CONGRATS TO KATHERINE F., AMY S., & WENDY W!

Remember the review I gave the other day?  Well I've been given the go-ahead to offer a great giveaway!  Cutcaster Images is offering three readers of The Ever After an account preloaded with 16 credits each!  I'm very excited for the winners to test out the site for themselves!  I'm sure you'll find a million and one uses for the images.

Buy It:

You can set up your own account with credits, check out the packages they offer.

Win It:

Cutcaster Images is offering three accounts with 16 credits each! You can enter to win by doing one or more of the following; just be sure to leave a separate comment for each way that you enter. Drawing ends at 12:01 AM on Friday October 14. I’ll draw the winner, via random.org, on Friday, October 14. I will send an email to the winner & you will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. Please be sure to read the rules!

Use the Rafflecopter form below. If you don't see it - click on the title of this post. Otherwise email me at tarah716[at]ymail.com for instructions on how to enter.



CONGRATS JENNIFER F!

Dinner duty usually falls on my shoulders, Jason is fine just hunting around the kitchen for something to eat so if I want a meal, I have to plan it.  As Dayne gets older and eats more food with us I know that dinner is going to have to be something we plan and sit down for.  We really need to set a good example for him plus I keep reading that dinner time is a great time for the family to reconnect after being apart all day.

You want the meal to be healthy and balanced, but somethings just thinking about the main dish is enough to melt your brain, much less coming up with a side dish or two.  Sandridge Food Corporation has heard that call and answered with an amazing line of products.

 

Sandridge Food Corporation specializes in fresh refrigerated deli salads, sides, soups, sauces and specialty dishes. Their fresh, never frozen, products are created by culinary experts and designed to please the taste enthusiast.

It's not easy satisfying a dining public whose culinary tastes are constantly changing. The skilled chefs at Sandridge Food Corporation embrace the challenge. Their kitchens specialize in meeting the shifting demands of the dining public with fresh, hand-prepared foods for all budgets and tastes, from simple to sophisticated.

From their biggest crowd-pleasers to their latest internationally inspired recipes, one ingredient never changes: their commitment to providing superior quality, great taste, wide variety and outstanding value.

Their list of Recognitions and Awards will astound you! This year already Sandridge was acknowledged by Smart Business magazine for its forward thinking, great tasting products and innovative food safety solutions.  Last year they took the Category Captain Award for their deli category from Progressive Grocer magazine.  In 2010 & 2009 they were the recipient of a Category Colonel Award in the fresh soup category from Refrigerated & Frozen Foods Retailer magazine.


Sandridge sent me two of their Retail Grab-N-Go lines, their Progressive Grocer Editors' Pick 2010 Award Winning Café Style Fresh Soup & their Fresh & Delicious salads.  Since autumn has settled in nicely in Michigan already the soups arrived at the perfect time.  I have to admit I loved being able to grab one on my way out the door to work for lunch, it's a great addition to my standard sandwich.  I was able to try the Broccoli & Cheese Soup, Chili with Beans Soup, Chicken Noodle Soup and the Cream of Potato Soup with Bacon.

Unlike other soups, be it retail or from a restaurant, skimp out on the good stuff in soups.  You get the broccoli stems and a handful of florets in the soups, or they hold back on the veggies or other goodies you WANT in your soup.  I was pleased to see broccoli florets, chunks of chicken, veggies and cubes of potato.  I wasn't shifting the soup around to look for them. 

All the soups had zero trans fat in them, the chili wowed me when I found out it was dairy free, gluten free, high in fiber AND had no added preservatives!  These are soups you can feel good about feeding your family & yourself.   They're a great & easy way to add to any meal.


Sandridge's Fresh & Delicious salads amazed me as well.  I was lucky enough to be able to try them all!  The best part in my opinion are these salads pull double duty.  You can eat them as a side dish to any meal or add them to the main dish as a ready to go stir in!  Check out Sandridge's suggested recipes!  When I tasted the Chili Lime Corn Salsa I thought how perfect this would be as a mix in for goulash!  I browned some ground beef, added stewed tomatoes and a jar of marinara sauce then added the package of Chili Lime Corn Salsa in.  I received rave reviews!  It was all thanks to the wonderful mixture of flavors Sandridge had already put together!

Like their soups, the Fresh & Delicious salads are free of trans fat with the added bonus of also being dairy free.  Their Pacific Coast Slaw is gluten free.  Their Chili Lime Corn Salsa is gluten free and vegan!  Their other vegan friendly salads are the Four Bean, Mediterranean Couscous, Curried Chickepea & Couscous, and the Ginger & Fruit Barley salad.  All of the salads in this line are under 200 calories as well per serving!

I hope you think of Sandridge for your upcoming Thanksgiving meal, they can help with the sides with their Seasonal Grab-n-Go line, leaving you to focus on the important things, like family!

Buy:

Sandridge retail line is available in the fresh refrigerated foods section at a variety of grocery stores and delis throughout the United States. To find a location near you that sells their retail products, please contact them.

Win:

Sandridge is giving away a giftbag to one luck winner!
  • A coupon for a Free Grandma’s or 1st & Main Deli salad.
  • Sandridge drawstring bag
  • Sandridge coffee mug or water bottle
  • Notepad
  • Pocket-size hand sanitizer 
You can enter to win by doing one or more of the following; just be sure to leave a separate comment for each way that you enter. Drawing ends at 12:01 AM on Friday October 14.  I’ll draw the winner, via random.org, on Friday, October 14.  I will send an email to the winner & you will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.  Please be sure to read the rules!

Use the Rafflecopter form below.  If you don't see it - click on the title of this post.  Otherwise email me at tarah716[at]ymail.com for instructions on how to enter.

    Jason, Dayne & I were chilling out in the living room last night. Jason perched in his usual throne of the recliner, I was sitting on the floor, leaning against the couch and Dayne was banging his hand on every toy he could find. I picked up a book and called him over to me in hopes of starting the calming down ritual before bed.

    At the sound of his name he pivoted around and started crawling towards me babbling "mama mama mama". My heart stopped and I glanced over at Jason who was now on the edge of his seat staring at Dayne with his jaw open as well.

    "He did just say..."

    "Yeah...he did...that was mama" he confirmed

    I have to admit my heart swelled up as he sat grinning at me, slamming his hand on his book I had put down.

    "Say it again, say mama!" I prompted.

    He puffed out his cheeks and then blew raspberries and spit everywhere.

