Friday, February 24, 2017

Jackson's Mardi Gras First Birthday Party

A couple of weekends ago, we had a fun Mardi Gras-themed first birthday party for our best boy!

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Emmie was actually the brains behind Jackson's party theme.  About a month before his birthday, we had a king cake at home and gave Jackson a little bite...he loved it!  Emmie, without skipping a beat, said "he's a Mardi Gras baby and should have a Mardi Gras party." It was just kind of set from there.  After all, he was born on Fat Tuesday last year!


Sigh...

We decided to just do a small family party for him this year.  After all, it's not like a one-year-old has a full social file. 😉  We knew that the first birthday party was really just for us, but we still wanted to celebrate him!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Strawberry Banana Poke Cake

This week, I'll be recapping all of the fun we had celebrating Jackson's birthday a couple of weeks ago!  Up first, I thought I'd share a recipe for his addictively good birthday cake.

I actually let Emmie decide what kind of cake we'd have for his first birthday (because...well...he's 1).  She immediately said strawberry - the girl loves a good piece of strawberry cake!  Since I've mentioned before that Jackson is addicted to bananas, I thought I'd step this strawberry cake up a notch.

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The flavors blended perfectly.  It was a really light cake that would be great for spring or summer! Trust me, it's super easy and will make everyone think you worked on it all day.  You've got to give this one a try!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Potluck-Perfect Baked Lasagna

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Friendship Dairies for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Ok guys - you're going to need to trust me for a second.  Because this is one funky sounding recipe.

Over the years, I've learned that if generations of women tell you to use an ingredient in a recipe, even if you think it sounds terrible, it's probably a good idea to at least give it a try.  And, in my family, a perfect example of that is our method to making lasagna.


Both my grandmothers and my mother have always used cottage cheese as their secret ingredient in lasagna.  It sounds so strange, but it adds the perfect amount of thick, creamy, cheese layered goodness.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Emmie's 2017 Compass Valentines (Free Printable!)

Procrastinating moms, unite! 🤣

Y'all - I have so not been on top of Valentines this year.  I took Emmie to pick out what she wanted to give her friends for Valentine's Day last week.  But as far as the actual Valentines went?  Those didn't get done until last night.

Honestly, I have a few legit excuses this year.  Jackson turned 1 last week, so we've been busy celebrating his birthday and hosting his party yesterday (lots of pictures to come, I promise!).  We also live in the land of Mardi Gras, and the celebrations are in full swing.  Noah and I had a Mardi Gras ball Friday night and Noah was in our local Mardi Gras parade Saturday.  It's been a busy few days, so Valentines kind of went by the wayside!


Friday, February 10, 2017

Jackson at ONE YEAR!!


Bobo -

This is it!  You're a whole year old!  Where did this past year go?  Seriously, I blinked and my sleepy, snuggly newborn turned into a funny, chatty, loving big boy.  If you need me for the next few days, I'll be curled up in a corner somewhere.

Here is your one year update! (And the last one for the blog - sad day!)

Weight:

You're weighing in at 24.6 pounds this month.  I have been 100% sure you were going through a growth spurt the past couple of weeks...you seemed so much heavier, but you really only gained about a pound this month.  That puts you in the 91st percentile.

Height:

I stink at measuring you...I got 30" this morning, but I don't think you've shrunk since last month.  We go to the doctor tomorrow so I'll update with a better measurement then!  As of right now, that puts you in the 57th percentile.

Clothing Size:

Your 18 month clothes are perfect!  I'm hoping you hang out in those for awhile.


Diapers:

I'm trying to use up all of our size 3 diapers so you can move on to size 4.  They still work, but they're getting a little small.

Feeding:

Well, I thought our nursing days were over last month - not so much.  You've gotten old enough to start asking to nurse, and definitely aren't afraid to let me know when you're hungry (which is a little awkward when you start pulling my shirt down in public...).  I don't mind keeping on for a few more months - I'm just excited we made it to my goal of a year of nursing!

You are a huge eater. You mostly just eat what we eat for dinner now, I just typically have to tear/chop it into small pieces.  You love yogurt, cheese, hot dogs, bananas (you will loudly scream "NANA!" if you see one, even at the grocery store, as I learned Wednesday), and peanut butter crackers.

Hair/Eyes/Teeth:

Those big brown eyes just kill me!  They are so pretty, and we get comments on them from all of the ladies you flirt with at the grocery store. 😉


You might have a teeny bit more hair this month, but not much.  And I am very excited that you're getting a baby mullet just like your sister had...I love a little baby mullet!

And those dreaded 1 year molars are coming in now (for about the past week).  One has broken through and another one on the bottom looks close.  That makes 9 teeth now.

