Saturday, July 23, 2011

B-Day

Today is my 28th birthday. 28 years ago I was born at home with a midwife :)

My mom had Eliana and Jacob over last night for a Grammy slumber party and they stayed all day today, too. Craig and I met them there around 5 and we all did dinner together, too.

Last night Craig and I got takeout Thai (my fave- Aroy Dy) and had a drink or two. Ok, I had like one and he might've had two. lol. Lambic Raspberry Framboise is so yummy. I very rarely have it, maybe once a year, but I really like it :) My parents gave us a birthday gift of cash-ola that paid for the meal and the drinks. Bonus!

Today we walked around downtown, got a donut from Sluys' Bakery, went to the Poulsbo Farmer's Market, went to TJ Maxx, and I got a pedicure! Woop woop! Perhaps the first one since the week of my wedding? I might've had one or two since then, but it's definitely been ages. At least since before I got pregnant with either of my girls which would be Feb 2008. Also, I didn't have to pay for this pedicure....how, you ask? Well, several months ago I was having a VERY bad day. Evie was screaming for no apparent reason, for most of the day. She didn't want to eat, didn't want to sleep, it was rough. And at that point Eliana was still adjusting to a new sibling and all I heard was , "uppy mommy!!!" all day long. I had a meeting in Poulsbo that day where Evie screamed the whole time and then later that day she screamed the whole way home to Bremerton. I cried that entire 30 minute car ride. I remember feeling so overwhelmed and so insignificant. Just like I am always taking care of everyone else and I needed two minutes to breathe. We were also in the throws of a failing septic, needing to but unable to move, and waiting to get Evie on our insurance due to paperwork snafus after her birth (not on our part). It was too much going on and all out of my control. I walked in the door of our house that night with a tired 2 year old and screaming 3 month old, feeling totally defeated. I didn't even want to say hi to Craig, all I could do was cry. And then Craig hands me the mail. It was a card from a childhood friend whom I've reconnected with on Facebook. We both have babies, we both advocate breastfeeding, we both blog, we're both super smart women (hehe!). Her card talked about how hard I work and that she is blessed by me and my blog and that she wanted me to do something nice for ME. Hair, nails, whatever, and she included a generous gift card. I was blown away and stood there crying even harder. God knew exactly what I needed in that moment. I felt like He was saying, "I see you Diana. I know some days are hard and things have been hard especially today, but I do see you." I felt so validated and extremely grateful. God really used Mariena to speak to me. Thank you for being His voice, sweet friend! So, that is how I got my nails done today and hair last week. Amazing, right?

Tonight we bbq'd at my mom's house and now I'm home, on the couch, needing to stuff and fold about 25 diapers, practice the songs for worship tomorrow (yes, I'm singing after an almost 10 month worship team hiatus), and get sleep soon since I have to be up around 6am. Which is sort of a bummer because my sweet friend, Hollie, just had her son today and I really want to meet him!
Alright, off to do the above said chores :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

At the risk of people thinking I'm crazy or offending my friends who are so far TTC unsuccessfully...I really miss being pregnant. I can't wait to be pregnant again. It seems there are pregnant people everywhere and I'm slightly jealous!
Miracles can and do happen and God can make me pregnant at any time, but so far for me to get pregnant it's meant fertility meds. Which means I can't nurse. There is no way I would wean a 7 month old to start working on getting pregnant again. So for now I will just enjoy my busy life raising 3 kids and dream happily about someday being pregnant again. I wish pregnancy lasted like 12 months.....10 months goes by way too fast!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Couponing and Sleep

Over the last 2 days I have bought over $230 worth of groceries for a whopping $39. Insane right?? That's 83% savings. We are pretty much set on cold cereal and granola bars for several months. And milk...holy cow it's coming out my ears! I have like 5 gallons in my fridge, 2 in my freezer, and coupons for 5 more free ones! Drink up ;)
The Poulsbo Albertson's is so coupon friendly, I love them. I have never had a rude checker or one that was hard to deal with about coupons. Nelly is fabulous and Tina and Reina (sp?) are really nice, too. And generally speaking people behind me in line are more credulous than anything. Tonight the lady behind me was like, "what? You got all that for $7???" ha!
And, once again....cell phone pics, sorry! You'll see a lot of boxes of cheerios, these ended up being anywhere from 31cents to 50 cents a box!

