Sunday, August 1, 2010

Camden's 1st Birthday

I can't believe it, our little guy is one!  As you know, I've been dying to have a rainbow themed party,
 so I decided that this is the year to do it.  We will have plenty of time for manly cars/trains/monsters later.  I wanted to keep it cute and fun.  Some special family and freinds came into town and made this the most amazing day!

The handsome Birthday Boy!
 Handmade onesie from Etsy with rainbow polka dots.  Swweeet!

Plenty of ROYGBIV here.....

Is that a rainbow fruit tray?  Why of course it is!

The cake almost fell over! 

The gifts start piling up.... 

Favors for the Adults..... 

and Kids.

So much heavenly cake!!!!!

The keels me!

Oh... My....Gaww.......Sweet Jeeze....... Holy Moly.......It's a RAINBOW CAKE!

This is the best thing that has ever happenend to me! 

Yesshhh! What a year!


Oh, and here is a little montage of Camden's first year,  I love this kid!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rainbow Cake


For Camden's 1st Birthday I decided to go with a rainbow birthday cake.  It seemed challenging enough, so with a little extra time, love, and a mash up of many recipes, this is what I came up with:

You will need: 
-3 boxes of white cake mix
-ingredients to make the cakes as directed
-3 snack cups of vanilla pudding
-Wilton icing coloring in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple

3 -8oz Blocks Cream Cheese (brought to room temperature)
36oz Cool Whip
3 cups Confectioner's Sugar
3 tsps Vanilla Extract


You can measure out the batter into 6 bowls by eye, or if your'e a nerd like me, you can add up the combined weight of the bowls and batter on a food scale, divide by 6 and redistribute accordingly.

Use small amounts of gel per bowl (they are very concentrated).
I used toothpicks to add.

Transfer batter to pans. I baked 2 pans at a time at 325 for about 35-40 minutes.  When using pudding in any mix you really will have to go with inserting a toothpick and looking for it to come out clean.

Sooooo pretty

You need to make sure to level the layers or your cake will tilt.  I used a cheap $4.00 leveler from Walmart.  Make sure to work with wax paper.

I think it is best to freeze the layers ahead of time to make them easier to work with.  Use Wax Paper then wrap in saran wrap.

Take out of freezer and frost a few hours ahead of party.

To Make Frosting: Beat Cream Cheese, Sugar and Vanilla until well combined. Fold in Cool Whip very well (make sure you can taste the cream cheese throughout).

Oh Myyyy!!!!!!

  Use your imagination for toppings, I used Trix cereal.

This was a very big hit at the party.  The adults loved it and the baby pretty much just ate the Trix.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Freebie Friday 5/28/10

I don't know about you but I have been getting free stuff in the mail nearly everyday!  They are like little unexpected gifts.  Here is this Friday's List.

I do recommend that if you get into signing up for samples and freebies you create yourself a seperate email for advertisements. All companies require an email so they can send you advertising in exchange for your free sample. Or just unsubscribe to the emails as they come in.

(Keep in mind some of the offers may have run out by the time you get to them)

Just Click on the Titles:
National Parks Free Admission Days Free admission to many of the National Parks around the country On June 5th and 6th.  Check for your local parks.
Seattles Best Free Sample Sign up with email address, they send you some free stuff info
Aveeno Nourish Shampoo and Conditioner
o.b. Sample Pack with Cute Case
Tena Incontinence Sample
Aveda Men Pure-Formance Shampoo Sign up and get a coupon to take into an Aveda for a free shampoo sample
Lanacane Anti-Chafing Gel Sample
Playtex Gentle Glide Sample
John Freida Sheer Blonde Sample
Wet Senergy Sample (For Adults)
Non-Stick Baking Pan Sign up for $1 Dollar Shipping with a membership and make sure to cancel membership with-in 7 days.
Orville Cheddar Cheese Popcorn Sample
Kraft Sandwich Shop Mayo - 2 Free Samples

Kids Eat Free (or cheap): Go Under 'Search' and find you local restaurant offers.
Kid's Meal Deals Search for your zipcode

The following restaurants have been known to have kid's deals.  Make sure you call ahead to confim as different locations may vary.

Firehouse Subs
McCalister's Deli
Buffalo Wild Wings
Golden Corral
Quaker Steak and Lube
Backyard Burgers
Beef O' Brady's
Godfather's Pizza
Lonestar Steakhouse
Max and Erma's
Skyline Chili
Tony Roma's
Jason's Deli
Captain D's
Picadilly Cafe
Steak n' Shake
Tropical Smoothie
Cici's Pizza
Red Robin
Texas Roadhouse
Gold Star Chili
Damon's Grill
Qdoba Mexican Grill
Rainforest Cafe

Do you have any more restaurants or freebies you can add?  Just send me a comment and let me know the details.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The First Night Away

This past weekend John and I decided to visit his Dad over in Myrtle beach.  John also had the spotaneous idea to check out a bed and breakfast over in Charleston.  Sounds like a great weekend to me.  "What about the baby?" I said, "We can't take an infant to a  B&B, people go there to relax."  John- "Sure we can, he's a goood baby." -that John, he's so cute (I'm mimicking a cute little pat on his head).  I can just imagine the other couples glaring at us as we try to wrestle our little romper into some state of control.  So we asked Grandy to watch him for a night.  He was more than willing. 

We got down to Charleston and prepared for a good old fashioned night out on the town.  After a few hours, the Holy Crap I Forgot My Baby Somewhere! feeling wore down, and I was able to actuallly enjoy myself.  You may not remember this, but I can be pretty laid back and fun to party with sometimes.  We walked all over downtown taking in the different happy hour specials at various locations.  John and I were almost giddy, holding hands wherever we went.  I didn't know how nice Charleston could be.  The times I have gone before it was in the middle of the hot humid summer heat -the zaps your will to live kind of heat.  This time it was perfect. The sunset lit the town up like it was on stage. 

Needless to say it was a great weekend.  We got some time in with the family and Grandy made it through the babysitting adventure unharmed.  I'll have to tell you about the diaper changing fiasco in another post -did you know they used to use saftey pins to hold diapers together?  Strraange!  As for how much he spoiled the baby and what kind of goodies the kiddo had- I don't even want to know.

       The Barksdale House Inn

The Courtyard

Some Breakfast on the Porch

Cousin Rowan and Camden

Gratuitous Chubby Baby Pic

Friday, May 7, 2010

Freebie Friday 5/7/2010

It's another Freebie Friday!  I found
quite a bit of good Samples and Freebies this time:

 I do recommend that if you get into signing up for samples and freebies you create yourself a seperate email for advertisements. All companies require an email so they can send you advertising in exchange for your free sample. Or just unsubscribe to the emails as they come in.

(Keep in mind some of the offers may have run out by the time you get to them)

Just Click on the Titles:

Bounty Paper Towel Sample  Must have Sams Club Card

Nursing Care Relief Pads Samples Even if you aren't nursing this would be nice to throw into a baby shower gift.

Free Coupon for Jockey Panties from Macys May 31st - June 6th Must Start an Account at 

Kraft Summer Sampler Pack!  Must 'Like' on Facebook

Try this promo code for a free rental at RedBox: SMLVCTS  Expires 5/22/10

Free Bagel Coupon for Every Friday at Einstein Bagels Reuse Coupon every Friday before 11:00am good thru 5/22/2010

Free Coke From Murphy USA Gas Stations Must 'Like' on Facebook

Up to 4 pairs Free Gloves!

Make sure to check out the past Freebie Friday for deals that may still be good!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Send Off From Chicago

Well, we finally made it to South Carolina and man is it beautiful here!  As we drove down from Chicago it was nice to realize that there is still so much land left untouched and au naturale.  I can't wait to get into some hiking or over to the lakes.  It is definitely bittersweet, I will always miss Chicago dearly.  Even though we were only there for a year, we made so many strong and meaningful connections.  I know I will never live in a cooler or more creative city. 
We had an amazing send off party and so many of our friends got to come.  It meant so much to us.  And yes, in our time there we did make it to Oprah and a Cubs game - and I'm so glad we did!  Here are some of my favorite pics......

Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

The Chicago Theatre

The Buckingham Fountain

The Bean

Harpo Studios

Wrigley Field

Good Bye Chicago, WE LOVE YOU!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Freebie Friday

Check out some of these freebies!  I love getting little samples and free stuff in the mail!  I do recommend that if you get into signing up for samples and freebies you create yourself a seperate email for advertisements.  All companies require an email so they can send you advertising in exchange for your free sample.  Or just unsubscribe to the emails as they come in.

