Monday, December 31, 2012

Are You Down With New Year's Resolutions?


The husband and I completed our list of New Year's resolutions over the weekend.
Last year we quit smoking (gross...) and we both ran a half marathon (GO US!)

Our goals for 2013

-Andy-
Compete in 2 crossfit games
 Laithe and I gave him a gift certificate to a Crossfit gym last year for Father's Day.  To say he enjoyed it would be an understatement...obsession?
Complete a mile everyday
 I think this is a really cool idea.  He should blog about it.

-Jess-
Write in one sentence journal everyday
I have a horrible memory.  Hopefully I can remember to write down my memories.
Read at least 50 books
Join me and keep up with my reviews under the books section of my menu. 
Project Life
It's like a scrapbook but without all the super hard work.  I already have all the materials, I just never followed through with it.
Upload pictures and organize at least once a week
That way in December next year I'm not trying to condense 2,000+ pictures into a photo book.
Follow along with The Happiness Project and Happier at home
I went through and joined the resolutions of each month together.  There are a LOT but I'll just be completing the things that apply to me.  I'll be posting on the first and the last of each month to review my goals and my progress for the month.

Whoa!  That's a lot!  However, I feel like they are all manageable goals and will contribute to our overall happiness and productivity for the year.  I don't have any fitness related goals simply because I've kept a fairly regular exercise schedule up until the last month or so of my pregnancy.  I will be running the Chicago Women's Half Marathon again in June and hope to complete many more races during the year!

I would also like to recommend printables from Put It One Paper to help you reach your New Year's goals.  Sarah has a "Organized New Year's Resolutions" bundle to help meet finance, cleaning, & fitness goals.  I will be reviewing the cleaning bundle next Monday, January 7th and hosting a giveaway!  Be sure to check out her store before then!

Do you keep New Year's resolutions or do you have a resolution to never make resolutions??
Wishing you happiness, health, and more in 2013!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Winter Emergency Car Kit

I never ever thought that this would be necessary.
We don't live in the middle of nowhere, we're 5 minutes from downtown Davenport
(yes, I get it, that is the middle of nowhere for a lot of people, ha!).
Last week it was raining when we left to go to Laithe's playgroup.
About an hour after after we got there, it turned to freezing rain so we started heading home...
what is normally a 15 minute drive turned into over an hour.
It was an actual blizzard. 50+ mph winds and white out conditions. Whoa.
Growing up in the midwest I've never been scared to drive in the snow, but having Laithe in the car with me completely changes things.
I always figured we would be close enough to home that it wouldn't be a concern.
Then just north of here people were stuck on the highway for a day,
A DAY!
Granted if we got into a desperate enough situation,
I'm sure there are enough McDonald's french fries under the seats to sustain us.
Eeek.

Winter Emergency Car Kit

  • Flashlight
  • Extra Batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Wipes/Toilet Paper 
  • Jumper Cables  <--Already in my car
  • Blanket
  • Road Flares/Warning Triangles  (and I have a GLOW STICK in case a rave breaks out)
  • Lighter
  • Matches
  • Knife or scissors
  • Snacks (Clif/Luna Bars because we keep them in the car anyway!)
  • Water (I have a Diet Coke?)
  • Plastic tarp
  • Gloves
  • Tow rope
  • Ice Scraper <--Already in my car
  • Plastic bags


Do you have a winter emergency kit in your car?  Have you ever had to use it?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Am I the Grinch?

On Christmas Eve, Laithe gave his farewell to Arthur the elf.  
Sidenote:  I read some jackass post the other day where the woman had already planned for her elf to stay all year.
It gave ideas for special things to do on holidays (ie. April Fool's, Labor Day, President's Day, etc.)
Seriously lady?  WTF?


From Laithe and the husband I got a ring with Laithe and Kai's birthstone 
(as long as Kai waits until January!)


And a Garmin Forerunner!  
I'm so excited and I wanted to go running all over, 
however it's in the 20's and snowy
and I am not so brave while 9 months pregnant!


I made cinnamon roll waffles on Christmas Day.
Take Pillsbury cinnamon roll,
place on waffle maker,
cook.
Too easy.
And Delicious.

Laithe was so excited for his presents from Santa!



By 9:15 this morning, I had already taken down all of our Christmas decorations.
I've already uploaded our Christmas pictures and added them to our Shutterfly annual photo book.
Does that make me a Grinch?

Honestly, I would have done it all on Christmas if not for pregnancy/food induced laziness.
And...the husband fell down the stairs and was in no mood to do anything other than sit on the couch.
Super scary (and mildly hilarious after realizing he was ok....but not hilarious when he had to get x-rays this morning).

I think taking down all the decorations allow me to "reclaim" my house.
I love everything at first but as December wears on I find myself giving the stink eye to the Christmas tree for being in my way.
The day after Christmas really signifies the New Year to me.
It means I have less than a week to figure out my resolutions and a plan to stick with them.
(For those of you that consistently make a New Year's resolution to "lose weight" or "get in shape" I recommend getting pregnant in April and giving birth the following Janaury, it's an automatic jump start! Haha)

I'll be posting Monday about my New Year's resolutions (as well as the husbands!).
Eventually I will leave my house and finish up my winter emergency kit for the car (maybe Friday?).

I also added a page to the menu above to include books
Check it out and please give me any recommendations you have!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Say Adios to Arthur!

Merry Christmas Eve!

It is finally time to wish our elves farewell!
Over the past few days, Arthur has gotten increasingly lazy-

Day 22: Hiding in the Christmas tree

Day 23: Hanging out in the sled


Day 24:  Arthur brought special Christmas Eve gifts for the family and a letter from Santa



Our gifts include:
Christmas pajamas
Christmas books
Charlie Brown Christmas movie

I wrote Laithe's letter from Santa and used the Santa stationary from Living Locurto
His letter says:

Dear Laithe,

Arthur has has so much fun watching over you the past few weeks!  You have been such a good little boy and you haven't even tried to move him once!  Thank you so much for following directions!

Arthur told me that he is going to miss you so much.  He asked me if he could spend the day with you.  I gave Arthur special magic that allows you to touch him today and today only.  Please be kind while you play with Arthur, you must treat him with care.  Return Arthur to this spot before you go to sleep and I will pick him up tonight.  Make sure you go to bed on time and sleep all night so that I can bring your presents!

Don't forget my milk and cookies!

Merry Christmas!

Love,
Santa


Then, after an already great start to our morning, our neighbor brought us cinnamon rolls and the husband brought home coffee!  Just in time for breakfast!

Laithe also got a "big brother" package from the lovely Deanna that included this hat 
How cute is that?


Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas filled with family, food, and fun!




Friday, December 21, 2012

Elf on the Shelf, Week 3

I am so sick of this elf, I can hardly stand it.
The other night I woke up at 2 in the morning to the thought of
"I forgot to move the damn ELF!"
I had to drag myself out of bed and move it.
Grumble.

The Big One loves it though.
As soon as he gets up he goes to look for him.
He's going to be heartbroken when Arthur has to return to the north pole...
although I will not be!

Day 15:

Day 16:

Day 17: Zip-lining

Day 18: Punk kid threw a fit about brushing his teeth the night before

Day 19:

 Day 20:

Day 21:  It says "4 more days until Christmas"
The husband said it originally looked like "4 MURDERS until Christmas"
Give me a break, it's hard to write on toilet paper.


Today I am working on a "Winter Car Survival Kit" because apparently it is something I should have in my car?
Probably should have prepped that before the blizzard yesterday. Oops.

Also, working on a book review and most importantly we are tortoise sitting for Casey while they are "skiing in Breckenridge over the holiday" or something else that jerks do.

Meet Yuri:

Yuri tells the Big One what to do.

Yuri made me do it mom.  He told me to.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Snowflakes for Sandy Hook


I haven't addressed the tragedy at Sandy Hook because I still really have no words.

Various PTA organizations and volunteers are working to create a winter wonderland when school resumes in a new building for the students of Sandy Hook.
Their plan is to decorate the building with as many unique snowflakes as possible.

This is an easy project to complete with your children and requires minimal supplies.
We used coffee filters, craft paint, and markers.
Then I cut out various shapes with scissors.

All submissions need to be received by January 12, 2013.

Please send snowflakes to:

Connecticut PTSA
60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, CT 06514

You can get more information on donations at I heart nap time.






