Sunday, June 30, 2013

Escape Monthly Giveaway

Everyone needs a vacation once in a while, right? Whether or not you can actually get out of town, it's always nice to take some time and relax. That's the philosophy behind Escape Monthly, a new subscription box service.

Each month subscribers are treated with  a travel and relaxation inspired box of goodies that encourage you to take time out of your busy schedule for some "me time." Sounds like paradise in a box to me! From their website...

  • Deluxe full size items
  • An assortment of cultural icons and masterpieces
  • A treasure trove of artful content filled with unique tips and local secrets
  • All the tools you need to relax, unwind, and pamper!
The nice people at Escape Monthly have graciously offered to give away one of their luxury boxes to a lucky TAW reader!

To enter the giveaway please fill out the Rafflecoptor box below and I'll pick a winner later this week. Good luck!

Sorry, US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The first Escape Monthly boxes are scheduled to ship in August and if you'd like to get your hands on one, use the coupon code "YOURESCAPE" to get 20% off for life!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Garlic Chicken Crescent Rolls

Recently I purchased a couple tubes of Pillsbury crescent rolls. Sure I could have just cooked them up regular, but that's too boring for me. What I came up with was really yummy so I thought I'd pass on a new meal idea.

Garlic Chicken Cresent Rolls
Makes 8 stuffed rolls




Ingredients
-10 ounce canned chicken breast
- 1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
- 3 ounces fat free Greek yogurt
- 1/8 cup shredded cheese
- 2 teaspoons freeze dried garlic (you know I love this stuff!)
- 1 teaspoon freeze dried chives

Directions
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Drain chicken and break up big chunks in mixing bowl. Combine with Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, garlic and chives
- Spread out crescent rolls on baking sheet and fill dough with chicken mixture. Roll up crescents (I did mine backwards, oops!)
- Bake rolls for 12-13 minutes

I served the rolls with soup (the free Campbell's I got last week, it's yummy!) for a light dinner. Harry's pretty finicky when it comes to meat but he loved these. A good way to sneak some protein in with toddlers!

Enjoy :)

And please check out Good Girl Gone Wife today, I did a guest post for Alex that features another yummy recipe!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

MissingMoney.com

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. I am not affiliated with MissingMoney.com or ICash. Just a friendly PSA to help you find money that is rightfully yours! 

Have you heard of MissingMoney.com? Ya, neither had I until a few months ago. I was watching the NBC news one night and there was a story about the website. Curiosity got the best of me so I checked it out. MissingMoney.com is a site that helps you find your unclaimed property, money and assets.


Their database goes by state, and not every state has partnered with the site. My state, Illinois, is one of those states. So while I wasn't in the main database, I was able to easily locate Illinois' unclaimed property website. I did a search, and lo and behold, I found out I had some money waiting for me! For whatever reason I was owed an extra $47 from a former employer.

I filled out the form and I received my check the other day.




So what are you waiting for, log on and see if you have any money waiting for you! A few tips:
  • Don't expect to get your money tomorrow. This is a long process. It took about 2 months from the time I filled out the form to getting the check in the mail.
  • Make sure to search any former names you've had. My money was registered under my maiden name. In order to prove it was me, I had to submit a copy of my marriage license and bank statement with my previous address.
  • Each state is responsible for their own unclaimed property, so be sure to search in every state you've held a job. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Now & Then

Here are a few pictures of Harry playing outside yesterday.




Don't ask, haha!
I just love his little flip flops! He has a little trouble walking in them still, but he'll master them soon enough.

To compare, here are a few pictures from last summer.

July, 2012

September, 2012
September, 2012

September, 2012

Notice any similarities?

The other day Harry found this little romper he wore a lot last summer. For fun I decided to see if it still fit. It's tight, but I was able to get it snapped. It's a Carters 6 months size! I wouldn't take him anywhere in it now, but it's fine for lounging around on a hot day.

We played in a different spot yesterday because we have some very unwanted guests in our bushes-- baby skunks! Ewww. I noticed them over the weekend and they were in the same spot yesterday. We notified the facilities department so hopefully they'll take care of the pest issue soon. Apparently they need to get their hands on coyote urine to try and drive the skunks away.

We haven't seen the mom so I assume she was killed or separated from the babies. They really are cute and I'm sure they're hungry, but I don't want to encourage them to stick around.

