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Monday, January 31, 2011

Will YOU Be My Valentine ~ tinyprints cards




Can you believe that Valentine’s Day is around the corner. January quickly came and left and now love is in the air. While Bean might not understand the concept of making her own valentines I still want to send cards to friends and family.

That being said, Mr. Man and I use Tiny Prints to print our cards. If it is birthday invites, holiday, or New Year’s. So, why wouldn’t we use them for Valentine’s Day! Since they have the most adorable Group & Photo Cards, Party Invites and even take care of gift ideas with their Photo Gifts they are who we are turning to. But, the big news for 2011 is the Tiny Prints Greeting Card Collection, which lets you create individual personalized cards with photos starting at $1.99. According to an email I received this morning, they have everything from romantic to sentimental to hilariously funny cards.  In a matter of seconds you can create personalized cards for your loved one, mom, dad, friend or anyone else important in your life and Tiny Prints will mail the card directly to that person.

Here are couple of my favorites:

1CAC54U3HValentine's Day Cards for Kids Crafty Hearts - Front : Azalea1CA8DT13O

Happy shopping!!!!!!!



Sunday, January 30, 2011

Daddy’s Little Watchdog

So, let’s face it we are all well aware of the fact that the Northeast has been hit with some serious snow, but this post has nothing to do with the weather. Instead, it is a story about Mr. Man, myself, a dilemma, and the adorable admirer who watched as the task was completed.

Some information that sets up the stage of the story:

  • the dilemma: the snow on the porch was OUT OF CONTROL and in the middle was a sheet of ice. We were worried about harming the wood and since it was only January more storms were in our future.
  • the ONLY way to get to the porch is through the kitchen door. As you can see below this presents a major problem (Please note the picture below doesn’t even capture the problem. This was only after the first storm in December.):


  • what to do: this meant the ONLY way Mr. Man could get to porch was the dining room window (small space; not small guy; interesting scenario).
  • the admirer:L1020630

Now for the adorable story. In order to help Mr. Man, Bean went to to watch one of her favorite shows, Play With Me Sesame. I needed to keep her distracted while I gingerly assisted him out the window, watched to make sure he didn’t go through the wood (which was one of our biggest fears- thank goodness this didn’t happen), got the tools he needed, and made sure the cats didn’t go out the window. Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw in the monitor that Bean was getting antsy so I went to get her from her “resting” place. She took ONE look at the fact that Mr. Man outside and all she wanted was Daddy. Bean was SO concerned about her Daddy she didn’t leave the door until he was done. All I heard was Dada Dada Dada.

As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” well in this case; I will show you more than just one.

daddy's little watchdog

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Simple Woman’s Daybook – #4


small simple woman icon

Outside my window...darkness…..I was hoping to get to this post when there was still daylight but, due to yet ANOTHER snow day, I had to get things done at home (are you getting sick of me saying this, because I am). Naptime was key!

I am thinking... can’t wait for Bean to go to bed. Feeling kind of guilty about it, but I am exhausted. I am also so excited for our dear friends who announced that they are pregnant with their first baby.

I am thankful for...a happy healthy toddler. What more can I ask for. She is SIGNIFICANTLY more work than I could have imagined, but in reality I shouldn’t want it any other way.

From the kitchen...more dirty dishes than I wish to admit to.

I am wearing...sweats and a sweatshirt. Bean is wearing the cutest outfit ever! The onesie says “daddy’s princess.” THAT she is!

I am creating...good habits for Bean. Well, more like crossing my fingers that is what I am creating.

I am going...to bed as soon as Bean does.

I am reading...still the same book. Mansfield Park by Jane Austin, one of the Booking it in 2011 books. Also Bean books. Link up to that post here. What do you read to your kids?.

I am hoping...to go to Blissdom next year. Blissdom here I come in 2012!

I am hearing……Bean eating.

One of my favorite things….Bean’s face full of food. My goal is to raise a foodie.The more food she gets on her face = the more likely this will happen.

