Monday, April 30, 2007

Food Storage Friday??

Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness. Those five words make me feel queasy when I hear them. Why? Because admittedly I am unprepared. At church, I'm embrassed to ask questions because I'm so behind. For example, I truly do not know what people do when they go to the cannery. When the sign-up sheet goes by, I want to sign it, but I don't know what I'd be signing up for.

I told myself I'd worry about food storage and emegency preparedness more when I lived somewhere where I actually had some space to store it. Now I do and I have resolved to get started. I just wondered if there were any among us who have any level of expertise in this area (i.e. more knowledge than I do which is probably most of you). If so, can we designate Fridays for the next several weeks as a day to post a tidbit of information that you could share and/or questions that others might be able to answer???

Why the babysitter was right!

I asked my babysitter a few weeks ago if she let her kids have snacks in the car. She seems very wise to me so I was curious what her take was. She said snacks that weren't sticky like crackers-that can be vacuumed easily-were okay with her but never drinks. In the age of the sippy cup, I was surprised at that one. Do you guys let your kids eat in the car? Fast forward to Thursday evening when I'm picking my little one up from said babysitter's house. She saw her cup in the bag and started screaming for it! I gave in because I knew she was hungry and didn't think of it again. Fast forward again to Sunday night. We're in the car on our way home from dinner with his parents and there is a stench. A bad one! Everyone denies farting or smelly feet or poopy diapers and this morning I discovered the culprit-the almost empty sippy cup. They're never quite all gone and it had sat baking in the car during our first warm weekend of the year. The moral of the story? Sippy cups left in the car are a bad idea!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Shout out to one of my guys

I can't believe it, my baby is 5 years old today!!!!! I remember so clearly when he was born and oh how quickly these five years have gone by. He was born 5 weeks early and so he had to spend the first week of his life in the NICU. I remember how hard that was and how long that week seemed. Now I can't believe that he is already 5. One whole hand :) He is such a joy and such a big helper to me. It will be so crazy to have him go to Kindergarten in the fall. Man I can't believe that I am old enough to have a Kindergartener. I just wanted to express how much I love being his mother and also the mother of my other 2 boys. I love you my son and can't wait for all of your future years. I can already tell that we will really enjoy the adventure!

My tupperware cabinet makes me smile

Up until about a year ago, the place where I kept my mountains of tupperware was extremely frustrating. As I searched for what I wanted, various containers and lids fell out in the process and I struggled to find matching pieces. I'm not sure that this is post-worthy, but if you're tupperware makes you sigh in discontent, here's what has changed me to feel so happy about my tupperware!

1. I took about 20 minutes last summer and took out all of my tupperware. I matched up containers with their lids and then threw away anything that didn't have a partner and anything that I never use.

2. When I received tupperware at my wedding, I got the kind where you have like four different sizes of circles, rectangles, etc. that can fit inside each other. I kept them separate from each other to save the time of opening lids until I got to the size I wanted. I've found that it actually saves time and frustration to store this type of tupperware inside of each other, nesting doll style.

3. For those Ziploc-type brand containers that you accumulate: I found that not all of the lids that I owned fit exactly on any container that looked like it was the same. My solution: I matched each lid with their partner and then wrote a matching symbol on each lid and container set with a Sharpie. When I take the container that has a little star on it from the stack, I just grab the lid that has a star on it and I'm set.

Wow, I'm blogging about tupperware--what has happened to me? Just kidding, I just love being organized and making things EASIER!

Biting Babies

My 7 1/2 month old cut her first tooth two weeks ago, which wasn't a problem until now. The past few days she has started biting me while nurse her. I have been firmly telling her "no" and screaming when she does it, along with pulling her off immediately. However, that only lasts for a few more nursings and then she bites me again. Last night she bit me so hard (and her tooth is soooo sharp) that she drew blood. Now it really hurts when she nurses on that side. I know this is a slightly odd topic for a post, but I would really love to hear any tips you have to offer. What did you do when your little babe decided to bite you? And any tips for making it hurt less when she nurses on my wounded side? Thanks!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Car Seat troubles

