; Life is like champagne......: 2008-07-06

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A New Resource for Moms

Having your first baby is quite the experience. The emotions running through your mind are unbelievable! With my pregnancy, I remember being excited, scared close to breaking down in tears many times! I used the Internet to search out many questions I had and how to help me through this experience. I was excited to be introduced to a new web site called NewBaby.com which is a online video resource for moms featuring thousands of mom generated videos, product Vcasts and Expert solutions segments. It's an online community where moms can learn, share and create videos in a safe, secure and Free environment. Do you Vlog? Try it out at NewBaby.com!

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Yucca in bloom

I posted a while back that I had a plant starting to bloom that I had not seen in my yard. Well here it is! The Yucca plant blooms every 3-5 years, due to the amount of energy it takes to shoot out the long stalk! They suggestion was to have at least 5 plants in the area so as the spread out the bloom time. I guess if you know their bloom schedule, that would be easy but the only way to do this would be to buy a new plant every year for five years and hope that they alternate. The flowers are beautiful and seem to last a long time. Certainly makes a statement in the garden.

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The Domain remains the same....sort of!

Let me just start off stating thank you to all of the feedback I received and advice. I did some research, took all of the feedback given to come up with keeping what I have and slightly tweaking it. My domain name will be www.lifeislikechampagneblog.com and is obviously shortened since currently it has blogspot. Mission accomplished! So whoever out there has the domain name I had wanted, I do not need it anymore and I am moving forward.
I am pretty sure we will have my new design up next week and I think you will be pleased with it. I was super excited when I was able to take a peek!

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Wear your Wellies Winner!

Thank you all for supporting my first giveaway. And the winner is....

Kim from What's that Smell who posted "My son decided he liked the mini cooper. Not sure why he got to pick...hehe". Contact me with your full name, address, email address, and what you want for print, color and size!
Thank you again!

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This just burns me!

I think I have been pretty positive on this blog so far. No complaints, no ranting, kicking or negative commenting. So this will be the first because this just burns me!
The blog is getting a whole new design, very exciting! I cannot wait and I think you will love it! I want it to be a surprise so I won't describe what it looks like but it definitely fits the bill. Part of the whole upgrade was for me to secure me Domain name. O.k., the designer, LeeLou Custom Headers Blogs, whom I love and is guiding me just right, suggested I go to blogger and do it. So I did yesterday, typed in my title. Can ya guess what it said???? Taken! O.k., blogger does not give me any more info about who, what, or when so I went to Go Daddy to get the full scoop. Maybe I should have just stayed with blogger because when I check with Go Daddy, it stated it was taken July 9th!!!!!! One day before! So my thinking is someone out there visited my blog, like the name, registered and is now sitting on my ".com"domain name! I am in a complete quandary on what to do! I need every ones help and quickly!!!
My thought was to change the name, that just kills me since I love it but I do not want the conflict. I have a few new names.

Life and Champagne...
A Glass of Champagne...
Life is like a glass of champagne...

Let me know what you think! I need to have it all set by Sunday since the blog will be up by Monday.
Thanks for listening and I promise I will not be like this again.....for a while......until something else pops up.

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Friday Night Pizza

I am spoiled when it comes to pizza, sort of a pizza snob. It is very hard for me to go out and enjoy a pizza at a restaurant when I think my husband makes them better. It may be the toppings, the crust, the fact we grill it, or all of the above! We seem to find all sort of combinations to try and always good. My favorite he has made is smoked salmon and capers with a white garlic sauce, soooo good! Tonight, it will be Hawaiian, ham and pineapple, sweet and salty never tasted so good! Got any favorites?

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

What a difference a day makes!

Within 24 hours, the heatwave has broke! I woke up to cool weather, breezes and sunshine. No humidity, no hot heat and dry weather. Ahhhhhhhhhh.....
We are off to the beach today with my gal pal Suzanne and her daughter. Bugaboo Girl is now crazed about the beach. You even say the word, she winces her eyes, shrugs her shoulders, clasps her hands in front of her with a big cheesy smile and squeals "beeeeeeeeeeeeeeach!". Any time she sees a picture either on TV, a magazine or her out and about baby book that has a beach seen, she makes the sound what was once called the "happy kitty" squeal. I would love to just bottle that sound and look that she has. It is contagious!