    "Mama" I tried again

    "yahyahyahyah"

    "Maaaaa maaaaa" I drew out

    Jibberish.

    Jason scoped Dayne up and rested him on his lap.

    "Dada?" he looked hopeful

    Dayne grinned at Jason and patted his chest as if to say "That's you."

    Does Dayne know that mama means me? Do I care? He said "mama" clear as day as he was making his way over to me. I'll take it.

    Hey Readers of The Ever After, my mommy let me write this post today, she wanted to know what things I'm loving lately. I know, I'm super advanced. Just ask my mom, she'll be sure to tell you.



    Nuk bottles.  My mom has another line of bottles that neither of us is too thrilled with.  We still use them but it's a gamble every time if it's going to leak all over us.  These bottles have never leaked and they have an airflow system and the orthondontic nipple promotes healthy teeth formation. 


    My exersaucer.  I LOVE jumping and this bounces when my parents unlock the legs!  If you pull on those dangly toys music happens!  I love to squeal along with it.  There is plenty to chew on as well, the little turtle is my favorite.  I love that the toys can come off the exersaucer so when I'm playing on the ground I can take my toys with me. 


    Since I've been sleeping through the night, that means no diaper changes until I get up.  For a while there I would wake up crying because my diaper had leaked!  Not very comfortable at 2 in the morning!  I'm so glad my mom found these diapers, since we've been using them no more leaks overnight!  I think mom & dad are happy they found them too because we're all back to sleeping through the night...for now.


    This mesh teether thing is pretty awesome.  My mom & dad put frozen fruits inside for me to gnaw on when I want to chew.  My second tooth is right below the surface and chewing on something cold sure feels good on the gums!  My favorite is frozen banana and frozen grapes.  My grandma put a frozen raspberry in it once.  It was great but it made a mess!


    What do you mean what is that?  It's a TOY!  It's my favorite toy, of course I have confiscated it from our cat and claimed it as my own.  It's her crinkle bag, it sounds like a giant plastic bag when you grab it.  I could be crawling behind the chair again like my mom & dad don't like me doing, all I have to hear is the crinkle of this toy and I'm backing out in a hurry!  It makes me laugh when I slap it like a drum and hear the crinkle over & over.  I'm sure our cat doesn't mind sharing....right?

     
    I love my drum!  I don't have to hit it very hard to make music and light up so it keeps me entertained for a while.  I can learn my ABC's, 123's, follow the leader and 'freestyle'.  I love making it light up!  Maybe this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship with drums!


    My mobile - it's one of my favorite things to help me unwind.  I love to watch it as I drift off to sleep.

    I hope that helped other moms with ideas for their kids.  What do your kids like to play with?  I'm told I need to write a letter to Santa to request things for Christmas.

    Dayne
    Dear Jason,

    For Christmas I would like the following:


    Your Loving Wife,
    Tarah

    Do you think he'll understand?  It's like back when I was a young kid and would cut up the toy catalog, pasting the pictures on my list to Santa so he would be sure to know exactly what I wanted.  I wasn't taking any chances with this ultra important letter.

    Cutcaster Images understands the importance of quality & quantity.  They manage to merge the two seamlessly on their easy to navigate website.  What is Cutcaster Images?  It's this amazing site loaded with high quality pictures.  Why should this interest you?  Oh I was hoping you'd ask!

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    Teachers - looking for some great artwork for your classroom?  Cutcaster Images also provides vector illustrations.  These are great for adding some seasonal fun to the room!  You will be able to use this image forever once you purchase it!  Great for reuse year after year!


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    Homeowners - I was very excited to see some of the images Cutcaster Images offers because I want to use them as artwork!  I'm in love with the pricing and that it's an easy and inexpensive way to switch artwork out with the seasons or as I feel the area needs a change.  I'm planning on buying this image to use above the mantel in a frame for Christmas this year.

    Are you an photographer or artist yourself?  Check out how you can sell your images on Cutcaster as well!  How would you use it?

    I decided to finally try my hand at making baby food last night. I received two baby food books at my showers that had a lot of great ideas. I flipped through one and found a recipe that seemed simple enough. I grabbed the ingredients that I needed from the store as I did errands that day.

    When Dayne went down for a small cat nap I took over the kitchen. Cauliflower, tomatoes, butter & cheddar cheese. Simple enough.

    I pile my stuff near by and start reading the directions. I chop up the head of cauliflower so I'm left with just the florets. I measure out the butter. I grate a block of cheddar cheese and then I read and re-read the tomato direction. Peel and remove the seeds from the tomato? PEEL it? I stared at the tomato, trying to figure out the best way to do this.

    I cut it in half and tried to peel the skin off that way, it didn't work so well. I stared at the tomatoes, scratching my head when I decided the interwebz would hold the answer. I wasn't disappointed either, a quick search told me to put the tomatoes in boiling water for 5-8 minutes. After I pulled them out and sliced them in half, the skin practically melted off. Careful, it's a hot job!!

    After I finished burning my fingers peeling the skin off the tomato, I roughly chopped them and added them to the pan with the butter. Meanwhile I had the cauliflower in the steamer. I cooked the tomatoes until they were pretty mushy then added the cheddar cheese, stirring until it was melted in with the tomatoes.

    The book said to blend all the ingredients together so I threw it all in the blender and turned it on. Yeah...didn't work so well as you seasoned baby food pros already guessed. It blended everything perfectly on the bottom but there was no way to get the stuff sitting on top down to the blades at the bottom.

    I dragged out our food processor and shoved everything in that bowl, which promptly minced everything perfectly. I left it a bit lumpy since the point of this food was to introduce a thicker, bumpier texture to Dayne. I tasted it as I started packaging them up to freeze. I would eat this! It would make a pretty good side dish vs a mashed potato actually.

    Jason walked into the kitchen and he started laughing.

    "Using every item out of our storage to make his food huh?"

    The kitchen was a disaster zone but I had fresh food for Dayne! And maybe a side dish for us someday.

    Dayne seemed to enjoy it too, he ate half of a container after his nightly bottle!

    So if you're going to attempt home made baby food, make sure you have a food processor of some sort. Blenders don't cut it!

    I saw this article on Rachael Ray's website and had to share. Do you have any secrets not mentioned here?

