Five on Friday #22

Happy Friday! It will be nice to have a normal weekend right before we leave for PA for Thanksgiving! I am excited to spend time with family, and Anthony and I are taking a quick trip to Ann Arbor to go to the Michigan vs Ohio State game! Here are my five on Friday…

ONE- Aurora had her “Corncake feast” at preschool this week. It is their Thanksgiving celebration complete with pancakes, applesauce and jello! They sang songs for the parents and it was super cute!

TWO- We already decorated for Christmas! It might seem too soon, but like I said at the top, we are going to PA for Thanksgiving, so it is way easier to come home to an already decorated house and not have to worry about it! Plus, who doesn’t love a couple extra days to be in the Christmas spirit!

THREE- I went to get gas at Harris Teeter the other day and saw these at the pump. Maybe I didn’t get the memo and these have been around for a while, but I think they are a great idea!

However, I didn’t use one and then grabbed my phone after touching the gas pump to take this picture, so I guess I should take them up on the offer and wear one next time!

FOUR- Hailey and I made perfect “no-bakes” this week! If you don’t know what a “no-bake cookie” is, the way you make them is to boil  butter, sugar, milk and cocoa powder and let is boil for ONE MINUTE and then add peanut butter, vanilla and oats. The ONE MINUTE boil is super important and if you don’t do it right, they turn out mushy. Ours hardened perfectly and were so good!!

FIVE- We got back from Colorado Sunday late afternoon and then Anthony had to go to Chicago early Tuesday morning. He only saw the girls for a couple minutes on Monday morning too, so I think Hailey was feeling a little sad that we had a lot of traveling pushed into one week. She made him this note and I thought it was the sweetest thing!!

Hopefully our trip to PA will reset her and gear her up for the Holidays!

That’s it for me today! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Five On Friday #21

This week felt kind of like July 4th week to me. Both holidays were on a Tuesday, and I think it throws me off a little bit! We made it through and we actually have a low key family weekend planned before Anthony and I leave for Denver, CO next week!

Here are my five on Friday!

ONE- Last Friday I volunteered in Hailey’s class for the first time for special “Halloween Centers.” There were four different stations where the kids did Halloween activities. It was all put together by one of the moms from the class and I was very impressed!

One station had the kids wrapping each other to look like mummies and then playing “ghost bowling.”

They had a very festive snack at another station.

They made spider hats at another station.

And they painted pumpkins at a station, which is the one I was helping out at.

It was such a fun day and I am so glad I was able to volunteer!

TWO- Hailey and Anthony had the end of the season soccer tournament last weekend.

The team improved so much and tried so hard each game. They were the youngest team and struggled to win, but I am so proud of them all!

THREE- Hailey’s Girl Scout troop had a short field trip on their day off from school Monday to our local Goodwill store. They got a tour of the store and the back room and learned how donating can help others. Each girl brought three bags to donate and they received a badge!

I had to bring Aurora, and she wasn’t happy when I told her that she couldn’t put my lipstick all over her face. So she had a face-plant into the Goodwill floor tantrum…awesome!

FOUR- I ended up having to pick up a few things at Target on Wednesday (the day after Halloween) and came across a lot of good sales! I bought a few things for next Halloween and I also bought these appetizer plates and napkins. The plates were only $1.50 for 2 and the napkins were .50 a pack!

After I purchased just two appetizer plates, I realized that it wasn’t a very practical decision, so Aurora and I ended up going back on Thursday and we bought some more! I also spent way too much money at the Target $1, $3 and $5 bins on Christmas items!

FIVE- I was flipping through my Sirius XM channels on November 1st, and I came across a Holiday station starting THAT DAY! If Sirius XM thinks it’s okay for me to listen to Christmas music already, I am all IN!!

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Five on Friday #20

It is a soccer tournament weekend over here! If the rain holds off, that is. Hailey has one game Friday, two Saturday and one Sunday. And of course, we will be watching the Penn State vs Ohio State game on Saturday too…WE ARE! Until then, here is my five on Friday!

ONE- Today is my two year double mastectomy anniversary. If you didn’t see my blog about it here, I had an elective double mastectomy due to testing positive for the BRCA2 mutation. Being that it is breast cancer awareness month, I encourage anyone with the BRCA gene in their family to get tested. Even those without the gene mutation, of course, should keep up with their checkups as well!

I guess I just want to say that I can’t believe two years has already passed and that I am extremely lucky to have had such great recovery. I decided to have the surgery to make sure I am around for a long time, and I am so lucky to share this life with my amazing family.

TWO- Aurora is no where near being potty trained. She tinkled on the potty maybe two times ever. Hailey was potty trained by Aurora’s age (2.5), so I am really trying to help her become interested in the whole process. I made her a “Big Girl” chart where she will get stickers every time she goes on the potty. (I also told her she could have one piece of candy too!) We hung it on the bulletin board in our kitchen and I really hope starts to work!

THREE- I recently bought one of the new Halo Top flavors, Oatmeal Cookie, and really liked it! I am the type of person who loves an oatmeal raisin granola bar, but I pick all the raisins out. I just want the oatmeal flavor and I think the raisins ruin that. Anyways, this ice cream had a good oatmeal flavor and has actual oats in it too. I definitely recommend this one!

FOUR- Hailey finally lost the top front tooth that has been loose for a really long time! She said she lost it at school during snack time.

Her first tooth she lost at her Gammie’s house, her second tooth she ate while eating dinner one day and this third tooth she lost at school. There is always hope that I will be there when Aurora looses her teeth I guess!?

Hailey wrote a letter to the tooth fairy asking if she could keep her tooth. She actually did the same thing last time, but since she swallowed it, the letter was a replacement for the long gone tooth!

FIVE- Anthony is not a big fan of dessert, but the only thing he will always go for is pumpkin roll. I tried making it for him years and years ago, like before we were married, so over 10 years ago…and I messed it up and ended up cookie cutting pieces out and making little pumpkin roll sandwiches. I was intimidated since then and haven’t given it another try, until this week!

The girls and I decided to try and make a pumpkin roll on Wednesday and I am happy to say it was a success! Aurora spilled almost my entire container of vanilla on the floor, but other than that, it went pretty smoothly.

The girls are pretty much just the taste testers!

Yum! 

Well, that’s all for me today! Have a great fall weekend everyone!

 

 

 

Five on Friday #19

Happy Friday!! We had another busy week and now I think we are entering into to a semi low-key weekend! Here are my five on Friday!

ONE- Hailey had her second eye doctor appointment ever this week and picked out some new glasses. Her prescription changed a little, and we could have just kept the same frames and changed the lenses, but that’s no fun for a six year old!

She chose a bigger frame than her current glasses and they have browns and tans instead of black. I love them on her!

TWO- Since we didn’t have any plans last Sunday, we (I) decided it was a good time to carve our pumpkins! Since it was in the mid 80’s that day, we took the mess outside! The girls were excited to dig right in!

Anthony is the carver of the family, and the girls and I take the seeds and the “gunk” out. They girls asked for a scary pumpkin and a sad pumpkin. I have no idea why they wanted a sad pumpkin, but I think Anthony did a good job!

