5 on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Carolina Charm and several other bloggers for 5 on Friday:)

{one} Panera Bread is one of our new favorite spots for eating out with kiddos.  A huge Panera opened up last year near us, and it has a nice play area.  We met a grandfather, his son, and two kiddos there last weekend. The grandfather came up to us and said that his son comes here about once a week with the kiddos, just because of the play area, ha! If you ask Will and Harper their favorite places to eat, they will say, “Depot, Cracker Barrel, Chick-Fil-A, Baja” and now, “Panera.”  The Depot is a local restaurant right next to the train station.  They enjoy eating there since we get to visit the cat who lives in the store next to the restaurant and because we usually head up the hill and over the bridge for a little walk.  This gives us a nice view of the city.  They enjoy Baja, a fresh Mex restaurant since the restaurant has cool doodle pads yummy chips and queso.  Cracker Barrel and Chick-Fil-A are loved for their food, and the kiddos now love Panera since they get to play after eating their meal.  Win for both parents and kiddos:)

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{two} Spring is coming!  Below are some beautiful spring and Easter displays at our all time favorite toy store, Pufferbellies. I know I talk about Pufferbellies a lot, but it’s because it’s such a wonderful toy store (and because we go there A LOT!). I love looking at their creative window displays, which change frequently.  I’m loving the hippity, hoppity displays!

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{three} Speaking of Pufferbellies, one cool thing they do is have birthday baskets for kiddos.  We started doing this last year when Will turned three. This year was our first year creating a birthday basket for Harper, and we plan on doing this each year. You select gifts your kiddos would like for their birthday and Pufferbellies displays them behind the counter.  It makes it very easy for people to pick out gifts for kiddos, and even out of town guests can purchase items from the wish list online.  The store will wrap the gifts and all you have to do is pick them up (or, they deliver if you are within a certain mile radius).  So fun!

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{four} Does anyone else collect/use Fiestware? I went the non-traditional route when I got married and registered for Fiestaware. I initially wanted just a few colors, but after a few years, my collection grew into a rainbow of colors.  Each year, Fiestaware announces a new color. This year, they recently released a picture of their 2014 color, Poppy. While I like it, I was really hoping they would jump on the Pantene color of the year and go with a shade of purple.  However, I will purchase one piece of the new color to add to my collection.

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{five} I’m loving Lisa Leonard’s new “My Wildflowers Necklace!” So pretty! She comes out with beautiful new pieces all the time!

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Happy Friday!

Five on Friday!

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Happy Friday:) I’m linking up with Darci and friends for 5 on Friday!

{1} I’m loving Emily Ley’s products and recently signed up for her newsletter.  As part of the newsletter, she offered this free iPhone lock screen calendar and matching wallpaper.  So pretty!

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{two} I hate how stores put out items SO far in advance.  Bathing suits come out in January and snow pants are in the stores by September!  Crazy!  Let’s just slow down and take things as they come-no need to rush.  By the time I get around to purchasing seasonal items, they are all gone or the stock is extremely limited.  That being said, I love looking at all the cute seasonal items at Target.  Surprise, surprise, they have had their Easter items out for several weeks now (I think probably starting the day after Valentine’s Day, ha!).  Seeing all the bright colors makes me want spring to come soon (as I look out my window and see the snow covered ground, and temps at -1 degree earlier in the day).

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{three} Speaking of the snow, this weather has been crazy!  It was in the 60s over the weekend and the next day, we had snow and temps in the teens.  We’ve been going outside any chance we can get!

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{four} While shopping at Target the other day, both kiddos put on some fedoras and modeled for us, ha!  They love Target as much as their mommy:)

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{five} Yummy!  Will and I quickly threw together some delicious  monkey bread the other evening.  If you haven’t had monkey bread, you must make it! I made an easy version and used refrigerated biscuit dough, chopped walnuts, butterscotch pudding mix, sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter.

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Have a great weekend!

