Friday, October 31, 2014

Sound Sleeper: Your Solution to Sleepless Nights

Sound Sleeper: Your Solution to Sleepless Nights — a Modern Mrs.
Remember when I talked about what bedtime looks like at our house? More specifically, the bit about E's lack of sleep in the nap and 8-10pm department? Well, we're still adhering to our E.A.S.Y. and bedtime routines, but we were still struggling with naps and that 8-10pm window. There would be one out of every three or four nights where she'd actually sleep during that window, but it wasn't without much effort on my part. I'm happy to report that appears to be changing, and naps are happening, thanks to the Sound Sleeper App by Parents2ParentsApps! Yes, that's right. After several days and nights testing this app, I'm happy to report we are seeing improvements in both the nap and bedtime departments. It's because of this success that I'd like to share the app with you in hopes that other mothers with catnappers/reluctant sleepers will find relief.

First, a bit about the app in general. The Sound Sleeper App is a "3-in-1 sleep solution" available for your iPhone, iPad, and/or iPod Touch. There is a free version, which is wonderful for testing the waters, but it has its restrictions. To enjoy all the app has to offer, you have to pay, but the cost is low at just $3.99 {and worth every penny if you ask me}. The main feature, of course, are the sound options, and there are quite a bit to choose from. There's bound to be something there to soothe your little one! There's also a listen feature, which listens for your baby throughout the night, and if they start to stir, will automatically start playing your chosen sound to lull them back to sleep. There's even the option to record your own sound!

Sound Sleeper: Your Solution to Sleepless Nights — a Modern Mrs.
Here you can see the sound options, which are available for both the free and paid versions. The plus sign in the upper righthand corner allows you the option to record your own sound. I have yet to try this as we've been having success with the prerecorded options.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

New: Sigma Fall Softly Collection

New: Sigma Fall Softly Collection — a Modern Mrs.
The Fall Softly Collection contains 11 products featuring modern pastels and unexpected pink hues. All products are available individually and feature 3 brand-new lip bases that are new to the Sigma product line.
Click to Enlarge
Fall Softly Eye Shadow Palette. ($39 USD) Includes 12 buttery pink shades created to bring forth a cozy, cashmere chic feeling transformed into a soft, effortless shade. Paraben-free. Shades are as follows:

» Kissing Cousin - Buttery bisque. Matte finish.
» Candied - Cool pink. Matte finish.
» Lyrical - Light pink. Frost finish.
» Gracious - Light golden peach. Frost finish.
» Austere - Almost white peach. Matte finish.
» Heart 2 Heart - Light salmon pink. Matte finish.
» Lovely - Mid-tone pink. Matte finish.
» Keen on You - Very light taupe. Matte finish.
» Silver Tongued - Light blue glitter. High glitter, sheer frost finish.
» Buddy Buddy - Slightly blue slate grey. Matte finish.
» Go Deep - Dark grey. Matte finish.
» Elderberry - Saturated dark purple. Matte finish.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Succulent Sausage Sliders with Broccoli Slaw
Pasta Salad Recipe - #BringHillshireHome

Succulent Sausage Sliders with Broccoli Slaw Pasta Salad Recipe — a Modern Mrs.

Disclosure: Thank you to Safeway, Hillshire Brands, and the Mom It Forward Blogger Network for sponsoring this post! All opinions stated are honest and my own. For more information regarding my policies, please click here.

What's dinnertime like at your house? Ours? Well, it used to be served around the same time each night, where I had ample time to prepare prior, and it may or may not be a new recipe I had time to search for, shop for, and meticulously prepare. Now? We're lucky to get something served before L needs to begin her bedtime routine, it's something quick and easy {such as a pre-made lasagna, hamburgers, bbq something with steamed veggies, or breakfast for dinner}, and I'm especially lucky if I get to eat it while it's still hot. Such is the way when you have an infant in the house. If you have a new baby that's throwing you off your groove, I'm sure you can relate.

All this considered, when I was presented with the opportunity to create a new meal with a product we hadn't tried before, I had to consider Miss E's rigid requirement; it can't keep me away from her for long. I wanted to prepare something quick, but healthy, affordable {diapers are expensive mmkay}, and something all the solid-food-eating members of my family would enjoy. Luckily, thanks to Safeway's awesome sales and Just for U program, I was able to purchase all the ingredients for this meal for just under $10! I simply logged onto Safeway's website, signed up for J4U {it's free, of course}, and chose a coupon for Hillshire Brands' Hillshire Farm Chicken Hardwood Smoked Sausage. {There are tons of valuable coupons there for just about everything you may need!} Then, I headed to my local Safeway and grabbed my goods.

Here's where it gets real. I had no more than 30 minutes to get this meal prepared and photographed. However, hubs didn't realize we were out of propane until he went to grill the sausage. The pasta salad and biscuits were ready to go, and then he hit me with it... no propane. We had to finish the sausage off in the oven, which I didn't have the time for. E needed to be bathed, nursed, and sent off to bed rocked for hours in an attempt to get her to bed. I figured all was lost, and went on with my regularly scheduled programming. Fortunately, hubs did his best to salvage the meal {and this post}. He finished off the sausage, plated the slider, and I got around to tasting it two hours later. It doesn't get any real-er than this, folks! A meal prepared with both hubs and I on max speed, only to have a curve thrown in, and I get to it cold. Yup.... #thisismylife. Despite the craziness of it all, the meal was quite delicious, even the room temperature slider! Honestly, I think that says a lot! The sausage was still juicy and flavorful, and didn't require any additional seasonings or condiments. {However, accessorize your slider as you wish!} J and L enjoyed both twists on the traditional slider and pasta salad, and I didn't have to worry about lacking in the nutritional department thanks to the protein in the sausage and the veggies in the pasta salad!

Now that my semi-disastrous back story has been told, on with the recipe!

Succulent Sausage Sliders with Broccoli Slaw Pasta Salad Recipe


  • Hillshire Farms' Smoked Sausage {I chose the Chicken Hardwood variety, but they also have Turkey and regular.}
  • 1 Can Refrigerated Biscuits
  • 1 Package Safeway Kitchens' Broccoli Coleslaw Mix
  • 1 Box Safeway Kitchens' Rainbow Rotini Noodles
  • Safeway Kitchens' Lite Italian Dressing {Per your desired consistency.}

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What Bedtime Looks Like at Our House #MomBloggersClub

Credit
Have you heard of Mom Bloggers Club? No? It's the "oldest and the largest social network dedicated to mom bloggers in the world." They post daily blog prompts over on their Facebook Page, which is a great resource when you have writer's block, or if you're like me, when you don't have time to get any new recipes to try {or cook in general}, printables created, or makeup/fashion-worthy looks made. Well, today's prompt was to talk about what bedtime looks like in your house. Considering we've been in the midst of sleeping training E {per se}, I thought this was a great topic to work on. With any luck I'll have this post written and posted within the same day....

Okay, as I said, we've been working on sleep training our now nine-week-old daughter, E. Naptime is pretty much when it happens, but I am trying to get her to nap in her crib as opposed to anywhere else whenever possible. What we're really aiming for is a bedtime routine. For the last two weeks we've been sticking to a particular regimen, and I had been planning on talking about it, so this prompt was the perfect push. But first, some back story.

E is a catnapper. 15 minutes is usually her norm, 30 when I'm lucky, but the only time she'll sleep longer than that is if she's being held or is riding in the car/out and about. Bedtime she was up and down whenever it suited her, but I desperately wanted her in bed at a reasonable time so I could have an hour or two to myself before starting the day all over. Especially considering she doesn't sleep much during the day. Having that time could allow me to finish up laundry, dishes, or just plain relax and try to catch up on the food and water I wasn't able to consume throughout the day. I looked into some schedules that had worked for breastfed babies and came across the E.A.S.Y Routine. It wasn't that far off from what we were doing anyway, but we definitely needed a consistent nighttime schedule. We began this journey on a Monday, and after reading it takes babies approximately a week to catch onto a schedule, I figured we'd have this thing mastered in no time. Well... it's now two weeks later and counting, and while we've made some headway, we are nowhere near mastered.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cold Coffee, Past Due Posts, and Surgery #OldSchoolBlogging

Cold Coffee, Past Due Posts, and Surgery #OldSchoolBlogging — a Modern Mrs.
Credit
As I sit here with my first cup of coffee that's cold, and was brewed at 7:30 this morning {it's currently 11:40 a.m.}, I'm reminded of Amanda of Sweet Lemons' post titled A Mom and her Cold Coffee. What a hectic life we mothers lead! I've found myself wondering over these last several days how do these other bloggers do it? How do bloggers like Becky of From Mrs.to Mama manage two kids, a job outside of the home, household duties, and keep regular content on her blog? I stressed like crazy to get Monday's post written and published {by 7 p.m. I think I finally managed} and haven't been able to write anything until now! {Oh, it's 12:10 p.m. and I've only gotten this far.}

This is a problem I've been battling for some time now. I've been meaning to write several posts and schedule them out. Well, I need time to do that, and honestly, E doesn't allow me much time for anything outside of her needs. So, no posts get scheduled, and no posts get written, and the blog looks abandoned... at least for a few days.{It's now 9:43 p.m. Seriously....} My mind is busy with all the things on my to-do list..... the to-do list that's about five days behind. It's full of blog post ideas, including a review I said I was going to post this week, but haven't had the time for. Sorry, Felix + Iris, I'll get there eventually. I realize this too shall pass, but it's very frustrating for me that I can't stay regular, or get ahead.

And now, since it's almost 10 p.m. and I have had 9+ hours to lose my train of thought, I'm pretty much left with filling you in on E's surgery. We had an appointment with a pediatric surgeon yesterday regarding her umbilical hernia. It has been decided she will have surgery to repair it, somewhere in the next 4-5 weeks. It's a pretty straight-forward surgery, but any sort of surgery requiring anesthesia is a big deal for a baby, so if you're the praying type, we would love it if you lifted our E up in your prayers and ask she comes out of this healthy and happy. That's all we want for our little blessing... health and happiness. She has been quite uncomfortable these last several weeks, and we suspect the hernia is the cause. I sincerely hope that's true, and her discomfort will be relieved post-surgery.

Now, as I log off to clean up and take Miss E upstairs to nurse, I'm hoping she'll finally fall asleep... as she hasn't slept since 6 p.m.'s catnap.... and I can sleep a bit, and start all over again tomorrow. Cold coffee and all.

{Oh, if I manage to recall where I was headed earlier, I'll be sure to update the post. You know.... if I ever get the chance to write it... which could be weeks from now.}

Monday, October 13, 2014

#DueDateBaby 2014 Event

Due Date Baby 2014 — a Modern Mrs.
I do hope you were able to follow my experience at Due Date Baby yesterday! I was on Instagram and Twitter the whole time, and was posting photos of my favorite booths, as well as some of the interesting products I was learning about. It was a great experience, a wonderful time, and I was honored to be there.

I guess I'll begin by walking you through our experience step-by-step. When we entered Port Discovery, the first table we saw {aside from the registration desk} was the raffle table, which housed the swag bags and provided a preview of the goodies that were to be raffled off that day. These items included 4moms' Breeze Playard, a gift basket of assorted MAM products, a gift basket of assorted Lansinoh products, a Ingenuity InTrust 35 Pro Infant Car Seat {courtesy of Babies R Us}, a Medela Pump In Style Advanced on-the-go tote, and a Ripley's {as in Believe It Or Not} Two-Headed Plush Toy and admission for four to their Baltimore attraction. I don't know about you, but those are some seriously awesome goodies, and I can imagine the lucky winners are still beaming over their scores today!

Due Date Baby 2014 — a Modern Mrs.
After that, we worked our way around the room. There were tables set up on the left and right sides of the room, as well as a few tables down the middle. I'd like to share with you some of my favorite tables, and I'll begin with Relay Foods.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Why My Front-Loading Washer Can Suck It #OldSchoolBlogging

Source
Remember when front-loading washers first came on the scene? They were sooo fancy, and sooo much better for your water bill {and, subsequently, your wallet} than top-loading washers. They were prettier, too! Anyone who was anyone had one. Well, I'm here to tell you.... they're not all they're cracked up to be.

Sure, when they came out, I really wanted one. I had heard nothing but good things about them, and when we bought our house in 2010, I begged hubs for one of those amazing new front-loaders. J, being the diligent consumer that he is, looked into it online and found they were indeed better than top-loaders, and anything that will save him money is something he gravitates toward. So, he bought me a sparkling new front-loading washing machine {and dryer, too, but I have no beef with that}. At first I was in love, but then things began to change, as does anything you've had a chance to really test... the rose-colored glasses came off, and I began to loathe my front-loader.

First, it was the annoyance that came when I was trying to load the washer with dirty clothes, and no matter what I did, they'd come tumbling out. Stuff in, fall out, pick up, stuff in, fall out, curse, rinse, repeat. Oye! Then, it was the aggravation that came from smaller items getting lodged in the rim around the door. They'd be soaking wet, and after wringing them out, still wouldn't be dry after a 50 minute trip in the dryer. Nevermind that you really can't soak anything in there, and you certainly can't add anything you've dropped/forgotten after that door has locked and began filling with water.... You know, unless you want water spewing out everywhere, and that's if you can get the darn thing to unlock in the first place. I can't tell you how many times I've thought about taking a crowbar to my washer.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wrap vs. Carrier — One Mother's Thoughts #Babywearing

Wrap vs. Carrier — One Mother's Thoughts #Babywearing
Source // Source
Whether you're having your first or second child, one or multiples, you may have considered babywearing, and with all the options out there nowadays, you may be wondering if one method is better/more convenient than another. With me, I initially considered babywearing as a possible solution to getting things done around the house, or making things easier for myself while grocery shopping. I wondered if E was going to be a fussy baby, and how that would affect my ability to keep up with the house. I decided to look into a wrap, and scored a really good deal on a Boba Wrap from a friend of a friend. Fast-forward to today, E is seven-weeks-old, and I have had ample time to develop an opinion regarding the wrap, as well as test drive a Baby Björn on loan from a neighbor.

