Thursday, August 1, 2013

Woolzies Wool Dryer Balls! (a review)

Wool dryer balls are something that I have heard a lot about, but have never been brave enough to try.
When I saw that Woolzies was on, I knew it was the perfect chance to try out wool dryer balls for myself .

I was so excited when I received them in the mail!
I have heard of the Woolzies brand before, so I was glad that I wasn't going into trying the dryer balls completely blind.
As a person who has a wool sensitivity, I was a bit concerned that I may not be able to use them with my laundry (I mainly wanted them for when I dry Moose's diaper inserts anyway) but was pleased to read that they are safe to use with everyone's laundry!
Even those of us with a wool allergy!

I loved using dryer sheets with mine and my husband's clothes, but stopped when we had our son since I had read that many fabric softeners and dryer sheets can irritate you children's skin.
After reading about the chemicals contained in commercial products and how badly they can effect cloth diapers, I'm glad that we stopped using them.
The only problem is that since we stopped, there have been times where clothes haven't been quite as soft as they were before.

Insert Woolzies wool dryer balls into my life to save the day!

Wool dryer balls are supposed to be safe to use with all laundry (cloth diapers included), help reduce the amount of drying time needed and by doing so, help reduce the amount of electricity used (and in the case of those with a propane dryer, reduce the amount of propane used too!)

I love that Woolzies are 100% New Zealand wool, reduce drying time by up to 25% and are guaranteed for 1,000 loads.

As a mom who is trying to find ways of running a more energy efficient house, becoming more eco-friendly, and wants to have more products that are safe for my whole family all of that info excites me a lot.

I was able to use them for the first time yesterday while doing a load of Moose's diaper laundry and they make an incredible difference!
His diaper inserts were dry long before they usually are with the help of the dryer balls and they felt softer than they tend to after going through the dryer!
I was ecstatic!

I became even more excited when I read over the box and paper inset and saw that after drying our clothes and bedding I can remove 2 of the balls, rub scented essential oils onto the balls and put them back in on fluff for about 10 minutes to give laundry an amazing smell (that is safe for all skin types)!

I already have plans for all of the different scents that I want to try out for the different times of the year.

I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to try out Woolzies wool dryer balls and
I can't wait to use them with the rest of our clothes when I do my next load of laundry!
They are definitely a life (and energy) saver!

You can find Woolzies official website for more info or to purchase some for yourself here: Woolzies Official Site
If you have twitter, you can follow Woolzies for more info and giveaways here:
If you have a facebook, you can "like" Wolzies facebook page here:

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Cooking with 10" Ozeri Green Earth Textured Ceramic Nonstick Frying Pan (a review)

I was so excited to receive my 10" Ozeri Green Earth Textured Ceramic Nonstick Frying Pan in the mail to try.
I have wanted to try a pan that I can toss in the oven to finish up my cooking, but haven’t gone out and purchased a solid metal pan yet and refuse to put a pan with traditional non-stick coating into the oven due to the chemicals in the coating.
I was excited to find out that the Ozeri Green Earth pans use GREBLON (a natural ceramic coating from Germany which makes it free of PTFE (PolyTetraFluoroEThylene), PFOA (PerFLuoroOctanoic Acid), and other harmful chemicals that regular non-stick pans contain.
What is PTFE and what makes it so harmful you may ask.
PTFE is a synthetic substance with waxy properties used in traditional non-stick pans to keep food from sticking to the surface. At very high temperatures it begins to decompose and release fumes into the air which are documented to be lethal to birds and small pets. You can only guess what it can do to other animals and people who are breathing in the fumes.

Kind of scary right?
PFOA isn’t much better. PFOA is used when pans that use PTFE are manufactured and has been classified as a ‘persistent pollutant of the environment’ by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
Also pretty scary.
SO what makes GREBLON any safer to use?
Green Earth Pan’s GREBLON never releases harmful toxic fumes into the environment, even when used at high temperatures. 
This is possible because the GREBLON used is a 100% ceramic coating derived from nature rather then from a laboratory.

