Monday, May 30, 2011


I realize that I just did a FNL post with bullets – but whatever.

  • I just cleared my google reader without reading (hardly) any of it – I am sorry if I missed something important from last week, fill me in!
  • I will probably be doing the same thing this time next week, since, you know, we are going to DISNEY WORLD tomorrow! And I am going without my computer!
  • Summer is here. And it is amazing.
  • Pictures of this weekends summer forthcoming.
  • I forgot how much I obsessed over TTC…. giddy.up because here we go again.
  • What does work:life balance really mean? If you have found this coveted thing, fill me in on how it works for you.
  • Our AC has been CRANKING all day. It’s pretty crazy.
  • I have a great give-away going on – it’s a seriously awesome lifestyle bootcamp. The newest video’s are up now and I am totally looking at cravings differently.
  • Super excited for disney – also super prepared to be the crying blubbering idiot mother behind the camera when her daughter sees Cinda-lella for the first time.
  • Happy Memorial Day!


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Friday Night leftovers–on saturday because it’s my birthday

  • Have been a total bloggy-slacker lately. I hope to catch up before I leave next week, and post some fun stuff for your entertainment while I am gone.
  • Did you see this? If you want to get in better shape, loose some weight and be ready for summer I have your ticket! This 6-week bootcamp is going to ROCK! And you can get in for FREE!!
  • It’s my birthday! It’s been a great day so far and the weekend is shaping up to be pretty nice as well. Plus? 3 sleeps until we are at Cinda-ella’s castle!! EEPP!!
  • My husband is awesome and got me the super cute camera bag I have been coveting for..ever…
  • Of course, it will arrive on Tuesday – but still! YAY!
  • And I rented a lens to take on vacation  - it is just as awesome as I imagined. I don’t think I will want to send it back…
  • I still need to pack….
  • I found shorts today that don’t show my whole ass AND don’t make me look like I am a mom. WIN!
  • I had a phone interview yesterday that turned into a real life interview for when I get back. I have mixed feelings on it, but hey! SOMEBODY at least wants to talk to me – that is progress!!
  • Life is so crazy sometimes, I am thankful that currently it is a good kind of crazy.
  • My internet/twitter friends are the best ever – I wish we all lived close to each other because how awesome would it be to hang out in the flesh whenever we wanted?!
  • Seriously – check out the bootcamp thing – it promises to be awesome.
  • And have an amazing weekend. In NEO it’s supposed to FINALLY be a) not raining and b) 90 degrees! Very excited!andreasignature2

and visit Danifred for the rest of the leftover crowd!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

leangreenYOU: weight loss for mama’s – GIVEAWAY!!!

Who loves the way they look? How fit they are? How ALL of their clothes fit?

If you love all of those things – I applaud you and would like to kindly kick you in the shin. Because I do NOT like the way I look, how fit I am or how most of my clothes fit.

I haven’t always felt this way – before I got pregnant with Gianna (OMG! THREE years ago) I was in GREAT shape, I LOVED the way I looked and how I looked in ALL of my clothes.

Then I got pregnant, gained an ungodly amount of weight, lost almost all of that weight, gained some back and just really never got back in shape. And have been struggling with how I look and feel ever since.

My husband always tells me I look great, and I am thankful that no matter how I look it is great to him. But I don’t feel great to me, which is the problem.

Then I was given the true blessing to work with Jennifer McCay – founder and chief coach of LeanGreenMama International. She has developed a lifestyle-based weight loss program that is specific to women and mothers. From what I have learned about this program – IT WORKS!!

There are 2 ways to get involved here -

The first, is to sign up for the FREE 4-video training series. The first video is up now, and gave me many “ah ha” moments – I am really looking forward to the next ones. To gain access to the video series visit and sign up – super easy and you won’t regret it. I have pages of notes just from the first video!

