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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Snow day!!

Well, it has been winter for a few months, but the weather has been so goofy here in the midwest!  We got about 5 inches here yesterday and so the kids took advantage of it since it may be the last, but like I said the weather has been really goofy this year so who really knows.  Peter's school was canceled on Tuesday too so he was itching to go outside.

Peter was supposed to help with shoveling, but it doesn't last long until he gets bored and wants to play and roll around in the snow!  

 Abigail, a 3 year old, did more shoveling than my 9 year old.  How funny is that!  

Getting the snow ready and piled up high for the beginning of the snow fort.

This is how Maison was spending his snow day - INSIDE.  

Maison finally got to play with the house all by himself without Abigail pushing it away or picking it up and taking it to the other side of the room.  I just realized his socks don't match his outfit.  Oh well!!  It was a snow day!!

Well, he snubbed me didn't he?  No more pictures for me I guess!

Here is the finished project that my husband and the kids worked hard on.  They loved the snow fort!  My husband said he could even fit in there!  Yep, he is a pretty good snow fort builder!!  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Eyebrow threading experience

Last week I posted about eyebrow threading and said that my friend and I were thinking about getting it done.  You can read about the post here.  Well, guess what??  We did, but since she is more of a DIVA than I am (no joke either) I decided to put her pictures on here and NOT mine.  I am such a nice friend aren't I??  Well, getting our eyebrows done almost didn't happen.  Why?  Well, we got some snow the day before and we weren't sure how the roads were going to be.  She always teases me about finding every excuse to stay home and she is RIGHT!  I have turned into a home body after having kids!  Being the great friend that I am, I risked the safety of my kids and myself to meet her at the mall to see what this eyebrow threading was all about.  It turned out I needed it more than her, but I don't want to talk about that!  

So, here is the before shot of those things that she likes to 'Caterpillars'!  It's kind of fun say!

The process of eyebrow threading is rather interesting to say the least.  It only takes about 3 minutes and painless.  Neither one of us have ever had this done before so it's a lot of fun to go with a friend and share the experience.  Being the nice friend that I am yet again I not only put her pictures on here, but that day I let her go first before making the final decision on getting it done.  Yeah, I am a great friend!!  

In case you are like us and have to bring children with you, the nice thing is that it only takes a few minutes.  
Children are very impatient so if you have a camera that takes pictures then they will stay entertained while both of you get it done.

Here is the after picture of Steph's eyebrows!  Much better aren't they?  

So, will we be going back in 4 weeks?  I have a feeling we will be.  The price of beautifying ourselves was only $10 and it only took 3 minutes!  Why can't everything be that easy?  

Let me know if you have tried this or are now thinking about trying this.  Don't knock it until you try it ladies!!  Oh, and I might add that this might be a better way to go for those who get really irritated with the wax they use for eyebrows AND the redness doesn't last as long.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Eyebrow threading - yay or nay?

I am sitting here staring at my computer wondering why I don't have any new stories to tell about my kids.  The last big story was Abigail cutting her hair.  I haven't made any new and outstanding recipes, Peter got braces put one, and Maison, well, he has 2 teeth on the bottom now!  Besides that everything is going well.

A few days ago, my friend (you know who you are) and I were talking (we talk pretty much everyday and sometimes we call and text each other in the same day) about getting our eyebrows threaded.  What the heck is that?  I asked.  Does it hurt?  How much does it cost?  Okay, so am I the only person who doesn't know what that is?  I hope not.  I actually had to look it up.  What is the big deal with it?

So, I decided to Google it and came up with this You Tube video.  After watching this, I am 100% sold on the idea of eyebrow threading.  I am going to try it just once and see.  Plus, for $10, it's not a bad price.  What will it hurt?

If any of you are like me, I like to check if there are health risks when trying something new.  So, I found this site that explains a little more.  If you would like to read it, go here.

So, when that day comes that my friend and I go get our eyebrows threaded I will definitely blog about it and tell you all about my experience.

If you have ever gone to get your eyebrows threaded let me know about your experience.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Peter's new mouth

 Yesterday was a fun day, but if you ask my 9 year old he would disagree!  As you can see by the photos he  was definitely in need of some orthodontist work.  So, as of 10:30 yesterday morning he now has braces!  He did pretty good with it until they hit him with the "bad" news!  

