Friday, May 25, 2012


A couple of weeks ago, shortly after we moved into our house, I had a friend over that I hadn't seen in over a year!  She came over right after work so I decided to make us a little snack.  

I had received some Peloponnese goodies to sample so I thought I'd get those out.  I think I was supposed to make a Greek/Mediterranean meal with the goods but I really didn't feel like cooking a huge meal.  I figured I could some how make an appetizer type set up with everything that I had received.  
 Peloponnese® Artichoke Spread
         Peloponnese® Hummus Spread
      Peloponnese® Halved Kalamata Gourmet Black Olives
          Peloponnese® Florina Whole Sweet Peppers
         Peloponnese® Baba Ganoush
         Peloponnese® Antipasto Party Olives
         Specialty Olive Bowl

Here are the goodies....

On the labels of all the products there are suggestions on ways to use the item in a recipe and almost all the items said they would be great served as an appetizer so that is the route I took.  I also added a couple other snacky items into the mix, veggies, mini turkey sausage snack stix, cheese (because everyone loves chedda and gouda), pita chips, multigrain crackers and mini toasts.

We enjoy it all, some things more than others.  I was hesitant to taste it all but I did!  Hummus has always been a favorite of mine so of course I liked that the best. Billy had some of everything once he was home from work, he really likes Greek food so he loved it all!

Now, one of YOU has the chance to win everything pictured above!  Just leave me a comment letting me know you are interested in receiving the same package I did, including the adorable olive plate!  The products are valued at $25.
Winner will be picked randomly in a week!

Best Wishes to ALL!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

house pictures!

we have been living in our house for a month now so it's about time i share some pictures!  we are not totally finished decorating and purchasing furniture but we've gotten a lot accomplished in a month! :)  we are loving our home!
billy has been busy with landscaping, he planted flowers, pulled a million weeds and put in a bunch of new mulch. i took these pictures yesterday, he was installing that vase, water fountain.  he said he is creating a zen garden ;)
front porch
 back of house
inside of house...
eat in kitchen area, still need to do some more decorating in here...

main floor living room

i wanted the laundry room to match the pink and aqua rug! i added the aqua knobs and the pink lamp, there are some candles and other items hung in there just didn't get pics.
the laundry room closet is perfect for all my shoes!
master bedroom

we still need a media stand or a dresser and bigger tv, we have a whole blank wall for that!  i just haven't found the perfect piece of furniture yet.

need to do a bit more downstairs, billy is making it his man cave.
the important part, is B has kept the bar stocked with wine!
B's office usually has his computer in there but it was upstairs the day I took the pics.
We have a little work to do in the extra bedroom, hanging a picture and getting the headboard and footboard on the bed. Otherwise, everything is just about done!
I didn't take pictures of all the storage closets but it's amazing how much storage we have now! I love it, being organized is a good feeling.

There is a park right in our backyard and a waterpark up the hill from the park!  C and I are going to have an awesome Summer!  Lastly, this is the amazing view we have every night....

love the windmill in our little suburban development :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

sneak peek...

the cutest one year old i've ever seen!!

can't believe he is mine (ours)!! 
and he is simply the sweetest, smiliest, little boy EVER! 

just one of the million's of silly culley faces...he has an expression for everything! 

p.s. the adorable crocheted mickey outfit cullen is wearing was from a sweet lil' ETSY seller! and she has one to offer to one of you! either in mickey or minnie! watch for the post soon :) AND our baby C is 13 months old today!!! crazy!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

too much / too little..... including a GIVEAWAY! - Earth's Best!

When it comes to Cullen and eating I think I have wondered from day one if he was eating too much or too little. I know I have posted about this before ;)  Since I nursed & pumped for 11 months I never really knew exactly how much Cullen was eating.  Obviously Cullen is a big guy and has been in the 90th-100th percentile since he was 3 months old BUT just because he is a big doesn't mean he was eating a lot (too much).  He did nurse often but he was and still is a growing boy, baby boy loves his milk!

I always worried he wasn't eating enough especially since he was waking 3-4 times a night to nurse or have a bottle.  The doctor always said, bless your heart and would pat my hand as if I was a saint ;) Heck, if my sweet C is hungry, he can eat!

