Christmas Recap 2009

The 2009 Christmas Season has officially ended in our house. After a very merry holiday season, I woke up this morning ready for the “festive” to be  done. The tree came down, the wreath was retired, I even uploaded my new header (which I’d originally planned to reveal on the 1st of January) and switched up my background color, too. Part of me feels a bit Scrooge like, calling it quits so soon, but you know what? I was in the holiday spirit about a month before Thanksgiving, so I think we should choose instead to be impressed that I managed to hold onto my good cheer all the way through Christmas.

It was a good Christmas. After MM finally fell asleep, Santa showed up to eat some delicious Christmas cookies and put the family presents under the tree.

I used cake mix frosting for the cookies - they taste delicious

He and his elves were pretty good to the kids. MM got a great easel with a chalkboard on one side and a roll of paper to color on the other. The blue sled he’s been asking for all season was delivered as promised – and the dog house that he randomly drew on his “Christmas List” about three days before Christmas? Somehow the elves pulled that one off, too.

it's amazing what you can do with cardboard and sharpies

our sled made a nice stocking holder

I could swear I saw this same Easel at IKEA for $14.99... I wonder if they are working with Santa now

Here’s a peek into more of the loot…

this Lamaze caterpillar toy is taller than BB

who sleeps in a pineapple under the sea?

hat, scarf and pajamas were Christmas loot

the penguin is actually BB's but MM is convinced it's Mr Beaks from Sid the Science Kid

random picture of my daughter being cute

he's been building up a storm with these Trio blocks

BB is learning the value of a dollar bill

Ok, I’ll stop for now, but more to come I’m sure…

Book Review: Odd Mom Out by Jane Porter

Odd Mom Out
Grade: A

Odd Mom Out by Jane Porter is the story of single mom (very much by choice!) and advertising executive Marta Zinsser. After years of raising her ten year old daughter in NYC, they move to Marta’s childhood hometown in the wealthy suburbs of Seattle. Unfortunately for her daughter who longs to fit in with the “cool girls,” Marta does not fit in with their Manolos wearing, PTA moms – she is much more comfortable riding her Harley in old jeans and a leather jacket than sucking up to upper class mommies.

But despite her reservations and declarations of everything she is “not” – Marta spends the course of the book redefining who she is, allowing herself to be things she’d sworn she wouldn’t be, but ultimately finding just that right balance – with a lot of romance, misunderstandings and laughter along the way.

Even if you are nothing like Marta, I think this is a book most mothers can relate to. The universal struggles of mommy guilt, the working mom vs. stay at home mom debate, trying to find yourself outside of your role as mother, juggling romance with responsibility, and dealing with children who sometimes seem like your exact opposite.

So many times reading this book, I found myself reading passages on life and parenting that I could intimately relate to. Porter is an excellent story teller, creating very well fleshed out characters and plot lines that keep you wanting to read more.

I really loved reading Odd Mom Out, my first Jane Porter novel – and I look forward to reading more. I just picked up Easy On The Eyes this weekend which tells the story of Marta’s friend Tiana, a famous television anchor finally trying to find happiness in her unexpected life as widow.

Review: Jewelry They Can Chew On!

My daughter is cutting her first tooth! A milestone that is both exciting and tormenting. She is, needless to say, chewing on everything – whether I like it or not. So I was really excited to get my hands on some of the cool teething jewelry on the market to review with her. I recently received both the Oh Plah bracelet from Roundhouse Designs and the Teething Bling necklace from Smart Mom to review. Within seconds of putting them on, my five month old immediately noticed them and dove in to try and grab them. So did my three year old, actually.

Brightly colored and made of a medical grade thermoplastic- non-toxic, bacteria resistant, and free of lead, latex, PVC, BPA and phthalates – the Oh Plah bracelet is super flexible and super durable. When your little one decides to rip if off your wrist (and I know mine will) there is no need to flinch – she won’t hurt herself or the bracelet. It’s totally safe for your little one to put in her mouth, has been put through extensive safety tests, and it will stand up to their test of time without looking worn or damaged from extensive bending.

It also dries really fast, so if you decide to wash it off after they’ve man handled it (or if you don’t take it off while washing dishes) it will dry quickly enough that you won’t need to go find a towel or let it air dry before wearing it again.

Not only is this bracelet a great recyclable, non-toxic teething friendly piece of jewelry – it can be useful, too. Use it to keep track of which side you last nursed on by switching it from one wrist to another. Distract your fussy baby in the checkout aisle. Let your preschoolers have fun playing dress up with “mom’s jewelry.” This one is definitely mom, baby and kid approved.


This donut shaped pendant from Smart Mom Jewelry is known as “teething bling” – you can buy it in a variety of solid colors and patterns and they also sell coordinating bangles, key chains and heart shaped pendants. Made from a food-safe, phthalate-free, federally-approved silicone – these necklaces are another great option for accessories that your little one can man handle to their gum’s content.

It comes on a black cord with a breakaway clasp so you don’t have to worry about your child breaking the chain (or hurting themselves or you) if they pull too hard. I got the turquoise pendant and love the overall look of the necklace and the durability is again very nice. The teething bling is even dishwasher friendly (the oh plah bracelet, by the way, is not dishwasher friendly – just a heads up if anyone really would wash their jewelry that way)!

These necklaces are really popular – even celebrities like Denise Richards and Jodie Sweeten are sporting them – and I’ve personally wanted one since my first son was teething – I’m so glad I finally got to try one out with my second child!

Both pieces of jewelry retail at around $20 and I’d highly recommend them to anyone who wants a great eco-friendly, non-toxic accessory that’s kid friendly and cute.

Thanks to Chic Execs for coordinating these review opportunities.