Tuesday, January 31, 2017

February's Menu Wish List

I had high hopes to share with you some great new to us meals today but between being sick for 10 days and being ridiculously busy mealtimes were simple and never photographed. But because I feel like it's been forever since I've been in the kitchen, making delicious meals for the guys and me, I decided to go "shopping" on Pinterest for some wish list meals to add to February's menu.


I've found 5 recipes I want to add to our rotation this month. I'm hoping to add some new flavors and combinations. All photos are from the links shared below each photo and you'll find all the details on each recipe at the original website, which is linked as well. Up first is a one-pan dish, which is all the rave these days.


This one dish chicken and veggie combo has everything you need for a full belly and complete meal. I am huge fan of pesto so this is going on the menu ASAP. I think I could really personalize the dish with our favorite veggies, too. We've been eating a lot of sweet potatoes and I can't get enough of them. Does pesto and sweet potatoes even go together? We are about to find out!


We love meatballs, mostly because it's one thing Connor won't turn down. But these chicken meatballs would be a fun twist on a family favorite. They don't require a lot of tricky ingredients either and I think we could use them for lunch all week long, too. Bonus that this recipe includes it's on dipping sauce. 


I've started a tasty habit of making a fresh pot of soup on Friday night and having it on hand for a quick lunch on Saturday or an easy dinner on Sunday night. Lucky for me, James hasn't complained yet about my love affair with this weekend tradition. I haven't found a soup with tortellini I love just yet so I'm thinking it will be a great addition to the soups we love and make so often. 


When I stumbled across this recipe, I was thrilled to see it's designed to feed a smaller crowd. I would love to have this breakfast bake for dinner but don't need a large serving for just the 3 of us. Most casseroles call for a 9x13 pan but this one is the exception. I am going to make this Thursday and hope it does the trick for us.


James and I both love lemon cake. As in when we order dessert at a restaurant we tend to fight a bit about who gets the last bite of the cake. Our wedding cake was lemon as well. We just had date night and shared a slice of Italian Lemon Cake. I think for Valentine's Day I'll try my hand at making a lemon cake from scratch. 

I hope that now that I feel better and things are back to normal in our household that I'll be able to spend a bit more time in the kitchen. I have to admit I'm fairly hungry now thanks to these tasty finds. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday Favs: Mickey, Burritos and Bath Time

Happy Friday, friends! Guess what? I'm HEALTHY! I've finally kicked my hearing issue that occurred after getting a wicked combination of strep and laryngitis. This week is the first time I've felt human in a while and I hope I've been sick enough to last me the entire year. Also, winter has arrived here and I'm hoping that means no more sinus/allergy issues because of wacky weather changes. Here is a bit of our week in review and random thoughts.


{ONE}


I wanted to get Connor something Disney for our trip next month and when I saw this sweatshirt on clearance for just $12.88 I snagged it up. I had to get a 5T which is a bit big for him but that just means he will get to wear it longer. I snapped a photo to send to a friend to critique the size and this is what Connor gave me to work with. Can we say tired? If he would just sleep all night, he would be more rested. He was actually excited that we found his size, you just can't tell through his zombie stare.

{TWO}


I scored this black Relic bag from Kohl's as a Christmas gift. I have the same exact one in brown, too. It's my favorite bag and as you can see it's deep enough to hold my planner. I also like how there are two pockets on the front. This is where I put my keys and phone. There are pockets inside, too. #givemeallthepockets It's currently on sale right now and you can use coupons, too. Just in case anyone is looking for a new bag.

{THREE}


I have finally found my cooking groove again. I made green chili and sour cream chicken burritos with homemade black beans and rice this week and it was delicious. We had plenty of leftovers too and I've had those for lunch. You can find the recipe for the green chili sour cream sauce HERE and the rice recipe HERE. Both are simple but so tasty. James was surprised by the flavor of the rice and beans. I'll be making both again for sure.

{FOUR}


I just finished this book and had such high expectation for it and was left disappointed. The book itself is good but I finished it wanting more. It's been a long time since I've read a book that left me aching for more. As you know I read all the time so this is discouraging. Has anyone read anything lately that has just left them wanting more? Share it with me! I need a book that hurts.

{FIVE}


Our family was offered the chance to try this new to us kids shampoo and wash and conditioner from So Cozy* and oh my gosh! We love it. I've never used conditioner on Connor's hair before and it made such a difference in how easy it was for us to style his hair. He has two really strong growth patterns and I was told to try to "soften" his hair with conditioner to help tame them. I am pleasantly surprised at how that actually worked. Bonus points for it the product smelling really good, too! We also gave the mousse a try and Connor's hair stayed styled so much longer than usual so I think mousse is the trick to styling his stubborn hair. You can find it at Target, CVS and Walgreens.

Tonight we are celebrating my niece's 11th birthday, tomorrow I have a MOPS mid-year retreat and then church on Sunday. I hope to work on my consignment items a bit too. I don't want to wait till the last minute, it's really time consuming.

Here is a recap of this week's post for those of you who may have missed something: 


Thank you for all the kind comments, emails and text messages about my posts on Tuesday and Wednesday. I was really transparent with both posts and hoped to connect with others who know what I'm going through. I can now say that I am not alone when it comes to my spending struggles and motherhood insecurities. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

* I received this sponsored product free for my review from BrandBacker. All opinions are my own. We only share with our friends products and services we love.

Happy weekend, friends!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

School Day Shenanigans | Winter Day in the Life

Last Summer I decided I wanted to do quarterly day in the life style posts. These can be either loved or hated by readers because of all the details that can go into them but as a mom blogger who uses their blog as their child's baby book, they are a must. So with all that in mind, I started sharing a day in the life with you all and it's been fun sharing every day life. Here are the recaps of Summer 2015Winter 2016, Summer 2016 and Fall 2016 {Spring is missing #sorryImnotsorry}. And now, here is a typical winter day with our family. 


I decided to use yesterday for our DITL post because I forgot to take photos on Monday and Tuesday. This is pretty much what a normal day is like, especially on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays since those are our school days. Also the photos included in today's posts are straight from my phone so they are as unedited as they come.


My day started at 7:09 when I decided to stop hitting the snooze button, although I only hit it once this morning. #smallvictories. I shower, do my makeup and get dressed before waking Connor up around 7:40. I change his clothes, brush his teeth and we head downstairs for breakfast and cartoons before school. 


I've been working on a side braid and it's finally coming together so I snapped a selfie to show a few friends that have been so nice about dealing with me sharing my love/hate on learning how to braid. Yes, I'm 34 years old and just learning how to braid.  


While Connor ate breakfast, I made my to do list and myself a protein smoothie for breakfast. This is my go to breakfast on school mornings since it's simple and keeps me full till lunch around 12:45. Connor will be at school for 3 hours and I wanted to get a handful of things done before picking him up so a list is a must. 


Drop off is at 9:15. We've been working on Connor carrying his own book bag. It seems simple but my gosh, he wants his Momma to do all.the.things. for him. Connor loves school and going is never an issue. Although he has mentioned wanting to be homeschooled. I think that's because a few of his friends are. 


I get back home and start on my to do list. First up is the laundry that needs put away. I've never been a clean clothes in the laundry basket person but I've been a bit lazy lately. Once laundry is done, I clean up our bedroom and Connor's and finish off my list - dishes, toys and vacuuming. 


I have about 35 minutes before heading out to get Connor from school so I jump online and read a handful of blogs and answer a few emails. I try to read blogs when Connor is at school so that I'm not on my laptop a ton when he is around. I really need to add the Bloglovin' app to my phone. 


After picking up Connor, we grab lunch and head to our friend's for a play date. We visited with Nili from Handfuls of Life. Nili and I meet through MOPS and became fast friends. She started blogging in the Fall so check out her blog. We play till 3 then head home. 


On the way home we stop and got a box of sweet treats for after dinner. Mine is the Andes Mint cupcake because in my world, mint make everything better. Connor insisted on getting pink sprinkles cookies because "Daddy likes cookies with pink". Truth: Connor likes cookies. Daddy has nothing to do with it. 


When we get home Connor plays and I start to go through my consignment items. I spent about an hour working through the stuff I have and only labeled 9 shirts and 13 DVD's. I am so happy I started now and didn't wait till the last minute. I only hope the money I make is worth the time it takes to prep. 


While I cook dinner, Connor plays "science experiment". This is his new thing since I've put into place a rule of no TV/iPad after 5PM. While it creates a lot of clean-up, I've enjoyed our time together in the kitchen. 


After dinner we put together a puzzle that shouldn't have stressed me out but did. Puzzles aren't something I usually enjoy but Connor did really well with this one and I enjoyed our teamwork. 


Connor had that blue cupcake and boy did he enjoy it! We instantly had to take a bath. Bath time can be a mess most nights, something about it hypes Connor up. But last night, it went pretty well. 


Connor is asleep by 8:15PM. James read him a couple of books and then I put him to bed. We have to stay with him till he falls asleep. As you know sleep is tricky around here so the fact that he was in bed and asleep without tears and tantrums before 8:30 is a win for us. 

Once C is in bed, I sat down to put this post together while James and I watch Shameless. Does anyone watch this show? It's a total mess and a guilty pleasure for sure. 

There you have it. That's a day in the life for our family during the winter, on a school day. Nothing too exciting but I love photographing and sharing our daily lives. These are the days I'll miss when this time next year we'll have a 5 year old in pre-K so I'll forever cherish our days of being home together! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

10 Bible Verses for the Stressed Momma Living in the Witching Hour

I am going to start today's post off with making a bold statement. Either you will agree with me whole-heatedly or you will look at me as being completely over-dramatic. I'm taking my chances that the bulk of my readers are going to agree with me.

Motherhood isn't something that you float through unscathed. 

I didn't really realize this honest truth until about 6 moths ago. I'm not trying to say the previous 3.5 years were a walk in the park but they didn't compare or prepare us for what we've been seeing as parents from Connor in the last 6 months. And before you think I'm going to start throwing verbal assaults at CJ, I'm not. I love my son more than life itself, painfully so, but sometimes, I have to dig a bit deeper to find ways to like him. Some days the like is easy to find, it's right there in front of my eyes, no need for digging, others take a bit more effort in locating. #honestmomFTW

Connor is chatty, full of energy, needs, thoughts, opinions and more personality in his 3 foot 4 inch body than I ever thought possible. Unless he is sleeping he is making noise. He wants to be right with me, touching, talking, being the curious child he is supposed to be. Spending all day, every day with him physically, emotionally and mentality exhausts me. If I were to tell you what an entire day with Connor is, I'd have to describe it as the never-ending witching hour. Doesn't that sound warm and fuzzy, Mommas?

I have to admit I hate feeling this way. I find myself drifting off to bed telling myself I'll be a better parent tomorrow. I'll lose my cool less, hug a little more and make sure that his needs are meet quickly without me asking him to "give me a sec, Con". I'll be the mother I always thought I'd be: the perfect one, the one Connor rightfully deserves.

I don't know how to work through this struggle other than to pray myself through this season and to the next phase of parenthood. A year from now I may look back on this experience and laugh. Heck, I may cry, both tears of joy and tears of sorrow for my little boy will no longer be a 4 year old. You really never know. But when I'm feeling more stressed than usual, when I'm all out of patience and I find myself struggling to see the bright side of our day, I know it's time for me to retreat a bit and spend time in God's word once C is tucked in bed. To pray over my household, my son, my relationship with my husband and only child. To step back and see the glory and good within every minute of that witching hour.


Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.

Proverbs 31:25
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

2 Corinthians 12:9
Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness". So now I am glad to boast about weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

Psalms 61:2
From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

2 Timothy 4:17
But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength.

Luke 18:1
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and never give up.

