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Gifts I’m Loving

Now that the Holidays are over, I am finally getting around to using my Christmas and Birthday gifts ! I of course enjoy everything I got this year (and every year) but I have a few things that I have been obsessed with in the last week or two and I wanted to share them with you all.

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The first one that I love is my “You are a Badass” book ! I am sure that many of you have seen this book floating around on the internet but it is totally awesome and such a game changer ! I am loving the way she writes and how motivating the book has been in just the first few chapters. I can’t wait to read more ! You can find your own copy HERE

Of course I got makeup palettes and they are awesome ! I have 2 favorites so far. One is the Naked Basics palette; which is the square one with several basic neutral shades. I love this and have been using it a lot. I also received a palette from the brand ProFusion, which I am pretty sure was a Christmas special at Target. If I am correct, the whole thing was less than $10 and I am in love with it ! The colors are awesome ! They are huge pans and the color pay off is great ! There is quiet a bit of fall out from the shadows but this is not an issue for me ! You can find the Naked Basics palette HERE and the ProFusion one HERE.

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I also got a new oil diffuser and it is the cutest thing. It’s a USB port diffuser so you can utilize it from any USB charger that you have. It’s tiny and diffuses for 4 hours. I love that it’s portable and small for traveling. I also got some essential oil books, my favorite is the “Essential Oils for Mama and Baby” book. As I’ve been looking through it, I have found lots of helpful recipes for many of my pregnancy concerns ! It’s a great book for me now and will be great for when my second baby arrives. Below are the links for the diffuser and book.

https://www.target.com/p/aromapod-portable-misting-oil-diffuser-white-sparoom-174/-/A-51082859#lnk=sametab

I love the brand Soap and Glory and have recently started to use a lot of their products. I received 2 sets for Christmas that include body butters, scrubs, sprays and body washes ! They all smell so good and there is something for everything between the two sets. I like that the products are smaller sizes and I can repurchase the bigger ones if I decide that I love them. The gift sets are no longer available but you can check out their entire line of products on Ulta.com.

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I asked for a new perfume for Christmas and picked out Daisy Dream by Marc Jacobs. All I have to say is that it smells amazing and I have been wearing it non-stop !

http://www.ulta.com/daisy-dream-eau-de-toilette?productId=xlsImpprod10861001

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Another gift on my wish list this year was an Air Fryer and my mother did not disappoint! I have used it only one time so far but I am so excited and have been pinning recipes and all sorts of things to try ! Plus it looks great on my counter ! I tried fried ravioli and they were delicious and much less greasy then deep frying would be ! Below is a link to similar one, they offer various sizes for all your needs.

https://www.target.com/p/chefman-2-5qt-digital-air-fryer-with-rapid-air-technology/-/A-52510951#lnk=sametab

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My last favorite thing this year was Marshall’s gift cards. I have recently fell in love with Marshall’s and TJ Maxx and I find myself there all the time. Gift cards to these places will be so great because I am literally there almost every weekend. For those of you that don’t know, they have so many great things including makeup, shoes, clothing, home decor and everything else you can think of ! I linked the website for Marshall’s below. Unfortunately, you can not shop online because the variety at each store is different but you can locate your closest store.

https://www.marshallsonline.com/?cid=TJMaxx:ReferringDomains:1:MultiBrand_Banner_Desktop:0720

Hope you enjoyed this post. I love seeing what others receive for the holidays and it also gives me gift ideas for birthdays, and other special occasions throughout the year.

What were some of your favorites this year ??

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Five Things I Learned in 2017:

I’m sure you all have seen the 2018 resolution posts ! This is typically the time of year where everyone vows to do something for the new year whether it be lose weight, exercise more, spend less, etc. I am not usually one to make a New Years resolution because I know that I never stick to it ! I am however working this year on my 30 before 30 bucket list which is a bunch of small goals that I want to accomplish in 2018. You can check it out here: 30 Before 30 if you haven’t already read it !

I’m taking a different approach to the New Year posts and instead sharing 5 things that I learned in 2017. I feel like it is important to look ahead but also important to reflect on the last year! So here they are (in no particular order) my top 5 things I learned . .

1.) Experiences are more valuable than money in the bank. This is a tough one because while I do hope to live a debt free more frugal life someday, I have realized that the experiences within the last year mean so much more to me ! I am so incredibly thankful for every experience we have gotten to do as a family. It is so much more meaningful to me to visit places, people, etc than to have a large bank account stored up somewhere. I have come to realize in the last year that enjoying time with my husband, son and other family is what will last in my mind. There is one particular example that I can think of where my husband and I enjoyed a nice dinner just the two of us at a sweet little Italian place, planned entirely by him. It was a little bit more expensive than typical dinners we eat but it was so fun and such an exciting night. I will remember that when we are 60 and will not wish I had that $100 is my bank account instead !

