Saturday, November 26, 2011

Burlap Reindeer

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas over here! I started the season off this year with a little Christmas craft and made these burlap reindeer:


How cute would these reindeer look as a napkin ring on your Christmas table?



Or as a place card older:



These little guys may even end up on my mantle or used to wrap up a Christmas treat!



Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year! We’ll be decorating all weekend in this neck of the woods! When do you start decorating for Christmas? 

Linking up at: tatertots and jello ; Homemaker in Heels; C.R.A.F.T.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How do YOU Pinterest?

I am IN LOVE with Pinterest!! In fact, I can’t imagine what life was like without it! I mean, HOW did we bookmark our favorite sites before?? ;o) I just know there are so many ways to use Pinterest that I have yet to explore – here is what I use it for right now --

1) FOOD – Pinterest has made me a better cook. This ham & egg breakfast delight was Pinterest inspired. It was all my son would eat for two days while he was sick. I have a loooong list of goodies to make on my Food Even I Can Make board!


2) CLOTHES – well, if I looked HALF as good as my Pinterest My Style board, I would be one hot mama. I DO look for SOME of those clothes, but when you do most of your clothes shopping at Tarzhey, they’re kind of hard to find. ;o) New Year’s Resolution, branch out in {affordable} style. ;o) I did copy one Pinterest look though:

Pinterest version:

My version:

She managed to look chic and I managed to look like a pirate. It’s still a work in progress. :)

3) HOME DESIGN – Pinterest is SO inspiring for home d├ęcor and room designs! When I decorated my sister’s nursery this summer, we used Pinterest as a design inspiration board to bookmark ideas, including that book sling below, and coordinate a theme. Here is her Nursery Inspiration Board. 


4) CHRISTMAS LISTS!!! – Yes, I have taught my boys to “Pin It!” :o) It is an easy way to view their Christmas {and birthday since they’re all so close together!} lists, plus each picture links to the site where you can buy the gift! This is PERFECT for family who lives farther away!! Can you tell what toys Little Man is into right now?


I even made a wish list for myself! :):) But mostly so I can see things I need/like because whenever I get a gift card, or family asks, I always forget and end up wasting the money on an impulse buy. Maybe now I will be more focused!!

Oh, and my most repinned pin? This Recipe Binder Organizer:

Isn't this a great idea? {Have I used this yet? Ummm, no. See reason from style board above. If I was as organized as my "Organize It" pin board I wouldn't need a maid. But I can DREAM of being this ultra organized!} ;o)

I also have a board for crafts, free printables, holidays and such, but I’m sure there are many more ways to utilize Pinterest! How do you use it? Leave your comments below! I would love to hear how Pinterest inpsires YOU!!! 

PS: If you ARE on Pinterest – follow me! And if you’re not and WANT TO JOIN the party, message me your email {or comment below} and I will send you an invite! :) Happy Pinning!!

Linking up at: tatertots & jello

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Thankful Treat

Hello friends! Is Thanksgiving really next week?? Already? Well, if you need a quick little thank you gift – today, I’m your girl! :) This is quick AND easy! {Hmmm, I tend to use that term a lot with food…} ;o) Wrap up this snack mix and give it to your favorite teacher, buddy or save it for a fun table snack on Thanksgiving day!


Here is what you’ll need:

  • Bugles Chips {A must! They look like little cornucopias!}
  • Fall M & M’s {These may be hard to find since it IS November & most candy around is already red & green – don’t get me on THAT soap box right now!} ;o) Reeses Pieces also makes a good substitute.
  • Candy Corn or Indian Corn {CVS sells candy corn year round! <---- I just learned that!}
  • Clear cups or cute container to put your candy mix in
  • Cellophane and twine (optional) to wrap up your sweet treat!
Once you gather your supplies, you simply mix equal parts of the snack into individual little cups or treat boxes and give to someone you are thankful for!! 



Here is how I wrapped up my little treats. I will be giving these to the office staff at my work as a little 'Thanksgiving Thank You.' :)


I used these printable tags from anna and blue paperie and glued them to the cups. I wrapped each one in cellophane {For some reason I am not gifted when it comes to wrapping in cellophane. Do they give classes on that? lol I know. It’s not that hard. Sigh.} Anyways, I then tied each one with twine and they are ready to go!

