Welcome Devon Schaaf, Arbonne Independent Consultant

Quad City Mom’s Blog is proud to introduce you to a new amazing mother and sponsor Devon Schaaf, Arbonne Independent Consultant Area Manager. I was blessed to get to chit chat with Devon about Motherhood, business, marriage, and dreams.

Devon is a native to the Quad Cities being born and raised in Geneseo, IL which is a smaller town surrounding the Quad Cities. Heading across the Mississippi, Devon decided to attend University of Iowa and major in Elementary Education and remains a faithful Hawkeye fan to date. Many times high school sweethearts don’t pan out but Devon and her husband Dan put this theory to shame and have been married happily for 5 years. After college Devon and Dan dreamed of heading off to the bright lights and city atmosphere in Chicago but as fate would have it there jobs would locate them back in their hometown of Geneseo which led to their next adventure of building their 1st home. The Schaaf family plugged away at their jobs to make their home a reality.

Devon was invited by a dear friend to attend a presentation of Arbonne products. Arbonne is a Swiss based line of wellness, skincare, and make-up which prides itself on being pure, safe and beneficial products. Over the years Devon commented how she had a problem finding a lotion that really worked and moisturized her skin rather than sit on the top of her skin. It had been a lifelong dream of Devon’s to be a stay at home mom but with their new home Devon didn’t imagine that would be a possibility till she was introduced to the opportunity in Arbonne. Not only were their products rated among the best in the country but this would allow Devon to replace her teaching salary so she could stay at home with her children. Along with being able to stay at home with her family Devon was able to reach dreams within a year that she would only reach in the teaching profession after 30 years. Devon is able to live out her passion for life every day in helping people get what they say they want in life. It has been 5 years since Devon started her journey with Arbonne and it has grown her self-confidence, patience, the ability to set goals and attain them and finally DREAM (what job lets you do that?)

Along with being a Wife, friend, and consultant with Arbonne Devon has other passions in life such as boating with friends, going out to eat with her husband, traveling, race coordinator for Drew’s Faithful Feet race, and recently blogging. Some of her favorite blogs are Young House Love, Perfecting the Pairing, and Jack 2 random; of course above all these passions are her greatest loves of all: her children. Devon is the proud mother of 2 heavenly children and 2 earthly children. Hayden is 3 years old and Reese is 6 months. The Schaaf children like to keep their mom busy with frequent outings of play dates with friends, drop offs at preschool, visits with grandparents, and cheering on the Packers. Devon has also relished in the community that lies within blogs among mothers and the ability to reach moms in different stages of life to connect with.

Devon is excited to begin introducing the pure, safe, and beneficial products of Arbonne to our community at QCMB and to share in the joys, and lasting memories of mommyhood. Check out her site at http://www.devonschaaf.myarbonne.com/

Stay tuned for future posts from Devon and her portion of Mommy Makeovers!!!

Advertisements

Dance Party

My husband and I love to dance.  I grew up taking dance classes and was on our high school dance team back in the day.  When my husband and I first met, we used to dance together out at the bars.  I think that’s actually what really drew me to him…not a lot of guys have moves!  LOL.  So, it’s no wonder that we frequently have dance-parties at home now, and act like total nerds while dancing around our house with our one-year-old!  When I was pregnant with Brody, I remember I used to try to sing to him in my belly, but I’m completely tone-deaf, so instead, I’d turn on some music and dance and sway with him.  He always gave me a kick or two of appreciation.  And when he was an infant, I loved cranking up the jams and twirling around the house with him in my arms.  Nowadays, my husband joins in and we all gather around in the computer room and rock out together.  I realize this probably sounds ridiculous, but we don’t care.  Brody loves it, and so do we!  It’s so fun to watch him shake his little rump, bounce up and down, and squeal in delight.

 

We have several different “go-to” songs we like to dance to, some are children’s songs, others not.  Here are a few of our favorite kid-friendly songs/videos.  So go ahead…have a dance-party of your own and get down with your bad self!  Try it…I promise the kiddos will love it!

