September 29, 2013
In my local Super Target there is a Starbucks as soon as you walk in on the grocery side – and I normally I enter the store there. The signs for pumpkin spice lattes are plastered around the store even if I enter near the dollar spot. The signs sing to me – (to the tune of the Hocus Pocus song) ‘Come little children, I’ll take you away, away to Starbucks where we have a Pumpkin Spice Latte.’ Okay, so I clearly have Halloween and fall on the brain these days! Seriously though, the signs or the smell catch my attention every time I walk in Target and although I fight the urge I usually cave in to treating myself to Starbucks.
A few weeks ago my sister-in-law made a latte that changed my coffee world. It was so delicious and rich that the Starbucks lattes just didn’t compare anymore (especially when you factor in price!) I come home from dropping my boys off to school and prepare a coffee or latte topped with my pumpkin spice whip cream and it is the perfect way to start my day!
September 27, 2013
Hey guess what? It is the last Friday of the month! Are you ready to link up your best projects, recipes and crafts? We are ready to see what you have been busy working on throughout the month of September. I am really getting into the Halloween mood so I can’t wait to see what sorts of Fall and Halloween inspired projects you have created (or cooked)!
Want to know what the other hosts and I have been busy doing?
As busy ladies the other hosts and I have decided to make our link party a monthly thing. Join us on the last Friday of each month to share your inspiring links from throughout that month! We can’t wait to check our your links and
September 25, 2013
Eeeek! I can’t believe in a few days it will be October! Last night my husband and I pulled out the Halloween decorations and decorated the entire house. I woke up to all the decorations and it put me in the Halloween mood. I started a few crafts and put together a whole bunch of free Halloween printables I found around the web! Have you started decorating yet?
1. Happy Halloween Poster from Whiperberry
2. Trick or Treat Printable from Fancy Designs
3. Boo Printable from Unfortunately Oh!
4. Spider Happy Halloween Poster from Visual Eye Candy
5. Troll Teeth Tic Tac Printable from Poofy Cheeks
6. Pumpkin Soap Printable from My Sister’s Suitcase
7. Give Me Something Good to Eat from The Sweetest Occassion
8. Chalkboard Halloween Party Printables from Catch My Party and Design 13
9. Fun Happy Halloween Printables from Imagine Gnats
10. Halloween Lunch Tags from Sissy Print
11. Treat Bag Printables from Studio Style
12. Halloween Potion Labels from the Graphics Fairy
13. A With and Her Monsters Printable from It Works for Bobbi
14. Treat Label Set from Print Your Party
15. Trick or Treat Banner from Poofy Cheeks
16. Spider Printable from Kinzie’s Kreations
17. Delightfully Creepy Party Printables by World Label
18. Vampires and Witches and Ghosts of my from Makoodle
19. Goblin Drool Drink Labels from Marie Thomas Designs
20. Bat Halloween Party Printables from Poofy Cheeks
21. You've Been Booed Printables from Happiness is Homemade
22. Halloween Mason Jar Toppers from The Country Chic Cottage
23. Complete Alphabet Banner Printable from The Cottage Market
24. Spider Cider Drink Printable from Bloom Designs Online
25. Apothecary Label Printables from Poofy Cheeks
26. Halloween Trick or Treat Chalkboard Printable from A Pumpkin and a Princess
27. Halloween Eye Chart Printable from Tatertots and Jello
28. Spells and Potions Party Printables from HWTM
29. Modern Halloween Cupcake Toppers from Grifanne
30. Cookie Jar Printables from See Vanessa Craft
31. Doodle Pumpkin Coloring Pages from Laura Kelly’s Inklings
32. Free Halloween Printables from Dimple Prints
33. Bag of Bones Invitation from Mr. Printables
34. Pumpkin Candy Jar Printables from Martha Stewart
35. If the Shoe Fits Printable from Balancing Home
36. Tic Tac Printables from Somewhat Simple
37. Creepy Crawler Printables from Creature Comfort
38. Something Wicked This Way Comes from Frog Prince Paperie
39. Treat Jar Labels from KiKi Creates
40. Cupcake Toppers from We Love to Illustrate
41. Free Halloween Party Invitations from Bridgett Edwards
42. Chalkboard Halloween Countdown from Yellow Bliss Road
43. 5 Silhouette Printables from No Biggie
44. Sweets Printable from Eighteen 25
45. Halloween Party Printables from Tomkat Studio
September 24, 2013
One thing I knew I had to have when Delilah was born were some cute and girly burp clothes. The few I had were very boyish and I didn’t have enough to last from one laundry day to the next. You know how babies are… spitting up every time you turn your head and you probably know how often you do laundry when you have a newborn… not very often! The bottom line is that I needed more, so during my nesting stage I sewed Delilah a diaper bag, strip rag quilt and soft minky burp clothes.
All you need to be able to do is sew a few straight lines for these! The minky fabric can be a bit slippery so if you are brand new to sewing you might want to try using chenille which doesn’t move around as much.
For the burp clothes you will need:
- A rotary cutter
- Cutting mat
- Sewing machine
- Pre-washed cotton fabric (you will need an 8x20 inch piece for each burp cloth)
- Pre-washed minky fabric (again you will need an 8x20 inch piece for each burp cloth)
Start out by taking your pre-washed fabric and cutting it to the right size using a rotary cutter. I cut my fabric to be 8x20 inches but it is really personal preference.
