Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

This morning we put on our Braylabee's shirt and headed to school!  He wouldn't pose for a picture and I should have known then how our evening was going to go, picture wise! Ha! 

Tonight our friends, The Miller family, came over to trick or treat with us. I made taco soup in the crockpot for the adults and I rushed home from work and made the boys grilled cheese ghosts...too bad it just looks like a blob, but they were pretty cute.
Have you ever tried to get 2 toddlers to pose for a picture...and wear a hat???
 Our little cuddly lion is NOT a fan of his mane!  This was one of the few pictures of his full outfit.
 The boys rode in the wagon and trick or treated.  So cute!

 They made it to about 4 houses with the Daddies, then the Mommies took them around while the Daddies did the candy duty.
 Someone...who will go unnamed, but lets just say, he had never really had candy before, kept eating all of the candy out of his pumpkin! Ha!  Everytime I looked down he was eating more! Ha!

 I think the shirt says it all! Ha!
It was so much fun to experience the boys' first "real" Halloween together!  I'm so glad we have friends with a boy Nicholas' age.  It makes everything so much more fun.  I'm already thinking of ideas for next year's costume...maybe a pirate and a parrot???

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Meal Planning Monday on Sunday

This week I got back to meal planning and freezer meals.  It is amazing how much better I feel about my week and my stress level goes WAY down when I do this. No pictures because I left my camera was at my parents, but here are some recipes...
Sunday - Lasagna
Monday - Taco Soup for our little Halloween party/Trick or Treating with the Millers
Tuesday - Chicken Spaghetti
Wednesday - leftovers to my hair appointment
Thursday - Hamburger Steak, Crockpot Pinto Beans, and Macaroni and Cheese
Friday - Pizza
Saturday - Dips and Finger Food for football! (not sure what kind yet)

Lasagna (I can get this to make 2 small lasagnas or 1 large and 1 very small)
1 pound hamburger
1 family size jar of spaghetti sauce
1-8oz ricotta cheese
1 egg
12 oz mozzarella cheese
1 pkg of lasagna noodles

Brown hamburger and drain then mix into sauce.  Prepare lasagna noodles by boiling per the package and drain.  Mix ricotta and egg.  Layer noodles, meat sauce, ricotta and mozzarella three times or until your pan is full.  You will have a few noodles left over.

Cook covered for 1 hour on 350.  Uncover and top with the mozzarella cheese and cook for another 15 mins or until cheese is melted.
*this is based off the lasagna being thawed, not frozen.

Hamburger Steak
1 lb ground beef
4 Tsp on worchestire sauce
2 tsp garlic powder
1 onion, diced

kneed all of the above ingredients and pat into 3-4 patties.  Broil in the oven on hi for 8 mins each side.
*based on the meat thawed, not frozen.

Don't forget you can always get my meal plans on my recipe blog!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Winners of Our 1st Giveaway Are...

The 1st EVER giveaway on Life With The Ledfords has been completed and the winners selected!  So sorry for the delay, but our mac has died and I had to wait for Michael to bring home his work laptop.  Sweet Nicholas drew the following winners for me out of a bowl...

1. Shanna Love
2. Sophiatheath
3. faithchick

Please email me at and I will email you back with your code for 25 FREE Christmas Cards from Shutterfly!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Christmas Card Giveaway!

A few days ago I posted about the awesome selection of Christmas cards at Shutterfly!  I have been a member of Shutterfly since 2003 and I love the quality of their prints.  I've used them for quite a few photo orders.  The past couple of years I've gotten my Christmas cards there and I've never been happier with our cards!  The quality is great and I think the prices are very reasonable.  I'm also in the process of creating photo books for our family of Nicholas' first year and of our vacation to Destin. We also ordered all of our Father's Day cards from  Shutterfly and they were a huge hit! Shutterfly has a little bit for everyone, no matter what your taste is.  I usually do a bright, fun card, but trying to decide what direction I want to go this year.  Here are a few of my favorites from the Holiday Collection...

Now, here is where the fun starts!  Leave me a comment telling me which card is your favorite from HERE and on Tuesday, October 25, I will chose three winners to receive 25 FREE cards from Shutterfly this Holiday season!  How awesome is that?!

