Nora Recommends | Tickle Monster

Mar 30, 2011

Recently Nora was given a gift by her Uncle Mike & Rick - The Tickle Monster (the book) and a pair of Tickle Monster Mitts.

To most, this book may just seem like one of a thousand ordinary kids books. Nora has a book shelf full of kids books that normally get a little love just once a week or so. And we read LOTS of books every day so that's not saying much.

BUT along came this little Tickle Monster kit! She LOVES everything about this book (and so do I!). She'll either pull out the book or the mitts and immediately run to find the other so that we can sit down to read this super cute (and creative) book.

If you're looking for a great kiddo gift - do check out The Tickle Monster (but don't forget the mitts too!)! Nora promises you won't be disappointed! ;)


Steph's Pick | Culver's Lemon Ice Cooler

Mar 25, 2011

Warning: Pregnancy Craving Alert!!!

In all honesty, I love these things pregnant or not-pregnant. BUT of course my cravings for them are even stronger when I'm expecting :)

I recently found out we have a Culver's that is scheduled to open fairly close to home. Now this may not be a big deal to all of you in the Midwest but this is HUGE here in AZ. Culver's opened some of their first stores in the Valley about a year or two ago and all (until now) have been roughly 30-40 min away. That's just too far to travel for a cold beverage.

But now with the new store opening within 10 minutes of our place I can tell you this mama is going to be in their drive-thru line ASAP :)

I can't vouch for much of anything else on their menu (it's not bad... it's just not "Steph's Pick" worthy) BUT I can say that there is nothing better than their Lemon Ice Raspberry Coolers. SLURP!!! So delightful! A perfect treat for any occasion.

Check it out!

Note: For my friends in cooler parts of the country something to note is that Lemon Ice (in all of it's forms) is considered a seasonal item on Culver's menu. I know! Boo, huh?! There have been countless times I've been soooo excited about getting my hands on one of these treats while home in IA or MN to pull up to the drive thru and be disappointed that it wasn't available until Spring/Summer time. (insert big sad face)


some {photo} catching up

Mar 23, 2011

Oh wow! There are just some posts that call for mostly pictures.... and this is the post :) Plus I did promise in this post to tell you all more about our time in CA earlier this month.

Let's start with our time in California.

Nora and I went out to visit Abby, Adelyn and Mason at the beginning of the month. Nick was out of town for business and so it was a perfect excuse to have some girl (and kiddo) time. We went to Chuck-e-Cheese (yes - you did read that correctly), an indoor bounce-house and a number of parks. Needless to say we were consumed with keeping the girls BUSY.

While at Chuck-e-Cheese Nora found her most favorite character in the whole wide world. As you can see in the picture she was VERY happy to be sitting next to Barney.

And what would a trip to Chuck-e-Cheese be without riding some of the fun rides. Here is Adelyn and Nora doing just that.
Thanks to Nana the girls have the same coats :) Too cute, huh?! There were a number of times while we were out and about that we were asked if they were twins!

Upon returning from CA we were blessed to have my grandparents come to AZ for the month of March. We've spent a number of days over at their place. Nora loves having her great-grandparents around.

And lastly... a little update on the Baby Girl (#2). Things are progressing quite quickly (maybe a little too quickly in my opinion). Baby Girl is growing, has a name (yipee!) and we're attempting to prepare for her arrival as best as we can.

Here's an updated belly shot (so sorry about the weird lighting... my flash was being super weird).


Steph's Pick | Our Top 3 Frozen Pizzas

Mar 18, 2011

Alright peeps....despite what you might think... I'm certainly not beyond cooking a frozen pizza at night every once in awhile. And by every once in awhile we're talking every other week... so a decent amount (at least in my opinion). There's just not enough time (or energy) in my days to consistently make my most favorite pizza/calzones.

So I've made it my mission to find some of the best frozen pizza's available. I figure we might as well go "all" out... and by that I mean spending an extra $3-$4 so I don't have to buy the college-classic Totino's pizza.

Here are our Top 3 Frozen Pizzas:

1. Trader Joe's: Trader Giotto's Pizza Parlanno. Honestly... my favorite... hands down!

2. Fresh & Easy: Supreme. This is what you'll find most frequently in our freezer b/c I do most of my shopping at Fresh & Easy... so yummy!

3. California Pizza Kitchen: CPK's BBQ Chicken. If you're not able to get to a Trader Joe's or Fresh & Easy this CPK option is a great pick and can be found in most grocery stores.

