three pinterest pins for the win!

1) This amazing camera art...for $16 total including frame.  Frame from Michaels on sale 40% off and free art printed at Staples for about $3.77!  The folks at Design Editor offer the art for FREE!
2) Do you make bacon like this?  You should!  Bacon laid flat on parchment paper, place in cold over, warm up to 400 and cook anywhere from 15-20 minutes until it reaches your perfect level of done! 
Bacon was perfect!  Parchment paper caught ALL of the grease, when it solidified I just threw the paper away and didn't even have to clean the pans!  Idea from Martha!
3) See that scrubber?  It's full of half dish soap and half vinegar.  I keep in in the shower and use it while IN the shower to give the shower a once over.  Has made a HUGE difference and no having to clean the tub separately!  It works so well that I put one the in boys tub and now THEY clean the tub!

What have you done from pinterest lately? 

***Side note...while browsing and pinning away on Pinterest, please be sure that you dig into a pin until you get to the original source!  I try try try to do this, and yes I miss some, but if we can all take some time to make sure every pin we use is properly credited, then everyone wins!
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happy monday!


Happy Monday to you!  I'm pretending that I feel like this...
...instead of like this!  

Moses is riding the bus for the first time ever!
Praying this isn't the start of another tearful day! 

xo


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daydream believer... {headboard from scrap wood}

After we moved a couple of months ago we went to set up Moses' bed only to discover that we had lost the hardware that we needed to assemble it!  I searched everywhere and was pretty disappointed in myself for not putting it with all of the other hardware stuff that we needed to assemble things (in my jewelry box!).  The other night I decided that I would just give up the search and go to Lowe's and get new bolts.  I went to look at Moses' frame and there was the hardware!  I had put it BACK into the holes it belonged in for safe keeping.  Apparently making myself too smart for my own good!

So anyways...Moses' bed got assembled and suddenly Aaron's bed looked naked.  He only had a frame, box spring and mattress.  I decided he NEEDED a headboard that minute.  And a couple of hours later...
Here it is!  Made entirely from scrap wood, paint and screws that I already had around the house!  It didn't cost me a penny more to make something that I completely LOVE! 
I used the same method as my "Oh Happy Day" sign but added legs that were the appropriate height to make it a headboard.  I can attach it to the frame if I want but for now it's just propped back there.  
I'm pretty stinking pleased with it.  And if we are ever done with it as a headboard I can just cut the legs down and I have a pretty cute sign! 
I love that it cost me nothing but a little time and digging around for supplies!

And...I just wanted to say that I think we are recovering from all of the changes we've had lately...you know, moving, kindergarten, new jobs, etc.  I have so many cool things to share with you and I am hoping that FINALLY we can have the kind of schedule that will help me be a better blogger. :)

In the mean time, thank you for hanging in there,  thank you for the birthday wishes yesterday and please let me know if there is something that I can do here that you would like to see! :)

xoxo
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meaningful newborn time - a huggies post


I've been asked by BlogHer and Huggies to take some walks down memory lane and explore some (what I think will be) FUN subjects about babies and having them and getting ready for them and all the fun stuff that goes with THEM! I volunteered for this series for selfish reasons. I think it will be a great way to document some thoughts and feelings I haven't before but should have. I hope you will enjoy them, too! 

This post is all about interacting with that new little one in your life in a way that is meaningful to both you and him!

I don't know about you but I think interacting with newborns is one of the most natural things in the world. They make excellent listeners, and they love the sound of your voice to boot! If you are worried about making meaningful connections, don't be! It's as natural as any good relationship you have. All you have to do is talk. It doesn't matter what you are talking about so long as you are following all the normal "rules" of conversation.
Look at your baby while you guys are chatting it up. Talk about how nice the produce is that day at the grocery store or how excited you are about the deal you just got. I always used this time to add in a little counting and color identification. You know, "Mommy is buying three, yellow bananas"...that kind of thing. 

Sing to your baby during bath time and when you put him to bed. He doesn't care if you sound like a pro or not, he loves the sound of your voice. And guess what? "Baby voice" is totally optional. If you are like me and you aren't a fan of the baby voice, just talk to him like normal, using your happy tone.
During your daytime feedings you can chit-chat about whatever comes to mind. I never talked during the night because I didn't want then to get the wrong idea about what nighttime was for. My boys even loved it when I was on the phone but pretended to be talking to them. 