And as a Chicagoan I can't end a post today without mentioning the Blackhawks. Our hockey team won the Stanley Cup for the 2nd time in 3 years last night. I'm not a sports fan but hockey is probably the most watchable sport to me and I watched all 6 games of the series. It was an exciting game!

Oh, and be sure to pop in tomorrow morning. I have a post scheduled that could earn you a little extra cash! (100% real, promise!)

Monday, June 24, 2013

First Phrases



It's official, Harry's moved on from just saying words to full on sentences. Simple ones of course, but it's a pretty exciting development. Writing this post to document when it started-- 19 months.

The phrases in his repertoire:

"Thank you."
"I do."
"I know."
"See ya."

and the most complex of all...

"I see it."

He's a very polite little tot and will always say please when he wants something. I might not always know what he wants, but he always asks very nicely. And when I do give him what he wants, he's pretty good about saying thank you on his own. If he doesn't, I give him a certain look or tell him, "what do you say?" and he pipes right up with the cutest little "dank do." That was his official first phrase.

He randomly picked up on the others on his own. It's pretty incredible how he uses "I do" and "I know" in the correct contexts. I'll ask him, "do you love your puzzle?" and he'll quickly quip, "I do." It's heart meltingly adorable.


I hope you all had a great weekend. We had planned on going to the Strawberry Festival Saturday but it was raining in the morning and didn't look like it was going to let up. So we went out to brunch instead and trekked down to Trader Joe's to get Harry some freeze dried bananas. Target stopped selling them and they're double the price at Whole Foods. We spent the afternoon cleaning and organizing. And Sunday I woke up with a nasty sore throat. Still not feeling great this morning and won't be surprised if it turns in to a full blown sickness, Harry had a runny nose nearly all last week.

Friday, June 21, 2013

BabyBlankets.com

Baby blankets. One thing a new parent really can't have enough of. They are so useful! From swaddling baby to supporting little heads in the car seat to tummy time wedge to acting as a makeshift burp cloth in a pinch, they're one thing it'd be hard caring for a baby without.

(source)

Babyblankets.com offers a wide variety of baby blankets. Including the ever popular Aden + Anais swaddle wraps, traditional satin edged blankets and really awesome textured and "taggy" style blankets for baby to play with. I'm absolutely in love with the bunny blanket, what a great idea! It's kind of like a portable tummy time mat that doubles as the perfect car seat blanket during the winter.

And look, the same blanket comes in a pink elephant.

(source)

Isn't that just the most perfect baby girl blanket? So sweet.

Many of the items on Babyblankets.com can be personalized as well... for free!

And along with a bagillion baby blanket styles, the site also has a large selection of baby essentials, like towels, stuffed animals, clothes and more. So if you're looking for a gift for an expectant mother, or are looking to buy something for your own little ones, check out Babyblankets.com. There's so much fun stuff, you're bound to find something you like!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post Babyblankets.com through Army of Moms. I am being compensated for writing this post. All opinions are 100% my own.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dr. Sofa

Have you ever thought about giving your living room a new look? Or maybe your kids and pets have made your couches unrecognizable. A new couch is a great way to liven up a stale room, but furniture, as you know, can be quite expensive. That's where Dr. Sofa comes in.

 (source)

They can reupholster furniture to bring new life in to your home. And make those stained sofas look just like they did the day you bought them. Along with couches, Dr. Sofa can work their reupholstering magic on chairs and headboards. They also do custom slip covers and beautiful window treatments among a host of other repairs and customizations for both residential and commercial projects.

So if your furniture could use a face lift, and you live on the east cost, it's worth your while to check out Dr. Sofa and their amazing "furniture surgeons!" And be sure to check out all their current promotions, there's a coupon for just about everyone right now.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Dr. Sofa through Army of Moms. I am being compensated for writing this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Extreme Couponing

I'm not an extreme couponer. I just use them to bring down my grocery bill. I can save anywhere from $30-60 on a $200ish Target shopping trip. However, this week I've been on fire and have done some extreme couponing- ya like the kind on the show. Maybe not quite to that extreme, since I didn't save hundreds of dollars, but I was able to snag quite a few things for free.


Here's the breakdown of how I got everything for free.

