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Monday, September 30, 2013

Tell Me About It Tuesday Linky Party

Welcome to Tell Me About It Tuesday and Thank you to our hosts
Sweet Silly Sara

Green Living, Product Reviews, Giveaways, Toddlers
Woman of Many Roles

Woman of Many Roles
Pickles and Peppers

Pickles & Peppers
Giveaways 4 Mom

Giveaways 4 Mom

 Saving For My Family


More From Mom



With A Side Of Thriftiness




Come link up your DIY, Recipes, Crafts and General Content posts. No etsy, shops, giveaways  please.

You can link up as many posts as you like! Don't forget to visit a link for every post you link up. It would be super if you could leave a comment or share the post you are visiting! Please don't be a link and run blogger! The fun of these parties is to check out what everyone has been up to!

Our top 3 features from last week are:

Why I Won't Be Renewing My Amazon Prime Membership- Creative Savings

Rain Gutter Garden- Pin n Tell

Caramel Apple Round Up- Just Short of Crazy

Please help this party grow by sharing it with your friends! We don't require a backlink but a tweet or facebook mention would be amazing!






Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dear Weary Mom

Dear Weary Mom,

For months I have felt like I am drowning in a sea of work, responsibility, reality and messes. I have felt like my house is never clean like it should be. My hair is always a mess, my family doesn't get the love or attention they need from me. I have felt like I don't have the time to be the best me that I can be.

I have felt guilty for longing for a break. I have felt guilty on the days I tried to just let it all go and not worry about folding laundry, washing dishes, running the vacuum.

I have felt guilty if I slack on my work as a virtual assistant, and if I don't take on the projects that I am offered.

I have felt angry of my husband who is not always the best at helping when I need it. I admit feeling jealous and resentful of him at times too. I am so ashamed of those feelings!

I bet some of you Moms out there feel the same way too.

Last week I took a leap. I have never relied on anyone to help with my son. We had a once a week, 2 hours at a time sitter when he was turning 2, but it was really just a way to help a neighbor's teenage daughter earn $10 a week for her own pleasures without straining Mom, who was out of work. She didn't really keep him busy, or help me do things around here. But I realized last week that I can't be the best me when I don't have time to try.

So I hired a sitter, she comes on Wednesdays for 2 or 3 hours in the afternoon so I can work, nap, or just be alone for a minute.

I wasn't hopeful that it would work out, but my son fell head over heels for her right away. He loved having her play with him, and I loved being able to sit down and work for 2 hours without distraction.

Does that make me a bad mom? I sure hope not, but I guess it is a chance I have to take.

Sometimes we need a break from our kids. We love them with all of our hearts, but we need time to be human and step away from the identity of being a Mom that can consume us if we don't watch it.

Dear Weary Mom, if you haven't had time for you in the past month, do yourself a favor. Find someone that can watch your kids for a few hours.  Go to a movie, get your hair styled, take a nap or read a book. It is a vacation for your mind, your body and your soul.

After I stepped away from my child for 2 hours I felt... better. I felt more patient, less stressed and much happier than I have felt in many years. When I stepped back into the role of Mommy 2 hours later I was happy to see him and he was happier to see me. Absence made both hearts grow fonder!

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Tell Me about It Tuesday

Welcome to Tell Me About It Tuesday and Thank you to our hosts
Sweet Silly Sara

Green Living, Product Reviews, Giveaways, Toddlers
Woman of Many Roles

Woman of Many Roles
Pickles and Peppers

Pickles & Peppers
Giveaways 4 Mom

Giveaways 4 Mom

 Saving For My Family


More From Mom



With A Side Of Thriftiness




Come link up your DIY, Recipes, Crafts and General Content posts. No etsy, shops, giveaways  please.

Don't forget to visit a link for every post you link up. It would be super if you could leave a comment or share the post you are visiting! Please don't be a link and run blogger! The fun of these parties is to check out what everyone has been up to!

Here are your features from last week!