THREE- Last Friday, when Anthony had off from work, I decided to go get a manicure and pedicure. I am usually a pedicure only kind of girl because I ruin the manicure in a couple of days…and I’m usually too cheap to get gel. I loved the color I got so much I made sure to ask what it was called. It’s OPI’s Krona-logical order.

Well, about an hour after I got home, I ended up bumping something, and it made a giant hole in my pointer finger. Then, I went to put my shoes on a little while after that, and ruined my thumb. So annoying. Since we weren’t doing anything at the time, I drove back to have them fix the nails, and they were so busy I had to wait a really long time. I definitely was regretting going back. Then, after the woman fixed my nails (very quickly and not very thoroughly), both of the fixed nails had this bubbly look.

It was very frustrating. I kept starring at my thumb and complaining about how bad it looked! I guess I should stick to only getting a pedicure unless I decide to do gel!

FOUR- Last Friday night was date night, and we decided to go to a couple new places. We started at Ass Clown Brewery in Cornelius. The name might give it away, but this wasn’t a “kid friendly” brewery like many I’ve been to. However, the beer was awesome! They have a ton of IPA’s, which I got a flight of. My favorite was the Ghost Chili IPA. It was spicy and hoppy and perfect!

We went to The Harp & Crown for dinner, which is an Irish pub/restaurant in Cornelius that we have never been to. The food was really good!

Then we decided to go to our more local brewery, Ghostface Brewery, for one more beer before we headed back home for the night!

We had a great date night!

FIVE- I think I must be late to the party, but PetSmart is an amazing place to take your children to look around! Anthony and I did a “Hailey swap” for soccer practice after her eye doctor appointment. Aurora and I were in the PetSmart plaza and decided to go in. She. Loved. It.

She would talk to all the animals and ask them how they were doing and tell them she loves them. It was the cutest thing.

She also sang the “Go Cubs Go” song to the ferrets. Ha! We will definitely be making more trips to PetSmart in the near future!

That’s it for me! I hope you all have a great weekend! Go Penn State!

Five on Friday #18

I am excited for a semi low-key weekend, FINALLY! We have an afternoon soccer game this week, which makes for a more laidback Saturday morning, which is going to be a nice change. Anthony took today off to get some stuff done around the house while both girls are at school. He also took off because Hailey has a fun run at school this morning, which brings to me to my five on Friday!

ONE- Hailey’s school does a “Fitness Fun Run” Fundraiser every year. Basically, the kids need to get sponsors and raise money for the school. No matter how much or how little each child raises, they still get a t-shirt and are able to participate in the run, which I think is great! They have incentives as they go to see how much money they can raise. Hailey’s class got extra recess time, a game day, pajama day and hat day so far. The run is today, but they can still raise money until the 18th, and all the money goes right to her elementary school. Thanks to all of our family member who donated!

Pajama Day! 

TWO- I went to a local boutique called Aqua B Boutique, to get a gift card the other day, and knew it was going to be hard to leave with nothing for myself. I was right. Hanging right behind the cash register was a cute tank that says, “I’m a football and cold beer kinda girl,” which I totally am! So of course I had to buy it! A tank top in mid-October didn’t seem out of the question because it’s still been in the 80’s and 90’s!! Fall, where are you??? And it was only $18, which is quite reasonable for a shirt I can wear for all of football season!

If you live near Mooresville, I highly recommend visiting Aqua B! And if you don’t, you can shop online!

THREE- On Monday afternoon, my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and nephew came to visit with Anthony’s cousin who was in town for the week. We played at our house for a bit and then headed to Lancaster’s BBQ for dinner. The food there is always good, but the highlight is that the kids get to eat in a school bus!

FOUR- I love having two girls for many reasons, but one of them is definitely the fact that Aurora can wear all of Hailey’s old clothes. Luckily, Hailey was not my messy kid, so most of her clothes are still in really good shape, especially holiday specific clothes. Holiday outfits are usually only worn two to three times anyways because they are time sensitive, so I love having almost brand new cute clothes for Aurora!

Hailey on the left. Aurora on the right. 

FIVE- I love Chex Mix. The “Chex Mix” brand is always good, but I prefer to make my own! I always add extra Worcestershire because that’s my favorite part! Aurora and I went shopping on Thursday and bought all the ingredients and I whipped up a batch during naptime for the weekend!

This is tray one of two, so hopefully I have some self control this weekend! 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Five on Friday #17

Just like every other weekend in the fall, we are super busy! I love having my calendar packed, but something it’s nice to have a day or two to chill out and maybe clean the house!? Friday, the girls have off school, but we are still jammed packed because ….

ONE- Grandma and Papa Deano are here to visit this weekend! They got in on Thursday and are leaving Sunday morning. Some of the things on our agenda are: soccer practice, soccer game, visiting the aquarium, shopping, a friend’s birthday party and watching the Cubs in the playoffs! I’m sure I will have lots of pictures to share next week!

TWO- A couple times a year, Hailey will ask me to put a ton of little braids in her hair before bed so that her hair is curly the next day.

I have to say, I think it’s kind of cute! I just take out the little hair ties when she is eating breakfast, which makes the getting ready process go much faster in the morning!

THREE- Aurora is OBSESSED with baby dolls right now! She straps them into her car seat with her, sleeps with them and pushes them around the house in strollers all day. I’m glad she is into pretend babies because that’s all she is getting from me in this lifetime!!

She won’t take a picture without a baby doll these days!

She thinks Barbie dolls are babies too, and for some reason any baby she has ends up naked!

FOUR- I don’t want to say Aurora is going through sleep regression, but I guess I would call it sleep location regression. Many months ago, we switched her into a “semi big girl bed.” She is still in her crib, but there is an opening where she can get in and out. She did great for a couple weeks, and then started to take everything out of her crib and make a bed on the floor. That is where she slept for a couple months.

When she was sick around a month ago, we thought that maybe the vent in her room was blowing air right on her causing her to have a dry throat and making her cough. (This was before we found out that she had a sinus infection and she needed antibiotics, not a new room!) We decided to test out putting her in our guest room in the pack-n-play. She thought it was so cool that she was sleeping in Grandma and Papa Deano’s room (that’s what the girls call our guest room). She also thought it was cool that she was sleeping in “Claire’s bed.” When we go to my parents house she sleeps in my niece, Claire’s, pack-n-play, so apparently all pack-n-plays are Claire’s to her!

Well, since my parents were coming this weekend, we told her she had to move back to her actual room. She is still getting out and sleeping on the floor and she wakes up multiple times a night. She actually fell asleep in between the two parts of her rocking chair the other day!

Any advice on how to get her to sleep in her big-girl bed?? We actually moved the pack-n-play in her room, next to her crib, so hopefully she will do okay with that and stop waking up in the middle of the night!