My daughter is just a few pounds away from needing the next size car seat, and I was wondering if anyone has any advice or tips on finding a great car seat? Do you have one that you love? I'm particularly interested in safety ratings. Car seats are something I'm pretty picky about. I had our infant seat checked by a car seat specialist to make sure it was installed right, and then I had it rechecked when we got a new vehicle because I couldn't get it tight enough! So anyway, I'm mostly interested in safety reviews, but I'm not finding a ton on the internet. The consumer reports website listed like the top 3. I'm finding that the best ones are either really expensive and/or they only go to 40 lb. (I was hoping to get one that goes up to at least 60 lb, so we don't have to get yet another one.) It looks like the Britax ones are really popular, but YIKES expensive! And what age are kids usually when they hit 40 lb anyway? Maybe I'll have another child by then that needs that carseat anyway??? Ok, enough rambling, but I'd love to hear what you did or are doing about this!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Kristy needs your votes a few more days!

Kristy Glass in now in the Top 5 for the Real Savvy Moms TV Show Host Contest. Your votes through April 29 (Sunday) are REALLY important. Thank you so much for your support thus far!


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Going Under the Knife?

After reading the Wednesday Weekly question about game/reality shows, I was thinking about the original Extreme Makeover, the one where the people get plastic surgery and personal trainers and chefs and everything. I was just wondering...would you ever consider going under the knife? I have always said I woudn't, but after having twins and seeing what it did to my stomach, I must admit a tummy tuck doesn't sound half bad...I'm not sure I could ever go through with it, and I could never afford it, so I guess I'll just keep dreaming of a flat stomach...:) (PS. My sons are so lucky they're cute and worth the extra flab!:)

3rd Time's a Charm

As usual, this summer is going to be a big one for movie releases. Not so usual though, is the number of movies that are entering their 3rd chapter: "Spider-Man 3," "Shrek the Third" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" debut within three weeks of one another. On top of that there's "Ocean's Thirteen," "The Bourne Ultimatum" and "Rush Hour 3." I'm usually one of those sluggish movie-goers who waits until the movie hits the $3 Theater or gets to the rental stores. This summer I find myself a little excited about a couple of these sequels, namely "Ocean's Thirteen" and "The Bourne Ultimatum." I sure hope they deliver like their predecessors. Looks like I'm gonna need to add a little extra to our summer bugdet!

Wednesday Weekly

If you could be on any game show, what would it be?

If you could be on any reality show competition, what would it be?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cleaning Maniacs

Way back in the day I wrote a post about not having motivation to clean. Well, as a little follow-up, I wanted to share the plan of action my husband and I came up with to help our apartment stay clean. The great news is that it's working!

First I fashioned a little board to our fridge like so:

On the board I made magnets for all the main chores to be done each week. Each Sunday my husband closes his eyes and pulls four jobs from the "cleaning hat." (Because I have more time at home, I am always responsible for dishes, laundry, and making the bed as well as the three remaining other chores. But you can do whatever's fair for you.) If we do the jobs we are expected to do within the week we get fifteen dollars to spend on whatever we want. If we want something more expensive, we are in "cleaning debt" (hence the negative sign by my husband's name) until we pay it off. The results are two fold: our house has never been cleaner and I have guilt-free money to spend on clothes!

The moral of the story is: When you have a hard time motivating yourself to do something, resort to childish bribes.


Does anyone have any advice for flying with a baby? I will be flying non-stop from Charlotte, NC to SLC, UT this weekend (A straight shot, yes. But a 5 hour one at that). I'm pretty sure it would be unethical for me to tranquilize the little bundle of I'm not sure where to go from there. I'm planning to check all of my baggage except the diaper bag. Is there anything I can do to make things more comfortable or more enjoyable for both of us? I'm freaking out about this.

Here's hoping there won't be much screaming (From the baby AND the mom) on the plane.


What strategies/ideas do you have for being organized at home? Or what have you attempted to do to be organized at home?

Jocelyn Christensen - New Spice Sister...

Hello, Domestic Divas! I know, you are wondering, "What is she doing here?" (I don't supposed the excuse "I carried a watermelon..." would ring any bells for you ladies?)

