Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Halloween Truth

I've spent the majority of my day sewing a Peter Pan costume. I've completely disassembled and reassembled my sewing machine numerous times. This thing had better turn out awesome. Pics tomorrow. In the meantime, some Halloween truth:

Gotta do this now while they don't know it's wrong of me, right? ;)
Happy Halloween! :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Totally Shaken Tuesday

I was going to have a cute post today about funny toddler sayings and moments.

One of my best friends contacted me last night to tell me they were being admitted to St. Jude's because her 3 year old son, Ethan, had been diagnosed with leukemia.

We were pregnant together. Our boys are weeks apart in age. My heart is breaking for their family! Thankfully they seem to have caught this soon and there is a 90% cure rate for his type of leukemia.

I still can't imagine...or maybe I can because it hits so close to home. That could just as easily be my son.

Please take time today to squeeze your little loves extra tight and thank the Lord for their health and the blessing of them...and if you feel led, please say a prayer for the Melikians! Thanks in advance.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Freebies Friday 10/26/12

I haven't had tons of time to look for freebies this week, but I wanted to give you a head's up that a fantastic giveaway is coming next week! :)
I'll be giving away an annual subscription to the new, amazing meal-planning service I just started, along with one of their cook books!

To see one of my posts about this, click here. A more thorough review post is on the way, but right now I need to take advantage of the baby napping and the toddler watching a show to finish up the laundry and get the house ready for company tonight!

Happy Friday, everyone! :)

P.S. Feel free to share any giveaways or freebies (no spam) in the comments!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What's For Supper? Savings! (Think About It Thursday)

Since we decided I would be a SAHM (stay at home mom) and not return to teaching elementary school this year, we knew we would need to watch our budget a lot more seriously. We cut our income almost in half when I resigned. Thankfully, God has blessed our decision and helped us find ways to save money in different areas. One of those areas is our grocery bill/meal planning. 

When I was working, I would stay at school until 5, come home, fix something for supper, eat, do some laundry and other chores, and bathe my son and put him to bed. I didn't have much energy or time to cook, and it showed. Many nights, we gave in to convenience and ordered out or went to get fast food. Other nights, I threw together simple meals that were too repetitive and not especially healthy or tasty.

When I knew I was going to resign, I was so excited to be able to make home-cooked meals again! I dreamed of finally making all those Pinterest recipes I'd been pinning in vain and saving money in the process. Insert the reality of having a newborn and a toddler (aka, no brain left) here. Every store trip was a marathon to see what I could grab quickly before during a toddler tantrum and/or baby meltdown. Even when I tried to put together a few new recipes to try, I almost always forgot a few ingredients, and trust me, when you've been through the kind of trips to the store I'd had, you did not want to go back!

Another problem I kept running into was wasting food. I would buy basics, like chicken breast and ground beef, planning to use them with various recipes, but something would inevitably throw me off each week (eating at a friend's house or not having an ingredient I needed for a certain recipe in time) and I'd end up throwing out something. This was especially true with fresh vegetables and fruits, so I had pretty much given up on buying them. Fresh ingredients are usually more expensive, so I couldn't risk not using them, meaning I didn't buy them as often as I wanted to.

Also, with a newborn and toddler, organization is everything. A little bit of organization can give Mommy a bit of sanity in the midst of chaos. I've been doing different organizational projects around the house, and with each one, a small amount of burden is lifted from my shoulders and I can breathe a bit easier. (Note: I totally expected chaos with two young children and still plan on adding more with more children in the future. I am totally embracing this stage of life, but it's nice to have a bit of control every now and then.) :)

About a week ago, a friend of mine mentioned she and her husband were going to start hardcore budgeting and another friend commented that she had started using a meal planning service and it was the best thing she'd ever done. She said she was able to get groceries for a family of four for about $75 a week. We had been trying to keep it under $100 per week since I quit, increasingly spending less and less. I had been spending less than or right at $100 each week, but like I said, food was wasting, and I was not pleased.
oven roasted organic chicken & mape glazed sweet potatoes

closeup of the sweet potatoes

A few weeks ago, one of the blogging groups I am a part of announced that they were going to host a giveaway blog hop about healthy eating. When I saw the comment from my friend, I knew I had an opportunity here. I decided to check out the meal planning site, and I loved what I saw! I contacted them to see if they would be willing to provide a prize for the giveaway and they were very enthusiastic!

I started a 3 month membership that day. I will be sharing more info soon, but let me just say, so far, I have loved all the recipes I've made! I feel very accomplished with every meal. I feel like an actual cook instead of someone throwing random things together and hoping for the best. I am excited to be feeding my family healthy meals that don't have any artificial ingredients that are good for them as well as delicious. I've tried new things, and been surprised by how much I liked them. I was a little worried that my toddler might not eat the meals well, but he scarfed down the organic roasted chicken last night and thoroughly enjoyed the roast salmon tonight. Can you believe we are eating that wonderfully for so cheap?! I'll detail this more in my review, but the grocery bill actually ended up being less than $70!

Stay tuned for more information in my review and get ready for a fantastic giveaway coming very soon!

Do you think a meal planning service could help you? In what way(s)?

Wondering what to do with those disposables once you've switched to cloth?

The guys at can help you out!

lol.. random uses for diapers!

Anyone have any other secret uses?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

From the Mouths of Babes (Toddler Translation Tuesday)

Lately my toddler has started using new phrases and terms. This happens frequently, and it's always funny to figure out what he really means, since many times, he doesn't use them exactly right.
Here are the most recent ones...

"Yesterday"-any time in the past. Could be from his very first memory or 5 seconds ago.

"Tonight"-much like "yesterday," but for future tense. We could be talking about when he is old and gray or the next thing we are about to do, no matter what time of day.

