Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Huggies "Jean" Diapers


You may see these shots in some Huggies ads. :) Guess Collin is a little model. And I'm a real photographer! Kind of.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Womily Giveaway

The first time I heard about Womily, I was admiring a friend's stunning necklace. She said it had been a "push gift" (gift from hubby to wife after she gives birth). Dangling from a delicate chain was a perfect imprint of her newborn baby's fingerprint. It was just so lovely and meaningful, I have to admit, I was a bit envious. I grew even more so when I went to the Womily site and saw all of the gorgeous products available. The charm bracelet especially caught my eye. What Womily is mostly known for however is the "Touch" line. Each piece captures a loved one's fingerprint and becomes a priceless keepsake.

I am so so excited that this Mother's Day, I will be wearing a Double Print Pendant. Encased in sterling silver are baby Collin's and Lydia's small fingerprints. Engraved on the back of the pendant are their names and ages.  Right now I have two precious children who have never fought with each other, never used sarcasm, live in a world of sweet innocence and are still my babies. I know this time will be over before I know it, so I wanted to capture a small evidence of it to keep with me always.

During the ordering process with Sibohan, the creator of Womily, I shyly asked if she might like to do a giveaway on my blog. I was a little intimidated as she has made quite a name for herself in the jewelry world. After working for almost a decade for Tiffany & Co. (!) and helping to introduce some of the companies most popular items, she decided to become a stay at home mom. She soon realized she still wanted to keep a piece of her working self alive, so she introduced Womily - a combination of Woman, Work and Family. Now her jewelry is worn throughout the world and available at select Neiman Marcus locations. Um Sibohan.....you're my idol! Oh, and if it wasn't obvious...she said yes to the giveaway!

One LUCKY reader will receive their choice of either a Touch pendant in sterling silver, or a set of Touch sterling silver cuff links. Just in time for Mothers or Fathers day. $160 Value!

To enter:

  • Check out the selection of Womily lovelies and let me know in a comment what you love most. It will be hard to decide, I promise. 
  • For an extra entry, let me know that you are a natalie's sentiments follower and/or have my button on your blog.
  • For three extra entries, blog, facebook or twitter about this giveaway. You MUST enter in three separate comments that you have done this. It is just way too hard to figure out otherwise. 
I will announce the winner on April 10th. Good luck!

U.S. addresses only.




Winner!

The winner of the Attune Chocolate Bars Giveaway is Cheryl (from Doug and Cheryl.) Congrats! Email me and I will get you your prize. 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Easter Lovelies




My newest Easter addition. It's a garland from World Market, but I twisted it into a wreath. (Thanks Mom! For that and the huge bag of chocolate. Cadbury Mini Eggs are like the Heroin of the candy world. You just can't stop!)
















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Friday, March 26, 2010

Admitting Defeat

Honestly, I had the best intentions for my Month of Health and Wellness. I have a huge list of great recipes, exercise tips and workout products I wanted to share. I wanted to spend the month focused on great eating and staying really active.

That didn't happen. Lydia was sick, then Collin. Shane worked more hours than should be legal. By the end of the day I was lucky that I got anything on the table at all. I did 4 days of great eating on the Mayo Clinic program, then Shane surprised me with an evening out. At a great restaurant. With my favorite steak. And dessert. I caved.

I really want to do this and jump start my fitness goals but sometimes I just get so overwhelmed by life, I can't find even a moment to focus on me. I blog in the few minutes before bed because at that point, the only thing I have the energy to move are my fingers.

I'm depressed. Today I'm depressed because I feel like a failure. It seems like I have so far to go before I'll be where I want to be. I just stare at my pre-pregnancy jeans mocking me. I have no idea how to find the time to focus on myself. It didn't help that Shane came home from work at 8pm (early!) and surprised Lydia and I with an entire box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. "What are you doing to me" I yelled as I stuffed my face with a chocolate cake doughnut. I felt like I was at a bar, drowning my sorrows in a vodka tonic. Only my drink of choice was processed and refined carbs. And I've never actually had a drink of alcohol, but I'm guessing it feels much the same.    

(It really was sweet he brought them home. He brought me a box of Krispy Kremes the morning after we got engaged, and he repeats the gesture once a year or so.)  

Anyway, I'm ending this month of health and I hope to revisit it this summer. Maybe I can get my head above water for a bit by that time.