 (Keep in mind some of the offers may have run out by the time you get to them)

 Just Click on the Titles:
1. Right At Home Caddie Full of Cleaning Products Giveaway   Expires 4/30/10.  Must be 1 of the first 30000 to Enter
2. Breathe Right Strip Sample
3. John Frieda Frizz Ease Shampoo & Conditioner Sample
4. Dunkin' Donuts Turbo Coffee Sample
5. Dove Men's Body Wash Sample
6.Pantene Samples
7.John Frieda Luxurious Volume Samples  Expires 4/30/10
8.Avery Label Pad Sample
9.Walmart Parent's Choice Formula Sample
10.Freeman Pssssst Instant Shampoo Spray Sample
11.Special K Protien Meal Bar Sample
12.Dove Daily Treatment Conditioner Sample
13 Loreal Everstrong Ever Pure Samples
14. Pampers Dry Max Sample Must use Sams Membership #
15. Bring Your Own Bag Static Window Cling
16. Tide Febreeze Freshness Sample
17. Pampers Cruisers Drymax Sample 3 pk
18. Aveeno Nourish Haircare Samples
19. Escada Marine Groove Sample
20. Pantene Pro-V Iceshine Sample
21. Purex 3-in-1 Sample
22. Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel Sample Must take easy quiz
23. Swiss Army Fragrance Sample
24. Free Simplistik Wall Sticker
25. Dove Haircare Sample
26.Hill's Science Diet Treat Sample
27. Fizzy Wizzy Bathtime Fizzies Sample
28. Splenda Sweetener Samples
29. Nescafe Taster's Choice Sample

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Healthy Baby Recipe: Buttermilk Nut Scones

These came out so moist and fluffy!  Perfect texture for Baby!  I tried them out also (I used just a little formula, don't freak out).  They are pretty basic, but were still tasty.  I think I will tweak (a.k.a. junk them up) a little for the grown-ups.

Makes 30 Scones.

Buttermilk Nut Scones
(8 months +)
adapted from Amanda Grant's 'Baby & Toddler Healthy Eating Plan'

You will need:

4 cups self-rising flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 Tbls crushed nuts
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
6 Tbls formula or breast milk

-Preheat oven to 350F.  Sift flour & cinnamon into a large bowl.  Cut butter in thoroughly, stir in nuts and buttermilk. 
-Add enough formula/breast milk to make a soft, sticky dough.

-Drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto a sprayed baking sheet. 
-Bake for about 12-14 minutes -scones will stay pretty pale so check bottoms.

Serve warm and freeze the rest.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Heart Cheerios

So the Babe and I are chilling out together and I notice the sweetest little thing.  I'm laid back in my chair while he sits in my lap and puts Cheerios on my belly (I really, really need to start doing some crunches).  I look down at some point and see this little O :

It's going to be a lovely day.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Healty Baby Recipe: Pear & Cinnamon Mini Muffins

Pear & Cinnamon Mini Muffins
(8 month +)

These are great to freeze ahead and pull them out for breakfast
Makes 24 Mini Muffins

You will need:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
6 Tbls sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 large egg
4 oz. breast or formula milk
3 Tbls unsalted butter, melted
1 medium pear, peeled and finely chopped (fills about 1 cup)

-Preheat oven to 375.  Spray muffin pan with cooking spray
-In large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda
-Add the remaining ingredients. Mix well (makes a sticky batter)
-Spoon batter into pan. Bake for about 12 minutes.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter and the Park

     Ahh Easter Sunday, can't you just feel the renewing possibilities?  I feel like I missed the boat a little this year.  We didn't try out egg dying or hiding (the baby would probably just try to cram them in his mouth).  No chocolate, candies or cakes (we adults would probably just try to cram them in our mouths).  We are in the middle of packing, so decorating was not an option.  All of this just motivates me to knock it out of the park next year.  
     Even though it was simple and small, we had a beautiful Easter.  The weather was perfect -warm and breezy.  It seems like every blade of grass was waiting for this morning to burst into green.  After Easter Service the three of us had a fantastic brunch.  John took us out to 'The Grand' in Arlington Heights.  We took our time enjoying the great food while Camden stayed busy catching everyone's eye. 
     Afterwards we went to the park to enjoy some sunshine and to take pictures 

My new bunny

What a charming little boy!

Ahhh, this is the life...

Warm and Breezy

Getting in some slide time in with Daddy

First time on a swing.  Yippee!

Earlier, while at brunch, we played the 'Guess How Many Jelly Beans Are In This Jar' game. 
They called to tell us that John won 4th place. 

 Big Pink Bunnies with Bubbles, Oh My!


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