Dec 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

This sums up Harper pretty well.  Since we are entering the terrible twos I have decided to embrace it! 

Today I'm thankful for my whole family having the day off.  We enjoyed breakfast together and unwrapped some presents!  It was a great Christmas morning!

Dec 23, 2013

Holiday Randomness

Christmas is so soon now, I can’t believe it.  It makes me kind of sad to think that it will be over so quickly!  I do enjoy the preparation for Christmas, I just wish it didn’t go so quickly!  Oh well, another one is only 365 days away, right!?

We have had some busy days lately!  We had a family party on Saturday evening.  It was a lot of fun to see everyone and catch up!  It was at my parent’s house this year so I got to make a lot of different food!  I tried a few new recipes, both were pretty darn good and really easy to make!  Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake and No Bake Éclair Cake.  Check them out, delicious!  I also made a Sticky Toffee Bundt Cake, which I have blogged about before.  It is one of my favorite bundts ever, especially when it is still warm!  Also, very easy to make!

Saturday night we packed up and headed to Cleveland to spend Christmas with Matt’s family.  Sadly his dad is stuck in Virginia until his truck gets fixed.  We are really hoping he will make it home for Christmas!  We have had a lot of fun with Matt’s mom though!  It is always nice to hang out and relax, and tonight we are going to some kind of interactive Santa’s workshop.  I’m not exactly sure what we are doing there but it sounds like it is going to be a lot of fun!!  Santa will be there so Harper will be in heaven!  She is obsessed with Santa these days!  

I’m just hoping we make it until tonight.  Harper has been up until 11:30-12:00 the past two nights.  She doesn’t do well traveling, which means neither do we! Haha!  She also has woke up at 8:00ish both days.  This morning we had a full-blown melt down.  It was bad!  Screaming, flopping her body everywhere she could, more screaming!  I’m hoping she will nap this afternoon so we can have a fun time this evening!  We are even meeting our friends tonight so it will be a really nice night!  Gotta love time off with friends and family during break! 

Harper and I have had a little down time lately so we have done some crafting.  These were easy to do and really fun for her!  First off I took a piece of green construction paper and cut out a Christmas tree.  I put a yellow star on top and brown trunk on the bottom of it.  Then, I let Harper decorate it with glitter glue and stickers (both I got from the Dollar Tree).  It was super simple but she really enjoyed doing it! 





We also did another egg carton activity.  I put the numbers 1-6 each in a different spot in the egg carton.  Then, I picked up some Christmas erasers on sale at Michaels.  We practiced matching erasers to the corresponding numbers.  This is a little too much for her (she is not really ready for this yet) but I still had fun practicing with her.  She also really enjoyed dumping the erasers in and out of the egg carton.  You could adapt it to older kids by using the numbers 1-12! 





That is about all that is going on here for now.  Tomorrow afternooon we head back to Erie for some more Christmas celebrations.  The weather is supposed to get bad so I'm hoping for okay travel weather!  

I really hope that you all are enjoying your holiday season and getting every last bit out of it that you can! 
Today I’m thankful for the holidays!  It is a special time of year that you get to enjoy time off with family and friends.  If you do have to work, I’m hoping it goes quickly and you are able to get home for time with your families!  Thanks for stopping by today! 

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Dec 19, 2013

Giving Thanks

I received an email from an incredible lady with an amazing story.  This story truly touched my heart and also reminded me just how precious each and everyday is.  I would love for you to take a few minutes to read my blog today, visit Heather's blog, and show your support by commenting below with something you are thankful for!

Heather Von St. James was a brand new mother of only 3 1/2 months when she got the news that she was diagnosed with Mesothelioma.  It is a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure.  Most people who are diagnosed with this cancer don't live beyond 15 months.  I can't even imagine having that precious new born baby and thinking that your life with that sweet child would be cut so short.  I also couldn't even imagine how Heather had the strength to continue after hearing the diagnosis, she did though, she had hope!  She was only 36 years old when she was diagnosed.

She was exposed to asbestos as a child.  Her father was a construction worker and would carry it around on his clothing.  She often wore his jacket around, thus leading to her exposure.

