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June 30, 2009

Soap Review

I had the opportunity to try Nothing But Soap's Eucalyptus Hemp & Tea Tree olive oil, hemp oil & shea butter soap. Below is the description of the soap on the site.

Intense Eucalyptus and rich Tea Tree with peppermint leaves make this an eye opening treat. The eucalyptus will energize your day while hemp, shea butter and a wonderful base cleanse your skin. Eucalyptus and tea tree essential oils are known for their medicinal properties in anti-fungal and anti-staph capabilities. Peppermint leaves are added for additional exfoliation. An intense experience to remember.

Try showering with this soap when you have cold-like congestion or sinus allergies to create a soothing vapor.

The soap smelled wonderful! It was a nice treat to use it after exercising and it left my skin unbelievably soft. So, head on over to Nothing But Soap and check out everything that is available. The soap is VERY reasonably priced. I currently have my eye on the Raspberry Rush Natural soap with Olive oil and Shea Butter.

June 28, 2009

8 Month Pictures

Alex turned 8 months old on Sunday. Unfortunately, I didn't get around to taking a picture until Monday. So, here is the 8 month, 1 day picture.

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Alex 8 months, 1 day old (next to a 12 month outfit)

Check out my other monthly posts here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Role Models actually turned out to be an ok movie during the second half. We have also recently watched Paul Blart: Mall Cop and The Pink Panther 2. Paul Blart had its funny moments and The Pink Panther wasn't that bad either.

Saturday we did make it to the mall and I did find a swimsuit. I also found Alex a really cute onesie.

We had a dinner guest on Saturday and after dinner we played some Wii and Trivial Pursuit. Sunday we relaxed and watched a couple of movies. I did manage to clean out the office and the closet, but I still need to clean off my desk.

Sometime today I need to book a hotel for a conference that I need to attend. Gabe left me in charge of the hotel accommodations. Well, not really (he told me which hotel to book). The task of booking hotels has been taken away from since the Paris hotel incident of 2005.

As a side note, I did cook the cake batter for the ice cream cone cupcakes in the cones. Here is the link to the instructions. I just sat the cones up in a pan and cooked them that way.

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Picture of Alex sitting. I have been playing around with some photo editing software.

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Clara & Elsa

I am not sure what we are doing this week. We will most likely watch some fireworks this weekend.

June 26, 2009


Well, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is an interesting movie, but not one that I would want to watch again. I think I should have just quit watching after the first half of the movie. Aging in reverse is just weird. I never read the F. Scott Fitzgerald book, maybe that would have made a difference.

We went to a party on Saturday the 13th. It was actually pool party, but we didn't swim. Alex has taken to hating his baths again. So we were pretty sure he would scream the entire time just like he does during a bath.

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Alex & Gabe

Sunday the 14th was a very busy day. After church at the lake, we had brunch and then headed back home. We decided to try out Alex's little pool in our back yard. He loved it! He absolutely loved splashing around in it. Maybe we should have let him splash at the pool in the party.

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Splashing in the pool.

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Alex very happy after splashing in the pool.

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Stephanie & Alex

Next we decided to head out to the zoo. On the way back we stopped by Border's for a free Seattle's Best beverage (courtesy of our rewards card).

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Stephanie, Alex, & Giraffe

Cute African Spotted-Necked Otter

The capybara is the world's largest rodent, related to guinea pigs.

Once we were back home again we had dinner and decided to go to our neighborhood pool around 7:30 p.m. Even though it was 90 out it was too cold for Alex. When there is no humidity it feels like air conditioning for any part of your body that is out of the water. I stayed in for a little while, while Alex and Gabe sat on the edge.

I started watching the new season of The Next Food Network Star. I must say I don't miss Jenn and I was happy to see Brett go. It was a tossup between Eddie and Teddy, but I do hope that Teddy goes home next week. I just wouldn't watch a show with him as the star. Gabe thinks that Debbie is going to win, but as of right now I guess I am voting for Jeffrey. No one has really gained my "vote" yet.

