Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


Ninja + Thesis defense success = graduation regalia!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Today I:

  • Finished my thesis presentation & practiced it 2 times
  • Went to the post office, gas station, bank & Target. Treated myself to a Starbucks.
  • Got flowers from my sister
  • Had the first picnic of the “season” with my favorite girl and my sister
  • Played outside.
  • Worked some more of thesis requirements
  • Noticed a quite toddler in the corner of my office. Writing on her arm with permanent marker….
  • Went for a long walk with Gianna, held hands & talked about all the things we saw outside. And really just wanted to cry from the awesomeness of the whole thing. She makes my heart burst with love.
  • Played outside some more and made small talk with our slightly…unique… neighbors
  • Made and ate dinner with my family
  • Gave Gianna a bath
  • Finished up thesis requirements, notes and jump drive transfers
  • Ate an ice cream cookie

Tomorrow – I will defend my thesis, pick up my graduation stuff and go on a date with my supportive (and neglected) husband.  And let out the biggest sigh of relief, because holy crap. I did it!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

  • First – Happy Easter!
  • Second – it doesn’t feel like easter… not that I am sure what that feels like, but it doesn’t feel like a holiday to me. Probably something to do with all the crazy that’s going on right now.
  • A true holiday will be on Wed when I am DONE with school.
  • Also? Can it be warm yet? Please?
  • Last week I got a Keurig as a gift from a really awesome friend – tell me your favorite coffee! I know for sure I want to try one of the iced vanilla coffee’s but I need options people!
  • The Chocolate Glazed Donut variety k-cup is very delish.
  • Gianna is full of hilarious these days, I need to remember to write down the funny things she says.
  • I  made our meal plan for next week. I will only be “cooking” (meal plan says: chicken nuggets? salad?) one day because things are so busy and G will be at my Mom’s like 3/5 nights for dinner.
  • They asked me to teach again next semester, so yay to that.
  • I applied for another teaching position at a bigger college…..
  • And I need to work on my presentation for next week.
  • Also next week, I will be participating in a Twitter party!

KidsGO Twitter Party #ClevelandKidsGo (@KidsGoExpo)
Tuesday, April 26nd from 9p-10p. 
We will be giving away some more gift certificates to the Step2Store and Chick-fil-A, plus tickets to the KidsGO Expo!

  • But first – Happy 2nd Birthday to Zach – my BFF’s son – I remember her calling me early in the morning, because she knew I was up already, saying “so, I’m in the hospital and it’s a BOY! Oh, and I did it without drugs, it wasn’t that bad” love ya, S!


come see what all the other FNL’s have to say over @ Danifred’s

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: spring has sprung ed

4.6  (14)

4.6  (29)4.6  (32)

You know it’s spring-time when we break out the bubbles


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Order of Operations

I am pretty sure I said I was going to write this post well over a month ago.  Better late than never?!

Here is the thing. I am a planner – shocking I know – and I work so much better on a timeline. Deadlines. Whatever.

In my mind – the things that are going to occur in the next 6 months should go something like this. (I am certain nothing will go as I planned, but still, starting point?)

((and the “plan” will be sprinkled with jewelry, writing & teaching…you know, things I get paid to do!))

  1. Defend thesis/graduate (May 8th!)
  2. Buy a potty chair for Gianna…. no intention of actually USING it yet.
  3. Have Mirena taken out. (holy shit…..)
  4. Turn 26
  5. Go to Disney!!!!! (May 31st)
  6. Think about maybe seeing if potty training might work out?
  7. Build my business even more. (Designer! Yes!)
  8. Go to Texas (July 12th)
  9. Think about maybe seeing if Gianna would like to sleep in a big-girl bed
  10. Start seriously looking at/applying for PhD programs (right? probably? OMG)
  11. Hope Gianna is actually potty trained…..
  12. Go to Italy (October)

It all seems rather…. boring excitingly normal? compared to the past few months. I am sure I will find a way to spice things up a bit, I can’t sit still for long. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to a slow-down in the action just in time for pool-season!


Bright Beginnings

This post brought to you by PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.