Well, here goes: Laura Roth (of The Grapes of Roth blog and Sugar & Spice contributor!) invited me to this great group of cyber sisters! Laura and I hearken back to our undergrad days at dear Miami University in Ohio. And we also spent some time together in Columbus. She fared much better in that town than I did, I must say! My fave city is Washington, DC...which also happens to be where I met and married my catch-of-a-husband Steve. (Aw!)

Steve and I will have been living in matrimonial bliss for three years on May 22nd. (Is that enough "sugar" for you gals???) We have one sweet son named Guy who will be 18 months in May. We are expecting bundle of joy #2 some time around May 17th. (We don't know the gender. We enjoy the surprise!) Add to that that my husband is graduating from Penn State with his MBA on May 13th, and we'll hopefully be moving for a job - and you've got one busy month for our fam!

Before I got married, I worked as a TV producer for CNN, which gave me lots of good memories and unbelievable stories to tell my kids some day, although they probably won't believe me! (Do you recognize JFK, Jr. in the pic below? Thought I'd add some eye-candy.) Nowadays, I write my heart out...just for me and my family. I like to write poetry, follow interesting news stories, and I publish a monthly family newsletter for my family that I get way too into. It's a fun outlet for me.

I am afraid that I might not be able to add much by way of great recipes, because I am what I'd consider a lazy cook! I like to get in and out of the kitchen as fast as possible! Ha ha! Mostly just a way to keep myself from eating everything in sight! (I do prefer baking tho...much sweeter pay-offs in baking!) I do however hope to add my own bits of spice here and there, although with all of the amazing women on this blog it might be difficult to add something new! But I will try! :)

What else can I tell you about me? My personal website is If you go there, you can read an article that I recently had published in a magazine here in State College on my experience leaving a career to become a stay-home Mother.

I like to cross-stitch. I love milk. My fave sports are volleyball and softball. I consider make-up the equivalent to a shot of V8...a double-shot is even better! :) I would NEVER bungee jump - even if you paid me a million dollars. I drive a VW named Wolfie -- my dear friend Wolfie! :) I like to dream. I like to make frequent references to movie quotes from my fave films...(I'm not a movie buff tho.) Did I stump you with the line in my first graph? Hope not - it's from D.D. - Do you need anymore clues?

Cannot wait for Spiderman 3 to come out on May 4th...Now to find a sitter! :)

Thanks for inviting me to this fun group, Laura! You are one awesome WOMAN! I am glad we are friends! Looking forward to getting to know each of you and learning from your experiences!

Hope to hear from you soon! - Jocelyn

PS - So glad there's a spellcheck on this puppy! Prediction: Today it's lasick (sp?) eye surgery...Tomorrow people will be getting spellcheck microchip implants! haha!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Your Famous Sister

So Linz, I was at the doc's office today and I saw your sister on a brochure (I recognized her from the Real Savvy Moms voting webpage). I didn't know she was the NuvaRing girl! Of all the things to be known for . . . ;) but still, it's pretty cool. Anyway, just thought I'd mention that.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The WOMAN Challenge

Hi Ladies,

I happened upon this awesome Challenge that is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the May Edition of Real Simple Magazine. Here's the deal:

For National Women's Health Week, the Office on Women's Health sponsors an 8-week national physical activity challenge called the WOMAN (Women and girls Out Moving Across the Nation) Challenge. There are 10,800 pedometers available on a first-come-first-served basis for participants who request one during registration.
The Challenge offers women and girls two options for participating: either as an individual or as a team. Participants record their daily activity levels on a personal WOMAN Challenge online account to move them along their chosen virtual route. Throughout the Challenge, participants receive automatic progress reports, motivational e-mails, and health education.
A virtual route is a map on the Internet that helps illustrate your progress throughout the WOMAN Challenge. "Virtual" means that you don't actually travel the route, rather you are moved along the route based on the physical activity you log on the website. There are six routes that you can choose from:
Pacific Coast
Rocky Mountains
Plains and Midwest
Gulf and Caribbean

Doesn't that look cool?! So far I'm participating individually, but I thought it might be fun if you other ladies want to join as well and we can create a team. Let me know if you're interested and if you registered. I'm a fan of anything that motivates me to get off my rump and step into shape! Plus you get a free pedometer!?!