Wednesday the 17th Dawn D. and I went for a walk in the morning (Gabe and I usually go in the evenings). She left for Illinois on Monday for three weeks. She was nice enough to drop off an exersaucer for Alex before she left.

Friday the 19th I scrapbooked with Cheri (originally we had plans to do it on Thursday) until around 3:00 p.m. and then we had Victor over for dinner. I cooked Greek food. I really loved the feta and cream cheese dip that I made. I will have to post the recipe the next time I make it (that way I can post a picture).

Saturday the 20th we went out to eat at Macaroni Grill for Father's Day. We were going to eat out on Sunday, but we switched it Saturday and went to a BBQ at one of our neighbor's. Wednesday we had some people over for dinner.

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"Ice Cream" Cupcakes that I took to the BBQ. They were ice cream cones filled with chocolate cake, frosted, and then topped with sprinkles.

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Gabe & Alex on Father's Day.

We watched Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. I actually preferred the first Underworld movie. Rise of the Lycans is a prequel and takes a five minute portion of the movie and expands it into a full length movie. Slumdog Millionaire was ok. It wasn't my favorite movie. We are currently watching Role Models. I think we should have watched Confessions of a Shopaholic instead.

After dinner we went on our nightly walk. We were going to head out to Old Navy to check out he $5.00 swimsuit and shorts sale, but we both decided to relax instead. We are going to go tomorrow instead. We also having Mike D. over for dinner tomorrow. I have plans to clean out and organize my office this weekend. We will see how it goes.

June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!


A very special Happy 1st Father's Day to Gabe!

Graphic courtesy of Pat's Web Graphics.

June 16, 2009

Father's Day Gift II


Just like the first Father's Day Gift that I posted, I think that this one will become a tradition too. I plan on making one of these each year. The original idea came from Brassy Apple. You could certainly take three 4x6 pictures and print them out. I was going to do this with the same frame that I used to make the first gift, but I decided to do something a little different. I used the collage print function (5x7) at Wal-Greens and bought a 5x7 frame. The collage print allowed me to easily add a title to the print. The lady at the photo counter commented on how cute the picture was. Oh, instead of buying the letters I just cut out some white corrugated cardboard that I had around. I was just going to cut the letters out of paper, but Alex loves to crinkle paper up. The entire project cost less than $3.00!

Please ignore the terrible photography. In case you are wondering, in the first picture he is biting on the "D". In the second picture he is holding the "A" and smiling. Finally, in the third picture, he is looking through the "D". I ended up taking around 30 pictures to end up with the three that I ultimately used.

June 13, 2009


I have had a couple of people ask how to make my coasters. The original idea came from DIY Maven. I made of couple of alterations to better suit what I wanted to do.

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I don't actually use this set as coasters, but instead I display them on wire stands.

Here is what you need to make the coasters: plain ceramic tile(s), alcohol, something to wipe the alcohol, Mod Podge, foam brush, napkin(s) of your choice, polyurethane, craft paint brush, self-sticking felt


Wipe down each of the tiles with alcohol. Wait for them dry. Cut the napkins into more manageable sized pieces and remove all layers but the very top. Place Mod Podge on the tile using the foam brush (top and sides). Then, lay the napkin across the tile smoothing as you go along (top and sides). Allow to dry for a couple of hours.

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After the coasters are dry, brush a small amount of Mod Podge along the edges of the back of the coaster.

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Fold the excess napkin over the back and remove excess napkin.

Using the small craft brush apply three coats of polyurethane. Make sure and wait at least three hours between coats. After the final coat allow the coaster to dry for at least twenty-four hours before continuing.

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Cut self-sticking felt and apply to the back of the tile. Your coasters are ready to use (or display).

