Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Party Planning Overdrive

Well folks in just under 5 days we will be throwing Munchkin his Disney Cars birthday bash.  I can't wait! I am totally overwhelmed, and my to do list has been growing longer and longer.  To top it all off Munchkin has seemed to reach the terrible two's late or is he early for the horrible, annoying, monstrous, doanythingtogetonmynerves threes!?!? 
And am I the only one who still invites (or excepts friends of friends invites) with a week left to party?!?! I'm crazy I know... it just, the more the merrier!... right?

Anyhow, I've been skipping tot school and I will probably skip blogging for the rest of the week.  However...  I will be sharing all (well most) of the party pics when I return. 

To make my life slightly easier today I will pre mix all the dry ingredients for the cake and cupcakes (also corn bread, I think it'll go great with my chili bar).  I've decided on chocolate cake with strawberry cream filling and white chocolate butter cream frosting.  I CAN NOT WAIT to stuff my face.  I know I know, not so healthy, and my mom thinks I'm gonna put all the kids on a sugar high, but come on... strawberries are a fruit, and birthdays are once a year.  I am also planning on pre-chopping and shredding anything that I can. My goal is to not do anything but frost cupcakes, and place balloons, and set up (not cook) the food on the day of the party.  Wish me luck.  Last year things did not go as planned... do they ever?

Anyway, like I said I will be MIA until sometime next week.  I'm sure I will spend the first half of next week feverishly cleaning up after the bash.  Have a wonderful remainder of the week.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Snow Fun!!

Munchkin has been asking to make a snowman for weeks.  Problem, we've had no snow, until Sunday!  He was sooo excited when he woke up to see that it was snowing outside.  So of course, out we went!!

My little Eskimo... all ready to go!

He loved making a snow angel.

A new use for beach buckets!!

When Little Bear woke up, he was ready to go too!

He was really into tasting the snow flakes!

Not too crazy about making a snow angel.. lol.

Hot Warm Chocolate after playing in the snow!

Yesterday, It rained all day... luckily I got some snow before it all melted.  He had a blast chopping, and packing it into the cup I gave him.

What kind of snow fun does your family have?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Race Car Party Inspiration

Yes.. I know, I've missed another Friday Five... but for a good reason.  I am totally obsessed with party planning right now, and I will be for another two weeks or so.  I've even made myself a little party planning binder.  Munchkin loves Disney Cars... LOVES them!  So of course for birthday number 3 that's the theme!  There is so much awesome Cars / Race Car party inspiration out there! 

Here is my main inspiration!

This is the dessert table at So Wonderful, So Marvelous.  Definitely doing rice krispy treat traffic lights (remember I made a semi-healthier version here).  Birthdays are about fun and sweets, so our dessert buffet will be like a sweet shop!!

What a great idea over at Maddycakes Muse.  My hubby looked at me like I was crazy when I said I wanted to put a real tire on our table.  I think I can get him to come around ;)

I've seen these puffs everywhere, and I can't wait to make some.  

This one is by far my favorite.  This grand welcome is only the beginning!  Everything at this party was amazing.  Check it out at the Jolly Mom.

Race car party cupcakes
I'm in love!! Umm, I actually went out and bought this track just for this... okay not just for this, It will double as Munchkin's b-day present.. Who said everyone can't be happy!?!?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Healthy Snack Chart

See that.  That is one step towards eating healthier in our home.  I am a snacker, I could eat all day long... seriously I could.  Some times I do.  I'm the type that opens to fridge or pantry and stands there thinking of what to eat.  Then I come up with some unhealthy combination of things.  So I came up with this chart to put in our pantry.  I know that these foods are in my home (most of the time), I just think of this as a reminder.  Hopefully it will help keep me focused on healthy snacking.  I added the calorie count because my hubby likes to know that kind of stuff (he's a numbers guy).  I made two different sections (us and them) because the boys' don't typically eat the same things we do and vice versa.  Also for some reason, on the rare occassion I am away with out the boys, my husband still calls me to ask what he should feed them... smh.  Anyway, I'll let you know how this is working out for us.  

Are you a snacker?, if so what healthy tips do you have?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Homemade Sugar Scrub

Hey all!! Sorry I missed you on Friday (lol, you may not have noticed I didn't post a Friday Five).  The boys were in rare form, and I had a serious case of writers block?!?  Anyway, I can't wait to show you what I did this weekend.  

So in my last Friday Five, I explained how I'd like to take care of me a little better.  Give myself a bit of pampering here and there.  Well a side from giving myself a full Mary Kay  Miracle Set treatment here and there, I also decided to get back to giving myself spa treatments.  You know foot soaks, and all.  Well I happened to be searching for race car party ideas (the Munchkin is turning 3, more on that later...), anyway I found this on one of my bloggy friend Latoya's Page.  

Pinned Image
Pinterest via The Scott's Crib

I am easily distracted so while it had nothing to do with race car parties, I decided to take a closer look.

Your very own salt scrub?!!?! I have got to try that... and I did!!

