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The Day Little Brother Was Born

Posted by on Sep 30, 2013 in Family, Gratituesday, Our Life | 4 comments

The Day Little Brother Was Born

I’ve had some pretty amazing days in this little life of mine, but I have to say one of my top five favorite days to remember would be the day Little Brother was born.

Little Brothers Story

Saturday August 10, 2013 started out as any other day, a morning wake up call from a toddler running into our room asking for breakfast. Pancakes are his usual choice for breakfast but that morning we had a simple breakfasts of granola, yogurt and fruit. Over breakfast, we talked about what we were going to do that day and decided a morning out to the river with a picnic lunch sounded like a fantastic way to spend a Saturday.

As I was making our picnic lunch, I had a strong contraction that felt different from the Braxton Hicks that I’d been feeling for weeks. I thought it could be the beginning of labor but continued on with our day. My husband thought maybe we should stay home but I insisted that we go and enjoy the sunny day before the rain that was expected later that day.

Big Brother

We enjoyed a great time at the river. I had an occational strong contraction but nothing too close together that warranted a trip to the hospital. After returning home around noon, we put Big Brother down for a nap and we decided to take a nap just incase Little Brother joined us!

Around 2:15 p.m., my contractions were still irregular but getting stronger to the point I really had to focus, relax and deep breathe through them. At that point I thought, “Okay, I need to menu plan for next week and maybe do a little freezer cooking so we had some things made up.” About two contractions later, I decided not too and read from my bible and rest instead.  Since natural child birth is no easy task. It’s very much a mental perspective, as it is a physical endurance challenge, so I found the words from Philippians 4:8 to be very encouraging that afternoon!

Philippians 4:8 says:

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Finally around 4 pm, I let my husband know that the contractions were getting stronger. He packed the car and he made me dinner. I ate about half of it when I realized I didn’t want anything else to eat. I also tried playing with Big Brother to keep my mind off the contractions, but finally they started to get more intense that required my full attention to breathe through them and my husband helped coach me through.

Before we left to have Little Brother

5 p.m. quickly came and my grandma made the suggestion that we should head to the hospital and by 5:45 p.m. we were on our way. That is when the contractions started coming closer together. I managed to take pictures and text message family and friends in between contractions. I know what was I thinking to take pictures and text but I felt great in between contractions! It’s an amazing gift you get when you are in labor. We reached the hospital by 6:30 p.m. and arrived to the labor and delivery floor by 6:45 p.m.

Time before we arrived at the hospital

I thought for sure we had quite awhile before Little Brother would arrive. But to our surprise after being at the hospital only 57 minutes, and our midwife arriving just as I started to push, we welcomed our sweet baby boy! He was a handsome size of 8 pounds 11 ounces and was 21 inches long. Our first hour was spent holding him skin to skin and just cherishing every sweet minute!

little brother

We celebrated with lots of kisses, pictures and orange juice! Yep, orange juice. In the Bradley Method, it was suggested after natural child birth to celebrate with orange juice, so thats just what we did. Now every time I see Simply Orange juice, it makes me think of that special day in August.

simply orange

The celebrating lasted all night. Little Brother wanted to make sure we didn’t miss a moment that first 24 hours. :) Which was fine with me because he’s so cute!

Big brother got to come and meet Little Brother the next day, it was so exciting to see his face when they met each other for the first time. I can’t wait to watch these two grow up together!

family of four

I feel so blessed to have two healthy boys that melt my heart and a fantastic husband to share this adventure with! I couldn’t be more thankful!!

It’s now been seven beautiful weeks and we’ve certainly enjoyed our little one. He now smiles and coos and it’s the sweetest thing ever. I’m just one happy mama!

little love

Well this is our little story about the day Little Brother was born and from here on out, it’s adventures with our two boys and I can’t wait!

A very special thanks to my sweet Husband for helping me reach my goal of a natural childbirth and to all of our family and friends who have made the last 7 weeks so enjoyable. You’ve helped us in so many ways and we are so grateful!

 

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Our Menu for the Week of August 19, 2013

Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in Menu Planning, Our Menu | Comments Off on Our Menu for the Week of August 19, 2013

Hey friends! How are you all doing? It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted because it has been just a tad busy around here. A little over a week ago we welcomed Little Brother and I can’t wait to share a little more about his birthday later this week.

