***If you have made your way back to Momsie, I am so glad you found us! We had some technical issues with the domain name so make note of the new web address. Another good reason to "follow" us and "like" us on Facebook so you can stay in the know!! Pass the word to people still searching for Momsie!***

Monday, May 30, 2011

Medicated Moms...

So I know this topic will probably have you all split right down the middle.  Like a lot of subjects with motherhood, I am sure there are basically two camps on this, those for and those against.  If there is one lesson I am reminded of over and over again with motherhood it is DON'T JUDGE.  As soon as you do you will be stuffing a passy in your kid's mouth, using formula, or swaddling past 5 months.  One of my favorite things to do for fun is listen to people without any kids talk about what they will never do with their own children.  I did it.  You did too.  I think passing judgement is a just a way for moms to reassure themselves that what they are doing is great, because really in the back of all of our mind's we really aren't sure if we are doing it right or not. 

Aside from all of the things we debate over regarding our children, like breast-feeding, sleep schedules, vaccines/no vaccines, and on and on there are also subjects of our own well-being.  Should you go back to work?  Should you have more children?  Should you do the boob job now or later?  There are a lot of stresses that come with motherhood and the issue of your mental health is one that a lot of mothers struggle with.  I cannot speak on post-partum depression but I can tell you that there have been many days that I felt overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious.  With my first it was because everything was so new and every decision felt monumental.  When we added my second it was just because I didn't feel like I could keep it all together.  I still don't a lot of days.

For me the root of most of my stress comes from lack of sleep.  I used to sleep like a champ but after kids I can't remember the last time I have had deep peaceful sleep.  Whether its my son waking us up early or racing thoughts at night, my brain never seems to shut down.  It seems like such a simple problem but being tired has definitely affected my interaction with my kids as well as my husband.  I can be near tears just because a drink is spilled or I can't find my shoes.  I also, embarrassingly, have screamed at my kids for trivial things.  I know I don't have to tell you all how it feels at the end of the day when I think back to times I lost my you-know-what over something so stupid.  And all because I am just so freaking tired.    

I did try natural sleep remedies and even Ambien but neither really kept me from waking up going over that stupid to-do list.  I finally, finally decided to ask my doctor his opinion and after hearing my sleep patterns he suggested an anti-anxiety medicine.  I trust my doctor totally and he said it is very common for women to be kept awake due to anxiety.  This medicine will help shut down that part of my brain.  So...I have taken the medicine and....I am sleeping like college again (minus a hang-over in the morning!).  I would never recommend any medicine to anyone but for me this solution is right for me for right now.    I know that right now I need this help to be more patient and a properly functioning mother.

I share this only because I think a lot of women feel ashamed of needing help.  Whether its medicine, therapy, yoga, or just a set girls night once-a-week, do what you need to feel sane.  Just make sure that it is legal and healthy.   Going to jail or ending up on an episode of Intervention is not the way to go here! It is important to acknowledge that each year is different and just because you could handle something a year ago doesn't mean that you may not be overwhelmed by it this year.  And thats OK!!  I don't want to waste time crying over spilled milk, literally, and I don't think it is fair to my kids to act like a raging lunatic just because I am not sleeping well.  One day down the road I will stop taking medicine and devote some time to getting back on a healthy sleep pattern naturally but for now I am taking the help.
Happy Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Goodbye Oprah...

Today is the final Oprah show.  Moment of silence please.

For 25 years this show has been on which means over half of my life.  I remember coming home from junior high and hating that my mom was hogging the tv to watch The Oprah Winfrey Show.  Every once in a while I would watch too but only when someone really interesting was on like, The New Kids on the Block or M.C. Hammer.  Through high school I would watch a little more often because I enjoyed the makeovers or cheating husband stories.  When I graduated and left home for college Oprah was a comforting reminder of home each afternoon.  And as I became an adult I finally started realizing why my mom watched it all those years.  I have learned a lot from other mother's on her show and also just from Oprah herself.  Above all I have treasured the entertainment of it on those afternoons when I had just become a mom and felt a million miles from the rest of the world.  

Along with her hair, Oprah's show topics improved over time and eventually became a staple of my afternoons.  Sounds cheesy but I always feel like I walk away having learned something new.  Sometimes the lessons were real "a-ha moments" other times it was just simple life advice, like never jump up and down on a couch.  