The best way to interact, in my humble opinion, is to hold that baby! I am in the camp that believes you cannot hold a baby too much. I held my babies every minute they would let me, and they never had any trouble sleeping through the night or starting school or any of those things they tell you will happen if you hold a baby too much. In fact, I believe it increases their confidence and overall well being. 

How do YOU interact with your newborn in a meaningful way?
Be sure to check out all my other baby advice posts HERE. Worth a read, for sure!
Find more posts from bloggers sharing their experiences of motherhood on the Huggies page on BlogHer.com.
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oh the agony...

A few short months ago I gave birth to my first born son.  He was beautiful and tiny and perfect.  People cooed over how beautiful he was.  I'll never forget my friend Martine telling me "He is beautiful Crystal.  No really, in the world of babies he is just gorgeous".  And he was.  He was a delight as a baby.  Each transition was easy.  He slept through the night early, took to foods well, potty trained quickly and just this morning walked into a big, new school all by himself.

Oh wait.  It's been nearly six years and not six months.  It just feels that way. 

I didn't think that today would be hard.  I'm not one of "those" moms.  I never tend to be over emotional about much of anything.  In fact, I'm a little convinced that at the precise point in development that you learn how to cry at sad movies and other sappy things, something traumatic must have happened to me because I just don't have that trait.

But this morning.  This morning.  This morning I took my first baby to kindergarten.  I left my whole heart there with him.  I watched him get out of my car, on his own and walk to that big new building.  I watched him turn around and wave at me with a smile and skip happily on his way. 

I listened to him say "No thanks" after I asked if I could walk him in.  He saw other kids being walked in by their parents and he wanted no part of it. 

I'm honestly a little shocked by how hard this day has been.  I'm grieving over the change.  It's a huge one.  I'm thankful for every day of almost six years that he has been with me at home.

I'm so grateful for a husband who would do anything he can, and has, to make sure I could be the one taking care of our kids at home.  I know that because of that, I was able to be there for everything, not missing a moment of his precious little life.  A gift that I don't take lightly.  Though the trauma to my heart is great at the moment, I know it will pass.  For now, I have to fight the urge to just go get him.   
I pray fiercely for his tender heart and sweet disposition.  I pray that he makes friends easily and that he is a friend to those who need one.  I pray that the love of Jesus pours out of him onto others.  I pray for his protection in this world that is full of evils.  I pray that this next phase only changes him for the better.

And I offer a warning to the mamas who have not gone through this, because they are still cuddling that snug little baby: It's true that time flies.  It's vicious and cruel but true.  You may look at that baby and think you have years but the truth is you have moments.

First they walk, then talk, then make friends.  A wave of first things will follow: sleepovers, preschool, new siblings, first Christmas, first birthdays and first ice cream cones.  They all blur together in a fury of time.  Before you know it, in a weeks time they learn to ride their bike with no training wheels, swim 20 yards on their own and walk into kindergarten with all the confidence and bravery you've prayed for them to have.  At least that's how our last week has gone.

I thought I had years...but I really had moments. 

And now I'm clinging to the knowledge that the love and concern I have for Moses is just a flicker compared to the love and concern that the One who created Him has for him.
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big doin's


To say that we've been having fun since being home is an understatement.  Yesterday pretty much sums up our time home so far where we spent the whole day party hopping.  From one fun place to the next, I'm positive that we spent more time with people just yesterday then we did our entire time in Charlottesville. It was a good day.  We ended it with the Hokie's welcome back picnic.  Moses LOVES anything Virginia Tech so being able to eat dinner and rub elbows with the football players was pretty fun for him (and all of us really!).  At the end of the event I talked my sister-in-law into going down on the field to talk photos of our kids sitting there.  We're a pretty good team because I'll explore any idea and ask any question and she knows all the right people to ask!     
While we were waiting for the speakers to start, the football players filed through the stands.  Aaron stood in this spot and gave most of the football team a high five when they passed through.  
Then he got a little pat on the back from Frank Beamer.  Pretty exciting stuff if you're a Hokie.  
My adorable nephew got in on the action too...
...cutest baby I've ever seen on a football field.  :)

An awesome day for sure.  I'm hoping that tomorrow sets the stage for a new, calmer and more organized routine because.... Moses starts Kindergarten!!!

So pray for my heart and pass the tissues!
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crazy making cure.

Things that make me crazy:
microsoft word
spelling a lot "alot"
double negatives 
strangers who touch you 
when people don't hold the door for the person behind them
aaaand
when the couch touches the wall. 