FIVE- I was at Lowe’s Foods the other day just walking around to kill time before I had to pick Aurora up from preschool. (It’s been maybe years since I could “just walk around to kill time!”) I came across these chips I had never seen before and they looked good so I thought I would give them a try. Oh. my. gosh. these chips are amazing! They are kind of like a pita chip and a tortilla chip put together with just enough gouda and garlic flavor! I’ve only ever seen these at Lowe’s Foods, so if you love a good chip like me, try these for sure! They had a couple different flavors too!

That’s all for me! I am going to go enjoy some family time on this busy weekend!

Five on Friday #16

Happy Friday! Last week was a busy weekend and this one is just as busy! I feel like every year starting at the end of August, we are busy until January! Throw Kindergarten in the mix and holy moly, I need a vacation! Luckily, Anthony and I are going to Denver, CO in November to see Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness for his benefit concert for the second year in a row! We can’t wait!! I will probably say this several times, but a big thank you to Gammie two years in a row for watching the girls for that long weekend! We are so lucky and grateful to have you!!

I am hoping there is some productivity this weekend because I feel like my to-do list is a mile long! Throw Hailey’s soccer game, a birthday party and pumpkin and mum shopping in the mix, and hopefully we find time to get to that list! But before all that, here is my five on Friday!

ONE- Hailey had her first early release day from school on Wednesday. In Pennsylvania we never had early release days so this is totally new to me. On an early release day, the kids get out at 11. It was nice because I had an hour with just Hailey, which rarely happens since it was on a day that Aurora is in preschool.

By the time she got off the bus, we didn’t have time to go lunch like I wanted, so per Hailey’s request, we went to the Juice Bar! We both love it there! I got the Mean Green juice and she got the Very Strawberry Smoothie. Both always so good!

Then, we headed over to pick Aurora up from preschool and it was like a mini reunion for Hailey! So many old friends and teachers that she was so excited to see! We even hung out on the playground so she could socialize for a little bit, but Aurora was so ready for a nap, so it didn’t last long! It is so funny because last year Hailey went to preschool 5 days a week and they both HAD to go on the playground after school unless the weather was bad, but now that Aurora is in preschool, she is so exhausted and all she wanted to do was to go home and nap!

TWO- Aurora had her first book fair at preschool and she was so excited to go pick out some new books to take home! I don’t have any pictures of the actual book fair because as you can imagine, my two year old did not understand that “you can pick two books,” means she could only get TWO BOOKS, haha! I am at the point in my parenting years where I could do without the girls ever getting another toy again, but I love getting new books!

We ended up with Old MacDonald Had a Farm and Peppa Plays Soccer. I think I’ve read them each 100 times already, so I would say they were both good choices! Also, Old MacDonald Had a Farm has a ton of site words that Hailey is working on for school, so we are getting some extra learning in when we read them!

THREE- I recently bought my first “Florida avocado.” I had no idea they even existed, but they are giant and apparently have less fat than a “California avocado.” I bought it because it was way cheaper, it felt ripe and it was giant. The verdict for me was, ehhh. I didn’t really like it. It tasted different to me, maybe having less flavor? However, Aurora loved it and asked for more when she was done eating what was on her plate! I am glad it didn’t go to waste, but I think I am going to stick with Hass avocados from here on out!

It is hard to tell how big this actually is compared to a “regular” avocado, but just look at the size of the pit! I would say it is 3x the size of a regular one!

FOUR- Monday night I was sleeping and Anthony was watching the end of the Cowboys game, and apparently our power kept going in and out. It was 10:20PM or so. The next morning at 5:40AM, my phone rings. I don’t think anyone likes their phone to ring that early because you assume something is wrong! Well, it was Hailey’s school saying that school was canceled that day. We were really confused so we grabbed our phones and tried to look up why. Well, apparently someone hit the power lines right in front of the road leading up to the high school, so no one could get through to go to school and the busses couldn’t get to the elementary school or middle school.

Hailey kind of panicked when she woke up because it was already light outside and I didn’t wake her. After I told her school was canceled, her and Aurora were really excited to spend the whole day together!

We all went to the Y together for the first time in a long time, but at the end of my first class, the power at the Y went out too! It was out for almost an hour, so instead of being able to take my cardio strength class, I had to run the track. Luckily the kids were outside, so they were able to stay in child watch.

The power in our whole area was in and out all day, but they finally fixed it around 6:30-7PM that night. That was definitely a strange Tuesday!

FIVE- Hailey had a dentist appointment last week and I had to take Aurora with us. Aurora is hit or miss on the grandest scale when it comes to brushing her teeth. Sometimes she is so excited to do it and doesn’t want to stop, but other times we have to literally hold her down and try and brush as best we can while she is kicking, screaming and crying.

Our dentist told us that kids should come around the age of three, so I wanted to try and prep Aurora as best as I could at Hailey’s appointment so I could schedule theirs together in six months.

She watched Hailey up close…I mean REALLY REALLY up close!

When Hailey was done and the doctor was there, we were both talking to Aurora about getting her teeth cleaned next time and she was so excited she wanted it to happen NOW! We didn’t have an appointment for her, but our awesome dentist let her sit in the seat and she checked her teeth for a couple minutes!

Dr. Montgomery with the girls

Their office is called Lembo Montgomery Family and Cosmetic Dentistry and I would HIGHLY recommend them to anyone local who is looking for a dentist! You sit in a massage chair and watch Netflix on the TV above your head while they clean your teeth! But most of all, they are the nicest, friendliest women and are great with kids!

Well, that’s all for me! I hope you all have a great weekend!

 

 

Five on Friday #15

I feel like ever since school started for the girls, I’ve started every Friday post saying, “WHAT A WEEK!” It is so true though! I feel like just as I am getting used to the new routine, something else sneaks up on me and throws me out of whack again. This week, Aurora is still coughing all night and is barely napping because of it still, so we are both tired and cranky! I finally took her to the doctor and it turns out it is a sinus infection so I hope the medicine she is taking works! So lets get to my five on Friday before I fall asleep!

ONE- Another thing adding to our school week is Girl Scouts! Hailey asked me all last week if she could join because someone came to talk about it to the kids during school. I told her soccer was enough and just kind of let it go. Well, we were at a birthday party last weekend and I met a new mom who has kids who go to the same school as Hailey, and that is rare that I meet someone who goes to Hailey’s school! It turns out that she is the Girl Scout troop leader and she let Hailey join even though we missed the guideline! Hailey was so excited and had her first meeting on Wednesday.

Since we signed up late, she got her vest and all the badges, pins and troop numbers to put on them at her first meeting, so I still have to iron them on! 

TWO- Last Friday, I did a quick workout because I decided I wanted to make the 45 minute drive to Trader Joes while both girls were at school. I am so glad I did because there was hardly anyone there and I got to browse solo! I found there pickles and they are so good!

I made some chicken salad, put a scoop of it on a mini cracker and topped it with one of these pickles…YUM!

THREE- Since we finished our basement, a lot of our storage space for pool stuff and other outdoor things, is gone. Anthony has been talking about getting a shed for a long time and he finally went and bought one! Well, they actually build it right at our house, which I thought was pretty cool. I am just excited Aurora won’t cry about not being allowed on daddy’s lawnmower every time she gets out of the car because it will have a new home in the shed!