Two things that you probably know if you have been reading my blog for any length of time:

  1. Gianna was formula fed from the get go. On purpose. (gasp now or forever hold your peace) 
  2. I like to buy things on sale. And online. Online AND on sale = my own personal slice of heaven

And, if you are a new reader, then you just learned two fun new facts! You're welcome.


There has been some recent discussion and planning in regards to baby #2 and the whole idea of growing our leetle family soon. 

I forget a lot....... almost all.... okay yes, pretty much ALL of the newborn stage minus the really awesome snuggles and the feeding trials and tribulations. 

Yes, my little bug was formula fed, no, that does not mean it was easy or not at all stressful. 

Bright Beginnings is one formula we never tried in our quest to feed the baby - but one that is on my radar for next time.  It's at a great price point AND you can  buy on And, it comes in an organic variety, which I like.

Another really nice thing? Bright Beginnings offers a non-diary supplement drink, great for those of us with dairy allergic/sensitive toddlers.

Check out Bright Beginnings on Facebook, catch up on what is developing over there and see what others think of their products. I know they are officially on my radar should we decide to go the formula route again.

(please refer to item #2 above! ROCKS! Tell them I sent you and get an even better deal with this code: ADIX2903 at checkout !!) 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Monday, April 18, 2011


4 years ago today, Mike and I had just returned from our honeymoon in Punta Cana in time to welcome the birth of this girl, our god daughter:


Happy 4th Birthday, Mackenzie – we love you!!



really cute posts from her 1st birthday & here

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers: 12 more days edition

  • 12 more days until my thesis is defended.
  • 12 more days of busting my ass to get the paper and presentation finished.
  • And Gianna has decided she doesn’t need a nap today. Naturally.
  • She has been all about imagination lately and it is pretty cool.
  • She is also all about dresses. And must get dressed immediately upon waking up. And must wear a “fancy dress” or a “pretty dress”.
  • In the next 12 days I will have at least: finished a 30 minute presentation & paper on my thesis topic, written a meaningless essay, taken a test, participated in 2 online discussion sessions, taught another week of class but prepared 2 weeks worth of lectures, pretended to be the Easter bunny & participated in 2 Easter related activities, held 2 jewelry shows, started a poster to present my research at a conference, participated in at least one conference call and one meeting revolving around jewelry, played with my 2 year old, hopefully showered regularly and drank an undetermined amount of coffee and wine.
  • I need to get my game-plan prepared in order for all that shit to get done.
  • On a different note – what are you favorite outdoor toys for toddlers? We have a play house, water table and jungle-gym thingie.
  • What is going in the next 12 days around your house?


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Party Recap

There were decorations

Ballerina Dance Party 4.10

And lots of really great kids playing in the yard!

Ballerina Dance Party 4.101

And of course there was (pink) cake for the birthday girl

Ballerina Dance Party 4.102

Cupcakes and cake for everyone else too!

Ballerina Dance Party 4.103

Oh. And presents. Cinda-lella was a fan favorite.

Ballerina Dance Party 4.104

And a happy girl. A happy mommy & daddy. & lots of love to go around.

Ballerina Dance Party 4.105

It was a wonderful day.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

4.10  (458)*

she is “tutu” awesome!

Official 2 year old stats:

35.5” (85%ish)

26# (45%! Holy crappola! She jumped from a consistent 10% by eating fruit, yogurt and cheerios!)andreasignature2

*party pictures soon. I have over 550 to edit!

Monday, April 11, 2011

A letter to my daughter: 2 years of wonder

Dear Gianna -

Today you turn 2. TWO. I honestly can hardly believe that you have been here for 2 years and at the same time I barely remember life before you.

It has been another year filled with exploring, learning, talking, crying, smiling and laughing.

You have definitely become my tiny dancer, as you always were – I just get to share you with everyone now. You will dance anywhere and proudly proclaim “I dancin’ Mommy!”. We have dance parties every day, which have become something I look forward to very much, you wear tutus all the time and soon you will be taking dance classes.