2.) Children are Unpredictable, Exciting and Grow Way too Fast. This is something I am learning every day. I am amazed at how quickly a year goes by when you have children. There are days that require more strength and patience than I physically have but the good days make it all worth while. I love the unpredictability of what comes out of Layton’s mouth, mostly good, sometimes bad but it usually can always make me laugh. Realizing that you shape the way your child turns out is such an incredible feeling. It’s totally scary but also so wonderful to watch them grow and learn.

3.) Some people care more about themselves than others. This is not something new that I have learned but it continues to amaze me. There are so many people in life that care nothing about others. I have experienced this with strangers, and people close to me and every time I am just shocked. I constantly try to help others and do things for other people but I am again realizing that some people just do not function like that. The amount of times in 2017 where someone has NOT held or opened the door for me when I was holding Layton and grocery bags and what felt like a million other things would likely add up to 1,000. Is being nice and considerate really that hard ? The plus side to seeing these people all around me, is realizing my parents did a great job raising me to be better than that !

4.) Family makes each day better. I can not say this one enough. The amount of times that family has been there when I needed them is overwhelming. Not only in times of need either, just having a great family makes every day better. I love that I get to enjoy this life with all of them so close. There are so many experiences I get to have that lots of others don’t because of my family and I love knowing that I can always count on them for pretty much anything.

5.) Do it. Whatever it is, do it. This includes going places, trying new things, making stuff. Always do it. You will absolutely regret not doing something. I have said no so many times to things that I should have said yes to and I am now starting to realize the benefit to saying yes. If you want it, do it. Don’t get stuck in this I shouldn’t or I can’t mentality. The best thing about life is getting to do anything you want pretty much whenever you want. For me in 2017, this has been going to Disney World for the first time, eating French fries 2 times in one day because I could, purchasing my essential oils starter kit and starting this blog ! I just said yes and did it and it has been absolutely fantastic!

Here’s to 2018 and another year of living and learning !

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Would You Rather? – Winter Edition

I love a good Would You Rather Debate so I thought I would include a fun one for all of you to enjoy. I answered the questions and had my husband answer the questions. For any of you that know us, you know that we are total opposites most of the time and you can see that in some of our responses to these questions !

Enjoy !

Would you rather get the best gift you ever received again or get a new gift (but have no idea if it will be good or bad)?

Tabitha- New Gift because getting the same thing again would be boring and I like being surprised.

Cole – New Gift because I already have the best gift I ever received why would I want another one.

Would you rather spend the holidays with your family or with three celebrities (you can choose the celebrities)?

T- With my family for sure ! Celebrities would know nothing about our family traditions and the fun things we do.

C- I wouldn’t mind spending one with 3 celebrity hunters, I’ve already spent tons with family.

Would you rather work only on holidays (they are still holidays) or only get holidays off work?

T- I would rather get only holidays off work. Holidays are huge for me and I can not imagine not getting to do all the fun stuff we do.

C- Work only on Holidays and off the rest of the year.

Would you rather give up Christmas trees or Christmas cookies?

T- Christmas cookies, I love them but I could never not have some sort of christmas tree.

C- Cookies, I’m more of a tree guy than a cookie guy.

Would you rather have it be your favorite holiday every day or never have that holiday again?

T- I want to say have it everyday but I feel like it would be so much less special if it was Christmas everyday.

C- Never have it again because you would miss too many other good days if everyday was a holiday.

Would you rather get a useful gift or a fun gift?

T- This is tricky. I love useful gifts because then I don’t have to buy them myself but I also like fun new gifts, or things I would never buy. I would have to say fun gift.

C- Tricky, but I would say useful.

Would you rather experience a Christmas in 1700 or in 2100?

T- 1700 because there was a lot more focus on the traditions and basics then on the sparkle and glamour of the day.

C- 1700 old school is way better than the future.

Would you rather have to put up outdoor Christmas lights for all your neighbors or wrap all the holiday presents for extended family members?

T- I would definitely pick wrapping the holiday presents. I hate putting up the outside lights. I only do it because I like the end result.

C- Neighbors, because we don’t really have any !

Would you rather have your ears turn into elf ears or have a Santa beard forever?

T- Elf ears because I could hide them with my hair.

C- Elf ears, for no reason really !

Would you rather have snow every day during the holiday season or not have any snow at all?

T- Snow every day. I would take snow all year, every day.

C- Snow every day.

Would you rather live in a giant gingerbread house or ride on the Polar Express?

T- Ride on the Polar Express because it looks amazing!

C- Ride on the Polar Express even though in real life you would never survive the ride.

Would you rather be given $100 for Christmas to buy things for yourself or be given $1000 before Christmas to use to buy gifts for other people?

T- $1,000 to buy gifts for others, seeing other people happy is way better than getting gifts.

C- $1,000 to buy for others, it would be much more enjoyable seeing others get things they want.

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Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide

I am going to start my posts this week with a gift guide dedicated to stocking stuffers for men, women and kids. I love stockings and I think they are maybe my favorite part of Christmas morning. Growing up, my mom always had our stockings jam packed with the coolest little gadgets, toys, candies, and gift cards.

Here are some suggestions for those on your list!

