Monday, November 17, 2008


Check this out... if you would like a good laugh. This site always makes me laugh whether I want to or not.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Recycled Gift Bows...

I MUST make some of these Recycled gift bows. Made from recycled magazine pages. I love how they look!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Brothers Music..

If you stumble across this website.. take the time to visit this link and check out the music of my brother Greg Bratton.
His song "40 acres" is listed #2 in the folk category & #1 in the folk/religious category right now at broadjam.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Random & Ravelry

How neat is this site with all the Muffin Tin snacks & such?

In other news... getting back into knitting again after a long time away. I finally decided to take the plunge (since my birthday is coming up) and ordered the full set of Knit Picks Options Interchangable Needles. It will be so nice to actually be able to do fitted items without worrying about not having the right size for it. My plan is to start on this Honeycomb vest (except with some alteration to knit in the round) in Persimmon Heather Swish DK Yarn.

In other knitting news... finally signed up with Ravelry. It is absolutely fantastic!

In real life... I am now an exlusive pumping veteran. I was only getting about 1 oz of breast milk every 48hrs, so stopped pumping last Wednesday. Although I would have liked to make it to a year.. all in all 8 1/2 months wasn't bad. =o) I'm now trying to put some of that energy into making Avery's foods. Tonight I made some Kiwi- apple. I'm curious to see what she thinks of it. Her favorites right now are Pumpkin Cinnamon & Pumpkin Cinnamon Apple. =o) She will eat every bite of these two.

Okay.. off to stuff diapers. Goodnight. =o)

ETA: Oh yeah! Did I mention that Avery has been chasing the cats?? =o) She's "scooting" around (not quite crawling as she doesn't get up on her knees, but instead does something more like an army crawl & pushing with her feet (looks kind of like climbing on the ground to me.). She's pretty fast at it too. She absolutely L-O-V-E-S the kitties.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What's wrong with High Fructose Corn Syrup?

Have you seen these commercials? My husband & I couldn't believe it when we saw them on TV. Here is an excellent blog about what is wrong with it.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

First Words..

Okay.. so when do you count a word as a first word? Do you count it if they don't repeat it more than once?

For the last week or two Avery has been saying "Hi" while waving at daycare. I haven't heard it although I was there once when she did it. We've been trying over and over to get her to do it at home with no results. Her favorite thing to say is "Ah" and she likes to "Ah" back and forth with everyone (including several of the other babies at her daycare.. apparantly she's a bit of a trend setter.. )

We've been trying to get her to say Mommy, Daddy, Mama, Dada.. etc. for awhile now..

Tonight she was rolling around, looked at me and said "Mama." She didn't repeat it, but both Randy & I heard it...

Then, a co-worker of mine gave me a 3 foot tall giraffe for Avery. It was a much belated shower gift, and I had brought it in and Avery was examining it, patting it, etc. My DH & I were discussing names.. and I looked at Avery and asked what she wanted to name it and she said "Daddy." She wouldn't repeat that one either. (Her timing was just perfect though! Very funny!)

I don't know whether to count any of these as first words as they could have all been coincidences.. .. but how funny! Two one time words in one night. I told her if she wanted to go ahead and crawl tonight she could be 3 for 3, but she didn't go for it. Funny girl!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Avery received mail..

Yesterday Avery received a "Begin Smark Books" book and DVD sample in the mail. I do remember signing up for a giveaway on the 5 minute for books blog (but I didn't win). I have no idea what I did to get the book & DVD for free. ... if I remember I'll let you know. The book is Yummy Yummy. I haven't had a chance to check out the DVD yet. I want to say I remember filling out some kind of a survey on the site.. but I haven't been able to find a trace of it. Mommy brain has apparantly set in.

Blog Giveaway's Carnival

Check it out.

T-Shirts to Newborn gowns..

I might have to pull this one out for some baby gifts sometime.. toooooo cute..

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Simpler Life Blogs?

I want to come back and check out these 100 blogs when I have more time.

Silly Songs with Alley: Vol 1

I don't know why.. but I'm always making up new lyrics to songs and singing them to Avery. Here is a current "favorite" of both of ours...

