Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas 2014 Recap

Christmas is over.  I’ve already taken down my tree and packed away all my decorations.  So sad.  However, it was a lovely one and I’m happy to recap it for you!

I had to work Christmas Eve morning (the joys of saving all your vacation time for maternity leave), but managed to sneak out early that afternoon to join the rest of my immediate family at my parents' house for some snacks and then Christmas Eve service at our church!

After church, we headed back to my parents’ for dinner and then presents!   Santa aka Grandma, Grandpa , Aunt Sarah and Uncle Shawn were very generous this year and gifted Rowen much more than she needed…

After changing into our PJs and playing with gifts we headed home to bed, but not before setting out cookies and milk for Santa.  Oreos…Santa (ahem, preggo mommmy’s) favorite!

Christmas morning was much more special this year; I absolutely loved watching Rowen unwrap all her gifts and enjoy each and every one of them like it was the most amazing thing she’d ever seen.  Everything from Disney coloring books to a new art easel was opened with such excitement and joy – I now have a whole new perspective of Christmas morning and I love it!

Later that morning after an hour or so of playing, sipping coffee and munching on cinnamon rolls, we packed up the car and headed to the lake to spend the rest of the day with Ryan’s family (in our Christmas jammies).  

There were many more gifts to open including Rowen’s new Elsa costume….

After presents, there was a delicious meal to consume, wine to drink (yes I had a little) and board games to be played.  So much fun! 

We arrived home just in time for Rowen to hit the hay and for Ryan and I to hit the couch for some Christmas jammie lounging!   

Friday was a stay at home day.  Rowen played all day while Ryan and I organized.  We were lucky to receive a ton of new items for our kitchen, so I tasked Ryan with putting it all away (loving my newly organized kitchen) while I tackled the playroom and all of Rowie’s new toys. 

Saturday was then spent at my grandma’s house with my aunts, uncles, cousins and family from Kansas City!  Grandma made us a soup and sandwich lunch, and then we opened more gifts! 

All in all it was a wonderful Christmas filled with family and fun!  Have I mentioned I’m sad it’s over?  Waahhh…

Monday, December 29, 2014

Meal Plan Monday 12/29

Can you believe Christmas is over already?  The reality hit me this morning when I went through the Starbucks drive through only to be handed a plain white logo cup.  WHAT?  No more fun, festive red and green cup o' joe...just plain white?  Bah, not sure I'm ready for that!

Anyways, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!  I will be doing a Christmas re-cap tomorrow, but for today it's business as usual, which means Meal Plan Monday...check it out!

Tuesday: Chicken Flautas

Wednesday:  Not Cooking - NYE!

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Monday, December 22, 2014

18 Week Update

So in lieu of meal plan Monday this week (we aren't really planning anything due to all of the holiday madness) I thought i'd bring you my first "bumpdate".  

Before I do though, I'd like to start by saying that I hate being pregnant.  The first time around literally almost killed me (pre-eclampsia) and so far this second time around has been anything but glamorous due to headaches and morning sickness that just wont quit. No offence to all of you ladies out there who "love(ed)" being pregnant...but you are crazy! There is nothing fun about this. Period.

Anyway...trying to make the best of it considering I am not even half way through yet so here goes...

How far along? 18 Weeks
Baby Size: A bell pepper
Total weight gain/loss: 4-5 lbs 
Maternity clothes? Slowly but surely digging it all back out.  Had to buy some new stuff since most of my other clothes were for the summer months.
Stretch marks? Nope!
Sleep: I sleep well no matter what!  Luckily, never in my life have I ever had a sleeping problem so I refuse to start!
Best moment this week: It’s almost Christmas – excited to celebrate with family!
Miss Anything? Festive holiday drinks that I can’t have.
Movement: Yes, little flutters
Food cravings: None.  Still feel sick most of the time and don’t really have much of an appetite.
Gender prediction: Seriously no clue.  Last time around I was 99% sure I was having a boy and it turned out to be a girl, so I am just steering clear of all guesses.
Looking forward to: Finding out the gender in a couple of weeks!

Differences this time around: This bump is growing a lot faster than the first time!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Adventures in potty training a 2 year old!

Potty training.  

Two words that used to make me cringe.  Before last weekend Rowen was not a big fan of the potty.  Every time we asked her to try to sit she’d throw a mini hissy fit.  Well, I knew it was time to do away with diapers, but I needed to figure out a way to engage her and get her excited about trying to sit on the potty.

So…enter our Elf, Lonnie!

Last Saturday morning, Rowen woke up (like any other day) to go run through the house looking for her Elf.  Only on this particular day she happened to find him in the bathroom, on the potty, with a gift from Santa!  I knew instantly just by seeing the look on her face that I had her right where I wanted her (insert evil laugh here).  Haha!

This conversation then followed:

Rowen: “Lonnie is going potty!”

Me:  “Yes he is and look, he brought you a gift from Santa!”

Rowen (as she’s tearing into the bag): “New books!  Can we read them?”

Me:  “Sure, but Lonnie says we can only read these books if we are sitting on the potty, deal?”

Rowen: “Deal!”

