Sunday, February 2, 2014


Have you ever walked into a room and found your little one making a "mountain" of toys on the floor for no particular reason? Lately my son has been doing just that. Most days, the hour right after he wakes from his nap involves him playing quietly in his room watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while I attempt to finish up some Thirty One business that I started while he was asleep.  The idea sounds easy enough right? Unfortunately within that small hour, my son manages to turn his room into a landfill; complete with every single piece of clothing in his dresser, all his books from his bookshelf, and most frustrating...every single puzzle he owns.  I walk into his room and for a second cannot process my thoughts because I am overwhelmed with the mess that I now have to help him clean up. Fortunately without much resistance he picks up his clothes and books and puts them away.  However the puzzles are another story altogether.

My 3 year old absolutely LOVES puzzles and we have tons of them.  When he was not even three yet, he was putting together 40-50 piece puzzles...which completely baffled everyone.  Not long after his 3rd birthday he was putting together 100+ piece puzzles. Naturally, the more puzzle pieces a puzzle has, the smaller they are.   So you can understand my frustration when he manages to dump five or more puzzles into a pile mixing them up together.  I usually spend 30 minutes at least trying to figure out what pieces go with which puzzle.  This takes up a lot of time that we could be doing something else, so I started doing something that I remember seeing when I was a child.

Although, I am sure this is nothing new and that many of you moms out there already had this idea. I just wanted to share because it has really saved me a lot of time in the afternoon.  Not only when my son manages to dump all his puzzles into one large pile, but also when he actually puts them together they end up spread out all over our floor and putting them away is much faster and easier now.  Especially when I find a stray piece laying on the floor somewhere.

This is so simple, I just assign each puzzle a number and write that number somewhere on the outer box or tin.  Then with a sharpie, I write that number on the back of each puzzle piece, so it's easy to see which piece goes with which puzzle.  Love it!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Looking for something incredibly easy and quick to make for tonight's dinner? Check out my recipe for Cheesy Broccoli Chicken HERE or go to my Recipes page for lots of other yummy recipes!

Sunday, January 5, 2014



I hope everyone out there had a wonderful holiday season! Ours was super busy and stressful this year which is why I haven't posted. However, there are many things that I want to share with you all and will be posting about in the next few days! I completed some really cute holiday projects this year and still would like to blog about them.  Hopefully you will find them interesting and cute and use them for ideas next year!

We've also had some big…I mean HUGE milestones here in our house over the last few months.  My son Colton ditched the binky habit, moved to a big boy bed, AND has almost mastered potty training!! Talk about exhausting! I definitely look forward to blogging about these huge hurdles we have passed and sharing what did and didn't work for  us!  I spent a lot of time online getting ideas and tips from other mothers out there, so I am hoping that those who will read my posts find them helpful too!  Oh and there was that other not some awesome milestone…I turned 30 in December. :/  This was a hard one for me! But after shedding lots of tears, I seem to be doing better.  I guess 30 isn't so bad after all….

Now that 2014 is here and since its the start of a new year and new beginnings, I plan on adding a few new sections to my blog.  One of my New Year's resolutions was to get back into reading again.  I used to love reading and found it very relaxing. But since i had my son, I have all but given up this hobby... unless you count the endless Berenstain Bears and Little Golden Books I have read.  There is a group of you that have asked if I would like to join their online book club and i have decided to make a page dedicated to the books I've read. Who doesn't like a review before starting a book?! I know I always read them beforehand.

 I also plan on adding a page dedicated to my life as a Police Wife.  So many thoughts and worries go through my head each day and now my husband took a job in an town with an even higher crime rate.  I've been told many times to not let worry consume you and to talk them out.  Over the last year or so, I have become online friends with many law enforcement wives as well as with ones that live near me.  We talk often and it helps, I feel that now that my husband has taken this job, I will need to talk even more. This section of my page will be mostly for those that share my worries and fears, but I hope that others also find it interesting and gain knowledge of what the families of those that keep you all safe everyday really go through.

So that's what has been going on lately in a nutshell and what to look forward to reading on my page.  Check back soon :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013


It may sound cliché but it really does seem like just yesterday that I was sitting down to blog about Colton's 2nd birthday party. And now here it is....a year later and I can honestly say that this slippery slope that we are on taking him from baby to teenager needs to slow down! It seems like my little guy was just barely making sense with his 2 year old chatter....and now here he is talking non-stop about everything under the sun! And it's leaving this mommy with a serious case of "where did my little tiny baby go?!"
This year planning Colton's birthday party was a little different. I was able to ask him what kind of party he wanted and while he didn't really understand at first what I was asking, when I gave him the option of Mickey Mouse, Dinosaur Train, Jake the Neverland Pirates, and Cat in the Hat, he immediately chose Mickey! I can't say that I was surprised, lately we've been watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse marathons (thanks to our DVR)! If I have to dance to the Hot Dog Dance one more time I think I'll scream! But nevertheless, I knew the next few weeks would be Mickey overload.  But I was ready for it!

Click HERE to see some decorations and food ideas from Colton's Mickey Mouse party!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


For years I have loved to buy Apple Chips in the store, they were sweet, crunchy, and best of all....a lot healthier than regular potato chips.  I used to buy them in bulk and then one day, I went grocery shopping and NONE. There were none to be found in any of the grocery stores around here. I have to admit I was more than a little bummed. I even looked online from the manufacture to see where they were still being sold.  Then one day, I realized how simple these should be to make and decided to attempt it.  It is probably the simplest recipe in existence and they come out perfectly! Click HERE to get the recipe for these scrumptious treats!

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Fourth of July was a nice time for our family. My husband happen to get a few days off (which is a rarity). And we were able to make it to Cleveland for a family 4th of July party.  My aunt and uncle have been having this annual party for years and I can remember being so excited for it! I love that they still have the party every year so that I can now take my son!

Since I had my son, I have fallen in love with art made from his little handprints and footprints! I have always adored his ten little fingers and ten little toes. So nothing would be more appropriate than an Independence Day decoration made from his prints.

I made this adorable HANDPRINT AMERICAN FLAG.
It was something super simple that I can frame and have as a decoration for years to come! Click HERE for the tutorial or click on my "4th of July" tab on my HOLIDAYS page to see this and more ideas!

Monday, July 22, 2013


Time sure does pass by so quickly these days.  It definitely does not seem like it has been two months since my last post.  Each day feels like it needs a few more hours, which is something that I think many of you can relate to.  The last two months have been filled with a lot of highs and lows, my Thirty One Gifts business has really taken off, we've begun planning our Walt Disney World vacation for the fall, and my son's upcoming 3rd birthday! Last week however, my feet were knocked out from under me when I found out that my father had a potentially fatal health episode that landed him in the hospital having Open Heart Surgery.  Nothing could compare to the feeling of relief when he made it through the surgery and did well enough to come home five days later. I feel so blessed and pray that he continues to improve.

As I mentioned before, we have decided to take my lil guy to Disney World in October and then subsequently visit Clearwater where I'm from.  We only recently decided to make the trip and I know in the Disney universe, planning a vacation only a few months before can be a real chore.  Disney Resorts are definitely starting to book full and finding a room at a resort we want was a little tricky.  Reservations for specialty dining have also been hit or miss this close to the trip.  We definitely want to take Colton to some "Character Dining" restaurants, and those types sell out months in advance. Our top two character dining restaurants were already completely sold out when I called and so I had to go with our second and third choices, which should still turn out to be awesome!  I know a lot of moms out there want to take their little ones to Disney and love tips.....I know because I am one. So I have decided to make several posts throughout my planning as well as when we return, about things I liked, didn't like, don't recommend, etc.  I always love reading blogs with tips and recommendations from real moms...because I am a real mom, not a travel agent! So look for some upcoming posts on planning my Walt Disney World vacation :)

When we decided to go to Disney, my husband and I planned on telling my son at his 3rd Birthday party (it just happens to appropriately be Mickey-themed this year).  Unfortunately, we made the mistake of talking to my mother about it while he was in the room and now he asks "Are we going to Disney?" constantly.  I needed to figure out a way to help him get through the next three months without driving us completely insane.  I thought about it for a while and decided that we would make a Disney related project or activity each week to keep him excited but not upset that we can't go right this minute.  I also decided to make a "Countdown to Disney World" chart that will start the first day of October. Check back soon for the tutorial!

Here's the first of our Disney-themed projects! A MICKEY MOUSE MUSIC MAKER. It was so simple to make and Colton loved marching around the room making his "music" and singing. Click HERE for the tutorial!