Saturday, December 29, 2012

Macy's employees ruin our Christmas

With a baby at home it's hard to really go out and shop. So, this year I asked my husband and mom to go to Macy's, try things on and place them on hold (Saturday night at 9 pm).

On Sunday morning my husband took our son to see santa and I went shopping... That was when my nightmare began.

First, jewelry department at Macy's: the lady at the jewelry counter could not find the earrings and slippers which my mom had placed on hold. I looked frantically trying to find the earrings but I couldn't find them anywhere.

Second, women's department at Macy's: my mom placed on hold a few tops and sweaters. I had placed on hold a dress I had been after for months (it was on sale and could now afford it ). I arrived to the woman's department and the cashier informed me there was nothing on hold under my name. She took me to the hold locker and no sign of any of our items. At that point my husband had joined me and I had to tell him that the sweaters he had also place on hold for his great grandmother were gone. At that point I started crying, the few items I had remembered my mom admiring were sold out in her size. I had no Christmas present to give my mom.

Third, men's department at Macy's: after 20 minutes of trying to find someone to help me I received the same bad news; no items were on hold. By that point I just wanted to scream ! Agh ! Luckily I happened to glance around the store and I found a shirt with a 'hold' tag and my name on it. Yes, while the employee at Macy's had placed a hold tag on the clothing she failed to remember to place the items in the hold locker. Some of the items my husband wanted were still there.

For my mom though, I had nothing. For my husband a couple of sweatshirts.

Macy's ruined my Christmas. I had to explain to my mom and husband that the items they wanted were not placed on hold by Macy's employees. I felt awful, mostly my mom who had showed so much anticipation for her earrings. I was heart broken and frustrated this Christmas.

Thank you Macy's employees for ruining our Christmas this year. Last time I shop there !

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My second casserole attempt

I had so much leftover tomato soup that I decided to test out a new casserole.
It was yummy, although I learned that oregano is a strong spice :)
Also, my tomato soup was extra thick due to too many canned tomatoes added.

My you tube video:

Chicken & Rice Cumin Soup

On a cold day like this, this soup is perfect.

My mom made it but I wrote down the ingredients (sorry, no measurements).
In our house things are always done on a whim. I will try and make an official recipe soon.

Chicken boiled in water with garlic, salt and cumin.

White rice was made separately in a rice cooker----> 1 cup of white rice and 1-3/4 cups of water

Canned hominy optional but added once chicken was cooked.

Putting it all together...............

To the chicken soup with hominy we added some rice as desired.
Garnished the soup with chopped onion, cilantro and chopped radishes.
I added a little bit of lemon juice for added flavor :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tomato Soup

A friend of mine recently made the most delicious tomato soup!
I tested the recipe out; I should have read the proportions and not added so many canned tomatoes. Even though my proportions were off, it a was delicious soup,everyone at home loved the flavor.
Here is the recipe:

boil about 10 tomatoes and peel them when done
2 of the large canned whole tomatoes
10 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of oregano
1 tablespoon of parsley
1 tablespoon of pepper
1/2 tablespoon of salt
1 cup of carrots cooked
chicken broth
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

First, saute the garlic in some oil. add everything else. you can add or subtract the spices according to your taste. today i think i put less pepper for the kids and less garlic. use chicken broth according to how thick you want your soup to be.
once it boils, blend it all together.
oh and it always tastes better the day after for some reason.

Hand sewing felt bag for baby clothing

It took me an entire day but I finished hand stitching my first felt bag.

I'm going to put a superman logo in the front when I have some free time :)

Here is the you tube link :

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Organizing : Spices

I have a tradition spice rack but I need to have more spices in the kitchen than the spice rack can hold !

This week I organized my spices, so exited :)

Finally something to get my life back in some order.

1. Inventory list
2.Container to hold spices or boxes to label and place spices in.
3. Labeling the top of each spice bottle (makes finding the right bottle so much easier).
4. Year spices were purchased written somewhere on the bottle :)

Made my first casserole dish :)

I admit maybe only one can of Campbell's cream of chicken would have been enough (lesson learned).

Bows : Gift wrapping Christmas presents

I spent tonight learning how to make bows for all of my presents :)
So excited to share this ...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Wreath

Today, I finished my Christmas wreath from leftover Christmas tree branches.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Etsy wall decals

I really, really, really want to purchase these decals but they are very pricy. We are going to try this year to do a similar mural in my sons playroom to cut cost.
I will keep posting as progress goes :)
Hopefully this way I will be more inspired to get it done :)

My dog has an ear hematoma

**** My dog has an ear hematoma***

Rex: Shepherd Mix
Age: 11
Adoption Age: 4 months

My doggie Rex currently has an ear infection on his left ear and a hematoma on the right ear.