There is also an awesome, more personalized way to get involved with LeanGreenYOU. One of my awesome, deserving readers can WIN a spot in Jennifer’s upcoming program – 6 weeks to a LeanGreenYOU Lifestyle Bootcamp – a $497 value!! The program, taught by Jennifer McCay, exclusively helps busy moms learn how to lose weight healthfully and successfully – and!!

The 6 week program will begin on or around June 8th (it’s all interactive) and personally, I can not wait to start!

How to win:

View the first video in the series and tell me something you learned!

Extra entries (leave a SEPARATE comment for each):

If you REALLY want to win this – you can also enter a contest over here being held by Jennifer McCay! This is a GREAT opportunity and one that I  CAN.NOT.WAIT to begin.


Giveaway is open until Sunday June 5th 11:59EST. Winner will be chosen using & notified by email.

[if your Google account is not linked directly to your email  make sure I have a way to contact you!! If no response within 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen.]

Opportunity brought to me via Business2Blogger – compensation received is membership to the 6 week bootcamp. All opinions regarding the program & LeanGreenYOU are 100% original.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

editing a bunch of pictures from last month.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

  • We still have a freaking ant problem over here. I hate ants. They gross me out.
  • All bugs gross me out, really.
  • I bought a new bathing suit today. A tankini style because I am not comfortable wearing my two-piece suits from last year. But it is actually really flattering on (not annoying and clingy) and I LIKE it. It’s the small things, people.
  • Gianna is so funny. We have been telling her item x (swim diapers, tooth brush, whatever) is for vacation. Whenever she sees one of these items she says “I love my BAACATION”
  • You guys have the BEST vacation ideas and tips. What did people do before the internet?
  • I ordered both Happiest Toddler on the Block and How to Talk so Kids Listen and How to Listen so Kids Talk today – the screeching/whining must.end.
  • I want to work full-time. From home. Or find one more adjunct position. I pray something comes our way – financial stress can suck it.
  • It has rained an absurd amount. So much that all my plants are growing like weeds (ha!) – which, awesome, except that my freaking hosta’s are eating my snapdragons. Must do some plant-shuffling tomorrow.
  • Donation/Raffle items have been coming in for the Just Relax fundraiser – people and their generosity amaze me. We are still taking donations, don’t be shy!

andreasignature2as always, join danifred and leave your leftover love.

Worth the Work

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

We have been talking ALOT about relationships over here lately - relationships with friends, family and husbands.

I watched this video by actor/author Hill Harper - the one thing that stood out to me was his statement "Relationships ARE difficult, but they are also amazing".

That could not be more true. And something that we probably all have realized a time or two or twenty-five in our own experiences. I know I have that "realization" about once a day!

Two of Us is a great website for relationship advice and as a resource to keep our relationships open, growing and communicating.  There is information for everyone, no matter what stage you are at - dating, engaged, married for 4 years, parents etc. 

There are some really nice tips on keeping your relationship fresh - we can ALL use these. Especially if you find your "normal" conversations revolve around who peed on the potty, if we should have chicken nuggets for dinner again and about how long the grass is....

It is worth your time, at least it was worth mine, to check it out. There is so much great content there. And, they are on facebook! You can like them over there as well for more discussion and brain-stimulating information! 

Speaking of brain-stimulating information, what are YOUR most common relationship questions? My biggest one is "How do I remain selfless in my relationships?"  It is H.A.R.D - but worth it in the end.

Relationships are so worth the work - the benefits we experience when we put ourselves out there for someone else are amazing.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Getting it out there

Do you ever experience something and just need time to processes that experience before you can make heads or tails of it?

I have been trying, taking little baby steps, to turn my heart over to Christ. I have always felt connected to Him, I grew up Catholic, but the relationship didn’t feel very functional, if that makes any sense at all.

Over the past 4 or 5 months, I have really felt a need and a want to explore and expand that part of my life. I am timid about it and that is getting me nowhere.