    CHERRY COLA ON STEAK AND PORK
    We use cherry cola to cook the filling in two of our bao (steamed buns). It sweetens and tenderizes the meat at the same time. All the cool kids should be cooking with soda!
    —Eddie Huang, BaoHaus, New York City

    KETCHUP ON VEGETABLES
    We love to use Heinz ketchup to batter our Manchurian-style cauliflower before frying it. People wonder what that sweet and tangy taste is, and they're usually shocked when we reveal the secret.
    —Suvir Saran, Dévi, New York City

    POP ROCKS CANDY ON FOIE GRAS
    I coat slices of foie gras in Pop Rocks for a hit of texture—and for the juxtaposition between a 25-cent candy and a $40 piece of foie gras.
    —Graham Elliot, Graham Elliot restaurant, Chicago

    COCOA POWDER IN PASTA SAUCE
    Our tomato-based broth for pasta doesn't take long to make, but the cocoa powder we sneak in gives it a complex, meaty taste, and tricks your tongue into thinking it's been slow-cooked for a long time.
    —Ana Sortun, Oleana, Cambridge, MA

    SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK FOR FRENCH TOAST
    I mix sweetened condensed milk with beaten eggs, then soak bread in it for the most decadent french toast.
    —Michael Cressotti, The Mermaid Inn, New York City

    FUNYUNS ON FISH
    I encrust fish fillets with Funyuns (wasabi flavored are the best, if you can still find them!). They're horrible for you, but really stinking good used as breading on roasted halibut. People know they recognize the flavor, but it gives them complete brain confusion.
    —Tim Love, Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Fort Worth, TX

    POPCHIPS ON SANDWICHES
    Sea Salt & Vinegar Popchips are a great, totally unexpected sandwich add-on. I smash them up and scatter them on top to give the fillings more crunch. It's especially good with tuna fish.
    —Jeff Mason, Pal's Take Away, San Francisco

    GROUND WHITE RICE IN SOUPS
    We grind long-grain rice in the spice grinder, then add it to soups. It cooks quickly, but tastes creamy and rich. It works with carolina gold or jasmine rice, too.
    —Andrea Reusing, Lantern, Chapel Hill, NC

    OLD BAY ON PORK
    Old Bay Seasoning is a recognizable flavor when it's on seafood (we do use it on crabs), but I'll also add it to brining liquid for pork. It's a nice—but unexpected—flavor booster.
    —Andrew Little, Sheppard Mansion, Hanover, PA

    RANCH SEASONING ON CHICKEN
    I love Hidden Valley Ranch packets. My mom has been using them for years to make her macaroni, bacon and broccoli salad—her go-to picnic dish—and she inspired me. I am not ashamed to admit that I find many, many uses for them: I sprinkle them on potatoes for potato salad, and we even use them to brine chicken for my take on a popular fast food chain's chicken sandwich.
    —Kevin Gillespie

    ANIMAL CRACKERS IN MOLE SAUCE
    Believe it or not, I use crushed animal crackers in a Mexican chocolate sauce for our glazed pork chop dish. I love how they help thicken the mole and add a hint of sweetness. When people see a recipe with animal crackers in it, I think they are more inclined to try it out!
    —Julian Medina, Yerba Buena, New York City

    CHEETOS ON CHICKEN CUTLETS
    When I run out of ingredients, I've been known to improvise. One night I had run out of panko breadcrumbs when making chicken katsu and used crushed-up Cheetos instead. It was a hit.
    —Eddie Huang

    CORNFLAKES AS BREADING
    I sometimes prefer cornflakes to breadcrumbs for frying foods like tofu because the cereal already has a flavor of its own, which adds another dimension to the dish. Cornflakes also stay nicely puffed in the fryer.
    —Amanda Cohen, Dirt Candy, New York City

    COFFEE ON MEAT
    One of my shortcuts to braising chicken or beef is adding coffee into the cooking liquid. It lends a smoky, roasted flavor.
    —Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Philadelphia, PA

    FRENCH'S MUSTARD ON RABBIT LEGS
    French's mustard is one of our secret ingredients. We've used it to make a more flavorful egg wash for coating our crispy rabbit legs. First we dredge them in flour, then in the mustardy beaten eggs.
    —Jon Shook, Animal and Son of a Gun, Los Angeles

    CHEEZ-ITS IN RISOTTO
    I once took a road trip to Wisconsin and afterward created a dish utilizing everything I had been eating in the car. The trip inspired me to garnish my risotto with Cheez-Its, along with Wisconsin apples, onions braised in Pabst Blue Ribbon and powdered bacon bits.
    —Graham Elliot

    Condiment Addiction: SRIRACHA CHILI SAUCE

    IN MARINADES: We use a little in our homemade kimchi, and also in aioli and marinades to give them a garlicky-spicy profile. It gives dishes that "what's going on there?" flavor.
    —Chris Hastings, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, AL

    ON WINGS: We mix it with a bit of lime juice, a splash of honey and cilantro, and toss it over the wings. It gives you a nice punch.
    —Michael Symon, B Spot Burgers, Cleveland

    IN MEATBALLS: In our lamb and beef meatballs, it adds the perfect amount of heat, along with great depth of flavor. It works on any meat.
    —Harrison Keevil, Brookville Restaurant, Charlottesville, VA

    Champion Mayonnaise: DUKE'S

    FOR POTATOES: We just can't nail a homemade mayonnaise recipe that tastes as good or is as stable. Homemade mayos can break when heated, and our Southernstyle potato salad needs to be mixed hot.
    —Kevin Gillespie, Woodfire Grill, Atlanta

    FOR SALADS: We make our own mayonnaise, but on salads where we want Southern flavors, we add a tablespoon of Duke's to our own. It has a really recognizable flavor—I think it's the best mayonnaise, hands down.
    —Billy Allin, Cakes & Ale, Decatur, GA

    Cheese Crutch: VELVEETA

    FOR QUESO: One of my favorite comfort foods is queso, a Tex-Mex dish that calls for Velveeta. I'll use that, and if I don't have it, I'll use Kraft Singles.
    —Lauren Kiino, Il Cane Rosso, San Francisco

    IN THE SLOW COOKER: I really have a soft spot for Velveeta. At home I'll put it in my slow cooker with Rotel tomatoes and serve it with potato chips—something I would never, ever do in my restaurant.
    —Jonathan Justus, Justus Drugstore, Smithville, MO

    FOR MAC AND CHEESE: I use it in my restaurant mac and cheese—it's so creamy—but we don't say that on the menu description.
    —Ron Eyester, Rosebud, Atlanta
    CONGRATS TO PINGYI N. & MOLLY K.!

    Jason & I took our honeymoon in Jamaica.  It was beautiful, relaxing and one of the best vacations ever!