This transaction was $23 (worth $130ish)! And ya know it's not all junk food, despite what I or anyone else might've thought about couponing. This is: 8 boxes of cheerios, 4 boxes of golden grahams, 2 loaves Franz whole wheat bread, 4 boxes fiber one bars, 4 boxes nature valley bars, 1 large m&m bag, 2 small m&m bags, 2 Darigold milks, 1 32 load All, 2 gerber puffs, 3 S&W low sodium canned beans, 1 box waffle cones= $23 total and I have 3 more free milk coupons :)



This transaction was $7 (worth $50) 
4 boxes cheerios, 2 boxes Emerald breakfast on the go trail mix, 2 4-packs yoplait yogurt, 4 3-packs 100% juice, 4 boxes Gushers. Also got another free milk coupon.

This one was $9 (worth $50)
4 boxes cheerios, 2 packages oreos, 4 Gerber puffs, 1 Lysol toilet cleaner, 1 Albertson's baked beans, 1 Kettle chips bag, 1 Ronzoni pasta box, 1 Albertson's french bread. And I got another free milk coupon!

Jacob is my coupon helper and that's fun. He's learning a lot and honestly, finding good deals and couponing is a great life skill to have! I encourage you to involve your older children as much as you can. 

Please check out Coupon Connections for more info and all the cool leads that I follow. Amber runs that site and she lives fairly locally. Thank you Amber!

So, in addition to couponing, life has just been busy. What's new, right? Last Saturday was our 6th wedding anniversary :) So much has happened in that 6 years it's just mind boggling. But probably the best thing is that we still enjoy each other's company and still love each other. Having God as the center of our marriage and family makes a tremendous difference, that's for sure. My mom took Jacob and Eliana Friday night so Craig and I got a whole 24 hours with just one child. It was amazing! We went to dinner at the Golden Grill Mongolian Restaurant which just so happens to be exactly where I first met Craig. I was singing karaoke and he was hooked, the rest is history! My brother was so thoughtful and called ahead and paid for our meal. Totally awesome! Then we went and saw the 8pm showing of Horrible Bosses (we love Jason Bateman, he's Hi-Lar-IOUS!). It had a TON of language, but otherwise funny and just nice to be in a theatre as a couple. The last time we saw a movie together was the last Twilight movie! Evie was great the whole night. She put up with tons of errands; Rite Aid, Target, World Market, etc. And then sat happily in the high chair at the restaurant (first time in a wooden high chair!). She wouldn't have cried at all except she was trying to chew the high chair and banged her head on the glass table top :( Poor baby. Then she did stellar at the movie. She fought sleep the first 10 minutes and made us nervous, but then passed out and slept the whole time. She was awake but super quiet on the way home and Craig said, "wow, she's so good you almost forget she's here!" That's our little Evie-roo. She just goes with the flow. 
Saturday was Craig's 33rd birthday (woop woop!), we went to Costco and it was a mad house but fun to go with just one kid. It's incredible how easy having one child is. You don't realize that until you have 3! Even 2 is so much easier than 3, and again, you don't realize that until you have 3. lol!
It was a busy but great weekend as a family.


