My Writings. My Thoughts.

Cafe Escapes

// February 6th, 2013 // No Comments » // Food, General

I got the opportunity to try out this product from BzzAgent.com. I was more than pleasantly surprised when I got my Bzzkit and found 2 boxes of k-cups in some super yummy flavors :-) Using the word “decadent” is an understatement. This stuff is the bomb! Cafe Escapes comes in six varieties including Chai Latte, Milk and Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa, Café Mocha and the two newest Café Escapes® flavors: Café Vanilla and Café Caramel. My personal fav…Cafe Caramel. I can’t get enough of this stuff and its great on these chilly mornings :-)

Glade Expressions

// February 6th, 2013 // No Comments » // General

Torani Sugar Free Syrups

// December 14th, 2012 // No Comments » // Food, Recipes

SheSpeaksbutton

So, I recently was given the opportunity to try out 2 Torani Sugar Free Syrups courtesy of She Speaks & Torani. I was more than excited when I saw that one of the flavors I had received was the Sugar Free Hazelnut. The other flavor I received was the Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie. I am NOT a fan of any thing ‘pumpkin pie’ flavored…so that was a disappointment, but the Hazelnut flavor more than made up for it.

The bottom line…I LOVE this product. I had never used a sugar free syrup before. I often have them added to my coffee when I go out and order one, but had not used in my home before. I am always watching my weight so to find something that I could add to my morning coffee (sans the calories) that tastes good was great! This product has an amazing flavor – nothing artificial. Not too sweet…unless you add too much. I can even drink my coffee with this and no creamer…that is a first! I will definitely be replacing my artificial sweeteners with Torani!

The hazelnut is by far my favorite. As I mentioned I am not a pumpkin fan. It was not bad tasting but for me it had a strong nutmeg/clove taste, which is what I do not like about pumpkin pie. If you are a pumpkin pie lover…you will LOVE this syrup and could probably find many uses for it…especially around the holidays. For now…I’m going to stick with the Hazelnut. Torani has over 100 delicious flavors. I am also VERY excited to try the Salted Caramel – which is also sugar free. I will be buying this product and replacing my artificial sweetener :-)

Here is how I have been using mine every day:

1 cup brewed Archer Farms Buttery Caramel coffee
Splash Torani Sugar Free Hazelnut syrup
International Delights Southern Butter Pecan creamer, to taste

These are a must have for the holidays…ENJOY!

**This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks & Torani – opinions are my own**

Filippo Berio Olive Oil

// May 3rd, 2012 // No Comments » // Food

I was so psyched to find out that I was accepted to the BzzAgent Filippo Berio Olive Oil campaign! I use olive oil daily (more than once a day) and getting a free bottle was like winning the lotto. My Bzzkit arrived the other day and I could not wait to open up my cute little bottle (I usually buy the huge ones cuz I use so much!). The first thing I made with it was a black olive tapenade…we were having guests and I needed a quick appetizer so this was perfect with some crackers and veggies. I plan on posting this recipe in my recipe section and will have pics of it soon :-)

How to potty train in 2 days

// February 1st, 2012 // No Comments » // General

So…the last time I wrote about this, my son was not potty trained. Happy to say that he has now been fully potty trained for 9 months and it only took him 36 hours to do it. I only wish that I had learned of the method that I used, when he was 18 months old. I could have saved myself a lot of time, energy and money!

After spending an exhausting amount of time doing the “passive” potty training method, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I did extensive research on the subject and found this:

* In the 1950, almost a 100% of children wore cloth diapers and 95% of these children were trained by the age of 18 months.
* In the 1980s, about 50% of children wore cloth diapers, while the other 50% wore disposable diapers and only about 50% of the children were potty trained by the age of 18months.
* Today, almost 90-95% of children wear disposable diapers and only about 10% of children are potty trained by the age of 18 months.
* Today, the average age for potty training is about 30 months with the age ranging from 18-60 months.