6 Campbell's Go Soups (Target)
Regular price: $2.60
On sale this week: $2
Used (6) $1 off 1 Target store coupons (printed at target.com)
Used (6) $1 off 1 manufacturers coupons (printed through Swagbucks to earn 10 SBs per coupon!)

4 Head & Shoulders Shampoos (Dollar General)
Regular price: $2.50
Used (2) $5 off 2 manufacturers coupons (from Sunday's paper)

1 Colgate Toothpaste (Walgreens)
Regular price: $3.50ish
On sale this week: $3
Used (1) 50¢ off 1 manufacturers coupon (from Sunday's paper)
Paid: $2.50
Got back: $2.50 register rewards to use on next purchase (I gave it to Ant to use on his way to work)

1 Kios DS (Walgreens)
Regular price: $11
On sale this week: $7
Used (1) $2 off 1 manufacturers coupon (from Hebron USA Facebook page)
Paid: $5
Got back: $7 register rewards to use on next purchase... my first money maker!

At regular price, everything would have cost over $40, but factoring in the register rewards, I was paid $2!

A few things to note if you're looking to get in to extreme couponing.

  • You do have to pay tax on everything you buy. 
  • When using online coupons, most coupons will only print out a maximum of 2-3 times per computer. 
  • Most stores and coupons only allow you to redeem a maximum of 4 of the same coupon at once, so multiple transactions might be required. 
  • Register rewards are great, but pay attention to expiration dates. Walgreens' are usually good for 2 weeks and CVS gives you a month to use them. 
  • Instgram is a great resource for couponing if you're looking for deals. #extremecouponing is probably the best hashtag to look under. Everyone likes to brag about what they've found and it's helpful to everyone else :)
Happy couponing! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day Weekend

This past weekend we celebrated Ant's second year as a father.


Airplanes, of course.

Friday night we went out for dinner at Cooper's Hawk. We haven't been there since before we were married and have been talking about going back for a while now. Father's Day seemed like the perfect occasion. We made an early reservation and were seated at a table in the middle of the restaurant.

Cooper's Hawk is known for their fantastic wines and both Ant and I ordered a glass of their delicious peach sangria. We were tempted to order a pitcher but thought better of it since you know, we had a baby with us. For dinner I ordered the honey smoked turkey & brie sandwich. Which just might be my favorite sandwich ever. Along with the turkey and brie, the sandwich included apple slices, honey mustard mayo and candied walnuts. Ant got a turkey burger and Harry enjoyed his grilled cheese and large serving of fresh fruit.



If you've never been to Cooper's Hawk and there's one in your area, do yourself a favor and eat there. Soon!

The rest of the weekend wasn't too exciting. Well, I did take Harry over to my dad's for a little bit. They've got a huge dog that Harry's now fascinated with. Caesar, the dog, is menacing looking but pretty harmless. Harry loved petting him but would freak out if he started running around.

As far as gifts go, I'm pretty proud of what Harry and I came up with. I'm not usually one to share this type of thing, but I thought I'd make an exception and show you guys.


Ant's briefcase was a hot mess. The straps were barely holding on and it was high time for a new one. I really like the one I found, it's much more professional than his last one. He also needed a few t-shirts, all his are looking so ratty. The White Sox are his favorite baseball team and the banana shirt is from Arrested Development. And last weekend Ant subtley hinted that he wanted some Fannie May candies for Father's Day by handing me a $10 coupon, haha! But the best part of his gift was the Shutterfly book we made.


This is the second Shutterfly book I've made this month. I don't know why I didn't get into it sooner, it's pretty awesome! I wish the program offered a little more customization, but it's very easy to use and the quality is amazing. I though of doing this Reasons Why I Love You book just 2 days before the Father's Day shipping deadline so I had to rush to get the 20 page book put together.

All in all I think he enjoyed his second Father's Day. But now it's back to the daily grind, enjoy your week!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

(photo courtesy of Jessica Leigh Photography)


And of course a very happy Father's Day to my own baby daddy, Ant. I'm not a super gushy, waxing poetic type person, but I just think he's such a great dad. These days they're like two peas in a pod. Connected at the hip whenever they're together. It's so fun to see their relationship blossoming.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Teeny Tiny Baby


Well here's a feature I haven't done in a looooong time! I know Throwback Thursday is the cool thing these days, but I already had this graphic and I didn't get the chance to post yesterday. So, Flashback Friday it is.