Alright, let's talk sleep. First off, I should be sleeping right now. It's nearly 1 am and Evie will be waking me up around 7am probably. Yikes! 
Eliana hasn't napped in almost a week. I'm not sure what the deal is, but she just sings, plays, cried, etc in her crib and won't sleep. I'm hoping it's a phase. Today we were at a friend's house so I just didn't even bother to put her down for a nap. She passed out in the car for 20 minutes though and she almost never does that! Time will tell whether naps are off the table for good for her. I hope not! She is happier and more pleasant when she naps.
On the other hand, my little non-sleeper Evangeline is becoming a sleeper! Hallelujah! 3 nights ago I just kind of said, "you know what, I've had it. I can sit here on the couch and she'll be half asleep flopping around on me and grabbing and scratching my face til 11pm, or I can let her cry for a while." I guess the last 7 1/2 months just caught up with me and I was DONE. So I put her in her crib, awake but definitely ready for bed. She cried for 45 minutes but then slept for 10 straight hours! I could hardly believe it. Having my evenings free to clean, organize, etc is really nice. I almost feel like I'm on vacation in my own house! Night 2 she cried for 30 minutes and then slept 11 hours and tonight she cried for 20 minutes. We'll see how long she sleeps tonight. I got too busy and forgot to feed her any table food today which might play into it as well. Breast milk doesn't sit in the belly very long.
Why is the sleeping working better now? I'm not sure. I think she's older and more ready. For whatever reason she wasn't ready at 4 or 5 months. Her screams were blood curdling and like she was terrified. This week her cries are more sad, tired, and a little mad- but not scared and not blood curdling. I'm hoping within a couple days I'll be able to lay her down and she'll just go to sleep with no tears. That's the hope. I haven't gotten to bed before midnight the last three nights, I'm just having so much fun being hands free! lol. Oh, and yay for me, I nursed Evie in the Ergo today. I was crazy couponing with a bf and our 7 (you read that right!) kids at Albertson's and we were about to pay but I realized Evie wouldn't make it through 20 minutes of checkout without eating. So, I whipped it out right there in the cereal aisle (I had on a low cut shirt and just lowered my shirt). With the sleep shade on the Ergo it was fairly modest and no one walked by anyway. She was happily sitting in the Ergo and nursing, so cute! Yay me for trying something new!
Ok, time to catch some Zzzzz. I'm sure I'll read this blog later and find lots of grammar/spelling errors....I blame that on sleep deprivation for the moment :)


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Seafood Pasta Salad

Friday night I had this recipe just appear in my brain, so I went for it and it was good! I made it with salmon for a baby shower on Saturday and with imitation crab and salad shrimp for a party on Sunday. The crab and shrimp was definitely the best, but both were good.

Seafood Pasta Salad

1 lb medium shell or rotini pasta, cooked according to package directions, drained and cooled

2 cans salmon (I used the good quality stuff from Costco and they are good sized cans), drained
OR
1lb imitation crab, broken up and
1/2 to 1lb salad shrimp


3 cups frozen corn, thawed
2 to 3 cups fresh sweet peas, destring and cut in half
1/2 cup Ranch dressing
3/4 cup Best Foods Mayonnaise 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup fresh parmesan

Mix all together and adjust the liquids and/or seasonings if needed. If the taste is right but it's just too thick, add some milk. The seafood and pasta will absorb a lot of the moisture, so if you are letting it chill overnight you may need to add more mayo and ranch prior to serving it. Serve chilled.
This is also yummy in the Parmesan Baskets.
(c) Diana Frazier 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Parmesan Baskets

A dear friend of mine is welcoming a baby girl into her family in a couple months and we are celebrating this weekend. I am making Parmesan baskets with a cheesy tuna salad :) I made the baskets today, took about 1 1/2 hours and will be making the tuna salad in the next couple days.

Here's the how-to on the baskets:

Parmesan- I used the big Costco bag of fresh Parmesan and it made about 100 baskets. Use however much you need to depending on how many baskets you need/want. Each basket takes a couple tablespoons of Parmesan. And it needs to be FRESH grated Parmesan, not the powdery ground stuff in the green can.

On a non-stick baking sheet put 1-2 Tbsp of fresh Parmesan. Spread it out into about a 3 inch round.

I tried making them thinner to see if they'd be more lacy, but then they didn't shape well and wouldn't be thick enough to hold a salad. You'll have to play around with amounts, but this is what you want it to look like. I also recommend doing one cookie sheet at a time, at least to start, because you have to move fast when you pull them out.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 3 minutes. You want them to look golden-ish and melted.