***FYI***During registration, if you choose to record your physical activity in miles or minutes, you are not eligible to receive a free pedometer. You can receive a free pedometer only if you register to record your physical activity in steps.


Hello Everyone! First of all I have to tell you that I absolutely love the concept behind this blog...seeing as how I have no idea what I'm doing as a first time mom.

My lovely long, lost friend Staci invited me, and I hope you don't mind. My name is Skipper (actually, my name is Stephanie, but nobody has called me that for years) and I'm getting ready to move back to Utah. My husband and I have been living in South Carolina for the last year, and it has been a whirl-wind experience that I think I'm going to miss.

I've been married nearly three years and just had my first baby in January. His name is Spencer and so far he's been a hoot. I obviously don't have a lot of experience raising a baby, but I feel pretty confident saying that Spencer is VERY independent and determined for a 3 month old. So far he's called all the shots: when to wean himself to the bottle, when to sleep through the night, and as of last week he no longer lets us coddle him...he only wants to be held while sitting up on his own.

I'm excited to get to know all of you in this very fun cyber community!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Digital Scrapbooking

Has anyone ever heard of this?! I'm completely intrigued. I have very little creative blood running through this body of mine, so the idea of putting together a "pre-created" scrapbook page thrills me!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

American Idol

So a few weeks ago, after stacibee's post, there was a pretty good consensus that this group is not a fan of Sanjaya. So what do we think after the results tonight? I'm bummed that Blake is in the bottom of the group and I loved how Melinda wouldn't choose sides!

Wednesday Weekly

If you were to write a book, what would it be about?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Jennifer - AKA Jen

My name if Jennifer. My friend Stephanie introduced me to Sugar & Spice. Stephanie and I were in the same ward last year and became really good friends.

I live in East Lansing, Michigan, while my husband attends Law School. However, we will not be in Michigan much longer. He finishes in August and then we are moving to Las Vegas. My husband and I are originally from Colorado and just moved here for school. We have been married almost five years and we have a 20 month old daughter who makes life very interesting.

I little bit about me. I have a BA in Psychology and a minor in Art. I love anything with art, decorating, and a new found hobby is sewing. I love to shop (although I don't have any money), camping, and most sports. I love being a mother and a stay at home mom. I'm so excited to get know you all!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Primary Music

Hi Ladies!
I'm the primary music leader in my ward and I got asked to give an inservice on using music in the classroom. I have some good ideas but I know there are more out there. What I'm looking for are ideas of ways to incorporate music in the classroom, examples of music being used in the classroom. For example, one of our teachers taught the "Books of the New Testament" to his kids this year since they're learning New Testament stories in class. I know we have a few music gurus out there (Linz!) so hopefully you'll have some great input! Thanks for any and all ideas!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Shower games

My sister and I are planning a bridal shower for my cousin. She is basically the youngest one in our family, and therefore the last to get married. We want to make sure her shower is really fun and unique, and don't want to play the same games that have been played at the rest of our showers. If you have played any games that were really fun, please share!

Scripture Study

I have really been struggling ever since I had the baby, to follow through with any kind of regular scripture study. If I end up with some free time, I'll reach for the Ensign or my scriptures, but it definitely hasn't been on a daily basis. I know it's not an excuse, but I can hardly keep my own eyes open once she goes down for the night! Anyway, I have really been noticing the spiritual void in my life, and I was wondering what works for you guys? Any ideas to inspire and motivate me???

Friday, April 13, 2007


The other night I went over to the church building and happened upon a cute Enrichment Counselor in one of the wards that meets in our building. It was about 7:15 and she was sitting all alone waiting for anyone to show up for her activity. SO SAD! She had everything set up to assemble some small toys for children that were donated from a small company in town called the "Happy Factory." Anyway...I was so bummed for her and all of the hard work that she put into the activity.

I believe that the new set-up for the Enrichment program was divinely instituted and it's so neat to be able to choose from lots of different activities to attend and get to know the ladies in your ward. I have an incredible Enrichment Counselor in my ward who is actually one of our contributors ( go girl!)!!! We've done lots of cute and creative activities.