The Taylor House- Cookies n Cream Popcorn


A Heart Full of Love- Monster Eyes Halloween Wreath




Sweet Silly Sara- Cookies Cookies Cookies









Sunday, September 22, 2013

Saturday #176

On this Saturday, #176, I woke up sick. Roo had been down with a nasty cold for a few days and I could tell I was next. I woke up exhausted and a mess. I tried to stay in good spirits, I went through a ton of tissues and water. I played with Roo and wore myself out. I needed a nap by 8:30 in the morning.

When I got back up 45 minutes later I jumped in the shower and got dressed. I always feel a little better when I am up and moving. I stepped outside and the weather was perfect. My husband agreed, a nicer day couldn't be found. We decided to head out to the Orchard and pick apples with Rolfie. He liked picking blueberries this summer and he enjoyed the experience last fall too.

Apple Hill Orchards holds a special spot in my heart. We got our cat from the baker there and we have enjoyed visiting the Orchard several times a year since we moved to this area. I knew that I would feel better if we went there, walked around the apple trees and enjoyed the sunshine.

We picked 1/2 a bushel of apples while we were there. I have plans to make apple crisp and apple sauce this week when I am feeling better. While we were there we sliced one of our treasured apples and shared with Roo who normally wouldn't eat an apple. He felt brave I guess and he took a bite. He found it to be delicious! He ate half an apple on the spot. My husband and I were so proud of him for trying something new!

After that we decided to come home and rest, which was perfect. I needed the rest as did the little one.

We had a nice dinner on the deck, Roo had a warm bath and was ready to go to bed. Adam and I intended to watch Mud, but we were both tired too and fell asleep on the sofa by 9:30 or so.

Saturday #176 was not action packed but it was nice.

I hope you were able to enjoy the day with your loved ones too!
Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Perfect Baked Potatoes

Baked Potatoes are a simple side dish that just about everyone can make.  I have perfected the process of baking a potato and turning it from simple and average to something special that takes only about 1 minute longer to prepare than your everyday version.


Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Scrub your potatoes and pat them dry with a towel, then stab them 5 or 6 times with a knife.

Prepare a mixture of sea salt, fresh ground pepper (to taste- if you like a lot of salt and pepper then use to your hearts content, if just a touch will do it for you then a few simple twists of the grinder will be perfect) and  3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese on a plate.


Then rub them with cooking oil or olive oil (use what you have on hand).

Roll a potato in the salt, pepper and parmesan cheese and wrap in foil. Repeat until you have used all of the potatoes you planned to bake.


Place them on a cookie sheet and allow to bake for 50 to 75 minutes, depending upon the size of the potato. To test them, when you think they are done stab them with a fork. If the potatoes meet no resistance they are ready to serve.

My family loves Baked Potatoes this way, the skin is a little crispier, the seasoning on the exterior adds a little zing to the potato and they look great! I have been complimented many times over my Baked Potatoes and have been told they are better than something you get in a restaurant!

I love to serve these because it is an inexpensive yet healthy option to compliment most any meal, or you can turn these into the main course if you add a little cheese, green onion, sour cream and bacon to the potatoes as toppings.

We will be falling back on this tried and true option for meals many times in the weeks as we adjust to having a new baby. I hope you try it and like it too!








Monday, September 16, 2013

Tell Me About it Tuesday

Welcome to Tell Me About It Tuesday and Thank you to our hosts
Sweet Silly Sara

Green Living, Product Reviews, Giveaways, Toddlers
Woman of Many Roles

Woman of Many Roles
Pickles and Peppers

Pickles & Peppers
Giveaways 4 Mom

Giveaways 4 Mom

 Saving For My Family


More From Mom



With A Side Of Thriftiness




Come link up your DIY, Recipes, Crafts and General Content posts. No etsy, shops, giveaways  please.

Don't forget to visit a link for every post you link up. It would be super if you could leave a comment or share the post you are visiting!

The most viewed links from last week were:
Pittsburgh Frugal Mom's Frugal Holiday Shopping Year Round
My Unentitled Life's DIY Air Freshener
My Sweet Moose's Pregnancy Sucks
(Sorry for the lack of pics this week everyone. I nearly forgot to get the linky ready again!)

Let's see what you have been up to this week!




Friday, September 13, 2013

Saturday #175

There was a chill in the air in the morning of Saturday #175. My family felt like spending the day outdoors and the early morning weather made it seem like fall. Our thoughts immediately turned to festivals!