After you pull them out of the oven, use a flat spatula and carefully get them off one by one and put them on an upside down muffin tin. Shape them gently while still hot. Some recipes will tell you to use cups and I tried that but this was easier and made them more uniform. Allow to cool for about 2 minutes and they should be cool enough to move to a a platter.
Aren't they so pretty?!
Finished large batch- should be about 100 baskets :)




Monday, July 4, 2011

Best Lactation Cookies Ever


  • Alright friends, here's a fabulous recipe to boost your milk supply. It honest to goodness works, too! I probably ate almost a dozen of these a day the week after Evie was born and BAM, huge milk supply. I also lost 35lbs in the first 2 weeks. Life is crazy with a newborn and regular meals don't always happen, so having a bag of these on the counter at least gives you something to snack on :) They are also a wonderful thing to drop off at a friend's house right after they have a baby. 


  • Also, if hubby or your 5 year old daughter chow on these they will NOT start lactating! lol





  • The magical ingredient in these is the brewer's yeast. Get it at Super Supplements or Central Market (in bulk or the natural supplements area). It's the same reason why some people recommend drinking a beer for supply- it's not the alcohol that helps, it's the brewer's yeast! The oatmeal and flax are also helpers for supply. I get my flax at Costco. It's a huge bag of organic cold milled flax and it's shelf-stable so you don't have to refrigerate it. You can also add or sub honey or molasses in place of the sugars. I tend to do 3 or 4 Tbsp of the brewer's yeast. It's sort of a nutty flavor and the cookies just taste 'healthy', not bad at all. PS. you'll want flakes or meal yeast. Chunky yeast would be weird :)





  • My Favorite Lactation Cookies:





  • cup butter


  • cup sugar


  • cup firmly packed brown sugar


  • tablespoons water


  • tablespoons flax seed meal


  • eggs


  • teaspoon vanilla


  • cups flour


  • teaspoon baking soda


  • teaspoon salt


  • cups oats


  • cup chocolate chips


  • 2 -4 tablespoons brewer's yeast





    1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°.
    2. 2. Mix the flaxseed meal and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
    3. 3. Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar well.
    4. 4. Add eggs and mix well.
    5. 5Add flaxseed mix and vanilla, beat well.
    6. 6. Sift together flour, brewers yeast, baking soda, and salt.
    7. 7. Add dry ingredients to butter mix.
    8. 8. Stir in oats and chips.
    9. 9. Scoop onto baking sheet.
    10. 10. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
    11. 11. Let set for a couple minutes then remove from tray.


    Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/oatmeal-chocolate-chip-lactation-cookies-by-noel-trujillo-192346#ixzz1RAbS6Mfc


  • Sunday, July 3, 2011

    Couponing 7.3.11



    Sorry for the blurry picture, my camera wasn't handy, so it's a phone pic.

    Alrighty folks,  what did I get?
    15 boxes Nature Valley Granola Bars, paid a few dollars total for all of these
    2 packages Strawberry Twizzlers, .88cents each
    2 packages Oscar Meyer Natural Hotdogs, $2 each
    5 12 packs Coca Cola soda, $1.85 each
    2 lunchables, $1 each on sale
    2 Dove Men's bodywashes $1.29 each
    2 Dove Men's deoderant, .99cents each
    3 cans Bush's Baked Beans, $1.69 each on sale
    1 gallon Darigold milk, free (Catalina)
    2 boxes Honey Maid Graham Crackers, .99cents each
    2 packages Jet Puff Marshmallows, .99 cents each
    2 packages Hershey's chocolate bars, .99cents each
    1 Lawry's marinade, .74 cents
    6 Pillsbury brownie mixes, 3 for free and the rest for .49 cents each (part of the buy 10 save $5 deal)
    1 French's yellow mustard, .69 cents
    2 Cheese Nips, .75 cents each
    4 boxes various Nabisco Crackers, .75 cents each
    1 Heinz Ketchup $1.49 on sale
    4 Kraft Ranch, .99cents each


    Total- $49 :) Should've been $179 ( I put over 200 on FB, I was off a tad on my math!) Not bad considering there were NO doubled coupons this week!
    This time I had a printed word doc of each transaction and what I needed to get for it. I also had the coupons sorted into separate envelopes for the transactions. I spent about 1 1/2 hours prepping this week. Eliana was home with Craig, Evie was with me shopping.

    Here's a little bit of what I did. Thank you Coupon Connection!!!