That last one...all day long I was fixing it.  You know, because my children believe that in order to sit on the couch you have to get a running start from the other room and then HURL your body head first onto it.  Made me crazy in a special way.  Pinterest to the rescue.  Specifically this post from Shoestring Sophistication.   
The original post used a 12in wide board, stained and cut to the length of the couch.  I used a 4in wide board, spray painted.  I just wanted a little something back there and 12in would have been way too much.  
This size is just right to hold a drink, or prop some photos on.  Not sure yet what will live there but I'm thrilled with it in it's naked state. 
Most importantly the couch is not smoooooshed up against the wall.  
The windows caused a bit of debate as to whether or not to put a little shelf there or not.  In the end we chose to do so and I think it looks great!

Now to get those hideous pillows covered...
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exciting happenings.

2012 has shaped up to be a pretty epic year for me and my little business.  I could never have imagined all the awesome things that January 1st would open the door to.  I've had an amazing flood of features, so many that I've literally lost count.  I'm thankful and blown away by each one.  These two however, landed in my mailbox.  Chatelaine is one of the top Canadian magazines and Readers Digest is pretty high up on the most circulated magazines list both here and in Canada.  Both of them recently featured my wooden spoon project.  
Amazingly fun to see MY work and MY name and MY website in print...in some pretty popular magazines to boot.  
I already have some more features lined up for 2013 but I can't mention those yet...but just as big and awesome. 

I've also been recently featured on Babble, Wired and so many other fun places. 

I'm overwhelmed with gratefulness. 

I'm amazed at my blessings.

I'm motivated to push more. :)
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40 ideas - Number 13 - Moon Dough!

Moon dough is something that I bet many of us MEAN to do but never get around to.  Let me tell you...get around to it while the weather is warm enough to hose your kids off because, while this will win you major mom points, it is an OUTSIDE activity.  Unless you are one of those awesome moms without OCD (or CDO) tendencies who don't mind messy, messes...then you are awesome and can have fun with this year round. 
 All you need is 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of baby oil.  Mix together.  Play (outside)!.
That's it.  I doubled this recipe and the boys played for hours.  There was even enough left over when they were done for me to put away for another day.
Something about the texture just makes you want to pat it, run your fingers through it and play with it.  
Bonus is that your kids will smell good when they're done. 

But like I said...it's messy.  Good news is that it hoses off well.  


Make it happen today!  Your kids will love it and you'll get major mom points!
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raising my ebenezer - part six

You can click HERE to read the first five parts.  This one is maybe my favorite...not because it's huge and grandiose but for me, it's personal and speaks to a desire in my heart that few more than the Lord knew about.

Many people will tell you that God is not as alive and active today as He once was.  That "back then" He did mighty works and miracles but that now we are kind of just mucking along until Jesus comes back.  And I would say that is just not true.  I think we just have to fight a little harder to find the details in His work because we are so very good at clogging up our days, hours and minutes with "busy" so that others will notice our importance.  As a stay at home mom, I know I feel the need to work extra hard and feel extreme guilt if I sit too long on the couch...I feel the need to be able to recall the days events to make sure I "measure up"...to whomever happens to ask.  Not that anyone recently in my life has done that, nor would I expect them to but you know what I mean...busyness becomes our days work and it sullies the details of what we should see and do.

Not a day goes by that our Creator does not paint us a new sunrise, with new flowers and things to look at.  Not a moment goes by that the wind does not blow through a grain field providing a grand little show for us.  The waves never stop their awesome splendor.  The clouds are ever moving and changing.  You couldn't recreate the perfect day if you tried because every single ones is different.  God is ever trying to show us how much He loves us by giving us new beauty to gaze upon every day.  Much like our children do with their drawing of this or that.

Sadly, many of those awesome days go by without notice because the busy becomes too important.  I'm thankful for the awareness of simplicity.  Of days with no plans that unfold at the whim of friends who come to call or unexpected phone calls.  It's these slower paced kind of days that I find I notice more of what God is bringing to show me.

For as long as I can remember, I've loved a garden.  To plant a seed and watch it grow.  I'm fascinated by what can happen over night or after a strong summer storm. At our house in Charlottesville, we were mostly shade.  I tried every "traditional" spot in our yard to grow veggies and finally, I told Doug that if we lived there any longer, I was digging up the grass to claim the one sunny spot that would grow a veggie garden.  While we were praying to move, it was my mostly secret prayer to be moved in time to plant a veggie garden, to have a place to plant it and sunshine in abundance.  I've always wanted beds of sunflowers and daisies and tomatoes and anything else I could grow.

