Sunday, January 31, 2010

And here it is!

The final result...for the birthday cupcake with the sugar flowers and letters...only took me 2 days :)

Sunday Recipe

MMMMM...This Recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law, who loves making new things!

Caramelized Pears and Red Onions
by: Martha Stewart

prep time: 5 min. total time: 45 min.
Serves 4

2 firm, ripe red pears (or green), such as bartlett, cored and quartered

2 red onions, each cut into 6 wedges

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 425' F. Drizzle pears and onions with oil. Season with salt and pepper, toss. Spread mixture in a single layer baking sheet. Roast, turning pieces occasionally, until golden brown, about 40 minutes.

You will love this recipe! Tastes even like a dessert!

Enjoy :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

When it Rains

It pours! IT seems as though our jobs as moms never end. Thus, this week has been not only pouring, but storming! Savanna is getting a cold, and we came down to my in-laws house for the week to help with my sister in law's 12th birthday. It's fun having young aunts for my kids, cause they love to play with them.

Anyways, I've been attempting to make some Sugar Gum Paste Flowers for her cake for Saturday. Needless to say, they are not looking that great, But I did make some cute bumblebees for one of her cupcakes. Any tips?

I love LOVE cupcakes. My obsession started when Savanna turned 2. I'm not too sure why I love them, but I love to bake them and decorate them. I'm always looking for new Ideas, and follow quite a few cupcake blogs. I don't love them as much as photography (probably cause I'm better at taking pictures than decorating cupcakes), but if I have some peace and quite, I bake cupcakes.

So, that's my project for today. My Sister in law is having a cupcake themed party. They are doing a spin off of the Food Network Challenge show and decorating cupcakes! Honestly, I am treating this party if it were my own, seeing my love of cupcakes, but boy is planning a party hard work!

Today will be filled with baking and decorating, and many little interruptions. Maybe I'll get SOMETHING done :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

It's all about family.
You're what I live for.
The Loves of my life.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday IOU

I owe you a post! Things are crazy over here, (at in-laws house trying to help plan my little sister in-laws 12th birthday party). We're doing a Food Network Challenge on Saturday for her party and decorating cupcakes! Should be so much fun, and definitely a lot of fun to photograph.

So Stay tuned! And remember...I owe you Tuesday post!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Madness

Today hopefully will not result in madness, but just in case...

My mother in law drove up from her house (5 hours away) to come and pick up my kids and I to go back to her house. I know what you're thinking... You're thinking, "What the heck are you thinking going on the road with 2 kids for 5 hours?!"

Well you're right, but it wouldn't be a first. We have flown with our kids and have done road trips with them as well. My daughter has flown on an airplane at least 9 times already in her 3 years of life.

How do I do it? Well, breastfeeding always works on planes. My daughter slept on every flight until our last one at Christmas. But now with 2 kids it's a little more difficult, and I have not yet gained enough courage to fly on my own with 2 (one is a little easier).

So, Here's some tips for traveling with little ones!

1. A week before your departure, list everything you'll need to take and start gathering it right away.

2. Pack everything you want easy access to on the road separately so you're not forced to dig around in your suitcase en route.

3. Schedule your departure to ensure your children catch some quality zzz's on the road. Although, for me I have always tried to have the kids nap around my schedule...more of a compromise really.

4. If you're traveling with toddlers and younger kids, try not to drive more than two to three hours in one stretch. Expecting young kids to sit still that long is unrealistic, and honestly who likes to be in the car that long to begin with. If you're pregnant, get out and stretch at least every 90 minutes! But then again you'll probably have to pee every 30 :)

5. If you're traveling with someone, like your husband, switch off duties.One can drive while the other will be in charge of snack distribution, storytelling, and toy rotation. I usually put my daughter's car seat up front with my husband (with the air bags turned off) while I sit in the back with the baby.

6. Keep snacks handy! Favorite treats that travel well: string cheese, rice cakes, pretzels, bagels, sandwiches, apple slices, bananas, granola bars, cookies, raisins, cereal-Os, and puffed corn snacks. My daughter can't be without milk, so we take a small cooler and some milk in the car where I can easily refill her bottle.