She was able to meet a wonderful network of doctors who helped her along the way.  She also had something so incredible, hope.  She mentioned on her blog how she lives her life with hope and in the moment and not negatively.  That tells me what a strong lady she is, it is no wonder she beat the odds!  She was going to beat it, no matter what.  There was no other option for her!

On her blog she has a video of her story.  You should really check it out, it is a great video!  The video ends with such a powerful statement, "with hope, the odds don't matter."  Incredible, I love everything Heather stands for.  She sees the world and each day with hope, she doesn't dwell on the negatives, she turns them into a positive.

Hearing her story has really touched my heart.  I know that there are so many people out there who are going through so many different and challenging things.  I can't imagine what other people have to go through.  It really makes me reflect on my own life and realize that I don't take the time each day to give enough thanks and praise.  Heather and her story have inspired me to really start looking at the good in all that life has to offer each day, and not to let the little things get in my way.

Her story has been on my mind since I heard it... Heather's diagnosis was in November and so each year during the holiday season she makes it a goal to acknowledge something she is thankful for each day. Heather's goal has inspired a goal for me as well.  I'm going to start jotting down something I'm thankful for at the end of each day (in my planner since I use it so often).  Each morning I want to read the previous day's entry to remind myself of all the joy each day can bring, and to really be thankful for what I have, and say a prayer for those in need.  I want to live my life in the moment, to really take time each day to be thankful!

Heather also asked me to share something that I'm thankful for. There are so many things that I'm truly thankful for it is hard to pick just one.  Here is my day number 1-I have decided that at the core of my happiness is my family.  They are the reason I am where I am today and they are the most important part of my life.  I go to my family for everything, to share in my joys, to share in my pain.  I'm so thankful for their love and support and the joy they bring me each day!

It is the season of giving and the season of thanks.  I'm so thankful for Heather and her incredible strength to beat the odds and share her story!  I'm also thankful that she decided to share it with me and allowed me the opportunity to share it with all of you.  I hope that you will comment below (or on her facebook page) with something you are thankful for to show Heather your support with her story and her cause!  Thank you Heather and each and everyone of you all!

Here is a link to Heather's blog:  http://www.mesothelioma.com/heather/#.UrJSgfRDuGw  Be sure to click on the video!  She also has facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeatherVonStJames
Please pass it along and share her story to help spread awareness of Mesothelioma!

Dec 13, 2013

Baked Chicken Ranch or Chipotle Tacos

Well last night my dad and I went shopping for my Mom's Christmas presents and I'm officially done Christmas shopping!!  It feels really good to be done (I'm not the biggest fan of shopping), now it is time to wrap, make Christmas cookies, and check out lots of fun Christmas decorations! It is kind of like the hard part of the season is done and the fun part is just beginning!  I love to bake Christmas cookies!  

Tonight Matt, Harper, and I are going to drive around checking out Christmas decorations.  I'm excited to do this because Harper is really getting into the decorations this year.  She squeals if she sees inflatable Mickey and Minnie decorations.  She oohs and ahhs with the best of them, I think she is going to love it!

Since we have some busy nights coming up (as I'm sure you all do too) I'm going to share a quick and easy dinner recipe!

Baked Chicken Ranch or Chipotle Tacos

3 chicken breasts (maybe 4 if you want a lot of chicken in each shell)
Cheese (as much as you want to sprinkle on top of each shell)
Ranch dressing or chipotle sauce
Your favorite taco toppings (we had lettuce and tomatoes)
Stand and stuff taco shells

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Get a large Pyrex baking dish and place all shells standing up in the dish.  I actually had to use a small Pyrex in addition to the large to get all my tacos to fit.
Then, place cooked chicken and cheese in each taco shell.
Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cheese looks melted.
When they come out, put your favorite dressing on them along with your favorite toppings.

Matt really enjoyed mixing the ranch and chipotle dressings on his (yuck)!  I enjoyed the ranch on mine.  We just got a small container of chipotle sauce with the dressings at the grocery store.  It was something a little different then the traditional salsa and I really liked it for a change!




Happy Friday!  I hope you have something fun and festive planned for the weekend!  Stay warm and enjoy the weekend!  Thanks for stopping by!