I took him to the vet on Sunday and was told of his condition. He was immediately treated for the ear infection but the hematoma was another thing.

The hematoma is currently the size of a nickle and can only be treated with surgery. Which of coarse mean anesthesia.

Reasons why to do it:
It would get rid of the hematoma
His ear will recover with some scaring compared to a self healing ear which shrivels a little
Reasons why not to do it:

He's 11 years old which in human years is senior citizen
He's not in any pain or discomfort.
It can heal itself, although his ear will never be perfect again.
This is exactly what an ear hematoma is:

A hematoma is a collection of blood between the skin and cartilage in a dog's ear flap.
Possible causes: Vigorous shaking of the head, scratching or other injuries.
Self healing can result in: Disfiguration of ear.
The cost of surgery we were quoted was approx. $875 which includes blood work, anesthesia, pain killers, antibiotics, and surgery cost.

Rex might not even be a good candidate for this surgery because of his age and health. But we won't know until his blood work is done again. ( He had blood work done in Jan.)

Cost is not what worries us, my doggie's life is priceless. What we worry about ISanesthesia, his heart and his recovery. I love him and all of my other doggies unconditionally. They are my 'kids' and they are LOVED!!

What we are doing now: We are treating his ear infection and being very vigilant on his ear. There is a 50/50 chance it will heal itself or he will require surgery. We would rather have it heal itself as long as he's not pain. In a week he will have his ear re-checked and we will ask the vet if his ear hematoma is showing signs of healing.

Rex is handsome and we know even if his ear doesn't heal perfectly it will add character to his handsome face :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Living Spaces Holiday / Christmas decoration will go on sale

Just found out living spaces puts their Christmas decorations on sale a week before Christmas. They are suppose to be priced reasonably. I will be there and hopefully I won't have sticker shock :)

Felt Christmas Tree

I am finally decorating my hold playroom :) so exited !
I can't believe how easy it was.. I purchased a yard 2 yards of fabric and made a super tall Christmas tree. But looking at it now, I feel I need to add more so I'm going to make a forest and add some winter dazzle. I hope my son will love it :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ikea shoe storage : Hemnes

How to organize shoes? this has been something most people struggle with...
I know, I'm one of them! I want nothing more than to have those designer closets with built ins but my closet is way too small. So, this is the next best thing. Only problem is, you can only fit 8 pairs of shoes in one unit.
I am seriously considering purchasing some of these but I'm wondering if there are any other storage solutions?

My baby has Plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome)

Initially my baby had to have surgery at 4 months to remove a lump on his head.
Having stitches on the left side of his head resulted in his preference to sleep with his head titled to the right.
So, here he is, at 7 1/2 months with his helmet, 23 hrs a day, seven days a week!
To be honest the main thing that worried me was criticism from strangers, looks of disgust from others, criticism from my husbands family and of course other mommies who's children's heads were perfect.
At first it was tough, I saw their looks and glances, at one point I told my husband I was never going outside again.
As the weeks have past though, there have been people kind enough to share their stories about their own kids with helmets. Some people come and ask out of concern. Overall, only one person has been rude enough to give me evil glares that made me never want to return to their shop again.

In general if the weather remains cool, he doesn't even notice the helmet at all. Its when the temperature gets hot when he gets fussy. He sometimes he just wants to pull the helmet off and enjoy a nice cool breeze.
After a few weeks of wearing the helmet, we noticed a huge improvement in head shape. We are so happy we got the helmet for him. It has also made life so much easier and stress free around here. We kind of want the helmet to stay longer than 3 months. My son is starting to pull himself up on everything; and although I am always by his side. There are some days when he just lets himself topple over. Luckily that helmet is there to protect his little head. It gives me peace of mind to know there is extra protection. So if he flops over, I don't have a look of worry on my face... I just smile and help him be on his way.
The helmet can't get wet, so it makes it harder if it's hot and we want to go swimming. We make sure we keep pool time and bath time with in that one hour of helmet free time.
Overall, best decision we have ever made. His head looks beautiful !

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Shopping cart cover for dummies : Sewing instructions

I purchase this for 50% off at Joann fabrics.

I generally never buy patterns because reading them is so hard. I figured that this pattern would be easy to understand. Nope, I must be a dummy because I can't figure out how I'm suppose to sew the pocket on the shopping cart cover. I'm so mad and frustrated !! Why can't the images be clearer and in a language I can understand !

