Friday, March 27, 2009

Silent Auction to benefit Spring for SIDS


If you can help by donating anything for our silent auction on April 24, please contact me. Click here for more info on the event.
In addition to the silent auction, many WNY Mommies members are donating portions of their home business sales to the cause. Please see our event page for more info.
You can also donate online at http://www.springforsids.org/ - please enter WNY Mommies for the "Team Name" field.

Oh my goodness - there are more!

Remember those cute little measuring cups I found on The Pioneer Woman the other day? Well, guess what - apparently Anthropolgie has others. Yes, this means I never actually got around to visiting the Anthropologie site. You see, I was afraid that I might actually buy something and then I'd be in trouble with the hubby. If you're curious about the other options out there check out PW's latest post. Oh - not that I really want to share this little secret but, since I love my readers, I will: she's having a contest whereby you could win the set of your choice. Shhh. I really want to win.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

So Very Thankful

One of the blogs I follow is San Diego Daily Photo. I'm a San Diego native, transplanted to the east, and have enjoyed returning to San Diego vicariously through Nancy's daily photos and posts. Her post today was titled "Thankful" and it really did remind me how thankful I am.

If you're here, you probably know by now that I suffered from Postpartum Depression after the birth of my son and, in fact, am still battling it. (You can read more about that here.) Today, though, I have to share how very thankful I am for my adorable son. I do believe he's the cutest thing on the planet. I really do. His smile makes my heart swell with pride and love. I can't imagine my life without him. I'm so thankful for his tiny little hands, little laugh, beautiful blue eyes and the cutest little "piggy toes" EVER.

I'm thankful, too, that I'm getting better, that I have a husband who supports me, and that I am finding a way to be a voice for women suffering with PPD.

By the way, if you haven't done so already, please become a supporter of the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHER'S Act. I'll be thankful for that, too!

Another Shameless Plug

This is where I ask you to please click here to find out what Tupperware product I am so, so, so, so excited to see in the fundraiser catalog.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

TV

More parenting videos on JuiceBoxJungle


When I was pregnant, my husband and I swore up and down, left and right, that our child would not be allowed to watch any TV until he was at least 3 years old. We read all the articles, the recommendations from the AAP, the books, etc. and everything said children under two should not watch TV. Did we succeed in our goal? No. Nope. Not even close. Our son was probably around 6 months old when I started to leave PBS Kids on here an there. He'd glance at it now and then but didn't reall "watch" it. Now, at 16 months old, he does get about 1-2 hours of TV time per day but he still doesn't just sit and watch it. He may, here and there, sit and take notice but, for the most part, he goes about his toddler business and only gets distracted periodically. He loves the music, the colors, the funny songs and voices. Do I feel guilty? Sometimes. But I also think that, as parents, we have to be realistic. Sometimes I need to distract my son for a little while so I can make dinner, tidy the house, make a few phone calls. Is it so wrong to let him tune into to some educational TV? I don't leave him in front of the television for hours on end; we play, we learn, we sing, we dance, we go outside and, sometimes, we sit on the couch and watch a little TV and I'm ok with that.

What's your take on toddler tv?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I'm a Winner!

I can't believe I won my first blog giveaway. JJ over at the BLAH, BLAH BLAHGER (you'll remember I mentioned her in my blog hopping post a few days ago) ran a contest whereby the winner would receive a photo shoot in the SoCal area. Since I will be in San Diego for my dear friend's Wedding in September, I decided to give it a shot. I can't believe I won. Ok, so I wasn't exactly the only winner. Apparently her giveaway did not generate as much interest as she had hoped but that doesn't make me any less appreciative or excited about my win. I can't wait to set up the photo shoot for my childhood friend and me. ::smiles::

Check out her blog. Seriously.... she has photography posts, DIY stuff, recipes, rants and raves and lots of other great posts! While you're there, add a comment or two!