A few plans for the rest of the week: More time with Jane Eyre. Got some good reading in during Jury Duty this week so hoping I can sit down with my book and a cup of tea……or wine. Smile

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...


This is one of my favorite pictures of Bean and Mr. Man. I smile looking at the pride he has holding his baby girl.

Have a great evening blog friends. Those of you venturing to Blissdom – I am SO jealous of you, and wish you safe travels.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cloud Nine

In my opinion, people use the term “cloud nine” loosely when referring to experiences. Nevertheless, if I say so myself, there is truly no other words to describe the day I had with my family. Last Monday, Martin Luther King’s Day, Bean and I spent some wonderful quality time with my father and brother. My mother then joined in the festivities.


I could write an entire essay on our day, since it has been imprinted in mine as one to never forget, but I will not bore you on ALL the details.  Mom, Dad and Brian, if you happen to be reading this, thank you for the most wonderful day. I adored watching you with Bean. The relationship the three of you are developing with her, that is separate from the relationship you have with me, is such a gift. It gives me such pleasure seeing her eyes light up when you guys walk in the room.

Here are the highlights from our amazing day. It even includes a milestone: buying Bean her first big girl snow boots.

L1020457Lunch with Uncle Brian and Poppy


My first big girl snow boots L1020505



L1020449~Playing spoons with Poppy and Brian


~I was the center of attention (as always) L1020462


L1020447~Cooked with Nanni


Ate a HUMUNGOUS chocolate chip cookie and got it ALL over the while carpeting (those who know my parents I found this hysterical and Mr. Man got quite a kick out of it).  L1020494





To say the least, at the end of the day she was exhausted and so was I, but we had a ball!

         ~ Literally.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Simple Woman’s Daybook – #3

small simple woman icon

Outside my window...it is snowing…..AGAIN! Yes, it is winter and we live in the Northeast, but I am sick of this. From what I hear, we are supposed to get a storm on Thursday night that is bringing 6 inches. Time to figure out Bean activities. Calling all suggestions…..NOW!

I am thinking... has a great time last night. Thank goodness no one saw me slip on the ice and fall on my but, besides Mr. Man.

I am thankful for... not hurting myself and the bruised ego.

From the kitchen...I can’t see anything since I am not home. I am guessing our two adorable cats are up to no good.

I am wearing...my signature outfit. That’s right……jeans and a sweater. Today I have boots I haven’t worn in forever.

I am creating...keeping the same one from last week because I like it: happiness for my family. The definition of that changes day by day, but isn’t that the beauty of it.

I am going...to the dentist. Thinking about all the excuses to not have to go, but the best thing is my parents will stop mentioning the dentist to me which will be a relief

I am reading...still the same book. Mansfield Park by Jane Austin, one of the Booking it in 2011 books. Also Bean books. Link up to that post here. What do you read to your kids?.

I am hoping...to not have cavities.

I am hearing...noise of the fan from my computer. PC’s are very noisy.

One of my favorite things….progress. If you do not see progress it means you aren’t trying. Doesn't’ have to be big or grand or what you were hoping for, but at least it is something.

A few plans for the rest of the week: catching up with a dear friend of mine. Mr. Man is having daddy time with Bean so I am meeting her for dinner.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...


That looks delicious! Will be adding this to the menu next week.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

“The More That You Lean, The More Places You’ll Go!”

A quote, that has always been a favorite of mine, I came across on Life As Mom. It is from Dr. Seuss who wrote: “the more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” This might be a favorite of mine because I am the product of a teacher. One who has her Master’s in Library Science or maybe it is because I have learned that reading is a way to open opportunities. Either way, Mr. Man and I hope that Bean will appreciate reading like we have all our lives.

Since, some of my fondest memories as a child are those of my mom reading to my brother and me, I have always dreamed, even before Bean was a concept and I was introduced to Mr. Man, that some day ,I would marry and have a child who would appreciate books the way I did.