I was wondering if we could use this post as a forum to share some of your favorite Enrichment activities. What activities were most memorable? What activities were best attended? Did you learn anything really cool that you never would have learned otherwise? Chances are that sometime in our lives...we will be involved in the planning or carrying out of an Enrichment Activity. Never hurts to have lots of good ideas in your back pocket!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I'm ready to sleep through the night!

Okay ladies-Quick question. What are your thoughts on getting your baby to sleep through the night? I have read Baby Wise and have tried to follow it, but our baby who is just over 5 months still wakes up a couple times a night. We put him down at about 9 and he wakes up around midnight and then again at 4. He is a healthy, big boy and I just know he doesn't need to eat, but he wakes up insisting that he is starving. I try not to let him sleep too much during the day which is what some have said may be the problem, but he is grumpy and takes a nap-usually in the morning, the early afternoon and early evening. What is your solution? Is there a perfect answer or do you think it just depends on the baby....?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I Hope They Call Me on a Mission....

This past weekend my cute little (he's actually LOTS bigger than me) brother opened his mission call and will be reporting to the New York Utica Mission in a matter of months. I am so thrilled for him and know that he'll make an incredible missionary. In preparation for his big departure, I've been thinking of all of the things I want to send him off with or work on while he's gone to give him when he returns i.e. a recipe book or scrapbook of pictures and letters and such. I was just wondering if any of you ladies had experience with this kind of "sisterly" mission prep. or if you served a mission and can think of the most favorite thing you had or wished that you had. Any ideas?

Wednesday Weekly

What is the best restaurant you have ever been to?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Holiday Traditions

I've been thinking about holiday traditions ever since this weekend, and specifically, traditions centered around the religious meaning of the holiday. I was sitting in Church on Sunday, and it hit me quite hard that I had hardly devoted any time or thought to Christ and His Atonement this Easter. However, I found time to get my daughter an Easter basket, Easter dress, etc. She's too young to know the difference now, but I want to make sure that doesn't happen again, especially when she's old enough to understand. I would like to start some traditions for Easter and Christmas that help children focus on the true meaning of the holiday. Any ideas? What kinds of things do you do with your children, or did as a child yourself? Anything you plan on starting in the future???

another baby food question

When I started buying 1st foods for my babe, I bought all Gerber 2-packs in those plastic rectangular containers. For some reason, peeling the foil lid off of those things is extremely challenging for me. I usually end up having to use my teeth (in which case I usually get some nice strained green beans into my mouth--yum), or when I do use my hand it sprays out as it opens. And sometimes when I'm getting food ready, my baby is crying because she has just awakened and is READY TO EAT so peeling the lids takes entirely too much time! So I noticed that DelMonte has jars that open in 0.2 seconds, and they are cheaper. Sounds like a great solution to me! But I've wondered if the cheaper brand means lower quality. Does anyone know that to be the case?

Monday, April 9, 2007

Vote for my sister!

Vote here each day until April 20th for Kristy Glass to be the Real Savvy Moms TV Show host!

Homemade Cookie Bouquets

I have always thought cookie bouquets were such a neat gift idea, but they're pretty expensive so I decided to try to make my own a couple of weeks ago and was happy to find they were fairly easy to make. I just thought I'd share what I did since I know I'm always looking for cute, easy, unique, and inexpensive gift ideas. I am NOT a crafty person at all, but somehow these turned out pretty well.

Here are a couple of pictures of the ones I made. I made three Easter ones, but you could really make them for any occasion.

I bought the buckets for $1 each at Wal-mart. Inside the buckets I put a piece of green floral arranging foam and covered it with Easter grass (the foam pieces were about $1 each too).
I then made some regular sugar cookies and slid a bamboo skewer in the bottom of each one as close to the top of the dough as possible before cooking them. I wet the bamboo skewers ahead of time because I was afraid they'd burn in the oven or something. I baked the cookies, let them cool on the pan some and then transferred them to a cooling rack to cool completely. I then made some icing, decorated the cookies (I got ideas by looking at professional cookie bouquets on the internet), and put them in some clear craft bags that came with twist ties. Then I just arranged the cookies in the foam and they were done. The little Happy Easter sign is just some cardstock taped to a toothpick.

