Apple Picking

This is my daughters second year in preschool (she is in the “big kid” class this year) and each year they take a field trip to a beautiful Apple Orchard to pick apples. It is a really fun trip, and the kids just have a blast! This year, Violet ate waaaay more apples then she put in her bag, and she climbed up a huge ladder! We took a hay ride and had cider and donuts. It was a wonderful trip, and I had a wonderful time with my little girl!

All the kids in an apple box
Taking a break to pick some flowers
My beautiful daughter and me
The view from the top of the orchard

Helpful Tip: How to Freeze Fresh Herbs

This is the first year that I have gardened, and to my great surprise, my garden was a huge success! I had a ton of fresh herbs left that there is no way I can use before the frost. SO I froze them! There are many different ways to freeze fresh herbs, but this is the way that worked out the best for me.

To Freeze Fresh Basil:

Pick and wash basil leaves. Place in a salad spinner, then blot dry with paper towels. These need to be VERY dry!!
Rough chop the leaves and toss with a very small amount of olive oil (the oil prevents them from changing color when you freeze them.) I then measure about 2 – 4 Tablespoons of my chopped basil/oil mixture and I place it in the bottom of a sandwich bag. I roll the bag and place it in a large zip top bag.
Repeat with the rest of your mixture until your large zip top bag is full. Squeeze out any extra air and freeze. When you need fresh basil just take out enough baggies to meet your recipe’s requirement.
If you are using the basil in a hot dish (like tomato sauce) you do not need to thaw the basil before using it.

* If you would like to freeze some basil without the olive oil, you can wash and chop it. Then place it in an ice cube tray with just enough water to cover it. When the cubes freeze, pop them out and place them in a zip top bag. Just make sure to measure how much basil you place into each cube so you can take the right amount out. And same as before, if the basil is being used in a hot recipe, you do not need to thaw the cubes.

To Freeze Fresh Parsley:

Pick your parsley  (keeping the stems semi-long helps with washing) and wash thoroughly. Dry completely with paper towels (You can roll the parsley in the towels and squeeze to help get all the water out).
Rough chop the parsley – I recommend using kitchen shears as this is the easiest way – and discard the stems. Measure your chopped parsley (about 2-4 Tablespoons) and place into a sandwich bag. Roll up sandwich bag and place into zip top bag. Repeat with remaining parsley until the zip top bag is full. Squeeze out any extra air and freeze. When you need fresh parsley just take out enough baggies to meet your recipe’s requirement.
If you are using the parsely in a hot dish (like tomato sauce) you do not need to thaw it before using it.

Both these freezing methods can be used to a higher scale. Small, freezer safe containers also work for larger amounts. I have used the plastic jelly jars (Ball 82000 8-Ounce Plastic Freezer Storage Containers, 30-Pack) as well as tupperwear containers (Tupperware Freezer Mates Starter Set). Just make sure when using a container like this that it is FULL when you freeze it to prevent freezer burn.

Enjoy your fresh herbs (and the savings from not having to buy them!) all winter long! 🙂

The Bottle!!

I have done it! I have (finally) found a bottle that Ian will drink!! THANK GOODNESS!!!
I bought it last minute at Target on Friday, and figured that I was just (once again) wasting money on yet another bottle he would just bite and throw on the floor. But no, not this time – he liked it! AND he actually drank 3 bottles from it! I know, so exciting!!
Life Fact # 142 – Once you become a mom, it really is the “simple” things that make you happy! 🙂

Hylands Teething Tablets REVIEW

I worked in a dental office for over 5 years. My mom worked in one for 15, and my Uncle is a dentist. To say that I am obsessed with teeth is a complete and total understatement. So when my daughter, and now my son, reached the teething age I was very excited. Bring on those adorable baby teeth! I was also nervous – I knew that most of the teething gels on the market didn’t work that well because babies have so much drool that the medicine would be washed away before it could really help. My chiropractor at the time recommended that I try an all natural, homeopathic teething tablet made by Hylands. I really admired and trusted my chiropractor and decided to give them a try (hey, she had 3 kids of her own!) and I was so happy!

The first thing that I love is that this product really works! Just a few tablets into the babies mouth and that’s it for about 4 hours or more. The tablets dissolve really easy, so there is no chance for them to choke. The relief they bring is almost instant as well. My daughter would give a sigh of relief within 5 minutes of taking them as a baby.

The next best thing – they are all natural and homeopathic. There is no “medicine” in them. My daughter was great at getting into everything that she wasn’t supposed to as a baby. One day, she got into the bottle of teething tablets and ate half the bottle! Needless to say, I panicked and called poison control. Their response? They laughed, told me she would be fine because they were all natural (herbs, supplements, etc) and to give her a snack because they might give her a slight stomach ache. Great, my daughter ate a bunch of “medicine” and gets rewarded with a snack! I was so thankful that what she ate wouldn’t cause any damage or need a trip to the hospital. I love the fact that they are so safe!

