Top 5 Pictures From January

I’ve been taking a LOT of pictures thanks to my 365 challenge, I thought I’d highlight my Top 5 for the month. I gotta tell you, it wasn’t easy because I loved so many of the pictures but I think these are my favorites…

In Bloom on 365 Project

Dan bought me these beautiful flowers in the beginning of the month. I love to photograph all the flowers he buys me.

heart melting on 365 Project

I love how the textures of this picture came out and her expression is so soothing.

Yum on 365 Project

These cookies were delicious – my first oatmeal raisin cookies – and I loved how the picture came out, too.

Osh Kosh Bigosh on 365 Project

My little man just looks adorable in his Osh Kosh overalls.

A little blurry, but... on 365 Project

Her eyes are stunning in this picture and I love how Dan’s Nikon D40 captured her ridiculously soft, soft skin…

Are you doing a 365 project? If you leave me a link in the comments section below, I’d love to see your pictures!

Project 365: I read the news today, oh boy…

For reasons unknown to me the 365 website I’ve been using is down – it looks like their hosting expired? I don’t know. I’ll upload todays pictures and any others missed when it’s back up, but in the meantime I figured I’d just post it here.

behind the times

We started getting a subscription to the Wisconsin State Journal a few weeks ago when a local teen came by selling them to win a scholarship for college. This is Dan’s TBR pile – it makes my modest stack of three newspapers feel a bit less chaotic. It’s not easy finding time to curl up with the paper when I’ve got those two cute kids vying for my attention. Especially the younger one who likes to swat at the paper while I read.

aloha friday: dinner and a movie

So Dan and I have some pretty major plans for Valentines Day. We’re thinking about going out for lunch and a movie and hiring someone (the daughter of one of his coworkers we’re hoping) to babysit MM for a couple hours (I’ll still want to bring BB since she’s nursing and she’s a pretty easy going bambino). The details are still very much up in the air and contingent on us finding a baby sitter, but in the meantime, I’m scoping out the possible movies I’d want to see and I’ve narrowed it down to the following (assuming they are in theater still and at the right times, etc.):

Valentines Day : “A diverse group of Los Angelenos navigate their way through romance and heartbreak over the course of one Valentine’s Day.” This one is starring so many big names that we love like Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Garner, Julia Roberts, Taylor Lautner, Bradley Cooper, Ashton Kutcher… The plot seems a bit cliched and of course these GAGILLION HUGE STARS movies have been done before, but I tend to like them, so… could be fun.

When In Rome: Kristen Bell (aka Veronica Mars) and Josh Dumahel star in this cute romantic comedy. “Disillusioned with romance, an ambitious New Yorker travels to Rome, where she plucks magic coins from a special fountain. The coins attract an assortment of odd suitors, including a sausage merchant, a street magician and an artist. But, when a persistent reporter throws his hat in the ring, she wonders if his love is the real thing.”

Sherlock Holmes: “Robert Downey Jr. brings the legendary detective to life as he has never been portrayed before. Jude Law stars as Holmes’ trusted colleague, Watson, a doctor and war veteran who is a formidable ally for Sherlock Holmes. Rachel McAdams stars as Irene Adler, the only woman ever to have bested Holmes and who has maintained a tempestuous relationship with the detective…” The english major nerd in me is anxious to see this one and it’s got enough “guy stuff” to interest the hubby. He’ll watch chick flicks with me with little complaint, but he might honestly prefer a “guy” movie. Not sure…

Avatar: Everyone is talking about this movie. From what I hear it’s the New Big with “the oohhh and the ahhh” according to Craig Ferguson. “AVATAR takes us to a spectacular world beyond imagination, where a reluctant hero embarks on an epic adventure, ultimately fighting to save the alien world he has learned to call home…

Which of the above movies would you most like to see in theater for Valentines Day?

aloha friday @ an island life

Kailani @ An Island Life takes it easy on Fridays by posting a simple question for you to answer – and she invites you to do the same. Just post your own question on your blog and leave your link at An Island Life. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

as promised…

reaching for a burp cloth for his sister

my little big boy

what happened to those oh my god they are so blue eyes?

I dunno but I might like this blue gray better

cool and calm, mature... a sign of things to come?

They might not be “technically” better pictures than what my Canon delivers (hey the camera can only get you so far) but color / detail / lighting are all so much closer to reality. It shows my daily moments of cuteness the way that I’m seeing them with much less editing required. I definitely need to start pulling Dan’s camera out more often.

I’d Like To Propose A Toast… State of the Union Drinking Game 2010

Stole this from McMommy. It’s been a long time since I got political here at the old bloggeroo. Don’t expect much more than this:

Huffington Post’s State Of The Union Drinking Game 2010

State Of The Union Drinking Game

NOTE: The Huffington Post in no way encourages binge drinking. This is the comedy section. If you actually drank as much as we suggested you would die, so do not do that.

