Easter Placemat Printable

In our house, we love to get together for Easter. One of my favorite things to do is go to my mother in-laws house to decorate Easter eggs. She makes enough hard boiled eggs so that each person has a dozen or so eggs to color (we usually have about 10+ people decorating eggs). It’s crazy, but so much fun! Like other families, we also enjoy a nice meal together. With a lot of little kids running around and needing something to occupy them, this Easter Placemat printable is perfect!

easter placemat

FREE Easter Placemat Printable

easter placemat

Print your FREE placemat HERE

Isn’t it cute?!? Think about how nice it will be on Easter to get the kids situated at their spot at the table and have them be occupied with their Easter placemat and not running around, getting in the way of everyone setting the food out? Sounds pretty heavenly to me!

For less than $10, you can pick up these crayons from Amazon and give each kid a pack of crayons! That way everyone has their own pack of crayons and there is no fighting!

Bulk Buy: Crayola Crayons 8/Pkg 52-3008 (12-Pack)Bulk Buy: Crayola Crayons 8/Pkg 52-3008 (12-Pack)

If I’m being honest, I’d probably go a step further and pick up these adorable activities books too and put together a little kiddie place setting with the Easter placemat, a pack of crayons and an activity book for each child. Not only are you keeping them occupied during dinner set up, but you are keeping them occupied for a bit after dinner while the adults finish! Even if it’s only for a little bit, it’s still worth it!

Activity Pad Assortment Party Accessory 1 dozenActivity Pad Assortment Party Accessory 1 dozen

What do you usually do for Easter? Is there a particular food you always have? A few recipes you may enjoy for your Easter dinner are:

Best Ham Recipe EVER

Not Your Traditional Lemon Bars

Creamed Spinach Recipe

Keto Diet Success – Tips and Tricks

The thought of giving up sugar can be very intimidating. When I tell you that I was addicted to sugar, I was more than addicted. It was no different that someone being addicted to drugs. I had to have sugar and I had to have it every single day. My mood changes had a lot to do with whether or not I had sugar that day or not. I was, by every definition, addicted to sugar and an emotional eater. That is a dangerous combination. Thats why my Keto diet success story means so much to me. It’s also why I want to share my tips and tricks with you. You can succeed with the Keto diet!

*This post may contain affiliate links*

keto diet success

How Addicted to Sugar was I?

When I tell you I was addicted, I’m not joking around. I would drink 32 oz. Slurpees every single day. Do you know how much sugar is in a 32 oz. Slurpee? Over 115 grams of sugar! Insane! As if that wasn’t bad enough, I also ate a candy bar every single time I set foot in a store or gas station. I justified all that by saying, “well I don’t keep junk food in the house”. Which was true. I didn’t keep it in the house, for the most part. I was just buying it daily and bringing it home with me. Totally not the same thing, yet it is!

Share these Keto diet success story tips and tricks now!Click To Tweet

Emotional eating was something I was really good at. Something would make me upset and I would instantly turn to food. The sugarier and carb-ier (not a word, but I’m making it one!), the better. My brain had been trained to associate carbs and sugar with feelings of happiness. As a result, my weight went up and up, but my mood was never really improved. It was a vicious cycle that I was stuck in.

Feel Sad –> Eat Sugar –> Feel (temporarily) Happy –> CRASH, then Repeat

At my heaviest, I weighed 250 lbs. I don’t know if I ever said that out loud before, but it’s true. Clothes shopping was something I did not enjoy. Nothing ever fit right, or it had no shape that just made me look even bigger. When I heard about the Keto diet, I was afraid to try it. Eat fat? That went against every thing I’ve ever heard about dieting. I actually held off trying it for about six months. But, in January of 2016, I reached my breaking point.

I told myself that I would give the diet a try. I weighed myself every single day for about three months because I was so afraid of this diet not working for me, that I figured if I weighed myself every day, then I would know if I started to gain and I could stop. Guess what happened?!? Weight started melting off me. My body started changing drastically. Now, over a year later, I am down 82 lbs. and very close to my goal weight!

Keto Diet Success Tips and Tricks

First things first, you NEED to use My Fitness Pal. If you are following the Keto diet, you need to track your fat, protein and carb macros. If you don’t, you will NOT succeed. I don’t care what anyone tells you…you won’t. Keto is a delicate balance between those three macros. Look for me on My Fitness Pal and send me a friend request. My name is ImLeah525. Also, figure out your macros using this Keto macro calculator.

Secondly, you need to be all in. I know some diets have cheat days. There are no cheat days with this diet. This diet is a true lifestyle change. If you choose to cheat, you need to understand that you will gain. Why? For starters, once you remove all the sugar from your diet, your body stops craving the sugar and other foods. Which is great! However, when you have a cheat day, your brain says “HEY! I remember this” and then all those cravings come back and you will consume more of that sugary treat than you meant to and sometimes for more than just that day. You are essentially starting the Keto diet over after that.

