Monday, April 30, 2012

A 1st Birthday Weekend

Happy Monday!

I'm blogging from an exam room today. The students are taking their exams and I get to sit here for three hours to make sure that all goes well. On one hand it makes the day go by faster (the exam is from 9-12), but on the other hand, sitting in virtual silence for the next three hours isn't as easy as it seems!

I had such a great weekend that I can't wait to tell you about, but today, I'm only going to focus on one aspect of it - my niece's first birthday party!

It's hard to believe that she's one years old. It seems like just yesterday I was meeting her for the first time.



Once I saw my two brothers sporting pink party hats, I knew I'd want to capture the moment, so we all got a pic together.

My niece is a girl after my own heart.  After singing happy birthday to her, she wasted no time digging into her cake.  This girl knows how to eat!

I mean really, don't you want to squeeze her cheeks?
She had a little help (very little) from her big brother when it came to digging into the cake.  My nephew only ate a bite of the cake....she devoured the rest on her own!

Of course, the little guy and the hubby were just about as excited for the cake as my niece.

All in all, it was a great day!

Question of the Day:
What was the highlight of your weekend?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

Today is my younger brother's 23rd birthday, so today, I'm thankful for him. I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. I came home from school hoping upon hope that my mom had a little girl. At the time I was disappointed that she had a boy (I already had an older brother), but now? I'm so thankful that God doesn't answer every prayer the way you want Him to.

Here's a video of the little guy singing to his Uncle Kevin this morning.


Happy birthday, Kev!! Love you!

Question of the Day:
What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Let's Talk: Embracing Yourself

Happy Wednesday! Lately I've been trying to embrace the parts of me that make me....well....me.

I would consider myself a pretty low-key person when it comes to style.   There are styles I love but I don't think I could ever get away with wearing.  Take, for example, this skirt.  It's bright pink.  I love it, but I don't know if I would ever be caught wearing it because it's "loud" and it would attract a lot of attention.

Over the last few weeks, I've decided to throw caution to the wind and embrace my inner voice telling me that it's okay to be "loud" or wear something out of character, because in the end, who really cares?

I bought these sunglasses from Amazon a few weeks ago because they were super cheap and I go through sunglasses like I go through water. 


I really liked the way they looked in the picture, but when I got them, the frames were much larger and when I put them on, I thought I looked like a bug.  When I mentioned this to my husband, he started to laugh while trying to be supportive. Apparently he thought the same thing.

I swallowed my pride and the nervous feelings that came with wearing them out in public and started sporting them when it was sunny.  And you know what?  Despite my reservations, I actually felt confident.  I mean really, they're only sunglasses.

From sunglasses, I moved onto these glittery headbands and I even bought a backpack-like purse with a funky pattern that I would have shied away from a few short months ago.

I've spent so many years of my life worrying about what people think of me (when I tell myself that I really don't care) and now?  I'm over it.   It's only taken me 29 years, but I've finally embraced myself for all that I am, even if I look like the silliest girl in the world.  And you know what?  It feels amazing!

Question of the Day:
Do you ever have reservations when it comes to something you like to wear?


Until next time!
~Anne Marie


Other Post in the Let's Talk Series

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Case of the Mondays

Happy Monday! I think I'm having a case of the Mondays (see video below for a little laugh)
 





I'm blaming it on the weather (it's been raining cats and dogs for the past two days over here).

What's a girl to do when it's raining and doesn't feel like working?  Think about the muffins she made using one vanilla cake mix and a can of pumpkin, that's what!


I love these so much, and they are s easy to make!


Question of the Day:
What was the highlight of your weekend?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!


Most days I feel like this.....

Source
Only insert a baby boy where the baby girl is and add about a year to the baby's age.

I put way too much stress on myself to be perfect.....the perfect wife, the perfect mom, the perfect friend.  This is something I know I need to work on, but today, I'm thankful for those things that make my life a little bit easier......

1.  Pre-cooked meals
2.  Online grocery lists
3.  Coffee

That's my list for now and I'm sticking to it!

Question of the Day:
What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Trading Jobs

Happy Wednesday and thank goodness for being halfway through the week!

The hubby decided that he was going to make a meal for dinner this week. He wanted to "trade jobs" with me so he could appreciate the work that goes into planning and making meals. He decided on chicken cutlet. I was so excited because I haven't had it in such a long time.

What I wasn't sure about was how the little guy would react to the meal. He does eat chicken most of the time, but he typically only eats a few pieces before he's done with it. I'm not the kind of mom who likes to give her child a billion choices (the hubby would tell you otherwise) so I usually have something else on hand in case the little guy doesn't want what we are having. The doctor told us to give him no more than two choices and that has worked really well for us.

Long story short, the little guy LOVED the hubby's chicken cutlet. He loved it so much that he ate almost his entire piece! That never happens when I make chicken, so I told the hubby that when chicken cutlet is on the menu, he is the one gets to make it.


I served it with some cheesy broccoli.  It was delicious!!

Question of the Day:
Do you share cooking duties with anyone in your house?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sometimes You Just Have To!

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty fantastic! The weather was beautiful so I spent a lot of my time outdoors. I was reminded yesterday that I need to get sunscreen. Can you believe I'm shopping for sunscreen in the middle of April? Yeah, me neither.

