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!

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