Sunday, November 27, 2011

First Trip to the Fair

Otherwise titled: “Blair’s First Fair Food Tour.”

People come from all over to go to our fair. And for those of us who are from the home of the Georgia National Fairgrounds, our lives pretty much revolve around the fair for 10 days each year.

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Blair finally went to the fair this year. Yes, I nearly had a nervous breakdown about the number of people we had to maneuver around, but we had fun. We didn’t do rides…ew, germy.

Aunt Linnie was there (bonus that Blair’s birthday falls during the week of the fair each year so we can do it all in one!) with baby Faegan.

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We watched mutton busting.

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The sheep was hysterical. And Blair enjoyed watching the races!

We saw racing pigs too.

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And we ate. A lot.

georgia national fair 101511 (21)Cinnamon roll and ice cream.

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We love the fair – it’s a great fall tradition!

No Night Owl Here

I’m having issues getting my blogging routine back after starting night shift. I’ve been working nights now for just over two months, and it’s killing me. I need more sleep, people! Some folks love nights; I’m not one of them. I was the girl who always fell asleep first at the slumber party! I love work, but it’s tough knowing that however much sleep I get during the day, I’m going to be exhausted at some point in the night. Sometimes I just want my bed, and it stinks not to be able to have it! I keep myself busy, so I’ll make it. And, there are some things I do like about nights. I really don’t have a problem flipping back to a day schedule after my working nights, so that’s good too. I’m exhausted that first day off though, and it’s hard on both me and Blair. I’m just waiting my turn to move back to days. The move won’t come soon enough, but maybe I’ll get a good writing routine down in the meantime.

I’ve also had a nasty virus on my computer for the last three weeks. I’ve been working on it without any luck. I haven’t been able to do much on my computer because I was scared to use any passwords on it at all. So finally, my brother Hank came home for Thanksgiving and FIXED it!! Yay! I knew he was good for something.

So lets see how I do these next few weeks. I have tons of pictures that need explanations, and I’d like to start blogging about our weeks. I tend to do more of events, but I’d like to do more of a journal to look back at. We’ll see how that goes; it’s tough to sit down and write daily when all I want to do is sleep. We won’t even talk about the mess that is this house. :)

I hope you had a great holiday. We had a lot of fun with our families and ate lots of yummy treats! Pictures to follow… at some point!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Our Best Toddler Toys: A Gift Guide

This time of year everyone is looking for great gifts for loved ones. Blair has several items that we’ve bought over the years that stand out over all of the others. These range widely in both price and age, but they are all things that she plays with at 3. Some of these are just girl things, but most of them are for either girls or boys.

I would call the B Toys Pop-Arty beads a BEST BUY. They are available at Target for under $20. They have provided HOURS of entertainment for all of us. Actually, all of the B Toys stuff is great.

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The Anywhere Chair by Pottery Barn Kids is a must have. When my friend told me to get one for Blair, I hesitated, wondering how she could possibly love a chair. Well she does! She got it right after she turned 1 and still adores it.

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005 The chair has many purposes!

The Green Toys tea set, cookware, and dining set: AWESOME quality toys that we love. These are available at Pottery Barn Kids, Amazon.com, and the Land of Nod. Great stuff out of recycled milk cartons. Made in the USA. (Images from GreenToys.com)

 

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Cooking and Dining set

 

I believe in playing outside, and this is one of our outside favorites. The Step2 Up and Down Roller Coaster. It can be an inside toy too, but we have it in our yard. We got this for Blair’s second birthday. She can do it all herself, or we play along and push her back up the ramp.

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The foldable tents are another indoor/outdoor favorite.

 

The B Toys Dr. Doctor medical kit. Not only does Blair love to play with it, it has also held up well, and she has learned a lot about to expect when we go to the doctor. She knows what each tool does, and they are very familiar to her when we’re at the real thing! These are at Target.

b toys medical kit

For a year now, we have played with the Play-doh Puppies Play Set. Under $20 (under $10 if you get it on sale!) and hours upon hours of dog food making! I like to pick more original toys, but this one couldn’t be left out.

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Green Start puzzles, especially the pink house.

