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Menu Plan Monday!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Hi!
Happy Monday!!
How was your Thanksgiving Holiday??
My husband ended up having Wednesday, Thursday AND Friday off + the weekend!! I think the last time he had that much time off was when we went on vacation this past summer! It was so nice to have him home for several days in a row!! And now it is back to the work week and we have to go through Aaron/Daddy withdrawal! HA!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving day and our meal turned out super yummy!
All of the girls got really into helping out this year- which was so fun!!
And to top off an already great day- the weather was AMAZING! (Which I am so thankful for, because then it rained for 2 days straight and then it got super cold yesterday. YUCK. Please re-locate me to Hawaii right now! HA!)

And now we are back to Monday and the start of a new week!  December, like everyone else, is a busy month for us...but this first week isn't too crazy- which is nice :) Our Thanksgiving break was seriously so nice- but between all the cooking and cleaning we did + yesterday was my precious Charlotte's birthday- which we spent all day celebrating (SO FUN)- well needless to say- my heart is very full- but Mama is TIRED.  HA!
So...I am grateful we are easing into this busy month and I planned a fairly easy menu to go along with our "not so busy" week :)

Here is what's for dinner at our house this week:
Monday: PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps + Rice
When Aaron and I were living in Texas and Charlotte was just a baby, we would make lettuce wraps ALL the time!! We both LOVE them! I am not sure why I haven't really made them as much over the last several years- but when I was planning out our menu for this week- they came to mind and sounded SO good.  So that is what we are having for dinner tonight! I am using this recipe from Damn Delicious- which is such an AWESOME food blog!! 
Now, I know I have mentioned my love and devotion for Aldi over hundred times- but when picking up the ingredients for this recipe- I ran into a situation that sometimes happens when you shop at Aldi.  I needed a few specific, "ethnic" ingredients that Aldi does not carry- and I had to run into Walmart.  For me- it wasn't a big deal- because Walmart is right next to Aldi- but that can be a downside to shopping at Aldi.  For me- I don't mind the occasional run to another store- but for others, because of time constraints, they HAVE to get all their shopping done in one place.  Anyway- just thought I would let you know- all of my ingredients for all of my meals this week came from Aldi- minus the three ingredients- which were rice wine vinegar, hoisin sauce and water chestnuts- which I got at Walmart :)

Tuesday: Pasta and Meatballs
Last week, we had meatball subs for dinner one night. We had some meatballs and sauce leftover- so I am going to take them out of the freezer and boil up some pasta and dinner is DONE!  FYI- I used this recipe for my meatballs and they were SO easy and good! If I could change anything- I think they could have used a little more seasoning- but otherwise they were delicious!

Wednesday: Turkey Pot Pie Soup + Rolls
I am going to take the dark meat from our turkey we had at Thanksgiving and make this YUMMY turkey pot pie soup! My husband prefers "creamy" soups- but I like to be careful with how rich of a soup I am serving the kids.  This soup is the perfect compromise of light, but slightly rich and is SO good. And SO easy. I love Gina's recipes!!

Thursday: Aaron is in charge of dinner :)
I could NOT come up with something to make for dinner for one night of this week- so I told Aaron he was in charge of dinner. HA! I have no idea what he is making- but all I know is that I am not cooking!! :)

Friday: Pizza Night!
Cheese and pepperoni pizza (We are currently using the pre-made crust + sauce kits from Aldi and LOVE them!) and a Christmas movie- such a FUN night!! 

Saturday: Grilled cheese, applesauce and carrots/cucumbers
Aaron has a work party to attend on Saturday night- so I am making the simplest of simple dinners for the kids. In my house, you can't go wrong with grilled cheese and applesauce :)  3 of 4 my kids LOVE cucumbers, especially if I give them a dot of ranch dressing to dip them in :) Easy meal to make and VERY little clean up. The perfect dinner in my opinion :)

Sunday: Thanksgiving Dinner! (AGAIN :)
We have one more round of Thanksgiving dinner in the freezer- so we are going to have it for our Sunday dinner! I know our girls won't be thrilled (they aren't the biggest fans of Thanksgiving dinner)- but Aaron will be happy he gets to indulge one more time! :)

I hope you had the happiest Thanksgiving and you have a WONDERFUL day today!!
Here's to a great week! :)

 I am linking up with Laura today!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Today, be thankful and think how RICH you are. 
Your family is PRICELESS.
Your time is GOLD.
And your health is WEALTH.


