Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Grabbing lunch on the go with children in tow!

I am not one for wasting money and usually prefer to make my meals at home. I like to try new recipes and I really like saving money. I love to cook, it is the cleaning up after the cooking that leaves me cross eyed.

On days where I am out and about with the kids and time has slipped away from us I will stop off somewhere and grab a quick bite to eat for lunch. I prefer to go through the drive-thru and restaurants that do not have a drive-thru are ones that I usually avoid.

I love the drive-thru. Whoever invented the idea of the drive-thru has made it to the top of my favorite person list. As much fun as unbuckling my children from their car seats is, I try not to do this task unless truly necessary. It is not always easy to buckle them back in.  God only gave me two hands. I really need three or four; on for carrying the baby, one for carrying my purse, and another one for holding my toddlers hand while navigating the  parking lot… Oops, I forgot that I also need one to open doors {because for some reason people have stopped opening doors for women carrying babies}.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Do you ever feel the need to accessorize?

I have said it before and I will say it again, I am not a girly girl. I own about five dresses and I rarely wear makeup. I am not big into jewelry, although I do own a few sentimental pieces that are near and dear to me. My purse collection has grown {Thank you MIL} since I have gotten older and I have started to warm up to fun shoes too. But I am by no means a girly girl.

I usually throw on something quick and simple for the day without a second thought as to my appearance. Most of the time. There are those rare occasions when I am going out and I know I am going to see people that I know and I want to look nice. This is rare, but it does happen.

Being a Champion for Kids with Energizer: Light Up a Life! #ChampionsForKids

Energizer CFK

Last week, I mentioned that I was taking part in the Champions for Kids, Energizer Light Up a Life simple service project.  The Champions for Kids mission is to mobilize millions of people by providing training and resources to improve the lives of children. They encourage people to make simple care kits for kids, then give the care kits to an organization in your community that serves children (like a school, shelter, religious organization, or nonprofit).

To get ready for this project I sat down with my children and brainstormed what we wanted to include in our care kits. We thought about what items we use daily and what items make us feel safe. We also went online to the Hesed House website to see what items they had an immediate need for, so that we would be sure to include them in our care kit.

My children and I headed off to Walmart with our immediate need list in hand to look for different items to fill our care kit with.  If you would like to see our complete shopping trip, head over to my photo album on Google+ .

Monday, February 27, 2012

Opening gifts gracefully… with a toddler?

This weekend was my son’s 3rd birthday party. We had a train themed birthday party with Thomas the tank engine sprinkled throughout. My son is all about Thomas and could not have been more excited about his big birthday party!

He wanted to show everyone that came in the door his birthday cake before they were allowed to go anywhere and do anything. He was brought to tears when one little guest would not accompany him upstairs to look at his cake. Guess who was on the cake? Yup, Thomas!

William had so much fun playing with his friends, showing off his decorations, displaying his birthday cake, and building tracks to new destinations with the help of his peers. When it came time to open gifts though, he did not have to be told twice. My son was front and center ready to tear into some wrapping paper and unveil all his new train paraphernalia.  

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Happy Birthday!

My little boy has turned three years old and I cannot believe how quickly time has flown by! I remember bringing him home from the hospital and introducing him to friends and family for the first time. Now he is three years old!

His actual birthday took place mid-week, so we celebrated his birthday on his birthday with just the family. His grandma and grandpa came by the house in the morning and took him out for ice cream and color coated popcorn. We listened to his birthday song and danced and played the day away.

A day in Chicago: Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum

I am a big fan of Chicago. I love going into the city with my family. There is always somewhere new to eat and something fun to do. Taking the whole family into the city can get a little pricey though. I am a frugal mommy who loves to look for deals! Chicago does something fabulous that I can get on board with… free days!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mr. Sunshine!

My children are my pride and joy and make me happy when skies are gray. They totally make my heart just melt when they smile.

Both my boys have little firemen coats (thanks to Grandma and Grandpa) and they love to wear them whenever they can. My toddler especially likes to pretend to be Uncle Shawn and drive a fire truck. My little baby is still a little small for his fireman jacket, but he just looks so cute in it I cannot help myself!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mr. Clean: My child and his vacuum.

