Thursday, January 30, 2014

Kitchen Vision

We are so close to starting a kitchen remodel and I am beyond excited!! We are also getting new floors on our main level which I think I may be even more excited for.

We knew when we moved we would have to live in our homes current state until we could save enough money to do updates.  Over the past year we have done many updates however, painting our house, our fireplace makeover, replacing some old pipes, put central air in, and a few other small things.  So to say we haven't done anything to our house would be an understatement.  

These are the floors we have been living with for over a year... Lord only knows how old linoleum and green carpet, YUCK.

It's amazing how many times I have scrubbed the shit out of those linoleum floors and yet they never seem to be clean.  So. Gross.

At least my cute kids can distract me from the nastiness going on in these rooms.

Our vision is to put in dark hardwood floors throughout the entry, kitchen, dining, and playroom areas.  For our kitchen, we want white cabinets, an oatmeal-ish color in granite and stainless steel appliances.  I am going for more of a country-chic look rather than too modern.  I want our home to feel homey and still have some nice finishes.  

Here are some kitchens that have inspired us
kitchen at

MadeByGirl: Nicole's California Home Tour Pt.1 ... (Via Made By Girl)

We are just starting now to obtain quotes for cabinets and floors so I'm hoping this overhaul will take place within the next couple of months.  I would like to get as many quotes as possible before deciding. 

I can't wait to be able to show our end results!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Disney on Ice!!!

This weekend we took our little guy to Disney on Ice.  I bought the tickets months in advance and we have been counting down the days to go.  Brayden was so excited since all of his faves would be there, and the hubs and I were just as excited since we had never been before.

We got there a tad too early since I assumed the start time was 11am, just like the circus.  I kept telling the hubs I was 100 % sure it was 11 and they were just starting late, he pulled out the tickets and just shook his head... now we have an agreement that he checks the times before we go anywhere. 

I just LOVE this little boy!!

We indulged in some serious snacks while there, that's always my favorite part :) Popcorn, ice cream, pizza, soft pretzels, skittles and milk duds, it was like going to the movies, but better.

I so enjoyed this, but what was even better was seeing the smile on my little guys face, it never came off! I can't wait to go back and bring Little Miss next time!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Ella Grace - 16 Months

My baby girl, you are now 16 months old! I catch myself looking you at thinking how in a blink of an eye you as big as you are. I make sure to be in the moment with you and savor every minute, but yet, it still feels like time is speeding by and I have no idea where the time went.

The biggest milestone you have reached lately is walking!! Yes, you are walking everywhere now and I just love it! You look like a little drunk person when you walk, with both hands up in the air to help you balance and your little feet stomping all around.  It is the cutest thing ever. You started walking right after Christmas, 12/26 and haven’t stopped yet.  You love to just stand up and do laps around the kitchen and playroom.

You are still a Daddy’s girl and I love seeing you two engage with eachother.  He loves you so much and I see it in his eyes everytime he looks at you. 

You are still a happy little girl, but you are teething so there are lots of days where nothing really makes you happy, I hate those days and feel your pain! You are a late teether so you seem to get lots of teeth at one time, ouch!

Along with teething, you have been sick quite a bit over the past few months, we had your ER scare with croup and since then you have had croup a couple more times.  It is so scary every time you get that but in a weird way, Daddy and I are kind of getting use to it. We just spent the last week trading off turns taking you outside in the bitter cold (bundled up of course!) in the middle of the night - this helps the croup.  You are definitely teaching us how to live on little sleep :)

You are very into playing with toys now.  You and Brayden received a play kitchen for Christmas and your little cute butt is always over there whipping stuff up J I love seeing you stand at the kitchen on your tippy toes trying to get something.

You adore your brother and want to play with him so badly! Too bad most of the time he is too cool for you L  I know one day that will change, but it makes me a little sad to see him not play with you.  But then there are times when he will go up to you, give you a big hug and say “I love you sissy” and then my heart melts

You are very good in the eating dept, you eat pretty much everything and most times we have to stop you from overeating! I’m cherishing these moments because your brother was also a great eater at this age and now that is not the case at all.  You do make us nervous though because sometimes you’ll put food in your mouth and then lean your head all the way back and gag, I really wish you could tell me what the heck this is and why you do it!??! I am very much looking forward to that phase ending.

You don’t talk much at all, still babble, or Mama or Dada but not much more than that.  You have started to scream very loud and I wonder what exactly you’re trying to say?? I can’t imagine how cute your little voice is going to be when you do start talking!

Baby girl, Ella Bella, Peewee, you are such a blessing in our lives and I am so happy I get to be your Mama and watch you learn and grow.  I look forward to our mother/daughter relationship we will continue to make and hope you stay my little girl forever.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

DIY Heart Garland

So now that we have an awesome fireplace, I am so excited to be able to decorate it, mainly with each holiday.  Since Valentine's Day is coming up, I wanted to do a heart garland to go across.  My awesome silhouette portrait came in handy to make this super easy, quick garland.

