gallamore west: October 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Keeping babies safe in style with Graco! #gracosafety

I had an amazing opportunity as a blogger this past weekend to be a part of the Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 Car Seat Launch at Babies 'R Us!  It was really exciting for me to be able to participate in the national launch of this fabulous product.


I was fortunate enough to be able to co-host the event at my local Babies 'R Us in beautiful La Mesa, California.  


I was excited to meet my co-host, Desiree Eaglin, a fellow Southern California blogger.  I was in charge of social media amplification {tweeting, Instagraming, and Facebooking... three of my favorite things to do!} among some other fun things.


As a mom with four little boys I am always hearing about all of the latest and greatest gear for babies and kids.  Some things I wish were around when my older boys {ages 7 & 5} were babies, but lucky for me I still get to take advantage of awesome new products with my younger boys {turning 2 this weekend & 5 months}.  One product that I'm doing cartwheels over is the new Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 Car Seat!  My cute little 5 month old has the Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 Car Seat on his Christmas list {hint, hint for his Grandparents who may be reading this!}

Because the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that babies are safest when rear-racing until age 2, Graco has jumped ahead of all competitors by introducing the ONLY infant to 2-year old rear-racing car seat, from 4 pounds up to 40 pounds.  Plus, it is still an infant carrier, so no worries about waking that precious baby when it's time to get them out of the car. 

Yes, it has a long name.  But more importantly, the Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 Car Seat boosts a long list of awesome features for your precious cargo!  Here are some fabulous features of the Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 Car Seat:

  • The base adjusts with 8 recline positions for most leg room of any rear-facing car seat for baby comfort.  I love the "kick plate" that protects your car's seat from those cute little toddler footprints too!
  • The Simply Safe Adjust™ harness systems allows parents to adjust the harness and headrest with just one hand to fit their baby’s height as their baby grows, without having to re-thread it.  I tell my husband ALL the time that I wish I was an octopus because I NEED more hands, so having a feature that only requires one of my hands is a winner in my book!
  • The fabric is soft and cozy, yet totally washable and durable at the same time.  Don't want a loud, nursery print?  Graco gets style points too!  With charcoal grey & either light pink for the little lady in your life {Mena}, or charcoal grey & swirled grey with a hint of lime green details for the dashing mini prince in your life {Moonstruck} , Graco succeeds in making a baby product that is cute for babies, yet neutral enough not to make you look like a traveling circus :)      
Mena
Moonstruck

  • And the Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 Car Seat is compatible with all Graco strollers that offer the Click Connect System {Fast Action Fold Click Connect, Fast Action Fold Sport Click Connect and the SnugRider Elite} with just a simple, yet secure "click."  It's so easy and convenient!  And just like the Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 Car Seat, the strollers were not only stylish, but they were so user-friendly and easy to figure out. 
  • The Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 Car Seat is priced at $219.99 and is available exclusively at Babies 'R Us, in stores and online.  Click here for more information on the Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 Car Seat. 
I had the pleasure of picking the winning names for two lucky moms in attendance who won a fabulous prize... a Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 Car Seat!!  Here is one of our sweet winners, Jen.  She is also a blogger, and she's expecting a handsome little boy! 


Thank you Graco, Babies 'R Us, and The SITS Girls for the opportunity to be a part of this fabulous product launch! 

The Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 – the first and only newborn to two-year infant car seat that actually grows with your baby from four pounds all the way up to 40 pounds. The car seat is designed for a parent on the go. The infant car seat can be easily removed from the base and used as a carrier when the infant is small, providing portability and convenience so you can easily move your infant in and out of the car without disturbing them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made the recommendation to keep all children in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2. Graco set out to make this product so parents can keep infants rear facing longer while still keeping them comfortable.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. The opinions and text are all mine.

Burlap & Broomsticks Front Porch!

Halloween is coming up so quickly!  This year I decided to decorate the porch with a "Burlap and Broomsticks" theme.  I think it's my boys favorite night of the year, so some of our porch decorations have been up since probably the end of August {sorry, neighbors!} but I'm so glad to finally be sharing my Burlap & Broomsticks Front Porch with you :)
 
The entire theme for this year's porch decorations was inspired by the cute free printable from The Diary of Dave's Wife pictured below.  When I saw it on Facebook, I immediately printed it out and shared the link on my Gallamore West Facebook page too.   And when I saw all of the fun twig-like brooms at Target, I knew exactly what I'd be doing with them. 


And the burlap additions to the decor... well that's just my thing :)  I LOVE crafting with burlap!  I was so excited when I found black and orange burlap at Jo Ann's, and I knew I had to incorporate it into our porch decorations.   I used this black boa {that I had used in previous years as a mantle decoration} and attached it across our front window.  I originally wanted that piece of black/white ribbon with the orange burlap ties to hang above the black boa, but when it fell on top of the boa I loved how it looked so there it stayed. 


The Happy Halloween banner is from Target.  I think it was a total steal at $4... it is thick, glittered, durable and I couldn't have made one myself for that little money.  Yay, Target!  I might as well just hand in my wallet when I walk in the door... it's ridiculous how much I love that store.


 I made a similar wreath to this one currently on our front door as a giveaway last month.  Out of over a thousand entries on Rafflecopter, one of my sweet friends won it {yay, Tanya!} and I really liked it so I decided to make myself one too.  Hers was fancier because I got a little lazy on mine. 


Here's a picture of the original 
"Beware of little monsters" wreath...


One of my greatest bargain finds -you know the kind when you literally squeal out loud because you not only love the item, but you love the price too- was those two burlap pillows.  They were a steal at $4.99 each at Ross!  Plus they are burlap {love}, plus they came with the pillow form {economical}, AND they are blank on the back side so I plan on stenciling something for Thanksgiving on the back side {brilliant}!


The pictures don't quite do the hanging brooms justice {wonky afternoon sunlight was getting in my way!} but there are actually 4 brooms hanging from the porch as you walk up.  They totally creep me out when I'm in the house and the wind makes them sway.  I think someone is standing on my porch watching me every time.  

BOO!  

So even though it looks like a "cute" Halloween porch, 
it still manages to spook me :)


Are you ready for Halloween?

Go here for my post on lunch, dinner, 
and dessert ideas for Halloween!

What are your kids dressing up as?

What kind of candy are you handing out?!?! 
I still need to buy ours {if I buy it too early, I will eat it all myself!}

Although honestly, we don't really get any Trick or Treaters so I'll be eating it all myself anyway :)










Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Naptime Review's "Like Me on Facebook" Wednesday!

Hi Friends, and welcome New Friends to Gallamore West!  

I'm excited to be a co-host this week for Naptime Review's "Like Me on Facebook Wednesday!"  I share DIY crafts on a budget, recipes {usually sweet ones!} and stories of everyday life with my four little boys at Gallamore West.  
I hope you find something here that inspires you!  xoxo  


Welcome to Like Me on Facebook


This is a link up designed for bloggers who want to increase their facebook likes and share their facebook pages with others. PLEASE DON'T LINK UP YOUR BLOG.

Come back for Mom's Monday Mingle to link up your blog!


Please TWEET about the hop!



PLEASE LIKE FROM YOUR PERSONAL FACEBOOK PAGE ONLY!
**Facebook doesn't recognize likes from blog fan pages.
Please use your personal account to like.
***Please comment on facebook pages so we can make sure to RETURN follows.
Thank you!

Rules:
1. Please follow ALL of the hosts on facebook and twitter. They are 1-6 on the list.
2. Like as many facebook pages as you can. Just don't put your name into the list hoping to gain followers. Visit pages and say hi! Leave your facebook page so they can return the follow.

3. Please grab the blog hop button from my right side bar and provide a backlink. Together we can help each other grow!
Would you like to learn how you can be a co-host?
Scheduling NOW
for next week!!!



Check Out This Months Sponsor:

LINK UP YOUR TWITTER ACCOUNTS HERE:

Halloween Menu Ideas!

Do you have a special Halloween Night Dinner and Dessert?


We always do, and since it is always rushed because the boys can't wait to head out the door to Trick Or Treat, I like to keep it cute and simple.  This year we're having Halloween Pasta {from World Market} with eyeballs {meatballs that I'll put eyes on with mozzarella cheese and a bit of black olive} and Witches Broomsticks {made from refrigerated break stick dough}. 


These are cupcakes I made a few years ago, and I think Mummy Cupcakes for dessert sound great again this year.  I just baked Tidy Mom's Vanilla Pumpkin Cupcakes for our Fall Carnival last weekend and they were SO good that I'm dying for a reason to make them again :)


I haven't really done it in the past, but surprising my boys with a fun Halloween lunch is also on my agenda this year!  Maybe some simple PB&J ghost and pumpkin sandwiches...


with juice boxes wrapped like mummies & ghost shaped Rice Krispy treats too.
{I got the idea for the cute mummy juices from threefreckles.com}


What about you?
 Do you have a special dinner planned for Halloween night?
I'd love to hear what you do at your house!

