Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Handmade Journal Winner!!

The winner of the Handmade Journal by Tricia from Pretty and Personal Papers is ......

Lucky #7!
Natalie, @natablogs!

Congrats, Natalie!!
Comment below with your email address so I can get some info from you!!
Thanks to everyone who entered.

On Saturday, I Will Be Marching.

This Saturday Baby D and I are Marching for Babies for The March of Dimes!
We are so excited to take part in the fundraiser and I know a lot of bloggy moms are doing the same.
My goal was to raise $200 and I raised that plus $200 more and I trying to hit a new goal of $500! I am so grateful for all the love and support I have gotten from friends and family. It warms my heart to know that people are so willing to help others during this time of economic struggle.
I can't express how important this walk is for me. Not only to show support for those that I don't know, but to show support for someone that is a friend of mine. My friend, Kerri, had a baby born prematurely and thanks to the March of Dimes and their help and continuous effort to help families and babies in need, Ava is a thriving almost 4 year old full of energy, love, laughter and most of all a heart to keep on living!

The birth story of Ava, from my friend Kerri.

I went to my 24-week check-up on July 23rd, 2007. It was supposed to be a quick visit: check my blood pressure, urine test (joy!) listen to baby’s heart, check-up on my overall health and baby’s. I knew something was not quite right when they took my normal urine test…it was far from normal from what it had previously been the other 8 times I had taken this test. The stick was all white…not a good sign, but I thought maybe it was something very minor and proceeded out to the area where the nurse was waiting to take my blood pressure. Things went off the track even further then. Nurse took my blood pressure 3 times and then took me to one of the rooms and went to go get the doctor. I wasn’t even supposed to see my doctor that day. My OB came in and she took my blood pressure two more times. She then proceeded to tell my husband and I that I would not be going home, but would instead be going across the street to the hospital and would be checked in. We weren’t exactly sure what was happening and why, but we were both scared as hell.

Turns out I had severe pre-eclampsia. My blood pressure was extremely high (190/110!) and I had a large amount of protein in my urine. Neither good for me or my baby. On the 24th, I was transferred to a hospital with a Level III NICU. The original intent was to keep me in the hospital on bed rest till my baby was 28 weeks. However, my pre-eclampsia was determined to be so severe that I had to be transferred immediately and that I would have an emergency c-section either that day or the next. I was on the verge of a stroke, so the sooner they could get the baby out, the better for both of us. They loaded me up with steroids and decided to wait till the 25th so that the steroids would have a better shot at working on my baby’s lungs.

Ava Marie was born at 10:00 a.m. on July 25th, 2007. She weighed 1 lb 4 oz. It is hard to fathom a BABY that size and that this baby was alive and screaming with all her little might when she came out into the world. To put her size in perspective, she could wear my husband’s wedding ring as a bracelet. Yes, a ring as a bracelet on her very tiny little wrist.

Ava stayed in the NICU for 101 days. We were very lucky in the regard that she never had many “issues” that seem to plague little ones in the NICU such as brain bleeds, eye problems, cerebral palsy, debilitating illness, reflux, staph infections, etc. Not to say her journey was easy, not by any means, but she was a fighter from day one. The nurses and doctors were amazed at her spunk and perseverance.

I remember the first week that I was home from the hospital. I woke up one night about 3:00 a.m. and went to go watch TV as I couldn’t fall back asleep. As I sat there watching mindless reruns, a commercial came on for the March of Dimes. Seeing that commercial made me realize I wasn’t alone and that there were services out there for families like mine. I remember immediately opening my laptop and going to the March of Dimes website. They had a plethora of information and a whole online community for NICU families. Being able to read stories from other parents in the same situation was such a blessing.

Ava will be four years old this July. Looking at this special kid, you would never know that she started her life in such a fragile state. She has amazed us with her capacity for life from day one. She is full of energy and we never have a dull moment!

I have met little Ava and she is an amazing little lady and her mama is a one of a kind with a heart full of gold. I will forever be grateful that I met Kerri through a friend. She and Ava are a constant inspiration and a true example of a fighter.

If you would like to donate to the March of Dimes, please click the badge to the right on my sidebar.
Thank you!

Monday, April 25, 2011

This is How We Did Easter.

Last year we celebrated Easter with a 4 month old who didn't know what was what! He cooperated and kept the celebratory bunny ears on and didn't fight me on them!
We had a small celebration as a family and it was perfect.
Skip to one year later, and I have 15 month old who FOUGHT me on the ears and didn't cooperate! Such is life with a toddler!
We still had a great Easter and spent it with some friends and their families.

The Easter Bunny hooked D up this year with some cool finds from the dollar bin at Target, some truck books, a bath book, a giant egg with his name on it and an UffDa bunny sewn by the lovely Emily.
Huge hits in the basket this year were soccer ball eggs I found at Target, as well as a truck book and the bunny.

We had a nice Easter breakfast courtesy of Trader Joe's sweet rolls and Starbucks coffee.
I had grand plans to make The Pioneer Woman's rolls and take some to the party we were going to at noon.
BUT who am I kidding! I had zero time to get it all done.

