Saturday, June 30, 2012

Diaper Cupcake Gift Set by Baby Sweet Treats Review and Giveaway

If you are like me, you are always looking for something cute and unique, when it is time to give a gift, especially for a new baby.    I'm in the midst of everything baby right now and I thought I'd seen it all.  That's why I was so impressed when I saw the next product I got to review and give away- a diaper cupcake set by Baby Sweet Treats

Baby Sweet Treats has a wide variety of adorable an unique products that are perfect for any new or expecting mother and, of course, her precious little one.  Any item from their product line makes a fantastic baby shower gift!  With nearly 600 sales and 100% positive feedback, you can be confident that your purchase experience with Baby Sweet Treats will be nothing but wonderful.  You can check out the Baby Sweet Treats Facebook page here.

Besides diaper cupcakes, Baby Sweet Treats creates and sells onesie cupcakes, mini and traditional diaper cakes, washcloth flower bouquets, lollipops, and sundaes.  Or if you can't choose between all of these adorable items, you can pick from one of the many gift baskets/packages that are offered.  Here are a few pictures of some of the products currently for sale at Baby Sweet Treats:

I was sent a diaper cupcake set to review.  Each cupcake was carefully made and placed into a bakery box for displaying.  The box was wrapped with a coordinating ribbon and topped off with a super-cute, matching gift tag.  The final appearance is attractive and fun!

One of my best friends just had a little baby boy in May and decided not to have her "Friends" baby shower until after the baby came so that all of the friends could meet him/her.  I figured that there would really be no better way to review the diaper cupcake set than to give it to her as a shower gift and watch for her reaction!

"What exactly is this?"

"Oh, so cute!"

The gift was a hit!  Shannon thought that the cupcake set was adorable and really clever!  I would  definitely recommend giving this as a shower gift or a new baby gift!  The Mama is sure to love it.

Now you've got your chance to win a diaper cupcake gift set for yourself or to give as a gift!  You'll be able to choose whether you want it to be girl themed, boy themed, or neutral.  Good luck!

*I was given this product for review purposes.  All of my opinions about this product are solely my own.  Your opinions may differ.  I was not compensated to write this post in any way.*   

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Delicious Boneless Wings Recipe!

Hi everybody!

I want to share this delicious recipe with you.  I found it somewhere online, but I don't remember where, otherwise I would credit them!  Since I found this recipe, we've made it several times (chicken strip style rather than being tossed in sauce to make eating with children cleaner and easier) with only a slight variation- instead of preparing the sauce, we just use our favorite barbeque sauce, Sweet Baby Rays.  This one is definitely worth trying!  Anyway, here it is!

Boneless Wings

  • oil for deep frying
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • 1/4 cup hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Combine flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and paprika in a large bowl. Whisk together the egg and milk in a small bowl. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture, and then roll in the flour blend. Repeat so that each piece of chicken is double coated. Refrigerate breaded chicken for 20 minutes.
  3. Fry chicken in the hot oil, in batches. Cook until the exterior is nicely browned, and the juices run clear, 5 to 6 minutes a batch.
  4. Combine hot sauce and butter in a small bowl. Microwave sauce on High until melted, 20 to 30 seconds. Pour sauce over the cooked chicken; mix to coat.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Return of my Wordless Wednesdays!

It's been a long time since I posted a Wordless Wednesday, but I'm bringing them back!  It seems like a lot of people really enjoyed them, so I thought I will try to start back up on them again!

Here we go!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lorelai's Day at Chalk Beach!

This is best friend, Heather's, little girl, Lorelai.  She is such a cute little sweetie.  Anyway, I just wanted to share these two adorable pictures with you!  Here is Lorelai enjoying her day at Chalk Beach!  She's got a good Mama, huh?  :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

What's up... the same old crazy stuff!

I was trying to come up with what to blog about today and nothing too interesting was really coming to mind.  I was skimming through all of the things going on around me right now, and nothing really jumped out as super exciting.  But then I realized that just telling you about EVERYTHING going on right now wouldn't make for a terrible post!

I'd like to preface this post with this message: I WISH I could stop thinking about the hundreds of things I think about everyday, but my mind just goes a mile a minute- Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder at its finest!  Yeah...

So here's what's going on.  Right now I'm working hard at the Sheldon Performing Arts Theatre in Red Wing, MN.  Not much going on here until show time.  After this I'm going to head back to my parents' house to pick up Bryleigh and maybe Brennan, but I think he's going to be spending the night.  He's been begging to stay every time we leave and we thought we would give it another try.  Ryan goes on call at 10pm tonight through 10am tomorrow.

This weekend is Water Ski Days in Lake City, so there are a lot of events going on all weekend.  At 10am there is a penny hunt for the little kids, so we might bring Brennan to that.  As soon as Brennan goes down for his nap, I'm planning to head to Rochester for a bit of shopping.  I need a couple of new and BIGGER bras :(...  I'll tell you this: shopping for bras when your chest size to body ratio is 3 or 4:1 really sucks.  I'll probably show up back at home with just as many bras as I had when I left.  I also need to get some pretty ribbon and some clips to make up some bows.  A few days ago I got a wild hair and decided to try making a korker bow to go with Bryleigh's 4th of July romper.  To make a long story short, it turned out super cute and now I'm on a little bow selling adventure on Facebook.  If you need any bows, let me know!!!

