The Beginning: Starting Preschool

IMAG3402Last week was Lucy’s first week of preschool. And, let me tell you, she LOVES school. There are 10 kids in her class, and she has a wonderful teacher whom Lucy adores.

The first day was hard for both me and Joe. We were strong, though, and neither of us shed a tear. I was pretty proud of myself. Joe took the day off, and we both took Lucy to school. Then, we headed to Chick-fil-A for a breakfast date – the first time we’ve done that in a LONG time. It was really nice. Then, we ran errands until it was time to pick up our girl.

I think it was good to have a busy day. I needed distraction. And, every day since has been easier. Some days, I am even grateful for the 3 hours she’s in school because I’m able to work in peace. That rarely happens when she’s home.

The first couple of weeks has also been full of traumatic experiences for Lucy; you know – kids taking her cookies at snack time and her blocks at play time. Typical 3-year-old drama. It’s tough being a preschooler!

And then, there was this – Joe took Lucy to school yesterday, and a girl in her class was walking in ahead of them with her dad. Want to hear how this went down? Trust me, you do.

Joe: Is she in your class?
Lucy: Yeah. But, she’s not my best friend. SHE STOLE MY COOKIES.
Joe: Lucy. Shhh.
Lucy: But, Daddy, SHE STOLE MY COOKIES.

That happened the first day. My kid holds a grudge like no one’s business. Seriously.

I’m grateful for all these funny stories. I’m grateful for all the artwork she brings home. And, most of all, I’m grateful for the experiences she’s having that are helping her grow. It’s going to be a great year!

What’s Cooking Wednesday: Sloppy Joe’s

I never used to be a big fan of Sloppy Joe’s, but now? Now, I can’t seem to get enough of them. Seriously. I don’t know WHAT it is, but we eat them at least once a week (plus, you know, leftovers for lunch the next day).

We like our Sloppy Joe’s a little on the spicy side, so we add in onions and jalapenos. Yum! OK, now I’m craving one! What do you like to add to yours??

Ingredients:
1 bag MorningStar Griller Crumbles
1 can Sloppy Joe sauce
1/2 onion
15 jalapeno slices (we used the jarred jalapenos)

Directions:
Brown the Griller crumbles in a pan. Add the Sloppy Joe sauce, onion and jalapenos, and cook until hot.

Next time we may use more jalapenos to give it more spice. It was SO yummy, though! As always, if you try out this recipe, leave a comment and let me know what you thought!

What’s Cooking Wednesday: Veggie Pasta

We have one restaurant in town that is our absolute favorite. It’s a locally-owned place, and they make the BEST pasta with veggies. I could eat it every day. But, since it’s kind of pricey to eat there — especially at dinner — I thought that I could probably recreate that dish. And, I did. And, it was fantastic. I mean, I know I’m biased, but I think it can rival the restaurant’s dish. :)

It’s really very simple. First, make your pasta according to the directions on the box. I usually use penne, but this time we used spaghetti. While your pasta is cooking, chop up the veggies you want to use (we used zucchini, squash, onions and mushrooms) and saute.

When your pasta is done, drain and rinse it, and then add it to your pan with the veggies to toss.

Then, plate and serve! It’s a simple yet yummy meal!

On Becoming the Mother of a Preschooler

Tomorrow, my kiddo starts preschool. I’m holding up well – for now.

While I was rocking her tonight, I told Lucy how I’m probably going to cry tomorrow when we take her to school for the first time. Her response? “Don’t cry! I have to grow up, Mommy. I have to be 4!”

Sometimes, I feel like I’m just not going to deal well with her growing up. I want her to stay my little baby girl forever, and this is the first step of her becoming, well, my big girl. Obviously, she can’t stay a baby forever, but I can hope, right?

Lucy is SO excited to start school, and I am so happy to see her so excited. She will do amazingly well – I just know it. She’s so smart and sociable – this is just what she needs. But, tomorrow will be hard. Just as starting Pre-K next year will be hard. And, Kindergarten? I don’t even want to think about that yet.

