Wednesday, January 30, 2013

As a mom I....

Today I'm linking up withe fabulous Samantha and Melissa for some funny mommy stories.



This week for me is a huge reminder that I need to purge my house. Yesterday I was trying to switch around a load of laundry, no big deal right? Wrong. So I gate BK in my bedroom, run downstairs to do the laundry gig, and come right back up. I was literally gone four minutes. This is what I walked in to find

Yes my child is covered in maxi pads! Where the hell did she even find those? How did she get them open?
Wondering what that is at the bottom of the picture? That HUGE thing is indeed an ice pad. For all of you non-mommies out there that is what you wear in your pants when you get sent home from the hospital.


As a mom I.... Am constantly reminded that my house is never clean enough.



*please ignore the crap carpet. We've replaced all the flooring in our house but our room. So that's happening next month*


January Giveaway

Today my super fabulous sponsors are hosting a giveaway for you! I'm super excited to bring this to y'all.
Tara from Faith, Hope, and Mommyhood is giving away a Scentsy plug in and two bars.
Katie from Life with the D's is giving away a custom hand stamped initial necklace from her shop.
Joanna from ModaMama is giving away a month of cool ad space.

You know you want to win this loot.

*I'm going to be changing up my sponsor options in March and that month I will also be having a HUGE giveaway in honor of BK's birthday. So hop on my sponsor options now. For the next week you can get 30% off using code football*

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

No not really, but I am going to talk about a sisterhood today. My biffle Ashley talked about part of her college experience yesterday and I wanted to write a "sister" post if you will. When I was in college I was a sorority girl, a Zeta Tau Alpha to be exact.

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Right now I'm sure you are either lumping me with the Sorority girl stereotype or you were a greek life member yourself so you're probably reminiscing back on your days. I dont blame you, most people view greek life in one way... party people. Yes we color coordinated for parties. Yes sometimes we did "obnoxious" chants at bars. And I wont lie I did my fair share of partying, I probably did some of my best table dancing in this time, but it wasnt at the fault of my sorority. To be honest I was much more tame due to Zeta. We had designated drivers available on the weekends, a home to go to on campus, and there was always someone watching my back. But we were way more than party girls.

We did community service every month. We had a philanthropy that worked with very actively, and breast cancer awareness is still very dear to my heart. Our grades were held to high standards, and we were required to be in the library a certain number of hours a week. I would honestly say that my active semesters were the ones were my grades were the best.

The best thing that I took away from my Zeta days were the friendships. I have been friends with some of these fabulous ladies for over eight years now. They were bridesmaids and attendants of my wedding {in Mexico}, they were at my baby shower, they call to check on me when I'm sick. I'm even lucky enough to have a few that are mamas like myself, and we have play dates with our girls.

I've even been blessed to connect with other Zetas through blogging, like Ashley & Samantha. If the worst I got from my sorority days is some massive hangovers and people judging me then I didnt make out to bad. So I'm proud I'm a sorority girl, I'm especially proud that I'm a Zeta Tau Alpha.

And to be quite honest I see a lot of similarities in sorority sisterhoods and the blogging community. Maybe that's why I love it so much and feel so at home.
*Disclaimer- My college computer died so I lost most of the photo of my "glory days" including my sorority photos. I'm sure my child(ren) will thank me later that they never have to stumble upon these photos*




Monday, January 28, 2013

Cara Box Reveal

Today is the big day! The Cara Box Reveal. This month was resolutions. 

Cara Box

I had Erin so you will have to head over to her and see what she got for her resolutions! The amazing Elise completely spoiled me this month! I mean her box was just amazing and so, so thoughtful.