From our family to your's,
much love and happiness on this special day of THANKSGIVING!

What's Up Wednesday!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hi!!  Happy Thanksgiving Eve!! 
Are you traveling today? Or staying home and prepping for the "big meal" tomorrow? Or do you have to get in one more day of work before you have the next 2 days off?  Whatever you are doing today- I hope you feel joy-filled while doing it!

So...it is the last Wednesday of the month...which means it is time for another What's Up Wednesday Post! I am joining MelShay and Sheaffer for their super fun link up party!



What we're eating this week...Well...tonight we are having meatball sub sandwiches and tomorrow I will be cooking Thanksgiving dinner for our family! Fingers crossed our turkey turns out nice and moist!! :)  The rest of our week is filled with easy meals and definitely LEFTOVERS :)  I post my weekly menu plan every Monday- you can check out out what our family is having for dinner this week here!

What I'm reminiscing about... I have been thinking about how just a few days shy of 7 years ago, I had my oldest daughter :) She arrived 5 1/2 weeks early and gave my husband and I the surprise of our lives!! 
I can still VIVIDLY remember my doctor telling us we had a little baby girl and her handing Charlotte to me!!
And now we have this beautiful, vibrant young little lady in our lives.
Charlotte is truly such a blessing to us!!

What I am loving....so many things I am loving...a few of them being COFFEE (my little James has not been the best sleeper lately), laughing about all the crazy things our kids do/say with my husband, my crisp evergreen scented candle, how individually awesome each of my girls are, and family movie nights watching Elf.  My girls LOVE Elf- and so do I!!

What we've been up to...We haven't been up to anything special...just normal life stuff :) And while we haven't had much going on the last few weeks...that is all about to change heading into December :)  We have a lot of appointments (doctor/dentist) to go to, holiday school performances, activities with are doing together as a family- our schedule is FULL.
So I am going to soak up these last few days of not so busy November :)

What I'm dreading...I hate to say that I am "dreading" anything- but without sounding like a complete broken record- I am NOT looking forward to a COLD, snowy winter. The high was 23 degrees here last Sunday and man, was I cranky! HA!  
What I am working on...Well- tomorrow I will be working on making Thanksgiving dinner :) Aaron is super helpful and while I do most of the cooking, he does all of the dishes- which makes my time in the kitchen SO much more enjoyable!! Also, I am creating a couple presents for Christmas this year and I need to get started on them ASAP!

What I'm excited about...There is so much to be excited about this time of year- but in the next couple of weeks I am excited about celebrating my daughter's birthday, I am turning another year older :) AND blog related- I am so excited for the fun link-up I am hosting with Johannah and Jenny!! We will be sharing our favorite Christmas ornaments on Monday, December 7 and we would love it if you joined us!

What I am watching/reading...I am all about watching the Voice- LOVE Emily Anne Roberts, Jordan and the guy who sounds like Sam Smith! Also, I am loving the new show Chicago Med!! Do any of you watch Chicago Fire? That is one of my favorite shows and I super stressed about what is going on with Chief Boden!!

What I am listening to...all the Christmas music on Pandora :) My favorite current stations are the Traditional Christmas station and the Celine Dion Holiday Station. My husband thinks I am completely nuts- but I don't care!! Christmas music just makes me happy :)

What I'm wearing...this maternity tunic from Target- I just LOVE it! And it is currently on sale!! It is one of those tops that looks really nice- but really it is just a glorified sweatshirt! HA! 
And for pants- I am wearing these compression maternity leggings from Old Navy.
I got them to wear when I work out- but I am also loving wearing them as "everyday" pants! So I have been alternating wearing one pair to the gym and making sure the other pair is clean so I can wear them when I get home from the gym! 



What I'm doing this weekend...This weekend is going to be FUN! We are going to put up our artificial Christmas tree in the kids' playroom on Friday, get our real tree for our living room on Saturday and Sunday is my oldest daughter's birthday!! We are having a family birthday party and going to Build-A-Bear! 

Isn't this picture beautiful??!? I wish I could say this is what 
"picking out our Christmas tree" experience will look like this weekend. But. NO.
That would not be the truth.
We get our Christmas tree at good ol' Lowes :) 

What I'm looking forward to next month...Well there is SO much to look forward to in December! In the beginning of the month, we will have our 20 week ultrasound for baby #5 and I am SO excited to see him/her on the TV screen!! My girls will be singing in their school Holiday programs and I can't wait to see them "perform." And honestly- I am looking forward to some quiet time in the morning, sipping my coffee and enjoying our Christmas tree. It is such a special (and can be kind of crazy) time of year...I just want to make sure I am making room in my life to reflect on what Christmas really means to our family!