I am proud to say, maybe because my own mother and I have surrounded this child with more book than she know what to do with, that this has happened.

Let me first say, Bean LOVES her books. She will take ANY opportunity to have someone read to hear. If you ask my father his favorite memory of Bean as a toddler, he would say: when Bean picked up a book went past me (my father) and brought it to Mom (my mother) to have her read it. While the book Bean is pictured here with is not a classic my favorite part about watching her “read” it is the babble. She makes up stories as she flips through the pages. The pure joy she has creating her own (I mean her own, since Mr. Man, Nanny Francia those who read with her, nor I, have no idea what she is saying) is priceless.

Mr. Man and I would love to share a few of our family favorites. Since my list could take an entire post of its own here are my top 10 as of January 16, 2011 ( Happy Birthday Mom – this one is for you!!!)

My Top Ten Favorite Books To Read To Bean (in no particular order)

  1. Good Night Moon
  2. Time For Bed
  3. Moo, Baa, La La La!
  4. Baby’s Belly Button
  5. I Love You Through and Through
  6. The Going To Bed Book
  7. splash! splash! (pictured above)
  8. I Love You Because You’re You
  9. Where Is Spot
  10. Peek – a – Boo I love you

So link up your top ten favorite books you read with your kids in the comments below.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Simplicity Can Even Become A Milestone


To you this is just a picture of a little girl putting her hand in the water. To me, this picture represents SO much more.

I started a tradition with Bean, which I have slight memories of when I was a kid, that when I came home from school the first thing I would do was wash my hands. Are (Bean and my) ritual is that Bean stood and watched as I took out the step stool, placed her on the step, washed my own hands and then put her hands in the running water. For some reason, EVERY time we went through the part of actually washing her hands she would rant and rave. Why she was terrified is still a mystery to me since she LOVES her bath (basically the same thing). Never the less, I didn’t give up on the tradition. I will admit, it could simply be because I am germaphobic or just because I value the importance of consistency. 

This picture makes me smile for the fact that for the first time, and I have proof, Bean LOVED washing her hands. She enjoyed the running water and even helped me wash my own. I was soaked, but we were happy. Instead of getting upset because we had to wash her hands she was sad when it was over.

I by no means am supermom (like superman), but at that moment I felt super. I didn’t give up and my Bean is becoming a beanstalk. She is growing up. A part of me will miss the fear, only for the fact that I get to keep her in “that” moment a little longer. A New Year’s resolution of mine is to enjoy the simple things in life. Maybe appreciating running warm water and forgetting about all the troubles in the world is the simple things……..at that moment.

Sweet dreams.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Simple Woman’s Daybook - #2


Wow! This is a record….two posts in one night (besides adding a video). Nevertheless, my The Simple Woman’s Daybook post # 2:

small simple woman icon

Outside my window... I am not sure. Sitting with Mr. Man on the couch. Would have to get up to answer this question. Enjoying his company and living in the moment. Wouldn’t want to change it. Shout out to Funky Vintage Kitchen .

I am thinking... wish I could put life into slow motion. Loving this moment.

I am thankful for... the fact that it is supposed to snow tomorrow. Who would have ever thought I would be thankful for snow. To me these days snow means the hope that Mr. Man will be home and we will be stuck in the house together…..how romantic.

Winking smile

From the kitchen... in our house the “kitchen is closed.” That is something my mom used to say when my brother and I wanted something after we had dessert when we were kids.

I am wearing...a nice button down sweater and nice jeans. What I WISH I was wearing pjs.

I am creating...happiness for my family. The definition of that changes day by day, but isn’t that the beauty of it.

I am going...to bed VERY soon. Dreaming of my favorite blanket. Yummy and soft. Downstairs it is brown, upstairs red.

I am reading...still the same book. Sorry, I am a SLOW reader. Mansfield Park by Jane Austin, one of the Booking it in 2011 books. You can view my entire Booking iT list here.

