Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Best Christmas Ever? Best Christmas Ever!

This Christmas was more than we could ask for and I'll tell you why. Our family has been growing over the last few years and my parents now have four kids instead of two girls. We have the best parents we could ever ask for who have welcomed our guys into our family and love them almost as much as we do. Having everyone all together made this the best Christmas yet.

We had a Merry little Christmas, if I do say so.
I've never felt so blessed.

Freddy the Elf 2011

To celebrate the Christmas season we had a little friend come and visit our home for the first time. 
His name is Freddy ... Freddy the Elf.

... and they welcomed him into our home with open arms!

Our daycare had their first elf sighting this year ... Enter Freddy. Freddy has kept his eye on us and told Santa all about our good deeds and time outs. He has been a busy guy over the last month and will be on his way home to see Santa soon! The first thing the kids did when they got here was look for Freddy! They wouldn't even have their coats and boots off yet before they were running around looking. 
He has found some pretty tricky spots to hang out in!

Until next year Freddy. Rest up my friend, I have a feeling that having all boys 
next year will be even crazier than this year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Light 'Em Up Days 12-14

Hey everyone! Is anyone out there doing sweet things to light up a strangers day?? How about someone you know? Tell me about them! Leave me a comment! 
I would love to hear some of your ideas.

The last few days I have been planning this for our UPS man:

Hot chocolate, Snickers and Reese's cups..

Tied up in a bag...

A quick Christmas tree stamp + a little note and we are good to go!

On a side note... the packages we get are always exciting, BUT this one in particular was THE MOST exciting!!! 
MY PROJECT LIFE IS HERE! Hellooooooooo Clementine, it is oh so nice to meet you!

Merry Christmas to me!!!
Here's hoping you are lighting up someones day too!


PS: To see my other Light 'Em Up posts, click here

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Light 'Em Up Days 6 - 11

Hi again!
Just Giving an update on some of my Light 'Em Up projects!

The last few days I have:

- given a candy cane to a guy in a drive through .. He lit up, it was so cool.

- held the door open for multiple people

- let someone cut in line on the way out of a parking lot

- Shared the sign of peace with a woman a church. This doesn't sound like one .. But it is: her and her children were sitting off alone by themselves at church and I walked over to them to share the sign of peace ... She smiled at me through the rest of mass.

I have been smiling at people more too, which seems small too but I've been getting them back more often too :)

Heres hoping you are Lighting up someones day!

PS: To see my other Light 'Em Up posts, click on the 'Light 'Em Up' in the labels on the right!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Very Crafty Invitation!

I've been meaning to blog about this invitation I recently got!

Check this out ... I got it in the mailbox (after the mailman came)

 A box addressed to Jeff & I ...

With this very cute egg inside! You confused yet??? It had a little note that said "crack me"!
Of course I TOTALLY didn't want to because it's super cute, but I had to see what was inside.

This was a egg with the insides blown out and a note inside inviting us to a Christmas Party!

Are you loving it?! Way to go Haylee!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan For Week of December 5

Hi there!
I've gotten away from posting my meal plans .. Sorry, if anyone's out there lol

Monday - Perogies & sausage

Tuesday - Beef stroganoff

Wednesday - Grilled cheese & soup

Thursday - Omelets

Friday - Go out!

Happy Eating,

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies

I have a confession to make ... I really like cheesecake.
I have another confession to make ... I love cookies.. SO:

I found this recipe online (link at bottom) and had to try them .. a combonation of my two favorite things. Here's the recipe, we ate them up like crazy!!
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. With an electric mixer cream butter and sugars until nice and creamy. Add cream cheese and continue to mix until all lumps are gone and it is nice and smooth. Add vanilla and egg and mix.
  3. Mix flour, baking soda and salt and then slowly add flour mixture, one teaspoon at a time.
  4. Turn off your mixer and add the chocolate chips, folding by hand with a rubber spatula.
  5. Scoop cookie dough by the rounded tablespoon onto a cookie sheet
  6. Bake in your oven for 9-11 minutes, I had to bake them for a few mins longer.
  7. Cool on a rack and once they are all the way cool put into a plastic bag or container and keep in the fridge!
  8. Since they have cream cheese in them you don’t want them to spoil!
I found this recipe here. 

They look like regular cookies but taste a lot creamier.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Light 'Em Up! Day #4 and #5


Just checking in and posting on what I did for days four and five ... I have been  giving out the candy canes to people I pass - the look at me like I'm crazy, then smile. It's worth the crazy looks.

My mom has been on board too! She paid for someone's lunch in the drive thru ... and bought a $5 Starbucks giftcard so that she can give it to a bell ringer at Kroger next time(so they can go in on their break and get something warm to drink) love it.

Love this project ... love these ideas!

Today (day 5) I left some quarters on a gumball machine. Is it a gumball machine if there is something other than gumballs inside? You get what I'm trying to say ... and if not, here's a picture!

Here's hoping you are lighting up someones day too!


PS: To see my other Light 'Em Up posts, click here

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Light 'Em Up! Day #3

Day Three of Light 'Em Up!