Tomorrow evening we have my little cousin's graduation party to go to.  Then on Sunday, Ryan is on call from 6am-noon, we'll take the kids to the parade, and then he goes back on call from 6pm until midnight.  That basically sums up the weekend, I think.  But besides the physical events we have going on, I've had a lot on my mind lately!

We are in the process of trying to find a new home for our dog, which is good, but sad/hard at the same time.  We are keeping her with us, not in a shelter, until someone who will hopefully give her a great new home comes along.  She has an ad on Petfinder.  I think it looks great, but again, it makes me kind of sad to see it- Emmy on Petfinder.

After thinking about it for a really long time, I've finally scheduled an appointment for Brennan with a child psychologist.  I feel semi-nuts for setting it up for him, but I've read and heard that child/family psychology can really help a lot with behavior problems.  Some days Brennan is just wonderful, but other days are extremely rough.  I know that it to be expected, but something about him seems over the top to me.  He has more energy than any child I've ever known (and I worked at a daycare center as well as doing quite a bit of babysitting) and none of the tips I've read or heard to control tantrums and stubbornness have helped much or at all.  I guess I just figure that it is at least worth a try.  If there is something 'different' about him, I'd like to know now while he's little.  If he's just an average 2 year old boy, I'd like to know that, too.  Wish us luck with that... the first opening was September 5th!!!

I have been really busy trying to get our house de-cluttered/organized, but it seems to look just as messy as it was 1 hour later.  Saying that it is frustrating is a HUGE understatement.  We have an annual 4th of July party, which is obviously creeping up quickly on us and I have SO much cleaning and organizing to do before it, not to mention getting all of our supplies, etc.

We've been slowly exploring the possibility of trying to move into a bigger house, but there are so many questions and 'what ifs' that go along with that!  We don't know if our house would even be able to sell for what we owe on it with how bad the market is now.  And if we put it on the market, how on earth could we make it look nice and de-cluttered with all of the stuff we have jammed inside?  Probably not, but I would have to try my best.  Would a house we like be available when it sold?  Hard to say.  We really want our next house to be in the country and we're definitely going to be more discerning when it comes to buying our next place since we plan to stay there indefinitely.

We've got a ton of outdoor projects that we would like to do this year- finish stripping the deck, put another gate in the fence, build a patio, raise up some stepping stones, build or buy a garden shed, spray down a bunch of round up...  the never ending list goes on.

And though it may sound like a very small thing, I still have a lot of cross stitching to go on Bryleigh's Christmas stocking.  It's her first Christmas... I better have it done in time!

Whew!  There's more.  I know there is.  Wish me luck!

And here's my little marketing spiel once more: If you would like a nice, big, black dog for FREE, need any bows, or are interested in buying a cute 2 bedroom house with a loft in Lake City, MN, let me know!! Haha...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Keepsake Gift Card Review and Giveaway from Little Red Robin!

In celebration of my husband Ryan's and my 7th wedding anniversary, I've teamed up with Little Red Robin on Etsy to bring you a review and giveaway of a really unique keepsake gift!  Normally Ryan knows what posts I'm working on, especially reviews and giveaways, so it has been so hard keeping this a secret! :)

First, let me give Little Red Robin a little introduction. Little Red Robin opened in January of 2011 and is run by twin sisters, Jenny and Liz.  They create unique and unusual items with rustic style from silver, copper, aluminum, and brass.  Originally, Little Red Robin sold beaded jewelry, but the sisters have now created a shop with metal based creations, some metal stamped products and keepsakes along with some unusual gifts for the family.  Obviously great sellers, Little Red Robin boasts 100% positive feedback.

Little Red Robin has a shop here on folksy and now has its own website, which just opened in March of this year- They receive a lot of custom orders based on designs seen in their shops.  As if they aren't busy enough, they also keep up a Facebook fan page, too.  You can visit them on Facebook here.
When they aren't keeping busy with their business, the sisters are a part time florist and a fitness instructor.  However, Jenny and Liz are currently busy working on new lines this year with lots of unusual styles coming!

Right now the sisters especially like their personalized toe rings and their mixed metal stacking rings.  What fantastic items for summer!

The item that Ryan and I are lucky enough to be reviewing is extremely unique and will be quite sentimental.  It is a personalized Copper Keepsake Gift Card.  Jenny was also nice enough to include a copper gift tag with Ryan's name on it. that definitely 'fancied' up the gift wrap!   Actually, that was the first thing Ryan noticed as he began unwrapping his gift- "Wow.  This looks awfully fancy to me."


