Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Eat, Drink and Give Thanks!

Last Thursday, I went out to dinner and shopping with my friend Michelle.  The last store we went to ended up being Home Goods. It was so nice to just walk around and browse. I  usually end up there with my husband and he's over the place in 2.5 seconds. While browsing, I found the most perfect Thanksgiving plates ever.

Thanksgiving Plates

And what was even better, is that the price was amazing!!

Thanksgiving Plates, Home Goods

Only problem was, was that there were only 5 of them. But Michelle talked me in to them. (It wasn't hard!) And this Thanksgiving it was just going to be my family of 5 at home so no big deal.

I went home and right away pulled out all my chargers and other dishes and decorations and set the table!
See the Home Goods bag still on the floor.
thanksgiving plates

The five plates were going to be perfect to fancy up our small family dinner.

pretty thanksgiving plates

Then I found chocolate wishbones at Mary's Cakery and Candy Kitchen.  And they were just the thing to lay in the middle of the plates. The kids are already drooling over them and can't wait to break them apart on Thanksgiving. They make the perfect Thanksgiving favor at each place setting.

Chocolate Wishbone

Chocolate Wishbone

Everything was good to go!

That was until Saturday, when my husband told me he had invited all the students in his class to come over for Thanksgiving dinner!! Luckily, I hadn't bought a turkey yet!! So Monday, I went grocery shopping planning for not just five people now but 14!!

I'm a little bit stressed about cooking for people I've never met before but excited because Thanksgiving is my favorite and I was kind of sad that our home wasn't going to be filled with guests! I've already planned the menu. And I've started pulling out serving dishes!


It won't be a fancy dinner, but we're not super fancy people. It will be just perfect for those Sailors that are living in the barracks this Thanksgiving. It'll be a fun time where we can eat, drink and give thanks for all the great things we have. 

Has your husband ever surprised you by inviting lots of people over? How do you prep for Thanksgiving Dinner?

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

30 before 30


I've got some goals! I've posted before about some goals I have.  But this time I'm a little more serious about it all. This coming Friday marks, not only my youngest 2nd birthday but my half birthday. Half way to THIRTY! AHH!! I have no idea why I seem to be so scared about that number! But I am! I guess it just that I don't feel like a grown up yet, but 30 sure sounds like a grown up number! But I've made a list of 30 things I want to accomplish in the next six months. And hopefully checking them off will help me feel better about this whole growing up situation we've got going on here. 

So here's my list, in no particular order:
  1. Kid-free vacation with husband
  2. family pictures
  3. walk/run 260 miles (10 miles a week for 26 weeks)
  4. potty train Katelyn
  5. visit NYC
  6. visit Smithsonian American History Museum
  7. 6 Girl's Nights Out (at least one day a month of mommy/friend time)
  8. have "the talk" with Matt
  9. complete 4 whole 9
  10. create a savings plan and stick to it
  11. family vacation
  12. pay off some of our credit card balance
  13. paint interior of house
  14. build a headboard
  15. visit sister and brother-in-law 
  16. 30 random acts of kindness (5 per month)
  17. journal daily
  18. make the kids some scrapbooks 
  19. build retaining wall in yard, plant flowers
  20. office makeover
  21. build a piece of furniture
  22. update wills
  23. one screen free week
  24. read 30 books
  25. build a grown up wardrobe
  26. blog Monday, Wednesday, Friday every week
  27. Facebook page for blog
  28. offer 10 free printables on the blog
  29. collaborate with other blogs
  30. sew something
Well there it is! 30 things I'm going to finish (hopefully) before I'm 30 years old. Thanks for going on this journey with me!! 

Were you totally freaked out when you turned thirty? Was is just another day? Have you ever made a bucket list? Share with me!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

10 Ways I'm Saving Money This Christmas

Christmas at my house is going to be a little different this year. In the past, we've shopped till we dropped and got the kids everything their little heart desired AND MORE! 

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2013 Aftermath

Christmas 2013 Aftermath
We spoil our kids! There's no doubt about it! But, seriously? Half of the stuff in the photos doesn't even get played with regularly! And this year we want to take a big trip, so this year is going to be different. Here are the ten ways I'm saving this Christmas...