I wish so much that I had been able to sit in her audience just once.  Especially on the Favorite Things episode!!  The Oprah Show really has been a great part of my life and I couldn't let this day pass without saying a little something.  Oprah is an inspiration and there really never will be a show like hers.  I will miss you Oprah!    

She's Doing What?!

I am very, very excited to tell you all about something new that is going to be happening right here on Momsie!  As my 4 year old says I am "one million excited!!"  As you all know I love having guest bloggers.  Its fun to read about other people's thoughts and how things are in their home.  So, I am thrilled to announce that there is going to be a permanent guest blogger joining me every week!  Once a week she will contribute a post and I know you all are going to love it.  How do I know?  Well, because the day she posted something for me a few months ago caused some of the heaviest traffic to my site that I have seen.  The new girl is none other than my sister, Adrienne who posted this little gem:  "10 Things I thought Motherhood Would Be".

If you read that post you probably peed your pants for starters and then seriously questioned whether this woman should be allowed to have children.  Then you probably sighed a huge sense of relief knowing that someone else felt just like you.  If you read that post you will be shocked at what is next on the horizon for Adrienne.  I can't tell you anymore than that...you will have to just make sure to check in next Wednesday, June 1st to find out!

Before I let Adrienne lose on this site I need to formally introduce her to you.  Who better to give you the low-down on someone than her very own sister.  Adrienne is the oldest of me and my sisters and was the stereotypical oldest child growing up.  She used to play school with us and actually assigned homework that had to be completed.  I don't know what's sadder, that she actually checked our work or that we were dumb enough to do it.  She had endless imagination and would always come up with activities for us to do.  Some of my personal favorites were playing Little House on the Prairie, pretending to be a band, or reenacting The Sound of Music.

Oh and then there were some other "fun" memories.  Like that time she wrote fake secret admirer letters to me and convinced me to meet "him" in the park.  It was awesome when I showed up to find my mystery man was actually my middle sister in my dad's coat with a paper bag over her head.  Another great time was when she convinced us that my parents would love it if we rearranged all of the furniture in our house.  For some reason my parents did not love having every piece of furniture caddy-cornered, in every room.  Weird?!

Adrienne has some great qualities, one of my favorites being her intense phobia of throwing up.  She is so physically afraid of puking that she has willed herself not to almost her entire life.  She has not thrown up since the 5th grade.  I find this to be almost miraculous.  You would assume that after 25 years has passed since a person has thrown up that they would feel calm when faced with a stomach bug, but not Adrienne.  If she hears of anyone within a 30 mile radius of her home having the stomach bug she goes into full on psycho mode.  If your child catches any type of throw-up virus they better not have been around her family in at least 97 hours.  I remember the first time my niece and her spent the night with me and my niece got sick.  I didn't have kids of my own and I just assumed that maternal instinct would rule over her phobia.  When I came down the hallway to find my niece standing in a pool of vomit, I almost couldn't hear her whimpers over my sister's screams as she ran past me, away from her own child. 

Adrienne also has a knack for being in really embarrassing situations.  I swear I remember breast-feeding and hearing my mom say "Adrienne, please think before you speak."  One time when she did not heed that advice was while waiting tables in college.  The kitchen guys used to love to play pranks and decided to add a name to the wait list.  They then told Adrienne to go call the next group for their table.  Adrienne went and loudly over the microphone called for Stankbutt, party of 4!  Or how about the time she called the bank to complain about some fees she was being charged.  The lady patiently went over all the fees the bank was obligated to charge.  Adrienne, looking over her statement frustrated said, "Ok well what about this Proactive charge??"  The lady, probably feeling pity at this point said "Ma'am I believe that Proactive is an acne medication."

Adrienne is always good for laughs and they have only multiplied now that she is raising 3 lively little girls.  I cannot wait for you all to get a peek into her world each week.  Make sure to check in on Wednesdays for her posts beginning June 1st!

Winner of the Nature Museum Give Away...

I will take it as a opportunity to do something good....I didn't have any takers of the Nature Museum tickets so I am donating them to a lucky family at Sarah's House!  

Speaking of Sarah's House we are in the midst of our room make-over!  We have been scouring Craigslist, IKEA, HomeGoods, and everywhere in between trying to find all the pieces necessary to turn this blah room into something fabulous!  It is slowly but surely coming together and we cannot wait to see, and share with you all, the final product.  Stay tuned as we are tentatively planning for it to be completed in the next two weeks!  