The other day I had to drive pretty far for a conference, I spent a good 5 hours in the car by myself. I do all my best reflecting in the car and something came over me that day. I prayed. Out loud. (I NEVER do this).

I poured out my wants, needs, fears, hopes, desires – all of it.

When I was done, I felt this –and I really don’t know how to describe it- feeling within me – within my heart. I knew what it was. It was Him showing me where He belongs – where he IS. It was a pretty comforting feeling, actually.

My biggest problem is that I am a CONTROL FREAK. I like to be in charge of everything – especially my life. Which is HUGELY stressful and frustrating, not nearly as rewarding of an experience as you might imagine (ha!).  I envy those who are so carefree and comfortable within the confines of their lives. Part of why I feel so, unsettled, is the job situation. But I DO have a job. I have THREE FOUR jobs, if we are counting. I am a wife. A mother. A writer. A Premier Designs jeweler.

For some reason, telling people about this job has been hard for me – I fear they will think, “She was supposed to be a doctor and now she sells jewelry?” or “don’t you have a masters degree ::eye roll::?”

But that is my own fear, and a really unrealistic one, if I am being totally honest with myself. Because this job – is full of so much JOY and HOPE and FUN! I make more money than I did working full time and work about 1/4 of the hours, it’s legit, I enjoy the women I see and the lives I have been able to enrich. I need to change my outlook on it – because it is meaningful and fruitful. And it brings me happiness and faith.

Sure, I want to USE the degree/s I have – that will come, I have to be confident in that as well.

I guess all of this is trying to say – This is SO hard for me, but I think I am ready to jump in with both feet – to really hand myself over to Him. I am willing to put in the work, the effort, the desire needed because I know the rewards will be endless. He will bless me, my family, my business – and He has – I only need to open my eyes to the future and the possibility. It’s scary and different, but I know it promises to be worth it.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


October 2010 – 18m pictures


April 2011 – 2y pictures

What a difference 6 months makesandreasignature2

Pictures courtesy of Tamarie Photography

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

We go to Cinda-lella’s Castle NOW Mommy?



And Gianna asks us regularly – “We go to Cinda-lella’s Castle NOW?”

It is very adorable and honestly, I had NO idea I would be so excited for this vacation, but I am. I am SO excited to see Disney through her eyes.

But before we get to Disney, we should pack or something.

That’s where I need help! And naturally, I am coming to you, beautiful Internets

On my list of things to pack for G:

  • Sunscreen
  • Adorable minnie outfit with tutu for Mickey Breakfast
  • Cinderella T-shirt to wear on airplane
  • Bathing Suit
  • Swim Diapers
  • Stroller
  • Minnie Mouse Hair bows
  • Regular Diapers & wipes
  • PJ’s

On the rest of my list:

  • Clothes
  • Reservation info
  • Camera

In the carryon (here is where I need the most help, first time flying with a toddler!):

  • Suckers
  • New princess book
  • princess magnadoodle
  • princess stickers

What am I forgetting? What do I need? Any and all ass-vice is welcome related to Disney & flying. What specifically do I need to bring with me to the parks?

We are staying on-property and have the dining plan. We will spend one day at Animal Kingdom/Epcot and another full day at Magic Kingdom.

I can’t believe we are leaving in 2 weeks – it might be a short vacation, but it is going to be one I never forget, that much I know for sure.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

