Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Softlips 100% PURE Natural Review + GIVEAWAY! {CLOSED}

Shandell's Review

Remember Softlips? I loved their sleek little chapsticks when I was in middle school. Now I'm a bit of a cosmetics junkie, always in search of a great makeup. Recently I contacted the people of Softlips about trying their new PURE 100% Natural products {you know, in my ever expanding endeavors to be more "green"} and they sent me a whole package of their products to try out.

I received lip butter, lip polish, 3 shades of lip gloss + lip tint. These products couple 100% natural ingredients with light pleasant flavors and are free from preservatives, phthalates, sulfates, parabens, mineral oil and gluten.

The lip butter is smooth, colorless and has a great mild vanilla berry scent.

The lip polish exfoliates nicely and smells great. I love coconut and hope that they'll make a lip butter or lip gloss with the same great scent.

I've tried other chapstick with a hint of color, but being someone who doesn't like a lot of color I've not found one that is subtle enough. I don't like to have to reapply often to avoid a splotchy, faded, or funky lip-liner look. Softlips lip tints are just what I'd been wanting. They go on smooth like chapstick and have enough color to be different, but not so much that if it fades over time you feel like you need to reapply. The other great thing is that is lasts for a long time!

The lip gloss is a bit shinier than the chapstick and the color is slightly richer. It's still a subtle look, which is something I appreciate. I also like that it's not sticky like most glosses. I hate the feeling of something sticky on my lips!

I thought that the light shell pink would be my favorite but the coral charm actually suits my olive skin tone a bit better. I thought it would be too dark judging from the photos, but it goes on much lighter.

The best thing about all these products is that they are SPF 15! All good lip products should have sunscreen in my opinion.



One reader of Breaking New Ground will win the entire Softlips PURE 100% Natural  line of products {eight in all}. 

This giveaway will close on Sunday September 5th at 9pm PDT. The winner will be announced on Monday September 6th and will also receive an email from me in which to respond to within 48 hours to claim the prize. Open to U.S. residents only.

Be sure that your email is viewable on your blogger profile or leave it in your comment so I can easily contact you. {Should you choose to leave an email in your comment, please do so using any form of entrant at gmail dot com for example so both of us can avoid spam}. If I have to go searching through your blog for an email or it's simply not published anywhere, you will be disqualified and a new winner will be chosen. 

Leave one comment for each entry. One mandatory and 3 extra optional ways to enter after the mandatory entry is completed. 

Mandatory entry:

~Visit Softlips and come back here to leave a comment telling me what product other than those mentioned above that you'd like to try. {1 entry}

Extra entries

~ Become a public follower of Breaking New Ground on Google Friend Connect {1 entry}

~ Follow me + Softlips on twitter, then tweet "#win Sofltips 100% PURE Natural products from @ilovesoftlips + @ShanLeAnn at  http://bit.ly/bnH9vg  {ends 9.5.10}"  This can be done once per day, come back and leave a comment each day you tweet.

~ post my button on your blog, comment to tell me where I can find it. {1entry}

<a href="http://www.breakingnewground.us/"><img src="http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y229/shandell/blog/MLBbutton.jpg" /></a>

All comments will be verified. Any comments that do not complete the requirements listed will be removed without notification, so please be sure to read the instructions carefully!

Questions? As always click on the "email me" button to chat with me. Please do not leave a comment here that isn't intended to be an entry into the giveaway. However, feel free to leave any related opinions as part of your entry comment. 

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this review. All opinions are my own. Click for additional disclosures and PR policies.

That's it!


I'm continuing to introduce Malakai to new foods. Sometimes it's not the type of food that is necessarily new, but the way it's served. Last night we had baked chicken breast, peas + carrots.

I put boneless, skinless chicken breast straight from the freezer onto individual sheets of tin foil. I hate thawing meat so being able to take it straight from the freezer works really well for me. I sprinkle whatever spices I choose that evening {last night was Italian seasoning + garlic salt} and fold the tin foil into pouches. I place the little pouches onto a cookie sheet and toss in the oven. Preheated to 425 degrees + bake for 45-60 minutes. I looove cooking chicken this way, not only because it's easy, but because it stays moist and very flavorful.

I also decided to toss some carrots into a pouch to bake with a small frozen half-baked potato from the freezer for Malakai + I. Ben doesn't like cooked carrots. Once there were about 10 minutes left on the chicken I steamed some frozen peas.

I took the potato + mashed it with some milk. It was soft, but way too dry on it's own. I even added a little of the Italian seasoning on Kai's chicken + potatoes as we slowly have him trying new flavors on familiar foods.

