What's Up This Weekend?

Here's what's up this weekend at our house:
  • The Rev and I have a date night planned in the big city tomorrow. P.F. Chang's!
  • And a trip to the city means that we can visit some stores that we need to and finish up some Christmas shopping. So close to finished!
  • Next week is the last week of school before Christmas break, so I need to assemble gifts for Elise's teachers.
  • If you have been hanging around for a while, you know that my least favorite part of Christmas is wrapping presents, but I have put it off for as long as I can and the pile is getting big, so this weekend I must wrap!
  • And because Christmas is not busy enough, we are also in the middle of (finally) redoing Elise's bedroom so that it is a little more big girl and functions a little better for her. Moving furniture, assembling furniture and even painting furniture are in progress!
  • Plus, we are going to see my Mom perform in the "Messiah" and surprise Elise with a trip to see the Christmas lights!
  • And of course, it is not a weekend without the usual house cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, and meal prep.
What are your plans this weekend?


Tipsy Tuesday (#379)

Do you do stockings with your family for Christmas? I love filling Elise's stocking, mostly because I love all things mini sized and the stocking is a great place for those.

Tip #379

The Jenny Evolution had this great list of stocking stuffer ideas for all ages. There are some great ideas that I hadn't thought of.

What do you like to give/receive in your stocking? Our Mom fills ours with toiletries, so we don't have to spend our money on them. We get pretty excited about deodorant and razor blades!


Tipsy Tuesday (#378)

Not gonna lie...I hate laundry. It takes up so much of my time, with just 3 of us, I can't imagine how bigger families get it all done.

Tip #378

According to this handy guide on when to wash everything from Good Housekeeping, I should be washing some things less often and some things more frequently.

Do people really wash their hand towels every day? Do you?....Don't tell me, you'll just make me feel bad about myself...


Tipsy Tuesday (#377)

We kind of have a water bottle situation...as in we have too many to store in our regular drinking glass cabinet.

Tip #377

I saw this tip from Better Homes & Gardens to use a plastic wine rack for water bottle storage. Why didn't I think of that?

Also, found a holder just for this purpose on Amazon!

Maybe now I can get those organized so that they will stop falling out of the cabinet onto my head!


Chocolate Chip Hummus (or How To Get Protein in Your Picky Kid)

I've mentioned before that Elise pretty much avoids meat - occasionally a hot dog or chicken nugget, maybe some ham or bacon - but for the most part we have to look for other ways to get protein in her. We are fortunate that she likes eggs, cheese, yogurt, and almonds, but that can get boring for a kid.

This Chocolate Chip Hummus is her favorite - she will eat it with apples or just by the spoonful. And she loves to help me make it! Do not read the recipe and turn your nose up at the beans in it, I promise that you cannot taste them at all. They combine with the almond butter and oats for a great protein packed snack or breakfast. In my opinion it tastes just like chocolate chip cookie dough, with no raw egg worries (though let's be honest if you could really die from eating raw cookie dough, the Rev would be long gone!).

I like to eat it warmed just a little so the chocolate gets melty! Let me know if you try it!


Tipsy Tuesday (#376)

Do you host family for Thanksgiving dinner? We sort of rotate between our families, so we will be with the Rev's parents this year.

Tip #376

But if I were responsible for planning and cooking, I would definitely use this handy guide from Simplemost to help me determine how much to prepare.

Though I have to confess, I always like to over prepare because my favorite part is all those leftovers!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Least favorite?


A Super Hero Party for Our Super E

I think it is her intense love for her Daddy and his intense love for super heroes, that draws Elise to them. She had been asking for a Super Hero Party ever since we finished celebrating with her pumpkin party last year. I loved the idea and scoured for ways to make it a girly Super Hero party.

She indulged me with a photo shoot and that helped me create invitations to set the tone of the party.

Next, came decorations, I was able to locate a lot of pre-made stuff in our aqua, pink, and yellow color palette. These balloons from Birthday Express were a favorite of mine, but I was probably most excited about the skyscraper cupcake stand!

Our earlier party time (that is what was available at the YMCA) and a desire to keep it simple meant we just served a variety of Super Hero inspired snacks - Avengers Granola Bars and Cheez-Its, Super Hero Yogurt, Cake Batter Dip with Cookies, and Batman and Captain America inspired fruit trays.

Our Super Hero guests (everyone was so great to wear their favorite hero costume) ran wild in the gym, pulled open a piƱata, and enjoyed a balloon avalanche. And of course, we had to send them home with bat signal flashlights (just Dollar Tree flashlights with a vinyl bat sticker placed to project a bat signal on the wall)!

Elise had an absolute blast and has requested another Super Hero Party for next year...but ssshhhh, the Rev and I are planning a huge surprise trip for next year's birthday celebration, so no party needed!



Dear Elise,

You have 1 month in the books as a 4 year old! It does not seem possible. You are definitely your own person and we see a bit more every day of who you are growing to be. Here is what you are up to:

•Vitals: You are 41 1/2 inches tall and weigh 34.4lbs.

•Eating: You are still a nibbler and love to graze all day long. You inherited your sweet tooth from your Mom for sure. And your love for condiments comes straight from your Dad...I am mortified when you both drink out of your condiment cups in public...

•Sleeping: You take an afternoon nap and are down for bed by 8. It takes you forever to fall asleep. Your excuse is always that you have to "teach a class" to all of the baby dolls that share your bed. We have been doing some kid's bedtime yoga and that helps calm you some. You are becoming less and less afraid of the dark.

