Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Brothers in Black

Meet the Brothers In Black. These two are so great! I found about them through Catholic Mom. Thanks!

How great is that? LOL If you aren't Catholic and/or don't really understand the whole "confession thing," then read my post on my recent experience here. Good stuff.

One day, while digging to China

Andy has always loved the dirt. More dirt is better. You can't have enough dirt. Lucky for him, we have areas that have needed some major TLC in the sod department. It's on our to do list...

He's been super obsessed with finding the biggest rock. Well, he found it and he works on it every day possible.

I open the back door and that is where he runs to first. He checks on his rock and, then, runs back to get his bucket and shovel.

I don't have a clue how big this rock is, but I do know it is really down in there deep. He's come to get me for help and I can't do any more than he is doing. Just keep digging :)

He has gotten some pieces out. So, thankfully, the rumors hold true about the slate in our neighborhood. I can't imagine how he would feel if he couldn't even get a piece of this giant rock out of the ground. And, he definitely got more than ONE piece. He got a bucketful of pieces. Yes, they are all pretty big like in that picture. He is so excited! You can see how proud he feels while he lines up his favorites and counts them.

Good job, Professor Andrew, on a fabulous find!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

DIY Wannabe Roman Shades

A while ago, in Andrew and Alex's room, there were these great blackout curtains. Well, when you have a crazy toddler and a wild (at the time) crawler...the curtains become a climbing apparatus, wind machine, parachute, and many other things. The screws in the will hold the rod up were no longer able to hang on and Jason and I took them down.

For a while, there were no blackout curtains. This was all fine and dandy until the dang clocks changed. Bedtime can't happen when the sun is still out, mommy...Bedtime is now at 8. They still wake up at 7. No biggie. But something HAD to be done about the light coming in during nap time!

So, I reused those blackout curtains and made blackout shades. They may not be perfect. But, two things. 1 - It's a boy room. They don't care. 2 - They work for the time being.

Here a before picture:

The project:

My supplies:
The 2 curtains, awesome scissors, staple gun (didn't use it after all...) glue gun, pins, and sewing machine. 

 Since I did this during nap time one day, I had to use the kitchen blinds as my guide.

 On our blind the front decorative piece comes off - I just switched these out with the ones in their room. I had to get the right width and pin down all the sides.

Once I got the sides pinned,  I cut it to the length I wanted (now I'm wish I kept a few more inches...oh, well.) and hemmed the end to make it look nicer.

Bottom hem

Once I got to the end, I realized that I needed to finish it off so it didn't bunch up weird. I'm not very good at sewing, so I am not sure what this finished seam is called. 

The shades are now finished and I have to get them attached some how. That is where I thought I was going to use the staple gun, but then changed my mind to the glue gun. This is where I almost messed up though...

 See? This side has the ridges to clip on the blind. I wanted to glue it to that side.

And this is how they hung during nap time - the next day :) See how much light they block out?? Awesome.

Now having them up there with no way of lifting them during awake time was annoying. But, we dealt with it for another couple of weeks - meaning taking them down and putting them back up. I didn't get the right amount of ribbon at first. So after an 18th trip to Hobby Lobby (a lot of stuff going on here!), I grabbed the RIGHT amount of ribbon and here we have the finished product!

Now you see what it looks like when it is up or down! :) What do you think?

Easter Baskets - Part 1: Getting It Together

Thought I would share this year's Easter baskets with everyone :)

Things are getting crazy at the House since the birthday party is coming up fast and Easter starts us off running into party mode.

I am making the boy's easter baskets this year. I really HATE Easter grass. That plastic crap that sticks to EVERYTHING and you find it months later in the weirdest places. I also don't want to deal with all the gross candy that comes in those Easter baskets at the store. Plus, Andrew's got that allergy to high fructose corn syrup. And, Andrew and Alex like M&Ms anyway. So that is taken care of - no problem. I don't want the rest. And those overly obnoxious baskets...ugh...

So, this year, they are homemade-ish. :) It's a word... Well, it is now.

I took 2 baskets that I had from the kitchen. I got them at Hobby Lobby a long time ago and I think they are about $3 or $4 each.I headed back there last week (shocker, right? since I can't go Target yet lol) and grabbed 2 small spray paint cans that Andrew and Alex picked. I asked Andrew what his favorite color was. He said, "blue." Then continued to tell me that Alex's was green. Cool beans, I don't have to stand in front of a hundred colors trying to figure out what Alex's favorite color may or may not be. Thanks, Andy!

