March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

 

Happy-Easter

Hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter!

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March 29, 2013

Spring & Summer Wardrobe

Now that I’ve lost some weight I’ve decided that I need some new clothes. I’ve been a little hesitant to shop because I seem to be in between sizes so instead, I’ve been looking at Pinterest and Polyvore for some inspiration.

My style is very simple and comfy. I like the look of a lot of the trendy collections but I never can seem to pull it off. Mainly because my body has curves…I have hips and a little junk in my trunk. I also have a little pudge in the tummy…I’ve always had it no matter how active I am.

I have a lot of t-shirts so I’m thinking I just need to expand my accessory collection. I like these t-shirt looks. They’re all pretty much the same but the accessories, in my opinion, make the outfit.

  

If I wanted to dress up a little for a girls’ night out or maybe a date with hubby, I would like to wear something like this. Still very casual but dressed up a little.

When it gets really warm I have, in the last couple of years, started wearing skirts and dresses some. Again, I prefer comfortable and casual.

           

So these are some looks I’ll be watching for when I actually do decide to go shopping for a new wardrobe.

What’s your style for this Spring/Summer?

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March 27, 2013

Wednesday Randoms

I am sooooo glad to be back to our normal routine this week. I have the house put back to normal for the most part. Still doing laundry though. It never ends.

The girls and I are back to walking. Actually, they ride, I walk. I prefer not to run…chasing them in two different directions. It’s just easier that they ride…especially since we walk at the mall.

I’m not sure how but I’ve managed to lose a total of 12 lbs in the last year. I’ve lost about 8 since I’ve been walking. I’d like to lose 5 more and start toning up.

Walking at the mall can be kind of dangerous. For weeks Bath & Body has been burning their Market Peach Candle and it smells sooooo good! Today I just couldn’t resist any longer. They had their Wallflowers and oils on sale so of course I had to buy some. Now my house smells like yummy peaches. Mmmmmmm.

Market Peach Wallflowers Fragrance Bulb - Slatkin & Co. - Bath & Body Works

I have so many posts I want to do but I need to take pictures! I need to get my act together. This week. I’m going to get them done this week.

After not leaving the house for 6 days I got to go out on Saturday night to celebrate a good friend’s birthday. It had been so long since I had dressed up I had trouble figuring out what to wear. You should have seen the piles of clothes I tried on before actually decided on an outfit. It doesn’t help that most of my jeans/pants are now too big and my shirts are all t-shirts.

Dressed up

In doing all the laundry from our week of sickies one of the girls’ brand new, never been worn shirts got ruined when it was washed in warm water. Color from another item bled onto it. The shirt was from Old Navy and thanks to their Snap Appy App, I was able to get a replacement for free!

Sunday we went to see Oz: the Great and Powerful. I had high hopes but was sadly disappointed. It had so much potential but didn’t quite meet my expectations. My favorite part was the opening credits.

So that’s about my week in a nutshell. It’s been good to actually be out of the house!

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March 26, 2013

Surviving Toddlers with a Virus

I know you’re probably tired of me posting about our week of hell with a nasty virus but this is the last post, I promise! :)

Side note:  I’m still not convinced it was a virus but whatever…we’re over it and moving on. Thank goodness!

I already posted this pic last week but it goes with this post too so I’m reposting it.

WARNING: Before reading further, I just want to warn you that I use words for bodily functions often in the rest of this post.

Virus Survival Kit

I know some of this may be common sense for most of you but this was the first time we had dealt with anything this bad so we learned as we went.

Ok, here we go, 5 things I learned while dealing with sick toddlers.

Stock up on Diapers and wipes

If you’re toddler is newly potty trained, I strongly suggest switching to diapers temporarily while you are dealing with a virus…if this is a symptom you are dealing with of course. We went through many, many diapers last week (I’m guessing somewhere around 60-80 between the 2 girls) so we stocked up on those and wipes. I had a basket in their room and a basket of diapers in the living room. It made it much easier to quickly grab when needed.

Have a Bowl(s) and Wash Cloths Ready

Thankfully, I had 2 small plastic bowls that we used to catch vomit. I think I either got them at the Dollar Tree or in the dollar section at Target. We learned to use these pretty quickly after trying to run a vomiting child to the bathroom and getting it all over us. I’m still smelling vomit after washing our clothes and bleaching the bathrooms. Wash cloths are also recommended for wiping your poor baby’s face after.

Be prepared to do lots of laundry

As mentioned above, we ended up doing lots of laundry. Just when we thought we had the girls bathed, newly clothed and settled, they would throw up again. My suggestion is to get the soiled clothes in the washer immediately (even if it’s 2am) or you will be smelling it for days!

