Winter Checklist Update #6

What are your favorite holiday flavors? For most “seasonal” flavors throughout the rest of the year, I could really enjoy those flavors at any time. However, there is just something about the flavors of the holidays….I really don’t want them except for during the holidays. Those flavors are peppermint and egg nog. Sure, I might have peppermint flavored foods at different times of the year but it’s during the holidays when I really crave that flavor. And since you can’t find egg nog except during the holidays, I try to drink as much as possible. Within reason, of course. 🙂

IMG_4275

The list thus far:

Advertisements

Cookies for Dinner

I was recently sent a copy of Holly Nichole Zarcone’s book, Cookies for Dinner, to read and review. This is such a lovely book for storytime with young children. The story really resonated with me, as well. And, I’m certain, that it will resonate with many other moms, too!

The mom in this story is a mom who is feeling overwhelmed by all of the stuff that she has to get done in her life. What mom doesn’t know what that feels like? And when she takes a moment to take a step back, she remembers that sometimes it’s the little things in life that are the most important. The laundry can wait. The dishes will still be in the sink. But, sometimes the little things, like having cookies for dinner, are the things that mean the most to our kids. Those are the things that we need to hold in our hearts because those are the things that are kids will remember.

Not only is the story lovely, there is a recipe for chocolate chip cookies at the end of the book. And after reading the book, my girls and I made cookies…..and we did in fact have cookies for dinner!

IMG_5088

What have you done recently to celebrate the simple joys in life? Although we can’t do it every night…..I’m thinking we might need to add cookies for dinner into our meal rotation. 🙂

Mama Loves Organizing!

I really love organizing. I really do. And I love organizational containers. !!!!!! I love finding new ways to organize what I’ve already organized. Oh man. It makes me so happy.

I want to show off some of the new organization in the living room. We have lots of Legos. Lots and lots of Legos. Each girl got at least two new Lego sets for Christmas. It’s great because I love Legos and Ryan loves Legos and we both love that our girls love Legos. But, especially now that big girl has shown more interest in following the directions in the different sets, we needed a new solution instead of the one large box that just held every piece. That led to big girl literally digging through the box. Legos would fly everywhere. I would find them all over the floor….carpet….everywhere. My fear was that I was going to vacuum up one of the pieces and then we would discover that it was an essential piece to whatever the girls wanted to build.

So……I found some containers at Target and the girls and I began the great Lego-organization-of-2018.

IMG_4753

Look at that! So beautiful! So organized! So color-coded!

Not only is it lovely to look at, but it’s already making it easier for the girls to build what they want. They can easily and quickly find the piece(s) that they are looking for.

Do you love organizing as much as I do? What are your favorite organizing hints? Do you have a favorite organizing container?

Winter Checklist Update #5

One of our favorite investments that we made when we bought our house in the suburbs was purchasing a family pass to Brookfield Zoo. We realized that if we went to the zoo for the Halloween activities, for the Christmas lights, and for the New Year’s Eve countdown, it just made financial sense to buy a pass. We don’t have to pay for parking and after just a few trips to the zoo during the year we’ve actually broken even on our investment. Plus, I like that we don’t have to make a whole day trip to the zoo if we don’t want to. There are many times during the summer when the girls and I might just pop over to the zoo for an hour or two and then head back home. If we don’t see everything, it’s ok. We can come back and check it out.

The New Year’s Eve countdown is great for kiddos. It’s at 8:00pm which is late enough for my girls to feel like they are actually staying up late. But when we get home, it’s not super late.

IMG_4714

It was really really really cold so we didn’t walk around and look at the lights too much but that was quite ok since we went to Holiday Magic earlier in the season. We were able to take a couple quick pictures before heading to the car….which we did very quickly because baby girl does NOT like being cold….she has inherited her mommy’s tolerance (or rather, intolerance) for cold…..

The list thus far:

New Year, New Goals

I’ve never really like the idea of a New Year’s Resolution. The word resolution just sounds so, well, resolute. Set in stone. And if you slip once or twice….it’s a failure, right? Well, knowing that I won’t stick to resolutions without feeling like a failure…I choose to make goals. Goals that I know will make a better year. Goals that I know I will be able to accomplish. And goals that I know that I won’t always stick to, and that’s ok because it’s the end result that’s most important.

My goals for 2018:

  • Try to stick to my training as much as possible. Yes, Princess Challenge weekend is slowly getting closer and closer. But, I also want to be sure that I keep my training going so that I’m ready for any spring races as well. Maybe this is the year that I finally do the Shamrock Shuffle. …
  • Read more. Finish reading the ever-growing pile of books. Buy more books. Actually read those books. And then….buy more books.
  • Be more organized at dinner time. I want to actually use our crock pot this year so that my go-to meal for the kids isn’t “snack tray”, leftovers, or soup. Although those meals are fine, I need something else.
  • Try not to read the comments. This one is pretty self-explanatory. I think everyone would be happier if they just read the post/article/whatever and then had a real conversation with a real person….face to face.
  • Drink more water. Drink more and more water. I’ve made it a goal to fill up my Camelbak every morning and then I have to drink all of it before I can have anything else. My hope is that this will do a lot to start my day hydrated and might help to control some of my headaches. We shall see…..
  • IMG_5030

    Drink More Water!

    What are your goals for 2018? How do you keep yourself on track and accountable to yourself?

Winter Checklist Update #4

Before we had children, we would drive down to spend Christmas Eve with my side of the family, then on Christmas Day we would get up and drive to spend Christmas night and then next day with Ryan’s side of the family. We knew that when we had children, that that tradition would need to change. Now, we travel to my side of the family the weekend before Christmas and we travel up to Wisconsin after Christmas.

So, we have now gone to Mimi and Pa’s house…..

And Granny and Pa’s house…..

Christmas Eve, we make cookies (or, this year, make a gingerbread house), go to Christmas Eve Mass, drive around and look at Christmas decorations, then come home. Christmas Day, we spend in our jammies, watch Christmas specials, and eat breakfast casserole. The girls have all day to play with toys and we can all relax. Our Christmas traveling allows us to see family for Christmas and also allows us to be home for Christmas.

The list thus far:

Winter Checklist Update #3

Traditionally, on past Christmas Eve’s, the girls and I have made cookies on Christmas Eve to leave out for Santa (and for us to eat since Santa doesn’t really need two dozen cookies). I usually just buy some cookie dough and we use the sprinkles that I already have on hand to decorate the cookies. This year, however, we changed it up a bit.

When I went to the Wilton Outlet Sale (seriously…check this sale out if you are able), I picked up a gingerbread house kit. I thought that this would be a fun project for the girls and I to conquer during our Christmas break. (The first time that I attempted a gingerbread house on my own, the walls were held up with cans of soup on the inside of the house……)

Was it the prettiest gingerbread house ever built? Um. Of course not. But, we had a lot of fun putting it together and adding our own touches (so many marshmallows!!!!). And, it was actually really easy to put together so a great project to do with kiddos.

It’s not our typical “making cookies” adventure. But, it was fun and then we got to eat it.

Bonus: the house stayed up until we tore it apart to eat it! That’s a victory right there. 🙂

The list thus far: