Wordless Wednesday: Sprayground Fun

Wordless Wednesday

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CSN $60 Giveaway

The kind folks at CSN are once again generously offering my blog readers a chance to shop for free! If you are a new reader or just not familiar with CSN Stores, here's a little background info: CSN Stores features over 200 online stores with a variety of items from cookware to cribs. You can even stop procrastinating on those home improvement projects such as replacing the bathroom vanity because, yes, they have those too.

How do you enter? Simple - leave a comment on this post and tell me what you would buy with your gift certificate. You can use the gift certificate at any of the CSN stores so the options are limitless.

Want to gain additional entries? Here are a few ways:
  1. follow this blog
  2. follow me on Twitter - @2pawsdesigns
  3. follow CSN Stores on Twitter - @csnstores
  4. tweet about this giveaway using "I want to #win the CSN Stores #giveaway from @csnstores & @2pawsdesigns! #contest http://bit.ly/b4qTXE Please RT" (valid for extra entry once per day)
  5. blog about this giveaway
  6. "like" 2paws Designs on Facebook
  7. "like" CSN Stores on Facebook
For each additional entry, please post a new comment. Ie, if you tweeted or blogged about the giveaway, come back and post a link. Thanks and good luck!!

Giveaway is open to all US and Canadian residents 18 years or older. Ends Tuesday, July 6th at 9:00pm Eastern time. Winner will be picked by random.org and announced on Wednesday, July 7th. Winner must provide an email address so CSN Stores can contact them with the gift certificate code.

Note: CSN Stores contacted me with this promotional opportunity. I received no compensation.

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Homemade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

Yesterday on a whim I decided to attempt making homemade ice cream cookie sandwiches to share with friends.  I had already baked the cookies the night before, but with a forecast of 101, I felt like we needed a little cool factor too.  I searched online for directions and the first I found talked about melting the ice cream, mixing in sprinkles, refreezing for 6 hours ... wait - 6 hours?  I had maybe 30 minutes. Scratch that idea. So, here's my quick and easy method ...

Easy Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Pull out the ice cream and let it sit on the counter a few minutes to begin softening.  Arrange cookie pairs on plate.  Use a knife to thinly slice some ice cream and place it on the bottom of one cookie.  Add as much as desired. :)  Place the second cookie on top.  Press gently to stick it all together.  Wrap each sandwich in wax paper.  Return to freezer to harden.  (Unless you want one immediately - in which case, dig in!)  Then when you are ready to enjoy, you can pull out one sandwich, unwrap and eat.  Enjoy!


Handprint Pencil Cup & Dada Card

Last month, our weekly play group took a trip to a local ceramics shop to paint gifts for Father's Day. We had 6 mommies and 6 little ones ranging from 7 to 14 months in age. I confess, I did have my fears (think babies grabbing and tossing ceramic pieces to the floor) but it went so well! With the help of booster seats and a couple of high chairs, we managed to safely secure the group and have fun.

I helped Dylan paint a pencil cup for Trent. Having watched a couple of his friends get their hands painted first, he was a pro at letting me apply the paint to his hand:

Then with the added assistance of one of the other mommies, we placed his hand firmly on the cup. Repeated with the other hand. Added a few brush strokes (which didn't last long as Dylan tried to eat the brush LOL). Then I painted "To Dada / Love, Dylan 2010."

The final part of our gift - I handmade a card for Trent:

Supplies: Kraft paper; American Crafts patterned papers; Bazzill red cardstock; miscellaneous navy blue cardstock; QuicKutz heart die; Making Memories letter stickers. Inspired by the May A Year in Cards class at Two Peas.

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Wordless Wednesday: Ten Years

Photo taken by my incredibly talented brother, Christopher

Wordless Wednesday

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My Boys

This is one of my favorite photos from the weekend.  Trent & Dylan sitting on the steps in our house Father's Day morning.  I love the sweet smile on Dylan's face as he looks at his daddy.  :)

The onesie he's wearing is the gift I gave to Trent last year for Father's Day.  Amazing how fast time flies.  Now our little boy fits in that outfit!

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Smokey the Gnome?

Two weeks ago, Dylan and I headed west on I-40 to visit friends. As we were approaching the exit for Fayetteville Road in Durham, something on the overpass caught my eye. I noticed it in my peripheral vision and, given that there are panhandlers regularly on the overpass above, I thought that was what I saw. Then I caught a better look as we cruised by and realized it was a statue. Weird. I assumed one of the panhandlers stuck it there. When I mentioned it to Trent later that day, he gave me one of those have you lost your mind looks.

