Thursday, September 30, 2010

#31- Donate Clothing to the Salvation Army

... which means that we both cleaned out our closets.  Have you ever looked at a closet full of clothes and thought "I have nothing to wear."  It probably means that you, like me, hang on to way too much crap.  It's actually ridiculous that amount of clothing I had in my closet that I hadn't worn in years.  Some of it.. ahem... didn't fit me anymore.  And some of it was out of style.  Either way it needed to go.  So hub and I both went through our closets and bagged all of the clothing in good condition that we didn't want anymore.  Do you want to know how many large trash bags were taken?  7.  Seven.  Insanity.

Adios!  I hope you find a new home :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

I'm looking forward to..

- Getting my Scentsy order in (Thanks Kathy!)

- Taking Dominic to NY for the first time

- Participating in my first Craft Fair!

- Working with a local photographer to get my hats pictured in professional settings so that I have better images to use for marketing

- Breaking out my fall wardrobe and boots

- Planning our little boy's SECOND birthday party.  Want to know what theme we're going with?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

LIKE Caterpillar Family on FB!

I just created a fan page for my Etsy store Caterpillar Family and added a "Like Box" to the side bar of this blog!  Please feel free to click :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Favorite

Today marks the official start of Fall. 

This is the season that I was born, married, and became a mother. 

I'm so excited to share why this time of year is so special to me!

Soon I'll be 24.  We will celebrate our 3 year marriage.  Our sweet first baby will be 2.  There is so much to appreciate. 

This Halloween Dominic will be much more aware of what's going on.  The same goes for his birthday.  As wonderful as it was to have a brand new baby for the holiday season, I think having a small excited child will be even better!

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all."
- Stanley Horowitz

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mingle Monday

mingle mondays button
At Caterpillar we've had a fun and busy weekend!  It always seems like the fall is our busiest time of year by far.  In addition to the birthday parties and baby showers, we've also got a couple short trips in the works.  We'll be visiting both NYC and Chicago the month of October- yay!  I've been to NY several times, but this will be my first time in Chicago.  Oh, and I'm still not working.  It's officially been one month since that madness.  I swear it's been a blessing in disguise though so I'm just rolling with it. 
If you're stopping by from a Monday follow please take a look around!  I love my followers and their feedback and would love to have you on board.  This isn't primarily a giveaway blog, but I've been known to send some of my personal Etsy creations to my readers!  So hop on and be sure to leave your URL so that I may follow you back :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Summer Nights

Our summer nights are fading.  Fall is approaching. 

Many evenings we wander to the pond behind our home.  We like to stroll along the path. 

Of course there is one other reason we've been frequenting the pond...

Our sweet boy just loves to visit his waterfoul friends.

They are happy for the visit.  A little too happy, actually.  Just last week I had a sleeve of crackers snatched from my hands and the box was trampled.

Luckily ducks don't have teeth. 

We've even been taking Libby with us to the pond.  She's been such a good girl, waiting for the ducks to have their meal...

...before chasing them back into the water.

We watched them paddle away.

Then we feed Libby the leftover snacks.

What a beautiful way to spend our remaining summer evenings..

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

#55- Have a picnic

If you follow me on twitter you probably already know that we had a picnic at the park on Saturday.  Dominic and I met up with Kaley from ...a tale of three poags! (my in-real-life bloggy friend) and her son, Kullen, to have a picnic/playdate at our local park.  The weather was gorgeous- a little chill when we first got there which quickly turned into a warm and sunny afternoon. 

It's beginning to look a lot like Maryland in the fall!  I'm sure I'm biased but once we've hit full-blown fall here (towards the end of October) you just can't match the scenery.  Such a beautiful place to be.  Fall is by far my favorite season!  Right now it's still summer-ish here.  We have temps in the 80's clear through September usually.

Unfortunately, we weren't able to feed the ducks at the pond because there were also quite a few big mean geese there.  These things were chasing everyone who came near them.. and it's hard to tell from this picture, but they were bigger than the boys.

Dominic and Kullen playing on our blanket..

The sun reallyyy started to heat up. 

And soon the boys were pantless. haha.  I love this picture of Kullen exploring!

mama Kaley!

There were bananas, vanilla goldfish, and cheese chicks all around :)

After lunch we rounded out our picnic with another quick trip over to the playground before we headed back home for a nap.

