Wednesday, November 30, 2011

UnHappy Meal

It’s started. McDonalds' restaurants in San Francisco are no longer offering a toy in their happy meals- if you want the toy you have to pay extra for it- all because the city passed an ordinance claiming that the toys persuade kids to eat unhealthy food.

“Restaurant meals in San Francisco can’t include a free toy unless they have less than 600 calories, contain fruits and vegetables and have a beverage that isn’t excessively sugary or fatty, according to the City and County of San Francisco website.”

Now, it’s not like I’m not happy that McDonalds is creating healthier options for kids- that seems like a great idea- I just don’t think that a city ordinance dictating how restaurants should market to the consumer is necessary or constitutional. I also don't think charging 10 cents for a happy meal toy will do anything to curb unhealthy eating habits. What it will do is of consumers who are just trying to feed and occupy their kids on a busy day.

As I mentioned in a previous blog about tobacco warnings, it’s not the role of government to micromanage business, especially marketing.

Earlier this year McDonald’s started putting apple slices and smaller packets of fries in Happy Meals. All 14,000 U.S. locations are expected to have the apples in the first quarter of next year, the company said. The change reduces calories in kids’ meals by 20 percent.

But Jack in the Box pulled toys from its kids’ meals before that, and without the media hysterical that McDonalds continually faces.  Jack in the box also began serving 70-calorie apple bites with caramel in its kids’ combos this year, sooner than McDonalds.

I guess my point is that big corporations like Jack in the Box and McDonalds have their finger on the pulse of America- it’s their job to know what we want and to provide that service/product. They know that America is becoming more and more aware of how much we over eat and, in order to properly service this growing demographic of health conscious consumers, they are going to self regulate and adjust their menu offerings as needed. We don’t need to clog the arteries of our legislative system with excessive regulations on fast food- there are far more urgent matters that deserve our elected officials attention, don’t you think? (Hint: it’s the economy stupid)

Here is the link if you want to read the article.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Heart

I read an interesting article last week that suggested a link between drinking excessively during the holidays and death. The article warned that drinking too much could trigger abnormal heart rhythms that could be fatal.

"It's called holiday heart syndrome," said Dr. Marc Gillinov, a heart surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and author of "Heart 411. "It's a heart beat that's usually chaotic, irregular and faster than your normal heart beat."


How am I going to make it through the holidays now? Alcohol is pretty much my only line of defense against the hostiles (also known as my in-laws), and now science wants to take my glass/happiness away from me? I won’t have it. 

For safe measure, the article suggested the following advice, “If your heart starts racing or beating irregularly, stop drinking and sit down.” I’ll make sure I stay seated, glass in hand, just in case. 

So, Let's raise our glasses and enjoy a Mistletoe Margarita!

Mistletoe Margarita Recipe

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 ½ oz tequila
  • ¼ oz Triple Sec
  • ¼ oz Strawberry Schnapps
  • ¼ oz Lime Juice
  • ½ cup fresh strawberries
Add all ingredients into the Santa approved blender. Blend until you have reached a desired consistency. Serve in a chilled margarita glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime. Raise glass and toast.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Could our little turkey look more annoyed with us? LOL

Hanging out with Grandma

 Bobby Loves Nixon
 Uncle Robert Loves her too!
" Take that out of there Grandma!"
Nixon kept taking the block out of the other toy after Julie put it in

 Daddy's little Girl!

Fun Christmas Giveaway

For my fellow mommies, check out this fun giveaway from Traci Ryant Photography! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pumpkin Dump Cake

I'm not a huge pumpkin fan- I'll have a slice of pumpkin pie around Thanksgiving, but usually that's about it. Then I found this recipe on Pinterest and it looked super tasty and, so I figured I'd give it a shot. So glad i did- this recipe is excellent!

