Monday, September 30, 2013

Keeping things safe with Memory Keepers

Its no surprise I'm a sentimental sucker. I save lots of things, like ticket stubs, cards, mementos- usually in old shoe boxes because that's what I have laying around. Not the best system in the world. I knew when it came to saving stuff for Grayson, I wanted a little bit of a better system. So I hit the interwebs and found Paper Coterie and their freaking adorable Memory Keepers. A fully customizable box to neatly tuck away my treasures to display on a book shelf, rather than in a Nike box hidden under my bed. Well, this was a no brainer.
The whole process was super easy, it took me about five minutes to upload my pictures and customize my box and then just a few days later this super cute package arrived on my porch.

Seriously? If the packaging was that cute, I couldn't wait to see inside.

Yep. I was officially in love.
Not only because this thing LOOKED amazing, but it was solid and sturdy too boot. The linen box made of recycled fiber board, making it durable while still being very eco friendly.  I knew that when I had my treasures safely tucked inside the box, they wouldn't be crushed or damaged.  

The box is 10 X 10 X 2, so there is plenty of room to stash cards, birthday keepsakes and other things that Mommy just cant bear to part with.  They also offer a bigger 10 X 13 size as well for even more storage. That size would be perfect for art projects and school papers, as well as things like coming home from the hospital outfit.
While tooling around their site some more, I realized they also have some of the cutest cards, planners, and moment documenters I've seen! I may already have a Moment Memory Documenter in my shopping cart, so that I can jot down a daily moment every day so I always can remember what was going on with Grayson when he was two. (See, told you sentimental sucker right here.)
The best part? The amazing people over at Paper Coterie have graciously decided to give all of you lovelies 40% off their ENTIRE SITE for the next 14 days using the code INTHISCRAZYLIFE.  It can not be combined with other coupon codes, and standard shipping applies. But, that makes personalized quotable books like these only $15.

So head on over to Paper Coterie and see all of the super cute things they have to offer!  You can also find them on Twitter, and Facebook!
***Disclaimer, I was given a memory keeper to review, however all opinions are 100% my own***

Monday, September 23, 2013


Grayson Boy-

Today you turn two. TWO?! How?! Time really flies my little love, as it seems like only yesterday you were a teeny baby and now you're a full fledged little boy. Words can not even express how much joy and love you bring to our family. Not to mention endless imagination and laughter, you always have Mommy and Daddy cracking up.

Currently you are into Thomas the Train, Chuggington, Curious George, Diggers, and Minions. You love to color, play with play dough, stickers or any other sensory messy play. You also love the ipad, reading books, building puzzles and playing games.  You are always busy and always on the go, but when you're into something you can sit for a long time doing one activity.
You know all of your letters and numbers up to 20, even though you don't say them. You also know your shapes and colors. Talking is still a bit of a struggle, but you are getting better every day. Your new favorite word is crash, and you say it constantly.
Your Thomas birthday party was a success and all of the kids seemed to have a good time. Even if you didn't like when everyone sang to you. You are not a child who enjoys being in the spotlight, but you love being the center of one persons attention. You could spend all day playing with Nana or Pappy and be completely happy. Lately you've been into giving big hugs and kisses, which melts everyone to puddles.
You have your two year visit next week, but I'm thinking you're around 28 pounds. Your 24 month pants are a little too short, but your 2T's are a bit big in the waist. You'll grow into them, I guess.  You're also in 24 month/2T shirts, although you can still fit into some 18 month things.  You're wearing size 4 diapers and have no desire to give them up for the potty just yet.

Foods you love are chicken, fries, apples, bananas, pizza, rice, carrots, goldfish,  pears, blueberries, grapes, cherry tomatoes, cereal, bagels, waffles, fruit snacks, iced tea, popcorn, peanut butter crackers, cheese its, cake (of course) and pretzels. Your food options are definitely expanding and you're not gagging yourself when you get a texture in your mouth you don't like. Its improvement for sure.

I can never thank you enough for being the little boy that you are. You are the best friend Daddy and I could ever ask for, and we love you more and more each day. Please know that while you may not always like what we do, we are doing the very best we can for you. We can't wait to take you on so many more adventures as you grow and show you the whole world. 