What else is new...nothing else is really "new" with me!

BONUS QUESTION: What is your favorite Christmas Tradition?  We do several really fun "Christmasy" things throughout the month- but I would say my favorite is on Christmas Eve when we make reindeer food for Santa's Reindeer, make and decorate gingerbread houses, go to Christmas Eve mass and then set out cookies and milk for Santa!! It is such a fun day and my girls talk about it ALL year long! 

I hope you all have the most beautiful Thanksgiving holiday!
It may not be perfect or exactly how you had envisioned it- but that's ok :)
I pray it is blessed and filled with moments that fill your heart with JOY.




Weekly Walmart Finds: Black Friday Edition!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Hi!! Happy Tuesday!! Today is kind of like a "Friday" for us- my girls have school today and then are off for the rest of the week! YAY!
I am so THANKFUL for a few days off of packing lunches, doing homework and driving to and from school :) If you have kids in school- you know how I feel!! :)

So- I have a question for you- Are you a Black Friday Shopper??
I would have to say, for the last few years, we have NOT been Black Friday Shoppers- I am an online shopper all the way; but, I have definitely had Aaron go snag deals for me before, when I was looking for something specific.  And when I say, "go snag deals for me," I mean go to multiple stores looking for ONE SPECIFIC ITEM.  He is truly a keeper :)

Anyway...just for fun, I was looking at the Black Friday Walmart Ad last night and saw a few things that caught my eye- and I thought I would share them with you!  You might already know about these deals- or maybe you need a couple gift ideas to finish your shopping?!?
Either way- if you are down to go out into the Black Friday Fun...you might want to check out some of these items!!

So- my girls have SO many toys.  It really is out of control.  And here's the deal- they play with the same 5 things over and over again.
This Little People Palace is one of those things.  My daughter Charlotte got it when she was 3 and at least one of my girls plays with it daily.  They not only use their Little People to play with it- but they use other miniature dolls like Polly Pockets and the small Disney Princess Dolls and pretend it is their "castle."  If you have a little girl to buy for between the ages of 2 - 4, I guarantee you this Palace would be a HIT! 
At Walmart, on Black Friday, it is going to be $30- and that comes with 2 Little People Princesses and 1 Prince! Just for reference- this toy is on page 15 of the ad- you can check it out here!
Another toy that is ALWAYS being played with in my house is our Doc McStuffins doctor kit. The girls love to give each other check ups, they bring their dolls to the doctor and they even play "animal doctor."  This is such a CUTE kit and it is going to be on sale on Black Friday at Walmart for $8!!! At that price, it wouldn't be a bad idea to buy a few of these kits and keep them on hand for birthday gifts!  You can find this kit listed on page 15 of the ad!

If you have a little boy or are looking for a more "gender-neutral" doctor kit- I highly recommend this super classic Fisher Price Doctor Kit.  Walmart does not carry it- but it is currently on sale on Amazon (and it is Prime Eligible) for $10.89 (from $16.99).  We have this doctor kit and my girls AND James LOVE this kit. This is another one of those toys that will be played with over and over again- and it is such a great social language toy (that is the speech-language pathologist in me talking :)  A lot of the time, I think we get caught up in the toys that make all the noise or that promote technology- and to be honest- simple toys, that promote you and your child talking to one another- are the BEST kinds of toys.  
And now I will get down from my soap box and proceed with more Black Friday deals at Walmart.....HA!

I am pretty excited about this next item- as I have had mine for 2 years now and still LOVE it! The Fitbit Flex is going to be $59 on Black Friday at Walmart!!! The ad says that you can actually get this specific deal starting at 6 pm on Thanksgiving Day and ALL DAY online on Thursday. It comes in this super fun hot pink color and also in black. I think this is the PERFECT gift to get the guy(s) in your life that are super hard to buy for- or maybe for your mom who is looking to start a new, healthier lifestyle in the New Year.  If you are a person or know of a person who likes being challenged, are motivated by numbers- and needing to achieve certain goals- you would love the Fitbit. I can't tell you how many times during the Winter months (when I am just not getting out as much) that I have run my basement stairs just so I can get in my 10,000 steps for the day.  The Fitbit is so fun and the company's customer service is AMAZING.  For $59- this would be such a great gift!! It is listed on page 1 of the Black Friday Walmart Ad- check it out here!
And if you are interested in getting the Fitbit Charge (which keeps track of your heart rate- it is going to be on sale for $119- check it out here!)

