Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter 2013!

Happy Easter Lovelies! Hope you all had a wonderful day with your families! Here is a little photo recap of our day.

We woke up this morning to find that the Easter Bunny did in fact come to see us! I spent last night stuffing eggs for Grayson to hunt down outside, only to realize that it was raining this morning so we did our hunt inside.

Finding his basket

Checking it out

My two handsome boys

Mooches- this picture melts my heart

Home from lunch with Nana- and ready for a nap!

Super excited to dye some Easter eggs

Okay Dad, how do we do this?

Alright, I got this.

We let him put the eggs in and take them out- I didn't care if the table was covered in dye or if he broke nearly every egg he put in, he was having a ball.

End result!

I finally figured out that my kid eats cupcakes like this because he doesn't like to get his fingers dirty.

Give him a fork and he's one happy dude.

The only downside to today was not taking a single picture of Grayson and Mommy together. I really need to work on that. Hopefully all of you enjoyed today with your families!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Life Lately

Life round here has been a little crazy- much like the weather these days. Here's some random things that have been happening.
 I've been working on re-doing the front entry hallway and cant WAIT to share pictures with you know, since we only started the project at Christmas time, its about dang time its finished. Why is it that sometimes projects come together in days and others seem to never be done.
I picked up a little armoire on Craigslist and I CAN.NOT.WAIT to get it painted. However it needs to stay above 30 degrees in order for me to get it done and the weather will not help a sister out.  I need to get that thing painted and hauled upstairs so I can permanently kick the hubs out of the closet. Its nothing personal, its closet space.
Grayson came down with Croup last weekend and let me tell you that wasn't fun. Another reason I haven't been so active round the old blog is Ive been trying to catch up on sleep from the 4 nights that no sleep occurred. Its amazing I managed to get to work and that my shoes matched each day.
I've been on the hunt for a new rug for the kitchen...lots of late nights up and shopping.
This is my current favorite from Rugs USA- but I'm a little leery to put a rug down in the kitchen. I have a child, two dogs and a husband that are messier than all get out and I may cry if they ruin such a pretty rug. Anyone have thoughts on this? Id love to hear them!
Rugs USA Homespun Moroccan Trellis Spa Blue Rug
I'm currently dreaming of vacation spots. Last year we didn't really see a beach and the year before that I was too preggers to head to the shore so I'm itching for some sand between my toes. The other day the hubs emailed me at work to see what I wanted to do that evening and all he got as a response was "fly here" with this picture:
He thinks I'm joking. I am not.
I doubt Barbados is in the family budget, but I need to go somewhere or I will shrivel up and die from Vitamin D deficiency.  I love this city, but we get like 53 days of sunshine per year and that sucks.
So thats life around these parts, whats going on with all of you?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Things to do in Pittsburgh with Kiddos!

I've said it before, I love, love, love my job and I love waking up (even if it is wayyy to early for my taste) and going to work every day.  However, a huge bonus of my job is the fact that I get to hang with my favorite little man for three glorious months every summer. 
Last year we kind of got into a funk- like a's! funk.
Don't judge.
 This year I am determined to not have a repeat, and since Grayson is older and can do so much more I don't think it will be a problem. I've been chatting with the people I work with, tossing around ideas for summer fun and making play date arrangements, and searching pinterest for ideas and I've come up with a schedule.
With such a hefty undertaking I needed a list of resources- so I started googling and compiling. I wanted to post it here in case any of you lovelies were local and needed some fun ideas yourself for when we need to make summer fun again. As I find more I will add them, and if you know of anything Im missing, let me know!!
Ages 5 and Under
Monday-Friday from 9-12
Bridgeville, PA
Gymsport has opened its doors for parents to bring in their preschool, or younger, aged children for parent-supervised playtime on the Jungle Gym and on super fun preschool equipment. This playtime is open to gym members and non-members alike and costs $5 for one hour of play.
Kids from 3-12 
Washington Rd, McMurray PA
Parents call it a break from the kids. Kids call it a break from their parents. That sounds like a win-win situation to us. The Little Gym of Pittsburgh-South Hills Parents╩╝ Survival Nights let you enjoy some adult time to see a movie, catch up with friends or enjoy a meal without the kiddos! Meanwhile, your children get some quality “kid time” in a safe, fun, familiar place with trained instructors who lead them through games and music-filled activities. Parent's Nights are on select Friday and Saturday nights, so check the website or call for info.
Preschool Open Bounce for kiddos 7 and under. The baby beans get to bounce like crazy on assorted inflatable objects for $8.25 a session.  They also offer family open bounce for older kidlets and have franchises all over the US- see website for schedule.
Sewickley, PA
They call themselves a toy store with a difference, because this super cute shop in Sewickley allows you to try out and play with all of the toys in their huge playroom for $2.75 an hour or $1.50 for a half hour.  But here's the really cool part. If you build something with the legos or any of the other cool toys they have back there, you can buy it! All you have to do is take it up to the register and pay by the pound! They also offer birthday parties and I've been to one- they are fantastic.
Toys 2 Try
Scott Town Center
Pittsburgh, PA
Another toy store with a playground located just outside the city limits this place has an amazing wooden pirate ship as well as tons of other toys to climb over and play with.  For $8 per child play as long as you would like in their large play area.  They also offer birthday parties and another added bonus of this place- they offer free local toy delivery!