"Three times"-For some strange reason, everything he has ever done has apparently been done "three times" lately. "You remember, mom? You remember when I saw that dog? Three times?!"

"You're makin' me nervous!"-I have no clue where he gets this. My best guess is that I said it to him when he was doing something on the dangerous side, like climbing on the back of the couch. He uses this phrase when I ask him a question he doesn't want to answer or interrupt him doing something he's not supposed to be doing. Not exactly the correct usage, but probably somewhat accurate when I interrupt him doing something that will get him in trouble, I suppose.

The vocabulary genius himself!

What funny phrases/terms have your toddlers used in less than accurate ways? Please share in the comments below!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Freebies Friday 10/19/12

Who doesn't love freebies?!

I love entering giveaways for great products! Freebies are even better!

Here are some great ones I've come across this week...


Thirsties Thursday #70 
Enter to win 2 Fab Fitted Diapers and 1 Duo Wrap!
Simply enter via the Rafflecopter form in the blog post.

Rhea Lana's RePin to Win 
Repin for your chance to WIN!!!    1. Go to    2. Follow Rhea Lana’s on Pinterest (Select the “follow all” option on the Rhea Lana’s page)    3. Click on the “Contests” board, select the image and repin it. The contest ends and the winner will be announced Monday, November 5th so hurry before it’s too late! #Moms #Children #Consignment
Enter to win a Kit Kittredge American Girl doll!
Learn more about RL in my blog post here.
To enter:1. Go to
2. Follow Rhea Lana’s on Pinterest (Select the “follow all” option on the Rhea Lana’s page)

3. Click on the “Contests” board, and select the image and Repin it.
The contest ends and the winner will be announced Monday, November 5th so hurry before it’s too late!

See for all contest rules. 

"Choose Your Charity" Cloth Diaper Charity Event 
Thinking About Cloth Diapers
Enter to win $300 towards the charity you choose (link to list of charities in the post) as well as $200 worth of cloth diapers and accessories for you! If you don't use cloth diapers, you could give the prize to someone who does!
Simply enter via the Rafflecopter form in the blog post.


For my teacher/homeschooler pals, here are some great freebies I've come across this week:

The Moffatt Girls Fall Math Pack 

This Fall Math Pack FREEBIE meets many common core standards while making math FUN!  This pack includes:
-Domino Addition Sheet

-Blank Domino Addition Sheet

-Large Domino Die to Cut and Roll

-Roll a Pumpkin

-Roll, Add and Color Fall Leaf Page

-What Comes Next Pumpkin Numbers

-1-20 Cut, Paste and Trace

-10-100 Cut Paste and Trace (count by 10's)

I love The Moffatt Girls! You can follow the blog here, and see all her products here, on Teacher's Notebook. She frequently offers freebies through the blog and has a Facebook page as well!

"Magic Tree House" Fact Tracker Activity Booklet
Click image to open PDF file.

This 27 page freebie from Barnes & Noble has some great MTH-themed printables, including mazes, word searches, crosswords, and code breaking riddles. Perfect for centers, fast-finishers, or anyone who enjoys the MTH books!

I hope you find something you can use! Let me know if you win something OR how you use the freebies! :)


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Think About It Thursday: The Beauty In The 'Ugly' Truth

Ever feel like there is no way you can live up to Pinterest homes, fantastically behaved, brilliant children who beg to do extra schoolwork and chores, etc.? These posts are for you!

From a friend and amazing blogger (after you read this post, you must find the one on dance jogging--you'll thank me), Heather at Cake & Green Beans...
"Real Life"
This post has been making the rounds, I believe, via Beth Berry at Revolution from Home...
"Let's All Compare Our Perfect Lives, Then Try to Enjoy Our Day"
Can I just say, I nearly cried when I read Heather's post? From empathy. From relief. From satisfaction that I'm doing ok, despite what Pinterest/Better Homes & Gardens/various crafting and birthday party throwing sites say!

Unite mothers! We don't have to be perfect. We just need to BE!

BE there for our husbands.

BE there for our kids.

BE open to what God is guiding you to do in your everyday, non-perfect, realistic, amazingly chaotic but still amazingly wonderful lives!

I'm praying this helps someone stop feeling overworked and overwhelmed and helps them feel contented and fulfilled.

Remember, you are not defined by your lack of Pinterest projects completed or the way your house looks on a regular basis. Do you really think the owners of those amazing houses you see online said, "Oh, come by anytime. It doesn't matter. It's not like anything ever moves out of place around here. It's always perfect." 

And if they did, they have pretty boring lives anyway. Don't you think?!

Note the clothes draped over the bed instead of put into a perfectly organized closet with handmade dividers.

A child's smile is worth much more than a "Pin-worthy" picture of your living room, just sayin'. :)

I'd rather have toys on the floor, chocolate on my toddler's face, and smiles on my children and husband's faces than a perfect house where no one is allowed to make a mess, wouldn't you?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Sleeping Through The Night...Or Not!

From one of my favorite bloggers, Dirty Diaper Laundry. SO TRUE!!

Click picture for the funny post from DDL

This has definitely happened to me. How about you?
Share your experiences in the comments!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Toddler Translation Tuesday: Cereal

I'm revamping my blog to include daily features. They may not all happen at once, but here's what Tuesday will hold: Toddler Translations--I hope you enjoy!

What you say: “Do you want any cereal?”

What your toddler says: “No.”

What your toddler actually means:
“Not until you sit down with your cereal and start to eat it... Then I’ll want some. NO, not after you’ve finished eating that bite—IMMEDIATELY! You know what? Just make it easier on yourself and give me your bowl.”

Gotta love 'em. :)

Does your toddler instantly change their mind about food once you get some?