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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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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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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 !

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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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5 Meals for $50

For most people, coming up with a weekly meal plan can be difficult, time consuming and expensive  depending on what you plan to cook.  I enjoy creating a meal plan for the week simply because if I don’t , I feel lost and have no plan when I come through the door at 4pm.

This week I created an easy meal plan for 5 nights of food all for under $50. Seems sort of impossible with grocery costs these days but I did it and it was awesome ! Lately, I have been shopping at Aldi which makes spending less on groceries so much easier. I was able to get everything I needed for all the meals for a total of $ 49.00 !

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Meals :

French Bread Pizza and Onion Rings

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Ground Beef Goulash

Creamy Italian Crockpot Chicken

Cheesy Chicken Brocoli and Rice

Grocery List:

  • Onions (2-3)
  • Green Pepper (1)
  • French Bread Loaf
  • White Bread Sliced
  • 2 Jars of Pasta Sauce
  • 1 bag of Shredded Italian Cheese
  • 1 bag of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Pepperoni
  • 1 bag of Onion Rings
  • Sliced American Cheese
  • Ground Beef
  • 3 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 3 cans of condensed tomato soup
  • Egg Noodles (2 bags)
  • Packet of Italian Dressing Mix
  • 1 block of Cream Cheese
  • 1 can of cream of Chicken Soup
  • Chicken Breasts (enough for 2 meals- I got a pack of 6)
  • Bag of Steamed Broccoli Florets
  • Rice ( I used brown rice)
  • 1 Container of Chicken Broth
  • 1 can of tomato paste

Here you can see all the items I purchased for all the meals along with prices. The only items I did not get at Aldi were sliced cheese for grilled cheese and onion rings (only because I forgot them). Both of those I purchased at Weis. I also did not include in my grocery list items that are pantry staples including onions, garlic, olive oil, butter and seasonings. These are things that I always have on hand and do not need to purchase on most shopping trips.

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Meal 1- French Bread Pizza and Onion Rings

  • French Bread
  • Sauce
  • Italian Shredded Cheese
  • Pepperoni
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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Cut bread in half and place on a baking tray.
  3. Spread sauce, sprinkle with cheese and place pepperoni on the bread.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cheese is melted and bread is crispy.

 

Meal 2- Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Sliced Cheese
  • 3 cans condensed tomato soup
  • Shredded cheddar
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Milk
  • Parsley, Italian Seasoning and Garlic Powder

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Directions:

  1. Heat 1/2 cup milk and 1 cup shredded cheddar together on the stove until melted and smooth.
  2. Add in condensed soups and diced tomatoes. Mix well.
  3. Stir in extra cheddar if you wish, let simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  4. Add seasonings including parsley flakes, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder (as much or as little as you would like)
  5. Make grilled cheese ! ( We all know how to do that, I think ) However, we use a panini maker to make our grilled cheese sandwiches and they get delicious !

Meal 3- Ground Beef Goulash

  • Onion
  • Green Pepper
  • Ground Beef
  • Garlic
  • 1 Jar Tomato Sauce
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • Egg Noodles
  • Shredded Cheddar
  • Italian Seasoning
  • 2 cups Water

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Directions:

  1. Fry onions, green pepper and ground beef on med high heat until cooked.
  2. Drain fat, add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water and tomato paste.
  3. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add bag of noodles, stir and simmer an additional 10 minutes.
  5. When noodles are cooked, remove from heat and stir in 1-2 cups of cheddar cheese.

Meal 4- Creamy Italian Crockpot Chicken

  • Chicken Breasts (3-4)
  • Packet of Italian Dressing Mix
  • 1 block of Cream Cheese
  • 1 can of Cream of Chicken Soup

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Directions:

  1. Place frozen or thawed chicken in crockpot.
  2. Stir together Italian dressing mix, cream cheese and cream of chicken soup. Pour over chicken.
  3. Cook for 8 hours on low.
  4. Shred and serve with rice or noodles.

Meal 5- Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice

  • Chicken Breasts (3-4)
  • 1 cup of uncooked Rice
  • 1 bag of steamed broccoli or 1 head of fresh broccoli
  • Onion
  • 2  cups Chicken Broth
  • Shredded Cheddar

(T0tally forgot to take a picture of the ingredients !)

Directions:

  1. Cut chicken breasts into cubes. Cook with onion over medium high heat until cooked through.
  2. Add in 1 cup of rice. Pour 2  cups of chicken broth over chicken and rice mixture. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in brocoli and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in 1-2 cups cheddar cheese.

I should also mention that each of these meals was more than enough for 2 people. Cole and I ate each meal for the lunch the next day also. So each meal made enough for 4-5 servings. I also chose a lot of meals that didn’t need side dishes to make cost per meal less.

All of the meals were delicious, easy and affordable !

Enjoy !