I had also planned on cooking brown rice, but got distracted playing with Malakai. I remembered the rice once everything else was ready to serve. Instead I hurriedly prepped some minute-rice for Ben + I which worked out fine, just not so healthy.

Anyway, this was Malakai's first time eating whole peas. I also mashed some up in case he didn't do so well with the consistency. He not only did great at chewing them up, but he loved them! Strangely though, he wasn't very fond of the potato, even though he's had it and loved it in the past.

My very favorite thing about meal times with Malakai is his new ability to interact. He has gestured + grunted when he wants something for a while now. We call food "nummies" and he now says "a num" or "mun-mun" when he wants more. 

We also had Malakai drink his milk from a regular cup, with Ben's guidance. He got a little over excited and put his hands into the cup. Milk spilled everywhere so Ben took him to the bath while I cleaned up the mess. Thankfully we had all finished eating. 

Monday, August 30, 2010


Alright lurkers, I'm calling you out. Yes, YOU!

Seriously though, I do know there are a lot of readers out there that aren't "following" around here. I'd love to know who you are. I'm not asking you to comment if you don't want. It would just be nice to see your lovely little faces on my page.

What's stopping you?

Do Fun Stuff...

For more information visit Pacing The Panic Room

Friday, August 27, 2010

photo Friday: it's been awhile

It's been a while since I've done a photo post... I doubt they've been missed since I can rarely bring myself to post anything without photos.

Anyway, we got our family pictures back. Here are a few {ok, a lot} of our favorites.

My Little Buffalo: Winner

Thanks everyone who entered the My Little Buffalo giveaway. There were 65 entries total, but one was deleted as it didn't meet the requirements. Please be sure to follow the directions to win!

The winner of the Bike Petals print is EMILY!

I'll email you soon. Reply within 48 hours to claim your prize + congrats!

For those that didn't win, go check out My Little Buffalo and pick up something nice for yourself or a loved one.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thankful on a Thursday: flexibility

When putting together my resume years ago I always had the hardest time listing attributes about myself. One that I always used, and felt was the most true is flexibility. I've written before about my ability to adapt to change pretty easily and the over-arching theme of my life this blog has been doing just that.

This week I started a new schedule with watching Henry. We're back to mornings again, which is what works best for us with Malakai's naps and meal times. Henry's parents were able to be flexible enough to work out the dates + times for us. I'm sure we'll just be getting into the groove of this new schedule right about the time that it will change again {late September}. Here's hoping I'm wrong and it won't change too much!

Life with a baby, toddler, {okay, child of any age} requires a lot of flexibility. Yet, as parents we're also supposed to do our best to create a life with consistency + routine. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I'm doing well at balancing both.

Some days we go to Henry's for a few hours, on occasion we're there all day. Others we stick around the house all day. Sometimes we run errands all afternoon, other times we stay in or go on a walk. Yet, every day Malakai wakes up, has breakfast, playtime, lunch, nap, etc, etc at roughly the same time and in pretty much the same order. It's really a great balance, not only for him, but for me as well.

I really value the things that are constantly changing because they keep us on our toes and prevent boredom from creeping in. I also appreciate the things that are predictable about our day to day lives because they keep us grounded. Both are helping Malakai learn about how things work and I really love that.

This week I'm also thankful for...

261. butterflies out my window.

262. love notes.

263. watching Malakai get super excited about a new toy. We just got these fun fridge magnets that keep him busy when he insists on being in the kitchen with me.

264. Ben coming with me to take Malakai in for his 12 month shots. It made it easier for all of us.

265. these boys.

266. silly conversations with Ben just before bed.

267. the positive response from family + friends about my blog

268. belly laughs at a newfound game {spinning in the desk chair}

269. my {mostly} clean house

270. the last few weeks of summer weather

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

to my new readers: family + "real life" friends

For those of you just discovering this blog and wondering why I haven't publicized it until now, please don't take it personally.

I started this blog when I was about 4 months pregnant with Malakai. It began as a sort of personal journal for Ben + I to keep track of our journey to meeting our first child. Eventually it became a way to keep up to date with friends I made on a pregnancy message board.

Once Malakai was born I of course wrote about being a first time mother and started to go more into our day to day lives. Mostly still blogging to keep track of his firsts + our lives as new parents.

Then I acquired more readers and was approached about doing a giveaway for them, which has recently led to more product reviews + giveaways. I've also been doing some really fun shop features, which I love.

As this space grew to be a bigger part of my life it made sense to include my family and real life friends. So, welcome new readers, glad you're here.

Now go enter my current giveaway before it ends tomorrow!

baking in summer

{edit: I have linked to the recipes as I meant to when I originally posted. Thanks Danielle for pointing that out!}

I don't consider myself to be a very good cook. I try and I think with experience I continue to get better. Since staying home with Malakai I've tried out new recipes for dinners here and there. Even so, I've always preferred baking. I don't know if it's because it's easier, or because I really like desserts, but I could bake all day long.

I usually don't like to turn the oven on for long during the hot summer days, making our a/c work overtime, but lately I've been baking cakes + muffins like crazy. Ever since baking Malakai's banana cake for his birthday, I've been looking into other healthy + yummy recipes.

A couple weeks ago I baked an applesauce cake. It was pretty good, but not as moist as the banana. Then I finally purchased a muffin tin {how have I not had one for so long?!} and the first thing I baked were these fudgey cupcakes. They weren't from scratch, but the frosting was! {PS I added Starbucks Coffee Liqueur to the frosting and ooooh my goodness, YUM!}

Last week I used the same banana cake recipe to make muffins. They were a bit on the dry side. However, Ben discovered that heated + topped with some butter {Brummel + Brown yogurt spread} that they were perfection for breakfast. I'm really liking recipes that use whole wheat flour.

{oh and I added mini-chocolate chips}

I just bought some more brownie mix + some white cake mix so I'll be doing some more experimenting with the muffin tin. I also want to try my mother-in-law's cocoa applesauce muffin recipe that I've had for ages. I just need to go out and get some unsweetened cocoa. I'm really excited to make them with the homemade applesauce that my good friend Jamie showed us how to make last week.

What have you been up to in the kitchen lately? Any good muffin or cupcake recipes to share?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

county fair

On Saturday we decided to take Malakai to the county fair. He's not big enough for the rides, and there's no way I'm feeding him the over priced deep-fried food {they had deep-fried coffee, what does that even mean?!}, but I knew he'd love seeing all the people + colorful displays, the spinning rides, + especially the animals.

Right away he had a look of awe on his face as we passed through the games + rides to get to the livestock area. I love watching him see things for the first time. It adds something new to what was once old, familiar, or even annoying.

As soon as we walked in we saw the baby pigs. A lady was holding one up for kids to pet. Malakai was so focused on petting that little piglet, he did such a great job being gentle {with mama's help}.

We walked through to check out some of the goats + sheep. The entire time Malakai kept saying, "Hi, Doggie!" to all of the animals. He ignored us when we tried to tell him their real names.

We were careful to hold Kai's arm so that he didn't pull and hurt the animals, and so that we could pull his hand back if any of them tried to bite. They were all really friendly, none of them even nipped at his little fingers.

We noticed that in the next room there were cages full of birds {which we avoided, cause...ew.} and bunnies!

Kai obviously couldn't touch any of the rabbits, but he wanted to very badly. When Ben made an observation that the bunnies were all for sale, he had to pull me away and talk me out of buying one.

Then I was on the lookout for the teensie pygmy goats that Ben and I had seen the last time we went to the fair, 2 years ago. On the way we saw big goats and more sheep.

{look at these fluffy, curly-haired sheeeeep!}

I was disappointed that there were no lambs. What's cuter than baby sheep? Besides baby people... nothing! But the pygmy goats were pretty adorable.

When Malakai started petting this goat, he was gentle at first as you can see. We were assured that she wouldn't bite. Then Malakai started pulling on her hair! When we stopped him the owner said "you can't hurt a goat...well unless you poke it in the eye" and what did Malakai do next? Yep, poked the little goat in the eye! Still, she didn't even seem to mind. 

After washing hands for the 4th time we headed out to see the piglets one last time since we didn't get a photo. We didn't get to pet them again though, it was lunch time.

We decided to go find something for lunch too, but goodness fair prices are high! I brought Kai's food, so Ben + I just snacked on some fries to hold us over til we got home. 

We popped into a photo booth. My best friend + I used to get photo booth pictures every time we went to the fair in High School. When Ben + I went in 2008 I insisted that we do the same. 

I think it's funny that we kissed for the 3rd one and made silly faces for the last one both times. Does that make us predictable?

After that we headed to the larger livestock. This sweet little girl let us feed her miniature horse, Smokey, some leaves. I couldn't decide who was cuter, the horse or the owner!

Then we took a peek at the cows for a quick minute. I wish I knew what Malakai was thinking as he took all of this in. Well, other than "doggie, doggie, doggie!".

We went through the rides so Malakai could see all the sites. He was quite as he looked around, just watching as we went by all the spinning, laughing, whirring, + screaming.

Ben wanted to check out the indoor exhibits. He told me that he doesn't like fair rides and preferred to look at the exhibits even when he was younger. I called him a nerd, he agreed. Malakai enjoyed walking freely around the different booths for a while.

We walked through all the sites + sounds once more and then headed home. It was way less stressful than I anticipated. It helped that we got there about 20 minutes after the gates open, there was hardly anyone around. I'm looking forward to next year when he may be old/tall enough to ride some of the little kiddo rides. Never thought I'd look forward to the county fair...

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Little Buffalo: a featured shop, review + GIVEAWAY! {CLOSED}

Lisa from My Little Buffalo is so very talented. I mean, take a look around, she designed my blog header + buttons! I'm sure you've seen her work around on other blogs, or perhaps you read hers as well.

{Doesn't she just look like tons of fun?!}

Where are you located + are you from there originally? I currently live in the ever so hipster city of Portland, OR ...before that I was in the Great Lake State, of Michigan.  It snows a lot there.

How did you come up with your shop name? When I was first married, my husband didn't understand girl things. You know, taking long showers, changing my clothes 3 times... So i would affectionately say that he was just being a "buffalo" (I tend to make words fit for things they don't) after a while the name just stuck and he became my little buffalo.  Once I started a show, I named it after him.

How long have you had your shop? I guess a little over two and half years.  Weird to realize that..

What inspires you? I like to look at things that inspire me, and anything can really. I might look at the grating of a cheese grater and think, wow that would make a fantastic textile....and then draw that. I love experimenting with other colors, and i really love it when people request something themselves. I love it when people have ideas. 

What is your favorite item in your shop? I would have to say theseThey were a joint project with my dad in law.

Do you have any other jobs or hobbies? I'm assist the arts department at my church and manage the office as well.  That's currently my 9-5.

Share an interesting fact about yourself. I have never smoke a cigarette in my life, and I don't plan on it, I don't want the black lung.

What do you hope your future holds? I hope it holds happiness... and my husband, my cat, and a few rugrats hopefully.  There's nothing more that I would need I suppose.


Shandell's Review

I first encountered Lisa + her pretty little shop when I entered a giveaway over at The Outdoor Wife last spring. I actually won and Lisa sent me this lovely print!

 It's not up in our house yet {but that's only because there is still absolutely no decor up yet...} but I just love it and can't wait to find a special place for it soon. The paper it's on is just so pretty, nice thick + textured linen cardstock. The quality is beautiful + professional. 

She also sent me a couple extra goodies. These cards also printed on linen cardstock and I almost don't want to send them! I had actually planned on using the heart + keys one for a wedding last month, but it got left behind...darn ;)



Lisa is giving away this clever print to one fortunate reader of Breaking New Ground:

This giveaway will close on Thursday August 26th, 2010 9pm PDT. Winner will be announced on Friday August 27th, 2010 and have 48 hours to respond by email to claim the prize. Open to U.S. residents only. 

Be sure that your email is viewable on your blogger profile or leave it in your comment so I can easily contact you. If I have to go searching through your blog for an email or it's simply not published anywhere, you will be disqualified and a new winner will be chosen. 

Leave one comment for each entry. One mandatory and 2 extra optional ways to enter after the mandatory entry is completed. 

Mandatory Entry:

~Cruise on over to My Little Buffalo and fix your eyes on all the cuteness. Come back here and let me know what your favorite item or items are in a comment below.

Extra Entries:

~ Becoming a public follower of Breaking New Ground on Google Friend Connect

~ Follow me + Lisa on twitter, then tweet the following: "#win an adorable print from @mylittlebuffalo + @ShanLeAnn at Breaking New Ground! http://bit.ly/bWqSab {ends 8.26.10}" This can be done once per day, come back and leave a comment each day you tweet.

All comments will be verified. Any comments that do not complete the requirements listed will be removed without notification, so please be sure to read the instructions carefully!

Questions? As always click on the "email me" button to chat with me. Please do not leave a comment here that isn't intended to be an entry into the giveaway. However, feel free to include additional comments within your entry if you want to leave some love for My Little Buffalo!

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this review. All opinions are my own. Click for additional disclosures and PR policies.

That's it! 