Just Ducky Tours of Pittsburgh
Station Square
If you haven't seen these cool boats, you simply have to check them out. Parents love the cool facts that that tour guides give, kiddos love riding in the huge u-boat that goes from downtown city streets to a dip in the river.

Carnegie Science Center

Water Steps at PNC Park

Cranberry Splash Pad
Perfect for toddlers, this splash pad is soft and huge!

Duquesne Incline

Round Hill Park
Elizabeth, PA
A park that has a full working farm that kids can walk through and meet and greet their favorite farm animals.

Pirate Game at PNC Park
Sundays are Kids Days- where kiddos get to run the bases after the game


15 More Tips and Tricks

Its been awhile since I did a big post on Tips and Tricks- so here goes nothing!
As always, click the picture to go to the original source for the idea :)
1.  Via Lifehacker , use a paper clip to help clasp bracelets. Perfect for when the hubs isn't home!
Pinned Image
2. This one comes from Susan Branch Place your pillows in the dryer with a few tennis balls to kill any nasty germs/molds inside of the pillow and return them to their original "fluff" state.
Pinned Image
 I received a wonderful list from one of my lovelies, Brittany, on all of the amazing uses for coffee filters.
3. Use a coffee filter for individual popcorn servings- soaks up the grease and makes a perfect portion size!
4. Want to keep your fine china chip free? A well placed coffee filter between plates will keep it looking pristine and is a cheap and perfect way to ensure you can pass it down from generation to generation.
5. Use a coffee filter to make individual shoe deodorizers. Simply put some baking soda in the center of a filter, make a bundle and secure with a rubber band. They are small enough to fit anywhere and should take the smell out of your favorite tennies!
6. Use a piece of coffee filter to blot excess oil from your face- instead of buying the expensive blotting papers!
7. Use a coffee filter to help little hands hold tacos together while eating. Ive seen this done in the Mexican restaurant by our house, they simply give the kiddo their taco wrapped in the filter, then you can peel it back as you eat.
8. Possibly the best idea EVER- changing diapers is bad enough, but potty training kids on a potty is equally messy. Line the potty with a coffee filter so you can just lift out the number two and deposit in the toilet.
9. ZPanda emailed me how she keeps her plastic storage containers looking like new after 20 years. No more spaghetti stains! Rinse your plastic container in cool water and shake water off, then pour sauce in container and cover. You can freeze these if you like. Take frozen sauce out of plastic and place into a glass bowl to heat.
10. Real Simple had a tip that saves tons of time when trying to clean your box grater. Coat your Grater w Cooking Spray BEFORE using. Easier to use on food because the food doesn't stick in the inside!
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11. I found this on Pinterest- but the link is blocked- so if its yours let me know! Use a window squeegee to remove pet hair from the carpet and furniture.
Pinned Image
12. Use a whisk to help little hands dye Easter eggs- no colored fingers!

13. To remove a stuck on band-aid, use a few drops of shampoo to loosen the adhesive before you attempt to peel it off.  It should come off clean and easy.

14. This one is all over the pinterest world and I've always done it.  You can pay for the paint pan liners, but lining your paint pan with aluminium foil makes for cheap and easy clean up for a fraction of the cost of the plastic liners.

15. Erin from over at Domestic Adventure shared an amazing tip for when you want to re-paint your baseboards or need to paint them after they are installed. Simply use a large Spackle knife and you wont need to tape anything off!  You need to head over to her blog and look at her large collection of tips and tricks- you won't be disappointed! I'm off to the store now to find a microfiber shower curtain liner, as I didn't even know they existed!!


Monday, March 4, 2013

Take Out-Fake Out: Chicken Fried Rice

I have a love for cheep, good Chinese food. The hubs had never understood the deliciousness of a good order of Lo Mien leftovers after a good night out until about 5 years after we met. The only way I could get him to try it was that he lost a bet- but I got him hooked as well.  However, hes still very picky about what he orders and where he will eat it from. Recently the place we usually order from changed owners and went from good to horrible, leaving me to go without my favorite take out food. We both adore chicken fried rice, and Grayson boy will eat that for days -so on this cold crappy night that's what I decided to whip up for dinner.

Take Out Fake Out Fried Rice
4 cups COLD white or brown rice- that's the secret to really good fried rice, make the rice the day before if you can.
2 eggs
Canola Oil
Salt, Pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1 small onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2-3 TBSP Green Peas 
1 lb Chicken Breast, cut into small chunks
2-3 TBSP Soy Sauce (enough to coat)
2-3 TBS Teriyaki Sauce (enough to coat)
1. Heat a few tsp of oil in a large skillet or wok
2. Beat eggs with salt and pepper and cook eggs until done- scrambling as they cook
3. Remove eggs from pan and add 2-3 more tsp of oil
4. Cook chicken until no longer pink
5. Once chicken is done, add diced carrot, onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes.
6. After the veggies have softened a bit add in cold rice allowing it to cook for a few minutes with the chicken and veggies.
7. Add the cooked eggs, peas and the Soy and Teriyaki Sauce (add enough until all the rice has sauce on it, but its not sopping).
8. Stir, allowing sauces to cook into the rice for a 2-3 minutes or until everyone is nice and hot.
9. Eat hot and make extra for leftovers!

Grayson ate two servings all by himself- even if most of that ended up all down the front of him he still had a blast trying!