7. Portable DVD players, which are truly very inexpensive now, or Ipod's are a life saver. You can upload their favorite shows and let them watch the whole way. Sesame Street has about 15 full length shows on Itunes you can download, for FREE! Now that's unheard of :)

Here is a list from the Babycenter website that I found Useful:

The BabyCenter Seven: Things you'll be glad you packed

1. A portable potty and T.P. If you're at that stage, this is priority #1.
2. Pillows. It comforts kids to have their own and they make the backseat much more comfy (can also be used to create a barrier between sibs!).
3. A plastic bucket — for carsick emergencies. Need we say more?
4. Peppermints, ginger ale, and saltines. These natural motion sickness remedies tame tumultuous tummies.
5. A ball to throw or kick at rest stops.
6. Plastic zip bags to hold everything from errant game pieces to crayons or leftover snacks.
7. A nightlight. Hotel rooms can be very dark at night.

So enjoy! And good luck!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Recipe

Sundays used to be a day where my sisters and I would get to bake with my mom. Banana bread was her specialty (and probably the only thing she would bake, but then again, my mom wasn't one to be seen in the kitchen).

Savanna loves to bake, but sometimes gets in the way. I try to not get too frustrated with her, because after all, she is just trying to help. So this is a great recipe (and yummy) to have the kids help with. Mostly because of the simpleness of it, and they get to eat marshmallows.

Mississippi Mud Cookies

Prep: 25 min., Bake: 12 min. per batch

1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup milk chocolate morsels
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. miniature marshmallows

1. Microwave semisweet chocolate morsels in a small microwave-safe glass bowl at HIGH 1 minute or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.

2. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla and melted chocolate.

3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to chocolate mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in chopped pecans and 1/2 cup milk chocolate morsels.

4. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Press 3 marshmallows into each portion of dough.

5. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Something About Susan Saturday

So, here's a new one that I guess I'll start. You probably will start to get to know me just by my posts, but here it goes.

I love Photography. I have been shooting since I got my first Canon SLR at the age of 15. I was so excited and would shoot about 13 rolls a month (or vacation). It was pretty expensive (and thank goodness for digital!). At the moment I am trying to work up enough money to buy a new professional digital camera so that I can do some photo shoots.

Photography is my passion. And I don't think I love anything more in this world (aside from my family of course!).

I am probably the only person I know who cries in a photo gallery...

Now you know :)

(This is Savanna at a year old)

One of those days...

that never ends!

Savanna, my almost 3 year old, never naps. Which is ok some days because then she crashes at night and is in bed early. Well, not tonight! She wanted toy after toy, after snack, another bottle of milk mom, I'm not tired! Then, once in bed she got out twice. I had to bribe her with going to church tomorrow. "If you don't get to bed now, we're not going to church tomorrow." What a horrible bribe :) Haha.

Savanna isn't very keen on staying in nursery at our church, but she loves for me to stay in with her (which for me completely cancels out the reason I even go to church on sunday). Hopefully tomorrow she'll stay by herself, and I can get a short needed break.

So, I love my grocery store. When I have to go to the grocery store on my own, I freak out. Before with just Savanna I did fine. She would sit in the cart and eat a snack (Usually something she would pick off a shelf), but now I have the 2, Savanna and William who is 3 months old.

Today I only had a few things to get. So I wasn't too concerned. At our store they have these miniature grocery carts. They are a life saver. I have found that if I give Savanna something to do (like pick out a mac-n-cheese box, or some apples) she is rather pleasant to shop with. "what next mama?" is so much more pleasant than that of a restless 2 year old.

I have a headache, but was dying to post! My husband thinks I'm a little too obssessed over blogging, which he may be right, so I'm trying to have a set time to check it every evening. So please keep following! And check back often!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wisdom for your Weekend

Silence propagates itself, and the longer talk has been suspended, the more difficult it is to find anything to say.
- Samuel Johnson

So keep up your blogging! Don't let too much time go between posting, because then you'll have a hard time catching up!

