Monday, May 9, 2011

Baby Gate: Summer Infant Sure and Secure Custom Fit Gate

One year ago we were on a hut for a solution of keeping our newly walking toddler from getting into the cat food in the kitchen. Also we wanted to be able to maintain him in a secure baby safe space.
We didn't think there was anything out there that would work for us. Our space we wanted to block off is an awkward shaped great room. The photo below is a picture from before we moved in.
After initial looking we decided on buying a few sets of the linking gates that can form a circle. We thought we could set up 2 sets, one to block the kitchen and one to block the front door opening. So off to Babies R Us to see what they had. That's when I found the Summer Infant Sure and Secure Custom Fit Gate
It expands to fit your space and if your space is still larger than it expands, you can combine 2 of them or they have expandable pieces sold separably too. It mount to the wall. We only about one full set and it spreads our space and has a few inches to spare still.
It has been great. Over the past year, we've loved that we have, we get comments all the time that people didn't know such things exist when they see it. Also it is removable at anytime. We recently had a party at our home and didn't want to impede the flow of traffic so we took it down. The mounts can stay or be removed as needed. For the party we left the mounts but completely removed the blockade. It folds up to a tidy little square and went under our couch for the party. After the party we pulled it right back out and put it back in place. So easy one adult and easily do it on their own. It has taken so much abuse from our toddler but its holding strong. It makes my philosophy on parenthood- controlled chaos, actually possible.
We are so grateful that we found a gate that fit our needs.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Secret Fit Maternity bottoms by Motherhood

Since I have finally announced that we're expecting again (Twins this time), I've decided I can blog about products like maternity clothes now. This was a new product when I was pregnant with my son (baby number 1). After purchasing a bunch of maternity bottoms on the market and not being able to ware any of them we found the Secret Fit products by Motherhood. Other companies have come out with their own version of "full belly band", I have not tried most of them. But the one I tried didn't work in the same way. I was a jersey Lycra type material and it felt tight on my tummy, granted this was just in a dressing room, but I wasn't going to purchase it and have it never feel right. 
I need the Secret Fit from about week 6 or 7 of my pregnancy. Although at that point I can still fit into my normal pants, I can't stand pant waistbands. They add to my nausea. At that point my tummy is super sensitive and any pressure is not a good thing for me. So the Secret Fit's band is perfect, it has no waistband and the nylon spandex top adds no pressure to my tummy. Other things I love about the Secret Fit is that my jeans/pants look like normal pants. Also I can ware them from the start before I start showing all the way to the day baby is born. The top stretches out to accommodate your growing belly, but because of the materials its made of the stretching isn't permeate. 
I love my Secret Fit products. I'm to the point where I don't purchase a maternity bottom (pant, jean, shorts, skirt) unless it is Secret Fit. Its just not worth the money to purchase anything else for me. Products I own: 2 pairs of jeans, pair of corduroy pants, black dress pants, a jean skirt, a knee length grey wool skirt, and a black flowing mid-calf black skirt. To all out there who are expecting, especially if this is your first, I totally recommend saving up the little bit of extra money to invest in a Secret Fit bottom. Yes they are a bit more expensive then some of the other brands out there, but Motherhood does lots of sales. Their sales, in store or online at, make the products affordable. Yes for a bit more you might be able to purchase 2 bottoms from another store when they have their sales, but if you have the problems I do then you're not going to want to ware either of those you bought. Instead save a bit of money, hold off buying the others, and then buy the one pair that is going to be wonderful. I hope that you like them as much as I do. Their pants range on sale or not from $15-50. Average for a good pair of jeans.
Disclaimer: I know that each woman is different, and there are probably women out there who dislike the fit and feel of the Secret Fit. You need to find what you feel most comfortable in. With my sensitivity issues I feel   overall most comfortable in the Secret Fit, if you're like me, this might be the answer to your problems.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Famous Dave's Resturants

Famous Dave's Resturants
I ate here on New Years Eve with my parents. There is a location at the Mesa Riverview but you can visit Famous Dave's site for the nearest location to you. I had never gone there before, but we had tried their sauces before.
My parents had a local coupon through the local High School, that if you buy 2 entries, you get a free appetizer. We had their Nachos, They were a meal in and of themselves, the sort of thing I could just go and order as my meal. Those nachos were super yummy. The table next to us had their onion strings, they liked them so much they ordered seconds of them.
For dinner my parents and I had the baby back ribs, and my husband had a half rack of their St. Louis Ribs. It was all good, but nothing was "to die for" compared to any other rib place. Although our toddler had their adult mac n cheese (they put jalapeƱos in their adult mac n cheese) and he was totally digging it. We were all too full for dessert.
What did make this a great experience was their service, our server was fantastic, I'm sorry I can't remember his to give him props. Also it was a cold day in Mesa Arizona and they had Hot chocolate waiting when we walked in to greet us. That was wonderful too. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