Learn about the BRAT diet

The first thing our pediatrician told me when I called was to put the girls on the BRAT diet (especially Tens since she had diarrhea much more than Tillie did). BRAT, if you don’t already know, stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast. Basically, you need to feed your toddler low fat, starchy foods. The girls did good eating everything but the rice. They love rice but when I made them white rice with a teeny tiny bit of butter & sugar they wouldn’t even look at it. After a while they got tired of toast so they pretty much lived on animal crackers and applesauce. Speaking of applesauce, the pouches worked great for us. I specifically liked the Go Go Squeez pouches in the AppleApple & Apple Banana flavors (click on pics to get more info).

hero_appleapple-banana

 

Sleep When They Sleep

This advice did me no good when the girls were infants. When they slept was the only time I could get anything done. However, when your toddlers are sick and keeping you up All. Night. Long, I strongly suggest leaving the chores for another time and sleep when they sleep because chances are you won’t be sleeping the next night either.

I am so thankful to be done with sickness and hope that I don’t have to deal with it for a long, loooong time.

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March 25, 2013

Easter Bunny Freebie

I was going to post this a couple weeks ago and totally forgot about it until I was updating my freebies. I hope it’s not too late to add to your Easter décor!

Just click on the picture to download. You can also, of course, access this printable at any time on my Free Printables page.

Easter-Freebie

If you have any issued downloading, let me know!

Enjoy!

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March 24, 2013

Chicken Fajita Stir Fry

I don’t know about you but I love me some Fajitas. The grilled meat, the sour cream & guacamole…Mmm, Mmm, Mmm!

In the winter who wants to stand outside in the freezing cold and stand over a grill? Not me! So I’ve come up with a way to get the same smokey grilled flavor indoors.

I haven’t made these in a while but I came across the recipe while looking through some old posts on my other (inactive) blog so I thought I’d repost here.

 

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Chicken Breasts, cubed or cut into strips
  • 4 Tbsp Liquid Smoke
  • Green Bell Pepper, sliced
  • Red Bell Pepper, sliced
  • Med. Onion, sliced
  • 1-2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Put chicken in a Ziploc back with Liquid Smoke, set aside.

While chicken is marinating, heat wok or skillet with butter on med-high and sauté onions & peppers. Remove onions and peppers from skillet.  Add olive oil and chicken to skillet (carefully, since skillet will be hot). Brown chicken on both sides, about 5-7 minutes.

Add onions & peppers to skillet, mix with chicken then cover. Continue cooking on low heat until chicken is cooked through (about 10 minutes).

Serve with all the fixins!

YUMMYLICIOUS!

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March 23, 2013

New & Improved

I think….hope we are all on the mend around here. Tensley is still having some issues but seems like overall she may be getting better. This virus, or whatever it was, has been the worst I’ve ever seen in my girls even worse than when they had RSV! All I know is that they better be getting better because this momma has not left the house since last Saturday and I am having some major cabin fever!

Thursday night was a probably the first good night we had this week. I went to bed at 9pm…right after we put the girls to bed, and we all slept all night! In fact, I got 11 hours of sleep! I can’t remember the last time I got that much sleep.

Since I’ve been stuck at home, I’ve have a lot of time to sit down and play on the computer so I thought I’d share what I’ve done here on the good ol’ blog.

New&Improved

Did you notice the new banner? I whipped that up to have a more Spring time look. It’s nothing fancy but I like it.

I was really bummed to see that Google Reader is going away. I looked at a couple others that people have been talking about and I decided on Bloglovin’. I think I’m really going to like it. I’ve even started adding new blogs so if you have a blog, leave me a link and I’ll add it to my list!

I’ve renamed my Party Printables Page to Shop Party Printables. It seemed more fitting since it’s all about how to purchase my printables.

Speaking of printables, I finally added all my free printables to my Free Printables page! How excited are YOU? :) I separated everything out by type. The current printables available are from printables from my Tutorials, Art Prints, Organization printables and Photo Props. I definitely plan to add more in the near future. I actually have a fun Spring banner I’ll be adding sometime in the next week.

I’ve also updated my PR/Sponsor page. If you or anyone you know would be interested in purchasing a very inexpensive ad space or would like for me to review a product, I would be more than happy to promote your business! Please check out my sponsor page for details.

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March 22, 2013

Chalkboard Invite

The chalkboard look is all the rage these days. I’ve been a fan but hadn’t yet designed anything using the look until this week.

