Wonderwoman, I am not!

But it’s nice when people think so – kind of makes you feel like you’re doing something right!  I am so very thankful for all the amazing feedback from yesterday!  Awesome emails and calls and comments…it made my whole day that the Labor of Love it took to put it all together was actually worth it.  And now I can’t wait to start filling that Favorites Gallery!

However, it’s probably important for you all to know that I’m human.

I had a voice mail from a friend yesterday who was dying that I was now writing a blog with everything else going on in my life, plus 2 babies, plus being pregnant, plus, plus, plus while she was trying to juggle 1 baby and get him fed and changed!  Then she proceeded to end the voice mail SURE that I was not answering the phone because I was whipping up a homemade wonder for breakfast for our kids – I LAUGHED out right at the phone.

Let me give you a snippet of the past few days…my sister got married in San Francisco this past week (AWESOME wedding!), while we were there Addie ended up with Pneumonia, and Hayden and I both had horrible head colds.  We dealt with fevers and barf, while also trying to enjoy the weekend and keeping the kids happy.  Flew back late Sunday night and then spent Monday and Tuesday in the Doctor’s office and trying to finish up the blog (while kids wanted nothing to do with anything except sitting on moms lap while they felt horrible).  This in turn meant that I now needed to work late into Tuesday night with my tireless web designer until 3 AM Wednesday morning.  Both girls were up throughout the time period feeling awful.  I went to bed at 3:00, only to suffer through my own coughing for an hour and finally moving to the sofa at 4:00 so my husband could sleep….and then Hayden woke up at 5:00.   I deliriously walked around the house this morning with the baby on my hip, DESPERATE for a latte.  I almost broke down for one, but the effort to drive was too much.  When Addie woke up, I was secretly thrilled that she still had no appetite (I know, I’m horrible) because it meant all she wanted was a banana – so no I was not whipping up a yummy breakfast (but it sure sounded good!!).

I am human and am just like all the other family CEOs.

Hopefully telling you this only helps you relate to the fact I am just like you and desperate to find and share simpler ways to do things.

Now I need to enter something uplifting into this delirious post or you are all going to run!!  How much fun is it to receive a “Happy”!?  This is the name I like to use for any  fun gift you give or receive…and it can make your whole day!  I have a fabulous friend that lives on the east coast that somehow always knows just when to make my day!  She sent a happy out that was delivered to my door step Monday morning

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All throughout the day Tuesday, I just kept looking at this sweet gift and it kept me going.  Addison and Hayden got their own little cups – Addie QUICKLY proclaimed, “MINE!”.  An hysterical book, I’d Trade My Husband for a Housekeeper (I would never as he is my right arm in life AND does the dishes at night! – but funny read!), and cute address book proclaiming me Wonder Woman, which is propped next to the computer as a reminder when I’m not so sure.

But the BEST part were the Felix Doolittle goodies!!!!  Return Address Stickers for the girls and Play Date cards!  So cute and so thoughtful!!!  My sweet friend knows that I love Felix Doolittle, he is a wonderful artist with a sweet, sweet eye.  Please do check out his illustrations. I’ll be adding some of my favorite items to the Favorites Gallery soon.

All this to say that friends are wonderful, and I am human, and am SO, SO, SO very thankful for amazing friends that know just when I need a lift, and that support my new adventures!  Thank you everyone!   I promise to return to tips and tricks on Friday, but I had to get a big thanks out today!!  And I’m hoping to get the Trader Joe’s and Costco albums filled up for you all this weekend – stay tuned!!

Happy Thursday everyone!

our newest addition!

Welcome!  I am so excited, kind of feel like it’s the first day of school (in a good way).  Seeing friends, starting something new, and fresh beginnings…

Let me introduce our family, My amazing husband Mike, our darling daughters, Addie and Hayden (11 months apart – makes them not always seem darling…but we love them regardless!), and me, Shanna.

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And then the new addition, this website, My Favorite Everything.

On to why I’m here.  I’m a mess.  Probably a lot like anyone stopping by this blog.  Not necessarily a bad mess, just somehow always feeling like I’m a little behind the 8 ball, even when to the world, I’m probably really doing a great job.

In the past few weeks, on a normal day there were 5 kitchen chairs pulled up to all sides of our kitchen counters and our 19 mos old was climbing them faster than I could pull them back to the table.  Up she would go like a speedy monkey, 2 swift movements and she would be in the upper cabinets in the blink of an eye….seriously, she will either be in the circus or be an amazing rock climber!!  So now I live in a world of no chairs.  My husband took them all to the garage and we eat standing.  And our 8 month old is often tucked under my arm as I make mad dashes to the computer to quickly try to add one more image to the favorites gallery on this site, or answer one quick email before Addie realizes I’ve opened the office door and leaps off the kitchen counter, sprinting to the office to get on the “puter”.

Fun.  What happened to my life??

Kids happened, and an office job stopped happening.  And now I’m a full time mom, trying my very best to keep it all in balance…..be a great mom, fabulous wife, have a career, personal chef to our family, errand girl, housekeeper, overall CEO, COO, and Executive Assistant of the  household.

I’ve been lucky to have many friends in life, all be it, I don’t see them very often these days (thank goodness for texting and email), but I have them none the less.  And when we do get a 5 second chance to catch up, it’s normally “OMG, how do you do it!” , “How do you keep up with it all?”, “HOW many planes have you been on with the girls?!!”.  And in the same beat,  “Do you have an easy recipe I can make for a party I’m having this weekend for 8?”, and “I need to get my Holiday cards done early this year – where do you get yours?”.  They also ask if they can rent out my husband for their next child as we know he can get the job done….and to that, our answer is yes!  An interesting extra income for us…let’s chat about it!