This not only shocked, but appalled me and I decided right then and there that my son would be fully potty trained the following week. After doing a little more research I found my “method”. Here is what I did.

On Saturday I told my hubby that potty training would begin on Monday morning and my son and I would not be leaving the house until he was fully potty trained. Sunday we awoke and had the talk with Dylan. We told him that diapers were no longer being made and that he now had to wear “big boy” underwear like daddy. We went shopping that day and let him pick out all the undies that he wanted. He came home washed them and placed them out so Dylan could see that they were all ready for the next day. That evening after Dylan went to bed, we prepared the house. We blocked off any rooms where we did not want him to “go”, padded the furniture and got the number of a good carpet cleaner :-) The next morning he awoke and we stripped him down naked. Yes, you read that right…this is the “naked” method. The theory here, is that if a child has anything on them, they will think it is still “OK” to go potty in it. If there is nothing there…they will quickly learn that when they go it’s gonna be quite a mess.

So, once Dylan was in his birthday suit, I had him sit on the potty…and he went. He then proceeded to walk from room to room and literally “mark his territory”. This occurred in 5 rooms before I gave up and threw on some undies. He then proceeded to go in those – lol. Off those came and I put on another pair. he also went in those. This is when I finally realized that I had to stick to the naked method or this was not gonna work. For the remainder of that day I carefully watched him for potty cues and repeatedly put him on his potties. Every time I did this, I said nothing, but then praised, praised, praised him for this. Note – I had one potty in the living room, one in his bedroom and a potty seat on one of the toilets.

To my surprise, by 10am I found him sitting on the potty (with no help from me) going “#2″. He was so proud of that :-) By the time my hubby got home that night we had been accident free for hours. That evening we told him that he would get to wear the big boy undies of his choice. Not wanting an accident in bed, I carefully slipped a pair of pull-ups inside of his undies and then distracted him while I slipped these on him. All he saw were the Spiderman undies, so he had no clue that there was “backup” inside :-) He pottied before bed and woke up the next morning dry. Day 2 – I repeated the steps from day one. By around 2pm I got brave and decided to run some errands with Dylan. On went the undies. We left the house and to my amazement…as soon as he had to go he told me. We made it home accident free and the rest is history. From that day on he was potty trained!

Now – I don’t want anyone thinking that he has never had an accident since then. He has had his moments. In fact after we took a long vacation, we returned and all of a sudden he started having accidents. Guess what? Back to the method I went and he learned pretty quickly that the potty is the only place for pee-pee. He has also had a couple of night time accidents…but those were completely my fault. Letting your little one have a huge glass of water right before bed is not such a good idea! Well, I hope this helps someone out there. The least you can do is give it a try…HAPPY POTTY TRAINING!

What a busy year!

// January 20th, 2012 // No Comments » // General

So I am just sitting here thinking about posting something and I realize that it has been almost a year since I last posted anything about my little one! The funny thing is that last time I was posting, he wasn’t eating, wasn’t potty trained, etc…and everything seemed like a struggle. I am happy to report that my now 3.4 year old is eating well, has been fully potty/poopy trained since 2 1/2 and although there are still struggles (now it’s about what he wants to wear, eat, etc. – lol) things have gotten so much easier. My hubby and I always said that we wished you could just “pop out a 3 year old” and we were right…this age is the bomb! Three year olds are SOOOOOOO much fun. I am hoping that I will have some time this year to reflect on my experiences over the past year and to add new content about what is going on with us now. Fingers crossed :-)

StyleFind

// January 20th, 2012 // No Comments » // General

So I was just checking out this great site that I learned about through BzzAgent…it’s called Stylefind. If you are looking for a real bargain (and also happen to love some designer duds, purses, etc) this is the place for you. The deal I found today was on these Baggu totes…they are only $22! Check them out! These are awesome, especially if you have a little one and have passed the diaper bag stage, but still need something large enough to carry around all their junk! Check it out!