Fast forward to yesterday morning and watching the local morning news, Trent saw a report on the gnome spottings in Durham. Seriously. Perhaps his wife isn't completely crazy. ;) And there is even a blog dedicated to the mysterious little creatures - Durham Gnomes.

As it happened, we were going west to visit family and would be driving right by that particular overpass. The little gnome was still there. While Trent drove, I whipped out the camera and snapped photos. (Click to enlarge.)

A crop from the photo above:

Personally, I think he looks a bit like Smokey the Bear with his hat and what appears to be a shovel in his hand.

ETA: I owe credit to an anonymous commenter for noting the 2 small gnomes over the center bridge column. Here's a crop from the second to last photo above:

Purely chance I captured them even slightly in my photo as my focus was on Smokey. Now I'm tempted to drive that way just for another glance and wondering how many others I've driven past....hmmm. The comments also led me to this story - Gnomes on a Mission. Perhaps it's the true tale behind why these creatures are appearing all over Durham? I haven't a clue, but it certainly is entertaining and, yes, I'll be on the lookout for others the next time I cross the county line. :)

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HappyBaby Food Giveaway: Winner!

The winner of the HappyBaby Food Giveaway is ...

Comment #3 was posted by mmd:

Congrats! And thanks to all who entered.

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Father's Day

One of my friends took this photo of Trent & Dylan a few weeks ago. To me, it's the perfect representation of today - the simplicity of a father and son enjoying time together.

A very happy day to all the fathers.

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11 months

I can hardly believe we are just 1 month shy of Dylan's first birthday. He's looking less and less like my baby and more like my little boy.

This month Dylan:

* Moved into his new room.

* Explored several parks in our area. Tunnels are still a favorite:

* Began waving goodbye.

* Celebrated Memorial Day weekend with friends at a party:

* Learned to stand without assistance. As soon as he realizes what he is doing, he either reaches out for something to help balance himself or squats to the ground.

* His third tooth (left lateral incisor) began breaking through the gum.  Still hasn't made it's full appearance though.

* Mastered putting the balls into the holes on his dinosaur toy:

* Started saying "ba" for ball and "duh" for duck (the latter sometimes comes out as "a-duh" which I quickly realized was because I kept saying "there's a duck" to him. Oops!).

* Met my paternal grandfather, aunt, uncle, cousins during a day trip to Virginia. My cousin's son, Grant, is just two days younger than Dylan. It was fun to get them together and watch them play:

* Ate barbeque for the first time and loved it.  He literally slurped it down.

* Began bouncing up and down at the knees while standing and holding onto something. He laughs at himself while doing it. So cute!

* Enjoyed a week long visit from my mom - his Grama.

* Went swimming in the big pool in our neighborhood with a little assistance from a float my mom brought for him to use:

* Went into downtown Raleigh for a visit to Artspace, lunch in City Market and a walk around Fayetteville Street.

* Appears to be going through a growth spurt as he is eating and eating and eating.  And he loves everything even bananas now (which used to get a "blech" response while being spit out).

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Father's Day cards

Finally finished the cards for our fathers & grandfathers today. Thankfully, they don't live too far so they should still arrive in time. ;)

Supplies: Recollections card; TaDa patterned paper; miscellaneous cardtock; pewter brads; StazOn black ink; Studio G and Stampin' Up stamps; American Crafts rub-on letters. Inspired by the May A Year in Cards class at Two Peas.

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HappyBaby Food Review & Giveaway

As a mother, it's important to me to give my son the best food possible. From his first day of life, I started by breastfeeding. (Not that I disagree with formula. We even supplemented with some during Dylan's early days at the urging of our pediatrician for health reasons.) As he began to eat solid foods, I starting making his food and I still make the majority of the foods he eats. However, there are some foods I don't make (ie, rice cereal) and sometimes I've just fallen behind or want to mix up the pallet a bit.

I originally stumbled across HappyBaby Food by accident one day perusing foods in the freezer aisle of the grocery store. I loved that they had food just like my homemade ones - organic foods, pureed and frozen into 1 ounce portions. I picked up a box to try at home. Dylan loved the taste and devoured them. I loved the convenience and good nutrition.

When the opportunity arose to taste test a few HappyBaby Food products for a review and giveaway, I jumped at the chance. It was a bit like Christmas when the packages arrived. We received an assortment of frozen and dry foods to try.

Dylan is in a self-feeding stage right now where he prefers to feed himself more than eat off a spoon from us. That said, we started our taste testing with the HappyBites products. The variety of shapes and textures of the different options seemed to grab his attention right away. I think he was curious about these new items that we didn't cut into tiny pieces. He could finally grab, hold and bite into them on his own.