Because of the natural ceramic coating, The Green Earth Pan is much more durable and scratch-resistant than other non-stick surfaces) and allows for the use of less cooking oil and easier cleaning over and over again!
The Green Earth Pans are also made from the highest quality anodized aluminum that allows for even cooking and browning without getting any hotspots.
It also has a magnetized bottom for rapid heat transfer on induction stoves and a heat resistant silicone handle to help keep hands from getting burned while cooking.
The version of the Green Earth Pan that I received has a textured ceramic cooking surface to create air pockets to distribute heat underneath the food and enhance cooking performance, which I have to admit works amazingly.
I was so excited to cook on my Green Earth Pan for the first time, but had a hard time deciding what I wanted to cook in it!
I wanted to make sure that it was something good, something that would typically stick to the non-stick pans that we have, something that may be a bit difficult to clean up after to test out all of the features.
In the end, I settled upon making a potato hash for breakfast.
The pan did exactly as the company claims it will.
None of the potatoes, onions, garlic, or bacon bits stuck to the pan. It cleaned extremely easily in just a bit of warm water and a sponge, and seasoning the pan before cooking was incredibly easy as well.
I was a bit weary of “seasoning” the pan because I knew about seasoning cast iron pans and it is a bit tiresome to season them.
It turns out that all you need to do it rub a bit of natural cooking oil (I used olive oil) into the pan, then wiping away the excess before cooking.
Easy as pie (ok, it’s much easier than pie)!
Between the lack of harmful chemicals, the amazing cooking, and the easy clean up I believe that the Green Earth Pan by Ozeri may be my new favorite pan to cook on!
You may be wondering where you can get your own Ozeri Green Earth Pan.
You can buy the Ozeri Green Earth pan in 8inch, 10 inch, or 12 inch by following this link to the products page on Purchase the Ozeri Green Earth Pan

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, July 15, 2013

When we renew our vows, we're doing it with My Trio Rings (a review)

When you think of buying engagement and wedding rings what words come to mind?
3 months salary
After shopping around for what engagement styles I liked and what wedding band I wanted, these words pretty much described my experience. 
The rings I loved the most we could never dream of getting with out spending a small fortune that we didn't have.
My solitaire engagement ring was $1200 on it's own.
For this reason, I've been married 2.5 years and still don't have a wedding band.
It all seemed bleak.
I figured that I wouldn't get my wedding band until our 5 year anniversary if ever with the way prices are, even on simple bands.

Then a ray of light came through the gloom.
One day I went out to my mail box and found my Something Blue Vox Box from Influenster!
As soon as I had it in the house I tore into and to check out what goodies I received.
Amount all of the goodies I could physically try, there was a pamphlet for

I'll admit, at first I scoffed.
"What would I use this for," I thought.
"I'm already married".
Since it was in the box, I decided to check it out anyway.
You never know when a friend might be able to use it.
What I found excited me to the core. is not your typical wedding ring website.
First, their jewelery is 65% off retail price!
With engagement rings starting at just $199 and Trio Ring sets starting at under $450!!
(yes, you did read that right, some sets are under $450 for 3 rings!)
Which means you can now afford that gorgeous ring (or ring set) for an amazing & affordable price!
Second, they send a certificate of authenticity with all jewelry so you can feel confident that what you are purchasing is the real thing.
Third, they offer a wide variety of choices from promise rings, to engagement rings, to a variety of wedding ring options and other jewelry!
My favorite part is the Trio Ring section where you get both the engagement and wedding rings for her plus the matching wedding band for
They also offer layaway plans, awesome payment plans and a 30 return policy in case you don't like your ring after you receive it (or, god forbid, your relationship ends).

After checking out has to offer, I found my dream Trio set
(which I don't need, but a girl can dream right)!
I also found the wedding band that I want for only $250!
(A steal compared to the $700- $1,000 price tags on similar rings.)

When my husband and I renew our vows, we are turning to for our jewelry needs and I hope that if you are planning a wedding or engagement that they can help you with your dream wedding/proposal without breaking the bank!

 "I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes."

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Precision tips with Q-tips® Precision Tips

I have found a love in Q-tips® Precision Tips.
They are quite possibly perfect accessory for anyone who wears make up or likes to
paint their nails.
Here are a few tips for using Q-tips® Precision Tips in your life
  • After applying eye liner, the tips are amazing for helping you make sure your lines are perfect, or for smudging them up depending on the look you want to achieve.
  • When applying lipstick, apply the lipstick to the precision tip first, them apply to your lips. It will help ensure that your lip color is perfectly filled in.
  • After painting a base coat, you can use Q-tips® Precision Tips for creating cool designs in a secondary color.
  • If you ever have issues with the crappy applicators that come with eye shadow? Now you can use Q-tips® Precision Tips to get more precise lines, color, and designs for eye popping eye make up.
  • You can use Q-tips® Precision Tips to help create the perfect French manicure on your fingers and toes by using the precision tips to keep your lines perfect and keep the polish from bleeding.
  • Q-tips® Precision Tips make it easy (and inexpensive) to change up your eye liner colors. All you have to do is pick your desired eye shadow color, dip the tip of the Q-tips® Precision Tips into water, rub sideways onto the shadow (make sure it's sideways to keep the precision tip), then use the tip to draw on your new eye liner color!