Last week was an absolutely amazing week. We had friends visit, meals made for us and I actually got quite a bit of rest with a newborn. He is a great sleeper and eater so far. We couldn’t be more blessed!

This week for our menu, it’s going to be all about the basics recipes that I know off the top of my head. Nothing fancy, just simple homemade meals because you know I’m not wonder woman. Yep, that cape disappeared along time ago! :)

Anyways, I hope you are all doing fantastic and I hope you stop by again later this week to read about Little Brother’s birthday.

IMG_3808

Breakfast

Lunch

  • Turkey and spinach sandwich
  • Left overs
  • Chicken wraps
  • Tuna salad
  • Out to Lunch

Dinner

What’s cookin at your house this week? 

Sharing today at Menu Plan Monday. 

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A Time to Rest

Posted by on Jul 26, 2013 in Family, Our Life | Comments Off on A Time to Rest

Little Brother

When we found out earlier this year we going to have our second baby, my husband and I were thrilled! In April we found out our little one would be a boy. At first, I was shocked because I really thought it might be a girl but I have to say I’m so excited to have another boy.  We have so many boy clothes already that our first hardly wore because he grew so fast. And since I already have on sweet toddler, I know how precious little boys are!

My personal goals throughout this pregnancy has been to have a healthy weight gain, eat nutritiously, educate myself about natural child birth and expand my knowledge on breast-feeding by taking a lactation consultant course. Exercise was also an important goal of mine throughout this pregnancy and I had high hopes of working out until the day of delivery.

34 weeks

A little over a week ago (I was 34 weeks) my midwife let me know that I was dilated to 3 and the baby was very low and that I need to make it a few more weeks before our little one makes his grand debut. As a former NICU nurse, I became a little anxious about delivering a premature baby. I knew at that point I had to do what ever I could to keep little guy in longer. I told my midwife, “I’ll stand on my head if I have to, in order to keep this little guy in.”

As soon as I left her office, I instantly called my husband to let him know I’d be on bed rest. I feel incredibly blessed that between him and my grandma, I’ve  been able to successfully stay in bed for a week and half. I’ll be honest with you all though, the first few days were hard. I was worried about having a preemie. I was concerned I wasn’t ready. I hadn’t packed my hospital bag yet or picked out little mans first outfit. I surely hadn’t finished studying the Bradley Method.

flowers for mama

I let all those worries take my energy away. But after spending some time reading my bible, praying and shedding a few tears with my hubby, God has totally given me a peace about it all. I’ve even been able to see how he is using this time of me resting to prepare me for the next season in life. It might get a little busy around here with two little ones! :)  He knows how much of a go-go person I am and this period of time has been just what I’ve needed: rest!

In my reading the last week and half these two verses have been very helpful!

Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be know to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and mind thorough Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

…Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-29

Have you ever had a time where God has made you rest? Could you see the joy in that time? It was certainly hard for me at first for me but now I see how much of a gift it is.

A special thanks to my husband, grandma, friends and family who have helped and called us! I’m so grateful for you all!

 

 

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Our Very Basic Menu for the week of July 22, 2013

Posted by on Jul 22, 2013 in Menu Planning, Our Menu | Comments Off on Our Very Basic Menu for the week of July 22, 2013

I normally do all the cooking and grocery shopping for our house, but in the middle of the week last week after my 34 week doctors appointment, I found my little guy might want to come a little sooner then expected.

Since Wednesday last week I’ve been on bed rest and my husband and grandmother have been helping out tremendously! For me it’s hard to be  on bed rest because I love being busy and active. But I’m grateful that I’m able to be at home and manage my contractions with rest and water verses being in the hospital.

Since I’m having to lay down or stay in bed, I can at least do a few productive things like menu plan, plan activities for Little Buddy, read and study for my class. Oh and write a blog post or two. :)

So our menu this week isn’t anything crazy spectacular just the basics and nice and simple!

chalkboard menu

Breakfast

  • Yogurt, fruit and granola
  • Eggs, waffles and fruit
  • Oatmeal and fruit

Lunch

  • Chicken salad
  • Grilled cheese and fruit
  • Turkey quesadilla and veggies
  • Salsa chicken salad
  • Left overs

Dinner

  • Hamburgers and steamed veggies
  • Roasted Chicken and steamed veggies
  • Enchiladas and tossed salad
  • Roast and veggies
  • Pizza
  • Spaghetti and meatballs
  • Dinner out

Snacks

  • Yogurt
  • Applesauce
  • Granola bars
  • Peaches
  • Grapes
  • Smoothies
  • Carrots
  • Celery

What’s on your menu this week? 

