Saturday, October 31

Happy Halloween!!!

I hope you have a fun and safe Halloween. We are going to have dinner soon and then head out to Trick or Treat!

I picked up matching PJs yesterday at Old Navy. Princess A just barely fit the 5T but I bought them thinking Princess G could wear them next Halloween.

Friday, October 30

Once in a Blue Moon Review

I was hooked on Once in a Blue Moon by Eileen Goudge right from the start. If I did not have two little girls to take care of I would have read it in one day. As it was I stayed up way to late more than one night reading. The story is about the bonds of family, family you have not seen (or in one case even known about) for years.
In a moment of terrible clarity, Kerrie Ann took in the squalid scene through the cops’ eyes. She saw her daughter—really saw her—for the first time in weeks: how dirty and unkempt she was and how thin she’d gotten, her ribs sticking out of her narrow brown chest like rungs on a ladder. She saw the stain on the seat of her underpants that had come from not wiping herself properly and have no one to do it for her, the crust of dried food around her mouth. When had she last fed Bella?

Kerrie Ann saw the Children’s Services logo on the card and felt herself hurtling back in time. The old nightmare playing itself over, this time with her child. Her thoughts returned to Lindsay. She still couldn't get over the fact that she had a sister. Even weirder was that she had no memory of her. How was it possible for those years to be a blank slate?

Her counselor at the clinic, Mary Josephson, a recovering heroin addict with twenty years of sobriety, suggested she call Legal Aid. Days later she had a court date. But that was only the first step.

Kerrie Anne soon discovered that good intentions weren't enough. Her resume, which listed only a string of short-term jobs, was hardly an incentive for anyone to hire her. The part-time job at Toys “R” Us was the best she could do until she got her GED and some kind of occupational training. And without full-time work, how could she afford an “appropriate” place to live? Life was a series of dominoes: Knock one down, and the rest followed suit. If she could just get her legs under her . . .

Which was where her sister came in. Lindsay was the only card she had left.

The book was wonderful and the characters felt real. One of the characters is trying to be a better person and makes mistakes. Even though I can't imagine doing any of those things I can see how they happen to her. I enjoyed the book so much I am planning on reading other books by Eileen Goudge. I love reading and read a lot of books. When I find an author I adore I always try and read all the books the author has written as I know I will enjoy them.
I was sent a copy of Once in a Blue Moon by One2One Network
facilitate this review, I was not compensated for this review besides receiving a copy of the book.

Dressed up for Halloween with out a Costume

Celebrating Halloween is not allowed in our school district. A few years ago the school district did away with Halloween as to not offend those who practice Wicca. A few people who practice Wicca were quoted as saying they did not care and that Halloween is just fun and the kids should go ahead and celebrate. We still don't have Halloween at school. No costumes are allowed. The funny thing is that the PTA put on a Fall Fest last week (will post pictures soon) after school and the kids were encouraged to dress-up. This is what Princess A wore to school today, Halloweenish but NOT a costume. She wore the Spider barrette I made a few days ago, purple halloween shirt, black skirt and orange/black striped tights. Princess G goes to a private pre-k so she did get to dress up. Is Halloween allowed at your kids' schools? I have such fond memories of dressing up for school, the costume parade, the costume contest per grade, and lastly the party!! I think that we go to far sometimes to be politically correct.

It is just HALLOWEEN!

October Oral Care Challenge

Our family took the October Oral Care challenge. For two weeks we brushed, flossed and used Listerine everyday. For the girls the first rinsed with Listerine Agent Cool Blue Tinting rinse. They both thought it was so cool that it would give their teeth a bluish tint. They each brushed on their own and then it was my turn. The first few nights there were a few blue spots they had missed that I brushed for them. After a few days I did not see and blue left on their teeth. I still brush their teeth after them but it was nice to see how well they are getting at brushing. Next I use a Reach Flosser (we were sent a new one but everyone in our family already had one) to floss the girls teeth. It makes it so much easier to floss when I don't have to try and fit my fingers in their little mouths. We were also a small sample of the Listerine Smart Rinse to use after brushing. Princess G loved it and asks for it every night. Princess A did not like it but did say she would use it once a week. The girls then proudly place a sticker on there chart. I think the tooth shaped stickers were their favorite part. After two weeks it has become a habit and now we automatically floss every night. The only night we did not do the whole routine was the night we spent in Seattle for my birthday and that was because I was not going to bring the big bottle of rinse.
My husband and I were also sent some tooth care items. I especially liked the Listerine Total Care. My husband has been using it for a while but I just never tried it. After finally trying it for this challenge I liked how much cleaner my mouth felt. I usually don't remember to wait the full thirty minutes before drinking anything but I am getting better.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Listerine and Reach and received Listerine and Reach products for the Oral Care Challenge and a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Thursday, October 29

How to Make Spider Barrettes

I made this oh so cute spiders for the girls yesterday.
I thought they would be perfect Halloween barrettes.

