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Monday, April 30, 2012

Briggs 10.5 months

My very talented husband captured some precious pics of our little boy at 10.5 months old.  Thought I would share a few of my favorites...









Thursday, April 26, 2012

Our first garden

We now have a garden!...I don't know that I should have the title "Farmer Iris" but I sure am getting pretty close :)

When Briggs and I went to visit my parents in Florida...Justin was working hard on my birthday present (this was the only thing I asked for).  He of course isn't in the mindset of "blogging"...hints no pictures of the planter box process...but here is the picture he sent me at 11:00 one night of his finished product.


And here is what I have done to it since I've been home.  We have all kinds of veggies that will hopefully grow into big yummy FREE, HEALTHY food for us this summer.  Some of our crop includes tomatoes, onions, squash, zucchini, green beans, lettuce, green peppers, cucumbers, and lots of herbs sprinkled all over (basil, chives, parsley, rosemary, thyme, dill, fennel).


And here is the action shot of me harvesting our first onion.


CHECK IT OUT...homegrown in our own backyard.  I was super pumped.  There are more where that came from.  We used it in our green beans that night and can't wait to use more in the future.


 I have more posts to come on the progress we have made and more details on the garden but wanted to put this teaser out there of how it all got started :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Grilling Out

We decided to try something a little different with our sweet potatoes tonight.  I just got the recipe/instructions from different places in google then combined what I thought sounded good.

First boil the sweet potatoes for about 5 minutes...until you are able to poke a fork in them without great effort.  Let them cool and then slice like pictured below and pull the skin off.


Find yourself one of these hotties (sorry ladies... he is taken),  and throw them on the grill.   He cooked them until they were soft all the way through...about 15-20 minutes.  I mixed together a glaze that was butter, cinnamon, cumin, salt...just to taste (sorry, I didn't measure it). Justin brushed the glaze on the potatoes as he was was cooking them.


And here is what they looked like finished...and yes they were as yummy as they look.  Briggs even thought so :)


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Summer Drink

Wanted to share a summer drink we use around the Poland house often.

Mix Crystal Light Lemonade with water per directions on the packet. Slice and squeeze an orange into the drink mix. Throw in the slices (after squeezed)...


...and you have a yummy drink for a hot summer day.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cleaning Schedule

Thought I would share something that has seriously changed my life over the past few week(s). This is plural week (s) b/c I wanted to make sure it was something that would stick and that was really helping me before I shared this little tidbit of information :)

Since I'm home with Briggs now, I've been getting a little overwhelmed with all the things there are to do. I'm not sure if it's because we are making bigger messes since we are home more or what...but I've been trying to figure out a system.

My momma raised me (that sounds pretty country..huh)...to clean house when I was growing up, but we would usually clean the WHOLE house on Saturdays. That worked for us then, but having a 10 month old...that's not the greatest system for me these days. I mean... who has a whole day to clean their house?

I started a CLEANING SCHEDULE...so I pretty much do one big thing a day and some laundry. I even posted it on the refrigerator so if I forget... or someone wants to help take something off my list...or just b/c I'm so excited about my new system, I want to look at it everyday...



I even thought out what works best for me on what day, so here is my schedule:

Monday: Floors...vacuum, sweep, mop
Tuesday: grocery shopping
Wednesday: Clean bathrooms
Thursday: change and wash sheets on all beds
Friday: Dust, sterilize bottles and pacifiers, clean out high chair...
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: cut coupons

At least 1-2 loads of laundry a day

Tuesday and Thursday are the mornings Briggs has Mother's Day Out. I'm usually out of the house while he is there, so I try to keep my in-house chore to a minimum so I'm not setting myself up for failure.

I keep a basket stocked with all my cleaning products, which makes it easy to move everything around with me while I'm cleaning.


And I thought I would share a few of my favorite cleaning products...
  • Kaboom...I haven't found anything that works better in a shower that has soap scum
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser...these things are AWESOME!...they work so much better than any rag or sponge. You barely have to press down when you use it and it wipes away the dirt...like MAGIC :)

And these are a necessity...I use Lysol wipes for many purposes in our house...disinfect baby toys, wipe over the counters quickly and my favorite is to wipe over the bathrooms in between cleanings.


So the secret to my sanity has been figuring out a schedule that works for our family. This is just a guide/goal for each day. If I don't get something done, no stress...I just try to catch up with it the next day.

The first thing I do every single morning when I get up...make my bed and put on my tennis shoes. It helps me get the day started off on the right foot and I'm ready to get to work.

I usually load the washing machine with a load of clothes the night before. The next morning I add detergent and hit start so it's washing while Briggs and I eat breakfast. Then I try to get my chore done for the day before or during his first nap. That way I have the rest of the day to do things with Briggs and I don't feel like I'm living in filth :)

I do maintenance jobs as needed..like sweep the kitchen floor, vacuum high traffic areas, wipe over the bathroom counter...
And there area few things I do every day that I didn't feel were necessary to add to the chores board...dishes, wash bottles, clean kitchen counter tops, cook supper, balance the check book, answer emails, pay bills, pick up toys, exercise, water the garden (I could go on and on...hints why I just kept my list to one main cleaning job a day)...

Hope this helps somebody out there. I know it has really helped me manage things at home so much better...what's the saying.."If momma ain't happy, nobody's happy..."well, momma is MUCH happier with this new system :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Burlap Wreath

I'm getting crafty again...decided to try this wreath at home...here is how it went..

I started out with:
  • a straw wreath (didn't take the wrapper off it)
  • burlap
  • hot glue gun (make sure to have extra glue...you're gonna need it)
  • scissors
  • strait pins



wrap strips of burlap around the wreath and glue into place...