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Our Menu for the Week of July 14, 2013

Posted by on Jul 14, 2013 in Menu Planning, Our Menu | 2 comments

The last few weeks have once again flown by. We’ve had busy but fun weeks so far this summer. This week we have a full week of friends visiting, doctors appointments and my grandma is coming to stay with us until the arrival of our second little boy.

There is just a few things left to prepare for our little ones arrival: pack the hospital bag, plan the August menu and finish taking our child birth classes. We have lots of exciting stuff going on for sure! I hope you all have a fantastic week ahead too!

IMG_8350

Here is our menu for this week.

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Snacks

  • Fruit
  • Veggies
  • Homemade granola bars

What are you all cooking up this week? 

Sharing today at Menu Plan Monday. 

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Our Menu for the Week of July 1st – In The Garden

Posted by on Jun 30, 2013 in Menu Planning, Our Menu | Comments Off on Our Menu for the Week of July 1st – In The Garden

Last week we had a ton of fun with the  Virtual Book Club Summer camp hosted by Toddler Approved blog. We did a lot of activities, reading and we made some fun snack and lunch ideas. It was so fun to try to create a lady bug sandwich, lady bug strawberries and caterpillar celery sticks. :)

Here is a few pictures from our week.
Bug Week .jpg

This weeks theme is in the garden. We got all our books for the library and I picked out snack ideas on Pinterest.

There not too many changes for our menu this week because I’m keeping it simple by making just about the same thing that we had last week. A few different recipes for dinner and garden inspired lunch and snacks.

Well, we are off to another exciting week, I hope you have a fantastic week!

Breakfast

  • Trail mix granola, yogurt and fruit
  • Breakfast casserole and fruit
  • Pancakes and scrambled eggs
  • 4th of July breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Snacks

What’s on your menu this week? Anything fun?

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Our Menu for the Week of June 24 – Bug Week

Posted by on Jun 24, 2013 in Menu Planning, Our Menu | 2 comments

A few weeks back one of my friends from back home had mentioned there was a virtual book club  at Toddler Approved blog. I was instantly excited about this because I love having a theme or activities to do with my little guy durning the week, but sometimes it takes a lot of time to come up with ideas and then plan it out. After looking at the themes they had planned for each week, I began coming up with fun food idea’s I could do to incorporate into our menu. You’ll notice on some of the lunch and snack items that they have the word “bug” in them. Of course they are not real bugs, but food that is made to look like them.

I have a few more activities and books to coordinate with this week theme on Pinterest and be sure to check out Toddler Approved Virtual Book Club Summer Camp if you have little ones at home too! It’s going to be a lot of fun!

grouchy lady bug

Photo Credit 

Breakfast

  • Country fried chicken and scrambled eggs 
  • Trail mix granola, yogurt and fruit
  • Breakfast casserole and fruit
  • Pancakes and scrambled eggs

Lunch

Dinner

Snacks

What’s on your menu this week?

Sharing today at Menu Plan Monday 

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Organizing Craft Supplies in the Kitchen

Posted by on Jun 21, 2013 in Organization | Comments Off on Organizing Craft Supplies in the Kitchen

I absolutely love doing crafts and projects with Little Buddy or make things for others. The problem I was finding was all of my supplies were located in our guest bedroom closet which didn’t provide much workspace or easy accessibility. I’d have to bring all the boxes out to the kitchen, along with the supplies like markers, crayons, paint and so forth.

So a few weeks ago, I got the crazy idea to move everything to the pantry. I feel very blessed in our new place to have a pantry with optimal space. Not only would it be great to have it all the supplies in one place, but it would mean no more excuses for not getting out the crafts.

Granted, I understand not everyone has a plethora of space in their kitchen pantry or even have one for that matter but I do have a few tips to share that might help you with organizing your craft supplies.

