Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Doors Doors Doors

I recently shared our first *big* house project which is painting our yellow brick house white.  With that, we needed to also get new exterior doors, wall lights and shutters.

We chose this door from Home Depot for our front door and 2 back doors - I just loooooooooooooove it!

JELD-WEN Craftsman 6-Lite Primed Steel Entry Door

 Now the problem I'm having is what color to paint the front door?!?! The 2 back doors will be white but I want the front door to *pop*  Originally I was thinking a forest green, then saw some pretty pictures online of more of a teal green and also liked that, I like the red/maroon color but in some ways feel like this has been done over and over, I like yellow but this will be a hard one to get the hubby on board with.

Now I need some help! Which color do you like best?? I am VERY indecisive so any input is greatly appreciated!

Also --- Don't forget about my Giveaway going on until Monday, go check it out, it's pretty awesome!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Kid Christmas Ideas

Some may think I'm crazy to already start Christmas shopping and making my gift lists, but really people, did you know Christmas is only 91 days away! That is only 13 more Saturdays and that means this Mama needs to get on it.

The past few years I have really started getting better about starting my shopping early, but then I have come across the problem of being completely done too early and seeing all of the sales going on closer towards Christmas and I want to keep shopping, which leads me to blow my budget, every year.  This year, I am vowing to stay on budget! 

I buy my kids so much stuff throughout the year that I am really going to try to not go overboard this year. We already have SO many toys that barely even get used, so I'm going to try more for quality rather than quantity.  Plus, they get so spoiled by their grandparents that I really don't ever have to worry they'll come up empty handed.

I already know the kids' "big" present from Santa this year is going to be a wooden play kitchen, that being said, on top of the kitchen, my goal is to spend $100 on each child, which won't be easy since $100 does not go a long way. Thankfully I informed our family members to buy the kitchen play food so Santa can get them some other stuff.

I am loving this kitchen the best!


Here are some ideas I'm having for the little man:

1. Lego Duplo - My First Circus - he loves his legos!

2.  Curious George 5 min stories - Brayden has become re-obsessed with Curious George lately and since I always like to buy a couple books for Christmas I think this one is great!

3. Berenstain Bears Go to School - Brayden has most of my original Berenstain Bears books from when I was a kid (my mom is so good and kept everything!) and now that he started school I think this is a good one to add to his collection

4. Ready, Set, Cut! - My little guy LOVES arts & crafts and I think it's time he starts using scissors

5. My First Sticky Mosaics - Vehicles.  This just looks fun!

6. Hi Ho Cherry-O - Brayden really loves sitting down and playing board games and we don't have too many, this one looks fun!

7. Wreck It Ralph - this was the first movie little man saw in the theater, I think it's about time we own it :)

8.  Toy Story Figurine Set - I seriously love these figurine sets from the Disney Store - they are such great quality and always on sale for $10/each when  you buy 2.  

9. Monsters, Inc Figurine Playset - You can never have too many :)

Now for little Ella Bella, here's what I'm thinking

1. Minnies Pet Shop Play Set (I may have to take some small pieces away for a while)
2. Minnie Mouse Figure Playset

3. Disney's Animator Snow White Doll

4. Lego Duplo Cinderella's Carriage


5.  5 Minute Princess Stories


6.  Mega Blocks

Now I'm  hoping I can snag some of this stuff on sale, I know the Disney store offers 30% your entire purchase around Thanksgiving time so I'll definitely be on the look out for that.  With that, I can probably squeeze in a couple of more things for each.

If anyone has any recommendations on toys for either gender, I am all ears!! Especially for girls, since I am very new to girl stuff ::)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Toddler Funnies & A Giveaway!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok so I had NO idea just how funny toddlers could be! My little man is my very own mini comedian and best of all, he’s free J I have been taking note lately of the stuff he has been saying because it is just down right hilarious! (At least in this Mama’s eyes) I also bought a quote book from Paper Coterie so I can jot down the funny statements in there to show him when he is older.  I know we are only in the very beginning stages of the funny stuff Brayden will say, but I still want to make sure I remember this!

