Monday, December 28, 2015

Meal Plan Monday 12-28-2015

I'm saving the Christmas re-cap for Wednesday's post (so many pictures I still need to upload), so today it's just straight up meal's what we're having!

Monday:  {Stuffed Shells with Ground Beef}

Tuesday:  {Italian Ground Beef Casserole with Biscuit Topping}

Wednesday: {Baked BBQ Pork Sandwiches}

Thursday:  {Slow Cooker Homemade Spaghettios and Meatballs}

Friday:  Not cooking

Shared with:  {Org Junkie}

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Rowen's Christmas Wish List....

Given the short week ahead, I've skipped meal plan Monday this week.  I basically just planned a few quick meals (ie. spaghetti and meatballs, tacos, etc) to get us through the first half of the week leading up until Christmas!

Last week I posted Wyatt's Christmas wish list {read that here} so today I thought I'd go ahead and post Rowen's! Rowen honestly hasn't requested too much for Christmas. We do know however she's been wanting a kitchen set.  Her current kitchen is tiny and it's hard for her to use so I know she'd love something bigger!  She's also had her eye on a specific set of princess dolls for the last couple of months (she asks to go look at it every time we're at Target) so I caved and bought it!  We incorporated both of these things into her "five Christmas gifts" {read about that here}.  So excited to watch her open everything in just a few days...

Want:  Disney Princess Ultimate Collection 7 Pack - Like I said before, shes been eyeing this set of princesses for months.  She talks about them all the time, so when I saw them on sale I snatched them up.  We cannot wait to watch her open this!

Need:  {New snow pants}, {boots} and {hat and mittens} - These were a must this year.  Although we don't have snow right now, she is in need of a new pair of snow pants and snow boots that fit and I thought a new hat and mitten set would be the icing on the cake - she loves Hello Kitty!

Wear: Sofia the First Glitter Canvas Sneakers  - I am not one to buy character anything when it comes to clothes and shoes, but when I saw these I thought they were super cute!  I love the sparkles and I know Rowen will be so excited when she sees them!

Read:  I Can Read book set - Rowen loves the "i can read" books, they're easy to read (not too long), have large words we can easily point to, and there are tons of different stories to choose from.  We actually bought a set of 12 books at her school's book fair for only $10!

Santa:  KidKraft Vintage Kitchen - I love the look of this kitchen!  I also love that it has a refrigerator, cupboard, microwave and oven for her to open and close, I think she'll love it!

That's about it for the rest of the year.  I'll be back in January!  I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wyatt's Christmas Wish List

Figuring what to get a baby for Christmas is HARD!

I'll admit, Wyatt doesn't NEED anything and because he's so young I'm mostly doing it for my own fulfillment, but at the same time a small part of me would feel very guilty if there was nothing for him Christmas morning. So, even though he's just a baby, he's still going to find five gifts for him under the tree...and if you're curious as to why five gifts, well, then you can read about that {here}.

  Poor Wyatt has zero "boy" toys, and although he can't actually tell us what he wants yet, we thought this truck was right up his ally! 

Little man will be busting out of his six month clothes and ready for nine month clothes any day now! I love Carters because the sizes are always spot on! 

I found this company via Instagram!  They have adorable necessities for baby and these shoes will work perfectly for Wyatt as he becomes more mobile!

A good friend of mine recently had an Usbourne party where I purchased a few books as presents for friends and family.  Like toys, Wyatt does not have a ton of "boy" books, so I thought this dinosaur one would be perfect for him  (I think he'll like dinosaurs)!  

I keep seeing this toy pop up on my Amazon and Facebook feeds (damn you social media) and it's caught my eye a number of times.  It has really good reviews and is a toy he can use as he learns to sit-up so I totally snatched it up the other day when I saw it on sale!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Meal Plan Monday 12/14/15

This weekend was a weekend of firsts for both Rowen and Wyatt...

I'll start with Wyatt.  Saturday we headed to the mall to see Santa, and while Rowen wanted nothing to do with him, Wyatt was 100% on board - in true Wyatt fashion, he smiled and giggled the entire time!  First Santa experience was a total success!

After Santa we then hit up the train with our good friends and neighbors - Rowen was happy to do this and had a blast!

On Sunday, Rowen was whisked away by two of her favorite people (my mom and sister) to see her very first movie (Peanuts Movie), which she loved!  I was worried she wouldn't be able to sit through the enitre thing, but she did, and she did great!  I think it helped that they took her to see it at Flix Brewhouse and incorporated lunch into the experience!  Nothing like eating mac n cheese while you watch your very first big screen movie!

