Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Miscellaneous

First of all, a BIG congrats to Emily C. from Maryland, our big lucky giveaway winner!  Go check out her blog at  Congrats Emily!  I will be sending out your prize shortly and I know the others are on their way.

* I had the BEST weekend!  It started with getting off work early on Friday to get my hair cut.  I have long, naturally curly hair.  It's always been long with the exception of an unfortunate boy cut when I was 8.  Man that haircut was horrid.  I decided to let my stylist go with it and give me a shorter do.  I didn't think I wanted to go this short but?  I love it.  Jason is still undecided.

Selfie with no makeup.  

My weekend continued on Saturday with grocery shopping, tons of chores around the house, a nap (Yay!) and a nice evening with my boys.  It was laid back but I still got a lot done.  Sunday was church nursery where I got to cuddle with all the babies.  This is a great solution for that baby fever that one may have.  Not that I know anything about that.  After church, the boys crashed for nap and I headed off to my monthly Stitch and Bitch over at my aunt's.  I have SUCH a good time doing this.  I am able to be crafty, get out of the house and visit with my family which I don't do often enough.

Overall, awesome weekend.  

* I am super excited for this coming weekend too!  My good friend Michelle is having her annual Easter party. She invites all her nieces, nephews, friends with kids and neighbors over.  There will be an Easter egg hunt in the field behind her house, toys for the kids, crafts and food.  It will be a blast!  I am sure Jack and Cal will love it too, especially since they will get to play with other kids their age.  

* Since school will be letting out soon, I want to sign the boys up for classes to occupy their time.  Jack adores going to school twice a week so I want to make sure he is getting enough activity and enrichment (that is such a hokey word).  I am planning on enrolling him in a tumbling class and probably some sort of music class for Cal since he is still so little and doesn't take much direction yet.

* I am contemplating starting Weight Watchers again.  I am afraid I won't be accountable and it will be a waste of money.  Let's face it, I have been kind of lazy with it in the past.  I need to do something structured and don't think My Fitness Pal would be enough of a motivator for me.

* I can't believe I am posting this right below my weight blurb, haha.  I made these muffins last week and Jack gobbled them up!  I think he ate more than any of the rest of us.  They aren't terribly bad for you and I have no qualms about giving him a muffin with vegetables in them.  They were delicious!  I plan on making them again but maybe with grated beets or zucchini.  

That's it for today!  Congrats again to Emily C!  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Weekend Bumming

Weekend Bumming

Sheer tunic / Seamless legging / Skimmer flat / Nine West red tote bag, $91 / Ball earrings

The outfit above is pretty on point to what I usually wear on the weekends.  I actually own the tunic (but in the dark green Target offered) as well as the same black flats and a pair of black leggings.

I don't own the bright red tote but I LOVE it!  I schlep all my stuff in a big purse on the weekend - water bottle, extra snacks, diapers if I have the boys with me - and I like that the bright red stands out.  I love color but am sometimes hesitant to wear it, if that makes sense.

I hardly ever wear earrings, but when I do, they are simple, like the fun mustard hoops above.

Comfort is key when I am running errands, grocery shopping and taking care of two active kiddos.  

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Boys' "Year" Pictures

I have made a tradition to get pictures of my boys every year.  This happened when Jack turned 1, then 2, and now 3.  Since they have birthdays so close together, I kill two birds with one stone and take them both at the same time.

I take them to Picture People at the mall because I get coupons and I can get a ton of pictures for less than $75.  They might not be "professional" but I don't care.  They are cute and cheap.

Jack's 3 year picture

 Cal's 1 year picture

Both boys at the same time.  I am amazed we could even get pictures of the two of them together.

Cheeeeese!  Matching outfits were purchased at H&M.  

They are so cute.  Their smiles kill me.

Cooking and Baking Oh My!

I have been cooking and baking lately but have neglected to take pictures of a lot of my stuff.  So instead you are going to get some pictures and mostly links on what I have made.

Jack and I were recently watching Food Network and they were showing pictures of cakes and he saw a green cake and immediately requested one.  Since St. Patrick's Day was yesterday, what better way to celebrate than with a green cake?