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She wrapped all of my gifts using the cutest paper ever! I mean polka dots on craft paper? I need this for my stash.
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Here is all of my goodies together.
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I got the pink shopping notebook for my blog and the gorgeous gold notebook for home stuff.
She included beautiful hemp bookmark for my love of reading.
Some super fabulous pens, that are helping me color code everything {OCD at its finest}.
She also put in a distance/calorie counter to help me kick those pesky five pounds!
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And look at this amazing recipe binder. How sweet was she to monogram this for me? She also went through and labeled different meal types and included some of her favorite recipes. I mean she put so much thought into this!
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And she included treats for Daisymae and a super cute summer dress for Brooklyn Grace!
Both Cara Boxes that I've participated in have just been amazing. I love this exchange that Kaitlyn has organized and you should definitely join in next month!

A foodie confession + a recipe

I wont lie, I'm a bit of a food snob. The husband and I LOVE going out to eat at new and exciting restaurants. We also really enjoy getting creative in the kitchen, we even have our own Iron Chef competitions. But I do have a chain restaurant weakness... The Olive Garden. I don’t know about yall but I could eat my weight in Olive Garden. When S and I first started dating I think he fell in love with me the night he took me to the OG. He was amazed at how much I put away. But those darn breadsticks and soup are like crack I tell ya. While I was pregnant I craved it! I decided that I just needed to make my own version of my favorite OG soup so that I didn’t have to go so frequently. So here is my take on Zuppa Toscana {it's a bit healthier as well} 

OG Mayor Soup
1/2 Head of kale, chopped
¾ can of cannellini beans
¾ cup chopped mushrooms
2 large red potatoes sliced
1 package sausage
1 tablespoon garlic
1 teaspoon pepper
1 quart low sodium chicken broth
15 oz can of fat free evaporated milk
½ tablespoon butter

Brown sausage in pot until fully cooked. Remove sausage and drain all but 1 teaspoon of grease.
Add butter to pot and melt. Sautee mushrooms, garlic, and onions until onions are translucent.

Add potatoes to pot and cover. Cook for three minutes.
Add kale and beans and stir. Replace lid and cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in pepper, broth, and evaporated milk. Cover and bring to a boil.
Remove lid and reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Dance Party Friday

Do you ever just feel relieved by the time Friday rolls around? Like I can finally turn my brain off. woo hoo. So today is probably going to be a bit of a brain dump.

*It's finally the weekend and we have a busy one ahead of us. Tonight the inlaws come into town. We have dinner plans tonight, and I plan on making my margarita dreams of yesterday come to life. Plans to clean our horribly dirty garage tomorrow {is that sweet of them or what}. Then tomorrow night we're cooking a super yummy feast of prime rib. #nomnomnom

*Have I mentioned that we have a very b.i.g birthday coming up? I am in full on party planning mode. I think it's safe to say that I'm even worse than with our wedding. Does that make me momzilla? I've started to work with the amazing Kristen of Little Laws Prints to design the invites. This is the proof she sent me. I mean really I die of the cuteness.

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*I read all of the Beautiful Creatures books this past fall and I am sososo excited for this movie to come out in a few weeks. I might get a babysitter and go see the movie as a little Valentine's Day present to myself.
*Yesterday we got some snow flurries. So of course I bundled BK up and took her outside for some pictures. I'm a first time mom, I have to document these things people. This is my cute little snow bunny.
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Then she tipped over.
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Too.many.clothes. haha.
*Lets hope some actual snow accumulates today. For the sake of BK's photo opportunities.
*Lastly, I leave you with some tunes. Every Friday BK and I start the day with some dancing and this was our first song of the morning. 

What songs are you dancing to today?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

back to school, back to school.... to prove to dad that I'm not a fool

I'm not sure if y'all remember, but my focus for the month of January is work. This month I've done a lot of thinking about what I want to do with the rest of my life, because as much as I love getting to spend every.single.minute. with BK I know that it cannot last forever. While I cannot say that I have made any monumental decisions {yet}, one thing that has crossed my mind more than once is going back to school.
There are so many pros to going back.
-getting a degree in something that I actually want to use forever
-setting a great example for my child{ren}
-a better future aka more money

The main problem with going back is that it is quite expensive! I mean tuition, childcare for BK, and books. Oh the books! They're so expensive. That is where comes in. They are here to help make school a little less of a hit. Some of the perks of their program are:
-save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
-free shipping both ways
-can highlight in the textbooks
-flexible renting periods
-we donate to Operation Smile with each textbook rented

I mean how great is that? Plus you dont have to fight the bookstore crowds. It's always a nightmare that first week of classes.