FOUR- One of the best things about Hailey in Kindergarten for me is having to get up at 6AM. That might sound strange, but I am definitely a morning person, and I haven’t had an actual “job” to get up for in years. I love the fact that I must be up to get things done so early.

Trust me, I’ve been up WAYYY earlier than 6AM in my 6 years as a SAHM, but I find it different to get up with a sick or just an early rising baby. Usually, it’s unplanned and it just means turning on the TV and laying on the couch for those extra early hours. Now, I structurally get up at 6AM and have a plan for getting Hailey fed and ready, sip my coffee, and wait for her to get on the bus.

FIVE- Football Sunday at home is back! (Do I talk about football too much?!) Don’t get me wrong, I love football Saturdays as well, but our Saturdays are usually filled with sports, birthday parties and sometimes even date nights, so Sunday is usually the day we sit at home, invite friends and watch ALL THE FOOTBALL!

With that said, I sometimes find it hard to write my blog on Sunday (I write them a day in advance to publish the next morning, usually) because during Aurora’s nap time, I am making food, checking my fantasy line-up and cleaning up the house. Then, if we have friends over, it’s hard to find time to write. I decided I am going to try and blog Tuesday, Thursday and Friday now (instead of MWF) and see how that goes! That way, I can write while both girls are at school and I will be able to spend more time on each post!

I hope you all have a great weekend!

 

 

Five on Friday #14

It’s finally Friday!!! It has been a looonngggg week. Lack of sleep is getting to me and I am hoping I can catch up with weekend. (Wishful thinking from a mom) I will explain my lack of sleep in number one and two of my five…here we go!

ONE- Binky update. I caved. But lets back up… I took the binky last Wednesday morning. Aurora barely napped Wednesday, Thursday or Friday and would wake up crying and wanting the binky and then would not go back to sleep. Same thing happened with bedtime. It took forever to get her to fall asleep and then when she woke up after a couple hours and realized she had no binky, she would cry and I would have to go comfort her until she fell asleep, which took FOREVER! By Friday night, I was exhausted and over it, so I ended up giving it back to her to go to sleep…and I am so happy I did! She has had it just for naps and bedtime for this week, so I guess that’s a good start!

TWO- On a similar note, I still haven’t slept this week because Aurora has a cough, but just when she lays down for her nap or bedtime. She has barely napped all week and wakes up coughing several times throughout the night. She has no other symptoms so I’m at a loss of what to do! I tried cough medicine and honey and those didn’t work. Benadryl works for an hour or two and then the cough comes back. I tried Vicks on her chest and that didn’t help and I just started using her nebulizer so hopefully that starts to work! I. AM. SO. TIRED. and I’m sure she is too!

THREE- Remember back to the past Five on Friday post when I picked a watermelon from my garden WAAAYYY too early and it was white inside?! Well, I waited patiently this time and got a red yummy watermelon! The girls and I were so excited that we were actually able to grow and eat one!

FOUR- Target has their Halloween section out already and the girls HAVE to go check everything out every time we are there! (and we are there a lot!) They are actually a little scared of some of it, especially the TV that has a head slowly pop out through the lost reception, but they want me to push the buttons over and over again!

FIVE- Hailey’s elementary school allows the parents to come eat lunch with the students on their assigned day each week. It is alphabetical, so mine is Monday, and since this week was Hailey’s first Monday of school, I surprised her and met her for lunch! I brought her a smoothie, which she was pretty excited about!

And I got my first Pumpkin Spice Latte to enjoy as she ate her lunch!

I hope you all have a great weekend! Hailey has her first soccer game, we have a birthday party to go to, and of course, lots of football to watch!

Five on Friday #13

Another strange, fast paced week over here! We got back from Pennsylvania on Monday night and raced against the clock to unpack, grocery shop and get ready for Hailey’s second day of kindergarten the next morning! Hailey also had soccer Tuesday night and then Wednesday was Aurora’s first day of preschool AND Hailey’s sixth birthday, so I didn’t feel even a slight sign of relief until Thursday! It looks like we have a pretty low key weekend planned and then will wait and see what Hurricane Irma has planned for the Lake Norman area!!

ONE- I am going to back up to our trip to PA. We lucked out with Hailey’s scattered start to kindergarten and left Thursday morning instead of Friday after school, which is originally what we thought we would have to do. It gave us an extra day and a half and made a whole world of a difference!

On Friday, we took the girls to the Erie Zoo. It was the perfect size z00 for their ages! The highlight was the train ride!

Aurora didn’t like most of the “big, scary” animals. A big monkey was banging on the glass at her and she was not happy about it! Grandma didn’t mind him though!

It is so nice to have a zoo so close to Grandma and Papa’s house! My niece, Claire, goes all the time and was excited to show us the ropes!

After nap time on Friday, we went to Erie Brewing Company, which is right next to Penn State, Behrend, where I went to college. Smart location if you ask me! They had a bunch of good IPA options, which is my beer of choice, so I was definitely a fan! My brother-in-law even bought me some to bring home! Thanks Brian!

The little ones loved the food too!

Saturday, I met Carrie and Kara, my friends from high school, and their two beautiful daughters, Norah and Lily, out for breakfast! Aurora and Hailey came to say “hi,” but then left with Anthony to do some more visiting!

Anthony and my dad had their Fantasy Football draft that day, so the girls stayed home and baked cupcakes and hung out until bedtime!

Sunday was Hailey’s birthday party, along with several others on my mom’s side of the family. We haven’t been to Erie since March, so we even celebrated Aurora’s birthday!

Disclaimer: Aurora is NOT drinking a bud light and scratching a lottery ticket in this picture!! Haha!

We had a fun trip and can’t wait until next time!

TWO- Speaking of trips, I really hope I don’t have to make a trip back to Erie too soon…like maybe this weekend because of Hurricane Irma!!! It looks like the Charlotte area is going to be affected by this one, and I’m starting to freak out a bit! Prayers to all those in its path!

THREE- I did run to Target and stock up JUST IN CASE! Aurora and I went while Hailey was at school and I let her look around in the dollar section. They have a TON of Fall and Halloween items right now and I’m loving it! I picked up these wine glass, just because! They were only $3 for a pack of two and had a few different Halloween sayings on them!

FOUR- While we were in Erie, we also did a little shopping and I got some super cute sandals on sale for like 7 or 8 dollars!

I can’t wait to wear these on Saturday with my jersey! WE ARE!!

FIVE- I would feel weird writing this blog without mentioning all the milestones that have happened this week! (Even though everything is plastered all over my Facebook and Instagram!!)

As you know, Hailey started Kindergarten last week, and this week Aurora started Preschool…and she started it on Hailey’s 6th Birthday!

And of course I made a collage of Hailey…one picture for every year! *Insert crying face emoji*

Hailey gets to pick any restaurant to go to on her birthday, and she picked the same restaurant two years in a row! We love Alino pizzeria as much as she does, so there was no complaining here! Her Gammie and cousin, Anthony, even made it to dinner with us!

