Tornado alley

Does your living room (or whatever room you use the most) ever look like a tornado swept through it, leaving a hot mess of every toy your child owns?  It’s a daily occurrence, actually, it happens multiple times a day because I like to tidy the toys at every chance I get, only causing the tornado to strike again. My tornado looks cute; those big blue eyes, that soft blonde hair, but he’s just playing you. For my son, the more toys that are out, the less he plays with them. It is as if the game is to make a mess, than he gets bored and starts getting into trouble. He’s always been this way, and so we tend to stagger toys with him. Switching them out every few weeks with ones in the basement. It’s like Christmas all over again for the kid. And we have even been known to not open some new toys that he receives as gifts, so that in a few months he gets brand new ones. But lately, we haven’t been as successful with this. Turns out a 2 year old remembers which toys he opened and wants them all out of their packages right away…and even the switching of toys every few weeks wasn’t working that well either. We needed a new plan, since this kid has tons of toys and didn’t seem to want to play with them anymore.

So I cleaned out our living room.

The toy box went up to his bedroom with all his stuffed animals in it, along with his car mat and a few random cars and trains. He loves playing with these while I am getting ready in the morning, folding laundry, or changing his sisters diaper. Much better than him opening bathroom cupboards and playing in the walk-in closet. I was worried about him not napping or going to bed, knowing he could get up and play with his toys, but so far he’s been great about it. It helps that this kid lives off routine, and playing with toys in his room before sleeping is not a part of that routine.

Most of the other toys ended up in the basement (which is set up as a play area, but we don’t go down there that much). Only a few favourite toys are still in the living room all the time. He plays with these so much more now that they are all he has. And after a little while of playing with them in the morning, we go down to the basement and he gets to pick two other toys to bring upstairs. He takes this very seriously, and can spend 10 minutes deciding which truck, or which bin of small toys should come up with him. Having him pick, and only have a few options in the living room, has kept him happy and out of trouble!  He loves that he gets to make the decision, and he is playing with toys he essentially forgot about or ignored.

Now I can relax in a fairly tidy living room!

Meal Plan Monday

I don’t know what happened last week. I can’t remember anything significant that stopped me from blogging, I guess I was just busy in general. We are gearing up for Christmas in our house; the season of Advent has started which means it is ok to put my wreaths on the front doors and slowly start decorating the house. The tree won’t be up for a while yet, and same with the outside lights, but I should probably take down the fall decor.

And I am hoping to get my Christmas shopping finished this week, so I can say I was done before December started! At the very least, I will still have stocking stuffers to pick up, but maybe I can even get that done too.

Here is what we are eating this week:

Monday: roasted chicken with potatoes and carrots

Tuesday: mince and totties (ground beef, mashed potatoes and peas, kinda like a shepherds pie that isn’t baked)

Wednesday: chicken fingers and coleslaw (I made this recipe on the weekend, and it was really really good!)

Thursday: pork chops and veggie fried rice

Friday: veggie burritos

Saturday: we’re going out for dinner for my little brothers’ 25th birthday!

Sunday: we will be at my parents for dinner to once again celebrate my brothers birthday

I am going to try and not bake too much this week, since the next few weeks will be filled with Christmas baking (usually two rounds since we eat the first batches before Christmas gets here), and I think our waistlines will appreciate this.

Happy menu planning!

Come and link up over at the Organizing Junkie

Meal Plan Monday

Goodness, time is just flying by! My baby girl will be two months old this week, and Advent starts this weekend! Christmas is just around the corner, so I guess I should get my butt in gear on some Christmas crafts (more stuff from Pinterest!) so that they are ready for when we put our tree up. The weather has also changed this week, and it is going to be kinda cold, so some of our meals are going to be very comfy warm wintery dishes.

So here is what we are eating this week:

Monday: baked chicken legs with bruschetta

Tuesday: french onion soup (never made it before, hubby requested it, so I’m trying out the Joy of Cooking recipe)

Wednesday: turkey sausage with rice and salad

Thursday: pork chops with stuffing and garlic green beans (we’re Canadian, but it’s American Thanksgiving so I thought we’d have some stuffing!)

Friday: Rachael Ray’s veg head three bean chili (this is by far the BEST chili I have ever had, and it’s the hubby’s fav too. My husband, the classic meat and potatoes guy, prefers this over my meat chili)

Saturday: Hubby’s night to cook! He hasn’t planned his meal yet, maybe we’ll end up ordering food again. Don’t really care as long as I don’t have to cook it :)

Sunday: we always have Sunday dinners at either my parents house or my husbands

I think I am going to make some raisin scones this week (saw them at the store and got a craving for one with my afternoon tea), and I’m sure I will need a chocolate fix, so I will end up baking some brownies too.

Happy menu planning!

Come and link up over at the Organizing Junkie

Pinterest isn’t just for dreaming

You guys, I did it again. I made something I pinned on Pinterest! This makes me so happy, because I’m pretty sure most people don’t actually do anything with their pins. Maybe I’m wrong…if you are on Pinterest, have you followed through on any pins? Outfit ideas? Home ideas? Recipes? Crafty DIYs?

I made an infinity scarf! I had been wanting one for a little while now, but buying little extras like that aren’t in our budget, and I didn’t really want to wait for Christmas. My hubby isn’t a fan of wearing scarves inside (reminds him of snobby students in his University classes), so I thought maybe an infinity scarf would be ok, and since I’m always cold, it will stop me from cranking the heat up. Browsing through Pinterest last night I stumbled upon this tutorial which I still might make, since it looks super cozy, and I would love to have it to wear on Christmas morning. But it requires sewing, and I still have a pile of stuff downstairs that I never get to, so I don’t really see this happening. However, I than scrolled down a little more and saw this tutorial! This one, its brilliant. It took my husband longer to decide which old shirt I could have, than it did for me to cut it up. Two cuts, a little stretching, and you are done. Here’s mine:

Jeans: Old Navy skinny jeans. Shirt: Joe Fresh. Scarf: handmade by me!

The best part about this little diy, IT WAS FREE! I used an old shirt of my husbands, one that was in perfect condition; he never wore it because it fit weird. I have a feeling I might get a little carried away and make a million of these in different colours. Maybe a printed shirt from the thrift store? Oh the possibilities! Right now I totally love my grey one, it’s so comfy!

And since I took pictures of my outfit, I thought I would link up with Mandy’s SOS again! Yay for being kinda fashionable.

Free Friday

If only this could be a regular thing. Free stuff every Friday? A girl can dream…

Yesterday was a big mail day around here. Large Old Navy order arrived (yay for online Christmas shopping), my InStyle magazine arrived (yay for magazine subscriptions as gifts from my hubby), and a very familiar shaped box from P&G.

If you haven’t signed up for the Brand Sampler yet, you really should (go here), though not as good as it once was, you still get free samples of great products. Now, I realize that the point of a free sample is to try out the product, and if you like it, buy the full size version. I do not treat these samples in that way. Thanks for the product, I’m gonna add it to my collection! I keep the shampoos and conditioners for guests, travel, or when I run out of my regular brand. Same goes for the sample of toothpaste, and dishwasher soap (yes, those silly little packets of dishwasher detergent do work better, but my giant bottles of Kirkland soap from Costco do a good enough job and are waaaaaaaay cheaper).

Speaking of Costco, the P&G Brand Sampler started up a second sampler pack for Costco members. You enter in your membership number, and you get to pick even more samples, from a better variety. This pack still gives out the Gillette razor (which is like an $8 value!) whereas the regular sampler doesn’t (at least I haven’t got one the last 2 or 3 times). Here is what arrived yesterday in my Costco member sampler:

Nothing says happy Friday like free stuff :) enjoy your weekend everyone!