There is still time to donate if you would like.  The more money we raise, the more we can put into this room or other rooms at Florence Crittenton.  I have had some other residents come up and personally ask me if we could help with their rooms as well.  There are plenty of areas there that could use sprucing up so please let me know if you have time, services, furniture, or money you would like to donate!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

FREE Things to Do: 5/24-6/1

Michaels (Park Rd. and Arboretum locations)
Come let your kids make something crafty for Dad.  In honor of Father's Day the stores are offering FREE make-and-take workshops:

Father's Day frames: 6/11/11 10:00-Noon
Father's Day Tie or T-shirt: 6/12/11 1:00-3:00pm
Father's Day mug:  6/14/11 6:00-8:00pm
Father's Day duck tape wallet: 6/16/11 6:00-8:00pm

*All crafts supplies are on a first-come-first-serve basis.  All for ages 3 and up.

For toddlers:
Family Storytime:  Everyday from 5/24 thru 6/1 at 10:30am
Yoga Storytime:  5/25 at 11:00am

For elementary and teens:
Hands-on Robot building and programming:  5/25 at 4:00pm
Teen Sketchbook Project:  5/26 at 4:00pm
Come play Catch Phrase:  5/27 at 3:00pm

Dish it Out (Stonecrest)
After school art camp:  5/25 from 4:00-5:00pm
*may involve cost for supplies

Cotswold Toys & Co. (Sharon Amity: Cotswold Shopping Center)
Music with Mr. Nigel: 11:00am

Barnes and Noble (Morrison Place)
Saturday Storytime: 5/28 at 11:00am 
Toddler Tuesdays: 5/31 at 10:00am

Special Memorial Day Festivities...

  • Head to any area spraygrounds:  all Char-meck parks officially open their spraygrounds this weekend!
  • 2011 Patriots Festival:  From 9:00am-5:00pm celebrate at Symphony Park at Southpark.  There will be live music, military exhibitions, picnic, and special appearances by Sir Purr and Rufus from the Charlotte Bobcats!
  • Head out to see the Knights play at 7:15pm on May 30th
  • Don't miss the 17th Annual Speed Street going on downtown all weekend.  Great entertainment and food!
  • Celebrate Memorial Day with a live concert and fireworks display at the National Whitewater Center.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Guest Bloggers: Dealing with Food Allergies

I am blessed to have two children who do not have any food allergies.  I never even thought about allergies until I met my friend, Jen.  Her son and mine quickly became best buddies and so we had to quickly learn about food allergies.  I can't imagine how stressful it is to have to watch what your child eats, especially when they are not with you.  Jen has really done a great job doing her research and making sure her kids never feel excluded.  I know lots of you will benefit from hearing her story and I hope any other parents of children with food allergies will leave her comments and questions as I know she is happy to help!

Food Allergies by: Jen Payne

When I found out I was pregnant with my first child I was so excited. I could not believe that I was finally going to have a baby. I wanted to make sure I did all the right things while I was pregnant, this was my first baby and I had to follow all the rules in the book “What to expect when you are expecting”. This included eating healthy and exercising and just taking care of my body. I figured if I was doing all these things then there was no way I would have any issues with my baby boy. The “eating healthy” not so much, but I did try to exercise and loved doing prenatal yoga.

When I finally delivered Gavin he ended up being the perfect baby. He was so cute and happy and I knew I did everything right during my pregnancy. Around 6 weeks I noticed a rash on Gavin’s face and I just figured baby’s skin is just sensitive and didn’t read much into it. It progressively got worse and it spread over his whole body. I had no clue what it was as I was only breastfeeding and not even starting solids. Around 3 months I took him to his Dr. and they diagnosed him with eczema. I hated it because the poor little guy was so itchy and uncomfortable. The Dr. mentioned to me sometimes babies with eczema have food allergies..well I just threw that out. I didn’t eat peanut butter while I was pregnant and I strictly breastfed. Let me mention my biggest worry was having a baby with a peanut allergy.