This post is in partnership with Shutterfly

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Planner In Me

I have a confession.  I am extremely type A personality. I have to have everything just "so-so", everything has to be neat, and until the past couple of years or so, my house had to be perfect.  At work I'm made fun of because I am so OCD everything in my office is color coded, organized by the physician, and by dates.  I also MUST plan ahead.  I am NOT a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of girl! My husband, bless him, is the complete opposite.  For that reason, I've started making our lists for Christmas (yes, they are color coded).  However, I am challenged when it comes to baby Christmas gifts.

I'm thinking Santa is only going to bring 3 or 4 things.  He has two large families that spoil him and Santa also makes a stop at GiGi's house, so he really doesn't need too much at our house.  He LOVES Mickey (and doesn't know that Elmo exists, which I am good with), so I am leaning towards Dance Star Mickey as his "big" gift.
Now, here comes your part...I need help!  What else would an 18 month old boy enjoy?  I'm thinking Melissa and Doug puzzles, books of all kinds, maybe Little People Zoo, and some trucks and cars.  What do you think?

Also, I wanted to let all of you fellow type A personalities out there know that Zulily is offering a $50 in Erin Condren products for $25!  If you have been wanting a life planner, now is your chance!  Hurry though, because they are only available through 9 am EST THURSDAY!
I LOVE mine and use it everyday!  I'm not sure how I would manage all that we have going on with a good planner!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's Never Too Early...

 As I'm sure all of you longtime followers of Life With The Ledfords know, I am 1. OCD and a planner and 2. I LOVE the holiday season!  I always start to look for Christmas cards around the 1st of September and this year was no different.  Last year I ordered from Shutterfly and I plan to do so again this year!  Their quality is wonderful and I've never been disappointed.  Shutterfly has a little bit for everyone, no matter what your taste is.  I usually do a bright, fun card, but trying to decide what direction I want to go this year.  Here are a few of my favorites...

This post is in partnership with Shutterfly. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall School Picture

September 8, 2011, Fall School Pictures. Precious!
I had sent an adorable outfit of khaki pants, button down shirt, and loafers, but after seeing how cute he looked that morning and the Fall scene, I decided to leave him in what he was in that morning.  I'm so glad I did.  It is how he goes to school and not dressed up just for the day.  I LOVE how they turned out.  Perfect for a school picture.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Working Mom Update

I spent all day Sunday working in our house.  It was in desperate need of attention.  The laundry had piled up, the closets were trashed, and it was a mess.  Since I wrote my guest post for Melissa's working mom series a LOT has our life has become very crazy!   When I was dreading going back to work when I was pregnant and on maternity leave I loved to look at other working mom's routines, so I am planning on giving updates to our schedule every three months or so.  I want others to know it can be done, even if I totally hate it sometimes. :-)  It is hard to juggle work, home, and I know that it is hard for stay at home moms too.  We are all moms and we all struggle to be good moms. Period. If there is anything that I hate, it is the debate of working moms vs stay at home moms.  I will never, ever understand why we can't just all support each other as moms in general, not SAHM vs WM.  I think that is one of the bad things about blogging/twitter.  A simple comment can stir all kinds of drama without meaning to.

Stepping down off my soapbox now.  So, I'm sure you are wanting to see just how our schedule has changed.  On September 1, Michael bought a commercial auto detailing business and with that came a lot of changes to our lives and routines.  Michael is working LONG hours, 40 minutes away from our house, so he is gone from 6:30 or so to 7:00 or later most days.  Needless to say, our 50/50 partnership is over. :-) My work and Nicholas' school schedules haven't changed, it is just our chores and morning routines at home that have changed.  In the morning Michael leaves before Nicholas gets up, so I get him up around 6:50-7:00, feed him a "snack" of cereal, fruit, or  even a waffle or muffin while I finish getting ready.  Around 7:15 I get him out of his highchair and dressed.  That is a HUGE battle at our house.  He hates getting dressed for whatever reason.  Usually I have to bribe him with a toy or a book to keep him occupied, especially in the morning when he just isn't wanting to cooperate.  We still leave around 7:20-7:30 and get home between 5:30-6:00, most days, sometimes later.  The evening is pretty much the same except I am now responsible for trying to keep the laundry up, buy the groceries, run all of the errands, and keep the house picked up alone now in the two or three hours I have after bedtime and on the weekends.  It has been hard, but I'm making it work.  Everyone just has to find their own groove.  I just wished I had 8 more hours of awake time that I could get as much done at home as I do at work!

