Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter Nest Treat Bags

Happy Easter week!  

Easter is my second favorite holiday, and I'm really excited for this weekend.  My family will be celebrating all week with treats and special activities, and Spring Break starts on my birthday on Thursday.  It's going to be a fun week!

Every holiday, I make special treat bags for my kids.  They all love them, but Lexie is the one who looks forward to them the most.  She loves to open her lunchbox and find something special waiting inside!

As a mom of four, I don't have much time, so whatever I make has to be quick and easy.  I came up with these Easter Nest treat bags last Easter, and they were a big hit! They are super easy, super quick, and inexpensive.  I'm sure there are a million variations floating around on Pinterest, but this is the one my kids love!

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What you'll need: 

  • Peeps Chicks
  • Jelly Beans (Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans are THE BEST!)
  • Edible Easter Grass
  • Clear Cellophane Treat Bags (I use the small ones.)
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
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These treat bags are so easy to make!  The first step is making a small nest using the Edible Easter Grass, then stuffing the nest into the bottom of a cellophane treat bag. I cut a 6 inch strip off the Easter Grass, add more if needed, then curl it into a nest before stuffing it into the treat bag.  Each bag of Edible Easter Grass makes 8-12 small nests or 6-8 larger nests.

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After the nests are in the bags, place a small handful of jelly beans on top of each nest, and top with a Peeps chick.  Cut a piece of curling ribbon, tie the top of the bag, and use the scissors to curl the ends of the ribbon.  DONE!

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My kids love these so much! I, personally, love to eat the leftovers. You know, as a reward for all that hard work! Enjoy!

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Happy Easter!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Watch List

March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb.

That saying is definitely true this year!  That being said, I can't believe March is nearing an end.  April is SO close, and with it comes the warmer weather.  FINALLY.

We watched a lot of Netflix over the winter!  No shame.  I'm glad I get to choose what my children watch, and there are a lot of quality programs to choose from.  My husband and I even enjoyed "Netflix Date Nights" four times a week, after our children went to bed.  

I prefer the ease of Netflix over cable television. There aren't any commercials and I can binge-watch my favorite shows.  Plus, there are some amazing Netflix Originals that we love to watch! It's a win-win situation!  

Here's what we're watching on Netflix: 

Liam (19 months):

Liam is just starting to notice the TV.  Up until now, he spent all of his time playing with toys and working on his gross and fine motor skills.  Truthfully, that's how I think it should be.  Over the past few weeks, I noticed him looking up at the TV every so often when Lily was watching her favorite shows on Netflix.  What captured his attention?  Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood!  

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

This show is clearly Lily's favorite show.  It teaches life lessons that apply to her life, and the songs are catchy. The songs definitely capture his attention! I highly recommend this show for toddlers and preschoolers!

Lily (3 years old):

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is Lily's favorite, but Super Why! is a very close second!

 Super Why!

Super Why! is a PBS Kids series like Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, and it focuses on a group of Super Readers who solve problems by finding the answers in books.  It teaches letter recognition, spelling, and also has extremely catchy songs.  Lexie used to watch this show when she was younger, and it was a favorite of mine back then! 

We had an issue with Lily and commercials on cable TV (she wanted EVERYTHING she saw), so if she wants to watch a show, we turn on Netflix!  I'm happy to let Lily watch both of those shows!

Lexie (8 years old):

Lexie is at the age where most cartoons are too young for her.  She tends to prefer tween shows, like Jessie and Good Luck Charlie.  

http://cdn1.nflximg.net/images/8231/13018231.jpg

Good Luck Charlie

Jessie is decent, but we all like Good Luck, Charlie!  It's actually entertaining for our entire family, because we can relate to the big family concept!

Lexie also loves to watch Ever After High and the Monster High movies.  She owns many of the dolls, so it's fun for her to watch the dolls in action! Stay tuned for our Ever After High viewing party!


Ever After High

Monster High: Fright On!

Dylan (10 years old): 

Dylan is at a difficult age.  He's still a kid, but wants to do more adult things, such as watching more adult shows.  Right now, he really enjoys watching Goosebumps and R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour.  It's the perfect amount of scare and isn't inappropriate!

Goosebumps 

R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour

Our Favorite Netflix Originals for Adults: 

Although it isn't a Netflix Original, our Netflix Date Nights currently consist of Gilmore Girls marathons.  We own the entire series on DVD, but it's so much easier to stream the episodes through Netflix!  Grant used to make fun of me for watching this show, but he got hooked when he was in the hospital after having an appendectomy!  This is our third time watching the series the entire way through!

We love quite a few Netflix Originals!  When asked what to watch on Netflix, I always recommend House of Cards or Orange is the New Black.  Both shows are AMAZING! House of Cards is about a politician who will do anything to become president.  The acting is flawless and there are many moments that will make your jaw drop!  Orange is the New Black is about one woman's life in prison.  It's a bit crude and violent at times, but the storyline is captivating!

House of Cards

Orange Is the New Black

We recently watched the first season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  It's about a woman who is rescued from a cult and has to start over in New York City.  The characters are very likeable, and the show is funny.  I found myself rooting for Kimmy through the entire first season!


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

In this series, Kimmy reinvented herself.  Here are a few more titles that focus on reinventing yourself: 

For your little kids:
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Mulan
turbo
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screenshot.87
stellaluna
***
For your big kids:
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Princess-Diaries-2-The--Royal-Engagement English Switzerland 571x800
theperfectgame
17236549 2492246
avengers
school
***
For teens and parents:
silver
chef
Netflix-SafeHaven English571x800
catching fire
Freaks and Geeks
dirty dancing

I'm always looking for recommendations on great shows, so please share with me what you love to watch on Netflix! 



