All posts by katie

I am behind on updates

I know it has been way too long since I have updated. Sam has posted, but not me. But overall life is good. I will be happy when I have no sick kids at home. Speaking of sick kids, Norah has a cold and has been fighting sleep this afternoon. I tried to see if some cuddling would help but she crawled off of me. Instead she did this:


Goodbye 1988 Mercury Tracer

Ok, so people who have known me for a long time know that for many years I drove a 1987 Jeep Wrangler.  Well when I was pregnant with Tara I realized that wasn’t going to be the greatest car with kids.  It would be really hard to get a kid out of the backseat.  Well my parents had my grandmother’s old 1988 Mercury Tracer so we traded cars with them.  At the time we also had Sam’s 2000 Ford Ranger pickup truck, also not a good family car.  Well we did the cash for clunkers program and traded it in for $4000 towards the 2009 Nissan Versa we bought.  Well the Mercury Tracer made it over 2 good years for us, but it started to leak oil like crazy.  This is when we started looking at cars.  Now we are big on not having debt, so we bought the Nissan with cash.  We wanted to do the same this time around.  We also wanted a bit more to the new car (larger, AC, and power locks).  After some hunting and it being the time when 2012 cars were coming out we finally were able buy a 2011 Ford Escape.  We did finance it for one month, but only so we could actually get more money off of it.  That still leaves the Mercury Tracer.  We tried to trade it in when buying the Escape, but they wouldn’t take it, it was so old.  Our plan was to sell it privately then.  Well I realized on a good day we might be able to get $600 for it, but we would have to get it smog checked again to sell it.  Now we weren’t positive what would happen if it didn’t pass, so I started looking at the CA DMV website and found that California has a Vehicle Retirement program (i.e. very similar to the federal cash for clunkers a few years ago).  The nice part was that it didn’t require that the car had failed the smog test.  Nicely it gives you $1000.  So we applied to the program.  Many many weeks went by while the website had said 7 to 10 days.  When we bought the Escape we had removed the Tracer from our insurance since we weren’t driving it.  Well the state of California sent us a notice that mid December our registration would be suspended if we didn’t provide proof of registration.  This got us quickly trying to figure out why we had not heard from the program.  Sam finally called around and the local office said if we brought a new form to them they would have an answer to us within 3 to 5 days.  So I brought it in last wednesday morning and by Saturday we had the paper saying are car was approved for the program.  Finally yesterday I brought the car to one of the approved dismantlers and finally got my check for $1000.  It was actually kind of sad to say goodbye to the car.  It still smelled like my grandmother, but this was the best option for us.

Bringing Tara home from the hospital in the Mercury Tracer (yes I still look pretty pregnant at this point, but it is less then a week since I had Tara at this point).

You will be missed good old Mercury Tracer. Goodbye



Tiny Prints Holiday Cards

Ok, so I have talked in past about other card companies, but today I am checking out Tiny Prints Holiday Cards.  Now the first difference I have noticed about Tiny Prints is that they offer Round Cards.  I have not seen these on any other site, and they have some cute designs for it.They are little ornaments. Another different style they have are their flip cards.  These seem to add some fun dimension to the cards.  The only thing I noticed is that many of them seem to have very light color schemes, which really isn’t me.  But I did find one that I like.

Now another type they have that I really like are their trifolds. I have seen other sites with these types of cards, but I they do just have some great designs for them. I like the trifold type design  if you have a lot of pictures you want to share.  You can also easily share a year of pictures with the trifold design.

Now which one I am going to pick, I am not so sure yet.  We are actually taking some family pictures today, so hopefully based on our pics it will be easy to pick which card we want.  For those curious, I am writing this with the hopes of getting some free cards to try out.  Once I get the cards I will give you a heads up of how much I like or don’t like the cards in person, but I am liking the designs to choose from.

Good morning

So Norah is still not a good at sleeping through the night.  So my sleep has been pretty bad.  Last night was really no different, but it ended up ok.  So Norah woke up twice in the night.  Well an hour after her 2nd wake Tara woke up.  She came in to tell me she peed.  Of course not just a little bit.  Her pj pants were soaked through.  So I got up and changed her.  Of course it was 4:45am so she didn’t want to get back into her bed.  So into bed she came with Sam and I.  Well the nice part was we ended up sleeping till 7:30.  Yep, after all the ups and downs Tara, Norah and I didn’t get up till 7:30.  I haven’t slept in this long in forever (I don’t count weekends where I haven’t slept hardly at all and Sam lets me go back to bed for an hour as sleeping in).  Well after getting to sleep in this long I made pancakes for Tara and I.  Now Tara and I are cuddled on the couch watching something off Netflix and Norah is playing in her jumperroo.  So yes.  It is a good morning.

