"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new."

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Monday, February 28, 2011

28 days of blogging finale

Well, the 28 days of blogging adventure is over. It has come to a close. I didn't succeed at blogging everyday, but I did pretty well. I learned how to mobile blog, I blogged when I didn't want to, I blogged when I had nothing to write about.

As for my March personal challenge... I think I'm putting it on hold. I want to participate in the summer edition, I believe. And for March, I'd like to just challenge myself to wear more of my clothes. It's so easy to just throw on yoga pants & a t-shirt/sweatshirt, or to just keep them on after pilates, rather than actually get dressed... I have so many tops that I love & yet, I never wear them, because I feel that they'll be wasted on a normal day. What I'm realizing is that they're actually wasted just hanging in my closet. So I'm challenging myself to expanding my daily wardrobe & then, perhaps, when summer rolls around, I won't be as terrified of the 30 for 30 challenge (seriously, I'm a little terrified).

So will I blog tomorrow? Maybe... probably. It's a habit now, even if I didn't do it everyday- I knew when I wasn't getting it done & it was simply because I couldn't get to the computer & I didn't want to just post a picture from my phone.

Also, I'm very proud of my friends who tried & completed the challenge... Alisha, KC, Abby, Janelle... Did I miss anyone? I'm so glad that you joined me & all kicked my butt. Way to go! Thanks for being amazing friends for the past, what, 4 years? And joining me on blogger & everything. You are all awesome women & I love keeping in touch through our blogs.


until tomorrow... (and Happy March! Does this mean Spring is just around the corner?)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A whole lotta nothing...

Just a myriad of random knowledge about our weekend:

B is still sickly. Ugh. Turns out sick two year old, especially after a week and a half, is not fun. Not one bit.

I went to Sam's Club for, something like the second time ever in my life, today. With the Hubs. And my mother in law. And it was awesome. We got, like 25 pounds of m&ms today. Who doesn't need 25 pounds of m&ms?  And also 4 bottles of wine.

Parenthood rocks. I mean, the show (not that I don't love parenthood). It rocks. And I love Minka Kelly, even if she cheated on Jason Street with Tim Riggins (any idea what show that's from?) and now helped Crosby cheat on Jasmine. I still love her.

My mom was here this weekend, which resulted in a little shopping. Yay! Look at these lovelies:
  (I love me some scarves)

The month is almost over and I haven't picked out anything for my 30 for 30. I'm almost positive I'm already failing this challenge, before it's begun.

I applied for an additional freelance writing job. It could be amazing so fingers crossed that I get it.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

CSN Stores Winner!!!

Random.org has spoken! Comment #52, who is Lisa, is the winner!!

Lisa, I'll send you an email. Please respond within 24 hours for the information.  Thanks for participating everyone!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Party on a Friday Night

We're out for the night... Rare occurrence for sure... :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Italian Tortellini Soup Recipe

I had this soup at a friend's house a month or so ago & then tried it at home a couple days ago- delicious! 






1/2 t. THYME
1/2 t. OREGANO
1/2 t. PARSLEY

(I tried the sausage two different ways- with 1/2 of it I squeezed it out of the packing & broke it up.  With the other half, I cooked it first & then cut it up. Make sense? It obviously didn't affect the taste in any way, but it looked prettier (if that's possible) cooked & then cut.)


*YOU CAN ALSO USE 1/2 HAMBURGER INSTEAD OF ALL SAUSAGE...THE MORE SAUSAGE YOU USE THE SPICIER IT IS :) (I actually did this, simply because I had extra hamburger in the fridge & needed to use it.  It could've been a bit spicier, but was still delicious!)

Serve with cornbread to make it extra yummy! 

and also... don't forget to enter for the CSN Stores giveaway- you can literally buy anything! 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mama/Baby Style vol. 1

I'm so excited to start this portion of my blog.  Fashion is something I've always loved, even if I'm not the first to run out & buy the trendiest thing the day it's out.  I've let myself get into the 'mom funk' - I wear pretty much the same thing everyday- a fitted tshirt, sweater & jeans.  I often scour fashion magazines & live vicariously through the pages... I generally use accessories to dress up more, but I'm ready to 'get back to my roots' of experimenting & having fun.  I'm definitely one of those people who feels better when I'm dressed & have at least attempted to do something to my hair (even if it's just a brushed ponytail!) And if you can't enjoy the way you dress, what can you do?

Mama - shirt: H&M, sweater: Target, jeans: D9 via Von Maur, boots: Target (clearance!), jewels: Cookie Lee
Baby - sweater: The Children's Place, shirt: Target (clearance!), jeans: Carters, shoes: Converse All-Stars, hat: BabyGap

No shots together... We ran a couple errands this morning & came back for lunch, when B seemed to get hit by the bug.  He's got a low fever & super rosy cheeks... poor little man asked me to put 'football jammies' on for naptime & didn't want to take them back off... 

I'm just impressed with myself for keeping jeans on all day! 

Monday, February 21, 2011

30 for 30 Remix Challenge

I recently found a new blog to follow & I'm obsessed. Like, check it 3 times a day even though she only posts once a day- kind of obsessed. And inspired. I took pictures for my very own 'Mama- Baby Style' post (check back tomorrow, since I have to upload pictures). I've wanted to start for awhile, but either A) am wearing yoga pants or B) don't have a camera and/or mirror while I look reasonably cute.

Anyway, I'm also gearing up for my next self-challenge. I know, I know, I already failed February's, but you know what? I'm still going for it. So the next challenge- 30 for 30 remix! Check out Kendi's bog for more details, or stay tuned. I'll be selecting my items this week & (gulp) not shopping for clothing at all in March. (maybe this would've been better with 28 days in February!)

At least now I'm excited to shake up the monotony of March!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Under the weather

This house is under the weather... Or rather, the hubs is & I'm suspecting that B may be as well. I'm hoping he was just tired, but I won't hold my breath.

Lucky for me, I feel fine, but there's something about a sick husband & a lazy day that makes me start to feel sick, even if I know I'm not. Cross your fingers that B stays healthy! And hopefully, Hubs is on the mend...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cookies 101

 Ingredients pre-measured into smaller bowls makes it easier for those little hands....

Stirring with both hands is more sufficient....
 Who doesn't love Valentine's cookies 5 days later?

 They're pretty in their own way :)

One really cute kid ... and chef. Love him. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

Once again, it's a good day to steal ideas from Alisha :)

1.   I am a wife, a mama, a daughter, sister, aunt. Grand-daughter, cousin, niece & friend. Of course I am also a hilarious, trendy, wine drinking, former fashion major who wears yoga pants daily.   

2.  The bravest thing I've ever done was  give birth with no drugs? Question mark because women do it every day so how brave is it? Your call.    

3.  I feel prettiest when  my hair is down & done. Straight or curly- doesn't matter, as long as it's done. And when my face is clear. Preferably with a tan. 

4.  Something that keeps me awake at night is   my horrific bed. ask again after tomorrow night & it'll be a new answer (happy face for a new bed!)

5.  My favorite meal in the entire world is  crab legs. 

6.  The way to my heart is   through a Coach bag. Okay, not really, but it'll get you close. You got jokes, you're in. As long as they're nice & not tacky. Then you get a swift kick in the butt. 

7.  I would like to  learn to knit. learn to crochet. give birth again. buy a new house. redecorate said house. get a hobby that doesn't involve the computer. blog more. write more. wow, this list is endless. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Night time shadows

... And 63 degree weather in February! Glorious temps, even if I spent my afternoon cleaning up dog poo in the backyard. Seriously gross and SO much of it. That's reason alone to never get another 90+ pound dog. Ugh.

Enough about that. Enjoy the picture!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday- popcorn!

(trying out mobile blogging today!)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

picture happy

just a few pictures from the other day ... one of the best things about the iPhone 4 is that you can change the view on the camera, so you can very easily take pictures of yourself (or in this case, a little on your back). This, of course, does not translate to amazing quality, but I think B's cuteness shines through! 

 Gosh, he makes me laugh.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I've already lost my challenge... Which sucks, but what can you do? Life gets in the way sometimes. I'm a little sickly, so I'm keeping it short. I hope everyone had a fantastic day with their Valentine's. I know I did.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Family Dinner

(this post is sponsored by SocialMoms & Kraft Foods)

While growing up, dinner as a family at the table was absolutely mandatory in my house. This is something I think is really important to pass on with my own family. At the moment, we have a two year old, which can make family dinner somewhat of a challenge, however, now is the time to set the habits in both B & the Hubs.

I've always been a somewhat picky eater. If I had a nickel for every time my parents said something to the point of 'if you only knew about those starving children in Africa...' I got around that statement & ate a lot of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. Because of my personal preferences, I don't believe in forcing a child to clean his plate, nor do I think children should be forced to eat things they don't like. I do, however, think that you should try what's on your plate- two bites because B is two years old & so on. We try to keep B included in most aspects of dinner- preparation, some setting of the table, cleaning up afterwards.

Some of our other rules for dinner include no tv shows (although music is allowed), no cell phones (somedays we are still working on this with Hubz). Most recently, we've started requesting that B ask to be excused from the dinner table. Again, as he is only two years old, everything is a work in progress, but I believe that it's all important for the future. We take our time at dinner, discussing our days- making sure to include B & gently reminding him of things throughout the day so he can share his day with his daddy. After dinner we clean up together & then take some time to play trains or race around the house- whichever one B is favoring that day. Obviously as time goes on, we will enforce other rules & dos & don'ts that will apply as he grows up- things like a napkin on your lap, no feeding the dog (we're working on this one though), mouth closed when chewing, & more.

All in all,family dinners are really important to me because it is & always will be a chance for us to regroup, relax & spend some quality time together. Also, it keeps us healthy. I know, when we're eating a home cooked meal, exactly what the ingredients are, exactly how it was prepared & exactly how it will affect our bodies. Those are incredibly important things to me & to my family & the most important thing I believe I can do for my family is relax & enjoy the time we have together. Our family dinners help to instill some of the values I want my child(ren) to grow up with & that's something to be proud of.

disclosure*: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Kraft Homestyle Macaroni and Cheese blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

*I do, on occasion, blog about topics that are given to me through different programs, such as SocialMoms. While I am participating on the chance that I could receive some kind of monetary payment, i personally see it as worthwhile in honing my writing skills. Please don't view this as a sponsored post, but more as a writing practice for me. I love my readers & love having new topics to blog about, so I am hopeful that this is a win-win, when I choose to participate.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

the passion of the mama

today at the y, i was talking with a couple other mamas (or rather they were talking & i was listening, but not in that creeper* way). they were talking about getting their passion back.  one pointed out how she'd heard that michelle obama speaks to her childhood obesity platform at all times - when people come over to the white house for dinner (yeah, like that happens, just casually? really?) or when she's out meeting people, she always manages to slip in some information about her platform, because she's truly passionate about it. that's when friend #1 said, "i wish i was that passionate about something. i need to find something to be that passionate about." (or something similar to that).

there's something about being a mother that takes you passions away from you.  sure, you find new ones in that luscious little baby, who smells so sweet... the one who takes your sleep away from you too... & parts of your brain that you'll never recover... but when he says 'mama' for the first time, or 'love you!', you don't mind.  you never really mind that you've lost your zest for that other life- that pre-baby life.  i mean, yes, you miss the quality time you spent lying on the couch for hours at a time during a snow storm with your partner.  yes, you'll miss those mornings of sleeping in... but really? there's a ton of things better than sleeping in & being lazy all day.

so without further ado (& because i just got an email that distracted me away from this)...

a few things that spark my passion:

- pilates. this one is old & new.  i hadn't done pilates in about 8 years, but i picked it back up in january. i love it. it took me two full years, but i finally started doing something for myself, by myself, for 45 minutes twice a week.

- writing. really. i like it a lot. especially when i have time to do it, preferably in the morning, with a cup of coffee. that never happens anymore though as that is when i am sans computer the most.

- valentine's day. it's the holiday that requires a fair amount of pink. need i say more?

- vacationing with my husband. preferably for just a couple of days. i miss B too much to go longer, but it's so nice to have a couple of days with just the mr.

-obviously my child. parenting. being privileged enough to stay home with him each day. cloth diapering, breastfeeding, baby-wearing, etc., etc.

It's possible that I still haven't found that thing that I want to share with my dinner guests yet, but I'm glad that do have a few things that keep me interested for now.

*creeper, as in the SNL skit. Hi-larious, for real.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Reading with Daddy

some light bedtime reading ... the Polar Express ... love these two boys

Monday, February 7, 2011

CSN giveaway!

You all know how much I love my dear friends at CSN Stores.  They always have everything you could possibly need & want. I recently got a potty chair for B from there & have gotten some other baby & household products from them as well.  Our family will continue to purchase from them as well...

One of the things we're most excited to purchase for B is a great swing set.  We can't wait to get a big wooden swing set to put in the backyard with swings, a sandbox, & a slide.  I know we'll certainly be checking out all that CSN Stores has to offer & I know CSN Stores will be a great place to purchase from.

CSN Stores has offered up a $35 gift certificate for one of my lucky readers.

Since it's so easy to order from CSN Stores, I've decided to make this giveaway just as easy.  To enter, you just have to follow my blog & let me know that you do (please remember to leave your email address in the comment, so I can let you know if you win).

Here's just a few extra entry opportunities (leave a comment for each one, including your contact email address):

1. Subscribe to my blog.
2. Follow me on twitter (
@mandyw526) as well as @CSNStores & tweet this once daily:  @CSNStores $35 gift certificate #giveaway from @mandyw526: http://bit.ly/ftW300 Ends 2/24
3. Follow CSN Stores on Facebook
4. Sign up for Swagbucks, using this link. Swagbucks is a google powered search engine that rewards you for searching the internet! Easy Peasy! You can get giftcards and more.  Let me know that you signed up, with that link, and this is worth 5 extra entries! 

Winner will be drawn via random.org on February 24, 2011 at 9pm cst. Winner will be contacted & will have 24 hours to respond before a second winner is drawn.  Thank you for participating & thanks to CSN stores for sponsoring! 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Game ... Super Bowl

As much as I hate to say it ...

Go Packers!

The Bears played a crappy game & the Packers didn't, so now they're in the Super Bowl.  Today, we root for the Packers. Today, the Packers better win.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Just a checking in

Totally slacking. Haven't been home all day, so here's a 'check-in' post... Thoughtful thought from today:

Funny how we grow up & no longer care about Abercrombie & Fitch, but instead prefer Burberry & Ralph Lauren... When did we get so adult?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 4 ... Fill in the Blank Friday

Disclaimer: I jacked this survey from my dear friend, Alisha in Cinci, because at this point in the evening and the week, I have nothing left in my brain to give, except some answers, especially on this subject.  The Hubz and I quite literally get at least 12 magazines a month... I love my periodical reading! 

Fill in the Blank Friday!

1. If I could only read one magazine publication for the rest of eternity, I would choose In Style ... It's like my monthly bible (minus the real Bible). I adore every page of it. I have a system in reading - I go through every page, without reading anything... simply looking at ads and pictures, and then I wade back in, slowly, deliberately... reading every single word on every single page. I get annoyed when they leave out the bookmark- seriously, one of the best ideas evah, and I base any subsequent shopping I do on the pages ... I always consult it before knowlingly shopping. 

