Tuesday, December 16, 2014

24 Christmas Books Countdown 2014 - week 2

The second week, we were still on vacation and travelling.  Once we got home, the plan was to get up to date with the countdown, but Michael has been sick and has been only up to reading one book.  Here's what Michael picked for last week:

Monday, December 15, 2014

24 Christmas Books Countdown 2014 - week 1

We haven't been doing as well with this countdown as we have the past couple years.  Being on vacation during that week didn't really help.  Here's what Michael picked out:

24 Christmas Books Countdown 2014

Just within the past few months, Michael has been all about getting a bedtime story read to him.  Because of that, this year's countdown has been more exciting than it has been the last two years.  You can read about last year's countdown here, Twenty-four Days of Christmas Books.  I had completely forgot to take a picture of all the books before my mom wrapped them for me.  Most of the books used last year are being used again this year.  I will post a weekly update of what was picked out and read.

Baking with Michael: Making Pumpkin Pies with His Curious Chef Kit

Michael loves to hang out with me in the kitchen, even plays with his play kitchen while I'm cooking.  He always wants to help, but I didn't have any kid friendly kitchen utensils that he could use.  I happened to run across a company that specializes in just what I was looking for, Curious Chef.  I put the foundation kit on Michael's wish list and my step-mom ended up getting it for him for a birthday gift.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Filling a Christmas stocking for "Neighbors Helping Neighbors"

This was actually not through the Salvation Army, but through Loudoun County's Holiday Coalition, "Neighbors Helping Neighbors."  I had filled a stocking just like this years ago from the Salvation Army and just thought that's what these were for.  Michael's school was participating in this and gave each child the stocking and a list of ideas on what to fill it up with.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hand and Feet Turkey Prints

Thanksgiving decoration with kids hands and feet, hands and feet paint project for Thanksgiving, crafting with kids,
I've always been about decorating the house for the different holidays, but Thanksgiving is one of the holidays I don't have a lot of decorations for.  Last year we made turkey decorations for the family and I wanted to try and make something different.  I've been wanting to do hand and feet prints with Michael for the past few years, but he has hated getting paint on his hands.  This year he was excited to get paint on his hands and feet (thank you preschool)!

Amazing what you learn when you crunch the numbers - still under budget! Meal Plan and Grocery Trip for Nov. 21st - 27th

This past weekend we didn't get to do our shopping on Friday like I had planned.  We ended up doing it after church on Sunday.  Since it was so late in the day, Michael actually fell asleep in the car.  I ended up staying in the car with

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

When your 3 year old asks to go to church...

You GO to church!

Two Saturdays ago, Michael had asked both Jon and I if we could go to church the next morning.  We were shocked that a) he knew the next day was Sunday and b) he knew you went to church on Sunday.  Jon and I both grew up

Mini Pumpkin Pies

a mini twist on the classic pumpkin pie, hand held pumpkin pies,
Today was Michael's Thanksgiving party at school and I was so excited when the sign up sheet was set out last week to see that yes, pumpkin pie was on it and that no one had signed up for it.  Ever since Michael started school, I've been pinning on Pinterest different cool things to do for his class parties (Yeah, I'm probably going to be that mom the other mom's will probably hate).  The mini pumpkin pie was one of them.  I found this off of the blog called makes and takes.  She said that she was able to make 12 mini pies, but I was able to make 16 (only needed 13).  Here's what you'll need:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Corn Pudding

Here's a rather simple and delicious side dish to add to any holiday meal, corn pudding.  As long as I can remember, my mom has made this with every holiday meal she's made.  This year, Jon's family decided to do Thanksgiving the weekend before and his mom had asked me to make this side dish.  Because of the size of family we now are, I decided to double the recipe.  Here's what you'll need for the regular recipe:

Halloween 2014

A little late on posting about how we spent our Halloween this year, but better late than never.  I love the fact that Michael is starting to understand how fun Halloween is.  I mean, it's always been fun all the other years, but this year he seemed to have so much more fun.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Trunk-or-Treat - Toy Story Style

Toy Story trunk-or-treat theme that is simple to make and is enjoyed by children of all ages,
Since Michael has started preschool we are experiencing a lot of new things that we've never done.  One of those things is trunk-or-treat.  We've heard about them and our nephews participated in one every year at their daycare, but had never participated in one ourselves.  Being the creative, cool parents that we are (or in our minds we think we are), we wanted to create something the kids would like.  Michael loves Toy Story and we had the main characters of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Jessie so why not make my trunk into a scene from the movie!