What you need:

  • Cardstock - I chose 2 shades of pink and 1 shade of red, I only used 1pc of cardstock of each
  • Silhouette - or a heart punch, or you can print hearts on the paper and cut them out
  • Twine - bought mine at Michaels (using a coupon of course!) 
  • Tiny hole puncher (or anything that can make a small hole)

I went to the online silhouette store and bought a heart shape and put 6 on a page and then printed.  Once all my heart shapes were cut out, I punched a hole in each side of the heart, then threaded them through the twine.  That's it! So so easy and it looks so cute! I am still finishing the top of my mantel and I'll share then when it's complete :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fireplace Makeover

This is a project that has been done for a few months now but I'm just getting around to document it :)

Here is what our fireplace use to look like - you can say it, GROSS!  At least to us it was, just so old and not our taste, plus it took up the entire wall!!

Before we moved in, the only picture we have

We knew we wanted to do a fireplace remodel before putting in new carpet, and we are so glad we were smart enough to do that because knocking down that old fireplace sure did make a MESS of our old carpet.  
We hired a guy to do the demo part of removing the old fireplace.  Part of me (the cheap part) was not happy to pay someone to do something that we could have easily done (of course I say this after I saw it get done) but I knew with 2 little kids, both the hubs and I working full time, and weekends jam packed there was just not time for us to do it. 

We searched the internet for different stone options, I knew right away I liked the thin stacked stone look. We ended up using Eldorado Stone in Dry Creek.  

Initially we only went half way up the wall.  As soon as it was done, the hubby was not happy.  He wanted the stone to the ceiling.  Again, the cheap part of me was perfectly happy with the stone only going halfway, see, not so bad right??

But then the idea to go to the ceiling grew on me more and we ordered another box, paid more money to have it installed, and viola! Here is the end result! Just gorgeous if I do say so myself!!!!

The hubby put in new woodwork around the windows, ripped off the wood paneling on the walls, painted the walls and ceilings and bought new window treatments. Of course the carpet is new too and is sooo nice and soft. This room has totally transformed and is now our favorite room.

Now just for fun, a before and after:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Freezer Meals!

Woohoo I finally took the time to prepare tons of freezer meals! I have done this once before, but it’s been months, and when I saw Emily post about it, she gave me the motivation I needed to do it again.

With it being winter, this is the perfect time to have made ahead meals to just pop in the croc pot and dinner is ready when I get home from work.  I love this because clean up is so easy and best of all, it leaves me with a ton of extra play time with my little cuties.

I first chose the recipes I wanted to prepare, then started my shopping list.  I’ll list out each recipe I made, and the items needed underneath. 

All original sources are cited, but I did change things up a bit on most of them.  I also split each meal into 2 freezer bags.

To start, I first wrote the directions for each meal on the gallon zip lock bags

Then, I chopped up the onions and peppers I needed

I then cooked the meat that needed to be cooked and left it aside until I was ready for it.  Then it was time to start adding everything to the bags

Slow Cooker Black Bean & Corn Salsa Chicken
  • 4  pieces of boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 (14 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (14 oz) cans corn, drained
  • 1 (1 oz) package taco seasoning
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 3/4 cup water

Toss all ingredients into gallon size ziplock bag and freeze.  When ready to make, cook on high 3-4 hours or low 7-8 hours.  Serve with tortillas and any toppings of your choice.

Original Recipe Found here

Croc Pot Chicken Fajitas
  • 3 Chicken Breasts
  • 1-2 Tbsp Fajita seasoning from packet
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 2 peppers sliced (I used orange and yellow)
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chiles

Toss all ingredients into gallon size ziplock bag and freeze.  When ready to make, cook on low 4-5 hours.  Serve with tortillas and any toppings of your choice.

Original recipe found here

Pot Roast
  • 2 1/2lb of chuck roast (uncooked)
  • 1 packet of dry ranch dressing mix
  • 2 packets of brown gravy mix
  • 4 tsp of dry onion flakes
  • 2 C of water
  • 1 bag of baby carrots (do not add in freezer bag)

Add all ingredients to bag (except carrots) and freeze. Add baby carrots. (you can also cut up potatoes and add at this time as well if you’d like)
Cook on high 6-7 hours or low 8-9 hours.
*Cannot find original recipe source
Meatball Stroganoff
  • 1 bag of frozen meatballs
  • 1 C chopped onions
  • 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 C sliced mushrooms
  • 1 package of cream cheese (do not add to bag)
  • 8 oz sour cream (do not add to bag)

Add meatballs, onions, soup and mushrooms in bag and freeze.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours. During last hour, stir in 1 package of cream cheese and 8 oz of sour cream. Serve over hot pasta or rice.
Original recipe here

Taco Roast
  • 2 1/2 lb of chuck roast (uncooked)
  • 1 14oz can beef broth
  • 1 ½ tbsp of chili powder
  • ½ tbsp cumin
  • ½ tbsp onion powders
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime

Put all ingredients in bag and freeze. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Serve with tortillas

Original recipe here

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 16oz bag of frozen broccoli florets
  • 2 16oz jars of alfredo sauce
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 4oz can sliced mushrooms, drained
 Place all ingredients in gallon zip lock bag, freeze.  Cook low 4-6 hours. Serve with fettuccini.
Original recipe found here
Croc Pot Chili
  • 2 lb ground beef (you could also use ground turkey)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup or chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 packet chili seasoning mix
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
 Cook the ground beef or turkey with onions, let cool.  Place all other ingredients into your gallon zip lock bag, add the meat once cooled.  Freeze.  When ready to eat, cook on low 7-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.
 Original recipe found here

Beef Enchiladas – Non Croc Pot
  • 2 pounds of ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cups of shredded cheese (I used cheddar & mozzerella)
  • 10 large tortillas
  • 2 14oz red enchilada sauce
Cook the ground beef and onions together, drain.  Pour a little enchilada sauce on the bottom of foil pan.  Add the meat, most of the cheese, and 1 can of enchilada sauce together. Spoon the mixture into the tortillas and place the seam down in the pan.  I put 5 tortillas in each pan.  Once done pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the tortillas then the rest of your cheese.  Cover with foil and freeze.  When ready to cook, place in over for 45-55 min at 350 degrees.  

I think this took me a total of 3 hours but I also did it while I was home with the kids and the hubs was out bowling, so there were plenty of distractions.  I made a total of 16 freezer meals and I spent about $75 on all of the ingredients.  I don't think that's too bad?!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Golden Globes Recap

So I love me award season, it all stems from my Mom, who is literally obsessed with Hollywood.  She started me at a very young age watching these award shows and I grew up the same, obsessed with Hollywood.  I would much rather watch E! news than the regular news and I know way too much about celebrities that it's almost embarrassing. 

I really only like to watch the red carpet and some of the show, rarely do I ever watch an entire award show, except maybe the Oscars.  I also only like award shows with actors, so I could care less about the Grammy's.

I thought it would be fun to do a little recap on my thoughts of best and worst dress and some of the winners


  • Margot Robbie - The Wolf of Wall Street (go see now if you have not!)- This woman is so gorgeous and I loved her dress, simple yet beautiful
Margot Robbie, Golden Globes

  • Olivia Wilde - OK, I wish I could look half this good when pregnant! She is absolutely stunning!
Olivia Wilde, Golden Globes

  • Amy Adams - I just love her so that's probably most of the reason I picked her, but I really like her dress and the neckline!

  • Reese Witherspoon - Again, very simple but she looked gorgeous! I'm loving her hair too


  • Drew Barrymore - I know she is preggers with her 2nd, but that doesn't mean she should put on a moo moo. I think she should have accented her bump like Olivia Wilde and it would have looked 100 x's better on her. This is just too busy
Drew Barrymore, Golden Globes 2014

  • Paula Patton - Why in the world would she think this looked good? This woman is GORGEOUS and she distracted that by having a bunch of material growing off her shoulder, bad move Paula.
Paula Patton, Golden Globes 2014

  • Caitlin Fitzgerald - I don't even know who this woman is, but this look is horrendous
Caitlin FitzGerald, Golden Globes

  • Lena Dunham - Again, don't know who she is, but that dress is awful.  She is busting out of the top and there is alot of dress - this does not flatter her body at all
Lena Dunham, Golden Globes

I'm not even going to do best/worst dressed for men because honestly they all mostly look the same, but I will highlight some of the hotties

Leonardo DiCaprio, Golden Globes 2014Bradley Cooper, Golden Globes

(I can't really comment on too many because well, I rarely get out to the movies, and if we watch them at home, I'm sleeping before the opening scene)

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street

--- I was very happy Leo won, but really, they put this movie in a caterogory of comedy or musical? Anyone who has seen it, I think would agree with me, that this is neither comedy nor a musical.  Very weird.  None the less, Leo did amazing in his role and he deserved the win.

Best Supporting Actor, Motion Picture: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

--- I haven't seen this movie but I just want to comment that Jared Leto is still so hot and I was happy he won after being away from acting for 6 years.

Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: American Hustle

---American Hustle won alot, and I think I need to see this movie ASAP.  I love all of the actors in it so I'm sure it would be good - has anyone see this yet??