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Dec 10, 2013

Crafting Weekend

This weekend was jammed pack with crafting!  It started out on Friday night as a cram session to finish my bows and burlees.  Of course I didn't get all my crafts done ahead of time like I had planned to months ago when I signed up for the craft show.  Just call me Last Minute Leslie!  Anyways, I was hot gluing, cutting, and painting late into the night on Friday, hoping for some interest in my stuff come Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday wasn't terrible.  First thing I sold one of my burlees and the lady who bought it was so excited, it made me feel pretty good (someone liked my stuff)!  That was the last and only burlee sold, bummer!  Now I have 11 sitting around at my house....if you are a family member reading this blog, you may acquire one of these lovely decorations as a gift at some point! :)  

My hairbows and flower clips were really what saved me.  They sparked a lot of interest in many young girls and parents of babies!  Although a number of people said that the bows/flowers were too big for their babies head!  I guess they didn't see my daughter as an infant....
The flower is definitely taking over her little head, who couldn't love it?!?  Haha, I guess some people are more conservative and that is okay!  I lived in North Carolina for four years, the southerners love their big hair pieces, I happened to pick up on that trend! :)  Overall, Saturday wasn't the best profits (just selling bows and flowers) but it was fun!

Well Sunday rolled around and I was ready to sell my burlees!  Who couldn't use a little extra Christmas cash right?!  I made sure they were out and displayed well for all to see.  I even marked them down $5.00 from the day before!  Only two people even took notice of them, it was a major bummer!  Especially because now I have a bunch with no idea what to do with them!  I think they are really cute and the two ladies just loved them, but I guess they weren't in a buying mood.  Oh well!  The crowd on Sunday was more of a lazy Sunday drive group of people.  They were out to drive by but not really stop and look, which is fine.  It just made for a more boring day on Sunday.

Overall, the craft show wasn't very profitable (I have decided not to start a crafting business on the side), but my mom and I didn't have anything priced over $15.00, we weren't looking to get rich. We just wanted to put our stuff out there and see if anyone showed interest.  There was a lot of really nice feedback, not really any negative (thankfully) or they didn't mention it if there was.  We met some wonderful people who made it a really pleasant experience!  I don't think I would do it again just because I'm Last Minute Leslie.  Seriously people, it is not fun...I cram last minute for everything I do.  But, it was definitely a great experience and a fun time spent with my mom!  We had a lot of laughs and a lot of fun!  

Here is part of our craft table...pretty crowded but bright and cheerful!  My mom had a lot of interest in her sweet items, especially her fun monsters and owl taggies!  She had a lot of fun and unique gifts that people really seemed to enjoy, something different is always a good thing!   

By the way, I happened to win an awesome print done by a wonderful local artist.  Everyone had to contribute one item to a Chinese auction held at the craft fair.  I bought 5 tickets for $1.00 and put them all in this framed print (I knew it would be cute in Harp's room).  I ended up winning which was awesome!  Here is her blog:  http://www.heathercash.com/  The print I won is bright, cheerful, and perfect for Harper's room!  

I'm thankful for a fun weekend with my mom, and also a much more relaxing remaining December!  I'm taking the rest of the month off from crafting (at least heavy duty crafting) to spend some quality time with my fussy little princess!  By the way, wow...terrible twos are in full swing at my home!  I don't know what kind of alien invaded her little body, but we are sure thankful for each and every happy moment these days!!!  :)  Gotta love her!

Happy Tuesday and thanks for stopping by!  I will be back this week (maybe tomorrow) with a tasty (and easy) dinner idea!

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Dec 7, 2013

Gingerbread Garland

Aren't you glad it is the weekend!?!  I sure am!  This morning my mom and I are heading to our craft show...I'm really hoping it goes well!  More about that Monday or Tuesday! :) 

Harper and I have been getting in the crafting spirit and I'm going to share some of our fun! Recently I picked up a bag of foam gingerbread figures from Target's dollar bin.  10 foam gingerbread men for $1.00, yes please!  I didn't know what I was going to do with them when I picked them up I just knew I loved gingerbread and had to have them!  

After talking to my mom she gave me the idea of a garland, I loved it!  I grabbed a pack of glitter glue from the Dollar Tree and Harper and I got busy.  She decorated 5 and so did I.  Then, we punched holes in the top of each gingerbread, laced them with yarn and hung them up over her crib.  It is adorable and she really loves having a sweet Christmas decoration in her room! 