Baby Brezza steams & purée's carrots

Original post date: 6.19.12
I used shredded carrots in the baby Brezza and it came out perfectly!!

I LOVE this product !!!

UPDATE: 8.29.13
I hate to write this but the thrill of this product ended quickly after this post. The Baby Brezza didn't last more than a couple of months. Now, I'm expecting baby #2 and while getting all of my son's baby items sorted, I had to add this to the 'Junk' pile. This will probably end up being recycled or donated since it no longer works. While the Baby Brezza still steams, it doesn't seem to have enough power to rotate the blade. Therefore, not even shredded steamed carrots can become blended. I feel so disappointed. So much money spent and it no longer works, I should have purchased the baby bullet!

Cast iron vs regular pan

My home experiment with pop-stickers

The same # of pop-stickers
The same water temp
The same water volume
The same stove temp --->set to low heat (4)

Variant :
Stove top location
Size of stove top range varied (cast iron on smaller stove top range)

Time:10 min

Results: cast iron water boiling & regular pan water still cold

See how great a cast iron is 😃

Note: because the cast iron heats so quickly, items are more likely to burn if left equal or more time on the stove as a regular pan.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Giant paper gift bow for wedding gift ....

I made this bow from scrap pieces of wedding gift wrapping paper.

I just made random sized loops of 1 inch paper strips.

Then, I made a figure 8 with the loops. And arranged them to look like a giant bow.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Tutorial : Felt Monkey for pillow cover

--> I made a mistake at the end and had to throw my project away. Learn from my mistake :) <--

1. Printed out a drawing of a monkey I saw online.
2.Cut out the main elements of the monkey.
3. Pinned the cut outs to the felt and cut out every piece.
4. Organized everything to make sure it fit properly on another piece if felt.

••••••••••• I should have stitched the parts directly onto the pillow I was decorating instead ••••••••••

5. *mistake* Drew facial features with a sharpie---> use fabric markers!! FYI sharpie will smear when in contact with Elmer's glue.
6.*mistake* tried to glue the pieces onto another piece of felt before stitching them onto my pillow. Used too much glue and smeared it everywhere.
FYI too much glue will seep through the felt.

It's so cute but to the trash it went !!

Tomorrow is another day to try again :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Baby Brezza :: Baby food processor

Best purchase I have made !!!

What I love about it:
Its so easy to use !!
BPA free
Purées & steams
Easy to clean water container
Suction cups at the bottom to keep it in place
Easy lock lid
Sturdy handle
Cup is marked with water line (160ml) for easy water filling
Just walk away and when you come back it's all ready! No waiting for food to steam then transferring it to a blender to purée. One step :)
Dishwasher safe

What I don't like about it
Sometimes the cup won't lock in right, takes a couple of tries
Loud when it Purées
You have to chop everything into small cubes ( I use my regular food processor for chopping to save time)

***if your baby is sleeping in the same room or in the next room when it is set to steam and purée. The sudden noise when it starts to purée might wake them up***

I prepare his foods at night and store it in the baby bullet containers I purchased separately.
Love this product !!

Note: sweet potato will stain the plastic after just one use :(

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Lady bug chocolates

My mom recently returned from Europe with these yummy treats. Lady bug chocolates !! They are not only cute but delicious. I don't know where I could purchase these in the states but I will try searching the chocolate stores :)

Epiphyllum bloomed today !!

I originally found this plant at the swapmeet for $15 a cutting. Not having a green thumb prevented me from purchasing one. Luckily, a few months later I was able to get a free cutting from a local nursery. I waited nearly two years for this plant to bloom flowers. The plant required minimum care and the only lesson I learned was to not place it on the ground, otherwise snails will feast on it ! It always hung outside and it grew rapidly once the snails were removed. Below are the pictures of the two blooms !! Amazing !!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Best food storage for dog or cat food

I purchased these several months ago, maybe even a year... All I can say is that they are the best purchase I ever made :)

What I love about them
They are on wheels
They have an attached lid
They are semi-clear (view food levels)
The lid locks
Food is kept moist

What I don't like
The only place that I know sells them is the container store. Miles from my house