 

 

 

 

A couple of our other non-children-song go-to’s are LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem and Black Eyed Peas I gotta Feelin’.  So, are we alone in this?  Who else has dance parties at their house?  What are your favorite songs to get down to?  Do tell!  😉

 

Mourning The Loss Of Me

Children change EVERYTHING in a person’s life. Yup I said it and it was difficult to write but I think most mom’s and dad’s will agree with me and either publicly or privately agree with me.

I want to say first and foremost before I go any further here at QCMB and that is that my husband and I are in complete love with our baby girl and wouldn’t change one thing about our life.  On October 16th 2011 our lives were changed in many ways and all we could do was fasten out seatbelts and enjoy the ride. I have come to realize as a new mom that I am becoming a new ME and the old me is still there but changing! Here are a few of my findings over the past weeks:

BODY: It took nine months to make Harper in my body and it isn’t going to go away over night. I don’t think my body will ever look the same again now that I have had baby. I was religious about putting lotion on my belly when I was pregnant and sadly I ended up with some stretch marks. Ahhhh I have had a really hard time looking in the mirror, I have mastered the run by the mirror dash very well in the past few weeks. I know I sound vain but hopefully I will get to a point where I can embrace my marks of mommyhood.

Time: Time is a treasured thing!!! The days when I woud sit  and do my nails, watch bad tv, and gossip on the phone with girlfriends are LONG gone. Now when I have a few moments to myself I am either hustling laundry upstairs, returning emails, or unloading the dishwasher. I have to admit that there are times when I miss the freedom of planning a day just around me

Lifestyle: In my group of girlfriends I have been the party planner for a long time! I have always enjoyed getting ready for an evening of friends,dinner and conversation, as well as dinner out on the town and traveling on the spur of the moment. No more of that for the Haluska family( at least right now) A few weeks ago I was explaining to a friend that getting Harper, the stroller, diaper bag, and myself took 20 minutes! Yikes I have since mastered that task but I think you get the point that my sweet Harper girl requires alot of my time and attention.

With this all said I love mommyhood! I love getting up in the middle of the night for one and one time with Harper. I love watching my spouse be a dad. I love the friends that have been there to support me through this tranistion to being a mom. I love watching family with our sweet miracle.

Well Momma’s did you have a “mourning of me” rant??

What helped you embrace the new you once you became a mommy?

 

The Gift Of Giving

 

Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas Season has descended upon us.  Every store I walk into, I am bombarded with things that we all “need”!  My thoughts always go to the children who will go to their tree on Christmas Day and see little to no gifts or worse, who will not have a hot meal that day at all, expect maybe at a meal site.  When I became a mother I realized how expensive Christmas could become. The first Christmas with my daughter, we made a decision that Christmas in our household, would focus less on what we could get our children, but on what we could give to others. We wanted to teach our children the “gift of giving”. My children have all the basic essentials of food, clothing, shelter and love along with a lot of toys. We want to teach our children that others do not have even the basic essentials for the holidays.  So, how do can we teach our children the “gift of giving”? Here are five great ways to begin the tradition of giving back in the season of giving:

