Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fall-off-the-bone BBQ Ribs.

I love to eat good, juicy, tender, tasty ribs. 
I don’t like them tough or dry, and I don’t like to have to fight to get the meat off the bone.

I usually grill my ribs using the indirect cooking method on the charcoal grill, but I forgot to buy drip pans so I tried them in the oven. 

D complimented the ribs multiple times during dinner. He even went so far to say that they were the best he’s had. 
That makes this recipe a winner!


Preheat the oven to 300º. 

Peel off the membrane on the bottom side of the ribs.

Place the ribs on 2 pieces of aluminum foil. 

Season both sides with your favorite seasonings or rub. 

I use McCormick’s BBQ seasoning. 

Lay the ribs meat side down. 
Place 2 more pieces of aluminum foil on top.
Roll in all four sides and seal the ribs inside what is now a pouch.

Bake on a baking pan for 2-2 1/2 hours. 

Turn on the broiler in your oven. 

Separate your ribs into smaller sections.

Coat the boney side with the BBQ sauce of your choice.

I used a smoky sauce since we didn’t grill them outside. 

Place them in the oven and broil them for about 2 mins. 

Do the same for the meaty side. 

Now they’re ready to eat!

Serve them with your favorite sides!


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 10: A favorite photo that you took.

Today is the last day of the photo challenge.
I get to share with you one of my favorite photos that I have taken.
I take pictures ALL THE TIME, so I have lots and lots of favorites.
This is one of my most recent favorites, though:

Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 8: The most recent photo of yourself.

This is a hard one again, since I’m always the one behind the camera!
Let’s see what we can find.....

Little A looking at her reflection in my sunglasses.

We live less than ten minutes from a very large lake. There are multiple parks with public 'beach’ access to go swimming. We spent a few hours there on Saturday and Sunday this past weekend. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Summer Reading & Book Reviews

I have challenged myself to read at least ten books over the course of the summer. I firmly believe that reading is one of the most important things you can do to keep your mind sharp. It’s also a great thing for kids to expand their vocabulary, use their imaginations, and learn new things. 

Our local library has a summer reading program for all ages, PreK to adult. My kids are signed up, and I am as well. When you sign up, you pledge to read a certain number of books before the end of the program (July 26). For the kids, their totals count how many they read, as well as how many I read to them.

Big A and I decided to start the Harry Potter series together. I’ve read it multiple times already, but she hasn’t yet. She's seen the first few movies, though. She and I will be reading a chapter or two (sometimes 3, since we have to return it after two weeks) together each night before bed. She’ll be reading the rest of her books on her own, so we wrote down 10 for her as well. She currently reads on a 5th grade level, so I don’t think it will be hard for her to reach her goal.

Now, Middle A can’t read yet, so her goal is how many books I will be reading to her. We went ahead and wrote down 30 since we read multiple books nightly before bed. She does love going to the library to choose books though! She always seems to find one with Dora the Explorer on it.

I am on my third book at the moment. I have read Something Borrowed and Something Blue. A 2-part series by Emily Giffin. I really enjoyed both of these books. They were entertaining and funny. I definitely recommend reading them. I plan on reading her other books as well. She makes her characters very relatable and down-to-earth. It makes it easer to get absorbed into the storyline. I love books that I can just get lost in. That is a sign of a great author.

Here are a couple of little snippets from Emily Giffin’s website:

Something Borrowed tells the story of Rachel, a young attorney living and working in Manhattan. Rachel has always been the consummate good girl---until her thirtieth birthday, when her best friend, Darcy, throws her a party. That night, after too many drinks, Rachel ends up in bed with Darcy's fiancé.
Although she wakes up determined to put the one-night fling behind her, Rachel is horrified to discover that she has genuine feelings for the one guy she should run from. As the September wedding date nears, Rachel knows she has to make a choice. In doing so, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren't always neat, and sometimes you have to risk all to win true happiness. Something Borrowed is a phenomenal debut novel that will have you laughing, crying, and calling your best friend.
Courtesy of