I took some Chocolate Chip Cheesecake cookies I baked yesterday and left them in an (awesome) friend of mine's mailbox for her to find .. I'll share the recipe soon.

Here's hoping you are lighting up someones day too!


PS: To see my other Light 'Em Up posts, click here

Deck The Halls

 With boughs of holly fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra la la la la, la la la la!

My parents put up the lights and garland last weekend. I made the new wreath and put up the ornaments on the little trees ... I'm getting so excited for Christmas! I can hardly wait to put up our Christmas tree!! AND decorate inside ... but until then, I'm loving this:


Anyone else decorating?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Light 'Em Up! Day #2

You may have read my blog yesterday where I decided to "Light 'Em Up!" this month, as a holiday project.  I'm all about spreading the Christmas spirit and a little cheer!

Today's random act of kindness isn't so random. 
BUT I think our mailman will love it anyways :)

Here's hoping you are lighting up someones day too!


PS: To see my other Light 'Em Up posts, click here

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Light 'Em Up! 2011

This holiday season I'm doing something different. This year I'm doing something for others. 
Two years ago I had the idea of giving a $50 bill to a bell ringer, instead of giving a dollar here and a dollar there I was going to make one bell ringers day. It didn't work. The guy didn't care.

Last year I had the idea that I would give the guy who stood at my freeway exit with a sign asking for money, a Meijer gift card.  I thought I could help his family with groceries or toys for Christmas. . . He wasn't there consistently, everyone was cynical and said he has a job and a home and I was crushed.

This year I'm doing something different. This year I'm doing something for others. I can not be talked out of it, I can not be disappointed. This year I am spreading holiday cheer by singing loudly for all to hear with the Light 'Em Up Project and I'm making it my own. It's going to be fun!

I honestly don't have it all planned out just like she does on that blog above. I don't know even know if I will be changing what I do every single day. BUT I do know that I will be starting off my 24 acts of random kindness today!

****Let's bring in that holiday spirit people! 24 random acts, 24 days ... want in? It can be whatever you want it to be...but let's light up someone's day****

Later today I have to go to the grocery store and I will be handing out these to people I come across:

Small? Yes.
Not a big deal? No.
BUT: If someone handed this to you, wouldn't it brighten your day a little? I hope so!

To see my other Light 'Em Up Posts ... click here

Jeff's 25th Birthday!

Hey Guys!

Monday was Jeff's 25th birthday ... twenty five, I can't get over that twenty five will be my next age too ... but back to the birthday:

Warning: I told my sister this list of fun things I put together for Jeff's birthday and her reaction was as follows ... "Geeze way to make the rest of us look bad lol". But honestly, I had a blast doing it all.

  • Snuck into his truck (after hockey) and put a birthday card in his truck to find in the morning.
  • Put alerts into his iPod that went off one in the morning and one in the afternoon that said fun things like "it's your birthday" and "happy birthday babe, hope your having a good day" honestly, I can't remember exactly what they said .. but you get my point.
  • Brought his favorite cupcake from the Cupcake Station to him at work
  • Snuck into his house and tied balloons everywhere
  • Invited all of our friends and family to his hockey game (which was on the night of his birthday) as a surprise
  • Designed beer labels on saying Happy Birthday Jeffs, with a picture.. for after the hockey game. it was our buddy's birthday on the same day too.

After the game all of us went out to a local diner and snacked. I can only hope he had as much fun as I did :)

I did so much sneaking around that I didn't have time for pictures ... do you believe that? I do. Sorry guys!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Shop 'Till You Drop!

Has anyone been Christmas shopping? On "Black Friday" perhaps? 

Friday morning around 6:30 AM Me, my Mom and Jeff all headed down to Cabela's to check out their sales. We saved tons of $ moolah $ , got a few presents for my Dad and stood in a very long line to check out. To my surprise, they had us in a line that wrapped around the whole store and still got us out of there in about a 20 min wait time. AWESOME! Kudos Cabelas.

Later in the day (much later) we went to Target, Old Navy and Kohls to see what deals they might still have. I was SOO happy with Target's deals .. I probably saved over $100 right there. Then Old Navy had the jeans that Jeff and I both wear HALF PRICE (which to me says: BUY ONE GET ONE FREE!) and so we got some jeans that we both really needed. Kohls was a major disappointment. I was shopping for one item of clothing in partciular for my sister (which I can not name because she might be reading haha) and it was only 20% off ... apparently they didn't get the memo about Black Friday.

Overall, I was REALLY happy with the experiences I've had shopping ... I didn't run into any crazy mace spraying people or see anyone get trampled so all in all a good day!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

There are so many things to be thankful for this year .. and every year that it's a shame we don't think about it more often. But non the less, it is Thanksgiving and we are oh so grateful for everyone and everything that we have in our lives. 

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the strange and yet awesome gift of having my parents to myself for the day. With Emma & Jimmy living in California we decided to have a small Thanksgiving together, just the three of us. Mom and I have been cooking, cleaning, prepping and I can't wait to eat. It's a low key Thanksgiving this year and I'm enjoying every second of it.

Here's hoping you are all having a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families.