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and to those who may be affected my Hurricane Irma, stay safe!!

Five on Friday #12

It’s been two weeks since I wrote a blog and I feel like so much has happened in those 14 days! I took some time off because I wanted to soak up what was left of summer with my girls and I also had family visiting! My “five” today will basically be a recap of some of the things that have been going on, both good and bad!

**Number one has a couple bloody pictures. They aren’t terrible, but if you have a week stomach, maybe skip that one!

ONE- Last Thursday, Aurora fell off our kitchen bar stool and hit her head on the molding at the bottom of the wall. I was cooking dinner when she fell, so I ran over immediately to make sure she was okay. She has fallen off the stool before, so I just thought it scared her, but a couple seconds later, I realized her head was dripping blood!

It stopped bleeding quick, so I didn’t rush her to the ER like I thought I was going to do. I asked her a bunch of questions and made her follow my finger to make sure she didn’t seem disoriented. I put her in the shower because there was so much blood in her hair I couldn’t see the wound.

After her shower, she ate dinner while I decided what I was going to do. It was still hard to see the wound because her wet hair was matted down on it, and as you can imagine, she didn’t like me touching it.

We finally went to urgent care and they said she needed staples. My mother-in-law met us there, and thank god for her because she was calm and knew what questions to ask and I was a nervous wreck! Thank you Gammie!! Anthony made it for the staples too!

They messed up one of the staples and had to take it back out and re-do it!! Oh, that part was just awful! Aurora was such a trooper through the whole thing!

Even though it was 8:45 when we got home, we let her pick out whatever she wanted from the store and she chose a giant cupcake!

This was probably the worst mom experience I have ever had!

TWO- Anthony had plans to surprise Hailey with a “before Kindergarten” trip to Carowinds (amusement park) the day after Aurora fell. He ended up telling her the night of the staples because she seemed a little traumatized by the whole thing and we wanted to give her something positive to go to bed thinking about!

Carowinds wasn’t too busy, probably because it was a Friday and some of the schools around here have already started. She got to ride a ton of rides and go to the water park! She had a blast!

Since I knew I would have a day with just Aurora, I thought we would swim all day because it was going to be hot, but since she had staples in her head, plans had to change.

I didn’t want to take her to the Y because of the staples, so we went for a 4 miles walk/run.

Then, we went out for lunch and went to the store to pick up flowers and a cookie cake that Grandma and Papa Deano called in for her! She was very excited!

Then, it was a very low-key rest of the day and night!

THREE- Anthony took that Friday off work for Carowinds because he had to work Saturday, so the girls and I decided to get ready and drive 40-45 minutes to Trader Joe’s! I LOVE Trader Joe’s, but there isn’t one close to where we live, so I haven’t been there in so so long!

My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, brother in-law and nephew actually were all coming from a baseball practice when we were headed that way, so we met them for lunch right across the street. I got the girls settled and then shopped by myself, which was amazing because I wanted to look at EVERYTHING!! It would have been awful trying to wander with the girls in tow, so thank you Gammie, Uncle Joseph and Aunt CaCa (Jessica)!

Apparently I went on the right day because they were celebrating their 50th anniversary with some good deals, including 50 cent avocados! JACKPOT!

They were also giving tattoos to the little ones!

And I forgot how affordable their wine is! It is so worth the longer drive just to stock up on our Trader Joe’s favorite things! I would say it was a very successful trip!

FOUR- On Sunday, my Grandma and Aunt made the trip down to North Carolina from Pennsylvania and stayed until Wednesday morning. We swam, got my grandma’s favorite ice cream, shopped, saw the eclipse, went to dinner and just hung out at the house! We had a great time!

FIVE- Tuesday was Hailey’s Kindergarten orientation. We lucked out that we had family visiting to watch Aurora so we didn’t have to bring her along.

Hailey was so excited and couldn’t wait to meet her teacher and see her classroom! Anthony even got out of work early to go with us!

We explored the school and met some of the kids in her class. We are all so excited for this big next step! Good luck Hailey girl!!

It is so nice to get back to writing. We have Fantasy Football draft weekend at our house so I better get studying! I hope y’all have a great weekend!

 

 

Five on Friday #11

Happy Friday everyone! I feel like this week was a weird one. It rained a lot and for the last couple weeks it has been oddly cool for July and August in NC. Our pool is usually around 86-89 degrees in July and August, which Anthony says is too hot, but I like it. It’s been barely 80 degrees because it gets so cool at night and in the morning! On the other hand, I love not instantly sweating when I step outside, so I guess there are pros and cons! Anyways, let get into it…

ONE- If you follow me on Instagram (lifeofamomfromatoz), and watch my Insta-stories, you know I read The Sinner in 2.5 days! I started Monday afternoon during Aurora’s nap time and then read it that night. I read it all throughout the day Tuesday when I could, mostly at night, and by 11PM that night, I only had 80 pages, of 387, left, but I HAD to go to bed! Aurora woke up crying at 5:30AM Wednesday morning, so I went up to her room, gave her a binky and rocked her back to sleep. (I say that like it was easy, but only 2 out of 10 times would she go back to sleep that late in the morning.) I felt so awake and eager to finish the book, so I just stayed up and finished it before we left for the Y!

When I went to bed Tuesday night, I was telling Anthony about the book and how I thought it would end, and I was almost all the way right by that point (80 pages left), but up until then, I changed the way I thought it would end several times!

I thought it was really good…really disturbing at some points, but really good! It definitely has some disturbing sexual aspects, so it is for a mature reader. I just couldn’t put it down and I needed to know how it was going to end.

TWO- Blue Moon’s pumpkin beer is out! I know, I know…its August (says my husband)…but it has been feeling a bit like Fall because of the cooler mornings/evenings!

I will never, ever, ever turn down a good pumpkin beer, and Blue Moon has a good one! Just the right amount of pumpkin flavor!

THREE- Anthony and I both like to run. I run a lot. I’ve cut down in the past couple of months to do more classes to mix things up, but on Sunday, I usually do 8.5 on my hilly road, which is a great workout!

We have led my example for Hailey, and now she enjoys it too! She will ask to run with us a lot, but I love when it actually works out and we have time to run/walk a few slower miles with her!

She usually runs a lot of the first mile, and then takes a little rest.

The we walk more of the second. I am so proud of her for wanting to run with us and I am so happy she enjoys it!

FOUR- I was a vegetarian growing up, and went back to it when I was pregnant with Aurora because of aversions I had to meat. I eat meat now, but I still sometimes fall into old habits and go for vegetarians options.

I have been making this quick lunch or dinner for a while now and thought I’d share!

I use either cauliflower rice (pictured), spaghetti squash or regular pasta, and mix it with ricotta, sauce and red pepper flakes. It is so good and quick and easy! Ricotta cheese makes everything better…at least that my motto!

Anthony made meatballs this week and I added some to this for a balanced dinner!

FIVE- I love watching Insta-stories (is that hyphenated?!). I thought I would share with you some of my FAVORITE people to follow.

