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Lessons learned

I learned this week that when you let your two year old eat from the peanut butter jar give her a bigger spoon and stay close at all times.... :) she smelled yummy for two days...

I also learned several months ago to hide the markers better.
It is such a good thing kids are so darn cute. How could I be mad at that face?


Take a deep relaxing breath

Ha! yeah right, like I have time to take a deep breath. It has been a frenzy around here lately. The kids are coming down with a cold and this morning Sydeney vomited red blue berries all over the bathroom, luckily just passed the carpet, so I kept her home from school and now she is booooored. We are pretty sure my husband has a new 2 year job contract lined up but it is not to start til two weeks after his current job ends : / which is on his birthday and right before Christmas. Yikes. Then there is the shop. This time of year is always slow in the tattoo industry but this year seems extra slow. I know we will be fine in the end but we recently had a series of unexpected costs arise so we don't have any back up funds so to say the least things are tight. I have some changes in the way things are done going into affect soon though so I think it will really help. I also seem to have volunteered for the PTO at Sydeney's school and nominated myself to be the new coordinator of Cambell's Labels For Education. I feel so domesticated now :) so yeah I don't have time to take a deep breath especially when I try I get a bit panicky as though I know I should be worrying more about the impending holidays quickly creeping up on me. So I plan on keeping busy and trying to blog more. Hell, maybe I'll even do some laundry. Also I will be using my blog for my and hopefully your advantage by doing some occasional product placing but I promise to not let it cloud my regular blogitude. :) I really do enjoy the blogging world.

Shutterfly for the Holidays

I was just on the Shutterfly website making a photo book of the kids for the kids with a coupon I had. Might I mention that the price was well worth it. While I was there I started looking around at all the other stuff they offer on their site and if there was anything I could use to give as personalized Christmas presents for my family members that are affordable. One of my favorite things I found is the desk calendar which would be perfect for the kids grandmas. Then there is the Photo Mugs for the grandpas that i would make them take to work with them :) They also have some really cute personalized Christmas cards, I love all the retro & black and red ones because those are my two favorite colors and I am happy to incorporate them into as many things as I can. It is really easy to create not to mention they always have some kind of sale or coupon code so it makes it easier on your bank account too. So I am going to head back over there and see what I can do with this photo at


My Frugality has saved Halloween

Our car broke down two weeks ago which meant we had to scrounge up more than $700 we really didn't even have, which also meant that we would not have any money for Halloween or to get anything for Madeline's birthday. But in my free time when the kids were busy or sleepy I did some online contests and signed up to host parties on Well as you saw in a previous post I was selected to host the Tombstone haunted house party which we had last weekend and the kids had a blast.

Then I took part in a contest with Hershey's and the mom bloggers club and did a post about Hershey's Halloween candy and for doing that Hershey's sent me a Halloween gift package packed full of candy.

And really it may not seem that great to some people but it really helped our family out not having to purchase one more thing and I am very grateful for that. So when you couple that with the decorations I had from last year plus what Tombstone pizza sent me you wouldn't be able to tell from the outside that we have spent very little money on this holiday. I have also won some other little prizes this week including two stuffed animals from a quicken loans game that I have hidden to use for stocking stuffers and a months worth of toaster strudels and free movie tickets from You know if I keep this up I will hopefully be able to make Thanksgiving and Christmas financially bearable. Oh yes and speaking of things I am proud of, Take a look at my shops website at I have been working hard on recreating our site and there is just a few things I need to fix but considering the fact that I had never made a real website before last month I think it looks pretty good so far.