So- who can resist a baby dressed in warm, cozy footie pajamas?!? NOT ME.
We LOVE Walmart's Child of Mine by Carter's line of clothing- especially their warm fleece footie pajamas. The girls own SO many of these pajamas- and James currently has 3 pairs that he wears on regular rotation.  They are normal $7.96- which is a STEAL. 
Well- on Black Friday at Walmart- they are going to be $4.75!! 
James does NOT need another pair of pajamas but I am pretty sure I am going to beg ask Aaron to go out and get him a couple of pairs- 1) Because they are SO cute and 2) We can stock up for next year at that crazy price!! 


Look at this pattern for a little girl!!! These pajamas are toddler size- so I am assuming they start at 2T and go up to 5T.  Just for a size reference, James is almost 17 months old, is 33 inches tall and 29 pounds (yeah- he is not what you call a petite baby;) and he wears a 3T in these pajamas.  They are slightly big on him- but not so big that the legs are too long and he trips on the feet. He has just enough room to wear them through this entire winter- which will probably be until the middle or end of next March.
If you are going to be spending Christmas with your extended family and your siblings have toddlers, wouldn't it be so cute to get your kiddos and your nieces/nephews matching pajamas?? I normally wouldn't be able to afford to do something like that- but at $4.75 each- that is TOTALLY doable!!  These jammies are listed on page 27 of the ad- you can find them listed here!
And my final (personal) favorite is this AWESOME Danskin Now hoodie.  If I was not pregnant- I would probably be getting at least of few of these hoodies.  They are such NICE quality, come in the most FUN, bright colors and because they are made out of dry-wicking 100% polyester- they hold their shape and keep you warm without being super heavy.  They  have an almost 5 star rating online- and they are going to be $8 (from $13.76) starting at 6 pm on Thursday in the stores!! From what I can tell from the ad it doesn't look like they will be available online for this price- but you can bet I will be checking!! They also have a men's version by the Starter brand on sale for $8.50- you can check them on page 30 of the ad!

So what do you think?? Do any of these Black Friday deals interest you?
Are you planning on going out on Black Friday and shopping?  If so- do you have a "game plan" or do you just go out for the fun and craziness of it all??

I can tell you where you will find me early on Black Friday...sipping coffee, with at least 2 if not all 4 of my children crawling all over me while watching PBS kids :) HA!!!

Hope you all have a WONDERFUL day!!

Menu Plan Monday!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Hi!!  How was your weekend??
Can you believe it is the week of Thanksgiving?? I know a lot of your kids have the whole week off of school...my girls go to school today and tomorrow and then we are off the rest of the week.  SO EXCITED to have a little break!

I always make my grocery list and menu plan on Sunday morning, before church- because we go to Aldi after church.  Well I tell you what- I was NOT feeling it yesterday morning!
I totally felt like since I am making Thanksgiving dinner, that should totally give me a pass on cooking for the rest of the week. HA!  
NOT. THE. CASE.
My husband and kids still want to eat dinner every other night of this week.  The nerve of them! :)
Soo...against my will, I put together a meal plan that is easy- but tasty.  And we are only having leftovers from Thanksgiving ONCE.  I consider that a win! :)

Here's what's for dinner at our house this week!

Monday: Smoked Turkey Sausage, Cheesy Broccoli Rice and Steamed Green Beans
Our family really enjoys smoked turkey sausage- we either put it on the grill or if it is in the dead of winter and freezing I will bake it in the oven.  It doesn't take long to cook since it is already pre-cooked and it essentially just needs to get "re-heated." I am going to take the super lazy easy road and make one of those seasoned rice packets- I thought broccoli and cheese would go nicely with the sausage-
 (I got mine at Aldi!) and steam some green beans for our vegetable.  Definitely a "semi" homemade meal- but it should be tasty!