Happy Birthday my little love, you're still the best baby ever.
Love always and forever,

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Nine Questions Answered

A few days ago I was reading one of my fave reads- I Love You More Than Carrots. Seriously if you haven't had the joy of reading AP, then you must check her out.  Anywho, she posted nine questions to answer for anyone who wanted to, so Im taking her up on the challenge.
1. What is in your car's glove box?
Diapers and wipes (you only need to get caught without them ONCE and you never will again!!), a Swiffer duster from my stepdad (that never gets used), and the car manuals.
2. You just got a mani/pedi. Do the colors have to match?
Yes. Its also usually a color that you cant tell when it chips.
3. If someone walking down the street in front of you had their underwear showing, would you tell them?
Yes, I believe in karma. If my underpants were showing, I would want someone to tell me. Kindly, of course. I teach teenagers and you cant live that ish down.
4. What is the name of the very first CD you purchased?
Salt N Peppa. Oh yes.
5. Finish this ridiculously overused saying..."Keep Calm and..."
Keep Calm
Make it to
Christmas Break.
6. Have you ever covered your hands in Elmer's glue, stuck them together, waited for them to dry then peeled off your "skin"?
Yes. They also make awesome Halloween decorations.
7. Charles in Charge or Doogie Houser?
DOOGIE! I love me some Neil Patrick Harris.  I mean come on, he was a 16 year old genius and now he's Barney. He's awesome.
8. What is one thing you never wore/done/ate but you would like to?
Honestly, veggies. I don't like them but I wish I did- so much easier to watch what you're eating when its a salad.  I also wouldn't mind having a bit of a different style, its kind of a cardigan party in my closet.
9. If you could listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?
Better Together by Jack Johnson. Hubs and I danced to it at our wedding and I used to sing it to Grayson waiting for him to fall asleep.
Have some fun and answer the questions yourself!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Five on Friday!

This week I woke up on Wednesday thinking it was Thursday for a good chunk of my day- so that put a serious damper on my week. That along with getting ready for the birthdays of both of my boys (the hubs and the man-child) makes for my lack of appearance here on my little slice of blog land.
But its finally Friday, seriously, I double checked this one this time so its really true. Friday means its time to link up with Five on Friday!



The hubs has been having some blood pressure issues- like 160/110 constant blood pressure- as of late. We've always known he had high blood pressure but when he went for his annual check up and got an EKG slapped on his chest it kind of put a new sense of fear. He also had an echocardiogram and has a follow up with a cardiologist in two weeks. Did he want to go? No. However, I'm not really giving him an option. His argument is that he's been this way for a year, so he's not in any real danger. Pish. He's in danger of me kicking his butt all the way to the hospital for his follow up for sure.  Any good thoughts and positive vibes will be greatly appreciated as I try to convince him that you can't eat bacon even if you "blot off the grease first".


I have NO idea why this pin I saw on Pinterest made me nearly pee my pants, but it did.
Its sad how much I laughed at this
I've finally come to terms with summer being over. It sucks, but its true. On the upside fall is pretty awesome with pumpkins, crisp leaves, cozy sweaters, football season and chilly nights.  I just hope that the weather holds out a bit longer so that we can attend a few football games before it gets cold.  I love football but the days of this girl freezing her buns off are long over. I'm an old lady now, Ill take my couch and a snuggie please and thank you.

 I'm in the mood to demo something. I'm thinking our bathroom. I want it to look like this when I'm done. Dark floors, white and mint green paint, and a dark vanity.  Hubs is ALMOST on board- he just doesn't want to take on a project right now. I think I may just start ripping out tile so he has no choice because I really love this bathroom.
aqua room decor | An aqua and brown color scheme can work nicely in a particular room ...

Recently Grayson has discovered a new love for watching you tube videos of Thomas the Tank Engine crashing. Seriously, people make these elaborate scenes then video tape the train crashing and post it to you tube. I'd like to thank my step dad for teaching him this crap exists, as now I am constantly asked if he can was "Crash?" on my phone.  I think its super cute how much he loves Thomas but I would be lying if I said I didn't want him to move onto another favorite. As long as its not Calliou.  ANYTHING but Calliou.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

