Sunday, January 30, 2011

Super Late Holiday Photo Recap

This post is super late and won't have a lot of words, but I know that the grandparents have been waiting for these photos! So here is Christmas and New Years in snapshots...Enjoy!


Going through his stocking...with the aftermath of opening behind him!

Proudly showing off his bounty!

And now he's crashed out on the floor in his new monster towel! So hilarious!

Chris, Caleb & nephew Keola at Grandma's house for Xmas dinner

Chris' birthday is also Christmas Day...here he is in his "special" crown

Happy 34th Birthday sweetie!

Sparklers on New Year's Eve...first year they are legal in AZ!

Caleb & Chris using the outside fireplace to light their sparklers!

It was a really fun year, mostly because Caleb was finally old enough to completely get all of the holiday traditions. A very wonderful fitting end to the year...and I can't wait for the many more memories that will come throughout 2011!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Birthday Boy

Birthday boy on the left enjoying his BBQ with frieds
The month of January holds a special place in my heart...not only because it is the month that is the calm after the storm that is called the "holiday season" but mostly because it is the month that my son was born in. My little Caleb turned 4 this year and this was the first year that we had a birthday party for him that he could invite his school friends to. He was super excited and talked every day about how he was going to be a big boy when he turned four and it was so cute to hear how excited he was for his special day and his birthday party.

We decided to just keep it small and low key and just had the party in our backyard. It's one the great things about living in Arizona...you can actually have a party outside during the winter months and you really don't have to worry about the rain or it being too cold. So, since the party was at our house, I called and rented a bounce house for him and his friends and we BBQ'd.

Now if you remember from this post about his invitations he originally wanted to have a Cowboy themed party, but after received the Toy Story 3 DVD for Christmas the party morphed into a Buzz & Woody party (thank goodness there was still a cowboy involved since I ordered something special for him and his guests!)

The kids all had a really great time bouncing, riding bikes, playing in Caleb's room, eating burgers & hotdogs and big pieces of cake!

(And heck, what's a party without a little vomit, right? One of the kids threw up all over our living room from all of the excitement...'cause a party at the Schell's is sometimes just too much for some people to handle!)


Happy 4th Birthday baby boy!

And here is something special that I ordered from the wonderful Terri over at Fresh Cut Flours to give to all of the guests as a thank you gift for coming! They were so cute and all of the kids (and parents) thought they were a great replacement for the traditional goodie bags.

Photo from Fresh Cut Flours (Since I forgot to take one myself!)

It was such a perfect day for a party and everyone had so much fun...so I would say that it was definitely a success!





ps. I really cannot believe that my baby boy is now 4. I am in total and complete denial. Seriously. I think I may need some professional help about this.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What is Playing Wednesday

Ok...so I have been on a big country music kick lately, but one song recently released has made it's way to my all time favorite list. I just love, love, love the new song Don't You Wanna Stay by Jason Aldean ft. Kelly Clarkson. It just gives me goosebumps it is so good. If you haven't heard it yet, here it is (in a live version, no less) for you to give a listen to! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.




Another collaboration that I also am loving on right now is the Zac Brown Band & Alan Jackson song As She's Walking Away. It is seriously good music! I have been a big fan of the Zac Brown Band for a couple of years now, and this song is definitely at the top of my list for them! The voices of Alan Jackson and Zac Brown sound so amazing together...Check it out!



Happy Wednesday!

 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Preschool Event

Last week we got the chance to watch little Caleb take part in his first public performance...the wonderful preschool Winter Gala. It was so much fun...and so incredibly cute. They had each of the age groups do a little "performance" for the parents. And my little one LOVED getting to do it.

He had been telling us for the weeks leading up to the performance all about it...everything except the names of the songs that he would be singing because that was supposed to be a surprise. And the fact that he kept the secret was a big deal, because he is the world's worst secret keeper.

(Bad secret keeping example: Just before Christmas Caleb asked loudly at the dinner table if he could get a new watch like the one that mommy was giving to daddy for Christmas. So, surprise ruined, but my hubby tried to "pretend" that he didn't hear. Yeah right, you didn't hear that question asked when it was practically yelled at you from 2 feet away)

Chris filmed the whole event and we have had fun watching it a few times because the kids are all hilarious! Here are a few photos from the afternoon...and what a perfect afternoon it was. It was the second week of January and we were able to be outside without any jackets or winter wear on. Yep, there is definitely a reason that I LOVE calling Arizona home!

First they sang the days of the week and months of the year song.


Then they moved onto the Tootie Tots song...if you haven't heard this song, you are missing out! It is absolutely hilarious!
Thumbs up!
Elbows back!
This one is bottoms out...but Caleb refused to do that part!

Then they headed back to the classroom for a special gift from their teacher.(They all got marshmallows and balloons!)
A proud daddy with our little "singing star"

It really was a lot of fun....and pretty darn funny!





