Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bloggers-Block & ADD

So I've seen a few posts here and there from other bloggers talking about essentially writer's block. And I find myself falling into that recently. I have been a bad blogger lately! I think that I need to find a way to organize an "idea board" of sorts on topics to write about. The problem isn't that I don't feel like talking, we all know I could talk and talk for hours but I find myself like a crazy ADD kid hopped up on Mountain Dew and my thoughts flit around like a schizophrenic and I can't keep centered on one idea. This is also the time of year that business picks up, a lot, so I'm trying to balance the increased work load and the more active, busy, and LOUD child with my blogging and all the other life tasks... so I apologize if the blog is lacking lately, but hey at least I've got some great giveaways going on!

So I need some help, I need ideas on topics to write about, any type of thing that would spark my brain and give me enough interest to stay focused for more than 5.2 seconds. Any ideas? Anything in particular you'd like to hear from me or about me?? Want to meet my family? Want to see my favorite recipe? Want to hear about my favorite movies and how I can literally quote the entirety of these movies word for word? Want to see the plants and veggies that I've planted? Want to know what my hubby and I are up to? I could talk about marriage, I could talk about pregnancy, I could talk about friendships, weddings, sex, grocery shopping.... I have a whole slew of things to write about but I start a post and then half way through I think it's stupid so I stop and then usually end up deleting it. Like right about now, I'm close to deleting this post because I feel like I'm rambling about nothing and no one would want to read about my ramblings that end with no real point... is it really glaringly obvious that I have this ADD thing going on? I feel like I wander in and out and jumble things all together. Maybe not??

This is why I'm always biting off more than I can chew. Like I've said many times before, I constantly have my hand in oh about a million things at any given time. Yet I still keep piling on more and more and more. Like this past week I decided to add a completely new business venture to my list of life tasks to figure out, I got 2 chickens, yes like real live chickens in my backyard, I decided we are going to sell our house and have begun looking for new ones, and I've been researching a cruise to the Bahamas, oh yea and I'm also looking into organizing a Mom Meetup/Vacay weekend to meet all of you! All this just in the past week or two and guess what, next week I'll probably do the same thing and I'll have another handful of hair-brained ideas to focus my attention on. Is that crazy? Maybe I really do have ADD and need medication?

So back to the point... I derailed for a minute there... Will you help me... give me some writing inspiration so I can get some posts fired off here??  Read more!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen... we have chickens!!

 We finally got our chickens!! We're joining the growing group of people with urban chickens and backyard chickens. I am so excited to have them and can't wait to start collecting our farm fresh eggs! Our beautiful ladies, Thelma & Louise, made themselves right at home in the coop yesterday.

They are beautiful birds as you can see, Barred Rock hens. They have a bit of a fiesty and sweet personality and are very social. And look look.... look what we found this morning.... an EGG!

I was too lazy to upload the real pictures of the girls so I found some stock ones, same with the egg but it looks exactly like that a creamy brown color. I will take pictures of the coop that my master contractor aka Hubbs built and one the girls together for you soon!
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Here's the picture we took today in our backyard that we're going to use for our canvas (win your own over at the current giveaway for Canvas Press!)

Can I tell you how NOT easy it is to get a baby and three dogs to all look somewhat decent in a photo that you are taking yourselves with a timer. Yea, the camera was sitting on a table and hubbs kept jumping up hitting the timer and running over to be in the picture, then we'd yell and throw things in the air to get both HL and all 3 dogs to actually "look" at the camera, or at least be able to see all 3 of their heads.... Not too shabby eh?! HA And please excuse my still horribly swollen face from the widom teeth saga, I covered up the bruising with makeup and this is as good as it gets!
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Winner Episencial Body Butter!

We have a winner, congratulations.... Alrighty, and the winner is good old #14 which is "JTC" (No picutres because the computer is acting up!) I have emailed you, write me back so I can get your shipping information over to the people at EcoMom to send your body butter!

Thanks to everyone who entered, if you weren't the lucky "JTC" try your odds at our newest giveaway for a 16x20 canvas from Canvas Press! Read more!

Mother's Day Giveaway: Canvas Press photos on canvas!

Open until May 5th. It's almost Mother's Day, the first "real" Mom's day for a lot of us. So in the spirit of celebrating, I present to you a giveaway that would make the cuuutest Mother's Day gift for your own momma or yourself! I was so happy when I received an email from Canvas Press asking me to do a product review and giveaway. It was oddly coincidental because I've been searching for a place to get canvas prints made for our wedding photos (which was 2 years ago and we still have not ordered any wedding pics eeeek!) I am a HUGE fan of canvas, to me it's so much more sophisiticated than a photo in a frame. It's more modern and sleek and will hold up forever. I'm a fan of BIG canvas also, so you basically are taking your own pictures and making art with them.

Well surprise, that's exactly what Canvas Press does, you go on to the website, upload your photos, pick the size canvas you want and voila out it comes! You can customize your canvas thickness and size, as well as choosing border colors, you can even change your photos to black and white or sepia right there on the order page. They can also retouch photos for you (ya know, to maybe edit out that lovely pregnancy "mask" or other baby related ugliness still lingering) ok maybe not, but they can take some old wrinkled and ruined photo and make it look amazing again!

If you suck at decorating and coordinating you can create a wall collage with various sized canvas pieces that make up one image. Decorating for dummies, no? :)

Ok wait though, here's one of my favorite things that they offer, so cool! They can take your photo and "digitally PAINT" it so that it looks like an oil painting! Crazy right?! I mean they really do look like paintings... (this is a painting weird right!)

And you can think outside of the box, you don't have to use photos. What about taking your child's artwork and turning it into a beautiful wall canvas! Ok, ok, I sound like a salesman but seriously I love the stuff they have to offer. Here's where I get really "sales-man-y".... the prices are amazing too, trust me, I've researched canvas for our wedding photos (because I wanted to do a full wall collage with our favorite photos) and it was no cheap thing (hence why it's been 2 years and still NO wedding photos).

The number one reason you will love them is because they're going to give one of YOU peeps one too! A 16x20 gallery wrapped canvas of a picture of yours!! That's $113.99 for free. Can I get a WOOT please!

Mandatory: Become a follower of my blog or tell me you already are, and then show me some bloggy love and give me a vote over at Top Mommy Blogs so that awesome companies like Canvas Press continue to offer goodies for you all!!

Extra Entries: If you want more chances to win you can do any of the following, just come back and leave a separate comment for each. If you don't leave separate comments your entry will only count as one chance to win.

1. Blog about this giveaway and comment with a link to your blog (3 entries)
2. Click here to vote for us at Top Mommy Blogs (1 entry per day, leave a separate comment for each)
3. Click here to vote for us at Top Baby Blogs (1 entry per day, leave a separate comment for each)
4. Tweet about this giveaway using @themommamaven and leave me your Twitter ID (1 entry per tweet)
5. Become a follower of @CanvasPress on Twitter (1 entry)
6. Become a Facebook fan of Canvas Press (1 entry)
7. Become a Facebook fan of Momma Maven or tell me you already are (1 entry)
8. Become a follower on Twitter or tell me you already are @themommamaven (1 entry)
9. Tweet for our Save Kane Campaign by clicking here and comment with your twitter ID (2 entries per tweet)

Open to US only. You can Tweet once a day and vote once a day so there are plenty of chances to win here!! So go on ya'll get your entries going! I will select the winner using Random.org on May 5th.

If you have any trouble with the comments, my sincerest appologies, sometimes Disqus has a mind of it's own and sometimes they do maintenance which knocks out my comment system. If you have any problems just head to the contact page and send me your entries and I'll manually enter them. Thanks for your patience guys!!

I was not compensated by Canvas Press for this review, to see my full disclosure policy please visit the Disclosure page. Read more!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I'm Published, yea I feel super special!

Okay so it may not be the BIGGEST thing since sliced bread, but I think it's pretty cool! I was asked a month or so ago to write an article for New Parent Magazine's online community. After much debate on what to write about, I ended up sending them over my post on leaving the child behind for the first time, a good insight for other moms right? So incase you missed it you can come see it again, and you SHOULD come visit me over there anyway!

So yea, I'm officially "published" over here... what is the world coming to ha :) Read more!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

That's ME... on the video... I got a web cam!

Ok 3 things
1. I have no clue what I'm doing so don't make fun of me
2. My face looks like I've been attacked by 500 killer bees so don't make fun of me
3. I hate the sound of my voice so don't make fun of me

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Diaper Rash, I loathe thee....

So where do I even begin... we've been battling this stupid diaper rash issue for what seems like forever! First it was manageable, throw a little Desitin on it and it would go away. Then it started coming back and getting worse. It turned really red and nasty, spread all over his whole bum turning his legs and creases all red and irritated on top of the open sores in his crack which looked like ulcers. Thankfully this entire thing doesn’t really seem to bother HL too much but that almost makes me feel more guilty. We mentioned the diaper rash issue to the pedi at his 4 month appointment and his answer was to switch creams and see if that helped. So we did, we tried Desitin creamy and original, Boudreaux’s, A&D ointment, you name it. Nothing helped.