I prayed that prayer and tucked it away.

I bought seeds in good faith knowing that there was a time limit.  For a long time it looked like we would be able to move into our new house well past the date where it would be advisable to plant anything.  But at least I had next year.  Right?

Wouldn't you know that we were able to move in in record time?  Weeks before the realtor thought would be possible.

June 15th was our move in day.  And the latest advised time for planting on the back of every pack of seeds I bought?  Mid June.  Otherwise known as June 15th. 

A small detail but huge at the same time.  Easily missed and lost in shuffle if I had let it be.  
Proof that my Father hears the desires of my heart and gives me good gifts. 







Not only do we have beds of daisies and sunflowers and veggies to our eyeballs...but there isn't a spot in our yard that isn't full sun. 

And I have next year.  :)
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raising my ebenezer . part five.

You can click HERE to read the first four parts.  This is such a firm and fun testament that God does work in our day to day, we just need to stop and look. 

So.  Doug had a new job.  In a town that was 2 1/2 hours away.  When he started that job we had no where to live in our new town (which happened to be the place we loved most of all!!).  Doug lived with his brother for a month and more while the boys and I started packing, finishing up the school year and got ready to move out of Charlottesville.

**As a little side note...remember how I said that Doug didn't get any time off...we had to cancel or alter plans because he could NEVER get a day off?  When Doug quit Target he had over 7-8 weeks of leave available.  We weren't sure if he would lose that or what.  God took care of it and Doug was paid for EVERY vacation day and TOOK every personal day.  When Doug put in his two weeks, that he had every intention of working out, they actually told him "We would rather you DIDN'T work it and use up your personal days".  WHAT?!?!  God is crazy awesome.  He gave us back all that time we had lost. :)

Back to the housing stuff...

The place we now live is a college town.  That makes finding a home for a FAMILY a little tricky.  There just isn't much in the way of houses advertised for rent to families.  I scoured each and every website I could get my hands on including every realty website, craigslist and anything else I could think of.  I would find something that looked good and then something would pop up wrong with it.  One house shared a street with several sexual predators.  Another was cute but in a terrible part of town.  Another was in a school district that I knew better than to send my kids to (I worked there for a couple years).  Another had a weird landlord situation.  On and on we went.  I looked at every possible house for rent in the area.  Nothing.  So I got the brilliant idea to start emailing realtors of houses that were for SALE that we liked.  Not that we wanted to buy but I knew that the housing market was in bad shape...so maybe we could find someone willing to rent to us.    

I got rejection after rejection but I felt the need to keep asking.  And ask I did.  Until one day...I got a response from a realtor (who turned out to be the number ONE realtor in our new area - coincidence?  I think not!) who said that he may have an investor interested in buying a house we had asked about and renting it out.

Guess what?  I stopped looking for houses.  That day.  I KNEW this was our house.  I just knew God would work out all of the details.  We went out of town for Mother's day and didn't really give finding a house a second thought.    

I left the realtor our number and went about our business.  A week or two down the road he called us and said that his investor had not gotten back to him but then he said something that I will never forget.  "There is just something about you guys, I think I will buy this house myself and rent it to you".  And he did.  Doug saw the house and agreed to a two year lease.

I never saw this house until the day our moving truck pulled up out front.  The house is awesome.  It's more than I could have ever hoped for based on what we saw for rent around here.   

Every day that we are here, I cannot believe the blessings that have been absolutely POURED out on us.   

And then there is my favorite part...that will come with part six.  :)
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picking a doctor - a huggies post


I've been asked by BlogHer and Huggies to take some walks down memory lane and explore some (what I think will be) FUN subjects about babies and having them and getting ready for them and all the fun stuff that goes with THEM! I volunteered for this series for selfish reasons. I think it will be a great way to document some thoughts and feelings that maybe I haven't before but should have. I hope you will enjoy them, too!

Oh...parenthood is full of all sorts of daunting tasks, isn't it? I mean, you are singlehandedly in charge of shaping a human being into a positive and meaningful member of society...whatever that happens to mean to you. From day one of pregnancy you are now fully in charge of making decisions and choices on everything from diaper brands to pre-schools to what kind of diet your child will have. And that's if you have a healthy, typical child. I can't imagine the immense pressure a mother must face if she has a child who has health issues on top of the run of the mill parenting pressures and options. Outside of my husband, who is always a willing and awesome parenting teammate, our most valuable asset to our overall success has been our pediatrician.