Tuesday: Shredded Salsa Chicken over Quinoa with lettuce, cheese, salsa and sour cream
Another favorite (and easy) dinner in our house! I am going to make some quinoa (white or brown rice would be delicious too!) and warm up some shredded salsa chicken I made the other day.  I ALWAYS have a couple portions of salsa chicken in the freezer- I make a HUGE batch of it in the crock pot- seriously SO easy- chicken breast + a jar of salsa (or less depending on how many chicken breast you are cooking)- cook on low for about 8 hours and then shred up the chicken once it is done cooking.  I use "salsa" chicken for almost all of my "Mexican" type dinners- tacos, quesadillas, burritos, taco salads, etc. 
Anyway- quinoa + salsa chicken + cheese, lettuce, salsa and sour cream = a super easy, yummy and healthy dinner!!

Wednesday: Meatball Sub Sandwiches and a Tossed Salad
Meatball sub sandwiches are really so easy and they are one of my husband's favorite meals.  I am going to use this super simple recipe for the meatballs and make them ahead earlier in the day.  Then at dinner time, all I will have to do is assemble the sandwiches and melt some provolone cheese over the meatballs under the broiler! 

Thursday: THANKSGIVING DINNER!!! 
For about 8 years now, we have done Thanksgiving with just our little family.  Aaron's family lives in Texas and my parents travel to my grandpa's house for Thanksgiving (which is about 5 hours from us) and with Aaron being in school and now residency- his schedule has been unpredictable for quite some time.  So we just stay put and it really is so nice to have a relaxing day of hanging out and cooking!  Last year he had to work- so this year he has off! YAY! 
We are having turkey, homemade stuffing (I always follow my mom's recipe), homemade mashed potatoes, butternut squash (I just bake mine and then add salt, pepper and a little butter), Paula Deen's Green Bean Casserole, per April's recommendation and Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing for Dessert!

Friday: Pizza Night!!
My original plan was to have this be "leftover" night- but then I decided it might be nice to have a break from the mashed potatoes, turkey and gravy for one night :)  I am hoping we can put up our playroom Christmas tree during the day (we were supposed to get it up this weekend- but it just didn't happen)- and I thought it would be so fun for the girls to have a pizza picnic in front of their Christmas tree!  Fingers crossed we can make this happen! 

Saturday: Leftover Thanksgiving Dinner! 
One of the best meals of the YEAR- leftover Thanksgiving dinner!! YAY! 
Since it is just our family eating a full Thanksgiving dinner, we will have enough leftovers for several meals- but I like to freeze most of the leftovers so we can space out our "repeat" Thanksgiving dinners :)

Sunday: Hot Dogs on the Grill, Macaroni and Cheese, and Steamed Peas
Sunday is my precious Charlotte's birthday and she has requested the above meal for her birthday dinner :)  She has a very refined palate as you can see! HA!  We are having some friends over for cupcakes and an ice cream sundae bar around 6:00 pm, so it is actually very nice to be having an early, simple dinner that can be cleaned up quickly!  Charlotte has requested we make homemade ice cream for the ice cream sundae bar and I am so excited to do this with her!!  We are going to try out Pioneer Woman's Vanilla Ice Cream recipe!

From my turkeys to you...I hope you have the BEST week!!
(I know this picture is kind of blurry- but ALL of my children are looking at the camera AND smiling- so I just had to share it!! :)

I am linking up with Laura today!


Friday Favorites!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Hi!! Happy Friday!!
How has your week been?? I don't even know how it happened, but our week flew by!
We have a fun, busy weekend ahead of us.  Early tomorrow morning, we are going to be a part of our church's HUGE Thanksgiving Food Basket ministry (our church donates over 1,000 food baskets!!!) and deliver some Thanksgiving food baskets to some special families in our community.  Then we are dropping our kiddos off at our friends' house and Aaron and I are going out for a couple hours! YAY!  Sunday, we will go to church and hit the grocery store AND I am hoping to put up the kids' playroom Christmas tree!  

Okay- now time for some fun! Here are some things that made me smile this past week!!

ONE
I had an OB appointment this week and got to hear our precious baby's heartbeat!  Is that not the BEST sound ever?? The baby was bouncing around and his/her heartbeat was nice and strong.  In just a couple weeks, we will have our anatomy ultrasound (we don't find out the gender though:) and I can NOT wait to see our sweet baby up close!! You might think that with this being my 5th pregnancy, things might not be as exciting- but that is SO not the case! Not only am I excited and loving this pregnancy journey (I am finally feeling GREAT now!), my kids (and of course my hubby) are ELATED we are having a baby and always asking "what is the baby doing in my tummy?" or "what size is the baby now mommy?" Its all just so awesome and such a MIRACLE!

TWO
At the end of October, I did a post on my favorite top for Fall and Winter. You can find it here!