I ask for a smile and this is what I get.  Kind of scary isn't it?  

I think he looks grown up now!

What "bad" news you ask?  Well, he LOVES his popcorn and they told him he could NOT have that!  Now, when I say he LOVES popcorn, I really do mean he LOVES popcorn.  He would have a bowl of it every night if he could and sometimes he does!  There are other foods that he has to stay away from too which is upsetting for him.  He also has to take a little longer brushing his teeth which was a chore before the braces! 

It is so hard for him to understand why he had to have braces because all he thinks about is the food he can't have.  I always joke and tell him that if he doesn't get his teeth fixed I won't be paying for senior pictures!  So, please pray for him that he will get through this minor adjustment in his life.  

Monday, February 18, 2013

My Valentine's Day present!

Well, last Thursday was Valentine's Day all around the world!  I am sure people were getting cute homemade cards from their kids, candy, flowers, and other cute little things that says "I love you" from their children.  Well, my 3 year decided that she wasn't going to do what every other child was doing on that special day.  What did she get me?  Have I built up the suspense enough?  Well, she hands me a clump of her hair!!  Yep, you read it right?  A clump of her hair!!  Why??  Who knows.

It was so cute and innocent the way she did it though.  I was putting Maison down for a nap and here she comes out in the living room with her hands behind her back and a smile on her face.  "I have a surprise for you!"  So, as I do every other time she says those words to me, I close my eyes and wait.  "SURPRISE!"  I open my eyes and see a clump of hair in her hands!

Stay calm, stay calm...

"Abigail, what did you do?  This is bad."  I say to her.  She runs off into her room.

When I was finally able to put Maison in his crib for his nap I was able to talk a little louder and let Abigail know how unhappy I was.  I don't know who was more upset her or me?  I think it was me!  She had such beautiful hair!!  Now, she has these flappy things by her ears!  Hair grows back, I know, but I still can't believe she did that!  On the bright side, she didn't give herself bangs!!  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Homemade Larabars

I have been wanting to make my own Larabars for some time now.  Most of you know what I am talking about.

Anyway, I always thought they would take forever to make and I didn't have time for something that took a long time.  My husband kept telling me that our friends (you know who you are) made them so I jumped on the bandwagon and tried to make them.  Super easy!!  Normally, the bars cost about $1.25-$1.50 in the store.  Mine cost me about $.96 per bar!  Not too bad!!  Mine had pitted dates, raw almonds, walnuts, dark chocolate pieces, vanilla extract, and it called for salt, but I forgot to put it in!  They ended up tasting fine without it.  

 First thing you have to do is choose what kind of nut you want to use.  I decided to go with raw almonds since that was what the recipe called for.  Typically, when I make something for the first time I don't stray from the directions.  

 Once the almonds are chopped up nicely, add the dates.  I used pitted dates, but you can use whatever you like. Then, add the vanilla extract and salt.  The recipe called for salt, but to be honest, it didn't need it.  The bars you buy at the store do not have salt in them.  If you want to use dark chocolate chips stir them in now.

The last step is to place them in an 8 x 8 pan and pop them in the freezer for about 15 minutes.  No need to cover them.  Oh and a little tip - place wax paper in the bottom of the pan so it will be easy to lift out!  

I didn't take a picture of them cut into bars, but they were delicious.  You can find the recipe here.

We have already ran out of these and I made some more today.  I followed the same recipe, but instead of just almonds I added walnuts, pistachios, almonds, and cashews.  No chocolate or salt this time.  I didn't forget the chocolate or salt, I just didn't want them this time.  Although I did forget the vanilla extract!  They still taste yummy!  I would like to try making them the next time with some shredded carrot!  

Well, I hope you will give these a shot.  You will NOT be disappointed.

Monday, February 11, 2013

You ARE what you eat!

You ARE what you eat?  What a way to start a post huh?  I am finding out that it is true!

There is so much controversy these days about vitamins, nutrition, and good health.  There are documents of people telling us what vitamins we should be taking, what we shouldn't be taking, and so on and so on.  I recently found a documentary on Netflix called "Food Matters" and all I can say is WOW!  Does my family eat good food ALL the time?  NO!  Did I just buy 3 boxes of Girl Scout cookies?