Crinkle Blanket with Ribbon

While we were on cruise in Alaska I came up with an idea. Alex loves to play with paper (he loves the noise it makes), but it always ends up in his mouth. So, I decided when we returned from our vacation, I would make him a mini-blanket with the plastic inside (the type used in other crinkly baby toys). I figured I could buy some a craft store. Well, my idea turned out to not be so original. Joy's Hope already posted something very similar to what I was going to do, but she had a few improvements over my idea. She used the plastic from a package of baby wipes and she added fun pieces of ribbon.

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Other than a sewing machine and thread, you will need two squares of material (I used 9.5" x 9.5" flannel). You will also need a selection of ribbon (I used 4" pieces, 3 pieces on each side) and something that makes the crinkly noise (I use a baby wipes package) cut into a 9" x 9" square. I decided on the size of the mini-blanket by the maximum amount of baby wipes packaging I could use.

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Pin the ribbon (folded in half) between the two pieces of material (wrong sides together). Instead of pinning the ribbon flush, I like to have it stick out a little bit from the flannel. This way it definitely gets sewn down. Also, do not pin in one piece of ribbon. This will be the area where everything is turned right side out. The ribbon can be sewn in at that time. Start just below the area where the ribbon will be added later and sew around the square. Make sure and leave a gap to add the last piece of ribbon and so the material can be turned right side out.

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After sewing, turn the material right side out. Make sure and push the corners out. I did not sew the plastic with the material. Instead, I placed it through the opening.

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Next, fold in the opening and add the ribbon. This time sew all the way around the square, making sure to sew the ribbon in place and the opening closed. Since the plastic material was not sewn in place earlier, I sewed three lines down the square of material (sort of like quilting). If I do another one, I might do a waves or the letter "A" for Alex.

June 12, 2009

Father's Day Gift

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This is one of Gabe's Father's Day gifts. It is pretty easy to make. Just buy a picture frame that holds three pictures. I traced Alex's hands on some scrapbook paper and placed them in the frame along with a fun picture of Gabe and Alex. If Gabe has a favorite picture that he would rather have in the frame, it can easily be replaced. I thought I would post this early in case anyone else would like to make one. Now if I can just keep Gabe away from my blog until next Sunday. Please ignore my photography skills.


There has been quite a bit of animal activity around our neighborhood lately. We have a pet lizard. Okay, we don't really have a pet lizard, but there is one that thinks he is our pet.

We have seen quite a few lizards on our walks in the evening. We have also seen rabbits the past few nights, but I left my camera at home.

This little girl showed up in our yard. Elsa and Clara had a great time playing with her. Her owner found her before we had a chance to go to each house door by door to locate the owner (we were waiting until after we finished dinner).

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Roadrunner (I think). He hung out for quite a while and gave Alex something to look at for about an hour. He even pecked on the door a couple of times.

We actually saw a double rainbow on our walk, but the picture of the single rainbow turned out the best.

This picture is one of my coasters that I display (I know I promised a few of you a picture of how I display them.

I watched the movie Bride Wars this past week. It is actually a pretty funny movie, much more so than I expected. Two wedding obsessed individuals mistakenly have their wedding booked on the same day. Hilarity ensues.

We don't have a lot planned for the weekend. We are going to a party tomorrow and after that who knows. Maybe we will finish watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. We started it last night.

June 10, 2009

House Tour - Finally!

Here are the long awaited pictures of our house. The lighting is a little odd on some of the pictures.

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Front of our house.

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Front Room

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Dining Room

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Living Room

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Laundry Room

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Office. This is actually a bedroom with a walk-in closet (they all have walk-in closets) but we use it as an office. Large closets are really nice for storage.

Master Bedroom

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Master Bedroom. There are walk-in closets on each side of the hallway that leads to the bathroom. I will spare you and not post the pictures of our closets, lol.

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Master Bathroom with my favorite part...my tub.

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Master Bathroom...not the best picture.

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Family Room

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Guest Bedroom

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Alex/Guest Bathroom. There are double sinks, but you can't tell from the picture.