Shameless Self Promotion

Check out my new grab button over to the right and grab one for your blog. Want a personalized button of your own to shamelessly plug a blog of your own? Check out Hippo Scraps Adorable Designs.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Will

The other night, while driving home from work, I happened to catch a segment of a radio show that really touched me. Radio personality Don Jackson, of Toronto's CHFI Radio Station, recounted a story which he first spoke about on his blog in November of last year:

Charles Lounsbury, who died in an Illinois mental institute in 1916, left behind a last will and testament that is not only touching and perhaps inspirational but serves, I think, as a reminder to us all....

“...I devise to boys jointly all the useful idle fields and commons where ball
may be played; all pleasant waters where one may swim; all snow-clad hills where
one may coast; and all streams and ponds where one may fish, or where, when grim
winter comes, one may skate; to have and to hold the same for the period of
their boyhood..."


Read the whole blog post and touching last will and testament here.

I love it!

Check out The Pioneer Woman's latest post to see what I think might be the cutest kitchen item EVER.

Blog Hopping

The creative juices seem to be running a bit dry this week so I thought I'd share with you some of the blogs I've been browsing:

Katherine Stone over at Postpartum Progress is reminding everyone, today, to endorse the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHER Act and to show your organization, group, or blog support on the list of endorsers.

Visit the SITS girls over at The Secret is in the Sauce and discover loads of amazing blogs and bloggers and, while you're there, think about joining.

I love, love, love Life at Willow Manor. Willow shares all sorts of wondrous stories, photos and other bits of information.

I recently discovered Smokey Mountain Cafe where Katherine shares some delectable looking recipes. And don't you just LOVE her profile icon? (Go check it out.)

Check out some beautiful photos and a great giveaway over at SoCal's BLAH, BLAH, BLAHger.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It's Spring Cleaning Time!

Yes, it's that time of year again! The sun is shining today and I'm in the mood for a little spring cleaning. On that note, I also have a little tip to share. (I hope it's a good tip; I'm only about to test it out myself but I really do think I'm on to something here.)

I have this habit of saving miscellaneous magazine article, ads, etc. that offer tips, recipes, decorating ideas and other tidbits that I seem to think I can't live with out. A lot of these are ideas I have for my dream kitchen, if I can ever afford it (or even parts of said dream kitchen), or other room decorating and makeover dreams. While I found that just ripping out the item of interest takes up much less room than saving the whole magazine (not to mention trying, later, to remember exactly why I saved the magazine) I'm still left with piles, files, and just plain messes of clippings in various places throughout the house. (You don't even want to know what my basement craft room looks like. Yikes!) So, now I have these clippings (that, of course, I can't live without) but I don't know where to find them when I want them.

That being said, I think I just might have the solution. I'm off to buy an inexpensive thumb drive. My plan is to scan my clippings and save them on the thumb drive. Not only will they take up less space but I'll also be able to easily organize them by type which will make finding them later much, much easier. I think it's going to work.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's almost St. Patty's Day - Are you ready?


Given that St. Patrick's day is right around the corner, I thought this would be a good time to share with you my favorite corned beef and cabbage recipe EVER. (Click the recipe title to view the recipe in it's original format; picture included).


Ingredients
4 slices bacon
4 tablespoons butter
1 head green cabbage, coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 can corned beef

Directions
Cook the bacon in large pot over medium heat until almost crisp. Remove the bacon from the pot and set aside. Melt the butter in the pot with the bacon grease. Add the cabbage, stirring well to coat the cabbage in fat. Add about 1/3 cup water, and salt and pepper, to taste. Cover pot with a lid, and cook over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the bacon into small pieces.

Remove the lid from the pot, and scatter chunks of corned beef and chopped bacon over top of the cabbage. Cover and cook until desired doneness. I personally like a little bit of crunch left to the cabbage.

Tip: Cabbage is one of those vegetables that naturally contains water in its leaves. Begin by adding just a small amount of water. As cabbage cooks, if it needs more liquid, then add more water.

