Sunday, November 23, 2014

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Do you have a hard time trying to figure out what to put in your children's stockings? If so, here's some stocking stuffer ideas for preschooler and toddler. These are some of the things the girls will also be getting.

Meal Plan Monday: Thanksgiving

Here's a sneak into the dinners we plan to have during the week of Thanksgiving.

1. Loaded Potato Soup
2. Chicken Alfredo
3. Spaghetti
4. Beans and Sausage over rice
5. Steaks with yams and collard greens
6. Chicken, Sausage and Okra Gumbo
7. Baked Chicken Tenders

sandwiches, tuna and crackers, pasta salad, green salad

croissants, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit

yogurt fruit bars, pretzels, frosted mini wheats,  fruit, carrots and celery

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Croatia - from the eyes of kids

May 2014

Christmas Budget and Toys

Every year I plan a Christmas Budget to prepare for the end of the year splurging for the girls. Each year, the girls have progressively gotten more and more from everyone. This year I have decided to do something different.

WE are still budgeting, yes. Basically the same way. We do $40 a month and rotate each month on which girl we buy for. Towards the end, we use the last couple of months to buy their larger items. Last year we decided on four items per girl and were done with our shopping by September. Then, we capitalized on the holiday sales for their birthdays. This year we are using the same concept, except the money won't get spent. Their savings will just DOUBLE.

Each year, we also put $20 per month into their savings account. This is just in case we ever have any financial burdens, the girls will still get a Christmas and birthday.

This summer I recognized a few things about our lifestyle: how much time we spent on picking up toys and how overwhelmed they get with what they had. Yes, had.

Once I realized how much time we spent on picking up the toys, I decided it was time to start getting rid of what they had no interest in anymore. The toys were rotated and spread across the house, too. I did just that - started getting rid of them. I sold, donated, and continually sorted to repeat the process. Since doing this, I've learned more about the girls. They changed. They began playing together more. They stopped fighting as much (since most of the time it was over a toy). All together, they care less about the toys.

We, now, focus our time our time on arts and crafts suitable le for their ages. A is 3 years old. She enjoys making necklaces and playing with play-doh kits. E is 17 months, and she enjoys doodling on the magna-doodle and writing on paper with a pen. She also enjoys play-doh. They find excitement in picking out their clothes for the day, helping with house duties, and sorting through our clutter. Their attention has grown. I've always been ahands-on mom, but this just gives it a whole new meaning.

With this said, for Christmas things this year, they will each get two items as far as toys go. A is really into the Disney princesses and castles, as well as barbies and doll houses. She is getting a large doll house that can house her barbies. But the dollhouse actually looks like a castle and her barbies are actually Disney princesses. We actually already bought It because it was on sale for $35 including shipping when it is normally $80 plus shipping. She will also get the wooden furniture to go with it. E is getting a baby doll set that has a high chair, baby sea, and play yard with a Belle baby doll. Together they will get a small bucket of craft materials and some movies.

We are really trying to keep it simple this year to avoid what we wenot through throughout the year. They enjoy being outside and interactive with one another so crafts and pretend play totally fit in to those categories.

What are your plans for Christmas this year?

A's Favorite Movies: 3.5 years

In no particular order, but her interests have definitely shifred.

1. Mr. Peabody & Sherman
2. How to Train your Dragon
3. Spiderman
4. Despicable Me
5. Sofia the First

Pumpkin Decorating: kid friendly






Eva Modeling - 20 months