Saturday, December 29, 2012


Well it's official, Christmastime has come and gone for this year.  It seems like it was just Halloween but now here we sit on the edge of a new year and on the brink of another year of wonderful possibilities and memories to make. I am excited for what 2013 will bring for our family! (Hopefully the addition of another little miracle to our family, or at least the announcement of one. Let's keep our fingers crossed!) However we have several accomplishments to make before another lil one can be added to the family.  These include potty training and the movement to a "big boy" bed for Colton in the near future. Two things that are sure to prove stressful and time consuming. :)

Christmas for our family was wonderful this year, but very busy at times.  With the constant flow of family members in and out of town and lots of "last minute" things to get done, it's no wonder that the holiday flew by before I really had a chance to sit down and enjoy it!  I didn't even get my Christmas cards mailed out this year or family Christmas pictures taken. At times I felt like I failed this holiday season, but once I saw how excited and happy my son was on Christmas morning I realized that those other things don't matter, all that matters is that everyone is together, healthy, and happy!

Here is a few photos of the last few days:

This was Cubby's last night here for the year. He had a
movie night with the Grinch and Max.

Santa came!!


Santa's letter to Colton...

Daddy and Colton on Christmas morning...

I love Christmastime and spending time with our families.  Even with the craziness of shopping, cleaning, baking, and visiting, there is nothing that I cherish more. I hope everyone out there had a wonderful holiday with their friends and family! :)




With the cold weather and snow everywhere lately, eating at home is not just something that our family enjoys but also is a necessity. Italian meals are our comfort food and even though they come with lots of carbs and calories, being part of an Italian family makes them a very common choice for weekly dinners. My husband loves pasta, but making plain old spaghetti every week gets boring so I like to make a variety of pasta dishes. Including this recipe for scrumptious stuffed manicottis that I threw together a few years ago and has become a big hit in our house.

Click on the "RECIPES" tab to find out how to make this meal.

Monday, December 24, 2012


Holidays are such a wonderful time, but with all the excitement and fun comes a lot of stress.  However, I made a vow to not let all the stress of cleaning, preparing, shopping, and family visits keep my family from enjoying the holidays! So every night after dinner, my son and I (and my husband when he's off) cuddle up under a warm blanket and watch holiday movies!

I really enjoy sharing the movies that I loved as a kid with Colton. Many of them are classics and much better than the ones that are made today. To see which movies made our favorites list, click on the "CHRISTMAS" tab on my Holidays page.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Baking at Christmastime is doesn't have to be confined to cookies, nothing adds variety to a cookie tray like delicious pieces of homemade candy. One type of candy that I love to add to my trays are chocolate truffles. These incredibly simple yet absolutely delicious treats are sure to please everyone! And with only two ingredients, even the most inexperienced baker can whip these up in no time!

Find the recipe to these yummy chocolate delights under my "RECIPE" tab. 


The arrival of Colton's Elf on a Shelf has been a blessing this year. With temper tantrums a frequent occurrence, the reminder that Santa's helper is watching him seems to help. It's working so well that I'm considering having him stay year round.  Colton loves finding Cubby in the morning and seeing what he's been up to!

Cubby "Tebowing"....
Yesterday, Colton found Cubby trying to steal
Christmas cookies...
Cubby went on a date with Mrs. Potato Head.
Apparently she was talking too much so he took
her mouth piece off!
To be continued....

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Every year, I bake several different kinds of Christmas cookies and treats for my family as well as for friends and neighbors. While I always try to make a few new recipes each year, there are some true favorites (most of them family recipes) that I bake every year.  One of these family recipes is my grandmother's recipe for Kolache. These little jelly filled cookies are a hit with everyone!

You can find the recipe for these totally yummy cookies and more on my Christmas page under the "Holidays" tab!

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I have to admit that I'm really having fun with this whole Elf on the Shelf thing. I love coming up with new cute ideas for Colton's elf.  Colton loves him! The purpose of him is also slowly working. When Colton starts acting up, I remind him that his Elf reports to Santa every night and he is slowly learning to not throw a temper tantrum every time he doesn't get his own way. That makes this mommy happy :)

Here is what "Cubby" has been up to the last few days....

Last night, he built an army of Gummy Bears....