Back to business of being a mom

 So there are many things since I became a mom that I have discovered that I never thought I would see or do or discuss so often, one of those things is poop. The amount of times I talk about poop in a day is beyond anything I had ever imagined. Lets just not even get into the things I have seen or had to clean up...eww...... anyway since we are trying to (and I say we but I clearly mean I) potty train our two year old I have been letting her run around bottomless and the other day I guess she forgot to mention anything to us but she pooed in the bedroom and our puppy thought "oh hey look a food dispenser" and I had to literally stop him from eating it so I could clean it up all while my husband sat there laughing hysterically and saying I bet you never thought you would be doing this when you married me. Seriously NO never ahhhg! but now it is funny and you know what? I am happy with this life. poo and all, OK well I could certainly do without it but that isn't possible so oh well. Now what I do question is why!? Why did I agree to a puppy of all things how did that happen?!
This was our puppy at first all cute and sleepy. My 5 year old named him Rocky because she loves musicals and at the time The Rocky Horror Picture Show was her favorite.
...And this is what he looks like most of the time now. Again why?! Now don't get me wrong I do catch glimmers of what is going to be a really great and loyal dog; however, it is the puppy stage that we are still trying to get through but he is getting much better these days. The most annoying thing is that we have a really big cat that can't be bothered to get up and run when the dog starts barking instead he will lie down in the middle of the floor which confuses the dog and makes him run in circles barking but the other morning I woke up and the dog and cat were sleeping right next to each other.


Is it already time.......

To start thinking about holiday cards? Yes, yes it is. Holiday cards have always been the best way to stay in touch with all your family and friends. They show that you care and often when you personalize them with family photos it gives them a glimpse into your life. Last year I just bought cards and personalized them by adding a collage of festive pics of the kids inserted in to the card. This year I have been looking into personallized cards with the pictures on them from PurpleTrail’s personalized holiday cards 

In the past I have personalized my holiday cards by adding family photos

adding glitter

using holiday stickers to decorate (OK well the children usually apply the stickers which can literally get placed beyond the cards and in the most mysterious of places.)

adding personal greetings to each card from our family

and this year I plan on using the easy tools on

With it easy to create one of a kind invitations and cards you are sure to love!. In fact, PurpleTrail is the only service that allows you to fully customize your design & create exactly what you want.

There is no limit on number of photos you can upload or embellishments and text you can add to your design. You can even change the type and size of the card at any time. There is a designer in each one of us. With their website they make it easy to make all kinds of cards, not just for the major holidays, but themed invitations, baby announcements, wedding, everyday cards like housewarming or brunch invitations, they even have a section  for professional business cards. The best part for me is the community section where they have tons of party ideas, and believe me I can ues as much help as I can get.

...So I was just checking out their site and they have some really cool embellishments like falling snow that you can use if you decide to send your cards online. However with as much as I love vintage things that includes some good old fashioned sending and receiving cards.
   OK so I just did a test card with some pictures I had from last year. Oh I just can't wait till Thanksgiving and Christmas. I do truly love the holidays and the way it brings family and old and new friends together.

Disclosure: I am participating in a giveaway for and it makes you eligible for a PurpleTrail gift code. Provide a link to the contest information page at

Hersheys Halloween Candy

 On Halloween this year we will be celebrating Madeline's 2nd birthday with Hershey's Halloween candy.
By the way, did you know?

According to a national survey conducted by The Hershey Company, personal candy preferences may provide insight into Halloween costume choices. According to the survey:

  • About 30 percent of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Kit Kat Wafer Bar and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate lovers will do the monster mash this year as a vampire, witch or monster.
  • Fans of Twizzlers Twists may get the chance to show their dance moves as they twist the night away dressed in garb from the 1950s. More than 41 percent stated they plan to dress-up in period piece costumes from different eras of the 20th century.
  • Jolly Rancher lovers will most likely sport a cape on Halloween, as 23 percent expressed a desire to channel superhuman powers as their favorite superhero.
mmmmmm Reese's peanut butter is my personal weakness...yum
disclosure: I am entering a contest for a Hershey’s Halloween prize pack as a member of the Mom Bloggers Club.