Darcy Rhone thought she had it all figured out: the more beautiful the girl, the more charmed her life. Never mind substance. Never mind playing by the rules. Never mind karma.
But Darcy's neat, perfect world turns upside down when her best friend, Rachel, the plain-Jane “good girl,” steals her fiancé, while Darcy finds herself completely alone for the first time in her life . . . with a baby on the way.
Darcy tries to recover, fleeing to her childhood friend living in London and resorting to her tried-and-true methods for getting what she wants. But as she attempts to recreate her glamorous life on a new continent, Darcy finds that her rules no longer apply. It is only then that Darcy can begin her journey toward self-awareness, forgiveness, and motherhood.
Something Blue is a novel about one woman's surprising discoveries about the true meaning of friendship, love, and happily-ever-after. It's a novel for anyone who has ever, even secretly, wondered if the last thing you want is really the one thing you need.
Courtesy of

While my sister was visiting over the weekend, she brought her Kindle Fire with her. She has purchased the latest in Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series, Deadlocked
I have read all 11 of Harris's previous books in this series, so I have been dying to read this one. Unfortunately for me, we were busy all weekend and I only got 86% of the book read before she had to leave. Don’t worry, though. I have it on hold at the library. I’ll be able to finish that sucker in just an hour or two. 

Does anyone have book recommendations to get  me through the summer? 
Would you like to commit to reading yourself?

Share with me below!

Day 8: A photo of you & your siblings.

This one is easy peasy for me. My siblings and I are hams.
I’ll just photobomb you for this one.
Enjoy the entertainment!

Anyone notice a theme here yet?
Our poor mother gets so frustrated with us because we can never just look at the camera.
We love her enough to always let her get at least ONE good picture, though.

My younger brother is going to Illinois for Navy Basic Training in just a couple of weeks, so I’m sure we’ll have more photo shenanigans to share.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 7: A photo with your best friends.

Today, I have to share a photo of me with my best friends. I have a few best friends, so I’m going to share a few pictures.

This is a not-so-flattering photo of myself along with my bff Mariah.
We have been friends for almost 15 years.
These are the two ladies who keep me motivated to create, challenge myself, and explore new ideas!
I love these two girls. They are my inspiration for almost everything I do!
You can visit their blogs and get to know them, too!
Shai (left) writes over at The Vagabond Studio.
Sage (right) is the brains behind My Name is: Sage.
This is my other bff Lindsay!
We met when I first moved to the Atlanta area and have been friends ever since.
I wish I had a recent photo of us together. I guess that’s something I need to work on...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 6: Your Celebrity Crush

I took a little break from my 10-day photo challenge since my little sister was visiting for the weekend.
We really enjoyed spending time together.
We had a great time!

Now that she’s returned home and we’re back to our normal schedule here at home, I’ll resume the 10-day photo challenge.

Today I get to share with you who my celebrity crush is. For me, it changes from time to time, but I just recently watched ALL eight seasons of Grey’s Anatomy in a very short period of time. I’m not going to tell you how long (short?) it took me to watch it because it’s impressive ridiculous.

So, here he is:
Mr. Patrick Dempsey in all his hotness.

Yummy yum yum!!!

I'm sorry.....or am I?

      I recently came across an article on Yahoo called, "5 Things Parents Shouldn't Say to Their Kids"I was pretty curious about what those 5 forbidden things were that we evidently shouldn't be telling our kids, so I couldn't resist clicking and reading. I have to admit, this list was not what I expected. A few of these are no-brainers for anyone who has an ounce of common sense. The others actually surprised me. I know I'm not the only parent who has threatened to leave the house without my kids because they weren't cooperating. I'm also not the only person who has told her kid to act her age. If you could see the fits my 7 year-old can pitch, you would tell her to stop acting like a toddler and start acting like a 7 year-old, too! [I hope] we all know not to tell our children, "I don't care." Their little minds just don't understand the flippant use of those three words. Adults can throw that phrase around carelessly since we understand social cues and can differentiate between the many ways it can be used. Saying it to a child can truly hurt his feelings on a deeper level.
      What threw me for a loop was the one that said, "Say you're sorry."  I've always believed that you should encourage your children to apologize when they do something wrong or say something hurtful. I do make my kids apologize when they say something hurtful, hit each other, etc... It has always been my opinion that if you teach them to apologize after they do something wrong, they will form the habit of doing so. Although, even as I type this it sounds as if I'm encouraging a habit, like washing their hands, and not teaching them to sincerely apologize.
      Just two days ago, my girls were wrestling on the couch. Middle A got excited and bit Big A on the cheek. Middle A immediately got sent to time-out for her standard 2-minutes. For those of you who aren't aware, one minute for each year of your child's age is the recommended length of a time-out.  When Middle A's time-out was finished, we had a talk about why it's not okay to bite and I told her to apologize to Big A. Middle A walked over to her, gave her a hug and a kiss, and said, "Sorry for biting you, Big A."  Yes, I did tell her to apologize, but she understands what an apology is. When you hurt someone, just saying sorry doesn't fly in my house. You have to tell the person why you're sorry when you apologize and give them a hug to help them feel better.