I made one roll without icing for D. He hated it! Threw it and only wanted fruit! This kid is bizzare!!

I did manage to make some Easter treats for the party though!
Zomg! Easter Bark was to die for!

So most of my friends are parental units now. Everyone has babies or kids and they all played and ran around together and had a mini egg hunt! It was really fun and pretty rad seeing my friends kids playing with my Baby D.
The egg hunt was not a huge hit with D, BUT did like stopping in his tracks when he heard a plane. The joys of living in the LAX flight pattern!
Also, truck and car playing for hours!

My little bunny....

and the other little bunnies, June and Avery....

It was a fun day full of great friends and Easter eggs, candy, and yummy food.
So much fun was had that these two crashed....HARD!

I'm looking forward to next year when D gets a little more into Easter and the whole egg and bunny thing.
Hope everyone had a great Easter and a wonderful weekend!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pintrest Favorites. Edition 1!

I live here.....

California (sung to the OC theme song, please)

and because I live here we have amazing weather almost year round.
And because of this amazing weather we have LOTS of BBQ's on our rooftop deck.
Lots of friends, food, and cocktails are on the menu while we listen to great music, laugh and soak in the Cali sun!

While my addiction to Pintrest has reached new levels of high alert I have pinned away a TON of food, drinks, and desserts that I have on the radar for future summer time BBQ fun.
You can thank me later for these super fab finds.

These are my favs for a nice California Saturday with friends.

No BBQ is complete with out a nice summer time drink.
I am a huge Mojito fan and this is said to be the best recipe around! I will take their word for that and get right on the recipe making and get back to you with the results!

I am also a fan of small bite sized foods for BBQ's. Make eating easier, as well as clean up! Less mess and less waste of paper plates and utencils!

These mini burger bites look so good and so cute! I like them for the cute factor a little more than the yummy factor for sure! AND you get a fry in there, too! Win!

No BBQ is complete without Mac n Cheese and this is a big trend right now. Mac n Cheese in muffin tins! Genius!! I made this for Baby D's birthday party and it was a huge hit. Super easy to eat, two bites and no utensils!

When I think of a BBQ I think of corn on the cob. My husband makes amazing grilled corn and this recipe is filled away in the memory bank for future corn grilling.
Who wouldn't love Garlic Butter Grilled Corn on Cob? NOM!

And since we are parental units now we have lots of friends with kids at our BBQ's we need to have some sort of fruit so why not fruit salsa?!? This looks so good, super easy and hello....cinnamon "chips"! A-MAZING idea!

And lastly, my fav part of any meal...dessert! Bite sized desserts are a perfect for me because I can eat a lot of them and think I only ate one brownie or cookie! And then I put on my pants and they are snug and I remember I ate 5 brownie bites AND 5 small cookies!
BUT you only live once, right so why no have a FEW Cookies and Cream Oreo Fudge Brownies! These honestly look so yum and I am making them this weekend for an Easter party!

So there you have it! My Pinterest picks for the week! My favs for a nice summer BBQ with friends.

Pinterest has become my new obsession and same goes for Johnna, Heather, Lindsey, and Alyson.
Head over to their blogs and check out their pins and their food obsessions!

Happy Pinning and Happy weekend!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Our Weekend In Pictures.

You guys, we had the best weekend!!!
After a few weekends of doing so much stuff around our house, the hubs working crazy hours, and just the general not enough time to do things, this weekend was actually a nice change of pace!

Saturday we spent the morning lounging in PJ's, sippin coffee, and playing with Baby D.
We did lots of book reading and truck races!

I also got a haircut! YAY!
After contemplating the shortness of my hair every other day, I finally bit the bullet and just did it! Not that my hair was ever super long to begin with. I was just getting sick of the same look and mostly the same ponytail. I needed a change and this was perfect for me!

After the haircut I went to Trader Joe's to get some yummies for dinner. We made carnitas tacos and black beans and Baby D ate it up. After being on a semi food strike I was so grateful he actually filled his belly with more than puffs and watermelon!

Sunday we got up early, the norm around here, and went to The Farmers Market for breakfast and to pick up some stuff for dinner that night.
I am a big fan of Phil's Deli and their breakfast. The hashbrowns...ZOMG!

After breakfast we walked around The Farmer's Market and let Baby D run around The Grove and get some exercise and burn off some steam! We were there so early! The Grove was pretty empty. Makes it much easier to run around this way!

This picture melts my heart.....

D napped and B went to play soccer. I did a few things around the house waiting for the little guy to wake up. Thank goodness for long naps!

We have a pretty awesome rooftop deck and the spring heat is upon us in LA. What better time than to take advantage of a nice evening on the roof!? We took some trucks and balls out for D and we played while the hubs BBQ'd.
It was such a beautiful afternoon.
We had some Sangria, soaked up the sun, played with D and enjoyed the evening.