Enjoying a Chicken Bite
The only leftovers on Dylan's highchair tray after trying the Chicken Bites and Salmon Stix were a bit of the breading. Can't blame him there. Personally, I found the Mac+Cheese and the Chicken to be very tasty. All three cooked best in the oven.

We already had some familiarity with the HappyBaby Frozen products so I was excited to see flavors that we hadn't tried in the shipment. Dylan surprised me with his love of the "Mama Grain" mixture of organic bananas, black beans and quinoa. This particular flavor smelled like banana bread. Yum!

The Organic Puffs and HappyMelts were also a big hit. I've tried both myself and found them to be tasty. Dylan eats every piece that he can get his hands on so I take it he finds them tasty too. The puffs were less sugary than other brands we've used which is a huge plus to me as a parent.

All in all, we were very pleased with all the products we tried and Dylan will definitely be enjoying more in the future. Now we want to share with you. Compliments of HappyBaby Food, one reader will win the following:
  • 2 free trial coupons for each of the HappyBaby Food product lines
  • 1 FAQ on Probiotics & DHA
  • 1 Infant & Toddler Nutrition Guide, co-authored by Dr. Sears
  • 1 HappyFamily Recipes
To Enter, leave a comment on this post with your baby's favorite HappyBaby Food product or which product you think your baby might like the best.

Want to gain additional entries? Here are a few ways:
  1. follow this blog
  2. follow me on Twitter - @2pawsdesigns
  3. follow HappyBaby Food on Twitter - @HappyBabyFood
  4. tweet about this giveaway using "I want to win the HappyBaby Food #giveaway from @HappyBabyFood & @2pawsdesigns! #contest Please RT" (valid for extra entry once per day)
  5. blog about this giveaway
  6. "like" 2paws Designs on Facebook
  7. "like" HappyFamily on Facebook
For each additional entry, please post a new comment. Ie, if you tweeted or blogged about the giveaway, come back and post a link. Thanks!

Giveaway is open to all US residents 18 years or older. Ends Sunday, June 20th at 9:00pm Eastern time. Winner will be picked by random.org. Winner will be contacted by email address. Be sure to either leave a valid email address along with your comment or check back on Monday, June 21st when the winner is announced to email it to me then.

Note: HappyBaby Food products were received to try for review, however, all opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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Sneak Peek

A little sneak peek at something I'm working on for my Etsy shop ...

And, a peek into my new craft space ...

The room is slowly coming together.  I am loving all the natural light from the big window right next to my desk.  This was definitely a great change to make.

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CSN Stores Review

Last month, I hosted a giftcard giveaway for CSN Stores and they were kind enough to give me the opportunity to shop as well. With over 200 online stores, there are a LOT of shopping possibilities. I fully expected to make a decision and place my order that week. Instead I had way too much fun surfing their sites to see what my options were.

I finally made my selections and placed my order over Memorial weekend. I chose a necessity (Rolodex refill cards) for our home office and a few fun things for Dylan from CSN Baby. I liked the ease of shopping in two stores with one checkout. I did have to re-login when I shopped the second store, but that was a small price to pay versus having two separate checkouts and two separate charges for shipping costs.

The first package arrived midweek and, by this past Monday (5 business days total), all four items had reached my doorstep.  I was quite pleased especially since I had selected regular shipping.

Dylan eagerly grabbed at this Melissa and Doug puzzle as soon as I pulled it out of the box.

Overall, I was very satisfied. The websites were user friendly. The products are excellent quality and arrived very fast. Thanks, CSN Stores!

Note: CSN Stores contacted me with this promotional opportunity and I received a giftcard for my review. However, all opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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First Birthdays

Two of Dylan's friends celebrated their first birthdays last Thursday. I had fun making each their own special card.

Most of Dylan's friends are boys so I don't get a chance to make girly stuff very often. Thus I went all out pink for this card for little 'L':

Supplies: Yours Truly card; Paper Salon patterned paper; Fiskars border punch; Making Memories edge scraper and stitches; flower; Autumn Leaves button.

Little 'C' loves balls so much that his parents' are throwing him a ball themed first birthday party. (His mom made the coolest circular invites!) This Basic Grey paper jumped out at me as the perfect fit for his card:

Supplies: Die Cuts with a View card; Basic Grey patterned paper; miscellaneous cardstock; Fiskars border punch; QuicKutz circle die; Studio G stamp; StazOn black ink; adhesive backed foam.

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Happy Birthday...

to my wonderful husband!

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YoBaby Organic Cutie Contest

Shameless plug.  :)

Please vote for Dylan in the YoBaby Organic Cutie Contest here: http://apps.facebook.com/organiccutie/showentry?entryurl=/contests/showentry/278216 Thanks!

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