A few weeks ago I was going through my Canon G10 camera and came across a few pictures of Harry I don't think I've ever posted before.

Eeeeek, he was so small!

Harry's first doctor's visit at 8 days old

Chillin' at 2.5 weeks old

Chillin' at 4 months old 
Another at 4 months old

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Library Reading Class

Yesterday was Harry's first class at the library. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but it was great! I thought Harry was going to be the oldest in the class, but it ended up being 5 boys all around the same age. They had a blast together, obviously.

The class was pretty similar to the class we took last November/December, which Harry enjoyed a lot. In the library class we read a few short books, sang some songs, played with puppets, participated in a simple interactive game (the babies had to move a Velcro frog from the land to the water on a board) and then the last 10 minutes were spent playing with each other and a bunch of fun toys. It was a busy half hour!

But the best part about the class? It's totally free! The class runs through July and I'm hoping they offer another session since Harry loves interacting with other kids his age. Ant came with us yesterday but he said he felt out of place since it was only moms and probably won't come again, haha.

After class was over we went to lunch at Pilot Pete's. We were seated right by the runway and Harry had a blast looking at all the airplanes, cars and trains that went by. Plus, their food is fantastic. Check them out if you're in the area.


Oh. And Harry's on this awful nap strike this week. Sunday and yesterday he went all day without a single nap. I think he's only done this one other time ever, so twice in one week is unheard of! His daily naps are a nice break for me. I usually do some light/quiet housework while he's sleeping and sometimes it's just nice to be able to sit down and watch a movie without having to press pause every 5 minutes to change a diaper or fill up his sippy cup. Or chase after him when he runs off to his bedroom to pull out all the diapers-- one of his new favorite things to do. It also makes for a crabby baby in the evening.

I recently read an article about the supposed 18 month sleep regression, and dropping naps was mentioned. Sounds like this is what we're experiencing now. Hopefully it doesn't last too long.

A few more shots from the past few days too cute not to share.





Monday, June 10, 2013

19 Month Update

Hi everyone! I decided to take the weekend off from the blog. Saturday morning I went to the salon and got a haircut and mani/pedi. It only took me 10 months to fix that horrible haircut! Saturday night Ant went out with some friends so I chilled at home with a bottle of Redd's Apple Ale. And yesterday we just hung around.

So without any further ado, here's Harry's 19 month update.

6/7/13

I feel like Harry's grown up a lot just in the last month. He's discovered "interactive" type toys. Like puzzles. My dad got him a few easy puzzles for Easter and he loves them now. It's so fun watching him put the pieces where they go. He claps every time he gets it right!

Weight: 24.5 pounds or so.

Height: He was 34.25 inches at his doctor's appointment last month, so he's gotta be a little taller than that.

Diaper Size: We've switched to size 5s. He was in 4s for 10 months! We first switched his nighttime diapers after he leaked a few times and then switched his daytime diapers after we ran out of the 4s. 


Clothing Size: Anything from 18 months to 2T. Size 5 shoes still.


Eating:  I mentioned in a previous post that we took the tray off his high chair so he's sitting at the table like a big boy using plates. Everything's still going great with that. He used to constantly throw his food on the floor and I think not having the tray there has helped with that some. His pickiness comes and goes, but I will say he absolutely loves my salsa chicken. I've been making it once a week for a while now. I'm getting a little sick of eating it so often but since it's a nice healthy, balanced meal he'll eat I keep making it.


Sleeping: Knock on wood, he's been much better about sleeping through the night this past month. I think the larger diapers help. He typically falls asleep between 8-8:30pm and will wake up anywhere from 7-9am. He takes one nap a day that lasts 1.5-2 hours.

Teeth: 16 now. He's only got 4 more molars to go and then he's set on teeth for a few years until they start falling out. The molars should pop through around his birthday.


Communication: As I mentioned in Friday's vocabulary post, Harry knows at least 50 words. Pretty impressive for a guy who's been talking for less than 3 months! I've noticed he's starting to drop his sign language a bit, too. Before when he wanted a drink he'd do the sign and say the word at the same time. But a lot of times now he'll just say the word. I'm looking forward to when he'll start putting words together to form simple sentences.


Here are a few outtakes from the other day, what a little ham he is!




Friday, June 7, 2013

Harry's Vocabulary


Harry is 19 months old today! I should have his next update published tomorrow. In the meantime, I wanted to document all the different words he's saying right now, and his pronunciations (which are in parentheses if different).

Hi
Bye bye
Night night (ni ni)
Mommy
Daddy
Baby
Harry (he-oh)
Pearl (pow)
Big boy (bea boo)
Please (peas)
Thank you (dank do)
Car
Choo choo
Airplane (pah-poo)
Crackers (cack-ers)
Juice (joo)
Milk (me)
High chair (ty ty)
Muno (nuno)
Seahorse (seaho)
Ball (ba)
Puppy
Simba (baba)
Lucky (guckey)
Glasses (gah-goo)
Tablet (gah-goo)
Diaper (bah-boo)
Paper (bah-boo)
Toes
Nose
Teeth (tee)
Belly button (bye bye)
Beads (bees)
Chicken (tika)
Hot dogs (ta ta)
Cheese
Yogurt (go-gurt)
Beans (bees)
Bananas (nannies)
Fan (me)
Clothes (co)
Shoe
Socks (hock)
Remote (nuh-no)
Ya
Door
Window (doh-doh)
Toy
Bath (ba)
Pillow (pi-po)

That's almost 50 words! And I'm sure I've missed a few. He's really consistent with his pronunciations and uses for the words. Even with the words he says completely wrong (no idea where he came up with "me" for fan!), he always says them that way.

By far his most used word is car. He is obsessed with them! Every time he sees one in person, on TV or in a picture he makes sure to get our attention and say car no less than 5 times. It's so cute!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Brookfield Zoo

Saturday we drove out to the Brookfield Zoo to meet up with friends for the afternoon. We debated canceling since the weather report included lots of rain, I'm so glad we didn't because it ended up being a perfect day! Cloudy and cool with a nice breeze.


We got to the zoo a little after noon and ate lunch and let the kiddos play on one of the playgrounds before walking around the park. It was really fun seeing the babies all starting to interact with each other. There wasn't a whole lot yet but they are definitely growing up. It's amazing to see how different they all are from just a little over  a year ago.


We were able to see a lot of the different exhibits. Harry really liked looking at the animals. Especially the ones that we could get up close to, like the fish and mole rats. The zoo has a few special attractions you have to pay extra for that sound pretty neat. We didn't do any this year, but I think in a year or two Harry will really enjoy the Dinosaurs Alive and Stingray Bay exhibits- if they're still around. I didn't take a ton of pictures during our visit, but here's a few.




HELLO! REAL LIFE DORY AND MARLIN!!
After meandering around for a few hours Ant really wanted to take Harry on his first amusement ride, the carousel! He loved looking at it go 'round and 'round, so we figured he'd love riding on it. I remember seeing a picture of me as a toddler on a carousel so taking Harry was kind of special to me. We bought our tickets and found a crazy looking Rafiki-type monkey for him to ride on.


Looks like fun, right? Harry didn't agree. A split second after I took the above picture he started squirming trying to get off the monkey. We managed to find a seat on one of the stationary benches just as the carousel started. That wasn't any better. He screamed and cried the entire 5 minute ride. I felt so bad but there was nothing we could do until we stopped. After we hopped off we made a bee line for the parking lot- we were clearly done with the zoo for the day.

The carousel ride from hell wasn't the worst part of our trip though. I forgot the diapers. Yep, that happened. Before we left I took everything out of my diaper bag to reorganize it. I distinctly remember putting 3 Pampers back in the bag. Yet, somehow they were nowhere to be found when I went to change him at the zoo. Since I so adamantly recalled putting some in my bag I ran through a bunch of scenarios on what happened to them- none of which had me leaving them at home. Luckily Harry didn't pee much at the zoo, he must have sweated out all his liquids that day!

Once we were back to the car we found Ant's diaper bag with an extra diaper so before we left I changed him in the trunk- when it of course started raining cats and dogs. We all got soaked, but at least the rain held out until we were leaving.

Oh, and when we got home? The diapers were on the counter. Don't know how I missed that one... derp!

All in all it was a fun time and I'm glad we're starting to make this an annual get together.

I updated the About page yesterday if you're interested in checking it out. Have a great day!
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