Craft Organization

#1.  Finding the space

If your kitchen is the place that you too do all your craft activities, then it might be very helpful to have some of your “everyday” items close by so you can pick up your project where ever you left off.

Maybe it’s a cabnet that some items can be purdged and relocated to another area to allow some of your supplies. If you have a linen closet or laundry room off your kitchen, finding a space there might be helpful.

Behind the Door Craft Organization

#2. Use Your Pantry Door or Kitchen Door

Clear plastic shoe organizers behind doors make perfect pockets for craft supplies. I’ve had my crafts like this for the past few years and it’s been great for knowing what I have on hand, accessibility when I need and its great when you move often.  I would roll it up, place it in the a box and set it up in the next place. Even if you’re stationary for awhile, maximize these little pockets with individual items like: crayons, scissors, tape, glue, and popsicle sticks will keep you organized and your stuff convenient.

Vertical space

#3. Maximize Wall Space

In your pantry, utilize wall space to hang items that can be easily accessed.

#4. Keeping your Cost Down on Storage Containers

The most inexpensive storage containers I have found to work well are plastic shoe boxes. Wal-Mart typically sells them for 97 cents, as does Target. I have these in just about every room of my house when it comes to organizing bathroom supplies, toys, hardware and other miscellaneous items broken into categories. These stack nicely in pantries or cabinets very well.

Other ways to decrease your out of pocket expense (if you are just getting started) is to look at garage sales, thrift stores and clearance deals at craft stores. I’ve bough all my craft boxes (photo boxes) at Michael’s, when they were marked down to 2 dollars a box.

 #5. No space No problem

If relocating all your crafts wont fit in your kitchen but you often do your projects there. Keep a small box with your supplies and projects readily available that way its easy for you to pick it up whenever you’d like.

Well that is my new kitchen organization project all completed! Now its time to go get all the crafts out and whip up a project with Little Buddy.

If you want some more craft organization ideas, head on over to Pinterest where I’ve gathered some more ideas for you!

Have a lovely day friends!

Where do you keep all your craft items? What are some tips you could share on organization? 

 

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Our Menu for the Week of June 9, 2013

Posted by on Jun 9, 2013 in Menu Planning, Our Menu | Comments Off on Our Menu for the Week of June 9, 2013

The last two weeks have surely flown by! I had to take last week off from posting but I’m back this week to share our menu. I hope to share some of our kitchen adventures very soon! But for now, I hope you enjoy our menu!

Grain free pizza dough

Grain free pizza dough that we love!

Have a lovely week!

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Snacks and Dessert

What is on your menu this week?

Sharing today at Menu Plan Monday. 

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Our Menu for the Week of May 27, 2013

Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Menu Planning, Nutrition, Our Menu | Comments Off on Our Menu for the Week of May 27, 2013

If you’ve been following my blog over the past year, you’ve probably noticed changes in our menu (more vegetarian, gluten free and paleo recipes). I have a huge passion for food, nutrition and health. I’m constantly reading new research articles on these topics and is one of the main reason for some of the changes or ingredients I use on a regular basis.

I believe food is our fuel and the way to heal, promote and grow our bodies in a natural way. For our family, its not about organic, it’s about simple whole foods that keep an active toddler healthy and a mama and daddy fueled to keep up with him. :) Although, I have some pantry items that are organic, I strive to keep our frig and freezer stocked with whole foods no matter if they are organic or not.

We in no way have a perfect diet, we have little treats here and there too.  Just this past weekend, I enjoyed cake at a birthday party and flat bread pizza from Chili’s on Sunday after church. :) So with that being said, you’ll see some new menu recipes or ingredients around here. If you are on a nutrition journey like our little family, I hope the recipe links I share each week, help you too! :)

On another quick note, the past 8 weeks have been quite busy around here with my little family, going to school and enjoying getting together with friends weekly. It’s not to surprising that these few changes have diminished my time online here on my blog. I’m so thankful for each one of you who stop by regularly (and those who visit for the first time). Now that I’m in more of a routine, starting on Friday I’ll be starting a new little blog series and I’d love you to come back by then! Until then, have a lovely week friends!

Planning ahead

Here is our menu.

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Snacks

Make ahead

Do you have any nutrition or health goals you and your family are trying to reach? If so I’d love to hear about them! 

Sharing today at Menu Plan Monday. 