There are so many times I just want to walk in and quit my job because I am so overwhelmed, but since that isn't an option, I've had to learn to just let somethings go and not be so hard on myself.  HARD when you are type A! Ha! Yes, if I had a choice, I would stay home.  I feel like I miss so much of my baby's life and sometimes I worry that he is missing out because I work, but at the same time I have to remember all of the things he is learning at school.  He is healthy, happy, and very well rounded.  He loves everyone, is very friendly, and he doesn't seem to have any issues from being in daycare.  I am very blessed that since I have to work to provide insurance and a steady income for our family, I have a job that I love.  We have also been blessed with a wonderful day care that we love.  I know that if both were not the case, I would really struggle with leaving Nicholas every day.

I want to encourage those that have to work outside the home that it can be done.  It is hard, it is not always fun leaving a baby, having to juggle work and a sick baby, and definitely not fun when you are both sick, but it can be done.  

Monday, October 10, 2011

Meal Planning Monday

No pictures this week, but here is what we are having.  I am going to be putting these recipes on my recipe blog too throughout the week.

Sunday - Chicken Spaghetti
Monday - Chili Mac
Tuesday - Beef Stew
Wednesday - Chicken Enchiladas
Thursday - Pizza (Nicholas has a Little Gym make up class)
Friday - Nicholas will have a grilled cheese and veggies while Mommy and Daddy attend a wedding rehearsal/dinner.
Saturday - Wedding for the parents and a birthday party for Nicholas

Chicken Spaghetti (1st time trying this, but can we say FABULOUS?!)
3 - cooked chicken breasts, diced
1 - 10 oz can rotel
1 - 10.5 oz can cream of chicken
8oz sharp cheddar cheese
8oz spaghetti
While cooking spaghetti in boiling water, combine rotel, cream of chicken, and cheese in medium saucepan.  Stir until melted and combined well.  Add in chicken.  Drain spaghetti once cooked, rinse, and add to cheese mixture.  Pour into a greased casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes on 350.

Crockpot Beef Stew
1 package of beef stew meat
1 can beef broth
1 can tomato soup
3 potatoes chunked
3 regular carrots sliced
1 large onion
1 package of brown gravy mix
Place uncooked meat on the bottom of the crockpot, then add veggies, gravy mix, and soup.  Cover with broth and 1 or 2 cans of water (I use the beef broth can) depending on the size of your crockpot.  Cook on low for 8 hours.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up

There honestly isn't much to tell you about this weekend.  The biggest news of the past week is that after having some serious car problems including a blown head gasket and TWO flat tires in the past month, Michael traded his car for this work truck!  It was a necessary purchase we put off too long.  With his shop he needs something to carry supplies and this is perfect!
Friday afternoon Nicholas's school called and he was running a low grade temp, thrown up twice (once all over a teacher), and had a round of diarrhea.  I went to get him and we came home and just crashed on the  couch watching DVR'd Disney cartoons.  I knew it couldn't have been feeling good to just be happy and content watching TV on the couch!  He didn't have anymore issues that night, thank goodness!  However, Daddy did come home with one more purchase Friday night.  Since I've known Michael I've heard about the infamous Golden Tee machine his friend Dan has and that one day he just HAD to have one too.  Well, lucky for me (haha!), Dan was looking to sell it.  Guess who bought it...
Saturday Nicholas was feeling better, but still not acting 100% himself, so we skipped Little Gym and spent the day running errands.  Michael went to his friend Micah's bachelor party and Nicholas and I had dinner with my parents.  We were gone from 10:00 am - 9:00 last night.  It was a busy day!

This morning Nicholas and I slept in, but when we did get up Nicholas had his first bites of Dunkin Donuts!  YUM!
We spent the rest of the day cleaning out his dresser and closet, doing laundry, and cooking meals for the week.  I thought this was cute.  He posed when I got him out of his highchair from having a snack that involved an Oreo! Haha!

Monday, October 3, 2011

15 Months

 Happy 15 months to the sweetest boy I know!  Nicholas you have grown into quite a fun, sweet, lovable little man and I can't imagine my life without you!  Friday I picked you up from school during naptime (which, may I ad is the cutest thing ever! There are 12 babies all on mats asleep in the floor! Precious!) and we went to see Dr. Spraggins for your 15 month appointment.  You are still a BIG boy!  You weighed 23 pounds, 11 ounces (20th percentile) and 33 inches long (95th percentile!)!  Your head is in the 90th percentile too!  I think that is because you are so smart! :-)  You got three shots and you did so good!  Hopefully you won't get the flu this year since you've had your vaccine so early.

When we left the dr, I went through the drive-thru at Chattanooga Cupcakes and got Nicholas a yellow cupcake with chocolate icing and sprinkles.  I think he enjoyed it! Hahaha!
So, Nicholas, what have you been up to these past three months since I did a monthly update?
You have developed quite the funny personality!  You make people laugh everywhere we go!  I love how outgoing, friendly, and sweet you are.  I've even had people stop me in a store to tell me how happy and sweet you are!  In the past week or so you've become quite the dancer.  I'll post a video soon, it is HILARIOUS!

You still LOVE to eat and will eat just about anything.  I've only found 2 things you don't seem to like, fish sticks and Gerber ravioli.  You eat a snack with milk in the morning before going to school then you have breakfast with your friends.  You eat lunch around 11, a snack around 3, and dinner at 6:00.  I think your favorite meals are Italian food, especially spaghetti!  You also like chicken tenders, Chick Fil A, and beef stroganoff.

 Two weeks ago you had to have your first big boy haircut.  You had a major mullet going on and as cute as the long, Tom Brady-like hair was, it was time to shape it up.  You look like such a big boy now.  *tear* (notice these pics are a little blurry, N is a very busy boy and wouldn't stand still!)

You started walking on July 8 while at school.  you had been walking a little here and there, but took off that day and haven't looked back since.  You are now RUNNING everywhere!

You have said 8 words, but only 4 are said often.  You still say Mama, Daddy, hi, and bye, but you will say book, dog, Gigi, and ball on occasion.  

You have FINALLY begun to nap during the day.  Being in the Snails class has made a HUGE difference.  You don't get the chance to "cat nap" all day, so you take one good nap from 12-2ish every day, even on the weekends!
Your favorite activity seems to be Little Gym.  You LOVE going every Saturday morning and your favorite thing to do there seems to be hanging from the bars.  You also like to tumble and you have started randomly doing front rolls! Haha!
Your favorite toys are still the classics: phones of any kind, remotes, and your slide.  You have also started playing with trucks and cars, balls, and you love to give Spencer his toys.  You like to play tug-of-war with his fox and rope toys.  You also like to read.  Every night you bring me a book and we read before bed.

You just started giving hugs and kisses within the past couple of weeks.  They are the best hugs and kisses I've ever had!  :-)

I can't believe you are already 1/4 of the way through your second year.  Time is flying by and I'm trying to enjoy every possible second I can with you.  I miss you so much during the day and I try to not have to leave you at night or on the weekends unless you are already in bed.  I hate that I miss so much during the day during the week that I want to spend every possible second with you on the weekends.  I know I say this often, but you were so worth every tear, every sad day, and every single step along the road to get to you.  We love you, Nicholas!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fun Fall Day

One of my new favorite Fall things to do is to hit up Burt's Pumpkin Farm in Dawsonville, Ga.  We went for the first time last October and it was so fun, but I knew this year would be even more fun with Nicholas being able to run around and see everything himself.  We invited The Miller family to go with us and Nicholas loved having his friend Tate along!  We didn't want to haul strollers around, so I brought the wagon and it was fabulous!  How cute are these two?!
 Nicholas LOVED running around the pumpkins and checking them all out.  It was hard to get a good picture of him, especially with the sun shining right on him, but here are my favorites.

My favorite little man and I 
 My boys
 Our family
 Amy, Tate, Madison, Jensen, Nicholas, and I went on a hayride while the Daddies continued the search for the perfect pumpkin.  I enjoyed seeing all of the pumpkins in the field.

 When we got back to the pumpkin patch, the Daddies had found just the right ones!  We each left with our very own Great Pumpkin of 2011...

You might be wondering, but how do you fit a wagon, toddler, and all of the other things we needed for the day in the car along with a massive strap it into the back seat! Ha!
I also bought a loaf of pumpkin bread and OMW, we will be having some for breakfast tomorrow! Tasty! On the way back we also stopped at Hillcrest Apple Orchard.  I bought 6 red and delicious apples and 6 granny smith apples, apple fritters, and apple butter.  I made some homemade applesauce tonight for Nicholas to eat with his dinner and it was actually pretty good!  I put our pumpkins out and had a little help from my little helper.  Hopefully next weekend I can get some mums and finish up.
Just for fun to compare, here are my favorite two pictures from this year...
 and exactly one year ago on October 3, 2010...
We had a fabulous Fall Weekend and hope you did too!