Overall, I tell everyone that I know with a baby about these tablets. They are one of my go-to baby shower gifts because of the fantastic way that they work. I trust Hylands to provide excellent products, and I tend to look to them for other needs as well. (They make a really fantastic earache product as well – Hyland’s – Earache Tablets, 40 tablets – which I have used as well. They work like a charm!)

Look into them – you won’t be disappointed! 🙂

*Hylands has not asked me to review this product, nor have they given me this product to review. I purchased this product for use with my children, and I am sharing my honest opinion and feelings about it.

Fisher Price TRIO Car REVIEW

A few weeks back, I signed up for a promotion that Fisher Price was running for a free TRIO car. My daughter was delighted when it came in the mail today! She was outside when the mail was delivered and could hardly contain herself when she saw that there was a toy in the mail-mans hand. She ran in and asked if I would open in and if she could play with it NOW! I agreed, and was very happy by what came in the package.

This kit comes with 6 pieces. The first of which is the base with the four wheels securely attached. There are four spots for the blocks to attach on the base, and let me tell you, once they attach, they are on there. You actually have to make a “snaping” motion to get the blocks apart from one another. Personally, I really like this as it enabled my son to look at the toy too without me being overly worried that he would be able to get the blocks apart and into his mouth.

5 blocks came to build the car. A 3-unit blue one, a 2-unit yellow one, a single red one and an orange and green one that are shaped as a half block with a slant. My daughter quickly built the car that was pictured, drove it around for a minute then took it apart. She spent the next half hour building all types of crazy cars, each one funkier than the next (a turtle ended up “built in” on one of them). She had a blast!

An added bonus was that when she was done playing with it, I took the three single blocks off, attached the bigger ones and let my son “vroom” it around the floor for a little while. He was ecstatic!

Overall, this toy was a HUGE hit in my house, and my daughter has asked if I will get her more for her birthday next month because she wants to “build a castle” with them! I think that this is a toy I will definately look into purchasing!

Thanks for making a great new product line Fisher Price!

*Fisher Price did not issue this toy to me to be reviewed, nor was I paid to review it. I received this as a free sample that they were offering on their website. The opinions are all my own and truthful.

I want CAT FOOD!!

My son has recently become a very picky eater. He does not want jarred baby food, nor does he want 90% of the baby food made by any baby food company. He only wants to taste some of what we are eating; he usually spits it out and then refuses to try any more.
The one thing he will eat, you ask? Cat Food of course!!
He makes a mad dash any time he gets a second, and he dashes right for the cat food. It’s a delightful thing to dig cat food pieces out a 10 month olds mouth. Expecially when he is either clamping his mouth or trying to bite me!

YUM! Cat Food!

On the bright side, we buy very expensive food for our cats – Romeo has a sensitive stomach 🙂

Taking Charge

While I was cooking dinner, Violet decided that I was taking too long to feed Ian and that all his whining was due to the fact that he was unable to wait any longer for dinner. She then took it upon herself to go into the fridge, get out a jar of baby food, open it, get a spoon and napkin, and feed him dinner. He was SO excited that she was feeding him that he ate almost the whole jar!
What a wonderful little helper I have! 🙂

Mommy Rules!

After getting into trouble the other day, Violet decided to go play outside. She ran into the neighbor out there and promptly informed her that she was “Sick of all the rules” and went about her business of moping about on the swing set. This whole conversation was unknown to me, until the following day when my Mom called me to tell me about it. She knows that neighbor, who happened to tell her what happened because she thought that Violet was just so cute and funny.
Upon being asked why she was sick of all the rules, Violet told me (with a sigh) that she “just was.”
When I tried to get more specifics out of her, like what rules exactly she was sick of, she shook her head, smiled and responded:
“Oh Mom! You know! The Mommy Rules!” and went skipping off down the hallway.

She makes a good point, because I too think that “Mommy Rules!” 🙂

(What? I never mentioned that I am plagued with selective hearing?)

"I just can’t …."

Sitting at dinner tonight, my daughter surprised us in two ways. The first was that she was doing a fantastic job eating her dinner (with no arguments or negotiations!). The second surprise of the meal was when, out of no where, she said
“I just can’t be with you like this anymore Alejandro.”
Jay and I burst into laughter as our 3 year quoted Lady GaGa. You just don’t realize how much they really do hear…. And remember!

Wanted: Bear Cubs?!?

Jay loves CraigsList. He is boarder-line obsessed with looking on it. I like to take a peek sometimes, there is occasionally a funny post and reply. Well, we found this book – “Wanted, Bear Cubs for my Children” by Gary Fingercastle, and it is SO FUNNY! It is the documentation of fake posts that this author posted on various craigs lists, and all the crazy answers that he got! We have been reading it and laughing for days!
Needless to say, craigs list is an important on-line staple for Jay in our house. He can’t make it through the day without checking on it. I, however, seem to be ok with just reading the book.

Examples from book:
“Horse loose in apartment… help!”
“Monkey Butler up for Adoption”
“Hiring lazy, unmotivated manager”

Very funny book – highly recommended for a quick laugh!