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Our Menu for the Week of May 13, 2013

Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Menu Planning, Our Menu | Comments Off on Our Menu for the Week of May 13, 2013

Happy Monday to you all my friends! I hope you had a fantastic Mother’s Day weekend. We had a great weekend.

If you’ve been hanging around my blog for any time, you might notice a big difference in my menu this week. This week all the recipes are from the paleolithic diet. I will be still having cultured dairy too but for the most part our this week is completely gluten free and lots of paleo recipes. I’m really excited try some new recipes this week.

Paleo Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream

If you are looking for a fun dairy free ice cream recipe we enjoyed this one last Friday.

Well, I hope you are all off to a great week so far. Enjoy and have a great day!

Breakfast

  • Spinach, egg and tomato breakfast casserole
  • Silver dollar pancakes and eggs
  • Trail mix cereal with almond milk and fruit

Lunch

Dinner

Make Ahead

Snacks

  • homemade larabars
  • Nuts
  • Fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • Smoothies
  • Veggies

Have you tried any new recipes lately? If so, what have you made? 

Sharing today at Menu Plan Monday.

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5 Books to Read and Cook with Children

Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Book Review, Fun, Toddler in the Kitchen | Comments Off on 5 Books to Read and Cook with Children

 

My friend Danielle inspired me with her cooking adventures with her daughter. In one of her blog posts, she shared about the story Madeline she read with her daughter, then they made a cake together inspired by the book. It sent me on a search for books I could read to my son and then “play” in the kitchen. :)

Since my little guy is two, he is at the age that he loves to help. It doesn’t matter if it’s making a mess or not he loves to help with anything.  I really love this character quality that he possesses at this young age!

In our trips to the library,  I have been looking for books that have to do with cooking or baking. That way after we’ve read a book, we can have fun mommy son time in the kitchen.

Today, I just wanted to share some of the favorite books we’ve read over the past few weeks. Some of these books have recipes in them or you can get creative in your kitchen by the inspiration of the book.

Here is our favorites: enjoy!

Curious George and the Pizza Party

Curious GeorgeThis book is a fun read. George gets invited to a pizza party and he gets a little curious, but in the end he has a great time at the party. The back of the book has a recipe for making pizza with kids and hosting your own pizza party.

The Doorbell Rang

the doorbell rang

If you love cookies, then you will love this book! If you are working on math skills with your little one, such as counting or subtraction this book is great for teaching those concepts in a fun way. Once you finish the book, head to the kitchen and make up your grandma’s favorite cookies because grandma’s cookies are always the best!

Bunny Cakes

Bunny Cakes

 

This sweet story about a two little bunnies making a cake for their grandmother, is an adorable book to read to toddler and preschoolers. After reading this story, create your own cake and take to a family member or friend for their birthday or just because. What a great way to get kids involved in cake making. I adore this book!

Strega Nona

strega nona

 

This classic book by Tomie de Paola is a great read for preschool and above. Although, it was very fun to read with my little toddler the significant meaning behind the story will have to wait until he’s just a tad older. I appreciate well written books like this one that have a deep level of learning involved in them. The fun thing to make in this book is pasta. Which, for a toddler is a lot fun to eat and play with.

What Should I Make?

What should I make

I really enjoy making any kind of dough: bread dough, pizza dough and cookie dough! When I’m in the kitchen cooking, Little Buddy loves to get up on the stool and take a piece of the dough and play with it. That is what I love about this story. The little boy in this story is given a piece of dough and he can make anything he wants out of it. At the end of this book is a recipe for making chapatis. A great read for all ages (even mama’s!) :)

Well this is my top five books to read and play in the kitchen with a toddler. What are some of your favorite books that involve cooking or being in the kitchen? I’d love to have more to add to our collection! Share in the comments. 

Sharing today at: Share and Show Saturday 

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Our Menu for the Week of May 5, 2013

Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Menu Planning, Our Menu | Comments Off on Our Menu for the Week of May 5, 2013

Happy Monday friends! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! We had a great weekend. Saturday we enjoyed a taco bar dinner with friends, played golf on the Playstation and played soccer in the backyard with our little toddler. Sunday was a relaxing day of church, lunch out, and left over taco picnic at a nearby lake. It was a simple but a fantastic weekend!

Another great thing about this weekend was our neighbors gave us a huge bunch of basil. I knew that the basil had to be the inspiration for this weeks menu. I can’t wait to cook with it this week. I even have a dessert planned with it.

 IMG_3808

Have a great week! Here is our menu, enjoy! :)

Breakfast

  • Granola, yogurt and fruit
  • Easy breakfast casserole and smoothies
  • Spinach pancakes and yogurt fruit topping

Lunch

  • Left overs
  • Tuna mac and cheese with peas
  • Tomato and basil soup and sandwiches

Dinner

Snacks

  • Larabars
  • Trailmix
  • Smoothies
  • Fruit
  • Veggies

Dessert

Sharing today at Menu Plan Monday. 

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Burlap Gift Wrap for Mother’s Day

Posted by on May 2, 2013 in DIY, Easter/Spring, Hospitality, Projects | 2 comments

I love wrapping gifts in a unique fashion, whether it’s a treat from the kitchen or a birthday gift, I enjoy making it special. There are tons a great idea’s on Pinterest that I gather inspiration from. You can find some ideas here on my board if you’d like.

But before you head over to Pinterest, today I’m sharing a picture frame I wrapped a couple of weeks ago for my parents 30th wedding anniversary gift.

Since burlap is one of my favorite textured fabric (and I had it on hand), I thought it would be great to wrap a gift with it. To add an elegant element to the gift, satin was my ribbon of choice and adorned it with a white silk flower.

Since Mother’s Day is right around the corner, I hope this inspires you to wrap a gift in a fun way. Enjoy.

What you need

  • Burlap (Any color will work. The amount you will need depends on the size of your gift)
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Tissue paper
  • Tape
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Satin ribbon (ribbon of choice)
  • Embellishing flower (If you want to make one here is a tutorial here and here.  I purchased this one from Pier 1)

Time:

  • 15 minutes

Gift Wrap Mothers Day.jpg

 

  1. Gather supplies
  2. Wrap gift in tissue paper. Since the burlap is slightly transparent and you might see the gift, therefore, I wrapped my gift in tissue paper first. This step is optional.
  3. Wrap gift in burlap. Use pea size drops of hot glue to keep fabric together.
  4. Wrap ribbon around gift in your own fashion. Fix together with a pea size drop of hot glue. Double sided tape might work well on satin ribbon as an option also.
  5. Slip the flower underneath ribbon or fix flower ribbon with small amount of hot glue.

Mother's Day Gift Wrap .png

 

And there you go! A beautifully wrapped gift for Mother’s Day or any special occasion.

What fun creative ways do you like to wrap gifts? 

Sharing today at Chic and Crafty , Tips and Tutorials and the Better Mom. 

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Our Menu for the Week of April 28, 2013

Posted by on Apr 28, 2013 in Menu Planning, Our Menu | Comments Off on Our Menu for the Week of April 28, 2013

Last week was a very productive week around here. I had six assignments due for my class, a lot of reading and a lot of writing. It was no surprise, I couldn’t add blog writing into last week as much as I wanted to but this week is a little bit lighter load. :)

I’m always amazed at how each week is so different. Thank goodness for menu planning though because if I didn’t menu plan and plan ahead we would be eating out too often.

Well, I’m keeping our menu simple and to the basics this week, a couple new recipes join the meal plan but overall its classic favorites this week.

Enjoy your week!

 IMG_2479

Breakfast

Lunch

  • Left overs
  • Tomato soup and parmesan spinach pesto flat bread
  • Avocado and chickpea wraps (subsititing bread for romaine lettuce to make it a vegetarian and gluten free meal)
  • Quinoa Wrap (vegetarian)

Dinner

Snacks

  • Homemade trail mix
  • Apples
  • Smoothies
  • Larabars (Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegetarian)

What are you cooking up this week?

Sharing today at Menu Plan Monday. 

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Budget Friendly Decorating and Organizing Ideas for your Dining Room

Posted by on Apr 25, 2013 in Decoration, Our Kitchen | Comments Off on Budget Friendly Decorating and Organizing Ideas for your Dining Room

Decorating your dining room doesn’t have to take a lot of money or too much inspiration. Finding things around your home that you find to be beautiful and useful are great ways to show your love for your dining room and your family.

