Wednesday, February 4, 2009

M is for My favorite things

I thought it would be fun to have one posting for all of my favorite things from this last year, more of a list than commentary, but hey, it's my blog so why not? So, without further adieu, here are my favorite things that I have learned, found, experienced, or whatever else I deem worthy of this post.

My Favorite...

... headline from the past year

This has to start off my blog posting because I still cannot get over the sheer stupidity of Plaxico Burress. First of all, having a name like Plaxico just screams newsworthy, but shooting yourself in the leg with your own gun while carrying concealed illegally at a club in NYC, makes it my favorite. Sadly, he has gotten more publicity from this act then he did being a top wide receiver. Go figure.

...Mommy Moments

Madison is regularly in time out. When she gets whiney or obnoxious (what, my kid?) she goes straight to time out. It is my saving grace. So anyway, a few months ago I was finishing dinner and ended up sending Madison to timeout for something or other. She was so quiet and actually went up there without much argument. I was talking to Ryan on the phone a while later while taking Hunter to bed and noticed that she was laying on her bed all quiet and everything. I commented to Ryan that she must be really tired if she went to bed all by herself before eating dinner. It still didn't hit me that she was in timeout. About 10 minutes later she came down crying, asking if timeout was over yet. She had been in timeout for about an hour and never said a word! I felt so bad, so now when she goes up to her room for a timeout she asks me not to forget about her. In my defense, she has never had a timeout, before or since, that she did not start yelling "Mommy, is timeout over yet?" within 1 minute of getting there, so of course I forgot! I never have to remember, she constantly reminds me!

Now Hunter, he is a fantastic child. He doesn't give me any grief, he is happy most of the time, and he actually likes to cuddle...he gives the best hugs. But man, the little stinker can crawl like a speed demon. Not too long ago we went to a friends house for a few minutes. The kids were all playing in the backyard and so we went out there to say hi. I put Hunter down and was kind of following him around a little bit because they have a pool. He kind of started crawling towards it and then would turn and come back to play somewhere else. He started crawling towards the shallow end again and so I was watching him, he kept getting closer and so I started walking towards him. He saw me so he sped up (he does this all the time) and went right over the edge into the cold water. I was there, literally, a second later and grabbed him out. He was under about a second and a half, but he was not happy. He was fine, he didn't even swallow any water.

So, Ryan comes home from work, says hi to Madison and she, before a hi or anything, tells him that Hunter fell in the pool today. He looks at me and says, "Well, there goes your mother-of-the-year award." Smart-A.....

...Kid moments

Madison has finally figured out how to say "I love you" to people. She used to just say, "I Know" when people said it to her or ignore it. Now she will say it to me just out of the blue...which is so sweet. But, she is also trying to figure out if saying it will get her something she wants. The answer? Nope, I am not that gullible, but I sure love hearing it anyway.

Moment #2 is becoming somewhat of a daily thing. We were in the car a while back and I told her that I needed to grab a coke from somewhere. She agreed and told me to hurry because coke makes me happy. Yep, my 4 year old lets me know when I am grumpy by suggesting we go on a coke run.

...Moment of Despair

The saddest moment of this past year was when Madison cut her hair. Many of you might be wondering why she has a semi-bowl cut in our family picture. It is because she cut her hair right before we had it taken. I took her to a hairdresser and had it evened out the best we could, but it still didn't look great. It has almost grown out now, thank goodness. She looks so much better with hair!

...Blog entries

I love reading every one else's blogs, especially the funny stories. So, here are my favorites...

I got hooked on this girls blog through a friend, and even though I don't know her I still love to read her postings. She is a fabulous writer and I love her adventures. This has to be my favorite though, I made Ryan read it, and if you know Ryan he doesn't read blogs (apparently he only reads chat rooms), and he even laughed.

On to people that I know, Brynn, you win the best blog entry with Haley running around nekked and playing with your unmentionables. I love this picture!

What is my favorite blog posting that I did this year? Hmmm, this one I suppose. Even Ryan got a kick out of it. I rarely am witty, and even more rare is when others get my wit. I suppose I am like Meg Ryan in "You've Got Mail" where she never comes up with a good retort at the moment she needs it, I am much like that....they always come to me later, ahhh, but this posting, it was a moment of sheer brilliance on my part. Those moments come few and far between so I am savoring this one for a while.

