Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

With Monday being a holiday, today, I'm thankful for a short work week. If I had it my way, we'd have more of these during the summer. I mean really, who doesn't enjoy an extra day off from things once in awhile?


Source

You know what else I'm thankful for?  The slower pace at work.  The students have graduated, the classes are pretty much done, so all is quiet.....at least for now.  I'll take it for as long as it hangs around.

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

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Three Day Weekend

Happy Tuesday!

I LOVE three days weekends and this one was no exception. There's something about coming into work on a Tuesday and knowing that you only have to get through 4 days instead of 5 that brings a smile to my face.

I was all set to share with you the meatloaf and roasted sweet potatoes that I made for dinner last night until I realized that I forgot to snap a picture of it. Right as we were getting ready to sit down to eat dinner, there was a knock at the door from some guy trying to get us to sign up for something or another.

Needless to say, I wasn't too happy about it. I mean really, who comes and knocks on your door at 5:15 in the evening? The surprise threw me, I forgot to capture the meal and I went through the rest of dinner annoyed.

So, instead of seeing pictures of last night's dinner, here are some pictures from the weekend.

On Sunday, the hubby, little guy and I went on a "pajama walk."  It was only 7:00 in the morning, but we took a walk around our neighborhood looking for rabbits and birds.  The little guy was beyond thrilled.


It was nice to get out before the sweltering heat hit.  I mean, yeah, we ran into a few people and yeah, I was sporting purple pajama pants, but I think this is something we'll continue to do.

Sunday night we went to my aunt's house for a BBQ and my niece and nephew were there.  My niece was ubber interested in my son.....and, as you can see by this picture.....my son was interested in taking a bite of his carrot.

The picture below is one of my favorites....it's my grandmom, mom, son, niece and nephew. 

It stinks to be back at work, but I'm thankful for a great weekend!

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

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

Today I'm thankful for being joyful.  The little guy is happy almost all of the time and seeing the joy he gets out of the simple things is truly a blessing.  I mean really, look how happy he is dancing!



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

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This and That

Happy Wednesday!

Last night I gave the little guy another haircut.  He's been a trooper with all of the haircut madness - he hardly noticed I was buzzing his hair because he was too busy watching an Elmo DVD.  I love that boy!

Before the haircut took place, we all sat down for some shortcut chicken parmesan and seasoned veggies.  I didn't think the little guy would like it - he has showed his dislike for it in the past, but I crossed my fingers, held my breath and hoped for the best.



The verdict? He ate it like a champ. Thank goodness! The little guy has been going through an "I don't want to eat" phase and thankfully he didn't try it with this meal. Let me tell ya, going back and forth about eating is not worth the aggravation!

And the veggies?  He wasn't too keen on them, but I'll keep trying.  This is a kid who shuns potatoes and eats broccoli.  I won't complain about that!

Question of the Day:
What's your favorite veggie?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, May 21, 2012

Beautiful Weekend

Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! This weekend was one of the best ones I've had in a long time.  The weather was beautiful and we really took advantage of it!

The husband went away for about a day and a half on retreat. At first, I was upset that he was going but it turned out to be a great time of bonding for the little guy and I. While he was away, me, the little guy and my mom went to the park where the hubby and I got engaged and fed the ducks.......

....although his version of feeding the ducks was to feed himself most of the popcorn.  It was pretty hysterical.

On Sunday we went to the Philadelphia Zoo.  We bought a membership this year because we thought the little guy would love to see the animals he reads about in his books.  We got pretty up close and personal with some of the animals.

Hello, Mr. Gorilla
If you ask the little guy what his favorite part of the zoo was, he'll tell you the water fountains.  Here he is, surrounded by hundreds of animals and he likes the water fountains.  I love it.


I have to say that one of my favorite pictures of the day is the one below.  Years and years ago, my younger brother and I took a picture sitting on top of the very same bears.  Now there's a sign that forbids you from sitting on them.....haha.  I asked the hubby to take a picture for nostalgia reasons. 

Perhaps the most important thing we saw yesterday was this quote from none other than Dr. Seuss.  It's from The Lorax (part of an exhibit they are promoting) that speaks volumes to me.

It's the truth!
All in all, it was a beautiful weekend surrounded by my beautiful family.

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

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

One more day of the work week until the weekend - woo hoo! Can't wait!

Today, as silly as it seems, I'm thankful for music.  I LOVE music.  A song is incredible - it has the power to bring you back to that time, umpteen years ago when you were doing *insert action here* with *insert people here*.  It's amazing.

Yesterday I hopped on over to John Mayer's website and found his newest song, Something Like Olivia.  Apparently he has a new cd coming out soon and I'm guessing this is the first single.  I kind of have a love/hate relationship with John Mayer.  Some of his stuff leaves me with a good feeling and other stuff is just....not my style.