Men

I mostly geared these towards my husband and the woodsy outdoor man but you can purchase these for any man in your life including a dad or brother.

Wallet – There are tons and tons of options for wallets available almost anywhere and everywhere. I find this to be a good option every year because most wallets become worn. The new thing is that most wallets have RFID protection which makes it harder for people to steal information from the cards you keep inside.

Pocket Knife – There are again a ton of options for what type and color knife you want to pick. You can be as high tech or low tech with this gift as you want. My husband prefers a very minimal knife and doesn’t need all the extras. Also feel free to personalize your knife with a name or phrase to make it more personal.

Beard Oil- I actually just made a homemade beard oil for Cole earlier this week. The link I posted has a lot of different recipes so you can DIY and make your own. I used a dropper bottle with some orange, frankincense and lavender essential oils and coconut oil as the carrier. If you aren’t into DIY’ing you can find several sites with beard products for you to purchase.

Jerky – This website has every kind of jerky you could want including beef, chicken and turkey. They also carry exotic types like alligator and some types of fish jerky. Check them out if the man in your life is into trying different tastes and flavors.

Belt – My husband is constantly needing a belt. He has either misplaced it or it’s broken. I think the more belts the better. This is a nice brown one but again you can choose which type and style best fits your man.

Women

Some of these ideas you could use for teens as well like the bracelets, nail polish and hair care/makeup goodies.

Nail Polish – Most women use nail polish at some point in their life. I found this great little set of mini polishes that would fit perfectly in a stocking. You can buy single polishes too in all sorts of colors. These would make great gifts for teens and girls as well.

Candles – Yankee Candle has some great votive scents for $1 each ! You can stock up on some favorites, tor ry some new scents. I also found some car air fresheners and room sprays you could add to stockings as well.

Bracelets – Any small little jewelry is always a great stocking stuffer. I personally love the Alex and Ani bracelets and rings. You can usually find one for every person on your list. They have these beautiful gift sets available right now for the holidays and you actually can get 2 bracelets together.

Travel Size Products –  I am a huge fan of skincare, hair care and makeup. You can find tons of different travel size products at the checkout at Ulta to fill a stocking. I found this perfect little travel size set of dry bar hair care products including a shampoo, conditioner, detangler and texture spray. You could also include any of the women’s favorite makeup products as most of them are small and compact.

Kitchen Gadgets –  For the woman that loves to cook or eat there are so many options for kitchen gadgets. I included a link to Bed, Bath and Beyond for an avocado slicer and pitter. If you have anyone that likes to cook you could also include a corn on the cob stripper, a lemon juicer, etc.

Wine Charms – If you have a wine lover in your life, you could fill their stocking with lots of goodies. I linked the wine glass charms from amazon which I think make a cute stuffer idea. You can also include wine stoppers or even a bottle of their favorite wine !

Kids

I think kids are the easiest to buy stocking stuffers for but I hate to include things that will never get used. Below are some ideas for kids of all ages, boys and girls. I didn’t link any of these items because most of them you can find at a local Target or Walmart and you may even be able to pick some up at Dollar Tree. 


Bubbles

Snacks- Food pouches, fruit snacks, granola bars or even candy if you want to give that to your child.

Coloring Books

Crayons, Markers

Toothbrush

Matchbox Cars

Barbies

Hair Accessories

Mittens or Gloves

A New Hat

Socks

Stickers

Travel Size Games

Play-Doh

Books or Magazines for older kids

Ear Buds

Jump Rope

Key Chains

Figurines from favorite shows and movies

 

Hope this post helps some of you with some last minute ideas. Remember only 7 more days until Christmas !!

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30 Before 30

30 Before 30

Today is my 29th Birthday ! I can not believe that in one year I will be 30 years old. I’m sure this age change is hitting my parents much harder than me but 30 is still a big jump from 29.

At 29, I feel accomplished. I feel proud of how much I have achieved in my life and all the things I have experienced. I have graduated high school, went on to college and earned my Master’s Degree. I have met the love of my life, gotten married and started our family with one little babe and one on the way. I have a full time job, a beautiful home and 2 adorably crazy dogs. I have traveled to numerous places, mostly in the US, but also to some warm tropical locations. I have experienced loss but also the greatest love I could ever have. I have a family that is wonderful and supportive not only that I was born into but that I married into. I can not help but feel extremely grateful for everything that 29 years on this earth has given me. While I have been busy with all these things, I have decided to make my 29th year even bigger and better. I created a list of 30 bucket list things I want to accomplish before I turn 30 next year.

Take an International Trip

This is mostly to go somewhere tropical again but with my husband this time. He’s never been and I would love to experience it with him by my side ! I am hoping by 35 to go somewhere bigger like Italy when things are more stable for us personally and financially ( a new baby on the way doesn’t allow for much extra travel and spending.)

Read 50 books this year

I love reading but always lose the motivation to do it. I have several new books coming and some new series I am ready to tackle in the next year.

Pay Off Something

This is general because we have several things that need to be paid off and really paying off any one of them within the next year will be a big accomplishment !