I got my Tombstone haunted house party

  I got my package in the mail today and I am very excited. This is so great especially since this month we are tightening our financial belts until we are sure my husband has a long term job lined up for when his current contract ends. Sigh.. It sucks being a grown up. It makes me wonder why I couldn't wait to be one.. Oh well here I am and it always works out in the end. We are still going to have a great spooky October even if I have to spend most of my free time clipping coupons and making my own decorations. Speaking of coupons, my five year old has been watching me clip and keep my Qs in a binder for some time now and one day she had saved her money and bought herself a shopping cart toy from Walmart and it came with coupons so she ran to her toy box and found a small photo album and carefully put all of her coupons into it and kept it in her shopping cart. Too cute.


The little things forgotten with time

   It is kinda funny how many little things I forgot about that Sydeney did and went through as a toddler. I just sorta didn't think about them any more once she grew out of it. But now that Madeline is entering her twos and oh how terribly entertaining it is, The memories have flooded back and I am amazed that we both survived and I know that this too shall pass. Like for instance when we are getting in the car and Madeline wants to do EVERYTHING herself so I typically let her if I'm not in too much of a hurry, but if she decides she doesn't want to be strapped into her car seat she arches her back and it is nearly impossible to get her in. Not to mention fairly embarrassing in a crowded parking lot. Or when she asks for something, say, like a cookie and I actually give it to her but I guess not in the exact way she had wanted me to do it so she freaks out. My favorite toddler moment is when they both did/do this....fall flat on their face from a standing position to oppose what ever it is they feel the need to disagree with... Sigh....At least I am pretty sure I will survive. There are all of the really great things too like the pure amazement and excitement over every new thing. Luckily both my girls have that joy in their eyes for the little things in life and I hope they always continue to see the bright side of life.


I just won a Free Halloween Party!

  While noticing how much wasted time I spent on the computer on facebook and doing mindless tasks I decided a while back ago that I would allot some of that time to do semi useful things like sign up for legitimate contests and free samples and price compare. Basically things that can save me money here and there so I can afford the things I really want and need for my family. So if you glance back a bit in my blog to May you might see that I had won a McDonald's and Shrek party from which turned out to be a blast especially for the kids and their friends. Well I have been addicted to the website since then and have applied for almost every party and I was pleasantly surprised to see I was chosen to host a Tombstone Halloween party and that they are going to ship me a party box containing all I need for a spooky October day. I am so excited! I love free stuff and I love parties which is why I love houseparty. I also recently did a survey about smart phones because I was chosen from their facebook page and I am supposed to be contacted soon about a VIP pass to a party of my choice. I'm not sure how that will work yet but I am still waiting for the email that should be here this week. Any way my Tombstone package is supposed to contain the following.....and don't worry I will post photos when it gets here : )
  • 1 coupon booklet containing:
6 Free TOMBSTONE Pizza coupons
2 Free NESTLÉ® Toll House® Refrigerated Cookie Dough coupons
2 Free NESTLÉ or Wonka® Candy coupons
16 $1 off TOMBSTONE Pizza guest coupons
16 $1 off NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Refrigerated Cookie Dough guest coupons
16 $1 off NESTLÉ® or WONKA Candy guest coupons
  • 1 pizza cutter
  • 1 oven mitt
  • 1 pack of 20 Plates
  • 1 pack of 40 Napkins
  • 1 plastic tablecloth
  • 1 refrigerator magnet
  • 1 spiral-bound activity booklet
  • 1 Wolfman fold-up game
  • 1 set of Monster Lib Sheets
  • 1 bag of spider web decorations
  • 1 package of Caution Halloween tape
  • 3-12x18 Halloween posters


Is it too soon to start decorating for Halloween?

