Saturday, December 3, 2011

Advent Calendar

Last year I saw this post for an advent calendar and I have slowly been working on one of our own since then, yes one whole year!!  But moving on.  This whole project cost me a whole $2 and some odd cents because I had everything else.

25 small match boxes (purchased at Dollar Store two packages $1/package)
scrapbook paper
number stickers
I used brads but aren't required
address labels

Of course you need to empty out all the little boxes and wrap each box with a strip of scrapbook paper.  The strips I cut were 4 inches long by 2 inches wide.  I made star tags with my cricket but a punch would work or nothing at all.  I attached the tags with mini brads, a few of the boxes have a little ribbon wrapped around them just for a little something extra.
In each box the hubby and I sat down and came up with 25 family oriented activities.  Activities that encourage time spent together and giving to others.  Here is what we came up with (I am lacking a couple so if you have suggestions please comment).

  • Decorate Christmas Tree
  • Make A Homemade Ornament
  • Shop For Non Perishable Foods To Donate To The Local Food Bank (our church collects these)
  • Host A Holiday Playdate
  • Make Cookies
  • Deliver Hot Chocolate and Cookies To College Class (my husband is a professor)
  • Watch A Christmas Movie
  • Shop For Angel Tree Gifts (our church collects these as well and we try and find kiddos the same age as our kiddos)
  • Write Letters To Great Grandparents
  • Invite Friends To Share Dinner
  • Make Cookies And Deliver To The Fire Department
  • Build Lego Nativity (my boys *husband* are really into Legos)
  • Shovel Neighbors Sidewalks
  • Decorate Gingerbread Houses
  • Take A Drive And Look At Lights
  • Redeem Cans/Bottles And Donate Money To Salvation Army Kettles/Ringers
  • Build Snowman/Go Sledding
  • Sleep In The Living Room With The Christmas Lights On
  • Record A Holiday Greeting For Aunts and Uncle (all of our siblings live a pretty good distance)
  • Read The Christmas Story/Make Hot Chocolate

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Don't you just love Pinterest!?!?  But I get a little addicted to 'pinning' things and ideas that I don't ever get around to the making and doing part!  ;-)  Well I am happy to say that this is my second 'making/doing' after 'pinning' the idea on Pinterest.  Noah and I made FLUBBER!!  It has offered us hours of entertainment and has lasted well over a couple of weeks (I wasn't sure if it would dry up or what).  Here is where I 'pinned' it/got the recipe: FLUBBER RECIPE

Here is our HOURS of entertainment!  Levi (6 months) even got to squish it.  Remember ALWAYS SUPERVISE little ones, Levi wanted to put it in his mouth of course but I just guided his hand away.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Apple Galette

Now I am not really positive what a Galette is but I made it and it was yummy!  This is the recipe I used, click here.  And this is how it turned out for us.  I was a great recipe to do with kiddos.  Noah helped with:
rolling out the dough
 shaking up the sugar, cinnamon and apples in a sealed bowl
arranging the apples onto the crust
folding the crust up and sprinkling with sugar

This turned out delicious, hope you enjoy!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Purse Organization

Thanks to Pinterest I have finally found a solution for all my wonderful purses!  Here is the before pic: (please ignore the mess of shoes, if you know my house you will agree that it has lots of storage but unfortunately it is NOT in the bedrooms)

 I had some metal shower curtain rings so this little organization task took very little time and didn't cost me a thing.  Here is the after.

Something I will tweak a little bit and spend a couple of $'s will be to purchase an extension rod and try to hang them on it instead of the same rod that our clothes hang on...causing a little bit of cramping of our clothes.  So the extension rod will go between the front and back of the closet and hang under the clothes that is the idea....but for now I am happy and so are my shoes for the extra room!

Originally posted here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkins and Painters Tape

I am not ready to give Noah a knife for carving his own pumpkin so we used painters tape and I cut out some shapes, he arranged them and after he was done painting and it had dried we pulled off the paint.

I made one too!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Results of a Much Needed, Crafty Weekend!

A group of girlfriends and I get together (or at least try to) on a regular basis.  This weekend was much needed and with a busy summer we hadn't gotten together since April!!  I am usually a scrapbooker but this month I wasn't in the mood to sort through pictures and figure out what I still needed to print, etc., etc.!  So I went to my little idea book and started working on projects for myself, the kiddos and a soon to be arriving baby of some dear friends!  
Check it out!

Inspired by: Living With Punks

Instead of using decorative fabric like the tutorial suggested I selected some fun fleece prints.  I just couldn't get myself to spend that much money on decorative fabric and really I couldn't find anything super fun for a couple of my favorite little boys.  These will be spotted under out Christmas tree this year! 