On a lighter note. Starting Monday I am moving into GIVEAWAY mode. I'll be hosting at least three giveaways next week and then the week after that.....Natalie's Monumental Mother's Day Giveaway! It is going to be huge. To the friends and family who will be emailing me saying "we want to see your family, not giveaways" remember, that was the whole reason I started my other blog :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ella's Kitchen Giveaway

I'm so excited to get to talk about Ella's Kitchen today! Many of you have probably seen these darling little containers of organic baby and toddler foods gracing stores near you. If you haven't tried them yet, pick up a few. They will become your must have snack to carry with you. They are 100% organic crushed fruit snacks (not even water added). Just unscrew the re-sealable top and hand one to your child. No mess and so yummy. The smoothie fruits are for toddler kids and Lydia LOVES when I pop one into her lunch box. You can see the joy. 
Lately I always have at least one of the Ella's Kitchen baby food pouches in my diaper bag. If Collin needs a snack, or an entire meal, it is ready to go. "Sweet Potato, pumpkin, apple and blueberries" was yesterday's lunch. Lydia and I dinned on (whole wheat) pizza, and mr. milk allergy had his Ella's Kitchen pouch. He was perfectly content.  They have a shelf life of 12 months, so you aren't going need to worry about them going bad in your purse. They're perfect for an emergency food...you don't even need a spoon! Completely natural, healthy food for my kids. I can so get behind that. Still on the fence on organic? Ella's Kitchen has provided some really great information on why it is a great way to go. 

One reader will receive a sampler pack of Ella's Kitchen fruit pouches. 6 baby food and 2 smoothie fruits. 






  • Check out the selection of Ella's Kitchen and let me know in a comment what flavor you think your child would like, or what you like about this product.
  • For an extra entry, let me know that you are a natalie's sentiments follower and/or have my button on your blog.
  • For an extra entry become a facebook fan of Ella's Kitchen!
  • For three extra entries, blog, facebook or twitter about this giveaway.
I will announce the winner on April 1st. Good luck!
Only U.S. addresses eligible.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Fitness Pal

Have you guys checked out My Fitness Pal yet? It's this awesome site that allows you to log your food and exercise, keeping your goals in check. It is kind of like Weight Watchers except easier and totally free. My favorite feature is when you finish your food and exercise input for the day, it tells you how much you would weigh in 5 weeks if you ate like that everyday. It really puts things in perspective. It even has badges for your blog so you can keep friends updated on your progress. Thanks to my sister Emily who introduced me.

I've got to get out in this Springtime and get my run on!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Have I mentioned lately how in love I am with this baby?


Collin was so sick today. Stomach bug I think. But he let me hold him close and cuddle him for hours. You just can't understand the perks of motherhood until you're in the middle of it.


I am so grateful for eternal families today.

Attune Chocolate Bars - Giveaway

When Attune asked me if I wanted to try out their Chocolate Wellness bars, it took me all of 5 seconds to reply "yes please!!!". I love chocolate. And chocolate that is good for me? Oh, you know I'm game. Attune Wellness Bars are 90 calorie bars that not only boast 3 grams of fiber but your daily supply of probiotics too! They have less sugar than the average yogurt. Healthy chocolate!  

When I first received the bars, I kind of expected them to taste, well, healthy. I was so pleased to find them delicious! If I hadn't know they were good for me, I never would have guessed. I tried the Dark chocolate and the almond milk chocolate. Both I would highly recommend. They also come in chocolate crisp, milk chocolate, blueberry vanilla, coffee bean dark chocolate, and raspberry dark chocolate. 

I had one bar a day for two weeks. Every morning I took a bar out of fridge and set it out. A little treat just waiting for me when I had the hankering. Refrigerating the bars keeps the probiotics intact, and the low water content of the bars make them a better source of probiotics than yogurt. After having a bar every day for two weeks I feel great! My system really needed that kick start and I totally plan on making these bars part of my daily routine. I may be picking up some of the granola bars too. 

One reader will receive a two week supply of Attune Wellness bars in the flavor of their choice! 

To enter:

  • Check out the selection of Attune Bars and let me know in a comment which flavor you would like to try.
  • For an extra entry, let me know that you are a natalie's sentiments follower and/or have my button on your blog.
  • For three extra entries, blog, facebook or twitter about this giveaway.
I will announce the winner on March 29th. Good luck!
Only U.S. addresses eligible.


Winner! 