Visit a new State

I have been to 16 states either from traveling to them or traveling thru them. I am hoping to get to at least one new one in the next year.

Grow my Blog

I have found myself learning more and more about blogging and am interested in growing my blog to reach more people and cover more topics.

Volunteer

I am not sure where or what I want to volunteer for but I know that I want to make it more of a regular thing in my life. I often do a lot for different things here and there but I am hoping to do some more permanent volunteering possibly with the humane society or a homeless shelter.

Attend Yoga Classes

This is a big out of my comfort zone thing but I would love to consistently attend yoga classes and learn so much more just about the practice.

Learn a new Skill

I am again not sure what I want to learn but I have several things in mind that I want to try and just love that I can always be learning something new.

Open a college savings account for both kids

We have a savings account for Layton but I want to specifically open one for both kids and set up consistent deposits into these accounts ! College is not cheap and we already have one kiddo just 15 years away from going !

Run a 10k

I have already done a 5k so I am just expanding to a 10k. I don’t know if this one will happen but I am setting that as a goal to motivate me to run again after baby gets here.

Get caught up on Layton’s Scrapbook, Start Baby’s Scrapbook

I am so far behind in Layton’s scrapbook, I think I have until he was 5 months old. I need to get caught up and to try and stay ahead of the new baby’s scrapbook.

Attend a Penguins Game

This one is mostly for my hubby but I would love to go too ! Plus visiting the city will be a plus.

Eat Something I never Would

This is a big one and a big opportunity for me. I typically eat the same 15 foods all the time and never try anything new. I want to break out of my shell and try something not typical for me !

Attend a Conference

I’m not sure if I want to attend a conference for work or something else but this kind of relates back to that learning and I enjoy just being able to learn new things all the time.

Take a Girls Getaway

Even if it’s just for a weekend, I want to plan some time with my best gals to relax and have fun !

Learn to Ski

I have been wanting to do this for years and again just never have done it. I am hoping that my sweet husband can teach me in the next year.

Purge my Closet

I have so many clothes, like way too many to ever use. I have even started to take over Cole’s side. I need to purge and clean it out ! I will likely never wear 50% of those things again so there is no reason to keep it.

Take a Cooking Class

I like cooking but I basically know just the typical things. I want to take a cooking class to learn new techniques or new recipes.

Join a Club or a Group

With this, I was mainly hoping to join some sort of mommy group or something to keep me and the kids busy when Cole travels.

Be the first person to Apologize

Totally out of my comfort zone, I like being stubborn and often don’t apologize. I need to learn to say sorry more.

Pay it Forward

This one speaks for itself, I believe that good things happen to good people so I want to pay if forward.

Write in a Journal

I am hoping to start this in the new year. I have such an awful memory so keeping a journal is a big thing I want to start doing. I want to have something to read when I am old and gray and can’t remember anything.

Do Something for 30 Days in a Row

It tasks 30 days to create a habit so that is my goal with this one. Doing something consistently creates better habits.

Tell my Husband 10 nice things every week

I often get caught up in being a mother that I forget to be a wife. My husband is a saint for dealing with me and he deserves to hear nice things every week.

Go on a spontaneous adventure

Because who doesn’t love the idea of an unplanned trip somewhere unexpected. Plus I could stand to be a little less of a planner sometimes.

Start a Collection

Find something to collect and spend time trying to expand that collection.

Take Care of My Body

I’m hoping to become more aware of products i’m using and things I am putting in my body. We only get one body for the rest of our life !

Help Someone when they need it Most

I generally try to help anyone and everyone but this is just my way of trying to help those that need it the most. Be kind to others, you never know what they are going through.

Go to Church

I don’t go often but want to start getting the kids involved and want to make the change for myself !

Write a Letter to myself to open at 40 !

Just for fun, I want to see how 10 years will change me.

There you have it ! A challenge to myself. A year full of bucket list tasks to accomplish and cross off ! I’ll keep you updated in the next few months to see how it’s going !

Hope you enjoyed this blog.

Cheers to 29 years !

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Snowman Wreath Craft

If you are interested in a DIY Christmas present or a decoration for winter you should check out this easy snowman craft. My mom ran a craft group at our church demonstrating how to make this adorable snowman and it was super easy and would make a great gift for anyone on your list.

Items Needed: 

2 grapevine wreaths of different sizes

white spray paint

battery operated string of lights

black felt

ribbon

various winter flowers and decorations

white zip ties

hot glue

Steps: 

1.) Paint grapevine wreaths with spray paint and let dry completely. Ours were already pre-painted to save time at the craft night.

2.) Secure grapevine wreaths together using zip ties. Be careful not to make ties too tight or the snowman will not hang straight.

3.) Wrap and secure string of lights and battery pack. You can again use zip ties and wrap the lights around the wreaths to get what ever look you want.

4.) Cut the piece of felt into the shape of a top hat. Copy the same shape to make 2 pieces exactly the same. Hot glue edges of the felt, leaving one side open. Stuff with either stuffing or a piece of cardboard to prevent the hat from being too floppy. You can decorate the hat with ribbon and flowers as you would like and then hot glue to the snowman’s head.

