Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy Tuesday!!!

Hey y'all! ...yeah, I'm from Florida, I say y'all all the time :) Even when I type. Dork? Maybe, but that's just me.

I know many of you are hopping on over here from Melissa's really nifty GFC Blog Hop & I'm really glad...so, Hello Y'ALL!!! :)

Just wanted to do a random facts about me post to help people get to know me just a tiddly bitty better.

Random Facts about yours truly.....

Mr. B. & I //July 26, 2012
1. I met my man on the internet and we spent the first 3 months of our relationship spending 8 hours religiously every single night on the webcam & phone...we both would go to work on maybe 30- minutes sleep. AND in that 3 months, we never EVER had an "awkward silence" on the phone. Never. After 3 months, I moved 1200 miles away from everything I knew and it's been a dream come true, still, almost 6 years and 2 babies later!

2. I'm bite my nails really bad and that's the biggest reason I like getting acrylics, so I can't bite them & look like a lady.

3. I talk. A. LOT. Especially when in social settings..because I'm actually really self conscious and nervous.

4. I have only 1 sibling. my sister who is 3.5 yrs my senior. We were never close growing up and now I'd like to think we are pretty close friends...although, I'd love to be a lot closer to her. She is seriously the funniest girl I know. And rocks as a mama.

5. I type super, super fast. And I look at the keyboard. And I don't type "correctly".

6. I crack my knuckles. && I have really bad heel spurs that make me walk like a crippled ol' lady.

7. I've not really drove in almost 5 years. I had my DL revoked for a stupid mix up at the DMV over a ticket they say I didn't pay and I refused to pay it...& now that i have 2 babies I'm scared to drive.

8. I'm going blind and it makes me have anxiety attacks. I can't even read the guide on my TV from 5 ft away.

9. I'm terrified of roller coasters & trains. (Trains, because anything that takes 4 miles to stop ain't right!)

10. I used to drink HORRIBLY, but quit after I had both my kids because I don't want to have a hangover and deal with babies, haha! True! Now, if i even have 1 drink I feel like crap and dislike it.

11. I've always LOVED shrimp & hated onions...now at 30 years old, I love onions and HATE shrimp.

12. I love for my man to feed me. If we have dessert, he will usually feed it to me. Talk about spoiled!

13. Speaking of...my husband spoils me sooo bad to the point that I've had some of my closest friends talk shit to me about it and call me lazy...& my mother has got onto him for it before. Haters.

14. Mr. B. & I will still stay up all night long chit chatting in bed and making out as if it's our first time ever spending the night together. Yup, we still do this ALL the time!

15. I am really, REALLY ashamed of who I was throughout my teen years and my early twenties...it's embarrassing and I wish I could delete that chapter from my life. I really am completely different..in a positive way.

16. I look up to one person and one person only. My mom. She is the ultimate definition of a mother. Talk about loving your child no matter what. I am sooo lucky I have a mom like her. Not only that, she's gorgeous, funny, honest, and way smart. Been teaching elementary school for over 30 years, I believe. She's awesome and right now it pisses me off she isn't getting enough help as she should be. She is caring for her parents, both of them, in her home...And doing a mighty good job, too.

Love and other indoor sports,

Monday, July 30, 2012

How about just 'Parenting'??