These days, at 13 months, Cullen is only waking 1-2 times a night.  Usually only once, he whimpers and whines until I give him a bottle but he never opens his eyes and he drinks the bottle in 2 minutes and he is right back out.  I don't mind that one bit. He has never slept the night, ever. If I had to actually leave the house at 6:30 every morning, I might mind but since I am blessed and so thankful that I'm a stay at home mom, I really do not mind waking 1-2 times a night to make bottles and make sure our baby is getting everything he needs.

Now that Cullen is eating solid foods and drinking whole milk I still worry if he is eating enough.  We have gone through texture issues and Cullen very rarely lets me feed him anything off of a spoon so we just have to hope that he is shoveling in enough himself.  He has around 16-20 ounces of whole milk a day and water from a sippy cup.  I give him whole milk in bottles mixed with Earth's Best fruit smoothies because then I know he is at least getting a serving of fruit.  I also mix in the veggie pouches sometimes.  He eats breakfast at 7, a snack around 9, lunch around 11:30, a snack between 2-3 and then dinner around 5:30. All depending when he naps and how long.  Most days Cullen still takes 2 naps.

Cullen's favorite foods right now are chicken nuggets, hot dogs, chicken breasts, goldfish (in any flavor), earth's best smiley cookies, earth's best banana rings, blueberries, earth's best blueberry hearts, string cheese, cheese slices, peanut butter cheerios, cut up quesadilla, grilled cheese, mixed veggies (his fave are peas) and diced potatoes.  Did I mention Cullen is a snacker?  He's like his Dad and I, we snack and don't tend to eat big meals. We rarely ever even cook dinner, although we always have healthy food on hand from fresh fruit and veggies to baked chicken breasts.

Cullen has a little table and I leave little snacks on it because he is a snacker and doesn't eat a ton of food when he is sitting in his high chair, he seems to get restless and bored and he starts to whine.  I always keep him in his high chair during each meal for a while and then I transfer some of his meal to his play table and he can go grab bites as he plays.  Might not be the best habit to start but I still know exactly what he is eating and it's not like he's eating a lot.

I leave all of these snacks on his table all the time....

& goldfish and snax rice cakes.

I recently read some interesting info on Earth's Best website so I thought I would share it with you all because I'm sure there are other Mom's wondering if their babies are eating "enough".

This pertains to babies 12-15 months although on the Earth's Best site there is info on every age before 12 months.  Click HERE for the info.

Here is the info I read on babies Cullen's age, 12-15 months:
Happy Birthday, Baby! (12 to 15 months) - THIS IS REFERRING TO A GIRL (I just left it as is since it's written that way on the Earth's Best site)
You've helped her blow out her candle, watched her shove cake in her face, and reminisced that the past year has gone by so quickly. Once babies reach a year, I tell parents to think of their child's eating the same way they would think of their own. Aim for a basic structure of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a mid-morning snack and a mid-afternoon snack. By now, they should be eating, not drinking, their way through the day. Solid foods should be the bulk of what they're consuming, and drinks should be viewed the same way adults view them--as a thirst-quencher with a meal, not as a meal itself. At the 12-month mark, we recommend that parents switch babies from formula to whole milk. If you're still breastfeeding, that's great, too, but we still recommend introducing whole milk into their diets at this age. Your new toddler needs between 16 and 20 ounces of milk a day. In this instance, more isn't necessarily better. I've had many moms bring their kids in for their 18-month checkup, ready to pull their hair out because they can't get them to eat anything anymore. The first question I ask: how much whole milk is the child drinking per day? If she's getting more than the recommended daily amount, it's likely that she's filling up on milk and therefore isn't hungry for food. If she's thirsty but already had enough milk for the day, offer water. There's no need for juice in a toddler's diet; however, if you choose to give it to your child, make sure that you offer 100 percent juice that is watered down by half. Total daily juice intake shouldn't exceed 4 to 6 ounces.

Overall, offer balanced meals and healthy snacks and shoot for the following from the food groups:
  • 2 to 3 servings of a 1/4 cup of fruit
  • 2 to 3 servings of a 1/4 cup of vegetables
  • 2 servings of 1 ounce or a 1/4 cup of cooked meat or other protein
  • 4 to 6 servings of grains per day (1 serving equals 1/4 cup of cereal, 1/4 slice of bread, 1/4 cup of pasta, 2 to 3 crackers).