Cute, right? And, no annoying Easter grass! There are so many things that are going in these baskets, too.

So far this is what I have collected:

Andrew's basket - 
Max the Rabbit from the books/show "Ruby and Max" (Books-a-Million)
Bug catching kit (Dollar Tree)
Insect guide (a score from a Sonic kid's meal!)
M&Ms Easter egg (CVS)
Sidewalk chalk eggs (Dollar Tree)

Alex's basket -
Another Pat the Bunny :) It's different from the one my mom gave him. It's like a mini blanket. Very cute.  (Books-a-Million)
Bunny book (Dollar Tree)
M&Ms Easter egg (CVS)
Sidewalk chalk eggs (Dollar Tree)

I also bought them each their first Rosary! Ok, technically, for Andrew this will be his 2nd one. He has one from his Baptism cake hanging up. I never got around to getting Alex's one :( But, they both have one that they can hold and "play" with while Andrew learns a prayer over the summer, while we are at Mass, or at the Children's Eucharistic Adoration. I bought them from Catholic Child :)

 I am also adding in some Easter eggs filled with cheddar bunnies from Annie's Homegrown. Fun! I got those on Amazon. I usually find the best prices with them for this brand.

So, now that the Easter baskets are pretty much taken care of, I can focus on the birthday party again.

What's going in your child's Easter basket? Do you have any traditions?

The Simple Things

Stormy Sunday Sunsets 
(except there was never any storm...but it sure did look like one was headed our way)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Menu Plan

Spring Break is over and it's time to get back on track. I's not like a realty Spring Break, but so? ;)

I've definitely been thinking of it as a break...I don't think I did more than one load of laundry last week. And, that was only because I HAD to get the overflowing basket taken care of. LOL. I didn't even go grocery shopping last week. GASP! I know, right? It's like Crazytown...

Anyway, let's get back on track. I just finished cleaning up the kitchen that had been messed destroyed by a Daddy and his toddler. It's funny how you clearly have dinner on the stove or whatever and snack time has not yet ended...

Ok, really, back on track now! Here's this week's menu plan:

Slow-Cooked Chuck Roast - Oh my gosh! This was the night before I went to the grocery store and I was running out of ingredients FAST. So I made this one up. I will share the recipe soon!

BBQ Beef Casserole - yum!! I used Stubb's Honey Pecan BBQ Sauce :)

Chicken & Broccoli Stir Fry with rice

Maple Mustard Pork Chops with veggies


Night off! We are headed to the Fish Fry at Church!

BBQ Beef Burgers

Pineapple Lemon Chicken with veggies

What are you making this week?

Conversations with a Toddler

Andrew really cracks me up these day. He's always been a funny guy, but now I'm just amazed at what he tells me.

We were eating dinner one night and Andrew asked me about Daddy and why he wasn't home yet. Jason was working a bit later than usual and was on his way home. The kids were starving so we went ahead with dinner.

Andrew: Where Daddy?
Me: He's on his way home. He had to finish something at work.
A: At Lowe's?

(Lowe's is Andrew's new obsession...)

Me: No, he's not at Lowe's right now.
A: Andrew go Lowe's. Daddy go Lowe's.
Me: You want to go to Lowe's with Daddy?
A: Mmhmm. Get dinner.
Me: What? You can't eat dinner at Lowe's, silly.
A: No, Mama.

(apparently I'm the silly one...)

A: Andrew and Daddy go dinner. Eat "case dia" (I'm trying to type it how he says...he wants a quesadilla)
Me: Oh, sure. You and Daddy can do have dinner and then go to Lowe's one day.
A: Tomorrow?
Me: Maybe.
A: Saturday?
Me: Maybe.

(now he tilts his head to the side and sighs...)

A: Mama....

LOL gotta love talking with a toddler.  :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Totsy - Discount Mom Shopping Site

If you are a mom, you may already know about the great discount site for moms called Totsy. I love Totsy! I bought a great fall/winter jacket for just $15 last year! And, I got a box FULL of cute clothes, books, and toys for our boys, too. It was like $80 worth of merchandise and I only paid $50. Awesome. Plus, I didn't have to gather up everything needed for a trek to the mall. Double score.

Totsy offers moms on-the-go and moms-to-be access to brand-specific sales, up to 80% off retail, just for them and the kids, ages 0-7. Top brands for mom, baby, and child. Prenatal care products, baby gear, travel accessories, bedding and bath, children's clothing, toys, DVDs, and educational materials are just a sampling of a selection that promises only the best in quality and designer brands.

