Road trips: The good, bad and sleepy

Whew it has been a whirlwind the last few days. We road tripped back to IL for the Hubs grandparents 65th wedding anniversary. It is about a 9 hour drive one way. So the packing began last Wednesday night after Bug’s softball game. I had delivered the dog to my mom for her to puppy sit the previous night. Packing four people, cleaning the house and trying to keep two very excited kids calm takes a lot of a girl.

Thankfully before each road trip my mom makes the kids travel bags. I apologize for a lack of pictures but once we get in the car toys, crayons and snacks tend to get opened in the first 5 minutes lol. She doesn’t spend much on the bags but they are helpful. We also listen to a book. This trip it was Harry Potter. We listened to the first book and some of the second.  I had to be the mean mom during the drive there. We got so tired of the “are we there yet, how much longer? and the where are we’s?” That I used an idea I saw on Pinterest and each time they asked I threw a piece of candy out the window. It only took two time.

We stayed with my in-laws. We got in around 9 pm Thursday night. We spend Friday chilling and picking cherries and strawberries. Every meal that we ate on Saturday was at a restaurant with various family members. Sunday was the anniversary party and family pictures. We left Sunday night and drove through night. We managed to get home at 5:30 am and we crashed.  Of course the kids were up and ready at 8am.  Didn’t have time for a nap. So sleepy…

All in all it was a good but busy weekend. B was for sure over stimulated and has had a bit of a rough day. C has been bored, and the hubs and I are in need of another day off to catch up on sleep and maybe finish the 2nd Harry Potter book.

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Book Review: Submerged

I just finished reading Submerged by Dani Pettrey. My opinion of the book is that it a good read. It’s a Christian mystery with a little romance thrown in. It doesn’t push religion onto every page. You see it more when the main characters are in a situation that needs guidance and support. The Mckenna family is tight night and ready to help out others in their Alaskan hometown including the protagonist. The protagonist is strong willed and trying to stay on the right path and returning to Yancey after a death in the family was rough on her as she feels that her past will haunt her.

I say that if you are into mysteries you should give this one a shot. Sit down with a coffee or in my case a hot chocolate and snuggle up with this good book!

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You can buy it on amazon or good read…

Failed lemon bars

I tried to make lemon bars this afternoon. It was a fail. My guess is that I didn’t whip the lemon mixture enough. It also didn’t turn out a nice pretty yellow. Then I think I left left them in to long. Such a bummer as I was really wanting one.

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Saving $

We have been crazy busy, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. In fact things are going to kick up another notch.  It’s ball season people! That means baseball, softball and kickball wooo!

Anywho, the hubs saw on another blog how that person retired by the time they were 40. WIth that news found, hubs has started us on the fast track to trying to retire by the time we are 50. I am down with not having to work in roughly 20 years, but so far the changes have been a little stressful.

Here is what we have done so far.

1. Got rid of the maid!!! She only came twice a month, but with as busy as we are it was awesome to know that things were getting a good scrub down even though I wasn’t able to do it.

~ Now I make the kids help me clean more, and I try to keep up with the house even though I am tired. Scrubbing happens whenever I have a free moment. Isn’t cleaning what Saturday is for?

2. We turned down our internet bandwidth. Not a problem, and honestly doesn’t really change much internet wise, but it cut down the cost.

3. We have  stopped going out to eat cold turkey. No more picking up food on the way from the gym because I am just tired to cook.

~ This doesn’t mean that we will never ever go out to eat again or pick up food. We are just really trying to not go down that road.  So far in the three weeks we have done this we have picked up food one time. It was for a date night last Saturday. Oh man it was so amazing. I honestly think that this will help us to enjoy those meals a little more.

4. I am cooking more. A lot more. I meal plan for the week and on Sunday nights I cook. I try to make as much as I can in advance, and I also reuse.  Ex: If we have country fried steak for dinner on Tuesday night, I will make homemade sausage pizza for Wednesday night. Then I will make sausage gravy out of the left over white gravy and sausage. Waaalaaa biscuits and gravy for breakfast Thursday morning! You get the picture.

5. I have also changed how I grocery shop. I only buy what we will need and also make snacks and such instead of buying them. We eat a lot of fresh fruit. If the apples go yucky I will make apple dump cake, brown bananas means hello banana bread. Tonight I tried my hand at homemade graham crackers, and apple chips. Go me right?!

Here is the great news. All of our changes are paying off. We have had extra money due to not spending it on random items and such. That means we were able to send extra moola to our debts! I’m sure that as long as we stick to our guns and keep going the way we have been, we will continue to see more money in our bank account. It can be a little frustrating, but so far we are seeing positive things.

I’ll keep you posted…

DIY Tooth fairy pillows

There are so many cute Tooth Fairy ideas out there. When my daughter had her first wiggly tooth I was planning all kids of things. In reality I didn’t and wouldn’t have time to put those ideas into play. Some Mom’s and dads out there are awesome at things like that.

When I was growing up I had a pretty snazzy tooth fairy pillow. It was pink and white polka dotted and had ruffles on the sides. The little tooth pocket had a little tooth on it and everything. Now I am not very good at sewing. I do my best with what I have. That consists of a needle and thread. Yup you read that right I can hand sew. Woot! you should feel lucky that I have shared my secret talent.

Back to the actual topic. I took a white piece of felt, drew a really big tooth and cut it out. Then I took another piece of felt, and cut it down to the size I wanted it to be. I winged it, so sorry of you were wanting detailed instructions.