Sung to Michael Jacksons "Beat It" in reference to Avery's bottle.

Heat It... Heat It.... Heat It so that I can Eat It...
It's been in the fridge.. so it is cold.. but it won't take long for you to.. just Heat it ...

'cause I want to eat that.. Just Heat It... Heat It.. Heat It so that I can Eat It...


Now if I could just get it out of my head!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Coming up for Air..

Avery has been sick for the last few days. She's been sick before, but not like this. I think she had a little bit of everything! It started off with a cough.. and she quickly added diarrhea, a diaper rash, a runny nose & sneezing, a high temperature (103.3 at the highest), an ear ache, and a few bouts of vomitting. All that.. and she's chewing on her tongue and drooling so I believe she's really starting to teeth too. My normally happy girl.. has been feeling awful, and pretty much attached at my hip. Everytime I tried to lay her in her own crib she would wake up crying. Everytime I've changed a diaper she would cry due to the diaper rash. Although we normally cloth diaper.. I can't use the diaper rash cream we usually love because it works within one usage directly on the cloth diapers, so I've been alternating with disposables... but the diarrhea just aggervates it no matter what I do.

We went to the doctor yesterday, and due to the high temp, and the infected ear, they gave her an antibiotic shot. She's also on antibiotics for 10 days. Avery still gets some breast milk, but is on mostly formula (My body has been slowly trying to wean for awhile now). The doctor gave me an anti diarrhea formula, and that really seems to have helped. Her fever has broken, and I've finally been able to let her sleep in her swing for a bit.. or let her play in her exersaucer and get a few minutes away.

I'm so glad she's feeling better and more like herself. Usually when she's asleep I've done necessary things (i.e. make bottles, pump, shower, eat, etc..).. but the last few days have made doing just normal things more difficult unless Randy has been home.

I need mental rest as well as physical.. so I know this isn't that interesting.. just what life has been like the last few days.

Oddly enough.. I've got a lot of reading done. Since she wanted to be held while she slept, I kept a book nearby. I went through 2 in the last 2 days.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Medela Freestyle Breastpump..

I've been pretty much an exclusive pumper for my baby. I just found out about the new Medela Freestyle Breastpump. If I had the extra money lying around I'd buy one this minute! It's just a little more expensive than the Pump In Style Advance. Medela makes a great product.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Half-y Birthday to You...

Today Avery turned 6 months old. It's hard to believe it's already been half a year. My husband Randy kept saying "Half-y Birthday" to her today. LOL. I thought it was appropriate. I made sure to take lots of pictures. Here are some of the best in no particular order.

She has just started sitting on her own for short periods of time. The most I've counted has been 45 seconds.. although usually it is not that long. Here is some pictured proof..

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Just got Avery some of these fantastic fused bibs! They look really wipable, eco-friendly, and the price was really good! =o)

Sassy Green

Just signed up for this Eco-Friendly newsletter. Small "bite sized" ideas for light green living. =o)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Too cute for words...

How cute is this Apron dress?

Recycled Crayons..

I definitely want to make these Recycled Crayons sometime. =o)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wi-Fi detection...

I just found out that there is such a thing as a Wi-Fi detection shirt. How neat is that? LOL Love it!

Craft: Book marks from calendar backs..

Calendars can be a great source of craft material. When I was in college.. I used the pages from an old calendar as pictures on my otherwise-dreary walls. I took the back cover and turned them into book marks for all my different school books. This is a very quick & easy craft. =o)

- Calendar with miniature pictures on back
- Scissors

Here is what the back of each of the above calendars look like:

See how they have mini versions of all the calendar pages in rows? Look at how they are laid out and decide which way you want to cut them (Most calendars I've seen you usually can cut them into rows of 3 or 2).

Here are some bookmarks that I cut out in rows of 4:

Here are some bookmarks that I cut out in rows of 3:

Quick, easy, pretty, and durable. =o)

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls..

These Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls look absolutely delicious! Maybe one day when I actually do some baking I can make some. =oP

Home Made Dryer Sheets?