Just a may just be like me though and can't get enough...

::Cough Cough:: Sniffle

Head colds suck. They suck even more when you don't have the luxury of lying in bed and pampering yourself. Plus, we can't "call in sick", Our jobs as moms continue to go on.

So HOW exactly do you avoid getting sick and protect your kids from not catching anything (or bring something home)?

If you're like my husband you'll say, "You can't prevent getting sick. What are you going to do? Hide in a hole?"

NO! I disagree, I believe you CAN do as much on your part to not get sick, but if you do, at least you know you tried your hardest and hopefully you wont be TOO sick (and won't rub it off on your kids)

So here are some steps you can take to prevent from getting sick, and some to help you get better quicker!

Preventative Measures:

1. Clorox Wipes are your friend: Remember this and you'll be happy. Always keep stock in Lysol or Clorox wipes. Wipe down everything, from counter tops to door handles, to sinks, and even toilets (yuck). Basically your high traffic areas should be constantly cleaned, and it doesn't take too long to take a wipe and go through the house and wipe things down. If you're like me cleaning the house takes a couple of days, so prioritize your housework. This should be your top priority.

They even sell these in travel sizes. I take them on the airplane and wipe things down, or to dinner and wipe down the table.

2. Sanitize your hands: Whenever possible, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. When my second baby was born, William, I was constantly washing my hands after I touched anything. Yes, I was a little obssesive, but I became the biggest germ-a-phobe when I got pregnant (and my husband came home with swine flu when I hit 6 months preggo).

Teach your kids to wash their hands as well. Teaching them good habits early on will help them in the future when they aren't always around Mommy. My daughter, Savanna, is a little obsessed with washing her hands as well. Sometimes she'll stand on a stool in front of the sink for 3 minutes washing her hands (oh, and teach them to shut off the water when they are scrubbing, saving water is great for the planet, and for your pocket:).

Keep a stool in the kids bathroom to make the sink accessible for your little ones. The soap should always be in reach as well, and a hand towel. Because, let's be honest, it's hard to drop everything to go and lift your toddler to the sink every time they get dirty. This also teaches them to be independent and care for themselves...remember, GOOD HABITS!

Don't be embarrassed to ask others to wash their hands when they want to hold your baby. If out, just whip out your sanitizer. This is really hard for me to do, but you DON'T want your newborn sick!

When you're not at home, keep some sanitizer in your purse. There are some natural sanitizers at almost any grocery store or pharmacy (or Target) if your worried about drying out your hands or your kids sucking on them. Or keep some "child safe" hand wipes handy.

3. Lysol spray: I guess this goes with the wipes, but keep your air clean with a Lysol sprayer (not every air freshener kills germs). They even sell little bottles for your purse at Target! My husband made fun of me when I used my travel Lysol spray at the movie theater when my son was born. But then everyone in his family wanted me to spray down their chair! It catches on quickly :)

4. Vitamin C: Helps when you start feeling sick. I sometimes even double the dose, but remember to take it with a meal because it can hurt your stomach. Emergen-C works like a charm as well.

5. Probiotics: Remember this key factor...a healthy digestive system is best for your immune system.


1. Get some Rest: I know this sounds like an oxymoron when you don't even have time to sleep at night, let alone during the day. Here's my trick. If you have a TV in your room, throw your toddler in bed with you and turn on their show. This way you can lay down and keep an eye out for your little one.

If you just have babies at home, NAP WHEN THEY DO! I don't know how often I heard this, even if I wasn't sick, but remember, if you get too worn out you WILL get sick. Somehow it just works that way.

2. Vitamin C: Even though you are already sick, this helps you get over it sooner.

3. Gargle: Now you may be asking yourself...GARGLE? Yes, this has been advice given down from my grandmother, and then reinforced by my doctor. Here's the Recipe:

A glass of Cold water
A squirt of Listerine (the clear one, not blue)
A cap full of hydrogen peroxide

Then Gargle! Do it a few times. This will kill all the bacteria on the back of your throat, and almost numb it too, which helps if you have a sore throat.

4. Saline Flush: I do this with my kids almost daily. It is not only a great preventative for getting sick, but helps clear you out when you are sick. My parents used to take us to the beach when we were sick. Salt water has healing properties (that I still have yet to figure out) but it sure does make you feel better.

With your kids, get an easy sprayer (Little Noses makes one that sprays upwards) and use a bulb saringe for your little ones to suck out all the boogs (AKA. Mucus, but that's such a gross word). Teach your toddlers how to blow their noses. The less boogers in their noses, the healthier they'll be. Then swab them out with q-tips. My kids have yet to get sick (even when my husband and I are sick).

5. Don't Share: Everyone should have their own towels, toothbrush, and cups when they are sick. This is advice given to me by a doctor. So keep towels and sheets clean to help get well.

Another trick is keeping tissue boxes throughout the house. Have you ever been guilty of wiping your nose on the backside of your hand, or your honest! If there are tissue boxes everywhere, all you need to do is reach for one. Keeping things accessible is the key.

6. Breastfeed: I am the biggest advocate for breastfeeding. I breastfed my oldest till she was 2 (I KNOW...that's long :), but she never got sick! They get your anti-bodies and through this keep healthy.

If your not, plenty of fluids for the kids and yourself, to flush things out. My daughter loves milk, and Cow milk has vitamin D which also helps as a preventative.

7. Shower: A simple task, you would think, but being a mom doesn't always allow you time to shower the way you once used to. I shower with my kids, just because it's easier to bathe them and myself at the same time. Showering and blow-drying your hair (cause for some reason wet hair makes you feel worse) helps you feel better and look better :). 2 in one!

Now you're probably thinking I'm just a big germ-a-phobe, and you're right, BUT hopefully you'll take my advice and it'll help keep you well this flu season!

Sickness + Mom = No fun for anyone

PS: Howie Mandel is a germ-a-phobe...and look! He has his own show!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Today I:

Woke up

Left the kids in Pajamas

Checked my email

Had a friend over for some playtime (for my 2 year old, who has a hard time sharing her toys)

Had some lunch

Breastfed about 5 times

Threw in about 3 naps for my 3 month old (angel of a boy)

Skype'd with my mom for an hour

Picked up toys which were left all around our 2 bedroom apartment (it can get cramped sometimes)

Husband came home, to my relief!

But not done yet, must cook dinner...

Refilled the oil bottle with brand new EXPENSIVE virgin olive oil

Mid cooking, tipped over olive oil in which it sliced in half on our granite top, down the cabinets, on my pants, on the floor, and daughters stool

Husband put baby down in car seat to help clean up the mess, cut myself

Savanna rocked William too hard and he flew out of his car seat onto the floor, head first.

...Time out Savanna...

Finished meal, ate dinner, turned on the TV

And now blogging. Great day, ya think?!

Now to start it all over again tomorrow :) I wonder what adventures we'll have

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Well, I know I've written a few posts for today, But I thought since I started this new blog, I'd at least start with a new tradition. Wordless Wednesday:

Date your husband

It's easy to get carried away with taking care of the kids and your house. We forget that we are also wives. We need to date our husbands.

This is my cute hubby and I. Aren't we cute? :) Dating helps keep the young love alive. It also helps separate yourself from the day to day monotony of marriage. Let's be real, not every day is peaches and cream, but if we at least have 1 night a week where we dedicate to our relationship we will continue to strengthen our marriages and add a little more lighter fluid to the fire...Don't let that fire burn out ladies!

But I hear you. You're saying to yourselves...




Some mom's are lucky to have family around, but not in this mom's case. I have no family near by and I'm still not comfortable leaving my babies with strangers, but here are some ideas none the less.

1. The Indian Experiment: A friend of mine had a group of friends who would switch off babysitting the other couple's kids every other Friday night. This way they would have a set babysitter for their date. In turn you wouldn't have to hire a babysitter, or dish out 20.00 extra for the evening on some unknown teenager to watch your kids. It's like the Indians used to do. Well, I can't say the Indians did much dating, but in the sense of trading services. Tit for Tat.