As copper is the traditional 7th anniversary gift, this gift is especially fitting.  Little Red Robin hand stamps each piece they create.  Needless to say, Jenny had her work cut out for her when it came to metal stamping my card!  I've always been a bit wordy, so even though I tried to keep the message on the card short and sweet, it got a little lengthy.  Still, Jenny was able to fit it on the card, recording everything that I wanted to say to Ryan on a beautiful piece of metal.  I know it is quite sappy, but here's what the card says:

It's been 7 years. I can't wait to spend so many more with you! Thank you for making life so wonderful and creating such an amazing family with me. I love you more than I can ever explain...
♥ Colleen"

I was being extra sentimental with the last line.  That's what was written in the card Ryan gave me when he proposed to me almost 8 1/2 years ago...

The card is truly beautiful.  I love the slight variations in letter alignment, etc. that hand stamping each one individually brings.  Each and every card is different- no two are alike.  You can absolutely tell that Jenny and Liz take pride in their work, just by looking at the care that was taken during the stamping.

Ryan thought that the card was pretty neat.  It fits great into his wallet and actually gives it a little extra support so the credit card area isn't able to bend at all.  He really likes the fact that his card can't fall apart like other notes and cards he's carried with him before.   He thinks that if you are trying to abide by the traditional anniversary gifts, this is a very cool copper item to give to a man.

Now that you see exactly how cool this little gift card is, you can try to win one for yourself!  Thanks for sponsoring this awesome giveaway, Little Red Robin!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I was given this product for review purposes.  All of my opinions about this product are solely my own.  Your opinions may differ.  I was not compensated to write this post in any way.* 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Toddler is SO Funny... Especially When He's Not Trying to Be!

Though Brennan is in the midst of the terrible two's, another much nicer part of his personality is developing nicely- his imagination.  For a while, he would do cute things that made me chuckle a little, but now doing things that impress me like crazy.  He's saying words that I didn't know he knew and he's got me laughing, nearly to the point of crying, almost everyday!  I've got a few examples that to illustrate these things.

#1- The other day he was playing with his "go go go" (his little ride on toy) and suddenly got a concerned look on his face.  He quickly hops off, flips it onto its side and starts digging around underneath of it.  He says to himself, with a sigh, "Needs new batteries" and the off he walks around the couch.  He starts digging through his toy bin, apparently looking for "batteries".  When he finds them, (2 shaka shaka eggs- basically maracas- from his instrument set) he excitedly proclaims, "Brennan found them!  New batteries!"  and marches over to his go go go to install them.  He fiddles under the car for a moment before flipping it back up and exclaiming, "There!  All done!  Fixed it!"

#2- Today, just after we finished his and Bryleigh's diaper changes, I hear Brennan hollering, "Help, Mama!" from his room.  I go in to see what's going on.  He holds up his little pirate toy, which is about 2.5 inches tall and tells me, "Pirate diaper change- ALL wet!"  I see that he's already grabbed one of his cloth diapers from the diaper stacker and is trying to undo the snaps in order to put it on the much-too-tiny pirate.  I help him with the snaps and he lays it wide open on the floor.  Together we go through the steps of changing a diaper an within a minute the tiny pirate is sporting a furry new zebra diaper... or sticking out the top of it like a scoop of ice cream on a cone!

And lastly and most hilarious/inappropriate:
#3- This evening as I'm feeding Bryleigh, Brennan is being much too wild for the living room and ESPECIALLY the couch.  Finally we convinced him to either sit on the floor and do a puzzle or just sit next to me and watch is movie, Rio (A.K.A. Blue Blue Birds).  He goes over to his toy bin to get a puzzle, but comes back with 2 dolls.  He crawls up on the couch next to me and says, "Feed baby"... I know where this is going!  Haha!  Sure enough he pulls his shirt up as far as it will go and tries to position the baby.  He has a concerned look on his face and soon starts saying, "Brennan's nipples- Where'd they go?"  I guess he couldn't find them.  By the time Ryan and I stopped laughing, he'd lost interest and was onto the next thing.  Oh man... gotta love him!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Little Chatterbox

Saying that Brennan is starting to talk pretty well is a complete understatement!  He is a chatterbox, talking about anything and everything ALL DAY LONG!  This is just a short video showcasing Brennan's language skills.  :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

New project: deck stripping and refinishing

Here is our newest project: stripping and refinishing our deck... Wish us luck!


I Got to Take Sister Photos!

I had the opportunity to take some photos for 3 sisters a couple of weeks ago.  It was a great time! Here are some of the best ones.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ryan's Mayo One Helicopter Ride!

The blog title today sounds like something that most people wouldn't be thrilled about.  Who wants  to be transported by helicopter?  But, Ryan's ride was a good thing!

Ryan has been volunteering as an EMT in our town for about a year now.  When he found out that one of the EMTs could take advantage of going on a Mayo One ride along, he jumped at the opportunity!  Being a paramedic, but especially a flight medic, was a childhood dream of his...

The first day he was scheduled to ride along, they didn't get any calls and the helicopter never even left the ground!  They were nice enough to schedule another day for him to come back for a second chance.  That day, they had a couple interesting calls!  Both of the patients they transported were thankfully going to be ok.  Ryan was excited to even be able to help give patient care!

It was a pretty cool experience for him and I'm so glad he got to do it!