We scoped out the current events and decided to drive about an hour or so away to attend the Yankee Peddler Festival. We had never gone and have always wanted to check it out.

We enjoyed the ride over. My son was happy to go "bye bye". It has been hard on him to adjust to our new routine. When Daddy was home every day this summer, he went bye bye daily. Mommy likes to be at home and I am content with taking a walk for out of the house time. Roo is a mover and a shaker. He needs to go someplace daily, in his opinion, and a walk around the neighborhood doesn't cut it.

I was a little put off at first as $10 per adult is kind of steep for a craft show type of festival admission, but you only live once as the saying goes. We strolled around the grounds. We walked in the woods.

We came to a butterfly garden display that was enclosed. My feet were swelling, so I opted to grab a seat on a bench for a few minutes while the guys looked at butterflies. As I was sitting down a family came up and deposited their mentally challenged son on the bench, they went inside.

I smiled at the young man and he smiled at me. His eyes were so kind, he started showing me his treasures from the day and I talked to him about the festival. After a moment he smiled at me and said "Baby?" I told him "Yes, I am going to have a baby very soon. I had to sit down, my feet are sore." He smiled at me again and put his hand on my belly.

Normally I am put off by touching from most anyone, but this was such a sweet gesture that I smiled back at him and let him touch my belly.

We talked for a few minutes and he kept touching my belly and smiling. My husband was behind me, half shocked and a little concerned. The family finally came out and the boy told his Mom all about me and my baby. She smiled at me and told me how much he loves babies.  She thanked me for keeping him company.

My husband couldn't believe what he had watched, he said "You didn't mind him touching your belly?" I said "No, he was so sweet, I found it to be heart warming."

I walked away and thought about how I can feel okay with a stranger touching me, but I feel frustrated when some friends and family do it. I guess it is all instinct, I could tell this young man was pure of heart. He was trying to connect with me on a level that seemed natural to him.

We continued on in the festival and had lunch, where my son and I sat on a bench together and chatted about teddy, his favorite toy at this time. As we were eating he wiped his mouth on a napkin and smiled at me, he leaned over and gave me a huge kiss. I melted. I hugged him tight and he wrapped his arms around my neck and sighed "Mommy". I felt like I had won the lottery to have him just love me out of the blue like that, with all of the distractions around us.

We walked around for a little over 3 hours. We listened to music, we enjoyed the setting and we were ready to head home. My husband decided Applebee's was in order, so we stopped near home for dinner. Roo wanted to sit with Mommy, he was feeling so lovey, that he continued to shower me with hugs and kisses, to the point of my husband telling me he was jealous.

It was a nice day to spend with my family. I was very sore when I got home, but I needed the exercise and I enjoyed it. I guess I just need to stop and rest a little more often on such adventures.

I will cherish the memory of the day with my family as it was the 3 of us, my son was an angel and he made me feel like the luckiest mom in the world that day, to be loved so deeply by a sweet little boy.
Harper will be here in less than a month now and our family is changing, the memories I will hold onto of these special days with Rolf are priceless. I am excited about having a baby. I am excited about giving Rolf the gift of a sibling, but I want Rolf to form memories of just us too.

I hope you were able to enjoy the day with the people you love!
Thursday, September 12, 2013

One Dish Meal Ideas Part 2

  •  Photo Credit: Photos belong to their respective owners. All recipes are linked from the photographs – click on a photo to visit the creator’s blog and view the recipes. 


I am back again with a second round of One Dish Meal Ideas to share with you. I hope this helps you find something to make for dinner without making a big mess!

Haystacks would make a great meal when you are looking for something delicious and easy.

Macaroni and Cheese- It is so good it has its own holiday. Perfect for kids and grown ups!

Crescent Rolls with Bacon, Spinach and Cheese- this sounds super good! Definitely one to try!

Tater Tot Casserole- This one made it on the list as it would appeal to my son. I think most kids would like this!

Easy Cheesy Spinach Bake- My son would not like this... but you can't eat 'kid food' all the time!

Chunky Baked Potato Chowder - My husband would love this and I would love to make it for him to let him know that I am still thinking about him even though the kids seem to have taken over my attention.