...Household Tips

I put on my posting about baking soda earlier this year, it works, try it. I have also started putting about a 1/4 of a cup in each load of laundry, I swear it makes my clothes look cleaner and fresher.

Vinegar is another new found love of mine. When I have new clothes I put a few tablespoons in the wash with my regular detergent and it seals the colors in. It keeps my blacks and reds from fading and bleeding onto other clothes. I also use it to clean everything. I have a spray bottle of 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 water that I use to clean my counters (vinegar is a natural disinfectant and sanitizer), but the best is using 1 gallon of warm water, 1-2 cups of vinegar and 3 T of ammonia to mop with. My floors have never looked better, although it did take a few moppings to get rid of the buildup of floor cleaners. Seriously, try it, those nasty black spots that show up after you mop won't show up when you use this.

I have a few kitchen items I can't live without anymore. The first is a scooper from from Sur La Table, I found it for just a few dollars, but I use it all the time, it really cuts down of the messes I make when I cook.

The second is Wilton brand baking pans. They are a few extra dollars at target or wherever, but they are worth it. They mean it when they put non-stick on the label. Next time you have to buy a muffin tin or something, get Wilton, they rock!

I finally found a brownie mix that I like. I tried a bunch and never really fell in love with one kind, until now. They are my favorite (in my opinion only, everyone has their own favorite style) and they are so easy to make. I make them as cupcakes when I make treats for Madison's class. Try them and see what you think. As a side note, they usually go on sale for a $1 a box every couple months, I never pay $3 - something for a box of brownie mix.

Now, for one of my favorite things period. Makeup! I love makeup and hair products, I might have a bit of an obsession with them, but heck, if you've seen me without either you must understand why. It took me a lot of years to figure out how to use makeup properly and really understand what it can do for you. This year has brought several favorite items into my collections.

If you have uneven skin (like me) try a green tinted concealer. I got one from Clinique (it was the only counter that had a girl working it when I went to buy some). It makes my skin look so much more smooth and even when I put my foundation on over it.

I have dorky, stubby eyelashes so I am constantly trying to find awesome mascara. I love, love, love Christian Dior's backstage mascara. It actually gives me eyelashes. If you don't want to spend $23 on mascara (I don't blame you) I also really like Maybelline's Colossal Volume Express, not quite as good, but only about $7 instead.

...Quick and easy recipes

My mother-in-law taught me the easiest cookie recipe ever. Any time I am in a bind and need a treat (or really want an easy sweet) I make these. Take a box of cake mix, any cake mix you want, add 2 eggs and 1 melted stick of butter. Add whatever other sweet you want in it and bake at the cake box temp until done (usually about 10 min). They are yummy and easy. My favorite is a German Chocolate cake mix, chopped walnuts or pecans, coconut and chocolate chips. They are so good! I made German Chocolate cake mix with peanut butter chips for M's preschool treats the other day (more on those later). You can use yellow cake mix with chocolate chips for an easy basic CCC recipe. Enjoy!

My wonderful friend Amy taught me her chicken secret. She gets the bag of frozen chicken and puts it in the crockpot with chicken stock and cooks it, chops it and then separates it into freezer bags for use later. I used to do this with ground beef. I got the big thing at Costco, browned it all at once and then put it in bags in about 1 lb size. It made it so much easier for dinners and I didn't have to thaw it for very long.

I could go on and on, but I think that should do it.


Liz said...

I love your time-out story. And I'm going to try that mascara.

Amanda said...

Thanks, I just added more too. I love finding things that actually does what it says it will!

Rookie Blog said...

So I thought I would just check out your blog and like an hour later I am still reading and making mental notes that I need to come back about the baking soda and vinegar stuff. We have to set the timer for Rook's timeouts and when he hears the beep beeps he can get out. Luckily he doesn't know the difference between 5 and 10 yet.

Becca Call said...

Hahahahahaha "coke makes you happy" that is sooo funny!!!

And I love when Madison says "I know" to whatever compliment (which is quite frequent) someone else gives her. Haha.

The Bell Fam said...

I absolutely love and appreciate any household tips and secrets. You rock! Thanks for sharing. I am obsessed with clinique foundation too.

The Bell Fam said...

Hey, I forgot to thank you for loving my naked baby bum post. You are so sweet! Love ya.

Famous Amos said...

I have forgotten children in time out too. It does make you feel really bad until they do something else naughty and then the guilt is over!

I need to get one of those kitchen scoop things!