Those are all of the Q-tips® Precision Tips that I have for now, but will add more as I discover new ones!
           Want to learn more about Q-Tips? Check out their website HERE

I received this product for free to try from All opinions in this post are mine and mine alone.

Dr. Scholl's for Her, Ball of Foot: a review

Going to a wedding? 
Getting married? 
Part of a wedding party? 
Or just love to wear high heels?
Dr. Scholl's For Her, Ball of Foot is for you!

What can I say about Dr. Scholl's for Her, Ball of Foot? 
What words could possibly explain how I feel about having them in my shoes?
Let see, they are amazing, wonderful, comfortable, incredible, heaven sent... 
The list could go on.

I have these great shoes that I bought years ago, but never wear them because they have always been super uncomfortable (despite being expensive). 
I've tried other high heel inserts, but to no avail. 
None of them made my shoes comfortable enough to wear for more than a few minutes.

Getting the Ball of Foot for her was exciting since I had not tried these yet. 
Low and behold, they are amazing! 
They helped keep my foot from sliding around, the ripples helped massage the balls of my feet when I walked, and made my slightly big shoes suddenly fit like a glove!

I was able to walk around for close to an hour around my house, playing games with my son and cooking dinner before taking them off to put him to bed.

My feet have never felt better in high heels than before I used the Ball of Feet.

So why should you buy Dr. Scholl's for Her, Ball of Foot insert?
These will help you to dance the night away with all of your friends, stand on your feet for long periods of time, or just  wear your favorite heels for hours without the pain usually caused by high heels.

I received this products free to try and review from All opinions in this post are mine and mine alone.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ivory 2-in-1 Hair and Body Wash: a review

Thanks to Influenster, I was chosen to try out a great new product that not only could be used on every member of my family, but would reduce the amount of products we use in the shower, reduce the amount of waste we had, and make our foot print a little smaller.

What was the great new product you may ask? Well, Ivory 2-in-1 Hair and Body Wash, of course! 

What is so great about Ivory 2-in-1 Hair and Body Wash?
Well, let me tell you. First, because it both cleanses your hair & skin, the amount of products that you need in the shower is decreased. What this means for you is less clutter, less decision making, less waste in the dump and a cleaner world. It's true that it may not reduce waste by a lot, but it is definitely a start to improving our world. 

Another great aspect?
 It is gentle on all skin types (we use it on my 19 month old with out any issues), leaves tour skin super soft after without masty residue, and the smell is subtle and gender neutral, so you can use it on every member of your family (see what I mean about reducing that waste?).

You know what else?
It works great as a substitute for shave gel or shaving cream as well! I haven't had to buy shaving cream for shaving my legs since I received Ivorys 2-in1! (I know, again with that reducing waste & clutter).

Ok, ok. I know what you're thinking. 
This product is too good to be true. 
What about the price? 
Obviously something that handles more should cost more, right?
Well, let me tell you, priced at just $3.49 for a 24oz bottle it is competitively priced with other body washes, and since most other body washes don't cleanse hair as well, it is an incredible deal! Think about all of those bottles of shampoo you don't have to buy for your family now (and the money you get to keep in your pocket)!

I think the only real downside is for those of us with color treated hair. As of right now, Ivory 2-in-1 isn't formulated for color treated hair. So it isn't going to do much to keep your new color looking fresh.

All in all, Ivory 2-in-1 is a fantastic product for the shower, for our lives and for the environment!

Still not sure about Ivory 2-in-1?
Head on over and check out this video from Ivory for everyone who is still clinging to their regular body wash
Video li:

Feel free to head on over to Ivory's Facebook page & let them know what YOU think of 2-in-1 (or any of their products really).

I received products for free to test and review from 
All opinions in the above post are mine and mine alone.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blue Juppy Baby Walker Momentum- a review

Teaching your child to walk can be worrisome with all of the ways they can get hurt. 
It can also be difficult on your back, being bent over all if the time holding onto their little hands.
That's where the Juppy Baby Walker Momentum comes in. 
The idea is that your baby is strapped into a "seat" similar to a door jumper while the parent holds the baby up by straps allowing them to learn to walk while you get to stand straight as well and eliminates the dangers of wheeled walkers.
The Juppy Baby Walker has adjustable straps for the parents to accommodate those 4'11" to 6'11" with padded grips to make comfortable handles for the parent.
It folds small enough to fit in a purse and comes with a bag to help carry it when you don't have a purse on you.
It is also machine or hand washable.