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They came out of no where!

Before the holiday weekend, yea I had looked at my zucchini plants and posted a picture. Well I went out there today and found 5 that were about a day or two over picked! Smaller is better but at least I am ready to make some zucchini bread! My gal pal Suzanne has a chocolate zucchini recipe I have got to try...yum! Now I have to start watching the garden very closely, the cucumber s are also starting to go and I picked half a pint of blueberries today! I know that turkey family was out there this morning probably feeding on the bushes....the cat just sat on the porch and watch the whole time!

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The spray that keeps the bugs away!

I received my latest issue of Organic Gardening, love this magazine by the way, and they have a wealth of information in it this month! We always have the beetle problem and of course those scary big green caterpillars that can get the size of your thumb, yuck! Anyway, I am making an all purpose spray that works on all different bugs, even Japanese beetles! I have to quadruple the recipe since my garden is huge and I will be doing it outside on my grill, keep the heat out of the house!

1 garlic bulb
1 small onion
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 quart water
1 tablespoon of dish soap

Chop garlic and onion in blender and add cayenne pepper. Add water to pot, add chopped contents and steep for one hour. Strain contents out of water and add dish soap. Spray whole plant.
Be aware that some plants are sensitive to soap and can get leaf burn so test it out. Tomatoes are hardy and should not. Also, remember there is cayenne pepper in this concoction, take care in handling it. Keep away from your eyes and either wear gloves or just make sure you wash your hands!
Drop me a post if you use this and get results.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

O.k....it's hot outside!

It is hot outside! I lived in Hawaii for five years and I know what hot is, Lahaina is hot. I never quite got use to the weather and I love the change of seasons. Every year when Christmas came, I was expecting snow or colder weather. The only way I would have gotten this in Hawaii is either the Big Island or upcountry Haleakala Volcano for sunrise. Been there, done that.

Right now I have the Bugaboo Girl inside with me and Hana my dog. You know it is hot when Hana is laying on the kitchen floor, sprawled out not moving. She is a border collie and she is a mover....non stop! It is even too warm to be out in the kiddy pool.

The laundry was hung on the line at 10:00am showing the temperature almost 80 degrees, it is now almost 4:00pm about 86 degrees and humid! Guess what? The laundry still feels damp, probably will not dry without using 20 minutes on the dryer.
Thunderstorms are expected and I welcome them since it usually means a front coming through and I won't have to water the garden.
I am hunkering down in my house and not driving anywhere since the AC in my car is not working, of course during the hottest time of the year. I will hopefully get this fixed next week, but for now the only driving I will be doing is to swim class on Friday morning. For once I would rather be in the non-heated new pool than the heated 86 degree pool.
As for dinner, no use of the oven inside at all! Grilling salmon, cucmber salad or carrot raisin salad(leftovers from last night) and cold brown rice salad. The only food item warm will be the salmon. Perfect night for some lime sorbet!

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Christmas in July

This is a very good reason why you should not keep your Christmas tree too long in your house and make sure it is watered! Or even get an artificial tree that is flame retardant.

Within seconds, the flame caught.

About one minute of burn time, flames shooting at least 15 feet high.

And then it was done. So it is very similar to fireworks, quick, bright and just as scary if gone wrong! I know I am not the only one who has seen this before.

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Wordless Wednesday

Little imprints in the sand....

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Are you REALLY organized?

Thrifty Mommy posted an interesting site detailing if you are a naturally born organizer, I cover about 3 of the nine points posted! How about you?

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Tackle It Tuesday - The Little Freezer That Could

You might think this fridge looks too old, small, inconvenient, not efficient or just out of date. But quite contrary to what you you may think, the fridge is a work horse! It has been in this house since my husband can remember as a child, I can't date it unless I move it to look behind and the only way I am doing that is when it is either time for a new kitchen or the fridge just dies. I can assure you this fridge will not pass anytime soon and the new kitchen is not yet on the horizon.

