March 31, 2015

Last Minute Easter Basket Ideas

If you're anything like me, you have good intentions of having things done well ahead of time. Like Easter, for example, I have been brainstorming ideas for TnT's Easter baskets for at least a month now but do I have anything?

Nope.

Thank goodness for Amazon Prime! Can I get an "Amen"? If you don't have Amazon Prime you should really get it. It's soooo worth it! We were a little hesitant at first but it has more than paid for itself. Right now you can get a Free 30-Day Trial.

Ok, back to the Easter baskets, I'm going to keep it simple this year and just have a few things.

Last Minute Easter Basket Ideas | Just Wait til You have Kids

  1. Pinkalicious: Eggstraordinary Easter
  2. Happy Easter, Mouse
  3. Melissa & Doug Tote Set
  4. Melissa & Doug Bunny

I'm always about having books for the girls to read so a couple of Easter themed books is always a good idea. They are also showing an interest in gardening lately so when I saw the Melissa & Doug Tote, I new they had to have one. And that bunny! I couldn't resist adding two of those to my cart.

Of course I'll add in a tiny bit of candy and a couple things I may have picked up at the Target Dollar Spot but Amazon is totally saving me this year. I'm such a slacker. LOL

Need more ideas? Shop Amazon's Easter Shop where you can browse all Easter related items by category.

*This post may contain affiliate links. Any purchases made from these links help to support my family and this blog.

March 29, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan + Week 13

Weekly Meal Plan Header

Have I told you how much of a love/hate relationship I have with meal planning? I hate the actual process of meal planning but my reasons for loving it far outweigh my hate. I love it for a number of reasons including the stress it takes off my days. I also love that, right now, we typically have enough leftovers for lunch the next day or for dinner on a night that might be too busy for me to cook a whole new meal.

Last week's tornado scare messed up the meal plan. I was too on edge that night to cook so we rummaged through the fridge and ate whatever we could find. I ended up eating cereal at 10pm that night.

Anyway, all that to say some meals got shifted. Which I don't mind because that's a couple less meals I have to come up with for the next week.

2015-Week-13-Meal-Plan

Recipes:

March 27, 2015

Let's . . .go . . . fly a kite

So we had a fairly eventful week. Wednesday was really exciting….but not in the good sense.

Would you believe it if I told you that we had another tornado in Moore? You probably would because I hear it made national news.

If you are keeping count, that's 2 major losses due to tornadoes (1999 & 2013), minor damage from 1 tornado (2003), and one too close for comfort (this week….it was 2 miles from our house). I swear I need a t-shirt that says "Tornado Magnet". See also, I hate Spring. See also, Can we just skip to Summer, please?

03 25 15_0914
03 25 15_0918

The next day, Thursday, was beautiful! The girls had been begging to fly a kite. I think they got the idea from TV. Anyway, JMac finally gave in and went & found some kites in the dollar spot at Target.

To say the girls were excited was an understatement.

03 26 15_0883 03 26 15_0887
03 26 15_0892

Tensley was a pro. She had more patience than I've ever seen and she was really good at keeping her kite up…she even made her kite do "loopty loops" (I have no idea how she was able to do that with a $3 kite).

03 26 15_0890
03 26 15_0897

Tillie did good too but she got bored pretty quick and I ended up taking over.

03 26 15_0900
03 26 15_0899

Thursday almost made up for Wednesday.

Let's hope next week is uneventful.

March 24, 2015

Learning Time + Number Cards

Just Wait til You have Kids | Learning Time: Teaching Number Recognition and Counting with Number Cards

I'm back with another learning activity for your toddler/preschooler. This time it's to teach counting and numbers.

I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to teach TnT their numbers and counting. I have searched to the ends of the internets trying to find activities that I thought would be suitable for them. It hasn't been easy. Almost everything I found seemed to advanced for them and then I found Number Cards.

I loved these number cards because they were simple and didn't have a lot of other distracting things on them. They were just colored cards with numbers.