Recipe: Pumpkin Dump Cake


  • 1 15 oz can Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 10 oz can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg & allspice)
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter melted
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers or pecans (I used both)
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Spray a 9×13 baking pan lightly with cooking/baking spray
  3. In a large bowl combine the pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, eggs and pumpkin pie spice. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour into your prepared pan.
  5. Sprinkle your entire box of cake mix on top, followed by your graham crackers, nuts and/or toffee bits.
  6. Pour your melted butter evenly on top.
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes until center is set and edges are lightly browned.
  8. Top with Cool Whip or Ice Cream
NOTE: I served mine hot on Thanksgiving, but my hubbs and I felt that it tasted MUCH better the next day after chilling in the fridge.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

#1 Reason We're Thankful This Year

Our number one reason to celebrate the holidays this year is that we get to share them with our little Peanut. We are thankful that we have a healthy, happy and beautiful little girl who is constantly reminding us how blessed we are. Her laughter and chatter fill our home and our hearts, and we are hanging on her every word, or for now, her every babble.
The adorable bow is from Danica's Chic Bowtique

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ha Ha Ha Old Man

To celebrate Adam's birthday this year, Adam, Azra, Brandon, Amy and I went to the Laugh Factory in Long Beach.

Somehow we were sat right along the stage and almost every comedian had something to say to Adam. The host comedian for the night poked fun at our group constantly, asking what each of us did for a living and then commenting that Brandon looked like a carpenter and Adam looked like a computer tech, and that Brandon should wear Adam's glasses- that it until later in the night when Adam rolled up his sleeves and the guy went on about how NOW he could see that Adam was the carpenter. It was very funny.

At the end of the night the host comedian gave Adam two free tickets, and he didn't even know it was his birthday!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Christmas Wishes

When I was little I was always disappointed that we didn’t have any extended family, especially around the holidays. It seemed like all of my friends got to visit their grandparents or aunts and uncles, and we didn’t; my mom’s side of the family was in West Virginia and Pittsburgh, and my dad’s family was in Louisiana. Every few years we flew out to Louisiana, and sometimes Uncle Timmy visited from Florida (those were always my favorite holidays), but most years it was just the four of us.

Before we tied the knot, I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with Adam’s family. They invited me to their annual Christmas Eve party, and I was in their family Christmas photo. It sounds cheesy, but it was a dream come true. They were so welcoming and loving and I couldn’t wait to be a part of their family. 

Now, in retrospect, it feels like that was all a lie, and I so desperately wanted to be a part of a family that I was blind to their deceit.

Well, the holiday season is upon us and, once again, I am struggling to find my cheerful spirit. While I am excited to celebrate Nixon’s first Thanksgiving and Christmas (at home), I can’t seem to fight off feelings of resentment and bitterness toward my husband’s family for cheating us out of the big family style holidays that I pictured when Adam and I got married.

Last year, because Nixon was in the hospital, we were so wrapped up in hospital trips, and wondering when Nixon would be healthy enough to come home, that we really didn’t give much thought to the holidays.  But I want this year to be special for Nixon, so I am torn. Should I suffer through Adam’s passive aggressive and unwelcoming family so that Nixon gets the big, loving, family style holiday that I always wanted as a child, or should I just focus on OUR family and creating our own special traditions, and bypass all of the hostility and grief?

Sigh. I just want to fast forward to the part of my life that I actually get to enjoy a Merry Christmas. I’ll keep praying about it, and maybe I’ll send Santa a letter too, just for good measure.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Spicy Black Bean Soup

 We had this for dinner tonight
Nixon loved it, especially the onions!