  1. Salvation Army Angel Tree:  These trees are all around town. I found one at the Chick-fil-A at Davenport (53rd and Elmore location). The angel trees have slips of paper with children with various ages and their wants/needs for Christmas. This is a great way to give back to a child that this might be their only gift this Christmas.  I know that my gift has been back to Chick-fil-A by December 15th.
  2. Toys for Tots: Buy a toy for children. Toys for Tots helps serves QC families by helping them provide new toys for their children. This is run by the Marine Corps . For more information on how to drop off toys, please visit : http://quad-cities.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/donate-toys.asp.
  3. Toilet Paper and Laundry Detergent Drive: This event was started by a mom in the QC community, Dawn Carnahan, trying to make a difference in the lives homeless/low income people in the QC area. The first items that people give up when struggling making ends meet is toilet paper and laundry detergent. On December 3rd, bring new, unopened packages of toilet paper or laundry detergent to Fabulous Finds, 2715 18th Avenue, Rock Island, from 9:00 a.m. to noon.  All the proceeds will go to the Two Rivers Methodist Church Meal Site, in Rock Island. The items are given away to QC people in need. For further information please contact detergentdrive@gmail.com.
  4. Donating blankets and coats to homeless shelters. Giving the gift of warmth this cold season. There are a lot of homeless/low income individuals that will go cold this winter season. Find your old blankets or coats that you don’t wear anymore and donate them to local homeless shelters.
  5. Giving your time serving in a homeless shelter. This takes no money but just time. I know for some families that can’t financially give to these other organizations or events but can give their time. This can be done as a family and in the spirit of Christmas. This is a great way to teach children that some people, even kids, have to go somewhere else for food. There are great shelters or meals sites such as King’s Harvest, Two Rivers Methodist Church Meal Site, Christian Care Rescue Mission, etc.

As a mother, I am always trying to find new ways to teach my daughters new things. I am looking forward to this year going to pick out an Angel Tree Gift with Maddie and Bella. Seeing the excitement of “giving of the gift” to someone they don’t even know.

What are some other ways to teach the “gift of giving”?

Discussion Point #1: Body Image

 

Here at QCMB we strive to bring you a broad spectrum of resources, events, articles, etc. We are starting a new series called Discussion Point, where we will be posting a topic and then we want to hear from you and your thoughts on it.

Today is BODY IMAGE for our children. The above picture is thought provoking and I am sure many of us can relate to it.

How as parents can we make sure that our children have a healthy body image?

How is society forming body image for our children?

What are your thoughts and/or opinions on this picture?

 

Dump & Go Recipes

Ever have those moments where you feel like you’re being pulled in a million different directions?  As a mom, did you just answer, “Only every minute!”?

Me, too, friends….me too.

Like today.  I’m now mommy to two precious children (yes, our beautiful baby girl has joined our family through the miracle of adoption!), and I just started back to work this week.  Add surgery on my foot last Friday to remove two cysts, and the thought that I clearly realize that I have just a month and 2 days to complete my Christmas shopping just about sends me over the edge.

And yet, time marches on.  We only get 24 hours in the day, and 7 days in the week, and deadlines loom, responsibilities must be met, and fun still must be had!

With more love in my heart, but less time on my hands these days, it’s really nice to have some “Dump & Go” recipes to fall back on if the need arises.

Perhaps you’re a working mom and you just remembered your holiday office soiree is tonight after work.  You’ve got an hour lunch break, so not much time to shop and pull something together, but this one’s sure to have you covered.

Super Simple Crab Dip

1 block of cream cheese (you can even use the 1/3 fat or fat free options!)
1 jar of cocktail sauce
1 can of white crab (you can find this near the canned tuna in the grocery store)
1 box of Triscuit crackers

Let the cream cheese soften a bit so it’s easier to spread.  Find your favorite holiday platter and spread the cream cheese onto it as a first “layer.”  Next dump the jar of cocktail sauce on top and spread with a spatula.  Open the can of crab & drain it.  Then crumble the crab on top of the cream cheese and cocktail sauce as the third “layer.”  Refrigerate until use.  Stick a festive spreader into the dip and serve with the Triscuit crackers.
Looking for something a little healthier?  Try this amazing dip instead!

Black Bean & Avocado Dip

2 cans black beans, drained (I usually use the seasoned black beans)
2 cans Ro-tel tomatoes & chilies, drained (or 2 fresh tomatoes diced + 1 can chopped green chilies)
1 can corn, drained
1 small white onion, diced
2 avocados, diced
Garlic Powder to taste
Salsa to taste
Cilantro (optional)
Lime (optional)

I usually make mine without the optional ingredients.  I mix this up the night before an event so the flavors can mix, but it’s not necessary. I like to serve it with blue corn tortilla chips. It’s not a real “pretty” dip, but it always gets rave reviews!
Thinking about dinner or something warm to whip up easily for lunch on these chilly days?  Try this Weight Watcher’s soup (1 cup=1 point), which can also double as a great topping for a baked potato.  It has a great cheesy flavor, but it’s a broth-based soup, so better for you!  It also makes 10 servings, so you’ve got plenty to enjoy for now, and some to freeze for later.