Idea from: Whipper Berry
There are three separate growth charts here.  I made one for each of my boys and this has now become one of my go to, super cute and fun baby gifts!  I personalized Noah and Levi's but the proud, expecting parents are keeping their little one's name hush, hush!!

And who hasn't seen a burlap wreath this Fall, so I made my own with a variety of inspiration!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Getting Messy!

I usually add food coloring to our shaving cream fun but today we pulled out the washable paints and a paint brush and paint roller....we had fun getting messy!  And as much as I like to control I have been trying really hard to just let Noah be in control even if he squirts in half a bottle of paint! :-)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Menu Planning!

Monday - Baked Ziti
Tuesday - Sandwiches
Wednesday - Roast w/ Veggies (crockpot)
Thursday - Ribs, Green Beans
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - Out
Sunday - Pork Loin, Sweet Potato Fries

Monday - Breaded Pork Chops
Tuesday - Brats
Wednesday - Chedder Baked Chicken
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Breakfast for Dinner
Saturday - Out (birthday party)
Sunday - Grill something????

Friday, August 5, 2011

Some New Kids Ideas

Crayola makes these Window Crayons.  They are pretty neat and we have also used them in the car on a long road trip and recently I wrote a reminder to our 3 year old on the bathroom mirror about what needs to be done before more fussing about brushing teeth before bed!  I bought them at Target I don't exactly remember the cost but I know it wasn't more than $5.

Glow sticks, bracelets and necklaces (idea from  I found a pack of 15 glow stick bracelets at Michael's for $1 (I bought a couple).  So far we've only used them in the tub and turned off the lights, with lots of bubbles...pretty neat!  A friend also mentioned giving them to the kiddos while camping.

Or letting your kiddo fill up glasses with water to make music.  Use food coloring and do some color mixing.  Add a glow stick and turn off the lights.

Mary over at The Yellow Door gave me this idea for dress up clothes.  I think her daughter made it at VBS.  Anyway take an old t-shirt cut up the sides taking off the sleeves BUT don't cut the neck, keep that intact.  I also suggest using a bigger t-shirt than the size your kiddo wears.  Let the kiddos decorate, I used fabric markers but permanent markers work too and instant super hero cape with NO sewing.  I am always looking for dress up clothes for my boys!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Menu Planning

Okay so it has been awhile but I am finally getting back into a 'routine' if you can call anything a routine in the summer with 2 little ones in the house and a hubby who is home all summer (David, I am not complaining).  So here goes a menu starting from last Sunday.

Sunday ~ Chicken Kabobs (w/Yellow Squash, Onions, and Bell Peppers) marinated overnight in Kraft Italian Dressing
Monday ~ Tacos, Fruit Salad
Tuesday ~ Breaded Pork Chops,  (I used boneless pork chops, btw) Cheesy Potatoes, Green Beans, leftover Fruit Salad
Wednesday ~ Leftovers
Thursday ~ Creamy Potato Soup
Friday ~ Lasagna, Garlic Monkey Bread, Steamed Broccoli
Saturday ~ Breakfast for Dinner (Sausage, Eggs, Pancakes, Fruit)
Sunday ~ Probably out for Lunch, Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup for Dinner

Sunday, June 12, 2011

SAHM and Budgeting

Going from working full time and 'bringing home the bacon' to a SAHM raising our two kiddos has been an adjustment to say the least.  I do love the opportunity and I am so blessed to be able to be with my boys while they are so young.  But, with this adjusting comes some more worries.  Instead of worrying about how many phone messages and emails I will have to answer in the morning when I get to work I now worry about putting together all three meals for us everyday and instead of worrying about the budget for a whole daycare I am FREAKING out about how to budget our money with one income. 
I have been asking friends who are also stay at home moms the same questions and searching the internet for effective budgeting, etc. and I think eventually we will get there.  I found this site tonight:

These are some ways I have come up with watching where our money goes so far:
1.  making a menu before I go grocery shopping
2.  buying generic when possible
3.  planning at least one meatless meal a week (I have kind of strayed away from this but plan on doing it again)

Things I want to try:
1. making homemade cleaners and detergent
2. finding an effective and less time consuming way to keep track of our spending

If anyone has some more ideas or suggestions please drop a comment!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Easter Treats

Here are some super simple treats to take along to an Easter egg hunt or put at the kiddie table for Easter.  Make rice crispies as the recipe on the cereal box directs you.  The little guy added some fun sprinkles to our mix too.  After you get all your ingredients together take a clean plastic Easter egg and stuff the mix inside, close it tight and open it up to find a yummy egg treat.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gift Bag: $0

Empty boxes
Wrapping Paper

Cut the tabs off the box and start wrapping your paper of choice.
With a hole punch, punch two holes of each side string your ribbon through and knot on the inside.
A gift box for any party and it cost $0. 