It’s what friends do

You may have noticed this shiny new button over here -----> (thanks Suzy!) maybe you have seen the new page ( ^^ up there ^^)
And maybe you have wondered what in the world is going on.
Let me tell you -
Jen is one of my favorite people. She understands my sarcasm, makes me laugh, understands my need for shoes and will share a pot of coffee and some donuts (or beer and nachos) with me while our girls play.
We met a few years ago through the internet (naturally) and have been friends ever since.
Luckily, our girls like each other too.
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Jen has been through more in the past few months than anyone should ever have to. She has experienced both joy and sorrow in the same day and the unimaginable emotional roller coaster of having a baby in the NICU for months on end, all while going about her “regular” life that includes a full time job and a thriving toddler at home (and Mark too, her husband!).
When you consider someone a friend & something painful happens to them, it makes my heart ache.
It makes me want to help and do SOMETHING to take away the hurt/stress/frustration. But what if that SOMETHING is too big, too painful and too much for me, just one little ol’ friend, to do anything about?
That’s when we ask other friends.
(who are so wonderful & helped me come up with and refine the ideas for The Event)
And the internet.
(because internet friends are some of the best kind around)
Together, we can pour all of our hope, prayers and strength into this little girl and her family by giving our thoughts and prayers an action.
The idea behind the “blog-raiser” and Event is to show our support and bring some relaxation with a side of fun to the Knepper’s.
The response so far has been tremendous, in an awesome way, and for that I am grateful to each and every one of you. For your big hearts, for your love, for your caring thoughts.
We are doing this because that’s just what friends do – they take care of each, whatever it takes.
If you are visiting from Jen’s blog – HEY! Thanks for visiting, you rock!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Stress Monster Ate My Sex Drive

wwwIt’s not much of a secret, things have been stressful around these parts the past few, well, for a while.

School is over and that stress is over.

Only to be taken over by a new kind of stress.

The kind that says now you need to DO something.

Add that to the other forms of regular, daily stress + parenting stress + health insurance stress + impending life decision stress and that leaves not a lot of brain power for other things.

Which sucks because I love my husband a lot. And I love to, you know, be with him.

Or at least I love the idea of it, and I love it when it actually happens.

I just never want it. When he initiates it and I can push the Stress Monster away, it’s good.

Unfortunately, that damn Stress Monster has a hearty appetite and has effectively eaten my sex drive. Like swallowed it whole never to be seen again.

So how do I get it back?
I miss it.

Stress Monster needs a diet pill or one of those appetite suppression drinks or slim fast or something else to occupy its time. Because to be quite honest, this is freaking ridiculous.

I have actually taken some time to check out the forums at EdenFantasys, I can’t be the only one ever to have lost their Sex Drive to the Stress Monster.
The appetite of this Stress Monster is overwhelming and the more frustrated I get about it, the more hungry the Stress Monster appears to be.
Like I said, freaking ridiculous.
Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

  • Visit Danifred so you can see what everyone else is up to this week.
  • My house is a hot mess. Literally and figuratively. It is really pretty cluttered/dirty and it is also just hot. No complaints on the hot though, I like it.
  • We have been working outside a lot lately, are likely going to attempt to rebuild a retaining wall. Have likely lost our minds.
  • I am seriously the most forgetful person. I paid something out of the wrong account and didn’t realize it until WAY too late. I forget things every.time I leave the house. All that does is piss me off. I hate it.
  • I am also seriously the most clumsy person ever. I fell down the stairs the other night doing nothing special but walking. I have an awesome bruise to prove it.
  • Toddler tantrums suck. Especially when they come with screeching. What the hell is up with that?
  • Disney in 2.5 weeks.
  • We have ants. Hence why we need to replace our retaining wall. They are the most damn annoying bugs evah.
  • Something else really fun has been in the works for about 2 weeks. Check it out over here – especially if you have followed Jen’s story.  She is an amazing friend, even more amazing mom & one of the strongest people I have been lucky enough to know.
  • I have some seriously heavy posts in my head but I can’t quite bring myself to type/post them. I hate feeling that way, hopefully soon I will be able to suck it up and get this stuff off my mind.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Not a kid anymore

Today is someone very special’s birthday.

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Some people say we look alike.

Some people say we sound alike.

Sometimes quite often we even think alike.

Today marks the “true” transition from teenager to adult – she turns 20. [that makes me tear up just typing that. my baby sister is TWENTY]

She turned in to an adult long ago – it’s just a number.