My children used to be terrified of our old vacuum cleaner. It was big and bulky and made a racket when it was being used.  My toddler would run screaming and crying out of the room whenever I started it up.

Then I got a new Hoover stick vacuum and I can no longer vacuum my own floors. My baby crawls up to it and sits on top of it. My toddler runs up to me and takes it away from me. He wants to use it. He can turn it on and off and he can push it all by himself. He confiscated my vacuum and gets to work cleaning our low pile carpets and wood flooring.

I do not make my children do chores… well… kind of. I make my children pick up their toys and clean up after themselves. We all work together to clean up messes, no matter who made the mess. But as far as doing the dishes and scrubbing the bathroom, I think my children are a little young for that still. So where did this Mr. Clean child come from?

Fitness Friday Week 5 of TurboFire

This week has been so busy! My little boy turned three years old and I have been planning a big birthday bash for him. I was pretty good about doing my TurboFire this week considering how chaotic it has been in my home. I totally brought the energy to every class I did and I worked hard.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

How to make a Happy Birthday Pennant Sign!

I am addicted to Pinterest and have no idea what I did before this handy little website came along… Oh yeah I googled things, clicked on images, saved the images to my computer using the website as the name of the image. This was a long drawn out process, thank goodness Pinterest came along and gave me something else to get addicted to!

I am amazed at the ideas, arts, crafts and recipes that I find on Pinterest.  The food looks so yummy {I have no idea how they photograph it to look so pretty} and the crafts are awesome! I want to do them all.

Since December of 2011  I have been taking on one Pinterest Project a week and sharing the results with you.I post both the original “Pin” as well as my version of the project. My projects range from arts, crafts, recipes, and DIY projects… it is pretty much anything I pin and think I want to try. I encourage you to join in! Start doing those pins!

This week I am sharing with you my Happy Birthday Pennant Sign!
My Pennant:

Move the sun mom!

My little guy is very particular about some things. One thing that drives him bananas is having the sun in his eyes. He gets very upset and tells me that I need to move the sun, “Mommy make the sun move out of the way. Move it mommy!”

Really, how powerful does my son think I am? I should be flattered. I should be really really flattered that my son thinks that I have the power and ability to make the heavens and earth move. Ha! The world revolves around ME! Take that siblings, I was right!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Two little boys and a cart: Fun times shopping with two children!

I worried that having two children and trying to grocery shop was going to be impossible. I know other women do it all the time – heck my mother had five kids! But if I am being perfectly honest, I know my limits and two screaming children in a grocery store is not my idea of a good time.

I would get these mental images of pushing the cart with my baby sitting in front while chasing my toddler who is running rampant throughout the store. My toddler loves to run and hide. He loves to play hide and seek. He loves to run free. This is not fun for mommy.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

When the bedtime routine just isn't cutting it...

Like most parents, I have a bedtime routine that I do with my children every night. Each child is different because they are at different stages and need different things. My baby’s bedtime routine is simple; he gets a diaper change, a pajama change, and lots of snuggles. While my toddler’s routine is a little bit more involved.

Every night I take my toddler to the bathroom before bedtime. He goes potty in the toilet, gets a treat, and then heads upstairs for bed. We change into pajamas, brush teeth, read two stories, say our prayers, and then get a kiss goodnight. Seems like a lot, right?

Call to ACTION #ChampionsForKids: Energizer Light Up a Life Winter Survival Kits #EnergizerCFK, {#CBias}

As an Illinois native I am used to the weather changing at the drop of a hat. One day it will snow six inches and the next day it will be 50° and sunny. You never quite know what to expect in Illinois where the weather is concerned. Needless to say it is always a good idea to be prepared, especially in the winter.

Weather such as extreme cold temperature, blizzards, and ice storms are responsible for hundreds of these deaths and thousands of these injuries each year. Last year Illinois saw a blizzard that stranded drivers, buried vehicles, and closed schools. It was a massive snow storm that left my family snowed in.