Joshua 1:9
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Jeremiah 20:11
But the Lord is with a like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.

Philippians 1:6
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.

Do you see the handful of commonly used words within the 10 verses listed above?

STRENGTH | GRACE | PRAY | COURAGEOUS | MIGHTY | WORK | PATIENT

Looking at these words together, I am reminded that I can do this. we can do hard things Mommas. I can parent Connor with my whole heart, the way he deserves, the way I deserve. After all this is my only shot at motherhood. I need to find the strength to fill our days full of grace, to pray during our hardest times, to be courageous when Connor is pushing boundaries to stand my ground, to know that Christ's mighty powers are working through both Connor and I though each day, in the most patience of ways... in baby steps. Connor might be itching closer to 4.5 with each day but in the game of life, we are still using baby steps to figure out life, together. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How I Overspend & My Plan to Stop

Today I want to talk money. Everyone's favorite topic, right? When the idea of sharing who your splurge and save was floating around the blogosphere I wanted to share my thoughts but kept being pushed to share my shortcomings with money. Yes, you read that. Be transparent and share how I make less than excellent choices when spending the money my husband works so hard to earn. There are 3 areas that I am constantly overspending in and I'm going to share those with you along with a plan for each to cut back that unnecessary spending. 


PROBLEM NUMBER ONE
Our Food Bill
If you were to ask James, I go the grocery far too often. And I probably do. Ideally every week I go and I'll shop for one week at a time. I spend about $110-$130 a week without making an attempt to coupon or watch sales. The next week I'll go and do the same and so on. So, in a 4-week period I spend between $440 and $520 at the grocery. Add to this the times we dine out for lunch during the week (Connor and I once and James 3-4 times if he isn't packing his lunch), the nights when I'm don't want to make dinner and we get carry-out and our traditional after church lunch and it's easy to see our food bill inch closer to that $800+ range. THAT'S INSANITY. 

My solution to this is to be prepared to have lunches made for James each week with a simple meal plan session on Sundays and prep our diners with a menu. I've done them in the past and it's always helpful as far as prepping goes and planning our week. I also need to create meals that make tasty and worth wanting for leftovers so that I can have those at home during the week or James can take them to work with him. I'm not opposed to leftovers, just some are better than others. I'd like for James to have the ability to dine out once a week for lunch and then as a family on Sundays. That alone can save us around $120 a month.

PROBLEM NUMBER TWO
Buying for Connor
This is where I really need the most assistance. I can't tell you the last time Connor didn't leave a store with something - popcorn and a juice from Target, a new toy, something from the clearance rack, a new book. You get the idea. We can't make it through Hobby Lobby without him asking for candy at the checkout. I will admit I am a "yes parent" and it's something I struggle with and work on daily. However, I need to stand firm and say no. While sometimes it's just a $1, every bit adds up and if I'm being real, he is borderline spoiled these days. Additionally, I do want to admit I'm also known to buy him things when he isn't with me and then treating him to the item "just because". This is ludicrous. 

My solution to this is a super easy one... if only I could stick to it. Connor goes to school 3 days a week. Any shopping I need to accomplish needs to be done while he is in preschool from 9:15-12:15. If he isn't shopping with me, he can't ask for a toy. I also need to stay away from aisles of weakness such as the clearance clothing and the new PJ Mask section of Target. Just this week I purchased the last car for his PJ Mask collection and he didn't even have to ask. I was the one who suggested it. Had I not bought that car, my total would have been $12.99 cheaper. Hello!? Obvious solution. 

PROBLEM NUMBER THREE
Impulse Purchases
My personality is very much the type that if I want something, I want something. This doesn't just go for items while shopping. If James and I are talking about going on vacation, I'm usually good with the first suggestion and want to book it right away. The same goes for when I'm shopping. If I see something, full price, clearance, doesn't matter and I want it, it goes in my cart. THIS IS NOT GOOD. Now before you think I may be confessing some hoarder like tendencies, I'm not. I just know that I spent an extra $5-$10 every time I go to Kroger (our main grocery) or Target. 

My solution for this is to create a list (which I'm so bad at!) and stick to it. If create a list and only shop once a week from that list, I'll get what I need and won't have multiple trips to the store, opening me up for more impulse shopping opportunities. One area I need to learn to move away from is Target's Dollar Spot. I don't know that last time I visited the store and didn't add $3-$5 to my bill thanks to those inexpensive "must have items". If I were to go 3-5 times a month, that starts getting awfully close to a blown $25. 

See how my problems are small but all this adds up? If I were to put this into practice starting February 1st, I could save about $150 a month by MAKING SMARTER DECISIONS WHILE SHOPPING. How simple is that? Well, obviously not too simple because I can't seem to wrap my head around it.

Come to think of it, maybe February will be my first ever NO SPEND month. How does one do that? Well, I'm about to find out!

Where do you find yourself spending more when you should be spending less? Share your money struggles with me in the comment section below. I promise you are not alone. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday Favs: Vacuums, Flannel Sheets and Chicken

Dear Friday, I love you so and have been looking forward to seeing you since Tuesday afternoon when I discovered it was Tuesday and not Thursday. #ouch Am I the only one still suffering from the wackiness that is the holidays? Between Christmas and New Year, short weeks of preschool and being sick, I feel like 2017 has been on huge week, not actually 20 full days. I'll get my act together sooner or later {it's going to be later, promise!}. Here are this weeks random thoughts and highlights.


{ONE}


I am in love with this vacuum. Yes, in love with a vacuum. I've been wanting one to clean my car out with, to keep the couches tidy with and to just keep things in check. Using this is so much easier than using my Dyson with the attachments. Even Connor has used it to clean up his cracker messes. James picked it up for me for Christmas. It's the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser from Target {and on sale right now!}. It's more expensive than other options but from my experience, it's the best. It also keeps a pretty long charge.

{TWO}


Connor loves his new Pillow Fort Doodle flannel sheets and has been requesting play and quiet time in his room. I think it's so he can lay in his room cozy bed. I have to make him keep clothes on and we've agreed that if he doesn't want jeans on he can wear his "steppies". That's what he called footed pajamas. So on Thursday he stayed in pajamas all day and laid in his bed chatting with me while I cleaned and put away laundry. Some days he is sweet and makes me think I'm winning. Others days he is full of personality and sass.
{THREE}


In an effort to eat more meals at home and eat better, healthier meals I've had to step up my chicken game. Chicken can get really boring really fast when you don't want to waste a ton of calories on dressing and such. I discovered this Truffled Parmesan rub from AllSpice and it's amazing. I've used it on chicken and veggies {sweet potatoes are really tasty with this rub} and it adds such amazing taste. Like so much so chicken doesn't have to be bland anymore. You only need a bit to add a ton of flavor.

{FOUR}


A friend of mine let me borrow this book {Hi Christine!} and I can't wait to dig in. I am really aiming to spend more of my downtime reading because it really relaxes me. I find that I don't do much sitting around and I think I need to at least take 30-60 minutes a day to really just relax. No TV, no phone, no blogging. Just turning my mind off and reading. So far this month I've read 3 books this month and am eager to really to hit my goal this year of 25+ books. {Find details on this book here: The Underground Railroad}.

{FIVE}


Speaking of books, we've discovered bedtime stories series and we are in love. Each story takes about 5 minutes to read and we usually read 2 a night. Connor loves the stories included and looks forward to hearing them. We have 2: A Treasury of Bedtime Stories and The Big Book of Bedtime Stories. I purchased both at a second hand book store for less than $7 a piece. They are such good reads and perfect for ages 4-8. I think the older kids would love reading these stories, too. The words aren't too difficult. We also picked up this sweet "God Made You Nose to Toes"*. It's a cute book filled with the reminder that God made you exactly the way He wanted you to be; in his image and perfect! Connor has such a sweet heart so I love sharing simple messages like this with him via children's books that he can understand.

Here is a recap of the 3 posts we shared this week: 

*I received our book for free from BookLook Bloggers. However our love of reading and sharing new books with you is all our own. #bookworms unite!


Happy Friday, friends!  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Thoughts on Thursday V6

Oh hey Thursday! How happy am I to see you? Thrilled really because this weekend we are having a date night, I get to shower a friend at her baby girl's baby shower and Sunday we get to go to church again ... because I am finally healthy! Adios virus! It doesn't really take much to get me excited I know! It's been a while since I've shared some random thoughts so I figured now would be as good a time as any. Grab yourself a coffee and pull up a seat while I share with you some thoughts on Thursday...



... Connor has been YouTube Kids free for 4 days and I swear it's made all the difference in his attitude I'm not sure if you are familiar with the what's available there but he is a fan of watching videos of families recording themselves doing the most random things like playing a board game, going to a park, playing tag in the house. Seriously the most ridiculous and random things. But there are others that he likes that are of other people playing video games. You just watch people... live life? I'm not sure what's so appealing. We do those exact same activities. However, I've noticed him mocking the kids on these videos and he keeps using words I'm not a fan of (chump, poser, murder, kill) so I delete the app and haven't felt one bit sorry. 4 year olds are hard as it is, I don't need anyone giving him any ideas. 

... I have an acquaintance who has unknowingly {but maybe not} brought it to my attention how wrong I always am. Like her way is the only way. As in she says "You are wrong". Who does that? It drives me nuts and puts me in the worst of moods when we chat, which isn't often, so I've decided to literally pray through her rants. I may not being giving her the attention she needs while talking but I'm okay with that. I'd rather pray for a cool level head then hear how I'm wrong, she is right. I also think I'll stop asking her for advice. That alone solves all the problems. {She doesn't read my blog so this comment is safe here.}

... The highlight of my week was renewing our Sam's membership and redeeming a $10 gift card for doing so. How lame am I? We don't do a ton of bulk shopping but some things are priced cheaper there, we use them for birthday cakes and cupcakes and I like walking around checking out different Sam's brand finds. I ended up using my gift card to buy a super comfy sweatshirt. It's the softest material and I'm going to wear it tomorrow. 

... James and I are going on vacation in the Spring and I'm super eager to spend some one on one with just him. Connor has school and swim so my parents will be watching him so this is truly a treat for us/me. We did the same thing two years ago when we went to Cabo and I can promise you I'm going to soak up every second of sun, sand and silence. Kid free vacation are highly encouraged in our household. 

... Making the decision to blog one less day a week has been the most genius idea I've ever had {blog wise}. I am able to spend at least one day a week doing absolutely nothing on the computer. That day was yesterday for this week. We went to school in the AM, I had breakfast with a friend, ran some errands, picked C up from school, visited a friend and her little boy for lunch and then we came home and I did a quick at home workout, Connor played and then I relaxed. These are the days I wanted more of and I'm happy I made the decision to say no to what didn't matter and yes to what does. 

... Each month I share must make meals and this month I'm going to be sharing meals that clear out the cabinets. We have some of the oddest items in our freezer and pantry and I want them used. For example, I have stuffing and biscuit mix along with sour cream and cream of chicken. Not items we usually ever have on hand so I need to use them so they don't go to waste. I can't wait to see the hodge podge post that becomes. 

... Moms who have their hair fixed and make-up on daily... how do you pull that off? While Connor is at school MWF I got to the gym and run errands, pick him up, have lunch, shower. I don't see the need {desire?} to put on a full face of makeup and do my hair at 2PM. I feel like I'm being wasteful, although I'm sure I look a complete wreck. I've thought about showering in the AM but I wouldn't do my makeup to workout and I sweat so much I'd have to take a second shower. Why does this process baffle me so?

So that's a bit of what's on my mind this morning. Random like always, but always real. What's on your mind? Share a thought or two in the comments below.



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

"Simon Says ... Snowman!" - FREE Printable and Reading List

If the tune "do you want to build a snowman" makes your cringe a bit then you are going to LOVE today's solution to having a bit of snow fun minus the snow or the Disney movie "Frozen".

We are located in Ohio which means we get the opportunity to enjoy all four seasons. Add to that that each season has both it's pros and cons, we often find ourselves loving one thing about Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall while dislike a few things along the way as well. For me, I love that Winter brings with it cooler temps, often times downright frigid. I am truly a lover of cooler weather. One thing I don't like about Winter is snow. I am not a fan. I've never been a fan and would perfectly okay with not dealing with it. Ever.

However as a parent we do things we don't like. For me that's having "fun" in the snow with Connor. As my luck would have it snow has been MIA here this Winter so we've been forced to come up with others ways to "enjoy" the festivities that snow brings with it. Like building a snowman.


The idea of Simon Says Snowman came to me when Connor asked time and time again when he was going to get the chance to build Frosty. Because I can't give him snow, I decided to do the next best thing. Set up his easel with a naked snowman and allow him to create to his heart's content. To work on our listening skills along with shapes, colors and numbers, I created a printable Simon Says... game board to give us the steps we needed to create a one of kind snowman from the comfort of our room cozy home.

Simply right click and save to print this form for yourself. Next, I set up an empty snowman, gave C plenty of room to work with his multiple tools and away we went.







Is that not the most top notch snowman you've ever seen? He had an blast playing, which is evident on his sweet face. I think Simon Says... could work for a lot of different places and characters: bunny rabbits, swimming pools, pumpkins and Christmas trees. Do you see where this is leading me? This is a quick game but along the way I asked him questions to throw in a bit of a learning aspect. When the word rosey popped up I asked him what color rosey would be. He picked red and we were on our way. He couldn't out 6 buttons per the cue card and so on.

After our game we cuddled and read a handful of books all about snow. Here are 6 books sharing adventures about snow, snowman and the fun that one could enjoy during the cold Winter months:

Snowman at Night by Carlayn Buehner
Perfect Snow by Barbara Reid
First Snow by Emily Arnold McCully
All You Need for a Snowman by Alice Schertle
The Snow Beast by Chris Judge



Monday, January 16, 2017

Celebrate Love | $10 at Target Valentine's Day Finds

Remember when I mentioned putting up our Christmas decor on November 12th and y'all thought it was crazy? Well, I have to admit. You may have been right. As soon as the December 26th rolled around, I was deconstructing my tree quicker than quick. While I love my decor, I needed fresh, clean, clutter free space. Tell me I'm not the only one?

I mention that because since picking up today's Target finds, I've been itching to decorate for Valentine's Day. Since this pass Saturday marked one month to V-Day, I figured I could pull out my decor and start now, without too much judgement. It will stay up for a month or so and I'll bring it down to put up Spring decor in March (which is a combination of St. Patrick's Day and Easter; I'm a mess, friends). Thanks to the Target $1 Spot (which isn't really just a dollar any more, is it?!) I picked up a 2 new pieces to decorate with along with cards for Connor's classmate for their Valentine's Day party.


I don't do a lot of decorating for the holidays in January through September. Y'all know my heart is too full of Fall and Christmas for too much more. But last year I did pick up a few new pieces to decorate with when they were marked down. Here is our home ready for February. Forgive me for the quality of some of these photos, they were taken at 6PM last night. Sick life got me like that these days.






Like I said, nothing too fancy but a bit of red, pink and hearts to make bringing in February a bit more fun. February tends to be downright frigid and miserable here in Ohio so cheery decor is always welcomed. 

Be on the lookout for how we styled Connor's Valentine's Day cards to his classmates. I wanted something simple and budget friendly. I'll share the details in an upcoming post; I loved how they turned out. 

Now it's your turn, share with us what you scored this month at Target. We know you've found something completely necessary and totally worth every penny, no matter what your spouse may think.