Thursday, February 28, 2013

DIY Chalkboard Labels

I have been slowly working on my 'Organize My Life' project since these two kiddos are keeping me extra busy. As of right now the napping-at-the-same-time days are no longer present, but I'm hoping they will come by to say hi soon :) One of my organization projects involves these fabulous little chalkboard labels I created. If you haven't already guessed by now, I was inspired by Jen over at I Heart Organizing. I am not going to let you in on exactly what I will be using these for as you will need to stay tuned to see...
Anywho, I thought I would go ahead and give you a quick tutorial on how to make these cute little things! 
Here is what you'll need:
You will also need a stencil of  some sort for whichever shape you desire. I chose a bracket shape which I thought would look nice and fancy! I made my stencil by printing a template off of the computer onto a piece of cardstock and then cutting it out. You could also create multiple shapes on a file in a program such as Microsoft Word and then print them onto the cardstock you will be painting-whatever works...either will do. 
Here is what you will need to do:
First paint the sheets of cardstock with the chalkboard paint and the sponge brush. The will probably need two coats or so and then let them dry.  Once dry, go ahead and trace the shape onto the back of the painted cardstock as many times as it will fit. 

Then just cut the shapes out and...
I also thought about buying some vinyl next time I head to Target and I could use this method for labels on my OXO containers in my pantry!! I've heard you can even buy chalkboard vinyl as well! My brain is a-brewing... is a clue as to what I will be using these labels for...

Any guesses??

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Favorite Roll Dog...B.O.B


Bob is my favorite roll dog, my PIC (partner in crime), my jogger from another mother. If you haven't caught on yet, BOB is my double stroller. We technically still own the single one as well, but I go back and forth everyday on whether I should sell it or not. For those of you not familiar with BOB strollers they are what I believe to be one of the best jogging/everyday strollers out there!

Before Sienna was born I spent MONTHS researching what type of stroller we should get. I went back and forth daily and in the end I chose the single BOB Revolution knowing if I didn't get it I would regret it.

I looove having the option to jog with the BOB and that was one of the main selling points for me! Not to mention all the reviews I read from BOB owners who said they had been through a million strollers and wished they would have just started out with the BOB. So when I got pregnant with Daniel, I knew I had to upgrade to the BOB Duallie!

It's a great stroller to use for the beach, theme parks, and even the malls! There's one downside and that is the's definitely not a lightweight stroller and people look at me like I'm crazy when I attempt to go through a single door, but it fits! Sometime it takes me two tries, but we always make it through. You also aren't going to be fitting through many clothing racks, but the way I see it is most double strollers won't anyway!

BOB is now a cherished member of our family! I'm not gonna lie, I've had some moments of doubt while I had passersby offer me help as I tried to stuff a giant double stroller into my small VW trunk (Which is now why I am stuck driving Danny's SUV)! But in the end of the day nothing beats being able to exercise with my babies in tow!

I actually just started the Ease into 5k app for the fifth time time in five years! Let's see if I can get past the first week this time ;-)

Anyone else had any luck with this app?? Or better yet this app while using your Bob stroller??

*As many times as I mentioned BOB this is not a sponsored post :) I have the BOB Revolution SE and BOB Duallie. I would recommend buying them off Amazon for the best price around!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Easy Picadillo Recipe