I know I’ll cry tomorrow. It’s natural. But, I will be SO excited to hear all about her day when we pick her up. I know she’s going to have a blast!

Tomorrow, I’ll have first day of school pics of our big girl!

What’s Cooking Wednesday: Cucumber Salad

This is one of my FAVORITE things to eat. I first had it at my mother-in-law’s house, and now I always look forward to visiting the in-laws because she usually has a batch of cucumber salad on hand. When we went to their cabin in the Blue Ridge mountains for Father’s Day weekend, they thought I was weird because I ate it as a midnight snack. It’s just that good. And, it’s super simple to make.

First, chop up three cucumbers and half an onion. I actually didn’t use the full half onion in the mixture because I didn’t want it to overpower the cucumbers.

Put the veggies in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups of white vinegar, 1/2 cup of sugar, 4 tablespoons of water, and dashes of salt and pepper.

When the sugar is completely dissolved, pour the mixture over the cucumbers  and onions.

The end result? Yummy cucumber salad! Seriously, this whole bowl might be gone before my husband gets home from work!

Ingredients:
3 cucumbers
1/2 onion
2 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
4 TBSP water
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Slice cucumber and chop onion. Combine in bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Mix until sugar is dissolved.
3. Pour liquid over cucumbers and onions. Store in refrigerator.

Princess Party Plans

We are ALL princess in our house (we like them all – we don’t discriminate), so obviously we’re  having a princess party this year for Lucy’ 4th birthday party. In fact, all her little friends are having princess parties this year, so I’m trying to really differenciate her party from all the others. I want it to be chic, pretty and fun.

Since Lucy’s birthday is in November, we’re having it at our house, which is fairly small, so I have to figure out how to work with what I have when it comes to decorating.

So, here are some ideas I’ve picked out so far from Pinterest:

birthday decor

{Photo Credit}

I LOVES THIS TABLE. Seriously. I know it looks really busy, but I’m thinking I’ not going to have the “Happy Birthday” banner hanging on the front, and I’m going to move the frame to the side table in our living room. I love the background board, which I’m planning on hanging in Lucy’s room when her party is over. I found a black crown and, while I was thinking about spray painting it white, I think I might leave it black. Or, I might spray paint it pink. I only want to do white if it can have a distressed look and, since I’m not good at that kind of thing, I may opt for a different color.

party decor ideas 1

{Photo Credit}

I’ve always loved tissue paper pompoms. I tried making them for one of Lucy’s prior parties, but I kind of sucked at it, so I’m thinking about ordering a few – a mix of pink and yellow since we’re going with a Beauty and the Beast theme – off Etsy. I’ve been told it’s easy to fluff them out, so I’m hoping I won’t mess them up too much!

party decor ideas 2

{Photo Credit}

I’m also loving this table decor, so obviously I need a way to have two tables! The first table pictured will be the food table; this one will be the decor/possible present table. I think we’re going to move the side table out and use our folding table for this one. I love how it looks like Belle’s dress, which will go so perfectly with the theme!

party decor ideas 3

{Photo Credit}

How cute would this be as a decoration?? I just need to find a carriage like this! After the party, this can go in Lucy’s room for decoration.

party decor ideas 4

{Photo Credit}

This is what I want for the front door! And, after the party, it can also be reused on Lucy’s bedroom door!

party decor ideas 5

{Photo Credit}

How cute is this as another decoration?? It looks fairly simple to make, though I will probably use a red rose. Love it! And, again, something else we can put in Lucy’s room later.

party decor ideas 6

{Photo Credit}

And, of course, the cake! I am loving this one! I’ll probably make cupcakes with lemon frosting to go along with it.

So, those are my ideas so far. I totally see this in my head, and it looks awesome; I just hope I can make it work the way I envision it! And, I love that most everything can be reused in Lucy’s room – that totally makes them worth the money!