I'll be back tonight with another fun link-up.  I've done a couple of them lately, and it is so fun meeting new blog friends!  But after that, I'm taking a break from that because I have so many fun projects that I'm behind on sharing with you.   I still need to share our cute Burlap and Broomsticks front porch with you, so I'll be back in a couple of days with that.  I love how it turned out!  xoxo

I'm sharing my Halloween Menu Ideas at some of my favorite party places!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Winner, winner... Pizza for Dinner!!

I try my hardest to keep up on my weekly dinner menu, but with 4 little boys and a schedule that has us here and there (and sometimes seemingly EVERYWHERE at once), sometimes dinner gets a little rushed.  With soccer practice at 5 pm and two little ones hanging off of me during dinner prep, some of our dinners are quick ones!  If you're anything like me, having something to pop in the oven with no prep saves the day occasionally, and if you can make a difference in the fight against breast cancer at the same time AND decorate your dining room table with fresh flowers, then it's definitely a winning combination, right?

Right now during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, until October 31st, if you are in Southern California like me you can make a difference in the fight against breast cancer with this great deal- purchase  2 FRESCHETTA® Multi-Serve or FRESCHETTA® Artisan Pizzas & save $5 on fresh flowers.  Since some of the floral bunches at Vons are equal to or less than $5, that means you could get fresh flowers for free!  


FRESCHETTA® is donating $25,000 to help the fight against Breast Cancer, so by purchasing this deal you are helping the fight as well.  

See, it's a win-win all around, right?


In order to take advantage of this deal, you will need a Vons Club Card and you'll need to be signed up for Just for U on vons.com.  

Have you tried Just For U on vons.com yet?  
If not, what are you waiting for?!  

I never have the time to clip coupons {and on those rare occasions that I actually do, I forget them at home anyway!} so Just for U on vons.com is just for ME!  I honestly LOVE it!  I signed up online a while back, but you could also sign up at the checkout stand in the store too.  Now I just hop on there before I leave for the store, add the coupons I want, and when I check-out the savings are automatically deducted when I use my Vons Club Card.    
Easy savings!!

So why not have a delicious, easy dinner one night soon while enjoying fresh flowers on your dining room table from Vons AND helping to fight against Breast Cancer?  Every ONE of us has the power to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.  Join the FRESCHETTA® team on Facebook to see how your efforts, both big and small, can add up to great results!







This blog post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™, but all my opinions are my own. http://cmp.ly/3/KqtZiE



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mommy-Brain Mixer!


Hi, sweet ladies! Have you entered to win one of the two gorgeous Kaboo bags yet? If not, definitely do so! They're beautiful, fashionable and {with their awesome tech pouch for your reader, tablet, or iPad} very practical!

Also, stay tuned for a wonderful new blog series called "The Mom Connection!" You don't want to miss out on parenting tips and advice from some of your favorite bloggers, so put this Saturday, October 20th on your calendar! We will be discussing balancing blogging and motherhood!


------


Welcome to week 13 of the Mommy-Brain Mixer, ladies!

Last week we had a wonderful 93 link-ups! The Mixer is thriving!

If you haven't noticed, one of my favorite things to do here at Two In Diapers is to share stories about motherhood and my littles. One of my favorite things about sharing these stories is your comments with stories of your own children!

Welcome to...


At the Mommy-Brain Mixer, we will be linking up our writings about anything and everything motherhood!

We want to see funny posts, serious posts, sweet & sappy stories, mommy-brain episodes, memories from when your older children were younger, thoughts & lessons learned, and anything related to motherhood or little people. You know that post you wrote yesterday about your teething baby? Or that hilarious post you wrote about your 2nd grader's school play? Those are perfect, so link 'em up! 

The Mommy-Brain Mixer is the perfect place to find some great new blogs to follow, make some wonderful new blog friends, and enjoy some entertaining new reads!

To make things even more fun, my friend Mar, over at Raising Bean, is hosting a sister link-up for you to join, too!

Head on over there after your finished here and link up your recipes, DIY, arts & crafts, and sensory activities!  

Let's get to it, friends!
 
