Friday, December 28, 2012

Free Printable: 2013 Daily Planning Page

Happy almost New Year! We have a free printable for you that we hope you love, or at the very least are inspired by. Enjoy!
I am a list girl. I love to work off of lists. I have several notebooks where I write tons of things down I need to remember (good thing too, because with a newborn and almost 2 year old, I am lucky if I remember what I had to eat for breakfast, that is, if I was lucky enough to get breakfast). Last year I created my own daily planning pages and had them printed and spiral bound.
This year, I put together a perfected version of my daily planning page and this time, I am going to put it together a quarter of the year at a time (Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sep, Oct-Dec). The reason I decided to do it quarterly versus yearly, is because life changes and your needs may change as far as what you keep track of at a certain time, and by doing it quarterly, you can customize it for your needs during that time frame. Plus, a whole years worth of pages is quite thick (about 2", double sided).

For Personal Use Only. Thanks. 
Last year I also inserted a weekly menu and grocery list into my planner. This year I plan on including a monthly calendar I can glance at for major events and important dates. The goal is to make it something that works well for you, keeps you organized and saves you time.
Happy planning!
Leave us some love. We'd love to hear your tips and tricks on how you stay organized or plan to stay organized in 2013!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas: Activity Advent

It is THAT time of year. My favorite time of year! The countdown to Christmas! Actually I love the whole time from Halloween to the New Year, but this time is particularly exciting and especially this year, because we are welcoming a new baby boy in three short weeks. Ahhhhhhhhh. Well, I wanted to make this year special for my little girl since these last few weeks leading up to Christmas are also her last as an only child. So, I decided it would be best to do an activity advent. After all, I just read today on a friend's facebook post the sentiment, "Collect Moments, Not Things". So we are going to enjoy these last few weeks and make sure to collect lots of new memories and moments with this activity advent. 

There are a billion and one ways to do this, and obviously I catered our activities to the events leading up to, on and after the birth of baby #2. Not to mention the fact that some activities are specific to our local offerings (although I am confident that your area probably offers something similar to most). So, I will share what I did and you can fine tune it to work for your family and area of residence.

I had a blank Countdown Calendar just sitting around in my craft room begging to be used and it even came with a template so I could quickly and easily cut out some festive scrapbook papers to Mod Podge on to the front. It also came with stickers numbered 1-25, so that made it especially easy on me. I stuck the stickers on my cute Christmas papers I cut out, then Mod Podged the scrapbook papers to the box fronts and let them dry. Ta-dah! That was the extent of it, and I of course had to plan out each activity and I simply typed out my schedule in a cute font (Christmas On Crack is the font I used, available from for FREE), printed it and cut them into strips. I then tucked each folded paper strip in the coordinating box. It was easy, cute and I am excited for my little one to be able to open a new box each day and even more excited to share these special moments with her before our world is once again turned upside down with the arrival of a little one.

Here are the activities I chose for our family this year:  

Christmas Activity Advent 2012
1st: Festival of Trees
2nd: Hot Cocoa & Cookies
3rd: Decorate the Tree
4th: Write a Letter to Santa
5th: Open a Special Ornament to Put on the Tree
6th: Decorate Sugar Cookies
7th: Buy a Present to Donate to Someone in Need
8th: Family Christmas Party
9th: Temple Square to See the Lights
10th: Family Night on the Nativity
11th: Unwrap a Christmas Book to Read
12th: Make a Christmas Craft
13th: Neighbor Gifts in a Jar + Christmas Music
14th: Holiday Lights at Thanksgiving Point
15th: Santa's Lantern at City Creek
16th: Family Christmas Movie Night
17th: Special Day with Mommy
18th: Special Gift from Baby Brother
19th: Special Day with Nana & Papa
20th: Special Day with Grandma
21st: Special Day with Daddy
22nd: Drive Around to Look at Christmas Lights
23rd: Make Gingerbread Houses
24th: Bingo for Prizes + Open a Present

On a side note... If you have a Macy's Department Store in your area, I would encourage you to take your letters to Santa (make a copy, if you want to keep one for a scrap/memory book), and drop them off there. They are donating a dollar for every letter collected to the Make-a-Wish Foundation up to a million dollars. Currently they have received 323,271 letters. Their instructions are to have them stamped, addressed to Santa at the North Pole and they will count them, donate on your behalf and then take them to the post office to be sent up North. :) So while you are helping the kiddos, write a letter yourself and make an event out of it. (We've made it our activity for December 4th, see above.)

