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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gooey and Delicious! Chocolate peanut butter treats

I love rice krispie treats, but sometimes I like a little variety, something a bit less "vanilla". The other day I decided to try chocolate treats using Cocoa Pebbles, and then decided to take it one step further and indulge my love of chocolate mixed with peanut butter. As you might guess from the picture, my first attempt was with cocoa pebbles and peanut butter cap'n crunch. If I used the cap'n crunch again, I would literally crunch the cereal - I found it made the bars too tough to chew, and really unnecessary from a taste standpoint.

1 stick butter
1 (10.5oz) bag mini marshmallows
1/3C smooth peanut butter
8 cups cocoa pebbles (optionally can substitute some of the chocolate for peanut butter cereal)

Melt the butter and stir in peanut butter. Mix to combine, turn off heat and add marshmallows. Once everything is melted and combined, add cereal(s) and mix. Press into a pan and cool.

*this is 2x the butter called for in the "classic" rice krispie treat recipe. I tweeted the other day that I'd accidentally used too much butter, but they turned out so well I will be using this as my new standard - at least until I get serious about losing the baby weight!*

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Yo Gabba Gabba - There's a Pary in my City!

YO GABBA GABBA LIVE is coming to Cincinnati on March 20, 2010!

Here are the details:

Saturday, March 20, 2010 – 2PM & 5PM

Aronoff Center for the Arts

American Express Pre-Sale – Friday January 28 – 10AM

Public On-Sale –January 29 – 10AM

Tickets are $25.00 and $35.00

Tickets are available through Yogabbagabbalive.com or CincinnatiArts.org and can also be purchased at the Aronoff Center ticket office. There will be a $5.00 off discount for groups of 10 or more. Children under one year of age will be admitted free to sit on a parent’s lap. Stay tuned to win a pair of tickets!

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to modify a full sized apron to fit your child

Sweetpea has an adorable child sized apron, but with the amount of cooking she's been doing lately it's often in the wash when we want to use it...so we've improvised! It's pretty easy to modify an adult apron to custom fit your little helper:

Put the apron over your child's head as you normally would. Wrap the waist straps up through the neck loop, as shown. Pull them as far down as needed to bring the top of the apron to the correct spot on your child's chest. Now wrap the waist straps around your child's waist as many times as needed.

Talk about full coverage - at this age she needs it! Do you have child sized aprons for your little helpers? Do you use aprons at all? I love aprons of every size - thank goodness my mom likes to make them! I'd love to see links to any easy patterns or tutorials you like.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Basics by Bravado - Now at Target!

As a Bravado brand ambassador, I'm excited to spread the word that Bravado has a new line of nursing basics, now available at Target! The Basics by Bravado line includes a nursing bra, a sleep bra, and a nursing tank. I love that these pieces are accessible and convenient - to try on to make sure you love them before you buy, and to run out and purchase if you need a new one.

Now that I've been nursing for just under three years straight, it's fair to say I'm a bit of a nursing tank junkie, as they are my secret weapon for nursing discreetly in public! Bravado is the only brand I'm aware of that provides a full bra inside their camisole for added support. It is one of my favorites, especially early in the nursing experience when everything is a bit fuller, if you know what I mean...

To celebrate the launch of the new Basics line, Bravado is running a "Spot a Mom" sweepstakes. Here are the details:

In addition, Bravado is offering one lucky reader a Basics piece of her choice! Just let me know which Basics nursing piece is your favorite and why. For extra entries, leave me a separate comment when you do any of the following:

Follow this blog

Follow me (@psmom) on twitter

Tweet about this giveaway and leave me the direct link (once per day)

This contest will close at midnight on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 and a winner will be chosen using random.org

*As a brand ambassador, I will be receiving a sample of the Basics cami to review. This was a sponsored post. All opinions are my own and consistent with unsponsored posts written previously.*

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

A little support for my tired abs, from Amon Maternity!

For those of you with kids out there, after your baby was born, did you rush to get back into your pre-baby shape? I knew I wanted to get there someday, but both times I acknowledged the huge miracle my body had performed. I knew that providing milk for my daughters was no small miracle as well, and I wanted to make sure I ate well to provide good nutrition for them throughout the time I was nursing.

I gained 40lbs with my first pregnancy, and while I hit the gym because it felt good, I didn't start thinking about getting "back in shape" for about 8 months. I only gained 27lbs this time (thanks to four months of "all day" sickness - ugh!) but my abs did not snap back the second time around! Even so, I'm going to cut myself plenty of slack, at least until swimsuit season. There is just too much to sit back and enjoy, and I don't want to miss any of it!

That said, hearing someone say, "honey, get out of the way of the pregnant lady" the other day was a low blow to my ego. Seriously? A quick look over my shoulder confirmed that she was, in fact, talking about me. And I thought all women knew better than to assume a stranger was pregnant! {{insert indignant sigh here}}

Thankfully, my friend Lisa at Condo Blues was kind enough to think of me when she was contacted by Amon Maternity, a company that makes maternity lingerie AND postpartum bodyshapers. They sent me a sample of their bodyshaper to try, and they are going to give a $50 gift certificate to one lucky reader!

The forgive bodyshaper is a pair of underwear with built in tummy control. It is supportive without binding, and comfortable to wear. The support panel came up to just about my belly button - I would have preferred another inch or two of support, but I have a pretty long torso. Everything stays in place very well, the underwear didn't ride up at all, and the support panel didn't roll down. I really enjoy this product and would recommend it to anyone who could use a little "help" in that area.

