Friday, March 30, 2012

If everything goes well today, I will no longer need these....

...I'm so nervous and excited at the same time about my Lasik surgery. I really want to fast forward the clock about a week.

Please keep me in your thoughts. I'll update soon!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A history with trucks

Mason just loves trucks. Big trucks, little trucks, garbage trucks, fire trucks, dump trucks, pretty much any truck. He gets so excited every time like it's the first time. He loved to sit in them until recently. He has developed his fears. He'll still get in a truck, but you have to re-assure him for about 10 minutes.

Here he is at 13 months sitting in Uncle James' truck.

Here he is at 16 months as a fireman for Halloween sitting in a firetruck.

And just recently, he is sitting in a firetruck again at 2 1/2 years old.

I just love looking back and comparing the differences in him. Not only physical, but his personality changes too!

I'm sure we have many more trucks in our future.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday's Tip

~Spray Paint~

I LOVE spray paint. You can make something look brand new for $6.00 (cost of a can of paint).

I have had these old plastic planters FOREVER. They were a grey color with black specks. I think I used them once, but never wanted to throw them away.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have gotten Spring Fever. For me, Spring cleaning is not just in the inside, but on the outside too! I have been planting and cleaning up. I was excited when I thought of these old pots. I remembered I had most of the can left from painting my chalkboard. YAY! Green is perfect for Spring.

This took me like 10 minutes. I just cleaned up the pots, put down some paper, and sprayed away. Once they were dry, I filled them up.

I'm not quite finished with planting. I'm going to add some flowers around the spider plant, but it is still a bit early to plant flowers.

I'm was also thinking of maybe adding polka dots or a monogram 'K'. We'll see.

The options are endless with spray paint. We usually touch up our patio furniture each year too. It will make it last so much longer and give it a cleaner look.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I like deals

I had to post this before I forget. I'm getting better at this coupon-ing game. It is just that, a game. You have to be at the right place at the right time. Study the flyer from the store. Match your coupons to the sale prices. Finally, you have to know a deal when you see one. I feel like I got great deals today at Harris Teeter.

Here are some of my highlights:

Hamburger Helper: $1.00 per box
Poptarts: 2 @ $.97, 1 @ $1.99 with coupon: $2.93 basically, I paid $.97 per box
3 pack Jell-O Temptations: $.72
2 Bailey's Coffee Cream: $3.00 = $1.50 per creamer
Colgate Advanced Toothpaste: $.75 (larger tube)
Dannon Greek Yogurt: $.50 per container
Betty Crocker Cookie Mix: $1.55
Pampers Wipes: $.94
Garnier Fructis Shampoo: $1.21
Snuggle 80 ct. dryer sheets: $1.49
Oceanspray Fruitsnacks: $1.65

I spent $82.26 and my savings were $76.28. If my math is correct, that is a savings of 48%.

Again, this is not the best I've done. I did buy a couple of things with out a coupon, but they were on sale and I felt it was a good deal. The more you buy at one time, the harder it is to see the savings and make sure you are being charged correctly.

I feel good about the deals I received today. What can I say? I like deals!

Friday, March 23, 2012

BIG Trucks

Mason and I, with our group, visited the Clayton Fire Department yesterday. We learned fire safety, the special tools they use when fighting fires, what to do in an emergency, all about their fire suits, and the favorite one of all, we learned all about their BIG trucks, aka. firetrucks.

I struggled at first with Mason. He is not interested in standing still and listening when someone talks. He ran off and of course I'm running around chasing him. We're like the "two stooges". We seem to always be the ones disrupting the group. I'm sure all Moms have been there at some point.

When it was time to look at the trucks, Mason was excited, but apprehensive. At first, he hid behind me, but within 5 minutes he walked right up to the trucks. He walked around the trucks and looked. He pointed out everything to me. "Look, Mommy, big tires" "I see tools" "WOW! I see lights" He was so excited and more interested.

Everyone took turns getting into the firetrucks. Mason, at first, didn't want to get in the truck. After everyone had a turn and again 5 minutes later, he wanted to get in for a look around. Then, I couldn't get him out! HA!