So I enjoy my fridge and learn how to work with it. And working with this tiny portion of a freezer is the challenge. We usually only put a bag of ice in it, because I want to be able to access ice easily for my drink, sitting out back, over looking the back forty and the sunset. The freezer does start to ice up every four months and it forces me to unplug it, defrost it, clean it and sort through all of the food items that need to be tossed. With a small fridge, you certainly get creative on storing and organizing, and have a few rules in place, one being no can beverages in this fridge, we have a "college fridge" in the "lower level" for that. And I can tell you everything in the fridge because it is so small there for the leftovers do get taken care of pretty quickly. So I can't put a whole Turkey in it, it just forces me to clean it before I put it away.

As you can see with the after picture, in a matter of house, the freezer has started again to frost up, oh well. It certainly keeps me having a clean fridge, and Gordon Ramsey can't come in and say "What the bloody h*#@ is that?". Yes I love to watch Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America. And in case you were wondering, I do have a large chest freezer in my "Lower Level".

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Wear Your Wellies!

My husband and I went London for a couple of days on our way to Italy about two years ago and I loved it! We had only two days but we did as much as we could. The phrases used in London were a part of our fun, such as "exit" in the subway was "way out". I happened upon a shop, Charlie and Sarah's Shop, that screen prints clothing with a little UK content for adults and children. Charlie is British, Sarah is American and they print British flashcard apparel in their NYC apartment.

I happen to have the Wellies T for myself, which I love the Wellies instead of "boots"! The Shirt is soft and the screen print is done very nicely. Simple and yet so cute!
WIN IT!!! Charlie and Sarah has graciously given the opportunity to win a printed T shirt of your choice(no hoodies please)!

1. To enter stop by The Charlie and Sarah Shopand find your favorite British design then comment on this post stating what design you want.
2. Contest will end Midnight on 7/10/08. One post per person and US addresses only.
3. Winner will be chosen by random and announced on Friday 7/11/08. All prizes must be claimed after three days.

4. Earn extra Credit! Post this Giveaway on your blog containing my blog and Charlie and Sarah's Shop and then post your link on this post.

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Foogo Straw Bottle by Thermos

I recently threw out all of Bugaboo Girl's sippy cups since she is now able to drink out of a glass. I still wanted a traveling sippy cup that she could use in the car and that was BPA free. My gal pal Suzanne steered me toward the Foogo Straw Bottle by Thermos. Thermos is a brand I trust and I have owned several products such as drink holders or soup containers.

This cup is for 18 months and up with a built in straw. It is 12 ounces in size and definitely keeps a beverage cool. I like to put it in the fridge before we go on a trip and lasts for hours! Not to mention the ease of my little girl being able to drink out of it with out spilling. My girl friend uses two, one for milk and one for water. The flip top is nice to work with and disassembles very easily to clean. It comes in a choice of pink or blue for the cap color and is currently available at Walmart(notice the new spelling since they have changed their image recently)for $14.98, in stock! Many other places are currently out of stock until mid August but my guess is that Walmart had first shipping dibs on the item due to mass quantity. Don't forget you can get free shipping from site to store on this item, saving you freight!
For other BPA free sippy cup items, visit Z Recommends for a complete listing and ratings.

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What we did on the Holiday weekend!

We had a very busy weekend! This was a four day weekend which started off on a trip to the Beach at the Bugaboo's friend G's house! They had a great time playing in the sand, and my daughter seems to have no fear of the water! A few booboo's on the leg did not stop her from almost nose diving in!

Friday, we had our picnic at the 'rents house, with Uncle T, Aunty Deb and Ben(friend of Uncle T) where we had steaks, corn, potato salad and I made a Red White and Blue Trifle, it came out awesome! I will post my recipe on this later this week. Luna, Aunty Deb's pup loves corn on the cob, as you can see! We shot some fireworks off and called it a night right before the rain came.