Five on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Darci and friends for 5 on Friday:)

{one} I bought this cute gold polka dot binder at Target a few weeks ago. My plan is to create a home organizing binder with it, but I haven’t gotten very far, ha!  It’s on my to-do list, though.

home organizer

{two} I’m loving mason jars and all the things you can do with them! I’m even creating Harper’s 2nd birthday party around a mason jar theme.  I picked up these jars at Target (of course!) and have plans to fill them with different spices and herbs we buy in bulk. I’m also going to use them to store homemade taco season and dry ranch dressing mix (soon to come on one of my Pinterest project posts!).  Have you seen the beautiful blue and green mason jars?  So pretty!

mason jars

{three} While this is not a good picture, I made some lasagna soup from the blog, Carolina Charm, few days ago.   It’s a delicious soup with a creamy, spicy flavor! Though it turned out yummy, it’s definitely not a replacement for the vegetable lasagna I make. I highly recommend this taco soup recipe from Carolina Charm. I made it last week and it was so tasty!

lasagna soup

{four} Birthday party prep!  I created two Instagram photo banners displaying pictures of Miss Harper from the past year.  I made the clothespins from washi tape and mini clothespins.

party prep

{five} I love scarves!  This beautiful scarf was given to me by one of my husband’s co-workers.  She recently returned from a rotation in Afghanistan and brought this back for me from one of the local markets there.  It will join my other scarves in my closet, including another scarf from my husband’s co-worker. So pretty!

scarf love

Have a wonderful weekend!

Five on Friday!

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Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m linking up with Darci and friends for Five on Friday!

I started writing this post before I saw the Five on Friday blogger challenge to post about baby Teddy and to raise awareness about Menkes Syndrome.  Click here for more information and to see how you can help raise awareness.  Social media is a very powerful tool. I hadn’t heard about Menkes Syndrome until recently, after reading a story about Teddy.

{1} Banana bread French toast! Yum! I have been wanting to make French toast using banana bread or pumpkin bread, but by the time I think about it, the bread is all gone! I finally had some leftover banana bread made with mini chocolate chips, so I decided to make French toast out of it. You use the regular egg, milk, cinnamon, vanilla mixture and let the bread soak for a minute or two. Then put it in a frying pan and cook.  So delicious!

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{2} I love the Pioneer Woman, and here’s a great recipe from her! This is a bagel and cream cheese French toast that I made last weekend when my in-laws were visiting.  So yummy and easy but very rich-full of bagels, cream cheese, milk, and cheese.

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{3} Riding bikes in the house! We’re so ready for springtime! It’s been a long, long winter!

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{4} Snow, snow, and more snow! I hope this is the last snow this winter. We have more than a foot of snow and will be snowed in for a few days! Luckily, our farmer neighbors plowed our driveway for us yesterday (after this pic was taken). We were off school yesterday and are off again today. That means we will be going to school on Memorial Day and adding another day on to our school year in June.  Boo:(

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{5} What a thoughtful Valentine’s gift from Mimi and Grandaddy! A package arrived from Amazon the other day, and we were trying to hold out until today to open it, but we had major cabin fever yesterday and decided to see what was in it! So fun! Two great books and some animal stampers and paper.  Thanks, Mimi and Grandaddy!

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Five on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Darci and friends for Five on Friday:)

{one} I made these delicious Valentine’s chocolate chip cookie bars recently.  They were so yummy!  Chocolate chips and M&Ms! A winning combo!  I love making bar cookies since they are so much easier-baking individual cookies takes too long:)

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{two} Meal plan prep and a peek into my fridge! I always love reading posts about what’s in people’s refrigerators.  It’s kind of nosy but I like seeing what other people eat, ha!  Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of food prep on Sundays-I plan out meals for the week and Will and I go grocery shopping.  I have been making two dinners on Sunday (one for Sunday evening and the other, typically a crock pot meal, for Monday since Will has music class). I also take some time on Sunday to chop up fresh fruit and vegetables for the week.  Doing this prep on Sunday saves me some time during the busy work week.  Any suggestions on making meal planning/cooking easier?

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{three} I’m loving this spoon necklace from The Vintage Pearl, another one of my favorite places to buy jewelry!  So pretty! I’m thinking about getting one with my kiddos’ initials.

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{four} I first saw these mason jars from Julie at The Girl in the Red Shoes and knew I had to get one for Will and Harper!  The kiddos and I are on a smoothie kick and I’ve been looking for a cup with a straw and lid for them.  I ordered one for Will with a train in his favorite colors-orange, blue, and green and one for Harper with a purple horse (both personalized).  I can’t wait to use them for our yummy green smoothies! (I plan on doing a Pinterest post about the green smoothies-when I first saw smoothies made with spinach, I thought they would be disgusting. However, they are very yummy!).