I am not sure the link is working but I shared the idea at: Full of Great Ideas: $0 Budget Party

Activity: Hammering

An easy activity to do with little ones and great practice for hand-eye coordination.
block of Styrofoam (the white kind doesn't crumble as easily but I already had this one on hand)
plastic/toy hammer
large head nails or golf tees (I would have normally used gold tees but couldn't find them)

Noah hammered away for quite awhile and there was very little mess or prep.  Pretty easy activity.  If you have older ones let them use a scrap of wood, nails and a small hammer.  Just watch out for those little fingers and you might not want them hammering on your dining room table.
If your little one has their own tool belt that would be a fun addition to role play a carpenter/handy man!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dresser Redo

 I have seen this idea several times out in blogland and fell in love with the idea instantly and I was never really happy with how I painted the dresser before Noah was born so Noah's dresser got a redo.
It really was an easy redo after we got the dresser painted.  I measured the drawers and cut the maps with about an inch overlap, to wrap around the sides.  I used Modge Podge to adhere the maps to the dresser fronts and the pulls were original to dresser that we had saved.  So really my only expense was the paint!

 I used maps of places (states and cities) that we have lived.  So Noah and I have fun time finding those places on the maps.

I did the dresser redo in Noah's room, made new curtains and put a new cover on the chair.  I wanted to replace the carpet with a new one and put the green rug in the nursery but Noah wasn't willing to give that up for his little brother so it is what it is.  I am happy with how it has all turned out.  The chair cover is temporary.  To be honest with myself I don't have the slightest clue about where to start with a whole upholstery job and I don't want to pay for it.

What the dresser originally looked like - the colors were horrible.  I can not pick out paint colors - I can picture it all in my head but when it comes to finding that paint chip that matches what I am envisioning I totally lose it.  The pulls had jungle animals on them.

Here is the chair original color, which was actually in pretty good shape I just wasn't too into the 70's orange.  Someday I will get the upholstery done the right way.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Paddy's Day: Freezer Paper Stencil

I have seen the idea all over blog land and I finally gave it a try.  I have been holding on to a t-shirt of Noah's because it still fits him but he had gotten a big grease stain on the front and I just knew I could save the shirt somehow. Check out what I came up with:

It was super simple and I am happy with how it turned out being my first attempt.  
For the Shamrock:
I simply found a shamrock clip art in Microsoft Word, printed it on cardstock, cut it out to make a pattern and traced it onto my freezer paper.  *Remember shiny side down.
For the 'No Pinching':
I used my Cricut and Lyrical Letters font, I cut a piece of freezer paper to fit on my mat and let the Cricut do the work for me.
Once I had my stencils ready I ironed shiny side down to the shirt and painted with acrylic paints.  I let the shamrock dry over night and then ironed on the 'no pinching' on painted and let dry.  It was super easy and I plan on doing more freezer paper stenciling.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Octopus for Lunch!?!?

A blog that I check almost daily is Shannon's What's for Lunch at Our House she makes some fun and creative Bento lunches for her two kiddos and Noah and I try out an idea every now and again, we just wanted to share our muffin tin lunch with you.

hot dog cut to look like an octopus, strawberries, cubed string cheese, pretzels, pumpkin doughnut muffins Noah loved the surprise and thought it was so funny to tell his Dad that he had octopus for lunch!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

Can I just say YUM-O.  
I found this little recipe in a magazine and I just had to try it out.  Our little guy will go for anything that has doughnut in the description, okay I'll admit so will I!

for the batter:
10 T. unsalted butter, room temperature plus more for the pan
3 cups flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground allspice
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 1/4 c. pumpkin puree (I used a 15 oz. can)
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 large eggs

for the sugar coating:
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour muffin cups.  Make batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice.  In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and pumpkin puree.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed.  With mixer on low, add flour mixture and pumpkin mixture (alternating a couple spoonfuls at a time).  Beat to combine.
2) Spoon into muffin cups and bake until toothpick comes out clean.  Meanwhile, mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and melt butter in another bowl.  Let muffins cool in the pan on a wire rack.  Working with one at a time, remove muffins and brush all over with butter, then toss in sugar mixture.  Store in an airtight container, up to 1 day.

** To freeze:  freeze muffins after cooling for up to 3 months.  Reheat in a 350 degree oven, then coat in butter and sugar.