Happy advent planning and enjoy each moment leading up to Christmas! 
- Lizzy

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Recap

How was everyones Thanksgiving? Ours was pretty good, I took some pictures so you can check it out!

Here is how our table was set up Pre-Dinner

Here was our setting

Here is our pie, HOMEMADE!
It turned out really good!!

Here is our YUMMY Turkey!

Here is our homemade pull apart bread!

Here is our Mashed Potatoes!

 Here is our Green Bean Casserole

Here is our gravy! Pulls it all together!!

Corn! I never knew how much this completes the meal until we ran out of our left overs and it just was not the same!!

 And my favorite part!!!! The stuffing (dressing). I LOVE THIS STUFF!!!

So that was our Thanksgiving meal! Then we relaxed for a little bit and went out black friday shopping. 

Have you seen the Walmart commercials this year, the one where the ladies run into each other and they are so polite and sweet! hahahahaha NOTHING LIKE THAT!!! It looked like a mosh pit at a rock concert. I wasn't really there for anything important so it was a waste! While I was fighting off the wolves, My husband and Mother-in-law went to Toys R Us to get some door buster toys for the kids. They said it was very civilized and they got goodie bags of toys for waiting in line and everything. Then we all met up at Target. This was much better than Wally World! We stood in line outside, it wash't too cold, then they let in a few people at a time, once the doorway was cleared they would let in a few more. We got some great deals. We bought iPod Touch's for our kids. Towels for the house, some clothes and PJ's for the family and when we were done we walked straight to an open  register it was way too easy!! Then we dropped off my Mother-in-law and things from the 1st 3 stores and went to best buy! WOW that was a lot of people. We got Apple TV a flash drive and the best deals of the night Iron Man 2 and Sherlock Holmes Game of Shadows both on Blu-Ray for 3.99 each!!! 

How was your Thanksgiving?

What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?

Did you participate in the madness that is Black Friday?

If so what was your best deal?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Recipes!

Thanksgiving is coming, YAY! It is the one day a year I am happy to wear my fat pants! Loud and Proud baby! So here is my Menu...I am so excited to make dinner this year since I have been learning how to make more things myself (i.e Bread) I am glad to have a reason to practice. Plus I am also pretty excited to be able to use my new double ovens for something.

Turkey- I am pretty traditional when it comes to turkey and I do not get fancy. My reasoning, "Why mess with a classic?" I just pat my turkey with generic seasoning salt and put it in a turkey bag that has been shook with flour in it. SIMPLE! However I do go big on the portions I love leftover Thanksgiving dinner so I am making a turkey that is 23 lbs.

Mashed Potatoes- I love REAL mashed potatoes! Also simple and for the same reason. Boiled potatoes with heavy whipping cream, butter, and salt SIMPLE!!

Stuffing- I am not yet so ambitious that I make stuffing from scratch. I do love the Pep. Farms cubed stuffing so I buy 2 bags of that and add the fresh cut celery and onion and chicken broth. However instead of putting this in a casserole dish in the oven, I have other stuff that needs oven time, I put this in the crock pot and let it sit on low for an hour or so. SIMPLE!! (Are you getting a theme here?)

Green Bean Casserole- I make the green bean casserole from the recipe on the Frenchs Fried Onion box, the only thing I change is instead of using cream of mushroom soup I use cream of chicken. The only reason I do this is because my husband does not like mushrooms. SIMPLE!!

Corn- On the stove, SIMPLE!!!

Gravy- From the packet using the turkey drippings. SIMPLE!!

Monkey Bread- Okay I am not talking about what the majority of people call Monkey Bread. I do not put cinnamon, or brown sugar or any of that stuff on it. This is just bread and butter in a bunt pan that makes awesome pull apart bread (This is in place of making regular dinner rolls). Usually I use frozen dinner rolls, thaw, let them rise, then put them in the bunt and bake it however this year since I have learned how to make bread dough from scratch I am going to make the roll dough myself and use that. I am so excited to try this. I will let you all know how it turns out! Still SIMPLE!! (I Hope.)

