Archives for June 2016


Picking the Juiciest Watermelon


While writing this I feel like I’m watching Special Agent Oso (If you haven’t had the “pleasure” of watching this cartoon you won’t get it, thats okay.)  “Three special steps, that’s all you need. Three special steps, and you’ll succeed…” You’re welcome for getting that stuck in your head for the day (sigh.)  #momlife

Anyways, here are the 3 simple steps I was taught to picking out the juiciest, tastiest, sweetest watermelon in the bunch!

1.  It doesn’t matter if you pick the biggest or smallest, just make sure it’s heavy for its size.  This means its full of “juice”.  Nobody wants a dry watermelon!

2.  Find one with a good size yellow spot.  This is where the watermelon has been sitting and ripening.  If there is no spot or the spot is white, it was picked prior to being fully ripened.

3.  Those ugly brown veins and brown marks are good! It’s where bees pollenated and the veins are from the natural sugars hardening!




Most of us had something. A blanket, a doll, a stuffed animal, or maybe even your own left thumb.  Viv’s first security blanket came in the mail this weekend from Stella & Lu and it made me slightly giddy with nostalgia. Growing up, we didn’t call them “security blankets” we called them DD’s, anyone else?  I’m not really sure why, but, that’s what our cousin called hers so we took that name for ourselves. My little sister, Maddy and my cousin (pretty much sister) Meg had a DD’s with Silk trim around the edges. I had a ‘doll’ named Bobby, and my older sister actually didn’t even have a “security” item. My husband claims he just kept his fingernails he chewed off…

I received Bobby as a gift from my Grandparents when I was three years old.  Bobby became my EVERYTHING!  He went everywhere with me, literally.  When we went on vacation to Florida, Bobby needed a swimsuit and a bathrobe for out by the pool.  He needed to be in family pictures, and he even needed his own “bed.”  (A pulled-out nightstand drawer with a pillow in it next to my bed.)  My Grandpa will never let go of the time we were at a very busy restaurant, but I still demanded that Bobby get a highchair to sit in. OMG 🙂  One day I was playing over at the neighbors’ house and forgot Bobby there.  One of their kids decided to throw Bobby over the fence assuming we would just grab him out of the yard, but before we found Bobby our family dog Al did… and chewed him up.  At bedtime, I realized Bobby was missing and that’s when my mom found the poor thing out in the yard in shambles. I wouldn’t go to bed till I had Bobby, so I cut up an old t-shirt and stuffed him back up with a bag of cotton balls.  Bobby was as-good-as-new… minus a few toes and fingers and the addition of a few new battle scars.  A few years passed and when I was six my little sister Maddy was born.  Bobby was slowly was replaced with a real baby.

Oh, man the early 90’s were great for  me! (Please take note of the badass temporary arm tattoo.) My main squeeze Bobby and I.   I don’t know why my mom insisted on that hideous hairstyle or pajamas inclined more for a boy…


More outings with Bobby…

When Henry was born we figured he would take to one of the ten million blankets he had. Wrong.  The only thing Henry “takes to” are trucks. He needs at least one in each hand to be satisfied, any other boy moms?   Everything is “Trucks, trucks, trucks!” When it comes to bedtime I really wish he had something he was attached to that he could snuggle with.  So, when Viv hit three months and was constantly grabbing at things, I figured she was ready for her first DD.  That is when I came across Stella & Lu!  If you’re not in the market for a beautiful blanket or “DD” yourself, it makes for a unique shower gift too!  And when I say unique I don’t mean the “Unique” baby Squirrel statue that Great Aunt JoJo thought would be perfect for the nursery.  I mean unique as in, “Hey, I didn’t think of that because Target doesn’t sell them!”  



A Long Time Coming

You guys… I can barely contain my excitement! EEK! Henry slept the ENTIRE night in his toddler bed. By himself. No crying, and no waking up ten times throughout the night! I am over the moon and feel like a million bucks, I’m a whole new Mama!

One night in his DockATot, that’s all it took. Why didn’t we get it sooner? Now I’m kicking myself.

We’ve had his toddler bed set up for a little over six months now and haven’t had a fully successful night until now. I’ve tried everything, bath before bed, lavender oil, night light, no night light, music, no music, books, singing songs, back massages, bribes, movies, snuggles and everything else under the sun.

