Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Meals By the Week Review


Do you have the bewitching hour at your home?  You know - the time when everyone is hungry, tempers are short, emotions are high, there are a million things to do and you are scrambling to find something to eat!  It's crazy here!  And I am always trying to figure out "What's for dinner."

For the past month, I've been reviewing Meals by the Week - a site that helps families.  You can input a local favorite grocery store and the site will plan menus for the week around what is on sale at that store.  Genius.  It saves time AND money.  

In the past month, we've enjoyed French Dip Sandwiches, Baked Chicken, Salmon, and more.  My kids have been pretty pleased with what has been served, it has all been very easy to put together, and the site is so easy to use!

Meals by the Week has offered you 50% off a 13 week subscription!  The code is
          
50DealMO568

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Little Happy


Before: scuffed old chair sitting in our "Goodwill Pile."  


After: a shiny coat of teal spray paint.  Makes me happy just looking at it!




That's all.

Link parties I participate in: 30 Handmade,  A bowl full of lemons, Be Different Act Normal,  Craft-O-Maniac, I Heart Naptime,  Lolly Jane Boutique, Ninth Street Notions,  Oopsey DaisyPositively Splendid,  Serenity Now, Sew ChattySkip to my Lou, Someday Crafts, Tatertots and Jello, Thrifty Decor Chick, Tidy MomToday's Creative Blog, We Like to Learn as We go

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Healthy Butter


Is it an oxymoron to title this "healthy butter?"  That is the title of the recipe my grandmother-in-law gave me, so that is what we call it.
Anyways, we have been making this for years.  This is our version of spreadable butter.  Simply mix 1 pound of butter with 1 cup of olive oil. I soften the butter and then beat the two in my stand mixer, pour it in a bowl and refrigerate. MUCH healthier than margarine or butter-like substance!  When you use this, you cut down on your butter intake and increase all the health benefits that come from olive oil.  Yeah!  I never use this to bake with, though.  I'm not sure how it would work.

Enjoy

Link parties I participate in: 30 Handmade,  A bowl full of lemons, Be Different Act Normal,  Craft-O-Maniac, I Heart Naptime,  Lolly Jane Boutique, Ninth Street Notions,  Oopsey DaisyPositively Splendid,  Serenity Now, Sew ChattySkip to my Lou, Someday Crafts, Tatertots and Jello, Thrifty Decor Chick, Tidy MomToday's Creative Blog, We Like to Learn as We Go

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Life of a Stay At Home Mom





This post is part of a series I did about a year ago about being a Stay at Home mom.  I am re-posting it today.

I have been a stay at home mom since my oldest was born, about 10 years ago.  I graduated college with a degree in elementary education and taught kindergarten and first grade for several years before I started having babies.  I loved teaching - I still do.  AND, I think I was pretty good at it!  BUT, the whole time I was teaching, I just wanted to be on the mommy side!  That is where my heart is! 

Biggest reward of being a SAHM?
You know when your child is trying something new and they get it?  There is a split second when they glance at you to see if you are watching.  Catching those glances is a huge reward!  Sometimes, when I am downstairs making breakfast in the kitchen, I can hear footsteps coming down the stairs.  Knowing exactly which child that is without seeing them is a reward.  I'm not sure I can label the biggest reward!  Simply put, it's knowing who my child is and being able to be with them!


Biggest reward for you or your family having you as a SAHM?
I think the biggest reward is the security and confidence it gives my children. They know I am around and have chosen to be with them over anything else!  They know I used to teach school and gave it up to be with them!  They also know that there is no other place I'd rather be.  How reassuring would that be to know there is someone out there who loves you so much that she didn't want to miss part of your life?!


Do you work from home now or have a side business or craft?
I do - I teach about 12 piano students a week out of my home.  My students know, however, that I am a mommy first and will most likely be holding a child, or answering their questions during the lesson.  I have been teaching piano for about 12 years and my children don't really know any different.  They usually just play during the lessons.
 What do you miss about not working, if at all? 
I miss the students!  I still have several that I receive Christmas cards from!

Was it a hard decision to leave the working world or was it the obvious choice all along?
For our family, it was kind of a given that I would stay home.  My husband and I had several walks before we were even married where we talked about our future.  It has always been part of my plan.  There have been many sacrifices made in order for us to do this.  I'm blessed with a hard working husband who has a fantastic job, but there are still monetary cuts that we have to make and that we choose to make.
 
One of my favorite quotes from Harold B. Lee says "Today I feel that women are becoming victims of the speed of modern living. It is in building their motherly intuition and that marvelous closeness with their children that they are enabled to tune in upon the wavelengths of their children and to pick up the first signs of difficulty, of danger and distress, which if caught in time would save them from disaster. To the sisters, this means they must make a career of motherhood. They must let nothing supersede that career!I do feel that there is a difference between just being at home with your children and making  a career of motherhood!  I know our family has been blessed in countless ways from our choice to stay at home!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Oldrids & Downtown

With all my kids home, shopping has been less than appealing this summer.  I get tired just thinking of taking them all to go look at something that would hardly keep their attention - and then you know what happens when they get bored!  So, I have turned to online shopping.  Window shopping is much more fun in the comfort of my home while my kids are happily building Legos.
Sometimes online stores jump out at me and I think they are pretty awesome.  Such as Oldrids & Downtown.  They really have everything.  Such as women's fashion and beauty products:
source

or Home ware:
source
They even have a fabulous history:
In 1804, Mr. John Oldrid and Mr. Richard Hyde formed a partnership and opened a shop trading as John Oldrid & Co. in Boston. They were a draper, mercer, hosier, haberdasher, and funeral director. By 1812 the pair had established a wholesale business supplying many of the small shops in the surrounding villages.
via

Any other stay at home shoppers out there?




Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back 2 School Cash Giveaway!!

To celebrate back to school time, several other bloggers and myself have teamed up to offer you this Back to School Cash Giveaway, and one reader will win a BIG prize: $160 in PayPal cash or Amazon gift card! Brought to you by these wonderful bloggers who love their readers: Inspired By Family Magazine, Tutus and Tea Parties, Ducks in a Row, Narrow Paths to High Places, To the Moon and Back, Project Queen, Rae Gun Ramblings, Life with Lovebugs, 1929 Charmer, Blessed Beyond a Doubt, Love Play Learn, French Press, Smiling Like Sunshine, Cheap Crafty Momma, Covered in Grace, Lessons Learnt Journal, Teach Beside Me, Mrs. Hines Class, Junk in their Trunk, Playdough to Plato and Boy Mama Teacher Mama! We are so excited to bless someone with this wonderful Cash Giveaway, we appreciate you and every second you spend here and every sweet note you have left us. Also, make sure you stop by Inspired by Family for the Back to School Series, featuring some of the lovely bloggers mentioned above that will be covering lots of great topics, recipes and crafts! Are you ready to win? To submit your entry to win, use the rafflecopter form below. There are many blogs you can "like" or follow to gain entries, and you can take your time doing it. Have fun! Basically, this is the process but you can find the Official Rules here :
    • All mandatory entries will be verified so make sure you do the mandatory entries first using Rafflecopter.
    • It's open to everyone (not minors) and one winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive $160 in PayPal cash or Amazon giftcard.
    • The winner’s name will be displayed on this post after the giveaway ends.
a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Back To School To Dos


Around here, my kids have been back to school already for a week!  We go back crazy early, but I love it.  It is worth it for the two weeks off we get in October.This year, my oldest is in 5th, G is in 2nd, and M. is starting pre-school.  We've done the back to school thing for several years now and I've finally figured out some things that we do that make everything go a lot easier.  It is all about routines!  Here is my Back To School To Do List:
  1. Start going to bed at a decent hour - even mom and dad!
  2. Schedule all dentist cleanings, doctor appointments and even hair cuts to happen right before they go back.
  3. Get everything ready and stocked for lunches and snacks.  More information here.





  4. 4.  Get our school file boxes ready for another year - more information here.


    5.  Create a homework station that has all the supplies they will need.  More information on ours coming soon!  It's almost finished, I'm just working on the chair.

     6.  Create a landing zone - or somewhere for all the shoes, backpacks, lunch boxes, jackets, etc. to go.  More information to come!



    7.  We go out to breakfast on our last day of summer.  With all of our family's food restrictions, we usually go get smoothies.


    8.  We set aside a Monday night to talk about the upcoming year, our goals, and what we want to accomplish.  These printables on Positively Splendid are a pretty cute way to document that I'm planning on implementing this year!



7.

With all that done, the beginning of the school year will be a smooth start!  What do you have to do before school starts?
Oh - we also spend a ton of money trying to buy school supplies and registering!  I'm teaming up with other bloggers to offer you some relief in this - $160!!!  I love you readers - the giveaway is coming!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Firmoo

I wear glasses - driving glasses.  My prescription isn't so strong that I am blind, but bad enough that I need to wear glasses to see the street signs - especially if I am going somewhere I have never been.  The problem with driving glasses, though, is that I would rather wear sunglasses outside.  It is sunny in Denver ALL year round and I always choose to wear sunglasses rather than my eyeglasses.

BUT - I could always wear prescpription sunglasses.  That would solve the problem.  Enter Firmoo.  They are the world's most popular online eyeglasses store.  It was as simple as calling my doctor and getting a prescription and then filling out the forms.  Next thing I knew, the glasses were mine.


Plus, the fact that it they are prescription keeps my kids hands off them!

Firmoo launched a program offering free eyeware to first-time buyers in order to make more people try Firmoo's quality products and excellent service.  It's easy to get your free eyewear, and the delivery is pretty fast.  If you are interested, go to http://www.firmoo.com/free-glasses.html to get your FREE Pair!



I was compensated for this post - but not for my opinions.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Grateful Sunday


How fun are the Olympics?  They were on every day at our home and my kids were old enough this year to actually enjoy it!  I am grateful for that.

I have a huge giveaway (how does $160 cash sound) that I am taking part in.  Look for it this week!  I'm very excited!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Organizing Therapy


I have a controlling personality - there, I said it.  When things get slightly out of control, I can kind of get moody.  Things - like having a new baby, having my husband work 18 hour days, having four kids home for the summer without a lot to do.  You know, my life lately.  After so much, I feel the need to control something - so I start organizing.


We've had birthdays, baby showers, holidays - and all of our gift wrapping supplies just got thrown into a box.  And one day, I had had enough.  The box is overflowing and I could tackle this.  And I'll use what I have at home.


All this was crammed into a little box!  I sorted it first.


And threw away a whole bunch and got a bigger box.  And now, it looks like this:


Ah . . . I can breathe.  I know when most people get overwhelmed they do other things - get out of the house, go exercise, go get a pedicure, hire a baby sitter.  Me, on the other hand, I organize.

What do you do?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Four Months


With every baby, it seems impossible that I could have any more room in my heart to love.   I'm so completely in love with this chub-o!  He loves his mommy.


He smiles willingly and laughs easily.  I get a great big gummy smile when he hears my voice.  


How is it possible that I could have another member of The Worlds Cutest Babies Club?  I've got four members out of four babies - rocking a perfect record over here!


Life is beautiful.




PS - the winners of The Magic Warble are MegJill for the hard copy and Jennifer (whose email address I could not find).  Please email me at laurelmacd@gmail.com

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Camp Mom Week 4

After we got back from camping,  our Camp Mom became a little less regimented.  Plus, I didn't take nearly as many pictures.  So, this is just an idea of  some of the activities we've done this past week or so.

Slip and Slide


Arts and Crafts - this was part of a Kiwi Crate.  We have had SO much fun with these and we love them.  I have seen their reviews all over and we decided to try it out.  Love them!  (sleeping uncle in the back does not come with the kit).


What's Cooking - blueberry pancakes! She even made them gluten free and egg free so little M. could eat them.


smoothies - we make them almost every day in our home.  It is about time G learn to make them himself!


Spy Game - I saw this idea somewhere and we had a good time.  I strung yarn and we pretended they were lasers.  I was evil Dr. Mom with plans to destroy the toy room and they were spy kids trying to steal my plans.  We played this for several hours!


Secret agent Baby J.


Friday Field Trips have included bowling, a trip to the Rec Center, and a morning run to Krispy Kreme.

School starts next week.  I think we did it - we filled up these summer days with things to do and made it very memorable for these kiddos!

Link parties I participate in: 30 Handmade,  A bowl full of lemons, Be Different Act Normal,  Craft-O-Maniac, I Heart Naptime,  Lolly Jane Boutique, Ninth Street Notions,  Oopsey DaisyPositively Splendid,  Serenity Now, Sew ChattySkip to my Lou, Someday Crafts, Tatertots and Jello, Thrifty Decor Chick, Tidy MomToday's Creative Blog

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