I thought that the pictures of infants using the Juppy Baby Walker looked uncomfortable, but wanted to test it out anyway in case it could make a difference. 
My son is already a walker and has been for a while (8 months), so he is pretty steady on his feet most of the time, but I figured he would be the perfect child to try it on just in case it didn't work as well as it should.
To be honest, I'm not sure how well it would work on a smaller infant.
My son was approx. 32 inches and over 20 lbs when I tried it on him (he is tall for his age) and it was pretty big around on him, even when made as small as it gets.
I'm not sure I would trust it to properly hold up a child under 20lbs properly.
I would recommend it to parents who have children 12 months or older and aren't walking on their own, but not before that because of how big the seat is.

You can check out the Juppy Baby Walker, watch videos of the product and purchase at: The Juppy Company
Check them out on Facebook: Juppy on Facebook
On YouTube: Juppy on YouTube
The walker comes in pink, black or blue.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Smile 360- what it's about

Smile 360 is a free review site that I recently learned about where members can write reviews, participate in surveys, and receive free products to try & tell people about. 
You earn smile points for participating on the website. The more smile pouts you earn, the better off you are for earning free products to try!
If you are interested in checking them out, you can follow this link, which lets them know that I sent you!

*I will receive smile points from smile360 for people who click on the above link

Saturday, March 9, 2013

PottyCover: disposable potty covers for kids GIVEAWAY!

Parents of potty training and older kids! I have a fantastic giveaway for you!
Now that I have reviewed the awesome PottyCovers, it's time to give away a pack of potty covers to one lucky person!

Rules to enter: 
The giveaway will run until March 16 9:00pm PST
You must do the required entry to be entered in the giveaway.
You can do the extra entries for added chances to win.
1. Go to and post a comment of one thing you learned about PottyCovers.

For extra entries:
1. Follow @Pilzburyfry on twitter & leave a comment below with your twitter handle
2. Tweet about the giveaway & leave a comment below with a link to your post
 (can be done once a day, each tweet is an additional entry)

I will announce the winner about 9:25pm PST on March 16.
 The winner will have 48 hours to contact me at with their contact info or a new winner will be picked.

This giveaway is sponsored by the PottyCover company and
Your contact info will be forwarded to for the PottyCover company to send out.
If products are not received, please contact me so that I can try to fix the issue with the companies.

The great UGLee pen, an ergonomic pen review & giveaway

I write and draw, a lot. Lists and charts for everything around the house, ideas, brainstorming for my hat shop; sketches and designs for Moose's room. I have notebook upon notebook full of writing and everything is done in pen. With all of that writing, I need a pen that is going to be ergonomical, comfortable in my hands. That is where the UGLee pen comes in.

The UGLee pen isn't pretty. Ok, it's pretty ugly. But that's not how it got it's name. The name actally stands for Ultimate Grip by Dr. Lee. Reguardless, with how comfortable writing is with the pen, how can I complain about how it looks? 
You might be thinking, "How is the UGLee pen any more comfortable than any other "comfort pen""?

Well, let me tell you. Unlike most other pens, the UGLee pen was created by a doctor to make writing more comfortable. 
The UGLee pen has a full sized comfort grip with specifically designed contours that fit to and grip your hand so you don't have to grip it. 
The pen also only weighs 11 grams, which is equal to only less than half an ounce. A super light weight pen means more inertia and more comfort.

Other than the pen I recieved being pretty ugly, I have had a bit of an issue with it writing. It seems like I have to scribble a bit every time before I can actually write with it. The click part at the top is pretty loose too, so the pen tip often sticks out of the bottom of the pen, which could be an issue if it is in a pocket.

The good news is that not all of the pens are rediculously ugly. If you order pens from UGLee pen's website,, you can choose what color you prefer and most are decent looking.

Now for the giveaway! 
The giveaway will run from March 9- March 16
All steps must be done to win the giveaway. I'll be checking!
I will contact the winner on March 16 to get their contact info so their UGLee pen set can be sent to them.

The winner of the giveaway will receive a 3 pack of UGLee pens from the UGLee pen company. It will be in a random color of the company's choosing.