Totsy is also 100% eco-friendly: Totsy is the first company in private sales to take on sustainable and socially responsible initiatives in all areas of business. One baby, one tree: With every purchase you make through Totsy, we will plant one tree in the name of your child to help reduce the effects of deforestation. Who says shopping can't save the world?

Right now they are holding a BLOWOUT SALE! So, get to shopping!

Friday, March 23, 2012

$500 Melissa & Doug Shopping Spree - ENTER NOW!

This House LOVES Melissa and Doug toys!! They are wonderfully made and spark some wild imaginations. And we them even more because they DON"T center their products around some kid's show.

So, here is your chance to try your luck at winning a $500 Melissa & Doug Shopping Spree!

 This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my Disclosure Policy for details. 

Giveaway: Miracle-Gro® Expand ‘n Gro™ Concentrated Planting Mix


This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts®. All opinions are 100% mine.
Introducing Expand ‘n Gro™- a new way to plant some BIG results whether you are a container gardener or have your home surrounded with beautiful flower beds!
Using this unique planting mix will give your garden 3 times the results due to it's unique design. Coir - an ingredient found in coconut husks - is the magic ingredient that gives the bed the ability to hold more water, feed plants for up to 6 months, and improve soil for years to come.
EnG Product Shot.png
I definitely will be using Expand ‘n Gro™ in my beds this season! We have terrible soil - hard, heavy, and full of rocks. This looks like the perfect solution to getting my flowers to thrive. I am looking forward to getting BIG and BEAUTIFUL results! I also have a few container garden ideas for our backyard, now that it has been updated. I cannot wait!!
If you are looking to achieve some wonderful gardening goals this Spring and/or Summer, then go check out Expand ‘n Gro™ at your local garden center. This is currently being sold at lawn and garden retailers in the Midwest, Northeast, and Texas. Make sure you stop by Expand ‘n Gro™ online first to get a coupon for $3 off! While you are there, make sure you sign up for their newsletter to get all the latest gardening tips.
Do you want to try it before you buy it? Let me know what your gardening goals are for this Spring/Summer and you could win a sample! Winner will be announce April 1st :)
For extra entries (please leave a separate comment for each additional extry - thank you!):
Good luck in the giveaway and in your gardening adventures!
Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I'll Spare You the Pictures of Today's Adventure

Warning: If you are a mom, you'll understand this post... If you are pregnant or get queasy, just stop reading and check out what's happening over there. Just not here. LOL

Every now and then I have a friend or fellow blogger tell me that my kids are "so perfect" and it seems like "there's never any trouble with either of them."

Oh, no. No, no, no.

Half of that is true. They are perfect ;)

Today was clear proof that there is ALWAYS something that comes up. was cheerios and OJ. Nice. And, oh no. Not just on Alex's clothes. And not at home.




INSIDE HIS SHOES (How? I couldn't even begin to explain that one...they were on his feet. And he was wearing socks!)

And where were we...? In the parking lot at Toys 'R' Us/Babies 'R' Us just getting ready to get out of the car.

Oh, and does this mommy of TWO remember to put an extra change of clothes for each kid in the car? NO.

Does she have any empty shopping bags? NO. She gave up Target for Lent and now there are no bags. LOL I'm such a bad Catholic griping about the non-existence of Target bags in the car... Anyway...

I go to the furthest parking spot to get him out and clean him up as much as I can. I'm freaking out because it is EVERYWHERE. Then I start laughing because this is just so goofy. I mean, what mom doesn't have an extra set of clothes in the car or a trash bag?!

Once he is semi-cleaned, I call the doc. Fly home to grab some towels and something easy to put on him and fly back downtown. Thank goodness the cops were busy today. OK, kidding...I was keeping up with traffic not the psycho motorcycle guy who was weaving in and out of lanes as fast as he could possibly go. Ya know, that is the reason why those guys are found splattered on the road. Not because we drivers aren't paying attention... That's another post.

Well, my mood has changed since I started writing this...

We get to the doc, and Alex is giggling and happy and FINE. What the heck was that all about in the parking lot, buddy? She thinks that he may just have gotten a little motion sickness. Little? Girl, you want me to show you the devastation? That ain't little.

Anyway, all is good. Car seat/car is cleaned. Babies 'R' Us errand run completed. And, I'm going bed early tonight...

By the way, this is the sort of thing that happens when you Spring Clean. I'm thinking of banning it. 

Ebates: Get Paid to Shop!

