Cupcakes and Cracker Barrel

Here’s a quick recap of our fun weekend!

On Thursday, Will turned four! He helped me make cupcakes for his preschool class and was so excited when he came home from school with a special birthday crown made by his preschool teacher.

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Yummy cupcakes!
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For Will’s birthday dinner, we gave him the choice of eating out at Panera, Cracker Barrel, or Chick-Fil-A. All day long he was set on going to Panera (which I was very excited about!) but after coming home from Nana’s, he had changed his mind and decided on Cracker Barrel.  The kids love going to Cracker Barrel and playing checkers:) Now Will is giving Mommy and Daddy three restaurants for us to choose from for our birthdays! Our birthdays are coming up within the next month, and I do have to say, he has given us some good choices for places to eat! I love this boy!

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On Saturday morning, we headed downtown to the farmer’s market (our first visit of the year).  Before the farmer’s market, however, we stopped at a little bakery that makes the most delicious donuts.  I’m really picky about donuts and don’t like the store-bought kind.  I shared a donut with the kiddos and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

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I had been wanting to stop at a fairly new eclectic shop downtown and finally got the chance.  It’s a fun shop full of all sorts of goodies…jewelry, candles, party supplies, etc.  If you’re looking for random items for a Pinterest project, this is the place to go!

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We walked around the farmer’s market and enjoyed looking at the beautiful flowers and fresh spring produce.

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Of course, no trip downtown is complete without  a visit to our local toy store, Pufferbellies.

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And taking a ride on Sandy:)

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On Sunday, we went to church, made our Trader Joe’s shopping trip, and played outside a bunch! I hope your weekend was super, too!

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IKEA Trip!

A few weekends  ago, we took a trip to the nearest Ikea, which happens to be about two and a half hours away.  I had only been to Ikea once before, and that was several years ago before kiddos.  I was  wanting to go back to Ikea to check out all the toys and furniture for kids and was inspired by this blog post with Ikea must-haves for toddlers.

Snoozin’ on the ride up to Northern Virginia.

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We arrived at Ikea right around lunchtime, so we headed straight to the cafe.  Will and Harper shared some pasta, yogurt, and fruit while I enjoyed some delicious salmon.  My husband ordered some chicken and fries.

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After lunch, Will wanted to go to the Ikea play area.  We were surprised but very glad that he went to the play area and stayed with other kiddos while Harper, my husband, and I walked around Ikea for a little.  If you haven’t been to Ikea before, it’s very kid-friendly.  A play area for kiddos who are potty trained, a kids’ area in the cafe, accommodating restrooms with changing tables and stools for kiddos to reach the sink, and just in general kid-friendly.

Walking around the enormous showrooms full of furniture.

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Harper loved all of the stuffed animals.  We let both kiddos pick out a stuffed animal (they were very inexpensive…some as little as $2).  Harper chose a big Golden Retriever puppy and Will picked out a small kitten.  They absolutely love these animals and sleep with them every night!

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The kids’ section was full of fun toys, kiddo size furniture, and art supplies.  We ended up with two stools for Will and Harper for our bathrooms ($4.99 each!), the stuffed animals, a cool easel that has a chalkboard on the one side and a dry erase board on the other (for under $20!), a roll of paper for the easel, and some art supplies.

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Here’s one of the stools we purchased.

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The fun easel for our bonus room.

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Of course, a trip to Ikea wouldn’t be complete without some of their cinnamon rolls.  Yum!

If you haven’t been to Ikea before, you need to check it out! Such a neat and fun shopping experience:)

Five on Friday:)

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

{1} This year, we decided to put together two boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  My original plan was to have Harper fill a box for a girl around her age and for Will to create a box for a boy his age.  However, after reading more about Operation Christmas Child, I realized that the most needed boxes were for boys ages 10-14.  As a result, we compiled two identical boxes for boys in this age range.  This was such a fun project for the kiddos!  Will and Harper loved sorting the items and filling the boxes.  At first, Will said, “Mommy, this ball won’t fit in the box, so we will just keep it.”  Ha!  We plan on making this a yearly tradition.

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{2} I decided to go through my closet and get rid of some old clothes that I haven’t worn in years.  My friend recently sent some of her clothes to thredUP and received a decent amount of money.  I bought some nice children’s clothing from thredUP but did not have a good experience when I sent them a huge bag of kids’ clothes.  However, I was planning on donating my old clothes and thought it would be worth it to see if any of them would sell.  We’ll see how much I get!