Half way through the month and still under budget! - Meal Plans and Grocery Trip for Nov. 14th - 20th

So, we are back on track with getting our shopping at least started on Friday and finished early on Saturday.  I forgot how much I love shopping on Friday.  So much nicer and easier than what it has been the past couple of weekends. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Baby's First Christmas Gift Ideas

some gift ideas of what to give a baby for the first Christmas,
The below list is a good majority of the toys that Michael received for his first Christmas back in 2011.  He was 6 months old which made it a little easier to shop for.  Just within the last three years, there's even more toys out there for any baby between newborn and a year old.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Operation Christmas Child 2014 - packing a 10 - 14 year old boy box

packing an Operations Christmas Child box for a 10 - 14 year old boy, OCC boy box ideas, Operation Christmas Child,
This is my third year making boxes for Operation Christmas Child, but I have never done a box for a 10 - 14 year old boy.  I've read that this age group, the boys especially, is the group with the least boxes made.  I will admit, not ever being a teenage boy it was rather hard to figure out what to purchase and make sure it would fit the box. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

On a roll yet again! Meal Plans and Grocery Trip for Nov. 7th - 13th

Time to start planning what we're going to have for dinner.  We did somewhat good with staying on plan last week.  Here's the list for this week:

Monday, November 10, 2014

Ghost-o-Lanterns 2.0

easy and simple outside Halloween decorations made out of recycled gallon jugs,
Last year we made these ghost-o-lanterns and they were a big hit with all who came to our house trick-or-treating.  To see what they looked like last year, click here.

Operation Christmas Child 2014 - packing a 10 - 14 year old girl box

packing an Operation Christmas Child box for a 10 - 14 year old girl, OCC girl box ideas, Operation Christmas Child,
I always try to do one boy and one girl for Operation Christmas Child, but have never done a box for the older group.  I've read that this group is the least group that boxes are made for.  I guess it's because it's a little harder to find stuff that will fit in the box.  To learn more about our other boxes and packing them, click here.  As with Michael's box, I wasn't able to fit everything in.  Here's what I tried to pack:

Friday, November 7, 2014

Operation Christmas Child 2014 - packing a 2 - 4 year old boy box

packing an Operations Christmas Child box for a 2 - 4 year old boy, OCC boy box ideas, Operation Christmas Child,
Last year we started to do an Operation Christmas Child box for a boy in the age group that Michael is in.  (For more about us packing our boxes this year, click here.)  I try to have Michael as involved as possible in picking out items for this box.  Unfortunately, I was not able to fit everything that we purchased.  Here's what's in the top picture:

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Halloween Ghosts

simple and easy ghost for outside Halloween decorations,
Since we have a tree in our front yard, we wanted to try and have some of our Halloween decorations hanging from it.  One of our neighbors down the street had these awesome ghosts that also lit up at night hanging from their tree.  I looked everywhere for them, but had no luck in finding them.  I decided that I would have to forget about our ghosts lighting up and just make some on my own.

Operation Christmas Child 2014

packing ideas for Operation Christmas Child boxes of different ages, OCC box ideas, Operation Christmas Child,
It's that time of year again, but if you're like me you've been planning throughout the year.  Michael and I have been doing some of our last minute shopping to finalize our three boxes.  Not too late to start one.  The national collection week for the Operation Christmas Child boxes is November 17th - 24th.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pumpkin Carving 2014

family fun pumpkin carving, pumpkin carving alternative for little kids,
Growing up I only remember one time having a carved pumpkin for Halloween.  For Jon, it was something his family did every year.  Since it was something that Jon loved to do with his family, we've been carving pumpkins for the past six years.

