Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sticky Situations

With a 2 year old life is pretty much one big "sticky situation". :)

From learning to self-feed going into toddlerhood, exerting independence and potty training, there's not a day that goes by without at least one sticky situation! Enlisting the help of the toddler to clean up is part of my teaching process, even when it often creates more of a mess. Wet Ones are essential in helping. They've been in my life since my now 31 year old brother was a baby...thanks, Mom!

We definitely had a case of "The Mondays" this week when from the start of the day, the dog darted out the door to roam the neighborhood with no interest in coming home. After I gave up chasing her, I came inside to find the potty training 2 year old had pooped... on the floor. I knew this because she proudly declared, "A nugget, Mom!"...   before stepping in it!

Thank Goodness for Wet Ones and a bath!

What I've learned:
1. Always keep Wet Ones on hand--in the car, in the diaperbag, in your purse, you name it. You WILL need them.
2. LAUGH!  It's just a mess and it'll get cleaned up no matter how gross. ;)

Wet Ones is giving us the opportunity to share all of the "Sticky Situations" we have found ourselves in and tips on how to deal with them through their Facebook Contest!  Perfect for toddlers and kids of any size!

Log on and share your story and tips, and you can be entered to win an iPad Mini or Six Flags Tickets! 

I just entered, it doesn’t take long at all!
Here’s the link:


Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Wet Ones. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Spirit Of Friendship

In 2007, I moved across the country with my then 7 year old son to start a new life with my now husband and his daughter.

Leaving our family and friends behind was difficult, but the promise of true love and companionship was completely worth the risk.  As a result of some of the difficulties of my husband's custody fight for his daughter, we found ourselves navigating the legal system which was nearly all consuming for far too long.

As a woman who needs emotional connection, I was truly struggling in finding this. I don't have difficulty making friends, but I did not want to let anyone in to the chaos that was our life surrounding this custody battle. Who wants to delve into the lives of those who had to document nearly every action and sadly nearly every discussion centered around this topic far too long.

I definitely maintained long distance friendships and relationships that had already long been forged, but to connect in person was a big piece of my life that was lacking.

When I found myself with a new baby girl up at all hours of the night, social media became a place of comfort at 3am when I found other mothers of newborns also up nursing or pregnant women facing insomnia who'd find a place to "talk" online at 3am.  Twitter and the blogging world became that connection for me. Nearly instantly, I'd discovered other moms of older sons and new or new to be baby girls locally and the blossoming of friendships began. 

At first it was just witty or commiserating conversations via Twitter. Then we decided to meet up in person for playdates, consignment shopping and moms nights out.  Soon after, a few more moms with similar aged baby girls connected and we decided on a weekly date with our kids. 

Throughout those playdates each week, eventually deeper friendships were created. Some of us connected by the ages of our older boys and our newer baby girls or the shared the experience of the death of parent, miscarriages or even a same career choice.

I finally felt I was able to allow myself to connect.  Simply connect.

After nearly 5 years of that spirit of friendship missing from my life, it was like I had a light fired up that had been snuffed. I missed it. And truly didn't know how much until it was back in my life again.

Let's face it, in your 30s it is difficult to make new, genuine friends. People are set in their ways, lives are busy, connections are long established and it's difficult to allow yourself to be vulnerable when you have some history under your belt.

These friends, embraced me and allowed me to embrace them.  Finding women who accept each other, don't take it personally when one cannot attend a function, accept help when they are going through something, and call just to check in, has made such a difference in my everyday life.

We watched babies be born, we've lost loved ones, we've laughed and cried together, simply walking beside one another....connecting in a way I had only hoped to find again in my life. 

I'm grateful and honored to call these women my friends.  What started out as a playgroup for our daughters became friendships that I will cultivate for the rest of my life and can only hope our baby daughters will be so lucky as they grow up together.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Girls Crochet Headbands Giveaway!

I was first introduced to Girls Crochet Headbands through my friend, Stefanie and her daughter Lily. Yep, we're Steph and Lily and Stef and Lily.  I adore them both and when I first saw her Lily in a lace romper, I had to know where she had gotten this gorgeous outfit! 

Of course, they look like they come from a boutique, so I wasn't sure it was something I'd ever get because, I'm way too frugal and let's face it, kid's just grow too quickly to spend a ton of money on an outfit...but I know Stef is similar in that aspect.  

I was still shocked at the affordability of GCH's prices. Seriously like whoa.  Quality, gorgeous and inexpensive! This company was singing my song! 

I signed up for their emails, connected on facebook, twitter and pinterest.  Most recently, they've joined instagram too! Follow them @gcheadbands! They are active on all those social media sites and very personal as well! They very often have sales and coupon codes through those various sites too and y'all know I love coupons and sales!

I was sent 5 items to review and was 150% thrilled with them! They all exceeded my expectations! They've found a loyal customer in me without question! 