Busy Phillips!! She was in Freaks and Geeks, which I watched growing up with my parents, and also Cougar Town, which I also loved!

She is hilarious! She has two small daughters, which I can relate too, and occasionally co-hosts at Live with Kelly and Ryan, which is a show I love!

Bevcooks! She also cracks me up! She is a mom/food blogger who does a ton of stories on Instagram as well.

I hope ya’ll have a great weekend!

 

 

Five on Friday #10

Oh, how I love Friday’s! We have had a pretty low-key week this week which was a nice change from last week, and we are looking forward to a pretty low-key weekend as well!

Let’s get right to my five on Friday!

ONE- I mentioned in Monday’s post that Anthony was out of town last week. The girls missed him a ton so we decided to surprise him with a big sign!

Everything always has to be blue and yellow because Anthony’s love for the University of Michigan sports has rubbed off on Hailey! They were so excited to hide and jump out in front of the sign when he got home!

TWO- A Clean Juice Bar opened in Mooresville over the weekend, so Hailey and I decided to stop by. She was so excited because they had so many fun things at the grand opening! She got to talk to and take pictures with Spider-Man and Elena of Avalor.

She got her face painted, a balloon Elsa wand and a smoothie of course! We have a great Saturday morning, just the two of us, that ended with getting our nails done!

THREE- After coming home from our fun morning out, the four of us spent the afternoon cleaning the basement. Our basement renovation is almost complete so we had a lot of cleaning to do because we were having people over for the fights that night. I can’t wait to get our furniture and decorate so I can write a post about it!

I snuck away from the cleaning to make a cheese plate for a snack!

When baby Stella got to our house, the girls were so excited! They just love her!!

The girls chatted and the guys watched the fights. It was a fun night!

FOUR- August is here and I am in total Fantasy (and regular) Football mode! My favorite Fantasy Football podcast started this week and I’m so excited to start studying for the draft!

FIVE- Busy Bees Play Center is a drop of child care center in Mooresville. I love love love having this option because if I have a doctors appointment or even something that Aurora can’t go to for Hailey, I can take them (or just Aurora) there and not have to worry about finding a babysitter.

On Wednesday, Busy Bees hosted a rock painting afternoon for kids. It was a free event and included all the supplies, pizza and drinks!

The girls LOVED it! In typical Aurora fashion, she was a mess in the first four minutes.

You should have seen her arms, legs and hands. 

They were so proud of their creations and couldn’t wait to hid them for other kids to find!

If you haven’t heard of the rock painting “craze,” apparently you decorate rocks and hide them in random places for other people to find. You can put a hashtag on them so you can keep track of your rocks on social media.

We went out later that day and hid a couple!

Well, that’s it for me today! Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

 

Five on Friday #9

It has been a LONG week! Anthony has been gone traveling for work, which isn’t very common in our household, so we are very excited to have him back later today!

I wanted to plan a lot for the girls to do while he was gone. He isn’t home much during the week anyway, but just the fact that he wasn’t home at all made them sad, so I wanted to keep them busy.

Now, in normal Friday fashion, lets get to this weeks Five on Friday!

ONE- Like I just said, I planned a lot for this week to keep us busy. We had two different playdates at two different splash pads! On Tuesday, we met friends at the Birkdale Village splash pad in Huntersville. The girls had a blast and I was so surprised because Aurora actually got all the way in the water! She usually just walks the perimeter and doesn’t want to get her head wet.

Then we got ice cream at Kilwin’s! They have really really good ice cream! Maybe the best I’ve ever had!

Our second splash pad playdate was at Hope Park in Mooresville on Thursday. Aurora was back to her old self just walking the perimeter and then realized we were at a park and just wanted to swing the whole time! Sorry Kim!

TWO- We also kept busy with some pool playdates this week too! Monday, we had our friend Sutton over to swim!

Wednesday, the girls friends Emersyn and Locklyn came to play!

And Thursday we had the girls friends Walton and Linden over to swim and play!

It was such a busy, but fun week!

THREE- A neighbor of mine brought over a couple purple tomatoes for us to eat.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a purple tomato, but he said in his opinion, it’s the best kind of tomato! It isn’t quite ripe enough yet, but I am excited to try it hopefully in the next couple of days!

FOUR- I ordered bracelets and a wave ring from Puravida Bracelets and I love them!

Everything is very affordable and they have free shipping if you spend $20 or more! I also found a 20% off code on Instagram that I used!

FIVE- Our basement renovation is almost done! The painters still have some touch up work, but other then that, the rest of the work left is for Anthony and I.

We ordered all the furniture we need, so we are just waiting for that. We have to go through all the storage rooms and organize them. And the most fun: decorating!

Anthony, of course, already has two TV’s hung, for football viewing purposes!

The bathroom is just about done and usable, so that’s very exciting! The bathroom is the main reason we wanted to finish the basement. We didn’t want to have to go through the house to use the bathroom when swimming and potentially ruin our wood floors.

We are so happy about how it has turned out!

That’s it for me! I hope you all have a great weekend!

Have you ever eaten a purple tomato? Is it good? 

 

 

 

Five on Friday #8

A normal week felt great! After a holiday week and then a beach trip, I was very excited to get back to normal, especially workout wise! We have a fun weekend ahead, including a massage and hair appointment for me!! That is a rarity my friends! Let’s get right too it!

ONE- Wednesday, we were suppose to have a playdate, but Hailey’s friend got sick. I asked her what else she would like to do and she said she wanted to go to dinner. After going back and forth with some other ideas, we decided to go to our local library for some indoor fun! It’s been sooo hot outside!

They have a few computers with kids learning games on them.

A Lego table…

Some cute play things like this car, puzzles and a doll house…

and of course, books!

The girls had a blast! Then it was off to dinner and ice cream!

TWO- When we got home on Wednesday, the girls got their showers and wanted to play upstairs in the play room before bed. Right as we were starting to wind down, Aurora decided to take a handful of Bunchems and smash them into Hailey’s hair!

First, I tried to just get them out on my own and then quickly realized that this was not good! I knew she couldn’t have been the first kid this has happened to, so I went onto YouTube and watched a couple videos. I tried conditioner and vegetable oil like the videos said, but those didn’t seem to work. This is the only comb I could find so that probably didn’t help the cause.

Wine was also an essential for this! 

I went onto Facebook to ask if anyone had any tips. Thank you to all who responded! I ended up using coconut oil as well. We went downstairs to the couch so Hailey could relax because it was past her bedtime at this point. (I put Aurora to bed immediately after I realized this was not good! She knew I was not a happy mama!)

The combo of conditioner, vegetable oil and coconut oil did the trick! I think it just took a while to loosen the Bunchems up (maybe?) because at first it didn’t seem to be working and I was in complete panic mode. After a while, I could tell a big difference and the two at the top of her scalp came out the easiest, which I was surprised about. Hailey had to take shower number two for the night and bed!

I washed her hair the second time with my shampoo and when she woke up in the morning her hair was still super oily! We swam in the pool and that didn’t help either. I looked it up and apparently dry shampoo is the way to go and it did seen to work.