Shutterfly Holiday Cards House Party

So I hosted my 2nd House Party today.  I can’t recommend enough applying to be a House Party host.  I have applied for many and have been selected for 2.  The first one was the Fisher-Price Perfect Playdate and this time it was Shutterfly Holiday Cards House Party.  This turned into a great chance to invite over friends for the first time to our “new” house (yes we have lived here since March… I know I know, but now that people have been over it will happen more often).  Anyways, so I had fun hanging balloons outside and setting up the kitchen with lots of food and of course making a table with the Shuttefly sample cards, catalogue, and the free codes for the guests.

So the party really turned into a great big playdate, but as most parents who have playdates know it means the parents all sit and talk.  It was interesting to see how some of the families had used Shutterfly before and some were looking forward to trying it for the first time.  Other then the Shutterfly Holiday Cards guests were also talking about the posters, especially the canvas prints.  In addition to Shutterfly people were very interested in general how I had become a House Party host.  I explained the application process and encouraged them to apply.  I think there will be many more applications from my group of friends, and of course me again.  And now a fun group picture.



We are still alive

I have been horrible again about making posts. Life just seems to take over my time. Between colds and Halloween things have been busy.

Speaking of Halloween I actually made Taras costume. She was a flower. Pictures to come. Norah wore the bee costume Tara wore for her first Halloween. It was very cute. Also Tara is at Preschool 2 afternoons a week and they did a big Halloween celebration. I will post pictures from that soon too.

So more then anything, we are all still here and doing well and many pictures to come. Oh and some reviews of my new favorite products and holiday plans coming too.

So Sam did not get the lawn mowed today… instead

So Sam was supposed to mow the lawn today, but that didn’t happen.  I mentioned previously that we had been thinking of getting a new car, but we hadn’t yet.  Well today that changed.  We bought a 2011 Ford Escape XLS.


Yes the car really is that green, but I love it.  The car is bigger then my station wagon.  It has AC, power windows, and power locks.. What more can a girl ask for.  I really am excited… Oh and for those interested, it is actually a Manual transmission…  I really do prefer to drive a manual transmission over an automatic.  I realized that I just don’t like how much you have to break when you drive an automatic.  Anyways, so yes we now have a car that fits or family a bit better and isn’t leaking oil like mad…  Now to sell off the oil leaking car.

Meal Planning

For a while now I have wanted to be better about us eating at home.  One of our biggest expenses by far has been us eating out.  We really do like going out, but I want to change that.  I want us eating better (at least smaller quantities) and I would love us to save some money too.  Well I think the best way for us to be better about eating at home is meal planning.  If I plan our meals ahead of time there is no easy out for us to just go out when we can’t decide what to make or feel lazy.  So I am posting this weeks meal plan.


  • Breakfast – Cereal and Bagels
  • Lunch – PB&J for Tara and leftover Turkey Salad Sandwich for Me
  • Dinner – One Pan Taco Dinner with Sun Chips for Sam and I and try to see if Tara will try it, otherwise Chicken Nuggets for her (we are trying to get her to try more, but it is a slow process)
  • Breakfast – Pancakes and Fruit
  • Lunch – Leftovers for me and a Grilled Cheese for Tara
  • Dinner – Raviolis and marinara sauce with Biscuits for Sam and I and PB&J for Tara (she doesn’t like pasta 🙁 )
  • Breakfast – Cereal and Bagels and Fruit
  • Lunch – PB&J or Lunchmeat Sandwiches and Fruit
  • Dinner – Turkey burgers and Sun Chips
  • Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs and Toast (we are going to try to get Tara to eat scrambled eggs)
  • Lunch – PB&J or Tuna Sandwiches and Fruit
  • Dinner – Crescent Dogs
  • Breakfast – Smoothie and toast
  • Lunch – Out (Norah has her 4 month doctor’s appointment late that morning)
  • Dinner – Out (Our one dinner out for the week)
  • Breakfast – Nutella Croissants (going to try it without crushed hazelnuts and sugar first)
  • Lunch – Mac and Cheese (going to try to introduce pasta to Tara again since she loves cheese but I have a feeling it won’t work 🙁 )
  • Dinner – Crockpot Indian Curry with Rice for Sam and I (I have been really wanting to try this recipe) and Chicken Nuggets for Tara
So that is the plan thus far.  Normally I plan to plan Sunday through Saturday.  We shall see how it goes.  As you can see our limitation is our picky eater.  She is a very stubborn kid so it is a slow process to get her to try new things.