5 black pipe cleaners
1 french barrette (optional)
2 eyes

Remove the extra metal part of the barrette and bend one pipe cleaner in half.

Find middle of pipe cleaners and place barrette parallel to pipe cleaners.

Wrap the bent pipe cleaner around the middle of the four pipe cleaners and the barrette.

Continue wrapping the the pipe cleaner completely around the barrette.

Add eyes, bend legs to look like a spider and add metal part back in barrette.
The girls liked them so much I made them each a spider barrette and each an extra one to play with.
Thank you B. Jane Brewing for this great idea and My Trendy Tykes for sharing the link on her blog.

Grosgrain: Becky Mae Poppy Fields Necklace and Earring Set GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Grosgrain: Becky Mae Poppy Fields Necklace and Earring Set GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Grosgrain: Shabby Apple 'Dare to Design' Limoncello Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Grosgrain: Shabby Apple 'Dare to Design' Limoncello Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Monday, October 26

Paper Necklace

Princess A designed and made some paper necklaces all by herself. The first one she made when she was suppose to be asleep. That one was a little small since she only had small paper in her room, as she explained to me. She drew and colored the necklace in an open circle shape. She cut out the necklace and it was ready to wear. She came up with idea all by herself, she is so creative!

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Today is my birthday!!
(No, I am not in Disneyland, I wish I was!)

Sunday, October 25

Disney Hat Giveaway

UPDATE: I have decide to extend the giveaway. If you already entered you may enter again, just leave an extra comment saying you entered before Halloween!

I have a Goofy Pirates of the Caribbean Ears Hat to giveaway. This is very cute hat that has a great stretch so it can fit kids and adults. My girls and I each have one that fits very comfortably.

To enter you must leave a comment below wishing me a Happy Birthday (Monday the 26 is my birthday!)
Ends 11/14/09 (Saturday) at midnight PST.
Two Extra Entries: Follow my blog (leave two extra comments)
Please email in comment is not listed in your profile.
U.S. only

This is part of the Fall Bloggy Giveaway Carnival so head on over and enter to win more great prizes!!

What is a Sister Toe?

I heard a crash in the playroom and then "Mommy, I hurt my sister toe!"
I asked her what a sister toe was and it is the three middle toes but only the "middle, middle toe was hurt." I love the way kids think.
Here is another cute one from a few days ago:
Princess G told Daddy that she hurt her cheekies. When Daddy asked her which one she said 'The one attached to my tushie!"

Saturday, October 24

Princess G's First School Field Trip: Pumpkin Patch

Princess G was so excited for her first field trip. Everyday for about the last week she kept asking "Is the pumpkin patch tomorrow?"
After everyone arrived her Pre-K class took a tour. They learned all about pumpkins and that these were Jumping Jack pumpkins. We also learned about life before electricity and got to see many farm animals.

Princess G liked the baby lamb and the chicken that thought it was a goat the most. After the animals they got a tour of a small greenhouse.
It rained most of the tour and since she refused to wear her hood she got the umbrella (or I held it over her. Luckily the rain was not to hard and it was not as muddy as I had feared.
The last part was to pick a pumpkin. She got to pick any of these smaller pumpkins.

I had a feeling she would not want to touch a wet pumpkin so I brought a bag to put it in. We also got a pumpkin for her sister since she was a school. Princess A was a little jealous since when she was in Pre-K she missed the pumpkin patch. She was excited though when her sister gave her a pumpkin she picked out herself.

Princess G spotted this horse on the way out and wanted a 'quick ride.' I figured quick meant a few minutes but she climbed on asked me to take a picture and climbed right off. It was a fun time but I am not sure if we are going to try and carve these new pumpkins. They are pretty small but the two pumpkins we already carved are starting to mold, yuck, so we might have to!

Friday, October 23

Grosgrain: Noah and Lilah GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Grosgrain: Noah and Lilah GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Grosgrain: Yellow Finch Designs GIVEAWAY!!!!

Grosgrain: Yellow Finch Designs GIVEAWAY!!!!

Queen for a Day

In Princess A's class they made crowns and each day someone was picked to be Queen (or King) for the day. Princess A kept hoping that she would be picked! Almost everyday on the way home from school she would hope that she would be picked the next day. Princess A was finally picked this week. She was the second to last one picked which made for a long wait but when it finally came she was so happy!

Thursday, October 22

Walt Disney World In-Home Celebration

We had a few friends come over for our Walt Disney World In-Home Celebration. All of the kids dresses up as Disney characters. Princess A was Cinderella and Princess G, Aurora. They are their favorite Disney Princesses. We played Disney Bingo for a little while but the kids really wanted to play Cinderella Pretty Pretty Princess instead. Some of them had been to Princess G's birthday party I think they remembered playing. The game kept them busy so the moms and I could chat. We have all taken our kids to Disneyland but not Disney World. We reminisced about how much fun Disney is. We talked about our favorite rides. I adore Indian Jones and Soaring over California, not that I went on them the last time we went. The girls love all of the rise and if I ask them their favorite I get a very long list: Dumbo, Buzz Lightyear, Star Tours, Nemo, Toy Story Mania, Small World, Alice in Wonderland and well you get the idea. This year Disney is asking "What will you celebrate?" I would love to celebrate my birthday at Disney next week but as we already went to Disneyland this year it will have to wait. If you were going to Disney what would you be celebrating?
Eventually the kids wanted to change so they raided the girl's stash of dress-up clothes and had a fashion show. After the fashion show it was time to go home. The kids were a little sad to go but the great goodie bags helped.
Walt Disney World with MomSelect sent me the goodies bags and materials to help facilitate the Walt Disney World In Home Celebration.

Battling and Defeating Darth Vader

Princess A was so excited to battle and defeat Darth Vader. The year before when she had just turned five she was also picked but got scared. She thought that Darth Vader would hurt her with his light saber. I explained to her that they were only using training light sabers but she thought Darth Vader might still try and sneak in a real one. I then told her that it was against earth law to bring a real light saber on earth, only training ones were allowed. She was still a little unsure but said she would battle him when she was six. When we went to Disneyland in May she remembered the earth law and was ready to battle Darth Vader!

Wednesday, October 21

Wordless Wednesday: First Hot Cocoa of the Season

Instead of the usually powdered cocoa to make hot chocolate I used pre-made chocolate milk. The girls wanted both mini marshmallows and whipped cream.

Fall is in full force and I see lots of hot cocoa in the future!

Tuesday, October 20

Freecycle and Craig's List

I went through the girls' rooms and purged whatever they don't use or need anymore. I did keep some clothes and sentimental toys. I sold a few items on Craig's List. I sold the horse above, baby sling, glider rocker, a lot of clothes and a few other things. I also offered a few things on Freecycle: lots of kid clothes, potty seats, some food, sippy cups and DVD player. If you have never used Freecycle the way it works is you join a local group in your area and then members post wants, offers and needs. Other members then respond and coordinate a time and place to exchange the item. No money is to exchange hands, everything has to be offered for free. I usually just send them my address and leave the stuff on my front porch. Freecycle is great for those items that you want to giveaway but would probably be thrown out by a charity they were donated to. It is also nice knowing that the items are going to be put to good use. Some of the clothes were not posted as an offer instead I gave them to people who posted they needed the clothes. I know those warm clothes are keeping a little one warm now. I had a few no shows for people to pick things up so I donated the rest of the items to the Goodwill. It feels good to pass on stuff we don't use anymore plus now someone else can put them to good use.

Monday, October 19

Joshua Bell: At Home With Friends Review

As my husband I listened to Joshua Bell's new album At Home With Friends we both thought the same thing: perfect for a dinner party! The music is just so lovely but each song is a little different. Instead trying to come up with a playlist when friends come over just play this cd. I was most excited about listening to My Funny Valentine featuring Kristin Chenoweth (I just loved her on Pushing Daisies). All of the songs are so lovely and I know we will be listening to them over and over. Here is the complete song list:

I Loves You Porgy featuring Chris Botti, trumpet

Come Again featuring Sting, vocals

Oblivion featuring Carel Kraayenhof, bandoneon

Cinema Paradiso featuring Josh Groban, vocals

Para Tí featuring Tiempo Libre, various

My Funny Valentine featuring Kristin Chenoweth, vocals

Maybe So featuring Edgar Meyer Sam Bush and Mike Marshall, strings

Grieg: Sonata No. 3 featuring Sergei Rachmaninoff (Zenph re-performance)

Eleanor Rigby featuring Frankie Moreno, piano & vocals

O, Cease Thy Maiden Fair featuring Nathan Gunn, baritone

Il Postino featuring Carel Kraayenhof, bandoneon

Left Hand Song featuring Regina Spektor, piano & vocals
Chovendo Na Roseira featuring Dave Grusin, piano

Look Away featuring Edgar Meyer, bass and Chris Thile, mandolin

Variant Moods: Duet for Sitar & Violin featuring Anoushka Shankar, sitar

I'll Take Manhattan featuring Marvin Hamlisch, piano

Left Hand featuring Regina Spektor, vocals

Silly Kids Photo Contest

This is the lovely outfit Princess G picked specifically to help Daddy in the yard. Yes that is what she wore as she gathered leaves, swept, found worms and transfered rocks all over the yard.

My Professional Leaf Raker

Yesterday we went out for a huge breakfast at a local diner. When we got back Daddy started cleaning up the yard so I started to rake. Almost as soon as I started Princess A wanted a turn. She was singing a little song about how much she liked raking but as soon as I turned the camera on she stopped singing. She raked the whole front yard and wanted to do the back too. We promised that she could do it another day as we all wanted to go inside. I think she did a great job, she is now the official raker!

Sunday, October 18

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

As soon as we finished the carving the girls' pumpkins I got to work cleaning off the seeds. I rinsed and let all of the seed air dry a whole day (over night was enough but Mondays are crazy here.) This time I decided to get a little creative so I made two version. For both I tossed the seeds with a little canola oil. For half of the seeds I also added some cinnamon with the oil. I spread the seed on cookie sheets and sprinkled with sea salt. I roasted the pumpkin seeds at 350 F for about 15 minutes. Once they were golden brown I pulled them out. As soon as they were cool enough the girls started to devour them. We already finished the cinnamon and are almost done with the plain ones.

Bullying (??) in First Grade

I hesitated to write this post because I am not sure if this was bullying. If it was not, I believe it was on it's way to bullying. Princess A loves school and not too long ago she was so excited because a 'club' was being formed at recess. A little girl started a club at recess and asked Princess A to be in the club with a few other little girls. The little girl was originally in Princess A's first grade class but was moved into the new first grade class when the district authorized an additional first grade due to over crowding. Princess A was excited about the club but something about it made me pay close attention. At first everything went well but after a while I could tell Princess A was not as excited. I continually asked her about the club and what they did as a club. Eventually Princess A told me that the leader of the club was in charge and the rest of them had to do what she wanted all of the time.

I talked to her about playing fair and that everyone needs to take turns. After our talk she went to school the next day and things did not go well. As usual the little girl told them what to play. Princess A wanted to play something else and told the girl so. The little girl then told Princess A she was 'out of the club' and got upset. Princess A felt bad that she had upset the girl and tried to make it better. Princess A and the rest of the girls in the club spent the rest of recess taking turns to try and apologize to the little girl. She just kept running away until recess was over. Princess A came home and told me all about it. I was glad Princess A was out of the club and hoped that it was over. School was out for a few days and I spent that time casually talking about being a good friend and making decisions for yourself.

When school started again the little girl went on as if nothing had changed. Princess A said she did not understand why the little girl did not remember but that the club was back on. At this point my husband and I told her no clubs at school! Princess A was all ready to tell the girl that she could not be in the club but that she still wanted to be friends. Princess A was the one who wanted to still be friends though I did encourage her to think about how true friends should act. I also emailed her teacher and asked for help with the situation. Princess A's teacher is no longer the other little girl's teacher but she was able to talk to her at lunch. After school Princess A told me her teacher talked to the little girl and told her no more club at school. Princess A never had her talk with the little girl and the funny thing is she gave Princess A an invitation to her birthday party. Princess A's teacher called me after school to tell me that she talked to the little girl, who did not admit to everything, and that the school would keep and eye on the situation. Princess A does not really play with that little girl much during recess but I am going to continue to keep a close eye on her interaction with this little girl. We did not go to the birthday party.

Was it bullying? I hesitate to use the word but in many ways it was. One person telling everyone else what to do and when they don't want to they are manipulated emotional into doing it. That to me is a form of bullying. I can not believe that we are dealing with already in first grade! It has been a few days and everything seems to being going well I just hope it continues to be so.

Saturday, October 17

Pumpkin Carving

First the girls put on aprons to keep their clothes clean. Just like last year they picked out their Home Depot Kid's Workshop aprons since they are orange just like the pumpkins. I should of been the one with the apron since I had the fun job of scrapping out the pumpkins again. The girls did not even want to touch the insides this year but they wanted to make sure I was saving the seeds. I just tossed everything in a bag so I could pick out the seeds later.
Princess G drew the eyes and mouth on and asked Daddy to draw the mouth. Princess G kept Daddy entertained with fancy poses while Daddy carved.