Tonight, he's playing with daddy's Playstation...

Saturday, December 15, 2012


My son Colton has recently entered that "wonderful" phase known as the terrible two's. Temper tantrums and whining have become an all to familiar event in our house lately, so I decided that this year would be the perfect time to introduce the "Elf on the Shelf" idea to him. While he is still a little young to understand the concept completely, he does respond when I tell him that the elf, which he named "Cubby" is watching him and telling Santa.

Being the Pinterest obsessed person that I am, I love reading and finding cute Elf on the Shelf ideas, among other things. I've also come up with some cute ideas on my own and so I've decided to make a quick post each day to show what "Cubby" is up to.  I love the whole idea of the Elf on the Shelf, if they would have had this when I believed in Santa, I would have always been on my best behavior.


This morning Colton found him riding off in his police car. He thought it was the funniest thing seeing him trying to squeeze into his car.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Here we are less than two weeks away from Christmas and I haven't made any posts about all the fun Christmas related things that I have been up to. It's no surprise that with all the decorating, crafting, and yummy baking that goes along with Christmastime, that this is one of my favorite times of the year. But more important is all the wonderful time I get to spend with my family, especially my little boy. He is truly the best present I have ever received. 

Since story time is one of the most special times we have together, I decided to make a Christmas bedtime story advent calendar, similar to the one that I made for Halloween.

Check out my list of Christmas themed books that I used this year. You can find them on my Christmas page under the "Holidays" tab.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Recently, with crabby two year old filled days and a husband in the police academy five days a week, the idea of going out and letting someone cook me dinner couldn't be farther from reality.  However, I found out through talking to a friend that one of my favorite restaurants, Olive Garden, posts many of their recipes on their website.  So atleast I can get the taste of a restaurant meal.

Last night, I decided to try my favorite recipe of theirs, Stuffed Chicken Marsala. It turned out AMAZING and had TONS of flavor! I altered the recipe slightly and absolutely loved it!

Click on my "Recipes" tab for the recipe.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Daily cleaning is a vital part of a well kept home, but every so often a deep cleaning is important to get rid of the things that a quick cleaning miss. One of the most commonly missed areas of the house is the kitchen sink. After almost every use I wipe down our kitchen sink to make it look clean. But about once a week I run through the following process to tackle the things that my routine cleaning misses. The best part is that I do it without using all those store bought chemical cleaners.

Click on my "Cleaning and Organizing" tab to see how!


Even though Halloween has come and gone for this year, and the sights and sounds of Thanksgiving and Christmas are everywhere, I wanted to share another Halloween post before moving on to the endless list of Christmas things I want to accomplish.

In our house we countdown to the holidays not only with activities and movies each day, but also with story time. During October, Colton's bedtime stories are all Halloween related. Click on the "Halloween" tab on  my "Holidays" page to see our booklist for this Halloween. :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


It's not just the autumn air and pumpkin patches that make my love for Halloween as strong as when I was a kid. It's also the opportunity to snuggle up under a blanket with my son and watch those Halloween-themed kid's movies that I loved growing up! I've noticed in the last few years that some of the new movies will assuredly be favorites of Colton's for years to come. It seems as if we watch "Spookley the Square Pumpkin" at least twice a day. And even though I know the movie word for word now, I secretly love it! I definitely have a kid side and being a mother has given me an excuse to show it. Here are the movies that help us get into the Halloween mood. :)

You can find the list on my "Halloween" page under the Holidays tab.

Monday, October 29, 2012


It's hard to believe that in a few short days all the Halloween decorations will be packed away for another year and the site of Thanksgiving and Christmas will be everywhere. How did October fly by so fast? I admit that between my new business venture, family birthdays, illnesses, and the general preparations for Halloween, that it is no surprise that November is right around the corner!

For several months now, I have been on the fence about investing the time and effort into becoming a Thirty One Gifts consultant. However, after some convincing from friends and family I decided to give it a try. And I am SO happy that I did. In the few short weeks since I signed up, I have made money, earned LOTS of free products and most importantly I have met some really great people! The initial investment was worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY! It's amazing that for only a small $99 investment that I would get everything that I needed to get my business off to a great start (everything below)!

