Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Twelve Months of Giving Back: February

Random Act of Kindness week was earlier in February and while we didn’t get to do much that week because we had company, we did do some random acts this week.  Drew and Kate participated too!  This makes my heart happy.

Act #1:  Pick up trash in the neighborhood. 

We have lots of new construction going on in our neighborhood which means there is a lot of trash and debris left behind.  We walked one large block in our neighborhood and picked up three bags of trash!

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They would get so excited to see trash and put it in their bags.  Drew kept telling me that people who litter are not doing a good thing.  I think I need to do this with them every week!

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Act #2:  Donate old eye glasses to The Lion’s Club via our public library. 

I found two old pair of my glasses when we moved.  Not sure why I have held on to them.  It was pretty funny to try them on and see how times have changed!

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Drew was asking many questions about why we would donate old eyeglasses.  I know this was an excellent lesson for them.

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Act #3:  Donate items to Goodwill.

This is not so random as we do this often, but it always provides a great lesson.  I like to thrift, so they are familiar with how the whole “one mans trash…” thing works. :)

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Act #4:  Leave dollar bills hidden in toys at Dollar Tree where kids will find them.

This was so fun.  D and K loved this.  They kept asking if they could go back and see if someone had found their dollar yet!

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Act #5:  Write a nice note to a friend.

We have a good family friend who has helped us transition to KC.  She has lived here for years and she has been invaluable with providing doctors, babysitters, friends, restaurant recommendations, friendship, etc.  My kids adore her, we are so grateful for her, and thought it would be nice to mail her a large thank you card!   Thank you, Allison!

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We also:

Returned stray carts to cart returns
Smiled at people
Waved at neighbors walking and driving by
Held the door for people going in and out of stores
Told people how cute their babies were :)
Gave compliments
Discussed how important it is to be kind to everyone, all the time

And we learned that when you do good, you feel good…

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Here’s looking forward to March!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

National Pancake Day

In honor of National Pancake Day (Feb. 28th), I have compiled a list of pancake recipes and links (all photos are credited via the link given).

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via

Bacon Pancakes @ http://chicagoist.com/2010/10/08/today_in_culinary_erotica_bacon_pan.php

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Mini Pancakes @ http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2011/07/29/my-great-grandmas-pancakes/

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Red Velvet & Chocolate Chip Pancakes @ http://www.thatssoyummy.com/recipes/red-velvet-pancakes-chocolate-chips/

Blueberry Pancakes @ http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4915/american-blueberry-pancakes

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Sprinkle & Whipped Cream Pancakes @ http://livlifetoo.blogspot.com/2011/03/whole-wheat-buttermilk-pancakes.html

My kids will be getting their favorite…chocolate chip with a dusting of powdered sugar!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cheers

Cheers to the weekend!

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I have to give these two credit for bearing with me through several trips to Hobby Lobby, Homegoods, Lowes, etc, over the last few months.  Not to mention their patience during all the unpacking and organizing during this move.

They have quickly made new friends and have transitioned brilliantly.  Three states in three years, these two are already professionals! 

At times, I have seemed so overwhelmed by moving and remaking a home over and over again, but they remind me why I love to be home.  DIYing projects for their rooms, cooking/baking for them, homemade this and that, trying to make every house as warm and inviting as possible (I also get invited to tea parties, which is an added bonus :).  Even if it seems like a lot sometimes, I know they will appreciate all of it one day (I hope)!

Until then, I hope they continue to be happy and carefree and lovin’ life! 

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Off to Lowe’s again (sighs from the little ones)!  The trim around my large chalkboard is getting a quick paint makeover. The current white paint has been underwhelming me and it must be changed!  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

DIY Tile & Scrapbook Paper Coasters

Several months ago, my sister was visiting and we made a few of these tile and scrapbook coasters (thank you, Pinterest).  Very easy, inexpensive, and you can make them your own based on what scrapbook paper appeals to you.  The possibilities are endless!

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Simply purchase cheap individual tiles at Home Depot or Lowe’s.  Ours were 10 cents a piece.  Cut paper to size.  Spread a thin amount of Mod Podge on the tile and adhere the paper.  Let dry (this is important so the paper doesn’t bubble up).  Once dry, add another layer of Mod Podge over the top of the paper.  Again, let dry completely.

