Friday, August 30, 2019

Friday Favorites (Eva is Going to Kindergarten Edition)

It's Friday which means it is time for Friday Favorites.  Last Friday was dedicated to Diana and this Friday I am dedicating to Eva.  As always, linking up with the lovely ladies HERE

Eva is going off to Kindergarten on Tuesday which means full day school every day....bus rides...and new friends....I am being brave but seriously friends, I am a mess inside.

Yesterday was the day that she got to take a bus ride for the first time and meet her teacher.

Truth be told she has been apprehensive because she doesn't know anyone in her class and seeing her nervous just crushes me.  

Anyway, yesterday was a success.  After she got to meet her new teacher Mrs. Q, check out her classroom AND get a Popsicle, she was feeling a little better.

Snapped several pics...you will probably see her apprehension....I am not crying YOU are...ahhhhhhh

 Making a card for Mrs. Q before we go!

With Best Pal Sophie before boarding the buses!

The buses are here!

Gotta squeeze in a selfie of course :)

Meeting Mrs. Q was so fun! (Side Note: Mrs. Q has twins in Diana's class and she was one of Diana's math tutors last year- we LOVE her!)

Photo Booth Time- "Mom seriously?" ha ha!

and one of the most exciting things about this year is that this a brand new school!  We waited years for this to happen and little Eva gets to benefit!  It is so beautiful and it would not be complete without a little GRIT!

So....stay tuned for Tuesday....when I will be Ugly Crying....sigh...have a wonderful weekend friends!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Thankful Thursday - Back To School Edition

 It's time for another edition of "Thankful Thursdays!"  Patty and I thought it would be fun to share our gratitude as we all head "Back To School". Please linkup with us and share what you are grateful for this time of year.  You can find our Linkup HERE

 I am thankful that I get to get my girls on the bus- it is a luxury I do not take for granted

As much as I love summer, I am thankful for the structure, routines and of course meal planning

I am thankful that I can watch my girls grow and learn new things and get excited about school fun and activities like dance, hockey and soccer

and I am thankful that I will have more time this year to get things done...less noise...more focus...even though I will miss that little voice XO

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

What's Up Wednesday (August 2019)

I can't believe August is almost over...this has definitely been the roughest month of the year for us but we always have blind faith and know a bigger door will be opening soon and HEY!  This is my favorite linkup for the month and a great distraction.  Linking up with the lovely ladies HERE

What We're Eating This Week

Meal Planning is starting to be a thing again here.....but we are not going hard core until next week AND Mama has the month of September all planned out FTW!

This week....

Monday- Weekend Leftovers meant Grilled Chicken and Steak with Grilled Veggies and Roasted Potatoes

Tuesday-Cocktail Meatballs (Recipe coming soon because my girls devoured them which I am so excited about) with Brown Rice and Steamed Green Beans

Wednesday- Pasta with Marinara for the Kiddos and Baked Eggplant Rollatini for the Adults

Thursday- Mimi's Mushroom Chicken with Veggies and Salad

Friday- Friday Night Pizza and Salad Night

 What I'm Reminiscing About

Childhood Memories....Childhood Homes...

What I'm Loving

 It will sound weird but the summer thunder storms that hit around dinner time....I love the beautiful weather we have been having AND the thunderstorms make you not only appreciate the days we have had but it reminds you that it is still summer :)

What We've Been Up To 

  A Whole Lotta Praying...when I have the energy...hopefully by next month...I will recap August and September at that point...until then...keeping the faith

What I'm Dreading

When Eva starts Kindergarten next week...I will be excited and nervous for her and at the same time, dreading that she will no longer be home during the day...it is the end of an era and this chapter in our lives and I will miss her little voice in the background as I work...sigh...

What I'm Working On

Making placements....networking for my hubby...and working on my 2019 Goals

What I'm Excited About

For my girls to have a great school year

What I'm Watching/Reading

Dance Moms Marathon Continues

We also Binge-Watched "Dead To Me" one weekend and loved it- can't wait for Season 2!