To enter:
1. You need to either "like" The UGLee pen on Facebook: and leave a link to your Facebook page in the comment section
And/or follow on twitter and leave a comment with your twitter id
2. Leave a comment below of something you learned about the UGLee pen from

Extra entries:
1. Follow @pilzburyfry ( and leave a comment below with your twitter handle.
2. Tweet about the giveaway and leave a comment with a link to the tweet post. (this can be done once a day for a possible 8 additional entries)

That's it! Happy winning!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Potty Cover: disposable toilet seat covers for kids- A review

Potty training has been a recent on and off adventure in my house. I'm fine with setting my son on our toilet at home as I know what germ may touch the seat, but public toilets have always made me a bit nervous. You never know who has been in the seat before and what germs they may or may not have. Then I received PottyCovers to try and review and I will never be nervous about public toilets again!

PottyCover is a toilet seat cover designed with children in mind. Rather than just covering the seat with a flimsy piece of paper, it surrounds the seat in non-woven fabric with a layer of plastic that creates a waterproof barrier between the child and seat. So you no longer have to try and wipe off unknown watery substances off of the seat in an attempt to remain dry and germ free. To make them even better, PottyCovers are disposable and come wrapped individually to fit easily into a purse or even a pocket.

 While PottyCovers were designed with kids in mind, they are great for everyone who wants to remain germ free when they use public restrooms.

 You can find PottyCovers at, EBay, all Buy Buy Baby stores around the country, and select Bed Bath & Beyond stores. They sell for $5.99.

 You can find more info at

All opinions in the post are mine and mine alone. The product information included was provided by PottyCovers. All pictures included are taken by me unless noted otherwise. I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Parenting Decision #3: extended breast feeding

The decision of whether or not to breast feed, how long to breast feed (if you do), and where to breast feed are all very personal decisions. 
Breast feeding is not easy, it's not a walk in the park.
It is extremely time consuming. Especially early on and during growth spurts.
It can be uncomfortable when you are just beginning & getting the hang of it, and again later when the child decides to be a acrobat while latched in.
With the down sides, it also has some great up sides that (I feel at least) far outweigh the down sides.
The nutritional superiority and special connection that I felt were & are amazing.
I'm not saying that someone won't feel a connection to their baby while bottle feeding. You definitely will. Bottle feeding won't ruin your relationship with your child, nor will it scar them for life.
Take it from a bottle fed child who's mom is one of her best friends.

Once you decide to breast feed, how long do you do it for?
Making sure baby gets colostrum is super important, but after those initial weeks how long do you go?
At first, I thought 6 months was good. Breast feed until he started eating baby food. Then we could wean him and I could have my body back.
After reading a little, I realized that it would be pointless to wean him at 6 months when breast milk is free and formula isn't. If I'm going to be home with him, why not continue it? I had fought to keep going that long. What's 6 more months?
Then I started reading more and researching more. 
I discovered that in some cultures it isn't uncommon to breast feed until well into childhood and that the WHO (World Health Organization) recommends at least 2 years due to the benefits for growing, developing children.
I had a new goal! After all, my baby at 12 months was just that, a baby.
 Why would I stop breast feeding my baby?
I wouldn't. So why not wait until 2 years when he isn't a baby anymore?

It hasn't been an easy journey getting to 16.5 months if breast feeding.
I struggled through the first few weeks with supply issues and recommendations to supplement with or switch to formula.
Then Moose started having tummy issues. Recommendations to switch my diet, or switch to formula (again).
I refused to stop breast feeding and worked through the problems with the support of my husband and (a great resource for all things breast feeding!)
Then came the long days and nights, where sleep was scarce.
Watching my little bit growing up bug and healthy gave me the push I needed to keep going.
Once he got teeth, a new struggle showed itself. Occasionally he would (and does) get careless and will bite. It's painful and has been difficult at times to prevent the behavior.
I thought about throwing in the towel in more than one occasion, but then I'm reminded how happy and healthy he is and I couldn't imagine quitting on him yet.

At 16 months, it's less of a problem to go out now that he nurses less often, although he still nurses at bedtime so being out too late or a mini baby less vacation isn't in the cards quite yet. We know it will be soon enough since they grow up too fast.

So why extend breast feed?
Nutritonal value
Added connection
And most important:
Let them be little.

Snow day!

We have snow!
Before he left yesterday, my hubby told me that we had a winter weather advisory with possible snow starting at 4 this morning.
I have been looking forward to snow for months and was hoping to wake up to fresh snow on the ground.
Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed when I woke up to no snow and only rain in the forecast.

Well, about 8:30am, I happened to look outside and I see white flakes floating toward the ground.
I couldn't believe my eyes!
I grabbed Moose, ran him downstairs (disrupting breakfast) to check it out. 
Sure enough, we're getting snow!
I hope it decides to stick, I'd love to take Moose out to play in some fresh powder!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Parenting decisions part 2: cloth diapering

Cloth diapers.
Old fashioned.
Big safety pins.