We then sprayed a clear sealant over the whole tile to protect from spills, water drops, etc.  This sealant was purchased near the spray paint, and looks like a spray paint can.  Choose a clear gloss.

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We also added felt pads to the bottom to protect the furniture.

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Now grab a drink and enjoy your new coasters!

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I think I am ready for Spring!

Linking up with:
http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/
http://somedaycrafts.blogspot.com/
http://www.theshabbycreekcottage.com/
http://www.atthepicketfence.com/
http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/
http://tatertotsandjello.blogspot.com
http://savvysouthernstyle.blogspot.com
http://www.houseofhepworths.com/
http://www.tipjunkie.com/
http://www.notjustahousewife.net/
http://shabbynest.blogspot.com/
http://sixsistersstuff.blogspot.com/
http://lollyjaneboutique.blogspot.com
http://lilluna.com/

http://www.somewhatsimple.com/
http://craftionary.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spray Painted Owl

In the hunt for items for our bookshelves, I found this sweet little owl staring back at me on a thrift store shelf.  For $2.00, I had to have him (or her).

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I cleaned it up and gave it a couple coats of white spray paint.  It now resides on our bookshelves and is one of my favorite pieces. 

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The best part of this story is that I spied a very similar owl when shopping at Anthropologie a few weeks ago.  It was $16.  Yes, I will take my $2 version and run with it!

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Even the ugliest (or cutest) pieces can be transformed with the power of spray paint!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Styling Bookshelves is Hard!

Steve and I have spent the better half of this weekend trying to style the bookshelves in our new house.  Yes, I said Steve and I (he is a good husband :).  They are a main focal point in the family room (with 6 shelves on either side).  We were so excited to find a new home with great built-ins.  Here is a glimpse of them on move-in day.  Little did we know they would be so hard to style…

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My sister and I tried to tackle these shelves last weekend when she came for a visit.  I unpacked all my “trinkets” and books and referenced my “bookshelf” board on Pinterest. and we got to work. I wanted to try to use most of what I already had.  We made some headway, but so many shelves still didn’t seem right.

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My parents were just here for a visit too, so after my sister left, my mom and I tried to tackle the bookshelves.  Some shelves felt right and others were terribly wrong.  They left and we were still without completed bookshelves (knowing me these will never be “done”, but always in transition!). 

Steve and I finally decided that we need more books.  Several more books. 

Cue the trip to Goodwill at 6:30pm last night with the whole family picking out half priced books with good hard covers.

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After another trip this morning to get more books, we are finally on our way to styled bookshelves.  More to come on that, so stay tuned!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

I made homemade chicken nuggets for the first time.  The whole family ate them for dinner and loved them!  An easy, cheap, delicious go-to lunch/dinner.

I got the inspiration here, but tweaked the recipe slightly.  I also made large amount to freeze for future lunches.

Homemade Chicken Nuggets
2 cups plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2-3 chicken breasts (cut into nugget size pieces)
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. McCormick’s Montreal Chicken Seasoning
2 eggs
cooking oil (I use Canola)

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Add a layer of cooking oil to a large pan.  Allow oil to warm up to low/med temperature.

Lightly beat 2 eggs in a shallow dish.  In another shallow dish, combine garlic powder, McCormick’s seasoning, bread crumbs, and parmesan cheese.

Dip chicken in egg and coat with bread crumb mixture.  Place in oil.  Cook until bottom is a crisp, golden brown and then turn over to cook through.  I first tried to use a pair of tongs to turn the chicken but all the breading came off.  I switched to a slotted spoon which worked great!

Once the chicken is cooked through, place on a dish layered with paper towels or napkins to soak up the oil.  Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!

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I made enough to freeze so I could pop them in the microwave for an easy lunch option for the kids. 

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A much healthier alternative to store bought, frozen, “made with rib meat” chicken nuggets!

Linking up with:
http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/
http://somedaycrafts.blogspot.com/
http://www.theshabbycreekcottage.com/
http://www.atthepicketfence.com/
http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/
http://tatertotsandjello.blogspot.com
http://savvysouthernstyle.blogspot.com
http://www.houseofhepworths.com/
http://www.tipjunkie.com/
http://www.notjustahousewife.net/
http://shabbynest.blogspot.com/
http://sixsistersstuff.blogspot.com/
http
://lollyjaneboutique.blogspot.com
http://lilluna.com/
http://www.somewhatsimple.com/
http://craftionary.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Snow!