Warning-the glue quickly squirts out!  Especially with a toddler that loves to squeeze!  Messy but fun!!

If you aren't able to find foam gingerbread in your Target, try cutting them out of construction paper.  You could always find one you like online, cut it out and use it as a stencil!  

A simple way to spread some Christmas cheer in your home!  Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!!  Thanks for stopping by!








Dec 5, 2013

Happy December!

I know it has been a little bit, but Happy December everyone!  It is such an exciting, busy, crazy, and fun time of the year...I love it!  My mom and I have been busy finishing up crafts because this Saturday and Sunday we are participating in a large craft show in my area.  I'm nervous that nothing will sell but excited to see if it does!!  I have also taken a mental note that Christmas time is not the best time to get involved in a craft show.  I sure wish I would have done more crafting ahead of time (I'm in a huge cram session getting everything done)!  Anyways, it should be a fun experience!

Awhile back I shared what movies I was watching for the fall season.  I'm a HUGE movie person.  My idea of the perfect date night is either going to dinner and a movie or having dinner at home in front of the TV while watching a movie.  I'm the type of person who could seriously watch the same movie 100 times and not get sick of it!  My collection is out of control, my husband doesn't share that same LOVE and sure doesn't enjoy the collection taking over some of our bedroom.  Oh well, when we get a house they can go somewhere else!  Anyways, to prepare for the Christmas season I got out all my Christmas DVDs and I decided I would share with you what I'm watching this winter!  I'll share my favorites out of the pile too!  


My number one favorite family Christmas movie is Home Alone.  I have almost every line memorized and could probably watch it almost every night in the Christmas season!  I love the music, the funny things Kevin says and does, and the memories it brings me (thinking back to watching it as a kid)!  It is just a favorite for me!  Home Alone 2 is also a great one.  The sequels usually don't come close to being as good as the originals, Home Alone 2 is pretty darn close for me!  

My favorite adult Christmas movie is Love Actually.  If you haven't seen in, it is an awesome movie!  There are so many different stories that all connect by the end in one way or another.  It is so sweet, funny, (a little crude), and just really fun!  I highly recommend checking it out this season! 

A few others I really enjoy:
*Santa Claus is Coming to Town 
*Arthur Christmas-I just bought this one for Harper, it is a really sweet movie!
*The Grinch
*Elf
*I'll Be Home for Christmas (a Jonathan Taylor Thomas movie from the 90s)
*The Santa Claus Movies
*The Family Stone
*The Holiday

There are many more but those are just a few of my favorites!  I hope this has put you in the Christmas Movie mood and you can find sometime in the next few weeks to enjoy a bowl of popcorn and one of these great movies with your family!  

One more quick note...

I found this website yesterday (a little late but that is okay) where your kiddos can glue a cotton ball on Santa's beard for each day up until Christmas.  It is a fun and interactive advent calendar for kids.  I'm sharing the link and it's not too late to print one out and let your kiddos enjoy this Christmas activity!



We cut out Santa and glued him to a piece of red construction paper to make him more sturdy!

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Nov 18, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

How was everyone's weekend??  I have to be honest, my weekend was really boring, although I'm not complaining!  I have a big project due on Friday and I spent the weekend trying to work on it.  

My poor daughter hasn't gotten much Mommy time this past week.  I have felt like the worst Mom ever, thankfully she has a great Dad who always picks up my slack!  How does everyone balance everything in their lives?!?  I try my best not to let the craziness in my life get in the way of being a mom, but from time to time it does happen.  :(  

I did manage to sneak a little mommy daughter date in this weekend, it was awesome!  Harper and I have gone to the mall the past few Saturday mornings for a few hours.  We walk around and see the puppies, play in the kid's area, and eat some lunch.  It is one of my favorite times of week!  

Other than that, she played, watched some TV and hung out with Gaga all weekend!

Don't mind the messy laundry room!  Harper loves hanging out in here!





Sorry it wasn't the most exciting post, but hey life could be worst!  I'm thankful for a healthy and happy little girl!  Enjoy your Tuesday!

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Nov 14, 2013

Water fun

Harper loves playing in water, she enjoys baths and really liked swim lessons.  I have been looking for fun ways to keep her little self busy throughout the day.  We went shopping last week and I picked up a dish tub (I don't know if that is the official name, but one of those tubs you can use if you hand wash the dishes).  Anyways, I got it for a dollar at the Dollar Tree, I also got her some kid-friendly soap, and we went to town!  