And they just started a new venture that is truly so cool. It's called Rent Back. RentBack is a new initiative that allows students to rent the textbooks they own - to other students... which is awesome because it makes them 2-4x more money compared to what they'd make through buyback options. Dont you absolutely HATE it when you go to sell your books back at the end of the semester and they offer you pennies? I mean sometimes I want to lash out at the clerk. Oh you'll give me $13 for a book I paid $134 just three months ago?!? That makes perfect sense, not. So here is a new way for you to actually get your cash back! I might just go look for some old books from my college days. You never know right?!?

I'm still not 100% sure what I want to do, but knowing that I have options like this makes me way more optimistic.

{I was compensated for this post, but the opinions are all my own}

Thirsty Thursdays

Hopefully I am frolicking in some snow right now, but lets be honest I live in Virginia so probably not. Today I am joining my two favorite link ups!

30 Second Thursdays

First up is 30 Second Vlog Thursday!

Next is

Its Ok Thursdays
This week It's Ok:

-That I still feel super awkward when I vlog
-to be really hoping for snow
-that I'm making these margaritas tonight and I plan on drinking the whole batch
-to cry every time I think about my baby turning o-n-e
-that even though I'm hoping for snow I am SOOO ready for summer
-to really want to go to a blogging conference this year even though I'm not a "big" blogger
-to be really thankful for how wonderful all of yall were when I was a little down earlier this week. Thank you so much for reaching out to me!

What are you saying "It's Ok" to this week?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Shop My Closet

With BK's birthday coming up I am in full on purge mode. Time to clean our closets and get rid of the excess. Before I make a trip to Goodwill I thought I'd post a few things that y'all might want. Here are just a few of the things I'm selling. I'll be adding more throughout the day.

Find me on Instagram

Any mamas, or mamas to be, out there interested in baby goodies?

How to scar your children for life

We live in the time of the voyeur. I mean how else would you describe all of the sharing that is done via the interwebs? At times I worry if I share a little too much, especially when it comes to BK. Will she grow up and hate me for the plethora of posts about her? Possibly, but such is the way of the world. I actually believe it is mandatory of all parents. Somewhere it is written that a little embarrassment is good for the soul. Or something like that.

So today I bring you the best ways to embarass your child.

1) Wear matching outfits
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Now if that face doesnt scream enthusiasm I dont know what does.

2) Take and post bath time pictures
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Posting is key! Just be sure to keep the goods hidden. I dont know a single soul that doesnt love bath time pictures.

3) Home videos
Because we need to have tangible proof that they did in fact love us at one point.
There you have it, my top three tips. Your children will thank me later. And if they dont, well it's not as bad as the time my mom answered the door to the pizza man with her boob hanging out. But that's a story for a different day.
Did I forget anything? How did your parents embarass you?


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Lost World

Today I am feeling discouraged. I'm sure it is normal. I'm sure all bloggers face it at one time or another. But it sucks.

Over the past week or so I've lost a few readers, and to be honest I'm not sure why.

Is it my poor grammar?

Is it my content?

Is it a lack of giveaways lately?

See I think I'm pretty witty. Most of the time I think I write quality content that can appeal to a pretty diverse audience. I post on the regular.

I dont want people here simply for the giveaways, I want you here because you can relate to what I have to say. I want to interact with you, get to know you. This blog is real and it's raw. It's honest. So I take it personally when that number on the sidebar drops. Probably a little too much, I've always been a sensitive soul. But I want this blog to grow. I want to open new doors and opportunities. Not just for me but for you guys as well.

I have a goal of getting to 500 readers by Brooklyn's birthday. I'm going to get there. I'm going to take these feelings and turn them into motivation.