My sister texted me a pic of some stationary she was going to use to print on for her hubby’s birthday but worried that it looked too girly. I told her I could whip something up for her and when she said, “I need it today” I got to work. Not too long after I came up with this….

Chalkboard-Invite

It’s nothing fancy but it works well for any event. I was pretty happy with the way it turned out. I see more chalkboard items showing up in the shop in the near future.

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March 21, 2013

Spoiled

The virus saga continues.

photo 1 (14)

Tensley woke up a little before 4am throwing up. She hadn’t thrown up in a couple days. Yesterday she had a puke and poop free day. I thought we were in the clear. I called the nurse line of our pediatrician’s office and they called back and told me to start her on some probiotics to see if it helps the diarrhea. I’m really hoping it does because poor girl has a very sore bottom.

At 4:30am the next victim was struck with the virus. It was Tillie. Ugh. She hasn’t thrown up since 5:30 and no poopsplosions but I’m not holding my breath. It came on pretty slowly for Tensley. She’ll be getting the probiotics as well.

Both girls have spoiled me. In the past when they’ve been sick it’s just been over night and are good the next day. Oh, and also, they would get sick one at a time. Come to think of it, I think this is the first time Tensley has been sick like this…usually she just gets a runny nose. They also have slept like champs since about 9 months so I’m used to getting good sleep. This virus is about to do me in.

We had a fun morning. NOT. Rock star hubby and I were each holding a puke bowl for the girls until around 5:30. These girls of ours are tough. Even after they threw up they would smile.

photo 2 (13)

I tried to take a nap while they were napping but in order to fall asleep I had to bury my head under the covers due to the overwhelming smell of puke. And that didn’t work because I get a little claustrophobic and I get too hot under the covers like that.

So now I’m up…sleep deprived and trying to find what is holding on to the puke so I can rid it of the horrific smell.

Oh and have I mentioned that I’ve lost like 3lbs in the last week? I wonder why….

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March 20, 2013

Just One Day

Last night when I finally got to take a shower I was thinking to myself how nice it would be to have just one day where I didn’t have to be a mom. I was thinking how nice it would be to sleep in and be lazy for an entire day or to be able to do what I want whenever I want…to watch whatever I want…to go wherever I want whenever I want.

And then I realized how stupid that thought was.

I love being a mom. It’s not always the most fun job but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I waited too long to become a mom. Why would I ever want to not be one?

Just One Day

If I went just one day of not being a mom I would miss the giggles that echo throughout the house. I would miss seeing them holding hands and leading each other around the house.

I would miss watching Tillie roaring at me like a bear and I would miss Tensley’s smile and her little high pitched squeal. I would miss Tillie learning a new word(s) and I would miss seeing the intensity on Tensley’s face when she’s trying to figure something out.

I would miss being climbed on when I try to sit in the living room and I would miss the little “Hi’s” I get when I go to get them up from their nap.

I don’t want to miss anything about them so no matter how tired or frustrated I get I will never wish that I didn’t have to be a mom. Not even for a moment.

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March 19, 2013

If anyone needs me…

I woke up this morning to a cry that I knew wasn’t just a bad dream. It was a cry of pain. I knew it was Tens. I dragged myself out of bed and to check on her. I knew as soon as I walked into the room that she had a bad diaper. I picked her up and took her straight to the bathtub. She had a horrible diaper rash so after I rinsed her off, I ran a warm baking soda bath. She wouldn’t even sit down in the water so I just poured the water over her bottom until I couldn’t take the crying any more.

I took her to my bed so we wouldn’t wake up Tillie and treated her bottom and then we laid in bed until Tillie woke up.

We thought she was on the mend. She was better Sunday and yesterday we thought it was over. I made a call to the doctor this morning and they said she could have gotten a secondary virus. Ugh.

So if you need me today I’ll be disinfecting the house.

photo 1 (14) photo 2 (13)

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March 17, 2013

A Sleepless Night & A Meal Plan

A birthday party.

A cancelled date night.

A sick toddler.

A sleepless night.

This weekend has been a rough one.

My house is a total disaster. There is laundry all over my dining room table and my kitchen can’t seem to stay clean. The sick toddler decided to get really sick at 1 a.m. this morning….just minutes after my head hit the pillow. That’s how it works for all mom’s, right? Rock star hubby (I think I’m going to start calling him that here on the blog) and I didn’t get to go to sleep until sometime around 5am.

The further away we get from infancy, the more painful the sleepless nights become.

