A Day in the Life #onedayHH

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Every year Hollywood Housewife (Laura) does this thing where you can post all day on Instagram with pictures of you everyday life – messes and all. I decided this year not to let my lack of a smartphone stop me from joining in. So I’ll be updating this throughout the day with unedited pictures of my life here. Here is the #onedayHH post for this year!

Technically the day started at 3:40 when Joshua woke up crying. We need a new pacifier “leash” so he can’t keep losing his paci outside the crib. But he was also poopy, so I had the joys of changing that in the middle of the night. Then, for the second night in a row, that woke David up and he crawled into bed with us. Which is OK … he really is very cute and snuggly. But he was still asleep at 7:20 and our carpool ride for preschool picks him up about 8.

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Meanwhile, this stinker was somehow playing with a knife that was on the counter. He can reach the counter. That is a bad thing.

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Scavenged up $3 to send with David for a school lunch, and tried to figure out how to set up Libbie with a lunch account so she could buy today. It didn’t work. I have packed her lunch every day, but today it would have been nice to save the time. (I NEED to pack lunches the night before. But I don’t.) So ended up packing one anyway, whatever I could find in the kitchen that she might eat.

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David cried for approximately 20 minutes because I wanted him to wear this shirt. Daddy even put the shirt on him. Finally, I relented and let him just change. Then when the carpool came his buddy Luke was wearing the exact same shirt in gray. David would have LOVED being twins. I have NO idea why this shirt is offensive to him. Sigh.

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This is spirit week at Libbie’s school (she’s in kindergarten). Today was crazy hair or hat day.

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Mommy had neither breakfast nor coffee this morning in all the rush. (WHY did I not get up with my alarm??? ARGH.) So we made this stop. A BIG coffee for me and donuts all around. Really, we only do this once in awhile (I think this is the second time since school started in early August), so I refuse to be guilty about it.

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Two little ones (David was already with carpool) were excited when this came on the Sirius station, even though they play it almost every day. Joshua is getting very skilled at singing, “Leeee goooo!!!”

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Dropped Lib off at school and headed to the Y for water aerobics. Yay! Totally fuel for my soul and body. Then Josh and I came home. He was already asleep when we got here, so he went down for nap and I hope to have time to take a shower and maybe pick up the kitchen. Here I am, wet and happy.

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Shower? Who are we kidding. I am a bath girl. Took a nice bath, read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (getting close to the end!), and got dressed. Applied my oil regimen – I really feel like these help lift some of my depression, although I am still taking my medicine as well. I feel better than I have in ages. Tried to wax my eyebrows: disaster. My sister uses this kit, even ON ME, but I could not get one hair to come off with it. Tried my old stand-by, the Sally Hansen strips, and I couldn’t hardly get them to work either. What’s up, brows?? Will spare you a picture of them. Still hairy. It’s 12:14 p.m.

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12:31 and someone is up from nap. He is always very unhappy about leaving his paci in the crib.

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Make Joshua lunch, then attempt to pick up and unload the dishwasher while he’s restrained. I think fairies come and reload it all the time, because it ALWAYS seems to need unloaded.

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Realize if I want to each lunch I better do it. Leftover meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Joshua didn’t want his lunch, but of course he wants mine.

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Oh hey. Here is what I look like. Off to go to the preschool pick-up!

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Mr. Trouble thinks he needs to climb the stairs alone every time. And he can … but it’s slow. I scooped him up and carried him this time.

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Back in the van again …

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It really is a gorgeous day. Mid-60s and no clouds. But it’s hard to believe how GREEN it still is in late October.

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Remember how I said I didn’t pack David’s lunch this morning? The friend we carpool with takes the boys back to their house in the morning before preschool. And she packed and sent him a lunch. I almost cried.

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Grilled cheese for after-school snack. Because … we seem to be low on snacky things, and it works.

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Meanwhile, I can tell it is water aerobics day because I am hungry again. I am sort of obsessed with these Dole chopped salads.

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Attempted to pick up some and vacuum. But let’s be honest: it still looks like this. I need a maid. I am so not kidding about how awful I am at housekeeping.

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This came in the mail today. I am a little giddy, because I know one little almost-6-year-old who is going to be SO EXCITED (to look like every other little girl on Halloween …).

