Monday, June 30, 2014

Cooper's Rock State Forest

Three weeks ago on our way home from Morgantown, WV and our wonderful 10th anniversary celebration (click here to read about what all we did), we stopped at Cooper's Rock.  We originally

Monthly purchases can sometime cause you to go over your budget - Meal Plans for June 27th - July 3rd

Last week we were under our $50 budget by $7.47, but before the end of the week we had to go to Wegmans and get another gallon of whole milk.  That left us around $3.79 to put in to this week's

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thick Crust Pizza

making thick crust pizza at home, simple and easy thick crust pizza,
We never really made pizza like this until Jon had some friends over to do some gaming for his birthday weekend.  Before we used to buy this pre-made Sicilian pizza crust from Wegmans, but for some reason they no longer carry it any more.  The day of Jon's get together, I went to the other Wegmans in the area to see if they had the crust and ended up having to go with the Wegmans pre-made dough.  We ended up loving it and it's now a staple in our house hold.  Here's what you'll need:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Antonio's Italian Chophouse

Antonio's Italian Chophouse
709 Beechurst Avenue
Morgantown, WV  26505
(304) 241-1139

As I had mentioned in an earlier post (Our Ten Year Anniversary Celebration), we had our anniversary dinner a little early and in Morgantown, WV.  Since we were going to be without our toddler, Michael,

Jackson's Restaurant

Restaurant review of Jackson's Restaurant in Richmond KY, Central Kentucky restaurant review of Jackson's Restaurant,

Review guidelines:

1 Fork = I would rather eat dog food.
2 Forks = I would eat there if I was starving.
3 Forks = Not bad; someplace I would occasionally consider eating.
4 Forks = A good place to eat; I will put it into my rotation of places I dine frequently.
5 Forks = One of my all time favorites!

One caveat to note – I am allergic to fish and seafood, so if you are looking for those recommendations, you will have to consult someone else.

Because I have a daughter-in-law with Celiac and a really good friend who is Vegetarian, I will try to point out whether those options are present when I review a restaurant.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Our Ten Year Anniversary Celebration

On June 12th we celebrated our 10 year anniversary.  Since we didn't have enough money to go all out for our anniversary, we decided that we would go back to the place it all began - Morgantown, WV.  The weekend

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Staying under our weekly budget - Meal Planning June 20th - 26th

This week I got to enjoy something I haven't been able to do for over three years - all the grocery shopping in peace and by myself!  Since we're doing our grocery shopping with cash now, Jon stayed home so Michael could get his much needed nap.  Because I was on my own, I was able to do comparison shopping and my eyes were completely opened.  Things that I thought were cheaper at one

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Paula Deen's Barbeque Meatloaf

Last Thursday my mom wanted to go to my brother's apartment for a few hours since he lives an hour away from us.  She wanted to surprise him with his own

The Glitz at Irish Acres

Restaurant review of The Glitz at Irish Acres in Versailles KY, Central Kentucky restaurant review of The Glitz at Irish Acres,

Review guidelines:

1 Fork = I would rather eat dog food.
2 Forks = I would eat there if I was starving.
3 Forks = Not bad; someplace I would occasionally consider eating.
4 Forks = A good place to eat; I will put it into my rotation of places I dine frequently.
5 Forks = One of my all time favorites!

One caveat to note – I am allergic to fish and seafood, so if you are looking for those recommendations, you will have to consult someone else.

Because I have a daughter-in-law with Celiac and a really good friend who is Vegetarian, I will try to point out whether those options are present when I review a restaurant.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Birthday Fun at Kings Dominion

June 9th was Michael's 3rd birthday and my mom took us all to Kings Dominion in Doswell, VA.  We knew that he was going to have a blast since he liked riding rides at the different fairs we went to last summer and he did.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day 2014!

I hope all the dads out there are enjoying their day.  We have just been hanging out.  We went to a different Toys R Us to see if we could find anything Michael liked in their clearance sale.  We had gotten a few days ago something that was

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Eating good with a $50 weekly budget - Meal Planning June 13th - 19th

My mom and her dog, Lucky, left yesterday so, it's back to our weekly routine.  Since we have no plans of leaving this week, we had to plan for meals for

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Even though the week is half over, we still have to do grocery shopping - Meal Planning June 6th - 12th

This past weekend we have actually been out of town.  This time of the year we have two special events we celebrate, Jon and mine's anniversary and Michael's birthday.  The list of meals for the week is rather small because of that.  Here's

Winchell's

Restaurant review of Winchell's in Lexington KY, Central Kentucky restaurant review of Winchell's,

Review guidelines:

1 Fork = I would rather eat dog food.
2 Forks = I would eat there if I was starving.
3 Forks = Not bad; someplace I would occasionally consider eating.
4 Forks = A good place to eat; I will put it into my rotation of places I dine frequently.
5 Forks = One of my all time favorites!

One caveat to note – I am allergic to fish and seafood, so if you are looking for those recommendations, you will have to consult someone else.