Those were all words that I associated with cloth diapers the first time that I heard modern parents talking about using cloth diapers.
Why would I want to use cloth diapers? I saw the horrible things that were used on my generation.
A piece of cloth, pinned to your child using gigantic safety pins, then sticking them in an awful plastic diaper cover. Like a big torture device created to breed diaper rash and make the parents petrified of stabbing their child.
With disposables so easy to use, why not ease your mind and go with that?

Then I actually looked into cloth diapers and realized that my thoughts were old fashioned.
Cloth diapers have come a long way in 25 years.
Now they are cute, stylish, easy, environmentally friendly, cheaper than disposables (in the long run).
Rather than using a huge pin and ugly plasic diaper cover, they come in cute fabrics, several different styles depending in a families need,  that wash easily in the washing machine and are better for both the environment and baby's skin.
There are a million different brands to choose from, can be bought from regular people who make them to supplement income, or can be made on your own.
They come in all different prices depending in the company they are bought from.

I purchased my first set of cloth diapers in June 2012 when we finally had our own washer and dryer and have never looked back.
They are the best investment we ever made.
The list of words at the top may have been my initial thoughts before cloth diapers.
The following list covers my thoughts now.

Cute designs.
Environmentally friendly.
Less diaper rash.
No pins.
No danger.

The Taste on ABC: a review

The Taste is a brand new cooking show on ABC, Tuesday at 8/7c which takes traditional cooking shows and turns them on their heads.
Rather than the typical cooking show where the judges get to watch everyone cook and then judge them on what they know the individual made, the Taste has the judges try a spoonful of the meals and judge it without knowing who cooked each meal. 
 Four teams each with their own coach, who doubles as a judge in the elimination round, are challenged each week with a new, difficult cooking task.
The chefs have 2 rounds to impress with their cooking talents.
The first challenge determines which chef has immunity for that wee.
 Each chef in each group cooks a meal around the challenge, then only one chef from each group will have a spoon full of their meal blindly tasted by 2 judges. The winner of that challenge is also the winner of the immunity.
The second round, the chefs all cook another meal around a similar challenge as the first round. 
This time, each meal is tasted blindly by the four coaches while being watched from above by their teams. 
Each "taste" or spoonful is criticized by the judges. Once every dish has been tasted, it's time to announce the winner(s) for the week and who is eliminated. Each judge gives their favorite dish a gold star and least favorite a red star. 
The more gold stars, the more impressive the dish. Red stars are obviously something that should be avoided. Once the best and worst chefs of the week are shown, the best are congratulated. The worst are told how disappointed their respective judge is at their abismal meal choice. 
The judges deliberate one last time to decide which chef to send home and announce their decision.

I have to admit, I think that the blind tasting is a great idea to keep coaches from intentionally picking their own team members to stay on the show, also so people can't be judged on appearances. Like "The Voice" in the audition round, the chefs are judged 100% on the taste of the food that is presented to the judges and how well it matched the challenge. 
I love cooking shows and I think that this will be another one to add to my must watch list!

You can check out The Taste on Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC. 
You can also check out a preview here:

Monday, February 4, 2013

Parenting Decision part 1: Co Sleeping

Co sleeping was one thing I always swore that I wouldn't do. I saw my mom co sleeping with my younger sister as a young child and then struggling to get her out of her bed and room until she was around 10.. 
At the time, I couldn't imagine wanting to share a bed with your baby. Society made it seem like all babies belonged in their crib or bassinet from day one. To do something different was wrong and dangerous. 
When pregnant with Moose, we got him a crib and pack'n'play so he could be in our room the first 6 months and move into his crib in another room after that (per recommendations from doctors). 
We planned to have him in the little hospital baby bed thing when he wasn't being held to allow us both to sleep.
We planned to have the bed to ourselves until he wandered into the room after having nightmares when he got older.
I never realized how much our plans would change.
Twice while still in the hospital, I set Moose in the hospital bassinet to go into the restroom only to come out & find spit up on his face and my baby struggling to breathe. After two failed attempts at getting the nurses to acknowledge anything was wrong, he stayed with me in my bed. 
I refused to set him down if no one was watching him.
When we brought him home, I tried placing him in the pack'n'play bassinet next to the bed, but I struggled to get him to sleep in it without screaming and when he was asleep he would randomly stop breathing.
I was so afraid that if I left him in the bassinet that he would stop breathing and I wouldn't know until I woke up the next day.
We brought it up to his pediatrician and he refused to acknowledge that something may be wrong. 
So the co sleeping began. 
Mommy and moose slept on the couch because the bed was so soft Moose would roll face down which caused fear that he would suffocate.