Although Illinois has had an unseasonably warm winter this year, things have a way of changing quickly here. Even if there is no snow on the ground the wind chill can be something awful. Each and every day I am thankful that I have a roof over my head and clothes on my back. I am even more thankful that my children have coats on their backs and a nice warm house to call home. Unfortunately not all children are blessed with such circumstances.

Monday, February 20, 2012

And the Academy Award goes to…

I love award the award season. Every year I try to watch all of the big contenders so that I am prepared to cast my vote when the time comes. Sometimes I am completely mystified as to why a movie was nominated – sometimes I am simply mystified about what a movie is supposed to be about {The Tree of Life???}.

On the rare occasions that I get to go out and have a date night with my husband I usually head to a movie theater. This photograph was taken at a local theater. They are obviously just as excited about the Oscars as I am.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Train Themed Birthday Party Favors

I have been having such an incredibly fun time putting together my son’s 3rd birthday party. My little boy will be turning 3 and we are having a train themed birthday party.

I have been working on decoration {Yarn Wreaths & Yarn Balls} for the past couple of weeks to prepare for the big event. I went to the craft store the other day to pick up ribbon and paper for more decorations and I have been busy being crafty.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Playtime with Dad!

One of my favorite things in life is watching my husband interact with our children. They absolutely adore their father and you can see it in the way they look at him. The feeling is obviously reciprocated.

When my husband walks in the door from a long day at work we rush to the door to great him. It may seem silly, but I think that it is important for the children to be excited about spending time with mom and dad. I know that when I walk in the door from running errands my heart melts when my kids run to me for hugs and kisses.

My Dream Home Wish List

We are getting ready to put our house on the market and I cam both excited and nervous. I love my current home. I love almost everything about it. My husband and I (as well as various family members) have put a lot of hard work into making my current house a great home to live in. Sadly, we have outgrown this home and are in need of something a little bit bigger.

I am excited about the prospect of what moving might bring. I love looking at houses and frequently look online to see what is out there. I enjoy the process of making a house a home. I enjoy fixing up old houses and making them mine. Give me a nail gun and an air compressor and point me in the right direction. The possibilities are endless!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Getting back into the swing of things at the park!

I must say that I love this nice weather that Illinois has been having. It isn’t warm, but it is way warmer than it usually is in February. This week alone we have hit the park on three separate occasions for a little outside play time.

The boys both love swinging in the swings and running around on the play set. I have a couple fantastic parks right around my home that I frequent with the boys during the summer. Since it has been so nice outside we decided to take a walk to the park this morning to play. William rode his scooter and I strolled along with Steven in the stroller.

TurboFire Fitness Friday

Week 4:
I am back at it! Having to take off three days last week due to illness was not my idea of fun and left me feeling feeble. Because I was off for three days I felt like I had to work twice as hard to keep up with the videos this week and to maintain my level of energy throughout the workouts.

It was not easy and I totally wanted to turn off the video half way through one of my workouts earlier this week, but I powered through and made it work. What is even more entertaining to me is the fact that although I felt tired and fragile this week, I didn’t even break a sweat at my Zumba Toning class that I take in addition to TurboFire. It no longer challenges me like TurboFire does. I guess it is a good thing that I take is as a way to get out of the house and have fun with a friend (as opposed to thinking of it as my sole way of getting fit).

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The magic of a cardboard box!

I am highly entertained by the fact that a cardboard box can entertain children like nothing else. I that cardboard boxes are magical and hold so much interest for children because they don’t tell children what they are or how to play with them. It is completely left up to the imagination.

I love things that give you creative freedom to run wild with. When I was a little girl {as crazy as it seems I was at one point in time a child} I did not have a Barbie dream house or a motorized Ford F150 to roll in deep with. I had a linen closet with towels for furniture and an imagination.

Sometimes I wonder if I am depriving my children of creativity when I give them so many toys to play with. Am I ruining my child? Am I stifling their creative genius? Probably. Oh well. They will forgive me someday and most likely after years and years of therapy that I pay for {I am my own therapist. I didn’t have therapy and I am just fine- at least that is what I tell myself (my doctor agrees)}.  