For those of you that are interested now is a great time to buy - through Friday 1/15 enter coupon code SUPERSALE and receive 50% off your order! And now for that $50 gift card! To enter, visit Amon Maternity and let me know what you'd like to spend the money on. That serves as one entry. For additional entries, you can do the following, leaving an additional comment for each additional entry:

Follow this blog

Follow me (@psmom) on twitter

Follow Amon Maternity on twitter (@KristiBell4Amon)

Tweet about this giveaway and send me the direct link

Friend Amon Maternity on facebook

Good luck, I hope you win! This contest will close at midnight on 2/3/10, and a winner will be chosen by random.org (and if you have any suggestions for getting these abs back to flat, please let me know!!)

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Mindlessly delicious pulled pork

This recipe might look familiar to you, I've posted it once before and talked about it many times - my slow cooker pulled pork is simply the easiest go to meal ever. I'm looking forward to comparing notes with the other back burner cooks over at aiming low, and their back burner recipe contest is what prompted me to re-post this super simple supper.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Pork loin, cut if necessary to fit into your crock pot
Beef broth, enough to cover your pork loin (usually ~3 cups)

Cook the pork on low heat in your slow cooker for 6 - 8 hours, until it shreds easily. I usually cook this overnight or during the day, and I usually make big batches so I cook the full 8 hours. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and place it into a casserole dish. Preheat your oven for 350 and shred the pork using two forks and pulling the meat in a crosswise motion. Once the pork is shredded, add either broth or BBQ sauce. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.

I serve the meat plain with potatoes, on sandwiches with BBQ sauce, in place of chicken in a tetrazzini recipe, in mexican casseroles, etc. I usually cook as much pork as I can fit in my slow cooker and freeze the leftovers for when I don't even want to take the time to plug in my slow cooker.

What is your favorite back burner meal?

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Friday, January 8, 2010

We are Blissfully Frugal!

Hubs and I have always been frugal - we enjoy saving where we can so we can spend on the things that really matter to us. The key to being frugal for me is knowing what matters most to me and my husband - what things really make us happy, and what are necessities... In addition, it's important that I keep in mind the value of my time. If I spend hours to save a few dollars on something that I don't enjoy, then I'm going to get burned out. Lastly, even in the areas where we splurge we do so wisely – even though it’s a splurge I don’t want to overpay.

What things do we like to splurge on? I’m glad you asked! ;)
  • traveling, both near and far
  • taking advantage of the great amusement park just 20 minutes from our house
  • belonging to our local YMCA
  • celebrating big and little events in our lives

What things are less important to us?
  • Having a big house - for me that just means more to clean. I do enjoy decorating our home and making improvements, but we do much of the work ourselves and take on projects one at a time as we have the time and money to devote to them.
  • Clothes - I love clothes, but I will never be mistaken for trendy...I try to stick with pieces I really love, that fit well, and that are going to last. I love shopping at consignment shops, and for my girls we are lucky to have an excellent supply of gently worn hand me downs.
  • Having the perfect car - we know what we like, but buying new is something we try and avoid at all costs. Gently broken in is much more affordable, and allows us to get a nicer car than we might have afforded if we bought it new.
How do we make sure we're spending wisely when we splurge? We use talk to friends and search the internet before we buy. I rely heavily on menu planning and stockpiling. I cook from scratch as much as I can without stressing myself out, and freezer cook when our favorites are on sale. I keep a price book for things I use regularly so I know when I’m getting a good deal. I also follow a few sites that are a big help, including Mommy's Wish List, Freebies 4 Mom, Inexpensively, and BabyCheapskate. Even when it comes to necessities we stockpile when a great deal comes up - for me this includes kids clothes, holiday clearance, diapers and wipes, and presents for friends and family, as long as I know I will use them.

What are your secrets to being frugal? I'd love to hear them!

*this post is my entry into Inexpensively's Blissfully Frugal contest* If you're interested in attending Blissdom, you should check it out!

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The finer things in life...

I'm guest posting about the finer things in life today over at Amy's place! Please stop by and take a peek at some of the things that made me happy this week. I love this carnival, as it's full of the big and small things that make life sweet - and as Amy says, so often the finer things aren't things at all!

What fine things have you enjoyed this week? I'd love to hear about them!

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Monday, January 4, 2010

My head hitting the pillow is like a gong unto my children's ears

Sweetpea is flirting with the idea of giving up her last nap. She's in that stage where she really still needs it, but doesn't necessarily WANT it - playing is just too much fun. On the days she does nap, I have this pipe dream that I'll get to catch a few winks myself. Every once in awhile I actually get sucked into thinking it's all going to work out...only to hear someone crying as soon as my head hits the pillow.

Luckily, when that happens, I have at least one of these adorable girls to play with:

I've been known to remind them that they are lucky they're cute.

Overall the sleep at night is going pretty well, so once I catch up from the holiday drain things should be good to go. I'm determined that 2010 is the year I'll get my groove back...since for a variety of reasons I spent much of 2009 not feeling like myself.

Among other things, I'm going to spend time this week reflecting on my goals for 2009 and sketching out new goals for 2010. Do you have your goals/resolutions all set up by new year's eve, or are you more like me, getting to it at the start of the fresh shiny new year? In the next few posts I'll talk more about what I'm hoping and planning for this year. What are you working on? I'd love to hear all about it! :)

Congrats to Brooke for winning the Robeez giveaway! Stay tuned, I'm way behind but I have several great giveaways in the near future.

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