And the greatest thing about selling Thirty One is that it doesn't feel like a job because it is so much fun! What other job pays you to have parties and socialize with friends and make some really great new ones! When I signed up I was worried that I would eventually run out of people to have parties. However, Thirty One taught me to step out of my comfort zone and contact new people. In the few short weeks of selling, I have successfully booked 5 parties and 4 craft/vendor shows! I couldn't have asked for a better beginning to this new venture!

While I will admit that I have invested alot of time this month to my new job, I still found time to complete what seemed like an endless list of things to be done. One item that I still haven't completed is my son's Halloween costume (and let's be honest, the clock is ticking away while I am typing this). I decide back in September that my son would be something "cute" again this year for Halloween, before the inevitable string of superhero and monster costumes that will probably be starting next year. But for this year, my son could careless about what his costume is and only about the attention that he gets while he wears it. I went through endless mind changes about what it should be, from a dinosaur to a clown to a lion, and finally to a scarecrow. After looking around online for a "cute" scarecrow costume without any luck, I finally decided to whip out my creative side and design one myself. It started off well but after several days of illnesses and terrible-two-temper-tantrum crazy days I find myself two days until Halloween with only half of a costume completed. On the upside, becasue of Hurricane Sandy all of the towns around me have postponed trick-or-treating until Saturday. This is good, now I have a few extra days to get this done! (I will post pictures once completed).

While the effects of the hurricane have given me more time for Colton's costume, I can't help but feel a little scared of this impending storm that will assuredly affect millions of people. Here in Western Pennsylvania we are already experiencing severe winds and rain and most schools have closed for tomorrow. And while I sit here blogging at the moment, the possibility of being without power in the near future is becoming very real. The winds have already flipped over our furniture on our deck and the worst part hasn't even reached us yet.  I am concerned for what our area will see but my heart goes out to all those along the coast that are experiencing this mass destruction. It's so sad to watch the news and see everything that has been destroyed already by the storm. Many of my favorite places in Ocean City have been destroyed or very badly damaged. It's hard to believe that we were just there a few months ago and many of the places we went to are no longer there. I just pray that there are not many lives lost because of it.

Ocean City, MD boardwalk when we were there in June 2012.

Ocean City, MD boardwalk BEFORE hurricane Sandy 10-29-1012

On a happier note, we took Colton to a pumpkin festival again this year and he had a blast! This year we took him to Soergel's Orchard. It's probably the best one that we have been to in the last few years.

I was bummed that the sign was on a hill
so he couldn't stand up against it.

He loved playing in the straw pile with the other little kids and also got to paint his very own pumpkin! He could barely reach the top of the table but insisted on doing it without any help.  He was very determined and looked so cute! I think Halloween is going to be his favorite holiday.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Decorating for the holidays has always been something that I look forward to doing.  One decoration that I have always wanted to make was a shadow box scene. I love how shadow boxes are a three dimensional wall decorations that stand out so much more than a regular wall hanging. And the best part? You get to use your creative side! This is my Halloween Haunted House Shadow Box.

Click on the "Holidays" tab and then on the "Halloween" tab to see how I made it!

Monday, October 1, 2012


When you have a toddler running around the house grabbing at everything in his reach, you obviously have to limit the type of items you decorate with. I have always loved candles, I have them in every room of my house but they don't get burned very often. So I wanted to come up with a candle-like decoration that would be safe to use in my living room. These "candles" are so simple to make and frightfully cute to look at.

Click on my "Holidays" tab then on the "Halloween" tab to see how I made these. :)

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Back a few years ago I was big into scrapbooking and would purchase scrapbooking supplies almost every time I went to the store. This left me with a TON of unused scrapbook paper and supplies that are just waiting for a purpose. The other day while I was organizing my crafting supplies I came across the bin with all my scrapbook paper in it. As I was looking through it, I came across some really cute Halloween papers. I decided to use the paper to cover some wooden letters and make a crafty little Halloween decoration.

Click on my "Holidays" tab and then the "Halloween" tab to see how to make this!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Halloween has always been my favorite holiday and growing up I used to look forward to decorating my parents house. One of my favorite movies to watch around Halloween is "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and I just love Jack "The Pumpkin King"! I saw this idea on Pinterest a while back and decided that I had to make one. It came out super cute and I think it looks spooky sitting on the table in our entryway.

