5 Things on Friday: Thanksgiving

Every Friday I share 5 things I think you should know about. This Friday, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m sharing five things I am thankful for.

Happy, Healthy Kids

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dsc_0066I am lucky to have two incredibly happy and healthy kids. They make life so much fun.

John

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My husband is pretty great. He works hard and is a good Dad. He is funny and kind. I like hanging out with him. He’s my partner in life and I love him dearly.

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I am thankful that Wrigley is such a patient dog. We were worried before we brought Audrey home from the hospital that our great big lug of a dog would not be good with her. We are no longer worried. Wrigley is incredibly patient with the kids. She lets them crawl and sit on her. She is so happy to get attention from them. She will even sit patiently as Audrey slowly gets every bit of dog food into her bowl, one piece at a time, with toddler like  precision.

 

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I love being able to stay home with my kids. It allows me to go see my parents in the middle of the week once a month. It enables me to get outside in the sunshine with the kids whenever I want. It helps the kids get more sleep because I’m able to get them to nap on their schedule. I love that I don’t have to worry about the logistics of getting everyone up and out the door every morning. I am a happier, more relaxed mom because I get to stay home with Audrey and Elliot.

My Stroller

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20161120_164603.jpgI love my stroller. Love it. It’s a Bumbleride Indie Twin and it gets used a lot. It’s easy to push. It can handle the horrible Beaverdale sidewalks with ease. The kids like it. It fits through the door to our neighborhood coffee shop. I can adjust each seat back and foot rest individually. The canopy is huge and can completely block out the wind. It allows me to walk in any weather. I found it on Craigslist and bought it from a woman who has a tattoo that matches mine. We hugged. Everything about this stroller is magic. I am thankful for a stroller that helps me get outside with the kids and enjoy the fresh air.

I have so much to be thankful for. A blog post could never cover all of my thanks, but it is nice to share five things with you.

Every Friday I share five things I think you should know about. Are there any Friday Fives you would like to hear about? Please share your ideas with me.

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5 things on Friday: Aldi

Every Friday I’m going to share five things I think you should know about. I’m going to start with 5 things from one of my favorite stores – Aldi.

I love a bargain. Clothes, shoes, you name it, I love a good deal. One place I love to go to score a great deal is Aldi. I make a trip monthly to stock up on my favorite products. They are high quality and much cheaper than the grocery store, Target, or even Costco.

Applesauce Pouches

My absolute favorite thing to buy at Aldi is applesauce pouches. They are less than $2 for a box of 4. They go in my diaper bag for an easy snack stash and are added to meals as a treat. I love the apple strawberry pouches, so I get more of those than any other flavor. These are delicious, and a great way to get some fruit on the go.

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Mini Bear Grahams

I have a toddler, so these are a must buy.  These generic Teddy Grahams are just as good as the real deal, but are much cheaper. I like that they come in individual packs. These are a special treat, so if I had to open a big box they would go stale before we finished them. These go into my diaper bag and are really good at preventing meltdowns when Audrey is tired.

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Little Journey Fruit and Veggie Pouches

This fall Aldi came out with a line of baby and toddler products. My favorite items are the Little Journeys fruit and veggie pouches. It is hard to get Audrey to eat vegetables, but she has never turned down a pouch. At around $.80 for an organic pouch it is a steal. I rarely see fruit and veggie pouches for less than $1.

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She loves the pouches so much she started picking one for lunch as soon as she discovered the stash. I would prefer that she eat her vegetables, but for now pouches work for us.

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Raisin Cinnamon Bread

I love this stuff. Audrey loves this stuff. It is great toasted with butter. It’s even better made into french toast. I only buy one loaf each trip, but if Elliot ends up liking is as much as Audrey and I do we will be buying two loaves each trip soon.

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Dubliner Cheese

Audrey isn’t the only one that gets snacks when I go to Aldi. I also get a treat for me. I love Dubliner cheese, and Aldi has it for under $4. I like to keep this stocked for snacking. It’s also a great addition to a cheese plate when friends come over (yes, I always have cheese plate supplies).

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What are your must buy Aldi items? Are there any Friday Fives you would like to hear about? Please share your ideas with me.

Audrey’s Birthday Party

I used to love throwing parties. I would make elaborate recipes. I would bake a cake from scratch. I would put thought into the decorations. Then I had kids…and I got older….and lazier. I don’t do that stuff anymore. I had a birthday party for Audrey only because John wanted to have a party. She’s 2. She doesn’t care. But I knew our family would want to celebrate with her, so I got to planning.

The first thing I did was to find a date that worked with my sister, Kathleen. As I have mentioned, we have a small house. It is too small to have a party with 12 guests. Kathleen graciously let me have Audrey’s party there.

The next thing I did was log on to Pinterest to get ideas. I found a lot of inspiration – there are a plethora of very elaborate Mickey Mouse parties for two year olds out there.

I ended up making a half-assed version of Mickey Mouse cupcakes that I found. I skipped the red frosting, red sugar, and yellow M&Ms in favor of something I would actually want to eat.

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I decorated her cake in a similar manner to the cupcakes, using whole Oreos and Mini Oreos. I added red sugar as an accent. I probably would do red and yellow M&Ms as a border instead if I had it to do over. I would also make sure the Mickey on the cake was oriented the same as the Mickey on the plate. She’s 2 though, so it doesn’t matter.

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For the cake I used a Funfetti mix. Sure, I could have made a cake from scratch, but this way I knew it would turn out. I made the my go to Creamy Vanilla Frosting recipe. I love the convenience of cake mixes, but homemade frosting is so much better than canned frosting.

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The decorations were sparse, just 3 balloons. One red, one yellow, and a Mickey happy birthday balloon. The Mickey balloon is still floating around my house, providing hours of entertainment a full week after the party.

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We had nachos to snack on. I love nachos, so this was a good excuse to eat one of my favorite foods. The toppings were queso (the fancy Velveeta and Rotel kind), refried beans, salsa chicken, guacamole, salsa, and black olives.

The party was a hit with Audrey. She loved the presents, wearing her party hat and skirt, and the cake. It was worth the work to spend time with our families and give Audrey a fun day.

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