Third, don’t try to find a bunch of substitutes for those sugary foods you are giving up. If you spend all your time trying to find out how you can still have the cake you are giving up, you are going to end up struggling. In my experience, a lot of my Keto diet success is in getting my mind in the right place first. You can’t do that if you are making Keto bread every day or little Keto approved desserts all the time. Once in awhile is OK, but on a daily basis…no.

Fat Bombs? What’s That?

With all that said, you do want to make fat bombs. One of the hardest things, in my opinion, is getting enough fat in. This book, Sweet and Savory Fat Bombsketo diet success, is definitely something you should pick up. It is full of all different types of fat bombs to help you find your Keto diet success! I make a chocolate sunbutter fat bomb that is absolutely delicious.

Sweet and Savory Fat Bombs: 100 Delicious Treats for Fat Fasts, Ketogenic, Paleo, and Low-Carb DietsSweet and Savory Fat Bombs: 100 Delicious Treats for Fat Fasts, Ketogenic, Paleo, and Low-Carb Diets

As always, I am an open book. If you have any questions about my experience with the Keto diet, just ask! I am happy to help. If I don’t have the exact answer, I will do my very best to find the answer for you or point you in the direction that you need to go to find that answer. Below you will find some essential items that I recommend you get to help you get started on your very own Keto diet success story! The two pack silicone molds are a really good price right now on Amazon!

Sweet and Savory Fat Bombs: 100 Delicious Treats for Fat Fasts, Ketogenic, Paleo, and Low-Carb DietsSweet and Savory Fat Bombs: 100 Delicious Treats for Fat Fasts, Ketogenic, Paleo, and Low-Carb DietsOzera 2 Pack Silicone Ice Cube Tray Molds Candy Mold Cake Mold Chocolate Mold, 15 Cavity, BlueOzera 2 Pack Silicone Ice Cube Tray Molds Candy Mold Cake Mold Chocolate Mold, 15 Cavity, BlueWhy We Get Fat: And What to Do About ItWhy We Get Fat: And What to Do About It

*This post may contain affiliate links*

Spring Cleaning Essentials

Spring is right around the corner. In fact, it barely seems like we even had a winter this year. We hit record highs in February and I am happy to say, I barely had to shovel any snow at all this winter. As if the temperatures aren’t crazy enough, my tulips are already coming up! Since we are well below freezing today (we were at almost 60 yesterday…crazy, I know), I am sure my tulips are done for this year. At any rate, spring is around the corner, which means we need to start thinking about getting started with our spring cleaning.

*This post may contain affiliate links*

spring cleaning

When I first got married, I always laughed when I heard someone talking about spring cleaning. To me, you clean all the time, why do you have to have a special spring cleaning? It’s wasn’t until I owned my own home and was responsible for the entire place, and my kids got much older, that I began to understand the importance of spring cleaning.

Spring Cleaning Essentials

Spring cleaning doesn’t need to be difficult and it’s not something that you need to spend all day, one weekend doing. Sure, it’s easier to knock it all out at once, but with kids in travel sports, our weekends are mainly taken up with those sports. So I put together this spring cleaning guide, complete with those essential items you might want to pick up to make your cleaning easier. And who wouldn’t want their cleaning to be as easy as possible?!?

Protect Those Hands

Before I clean anything, I make sure I have these Mr. Clean rubber gloves. I cannot stand my hands getting dirty and I don’t like all the cleaners, no matter how natural they are, on my hands. I suggest you pick some up. They are really inexpensive on Amazon.

Mr. Clean 243093 Duet Reusable Latex Gloves, Medium, 2 Pairs/2 ColorsMr. Clean 243093 Duet Reusable Latex Gloves, Medium, 2 Pairs/2 Colors

Get the Kids Involved

One of the first things I take care of, or bribe my kids to do (let’s be honest), is cleaning the baseboards in my house. You don’t realize how dirty they get, and yes you should be cleaning them regularly, but who does? The best way to clean them is with these microfiber clothes and vinegar (I mix up my own with water, vinegar, dish soap and essential oils). Be sure to label your spray bottles.

Sinland All-purpose Microfiber Cleaning Cloths Wiping Dusting Rags 12Inchx12Inch Dark Grey 6 PackSinland All-purpose Microfiber Cleaning Cloths Wiping Dusting Rags 12Inchx12Inch Dark Grey 6 Pack24 Oz. Spray Bottles, 3 Pack, No-clog, Leak-proof Adjustable Nozzle, Janitorial, Cleaning, Housekeeping, Office, Chemical, Pump Bottle, All Purpose Cleaners, Glass Cleaner Sprayer24 Oz. Spray Bottles, 3 Pack, No-clog, Leak-proof Adjustable Nozzle, Janitorial, Cleaning, Housekeeping, Office, Chemical, Pump Bottle, All Purpose Cleaners, Glass Cleaner Sprayer

The nice thing about the microfiber clothes and the homemade vinegar spray, is that you can use them to clean other surfaces and areas in your home too!

Speaking of microfiber cloths…what if I told you that you could get microfiber slippers that will dust your floors? Hand your kids a spray bottle and have them dance around the floor. They will have fun AND be cleaning at the same time. You’re welcome!

Special Life 4pcs(2 Pairs) Microfiber Mop Shoes Cover - Easy for House Floor Dust Dirt Hair Cleaning(Color Random)Special Life 4pcs(2 Pairs) Microfiber Mop Shoes Cover – Easy for House Floor Dust Dirt Hair Cleaning(Color Random)

Must Have Item

If you feel like splurging this spring on something that you will use all year long and that will help you with your spring cleaning, as well as all those hard to reach spots all year long, then you really want to take a look at the Dyson V6 Animal Cord-Free Vacuum. Right now it’s $150 off on Amazon!! Quick…pick it up before it goes up in price!

Dyson V6 Animal Cord-free VacuumDyson V6 Animal Cord-free Vacuum

Other areas to remember to clean:

  • Windows, inside and out
  • Spray down your air conditioner
  • Change your furnace filterspring cleaning (6 pack on a tremendous sale!!)
  • Vacuum your air vents
  • Wash or dry clean your curtains
  • Clean, organize and sweep out your garage

Am I missing anything? What are some of the things you do when you are spring cleaning your home?

*This post may contain affiliate links*

Making a Milestone Birthday Special

It’s always fun to celebrate a milestone birthday. I know we had a huge party when my kids turned one and we will probably do the same on other special birthdays like when they turn 16 and/or 18. This year (February 26th, to be exact!), my husband turned 40! We have had a lot of stuff going on the last few months, so planning a bit surprise party or party of any kind, just wasn’t in the cards, timing wise. However, I still wanted to make this milestone birthday a special one. After a lot of reading online and planning, I came up with a really fun and special birthday for my husband.

*This post may contain affiliate links*

Celebrating a Milestone Birthday Idea

I love quotes. If I could walk around and speak in various quotes for most of the day, I would. I’m not kidding! I’ve always been like this. So when I was planning what I wanted to do, I knew I wanted it to have something to do with quotes about getting older (be sure to check below. I listed all the quotes I used).

Do yourself a favor and pick up this inexpensive quote book on Amazon. You will be able to thumb through it quickly and get whatever quotes you need!

&

1001 Smartest Things Ever Said1001 Smartest Things Ever Said

The second thing I wanted to do was figure out a way to make his birthday celebration last the entire day. I didn’t want to just give him some presents, have the kids eat cake and call it a day. This was a special birthday, so I wanted the whole day to be special for him. So instead, I got him enough presents to give him one present every hour we are awake at 40 minutes after each hour. So his first present was at 12:40 am and his last present was at 11:40 pm!

Quotes I Used

Like I said before, I love quotes. Here are the quotes I used and the present I bought to go along with each quote:

  • “It’s better to carry a tune than a grudge” ~ Modern Family
    • Kid Rock concert tickets
  • “At 40 you are not old, you are classic” ~anonymous
  • “Age is not important, unless you are a cheese” ~Helen Hayes
  • “Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well” ~Jack London
    • Card game
  • “The first 40 years are just practice. Now it starts for real” ~anonymous
    • Red Bull Total Zero
  • “Don’t take life too seriously, it’s not permanent” ~unknown
  • “Happy 11th anniversary of your 29th Birthday (steel anniversary)” ~unknown
  • “Life is too short. Smile while you still have teeth” ~unknown
    • Toothpaste
  • “At 40, I realize that I was built for comfort, not speed” ~unknown
    • Socks
  • “You are only young once, but you can be immature for a lifetime” ~John P. Grier
  • “Everyone is the age of their heart” ~Guatemalan Proverb
    • Heart Smart Peanuts
  • “You are only old when you think you are old” ~anonymous
    • Suduko and Logic Puzzle books
  • “You are only as old as you feel” ~anonymous
    • Bengay
  • “You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing” ~Michael Pritchard
  • “40 is when your body gives your brain a list of things it’s not going to do anymore” ~anonymous
    • To Do List pads
  • “There is no such thing as too late. That’s why they invented death” ~unknown
  • “Friendship isn’t a big thing, it’s a million little things” ~anonymous
    • 40 Things I Love About Him jar

milestone birthday

  • “Youthfulness is about how you live, not when you were born” ~Karl Lagerfield
  • “At Your age, you are going to need glasses” ~anonymous
    • Book about people in their 40’s

milestone birthday

Each gift was wrapped in either red paper (what I had) or in a gift bag. I used my Tag Makermilestone birthday to make tags for each gift. One side of the tag had the time he was supposed to open the gift and the other side had the quote. He saved every tag. That made me very happy! The night before his birthday, we lined all the presents up against the couch.

milestone birthday

This was so fun to put together! He had fun getting a present every hour. The kids made sure that he opened it right on time and if we happen to be out at one of their many games (lacrosse, soccer and basketball) this weekend, then they made sure he opened what he needed to when we all got back home.

