3 Months

This is a couple weeks overdue, and Landon is already 3 and a half months old!  He is growing up way too fast for my liking.  But I suppose, I would rather him grow up to be big, strong, and healthy.

He is such a sweet little thing.  He sleeps all through the night.  We usually put him to bed between 8 pm and 10 pm and he usually sleeps until 8 am, so we can't complain!  It's the getting him to bed that is the real challenge.  He fights sleep terribly.  And he fusses, and won't self-soothe.  But once he is asleep, he usually does great!  We are working on figuring out a more solid naptime/bedtime schedule, so hopefully we'll have something a little more nailed down in the next few weeks.  Occasionally I hear him stir later in the night, and then a minute later I hear some lip-smacking, which means he found his thumb and he puts himself back to sleep, which is wonderful.  We love that part about thumb-sucking (and the fact that he looks darn cute when he does it too!). 

I am excited to get his stats at his 4 month appointment, just take a look at those chubby thighs and that sweet little smirk!  He gets the smirking from his dad, it's something I noticed right away when I first met Brett.  It was that quiet, confident smirk that made him such a mystery to me, I had to find out more about him!

And then he started to tear off the sticker, so picture time ended! 

Love this boy to pieces, he makes me happy beyond belief!

Some Holiday Happenings...

We've been up to a lot of fun things lately! 

We went to go visit my Great Grandpa Breinholt, and let him meet Landon for the first time.  We took Grandpa a chocolate milkshake--his favorite treat. 
It was fun watching him enjoy it.  Doesn't he look sharp!

This is how it looks when I am knitting, more often than not...

And we just love our Moby wrap, we do all sorts of stuff in it!  Here we are about to take an afternoon walk, and then doing Saturday chores vacuuming the house.

Look at those cute little ears sticking out, ha! 
He doesn't always face outward, sometimes he'll take a little nap all snuggled up facing me, while we are out grocery shopping or running other errands. 

Landon and our good friend, Thomas, were twins at church, sporting bow ties! 
Such fashionable fellows.

We attended the wedding reception of Brett's good friend, Collin.  Katie made a beautiful bride, and we were so excited to get to celebrate with them!

And of course, Landon has gotten some good snoozing in as well...often times with his thumb in his mouth.

Gotta love the cuddling with the sock monkey, one of his Christmas presents. 

We've been keeping busy and having lots of fun! 
We love the holiday season--great weather, family togetherness, and good food,
along with celebrating the birth of our Savior.

Thumb Sucker

Well, it's official...
Baby Landon found his thumb!
I am kicking myself for not giving him the binkie when he was brand new, I was worried it would mess up his ability to nurse well.  But I don't think that would have been the case, and now he refuses the binkie and found his thumb to be the better option. 

I have to say though, it is quite adorable.  I just think of the potential orthodontic bills I might now have as a result of a baby who sucks his thumb.  However, I am his mother, so the orthodontic bills might be high regardless...

Case and point (How embarassing!  Can't believe I posted that!).  This is me with my first set of braces [February 1999].

I think I would have preferred the binkie, so then when I wanted to wean him from it, I had control.  Like I could gradually trim it down.  You can't really do that with thumbs. 

But alas, he has found it, and he looks so sweet sucking his thumb. 
It does melt my heart a little bit.

I sure just love being a momma.  I have found my life's calling for sure!  I have never found such joy doing laundry that has leaky diaper stains, singing lullabies with my terrible voice, cooking simple dinners each night, and having less space in bed (Landon sometimes joins us!) because it means I am a mom and a wife to the best guys around!

Etsy Shop Giveaway!

Our good friends, Jacob and Camille, have a fun dating blog

A couple weeks ago, Camille wore one of my etsy shop earwarmers on a date to the zoo

She is being awesome and hosting a giveaway on her blog, any accessory from my etsy shop for free! 

To get the details on how to enter the giveaway (and info on bonus entries!), check her blog. 

The giveaway will be going for one week!

I have faux boot socks, all sorts of hair accessories (some of the headbands turn into necklaces too!), and even a couple baby bow ties! 

Check it out!


Just a little catch up on what we've been up to!
This is a little past due, but the end of October we celebrated Brett's 26th birthday.  Oh how I love that man!  He is a wonderful husband and the best dad!  Landon and I met him for lunch at his favorite pizza place, Grimaldi's.  That evening we left Landon with his Grandma and Grandpa Brown to go grab a bite to eat at Joe's BBQ and a free dessert at Liberty Marketplace.  The Sunday before, we celebrated with my family, and he requested a Texas Sheet Cake, his usual treat of choice. 

I have also been knitting quite a bit, trying to bulk up my etsy shop inventory, which can be challenging with a baby!  And I promised myself when I opened the shop, that I would still do some crafting and creating for fun, or else it wouldn't be worth it.  So, I knitted Landon a little hat to wear.

Here he is sporting it at dad's softball games!

Thanksgiving week was jam-packed with lots of family time.  Brett and I were hardly even home the last half of the week!  I will have to do a separate post on that.  But it was indeed a great time (with lots of good food, too!).  Saturday night, the adults went out to dinner and bowling.  Bowling was older siblings vs. younger siblings, and it was a blast!  We each won a game! 

Melanie gave her team a pep talk the second game, and it turned out that it helped--they won!

At the tail end of that weekend, we were able to bless our sweet boy. 
It was a beautiful and simple blessing,
and he slept through the whole thing! 

A yearly tradition on the Allred side of the family is for the cousins to draw names for a gift exchange.  This year, Landon has his cute little 6 year old cousin Morgan.  We (mostly me, but Brett agreed to help!) have an idea up our sleeve for her gift, and we have to stay in the $10-$15 range.  Here are a couple things we are using to pull it off.  It is in the works now, and I think it will turn out pretty awesome!  Stay tuned!

What's Cookin' In Your Kitchen? How I Stretch My Meals

I've started to notice Facebook statuses and other comments from young wives who spend a lot of money on groceries each month.  I am a bargain hunter by nature, but I can't stand spending the time to ad-match and extreme coupon down to every last item I purchase.  Since many are the same way as I am, I thought I would do a few posts on how I grocery shop, cook, and menu plan on a budget. 

Stretching my  meals is one of the best things I have figured out since I've been married.
My meats to use are:
a pot roast, ham, ground beef, and chicken.

Pot Roast
Usually I will buy a small pot roast, and prepare it in the crockpot.
I'll do the chopped onion, carrots, and potatoes with Lipton Onion soup mix.
The first meal, that's how we eat it--like a traditional Sunday dinner pot roast.  It's delicious and easy!

When the meat has cooled, freeze it to use for a later time (so you don't eat the same meat for every meal of the week) if you want to.

Other meals I use the left over meat for:
BBQ sandwiches (I love KC Masterpiece Hot 'N' Spicy BBQ Sauce)

There is 4 meals from that small roast.

For the ham, I'll put it in the crockpot and use brown sugar and then top it off with a little bit of glaze (that it comes with) right before serving. 

First meal, we eat this as sliced ham with a salad, green beans, and potatoes (mashed or baked).

When the ham has cooled, chop it into cubes and freeze it for a later time.  SAVE THE HAM HAWK (BONE) AND FREEZE IT FOR A LATER TIME!

Other meals I use with this left over ham:
ham sandwiches
ham and pineapple homemade pizza
ham and bean soup (boil the ham bone with 6 cups of water and then simmer for 3 hours to make a stock)
ham and potato casserole
added to potato soup

There is at least 6 recipes from that ham!

Ground Beef
I typicallly buy ground beef and portion in out raw and place it in the freezer.  When I buy a 2 lb. package (I try to get at least 90% lean), I usually portion it out into 3-4 different bags to freeze.  Usually recipes call for more ground beef than needed. 

A few of our favorite meals to make using ground beef are:
taco salad
*chili (strech this meal too!)
hand-squashed hamburger patties
sloppy joes
spaghetti meat sauce

There are 6 recipes (+1 if use chili suggestion below) for ground beef.

*Another meal I like to stretch, is chili.  This is especially great for the cool weather that is here!
I make a big batch in the crockpot. 

The first evening we eat the chili topped with sour cream and cheese, and some cornbread on the side.  Then for dinner a few days later, we eat baked potatoes with the leftover chili on top. 

Either buy a rotisserie chicken, boil, or use the crockpot to get some pre-cooked shredded chicken and pop it in smaller portions in the freezer.  If you use a rotisserie chicken, be sure to save the bones/skin and boil and then simmer them in water with onions and carrots for an easy and healthy chicken stock! 

Meals we frequently use shredded chicken to enjoy:
chicken noodle soup
chicken pot pie
other soups

Here are 4 recipe ideas to use chicken!
For a previous post on using a rotisserie chicken, check here.

All of these meals are super simple, and only require a little planning to use every last bit!
Brett almost always takes left overs to work for lunch the next day.  We rarely throw leftover food out because of this, and he is the envy of the break room when they get a smell of his homemade leftovers!