Many, many people encouraged me to do this website, primarily because I do this everyday anyway.  I’m the girl in the store that walks up and says “I know you don’t know me, but that brownie mix in your hand is horrible to get the lumps out of, you might want to try “x” – its Heaven in your mouth, especially if you add a Hershey’s Symphony Bar”.  Or when you’re analyzing what stroller to buy, “I’ve got them all, do you want my 2 cents?”  And most often you do.

I’m certainly not perfect, and I really don’t know best, and I REALLY am not a fabulous cook (that title is reserved for my mom and dad – both rock the kitchen) I’ve just learned to fake it well over the years.  But I AM organized (or used to be pre-kids).  So I thought it might be fun to start a blog giving tips and on ways to make life a little easier.  This site is not designed to be the end all be all, it’s just favorites that you may or may not find helpful, but it will always have my honest opinion.

What you’ll find:

1. Daily emails on tips, services, recipes, and products that help me considerably in my life.

2. A weekly menu with recipes and  shopping list.  (Side note on the shopping list, I tend to keep a lot of staples in our house which makes my list smaller, but the list will always have everything you need for that week’s menu – edit as you wish).

3. To Do list for the month with tickler items that I keep on my brain, that may jog your memory too.

4. A Favorites Gallery that I will add to as frequently as possible with products and services that I really couldn’t run this family without.

I welcome  your comments, support and critique, and I hope this site will prove a benefit to you!  Please share with friends and check back often.  If I could, I would pour you a glass of wine – we all definitely deserve it!

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p.s. Read on to hear about my FAVORITE children’s photographer…

i didn’t do it!

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We laughed out right when we got this photo!  This is our older daughter, Addie at EVERY moment!  At the time, Hayden was 4 weeks and Addie was a year.  Every day since has been EXACTLY the same!

Everyone that knows me, knows that I have an addiction to photos, but seriously, as a mom that thinks her kids are beyond adorable, how could I not?!?!!

(Moms, you KNOW what I’m talking about!)

So you can understand why I LOVE having Sandy Heit at our home, photographing our family.

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Sandy has a wonderful eye and will help you choose beautiful ways to display your photos

My favorites are the stretched canvases and the modern art coffee table books.  So fun to have the same beautiful book lined up year after year as your family grows (and grows and grows in our case…)

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One of my favorite ways to share our photos with friends and family is with notecards.  Sandy helped me make thank you cards for Hayden’s welcome to the world gifts, and for Addie’s first birthday.  They made writing the notes soooooo much more fun!

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And just when I thought I couldn’t love Sandy’s work enough, she throws out some fabulous promotions.

1. She is offering Holiday photo mini sessions at your choice of 1 of 3 locations (beautiful spots!)
(and a good kick in the pants to get this off your list as the deadline is October 31st!):

Huntington Beach Central Park

Huntington Beach Pier

Naguchi Gardens, Costa Mesa

2. Also, stop by and see her at Pomme Baby’s 3rd Annual Halloween Party, Thursday, October 29th from 10:00 – 2:00. Sandy will be there for photo keepsakes. “Addie Chick” and I met friends last year for a fun afternoon…

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For additional information on any of the above, check out Sandy’s blog.  (You can also see, loads more of her awesome work!)

Have a great rest of the week, and thanks for visiting!  Check back tomorrow for more favorites!

Week of 10.26.09

2 Yellow Onions
Thyme – Fresh or Dried
1 Can Chicken Stock
Worcestershire Sauce
Tomato Paste
5 Lbs Ground Turkey Breast (Bulk Costco)
Dried Bread Crumbs
Eggs (Bulk Costco)
Ketchup
2 Lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes
Garlic
Broccoli
Trader Joes Tomato Soup
Chedder Cheese Mix (Bulk Costco)
Stubbs Beef Marinade
Rice Pilaf
Spring Lettuce Mix
Craisons
Pears
Blue Cheese Crumbles
Girards Champagne Dressing
1 Can Pinto Beans
1 Can Herdez Salsa Casera
Flour Tortillas (Bulk Costco)
Brown Rice (Bulk Costco)
1 Avocado
Milk for the week
Bananas for Protein Shakes

Week of 10.26.09


Monday:

Barefoot Contessa Meatloaf
Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes
Steamed Broccoli

Tuesday:
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Tomato Soup with Crouton Crunchies
Grilled Cheese

Wednesday:
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Flank Steak with Stubbs Marinade
Rice Pilaf
Chopped Salad

Thursday:
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(Leftover Flank Steak)
Steak & Rice Bowls
Flour Tortillas or Quesadillas

Friday:
OUT!

October’s To Do List

Take Holiday photo

Order Holiday Cards

Finalize kids Halloween Costumes

Buy & carve pumpkins

Decorate front entry for Halloween

Buy October birthday gifts

Think about upcoming November Birthdays

Start thinking about Christmas Gifts

Talk to Rogers Gardens about Fall maintanence and plantings

Clean closet of Summer clothes, unpack Fall/Winter

Check kids closets for Fall/Winter purchases (coats, shoes, tights, jeans…)

Pack up or donate out grown kids clothes

Make next Brow and Hair appointment