New Year, New Look!

Hey everyone! Seeing as how we’re about to leave 2014 in the dust AND today marks my 500th post, I thought a change was in order.

Enter, my new blog header design!

A few months ago, I told Huff the Hubs that I wanted a new blog header. So, in his infinite wisdom and creativity, he drew a BEE-U-TA-FULL scene of me and Huff the Babe. Then, thanks to an awesome friend of mine, Huff the Hubs’ art was digitized into this adorable creation!

I mean, come on, look how cute this cartoon version of Huff the Babe is!

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Made with Love by HtH

 

 

I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year! And remember: please drink responsibly!

Try It Tuesday

Before I even describe today’s Try It to you, I want to preface by saying that this was probably the most frustrating Try It I have ever done. Like, for reals.

A few weeks ago, I was super stoked when I saw a DIY fleece car seat poncho. A mommy friend of mine made one that looked AH-MAZING, so I thought, “Heck yes, let’s do this thing!”

Here’s the original pin:

original pin

This is what you need:

~Two different colors/patterns of fleece

~Tape measure

~ribbon or yarn

~Marker

 

First, measure your Little: Start at his or her shoulder down to where you want the poncho to stop. Double that measurement and mark it on the poncho.

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Making the poncho pattern: Get your yarn (or ribbon), hold one end of the yarn on the midway point of the fleece, and use the rest of the yarn as a protractor, making dots to mark your circle.

Cut out the circle. Then, lay the circle fleece on top of the non-cut fleece. Using the cut fleece as a pattern, cut the different color fleece.

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Grab a piece of paper to make a template for the neck hole. Measure the widest part of your Little’s head and then use that measurement to draw a circle on the paper. Make a smaller circle in the middle of the paper and cut it out. Cut the template out of the paper and lay it down on the fleece. Make dots around the circle on the fleece and mark when the middle hole is.

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Cut out the neck hole. Cut the middle of the circle (on the fleece) so that you are able to cut strips to tie the fleece together.

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Fold up the fleece (so there’s no fleece tabs hitting your Little in the face) and tie the strips together. I was getting super frustrated with this part. My chubby fingers couldn’t grab the fleece strips and someone decided to plop down and “help Mommy”.

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So I enlisted the help of my sister, who so graciously took over at this stage.

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When the neck hole is all tied up, cut strips along the edge to tie the fleece together. Then, you’re done!

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I tell you what, I don’t know if its because I wasn’t feeling too hot or because the instructions were so odd, but I just did not like doing this. I like how it turned out, but it was not very enjoyable. I’m sure others will have great success and find it fun to do this, but for now, I’m going to go drink my Diet Coke and watch an episode of The Office. 

End of the Year Wrap-Up

I have something special planned for Wednesday, so I thought I’d go ahead and get a jump on the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon!

Last year, I started a new way of thinking about my resolutions. I used to make a crazy long list of things I wanted to accomplish in the New Year, only to pitter out by the end of February. Then, my sister told me about what she does with her fourth grade students. I did it last year and I found it so much easier to track my goals!

Here’s what you do:

2: List the two best things that happened in 2014

0:  Name something you want to STOP doing in the New Year

1: Your one wish for 2015

5: Five goals you want to accomplish in the coming year.

 

Two best things from 2014:

1. Hermione’s milestones.

hermione

Watching my little Gryffindor grow from a precious little poop machine into a toddler has been amazing! Now she has teeth, can feed herself, babbles, says a few words, and is running like a Kenyan at the NYC Marathon!

2. Finishing my 30 By 30 List.

marathon

Oh my sheesh am I glad that I am DONE with that list! Well…almost done. Now I can focus on my 40 By 40 (I have time, right?). That list was equal parts fun and disaster. But it was great to experience and mark off those things I accomplished.

 

Something you want to stop:

chores

Putting other things before my family.

There are so many times when I’m running around like a mad woman, trying to get laundry put away and organize this and plan that only to hear, “Aw! Babe, you missed it! Hermione just did the cutest thing!” I’m missing moments, precious moments I won’t get back. The laundry can wait and the dishes won’t suffer if they soak for an extra hour. I have toes to tickle and snuggles to be had.

 

My one wish for 2015:

peace

Peace.

When I say “peace”, I don’t just mean, “Let’s all hold hands and sing kumbaya/give the world a Coke®”. I mean, I want peace in every aspect of my life. Peace in my home (i.e., no more nagging Huff the Hubs about his driving, being hateful because something didn’t go my way); peace in my heart (stop worrying—I will admit, I’m getting better!); peace in life (stop sweating the small stuff, see challenges as opportunities, etc.).

 

Five goals I want to accomplish this year:

1. Get back to fighting shape.

workout

I was my most confident when I felt strong. I felt my strongest before my second half marathon. My goal is to get back to that feeling and level of fitness.

 

2. Buy a house.

house

Don’t get me wrong, I love living with my sister. She’s been so accommodating and it’s been such a blessing (for her and us) that we’ve been able to bunk with her. But, I am really looking forward to being a homeowner, so started looking for the custom home builders already.

 

3. Go a month without spending.

money

By “without spending” I don’t mean things we need to live (i.e., groceries, rent, gas for cars, etc.) I mean meaningless spending. Like going out to eat, clothes I’ll never wear, toys Hermione won’t play with, and countless stuff from Target’s Dollar Spot.

 

4. Read one book a month.

reading

I’ve knocked out the classic books I want to read, now it’s time for modern books and, if I think I can hack it, maybe a biography or two.

 

5. Travel.

travel

I have been to A LOT of places. I’ve been to Europe three times, Hawaii three times, and countless other places. But, I haven’t seen enough of my big world yet. There are so many historical sites I want to see and natural wonders HtH hasn’t seen. Good thing I bought new luggage on Black Friday!

 

What about you? What are your goals for 2015?

Try It Tuesday

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

I’ve got a Try It that will warm your bones and fill your tummy!

Here lately, I’ve been craving—of all things—Hamburger Helper. The cheesy HH. I don’t know why. I didn’t really like that much as a kid, but we always seemed to have Hamburger Helper at least once a week. However, the past few weeks I’ve had a hunger that only the Helper could conquer.

But…I couldn’t bring myself to eat that boxed stuff. So I went to Pinterest and found a healthified version!
original pin

Here’s what you need:

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1 lb ground turkey, browned (I use Honeysuckle White)
2 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 cups dry whole wheat elbow macaroni
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups 2% cheddar cheese, shredded

 

Spray a large skillet with Pam (or Crisco, whatever you choose!) and then heat on medium-high heat. Throw in your ground turkey, pasta, milk, water, cornstarch, and spices. Stir.

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Bring the contents of the pan to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and simmer. Cover and cook for about 10-12 minutes.

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Add your cheese (the best part!) and stir.

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Then, serve!

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This was…okay. Huff the Hubs loved it and Huff the Babe ate quite a bit too. I was a tad disappointed because it didn’t taste a whole lot like the boxed stuff. Sigh. HtH did ask for it again, so I guess that’s a success! Especially because it was super easy to make!

My Favorite Things {To Eat}

Merry Monday before Christmas!

With the big day only a tad over 48 hours away, you’re probably starting to think about what you’re going to take to your many family functions. If you don’t want to actually bring something, I’ve got some great suggestions for you! Every year I look forward to this season because its when the best of the best foods come around my house. And my family does not skimp when it comes to holiday eating!

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Here’s my Top Four Favorite Holiday Treats!

 

#4. Jalapeno Poppers

jalapeno poppers

Full disclosure: my dad makes these almost exclusively in the summertime. However, we are preparing for Ultra Feast on New Year’s Eve and he has already said that these are totes on the menu. I am SO excited! The poppers may seem a little extreme, given that they’re made with a crazy-hot pepper, but they’re actually not as spicy as you might think. The cream cheese really helps to mellow out the kick! Plus, the peppers are wrapped in bacon. And everything is better with bacon! Get the recipe here!

 

#3. Fruit Pizza

fruit pizza

We haven’t had this dessert is sooooooo long! It used to be a staple for our New Year’s Eve partay’s, but sadly, its gone away. I’m hoping to revive it this year! Its a pretty simple recipe. All you need is sugar cookie dough (you can even use store bought!), cream cheese, powdered sugar, and your favorite fruits! Get the stats here!

 

#2. Chili Cheese Dip

chili cheese dip

I love this dip because its always a home run when there’s a lot of people and its super simple to make! Its perfect for the colder months and can be tailored to fit your tastes! You add or subtract just about anything from this recipe and its still awesome! Get some ideas for your own creation at this site!

 

#1. Peanut Butter Ball

pb ball

My sister found this recipe on Pinterest and I have never before been so thankful for the internet. This sweet dip takes two of my favorite foods: peanut butter and chocolate and makes them edible with a spoon. (Well, I guess you could eat peanut butter straight out of the jar with a spoon, but this is SO much better!) Again, its a super simple recipe that looks like you’ve spent all day making, so you can totes impress your in-laws! This dip is good with sugar cookies, graham crackers, and apple slices!

 

 

Happy eating!

 

Fan Girl Friday

Only six days left until Christmas, folks! That means all of you Christmas shopping procrastinators out there are really letting things get down to the wire! Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! I’m back with a last-minute shopping lists for the fanboys and fangirls in your life!

 

For the {Techy} Happy Camper:

 

This is the ultimate gift for those who like the great outdoors—as long as they can see it from the great indoors. Just listen to these specs from the Eddie Bauer website: “…this three-person, four-season tent is made to be roomy, lightweight, and strong…It packs all the power you need to charge laptops, tablets, lights, cameras, smartphones, and more, while internal wiring will give you plenty of places to hook up!”

tent

Sadly, this bad boy isn’t for sale…yet. I’m sure it’ll cost a pretty penny when it does hit the market, though!

 

For the Smart Dresser:

equation dress

How cute is this dress? (Huff the Babe actually has a cloth diaper that looks like this!) Covered in equations and formulas, this acute dress is available from ModCloth AND you can get it shipped in time for Christmas!

 

For the Whovian (That Doesn’t Like the Dark):

 

As a kid, I was terrified of the dark. Now, thanks to Doctor Who, I realize that fear was totally legitimate because it could’ve been the Vashta Nerada. And, also because of Doctor Who, I need a nightlight even though I’m an adult. And, thanks to Think Geek, I can have one, suited for a Whovian!

night light

 

For the Manly Man:

I love bacon. I love it so much, my best friend calls me Bacon Face (that’s another story for another day). I think I might have to snag some of this for Huff the Hubs this Christmas:

bacon shaving cream

Its bacon shaving cream! The description from Perpetual Kid alone is enough to buy it: “Its meaty flavor will enhance your shaving experience and leave you with a soft, porky face.  Simply work into a rich and smoky lather with some hot water, shave against the grain and inhale the crisp, meaty scent.”

 

For the Book Worm:

Remember the good ole days of digging through the card catalog, searching for that one book you needed to finish your report on the Berlin Wall? Then finding that behemoth of a book, taking it to the librarian and signing your name on the checkout card? Ah, memories. Now you can relive those days gone by with this sqee-worthy satchel!

book bag

Plus, its only $19.99 from ModCloth! It would really finish off the look of that dress, huh?

 

 

See you next week, kids!