See? Easy! ;o) I needed 16 little gifties to give to people at work, so quick, easy {and affordable} is always my kind of project – even though these ladies are worth a million bucks! I am SO thankful for all they do for us teachers, I try to treat them a few times a year! Thanks ladies!! I may even give one of these to my son's teacher! How about you? Who do you have to be thankful for?

Linking up at:
Midweek Fiesta ; tatertots and jello; Homemaker in Heels; Rae Gun Ramblings

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Amazing Race Birthday Party


We love birthdays at our house! Even the smallest celebrations we try to make special! This year was my older son’s 11th birthday. Now, usually we do organized parties with friends every other year. (Even-numbered years to be exact.) This would technically have been his year ‘off’, just family, BUT, he was turning 11 – in the 11th month of the 11th year!! We couldn’t pass up this opportunity to celebrate – on 11.11.11! At 11am! To keep the party low on price but high on fun, I came up with “Sean’s Amazing Race!” The Amazing Race is one of our favorite shows to watch and I used to love doing scavenger hunts when I was a kid so I created an Amazing Race Scavenger hunt for my son and his friends!

Here’s how it works:

FIRST, find a good place where the kids can run around and solve “tasks.” We used a local outdoor mall.

Next, I came up with 11 tasks to go with the 11th birthday theme. PS: **Important** I went ahead of time to ASK the shop owners if the kids could perform these tasks in their stores. Most were very nice and agreed. I also reminded the kids to respect guests and stores in the mall during the race. (They all behaved really well!)

Here is a picture of the task card I made – I added an Amazing Race logo using my son’s name and made one card for each team:

(The Amazing Race is copyrighted by and its affiliates. I own no rights to the logo. Just love the show!)


I then stuffed little bags with everything they needed for the race:

I put money in the bag since some of the tasks required them to play video/arcade games. I gave a little extra ‘just in case' too.

Let the race begin!!

TASK ONE: Who has luck? Roll an 11 on the dice {provided in the task bag seen above} 


TASK TWO: Are you patient? Ride the escalator two times – no walking ahead/skipping steps!


And they’re off! 


TASK 5 – Who can handle the heat? 

Racers had to go to a local restaurant and ask for the “Habanero Shot.” {Their spiciest salsa!} This is where I would be OUT! I cannot handle the heat AT ALL! But the kids did great! :) I put that little shot glass in their bags too, to make it easier for the shop owner.

Where to next?


TASK 7: Who’s got the moves? Play an opponent in the “In the groove” dance video game!


This was one of my favorite tasks!!! Fun for the players and fun to watch! Some of the other tasks included unscrambling the name of one of the shops, writing down daily specials from one of the restaurants, and an “I Spy” portion!

I think one of the boys’ favorites was the last task: Whose got chops? 

First team to lick away the center of the Oreo wins!!


Everyone left a winner! We celebrated at my son’s favorite place to eat. {Can you tell what his favorite restaurant is?}

The goodie bags had a few things inside to represent the #11: Two sticks of gum, Twinkies packaged up look like an 11 and a brain puzzle:



We had a great time! Thanks for reading about Sean’s Amazing Race! I'm also proud of my kiddo because he has decided to participate in The Birthday Project! Click here to find out how people around the world are giving back on their birthdays! Keep checking back on my blog -- I'll be posting what he chose to do for his birthday project in the next couple weeks!

And finally, to read a little birthday tribute I wrote about my sweet birthday boy, just keep reading through to the post below or click here.

Happy Birthday buddy! Love you! xo


Thank you to Laurie Turk for featuring this party on Tip Junkie!