In my humble opinion, this "leisure tunic" is the best top EVER.  It is soft, feels like a sweatshirt, but doesn't look like one, covers your booty so you can wear it with jeans or leggings, it comes in all sorts of colors and in "sweater" like material- it is THE BEST. I own 3 and totally plan to add more to my collection :)
Well....here is where it gets exciting for this pregnant momma- there is a maternity version of the best tunic ever!!!  I ordered a black one and a beautiful, dark teal color- Target is calling it "night magic."  So- basically I will be living in those two tops until the end of April of next year! I am seriously so excited to have found a top that not only looks good- but is COMFY!


THREE
My friend Leigh did a fun post a couple days ago about crazy "National Days." Guess what today is??? National Peanut Butter Fudge Day!! Um. YES PLEASE :)
In honor of National Peanut Butter Fudge Day, I wanted to share with you my FAVORITE smoothie, that tastes like a chocolate peanut butter fudge milkshake- but is actually good for you and doesn't have any milk in it! :)
To make one generous sized smoothie, you will need: 4 ice cubes, 2 tablespoons baking cocoa, 2 spoonfuls of peanut butter (or almond butter would work too!), 1/2 of a FROZEN banana, and about 3/4 to 1 cup of almond milk (for the non-dairy option) or skim milk- if your smoothie seems too thick- just add more milk! I also used 2 packets of Stevia in my smoothie- because I wanted it on the sweeter side. You could use a couple teaspoons of real sugar, Splenda, honey- just use your preferred sweetner! :)
Blend up all the ingredients in your blender and get ready to have the yummiest, guilt free treat- all in honor of National Peanut Butter Fudge Day! :)
FOUR
I have found new FAVORITE lotion scent for the winter! I was in Bath and Body Works a couple weeks ago and had a "free item" coupon, so on a whim I picked up a body lotion in the scent, Jingle All the Way. I LOVE it!  I don't know how to really describe how it smells- but trust me- it is LOVELY :)  The fun part is that my girls LOVE the way it smells too! They ask me to put some "polar bear" lotion on them every night after their showers :)  I am going to get them each a travel size of it for their stockings so they have their own "grown up" lotion!  If you happen to be at Bath and Body Works this weekend, check it out and see what you think!

FIVE
I am SO, SO excited to let you know about a super fun link up party that my friends Johannah, Jenny and I are hosting on Monday, December 7!! We are hosting a "Christmas Ornament Show and Tell!" If you want to join in on the fun, link up with us on Monday, December 7 and you can show off your favorite Christmas ornaments! Be sure to tell us why they are your favorites!  I love hearing the "back story!" :) 
If you don't have a blog, but have Instagram, you can link up with us that way, just use the hashtags #ChristmasOrnamentShowandTell2015

I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for their Friday Favorites Link Up!
 I am also linking up with April for Five on Friday!
 Joining Karli for her, Oh Hey Friday Link Up! too!




Thoughts on Thursday!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hi!! Happy Thursday!! 
Can you believe Thanksgiving is one week from today?!?
CRAZY!!!

Okay- so I have a riveting topic to talk about today. Laundry. And stain removal.
I know. You better get a strong cup of coffee and settle in! HA!

But seriously- if you are anything like me- laundry takes up a lot of your time.  I do at least 1-2 loads of laundry a day and I am ALWAYS finding clothes with stains on them!
My kids are really cute- but they are SO DARN MESSY!

Um. YES. This is ME!! HA!
Awhile back I wrote a post about my favorite way to pretty much any stain out of our clothes- you can check it out here!
In the post- I shared that my favorite stain remover is Dawn Dish Soap!
It seriously gets out almost any kind of stain AND what I love most about it is that I can use Dawn on stains that I have found AFTER I have washed and dried the clothing item!


So here's an example- I was pulling clothes out of the dryer and noticed that my daughter got several grease stains on her pants...probably on pizza night :)
They are kind of hard to see- but there is one in the upper right hand corner and a bigger one in the bottom portion of the pant leg.
So I put some Dawn on each little stain and let the pants sit for a couple hours!
And here is the "after!" No more pizza grease stains! 
I am telling you- Dawn is such an AWESOME stain remover!!
Well...being the stain remover freak I am...I am always on the look out for new kinds of products that supposedly "get out any kind of stain." I go through A LOT of Dawn and finding a "spray" stain remover option would definitely help cut down on the amount of Dawn I buy!