I know I'm still kind of new to the "blogosphere" but, I'm wanting to just get something off my chest. I'm a mother to two little toddler girls & I like to say I'm a damn good mother. I started this blogging adventure because I absolutely love networking with other mother's who are going through similar things: raising our babies, learning about nutrition, education for our children, playing, cleaning, being a significant other, a domestic goddess, saving money, & doing all of these things while sharing our journey with others...I'm just seeing a pattern that is sort of...not right (??) to me. 
I know we all like to think we are great mothers, fathers, grandparents, guardians...correct? Yes! I am, you are too. I know we all like to come on here, to our little corner of this big world wide web and share our passions and findings with all of our other mother friends, right? Yes, I know I do...and so do you. I know we love to show off our hard work, our pride and joys and all the wonderful things we've "accomplished" in between, right? Yes, I LOVE to show off my world...and yes, so do you
Of course we do...That's why we are bloggers and/or reading blogs. 
Most of us that are here...reading this very blog post...have one common denominator, regardless of the millions of things that make us differ from each other and everyone else: We have children that we "parent".
So, this is my issue:
 I see all over Facebook, Twitter, Vlogs & Blogs...mothers apologizing to other mothers for something they chose to do with their child. Usually it's an apology for something they are doing that is not in the guidelines for either "attachment parenting" or "Organic and/or holistic parenting" or both. Can somebody remind me why we have to apologize for anything we choose to do with our own children? And how come I've never seen it the other way around? Why is there this new fad that if you aren't doing every single thing the "attachment" or "organic/holistic" parenting way, then it's frowned upon?
Case in point: I see mothers all the time saying things like,
 "I put my child to bed at 7pm and they usually sleep in their crib until about 6-7am uninterrupted (sorry, all my attachment mommy friends, don't hate me)"
 "We were in a rush and I didn't want my child to interrupt my conversation so I gave her [insert snack food] so she would stay quiet (sorry all you organic mama's, I know they weren't organic, but she reeeeally enjoyed them)." 
Really? What is that for? WHY are any mother's apologizing to any other mother out there for what YOU chose to do with YOUR child? Your child. Nobody else owns that child outright like you do...so what's it matter to anyone else what you do?
Why do we have to "fit in" to a parenting style category nowadays? 
Here's my parenting style...it's called PARENTING! Whatever feels right for me and my family/children is exactly what I'm gonna do. If I want to sleep in bed with my 3 year old, I will. If I want to give my children only soy milk or only store brand boxed mac n cheese....it's my choice. If I choose to reward my kid with a Happy Meal from McDonald's, so what, my choice! And I'm not going to feel guilty for it due to other mother's parenting style or because of any new fad or trend in parenting. Yeah, OK, I do feel guilty (at times) for my own choices but they are for my own standards that I feel guilty...Did I give my kids enough of each food group that is recommended? Did I give them enough one-on-one time today? Did I teach them the correct way to handle [said issue of the day]...yes, it's our jobs as mothers to hold ourselves to such high standards where we will always have a sense of guilt from our own wants/needs...to add guilt to living up to other mother's standards of what is best for our children is something none of us need. Hell, I sometimes wonder if I can ever make myself happy with my mothering skills, let alone trying to make other people happy with what I'm doing. That is ridiculous. Us mama's need to be sticking together & supporting each other. Obviously, if we're the type of mom's that are seeking some sort of networking through social media, we're obviously holding ourselves to some sort of higher standard to do well by our children. Right? I'm all for doing what is right for your family. 
I know there is studies that prove this and that for attachment parenting as well as holistic & organic...I also know that there are studies that prove certain things wrong. But, I also know that I don't give a CRAP about statistics if what I'm doing or what you're doing isn't hurting the child or anyone else and it is working! 
I really love and agree with different aspects of attachment parenting. I love and agree with many things all holistic. I even love my organic produce. But do I incorporate all of it? NO WAY! and I will NEVER feel the need to feel guilty about it, either. You know why? I see my children thriving and I know what we do in our home, works for us. It may not for you and your house, and that's fine. I also can't wear a size 4 jeans, either. Who cares!!

Parenting facts that you may or may not know about me/us:
~I only breast fed my youngest. And only for 1 month. I guess that's a reason for a lot of mama's to look down on me, but what most people don't know are the medical issues we endured with our first born prohibited  her to be able to take an oral feeding the first week of life. And I wasn't producing with our youngest, after all the tricks in the book and a month later, my emotions were shot and it wasn't healthy for me nor our baby. Do I wish I could have? Of course. But I'll never apologize for not doing so! (If I could have, I would have breastfed until they weened, no matter what age, BTW).
~ Our 3 year old sleeps in our bed most nights and even has a pallet on the floor next to our bed, she calls it her "floor bed". But, as an infant, both our babies "cried it out". Yup, sure did, and it worked! But I love co-sleeping now and I would have co-slept if my babies would have, they both never would.
~Our 17m old has horrible temper tantrums...I ignore her at all costs when she's doing this. I do reserve the right to comfort her at my own discretion. And sometimes I do give in. Sometimes I don't. 
~Our 3 year old has a solitary kidney & it's so important she never becomes obese...We focus on the major food groups and the recommendations given by the government. Everything in moderation. Cow's milk as well as soy milk. Store brand, of course. Tons of fruits and veggies and hardly any white/single grains, only whole grains. 
~We vaccinate our children. Yup. Sure do. & we will never apologize for doing so and we'll never agree with those who don't. It's nothing we need to explain and it's nothing we really care if others don't agree. Again, your child, your choice. We are grateful our kids are protected against infectious diseases, especially when some aren't.
~We give our children antibiotics when they're sick. Antibiotics saved our firstborn's life when she was born...Yes, we do rely on medicine. We will not give them Tylenol at every little whimper and it's always a last resort. & our 3 year old can not have Ibuprofen (Motrin) due to her solitary kidney, at all.
~Our 3 yr old never really wanted mama to hold her but our youngest really needs to still be in a baby sling, at all times! Baby wear one child, not so much for the other - see? What works is what works!
~We'd prefer to only ever have all natural, organic, Rx free, cage free, whatever "free" produce/meats, but we are not financially able to do that 100%. 
~We use cloth diapers, but still use disposable wipes. 
~We won't microwave anything in plastic, but we surely do rely on my microwave.
~I love essential oils and what they have the power to do. Anything we can incorporate that is all natural that actually works, I'm all for it if it is within our means!

