Being Domestic

I used to be really into cooking, but over the last few years that interest has diminished.

That all changed yesterday. Despite a busy work day, I made lunch and some yummy treats. I started with trying out Carol’s black bean soup recipe for lunch. The only ingredients other than the beans that I had on hand were the spices, so that’s what I used. It was really good but definitely needed a kick, so next time I’m going to make sure to use the onions and jalapenos. This definitely isn’t the best picture because I did a closeup since my kitchen was a mess and I didn’t have any garnish. But, it was super yummy!

I thought tortilla chips and guacamole would go well with the soup, so I whipped up a batch of guac. I put in hot sauce, red pepper flakes and garlic powder, but it still wasn’t spicy enough. Next time, I’ll have to add more.

After Lucy got up from her nap, I decided to try out a recipe for mini pineapple upside down cakes that I found in All You. I have never tried a pineapple upside down cake before, and I was pleasantly surprised at how they turned out. Sure, the cherries aren’t perfectly in the middle but I am pretty proud. And, they were DELICIOUS!

I used the leftover batter to make some cupcakes. I’m pretty sure Joe would appreciate me getting in a cooking mood like this more often!


We had a very nice, low-key Thanksgiving. Joe was selected to be part of the NASA Tweetup for the Mars Rover launch, so he was in Florida over the holiday. I packed up myself and Lucy, and we headed to Tennessee to spend the holiday with my family.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures, probably because I was so busy solo-parenting (and I now have SO much respect for single parents). We got up there mid-afternoon on Wednesday and just hung out and relaxed that night. On Thursday, my brothers, sister-in-law and nephews all came over for Thanksgiving dinner. Lucy was excited because she loves her cousins Harrison and Marshall. Maybe that excitement is why she only ate a few bites of her lunch. She did, however, eat almost an entire piece of Aunt Oriona’s pumpkin pie.

After lunch, the kids and Oriona rocked for a while on my grandparents’ porch swing.

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And then, they all played outside since it was such a nice day. (And, the kids had popsicles, which explains Lucy’s purple mouth.)





Before Ryan, Oriona and the kids left, Lucy had to give Harrison a hug.


We headed back mid-morning on Friday, and Joe finally got home on Saturday. We missed him a lot, but he had SO much fun, and it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.

Guest Post: – Adventures in Parenting and Great Savings

I recently was a featured blogger on Mommy Page. Today, I am delighted to welcome Jennifer Drummond from as a guest blogger.

We’ve just launched a new site, Mommy Page, to bring expectant moms, new moms and veteran moms a single source to all of the deals, coupons and savings opportunities offered online!

Our goal at Mommy Page is to scour the internet to find and consolidate the latest free samples, coupons, and special offers from some of the best name brands that moms like us love! When the brands we love most aren’t offering something special – we have a team of moms that reach out to those companies to encourage them to offer something great to our MommyPage Turners! Mommy Page currently has found and posted offers such as VTech Kids, Kellogg’s, ThredUp, Baby Talk and American Baby!

Beyond our offers and deals, Mommy Page helps all moms navigate their way through parenting. Our community of moms share stories on buying maternity clothing, healthy eating for two, baby behavior, first day at preschool and more! Being a mom is about managing a home and lifestyle. With our tips on parenting and access to savings – we hope to help moms make parenthood a successful adventure!

We hope that you allow us to join you in your adventure in parenting! Visit our Mommy Page today.

A Letter to my Daughter on her 2nd Birthday

Dear Lucy,
Today you turned 2 and, as excited as I’ve been for your birthday (or, should I say, your birthday party), it also makes me kind of sad to see you turn another year older. You’re no longer a baby. You’re a toddler. You’re my little girl.

You definitely have your attitude, which you have developed since your first birthday, but for the most part, we find it cute. You’ve recently started giving us your little “Whatcha talkin’ about?” look. You come close to rolling your eyes, but you’re not quite there yet. It’s ridiculously adorable.

You are talking up a storm. A good bit of it is still jibberish, but you are saying more and more words. When you wake up in the morning, you ask for whichever parent doesn’t get you up, and then, on the way to the kitchen to get your morning bup (cup), you say hi to all the cats. “Hi, Dizzy! Hi, Ah (AJ)! Hi, Dada (Callie).” You also have to say hi to your Care Bears — “Ah duh” (the purple bear) and “Meen” (the green bear). You take your two Care Bears, your Tigger and your Tigger pillow EVERYWHERE you go. We call them your entourage.

Eating is still a struggle at times. Sometimes you’ll pig out, and other times you’ll hardly eat anything. You can, however, eat your weight in carrots. It’s your favorite food, which cracks me up because what kid likes vegetables??

Bath time is still your favorite thing. The other night, you were in the tub for about 40 minutes. You would sit in there all day and play with your toys if we let you.

Another favorite of yours? ELMO! So, it was fitting that we used that as the theme for your birthday party. And, Elmo even made a guest appearance! You were in awe, and you were so sad when he left. Mommy’s eyes teared up a little watching you run up to him and give him a big hug. I love making you so happy.










Although every new stage is more fun than the last, I do wish time would stop just for a bit so I can enjoy them just a little bit longer. Time is just flying by way too quickly.

I love you so much my little sugar monkey!


Kroger Gift Card Giveaway

How about starting off this Thanksgiving week with a giveaway?

We go through a LOT of milk in our house. Lucy drinks two cups a day, and Joe uses it with his cereal. I find myself buying a gallon every week-and-a-half or so and, at $3.19 a pop, that can add up! Kroger is running a promotion through Saturday where if you buy four participating General Mills products — like Cheerios, Pillsbury Ready to Bake Cookies, Nature Valley Bars and Fiber One Bars — you get a gallon of free milk (up to $3, limit of 2) or get $3 off your order! I’m trying to figure out how I can use coupons to really get a good deal out of this!

Kroger is offering one of my readers a $25 gift card to the Kroger family of stores. The giveaway will end Sunday, Nov. 27, at 12:01 a.m. Please enter using the widget. Good luck!

Disclosure: The Kroger gift card, information and giveaway have been provided by Kroger and General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

Discounts for Veterans

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

While we should all remember on a daily basis what our veterans have done for our country, there is one day set aside each year to honor those who served our country.

Yesterday was Veterans Day and, while I don’t have any relatives who served in the armed forces, I do have some friends who did, and I am very grateful for what they have done for us. Every year, numerous restaurants and stores throughout the country do their part to honor veterans and active military personnel by giving them free meals and discounts on products on Veterans Day and throughout the weekend.

One of those retailers is Dollar General, which offered a 10 percent discount for veterans, active military and their families on Saturday with no coupon needed. There also is a Dollar General’s Veteran’s Day discount for everyone with a 10 percent discount available for online shopping. just use the code VETERANSDAY at checkout.

And, throughout the month of November, Dollar General is offering military care packages for purchase online with free shipping to any address in the United States, including AFO and FPO addresses. You can choose between a 12-item package for $12 or an 18-item package for $30. Want to see how much care packages mean to those serving our country? You can check out some thank you videos here: or on the Dollar General Facebook page.

It’s nice that there is one day set aside each year to honor those who have served our country, but it’s really something that we should be doing every day.

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