After lots of running around yesterday the hubby and I had our classic "what are we eating for dinner tonight" debate. When it comes to meal planning, weekends are really hard for me. We usually have leftovers or something quick (i.e. breakfast for dinner, tuna, etc.) on Saturdays and Sundays because I think I deserve a cooking break. This mantra always bites me in the behind, though, because I always  get agitated when I can't come up with something to eat.

Last night the hubby declared twe were going to order pizza because we haven't had it in almost a year. Sometimes, you just have to go with it!



It was delicious! I can see this easy go-to meal creeping into a semi-regular routine in my household.

Question of the Day:
Do you plan ahead for weekend meals or do you go with the flow?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

Two weeks ago, the hubby and I celebrated my best friend's 30th birthday. I've been best friends with this girl since our freshmen year of high school. It's insane to think we've known each other for 17 years!

It was a surprise party, so that made it both fun and interesting!

Surprise!

My mom was watching the little guy, so you know what that meant, right? It was date night for the hubby and I. Today, I'm thankful we had that date night. Even though it was two weeks ago, thinking back on that time makes me smile.


Don't get us wrong, we love spending time with the little guy - he's the highlight of our world - but sometimes, it's nice to enjoy one another.

Date nights rock!

Question of the Day:
What are you thankful for today!

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Recap and Giveaway Winners!

Happy Tuesday!

I won't make you wait until the end of the post to announce the giveaway winners......if you commented on my post, you won! I have a ton of these laces to give away, so Biz, Sophia, Nicole, Jolene and Ron, send your address to me at abinns3142@aol.com, and I'll get them in the mail to you.  Congratulations!

Over the weekend, my family celebrated Easter.  When I came home from Weight Watchers on Saturday, these were sitting on my window sill.  The card said they were from the hubby and little guy.  It made my heart melt!



After dinner, we dyed Easter eggs.  The little guy had a field day!  He loved throwing the hard boiled eggs in the dye. 

On Easter Sunday, we woke up, got dressed and headed off to Church.  The little guy sat through the entire Mass and after each hymn, the little guy clapped and said "yay!"  He cracks me up!
Mommy and John
One of the highlights of the day was going to my grandmom's house for dinner.  Not only were we treated to her amazing escarole soup, prosciutto with celery and ham - we also got to see the kids together.  It's amazing how big they are getting!

The little guy and my nephew are about a year and a half apart.  When the little guy was first born, a year and a half seemed like a lot....now it hardly seems noticeable.


I love the picture below.  It looks like they are scheming, doesn't it?


Of course, Easter wouldn't be Easter without my mom's bunny cake. She's been making this for as long as I can remember. Isn't it adorable?


Question of the Day:
What was the highlight of your weekend?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

One more work day until the weekend! I can't wait!

I know I've probably mentioned this a billion times, but having a child truly changes your life. Every day things that I take for granted are seen as an amazing experience through the eyes of my son.   Today, I'm thankful that he taught me this lesson.

The little guy has a book where you touch a caterpillar's head and it squeaks - except he can't get it to make the noise with his fingers. The other day he figured out that he could make the noise by stepping on the caterpillar's head. His reaction? "I did it, YAY" which was followed by clapping and running around.  I got the camera out just in time to catch him saying it. He was so proud of himself and he reminded me in that moment to be grateful for everything big and small....because even the small stuff is amazing.

I think the fact that he repeatedly bangs his head on the sofa cushion is just a sign of his excitement.....haha



Question of the Day:
What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Peas and Carrots and a Giveaway!

Happy Wednesday!

I think I've been a day ahead this entire week. For some reason I can't shake the feeling that it's Thursday.

It was a turkey meatloaf kind of night in our house.  The little guy is either hit or miss with meatloaf.  Some days he gobbles it down like there's no tomorrow and other days he wants nothing to do with it.  Last night was one of those nights where he wouldn't even look at the meatloaf, much less try any.  Thank goodness for a side dish of corn and peas - the little guy ate them up like they were going out of style! 



Even though there were no carrots in this meal, the peas made me think of this classic scene from Forrest Gump.



Last night after dinner the hubby and I went for a walk with the little guy. This is one of the reasons why I love Spring! The extra daylight and breezy weather allowed us to eat dinner and get in a walk before the little guy went to bed.

In an effort to embrace all things new, I added a bit of flair to my sneakers, courtesy of Fit Approach.  I love everything they stand for - go check them out!  Pink is my favorite color, and these definitely made me stand out while I was "sweating pink."


Want to snag a pair of these laces?  I have some to give away!  All you have to do is answer the question of the day.  Winners will be chosen on Tuesday, April 10th!

Question of the Day:
What's your favorite way to sweat?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, April 2, 2012

Groggy Weekend

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend? Mine went pretty well. We celebrated my friend's 30th birthday on Saturday. I have known this girl since I was a freshman in high school. It's hard to believe we're turning 30 already! Time sure flies, doesn't it?

Other than the surprise birthday party, my weekend was pretty low key. Unfortunately it was gloomy for much of the weekend. I don't know about you, but gloomy weekends typically make me sleepy. No matter how many naps I took yesterday I couldn't shake the general feeling of grogginess.

Despite the groggy feeling, our family still ate a decent veggie-filled meal of BBQ chicken, broccoli and asparagus.


It's a busy day today at work, so I'm signing off. I hope you all have a great day!

Question of the Day:
How many hours of sleep do you get each night?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie