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Friday, May 27, 2011

Daily Mom Report!


Isn't it amazing how much information is out there these days when it comes to, well everything and, especially parenting? We are really fortunate to have so much right at our fingertips. Whether it's browsing parenting websites, getting weekly email updates, having something catch our eye on Facebook or Twitter...it's all out there. I can't tell you how many times I have wondered something and went straight to google. If it is of real importance, of course I get it from the doctor eventually, but google usually gets me first. So many answers or suggestions right there for the taking 24/7. I know our parents' generations find it all a little comical because "back when we were younger, they didn't have all that ______." Funny to hear, yet true as well. I have heard before that this current generation of parents worries more than any other due to all that info out there swirling about.


However, we all know that knowledge is power. Most of us can sift through what needs our attention and what might just be food for thought. This day and age has also taught us not to believe everything you read, and also how to consider the source. Well, I have a GREAT new news source for you all to check out! www.dailymomreport.com. This site does a great job of combining the latest parenting articles out there and provides them all on one site. You can pick and choose what applies or appeals to you. It's all up-to-date daily and throughout the day. Plus, I know one its creators, and she is a fabulous mother herself and one of my closest of friends. I am not just being biased though! Her site is awesome! You can also find Daily Mom Report on Facebook and Twitter. I really love this because I catch it on my news feed. I don't even have to look for it, it just comes to me. So whether you're a news hound or just a browser, if you are a parent, you will benefit from checking this out! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


Happy Memorial Day Weekend Everyone!
Oh, and a shout out to my little sis who is turning (gulp) 30 today! Happy Birthday Lindsay! I only gulp because that means I am moving further away from 30 myself. Think I'll go look around on Daily Mom Report for the latest article on how parents in their 30's still have the most fabulous years ahead them. I'm sure it's out there! We're all only getting better with age, right? It's the way of the world!:)

(Update: Daily Mom Report was listed as one of the Top 100 Websites for Women in 2011 by Forbes Magazine!!!!  Congrats to them!!!!!)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

PREGNANCY 101: How to Grow a Human (1st Trimester)


Hello there! We are mixing it up a little today here at Daily Cup of T! I'd like you to meet Tasha (that's me), Kristi, and Stacia. We are all pregnant bloggers, friends from high school, and have due dates just trimesters apart. We are also moms to toddler girls, which means we aren’t exactly new to this whole song and dance. In this special pregnancy series, we would like to take you on a three trimester journey of our pregnancies written from each of our points of view at our current trimester.

Are you curious about what goes on during the first trimester? Every pregnancy is different for every woman, but I am going to give you a glimpse as to what’s been in store for the 1st trimester. Today I am guest posting over at Stacia’s blog, Dried On Milk. Please check it out!:)

Next week, Kristi will continue our trimester series with a post on the 2nd Trimester. Until then though, feel free to pop on over to check out her blog, Whine & Cheez. You can see how this hilarious pregnant mom keeps the order in her beautiful home with her hubby Ken, daughter Ava, and their two Labrador retrievers, Biscuit & Willy. She is full of ideas for the mom on the go, and often leaves me feeling inspired myself with either a new recipe or a new venture in life.

Stacia will then bring up the rear with what it’s like to experience the 3rd trimester. When you read my post today, you should stick around on her site and check out some of her posts too. She is also very entertaining and humorous. I have enjoyed following her daily stories of her life with her hubby J, their daughter Ava, and their beloved cat. She tells it like it is, and has a real knack for creativity whether it's making it all work as a full-time working mom or informing on a new ways to go green.

Well, I hope you all enjoy our little special pregnancy series....... PREGNANCY 101: How to Grow a Human. :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Strawberry Goodness



I recently saw this recipe on SmittenKitchen.com. I could not look away. Needless to say, I can't get it out of my mind. Once Blake is awake from her afternoon snooze, I think we are going to have to hit up the local strawberry stand nearby. It looks delish!

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Strawberry Summer Cake from smittenkitchen.com
Adapted, only slightly, from Martha Stewart

The recipe recommends using barley flour, but I don't think it is necessary. On Smitten Kitchen, they point out most of us associate whole grain flours with heartiness and heaviness, but they say this is neither — it’s silky and delicate, like the best cake flour you’ve ever bought, and it has a subtle creamy, nuttiness to it should go fantastic with berries. Again, they say this cake works like a dream with 100% all-purpose flour, but if you’ve got barley flour around, swapping it in for half the volume is recommended.

Also, it was noted that the batter itself could go with 2 tablespoons less sugar (i.e. 7/8 cup sugar instead of a whole one). If that’s sounds good to you too, why not go for it...or that is, go without it. Leave the sugar on top. It can then contribute to the berries turning into jam.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour (can swap 3/4 cup with 3/4 cup or 75 grams of barley flour, see Note)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (200 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup (118 ml) milk
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 pound (450 grams) strawberries, hulled and halved

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 10-inch pie pan or 9-inch deep-dish pie pan (what I used). They noted they did not test this with a standard 9-inch pie plate but looking at the margin of space leftover in the deep-dish pan after baking the cake, they suspected you’d be safe. This cake would also work in a 9- or 10-inch springform or cake pan. The 10-inch would make a thinner cake than pictured.

Whisk flour or flours, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.

Pour into prepared pie plate. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer (might have to overlap a few to get them all in). Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.

Bake cake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes. (Gooey strawberries on the tester are a given.) Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges. Serve with lightly whipped cream.

FYI if you to prepare it in advance: Cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, loosely covered, but good luck with that!

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I'll let you know if it is as good as it looks! Happy Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Keeping Up

Well, we are just moving right along, aren't we? I can't believe it is almost Summer. I have lots to do when all I really want to do right now is nap. Good news though! I found a decent suit last night. No, I will not be posting pics, but it felt good after my "swimsuit shopping bust" yesterday morning. Oh, and we got out for a stroll today too. Woo hoo! Anyways, I am going to tackle my to-do list while my energetic toddler naps. I thought I'd just post some favorite pics we've taken lately. These were taken on a day trip down to San Diego about a month ago. That's another thing...picture up-keep. I need to add that one to my ongoing list. Can't remember the last time I got pics into actual albums! Have a great day everyone!:)






Monday, May 23, 2011

Dah-dunt. Dah-dunt. Dah-dah....


No, thank you! That was my thought after trying on swimsuits today. Ick! I love summer. I used to love going to the pool. I wouldn't say I have a fear of it now. Although, I think the Jaws theme song started playing in my head as I entered the swimsuit department. Here's the thing. I feel pretty comfortable in my own skin, until I have to basically put on underwear-like contraptions and then go walk around in public as though I am fully dressed. Now I know many people dread it. I am sure some people just flat out avoid it. I do not want to do that though for several reasons. Believe me I have several reasons to be fine with not going at all, but honestly I have one very important reason that makes me want to go eventually. My daughter Blake. Here I have this sweet little girl who is more than thrilled to get in the water. She's going to start some swim classes soon. She actually says "I can't wait!" in an excited tone just to go get in the bathtub! Although she calls it the "baff" tub. So stinking cute!

Anyways, I want to go enjoy the pool with her this summer. I want her to experience all the fun I had as a kid. I was at the pool daily. You know who else was there? My mom. She wore swimsuits and didn't complain about her body. I don't want to go hide in the shadows or give Blake some weird body complex. Well, I tried on some suits today that were a no-go. I only went to one store though. Maybe I should check out some maternity suits because I am 10 weeks pregnant. But before you stop me there, I would have these insecurities pregnant or not. I am not going to complain about my weight because, well, if you think you are bigger than me, you will want to tell me to shut up. If you are in better shape or have no swimsuit anxiety, you'll say stop complaining and do something about it. It is a little bit of a weight issue though because I am no longer what I once was. On top of that, I hate these veins in my legs from too many years of working retail. High heels all day on a wood floor, moving merchandise, and unloading trucks did a disastrous job on legs that used to be seen in a miniskirt. Oh well. Some day I'll probably get them lasered. Some day I better not always be progressing in a pregnancy. Hence, I just want 2 or 3 kids, not decades of pregnancies. Hmmm...what to do right now though?

First step, more walking (in good shoes) and squeezing in any exercise I can. I think I eat well, but I know I do not get enough exercise. Maybe join the gym again? Next step, continue to wade into the water of swimsuit shopping until I find something as comfortable as possible to wear. I won't be going to the pool probably this weekend, but within this month. So I am on the prowl for a good suit. Cue up that Jaws music again! This time because I am on the hunt though...not because I will be letting any fears get in my way of having a great summer.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Around To Another Year!



What a difference a year can make! The Farmer's Market here in town is back in full swing. We love going every Thursday night if we can make it. Last night's was just another reminder of how the time is passing by. The market is held every Spring into the Fall. Last year when we started going Blake would sit (she could not yet walk) on a blanket and eat off a spoon of baby food. By the Fall, she was tottering around and taking in her surroundings. Here is a pic from last year of her watching the carousel. Well, that was then and this is now! She is now all over the place and rode that carousel for the first time last night which I've also pictured. She loved it! When we put her down last night she kept saying "pink horse, mommy" or "white horse, again, again!". It was also close to the first thing she repeated this morning. Yes, it looks like every Thursday night Blake will be saying "Giddy-Up!". I admit I am looking forward to it too!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Love for Focus



Okay, so the other day I wrote about Dr. Dobson and Family talk. Well, something else I LOVE that I found through those resources is Focus on the Family. Dr. Dobson wrote of it in his book (because he used to be President of the organization) and I have a good friend who also shares my love for Focus on the Family. Maybe many of you already know of this, but I just discovered it this year. It is something I wish everyone knew of, so I thought might as well plug it on my blog!

Now, they have a website www.focusonthefamily.com where you can find all this organization has to offer. The real treat I believe is their podcasts! If you have an iPhone, you are in luck. The app is FocusDaily and I try to listen to it everyday. If you don't have an iPhone or phone that can download their podcasts, then it is all on their website. I just love having it on my phone because I can listen to it while I am putting on my make-up, folding the laundry, or with Chad over breakfast. Please download this and check it out if you are interested! Everyday is a 30 minute discussion on a topic usually relating to relationships, marriage, life challenges, parenting, and faith. You can listen through your phones speaker, pause it, get back to it later. The app saves about two week's worth so just download it and then pick later what you want to hear. I find that often a title may not appeal to me directly necessarily, but once I begin listening it is very interesting and applies in some way or another. It is always makes for a good conversation topic and I like hearing Chad's opinion on it too. Anyways, I guess you have to check it out to see what you think yourself. It's worth it though. Very uplifting and thought provoking!

Oh, and they also publish Thriving Family magazine, which I love. Also, they have affiliate websites that I have been meaning to check out such as www.pluggedin.com for entertainment reviews for the concerned parent and www.citizenlink.com for family news. Seriously, there is so much quality stuff. Hope you like it! Download the FocusDaily app today if you can....today's podcast is "Surviving the Strong Willed Child". I can see this one being useful as we enter the 2's and later for those teenage years! Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Still the Hottest in "My" Book

Okay, so it's May 17th and that means the June issue of Redbook magazine is out. They announced the Hottest Husband and the Top 3 runner-ups. Unfortunately, Chad was not listed. There must have been some sort of mistake when calculating the votes....haha! No, just kidding! We had a feeling since we hadn't heard anything that we wouldn't be in the magazine. We sure had fun with it all though! Of course it would have been fun to make the magazine, but hey, top 25 isn't too shabby! Again, it was A LOT of fun and exciting to be chosen by Redbook to be in the running. Plus, he melts our hearts on a daily basis and we feel very lucky to have him as a wonderful husband and father. We love you Chad! Redbook, schmedbook, you'll always be hot in my book babe!:)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Check This Out!


Hi everyone! It's a new week and I've got something new for you all to check out! Now I'm not talking about this book, so don't turn away if you don't have a daughter. (If you do though, it's a great book). No, what I want you to check out is a facebook page called Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson. I wish I could put into words how much I enjoy anything involved with Dr. James Dobson. I so just want to sell you on it because I wish everyone knew of him. I think it would be great if everywhere I went people were talking of the latest Family Talk discussion or the latest Dr. Dobson book. They also have a website which you can link to from their page. Through all of these resources, there is just a wealth of knowledge when it comes to relationships, marriage, family, parenting, faith, and Christian values. It is something every single person can benefit from especially in the world we live in today.