So we went back in and were told it was a yeast rash so we were giving some prescription Nystatin cream. We used that for about 10 days, slight improvement for a couple of days and then back to nasty again. Went back to the pedi and also tried the Triple Paste diaper cream that came highly recommended by other mommas. The pedi gave us oral antibiotics to try but the Triple Paste seemed to work some magic and the rash disappeared without having to use any of the oral antibiotics.

The area cleared up nicely but there was still a small spot in his crack that was still ulcer-like but we figured eventually that too would go away. Well not so much… a week later and the whole full blown rash is back. And back to the pedi we go, it’s like a dang revolving door. This time the pedi says that the rash is actually an “open wound” so the diaper cream would not do us any good until this healed because it was just holding the moisture on the skin. So she instructed us to make our own “cream” to help it heal.

Off to the grocery we went to get Aquaphor ointment, Triple Antibiotic Ointment, and more Nystatin yeast cream. We mix them all together and apply and the sore does start to shrink. It appears to close up yet the rash is still not gone. And now here we are 10 days later AGAIN and the classic yeast, pin prick red dot rash is still going strong… So what the heck do we do now??? Any ideas ladies… anything?? We’ve tried going diaperless, airing out, switching wipes, switching diapers, frequent bathing, less frequent bathing, you name it and nothing is working….
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Friday, April 16, 2010

Twitter House Partay WOOT!

Ok, so all of you voted and said that you'd most like to see a photo tour of my house, well I've been dragging my feet on cleaning things so I have slacked on getting you some pictures. Luckily some ladies on Twitter have decided to host a Twitter House Party and so I am cleaning and I offer you the following photos of mi casa....

Welcome to beautiful Colorado ya'll.... come on in let me show you around....

Here's the foyer and the front stairs, go up to the bedrooms, go down to the bar and theater and game room and some other things. It's got lots of twirly ornate things because I won the vote of girly vs masculine with the hubbs, you wouldn't believe how long it was before we found some perfect wall hangings to enhance the staircase

Here's where we get her done! Good old cookin in the kitchen! Nothing much else to say except ahem do you SEE how clean it is... yea!!

One of the many toilets to clean UGH! This is a powder bath and the toilet has one of those cool handles that actually sits on the top of the bowl and you pull it straight up to flush. Makes you feel like you're in France or something ha!

The pretty office, because lord knows if you're actually working it sure as hell doesn't look like THIS ha! The "real" office is downstairs.

The theater! See that purdy ceiling? That's the hubbs handy work, actually he built the whole place, but this is his "fancy" work. I have spent many nights curled up asleep down here because I have a bad habit of not being able to make it through the whole movie. The carpet is my fave :)

Here's the pool, well in the winter... still snow on the ground and definitely NOT time to swim yet... but I think we've got a pic of it in the summer...

Yep here it is! Pretty sparkly water that is kept so warm it's like a bath. Lots of fun has been had out here dualing to water basketball and chicken games.

So what do ya think?!!! Ok ok... I have something to admit.... this isn't technically MY house... although I've spend a LOT of time over here. It's actually my in-laws house! The benefits of being in a family full of custom home contractors. But I had to do it, I didn't get to play an April Fools this year :) ::::blushes::::: You all got the brunt of my joke, I made a funny :)

So you want to see MY house... allllright.... here's my real house... at least for now until we build our own purdy masterpiece!

Here's the entry way... I have a thing for wall vignettes (collages) so this is one of them. I have a lot of Divinci art on this wall... Oh yea and I have a thing for clocks, there are TONS of them in the house, and NONE of them actualy work, they're purely decorative ha, silly I know!

More entryway...

Onto the living room, my little helper is happily bouncing away!

Living room moving into the dining room.... I guess you could call our style somewhat "old worldish" because we really like maps, antiques, and classic art work like the Divinci's but I guess it's a little bit more modern than that??

And the dining room....

Dining room moving into the kitchen...

The kitchen

Yes, do you see how clean my kitchen is... take it in... this is a RARE occurence!

This is where hubbs and I sleep... or how shall I say... where the "magic" happens ha!

More master bedroom

And this is where Mr. HL sleeps currently until he gets the boot in a couple of weeks..

Onto the powder bathroom which I graciously cleaned for ya'lls viewing pleasure.

And then onto HL's real room....

I have lots of vintage things in his room like the old gumball machine which is filled with Matchbox Cars, then we've got a Curious George clock, John Deer lunchbox, good old sock monkey, vintage planes and cars, a Radio Flyer... all the boy stuff. Oh yea and Daddy's lacrosse sticks...

I hang up his slings and carriers on the back of the door. Here we have his great grandfather's Abacus from WWII in China, and a bunch of legos in an apothecary jar...

