Toy Kitchens and Shelves!

While we were in Florida, we went to a local thrift store with my MIL and SC's great-grandma and saw this toy kitchen.  SC was interested in it, and I really couldn't get over how cute it was. It was only $30, and if I could have figured out how to get it back here, I would have bought it in a minute.  I searched a little bit for it online and I think it is discontinued, but it really started my toy kitchen fever!  All of the sudden I became obsessed with SC needing to have a little toy kitchen of her own.
After watching SC attempt to eat the toy food at the library's toy kitchen, I realized that while the toy kitchens are adorable, what she is really into at this stage is just playing with the toy food.  So, in an effort to keep huge toys out of the house for a little longer (let's be real, we will probably be buying a toy kitchen sooner rather than later), I decided to clear out a cabinet in the kitchen for her to play with and "stock" it with a basket of toy food and some small utensils. To make it a little more playful, I lined the shelves with some wrapping paper.  I think it turned out to be a fun little space, considering that I didn't put too much time or money into it.
SC seemed pretty taken with the novelty of it, and I might switch themes, if I happen to run into some different wrapping paper I like.  I am thinking of doing a lemonade/ ice cream theme in the summer and maybe a hot cocoa/tea theme in the winter! Anyways, that's SC's little kitchen cabinet for now!  Is anybody else obsessed with toy kitchens?

Weekend Recap!

It was unseasonably warm here on Saturday, so we took advantage of the nice weather and SC spent some time at the park, and then the rest of the afternoon was spent tackling yard work.  We probably should have done a lot of the work that we did last fall, but it was nice to get so much done so it won't be too overwhelming this spring.  The husband also managed to take out this ugly arbor that we had been wanting to get rid of since we had moved in.  I didn't take any pictures, but we are both super excited that we don't have that in our backyard anymore!
Sunday we made it to church, and SC made it through the whole service with the help of lots of snacks.  We went to the contemporary service as that is a better fit with nap time.  That's not really my husband and mine's worship style, but I think SC might have actually enjoyed the music more!  She seemed to be bouncing to the songs some times.
That afternoon we tried to get a few things around the house and also tried this California Pizza, which was good.
I was also really happy because I finally got some thank you notes and other letters in the mail.  For some reason I just never got around to it last week.
So all in all it felt like a productive weekend, but still relaxing!  How was yours?

Five for Friday: A Few Recipes, and more Trader Joe Favorites!

This week has been beautiful and filled with lots of park time and SC finished up another six week session of story time at the library!  Here is what else I have for today!
When my mom came up to visit, I decided to make this Greek Chicken Sheet Pan dinner.  I had wanted to try this recipe for awhile, but I knew the husband wouldn't be a huge fan of the flavors so hadn't bothered.  It wasn't too hard, and my mom was impressed.  I think the lemon flavors are nice for spring, so you might want to give it a whirl!  After such a healthy main course, I made lemon bars for dessert, which we both love!

One husband approved meal I did try a little while ago  though is the Grilled Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce.  If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you all know I really struggle to figure out what to cook for the husband, but he loved this one!  It is actually somewhat healthy too, so this is definitely going to be in the dinner meal rotation!  The peanut sauce is so good, that I could seriously just eat it on top of some rice.  The flavors are really spot on!
Not the prettiest picture, but it is good!
Last weekend Target had 25% off of their clothes, so I couldn't resist buying this t-shirt for SC. For some reason, celebrating the holidays with SC is really fun for me.
On Tuesday we made a trip to Trader Joe's, and I picked up these crisps.  I had forgotten how amazing they are and I'm kicking myself that I didn't stock up (although that is probably a good thing).
I also picked up a bottle of their Champagne Pear Vinaigrette dressing, and have been enjoying it immensely on my lunchtime salads.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

SC's First Vacation to Florida!

Even though SC and I were sick on our little vacation, we still had a great time!  SC loved being doted on by both her grandma and great-grandma.  My husband's grandma really thought of everything.  Once we arrived at her house, SC immediately felt at was hard not to, because she had definitely had her house all decked out.  I seriously think she might have had more toys there than she does at home!
We enjoyed two mornings at story time...
And lazy afternoons on the beach...
And of course, we couldn't forget to take a few trips to the park!
I'm so glad that SC could have this time with her grandma and great-grandma.  I know she won't remember it, but it was really special.  And now on to working on some Shutterfly albums!

SC's First Plane Ride!