    The resort we stayed at had the never ending buffet of food for breakfast, lunch & dinner.  Between hanging out on the beach, chilling out by the swim up bars and enjoying the sounds of steel drums, I munched on fresh fruit.  I had access to a ton of food and I tried, for the first time, mango.

    I was astonished I had gone this far in life without knowing the melt in your mouth flavor it provided.  After we came back to reality, er, returned from our honeymoon I hunted down all that was mango.  To this day I am thrilled to see mangos in the produce section of our grocery store.  Every time I bite into one I'm transported back to the beach with a gentle breeze, reggae music spilling out of a radio and the never ending smiles of the staff.




    When I tried Island Mango Fruit Snacks from Matt's Munchie's, I was right back on that beach, sipping a fruit drink with an umbrella poking out of the top.   The organic coconut flakes mixed with the organic mango make a perfect combination to please any sweet tooth out there!  Matt's Munchie's was kind enough to send me a mix pack of their flavors to try out.

    These are wonderful for school lunches or grabbing as a snack for yourself during your day.  They're made of organic puree's and few other ingredients.  What you see is what you get.  They are certified Gluten-Free, Vegan, Kosher Pareve, and USDA Organic (excluding three chocolate flavors). They're handmade with pure USDA Certified organic mango and banana purees. There are no artificial colorings, flavorings or preservatives. They are free of soy, peanuts and preservatives. And have no added sugar (excluding chocolate flavors).

    We had friends over the other night, she has two children.  Her oldest his going through potty training right now.  When he successfully "goes" in the potty she has given him a treat, usually chocolate.  She forgot to bring her treats with her so she asked if we had anything.  I pulled out the Choco Nana and handed it to her.  She gave her son one of the snacks and he chowed down without hesitation then promptly asked for another one.  I think that's proof enough that not only are they healthy, they taste good too!

    Buy:

    Grab some of their snacks for your child's lunch (or your own!) today by visiting their shop!  Or find a store near you that offers these great treats!

    Win:

    Matt's Munchie's has been awesome enough to offer TWO of my readers a mixed pack of their own Matt's Munchie's Premium Fruit Snack!   You can enter to win by doing one or more of the following; just be sure to leave a separate comment for each way that you enter. Drawing ends at 12:01 AM on Friday October 7th.  I’ll draw the winner, via random.org, on Friday, October 7th.  I will send an email to the winner & you will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.  Please be sure to read the rules!

    Use the Rafflecopter form below.  If you don't see it - click on the title of this post.  Otherwise email me at tarah716[at]ymail.com for instructions on how to enter.


    You've read it right?  You haven't?!  WHAT?!  Get thee to the book store/library/online e-book store and get it!

    My friend let me borrow this book last year and I.could.not.put.it.down.  I read it from cover to cover in two days!  TWO!  I stayed up late to finish reading, I came home from work and would grab it and sit on the couch (this is when I was pregnant obviously) reading, reading, reading.

    I haven't seen the movie yet but I'm very excited, I've heard it follows the book closely so I'm hopeful.  I tell everyone if you like to read at all, you'll LOVE this book.  Kathryn Stockett did an amazing job on this book, the three different points of view and the emotions she injects into each character just suck you in.  I cannot wait to read more from her!

    I had committed the most sinful of sins a parent can commit. I fell asleep with Dayne in the bed and now he was falling out as I rolled over. I reach out to grab him, my hands hitting the floor to cushion his fall, my heart in my throat. I open my eyes and....I'm half out of bed, frantically searching the floor for Dayne when I realize, thanks to our monitor, he's safely upstairs. In his crib. Where he's been all night.

    That's the THIRD time that night I've done it, I wake up in a panic thinking Dayne is in the bed with us.

    I slam into Jason thinking he's rolled over on him, I sit straight up and pat the comforter around me and lately, I dive bomb to the floor. I have been having these dreams since we brought Dayne home. SIX MONTHS AGO!

    At first when I woke up Jason would wake up with a start as well and help me search until I finally woke up enough to realize Dayne was happily snoozing in his bassinet. After a few weeks of this, Jason would tell me a few choice words when I would do it, I would sheepishly apologize and fall back asleep. Lately, I've been having a few choice words myself. Our cat will snuggle in with me at night and when she leaps out of bed I have woken to find myself struggling with her because I think it's Dayne falling and not our cat wanting to escape her crazy owner.

    I wake up and am embarrassed! I have no idea why or where these night terrors are coming from. Last night I woke up and swore at myself! I don't know if I'm just sleeping lightly and something causes me to wake up with the idea that Dayne is in trouble. Dayne has never fallen asleep in bed with us and fallen out. Sometimes we do bring him to bed when he starts rustling around on weekends around 6:30.

    Most of the time he falls back asleep between us and I'm drifting in and out of sleep. We're usually awoken from those extra minutes from Dayne slapping us and he rolls around in his sleep. I hate waking up in a panic several times a night for no good reason. My sister is currently expecting her first child and asked me when the crazy dreams go away. When I told her never, her face fell. Should I have lied and told her that as soon as she pops that baby out life resumes it's normal programming? Nah, even that's too mean for the "big sister tortures little sister" card. So moms - am I alone? Does this go away? What the heck is going on?!



    CONGRATS TO MATT S!
    Fine...I'll admit to it.  I'm a picky eater.  Just ask my husband, I'm sure you'll get a sigh and a gaze up to the ceiling.  One of the things I'm picky about are nuts.  The kind you eat, not the kind you pass on the street.  I don't like most of them...I know, I'm crazy.  I hate finding them in breads, cakes, cookies, ice cream...they do not belong there!

    My one exception, almonds.  I ♥ almonds.  Love them.  I eat them by themselves, I put sliced almonds in salad, I enjoy them in cereal, I love them covered in chocolate and I add them to meals as a finishing touch because they provide an awesome crunch.



    Did you know that almonds represent one of the richest natural protein sources of any nut? An ounce of almonds have an equivalent amount of protein to a large egg. They have no cholesterol, and little to no sodium. The nuts don’t only stave of hunger but are also are a good source of fiber and contain other key nutrients, including calcium, riboflavin, niacin and the antioxidant alpha-topographer vitamin E.

    When Whole Fusion contacted me & asked to review their new almond butter, I jumped at the chance!   I was sent a jar of their Heated Almond Fusion & a jar of their Mild Almond Fusion


    Our Heated Almond Fusion is great for when you want just a little burst of flavor to tease your taste buds and chase away the winter blues. We love it mixed into a spicy hummus dip, on fresh veggies, along side of cheese or just scooped out of the jar and into our mouths.