Christmas Savings


1. Have a Plan
 I'm making a list and checking it twice! I'm going to save this Christmas by not just buying random stuff! The kids have made their lists of the top items they want. I'm narrowing it down and deciding what is realistic and what is not. Then I'm making a list and sticking to it. 

2. Budget
This year I plan on keeping track of my spending. In past years, I've just gone shopping until it felt like I had bought enough and then called it good. In an effort to save some money this Christmas, I'm putting a limit on how much all the kids get. 

3. Memories not things
One of the major reasons we are cutting back on presents this year is because we plan on going home for Christmas. A ten day long vacation and a 36 hour road trip is going to be pretty costly. But you know what, the kids will have the memories. We haven't been home for Christmas in 5 years! My son probably has some vague memories of opening presents at Grandma and Grandpa's houses, but my girls don't have any. Heck, one of them has never even been there for Christmas. But this year, we making a priority to make memories not buy gifts. Make cookies with Grandma, yup! Drive around looking at Christmas lights with Papa, yup! Opening presents by the fire where I sat as a little girl, I can't wait! Too many cousins crammed in a little house and everyone stuffing themselves full of goodies! It's a way better way to spend Christmas than opening another junk toy!

4. Things Out of the Box
My daughter loves to make and send cards. I showed her some of my return address labels the other day and she thought they were so cool! So you know what, I logged on to shutterfly.com, found a deal and got her some of her own. They are pink and polka dot and she's going to love them. I also found these cute stamps (affiliate links) and I'm going to pick up some of these white notecard sets. She'll have her own stationary to decorate and send letters to family and friends. 

5. Gift of Time
Much like the making memories, I plan on saving by setting up some extra special parent/kid dates! I headed to Pinterest and found these cute printable Gift Coupons. I plan on filling them out with things like "A night at the batting cages" or "PS3 Family Game Night" for my son. And "Spa Day" or "Lunch and a Movie" with my daughter. Saves me money now by being able to have them use the coupons in the future. They still get a fun activity and I don't get all the toys in my house! Win-Win!

6. Buy Used
She's never going to know that the Barbie Vacation House Santa left for her used to be some other little girls. It's in great condition, has all the furniture and is the number one thing on her list. My bank account will know however because I saved and spent less on Barbie's RV, Vacation Glam House and Car than I could have buying just the RV brand new! Shop around and see what you can find. Some things I'm not willing to buy used, some things are worth searching for and saving money on. 

7. Think Practical
Stocking stuffed with candy, dollar spot toys and cutesy Christmas things. NOT this year! I'm saving money by being practical. They are getting underwear, socks, body soap, new toothbrushes and toothpaste. It's exactly what my Grandma used to do for me and my cousins growing up. Santa still brings them nice new things but it won't cost me more when we visit the dentist again soon. 

8. Pay Cash
To make sure I'm not still paying off Christmas next March (like I've done before) I'm using cash for presents, or at least my debit card. Credit cards aren't getting used! We've worked hard to pay down the balances this year in an effort to be debt free. I'm going to save by making sure I don't end up paying interest on any gifts I do buy. 

9. Handmade
A quiet book for the baby, perfect for a road trip! An On The Go Tic-Tac-Toe board for my son! American Girl Doll Sleeping Bag for my middle! Presents they'd all enjoy with out the big price tag. Saving win for me!! More ideas on my Pinterest, in my Christmas 2014 board.

10. From the Heart
Communication is huge between parents and children. My son turns TEN next year. I want to have him know now that whatever questions might be coming up he can talk to me about. Same for my daughter as she gets bigger. So this Christmas, I'm going to save by buying a cheap composition notebook and decorating them to be our Momma and Me journals. Much like this idea, here.  Cheap gift that will hopefully turn out to be something very great and meaningful. 

What are your plans for Christmas? Are you taking a trip or staying home? Do you have any other tips on how to save this Christmas? Please leave a comment and share them with me, I'd love to know!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Free Thanksgiving Printable - There is always something to be thankful for

I just wasn't totally digging My Fall Mantle. So I switched things around and I like it so much better now.

I also decided I wanted a new picture in my frame so I made one and I'm sharing it with you! There is always something to be thankful for is a great reminder this Thanksgiving! Click HERE to download the Thanksgiving Printable. It should fit in an 8x10 frame once it's been trimmed just inside the black lines.
To download this free printable, click here

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday so we never decorate for Christmas early around my house!! Do you wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate?