 

Skills Learned:

  • Fine Motor – the pinching of the clothes pins is great to strengthen those little fingers to prepare them for writing
  • Number recognition
  • Counting

Just Wait til You have Kids | Learning Time: Teaching Number Recognition and Counting with Number Cards

 

This activity is extremely simple and inexpensive to pull together. I suggest laminating them for durability.

Materials:

Just Wait til You have Kids | Learning Time: Teaching Number Recognition and Counting with Number Cards

 

Instructions:

Once you've printed the number cards, laminate (optional) and cut apart. Have child place a clothes pin on each number on each card. Have them say the number on each card and count as they are placing the clothes pins on each number.

I clip the cards together with a binder clip and then them with the clothes pins in a Ziploc baggie.

Just Wait til You have Kids | Learning Time: Teaching Number Recognition and Counting with Number Cards

The girls love this activity. I think mainly because they get to "play" with the clothes pins but if learning number recognition and counting is just a side effect, I'll take what I can get. I can even see using these cards in the future to teach addition and subtraction.

300x300

March 22, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan + Week 12

I'm so glad I bought a bunch of meat that was on sale a couple weeks ago. It made my grocery list for this week pretty short.

Our weather is going to be beautiful this week and we have SO enjoyed eating dinner on the patio lately so we're going to be doing some grilling for a couple of our meals.

2015-Week-12-Meal-Plan

Recipes

 

Don't forget to grab your FREE Weekly Meal Planner printable!

March 19, 2015

A Dessange Miracle?

I have never been one to primp or worry much about my appearance. It's not that I don't care or don't put any effort into the way I look, I just don't spend hours on hair and makeup. If my routine (including a shower) takes more than an hour then something gets omitted.

However, here lately my hair has been frizzy. It's bad enough that it's gotten noticeably thin in the last few years and now I have to worry about frizzy thin hair. No bueno! I've tried using more conditioner on my hair and trying to style it less (as much as possible) but it still ends up being frizzy.

Dessange Oleo Miracle Collection

I was at a loss. Then I received the Oleo Miracle Replenish Collection from Influenster. The collection is for overprocessed/damaged hair and  included shampoo, conditioner and a replenishing oil. I put the shampoo and conditioner in the shower and put the oil away in my cabinet thinking I would pass it on to someone else because did I mention I also have oily hair? Yep, bad hair day is my middle name. Anyway, I put the oil away because in my mind, oily hair and oily products just don't mix.

I've been using the shampoo and conditioner for a few days now and I can't tell you that it's done anything miraculous to my hair but my hair has been a little bit softer. The only thing I don't care for the shampoo and conditioner is the smell. It doesn't smell bad but it has a musky smell to it that reminds me of an old lady (please don't make me define old lady and please tell me you know what I'm talking about with the smell.)

My frizziness was sticking around so I decided to bite the bullet and open up the Dessange Oleo Replenishing Oil. I just used a couple drops and only applied it to the ends of my hair before blow drying it. The smell of the oil is much better than the shampoo and conditioner, by the way. After blow drying my hair I was amazed! The frizziness was completely gone and my hair feels so soft.

If you don't need the products for Overprocessed/damaged hair they also have a Color Restore Collection. Also, for all you blondes out there they have the Solar Blonde Naturale Collection and the California Blonde Collection.

You can get these products at Target and right now it looks like if you spend $20, you can get a $5 Target Gift Card!

Have you tried Dessange products? What did/do you think?

*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

March 17, 2015

Easter Fashion + Mommy & Me

I've been browsing for some Easter dresses the past few days and put together some Mommy & Me looks that I would love for Me and the girls to have.

If you've been following me for a while, you know I love a good bargain so these looks shouldn't break your budget.

I have two looks for you, one mommy & me look and one just for mommy look, so scroll down and let me know what you think!

I don't know about you but I love pairing Navy with pastels. It's kind of non-traditional for Easter but I'm typically a non-traditional girl.

Easter-Fashion_Navy-&-Mint

Everything above is from one of my favorite shops, Maurice's. Right now you can get 25% off the entire site now through 3/21/15! Use code 2015MARCH.

Handbags and shoes are also BOGO 50% through 3/21/15. Use code MORE315.

Easter-Fashion_Navy-Mint

  1. Cardigan
  2. Dress
  3. Shoes
  4. Headband (not pictured)

And here's one more look for you momma's. I just couldn't help myself!

Easter-Fashion_Teal-&-Linen

Once again, everything above is from one of my favorite shops, Maurice's. Be sure to use code 2015MARCH to get 25% off and don't forget the BOGO 50% off handbags and shoes with code MORE315.

What do you think? Do you like any of these looks?

 

*This post may contain affiliate links. Any purchases made from these links help to support my family and this blog.

March 16, 2015

Are you following along?

I know I have some social media icons up there at the top of this page but I just wanted to make sure y'all know where all you can find me. ;)

I've been thinking about streamlining my accounts into one user name but just haven't decided which one I want to go with. Maybe someday…..

Until then, you can find me as one of the three listed below

  • justwaittilyouhavekids
  • embellishology
  • heatherleigh

I don't know why the button is gone from my blog (Note to self: get it back) but you can follow me on Bloglovin.

Just Wait Til You Have Kids

Are you on Instagram? Follow my personal account where I post about the girls, every day life and sometimes I'll even post about what's on my blog @heatherleigh.

If you want to see my latest projects and products from my Etsy shop account follow me @embellishology

Everyone is on Pinterest, right? You can find me and my recipes, home décor and parenting boards under @embellishology

Follow Me on Pinterest

I do have a Facebook page for my Etsy shop. I don't post to it often (trying to get better about that) and the page name is the name of my old Etsy shop but I'd love for you to follow along there.

Twitter used to be my go to social media platform before Instagram. It's a good way to keep up with both my blog and Etsy shop because I post about both @embellishology


You can also find me on Google+

Are there any other social media platforms I'm missing? I feel like I'm everywhere! LOL

March 15, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan + Week 11 (& FREE Printable!)

Just Wait til You have Kids | Weekly Meal Plan Printable

I feel like I'm back on track this week with meal planning. I've got some good meals planned since my fridge, freezer and pantry have been re-stocked!

I also took advantage of some good weather days this week and planned some meals that require using the grill (hello Spring!) We are loving being able to eat out on our patio!

Just Wait til You have Kids | Weekly Meal Plan + Week 11

Recipes

 

Ok, so I finally took this little Weekly Meal Plan template I've been using here on the blog and turned it into a free printable for all of you, my lovely readers!

I printed it for myself and framed it to hang in my kitchen. I've been wanting to do this F-O-R-E-V-E-R and just now got around to it and I LOVE it!

Just Wait til You have Kids | Weekly Meal Plan Printable Freebie

Download the file HERE or on my Freebies page.

March 12, 2015

Learning Time + Cookie Sheet Magnet Boards

Cookie-Sheet-Activities

One of TnT's favorite homeschool activities is (Cookie Sheet) Magnet Boards. I love this activity because you can teach so many things with the use of Cookie Sheet Magnet Boards.

Skills Taught

  • Colors
  • Numbers & counting
  • Letters
  • Math
  • Fine motor development

Cookie-Sheet-Activity_Numbe

To make your Cookie Sheet Magnet Board you will need the following materials:

  • Cookie Sheet large enough to fit letter size paper (I got mine at the Dollar Tree)
  • Round Magnets
  • 1" Pom Poms (Various colors)
  • Letter Magnets – I have these in Upper and Lower case
  • Glue Gun

After a couple attempts, I found that using a hot glue gun works best for keeping the pom poms on the magnets. E6000 would have probably worked as well  but I didn't want to deal with the smell since I was making a large batch of magnets.

Free Printable Worksheets

To find worksheets, I simply searched Cookie Sheet Activities on Pinterest. Do-A-Dot worksheets also work great for this activity.

These are some of the worksheets we have used most often. I suggest laminating them for long term use.

Cookie-Sheet-Activity_Lette
The worksheets pictured above are from COAH Letter of the Week curriculum.