Click on my "Holidays" tab then click on "Halloween" tab to find out how I made this spooky cute pumpkin!


Here are some of the Halloween/Autumn Quiet Book Pages that I have completed so far. I think they came out super cute. Please click on my Kid's Korner or Holiday (then Halloween tab) to see the rest of the pages!


I have been so busy lately that I have been neglecting my Quiet Book pages.  I have completed a few pages in the last couple months that I haven't gotten around to posting yet. So now I am. I am in the process of completing several more now so I will be posting them as I get them finished.

Click on my Kid's Korner tab to see all my new pages. :)


I love having different activities for my son to do during the week so that he's learning and playing at the same time.  And to be honest it gives me a chance to have him sit still for a few minutes so that I can do the dishes, vacuum or get a load of laundry done. I also love that I always have something he created to hang on my fridge. :) I want to give him something to make that had to do with Autumn so I thought what says Fall better than a tree with different colored leaves?!
Find this cute toddler activity under my Kid's Korner tab :)


Recently my husband and I have gotten into the routine of eating chicken most nights rather than red meat. And while he is still a big steak and potatoes kind of guy, he really has adapted to our new meal routine without much fuss. However, when you eat chicken five days a week, it becomes a real challenge to find variety in recipe options. While perusing what ingredients I had in my pantry and fridge, I decided to try and throw together a creamy sauce for on top of chicken. As with all of my recipe creations, my husband Jeremy, becomes my guinea pig taste tester. (One reason for this is because of the honest response, good or bad, that I get from him) When he tasted this dish though, he said it was awesome and requested me to make it again ASAP!  A++ for me I guess! :)  And the best part's only 265 CALORIES A SERVING!!!!

Click on my "Recipes" tab for the recipe! Enjoy!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


After my son Colton was born and I became a stay at home mom, I returned to my crafty roots and begin sewing and crafting again. And what better way to start than to make baby items for my lil pumpkin! I drew up some patterns for my first few items and began sewing! Before I knew it, I had tons of bibs, burp cloths, etc. for my son and several set aside for our next bundle of joy. They ended up turning out so cute that I soon had requests from people who wanted to buy them from me.  I think they really like the idea of getting all different fabric patterns instead of the same old ones from the stores. Since they have become such a big hit with people, I decided to start selling them online for people who just don't have the time or patience to make them.

Check out my "CRAFTING" page to see how-to's for all my baby items as well as tons of other craft ideas and instructions.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


When it comes to dinner, I am always looking for new recipes to try that my family will love. However, there are a few recipes that my husband and I crave often. One in particular is my mother's recipe for Parmesan Bread Pork Chops. They are super easy to make and absolutely delicious! Find the recipe on my "Recipe" page. Enjoy!

Friday, September 7, 2012


Whoever said that kids grow up before you can blink an eye was so right! It seems like just yesterday I was holding that little 7 lb. 15 oz baby boy. And now here I am posting about his SECOND BIRTHDAY party.  My little baby is two, I just can't believe it. 

I started planning his birthday party back in May (yes that's right MAY), and I was sure that it was going to be a Mickey Mouse theme. However, as it got closer and closer to August I noticed that his love for Winnie the Pooh was turning into a toddler obsession. Everyday we would watch one of the Winnie the Pooh movies and read Winnie the Pooh books.  So obviously, I knew that the birthday party theme had to be changed to Pooh. 


Thursday, September 6, 2012


In the past month, atleast six of our friends have either had a baby or announced that they are expecting! Totally exciting right? Well, with all this baby talk comes what else but BABY FEVER! My hubby and I have begun talking about adding the next little bundle of joy to our family. And while my baby fever is in full effect, we've decided that we won't start trying until after the holidays. But since I can't seem to erase the subject of babies from my brain, I figured that this would be the perfect time to do some baby related projects.