When I think of my dining room, I think of it as a place of relaxation. I want it to be an inviting and welcoming place in our home.

Today, I want to share four tips for decorating and organizing your space. My hope is this post will inspire you to use what you have and enjoy it everyday.

Plater Decoration

#1. Serving platters are usually used on special occasions or dinner parties but here is a simple way to use your platter everyday.

Use a dry erase marker (your color of choice) and write your favorite quote, bible verse or word you’d like on your platter. Display it in a way that others (and you) can see. I’ve been changing my platter up with a different verse every week, but do what works for you and your family. :)

#2. Specialty dessert bowls, such as a trifle bowl, worked great for storing fruit. Decorate with the fruit you eat on a regular basis. This is a great natural and inexpensive way to add color to your space. Since it is spring, my fruit bowl displays yellow, orange and green fruit. It is often time half empty. :)

fabric books

 

Photo Credit

#3. Books you love or read as a family is a great accent piece to add to a dining room. Leaving the book open like a bible to your favorite passage or a story in the bible you are studying that week can be available whenever you need some encouraging words. If it’s a family devotional or other book, wrap the book in colored paper or fabric and position in a way that it adds color, dimension and enhances your space.

IMG_8541

#4. Since our dining room serves as our reading room and activity room, canvas totes add a simple organizational space to clear the clutter the sofa table. Simple baskets like this one can be found at Wal-Mart, Target and dollar stores. I purchased these at Wal-Mart for $5 each. I keep small craft items like crayons and coloring books inside the drawer for convenient play time.

Creating an inviting space doesn’t require much money at all, just a few basics that are just lying around become centerpieces for beauty and organization.

What are some budget friendly or simple ideas you decorate or organize your dining room? Please share in the comments.

 

 

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Menu for the Week of April 15, 2013

Posted by on Apr 16, 2013 in Menu Planning, Our Menu | Comments Off on Menu for the Week of April 15, 2013

Hey friends! I have to tell you I hate being late and I’m a day late in posting our menu! I had it half written over the weekend but it’s taken me till Tuesday to post it.

My new schedule is pretty busy, I’m still trying to find the right balance between sleeping enough, playing with a toddler, making meals for my family and school. Oh, and cleaning and laundry they get done, somedays. :)  I knew going back to school (12 unit course) would be like a part time job and wow it has been, but I’m loving it (most days).

I’m keeping it as simple as I can, but any words of advice, I’m all ears. :)  Last night I had big hopes to make turkey burgers and pancakes and fruit landed on our plates instead. Well, I can’t complain really because I’m a huge pancake fan! So is my Little Buddy. Any opportunity he can get to have pancakes, he’ll take it. I hope to share my pancake topping with you all later this week! Until then, here is our menu and have a fabulous day!

Spinach Pancakes

 

Breakfast

  • Plain yogurt with cinnamon, cashews, coconut and berries x2  
  • Spinach pancakes with blueberry topping x 2
  • Mushroom, spinach breakfast casserole x 2
  • Broiled tomato with fried egg and cheese

Lunch

Dinner

Snacks

Share with me your best tip for staying organized during busy weeks? 

Sharing at Menu Plan Monday. 

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Our Menu for the Week of April 8, 2013 – Planning Ahead

Posted by on Apr 9, 2013 in Menu Planning, Our Menu | 2 comments

I’m getting our menu up a little later then normal but I hope you find a recipe that will help you with your meal plan.

Over the weekend, I spent a little time prepping all our meals for the week. I’m so glad that I did because today was a busy day with an ultrasound appointment, play time with a toddler and studying for my class. It was a full but great day.

I’m leaving you this evening with a picture of my stocked up refrigerator and pictures of two of our meals for this week. Have a great week friends!

Planning ahead

 

Breakfast

  • Spinach pancakes with yogurt blueberry topping x 3
  • Broiled tomatoes with fried egg and cheese x2
  • Spinach, mushroom and green pepper breakfast casserole and strawberries x 2

Lunch

Dinner

  • Spaghetti and meatballs (double the meatloaf recipe from above to make the meatballs) 
  • Spicy ranch burgers on lettuce and mac daddi roni
  • Grilled steak tacos and tossed salad
  • Lemon herb grilled chicken and broiled tomatoes
  • Homemade pizza
  • Creamy potato and carrot soup with roast beef grilled cheese
  • Left overs

Snacks

Make ahead 

What is on your menu this week? Share one tip that helps you during your week when it comes to meal planning? 