September is just taking forever... I am having a tough time not taking all of my Halloween decorations out of the box yet. I decided to show off some pictures of my recipes I did last year to start getting myself in the spirit of all Hallow's Eve. Yep, you know what?! I think I'm going to break down and start decorating indoors this week. I will at least hold out on the outside until October 1st so I don't appear too crazy to the neighbors. The greatest thing is that since Madeline was born on October 31st we are always guaranteed a Halloween party no matter how little money we have that year because we can't not celebrate her birthday right.
OK, i didn't make this but it was super cute
These were delicious! I used beef sausage and croissant dough
The skeleton fingers were cheese sticks and almond slices stuck on with ranch dip and the zombie hand was baby carrot sticks with almond fingernails in ranch dip. last year we tried a game of scary charades and I was pleasantly surprised by how many people truly got into it, so we might do that again too.


A little side story about the tattoo shop

  I recently had an issue with a new studio opening up just blocks from our location and a couple of my artists and an ex-piercer decided they might do better there and they proceeded to lie to me and leave one day only for me to find out they had been planning to go there for some time. Well for several days I was panicking inside thinking that they really screwed me and my chances of keeping my shop open. It's like it is just a game for them as if I didn't have my life's savings wrapped up into it and it wouldn't screw my whole family if we lost everything, but whatever, in all reality I don't expect them to understand, it was the fact that I was lied to that really hurt. Luckily I had a really great artist who could have gone with them but he chose to stick with us because he knows we have already spent the last 3 years building our clientele and our great reputation and I appreciate him very much for staying with us for a while longer. Now we have a couple of new artists and I just got the greatest compliment last night. A girl came in to get her industrial pierced and she had several friends with her. After I got set up and brought them back to the piercing room one girl says "wow, this place is really legit!" and her other friend says "yeah, this place is way better than the place you got your tongue pierced at" so I asked where she got her tongue pierced at out of curiosity and she tells me it was at the new shop which the name I won't mention because I don't hate them personally. It just made me feel better and more relieved that we will survive, because I have worked hard to be great at what I do and to have a great reputation and I won't let anybody take that away from me. Anyway, I just needed to get that off my chest so there you have it.


The start of a new adventure. KINDERGARTEN

We did it! We successfully made it through the first two weeks of kindergarten! (and by we I mean me) This has been a tremendous experience for me. Kindergarten is scary. For the last five years I have taken care of my little girl everyday all day I always knew exactly who she was with and what she was doing. Now I sorta feel like I am just handing her off and hoping she makes it home OK at the end of the day. Of course she loves kindergarten and has taken to going everyday very well. i had all these fears that she would not want to go, or that she would at first but then she might be like "OK Mom can we stop now and go back to the way it used to be?" Then I would have to brake it to her that she will be in school from now on for a very very long time. But I lucked out and she is happy and proud to be in school. I feel terrible for the parents of one of the little boys who sits at her table because on the first day of school he just cried and cried and when his dad went to leave he ran and blocked the doorway to keep him form leaving him there. Whew, so glad that wasn't my experience. So far I like her school and her teacher but the one thing I don't like is her bus driver. He is rude and he hardly speaks English. Only enough to start screaming "get back, go back sit down" over and over as soon as the kids start loading and before they even have a chance to sit down and threatens to leave kids running to catch the bus. Ohhh I don't like that little man. I would pick her up from school but the lines are horrendous and some of the other parents are so rude.


I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee..

won't my family be so proud of me.
 Aww this was taken at the hospital when Miss
Madeline was born. She was born on Halloween 2008. She was due on the 27th of October which happens to have been the one year anniversary of my tattoo shop but she has always been dramatic so she waited for a bigger entrance. My water broke early in the morning on the 31st but I was tired so I didn't mention it to my husband till after I got more sleep. Then on the way to the hospital I realized I'm going to have to hurry this up so my husband will be able to take Sydeney trick or treating. Needless to say I managed to get her out just in time for my family to rush off to a nearby neighborhood to get some candy.


spinach and cheese stuffed pork chops

here is what you need:
*thick bonelesspork chops 
*fresh spinach
*a large onion half chopped / half sliced into large cirles
*minced garlic
*2 tablespoons butter
*shredded mozzarella cheese
*bread crumbs
*cream of mushroom soup mixed with a half can of milk
here is what you do:
* Start by laying a pork chop on the cutting board and use a thin sharp knife. Carefully make a half inch or bigger hole on a side of the chop with the knife and use it to make a slit throughout the length of the meat on the inside, try to keep the outer hole as small as possible but make as large of a cavity on the inside as you can. repeat for all the pork chops and set aside.
* Melt butter in large skillet then saute sliced onions and garlic.
* Next add the fresh spinach to the pan and stir until wilted.
* Let mixture cool in a medium bowl then mix with about a cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.
* Now take the spinach mix and stuff as much as you can into each pork chop then pat each chop with some bread crumbs and place in a casserole dish and garnish with the onion rounds.
* Mix the mushroom soup with milk in a bowl and pour around the stuffed pork chops. (this makes a great gravy like topping for mashed potatoes.)
* Bake in preheated oven 400 degrees F for about 45 minutes
* Enjoy and start preparing for your next chance to make these again.
Here is a before picture of this dish all put together and ready for the oven.
I was going to take and after baked picture too but my family tore into before I could so maybe I will update this later.... is a link to my makeshift recipe video on youtube 

Silly toddler! I didn't put puppies in your hot dog!

   The funniest thing happened yesterday. I got Madeline, who will be 2 on Halloween, a hot dog while we were out and when we got home she politely asked for it repeating the word "hot dog hot dog" then the puppy came in and she looked at him and smiled saying "dog" then she looked at her hot dog and back at the dog then to me and screamed sadly "DOG!!!!!" Yet she still ate the whole thing with sad eyes on and all. She really loves to eat, which brings me to my next post of a recipe that I have been making as often as possible because it is just so yummy.


I have been busy

Well I have been busy doing endless loads of laundry and dishes and toddler chasing. But on rare occasion I manage to have all children asleep at the same time whilst not passing out myself. That is when I get to make things. So here are some more of the items I have sneakily created in a dark room while trying not to wake my family.
This is my newest ring sling I have made. These are angly comfortable, especially with a toddler because she falls asleep so quickly in these things and I still have full use of my arms so I can still push a shopping cart and get things done.

Ok I just love her silly face in this picture.

this is a super soft blankie I made for Minnie with satin binding.

Really easy to make pillows. That reminds , I need to make more!


Free House Party!

So I have been following the website and forums over the last several months because I have decided it is a good idea to save money and couponing is actually pretty fun. It is a lot like a scavenger hunt. Anyway, about two months ago someone mentioned that they were selected as a host on a website called and it intrigued me so I went and checked it out and signed myself up to see if I could be a host. A couple of days ago I did get accepted as a finalist for a McDonald's McNugget and Shrek forever after party. Yay!!!! It is always exciting to win things, isn't it? I thought they would just send me come chicken nugget coupons but it turns out it is so much more awesome than that. Well what they do is they send you a "party package" in the mail a few days before your party is scheduled and I just found out what will be in my it is...
  • 1, $75 Arch Card
  • 1, Shrek 3 DVD
  • 1, McDonald’s Stage M CD
  • 1, Shrek Forever After Movie Poster
  • 1, Shrek-themed Happy Meal box
  • 2, Shrek collectible glasses
  • 2 sets, Shrek-themed plates (each set includes 8 pieces)
  • 2 sets, Shrek-themed napkins (each set includes 8 pieces)
  • 2 sets, Shrek-themed cups (each set includes 8 pieces)
  • 2 sets, Shrek-themed invites (each set includes 8 pieces)
  • 20, McNuggets of Fun Coin Booklets
  • 2 sets of Shrek Happy Meal toys
  • 15, Shrek Happy Meal watches
  • 20, McFlurry Be Our Guest Cards
  • 15 Minute Maid Apple Juice coupons
That is actually way more than I had expected to receive so now I am really going to have to start planning this party right. I'm going to have the kids invite all their friends over and I'll make some green shrek cupcakes I'm sure. I want to have some fun with this. I am still planning so we shall see what comes out of all this.