I realize this may not be funny to anyone else besides me and the hubs and that is just fine J

I think it is more the way my little guys says these things rather than what he is actually saying.  His voice is just so darn cute and sometimes it seems he has an accent when he talks, which makes these things even funnier. 

  • Sitting at the dinner table a month or so ago and Brayden says “I’ll be right back!” then proceeds to get up, look at us, and walk backwards out of the kitchen.  Of course we made him come right back!
  • Sometimes my little guy will tell me “I have to show you something!” and bring me somewhere in the house, then says “Wait right there!”
  • When putting him to bed, now when I am walking out of his room, he says, “Do not run away from me!” I swear, I am not running…
  • The other week I asked him to eat his dinner and replied back to me with “Mom, are you crazy?!” Oh wow, this one had me laughing out loud
  • Whenever I ask him a question, like, what do you want to do today, he replies “ Hmmm let me think! …. I know, I know!” then says what he wants.
  • The other day he was trying to kick my legs and was saying “Take that you big bully!” Now this one had both me and the hubs turning our heads away to quickly let out a laugh, then we immediately told Brayden that was not funny.  We kept asking where he heard that because I have never heard his little Disney & Sprout shows talk like that…he finally told us it was Fred Flinstone.  Way to go me for letting him watch that…
  • The other day he told me “Thank you for cleaning up my house” –the kid’s not only funny, but thoughtful
  • If I am telling him to stop doing something he says “STOP talking to me!” He usually pushes his hand out in front of him while saying this too – I try so hard to keep a straight face when he does this!
  • Not only does he say funny things, he says the sweetest things, my favorite so far has been "I love you back and to the moon" - melt my heart!

As I mentioned above, I purchased my Quote book from Paper Coterie and love love love it! I was able to personalize the front and there is an option to upload pictures for the inside.  I chose not to do this because I know Brayden is just at the start of saying funny things and I didn’t want all of the pictures in the book to be from when he was younger, I want this book to last through his early childhood.  I thought I could always add pictures in later, but it is such a nice option that you can upload and have them be on the pages.

If you haven’t seen the products Paper Coterie offers, I’m telling you, go now and check out this site.  It is AMAZING! They offer a variety of different products and I know any Mom who is as obsessed with their kids as I am, would love to have anything from their site.  And the good people over at Paper Coterie are extending their love and offering 1 person a credit to their site for anything your little heart desires, up to a $42 value, plus free economy shipping, how sweet is that?!! I am beyond excited to be working with them on my very first giveaway, just enter below for a chance to win! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five on Friday

Woohoo it’s Friday! For some reason, this week has draaaaaaaaaagged.  Time to link up with Darci at The Good Life for some 5 on Friday Fun!

This is how I have felt every day this week going into work.  I really like my job and enjoy it (for the most part!) but this week has been a struggle to find motivation, I’ll blame it on the weather

It takes a lot out of ya!! :)     Funny Workplace Ecard: I should have at least 7 Daytime Emmys for acting like I give a crap at work each year.

Got the little man his yearly Halloween Pajamas from Target and he’s been wearing them all week now that the temps have dropped like crazy! I need to make sure to snap a pic of him in them because he is oh so cute! (Totally forgot to buy some for Ella  #momfail)

JUST ONE YOU® Made by Carters Infant Toddler Boys' Halloween 4-Piece Cotton Pajama Set

Made this for dinner the other night, of course, found on Pinterest - It was aahhhhhmaaaaaazing!

Easy One-Skillet Lasagna

I am running my first 5K this Sunday! I'm a little nervous just because I am not a runner, but a lof of my family is doing it so I said I would. It's at the local zoo which is cool because if you're signed up for the race then you can bring your family for free (doesn't matter for us since we are members but still a nice perk!) I have been doing the C25K App  to help prepare and I have to say, it has definitely helped this Mama gain more endurance, I definitely recommend it!

I am going to be hosting my very first giveaway starting Monday 9/23 so be sure to come back and check it out, it’s going to be fabulous and I’m a little bummed I can’t enter it myself!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

5 Year Wedding Anniversary

Today is my & the hubby's 5 year wedding anniversary, 5 years! I can’t even believe it!