I've come to the conclusion that I making comfort foods! I could probably eat stews, soups, rice, and pasta every night if my hips would allow it ;-) I've ways been a big fan of Picadillo growing up because it was a meal my grandmother made regularly. I know the kids like rice and thought it would be a great meal for them since the meat is so small in size that Daniel would have no problem chewing it! He is now 100 percent on table foods too! 
I could have easily called my grandmother, but I have wanted to try out a new cookbook I recently purchased called Sabor! A Passion for Cuban Cuisine. Let me preface this by telling you that one of my biggest guilty pleasures is the Real Housewives franchise...there’s nothing better than some mindless TV once the kids are in bed. So when Ana from The Real Housewives of Miami tweeted about her cookbook I thought why I bought it and it actually reminds me of a lot of the recipes my grandmother always makes.
I decided to try the Picadillo recipe and it was great! Not only did it have such an authentic flavor, it was sooo quick and easy to make! The only thing I changed was omitting the raisins, potatoes, and capers because I have never been fond of raisins in my Picadillo and I didn’t have potatoes or capers on hand. 
Here's the recipe from Ana’s book and the changes I made:
  • Olive oil 
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 small to medium chopped onion
  • 1 minced green bell pepper
  • 1 pound of ground sirloin or any ground beef
  • ½ cup of dry white cooking wine (I only used ¼ cup)
  • 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup of raisins (optional)
  • ¼ cup of pimento-stuffed olives chopped or whole
  • 2 tablespoons of capers (optional)
  • 2 medium red potatoes chopped and fried (optional)

First, I drizzled a little olive oil in a medium pot (or large skillet) over medium-high heat. Once it was hot I sautéed the onions, garlic, and peppers until tender. Making sure the oil is still very hot I put the ground beef into the pot breaking it up into small chunks until browned and no longer pink. Then you can drain any liquid in the pot.

Next I added the wine, tomato sauce, salt and pepper then reduced the heat to low. This is where I changed the recipe a smidge and rather than simmering it for 20 minutes, I let it sit on my stove’s lowest setting for about 2 hours. My grandmother once told me that all dishes must cook low and slow in order for the flavors to combine. I served it over a bed of white rice and it was even better the next day!

It’s Picadeasy :)


*This recipe was adapted from Ana Quincoces Rodriguez’s cookbook, Sabor! A Passion for Cuban Cuisine: Picadillo, pg. 144

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Baby Ballerina

Sienna has always been my tiny dancer and I knew that we would have to enroll her in some sort of dance class when she was ready. Fortunately, we found a ballet class in our area for her age group! She started when she was twenty months and has loved every minute of it since!

The class allows me to get some much needed alone time in with her since those opportunities are very far and few between these days! When Daniel was smaller I would bring him in the carrier, but now he's a little big and more active. At first the class was sort of a big cluster full of two year olds laying across the floor and moms twirling around trying to get their daughters to follow, but now the girls all seem to do well with all of the dances. They even have a recital at the end of the year! I is probably a stretch for a two year old to be in a recital, but the way I see it is if she never wants to dance again, then at least I will have some cute photos to show her prom date when she's older ;)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Valentine's Day Recap!

Well Valentine's Day came and went and we had an action packed day full of arts and crafts, cookies, and multiple photo shoot attempts. I had a ton planned for the special day, but with the kids getting over a week-long stomach bug we were left scrambling, but never bored :)

Danny was at work all day, but the kids woke up to heart shaped French toast and new tableware. It took Daniel a whole twenty seconds to figure out how to use a straw and there's no turning back now...I sometimes forget he will be a year old in two months...sniff...

Sienna worked on her valentines and colored in her new Dora coloring book for most of the morning...(thanks again Target dollar spot)! And after naps I attempted to do my super last minute 'We heart daddy' photo montage...which failed....miserably....

By the time I bribed Sienna into having a piece of chocolate to take a halfway decent picture it was already six o' clock and there was no way I could hit up the local Walgreen's to have them printed. I searched high and low and found two pieces of photo paper and tried to print them at home...which was another epic maybe by Father's Day we can have them done!

Daniel has this new thing where he loooves to pull everything out of every cabinet or toy bucket as soon as I put it all away...I tried really hard all day to keep the house tidy so Danny could come home to a clean house, but by seven o' clock and Daniel ripping apart my pantry for the ninth time that day I gave up...

After baths I set the table, lit a candle, opened a bottle of wine and Danny came home with Carrabbas take out!! We exchanged cards, had American Idol on in the background, and enjoyed our dinner with each of us holding a baby on our lap :)

Ohhhh how times have changed, but I wouldn't change our "life with les deux" for the world...