Yes I did.  So, after watching that video I asked myself why did I do that?  The only reason I can come up with is that it was for a good cause (I am also friends with the Mom whose daughter was selling them to me).  Oh, and the 2nd reason, should have been the 1st reason, is because they are so delicious!
The video helped me realize that I need to slowly find ways to change how my family and I eat.  Kids do not eat healthy on their own, they learn from example and I have NOT been the best example in that area.  What I should start doing is to have more raw veggies and fruit available to them to grab for a snack throughout the day.  I have found that if I already have cantaloupe, pineapple, grapes cleaned, cut up, and ready to eat they are more apt to eat them.  The video actually says that it is true when people say, "You are what you eat!"  

This is just a teaser trailor of the full video, "Food Matters".  I think you can see it on too.    The video talks about vitamins versus medicine.  They are 100% for vitamins and against medicine.  My kids currently take a whole food Vitamin C, chewable fish oil, and a vitamin D3 supplement.  Some may say that they take too many, but according to the video they are fine.

I don't know about you, but I can't just drastically change the way I eat and the way my family eats overnight.  I would like to make changes slowly so it is not such a shock.

The other video I watched is called "Hungry for Change" which is also very informative about what you are putting into your body and the how bad certain ingredients, high fructose corn syrup for example, are for you.

I hope you don't think that by watching these videos I know everything I need to know about being healthy and what the right foods I need to be eating.  The truth is: I AM NOT!  I am the last person that anyone should come to for advice on eating healthy.  Remember I just bought 3 boxes of Girl Scout cookies!!  Do I know the healthy foods I SHOULD be eating?  Yeah, I have an idea.  Do I choose to eat them?  Well, gosh no!  Are you kidding?  If I did, I would look like a super model, wear a 2 piece, and be able to wear all those cute little summer clothes!  I am a work in progress.

So, with that said.  I hope some or most of you will learn something new from one of these videos AND change the way you eat.

They mentioned something really neat in the 2nd video about dieting and that was:

"I want that, but I CAN'T have it" (what most people say when on a diet)

INSTEAD, say to yourselves:

"I CAN have that, but I don't want it"

Friday, February 8, 2013

My Friday

Ok, so let me just say that my kids are great, but when they are all three together - that's a different story.  So, today my oldest is home from school due to parent/teacher conferences.  It is only 9 in the morning and he keeps asking if we can go somewhere fun.  Well, I have to get more vitamins, but according to a 9 year old, that is not fun!  I don't know why that is.  On top of that, Peter is my instigator.  I swear Abigail whines more when he is home. He just likes to push her buttons as far he can until it drives me crazy!!  

Then we have Abigail.  All she wants to do is play with her older brother, but every single time she does, she gets hurt, the whining begins, and the tattling starts.   Aaaahhhh!!  I want to scream now!!  Finally, she has decided to just do a puzzle "all by myself" on the floor and is content.  She may have to deal with the occasional puzzle grabber -Maison- but I think she enjoys that better than being hurt by her older brother.  

So, that is my Friday thus far!  How is yours?  I plan on trying to make homemade Larabars for the first time some time today. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

'S' says sssss....

Today, we started learning the letter 'S'!  We normally do one letter per week so I can make sure she knows the sound it makes and has practice writing the letter as well.  I found this writing board downstairs.  I forgot we had that so it came in handy today!  

 I have no idea why she decided to look like this.  I ask her to smile and this is what she gives me!  

 Maison is doing shapes for school today.  I don't think he has decided which shape tastes the best, but he did take a break and give me a cute smile (probably showing off his 1st tooth that finally came in too)!  Too bad he couldn't smile like this for his 9 month pictures last week.  I guess his gums were hurting.

 Abigail discovered the other side took chalk!  We have PLENTY of chalk!  Hint to family members - we do NOT need any more chalk for birthday presents!  NONE!!

I am not quite sure what this was, but isn't she still cute?

We ended the lesson reading the book and studying the 'S' sounds.  I don't know if any of you have ever heard of this book, but I found it on ebay.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Peanut Butter Granola

 Over the weekend I decided to make another Pinterest recipe find!  Really easy to make too I might add, which as you know is right up my alley!  I made a Peanut Butter Granola.  You can put it on yogurt, cereal or just eat it by itself (which I did by the way - yum).

