Back to school shopping...

School supply deals started creeping up in the office stores a couple weeks ago.  Now you can find supplies everywhere.  I have been picking up a few things that Little Bit needs here and there when I see it on sale.  Here is what I picked up this week...

Office Depot
Ticonderoga pencils $1.00...These are the best and recommended on the school supply list.

Crayola colored pencils .97
cap erasers .25
pencil sharpeners .25


I also have my eyes out for things I can put in a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.  This is a tradition that our family has had for many years now.  So this time of year I always pick up a few extra school supplies to put in our boxes we donate.  I also found a plain red t-shirt at Michael's craft store for $1.29!  

Here are some great options to be on the lookout for to include in boxes...small soccer ball w/pump, plain short sleeved shirts, small flashlight w/batteries, plate, bowl, cup, soap & covered dish, toothbrush & holder, bandaids, comb, hair elastics/headbands, socks, pencils, erasers, colored pencils, sharpener, index cards, pens for older kids, jump rope, marbles, harmonica, cars, truck, airplane, baby doll, hard candy.


Summer Reads

I don't know about you but I'm always looking for a good book to read.  Now, I'm not the quickest at finishing books because I don't always make time for it but I always like having a good book on hand.  My favorite time to read is summers by the pool!  So what better time to start getting a pile together.  Here are a few books from my 2015 to read list...

The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands by Lysa Terkeurst...I LOVED this book!  Such thought provoking, wise and often funny writing.  My favorite quote from the book is "We must not confuse the command to love with the need to please."  

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty...This is a new to me author and I thoroughly enjoyed her writing style.  This story is a murder mystery that intertwines the lives of three women whose children have just started Kindergarten.  Such a page turner!  I loved it so much I couldn't wait to dive into another one of her books.  I'm currently reading...The Hypnotist Love Story by her.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell...I have seen this author on many must read lists.  This particular book is a young adult novel about two misfits finding love in the most unexpected of places.  

Last One Home by Debbie Macomber...I love her Shop on Blossom Street series and have read a few stand alone novels by her.  This story sounds a little different from her normal style so we will see if it lives up to my expectations!  

Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table by Shauna Niequest... The perfect read for those who love food and connecting with family and friends around the table.  Plus there are recipes included!

I'd love to hear what books you've been loving lately or are on your to read list! 


Menu Plan Monday

Monday ~ cheesy pasta w/zucchini, bread, fruit
Tuesday ~ ham, egg & cheese mcmuffins, fruit
Wednesday ~ chicken taco soup, taquitos, fruit
Thursday ~ turkey pot pies, fruit
Friday ~ VBS dinner

Linking up with Org Junkie...check them out for more recipes.


The Happy Planner

I have always loved a good planner, but more for keeping track of events and memories.   I use the planner as a reference while scrapbooking! When I saw The Happy Planner from Me and My Big Ideas, I knew this was the planner for me.  I get to paper craft on a smaller level while keeping track of appointments and family fun.   It also allows me a place for menu planning,  lists,  and keeping track of exercise and water intake.  I also love that it is easy to personalize your planner, like by adding bible verses and inspirational quotes.   These stickers from Me & My Big Ideas are my favorite!

I also love that the disc bound system makes it easy to remove pages to decorate.  I recently tried adding a decorative card to my planner.  I took a page out, lined the card up where I wanted the holes and made a mark in each slot with a pen.  Then I used a regular hole punch on each dot.  Next I used a rectangle punch to create the slit.  This card easily goes in and out of my planner.  LOVE it...can't wait to add more personal touches like this!


Menu Plan Monday

Monday ~ steak bites, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes
Tuesday ~ ham & cheese paninis, chips, pickles, fruit
Wednesday ~ chicken taco soup, taquitos, fruit
Thursday ~ turkey pot pies, fruit
Friday ~ my nieces' birthday dinner!

Linking up with Org Junkie...check them out for more recipes.


{Crockpot} chicken tacos

I used to use this chicken fajita crock pot recipe all the time but then I got lazy and started doing this instead.  Plus this a a great alternative when fresh veggies aren't in season!

3-4 chicken breasts (i used frozen)
1 can of rotel
1 packet taco seasoning
1/2 cup chicken broth or water

Add all ingredients to crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. About an hour before eating I use a fork and shred up the chicken so it has awhile to marinate in the juices. Then before eating, drain the juices and enjoy with your favorite tortillas and toppings!


rainy day activities

This has been the rainiest summer ever!  With lots of rainy days comes days at home to fill with activities!  Here are 5 on our to do list...

paperclip jewelry...
We tried this one out today.  All you need are colorful paperclips.  Little Bit had fun making patterns and creating both necklaces and bracelets.

toothpick structures...
This was another hit today.  I'm not sure what Little Bit had more fun doing....building three dimensional structures or eating the marshmallows!  ;)

homemade suckers...
We both love jolly ranchers and when we saw these we knew there were a must try! 

aluminum foil art...
Little Bit is always wanting to use my permanent markers.  This activity looks like a great activity to express her creativity and get to use my markers! 

uno flip...
Little Bit loves math and I think this looks like a fun way to mix up doing math problems.

What fun activities are on your to do list this rainy summer?!


Menu Plan Monday

Monday ~ chicken tacos, refried beans, guac & chips
Tuesday ~ hot dogs, brats, mac & cheese, pickles
Wednesday ~ pizza, salad, fruit
Thursday ~ leftover pizza
Friday ~ bbq pork chops, salad, tater tots

Linking up with Org Junkie...check them out for more recipes.


zucchini noodles

It is garden season and one of my favorite fresh veggies this time of year is zucchini!  But when it comes to fixing it I pretty much either saute it or use it in this pasta dish.  Recently I came across some recipes using zucchini noodles made with a spirooli slicer and peeler.  I was anxious to try it out. 
A major plus is I already had this funky contraption!!!  We bought ours years ago to use with potatoes and then after the newness wore off it got put in a cabinet and forgot about.  I think we might have tried it with apples too. 

Little Bit was excited to try out the spirooli once she saw it!  But of course she didn't want to eat the zucchini...oh well!  We still had fun making it together.  ;)

Once our noodles were cut I just sauteed them in some olive oil with minced garlic and mushrooms.   Such a delicious new side dish!!!  I want to try this shrimp scampi recipe next!