They're making their lists...and checking it twice.

We began making Christmas lists tonight to send to Santa.  It was quite an entertaining event.

Grace, who is 6, asked if she could put Lucky Charms (yes, the cereal) on her list.  As I am feeling like the worst mom ever for not letting them have sugar-y cereals, my 8 year old, Kellen informs me that his current list is only a prototype.  He will do the real thing another day.  Oh, okay....

And here is our baby making his list by not letting us turn the page away from the trains page.

Tis the season!


I am so blessed.

I love what I get to wake up to everyday.  So thankful for my wonderful family.  


The art of baking a Birthday Cake

Today is my Darling Husband's Birthday and his favorite cake is Carrot Cake, so naturally I wanted to make him the best darn carrot cake ever.  I searched several recipes and settled on a Cooking Light Sheet Carrot Cake with cream cheese icing.  The only thing standing between that delicious cake and our mouths was the small, tiny little fact that we don't have a food processor and I had no clue how to "shred" carrots.  Then along came google and told me that all I need is a box grater, which is one thing this Domestic Diva (cough, cough) has.

I present Darling Husband's Birthday Cake:

And a few little helpers to blow out the candle:


Weekly Product Review: Baby Oil...for shaving

Yes, this may sound weird, but I read about it in a magazine and feel obligated to pass it on.  I can't remember what magazine it was that told me about this useful little tip, but it is well worth knowing and using.

In a nutshell, you just replace your shaving cream or gel or barsoap with baby oil.  You use it just as you would shave gel, but it eliminates the need for shower gel and even lotion after you shower.  The texture and sensation takes a little getting used to, especially if, like myself, you were used to using shave gel that foamed and created a visual barrier between your razor and your skin.  However, the advantages to this outweighed the initial "weirdness".  This technique is especially beneficial in the winter when my skin is dehydrated and flaky.  I usually still use lotion out of habit after getting out of the shower, but on the days that I have skipped it, my legs still feel nourished and hydrated.  And as an added bonus, it leaves just a little bit of an effortless sheen to your legs, which is great in the summer time with shorts and skirts.

I personally use Burt's Bees Apricot Oil, simply because I am trying to use up the little bit we have left over from when Karson was a baby.  But any Johnson's or generic baby oil would work.


Holiday Gift Giving

I love the steady stream of emails that are already rolling in giving suggestions for the perfect gift for everyone on your list.  I enjoy all of the pretty things that come out just for the holidays and I love anything with glitter or special packaging...yes, I am the sucker that falls for that sales ploy.  To be honest I have a hard time not pushing "submit" for myself as I am shopping for the perfect gifts....

Here are a few pretties that have caught my attention:

How cute is this!!  I couldn't help it, I had to order one for myself.  I have been stalking Starbucks since I missed the boat on the summer stock of their cold cups and the cute candy cane lid is an added bonus!

Now, if I could just figure out the perfect gift for the perfect husband...


Weekly Product Review: Bath and Body Works Leaves Candle

This week I am going to review one of my all-time favorite things about fall: Candles!  I love having the warm welcoming scents throughout my home!  I used to burn candles year round and then I had kids and was always scared they would knock one over or I would forget to blow it out and would wake up at 3 am with the smoke detectors going off, so I kind of gave them up for awhile.  But there is something about fall and winter that almost requires a candle :) 

Bath and Body Works are my favorite candles.  I don't usually shop at BBW as I feel their body items are inferior to others that I favor, but their Slatkin & Co. candles are hard to beat. They provide a nice light scent and spread quite a bit.  They also burn evenly so there is no wasting the bottom 1/4 of the wax because the wick has already burned out. 

My favorite scent is Leaves. I can't begin to describe it, but suffice to say that it does not smell like leaves at all, in my opinion.  A couple of friends who have come to my house tell me that it smells like I have been baking all day and there is definitely a spicy warm note in it.  It basically smells like Fall to me.  So think of all the scents associated with fall: pumpkins, baking, caramel, apples and there you have Leaves candle. 

My only complaint is that they don't have more products in this scent...a hand soap would be fabulous (are you listening BBW???).  But I do like that it is seasonal because I always look forward to seeing it hit shelves in early September!  I stocked up a month or so ago when the 3-wicks were 2/$20 and have already gone through 2 candles.  I think I may be purchasing more before the season is over!