Pumpkin Pie- Usually we order our pies from a bakery like Perkins or something however this year I am going to try to make my pumpkin pie myself. I am going to use the Famous Libby's Pumpkin Pie from the bake of the can, yes I am using the can. I am not going to make my first pie ever straight out of a pumpkin although it is on my bucket list. So pretty SIMPLE!!

French Silk Pie- Since I am going to make the Pumpkin Pie I am not in a huge hurry to lean how to make french silk. So I am ordering this from Perkins. SIMPLE!
To drink we are going to have sparkling grape and apple juice and milk with our pie!! SIMPLE!!

So my whole menu is really SIMPLE but like I said "Why mess with a classic?" I am so excited. However the thing I am MOST excited for is probably the Decorations!!! Well I guess that will have to be another post!

I will just leave you with this question...What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving recipes??

Friday, November 16, 2012

High Five Friday!

High Five!!

#1 My son turned 2!! Yay, bring on the terrific twos! I love this age, it's right when they can start to talk and tell you what they want and don't want in words that are easy to understand and they have SO much imagination and energy! I am so glad that he has hit this fun and exciting milestone!

#2 Monday we had a little party for Liam and invited some of our friends over for cake and ice cream (and caramel brownies for the adults). It was nice to spend some time with some great friends. Since we moved in June we have been welcomed with open arms by so many people and it was nice to return the invitation.

#3 I learned how to make homemade bread from scratch, no mix, no box. We used freshly ground wheat flour and everything! I cannot believe how easy it was and this bread is like to die for!!!! So good

#4 I got to have a girls night with some of the greatest ladies!!! It was so much fun! We went to go see Breaking Dawn Part 2......which brings me to my last but not least #5

#5 Breaking Dawn Part 2 was EPIC!!! No spoilers here sorry! Just a superfan in love with the books and in like with the movies. The final movie actually lived up to the legacy of the book! I am still freaking out about how good I thought it was. Sad that it took till the 5th movie to be as good as the books but I am glad we ended on a good note! Now next I just have to read The Host before the movie comes out!

Halloween Recap

Hi L&J Readers, 
Lizzy here. I am happy to introduce our newest blog addition. A guest contributor and the youngest of us sisters. The creative and talented mama of two, living and loving in Colorado. Welcome 'Kitty'!

Before we get too far into the Thanksgiving season which I am so excited about I want to recap some of the awesome Halloween projects we did this year!! I am a big "pinaholic" so I tried to accomplish as many Halloween pins as I could on a budget. Luckily my husband was building some walls in our basement and he had some left over supplies that I could craft away with. Here are some of my favs: 

This pinterest find was super easy and a lot of fun! I bought an inexpensive white picture frame from hobby lobby and a ball of string. Then I took out the glass and propped up the prongs on the back of the frame. Then I tied the string around one of the prongs and started making my web! I used every combination of prongs to make sure I got the web to look symmetrical, to make sure the sting would not slide off the prongs I put a ball of hot  glue on top of each prong. And done!

Here is the finished product on our front door!

Next are these mummy jars! Also easy as can be!

My daughter wanted to make one for each member of our family Dad, Mom, Her, and Little brother. Even Nanna, Pappa, Oma and Bacca got their own jars. These are just mason jars from the dollar store, a pack of sterile gauze wraps from Walmart, and a package of crazy eyes from hobby lobby! For each jar instead of putting a tea light in there and burning myself trying to light them I bought the battery operated tea lights from the dollar store to go in the bottom of the jars. 

Next was the easiest of all the pins. I loved this idea however I did my shopping for the project too close to halloween and my options were limited as to the variety of pumpkins that were available. 

These are just foam pumpkins from Michaels wrapped in tule and tied at the top with ribbon. I saw this idea on pinterest with both orange and white pumpkins, and I must say the white pumpkins did look better. I made two in this bigger size and then three in a smaller size. 

This is my attempt at a cute fall wreath! This was a lot cuter on pinterest.

Here is the set up all together.

I wanted the inside of the house to be just as festive as the outside so I made these fake blood candles by dripping wax from a red candle onto the edges of a white candle.

Then I placed them next to vases with halloween filler and tea lights.