Years ago I used to get this scrub from Bath & Body Works.  It was a lavender scented sugar scrub, and it used to make my skin feel so smooth and smell delish!! Problem... it was $20 a jar.  Also these days hubby and I share a car, so trips to the mall during the week don't happen, and honestly... taking an almost 3 year old and a 16 month old are hardly my idea at a fun trip to the mall.

Anyway... here's what I did.  During my trip to the super market I bought the following: Raw sugar (I was trying to imitate my fav from BBW), Grape seed oil (okay in the original pin it says olive oil, but I forgot and figured I just pic any kind).  The Sugar was $2.99, and the oil was 4.99.  You see where I'm going with this???

When I got home and re-read the pin I saw that you could use almond oil or olive oil, as luck would have it, I actually had a bottle of a body oil mix (almond, olive, peanut... and Vitamin E).  I grabbed this bottle, my bottle of lavender essential oil, my new purchases, and a random glass jar that I had just sitting around waiting to be used.

Sorry the pic qualities aren't so great... I did this at night.

I bought the Almond mixture from a natural health food store, I think it was around $7, I typically add this to bath water (I get really dry skin in the winter).  The essential oil came from the same store for $9.99 (I know because the price sticker is still there), yes sounds like a lot for such a small bottle (it's the little dark brown one).. but you really only use a few drops at a time.  I've been using drops like crazy: in the bath tub if I take a soak, in shampoos and conditioners, lotions.. you get the idea.. I love the smell of lavender and the bottle is still filled to near the top.

I added equal parts of the almond oil, and grape seed oil.  Notice the jar isn't even half full?  If I was to do it again I'd start with less oil.  Possibly 1/4 cups of each oil (or you could just do 1/2 cup olive oil).
Then I added about 5 drops of essential oil.

Then I started pouring my sugar in.  Not sure how much... maybe a cup and a half (maybe 2?).  I just kept pouring until it was at the top.

And that's it.  Voila' !!! I tried it right away on my hands, and could not stop rubbing them together and smelling them (sounds crazy right?).  Later on in the shower I gave myself the spa like scrub my dry skin has been needing.  OMG!!  I am so excited to have found this.  I will never go back to store bought scrubs.  This was so simple and inexpensive to do.

If you count what I spent at the grocery store it cost me $7.98, compared to $20 for a smaller jar!!!  If you add in the other oils I used the total is $24.99... but I have so much leftover I could make this at least three more times... and still have PLENTY of essential oil left!!! I may start getting creative and add some aloe, or maybe combine some other kind of essential oils for different scents.

Hope you enjoyed!! I really encourage you to try this! I can't wait to get in the shower again ; ).

Linking To:

The Scott's Crib

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Organizing Tot School

Little Bear is 16m
Munchkin is 35m

As you may have read, I really enjoy teaching my toddlers.  I am a teacher by trade and at heart and it was only natural for me to continue with my own kiddos while staying at home with them.  I come from a big family of teachers.  One of my aunts who teaches at a special needs school has been donating tons of awesome school supplies and activities to me.  She plans on retiring soon... and we like to keep it in the family... lol!  Anyway, as she's been bringing the boys and I treats, I've done a horrible job of organizing them.  They have been getting shoved onto this shelf or that... this closet or that one.  Anyway, yesterday I got to work organizing my new things.  What gets organized gets used!!

A while ago I read 1+1+1=1's post on starting tot school, and I remembered her saying to basically inventory all of your educational toys and activities.  This is where I began.  It was a huge messy job as I had to pull everything out.  This was the perfect nap time project.

 I started by doing exactly what Carisa suggested.  I inventoried everything by making 4 sections: reading, math, sensory, and fine motor.  The serendipitous outcome of doing this, was I was really able to see how many activities I have for each section... I don't need anymore sensory things, and I'm lacking in the fine motor department.

The next thing I did was separate all my possible storage containers.  I brought home so many baskets from my classroom,  I could've opened my own container store.

Last I arranged the empty baskets onto the shelves I'd be using. I used the cabinets over my command center, and the utility closet under the stairs (yes... exactly where Harry Potter camped out!)

I keep my binders and other workbooks in the cabinet.  I have a planning binder, an A-Z Letter Craft Binder, and A-Z Printable Activities (Although I think soon I will need to make that into two binders).  I had to adjust my shelves so they'd fit better.  I don't know why it took me so long to figure that out.  I also keep office supplies, arts and craft supplies, and some other activities that aren't often used on the top shelves.

I then determined what I'd put on each shelf.  Top shelf are craft and sensory activities.  The wipes box holds Little Bears favorite activity which is dump the bottle caps out and put them back in through the slit.

Second shelf holds math tools,

third shelf holds all the reading/pre-writing materials,

and the bottom shelf is for some of the games and activities that I allow Munchkin and Little Bear to take out.  I'm trying to encourage Independence, but with some control (I just can't let go all together).  We have one rule (kind of) one thing out at a time!

So that's my Tot School Organized... I hope if you are getting into or already doing Tot School this helps.

Here are some other posts on organizing Tot School:

Behind the Scenes- Tot School Tools (1+1+1=1)
Tot School Organizing (Why Amy Smiles)
Tot School Prep (And Then There Were 4)

Linking to:

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Five: 2012 Must Do

Welcome to the first Friday Five of 2012! Today (tonight actually) I'd like to share five things I'd like to do this year... Think bucket list minus the dying part.