This song, though, has been stuck in my head for the last day and half and I don't plan on changing it any time soon.





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

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Same Old, Same Old

Happy Wednesday!

The winner of the giveaway is MarieB! Marie, please send an e-mail to abinns3142@aol.com and I'll get the prize pack out to you. 

Yesterday at about 2:30 we had a major power outage at work.  Where was I when this happened?  No other place than the bathroom.  The lights went out, there were no backup lights on and there I was in the pitch dark with another co-worker.  It was hilarious!  At first I thought she shut the lights out as a joke but when they didn't come on after a few minutes, I realized it was the real deal.

Needless to say, we were able to leave early which meant that I got to see the little guy an hour and a half earlier than usual.  Yay!

The little guy has really been into chicken lately (which works out well because right now he's in a "I don't want to eat the food I love" stage) so it's been the same old, same old food-wise in our house.  Last night was no exception - we had chicken cutlet with some cheesy broccoli.


Can I tell you how much I hate food ruts? Because I get in them frequently and I hate it every time.  I have to learn to break my habits when it comes to making the same meals over and over.  This too shall pass, right?

Well, I'm off to catch up on some work.  I hope you all have a fantastic day!

Question of the Day:
How do you get out of a food rut?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Recap and Giveaway Time!

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend? Mine was great! We spent yesterday celebrating Mother's Day with the hubby's mom at brunch and my mom at dinner.  I love when we are able to see both families on a holiday.  Even though it means a ton of running around, it's worth it in the end not to have to choose one family over the other.

And the little guy?  He was a trooper.  Even though his schedule was thrown off and he's fighting a cold, he still managed to be just as happy as ever, even if he hasn't quite learned how to smile for pictures yet.

Little guy, me and hubby
My mom, little guy and me
I promised I'd have a giveaway today, so I'm keeping true to my word! 

As a parent, I try to keep things fun and exciting for the little guy.  However, there's only so many walks you can take, so many toys to play with and so many games you can play before he gets bored out of his mind.  So when I was offered the opportunity from Crayola, Cheerios and MyBlogSpark, I jumped on it.  Disclosure: the information, products, and additional My First CrayolaTM gift pack was provided by Crayola® and Cheerios through MyBlogSpark.

The little guy loves anything to do with art.  Last Thursday, right before my broken camera incident, I broke out some of the Mess-Free Fingerpaint & Paper and some markers and let him go to town.  (The pictures below are the ones that were sent to me from MyBlogSpark because I didn't have a working camera at this point).




I was really skeptical of the Mess-Free claims - I mean really, how could fingerpaint be mess free?  Well, I'm here to say that it works.  It's basically a yellow-ish goop that you put on your fingers.  The paint makes a design only on the special paper.  There were numerous times the little guy tried to paint the kitchen table, but no paint transferred onto the table itself - there was a only a sticky residue that was easily wiped up with a baby wipe.  It's amazing!! If you are a mom of little ones, this is definitely something you'll want to have around.

The little guy was too involved in the fingerpaint to get involved with the markers and crayons, so I'm saving them for a rainy day.

So guess what?  You have the chance to win a prize pack yourself!  Your prize will contain:

My First CrayolaTM Washable Crayons
My First CrayolaTM Washable Markers
My First CrayolaTM Washable Stampers
My First CrayolaTM Washable Dry-Erase Activity Mat
One specially marked box of original Cheerios® cereal

All you have to do is answer the question of the day to win - winners will be chosen on Wednesday!

Question of the Day:
Which do you prefer - markers, crayons or fingerpaint?

Hope you have a great day!

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I try to keep things mostly upbeat on my blog, but today, it's just one of those days.  You know - the ones where you want to crawl back into your bed and sleep.  The ones where you feel like throwing up your hands and saying enough already.

Last night I was excited because I have another great giveaway up my sleeve, and this time it's for children.  I was trying to take pictures of the little guy using the products and my camera had a lens error.  I read about how to fix the error and while I was unscrewing the camera, I dropped it and the lens shattered.  Epic fail.  I  have another camera on order, but it's frustrating.  I'm hoping to have the information about the giveaway by Monday, so look out for it!

Then today I can't shake the "being a working mom stinks" feeling.  I miss my son so, so much during the day and wish things were different.

I debated about not writing this post today because I wasn't sure what I could be thankful for right now.....and then I came across this video and it had me cracking up.  Today, I'm thankful that I can watch this and laugh.



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

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Stromboli

Happy Wednesday!

Although it's another dreary, rainy day in Philadelphia, I have a new recipe to share that is sure to brighten up any day. I originally got the recipe from Pinterest and put my own take on it....you know....because I can't leave things alone. 

A few weeks ago, I received a coupon in the mail to try out Kraft's new line of Fresh Take Cheese and Breadcrumb Mix.  They have a large variety you can use on fish, chicken and even ground beef.  I saw this Southwest Three Cheese bag and thought it would go perfectly with the buffalo chicken recipe.