  • 1 pound dry black beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 small can of diced green chilies
  • 1/4 an onion, chopped (white or red) - (I used 1/2, but we love onions!)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •  1 TBSP corn starch (optional)
  • Shredded pepper jack cheese


  1. Drain black beans, and rinse.*See bottom of recipe for a quicker soaking alternative
  2. Combine beans, chopped green chilies, onion and chicken broth in a slow cooker. Season with garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, cayenne and pepper. 
  3. Cook on High for 4 hours. Reduce heat to Low, and continue cooking for 2 hours, or until you are ready to eat. (the longer the better) 
  4. Top with shredded cheese

  • For a thicker soup, @ step 1: blend 1/2 of the beans  with 1/2 a cup of stock and 1 TBSP of corn starch, then add to the crock pot.
* Instead of soaking beans overnight, put beans in a big pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Boil beans for 10 minutes, turn off heat, cover, and allow beans to sit for 2 hours. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

My little Snoozer

Our little Peanut loves to cuddle her stuffies... 
Especially her puppy Auntie Krystle brought her when she was in the NICU!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cookie Monster

Well... Maybe not really... She kind of just played with it...

I don't know where she gets it from but this kid just doesn't like sweets. She didn't want anything to do with her birthday cake and now she's ignoring cookies? I guess I should be happy for her- My sweet tooth is dangerous!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Grinch

The Obama administration has imposed a 15-cent tax on Christmas trees in order to pay for a new board tasked with promoting the Christmas tree industry.

What the hell is wrong with this administration??? A Christmas tree tax to be spent solely on promoting Christmas trees?   Last I checked Christmas trees don’t need promoting- you’re either getting one or you’re not.

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., described the tax as a "Grinch" move by the administration.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I read this article today and thought I’d share it since so many of my friends are fellow mommies. 

According to research, Pediatricians in the United States write more than 10 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions every year for conditions such as the flu and asthma, contributing to potentially dangerous drug resistance.

Giving antibiotics to kids when they aren't needed raises the risk of antibiotic-resistant infections in both the children themselves and society as a whole. 

Betsy Foxman, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor argues, "We think of antibiotics as being wholly beneficial, but they are not very specific, they hit everything in your body. By making our microbes that are supposed to be with us disappear, we can be causing other health problems we don't know about."

I’m so glad Nixon has never needed to see a doctor for any kind of sickness- I guess she had enough of them the first 77 days of her life! She caught a little cold when she was 10 months old (it was mostly just a snotty nose), but I knew that antibiotics weren’t the answer. If only other parents used their common sense….

Monday, November 7, 2011

Update: Cigarettes and free speech: Judge blocks graphic smoking warnings

In a previous blog I brought up my opinion that the new legislation mandating graphic images on cigarettes was overreaching and unconstitutional, regardless of whether or not the frightening images would be successful in a cause I support.

Apparently the U.S. District Judge felt the same way. Five of the six largest tobacco companies sued the FDA on free-speech grounds and asked for a preliminary injunction to block implementation of the images, set for fall of 2012.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled in their favor Monday.

I wonder how this will turn out. I'll keep you posted.

Sock Bun

So I was perusing Pinterest and stumbled upon pin after pin about the Sock Bun- a technique that involved rolling your hair into a sock before bed resulting in beautiful curls the next morning. 
Here is one of the most common pins: 
I was intrigued.
I had to get Adam to help me because after I put my hair into a ponytail I could not reach the ends to begin rolling it down around the sock, so Adam stood on a chair and rolled it for me. 
This was the result I got this morning:
I love it. It took 5 minutes (or less) to do and I can literally roll out of bed and have beautiful hair. This is going to be great for when I have to go to work!
Here is the "How To" video I used for clairity:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Big Change

Sooo... I was looking to make a big change- the jump from blonde to brunette, and I decided to be economical about it and take matters into my own hands. Apparently this was a terrible idea. 
I chose a warm reddish brown to offset the greenish tendencies that often follow the blonde to brown switch. My goal was a rich brown with undertones of red when the sun hit it. 
Despite buying 4 boxes of color labeled medium reddish brown, with a picture of a woman with dark brown hair, 
 I am now a ginger. *le sigh*

Here is the box:

and here is the result:

I plan on making this a true brown in a few weeks, after I'm satisfied that doing so will not cause irreparable damage to my hairs.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers