Fruit By the Foot Printables for Birthdays and Valentine’s Day
15th January 2015

You know how sometimes, you just get inspired and have to act immediately? Well, this post is a representation of one of those times.

My cute Kyle’s birthday is coming up on Saturday. As a result, I knew that I had to take some sort of treat in for his class for his birthday. I think it’s a little weird that the person having a birthday is providing a treat, but that’s a different issue. I didn’t really have to do it.

I decided instead of a messy cupcake, I’d take in some Fruit by the Foot snacks. I picked up a big giant box at Costco, and figured I was done. That was until this idea popped into my head to make a little tag to go with them. And, since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I had to make one for that too. It is such an easy idea to do, I couldn’t help myself. Yes, I know I’ve been known to have heart palpatations at the thought of overly cute Valentines, but this one really is SO easy. Simply print out the printables, tape them to a fruit by the foot, and you’re done! :)

Fruit By The Foot Valentine's Day PrintablesSince I’m not super into lovey dovey messages for class parties, these just seemed perfect to me. And here’s the birthday version, which would be fun for party favors, or taking a treat to the classroom during their birthday week.

Fruit By the Foot Birthday Printables
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Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Soup
31st December 2014

My husband has been begging me to make this soup for him for like two years. I couldn’t remember why he loved it so much until I made it again, and realized, it is pretty dang good. Of course, it would have been great to post this in the fall, but I just made it yesterday, so it’s not too late! You can still make it right now. And, who doesn’t love pumpkin pretty much any time of the year? Even though it looks a tiny bit of baby food, don’t think about that. You’ll love this Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup. And, it’s PERFECT for dipping bread in it.

Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Soup

 

Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 Tbsp. Butter
  • 2/3 Cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 to 4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground Cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground Cardamom
  • 32 oz. Vegetable Broth
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 8 Oz. cubed Butternut Squash
  • 1 Cup Baby Carrots
  • 2/3 Cup Canned Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar

Heat butter in large pot. Add onion and saute, until soft. Add garlic and spices and saute for two more minutes. Add broth, salt, squash, carrots and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes. When veggies are soft, turn off heat and add pumpkin, and brown sugar. Puree in a blender until smooth. Add soup back to pot, and add your milk. Serve with some hearty bread.

*recipe adapted from the cookbook, Go Dairy Free. Substitute butter for olive oil, and milk for a milk alternative, and you have an easy dairy free recipe. 

Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Soup by Perfectionpending.net

 

The Stages of Motherhood and Why All Moms Have to Grow Up Too
29th December 2014

My youngest recently turned three. The night before his third birthday, he was being such a pill. I’ve been in denial about the fact that he should probably give up naps if I don’t want bedtime to be such an ordeal. Because, frankly, I’m pretty sure he is a night owl that likes to sleep in.

So, it was the day before his birthday, and he was jumping up and down in his bed fighting sleep, and I was at the end of my very thin rope. I still had to run an errand at 9pm at night to get balloons for his party the next day, and it had already been a long day, and I just wanted him to go. to. sleep. I was practically begging him, and he was ignoring me.

Out of desperation, I told him to lay down, and I pulled out an old trick out of my hat from the newborn days. He was a super fussy baby due to food allergy issues and a constant upset tummy. But, the ONE thing that always worked for getting him back to sleep, was patting him on his little tush. I hadn’t done that in years. But, like I said, I was desperate. So, after he finally laid down, I started humming, and patting. And, within seconds, he was out. My first thought after he went to sleep was relief that my last “baby” who was turning three within a few hours, still needed me. He was still a baby, but also growing up quickly before my eyes. I started to cry.

I was crying from exhaustion and relief that the little jerk (I totally say that lovingly) was finally asleep, but I was also crying because I knew that his baby-hood was slipping through my fingers. He would move out of his crib soon, give up the pacifier the very next day, and before I knew it, he would be leaving me to go to college. I was crying because I knew that while he was constantly becoming more and more independent, he still needed his mommy to fall asleep. And, that felt good.

I was crying because he was growing up and so was I.

As I sat there in the dark room listening to my boys sleep, I thought about how much I had changed as a mother. When my oldest was that age, I couldn’t wait for each new stage. I was flying through those stages rapidly, and pleading for the next part to come. I was living in the, “I can’t wait until….” phase of life.

I can’t wait until she sleeps through the night.