I could go on forever, but what I'm trying to get at is...it's OK to incorporate some of the organic, holistic, attachment parenting styles into your way of parenting...it is..it's really, OK! If you feel it's OK to be 100% exclusively attachment parenting and that works for you, GREAT! If not, GREAT! Either way, you are doing your best to be the parent your child will grow up to find some sort of fault with, lol, just kidding. But seriously...who cares what the "norm" is. Who cares what other people feed their kids. Worry about what you are doing. Do you OWN research. Know what you are doing and WHY you are doing it. And most importantly - Be Confident!

And let me just add this to save the argument, I know that a lot of media frenzy is going around about extended breast feeding and/or breastfeeding in public...I also agree that if you choose to do that, DO IT & be confident! WHO CARES what others say/do/think. Do what YOU want and know what's best for your baby. I know mama's who choose to go with the attachment parenting or holistic parenting feel they get scrutinized as well, but I was merely speaking about what I see mother's doing with other mother's on the forums/blogs/FB/Twitter/Vlogs/etc..I don't really see a mom breast feeding her baby in a pic or in a video apologizing to other mom's who don't - it's always the other way around, as in a mama feeding a baby a bottle or non organic something apologizing for that, that is all. I have some really good friends who are really into the whole attachment parenting thing and I also have other friends who are the furthest thing from it. I don't care one way or the other WHO is doing WHAT - I only care about what is happening with my children & that I'm making the right choices for them - && that is all I'm trying to get all of you to do, as well. I'm not putting down any style of parenting or saying any one of them is better. I'm just saying be confident in whatever style is working for your family & never apologize for not doing what others may make you feel like you should. 

Also, please remember, this is my blog. It's my own opinions based on my own feelings and what I see. If you do not agree, that's great - What's awesome about blogging is that we're all entitled to one for free, so that we can blast our personal feelings and opinions and I encourage you to do the same. I hope you enjoyed reading this and I know it was rather long, so if you're still reading, you get a gold star :) !!

Love & confidence,


Friday, July 27, 2012

Happy Happy Birthday!!

Wow...I can't even believe the time has come for me to say "I have a 3 year old". My oldest child, my firstborn...my miracle baby. McKenna Mae. 3 years of age...that just doesn't seem right to me.
We were so scared when you were born. Meconium induced Pneumonia, Pulminary Hypertension, Ventricular Septal Defect, Atrial Septal Defect, Poly-cystic Kidney Disease, Kidney Reflux, Double Collection System in the "good" kidney, Torticolis. All of those were the most terrifying things we'd ever been told. If only Mama & Papa could have seen into the future, we'd have seen the perfectly healthy girl you are today and maybe we would have been as strong as you. What a fighter...never cried...always the best baby. Thank you. 

To be 3 years old now & not have ANY health conditions is just amazing.This will be the last birthday I ever bring up any of these things...for it was just 7 months ago we learned you're not to be considered as having "Kidney Disease" but just another person living with a solitary kidney. & that was the last good news we had been waiting on. So for now on...we can focus on all the wonderful things you have to offer this world.

She has grown up to be one smart cookie, I'll tell ya. She is so incredibly smart and equally as beautiful. We are so proud of her, beyond words. She has defied many odds and has become one of the most compassionate, loving people we've ever known, ever. Seriously. We know, throughout her life she will be known as a lover. Kindhearted. What 2 year old do you know that will wipe tears from someone's face and tell them it's ok and then proceed to pray for their "boo-boo"? Our kid. Yeah, that's right. OUR kid!
I know Aunt Niki LOVES these Flower Headband Pics, LOL!

Last night, Mr.B. was off from work, which he normally works 3rd shift & he likes to do everything for them when he's home, so naturally, he was putting them to bed (& putting on a movie in their room, another perk to daddy putting them to bed - mommy is mean & won't do that) & when he came back to our bed he said McKenna told him, "Daddy, I am glad you're not at work, I miss you when you go"...So smart to relize daddy was home for the night...and so compassionate to miss him when he's gone. I love it. 

We love everything about this child. I love that it's my job to dispose of the boogers she nabs on her finger. I love that it's my job to wipe her butt, even though she's potty trained. I love that it's my job to teach her everything. I love that it's my job to wipe her tears and explain why she must share with her sister. I love that it's my job to "kick the monsters in their butt" if they were to ever appear out of nowhere in her room. I love that it's my job to listen (as she bluntly puts it) as she leads us in prayer, reads the bedtime stories, or leads us in song, because now she can do it all on her own.

As for me, Kristen, her mother...Many people may have doubted me and my intentions in life, but I always knew. I knew that one day I would have my turn to be a mommy and that I would prove to everyone that I had awesome intentions. I was going to give back something fierce. McKenna is my proof. I must be doing something right because she is all kinds of awesomeness!!!

Happy Birthday, Mackie Mae...Mama, Papa & Sissy, love you so.
Three. Years. Old.

~ She has her Father's Eyes ~
Love & Feliz Cumplianos,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Liebster Award!!!

Hey, you guys!! It's after 2am, Wednesday morning, and I'm up blogging...seems this is my only time of the day night to have real "me" time; with two toddlers, a hubby, an in-home Dog Grooming business & my other gigs I do to make money, life's been a bit crazy busy, but I love it all the same, if not more. Too bad babysitters and nail salons aren't operating at this hour, right?!

Anyhoot - Guess what?!? Not only did I reach 55 followers (via GFC) as of today (started blogging just 2 months 4 days ago) but I was also nominated & awarded this awesome blog award:

Hooray! I was nominated by the lovely Renee, over at Mother Daughter Book Reviews! I love the idea behind her blog...her and her daughter (and sometimes her son) give reviews on books & as an added bonus, her site provides children the opportunity to develop critical thinking and writing skills – - skills which go hand-in-hand with reading. Go check it out!!
The Liebster Blog Award:
The Liebster Blog Award is given to bloggers by bloggers. It is a way to acknowledge each other and say “you’re doing a great job”. It is for blogs with 200 or less followers, so it’s also a great way to spread the word about smaller blogs and get them more readers and followers! When you receive the award, you post 11 random facts about yourself and answer 11 questions from the person(s) who nominated you. You pass the Award onto 11 other blogs (make sure you tell them you nominated them!) and ask them 11 questions. You’re not allowed to nominate the blog(s) who nominated you! (To get the button, right click the picture on my page and save the picture to your computer. You can then upload to your blog.)

OK, Here goes...my Random 11 Facts!
My Bed...Teal/Brown are my colors and I have shear curtains up all
around my canopy, with blue string lights around the top! (See #8)
  1. I am 30 years old and didn't have my first child until I was 27. (Thank God!)
  2. I'm weird about food preparation and seldom allow others to prepare my food. Example: I have finally allowed my hubby to make me a sandwich but will probably reassemble it once he has brought it to me..and it took me years to not instruct him on how to spread the mayo or PB&J - crust to crust, lol.
  3. I sometimes expect too much from those I like/love which in turn lets myself down..I'm learning it's not others' fault, just my own - I should not hold others to any expectations!
  4. I have horrible Acne and have battled it with medications and anything else since I was in the 4th grade. (It went away for the 5 yrs I lived in MO and now that I moved back to FL, it's back - I'm convinced it's the nasty water here!)
  5. I am addicted to fruit. I always hated fruit and rarely ever ate it until I became pregnant with my oldest 4 years ago and ever since I crave it often and eat it many times daily!
  6. I'm in to attachment parenting but, sadly, I do allow my children to cry and from 6 months old, I allowed my babies to "cry it out". Shoot me, but it worked, and it worked WELL! 
  7. My husband is my #1 favorite person EVER. We do everything together or we don't do it at all. Example: he doesn't go off with "the guys" & I don't do "ladies nights out" and we love it like that. We don't have fun if the other isn't present.
  8. I absolutely HATE crumbs of any sort (whether sand, dirt, food, or whatever) in my bed! I am known to order everyone out of it at midnight and shake the entire sheets out or even change them! I'm very OCD about my bedding.
  9. I'm a freak about keeping my house spotless except for my master bedroom - it's embarrassing!! If I were asked to take pictures of it right now and share, I'd politely decline! We do not have any traditional dressers, so our room looks like a hurricane of clothing came through. But we just keep the door closed, haha!
  10. I have a stupid ritual that I do with searching my roots for gray hairs in the mirror in my bathroom almost every night. Most every woman in my family have all found gray hairs in their early 20's...I'm 30 & have yet to find one and I feel like the day I do will be the day I die!! I'm TERRIFIED of finding a gray hair, but I can't stop searching for it.
  11. On that note...I've always been the girl that's never been scared of death (speaking of myself) and all the sudden, I find myself having so much anxiety about my age and that I'm going to die a lot sooner than when I was just 18. It's a very odd anxiety I've formed and it bothers me a lot, recently.
11 Questions Asked to Me by Renee:
1. How long have you been blogging?I used to blog waaaaay back in the day for a couple 3 or 4 years? Then I found Myspace & Facebook and those addictions ensued...now I found Blogger and loved all the mommy blogs, so I wanted in on that! So, here at Mama Winkle's Blog - 2months, 4 days, =)
2. What’s the last movie you’ve seen?
Hmmm, last night my oldest & I watched Rio together. 
3. If you could witness any past event, what would it be?
My early twenties from an outer body experience! I really dislike that person...I love who I am today.
4. Donut or cupcake?
BOTH! Please don't ask me to choose, lol.
5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
On a small horse ranch right outside the big city I live in...yup. That's all I want.
6. What would you name the autobiography of your life?
Picking up the Pieces of Me. 
7. If you could be reincarnated as any animal, what would it be?
A dog that belongs to a celebrity! :)
8. What is the most embarrassing song on your iPod/MP3 player?
What's more embarrassing is the fact that I don't have any type of MP3 player or iPod!
9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV?
Football & only because my man loves it so much & I've gotten into it from him watching it so much. I get annoyed with it by the end of the NFL season, though.
10. Which celebrity (artist, musician, athlete, author, etc.) would you switch lives with for one day?
Kim K!!! I secretly live vicariously through her when I watch Keeping Up! Bible!!
11. Where’s Waldo?
I found him, Renee - I think. Is he all blurry in the center of the picture?