The winner of the Mayo Clinic Diet Giveaway is McKell. Congrats! Email me and I will get you your prize. 



Friday, March 19, 2010

The Future of School Photos

I know I'm supposed to be blogging about Health and Wellness, but I just got Lydia's school portraits back and they are sooooo adorable I had to share! (She is feeling much better by the way.)

At the beginning of the school year, Lydia's preschool did photos and they looked just like the ones they did when I was in grade school. Ugly background, sitting on a chair..."say cheese!" When I got them back, I bought the smallest package possible and threw them in a box. Boring with a fake smile.

When I found out that Suzanne Lemery was taking the end of the year photos and class photos I was ecstatic! What a genius idea to have a professional photographer come into the classroom and take photos in the classroom environment. I can't show the group class photo since I didn't get permission from the other parents, but it's darling and a wonderful memento for Lydia. Instead of just using a blank wall, she has all the kids casual together with their artwork/cubby holes in the background. Wouldn't you love to have a photo like that of your childhood classroom? (I ordered 3 copies!)

When I asked Suzanne if I could post these proofs she mentioned a great deal for local parents. "Any mom who reads your blog that schedules me a meeting with the preschool director/Headmaster -  and I end up photographing at that preschool/school - would get either 75% off of her order or a $25 credit (whichever is greater)." Nice! Thanks Suzanne! And thanks for the great photos. They are gorgeous. 


Didn't want Collin to feel left out, so I did my own shoot for him :) Click here to see

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Maybe I'm not alone in the chaos.


Yesterday morning (after my minor breakdown Tuesday night) I walked into the playroom to see that Barbie was having a bad day too. It is nice to see that I'm not the only one totally overwhelmed by life's chaos. :) Poor Birthday Barbie. I really need to organize the toys.

On a happier note, the bread that I made was so delicious! It is the "No Knead" Whole Wheat Bread recipe from King Arthur Flour. It was as easy as making cake and it may be the best sandwich bread I have ever tasted. Thanks to Fabulous Foods for recommending it.


No-Knead 100% Whole Wheat Bread





Ingredients


  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons molasses or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups King Arthur whole wheat flour

Directions

1) Heavily grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan. This loaf tends to stick, so be sure to grease the pan thoroughly with non-stick vegetable oil spray.
2) Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Beat the mixture vigorously for about 3 minutes; an electric mixer set on high speed works well here. You should have a very sticky dough. It won't be pourable, but neither will it be kneadable. Scoop it into the prepared pan.
3) Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes; it should just about rise to the rim of the pan, perhaps just barely cresting over the rim. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
4) Uncover the bread, and bake it for about 40 to 45 minutes, tenting it with aluminum foil after 20 minutes. The bread is done when it's golden brown on top, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers between 190°F and 195°F. Remove it from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out onto a rack. Brush with melted butter, if desired; this will keep the crust soft. Cool the bread completely before cutting it.

Enjoy! 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I Want My Mommy

10:30 PM

I'm tired. So so very tired. Dead on my feet is a better way of explaining it. Lydia has been sick since Saturday night. She was so sick, Shane had to take her to the emergency room at 4:00 am with a 105 fever. We thought she was getting better, but today it got worse.

It's times like this I realize I may not be cut out for this job. No one tells you how hard it is going to be. Or if they do, you can't possiblity understand so you tune them out. Being a parent is so completely overwhelming. There are these precious creatures who are totally dependent on you. Dependent on you to make the right choices, to make them feel better. And you try. You try so hard because you love them more than you thought possible. All the while though, you don't have a clue if you are doing it right.

It might seem from an outside observer that I've been a great mom these last few days. I've spent every moment taking care of Lydia, taking care of Collin, cleaning the house, folding laundry. I made chicken stock from scratch so I could serve a comforting meal. As I'm typing, the smell of fresh bread is wafting from the oven.

Really though, the fresh bread is for me. I need the smell of home. No one is here to take care of me. Shane is still working, and I have a night ahead of me that includes Lydia waking up every 30 minutes calling "I want my Daddy", or occasionally for me. Collin will be awakened by her cries. I love them so much, but sometimes, I wish it was me being taken care of. Sometimes I wish my mommy was here. Then I think, for all those years my mom raised her five children, no one was there to take care of her either. It never occurred to me she may feel alone and overwhelmed. I just ate the homemade bread she made, and asked for a glass of milk to go with it .