 
 

Monday, January 24, 2011

The hunt for the elusive good babysitter

Stock photo from Thinkstock Photos
My husband and I finally got a date night this past Saturday and it was wonderful. Seriously. It was great to get out of the house and have some time alone together. We haven't been doing it as much as we should lately and that is because we haven't had a regular, dependable babysitter in quite some time.

We were lucky when Caleb was first born...we had the BEST babysitter (the daughter of a friend) from the time when Caleb was 6 months old. But last spring she graduated from high school and moved on to college. Since then we have tried out a few others, utilized friends and neighbors...but we were not able to find a good babysitter. Most of our friends use family, but our closest family member lives over 1 hour from us.

For me a good babysitter must have a few qualities that are necessary. They must be friendly, reliable, and play/interact with Caleb...not just sit and watch TV while he plays by himself. They should not leave my house in a state of chaos and do their best to abide by the house rules of bedtime, bath time and tooth brushing.

Since we had such an easy time finding our first babysitter for Caleb I had no idea how hard it could be to find someone good. When we were trying out others there was the time that when we got home at 11:30 that he was still up. Or the time when our house was messier than I had ever seen it...toys everywhere, tons of dirty dishes in the sink and crusty food on the counter tops. Or the worst was the time that the babysitter took our son swimming without our permission. (Seriously, that happened...I didn't even know what her swimming skill was, let alone how did she know how well my 3 year old son swims. Yeah...I was definitely not happy with that one!)

But I think that we have finally found the elusive good babysitter...heck I think that she might even be classified as "great." She lives in the neighborhood and we know both her mom and dad...in fact my husband worked with her mom in the past. She can walk to the house so we don't have to worry about transportation. She is only 13, so we should be able to get at least 3 years from her and she has completed the babysitter classes and knows CPR. (Heck I don't even know CPR that well...it's been years since I took a class!)

And the best part...my son absolutely LOVED her. He told us stories about how they read books together. And how they played cars and pretend. He called her "my friend Brandy" and asked when she can come back again. That for me sealed the deal!

So here's to more date nights in my future...and maybe I can actually go and get my hair done on a Saturday.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Perfect Playtime Afternoon

Do you ever have one of those absolutely perfect afternoons with your child? This past week, I had one of those days. I got home from work, picked up Caleb from daycare and we both were in a great mood. I didn’t want to go home and cook dinner. Or clean house. Or chill on the couch. I just wanted to spend some time with my little one and have some fun. So, we drove home, I went inside and changed out of my work clothes and we walked to the local park.

We had so much fun going down the slides. Swinging on the swings. Running. Climbing. Jumping. No time restraints. No thinking about our evening schedule…or working about what needs to be done. It was just fun mommy and Caleb time. And it was much needed after the hectic last week and weekend that we had.

I only had my iPhone on me, but I knew that I wanted to capture some of the fun, so I used my favorite app (Instagram) to catch a couple of shots.





I love those moments that I get to spend with him. And I know the importance of them, because time goes by too quickly and soon he won’t think it’s so cool to go to the park with mommy.

 

ps. I can't believe that it's been over a week since I last posted. I'm soooo sorry! I will be much better and probably over do it this weekend to make up. I've got lots to still do...Christmas photos, New Years and Caleb's birthday party!


Smart and Trendy Moms

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chocolate Caramel Cookies

This past holiday season,  I was looking for something very special to make for Santa when he visited our house. The recipe that I decided on was one that I had seen in a few different places over the internet throughout the year. It was a recipe for a decadent looking cookie that had all that I knew both Santa and I love...chocolate and caramel.

And let me tell you...these babies are Ah-maz-ing! They are moist, chewy and absolutely delicious...and, one of my favorite cookies from the past year. (If not one of my favorite's ever!) And, I for one know that Santa feels the same way!

Chocolate Caramel Cookies

Ingredients
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 1 cup Butter, Softened
  • 2 ½ cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¾ cups Baking Cocoa
  • 1 bag Rolo Candies (12 Ounce Bag)
  • ½ cups Sugar
Directions

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) In a large mixing bowl, blend 1 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, brown sugar, and butter.
3) In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda and cocoa.
4) Add the flour mixture to sugar mixture very slowly until thoroughly mixed.
5) Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
6) While dough refrigerates, unwrap Rolo candies and place in a bowl.
7) Place 1/2 cup of sugar in a separate bowl.
8) Once dough is refrigerated, remove dough (one tablespoon at a time) and flatten slightly in your hand. Place a Rolo in the center and form dough around it. Roll into a ball with your hands, drop into the bowl of sugar, and roll to coat it. Place balls of dough on cookie sheet.
9) Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes or until center falls flat and dough crackles.

 


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We Bit of Me Wednesday

I am once again joining in on Leigh's we bit of me wednesday over on her blog. She always has some of the best questions! So here are my answers. If you want to join in just copy the questions, answer them on your own blog and go on over to her blog and link up!


{one} have you ever been on tv? 
Nope, never. And that's just fine with me. I like my quiet little life and have no desire to be on tv.
{two} what was the best movie you saw last year?
Hmmm...that's a hard one. It's a toss up, because my two favorite from the year are on opposite ends of the spectrum, but I loved both Inception and Toy Story 3.