My 11 Nominees:
2. Kate ~ Life As I Know It
4. Hannah ~ Hurley Love Blog
5. Sarah ~ Family Darr
6. Charlotte ~ Berice Baby
7. Mar ~ Raising Bean
8. Christine ~ Mavy May Designs
9. Claudia ~ Lashes & Beard
10. Michelle ~ My Happy Little Life

Go check all these really interesting blogs out - I just weeded thru my list of over 500 blogs to find 11 that A) had under 200 followers & B) I thought you guys would find very interesting and worth while to go visit & follow!
Congrats to all you lovely Blogger Ladies & Here are your 11 questions:

  1. What is your age? (Yeah, I really wanna know)
  2. Where did you grow up?
  3. Where is your favorite place to go out to dinner?
  4. What is your "go to" meal...that one meal you love to make on the fly and is really easy for you?
  5. What's your biggest pet peeve about your significant other?
  6. What's your most proudest parenting moment? (If you don't have children, then name your own proudest moment)
  7. Do you have any goals you are working towards? If yes, what are they?
  8. When you sleep in, what time constitutes "sleeping in"?
  9. What is your daily make-up routine?
  10. What drinks are in your refrigerator right this very moment?
  11. And finally, what do you love the most about blogging?

One more thing! Kimberly from A Night Owl Blog is hosting an Instagram Blog Hop - I am totally loving Instagram (even if you iPhoners HATE me because of the trivial fact that I'm an Android user)
But yeah, Go check it~! Link up, and make sure you follow the host, co-hosts, & ME! :)

Love & Awards,

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday's Hops & Link-ups...

Hey everyone! It's Monday & it's back to work for me but it's also Mr. B.'s Friday, meaning after tonight's shift, we get him home for 2 days, yay!
I have a good amount of money to be made, today, from Dog Grooming (I love having a work at home business) & I also have some laundry that I iron for a nice elderly man that will be picked up today. Yes, i try and do anything to make some extra money for my family. Also, it's only 4 whole days away from M's 3rd birthday. Everyday for the last month, it seems, she wakes up, says "Good Morning, Mama" and then quickly asks if today is her "Burttay Party & Burttay cake day"...soon baby, very soon!

We have a wonderful Birthday planned for her...going to have a nice family get together at my mother's, her Nana's house on her actual birthday on Friday. Then on Saturday, we'll have our first BBQ since moving to Florida, and Mr. B. will be able to finally make his famous Kansas City BBQ for our friends, but we'll also have birthday celebrations and kiddie games for M's birthday. It will be a fun time for all...So, besides my dog grooming this week, I'll be busy getting ready for this weekends festivities for our baby girl. Can't wait. I'll definitely be showcasing some fabulous pictures after all is said and done.

Now, onto the Monday hops & link ups.