    Mild Almond Fusion – This creamy spread has a mild red pepper kick, gentle enough for most palates with a perfect blend of garlic and other savory flavors. It’s a perfect accompaniment to any food. Serve with an assortment of fruit or raw vegetables like; apple slices, banana chips, strawberries, cucumber slices, celery, carrots. Almond Fusion is also a tasty accessory with crackers, pita chips, bread sticks, crostini, hummus and any mild cheeses. For meals, the Almond Fusion is a flavorsome complement with chicken, fish, pork, beef or simply toss in to pasta.

    I was intrigued by this spread!  I had originally thought it was like a peanut butter but with almonds!  Oh no, this is much, much more!  It's good for your teeth.  I KNOW!  Dr. Nammy, the inventor of Almond Fusion, creates it with xylitol, a plant-based sweetener that helps prevent cavities!

    Dr. Nammy also believes in the power of spice added to foods, read up on how each spice added to Almond Fusion is great for you!

    I tried both and LOVE them!  I wasn't sure how I would feel about spicy almond butter so I was a little hesitant to try them.  My first go around I toasted an english muffin and put the Mild Almond Fusion on one side and the Heated Almond Fusion on the other side.

    The butter has more texture than I'm use to with standard peanut butter, you can see the spices in each butter as you slather it on your food.  I make my peanut butter & jelly sandwiches with a thick layer of peanut butter, this go around I covered the muffin but didn't layer it on that I usually do.  

    I tried the Mild first.  There was a slight kick there but like the description says, it's gentle enough for most palates.  You taste something "extra" but it's not enough to send your running for a glass of milk.  Then I tried the Heated Almond Fusion.  More of a spice kick for sure, I did drink milk with this side but I didn't mind it.  I thought both would be fantastic in a Pad Thai dish instead of standard peanut butter!

    I tried it on white fish prior to cooking it as well, it makes an excellent glazing sauce while transferring the yummy, zingy flavor to the fish! 

    Buy It:

    You can buy your own jar from their site!  They've even offered The Ever After readers a promo code for 10% off your purchase (just type in 'fusionkick' at checkout).  This offer expires October 31, 2011 so don't wait!

    Win It:

    Almond Fusion is giving away one jar of your choice (Mild or Heated) to the winner of this giveaway!  You can enter to win by doing one or more of the following; just be sure to leave a separate comment for each way that you enter. Drawing ends at 12:01 AM on Friday September 30.  I’ll draw the winner, via random.org, on Friday, September 30.  I will send an email to the winner & you will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.  Please be sure to read the rules!

    Use the Rafflecopter form below.  If you don't see it - click on the title of this post.  Otherwise email me at tarah716[at]ymail.com for instructions on how to enter.


    The only real decorating we do around our house is for Christmas, Jason makes me wait until at least Thanksgiving has passed before I'm allowed to break open the totes and start the process of unpacking the Christmas decor and packing up the everyday life decor.

    I always said when we had kids, I wanted to make sure there was at least something festive for each holiday going on.  I couldn't tell you a reason as to why I have this goal, just that I do.  I want to make holidays special and help make childhood memories they'll carry through their life.  Now that life has started to settle down a bit, I'm ready to start making this goal a reality.

    For Halloween, I found a few items I'd like to try and make.  I've never been a big crafter, I don't scrapbook or sew or knit.  In fact, I really don't remember when (if ever) the last time I made something (I mean, besides food or a baby).


    We have a wreath on our kitchen wall that we put up one fall years ago.  It's made of fall colored leaves and berries.  Very cute but it is up year round.  Each year we keep saying we need to change it out for at least the seasons but it's only ever been talk.  I found this tutorial on this blog and figured that looked easy enough.  I might do two, one for our front door and one to replace the wreath hanging in the kitchen. 


    I saw this frame and thought it was really cute & then realized it was a DIY!  I thought it was a great idea for Halloween pictures each year.  She used green, which is awesome but I thought purple & orange would work well too.  Plus you can change up the lettering to "Boo!" or something else along those lines.  I may a few of these to have around the house!


    I love this idea, it's scrapbook paper, glue & Halloween embellishments!  Very simple and something you can customize to your style via the paper!  I think this would be fun to hang up on one of our walls, maybe by the door?


    In this tutorial they explain how to make the white ball the spiders are crawling out of but I think it would be easier & cooler to use a white paper lantern.  That way you don't have to make the ball and you could have it light up at night too.  Very spooky and a little creepy, I'll give you that.  


    I saw this article and the "Why didn't I think of that" line popped into my head.  Unlike my husband, I'm not artistically gifted.  My pumpkins, left to my own devices, would be the standard eyes, nose and a crooked mouth.  With some blood for cool effect....even if that was my blood from using a knife trying to carve a pumpkin.  But cookie cutters and a rubber mallet?  That's more my speed!  

    Have you made anything for Halloween?  Do you have any Halloween crafts you're thinking of doing?  Any ideas of stuff to add to my list?  I hope to do a follow up post where I actually follow through on these ideas!
    CONTEST CLOSED - CONGRATS TO TANYA V!

    I'll admit it, I don't wash my hair everyday. I can't, shampooing will strip my hair of its natural oils and blow drying/straight ironing is killer on those poor strands! The only down side to this is towards the end of day two the grease is starting take over. I've tried several different dry shampoo's on the market and really haven't been impressed by any of them.

    When Batiste sent me a sample of their dry shampoo I was hopeful but figured it would work like the other brands, not that great. Maybe my hair just wasn't meant for dry shampoo?



    They sent me their new scent, Fresh. It's going to be added to their line of "Original" and "Blush". I read the directions and it seemed simple enough. I threw my hair into a lose pony tail, shook the can and sprayed my root area. I then let my hair down and did another quick spray on the top. I massaged the dry shampoo into my hair as directed and then finished getting ready. Once I was done I ran a brush through my hair.

    Ladies, this stuff works! My hair looked freshly washed & dried! It even gave me a bit of lift at the roots for some volume! The real test was how it held up for the rest of the day. I came home from work and my hair still looked as clean & fresh as on a wash day! I was so excited! I finally found a product that works!

    I learned another trick that I tried as well, I sprayed the dry shampoo on freshly washed & dried hair. It catches any oil building up throughout the day, making hair stay fresher, longer! What makes me even more excited is that this product is affordable (always a great plus in my book) and accessible! I will be a customer of this brand now!