•Wearing: Sadly, we are not shopping much in the Toddler section anymore and have moved to the Girl's section since a size 4 is longer than a 4T and my tall, slim girl needs all of the extra length that she can get. You have a Super Hero T-shirt collection that you love to rotate through. A dress' worthiness is still judged by it's twirl factor!

•Talking: ALL. DAY.LONG. and even in your sleep. Dr. Pontzer has warned us that you are very smart and ahead for your age and that Mom and Dad are going to have to work overtime to keep up with you...don't we know it!

•What You Love: Anything crafty, going to school and church, your friends - you and Piper are in different classes this year, so your friendship with Glory-Maeve is getting stronger, dancing, treats, Smokehouse, cooking and baking, Scarlett, parties, Snow White is a recent favorite, cutting with scissors, surprises of any kind, being silly, tattoos, bouncy houses, running, and superheroes. You are playing Little Dribblers basketball and taking clogging lessons.

•What We Love: ALL OF YOU! Even the tantrums. You freely offer "I Love You's" all day and that is the best! You are our most favorite girl!

Mommy (and Daddy!)


Tipsy Tuesday (#375)

I use my smartphone for pretty much everything. In fact, I often forget my real camera and have to rely on my phone.

Tip #375

One Good Thing by Jillee has a great list of 49 ways that you can use your phone's camera and they are brilliant - some I already put into practice, others I wish I had thought of. Here are a few that I already use:

  • If you keep a dry erase or chalk board in the kitchen to write down stuff you are out of, instead of transcribing the list to take to the store, simply snap a photo of it!
  • When grocery shopping for a recipe, snap a photo of the ingredients list before you leave the house for easy access.
  • When walking through the bookstore, take photos of books you may want to check out from the library.
  • Keep a photo of the ever-changing monthly class schedule at your local spa, gym, recreation center, etc.
  • Take pictures of tags on clothing, bar codes, product info etc. You can often find the exact same thing online for a cheaper price.
Be sure to check out the complete list. How do you use your phone's camera?


Summer 2016 Recap in Photos

Time to start catching you up on all that happened during my blogging break! Here is a look at the highlights of our summer.

{Kiddie Camp & Swim Lessons at the YMCA)

{Cousin Time}

{Beach Vacation}


{My Sweet Girl!}


Tipsy Tuesday (#374)

So, we have entered the season in life where Elise has her own extracurricular activities - currently clogging and basketball. So, what do you do while you wait the hour it takes to wait on her to finish? Not really enough time to go home, but too much time to waste.

Tip #374

I love this list from Suburban Simplicity of ways to kill time while you are waiting. Here are a few of the 50 that she suggests:

1.   Take your computer – work
2.   Read a good book
3.   Skim through a magazine
4.   Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea
5.   Clean out your email or texts
6.   Paint or file nails
7.   Meditate 
8.   Clean the car
9.   Chat with a friend
10. Order dinner for the family
11. Plan your week
12. Do some sitting exercises (your bottom will thank you)
13. Make appointments
14. Do online banking
15. Brainstorm blog posts 
16. Set your DVR
17. Donate to your favorite cause
18. Read The Skimm
19. Check traffic

20. Write thank you notes

Be sure to head over to her blog and read the rest!
What do you do while you are waiting?


Tipsy Tuesday (#373)

Y'all know by now that Halloween candy is my absolute favorite! I have a tendency to subscribe to the same school my MeeMaw did - buying candy for trick-or-treaters that I know aren't coming, just so I have an excuse to eat it!

Tip #373

But , boy, do those little bites of yummy goodness add up. Just a friendly reminder how much work it takes to exercise off those morsels. 

If you need me, I'll be mourning the absolute despair at how much work it is to eat a Reese's Cup and then try to undo the damage... Also, there is no way that I would waste my time on candy corn, but I know that some of you love it - enough to chop wood though?

What is your favorite Halloween candy? Do you usually get trick-or-treaters?


Tipsy Tuesday (#372)

I love the variety of apples available in the fall. Honeycrisp are probably my favorite to eat.

Tip #372

But I am never quite sure what other varieties might be good and for what purpose. This chart from Or So She Says... is a great guide to getting your apple pick right!

My favorite way to eat apples is with a little peanut butter. Elise loves to help me make Chocolate Chip Hummus (recipe soon) to eat hers with. What is your favorite way to enjoy an apple?


It's Not You, It's Me...

I know, I know, I haven't been around in 2 months! I didn't plan it, it just sort of happened. Life started to feel overwhelming -  work, health, weight loss struggles, threenager drama....something had to give. I did something that I never do, and that was just let some things go so that I could regroup. It is rare for me to give myself permission to not do it all, but I needed it. Thanks for giving me the freedom to do that.

I'll be back to posting this week and will try to get you all caught up on the last part of our summer and life since I last blogged.

Thanks for hanging in there with me!


Tipsy Tuesday (#371)

A few months back, we ditched our satellite, and started a run with Netflix and Amazon Prime for our entertainment needs. Not gonna lie, I miss some of the things that we could watch on TV before, but binge watching full seasons of shows with no commercials is pretty awesome.

Tip #371

The Rev stalks a Facebook group that is full of Netflix users who have recommendations of what to watch next. And I am loving this list that I found (y'all know I am all about a checklist!) over at The Greenbacks Gal full of suggestions in all kinds of different categories.

I love having others do the research for me and save me from bad TV!

Do you binge on Netflix? What is your favorite show? Let's all pause here and let me have a moment to deal with the lack of Tim Riggins in my life since we wrapped up Friday Night Lights...