A little bit of this, a little bit of that... fashion, reviewing, and cooking...

I am so sick of having my son home sick! I love having him home in the summer because when he's driving me nuts I can send him outside or to a friend's house. When he's sick he's whiny and annoying and a big baby about taking medicine. Let's just say this afternoon's dose involved me sopping up grape juice from the counter, stove, and floor. Having him home also doesn't help the tot get settled at nap time. We're 0 for 3 this week. My fingers are crossed she dozes off in the next few minutes 'cause—as my grandma likes to say—I need her nap.

As I was busy trying to juggle the kids, write a book review, and choose a photo for a contest I was entering I noticed I had a photo from the dinner I threw together last week I wanted to share but I also had some other stuff and thought hell with it, let's just have some randomness!

First up is the dinner... I had a Butternut Squash I needed to get out of my sight so I roasted it the way I used to for baby food. I had plans to make this insanely delicious risotto recipe I have but discovered I was out of dried cranberries. Apparently the raisins in the back of the cupboard are not cranberries. *doh* So I agonized over what to do with it.

I love the Creamy Butternut Squash Soup from Pacific Foods so I thought I could find a recipe for something similar. Nothing quite worked with what I had on hand so I got brave and found the only dried soup mix I had—Beef & Onion—and put it, water, and the squash into a pot to simmer for about 20 minutes. Then used my immersion blender to make it smoother and added a cup of heavy whipping cream, blended it some more and then added ginger and nutmeg to taste.

It wasn't perfect and the hubs wouldn't even taste it. But I thought it was pretty decent, would have been better with chicken broth and some minced onion instead of the beef and onion stuff. I attempted to garnish it for the photo but my son kept commenting on it as I tried to make it pretty so I just gave up and made an ugly swirly. lol This is just one reason why I will never have a 'real' mom blog filled with 'photo shoots' and pretties.

In other news... I qualified for Influenster's February goody box! Called the Love VoxBox it's supposed to be loaded with stuff I can share with the hubs and enjoy alone. We only received hints at the twitter party but I'm guessing at some tea and honey, maybe razors. I'm no good at guessing games so I guess we'll have to wait and see what I get. If you haven't signed up for Influenster yet I highly recommend it. I love that it's free so I can trade the best commodity I have as a stay-at-home-mom... giving my honest opinion in my free time between all the real life stuff. It's a win for them and a win for me. Who doesn't love trying new stuff for free?

Lastly, if you've known me for a while you know how crazy my fashion sense is. When I was 11 I decided I was going to pursue a career as a fashion designer and it held up until I was forced to leave high school. I tended not to fall in with fashion trends and kind of wore what I liked which often ended up coming into fashion 6 months after I was wearing it. Granted I sewed many of my clothes and 99% of it was hand-me downs from my mom, bought at the Goodwill, or—allow me a squirm here—stuff my parents dumpster dived for. What can I say? We were poor. I've been homeless. You learn to quell the shame of some things because it's better than not having any clothes right?

One of my favorite things when I was in my late teens was getting together with my best friend and playing fashion photog. We'd pull out all of my crazy Goodwill finds and dress up then take pics. I laugh at some of them now because I would be making all these ridiculous poses and faces but they're really dear to my heart. Alas, life went in another direction for me and fashion slowly became less and less important. Comfort and cost became far more important than what I was wearing. I began rationalizing no giving a damn how I looked because no one sees me. But this year I'm working on getting my fashion sense back. Because I see me. I feel better when I look nice and the hubs loves the change.

So anyway... Jewelmint has a little contest on Facebook  called My Jewelmint SentiMint.

Upload a photo of yourself in an outfit you would wear with THREE of these 10 featured JewelMint pieces. 

I decided for my outfit I wanted bracelets since I rarely wear them on a non-occasion day. I was picturing the Huston Heritage Bracelet, the Friendship Bracelets, and the one I already had the Mon Amour Bracelet (my favorite Feb piece). I love the look of pushed up blazer sleeves with piled on bracelets so I called my entry Wanted: Arm Party.

As it happens I wore two of the featured pieces yesterday (Mon Amour and the Lovebirds Pin Necklace) and have been trying to decide what outfit I would want something to wear for the contest. I totally swapped my original V-day outfit to work for the contest, then I spent forever trying to get a decent photo. Taking my own picture is the only way anything gets done and I had no where decent to shoot it so I sat on my stairs! I actually took at least 150 shots and deleted all but 7.

I wasn't happy with my makeup but really didn't have time to redo the whole darned thing so I ended up submitting a shot where I looked away. I liked that you could see everything but my belt too I suppose. Oh and the earrings are the Indian Escape Earrings. If you buy one piece from the February releases you cannot go wrong with them. They're soooo gorgeous and I will be wearing the heck out of them. They're actually the most expensive thing I'm wearing.

I got the blazer at the Salvation Army for $5. The jeans on the clearance rack at Hot Topic for $11. The red tee at Target for $10. The boots in Old Navy's clearance section for $12. The belt, which you can't see, was another Target find, clearance rack for less than $3. So the earrings at $30 are actually the nicest bit of it all. The white skinnies were actually a bit of an impulse buy but they fit soooo well and I wanted something daring to wear. This was actually the first time I wore them and I bought them last spring. Now I have to find another great occasion to put them on with something else unexpected.

Wish me luck on winning the contest! The idea of having a celeb stylist like Cher giving me style advice is cool but intimidating yet I couldn't resist the chance to win a 3 piece set of JM jewels. Check out the other entries (there aren't many and this ends in 2 days!) and tell me if you think I should win. ;)

Oooh do you hear that? The tot finally fell asleep. Time for me to go play a little bit of SWTOR errr, read... yes... I'm going to go read. *cough*

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