And she has taught me more than she could ever know in her 20 (eep!) years here – the biggest lesson of all happens to be the one that she has most wanted me to learn – how to love Him as she does. It’s a work in progress, but I have the best teacher I could ask for.

My sister is amazing. And beautiful. And silly. And I couldn’t ask for her any other way.

We love you Krissy – more than ever.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thankful & Happy

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Thankful for the mom that taught me everything I need to know about life.

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Happy to be able to share those lessons with the greatest thing that has ever been mine.


happy mother’s day to all of the wishing, waiting & wonderful mothers of the world

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers–on Saturday

I missed yesterday. Oops. Make sure you go over and visit Danifred though, and wish her a happy birthday too!

  • Tomorrow is graduation. Very official and while I kind of dread going, I am also looking forward to it. I worked hard for this, after all.
  • My twin sister graduates this semester too. I am so proud of her!
  • I have a Keurig (which I adore) but some days just require more than 1 cup of coffee for which I am thankful to have my regular old $20 coffee machine!
  • On the Keurig note – do you have a favorite k-cup? I need more!
  • I love to do things for other people and I have a few, what I think are really nice, surprises up my sleeves. I’m excited about it.
  • Sort of on that same note, if you have followed the story of my good friend, Jen – please be sure to check back here later this week. Some awesome ladies and I are in the process of putting together a blog-raiser (I couldn’t think of a better word) – a way for people who are interested to come together and provide some support for them.
  • I planted some flowers today. Holy shit did we take REALLY bad care of our flower beds last year. Hoping to get some curb appeal going on this summer!
  • And my mom planted me a little herb garden. It’s so cute!
  • The student loan monster is about to be unleashed and I am shitting my pants over it. For real. That money has been “pretend” for so long, that the thought of it makes me want to vomit.
  • I’ll figure out a way to make it all work, right?
  • My little Premier Designs jewelry business is growing before my very eyes and it’s pretty awesome. So proud of my girls!
  • I know He has plans for me, and I need to embrace this. But I am having a really hard time with it.


Thursday, May 5, 2011


I have to thank all of you for your support, congratulations and love last week – I am admittedly HORID at taking compliments from people, but your words mean so so so much to me.

So much in fact, that they play amazingly into a post/link-up that I have been planning in my head for awhile.

I have heard, from time to time, people refer to me as “super women” or a “super mom” or something like that.  I rarely consider anything I do any kind of special, it is just life as I know it.

But some days, I do recognize that sometimes I am more productive than others, so let’s talk about it.  We all deserve some self-recognition every once in a while. Be sure to link up so you can get some recognition from everyone else too – you deserve it!

Tell me what makes YOU super. Super whatever you want to be. Mom/Wife/Women/Sibling/Citizen/etcetcetc.

  • I treat others as I hope to be treated. Sometimes that means reaching out to help friends in need or sending a card or just saying “thinking of you” on a long day.
  • I try to do it all. Asking for help is not something I am good at, but am getting better. I am finally recognizing that while yes – I can accomplish 200 things in one day if I need to, I don’t always NEED to.
  • I laugh a lot. That helps me get through, well, everything.
  • One of the biggest compliments I ever received from my husband was when he said how much he loves my smile. Silly, I know, but since I laugh a lot, I smile a lot too.
  • I went to graduate school full time, worked full-time and/or stayed home full-time while starting a new business, getting the laundry done/menus planned/dinner cooked/bills paid in a 22 month period.
  • I am presenting at a conference next week. This is a big deal to me.
  • I have a knack for accomplishing many errands in one trip (usually: post office/bank/grocery store) all while saving a lot of money on said groceries.
  • This weekend I picked up some new clothes. And I really like how they look on me. Big deal right there.
  • I still mail invitations/thank you cards/notes to people. Sucks getting bills in the mail all the time, ya know?
  • Whatever I do, I do with all I have and I really hope it shows. I have been crappy at this lately because I have been doing A LOT, but it’s getting better.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: catching up

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stylin in her birthday glasses
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petrified of the bunny
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EGGS! (sorry for the blur)
and a fancy dress
See some of the official 2 year pictures here.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

what’s next?