Whole month of staying under budget is a great thing! - Meal Plans and Grocery Trip for Oct. 31st - Nov. 6th

With last Friday being Halloween, we ended up starting our grocery trip on Sunday and Michael & I finished it on Monday.  I came up with the meal plan on Sunday morning while Jon was working on his car.  Here's the plan that I came up with:

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Really liking staying under budget - Meal Plans and Grocery Trip for October 24th - 30th

Even though the week of Halloween is long gone, I still wanted to write about our meals we had planned for that week and what our grocery trip was like.  Here's what was planned:

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fun Family Halloween Activity

a fun family Halloween activity that can be used as great Halloween decorations for years to come, Halloween crafts,
I know this is late and I had all intentions of writing about this weeks ago.  How about something fun to plan to do with the family next October.  We bought these 3D foam structure kits at Michaels and had so much fun putting them together.  I actually went to Michaels today and all Halloween items are on sale 80% off!  I bought two more kits for less than half the cost of one!  I'm set for next year.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Halloween Light Show in Northern Virginia

Halloween light display in Northern Virginia,
I'm always looking for fun family activities to do and what's better than a free one?!?  There's a house in Leesburg, VA that does a light display for Christmas and Halloween.  We saw last year's Christmas display, but had never seen the Halloween display.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ghost Train at Burke Lake Park

Halloween family fun on the Ghost Train at Burke Lake Park in Northern Virginia,
There seems to be so many awesome events and activities just within driving distance to where we live.  I've known about the train at Burke Lake Park in Fairfax Station, VA, but had never gotten around to taking Michael down to ride it.  When I was searching for something fun to do this past weekend, I found out that they have a ghost train for Halloween.

Discover Cove playarea at Tysons Corner Center

Since I have such an active little boy, we are always looking for new and exciting playgrounds.  A few weeks ago we were down in Tysons Corner to pick up a part from the Mazda dealership.  So, we decided

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

DIY Halloween Bats 2.0

simple and fun Halloween decoration made out of recycled egg cartons,
Last year I made these simple bats out of egg cartons.  To see the step-by-step how to, click here.  Last year I just sat them around the house for decorations.  When I was getting all the Halloween decorations out this year, Jon said they would look more like bats if we added ears and had them look like they are flying.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Staying under budget two weeks in a row! - Meal Plans and Grocery Trip for Oct. 17th - 23rd

We were on the busy side over the weekend so, Michael and I ended up doing our grocery shopping on Monday.  Since grocery shopping wasn't done until Monday, the dinner meal plan is a little short.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin picking 2014

pumpkin picking at Hill High Farm in Winchester VA, Fall family fun in Northern Virginia,
I love living in Northern Virginia because of all the different events and places to go to in the area.  Since it's pumpkin season, I wanted to take Michael to a place to go and pick pumpkins from the field and experience something Jon had done when he was little.  His mom had told me that Jon's grandparents had taken him and his sister to a place in Winchester, VA and I thought that Hill High Farm was the place.  I later found it that it probably wasn't.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Halloween costume shopping 2014

Halloween costume shopping at Spirit Halloween, Halloween costume shopping,
It's that time of the year when you get all dressed up in the scariest or sexiest costumes.  I normally don't get a costume for Halloween, but this year Michael's school is doing a trunk-or-treat so I decided that I would go and try and find a costume.  We always look every year at the Spirit Halloween store, but never end up buying anything.  This year was different.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Even with meat prices up, we still stayed within our weekly budget! - Meal Plan and Grocery Trip October 10th - 16th

Last week we bought more chicken and then this week it was time for the ground beef.  With meat prices constantly increasing, it's no surprise that we weren't able to get more food.  Here's our rather small list of meals for dinner this week:

Monday, October 6, 2014

Time to start stocking up - Meal Planning and Grocery Trip for October 3rd - 9th

After having this weekly budget of $50 for about four months, I'm still surprised at how we can get the food that we get with that small of a budget.  One way we can do that is by buying in bulk or most grocery stores call it family

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ordering from JustFab

Back in May I was looking for my outfit for Jon and mine's anniversary dinner.  I had found the dress, but could not find the shoes in any of the stores here local.  So, to the internet I went.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tag Team Grocery Shopping - Meal Plans & Grocery Trip for September 26th - October 2nd