Time to brush the haters off. ha! {I've always wanted to say that}


Cherry Cheesecake Dip + A giveaway

Today the fabulous Tiffany is taking over my blog. Y'all this recipe looks delicious! I will definitely be making it for the super bowl.


Hello Brooklyn State of Mind readers! I am excited to be featured here today. My name is Tiffany and I blog over at Little Gems. To avoid a really long, boring introduction of myself I am going to pretend I am limited to 6 phrases. Here goes:

Follower of Jesus  
Wife to an awesome man for 5 years
Mommy to a 6 month old beauty
Nurse extraordinaire (not really) 
Lover of Coffee
Etsy Shop owner (Little Gems Creations)

There you go, that's mostly it. As you can imagine I blog about all sorts of family and mommy things. Of course I can't resist showing you a picture of my little family so here you are...

Today I have 2 awesome things for you readers today! The first is an absolutely yummy recipe for Cherry Cheesecake Dip and the second is a giveaway
Let's Get Started

Warning: This recipe may sabotage any New Years resolution to stay away from sweets. 

 Cherry Cheese Cake Dip. I have made this dip on several occasions, for parties and family get together's and the like. Each and every time I come home with an empty dish with only a few sad crumbs in the bottom. Everyone always raves about it and I just do an evil laugh to myself because I know how easy it is to make. You can see the original recipe here. This lady gets all the credit for it. See, it's not even an original recipe and people still think I'm a genius when they taste it. 

You will need:
1 box of Graham Crackers (I used Honey flavored but any kind will work)
2 tubs of cool whip (I used generic)
1 block of cream cheese
1 jar of Marshmallow fluff (aka heaven in a jar)
2 cans of Cherry Pie filling
*These ingredients were enough to make 2 small dishes or 1 large dish.

Crush a sleeve of Grahams and pour into bottom of dish, smooth down

Mix Cool whip, cream cheese and Marshmallow fluff in a big bowl

Layer that on top of the crushed grahams (be careful when you smooth this layer down not to mix the crushed grahams in, you have to be delicate) I divided this between 2 dishes.

Pour 1 jar of Cherry Pie filling on top. If you make a large dish you would but both jars on top. 

Break apart the rest of your grahams to dip with and enjoy!

I have tried this dip at room temperature and after it has chilled over night, both taste great!

Now for the giveaway.
Because I love the nail polish craze that is currently everywhere you look (I may or may not have a Pinterest board devoted to it), I have decided to give away 2 fabulous colors : Grey and Mint, 2 full size nail files, and a 5 piece pedicure set. Who wouldn't want that? So Enter away! 


Monday, January 21, 2013

Extreme couponing

Do you coupon? Today was my first ever experience using a coupon, and they practically fell into my lap. True story. Apparently I am a VIP at Target because they sent me this trusty book of coupons in the mail.


I was super excited as I really have no understanding of extreme couponing. I mean where do you get your coupons? Do they work at all stores? How do you "double up" on coupons? Am I even using correct coupon lingo?

Really and truly I would love to learn more. Anyone care to share their tips and tricks? I'm promise I'm a good student!

Shameless reminder to please vote for me! I'm slipping a smidgen in the polls


Mint Cocoa Brownies

While I was sick last week I got a serious sweet tooth. I mean that's only natural when you can't keep regular food down right?!? Anyways, I raided my pantry to see what I could whip together with the ingredients I had and this is what I came up with. They're fudgey and delicious!

Mint Cocoa Brownies
  • 3/4 cup salted caramel hot cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 3/4  cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 12 mint truffle Hershey kisses
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease and flour 9x13 inch pan.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the cocoa and baking soda, add 1/3 c veg oil and boiling water. Mix until well blended and thickened.
  4. Stir in the sugar, eggs, and remaining 1/3 c veg oil. Mix together.
  5. Finally add the flour, vanilla, and salt. mix just until all of the flour is absorbed.
  6. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Space out Hershey kisses evenly & press down into batter.
  7. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool before cutting.
Next time I will probably chop the kisses up and then mix them into the batter. So you might want to try that. I just gave the recipe directly as I did it.

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