For a long time now, I have been one of those people that cannot walk into a fabric store without leaving with TONS of cute fabric (even if I have no current plan for it). I have accumulated lots and lots of baby/kid related fabric and I wanted to put it to good use. One of the projects that I decided to make was a Baby Bib & Burp Cloth set.  As soon as people saw how cute they turned out, requests started pouring in for them. Not only have I made them for friends and family, I have been setting some aside for our next baby. They are super easy and relatively quick to make!  I will also be setting up an Etsy store so that my less crafty readers can purchase them.

(NFL Team Logo Set)

(Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Set)

These sets are made from pre-washed flannel fabric, printed on the front with a coordinating solid color on the back. The bibs have a snap closure on the neck. I will also be making some with velcro closures and placing them in my Etsy store. Once I set up my Etsy store page, I will post the link.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


My son's birthday falls in August and I wanted to figure out some different ways to decorate our home for his birthday. Since no holidays fall in the month of August, our front door was looking a little bare without a wreath.  So I decided that it would be a perfect time to make a Birthday wreath for our door. I came across a similar idea on Pinterest for a balloon topiary and figured it would make a cute wreath.  It came out so cute that everyone who comes over asks me to make them one too!

This wreath was incredibly easy to make. The how-to is on my "BIRTHDAY" page :)

Friday, August 31, 2012


So I say this in almost every post but I'll say it again, I really need to start posting regularly. I appreciate everyone who sticks with me while i grow into this whole blogging thing. :) I love the emails and feedback I get from everyone! And I promise I will really start posting more often, especially now that the holidays are around the corner!! Can you believe it, Halloween is almost here! I can already smell the pumpkin patch Yankee Candles and hear the leaves crackling under my feet. I have so many awesome holiday ideas to post about and can't wait to share them with you. :))

Anyways, a lot has been going on recently. For the last few weeks I have been planning and creating an awesome Winnie the Pooh birthday party for my son! I will be posting pictures as well as instructions on several of my party ideas shortly. The party went wonderfully and Colton loved all the Pooh decorations! I just cannot believe that my little baby boy is actually 2 years old now! I definitely have mixed feelings about this. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

My Quiet Book Pages - Part 1

I've been working for a while on a Quiet Book for my son.  I have to admit that this is definitely a time consuming project but it's pretty fun at the same time.  I did a lot of "blog surfing" for ideas before I started and came across some really good pages that i wanted to include in my book.  I also pulled out my creative side and came up with some of my own ideas as well. Click on my "KIDS KORNER" tab to see my first pages.  I will post more as I complete them :))

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

It's Been AWHILE!

Hey everyone! I know its been awhile since I've made any posts here. Its been a pretty crazy June and I just could never seem to find the time to sit down an post. I have been up to a lot of things this past month and will be posting about them soon! 

Earlier this month we went to Ocean City, MD for a week and while it wasn't as hot as i would have wanted it was still great beach weather!  My husband and I really enjoyed just relaxing on the beach while Colton had fun playing in the sand. 

(I love how my foot looks the same size as my husband's. LOL)

Since returning from vacation I have begun several projects that I hope to post about soon! I started making a Quiet Book for Colton and have completed several pages! I can't wait to share my pages with you all, it's definitely a fun project that I know my son will LOVE!

Another thing I wanted to share with all of you were two items that i found on a recent trip to Costco. While as a general rule I usually do not buy alot of premade frozen food for meals, however, when I saw these I knew I had to try them.
These are amazing!  If you belong to Costco, you have to look for them.  The raviolis are in the freezer section. They are stuffed with mozzarella cheese and spinach...sooo good!! They have a parmesan herb packet that you sprinkle on them after you cook them. They are amazing! The other thing is a stuffed Chicken breast that is stuffed with artichokes and spinach. It's just like having spinach artichoke dip inside chicken! Yummy!! I definitely would recommend these to anyone! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Every child should have a felt board to play with.  It teaches them about colors, shapes, and creativity.  My son spends so much time playing with this that i'm going to have to make more pieces for him.  I have a large one for home and this "mini" one for in the car and diaper bag! It's a great toddler busy bag activity!

Click on my "Kid's Korner" tab to view this great busy bag idea!


I am currently focusing on teaching my son his colors and i just love using this activity.  It uses a fun ice cream theme in order to build toddler matching skills. It's also a great busy bag activity and i will be bringing this one along on vacation for sure!

Just click on my "Kid's Korner" tab to see how i made this activity. :)