Thursday, September 22, 2011

Things on Thursday

Wow, it's been way too long since I've posted! Unfortunately, shortly after my last post, we got some really sucky family (bad) news so I wasn't very motivated to do much, let alone blog :/ Sorry to all (err...both?) of my loyal fans! ;)

but here we go again, I'm going to try to start blogging a little here and there - but will definitely try to keep up with my Things on Thursday posts.

1. I know a lot of people say this, but I have some of THE BEST friends in the world!! Even the ones I don't see or talk to very often have really proven how amazing they are over the past few months (not that I needed proof of their amazingness ;))

2. Anthony has started talking so much more lately! Its exciting, but a little scary at times too...this mama needs to watch what she's saying now!

3. I've been experimenting with some snack and breakfast food for Anthony and the other kids. This week I made pumpkin pancakes and biscuits. All I did was add pumpkin to the easy! I'm thinking I'm going to try using applesauce next time. I'd also like to try a veggie biscuit of sorts...I'll let you know how they turn out.

4. I've had a very dry mouth lately...I'm not sure what's up with it...?

5. I'm going to my very first Illinois football game this Saturday. I'm not sure if I'm excited, but I'll make the best of it...I'm pretty sure Travis is going to be tired of me saying "what just happened?" and wait another 4 years before inviting me to another game! ;)

I hope this post finds you happy and healthy!!!

live, laugh and love -often!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Things on Thursday

Wow! I can't believe its Thursday again already. I guess the last week has gone pretty fast :)

1. I'm going to get a pedicure with my brother-in-law's girlfriend tonight...I'm trying to decide on what color I want and I'm afraid there are just too many options! Maybe do each toe a different color?? hehe. just kidding

2. Our county (McLean) fair started in town yesterday! I can't wait to take Anthony to it on Saturday with my Brother and his wife!

3. I'm not a big fan of winter/cold weather, but I'm not going to lie - Im pretty tired of the heat. Plus, I'm really looking forward to the holidays this year. Especially since they start with my 30th birthday party and Anthony's 2nd birthday party!

4. does anyone else watch Love in The Wild? I can't believe what a jerk Ben has been!! I'm SO glad he's gone after last night!

5. I go back and forth on watching Days of Our Lives....but right now I'm pretty hooked; it appears that theres a new DiMera/Brady war brewing. LOL, i really do have a soft spot for bad tv, don't I? ;)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Things on Thursday

1. Anthony completed his Summer of Reading program last week! Now I just need to return the log to the library and get his prizes. I am so excited that my little man loves books as much as he does!!

2. I often think about going through all the toys in the toy box and switching some of them out with ones that are packed away....but the, like today, Anthony pulls out a toy he hasn't played with in forever and plays with it all morning! I'm glad I didn't pack it away ;)

3. it amazes me the lack of customer service there is in this country these days. Travis had a horrible experience with a fence company over the past 2 weeks. They FINALLY got things straightened out yesterday and he'll have his fence parts in the morning tomorrow. luckily, there is another company that he can use instead for the future!

4. I'm pretty excited that my daycare will be full for the school year!!

5. I've been caught up on laundry for about 2 weeks. Jus thought I'd pat myself on the back a little ;)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Things on Thursday

err...things on Friday :/

yep I'm a little behind this week!

1. We're going thru quite the heat wave this past week! Phew...its difficult to stay cool when it feels like 115 degrees out!!!!! Luckily we've been able to either stay inside or head to the pool to help with the cooling off :)

2. Pictures are one of my favorite things...which is why i have em ALL over our house :). It warms my heart to look at all the happy memories we have built as a family.

3. I'm working on some sewing projects lately, I'm not sure why I STILL can't sew in a straight line, lol. I'm practicing on some simple burp rags for a friend :).

4. I'm falling SO far behind on uploading and organizing my pictures...maybe that should be #1 on my to-do list this weekend...

5. I know this sounds really cheesy, but I constantly realize how blessed I am for the life I have! I couldn't possibly imagine spending my time with better friends or family!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Summer Sponge Balls

I've seen these little things all over the Blogosphere this summer so I finally decided to try my own version.

I originally used O-Cel0 sponges from Walmart, and dental floss to keep them together, but I think the sponges were too absorbant {or the kiddos were too hard on them :/}

So, next I went to Dollar Tree and got the cheapest, yet most colorful, sponges I could find.
I also decided to try using zip ties to keep them together.