    Never thought of needing dry shampoo? Here are some wonderful reasons to keep a bottle on hand! It's great for in the morning before work, if you oversleep, for the school run, heading out to happy hour, leaving the gym, festivals & camping! They have a travel size that's perfect for the gym bag or purse!

    Even better, Batiste is letting one of The Ever After readers win a can to try for themselves.  I'm very confident that you'll be a fan too!  Here's how to enter:

    You can enter to win by doing one or more of the following; just be sure to leave a separate comment for each way that you enter. Drawing ends at 12:01 AM on Friday September 23.  I’ll draw the winner, via random.org, on Friday, September 23.  I will send an email to the winner & you will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.

    Use the Rafflecopter form below.  If you don't see it - click on the title of this post.  Otherwise email me at tarah716[at]ymail.com for instructions on how to enter.

    It's amazing how much changes in ten years and yet it seems like just yesterday I was climbing down from my loft bed in my dorm at college.  I turned on the TV to get updated on the weather as I got dressed for class.  I stopped and fell into the seat in front of the TV with my jaw on the ground.  I watched as the second plane hit the second tower live on TV and heard the reporters chock back sobs of emotions, trying to continue the report.


    I raced out into the hallway and saw that everyone in our building had clustered around the big screen TV in the common area.  I stood beside someone I had never met before and felt a hand grab mine as the tears fell.  That day, we were not strangers, we were Americans.  We were no longer too busy to meet a strangers eye, or offer a quick smile, or say hello.  Those few days after 9/11 I remember the "oneness" I felt with everyone.


    I would pass people on campus and our eyes would meet, smiles would be exchanged.  People spoke to others more freely, more openly.  We were all facing the same tragedy, hurting the same hurt, crying the same tears.  Ten years have passed, I've started working my first "career" instead of a job, I met my husband, I got married, I had our son, I've made new friends and lost track of old ones.

    But no matter how much time passes, every detail of that moment will forever be etched in my memory.  We will never forget all those who died that day.

    Here in Michigan we've already pulled out the sweaters and hats.  It seems Mother Nature wasted no time switching from summer to fall.  Last Friday our high was 95°, today our high is 72°.  Jason & I have debated about turning the heat on, usually we tough it out by layering, layering, layering until it's just time to turn on the money sucking heat.  (We NEED to get a new roof!  Our insulation is laughable)  But with Dayne here now, we have to think about him.

    Our boiler needs to be serviced so until then, we're not flipping the switch just yet.  There will be fires in the wood burner stove and a space heater turned on to help nip the chill out of the air.  But the great thing about fall is pulling out the cozy clothing again, snuggling around a crackling fire, cider mills, hot cocoa, the smell of crisp air, the beauty of the changing leaves and our favorite TV shows returning!  Whoo hooo!



    What better way to celebrate the return of your favorite friends then by some fun meals in theme!  Betty Crocker's team has paired up the genre of TV shows with some FANFare!  Here are a few I'm planning on trying with the shows I have programed in my DVR:

    Glee Returns Tuesday, September 13th.  I'm SO excited, I'm a Gleek, I will admit it.  I watched The Glee Project this summer so I'm very excited to see the shows for the new characters.  I'm also very curious how they're dealing with the main cast graduating this year.

    In honor of Glee, every Gleek knows about the Slushee.  So Betty Crocker whipped up the Slushee Cup Cakes, how fun do these look?


    Go to the head of the class with this new twist on the traditional poke cake. Two cupcakes are “poked” and splashed with fruity slushee syrup, then topped with colorful flavored frosting and glittery sugar. You’ll give them an A!

    One of my favorite comedy's returns on Thursday, September 22.  The Office!!  We'll hopefully find out who is replacing Michael!  Any guesses?  What better way to celebrate heading back to work than with Cocoa Crunch Donuts!  

    Donuts are everyone’s favorite office food. These homemade donuts start with refrigerated biscuits, then add a sweet glaze and crunchy Cocoa Puffs cereal for a fun and chocolatey punch.

    I introduced Jason to The Family Guy when we started dating, I was shocked that he had never seen the show.  It's now one of his all time favorites.  Lucky for us the hilarious antics start up this Sunday, September 11.  Maybe we'll whip up Betty Crocker's Silly Pink Rabbit Adult Malts


    This colorful adult malt takes inspiration from the classic Pink Squirrel cocktail – but adds childhood favorites like ice cream and Trix cereal to evoke the flavors of childhood in a completely grown-up way.

    I've been looking forward to catching NBC's new show Up All Night starting Wednesday, September 14 - the teasers have left me laughing.  Maybe because we're new parents too and can relate to the jokes.  Either way, I think the Cheesy Po-Ta-Chos would make for a great snack food while checking this new show out.  


    Bring the family together over “Po-Ta-Chos” – a new twist on classic nachos! This dish is built on a base of potatoey goodness, topped with cheese, salsa and fresh veggies.

    And of course, one of my favorite channels, the Food Network Channel.  The Great Food Truck Race, Sandwich King (Season 7 winner of  The Next Food Network Star - LOVE him), The Pioneer Woman (LOVE her & her blog), Restaurant: Impossible & Hungry Girl - they have all started up already for the season.  So why not join in on the food fun and make the Korean BBQ Kimchi Quesadillas.


    This winning food truck-inspired dish loads up a Mexican quesadilla with the flavor of Korean barbecue. And what’s the secret ingredient? Kimchi!

    What fall shows are you looking forward to?

    Thank you to Betty Crocker & MyBlogSpark for pictures, recipes and ideas. 

    Dear Dayne,

    Six months feels like forever & like no time at all.  Six months ago I was begging the doctors to squeeze me in for an induction instead of bumping me to the waiting list.  It seems like a lifetime ago.  Six months ago I swore I was having a girl and when your dad tearfully announced you were a boy, I lay in shock on the bed trying to digest that fact.  When I was finally able to hold you and look in your eyes, I couldn't imagine anyone other than you being my child.

    You have grown so much in such a short span of time.  You went from being frustrated because you could no longer easily suck your thumb (poor hand/mouth coordination) to being the cutest thumb sucker I've ever seen.  I'm biased but I'll always think you're the most adorable, amazing, handsome boy on earth.  You're eating "solid" food now, we're introducing you to all these wonderful flavors.  Some you love (sweet potatoes) and some you spit right back out (peas).  Yesterday your first tooth finally broke the surface!  You really are growing up!


    You're starting on your sippy cup this month, you like that it has handles because this means you can hold on to it yourself and so it's easier to throw.  You don't like so much that it's not as easy as a bottle to use, you loose interest pretty quickly.  You're so curious about the world around you, whenever you see an animal your eyes light up and you strain to reach out and touch them.

    We've moved you from your infant seat to the "big boy" seat as we've dubbed it.  You quickly outgrew the height restrictions for it, I think you enjoy the freedom of the "big boy" seat more anyway.  You've been sitting up easily on your own for some time now, your newest triumph is sitting up from the crawling position.


    People ask what type of baby you are and it's easy to sum it up in one word "Happy".  You love to smile, to laugh, to giggle.  You love meeting new people and trying new things.  When you are nervous or scared or unsure you bury your face in my neck and latch on.  It melts my heart to know that you know I will always be there to protect you.

    You love to make people laugh already, when you notice we're cracking up over a noise, a face or an action, you are sure to repeat it over & over again until we're rolling.  You are such a joy to those around you and I'm so blessed you were chosen to be ours.  I love seeing your eyes flutter shut at night and seeing your head pop up with a grin first thing in the morning.


    I love figuring out your quirks, like you don't enjoy sleeping in silence, and knowing what your cries mean (I'm bored, change me, feed me, I'm tired).  I love having people tell me how handsome you are, what a well tempered child you and and what a beautiful, easy smile you have.  I love it, because it's true and I love that others see it as well.


    May your life always be filled with smiles and laughter no matter what obstacles may pop up in your path.  As long as you have a good heart, humor and family, you can get through anything.

    Love,
    Mommy
    CONTEST CLOSED - CONGRATS TO PENNY S!!


    When Classic Foods contacted me to ask if I was interested in trying their chips, you can probably guess I was doing a little dance.  Who doesn't enjoy chips?  Sure!  I'll taste your food and let others know what I think!

    Their box of goodies showed up the other day and I wasted no time sorting through the bags, my mouth watering at each description.  When I pulled out the Baked Classic - Vanilla Frosting - I thought:

    Uh....is that even going to taste good? Chips aren't suppose to be vanilla frosted.


    Let me just say, Classic Foods - thank you SO much for going down that path. I popped the first chip in my mouth, my eyes got wide and I reached in for the next one, and the next one...and the next one. If you could take a vanilla cupcake and bake it into a chip shape - that's what this tastes like.

    Even better - it's multi-grain, it has only 120 calories per serving, it's gluten free, no cholesterol and no trans fat. Could this chip get much more perfect? I think not.  Thankfully they sent me several bags of this flavor.  Trust me, if you're a fan of vanilla cupcakes, you're going to LOVE this chip.



    Not to be outdone, they also sent me Natural, Sea Salt & Vinegar, Mesquite Barbecue & Spicy Jalapeno.  Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum.  In that order.  Trust me, I'll let you know when I'm not a fan of a product.  This stuff though?  I will be buying it in the future.  You can too on their site!  

    They have the perfect crunch to them, just like kettle chips do.  The flavor was perfect!  Jason did say he wishes there was more jalapeno on the Spicy Jalapeno flavor but he enjoys a good punch.  I, on the other hand, thought it was a perfect blend.  Just enough to let you know it's there.  So I guess it depends on how much you enjoy the jalapeno flavor.

    Check out the Kettle Chips they have the following flavors:
    • Natural: “The Original Crunch” It doesn’t getting any simpler – our Natural chips have nothing but potatoes and sea salt. 
    • Mesquite Barbecue: “Backyard Crunch”: All the flavors you’d expect from a smoky barbecue – sweet brown sugar, tomato, onion, and garlic, paprika, annatto, tumeric and other spices. 
    • Spicy Jalapeno: “Fiery Crunch”: Yes, that’s a spicy chip. Made with pure jalapeno peppers, onion and garlic, natural flavors, paprika, and vinegar. 
    • Sea Salt & Vinegar: “The British Crunch”: Inspired by the Brits who favor these flavors over ketchup. These chips are made with sea salt, vinegar and natural flavors. 
    • Sundried Tomato Basil: “The Gourmet Crunch” Garden-fresh taste. Made with sundried tomatoes, basil, onion and garlic, parsley, paprika and natural flavors. 
    • Cracked Pepper & Sea Salt: “Perfect Combo Crunch” So zesty, so peppery. Coated with sea salt, black pepper, onion, garlic, and natural spices. 
    • Honey Dijon Mustard: “Sophisticated Sweet Crunch” This chip takes the sharp taste of Dijon mustard and the smooth, sweet taste of honey to create a one of a kind blend that really gets your taste buds dancing. 
    • African Red Devil Pepper™: “Exotic Crunch” This spicy-yet-citrusy chip was inspired by the Piri Piri pepper found in Africa and its heavenly taste is mouth-watering. 
    • Wasabi Ranch: “Cool Samurai Crunch” Wasabi is elegant spiciness that’s warm, not hot. Then, quickly fades to a slightly sweet, lingering finish. The perfect segway for ranch,a classic flavor that’s rich and smooth.
    I'm so excited to try the Wasabi Ranch!  Two of my favorite flavors!  

    Their Baked Chips are offered in the following flavors:
    • Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper: A spin on the well-known potato chip, this 110 calorie snack is the perfect marriage of salt and pepper. 
    • Mesquite BBQ: Now, with 10% less sodium than the original barbecue and only 110 calories, this traditional flavor is sure to spark memories of your annual family cookout. 
    • Vanilla Frosting: Creamy vanilla frosting with just the right amount of sweetness. Feel free to indulge without fear.
    They also offer an array of Stoned Classic Chips & California Classic Chips

    To top off this already awesome post, Classic Foods is giving one reader a 10-pack of Kettle Classics® – mixed flavors.  Don't miss out on these amazing chips!  You can bet I'll be placing my order for other flavors soon!

    Here's how to enter:

    You can enter to win by doing one or more of the following; just be sure to leave a separate comment for each way that you enter. Drawing ends at 12:01 AM on Saturday September 17.  I’ll draw the winner, via random.org, on Saturday, September17.  I will send an email to the winner & you will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.

    Use the Rafflecopter form below.  If you don't see it - click on the title of this post.  Otherwise email me at tarah716[at]ymail.com for instructions on how to enter.

    CONGRATS TO BREANNE T!