THREE- There have been a lot of garden ups and downs this week. First, my tomato garden is totally ruined. I am super bummed about it because it was doing so well and I wasn’t sure what happened…until Tuesday. I looked outside and saw three deer standing in the garden eating all the tomatoes!

On a positive note, I picked a spaghetti squash and it was perfect! I’ve been eating it all week!

My friend Brittany came over with her girls to swim and we took a walk over to the garden so I could give her a spaghetti squash to take home. We saw a watermelon and decided it looked “pickable!” The girls were so excited to eat it so I grabbed a cutting board and knife and brought them outside so we could all experience the excitement together!

Doesn’t it look great!

Well, this is what it looked like inside. Oops! I guess it wasn’t quite ready…

The kids still opted to try it!

I guess I still have a thing or two to learn about gardening! Good news is, there are a few more watermelon growing, so I just need to be more patient with those ones!

FOUR- At the beach, Hailey asked to learn how to ride her bike with no training wheels. Her helmet was too small, so Anthony promised her the day we got home he would take her to get a new one.

The next day we took her out during Aurora’s nap to see how she would do.

Her balancing wasn’t great, but she started getting better at the end! It was so hot out she didn’t get much practice before she wanted to go in the pool instead, but I am proud of her for trying! I’m sure she will get the hang of it soon!

FIVE- I know it’s only mid-July but I am already looking forward to all things Fall…especially football! We just got our fantasy football draft board in the mail and I’m getting so excited.

I’ve been playing for 10 or 11 years now, and I am the only girl in the league of 12 or 14 people. I prefer 12 people for sure, but it just depends who can make it to the draft. Last year, I came in second (a close second…a touchdown with 9 seconds left made me lose!) which is the best I’ve done in a while! Hopefully I can keep it up this year…knock on wood.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five on Friday #7

What a weird week this has been! Usually when we have a weekend away, we use the beginning of the week to get our lives back to normal, but with July 4th falling on a Tuesday and our YMCA having their Independence Day celebration on Monday, we have been all discombobulated this week!! Lets get back to something normal…Five on Friday!

ONE- We FINALLY tried a new-to-the-area burger place that everyone has been raving about! Barcelona Burger and Beer Garden is located in Downtown Mooresville and is AMAZING!

I had the Madrid which had cheese, caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes and a spicy pepper sauce with a side of roasted veggies.

Anthony had the All-American, which had cheese, bacon, tomato, lettuce, onion and house sauce with a side of onion rings.

Hailey loved her burger too!

We all tried each others sides and I would give a thumbs up to the roasted veggies, onion rings, mac and cheese and fries!

We let the girls pick a dessert! They do different desserts daily and they wanted this caramel chocolate one…I can’t say I blame them!

I can’t wait to go back! They had a chili-cheese burger that I desperately need to try!!

TWO- Our 4th of July turned out great despite me being sad about missing my big family party and parade we would attend if we were in PA!

We had some rain on Monday which kept us from the whole YMCA celebration, but the girls got to see fireworks, so I take that as a win!

Then Tuesday, after Anthony got home from work, we headed out on the lake with friends and got to see fireworks again!

THREE-Two days of being up until 10:30+ has made for some tired and cranky girls! Aurora fell asleep on the couch, sitting up with her IPAD in hand on Wednesday night. Our seven day beach trip should be interesting.

FOUR- Speaking of the beach, we are heading to the Outer Banks with my mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law and niece this weekend! Have you ever heard the theory that going somewhere with your kids is called a “trip,” not a “vacation?!” Hopefully we will get a little bit of relaxation time!

Here are some “flashback Friday” pictures from the last time we all went to the Outer Banks together! Hailey was only TWO (well, almost 3)!!

FIVE- July 12th is Anthony and my NINE YEAR anniversary!! So since I will be taking a week off from blogging, I thought I’d take the time to wish Anthony a happy anniversary!

And with that…I’ll talk to you all in a week! Hope you have a great weekend and week ahead!

Five on Friday #6

Happy Friday! We have an exciting weekend planned and I can’t wait to share it all on Monday! I hope you guys have a great weekend!

ONE- It took me this long to discover iced coffee, but I’m hooked! I got one at Starbucks a couple months ago and had sugar-free vanilla syrup added. That was a big mistake. It made it taste pretty terrible, so I steered clear for a while. Then last week, I order an unsweetened iced coffee with almond milk and I added a little Stevia, and it was amazing! I’ve been making them at home now too!

TWO- I found an awesome OPI nail polish at TJ MAXX for $3.99. It’s called “Go with the Lave Flow.” It has some red and orange tints in it so I think it will go with a lot, and perfect for the upcoming holiday!

My painting skills are subpar.

After I painted my nails, the girls wanted their finger and toe nails done too of course. I bet you can all guess how that went for Aurora!

Smudged nails onto her face and mouth.

THREE- I love having a pool in my backyard in the summer time, especially for the girls, but there are so many gross encounters that happen throughout the summer.

I’ve already had to take care of some frogs (dead and alive), some mice (dead) and of course, tons of spiders!

Yesterday, this not-so-little guy was hanging out on the stairs to get into the pool. Luckily, there were men here working on our basement, and I nicely asked one of them if they would take care of this spider for me.

Last year, I promised Hailey we would swim and there was a spider bigger than that one on the stairs. After about 30 min of screaming and chickening out, I finally got him by myself, so I was very thankful I had someone here to help this time!

FOUR- This is way out of season, but I saw these cute little Halloween trick-or-treat bags on Instagram the other night and I think I might buy them for the girls!

They are from Little Lulu’s Bling Boutique and are on sale for $15 with personalization.

FIVE- I can’t say enough how much we all love the YMCA. Not only do I have so many different options for my workouts, Hailey and Aurora love going too! The staff in the childwatch at the Lowe’s YMCA are AMESOME! Hailey loves to play “ga-ga ball,” which is a safer version of dodge ball and comes home exhausted! Aurora gets playground time, sings and dances with the other kids and colors pictures to bring home!

This week, I snuck a video of her singing and doing hand motions to a song with all the kids and teachers, and I got this picture of her coloring.

A BIG thank-you to all the WONDERFUL staff for making the Y so enjoyable for my girls! Stress-free mama time is hard to come by!

 

 

Five on Friday #5

First, I want to thank everyone for all their kind words, private and public messages and stories of similar struggles from Wednesdays post. I was so nervous to write a more personal post but was so glad to get so much positive feedback.

Secondly, this week as been a little crazy and a little stressful. I’ve had a lot of shopping, cleaning and cooking to do for the week and not a lot of cooperation from my littlest girl. I think someone was testing me to see if the “no wine during the week” thing would really pan out, and I’m happy to say that it did. Just a little more deep breathing and a lot more anticipation for Friday!

Now lets get to it!

ONE- After Hailey’s dance recital on Saturday, my in-laws took a trip to some local antique shops while they were on our side of town. They knew we have been looking for a white dresser for Hailey’s room, and they found a great one! Anthony and my brother-in-law, Brian, went to buy it on Sunday at Main St. Antiques and Design. For any locals, it’s right next to Alino Pizzeria, which on a side note, is probably the best pizza I’ve ever had! Anthony said the antique shop was huge and had a done of great things!