Sleeping Through the Night

Granted I've only been at this parenting thing for a little over fifteen months but I've discovered some handy tools along the way. Here is one of one of my favorites:

Elizabeth Pantley's book The No-Cry Sleep Solution. This book was a life saver for us. We knew we didn't want to let our munchkin cry it out so I was determined to find another way. The advice and rescources that this book offers are invaluable. Here's just one of the helpful hints Pantley offers:
"The first step to helping your baby sleep longer is to determine the difference
between sleeping noises and awake noises. When she makes a noise: Stop. Listen.
Wait. Peek. As you listen attentively to her noises, and watch her, you will
learn the difference between sleeping snorts and 'I'm waking up and I need you
now' noises."
Check out her website (another valuable resource in and of itself) for more info on this book and her many other no-cry solution books. I can tell you I have several on my personal wish list as we enter the different stages of parenting ahead.



Friday, March 13, 2009

I'm selling Tupperware!


Yes, it's official: I'm now a Tupperware Consultant. My training starts next week but I got my website started this afternoon. I'm also planning to start a Tupperware blog to chronicle my journey. I'm so excited about this new venture. I've never really had my own business before so it's all so exciting. I'm going to start with online sales, internet parties and book parties for now. Once I get more familiar with all that Tupperware has to offer, I'll start doing in-home parties. So, I guess it's time for my sales pitch:

You can visit my Tupperware business site here or you can visit my Tupperware blog here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Now I want a cupcake...

I just happened across the delicious looking website Bangerang Bake Shop which is home to the Original Cupcake-In-A-Jar. OMG! Everything looks so amazingly tastey that I think I'm just going to have to place an order. I'm thinking this might be a fun little gift to brighten someone's day as well. Definitely go take a look. I'm warning you, though, that you will then likely be craving a cupcake... or two... or three. You can also check out the Bangerang Blog for even more mouthwatering cupcake photos. (Excuse me while I go wipe up the drool.)

Help support women with PPD

Check out Katherine Stone's Blog, Postpartum Progress, for more information and links to online petitions.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Charitable Giving

In case you haven't noticed, I've added a few more links to my "Gifting that makes a difference" section of the blog (Not sure what I'm talking about? Read my first and second posts on the topic). I'd like to point out, in light of my recent post, that the link to the American SIDS Institute store also includes many popular magazine subscriptions. Up for renewal? Check it out!

Spring for SIDS

WNYMommies along with the Maroney family are Proud Participants in the Nationwide SIDS Awareness Day and Fundraising Event Spring-for-SIDS Day

Friday, April 24, 2009

Our Participation is dedicated to the memory of a very special infant who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Addilynn is the child of Heather and Jack Maroney, and little sister to Gabriella Maroney who departed us suddenly on Friday, April 25th, 2008 (it's a coincidence that the SIDS Institute has chosen this day to make as"their" day. All the more reason for us to show our support).

Addilynn Rose Maroney January 15 2008 - April 25 2008

Join in the fight against SIDS. All proceeds go to the American SIDS Institute

1. WNYMommies has made a donation in memory of Addilynn and has been provided with the SFS cards and stickers to share with my friends and family for a donation of $5.

2. You are invited to join with us and thousands of others across the United States in an effort to raise awareness about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and raise funds for SIDS research.

3. On April 24, please wear your SFS sticker and your casual spring outfit. Share with others the information about SIDS found on the SFS card.

4. Pause for a moment of silence in memory of all of the infants who have died of SIDS.

5. Thank you for being a part of this event that is of great significance to us.

To receive your sticker, please do the following:~ Contact me.

Information on the national event can be found by clicking here. For more information on SIDS, please visit the website of the American SIDS Institute.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring is in the Air. Maybe.


"If there comes a little thaw,
Still the air is chill and raw,
Here and there a patch of snow,
Dirtier than the ground below,
Dribbles down a marshy flood;
Ankle-deep you stick in mud
In the meadows while you sing,
'This is Spring.' "
~Christopher Pearce Cranch, A Spring Growl

Can you tell I'm suffering from an early case of Spring Fever? The sun isn't even out today but it was 50 before 8 o'clock this morning and that is exciting to me. Only 14 more days to go until the official start of spring! Warmer days are getting closer.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Little Feet

I don't have anything earth shattering to write today but I thought my son's little feet were so cute the other day that I just had to take a picture.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

These are a few of my favorite blogs...