5.) Decorate the snowman with various winter greens and flowers. You can add ribbon for a scarf or make a bow. This part is really up to you, how you want to decorate. We chose to hot glue all of our decorations to secure to the wreaths.

6.) After you decorate, you can add another zip tie at the top to make a hanger. Then you are all finished !

Ta-da ! A super easy and cute winter craft in less than 30 minutes !

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The Boy Blues

Four years ago,  when I  found out we were pregnant with our first child, I was eager to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. I didn’t have a preference either way, I just knew I wanted at least one of each and it didn’t matter which came first.  We found out in the ultrasound it was a happy, healthy baby boy and I was genuinely excited and I even think I went to buy boy clothes that same day to celebrate.

Soon after Layton was born, people started asking when are you going to try for your next one? Usually followed with,  are you hoping it’s a girl someday? The answer, at first, was it doesn’t matter, but I really think this is when I started to just assume I’d have a girl as my next one. Flash forward 3 years later and I’m 20 weeks pregnant waiting for the ultrasound results. We planned a special reveal with balloons for everyone to find out. The box opens and 6 beautiful blue balloons go floating to the sky, I happily say “yay, a boy!” before starting to cry and feel a sadness I wasn’t quite sure how to explain.

For pretty much 28 years, I have wanted to be the mother of a daughter. I have spent years and years, practicing by putting my dolls in dresses, brushing and braiding their hair and painting the nails of anyone I could get my hands on. I was put on this earth to have a daughter one day (or so I thought). I have spent countless amounts of time since starting this motherhood journey hoping to have a daughter one day. I had names picked, colors for the nursery and had even bookmarked cute mommy and me outfits to purchase and wear someday. In a two second act of opening a box and seeing blue balloons, I felt this immediate sense of sadness for what I might never have. I have spent the last 3 days, crying about things that I might miss out on having two boys. I pictured myself picking out prom dresses and wedding dresses with her, being the mother of the bride one day, spending days bonding over shopping and crafts.. the list goes on. I had spent years just assuming one day, I’d get all these things.

I can’t quite explain this sadness and I’m not sure that I ever will be able to tell anyone what its like but I have found myself emotional and angry and needing to get it out. I am emotional because I feel like I have lost the chance to experience being a mom to both genders and angry at myself for even being sad about something like this. I am extremely grateful to have another healthy and perfect little boy on the way. I know that many woman do not get to experience this ever in their lives and I have been granted the opportunity to do it not once but twice so far and for that I am extremely thankful. I know that this is not necessarily the end of my childbearing journey but there is a sense of finality in it for me. My emotions are overwhelming and this has been difficult to accept.

Over the last couple days, I have heard the traditional “congrats, another boy,” almost as if they were disappointed too. I have heard the whole “boys are awesome, being a boymom is great” speech and everything in between. While this may be true, I can’t help but be a little bitter and I just return to thinking “that’s great but I don’t want to be just a boy mom.” I have read several articles relating to this gender disappointment feeling and have found comfort in knowing that I am not the only one that this has happened to.  While I don’t know what’s in store for me and if I’ll have more kids someday, I do know that the sadness I have felt is overwhelming and difficult to accept and I pray that it will get better with time.

I don’t know if anyone else has ever experienced this but I wanted to share my feelings because I have realized that being sad is okay. Life is full of sadness and happiness and I know that the second this baby boy comes into our lives, I will have forgotten all about these days, weeks or months and I will again realize my purpose in this world, boy mom or not.

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recipes

Summer Picnic Favorite

One of my favorite things about summer is picnics and get togethers. One reason I love these is the food. I am a huge fan of picnic type food.. salads, dips, bbq. I have one recipe that I usually make for these events because it is  easy and it has never let me down.  In this post, I am going to show you my  hoagie dip recipe. It’s perfect for any event and can be made in less than 10 minutes !

 

Hoagie Dip

Ingredients

1 lb Turkey Breast Chopped Finely

1/2 lb Hard Salami Chopped

1 lb Sliced Ham Chopped

1 lb Provolone Chopped

1/2 Red Onion diced

1/2 tomato diced

4 or 5 banana peppers chopped

Shredded lettuce

1/2 cup mayo

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Italian seasoning

Red Pepper Flakes

 

Instructions

1.) Chop all lunch meats and cheese and place in a bowl.

2.) Chop onion, and banana peppers and place in the same bowl.

3.) Mix dressing.  Add mayo, olive oil and vinegar – stir well. Add in red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning to taste.  Pour over lunch meat and veggies. Mix well.

4.) Lastly, add in lettuce and tomatoes. I typically do this right before I serve so the lettuce doesn’t wilt.

5.) Serve with crackers or bread  and enjoy !

 

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Patriotic DIY

If you are looking for a great DIY for the summer, I’ve got just the thing for you! This idea is cheap and easy and makes for a great porch or yard decoration.

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The very first thing you will need is an old window. My mom happens to have a lot of these but you can usually find them at sales, or sometimes people have them out for the trash. You may be able to snag some on Craigslist or in the newspaper when people renovate. After you clean the window, the next step is to tape off the stripes and stars box. For this, we first measured the square part to be even on all sides. These measurements will vary depending on your window size but for mine it was about 8″ x 8″. After we measured the square, we measured and taped for the stripes. Again, this will vary depending on the size of the window but for mine each stripe is about 1.75″. We taped off every other stripe to allow for alternating colors.

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Next we took Waverly Chalk Paints in red, white and blue. These were found at Walmart. We used foam brushes to apply the paint to the back side of the window. (Remember this when taping so you don’t end up with a backwards flag.) First we painted the blue square, and then the red stripes. After the first coat dries, apply a second and third coat as needed.

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When completely dry, remove the tape and carefully paint the white stripes. Again, apply a second and third coat as necessary.  After all of your painting is done, spray with a top coat to protect against rain and sun damage.

 

Lastly, we purchased a gold star garland or wreath. Ours was from Amazon and can be found HERE. One garland was enough to make both wreaths. Using a staple gun, we fastened to the top of the window. You could also hot glue but I’m not sure how it would hold up in the rain.

 

Here are the final projects ! Perfect for the 4th of July and Labor Day.

 

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planning

How I Plan My Life

Some people ask me what I include in my planner and how I figure out what needs to go where. So in today’s post I figured I would walk you through how I figure out my weekly plans and layout.

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The very first thing I do is look at my blank spread for the week and decide on a color or theme. I have several books of stickers that I use to guide my theme for the week. This week happens to be my best friends wedding on Saturday so I planned my weekly theme to match her wedding colors.

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After deciding on a color and theme for the week, I place the basic stickers and boxes on the page. Usually for this part, I place the boxes wherever I think looks good. I also place some quote stickers and checklists where I feel like they look the best.

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My next step then is to place more specific stickers for meetings, clients I need to see, appt’s and things I need to do. Right now I also place a weekly sticker for our Disney countdown. This week I also placed some wedding theme stickers on Saturday for the wedding.

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The very last thing I do is fill in my plans with pen. I typically write on a post it note for the week everything that needs to get done on each day so I can have a better idea. I then transfer those notes to the planner and add in any extra things. I also fill in my weekly to do’s and any special occasions.

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The main things that I include each week are:

  • Appointments
  • Birthdays
  • Meals
  • Work Meetings/Clients
  • To Do’s
  • Events
  • Chores
  • Calls I need to make
  • Blog Post Schedule, Usborne Post Schedule

 

Some weeks, I put a lot in and other weeks I limit it. It just depends what I have going on for the week and how busy we are. I am the type of person that needs lists to remind me so this is my all in one way of keeping track of our life.  For more info about the planner I use, Click Here !

 

recipes

Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Today’s recipe is a Bailey family favorite. I have literally been eating these cupcakes for as long as I can remember and let me tell you something, they are DELICIOUS! My mom has always been an awesome baker. She can make all kinds of desserts and they always taste amazing. These cupcakes, just happen to be one of our family’s favorites. When she makes a batch (24 cupcakes) they can easily be gone in 2 days !! Crazy right, but once you make them for yourself you will understand why !

Ingredients:

1 (8oz) package cream cheese

1 egg

1/3 cup sugar

6 oz. bag of chocolate chips


1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 cup cocoa

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 TBSP. vinegar

1 tsp. vanilla

 

Directions:

1.) Mix first 3 ingredients together in a bowl until smooth, fold in chocolate chips.

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2.) Mix remainder of the ingredients until smooth for chocolate cupcake mix.

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3.) Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans (2 pans), preheat oven to 350*.

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4.) Fill cupcake liners 1/3 full with chocolate mixture.

5.) Top each cupcake with a heaping spoonful of cream cheese mixture.

6.) Bake for 12-15 minutes. I typically put them in for 12 minutes then check to see if they need another minute or two.

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Now that I have a house and family of my own, I make these a lot. Cole and Layton both love them and they are gone in just a few days !

Enjoy and try not to eat too many ! 🙂

 

 

 

family

Life Lessons: 50 ways to Yay !

A few months ago I shared a picture of a book I was starting to read. That book was 50 ways to yay! The book is written by Alexi Panos and is a self help book of sorts for improving your life and creating happiness for yourself. Since posting that first picture, I have managed to read all of the book and I am completely blown away by how much I liked it. I am not usually a self help book kind of gal but this one was really awesome.
Each chapter in the book has a theme or a goal to accomplish. There are 50 chapters total, none of which are more than 4-6 pages in length.  At the end of each chapter, there are several questions where you actually have the opportunity to write in your answers sort of like a diary. I found this to be great because it was almost like your written plan for how to utilize what you learned in the chapter.