2. If I were to run my own magazine it would be about like Alisha, I would say it'd have to be about something I could talk about. Certainly fashion would be one of those topics... parenting though would probably be the easiest.  Perhaps fashionista mamas? Hmm... that might be a great idea, actually!

3. I buy my magazines (at the grocery check stand or via subscription) As I said, we seriously get a ton every month.  However, today I bought one while standing in line at the HyV.

4. I prefer my magazines (in print or online) I love them in print. The glossy pages, the smell of fragrance samples ... the bookmark! In fact, I don't even acknowledge People magazine on the iPad, who cares that we can get it a day earlier there? I want the real thing, baby. 

5. The number of magazines I buy each month is Again, seriously... 12 or so. Not all are mine - Sports Illustrated? No thank you, but it's all the same moola. 

6. My favorite magazine genre is (lifestyle, gossip, home, etc...) Fashion it is. Followed closely by Lifestyle and Celebrity Gossip (although really, only People. I believe very little until I read it in People).

7. The magazines I read regularly are InStyle, Harpers Bazaar, O Magazine, Self, Parenting, People... the list goes on and on. 

What are your favorite magazines?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

CSN Review aka ... Baby Bjorn Potty Time!

My apologies to my fabulous sponsor, CSN Stores, for taking so long to get this posted.  I've been waiting to get a good photo & it's just not happening...  I promise he does sit on the potty without his diaper on, but for public pictures sake, I'm okay with the pj's. 

I'm not in a rush to start potty training (or learning, if you prefer - I haven't decided, but potty training is what rolls off the tongue).  I am not ready to chain myself to the house only to ask B if he needs to pee every 15 minutes.  However, B asked for a potty.  I mean, literally. We were at Target looking at them & he pointed to a red Baby Bjorn potty chair & said "cart". As in, put it in my cart.  So I did, & he proceeded to sit on it for about 20 minutes (coincidentally, the longest he's ever stayed put in a cart!).

I didn't actually purchase it on that trip, but I did come up & do some online research.  I checked some reviews & then headed to CSN Stores.  Awesomely enough, CSN had it listed for a little bit less than Target & I had a gift certificate to use. CSN Stores never lets us down - they always have whatever it is that we need!

B was so excited to get an enormous box in the mail & he almost loved it as much as the actual potty ... for a few minutes anyway.

We got the potty & are just casually using it.  B will (mostly) willingly sit on it as long as someone else is sitting on a toilet.  He never chooses to go on his own though and rarely does he answer 'yes' when I ask him to go. His favorite activity in the bathroom is flushing the toilet, but one of these days, we'll get there, we have to, right?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


It's not an uncommon post today.  Go anywhere on Blogger, Wordpress or LiveJournal and I'm sure you'll see post after post regarding this crazy blizzardy business.  Facebook is filled with pictures and status updates and complaints mixed in with joy - snow days are pretty exciting for college kids, since they rarely happen, you know.

Well, I'm not going to let you down, so here's another one of those posts!  We got up early-ish and the Hubz headed out to get a start on the snow.  What a perfect day for the snow-blower to malfunction! After spending two and a half hours in the snow, we managed to get everything cleaned up, as well as our neighbors'.

It's pretty amazing how many places were closed down today because of these blizzard conditions, but we managed to have fun today anyway! Enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

28 Days of Blogging - Take off!

Today's the beginning & here I am, already on blogger, before 8am. That in itself is something.

Once again, I'd like to invite anyone & everyone to join me in this. So far, there's 5-6 other bloggers challenging themselves & that's really exciting. I'm adding a Linky Tools, so we can link up & see who else is doing it too! (Of course, if you know anything about Linky Tools, you know that they are starting to charge as of February 7th, so this is sort of a trial decision maker for me - regardless the link for your first few posts will be up for now!)

Anyway, get on your blog, get inspired & embrace the challenge!

If you're on twitter, feel free to post with #28daysofblogging