The color selection for the lace rompers is unbelieveable! I was honestly overwhelmed because I wanted one of every color! There's a maroon one I've got to order for next college football season which is the perfect maroon of Arizona State.  Go Devils!

They're stretchy and will fit for a long time! It's a super versatile outfit as well.  Paired with legwarmers and a sweater, it's a colder weather outfit. Alone, it's awesome for indoors or spring, summer and fall!

As the weather cooled off, I envisioned Lily in this stunning red lace romper for some Christmas pictures.  Red is my favorite color and when the romper arrived for her, I was seriously giddy! It was everything I'd hoped it would be!  I paired it with a gorgeous red bow from GCH and elastic headband.  If you've been around these parts for anytime, hairbows are a necessity for my Lily. GCH has headbands and hairbows galore at amazing prices as well! I lovelovelove this big red bow!

Lily was just as excited about her red lace romper too!

I love that dimple

And when you're born in Pittsburgh, black and gold are staples in your wardrobe. Finding a way to dress it up is our way to keep the girly element and GCH has it covered!

How perfect is this black and yellow lace romper?! It's gorgeous! 
Lily insisted on the "pretties" around her neck, so I just go with it!  She solidified the Pittsburgh in her blood by swinging her Terrible Towel too.   This isn't just limited to Pittsburgh fans though...pair it with a cute bee antennae headband and you've got a cutie easy Halloween outfit too!

In addition to the dressier lace rompers, I chose two different pair of legwarmers. One that I thought would be perfect for Christmas and Valentine's Day outfits--red with white polka dots and organza ruffle and the other a versatile, everyday pair--gathered cotton cream colored. I'm in love with both of them!

Lily has been working hard all week on potty training and given that it's gotten colder, simply letting her run around in dresses or even just shirts isn't an option.  These cotton red legwarmers with white polka dots and the most adorable ruffle at the bottom seriously make me happy!  They're festive and functional and best of all, Lily loves them!  They look adorable with the red lace romper and her Christmas dresses as well. I love that something so simple is comfortable, cute and has helped make potty training easy peasy! 

 You can see the versatility in a casual dress and a dressier outfit with these gathered ivory legwarmers! I simply love them and in this pic below you can see more of the detail around the ankle!

The last item I chose was the black with white polka dot satin bloomers! I lovelovelove diaper covers and now that my baby is no longer needing a diaper covered, these are still perfect! Lily is a dress wearer and she's also a high energy toddler, so I love having these to cover her bum. She wore them under a black flowered jumper for her big brother's 13th birthday dinner and it was a perfect addition to her outfit.

I could not be happier with these products and definitely already have my next order in mind! Flower clips, headbands, legwarmers, rompers, oh my!

One lucky reader will receive  a $30 gift certificate to Girls Crochet Headbands!

Mandatory: Head over to the Girls Crochet Headbands website and look around. Then come back here and leave a comment telling me what your favorite GCH item is.

 For extra entries you can also:

~"Like"GCH on Facebook, then leave a separate comment letting me know you did.

~ Follow GCH on Pinterest (we're pinning so many awesome things!) and leave me a separate comment letting me know you did.

~Follow GCH on Twitter and leave me a separate comment letting me know you did.

~Tweet about the giveaway including @littlepunkypie and @gcheadbands in your tweet and leave me a separate comment letting me know you did.

~Follow my blog and leave me a separate comment letting me know you did.

That's six opportunities to enter!

***Bonus:  Use code "punkypie20" to receive 20% your purchase at Girls Crochet Headband
20% off already awesome prices is something you should check out!!! *coupon code valid through Dec 31. Great for Christmas gifts!

Giveaway will end on Friday, December 14 at 11:59pm. Winner will be chosen by and notified via email and on this post. Good luck!

***Winner:         Congrats, Amy!!!

I was provided the above products from Girls Crochet Headbands for review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own! I lovelovelove GCH and I'm happy to spread the word!

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Christmas Remembered: 2004

As I have been working on Christmas cards and reflecting on the last year, I came across this newsletter last night that I sent out in 2004 with our cards. 

Andrew was 5 years old!  Clearly, I had one kid and way more energy!  It was fun to read with Andrew and reminisce and talk about some of the time when it was just us. ♥

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Steph Snippets

~I've been sitting here staring at this blank screen for awhile. Too many thoughts floating around...Lily potty training, Andrew's 13th birthday, recent lessons in conditional love, a difficult element of parenting...just to name a few.

~I do have a giveaway to post Saturday, yes, Saturday it starts. I don't understand the weekends off from blogging {I write when I feel like writing} and I want to maximize the all girl mamas be certain to be back! You'll be glad you did.

~I ordered my second round of Christmas cards last night and started working on my 3rd. I like the variety this year and will post them all when they've all been mailed...ON TIME this year!

~I've had a few disheartening moments in the last few weeks and find that I don't like the feeling that people are disappointing. People whom I believed were friends have shown otherwise and rather than dwell, after my own attempts at communicating, the best thing for me is to move forward. Life is too short. On the flipside of that, I have some amazing friends in my life and the time and energy for friendships deserves to be put there. They deserve it. So I am doing just that.