I laid a blanket down on the kitchen floor, filled up the tub with soapy water and we dumped some of her dishes into the tub.  She got out a kitchen rag and began to wash her dishes!  I can't tell you how much she enjoyed this simple little activity.  It kept her busy and happy, plus she is learning how to help around the house (maybe I will have her doing her own laundry by 2 1/2 ....lol).  She really enjoys real-life experiences, she loves to help me with the baking, cleaning, or any other house hold chore.  We have caught her trying to peel her fake carrots over the garbage like I do and she has a real fascination for Nana's sewing machine, who knows?!  

Here are some pics from our fun afternoon:  






By the way, her clothes were soaked by the end of this (so was the blanket)!  We just threw everything in the laundry, easy enough!  Happy Friday everyone!!!

Nov 13, 2013

Herb Steak

Well I was planning on posting the past two days but I am really struggling getting everything done. Sorry, I don't mean to keep giving excuses, but life is just keeping me really really busy!  The good thing is, I will be done with all my major class assignments by Thanksgiving!  

Last night I made Herb Steak which is a recipe that my mom has been making ever since I can remember.  It is perfect for the cold winter weather (yes, we got snow) and it is a crock pot meal, so easy easy easy!!  As I went to pull out the recipe from my mom's recipe box, I noticed it wasn't in her handwriting.  It was her mom's writing, pretty cool to be making something that she used to make and enjoy!  Plus, comparing her handwriting to my mom's was kind of fun, they don't look anything alike.  


Well here is the recipe for Herb Steak...

1 2lb. beef round steak (ours was slightly under 2 lbs.)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper 
2 tbs. oil (we used pam instead)
1 medium onion sliced
1 can of cream of mushroom soup 
*Matt and I love mushrooms so we added a tub of sliced mushrooms to our dinner
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning

Directions:
Cut meat into serving size pieces (we actually did small chunks).  Then, dip the meat into flour and brown in the oil (or pam).  Finally, throw the meat, salt and pepper, mushroom soup, onion, mushrooms (if you want), and Italian seasoning in.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours, honestly it was ready at 8 hours.  


It might not be the prettiest picture, but trust me, it is delicious!!  I particularly enjoy the onions and mushrooms, but it all tastes great!  We had ours with mashed potatoes and salad.  It is the perfect cool weather dinner!  Enjoy and see you tomorrow, I promise! 

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Nov 8, 2013

Pot Roast Sliders and Creamy Chipotle Sauce

Happy Friday!!  I'm so glad this week is over and I can relax *a little* this weekend!!  I'm going to keep this post really short and sweet today.  

I haven't made this dinner since I lived in North Carolina, but it was a favorite dinner for sure!  I'm not really sure why it hasn't made an appearance in PA yet, but it is sure to be featured at my dinner table sometime soon!

First off, it is a crock pot meal, who doesn't LOVE one of those?!!   Secondly, it is really fun, who doesn't enjoy a slider?!  Thirdly, it is really easy...and easy calls my name every single day in the kitchen.  So, even though I don't have a picture of this meal, and I haven't made in since we moved back, I must say this really is a GOOD dinner!  I didn't want to leave you for the weekend without something good, I promise you if you try it out, you will enjoy it!  

Here is the link: http://pearls-handcuffs-happyhour.blogspot.com/search/label/sandwiches

Again, sorry for the lack of pictures and excitement on my blog today.  I was looking through my recipes and came across this one, and I just so happened to remember where it came from.  I really hope you enjoy it and this weekend!  Thanks for stopping by and see you Monday!  Next week I hope to have some fun and exciting things for you all, along with a tasty family meal!  See you then!

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Nov 6, 2013

Nursery Rhyme Time

Do you remember hearing nursery rhymes when you were growing up?  I remember listening to them and trying to recite them.  I also remember my mom made my sister and I a recorded tape that had stories and nursery rhymes on it to listen to as we went to bed.  I remember babysitting for a family that did the same.  I think that is such a fun idea and maybe one of these days I will learn how to do something like that for Harper!  I know every time she is upset and I ask her if she would like me to tell her a story she always calms down!  

Anyways, I realized I don't really remember many nursery rhymes so I was looking them up the other day.  I came across a really great you tube channel, http://www.youtube.com/user/MotherGooseClub.  There a bunch of different nursery rhymes all animated with bright colors, fun pictures, and good music!  Harper doesn't sit long for anything, but she really enjoys these short clips.  They hold her attention and now she will learn all the classics like I once did!  

After a little bit more exploring with nursery rhymes I discovered that the Mother Goose Club has a website too!!  It is an amazing site with so much to do!  If you scroll down on the home page they have a list of all the nursery rhymes.  Each has a link for a kids page, (where they can hear the song, or listen to it, or print it out) a parents page, (with a little historical background on the rhymes) and sheet music for each!  There are also links to videos, coloring sheets, and a store!  It is definitely worth checking out, I wish I knew about this site when I was teaching first grade!  

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thursday and thanks for stopping by!  

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Fun Finds

I'm so happy to have a little bit of my life back today!  I just spent the last two days doing parent-teacher conferences and report cards.  I am lucky enough to have a sub job that has lasted quite awhile, with that job does come a lot of responsibilities.  I always have enjoyed teaching, but report cards and conferences turn me into a crazy person!  I literally worry for weeks before doing them, you would think after 4 years they would be easier....not for me!  Anyways, I knew when I found out I would be doing report cards and conferences I had to take a break from blogging to start preparing.  They luckily went really well and I have a lot of really supportive and caring parents!  I don't know how long I will be subbing there, but it sure is nice to have the support!  

Anyways, I'm back and I want to share a few fun finds I have come across lately.  First off, Harper is an outdoorsy girl, she loves being outside.  I know she will love the snow this winter too.  I was on the hunt for snow pants and boots for her.  I really don't know the average price for these things, but I stopped at the BonTon and found some deals (at least they seemed like deals)!  I wanted to share because they are still going on, check out the links!

The snow pants were originally $34.00 but are now $20.40, they are London Fog brand and seem like they will be really durable!  They have sizes: 12, 18, and 24 months for girls.  Colors: Pink, Purple, and Turquoise.  http://www.bonton.com/shop/kids/baby-girls-apparel/london-fog-baby-girls-snowbibs_668210.html




I checked it out for boys too... They have sizes 12, 18, and 24 months (all $20.40).  They also have 2T, 3T, 4, 4T, 5/6, and 7 (all for $22.80).  Boys colors come in black and navy.  http://www.bonton.com/shop/kids/boys-sizes-2-7/outerwear/london-fog-boys-12m-7-snowbibs_645403.html

I also got her a nice pair of boots for the winter.  I got her Sporto Black Boots.  They were originally $55.00 and on sale for $32.99.  Now, I figured that might be a little pricey for boots (but I'm not totally sure).  My mom did tell me that it was a good brand and they seem really durable. I got black because I figured I would save them for future little ones, I knew if I kept it neutral boys or girls could wear them!  She has a pink coat and pink snow pants (which looking back on it I almost wish I bought black in that too) so I don't think it will kill her not having pink boots! :)  http://www.bonton.com/shop/kids/shoes/sporto-boys-black-boots_673290.html  They come in black, blue, grey, pink, purple, and turquoise.  

I also want to share that I recently went to Michaels and they had tons of little things that would be great for stocking stuffers.  I got really nice coloring books for $1.00 each!!  They were fairly thick and we got Sofia the First, Mickey Mouse, and Hello Kitty.  I couldn't believe they were only $1.00!!  

I got nice sized bouncy balls and I think they were $1.00 or $1.50.  Toy dinosaurs (not wimpy little ones, solid large ones) for $1.00 each.  They also had some Halloween treat bag items on sale each for $1.00-$1.50.  

I would really recommend heading to Michaels one day and just looking around.  As I went around the store I kept finding more and more!  Plus, they always have coupons available!  Download the app for the most convenient ones!   

Well, I will be back soon with something fun, thanks for stopping by!  It's good to be back! :)

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Nov 2, 2013

Halloween Fun

Sorry for the long break.  I really miss blogging but life has just gotten really chaotic the past week or so and I just have had to cut back on a few things, sadly blogging is one.  I hope to be back Wednesday!