Beautiful princess and her pumpkin!
Princess A drew a face on the pumpkin but she did not like it at all. She was a little sad that she did not 'get the drawing right' but we showed her that we could decorate both sides. She had Daddy draw and then carve the pumpkin. She then got so excited and wanted to carve both sides of the pumpkin. We convinced her that if we are using a candle on Halloween night one side carved would be the best (plus it was so cold Daddy just wanted to get inside.)
I think both of the pumpkins turned out beautifully.
I just hope they last until Halloween since we did carve them last Sunday.

Friday, October 16

Making Caramel Apples

Last October we started a new tradition: Making Caramel Apples!
Here are my pretty apples, I used Fuji apples this year.

Princess A was my official caramel opener. Princess G just wanted to eat them, which she did.Princess G did want to help melt the caramels. I completely forgot the recipe I used last year. I found one but it was for six apples. Since I only had four I re-calculated the amounts for four apples. Here is the recipe I used
(Can I just say I love this pan! It perfect for making English Toffee and caramel apples and so easy to clean.)
Four Caramel Apples
4 apples, washed and stuck with a stick
9.6 oz of caramel
4 teaspoons of water
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla
Melt caramel and water in sauce pan. Butter parchment paper to place apples on. Once the caramel is completely melted and smooth remove from heat and add vanilla. Dip each apple in caramel and scrap the bottom of the appple along the pan to remove excess caramel. Place on buttered parchment paper and place in refrigerator to cool.
Each of the girls got to dip one apple each. Don't they look yummy!
Of course the girls wanted to eat all of the leftover caramels.
After dinner I sliced up one of the apples and we all shared. We shared one each night and they tasted just as good on the fourth night. By the last night only Princess A and I were eating the caramel apple slices. Daddy and Princess G were tired of them. I have had enough caramel for another year. Now I have a desire to make some English Toffee, maybe the girls and I will make some tomorrow.

Thursday, October 15

Sewing with Princess A

Princess A kept watching me when I was making baby pinky and asked to help sew baby hippo (I still need to rip out some stitches and finish it for Princess G.) At the same time I was asked if I would like to review an item from a list of websites. I saw this great ALEX Toys - Sew Fun Sewing Machine and just knew that Princess A would love it. I can't wait for it to come so she can try it out (alright I want to give it a whirl too!) While exploring their sites I found some great bunk beds. When I was little our first house only had two bedrooms so my sister and I shared. My dad built our bunk bed, it was a kit I believe that made a stagecoach bunk bed. I loved that bunk bed but can you imaging having this bunk bed, it is almost like a playhouse you get to sleep in. I love the girls' beds but if we had moved we probably would've moved into a smaller house like my sister has. Her kids are in bunk beds right now. I keep looking at this bunk bed and I want it just to play in or get it as a playhouse for the girls. If only we had lots of room. My dad turned our old bunk bed into a playhouse and put it outside once we out grew it. I had so many great memories sleeping in that top bunk. has a variety of bunk beds including the more traditional and loft beds. I will have to let you all know how the sewing machine works out for Princess A. Does anyone have any easy projects for a first project on the sewing machine for Princess A?

Zhu Zhu Review

The princesses had some friends over play with the new ZhuZhu Pet Hamsters. They were a huge hit. Before their friends arrived I opened and set up the ZhuZhu Pet habitat. It is so cool. I let each of the princesses pick out two ZhuZhu Pets for themselves (we put two of them away for the party) and each of the guest picked out one. The kids loved watching the ZhuZhu Pets go all around the habitat. The kids happily played with the hamsters the whole time. Only a few paused to grab some snacks. At the end of the party we had some races. All of the kids got to pick part of the habitat to take home. The winner of the ZhuZhu race got first pick, second: second pick and so on. All of the kids were so excited to take a ZhuZhu Pet and one of the habitat accessories. After the party we still had two extra ZhuZhu Pets so I set them to my niece and nephew. My sister told me they knew exactly what they were and said they had been wanting them. They loved them so much they took them to Disneyland. My sister says they take them everywhere.

I completely forgot to take pictures during the party. Here are the girls after everyone left.

Princess A loves racing her two ZhuZhu Pets. She also likes to turn them on while siting on the couch and seeing if she can grab them before they fall off.
Princess G likes to snuggle with them and dance around them as they explore all over the living room and kitchen. I love the cute noises they make and the fact that they are not real (no cages to clean!) The ZhuZhu Pets are so cute and close enough to hamsters for little kids that it is as if you have the best part of having a bed with none of the drawbacks.