Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter & Win Some Money!



Who wouldn't want some extra cash??  I know I would.  And if you said you didn't? You'd be lying. :)  Here is a great giveaway!  So enter, enter, enter, and good luck!! Hope you win!

Raining Money

Welcome to the It's Raining Money Giveaway!

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We are giving you not one but two chances to win $500 for a total Raining Cash prize of a whopping $1000! Make sure you stop by Mom to Bed by 8 today for your second chance at $500!
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One lucky reader will receive $500 Visa Gift Card {or paypal}.

Giveaway ends May 1st at 11:59pm, open worlwide, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

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Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Adventures With Gwen is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. Please contact teri@mompoweredmedia.com with questions or to see your business or blog featured on the next big event!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Bad Guy.

Lately, being a Momma hasn't been all easy breezy.  Gwen is at that challenging age, pushing buttons, questioning authority, and exploring everything she can.  And to be honest, I've been feeling like the bad guy  in our duo of parenting.  It's not Hubs' fault, he's out at work all day, and when he gets home, they are both SUPER excited to see each other.  And because he isn't with her all day, he finds some of the defiance cute, the little attitude amusing, sometimes. 

Me? I feel like I am always saying no.  No to the jumping on furniture, the fake belching, the talking back, the whining and crying because she didn't get her way.  It's exhausting.

And although I know that discipline is needed and pretty crucial during this time of her life, because it can set habits that she will have for the rest of her life... I feel bad.  It's not always fun.  Some days, I wish I could let her do anything she wanted.  And just be fun allllll day.  But, if I'm not the bad guy at least sometimes, then I really wouldn't be a good parent, now would I?

I hope that even though I don't always feel like it, that I am balancing both roles well.  And that I can continue to, especially as the challenges become harder.  Because all I really want, is to be the best parent that I can be.  Not for me.  But, for Gwen.

The lessons we learn as parents are never ending.  Ever.




Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I Can't Believe...



I can't believe... how nice out it was today.  I wouldn't say warm, but definitely the nicest day we have had in a while!  I hope this is the beginning of  a lot of nice weather for us.  Gwen and I spent most of the morning outside, and it was glorious!

I can't believe... Easter is this weekend.  I totally like when Easter is in April, much better.  One holiday a month is a lot more fun :)  

I can't believe... how feisty Gwen has been lately.  Girlfriend is down right defiant  some days.  And I have to admit that it has been hard for this Momma to keep her cool some days.  Let me just pray that this is not a preview of what is yet to come for us... ugggghhh.

I can't believe... that the one day my husband didn't buy a lottery ticket, is the day that someone from New Jersey wins the Powerball.  Dammit.

I can't believe... that I am going to have 2 nephews!  That's right, my sis-in-law and bestie are having baby boys!  So exciting!  Congrats ladies {and daddies!}!

*****

Gwen rocked out in her Princess convertible today, driving and blowing bubbles at the same time.  Didn't work too well.  So we decided to do one at a time.  Much more successful.  






Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Oh, The Things She Says.


Jason comes home from lunch most days that he can, and the other day after lunch, Jason went into the bathroom.  Gwen asked me where he was, so I told her.  She headed to the bathroom door, knocked loudly and said "Dada? What are you doing?"  He replied, "I'm going potty, Gwen."  To which, she quickly responded, "Ok, Dada, beeeeeee careful!"

*****

Out of the blue the other day, when I asked Gwen what she would like to watch, she said, "Team Umizoomi, coming up next, ooooooooooon Nick!"  I couldn't really argue with that, lol.

*****

A few nights ago, while I was doing the dishes I overheard a conversation between Gwen and Jason. While coloring on the living room floor, Gwen held up a purple crayon and said to Jason, "Dad, look! It's BLUE!" 
He replied, "No, baby, it's purple."
"No, Dada, it's BA-LUUUE!"
"Purple"
"BLUE"
"Babe, it's Purple"
"BLUE"
"Ok, you're right... it's blue."
LOL!  He was so exhausted that he just gave in... it was worth it to win the Battle of Blue.

*****

I swear, I never know what she is about to say next!









Friday, March 22, 2013

Fridays Letters.

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Dear Jason, I am constantly reminded of why I love you so much.  I know that our lives get busy and crazy and sometimes we don't get to say or show it enough, but we both know it is always there.  My life is better because of you.  ;)

Dear Gwen, You are some sort of spunky, girlfriend.  I am in awe of the personality you have shown lately, and love watching you become your own person.  You totally rock. And Momma loves you.