I am hoping...to dwindle down  the to-do list of mine. SO not happy about it. Sad smile

I am hearing...a movie in the background. Not sure what Mr. Man is watching. Totally ignoring it, but hoping he is enjoying it.

One of my favorite things….knowing that Bean is sleeping and hoping it is of wonderful things. Mr. Man is home and relaxing. Bed is in the near future for me. LOVE it!

A few plans for the rest of the week: import the rest of the lists. Crossing my fingers that Mr. Man will be on Daddy duty tomorrow while I get the rest (be realistic SOME) of my to-do list done.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...


Seeing a lot of you lately!

We are supposed to be getting THIS tomorrow.

Only reason I am hoping (wait lets be realistic praying) for it is …..

Mr. Man will be home. Smile


Goodnight Htothe3 readers.

BOOKING iT in 2011



As mentioned in last week’s The Simple Woman’s Daybook post and in my New Year’s Resolutions post I joined Booking iT in 2011. Booking iT is a virtual book club hosted by Jessica who blogs at Life As Mom. What is so unique about this book club, besides the fact that it is online, is the flexibility of the program. Unlike traditional book clubs, where you are typically required to read a predetermined list of books, this club has two tracks. In track one, the books are picked for you and track two, you create your own unique list. If you are interested in participating and want more specific information you can access it through the handbook.

My selections includes books from both tracks one and some of my own (track two). The list is as follows (please note: due to family commitments I have already stated Mansfield Park and plan to link up in March):

Hope you will be joining this book club with me!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Red Lentil Curry– Any Crowd Pleaser



Ever since the creation of Mr. Man’s business, the concept of healthy eating and the definition of what’s healthy have become foreign concepts to him. No fault of his own, kind of, but it reminds me that my habits and what I introduce Bean to are even more important.

As we know, I also have to be more aware of my diet because of stomach issues. Sometimes, I just deal with the consequences, and that is one of the reasons why I do not mention it often these days. Nevertheless, with the New Year, I have been more aware of what I am eating and have made a conscious effort to introduce Bean to all different types of cuisines. I am aware that she will go through her phases, being picky and choosey about what she likes and doesn’t, but being open-minded will hopefully help - I think (fingers are crossed and veteran moms your advise it greatly appreciated).

This, what I like to call “stating my independence,” is something I have already experienced. For example, Bean would eat eggs by the dozen and then suddenly decided she wanted nothing to do with them. Watching this drastic change only motivated me to try even more with her. Worst case scenario, she doesn’t like it and it will become dinner for Mr. Man and me. It was time to pull out a staple is our household, something I made often even before Bean started eating solids, Red Lentil Curry by weelicious.

Being as optimistic as possible I the bowl in front of her and watched. The pictures will tell you the rest of the sorry, but to summarize: she couldn’t get enough of it. Watching this little bean, herself, eating it faster than I could have imagined was not only a mommy’s dream come true, but a foodie’s dream as well. I hope, if isn’t not your little one, someone in your family love this recipe as much as we do. Trust me the blend of flavor alone is worth the try. It is also budget friendly since the a bag of lentils I bought only cost me $1.

L1020344         L1020355L1020356              L1020360

Have a wonderful week.



Red Lentil Curry (adapted from weelicious) (serves 4-6)


1 Tbsp Oil – I use olive oil
1 Small Onion, diced
1 Large Carrot, peeled and cut into a small dice
1 Garlic Clove
1 Tsp Fresh Ginger, minced
2 Tsp Curry Powder
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Turmeric
2 Cups Water
2 Tsp Salt
1 14 oz Can Tomato Puree
1 Cups Red Lentils, rinsed well
Couscous – make according to directions



1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
2. Saute the onions and carrots for 4 minutes.
3. Add the garlic, ginger, curry, cumin and turmeric and cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add the lentils, water, salt and tomato puree and bring to a boil.
5. Stir, cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 35 minutes or until creamy and tender.
6. Serve with couscous.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Snow Snow Not AGAIN!!!!!!!!