B made a yummy tri-tip and some corn on the grill.
Add hericot verts to that and I am in a food coma!

I love weekends like this! Yes it is exhausting chasing a toddler around all week and when the weekend comes there are times when you just want to hang out and not do much. Those days are great. But the days where we spend time together as a family and have so much fun together out weigh the other days hands down!
Hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, April 15, 2011

GIVEAWAY!! I Have The Perfect Mother's Day Gift.



A few years ago I was doing my usual Etsy patrol for some cute, fun journals for a friend when I stumbled upon Tricia's shop full of beautiful, one of a kind journals and cards. I was in heaven!

I quickly emailed Tricia and told her what I needed and the end result was gorgeous. Something I could have never made on my own for sure. Side note : I am NOT crafty!

I kept Tricia's store in mind when I needed another gift for a friend who was getting married. You all might remember that one time I planned a bachelorette party. Yeah, that time! I wanted a journal for her bachelorette party to write down some questions and answers I asked my friends fiance about the two of them. Also to write down gifts, etc. Again the end result of the journal was perfect! So fun and cute and went with the theme perfectly!

The journals are the perfect size for your purse, diaper, or lap top bag. If you are like me, I NEVER have paper in my purse when I need it most but hate to carry around scraps of paper because I will inevitably throw it out by accident! The journal is the perfect solution for me. I can write down grocery lists, phone numbers, directions, etc all in a pretty book. And it isn't too bulky and large for my purse.

The task to making these journals is not easy!
In Tricia's own words, the tedious process to making a journal:

"I take a journal that I get from a local craft store, disassemble the pieces, spray mount the covers, then I put it in my husbands vice so they are secure and really attached/bound to the covers, Once that is done, I pierce the holes, score and fold the outer cover, glue, and then cut a coordinating card stock piece to the inside and spray mount that piece to the inside.

Then I pierce and individually file (with 2 different metal files) each hole. It's a very time intensive process, but I want each one to look machined like the original.
Once I reassemble it to the inner pages and covers, I decorate and personalize the whole thing!"

The end result are beautiful handmade, personalized journals :

Tricia is a super talented, sweet mama to 4 adorable kids, as well as the owner of her shop. She is a busy lady! Added bonus, she lives in TEXAS! I am always happy to support someone from my home state! She is also super generous and is offering one of you lucky readers a chance to win a Mommy Journal of your choice or a design of your own to give to someone special for Mother's Day or to keep for yourself! I am all for giving gifts but if you win this you will want to keep it!

Entry is super easy!
Go to her Etsy shop, admire the beauty, comment below, and tell me which Journal is your favorite and what you would use it for.
PLEASE include your email address, as well as your twitter name, so I can find you if you are the lucky winner!
One entry per person, please!

There is also a 10% discount running from April 16th to the 23rd. Use the code "MOMLIST" at checkout.

And while you are obsessing over which journal you want to win, check out the handmade cards and wooden letters she also makes! Gorgeous!

Good luck! This is truly a special gift to give to someone. It is unique, handcrafted, and one of a kind. What more could you want when giving someone special a great gift!

Some Things Never Change.

Same kid.
A few months older.
A little wiser.

Same location.
Different holiday.
Different character.

Same EXACT look.

I freakin love this kid!
Happy Friday! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Happy Early Easter.

After a long day at an Earth Day Festival, the park, a short nap, an early dinner and walking the Grove, I had the genius idea to have Baby D get his picture taken with the Easter Bunny.
He really wasn't into it!
He could care less about the bunny.
He didn't smile. In fact, he really didn't even laugh.
He did try to escape at the end but no tears were shed so that is a total win in my book!

D and the bunny went a little something like this.

make avatar

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

One More Social Media Addiction.

Hi, my name is Alana and I'm a Pinaholic.

Pintrest, in the words of the site:

Think of Pinterest as a virtual pinboard — a place where you can create collections of things you love and "follow" collections created by people with great taste.
People use Pinterest to collect and share all sorts of things -- wedding inspiration, favorite T-shirts, DJ equipment. You name it, people are pinning it.

Pintrest in my words :
A new social media site that has managed to consume my every spare moment.

Also see :

As of late I have become Pintrest addict. I am consumed by the awesomess that is this site thanks to Amy and Brandy.

Daily I scour the pages of Pintrest only to run across things like this :

or super cute photos :

outfit ideas :

and of course, food and drink :

Pintrest is all about finding things you love and "pinning" them to your boards.
It is kind of like a cataloug for me. Instead of bookmarking numerous sites to go back to for maybe ONE thing I liked, I can "pin" something and it goes directly on to my board for future reference. And they are all on one site! Win!
Added bonus: You can follow people and their boards for more great inspirtation and "like" or "repin" something they have "pinned."

I will admit I am an addict and it is one more thing to add to my social network plate but lately this site has become my new Twitter!

Pintrest has given me some great ideas for my home, my closet, and my future nursery if we decide to do that!
I love all that is Pintrest but beware! It seriously kills an hour like that!
::snaps fingers::
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