Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Busy fun

Mike headed out of town last Friday morning for a guy's fantasy football weekend getaway at the beach.  That meant that I was flying solo Friday-Sunday afternoon, but I'm always up for a challenge to keep things interesting!

We've had an insane amount of rain lately (which I happen to love since you rarely get a solid rainy day in the Sunshine state) so we kicked off the weekend by wading our way to dinner with friends we haven't seen in forever.  They have an eighteen month old little boy & I hadn't met him until that night, so it was great to get back together.

The kids have been talking about a sleepover for a while so I settled them in the back bedroom for a brother/sister slumber party after dinner.  They lasted about an hour until Reese declared that she wanted to sleep in her own bed.  Cam insisted he was going to stay in that room, but two minutes later, he was also fast asleep in his own bed.  So much for that!  After the kiddos went to bed, I had a blissful night of sipping wine while watching, Return to Me... it was heavenly!

Saturday afternoon I met my besties for a mom/kiddo day at Chuck E Cheese.  We have a new location near our house yet we've never been & we ended up having so much fun!

$20 bought us 80 tokens which was plenty to keep Cam & Reese occupied since each game takes one token.  After pizza the mommies indulged in a beer over some chit chat while the kids continued to have a ball... win, win!

We're three!

We did an impromptu photo shoot with the little goofballs & the pics turned out pretty darn cute!

We're six!

We're silly!

We're awesome!
I'm a ladies man!

Mommy/kiddo/Pug Saturday movie night

It ended up being a really low-key yet fun-filled weekend, although it was great when we came back from church Sunday to find that Mike had returned!

Turquoise organizer from Target ($13)

I'm getting a jump start on my Wednesday organization by tackling the horrific junk drawer in our kitchen.  Since these drawers get the name "junk drawer" I'm assuming I'm not the only person who has issues keeping theirs organized??!

Batteries, tape, screws, checkbooks, etc gather in this drawer & it had gotten quite messy!

The after picture still looks pretty messy, but I assure you I did get rid of a lot of unused junk.  When you have a bunch of random, small items gathered in one drawer, it's had to keep it looking pretty!

I did my organizing while a SUPER quick dinner cooked in the oven.  It took no longer than 10 minutes to assemble & 20-25 minutes to cook.  Love me a one pan meal!

One-pan ranch chicken & roasted tomato green beans

-1.25# boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-1oz pack dry ranch dressing mix
-Seasoned breadcrumbs (about a cup)
-Fresh green beans, ends trimmed
-Pint cherry or grape tomatoes (cut in half if desired)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil sprayed with non-stick spray. Slice chicken breasts into tenders & drizzle with olive oil.  Mix ranch packet & breadcrumbs into gallon zip bag, toss in chicken tenders & shake to coat.  Place chicken on one side of the baking sheet.  Toss green beans in olive oil, salt & pepper & place on the opposite side of the same baking sheet. Bake for ten minutes in preheated oven.  Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes in olive oil, salt & pepper & top green bean mixture.  Bake for an additional ten minutes & enjoy.  Super easy, healthy weeknight meal!

 Speaking of getting a jump on Wednesday organizing, my dryer just buzzed... the dreaded sound.  Sometimes when it goes off I think to myself, "I hate you!"  It's always pulling me away from something I'd rather be doing, like watching TV, blogging, browsing online, reading a magazine... basically anything else! 

On a sad note, my heart is feeling heavy tonight after finding out that a blogger I've followed for years passed away yesterday after complications from a heart issue.  It's amazing how in the blogging world, you can feel like you know someone you've never met & be affected by what's happening in their livesShe was young, bubbly, seemed happily married & had two very small children, so it's a tragic ending to a sweet story I've followed.  Saying my prayers for her family tonight!!
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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wednesday randoms

Just another week, just another Wednesday!