RULES:
1.Follow Two In Diapers
{the first link below}
If you are new to the Mixer, please leave me a comment so I know to follow you back! I try to get around to all the posts but, as the Mixer is growing, there are some weeks that I'm not able!

2. Follow your co-hosts
This week's lovely co-hosts {the first 4 on the linky} are:

Amanda from Mommy is Coo Coo
Laurie from Gallamore West

3. Link up your mommy post!

4. Make sure to visit some of the blogs in the link-up and maybe even follow them!
{and comments are always loved} 

5. Tweet about the Mommy-Brain Mixer to help spread the word! 

 

6. Grab this adorable button and place it somewhere on your blog!

Photobucket 
 

7. Don't forget to check back throughout the week, as we gain many new links throughout the week!

If you are interested in co-hosting a Mommy-Brain Mixer, send me an email at twoindiapers@gmail.com!


Like my blog? Don't forget to vote for us! One click on the banner below = one vote for our blog, and you can even vote daily to keep us at the top!
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{Sweet Sponsor}

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Follow Me Wednesday!



Welcome to Follow Me Wednesday Blog Hop!
3 Four and Under is proud to bring you {Follow Me Wednesday} Please welcome this weeks co-hosts!  Through the Eyes of the Mrs      Quite the Blog      Gallamore West      Eloping Stethoscope The Funny Thing of It Is  Thank you for linking up each week, we really appreciate it!   This is a wonderful way to meet new people and follow some awesome blogs!
Please remember to tell your friends!  The more the merrier!
Here is what you do!
1. Please add your blog address to the blog hop list.
2. Please follow the host and co-host blogs!  
3. We would love you to tweet about the blog hop.
4.  Please place the Follow Me Wednesday button somewhere on your blog
5.  If you are new to this hop, Welcome, and please leave us a comment and we will be sure to follow you back!  And make sure to visit this weeks co-hosts and show them some love.
 6. Then, visit the other blogs on the list. 
Follow them and I'm sure they will follow you back!
Please leave them a comment telling them you are visiting them from {Follow Me Wednesday}!
We all love comments!
Please link up family appropriate blogs only, any blogs that are not family appropriate will be deleted
3FourAndUnder
 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake with Browned Butter Icing

Do you love pumpkin recipes? 
If you do, you'll love this Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake 
with Browned Butter Icing!   


I love recipes that look like they took forever to make, but are really quite easy.  Don't you?  This has all the presentation beauty of a challenging recipe, but it was easy to pull together.  I had all of the ingredients on hand, and it was a hit with parents and kiddos alike!

The recipe is from My Sweet Savannah and I pretty much followed it, just changing a couple of things {like I always put the streusel in the bottom of my bundt pan so I just flip it once & it's baked down into the top of the cake more rather than sprinkled on top}.  I found this delicious recipe while browsing on Pinterest one day recently and I knew it had to make it's way into our home/oven/bellies as soon as possible... and I'm so glad I did.

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

15 oz can pumpkin

3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
 
Streusel Topping
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped walnuts {I didn't have any so I skipped this ingredient}
 
Browned Butter Icing 

1 1/2 T butter 
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
 milk
    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the inside of a bundt pan with nonstick spray; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended. Add the pumpkin and eggs and mix thoroughly.   In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt.  Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture.  Mix on medium speed until combined. Set aside.  Prepare the streusel topping- In a small bowl combine the flour, sugars, cinnamon, melted butter and walnuts. Sprinkle the streusel in the bottom of prepared pan. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 50 or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Slide a knife around the pan so the cake doesn’t stick when removing it. Invert onto a cake plate & drizzle Browned Butter Icing over the top.  Cool completely.  Cover and store at room temperature.

If you like pumpkin recipes, check out all of the pumpkin recipes I've been gathering so far this Fall on my "Pretty Please with Pumpkin" board on Pinterest!  It's filling up with some fabulous looking recipes, including my Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filled Muffins.  

I hope you have a wonderful week! xoxo
iron chef mom

Friday, October 12, 2012

Origami Owl Giveaway!

Giveaway is now closed:  
Congratulations to our winner, Tori Lent!!  

I'm so excited about this giveaway from Origami Owl!  

Have you heard of Origami Owl yet?  
If you haven't, you're in for a treat...