I can remember so vividly the night we got engaged, it was December 15th 2007 and we spent the day/night in the city, I remember walking the streets and looking at the Christmas lights and window shopping all while the beautiful white snow fell on us.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE the snow, so having it snow on this night was so magical.  I remember we were going to go ice skating at the most popular area, Millenium Park, the wait was hours long so we decided not to ice skate.  I remember being crushed.  I had dreamed of this night in my head and exactly how it would play out (this is what I do, I always envision how things will go, and of course they never go the way I think) minus the getting engaged part, that part was I was really surprised about.  After I threw my little pitty party for one, we walked around by the Bean, which overlooks the ice skating rink and I remember the hubby grabbed me and started saying a bunch of mushy stuff (I think this was the point I went numb and couldn't focus on what he was saying at all) next thing I knew, he was down on one knee proposing! My heart was racing sooooo fast but I quickly replied with YES!! We stood there kissing for a while, while the snow fell on us, and I just kept thinking how this night was the *perfect* night of my life.  We finished our night off by going back to our hotel and going to dinner at the steakhouse inside. 

Flash forward to now and we are celebrating 5 years of wedding bliss.  I would love to lie and say that these past 5 years have been nothing short of perfect, but I think even I would puke if I wrote that.  Marriage is definitely not easy, but it something I vow to always work on.  I know I have many qualities that I continue improving on so that it will overall improve our marriage and this goes the same with the hubby.  One thing I do know is that I am not one who will ever give up easily on this marriage thing, I may not be super religious but that day we took our vows in front of God meant everything to me and I will fight always for my marriage.

Happy 5 Years to one of the best hubbys out there (and best Daddy’s too!)

One of my favorite pictures even though I'm not looking :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Flash Forward Fun!

Today I'm linking up with Sarah over at Our Journey.  She thought of a super fun post to do about predicting what your kids will be like in the future.  This was a fun post to write and also a hard one since I only want to think of my kiddos as 3 & 1 forever, but here it goes :)

**Dear Brayden, 

I can’t believe I am even writing a post on what you will be like in the future because I honestly can’t see you past how you are today.  That being said, I know it’s inevitable that you will grow up (but why?!?!)  

Personalty = Right now you are a shy, sensitive little fellow and have been since the day you was born, it’s just who you are. Although, once you know someone you let out your wild & crazy side.  I think as you grow up you will always be a little on the reserved side, I imagine you being the kid who is too shy to raise his hand and be the first to answer or be the team leader in a sporting activity, I see you being somewhat of a follower rather than the leader, which I’m sure will cause you to get into a bit of trouble during those peer pressuring years!  You are already so thoughtful and I imagine that quality will stay with you (I hope!) so I see you being very romantic with girlfriends (Yikes, did I really just type that?!?!) I see you being a great friend and I see you being very athletic. I have a feeling you will really like school and excel in it.

Likes/dislikes in food, entertainment, books,
I predict your favorite foods will be pizza, pasta & ice cream, the 3 things you could live on right now! I picture you being really into science, therefore loving books that have to do with the Solar System or anything scientific with lots of pictures.  I think you will love going to sporting events and playing sports as well. 

Career or Area of Study

I picture you doing something again to do with science or maybe even animals. I don’t know why, but that is just what I imagine.  Maybe you’ll be a vet or work in lab, I definitely don’t see you sitting at a desk.  Just maybe you’ll fulfill Daddy’s and I dreams of becoming a professional baseball player,  anyone who has seen you hit and throw would agree with this!

Oh gosh, it’s so crazy to even think this!  I think you will have 3 

Tattoo's? Piercings?
      I do not see you having either

Risk taker or go-with-the-flow type
I picture you being more of the go with the flow type, but you will have some edge to you!