Event Instructions
Obama says “let me be clear” Do one shot
Obama says “change isn’t easy” Do one shot
Obama says “make no mistake” Do one shot
Obama says “Let me be clear, change isn’t easy, make no mistake.” He’s screwing with you to get you drunk, so five shots
Joe Wilson yells something Do two shots
Obama yells back Finish the bottle
Obama says “jobs” Do one shot, two if you’re unemployed
Obama says “health care” Do not drink, you will not be given a replacement liver
Nancy Pelosi claps like a seal Do one shot
Nancy Pelosi becomes a seal STOP DRINKING FOR THE LOVE OF GOD
Obama mentions Bo Put beer in your dog’s water bowl
Michelle Obama wears a slinky dress Go immediately to the HuffPost Style page for close-ups
Joe Biden nods-off/laughs inappropriately/starts talking before the speech is over Do three shots
Obama uses the term “Congressional leadership” Do two shots carefully as all that laughing will make it difficult to swallow
Obama says he’s “fighting for you” Do one shot, two if you believe him
Obama mentions Haiti Text “Haiti” to the number 90999 and donate $10 to the Red Cross

Nightstand: January

What's On Your Nightstand carnival @ 5 Minutes For Books It’s time for another Nightstand post. For anyone new to this book carnival hosted by 5 Minutes For Books, it is a very open ended opportunity to blog about what you’ve been reading and plan to read in the upcoming month. “You can tell us what you just finished or what you hope to read this month. Take a picture of your pile, or just give us a few quick titles. Tell us how you pick your books. Address any or all of these topics: what you are reading, why you are reading it, how you are going to read it.”

Last month I was reading Odd Mom Out by Jane Porter and planned to read the following books this month:

I managed to finish Odd Mom Out before January (click here for my review) and read the following two books this month:

  1. Splendor by Anna Godbersen – Finished January 6, 2010 – Splendor appears to be the last book in the Luxe series and it’s no less addictive than the previous three books. I really enjoyed this series and I’m sad to see it end but I think Godbersen did a really great job tying things up in a way that seemed realistic but also unexpected. – full review
  2. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See – Finished January 22, 2010 – I heard a lot of great reviews of this book, and then got a copy and could never seem to get into it… but then got into it finally and loved it. It was never entirely the book I expected it to be, but it was excellent and kept me hooked once I finally got past the first couple chapters. I definitely want to read Peony in Love now.

I’ve been cooking my way through The Pioneer Woman Cookbook but haven’t been “reading” it in any cover to cover kind of way. The recipes we’ve tried so far have all been really great though, I highly recommend it!

Right now, I’m reading a non-fiction book called Get Financially Naked: How To Talk Money With Your Honey by Sharon Kedar and Manisha Thakor. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far and look forward to reviewing it here soon. And here are the books I anticipate reading in February:

Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money with Your HoneyLittle ChildrenShiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma

Slimming Down to Valentines Day

I’ve been kind of blatantly ignoring my diet for awhile now. Other than working out a few times a week and trying not to go completely crazy on foodie indulgences… I’m kind of just covering my ears and praying. The good news is, thanks to nursing and the small amount of effort I put in, I’ve been able to maintain my calories. But that isn’t helping me fit into a smaller pair of jeans and it’s not making my WiiFit refrain from calling me obese. ::shudders::

I need to get back on track and I know what I need to do. I’m just being kind of a whiny teenager about it.

  • Self: You need to start counting your calories again, Jen.
  • Me: But I don’t want to. Counting calories is laaaame and I could be spending that time updating my twitter account or watching Hannah Montana.
  • Self: Seriously?
  • Me: I know…


  • Self: Working out like twice every two weeks barely counts you know.
  • Me: Hey, I had to climb the stairs today when I checked the mail!
  • Self: Seriously?
  • Me: I know…

I’m always so close to really getting back on track. I’ve popped in my Leslie Sansone DVD a few times in the past week and every time I do a workout I think, “I am so going to start doing these every day…” And then the next day… yeah, not so much. What is with me?

Amber and my bestie Ange have both been kicking their diets into high gear and being all awesome – and one thing I noticed that both of them are doing is mini goals with rewards. I have not done these before but I was thinking tonight, while trying to find something else to think about instead, that it’s probably pretty brilliant. Clearly my goal to lose 40 pounds this year hasn’t really taken off yet. I think I’ve been less motivated since the New Year than I was the entire time I was a hormonal pregnant woman and that’s just sad. Now that I have only myself to blame, I’m getting all wimpy when I know better. It’s one thing to be ignorant about what to do to change, but to know exactly how to lose weight and just choose to ignore that fact… that’s pure suckage right there.

So I’m going to set a mini goal to lose 5 pounds in the next three weeks. That’s less than two pounds a week which makes it extraordinarily achievable. To make it all cutesy and “like I planned it” I’ll even bump it up a day or so to lose 5 pounds by Valentines Day. It’ll be like my present to my husband – a skinnier me – which I might need to fall back on since I can’t really afford to buy him anything.