I have been a member of Ebates for a while now and I love it! With 2 kids, online shopping makes getting what I need easily done with no hassle. Then I found out I could get money back on the purchase that I made! Sweet! :)

Think of Ebates as a local mall with over 1,200 different stores but with one huge difference. Online stores pay Ebates a commission (think of it as a finders' fee) on every sale and they split this amount with the consumer. Each store pays a different commission so users will save different amounts at different stores; users just have to look at the percentage next to the store name to see how much they will save.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my Disclosure Policy for details. 

A New Way to Use a Tunnel

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Craftsy: Crafting Daily Deals

Newly launched, the Patterns section of Craftsy is the fastest growing online marketplace for crafting patterns. Because Craftsy does not charge designers any fees or commissions for listing or selling their patterns, creative indie designers are hurrying to the site to set up their pattern shops. There, well over half a million active Craftsy members browse the thousands upon thousands of patterns of all types, for all crafts. And since the designers aren’t getting charged or having to give Craftsy any commissions, the deals on patterns are amazing! Some are even free. It’s the perfect place to get inspiration and instructions at super low prices.

To Signup for Craftsy Crafting Daily Deals, click on one of the deals, after signing up you get the full information about the deals offered.
Craftsy is the fastest growing online community for Crafters - with over 500,000 monthly unique visitors, having just launched in May 2011. This rapid growth results from two primary offerings which Craftsy users love:
1) Terrific online classes from amazing instructors for beginning, intermediate and advanced quilters, knitters, crocheters, sewists, jewelry makers, and other crafters.
2) Astonishingly good deals on crafting supplies: organic yarn, lovely fabrics and fat quarters from top designers, high quality needles, etc...

Sign up now to start saving on your next crafting adventure!!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my Disclosure Policy for details.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

I couldn't just post 1 picture!  All of them had to be shown! This is just too funny! This was dinner time - we had fish tacos (for our fish Fridays during Lent). This was also AFTER A BATH due to looking like Pigpen after playing outside. Enjoy! We definitely did!

Spring Mantle

I know, you are wondering, "What mantle?" since we now have a new living room set up. It's all good, I have a shelf in the kitchen that is claiming to be a mantle. I actually did this back in January when we were doing all that reno in the living room, but this is all the Spring you see in the house for now. I have a bit more to take care of around here :) And, since I did change up the decor in the kitchen, I might as well show you that while you are visiting. So, grab some sweet tea and pull up a chair!

Like my Hobby Lobby shelf - ahem, mantle? Got it for $12 instead of $25 during a sale last summer.

The pear is from a set that my mom gave me as a housewarming gift when we moved here after our wedding. In the picture below, you can find the other two (yellow and white) hiding on the top of the cabinets.

Turn around and this is the view of the kitchen :)

And, walk down to the door and this is what you see looking back. 

So there is my Spring Mantle, plus a bonus tour of the kitchen! Have you started decorating for Spring? Today is the 1st Day of Spring! For some inspiration, check out what a few others have been up to in their homes:

The Lettered Cottage

Also linking up with:
Thrifty Decor Chick

Monday, March 19, 2012

Yeah, We're Hap-hap-py!

Let's set the mood with a song :)

Mungo Jerry - In the Summertime

So, wanna know why we're hap-hap-py??

Thursday afternoon, this pile of wood arrived!

EEEEEE!!!! So excited! That is all the supplies for our new fence! Our new fence that, I swear, went up in record time Friday morning! Lowe's got here at 7am and were DONE at 12:06pm. No joke. Cleaned up and done! If there is any other installation jobs we need, they are so gonna be doing it. Amazing job, guys!

Now, who wants to see the awesomeness???

 Going up!

 Loving the action in the backyard LOL 

 Goodbye, rotting Christmas tree from 2008... Ick. 

1/2 way finished :)

Man, our yard looks HUGE now that we have it fenced!

 Snack time at the picnic table (once again an awesome Craigslist find! $25! Woot)

 Loving his backyard more than ever :) He was rather worried that I told him to "go" and he was not on the yard leash LOL

 Ok, imagine a Pottery Barn inspired patio set on the concrete! Awesome :) Like this one? With a great market umbrella in red! LOVE!

AND! Picture a few more "fakerondacks" and another great market umbrella with some side tables! 

And, just for fun, cant you picture looking up at the beautiful sky from our back yard...

relaxing in this? :D

 Awesome :)

I have a ton of ideas. I love out backyard so much more now. 

Now to get rid of the wasps...
How about a DIY Wasp Trap for my "to do" list this week :) Heh...heh...

Are you excited about the warm weather?


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