How to make a Yarn Wreath

Next week my little boy will be turning three years old! Time sure does have a way of passing by rather quickly. I have been on full blown party planning mode. I am channeling my inner craftiness and trying to make a lot of the decorations for my little boys train themed birthday party.

The colors are red and baby blue. I made yarn balls a couple weeks ago and had a ton of left over yarn. So I quickly got on Pinterest to see what else I could do with my left over yarn {I am not one to waste and I pinch every penny}. I happened upon some very beautiful yarn wreaths and knew this was something even I could make {sometimes I think the craft is easier than it truly is and I wind up in a hot mess}. Funnily enough I pinned the wreath on Pinterest and found out later that I had pinned a pin from my cousins blog {I can hear it’s a small world playing in my head while picturing little wooden dolls dancing around in clogs}. I hope you enjoy!

This week I am sharing with you my yarn wreath!
My Yarn Wreath:
My red yarn wreath

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Riding in Style

I had the pleasure of taking care of my niece Abby this morning and I must say that she is too cute! As a mother of two boys I do not get to do all the fun things that mothers of little girls get to do. I am okay with this most of the time because my boys are fantastic and I adore them.

I am perfectly content with my rough and tumbling little monsters and enjoy the fact that my boys like to play and get dirty and make messes. I don’t worry about them ruining their clothing with paint or mud. They are boys… that is what boys do.

Little girls get adorable clothing sets, ruffled bloomers, headbands, tutus, bows, barrettes, and frilly socks. Boys have choo choo trains and dinosaurs. Since I do not get to go bananas accessorizing my boys wardrobes, I accessorize via baby gear. I love it. One of my favorite things to do is talk to other mothers about baby gear. It is addictive!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Seeking Sponsorship BlogHer 12: Mom Mart is heading to NY!

Mom Mart is headed to BlogHer 12 in New York City in August and is now accepting sponsorship! I am incredibly excited to be able to participate in this event and since this will be my first time attending, I will be doing it all!

Check out my sponsorship packages or send me an email {} and we can work out a package that is customized just for you.  

Peanut Butter and Jelly Love: A Valentine's Day Treat!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

My Valentine’s Day is great! I got my workout in, had time to shower and get dressed, we made it to William’s preschool class on time, and I even made the children mini heart PB&J sandwiches for lunch.

William was a big fan of the cookie cutter heart shaped sandwiches and has requested that the rest of his food be shaped into something… I think that I have unleashed a cookie cutter monster! Yikes! Oh well. These little sandwiches were a easy to make and look adorable. They are also a cute way to vamp up a simple meal {in my opinion}.

Monday, February 13, 2012

It’s a pirate’s life for me!

Ever since Peter Pan and Jake and the Never Land Pirates made its debut in my home my family is all about pirates. We are loving the whole pirate theme, eye patch and all. We watch it, we sing it, and we live it {somewhat}. Yo Ho Ho!

We even have dueling pirate ships. One of which my toddler has names Bucky.  We can spend a good hour or more just playing with these ships and all the pieces that go along with them. I am so thankful that my children can be so entertained by toys.

Taking baby steps to living a more natural lifestyle with Johnson's!

What does it mean to be natural? defines natural as "having undergone little or no processing and containing no chemical additives: natural food; natural ingredients. Compare organic" When I think about what being natural means I think about being green and eco friendly. Weather it is the manner in which you dispose of items or the choices you make at the grocery store, living green and natural can be as simple or as complex as you make it.

My family is pretty natural when it comes to the food that we eat and the products that we purchase. We eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and choose to go organic when possible (when the prices are within reason). We like to purchase items that come in recyclable containers and that have little to no preservatives. As a result, my recycling bin is usually stuffed to the brim each week.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Who’s the Boss: Elmo vs. My Baby

My little ten-month-old is very inquisitive. He is a regular busy body, minus the gossip. Although he does usually have a lot to say, I simply do not speak baby. He is most interested in toys that talk. A simple noise will not do, it needs to speak.