Rock star hubby seemed to handle the sleeplessness much better than I did. He did all the “sick” laundry…jammies, sheets, etc. and cleaned & disinfected the rest while I snuggled the sick toddler.

I got a little nap today. I felt better when I woke up but am still pretty tired and have a sinus/no sleep headache hangover.

I finally had a chance to sit down this evening to make our bi-monthly meal plan. I’m continuing with easy meals…I think in my current state it only makes sense. The other good thing about these easy meals is that they are cheap.

Bi-Monthly Meal Planning

This meal plan is for March 17-30.

  • Sunday:  Lasagna / Crescent Rolls / Fruit
  • Monday:  Taco Ring / Spanish Rice / Corn
  • Tuesday:  Chicken Nuggets / Mashed Potatoes / Corn
  • Wednesday:  Waffles / Bacon / Fruit
  • Thursday:  Sandwiches
  • Friday:  Frozen Pizzas
  • Saturday:  Chicken Quesadillas / Queso
  • Sunday:  Spaghetti / Green Beans / Rolls
  • Monday:  Grilled Chicken Salad
  • Tuesday:  Hot Dogs / Chips
  • Wednesday:  Fish Sticks / MacNCheese / Corn
  • Thursday:  French Toast / Fruit
  • Friday:  Nacho Pasta / Black Beans
  • Saturday:  Open

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March 13, 2013

Taxes & Poop

These two things go together, right? So, I naturally decided to talk about them in one post.

Let’s start with taxes. Who thinks gathering up all the paperwork to get your taxes done is the worst thing ever? Raise your hand. (Raising all my hands…all two of them).

Ok so yesterday I was working on gathering said paperwork while the girls played. I had to go back and forth from the office to the living room to constantly check on them so it took a while. I already had most of our papers together in one place but the one thing that took most of the day was trying to get all our medical expenses so we could get to the point where we could itemize them. Hello refund! (fingers crossed)

Anyway, in all the checking on the girls that I did I never noticed anything out of the ordinary…at least not until the taxes were done. I went into the living room to check on the girls and get them a snack when I noticed something on the side of Tensley’s face.

Any guesses as to what I found?

Poop!

THERE WAS POOP ON THE SIDE OF HER FACE, PEOPLE!!!

And all over her hands, legs and feet and please dear Lord I hope she didn’t eat any of it! Eww, Eww, EWWWWW!!!

Apparently, she had a poop explosion and it got everywhere (it didn’t help that she was sans pants). As in all over the living room. On the couch…on some of the cushions…on blankets…and on BOTH of their pink chairs.

My first reaction was GAG. Then I immediately snatched her up (holding her in places where there was no poop) and took her straight to the bathtub while praying and yelling at Tillie to stay out of the poop. Tenlsey got a bath right then and there and I washed her down twice!

Once I got her bathed and diapered I started in on the living room clean up. Did I mention everything that got pooped on was micro fiber? After going to Google to figure out how to clean poop off micro fiber and learning that I needed to use baby wipes for the clean up, I decided I needed to relocate the girls to another part of the house.

I quickly and temporarily toddler proofed their bedroom and threw some toys in there to keep them busy (I really need to do this permanently). I also had to shut the doors to all the other rooms (these girls of mine are super, super curious….and destructive). Once I got them relocated, I got to work with the baby wipes. They pretty much got the job done but definitely DID NOT get rid of the smell. Thankfully, James came home and saved the day by pulling out the steam cleaner and taking care of the awful smell.

We’ve been having these poop explosions (albeit not as bad as this one) for the last couple of weeks. Apparently Tens has a sensitivity to fruit because this all started happening when I decided they needed to be eating more fruits & veggies (and by more I mean more than none because I’ve had trouble getting them to eat much of either). Really all they’ve been eating are the fruit & veggie pouches (one every day or every other day) and strawberries & blueberries. I don’t feel like I’ve given them too much…they’ve only had about 2 small servings per day.

Has anyone else had this issue? I need to figure out the problem because I’m tired of giving multiple baths and going through several outfits in a day. I’m definitely going to cut down on the amount and see if that works. Also, none of the things she is having is new to her.

So you see? Taxes and poop DO go together! :)

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March 11, 2013

Come on Spring!

Red Bud

Our weather is supposed to warm up this week. I hope it continues to warm up and that we are done with cold spells. I am so ready for Spring! I’m ready to see our Red Buds and Bradford Pears bloom. I’m ready to hear the birds chirping and to see the Blue Jay couple that shows up in our backyard every year.

I’m ready to take the girls to the park and play outside and break out the bubble gun. They need to run free…they’re starting to get bored with being inside.