Cut strips of burlap about 4-6 inches in width and start to wrap around the wreath. Glue the beginning of the strip to the wreath and start twisting as you wrap it around the wreath...that's what gives it the full look. Glue throughout this process...in different places to help secure the burlap...

Keep going until you wrap the whole wreath to your liking. I wrapped it twice...the second time I tried to cover the holes I found and it just made it look more full.



To make the rosettes...cut a long strip and fold in half and then in half again...


Start rolling at one end...once you get the first couple of rolls, start twisting and rolling..it's not easy but when you finally get it rolled, hot glue it to a piece of fabric or board or whatever you want (I used fabric and just cut the excess after the glue was cooled off)


The finished rosette should look something like this...and then I pinned them to the wreath...


Finished product...


I have a friend who made one similar to this and she had the nifty idea to pin the rosettes to the wreath and she changes that part out depending on the season. She did red roses for Valentine's day, a metal cross for Easter...you get the idea...

Anyway, an inexpensive, very cute wreath that can be used for all seasons and pretty easy to make.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Girls Night Out

I have mentioned before about our neighborhood playgroup...well we have now added a new spin on it...Girls Night Out. Most of us like to read and recently we circulated the Hunger Games books. Some of us were wanting to see the movie...why not make it a girls night and we could all go...

This was the first night out for many of the girls in our group, so it was a BIG DEAL!...but I think it is safe to say... we were all genuinely excited to be getting away for a few hours. We left our precious blessings in very capable hands (a.k.a daddy).


And here we are again right before it started...


When it was over we had plans to go get ice cream or coffee...who knew everything closes at 10 (which is when we got out of our movie). We were disappointed b/c we were trying to be wild and crazy stay out late...but unfortunately the Summit is BORING...so we turned in early.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Kale Chips

I have joined into the kale craze...and this is my new favorite snack...

I've been hearing all about kale chips and have been meaning to make some, just haven't gotten around to it. When we were in Florida visiting my parents, guess what my mom made for a snack one day...KALE CHIPS!

All you do is tear or cut up the kale leaves into smaller pieces. Make sure they are really dry. Drizzle some olive oil on them. Sprinkle with your choice of kosher salt or Paula Deen's house seasoning. I've done both and they both are good. Cook on 350 for 9 minutes. It may vary a little depending on your oven, so I had to watch mine and figure out how long at my house. But 9 minutes is perfect for my oven...




Once you pull them out, stack them on a plate, and you have a yummy healthy snack. Since my mom taught me how to make them, I wanted to make sure she got the credit :)


I make these for lunch a lot of times and eat them with a sandwich instead of chips. Or sometimes I just eat them for a snack with some water. They are easy and yummy.

Note: They do kind of make your house smell a little...so I light a candle when I make them.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Doctor Swindle

We went to visit a friend at the hospital this week. While we were there...guess who we went to visit...Doctor Swindle! She was getting her hair cut so we had to wait...they told us to just go hang out in her office...so that's just what we did.

Briggs had fun with Dr. Swindle's medical assistant, Sam. He showed her all his tricks...



Then he decided to go exploring. Everybody thought he was so cute poking his head out of the office and eventually he tried to make a run for it...but we caught him :)


And finally he got to see her...or she got to see him. She of course scooped him right up and chatted with us for a second.

Just want to reiterate...we were just there to visit a friend. I sent this pic in a text to some of my people and of course the first response..."Are you pregnant"...no mom...we just went for a visit :)


We LOVE Doctor Swindle and St. Vincent's Hospital. I forgot to take a picture b/c I was more focused on seeing my friend but we ran into a couple of nurses and they actually remembered us. We had such a great experience both times we were in the hospital there. I think the staff genuinely enjoyed seeing us today and getting to see what they helped to bring into this world.

Briggs was of course stealing all their hearts with his little hat, fat cheeks and infectious smile :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Basket Ideas

Since Easter is right around the corner...some of you are probably getting your Easter baskets ready for Sunday morning...and some of you might not :)

Easter baskets were always a tradition at our house growing up. We didn't really do the Easter bunny or anything...we would just wake up to a little basket of treats. So, I decided to incorporate that for our family this week.

Thought I would share some money saving tips and fun ideas.

You know that colorful "grass" people put in the bottom of the baskets that you just throw away after?...I decided to make my own version with some stuff I already had at home. I used some paper that had been used to package something I had purchased and a shredder...


I bought a bucket at Target that I'm going to be using for something else. I wadded up some newspaper on the bottom and then covered it with the shredded paper on top...


Once covered it looked like this...


Then I filled our bucket with a few fun little items, like these shirts for mommy and daddy...

*disclaimer*...Justin always calls me his "HOT WIFE"...which is why he got that shirt :)


And you're probably asking yourself, what does one put in a basket for a 10 month old...glad you asked. I did some fun things we can use this summer...a little blow up pool, magnetic letters, bubbles, a fun bath mat, soft little balls to play with and camouflage easter eggs filled with...PUFFS of course :)


A few other things I put included in our basket is some candy for mommy and daddy, new dish towel and some new shoes for daddy (TOMS).

Here is the finished product...


And here is Briggs trying to get into it already...if you look at what his shirt says..."HERE COMES TROUBLE"...I think that says it all


I decided to do a family Easter basket/bucket this year. Hope I gave you some fun ideas for your basket and even though this is a fun thing we do at our house... we don't ever want it to overshadow the true purpose of Easter...to celebrate the RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR!

Happy Easter everybody!