First is the Mom's Monday Mingle...Nice hop that has brought me a few new friends...check out!

This hop is from one of my newest bloggy friends...Her blog is too cute! Go check it out.

&& This is another one I've linked up with today...Make sure to check her blog out too over at The Things We Find Inside.
The Things We Find Inside

And this is a "His & Her Q & A" I found over here. So fun!!
It's a link-up that I really enjoyed because I get to not only answer the questions, but I was able to share them with Mr. B. & document his answers, as well! C'mon, you know you want to join in on this fun!!

Here's the questions we were asked:

What will your firstborn daughters name be? (We did "Next" since we have 2 already) 
His: What's the name we already decided on? (He's easy, he loves EVERY name that I pick)
Her: I like Scarlet Marie. (Scarlet, just because I LOVE that name and Marie is my middle name)

What is your biggest shopping pet peeve? 
His: Mine? Looking at thing's I'm not there to shop for. (That is directed at me, I'm sure, lol)
Her: Bringing my kids (which I have to every time) & my littlest one pitching a fit the entire time.

If you could have any single superpower what would it be and why?
His: To live forever.
Her: The same as "Jeanie" from "Bewitched" 

Wouldn't it be nice for a mom to just twitch my nose and whatever I want could just appear or be done, like cleaning!

If you got a life-supply subscription to any magazine what magazine would you choose?
His: None, I hate magazines. (Really? I didn't know that, lol)
Her: Hmm...there's so many to choose just one. People, InTouch, Cosmo, etc..

What was your favorite subject in elementary school (recess and lunch don't count)?
His: I actually really liked History
Her: In elementary, I really like science...you know, back when we could do fun Science Labs with Experiments.

You just scored $5. What do you spend it on?
His: a Burger.
Her: Dollar Store with my girls.

What were your thoughts when you first met your other half?
His: I didn't ever think I'd be with someone that beautiful. (AWWWWW)
Her: Surely a man that HAWT wouldn't think I'm cute, surely! (Guess I was wrong!)

If you could punch a company/business in the face who would you want to punch?
His: JEA the Electricity company.
Her: COMCAST! Where are they coming up with all these stupid fees?

Favorite classic Disney princess?
His: Jasmine (I asked Why?) Him: I dunno, I just always thought she was prettiest out of all of them...probably because of her tan skin. (LOL!!)
Her: Belle...I loved singing her songs.

If you could reincarnate into any animal after you die what animal would you want to be?
His: a Bird.
Her: a dog that belongs to a celebrity.

Go link up!!

Have any other Monday hop's or Linkup's for Monday you want me to join in on? Let me know! Remember, I'm still sorta new to this, but I'm having fun. Also, Thank you to all my new followers!! :) You guys have all been so sweet!! Oh, and Cecelia over at Dearest Lou gets a golden star for helping me to get rid of the box & drop shadow around my picture I put up on my posts! WOOHOO!
Hope everyone has a fantastic week~!!! What's your plans?

Love and Links,

Saturday, July 21, 2012

testin signature

ok...how come I can't get that annoying white box from around my siggy at the bottom? Any awesome help would be so appreciated, thanks! :)


Friday Letters (1) & Randoms...

This is my first time doing Friday Letters, but I see this all over the place and like the other link-ups I've been doing, I wanted to join in on this fun one, as well!


