"" The Preppy Strawberry

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back to School


Can you believe it’s September already!?  Today, was the first day of school and let’s just say I’m glad we have the first day behind us!  Last night was a late night and this morning was an early morning!  This is the first year that Lilly really had a hard time falling asleep – you know worried about where to sit on the bus as a 3rd grader, Who should she sit with on the bus?  hmm….I  wish that’s all I  had to worry about in day but I know to an 8 year old these are important concerns and are a big deal to her! 

I don’t know about you but Summer is one of my favorite months but as a working Mom I really love the routine the school year brings! This Summer Lilly had the opportunity to swim on the swim team at the swim club and she loved it!  She even asked us if she could swim on the winter swim team.  So along with making the competition dance team again she has also joined the winter Penguins swim team!  This fall she will start to swim down at the University.   I’m so happy she is willing to explore new teams and try out new groups – especially excited she wanted to try  winter swim team!  My goal for her is to have at least one activity outside of school that is her “thing”  something that she’s passionate about and provides her sense of belonging to something outside of school.  Plus, I think it’s important to teach them how to manage things outside of school so when they get to high school or college they can learn to budget their time to work, belong to groups or a team as well as make that commitment to school work. 

So now as move into Fall which is my 2nd favorite season –  Some of my favorite things about fall are
1.) I love the fall morning and nights (as long as we have a good Fall weather)
2) I love fall clothes!  Jeans and sweaters
3) it's football season.
I’m really looking forward to this fall and hope that we can continue with some fun weekends! 

A week before school started I had to take some vacation days because the college babysitter returned to college and my mom had teacher meetings .  So one morning Lilly and I headed out to take some 8 year old pictures and back to school pictures ……  I really can not believe I have a 3rd grader!  I swear if I blink she’s going to be in Middle school! 




back to school collageREV
A look back over the past few years….

one another note….
It’s been awhile since I posted here and honestly, life just got the best of me this spring.  Hopefully, some of it’s under control and that I will start to have more energy to do things after work.  This Spring I honestly, hit a wall – I mean literally had zero energy after work and it took everything I had to get through my work day only knowing that once I was done with work my day still wasn’t over – I still had to help Lilly with homework, run her to activities, make dinners, and everything else that comes with running household.  For the past 8 years, I have been fighting Hypothyroidism and I knew after I had Lilly and went back to work that something was not right with my body.  My friends used to tease me and call me the energizer bunny – I would work 8-10 hours a day and then head out to happy hours (the good-ol single days!) The next day , I would be up bright and early and function like I had a full nights sleep and didn’t just consume 6 martini's!  Ahh, those were the good-old days!

It wasn’t until Lilly was 5 years old that I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism but on top of that I also found out that I have an autoimmune disease that causes my own body to kill my thyroid  function.   Guess, that answers my lack of energy and why I just never really felt like myself after having Lilly.   This Spring I hit a wall again and knew something was off and I was right!  So after an increased dose of medicine and some other changes I finally feel like I have some extra energy.   So my lack of energy makes me lose my drive – while I might have completed some fun projects the effort to put them together in a post was an exhausting task to think about and well that’s why I haven’t posted much here since the Spring.    So far with the medicine changes and changes to my diet and commitment to some exercise goals that I will get back to my old self and sharing some fun projects!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Earth Day Activities for Kids




Tomorrow is Earth day – Do you have any fun activities or projects planned for Earth Day?  I’m going to share with you some past earth day projects.  The following activities will help promote creating objects from recycled materials and even get you and your kids to spend more time outdoors!  I’m sure after this past Winter we are all looking for more reasons to spend time outside!


Recycled Flower Garden


Egg Carton Wreath



Recycled Scrapbooks




You can find more ideas on my Earth Day Pinterest board here …  

What do you do to celebrate Earth Day?  If you have some ideas to share comment below so others can enjoy your ideas! 


Happy Earth Day!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ten on Ten–March 2014

I’m so happy it’s March!  This Winter has been nothing but brutal and it doesn’t seem to want to give us much of a break!  Today, we hit about 56 degrees which by the way in Ohio is a heat wave!!!  But it’s just a tease because the weather people are calling for snow and maybe up to 6 or more inches come Wednesday this week! 

