Monday, January 31, 2011

J's Taxi Cab 2nd Birthday Party-Part 1 of 4

We had a wonderful day last Saturday celebrating J's 2nd Birthday! My little New Yorker is OBSESSED with taxi cabs, so the theme came easy to me. The colors were black, yellow and I used the checkers that are found on many of the cabs. These are not normally colors I use or like, so it was a fun challenge to decorate the apartment. While we have a small space in our NYC apt,  we made it work! I love to entertain at home, so we kept the party manageable by just inviting close friends and family.

There are so many fun details to J's birthday party that it was impossible to fit it all into one post, so I'll be posting more of the individual details in the days to come. Check back tomorrow for all the details on the food and beverages. The following day I will tell you all the details of the invitation and paper products and the final day will be the "little" details. Hope you are excited! Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gaggle of Chicks Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered the Gaggle of Chicks contest to win the $50.00 credit. 

A special congrats goes to...

  Your $50.00 is already in your Gaggle Account! Happy Spending!

If you want to join Gaggle of Chicks, it's not too late to get in on their great deals, just click here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday J!

Dear J,

Today you are TWO! Time is flying like I've never experienced before. It seems like yesterday we were at Mount Sinai holding you for the first time. I will never forget looking into your sweet little eyes, still in shock you were here three weeks early. It was love at first sight. You are no longer a tiny baby, but a full blown toddler. (Of course, you will always be my baby!) The terrible twos have begun, but so far they haven't been too terrible. What a fun year it is has been watching you grow.
You are a very strong willed little boy. I'm afraid you get that personality trait from your Mama and your Daddy! We have our daily struggles and I'm sure they will continue the rest of our lives....get ready little guy! I only hope we can continue to learn from one another. We have so many lessons to teach you and I know you have so much to teach us.You have a wonderful disposition and can make anyone smile with your sly little smile. Your eyes sparkle when you laugh and your giggles are contagious. You are playful, friendly and FULL of energy. You make friends easily and you enjoy being around people. You walk into a room with confidence and you immediately find a way to become the center of attention. You are my wild child and I love you for adding so much laughter and excitement to our lives.

You have brown hair and brown eyes. Your hair is now cut in a bowl cut and has lost most of its curl. You are around 30 pounds (we'll find out for sure at your dr's appt). You are wearing 2T clothing and a size 5 diaper. You wear a size 7 shoe, but I think they are starting to get a little tight so I'm sure it won't be long until we upgrade your keds. You love to help me pick out your outfits in the morning, if it has a firetruck or car on it, then it is a winner! 

You do not like to eat anymore. You've become very picky in the past few months. Your favorite foods are yogurt smoothies, milk, hot dogs, dinosaur chicken nuggets, nutrigrain bars, sammy jammies, green beans, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, mandarin oranges, pear, bananas and grapes (sometimes), pancakes, english muffins and graham crackers. That's about IT! (Well, unless it is cake or something with lots of sugar in it.) 

You can repeat almost any word, but sometimes your pronunciation isn't exactly perfect. Don't worry honey, I understand you! You love to talk and each day you are doing more talking. It's nice to be able to communicate more, it is making a huge difference. Tonight you told me you were TWO! Yes, little boy you are!

You love to read books each night and you certainly have your favorites. The clear winners for the year are Clifford The Big Red Dog, Wow City, Knuffle Bunny, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Edwina the Dinosaur, Corduroy, and the Taxi book. You also love to watch tv. It's about the only time you sit still for more than a few minutes. We started a morning tradition of watching Momo (Elmo) on Sesame Street. Your other favorite shows are Wonder Pets, Little Bear, Blue's Clues, Dora, Mickey's Clubhouse. Your favorite movies are Monsters Inc and Cars, and that is more than I want to admit! Ha!
Your favorite toy is your babies (your bunny lovies that Lynde gave you). You can no longer sleep without them. You cried the other night when they had to be washed! You also play with your red step 2 car everyday. You love to back it up and turn it around. We never know what we'll find in the hood. You love to play music on your music table, but we just retired it. You love trains and we can't wait to reunite you with your train table very soon. You love cars, trucks, air cars (helicopters) and airplanes. You've really enjoyed your Thomas the Train tent (from Aunt Anne) and your airport with the race track (from Uncle Mac), they were definitely your favorite Christmas gifts. 

At the end of your 1st year you have traveled to ten states: NY, GA, AL, NJ, CA, UT, MN, FL, MS, LA. We traveled on over 30 flight segments together on Delta. Hello Medallion Status! Here's hoping to many more adventures in your 2nd year!