How we avoid eating take out 5+ times a week

Last week I had a lovely email in my inbox from a fellow teacher and new Mommy (Hi Sam!). Her question was simple, with me going back to work how did I plan to make sure a dinner made it to the table that didn't come from a drive thru window. The answer? I meal plan.
She asked me to share how I did it, so here it goes.
First, I started out by making a simple word document that contains all of our 'go to' meals. These are the tried and true recipes that I know my husband will eat. Some of them take way too long for weeknight meals, and that's okay. Its just my list to keep things straight in my head. I put food on there with a list underneath of the things I need to make it. Like this:
Mexican Chicken:
1 lb chicken breast
Taco Seasoning
Minute Rice
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Small Can Corn
Jar Salsa
Literally, its nothing fancy at all. Currently it has about 40 meals on it- with notations when a meal will make a double batch that I can freeze for later or has enough for leftovers. Then I fill the meals in on my Meal Plan Sheet.
Its a simple sheet that I had laminated so I could use a dry erase marker on it each week that hangs on the fridge. Then I pick some meals off of my go to list and at least one new meal to try of Pinterest. This weeks meal plan looks like this-
Sunday- Roasted Chicken
Monday- Burgers and Corn on the Cob
Tuesday- Croc-Pot General Tso's Chicken 
Wednesday- Steak Calzones
Thursday- Chicken Burritos and Rice
Friday- Spaghetti
Saturday- Loaded Baked Potato Casserole
Then I start to make my grocery list. Since every item has either a list or a recipe, I look at what I need vs. what I have and fill my list in from there. I always shop at the same grocery store, so I sort my list by the way the store is laid out.  For my store its fruits and veggies first, then the deli, then meats, then the diary aisle- etc. That way I grab things off of my list as I pass them and I can avoid going back to pick up something I missed. During the school year I also use a local grocery store that has an option to order all of your groceries on line, then pick them up at the curb.  It eliminates forgetting things and impulse purchases, and I don't have to drag the kid out of the car in the cold. It costs $5, but I think it's well worth it.  I always manage to have at least $5 in coupons for products I'm buying, and I avoid picking up things because they "looked good" so in my mind that makes it pay for itself. If you live in the Pittsburgh area check out any of the Market District stores to see if they offer it, I use the one in Robinson.
As I'm meal planning I try to keep a few things in mind. First, is it a meal that is manageable on a weeknight? Second, can I prep anything ahead of time to make it easier? For example Thursdays we have swim lessons at 6- so I'll prep the chicken while I'm making dinner on Wednesday. Ill poach it in chicken broth and shred it while I'm cooking the steak. Then it goes into the fridge and Ill heat it up with some taco seasoning on Thursday while I'm making cilantro lime rice to fill the burritos. I make my croc pot meals on the weekend, and put all of the ingredients into a Ziploc baggie and put it in the fridge or freezer so all I have to do is dump it into the croc pot in the morning.  
 I like eating at home because its cheaper and better for you, but every once in awhile you have a day that makes you say "Im not cooking". So either the hubs will cook dinner or we'll head out for an impromptu family date night. It's okay either way. When that happens we shift around the meals and I just reuse the meal that didn't get made on next weeks meal plan.
So that's how I do it, Sam.  Does anyone else have ideas for easy weeknight meals? Id love to hear them!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Three Books Worth Reading

I used to read books constantly, usually around one book per week. I love reading and getting into the characters. Since having the Grayson Boy, I still read books but they tend to be more of the  Goodnight, Moon variety.
This summer I really tried to be better and I did manage to read a few books, so I wanted to share some of them with you lovelies.
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Alright, I know I'm like the last person on Earth to read this book. But it is HALARIOUS. You know you are a true comedic genius when you can take a prayer for your child and make people physically laugh out loud. In a world where there is so much crap, every once in awhile we need a good book to just make us laugh. If you haven't yet read it, read it. Trust me.
I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
If you love Confessions of a Shopaholic, then you already love this book. Sophie Kinsella writes with the same quick wit and a whole different cast of characters that will suck you right in. The basic rundown is that Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier, she's got a gorgeous fiancée and an amazing ring to go along with it. Until one afternoon where she loses her engagement ring and her phone gets stolen.  While trying to figure out what to do she stumbles upon a phone tossed in a garbage can and picks it up, after all, finders keepers. Well the phone's owner, businessman Sam Roxton doesn't agree and isn't very thrilled that Poppy is reading his messages and meddling in his personal life.  As Poppy and Sam's worlds both independently spiral out of control, what ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as the two become deeper entwined in each others lives via email and text messages. It has laugh out loud moments and Kinsella makes you really feel for the characters in the book. Its a very quick read and it leaves you wanting more, which is always the sign of a great book in my opinion.
Just like Tina Fey, Kaling makes the most mundane issues and things laugh out loud funny. I seriously read this book on the beach and got strange looks as I was cracking up as people walked by (although two people did stop to ask what I was reading).  She shares with her readers themes that we can all get behind like our mutual hatred of dieting, the crazy world of dating and the relationship she has with her parents. If you like the Mindy Project, you'll love this book. If you just need a good laugh, you'll love this book. Trust me, just read it.
Now I did manage to read more books this summer- but I didn't really feel that they were worth telling you about. But I will shamelessly admit that all book reading was done while we were at the beach, because my son was grandparent-napped and I didn't have to parent. I just had to get up from my chair when I wanted to go play in the sand. Can I tell you again how much I adore family vacations?
What are some books that you think I simply must read?

