Last Minute DIY Toddler (baby) Halloween Costume

Tomorrow is Halloween. If you’re reading this and didn’t know that, keep reading. Also, if you have a costume that is for a cold day and you need one for a warm day, (but don’t want to spend more money on a costume) keep reading. If you just plain old waited until last minute to buy/make a costume, keep reading.

Gumball Machine Costume

Super easy and super fast.

What you’ll need:

red onesie

bucket hat

a bag of small pom poms

glue gun

white felt with sticky back

black sharpie

Directions:

  1. Glue a bunch of pom poms  onto a bucket hat. (I didn’t cover the whole thing [mainly because I ran out of pom poms] but also because I didn’t think the whole hat needed to be covered.) Note: It is easier to put a bunch of hot glue on the hat and then place a bunch of pom poms on, instead of doing one at a time.
  2. Next, cut out a rectangle from a white piece of felt that has a removable paper back (which makes the felt stick to the fabric). Design the rectangle with a black sharpie(as seen below) and then attach it to the onesie.

Tada! Told you it was easy!

DSC_0165

DSC_0167

DSC_0168

DSC_0169

DSC_0175

Friday Five

  1. Happy Halloween Eve! I see Hocus Pocus in my future today. Not having cable has really cut back on my Hocus Pocus watching time. Although, Jim hates the movie, which means it is out of the question for tonight, and I have Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal to watch. So many choices, so little time. Next year I am going big on the Halloween festivities. It is just hard to get into the mood when we are in a transition phase plus we kinda sorta really hate our neighborhood.
  2. Last night Jimmie went trick or treating for the first time. I’ll tell ya, Trunk or Treating was the way to go for a 18 month old. We had a hard enough time trying to heard him from trunk to trunk. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to take him up a dozen or so driveways tomorrow. We are staying home and giving out candy. Hopefully next year Jimmie will understand the whole candy concept more. Until then, we are enjoying his candy haul.
  3. I was so sad to see Hayes Grier knocked off Dancing with the Stars this week. He was flat out adorable. Alex should have been kicked off. Bindi and Derek are still my number ones. This season is turning out to be my favorite.
  4. Jimmie’s two year old molars are coming in. I KNOW everyone is so tired of me complaining about Jimmie’s teething. But the struggle is real over here. We had a lovely 5 AM meeting this morning. Luckily he went back to sleep.
  5. I got a haircut on Sunday. My first one since before Jimmie was born. The haircut turned out okay (it is below the shoulders, even though I wanted it ABOVE the shoulders,) but the experience was awful. To be honest, I was looking for a cheap haircut because I need a new haircut place and I wasn’t going to try to find one around here since we will be moving soon. I looked up Ulta because I knew they did cuts and had first time customer coupons. So for $25 I got a wash, cut, style (if you can call it that), plus two phone calls that interrupted my cut, and another costumer than needed to be checked in. Long story short, they don’t have a receptionist. How does that even make sense? My appointment also started 30 minutes late. Never again, Ulta. Never again.
DSC_0140

Happy Halloween!!

DSC_0152

brother dinosaurs with the wrong camera lens in use

DSC_0160

DSC_0162

His whining face makes a perfect dinosaur face

151029_0012

Please tell me where my baby went

151029_0009

Jimmie did enjoy taking a piece of candy and putting it inside Elmo

151029_0010

Yes, I made the hats

A Little Life Update

I have been quiet on here. Since I missed a few “Friday Fives,” I figured I would do a Wednesday update this week. Jimmie is exhausting at this age. I have also been busy reviewing an awesome cookbook that is time consuming. I am trying to make as many recipes as possible before I post my review.  I have been prepping my meals at nap time, which doesn’t leave too much other free time.