7.25  (39) july 2010

This year, while full of dancing and fun, has been one of BIG changes. We bought and moved into our first house.

5.24  (37)may 2010

We went to the beach for the first time.

9.10  (17)September 2010

And the biggest change of all was when I lost my job in October. It was the biggest challenge that came with the most rewarding prize – being home every day with you.

IMG_0200_GDOctober 2010

We have learned a lot about each other this year. You know just when to “give a kiss mommy” and when I need a snuggle or a laugh. Together we have made crafts, cookies, learned a love of princesses and created memories that I will forever cherish.

1.11  (70)January 2011

I can not wrap my mind around all you have accomplished this year. You have great manners, always saying please, thank you and your welcome appropriately. You still fall down a lot, but you always get right back up and say “I okay mommy”. You love to “cook” and have “tea parties”. Shoes, dresses and hairbows are something you love. Princesses (especially Cinda-lella and Tiana) are your favorite things – you take such great care of them too. Movies are your favorite form of entertainment, besides dancing and reading books. Besides mommy, Papa is your favorite person in the world – you have no idea how much this makes me happy because he is one of the most amazing people you could ever have in your life.

6.20  (55)June 2010

You have a great memory and can identify all of your favorite people and characters. You are a great helper and you give the best snuggles.

But my favorite part of this year? Are the conversations we have. We talk all the time and I am constantly amazed at what you understand and say. Your vocabulary is easily over 500 words and growing every day. At least once a day you give me a good laugh with whatever you say. And you fill my heart with love when, out of the blue, you give me a hug and say “I wub you too mommy”.

The happiness, excitement and pure joy you have brought to my life (and daddy’s too!) (okay, everyone in our family’s!) is something I can’t explain. You light up the room when you walk in and bring a smile to everyone you encounter.

DSC_0836November 2010

Each day when I wake up to you saying “Mommy! Mommy!” I smile and gladly get out of bed to great you with a big smile. And each night when you go to bed, I let out a sigh of joy when you say “Mommy! Another book?” and “I wub you too” in response to my “Goodnight, sweet dreams, I love you and I’ll see you when you wake up”.

Every minute of this year has been incredible – even the crying, sick, time-out and frustration-filled ones – because they have been spent with the most amazing toddler I have ever had the privilege of knowing.

IMAG02903.23  (7)

I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Happy 2nd Birthday peanut.

Love you to the moon and back,


Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

  • I needs some bullet-point therapy today, thankful to Danifred for providing it to me! Feel free to join her (check back if she hasn’t posted her linky yet) for some FNL therapy yourself!
  • This is my last weekend with a 1 year old. Holy crap. Emotions are running WILD.
  • Thanks for all the new haircut love! You guys made my week. Especially Esperanza for her comment – you made me laugh out loud, mostly because I have those kinds of “new hairs” too – totally sexay.
  • Things are crazy around here. I know I say that about every week – but no, for real this time. Today I have to: get some work done, shower, pack Gianna an overnight bag, go to the party store & target, have lunch with my sister (send Gianna with her for a sleepover!), come home work some more, meeting @ 4, meeting @ 4:30 to leave for an overnighter – meeting @ 6:30, dinner, sleep. Tomorrow: training until 4, birthday party for Gianna’s friends at 5:30, come home and bake cupcakes and cake. Sunday: lose my everloving mind, finish party prep, shower (I hope!) Gianna’s 2 yr pictures and then PARTY!
  • Add approximately 1,938 small things that need done between all of the big stuff and is it next weekend yet?
  • Final countdown to thesis defense. Scary to know what all still needs accomplished.
  • Sending big prayers and powerful thoughts into the universe for some friends today – one itty bitty rockstar baby needs them.
  • Gianna is HILARIOUS lately. the things she says, OMG I die from the cute. Some winners this week: reciting lines from her favorite movies at random like “I a diamond in the ruff” in the bathtub (ala Aladdin) or “I not a waitress, I a princess” (ala Princess & the Frog). She also told me she was “just habbin’ a tweat” as she broke into the easter candy stash – eating a mini reese cup, wrapper and all.
  • Have a great weekend my bloggie loves


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Coupon Chief!