Predict height and weight of their 18th birthday
6'1" and 180lbs

What I want for you
I want you to achieve happiness in your life.  I want you to find a passion and stick with it, go to and graduate college, get married to youroulmate and plant roots close to home and give me grandbabies (of course not for a loooooooooong time).  I want us to have an amazing relationship and I wish the same for you and Daddy. I want you to know you can come to us if you are ever in trouble or need guidance. I want you to live a long healthy life and be able to see your babies have babies.  I love more than you will ever know Brayden and I will enjoy watching you grow into a man, but for right now, I'm ok with the crazy 3 year old you are :)

**Dear Ella,

You just turned 1 and I am now predicting how you will be when  you're older, for some reason I think I will be pretty darn close at what I predict :)

I imagine you being the complete opposite from what I just described your big brother as.  At the young age of 1 you are already a little feisty one.  You is not super sensitive like her big bro, for example, you never had a problem sitting in the grass where her brother cried and threw his hands up whining when I sat him in grass, he wouldn’t even walk barefoot in the grass until he was 2…no joke.  You don’t mind the bath water going into your eyes and all over your face, while your brother STILL cries when this happens.  I love how you just looks at him like “what is the problem ya big baby?” Therefore, when I picture you grown up, I imagine you as a leader, the one who will cause mischief and do tons of plotting. (Oh lordy, I’m in trouble!)  I think you are going to have a take no BS attitude (kinda like her Mama!) I imagine you having lots of friends (hopefully!) and being a sweet & honest girl (again, hopefully!)

Likes/dislikes in food, entertainment, books
I think you will love all food, again just like your Mama J I think you will really like music and love attending concerts.  I too picture you loving to attend sporting events, I see you sitting right next to your Daddy rooting on the Chicago Bears (that will make him one proud Papa!) I think you are going to be into those romantic teeny bopper books, and probably those teeny bopper magazines (who remembers Tiger Beat?! JTT was my love!) ß-- Totally aging myself here!

Career or Area of Study

I see you studying business, I think you is going to be a quick witted girl who will be great in the business industry, being it Sales or running your own company.  I definitely see you as a take charge girl and also do not see you sitting behind a desk.

I think you will have 2!

Tattoo's? Piercings?
      I do not see you having either

Risk taker or go-with-the-flow type

I picture you being the risk taker and giving your Dad and I a run for our money!

Predict height and weight of their 18th birthday
5'5" and 105lbs

What I want for you
I want the same things for you as I do your brother. I want you to achieve true happiness in your life. I want you to go to the college, marry a great guy just like your father and plant your roots close to us. I truly hope we can have a great Mother/Daughter relationship and I will work so darn hard to make that happen.  I will try to give you room to breathe but it's going to be hard because I know I will be so worried about you especially during those peer pressuring teenage years.  I want you to have a close relationship with your Daddy and I want you to always come to us if you are in trouble or need guidance, that is what we are here for! I want you to live a long and healthy life and to see your babies have babies. I love you so much my little girl and I will also enjoy watching you grow up into a little lady, but right now I am good with a a crazy little 1 year old :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Apple Picking

This was our first time apple picking as a family and my very first time ever, so I was extremely excited :) Doesn't take much to excite me, huh?! :)

Brayden was so excited about apple picking and my mom said on Friday (the day before we went) they were watching Cailou and he actually went apple picking, so I think that got the little man even more excited than he already was. Little man loves him some Cailou - thankfully my Mom had to endure the pain of watching it and not me.

The apple farm we went to was about an hour away but the drive didn't seem bad at all.  When we got there, there was so much to do! We decided to do some fun activities before going into the orchard to pick apples.

There were a few jumpy houses but of course, Brayden wouldn't have any part of them.  Usually he will do things if I do them with him, but not bouncy houses! He just likes to observe the other kids.

We sat and watched a magic show, this is where I snapped this adorable picture of Miss Ella Bella - She makes my heart so happy!

We had someone snap this shot of us when we first got in

By far I think this was Brayden's favorite activity at the farm - playing in corn.  He did not want to get out. He found a little friend who also didn't want to leave, it was pretty funny.

Now we were on the tractor getting ready to drive to the orchard (I don't know why in every picture Brayden looks miserable, always, I promise this is so not the case!)

Yay for apple picking!

Cutest girl in the orchard :)

Brayden was really excited to take a picture on this tractor, so cute!