Storm Clouds

The only downside to Spring in my part of the country are the storms. The tornadoes, specifically. I’ve never been a fan of them…especially after loosing our house to one just a couple years after James and I had been married. Now that I have children, I am terrified that a storm will come through when I’m home alone with the girls and I’ll have to figure out how to get all three of us to the storm shelter…that’s outside….in the backyard…with very steep steps that toddlers aren’t able to get down by themselves.

Not a fan. Not. At. All.

Hopefully, the storms won’t be so bad this year and I won’t have to worry about it until next year.

Regardless, I’m ready for spring!

**The pictures in this post were taken by yours truly a couple of years ago. I really need to get my camera out more.

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March 10, 2013

March Meal Plan

I seem to keep getting behind on posting my meal plans…posting them a week late.

Bi-Monthly Meal Planning

I’ve been moving more and more toward easy & quick meals. I’m tired of being in the kitchen right now so I think that will be the trend with the warmer weather coming soon…I hope.

March Meal Plan Weeks 1 & 2

Sunday: Fish Sticks / Mac & Cheese / Corn
Monday:  Loaded Baked Potatoes (w/BBQ Brisket)
Tuesday:  Chicken Fried Rice
Wednesday:  Cheese & Black Bean Quesadillas
Thursday:  Biscuit Pizzas / Fruit
Friday:  Indian Tacos
Saturday:  Grilled Cheese / Tomato Soup

Sunday:  Chicken Cacciatore (Freezer Meal)
Monday:  Cheeseburger Helper / Peas
Tuesday:  BBQ Chicken Sandwiches / Sweet Potato Fries
Wednesday:  Scrambled Egg Sandwiches
Thursday:  Chicken Nuggets / Mashed Potatoes / Corn
Friday:  Pizza
Saturday:  Open / Date Night

 

These meals have made things so much easier especially since I have been in no mood to cook. They are also easy enough that hubs can cook if I refuse to enter the kitchen. ;)


March 9, 2013

Life Right Now

This has been a long week. I think it’s the first week since I had the girls that seemed to just creep. James and I were talking about last Thursday and it seemed like it was weeks ago.

Life right now is actually pretty boring. I guess that’s why I don’t blog about our every day very often. It’s just not that exciting. LOL

My double jogger arrived yesterday. We ordered it last weekend. I can’t wait to take it for a real test drive! The girls made me push them around the living room. They seem to like it and I think they’ll be happier being side by side so they can see each other and I think I’ll like it because it will be easier to push & navigate.

Speaking of walking. I feel like I should have more energy with all this exercise I’m getting but it just doesn’t seem to be happening. I need more energy. I don’t think it’s normal to want to go to bed before 7pm every night. I’m really hoping I’m still dealing with hormones and will get at least a little more energy back soon.

The girls have really been testing me this week. Oh have they been testing me. Don’t get me wrong, they are really fun right now but the throwing food and sippy cups climbing up and splatting themselves against the flat screen TV making a huge mess of their toys emptying out every cabinet, container and drawer they can get open part of toddlerhood is exhausting and I’m ready to be done with this little phase.

Fence-ClimbersTable-Climber
Tag-Team-ClimbersTV-Climber 
Double-Jogger

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March 6, 2013

No Bake Granola Bars

No-Bake-Granola-Bars

Sometimes I read ingredients on a box and am frightened by what I see. Then I usually end up doing some research to see if I can easily make my own. If I can't find an easy & quick solution I either take my chances and continue to buy the preservative filled goodie or I quite buying it altogether.

Thankfully, I found this easy recipe for no bake chocolate chip granola bars and we like them much better than the store bought granola bars.

After a few trials, I had to adjust the recipe a bit.

No Bake Granola Bars

 

No Bake Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

  • 3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 C. Honey
  • 1/3 C. Packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 C. Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1 C. Rice Krispies Cereal
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
  • Chocolate Chips

In a large bowl, stir oats and rice cereal together. Set Aside

In a small pot, melt butter, honey and brown sugar over medium high heat until it comes to a bubble. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Pour in vanilla and stir.

Pour over dry ingredients and mix well to coat all ingredients. Pour into a lightly greased small loaf or jelly roll type pan. (In the picture above, I quadrupled the recipe and used a sheet cake pan.) Press down the mixture and pack tightly. If your pan isn’t small enough, push the ingredients to one side until it’s packed firm (this is so they will stick together). Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and press down lightly into the mixture. Cool on the counter top for 2 hours.

*I cut them into bars and put them in the single serve Ziploc bags for a quick grab & go snack.

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