Recipe says is make 12 muffins and to bake for approx. 30 minutes.
I made mini muffins and it made 55 mini muffins and I baked them for 15 minutes.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Family Night

Recently a friend posted on her blog a fun idea to shake off those winter blues and do something a little out of the ordinary for the kids and let's face it for us parents too!  So I decided to make/compile a list of ideas for a Family Evening together.
  • Camping
    • The whole family can camp out on the living/family room floor: pillows, sleeping bags, we have even pitched our tent in our living room, don't forget you flashlights and pj's
    • String some white Christmas lights around the ceiling fan for star gazing.
    • Serve hot dogs, make s'mores in the oven (place graham crackers on a cookie sheet, add chocolate chips and mini marshmellows cook until melted)
    • Tell/read stories and/or play a board game
    • Go on a bear hunt around the house. (Have you read the book?  Check out this Youtube video with the song)  Hide a child's stuffed bear, pack a flashlight and don't forget your camera and lead the way as you imagine going through a field or tall grass, swimming across a river, stomping through the mud and then finding a dark cave.  
    • Night at the Drive In Movies (I saw this idea  for custom cars in a Family Fun magazine about a year ago, and I thought it was way cute - but we haven't made any...YET)
    • Family Potluck
      • Let each member of the family choose a food/dish to bring to the 'potluck' (dinner) before hand and get the groceries you need for the night.  Younger kiddos will need help in the kitchen preparing their dishes.  Don't worry if the kiddos just decide to make sweets you and your hubby can pick up the nutritional slack.
      • American Idol
        • Compete with song and/or dance, each members votes for their favorite.  
        • You may have a Wii with Glee or other music/dance games, or maybe you have a karaoke machine, if not let each member of the family make their own microphone.
        • If this family night is a favorite and the kiddos want to have a rematch you could also, as a family, create a trophy or medal for the winner.
        • Don't forget to dress up like a STAR!!
      If I think of anymore I will be sure to post them!!  Have fun spending time together.

        Wednesday, March 2, 2011

        March Menu

        That's right I made a menu for the entire month!!!  Plus did a HUGE shopping trip and I will only have to go to the store to get fresh produce and dairy - I did buy some produce for the month and already chopped it and froze it for upcoming meals.  I am excited about my planning, and it makes me much more comfortable when counting down the weeks/days until baby arrives.  Here you go...I do have a few days to fill in but I figure there will be a couple of eating out nights and that would move those meals later into the month so it all works out.

        1 - Chicken Enchiladas (already made and in the freezer, here is the recipe)
        2 - Leftovers
        3 - Slow Cooker Pulled Pork w/ BBQ (similar to what Kerry at What Am I Cooking?, check it out)
        4 - Shredded Pork Tacos
        5 - Homemade Chicken Nuggets
        6 - Ham
        7 - Salsa, Beans and Rice Quesadillas (Meatless Monday)
        8 - Leftovers
        9 - Sausage and Peppers
        10 - Taco Soup
        11 - Beef Stir Fry
        12 - 'Dressed Up' Rice a Roni (using a box of Chicken Rice a Roni I add cut up chicken, carrots and peas)
        13 - Pine Nut Chicken Parmesan
        14 - Cheesy Rigatoni (Meatless Monday)
        15 - Leftovers
        16 - Meatloaf
        17 - Chicken Salad
        18 - Pizza
        19 - Saloman
        20 - Out
        21 - Fried Rice (Meatless Monday)
        22 - Lemony Garlic Chicken Thighs
        23 - Leftovers
        24 - Chicken Pot Pie
        25 - Sloppy Joes
        26 -
        27 -
        28 -
        29 -
        30 -
        31 -

        Some Sweets for the Month:
        Fruit Turnovers (another freezer friendly recipe)
        Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
        Bran Muffins (this makes a huge recipe and you can keep the mix in your fridge for up to 6 weeks and make them as you want/need)

        Monday, February 21, 2011

        Menu Planning

        Tuesday - Spaghetti, Green Beans, Garlic Bread
        Wednesday - Leftovers
        Thursday - Homemade Chicken Nuggets
        Friday - Sausage Pizza
        Saturday - Breakfast for Dinner
        Sunday - Hamballs, Mashed Potatoes
        Monday - Creamy Potato Soup, Cornbread
        Tuesday - Chicken Enchiladas
        Wednesday - Leftovers
        Thursday - Tacos
        Friday - ??
        Saturday - ??
        Sunday - Baked Ham

        I am really trying to clean out our freezer at the end of the month.  I also have big plans to do a cooking day in order to stock the freezer with meals to prepare for the arrival of baby, wish me luck.

        Wednesday, February 16, 2011

        Valentine Meal Ideas

        None of these require a special recipe it is just some ideas that I came up with to add a little heart into our Valentine weekend!

         Heart shaped biscuits for our turkey pot pie

         Heart shaped cheesecake topped with red cherries

        Our Valentine's dinner (breakfast for dinner, a family favorite here).  Heart shaped pancakes in various sizes with a variety of toppings (which made it a bit more special), I also made heart shaped sausage patties, colored our milk with red food coloring and served pink lemonade.  You could also get strawberry milk.

        Not pictured but we had heart shaped meatloaf too!