Monday, November 17, 2014

Motivation Monday 11/17/14

Motivation Monday

Monday, again? Already? The last few weeks of this year are going to fly by! And I don't want to miss out on anything we have going on! Here's my motivation for the week...

 I don't want to miss a thing! Gonna make sure I stop and look around....
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 This applies to my kids, too! A great reminder to soak up all the time I can with them while they are still little...
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Cause you never know what will happen! Go out there and make something wonderful happen...
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 UGH! Gotta quit complaining and get to work...
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So much inspiration from my friends! It's so exciting to see how others see the world!
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 Make new friends but keep the old! So happy I have such great friends!
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Goals for the week:
1. Drink more water
2. Have better time management
3. Do More, Stress Less!

What are your goals for the week? How do you plan on making them happen?

Friday, November 14, 2014

High Five for Friday!!



HELLO FRIDAY!!!! It's been a busy week! I had a different post planned but I'm just not feeling it so you get my High Five for the week!

1. RealLifeonReagan.blogspot.com has reached OVER 1,000 page views!!!! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for continuing to check things out around here and show me so much love!! I have so many ideas rattling around in my head and in the blog section of my Family Binder. I really wish I had a few clones so I could manage to be in a million places at once but that's not quite possible so I'm trying my hardest to juggle everything. All the page views, comments and follows are my motivation to keep moving forward though so keep checking back to see what's up and let me know what you think.

2. Thrift Shopping aka Treasure Hunting- Checked out two different thrift stores today! Found some dressers I didn't buy but might go back and snag to use in my master bedroom as nightstands. Found a bench that I'm debating for the entryway. I totally should have bought it now that I'm thinking about it again. If it's still there this weekend when I have a chance to go back, I'll know it's meant to be. The best deal was at the base thrift shop though! I found a girls coat in new condition for my first grader! And I found a pair of Crazy 8 jeans in great condition that should fit her! They have adjustable waist which is a must for my skinny, long legged child! I also found two books that my son should enjoy reading. Paid a whole big $4.50 for it all!!!

Cute coat, huh?
3. Hubby bought two tickets to Mockingjay Part 1 last week without me ever knowing and I'm signing the kids up for parent's night out at the Y! DATE NIGHT in 7 days!!! I'm so excited!!! I love my kids but it sure is nice to go out without them occasionally!

source
4. Leave chit has been submitted! Ten days off at Christmastime is in my Sailor's sights! Still trying to figure out the travel plans but I think we are headed home for the holidays!! My sister and her husband already have their tickets and it'll be the first time since their wedding (over 2 years ago) that we'll all be there together again! Fingers crossed we can work it all out!

5. This happened.... Girl Scouts posed for Yokohama Statue reunited 52 years later! How totally awesome! I stood in front of that statue a few times taking pictures with different groups! It's so awesome to see the two countries come together and make new memories by bonding over old memories. Here's a pic from 2012 of L by the statue.

Girl Scouts

Linked up here!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Recipes on Repeat : My Kid's Favorites!


Recipes Kids Like


There is absolutely no point in me denying how much I love Pinterest!  It's my go to place for just about everything! And it's the place I visit most when I'm looking for new recipes to cook for dinner. I'm not a great cook, but I'm not a bad one! It's just not one of my favorite things to do. So when looking for new recipes I look for simple. My kid's, on the other hand, want tasty! They also want more sugar and less vegetables but we have to compromise somewhere. So here is a top 5 round up of my kid's favorite meals, all inspired by Pinterest.

Be sure to click on the link above the photo to go to the original recipe site and see all their details!

 This is my son's favorite Pinterest recipe! It's SUPER easy and I LOVE Crock Pot dinners! 

 One pan means less clean up! This recipes is quick, easy and YUMMY!

This recipe is another Crock Pot dinner! The mashed potatoes require a little more work but they are worth it!

Super easy comfort food recipe! 


Another Crock Pot recipe! See the trend? lol This is a favorite of mine also and I love when the weather turns colder so we can make it more often!

-BREAKFAST RECIPE WE LOVE-
This is a great recipe for Sunday Mornings at home! I've also switched the sausage out for bacon and it's just as good! 




Well I'm so hungry now! Time to go find breakfast! 

Check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas! 

What's your kid's favorite recipes you've made from Pinterest?