We discovered that Moose had a milk allergy/intollerance when he was very little also, which meant big changes for my diet to help his tiny tummy feel better.
Soon after, he began to projectile vomit. 
Twice, he projectile vomited 2-3 feet off of his changing table.
A few times when he was laying down, he would vomit and choke on it. Twice, his lips started to turn purple before I got his airway cleared and him breathing again.
Yet again, we took him to the doctor, yet again they insisted nothing was wrong. 
We went home yet again unsatisfied and scared. 
Out of fear of possibly loosing our son, co sleeping continued.

Finally around 6 months old, we were able to move into the bed and off the couch. 
By this time, co sleeping had become comfortable and the idea of moving Moose to his own bed was ridiculous.
Moose was still having some breathing issues and hubby had decided that co sleeping was natural. After all, it's natural for a baby to want to be close to their parents to feel safe. It's been in our wiring since the early humans when being too far from parents usually ment death for an infant.
Granted, being a few feet or even a room away from us definitely doesn't mean death for a perfectly healthy baby, but Moose didn't fall into that category.

Eventually, Moose's sleep apnea seemed to go away but  the co sleeping didn't end. 
We tried to move him into his crib, but ended up with a baby who screamed until he threw up almost everytime we tried. I tried allowing him to fall asleep on me, then I would lay him in the crib but he always woke up. On occasion he would sleep for an hour or two on his own, but I could never get him back to sleep once he woke up.
At 15 months, I converted his crib into a toddler bed. Now he can walk into his room at bed time and lay down for his story. He doesn't sleep as long as we would like, but we can get him back to sleep after he wakes up most days. 

While we would like for him to sleep in his own bed, it has become a belief of ours that co sleeping is natural and eventually we will get our bed back. So until then, once he has slept in his bed a little while, we gladly welcome him into our bed for all night snuggles.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Parenting decision series

I have noticed over the last year that I have made some slightly unconventional decisions, some decisions which seemed conventional that are becoming less so, and some that seemed less conventional are are becoming more norm.
Having a blog means not only sharing these decisions with the world, but sharing information and mine/hubby's reasons for choosing what we have for our child (and future children).
I've been questioned about some of the decisions made and been both put down and praised (depending on which side of the issue people are on) because of others.
With the switch to the new doctor in our very new future, I decided to do a series of posts about the different "controversial" decisions that we have made telling why we made the decision, providing links that I used for information, and possibly some reviews.
Topics I'll cover will be:
Cloth diapering
Potty training
I think it will be a good way to spread information and by doing seperate posts, will be easier to find specific info.
Watch for part one tomorrow, simetime before the Super Bowl!

Are YOU ready for some football?

Tomorrow is the big day, the one that all football fans ate waiting for. Tomorrow is the Super Bowl. After tomorrow, football season is officially over and thus begins the lull before baseball season begins (if you don't watch basketball that is).
I'm excited to see the San Francisco 49ers playing and will have both Moose and I in red for team support. 
I'll admit that I was rooting hard core against the ravens because hubby is a huge Patriots fan.
It's so cute to see both of my boys dressed in their matching Pats jerseys and this will be the last football season that Moose will fit in his.
Regardless, I am excited to hang out at home and watch the game with my boys.
 Shouting, yelling, jumping up and down. 
All three of us rooting for the same team & bringing another big win to San Francisco!
And once the game is over tomorrow, I'm even more excited to get into baseball season!

Work, new doctors, plans for the future

I have to say, I love my current jobs. 
A stay at home mom is one of the most incredible "jobs" that I could ever have landed in.
I would never have though of myself as the stay at home, "soccer" mom type. I dreamed of having kids, of taking them to their sporting/music/school events, but I always wanted a career as well. Since becoming a mom, I would trade the world to be a stay at home mom until all kids are in school. Unfortunately, I will have to get a job sooner than I hoped. The hope is to find something outside the home, at least part time, in the next few months (or as soon as possible) so that I can help pay bills and save for a down payment on a house.

I am currently crocheting hats as a small at home business*, but with so many people crocheting and selling hats, it is so difficult to find people to buy them right now and business has been fairly slow. 
I am working in a super cute Angry Bird order for a customer currently that I am excited about. Then back to making ready to ship hats until the next order comes in.

I am really excited for next week as Moose finally has his first appointment with his new doctor. He has been having acid reflux-like symptoms lately and not at sleeping well at times. We are hoping that we can get some answers as to what is going on. I'm also excited that we can choose to decline or postpone vaccines with this office and won't catch crap like we did with his last pediatrician. I hate being made out like I am a bad mother (hubby is a push over) for not wanting vaccines and pushing to keep my beliefs rather than get pushed into something I'm not comfortable yet again.