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{five} Have you heard of the app, Waterlogue?  I read about it on several blogs this week and decided to download it.  I typically don’t purchase many apps (there are so many good free ones out there) but Waterlogue sounded fun! It takes your pictures and turns them into watercolors.  I have played with it several  times and it’s so much fun!  Here are a few pictures from the app:)

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Have a great Friday!

P.S. I was having some difficulty with my WordPress app last night. I was making some revisions and it accidentally posted this last night.  When I tried to correct it, my post disappeared:( I had to re-type the whole thing, boo:(

Five on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up once again with Darci and friends for Five on Friday:)

{one}

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My sweet kiddos! I snapped this picture while they were sitting together for a few minutes. That doesn’t happen often-they are always on the go! I’m loving their stripes as well:)

{two}

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One word…addicted! My husband and I love Chipotle! It’s so, so yummy! We pick it up to go sometimes on the weekend. My husband has their app, so we’re able to place the order in advance, select a pick-up time, and walk right in to get the order! How convenient! I would love to find a good copycat recipe for their chicken burritos. I’ve tried a few recipes but nothing is as good as the real thing!

{three}

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It’s party planning time! While Miss Harper’s birthday isn’t until March, I’ve been busy planning her second (gasp-time has flown by!) birthday party. The loosely created theme will be based around mason jars and the colors will be green, navy blue, and a splash of pink. I’m having so much fun coming up with decorations and party ideas!

{four}

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It’s also spring consignment sale time! Over the snow days last week, I started entering in information for a consignment sale in March. One huge advantage to being a seller (besides the money you make) is the opportunity to shop early and get some great clothes!!

{five}

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In my quest to simplify life and stress less, one of the things I’m working on is paring down the number of household products we use. I’m also making more household items, such as this foaming baby shampoo and these reed diffusers. I came across an article recently about how bad some of the baby shampoos are and started doing some research. I found a neat, free app from the Environmental Working Group called Skin Deep. You scan the barcode of products and it will give you a rating scale of 0-10 for health concerns (focusing on cancer, developmental/reprotoxicity, and allergy), with 0 being the best and 10 being the worst for you. I went a little crazy scanning items the other evening, ha! Luckily, the highest product number we had was a 6, which I proceeded to toss. I also ended up throwing away some of Harper’s toothpaste that we hadn’t used yet since it ranked 5 out of 10. Yuck:( Now I’m on a mission to find safer shampoos, soaps, and other toiletries for us. Any suggestions?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Five on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m looking forward to another low-key weekend with my family. Linking up with Darci and friends for Five on Friday!

{one}

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Since Christmas break, I have been on an organizing kick. I started organizing our kiddos’ toys and found these cute baskets at Target. They are the perfect size to contain specific toy sets, like the Eric Carle lacing cards and the Squigz that Will and Harper got for Christmas. We have some bigger toy baskets, but the problem was that the little sets of toys got lost in the baskets. It’s much more organized now and easier to have the kiddos clean up and put away a small basket before getting out new toys. Love it!

{two}

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Going along with the organization theme, I’ve been sorting Will and Harper’s clothes in prep for the spring consignment sales in my area. Here’s an enormous pile of Miss Harper’s old clothes (most were hand-me-downs from my niece). Before I sell at the consignment sale, I’ve been having some co-workers and friends look through the clothes. It’s great because it means less work for me-all that tagging, inventorying, etc…takes lots of time! Plus, I love to see other kiddos in my children’s old clothes:)

{three}

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It’s almost Girl Scout cookie time! One of my favorite Girl Scout cookies are Samoas (called Caramel DeLites now?!), so when I found a recipe for Samoa brownies, I just had to try it! They are a yummy brownie layer (I just used Ghiradelli boxed brownie mix) with a topping of toasted coconut and melted caramels, drizzled with chocolate chips. Yum!

{four}

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Earlier this week, the temps got up in the 50s and it felt like a heat wave! It (almost) seemed like spring was here! Anyway, Will and Harper were begging to go outside to play. Since it had recently rained a ton and the grass was saturated, I took some toys out on our deck and they enjoyed playing there. Fun times!

{five}

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Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it, so Will and I started to get our Valentine’s Day craft on! I found a simple I heart u card to make and created a template for Will to stamp a heart. He (with my help) wrote an “I” and a “U”. I plan on giving the cards to our babysitters-Nana,
Aunt Kathy, and Maw. I’m in the process of making cute (non-candy) Valentines for Will’s preschool friends as well.

Happy Friday!