Cheesy Vegetable Soup

2 lb of frozen veggies – your choice-California Medley is good
3 cans Fat-Free Chicken Broth
1 can of Ro-tel tomatoes–it’s up to you how spicy you want it! You can add salsa if you want, too.
10 oz. 2% or “Light” Velveeta

Dump all ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add 10 oz of Light Velveeta in small pieces (to melt faster). When the cheese is melted in, pour yourself a bowl & enjoy!
Here’s another quick and easy Weight Watcher’s entree idea…that your husband and kids will probably enjoy, too!

Mexican Chicken

3 oz chicken breasts
Taco seasoning
Salsa
Fat Free Sour Cream (optional)

Shake the chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag with the taco seasoning.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  With 5 minutes remaining, pour the salsa over the chicken.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream on the chicken, if you wish.
Of course, you may need a dump and go dessert sometime, too.  While this one isn’t always great for cold weather days, I’ll “dump” it in the mix anyway!

Emily’s Frozen Lemonade Pies

1 can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 large & 1 small container Cool Whip (I use fat free)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (you can save calories here, too with fat free)
1 lemon-juice & zest
2 graham cracker pie crusts

Mix Cool Whip, sweetened condensed milk, lemonade concentrate, juice of lemon, & lemon zest.

Fill the 2 pie crusts with the mixture, cover, & freeze. Great to make to give away or take to an event & keep one for yourself! Serve frozen.
Hope these “dump & go” ideas give you a little less stress and a bit more time with the people and things you love the most!

The Machine Shed

Do you have out-of-town guests coming to the Quad Cities for the holidays?  There are a few places you have to go to give them a true Iowa experience.  And I’m sure they have expectations!  They’ll want to see tractors so take them to the John Deere Commons.  They’ll want to see the Mississippi so take them to the Sky Bridge.  And they’ll want to eat some pork so take them to the Machine Shed!

We are proud here at QCMB to partner with the Machine Shed.  They started with the commitment “Dedicated to the American Farmer” and they work hard to make it a place farmers can be proud of.  Whether you were born and raised here or are a transplant, you are an Iowan now!  I can’t help but brag on the Shed because it’s my FAVORITE restaurant!




Here are my top ten reasons you should go to the Shed:

  1. I can say from personal experience, the Machine Shed is definitely kid friendly.
  2. You can tell they value family, from the staff to the atmosphere to the food.
  3. Food is served seconds after ordering.  And the kids won’t just fill up on rolls, they serve food that actually has nutritional value! (Why don’t more restaurants do this?!)
  4. The side dishes are served family style.  You’ll feel as if you were sitting right at your own kitchen table (minus the dirty counters)!
  5. The food is AH-MAZ-ING!  My favorite is the Roasted Stuffed Iowa Chop.  Mmmm, now I’m hungry.
  6. Being there makes you feel less guilty about eating out because it tastes like a home cooked meal.
  7. It’s not all that bad to have to wait for a table because there is so much cool stuff to look at!
  8. In the warmer months you can take a hayrack ride before or after dinner.  Did you know in Iowa it’s mandatory to go on at least one hayrack ride a year?  Yep.  Machine Shed knows.
  9. They have Chocolate Covered Bacon.  Enough said.
  10. You’ll be proud to be an Iowan after eating there.

You won’t want to miss their FREE cooking classes coming up!  But if you’re not a fan of cooking, and especially holiday cooking, they’ll do it for you- check out the menu here!  While you’re at it, get connected on their websiteblog, and Facebook!

Now the kind people at Machine Shed want to make YOU dinner!  Tell us “why you love living in the midwest” to be entered to win a gift card from the Shed!  Leave a comment here or on Facebook!