I can’t wait until she is finally potty trained.

I can’t wait until she starts preschool.

I can’t wait until she can feed herself.

You get the idea. It’s something every parent does. We’re in the survival mode those first few years, and it seems so easy to wish it all away. Little did I know that’s what I was doing during those early years by hoping that it would just. speed. up. I was wishing it all away. There have been lots of beautiful blog posts written about making sure we DON’T wish it all away. I’ve read them, and I’ve felt guilt for doing just that. But, the truth is, I think it’s something MOST parents just have to go through. Those early years of sleep deprivation, and spit up on your shirt, and no personal space are rough. You just want it to be over as quickly as possible.

But, somewhere along the way, I gained perspective. I’m not sure exactly when it was. I don’t think there is some secret to magically understanding that the “in the trenches” years are some of the best. I think we just finally grow up as mothers (and fathers) and realize that we don’t want it to go away. Some parents are born to savor every moment, but I think the majority of us go through The Stages of Motherhood in our own way, and that helps us to “grow up” into the moms we were meant to be.

The Stages of Motherhood and Why All Moms Have to Grow Up Too. A must share blog post for any mom.
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He Is The Gift
21st December 2014

Very rarely do I share things of a spiritual nature, even though they are close to my heart quite often, actually. But, ’tis the season to be reminded of what all of this crazy stuff we are doing is all about.

I get lost this time of year. I long for a closeness with the spiritual aspect of the season, and often don’t feel it amidst all the responsibilities of gifts, and shopping, and class parties. But, today I was reminded, and I hope this will remind you too. He is the Gift.

I hope you’ll watch this, and then share it. Because, it’s definitely worth sharing. And, most of all, I hope you have a WONDERFUL Christmas week. I know I’m looking forward to it. #ShareTheGift

How to Create Your Own Christmas Card in PicMonkey
4th December 2014

I have become obsessed lately with Picmonkey. I use it for all my blog editing, and I have so much fun creating images for my blog. I’m glad I’ve never done digital scrapbooking, because I’m pretty sure I would become totally consumed and obsessed with that too. Since I’ve been having so much fun playing around with it, I feel like I’ve gotten a little better at it, and decided to design my own Christmas card this year!

I did this because I saw a cute card on Minted.com that I LOVED the saying that was on it, but I didn’t want to pay their prices. You can see the card I was coveting here. I just knew I wouldn’t find that saying on a less expensive card and their price for 100 cards would have been $163!! Mine? Cost me $50. I’d say that’s a pretty good amount of money to save at Christmas time! I’m in LOVE with how it turned out. Printed it on 5×7 photo paper at Costco, and I’ve got a modern looking card for 1/3 of the price. LOVE it.

DIY Christmas CardSo, I thought I’d do a couple of simple tutorials to help you design your own Christmas card (or a birthday invite, baptism announcement, baby announcement, etc.) that you can save money on! Ready?

How to Design Your Own Cards in PicMonkey. Make a knock-off version of more expensive versions. Christmas cards, birth announcements, birthday invites, etc.
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This House Needs a Mouse. A Children’s Book Review
3rd December 2014

To say we like to read in this house, is a bit of an understatement.

To Read is to Dream Scrapbook Layout at PerfectionPending.netThis was my daughter on her 3rd birthday, before she could technically “read”. She is sitting with a stack of books her Grandpa had sent her. I’m not bragging, but she sat here for a solid hour going through these books. Think of it. 1 hour of contentment. From a three year old.

As a parent, I couldn’t be happier that I have a reader in the family. She is now 8 years old, and flies through chapter books in hours, and reading is always one of her favorite things to do.

But, I can’t say my boys have quite caught the reading bug like she has. But, if I will sit down and read a book to them? It’s pretty much the one quiet moment in our day where both boys are able to stop touching each other (for no apparent reason) and listen. Quietly. Heavenly right?

But, to be perfectly honest, life is busy, and not all children’s books are pleasant to read (for the parent). Unfortunately, there are some that make me crazy, and I find myself skimming the words hoping to get through it as quickly as possible. But, there are some, that I truly enjoy reading over and over again. Goodnight Moon. Bumblebee Boy. The Giving Tree. Dr. Seuss. There are certain books that capture the hearts of children, but are also entertaining for parents to read too. A win- win, right? That’s what I’m always looking for in a good children’s book.

So, when I was asked to review a children’s book, This House Needs a Mouse, I jumped at the chance. A new book to read? Awesome.

The day the book arrived, my kids were all eating dinner. I had a captivated audience, so I grabbed the book, and read it to them. And, I have to say, my kids were all mesmerized. Not a peep was made, and even I couldn’t wait to see what happened to the main character of the story. A not-so-ordinary mouse (who incidentally loves helping keep the house clean). That’s my kind of mouse.

House-Mouse-book-cover“A beautifully illustrated children’s book with a difference, This House Needs A Mouse is a fun tale of a mouse who seeks a life outside of his caged existence, and through a series of events, finds himself free and experiencing life with all its ups and downs. It’s not just a read-along for your child, this book aimed at 3 to 8 year olds, is a teaching tool for budding readers and writers. Filled with mentor text such as alliteration, vivid verbs and purposeful repetition to name a few, This House Needs A Mouse is educational and delightful.”

*******

The story opens with a cute little family of three, with one on the way. The mom is frazzled because she can’t manage to keep the crumbs off the floor. Ahem. I can’t relate to that at all. (wink wink) So, she comes up with a perfect solution. A mouse.
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Lego Memes. Because we’ve been in the house too long.
28th November 2014

My oldest has pneumonia.

Yep. So, we’ve been stuck in our little house for too many days in a row. I might be going insane. And I’m definitely eating too much and exercising too little. If I had a fitbit, it would probably laugh at me.

My house is strewn with legos and other kid paraphernalia (did you seriously know there was an r in paraphernalia?), and I’ve lost all motivation for picking them up. So, instead, I created some Lego Memes. You’re welcome. Please feel free to share, like, pin, and pray for my sanity.

Give me some more great meme captions for this picture, and I’ll make one and add it to this post!  See, now I have you working for me. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and aren’t getting in fist fights on black Friday.

Parenting Tip Legos will protect you from intruders. perfectionpending.net

Legos. Protecting your home from intruders since 1949.

 

Thanks to my loyal reader (and commenter) Kim from Protean Mom, here are two more for your pleasure. :)

Legos. Helping Parents teach their kids swear words since 1949. Perfectionpending.net Legos. Teaching the parents the two step since 1949.

The Perfect Rolls From Scratch
25th November 2014

I’ve been meaning to get an updated post about this recipe. It’s my mother-in-law’s and she was the roll queen. Luckily, my husband loves to bake bread (mostly because he loves to eat bread) and he paid attention when she was still alive to learn how to make these rolls.

I mean, he made these this week. Aren’t they beautiful?

The perfect rolls from scratch! perfection pending.net

Baking bread takes way more patience than I have time for, so I don’t even attempt it, but I always have people asking for the recipe after they try my husband’s rolls, so I thought I’d share it with all of you!  And, I’ve even known some families to give up their roll recipe they’ve been using for years for this one. They even make amazing cinnamon rolls too!

How to Make PERFECT Rolls from Scratch. This recipe will become your go-to recipe for holidays and special events!

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The Identity Crisis of Motherhood
10th November 2014

He reached up for my hand in the store and said, “I hold your hand, Mommy?” I grabbed his tiny, almost 3-year-old hand and for a second, my heart exploded. I wanted nothing more in the world than to hold that tiny hand forever and ever.

Lately, I’ve been feeling more often than not those quiet feelings of immense gratitude. I look at my kids and feel a love so enormous it would literally be impossible to express. I see glimpses of the big kids that they will one day be. Some days, I feel glad life seems to poke by slowly, and they will still be two years old tomorrow. I’m finally wishing for life to slow down instead of speed up.

Some days, I think, I’m finally beginning to be the mom I’ve always wanted to be. The one that is present when it’s important. Who follows those little whispers to give undivided attention when it matters. The one that breathes in their smell right after a nap and promises herself, wills herself, to remember it. The one that sees the importance of child-rearing and not only appreciates it, but loves it.

But, I’m imperfect, and well aware that next week, I might be crying in the bathroom because I yelled at my kids for letting the glow stick leak onto the living room chair and ruin it. I hear a quiet whisper in my head of a quote I heard somewhere that one time, “People are more important than things”. I swallow the anger and promise myself that I’ll do better the next day. And, I might forget that a few days before I was the mom that I wanted to always be.
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