Terrible Two’s

// February 22nd, 2011 // No Comments » // General

Seeing as my little one is just turning 2 1/2, I thought I would share what my experience has been with the ‘terrible twos”. Honestly, I have to say that it is all a bunch of baloney :-) While my son has definitely had his (small) share of temper tantrums – they have been nothing more than short episodes of frustration. What it really comes down to is that you are now dealing with a child who is beginning to understand practically everything, but still lacks the communication skills to relay what he/she is thinking, feeling, etc. I like to think of it this way… imagine if you were in a foreign speaking country and went out to eat. While you know exactly what you want and can even point to it or describe it with your hands, you have no idea how to say it. Say you want pizza and they bring you a burger and then expect you to eat it (remember you are a vegetarian) and on top of that you have to pay for it! Wouldn’t you be frustrated – probably. I think the “terrible two’s” becomes this when you are a parent who also lacks the communication skills to sit down (patiently) and talk things out with your child. I have found the two’s to be more enjoyable than any other stage/age so far. I watch my son in amazement as he grows and develops so rapidly each and every week. I am officially renaming this period the “terrific two’s” – have a great night!

Naps

// February 16th, 2011 // No Comments » // General

Don’t know why I have never written about this before… since it seems to be such a big topic of conversation everywhere I go. I am always asked (by everyone), “Does Dylan still nap”? Unfortunately, or fortunately, the answer is “no”. Dylan has always been a hard one to get down for naps. I think that being a first grandchild (on both sides) had something to do with it. He was ALWAYS held as a baby and putting him down for a nap was next to impossible. He would sleep like a charm if he was being held, but the second you would put him down, he was up. I read all the books, and tried all the methods and nothing would work with Dylan. By five months he was down to one nap a day. The only way I could EVER get him to nap was if he was being rocked, swung or driven around in a car. You guessed it, I drove him around in my Jeep for many, many months, just to get him down for a nap. This worked well for a long time… a five minute drive would normally do it. When the drives started to get longer, I gave them up. This was shortly before his second B-day. I thought he would be super crabby without a nap, but soon realized that he was in an even better mood without the naps, and would literally pass out by 7 pm at the latest. He has continued on this “no nap” schedule for 7 or 8 months and I love it! He goes down so early and sleeps on average 11 1/2-12 hours at night. This is not to say that he never naps… if we are out in the late afternoon and he is tired, he will fall asleep in the car and can still nap up to 2 hours. The problem is that he wakes up and is crabby beyond all belief. He also has a horrible time going down those nights. As I have always said, I think that you should do whatever works for your child and this works for us :-)

Say goodbye to the picky eater!

// January 31st, 2011 // 2 Comments » // Food

Must have been that last post a wrote about Dylan continuing with his picky ways (I guess he overheard me talking about it and didn’t want to be referred to as the “picky kid”) because that very night he gobbled up a plate of Gardein “chicken” , carrots, and sweet potatoes. The next day he ate a grilled cheese sandwich, no questions asked, and then scarfed down two pieces of cheese pizza for dinner!  The trend has continued and now we have a little one who is literally eating us out of house and home. I guess this is what happens when your kid does not eat much for a couple of month – LOL! Good news is that this is the best diet for me… this morning I made scrambled eggs, with veggie sausage and cheese. As I proceeded to take my first bite, Dylan crawled up next to me and said “hot”? I said “no” and he opened his mouth. Next thing I knew, my plate of eggs was gone – shocking since he has not touched an egg in 4 or 5 months! I am wondering if he burned his mouth on something awhile back? I always check the temp of his food, but you never know. When he stopped eating “normal” foods, he would ask every time “hot”??? We would say “no”, but he still would not touch the food…even an hour later when it was cold. All of a sudden he is eating everything, but continues to ask if it is hot and is very cautious with his first bite. I don’t know how long this will last, but I am very happy to see my little one eating such a large variety of foods again ;-) I am such this will not be the last of these posts…

organic-vegan-biodynamic wines

Our Green House

Bamboo Baby Clothing and Accessories by Baby Bambu

Green Nest

Blogroll

Vocalpoint