"Thank you, Father, for having created us and given us to each other in the human family. Thank you for being with us in all our joys and sorrows, for your comfort in our sadness, your companionship in our loneliness. Thank you for yesterday, today, tomorrow and for the whole of our lives. Thank you for friends, for health and for grace. May we live this and every day conscious of all that has been given to us"

 From The Catholic Prayer Book, compiled by Msgr. Michael Buckley.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Those Turkey's Didn't Stand A Chance!

Some of you may have seen this post where I made Crafty Thanksgiving Turkeys for Daycare (and Sean's birthday!)

So to follow up, I thought I would show you the kids scarfing gobbling (haha, I crack myself up) them down ;)
Happy Birthday Sean!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Crafty Thanksgiving Turkey Treats

Hi There Blogland!

As many of you may know, I am LOVING Pinterest ... this is a site where you can pin ideas to a virtual cork board and come back to them later .. idea collecting .. if you will.

Here is my Pinterest .. comment on this blog with your email if you need an invite to the site ;)

So .. with that being said - one of my pins / ideas was by The Idea Room - I found these Oreo Cookie Turkeys and knew I would have to make them for daycare before Thanksgiving break! If you click on The Idea Room link above there are step by step instructions.

So here's what I used:
  • Double Stuffed Oreo's & Regular Oreo's
  • Whoppers
  • Candy Corn
  • Miniature Reese's
  • Frosting (for the glue to stick it together)



If you have any questions, just let me know! I may still add a face ... and maybe a beak of some sort, but honestly this project didn't go as well as I had hoped.

The Oreo's were breaking and the frosting wasnt sticking (it needed to sit) so with patience I could have done more ... but I'm saving my patience for the kids instead ;)

But I still think they are cute! What do you think?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Crafty Christmas Planner

Hey Guys!

Do you read the awesome stuff from the lovely ladies at eighteen25 ?
If not, you should.

That link is actually a link for a project they made recently with FREE printables which is super fun. I LOVE printables. They made an awesome Christmas Planner and the second I saw it, my mind said "MOM!"

For as long as I can remember, my mom keeps a list of the gifts she has gotten everyone so that #1 she doesn't forget anything and #2 to make sure that my sister and I have "a even present list". So I made this bad boy for her .. inspired by the one at eighteen25! (mine is slightly different in that I made her tabs "Calendar", "Tara & Jeff", "Emma & Jimmy", "Ron", and "Stockings & Other Gifts"

:) She has been using it, so I guess that means it's working pretty well for her!! Yay!)

Here's most of what I used:
  • Composition notebook (size: 9 3/4 by 7 1/2)
  • Some Christmas 12x12 pattern paper 
  • Adhesive ( I think I'm going to redo the front cover with rubber cement)
  • Paper cutter
  • 2 -  6"x9" envelopes with clasps
  • A stapler
  • Pen

On the inside of the back binding, I have another envelope just like this one for receipts too.

Merry Early Christmas Shopping!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Introducing Sara Peterson Designs

Hi There!

If you are a repeat reader ... you might have noticed that cute little "Sara Peterson Design" button on my sidebar over there (see right)... 

If you haven't seen it: Check out the Sara Peterson Design website here! My Cousin, Sara has started a blog design company ... she designed this beautiful blog of mine, actually! ;)

Please check out her new site ... she is really great at making your blog shine and loves blogging & scrapbooks which inspire her great taste and artistic eye! 

Now, she's family so I could go on for days about how great she is ... but check out her site and see for yourself! You won't be sorry!

Weekly Meal Plan for The Week Of November 14th

Hi There!

Next week's meal plans are as follows:

Monday - Cobb Salad (we didn't get to have this the week before as planned because of busy schedules)

Tuesday - Chicken Fried Rice

Wednesday - Chicken & Cheese Tortellini

Thursday - Hot Dogs and Fries

Friday - Go out!

Saturday & Sunday: Enjoy leftovers and go out!

Let me know if you need any recipes :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas

Just like the one's I used to know....

Jeff and I went Downtown Detroit, Tuesday to Andiamo's on the river for dinner and then saw White Christmas at The Fox Theatre ... we had an amazing night :)

The dancing was awesome ... the music was incredible 
... and of course so is this stud for taking me.

(Darkest picture ever? Yes.)

(Blurriest picture ever? Yes. But it was really beautiful)

Hope your week is going as well as mine! :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan for The Week Of November 7th

Hey Meal Plan Followers!

Leave a comment, I would love to hear from you .. if you exist! :)

Here is the menu for this week:

Monday - Grilled Cheese with Soup

Tuesday - Philly Steak Wraps .. haven't made this one before :)

Wednesday - Cobb Salad

Thursday - Turkey, Cheese Cresent Roll Ring (by Pampered Chef .. and altered by us!)

Friday - GO OUT of course!

I might be moving a few of these around because of our plans Tuesday night ...
We are going to see White Christmas, The Musical! I'm SoOoOoOoO excited!

Happy Eating,

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Beautiful Fall Day

As promised ... here are some pictures of us playing in the yard and in the fall leaves.
I'll just let the pictures do the talking today.