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My Beautiful Kiddos

My Beautiful Kiddos

My Love and I

My Love and I
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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Drumroll Please....

First I want to thank everyone who entered my first giveaway and who is now following me. It was so fun to do a giveaway and I have a few more planned!
So for the news: Jen from Baby is Boss is the winner!!! Jen email me your address to aprils83@gmail.com and I will get those beautiful hair bows in the mail to you ASAP!

We have also done a little decorating around the house and thought I would show it off :)

We've lived in this house for 10 months now and I am just getting around to hanging up more photos...horrible I know! But the hubby hung up some pictures on the wall so it definitely makes the wall look prettier!


And I got a new kitchen table. I have been wanting one since we moved to Arkansas but I have held off and waited. Well the table I was originally going to get ended up getting some bad reviews so I got a different one but I am so happy I did!

And lastly I thought I would leave you with this one...Now that Olivia is 4 months old we have been "trying" the rice cereal. She is getting better slowly and last night I had to work late so Daddy had to do it all himself and he thought he would be funny and send me this pic of him "attempting" to feed her...

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kids Birthday Party for $100 or less!

With the economy the way it is doing things cheaper is the smart way to go! My oldest is turning 8 in 3 weeks so planning her birthday party has been on my mind so I thought I would share a few of my tips that make the party a little easier on your wallet. 

1. Dollar Tree!!
Everything is a dollar at the Dollar Tree and they have plates, cups, plasticware, napkins, hats and more there. If your child has a theme they want to do like hello kitty or sports but the Dollar Tree doesn't have specific decorations for it that is ok! They have solid color plates and stuff and you can use that and then decorate with balloons and banners that are specific to the theme. I learned early on with my oldest that not every single thing at the party has to be Princess or Hello Kitty.
pic source (dollartree.com)

2. Make the invitations at home on your printer! 
Chances are you already have the paper so you can go to a site that has free printable invitation templates like Do-It-Yourself Invitations. You can also make your own template on powerpoint too! Remember not to use an invitation that has a solid color background otherwise your printer will run out of ink fast!

3. Make the cake or cupcakes at home!
Even though it is so much easier to go pick up a cake or cupcakes its saves you money that you can use elsewhere for the party or for presents. Plus it is always fun for the birthday boy or girl to help you make them too! I am doing this with my daughter for her party in 3 weeks and we are both excited. 
 pic source (marthastewart.com)

4. Party Favors
There are so many places you can get party favors for cheap! Walmart has a section in their party area that has party favors in bulk for cheap. Michael's has a dollar section that you can get party favors as well. And of course the Dollar Tree has them as well. 

5. Call around and price out locations
My daughter wants a skating party. Instead of having the party at the skating rink (It would run me about 130 and that doesn't include the cake!) I am having it at home and then we are carpooling over to the rink. Since it is a group of people they are just charging us admission and not for rentals. When you call around ask if they have group discounts too. 

6. Strategic Party Time

The timing of the party is everything! If you have a party at noon then most parents are going to assume that some sort of lunch is provided unless otherwise stated on the invitation. BUT if you have the party at 2 you can just have finger foods for the kids to snack on. AND you can make those too. Some ideas are PB&J squares, chips and dip, quesadillas, and veggie or fruit trays.

7. Balloons
At stores like Walmart and Target they sell a portable helium tank made by Balloon Time for 50 bucks and it blows up 50 balloons. Sure it seems like a deal but if you aren't going to use all 50 balloons do you really need to spend 50 bucks? Instead you can go to Dollar Tree and buy some foil Mylar balloons for a buck each and they also sell regular plastic balloons. Instead of spending 50 bucks you may only end up spending 20 bucks and getting plenty of balloons.
pic source (giftblooms.com)


Hope this helps out! I know I am going to throw my daughter a really fun party but save money at the same time. 
Do you have any tips for the readers to save money on a birthday party??
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Friday, February 24, 2012

In Case You're Wondering

15 Fun Things About Me!
1. My socks have to fit perfectly...seriously I can’t stand if the stiching that is over the top of your feet is bunched at the edges…makes me cringe just writing it! And yes I was that flower girl at the wedding that took her shoes off because the socks were bugging her with her shoes on!
2. I played the piano when I was younger and also the oboe…you know that instrument that sounds like a choking goose.
3. I am getting my certification to become a personal trainer! New year new me!
4. I have 5 sisters and a brother…none of which are fully related to me. They are either half, step or adopted. Brady Bunch has nothing on me!
5. I have a not so secret obsession with the show Dog the Bounty Hunter. Maybe because the show is full of drama and the hairdos are crazy but it is action packed and I love it! Oh and for a good week when my oldest daughter was about 4 she thought it was hilarious to call daddy, “Big Daddy” like Dog. Dad was not so amused.
6. I can’t sing to save my life but my oldest doesn’t mind so we sing loudly off key together in the car and I love it!
7. I got a ride in an F16 (air force fighter jet) a month before I became pregnant with my youngest. Thank goodness I got the ride when I did otherwise I never would have had the chance again!
8.  My favorite way to relax is to go to the gym. It is the one place that I can just focus on me but not have to think about anything at the same time. Love it.
9. I can fold my tongue three times.
10. I am constantly losing my keys or my phone. Seriously I think they grow legs and move just to confuse me!
11. I refuse to watch the movie It. I was 9 and at a friend’s birthday party and we were all watching it and her dad scared us…never again!
12. Growing up I hated being called Ape for short since my name is April…now it is pretty much what most of my family and friends call me.
13. I LOVE shopping...BUT first I go straight to the clearance and sale racks!
14. I still remember the song Fifty Nifty about the states from when I was in 5th grade.
15. I firmly believe that true friends are ones that you can go years without talking to and then when you do you pick up right where you left off. Being in the military completely reaffirms this!
 What is one thing we may not know about you??

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My big 4 month old!!

I cannot believe that it has been 4 wonderful months since my baby was born! I swear time goes by even faster since I know she is my last baby!
She is so cute and cuddly and I could just go on and on about all the cute things she does!
I do have to brag about one thing...of course she got her shots but she only cried for a second and as soon as I picked her up she stopped! Such a tough little girlie!

 
She was 13lb 9oz and 24 1/2 inches long! (50% for both!)


She mimics faces now so we were playing around while waiting for the Dr.

*Disclaimer* About a half second after we took this picture she proceeded to spit up all over me...go figure that seems to be my luck nowadays!

Also don't forget to tell your friends to come enter the giveaway! I have 8 new followers and only need 12 more to get the extra giveaway item!!

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Copycat Starbucks Recipes

My friends over at Military Wives Savings put out some copycat Starbucks recipes the other day!
While I don't drink coffee or anything like that (gasp! I know!) I definitely wanted to share the recipes with you all. Besides imagine how much money you can save by making your own favorite drinks-- AND you don't have to wait in the long lines before work!
 


Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Blended

2 fl oz brewed Starbucks espresso, use Starbucks Original whole bean espresso coffee
8 ice cubes
1 C whole milk
2 tbsp half and half
2 tbsp Torani vanilla syrup
2-3 tbsp of a thick buttery rich caramel syrup 
4 tbsp Reddi-Whip topping, heavy cream version

1. Brew your Starbucks double shot espresso first.
2. Fill a tall glass with ice but leave about 2 inches from the top
3. Fill the glass with 1 C ice cold whole milk
4. Pour in your 2 tbsp of half and half or heavy cream
5. Add 2 tbsp of Torano vanilla syrup to the glass
6. Add 2 fl oz of Starbucks brewed espresso shot over the milk
7. Drizzle the 2 tbsp of caramel syrup inside the glass
8. Top with whip cream and then drizzle more caramel syrup over the whip cream.

Starbucks Peppermint Mocha

3 tbsp powdered baking cocoa
3 tbsp warm water
1 1/2 tbsp Torani Peppermint Syrup (not the extract)
4 oz espresso, use Starbucks Original whole bean espresso coffee
12 oz steamed milk 
whipped cream
red sugar crystals or chocolate sprinkles

1. Combine 3 tbsp baking cocoa with 3 tbsp warm water to make a rich syrup and pour into a 16 oz mug.
2. Add espresso
3. Add peppermint syrup
4. Steam milk and add to remainder of cup
5. Garnish with whipped cream and crystals or sprinkles

Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha

2 shots espresso, use Starbucks Original whole bean espresso coffee
3 scoops of Ghiradelli Ground White Chocolate Powder
16 oz steamed milk
whipped cream

1. Combine the white chocolate powder as directed on package and pour into a 16 oz mug. 
2. Add espresso
3. Steam milk and add to remainder of cup
4. Garnish with whipped cream
[Source: food.com]



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Monday, February 20, 2012

Top 10 Diaper Bag Must Haves!

Whether you're a first time mom or a mommy expert I think it is good to know what all you need in your diaper bag! I have a 7 year age difference between my two cuties and let me be the first to tell you that there are things I carry now that I didn't with my first one. I decided to just go with my Top 10 because if not this blog post could be in the running for the longest blog post ever!

So here is my list:

1. Extra pacifier!  
You can never have too many of these! And as any mom will tell you this can be the difference between 15-20 minutes of quiet time and a meltdown right in the middle of a store!

 I used this one while I was BFing my youngest as the hospital recommend these.


 
 This one is used as my spare because when it isn't in the baby's mouth the cover is over the nipple so it won't get dirty.

2. Diaper rash cream.

Hands down Boudreaux's butt paste is the best stuff ever. Don't need to say anything more. Mom's know what I am talking about!

3. Diapers and Wipes
I prefer either Huggies or Pampers because my little one can pee through all the others. HOWEVER use what best suits you. One my oldest daughter I could put any brand on her and they worked fine so each baby is different! And for baby wipes I like the Pampers Sensitive.


4. Fold and Go Diapering Kit
I wish they had had this when my oldest was a baby. Maybe they did and I didn't know it but either way I love it! It is compact and can fit in my big purse (which now acts as my diaper bag/purse). AND it has a place to put the diapers and has a wipes holder so it is a 3 in one! This one below is made by My First Years and is only 11 bucks. So worth it!

5. Pacifier wipes.
You may have the pacifier on a "leash" attached to your baby's clothes. You may have the pacifier with the shield that covers it when it isn't in the baby's mouth but I guarantee you that the pacifier will still get dirty. Hence the need for the wipes!

6. Burp cloths
 Babies spit up. A lot. Period. Need for this item is a must have!

These work good and even the cloth diapers that you can get at Babies R Us work great too!

7. Extras...of every clothing item!
I could list each item individually but then this list would be really long so I grouped the extras into one. Extra burp cloth, bib, and outfit. 

8.  Baby Bottle 
This is obvious BUT I put it on here because it is necessary! And OBVIOUSLY when I put this on the list it means it also includes either an expressed bottle of breast milk or formula! I love the Playtex VentAire bottle because it reduces gas and spit up and helps prevent ear infections. 
9. Hand Sanitizer
This is one of my must haves because of how dirty restrooms are and doors and everything in general!

10. Baby Medicine
*Talk to your doctor about what is best (or even at all) for your baby depending on age!!*
At certain ages your baby can take medicine to help reduce a fever especially after getting shots. (Mine is getting her 4 month shots today! ) And gas drops for your small baby if they are having gas problems.



So there you go...that's my list! I also like to include a snack for mom in the bag as well but that isn't in my "Top 10" because it isn't for baby. But you will realize that running around doing your errands that you might have forgotten to eat so it is smart to have something handy for yourself as well! 

So what is one of your must have for your diaper bag??
 
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Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Freebie!!

Awhile back I posted about a carseat canopy that I was getting for my youngest's carseat and how cute they were. 
Well....the free code for a canopy is back!
The code is DFMCar to use at Carseat Canopy!
All you will have to pay for is shipping.

This is the one I have and I LOVE it!
It works great for baby if they have fallen asleep while you are out and about and if it is cold outside too!



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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

St. Patty's Day Giveaway!

First let me tell you how much fun I am having blogging!! Not that I didn't love it before with my other blog but this is the "fun" blog and since we live closer to family now there is no point in the other blog as they get phone pictures every few hours of the girls from me or see them on Facebook.
Now with that being said onto the fun part!
I have been debating on what to do for my first giveaway. When I was planning this earlier I had about 7 followers and when you ask for a giveaway sponsor they want to use a blog with more followers. (Which I can totally understand!) So I figured I would "sponsor" my first blog! I love Etsy and everything it stands for so I go on there a lot and even though I haven't bought too much on there it is still an excellent place for a good deal. I was looking for some cute St. Patty's Day hair bows for my youngest's hair next month and I found the CUTEST ones!
They are designed by Heidi at all the frills.
 All The Frills FB Page
All The Frills Etsy Page
Go check our her pages and let them know I sent you!
I like them so much that I am giving away 2 of them! They are infant size but they are good for up to a year or until they become a "toddler."