I know it is pretty crazy, but our trip to Florida was SC's first plane ride.  I was pretty apprehensive, but honestly the plane ride ended up kind of being the least of our concerns, as SC started coming down with a cold again the day we flew to Florida.  Despite being sick, she was a trooper through the whole thing.  We had a delay and she got a little fussy because her cold was getting worse, but flying really didn't seem to be an issue.
They gave us TSA pre-check which made security super quick.
Even though SC wasn't feeling her best, she still enjoyed looking at the planes with her grandma.
The flight was only about half full, so that helped.  She slept for most of the flight, and the remainder was spent pulling the window shade up and down and playing with the window clings.  She honestly didn't need too much entertainment, but at least I was prepared!  We are hoping to go to Maine this summer, and if we end up flying, I am going to try to jettison as much stuff as possible. SC really would have been happy with just one or two books, window clings, and a plastic egg, plus the ipad as entertainment backup.  I also brought along a huge pack of wipes, when just a few packs of 10 would have been ample.  For this trip, I definitely went the better safe than sorry route!
Of course, by the time this summer rolls around, I'm sure SC's interests and needs will be different and anything I think I figured out, will go out the window! 

A Long Weekend Recap!

This past weekend was a three-day one for us, but it went by quickly!  On Saturday afternoon, SC and I arrived back from our trip to Florida, and our little family spent the rest of the weekend regrouping.  It was so good to be back to our little family and back to some routine.  The weather was beautiful here though, so on Sunday we ignored the unpacking and laundry we needed to do, and took an afternoon trip to the beach.
We also stopped by the park on the way home, so SC could spend some time in her beloved bucket swing.
On Monday we finally tackled as many chores as we could around the house and then went to a different park for all of us to enjoy.  Different park, different day, same bucket swing.
This park has a trail around a lake, and we made it a little ways before SC lost patience.
After almost two weeks of traveling it just felt so good to be home!  How was your weekend?  Anybody else experiencing springlike weather in February?  I'm ready to put away all of my sweaters!

A Little Visit with Grandma!

As I mentioned, my mom came to visit yesterday afternoon to keep SC and I company for the first night the husband is away.  It definitely helped distract SC!  Even though it was less than 24 hours, it was such a treat.  We enjoyed bubble time, a trip to the park, and a trip to the library. In addition, we enjoyed the usual play around the house, so SC was one busy little toddler!
Tomorrow SC has her 15 month appointment in the morning, so I'm getting things all packed up before  we head to grandma and grandpa's house for a few days!

Weekend Recap!

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a great Superbowl weekend!

On Saturday, I drove up to Northern Virginia to go celebrate a friend's birthday. Even though it was a lot of driving that day, I have to admit that I enjoyed a break from toddler tunes and listening to NPR and podcasts instead.  It was also fun to go out to lunch without our toddlers in tow and to really catch up.  With that said, I also loved seeing her son; he is two and really talking now! And meanwhile back at home, SC and the husband had a fun day at the Children's Museum (although apparently SC was bummed when she found out she could not take home the toy groceries...).
This was wall art at the resauraunt we went to.  I love how they decorated for Valentine's Day!
Sunday morning was so relaxing.  We did go to church, and she did pretty well until the end, and then we stopped by the nursery in hopes she will associate that space as a happy one.
The husband is going to be traveling for work for the next two weeks, so we kept things nice and low key on Sunday night.  Although, he did decide to make some fried pickles for the game, which were actually really good. I gave him a hard time about it, but I actually highly recommend them-the flavors with the sauce are super tasty!
And here we are to Monday! My mom is coming to visit this afternoon for a day visit, so I better get to cleaning and prepping dinner before nap time is over!

Five for Friday!

Thank you for everyone's kind comments on Monday! SC is on the mend, and we have resumed our trips to the park, errands, and story time.  I didn't realize how attached I was to our little routine!

I guess to wrap up the month of January, I should mention the small progress I've made organization wise.  I finally decided to unsubscribe from a decent amount of retailers, and it has actually made a difference.  Before I thought I enjoyed getting those emails, but now I realize that they are just clutter in my inbox (or temptation for whatever sort of deal they are promoting).  I'm still subscribed to a few, but just getting off the list of about 15 retailers made a positive difference for the better! And I just checked out The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, so maybe I will make some more progress this February!
I also tackled organizing our spice cabinet and pantry.  While it isn't perfect, it is substantially more functional.  I store some of our medicine and vitamins downstairs, so just having two separate bins (one for us and one for SC), and getting them separated from the spices was a tremendous step forward.  While I know there are pretty containers elsewhere, I was excited that these from the Dollar Store serve the purpose.
These little narrow bins are awesome because they streamlined all of the bulky boxes and are the perfect size!
Last weekend we decided to watch Boyhood. I know it has been out for awhile, and I had been wanting to see it, but had just never gotten around to it.  I thought it was well done, but at times I wondered if the movie title was referring to the father's extended boyhood or the son's!
My mother-in-law's birthday was yesterday, and while we ordered a gift, I forgot to get her card in the mail.  That was a gentle reminder to make sure I get all of the birthday cards lined up for this month, so I stocked up on a few more.
And with February comes Valentine's Day!  I ordered a few of these to send out to relatives, but I need to get them in the mail soon, because Valentine's Day is going to be here before I turn around!
How have you been doing lately?  Anybody else feel like February is going to just fly by?