And don't forget, you don't have to have meat in every meal...throw in some meatless dinners in between (which usually cost less), and you have lots of delicious dinners on a budget!
How do you stretch your meals?  I would love more ideas!

2 Months Old Already!

Oh what a sweet little boy we have!  

He just turned two months, and is changing so much!

Unfortunately, I couldn't get him to smile in these, but he has been giving us a gummy grin that melts our hearts.  

His stats:

11 lbs. 
23 1/2 inches long

He is in the 25th-50th percentile on everything!  

Such a delight to have around.  

He doesn't even cry every single day (he never has)
He loves his swing (thanks to the Clarks for letting us borrow it!)
He now sleeps all through the night
He loves seeing what is going on around
He is starting to coo
Spittin' image of his father

Oh how we love this adorable little man!

I've Gone to The Dark Side...of Fashion

I was finally brave enough to try out the "dark" nails

And I really love them!

I also darkened my hair and added a few long bangs.

Next "dark" trend I want to try: deep raspberry lipstick!

Etsy Shop Open!

Well, after contemplating this idea over a year, I finally did it! 

I opened an Etsy shop!

I want my things to be affordable, so I am trying to keep prices low and shipping fees minimal. 

And if you don't see something you like, there are still products on the way!  I have lots of ideas swimming in my head.  The more I sell, the more fun, new products I can add!

I hope these will be fun gifts for yourself or a friend, especially with the holidays and cooler weather here!

My two favorite products up so far are the sequined gold and blue pieces--both can be used as a headband or necklace!  Two-for-one!

So go and take a look around, and please feel free to spread the word to your friends! 

I'm also open to feedback on what you do/don't like or something you might like to see for sale!

A Halloween Tradition

Ever since I can remember, we went to my grandma's on Halloween Evening to eat goulash and get ready to trick-or-treat. 

Well now, there are only a few kids left who trick-or-treat, but my grandma still has us over for goulash on the back porch.  With a fire in the outdoor fireplace to relax nearby, and we top off dinner with doughnuts and hot chocolate! 

It seems Landon is the star of the show now, so he usually makes an appearance in every single picture taken.  He just went in a festive onesie, we didn't stuff him in the pinata one more time (pun intended ;)!

Landon with Great-Grandma and Grandpa Clark

Landon with Aunt Cassidy

 Landon with Grandpa and Grandma Brown

Landon with Aunt Haley (who just got her mission call to Lima, Peru!  So exciting!!!)

I love this tradition!
Bless my Grandma, she is too good to us!

Feliz Halloween!

We have had a busy week so far...between Halloween festivities and Brett's birthday. 
One of those festivities was attending the Whiting's annual Halloween party!
(for last year's party and costumes, go here)

With a pretty brand new baby in tow, we had to get a little more creative. 

We went as a Fiesta! 

Landon was the star, he was our adorable pinata.
(found the idea on pinterest)

We won the "funniest costume" award (Brett is holding it in the picture above). 

I just used onesie pajamas that I thrifted from D.I. for $1, and then spent a few dollars on felt.
The only other purchase made was for the mustaches.  We borrowed a few things from my parents and had everything else already!  Talk about inexpensive costumes!

We wish he was better at taking the binkie, so he could've sported his 'stache more often!  Thank you Tara, for the mustache tutorial!

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get pictures of the decor, like I did last year, so I pulled a few off of Aubrey's Facebook.  Aubrey just recently graduated from ASU in event planning, and works at Stonebridge manor.  So you can imagine how fabulous the party looked!  It was "carnival" themed.

Loved their costume...housewife and the milkman!
Food included: build-your-own nachos, soft pretzels, and hot dogs, veggies and dip, apple and toffee dip, IBC rootbeer, spiced cider, hot chocolate, and donuts. 

The centerpieces on each table were balloons tied to a big bucket of peanuts to munch on, and an orange paper table runner to doodle on.

There was cornhole, and a kid's table and games for them as well. 

So glad we were able to go to this fabulous party, it kicked off Halloween week well!

Autumn Happenings

 Love having the decor up, brings warmth and coziness
We watched Wait Until Dark with spiced apple cider and donuts, with our good friends Dave & Kelly (so sad I forgot to take pictures).  We love this movie!  Perfect amount of suspense, totally clean, and Audrey Hepburn!
Pumpkin Carving with the Whitings 
Yes, we put Landon in his cute Jack-o-Lantern onesie, so he could be festive

Brett cleaning his guns
cool weather = shooting weather

Now if the weather would just continue to cool down so it would really feel like Autumn!