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Once all that was done, I put my needle and thread to use. I sewed on the tooth and made sure that I made a little pocket for the lost tooth to go into.

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Once the felt tooth was in place, I sewed the edges shut. I left enough of an opening for me to be able to stuff the pillow. I used cotton balls. You could use batting, but I went with what I had.

When it was all done. it looked like I wanted it too. It may not be fancy like mine was, but Mommy made it and my kids have a place to put their teeth when the Tooth Fairy makes a visit. That’s what is important. The cost to make it was about $3 and it took me 30 minutes to knock it out. My daughters is pink of course and my son has the awesome orange one.

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Get creative with it. Mine is pretty simple, but  you could all out on the decorating.

Happy crafting!

B’s shark brithday

As you know, I try to go all out for the kids birthday parties. We celebrated B’s 6th birthday a couple days early and he wanted a shark theme.  So off to Pinterest I go to find shark ideas.

First up was the games. I borrowed the idea for a chum toss game from here. I did change it up a little though. Besides the chum toss game we played pass the shark. I found it on Pinterest too.

Here are our games.

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We didn’t leave the game on the wall because I used two red socks filled with rice as our chum. I didn’t want the kids throwin the “chum” so hard that it damaged the wall. Honestly the kids didn’t really get into it, and were ready to move on after each one had a couple of turns.

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The second game was pass the shark. I bought the stuffed shark on Amazon. It is now named shark bait and my son’s new favorite stuffed animal. Yay for dual purpose purchases! The way we played the game is like hot potato and musical chairs. The kids sat in a circle and passed “Shark Bait”  around while the Jaws song played. As the song picked up speed to the dundundun whoever had the shark was eaten. That one moved out of the circle and watched for the next person to be eaten. The kids really liked this one. They played 4 times!

Decorations were pretty simple. I found a shark table cloth, plates and such at Walmart. I made the big poster that I always make and a big shark fin. Then we hung up streamers and balloons.  I had to call a friend in to help me get the house decorated because I was fighting with the cake. So A big thanks to my friend!

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Onto my poor poor attempt a shark cake. I found so may ideas on Pinterest for this cake. There were a couple that would have been much easier, but alas the hubs though that this was the cake for B. I did all that I could…but uh I was ready to throw the cake out the window. The cake crumbled coming our of the pan, and would crumble more each time I tried to ice it. My patience ran very thin. So the shark cake turned out ok, but could have been better. All that matters is that B liked it right?

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Weekend getaway

Wow long time no post. Oops.

The weekend of the February 1st the hubs and I had a little mini getaway. We stayed at the Crescent Hotel which is supposed to be haunted. We didn’t do much. Watched movies, ate some yummy food, had a massage and went on the haunted ghost tour. We didn’t leave the hotel and that was fine by me. We needed some time away from life to relax and regroup. With both of us taking on more of a management role at our places of employment the little getaway was awesome.

The hotel was built in 1886, and went from being a hotel, to a hospital, to vacant and then back to a hotel. I’m glad we stayed there, but I don’t think we would stay there again. It was creaky, and we had to walk up hill in the bathroom to reach the toilet lol.

Here are some pictures from our stay.

IMG_20150130_223218 IMG_20150130_223226 What our room looked like.

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IMG_20150201_093017 IMG_20150201_092950 IMG_20150201_090518 IMG_20150201_090414 Our beautiful view. If you look carefully, you can see the giant Jesus though the trees.

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The hallway with the plastic is being renovated. During the ghost tour, I had a reaction on that floor. I started to feel really heavy and began to sweat. Everyone else felt fine. Perhaps I was reacting to a ghost… The blue glowing chair and the hospital sign are also from the tour. The hallway with the dresser reminded me of the Shinning. I kept expecting the twins to show up. I thought the banister was cool and the bed with the straps was creepy.

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The lobby was really awesome. I loved the fire pace and the details on it. The hotel also has two resident cats. I guess they will follow guests to their rooms and spend the night. Thankfully they didn’t follow us.

It was for sure a neat experience, and I had one of the best massages ever there. Plus for Sunday brunch they served mimosas’ and had a chocolate fountain. That right there is a win in my book!

Simple and tasty salad

On occasion we will eat salads for lunch. I will boil up some eggs, tear up some lettuce, and shred left over chicken.

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Did you know that 4 leaves of iceberg lettuce is 7 calories.

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Shred 1 small chicken breast.

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Take 1 boiled egg and dice it up.

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Sprinkle with salt and pepper taste.

It is simple, low calorie and super yummy!

Pretty nails

I admit that I typically don’t do my nails. I will paint them every once in a while and then just let the paint chip away. Instead of painting I have tried something new. They are Jamberry nail thingys.  They are basically stickers that will stay on for a couple of weeks. I attended a Facebook Jamberry party and decided I would try them out. So far I have only done an accent nail, but I am digging them. There is a variety of “stickers” and they are pretty easy to put on. If you haven’t looked into them, I think you should. My nails look pretty and I didn’t have to pay a fortune to get them done. I am ready to try doing all of my nails when this one comes off.WIN!

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Ab work

Yesterday at the gym I used resistance bands to work my abs. I held the handle of the bands behind my neck with my elbows up by me ears. On my knees I crunched into a for lack of a better word ball.  By using the resistance band I worked my abs hard. They hurt today, and it has been a while since any core exercises made me hurt. Abs of steel baby!

Here are some pictures of me doing the exercise. My kids were in charge of the picture taking so they may not be the best but it will give you the gist of the move.

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