The Pioneer Woman - Ree Drummond went from city girl to country wife and chronicles her journey here. She also has terrific recipes as well as advice on decorating, gardening, and even home schooling.

NieNie Dialogues - I actually came across this blog thanks to a link from The Pioneer Woman. Stephanie Nielson started this blog to share her parenting journey. She gained many followers who enjoyed reading her happy posts and felt that they were becoming better moms because of it. Her blog changed course after she and her husband survived a tragic plane crash. She recently resumed blogging and is chronicling some of her recovery. Her writing is inspirational, heartwarming, uplifting, and (at times) tear jerking.

Postpartum Progress - Written by Katherine Stone, Postpartum Progress provides support, resources, tips, and current news regarding postpartum depression. As a PPD survivor myself, I've found this site invaluable and recommend it to those who may be suffering from PPD or know someone who is.

Inside the Shell - Written by my turtle loving friend, Inside the Shell covers a broad range of topics. Turtle writes about everything from surviving cancer to beauty product favorites. She also shares tips for unique gift giving and features a Turtle of the Week (TOTW). Check it out!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Delicious Dinner

Yum! Made this at the last minute for dinner tonight. I halved the recipe (except for the cheese because I love cheese) and substituted tomato sauce for the whole tomatoes. I also used rotini instead of rigatoni because it's what I had. Despite not having time to allow it to simmer as long as the recipe indicated, it tasted delicious! I wish I would have had time to make the Garlic Cheese Bread to go with it. Maybe next time. Here's the recipe:

PW's Pasta alla Marlboro Man

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 generous teaspoon ground thyme
2 14-ounce cans whole tomatoes
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
1 1/2 to 2 pounds rigatoni

Heat olive oil in large skillet or pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook a couple of minutes, until starting to turn translucent. Add garlic and stir, cooking 1 minute, making sure not to brown the garlic.

Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain most of excess fat.Add salt, pepper, and ground thyme. Stir to combine.

Dump in canned tomatoes with their juice. Stir, reduce heat to low, and cover pot. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring a couple of times.Uncover the pot and cook an additional 30 minutes.

Cook rigatoni according to package directions—don’t overcook! Drain and place individual portions into bowls.

Stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup grated Parmesan into the sauce. Check and adjust seasonings. Ladle sauce over cooked pasta, sprinkle with more Parmesan, and serve.

*Recipe credit: Ree Drummond/The Pioneer Woman (I highly recommend you check out her recipe collection.)

Woody Woodpecker


  • Those of you that know me are probably tired of hearing about our new feathered friend we've dubbed "Woody." I, however, have not yet tired of discussing him. You see, if you don't already know, Woody has done quite a number on one of our very tall pine trees. When I first looked out the window last week and saw him there, I was excited to see such a (to me) unusually large bird that was quite obviously the inspiration for the good ol' Woody Woodpecker cartoon. A few hours later I discovered exactly what this exciting bird was capable of when I noticed a large pile of wood chips around the base of our tree. We currently have about 6 LARGE holes in our pine tree. When I say "large" I mean several inches in diameter and almost all the way through the thickness of the tree. Amazing, really. So, I decided to do a little research and this is what I found:
  • Pileated Woodpeckers are around the size of a black crow (around a foot; give or take) and is the third largest woodpecker in North America.
  • They primarily feed/roost in dead trees but loss of habitat is forcing some of them to make their homes in still living trees.
  • They are considered monogomous.
  • When declaring their territory, they drum (their bills) at about 14.5 - 16.8 beats per second. (HOLY COW! That's per SECOND!)

Not enough tid-bits for you? Visit my information source at Pileated Woodpecker Central.