I have a bunch of ones at home right now... but I find these Home made dryer sheets interesting!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


I'm not sure it's even possible.. but I'm hoping to be more inspired by Minimalist posts like this one. I have no intention of getting THAT lean with my clothing... but I could definitely use some purging. Our house is overrun with clutter right now... and I can't really blame it on Avery or Randy.. it's mostly me.

ETA: Well I put inspiration to action. I didn't do anything with my main closet as Avery & Randy are sleeping.. but I went through all the clothes I had stored in the spare bedroom... I have 1 small tupperware container that I've alotted stuff I can keep .. (mostly my absolute favorite clothes for Avery when she gets older). I have one other small tupperware container that i've alotted for clothes for crafts (turn into clothes for Avery). Outside of that I have one huge blue container full, and one larger (okay extra large) box filled with clothes to get rid of. I also already had a backpack filled with shoes that no longer fit since I had Avery. Earlier this week I had went through my book shelves in the spare room and have 2 large boxes of those (possibly to use some for trade?) ... now if I can only convince Randy to get rid of the bed & night stand in that room that we never use, I can actually have a working craft room. :D

ETA2: Picture update! None of these pictures are the most interesting.. but it will give you an idea of what I've cleaned out so far. When we go to have the yardsale, I'll figure out total numbers.. but wayyyy more than I need!


Books & Shoes:


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Craft: Formula Can Make-over

We have recently had to start using more formula cans, and I decided instead of sending them on to the recycling center.. that I would give them a new life. Have a look:

- Formula Cans (.. or others, use your imagination)
- Glue
- Scissors or paper cutter
- Paper (I used old calendar pages- might also work with fabric)

- Wash & dry can
- Pick out paper you want to go around it
- Cut paper to size
- Glue & let dry
- Enjoy. =o)

- Add twine, ribbon, raffia, buttons, etc.
- Label with scrapbooking stickers

- Craft notion storage
- Make into a toliet paper- tissue dispenser by cutting sunburst holes in lid
- Use for handkerchiefs
- Use as dried flower vase
- Decoration
- Anything small you need to store. =o)

I've kept the lids but I'm not sure what can be done to dress them up. Will let you know if I come up with something!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Paperback Swap!

Remember when I blogged about Books Free? Well now I found something even better! The Paperback Swap website!

I can't wait to get started. Just the other night I went through one of my bookshelves and picked out a pile of books to get rid of. This should be fun! =o)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A few Flickr things..

I love to look and dream about Craft Rooms like these!

Wow! A whole group devoted to Ikea Shelves!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Yummy Spoonful..

I plan to make my own baby food, .. but if I wasn't, Yummy Spoonful looks like a similar alternative. =o)

.. and for adults.. I want to return and look at these Healthier snacks.

400 free pics!

I need to sign up at Arts Cow and get 400 free picture prints! Also.. their regular prices are the best I've seen, and are guaranteed until the end of 2010! =o)

ETA: I'm not sure about their shipping prices though. They seem a bit high.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Books for Avery..

These Begin Smart Books blogged about at 5 minutes for books look fantastic!

Sandwich PJ's..

I really really want to get some Sandwich pajama's & napsacks. =o)

To Make..

These picture frames inspire me. I think I could make something similar for Avery's room.

Monday, July 14, 2008

More Coupon Stuff

Saw another coupon thing on tv tonight. This one was on inside edition. A lady named Chrissy (Crissy?) who cuts coupons, looks at deals and can feed her family on $10 a week. She said she never buys pasta, that it is always free. Her website doesn't have much on it.. but here is one of the websites she links to:

Found out about This Site where you can just get coupons without buying a paper. =o)

ETA: Apprantly Coupon Mom Is similar to the grocery game, except free.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

Yoga Pants from T-Shirt

I *HAVE* to try to make these "Yoga Pants from a T-Shirt." They look soooo comfortable!

Also the similar Easy Kids Pants.

The owner of Mmmm, Brains made both of them.

The Cosmetic Database

Want to see just how safe the cosmetic products you use are? Check out The Cosmetic Database. Unfortunately some of the products I use the most don't rank to well. I will be looking for safer replacements as I use them up.

Etsy Fun- Strawberry Edition

Just a few fun Strawberry listings...

