Friday, February 20, 2015

Snow Day 2015

Monday morning school was called off because of impending inclement weather. Seeing as the snow hadn't arrived yet, I headed to work to get a few things done. After a quick workday and meeting up with a friend for lunch I headed to pick up the boys. We headed home and anxiously awaited the arrival of the SNOW! As you can see, they were ready! When the snow began to fall I had two super excited boys on my hands.

For dinner we had the most delicious potato soup, which was perfect for the cold evening.

On Tuesday we woke up to a winter wonderland! Elijah had hardly woken up before he was begging to go outside to play in the snow! Seeing as I wasn't quite ready to face the freezing temperatures, we made "snow" they could play with indoors. I used baking soda and hair conditioner. I know this sounds absurd but it really is the coolest thing! The boys were engaged for an hour playing with their "snow"! An hour people...that is nearly an eternity in boy time!

After I held them off as long as possible, we bundled up and went outside to enjoy the snow. I'm pretty sure we spent longer getting dressed to go outside than we actually spent outside! Elijah loved the snow but Griffin wasn't a fan. He preferred sitting in sled and observing. 

When Griffin assured us that he was DONE with the snow we headed inside for lunch and his nap. 

Later that day, we decided to brave the cold once again to go sledding next door at my sister's house. Elijah loved every second of it and announced that it was "the best day EVER!" Again, Griffin much preferred being a spectator. 

  Griffin taking it all in...
 My niece, Kyleigh Kate, "racing" Elijah.
 Elijah had a blast!

 Silly boy!
 My sister, Katie, trying to get Griffin excited about the snow...
2nd attempt wasn't a success either!

We ended the day by enjoying pizza with some of the family and early bedtimes. I am so thankful to be able to be home on snow days with my boys and make memories that will last forever!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Living Room Makeover

Prior to Brian and I building our house, I had never decorated my own space before. When the decorating process began I wanted to paint the walls a color...I didn't want white walls everywhere! Soooo I chose a really bright green which I loved at the time! Looking back at this before picture I'm not exactly sure what I was thinking! Haha! 

Fast forward six years and we decided it was time for a change. I decided to go with Revere Pewter from Benjamin Moore. I'm obsessed with this color! It is the perfect neutral color. The first item we purchased for our living room makeover was these beautiful Nautica cabana striped curtains. My friend, Sara, recommended them for our living room and I LOVE them! 

My next mission was to find the perfect chair and end table for one of the corners in my living room. I search for what seemed like forever before finding the chair I couldn't live without at T.J. Maxx. Isn't this chair perfect? I actually found more than just the perfect chair during my trip to T.J. Maxx. I found the chair, pillow, end table, lamp and the letter "L" for our last name. All of which I just had to have and with their great prices I couldn't pass it up. Haha!

Once the sectional we order was delivered the room was complete! My mom gave me these fabulous pillows as a Christmas gift and they were perfect for the color scheme I was going for. I created a photo gallery above the couch with IKEA photo ledges and another DIY canvas of our latest family photo. 

I love love love how it turned out! And just because I love before and after pictures here is a side by side comparison! 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Breakfast

Unfortunately, my hubby had to work this morning so I planned to make the boys a fun Valentine's Day breakfast. Cinnamon rolls are their favorite but I rarely make them since we are striving to make healthier choices.

I found this tutorial and got busy!

 I chose the Cinnabon edition of Pillsbury's cinnamon rolls because who doesn't like Cinnabon?

Begin by separating the preformed cinnamon rolls and locate the center of the roll where the spiral begins. Seeing as the cinnamon rolls aren't cut all the way through, you will need to take a knife and cut the spiral in order to form the heart shape. 

 Next, unroll the cinnamon roll into a straight-ish line.

Hold both ends and roll them towards the center.

To form the point, simply pinch together the middle. 

Place the adorable hearts into a 9in. round baking pan with the point towards the middle and bake according to the package directions. 

When finished baking, spread the yummy icing over the cinnamon sure to put the most on the one you will be eating! Can you tell which one is mine?? Haha!

Ta-da! Look how adorable they are! They are just as yummy as they are cute! 

Happy Valentine's Day! Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

DIY Canvas Pictures

Due to the fact that I have an amazingly talented photographer that just happens to be my cousin, I have a house full of beautiful photos hanging on our walls CDs with beautiful pictures. I made it my mission to finally print our latest family portraits and display them throughout our home. I was in love with the idea of canvases rather than framed pictures but canvases are super costly and that just doesn't work for my teacher budget. Rather than giving up my desire for canvases, I turned to Pinterest for a DIY version.

I found several tutorials but ultimately decided on this tutorial. I like the way that it created the canvas texture on each photograph. I printed 16x20 prints at SAMs club for around $5 each. I picked up all other necessary supplies at Michaels. 

I put the boys down for their nap and got to work! I was able to complete all five canvases during their nap! I let the canvases dry for the remaining afternoon and was able to hang them up after the boys went to bed for the evening. I LOVE how they turned out! This was a super easy project and I definitely plan to convert several other framed prints from around my house into beautiful canvases. 

This project was so easy that I decided it would be the perfect gift for my students to give to their parents for a Christmas gift. With the help of my fabulous coworkers, we were able to turn 67 student portraits into beautiful canvases. The kiddos were so proud and I'm sure the parents loved having a present they could keep out year-round!

If you haven't tried a DIY canvas project, I highly recommend trying it! It's super easy and so much cheaper than purchases canvas prints. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Easy Meal Prep for a Busy Mom

Thanks to my personal trainer brother, Taylor, I have discovered the importance of meal prep. I am in the process of making a lifestyle change when it comes to food and meal prep is the key to my success!

Meal prep makes my life so much easier! I prepare food every Sunday for the following week. I make my breakfast and lunch for the week. I prepare dinner each night after I get home from work. I knew going into this meal prep adventure that I would need something quick and easy because I wasn't willing to give up the three to four hours people typically spend on meal prep.

Before reading on, it is important for me to mention that I don't mind eating the same thing each day. Actually, eating the same thing keeps me on track! The variety comes into play during dinner and that works for me.

Breakfast is my favorite meal! Before this journey began I rarely ate breakfast which led to me being starving later in the day. My favorite item to make for breakfast is egg muffins. I love these because I can make 12 (or more) at a time and that lasts me all week. My nearly two year old son also loves them. I simply make them on Sunday and store them in the fridge in an air tight container. Each morning I pop two into the microwave for about 30 seconds and I'm good to go.


Turkey sausage
Egg whites
Shredded Cheese
Onion Flakes

I begin by browning turkey sausage. Once done, I divide the turkey sausage evenly between each of the 12 "muffins". Next, I combine 5 whole eggs, about a cup and a half of liquid egg whites, and pepper to taste. I evenly pour the egg mixture into the muffin tin. I also add shredded cheese, a few onion flakes and shredded spinach to each muffin. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Next up is lunch prep. While the egg muffins are baking, I get busy making my lunches for the week. My lunch of choice is turkey burgers and broccoli. These are simple, quick, and delicious. 


1 lb. lean ground turkey
Minced Garlic
Ranch Dressing Seasoning 

Mix the pound on turkey, seven shakes of oregano, seven shakes of minced garlic and the packet of ranch dressing seasoning. Divide the mixture into fourths and form four patties. I use my George Foreman grill and cook all four patties at the same time in about 15 minutes. These are seriously delicious! 

While the turkey burgers are cooking I steam one bag of Steamfresh broccoli and divide the broccoli among my four containers. Voila! Four lunches are complete in about 20 minutes! 

You may be wondering why I only prep four lunches. I do this because I tend to have leftovers from at least one dinner. I use those leftovers for lunch on the following day. Along with breakfast and lunch, I pack a few healthy snacks for between meals such as an apple, orange, and nuts. 

All in all my weekly meal prep takes about 45 minutes, including clean up! I can give up 45 minutes of my Sunday to ensure that I make healthy choices throughout the week. If you haven't tried meal prep, I would highly recommend it! If you already meal prep, what are your favorite meals?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is AMAZING!

I have recently discovered the amazing Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! If you haven't heard of this miraculous creation, head over to Pinterest for a plethora of ideas. It is the perfect paint because it doesn't require sanding or priming. It is also super forgiving and easy to work with. 

I haven't been a fan of our builder grade bathroom cabinets for a while! Scouring Pinterest in hopes of finding a solution, I came across Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! My first project was my guest bathroom. I chose the color Duck Egg Blue and I LOVE the way it turned out! Obviously, I need to decorate the remaining portion of the bathroom but I'm too impatient to wait for the finished product before taking the "after" picture! 

Warning: Once you discover how simple painting with this chalk paint is, you will want to paint everything in your house! 

My next project was the master bathroom. This project was a bit more ambitious considering it consisted of two vanities, bathtub frame and tall towel cabinet. For this project I chose the color French Linen. This color is a great compliment to our bedroom wall color. I absolutely love this color! I have recently purchase rugs and will post an official "after" picture soon!

My next project is the laundry room cabinets! Now to decide on the color...What color would you suggest?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Classroom Management at Home? Yes, Please!

It's official! I'm the worst blogger ever! One of my New Year's Resolutions was to be more consistent with blogging and well, it is now February 2nd and I'm ready to make that happen!

Elijah, my four year old son, is finding it hard to turn is listening ears on and his whining off! Seeing as I am a third grade teacher, I decided to put my classroom management skills to work! I mean, if a behavior chart can help 20 students follow directions then surely it can work miracles for one child! Right?!?

I decided to introduce the clip chart behavior system. This little system has been such a blessing in the classroom and I am so excited to use it with Elijah. I sat down with Elijah to discuss what our family rules should be. I began calling this "Elijah's Rules" but decided that family rules would be a better fit seeing as these are rules that apply to our whole family and will soon work for our nearly two year old, Griffin.

Elijah will start each day on "Good Job." We will mark where he is on the chart with a clothes pin (soon to be added). I will have in decorate the clothes pin to help increase his ownership of this little chart. One little trick I've learned in my seven years of teaching is that when they feel a part of the new system they are more likely to follow it willingly!

As the day progresses, Elijah will have the opportunity to move up or down the chart depending on his behavior. I LOVE this part of the clip chart system! Even if he moves down the chart, he has the opportunity to improve his behavior and move back up. This is helpful because occasionally students who move down give up and continue to act out. Having the opportunity to move back up gives them motivation to reflect on their behavior and make improvements.

At the end of each day we will discuss where he is on the chart. I have purchased small sticker jewels that we will add to his clothes pin each day he ends the day on "Great Job." My plan is to take him to the Dollar Tree and Target Dollar Spot to pick out a few small prizes. Once his clip is full of jewels he will be able to choose a prize from his prize box that is filled with toys he selected. Exciting, right?

Click Here to download your own copy of this behavior chart. If you would like to have different rules or consequences feel free to let me know and I can email you the version of your choice!