Thursday, August 28, 2014

Back to School Teacher Gifts

We just got home from Open House at the boys' Mother's Day Out. I was so excited to meet their teachers but am more excited at the thought of having both boys in school Tuesdays and Thursdays. Oh what will I do with all that time {hopefully not just watch Housewives!}??

We love their school and wanted to do something special for their teachers and staff. I was ecstatic to find some cute coffee tumblers on the dollar aisle at Target, so I snatched them up and got my creative juices flowing {they've been a little stagnant lately}. I love me some printables and a good play on words. How fun is "Let's java great year!" Here's hoping the boys' teachers like them!

Not sending kiddos to school? Maybe you're a teacher or director at a school. How fun would it be to set up a coffee bar for all your staff or volunteers with this printable? It's even fun at home as a friendly reminder to kick off the new school year!

Just download the "Let's Java Great Year!" tags or the "Let's Java Great Year!" printable. Enjoy and print for the special people in your life. Here's hoping all you mamas with kiddos at school are off to a great year!

**If interested in other colors, just comment below, and I'm happy to oblige!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pinspired: The Easiest App Ever

In need of a quick and easy, last minute appetizer I took to Pinterest and found this gem. Not only did I already have all the ingredients on hand {grocery store + my wild men is not a good combo these days}, it was warm and bubbly within minutes and ready to be served with some vino. A little pinspiration proved quite successful for a last minute happy hour. Enjoy!

6 ounces goat cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons of dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 teaspoons olive oil
pita chips, baguette or crackers

Mix cheese, thyme and pepper flakes in small greased oven proof dish.
Bake at 325 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbling.
Drizzle olive oil over cheese.
Serve with pita chips or your favorite dipper.

I was skeptical, but it's as tasty as it's easy!

So what's your favorite, easy go-to appetizer??

Monday, August 25, 2014

Scenes from the weekend...

Can you believe this is the last week of summer?? How is it possibly already Labor Day weekend?? The boys start school next week, and if I'm being honest, I'm ready {more than ready!}. But this weekend was spent soaking up the last little bit of summer. 

B headed to Jackson Friday for one last practice with the band before the wedding in a few weeks. Enjoyed some time with my little men mostly playing outside. Can I just say how thankful I am for a big backyard?? Hours upon hours of endless entertainment outdoors for those two. Also, new favorite drink is lemonade, lime La Croix and fresh basil {and a little something something would be fabulous in it as well!}.

B made it home Saturday night so we were all about a Sunday funday with our little family. Church, lunch out at a new restaurant {tater tot nachos are dangerous!} and G's "caught you being kind" reward. He earned ten more balls and thankfully we were able to talk up ice cream instead of another visit to Chuck E. Cheese!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I get to...

The other day I was having one of those days. You know the kind. The kind where at 3:00 in the afternoon I had still not showered, was wearing workout clothes but had not actually worked out and was schlepping the boys in the car to quickly get to swim lessons. G and J then proceeded to play their new favorite game of who can scream the loudest the entire drive there {they think they are hilarious}. As we arrived late and frantic I began the schlepping process again of throwing everything in the pool bag, popping the stroller out and managing to get both boys up to the pool in once piece. Not going to lie, the negative thoughts started flooding my head. "I can't believe I have to this everyday." I won't share the other ones, but let's just say they quickly got real ugly folks. We're talking the "I have to do everything" type thoughts, which are dangerous.

I was quickly put in my place and convicted though as the child whose lesson was after G's pulled up with her grandmother. They started walking up when another car pulled in and a well-dressed, beautifully put together woman got out and started running up to the pool. The little girl turned and squealed with delight, "Mommy! Mommy!" to which the woman equally squealed with pure joy, "I'm here! I'm here! I get to watch you today!"

Oh man. Tears almost started rolling down my face immediately. Here was this obviously working mother who managed to break away from the office and find room in her schedule to come and watch her daughter's ten minute swim lesson. And she could not have been more excited. Sure I was jealous of the fact she appeared showered, was wearing a nice dress and probably had enjoyed lots of adult conversation that day, but she was probably envious of me that I was able to be at swim lessons each day. Now don't get me wrong, I know the grass is always greener on the other side and we all have different perspectives, but she reminded me of what a gift I have been given being able to stay home with my boys. Sure there are hard days. Monotonous days. Crazy days. But they are days with my babies who are all too quickly becoming little men. It hit me, how much easier {and joy-filled} my days would be if I approached them with more of a "I get to" attitude instead of a "I have to" attitude.

So here's hoping "I get to. I get to." is going through my head today as I face each and every tantrum, diaper change, celebration, timeout, hug, snuggle and cuddle with my crazy crew.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Scenes from the weekend...