Strawberry Passport Cover
A Strawberry Cupcake Pincushion
Strawberry & Flower Blossoms Bracelet
Strawberry Patch Olive Oil and Shea Butter Soap
Strawberry Alligator Hair Clip
Strawberry Hair clip
Strawberries & Cream Goats Milk Soap
Strawberry picnic ponytail holders
Shortcake Hemp Organic Cotton Wrap Skirt
Strawbery & Dots Oilcloth Lunch Bag
Strawberry tea towel apron
Strawberry blanket
Berry Fresh Quote tote
Strawberry Baby Doll Diaper

I wish I had a room in my house these Vintage Strawberry Curtains would look good in... I love them!

Square Foot Gardening

Our soil is not the best quality at our house. I admit, I don't have a very green thumb.. but Randy has grown up with gardens all of his life. We've tried planting some already-growing tomatoes, and some sunflower seeds, but the tomatoes did not take, and the seeds did not grow. That is why I was pretty excited when I found out about Square Foot Gardening.

You build boxes above the ground where you put Mel's special mixture. Even though we don't have a very large yard, we will be able to do this. You can actually grow more in less space than you would in a traditional row garden.

Frugal Dad has a great blog post on "How to build a square foot garden." One of the things that the reviewers of the book at Amazon have to say is that the vermiculite for Mel's mix is a little hard to find sometimes. Fortunately they have listed some of their tips in their reviews.

I doubt we will try this this before next summer. Hopefully that will give us enough time to find all the needed items and learn more about it. =o)


Remember when I talked about Books Free? (A service similar to Netflix or Blockbuster?). I just found out that a new site is coming out called Maghound that will offer Magazines. According to This Post Users will pay about $5 a month for three magazines, $8 for five, $10 for seven and $1 for each additional. (About 10% of titles, including some weeklies, will cost more.)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My beautiful little girl...

At my husbands suggestion I took Avery outside on Saturday to try to get some pictures of her.. Here is one of my favorites. =o)

Is the grocery store ripping you off?

Read about these ways that the grocery store rips you off.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Yay! Great FSOT find!

Avery absolutely refuses to nurse.. so I pump and give her breast milk. Even so, I'm only producing about 2/3 of what she needs right now, and have to supplement with formula. I love FSOT (For Sale or Trade) on one of the forums I frequent. I stumbled across a listing for an unopen can of the formula we use & 3 $5 coupons for $10 shipped. Definitely a win-win situation for me!! =o)

Crayon Rocks

These Crayon Rocks will be great when Avery gets a bit older. =o)

Ever blown up the engine on your car?

.. I have. On the interestate even. More later.

ETA: I just realized I didn't come back and update this! On my way home from work, I noticed I was having trouble with my airconditioner keeping the car cool. I had even called Randy and asked if he would look at it when I got home. I was driving along with the radio off when I thought I heard noise like the radio. I realized I was having trouble keeping up speed, so got into the slow lane as soon as I could. It was less than a minute before I had lost speed almost entirely. I eased to the side, and there was a (small) explosion with white smoke. I kept coasting as long as I could, and made it just short of the 3/4 mile sign to my exit. A nice gentleman in the Air National Guard who was on his way home pulled over almost immediately. He saw what had happened and helped Avery & me get over the railing so we wouldn't be right on the interstate while we waited on Randy to come. (on a side note, those signs on the side of the interstate? HUGE! Much larger than they seem while you are driving.) Fortunately Randy was just a few miles away and came and picked us up. It seems I didn't blow up the ENTIRE engine.. just the head gaskets? (Nope, don't know what that means, but thats what Randy tells me). I have a 10 year power train warranty on my car (a 2001), so Randy is having it towed to the dealership on Friday. Thank God that it turned out the way it did!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Secret Life of an American Teenager