My So Called Life

Classic 90's Series...enjoying this once again

Can't wait for two of my faves to come back over the next few weeks too!

Workin' Moms and


and my two books for August were

Will I Ever Be Good Enough by Karyl McBride

and Chicken Soup For The Soul- Answered Prayers Edition by Jack Canfield and Others

What I'm Listening To

Instead of flipping around and skipping all the songs on my phone, I have been letting them play...and I thought I would get squacking from the back seat but they seem to be digging my music so there's that ;)  My music is all over the place too...some classics...some 90's alternatives...some pop hits

What I'm Wearing

Recapped some Summer Fashion Faves a few weeks back HERE

What I'm Doing This Weekend

My besties are taking me out Friday night to celebrate my birthday.  Rob and I are attending Janie's 60th Birthday Dinner on Saturday Night and then we are relaxing and getting ready for school to start on Tuesday!  Now it feels too fast!

What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month

I am really hoping and praying for a new job for Rob!

What Else Is New?

I think I covered it all XO

Friday, August 23, 2019

Friday Favorites (All About Diana Edition)

Thank God for Friday right?  Linking up with the lovely ladies HERE 

Normally I would share some faves from our week BUT today's post is all about Little Miss Diana Mary...a.k.a our little Monkey/Monk :)

Diana Mary turns 11 tomorrow- 11!  It sounds so cliche but I can't believe it.  As someone once told me...."the days go by so slowly but the years go by so quickly"

From our "Little Fairy" on her first Halloween to our Beautiful Ballerina today, she has made us proud

She is a feisty firecracker...never easy...but full of spirit and when she smiles up at me now with her little brace face, I melt....

She is a dedicated dancer...a wonderful sister and a faithful daughter...she appreciates all the work that goes into keeping us all together...I am proud that she has picked up the gratitude gene...sure she asks for a lot but always understands when the answer is no

Though she is not a big fan of eating, she does enjoy snacking...like a little mouse..she would be happiest with grazing on little snacks throughout the day :)

 I am grateful for this little girl and how she made me a Mama...she definitely challenges us to become better, more patient, people...I love this age...I love our talks and I love the young lady she has become...we will be celebrating you all weekend long Monkey.  Happy Birthday!  I love you my "Baby Bird" XO

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Taco Bowls

So....as we have discussed before....my kids like so many of yours are picky!  I get discouraged when making meals that I get excited about...only to sit down as a family and hear moaning and see looks of disgust.

Are you with me?

As I have also mentioned, meal planning goes out the window over the summer, in these parts.  BUT...we go back to school in two weeks and I am starting to think and plan...I am going to try and do meal planning one month at a time...let's see if I can stick to it!  

Anyway....saw this meme and had to share it...made me crack up....

One of our favorite shows is "Out Daughtered."  The girls and I watched it all summer and can't wait for it to come back in the Fall..so excited that we don't have to wait for the return as long this time.  

Danielle, the mom, is always making meals that her 6 girls devour...I give her the Praise God hands and really want to emulate that.

One of the dishes she made the girls that they seemed to really enjoy was "Taco Bowls." Not even sure what recipe she followed but I got inspired...started researching and put together my own version.  Now when I say my version, I really mean my TWO versions- one for the kids and one for the adults.

I set out determined to make something my girls would enjoy and THEY DID...I was so excited!!

I, of course, wanted to share the recipe with you.  This one will definitely be in the "school year rotation" and in fact, we had it again this week too because it is so yummy!


1 lb of ground beef (for the adults I used 1 lb of ground chicken)
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar
Salt and Pepper to Taste
TJ's Chile Lime Seasoning (for the adults only)
Shredded Lettuce, Jalapenos and Tomatoes for toppings (for the adults only)
Tortilla Chips


Spray your frying pan- I used Pam
Add onions and saute until translucent (approx 7 minutes)
Add meat and brown
Season to your desire
Add cheese and stir until melted
Put a good size helping in a bowl and add tortilla chips for dipping

For Rob and I, I added lettuce, tomatoes and jalapenos which gave the dish an extra kick AND crunch!  

Serving this with carrots and celery makes it a complete meal for the kiddos FTW!

Enjoy :)

  and hey....another option for your Taco Tuesday!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

2019 Trip to Santa's Village and Story Land

We debated whether or not to go on this trip this year given the circumstances BUT how can you let your little kids down...just couldn't do it AND we had already purchased our park tickets and paid for our hotel so it really was a no brainer.

We also always have such a great time...the kids have the time of their lives and we get to spend some quality time with our friends that we don't get to see often enough (even though we live in the same town)

I am so glad we went...we all agreed that it ended up being our best year yet...the kids are at the perfect ages...they got along for the most part....played endlessly and squealed with pure joy....all of this in the middle of the White Mountains in NH makes it the perfect little getaway.  The bonus was that the parents had a blast catching up...reminiscing and such...and Mama is so very grateful for the QT with her bestie Jill...my heart was squished.  


We headed straight up to Santa's Village and it took us a little over two hours.  It was a pleasant and peaceful drive and I always snap a few pics of the mountains.  The pics never do them justice.  They are beautiful...it was foggy too so tough to see how majestic.

Once there, we always have to take our traditional family picture of course!

The kids go into "Elf University" and get their punch cards.  They run around the park finding the elves and punch holes in their cards so they can get a prize at the end of the day.  Once they start that process, then the rides start of course...it is all pure Christmas Magic...even in the heart of summer!

We fed the reindeer...

and posed in front of Dancer of course

We decorated gingerbread cookies- the most delicious gingerbread you will ever taste!

and they even had Christmas coffee RTG!

Inside Santa's House

Meeting Santa!

At the end of the day the kids turned in their cards and got cool certificates and key chains :)

After Santa's Village, we drove 45 minutes over to the Attitash area and stopped for dinner at The Red Parka.  It was so cute and yummy.  At this point, we were all wiped!  

After dinner, we checked into our hotel- The Grand Summit Hotel- we had stayed here two years ago and wanted to go back- it was the best place in all our years- their pool and hot tubs rock- the kids have an absolute ball!  This first night, though, we all crashed early...or tried to anyway...

There was a fire alarm and we all had to go outside...boo...we laughed though...it's all you can do....

Then we crashed!


We were up bright and early and grabbed a quick breakfast at the hotel.  Then we were all off to Story Land which was only less than 10 minutes from our hotel!  Another great park day- I was very impressed by us- 6.5 hours each day- back to back- we rocked it!

Our Obligatory Annual Kid Pic....

Look how much they have grown....




Oh my Word- I can't take it!

In Jail Again! ;)

When I was little, you had to ask this lion fountain, "May I please have a drink of water?" Then it would turn on and you could get a drink.  It is just stationary nowadays :)

Once we were all Story Land'd out...we headed to dinner to our annual fave stop, The Red Foxx, for an awesome dinner and drinks.  This is the restaurant that has both a toy/play room AND a movie room for the kids so we can pretty much let the kids run wild and it is OK!  Genius right?

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to change and made the long-awaited pool time happen for the kiddos....Rob headed to the liquor store to grab some adult beverages and bumped into my Uncle and Cousin- we laughed so hard- such a small world...of all places! 

Then it was pool time....the kids were so happy...it is an awesome pool AND has two adjacent hot tubs...what more could you want?

The next morning, we hit the road at 6am so I was back at my desk by 8 and ready to rock this new week.  As we were checking out, I spotted this sign at the front desk.  This is NO JOKE..this is total NH folks....very funny that I live here....made me chuckle ;)

I am really glad we went...I don't regret it...helped us to stop...live in the present...and push the anxiety to the side for a couple of days anyway...the smiles on our girls' faces were priceless...and these years are so short XO
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