     Middle A has picked up cues on understanding when to apologize as well. I'm a minimal footwear kind of person. I hate winter because I have to wear socks and shoes. I'm a total flip-flop freak. Unfortunately for me, toddler feet tend to weigh about 15 lbs each when they're wearing tennis shoes. Middle A steps on my toes all.the.time. When I say, "Ouch!", Middle A immediately replies with, "Sorry, Mom!" and gives me a hug and kiss. That shows me that she has more or less grasped the meaning, or at least knows when to say sorry.

      I happen to think that teaching your children to apologize when they have done something wrong is the right way to handle things. By ‘right’ I mean it’s right for our family. It’s what works best for us. Here are some things that other parents had to say about making your child apologize:

   I think you should make your child apologize. Also, you should make a big deal out of your own apologies to others. Allow your child to see you mess up and allow them to see you apologize. The example you set is more meaningful, than trying to be perfect on front of them. I try to do that as a teacher. If I mess up, I own it and apologize. It sets the stage for meaningful conversation. --Elizabeth, GA
When I was 5 years old, we visited some friends and I took a very small penknife from their toy box and took it home with me. I was sitting on our couch and it fell out. Both my mom and dad saw it and asked where it came from.... they took me all the way back into town that same night and made me walk up to the door by myself and apologize for taking the knife. Never, ever have I taken anything from anybody 50 years later. Best lesson I ever learned. --Mike, TN
I will apologize for him and teach him what he should've done instead, as well as what he can do to fix the situation. I do not force him to apologize. My son is pretty good at offering up hugs if he sees that he made someone sad. --Joanie,  FL
For the things that he understands, he apologizes. If it's beyond his comprehension, I apologize and turn it into a teaching moment. --Gracie, CA
He's too young to fully grasp apologies for certain things. If he hits his brother or the dog I make him apologize. But to kids at the park that he barrels into without looking or cuts in front of on the slide, I do the apologizing. --Sarah, CO

People’s opinions vary widely on any given topic that falls under the subject of parenting. If you ask 10 moms who do the same task or handle the same situation all in a unique way, they will all tell you that their specific way of doing things is the ‘right’ way. I’m a strong believer in the ‘You handle your family, and I’ll handle mine,” method, so I welcome your input, opinions, and methods! Share with me.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Day 5: You making a funny face.

Today’s challenge is to post a photo of myself making a funny face.


My girls and I....we like to have fun now and then. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 4: A photo that makes you happy

Today I have to post a photo that makes me happy. 

My wedding day, and the birth of my children are all in a tie for the happiest days of my life. I don’t know how you can rank things like that. 

I chose a picture that my uncle snapped before our wedding.
This is the day that I became a wife and a mommy. 
D & Big A became my family. 
My wedding day was a very happy day full of beautiful people, good food, lots of dancing, and cake! 
How could you not smile when you think of a day like that?

High 5 for Friday!

Happy Friday everybody!

Welcome to my High 5 For Friday!

Homemade chocolate chip cookies! 

Little A starting sitting up on her own this week!

I think this is absolutely hilarious!
Because when I get the camera out and tell her to say, “Cheese!” this is what I get.
Little Stinker!

I made the tastiest, tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs for dinner on Tuesday night.
D complimented the meal at least 5 times while we were eating.

Four A’s and a D.
I gave the blog a new look and created a new button!
Don’t forget to grab it and share on your site!

Don’t forget to stop by Lauren’s blog over at From My Grey Desk:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Things, They Are a Changin’!

I have been trying my absolute, 100% best to convince my husband that we need to paint the walls in the kitchen gray, reface the cabinets in white, and decorate with yellow. He is absolutely, 100% against the idea. He doesn’t want to paint all of the cabinets. Unfortunately, with the cabinets we have, that color scheme just will not work in our kitchen without painting them. I’m settling for a different color instead. Actually, it’s the same color, just a different shade. Counting this new color, my kitchen will have been 3 different shades of green since we moved into our house almost 4 years ago.