I feel that, because we did our homework before walking into the office, we were blessed with an amazing team of pediatricians that genuinely cared about and wanted to help not only our kids but our family as well.

And by "homework" this is what I mean:

Like all things these days, we started with Google. Googling pediatricians in your area will pull up the good and the bad about them. Many sites offer consumer reviews about specific doctors and practices. I don't know about you, but I trust another mother's opinion more than a doctor's peer.

You can also ask around. Post a question on your Facebook page to get recommendations from your friends and family that are local to you. This is a great way to start and get a nice list of names to Google and research.

Once you get in the office, don't let that be the end of getting your needs met. We were extremely blessed with great doctors and here are some ways we could tell they were great doctors...

We could be honest with what we were dealing with. I could always tell our doctor anything and never felt judged or scolded like some of my friends experienced. I could come out and say, "Moses will only eat yogurt right now," or "he had a fever last week but I didn't want to bring him in."

Our doctors listened and offered feedback when needed.

Doug and I are not typical parents in that we hardly ever take our kids to the doctor...we feel like the doctor's office is there when there is a genuine need for help and not just to quench our fears. Both of our boys combined have been to non-well baby visits maybe 6-7 times total in their lives and 2-3 of those times have been when I needed reassurance from the doctors that it was OK to not bring them in with every single illness. It meant a lot to us to have doctors that we could say, "I just don't feel like it's good to run them in here JUST because they have x, y or z. Is that ok?" and to have a doctor that not only agreed but supported that decision.

You need a doctor that will listen, offer support, experience and intelligence, and be non-judgemental. They also need to be available and focused on you during your appointments. Is there anything worse than a doctor that is trying to rush through your appointment?

Until you find those things in your doctor, you need to keep looking. Don't be afraid to keep office hopping until you find the right one...it will be worth it in the end!

What are your criteria for a good doctor?
Check out the Huggies Mommy Answers Facebook app! Find more posts from bloggers sharing their experiences of motherhood on the Huggies page on BlogHer.com.
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what i made for monday- raspberry lemonade bars

Sadly, summer has begun to slip through our fingers...ever so slowly.  You can barely feel it...but it's there.  August starts soon and that's the sign that summer has opened the door to it's exit.  Thankfully, life in the south affords us a couple more months of warm weather...into late October if we're really lucky.  With Moses starting kindergarten in a couple of weeks we will soon miss these lazy summer days where to the agenda for the day is set by whomever stops by or gives us a call.  In the meantime we are taking the days for all they are worth...hence the lag of blogging and sewing.  

I manage to keep up with baking.  Doug's new team of employees are enjoying the benefits of "what I made for Mondays" now and so are all of our friends and family.  For the most part, I've been sending in old faithful recipes but I soon hope to start turning out some new things.  In the meantime, enjoy these DELICIOUS bars that I made for a family dinner recently.  They are pretty amazing.  

raspberry lemonade bars

for the crust:
9 tablespoons butter (I always use salted)
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour


for the filling:
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 egg whites
1 egg
2/3 cup lemon juice
zest from one lemon
2/3 cup flour
2 cups of frozen raspberries, defrosted
cool whip or freshly made whipped cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8×8 square baking pan with parchment paper.

2. Cream butter, sugar, and salt with an electric mixer. Mix in flour until just incorporated.Press dough into the bottom of the pan.
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until slightly golden brown.

For the filling:
1. Whisk sugar, egg whites, egg, lemon juice and zest, flour, and salt in a large bowl.
2. Pour raspberries into a sieve and press through to extract all the pulp and juices.
3. Whisk into lemon mixture and pour into crust.
4. Bake for 30-35 minutes until filling is completely set.  Let cool completely.  Cut into small squares. Top with cool whip or freshly made whipped cream!

Say hello to all things summer!

(adapted from sophistimom).
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Getting The Hubby Involved - a huggies post!


I've been asked by BlogHer and Huggies to take some walks down memory lane and explore some (what I think will be) FUN subjects about babies and having them and getting ready for them and all the fun stuff that goes with THEM! I volunteered for this series for selfish reasons. I think it will be a great way to document some thoughts and feelings that maybe I haven't shared before but should have. I hope you will enjoy them, too!

Today is all about how to get your hubby involved in the whole pregnancy...which may seem tricky considering that you are doing all the "real" work.