I must add, at the time of this post I have not yet tried a ring sling, though it is definitely something on my wishlist. If/when I'm able to get one, I'll update this post with how it compares to a wrap and carrier. In the meantime, please enjoy this two-product comparison.

Wraps

Boba, Moby, SnuggyBaby. What do these have in common? They make baby wraps. What's a baby wrap? It's a long piece of stretchy, somewhat-breathable fabric with which you wrap all around yourself and stuff place the baby inside so you can carry {and nurse} him/her hands-free.

What do I like best about wraps?

Honestly? I can only think of two things. First, they're more compact; they can be folded up and easily packed away in a purse or diaper bag. Second, they {in my opinion} are more suitable for around-the-house wear. However, of the two, wraps are definitely a more cost-effective option as they generally retail for around $40, and that's not something to sneer at.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Due Date: A Baltimore Area Event for All Things Baby!

Due Date Baby Event, Baltimore, MD #DueDateBaby — a Modern Mrs.
I'm really excited, y'all. This weekend J, E and I will be attending Due Date Baby! Just in case you haven't heard of this event, it's an event targeted towards expectant moms, new moms, and families. There will be a ton of well-known exhibitors who will be showcasing their products and/or services, as well as providing information and advice regarding child development. Oh, and bonus! Megan Gilliland and Candace Dold of Fox 45 News will be there, too!

Want to learn more? Visit Due Date Baby via duedatebaby.com for a full list of exhibitors and to enter their raffle, or check them out on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Are you interested in attending? If so, here's the nitty gritty:
Can't make it? Don't worry, as a VIP mommy blogger, I'll be sharing all this event has to offer live via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, so you won't miss a thing!

Will I see you there? What are you looking forward to seeing from this event?
» SUBSCRIBE FOR UPDATES :
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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dunkin' Donuts, Diapers, and Baby Carriers #OldSchoolBlogging

Remember the days when blogging was more like an open diary? When you didn't have to have images, you didn't have to market yourself, and there was no such thing as a sponsored post? Don't get me wrong... I love what blogging has become, the vast community it opens you up to, and the opportunities it provides. What I'm saying is, it would be nice if we bloggers could just open up like the good ole days. You know... and you still stick around and all.

With that said, I was inspired by Jo-Lynne Shane {formerly of Musings of a Housewife} and her #CoffeeTalk and #OldSchoolBlogging posts. It's basic chit-chat, with or without images, no ulterior motives — just plain her talking to me/you/us as if we're sitting in her living room chatting over a cup of joe. It's lovely, and I wanted it, especially nowadays when I really want to get back to posting regularly, but my schedule is a little tied up with a tiny human who craves my every second. In an effort to find a balance between regular content with the small amount of time I have to do so, I present to you #OldSchoolBlogging... AMM style.

Dunkin' Donuts, Diapers, and Baby Carriers

Lately I've really been enjoying a coffee from Dunkin' Donuts with the caramel-whatever-stuff they put in it. More specifically, I've been enjoying a medium {sometimes decaf} caramel coffee with sugar only. You know, as in no cream. And I assume they know I mean hot because I don't say iced, and because coffee usually comes hot, and because I've never had a problem before. Well, not today.

No, today I finally made it to Dunkin's drive-thru around 11:30 - 11:45am. Yes, much later than I would've liked, but that's the earliest I could get out of the house. I placed my usual order, and when I got home and removed the lid, I had a startling surprise.... It was light. Like, really light. Much lighter than any of the other times I've ordered it.... which means they added cream. Now, I'm aware the caramel stuff lightens the coffee, but I've ordered this drink enough times to know exactly what shade it should resemble, and this was not it. What's the big deal? Well, I'm lactose intolerant, and cream is a no-no. I wanted this coffee so badly that I contemplated drinking it anyway, but being confined to the toilet isn't really something I can afford to experience with a newborn around. So, I dumped it down the drain {and cried just a little}.
 

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