Here’s what it looked like when we moved in:

We weren’t too crazy about the color, so we changed it to this:

Now I feel like the walls are closing in on me since the space is so small, so I’m painting it a MUCH lighter shade of green. I’m painting a little bit at a time, so it’s taking a little while to finish. D isn’t much of a painter. To be completely honest, he’s not very good at it anyway, so I’m working on it here and there throughout the day. It should be done soon.

I can’t wait to share pictures with you guys!

Day 3: A photo of someone you love.

Today I have to post a photo of someone I love.
This one is a no-brainer.
I am head-0ver-heels in love with this man.
He is a loving husband, and amazing father, and my very best friend.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Free Blogger Opp!

Here’s a free blogger opp for Skinny Water review and giveaway. Bloggers get FREE Facebook AND Twitter links! Blogger referral prize is offered as well! Head on over to fill out the form now.
I’m signing up! I hope you do too :)

Wordless Wednesday


Day 2: A Photo of You From a Year Ago

Day 2 of the 10-day Photo Challenge is a photo of myself from a year ago.

Wow! Do you know how hard it is to find a photo of yourself when you’re always the one behind the camera!?  Luckily, I snapped a quick one of myself last July evidently. I have none of myself in May or June of last year, unless I’m helping the kids with something and you’re looking at my back.

Anyway, here I am at some point during July of last year, about 5 months pregnant:

Clean up! Clean up! Everybody, everywhere!

As you’ve probably picked up from all of the not-so-subtle hints I’ve dropped in past posts, I do not like cleaning. I also do not like for my house to be a mess. Funny, isn’t it?
I’m always trying to figure out new ways to get organized and stay that way. Most days I don’t feel like I have time to do anything because all of my time is being spent cleaning up after everyone.

D and I have come up with a solution.

We’re only on day 2, but I must say that these have been the two least stressful evenings I’ve had in a while. I am so much more able to relax when my house is clean. I don’t feel like there’s always a task waiting for me to come along and complete it.

King Daddy and Queen Mommy have passed a new law. Each night at 7:00, we have family cleaning time until 7:30. We clean until the half-hour is up. Tonight, we ran out of ‘things’ to pick up and put away, so we started vacuuming and washing windows. I still have to actually clean (i.e., dust, scrub countertops, etc...) but it makes it so much easier if all of the ‘stuff’ is picked up and put away. I can’t even count how many times I’ve walked into the doorway of a room intending to clean it only to turn around and just walk back out because of the overwhelming clutter of toys, clothes, shoes, and whatever other knick-knacks and toodleywinks a kid can leave on the floor.  One would think the big mess is more motivating, but that’s definitely not the case for me.

How do you keep your family and home organized?

Do you have a special cleaning routine or schedule?

For some cleaning motivation, read my Two-Week Clean Along.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

10 Day Photo Challenge

Quite a few of the blogs I follow are participating in blog challenges at the moment. I want to do something fun as well, so I’m doing a 10-day photo challenge. I’ll be posting  a new picture each day. Enjoy!

Day 1: Facebook Profile Photo

I shared this photo with you on Sunday. 
This is me and my 3 Little A’s on Mother’s Day.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Crafty Catch-up: Super Twirly Skirt

Big A is always begging me to make her things, so I figured I would make her a skirt that fits her style. 

I have been tossing around ideas for some things for her because she’s VERY picky about her clothes.

She’s a little diva, and also seems to think she’s a fashionista.

I’m thinking she liked this one. She wore it to church this morning after I showed it to her.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Competitive Parenting

This Time Magazine cover inspired this little slice of pie.

One would think that we could give up the competitiveness and petty comparisons to each other when we graduate high school and begin our lives as adults. Unfortunately for a lot of women, it just isn’t easy. That habit to continually scrutinize and meticulously pick at other moms because they don’t agree with their parenting styles is just an extension of the immaturity we were supposed to leave behind with graduation. There is always a ‘better’ way to do something; formula vs breastmilk, co-sleeping vs crib, paci vs no paci, cloth diapers vs disposables. The list goes on.

What gives these moms the right to tell YOU that you’re not doing it right? Why is their way the right way? What makes them superior to you? Why is it that they have to make other moms, who are already concerned about whether they’re raising their children right (because, let’s face it, we all are), second-guess themselves? Why do so many moms let the ‘superior’ moms get to them? Who knows?