15 PEOPLE HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY:


Lauren said...
Bless your heart. We've been sick at our house too. Not as sick as Lydia, though. I've been thinking the exact same thing today! I really want someone to take care of me like I'm taking care of Spencer. =) Hang in there. I keep telling myself that someday having "dependents" will all be a distant memory--one that'll I'll miss so much.
April said...
I just told Chay last night, "I am sick of taking care of everyone's needs...what about my needs? Maybe I want to be taken care of once in awhile...I just want to be pampered for once instead of always worrying about someone else" so yes I have been there. Women are amazing. We somehow mangage to nurture despite the circumstances...just wait until you and the whole family is sick- the mom still does it all...that is when I usually lose it for 20 minutes or so-
Life with boys... said...
Sending hugs all the way out to you in TN! Sometimes we all need to feel taken care of, we are sometimes we just don't realize it. The Lord keeps you close and watches over. May Lydia get a great night sleep and feel better quickly. As for you Mom, take deep breaths and know that you are not alone, we have all been there, and yes you are doing a phenomenal job, the best that you can do and no one can ask for more. Good luck tonight.
xcdenke said...
I hope Liddy and YOU feel better soon. Nobody knows more about how scary a fever can be than me. Late night runs to the emergency room are no fun either. You have my complete empathy, prayers, and love. I love you so much!
Kathleen said...
I completely get what you mean. I often wish parenthood wasn't so relentless, that you could truly get a time to yourself when you're not worrying about the little ones. The other night my husband petted my head as I way lying down and I started crying because it reminded me of what my mom did for me when I was a girl, and all these emotions like you're experiencing came to me (wanting to be the one taken care of, etc.). But as we know, all emotions pass and soon enough you'll be having a wonderful time with your cuties again. Sending positive thoughts your way!
Love Being a Nonny said...
I hope your mom reads this post. Nothing would make me happier than for my kids to realize how much I loved them and was willing to do for them while they were growing up. Bless you. I pray your night tonight is a good one. Keep making that bread.
A Baby Peach said...
Oh girl, I hear ya!!! My 7 month old has been sick for the past 10 days with RSV/bronchiolitis and an ear infection and it's soooo hard to watch them be so sick, but also so hard to deal with it....been losing my patience in the middle of the night and my husband and I were both also really sick last week. It sucks to see them suffer and it sucks to have that feeling to just wanting it all to STOP so we can just be cared for and feel better. :( I hope things get better for you soon!
sara said...
I will never forget the day when I really realized just how much my mom did for me growing up. I couldn't understand until I was a mom myself--oh the guilt of not saying "thank you" enough or making Mother's Day the biggest day ever celebrated in our house! The funny thing is, I think that having our moms watch us become great mothers ourselves is the greatest gift we could ever give them. And now they can see it in our eyes--we get it. What greater form of gratitude is there? I hope you and your girl feel better soon--eat that bread slathered in butter or nutella or whatever you've got until you're about to burst! **hugs**
Cynthia said...
Girl do I feel your pain! I can relate and know exactly how you feel! I have five kids and some days I just feel I have no idea what I am doing. I go to bed some nights thinking how did I just deal with all of that! Keep your head up! Us Moms have a special place in Gods heart and he knows we are strong and that is why he gave us the greatest yet hardest gift!
bumblebeebags said...
I think EVERY SINGLE MOTHER in the world feels this way!
Life With the Crazies said...
I'm having one of these weeks too... it is hard. Thanks for the honesty, this is one tough assignment, and so important too. Hang in there girl!
amydear said...
See how many people have been in your shoes? Hope that helps! And I certainly hope Lydia is feeling better. Then you can feel better too.
Natalie Jane said...
Thanks ladies. Nice to know I'm not the only one :)
Green Acres in the City said...
I know sweetie. We are sick here too, meaning Daddy and Mommy. Now Henry is starting to pull at his ears. Cameron, knock on wood, so far so good. I have been taking care of everyone, when do Mama's get taken care of? I am praying for sweet Lydia and you too Mama!
Orange Juice said...
Some of that sounds like it came right out of my own head. I often ponder what my moms thoughts were and if she ever thought, I want my mommy. Of course as children do, I went on living my daily life depending on her, never once thinking about who was taking care of my mommy who just happened to lose her mom when she was 19 had no relationship with her family and was single. I don't know how she did it.
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