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

DIY Mustache Heart Shirt

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I have been planning on getting the kiddos some cute finds to wear on the day of love! As you see here, there are so many cute choices out there! I got Sienna this shirt from H&M and as of two days ago I still hadn't gotten anything for Daniel! Both of the kids have been battling the stomach bug this week and I really didn't have much time to shop so I decided to DIY it!

I was inspired by a guest post that one of my favorite blogs, Small Fry, did on the blog Honestly (the blog for Jessica Alba's line of natural and eco-friendly products, The Honest Company). They did DIY heart sweatshirts that allowed the kids to partake! I thought this would be perfect because Sienna loves to paint and it uses a stencil so she could easily help out! I changed it up a little bit and used a white tee since the weather has been in the mid 80's here every day! If you read one of my previous posts, you may have noticed that I have a little bit of a heart/mustache obsession so I was also inspired by the cute pajamas from Gap Kids. 

Here are the supplies you will need to create this: 
  • a plain t-shirt
  • scissors
  • two sheets of computer paper
  • red fabric paint
  • black fabric paint
  • white fabric paint
  • a sponge brush
  • clothes pins or tape to hold down the heart stencil
  • a mustache image to cut out or trace
  • small paint brushes for the mustache and eyes

I had everything except the white tee which I found at Target on clearance for $2.50...Score!!! I then got a piece of paper and cut a heart into it. Next I wrapped the shirt around a magazine so it would be centered and pinned it down with clothespins as well as pressed some double wrapped tape on the back. Then Sienna could start painting and boy did she love it!

Once the kids were in bed I traced a mustache image off the iPad...

 and then used this stencil to create the mustache on the shirt and voila!!

You can decorate it with some eyes or just leave it plain...either way it is super cute! And the best part of all is this whole project only took about 30 minutes in total and cost $2.50!! You can't beat that!! I think I definitely might start DIY'n holiday outfits for the kids! It’s fun for everyone and it comes from the heart :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Strawberry Cake Mix Chocolate Chip Cookies

For quite some time now I've been sitting on a box of strawberry cake mix waiting to find the perfect recipe to use it for. I love baking from scratch, but these days anything semi-homemade makes me really happy! I have this new found fascination with using a box of cake mix to create other delectable treats besides the traditional cake or cupcake.

Anywho, I recently stumbled across this fabulous recipe on one of my new favorite blogs called Sally's Baking Addiction. As soon as I saw the recipe I knew it was love at first bite :-) This was the recipe I had been waiting for and what better time than Valentine's Day to try out these scrumptious pink cookies!

I followed her recipe up until the end where I split the batter in half and used mini semisweet chocolate chips in one half and white chocolate chips in the other! You can use whatever kind of morsels you prefer and even add more or less to your liking. These cookies are rather large so I only put 8 on each baking sheet!! The recipe calls for 10 minutes at 350°, but I kept them in for almost 14 minutes because they looked extremely gooey to me after 10 minutes-everyone's oven is different though.

These are some of the easiest and most amazing cookies you will ever put in your mouth!

You can find the original recipe here, but below I've put together my version that I adapted from it:


• 1 box of Duncan Hines Strawberry Supreme Cake Mix (or any other Strawberry cake mix)
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 2 large eggs
• 1/3 cup vegetable/canola oil
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/3 cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 1/3 cup white chocolate chips


Go ahead and preheat your oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and place them aside.

Next you will want to combine the entire box of cake mix with the baking powder in a medium to large bowl and put aside.

In a smaller bowl, combine the eggs, oil, and vanilla extract and whisk them all together.

Mix the cake mix mixture with the wet ingredients until fully incorporated.

Next place half of the batter in a separate bowl (I just eye-balled this) and gently fold the white chocolate chips into one bowl and the semi-sweet chocolate chips into the other bowl.