The stacked sponges are the cheapo ones. I cut them in half to make "strips" of sponge like the O-Celo ones also in the picture.

Here is a shot of my little man helping:

He LOVES playing with these in the pool and in his water table.

I snipped off the tail of the zip-tie and Voila!

The sponge balls rest in the outdoor basket that sits in my kitchen!! Its the easiest way I've found to have everything we need to swim in the backyard on hand at all times!

We take these to the public pool too and everyone loves them!

Live, Laugh & Love

Until Next Time...


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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Things on Thursday...

1. Anthony is finally old enough to have a small pillow in his bed, so he got two of the throw pillows that my MIL made out of his bumper pad when he was tiny... I was so excited to see his little head resting on one when I checked on him during naptime!

2. I've been sewing some this week...and I'm actually getting better at sewing straight lines. LOL, I know, I know, that's *kinda* important :)

3. We had Grady's for dinner tonight... YUM!

4. I have started watching Extreme Makeover: Weightloss Edition and I am hooked! Check it out...its pretty amazing!

5. I think I might have convinced Travis to take me away for a weekend once he's done with the major job he's working on for the next few weeks...yipee!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mini Backyard Transformation

I have had this idea brewing for a while now...

We have a little Water & Sand table for Anthony - and its a HUGE hit with all the kids. Unfortunately, it just wasn't really working on the deck. Plus, we hadn't put any sand in it yet, and I was foreseeing LOTS of sweeping the deck off...and that just wasn't going to cut it!

Here is my little man playing with the table while I was mentally preparing myself to undertake the transformation...

So, I decided that {regardless of how sweltering hot it was outside} I was going to use the area we had previously used to house some hideous bushes {that the hubby pulled out earlier in the day} to now house a little play area for the kids - that would include the play table!

Here is out {almost} before (I forgot, as usual, to take a picture of the awful bushes...)

My mom brought me a Lemon tree from Houston when she came to visit earlier this year...and its almost surviving my lack of gardening skills. I've also labeled a few other things in the area. Let's just ignore the 2 extra propane tanks and old mop... ; )

Here is a "during" picture.

So, here's the end result. Some of the Day Lillies look pretty pathetic, but that's just because they were just moved. I'm SO thrilled with the results!

I wanted to make it so the kids wouldn't be stomping thru the mud every time they played in the water, so I used these play mats that I bought last summer at Sam's Club. I just trimmed the outside along the brick edging, so they fit perfectly. Behind the play mats/Water & Sand table Travis seperated a couple of my Day Lillies from one of the other sides of the deck so I could fill in some of the empty space. I also bought the most beautiful {and low-maintenance} flowering plant at the Farmer's Market yesterday. And you can see at the bottom left corner of the 2nd Lemon Tree! The plan is to buy a big pot at Walmart and plant the tree in it so during the winter we can bring it inside.

I really hope the kiddos enjoy the new play area as much as I do!

Live, Laugh & Love
Until next time...


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Organize and Decorate Everything

Transformation Thursday

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Things on Thursday

1. I love short weeks! it's awesome to FEEL like it's a Wednesday, but know it's actually Thursday!

2. I'm hooked on watching Beverly Hills 90210 every day while making the kiddos lunch...they started over from episode 1 yesterday! It's really crazy when they played the last episode the day before :)

3. Our 4th of July was awesome! We got to spend the day with family and friends and then top it off with fireworks! I feel so blessed that I get to experience such a fun holiday every year with the people that mean the most to me!

4. I've got a {much needed} date night with one of my BFFs tonight... yum...Olive Garden!

5. I rearranged our deck the other day so I could see the kiddos while they were swimming in the yard, and once again my hubby was impressed with my ability to rearrange furniture & make it look good. Lol, I don't know why he ever doubts me! ;)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Things on Thursday

1. I LOVE summer! The kids and I have been to the pool 3 mornings this week, and plans to go tomorrow too!

2. I cannot wait for this weekend! Sunday will be a BBQ with great friends, Monday will be fun with family!

3. Has anyone gotten a manicure with the new shellac nail polish?? I think I'm going to try it out...I've got a friend that tried it and her french mani lasted WEEKS!