And so it began…

The rest of the weekend was spent hunkered down in the house with Cinderella undies, lots of liquids and salty snacks!  We set a timer, and every 30 minutes when it went off she sat on the potty while reading her new books.

To keep her excitement we also implemented a potty chart (you can find that here) with stickers and M&M’s.  She loved the idea of getting a sticker and a “treat” for every time she went potty!

Those first two days were pretty rough (five accidents total).   I was scared to death to keep going especially because the next five days that followed were daycare days, but we were in too deep to quit so on we went!  Our daycare provider has been wonderful about sitting her multiple times a day to try to potty.

It’s been a week since we started and she’s been doing GREAT!  The accidents are getting fewer and fewer (the other day she didn’t have ANY)!  She’s still having a hard time telling us exactly when she has to go so we still use the timer, but I think she’s close and has even graduated to using the regular potty (with the help of her Little Mermaid potty seat). 

The next step is figuring out how to train her outside of the house while we are running errands, going out to eat, library visits, etc…that will be interesting!  If anyone has any tips on this please let me know, I am eager to hear!

For now though we’re just taking it one step at a time and saying, “hooray for big girl underpants!”

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Time for Mom

All Kinds of Things

Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Wish List

Tuesday I shared with you my daughter's Christmas wish list (or what I thought her wish list would be) and today I am going to share with you mine!  Check it out...

I want these slippers for those lazy winter days around the house!  Wouldn’t hurt to have the matching hat and mittens, too!  So cute!

This store and it’s companion stores (HomeGoods and Marshalls) are some of my favorites.  You can find me at TJ Maxx almost every weekend!

I am in desperate need of a new wallet.  I really like the look of this one and the fact that it has two pockets for all of my stuff!

We are also in need of some quality, cozy blankets for our living room.  These cable knit throws look perfect!

This adorable duffel bag would be perfect for all the quick work trips I often have to take!  No more giant luggage + it's cute!

This store recently came to our local mall and it instantly became one of my favorites!  I am slightly obsessed with their Bath Bombs, they are so refreshing and smell amazing!

7// Accent Chair – 
I really want an arm chair for my living room.  Something medium sized and in this color!  I haven’t found exactly what I’m looking for yet, but this one looks pretty close!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Toddler Gift Guide

1.  Toy State CAT Caterpillar Construction Mini Machines // Rowen loves watching the construction in our neighborhood so we thought this miniature construction set would be perfect for her!

2. IKEA LILLABO Train Set // Rowen has a lot of girly toys so we thought it'd be fun to get her something more gender neutral - this inexpensive train set was perfect!

3. Fairy Wings // Ever since we took her to see Disney on Ice she has been obsessed with Tinkerbell - I'm so excited to see her play with these!

4.  Disney Princess Magic Clips Gift Set // She saw these in the store one random day and wanted them.  This was the very first item on her list!

5.  IKEA MALA Easel // She's very into arts and crafts so this will be a great addition!

6.  Crayola Pip Squeaks Marker Tower // Right now coloring with markers is her #1 "go-to" when it comes to free play!  I love that this set is meant for small hands and comes with it's own storage container, too!

7. Crayola Kids Neon Paint Set // To go with her new easel...just hoping I can keep my carpets clean! 

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5 Minutes for Mom

Monday, December 15, 2014

Meal Plan Monday 12/15

Happy Monday!  Back after a week of sickness.  Was down a lot last week with a bad cold and then the stomach flu...tis the season, right?

Anyway, wasn't really in the mood to do much meal planning/cooking last week, but this week we are back at it!

Monday:  Hot Italian Sandwiches 

Tuesday:  Not cooking

Wednesday: Simple Sesame Noodles with Chicken and Veggies

Thursday:  Easy Meatballs

Friday:  Hawaiian Pizza Braid

I promise there will be more blog posts this week including our weekend stint at potty training + some gift ideas and Holiday themed posts!  Stay tuned!

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Friday, December 5, 2014


OH, hey Friday!  Today I am linking up with The Farmer's Wife and September Farm for five random thoughts.  Here they are...

1. I can’t do it all:  Lately, I have just been feeling very overwhelmed with everything!  Between work, side projects, Rowen, Christmas, the new baby and everything in between, there are many days where I just want to rip my hair out and cry.  One casualty to all of the madness is the house.  My cleaning routine has totally gone down the toilet.   So last month (with permission from the hubby), we hired a cleaning lady who comes once a month and deep cleans.  Now, I’m sure some people will read this and think, OMG she did not, but OMG, YES I DID, and it’s been worth every damn penny so far! #noshame

2. Christmas Cards:  I love, love, love Christmas and I absolutely love receiving Christmas cards in the mail each year from my family and friends.   We got our first cards yesterday and I was so excited to hang them up!  Speaking of, how cute is bunting banner?  What a great way to recycle the previous years’ cards…I just might have to try it next year! 

3. Peter Pan:  Did anyone else watch Peter Pan Live last night?  I did and I sort of loved it.  After Rowen went to bed I cozied up on the floor with a cup of hot chocolate and a few gifts to wrap.  Made for a very relaxing night!

4. Jumpin’ Jammerz:  Is it ridiculous that I want a pair of these for Christmas?  They look so dang comfy!  I am sure I would look nowhere as cute in them as the girl in this picture, but regardless I’d love a pair! 

5. Elf on the Shelf:  With Rowen being 2 this Christmas we decided to go ahead with Elf on the Shelf.  I wasn’t sure how Rowen would react to it, but so far she loves it.  We bought a boy Elf and asked Rowen to name him.  “Lonnie” was the first name that popped out of her mouth!  So without further ado meet our elf, Lonnie!  

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Winter Favorites

I haven't done a favorites post in awhile so I thought now would be a good time!  These are just a few of the items I am currently oooh-ing and awww-ing over.  And hey, some of these might make great holiday gifts, too!  Check it out...

1. Candy Cane Bliss Anti Bac Hand Soap // I cannot get over the smell of this stuff!  It's like a mixture of peppermint, vanilla and whipped cream all mixed together!  I love that it comes in foam form, too!

2. Celestial Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Tea // Just opening the box and taking a whiff instantly makes your eyes roll to the back of your head with delight.  It also helps suppress the mad sugar cravings I sometimes get late at night, too!

3.  EOS Sweet Mint Lip Balm // If you like mint you'll love this!  It tastes great and works like a dream!  I think I apply it every hour at least!

4.  Spiced Apple Toddy Candle // I highly recommend this candle!  Its warm, sweet scent is amazing!  The other day someone stopped by my house and while they were there asked if I was brewing apple cider...HA!  Love it!

5.  Slipper Socks // These are exactly what I need for a little extra warmth around the house this winter!  I love nothing more than putting these on with a cup of #2 (see above)...so cozy!

6.  Archer Farms Dark Hot Chocolate Mix // I LOVE this dark chocolate flavor!  It sounds weird, but I like to mix a little of this in with my coffee in the morning to get a delicious mocha flavor!

7.  L'OCCITANE Hand Cream // Every winter without fail, my hands get severely dry.  This hand cream is one of the only products I've found that really softens my skin and takes away the dry patches.  It smells great, too!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Meal Plan Monday...errr Tuesday

So I am a day late on this, but that's ok!  Here is what we have planned for the week.  Last night was leftover turkey, stuffing, etc...I sort of hope I don't see another turkey again for at least a year!  Ugh!

Tuesday: Chile Relleno

Wednesday:  Meatball Subs

Thursday:  Waffle Fry Chicken Bake

Friday: One Pot Chili Mac N Cheese

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving Re-cap

Happy Monday!  Today is supposed to be Meal Plan Monday however this weekend I did everything but plan meals for the week, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for that.  Instead, I'm giving you our Thanksgiving re-cap.  As I mentioned in my last post, I spent four glorious days with family, eating lots of food, and shopping! 

Thanksgiving morning started with a trip to Starbucks where the nice man in the car ahead of me paid for both of my drinks (aww, love when that happens), followed by an hour of parade watching, and then it was off to my parent’s house for a Thanksgiving lunch featuring all the faves…turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole and cranberries…mmm, cranberries! 

And as if we needed more carbs, after lunch there were pies and a cake (in celebration of my aunt and uncle’s birthdays)!

To keep everyone from succumbing to their food comas, my sister and cousin rounded everyone up for a game of Charades and Catch Phrase.  I am so very thankful for my family and the time we get to spend together!

Later that evening the family parted ways and my sister and I darted to the mall so we could do what we do best…Black Friday shop!  If there is one thing in life that my sister and I are good at its shopping amongst mass amounts people while attempting to score the best deals possible…we love it!

And score some major deals, we did!  Besides my annual Christmas shopping, I had two major things on my list.  One was new bedding for Rowen’s “big girl” room and the other was a set of new bath towels for our master bathroom.    I managed to get all of Rowen’s bedding (comforter, sheet sets, mattress pad and pillows) on sale for a whopping $64!  I also scored six bath towels for $40, too.  Not too shabby!

All in all we managed to accomplish 90% of our Christmas shopping in just four short hours and probably paid half of what we would have normally paid!


Friday was Thanksgiving #2.  Mid-morning we headed to my in-laws for another round of carb loading followed by football, where we watch the Hawks and ASU pathetically lose. 


Saturday was a big day!  Our Elf, Lonnie (Rowen named him all by herself) came to visit us…

 …we decorated the house with every piece of Christmas d├ęcor we own…

…and moved Rowen from a crib into a big girl bed!  I’ll admit, I was very nervous to make the switch, but it went flawlessly.  She now loves spending time in her room and continuously asks if she can go to bed yet.  WHAT?!  Yup.  Dead serious!      


Sunday morning Rowen and I ventured out for a short shopping trip followed by a nap and then Disney on Ice!   I remember going to Disney on Ice every year as a kid, so I was thrilled when I had a chance to score some discount tickets so we could take Rowen!  I wasn’t sure how well she’d sit through an hour plus show, but she did great --- the popcorn snack helped, too!

That's our Holiday weekend in a nutshell...I can't wait to do it all again in a month for CHRISTMAS!  Whee!!