I opened up the package to find a large bag - one half was filled with breadcrumbs and the other was filled with cheese.  All you have to do is cut off the top and mix the breadcrumbs and cheese together and you're ready to go.  I love how easy and non-messy it is!


I cut up my chicken for the stromboli, but you can leave it whole if you wish.  I put the pieces in a pan sprayed with a little bit of cooking spray and waited for it to cook through.


The cheese started to melt onto the chicken and created an amazing crispiness that I had to hold myself back from eating.

While the chicken was cooking, I rolled out some whole wheat pizza dough and put some cheese, 1/4 of a cup of buffalo wing sauce (aka my new addiction) and a squirt of ranch dressing on top.  Once the chicken was finished cooking, I mixed it with another 1/4 cup of  wing sauce and let it cool.  After it was cooled, I put it on the pizza dough and topped with more cheese and another squirt of ranch dressing for good measure.

I folded it up and baked it in the oven for about 20 minutes.  After it was done, it looked like this:



Oh my word was this amazing!! It tasted like a buffalo chicken cheesesteak. I will definitely be making this more often!


Question of the Day:
What's one food you could never get tired of?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, May 7, 2012

Versatile Veggies + Giveaway Winner!

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend?

Mine went pretty well.   The hubby and I took the little guy to a festival yesterday.  They had crafts, coloring stations and music.  The little guy's favorite part was when all of the instruments were left on the floor for the kids to enjoy.

It's a rarity that I get a picture of the little guy looking at the camera.  He's much more interested in other things!

I am happy to report that I had a successful week at the scale on Saturday.  I've been struggling with the last ten pounds of "baby weight" so seeing the number go down instead of up was a moment of happiness.

I thought back on what I did last week that helped my weight loss this week, and the only thing I could come up with was that I ate more vegetables and I switched up my lunches.

Last Sunday I sauteed a bag of frozen butternut squash, a frozen bag of pepper strips and some garlic.  Once it was almost heated through, I added some salsa and hot sauce for a kick.


I used this mix on salads for lunch and as a filler for my sandwich. It kept me filled for a long, long time.  It's definitely going to be a staple of mine until I get tired of it.....which will probably be in a month or so? haha

I'm happy to announce that http://lifeafterswimming.com/ is the giveaway winner!! Nikki, please send me an e-mail at abinns3142@aol.com so I can get the ball rolling and get your prize out to you!

Question of the Day:
What foods are a staple in your diet?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

I'm cutting to the chase today.  Today, I'm thankful for the ability to read on my train ride to and from work.  For some reason, taking a half hour out of my daily commute to focus on something else really makes a difference in my life.  I just finished the Hunger Games Trilogy yesterday.  Sidebar - I'm still trying to figure out exactly how I feel about the ending.  Ugh. 

Luckily, they have a library at my work, and, as if you needed further proof that my son has taken over my life, I found this sitting on the shelf.

Source
I know this adds to my dorkiness, but I can't wait to start this book!  I love, love, love Sesame Street!

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

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

P.S.  Don't forget to enter my giveaway!! Winners will be chosen on Monday!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Giveaway Time!

Happy Wednesday!

Hope you are all enjoying your week.   I'm off to proctor in a few minutes, but thankfully this is the last exam I have to help with. 

I'm super excited today because I have a giveaway for you!  If you've been reading the blog for a little while, you'll know that I lost my weight by following Weight Watchers.  While it's not the only weight loss program out there that works, it's the one that is nearest and dearest to my heart because it was the only one that worked for me. 

You can imagine my excitement when I received some cool stuff that was Weight Watchers related.  Disclosure: the coupons, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by Green Giant® and Weight Watchers® through MyBlogSpark.

Here's the cool stuff I received:

Coupon for a free box of Weight Watchers® endorsed Green Giant Boxed Vegetables
Water Bottle
Lunch Bag
Mini Nutrition Tracker (LOVE THIS!!)
Lunch to Go Kit (complete with reusable knife and fork!)
Solar Powered Pedometer
Mini Ice Pack

That stuff means nothing to you until you see a picture of it, right?


I used the picture provided to me because it came out much nicer than the ones I took.
For the last few weeks, my family and I have been eating the Weight Watchers endorsed Green Giant veggies like they were going out of style.  We are partial to the broccoli and cheese but as soon as I find the string beans with almonds at the grocery store, you can bet that I'll be eating them too!

Want to snag one of these for yourself?  All you have to do is answer the Question of the Day.  A winner will be chosen on Monday, May 7th.

And....just for being super awesome readers, I'm also able to share a coupon with you - click here to save $.60 on two Weight Watchers endorsed Green Giant vegetables.


Question of the Day:

Which Green Giant vegetable would you purchase with your coupon?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie