Thursday, August 29, 2013

100th Post and a Thirty-One Giveaway :)

In honor of my 100th post and the fact that I have just become a new Thirty-One rep I will be giving away a fabulous gift to one lucky winner! :)



Haven't heard of Thirty-One? Well it is your lucky day!

Ten years ago, Thirty-One was formed with a goal of helping women by giving them an opportunity to own their own business. Through God's strength, we've built a family of individuals who feel women deserve to treat themselves and those around them to something special. That mission is at the center of everything we do as a company.

Seriously that mission statement though......For real what an amazing company and opportunity!  I feel privileged to get to work with such an outstanding group of ladies and to be able to offer you the best products for home and life around!

Still not convinced...here is a little giveaway I have constructed...

Enter using the rafflecopter below :)

I am giving away $25 worth of Thirty-One Product to the lucky winner. You choose the item and trust me there are PLENTY to choose from. here are a couple of my favorites!







I have always loved Thirty-one or anything monogrammed for that matter...Over the years I have collected several items that I use continually. When Em was born I got A LOT of cute Utility Totes and Bins to Decorate and organize her nursery.

Now it is your turn!!

I have an open Catalog party going on until September 12 also. Here is how to Shop and Order.


Select My Parties
Choose Shop Now next to Catalog Party – Kick Off.

Giveaway will close on September 10th.

Want to host a party for all your friends? Send me a message and I will open a catalog party just for you!OR if you live in East Tennessee I can come do a party :)

Have a great Weekend!!! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mouthwatering Mondays {Linkup #7}

Welcome to this edition of....


Mouthwatering Mondays

I along with 8 other ladies have joined forces to bring you this exciting weekly linkup. Every week we will have a theme to follow. The schedule for the coming weeks will be posted at the bottom of the linkup so you can plan out your posts in advance. Find your favorite recipes to go along with the theme and be sure to take lots of pictures!!

There are only a couple rules to play by!

1. Follow all your beautiful Hosts using at least one of the methods provided below.

Babies Bosses & Boyfriends: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Rhyme and Ribbons: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
A Beauty Moment: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Bailey Dailies: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
The Active spirit: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
The Campbell's: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Well Worn Soles: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Caravan Sonnet: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Lost in Boston: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter

2. Grab a button, place it on your blog, and link up your post for your favorite recipe following the weekly theme!
Mouthwatering Mondays


3. Check out some of the other fantastic links & Have a blast!

And it is as easy as that! So get your favorite recipe book out and practice up! NO strings attached just a fun and friendly weekly linkup for working moms, single moms, Stay at home moms, housewives, or even the single lady looking for a great idea!!

The schedule for the coming weeks:
  • Aug 26: Healthy Meal (Ex: Gluten Free) 
***NOTE: COMING SOON Mouthwatering Mondays will be revamped and revised!! 

If you are interested in becoming a host or have any ideas on new weekly recipe topics please let me know!! :)

Pineapple Chicken Salad Pitas



Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup matchstick-cut carrots
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • 4 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas, each cut in half
  • 8 Romaine lettuce leaves

Preparation

  1. Combine first 11 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well. Line each pita half with 1 lettuce leaf; fill each half with 1/3 cup chicken mixture.

 


Link up your recipe below!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Our Seemingly Endless battle....

Most of you may not know the struggles we have faced since birth with our now 5.5 month old angel because I tend to keep it private, but I am about to let it all out. I have been bottling up so much emotion since the day she got here that I am about to explode so watch out....

Here is a brief synopsis of her birth story located Here, Here, & Here....Yes I know a three part Birth story but that first week of life was a whirlwind!!It goes like this......She was born at a healthy 7.4 lbs at 10:12 AM on March 2, 2013. We were both doing great with no problems to speak of (other than a little jaundice that should pass). We go home on Monday and return for her checkup on Tuesday only to be sent to the Hospital for Jaundice and blood tests. At 3:30 on Tuesday afternoon I got a phone call that rocked my world! Em's sodium levels were so high she was near brain damage. If she did not get to the ER as soon as possible it could affect the rest of her life. SO we rushed to Children's were they immediately put an IV in her head and placed her under the jaundice lights (her billirubin levels were elevated too) After 4 days in the Hospital and forcing her to eat even 1/2 oz every 4 hours she finally begin to eat and the levels began dropping. We were released from the hospital and she begin sleeping and eating VERY well!


We thought this was the end of the problems, but turns out it was only the start!

Two weeks later we go back for a weight check and she is right at birth weight! Amazing considering what she had been through....two more weeks (1month checkup) and she has only gained 3 oz....we worried a little but we would re-check in two weeks. We go back for another check in mid April and still not much gain. By this point she is spitting with every feed and nothing she is eating is staying down. She was diagnosed with reflux and put on some Zantac.

For a month after she was placed on Zantac she did pretty well. She gained up to 11.7 lbs by the beginning of May and we were pleased! Then all of a sudden it stopped working. They upped the dosage and still nothing....we were referred to a GI specialist and her appointment was at the end of July. When we went to the Dr she weighed 11.7 (the exact same as she did at the beginning of May!) and she gave her another medicine to take along with the Zantac and ordered an anatomy scan and some stool tests.


Just this week we went back to the Dr to get the results and they weighed her again. I bet you can't guess how much she weighed?? Yea that's right 11.7!!  She had not gained an ounce in over 3 months. Lab tests confirmed she is allergic to dairy and either I have to be on a strict dairy free diet or she will have to be on a special (very expensive) formula.




So that was all fine and dandy and we were willing to do whatever we needed to do to help get her healthy and back on track....and then she threw in this curveball from left field....Here were her words to me....

"Additional test will need to be ordered due to her Failure to Thrive. The first and most important of which is a sodium chloride test to check for cystic fibrosis."

UMMMMM excuse me?? Did you just tell me that my daughter may have a life threatening genetic disorder?? I lost it. I didn't hear much of anything else, but basically they are doing every test known to man to see why in the world she has not gained a single ounce or grown even a couple CM in 3 months.

I remember asking the Doctor if the Milk allergy could not be the cause of everything and that if she gets on this formula it will fix it all....she said that even babies with Milk allergies should be growing ever so slightly. She would be completely shocked if that was the ONLY reason she was not growing. 

To put it lightly I am a nervous wreck...We go tomorrow to have the tests run and we will not get the results for two weeks. Talk about the longest 2 weeks of someones life....

I praise God every day that she is living breathing and seemingly thriving in this life. I know it could be so much worse, but to all you Mommas out there you know the heartache and pain you feel when you don't have answers for why your baby is suffering you know the hurt I am feeling right now. Please pray for my baby girl as she endures the lab work and tests tomorrow and that everything will come back normal!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bluum Box Review & Discount Code

This month I decided to try the Bluum box. I had heard great things about it and wanted to see what all the hype was about.

Basically this is a box filled with all kinds of age appropriate goodies for mom and baby. You tell them your child's birthday and they do the rest! I have heard several reviews by moms who were super impressed with it and wanted to try it myself.

So I did....and here is what we got in the month of August.....


The theme for 5 (soon to be 6) month old baby Em was Tiny Chompers.....and what a perfect theme with perfect timing!!

She got the cutest little penguin teething ring that can be chilled or frozen to soothe those sore gums.

There was a cute silicone bangle bracelet for momma that doubles as a teether for baby. I have seen teething necklaces but never the bracelets.....and let me just tell you SHE LOVES IT!!! I could not get it away from her.

There was a full size bottle of Weleda Baby Cream. I have never heard of or used this brand, but it makes her skin incredibly soft! It is used for delicate skin and man does it moisten!

A LUNA fiber bar was also included and although I thought I would never like Fiber bars, this one was actually REALLY good. It was Blueberry and Vanilla and between me and little man we had it gone in no time :) I may actually go buy some more!! And I don't even like blueberries!

And last but not least there was a box of 20 baby eyelash and eyelid cleaner cloths. This beats an old scratchy washcloth any day!

If you haven't heard of Bluum be sure to go check it out here!! And use code pampers to get 50% off your first month!!



Mouthwatering Mondays {Linkup #6}

Welcome to this edition of....


Mouthwatering Mondays

I along with 8 other ladies have joined forces to bring you this exciting weekly linkup. Every week we will have a theme to follow. The schedule for the coming weeks will be posted at the bottom of the linkup so you can plan out your posts in advance. Find your favorite recipes to go along with the theme and be sure to take lots of pictures!!

There are only a couple rules to play by!

1. Follow all your beautiful Hosts using at least one of the methods provided below.

Babies Bosses & Boyfriends: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Rhyme and Ribbons: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
A Beauty Moment: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Bailey Dailies: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
The Active spirit: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
The Campbell's: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Well Worn Soles: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Caravan Sonnet: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Lost in Boston: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter

2. Grab a button, place it on your blog, and link up your post for your favorite recipe following the weekly theme!
Mouthwatering Mondays


3. Check out some of the other fantastic links & Have a blast!

And it is as easy as that! So get your favorite recipe book out and practice up! NO strings attached just a fun and friendly weekly linkup for working moms, single moms, Stay at home moms, housewives, or even the single lady looking for a great idea!!

The schedule for the coming weeks:
  • Aug 19: Breakfast Food for Dinner
  • Aug 26: Healthy Meal (Ex: Gluten Free) 

Here is my Breakfast for Dinner recipe..and I have to say I am pretty excited about it. I have not personally tried these but I hear they are absolutely amazing!!!

Chicken 'N Waffles on a Stick 



 

Need: Waffle Iron or Corn dog maker
Ingredients:

1 bag any kind fried chicken (trader Joes Mandarin chicken without the sauce works best)

2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups buttermilk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk the buttermilk, vegetable oil and eggs together well. Gradually pour the milk mixture into the dry mixture. Stir until the mixture is almost blended. There will be a few lumps in the batter.

Pre-heat the chicken: 

Place the chicken in a saute pan with 1/4 cup of canola oil. Heat on medium or medium low heat for 5-6 minutes. You don't want to cook the chicken all the way through because it will dry out. The chicken will thoroughly heat when placed in the corn dog maker.

Make the Chicken 'N Waffles on a Stick:

Spray the machine with cooking spray and pre-heat. You can also brush the machine with oil to prevent sticking. Use a silicone brush if you choose this method. You may have to trim some of the edges off the chicken, so that they fit into the the corn dog maker. Skewer 3 or 4 pieces of chicken onto each stick.

Once the machine is pre-heated, use a spoon or squeeze bottle to fill two of the slots with waffle batter. I found making two at a time was easiest, but you could try making four. Next, place the skewered chicken sticks on top of the waffle batter and squeeze a little extra batter on top so that none of the chicken is showing.

Close the machine and wait until the green light indicates they are ready. It takes around 3-5 minutes to get the first batch of waffles golden brown. You can open the top of the machine and check on the color of the waffle. If they aren't golden brown, close the machine and wait an additional 2 min. Repeat until you achieve desired color on waffle. Trim the edges off the waffle.

 
Link up your recipe below!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bachelorette Party Madness

This weekend was a weekend of festivities....A birthday party, a bachelorette party, and a run around and chase the dog out of the road party. Okay I am obviously being a little sarcastic about the last one, but seriously this weekend was non stop festivities!

Saturday me and 6 other adult girls went to Wilderness of the Smokies in Pigeon Forge. Let me just say if you have never been it is AMAZING!! Whether you are 2 or 42 there is something for you! (That seriously sounds like a commercial huh?)