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Alex Bedroom

Organizing Ribbon - WFMW

I have a bag of ribbon that I have collected. This "organization" makes it a little difficult to know exactly what ribbons I actually have in my stash.

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I use paper towel rolls (after the paper towels are used) and wrap my ribbon around them. I secure the ribbon to roll with tape where it is attached and the end of the ribbon to keep it from unrolling.

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Now it is easy to see what ribbons I have and they are more accessible to use.

See other great Works for Me Wednesday tips over at We Are That Family.

June 8, 2009

Back Yard Landscaping

This weekend was pretty uneventful. Saturday we walked around our neighborhood. There was a town wide rummage sale. Yesterday we went grocery shopping. We also managed to watch a couple of movies. Quantum of Solace was one of them. It is a James Bond movie, but Bond really seemed to have some issues. In Bruges is about two hit men that end up in a medieval city in Belgium (Bruges). Umm...it was different. Let's just go with that. I guess I am just not a fan of dark comedies. The Spiderwick Chronicles is a cute little movie about a boy that finds a book that contains secrets about a secret world that exists in our world. I also finished Why Do Men Have Nipple? It is a neat book filled with medical facts. Hmm...that made it sound boring. It really is interesting and fun to read.

Here are the long awaited landscaping pictures of our back yard.
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Our back yard on March 31 before landscaping.

In my opinion, the pictures of our backyard do not actually do it or the view justice.

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Elsa and Clara really like looking out into the desert from our backyard. Sometimes they even see cows.

Gabe's dad built a cute little bridge that goes over our river of rock. Since these pictures are from a few weeks ago, I don't have a picture of it yet. Elsa really likes to relax on the bridge.

June 6, 2009

Free Soap

I am really looking forward to trying the Eucalyptus Hemp & Tea Tree olive oil, hemp oil & shea butter soap from Nothing But Soap. You can try the soap for free too. Just visit her shop to see how.

7 Month Picture

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Alex 7 months, 1 week, and 2 days old (next to a 12 month outfit)

Check out my other monthly posts here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Six Month Pictures

Yes, these are professional pictures. Yes, it is completely legal for me to post them on my blog. Yes, it did take me a while to post them (he is now 7 months old). Here are a few of our favorites.

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The three of us (they just don't look as good once I reduce the image size to post the pictures on my blog). I am actually looking straight ahead even though in the reduced image quality version that I posted it looks like I am looking off to the side.

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Alex sitting up.

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Alex ready to crawl.

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You can check out his three month pictures here. I actually think the photographer that took his three month pictures did a better job than the one that took the six month pics. The six month pictures were mainly Alex by himself. Gabe was just getting over strep throat and even though he should not have been contagious, we didn't want to take any chances.

June 5, 2009

Unbirthday Swap

I participated in the Unbirthday Swap over at Miya's. My swap partner was Sara and my swap package was awesome.

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I love all things with the letter S. A notepad shaped like the letter S is awesome. I love all of the little foam S's too. They even have a sticky back.

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A huge bag of mini candy canes...yummy! I love the little diaper pin stamp. I will use it on Alex's scrapbook. The fancy ribbon will come in handy on my craft projects. The package also contained a cute little etsy pin. Stop by and check out Sara's shop and blog. Okay, I am getting ahead of myself. We aren't through my swap package yet.

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I love my coffee cozy (she made it). It came in a gorgeous bag. Too bad I didn't have it in Seattle with me :)

The cloth covered buttons were made by her was well. They are famous. She posted them on her blog.

A cute little card was also included as well as a tag to label a handmade item. I need to find some more of these.

A huge thank you goes out to Sara. My package was wonderful and I love it! I hope that you enjoyed yours.

Favorite Things Swap

I participated in the Favorite Things Swap over at Dandelion Wishes. My swap partner was Carrie and she did an amazing job with my swap package. If I had not been in such a hurry to open the package, I might have thought to take pictures of the wonderful wrapping job. Each item had a little envelope attached explaining why it was one of her favorite things. We actually have a lot in common! She doesn't know it, but I almost bought her a water bottle too.

