Halloween & Christmas Gifts Right Here

I’ve got some fun family gift ideas for you today for both Halloween and Christmas.

You’ve probably seen the PDF files for the Holiday Conversation Cards & Lunchbox Jokes in the Big D &  Me etsy shop – each set is listed for $3.95 (Halloween here, Christmas here)

But today, I’ve got something for you where all of the hard work is done.

Those same PDF files are printed and bagged for you – ready to give as a gift!

The Halloween Set


81 cards come as part of the Halloween set:

36 Conversation Cards – 31 with topics, 5 blank to create your own

36 Lunchbox Joke Cards

9 Lunchbox Halloween Messages





The Christmas Set


72 cards come as part of the Christmas  set:

36 Conversation Cards – 31 with topics, 5 blank to create your own

27 Lunchbox Joke Cards

9 Lunchbox Halloween Messages

Christmas_Conversation_Card_2  Christmas_Jokes




Each set costs $6.00 and ALL SALES go toward FUNDING OUR ADOPTION.

You can find each set here:

Halloween Conversation Cards & Lunchbox Notes – Click Here!

Christmas Conversation  Cards &  Lunchbox Notes – Click Here!

*If you live local, let me know so I can deliver and save you the shipping cost*

Thanks so much!

Sesame Street Scavenger Hunt

In one of the more ironic twists of my life, I am now babysitting for the middle school band instructor.

I know.

Maybe we should not let him or his wife know about all the band bashing that has been going on around here.

Let’s just say that I’m thrilled my son is “making music” and call it done.

The plan is for me to babysit them for 2-4 days each month.

The band director’s children!

The job is great because I can bring my daughter with me on days that she is not in school.

As I was preparing to babysit one day I made a Sesame Street Scavenger Hunt for the 3 year old and my 4 year old to play.

sesamestreetHuntThe girls each had one of the above boards and a crayon which they used to mark off when they found a character. I scattered the cut out characters around the house and let the girls walk around looking for them.


They both loved the activity and played several times since I had brought several extra boards.

I knew Caroline would love it since she loved her Bad Guys Scavenger Hunt at her super hero party.

Click here to download this Sesame Street Scavenger Hunt

For this week’s babysitting entertainment I’m printing out 2 copies of the scavenger hunt board and we’re going to play memory.

Happy Scavenger Hunting!

It’s Here…

It’s here…


as well as 12 pages of band rules…


required parent volunteer hours in the concession booth which requires a food safety class on a Saturday afternoon…


and the herd of dying elephants running through my house at 5 pm everyday.

We’re Off to See the Wizard…

The wonderful wizard of oz!

Because, because, because, because, because…

Because of the wonderful things he does!

This weekend I am taking my family to go see The Wizard of Oz – IMAX 3D!

I know..I’m so excited.

You know who else is so so so so so excited about going to see The Wizard of Oz?

My husband.

Well, maybe not.

I was hoping that by writing it it might come true but no.

Regardless, I’m so excited to show the movie to my kids.

We rarely go to a full priced movie but I think this is worth it – one of the all time best movies, at least in my opinion.

The movie is only playing in our city for one week so if you are interested you might want to check your theater.

I fully expect to come back singing the lollipop guild, somewhere over the rainbow, if I only had a heart, and ding dong the witch is dead, for probably the whole weekend.

If all goes as planned, the kids will be singing too.

My husband? I’m guessing his inner Judy Garland will shine through too 🙂



Anyone for Tennis?

Anyone for tennis?

Wouldn’t it be nice?


My 8 year old has played tennis on and off for the last year and really enjoyed it.


My 4 year old decided she had been carted around to enough sports events and wanted in on the action. After giving her several sports to choose from she started tennis this month.

She just finished up week 4 and she is having tons of fun.


The day before her first lesson we were driving around when I said, “Are you excited for you tennis lesson tomorrow?”



“I wonder who your teacher is going to be at tennis?”

“Nooooooo! Noooooo! I don’t have a teacher!”


What? “Um, Caroline, you will have a teacher for tennis so they can show you what to do.”

“Noooo! I can’t have a teacher.”


“I’m going to have a coach for tennis. Just like the boys.”

“Ohh, okay. Yes, you are going to have a coach.”


After finishing up her first lesson she came and sat by me while waiting for her brother to finish.

“How was your tennis lesson?”

“My coach is great.”


Only 2 more weeks of tennis lessons.

After that she’s on to six weeks of swim lessons.