Maybe I'm part of a couple that isn't the norm...but involving my husband in my pregnancy was not a difficult task. I think it all comes down to communication. First, you have to communicate to your husband what your needs are (always! But especially during this time) and have your husband communicate with you his needs and the particular things about the pregnancy that he wants to be a part of.

Now clearly, he can't carry the baby but there are loads of ways your husband can help. You can start by helping to feel the baby kick as soon as you think he would be able to...nothing confirms the fact that a baby is coming quite like feeling those little kicks. Also, while it wasn't really our thing, some husbands enjoy talking to the baby, too.

Your husband might also feel involved by caring for you! My husband was always quick to offer (or oblige a request for) a foot or back rub. He was also great at a craving run! Pizza at 10pm? He's on it. An ultra-mega-huge fountain soda because everyone in a 20-mile- radius knows YOU? He did it with joy. Having someone care for you in these ways benefits you both--you feel loved and he feels like he is (and IS) providing a great service to you.

Another huge way your husband can be involved is with baby prep! Ask him his opinions on things like cribs, clothes, swings, strollers, etc. Take him with you to register for all those fun baby gifts. Make sure you value his opinion and take his suggestions seriously. The more you make your husband feel like this is his baby too, the more he will feel involved in your pregnancy.

Another good way to get the hubby in on the "action" is to take him to your doctor appointments with you! In both of my pregnancies I think Doug missed two or three appointments. It's such a fun time, especially when you get to hear the heartbeat and see the baby. Encourage your husband to ask questions too...though I am pretty sure that Doug never said a word. I always joked with him about introducing him to the doctor as 'my mute husband, Doug'. And for the record, I always made Doug sit up by my head for those appointments so if that freaks your husband out, you can suggest he do the same.

Those are just a few ways you can include your husband in your pregnancy. Like I said, communication is the key! Ask your husband what he would like to do, participate in, choose, etc. Listen to and be gentle with his thoughts and feelings too!

What are some ways you got your husbands involved?

Be sure to check out all my other baby advice posts HERE. Worth a read, for sure!
Check out the Huggies Mommy Answers Facebook app!
Find more posts from bloggers sharing their experiences of motherhood on the Huggies page on BlogHer.com.
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easy cheese fries. and AMAZING ranch dip!

I am one of those people who sees food as a friend.  I love food.  Cheese fries are one of my absolute FAVORITES and sadly for the first 32 years and 11 months of my life I could only get them at restaurants.  And then it was hit or miss. 

I found a pin on pinterest to cheese fries that promised not to disappoint.  It KIND OF disappointed but I was able to doctor it up enough to make it A WINNER!!! That is why I am not linking to my original pin...I don't want to hurt someones feelings when I say that my cheese fries are way better. :)

Here is what you need. 

Approx five potatoes.  Washed.  Cut into thick fries. 

Coat with olive oil in a bowl (use approx 1/4c).  Drain off excess oil. 
Place in a pan lined with foil and sprinkle with seasoned salt, salt and pepper. 

I LOVE the non-stick foil for jobs like these...totally worth the extra $$. 

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for approx 40 minutes.  Or until fries are tender. 

When fries are ready, top with
1- 1/2cup of cheddar cheese (I use extra sharp)
3/4c to 1c of mozzarella cheese. 
Top with real bacon bits (1/2c).
Add 1/4c or so of green onions. 

Return to the oven for a few minutes until cheese is melted. 

You can use the foil to transfer the fries to a platter for eating.

While the fries are baking make this AMAZING RANCH DIP!!!

You need:
1 cup of sour cream
1/4c of milk
1/2c of ranch dressing
1 packet of ranch dip mix

Mix that all together and dip those dang fries in it!!  To me, this dip is the difference in ok fries and "LAY OFF MY FRIES" fries. 

Enjoy!
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feeling smart.

My favorite part (ok one of my favorite parts) of living in a new house is finding new ways to organize and make life flow a little better.  Every day I tackle a new area.  As I was sitting in front this cabinet, trying to find a way to arrange everything so that you can still SEE everything, I remembered my collection of tension rods hanging out in the garage.

I grabbed one of the heavy duty ones (meant for shower curtains maybe?), put it high enough to create a second layer of goods but low enough to get the handle of the squirt bottles over with ease and TA-DA!! A pseudo shelf that made it possible to arrange all my cleaning supplies in a way I can easily see what I have!

It's the little things...now what's next?
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