Saturday, March 17, 2012

Leprechaun Mischief

My kids love more than anything waking up on St. Patrick's Day morning and seeing what kind of mischief the leprechauns have been up to. This year, they were up to their tricks again!

Theys stepped it up with the toilet shennanigans this year though...they left footprints on the toilet seat (washable paint) and will magically turn the water in the bowl green when flushed (I put food coloring in the tank).

They also pulled some clothes out of the boys' dressers and left leprechaun kisses on their cheeks (washable marker). Their most favorite part of St. Patrick's Day morning this year however, may be the trail of gold coins that leads them down to their surprise of Aunt Chele!

Friday, March 16, 2012

How To Make Jello Shots

This post may seem to go against the grain a little as it doesn't fit into the mommy category that most of my other posts do, but if you know me at all, you'll know that I'm 1) a mom, 2) a party planner that order. I certainly didn't lose my ability to have fun when I became a mom, it's just a little more themed now! So, in preparation for my annual St. Patrick's Day party, I'm making some themed jello shots. For those of you who haven't made them since college, here's the recipe:

1) To make the shots a little firmer and easier to get out of the cup, I add 1 packet of unflavored Knox gelatin to the jello powder.
2) Add boiling water to the powder and stir for 2 minutes until completely dissolved. (Follow instructions on the box as to how much water)
3) Stir in cold vodka in place of the cold water (use the same amount). Note: I don't recommend using Belvedere, it's just unfortunately the only I happened to have on hand. Just use the cheap stuff.
4) Pour into individual cups and refridgerate for at least 4 hours. Helpful hint: Put your cups onto a cookie sheet to make it easier to transport them to and from the fridge.

Enjoy! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Best Non-Stick Baking Spray...Hands Down!

This is by far the best non-stick spray for use when baking. Wilton Bake Easy! Sold at Michaels. Works perfectly and doesn't leave a coating on your pans. Just thought I'd share in case you haven't already discovered it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Magical Golden Stones and Rainbow Fruit Platter

A friend and I are hosting the St. Patrick's Day party at my son's preschool tomorrow and I'm so ridiculously excited. I love, love, love doing the school parties. What could be better than holiday themed crafts???

I made these "Magical Golen Stones" for all the kids' goodie bags. They were super easy to make...Just took some river rocks that I had at home and spray painted them with metallic gold spray paint. Sprayed one side, let it dry, then sprayed the other side. Once dried, I used a paint pen to draw on them. I would have liked to have sprayed them again with a clear coat to better seal the clover and writing on them, but I totally ran out of time. They turned out great though!

For the snack, I made this rainbow fruit platter with little pots of gold on the bottom. I gt the pots at Michaels and filled them with Rolos for the gold. For the fruit, in case you can't see it, I used strawberries, clementines, pineapples, kiwis, blueberries, and grapes. All have a good shelf life so you can easily make this the night before and not have to worry about anything browning overnight.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Apps That Pay You!

My iPhone has become my completely indispensible little sidekick. It does just about everything and I love it. Did you know though, that you can now use it to make money and get free stuff? It's true! Now, it's not going to make you a millionaire or anything, but you can earn money just by going to your regular stores or doing small tasks. Here's a list of a few I've found:

Field Agent
With this app, you get paid to complete small tasks. It uses your location to find jobs near you. A typical job would be to go into a specific store, find a certain product, and take a picture of it. Most jobs pay about $6. When you complete the job you get paid. You can cash out at any time and get the money sent to you PayPal account.

This app provides a list of stores close to your location and has you check-in to the store and scan specific products. There's a couple of other ways you can earn points too. Points add up and can be redeemed for gift cards or other products. Use the bonus code "npbunting" when registering for extra points.

WeReward (requires iOS 4.3 on the iPhone)
This app pays you to check-in to locations and take a picture or perform task. You can turn your points into cash on PayPal. (I don't know all too much about this particular app because I haven't updated my phone to iOS 4.3 yet).

Earn kickbucks by turning on the app and walking into a store on their list. Most automatically check you in that easily! Kickbucks can be turned into gift certificates.

Pepsi Loot
Use this app to check-in to places that sell Pepsi products (restaurants) and get codes to download free music.

With this app, you can make free restaurant reservations and earn Dining Rewards Points redeemable for Dining Chequest good at any OpenTable restaurant.

You use your camera with this app to verify things and perform Gigs. Pays pretty decent, like $4 per Gig, but most are in major cities (Washington, DC not being one of them).

This one is really time consuming, but it's easy. Basically you use this app to try out and review other iPhone apps. Most apps are only worth 10 points and you need 3,500 for a $10 PayPal credit, but again, it's easy.

You earn gift cards with this app by watching TV on your phone. You can also earn points by watching commercials, playing trivia games, training tutorials, and referrals.

Surveys On The Go
Just what it sounds like, you complete surveys to earn money.

The Dreaded Safeway Just Got A Little Better

If you follow me on facebook or twitter (@npbunting), or if you just have ever been to my local store, you know just how much I despise going to Safeway. Sorry to call you out again, Safeway, but I've called your customer service number before and made my complaint and things just don't get better. Despite the ridiculous lines and cashiers that insist on talking so long that time just crawls, I continue to shop there because the prices are just better. Somewhere in his conversation with me this morning, however, the cashier managed to make Safeway just a little bit better...Apparently you can log on to and register coupons on your club card! More coupons for me?! Excellent!

1) Go to
2) Click on the "Just for U" button on the top left
3) Register for a new account and add your club card number
4) Go through the online coupons and add the ones you want!

I'm so excited about this!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Going Organic: What's Necessary, What Can Save You Money

As parents, we all want what's best for our children. I'm sure in a perfect world, we all would feed our children organic everything, they'd all eat their 5 fruits and vegetables a day, they'd have the perfect playdates, and they'd mind their manners perfectly. In reality though, there's a multitude of reasons why we can't control everything, so we learn to pick our battles. One of the ongoing Mommy battles is the decision whether or not to go organic. The pressure from other parents is ridiculous. I will forever be trying to understand why, as parents, we can't all just support one another and realize that we're doing the best we can for our family given our specific circumstances. Regardless, one way in which I've managed to balance the desire to feed my children healthily vs. what's best for our budget, is by following the "Dirty Dozen/Clean 15" lists. I actually printed out the lists on a small piece of paper and keep it in my wallet for when I'm grocery shopping. Here it is for you:
Not on the list, but often discussed, is bananas. I've heard that the skin is too thick for pesticides to get into, but that's just been word of mouth. A quick google search (my best friend), told me that chemicals used are able to leach into the soil and therefore even after peeling the banana, small amounts of the chemicals may be ingested. However, bananas are on the list that have the lowest pesticide residue. Here's a article that helped:

Hope that list helps you and your pocketbook out, and be confident in yourself that you are making the best decisions for your family that you can based on your unique dynamic.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Create faux crown moulding or enhance your existant moulding!

When I moved into my house, I thought my downstairs had the most beautiful crown moulding. I was here at least 6 months before someone pointed out to me that it was faux. Am I really that non-observant? Upon closer look, I realized that my friend was correct. Here's what it looks like.
How to do it yourself:

Hang a piece of traditional 3 1/2" crown moulding flush with the ceiling. Approximately 2"-2 1/2" below, hang a piece of 1" moulding. Then paint both pieces of moulding, along with the space in between, the same color. This gives the illusion of beautiful, high-end crown moulding!

Here's a site that gives you great step-by-step instructions and tools you'll need:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lazy way to iron a hem, cuff, collar, or pillowcase!

If you're anything like me, you dread pulling out the iron and ironing board, finding a place close enough to the outlet to set it up, making sure no kid pulls on the cord, ironing, making sure it's turned off, waiting for it to cool down, then struggling with that little lever thing to shut the darn thing up. I live by the phrase "Work smarter, not harder" so I've come up with another solution to quick little ironing jobs like the hem of your pants, cuffs, collars, or the folds in the pillowcase hem (how do those even get there in the first place?).  A straightening iron! Heats up quickly and works perfectly!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Magic diaper cream

Tackling a major diaper rash right now so I thought I'd post it. This is the best diaper cream recipe out there.

1 part Desitin original (purple tube)
1 part corn starch
1 part Maalox (or milk of magnesium)

Mix together and apply.


Apparently today I have too much time on my hands, so I'm showing you the few things I've accomplished in my home. A major accomplishment for many moms though, is the organization of the playroom. I have tackled it with the ELFA system from The Container Store. Oh how I love that store. My most favorite part of organizing is putting things in bins and then labeling them with my label maker. I save the labels for last because that's the best part. I really need to get a life.

My amazing kitchen

When I moved into my house, I knew I'd have to re-do my kitchen. I have very limited space, so I had to utilize every inch of it. Here's my favorite parts of it...
Side cabinet for keys and all your other random stuff.
Double oven...perfect for Thanksgiving dinner especially! I love the idea, however this particular model is a piece of junk. I've had so many problems with it.
 Toe-Kick drawers. Perfect for placemats, cookie sheets, or anything else. Utilizes space so well!
Double trash/recycling drawer. Love, love, love! We have to recycle everything here, so this is perfect for us.

St. Patrick's Day!

If you know me at all, you know that St. Patrick's Day is one of my favorite holidays, next to Christmas, of course. I absolutely love to deck my house out, so I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite home decorations...

Apothocary jars bought at Home Goods, filled with items from Party City and Michaels. Framed subway art courtesy of:
Purchased at Home Goods
On the doors of the boys' bedrooms, Purchased at Party City
Purchased at Micahels
 Purchased on
OMG, I LOVE this! It's a bowl, plate, and mug for the kids! Purchased on
I LOVE garden gnomes! This is a giant one that makes me oh so happy! Purchased at Home Goods.
Celtic Love Knot full size Scentsy warmer purchased at Irish blessings sign purchased at Home Goods.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

This is the recipe for the most amazing chocolate chip pumpkin bread. Great for the fall season, great for gifts, great for everything! I baked these for all my neighbors for the holidays and they LOVED them.
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1 cup mahed cooked fresh pumpkin
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup oil (or applesauce for a healthier version)
6 oz milk chocolate chips
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well blended and set aside. In a separate bigger bowl, beat eggs, pupkin, sugars, milk, and oil with a whisk until well blended. Add dry ingredients until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips.
2) Pour into a greased (sprayed) loaf pan, or into 3 mini loaf pans.
3) Bake 55 minutes to 1 hour or until toothpick in center comes out clean. For mini loaf pans, bake 25-30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan. C0ol completely on wire rack.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Making a gel bath

UPDATE: This did not work, I'm so, so, so sorry, everyone!! I may just have to break down and buy this Gelli Baff stuff!

I'm sure you've seen the commercials and your kids have whined for the gel bath stuff just like mine have (not saying the brand name here). Looked it up online and it's like $28 for 2 packets that make 2, no. Not spending that much! So, I googled how to make it and came up with one answer. Going to try this in tomorrow night's bath and let you know how it works. Here's the link:

3 1/2 years have passed...

So 3 1/2 years has passed since my last blog post. To be honest, I had completely forgotten that I even started this thing. Reading my past entries though has been bittersweet, mostly because what I speak of being in fear of, has become a reality. 3 years ago, on February 24, 2009, my husband CPT Brian "Bubba" Bunting was killed by an IED while serving in Afghanistan. He had just been home for his 2 week R&R and had only days before arrived back in country and returned back on patrols. His visit home was amazing and we had some wonderful family pictures taken of us and our then 1 1/2 year old son. 4 days after learning of his death, my dream came true and I found out I was pregnant with our little R&R baby that we had wanted to conceive so badly. That little dream has now turned into a fiery red headed, spiting image of his daddy, 2 year old boy. Our older son is now 4.

Since Bubba's passing, I have mostly devoted my life to giving our children the best life possible. I bought an amazing home where the boys can run and play and just be boys. I also started a non-profit organization named Bubba's Belly Run that holds a 5K race in honor of my wonderful husband. To date, we have raised over $100,000. All of the proceds from our non-profit are dedicated to assisting other Gold Star families, families that have lost loved ones in war. My boys are thriving and doing wonderfully in all aspects of life. I do my best to create memories of their daddy and to ensure they know about their father and what an incredible man he was. I have also started dating again and have been in a great relationship for 1 year now. He is remarkable with the boys and they adore him. It's great for them to have an every day male role model in their lives and do the "boy" things together that I just can't seem to do. I have, however, learned all the names of every super hero, Thomas train car, and Rescue Hero out there, so I'm doing my best.

My real reason for coming back to my blog was to post activities that I'm working on and to share them on pinterest, however after reading my last posts, I realized that I need to catch everyone (all 0 readers) up on what's been going on for the past 3 years and why I'd taken some time away. Now to my pins...