Saturday was off to NYC to go to a Yankee vs. Red Sox game meeting Unk Map and Aunty Melissa. Yes, the name has changed to Unk Map as that is what the Bagaboo Girl now calls him, and has warmed up to his charming ways. We left at 11:30am, expecting delays on the highway, a full parking lot of tailgaters and craziness when comes with these series. We go there and it was empty! Granted it was drizzling out and cloudy but did they cancel the game? Nope, just made it in good time and people started coming in filling the lot up. Eric broke out the BBQ and we had some bratwurst before we went in. Good game for a Yankee fan like me, they won. Not so good for a Red Sox fan like my brother and sister-in-law, they lost. Bugaboo Girl did go with us and again she was excellent and seemed to have fun, she likes dancing to the YMCA song!
After the game, we stayed over their house and had a fun time, eating was not a problem with us as pizza for dinner and for breakfast very good blueberry pancakes with a fruit salad that Aunty Melissa made the day before which was super fresh!(Inside joke)We walked around the area where they live, went to a Tot Park for Bugaboo Girl, had lunch and made our way home.

We ended the weekend with dinner and a bomb fire at our friends Spud and Amy. When I state bomb fire, I mean a tree lighting ceremony. You definitely want to see this, post to come for this one!
Could not have been a better weekend! Wait, we get to celebrate the 4th again next Saturday and then a 40th B'Day party on Sunday, the fun just does not stop!

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Got Ripe bananas? Make Bread!

Lately I have been so disappointed with bananas. I try to buy them so they they are not too green and not ripe. Many of them have been going from green to brown and I had a bunch last week that never even turned, they actually stayed green for two weeks! That is very scary, not sure where those bananas came from but would love to know.

The Bugaboo Girl likes bananas but loves banana bread. I know that MANY moms out there do the same as me which is bake banana bread, pumpkin bread or my love of zucchini bread which I have already posted here for you. Here is my favorite Banana Bread recipe, which is old school Fanny Farmer Baking Book. The beauty of this recipe is two loafs and not too heavy. I have made it so much, I do not even need to open the book anymore! You can add raisins, I don't prefer them and my husband likes them. Usually I do not put them in. If you do, soak them in about a 1/4 cup of rum for about an hour and add this to the mix at the end.

3 cups of Flour
1 Cup sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup milk
3 large ripe bananas, mashed

Beat sugar and butter together until creamy. Add eggs, beat well. Add milk and bananas, mix thoroughly. Combine flour, baking poder, baking soda and salt together. Add gradually to the wet mix until mixed thoroughly. Butter and flour two loaf pans and divide evenly into each pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, test with cake tester.

This bread freezes very well so the two loafs are perfect for future use!

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Beaches are WonderFall!

Planning vacations that are accommodating to kids and adults is a completely new arena for me. We use to just pick a place to travel to and each day wake up and say "What do you want to do today?", basically not planning it out. Now with a child, I have to have a plan or the vacation just does not seem to be a vacation but more of an extension of home.
My husband prefers warm weather and the Bugaboo girl loves the water. Beaches Resorts fits both interests for family getaways with four all-inclusive resorts available in the Caribbean at Turks & Caicos and Jamaica.

One of the real benefits to me is the kid friendly atmosphere for all ages having planned activities such as supervised kids camps, wading pools and several Sesame Street events even the adults can get in to. I love the fact the snacks are available for adults and children as a part of your stay!

There is plenty to do for adult time. I could see a typical day being a snorkel in the morning, gathering for lunch at one of the fabulous restaurants available then taking on some golf in the afternoon and cooling off with a swim up to the bar for drinks in the pool!

Right now, Beaches Resorts is offering a WonderFall Celebration during the off-peak season months of September and October. You can save up to 45% off of published rates and get two night for free on stays of seven nights or more. There are also several special events and activities taking place during this time such as "Baby Your a Star Photo Contest" for your child to have a chance to win their photo featured on the next Brochure and special Emlo and Gordon live performances. Pop on over and check out the complete listing of the WonderFall Celebration happening this fall. See....beaches are really WonderFall!

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Mystery of the empty drawer...

The Bugaboo Girl has been robbed! Where are all of her clothes in her dresser drawer?

Wait a minute, why is Socks the kitty guarding the door to her house....

Oh wait, she decided to move them in her house....a little rearranging or maybe prepping for Tackle it Tuesday!

Evidently not because a few minutes later...here it is back in the drawer!

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