The other first she had was going to her first college basketball game.  Rowen has officially declared herself a Cyclone fan thanks to her dad (insert my sad face here).  I scored some tickets from a co-worker so they had a fun Sunday night complete with basketball, pretzels and a giant ice cream cone!

As for me, I stayed home to get stuff done around the house...there was a ton of laundry calling my name, presents to be wrapped and groceries to be bought!

Speaking of groceries, here is what we have planned for dinners this week...!

Monday: {Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatball Soup}

Tuesday:  {Cracked Out Chicken and Rice Bake}

Wednesday:  {Greek Turkey Burgers(hoping Rowen will eat this if we let her dunk it in ketchup!)

Thursday:  {Honey Mustard BBQ Sticky Chicken}

Friday:  Not Cooking

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Simplifying Christmas...

I love buying Christmas gifts and what I love even more is watching my kids open those gifts on Christmas morning.  However, it makes me sad to think not all kids get to experience that same feeling my kids do on Christmas. We're lucky in the fact that we have the means to buy at Christmas time, but I’m always torn, I want to give my kids what they want, but I also want to make sure they (myself included) don’t get so caught up in the material aspect of Christmas.

The last couple of years I went a little Christmas crazy when it came to buying gifts for Rowen.  Add to that all of the stuff she receives from friends and family each year and it’s almost overwhelming -the fact that our playroom is running out of room due to the amount of toys, says a lot!  So this year, especially now that we have two kids, I decided to take a step back to see how I could still give the kids a good Christmas without going overboard...

I’m not exactly sure where I came across this idea, but I love it!  In a nutshell, you get one gift per kid to fit each category.  I showed it to Ryan and he was instantly on board.  I love that it’s simple and keeps Christmas from being too excessive.  We plan to start this gift tradition each year with the hope that Rowen and Wyatt will learn to appreciate everything they receive and not be lost in a sea of presents!   I've seen some people go a step further with this idea and assign each gift category a certain spending amount.  We use the envelope system {that post is here} so we aren’t doing this, but it’s a good option if you want to stick to a budget!

That being said, my shopping is done and I can’t wait for Christmas to get here!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Meal Plan Monday 12/7/15

Besides the fact that my black and gold Hawkeye heart was shattered into a million small pieces Saturday night (still love my Hawks tho), this weekend Ryan and I managed to finish our Christmas shopping for the kids.  I am happy to report I stuck to my guns and our budget!  I plan to do a post later this week about how we handled presents for the kids this year.

Besides shopping, I got all of our Christmas cards ready for the mail (just gotta buy stamps). Normally I design our Christmas cards, but this year I took a break from it and just did something simple from Walgreens.  I had a 50% of coupon and not a lot of time so it worked out well!

Rowen and I also did some trial and error Christmas baking, too!  We have a full day dedicated to baking in a couple of weeks so I wanted to test out a few recipes beforehand.  Rowen loved it and I am excited to do a Christmas baking day every year with her!

As for meals this week, I think we have some good ones planned, check it out!

Monday:  {Salisbury Steak Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes}

Tuesday:  {Lemon Fettuccine Alfredo}

Wednesday: {Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup} with sandwiches

Thursday:  {Taco Braid}

Friday:  Not cooking

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmas Traditions/Bucket List

Like a lot of you, we have quite a few fun things planned during the month of December, but here are a few ideas we plan to make into traditions for our family in particular...

Decorating the Tree - The plan this year is to turn on the movie Frosty the Snowman, brew some hot chocolate and decorate the tree.  Rowen is super excited to do this!

Ornament Making - The other day found a cute DIY ornament kit at our local craft store.  Rowen (Wyatt will too) has her own tree that she keeps in her room (I bought it last year at a garage sale).  Being able to make her own ornaments and decorate her own tree will put a huge smile on her face!

Santa Claus – I’m not really sure how interested Rowen is in seeing Santa.  Last weekend, when I ushered her by his little setup at the mall, I asked her if she wanted to sit on Santa’s lap.  She responded with a terrified look on her face, “no mommy, I just want to look at him” and then proceeded to stand and stare for a few seconds before quickly walking away.  I’m actually ok with this to be quite honest.  Ryan and I have debated whether or not to even do Santa in our house (I never really believed in him).  We’ve decided we will, but the second she questions it, we’ll tell her the truth.  I will however make Wyatt sit on his lap for the obligatory “baby with santa picture” {insert evil laugh here}.

The Elf - I'm sorry, but I wish I never would of bought this stupid thing.  In my opinion it totally teaches kids the wrong meaning of Christmas, however I get it, it's supposed to be "fun".  We'll probably do it, but given her lack of excitement for Santa, if Rowen isn't really into it, it'll probably be our last year.  Sorry not sorry.

Christmas Lights - Growing up I always remember going to look at Christmas lights with my family.  My sister and I loved it so I want to continue this tradition with my kids.  The plan is to stop at Starbucks for hot chocolate, crank up the Christmas music and then drive to the fancy part of town!  Can’t wait!

Decorating Cookies - Rowen loves to bake and this is something I'm excited to do with her every year! 

Jesus’ Birthday Cake - I saw this idea online and I think it’s a really good one. It will help explain to the kids the true reason for the season!  I’m thinking we’ll probably make it a day or two before Christmas and then eat it Christmas Day!

Angel Tree – Each year our church has a tree where families can buy certain items for children in need and then bring the gift to church and place it under the tree.  Ryan and I think having Rowen go with us to pick out the gift is a good way to try (keep mind she’s only three) to explain to her how lucky she is!

Christmas Family Movie Night -  A night or two before Christmas we plan to let the kids open their first gift.  Inside will be new pajamas and a Christmas movie (Polar Express) that we can all watch together!

Christmas Books - I’ve been keeping an eye out for Christmas books as I’d like to start a small collection so that every year come December we have plenty of books to read!  I’ve found a few good ones so far… 

Christmas Songs – As I’ve said before, Rowen LOVES to sing.  She sings allllll day long, even at school her teacher says.  She’s particularly interested in memorizing the popular kids Christmas tunes (frosty, Rudolph, etc.) so I downloaded this album of kids Christmas music.  She LOVES it!

Christmas Eve -  We will head to church (I love our church's Christmas Eve service), then head to Grammy and Grampy's house for dinner, dessert and presents!

Christmas Morning -  The plan is to get up early, throw a delicious breakfast casserole in the oven, watch the kids tear into the presents, eat, and then hop in the car to do it all again Grandma and Papa's house...all while dressed in our PJs!  

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thanksgiving re-cap and Meal Plan Monday

Thanksgiving was wonderful this year!  Like every year, the night before Thanksgiving is "Cousin Night" where my cousins and I all get together to go for drinks.  We always have a ton of fun! Thanksgiving Day was spent at my sister's house this year.  That morning we watched the parade, made breakfast and then greeted the rest of the family at noon for the big meal!  That evening my sister and I ventured out for our annual Black Friday shopping.  The weather was cold and rainy, which kind of put a damper on things, but we still managed to get everything we wanted and then some!  The rest of the weekend was spent finishing up our Christmas decorating around the house and then Disney on Ice!  We sure had a lot to be thankful for this year! 

Meals for this week were prepped Sunday night and are ready to go for the rest of the week.  Here’s what we’re having…

Monday:  {SesameNoodles} we’ll add veggies to this.

Tuesday:  {CrockpotHam}

Thursday:  {Baked HoneyMustard Chicken} with rice

Friday:  Not Cooking

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Meal Plan Monday 11/16/15

This weekend was fun!  We didn't do too much, but I DID manage to convince Ryan to hang all of our outdoor Christmas stuff and we watched the Hawks go 10-0...YAY!

Moving on to meals for this week!  Like I said in last week's post, I have meals planned for three weeks in a row.  Wow, does planning upfront help ease the pain of grocery shopping!  I think I was in and out of the store in 25 minutes this week!  Here's what's on the menu...

Oh, and for those of you asking, "Does your three year old really eat this stuff?" the answer is yes!  We make her try everything.  We may have to alter the meal a bit for her, but she eats a majority of what we eat!

Monday: {Doritos Taco Salads} Rowen will eat everything but the lettuce...still working on that!

Tuesday: {Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs} - warning, these are spicy.  Ease up on the hot sauce if serving to kids!

Wednesday:  {French Onion Chicken Sandwiches} Rowen will eat everything but the onions! The chicken will be cut up in pieces with bread and probably ketchup for dipping :)

Thursday: {Cheese N Rice Quesadillas}  There's nothing about this meal that Rowen doesn't like!

Friday:  Not Cooking

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