Enchilada Cake - I must try this recipe and soon. We love Mexican food!


Alright, now you have new ideas of what to cook without creating too many dirty dishes. What are you waiting for? Get busy cooking!
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dear Weary Mom

Dear Weary Mom,

Do you ever yell at your kids? Or your husband? Or your friends, neighbors, co workers, or assorted relatives? I do. I hate that I stoop to that level sometimes and I always feel such guilt after I have yelled.

I yelled at my son today for being a kid.... in all fairness, he was being a kid who wouldn't listen and he was doing something dangerous, but still, yelling at him didn't make the situation better and it didn't make me feel better right away.

Roo can read between the lines at the age of 3. He is growing to be a bright boy. Anyhow, a source of irritation and or annoyance in my marriage is that I have not been able to attend classes for about a year now. I desperately want my degree! But, my husband is able to attend classes at Ohio State. This makes me feel... a little jealous at times.

My husband doesn't seem to appreciate the opportunity he has in going to such a great school. He doesn't understand how many people would jump through burning rings of fire to have that chance. When he starts complaining about his situation of going to college, I naturally get very put out.

Today he was complaining about one of his classes and how he isn't understanding the work, instead of trying to find a solution he starts talking about how can he get out of the class at this point. I remained calm and said nothing until my mind was as calm as my exterior, but my son caught on that this is going to make Mom grumpy, it always does.

After I had considered how I would say what I wanted to say (Which was- "Instead of complaining and justifying failure, why are you not going to tutoring once a week? If you are spending the time here trying to do the work and not getting it done, wouldn't it make sense to go to the Student Center and get help with the work so that you are learning how to do it right?") I approached my husband about it. Before I could turn around from saying my peace, my son was on the dining room table. This scares me! He wants to leap off of the table into my arms but I am a) not as fast on my feet as I once was being so pregnant and b) I can't be catching him like this! What if I miss and he gets hurt?!

I told him "No, honey get down! We don't stand on the table, we don't jump off the table!" I helped him get down. I stepped away to let the dog inside and within a matter of seconds he climbed up on a chair and was back on the table. Repeat the nagging about getting down. I help him down again and he climbs right back up. This went on for about 5 minutes. I laid the chairs on their sides on the floor to keep him from climbing up... he proceeded to drag a chair over and start to climb again. As he is back up on the table I just lost my cool. I yelled at him. It didn't do any good of course.

I was feeling frustrated at that point, so I also yelled at my husband for never being around to help out.

Then I yelled at the cat, who has made it his mission to remain under my feet at all times. I am always tripping over him.

Before I could even get the words out of my mouth with the cat, my son was back into trouble, looking to get me to yell again. I finally had to step away and go outside to take a deep breath. I felt out of control of my home and my family.

I swear sometimes I have better luck talking to the Chia Pet!

Do you ever feel like that? Do you yell and then feel bad? Do you feel like no one is listening, and if they are they don't care what you have said?

Sometimes it seems as if we are doomed. If we don't yell at our family, they could get hurt. It is not like we enjoy yelling and sounding like insane people (Seriously some of the things a Mom has to yell about are flat out crazy!) But if we remain silent who knows what could happen to those we love. We have to be the voice of reason, the warning sign, the police in a sense. It is not a fun job to have!

While I was outside taking my moment to breathe, I started to feel terrible. I leaned on the railing of the deck and sobbed. I thought... "My son can't feel loved when I am yelling at him like that."

Then I walked back inside the house to find he is on the table AGAIN! With a huge goofy grin. It hit me then that being a parent is kind of like... insanity! We do the same things over and over again, expecting better results, but we never get them, so we resort to yelling. But, I realized something important, I might be yelling out of frustration at times, but behind that frustration is love. I love my family enough to yell at them, to keep them safe, to tell them I expect better, to try to get through to them on some level that talking in a normal voice doesn't.

So if you are a mom that yells, Dear Weary Mom, don't be too hard on yourself. You love your family enough to care, to show emotion, to speak up loudly when you need to. Your kids will be okay, assuming you aren't going ballistic day in and day out at the drop of a hat. They would be worse off if you became so indifferent that you didn't care enough to raise your voice every now and then.