Here is what Harper woke up to on Halloween morning...


Halloween is my favorite Holiday, I like to make it special all day long!!  Harper enjoyed her breakfast!

On Wednesday I took a break and spent some time outside with Harper.  The weather was great so I decided to get some pictures in while it was so nice!  Here is my little pumpkin posing and getting slightly annoyed that Mommy has to take so many darn pictures!








Harper with her pumpkin, "Abby".  She named her pumpkin after her friend, it was so funny!

My favorite picture!

Anyways, Halloween was rainy and gloomy, but it didn't rain on Harper's parade!  She enjoyed getting dressed up and passing out candy!  Bless her little heart she didn't get one piece!  Matt and I didn't really want to take her trick or treating (we knew we weren't going to let her eat the candy and it was rainy...don't judge, haha there won't be many more years we can get away with it).  She honestly loved hanging out on the front porch and giving candy to everyone that stopped by!  Here are a few pictures of her dressed up...






The Queen of Hearts

By the way, in case you didn't know I'm kind of strict on what I let her have.  I try to only give her natural and organic foods.  *I do give her a cheat here and there, but not too often and never anything that is dyed or fried.  I figure I might as well be strict while I can, once she gets older I won't be able to be as tough.  At least now when she is younger I don't have to worry about what is going in her body!  I heard a review about this candy called Unreal and I knew I had to get some for Harper.  It doesn't have artificial ingredients, preservatives, GMOs, or corn syrup, and it is gluten free.  The reason we go natural and organic for Harper is because of all the scary things that are put in foods these days.  If you are looking for more information I would recommend checking out this blog: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/ She has a wealth of knowledge on natural living!  Anyways, we got some Unreal candy earlier in the month for her to try out and she loved it (we got it at Target).  It was all gone and I didn't get a chance to head up to Target to get more.  She survived and I really don't think she missed a thing, she was quite happy being a little helper!  Plus, I gave her a little cheat and threw a few chocolate chips on her pancake for breakfast!  Happy belated Halloween!  I hope you all enjoyed your day!!  Hope to see you on Wednesday, thanks for stopping by!

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Oct 28, 2013

Busy Busy Busy

Hello everyone!  I'm sorry for my recent absence, life has just got in the way of my blogging. :) My classes have started again, report cards and conferences coming up, and busy with crafting too!  I need to take the next weekish off to get everything together.  I will be back next Wednesday (and maybe Friday real quick to post a few Halloween pics)!  I hope you come back and join me next week!  Thanks!

Oct 22, 2013

Fall Walk

Whew, I'm glad Monday is over and we can cruise though them rest of the week!  Something about Monday always gets me a little crazy.  Having 2 days off of school always makes me nervous when I head back.  I really have no clue why, you would think after 4 years of teaching and one year of subbing I would have Mondays down pat, I don't.  I always worry about the week ahead, getting everything prepped on Monday morning, getting everything accomplished throughout the week, etc... My list could go on over the things I worry about, therefore I'm really glad that Monday is over.  Yes, I do need some serious help, lol!  If anyone has any great ideas, tips, books, etc... that will help a person to worry less, please please please let me know!  My hubby would appreciate it too! :)  

One thing I'm so thankful that I don't have to worry about is Harper.  I'm so thankful and lucky that my mom is able to watch her.  I know that when I leave for work she will wake up to someone who loves her and will take good care of her!  In my crazy world of constant worries, I'm thankful that my most important little buddy is well taken care of!  Now that I have rambled on about my worrying I should share the fun thing Harper, Nana, and I did last night!  

The weather here is still pretty warm for this time of the year (although I have heard by the end of the week snow could be in the air...yikes) so I have been taking Harper for lots of walks. Sometimes Nana goes sometimes Matt goes, sometimes it is just me and Harper (or Harper and I ...whatever I never got the hang of that rule, sadly I'm embarrassed saying that considering I'm a teacher.  Please forgive me!)  Anyways, on on walks Harper LOVES to point out fun things she sees, lately it has been pumpkins galore.  She also enjoys any other kinds of decorations, garden gnomes or animals, flags, etc... I decided to make her a fun scavenger hunt for last night.  I drew four pictures (a pumpkin, a leaf, a rock, and a tree) then I made a grid with the numbers 1-3 next to the pictures.  I explained to her that we were going to find three of each item.  I think she kind of understood, but I helped her out a lot!  Every time we found an item, she got to stick a Halloween sticker on the number.  We would count the stickers and praise her for finding the items.  She really seemed to enjoy it, although by the end she was getting tired.  We even took a fun little lantern on the walk because it was dark out and I wanted her to be able to see her hunt.  