Dear Spring,  I don't believe you're really here.  No seriously, Spring is warm.  Our weather is not.  So, Spring if you're really here... prove it.

Dear Easter Bunny,  Don't be offended, but I don't think we are coming to visit you this year... but you are more than welcome to stop by our house.  Sorry.  We love you though.

Dear Jennifer, I am so excited to share this weekend with you.  Your shower is just the beginning of your wedding festivities, but my advice is to take it all in.  Embrace it.  You'll never have another bridal shower, so let it be allllll about you.  Love you and see you Sunday.

*****

Happy Friday.  I'm off to make myself a well deserved SkinnyGirl Margarita! :)




Thursday, March 21, 2013

It's OK Thursday.

Its Ok Thursdays


It's OK...

...to be SUPER SUPER excited that my sis-in-law and bestie BOTH found out what they were having yesterday... let the shopping begin!!  Congrats to you both btw, you guys are going to be great parents! 

...to be a little jealous of all the baby making going on around me.  I have not been cured of the baby fever yet.

...to not really care about American Idol, at all.  Sorry, peeps.  Although I am not a Nicki Minaj "hater," she makes me want to throw the tv through the window.  The nonsense that flows out of her mouth makes no sense. at. all.

...that we have watched Wreck-It Ralph probably about 10 times since it came.  We love it.  Lol.

...that Gwen is currently obsessed with an issue of O Magazine that she took from her Wela's house.  And that she is currently saying that it is her "favorite book."  Ummm... ok. lol.


Yay for Friday!  And for the end of this frigid week to be here!  I am going to ignore the fact that the weatherman said snow just a few more times than he should tonight.  No. More. Snow.  I beg of you!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Witching Hour.


First and foremost, with the imminent death of Google Reader just around the corner, make sure that you are following me via bloglovin' ASAP. Thanks :)

Now, onto lil' Miss.

Gwen's bedtime is usually around 8:30. I know that to some that may seem a little later than normal, but she naps like a champ during the day, so I don't push it with a super early bedtime.  Anyways, for the past few weeks, that last hour that she is awake... she is a lun-a-tic.

I mean, running from one end of the house to the other, jumping like a maniac, FULL of energy.  Like, drank two Red Bulls and is ready to party all night, energy.  Like, makes you count the minutes until bedtime.  It's exhausting with a capital E.

She talks a mile a minute, like that Family Guy commercial, "Ma, Mom, Momma, Mommy, Ma, Ma, Ma!!!"  And although it's more tiring than one could imagine, we can't help but laugh at the ridiculousness that occurs.

But, then comes the freshness.  OH, the freshness.  It is almost as if she WANTS to get into trouble.  She pretty goes, "Momma, look!" and then jumps on the couch.  "Hey Mom" as she whacks the dog.  And it's not that she is craving attention {at least I don't think}, because she gets it plenty.

Then, when it's time for bed, she whines a bit, but she is pretty complacent.  Kisses, books, snuggles, and bed... the witching hour has ended.  Thank the good Lord.

Does this happen with anyone else's toddler??

*****

And what would Wednesday {or any day} be with out a pic or two?

Intensely watching the parade on Sunday.


Girlfriend loved the fire engine that was parked outside of our house the other day!  She couldn't get enough!



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Me, Myself, & I


I feel guilty that I didn't really post all weekend+Monday, so I am hitting you lucky peeps with two posts in one day... jackpot, right?

1. Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day? How?
Yes.  Drinking.  I kid, I kid... sort of.  Before Gwen, we used to hit up every possible St. Patrick's Day Parade in the month of March that we could, participating in all the festivities, enjoying a good hangover or two.  But, since having Gwen, priorities change.  Obvi.  We try to have one adult parade day, usually with our friends and fam, and then we like to take Gwen to the parade in our hometown.  This year, we didn't get the adult parade day, but it's ok, we got to take her to our parade Sunday, and she had a blast!  Check out my little lucky charm...



2. It's March, which means Spring Break!  We want to know how your Spring Break went or if it hasn't happened yet, what will your Spring Break consist of?
Spring Break?  What's that?? Lol.  Accccctually, that gives me a good idea, maybe I an convince the Hubs to take a few extra days off??? :)

3. A Zombie Apocalypse happens and you're stripped of your luxury items. What beauty product do you miss the most?
Blistex/Lipgloss.... wait? Does toothpaste count as a "luxury" item, because that would be #1.

4. What is the one cause that you feel most passionate about?
This is so hard... anything that has to do with kids.  Before having Gwen, I worked with Special Needs kids, and fell in love with it, I feel very strongly about Autism Awareness. 