Some tips from Earth's Best:
Offer a wide variety of wholesome foods in a supportive, non-pressured setting and according to a regular, predictable schedule.
Present new foods at least twice a week. 
Offer new foods along with old favorites. 
Serve small, toddler-sized portions to not overwhelm your child. 
Foods should be easy to chew and be bite-sized. 
Provide snacks that are fun and interactive for your child, like Earth's Best OrganicTM Pop Snax.

Now, for a yummy giveaway for your little one!  Earth's Best Organic Pop Snax!

Cullen really likes the sweet potato cinnamon! I break them in half for him and he chows! 

To enter the giveaway to win some POP SNAX just leave a comment!! Maybe let me know what your little one's favorite foods are! I'm always looking for more ideas!

Hope you all had a great weekend!!
I know this is a long post but I hope you all find it at least a tiny bit informational :)  I'm always looking for tips, tricks and Mom advice for getting C to try more foods!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

what time is it...

it's time for lunch...

my sis and i took cullen to the zoo yesterday and first things first, lunch! ;) cullen chowed on chicken tenders and french fries, two of his favorites.

cullen liked the water fountains, i was so surprised but so happy! it was a perfect day, not a cloud in the sky!

he also liked the goats :)

he was just all smiles and giggles all day, it was so much fun to go to the Zoo and actually watch him get interested in all the animals!

after the zoo we had a few errands to run and then we stopped at a little mexican joint for a beer and chips and salsa.  my sister turned 21 a few weeks ago and we had yet to go out for an adult beverage.
love my sissy! she is the best :) 

cullen fell asleep in the car so he just slept the entire time we were there in his stroller, worked out great.

it was a great day and much needed trip to the zoo to do something with and for cullen.   i've been so consumed in other stuff lately that i haven't been giving him all the time i feel he deserves. on that note.... cullen's first birthday party is on saturday!!  i have had a lot of fun party planning, now i just have to hope some of the people we invited show up ;)  no one rsvp's these days i guess.

i will be posting winners of the prior two giveaways today i hosted.  i will also be hosting another earth's best giveaway soon.  i have a couple more party related giveaways to do as well!  i think 3-4 more!! you won't want to miss them!  i will post them after the party and i have all the pictures :)

hope everyone is well. life sure is a crazy, beautiful ride these days....wish it would slow down!  we have already been in our house over a month!  i have pictures, will be posting those sometime soon as well...i hope ;)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Smoothie GIVEAWAY! Earth's Best Organic...

The Healthier Smoothie!
Organic foods offer countless healthful benefits for children and the world around us. Earth’s Best Organic Sesame Street® Fruit Yogurt Smoothies are a nutritious snack made from organic fruit and real organic yogurt. They are specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of toddlers and are an excellent source of calcium and antioxidant Vitamins C and D. Each serving provides one full serving of fruit.
The smoothie pouches come in awesome flavors like Pear Mango, Strawberry Banana, Mixed Berry, Apple Blueberry and Peach Banana. Your kids will love them and they are a better option than a fast-food smoothie when you’re out and about this spring/summer!
Cullen loves these smoothies!  Some days he will eat a pouch for breakfast.  Days when Cullen will not eat fruit I add the pouches to his milk bottles.  It adds a yummy fruity flavor and I know Cullen is getting at least some fruit into his daily diet.  Culley is not picky at all when it comes to the flavors, he loves them all!  
Cullen went from a drawer full of all his foods to a full panty cabinet full! I love all of our extra storage in our new home, so easy to organize and see everything.  I keep all his smoothies in the far left green bin, I try to make sure he eats at least one whole pouch a day along with the other foods and milk he takes in.  
i am not trying to brag one single bit but we now have three big pantries! another the same size as this one and the other is double this size. i've waited 10 years to have a pantry, i'm in organizing panty over load! for reals :) we went from having 4-5 cabinets to cabinet heaven! i'm so thankful.

Now, the extra fun smoothie news for all of you!  I am hosting a giveaway for one of you to win a sampler pack of the Earth's Best Organic Smoothies!  For a chance to win just leave a comment!!  

Giveaway ends one week from today.  
Best wishes to all!

Lucky winner is #17, Kelly from The Townsend's Family Blog!
Congrats Momma!! I'm sure your little lady will enjoy these!

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