The latest fascination comes from our hand-me-down Elmo doll that my sister Camille gave us. This Elmo talks, sings, giggles, and moves {no wonder he is fascinated… I am fascinated (and annoyed)!}.  Elmo is a little red thing, because really…do you know what Elmo is?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Super Dad!

I like to think of my husband as Super Dad. Nope, he doesn’t wear a cape. At least not that I have seen. There is no flying around the house {unless I happen to mention there is a poopy diaper in need of changing} and he does not wear his underwear outside of his clothing. Why then do I think of my husband as Super Dad?

My husband works hard so that I am able to stay home with the children. When he comes home he is excited to see the kids and spend time with them. He immediately takes the kids to play so that I can get dinner ready {some nights he even cooks too!}.  If that weren’t enough, he also wakes up first thing with the children.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Time to get organized!

My husband and I have decided that we are ready to put our house on the market. As much as I love my home {and I really truly do love my home} we have simply outgrown it. With two growing and active boys we would really like to move to a house with a nice size yard and more room for the kids to play. If we decide to have more children a bigger house will be a must. {Know anyone interested in a 3 Bedroom 2 ½ Bath Townhome? }

So where does this leave me now? I am in organizational mode right now. It is time for me to clean out my closets, organize my home, and get my house in tip top shape. This means that I will be dedicating some of my time each day to a new cleaning and/or organizational project around the house. Believe me there is always more organizing and cleaning to be done.

TurboFire Fitness Friday Week 3

Week 3 of TurboFire:
I spent the weekend traveling to visit family and TurboFire came along for the trip. I was so proud of myself for working out while on the road and was surprised by how easy it was to do while away from the comforts of home. To top it off I was able to keep up with Chalene during the core workout this week, so my confidence was at an all time high.

I have had a minor setback with TurboFire this week due to illness. Once home from visiting family we were invaded by a virus {never a good thing}. The flu has invaded my house and me along with it. If you have ever had the flu you know that there is no way on God’s green earth that you are doing any form of exercise while you are sick. With me sick and my little baby boy down for the count too we were just trying to recover for most of this week.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mail Call!

We are recovering from the flu in our house and the road to recovery is paved in cardboard boxes. I love getting mail. One of my favorite sights to see is the Fed Ex, USPS, and UPS trucks stopping in front of my house.
I do not get mail like this every day. But when I do get big fabulous boxes I do a little happy dance. Even if I am sick, there is a happy dance!

Valentine's Day Craft!

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner I am on the lookout for themed arts and crafts I can do with my kids. So, where do I turn when my brain gets lazy and I don’t feel creative? Why Pinterest, of course! I never cease to be amazed at the ideas, arts, crafts and recipes that I find on Pinterest.  

This week I am sharing with you my Love Stones!
My Version:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sick Day

I hate being sick. I have no energy to keep up with the kids and I feel gross.

Yesterday my little peanut {the baby} was sick and I spent all day cleaning up one mess after another. My poor baby was so scared every single time he had to vomit. It was so sad.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My child cannot be childproofed!

Game Cabinet

My toddler has discovered how child proofing works. I have no idea when exactly this happened but it did and now there is no childproofing my child.

I think this discovery on the inner workings of childproofing came about when my husband bought my son his first board game. He finally had something that was locked away behind childproofed doors that he really wanted to get to.

Dog Day!

I love animals. I think they can be uber cute and incredibly sweet. I do not own any animals at this time and do not plan on owning any animals until I am done having children and all of my children are potty trained. A girl can only clean up so much poop.

 While visiting my family this weekend I was lucky enough to get some puppy time with my sister’s two dogs. One is not a puppy; she is an old hound dog that we rescued from the middle of a highway. The other is a puppy {quite a large puppy, but still a puppy} that my sister bought from an animal shelter. They are very smart dogs that are a treat to have around.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Project 366 Day 37 of One Photo A Day

Project 366

This weekend we went down south to visit my family for the weekend and celebrate all of the February birthdays in my family {there are four people with February birthdays}.  There was a big family dinner and ice cream cake and presents. It was fantastic!