Now it's your turn... comment below with your favorites!!!


some extra reading... for those interested

Mar 16, 2011

In case ya'll were thinking I'm a "blogging slacker" I thought I'd send a few links for your reading pleasure :)

We celebrated our One-Year "Blogging" Anniversary with a HUGE party. Here's the recap post: One Year Anniversary Party RECAP.

We're also busy planning our next event - Arizona Moms Night Out. Check out the details on this post (and if you're from the area - register TODAY - we "sold" 50% of our tickets in 1 day!): Arizona Moms Night Out - April 4th.

After a number of requests (think 10+) from my blogging partner, Joy, I finally sat down and wrote a post about my strategy with snail mail. Nothing life changing. But it seemed to be of interest to lots of peeps. The "Art" of Snail Mail.

And in case I haven't given you enough to read - we've also been guest blogging over at GalTime {Phoenix}. Here's a list of some of the most recent posts we've written for them. Our GalTime {Phoenix} Weekly Posts.

Needless to say, we're keeping VERY busy over at Scottsdale Moms Blog. We're so thrilled with all God is doing in using our little space on the web to connect 100's of women on a weekly basis!


Steph's Pick | DIY Monthly Development Onesies (Girl edition)

Mar 11, 2011

Some of you may remember my DIY Monthly Development Onesie post back in November. I've had such great feedback from so many of you that I thought I'd create some new girl colored onesie files (yeah - I have girl on the brain - what can I say?!).

But first, a few notes for those who are actually making these...

* First, use the Avery brand labels. Supposedly the other brands are not nearly as good.
* The sizing of the onesies might be the hardest thing to determine. Especially since Gerber brand white onesies are so tiny. I've heard from experience that generally it's best to make the last month, the larger size. So, for example when you might think to make Month 3 a size 0-3 month size onesie, it's probably best to actually make it the 3-6 month size. Make sense?
Click HERE for file (1-6 months)
Click HERE for file (7-12 months).
Alright - I think that's about it!

Good Luck! And please report back if you do end making these... I'd love to hear from you.


Mommy SOS | Preparing for Baby #2

Mar 8, 2011

Like many other mama's expecting their second child, I've been thinking a lot about how much will change come the end of May when we move from a family of 3 (aka: Nora is the center of the universe) to a family of 4 (aka: Nora is not the center of the universe). Tear :)

Now I'm joking a bit in saying that Nora is the center of the universe - but to some extent it does illustrate the changes that will surely happen to our family when baby girl #2 enters the world.

A couple months back I posed the question - "How did you prepare for baby #2?" on Facebook and had some great feedback. Now it's time to hear from our Flies Blend readers too!

Here are some questions I have in preparing for the arrival of baby #2:

- How did you prepare child #1 for the arrival of baby #2 (remember: Nora will be 22 months old)?

- Are there any resources you read/consulted for this transition time?

- Is there any advice you were given that you'd like to share?

- Any other suggestions are welcome.

I fully realize that every family is different so as we work to prepare for the arrival of baby #2 there is no "checklist" per-say to making it a smooth transition. I'm just eager to hear all of YOUR experiences.

Comment below please :)


Steph's Pick | Apple Dumplings

Mar 4, 2011

I have a confession. It hasn't even been 24 hours since I first laid my eyes (and tummy) on these things. I had every intention of keeping this recipe in my "Steph's Pick" idea's mental list but it was just TOO good to not share with you immediately!

Leave it to Ree, the Pioneer Woman, these little pieces of apple-heaven are delightful. The combination of the crispy crescent rolls, apples and the key ingredient - Mt. Dew - make these treats irresistible. So yummy....

2 whole Granny Smith Apples, Cored and Peeled
2 cans refrigerator crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 can Mt. Dew
Ground Cinnamon

Cut apples into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9/13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples. Pour Mt. Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.


More photos and videos to come of our time in CA. If you didn't get a chance to see the video of Nora I posted earlier this week it' s a MUST view. Click here to see Spinning in California.


spinning in california

Mar 1, 2011

We're just finishing up our time here in California. Don't worry...there are many more pictures and videos to share of our time here. But for now, here's a little sneak peak into all of the fun we've had :)

Before viewing this video you must know a few things....

First, yes, I do feel a little bad about laughing so hard about something like this. And by laughing hard I mean that I almost peed my pants... for reals.

Second, the little one crying in the background is Adelyn - not Nora. She didn't seem to be sad or upset at all about what happened to her. Adelyn on the other hand was a little sad (obviously) :(

Third, anyone know where I can find one of these things in AZ? :)

Without further ado...

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