Happy Monday friends! Here's hoping you all enjoyed a lovely weekend. My boys and I had some mother son bonding time this weekend while B hung with his friends at the lake for their fantasy football draft. Oh if I could just think of something that would require all my girlfriends and me to check out for an entire weekend... We spent the first part of the weekend wrapping up our summer colds and wiping noses. Not ashamed to admit Friday night I totally threw in the towel and after I got the boys down, curled up on the couch with some pizza, red wine and the Real Housewives. Luckily Saturday was a new day and we ventured out to a birthday party and lunch with friends. Love my boys, but we were more than excited to welcome Dada home Sunday morning. Pancake breakfast on the porch and playing in the rain made for the perfect lazy morning. While the boys napped, I snuck out to celebrate a friend and her precious babe on the way at the sweetest sprinkle. My lovely girl time was cut short though as I had to run home to pick up my boys for our Chuck E. Cheese date. That's right, G managed to get ten kind balls, so we ventured out to the germ-infested, smelly playland. Let me just say, I've already started talking up going out for ice cream as his next "Caught you being kind!" reward. Fingers crossed that was our last visit to Chuck E. Cheese. We tried to salvage the night with some Mexican, but dining out with my little J-Max is insane! He grabs everything and even pushes the table! We managed to quickly dine and get home to put the boys down, pour a glass of wine and watch the Season 2 House of Cards finale. Whoa {if you're not watching this show, start now!}. Ended up being the perfect end to our weekend.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Caught you being kind!

Let me be the first to say, a parenting expert I certainly am not. However I am a big believer of do whatever works for you and when you find something that works, share the wealth!

Lately my wild man G has been pushing buttons I didn't even know I had. Discipline was becoming a four letter word in our house. The little guy is a little too smart for his own good and nothing was working. Timeout, spanking, taking away toys. They all just brought on laughter from the culprit and frustration from the exhausted parent.

The other day at a friend's house I noticed a glass bowl with balls on her counter. Wondering if I had missed the latest in kitchen decor I asked what it was. She then explained, "Caught you being kind!"

Basically "Caught you being kind!" rewards good behavior instead of focusing on the negative. All you need are some ping pong balls and a big glass bowl.

Anytime you see your little one doing something good, you say, "Caught you being kind!" and they get to put a "kind ball" in the bowl. For G, we have told him he has to get ten balls in his bowl, and then can pick a treat. We told him he could go and pick out a toy or go get a milkshake, anything he wanted. He has requested Chuck E. Cheese {oh yippee!}. But if he does something that is not kind, we take a ball out. 

I have to say I was extremely skeptical if this would work, but it has! It's like he is a completely different kid. He now refers to himself as "Kind George." Don't get me wrong, he still has his moments, but I see a trip to Chuck E. Cheese in our near future.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

We're all a mess.

The other day at my women's bible study the notion of "we're all a mess" came up in the discussion. Some of the girls were sharing how thankful they are that our generation has it so much easier than the generation of women before us who couldn't easily admit {or easily be accepted for admitting} that "we're all a mess."

I had to disagree though {B would respond right now, "surprise, surprise."}. I shared with the group that thanks to social media I think it can sometimes be harder to admit we're all a mess. We look at the highlight reel Instagram provides of adorable children, fabulous vacations and gorgeous home decor. Pinterest shows all the super moms crafting and creating projects and decorations. Even a basic lunch sandwich is turned into something cute and clever.

This hit me today as I glanced at my Insta feed. The last shots are of our amazing weekend celebrating Baby Jude, but what no one is seeing is that right now we are stuck at home with runny noses and cranky spirits. I'm still in my pjs and just made my third cup of coffee which will actually be my first since the other two set cold as I dealt with said runny noses and cranky spirits. Now don't get me wrong, no one wants to follow along the rants and ravings of everyday trials and tribulations, but every now and then it's good to recognize and admit, we're all a mess. I don't care who you are or what life stage you're in, we are all a mess. And quite honestly it's really good to say that out loud and cut ourselves a little slack every now and then. So I thought I'd share why I am a mess {believe me, this is just a sampling!}.

*I often buy fresh flowers to put around the house instead of just cleaning. People tend to notice the blooms instead of the dirt {at least that's what I'm telling myself!}. I'm such a mess!

*I lose my patience with my little men way too easily. I'm such a mess!

*I've been known to go several days without washing my hair {dry shampoo is a lifesaver!}. I'm such a mess!

*I have serious FOMO {fear of missing out}, and it makes even the tiniest decisions impossible. I'm such a mess!

*I snap at my husband way too often for no good reason at all when all he's trying to do is help. I'm such a mess!

*Instead of being productive, I've been known {more often than not} to nap when the boys nap {and I wonder why I can't get anything done!}. I'm such a mess!

*If I had a whole day to myself I would totally just lay on the couch and watch a marathon of the Real Housewives. I'm such a mess!

So tell me, how are you a mess??

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Scenes from the weekend...Jude's Picnic Party

It might be Wednesday, but I feel like I'm just now starting this week. Oh what a weekend! Feeling very grateful as we celebrated my sweet baby Jude turning one, and as with any big celebration, I'm pooped. My fabulous mom {and partner in crime!} came in town to celebrate and help me throw our darling picnic party {as in baking all the desserts until 1:30am the night before!}. With doom and gloom in the forecast we prayed the rain would hold off, and thankfully it did. In turn, it was the hottest day of the year! Drenched in sweat we all still had a ball. We were sad more of our family could not make it in town, but our amazing friends made up for that. Plenty of food, some adult spiked lemonade and a hula hoop contest made for a good party. Jude absolutely loved his cake and got plenty of help from big brother and friends. In true picnic fashion the ants took over! It was just as the clouds started rolling back in, so we packed up our picnic. Luckily a little rain couldn't put a damper on our party, so the adults sat on the porch {sipping lemonade!} and watched the kids play in the rain. It was the perfect party for my sweet baby Jude.

Stay tuned for more pics featuring all the fun picnic goodies we used for the party!