It was also exhausting. My little men decided that 4am was a reasonable time to wake up and start the day. Apparently they did not get the memo that mommy needs her sleep! Then to top it all off, I couldn’t figure out how to work my parent’s coffee maker that my siblings and I bought them for Christmas {via their wish list}… Waiting for coffee at 4 am is never a good thing. I NEED my coffee!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Project 366 Day 36 of One Photo A Day

Nothing says I am ready for football like a baby wearing a football outfit cheering {I mean yelling… I am just calling it cheering. It is really just plain old yelling.}

My little guy sure is vocal. Much more vocal than I remember William being. I guess that comes from having a sibling to talk to or maybe he just has a lot to say.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Project 366 Day 35 of One Photo A Day: Camouflage Baby

Project 366

My sister and her family are all about the camouflage and feel that we should be all about the camouflage as well… We are so not camouflage people. We are more khaki and polo or blue jean and tee shirt type of people. But I must admit though, my little guy looks pretty handsome in his camouflage.

A giftless Valentine's Day for the whole family to enjoy!

As much as I like chocolate and flowers, I have decided that Valentine’s Day this year is going to be more about the love and less about the stuff I should buy. Since I am a stay at home mother I live on a budget and my budget does not include fancy gifts. As much as I like fun fancy gifts, it just is not in the cards for this year.

February 14th falls on a Tuesday, so I will be home with my children for Valentine’s Day. I want a fun filled day for everyone with arts and crafts and cooking projects. I want to make sure that my children have fun with this holiday. I remember having so much fun on Valentine’s Day making Valentine’s for everyone in my class and doing a fun art project in school. Valentine’s Day became complicated only when I became an adult. So… I am bringing this holiday back to the kids.

Friday, February 3, 2012

TurboFire Fitness Friday Week 2

Week 2 of TurboFire:
I am on week 2 of TurboFire, a high intensity cardio workout, and I am loving it! No… I am being completely serious. I already feel like I have more energy during the day to keep up with my kids. Although I have to hype myself up for every single workout {because YES they are that intense!}I find that I am smiling and enjoying myself while exercising.

This week totally kicked my behind. I thank the good Lord every Wednesday that Wednesday is my rest day. My booty and shoulders are feeling the after effects of working hard and I had to modify one of my workouts this week in order to keep up. Those Core and Sculpting classes are no joke! But at least I had the entertainment of my son trying to use the resistance bands right along with me… “This is too hard mommy, I need water… You need some water too.” My son #NailedIT!

Project 366 Day 34 of One Photo A Day: My Workout Partner

My toddler loves to do whatever mommy does. If I eat something new, he will try it. If I start dancing in the kitchen, he starts to shake it. If I grab a resistance band and start toning, he grabs a resistance band and gets to work too!

I have always heard that children mimic what they see and hear, but I have never been more entertained by my son as a workout partner.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Potential of Yarn in a Yarn Ball...

I never cease to be amazed at the ideas, arts, crafts and recipes that I find on Pinterest.  I am even more impressed with the fact that I have been doing Pinterest Project Thursday for a while now and I have not missed a week since I started!

Every Thursday {hopefully I can keep this up} I will tackle a Pinterest Project and share with you both the original “Pin” as well as my version of the project. This can be arts, crafts, recipes, or projects… pretty much anything. I encourage you to join in! One Pinterest Project at a time!

This week I am sharing with you my Yarn Balloons!
My Yarn Balls:
Yarn Balloons

Project 366 Day 33 of One Photo A Day: Tunnel Time.

Project 366

My son cracks me up.

Seriously. I cannot stop laughing at what he finds entertaining. Apparently my breathing a certain way tickles him pink and he gets a case of the giggles when I play peek-a-boo.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Project 366 Day 32 of One Photo A Day: I wanna hold you hand!

Project 366

Nothing says I love you like a little quiet time with the family. With all of the hustle and bustle of daily life I like to slow things down in the evenings and just spend some time enjoying my family.

In the evenings after dinner we spend our family time sitting back and relaxing with the kids. We read stories, play with toys, play games, or cuddle up with a good old classic Disney film. We don’t go anywhere and we don’t plan anything. We just enjoy our quiet time together.

Share This

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...