This post brought to you by, all opinions are 100% mine.

It’s not really a big secret – I have become coupon obsessed! Or, obsessed-in-training since I still have a lot to learn! And, I don’t have a coupon organizer or anything like that. Yet.

But the thing is, as much as I LOVE to shop, I really LOVE to shop online when at all possible.

The main reason (besides the obvious: shopping in my jammies) I LOVE to shop online is because I save SO MUCH MONEY.

Sounds ridiculous, I know. But stacking coupon codes, cash back options and free shipping make it worthwhile. And random things don’t end up coming home with me because they were SO cute (and un-needed).

I’ve used various websites in the past to hunt down free shipping and percent off codes but none have been as amazing or reliable as Coupon Chief.

This is the home of online retailer saving awesomeness. Thousands of (reliable!) coupon codes for thousands of retailers! The ability to browse by category or store is great, broadening my shopping horizons!

There are some really unique features about Coupon Chief setting them apart from other like sites. The biggest and most appealing is the pays-2-share feature. You post a coupon code you have received or found and when people use it, you get 2% back on whatever those people buy*! In order to help direct other coupon-savvy, money-saving shoppers to YOUR coupons there is a widget you can install into your own blog or social media platform containing your 5 most recent coupons.

It’s the greatest share-save-cash cycle ever! And, as I always say, we love to share around here!

There is also a coupon-4-causes option which allows you to earn money for a favorite charity, school or church. Pay it forward in a whole new way!

Visit’s Facebook page to stay up on the most current saving opportunities and don’t forget to visit their blog too!

While there are many coupon websites out there, I encourage you to give a try next time you are in the market for anything from a new cell phone to a new pair of shoes, I bet you’ll find what you are looking for at an even better price!


*please visit for full program details

wordless Wednesday

New hairs!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Saturday, April 2, 2011

counting down

8 days until Gianna’s birthday party. All of the crafty stuff is done, the menu is finally determined-ish and if people would just freaking RSVP we would be good to go. I am excited with the way things turned out, the weekend is going to be NUTS but I am going to do my best to enjoy the party.

9 days until my baby turns 2. Very emotional over this. Clearly.

11 days until Gianna’s 2 year well check. I wonder how big she is and how much flack I am going to catch because she won’t drink milk….

25 days until my thesis defense. 25 more days of my own personal spreadsheet/statistic/powerpoint/paper writing hell. The project really isn’t bad, I am just over it and pretty annoyed by some of the BS that has come up recently. And I want to do this all.over.again for a PhD? Definitely have lost my mind somewhere along the way.

36 days until I actually graduate. Master of Public Health! Now if only I actually knew what day I graduated and what I have to do before hand…. Or what would help me get a job in my field…..

42 – ? days - the official OMG WE ARE GOING TO TTC FOR BABY #2 day. I have no idea what my cycles will look like when I get my Mirena removed soonish, so rough estimate.

58 days until Disney. The vacay was paid in full today (CASH!) ((okay, GIFT CARDS I BOUGHT WITH CASH!)) and honestly, it can’t get here soon enough. I am trying to figure out how to adapt an eidetic memory before then because I am sure I am not going to want to forget one second of this trip.

referring back to my post from a few weeks ago I still owe you -

  • a local giveaway [fun stuff for kids to do!]
  • a non-local giveaway [fun thing for kids to have!] *as soon as I get my shit together, this will be going on!*
  • the order of operations I promised I don’t know, weeks ago?
  • more pictures
  • birthday party stuff
  • a letter to my daughter (birthday post) ((holy shit, her birthday is coming SOOOOON)) (((cue a ridiculous amount of emotion)))
  • a new confessions of a….post (bloghop-style so you can play too) ((supermom is what I am thinking.. or superwoman… or whatever))
  • whatever else I can manage to coherently write – there is a lot of shit going on in my brain right now.

We’re getting there…. pictures soon.


KidsGO Expo: WINNER!!

comment #14 is Devon!

Thanks to everyone who entered - if you didn't win go to for more ticket information!