DSC_0050

DSC_0061

DSC_0121

Jimmie doesn’t really “allow” me to sit at the computer too much anymore while he is awake. I think he thinks it is his competition because he always walks over to the desk and tries to close the laptop, while pretending to cry, of course. Reason #1243543975 why we don’t have smart phones. Speaking of phones, Jimmie threw mine on the cement the other day. In a moment of pure desperation, on our walk, I gave him my phone so he can pretend talk on it. This is the only thing he knows how to do on a phone. He was trying to LUNGE his body out of his stroller, so I thought pretending to talk to someone on the phone might help. Nope. Phone meet cement. Reason #1243543976 why we don’t have smart phones. I am however going to get a new phone next week because it is time for a free upgrade; I just hope the camera is better.

leaves 3

leaves 4

Jimmie leaves

Jimmie leaves 2

Can you believe it is almost November?  The leaves are changing and falling at rapid speed. Jimmie loves playing in the leaves and picking them up one at a time. I am usually just trying to keep him from face planting on the cement. His little feet try to move faster than his body. Plus, his big head kind of makes him topple over more than your average kid.

Halloween is only four days away and daylight savings ends in five days. We have been trying to keep Jimmie up later than 7 PM all month. In return, he has been sleeping later in the morning. This could also be a coincidence because he is extra tired from walking and/or he is going through a growth spurt. Either way, we will beat you, daylight savings. We will win.

Speaking of winning, tomorrow will mark the seven year anniversary since the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series. I miss those days of actually knowing who the heck is on the team. One day, we will be good again. One day.  This year, I just hope the Mets lose. I root for two teams, the Phillies and whoever is playing the Mets. Let’s go Royals! I don’t understand why the World Series just started though. I thought the whole reason of starting the season early was to end before November. I wonder if we will see any baseball in the snow?

Everything You Need To Know About MyCAA

What is MyCAA?

Did you know that there is a scholarship program for military spouses? The Military Spouse Career Advancement Account also known as MyCAA provides up to $4,000 in tuition assistance to eligible military spouses whose sponsor is ranked E1 – E5, W-1 – W-2, and O-1 – O-2. Eligible spouses can receive up to $2,000 per fiscal year. The MyCAA scholarship will pay for tuition costs towards an associate degree (that has a specific concentration) and certain portable license and certificate programs.

This is a great opportunity for spouses who want to expand their expertise in high-demand and high-growth occupations. Spouses are required to finish their associate degree or certificate program within three years after accepting MyCAA scholarship funds. Military spouses are only eligible for this scholarship during their sponsor’s active military service. By obtaining a portable career, military spouses can work wherever their sponsor is sent, whether it is in the United States or overseas.

How to Apply for the MyCAA Scholarship

Spouses looking to obtain a MyCAA scholarship can sign up for an account here.  After arriving at the MyCAA website, future students can search for participating institutions. Once a new account is created, DEERS will notify them of their eligibility. A spouse can also contact their local Martinsburg College representative to help guide them through the MyCAA process.

Study Options for MyCAA Recipients 

Martinsburg College is one of the many participating institutions in the MyCAA program. Martinsburg College is an online college. Online colleges are perfect for military spouses because active students will be able to complete their coursework from wherever the military may take their family. Martinsburg College provides students with a tablet, on loan, until their coursework is completed. Students are also given access to a resource library. This resource library gives them complimentary access to thousands of online textbooks, some of which will be related to their course of study. These benefits from Martinsburg College could save students hundreds of dollars.

Martinsburg College offers two associate degree programs: Associate of Science in Business Administration and Associate in Science in Integrated Technologies. They also offer 21 certificate programs. Many of these programs are in the medical field, one of the fastest growing job fields in America. A few of the certificate programs offered at Martinsburg College are: Financial Fundamentals and Bookkeeping, Human Resource Management, Comprehensive Medical Transcription, Healthcare Administrative Technology, Medical Office Administration, Pharmacy Technician, and Homeland Security.

Why Choose Martinsburg College?

Martinsburg College mission statement is: “Martinsburg College seeks to provide high quality distance learning programs to individuals who want to improve their personal and professional development and career growth opportunities.” With MyCAA and Martinsburg College, military spouses will be on their way towards a future career that makes them happy. 95% of students that have completed a Martinsburg College survey have been satisfied with their educational outcome.

Ongoing Support for MyCAA Recipients and Military Spouses

Future students interested in talking to other MyCAA recipients who are attending Martinsburg College can join this Facebook group: Military Spouses in the Field: Career Development.

This post is sponsored by Martinsburg College. I received compensation for this post through my relationship with the Quality Blue Community. All opinions are my own.