Dear Time, It seems as if your ability to fly is getting better and you are going much faster than usual...I'd love it if we could go back to snails speed, kinda like when I was pregnant the first time; seemed you never moved that entire time. I hated that back then, but would like to request that now, please? 
Dear Mr. B., I really love where we are at in our relationship now..you've been really good for my self esteem & I love the way you've been telling me how beautiful & perfect I look, to you..you'll never know exactly what this does to me. I'm also so thankful at how awesome you are doing at balancing working 3rd shift, helping with the Dog Grooming, being the best father ever, and the wonderful husband you are. Bravo, baby. 
Dear McKenna, you're almost 3, babygirl! 6 more days. You have no idea how happy, truly happy you have made mommy & daddy. This day 3 years ago, I was 5 days overdue. Today I am so amazed at how you've grown & defied all the odds that were against you at birth. Going from needing about 4 operations and having 2 compromised kidneys & 2 holes in your heart to not needing any surgeries, having just 1 kidney which is working just fine (even for having two collection systems), and only 1 teensie hole in your heart that poses no problems at all to your health is outstanding & nothing short of a miraculous blessing from God. We know this is just you laying the foundation of your life - you will overcome anything, fight so hard & be the smartest, prettiest, wonderful McKenna that God told us you'd be, no matter what the Dr's said. 
Dearest Brooklyn, poor hunnie pot. That giant mean tooth is trying to bring you down; giving you a fever, pain, and a runny nose. Don't worry, buttercup, I promise it is your last tooth & then you're done. But thank you for all the cuddling mommy & daddy get from you during all of this...although we are comforting you, it comforts us too. 
Dear Mommy, hey...I love you. I know you have endured so much this year, but you'll never know what it means to me to hear you rejoice in the things you are grateful for no matter what else is going wrong. I need that positiveness, for it helps me so much! Also, thank you for never giving in to me when I really want you to, you've taught me to be a better mother & wife; teaching me to stick things out and to not give up..tough love really does help. 
Dear Comcast, go to hell. these fees you have for every little thing make me sick, boo. 
Dear New Blogger Friends, Thanks for helping me and helping me to not be so afraid of this new venture in blogging. Dear Readers, Post comments! They really make my day, lol. Lame? haha! 
Dear Grooming Clients Who Can't Keep Their Appointments, seriously?? What is it about people calling and getting so excited about my wonderful affordable rates, setting an appointment and confirming the appointment, some even calling to ask for better directions & saying they're on their way over, to just no call no show...why bother? I don't get it...but it totally messes up my entire day/schedule. I could have went to the store instead of waiting around for you. I could have slept in 3 more hours. GRRRR. The $$ isn't as big a deal, because I get more appointments every time, but geez, I have an appointment book and slots for a reason!!! How do I handle this???


Hey everyone, I have made all new bloggy graphics...How does it look? My new buttons are soooo fab...and so much more...ME! I love them & would love if anyone would want to swap with me?? Let me know if you haven't already...they are just too cute not to have posted up everywhere. I'm thinking about making a design page and offering my services up to anyone who'd like to use them. Would anyone be interested? Anyone know how I could start that up? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

New 200x100 Button
New 200x200 Button
Also, is my layout/font/header all looking ok to everyone? Is anything aligned crappy for anyone? My monitor is a 24" and so I don't know if when I'm making my stuff, like my header & blog widths if it's aligning right for other sized computer monitors.

Have a marvelous day, everyone!!
(if there are dumb typos, it's because I'm soooper tired, it's 5am & I'm only just now going to go to bed, ugh Insomnia.)

Love & Letters,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bloggers 411

I LOVE THESE!! I know I'm a day or so late, but whatever, better late than never...& this link up seemed to fun to pass up. I was seeing a lot of my blogger friends doing this and decided to jump on the bandwagon :)
The lovely Becky @ From Mrs. to Mama is hosting this, so head on over to her blog and check it out! 

1. How long have you been blogging? And what got you started on blogging? Has your blog changed?
Technically, I've been blogging on & off for 12 years. Does anyone remember Xanga...from back in 2000? That's where I met a lot of my very close "cyber" friends who I am very close with still to this day. I've only been doing Mama Winkle's Blog for, hmm..about 2 months? I've always loved making graphics and I make all the ones you see on this blog (I'm starting to wonder if maybe I should start offering that service??)

2. Did you go to college? If so where, and what did you study?

I did! When I finally became pregnant for the first time (with McKenna), we decided to quit our Dog Grooming business we ran in our home and I didn't like the idea of just sitting at home by myself in a town far from family/friends, so, I enrolled at University of Phoenix (online) & I'm happy to say that I never once stepped foot into a classroom & I now have my Associates degree in Psychology & currently I am about ½ way through the Bachelor's program..I want to get my Master's degree (because anything lower than the Masters level is worthless in the Psychology field) but I'll need to go to a different school because my current school doesn't offer the Masters I need. Not looking forward to this AT ALL!

3. Where have you traveled?
Um, a lot of places. Mainly up and down the East coast (I'm from Florida). Lots of trips to Orlando (Disney, Universal Studios, etc.) & visiting family all over the East coast. No fancy *real* vacations as of yet, though.

4. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?
SILVER! For those people who aren't already doing this - you are going to kick yourself later.

5. What are your 3 biggest pet peeves?
I. Body Odor. Ugh, I can't stand smelling BO on people. Absolutely #1 biggest pet peeve.
II. Mouth noises. I can't stand hearing clicking, gurgling, slurping, of any sort. It drives me BONKERS. Mouth breathers whose mouth clicks as they breath in & out because their saliva is making a bubble in their throat, lol. Hard to explain but it happens and it just makes my skin crawl, LOL!!! I probably sound whack.
III. Bugs inside of a home. Not the occasional spider or fly..cock roaches, palmetto bugs and lots of spiders. & I do not think having bugs inside the home necessarily means they have a dirty house, I'm not judging people on that, just saying I don't like it - no matter what the reason, lol. If I see a cockroach or spider & it gets away - They win. I move out.

