Saturday, February 27, 2016

Weekend Links

This Week:

What I Made: Scrapped some pages... filmed a Day in the Life video... made a card...

What I'm Reading:  Still finishing up the KonMari book... also started Girl Soldier for the March book club.  Wow!  It's taking a lot to follow, but it's gut wrenching.

What I'm Doing: It's baseball season so what else would I be doing?  Running the kids around to practices this weekend and spending time as a family.  And of course, that also means selling candy bars for Little League.

What I'm Watching: Survivor!  Did you catch this last week?  Not a smart move.

What I'm Enjoying: the sunshine... The Amazing Race... fraction tiles... 

What are you up to?

Friday, February 26, 2016

2016 February Bookmarks

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*Bookmarks is an online book club hosted at Creative2xmom. Here we discuss the books we've read in the past month as well as the suggested reading. Our suggested reading for February was Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.

These are the books I read this month:

Beyond the Silence by Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse--See my review here.  

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum-- This was an awesome book.  Despite seeing the movie multiple times, I've never read the book.  And it's really good.  The movie has elements of the original book, but the book takes a decided turn and it's so rich in detail.  It was one of those books that we all enjoyed: from the littlest to the biggest.  I actually heard my daughter say, "The best book ever."  Definitely add this one to your read list.

Our suggested reading for February was Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty-- Wow!  I'm not sure what I expected from this book, but it did not disappoint.  And I should have known since I loved What Alice Forgot by the same author.  Big Little Lies follows a group of kindergarten parents all intertwined by divorce, marriage, friendship, and the suburbs of Australia.  When Jane, a young mother, moves into town and quickly befriended by Madeline, sparks begin to fly.  All until the night of the fateful parents mixer where one parent ends up dead and the spotlight is turned on a tight group of kids holding a secret.  Big Little Lies explores the nature of self preservation and the lies we believe to keep ourselves sane.  And ultimately the lies that could destroy us.  Suspenseful, insightful, and identifiable... I couldn't put it down.

So what are your bookmarks this month?

Tell us in the comments about the books you're chewing on. Or link up a review from your own blog. Let's share the books we're finding, good and bad. And give us your thoughts on Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.

And come back March 25th as we discuss Girl Soldier by Faith J.H. McDonnell and Grace Akallo.

*Linked to these Parties

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

March's Cheapest Fruits and Vegetables

*Originally posted 3/4/10

So how did February's Cheapest Fruits and Vegetables go over? Did you try anything new? What were some of your successes? Failures? Stories you'd like to share?

As for us, we ate a lot of broccoli salad. Almost by accident. We had another family over on Valentine's night for heart shaped pizza and strawberry cupcakes. The other mom asked what she could bring and I had no idea really. So she offered to bring some wine and a side dish. Luckily she showed up with Broccoli Salad and my kids loved it. They couldn't get enough of it. We had plenty of leftovers and they asked for leftovers several days after. It's become a favorite in our house.

March's Cheapest Fruits and Vegetables will be a little tough around here though:

Lettuce is easy. Veggie salad, shrimp salad, taco salad... we're even having taco salad this week.
Pineapple and Mangoes we eat plain in season. I did however do a quick search and came up with the following recipe database of Pineapple Recipes and Mango Recipes.

As far as broccoli, I just mixed up a batch of the following today:

Greek Veggie Salad
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 head broccoli, chopped
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 (6 ounce) can small pitted black olives, drained
1 (6 ounce) package tomato basil feta cheese, crumbled
1 (16 ounce) bottle zesty Italian dressing

Half a bottle of dressing is plenty. I used chopped tomatoes in place of cherry tomatoes (too expensive) and sliced up some leftover Kalamata olives as well. I haven't tried it on the kids yet, but it definately filled me up and tasted wonderful.

For more Frugal Friday posts, check out Life as Mom.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Our Favorite Preschool Learning Games

We love games in our house.
From a very young age, we've been a family
who loves enjoying an evening over a board game or puzzle.

As the kids have grown, our game collection has as well.
But some of our favorites are still these preschool learning games
that we often come back to again and again.

Some of our favorite preschool games include:

Rory's Story Cubes--
These fun dice are great for all ages.
Just throw them and make a story out of the pictures.
When your kids get older,
have their write their story.
Great for imagination, building vocabulary,
and story telling.

Great for following directions
and having fun doing it.
Includes movements like "slither,"
hop, and crawl for gross motor skills.

Great way to learn about taking turns, counting,
and rules of game play.

Lego Duplo--
So much fun for building, imagination,
logic, and construction.

Thinkfun Roll and Play Game--
Great beginning game for learning colors,
emotions, gross motor skills, counting,
and so much more.

Classic game of colors, turn taking, and general game play,
all packaged in the fun imaginative world of candy.

Wonderful for building memory and logic.
This game comes in such a variety of subjects and
the classic version as well.
We've had three variations of this game 
and all have been well loved.

Chutes and Ladders--
Be careful going up, you just might come right back down.
Great game for counting and learning to
take the ups and downs of game play.
Love the older version that matches behavior 
with rewards and consequences.

Go Fish--
This is a fun game to learn about pairing,
based either on color, number, or symbol.

This game comes in several variations as well,
including a Cars edition which is really fun.
Uno is great for identifying numbers, colors, 
and has the added fun of the "skip" card.

Animal Upon Animal--
This wooden game challenges kids to stack animals 
in crazy configurations.
Focused on logic and fine motor skills,
Animal upon Animal is one that my older kids still enjoy.

So what would you add to the list?
Do you have a favorite preschool learning game?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Weekend Links

This Week:

What I Made:  Catching up on school scrapbook pages... making some progress on an upcycle project... fun lesson plans for my gymnastics class... 

What I'm Reading: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up... It's quite interesting.  I'm on this huge decluttering kick this year and this has been a great way to keep me going.

What I'm Doing: Gearing up for baseball season... working the Couch to 5K program... more decluttering... planning our next science unit... YOGA!

What I'm Watching: lots of baseball practice... Fixer Upper... and the new season of 

What I'm Enjoying: Winter Weather... teaching a new class... 

What are you up to?
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