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A little after 5 and I’m back in the van with the kidlets, headed to church. I think Dunkin’ gave me decaf this morning because I am DRAGGING. Filled up my travel mug with half-pumpkin-spice-half-regular coffee and cinnamon creamer. YUM.

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Time for dinner at church. So glad they do this on Wednesday nights. Tonight there was spaghetti and chicken with cheese.

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On Wednesday nights I co-teach a class of 2, 3, and 4-year-olds. My friend Carrie and I joke that we populate the entire preschool department at church – we each have 3, and they are 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and almost 1. Technically Libbie is in the children’s department now, though. Anyway, here is my class of cuties. We had all 8 there tonight! And they were WIRED.

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Seriously, the noise level when they were playing after the lesson. My ears are still ringing.

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I decide what the heck, I will go to choir tonight even though that gets us home late. When we finally pull into our parking spot about 8:35, our dorm is having a fire drill. Stellar. So we wait not so patiently outside.

Joshua is playing on the floor with cars and it’s almost 9 p.m. This does not bode well for the morning.

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Hallelujah, they are finally all in PJs. Teeth-brushing time.

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And that about sums up my day. It’s 9:13 and Joshua and David are still talking in their room. Sigh. I wanted to make muffins tonight but I am beat and coughing, so I will take my laptop and book and go to bed. I try to get to sleep around 10 to 10:30 so 5:45 doesn’t seem soooo early!

My dad is actually in the hospital in Greensboro, which has also been hovering around all day. He had pneumonia. Thankfully he isn’t old (he’s 55), but it’s still scary. Please send prayers for him! So my phone will come with me too, as I’m texting my mom and dad some.

Good night, friends!

Soups: So Many to Try, So Little Time

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This is a sponsored post through Foodie.com. Thank you for supporting charities like these by allowing me to post sponsored content without complaint.

Check out Soup Is Good for the Soul

by Jessie Weaver at Foodie.com

I’ve been on a mission lately to get my kids to eat soup. It’s not something I’ve ever pushed, even though I am a soup fanatic. And to my surprise, they are actually trying it! Joshua, my 19-month-old, especially loves to sip on the broth. The other two are more selective (ahem) eaters, but are willing to at least try it. And that is a step in the right direction!

Because man, do I love soup. I grew up eating it all the time – chili, beef and barley, vegetable, and even the dreaded bean soup (which I do NOT love, obviously). My mom’s potato soup is one of my favorite take-me-back-to-childhood recipes. And in case you can’t tell we had a bit of a Soup Enthusiasm, every year my parents hosted the SOUPerbowl, so we could watch football and eat all kinds of chilis, stews, and broths.

I couldn’t stop myself from adding more and more recipes to my Foodie collection. I hope you’ll enjoy perusing it! I may have to make soup every day for the entire fall and winter to taste-test all the new recipes I want to try out.

What’s your favorite soup, stew, or chili?

Saturday Linky Love

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Saturday Linky Love button

 

Well. It appears it is now Sunday night and I have yet to write a linky post. We’ve been sucking in every moment of the weekend! Libbie was off Friday and Mr. V is on Fall Break, so Friday we trekked to Nashville to visit old friends. Yesterday, I went to water aerobics, napped, and then we went to a church-sponsored hayride and bonfire! And then today, we did church but I had a sinus headache so came home and slept again. It’s been busy but good, and I’m always going to pick “real life” over blogging. And sleep. ;)

But I do have some wonderful things to share, so here you go.

Reading offline: Chasing God by Angie Smith; The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley.

So, what did you read that was great this week? Link up here. You can grab the code for the button in the sidebar, if you want. Please link back here and add the PERMALINK to your post, not your home page.

Stuff People Want to Know

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I really like Pinterest. Mostly, I just use it for me. What did I do before Pinning to keep track of recipes I want to make? I had them collected in bookmarks, e-mails, clipping around my house. I guess I starred posts on Google Reader, when it was around, but in its demise I lost all that, too.

I can’t lie and say I don’t like how my traffic has doubled since the advent of Pinning as well. Recipe and crafty bloggers definitely got the win there. Of course I would rather have readers who actually, well, read what I write and not just scan my recipes. But that’s my writer-brain. I’m not very professional about this whole shindig sometimes.