*I'm a member of the Netflix StreamTeam.  I was given a free year of Netflix Streaming and promotional items in exchange for my monthly review. All photos featured are from Netflix. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Oh Hey, Friday Favorites!

Hello, Friday! I sure am glad to see you! 

I have a full day ahead of me.  Something like 10 loads of laundry (I wish I was kidding), grocery shopping, and my monthly Costco bulk shopping trip.  I probably won't fall into bed until the wee hours of the morning, but that's okay.  I have a lazy Saturday morning to look forward to!

Here are my favorites from this week: 

{ONE}

This boy, that hat, the bow tie, and that sweet little face.  Enough said.  

Those cheeks and that sweet little face. I smooch him all day long! #downrightperfect
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{TWO}

Quaker Popped.  We got to try these rice crisps during a BzzCampaign, and loved them!  It's our new take along snack.  The caramel corn and cheddar cheese flavors are my favorites!

popped

{THREE}  

3/21.  One of my favorite days of the yearSo many people rocked their socks!  Looking at all these pictures family and friends (some whom we never even met!) shared with us makes me cry.

Socks4Liam
Socks4Liam2 

{FOUR}

I'm obsessed with TJ Maxx.  I always find the best things there! My favorite finds this week are two summer outfits for Lily.  She loves to wear dresses, but occasionally needs something more practical for the park.  We both loved these!

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{FIVE}

Sixty-five degree days spent at the playground and meeting my sweet Lexie Bean at her school book fair.  She was so excited to see us! (I couldn't make it to Dylan's book fair this week.  So much mom guilt!)

This 65 degree day is SUCH a tease!
Some basketball practice at the park after chorus. It's beautiful outside!
We met Lexie at her book fair today. I love how she still gets so excited to see us!

{SIX}

Mornings with Liam!  Nobody can possibly be this happy when they wake up!  Or can they?

Liam


{SEVEN}

My four babies.  How did I get so lucky?!?

Myfourbabies

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  I'm considering hibernation.  It's supposed to be Spring, but I heard a rumor of snow showers in the forecast. Not cool, Pittsburgh. That gorgeous Spring day on Wednesday was such a tease!




I'm linking up with Andrea, Narci, and Erika for Friday Favorites!

 

I'm also linking up with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for Oh Hey, Friday!



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Oh My Lily

My sweet Liliana is now 3 1/2 years old! In less than 6 months, she will be starting Pre-K.  I can't even believe it.  I can't even believe it's almost time for my BABY to go to school.

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Now, I know she technically isn't the baby anymore, but I can't help but think of her as my baby.  For the first two years of her life, it was mainly just the two of us.  Dylan and Lexie were in school, so I got plenty of alone time with her.  Liam entered the picture, and even though things changed, she was still home with me.  It's really hard to admit to myself that she is growing up!

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Although I do wish time would slow down a bit, I love watching her grow.  She has a personality like no other.   She is extremely sweet, loving, and loyal, just like her older siblings, but she's also precocious, stubborn, sassy, adorable, and ABSOLUTELY hilarious!

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Some of the things that come out of her mouth are really funny or just plain adorable!

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For instance...

A rolling pin is a dinner pencil.
A unicorn is a hornycorn.
A heart beat is a heart beep.
A donut is a donup.
A caterpillar is a rollerpoller.
A skeleton is a sket-lin. 

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Instead of saying goodness gracious, she says Goodness Tracy's.

She told me, "My heady-ache is on my knee" after she got hurt one day.

She was struttin' her stuff and told me, "I freakin George-ous."  (Yeah.  We're working on freakin'.)

She put on a fancy dress, and said, "I look like pretty!"  She started singing "I SOOOO FANCY!"

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She was playing "This Little Piggy..." and said "This Little Piggy went to Target!"

She was describing her Uncle Greg to me, and said, "He's the coolest man."

She's a bit obsessed with all things Frozen and all things Elsa. She said, "I love Elsa. She is amazing."

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One of her favorite movies is Hocus Pocus.  She climbs on top of Liam's Fisher Price doorway toy, pretends it's a broom, and sings "Come Little Children" complete with the head tilts and hand motions.

She recently got her first black eye.  She cried for just a few minutes, then declared it didn't hurt at all.  It looked awful, but she was so proud. She told everyone, "Look at my rainbow eye!!!" 

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During storytime, I went into the room to watch her make her craft.  She looked at me, sighed, and told me, "I don't need any help, Mommy. Please leave. This is my time."

She's very compassionate and intuitive.  She truly cares about feelings. My eyes were tearing up one day.  Lily looked at me, and asked, "What's the problem? I see sad things in your eyes."

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She has the cutest quirks, too. 

She still sucks her thumb to fall asleep.  Very loudly.

When she wants to relax, or needs to calm herself down, she sucks her thumb and plays with her belly button at the same time. 

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She eats cheesy broccoli soup almost every morning for breakfast.

She drinks her hot tea out of a straw.

She loves sketti-O's.  (YUCK.)

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She prefers to wear an Elsa dress every single day.

Her friends Lily, Charlie, and Vic-tola (Victoria) are mentioned daily.

She can correctly identify every popular WWE figure, thanks to her big brother.

She loves trains during the daytime, but they terrify her when she hears them at night.  Every so often, she can hear one in the distance, and she races into our bedroom.  She quietly climbs into bed, curls up next to me, sticks her thumb in her mouth, and presses her forehead against my cheek. I let her stay because I know it's just a phase that she will outgrow way too soon. I truly love it, and look forward to hearing that train whistle in the middle of the night.

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But my favorite - my absolute favorite - is when she tilts her head to the side, smiles so sweetly that even her eyes smile, and says, "My love you sooooo much, Mommy."

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The feeling is mutual, baby girl.