He is definitely the explorer of the group. He would rather be off on his own discovering all the different things himself. He is very observant. He loves to see how things work.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday's Tip


I am always looking for new ways to organize. Since we have downsized, and since I'm at home now, I look around, and think, there has got to be a better way to make use of our space.

I LOVE these shoe organizers. To me, they should be called All Purpose Organizer. The ones I am using are just basic canvas with over the door hangers. I'm using the ones that have a clear pocket. Obviously, you want to see what you are storing. This will also help let me know when we are running low on something. I ordered these organizers from Target for only $12 per organizer.

We do have a pantry, but it's not the ideal size for me personally. In my dream home, I would love to have a HUGE (walk-in size) pantry, but for now I'm working with what we have. To make room for our stock pile :), I'm using the organizer for smaller things. Oatmeal packs, drink mixes, breakfast bars...etc. I put Mason's snacks in the lower pockets. He just walks right in and grabs his afternoon snack. HA!

I have also put an organizer in the closet in Mason's playroom. Flash cards, glue, cd's, craft paint, crayons...etc. I'm still working on this one, but I think it's a good start.

There's a place for everything, and everything in it's place, Right?! It helps me keep my sanity. ;)

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Sneak Peak

I've been talking about this for a year now and finally, we are working on our window treatments. The windows in our breakfast area are very large and we were not sure where to begin.

We love to look out the large window so we knew we didn't want to cover it completely.

We've decided to make a cornice board. The fabric will be the green and brown pattern in the picture below. On the two side windows, we are going to hang oatmeal linen panels.

This is the cornice board in the making.

I'm excited to see the end results. I hope it turns out the way I picture it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday's Tip

~Planning Dinner~

I have the feeling of dread every time Sunday rolls around. Yep, it's that time again to plan dinner for the week. I'm sitting there like an artist at a blank canvas. It's part of my job as a Mommy and Wife to feed my family.

Now that I am using coupons more and shopping for sales, I use that as my guide.

This particular week, apples were on sale along with pork chops. So, I got to thinking and googling for a recipe.

I sauteed the pork chops, set them aside and then made a glaze. Here's the glaze:

1 C Apple Cider
1 1/2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Tsp. Mustard Seed

I let the sauce simmer for a few minutes to thicken. Add the sliced apples (3 or 4) and added the pork chops back to the pan.

Turned out great!

I like to try a new recipe every once and a while so dinner doesn't seem so boring or just the same ole' thing.

How do you plan your dinners? Do you try new recipes?

Friday, March 09, 2012

I'm an artist

We went to another play date Friday. There were different art stations set up for the kids to create their own masterpiece.

Mason had fun creating his art. I was very surprised to see him work his magic. He was awesome.

His favorite part might have been the glue! "I need more gwue, Mommy"! HA!

He stayed focused and worked well with the other children. He is such a loving child especially to other children.

Take a look at his finished product. He did it all by himself. I guess I under estimated my baby!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

My sweet boy

We have been busy this week. The weather has been so nice that we have gone to the park twice with our group. This, of course, is in between my couponing strategy for the week. If I take Mason to the grocery store, I have to bribe him and say, we're going to the park after this.....HA!! Whatever works, right?! I'll have to share some of my deals this week (later post).

We have been trying everyday to get Mason on the potty. Some days we just ask him and he'll get right on, but MOST days he won't go near the thing! This is turning out to be a VERY slow process for him. We continue to do the same thing. Reward him and keep trying everyday.

I have been so thankful for our group. Knowing that you are meeting friends at the park or anywhere, is much easier than going alone. For some reason, it motivates me and gets me out of the house. Lately, Mason is much better going and doing things outside of the house. The longer we stay home, the more trouble he gets into. He is still very much in to everything. If he can reach it one the counter, he'll get it. If not, he'll get his 'stairs' aka, step stool. It's funny to watch him sometimes, but most times it gets very aggravating.

Mason is GREAT outside. He loves it. Playing, running around, sliding. He loves picking up rocks, sticks, and listening for airplanes or big trucks. The only time I dread is when it is time to go inside or leave from where ever we are at the time. He will kick and scream. I get so embarrassed. I'm sure it's normal and he'll grow out of it, but it makes me feel out of control. Today at the park, I tried giving him a 5 minute warning before we left. I know he is only 2 yrs. 8 months, but it seemed to work a little bit better. When it was time to go, I calmly walked over to him and asked that he say good-bye to his friends. It actually worked much better. He went to the few that were left and said, "Bye. I'll see you later." He did fuss a bit, but not near as bad as times before.