Since we are slowly getting over our colds, we didn't do any of our grocery shopping over the weekend like we normally do.  I didn't even come up with our dinner plans until Monday.  Here's the plans for dinners this week:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Meal Plan and Grocery Trip - September 19th - 25th

We did have a plan for our meals last week, but when a cold hits your family meal plans go out the window.  Here's what we had planned for dinners last week:

Friday, September 19, 2014

Cheesey Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

Another recipe I found via Pinterest and it's made in a crock pot/slow cooker.  I love meals that are cooked in a crock pot.  Just toss everything in the pot and walk away!  I found this recipe via The Country Cook.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dulles 28 Centre Toddler Play Area

We are always looking for new playgrounds to take Michael to.  This way he's not tired of the same park.  Growing up, there was only about three parks I played at.  Michael is so lucky to be growing up in an area

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Taco Bake

I'm always trying to find new recipes, but it's rather hard with the picky eaters that live with me.  So when I went on Pinterest and saw this recipe from GOODness Gracious, I thought that Jon would at least

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Finally got some ME time and I decided to vacuum out my car

Today was the first day of taking Michael to school without Jon and I finally got some much needed ME time.  I had made a goal of trying to work on stuff around the house that I normally can't work on while

Monday, September 15, 2014

Even though the list is small, it doesn't mean that it won't eat up a good bit of your budget - Meal Plans and Grocery Trip for September 12th - 18th

I hate to admit it again, but we will be having some carry overs again this week.  With our schedule being switched up because of Michael starting school and I'm still recovering from my sprained ankle, we ended

Thursday, September 11, 2014

First Day of Preschool 2014

Today was Michael's first day of preschool and he did great!  He actually got up before Jon or mine's alarm clock.  Not sure if it was just excitement or what.  After we got Michael dressed, we took him down to the playroom to take his "first day of school" picture.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Our Little Guy is Starting Preschool

Yesterday was open house at the preschool Michael will be going to this school year, yes it's already time for that in our household.  I'm so excited for him.  We've picked a great school!  They have a science

Monday, September 8, 2014

Meal Plans and Grocery Trip for September 5th - 11th

While we were away for my husband's family reunion, I sprained my ankle.  Because I was unable to do all the cooking that I originally planned for last week.  With that being said, there are a few carry overs

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Spaghetti Boats - when you don't have leftover spaghetti

So, I decided to try out a new recipe I found via Pinterest.  The original recipe is for when you have leftover spaghetti.  I didn't have any so this is how I made the spaghetti boats with fresh spaghetti.  The

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

One Year Bloggerversary!!

Can't believe that I've been writing this blog for a year!  Yep, a year ago today I decided to take the plunge and write about pretty much anything.  I had no idea what I was doing and even though in the
past year my knowledge about the blogging world has increased, I still have no idea what I'm doing at times.  I hope you all have enjoyed all the posts that I've written over the past year.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Taco Salad

beef recipes, Mexican recipes, taco salad, simple dish for a picnic or pot luck, salad,
I first want to apologize for the pictures in this post.  The flash in my camera decided to die while I was taking the pictures.

The Sunday before Labor Day is always the day of Jon's family's reunion.  Every family is suppose to provide at least one dish to feed their whole family for two meals.  Yes, there are two meals at this family reunion!  Since I had just gotten my Aunt Robin's taco salad recipe from my step-mom a few months ago, I decided that I would make that.  It was a hit!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Trying out some new recipes can somewhat throw your budget out of wack - Meal Plans and Grocery trip for August 29th - September 4th

So, the other day I started looking for some new recipes via Pinterest so that we wouldn't get into another rut.  Since this weekend we are going to be out of town for Jon's family's reunion, the dinner meal plans are on the short side.  Here's what we have coming up:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

We made it through potty training!

I've been meaning to sit down and write a follow up from my two other posts about starting potty training back in the end of May and beginning of June (Preparing to Potty Train and Week One of Potty Training).  At first I was worried that this was never going to happen because of him having so many accidents.

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