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How lucky am I? I received a onesie with Alex's name (the wrinkles are from me, not her). She also sent me the paper so I can make more of them.

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Umm...these little things are genius. They have Alex printed on them (also in Braille) and they slip over sippy cups or bottles. Plus they are dishwasher safe.

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I really like the water bottle. It actually fits in a car cup holder! No more throwing my water bottle in the passenger seat. It also lets me keep track of how much water I have had in a day. The brownie bars are yummy! There were also some tootsie rolls, but they are long gone and did not make it to picture day.

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The apple candle smells wonderful. Apple is one of my favorite scents. I absolutely love the lip tint as well as the soap. I love anything mint/peppermint. She also sent me four of her favorite recipes. How sweet is that? I wish I would have thought to send her some of mine.

If you can't tell, I absolutely LOVE everything in my wonderful swap package. A huge thank you goes out to Carrie.

You can check out her post on the package I sent her here.

Random Things

Whew! I just finished posting all of the entries from Alaska. There were quite a few. I published so many that they are not all visible from my sidebar. So, if you would like to read about all of our adventures in Alaska (you know you want to), just click on "May 2009" under "Archives" on the right sidebar. You will be able to access all of the Alaska entries from there. You should be able to see the new posts from June, but in case you can't you can always click on "June 2009" under "Archives".

This is going to be a random post. Gabe, Alex, and I all went to the drive-in to see Angels and Demons. I like the book better. The drive-in is definitely somewhere we will be going again. It is only $5 a person, you can take your own food, and it is a great way to watch a movie with Alex.

When I came back from our vacation I had two wonderful swap packages waiting on me. They will each get their own entry (hopefully tonight, but maybe tomorrow).

I have all of the pictures for the "house tour", but since I have already posted so many things today, I might wait and put it together tomorrow.

I will be posting Alex's 6 month pictures soon (probably tomorrow).

While on vacation I read James Patterson's next installment in the Women's Murder Club: 8th Confession. It was a really good book about a killer that goes after the wealthy. Currently I am reading Why Do Men Have Nipples? Both Alex and I joined the summer reading program at the local library. Maybe the extra encouragement will help me with the Spring Reading Thing Challenge as well.

My Google Reader had 1000+ entries in it when we returned from vacation. It is going to be a while before I am caught up. Which reminds me, Nicole, does our beach house have WiFi?

I have been reading where quite a few people are participating in No Spending Challenges. I am going to do my own and feel free to join me. For the next two months we are going to give ourselves a monthly budget: $160 for food, $40 for entertainment, and $200 for Alex's food (formula is expensive). We will still pay for gas and bills, but we are going to attempt to curb excess spending. I will let you know how it goes.

June 2, 2009

Biosphere 2

Today was our first full day back at our house. We (Gabe's parents, Gabe, Alex, and I) went out to eat at a restaurant that is supposed to have the best Mexican food in Tucson...sorry, I don't remember the name. Cooking their meat is a three day process. It was pretty good.

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Gabe & Stephanie at the Mexican Restaurant.

After lunch, we went to Biosphere 2. Two groups of people lived in it while sealed in. The first group was for 2 years and the second group was for 6 months. It was pretty interesting.

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Biosphere 2

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Biosphere 2

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Inside of the Biosphere

Now we are back home relaxing. Gabe's parents have to leave really early for the airport.

June 1, 2009

Seattle & Tucson

We left for the airport really early. It is a good thing that we did. There was a problem with the computers at the airport and we were at the ticket counter for over an hour.

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We were in Seattle, so here I am at a Starbucks with my Light Carmel Fappuccino.

Gabe's parents picked us up at the airport and we went out for dinner at Solaris. Now to start the unpacking. Luckily, Gabe has tomorrow off from work.