Book Review: Everything She Forgot by Lisa Ballantyne

everything she

Margaret, a school teacher, lives in London with her husband and two kids. One late, winter night, Margaret is on her way home from work when she gets caught in a horrible traffic accident. As she is about to go up in flames, a mysterious man saves her and then vanishes. Margaret can’t stop thinking about the night of the accident and the man that saved her. As her thoughts become consumed with what happened, she starts to remember other things from her past, a past that she was encouraged to forget.

Everything She Forgot by Lisa Ballantyne switches from past to present, from one character’s perspective to another. I personally thought it was hard to keep up with all of the different viewpoints. I wish the story was only told from the three main character’s perspectives, instead of throwing in a few chapters from other characters here and there. I was distracted by side stories and opinions, which made it hard for me to really get into the book at first.

It took me a while to get into this novel. It wasn’t because it wasn’t good, it just moved very slowly. By the time I felt like the was good stuff happening, the book was almost over. The turning point of Everything She Forgot was way too close to the end of the novel. I wanted to know more than what was explained.

I love a good suspense novel and Everything She Forgot has everything a good suspense novel should have. It kept me guessing all the way through. I actually thought the man who saved Margaret was a totally different person than he turned out to be. I am usually able to guess who is who in a suspense novel by the middle or so, but that wasn’t the case this time around. Lisa Ballantyne did a wonderful job explaining the past in-depth, but lacked explaining the present.

Agnus Campbell, a journalist, is one of the filthiest characters I have encountered in a novel. The way he treats women is disrespectful and unnecessary. I don’t understand why his character is so crude. The things he said and did were tragic and mean. I honestly wish I cold unread the majority of his chapters.

George McLaughlin, on the other hand, is a sweet character that I sympathized with throughout the entire novel. Even though he had done something horribly wrong, he did it out of love for his daughter, and that makes him a tragic hero in my eyes.

Overall, Everything She Forgot by Lisa Ballantyne is just an okay book. I liked the story, but not the way it was presented.

WIN a copy! Three print copies will be given away on October 30th.

If you would like to buy a copy:

AMAZON

BARNES & NOBLE

INDIEBOUND

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

New England Road Trip Day 5

We woke up to the pouring rain in Massachusetts. We had originally planned on going to Stonewall Farm in Keene, New Hampshire, first thing in the morning. Because of the rain, that was obviously out of the question. I quickly did some research and found a children’s museum in Keene, which we decided to check out.

Cheshire Children’s Museum is located on the second floor of Colony Mill Marketplace. If you weren’t looking for it, you wouldn’t find it. There are also shops and restaurants in the marketplace, which makes it a great rainy day spot. The museum is free for children under 1 and $6 per person, otherwise. (It is part of the Blue Star Museums program that runs from Memorial Day through Labor day and gives free admission for military during that time frame.)

children's musem 3

children's museum 2

children's museum

The museum isn’t huge, by any means. With that being said,  it was a perfect size for our new walker. Jimmie had so much fun there. I think the museum is best for children five and under. Older kids could have fun too, but younger ones will have the best time. I like that it wasn’t big because we didn’t have to rush through it like we have had to do at other museums. There were different activity areas such as: a supermarket, a veterinarian office, a post office, a dentist, a camping area, Italy, and so much more. They really did pack a lot of fun in a small space. We spent about two hours at the Cheshire Children’s Museum before lunch. We would have gone back if it wasn’t Jimmie’s nap time and if he wasn’t being a major grump.

We ate lunch at Elm City Brewing Company. The brewery is located on the bottom floor of Colony Mill Marketplace. Finding this restaurant was a very happy accident.  I had the most amazing burger. Jim and I shared a beer sampler: it was delicious. I liked Elm City beer a lot more than Newport Storm beer in Rhode Island. Jimmie didn’t like his chili but Jim and I loved it. We took the majority of it home and ate it for dinner. Best chili ever.

Jimmie was overtired before lunch even started. We decided to just get into the car after lunch so that he would nap during our drive to Vermont. Our trip to Vermont was a lot less rainy than our trip to New Hampshire. The trees were in transition the most on this drive; it was simply beautiful. We will never enjoy fall as much as we did in New England; the colors can’t be beat.