J, you are my heart. You make me so happy and you have made me a better person. I can not imagine my life without you. I'm so lucky that God gave me such a wonderful son. I am blessed beyond belief and I can't wait to see what else is in store for your life! I know this next year will bring many changes and many wonderful things. Let's get started!

Happy Birthday baby boy! Let's eat cake!


Your Mama

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gaggle of Chicks $50.00 Giveaway

Hello readers! It's time for our first giveaway of 2011. I hope you are as excited as I am! Gaggle of Chicks is offering one lucky MMM reader a $50.00 credit. I have become a Gaggle addict this past year. I signed up before they launched and they have (according to my account) helped me save $373.11. How awesome is that? Gaggle offers deals for both Moms and Non-Moms. The deals last 48 hours and if enough people sign up, then the deal is "hatched!" You can read more about the details here.

Gaggle of Chicks specializes in New York City deals, but they also now offer national deals too. I bought their Well Appointed House deal as a Christmas gift for my mother-in-law. (I used it to buy the most adorable monogrammed playing cards.) My other purchases include one that I'm enjoying this week. For $20.00, I received $40.00 worth of Din Dins. J is obsessed with their cranberry zucchini muffins. I'm not going to tell him they really aren't "cake."

As I mentioned yesterday, J's birthday is next week. He is having a party with friends and family on Saturday and a special play date on Thursday with just his friends. I bought a great deal for a play date for 10 kids at City Treehouse for $49.00. What better way to celebrate your birthday then with a special play date! Other deals I've bought include 4 classes at the Junior League house with Moey's Music Party and a trip for 2 to the New York Fire Museum. Talk about amazing deals at Gaggle!

Follow Gaggle of Chicks on twitter, like them on Facebook, and follow their blog

Here's how to win the $50.00 credit! 

1) Sign Up for Gaggle of Chicks. Use my special link and you get a $10.00 credit and so do I!

Between 1/13 and 1/20, anyone that signs up through my link will be entered to win the $50.00 credit. You must complete the entire registration to be entered to win. Gaggle of Chicks will draw the winner and let me know who it is! Good luck!

Also, I know I am lucky to have a lot of vendor readers! I would love to see your products on Gaggle of Chicks. Learn more about the process here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hello There!

Hi friends! I've been slacking on this blog, because I've been catching up on J's baby blog. He'll be 2 next week and I'm trying to make sure it is current! =) I really want to turn it into a book, has anyone done that? I tried blurb, but there are too many posts. Any tips on how to narrow it down or the best way to make it a book?

I've also been busy planning J's 2nd birthday party. He's having a taxi cab birthday. My little New Yorker is OBSESSED with taxi cabs so it seemed only appropriate. We're excited to use a few new vendors and some of the same from last year. Our food is all New York based, including a hot dog bar. I can't wait to share the party with you. It has been so much fun to plan. Let me know if you have any last minutes ideas. I'm pretty sure if it is somehow yellow or black or taxi cab related I've found it and bought it, but you never know!

We missed the last big snow storm because we went home to Alabama for 3 weeks, so I was eager to get J out this morning. We bundled up and heading to Central Park with friends. J & J had a BLAST! 

 Here is J and his buddy sitting in Central Park this morning!

Hard to believe this was just a year ago...

 I hope that you are staying warm wherever you may be! I promise to do a better job of keeping up with the blog once I catch up on the other one. BTW, if you want to read the other one and you "know" me, just send me an email and I'll send you an invitation. Blogger now allows private blogs to have more than 100 readers so I can get you "in." HA!

 Great Deals right now:

Little Giraffe Blankets on Gilt:

Check out Kidorable on Zulily today! They have umbrellas, raincoats, hats and mittens that are too cute:

Adorable Tag Valentine's decor on Zulily:  

Cute Shadow Boxes from MK & Company on LilLuxe: 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dip Recipes

A friend of mine compiled a lot of our favorite dip recipes and emailed it to us awhile back. I've been sharing the email today with some of my twitter friends and since I've had so many requests, I figured I would just post it here. I hope you enjoy these great recipes! Happy New Year and Happy Dipping!

Buffalo Chicken Dip #1:

reg. size casserole dish (9 X 13)
here goes:

3-4 boneless chicken breast
1 bottle (16 oz.) of buffalo hot sauce (there are several brands)
1 bottle (16 oz.) of ranch dressing
1 bag of Mexican cheese
1 block of cream cheese
1 bag of corn chips (Fritos)

bring chicken to a boil until done (10-20 mins.- depending) heat and mix package of cream cheese and ranch dressing strip chicken into bite-size pieces and spread in casserole dish pour buffalo hot sauce over chicken pour cream cheese and ranch mixture over chicken and hot sauce sprinkle package of Mexican cheese **may add jalapenos, etc. for extra taste and/or appearance serve with Fritos (corn chips)

Buffalo Chicken Dip #2:


2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing

3/4 cup hot sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot® wing sauce)

1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1 bunch celery, cleaned and cut into 4 inch pieces


Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. 
Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. 
Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. 
Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on Low setting until hot and bubbly. 
Serve with celery sticks and crackers.