Soon they had 5 couples in the rotation, and were able to go out much more often.
2. The Night in Theory: Lets say you don't have a babysitter or friends (hopefully you have friends :). What's wrong with having a night in? Not every date requires much money.

Netflix is a great, inexpensive date. Your movies are sent strait to your mailbox, and if you plan it right, you will have a new movie every weekend. Renting movies costs money, and that money adds up. Joining Netflix will ultimately force you to budget your entertainment expenses.

And Cuddling up to a nice movie is always a plus.
So put those babies to bed, pop in a movie, and RELAX!

3. Nature Theory: MmMmM...there's nothing like connecting with nature. Visit a local park, take a walk at sunset or a picnic lunch. We are surrounded by natural FREE beauty. Parks are a great place to relax and have good conversation. I find at times that my husband and I never really have enough time to sit down and talk. Most of the talking we do is about the finances, or things that need to be discussed quickly before we run out of time.

Observing nature really gives you a chance to ponder what's important in life. It's the simple things that are matter most, and a simple day at the park can bring us the happiest memories of our YOUNG married lives.
JUST TRY IT...And DON'T Forget your camera!

4. The "Sunday Drive" Theory: Remember those Sunday drives as a kid? My parents used to take us all the time on a Sunday drive. My mom had a convertible, so we'd pop down the top and drive around the neighborhood. It was so relaxing.

With kids this could work in your favor. (Hopefully they aren't cranky) Take them for a ride, and if your kids are great car sleepers, you'll be able to put them to sleep in the process. Then park somewhere and talk, or make-out :) Whatever works.

So DATE DATE DATE! And let me know of any other ideas you might have. I'm sure there are plenty more!

Time for some Resolutions...

a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.

Why is it that almost always the top New Year's resolution is to lose weight? Well, this year I have decided that since I'm always trying to lose weight it would not make the list. Here is my list:

1. Eat Healthy: I'm trying to be more concious of the groceries I buy and the food we eat. Since we are students again, going out to eat isn't always an option, but in turn this makes it easier to watch what we eat and what goes into our food. So far since we've been back from Miami I've cooked every meal. This is definitely a challenge and takes up most of my "spare time", but I have enjoyed feeling better and know that as I become mindful of what I eat I will in turn LOSE WEIGHT. So, there's Resolution #1.

2. Patience: Why is this such a hard virtue to have? I guess I've never really had much patience for anything, but now with 2 children and a husband in Law school (let alone no time for myself) Patience is really hard to come by. Savanna is getting to an age where she loves to explore and be independent. The best advice I have had so far was from my dad. I was focusing all my effort on controlling her that it was exhausting me. But he said, "Savanna is very smart. You need to guide her not control her." I guess if I restrict her too much she will lose her enthusiasm on the world around her. This will be very challenging, but I will have to allow her to "get her hands dirty" every once and a while. Patience...

3. Blogging: My first goal is to convert my entire blog into a scrapbook or journal. Any ideas? It's been almost 3 years since I started and so much has been put into this blog. What a blessing it will be to have all of these moments saved for my children to read. My second goal is to have at least 2 postings per week. That way I don't forget anything. My memory is horrible lately and I can't even remember what I did 4 days ago. Any suggestions for that as well? :)

4. Schedule Myself: I'm pretty good at keeping my agenda handy and writing down everything that happens in the day, but for this resolution I am mainly talking about the house work and meals. I found when I was planning my meals I was saving money on groceries, and I was a lot less stressed out. My friend Janielle would write down a list of 2 weeks worth of different meals, at the top of the list were meals that required fresh groceries (which she'd choose from first) and then some quick meals and other meals on hand. Then she would just choose a meal, and scratch it off as she went. This worked for us, but I never kept up with it, but it's a new year!

Secondly is my house work. Ugh, I feel as though every day I spend cleaning or doing laundry. It's really getting old. So, I have decided that I need to just realize that my house will never look perfect on a daily basis. I need to separate my chores throughout the week, and then keep up with laundry every other day. If I don't, I will just be stuck cleaning everyday and Savanna will never get out of the house.