150930_0006

150930_0007

Our planned stop in Vermont was Basketville in Putney, Vermont. Inside of the store, which is full of baskets and Vermont goodies, is the Putney Mountain Winery tasting room. We drove around Putney until Jimmie woke up and then went to the store.

Jimmie was not in a good mood when he woke up, which made looking around the store almost impossible and unbearable. Jim and I were both able to (separately) taste some wine but were not able to do a full tasting. I did buy a bottle of Simply Cranberry. I can’t wait to drink it. This was the one and only hard day we had with Jimmie. We were thinking about stopping in Brattleboro, Vermont, on the way back to our rental, but decided to call it a day and head back to the house. We hung out at the house for the rest of the day, sat by the lake, and Jim went kayaking. All in all, still a good day, but a rough one in parentland.

lake1

lake2

The day ended just like night before: Jimmie going off to bed without trouble and Jim and me watching some TV before calling it an early night.

New England Road Trip Day 4

We had a wonderful adventure every single day on our road trip. With that being said, day 4 was probably my favorite. We left our Connecticut house for the last time around 9 AM. Before leaving Jimmie and I hung out on the private beach. If it weren’t for the rain, Jim would have had to pull me off kicking and screaming because we were having such a nice morning.

150927_0004

150929_0001

Our first stop in Massachusetts was lunch. We ate at a delicious Italian Restaurant in downtown Springfield, MA, Red Rose Pizzeria. After lunch we went to the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield, MA. It is easy to miss because it is located inside the Springfield Museum plaza. Parking is free and so is the garden; the museums have a fee. We could have gone to the museums and spent the entire day there but we had much more to accomplish that day since we were traveling to our next rental house.

150929_0008

The memorial garden is fun for all ages. I personally thought it was very well executed. Jimmie really enjoyed the larger than life sculptures. A Dr.Seuss museum will be joining the existing Springfield Museums in 2016. We will have to go back to check it out.

Green eggs and ham

“I do like green eggs and ham!”

Jimmie and Lorax

A very serious high-five for the Lorax

After looking at all of the Dr. Seuss statues, we continued towards out rental and stopped at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. Did you notice day 4’s theme? That’s right, children’s literature day (which is obviously why it was my favorite day.) Unfortunately, we only had one hour to spend at the Eric Carle museum because we didn’t get there until 3 and it closed at 4. There is a great military discount offered: $3 per person over the age of 1 (children under 1 are free.)

150929_0014

eric carle 2

There are three parts to the museum: the gallery, the art studio, and the library. The gallery showcases artwork from children’s illustrators, including, but not limited to, Eric Carle. The studio offers hands-on arts and crafts for children’s of all ages. The library is full of children’s book, toys for toddlers, and big stuffed animals. We spent most of our limited time in the art studio. Jimmie loved playing with the circle crayons (but not coloring) and playing with the wall boards. We read a few stories in the library and basically ran through the gallery because Jimmie was just not impressed with the framed artwork. We could have spent a few more hours at this museum. I hope to go back again. If we lived in the area, we would buy an annual pass because the art studio alone is worth the trip.

Eric Carle

Eric Carle 1

Before arriving at the Eric Carle museum, we saw an interesting country market that we decided we wanted to head back to before going to our rental house in Orange, MA. Atkins Farms and Country Market was well worth our stop (and they offer a 5% military discount!) We stocked up on homemade goodies including: ice cream, sandwiches, apple cider donuts, rolls, kimchi potstickers, salad bar odds and ends for Jimmie, and chicken salad. We also bought some beer from a local brewery.

After grabbing more than enough food, we were finally on our way to our Airbnb cabin in Orange, MA. This cabin was right on the lake. We were able to view the lake by looking out the huge kitchen and living room windows. I like to refer to our house in CT as our “glamping” house. Our house in Massachusetts was anything but. This house had all of the features of a regular home; the hosts even provided some food that we were welcome to use in the pantry and fridge. We had more space in this home, which meant Jimmie had more to get into! Needless to say, we loved both of our rentals equally, but they were both very different.

150929_0022

The day ended with Jimmie going right to sleep (again) and Jim and I enjoying the evening together. Unfortunately, it rained and was kind of dark on the deck that night. We sat inside, watched some TV, and ate our amazing ice cream. Day 4 was certainly a long one. We turned in early for a good night’s sleep.