Five on Friday!

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

What a nice week! We went to school on Monday, had off Tuesday through Thursday due to snow, and now a two hour delay today! I could get used to this, ha! (Update- now we are off today! Four days in a row!)

{1} I’m loving these adorable Valentine’s plates I bought at Target the other week!  I’m not big on buying lots of seasonal items such as plates and cups for the kiddos (though they are so cute and fun), simply because I don’t feel that we get enough use out of them.  Plus, I’m trying to keep things more simple and don’t want lots of clutter around the house.  However, I couldn’t resist these! (They were pretty cheap and not too Valentine-ish, so we could use them throughout the year).

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{2} Last weekend, we went downtown (in the freezing cold! It was like 20 degrees…brrrr) to our local toy store, Pufferbellies.  Will and Harper love playing with all the fun toys:) Here’s Harper making some music! After playing, we headed to a new cloth diaper store (see #3 and 4 below) and then to a coffee shop for some vanilla chai (me), a chocolate mocha (my husband) and a lemon poppyseed muffin (the kiddos).  Such a fun morning!

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{3} While at the new cloth diaper store, I came across an organic laundry soap called Eco Nuts.  I have heard of the soap nuts and had always wanted to try them.  The nuts are a berry that grow on trees in the Himalayas.  All you do is put 4-5 nuts in a bag (it comes with two bags) and toss them into the washer.  We have an HE washing machine, and they work just fine! I washed several loads of laundry with the eco nuts and they worked well (there’s just no fragrance)!  I’m trying to purchase/make more natural household items, and these are so cool!  You reuse the nuts up to ten times and they are compostable.

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{4} My reason for checking out the cloth diaper store was to purchase these training pants for Will.  He has been potty trained since last summer but has been wearing a diaper at night.  He is typically completely dry in the mornings, so I wanted to buy these training pants to use.  One thing I regret not doing with my kiddos is cloth diapering.  I didn’t know anyone who cloth diapered when Will was born and was so overwhelmed with him as a baby (nursing, going back to work, pumping, in general he was a fussy baby, etc.) that I didn’t think much about cloth diapering.  I briefly considered it when Harper was born, but I didn’t follow through with it (I really wish I had, though).  Anyway, we have been using the training pants and Will loves them!  He is such a big boy now!

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{5} Oh, Target!  In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a little obsessed with Target.   I go there on an almost weekly basis.  Here’s some of their most recent Valentines items.  I bought some heart candy cups and plan on making this s’mores mix.

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Have a wonderful weekend!

Five on Friday-Toy Edition

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Happy New Year! It’s so hard to believe that 2014 is here! 2013 flew by! I’m linking up with Darci and friends for the first Five on Friday link- up in 2014! I had to go back to work yesterday (boo) but greatly enjoyed my time off. I’m looking forward to some snow days in January and February:)

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of the cool things my kiddos got for Christmas.

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{one}

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The Squigz is such a fun toy! These silicone rubber suction pieces stick to any smooth surface. You can build some fun shapes and creations with them. The company makes a PipSquigz for babies as well, which are much bigger. Will and Harper (and me!) love building things with these toys!

{two}

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My sister-in-law got my nephew some of these Magformers for his birthday this summer. My husband and I thought they were so fun (and Will enjoyed playing with them) that we bought Will a set for Christmas. They are super magnetic and it’s easy to construct shapes with them. It comes with a booklet that shows you step by step how to build castles and rockets. Or, you could spend countless hours building your own designs.

{three}

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In an attempt to organize our toys, I bought an orange Swoop bag from our local toy store. We use the Swoop bag as a playmat for Will’s Duplos. So far, it’s worked great and has contained the Duplos in one spot. There’s also a smaller Swoop bag, which would be good for traveling.

{four}

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Miss Harper is obsessed with cats, so this year was a “Cat Christmas” for her, ha! She got a little stuffed cat with a purple purse, kitten stickers, and this cute book from the “That’s Not My” series of books. If you haven’t seen these books, go check them out! I love the sensory items on each page. I think there’s a “That’s Not My” for anything you could imagine! We have the plane, tractor, penguin, snowman, and now kitten “That’s Not My” books!

{five}

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This isn’t a toy but I got it for Harper for Christmas and think it’s so cool! Will and Harper eat tons of applesauce in the squeeze pouches, which gets expensive and wasteful. We have been using these reusable squeeze pouches and are loving them! They are fairly easy to clean and pretty easy to fill with applesauce. I want to try filling them with yogurt as well

What fun gifts did your kiddos receive?

Five on Friday!

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Happy Friday!  I’m linking up with Darci and friends for Five on Friday, Instagram Edition (again, ha! Computer is still not working):)

{1} Here’s what happens when you live next to a dairy farm-cows in the road!.  We drove home the other evening from my husband’s work Christmas party, and found about twenty cows out on the road.  As we drove up the hill to turn into our driveway, the cows decided to head up our driveway as well.  We went straight and pulled into our neighbor’s driveway.  My husband got out of the car and chased the cows down the hill back to their field while I texted the farmers to let them know.  The cows don’t get out of their field much, but when they do, they cause lots of damage to our yard and trample our bushes and flowers:(

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{2} Last weekend, we went to a local Christmas tree farm to select our tree.  I love this tradition, but my husband…not so much.  He would prefer to have an artificial tree, but so far, I’ve won this battle!  Here’s Miss H. and Will at the farm.  It was a cold, cold day, so we weren’t there long.  Just long enough to pick out a tree and snap a few pics!

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{3} Christmas cards-addressed, stamped, and mailed!  I got a great deal from Minted on Christmas postcards, but I also picked up some Christmas cards at Target so I could mail some family and friends pics from our fall photo session.

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{4} On Monday and Tuesday, we  had snow/sleet/ice days and  I got to stay home from school! I’ve really enjoyed the time with the kiddos but want to save some of our built-in snow days until later in winter (now we only have three more).  Plus, we only have to work five more days until winter break, yay!  The weather wasn’t too bad on Monday, so I took Will and Harper out to run some errands with me.  When I told Will we were going to run errands, he asked “Why are we going to see Aaron?”  Ha!  We went to the post office to mail our Christmas cards, checked out some books at our local library, and headed to our favorite toy store to play and pick out some gifts.  On Tuesday, we hung around the house and made cookies, built a train set, organized our toys, read lots of books, danced to music, and just had lots of fun!

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{5} Here’s what our bonus room/play room upstairs looks like on any given day…keeping it real, folks!  I don’t even bother to pick up the toys on a regular basis any more. We do clean up our toys downstairs daily (for the most part), but I’ve given up on the playroom, ha!  Anyway, this leads me to Christmas shopping and gifts.  I’m almost finished with Christmas shopping but decided that since Will and Harper already have lots of toys, we are going to do the simple gift giving philosophy that I’ve seen around blogs and most recently, on the Girl in the Red Shoes.  It’s the “something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read” philosophy.  We’re also going to collect some old toys that the kids no longer play with and donate to Salvation Army or the local mission.

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Organization-baskets, baskets, and more baskets!

I love everything organization! Here are a few ways I use baskets/containers in my home to stay organized:

~Baby changing basket full of diapers, wipes, diaper cream, lotion, hand wipes. This basket stays on my dresser right beside our pack n play/changing table.

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~This basket, which sits beside our phone in our kitchen, holds pens, pencils, sticky notes, my camera (for quick access to take pics of the kiddos), and any recent mail/bills.

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~This is a peek into my pantry. Several years ago I bought the white containers and labeled/organized my pantry.


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~I organize all of my thank you cards, birthday cards, and miscellaneous cards in this basket. It also includes stamps, an address stamper, tape, a stapler, pens, my address book, and anything else I need when mailing letters. While I like sending handwritten letters and notes, I hate picking out the cards. Each January I buy all of the birthday cards I need for the entire year! This system works very well for me! I also purchase several additional cards that I might need throughout the year. Having an address stamper is a nice time saving tool as well!

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~My Keurig cups are organized in this pretty ceramic basket from Target. I don’t have room on our counter to display it, but when we have guests stay with us, we get it out.

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~I have two linen boards in between the mirror above my dresser where I hang my jewelry. It’s a very pretty way to display my necklaces (which tend to stay on the board more than on me-with having little kiddos, I often forget to put on jewelry, ha!).

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~This is one of three baskets from The Land of Nod for organizing toys. My son has a green one in his room and we have a light blue one in our bonus room (where the majority of the toys are). The brown basket stays in our living room downstairs and blends in fairly well with the decor.
20130722-145712.jpg~How do you use baskets to organize?