Which will be, of course, with her swim coach.

Do You Ever…

Do you ever sit down for an hour looking through recipe books, figure out a meal plan for the week, go to the store and buy your groceries, only to return home only to discover that you cannot find your meal plan and have no idea why you have green pears, frozen spinach, and back beans sitting on your counter?



Me neither.

London – Day 1

My sister Kelly gave our Europe trip to my son as a gift so she could share her love of travel with him.

As an added bonus, she let me come too (score!).

Alex and I flew to New Jersey where we met up with my sister who flew in from Chicago. My sister and I didn’t sleep on the plane but Alex did manage to get in 3 hours – thank goodness. Together we all flew to London, arriving at 6:45 am. It was really 12:45 am to our bodies so we were in for a long day. Our plan was to go, go, go until we just couldn’t go any more.

After clearing customs where I was thoroughly questioned – I must look suspicious since the custom agent in Berlin was not impressed by me either – we dropped our bags off at our hotel concierge and went off exploring.

The Bus Tour – this was perfect for tired travelers since we were able to see a lot of sights without having to move too much. Plus, our tour guide was fabulous – funny and informative.

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We arrived 5 days after Prince George was born so there were congratulation signs and messages all over the city. I was supposed to meet up with Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, but unfortunately we could never make our schedules coordinate 🙂


On the first day our mode of transportation was the bus since it was an on/off situation. The rest of our days in London we used the tube or the underground which I love. After the first few rides on the tube my sister and I never looked at the map. My 11 year old enjoyed the underground so much he lead us around everyday saying things like, “We have to take the Marble Arch line to Tottenham Court Road where we switch to the black line and get off on Charing Cross.” It was kind of nice to just trust him and follow.



More sites along the way.

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This controversial blue hen statue sits on a corner of Trafalgar Square as part of a rotating sculpture display. The other three corners are permanent and boring (in my opinion) statues of important figures. I love this idea of rotating art and think this concept would be a wonderful addition to any city.


Typical London, love it.


Outside of St. James Palace, where my good buddies Charles and Camila live.

And also a picture of one of the 8,672 Japanese tour group that we met along the way.


The Parliament building and Big Ben.IMG_0946 IMG_0950

Tower Bridge


The Tower of London – one of my favorite places to visit in London – fascinating – more on this later when we are well rested


City of London School where Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter, went to school.


We’re getting sleepy….


The London Eye – a giant ferris wheel standing 443 ft tall which sits on the River Thames.


Big Ben again!

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Canada Gates in Green Park


Guard outside of Buckingham Palace


Buckingham Palace – where the Queen of England lives most of the year


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Be kind people – at this point we were approaching 27 hours of being awake.


And naturally, almost naked men.


You know, that famous street in London, the “Running in Speedos Lane.”


Apparently this was a fundraiser as the men were collecting money for … pants?


Or maybe it was for children or animals, I don’ know, but I believe it was associated with the London Triathlon which was occurring the next day.

IMG_1046 IMG_1047Once we were all knackered we headed back to the hotel where everyone showered and took a sleep advil at 6:00 pm, thus falling asleep immediately. Not until our alarm woke us at 8:00 am the next day did we move. I guess that’s what 30 straight hours of being awake can do to you.

Until next time, have a bloody wonderful day!

Adoption Letter

We have been pretty open with our kids about the adoption process we are going through – the paperwork we have to fill out, travel arrangements that are to be made, saving our money, and much more. We haven’t sat them down and laid out spreadsheets and timelines but we don’t shield them from the process either.

Well, you never know what they are picking up.

My 4 year old and I went out to check the mail the other day.

She ran ahead and said, “I’ll get the mail.”

Reaching into the mailbox she yelled, “I’ve got an adoption letter!”

“You do?”

“Yes. It says to send money and the baby will come in a crate and then we will love them forever.”

Obviously she has some things correct and others not so much.

We talked about how we are sending money to people so that they can take care of our baby right now and that yes, one day the baby will come home but on an airplane and not in a crate.

At least she has the most important part correct, “we will love them forever.”


Chicken Fried Rice

I recently discovered this recipe for chicken fried rice from Iowa Girl Eats and it’s delish. She has the recipe with step by step pictures instructions which are perfect.



Since I was going for easy one night I used the chicken fried rice which I already had in the fridge along with a bag of frozen chinese food and some frozen egg rolls. While the egg rolls were good the frozen chinese was not. I guess this is not really a surprise.



Dinner is served.