I Believe there are Angels Among Us

     This post is a little different than most-okay or any-of my posts, but it is something that has been on my mind all day, so I thought it appropriate to post.
     Last night, I had the opportunity to meet some wonderful friends for a quick coffee/pastry date.  While we were talking, we got on the topic of how quickly things can happen and life can change in an instant.  Not long after getting home, the kids were finishing dinner and I was starting the dishes.  My husband brought our baby over to wash his hands and didn't realize that the dishwasher was down.  Before he could react, he tripped over the dishwasher, knocking the bottom tray completely out and then tripping over that before going head first into our cabinets, and then landing on top of our baby.  I saw everything and it was bad.  I was ready to call 911 as I thought for sure we were in serious trouble.  Karson immediately started crying and Matt was obviously shaken up.  I picked Karson up, expecting for there to be a lot of blood and not wanting to think about what else.  But miraculously, I saw nothing......nothing!
     Still, as a sit here writing it today, I can hardly believe it.  He cried for less than a minute and walked back over to the dishwasher, pointed to it and said, "Da Da, Whoa Whoa" (Dada Nono).  It took both Matt and I quite awhile to recover, but it was a not-so-gentle reminder of how quickly life can change.  I am so thankful that we have our Karson here with us today and just as ornery as he was yesterday, but I also can't help but think of those parents who aren't as lucky when these freak accidents happen.
     This morning, on our way home from grocery shopping, I had yet another reminder of how precious life is.  There was a story on K-Love about a little boy who was in a terrible car accident with his dad and he literally died for a little while, but against all odds, came back.  You can see his story here.  His parents wrote a book about it that I can't wait to pick it up, especially after seeing that angels really do exist and they were here last night protecting my Karson.


Weekly Product Review: Method Granite Cleaner

I apologize for missing the weekly product review last week; the sickies hit our house via the Birthday Girl, so I spent most of Thursday morning at the doctors and waiting for prescriptions and playing nurse.

This week,  I am breaking out of the mold of my previous beauty product reviews and I am going to review one of my favorite household cleaners.  

I love almost everything I have tried from Method and this one is at the top of my list!  First of all, it smells delicious and that is a huge thing for me.  Smells seem to be a trigger for my migraines, so I can't handle strong, heady smells which a lot of cleaning products have.  This has such a fresh, clean kitchen smell that I find myself using it just because I want my kitchen to smell nice.  I am not good at describing smells, so I won't embarras myself and try to, but trust me, it smells divine!

Now on to what it does....Darling Husband and I were set on granite counter tops when we built our home.  Of the billions of decisions we had to make, that one was a no-brainer.  However, I wasn't aware of the strenuous cleaning process that one has to go to to get sparkling granite countertops.  Basically it is a 3-step process if you want them to be perfect.  However, for day-to-day when they don't have to be perfect, this cleaner makes them look close to perfect for a short period without the three steps.  So a few sprays and go over it with a Microfiber cloth and you are set!

I am also loving Method's All-Purpose Cleaner in Pink Grapefruit.  I have used this to clean numerous Surfaces (including our stainless steel appliances) and it does a great job!  It doesn't get our granite as clean as the Granite Cleaner, but if you don't have granite countertops, it may be a great purchase! 

I have found that Target has the biggest selection of Method Products--though I have seen a smaller section at drugstores and grocery stores.   


I forgot about you: Hello Terrible Twos...

How could I have forgotten about the oh-so-wonderful time in a child's life appropriately called the "Terrible Twos".  Not too unexpectedly, my 20-month-old has decided that he is ready for this stage of life, much to mommy's dismay.  I forgot how exhausting this stage is...

Here is how we spent today...

Karson decided he needed a little sugar...on the end table???  Quite proud of himself, isn't he...

Then we decided we needed a bit more sugar and helped ourselves to Big Sissy's HOT PINK Birthday cake.  I think he knew he was in trouble at this point. 

But it's kind of hard to stay mad when he gives me these smiles. 


Holiday Tea Yumminess!

I love having a warm cup of tea in the afternoon or before I go to bed and I am always looking for a new delicious tea.  A couple of weeks ago I had a craving for pumpkin tea but I couldn't find it in any of my local stores, though I know it exists.  Yesterday, I was doing my grocery shopping for Gracie's Birthday Party and I happened across these delicious looking flavors:

They also had a place on the shelf for these flavors, but either they were out of stock of hadn't arrived yet.  I am anxious to try them as well!!

Do you have a favorite winter tea?