I know I'll miss these times when they are gone and that makes me sad, but the times he is throwing a fit can be overwhelming for me.

I love my sweet boy and most of the time, he is just that..... my sweet boy.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Tuesday's Tip

~Decorating using hurricanes~

I have used hurricanes on my mantle for years. I love changing them up for a Holiday or whenever I feel I need a change. It's easier than redecorating my living room and cheaper too! There are so many choices.

Here I chose not to use candles and simply placed ornaments in the hurricanes to decorate for Christmas. You can mix it up with several things from Holly Berry branches, to Magnolia Leaves or a small branch, with a candle or without. It's your choice. Either way, they are always beautiful and bring so much color and warmth into your home.

This is my 'everyday' look. Some river rocks in the bottom with a candle sitting on top. I change out the candle sometimes to add more color.

For Valentine's Day, I used conversation hearts with a candle on top. This was only $4.00 per hurricane. Again, several ways to change the look for this Holiday. Flower petals (fake), red hots, any kid of heart shaped hard candy, ribbon curls. You name it.

For Easter, this year, I think I'm going to use eggs to fill the hurricanes. You can also use jelly beans or grass in the bottom with a candle or a combination. Maybe even grass with a bunny sitting on top. That would be too cute!

The summer time is great too. Fill up your hurricanes with sand and shells (FREE, when you go to the beach), sand with a candle on top, only shells.

You could also tie a ribbon around your hurricane. Burlap is really in this year. Make a burlap ribbon or flower to wrap around.

For the Fall, you could use shelled pecans, dry beans, mini pumpkins or gourds, leaves or branches again.

So many options, for so cheap. Use your imagination. Send me a picture. I love seeing new ideas.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Sports or not

Last Monday Mason started a pre-school sports class. There are only 3 classes that last 45 minutes each and is an introduction to a few different sports. Last week, he was introduced to soccer and football and this week was basketball and hockey.

Last week started out rocky to say the least. I thought we were going to leave before it started. Everyone sat in a circle so the coaches could explain what we were going to do. Well, not everyone. Mason didn't want to sit, or listen. He got up and ran around the gym. I'm thinking, great, Mason is going to be 'that child'. You know what I'm talking about. The one that screams, kicks, rebels, disrupts, etc. GOSH! I was so embarrassed. Finally, I just let him go, as opposed to making him sit with the group. He came back eventually and started participating.

These pictures are from this morning's class. Last week, I couldn't get out my camera since I was chasing Mason.

Before we left this morning.....Mason needed to watch some TV. :)

Today was better. He still has a VERY short attention span and doesn't listen well at all, but he's only 2 years and 8 months. Hopefully starting preschool in the Fall will help with these issues.

Here we go again. In this picture, all of the kids are lined up and one of the other parents is telling Mason to listen.

And again. He is running around doing his own thing. At least he had fun.

I promise Mason didn't hit this child. It looks like he did. But of course, he was swinging his hockey stick around not paying attention. At one point during his class, he ran over to me on the bleachers and said, "Mommy, I don't like Gym". I said, "Ok, buddy, go back and play with your group". And he did. HA!

This has been a great class. The coaches are patient and seem to have fun with the kids. This has been a great experience for Mason too. For his first experience of listening and following directions, I guess he did well. Like I said, at least he had fun and did go off in the corner crying.
I am curious to see if Mason has any interest in sports. Neither Kevin or I are athletically talented. HA!

Friday, March 02, 2012

Celebrating green

March is the month for the color green. St. Patrick's Day, Spring.... green makes me happy. I didn't realize that I like the color so much until my husband pointed it out to me. As it turns out, green is everywhere in our kitchen.

I scored these two items at HomeGoods yesterday. I LOVE that store, but there isn't one near us. I just happened to have a 'Mommy day' yesterday. Yep! A day to myself. I just had to stop in the store since I was near. I only had 20 minutes, but I was able to get some cute things and of course most of it was green.

This little stand is in our breakfast area. Of course, more green.

What color makes you happy?