Roll the batter into balls equivalent to about two teaspoons making them more tall than wide.

Bake them anywhere from 10 to 14 minutes. You can insert a toothpick or fork and see if it comes out clean to test them.

You can let them cool on the pan or move them to a cooling rack after a couple of minutes.

                                      I think they taste best a little warm! Enjoy!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Thank You Target Dollar Spot!

Today I had to make a minor pit stop to the beloved Target to pick up some Pedialyte because my entire family (except for me...fingers crossed) has been bit by the stomach bug! I've never experienced something like this before and hopefully never will anytime soon so I am definitely having one of those 'I'm done having kids' days :)

Anywho, while I was at Target I of course was dragged into the dollar area because of all the cute Valentine's Day items they had! I love finding little trinkets to make Sienna baskets for the holidays and any other useful useless things I can find. They actually had a big Dora Rocks section so I grabbed way more items than I needed and was on my way to find more trouble. 

Sienna has really shown me how these terrible twos are supposed to work lately. And when you add her not feeling well to the mix,  it just makes things much worse. So once I got home from Target she started having a little meltdown and I was trying to take care of Daniel who really wasn't feeling well. I was in mayday mode trying to figure out what I could pull out and knew I had to go into the Valentine's Day bag of items just purchased....and whatdoyaknow! She's a different person! She loves her mommy and is so excited about the  Dora markers and notepad her amazing mommy just gave her!

So thank you Target Dollar Spot! You've inspired me to purchase lots of little knick-knacks that I can use in these 'need help' moments and other times as well! There are so many fun things! These markers and notepad cost me a whopping $2!!! That $2 bought me three different tantrum turnarounds $2 ever spent!

Oh and by the way, while I was roaming through Target I just had to stop in the storage section (which is probably how I forgot the detergent I also needed) and came across some fabulous finds for one of my 'Organize My Life' projects so please stay tuned :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Cuckoo for Cookies

Occasionally you can catch me in the fabulous Land of La La dreaming about owning my own sweet shop filled with everything from chocolate truffles to cookies to chocolate dipped croissants! But when I go back to the real world you will find me in my kitchen covered in confectioner's sugar with my hand mixer, rushing through a batch of something or other while praying the kids can stay sleeping at the same time for just a tid bit longer...sigh...
I love to bake...I would rather spend that half hour I have alone baking fabulous Nutella-filled chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting than picking up the toys scattered all over my living room... after all no sooner than i pick them up, are they all across the floor again...
Just about a year ago I stumbled across a new hobby that I really really really love! Baking and decorating sugar cookies. I've made them for baby showers, holidays, birthday parties, and everything else in between, but most of these events took place before I had two babies. These cookies are extremely time consuming so making them now is a rare occasion, but you never know...maybe one day once the kids are in school I can focus and make my little hobby a fabulous business. Only time will tell :)



Saturday, February 2, 2013

I Mustache You A Question...Will You Be my Valentine?

I love February :) There is so much love to go around this month and I need to get going with my Valentine's Day baking, crafts/valentines, and gift for the hubby and kids! I went ahead and started to browse through some cute outfits for the kiddos so i thought I would create some style boards. There are insane amounts of cute clothes out there for babies and toddlers that it can actually be a little dangerous. The good thing is, most of them can be worn year round whereas with the other holidays the cute outfits expire once the holiday is over...well at least in public :) How cute is this milk mustache shirt above?? It's from a cute shop, birthday couture, on Etsy! I will definitely be ordering something from there soon...
Here are some of the cute finds for baby boys...I am just loving all the mustache/Valentine's combos:
skull shoes // tee //i heart pjs // heart mustache pjs //heart throb tee
And these were some of my favorite pieces for the little girls! Sienna actually has the heart tee from H&M: 
heart jeans // headband // tulle skirt // wristlet // heart tee

Now I need to go dream up my mommy must-haves for Valentine's Day ;)