Monday, December 17, 2012

DIY Taco Seasoning

I try to cook at least one new recipe a week, however there are certain meals that are always guaranteed to get the Big One's approval.
A go to meal for us is turkey tacos.
I made them about once a week and they are always delicious!

I was getting annoyed buying taco seasoning.  I never had it when I needed it, so no last minute tacos.
I decided that I would start making our own.

Here is the recipe, I would say it is fairly mild.
You can add more chili powder and red pepper if you want it hotter!

Taco Seasoning
(Makes approximately 5 servings)

1.5 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. paprika
1 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. sea salt


Mix well & place in a closed container.
Use 1 tbsp. per pound of meat and add a half a cup of water.


I used Martha Stewart Chalkboard Labels and chalk markers to make a label for a mason jar.



Multiply the recipe by 3 or 4 if you make tacos on a regular basis and want a larger supply!

One of my favorite people, Casey loaned me a lens for my new camera.
And I love it.
Hopefully she'll show me how to use it.
Ha.

Until then,
I can't really go wrong taking pictures of this cute kid.



Friday, December 14, 2012

Elf on the Shelf, Week 2

We have not been very inventive with Arthur this week.
We had a stomach virus sweep through our house that has thrown us completely off track.
I am just now beginning to sense normalcy in our home again.

Day 8- Marshmallow Bubble Bath

Day 9- Hanging Out

Day 10- Note About Santa Visit

Day 11- Rescue Elf

Day 12- Ceiling Fan With The Chicken
Our dog, Annie, is NUTS about that chicken and putting it on the ceiling fan is the only way we can get it away from her.  If it's anywhere lower she'll get it or whine if it's in a cabinet.
The ceiling fan allows us a break from it while reassuring her that it is still there.  Ha.

Day 13- Tissue Bed

Day 14- On a Shelf!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Almost Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

Since the husband is back and I actually have to cook 
(vs. the two months the Big One and I spent eating cereal and lunchables for dinner),
I decided I would make something special.

The husband is very into CrossFit and all things that they teach,
such as a paleo diet.
I'm not going to convert our entire family menu
but I have agreed to cook at least one meal a week.

I've made these cookies in the past and they were delicious.
I wish I could make them on a regular basis, however they are pricey!
Almond flour runs about $9.00 and one bag is enough to make two batches of these cookies.
Although, the husband and I will only eat one or two of these at a time.
They are MUCH more satisfying than cookies with white flour (which we would eat a whole package of- ha)

Almost Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
(adapted from The Detoxinista)
Ingredients:

2 Cups of almond flour
1/4 cup softened butter
3 Tbsp. pancake syrup (ANY kind)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Step One: Preheat oven to 350 degrees


Step Two:  Whisk together almond flour, baking soda, and sea salt.

Step Three:  Add butter, vanilla extract, and syrup. Mix well.


Step Four:  Fold in chocolate chips.


Step Five:  Place wax paper down on baking sheet.
Drop dough in rounded tablespoons about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 9 minutes or until edges are browned.

(Om nom nom nom)
Step Six: Let cool approximately 10 minutes.

Enjoy!



Monday, December 10, 2012

Dare to DIY: Snowman Wreath

I've been looking for a wreath for Christmas.
I found one that I loved at Hobby Lobby, for $149. 
Eh, I didn't love it that much, not even for 50% off.

The Big One is at the age where everything for Christmas should be fun.
A beautiful wreath? Boring.
A snowman wreath?  That's fun!

Since I am once again linking up to Dare to DIY,
I decided we would make a snowman yarn wrapped wreath.
It cost less than $20 for all the materials.

Materials needed:
3 wreaths (foam or plastic wrapped) small, medium, and large
Yarn
Felt/Foam to create the hat
Scissors
Glue
Ribbon


Step One:
Wrap all the wreaths with yarn.
It may take you three days, that's ok.  :)


Step Two:
Tie the wreaths together with yarn/


Step Three:
Draw a top hat and cut it out.



Step Four:
Glue hat on.


Step Five:
Wrap ribbon around for the scarf.


When we finished it, it was raining.  This morning it is 17 degrees.
I'll venture to the front porch at some point to hang it on our front door..
after it warms up!  :)

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