Henry has been sleeping in Derek and I’s bed as the alternative.  I can’t lie before Viv was here we didn’t really mind.  We have actually enjoyed co-sleeping with him.  (Gosh, I would have never thought I would be a parent who “co-sleeps.”)  We never really planned on it, but it was convient because I nursed him until he was over a year and it just felt safe.  But, when Vivian arrived things became more cramped.  I would get up to nurse her in the middle of the night and sometimes her cries would wake up Henry.  Then, I would have two babies to get back to sleep.  This is when I realized we really did need to get Henry to sleep in his own bed.  It was important for both of us to be getting the proper amount of sleep.


Leggings: Baby Sprouts Co.
Bow: Little Biscuit Bows
Pajamas: Carters

Since we felt like we had tried everything we decided to order Henry his own DockATot.  Viv sleeps SO well in hers we thought it was worth a shot!

Swaddle Sack & Head band: Mint and Arrows
Pink leggings and Grey Top: Gap Kids

Last night we had our normal routine, pjs on and some time to wind down then into bed for snuggles.  He fell asleep.  I cautiously waited 30 minutes for his normal wake up and get into mom and dads bed.  It starts with a rustle of the blankets and then, “MAMAAAAA!”  and scurry over to our bed.  I waited 30 minutes, nothing.  An hour, nothing.  I figured I would fall asleep and would be woken up by him… Nope.  I woke up around 1, he was still sound asleep.  Then, again around 4:30, still asleep.  After a quick wellness check proved he was alive and well, I couldn’t believe it!  Finally, I woke up at 7 refreshed and a few minutes later he was up for the morning.

T-Shirt: Gap Kids
Leggings: Ammon Lane

I still am in shock.  All it took was the DockATot to feel secure and make it through the night.  I heartily suggest the DockATot to any parent struggling with sleep issues.  It has been a blessing!


Bath Time for Two

Okay, I have a confession to make… I love reality TV shows.  The other day I caught a clip of ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ and Kim was talking to Kourtney about how busy she has been with two kids.  She said, “One is one, but two is twenty.”

Okay,  I know Kim has people to get her ready in the morning, nannies, chefs, maids and other people doing jobs I didn’t even know existed.  But, I couldn’t agree more with her!  When it was just Henry, I almost always got a little “me time” everyday and could stick to an easy schedule.  It was easy to get out of the house, easy to get ready, easy to get him to nap, easy to do most things.  I say “easy” because looking back it was simple when he was my only focus.  With two littles I have had to make changes to make it “easy” again.  I have had to learn to be more flexible, forgiving, and sometimes throw a schedule out the window.  What is truly “easy” is loving my two little munchkins.  I would choose no “me time” and chaos a million times over.


Over the past four months I’ve learned a few tricks to make my life a little easier, including bath time.  I know the “sink bath” is not a new thing, but it’s new to me.  I can get both sides of the sink filled up and our PUJ Tub ready for Viv before rounding Henry up for his bath.  I put their towels next to the sink and Viv’s DockATot nearby.  Okay, time to get both babes undressed.  Unlike the bathtub, no kneeling or squatting necessary! Because the sink has two bowls I am able to bathe them at the same time and it saves water! Win, Win, Win.  After I get Viv squeaky clean, I dry her off and set her in her DockATot right next to us on the floor.  This way I can keep an eye on her and continue to bathe Henry and let him play.  It also gives us a little one-on-one time too!

This way of bathing has taken bathtime from a time consuming chore to something I look forward to! Next time you’re dreading bathing the littles or are in a pinch, give the “sink bath” a try!


Succulent love- DIY

It took me a little longer then expected to get this little project done.  I went to three different places to get small clay pots and all three places were sold out!  I guess in this case the fourth time is the charm!  Thank goodness, because taking two small kids in and out of stores is pretty much the worst (any mom knows this!)  This an easy project  you can get your little ones involved in, just expect a mess (and careful with the glueing part.)

Here is everything you need: (plus a paint brush and scissors.) Succulents, (mine are from Greenworld Greenhouses), clay pots, lace or ribbon, paint (I chose blue), glue sticks & hot glue gun, scissors, potting soil, and spade shovel.

Take the stickers off the pots, paint and let dry at least an hour!

After the pots are dry, you can start glueing on your ribbon/lace.  You don’t need a ton of hot glue, just small dots to keep the ribbon on.  I did all different patterns to make each of them unique.  I left some of my pots the natural tone as well.

Take your pots outside (or somewhere that can get very dirty) and pick off any extra strands of glue off the pots.  Now the pots are ready for succulents!