We just have basic cable in our household, so I would say at least a good 75% of the time I'm watching TV, it is on ABC Family. I still think of it as the "Family Channel" as it was called years ago before all the different buy outs. I liked the Family Channel then, and I like it now even with all the changes. Something that is pretty new in recent years is that they are now producing original movies & television series. To me when I think "Family".. I think it should mean that it is "Safe for all ages." Instead I find that many of the shows and movies deal with issues that even adults find difficult. Last week, the newest show to be added to the ranks of ABC family was "The Secret Life of an American Teenager." I have to say that I really enjoy this show (.. but then I tend to like shows geared towards younger kids..) It's dealing with some very tough life & sexual issues. The main character is a 15 year old girl named Amy. When we pick up with the show she is taking a pregnancy test and has just found out that she is pregnant. Amy is not the only one on the show dealing with hard issues though. Ricky (aka- the baby's daddy) is shown talking with a counselor about his own "conquest" issues regarding females... and we find out that he was sexually abused by his father before being placed in foster care. Another character, Grace, has just accepted a promise ring from her parents, agreeing not to have sex until she's married. Her boyfriend does not take this very well... he seems to be having trouble dealing with his raging teenage-boy hormones. There is a lot more going on besides this. I don't know how likely it is, but I'm hoping that maybe a little education of our American Teenagers will happen along with entertainment.

Beginning to Recycle

I have never lived anywhere that had curb-side recycling.. and I'm ashamed to admit that it never occured to me to search these places out. With our recent switch to cloth diapering, it's really opened my eyes to what we could be recycling. I've been playing phone tag with the gentleman at our local Recycling center for weeks now.. and I finally caught him on the phone today. Here are the items they accept:

* Glass (clear & plastic)
* Plastics (1,2,5 & 6)
* Cardboard
* Paper (newspaper & office)
* Magazines
* Yardwaste
* Scrap metal
* Aluminum

Once we take it to the recycling center we will put it into the bins with like items, so we do not have to package it up. I was expecting them to only say 1&2 for plastics.. so I'm real happy about 5&6 (i.e. my yogurt containers are 5's I believe!)

This past weekend Randy & I picked up our trashcans to set up for recycling. (Will come back and insert picture here). I'm really excited about this!

Baby Interaction

My little girl Avery is just a little over 5 months old. You could always tell that she just loves social interaction.. with kids, babies, adults, you name it. It has been fun to see her really start interacting more and more with others. When it comes to playing though, at this age babies are more likely to play side by side than with each other. I took Avery in to daycare this morning, and there was a new little girl there. I put Avery down to play on the playmat nearby. The new little girl crawled over and (to my surprise.. and Avery's too) began hitting Avery on her head. Now I know the little girl this age doesn't really know what she's doing. She just wanted to "play" with (as the daycare provider called it) her new toy. LOL. Avery didn't really fuss about it at first, although I did go over to reposition her a little bit. Before I left though? Avery had moved back to the other little girl and was hitting the little girl on HER head. Retaliation? I don't know.. LOL.. I wouldn't think she could comprehend it at this age.. but when I said "Avery, don't hit her just because she hit you." ... she did look at me like "Why not Mom?" I'm thinking she's been watching too much Gladiator with Daddy?

Police Woman Nurses 9

"Chinese Police woman nurses 9 babies during quake disaster"

God bless this woman! They have had this article up in our lactation room for a few weeks (months?) now. I'm so impressed by this. I can't even imagine how much milk she had to be producing!

Veggie Burgers & Hungry Girls..

I've never had a Veggie Burger... but I think I'd like to try This One! (Also a reminder for me to return and check out the Cooking on a Budget Section.)

I also really like this Hungry Girl Website. It shows tips and tricks on how to make recipes better for you & even gives the weight watcher points value for them. Here is the example of an alternative to a Blizzard from DQ.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Two Great Mama Safety Links...

One of the best resources for anyone Pregnant, Breast Feeding, or Trying to Conceive as far as medications go is Safe Fetus. My mom is a nurse, and even she was impressed by their comprehensive look at different drugs effects. To give you an idea how this works.. here is what it has to say about Advil. I love how it breaks it down into different categories... "B" for 1st & 2nd trimester of pregnancy.. "D" for third Trimester, Also telling you what the fetal risk is when used, and then whether or not it passes into breast milk. I turned to this website many times, and have referred other Mama's to it as well.

A good website for child safety, recalls, and general health and wellbeing is Safe Mama. (I'm especially interested right now in coming back and reading her articles on Sunscreen and Bug Repellents.)