What I do know is that unless that mom happens to be a pediatrician, her opinion matters just about as much as what that drama queen had to say back in high school.

I happen to be one of those moms that does what’s best for her children, no matter what the public opinion is. I have happy, healthy children who are very loved and as long as it stays that way, I’m ‘doing it right’. Just between Middle A & Little A, we have been all over the parenting spectrum. With Middle A, it was formula, crib sleeping, paci, & disposable diapers until she was over a year old. With Little A, it’s exclusively breastfeeding, paci, all cloth diapers, crib-sleeping AND co-sleeping.  We did what we felt was best for each of our children. No two children are alike. Just because something works for the ‘superior children’ doesn’t mean it will work for yours, and vice-versa.

If you do a quick browse through on any parenting website that has discussion forums, you’ll soon find out (if you didn’t already know) that parenting is a competitive sport. The amount of competitiveness varies, but there’s always a comparison made somewhere, at some point between parents. This behavior is ridiculous, childish, and immature, but it happens. We don’t need magazines covers to insinuate that breastfeeding your three-year old makes you more of a mom. Breastfeeding doesn’t make you a better mom at all. Doing what is best for your children makes you a better mom.

If anyone asks if I’m ‘Mom enough’, my answer will be absolutely, 100%, without a doubt, YES.

I’m dominating in this mompetition.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Carry Me Please! Blogger Sign-ups

Summer is almost here!  And with the warmer weather comes trips to the zoo and park and ALL sorts of outdoor activities!
What better way to enjoy these outdoor activities than with your baby on your back!
The “Carry Me Please Baby Wearing Event” sign ups are now open!
The event will run run from May 12-May 26!  Prize will be winner choice of an Ergo and Pikkolo baby carrier!
This will be a FREE event!  The only requirement is that you post about the sign-ups and then you post about the event when it goes live!
Links can be Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or RSS.  Sorry No Google!
Sign ups will close on May 10th.  The Rafflecopter and HTML for the giveaway will be sent out on the 11th!
Click here to sign up!
If you have any questions please e-mail!
Monday, May 7, 2012

That moment when..... (for mommies)

That moment when you realize you haven't heard a peep from your toddler for 10 minutes and you find him creating his best masterpiece on his bedroom permanent marker.

That moment when your child tells you she has to pee, you look down, and she's standing in a puddle.

That moment when you're holding your baby above your head playing with him.....and he throws up in your mouth.

That moment when you take the diaper off your baby and realize it's messier than you thought.....and there's only one wipe left.

That moment when your toddler is screaming bloody murder, so you rush to her as fast as you can.....and find out she's afraid of an ant.

That moment when you find out that your child has evidently learned how to remove his diaper himself.....because you're quite positive that stain in your carpet doesn't smell like chocolate.

That moment when you realize you just put the only diaper you had left on your child.....and it's 1:00am. 

That moment when you tell your child to be careful with her drink....and before you can even get the words out of your mouth, she looks like she's bathed in it.

That moment when your kid runs up to you and says, "Look, mom! Tattoos!" because he drew all over his arms, legs, & face with a permanent marker.

That moment when your child looks at you and says, "I love you," just because she wanted to.

That moment when you're snuggling on the couch and you can think of nothing that would be better than that moment.

That moment when you see your kid's face light up because he discovered something new.

That moment when your child comes to give you a kiss just because you're his mommy.

That moment when your child snuggles up close to you in your bed and it's like she fits there perfectly in your arms. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Drawing Pad & Pencil holder

A very special little girl in my life turned three in March. I wanted to make her something special, so I pulled my chair up to the sewing machine and got busy! Using the tutorial from Skip to my Lou, I whipped up this cute drawing pad & colored pencil holder. 
I've seen crayon rolls before, but I didn't want to do that. I wanted her to have something she could take everywhere with her. Here in Georgia, if you leave a crayon roll in the car for longer than 10 mins, your crayons will have melted by the time you get back. I think colored pencils are the way to go. 

With this tutorial, if you're going to turn & topstitch like I did, make sure you lengthen the width of your inner and outer fabrics by 1" to 1.5". I did the tutorial exactly as it said and my pencils were too long for it to close evenly. Evidently her tutorial doesn't account for lost space in the pencil slots if you turn & topstitch. Just a heads up there.

I will be making these for just about every kid I know, I think. I really like these. I like the convenience. I like that I can personalize them, and I like how easy the tutorial is to follow.
Give it a try! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

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