4. I love being caught up on laundry. I was thinking this morning that there should be some sort of co-op for laundry... you know? some people don't mind sorting, some don't mind washing/switching/drying, others don't mind folding and then there's the crazy people that don't mind putting away. Well, if you only had to do the part that you don't mind, it would be no big deal! haha...if only.... ;)

5. I watched that new show "Love In The Wild" last night, and while I kept telling myself throughout the entire episode that I just needed to turn it off...I couldn't stop watching. And, of corse, now I'm addicted. Because I really NEED another reality dating show to watch ;)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Things on Thursday

1. Since I'm officially addicted to reading crafty blogs, I figure, why not enter all the contests to win free stuff?! Here's the latest contest I entered - Its a Cake Pop Maker Giveaway at

I REALLY hope I win! Head to the site and check it out!

2. I love this project I did with the {older} kiddos yesterday!

3. We have had a crazy week so far...One of my besties had her healthy baby girl {Abby Jean} on Monday. My brother also headed up to Mayo Clinic on Monday to try to figure out some health issues. Both Travis and I have been working extra every day. Anthony has been fighting something off, so Monday night he had a fever and hasn't quite been himself. Oh well...we all have weeks like this I suppose ;)

4. I've been saving up my swag buck points to try and get my first gift card so I can buy this cookbook!

5. I went to Joann Fabrics last night to get fabric and a seat cushion to attempt to make this - we'll see how it turns out ;)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cleaning Sterling Silver

We recently had my son's 18 month pictures taken and I wanted to get a new family picture along with them. For my birthday last year one of my best friends gave me a necklace that I LOVE and I wanted to wear it for pictures; the only problem: the silver was tarnished :( I didn't think to buy any silver cleaner ahead of time, so there I was, the morning of pictures and no way to clean the tarnished [and beloved] necklace. I come! I simply typed in "Homemade silver cleaner" and I got my answer in just a few seconds! - MAN! I love the internet!

So here's the solution:

baking dish
aluminum foil
1 t salt
1 t baking soda

Line the baking dish with the aluminum foil and spread the jewelry out on the foil. Boil as much water as needed to cover all the silver pieces. Once water is boiling, remove from heat and add baking soda and salt. (Be careful, if you just throw both into rolling water - it overflows and gets EVERYWHERE!) Pour water/baking soda/salt mixture over jewlery. Allow water to cool and take silver out of the dish. Rinse with water, pat dry (or air dry) and *voila* sparkling silver!

Proof is in the pictures
(sort camera didn't do this justice!)

This will be my main method of cleaning jewelry from now on! Ofcorse, with these pictures above, I realize the bracelet could use a little more cleaning, but I was too impatient ;)

Oh, and the [18 month/family] pictures turned out AMAZINGLY well!

Live, Love & Laugh

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Delicious Dinner

I subscribe to a cheap meals website that I have come to really love:

I pay $5 a month and they go thru the Walmart ad and come up with recipes that are made from the cheapest ingredients Walmart has (on-sale) at the time! You can pick whether you want a family plan, or just a 2-person plan (my option) and then you pick which store you do your grocery shopping at. Its so simple and the recipes are actually pretty good! Check it out and if you decide to join, do so thru this link - and I'll get the referral bonus :)

Florentine Chicken
from E-Mealz

10 oz frozen chopped spinach
½ c Alfredo sauce
2 c deli-roasted chicken (I just sauteed up 3 medium chicken breasts w/some seasoning)
4 oz can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 c shredded mozzarella
8 oz can crescent rolls
¼ c onion (I used minced onion)
Cheddar cheese, as desired

Microwave spinach as pkg directs, then drain.
Combine spinach and Alfredo sauce in medium
bowl. In a sprayed 8x8 baking dish(*or oven-ready skillet), layer chicken,
cream spinach, sliced mushrooms, then
mozzarella. Layer top w/ crescents. Bake as
crescent pkg directs. Serve in squares.

Here are a few other pics of my dinner from the other night

It was really delicious- the hubs even said to "keep it in the rotation" :)

Live, Laugh & Love...

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Things on Thursday

1. I could easily eat an entire bag of these in a day! Bought them as a healthy snack for the kiddos....and now I save them for myself ;)

2. Anthony had his 18 month shots this morning. They went well, but I'm SOOOO glad those were the last shots until kindergarten!! I hate seeing my baby cry :(

3. I had a garage sale last week, it didn't rake in much moola, but it was a great excuse to sit out in my garage all day on two of the nicest days we've had in a long time

4. I bought some Mike's Hard Lemonade last weekend for a cookout at a friend's house. I forgot just how much I enjoy them!

5. Even though we had {originally} planned to move out of is house after 3 years {this was before the housing market crashed}...not a single day goes by that I don't think to myself how much I love is house and how happy I am that we are still calling it home!

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Entry Way

I was in desperate need for some organization in our entry way. I had too many kids with diaper bags to keep organized! Not to mention that when I put the diaper bags on the floor - all the little people would get into them! Yikes!

My MIL gave us a bench with cubbies for Christmas last year, and I didn't even know that it would be the answer to my prayers!

Unfortunately, this is what it ended up looking like: "let's shove whatever we can into the cubbies to get it out of the way!"

All along my MIL had said she was going to buy us baskets to put in these cubbies, but we simply never got around to getting to the store and picking them out...until Memorial Day weekend! We found these amazingly perfect baskets:

She also mentioned, when we got this all set up [isn't it beautiful?!] that there is a matching cubby set that hangs on the wall above the bench with hooks to hang coats on. I initially didn't think we needed it, but I soon found out that even putting diaper bags on this bench didn't stop all the little curious fingers in my house from getting into the

Its difficult to tell in this picture, but there are black baskets in the top cubbies. My incredibly handy-with-a-sewing-machine MIL is making me some zebra print covers for the baskets so they'll "pop" a little :)

So this is what the entire system looks like right now...its still a work in progress.

Once the covers are made for the baskets, I'm thinking about stenciling in "Live" "Love" and "Laugh" on the top baskets, just to spice them up a little - but we'll see. That's one of those "little" projects that I'll have to utilize a naptime for!

I'll do my best to post a completely "final" picture of our entry way once I'm satisfied that its "final" ;)

Live, love and laugh!

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Our Amazing Deck!

I just have to give my super husband props this week! He works crazy long hours at work every day, and then comes home and still makes time to get things done around the house. Ok, the staining of the deck was his idea, but it turned out so much better than I ever could've expected!

Here's what we started with:

Here it is half way done:
*the spindles aren't new, they were just already taken off in the "before" picture

And *ta-da* - the finished product!

Deck stain is apparently not designed for people that live in Illinois...the deck had to be dry for 3 days, the stain couldn't be applied in the direct sunlight, and it had to stay dry for 24 hours afterwards... huh??? Travis had to bend the rules a little, but it turned out great.

Love It!

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Things on Thursday...

Where did the last week go?! I would've sworn I posted since last week...hmmmm....

1. For whatever reason, I gave into my craving for Rice Crispy Treats earlier this week and made a batch...these things WILL BE THE DEATH OF ME!!!

No Worries! I ate that last one right after I snapped this shot,
I didn't want it tormenting me all day! ; )

2. I have the best hubby in the world! He stained our deck over the past week or so and it looks ah-maz-ing! I'll be doing an entire post on just the deck...just to make him feel extra special :)

3. Our cousin Stacy is coming down from St. Charles this weekend to take Anthony's 18 month pictures and I CAN'T WAIT!! She does such amazing work and its great to see my baby thru someone else's eyes that means so much to us! xoxo

4. Anthony and I ran a few errands this morning, one of which was stopping by my in-laws' house to pick up their garage sale merchandise - and I totally hit the jackpot! My MIL gave me flowers AND potting soil to fill up the planter by our front door!! Gotta love a MIL with a green thumb and extra plants!

5. Yep, you read it above... its GARAGE SALE time! I'm not quite sure what I've gotten myself into this year. I don't have a lot of stuff to sell, but there are 10 other houses in our neighborhood having sales, so I figured 'why not?!' - except that its supposed to rain tomorrow and has been unbearably hot all week...eeek!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Things on Thursday

Just a quick one today...

1. Today was day #2 of my 5:45am workouts! I feel great, tired, but really great! I still go to Cardinal Fitness and love it!

2. I've got a super packed house today....don't have too long to write :(

3. I've started putting together bi-weekly themes for my daycare kids. The plan is to concentrate on the theme for 2 weeks -read, watch, LEARN all about something somewhat specific. I figure with some help I can make our days go by fast because we're having fun! I found this great website with a few units I'll probably end up buying.