Winter – I’m so over you!  Just give Spring a chance ;) :)

So onto my Ten on Ten – It’s been a while since I linked up to 10 on 10 but figured it was a great way to get back into the swing of things.  You can read more about Ten on Ten Right over at A bit of Sunshine


Life gets really busy and my focus has been on a lot more things around the house and work and well playing taxi drive for my daughter.  We have now entered into the crazy season of dance competition.  I’m tossing myself to the wolves on this one but We’ve been involved with worse activities so I’m pretty sure I can grasp the ropes of dance competitions. 

So here‘s a peak into my day ….



See that time – 7:20 my hair was wet; Lilly still needed to brush her teeth and hair and be outside on the porch by 7:30!!!  Yup, I had a conference call at 7:30 but I had to be ready to walk out the door right after my call.  Some days, I really do not know how I do it?!  Some how her and I manage to make it all work – running a little behind was thanks to Spring Ahead and me not being able to fall asleep last night.


conference call 

7:30 Conference calls – I really do not mind early conference calls but these just so happen to fall in the 5 min window of Lilly’s bus coming and I have to watch her get on the bus.  My calls last about 1 1/2 hours so I can’t really just run her up to school after.  But notice the screen shot … My manager listed out the basics of good attitude which can be applied to a lot and I can even relate these to my One Little Word. 



Best money spent on my Sirius XM radio subscription –  right after I picked up my Dunkin Donuts coffee and started out in my territory this oldie but goodie came on!  Milli Vanilli – reminds me of the summer and hanging out at the swim club with all my friends in HS. 



I pretty much eat lunch on the go in my car – Today, only breakfast came on the go with me but I stopped for some Hummus.  I picked up the large container because last time my husband was mad I didn’t have enough to share … hehe! Oops!  Oh well , took care of that this time. 


view out my roof

you know 56 degrees in Ohio – time to open the sun roof!  Yes, that is the sun and it wasn’t freezing here today!  woo hoo!!  I will take total advantage of these almost Spring Days!



made a little lunch time purchase – I love photography! I took two year of photography in school and loved every minute of it! 


picked Lilly up from after school and headed home – Barkley finally got some play time out side! 


lilly bike

Yes, the bike made it’s 2nd appearance today since being put away for the Winter.  See that sun – yes it’s really the sun!!!




made meximelts for dinner – I will share the recipe this week!  Super easy for the busy nights!



and we ended the long day with a reading and taking a test. We are still playing catch up from missing 4 days of school last week.  Phew!  One more test to do and we will be all caught up! ;)



Happy Ten on Ten ! 


Monday, February 10, 2014

Valentine Ideas

It’s so hard to believe that Valentines Day is Friday!  I feel like another year is starting to fly right by again {sigh}  

Today, I am sharing with you some past Valentines Day projects. …. click the title link for the blog post

Valentine Day Box Ideas

Rainbow Loom Valentine Day Box

Rainbow loom

Valentine Day Purse Box

Simple Preschool Valentines Day box -- I bought the cardboard box purse at Joann’s and let Lilly decorate it all up with stickers and pom poms.  We  even put a picture of her in the heart.  Looking back at the picture I can’t believe how much she has grown up! { Please stop time…  she’s growing up so fast}


OWL Valentine Day Box 

– This box we made for Lilly’s Kindergarten Valentine Box


Tie Dye Valentine Day T-shirt



Easy Kids Valentines Day Art Project

Valentines Day Kids Art Project { The Preppy Strawberry}


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tips for staying organized

Keeping track of every last appointment, dance class, gymnastics, swimming,  and my work schedules can be is exhausting!  Even with all of today’s technology, I still love my paper planner!  Honestly, this love for a paper planner goes all the way back to 1997 at my first official FT job out of college.   My employer had us take this Franklin Covey class – let me tell you this was the best thing I took from that job!  I still today use the Franklin Covey principles when I’m making a to do list.  Don’t get me wrong,  I also depend on my iPhone for my 2 hour alerts before an appointment.  

Last year, I went with just one planner and it was just for my blog but it became bogged down with more personal stuff taking over my calendar than blog stuff so this year I’m trying something different.  This year, I put together  two planners – One for all my personal every day responsibilities and one just for blog planning and brainstorming. The blog planner also includes stuff for both of my blogs and business website which are all in the works of being revamped and re-designed.  This year my goal is to keep notes on what works for me in these planners and as the year goes on make my own printable for next year.

Organizing the To Do list

If your to do list is anything like mine it never ends even on the weekends!  I’m going to share with you how I prioritize my daily task list.   Now, this works for me but may not work best for you or  you might find this tip helpful. It might even be something you try for week and see if it works!  

If your not familiar or never used one of the Franklin Covey Planners here’s what I mean about prioritizing your daily task.  The concept behind the daily prioritized task list is make your list of things you need to complete and then you rank them in order of importance.  I love this approach because you go into each day with the feeling that  it’s Ok if the list doesn’t get completed that day because the next day these become your priority.  You keep doing this every day because we all know the list never ends ;) 

I loved the Franklin Covey planner pages so much that in my early career days, I purchased 2 Franklin leather binders – I still have them and every time I get into the “pitch” mode they seem to make the cut!  Probably because of how expensive they were to buy and I keep thinking I’m going to use it again. 

Once you have your to list you will rank it – this is the Franklin Covey Method that I use and have used for a long time. 

A = The most valuable things you could accomplish today
B = Important, but they could wait if necessary
C = Would be nice to get done, but they won't lose value if postponed


symbol list

franklin covey sample



This year, I purchased both blog planners from Jennifer at I heart organizing.  Her planners are so colorful – I just love all the colors and I had a hard time choosing the cover to my personal planner.  You can find her etsy shop here and her blog here.  

I made a few additions to my blog planner.   I ended up adding a few pages that were not included in her planner but below is a look inside my 2014 blog planner.   It was so easy to put together and once I had it assembled I took it to Office Max to have them spiral bind them all up!


blog planner cover - The Preppy Strawberry

Cover page for Blog Planner

blog planner cover - The Preppy Strawberry

Sample Calendar Pages for 2014


blog planner cover - The Preppy Strawberry


blog planner cover - The Preppy Strawberry


blog planner cover - The Preppy Strawberry


blog planner cover - The Preppy Strawberry



Some pages from my personal planner


blog planner cover - The Preppy Strawberry

My favorite planner markers …. I like to color code ;)


blog planner cover - The Preppy Strawberry

Each week has it own planning week so you can just see that one week!! 

blog planner cover - The Preppy Strawberry

I added the meal planning pages in addition to the regular planner because I need to be better about meal planning for the week.  I’m hoping this will help. 


How do you stay organized? 



Monday, January 27, 2014

No Bake chocolate peanut butter bars


The Preppy Strawberry - Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars


With the Super Bowl and Valentines Day fast approaching today, I’m going to share with you an easy No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter bars!  You only need 5 ingredients… Yes I said 5 ingredients!  It’s been while since I’ve made these bars but after being cooped up the past few weeks, I was craving something sweet!  I made these this weekend and they were a hit!  I guess, you can say we are all craving comfort food – good thing for my spinning class I’m heading to later – Time to burn off all these treats! 

I love anything No Bake and these Chocolate Peanut Bars seriously taste just like a Reese Cup.   You will need some will power  – hard to just eat one! 


The Preppy Strawberry Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars Recipe



  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups graham crackers (crushed in a food processor)  I use about 2 packages of graham crackers
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup + 4T reduced fat creamy peanut butter (or regular peanut butter I just used the reduced fat)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips = one bag of chips


  1. Mix together the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, powdered  sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter – mix until well blended
  2. press mixture into bottom of 13 X 9 pan – ungreased
  3. microwave your chocolate chips with the 4T of peanut butter.  Stir every 30 seconds until melted
  4. spread the melted chocolate over top of the graham cracker layer
  5. refrigerate for at least an hour – I find that it’s better to allow 2 hours for the bars to completely set. 








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