This idea is perfect for any milestone birthday! Use the quotes above or find your own, but the general idea can be geared towards any age. I may do this again for my kids for their big milestone birthday…18! I went ahead and linked a lot of the products I picked up on Amazon for you. A lot of them, like the Yeti cup, for example, are cheaper than what you can get at the store! Plus, I don’t know about you, but I like things to be simple and there is nothing easier than having everything arrive in a box from Amazon!!

Atari Flashback Classics: Volume 2Atari Flashback Classics: Volume 2Giant Jumbo Pink Eraser For Big MistakesGiant Jumbo Pink Eraser For Big MistakesYETI Rambler Lowball 10 oz Stainless Steel Cup with LidYETI Rambler Lowball 10 oz Stainless Steel Cup with LidPotty Putter Toilet Time Golf GamePotty Putter Toilet Time Golf GameThis Is 40This Is 40100 Best Ways to Stay Young100 Best Ways to Stay YoungSeek Publishing 1977 Remember When KardLet (RW1977)Seek Publishing 1977 Remember When KardLet (RW1977)Fiskars Tag Maker II Standard/ScallopFiskars Tag Maker II Standard/Scallop

*This post may contain affiliate links*

Do Not Use Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint

A month or so before Christmas, my husband and I decided to redo our family room. It’s the room in the house that we spend the most amount of time in, so as you can imagine, the carpet, walls and furniture has taken a beating over the last 13 years. Right off the bat, I knew I wanted new carpet, the walls repainted, new furniture and a wood wall. Yep…a wood wall. I had pinned a bunch of ideas and googled where we could get the reclaimed wood from (Home Depot) and we got started. While I will be showing you the amazing transformation of our family room, the main focus on this post will be to tell you why you do NOT want to use Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint.

*This post may contain affiliate links*

Pro Tip…This is the BEST painters tape. We had zero problems with it and will forever use this tape.

FrogTape 1358463 Multi-Surface Painting Tape, Green, 0.94-Inch x 60-Yard RollFrogTape 1358463 Multi-Surface Painting Tape, Green, 0.94-Inch x 60-Yard Roll

Why Shouldn’t You Use Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint?

When we bought our house, 13 years ago, we painted every room the same color with the most inexpensive Behr paint that we could buy. I’m not joking. We bought 5 gallon jugs of it. It did the job and got us in our house quickly. If you could have seen what the house looked like when we bought it. Holy cow…it was stuck somewhere in the 70’s.

This time around, however, everyone told us to use Sherwin-Williams paint. We went to the Sherwin-Williams store near us and talked to the manager. She told us that we definitely wanted to use the Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint. She told us that it was expensive, but worth it with the great coverage and how the finished product looked. So we did it. We bit the bullet, paid the expensive price tag and used the Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint.

Guess what? It’s so not worth the money AT ALL. Look at what happened to our walls…

Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint

See those bubbles? The Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint began bubbling like that on all the walls we painted. As if that wasn’t bad enough, check out what started happening next…

Sherwin-williams emerald paint

All that hard work we put into priming and painting the walls was for nothing. The paint bubbled and then peeled off the walls. When we went back to the store, the manager tried telling us it was an issue with our walls. It’s not. After this happened, I began Googling “Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint” and there are entire websites and messages boards devoted to why people should not use this paint. Wish I would have thought to Google the paint before we did all the work.

Friends don't let friends use bad paint. Tweet to tell them why.Click To Tweet

Did Sherwin-Williams Work with Us?

Thankfully the store was willing to work with us. We told them the paint we wanted to use and then refunded the difference back to us since the paint we wanted to use to fix the walls was A LOT cheaper. This just goes to show that just because something is more expensive and labeled “the best”, it doesn’t mean it is the best. Not to mention, the Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint, according to the manager, is supposed to have a very low odor. So not the case. This was the worst smelling paint I ever used.

If this ever happens to you, do not hesitate to go back to the store with the cans of paint and pictures of what happened. Sherwin-Williams will work with you, as well as Lowes and Home Depot. Despite our struggles with getting this room done, it is now finished and one of my favorite rooms in the house! I highly recommend, if you like that reclaimed wood look, to check out the reclaimed wood at Home Depot. It’s such an easy DIY project!

sherwin-williams emerald paint