I've got the Crockpot going again this week so dinner is one less thing I need to think about today.  I'm making "knock your socks off chicken & sausage" so we'll see if it lives up to its name this evening! Click here for the recipe. *update:  It nearly dinnertime & I felt that the sauce was a bit too thin, so I took a small cup & mixed a few tablespoons of hot broth from the Crockpot with a tablespoon of cornstarch, added it to the slow cooker & cooked it on high for another half hour to thicken.

Getting dinner out of the way takes some pressure off because my kiddos really keep me on my toes.  They basically don't go more than five minutes without asking me for something.  In fact, as I'm typing this, Cameron just asked, "Mommy, can I have popcorn?"  I mean it's 10am, why wouldn't you want popcorn?!?  Cam's also big into video games, so he's constantly asking me to play with him.  Little stinkers!  I usually end up staying up too late after they've gone to bed since it's the only time I can concentrate without constant distractions.

My four-legged stinkers keep me hopping too!

On a side note, Reese says she loves Lucky Charms cereal, but what she really loves is the marshmallows & refuses to eat the cereal part. Stubborn girl!

Did you notice my fish table runner?  I love it!  I recently picked it up at Target for under $20.

Also, I don't think I've posted many (if any) pictures of our back guest bedroom which we refer to as "Grammy's room" since this is where my MIL stays when she's in town.

It also serves as Cam's frat house when Grammy isn't here since this is where we keep his Wii U.  

It's a great guest room since it's big & has its own private bathroom.

This will ultimately serve as the pool bathroom once we get a pool & I can't wait till that happens!  I'm so thankful to be in a house that suits our needs!

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Recent happenings

This past Friday Mike & I headed on a rare date night while our generous friends, Josh & Jill watched the kids overnight.

We were pretty excited to have some uninterrupted dinner conversation that didn't include, "take another bite," "how many more bites do I have to have?!"

The weekend continued to be low-key on Saturday as we ran some errands & browsed around Target.  Unfortunately, shortly after this picture above was taken, things quickly went south.  We headed home to make dinner & grill some corn on the cob.  Just as I looked up from reading my magazine on the patio, I noticed Reese was extremely close to the grill.  Two seconds earlier she had been happily playing on her swing set, so I'm not sure what drew her to the grill, but there she was.  As I jumped out of my seat to tell her that it was hot, she started to scream in pain.  I rushed her into the house & we ran her hands under cool water & tried to assess the situation & determine if she had to go to the hospital.  Burns are the worst, but thankfully it appeared to be a first degree burn.  The poor little girl was in so much pain, it was brutal to watch.  When she was soaking her hands in a bowl of cool water she was fine, but as soon as she'd take her hands out of the water, she'd scream in pain.  This lasted for hours, so as bedtime came & went, Mike told her she would have to take her hands out of the water & it would hurt for a few minutes, but it had to be done.

She cried & begged to keep her hands in the water & the next fifteen or so minutes were terrible.  Finally, the pain started to subside & she eventually fell asleep in bed with us.  Thank God she slept through the night & when she woke up Sunday her pain was pretty much gone.  I can tell you that she will never go near that grill again, painful lessen learned.

Otherwise, we're having a typical low-key Wednesday at home & I'll be surprised if we even get out of our pajamas.  I threw some boneless pork chops into the Crock Pot & poured a jar of butter chicken simmer sauce over them to cook on low.  I'll put brown rice in the rice cooker later & serve it along with some steam in the bag broccoli for a very lazy dinner.

I've been taking advantage of a less hectic schedule & getting the kids' rooms organized before the school year picks back up next month.  Their clothes are officially cycled to updated sizes & smaller sizes have been distributed as hand-me-downs to friends.

We moved into our house just before Cam had turned four (he'll be seven in September), so the artwork in his room is a bit juvenile.  He's not picky though so it's not a high priority on our to-do list!

He was happy enough with the SpongeBob decals we added; boys are so easy!