Because I have a daughter-in-law with Celiac and a really good friend who is Vegetarian, I will try to point out whether those options are present when I review a restaurant.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Making an All Purpose Cleaner - A Somewhat Epic Fail

I've been wanting to make my own all purpose cleaner for a while now.  I had all the ingredients, but hadn't gotten around to making it.  Well, Sunday Michael gave me a reason to make it.  We woke up to Michael naked and poop all over the his room and on everything.  It was so nasty!  This was not the first time that he's done this, but the first time to this extreme.  It was so bad that Michael got a bath before heading down to the main floor while Jon cleaned his room.  While Jon was giving Michael a bath, I grabbed everything that could go into the washing machine and started a load.  If you don't follow my posts, we are in the process of potty training our almost 3 year old.  Michael had been waking up in the morning, taking his diaper off, pulling a pair of underwear out of the hamper, and then putting them on.  This time he decided that he would "paint" his bedroom and furniture with the poop that was in the diaper.

The last time he did this, I just cleaned it up with wipes and this time Jon got a good majority of it cleaned off with wipes.  I decided that this was a great chance to make the cleaner.  Here's the recipe that I used:
  • the juice of one fresh lemon
  • 1 C white vinegar
  • 1/2 C baking soda
  • 3 C water
I mixed all the liquid together in the spray bottle and then started pouring the baking soda in the spray bottle.  Big mistake!  Good thing I was doing this over the sink.  Had a little explosion!  The baking soda that was still in the bottle never dissolved.

Jon took the spray bottle and sprayed it over the furniture and walls.  He wiped it all down, but a few hours later everything had a while film over it.  I went onto Facebook and asked all my friends that make their own cleaner about this.  They told me that it was because of the baking soda and to rinse the areas with warm water.  They also told me that I could leave out the baking soda.

I wanted to make a new batch, but have not been able to.  I've been doing some research and it looks like almost every recipe I've ran across uses baking soda.  One thing that they all talk about is to mix all the items in a bowl and then pour into the spray bottle.  I hope to be able to make up a new batch next week once I get a new spray bottle.  FYI: the cheap $1 spray bottles at Walmart are not the best.  So once I get a new bottle and make a new batch, I'll write about that and let you know if it works better.
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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Shakespeare and Co.

Restaurant review of Shakespeare and Co in Lexington KY, Central Kentucky restaurant review of Shakespeare and Co,

Review guidelines:

1 Fork = I would rather eat dog food.
2 Forks = I would eat there if I was starving.
3 Forks = Not bad; someplace I would occasionally consider eating.
4 Forks = A good place to eat; I will put it into my rotation of places I dine frequently.
5 Forks = One of my all time favorites!

One caveat to note – I am allergic to fish and seafood, so if you are looking for those recommendations, you will have to consult someone else.

Because I have a daughter-in-law with Celiac and a really good friend who is Vegetarian, I will try to point out whether those options are present when I review a restaurant.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Our Wedding Favors

Next Thursday, Jon and I will be celebrating 10 years of being married.  I wanted to try and write some posts about all the DIYs we did on our own for the wedding.  I have already posted about the centerpieces (Simple Wedding Center Piece for Your Guest Tables).  This post is about the favors that Jon and I made for our guests to take home.

We wanted to have our guests take home something personal from Jon and I, but it had to be something on the cheap side.  We could have just made candy party favors, but that was not us.  Music has always been a big part of both of our lives so we went with hand picking love songs and making CDs.

We went through all of our CDs and picked out 19 songs.
  1. Love Song For No One  John Mayer
  2. Keeper of the Stars  Tracy Byrd
  3. You Had Me at Hello  Kenney Chesney
  4. The One  Jennifer Lopez
  5. I Wanna Love You Forever  Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey
  6. To Make You Feel My Love  Garth Brooks
  7. How Do I Love Her  Steven Curtis Chapman
  8. Fall in Love  Nick Lachey
  9. From This Moment On  Shania Twain and Bryan White
  10. Wrapped Up in You  Garth Brooks
  11. Love of My Life  Michael W. Smith and Jim Brickman
  12. Listen to Our Hearts  Geoff Moore and Steven Curtis Chapman
  13. We Belong Together (Tarzan & Jane)  Steven Curtis Chapman
  14. I Promise You  Trin-i-tee 5:7 and Crystall Lewis
  15. This I Swear  Nick Lachey
  16. You've Got Me  Steven Curtis Chapman
  17. God Only Knows  The Beach Boys
  18. All You Need is Love  The Beatles
  19. I Love Lucy  Desi Arnaz
We tried to pick songs that anyone of any age would like to listen to.  Two of the songs were actually played during our wedding ceremony so, they had to be on this CD.  Of course, we had to put I Love Lucy on there since my name is Lucy and I'm a huge Lucille Ball fan.

We decided on making two different covers to be able to incorporate our wedding colors.  We also incorporated our wedding announcements, the double hearts, on the back of the cases and on the actual CDs.
 
Behind the CDs, we wrote a Thank You letter to our wedding party and family.
We put four CDs on each guest table.  I forget how many we actually made, but do know that we had several left over because I still have some.  Hope this gives some favor ideas for your upcoming wedding or anniversary party.

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Week One of Potty Training

Since we have Michael enrolled for preschool in the Fall, we have to have him potty trained by then.  I've been told that for boys, around 3 years of age is when they are willing to be potty trained.  We were going to wait until after Michael's birthday in a week, but he really seemed like he was ready.  If you haven't read my post about getting prepared, you can click here.  My goal was to start last Sunday, but Michael decided that he wanted to start a day early!  We just used it for a test run.  We had decided that while he's in the house and up, he would be in his underwear.  When we are out of the house or he's asleep, he will be in diapers until we feel he's ready to be in his underwear full time.

The official first day was not very eventful.  The stars means that he went and sat on the toilet, but did nothing.  There were some accidents, which are to be expected when potty training.  We basically have been having him in a t-shirt and his underwear to make things a lot easier.  Just make sure to have several pairs of underwear readily available.

As you can see by the chart, Sunday and Monday were not very good days when it comes to potty training.  Probably shouldn't have started on a holiday weekend.  Tuesday I put a timer on my phone for every 15 minutes.  When the timer rang, I took Michael to the bathroom and had him sit on the toilet.  The first time that he did a number 1 in the toilet, I made a big fuss and let him pick out a Cars sticker to put on his chart.  He also got some M&Ms and called Daddy to tell him the news.

The next day, he even went number 2.  He was so proud.  We again, called Daddy to let him know the news.  Michael got to pick out a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse sticker for that and was rewarded with a mini Reese cup.

He's been doing so well.  There's still some accidents, but not how they were at the beginning.  He was hating the being forced to sit on the toilet every 15 minutes so I stopped doing that.  We've been lucky that he's been pretty good at telling us he has to go.  We're still having him in a diaper while sleeping and when we are out of the house.  Those have been coming up mostly dry so maybe in a week or two we'll feel comfortable having him in his underwear at least when he's awake.

Any other mommies out there potty training?  If so, how are things going?  The key thing is to know that they are ready.  Michael had started showing signs that it was probably time.  I think if we had started a lot sooner, it would have been far worse.  Let me know what tricks you've been or have used for your potty training on my Facebook page, Gigglebox Tells it Like it is.


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Sunday, June 1, 2014

An unplanned trip to the Smithsonian National Zoo

Last Sunday I wanted to have some fun with Michael and enjoy the beautiful weather we were having.  I gave Jon two choices, to go to the National History Museum and see the dinosaurs before they were closed for renovations (if they weren't already) or go to the National Zoo.  Jon thought that Michael would like the Zoo better.  It wasn't Michael's first time going to the zoo, we took him when he was 14 months old.  This time, I wanted to try and have some more fun with it since he was almost two years older.  I had found on Pinterest a place that you can print out and make zoo passports (click here to print your own out from the we wilsons blog).
When you print it out, there are actually two passports printed.  I just used regular paper since it was just a spur of the moment trip, glued them together, and then stabled them together to make it a book.  In the future I'll print them out on card stock and cut them to size better.

We wanted to try and spend as little money as possible, but still have fun and enjoy ourselves.  We were thinking of bringing a packed lunch, but it was already past noon so we decided to eat lunch before we headed off to Vienna, VA to get on the Metro (click here to read my post about travelling on the metro with a toddler).

It was helpful to have the stroller, but also a pain.  There are several inside exhibits that required you to leave you strollers outside, even though some people didn't follow the signs.  We also brought our Brita water bottles and filled them up at water fountains around the park so we weren't buying drinks.

Here's a map of the zoo.  If you want to see a better map, click here.  I think next time, I'll look over the map better and decide which exhibits to see.  We did get to see a lot more than we did the first time we went two years ago.

The line was extremely long to see the pandas and since we only had a limited time to see the rest of the animals, we chose not to stand and wait.  If you want to see the pandas any time, or any other animal, click here to see all the different animal cams the zoo has available.

Michael was asking to go play in the playground and at one point there was one.  They now have a carousel and of course, Michael wanted to ride it.  Even though admission to the zoo is free, riding the carousel is not.  It costs $3 per person.  Since Michael is too young to ride this type of ride on his own, Jon "road" along with him.  To learn more about the carousel, click here.

There are many animals at the zoo.  Seemed like there were more than there were two years ago.  There are also daily programs available to go to and learn about the different animals.  The National Zoo truly is an educational zoo.  There are signs everywhere to learn about the animals and the area that they are normally from.

They had a kids farm, but all the animals were elsewhere when we went through.  I think it was probably because of it being close to closing time.

Lots of fun things for the kids to do, but still learn at the same time.  Here you could "play" with elephant "poop".


For more information about the Smithsonian National Zoo, click here to go to their website.  Around the holidays, they have some special events.  We have not been to them, but would like to take Michael to them in the future.  At Halloween they have trick or treating, Christmas time the zoo is all decorated, and at Easter there's an Easter egg hunt.  The thing about these events is that they do cost.  I'm sure that we will visit the National Zoo many more times in the future.  What have been your experiences at the Smithsonian National Zoo?  Tell me about your experiences at the zoo on my Facebook page, Gigglebox Tells it Like it is.

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