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The first chapter was a big chapter for me ! It breaks your life down into parts and asks you to decide which part you are most unhappy with. For me this is finances. We have credit card debt that I hate and we always seem to have just enough to cover necessities with very limited extra money. The written part of this chapter asks you then how can you change that, what can you do personally to make that better. This was simple for me. The type of job that I do allows me to pick up extra clients and extra clients mean extra money. The second thing for me is paying off debt and we have started within the last few months to work extremely hard at paying this down !

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Another chapter that I really enjoyed was “It’s all FOR you.” This chapter talks about how things don’t happen TO you , they happen FOR you. Everything that has happened is essential in your evolution in life. This is a big one for me when something bad happens. I always think why did this have to happen to me, on this day, etc. and the truth is that it happened because it was a lesson or a reason to change paths to something better.

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The last chapter in the book is also one that I really loved. It talks about what will you leave behind. Now this is hard for me to think about because I don’t do well with death. I don’t like to think about it and I get upset when I do but for me this theme was more than dying, it was about something to leave behind. Spend your life being a better person and it will show. You want people to remember how you made them feel long after you can give them those feelings anymore. I have come across a lot  of people in my life that will be remembered for things they owned or how they treated others,  not for how they made me feel when I was around them. I want to spend more time doing things for people who will one day say “do you remember how she could make us laugh” or “she gave the best hugs.” If I can be remembered that way by at least 10 people, I’ll be happy !
Overall, I highly recommend the book. It is easy reading and it really gives you somethings to think about. I enjoyed her style of writing and found all of these topics great for someone who wants to achieve a happier more positive life ! There really wasn’t any chapters or topics that I didn’t enjoy thinking or reading about.
Anyone who decides to read this book, let me know how you like it ! Or if anyone has already read it, tell me some of your favorite parts !

makeup

DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner

Today was brush cleaning day in my house! I got all my gross, disgusting makeup brushes together and got my special cleaning solution ready to work. The reason I love this cleaner is because it is safe, sensitive for skin and smells great.

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To start, I take a small dish and mix baby soap and/or shampoo with a few drops of tea tree oil and a few drops of lavender oil. The baby soap is great because it is gentle and sensitive. The tree tree oil is a good addition because of its natural antibacterial components which keeps your brushes cleaner and in return your skin healthier. I also add the lavender oil for the scent and its soothing properties.

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After I mix this in the dish, I swirl my brushes in the soap mixture. Usually, after a few swirls you can see the soap change color from your makeup products. Immediately after I swirl my brush in the soap, I swirl it in a bowl of warm water to rinse. I usually do this a couple times to make sure all the soap and products are out of the brush. When I am finished rinsing, I dry my brushes on a towel and leave them there for several hours ! The bristles are extremely soft and smell like lavender. After they are completely dry, I usually give them a good fluff and they are ready to go ! I also do this same process with my makeup sponges and beauty blenders.


I would suggest doing this on a day when you don’t plan on using them or in the evening just to allow enough time to dry. This simple, inexpensive cleaner works great and keeps my brushes looking better than ever. I typically wash my brushes twice a month ( I probably should do it more) but I always forget ! Enjoy this easy DIY  and let me know how it works for you !

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recipes

Easter Dessert

Hi everyone !

I hope you had a great Easter yesterday ! I wanted to share with you the dessert I made for our family lunch  ! It was easy and inexpensive. I got the idea from Facebook and wasn’t sure how it would turn out but I thought it was cute and appropriate. You could also make this dessert for springtime in general with some minor changes.

Ingredients: 

Box of brownie mix

Oil, eggs and water to make brownies

Oreos

Can of chocolate frosting

White chocolate chips

Orange food coloring

Strawberries

Robins eggs candy

Directions: 

1.) Prepare boxed brownie mix, place in pan and bake as directed.

2.) While the brownies are cooking, begin to prepare strawberries. Melt white chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth, add food coloring to create an orange color.

3.) Dip strawberries into chocolate and place on cookie pan to cool. I placed mine in the refrigerator to harden.

4.) Place about 15-20 Oreo cookies in a ziploc bag and crush. This will be the “dirt topping”.

5.) When brownies are finished, let them cool and then begin assembling.

6.) Place chocolate frosting on top of brownies. I did a thin layer. Then top with chrushed Oreos. Finally place chocolate covered strawberries and robins egg candies on top !

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Your completed desert should look like a carrot patch ! I placed a small bunny in the dish to add something extra !

The dessert turned out cute and everyone enjoyed the taste ! You could also do other chocolate covered fruit to creat different veggies to make it look like a garden for the spring/summer !
Enjoy !

family

Life Update

I have been so incredibly busy lately and I have definitely been slacking on blog writing. I thought I would pop on here to give you guys a little life update!

So the first big thing that’s changed in the last month or two is that I took a new job ! This is not a switch from my usual school job, I just added some extra work to my schedule. I have recently started with an early intervention company working with about 4 extra clients per week. For those of you who don’t know a ton about Occupational Therapy, early intervention is kiddos ages 0-3 who need OT services within their home. Its an awesome job and the opportunity to work with babies and toddlers is so rewarding. So anyway, I have been seeing a couple kids after I am done at school for the day making my evenings a little busier, but the job and the extra money is great !