This folks, is what I like to call the black hole, it is one of the "offices" and as you can see it is the MESSIEST dang room in the house. Which I guess is a good thing, it means that lots of work takes place here... between two companies I'm lucky to get anything done ha, but I dread this room, I hate going in here, and this is as good of a pic as you'll get of it.

Then we move downstairs to the fun stuff... I present to you the Maven Bar and game room... You'll see I have tons of old games hung all over the walls, and lots of vintage signs. We play darts down here and watch sports on the tele, occassionally break out the Jagger tap and have a good time with friends.

This is where the REAL magic happens... yummm beer... we also collect tap handles which are everywhere...

More bar and games

Right now my little plants are enjoying the game room...

Now we move onto what I like to call Twitter "Cribs" you know when they show you the inside of the fridge on MTV Cribs... well this is what you really want to see isn't it... Notice how empty it is, it looks a little full because I scooted everything to the front but it's bare because I haven't been able to eat normal food in forever thanks to my wisdom teeth nightmare...

Here's the good stuff... I told you I was just a "slight" fan of Beefaroni... yes I eat like a toddler at times... as you can see we're ALWAYS stocked with some Chef Boyardi, D-lish!

And that about wraps it up, what I didn't show was the guest room because it's pretty much Bella central right now and I was tired of cleaning. Likewise there are a couple more bathrooms and while I love you all dearly I don't love you enough to clean ALL of the bathrooms. And we've got the laundry room...

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Oral Surgery Round 2....

Was able to get in today to get the lowers removed. MUUUUCH better being put under than awake like the first time. I'm still numb with novocaine 10 hours later but I think I've got the pain managment slightly under control. But yes it hurts like hell still... at least I have a really cute nurse to take care of me today :) although he keeps headbutting me, I don't think he quite understands ha

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

BlogHer oh how I love thee...

I was SOOO honored to be contacted by BlogHer about syndicating one of my posts on their home page. I was like, Me?? Really?? My post??? Heck yes, please do feature it I am so honored for the opportunity! Apparently my post about boobs was a hit, so we go live tomorrow on their homepage! Be sure to head over and check it out and read a bunch of other posts from great ladies, you can be sure if it's on BlogHer- it's GOOD stuff :)

In case you missed my ramble about boobs before, during, and after pregnancy you can catch it again tomorrow. So head on over here and check it out and leave some comment love if you're feeling especially generous! Read more!

Don't have room for a garden, then get this stuff!! I cannot WAIT to try these!

So I was in Lowes yesterday and saw this book and immediately bought it after flipping through some of the pages. I am in love with the idea of being able to grow veggies in containers and pretty pots! Granted I have my huge garden to grow in, but why not grow MORE! What I loved about this book was that it shows you how to mix veggies AND flowers in one pot and they look amazing. So you get the beauty of pretty potted plants with the bonus of veggies. :::::SWOON::::::

I wish I could find more pictures of her vegetable container plants because they're amazing, they look like some beautiful ornamental lawn pots and then you look closer and you see eggplants or tomatoes or habanero peppers popping out of the middle! Here's what they look like essentially but you'd see a beautiful squash plant hanging down from the bottom or a tomato plant growing from the top.

PS. Pamela Crawford should totally pay me to be a sales rep for her book because I'm going to blab this to everyone haa :)

For those of you who don't have the space for an inground garden or don't have the right soil this is the perfect fix. I'm all about promoting organic lifestyle changes and growing your own produce is honestly one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. There's something about it that makes you feel good, forgive me for sounding totally "granola" but there's something earthy about it, like you're getting back to the basics. And you will never taste anything better. Until you've tasted homegrown veggies you have NO clue what you're missing out on, I cringe going to the grocery store in the winter and having to buy their produce, the tomatoes are almost see-thru and have no flavor, the squash is waxy & covered in pesticides, ick, I just hate it.

So after visiting a couple of gardening places this weekend to get a few things I found these awesome planter boxes that are completely self contained growing kits. It literally can't get any easier than this, I mean the thing even waters itself!!

Earth Box Growing Kits (and no I'm not getting paid to do this, I'm not even getting any free product, I just love this idea) are so cool I was *thisclose* to buying one when I remembered, oh yea, I have a 1000 sq. ft. garden I don't need this, but I really wanted it!

Here's some pictures of ones that have been planted, looks to me like this one has carrots, basil, rosemary, and something else.

See they really will fit on your patio!

They even come with accessories like trellices so you can grow vines like watermellon, squash, or other large plants. So there you have it, no more excuses, you can grow your own food without hardly any effort. In fact the wording on the package says grow your own garden "No matter what color your thumb is." Whether you take the container garden down the fancy route using gorgeous containers like Pamela Crawford has done or whether you go with the simple and easy grow kits you can do it guys! And you most certainly won't regret it. Happy planting!!! Read more!
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