Overall, if you have pets, you should have these !!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Today is my first Mother's day !! Yay!! It's hard to describe how it feels to celebrate today :) Part of me feels like its a regular day and part of me feels like I should be doing something extra special.
It was actually a day I will never forget but not because of what I received. To the contrary I did something I haven't done in 10 years!!
First, my gifts....
Flowers from Lowes: Dahlia & Columbine flowers.
I never like receiving cut flowers. It makes me so sad that they won't last longer than a couple of weeks. So my husband always knows to purchase potted plants. Generally, I always receive Lillie's but this year I asked for columbine & dahlia flowers. I cannot wait to plant them in my garden and enjoy them all summer long:)
Flower cost $10
Jewelry...what girl doesn't like receiving this kind of gift ?? I really love the set my husband purchased but the ring is too large and it needs to be resized :( I love jewelry but if I can't wear it immediately it looses it's interest with me.
Pictures: we drove nearly and hour to get pictures taken at the photo studio. Let me tell you, it was well worth the drive !! We purchased some great family photos and our baby came out adorable!! I would have liked going to the local park to take photos but the only problem is we need an extra person to take them. So, the photo studio is our only choice until our baby gets older.
Family, I visited my aunt and cousins who I haven't seen in almost 10 years. It was only for a little while, since they had plans of their own. It made my day perfect :) we talked, laughed and just enjoyed the moment!
Overall it was a costly holiday but the memories will last a lifetime. Although, I think I'll be returning the jewelry. It's a nice gift but like I said; if the ring doesn't fit I hate to just keep it in a box until I take it to the jewelry store. Plus, the cost to get it re-sized cost almost more than the ring is worth !

Happy Mother's day to all!! Enjoy the happy moments today brought!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fisher Price Rainforest Jumperoo Baby Bouncer

My baby absolutely LOVES this jumperoo!!
What we love about it:
•The three adjustable levels. My baby is 5 months old and is on level 1.
•The vibrant colors
•The toys!!
•The music
•The hanging toys. I lower the hanging toys as much as possible so he can reach them. He loves to try and pull them towards himself.
•The seat rotates
•the base can easily be taken apart.

What we don't love about it:
•Adjusting the straps is a little challenging but at least you can adjust them.
•The seat seems a little snug compared to other seats
•The front of the seat is a little wide (kind of an arm rest) and my son wants to chew on it.
•Takes up a lot of space since the base is round.

Overall best purchase I have made so far
Cost $ 38 ( used but in excellent condition)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Latest Craig's List Find...Wood Fire Station

I have been obsessed for a while now with kids toys. I use to purchase everything new until I realized how much toys cost. So, I have started searching for toys that are harder to find in your every day store.
This firehouse has been my latest find.
I think it will be perfect for my son when he grows up. One more item to store in the garage :) hopefully someday he will enjoy all of these toys I'm collecting now.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Play area for baby ... Surviving living in a small space

Finding a place for my baby to play is tough. Especially since our dogs or cats are always eager to join the fun. So, over the weekend my husband removed all the plants in our patio and I planned the play area.

1) remove plants
2) pickup all debris and wash floor
3) remove any misc. items
4) place flooring ($48 @ home depot)
5) canopy ($30 @ lowes)
6) enjoy the area

So, it has been a great project ! My baby has his own area. As you can tell in the picture my dog is underneath the bench. He is always by my side since he is the most obedient dog we have.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Evenflo- triple fun jungle exersaucer

This is actually the first used toy I have purchased for my baby. I've always been weary of second hand items; mostly because you never know where they have been. Honestly, it's been a really great purchase !! The item was in great working condition

Why I love it:
It has a lot of toys
Plays music
Colors are vibrant
It transforms into a table as they grow
All toys are easily removed and washable
Easy to assemble
Tummy time mat included

What I don't like about it:
The music (although volume adjustable) is still a little loud for me
The stand attachments for the musical arc is not sturdy enough and tips over easily when placed on the floor stands for tummy time.

Overall I am in a new phase of my life learning to loved pre-owned items.
Although, I have to be picky to ensure I purchase working toys :)

What I have learned from all of this:
Keep the toys I purchase at full price in good condition!! Someday I may want to sell them:)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Today, my son had surgery. When he was just a few days old I discovered a lump behind his ear. I remember that day, I googled immediately what it could be. Most result said it was a lymph node; nothing to worry about. I was still concerned mostly because lymph nodes are suppose to move. My sons bump was not moving. I mentioned it to the pediatrician and she referred us to neurology.
The neurologist said it was a growth that would need to be removed otherwise it could grow and make a hole in his skull.
We went ahead with the surgery and I'm glad we did :) the surgeon said it had already penetrated into his skull. Had we waited longer it would have made a hole. Luckily since he is still young the bone will heal itself and no metal plate will be necessary.

I'm glad that the surgery is over and we caught it in time.