Sharing at the CSI Project: Kids Birthday Parties

Linking up this party here:
C.R.A.F.T.; The Gunny Sack; Tip Junkie;{Junk in their Trunk}

Introducing My #1 Son

Eleven years ago my #1 son (not in favor, just in birth order) ;o) was born. This post is a little dedication to him, so prepare yourself for some sappy, gushy mom lovin’ blog lovin’! Thanks for indulging me. :)

If a birth is in any way reflective of a child’s life my children’s birth stories would be just that. My first little man arrived in 90 min., (45 minutes of that was hard labor.) Feel free to hate me a little bit for that labor, but maybe the little guy was thinking of me. Seriously, don’t know if I could have handled it longer than 45 minutes anyways. How do some people last hours!!! You can like me again though, because he came so fast, I didn’t use any drugs. But after looking at these sweet dimples, I didn’t' care about labor, drugs, or anything else, for that matter. Just about keeping him happy and keeping those dimples on his face…

3 months old: I think he was running for baby President in this picture.

And HE WAS BORN ON HIS DUE DATE! Apparently only 4-5% of babies are born right on their due date. He has continued to be an on time, rule follower kind of guy ever since. As a baby he was very happy (minus needing to eat EVERY two hours for 3 months straight. I thought I’d go a little loopy – okay I DID go loopy!) He was a chubs! We’re talkin’ tire rings on the thighs AND arms! :)

At 6 months. Still full of smiles! { And drool}  He was a sweet little kiddo!

At 9 months he was walking!! Seriously! We’re not talking steps, people. As soon as he figured out those chubby legs could move him, he was off and running! And he hasn’t stopped since! Fast forward several years later and he is still a kid who likes to run:


He ran his first 1 mile kids race when he was 5 and has run 3-4 races every year since. This year, he ran his first 5k!! (So proud)

He also likes to play football and go snowboarding.


AND he loves books – especially Harry Potter! (Ah, a kid after my own heart)


So much so, that we took a trip to Orlando, FL last year just to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! (Okay, that trip may also have been *a little* bit because mom was a huge fan too!) It was the best trip ever! Of course, we had to dress up at the park!


{Just getting off the Hogwarts Express}

{Welcome to Hogsmead!}

{Herbology class!}

He is actually starting to outgrow this Harry Potter phase, so I am glad we got this trip in at the height of his interest!! :)

I love that he enjoys being active, but most of all, I love his HEART. When I asked him what two words he thinks defines him he said: “Positive Energy.”


He is a positive guy – even in the face of adversity, school and life.
When I asked him about other qualities he thought he had he said this:

“Well, I’m thoughtful… smart, and I like to read and play sports. I believe in God. That’s me.” 

Yep, buddy that IS you. I love that he loves the Lord, and that he is a good big brother. He calls his brother “little buddy” all the time and it makes me melt. He is always growing into be helper, a problem solver, a little gentleman and a good soul.

He is also REALLY good at fixing things. When I got mad at him for taking apart his calculator, he said ‘Why? I’ve done it before!” (Hmm, not to my knowledge.} But he put it back together. And IT STILL WORKS. Go figure. I guess that’s why he wants to go into engineering and architecture. Yes, he already knows what he wants to do AND where he wants to go to college for that matter. He had me look up good engineering schools and it turns out Stanford’s program is the one he likes best. Um, I sure hope that sport’s thing works out buddy, because I think a scholarship is going to need to be in your future!! :) But for now, I am cultivating the dream! :)

{ via Google images}


I like that he knows that I will be there to support him and that I encourage every dream he has. Even when that meant he wanted to be an army guy, a race car driver AND a professional LEGO builder all at the same time. :)

He is one smart cookie, and he is always saying sweet things. He has the heart of a pleaser, so I constantly pray that he will grow up to find someone that appreciates him and that will not take advantage of his sensitive and giving heart. He was looking a little down the other day and I asked him what was wrong. One question that came up was, was he bothered by something someone said? Worried about being cool? (Middle school life can be tough you know.) His answer: “Mom, I don’t worry about what other people think. I’m just me. They can take it or leave it.” Well, that just made my heart smile. I’m so proud of the young man he has become. I pray that he continues to grow up in confidence, to be a good person, with a kind, loving heart and soul, and the man God wants him to be. xoxo


And buddy, I AM SO PROUD OF EXACTLY WHO YOU ARE! I love you!!!!


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