I only host giveaways occasionally because it has to be something that I love.  And I LOVE Origami Owl Living Lockets.  And now thanks to my friend Breanne, you have the chance to win a customizable medium-sized locket with 4 charms of your choice!
Origami Owl sells adorable customizable locket necklaces through independent distributors, like my sweet friend Breanne.  There are so many different lockets, metal plates, dangles, and charms to choose from that you can truly create something special and unique for yourself, or for a gift.  I know that I have a few people on my Christmas list who seem to have everything and they are so hard to shop for... but I know that an Origami Owl Living Locket would be so unique and differently something they don't already have {and I'm sure they will love it as much as I do!}

 Here's how Origami Owl works...



Your final product will be a truly one of a kind, personalized piece of jewelry to treasure!





And lucky, lucky mail... I got the most adorable happy mail from Breanne yesterday!  Here's my own Origami Owl Living Locket with my four sons birthstones.  Thank you, Breanne!



It's super easy to enter below via Rafflecopter!  This giveaway ends one week from today.  You can earn extra points to increase your chances of winning by sharing this giveaway on Facebook daily :)






a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 5, 2012

White Chocolate Candy Corn M&Ms Cookie Bars

Have you tried White Chocolate Candy Corn M&Ms yet?  

They really taste nothing like white chocolate nor candy corn, but they are super sweet and addicting nonetheless!  I had my husband taste one without telling him what it was and he guessed white chocolate raspberry.  But whatever, they're super cute and colorful and baked up beautifully in these cookie bars.


Here's the recipe:

2 sticks softened butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 bag of White Chocolate Candy Corn M&Ms 
(I found mine at Target, and truth be told I probably used about 3/4 of the bag because we'd already eaten 1/4 of it)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9x13 glass baking dish with non-stick spray.  Using a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars until light & fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated.  Add in salt, baking soda & vanilla until blended.  Slowly add in flour and mix well.  Add in White Chocolate Candy Corn M&Ms and blend until combined.  Spread evenly into prepared baking dish.  Bake @ 350 degrees until lightly browned, about 28-30 minutes.  Cool completely in baking dish on a wire rack, then cut into bars, and enjoy!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! xoxo

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Interchangable Chevron Sign

I'm so excited about this finished project!  With 4 little boys, my kind of creative projects are usually quick, easy, inexpensive and if I can find a way to make them work for multiple occasions, then it's a real winner.  

So without further ado, introducing a WINNER...
my Interchangable Chevron Sign :)

Supplies:
Plywood board cut by my husband in the garage {yay!}
White craft paint
Martha Stewart Black Coffee Glaze paint
chevron pattern cut on my Silhouette {you can also just tape off the pattern with tape if you don't have a cutting machine}
sponge brushes
sand paper
picture frame
free "BOO" printable from Anders Ruff



I didn't take step by step pictures because I worked on this in between about a million other things that were going on in our busy house, but here's how I did it:

Painted the board white & let it dry.

Stuck on the vinyl chevron pattern and painted it with the Black Coffee glaze paint.  Any paint would work great... I just happen to already have this and don't use it much so I thought this would be a good project to use it on.  It's kind of a black color with a brownish shimmer in it, although you can't really tell on my board, but I still like it :)

Once the chevron paint was dry, I put on my gardening gloves {that rarely get used for gardening... geesh, me and my soooo-not-green thumb!} and sanded that board like a mad woman!  I was really just going to distress the edges a bit, but once I got going I took out some pent up aggression or something on my board... and my board liked it so it ended up being a heavily distressed chevron board :)

Then I just measured out where to hammer in a little nail, added a sawtooth hanger to the back, and popped a cute free printable in the frame.   The printable is from Anders Ruff and you can find it here.  They make such adorable stuff!  

I really love how this project turned out because it fit all of my criteria... quick, as long as you have patience for the paint to dry.  {I don't really so I dried it outside in the blazing sun... come on, San Diego.  Cool down!}, easy, inexpensive {I had everything on hand already!}, and the best part is that all I have to do is switch out the printable in the inner frame for any occasion, holiday, birthday, etc. and I have a fresh new look with VERY minimal effort.  Yay... more time for changing diapers, doing laundry, and cooking tickling, playing, cuddling and reading books with my boys! :) 



Here's a peek of
my Burlap & Brooms Front Porch... 
full post coming soon.
I'm sooo loving my HUGE $4.99 burlap pillows from Ross.  


Are you excited for Halloween?  xoxo

I'm sharing my Interchangable Chevron Sign at some of my favorite party places :)

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