    Bush’s Baked Beans, 21-28oz $1.67, no coupons, just on sale 


    Oscar Mayer Meat or Turkey Hot Dogs, 16oz $2.50
    $1/2 Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs
    Final Price: $2.00


    Buy 4 Dove Men’s Body Wash or Shower Tool, 13.5oz or 1ct $4.59
    use (2) B1G1 Dove Men+Care Body or Face Wash or Shower too 6/26/2011 RP Insert (exp 7/24/2011)
    -$4.00 Instantly
    Final Price: $1.29 each


    Dove Deodorant $3.99
    $2/1 Dove Men+Care Antiperspirant or Deodorant 6/26/2011 RP Insert (exp 7/24/2011)
    Final Price: $0.99 wyb 4 Dove products



    Pillsbury Brownies, 19.5oz $0.49
    $0.40/1 Pillsbury Frosting or Brownie Mixes 6/12/2011 RP Insert (exp 9/30/2011) or
    $0.55/1 Pillsbury Brownie Printable 
    Final Price: Free-$0.49



    Kraft Salad Dressing, 14-16oz $1.49
    $1/2 Kraft Salad Dressings 6/19/2011 SS Insert (exp 7/17/2011)
    final price: .99



    Heinz EZ Squeeze Ketchup, 32oz $1.49, no coupon, part of the Buy 10 save $5 deal


    French’s Yellow Mustard, 20oz $0.99
    $0.30/1 French’s Mustard 6/19/2011 SS Insert (exp 8/31/2011), regional
    Final Price:  $0.66



    Lawry’s Marinade, 12oz $0.99
    .25/1 Albertson's game piece coupon
    final price: .74


    Hershey’s Twizzlers Bag, 12-17.6oz $1.38
    $1/2 Catalina (I had from a previous transaction on another day)

    final price: .88 each


    Nabisco Snack Crackers 5.5-10oz $1.99
    $1/1 Wheat Thins Crunch Stix
    Final Price: $0.99



    I had 5 coupons (from Nelly at Poulsbo) that gave $1.50 off when I bought a 12 pack of Coke and a Nabisco cracker item, so I used those for all the other Nabisco items that were also on sale for $1.99.


    Buy 2 Nabisco Honey Maid Grahams, 12.2-14.4oz $2.99
    Buy 2 Hershey’s Candy Bars, 6ct $3.00
    Buy 2 Kraft Jet Puffed Marshmallows, 10-10.5oz $1.25use (1) $1/2 Nabisco Honey Maid Grahams 6/26/2011 SS Insert (exp 8/14/2011)
    use (1) $1/2 Hershey’s Milk Choc
    olate 6/26/2011 SS Insert (exp 8/14/2011)
    use (2) Purchase Honey Maid Grahams and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate 6pk, receive FREE MarshmallowsSave $2.00 Instantly x 2
    Final Price:  $0.99 each!




    Buy 4 Nature Valley Thins $2.50
    use (4) $0.50/1 coupons from coupons.com 
    Pay:  $8.00, receive $2.00 Catalina, $5.00 Catalina
    Final Price:  $1
    Buy 4 Nature Valley Granola Bars $2.50
    use (2) $0.85/2 Nature Valley Granola Bars from eatbetteramerica.com
    Pay:  $8.30, receive $2.00 Catalina, $5.00 Catalina
    Final Price:  $1.30
    PS. NO free milk catalinas are printing anymore :( Also, the buy 10 save $5 deal will not automatically double to $10 if you buy 20 items. You need to do it as 2 transactions. I didn't know this and my cashier didn't tell me! Dang it, should've saved another $5. It's really irking me looking over this and seeing a couple places I could've saved more, but nothing I can do about it now. This is only my 3rd weekend of really couponing and I think I'm doing pretty good. Live and Learn!

    ******update*******
    I went back to Albertson's yesterday and asked about the missing $5 savings (on the urging of Coupon Connection). I was told that they have a new system and moving forward I'll have to do a separate transaction for each 10 items that are part of the "buy 10 save $5 deal", but that I am entitled to the 2nd $5. They refunded me! That makes my total for the above transaction $44 and a 76% savings, pretty darn good for having NO doubled coupons! :)