Once all of your fabric pieces are cut take one piece of minky fabric and one piece of cotton fabric and put them together with right sides touching.
Then pin the pieces together. Since the minky fabric tends to slide a little when you sew I use a few extra pins than normal.
Then I start sewing the two pieces together. Start sewing in the middle of one of the long sides and sew all around the edge until you are almost back to where you started. You want to leave a gap a few inches long to turn the burp cloth right side out.
Before you start turning it right side out snip all four corners off so that they will be more defined.
Now you are ready to carefully push the right sides out through the hole you left.
To close up the hole fold the two sides in and sew as close to the edge as you can. Flatten out the burp cloth and then go around the entire cloth one more time.
Some people just stop once the hole is sewed closed, but I think sewing around the cloth one more time makes it look so much nicer, plus it will hold up better in the wash!
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September 23, 2013
My son Wyatt is almost six and sometime between ages two and three he developed this love for Thomas the Train. He has had a Thomas birthday party, been Thomas for Halloween, owns more Thomas toys than I do clothes and still loves Thomas! Most days he eats with his Thomas the Train fork or spoon on a Thomas plate and sleeps with his head on a Thomas pillow holding a Thomas pillow pet. He dresses in Thomas shirts and brushes his teeth with a Thomas toothbrush and toothpaste. Do you get the picture? This kid sleeps, eats and breaths Thomas! Now that he is in kindergarten he is learning to read so of course we have more Thomas the Train books than I can count on two hands.
Wyatt’s love for Thomas began after we watched a few episodes on Netflix and has transformed into a total Thomas takeover but I am so happy about it. Both of my boys have learned so much from watching Thomas the Train – number recognition, counting, colors and each episode teaches some sort of lesson about good behavior and using manners.
With Wyatt starting kindergarten this year and Mason starting Pre-K both boys are learning letters, the sounds each letter makes and Wyatt is starting to learn to read. Of course reading is a great way to help your children learn. When I read the Thomas books to the boys I like to stop and ask them about the pictures. ‘What color is that engine? What number is Thomas? What do you think that engine is pulling in their freight car?’ I try to get Wyatt to read the sight words such as ‘the, all, at, a, I, my’ and ask him to sound out other words too. If you were to look at Wyatt’s reading log for school you would find that more than half of the books we have read are some sort of Thomas book!
Not only am I using Wyatt’s love for Thomas to help him read, we also encourage playing with Thomas the Train toys because it helps the boys with problem solving. Don’t you just love when you have ‘toys’ that help your kids learn without them even knowing it? We have two rubbermaids full of Thomas trains and tracks. There were days when Wyatt would beg us to build the tracks for him because he just couldn’t match them together to build a track that connected. We would help him but we wouldn’t do it for him. We would refer to pieces as straight tracks or curved tracks and tell him which one to give us. We taught him that by using all curved tracks he could make a circle (OMG teaching shapes here too!). Eventually he started building the tracks himself and each time he would want us to come and look. (As a mom I know that we can get busy, dinner is cooking, we have a job to finish or a baby to tend to but take the five seconds to go and look because positive reinforcement is so powerful to a kid!) Now he builds multiple tracks that overlap, connect, go into a dark tunnel (underneath his bed) and tests tracks by trying to send a train over a huge bridge (a long track supported by his bed on one end and table on the other which usually breaks from the weight and lack of support).
Sometimes our kids bring things into our daily lives that we don’t even realize are there. It seems like every part of our time has turned into #ThomasTime around our house! Do you have a child who loves Thomas and his friends? Right now you can share your child’s #ThomasTime photos on the Thomas facebook page!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mattel. The opinions and text are all mine.
September 19, 2013
I have mentioned before that growing up my mom made big homemade breakfasts on the weekends. Monday through Friday expect cereal, toast, oatmeal or a toaster strudel but on the weekends she would usually make something great! Like many moms she had to get her (three) kids up and to school before she traveled twenty minutes to work where she spent the day and then came home to make dinner, give baths, and pick us up from extracurricular activities. Seriously (I promise I am sharing a recipe here) you will never appreciate how much your parents did for you until you have your own kids and find yourself doing it all!
One of the most requested weekend breakfasts was biscuits and gravy (followed by my dad’s famous fluffier than a pillow pancakes). After I married Mike and tried to start cooking more I had trouble with my gravy. We laugh about it now because one time I added way too much milk and it ended up looking and tasting like milk with sausage floating around in it. Finally I figured out what works for us!
The recipe ends up perfect every time and the meal ends with an empty pan of gravy! When I made this over the weekend Wyatt declared this meal the best breakfast and had seconds… then thirds! Eat up kid – I don’t cook breakfast on the weekdays either!
- 1 pound sausage (I used mild but you could kick it up with medium or hot!)
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 2 cups of whole or 2% milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Hot biscuits (can you keep a secret? … I use Pillsbury buttermilk)
- Brown sausage in a large pan over medium heat.
- Once the sausage is cooked through add the flour and stir to coat. Then reduce the heat a bit and add milk, salt and pepper. Stir constantly until the milk is thickened and bubbly.
- Serve with warm biscuits!