Happy Weekend,

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thankful on a Thursday: almost Friday

Thankful on a Thursday is one of my favorite things to type out during the week. I thought about it a lot yesterday and then when today got here I was so busy that I forgot about it until now, and it's almost Friday!

Today was such a good day, and it's also been a pretty good week. I had one of my toughest stay-at-home mama days ever on Tuesday, but learned a lot about myself and my God.

This week I'm thankful for:

251. that in the midst of my lowest point, I can call a timeout and put my trust in God to get me through. I don't know what I would do without the ability to lean on his strength, I'm so weak.

252. yet ANOTHER pregnant friend. {This weekend we're getting together with 3 other couples and I'll be the ONLY non-pregnant female...crazy!}

253. an impromptu BBQ that turned into the first time we've had friends gather for dinner at our "new" home.

254. Malakai's personality shining through. Today he was mimicking a grimace at one of Ben's friends, they were having so much fun. He also pretended to talk on the phone for the first time ever...

255. the sound of my husband doing the dishes in the other room. I LOVE waking up to a clean + organized kitchen.

256. being able to get so many errands done this week instead of stressing about not working.

267. getting together with friends. On Wednesday we went to the park  with a friend from college and her two little ones in the morning. Later that afternoon we went to visit with another friend, she showed us how to can applesauce and sent us home with 4 jars for Malakai.

258. epic naps that allow me to get laundry + cleaning done. {3.5 hours today!}

259. speaking of sleep, I'm also very thankful that Malakai fell asleep on his own for both naps yesterday. It didn't continue into the night, but was a nice break for a worn out mama.

260. letting go of the high expectations I have for myself and allowing others to see my house in it's true state of disarray as we figure out where things from the move need to go.

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

sleep walking

I never get tired of hearing the funny things that other people do in their sleep, but I'm waiting for someone to top the things that my husband has done while sleeping. Most of them he has absolutely no memory of, others he recalls as if remembering a dream. I knew he was notorious for doing things in his sleep before we got married, but the stories don't really compare to experiencing it first hand. Still, I think it's necessary to share some of the hilarity with you here.

When he was young he went on a mission trip to Mexico with his church. Before bed there was conversation about Ben's notorious sleep activities. His best friend suggested that it would be hilarious if he were to get out of the tents they were sleeping in that night. Apparently the suggestion was quite powerful as the next morning Ben work up on the steps of a nearby building...in his sleeping bag...with several of his belongings with him and of course no memory of how he got there. 

Closer to home he once woke up while he was running down the street, wearing just boxers and his shoes. He had dreamt that he was late meeting a friend, so in his sleep he put on his shoes and hurried halfway there. He got back into bed in such a hurry as to not be seen that he didn't bother to take his shoes back off. 

Once we got married he would often babble in his sleep, but at the time I was a pretty heavy sleeper and barely noticed. Just a month after our wedding I was away on a work retreat and he was home alone in our apartment. He was working on a message as camp pastor for the week out at Camp Harlow before bed. Around 2am he woke up to find all the lights on and the computer {that he'd shut down} up + running. Needless to say, I worried a bit about him walking around the neighborhood in his sleep while I was away.

One of my favorite things he did once was to stand up and start spinning in place and touching the bed as he passed by it. I woke up and asked what he was doing, he didn't know and went back to sleep. He remembers none of it.

More recently, at our last house,  I awoke to Ben standing in the doorway of our bedroom. It took me a minute to realize that his arms were in a cradled position and he was bouncing + swaying. I again, asked what he was doing. He said he was soothing Kai to sleep. I sighed and informed him that his arms were empty and Malakai was still asleep in the other room. This one even made him laugh the next morning.

Lately Malakai is starting to exhibit some interesting sleepy time traits. Last week when Ben and I got settled into bed for the night we heard a loud + clear "hi!" over the monitor. We fully expected to have to get up + soothe him...but he was talking in his sleep!

I'm a little nervous about what I could possibly be in for if I end up with two sleep walkers/talkers in the house. The stories are hilarious, but I may have to barricade the doors at night!

What's your favorite sleep walking/talking story? I'd love to hear it!

Oh, Little Rabbit Winner + extended discount

The winner of the $10 shop credit {+ free shipping} from Oh, Little Rabbit is...

I will email you soon, you have 48 hours to respond and claim your prize.

For those of you who didn't win,  Jason + Cara at Oh, Little Rabbit have extended the 10% discount to their shop! So you can pick up some of these...

or perhaps this...

 Just convo them on Etsy + mention Breaking New Ground to claim your discount through the end of August!

P.S. check back in for another "little" giveaway this week!
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