Jack and I had a blast making it.  He even did the decorating himself.  I love that some of the sprinkles are all smooshed towards the center.

Green cake in all its glory.

I used the following recipes for the cake and frosting.  I wanted to keep it simple.

Yellow Cake
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Keeping with the cake theme, a couple of weeks ago I had my younger sister and her beau over for her birthday dinner.  I let her choose the cake and she picked this one from my old cooking blog.

Yum!  Cookies and Cream Cake.  And for those lazy folks, it's a super easy one to make.

For dinners, I am trying to keep it easy since I am getting over the flu still (really).  I have made this Cheeseburger Crescent Roll Casserole.  It honest to God tastes like a cheeseburger.  Plus, it's easy and I usually have all the ingredients on hand with the exception of the American cheese and crescent rolls.

The beef stew below was a hit.  Jason loves anything with meat and potatoes.  I served another green veggie and rolls with it and it was the perfect Sunday dinner.  I got the recipe from my favorite crockpot cookbook.

Do you want to see the easiest snack ever for Cal?  It doesn't take any special ingredients and the only required prep is your freezer.

Homemade yogurt bites!

Get your favorite yogurt and plunk little blobs onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet.  Freeze until solid and store in the freezer.  Cal loves these because it's yogurt (one of his favorites) and they are cold which helps his new teeth that are coming in.

I have also been making recipes that I have found on Pinterest.  These have all been really great:

Spicy Sausage Pasta
Crockpot Chicken Parmesan
Crockpot Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli over rice

When I don't really feel like cooking but we still need to eat, my go-to meal for the family is baked chicken and sides.  I don't defrost the chicken first because I am lazy.  I always keep frozen or canned veggies on hand for easy meals so I can whip up dinner in less than 20 minutes (baking time not included).

I am constantly looking for recipe inspiration so if you have any go-to sites or books, that would be great!  Or just post your favorite meal here!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Are You Ready?

Are you ready for the most awesome giveaway ever?  Well than, keep reading!

I belong to a great community of internet friends that I met starting in 2006.  These ladies and I have teamed together to create the best blog giveaway for the month of March. This is my first giveaway on my blog and what better way to kick it off with a BANG!

You might be wondering who some of these ladies are and how I 'met' them.  Right after I got married and joined, I stumbled across the Decorating and Renovating board.  Even though I don't have the decorating abilities that most do, I truly clicked with the ladies on the board.  I have formed friendships with them even though I have never met them in person.  We chat daily through Facebook and other media and I am so blessed to call them my friends.

So to honor friendships, on the internet, in person, pen pals, or any other form, enter the best giveaway EVER (in my eyes at least).

Because we feel so lucky to be a part of this group, we want to share with you! Please take the time to "meet" each of the 10 wonderful ladies that are participating in this giveaway! Each person shares what they are giving away and a little about themselves below. Once you are done reading about everyone and their blogs or businesses, simply use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter! There is definitely something for everyone! Remember, this giveaway is Winner Take All, so the winner would be receiving something from each person! 
Crystal from My Ramblings is giving away a $25 Tupperware Gift Certificate! Here's what she has to say about her blog and giveaway item:
Hey y'all! I'm Crystal.  I'm a single girl in my (now late) 20s, who is still waiting for something magical to happen.  My blog is a mish mash of all the crazy fun things that go on in my life, and the random thoughts that just pop in my head! I'm giving away a $25 Tupperware Gift Card.  I am a Tupperware Consultant, and being in this business has changed my life so much. I love sharing our products with other people! 
Holly from When Two Became Four is giving away a doTerra Essential Oils Introductory Kit. Meet Holly and learn about this prize: 
I wear a lot of hats in life. Being a mom of twins, working in educational research, owning my own Tastefully Simple business, being a good wife, daughter, friend, etc. are all parts of me (and the mom hat is by FAR the best!). Sometimes you need a boost. doTerra's essential oils give me that boost for sure!

Whenever the girls or myself feel a cruddy sinus infection coming on, the Breathe blend is fantastic. On Guard is a great immune system booster for us. Eucalyptus feels great sprinkled onto a rice bag for a headache. I'm a big believer that essential oils are so important to maintain our well-being, and doTerra is simply the best.

My contribution to the Lucky Girlfriends giveaway is a doTerra introductory starter kit (full size lemon, peppermint and lavender oils), doTerra unscented lotion to use with the oils, and the very delicious and therapeutic doTerra lip balm with wild orange and peppermint essential oils.

The seasonal change is the perfect time to start a doTerra regimen, and I want to pass these along to a new "girlfriend" of mine! Good luck :)
Hope from The Wino That I Know is giving away a $10 Gift Card to Total Wine.  Here's what she says: 

While I haven't been enjoying much wine as of late, there's no reason you shouldn't! Total Wine is one of my favorite stores for browsing, sampling and purchasing new wines. I'm thrilled to give one lucky reader a $10 Total Wine gift card to experiment with some new wines.
Michelle from Sweet Tea and Tacos is so talented, that she wrote a book! She's giving away a copy of "To Hymn We Sing." Check out what she has to say about her blog and her book:

I'm Michelle, a 30 something music teacher who loves to sew, cook, do crafty projects around the house, and decorate. My blog represents my ADHD self - it's random. Some days you get my pregnancy rants, as we are expecting our first baby in August, and some days you get my favorite recipes, stories about my adorable dog, or the projects I'm working on around the house! Grab a glass of sweet tea and a taco, and swing on over to Texas at Sweet Tea and Tacos!

"To Hymn We Sing" is a devotional book based on the stories behind the hymn texts we know and love. Growing up in a Southern Baptist church, we sang hymn after hymn every Sunday, and they always captivated me. This book digs deeper into the text: what the author was going through when writing and what was going on in the world. It was a joy to research these hymns and tie them together with the Word and a devotion.
Mandy from This Girl's Life is giving away a Vintage Inspired Key Charm Beaded Necklace from her Etsy Shop, Love Squirrels.  Here's what she has to say about her blog: 

This Girl's Life is my personal blog about my adventures as a 30-something working mom of twin boys. I love anything that involves crafts, interior design and fashion, and I'm a bit addicted to good coffee and dark chocolate. Enjoying the journey of marriage, motherhood and lots of crafty projects in between!
Michelle from Dirt Road Damsel is giving away a $25 Gift Card to Hobby Lobby! Meet Michelle: 

Hey all! This is Michelle from Dirt Road Damsel. I am a twenty-something year old mom to two crazy little girls, a blogger, a crafter and a veteran army wife from Northeast Oklahoma. When I’m not working, hanging out with my husband, or chasing after my kids you can probably catch me with a glue gun in my hand. I love all things crafty and I am constantly thinking of new fun DIY projects to try out. So, it only makes perfect sense that my contribution on our BIG giveaway is a $25 gift card to my favorite store... Hobby Lobby! On a regular basis, I visit my local Hobby Lobby at least twice a week. It is my go to place for everything crafty and fun! If I won a gift card from there, I can guarantee you I would make a beeline right to the scrapbooking department to load up on vinyl for my Cricut and cute scrapbooking embellishments! Good luck!
Amanda from Pixel Perfect Invitations is giving away a Custom Invitation Design! Meet Amanda and learn about her business: 

My name is Amanda, and I'm the designer at Pixel Perfect Invitations.  I have a degree in Media, with an Art minor. I've been designing custom invitations for friends and family for about 7 years, but recently decided to open my business up to a wider audience. Check out my Facebook page, where you can see samples of my work.  The winner of this giveaway will receive a custom invitation design, where you will get a digital copy that you can print yourself. I look forward to designing your next invitations! Every Pixel will be Perfect! 
Rachel from Baby Makes Three...And Now Four is giving away a LeapFrog Discovery House! Meet Rachel and learn why she loves this toy: 

My blog started out as a baby blog to document my pregnancy and raising my son but it morphed. Although I still consider myself a “Mommy Blogger”, I have other interests! I love to knit, cook, read and talk about myself. Enjoy my ramblings about being a mom and about my life.

I recently posted about my boys’ favorite things so in honor of that post, I am giving away a LeapFrog My Discovery House. This is such a fun toy! Yes, even though it has buttons and makes noise, I promise it’s not annoying. Your kiddo will learn all kinds of things while working on their fine motor skills. Each side of the house has a different house related activity (a refrigerator, a doorbell) and there are plenty of knobs, buttons and sliders to keep your little one occupied. Both my 1 year old and 3 year old LOVE this toy.
Crystal is a Tastefully Simple Consultant. Learn about her business and her awesome prize: 

Studies show that 80% of American households have no idea what is for dinner by 4 pm each day. Does this sound familiar, even some of the time? Tastefully Simple is the original in-home tasting party company, and our specialty is offering easy, tasty mealtime solutions that everyone loves! Whether you need a quick dip to take to a picnic or potluck, or you want to make a gourmet tasting meal with time constraints, we can help. Like my Facebook Page, and post a quick hello to me and leave your name, city and state! 

My prize for the giveaway is our new Chillin' Out gift set. This set comes in a lemon yellow gift bag containing our excellent new Dill Pickle Dip Mix and a lovely lime green ceramic dip chiller. Perfect for those hot afternoons! Retail Value: $36.95.

If you would like to try our products, go to my website and place an order! Your order will come directly to your door by UPS and you will receive an additional entry in the giveaway.
Katie from Stumbled Onto The Blogwagon is giving away a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card! Meet Katie and find out why: 

KT LOVES books! You can read about her adventures in reading 50 books in 52 weeks in 2011 or check out what she's read this year (and the grades she's given each book). Gift card is good for purchases at and in-store.

If you've been keeping track, that's over $225 worth of awesome prizes! One lucky person will get them all! Use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter. The only mandatory entry is that you leave a comment on this post. There are tons of optional entries available. We strongly encourage you to visit as many of the ladies as possible and show them some love for sponsoring this giveaway.  Winner will be announced after the giveaway closes on Friday, March 15 and the winner is verified. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Prizes are sponsored by the individuals unless otherwise stated. This giveaway is not in conjunction with any company and any information gathered during entry will only be used to verify winners.* 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 1, 2013

Jack's 3rd Birthday Party

Wow, I didn't even realize I had forgotten to post about Jack's party and birthday.  That is how ucky I have been feeling lately.

Time for some Curious George fun!  Jack turned 3 on Saturday February 2nd and that is the same day we had his party.  He is loving Curious George right now so that is the theme I went with.

I ordered his invitations off of Etsy and the image is below.

Obviously it had Jack's information on it so this is not the exact invite.

I was going to do a theme of yellow and brown but decided that all the primary colors in the invitation were much more fun and colorful.

Enjoy all the pictures below.  It was a lot of fun to throw this party and Jack had an absolute blast!

Balloons for the birthday boy!

The food was all store bought this time but I am okay with that.

Roll up sandwiches, bags of chips, bananas for decoration - duh, Curious George is a monkey, fruit salad and juice boxes.  All kid friendly food!

The cupcakes were Costco as well.  Way more budget friendly than a cake!  We got 24 cupcakes and they cost $27.96.  And note how HUGE they were!

Cupcake toppers and Curious George banner are from this Etsy seller.  I was super happy for the quality and Jack thought they were super fun.

I wanted the favors for Jack's birthday to be different from Cal's and I left the decision up to Jack.  When I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, his answer was exactly this:  "Cake, balloons, candy......cake".  So candy it is!  I did an inexpensive candy buffet.

Even the adults thought this was fun.  

Jack had such a good time but as always, he is so busy and hard to get to pose for pictures!  Some other photos from the day:

Spoiled kiddo!

Trying to get Jack to smile is near to impossible.

Eating lunch but not impressed with the camera.

Time to open presents!

Cal thought this Curious George was pretty cool.

The living room chaos!

 Daddy asked him to pose for this picture.  Too bad it's blurry because it was super funny.

Jack got a bunch of clothes, jammies, a hardcover Curious George book which he has read every night since the party, a Curious George game, a Nerf basketball set and a ton of DVDs.  

I can't believe my baby is 3.  I swear to God the time flies so fast.  It's hard to keep up with just how much he is learning, doing and saying.  He is so grown up.

::Sigh::  I still remember vividly the day he was born.  

We love you Jack.  You will always be our Number 1 son!