5. What's the #1 most played song on your iPod?
I don't even know where that thing is, lol, but a current fave right now for us is, The Lumineers - Ho Hey.
Of all time?  Anything Dave Matthews Band. Or Red Hot Chili Peppers.

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Penne Vodka : Tasty Tuesday

Linking up with Candice today at The New Modern Momma.

For the big birthday celebration last weekend, I was asked to bring a Penne Vodka dish.  And the recipe that was suggested to me was Rachael Ray's "You Won't Be Single For Long Vodka Cream Pasta"  Now, let me preference this by saying that making my own sauces {Red, Vodka, Alfredo} intimidates me.  I don't know why, I mean I venture out to try tons of crazy recipes, but it just seems like a lot to me.

So, I sort of saw this as a challenge.  I would have felt awful saying no, and I knew that having this reason to make it was reason enough.

And to be honest, it was SO easy!! 
Not too many ingredients.  Didn't take too long.  And turned out pretty well.  At least I think :)

Ingredients:
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil {not pictured}
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 cup vodka
1 cup chicken stock
1 can crushed tomatoes {32 ounces}
Coarse salt and pepper {not pictured}
16 ounces pasta, such as penne rigate {I used regular penne}
1/2 cup heavy cream
20 fresh basil leaves {shredded or torn}








Directions via Food Network
Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Gently saute shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add vodka to the pan, 3 turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup. Reduce vodka by half, this will take 2 or 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). While pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.

Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves. Pass pasta with crusty bread.
*****

I actually ended up making two batches.  One to take with us, and one for dinner Thursday night.  I added red pepper flakes and chicken for a full meal.  It was delicious!  
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Friday, March 15, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day {Weekend}

Bust out the corned beef and green beer this weekend, at least that's what I plan on doing :)  





Happy Friday!!! Enjoy the weekend, laddies :)


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dear 16 Year Old Self

I've read a few of these all over the web, and I was so interested in it.  That I decided to participate.

Dear 16 year old Sam,

Where do I even begin?

That boy you're currently dating... yeah, he ain't the one.  Not even close.  So relax a little on the love thing.  I know that you are filling a void a bit, because of how hard Mom and Dad's divorce was on you, but head's up, you end up doing much better for yourself.  And you deserve it.

As for this prince charming of yours, it's not going to be an easy road for you two, at first, you are both gonna have to fight for each other.  But, it is so worth it.  So, although it seems hard, just know that you do end up with your happily ever after.

You know how you get driven to school every day {you spoiled lil brat} by your Pop?  Soak those moments in.  Realize that he would do anything for you, because you mean the world to him.  One day, he won't be here anymore, and you will wish for one more ride in his little red car.

Umm, your addiction to gadgets {currently your beeper, cordless phone, and eventually cell phone}, yeah, that doesn't end.  You may want to start a separate savings account for that, like yesterday.

You eventually figure out how to manage that hair of yours. Thank God.

Don't go out of the house in your pajama pants.  Unless the house is on fire.  Or it's PJ day at school.  They are called sleepwear because they are what you wear to sleep.  Nowhere else.

You know that core group of four girls that you spend most of your time with? The ones that you've know since like birth? They will still be there.  They are lifelong friends, you chose well.  Birthdays, homecomings, parties, proms, are just the beginning of what you will share with each other.

It's perfectly fine to not do everything everyone else is doing.  You are hesitant to try some things and to venture certain places, and that it is ok.  Keep following your gut and you will stay on a good path.

All in all, you end up just fine.  So keep doing what you're doing.

P.S.  Google has announced that they are getting rid of Google Reader, so you can follow me via Bloglovin, here...
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Celebration Weekend

This past weekend, we spent out in PA celebrating a very special occasion.  Gwen's Grandpa, Jason's dad, turns 60 today!!  Happy Birthday, Grandpop! 

The weekend celebration was filled with bowling, Gwen's first time... that she loved!  The place we went to was loud and fun with tons of music for Gwen to dance to while she waited her turn.  And just as we began our first game, it turned into Cosmic bowling... which meant the lights went down, black lights and glow in the dark illuminated the place.

We got a ramp for Gwen to bowl, which helped a lot, well, AFTER us adults figured out how to aim it better, and how to put the bumpers up. lol.

After bowling, we headed back to Grandma & Grandpop's for some dinner {including my penne vodka... recipe coming next week} and cake and presents, of course.

It was a really nice way to celebrate his 60th, and I think he really enjoyed it too.

Hope you enjoy your day, Grandpop!  And here's to many more birthday celebrations :)

We love you.