After apple picking we watched a pig race which was very entertaining and went down a fun slide. After a few hours we headed home.  Our first apple picking adventure was a success and so much fun.  I am excited to start this as our own family tradition that we will do every year.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Five on Friday

Happy Friday Y’all! I’m heading back to The Good Life to link up for Five on Friday


My little man started preschool this week! Say what!! I still can’t believe he is old enough to go to preschool.  He (and I!) had a rough first week but I know like everyone tells me, in time it will get better.

Please stop growing little boy!!

I finally made a Facebook page and Pinterest Page for my blog - I figured it was time to jump on that bandwagon :)

We had my cousins wedding last weekend - let me just say, this Mama had SO much fun! I love getting dressed up and having an adult night - I didn't take too many pictures as I spent majority of the night dancing, but my family managed to get a couple of me

My gorgeous friends


Took the kids on a Target run last night and let the little man walk instead of sit in the cart - mainly because there was no room with Ella and all the crap I was buying.  This little guy was wound up like a top the entire time we were there, running everywhere, not listening, and one second I turn back to check on him and he is laying on a shelf using the pillows, saying "this is soooooooo comfy, I'm going to sleep, goodnight!!" All I could do was laugh

We are going apple picking tomorrow and it will be my first time ever, I am super excited!! I plan to make a homemade apple pie, crust and all, YUUUUUUUUUM

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Brayden's First Day of Preschool

So today was my little man's 1st day of 3 year old preschool and I really can't believe this day is already here, I guess it's true what everyone says, the time just goes waaaaaay too fast once you have kids.

The morning started out great, I made pancakes and sausage at little man's request and then we headed outside to take some pics with the super cute sign I made for him - a post on this sign soon :)

He was really excited to take pictures, this is a first!!

 Not sure what's going on here but I promise they were happier than they look :)

Once we got to school, Brayden was still excited and in a great mood, we went inside and grabbed his name tag and waited until the door to class opened.  Of course he didn't want to put the name tag on, he was having more fun "fishing" with it

When we got into the classroom, we were still having fun, Brayden pulled up a chair and sat down to play play doh.

After a little play time, it was time for all the kids to come sit on the circle, of course Brayden wanted me to sit right down next to him but that was not allowed.  He was starting to get pretty nervous but eventually he did sit down but once the teacher came over to show him how to sit "pretzel" he started crying so hard.  So all throughout circle time where every child was rolling a ball to one another and stating their name to the class, Brayden cried, and then cried some more. It was definitely painful to watch but part of me was just wishing he would start listening, I couldn't believe he was the only kid who didn't roll the ball and say his name.  I know he's just a kid but to say I was a little embarrassed would be an understatement.

My poor baby!

After circle time, one teacher brought all parents into the hall while the other teacher stayed in the room with the kids. As soon as I was going towards the door Brayden started crying hysterically again, it killed me but I just walked out of the room.  As we all stood in the hallway I could hear him crying so loud.  At this point it was becoming heartbreaking and then the tears starting strolling down my face.  I think part of that was out of frustration but I also felt so terrible.  He cried the entire time I was out in the hall, probably 15 minutes.  When I went back in the room his eyes were so swollen from crying so much.  He calmed down and we started playing again, I tried to stay back as much I could to get him used to playing by himself.  

It was back to circle time again before we did a fire drill - I could see Brayden starting to get a little more relaxed, he even held hands with another little boy while we went out for the fire drill, and at one point he was even holding the teachers hand! That was HUGE for him.  When we got back in the room he went and sat nicely in the circle and stayed there until it was time to go.

At the end of the morning when we were leaving, I told him to say good bye to his teachers, and to my extreme surprise, he went up to each teacher and gave them a hug AND a kiss!! I almost fell over from the shock.

I couldn't believe all of the emotions that went through his first day, for both him and me.  It was a little surreal to watch my little baby, my first born, go through his very first day of school.  Yes, I know it's only preschool, but as you can see, this was a BIG deal for my little guy, and I could not be more proud of him!

We'll see how the next class goes, that will be his first day all by himself.  My hubby will be dropping off and picking up while I'll be at work worried about my little guy.  I know in time he will be just fine, and so will I :)