There are a million different things to do but the biggest attraction is the full size indoor water park. For real get online and check this place out. There are 4 different water parks and two different resort locations. We had a very nice room that slept all 6 of us and although we were never in there but to sleep it was nice!

We had a blast on all the many water slides and in the wave pools and lazy river.

But by far  the scariest ride was this one!!



You start out standing straight up and then a capsule incloses around you and you hear 3,2,1 and BAMMM the floor drops out from under you and you are falling straight down a water tunnel and through loops like a crazy person! It was a wild experience but an experience I would only like to have once.

After being outside (and inside) all day at the water parks we decided to shower up and get dolled up for a nice dinner.....And then instead of a nice dinner we went to Joes Crab Shack :) But we had a blast and it was all in celebration of Chelsi's upcoming marriage.



Not too much longer and she will be officially hitched! Hope you enjoyed your last girls day before the wedding!!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Mouthwatering Mondays {Linkup #5}

Welcome to this edition of....


Mouthwatering Mondays

I along with 8 other ladies have joined forces to bring you this exciting weekly linkup. Every week we will have a theme to follow. The schedule for the coming weeks will be posted at the bottom of the linkup so you can plan out your posts in advance. Find your favorite recipes to go along with the theme and be sure to take lots of pictures!!

There are only a couple rules to play by!

1. Follow all your beautiful Hosts using at least one of the methods provided below.

Babies Bosses & Boyfriends: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Rhyme and Ribbons: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
A Beauty Moment: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Bailey Dailies: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
The Active spirit: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
The Campbell's: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Well Worn Soles: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Caravan Sonnet: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Lost in Boston: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter

2. Grab a button, place it on your blog, and link up your post for your favorite recipe following the weekly theme!
Mouthwatering Mondays


3. Check out some of the other fantastic links & Have a blast!

And it is as easy as that! So get your favorite recipe book out and practice up! NO strings attached just a fun and friendly weekly linkup for working moms, single moms, Stay at home moms, housewives, or even the single lady looking for a great idea!!

The schedule for the coming weeks:
  • Aug 12:  Favorite Side-dish
  • Aug 19: Breakfast Food for Dinner
  • Aug 26: Healthy Meal (Ex: Gluten Free) 

My Favorite side dish is Macaroni, of any kind really.....macaroni salad, macaroni & tomatoes....but my all time FAVORITE is Baked Macaroni & Cheese. Never made it before? Don't worry it is very easy I promise!!


Baked Macaroni & Cheese


Here is what you will need:




1 (16 ounce) package macaroni
1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk

And here is how to put it all together:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Grease a 2 quart casserole dish. Place a quarter of the macaroni in the bottom, followed by an even layer of one-quarter of the cheese slices. Dot with butter and season with salt and pepper. Repeat layering three times. Pour evaporated milk evenly over the top of all.
  3. Bake, uncovered, for one hour, or until top is golden brown.
And that is it...see not bad! And it tastes like pure Heaven!!!

 
 


 
Link up your recipe below!!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday has come at last!

Well it has been somewhat of a complicated week!

Monday we went for Em's Upper GI X-rays.....that was fun NOT! She couldn't eat for 6 hours before we got there, so we started the day with her routine already thrown off. By the time they called us back for the test she was starving and even the Barium they made her drink tasted good to her. She sucked it down and they began the tests.

They had her strapped to a back board with her hands over her head and she was taped up like a mummy. I took a picture but I can't even put it on here because it looks so cruel!

After about 20 minutes of turning her this way and that way and flipping her over to get all the pictures they needed she was finally done and they unstrapped her. I have never been so happy to soothe my crying baby!

If the X-rays weren't bad enough, the Barium drink made her constipated so she has been trying all week to go the bathroom! Poor thing's belly was just killing her and when she finally went it REALLY hurt her. :(

Now we have all the tests out of the way and we can focus on getting some results next Monday! Hopefully they will find something that will make her feel much better!!