An important side note:

I would put something heavy in the bottom of the buckets next time since they were pretty top heavy. I loaded them all into a pan to carry out to the car for delivery. It was really windy that day and when I got outside a big gust of wind came and knocked one of them all over the ground and the other two just fell over in the pan. It looked like a little bunny massacre. I was only able to salvage one of them. Oh well. It would probably also help to use something sturdier like popsicle sticks, but I like the height of the bamboo skewers.

Here are the recipes I used:

Sugar Cookies

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Mix sugar, egg, and butter together. Add sour cream. Mix well. Add flour, soda and baking powder. Roll on floured surface and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.


  • 1/2 c. Crisco
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • dash salt
  • 5-6 c. powdered sugar
  • Milk

Mix shortening, butter, extracts, and salt. Add powdered sugar and enough milk to make a good spreading consistency (I used a few teaspoons, but it could take a little more). Mix until light and fluffy.

Welcome, Welcome Monday Morning!

When I worked full-time, I was normal and really didn't like Mondays! Now that I only work two days a week, I LOVE Mondays! It's my day to recuperate and clean and get the baby back on her schedule! My friend says the hymn, "Welcome, Welcome Sabbath Morning" is "Monday Morning" in Mom's world and I agree! We had a crazy weekend and so when the baby went down this morning, I napped too! I love Mondays! Anyone else?

Friday, April 6, 2007

Shopping cart covers

Does anyone have one of these? My husband and I are germ-a-phobes so we thought we'd enjoy having one. Unfortunately I forgot to read the reviews on Amazon before I bought mine (I chose the cheapest one, Eddie Bauer brand) and some of the reviews say it's not big enough for some carts (hopefully it will work out--I didn't get it in the mail yet), but anyway, the more expensive ones are supposedly bigger. I thought it was kind of cool and something I can just throw in with the load of baby laundry.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Sugar & Spice Cookbook

The Official First Edition of the Sugar & Spice Cookbook has been sent! Please let me know if there are any problems. I'm hoping that the margins and borders stay intact throughout their journey to your email box!!

It's formatted so that all you have to do is 3-hole punch and stick in a binder. I think I'm going to use plastic protectors since I usually end up spilling during my cooking/baking endeavors!

Have fun cooking!!

AI Look-A-Likes

I'm not sure how many of you ladies are American Idol fans, but I thought this was so funny!

P.S. Those who do follow the show...what did you think about Gina being kicked off last night?


Last week I went to my first playdate in my new city with my 7 month old daughter. The moms I met there were very nice and I enjoyed the socialization. I'm really interested in playdates right now for both my daughter's benefit and mine. It's just good to socialize. I went into it thinking that I would definitely host one in the future. I arrived at the playdate about the same time as other moms. I was the only one with just one child and mine was very much the youngest there. There were 3-7 year old kids running up and down the stairs and through the house. It definitely gave little v a lot a lot to look at! Anyway, I want to have a playdate at my house sometime, but I just can't picture it with this scenario of older children and going up and down the stairs. We have a few baby toys upstairs but nothing else that I would allow kids to play with (I'm picturing children coming down stairs wearing my clothes!)! I thought that if I hosted a playdate I would have to have some planned activities like a craft or something in the kitchen or something. Our yards are very small but a sprinkler or water balloons or something might work on a hot day. I just wondered if any of you had ideas for activities!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Lugubrious Delights!

I was surfing through friends' friend's blogs and found this one called Lugubrious Delights! I thought it looked yummy and wanted to share! It looks a lot like Internecipes with yummy tried and true recipes.

Wednesday Weekly

What do you like most about the city where you live?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Taking Care of Those Pearly Whites

So since lots of our little ones are still teething, there might not be much input on this, but when and how did you start brushing your baby's teeth? We got a tooth brushing kit at a shower and so I've just been giving M starter tooth brushes to gnaw on for months but I'm fearing toothbrush rejection when I try to start real brushing with toothpaste. Any tricks or tips?

Monday, April 2, 2007


Just wondered what y'all have experienced in the teething department. Lots of fussiness? If so, any ways to help the babe out? Does it get better as they get more teeth? I'm not sure if my little one is still crying in her crib at this exact moment because we saw just the very beginning of an emerging first tooth today or if we'll see more signs of teething later.

tried and true

Just wanted to thank tagteamo3 for the Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken recipe. We tried it last night and it was SO YUMMY.