Monday, September 9, 2013

Tell Me About It Tuesday Link Party

Welcome to Tell Me About It Tuesday and Thank you to our hosts
Sweet Silly Sara

Green Living, Product Reviews, Giveaways, Toddlers
Woman of Many Roles

Woman of Many Roles
Pickles and Peppers

Pickles & Peppers
Giveaways 4 Mom

Giveaways 4 Mom

 Saving For My Family


More From Mom



With A Side Of Thriftiness


The most clicked links from last week were:


91 Day Declutter Challenge from Saving For My Family

Strawberry Breakfast Parfaits from the Taylor House


Come link up your DIY, Recipes, Crafts and General Content posts. No etsy, shops, giveaways  please.

Don't forget to visit a link for every post you link up. It would be super if you could leave a comment or share the post you are visiting! That is what makes this party fun for everyone!








Saturday, September 7, 2013

Saturday #174

It seems like I just wrote the a Saturday post and now it is time for another! Time goes by so fast doesn't it? On Saturday #174 my family opted to stay home so that we can visit East Harbor Park on Lake Erie on Sunday for our final swimming day of the year.

I woke up with a happy son who was full of smiles, giggles and kisses for me. Waking up with a happy boy always makes for a happy Mommy. I realize that Roo is going to transition to a big boy bed at some point in the next 6 months or so and that makes me savor our morning wake up time. Of all of the things I have done as a parent, co sleeping is one that I will never regret. I love the closeness and the chance to see him first thing in the morning.

I wasn't feeling 100% on this day. I woke up feeling about 1,000 years old and very pregnant. I waddled to get his breakfast ready and feed the cat, my lower body was achy and sore. I was relieved to not need to rush around trying to get Roo and myself ready for any adventures.

When my husband woke up I heaved a sigh of relief. I just wanted to lie down on the sofa for a while. My feet were swollen and I felt exhausted at 8:30 am, so to just rest was a welcome break. I watched Bob the Builder with my son who could sense I wasn't feeling so great. He pulled out all of the stops and made me smile and laugh with his cute 3 year old antics.

When I felt a little better I got started on organizing my cupboards, I pulled out things we will probably never consume to send to community action and a bag of goodies for my husband to take to work. Some for the break room, some for the classroom. I took care of the little bit of housework I needed to do and then I snuggled up with Rolfie under a blanket. We played Peek-A Roo and watched a cartoon together.

After lunch I was feeling exhausted again so my husband took Roo for a walk and a trip to the park while I napped for an hour. That was nice. To nap in the afternoon did me a lot of good. When they came home Roo was upset and was crying for me, so I got up to hang out with him. We played "dudes" and he played the piano for me for a while.

I cooked a great dinner of steak and potatoes and before I knew it, it was time for a bath and Roo went to bed. It was a relaxed pace kind of day but it went by really fast! I am looking forward to our trip to the Lake and the chance to play in the water and sand with my son. It is hard to believe it is Labor Day weekend already, in just a few weeks Harper will be here!

I hope you had a chance to spend time with your family this weekend. There are only 940 Saturdays from the time your children are born until they are ready for college. Isn't that unbelievable?



Cookies Cookies Cookies!

 Photo Credit: Photos belong to their respective owners. All recipes are linked from the photographs – click on a photo to visit the creator’s blog and view the recipes.


I have been in the mood to bake lately. Baking relaxes me and it gives me a way to show special people in my life that I was thinking of them and I care. I found a few yummy cookie recipes I want to share with you.



Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies- Perfect for the chocolate/peanut butter combo fans in your life.

S'mores Cookies- Hang onto the taste of summer a little bit longer with these treats!





These Cotton Candy Cake Cookies are lovely!

Jello Cookies look fun! And I love new uses for a pantry staple.


I love that you can use Sugar Twin for less calories in the Soft Brown Sugar Cookie recipe.


These Watermelon Cookies look fun! 

I love lemon so Italian Lemon Drop Cookies are on my must make list!



Chocolate Fudge Espresso Cookies would be perfect for my coffee loving hubby!



I would love to hear all about your favorite cookie recipe. Happy Baking!