California Pizza Kitchen- frozen

California Pizza Kitchen- frozen
We have bought these a few times. They taste fantastic and the best part about them is they are so much healthier than other frozen pizzas. I have yet to find another frozen pizza that is as low in calories and fat while giving you large enough servings to feel full. 
For example- on their Sicilian pizza, 1/3 pizza is a serving size, that's 310 calories 14 g fat. My husband and I cut it into 8 slices, if we each eat half, that's 465 calories each or 930 calories for a whole pizza. If you count WW points that is 22 points for an entire pizza, 11 points per half.
In contrast, the frozen pizzas we were eating were 16 points for 1/2 the pizza, and 32 for the whole pizza. 
The only complaint is that I think they are each made by hand, and occasionally are less than perfect, ie less cheese or topping than another pizza. But besides that, they are wonderful tasting.
You can purchase them at any of your local grocery store. Even Costco carries them in packages of 3 these days, in fact this coupon series (Jan 6- Jan 30 2011) has a $3.50 off coupon. A coupon we will be using at our house.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Sherlock!! Oh my goodness!!! I am enamored!! This is the best series since...... Psych, but that is a poor comparison. Its amazingly good. So witty and creative, so modern, fresh, and smart.
Sherlock- a modern take on Sherlock and Watson's adventures. 
Set in modern London. Sherlock Holmes is a fringing Aspergers' Syndrome personality (never called that, just my preception from my understanding of Aspergers), played supremely by Benedict Cumberbatch (a favorite British actor of mine), he is brilliant as Sherlock and so believable. Watson is an recently returned Army Doctor from Afghanistan (exactly the way it is in the book, sad how few things actually change in a 100 years) who is suffering from PTSD played by Martin Freeman (another fav British actor). Freeman has often played a bit immature characters in the past, but really shows the maturity that makes him a real Dr. Watson MD. Seeing how they are two grown men sharing a flat in the 20th century, they address this with a running joke that they are a gay couple, but it is made very clear many times that this is just the running  joke. Sherlock is married to his brain and Watson is very interested in finding a girlfriend. 
My husband and I watched this together. Laughing and on the edge of our seats at the same time. With each 1 1/2 episode we watched we wanted to start the next. Craved it until we got to watch it and then was devastated when we learned that the first season only have 3 episodes. The only solace we had was that the series was not canceled but season 2 is already on its way in Great Britten. Too bad I have to wait for it to be available in the US.
You could check the listings of your local PBS Masterpiece Theater to see if there are any up coming showings. We watched it on But alas at the moment it is not available to viewing online currently at It is purchasable a whole series or to watch online through Amazon or I'm sure through other similar outlets. Or reserve it in your Netflix cue. It is so amazing so worth watching.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Book: Murder At Midnight by Elliott Roosevelt

Murder at Midnight by Elliott Roosevelt
This is the second book in the Eleanor Roosevelt series that I've read. For anyone who hasn't read my other review or has never read one of this series, they are a series written by FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt's son Elliott. He wrote this series about his mother solving murders that occurred in the White House. I find them fun for the tib bits of historical facts and lifestyles that are added in. They are not as morally tidy as a 'Perry Mason' novel or episode. Roosevelt has no precepts that characters live chaste holy lives before committing murder or before being murdered. Both books I've read have been well written, interesting, and enjoyable. 
In Murder at Midnight a young black maid in the White House is accused of murdering a judge who is staying at the White House. Mrs. Roosevelt knows that this young black girl is no angel but that she didn't commit murder either. It touches on some of the racism feelings of the time and how that effects their lives and perception of the courts. In reading these books I've learned that I would not of agreed with the Roosevelts politically but I can like them for being normal good people. A sediment that I rarely feel about politicians today. This story takes place during The Great Depression. This too added an aspect of comparison to today, being in a recession and having Demarcates in the White House. The differences in their approach to bringing our economy up and similarities (most of which didn't work then why would the Obama camp think it would work now).  But it created a parallel of worlds, then and now. I'm looking forward to the next book of this series that I can find.