~We've been homebound all week mostly because I've really wanted this potty thing to stick and needed to reinforce with Lily. Potty training update will get its own post soon!

~My husband's work schedule really gets to me this time of year especially. Not really much to say other than it's difficult for me.

~Finding time for me has been hard lately. The grocery store is not me time.  If I stay up late to have some time alone then I'm exhausted the next morning because no matter what time bedtime is, 6:30am is wake up time. So, lately...I've been exhausted. Blech. I need more hours in my day.

~O Holy Night brings me to tears instantly. As does I'll Be Home for Christmas.

~Watching the previews for next week's Parenthood was too much for me...gushing tears. The video  Kristina made for her kids saying she was so happy to be their mom gahhhhhhh I'm crying now just thinking of it. It's the best show on tv. The best.

~My new printer arrived yesterday and I thought I was excited about wireless printing, but eprinting?!?!? I am super excited! Which also makes me a super nerd.  I'm ok with that. I can print from my phone, I can print by sending the document to my printer's email. Seriously? Genius.

~We're taking a day trip soon and going to A Christmas Story house in Ohio!! Andrew has loved this movie since he was like 4 and we've been talking about it for the last few years.  Well, Groupon had a deal on tickets recently and we scooped 'em up to make sure we go! I can't wait!

~Yesterday morning George hit his toe on the wooden stepstool that Lily uses in the bathroom to wash her hands. We had a dumb argument about the whole thing--the stool, the kicking of it. Just one of those nonsense stupid arguments. Last night, after it had gotten moved to its regular space, I ended up hitting my toe off the dumb thing. First time in 5 years I've ever hit my foot on it.  Figures.

Ok these random snippets of Steph have come to a close for bed is calling my name.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Light Up Night 2012

A few weeks ago we went to Pittsburgh's Light Up Night downtown. It's one of our traditional family events.  We unfortunately did miss last year because Andrew and George were on a scout camping trip and I decided it was too cold to take Lily.  This year almost didn't happen though.

We went back and forth debating on going or not going and finally Daddy and Lily started a cheer with a clapping sequence and ending with "Light Up Night!"  We love the fireworks that night and ultimately we decided we'd go to make sure we saw those!

We bundled up in coats, hats and gloves and off we went to explore our beautiful downtown lit up for Christmas!
We hit a few highlights after grabbing something to eat ...which is part of the fun for my kids--eating carnival type food that night.  Complete with funnel cake.

After the mall trick or treat nightmare, getting Lily out of the stroller wasn't an option because once she's out, she's out and there's no going back in.  If she's doesn't get out, then she's none the wiser and we have no struggle. ;)

And then it gets later and she gets tired and wants to get out to "run run"... but we make her stay put.

We walked around looking at the various trees throughout the downtown area, saw the ice sculptures, people watched, listened to live music and then finally headed back to the Clemente Bridge to watch the fireworks.

old Horne's department store
Market Square

PPG Plaza
Finally it was time for fireworks! {and for Lily to get out of the stroller}


I love my little family and I'm glad it's important to all of us that we go and do this each year. ♥ It's a great kick off to the holiday season!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ho Ho Ho, Green Giant! review

I was provided the opportunity to review a new line of Green Giant frozen vegetables recently and since Green Giant is my go to for frozen veggies, I was excited!

This line is new in that the products are seasoned.  Green Giant Seasoned Steamers.

My kids are very partial to broccoli with cheese sauce, but let's face it, broccoli isn't the only veggie out there, even though they'd like to think it is.

The new Green Giant Seasoned Steamers are
  • Available in six different varieties, Green Giant Seasoned SteamersTM are one of the first sauce-free seasoned vegetables to bring unique chef-inspired seasonings and premium cut vegetable blends to your dining room table
  • These tasty Seasoned Steamers are bound to spice up any meal with six varieties including: Mediterranean Blend, Tuscan Seasoned Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts with Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper, Honey Roasted Sweet Corn, Honey Dijon Carrots and Backyard Grilled Potatoes

  • I decided we'd try the Backyard Grilled Potatoes since everyone in my family is a potato fan.

    Our reviews were mixed.  After steaming them in the microwave as instructed, upon opening the bag, I felt like they smelled a little like stale cigarettes and tasted the same.  Boooooo! I was super disappointed.

    The guys, on the other hand, disagreed with me and thought they tasted good!  Sometimes we do have a house divided. ;)  

    The good thing is, with how much I love Green Giant frozen line, I'm a loyal customer and my husband and son are also on board to try some of the other varieties as well since their opinions about this particular variety were positive!

    You can also find  Green Giant on Facebook  to learn even more!

    Disclosure: The coupons, information, and gift packs have been provided by Green Giant® through MyBlogSpark. All opinions are my own!