ANYWAY....That was the start of the week, but the rest of the week (other than the gassy baby) was pretty good.


We took Sissy to Nana's and went up the mountains with Little man to play in the creek...it was a little cold but he was a champ! He had a blast and we had a good time watching him!

Em's Mickey Mouse outfit finally arrived (a week late) but it is the cutest little thing!! I LOOOVOEE the headband :) 


This was her excited face waiting to see the DR.....She looks like she has just seen a ghost! 

I love my little munchkin and she is finally starting to look a little like her mommy.....okay so it is just a little but a mommy can dream!!


I love these two! They melt my heart and are so much alike it is incredible! I was sneaky and took this picture from across the room. They act alike when they aren't even paying attention.


And last but not least...it was my baby girls 5 month Birthday so to celebrate I am throwing all the way back to 5 months ago when we were still in the hospital.....is she not the cutest little thing you have ever seen! I cannot stop looking at her! 


Hope you all had a great week and have an even better weekend!!

Make sure you stop by the blog on Monday and linkup your favorite side dish with our Mouthwatering Mondays segment!  It will be fun!!

22days until my Birthday (and the first Vol football game) and counting!!! 



Thursday, August 8, 2013

To Cut or not to cut...That is the question!

Three years ago I decided to take a plunge and cut ALL of my hair off. We are talking total redo of everything I have ever known. My hair has never in my life been shorter than my shoulders! And this particular cut was almost up to my chin!

Since then I have only had a few minimal cuts here and there. I have tried to let it grow back to its normal length. I have cried because it was too short....I have cried because it is too long....I am just over it!

So what should I do? I want a cut with style something that is easy to fix but cute all the time. Right now  I feel like my hair has no body, no definition. Just a mess of long stringy blondness laying on my back :/

So here is just about the shortest my hair was....there was one shorter but I am not even going to think about going that short. 


Here is a little bit longer.....


And I just threw this one in here so you can see how little my Little Man was!! Wasn't he just the cutest little thing.


And here is when I was pregnant with little EM and it was about mid length.....

And this is now....See how at the ends it is just stringy and thin and GROSS!!


So what should I do? What cut would look good on my little round face? I would appreciate any thoughts I could get.




Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Mouthwatering Mondays {linkup #4}

Welcome to the Fourth edition of....


Mouthwatering Mondays

I along with 8 other ladies have joined forces to bring you this exciting weekly linkup. Every week we will have a theme to follow. The schedule for the coming weeks will be posted at the bottom of the linkup so you can plan out your posts in advance. Find your favorite recipes to go along with the theme and be sure to take lots of pictures!!

There are only a couple rules to play by!

1. Follow all your beautiful Hosts using at least one of the methods provided below.

Babies Bosses & Boyfriends: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Rhyme and Ribbons: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
A Beauty Moment: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Bailey Dailies: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
The Active spirit: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
The Campbell's: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Well Worn Soles: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Caravan Sonnet: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter
Lost in Boston: Blog / Bloglovin / Twitter

2. Grab a button, place it on your blog, and link up your post for your favorite recipe following the weekly theme!
Mouthwatering Mondays


3. Check out some of the other fantastic links & Have a blast!

And it is as easy as that! So get your favorite recipe book out and practice up! NO strings attached just a fun and friendly weekly linkup for working moms, single moms, Stay at home moms, housewives, or even the single lady looking for a great idea!!

The schedule for the coming weeks:
  • Aug 5: Favorite Crockpot Recipe
  • Aug 12:  Favorite Side-dish
 
Sorry for the late post guys apparently we are having Tasty Tuesday instead:/ we have been at the hospital with Em having some tests run so I have not had a chance to post. I will leave the link open until Wednesday for all of you to add your fabulous crockpot recipes!! 
Link up your recipe below!!