As promised, but decided to do it as a separate post

We Did It! ~ We Made It ~ 4 Hours Down & Here To Talk About It

The benefit of living close to Bean's maternal and paternal grandparents is: we rarely take LONG road trips. To clarify, in the Htothe3 family, we define anything over 2 1/2 hours as a long car ride. That being said, when we went to PA to visit Mr. Man’s brother and friends of ours, which was 4 hours away, I was NOT a happy camper.

Many of you are probably shaking your heads, since in the grand scheme of things 4 hours isn’t really that long, but we have gotten so used to everything being no more than 2 1/2 hours from us. What is so funny about this outlook is, when Mr. Man and I were dating we lived in Washington, DC. We used to take 6 hour plus weekend road trips to visit his parents lake house in the Catskill Mountains without thinking twice. We did it often and we LOVED our time in the car. Maybe it’s old age (LOL), but I HATE being stuck in the car.

My biggest fear of this trip, especially since we have never gone 4 hours with Bean, was how she was going to react. Obviously, she wasn’t going to take a 4 hour nap, so I could plan on half of the trip being a nap, but what was I going to do with her for the other half. Plan was to stuff the front of the car with toys and push them over to keep her entertained. Glad to report the planned worked…..every time I pushed one over she would laugh. We did have some melt downs, but we made it.

The BEST part of the trip was the joy on Bean’s face while she played with her cousins. As I shared in my the simple woman’s daybook entry on Tuesday “joy through the eyes of a child for me defines the joy in simple things.” This outweighs the the sacrifice of the 4 hours. Being able to watch Bean interact and appreciate the company of her cousins was the greatest gift.

Here are some pictures from the weekend:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Simple Woman’s Daybook - #1

small simple woman icon

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to add The Simple Woman’s Daybook (aka Peggy) posts to Health, Happiness, Hamstrings. This simple act also times into my wish to live authentically. I was fortunate to come across this on the blog gidget goes home written by Nicole. Check out her blog, the emphasis as she says “finding contentment in daily life” is something I am striving towards this year.

Outside my window... the sun is beginning to set

I am thinking... I can’t wait to go home and see Bean. I miss her.

I am thankful for... my family, my friends, but most importantly, the life Mr. Man and I are creating.

From the kitchen... great news Smile: I don’t have to worry about my kitchen tonight.My parents are coming to see Bean tonight. They are bringing dinner.

I am wearing...jeans and a sweater. My favorite combo.

I am creating...a new focus for myself.

I am going...good question. Depends how you look at it. In 10 minutes, home.

I am reading...one of the Booking it in 2011 book: Mansfield Park, Jane Austin.

I am hoping...I get the hang of writing these

I am hearing...annoying conversations in the other room. No comment.

One of my favorite things...finding the joy in simple things. Wish I did it more often.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Learn Lean Lean!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...


Joy through the eyes of a child for me defines the joy in simple things.

Nicole, thank you for pointing me in the direction of this wonderful way of looking at one day.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Health, Happiness, Hamstrings New Year’s Resolutions- - (in no particular order)


The New Year is a great time to reflect and set goals. I strongly believe that New Year’s Resolutions should be a work in progress and  be reviewed and adjusted as time progresses. Here are some of mine:

~ To live authentically.

~ Be mindful of some of the basics I need in my daily life.

~Add the simple woman’s daybook posts to Health, Happiness, Hamstrings.

~Commit to blogging twice a week - but realistic that other commitments may get in the way.

~Join Booking It in 2011 – but only read as much as I can- no pressure to finish what I  can’t

~Compile family recipes and get the stories behind these recipes.


Happy New Year!!!!!

Happy New Year!!!!




Mr. Man, Bean & I wish you a Happy & Healthy New Year.


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