Sharing today at Menu Plan Monday. 

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Our Menu for the Week of April 1 – A New Adventure

Posted by on Apr 1, 2013 in Menu Planning, Our Menu | Comments Off on Our Menu for the Week of April 1 – A New Adventure

A New Adventure

This week starts my new adventure to becoming a Lactation Consultant. When I worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as a Registered Nurse and Lactation Educator, I became very passionate about nutrition for tiny babies that needed this amazing milk. Since taking a little break from the high paced job to enjoy being a stay-at-home-mama, I still feel very passionate about giving babies the best start by encouraging mama’s and helping them reach their breast feeding goals along with giving there sweet babies the best nutritional start.

Over the next 5 months I’ll be taking an online class to complete the education required, to be able to take the test for the certification. I’m very excited about it. I also know (from taking my previous breast feeding education class) that it will be time intensive. I’ve been formulating my plan of getting up a little earlier (4 am) and going to bed early so I can study and still enjoy my day with my little toddler. I’ve been searching quick healthy recipes and narrowing down which days I will clean, grocery shop and do projects.

Activities that will be changing (just a bit).

I absolutely love cooking for my family. Healthy, quick, easy and tasty meals is my goal for my family. That isn’t going to stop but what will change a bit is more one pot meals, doubling batches for second day meals (like breakfasts) and meals that can just be popped in the oven quickly.

Blogging is my creative outlet and I enjoy all the aspects of sharing our menu, recipes and projects. But in effort to simplify just a bit, I’m cutting it down to once and some weeks twice a week. My posts might be a little longer to cover content that I enjoy sharing and I want the content to be meaningful and helpful to you and your family. Remember if you ever have any questions or comments, I love to hear feedback so please feel free to email me any time!

Off to a great week 

Well I’m off to get this week started. I’m very excited about so many great things happing this year (enjoying life with family, school, and second baby on the way)! I hope you are doing great and I look forward to you stopping by again real soon!

Have a fantastic week friends! 

Banana Pancakes.png

Breakfast

  • Spinach Pancakes with homemade fruit syrup and scrambled eggs x 2 (Using a food processor, I make my pancake batter then,I add two handfuls of spinach and pulse until smooth)
  • Easy breakfast casserole with spinach and mushroom x2 (vegetarian, gluten free, good source of vitamin D and folate) 
  • Apple cinnamon quinoa bake x 2
  • Yogurt, sprouted grain cereal with cinnamon and mixed fruit

Lunch

  • Tuna quinoa wraps 
  • Quesadillas and smoothies
  • Left overs

Dinner

Snacks

What’s on your menu this week? 

Sharing today at Menu Plan Monday. 

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Hostess Gift – Homemade Donuts and Milk

Posted by on Mar 29, 2013 in DIY, Hospitality, Projects | Comments Off on Hostess Gift – Homemade Donuts and Milk

Having dinner parties at my friends houses it a ton of joy for me.  I love chatting and enjoying yummy food. My third favorite thing about going to friends houses for dinner is I get the opportunity to make them a little treat.

Since seeing homemade donuts on Pinterest and around the web, I’ve been wanting to make them for some time. And after finding this inspiration Saturday, I knew the perfect hostess gift was donuts and milk!

I scoured my craft closet to see if I had any thing like what the tutorial had, but I all I had on hand were some baskets. So I went to the kitchen to see what I had: large mason jars – perfect!  Then it was back to the craft closet for a few staples: dish cloth, cellophane, tape and embellished flower.

After making homemade donuts…

Homemade Donuts.jpg

Donut Recipe

Lemon Glaze

Chocolate Glaze 

I gathered my supplies all in one place…  

IMG_8421

Mason Jar with milk

Dish cloth (from Target)

Recipe

Embellished Flower  (Quick and easy to make!)

Donuts wrapped in cellophane and ribbon

Basket

and assembled  the hostess gift for our friends. 

Milk and Donuts

It was a simple gift idea that I just loved creating for them! I can’t wait for the next party that way I can come up with another treat!

What gifts do you like to receive when you invite friends over? 

Sharing today at: The Frugal Girls.

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