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{3} My first Stitch Fix came this week!   Here’s my little helper digging into my box:)  I loved the experience of Stitch Fix and plan on getting another “fix” in the future, even though I ended up keeping only one of the five items.  More about my experience with Stitch Fix will be in an upcoming post, hopefully sometime next week if I can get my blogging act together.  Work has been so busy lately, and after the kiddos are in bed in the evenings, all I want to do is read blogs and relax, not write blog posts:(

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{4}  My parents came last weekend and spent the night.  Will loves it when they visit (and Harper, too), especially since he gets to camp out in our bonus/play room.  Will’s bedroom serves as the guest bedroom, so he gets booted out of his room when company visits.  Here are my parents playing with the kiddos:)  While they were visiting, we went to downtown to an event called Sparkles and Sweets.  It’s a holiday kick-off open house where many stores are open until 9pm, including our favorite toy store.  We did a little Christmas shopping and walked around in the freezing cold!  But not too cold to stop at our favorite gelato shop and share some ice cream (I actually had some yummy hot chocolate instead, since I was really COLD!)!

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{5}  Christmas cards, check!  I’m trying to do some holiday prep in advance so it doesn’t become so overwhelming. We had our fall pics taken several weeks ago, and I had been waiting for a good deal on Christmas cards. I typically use Shutterfly for our cards, but the quality isn’t the greatest.  I happened to find a great deal on cards at Minted from The Mom Creative.  I’ve heard great things about the quality of cards from Minted, so I was excited when I purchased 25 Christmas postcards for $8 (including shipping and tax!).  What a great deal! Plus, it will save on postage!  Here’s the front of the Christmas postcards; the back has our address (already printed!) and a pic of Will and Harper.  The cards are made of nice quality, thick paper.  Now all I need to do is narrow down our Christmas list to 25 people!  Ha! I plan on buying a few additional Christmas cards to send to some family members (since I will include copies of our fall pics for them).

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Weekend Fun!

We had a busy, fun weekend! On Saturday, Will and Harper’s grandparents (my in-laws) came to visit for the day. We spent the morning playing at home and just hanging out. After the kids went down for naps, Mimi and I went out for a little shopping. She bought the kids several outfits for fall (fun!). While we were out I found the newest Fiestaware color, lapis. I’ve been collecting Fiestaware since I got married and just love the colors! They come out with a new color each summer and I’m loving the lapis!

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Mimi made some rhubarb pie, which the kids and I enjoyed today (my husband does not like rhubarb). It is interesting tasting but I love it! She also brought us several bags of blueberries that they picked at a local farm. Will and Harper eat blueberries like it’s candy!

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We went out to dinner with Mimi and Grandaddy to a local favorite restaurant of ours. It’s very challenging to take Will and Harper out to eat. Our strategy is to order our food and then one of us goes outside to walk around with the kids until our food arrives. It always helps if the restaurant has crayons and paper to color:) We also ordered Will’s new LLBean backpack. I had a coupon code and Mimi had some other offers, so we got his backpack for $15.20. Yipee!

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Today, I tried out several new recipes I found on Pinterest. First, I made some yummy zucchini brownies with frosting. We have a small garden and when I went out the other day to check on it, I found some huge zucchini! Like baseball bat size! Ha, not quite but it was big! Anyway, I needed to find a recipe that would use up some of the huge zucchini (the smaller ones I usually roast or saute). I found a simple recipe for zucchini brownies, which turned out delicious! I’m going to take some of these brownies to Will and Harper’s babysitter tomorrow (I have to work a half day).

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We are having dinner at our friends’ house tomorrow, so I decided to make a lemonade pie for dessert. The recipe I use is similar to this recipe except I don’t use the food coloring and I make the graham cracker crust from scratch. It’s not summer until I make my lemonade pie and a peanut butter pie from the Pioneer Woman!!
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For dinner I made a very easy and delicious three cheese skillet lasagna from Iowa Girl Eats. She has some great recipes on her blog! Anyway, this recipe is so easy because it’s a one dish meal. You brown the ground turkey and cook the pasta in the same skillet. You’ve got to try this recipe! So yummy, and it makes a ton! Hope you all had a great weekend:)
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