We decided to wait until 6 months to start solids and we had his eczema under control with lotions. Around 7 months I fed him this organic baby food (yes I had to use all organic, this was my first baby let me remind you!). Shortly after he started to get some hives, as a first time mother and a worrier I told my husband. He just calmly looked at me and said he is fine do not stress. I did because that is what mother’s do. After his face started swelling and he was looking very lethargic I decided to take him to the ER cursing my husband the whole way since he said it was nothing and I was over reacting.
It turned out Gavin had an allergic reaction and started to go into anaphylactic shock. A week later when I got the news that he was allergic to dairy, soy, peanuts, strawberries, eggs, barley and green beans I just collapsed on the couch and cried. What do I feed my child, why did this happen to me?

It was such an emotional time, this was my first baby and not only did he have a peanut allergy but 6 more to go with it. After my pity party I had to pull myself together and do research. I got involved in PAK (Parents of Allergic Kids) and just started reading every single nutrition label at the grocery store. I think I now know every ingredient in every product in the entire grocery store.

After a few months it became a little easier believe it or not. But then I had to deal with other people being around Gavin and having food he was allergic to. Thankfully I have some wonderful friends, even a few who were in the same boat as me. Whenever we had playgroups they always made sure there were snacks Gavin could eat. We couldn’t just go out to eat without having to pack his meal or go to someone’s house for dinner.
Most of the time I would just bring his food worrying that any “safe” foods could be cross contaminated and Gavin could have a severe reaction. Over time is has gotten easier and I have instilled it since Gavin was a baby that he cannot eat certain things.
He knows what foods he is allergic to and will never eat something without asking first (he is such a trooper!).

When I had my second child Chase I was definitely prepared and had him tested right away. I was astonished that the results came back and he had NO food allergies; I didn’t know what to do with myself.  At his first birthday party I got a cake (yes one that wasn’t vegan) and was so excited…well that didn’t last long as after his first bite I saw all the signs. The hives, the swelling and I just knew. Yes Chase developed food allergies and unfortunately they are the opposite of Gavin so this was yet another curve in the road. But we again got past it and knew we had no choice but to deal with what God gave us.

We take our boys to Duke University to see the best Dr in the Nation and they continue to give us hope. They have outgrown some food allergy reactions but it will probably take a few years before they outgrow them all. The Doctor gave us statistics that 80 percent of children can outgrow dairy and egg allergies while 20 percent for peanuts.

I had yet another baby (Sadie – finally a girl!!) and was told she will have an 80 percent chance of having food allergies. Well I just got her tested and so far so good.
I do plan on getting her tested again when she turns (1) so I don’t have the same situation I did with (my second) Chase. If she does have them I will be okay with it.  This is all I know and to be honest I am not sure what to do with myself when it comes to feeding Sadie. I mean eat whatever she wants?? That is a whole new world to me.

I have to say I am truly blessed to have some great friends who respect my children’s food allergies but it hasn’t always been easy. Going to Birthday parties my children always have to bring their vegan cupcakes. When we go out we always have to bring their food. There are some restaurants they can eat, and children having more and more food allergies Chefs are aware and can usually accommodate which is great. I do always worry and it does break my heart that they can’t eat what the other kids do.

The other day a mother brought in cupcakes to school and didn’t let me know prior. The teacher called me to double check if Chase could eat it and he couldn’t. I did have to run to Earthfare and bring him something. I do wish some parents would just pay extra attention because it isn’t always easy to have a child with food allergies. This has definitely been a challenge that we have to overcome on a daily basis.

For now we continue to do what we are doing and pray that one day they will outgrow their allergies.

7 or Less (week 2)...

This week's easy recipe is so good for this hot weather.  Wasn't it just gloomy and raining last week?  When the southern heat rolls in all I want is something crisp and light.  This recipe fits the bill.  Don't forget to check out some other recipes below.  Each uses some of these same 7 ingredients so you can get multiple meals out of this shopping trip.  

12 oz. pork tenderloin

  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. honey mustard
  • 6 cups torn romaine and/or spinach
  • 2 cups fresh or canned pineapple chunks and/or sliced fresh nectarines or peaches
  • Cracked black pepper (optional)

    Ginger-pineapple dressing recipe

    For the rest of the week...
    Spinach and Pineapple Salad *(Add grilled chicken)

Friday, May 20, 2011

One more Thing to Do This Weekend...

Ballantyne's Movies in the Park kicks off tonight at Ballantyne Corporate Park.  The whole family can enjoy "Shrek Ever After" along with free popcorn and bottled water.  The event is sponsored by CrossPoint Church.  For map and directions click here.  Movies start at dusk.

