Thursday, November 29, 2012

Text Santa

This is so amazingly genius that I have to share it!  Spread the word, tell all your friends!  You've found the perfect way to encourage good behavior at Christmastime!
Think of someone who can act as Santa and text you from time to time. For me this person is my mom. (Thanks, Mom!)
Now simply edit their name in your contacts.  I even changed her picture just in case.  I found a picture of Santa online that I liked and used that.

This morning we incident...and I tried this out.  Not only did they straighten up, but tears were shed. My daughter couldn't believe that I would tell Santa.  After that, she got ready for school at lightening speed, did extra work, and even helped and encouraged her brother.  I'd say that worked!
Don't forget to tell Santa the good things you are seeing your children do as well. Share the news and watch their faces beam!
This guy was asking if we could please play with the trains at Barnes and Noble yesterday. Pretty Pleeeeeeeeease?
 Are you going to give this a shot? Do you have any great ways to encourage the good behavior this time of year?  Do share!
Have a wonderful day! 
Be on the look out for my Etsy shop opening up in the next few days!  Fun stuff! Great little gifts!
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Monday, November 26, 2012

Book Wreath and Shop

One of my favorite things in my home is my book wreath.  It is so full and beautiful!  This time of year gets so crazy that adding another project doesn't always work. 

 If you'd like one for your home or as a fun gift for someone on your list, I'd love to make one for you!  I can have it in the mail in a few short days or even ship it right to someone on your list with a cute handmade Christmas card that you can personalize. 
If you'd like to order one, just send me an email or like the Prairie Girl to Southern Belle on Facebook and get in touch with me that way.
There is now a tab at the top to see the shop.  Items will be added!  For now just comment and I'll get in touch with you or send me an email if you'd like to place an order!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Post Thanksgiving

Happy Monday everyone! Hope your Thanksgiving weekend was filled with family, friends and food! Ours was. We also did a lot of relaxing, which was much needed.

Everything turned out as far as dinner goes and it was all right on schedule. (The timing surprised me!) There are a few things that popped up and I thought it would be a good idea to jot them down for next year. I'm sure I'll be adding to this list, but here's what I have so far.

1. Decide on my menu the first week or so of November so I can get a master grocery list made.

2. Buy extra butter and chicken broth.

3. Make pies and mashed potatoes on Wednesday.

4. Plan lunch or have someone bring lunch! Sounds like somehting any normal person would do...but more than once, Thanksgiving day lunch time has rolled around and I've panicked and scrounged for something to serve. A simple spread of meat, cheese, crackers, veggies and fruit would be great.

5. Plan an easy meal for Wednesday night. Things are starting to get a bit crazy and the last thing I ever want to do is cook something that isn't simple. 

6. Easy meal for Friday night. By then we were on our second or third round of leftovers and the kids just didn't want any more. 

7. Have activities planned for the kids. We had crafts for the kids but having a variety of planned ideas would be great.  Nothing too involved, but at least thought out. 

8. Remember to look at this list before the end of Next November!

Anything I'm leaving off the list? Did anything pop up that you want to remember for next year?
This week I plan to get started on some Christmas gifts. I'm going to try and make or buy something handmade for everyone on my list. Thanks, Pinterest!

Have you started shopping or crafting yet? What are you working on?

I know: Looks silly, but they had so much fun! And they even divided it and put it all away in the bathrooms for me!

Hope your Monday is great! Stop back in soon!

If you don't already, like the Prairie Girl to Southern Belle page on Facebook, follow the photo challenges on Instagram, or become a follower of the blog! 

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Romance on a Dime

Saturday, November 17, 2012


We are having such a great day here! Kids are getting along and have been playing well all day, I'm keeping up with things while enjoying my family, Moo has a fresh batch of treats. Life is good! I just wanted to share our favorite gravy recipe today in case you need an idea for this week.

I Made the Our Best Bites Turkey last night and it was so good! Easy too!

Gravy is usually where I blow it. I have never been able to make gravy... Until I tried this recipe in a busy night last week.

Here's the link to Lightning Gravy. Only suggestion: if you use drippings instead of water, use a mixture of water and drippings. Or at least add a little at a time and keep tasting it. It got pretty salty yesterday and I had to adjust.,1755,130176-240198,00.html

No pics of the gravy but here's my little helper rolling our the dog treat dough. Love those little fingers!

Yesterday I made a cute Christmas decoration using things I had in the craft room. I'll share that this week!

Hope your day is relaxing!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

Happy Thanksgiving all you lovely ladies!
Things will be busy here for the next few days but I wanted to share this amazingly good and easy recipe with you.  If you're cooking a turkey this year give it a try. The recipe is so detailed that you can't go wrong... unless you forget to turn on your oven!

You can find it (and many more delicious recipes) over at Our Best Bites. It's called Kate's Thanksgiving Turkey . Click over and check it out! Let me know how it turns out!
Then when the turkey is brining, the kids are in bed and you're mentally preparing for the big day to come, eat some of this. Go ahead. Eat the whole thing. No one will know.
Happy Thanksgiving! 

PS: I'll share our favorite gravy recipe tomorrow!  The family never knew it was so simple. You could use it on a weeknight!
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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gettin' It Together: The Binder

I'm the most disorganized organized person.  It's true.  I can be a little OCD when it comes to organizing some things, but when it comes to something that is obviously important to keep organized...paperwork, lists, schedules...I'm less than great at it. 
Back when I was teaching I had a binder and so did my students. It worked great there so why not at home? 
Here's what I came up with. 
Calendar: free printable at The Tom Kat Studio
Dates to Celebrate: no pic, just a list of months on one page where I write in birthdays and anniversaries
Daily Schedule (blank lesson plan pages from here)
Cleaning Schedule: Check out this post
Website Login Record
Special Offer Tracker
Weekly Menu Plan
Kayla's Important Papers: I just punch the papers that I need to hang on to such as newsletters, spelling lists,  book orders and that sort of thing.
Noah's Important Papers: Same as Kayla's
Bible Study Paperwork/Personal Papers
I wanted to include these as printable but I just couldn't get it to work. It's easy, but my computer is on its last leg and every time I tried it would freeze up.  They are easy to make but if you have any questions, just ask. Or leave a note and I'll email them to you. No trouble at all!
I am loving my binder. It is helping me stay organized and on task. At the end of the day, that feels great!
How do you stay organized? Where do you keep everything you need?  I would love to have a desk in the kitchen area, but right now I have a basket.  I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

Oh, and there is now a Pin It button at the end of each post for you!  ****Or at least there should be. It was there earlier and worked. If it isn't, I'll work on it***

Have a super week! 

PS: have you started decorating for Christmas yet? Here's a bit of our play room. 
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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Kid-Made Leaf Garland

I was looking for a fun project to do with the kids after school last week.  We wanted to do something fun, a little messy, and I wanted to be able to display it somewhere other than on the fridge with a magnet.
 I had this project pinned on my fall board.  I couldn't get the images for the leaf shapes to work in this post, but if you go to my fall board, they are there.  Trace them on cardstock and cut them out for the kiddos.  Spread shaving cream out on a cookie sheet, squirt fall colored (or any color) paint. Have the kids use a toothpick or Q-Tip to swirl the paint. Lightly press the leaf onto the shaving cream and remove.  Let it dry completely.  The shaving cream will dry but will flake off.   
shaving cream painting, fall leaf shaving cream, Little Wonders' Days
Little Wonders' Days

To display, simply thread a needle and sew the leaves together. 
I love how it turned out!  It was a quick and easy project on a chilly afternoon!  I need to plan these activities more often!  Do you have any ideas that you'd like to share? Pin boards that have fun ideas on them? Comment or leave a link and I'll check them out! 
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Saturday, November 3, 2012

This Week

Whew! It's been a crazy week!  We have been going going going since last weekend.  After Tuesday, we'll be back to normal around here. 
Busy as it is, I'm grateful for all we have going on and the life we are setteling into.
Here's what we've been up to since we last talked...
Went to the fall festival at Kayla's school.  Someone thought it was a great idea to give away fish.  It was cute and all, but not something we were ready to jump into.  It was the typical get-the-ball-in-the-bowl game. Never thought she'd actually make it.  As I was giving the game attendant a hard time about game being pretty difficult for the kids and asking "What are you going to do with all the leftover fish" I thought it was funny, she made it.
She was so excited. Noah was not. He didn't win.  All night he talked about it and asked why he didn't get one.  So, the next morning we head out to Pet Smart to buy supplies for Kayla's fish and let Noah pick out a fish for himself. Everyone is happy...
 ...until Noah's fish dies 2 days later.  I had to tell him when he came home from preschool. Not fun.  I'm not sure why the fish died, but I'm thinking it probably has to do with whatever went on that caused Noah to come out of his room on Sunday, look at me with big eyes and say "I didn't take my fish out".  

Could be.
Well, we have a new fish and all is right with the world.  Wish us luck. 

Add in Halloween and trick or treating,
lots of candy,
 our first soccer tournament, a dog who had surgery on his eye lid, and you have one tired family.
Their attitudes are telling me they are tired. It's time to slow down.
Tomorrow, if we can make it, there is a chili cook off and barn dance at church.  My husband and I don't have a favorite recipe that we both agree on, so we decided we we would enter two different batches and have our own friendly competition.  I'm feeling pretty confident with the Hungry Girl Hungry Girl Pumpkin Chili recipe I use.  And the fact that he doesn't have a plan yet.  I'm under the impression he's going to wing it. 
I've got this in the bag! ...Not that winning matters at all.   Not one bit. I would like nothing more than for my husband to win.  It would give me grate satisfaction. just for the record
I intended to get a post up last week about my household binder that I put together this month but the pictures haven't been taken yet.  This week I'll show you the handy documents I made. It's helping a lot and I think I can actually keep this up!  It's nice to have everything in one place.

That, along with a couple of gratitude projects and it should be a good week! To see one of them, join me on Instagram (prairiegirltosouthernbelle) or follow the blog on Facebook! 
Hope your weekend was great!  Are you doing anything to document what you are thankful for? Joining any link-ups?  I'd love to hear about it!
VOTE VOTE VOTE!  Get out and vote!  Who cares if you have to wait in line.  Use the time to get caught up on your favorite blogs!  Check out some new Christmas decor ideas!  Just go vote!!!
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