Mother Nature was making a liar out of me.  We kept telling our southern born kids how much fun it was going to be to move to the Midwest in the middle of winter because they would get to play in the snow, go sledding ,etc.  Well, those plans changed when Mother Nature decided to give us a fabulously warm winter!  No complaints here!   

We got a small glimpse of a normal winter when it snowed a few inches the other day.  We had to bust out the full gear and they had a great time with Papa in the snow.  Even the big guy in the back was having a ball!

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The temps were back in the 50’s the next day, so it was gone in a hurry.  We got to see snow…now we are ready for spring!

Monday, February 13, 2012

“Super” Valentines

I made “Superhero Valentines” for Drew to take to preschool this year.  I found the idea via Pinterest (originally pinned from Family Fun Magazine). 

“Super” cute & “Super” easy!

You can download the free template here.

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Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Weekend Plans

Our weekend plans involve some of our favorite people…

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Four kids (ages 4 and under) is cause for lots of chaos and lots of fun - which includes showering in our gigantic new shower! 

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Hope you are having a great weekend too!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Homemade Toddler Body Wash

I was getting sick of buying fruity shampoo/body wash for my toddlers.  At ages 3 and 4, they are too old for “baby” wash and the alternatives seem to be weird smelling fruity wash or $10 organic wash (which I refuse to pay).

The kid’s bottle of body wash was just about empty, so I did some poking around online and found that I could make my own (for cheap), which I did.  We have been using it for a few weeks and I have been super pleased!

Ingredients:  Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap, Water, Empty Container

I found the Castile Bar Soap (peppermint) at Trader Joe’s for $3.29. Apparently this soap has been around for many years and people swear by it.  I also read that many people find relief from eczema and is great for people with sensitive skin. My daughter tends have more sensitive skin than the rest of us, so this is a great alternative for her.

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Recipe: 6 parts water to 1 part soap

1.  Boil water and remove from heat
2.  Grate soap
3.  Add soap to water and stir until incorporated together
4.  Let cool
5.  Transfer to soap dispenser (we reused our old body wash container)

My experience: 
I grated 1/2 the bar of soap with a cheap cheese grater and added it to the pan with a few cups of boiling water (I was not precise with my measuring 6 to 1)!  I continued to add more water and boiled it as needed because the consistency gets very thick once it is cooled.  I wanted mine to be the consistency of regular body wash. 

*Sorry I do not have a precise amount of water, but this was my first time, and trial and error seemed to work for me :)

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I was able to fill a 16 oz.bottle and fill the container next to it using 1/2 bar of soap for less than $2.00!  Tip:  I used a small funnel to transfer the soap into the old body wash bottle.

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The body wash has also turned into their shampoo because I like the convenience factor of the all- in-one.  I read online that many people, including adults, use this for an all in one shampoo and soap. 
I shake the bottle before squirting into my hand and rub together to lather it up.  I have not had any issues with using it as a shampoo.  You do have to be careful about avoiding your child’s eyes as it is not “tear free”. 

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Please share with me your homemade body wash recipes and let me know how they work for you!  I think I am going to try homemade detangler next, so stay tuned!

Linking to
:http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/
http://www.makingtheworldcuter.blogspot.com/
http://somedaycrafts.blogspot.com/
http://www.theshabbycreekcottage.com/
http://www.atthepicketfence.com/
http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/
http://tatertotsandjello.blogspot.com
http://savvysouthernstyle.blogspot.com
http://www.houseofhepworths.com/
http://www.tipjunkie.com/
http://www.notjustahousewife.net/
http://shabbynest.blogspot.com/
http://sixsistersstuff.blogspot.com/
http://lollyjaneboutique.blogspot.com
http://lilluna.com/

http://www.somewhatsimple.com/
http://craftionary.blogspot.com/

Monday, February 6, 2012

White Chicken Enchiladas

I think everyone I follow on Pinterest has “pinned” these white chicken enchiladas.  My sister and I both made these last week and they did not disappoint!  I would definitely try these if you are looking for a new and easy recipe! 

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I used cut pieces of chicken and next time I think I will try them with shredded.

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You can find the recipe over at http://joyful-mommas-kitchen.blogspot.com/2011/09/white-chicken-enchiladas.html.

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