off and running. About an hour later we had most of the bag insert completed and she headed home to finish it on her own.

The next morning I had an email from her telling me that she bought herself a new sewing machine online (the one she had was old, heavy and temperamental)! On Wednesday, I got a call from her looking for help on how to thread the machine. After a little lesson on sewing machine terminology she had the new machine threaded and ready to go. Later that night she sent me a picture of the final product!

It's not perfect but it will work and for our first one, it came out pretty good! I am so proud of her!  You always learn a lot when you make a project like this for the first time. It was so much cheaper than buying a camera bag and we were able to customize it to our exact specifications. I just need to find myself a bag and I will be making one of these for myself!

It just so happens that she also wrote about this on her blog today too!  Check out her side of the story at Create Something Out Of Nothing!

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Favorites

A few of my favorite things this week...

Pinterest, in case you don't already know is a website you can loose many hours on.  It is an online cork board where you can "pin" links from all over the web.  You can have multiple boards so that you can categorize your pins.  I have found so many projects that I want to make, food I want to cook and photos that give me inspiration.  I have already made a few things on there but my list of things that I want to make is far longer.
- Last Mother's Day, my wonderful husband and son gave me an iPad!  A year later I am still so happy with it!  My laptop had died right before that and this was a replacement for that.  There are very few things that I can't do on it.  At this point I would be lost without it.
- One of my favorite apps right now for my iPad is Draw Something. It is like playing Pictionary over the internet.
- My son was never a picky eater until a few weeks ago, but I can always get him to eat Gerber Organic Food Pouches.  He gets so excited when he sees me get one out for him.  I am happy to give them to him as well because it is just pureed organic fruits and vegetables. 
- I have always been interested in photography and ever since I was in middle school, one of my dream jobs was to be a photographer for National Geographic.  In high school I had a Cannon Rebel 35mm SLR camera and took a few photography classes with it.  When digital became the norm, I started using a digital point and shoot camera and my SLR went by the wayside.  I had dreamed of having a digital SLR for many years but found them very expensive and since I had a working camera it was not anything that I needed.  When my son started to become very mobile, it was becoming more and more frustrating to use my point and shoot because it was so slow.  When I got pregnant with my daughter, I decided it was time to upgrade.  For my birthday last year, I bought myself  a Nikon D3100!  I am in LOVE with this camera.  I am really starting to learn how to use it to the fullest extent and learning how to shoot in manual.  I am loving the results I am getting!  Now I just need to learn more about post processing...
Make it and love it is my new favorite blog!  There are so many great tutorials on this site and each tutorial has great photos to go along with it.  The blog is also great to look at!
- I have always loved to read and I had been hesitant to move to digital because I feel like reading is a great way to unplug.  After doing some research, I learned that digital books are usually a few dollars cheaper than the paperback versions and with as much as I was reading, that would make a big difference.  I also learned that you can share books with other Kindle owners and since my friends and I have similar preferences, that would be helpful too. I decided that I should just take the plunge and I got a Kindle.  I have to say, I love it!  It makes reading much easier especially when one of your hands is always full with child!  I also like that I can buy a book right from my Kindle.  If I finish a book while laying in bed with a sleeping child on my chest, I can just hop online and buy another book and continue reading!  I have also found that when I find a book that I would like to read, I can add it to my Amazon wish list.  Next time I need a new book I can pull up this list very easily on my Kindle and I can just pick a book off that list.  Easy as pie!
- The first birthday I had after my son was born, my wonderful husband bought me this necklace from by Hannah Design with my sons name and birthday on it. Now, maybe for Mother's Day, I want one with both of my kids names, like this one.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Getting to know you: Mommy time

My new bosses!

I am the mommy to a handsome 22 month old little boy and a beautiful 3 month old little girl. I left my traditional job of a mechanical engineer to be a stay at home mom. My last day was the day my son was born. I would not trade this new job for anything in the world but because this new job is all day, everyday I am finding it hard to find time for myself.

My free time these days is spent cleaning the house, doing laundry or running errands. I have some free time at night but that is only if I choose to stay up late, after the kids and my husband have gone to bed. When I do have free time, I love to sew, scrapbook and read. I have lots of projects that I want to work on and thanks to Pinterest that list keeps getting longer. I have been trying to make time for myself but with two little ones, it is not an easy task. I need to remember that a few hours to myself will make me a better mommy. I need time to recharge.

So I am going to ask you, when do you get me time? Do you make time for yourself? What do you do with your me time?

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Monday, May 7, 2012

A New Beginning

I have been away for a while but I am starting back up with a new name and a new look. This is going to be a quick update for now but I have a lot to share over the next few posts. Hope that you will stick around as I get my blog updated and continue to update my new look.

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