Being stubborn, not wanting to smile!


We finished the whole board!

Gaga (daddy in Harper talk) came home right at the end of the walk!  He was so proud! 

She wanted to finish the walk with lawn mower fun!  She wasn't thrilled when she discovered she couldn't cut the lawn in the dark! 

I got the stickers from the Dollar Tree and just made the chart out of computer paper.  You could do something like this for older children and have more objects to find.  You could also have them use tally marks every time they found an item.  Then, they could graph the items and discuss which they found the most of and which the least, etc... The possibilities are endless! 

I also enjoyed the walk because it was interactive.  It wasn't just her sitting in the stroller checking out the scenery, which is still always good, fresh air is never a bad thing.  I just liked that she could keep busy and work on recognizing different things!  

I hope you enjoyed going on our walk and thanks for stopping by!  As always please send me any easy fun ideas that you have for entertaining your little ones!  

Oct 20, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was really chill and that is the perfect kind of weekend for me!  I was so tired on Friday night that I actually fell asleep before Harper and Matt, crazy!  We did put Harper down but she wasn't having it. She was really fussy this weekend!!!  So we got her up and let her watch the Toy Story Halloween movie (we DVR'ed it on Wednesday).  She laid through the whole movie with me and seemed to enjoy it.  After the movie I was so tired I had to crash and I left her and Matt to hang out while I headed to bed.  

Saturday was really rainy all day.  We stayed inside, in our jammies until it was time to take Harper to swim lessons.  She had a ball at swim lessons!  She practiced going under the water a few times, she kicked balls to her friends in the water, and even worked on the laying on her back while kicking her feet (she really didn't enjoy that part).  She loves the "wawa" and always looks forward to going.  Throughout the week she will grab her swimmy diapers for me to put on her, she is always ready to head to swim lessons! I enjoy taking her because she gets around other little ones, which she doesn't have much of an opportunity to do.  




Saturday night was meltdown city at our house.  I really don't know what sparked it but Harper just freaked out.  She didn't seem to know what she wanted or didn't want, she was unhappy, and probably overtired. The only thing that made her feel better was when I brought out a craft for her to do.  She loves to craft (very fitting considering who her mama and grandma are) so I grabbed this little wooden turkey she could color from JoAnn Fabrics.  She enjoyed coloring it and kept calling "mama" to help her color.  It came with little markers and she especially enjoyed the purple one!  I let her find a place to put her turkey to decorate the house....she decided it should be in her choo choo!  After that I went to do some grocery shopping and she hung out with Matt.  It was really nice grocery shopping solo!  I could get everything done quickly and without having to ask her to sit down 500,000 times!  I think I might go when Matt is around more often!


At first she refused to let me take a picture of her!


Working hard on it!


Sunday was really chill too!  I woke up feeling kind of blah so Matt took Harper to church and I laid around and worked on lesson plans for my sub job.  That is pretty much what we did all day, hang out, lesson planned, played, played, and played.  Harper tried her first PB&J and discovered she wasn't a fan (we will keep trying).  I also got her an all natural peanut butter cup to try, she LOVED it and wanted to eat the 2nd one before I put her to bed.  I told her if she could say, "pumpkin," "Harper," or "Minnie" I would give her the chocolate, no such luck!  This child does not have the slightest interest in talking!  I keep trying, she won't budge....did I mention that Matt and I are both really stubborn...she has no chance, really!  


She loves to color, especially while sitting at the "big girl" computer desk!  If you are wondering why she isn't wearing pants, she threw a huge fit.  I got them on her and she yanked them off as fast as she could!  Not sure why but we just rolled with it! 


Cheesing with Mama!

All in all it was a great weekend with my family, a lot of laughter, love, and especially a lot of fussing!  :) What would I do without my little fussy princess?!   Happy Monday, I hope you all had a great weekend too!

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