So the question is, what should my reward be? It has to be something I’m willing to not give myself if I fail… and also something I can justify in our budget. I give myself a monthly allowance of $25 so I’m thinking it should cost less than that, right? Or it could be something that is relatively free? Hmmm…

I’ll have to keep thinking about this, but I’d love any suggestions.

What do you / would you use to motivate yourself as a reward for dietary good behavior?

daybook: january 25th

todays 365 picture


If you looked outside my window: you’d see another gray and dull today. I know spring is too much to hope for but I am not much of a winter person. I’m looking forward to milder weather someday. I know people might think it odd that someone who hates the winter would move to Wisconsin, but I came here from New England and honestly it’s not all that different. What’s another 10 degrees colder, honestly? I think there are good and bad sides to all weather but with a young baby that I’m all crazy protective mama hen over, winter is just another daily battle right now. Maybe next year or the year after we’ll do more “getting out in the elements” and exploring old man winter.

I am reading: Get Financially Naked by Sharon Kedar and Manisha Thakor – I received a copy to review here on the old blog, and I’ve got to say, I’m enjoying it so far. I look forward to telling you all more about it soon. Basically it’s about learning to “talk money with your honey” and understand how you really feel about money and what that means. 

Last night I: convinced the hubby to try Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away The Pounds (which I reviewed here) with me. He’s always rolling his eyes at me when I tell him what an intense workout it is for me. And while he fared better than I did, he does understand that he’s in better shape and can already walk farther than I can – and the DVD was definitely not as easy as it looked to him. I don’t think I converted him but I do think he’ll stop rolling his eyes at me… I hope. I finally did the full 2 mile walk yesterday and I was pretty proud and I’m looking forward to another 30 minute workout today. I’ve gotta say I am such a huge Sansone Fan – I love how her routines work out the whole body and they always seem to be just the right amount of intensity for me.

these shoes were made for walking

Today we’re: working on potty training a bit harder than normal. I set a kitchen timer for 30 minutes and every time it goes off, MM uses the potty (or at least attempts to) and then I set it for another 30 minutes. So far he’s kept his pull up dry all morning so it’s been working pretty well. But without that timer, I don’t think we’d have much luck. It’s holding both of us accountable though as I’m known for getting distracted just as much as he is. I just wish he cared when he was wet. That’s pretty key here – but at least I’m getting him used to putting down whatever he is doing to use the potty?

the potty break reminder 2000

In the kitchen:

I am planning: to go on a little play date tomorrow with a friend from my meetup group. We’re going to meet at the mall playground in the morning before it gets too crowded and germy. I’ve been emailing with her for about a week now and I’m looking forward to getting together in person and getting MM out to run around and be his wild and crazy self is a total fringe benefit.

This weekend we: cut MM’s hair. It was long over due and he looks like such a little grown up. It’s amazing how every time we cut it he looks older. He was a very, very big boy for this cut. He squirmed of course but there were no tears and he was not afraid at all, just a squirmy three year old. I just use those electric hair clippers so it’s very easy to work with even when he’s fidgeting, there is very little room for error. Love that.

my so so big kid

Have I mentioned: that I joined bookmooch this weekend? I have thought about joining it so many times and never did. I’m still kind of getting the hang of things but Dan is mailing out our first book today and I’m looking for a book to mooch right now. I want to find something he and I would both like but it’s slim pickings on that. I have found a few books I’d like but I have so many books to read already, meanwhile he’s in a book slump and needs something new and fresh to fall in love with. Any recommendations? He’s recently read and enjoyed The Host, The Hunger Games & Catching Fire, The Mysterious Benedict series and Shiver (which he only mostly liked – he really didn’t like the ending at all).

I also: made this cool edible playdough recipe that I found on Make and Takes. It came out pretty good and while it got a bit greasy, it was pretty easy to work with. We used some cookie cutters and made fun shapes and I also showed him how to roll it into balls, flatten said balls, make little worm shapes, etc. He had a lot of fun with it but I’m the only one who made any attempts to eat any so I think I’ll stick with our regular play dough for the most part since we already have like 9,000 jars of the stuff.

peanut butter playdough

I really want to make: these little a la carte pie in a jars. We have some of the taller mason jars and use them for just about everything but I might pick up some of these wider squatty jars to make these. I’m always talking about how I want pie but don’t want to have to eat the entire thing. Perfect. I also want to make this cute hugging heart valentine with MM. I think both would be great Valentine Projects, don’t you?

Have you seen: these videos of celebrities reading from other celebrities’ biographies? I love this one with Michael Urie reading Miley Cyrus…

You should really read: this post from Baby, You Give Review Blogging A Bad Name

I’ll leave you with another cute BB picture because if you are anything like me, you might go into withdrawal if I don’t… Check out BB’s new boyfriend…

penguin love