Monday, March 30, 2009


I just realized, I'm coming up on my 10,000th visit on my blog counter! Wow! I need to think up some cool blog candy to give away! Let my mind ponder this, and I'll make an announcement soon! I'm feelin' the love!

Cuteness, because I felt like sharing...

Hilarious commercial

This one is worth watching...too, too funny during NCAA basketball season! Enjoy if you haven't already seen this!

Click here

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Toddler Party Survival

Well, we went to our first toddler birthday party this weekend at a place called Jumpin' Beans. It had large inflatable jumping things all over. Emmy was intimidated at first, but quickly overcame this and proceeded to giggle nonstop for the next 2 hours. Several of her classmates were there, and she loved eating cupcakes and singing happy birthday with them. There was a little drama when we said it was time to leave, but otherwise, a fun time.

Keith and I had a chance to meet & mingle with some of the other daycare parents. I always have a tough time "chatting" with strangers. It's much easier to do this when you have a mutual interest, ie: kids. Still, I feel like I stink at small talk, and I can't remember people's names to save my life! Why can't I just snap my fingers and have an instant girlfriend?! Or, why can't Jen just move down here? Really, is it so much to ask that my best friend completely uproot her life and drag her family across the country so that I have someone to talk to on a regular basis?! It just takes so much energy to get to know someone new, to "let them in", to share your stories, to find time to connect. I know Jen has blogged about how difficult it is to make new friends as an adult too. Unfortunately, I don't have a job in which I work with people who are similar to me, or people I'd really want to hang out with socially. Keith and I are making a commitment to get to know our neighbors better by inviting them over once a month for dinner/potluck. There are several young couples on our street we'd like to get to know better, and simply need to make the effort to do it. I find it's always easier to chat with people at the dinner table than at a party or other social function. There's something about breaking bread together that tends to open people up a bit...

French Toast

So, the french toast recipe was delish, and as promised, I will share the recipe. I got this off of (I think!).

Overnight French Toast

one loaf french bread, cut into 1 inch slices
1/4 C butter, softened
4 eggs (I used egg substitute)
1 C milk
1/4 C sugar
2 T maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Grease a baking dish, add slices of bread into a layer. Whisk ingredients and pour over top. Cover & chill overnight. Bake 350 x 30-35 minutes, uncovered.

I had no idea if the butter was to be used to grease the pan, or if it was supposed to be whisked in with the ingredients. So, I softened the butter considerably in the micro, and whisked it all together. Turned out just fine! On a side note, I used a smaller, oval baking dish, and ended up doing 2 layers of the french bread. In the future, I will use a larger baking dish so there is only one layer. My bottom layer came our a little soggy, and the top layer a little crispy. If one big layer was used, the liquid mix would be evenly distributed, and should come out perfectly! Everyone here liked the dish, and it's definitely going into my "repeat" pile.

Friday, March 27, 2009


If you are like us, and have an Aunt Annie's pretzel shop near by, you have a hard time resisting the urge to run to the counter to order up an original. Now, you won't have to's the link to their wesbite, where you can print out a coupon for a free pretzel! Click here

Like Dunkin Donut's coffee? Click here for a free sample.

Weekend Plans

Well, we've got a full plate scheduled for the weekend. Keither is getting up super early to take the van in for maintenance. Honda doesn't do appointments, and it's first come, first served. As you can imagine, Saturdays are very busy, so you've gotta get there at the butt-crack of dawn if you don't want to waste your entire day there waiting around. I whipped up a new recipe tonight to have for breakfast tomorrow...baked french toast, using leftover french bread. It can sit in the fridge overnight. If it's any good, I'll post the recipe. I am having a stamp class tomorrow, and 6 ladies are coming over to get crafty with me. It's all about Easter & spring...we'll be busy getting inky while Keith takes Emmy out to lunch at Evos, which is our new favorite "fast food" place. It's got air-baked fries, low-fat shakes & smoothies, and a variety of WAY healthier versions of your favorites. Em loves the chicken fingers, and Keith and I are partial to the veggie burgers. If you have one near you, give it a whirl! Emmy was invited to a birthday party of a classmate at a place called Jumping Beans. We've not been there, but from what I understand, it's filled with those blow-up jumping things. Perfect place for burning toddler energy! Sunday, Keith and I are having a movie/dinner date...yippee! I really wanted to see the new movie, Sunshine Cleaning, but don't see that it's playing anywhere here. I think we'll end up seeing Duplicity. We'll give a movie review on the next post! Hope you all have wonderful weekends!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Crop Walk & Sunshine

The weekend was nice and sunny. We walked the Crop Walk in Durham on Sunday. We've done it in years past, and it's always a fun event. A group of about 20 of our church members met on the steps of Duke Chapel to start our stroll...3 miles of strolling. Good thing the sun was shining, and a breeze was blowing. Emmy rode in the stroller for the majority of it, but did get a chance to stretch her legs a bit (and stop for a cookie break at the refreshment station). One of our church friends snapped this photo of Emmy and I before the walk started...I love it!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New York state of mind

So, I got back Sunday night from a long weekend in NYC with my best girlfriend, Jen. She was attending a conference in Times Square (read: work was paying for the hotel), and she invited me to come up with her to see some sights and have a Girl's Weekend. I must say, it was a fabulous time! We did a ton of walking, riding the subway, and getting a bit of a feel for the local flavor by visiting some tasty restaurants. I found myself going back several times to the Magnolia Bakery (famous due to Sex & the City) for the cinnamon sugar muffins & cupcakes. Stick to my WW points for the week I did not. Oh well, I will get back on track tomorrow, as it starts a new WW week for me.

Emmy has been sick for about 10 days now. For the last 3, she's been coughing ALL night long. I heard some wheezing last night when I was reading her bedtimes stories. So, off to the pediatrician we went today. Yes, she was wheezing, so now we are doing Albuterol nebulizer treatments. Amazingly, she hasn't coughed once since going to bed tonight! One eardrum looked a little red, and the Ped gave us an Rx for Amoxicillin if she starts running a fever. We've been fortunate in that we've only had to do antibiotics once so far in her 2 years! By the way, doing a neb treatment on a sleeping/sleepy toddler is SO MUCH easier than a wide awake toddler! Much less screaming, wriggling, kicking, back arching, etc!

Em & I did a little shopping today. If you aren't shopping at CVS, and taking advantage of their sales/Extra Care Bucks/Rewards program, you are missing out! I purchased about $60 worth of stuff today for $23 due to sales & coupons. I earned $15 in ECB's to spend next time. Then, I filled Emmy's prescription, and got a $25 gift card! They PAID me to shop with them today! Gotta love making a profit when you shop!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunny Sunday

Today's weather was hard to beat...about 78 degrees, breezy and sunny. Man, it sure felt like Spring had arrived. There are daffodils sprouting up all over, and the trees are starting to bud. After Emmy's nap today, we headed out to a local playground. She was so excited to swing and go down the slide. I ran into an old coworker, and got a chance to catch up with her. We went to Coldstone Creamery for some ice cream afterwards, and Emmy requested some "choc-late peeeese!". She was a happy mess! We came home and took a walk down our street, and then Keith took a bike ride. We pulled out a tricycle from the shed that I had purchased from the church yardsale last year. It was the first time Em had seen it, or sat on it. Boy! She was so excited to have her own bike! She wore a cute little cotton dress today, and when I put it on her this morning, she said, "Mommy! I cute!" Yep, she hit the nail on the head.

Ultimate Multitasking

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sing, Sing a Song

Today, Emmy was in the mood to sing. She's not been very into singing in the past...just a little here & there. But, today was a new day, and the girl wanted to sing! Evidently, when she's at school, the habit is to sing the ABC's while washing hands. So today, when we were washing hands this morning, she starts belting out the alphabet. We sang this together several times, as it was the first time I'd heard her sing it all the way through, and very accurately! She told me she wanted to sing more songs. Her next choice was "Happy Birthday to You", and we sang that several times. More songs, Mommy! So, we chose Itsy Bitsy Spider, and we sang that one many times. More singing!!! So, we sang Wheels on the Bus. I got some of her singing on video, and if I can upload it to the blog, I will. It might be a little long, so I don't know whether it will work. Will try tonight!

70's and sunny here today, so I'm heading out on a bike ride while Em sleeps!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's Officially Started...

You know, the phase where your child starts sticking random objects into random orifices. Fabulous!! I can tell already I am going to LOVE this phase! Last week, Emmy was drinking a juice box, and insisted on pulling the straw out and sticking it up her nose. After warning her twice, I finally had to take it away for fear of injury. Today, she came running into the room with her hand on her ear, screaming. I pulled her hair back to discover she'd shoved a safety pin (closed, thankfully) into her ear. (Where the heck did she find that?!) It was stuck, and a little tricky to extract. She cried for a good 10 minutes after that, and cried again when I told Keith about it later. Her finger is perpetually up her nose now, and it's not exactly the picture of femininity. I'm just waiting on pins & needles to find out what she'll put where next!

Hurry Up!

So today, as Emmy and I got home, and I was pulling her out of the car, she announced, "I pooped". Great, thanks for sharing. She is very vocal about telling us when she's done the deed, but very unwilling to do the deed anywhere but her pants. So, as I was changing her diaper, I was thinking to myself, "when are you going to poop in the potty? how much longer am I going to have to change these stinky diapers? how many of these damn things have I changed over the past 2 years?! hurry up, kid, and whip through this potty training, I am sick of this!". Suddenly, Em looks at me with the sweetest look on her face and says, "Thank you, Mommy, for clean diaper." OK, I take back every nasty thought I was just thinking....take your time, kiddo, take your time.

Comfort Muffins, Reduced

Oh my goodness people...I came across a recipe this week on a new blog I stumbled across: The Finer Things in Life. Amy's got all kinds of lovely things on her blog, but the recipe for Comfort Muffins really caught my eye. I simply can't pass up banana and pumpkin in a baked good, particularly if there's chocolate chips involved. As you know, I'm doing the WW thing, and when I entered her recipe onto the recipe builder on the WW site, I was a little dismayed to find out that a muffin was 4 points! So, I set my dieter skills to motion and worked on ways to tweak the recipe and make it more points friendly. I made a batch of my reduced recipe today, and oh. my. goodness. They are REALLy good! Please, for the sake of all things baked, go make a batch for yourself today. I give you permission not to share.

Comfort Muffins, Friendly Version

1 C melted light butter (I used Smart Balance 50/50 blend sticks)
1 C Splenda
1 C honey
1 C egg substitute, or 8 egg whites
1/3 C water
1 C mashed bananas
1 C pumpkin puree
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I used cinnamon & a pinch of nutmeg)
2 C white flour
2 C whole wheat flour
1 C chocolate chips

Blend butter & sugar. Add honey, water & eggs. Mix well. Add pumpkin & bananas. Mix well. Stir dry ingredients together, add to wet batter until just combined. Fold in chips. Bake 350 x 20 minutes.

Her recipe says it makes 39 muffins, but I only got 30 muffins using a regular muffin pan and a 1/4 c scoop. Original recipe = 4 pts per muffin (if making 39 muffins). Modified recipe = 3 pts per muffin for 30 muffins. If you can stretch the batter better than I did and get 39 muffins, they are only 2 pts each!