I became a Dr. Dobson fan last summer while reading the book pictured here. Bringing Up Girls opened my eyes to my role as a parent of a little girl. It did the same for my husband who read it after hearing me talk about certain points in the book. Chad couldn't put it down in fact and has often remarked on certain pieces of advice he will remember forever. Dr. Dobson has also written Bringing Up Boys which I plan on reading eventually whether our next child is a boy or not.

Anyways, on the Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson facebook book page today they are giving away an ebook of a parenting book that I want! I just need 5 friends to "like" his page for me. Pretty please check it out! They are often giving away books and when they hit 50,000 "likes", they are giving away an ipad 2! I'd also take one of those, but maybe you'll win that. Well, hope you check it out! I already know you will like what you find! :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Time Keeps on Ticking....


Hello! After a long weekend, I wanted to jump right back into my blog. I wanted to tell you all what a completely amazing time I had visiting our family in Indiana. I wanted to jump back into the swing of things around here refreshed after a break from the daily routine. During Blake's nap today, I wanted to do a million and one things. Well, I did one thing. Napped myself. Waaa-waaa. Man, have I got a case of first trimester tiredness! I actually did great over the weekend. Thought maybe I kicked the nap habit, but no. I fell asleep last night at 9p.m. Got up today at 5:30 ready to jump on my opportunities to do stuff while Blake was still sleeping. I thought I could power through her nap as well. Then, I thought instead of a power-through, I'd go for just a 20 minute power-nap. As I was laying there just now over an hour later, I got a text from Chad. He asked if Blake was sleeping still. I told him she was, and that I just couldn't wake up myself. Next text..."Go to sleep. Whatever you need to do can wait. Just keep cooking that bun." I love my husband! My nap along with that message just refreshed my whole day...until bedtime.:)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Baby on the Way!


Yay! So the news is out! We're having a baby! I almost can't believe it myself, but then those first trimester symptoms remind me that it is indeed true! Yep, I have been feeling a little tired and occasionally queasy. I am thankful for this though because I know it could be way worse. I think it will really hit home with me when I start to break out the maternity clothes and prep a nursery. I know pregnancy can be a long haul, but right now I am thinking "thank goodness" because I feel like I have a million things I want to do around here before we welcome home baby#2. I'm sure around 7, 8, or 9 months though I will be not as excited to have time left. I'll be uncomfortable and ready to go. Ahhh, the joys of pregnancy!:) We are only 8 weeks today. Lots to do until our due date, but a good amount of time to get it done. Well, this pregnant lady is going to go eat some more crackers while I finish yesterday's laundry. Yep, still a procrastinator when preggo! I'm sure many more posts will be pregnancy related so bear with me if I get moody from time to time. Haha! Oh, and we are taking a long weekend, so Happy's Mother's Day in advance everyone!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I'll Get There Eventually


Well, I'm having a bit of writer's bock. Not that I am even a "writer" necessarily, but you know what I mean. My mind is on that ever growing to-do list again. We are getting ready to go see family here fairly shortly and the whole packing process is beginning. I always look forward to trips to see family or even just day trips here and there. However, while I anxiously await them, I delay packing. I'd like to say it is because now we have a little one to travel with, but I have always been this way. I am usually up way too late the night before, and then tired the day traveling occurs. Why do I do this to myself? Sometimes I think I just work better under a crunch time. Other times I think it's the challenge of can I get it done in less time rather than just drag it out until it is time to go. I know I don't want to be ready a day in advance. I just don't know why. Having a small child does require extra thought into it all. It takes quite a bit to get our family's "show on the road". While I delay in action though, my wheels spin as to what I need to get done. Little mental checklists. Somehow or another I then end up packed and surprisingly organized when we head out the door.

Well, maybe just maybe, I can prepare enough for an early bedtime the night before we leave. Going to go listen to some good music and get this mountain of laundry tackled. That is step 1. The other day I heard my husband say "I like to make hay while the sun shines" in reference to putting things off or getting things done. This made me laugh out loud because I had never heard this expression before and suddenly he sounded like Farmer Chad to me. As you can tell, he is not as big of a procrastinator. Well, the sun is shining, so I'm off to make my hay....or do my laundry. Haha! Wish me luck. I'm going to need it! Hope you all are having a productive day too!