We have some big plans for the future. We are looking into moving (again) in the next year or so. This time into a one story with a fenced yard to allow Moose more room to play.
We're job hunting for both hubby and I. Hubby wants something where he will be making more money. I need something where I can help to pay bills and build up a nice down payment so we can finally buy a house.
2015 should bring some big events. We ate talking about doing our vow renewal finally and will be trying for baby #2 (as long as he/she doesn't decide to show up sooner. lol)
Hopefully in the next 5-10 years we will be where we would like to be financially, in the state where we will raise our children, owning our own house and happy.

No matter what, we'll see where life is actually going to take us (as much as we try to plan, life is great at throwing curve balls) and hope for the best.

*my business can be found at

Happy Birthday to my love

Yesterday was my husband's 26th birthday, his 4th birthday that we have spent together. 
We had a nice, relaxing day. 
Moose and I allowed him to sleep in, made him banana bread muffins, took him out to lunch, took Moose to the park, then made a steak dinner. 
He hurt himself at some point and ended the night in pain though, which wasn't the way I wanted to end the evening. 
I can't believe that we have been together sine he was 22 (I was only 21!). It doesn't seem like that much time has passed since we have been together. 
I'm glad that it seems like time has flown in a way though, it seems like the good, happy times fly by and sad, rough times drag and we have definitely had more good times then bad. 
I am so incredibly happy that we were lucky enough to meet and now have the opportunity to spend the rest our lives together, raising our son, eventual second child, and down the road a long ways, enjoying grandchildren.
I can not wait to spend many more birthdays together.
Happy birthday my love.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Oh this crazy, beautiful life...

I love being a stay at home/ work from home mom, but wow does it get overwhelming at times. Hubby and I haven't had a "date night" since the last Dark Night was in theaters, I haven't had a girls day since before Moose was born (15 months ago!), making hats to sell, keeping up with the housework and playing with Moose gets a bit crazy at times. 
I have definitely had my fare share of melt downs after Moose has gone to bed over sheer exhaustion and knowing that I still have some type of work to do. 
Regardless of it all, I wouldn't trade any of it for the world. 
The smiles on my little boys face, his giggles, all of the snuggles, kisses and hugs can make any bad day melt away. 
Can make any stress seem insignificant.

I am excited that this weekend, my mom and sister are coming to watch moose for hubby and I to get out and at some point later this year one of my friends will finally get a chance to watch Moose for us to get out again. 
I am excited that we will be celebrating 2 years of married life and 4 years together later this year (February 28 and June 28 respectively).
That we get another year of watching our little boy grow, learn and explore.
That we have another year for our love for each other to grow.
That hopefully soon, I will be able to find a way to better balance my hat business and taking care of the house.

I'm excited to experience this crazy year and to see where life takes us in 2013.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Shoes, shoes, shoes. Love & review.

I am a total shoes girl. Converse, DC's high heels, flip flops, boots of all types. If they exist, I love them. I love to buy shoes and it probably the one thing that I am willing to buy for myself. One of my favorites are my DC's. I don't think there is much of a DC's trend, they are the type of shoes that are always in style. My favorite trend right now is the bootie. I think that they are completely adorable and can be worn with everything from jeans to dresses and always look cute, which is awesome since I hate wearing knee high boots with some of my dresses and they don't work with some of my jeans. Booties up self confidence and take away the worry if whether or not clothes look good with my shoes!
When I opened my Influenster Holiday Vox Box, I was excited when I saw the card for $25 off my first purchase on I love shoes. I thought that it would be a great opportunity to treat myself to a new pair of shoes and went to check out the website right away. I immediately signed up and got right to online shopping. I found a bunch of shoes that I would love to have, even though I am a bit leery about buying shoes online since I'm between a 8.5 and 10 depending on the shoe and prefer to try them all on, but the thing that made me stop was the prices. The shoes start at $49.95 and a lot of the shoes I liked cost more than that. With $25 off, it makes the $49.95 shoes a decent price but then I thought about whether I wanted to buy a shoe, have to wait for it to arrive to try it on and then if it doesn't fit, have to send it back. In the end, I decided to wait a little and see how much Christmas money I have left before I place an order.

*Note: I was provided the card with discount code for from Influenster to purchase a pair of shoes for review. I am not required to purchase any items and the decision to write a review was mine. All opinions in the post are mine and mine alone.