Anti-Coloring Books?

I think I've found something I'd like to get the neices and nephews for Christmas! Check out..."The Anti-coloring book" series.

Great BPA/ Sippy Cup article..

Have you heard the news that came out recently about BPA (bisophenol-A)? Unless you are a Mom you might not have, but it's a hot topic on many mommy oriented forums. BPA is a hormone/chemical most often found in polycarbonate plastics. (i.e. baby bottles & sippy cups are made of these). I stumbled across a great blog today.. "Battle of the BPA free sippy cups" at Nature Mom's Blog. She does a great job breaking down some of the information on BPA!

When Avery was born, we started out using Dr. Browns bottles made of polycarbonate. I knew that there was stuff going around about BPA, but had not really read any of it myself and just thought it was people over reacting. Then I found out Canada outlawed it and had pulled it from all of their shelves. I started reading the articles, and finally decided that I'd rather make a change then risk giving my baby hormones in her bottles. I had stumbled across another great article talking about how only the bottles and not the inserts, etc. on the Dr. Browns bottles had BPA in them, and how they could be used with Evenflo plastic bottles which are BPA free (and $2.99 for a 3 pack at target) after trimming the straw-looking part of the inserts. My husband Randy trimmed them for me and we've been using these bottles ever since.

Since this time Dr. Browns has come out with a BPA free bottle. We love our Dr. Browns bottles, so I recommend the BPA free kind if you are looking for any. =o)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Books Free & Free Books...

More than a year ago now, I stumbled across a listing in a local magazine for Books Free. I think most people have heard of mail order movies by now.. such as Netflix or Blockbuster. This is the same concept... except with books instead of movies. This is such a great alternative for someone who doesn't have easy access to the library and wants to read more without buying every book they want to read. My mom jumped all over the idea as soon as she heard of it. She lives in a tiny place, and never read as much as she wanted to because of the lack of storage space. She graciously let me add some of my own books to her list, so I got to try it out through her. It really was great! One of my best friends found out about it from me, and since she does a lot of traveling with her job, she subscribed to to the books on CD version on the site. Definitely not for everyone, but worth looking into if you read a lot. =o)

... Speaking of Books. Do you know about Project Gutenberg? The first time I stumbled across this, I felt like I had discovered an electronic treasure. Project Gutenberg is an effort to digitalize full texts of public domain books. You can read them online, download them to your computer or palm.. and there are even some songs on there. I especially recommend checking out the books by Grace Livingston Hill or L.M. Montgomery.

One Red Paperclip..

I don't know just how long ago it was when I first heard about One Red Paperclip. It is all about a guy who traded a red paperclip.. and just kept on trading and bartering until he got a House! All from One Red Paperclip. If you haven't heard about this check it out!

Just Tomatoes?

A link for me to come back and check out in more detail later:

Laptop Lunches..

Have you ever seen Laptop lunches? I've heard about them in passing.. not thinking much about them, but lately I've seen some pictures of the lunches that people put in their laptop lunches and they look fantastic! I wish I had more time in my days. I think this is something I would like to get and try at some point.

The Grocery Game..

I stumbled across the grocery game last night while going from website to website. I'm very interested in this! My husband and I have a 5 month old daughter, and our budget has tightened recently. Outside of that we do have some debt we have been working to pay off along and along... so I constantly keep my eyes open for ways that we might be able to save money. I thought we were doing pretty good with our grocery shopping.. but this looks even better. Make sure to watch this video about it too.

I've just signed up for the 4 week $1 trial. I will keep you posted. =o)

Getting Started..

Just a brief intro before I get everything set up. I'm basically creating this for me. I'm *constantly* stumbling across new interests & links, products, ideas that I find interesting and want to put into effect. I was thinking that instead of constantly e-mailing myself everything.. that it might be fun to make a blog specifically for this eclectic collection. Who knows.. maybe there is someone out there who finds the same stuff interesting. =o)

ETA: I feel such a need to get all the things I currently have and want saved on here down that I will probably have lots and lots of posts at first. Eventually this will slow down a bit. Pictures coming in the future too!