I cannot wait for perfect FALL weather to really set in.  Our picnic did get a little hot, so I'm hoping to do it again when it gets cooler. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday Hops

Hello to everyone stopping by from Survey Junkie's Saturday Spotlight and Saturday Stalk for Savings!  Please leave a comment with your URL so that I may follow you back :)


Just Married with Coupons

Shutterfly code giveaway!

I have three (3) Shutterfly codes to give away to my readers!  Each code is for 10% off everything (your entire order) at Shutterfly and must be used by November 3, 2010. 

The first three people to email me at: will win!  Ready.. Set.. Go!

Friday, September 10, 2010


Guess who got her beautiful new necklace from The Shabby Apple?  ME!  hehe.  Last week, Leigh @ MyLeighAshley decided to have a giveaway from her Etsy shop.  The prize was the adorable Lovebirds necklace... and I love it!  I'm so excited to win such a wonderful prize.  Thank you, Leigh

Please check out her shop, The Shabby Apple.  She really has some great handmade jewelry!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rambling again..

I feel like it's been a while since I've had a reflective post.  I don't want to get so bogged down with giveaways and recipes that I forget why I like to blog in the first place.  Its been an interesting month in our household, that's for sure.  Three weeks ago I lost my job.  Initially I thought I'd bounce right back into something right away.. that's not exactly going as planned.  I'm still unemployed for the time being.  We're doing alright.  Hub is working overtime, but more than anything this has been a huge wake-up call.  We were spending nauseating amounts of money each month on non-vital things.  Of course it didn't seem like it at the time.  I always "needed" this or that at Target.  Dominic "needed" a new toy or outfit each time we were out shopping.  I "needed" Starbucks almost daily. That last one pained me to even type.  I've yet to uncover the secret to a good DIY iced coffee.  Sigh.

When I lost my job we put a near freeze on all spending.  We started evaluating every dollar that left our bank account.  I was on the verge of a mental breakdown.  We both worked and made good money.  We did alright, but didn't feel like we had a ton of excess cash by any means.  I was sure that the sudden loss of my income would send us into financial ruin.  Now, it's still super early... but we're starting to see that we have the ability to pay our bills AND eat, for now at least.  I still have to find another job.  But, if it takes me a little longer than I initially planned- our world won't end.  For now the world we lived in is gone, replaced by frugal shopping, dinners at home, cheap entertainment, and coupon clipping.

We decided to keep Dominic in daycare part time for two reasons.  1) to hold his spot for when I do find a job and 2) to keep him social.  I don't want to be flamed by hoards of SAHMs for this, but I only have one child.  Dominic is shy to begin with.  I felt like pulling him completely from the interaction he had with other children his age was cruel.  He's been with the same daycare provider since I went back to work when he was 4.5 months old.  They love each other.  Plus, this gives me two days out of seven to get some cleaning done around the house and job hunt without having to worry about waking him up or finding someone to watch him for me.  So that's what we're doing for now.

On the subject of my little man... what a joy he is!  I feel like we've officially crossed over from "baby" to "kid", for better or worse.  All in all it's awesome to see him become his own little person.  He's SO opinionated and full of life.  It's bittersweet for me though.  Recently he has refused to be worn at all.  I had hopes of extended toddlerwearing lasting for a little longer.  My beloved Beco is hardly tested by my 21 pound 21 month-old.  I envisioned back carries through the age of two at least!  He's not having it though.  Mr. Independent would prefer to walk thankyouverymuch.  He's still doing alright with the stroller, so now we just stroll everywhere.  Maybe he just doesn't want all the toddler girls to see him cuddled up with his mommy? ba ha ha. 

He IS still rear facing in his car seat though, and I have no plans of turning around anytime soon.  People sometimes ask me if he'd rather be forward facing or say that their two year old would never ride rear facing.  My answer to that is simple- he has never ridden in a car forward facing, so he has no idea what it is.  He doesn't know that the way he rides is not the "norm" although it IS the recommended way to ride.  He might prefer to drink soda instead of water... but I don't give him the choice.  He drinks water because that's what he knows.  It's funny though because Hub and I were having a discussion the other day about when we would switch him.  Dominic had just thrown a remarkable fit while getting strapped into his car seat and we were wondering if he might be happier facing front (for the record, 9 times out of ten he's perfectly happy to get in the car.  He even "helps" me clip his chest strap).  As if on cue, there was a mother in the car next to us attempting to strap her little girl (who looked to be the same age as D) into her forward-facing car seat.  OH the fit she was throwing!  Kicking, screaming, arching her back, this little girl pulled out all the stops.  Hub and I just looked at each other and smiled.  I guess it's not about the direction of the seat after all.

