Friday, May 1, 2015

Teacher gifts

With the school year coming to a close. I'm always looking for a nice, easy, affordable teacher's gift to thank Bubba's teachers for putting up with him (though I'm told he's an angel most days). Check these out:

What I did was take a washcloth that I knitted, fold it in a triangle and then wrap it around the top of a Dawn Dish soap that I picked up from the Dollar Tree. Who doesn't need dish soap or new wash cloths?

What are some of your ideas??

Friday, January 30, 2015

Chicken Stock

I love chicken stock. I mean seriously, I think there is something healing about it. It's just plain old yummy!

And the best part is, it's super easy to make. I mean, crazy easy. I take my bones, leftover from a chicken roaster or the $5 rotisserie chickens, toss them in the slow cooker, cover with water, turn on low, and let it sit for a day or 2. Strain, add more water and repeat. Seriously, I find that I can get about 4-5 slow cooker's worth of stock out of 1 set of bones. 

Talk about getting bang for your dollar. I freeze it in yogurt containers, then thaw when I'm ready to use. Our favorite application (other than soup) is for rice or Polenta....mmmmm.....Yep good stuff, and like no work.

Sometimes I even add my vegetable scraps to the slow cooker as time goes and I prep food at home. Onion ends, carrot peels and tops, celery pieces....the sky's the limit and it just adds to the flavor. This is one of my husband's favorite uses of the slow cooker. When we run out of stock he instantly asks when the next time we are having chicken it :) 

Friday, January 23, 2015

First Hair Cuts

As a mom of boys you wouldn't think this is a tough subject, but let me tell you. It's HARD. I mean the first hair cut is almost like a right of passage or something. I feel like after that haircut I move from mom of a baby to mom of a toddler, even if he has been toddling around for months now.

But seriously, the kid changes before your eyes. Trouble went from baby, with cute little baby curls, to toddler. I mean I think he grew about 4 inches. But it was time. The kid is almost 18 months old and I really put it off long enough.

Check out that curl!

Sooo much hair!

Moms of boys, how long do you put off haircuts? Am I just overly sentimental (I know I am, this is totally rhetorical).

Monday, January 19, 2015


Bubba has a love of pancakes. Not just any pancakes...chocolate chip pancakes. I mean seriously. He LOVES them.

I wish I could say that he loves them because he love my recipe (I gave up pancake mix 5 years ago), but no. I know the truth. He's a chocoholic, just like his momma. Yep....Here is what happens when you go to change a diaper and turn your back for 5 minutes...okay 10, it was a pretty messy diaper.

Happy Monday friends. Hope you got a nice smile.

My pancake recipe. Mix each ingredient in the order listed then rest the pancake batter for 5-10 minutes (if you can wait that long):

1 cup sour milk or buttermilk
1 egg
1 T oil
1 c flour (1/3 wheat, 2/3 white)
1 T sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

Friday, January 16, 2015


So it's really important to read your food labels. Not just to know what is in your food. But to be aware of the portion size. I know this. I practice this. I've had a lot of success losing weight with this. But today in my haste I overlooked this small factor. Ahhh well. Wh

Snow Days

Snow Days. The bane of my existence. When did these days of childlike joy turn to dread?

When my child was enrolled in school.

I'm sure your asking yourself why? I mean my children are perfect angels all of the time, right?? Insert sarcastic laugh here.

I have learned to love and look forward to my afternoons with only one child at home (who naps most of the time). And as much as I truly LOVE my 4, almost 5, year old, I love him at school...He has a zest for life, and energy that sometimes just wears me down so quickly when we are cooped up in the house due to unfavorable road conditions. And heaven forbid I send him out in the neighborhood alone....a topic for another day.

That's one reason snow days in our house have been nicknamed Preschool Mom Days. I need to focus his energy on something positive. Not to mention I hate the idea of him losing an entire day (all 2.5 hours of it) of learning. Typically it's no where near as long as his normal preschool time, but I've found that he loves these set aside times. And this week he actually requested one of our activities, a repeat from last year.

Preschool Mom Days typically consist of a few different activities, some of them building on skills I know he is learning in the classroom. Cutting practice. Writing practice. Workbooks. Story books. Science experiments. Art projects. Baking cookies. All are fair game. I've found that Pinterest is my best friend on these intentional fun days.

Here are some highlights of our most recent Preschool Mom Day. Hopefully you could be inspired ;)

Popcorn Dancing

We mixed water with baking soda and added a few kernels of popcorn then added white vinegar and watch the magic happen. I was skeptical at first as the kernels didn't do anything, but once we tapped the sides of the container the kernels started dancing. Both Bubba and Trouble found it pretty interesting.

Writing Practice

This was fairly straight forward as we used a writing mat and he traced all the letters that he's learned in school thus far and the letters in his name. Just once, but that seemed to be enough and he was pretty proud of himself and enjoyed showing off his new skill.

Bathtub Art

We used shaving cream mixed with food coloring and just let the boys go to town, Bubba enjoyed this a little more that Trouble, but they both enjoyed the bath afterwards (a major perk for me). This was the requested messy activity.

How do you survive a Snow Day?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Freezer Meals

     This coming week I have the pleasure of going to a freezer meal exchange. Tonight was prep night. Funny that I made dinner to freeze and the family enjoyed leftovers. Guess who still got stuck cooking and cleaning up after cooking...yep...this girl. But let me tell you how seriously awesome this is. IT ROCKS! Why? Because I do the work for 1 meal, double...errr...quadruple the recipe, and I come home with totally different meals, that I didn't have to prep. Plus I can buy all my supplies in bulk. And as the holidays are coming on us that is one less meal a week that I have to stress about, and I think we all could use a little less stress around the holidays.
     So how does this freezer meal exchange work? Well, My group takes a count of how many individuals want to participate, and then you make that many meals, freeze in 1 gallon Ziplock bags, and meet for some well deserved mommy time out while you exchange your meals. Easy-peasy. There are other ways of doing it, but this works for us and our group number.
     I believe the toughest part is deciding what you would like to make and can afford to make for a group. Last time my meals worked out to about $10 a meal. Not too bad. And the seriously great part is that you get to try out all sorts of different recipes without having to do much of the work. Some are home runs for the entire family, some are not. And that's part of the fun.

 So here are some tips I have for you:

1. When making a large quantity (in other words multiplying your recipe by 8-10) try to do your mixing in the bag of each individual portion. Less dishes, and lets be honest, I do not have a bowl big enough to mix 20 cups of rice, nor a spoon strong/long enough.

 2. Make something that you know your family will like. That way you know you have at least 1 meal that your kids will eat.

 3. Freeze your bags flat or folded in half. It takes up less freezer space that way, and folded in half is easier to put into the crockpot when the meal is frozen. Also freeze with cloth between the bags so that they don't stick together.

 4. Make sure that you can read your label. Either print the directions onto stickers or double bag and slide the instructions in between the bags if your food is dark (I learned this lesson the hard way when I made Mexican chicken rice bowls and just wrote on the bag with brown sharpie...oops). It's okay to write with sharpie, just make sure that it will be easy to read with the color of your food. And on that note, label before you fill the bags. Trust me on this one.

 5. Don't be afraid to try something new. It's good for you and good for your family.

 6. Make an extra if you can. That way you are set and prepared for when you are taking a meal to a friend after surgery or having a baby or whatever hardship may befall someone in your life.

Oh and on a side note: A rotisserie chicken from Costco yields about 4-5 cups of family will be eating a ton of chicken in the future. Praise God it freezes!

Are you inspired to try this out with your friends?