Monday, September 2, 2013

What Being A Mom Looks Like- 52 Weeks of Blogging with A Purpose.

Linking up with Becky this week to discuss what being a mom looks like.
If someone would ask me years ago what being a mom looked like, I would have thought that it meant having a cute kid dressed nice and carrying a diaper bag. Oh how naïve I was in my youth.

Now I know that being a mom looks like the crazy person dancing and singing in line at the grocery store to keep the child entertained in the buggy while they wait.

Being a Mom means finding myself rock back and forth, even when I'm not consoling a cranky baby/toddler. Its a slow back and forth motion that happens whenever you stand still, especially during those first few months. Its the Mom Sway- and its way cooler than any swag you may have.

Being a Mom means pretending to love bugs (dead or alive) put into your hand. He is not yet two and has nothing to really give, but he chose to give the bug he just found and thinks is the coolest thing on Earth to me. So I must celebrate and realize the love that comes with the creepy, crawly gesture. Then it means sanitizing the heck out of both of you while smothering those cheeks with mooches.

Being a Mom means waking up 30 minutes early just to ensure you can shower alone and without interruption. Otherwise you must make the decision of what is more important to do at that moment and sometimes a shower doesn't make the cut.

Being a Mom means rocking the Mom-Bun more days than not, because playing and getting little man ready outweighs blow drying, straightening and styling my own hair.

Being a Mom means my child having more clothes than he can possibly wear, but me not being able to remember when I last bought myself something new. His clothes are simply much more fun to buy and since all summer I pretty much wear yoga pants, it was a good compromise.

Being a Mom means waking up with little feet in your face/back because someone snuck out of his bed in the middle of the night and came to snuggle with you. It also means that you snuggle them close and inhale their sweet scent, because someday they wont need you to snuggle them.

Being a Mom means doing the job of 5 people- cook, chauffer, maid, teacher and entertainer. It means that you also get told by people who don't have children that while you work all of these jobs,  that you're not actually busy at all.  Lets not forget if you are a Mom who works outside the home you get to add that job to the pile too.

Being a Mom means you have gone to that work outside the home job with diapers in your purse, spit up on your shoulder, shoes that don't match, toys in the backseat of your car and/or bags under your eyes. Hopefully you have another Mom friend at work who can gently break it to you that you in fact wore two different shoes or will use a baby wipe to remove the stain.

Being a Mom is learning to have your heart live outside your body in the body of a little person. Its thrilling and scary and wonderful, and comes with way too many heart attacks for my liking. But knowing this, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Caitlin Thomas Photography
(This time he brought me a rock- yay for things that don't move!)

Being a Mom looks like work, but its the best job in the world!


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sunday Social

Its been forever since I've linked up with Neely and Ashley for The Sunday Social- but this ones all about the end of summer, so here I am!
Sunday Social
1. What was your favorite trip this summer?
Taking Grayson to the Outer Banks, NC. Growing up it was easily my favorite place on earth and the fact that he now loves the beach too made it perfect!

2. What was your favorite outfit look/clothing item of the summer? 
My Ann Taylor Loft Skinny Crops- I could wear them as skinny jeans or roll the cuffs to make super cute capris. Win Win!
3. What is one thing you wish you would have gotten to do this summer?
Take Grayson to Sandcastle and have more pool play dates. Oh well, there's always next summer.
4. What was your favorite song of the summer?
I don't know- I didn't really have a song this summer. So Im going to say the moment that N'Sync reunited on the VMA's. Middle School Me was dancing in the living room nearly peeing my pants for those two minutes.
5. What was your favorite movie/tv show of the summer?
Well in this house we watch a lot of cartoons. I was thrilled to watch Big Bang Theory re-runs and Live with Kelly and Michael.  Seriously though, I could watch BBT all of the time. It cracks me up!