 So, here are the ingredients - only 5 of them!  Awesome!!  All you need is honey, cinnamon, oats, vanilla extract, and peanut butter (it didn't call for a certain kind of peanut butter, so I used the Natural kind).

 Whoops, almost forgot about the 6th ingredient and that is my little helper Abigail!  I can't have a recipe without her!!  

 Before the oven...

 After the oven...This is what you get when you double the recipe. 

You can put it on some yogurt and have a delicious snack.

I will definitely be making this again!  Super easy, super tasty!  I almost forgot to give you the recipe, so go here and try it out!  You won't be disappointed!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Cake Batter + Cookies = YUMMY

 I don't know about you, but I like to make cookies with easy recipes and few ingredients.  The reason for this is because Abigail, my very helpful 3 year old, always wants to assist me in the kitchen.  So, I feel the recipes with few ingredients and simple directions to follow are the best when I have my little helper.  

Recipes with the Funfetti Cake mix is all the rage on Pinterest these days.  Just for kicks, type in Funfetti recipes and you will see what I am talking about.  One day I came across these cookies, Funfetti Cake Batter Cookies and wanted to try them out on the kids.  I found them on Pinterest through a blog called, Six Sisters Stuff -. -   Awesome blog by the way.  You should definitely check it out! 

I think I am slightly getting off topic.  Anyway, where was I?  Oh, the cookies!!  Delicious and easy and I had everything on hand, except the cake mix.  Come on now, I hope I am not the only one that loves the recipes when I only have to buy 1 or 2 things to make them!  They only made 2 dozen, but when trying out a new cookie I think that's a perfect amount.  It didn't take a lot of time to mix up and only took 8 minutes in the oven.  

 Before the oven!

Ding!  Ding!  All done and ready to come out!  Don't they look yummy?!?!  Well, Abigail liked them and Peter (the real picky eater of the family) liked them as well.  I actually had to keep a close eye on him so he wouldn't sneak any before dinner.  He liked them so much he wanted them in his lunch!  Yeah!  They have won over my family!!  So excited to find a cookie that isn't too sweet and doesn't have chocolate in them!  If you want to try them out you can find the recipe here.

Let me know if you found a yummy Funfetti recipe that you and your family like.

Friday, February 1, 2013

"Mr. Attitude" is 9 months old!


Well, our little guy is 9 months old!  I can't believe it!  He is getting so big!!  
As I am writing this, he is NOT sleeping in his crib.  Surprise surprise!!  He sounds so mad that I have put him in there.  "Why do I have to take a nap in here ALL by myself?  I want to be where all the action is!"  I feel like Maison is saying (yelling) to me! 

Anyway, Maison was nicknamed "Mr. Attitude" by my mother and I think it is very fitting most days.  He still doesn't have any teeth.  He does this sort of scoot or army crawl to get from one side of the room to the next!  I also call it a Spiderman move because he puts his hands out on the floor and pulls himself up to them!  So funny!  The big thing this month is that he can sit up all by himself!!  My husband had to put the baby gate back up for fear he would roll right down the stairs!!  He loves to rock back and forth to music!  He gets a big smile on his face when everyone is dancing around him!  He refuses to eat anything we give him unless we force him to eat it.  We have found that he LOVES the puffy snacks so we have been going through them really fast!!  I know I call him "Mr. Attitude", but I like to think he is just deep in thought and "selective" at whom he smiles at.  He loves jumping around in his bouncer and watching everyone around him!  He STILL decides to take about 2 hours to go to bed at night, he STILL wakes up about once or twice at night, but we LOVE him very much!

And yes, this is always nice to have happen when you are trying to get dinner on the table!  Let's just take a minute to look how peaceful he is.....and quiet....and peaceful....and quiet....

"Yeah, I had one of those days! Mom took me to get my pictures taken, but I got her back by not smiling!"

This is the face we get every single time we try to feed him baby food!  We get one bite in, but he is a quick learner because it won't work a second time.  

Peek-a-boo, I see you!  I couldn't resist taking this!  The fun thing about kids is that they are so photogenic and they don't even know it.  I am so glad that I am so glad that I am able to capture these moments!!

As I am putting the finishing touches on here this morning - I have to report this VERY important infortmation to all of you!
Are you ready?
You might want to sit down for this.
Here it goes...

Maison slept through the night!!