*This post may contain affiliate links. Any purchases made from these links help to support my family and this blog.

hands-on projects for makers of all ages!

March 10, 2015

A Re-visit to TnT in Onederland

I'm linking up today with Twin Talk to celebrate their 1st Birthday! Happy Birthday Twin Talk!

Teacup-Chandelier

Since I broke up TnT's 1st birthday into 2 posts, I thought I'd summarize it all in one post.

I designed all the printables including the Save the Dates and Invitations. I sent out Save the Dates because their birthday is July 7th so being so close to 4th of July weekend, I wanted to give family and friends notice well ahead of time so they could make plans accordingly (if they wanted to come).

Save-the-Date

Onederland-Invitation

To see the décor in Part 1 of The Very Merry Birthday, Click Here.

Mad-Hatter-Tea-Party-Overvi

I never did a post on the Food but here is the post for all the printables I used for the food table.

Onederland-Deets-Drink-Me

Last but definitely not least, my babies on their FIRST BIRTHDAY!

TnT-Birthday-Chairs

I hope you enjoyed the recap of TnT's 1st Birthday! I can't believe they will be FOUR this year! Waaaaa!

March 9, 2015

Weekend Recap

TnT-Umbrellas

We woke up today to rain and it's been raining ALL day. I'm ready for some sunshine!

Ok, on to our weekend recap….with bullet points.

Friday Night

  • My parents came over for pizza and movie night. We watched Book of Life. It was a pretty cute movie but not sure it's one we will be adding to our collection.

 

Saturday

 

  • My FIL came over to entertain JMac & the girls while I knocked out some Saturday chores. Just kidding, he came over for a visit and I just snuck away to get some things done.

 

  • Speaking of chores, JMac and I worked on cleaning out our 3rd car garage. Our plans have always been to make it a workout room and now that the weather is getting warmer, it's time to start getting bathing suit ready so the workout room has become a priority.

 

  • We had a little mishap with our alarm system Saturday evening. An unfortunate placement of a smoke detector outside of our bathroom led to the fire department being called out to our house and then we couldn't get the dang alarm to go off.

 

  • To try to calm our nerves from the alarm situation, we all got our jammies on and headed up to the theatre room and watched The Box Trolls (our theatre room has more than paid for itself with the amount of time we spend up there). I thought the movie was weird and didn't really get it. JMac & (I'm pretty sure) the girls agreed. Am I missing something with this movie??

Sunday

  • I got up before everyone else and made some blueberry muffins from scratch (recipe). They were so good! They tasted just like my favorite Betty Crocker Blueberry muffins (the kind with the Real blueberries). They weren't that pretty but delicious so who cares, right?

From Scratch Blueberry Muffins

  • I spent the rest of the day doing laundry, cleaning up the laundry room, meal planning, making my grocery and just getting ready for the week ahead. It's kind of my Sunday ritual.

So we had a pretty good weekend. The sun was shining and the weather was beautiful so we were all in a great mood. We are looking forward to more warm sunny days so hopefully the good weather is here to stay.

March 8, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan + Week 10

My lack of organization and budgeting has left me scrambling to find ingredients to make meals for this week (and the previous few weeks). Oops.

I've spent the better part of today trying to get back on track getting organized. The great thing is the fatigue I've been battling is fading away so I have had a couple of days now with a little more energy.

2015-Week-10-Meal-Plan

Sorry, no links to recipes this week since I'm flying by the seat of my pants. LOL

March 6, 2015

Five on Friday: FREE Spring Printables

We haven't had much snow and ice this year but I'm already over it. I'm ready for warmer temps and the cheerful Spring décor so today I'm sharing with you some fun Spring printables that can be found on my Freebies page.

One

I did a tutorial on a spring wreath a couple years ago. It comes with a free mini printable banner. I lost this wreath along with all my other holiday decorations in the tornado so I'm thinking I need to make this one again.

Grass Wreath Tutorial

Two

How about a bunny shaped subway print? I have one available HERE.

Easter-Freebie

Three

New to my Freebies page is this 5x7 Peeps Print.

I-love-my-Peeps-5x7

Four

St. Patty's Day is coming up. Take some fun photos with these free photo props.

St-Pattys-Freebie

Five

Spring is almost here y'all! How about welcoming it with this new bunny print also just added to my Freebies page.

Welcome-Spring-Print

 

 

March 4, 2015

Monthly Goals Recap + March Goals

I'm so embarrassed to write this post but I'm doing it anyway to keep myself accountable.

Before I go into my excuses, let's recap last month's goals.

February Goals

  • Work on organizing recipes
  • Schedule our days better (and stick to the to-do list!)
  • Eat healthier
  • Finish Organizing the playroom

Notice NONE of them are crossed out. ::hangs head in shame:: I blame the weather, illness and fatigue. I was doing good just to make dinner, clean the kitchen and stay caught up on laundry (big fat fail on the laundry too, btw.)

I think organizing my recipes is going to continue to be put off. It requires sitting down at my computer and if the girls are awake, being able to sit down is very rare and if I do get to sit down, I'm usually up every 5 minutes refilling drinks, getting snacks or wiping butts.

Scheduling our days better didn't really happen simply because of all the things mentioned above. I did, however, start a new system on creating my to-do list to where it's doable and I can stick to it. So far it's working out pretty good so maybe that goal can be check marked but not crossed off completely.

We ate a little bit healthier and I've become more aware of what we are eating (ingredients wise). However, once the the girls started getting sick and my fatigue kicked in, it was junk food city around here. Ugh, such a bad habit.

The playroom still isn't where I want it to be as far as organization but I did take steps to finish it by ordering some bins from Land of Nod. It's getting there but isn't finished just yet.

March Goals

March Goals

  • Wake up earlier on weekdays
  • Work on adding products to my Etsy Shop
  • Deep Clean one room each week
  • One date night
  • One Mom's night out

Have you made your goals for March yet?

March 3, 2015

TnT's Favorites: A Book List

TnT's Favorite Books

When TnT were babies, I wasn't that great about reading to them. Since we've starting doing pre-school homeschool, I've amped up my reading game. We've also made many trips to the library.

These are currently TnT's top 10 favorite books.

Books-for-Preschoolers

10 Great Books for Preschoolers

  1. Pout Pout Fish 
  2. Barnyard Dance – we like to get up and act out this one.
  3. Ladybug Girl Says Good Night – actually all of the Ladybug Girl series are favorites in our house
  4. Elephant & Piggie: Should I Share My Ice Cream
  5. Winken Blinken and Nod – a fun bedtime story
  6. Goodnight Moon – this one has been a favorite for a couple of years
  7. The Jesus Storybook Bible – SO awesome for little ones.
  8. Minnie Bow-toons: Trouble Times Two – especially cute for twins
  9. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
  10. Chicka Chicka 1,2,3

March 2, 2015

Snow Day Fun + A Weekend Recap in Pictures

Did everyone have fun in the snow these past few days? We sure did!

TnT have been asking when it's going to snow for weeks. We finally had some fairly decent snow amounts this past weekend. It was a dry snow so it wasn't that great for building snowmen (although it certainly didn't keep us them from trying) but it was just right for sledding and playing.

I really needed to go to the store on Friday and wanted to go early before the snow hit but I had to be here for the HVAC guys so they could work on our system. By they time they were done and I finally got the girls dressed and ready to go the snow had started to fall. By the time we left the store there was a good couple of inches on the ground!

Snow Day Fun 2015 Before
Just as the snow started to fall.

Snow Day Fun 2015 Grocery Store
At the store with covered up and equipped with snacks.

Snow Day Fun 2015 After
Two hours later and there's LOTS of snow!

Snow Day Fun 2015 Tensley
Tensley as happy as she could be.

Snow Day Fun 2015 Tillie

Snow Day Fun 2015 Snowman
Do you wanna build a snowman?

Snow Day Fun 2015 Snow Gear
Snow day aftermath.

 

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