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image from innovativekids.com

 

A cute gift we got recently is a little Horse Sillo purse by Douglas Toys. She got the horse and loves it. Great for the girly girl!

 

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image from douglastoys.com

 

The Peg PerĂ©go John Deere Gator. Our new love. It’s powerful enough to go up hills, and Blair loves it!

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image from walmart.com

 

Those are some of our favorite toys! I noticed when making this list, that almost all of these things have grown well with her – I’m making a note to self to look for that in our future purchases. What are some of the best play things your toddlers have?! I’m looking for great ideas too!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Creamy Tex-Mex Chicken: A Crock Pot Recipe

I’m into crock pot lately. It might have something to do with night shift. But we won’t talk about that.
This recipe is awesome for many reasons including that it’s super easy and delicious. We all like that combo, right?! Plus, in my book anything with cream cheese is a must try.

Creamy Tex-Mex Chicken: A Crock Pot Recipe

Drain one can of black beans and one can of whole kernel corn.
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Place frozen boneless chicken breasts in crock pot.

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Add one jar of salsa -- Herdez is our favorite.

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Cook on high for 4 -5 hours or unil chicken is done. Place one 8 ounce bar of cream cheese on top of the chicken, corn, and beans. Let sit for 30 minutes.

I used bone-in chicken breasts when I made this, and I cooked the dish too long because the bones got all mixed in with the rest of the dish. Boneless is better for this one! I also doubled the corn and beans so that we would have plenty, and I used 12 oz cream cheese.

It's a yummy one, y'all!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

It’s an Old McDonald Farm Birthday Party!

Blair loves Old McDonald, so this year we had an EIEIO birthday party. We turned our yard into a great setting for a barnyard party and had a blast.

Brad worked so hard on my yard; it looked great! And we had rain for the first time in many months, so my grass was actually green!

My friend gave me the idea on how to use the hay bales to make kid-sized tables. They were perfect. The table cloths are pieces of fabric I borrowed from a friend.

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I had every intention of making the invitations and table decorations like I did last year for Blair’s owl party, but I ran out of time. I still used the crate baskets I used last year, and I ordered the table decorations and birthday banner from 62Cards on Etsy. She was fabulous to work with, and the pieces were precious! She also has a website.

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Brad’s mom did the barn and animals for a photo op. Aren’t they cute?!

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On each table I had foam farm animal magnet kits I got from Amazon. Once everyone settled down towards the end of the party, they loved playing with these – even the adults got into making them! I got the glue tape in the craft section at Walmart which worked perfectly for these.

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My sweet sister Molly was the real Old McDonald. She brought her steer Opie, one of her horses Sobe, her donkey Jenny, and some baby goats she borrowed. Her animals with my chickens made up quite the petting zoo!

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I set up a feeding table with sweet feed, apple treats, carrots, and chicken scratch. I got the pails at Home Depot in the paint section. There were little cups there for the kids to put food in. They loved it.

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We had farm themed snacks with the birthday cake. Pigs in a blanket, haystacks, Blair’s garden, horse treats, and “chicken scratch” made up the menu. For the garden I took the easy way out and bought precut vegetables. I also used precut apples for the “horse treats” with Paula Deen’s brickle dip recipe. The chicken scratch was chex mix mixed with candy corn. For parties during other seasons when candy corn isn’t available, M&Ms would work too.

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My mom made the awesome cake. I wanted it to be different and to be Blair. She loves chickens and roosters, (Old McDonald usually has multiple roosters on his farm in her version.) so I decided to do a rooster on the top. She wanted baby chickens on there and our dogs, so they’re there too. It was perfect and precious – as always.

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My sister Linsey made cookies again this year. We ate them during the party and sent them as favors.

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I also got farm themed books as favors for the kids. Click Clack Moo: Cows that Type, Giggle Giggle Quack, and the Little Blue Truck were the three books I ordered -- all from the Amazon.com 4 for 3 store. I figured I would spend just as much at the dollar store for junk as I would these books. Since Blair had never been to a birthday party and this was her first time inviting kids to her party, I wanted to do something special.

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And special it was. Everyone had a great time – especially my sweet birthday girl!

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