Here are the finished pots!  I put them in the windows in the bedroom downstairs to add texture and greenery.  I still need to get small dishes to put underneath them so when they are watered it doesn’t create a mess.  It’s a myth that succulents don’t need to be watered often.  Yes, they will live with little water, but they won’t grow or thrive.  I like to use a spray bottle filled with water and spray the soil.  It doesn’t make a mess and it prevents over watering. Enjoy:)


Tonttu Box

Tonttu: (Finnish) meaning a small mythical creature believed to live in the forest and in or near people’s dwellings; similar to an elf or gnome.

I don’t know a soul that doesn’t like to receive “fun” mail, and if you don’t-you should go pay the doctor a visit because you must be sick.  Henry and I love coming home to a package! (Vivian is still in training!)

We decided to give Tonttu Box a try because it’s for both mom and baby!  You can subscribe to 1, 3, or 12 month subscription to the box.  This is when you take a short (but important) quiz about yourself.  Are you expecting? or already a mom? How old is your baby or toddler?  Boy or Girl?  And a few other questions.  This way the box can be personalized to you and your little one(s)!

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“Great baby and mommy products, essentials, educational toys, books, handmade treasures, and many more. We support small local businesses, artists, and we love to give back!” -Tonttu Box

Below are the goodies that came in our Tonttu Box for this month:

(scroll over the picture for more info!)

***This was the box for “Father’s Day” so the last two items were for my husband!  But, the Super Buffer smells SO good I might keep it for myself!


Greenworld Greenhouses

I currently have a small obsession with succulents, okay maybe large…  So today we took a drive to a little piece of Heaven aka Greenworld Greenhouses.  Its located just north of the Twin Cities (about 45  minutes.) If your in the area I highly recommend (the address can be found at the bottom of this post.)  It’s a husband and wife duo that run the greenhouse and I’ve heard (not sure if its true or not) that they are the biggest midwest distributor of succulents.

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How beautiful is this place and how adorable is this fairy garden?!  I could spend hours here just admiring every single plant.  They grow everything themselves and grow their succulents by propagating another succulents leaf.  The husband walks around the greenhouse and tells you fun little facts about the plants and can name EVERY SINGLE ONE!

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This little ham helped me pick out plants along with my mom.  Oh, and that man in the background is the husband, the man who grows all these beauties!   Check back tomorrow to see what we purchased and what we are doing with them!

Greenworld Greenhouses is located at:

36000 Evergreen Ave – North Branch, MN 55056




A Stroll Down Memory Lane

In just a few weeks and we will be all packed up and moved out of our first home.  Here is a stroll down memory lane to remember all the good times in our home!  If you haven’t read “Moving on up!!” go back and read it first (it will make more sense.)

We brought home our kitty Mellanby (pronounced Mel-ann-bee.) She is named after the hockey player Scott Mellanby who got the nickname “rat trick” after killing mice in the locker room.  We decided to not only get her for companionship, but to also keep mice away so we felt the name was fitting.


We were so excited to hand out candy for our first Halloween in our home.  Derek brought home a six pack of Woodchuck Ciders (my favorite) and we anxiously awaited our Trick-or-Treaters.  We layed out in the sunroom sipping our ciders and waited, and waited, and waited… The whole entire night we only ended up getting ONE Trick-or-Treater, a little boy dressed as Buzz Lightyear.  We ended up watching “Top Ten” videos on YouTube and eating all the candy ourselves.

We became Mr. & Mrs. Budde!

We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon and had the time of our lives!  We still cannot believe how beautiful it was there!

We announced baby Budde was on their way! Derek got to enjoy one of our “firsts” bottles of wine (a gift from our wedding shower.)


Picking up my parents and sister from the airport and surprising them with blue balloons… Baby Budde is a BOY!


Henry made his debut making us a family of three.  The first few days home as new parents we just enjoyed our time together and soaked in Derek’s week off from work.  We sat out in our sun room and Derek read ‘Gone Girl’ out loud while we cuddled our new little guy.  We finished the book that week and we were both huge fans.  This will forever be one of my favorite memories.


Anyone that knows my husband knows Derek lives and breathes golf.  So, when he got his first hole in one it was a big deal! He was in such a good mood he even put up with being “Donkey” from the movie ‘Shrek’ for a costume party later that night.


Who knew such a little person came with so much stuff! Between hauling strollers, golf clubs, hockey equipment, and other baby gear we decided it was time to trade in the car for an SUV.

Henry turns one, time really does fly by!

Baby #2 is on their way, Henry is going to be a big brother!

Vivian is Here and we are a family of four! Adjusting to life with two littles was sure a transition for everyone, especially Henry.

We settle in as a family of four and realize our family is growing and our house is shrinking.  We will cherish the memories that took place in our home forever, but its on to new adventures.