Sleep:

I forgot how much I love the point where a baby starts really sleeping through the night!  You are a rockstar with nighttime sleeping now.  You go down between 6:30-7 and stay asleep until 6-7 in the morning.  If it's closer to 6, I might try to put you down for a little catnap (sometimes you do, sometimes you don't).


Naps have been a little iffy.  You are pretty good with the morning nap - usually around 2 hours at 9:30-10 in the morning.  But you're starting to skip the afternoon naps.  I'm hoping you don't drop that one for a couple more months, so I'm holding on and hoping this is just teething!

Fun Stuff:

You are full-on crawling now!  You figured out how to actually crawl about a month ago, and it's like something clicked last week - you realized that crawling was easier than scooting.  You're MUCH faster now!


You can cruise a couch like nobody's business, but no actual walking by yourself yet.

You've really started jabbering lately.  It's like you're part of the conversation...we just don't know what you're saying!


You love to "stretch!" (put your hands above your head), clap, talk on the phone (you put it up to your ear if you have one), wave bye-bye/night-night, and we're working on blowing kisses (you get the general idea, you just don't want to do it most of the time).

You still love when Daddy turns you upside down, and you'll rock your head back any chance you get (we're pretty sure you just do it so we'll tickle your neck).  You're also a big fan of jumping off of the bed/couch! 😬😳


You have learned how to "give love" (put your head down on somebody's shoulder) and you can pretty much get anything you want from me by doing it.

Here is 12 months of Bobo pictures! (Past updates here.)


And here's a comparison shot with Emmie at 12 months...


A big huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the sweetest little boy there ever was!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

DIY Wax Melts (Made From Upcycled Candles!)


I thought I'd share a super easy DIY with you guys today!

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Affiliate links used in this post.


For months, I've been meaning to do something with all of the old, half-used candles hanging out around our house.  I rarely use them anymore...with 2 kids running around, I just can't take the chance of one getting knocked over.  Plus, I'm terrible about remembering to blow them out when I go to bed or leave the house!

Even though I'm not big on candles anymore, I am obsessed with using wax melts in our home. To me, the right scent is what can really make a house feel like a home!  I've shared before that my absolute favorite ones are the cheapies from Walmart...they work just as well as the expensive ones and are half the price.  But, even though they don't really cost that much, I'm trying to break myself of buying several packs every time I go grocery shopping - that little bit every week adds up.  More importantly, there are resources already in our home that can be used instead.

Many readers here know that, since early 2015, I've made it a big goal to use what I already have up before I go out and get something else.  This isn't just about money - it's about reducing waste and clutter.  I outlined how I really integrated this habit into my everyday life through my goals that year.  These are things I'm still focusing on and really trying to keep up as we transition to the new house.

So, last week, I found the perfect way to be resourceful with what I already have!  I thought I'd turn all of those unused candles into something that could save me a little bit of money every week and get rid of a little bit of unnecessary clutter around our house.

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Converting our old candles into DIY wax melts was an incredibly easy process.  In just a few minutes, I have a few months' supply of wax melts (and trust me, I go through a lot! 😉).

Here's how I did it...

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Simmer about a cup of water in a small sauce pan on the stove (don't boil...simmering water is all the heat you'll need).  Slowly, lower your candle (careful not to make it overflow!) into the water and let it sit for a couple of minutes.



While your water simmers, take a plastic cup and line with paper towels.  Lightly touch the top of the candle to make sure the jar is cool enough to lift out of the water without an oven mitt.  Take it out, and pour the little bit of wax that has melted into the plastic cup.  Set your candle onto a separate paper towel.

Then, take a knife and carefully run it around the edge of the melted candle to break the seal the wax may make.

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Pop your candle out and remove the wicks (if possible...you might have to cut out in the next step).

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Then, simply cut your candle into wax melt-sized pieces!  I did a few varying sizes.  You'll get a few smaller pieces, but save those too...they can easily be thrown in with the bigger ones.

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I even used the original jars as melt holders...that way, you know the scent of your melts.  

Got to love a good, resourceful DIY!  Not only did I use up something that would have just been cluttering our home, but I probably saved $20-30 on wax melts I'd buy over the next few months.  And, added bonus - your kitchen will smell incredible while you're making your wax melts! :)

Now go forth and get resourceful, friends!

***I've had a few questions about what wax melts are since publishing this post.  They are an easy, safer way to scent your home that doesn't involve an open flame!  Basically, you're just using a lightbulb with a dish above it to melt the scented wax cubes that will scent your home.  It has become my go-to way to use scents!

I have two different kind of warmers...


The plug-in tabletop warmers (similar here) are all throughout my home.  I put these in places I would normally have candles.



I also have one of these plug-in warmers (similar here) in a bathroom...I love that it doesn't require counter space!