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Playroom update

I haven't done all that many house posts lately, so I thought I'd do a playroom update.  I'm such a house junky; I love seeing other people's homes, how they decorate, organize, utilize their spaces, etc. I'm constantly watching HGTV, browsing Pinterest & even stopping at model homes for inspiration.  I'm big into maximizing the way we use our space so I hate the idea of useless rooms for sitting or dining while no one is actually sitting or dining in them but maybe once a year.  With that being said, we did away with our living room/formal dining room & made it into a big playroom that could be used for crafts or homework. 

The previous owners used it as a dining room & painted it a basic brown. 

We chose Green Tea Leaf by Porter Paints & swapped out the chandelier with a light fixture from IKEA.  Very inexpensive changes that made a quick difference.  The picture above is our mid-way point.

This is what our playroom looks like today.  My mom bought the little craft/homework table for Reese's 2nd birthday from Walmart.  For being under $100, it's very sturdy & has withstood daily use, even with my big butt sitting in it to help Cam with homework.

The chalkboard my dad made also gets plenty of use!

To give you perspective as to where our playroom sits in our house, this is the view from our front door.  Mike's office is immediately off to the left as you come into our house.  As the kids get older, we eventually hope to morph the space into a swanky lounge/bar & possibly get a pool table.  Our dream is to install a swimming pool in the near future, so this would be a great space to entertain!

Otherwise the three of us have been enjoying our Wednesday home together.  Since the kids keep so busy at school/summer camp the rest of the week, I try not to feel too guilty about having a lazy day at home while I organize/clean.  Last week we hit the movies to see Inside Out but outings can be so incredibly expensive & it's way too hot to do outdoor activities.

My little guy is just lounging in "Grammy's room," playing the WiiU... it's like his private frat house back there.  He even has his own bathroom (which he rarely flushes!)  Hope you are all having a great week!

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Monday, July 6, 2015

A happy birthday to America & a happier plant shelf!

This past weekend was glorious & we enjoyed an extra day off on the third.  Nothing better than a lazy morning, home with the family to relax & sip some coffee!  We headed to Sarasota in the late afternoon to spend the fourth with my family.

There was a whole lot of swimming going on!

I love how Cameron's eyes are on the camera the entire way into the pool, so cute!

I would definitely not consider myself a fireworks kinda gal.  Yes, if they're bursting into the sky, I love them but I'm not going to brave massive crowds to watch them & I get nervous and antsy when my family & friends are blowing them off.  But, of course my screw ball of a brother talked me into going in on some & shooting them off in my parent's back yard.  All went well & thankfully no one was injured!

In other news, Mike & I celebrated our 19th year together on June 27th.

The picture above was taken in my bedroom, I'm guessing junior year of high school.  We were playing a game called Slumber Party, I used to love that game!  Did you ever play it?  This picture pretty much sums up our relationship, Mike is always cracking me up!

I've been working on reconfiguring the plant shelf in our kitchen since it just kind of got thrown together with hand-me-downs from my mom when we moved in.   Since we're always on a budget, I'm constantly on the lookout for inexpensive finds. 

In the picture above, the yellow & turquoise jars to the far right were together under about $20 from Marshall's.  The turquoise jar was too short so I have it resting atop a box from Amazon.

This "You are my Sunshine" sign was bought for about $8 from Marshall's with Cameron in mind.  I sang that song to him about a dozen times a night when he was a baby.  Fast forward to now & my little guy always plays it when he wants to warm my heart.  Which is about four times a week!

I spotted this "Home Sweet Home" sign from Pier One several months ago, but was too cheap to drop the $30.  After seeing it again the other day & passing it by, I bit the bullet & picked it up after work today.  Mike's yet to notice it, so we'll see if he approves.  It was a bit on the short side & got lost, so I got creative & propped it on two beer mugs.  Ya gotta do what you gotta do!

Speaking of Pier One, I got this owl dish brush holder from there about a year ago.  At about $24 it was definitely pricey but I love it & it always makes me happy!

Since we're not in the market to make any big budget renovations, it's the little things that make my heart happy!

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