6. What is your favorite movie?
Pulp Fiction.

7. What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor. Or Water, Soda, Tea?
Sweet Tea with a splash of Vanilla!

8. What is something you enjoy to do when you have me time?
Spend that little amount of time with Mr. B. 

9. If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, which store would it be?
Wal-mart. Yup. It's proven to be the cheapest and with $10 G's, there's enough variety there to satisfy so many wants I have! :)

10. Share with us an embarrassing moment of your past? Or present.
The first time I passed gas in front of Mr. B. Hands down.

11. What day would you love to relive again?
It's a tie between 3 days. The day we finally brought M home from the NICU, 3 weeks after she was born. The day I gave birth to B. Or the day/night Mr. B. & I spent at Argosy Casino & Hotel..it was our first time spending the night alone since having 2 babies and it was the most fun & magical night of our lives!!!

12. If your life was turned into a movie... what actor would play you?
Kirstie Alley.


13. Show us a picture from high school or college.

Here I am..Air Force ROTC in the 9th Grade ~ 1997 ~ 15 years old

14. If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?
Bora Bora, babyyyy :)

15. Show us the most current picture of you or you, or your family, or anything of meaning to you. 
Here we are, swimming on Mr. B.'s day off last week. This was probably the most fun we'd had yet, since the big move to Florida back in January <3 So this picture is very special to me.

16. Where do you see your life 5 years from now?
Happy! Maybe at a point in our lives where we feel adding a third baby to our family would be OK? Being homeowners! Being super involved in M & B's schooling, whether we home school or be that annoying room mother that gets mistaken for the teacher's assistant from being there all the time, lol. Financially stable. Having a good home church. And celebrating our 10th Anniversary together, Mr. B. & I. <3


I absolutely love doing those things! :) Hope you enjoyed and got to know me a little bit better.

Love & getting to know you,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yellow Summer Squash Casserole

I love Summer! I also love a certain Summer Squash recipe that reminds me of when I was little and we would all be on Summer Vacay from school (my mother was/is an Elementary School Teacher) which meant we were having all of the meals my mother liked to cook only when she wasn't working, you know, the meals that took longer to make. Remember, my mother worked full time, had 2 daughters & my father was gone out to sea for the Navy 6 months at a time. Anyways, (geez, I really can branch off at time, lol) this recipe is a comfort food for me that brings me back to summer time from my childhood. I just started making it myself & luckily it isn't that difficult or expensive. Best of all, my two princesses absolutely love it.

The name "Summer Squash" refers to the short shelf life of this Yellow Summer Squash, unlike the longer shelf life of the "Winter Squashes"..In case someone doesn't know, I will say, a good yellow summer squash will be small and firm with tender skin free of blemishes and bruising. It is available all year long in some regions, but it is at its peak from early through late summer.

My Mother's Yellow Summer Squash Casserole

5-10 Yellow Summer Squash (more or less depending on the amount you wish to make)
1 Large Onion
2c. Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (or whichever Cheese you prefer for casseroles)
1tsp. Salt

That's it!
Pre-heat oven to 350°
Slice up your cleaned yellow summer squash into ½" discs. (Obviously throwing out the ends)
Chop up the large onion. 

Add the sliced Yellow Squash & the chopped onion to a pot and cover with water, add a tsp. of salt. Cover. 
Cook for about 10-15 minutes on Medium heat until Yellow Squash & onion are soft/tender. 
Drain well. Do not rinse.
 Place into whatever casserole dish you prefer (I love to use my covered round Pyrex casserole)

We normally shred cheese ourselves, but I had this Kraft shredded cheese on hand due to catching a great sale (plus coupon)....So, grab your cheese now.

Mix about ½ of the amount of cheese throughout the squash/onion mixture, then top the casserole with the remaining cheese, like so: 

Cover & bake at 350° for about 15-20 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Remember, you aren't using the oven to "cook" since you already boiled the squash & onion until tender. So if your oven seems to cook fast, check at 10 minutes. 

& I'd love to show you the final product of what we made this night, but with two toddlers, by the time everything was complete, trying to serve them quick enough before meltdowns, I forgot to snap a picture :(

We had baked pork-chops with our Summer Squash Casserole...but you can feel free to make anything you want to go with. 

Some fun mix-ins to change it up are:
Chives/Green Onions

I hope you make this and enjoy it as much as our family does!!

Love & Summer Comfort,

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