The next movie scheduled Despicable Me on June 17th. 

FYE: 5/20/11...Selwyn Spring Festival

Looking for something fun to do this weekend?  Tranquil Court on Selwyn Ave. is hosting a Spring Festival.  There will be food, drinks, a cartoonist, tarot card readings, live music, and more.  Plus there will be gifts and specials from some of the local shops, like Ruby's Gifts.  While you are in the area you can stop in Mellow Mushroom or Selwyn Pub.  Both have fabulous patios for enjoying this weather!    

Friday 11-7pm
Saturday 10-5pm

*located at the corner of Selwyn Ave. and Colony

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It Takes Time to be a Mom...

Every time I sit down at my desk to blog, pay bills, check Facebook, or organize our calendar I am overwhelmed by all there is to do in life.  There always seems to be an appointment to be made or a friend to call back or money to be spent.  Each month the weekends fill up with things before we are even into the second week and suddenly months are flying by and things just aren't slowing down.  I swear I don't remember this happening before kids.  Maybe it did but back then having a full schedule was great.  You didn't have obligatory things like T-Ball games, 2nd birthday parties, and swim lessons.  You didn't have to coordinate a babysitter and most importantly you didn't have to wait anxiously for a weekend just to get a break.  Now I get stressed when I start filling our calendar up.  I don't want to get up early on a Saturday and run around like a crazy person.  I want to just slow down and hang out.  

I don't regret having children, they are not the problem here.  The problem is that I, for one, feel the need to attend everything, return every phone call, and upload every frickin picture to Facebook.  I am one of those people who wishes cell phones were never invented.  Yes, I am always on mine but half the time I just want to throw the thing in the nearest lake.  Or even better just finally let my children have their way with it...go ahead boys drool into the speaker, bang it like a drum, and put your sticky fingers all over it!  Cell phones and email make everyone think that you should always be 100% available and reliable.  What everyone forgets is that life changes after kids.  The amount you talk on the phone doesn't show the value of your friendship, returning emails can't be a #1 priority, and, if you can't get a hold of someone...you'll live!  

I have noticed my stress level rising since having my second.  I never stop going and a lot of times I end up taking the stress out on my family.  Then I beat myself up about it as I drift off to sleep.  Today my cell phone died while I was out and about and it was heaven.  I couldn't call anyone and it was a relief.  Half my conversations are just to pass time yet I will rip my kids a new one if they interrupt.  As I drove around today I realized my day was less stressful and my kids benefited.  I know giving up my cell phone is not an option and neither is disconnecting our computer but I am going to stop treating both as if they were my top priority.  I am fortunate enough to have friendships that can lasts through these busy years without daily phone calls.  If they can't then maybe this is a great weeding out tool anyways!  I am going to try to do what most of us women have the hardest time doing, I am going to stop worrying and taking care of everyone else.  My kids, my husband, and myself will be first and everything and everyone else will fall in line.  I have a feeling that most of my friends really won't miss my boring phone calls anyways; who misses hearing their friends scream at her children in their ear?!  

So, if you call me you might hear a new voicemail message, something like this:  "Hi, sorry I missed your call but I have kids.  This means that I am either busy right now chasing them with their clothes trying to dress them or I am in the check out line at Target buying something to feed, cloth, or clean them.  I will try my best to remember to call you back but please allow 7-10 days or possibly just until my kids are in college.  Thanks for understanding."  beeeep.  Maybe I'll set one that as my automated reply on email as well.  Is there a way to set a message to play in real life when someone asks what's for dinner??

I want to stop having a full calendar and more time to just enjoy ourselves.  This summer it is my mission to cut back on all the things that just end up making me crazy.  And the best part about it is...I am offering no apologies to anyone!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

FREE Stella and Dot Jewelry

I have always been skeptical about any kind of "home party" so it was a big deal for me to host one.  The only reason I did is because it was for Stella and Dot.  If you have ever seen their jewelry you know what I am talking about.  It is all gorgeous!!  I was happy to host a party because, a.) I knew my friends would love the jewelry and b.) I heard the hostess rewards were worth it.  And oh man were they worth it!  I was so bummed because the day of my party the typical thing happened...everyone started backing out.  Sick kids, late husbands, no money, etc. etc.  I really considered canceling because only 4 people were coming but my stylist, Jennifer Payne, suggested we go ahead with the party.  It was such a fun night and everyone was able to find things they loved.  The best part of my party was two weeks later when my little teal and green boxes arrived on my doorstep.  Let me remind you that my party was not even that big and no one went crazy ordering and I still was able to order all of this for FREE... 