Another big thing going on right now, is my Easter Angels project ! I talked about this in a past blog post a few weeks ago so I won’t go into too much detail. My mom and I have been busy getting ready to deliver all the goodies to the hospital. We have spent a lot of weekends shopping and attending events to raise money for the cause. We are nearing the end and are going to be able to donate $3,000+ in supplies and baskets to the children this week !

Every Thursday after school, I have also been helping with Girls on the Run at Kutztown Elementary. This is a program for the girls to participate in for self esteem, confidence and girl power all while helping them train to run a 5k. This has been such an awesome experience so far and I am looking forward to the rest of the program ! We have about 5 more weeks to go before the 5k !

So between all of these things, I have added some extra busyness into my schedule ! I am excited to have all of these different things going on and am so thankful to be able to do so much. I promise to get back into my blog writing soon and I’ve got a bunch of new stuff coming for you guys in the next few weeks ! Check back later this week for an Easter dessert recipe that I think you guys will love !

planning

Erin Condren vs. Happy Planner

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Most of you know that I purchased the Erin Condren Planner last year and I purchased another one for this year. I really enjoyed the EC Life Planner all the months I used it and I felt that it had everything I wanted/needed. I also purchased the Happy Planner by Me and My Big Ideas a few weeks ago so I could compare the two ! I used the EC for the month of January and have been using the Happy Planner for the month of February and beginning of March. I really enjoy each of the planners! I wanted to give you a little comparison in case you were looking to purchase one.

This biggest difference in these two planners is the price. The Erin Condren life planner is typically $55.00. They do run a lot of specials, free shipping, etc which can make is less than that but you also have to purchase from a website and shipping can take 1-2 weeks. The Happy Planner costs $29.95 but you can almost always find them for between $15-$20 with coupons and sales. You can get them at Michaels, Hobby Lobby and the Happy Planner website. Both planners have lots of accessories to add onto them.

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The first main difference between the two is the binding. The EC life planner is coil bound, mine happens to be silver but you can get in gold and rose gold if you wish. The Happy Planner is bound with discs. The one I purchased came with gold disks, but you can purchase various other colors and sizes to increase the amount of papers you can add into it. The disc binding allows you to easily remove and insert papers as you need to. The EC life planner does not allow you to remove pages as easily.

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The other main difference for me is the divider pages and monthly notes pages. In the EC life planner, you have a blank notes pages. You can easily decorate these pages how you want and make it your own style. In the Happy Planner, the pages have a lot of spots to write different info and notes. The happy planner page has a 3 month calendar, a birthdays sections, goals for the month, important dates/holidays and a currently section which includes what you are currently watching, listening to, etc.

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In both the EC and the Happy Planner, the monthly calendar is relatively the same. Both have the calendar blocks ( the EC is slightly larger) and they both also have a notes section at the side. The weekly views are also very much the same. They have a side notes section where you can put any additional info for the week. The boxes for the happy planner are slightly larger but they do not have a bottom section where you can write additional info.

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The other difference between the two is that the Happy Planner allows you to add additional extension packs. The Happy Planner has several including a budget expansion pack and a fitness extension pack. I purchased the budget pack and added it into the back of my planner. I don’t believe that the EC has anything like this available. Both planners have the option to switch out covers and change them as often as you would like. This is nice for someone like me who enjoys switching things up.

IMG_3276After using each for several weeks , I have to say that my pick is the Happy Planner ! I love the versatility of it and how easy it is to add and remove things. I also love the monthly page where I can write my goals, birthdays, etc. I never thought that I would switch from the EC life planner, but after using this one for the last few weeks, I have totally changed my mind. I love the affordability of the happy planner and being that Michael’s carries all the accessories and add on things it is so much easier to buy things when I see them.

 

To read more about my planning click HERE!

Life Planner

Happy Planner

family, home, Uncategorized

Back at it !

Take 2 or is this 3 ! Anyway I’m back and ready to share some great blogs with all of you again. Life has once again taken over and somewhere between the jobs, vacations, raising a toddler, and finding out I am pregnant I’ve lost time and motivation to blog.
I’ve been spending time lately thinking of things I want to talk about, write about and things I want to accomplish and I am ready to jump back in to this ! I’ve made some goals for the 3 month and 6 month timeline of this blog and I am ready to stick to it.
December is a super busy month for us at the Seitzinger house. We have birthdays, traditions and other celebrations that keep us busy from December 1st through to the New Year. On top of all of our usual craziness, I will be entering my 3rd trimester ! I can’t believe I am almost there already ! This pregnancy has been worse physically and mentally for me but has also gone much quicker than my first.
While we are busy preparing for Baby #2, we are also going to be celebrating Layton’s 3rd Birthday later this month ! I can not believe that he is turning 3 already. I feel like I blinked and we now have this little human who keeps us on our toes.
Coming in the next few weeks I plan to have some Christmas craft posts, Christmas cookies with recipes, birthday party planning and some gift guides ! Keep an eye out for those and welcome back to my crazy life !