Anyway, I love seeing what people have repinned of mine. And there are some pins – even old ones – that get pinned over and over and OVER again. I guess maybe they are just searchable gems or something. I want to share those pins here. Because if a ton of people are searching for them on Pinterest, maybe they will help you, too!

So here are my top Pins of all time.

25 Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Back-to-School is a post I actually compiled for ParentLife. It’s had 1202 repins from one of my group boards, which does help its popularity! Here is the pin. I’m always excited to have written something that is helpful to others, and I think this one really is.

Another round-up I did for ParentLife (why don’t I ever post these winners on my own blog?), these are five of my very favorite Christmas cookie recipes. Yum! Pin status: 1077 repins. (And the only thing I wrote in the description was, “Christmas cookies.” Pinterest is weird. I have no idea why certain things work there.)

The Car Trip Busy Box from Play Dr. Mom is also on a popular group board about traveling. Isn’t this something EVERY parent needs? Here’s the pin, which has 824 repins.

And in more of Things I Wrote for ParentLife I Wish I Had Published Here (just kidding, guys, they do PAY me for writing there), we have 25 Slow Cooker Weeknight Dinners. Pinners love their crockpots, don’t they? Repins: 816.

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I actually wrote this before any of the ParentLife stuff. Mine: 1 Facebook like. Mine on ParentLife: 71,000 Facebook likes. Just sayin’. Summer Is for Slow Cooking has all of the slow cooker recipes from my site as of 6/2013. You can find them all now on this recipe index page as well. The Pin has 778 repins, so I can’t complain too much.

I LOVED this post and idea from my friend Tiffany at Stuff Parents Need. So glad it’s received some attention!  My Pin of it has 590 repins.

 

Skipping down a couple of places, we have this Octopus Pattern Craft from Still Playing School, which actually links to a collection of beach-themed learning activities. It always makes me laugh that this is repinned so often. I mean, I pin lots of crafts. Why this octopus? What is so special about it? It’s pretty darn cute, but it’s just a construction-paper-and-cereal thing. Anyway, it has 456 repins. You go girl, Miss Octopus.

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What do you think makes a pin popular? Some of these are on group boards, some are not. All have text on their photos, whether the photo was taken by a professional or not. Some are collages, some are not. Some are big. Some are not. I find the whole thing pretty baffling … and will stick to just pinning things I like and might want to reference again.

But if you were wondering where you could find some slow cooker meals or a way to make traveling with kids more bearable, here you go.

 

 

Irresistible Peanut Butter Muffins

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peanut butter muffins

 

If, like me, you are a great lover of all things peanut butter, these muffins are for you. They are light and fluffy, specked with just enough chocolate to tickle your tastebuds, and make a perfect breakfast or grab-and-go snack.

I love muffins and I cannot lie. And the goodness of these, you cannot deny.

Unless you don’t like peanut butter. In which case, well, I am very, very sorry.

Irresistible Peanut Butter Muffins

Yield: about 16 small muffins or 12 larger ones

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. peanut butter (preferably natural)
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 7/8 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 T lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 c. mini chocolate chips

Instructions

In a mixing bowl, stir together peanut butter and oil until uniform. Stir in sugar, then egg and vanilla. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Dump on top of the peanut butter mixture.

Pour milk and lemon or lime juice over the top, then stir all together until just combined. Fold in mini chocolate chips.

Fill greased or papered muffin cups halfway full. Bake 15-17 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. If your muffin cups are bigger, it may take longer - mine are on the small side.

Enjoy warm or cool.

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What’s your favorite kind of muffin?

Saturday Linky Love

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Saturday Linky Love button

 

Happy Friday to you! I’ve spent a LOT of time this week reading blogs and not a whole lot of time reading actual books. I’ve been at my parents’ house – and my in-laws’ earlier in the week – so I’ve been trying to catch up on blog reading, I guess. In between trying to keep Joshua from killing himself, which is a full-time job at the moment. Ay yi yi.

Here are some of the wonderful things I read this week! You can see more things I pinned and stuff I stumbled, too.

Reading offline: Erm, well, like I said, I haven’t done much actual book-reading. I finally finished Quitter today, still reading Xenocide, and started Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister in the car.

So, what did you read that was great this week? Link up here. You can grab the code for the button in the sidebar, if you want. Please link back here and add the PERMALINK to your post, not your home page.