I suppose that's all for now.  I have a couple more posts "in waiting", including a post about two giveaways I won (yay!) but I really wanted to do a big "catch up" for my readers.  Thanks for the support!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

#44- Feed Ducks

I'm finally getting around to documenting this one.  In all honesty, we've fed ducks, or "cack cacks" as Dominic calls them, a few times since I started my Day Zero project.  Dominic LOVES ducks :)  He loves all animals but ducks in particular.  Last night after dinner Hub, D, and I walked behind our house to the pond with a pack of slightly stale hot dog buns.  Of course the ducks were alllll the way on the opposite side of the pond from us and I didn't want to get all the way over there only to have them fly away.  So I picked D up and half-ran over there.  As soon as the "cack cacks" were in sight Dominic practically lept out of my arms.  He was squealing at me as I opened the package of buns.  He is so big.  He knows exactly what to do and doesn't want any help at all.  I handed him bun after bun and he ripped them apart and threw them to the ducks (who, btw, were very brave and came right up to him). 

At one point, I wasn't quick enough reloading him with duck food so he took one himself.  hehe. 

When we were all out of buns the ducks waddled into the pond and swam away.

[please excuse the crappy cell phone pics... I left my camera inside]

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Who wants to win a sleepy wrap?

This girl!!

Who is giving one away?
These girls!!

Let me be clear- I LOVE my Beco Butterfly II.  I plan on using it with my next baby and enjoying it as much as I did with Dominic (and still currently enjoy when he lets me).  But I reallyyyy want a wrap to be able to wear with a tiny baby.  What did I use with Dominic, you ask?  Confession- the death sling :/  Thank God nothing bad ever happened to him.  I didn't know any better and really thought I was doing the best thing for my little baby by wearing him.  So I was shocked when it was recalled.  I sent it back and got a replacement (their version of a Mei-Tai)... which is alright, but not really a replacement for a newborn carrier.  I want a sleepy wrap soooooo bad!  And Take It From Me is giving one away.  Sooooo if you've ever thought about baby wearing check out these benefits [taken from Sleepy Wrap's website]:

Cry Less! (43% less overall and 54% less during the evening hours)
Are Healthier! (gain weight faster, have better motor skills, coordination, increased muscle tone, and sense of balance)

Get a better view of the world! (babies pushed in strollers or lugged around in car seats only get to see the adult world at knee-level)

Become Independent Faster! (making them more confident and less clingy)

Sleep Better! (they fall asleep quicker and sleep for longer periods of time)

Learn More! (not overstimulated, but calm and alert, observing the world around them)

And are just plain Happier!
And be sure to enter this great giveaway!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's that time again..

Time for me to once again profess my love for Shutterfly.  No, Shutterfly does not pay me to endorse them in any way (although they should- hehe).  I just genuinely appreciate a photo site that is easy to use and does not cost an arm and a leg to enjoy.  You may remember this post from this past May.  I was new to blogging and sharing my Shutterfly steal was on my mind then too.  You also may remember from this post (my very first!) that I've also hosted a Shutterfly photo book party.  So much fun! 

You see, since I'm obviously a valued customer I get offer codes emailed to me all the time.  That in addition to specials that they run (the usually have at least 3-4 specials going at any one time), I end up getting ridiculous amounts of merch for tiny amounts of mulah.  Remember when I posted about our Orlando vacation?  Well, I still hadn't made a photo book from that trip.  If you know me, you know that I chronicle our lives via photo books.  I don't have the time or energy to scrapbook... and quite frankly, scrapbooking is more expensive.  So I take an hour or two and make a gorgeous photo book that my friends and relatives will ooh and aahh over while thinking that I must have spent days putting it together.  Ba ha ha- not hardly.
Here is my latest:

My order consisted of the following:
-1 8x8 hard cover photo book with 61 pages
-139 4x6 prints
-3 5x7 folded photo greeting cards

I had offers for the following:
-1 Free 8x8 photo book with 20 pages
-3 Free 5x7 folded photo greeting cards
-$10 off an order $30 or more
-Free Shipping on an order $30 or more
-20% off photobook pages

I ended up paying a grand total of $25.00 after a total savings of $69.61!!  So that's my Shutterfly plug for today :)

Breastfeeding: Join the Boob-olution!

I am loving this video! If you've ever breastfed you will appreciate it :)

Instagram @jesscarbone