1. Take a family vacation! The hubs and I haven't been on vacation together since we went to Europe just 4 months after meeting. Ok ok we did go to Niagara Falls about 4 years ago.. But that's it. This year I want to go any where as long as its at least two nights, and out of state (I won't push it with out of the country).

2. Complete some kind of wood working project. A bench or maybe shelving for one of our powder rooms. Maybe even stools for the vanity area in the master bathroom (not yet on the tour). I don't have a powered saw or any serious tools besides a power drill and hand saw, so this will have to take a bit planning and budgeting.

3. Take an overnight trip away from my three favorite guys. I love them but I need some me time. This will be difficult for me, I've Only been away over night from home (alone)on two occasions: when I went to the hospital to have Little Bear, and when I was stranded at my moms house after sliding into a tree. Neither of those times was I relaxing with a girlie drink and enjoying myself (not that having a baby is bad.. But, yOu know.)

4. Get back to date nights (or days) with hubby. When Munchkin was born, I made a great effort to set-up a date night every month. I was pretty good, we enjoyed a night out alone and it felt great. 2011... Not so much. 2012... Watch out world here we come!!!

5. Take better care of myself. I don't think I've totally let myself go, but I'm on the verge. The other week I was getting my hair done (this is rare, it was for Christmas), and I was telling my hairdresser/friend about before marriage and kids I bought a new outfit almost everytime I went out. I also had standing appointments for my hair, nails, and toes. I'm lucky now if I paint on some polish at all. Forget about clothes, whenever I plan on getting myself something I always think of something the boys or the house needs and I Pass it by. I've started going to the gym again...3 times a week (there was a time I'd go everyday after work). I've been doing well with keeping up with my skin care (a must for a MK Lady). But I need to do a better job. I need to start making better eating habits. I want to start scrapbooking and doing other things I used to love doing. My guys need a happy and healthy me, and while I'm sure my little guys don't mind.. My big guy would love to see me a tad more put together when he gets home:).

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Playroom Update: Reading Rack

Okay, I've stuck to my plan.  I've been doing laundry like it's my job... wait it is my job (lol).  I've gotten most of the Christmas Decor put away, and have slowly been reclaiming my messy home after my holiday break.

Yesterday I finally added the rain gutter reading rack that I've been wanting to do for a long time.  


Lol.. I made a few mistakes along the way, like I didn't realize the brackets should be attached to the gutter before attaching them to the wall (I thought I'd be able to just hook the gutter in once they were screwed in... oh well, I've never claimed to be a professional).  After I fixed my initial mistake of screwing the brackets in first, it was quite simple.  

Here's a quick run down of what I did. 

First, I measured and marked where I wanted my rack to go.

Next, I used a stud finder to mark where I'd screw the brackets.

Last, after removing the brackets that I'd screwed into the wall, I slid them onto the gutter, and reattached each bracket to the wall.  Confused yet?

If you need more detailed instructions, check out this blog. She did a great job of listing needed supplies and capturing pics during her process.

I know what your thinking... what happend to the magnetic center, (okay maybe you're not... but I'll tell you anyway)  They were only attached with hook and loop command strips, so it was really easy to relocate them to another wall.  You'll get an update on those possibly next week.

Finally I let the little ones get to work.  Munchkin almost immediately put is foot onto the gutter as if he was going to climb it (of course), he was uh nicely reminded that, that is not cool (perhaps not those words exactly).  Anyway, his next move was to pull up a chair and start reading... SCORE!!!  I do have a cute picture, but we are still potty training and he tends to be naked from the waste down most mornings.  So, I'll be saving that pic for when he's older and has a girlfriend.

 Oh yeah, notice the new reading tent.  Santa brought that for the boys.   I'm so excited the playroom is really coming along and turning into the child friendly dream space I've always the boys want.

Thanks for reading!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Breaks Over!!

OMG!! I feel so disconnected from the blogger world.  I had totally intended on blogging all about Christmas and what was going on, but the Christmas rush got the best of me.  Soooo I took a long break.  I mean seriously I even took a break from laundry and only washed what was absolutely necessary.   There were days when we didn't get dressed.  Lol, at night I'd take the boys' pj's off give them a bath and put another pair of pj's on.

We didn't do much... ok any school time.  I got hardly any projects done around the house.  My kitchen is a disaster and I totally slacked off on my organizing.  But honestly… I feel great.  I veg’d out on the couch.  Watched movies.  Ate like a teenage boy, gained weight like a 30 something woman. 

Well now my break is over.  The leftovers are gone from both New Years and Christmas.  The washing machine is running and will be all day.  The dishwasher is washing! I have half the supplies I need to add a cool reading rack in the playroom.. To Be Posted about later.   I have come up with a reclaim my house-cleaning schedule.  I’m ready to do some light letter of the week activities, this week is Dd.

Anyway, I’m going to take a few minutes to check out what some of my favorite bloggy friends have been up to, then I’m diving head first into 2012!!!