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Brayden's 1st Christmas Concert

A couple of weeks ago Brayden had his Preschool Christmas Concert.  I made sure to take the morning off of work the second I found out about this, which was when he started school.  I knew I wouldn't be able to make it to all of his school events, but his 1st field trip and the Christmas Concert were the top 2 I knew I had to be at!

Now we all know my little guy is somewhat shy… and that’s putting it lightly.  So I didn’t have very high expectations for this concert, I was just extremely excited to go see him.  I had known they were practicing songs for the concert at school because every night at dinner Brayden would start belting them out.  When I would hear that, I would think to myself, well maybe this kid will surprise me??

The morning of the concert, we got to the school and they had broken down the wall separating the 3 year old class and 4 year old class, the concert was combined.  There were tons of chairs set up and also tons of people!! At first we grabbed a front row spot, then the hubby thought maybe we should sit in back so we didn’t distract Brayden, so we moved, then when we were in back, we realized we couldn’t see anything so we moved back to the front. 

The kids were all going to be lined up in the front of the classroom, which was literally 5 steps from where we were sitting.  I was so nervous the second Brayden saw us he would leave his spot and run to us, but to my surprise he didn’t! When he came out, it just happened that he was pretty much right in front of us, he did come to hug me but then took his spot.  I should mention, right when we go to school for this, he started crying and was crying even more when the teachers took him “backstage” He must have been so nervous seeing all of those strangers in the audience!

So to see him take his place made me extremely proud.  First the teachers handed out jingle bells for the kids to shake while singing, all Brayden did was put the bells up to his face to hide, I could see him about to lose it at any moment and start crying, but he made it through the first song, although not a single word came out of his mouth.

The next songs went the same way, mostly with my little guy covering his face with his hands while mildly hyperventilating and almost losing it, but in the end, he didn’t break down and he stayed with his class the entire show.   There were a few other kids that were just as nervous as Brayden and I’m not going to lie, it was pretty hilarious watching them up there shaking and tearing up.  Even the teachers couldn’t handle it and started laughing so hard at one point.  It’s all in good fun J

No matter how much Brayden did not participate, I was just so proud of him for getting up there in front of all of those people and not running to us when he easily could have.  Heck, there was one boy who actually did run to his Mom and left the little concert.

Brayden's signature move - hands over his face

After the concert, there were cookies and refreshments and Brayden gave his teachers their gifts, I captured a special moment between Brayden and his favorite teacher, Mrs Senderack.  So so sweet!

I wonder how next year will go?!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

NYE 2013

This year we decided to stay home for NYE and just hang out.  The hubs went to a bowling tournament during the day and I took the kids out in the freezing cold to get party decorations, you know, for our party of 4.  Not the best idea to wait until NYE day to get NYE stuff, went to Target and the Dollar Store, and mostly everything was gone, I was able to score one hate and the rest of the stuff was meant for mardi gras, it still worked, right?

We made the kids a separate dinner then made steak and lobster for us.  It was so yummy but I barely had time to actually enjoy it since little Ella Bella was tugging at us while we ate and crying for our attention.  I said next time we do this, we eat after the kids go to bed! :)

After we ate we hung out and watched a movie and of course I made the fam snap a few shots :)

Ella is just so excited can't you tell?

Our lame party supplies, ha

We toasted to the New Year before Ella went to bed for the night, she was loving her sparkling grape juice!

We finished the night with ice cream sundaes and then it was off to bed for Brayden, and I must admit I passed out on the couch way before midnight.  It was still a fun night with my little family!! Looking forward to good things in 2014.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas 2013 Recap

Wow, I can't believe how long it's been since I last blogged! It's been so long since I've even read other blogs.

I had 2 weeks off work for Christmas and I chose to spend the holiday surrounded by my family, doing fun things each day, not really going online and checking or doing anything, and it was so nice! Although half the time I had no idea what day it was, it was still awesome and way better than working :)

We spent Christmas Eve at my Aunt's house and Christmas Day, after opening gifts at home, we headed out to my sisters to do Christmas with her family and my mom, and then back to my in laws.  It was such a nice couple of days with family, and my gosh are my kiddos spoiled!! They received so many presents they don't even know what to do with, all while Mommy is trying to not have a heart attack because there is no where to put them. Need to organize ASAP!

Some pics of Christmas morning - Brayden was so cute, he ran downstairs and exclaimed "Santa came!! And he ate the cookies!!" I really have never seen the kid so excited, it was just amazing to watch it through his eyes.

Brayden's #1 toy on his list was a big sword (just like Jake) and he always said that Mommy needed a hook - looks like Santa delivered :)

What an amazing Christmas season we had and I really am so blessed to call these people my family.  I love them so much and look forward to many more Christmas's!!