{three} do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?
Tucked in. I love the cocoon feeling that I get from having it that way.

{four} do you cut coupons?
Heck yes. I save a TON of moola every year by clipping coupons.

{five} do you ever count your steps when you walk?
Sometimes. Weird and a little OCD, but definitely me.

{six} what sauce do you dip your chicken nuggets in?
Ranch all the way.

{seven} do you have any magazine subscriptions?
Yeppers....we get BHG, Men's Health, Real Simple & Sunset in our house.

{eight} when was the last time you wrote a letter on paper?
I can't even remember, and that's so sad. I need to change that immediately.

{nine} what’s your favorite fruit pie?


 Peach. I love, love, love fresh peach pie. It is my all time favorite dessert.

{ten} black olives or green olives?
Depends on the dish. I like them both.

What is Playing Wednesday

Today's What is Playing Wednesday is dedicated to my son Caleb. Yesterday was his birthday so I let him help me choose what to put up today and we went with all of his current favorite songs. These are all the songs that whenever he hears them he gets so excited and yells, "I LOOOOVVVE that song...make it louder mommy!!!" Yep, I have a child that loved music just as much as I do. So in honor of his birthday here is a list of all of his current favorite songs...and they range from happy pop to some alternative with country in between:



Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Happy birthday little man!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Perfect Poster

Soooo, since I get a new office at work, I want this to adorn my walls...

Created by Julian Hansen

For anyone that works in graphic design, you understand the frustration that comes with some clients not being able to make up their minds about how they want their ads to look. And picking a font seems to be net to impossible for them. I LOVE this poster and I think that I need to adorn my office walls with it!



Friday, January 7, 2011

A Door of My Own

I hate packing. And moving. Oh...and by the way did I mention to you that I hate moving and packing?


Next week at work we are moving to a new office. I have never been through a workplace move before and let me tell you, it is not fun in any way. There is so much more coordinating than I ever imagined. Having to have the copiers moved. Having the desks moved. Moving our computers and making sure that the phone system and network systems are set up correctly. Purging old unused items. Condensing down other items. Making sure that all necessary things are up and running: bathrooms, kitchens, etc. It all totally sucks. Thank goodness that we are only moving to a larger suite in the same complex, instead of having to go across town.

But, there is a silver lining to this moving thing. And that wonderful silver lining is that I finally get my own office. An office with a door that I can close. A door to close and shut out all of the distractions. Oh...even imagining it is like heaven.

Since taking my current position at work I have had a rather large dedicated workspace. But while large, it has been open to the conference room area of my workplace...thus creating some difficulty. It is hard to talk on the phone with my clients when others are in the conference room; when others eat in the conference room I have to smell their yucky food; deliveries are made in and out of the door directly in front of my desk so I get froze out in the winter or I sweat to death in the summer.

But all of those issues will be taken away with the amazing addition of a door and 4 walls separating me from everyone else. And. I. Can't. Wait.

I will finally be able to concentrate when building ads. I will finally be able to hear my clients on the phone and I won't have to let calls go to voicemail because I know that I can't answer due to distractions and noise. I will be able to stop most distractions and make less mistakes. I will do my job better and that makes me happy because I am someone that strives to always do my best at whatever it is that I am doing...and if I am presented with the opportunity to improve I will take it.

And this is something that I definitely will take.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What is Playing Wednesdays (on Thursday)

I am a day late putting up my What is Playing Wednesdays, but yesterday's post about my feature over on Remodelaholic kinda pre-emted it! (Seriously, I'm still totally stoked that that happened)

I don't know about you, but I just love it when one of my favorite bands and/or songs is finally played on the radio. This morning I was listening to my satellite radio and a song from Florence + The Machine came on and it was the first time that I have ever heard them on the radio. I was so excited! (geeky, I know...but I'm still super cool in my own nerdy way, or at least that's what I tell myself when people look at me strangely)

It was the same way that I was super excited when they did one of their songs on Glee. I found myself yelling to my husband, "OMG, they are playing Florence + The Machine. OMG, OMG!" Seriously...this is how much I love this band...and I can't believe that I haven't had them on here before. And I probably will again! So if you haven't heard them yet (and you should!) the first thing that you will notice is that Florence's voice is so brilliant. And different. And soulful. Although the album that is out there is just their debut one...it is amazing and full of just wonderful music. Get it. You won't be disappointed.









Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm Featured on Remodelaholic TODAY!!




If you remember back in May of 2010 I put up a few posts showing how my husband and I were remodeling our master bath all by ourselves…today that project is the feature project over on Remodelaholic and I couldn’t be happier! What a way to start the new year!

We worked some very hard and long hours to finish our project and I think that it turned out beautifully. And now, I am so excited to be able to share the finished project with the readers over at Remodelaholic. 

So head on over and check out the post over on Remodelaholic and please make sure to leave a comment on it!

 
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