My only complaint: why did none of the doctors who examined the baby after birth or his pediatrician notice the bump!! If I hadn't found it, we could have really faced a larger problem months down the road.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Leap frog learning dinosaurs • lettersaurus

Although this toy is meant for children 12- 36 months we bought one :)

What I like about it:
🌟It's overall cuteness
🌟The ability for music, alphabet & colors
🌟The personalizing " Z is the letter of your first name"
🌟The top of the head lights up

What I don't like about it
✨ The letter buttons are really small. I know it's meant to be a kids toy but parents need to be able to interact with the toy too.

Overall it's a cute toy :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fisher-Price Cradle Swing - Animal Krackers

I don't know what I would do without a swing to sooth my baby!!
It's the one item in the house we use the most.

What I like about it:
🌟swings side to side and head to toe
🌟swing speed can be adjusted
🌟pattern of the fabric and it's machine washable
🌟mobile rotates and has a light changing center
🎶plays music & soothing sounds
🎵volume can be adjusted
✨has seatbelt straps to keep him safe

What I don't like about it :
🌀the area that it takes up ( I always bump into the frame)
🌀you can't move the mobile out of the way to get the baby out
🌀the lack of cushioning, I wish it was softer and more comfy
🌀there is no iPod capability which would be nice since the songs can get repetitive
🌀I wish the seat belts would be placed in such a way that when I place him in the swing I wouldn't have to search for the seatbelt underneath him.

I actually purchased the mamaroo but my baby loves his swing :)
Overall I don't know what I will do when he grows out of it. This swing keeps him happy and he loved the lights mobile.

We purchased ours on sale at babies r us.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The American Story by Jennifer Armstrong & Roger Roth

I never imagined this would be the one book out of so many we own that we love the most. I have never been much into history but my husband has alway loved it. We try every night to read our son one or two stories. We actually make it family time and we learn something new about history. My favorite story is about how the picture on our $1 bill was obtained.
Our goal is to finish this 368 page book by the time out son turns 1.
I think reading is so important at any age (This book is meant ages 9-12).

OXO Good Grips

The first time I ever saw these was at marshalls. I fell in love with them; I purchased my set at Macy's.
The set costs $99 but Macy's sometimes has 20% discounts you can use in housewares ( although most regularly sent out coupons exclude housewares). I was lucky enough to have 20% off and a gift card.

What I love about them:
• the pop up system to open/close
• the airtight security really works*
• the white colored tops
• the see-through container
• bpa free
• freezer & fridge safe*

What I don't love about them
• the package I purchased comes with more smaller containers than larger containers.
• one lid is questionable, it seems to get stuck sometimes
• although it says they are airtight, some reviews complain about their airtight efficiency after long periods of time.
• they have to bee hand washed (except for the plastic rubber lid piece) if you have to hand wash everything what is one more piece !

Overall, I like them :) I love how organized and pretty they make everything look. And I like being able to see immediately if I'm running low on something.
Also, the plastic itself is really clear and shinny. So, it doesn't look so plasticky. Just compare them to martha Stewart's storage container to see the difference.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Craigslist shopping: wooden airplane

I found this wooden airplane for sale on Craigslist. I fell in love with it at first sight. I'm always looking for original toys for my baby !!
Just thought I would share :)

ERGOBABY® original carrier in galaxy gray

ERGOBABY® original carrier in galaxy gray was my choice in baby carrier.

What I love about it:
• no back aches after walking
• convenient front pocket for keys, wallet, cell etc.
• love the design
• overall comfort for myself and baby
• built in hood for those windy days

What I don't like about it:
• the back strap can be a pain to close
• the hip lock sometimes gets caught in fabric and does not lock properly ( thank goodness for the elastic trap for extra security)
• the falling hazard even for babies over 12 lbs ( especially if you have a wiggle worm)
• the built in hood is sometimes a pain to clip into the shoulder strap

It's worth not having the backache !!
The cost is high but believe me it makes a difference on your back when you're carrying a growing baby!
You get the hang of clipping the carrier after a while. Overall I love my carrier :) My baby and I love going on walks!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Twilight Turtle Cloud B

We love this nightlight!! It is so cute :)
It's just the right amount of light for the room. We can check on the baby at night without turning on any lights and it's perfect for those two am diaper changes. Great gift for any mom to be or any mom out there!
We purchased ours at babies r us for $30-$35

Modular Star finished !!!

From the blog : kid giddy

I found this project a few months ago after finishing an origami modular star. I had to cut every triangle by hand but I finally finished this project!! Hooray!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New 53" teddy bear @ Costco

During the holiday season (2011) my husband and I saw this giant bear at Costco. I wanted to purchase it but resisted. So, when we saw it again for the Easter season we couldn't resist!
I love it but it can be a hazardous toy for babies. We will keep it far away from our little boy until he's older. For now it's a great room decor piece in my room :)
Cost $29.99