So you have successfully completed your Master’s program – what are you going to do next?
I’m going to Disney World!!!
Okay, yes, I AM going to Disney World (OMG! 28 days!)
But what DOES come next?
Other than cleaning my neglected, dirty house. Getting ready for Disney & taking a minute to just breathe, I have no idea.
I am in a really…weird? different? unexpected… place in my life. I lost my job, and that totally sucked. Until I realized what a GIFT it was – a gift to be home with my daughter every day, to start a new business, to focus and rock the socks off of this Master’s program, to explore the world of academia a little bit more.
But then there is the not-such-a-gift part of the whole thing – stressing about money, health insurance and doing what I can to make these things NOT stressful.
My thought processes after losing my job was – do what you need to do, apply for every job you can and SOMETHING good has to happen. Only it didn’t. So my next though processes was – focus on your degree and wait it out, when you officially have a Master’s degree, SOMEONE will want you.
I am thankful for thought process B, it was just what I needed. 
And now? I can not imagine going back to work full-time. I can not imagine leaving my girl every day again.  But something has to change financially and I didn’t work my big old ass off earning this degree not to use it in some way.  I just don’t know what way that I want to use it.
I guess I am just stuck. I love being home with G and I love being able to write, teach and sell jewelry. It’s not the most financially smart choice, but mentally, it just might be.  If I could find another adjunct position or a work from home position – that would be ideal.  
And then there is that part of me that wants to move forward with a phd…..
Clearly, I have no clue what I want to be when I grow up.

Monday, May 2, 2011

not-so-extreme couponing

Since about the 1st of the year I have been making a really big push to do my part in helping us save money.

I kept hearing all this hype about how people save hundred’s of dollars at the store by using coupons and to be honest, I thought it was a bunch of crap.  How in the world is that even possible?

So I tried it. And failed miserably at first.  The reason for my failure? I was so overwhelmed and disorganized that it wasn’t working.

I decided to regroup and get a newspaper subscription.

Then I did a little bit of research and found out that there are a LOT of people in the blog world who matchup coupons with what is on sale at pretty much every store you can imagine.  They take all of the stress out of the whole thing, they even link to printable coupons.

All I do is cut the coupons and look at the matchup’s after I make our menu for 2 weeks. I do take in to consideration catelina deals that offer coupons for cash back when you buy certain products, our local grocery store does these a lot.

I take out only the coupons I am going to be using and paperclip them together with my list.  I do take my little coupon holder with me, just in case, but I normally don’t deviate from my list. (helps me stay on budget and not buy Oreos)

I am that girl that will split up her transaction to get the most savings, so if I buy some toothpaste and earn $3 back, I buy that first and apply the $3 to my next transaction.  If I don’t do that, I forget about the cash back and it expires.

Typically I save what I spend, which is between $50 and $70 every two weeks on groceries.  Drugstore couponing is a whollleeee different ballgame, but I do the best at CVS – I usually walk out of there paying only tax (or slightly more) with cash back. It’s pretty freaking awesome.

My secret though is to only buy what I need, will use, and what I have room for. Just because something is free doesn’t mean I need to get it – especially because we do not have the space to store 1,000 tubes of toothpaste or 50 boxes of cereal.  I do have enough body wash, razors, toothpaste and toothbrushes to last us a good while – all of the extras I get I donate to a missions trip my sister is going on.

If you “coupon” (so weird that people use that as a verb these days), what are your secrets? Favorite sites? Organization tips?

I have heard, many times, that people don’t think it is worth it – and I didn’t ever think it was either until I HAD to start cutting back. To me, it is worth the hour a week I spend preparing. I equate it making about $50 an hour, since that is how much I am saving each time I shop. Hoping to get better and more efficient at it, but I feel like this is a good start!