To schedule your party contact, Jennifer Payne at jbaiad@gmail.com or click on her ad in the sidebar!

Winner of The Nature Museum tickets...

I am extending the giveaway for one more week.  Winner will be announced next Wednesday, the 25th!  Get your comments in....why would you pass up FREE tickets and an activity to keep your kids entertained for a day?!

To leave a comment leave a comment on Facebook or under this post.

Maybe I am the only one who gets stir crazy at home.  Or maybe I am the only one with a little one who would think a real live alligator is awesome.  Or maybe I am the only mom who sometimes likes to kill time in the mornings and would prefer to let someone else do the entertaining?!  Come on, I know I am not the only one....

Monday, May 16, 2011

Guest Bloggers: CRUNCH

Today's post comes from another local blogger, Rachael.  She has this blogging thing down and you will love reading what she has to say.  I am not "green" in the least.  I have an abnormal obsession with paper towels, sometimes I don't recycle because I am just too lazy, and we go through diapers by the mile.  So for me to feature a post from a girl who describes herself as "crunchy" is stepping way outta the box for me.  I have to say she makes me think.  Check out the rest of her blog Letters to Ames to catch up on how she just became mom to twin girls!  (She already has 3 sons!!)  

more kids, less footprints

Upon meeting my husband, my idea of the fairy-tale family flew out the window. He already had two boys from a previous marriage – something I’d not considered as a teenager, doodling wedding dresses and future children’s names.

However, I quickly fell in love with Lucas & Avery, and I made them mine. I also looked forward to kids of my own. We were pregnant two months after getting married. And then again, when our son turned nine months old. The sisters will bring our total to five children, ages eleven & under.

While it’s enough to make our heads spin, we’re not exactly breaking the bank. I have to smile when I hear parents complain about baby expenses. When it comes down to it, babies really only need the basics. We choose to cloth diaper, breastfeed, make our own baby food, and buy clothes & gear on consignment.

With household expenses, we’ve incorporated green habits into our lifestyle. We buy cloth napkins at thrift stores. They reside in a basket on our dining table – a colorful centerpiece & a fun way to remind the kids to use manners. For kitchen clean-ups, we use flour sacks and dish rags in place of paper towels. Instead of several different cleaning products, we usually grab the vinegar. White distilled cleans glass like a charm, and the apple cider clears up diaper rashes. We cook with both kinds, too!

I’ve discovered two great benefits of going crunchy in our house:
Saves money. I don’t feel guilty when I buy baby clothes at consignment stores or on clearance. Ames might only wear an outfit once before outgrowing it, but it cost me two bucks! In addition, I shop more frequently without spending more. Retail therapy with a twist! It’s fun to pop in somewhere and pick up a special item for one of the kids. Also, we’ve virtually eliminated miscellaneous trips to big box stores. No more “paper towel runs” resulting in hundreds of dollars spent on who-knows-what. 

Gets the kids involved. I’m convinced our lifestyle keeps our boys well-behaved. They don’t whine about toys at stores. We don’t have to bribe them to go shopping. Our trips are intentional, well-organized, and almost always fun for the whole family. What kid doesn’t want to dig through a pile of old books at Goodwill? It’s like a treasure hunt! And because our cleaning habits are non-toxic, each child is responsible for helping with household cleaning. Arm an eight-year old with a spray bottle of vinegar & water, and you’ll have a sparkling bathroom in ten minutes flat. Just remind him the walls don’t need cleaning…or do they?

While we care about the environment and do our best to treat it nicely, Chris & I have been pleasantly surprised with the added bonuses that accompany a green family lifestyle. There’s no going back now. Crunch!

7 or Less (week 1)...

This week will kick off my new mission.  Last month it was grocery shopping for $40/week, this month it will be cooking a main dish that require 7 ingredients or less.  This should hopefully fall right in line with my efforts to spend less at the grocery store.  If at all possible I am going to try to line up meals that use many of the same 7 ingredients so I can get the most bang for my buck.  Oh and I guess these meals need to be kid-friendly, oh and healthy, oh and taste good...jeez.  This recipe is a great one to start off with because you can have the main dish AND a side with only 7 ingredients.

Garlic-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Brocooli Rabe
chicken breasts
olive oil 
broccoli rabe
pine nuts
*salt & pepper

*I will not be counting salt and pepper in any of the recipes since they are staples everyone has on hand.

Here is the link for the recipe.  

Friday, May 13, 2011

FYE: 5/13/11...Do You Like mini Boden??

If so then you are going to love this!  My sister called me the other day and told me to check out the website for NEXT Direct.  It is a UK clothing company that makes children's and adult's clothing.  They ship to the US in 2 days and their prices are so inexpensive.  I have always loved Boden's signature board shorts for boys, which run $28/pair.  NEXT has very similar ones for $21/2 pack...so yes you get two pairs of shorts (one pattern and one solid color).  They also have cool t-shirts, shoes, bathing suits, etc.  Hurry and go get your order on....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Guest Bloggers

I know there are some of you out there who have considered writing something for Momsie but have lost your nerve because you are afraid you won't be funny or you are too shy or because you might use poor grammar.  If you have ever once gone to bed thinking about your hypothetical post then you should do this!  If you hate writing or hate mom blogs then, yes this probably isn't for you (you also probably shouldn't be reading this right now!) but if you like the thought of sharing your tips, frustrations, sense of humor, or thoughts this is for you.  If you still need some coaxing out of that corner here are some topics on which I would love to have some guest bloggers write:

* How to manage working outside of the home and raising kids

* How you started your own work-from-home scenario

* How to deal when you and your husband are the first of your friends to have a baby and they just don't get it yet

* How to make new mommy friends

* Dealing with having a child with food allergies

* Is it possible to ever find your sex drive again after kids?

Surely you know something about one of these topics and if not write about anything else you'd like.  Come on little writer mommies...come out of the woodwork or I will come ask you personally to do it (I do have a couple of names in mind!) 

Nature Museum *GIVEAWAY*

Raise your hand if you have a child.

Raise your hand if your child like animals.

Raise your hand if you would like four free tickets to a place that has animals and will entertain your child.

The Charlotte Nature Museum has a new resident baby alligator named Snappy and he is on exhibit in "Beginnings."  I have 4 tickets to giveaway to one lucky reader all you have to do is leave a comment letting me know you would like them.  The tickets are good through December...that means you could plan a day to go this summer while your kids are stir crazy!  I will announce the winner next Wednesday at 8:00am.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Summer Concert Series: UPDATE

I love how all of these shopping centers put on family friendly concerts all spring and summer.  They are beginning at most places in April so check out these schedules and mark it on your calendars!  Click on the picture for a larger, easy to print version.

Live Music at the MET...(located at Metropolitan Ave.)
Every Thursday from 6:30-9:30pm

May 12

The Stranger: Billy Joel Tribute

THE STRANGER is the complete premiere tribute to the music of the 
Piano Man himself, Billy Joel. Comprised of some of the best and most 
experienced musicians in the business, this 6 piece band brings together 
an authentic replication of Billy's timeless music, crowning it with soulful, 
spot on vocals that makes listening to a Billy Joel song so special. 
You will be amazed that what you're seeing and hearing is actually a tribute band.
Visit: Website
May 19The Band of Gold

The Band Of Gold as it stands today has morphed and changed with the 
years with one purpose in mind... a great time for everyone! With a big 
songlist that stretches from the 50’s oldies, through every decade of rock music, 
soul, R&B, funk, disco, beach music to the hits of today, The Band Of Gold plays it all.
Visit: Website
May 26Simplified

Simplified expands cleverly on music that sounds familiar, but is decidedly different. 
Tunes trip down a trail of neatly packaged stories, chocked with innovative musicianship, 
classy, cool lyrics and authentic vocals. Simplified manages a unique and singular musical 
kingdom, shuffling from sweet ballads to guitar driven power rock songs to reggae tinged
 sing alongs. The magnetic quality of Simplified is anchored in authenticity, and it’s indeed
 this pure, uncomplicated approach to music and performance that keeps fans engaged and
 supportive. Their loyal fan base see themselves in the songs, the stories, the Simplified-ness 
of the music.
Visit: Website

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