Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Monthly Meal Planning (Tuesday Talk)

Today I thought I'd share an idea that my husband actually created for me; a monthly meal plan. Before this, I would meal plan every weekend and shop on Mondays. I used to dread the actual meal planning process. I don't mind cooking or shopping, but I detest deciding what to fix. He suggested I crate a monthly meal plan using magnets. He related it to the pharmacy technician schedule at work (always rotating but basically staying the same). I could have set meals for each week but also have "subs" at the bottom and switch out as needed. I really thought it was a genius idea and got right to work!

First I wrote down about 20+ meals that my family likes to eat.

Next I bought a set of circle magnets and a monthly dry erase/magnetic board.

Then I cut squares out of plain white paper.

I wrote the meals (mostly just the main course) on the pieces of paper and taped them to the magnets.

And finally I started arranging them on the calender. I typically only plan 4 meals a week. I work all day Thursday and am not home to cook. And then on the weekends we usually eat leftovers, order pizza, or eat cereal. I created "extras" on the bottom row if we ever decide we don't want the particular assigned meal.

It has really made meal planning so much easier for me. Now I just sit down with the calender on Sunday nights and write out my grocery list. No thinking/planning involved! And remember, ALL of the credit goes to my hubs! Oh, I also love it b/c my daughter never has to ask me what we are having for dinner anymore. She just refers to the calender (excuse the junk mail pile beside it) and knows what to expect.

As always, I'm linking up with Keri, Jessica, Katie, and many more for Tuesday Talk.

Living In This Season

Monday, March 30, 2015


Happy Monday!!  I hope you all had a great wknd! I know we did.

We kicked ours off on Friday morning. After taking my daughter to school, the hubs and I decided to run out to the mall. We were planning to take our son, until my mom offered to keep him. So it ended up being a fun morning of shopping and an early lunch date! Oh, and it ended with adorable Easter donuts! Score!

My goal for shopping was to just go to two stores; Victoria's Secret and Macy's. I wanted a new bra, lip stain, and lipglass. Jessica mentioned in a post last week about some great tubes of lip stain at Victoria's Secret.  I really wanted to buy one but wanted to check them out for myself in the store. Well sure enough, once inside, they informed me of the sale. If I bought two tubes ($10 each), I received 2 for free. Needless to say, I left with a bra and 4 tubes of lip glosses. I bought two different shades of the lip stain, a flavored gloss, and a lip plumper. And the best part was that I used a gift card and only ended up spending $13!!

I also ran to Macy's (we don't have a Nordstrom in our town or I would have gone there) for a tube of lipglass that I'd been wanting to try. I was torn between the lipstick and the lipglass, but I'm happy with my decision. The lipglass is very thick and shiny. It'll be a fun shade (Saint Germaine) this summer.

I ended up postponing the egg hunt to Sunday b/c the weather just seemed to cold on Sat. We woke up to a balmy 25 degrees! INSANE! Plan B for Saturday was to dye eggs. We had so much fun! It's always interesting to see how differently my daughter and son handle this activity. ;)

After the egg dying, I spent the rest of the day preparing for the hunt.

 Oh, and using my new mop! I'm telling you, I have never loved a cleaning tool like I love this one. I can't believe I have been cleaning my floors on my hands and knees. This thing is amazing and I'm so glad I discovered it. The only trick is using it withhout my son seeing me b/c he thinks I bought it for him. He loves to clean and thinks it's HIS mop! Ha!

Sunday we went to church then home to get ready for our friends to arrive. The hunt was a success, despite the chilly temps. And I think everyone had a lot of fun!

One of my favorite things I added this year were props for photo-ops! Fun for all ages! Ha!

Don't forget about the adorable Kate Spade studs that are still on sale at Nordstrom. I own a few pairs already and seriously wear them all the time!

AND, it wouldn't be normal if I didn't mention something about the Target and Lilly collaboration. They have released their look book and it is seriously amazing!!!  I am soooo excited for the lauch - April 18th!!

Today I'm linking up with Biana and Meghan for my first "weekending" post.

Friday, March 27, 2015

It's Friday, Y'all! (Egg Hunt)

TGIF!! This has been a long week for me. It was just a busy one in general, plus I've been busy getting things ready for our egg hunt tomorrow. And speaking of, the weather has decided to turn cold again and it's only supposed to be in the 40's tomorrow. UGH! So if you have a second, please say a little prayer for good weather for us. We'll have a bunch of chilly little kiddos trying to find eggs otherwise!

But real quick, before I start with my 5 things about the hunt, I wanted to quickly share two things.

A friend of mine introduced us to Miss Patty Cake and her 'eggstravaganza' DVD a few years ago, and my kids absolutely LOVE it! I think you should definitely check it out. While Miss PattyCake herself can be a bit "silly" looking, the content of the video with the songs and message is really good.

We also have a set of Resurrection Eggs which is a really fun way to teach the story of Easter to your kiddos. They are never too young to hear the Word of God and the true meaning of Easter! I love finding ways to plant the seed.

Okay now onto my Egg Hunt details! We have hosted an egg hung for the past 6 years. This will be my 7th year. It started out with some of our Sunday School friends/kids who were all around my daughter's age. As it evolved and grew, I started limiting it to our smaller group of friends with the exception of one of my best friends who lives across town. But last year (since my daughter started Kindergarten), I felt it was best to include neighborhood kids that she goes to school with. After all, these will be the kids/families we will be around for the next 15 years or so.  So this year we have included our original small group of friends (who have been with us from the beginning) and also a ton of new neighborhood kids. I think the last time I checked, we have 27 children coming! (Hence the reason for the almost 400 eggs!!!)