In the last month- I have bought this Dreft Stain Remover- it has 5 star ratings on Walmart.com and I have heard of few people mention that it is AMAZING.


I also just bought this Resolve Gold Laundry Stain Remover, per the recommendation of my mother-in-law! When she was visiting, we were talking about our favorite way to get out stains- and this is her "go-to" stain remover!

Well, because I am a huge dork, I thought it would be fun to do a little comparison and see if one works better than the other!  And then I had the brilliant idea to blog about it- so yeah. You're welcome :)

Up first- one of the WORST stains (at least in my experience) to get out- ball point pen!!
We gave my youngest daughter a pen and pad of paper to draw with in church and she got marks of pen all over her pants much to my dismay.
The pen marks are kind of hard to see- but there is a fairly big mark right where the ruffle starts, and several more on the ruffles and on the right pant leg there is a pen mark about a 1/3 of the way up from the ruffles.
 Ball point pen is about the only thing I haven't been able to get out of clothing using Dawn.
So- I was pretty excited to see if either of my two new stain removers would be able to get out those pesky stains.  I treated the pen marks within 3 hours of it getting on the pants.  
As the picture shows, I used Resolve on the pant leg that had more pen marks and Dreft on the other pant leg. 
Once I sprayed on the stain removers, I did use a toothbrush to help "scrub out" the pen marks and then I let the pants sit for a couple hours with the stain remover on them.
I was so excited to see the pen marks GONE on both pant legs when I pulled them out of the dryer!!
It is totally gone!! I have always had so much trouble with getting pen marks out of shirts and pants- well this was like a Christmas miracle to me! HA!
 Just so happens on the same day that my precious Celine got pen all over her pants, she and sisters decided to go digging for worms in the mud. YUP. 
I am all about letting my kids explore and have fun- but really- sitting directly in a pile of mud in the pants you wore to church- COME ON. Help your momma out here!
After I yelled firmly, but gently spoke to my children about making good choices and respecting their nice clothes, I realized it was the perfect opportunity to test out all 3 of my stain remover methods. YAY!
So- the pants on the far left had mud and grass stains in the booty region, the middle pants, while its hard to see, had mud and grass stains all over both of the knees and the pants on the right, obviously had serious mud stains on the knees.
For the pants on the left, I used my own special concoction of Dawn dish soap and ALL laundry detergent- this is my "go-to" stain combo for serious mud/grass stains. And then I used Dreft for the middle pants and Resolve for the pants on the right.
 And guess what??? 
All of the stain removers WORKED!
Each pair of pants came out clean, without the stains.  Seriously- this made me SO happy!
(Obviously it doesn't take much :)

Okay- to wrap this all up-
My three top stain remover picks- based on my scientific testing, are plain old Dawn dish soap, Dreft Laundry Stain Remover and Resolve Gold Laundry Stain Remover.  I have not used the Dreft or Resolve stain removers on things like baby diaper blow outs or breast milk spit up stains (please tell me I am not the only one who experiences those??)- but I can tell you- Dawn does an amazing job on both of the those stains. Once the new baby arrives, I promise to do another review (I know you can't wait) and see how the sprays work on those crazy messes little precious babies' can create :) Right now my life consists of a lot of grass stains, mud stains, random stains that happen at school and food/grease stains.  And all 3 stain removers do a great job with all of those!

So what do you think??? Do you use any of these stain removers? If not- what is your favorite product/method for getting out pesky stains?

Please tell me I am not the only one obsessed with keeping my kids' clothing looking half way decent?!?

Hope you have the BEST day...tomorrow is Fri-YAY!! :)

 I am linking up with Annie and Natalie today!


Weekly Walmart Finds!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Happy Wednesday!!
I am back for another "edition" of Weekly Walmart Finds! So with the holiday season quickly approaching, I know many of us have GIFT SHOPPING on our minds!  I am going to assume you are a lot like me and have A LOT of (mainly) women that you want to buy gifts for....your children's teachers, your hairdresser, the office staff at your pediatrician's office, the ladies you work with, your girlfriends...the list could go on and on!
So I put together this post with those people in mind!
My criteria for these gift ideas were as follows: 1) The item had to be functional and something the person would actually be EXCITED to use :)
2) The item had to be under $10!!  

I am excited to show you what I found....here we go!