I'm really looking forward to getting a compilation of all these recipes!

Cramster Jr. is born

Hi ladies! Just an update - March 26 welcomed a new beautiful little boy to the world! He was 8 lbs. 15 oz. and 22 inches.

Mom and dad are slowly figuring things out and adjusting. The first week is pretty hard! Gladly, things seem to get better each day.

Poly-Vi-Sol (aka: The Grossest Stuff on the Planet)

Okay, so ages ago Linz posted something about the nasty baby multivitamin, and although I'm sure we all have our own ways of getting our kids to take them, I thought I'd share my trick. My oldest was so grossed out that we just gave up after the first half bottle, but I'm older and wiser now, so I give our baby the vitamin drops and follow it immediately with a mini marshmallow. It makes me feel less cruel, and she's now a year old and still taking them. Every time I do it I think of D&C 29:39 "...for if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet." :)

Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake

45 minutes preparation, 25-30 minutes baking

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup less 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened

2/3 c. granulated sugar

2/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1-1/2 c. buttermilk

Frosting and garnish

1/2 cut (1 stick) butter, softened

1-1/2 c. confectioner's sugar, sifted

3 ounces (3 squares) unsweetened chocolate, melted

2 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate shavings [I used ground chocolate chips, but I think darker chocolate shavings would look more impressive.]

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line bottoms of two 9-inch round cake pans with waxed paper. Grease paper and sides of pans. Dust with flour.

2. Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla.

3. At low speed, alternately beat flour mixture and buttermilk into butter mixture just until blended. Divide batter equally between prepared pans.

4. Bake cakes until a toothpick insterted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pans to wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out onto racks. Remove paper. Turn layers top-side up and cool completely.

5. To prepare frosting, beat butter and confectioners' sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add melted chocolate and vanilla; continue beating until shiny and smooth.

6. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate; spread with frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread frosting on top and sides of cake. Let cake stand for at least 30 minutes before sprinkling with chocolate shavings and slicing.

Butterfly Cake

1. Prepare 1 pkg. cake mix as directed on package for 2 greased 9-inch round cake pans. Cut cakes in half to form 4 semicircles.

2. Spread one layer with raspberry jam and top with second layer. Position Oreo cookies end to end on board to form the body Join with a little thawed Cool Whip. [I didn't have any on hand, so I just used frosting instead.] Position cake halves on either side of body to form wings and secure with more whipped topping.

3. Color remaing whipped topping and frost cake. Decorate body with candy, sprinkes, Fruity Pebbles, or whatever you have on hand!

Caterpillar Cake

1 package (18.25 ounces) yellow cake mix

1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting

2-1/2 cups flaked coconut, divided

2 small purple gumdrops

1 small red gumdrop

2 small orange gumdrops

2 pretzel sticks

Yellow, red, and green liquid or gel food coloring

Prepare cake batter according to package directions. Fill a greased 8 ounce custard cup three-fourths full. Pour remaining batter into a greased 10 inch fluted tube pan. Bake the custard cup at 350 for 20-25 minutes and the tube cake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing cakes to wire racks; cool completely.

Cut large cake in half widthwise. To form caterpillar, place one half on a 15 in. x 10 in. covered board (or a big platter). Place the remaining portion next to the first to form an "S". With a serrated knife, level bottom of small cake; place on one end of caterpillar for head.

Frost the small cake with vanilla frosting; gently press 1/4 c. coconut into frosting. Add purple gumdrops for eyes. For mouth, flatten red gumdrop with a rolling pin between waxed paper; place below eyes. For antennae, press orange gumdrops onto pretzels; insert into head.

Place 3/4 cup coconut each in three small resealable plastic bags. Tint one orange with yellow and red food coloring; tint one green and one yellow. [Hint: Some kids love squishing the bags to color the coconut!] Frost the caterpillar with remaining vanilla frosting. Press alternate colors of coconut into frosting

As you can see from the picture, I didn't use the gumdrops (I bought Dots to use, but my husband couldn't resist their allure and ate them all before I could make the cake). I used chocolate chips for the eyes and Pez candies for the mouth. If you don't like coconut, just tint the frosting and omit the coconut.