I rarely do any sort of decorating or games for the hunt b/c I feel that the hunt trumps everything. However my friend found me these adorable little yard signs one year and I do love using them.

I also picked up this pack of cute photo props. I'm hoping despite the chaos and number of kids, we can slip in some cute pics of the kids with their masks/ears on.


Every year I look forward to the food. I don't typically plan the hunt during meal time, but still provide light snacks and a few desserts. And I always I love when I can find "Easter specific" food; cotton tails, bunny/carrot mix, bunny marshmallows.

Obviously the desserts are my favorite to make and this I have something new I will try. It involves a ton of peeps! I can't wait to fix it!


I've gone back and forth with what types of dishes to serve the food on and to have for the guests. This year I borrowed all of the colorful/plastic serving pieces from a friend. Then I based the guests' paperware on the beautiful napkins I picked up at Hobby Lobby. 


The biggest endeavor is stuffing all of the eggs. As I mentioned earlier, we stuffed almost 400 eggs this year. My kids were such good helpers! We knocked it out in a few hours (obviously we had quite a few distractions).


And b/c I LOVE looking back at past years, here are the pics from my kiddos from our first year through last year.

 When we started my daughter was almost 18 months old.



My son was only 2 months old, so my good friend offered to host at her house this year. He stayed with me in the BJorn.



So there you have it! A complete run down of our annual egg hunt. I am so excited about tomorrow, just praying for sunshine. We can handle the cold with jackets as long as the sun is shining and there's no rain/snow!!

And if you haven't already, be sure to check out Wednesday's post with a few options for Easter basket goodies for your kiddos!

As always, my fun link ups:

Erika, Narci, and Andrea.  

 Hill Collection.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Easter Decor

Today I thought I'd share some of the Easter decorations we have in our house. I actually took down the St. Patty's decorations and put these up the weekend before St. Patty's Day. My hubs was confused b/c he said it wasn't even St. Patrick's Day yet, but I just knew it was time. With Easter being so early this year, I wanted to be sure and have enough time for them. Plus, I love how Springy the house looks when it's decorated for Easter.

Dining room:
I switched out my candles for purple ones (again focusing more on the meaning of Easter).
I love the little chicks and sheep - found them at Kroger (of all places) one year.
I also used my (very) kid-friendly place mats on the table. 

Although, I'm not 100% sold on them and may end up using my yellow Easter tablecloth (seen below) as a runner on my dining room table instead. I actually think it's really fun to "play" with my dining room table and make it look festive.

I put my PBK basket liner in the basket and loaded it with baking goodies; cookie cutters, treat bags, sprinkles, etc.

My bar cart:
It was time to remove the hot cocoa (finally!) so I decided to add drink packets and make a pseudo-lemonade cart. I also added a strand of egg lights.

On my mantel I added a framed printable that I use every year. My absolute FAVORITE cross that I found one year at Hobby Lobby. And my favorite little ballerina bunny.

On our entry table I placed the jelly bean topiary I made last year.

I added some towels to the kitchen and a sign to our coat closet.

I placed another favorite bunny in our artificial tree in our entryway.

And in the bathroom I added some sparkly eggs and my new cross (from this year) from Hobby Lobby. Oh how i LOVE that store and so wish we had one in my town.

I also took out this handprint craft that I made with my daughter a few years ago. I love that little sheep. I can't wait to show you what we've made for this year. It's just not quite ready yet.

I think that's all I have for now. Have you decorated yet? Do you tend to stick to all bunnies, or all religious, or a mix of both. (Obviously I use a mix of both.)

Have a great day!!! I think it's safe to say we have finally moved to Spring!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Easter Basket Ideas +++ SALE ALERT!!

I can't believe Easter is next weekend!! Luckily I have already shopped for all of my Easter basket fillers. But if you still need some ideas, here are just a few!

**Also, be sure to scroll to the bottom for an awesome sale!!

And as I've mentioned before, I tend to put more "real" items and less candy in the baskets for my kids. As they get older, I'm sure I'll move to more candy. But right now, this seems to work for us!

Easter Basket Ideas for Girls

Oh, and we bought kites to put beside the kids' baskets too! There's a local kite festival every April in our town that we enjoy attending. The kids will be thrilled with their kites.

Other suggestions for children would be a DVD, games, coloring books, crayons, pens.

Baskset Ideas for Boys

Sunglasses / Matchbox Cars / Book / Book / Fedora / Playdoh / Shoes / Bow Tie

And just in case you enjoy doing something for that special guy in your life, here are some ideas! My hubs and I typically just buy each other a card (we are REALLY big on cards for every holiday) and a bag of our favorite candy. But I think sometimes once you have kids, the shift focuses more to them. Nonetheless, I did purchase him a few fun things this year. I'll probably post pics of the 3 baskets AFTER Easter. ;)

Easter basket idea for hubs

Gum / Golf balls / Flashlight / DVD / Beef Jerky / Golf tees / Jelly beans / K Cups

Some other ideas could be: alcohol (mini airplane bottles, beer), his favorite candy, earbuds

Have you finished your baskets yet? Do you fill them more with candy or other things?

And now for the sale!!! 

 FAVORITE KATE SPADE STUDS are 25% today at Nordstrom.

Plus my favorite gold sparkly ones are on sale too!!! Same price - $28.50

Happy Shopping! I hope I don't end up buying all of the colors!