The dresser works perfect in her room and she loves it!

TWO- I think I have the messiest child ever. I know, I know…all kids are messy. But guys, you should see Aurora after EVERY SINGLE snack or meal! When she was one, I thought, ehh…that’s normal, Hailey was just an anomaly.

Now that she is two, nothing has really changed. She uses a utensil 10% of the time and could get a shower after every meal! If you follow me on Instagram (lifeofamomfromatoz) or Snapchat (danielle_barber), I’m sure you have seen many videos of Aurora and her eating skills!

I’m waiting for the day that my OCD genes kick in and she becomes more clean!

 

THREE- I got my biggest garden haul of the season this week and am super excited!

We have been getting squash and cucumbers for a while, but the tomatoes are starting to ripen and I am especially excited about the yellow ones!

All you need is some salt and pepper and enjoy!

FOUR- Hailey has been getting up WAYYY to early lately. She will just walk downstairs to our room when she is awake, and if she gets up before Aurora, we let her play her Nintendo 3DS or watch her phone (my old phone that uses the internet on). It was getting a little out of hand, so I finally bought an OK to Wake! alarm clock.

Friends of mine have been using these for years and rave about them and I’m so glad I finally got one! You set it so it turns green at a certain time (7:00 here), and that means they can get out of bed. There is an alarm but you can set it so it doesn’t have to sound, that way if the child sleeps longer, it won’t wake them! It seems to be working great for Hailey!

FIVE- Did I mention I am very excited for the weekend so I can drink wine and eat carbs!?! I’ve been doing good with the low-carb, no alcohol during the week reset, but it definitely makes me look forward to the weekend more! We have plans to have friends over to swim on Saturday and then head to a local winery. Hopefully the weather cooperates and all plans are a go!

We are taking a cheese plate to the winery and I am definitely going to include my favorite crackers!

I found these at Food Lion. They are flakey and crunchy (I guess they would be seeing that we are talking about crackers…) and amazing!

I get the garlic flavor, but they do have plain sea salt. If you have a Food Lion near you, they are a must try! They aren’t very expensive either, maybe $1.79 for a box!

I hope ya’ll have a great weekend!

 

Five on Friday #4

We are super excited about the weekend over here! My sister, brother-in-law and niece surprised the girls a day early and got in last night. They are here to swim, hang out and watch Hailey’s dance recital!

ONE- Speaking of Hailey’s dance recital…we had rehearsal last night! It was a long three hours, but she did great and we are so excited to watch her dance her little heart out!

TWO- One of my go-to appetizers when I make something for a party are these little pesto bruschetta baguettes.

I broil pieces of a baguette and then layer pesto, mozzarella and roma tomatoes.

*My sister says she olive oils her bread before broiling it (and be careful to watch while broiling…it browns quick!) and then when done, she takes a piece of raw garlic and rubs it on the baguette before topping them. Did I mention she went to culinary school and is a chef instructor! I usually keep my cooking as simple as possible!

The girls love them too! Well, Aurora eats them in a deconstructed manor, but I’ll take what I can get!

THREE- My nephews third birthday party was last weekend at a fire station. The girls had a blast! They had a piñata, let the kids get in the fire truck and Aurora may have popped a giant fire truck balloon in a pulling match with the birthday boy. Sorry little Anthony!!

FOUR- Summer is almost here! It has been hot here in North Carolina and we have been swimming, jumping on the trampoline and eating lots of ice cream! I love that we live in a state that distinctly has all four seasons, winter being the least prominent!

FIVE- I love Bath and Body Works three wick candles in the fall and winter, but I have never bought one in the spring/summer. I saw that they were having a big sale and ended up buying a summer candle that I love! Summer candles for the win!

Hope ya’ll have a great weekend!

 

Five on Friday #3

Happy Friday ya’ll! We have a fun filled weekend planned once again. My nephew turns three today, so Happy Birthday little Anthony! We get to celebrate him on Sunday at the fire station! I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

ONE- On Monday I showed you a little food-prep, and one of the things I made was salsa chicken. You just put about 2lbs of chicken breast and one jar of salsa in the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours, shred the chicken and you’re done!

There are so many things you can do with salsa chicken and here are some things we did this week.

Hailey and Aurora had salsa chicken, black bean and cheese quesadillas for lunch a couple days this week. If you want to count salsa as a vegetable (I mean, technically it is, right?!) then I’d call that a great balanced lunch for little ones. I even use plain greek yogurt in the place of sour cream on the side to make it healthier!

Though I did try a couple bites of the girls quesadillas, I went on more of the low carb route and made my version of a taco salad. I used lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, a little bit of shredded cheese, salsa chicken and plain greek yogurt in the place of dressing. Sometimes I get a little crazy and crumble some tortilla chips on top too! (That’s not really crazy…I love carbs!)

Annndd….if we are talking about real life and how busy it can be, I usually just take a fork or tortilla chip and eat it right out of the bowl!

TWO- My guilty pleasure is watching The Real Housewives! This really doesn’t have anything to do with The Real Housewives show, but I follow several of them on Instagram (lifewithamomfromatoz) and came across a story about Debbie Meyer green bags.

These things are amazing and have worked so well for me! I don’t know how many times I go to cut up a cucumber on Wednesday that I bought on Sunday and it is way too soft and mushy already!

I have put cucumbers, zucchini, squash and green peppers in these bags and they were still good over a week later! I bought mine on Amazon ,10 for $10, but I also just saw them for the same price at Bed Bath and Beyond. Make sure your produce is dry before putting it in the bag and just fold it up and you’re good to go!

THREE- It was a very, very long time coming, but I finally cleaned out a lot of our play room!! We have so many toys, a lot of which were baby toys that no one plays with, so I went through everything and gave some to friends, gave some to goodwill and threw the broken and stained toys away.

I forgot to take a before picture. Maybe subconsciously I didn’t want anyone to see how messy it really was, but I am excited that we can walk through it and find the toys we are looking for!

FOUR- I love the Target Cartwheel! For those who don’t know, it’s an app that gives you a certain percentage off of certain items from Target. It’s really easy to use. You can actually scan each product as you shop to see if it’s on the Cartwheel that week, or you can search the products ahead of time.

You click the + sign to add it to your personal cartwheel that is scanned at check-out.

I have had it for maybe two years and look how much it has saved me!

FIVE- I was looking at the Cartwheel before shopping this week and I came across eat-it-raw cookie dough! I have seen videos on Facebook of a place in New York City that sells cookie dough cones (in the place of ice cream) and I told Anthony I need to go there! When I saw this on the Cartwheel I immediately put it on my grocery list.

It did not disappoint! I bought the peanut butter chocolate chip flavor, but they also had regular chocolate chip and birthday cake. The ingredients list is long, but it’s non-gmo, egg and dairy free, with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. I’ll call that a win!

And it’s Hailey approved!

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!