This reversible tote is SO cute and the PERFECT gift for a girlfriend gift exchange, for the babysitter who always is available to watch your kids, really- I don't know of any woman who wouldn't be excited to receive this tote! It is very similar to this tote here- but it is smaller and $40 cheaper :)  I have "examined" these totes in the store and to me- they are the perfect purse size. Not so huge that they are overwhelming- but big enough to hold your wallet, phone, a couple diapers and some baby wipes, your iPad and a water bottle- and probably some snacks too :)  I am still in the diaper bag stage- so I didn't get myself one- but I tell you what- it was VERY hard not to bring one home!!
The good news is that it comes is SO many cute color combinations and is $9.88- the not so good news is that they are all sold out online :( BUT! My local Walmart store had a bunch and I bet if you checked out your purse section at Walmart you could find them there!



Okay- so I am know I have proclaimed my love MULTIPLE times for Walmart's 719 Walnut Avenue candles (that are pretty much identical to Bath and Body Works 3 Wick Candles)- but I HAD to include them in this little "gift guide!"  They currently have 3 holiday scents- my favorite being crisp evergreen!!
(I apologize for the blurry images of the candles...I have tried several times to fix it- but can't seem to get a clearer image!)


They also have a scent called cranberry ice and I just think this candle and the image on the front of the candle is SO pretty and festive!!
Also- they do not have this scent listed online, but I was just at my local Walmart store this past weekend and they also had a twisted peppermint scent!  Again- so festive and the scent was not overwhelming at all!
These candles are $4.93!!! My favorite way to "gift" these candles it to wrap them in clear cellophane with some fancy ribbon and pair them with either some homemade pumpkin bread or Christmas cookies.  These are the best gifts for the secretaries at your children's school, the receptionists at your doctor's offices, and maybe even your child's bus driver! I plan to give these to the ladies that work in my doctor's office and my kids pediatrician's office.  Between all of my OB appointments and my kid's doctor appointments- we are there A LOT! This is the perfect, affordable gift to give to all of those wonderful women!

I just love this pajama set!!!  Wouldn't these be perfect if you have several sisters to buy for or if you are having a gift exchange with your girlfriends!? These pajamas have a 5 star rating and come in several different colors and patterns.  I really like that they are made out of a knit fabric- which make these wearable in the fall, winter AND spring time.  I am LOVING this fresh pink with the classic white piping!! They are only $10!! If you had a friend coming to visit you over the holidays, wouldn't this be the sweetest gift waiting for her in the guest bedroom?!? 
Hi. My name is Justine and I am OBSESSED with cozy, comfy flannel pajama pants.  Yup. I can't get enough of them and I just love these festive pajama pants Walmart has for $9.00!!! They come in the cutest patterns and colors, several of them being "festive" patterns perfect for the holidays!  I love the idea of putting together a little gift bag with these flannel PJ pants, a 719 Walnut Avenue candle, a couple fun magazines and some Christmas cookies!  It is the perfect "cozy" kit!! You seriously can't go wrong with these fun pajama pants!
I know a lot of women do a "scarf exchange" during the holidays- well I have the perfect scarf for you to give!  This chunky knit scarf is ADORABLE- I love the cable knit pattern and this beautiful red color it comes in- and it is $7.97!!! It comes in multiple colors, several of them having this "cable knit" look!


I also LOVE this chunky infinity scarf!! It also comes in several beautiful colors- I happen to think this "marled" wine color is gorgeous!! To me- this is the perfect gift to bring your sister-in-law if she is hosting a family get together.  Or for the girlfriend who is having everyone over for a cookie exchange!  I know my hairdresser would LOVE this!  This scarf is $7.97- it is such an affordable, LOVELY gift!  I have seen and felt these scarves in the store....they are SO soft and not itchy at all.  A total STEAL at just under $8.00!!

I don't know about you- but I am ALWAYS cold and LOVE being snuggled up on the couch under a soft blanket.  How fun is this super soft throw blanket? I LOVE the festive red chevron pattern and there are several other super fun "festive" patterns.
I think this is the perfect gift for just about any friend, teacher, special neighbor, you name it!
And get this- it is $8.88!! For that price, you can afford to throw in a pair of cozy slippers and some hot chocolate for the perfect "cozy" gift!
So what do you think?? Would any of the special people you have to buy for this holiday season enjoy any of these items??
I am pretty sure I could finish my shopping by picking up a few candles and a couple of scarves!  
Have you seen any awesome gift ideas at your local Walmart??
Tell me about them!!

Hope you have the BEST day!!
 
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