Hot Artichoke, Crab & Chicken Dip:


2- 8oz. packages of cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. mayonnaise

2 T. lemon juice

1 tsp. pepper

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 T. parsley

16 oz. crab meat (can be artificial)

1 c. Kraft Italian Style Five-Cheese Shredded Cheese

1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese

1c. shredded Romano cheese

2 cans artichoke hearts (in water, not marinated)

1 can diced water chestnuts

2 lbs. frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained


In a large bowl, whip cream cheese until smooth. Add all other ingredients, and transfer to 3 qt. crock pot.
Heat on high 1-2 hours, until hot. When ready to serve, sprinkle extra cheese on top, and garnish if desired. This is good for hours! Just turn down crock pot to low setting.

Sausage Dip:

1 tube sausage
1 can green chilies - drained
1 package cream cheese
1 package shredded cheese
1 bread bowl

brown the sausage, drain
add the chilies and cream cheese in the pan
stick mixture in the bread bowl and bake until warm - add the pieces of bread from middle of bowl to pan last few min to get them crispy for dipping

Corn/Black Bean Dip:
2 cans black beans – drain and rinse
2 cans white shoepeg corn – drain and rinse
1 bunch of green onions
1 tub of feta cheese
1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
a couple of packs of Splenda- add them until you like it!
salt and pepper
Serve with Fritos

 Apple Dip
1 pkg cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 bag Heath Bits of Brickle   
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Put the cream cheese in the microwave just long enough to soften it.  Mix everything together and let it get cold before serving. 

If you are slicing the apples to serve at a later time, you may want to put in pineapple juice to keep them from turning.  

Spinach Balls:

2 packages of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 stick of light butter, softened
2 cups of Pepperidge Farm herb-seasoning stuffing
1t garlic salt
1/2 cup of grated parmesan
1 small onion, grated in food processor
1T of olive oil
8 oz feta cheese

combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. stir well. roll mixture into 1-2 inch balls and place on a lightly greased cooking sheet. bake for 20 minutes.

Cocktail Swirls

3 ounce package Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
5 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
2 teaspoon finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon milk
8 ounce can Pillsbury Quick Crescent Dinner Rolls
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Heat oven to 375. Combine cream cheese, bacon, chopped onion and milk.  Separate crescent dough into four triangles, press perforations to seal.  Spread about 1 and a ½ tablespoons of cheese mixture on each triangle.  Starting at long side, roll up and seal.  Cut each roll into 8 pieces.  Place pieces cut side down on ungreased cookie sheet.  Lightly sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Bake at 375 for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.  This recipe makes 32 appetizers.

This recipe can be made ahead and refrigerated up t o two hours before baking.

Captain Rodney's Cheese Bake

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz. cream cheese
2 green onions, finely chopped (optional)
8 crushed Ritz crackers

Mix the above four ingredients and place in a greased quiche or tart pan or anything made for baked dips. Top with the crushed crackers and bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.

8 slices of crispy cooked bacon, chopped.
1/2 cup Captain Rodney's glaze (Boucan glaze is the same as Mango Pepper glaze) (You can buy Captain Rodney's Boucan Glaze at Whole Foods)

Top baked cheese with crumbled bacon and drizzle the 1/2 cup glaze over the top. Serve with crackers or any chip you prefer.

Spinach Casserole:

4 packages of creamed spinach
About 2 cups of mozzarella shredded cheese
Defrost spinach, add cheese, microwave

1 package of filo dough.  Make sure it is completely defrosted.

Melt butter into a cup

Spray Pam in casserole dish (large)
Place 3 layers of filo dough, brushing butter between each layer
Add layer of spinach mixture
Place 3 layers of filo dough, brushing butter between each layer
Continue until spinach mixture is all gone
Place final layer of filo dough

Cook at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until top layer browns and looks crispy. 


place the rack of ribs in tinfoil - might want to do 2 sheets of tinfoil to double wrap them
pour a 1/2 cup of water right on the ribs and sprinkle whatever seasoning you want on them - salt/pepper/whatever
wrap them up and bake the ribs for 2 hours on 350
take the ribs out and pour bbq sauce on them
then wrap them back up and stick them back in the oven for about 5 min or so
they are so tender and just fall off the bone w/out any effort!!! enjoy!!!

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