5. Get involved: It's hard to get involved when you are so involved with your family. I need to meet more people here and get involved with the activities and provide friends for Savanna. As of now she has a few friends, in which we get together with, but she is really starting to like kids, so she needs to get involved as well. I need to get involved with my ward as well. With William it's been hard to go to church, but now that he is older we are going to start up again. Hopefully Savanna will start going to nursery and we'll make friends at church as well.

6. Read: I have so many books on my shelf I want to finish, so I will try and find time to read this year! It was easier before William was born, but I just have SO much more I have to do. But I'm sure it'll get easier. I also need to start having some scripture study with our family.

7. ENJOY EVERY MOMENT: I think this one speaks for itself. Agreed? Time flies, so quickly, Enjoy every moment.

I'm sure I have plenty more, but these are the ones I really need to work on and come to mind in this short little moment I have to blog. Till next time!

This is easy!

I thought, while I was a nanny. I nannied for about a year for 2 different wealthy families. Everything seemed so easy. I had a credit card for outings, and eating out, gas money, and anything the children needed. So driving 20 miles away to the best children's museum in town didn't seem like such a problem. I wasn't the one paying for the gas.

I soon found out that motherhood was not like this. I do not have a limit free credit card that some one else is paying for, therefore, I cannot entertain the kids the way I did when I was a nanny.


You mean...I can't take the kids to the museum every day? Or the zoo? Or dance lessons? Or buy them a new toy because they're bored with their old toy?

And on top of this, we have our own list of "To Do's" to get done. Errands with children isn't necessarily the easiest thing to do.

Activities cost money, and not to mention TIME. Time in which we do not always have. So how do we have our cake and eat it too? Something most of us moms try to do too often, and find ourselves shoving the cake down our throats without really enjoying it.

So here's one solution. Find a mother's group in your area. A great website is .
Many of these playgroups have MNO (mom's night out) where you can meet other moms. This was you will have some activities to go to with your kids, and have built in friends. Many of these moms will also do playgroups at their home with crafts, or in the summer time a pool day, where not only your child, but YOU can have some adult interaction.


Another great site is Here you can search for moms by zip code, age, # of Kids, age of kids, etc. The best way to still feel young and enjoy being a mom is by connecting with other MOMS.

We're all in this together! We just need to find each other.

I'm a young mom

I was married at the ripe ol' age of 19, quit school to support my husband through his undergrad, thought about going back after he graduated, got pregnant, he graduated, we moved, and happens. Ever since then I've been a mom. I LOVE IT. But don't get me wrong, motherhood isn't at all glamorous, it's A LOT of work! What was I thinking?!

I'm 23.

I'm a stay-at-home mom.

I have 2 beautiful kids.

And my life is filled with laundry, chores, wiping butts, picking noses, playgroups, cooking dinner, and way too much responsibility and decisions.

Who knew at 23 I'd be thinking about which brand of diapers to use, or when the next playgroup was. All my high school friends are just now thinking about settling down, or which club they'll go to next.

Oh how I wish I could travel, shop, or just have ME time (if it even existed).

To top it all off, my husband is attending Law School, and we are living off of student loans. So money isn't necessarily flowing from our pockets. I've had a hard time trying to live on a budget my entire life, and now with 2 kids under the age of 3 it's tough not to feel a little trapped.

I've read many blogs in search of other moms like me. Yes they're plenty of "mom" blogs, but I want to write to those moms out there, in their 20s, with little money to entertain themselves or their kids.

Let's get real. We don't have 100.00 to spend on a season pass to the zoo, or 699.00 to spend on the top of the line stroller. So what is considered "best bang for your buck"? What can we afford and yet still have some sort of luxury in our penniless lives?

That's where I come in. I will be doing reviews on products, and how to enjoy your time with your kids and still be "young." After all, we are YOUNG. Just because we have kids and a family, doesn't mean we can't enjoy ourselves.

So please comment on ideas you would like to read about. I am always looking for new ideas and new products to try. I love input!