    To me, perfume is the finishing touch of getting ready, the icing on the cake, the period at the end of the sentence.  I love deciding which scent from my collection I'll wear each day and I love finding new scents.  The only downside I have with my perfumes is that they seem to wear off around the middle of the day.  A trick I learned years ago was to not spray perfume on dry skin.  Instead, massage in a dab of lotion and then spray the perfume where you've rubbed in the lotion.  The scent sticks around much longer!

    The wonderful people at Cream Perfume Company have figured out a way to skip that extra step!  Their perfume is already in the cream form so you just swipe it on to your "hot spots" and away you go!  But the upsides to their product over others doesn't stop there, their cream perfumes were developed as a commercially more affordable and healthier alternative to predominantly high-priced fragrances that are packaged in elaborate, environmentally unfriendly materials and incorporate ethanol, petroleum carriers and other undesirable fillers.






    By eliminating the bulk of ethanol and water, they use significantly less expensive, alternative and eco-friendly container materials such as wood, and incorporate natural carriers like beeswax and sweet almond oil as was the original practice in perfumery for many thousands of years. Their cream perfumes represent unusual, simple and elegant delivery of world-class French fragrances. They are travel-friendly, longer-lasting, lightly moisturizing and can be purchased at a great price.

    The Cream Perfume Company's body lotions contain pure and naturally derived oils and extracts from nature combined with their premium French fragrance oils to combat dehydrated, sore, inflamed and damaged skin.



    Their Natural Line of lotions cater to sensitive skin and only use 100% certified organic essential oils while their Spa Line is a thicker luxurious lotion well suited for massages and everyday wear. Their lotions are uniquely fragrant, sooth your skin, delight your senses and layer well with their cream perfumes.

    They are proud members of the Natural Products Association and always contribute a minimum of 10% of their profits to families in need.



    I was sent over the Apricot Cream Perfume, the Ylang Ylang Cream Perfume & the Spa Line Mandarin Body Lotion 8oz Tube.

    I love the little wooden pots they come in, applying the cream perfume is easy, just swirl your finger over the creme to help melt it and then apply where you would normally spray perfume.  You always want to apply perfume to your pulse spots, namely, the inner wrists, the base of the throat, behind ear lobes, in the cleavage, behind knees, and the inner elbows. As you wear your perfume throughout the day, it will react with your body heat and continue to emit scent.

    With this perfume being cream, it's much easier to get to many of those pulse spots without over spraying.  I was surprised with how much I enjoyed the apricot scent, I thought it would be my least favorite.  But it's such an interesting and soft aroma that it quickly moved to one of my favorite perfumes!

    The lotion had me a bit worried, my skin is super sensitive and I have to watch how it reacts to soaps and lotions before I let it start rotating in my collection.  So I tried out a spot on my arm and waited 24 hours for a rash.  24 hours later, all clear!  It smells wonderful, it's not overpowering at all and could easily be used instead of perfume for a subtle fragrance all day! 

    Check out their site to buy your own or browse for great gift ideas!  These last forever and are perfect to throw in a travel bag without worry of breaking the traditional glass bottle most perfumes come in.

    And, lucky for my readers, the Cream Perfume Company has offered one reader their choice of one current item off their site!  Great as a treat for you or something to stock away for the upcoming holidays!

    Here's how to enter:

    You can enter to win by doing one or more of the following; just be sure to leave a separate comment for each way that you enter. Drawing ends at 12:01 AM on Friday September 16.  I’ll draw the winner, via random.org, on Friday, September 16.  I will send an email to the winner & you will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.

    Use the Rafflecopter form below.  If you don't see it - click on the title of this post.  Otherwise email me at tarah716[at]ymail.com for instructions on how to enter.

    Our mornings during the week are hectic.  Both Jason & I have to get ready for work and get Dayne ready at the same time.  To save time, I've started showering at night and letting my hair air dry, then straighten it in the morning.  I'll get up about 10 minutes before Jason, get dressed, brush my teeth, do my makeup and then I'll grab Dayne from his crib.

    I usually plop on the bed, turn the news on and catch up on the headlines while I'm feeding his his bottle.

    This morning I was doing that routine when I felt Dayne's hand on my cheek.  I looked down at him sucking away on his bottle and his forehead was creased, almost confused looking.  To me, it looked like he was saying "Hey mom, we don't get to spend much time together during the week.  Instead of watching the news, how about you look at me?"

    Of course he could have also been saying "Wow mom....couldn't you do your hair before you wake me up?  Look presentable already!"

    But it was a moment I won't forget, a moment where I remembered I need to live in each moment instead of rushing to the next one.  Dayne won't be small forever, someday he won't need me to wake him up and get him breakfast.  I know how quickly time is already flying, Dayne was just reminding me why I fought so hard to finally hold him in the first place.

    Dayne has slowly (who am I kidding, at the speed of light) been getting taller & taller.  Two weeks ago I put him in his infant seat and realized his head was just starting to pass the safety point.  I knew he wouldn't last a year in it, I was hoping we'd reach six months at least.  We're close!  He's almost six months, but most of all I wanted him to be able to sit on his own so I could put him in the cart and in highchairs since his seat will no longer be mobile.

    He's been sitting on his own for a good month now so I felt more comfortable pulling the trigger.  We strolled into Babies 'R Us and started looking at the convertible car seats.  When I had it narrowed down to two I realized there was a row & a half hiding around the corner.  *too many choices!*  We finally ended up with the Babies "R" Us by Safety 1st Aquos 65 Convertible Car Seat.  We bought one for Jason's parents since they watch Dayne during the week, and one for us to move back & forth between cars.


    It's not the 3-in-1 I had hoped for originally but when we put Dayne in it he started sucking his thumb and snuggled up to the headrest, closed his eyes and attempted to fall asleep.  This could be because it was close to his bedtime, but he didn't do that in any of the other seats we put him in.  The price was right (love the 20% off coupons!) so we grabbed it.  Later that night Jason put the seat in his car and reported back it wasn't going to be easy moving between the cars, there was a lot involved.  *grumbles*

    So we'll go back in a few weeks and buy the one I really liked but we couldn't see buying two at the same time just yet.  That one will stay in my car and it is the 3-in-1 so hopefully that's the last seat he'll need.

    When I put him in it this morning on his way to Grandma & Grandpa's, he looked like such a big boy!  He even looked a little confused about this new seating situation but happy.  This thing is like a plush arm chair that you would have in your living room.  I'd love to ride around in that!  It's comfy!

    So now it's a new world of remembering if I brought the car/highchair cover with me when we go out, making sure the stroller is in the car and putting the infant seat in storage until #2.  Hopefully s/he uses it a big longer than Dayne!