4. We went boating on Sunday and it was so much fun seeing Anthony out for the first time

5. Travis and I are really excited to go with a bunch of friends to see the Zac Brown Band at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe next weekend!

Have a great rest of your week!

Rainy Day...

As many of you know, I run a daycare out of my home and today I had a few extra kiddos. We were planning on going to one of the parks here in town that has a water feature that the kids can play in. Weellll.... by about 9 this morning it was raining so our plans were spoiled! :( This is where my quick thinking had to come do I keep all these kids occupied and happy without being able to leave the house?!?!?

That's when the Rainy Day Fort was created!!

I managed to get 4 kids in there, laying down, watching a Barney movie! Unbelievable!

You can't really see them in there, but they ARE!

All in all, it was a great morning/afternoon! Now I just need to come up with a few more rainy day ideas for the rest of the summer! YIKES!

i'm posting to

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer Fun...

Ok, I REALLY want to get some more followers, so I'm going to try posting about 3 times a week!

Here are a few shots of our first boating trip of the summer. We went over to Clinton Lake on Sunday and even though the weather didn't entirely cooperate, we did get [some] sun around 4:30pm! It was Anthony's first time on a boat and he did swimmingly (pun intended)!! Here are a few pictures:My little Cap'n

Most definitely NOT the most flattering picture of me, but oh well!

Our Memorial Day weekend was great, we got some things done around the house and spent some time with great family and friends...what more can a gal ask for?!

I'm currently working on getting daycare "stuff" organized, and then I'll have some DIY pictures to post of the hubs staining the deck, some craft stuff of mine, etc. I need to start getting my blog OUT THERE for peeps to see! :)

Well, for the few of you that follow me, THANK YOU! And for those of you not [yet] following me.... you don't know what you're missing!

Until next time,
Live, Love and LAUGH!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pantry Orginization

During naptime on Tuesday I was able to get our pantry cleaned out and inventoried. I CANNOT believe how much stuff I had to throw away (expired...the oldest thing expired in 2007!!!) and I also made a box to donate to the local food pantry. I think sometimes I get just a little too experimental when I'm grocery shopping. I think I'm going to try something new, but then I get home and it just really sounds like a bad idea =/

So, here's the BEFORE:Its not HORRIBLE, but I had no clue what all was in there! Our pantry is basically just a large cabinet, so many things get lost in the back :(
p.s. I remembered to take this picture only after I had already cleaned out the top shelf:

and the AFTER:

Sadly, now it just looks so empty!

Things on Thursday- 5/26/11

I'm Baaaack!

Finally after a few weeks of complete chaos around my house, I am back in order and I plan to start blogging a lot more. *I know, I know* I say that ALL the time, but this time I mean it! :)

So, my 5 Things on Thursday...

1. How cute is my little man?! He climbed into his rocking chair this morning and I gave him his blankie, his monkey and a book and he sat there, reading for a while...ofcorse I also had to turn the radio on so he could hear his tunes!

2. In the beginning of the year I joined a Flickr group and I've really been enjoying it! Even though, at times, I slack a bit (we are supposed to have our pictures posted by Sunday night, and some of mine may, or may not have been posted on Monday...oops!), I am really learning some new techniques, and I love it. Here's my most recent submission:

3. I am really looking forward to seeing Hangover 2 this weekend! I bust up laughing at just the commercials!

4. Last night was definitely one of the scariest storms I've ever been in. Anthony, Travis and I spent about 1/2 an hour in the laundry room, in our basement, under the stairs! I cant help but feel for the poor people in Joplin, and all over the midwest that have been struck by tornadoes over the past week! I was scared, and there was barely any damage reported in our area!

5. And last, but not least, word to the wise: never take your eyes off your child...especially when he can climb up to your computer desk and find a permanent marker:

I hope you all are safe, warm and dry!

Until Next time...

Live, Love and Laugh!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

I hope everyone was able to spend today with loved ones! We had a VERY eventful turns out! We went over to my DH's parents' house and had fun with an Easter egg hunt:

and playing outside:

Then after we got home, Anthony was playing on the couch, fell off and got this:

After a little blood and lots of hugs and kisses, we're pretty sure he'll survive ; )

Happy Easter everyone...I hope it was a good one <3