Welcome to Mom1st4most

Hi👋, I am a wife and mother of two wonderful children ages 6 and 3.  Oh and can’t forget our 3-year-old fur baby.  I am starting this blog to share my journey of this incredibly important role in my family.

I look forward to connecting with other parents on the same path in life and hope to give some new ones the confidence needed to enjoy the ups and survive the downs of marriage/parenthood.  My blog posts will primarily contain tips on parenting, homeschooling, and homemaking.  Some things may seem like common sense, but when you are sleep deprived you would be surprised at just how foggy your thinking can become.  Not everyone has family support to lend a hand or friendly advice…I know I didn’t.  That is one reason why I decided to start this blog, even if one post helps one person it will be worth it.  Until next time…

Take care ❤

40+ Verses to Help Your Spirit

With so many suffering around the world today, let’s remind ourselves of the truth. Let us push aside fear and strengthen our faith. Know that across the world someone is praying for your preservence. I am sure many are praying for you.

Some may try to fool you into thinking prayer is useless, that there is no God, and that the Bible is fictitious. I challenge you to spend time in prayer and reading the Bible. Sure some parts of the book are difficult to comprehend or swallow, but do not let that stop you.  I pray you feel some sense of comfort, hope, love, or peace after reading the scriptures below.

If you enjoyed spending time in God’s word, but do not have a Bible Dollar Tree sells them for a dollar plus tax. Even better download the free YouVersion Bible App where you have access to the Bible in different versions including Easy to Read Version. There are also devotional plans for pretty much every possible situation. You can even invite friends to join a plan so that you can all discuss it. All images with scripture in this post came from YouVersion, some were created by them and some were created by myself using the app.

Until next time,

Pray🙏

Spreading Love

This is such an easy, cute activity to do with children and just in time for Valentine’s Day! The idea came from my 1st grader’s Children’s Church. It is a great visual to show God’s intentions for love.

You will need just 5 items….

-ink pen

-red marker

-paper towel

-cup

-water

Fill the cup up about a fourth of the way. On the paper towel draw a large heart and several smaller hearts nearby using the ink pen. Now fill in the large heart with red marker. This one represents God’s love for us.

Now place the bottom of the paper towel in the cup of water.

After a several minutes, your young ones will witness how we can share and spread love with others.

As the smaller hearts are filled the large one turns white again so I took the lesson a step further. It is so important to continuously spend time in prayer, scripture, and worship. Because that is how Christian hearts stay full.

I recently read a quote that resonated with me to my core. Our family’s spiritual life has been so enriched since serving our church, but I’m suddenly at a low and this was right on time.

YOU’RE 👏WORTHY 👏OF 👏A 👏FULL 👏CUP☕

Sorry to be extra, but it is so true! I hope you enjoy doing this simple activity with the kiddos. Until next time, take care💞

Merry Almost Christmas🎄

Hey there😀

It’s been awhile. We have been some busy bees🐝 Well sick bees too…nothing serious…just the flu, sinus infections, and upper respiratory virus. That’s right… (Oprah voice) you get a virus and you get a virus and you get a virus. 🎉

Needless to say, we have been home alot and needed to bring some extra holiday cheer.

Now for the fun stuff! Being the weather here is usually yucky at this time and we only have a 4 foot tree, the inflatables stay indoors for our littles to enjoy. First, we started with Unicorn Ring Toss!

Next, our 6 year old played ring toss on Chase’s ear while our 3 year old tried tossing rice sacks in his wreath. Festive, fun, and great games for hand eye coordination.

If you are tired of all the paper towel roll crafts, try this. We made snowmen ornaments using old glasses lenses. Maybe you have an old pair laying around somewhere. Sunglass lenses may even work. We found our lenses at a recycling center downtown for .25 cents a piece.

These are just a couple of activities we are using to pass the time until we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Of course we have been drinking hot cocoa and watching a few Christmas movies. Besides the holiday episodes on common children’s stations we have a couple of new favorites. The Star🌟 is an adorable movie about the Journey of Jesus’ birth told by Bo a donkey that belongs to Mary and Joseph. It has adorable characters and we are absolutely in love with the soundtrack! We also discovered a series called Bible Adventures from the kid devotionals on the YouVersion Bible App. You can also find them on Youtube.

To boost morale around here we have also been going through a season of digital detox and it is amazing. Yes we watch a movie here and there and I’m on here now, but other than that no more face in a screen(even if it is timed & educational).

Another change of season is we aren’t buying toys. We have found toys just get dumped and thrown around. The things our kids want and the things they actually enjoy are not toys. They love things to do so we are focusing on that. No more battery operated toys because:

1. Cost

2. Overstimulating

3. No Safe Disposal

If your kids are like mine. Focus on things for building-legos, foam blocks, magnatiles/formers. Family board games, wooden puzzles, look & find books, or art supplies are great options as well. Even better if you can find a gift that also gives! For example, Cuddle & Kind provides artisans in Peru jobs making heirloom quality stuffed animals that help feed children. Now that is the spirit of Christmas!

Well if you made it this far, haha, bless you! Happy holidays, whether you celebrate Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or Christmas. Rejoice🙌a savior is born👑

Wholesome Halloween

Parenthood comes with so many decisions. Suddenly, we are faced with deciding how our beliefs play out in today’s society. So one of my opinions (and it is okay if you disagree) is that our children are being exposed to many things before they are emotionally capable of processing the situations. That is one reason we stay in for Halloween. I cannot control the numerous houses and lawns covered in gory decorations so now that I have little ones we chose to stay in and have a more wholesome age-appropriate Halloween. By avoiding the frightful imagery we will surely have a good night’s sleep. If you think staying in is a weird tradition, let’s talk about the fact that we teach our children, “do not take candy from strangers”…except one night a year when they are dressed like death💀lol.

1. Food

To keep the holiday cute for the littles we make some themed food. Above are last year’s boo-cumbers, which are sliced cucumbers topped with laughing cow cheese spread and olives to make a face. Below is a picture of our jack-o-lantern and holy ghost pizzas.

Of course, we don’t want to miss out on the sweet part of the night. So our no trick treats are Rolo sprinkle pretzel spiders.

2. Activities

Dress Up-the kids have their everyday costumes clothes they pick from firefighter, superhero, doctor, fairy, princess, etc.

Painting-from paper to pumpkins to faces, we paint it all.

Movie-pick your favorite Halloween/Fall show to watch with the family. Our tradition is to watch Spookley the Square Pumpkin. This adorable show is age-appropriate for little ones with teachable moments of appreciating differences and living courageously.

3. Reading

Like most parents, we end the majority of our days reading as part of our bedtime routine. Some Halloween/Fall books that we enjoy are…

I love you, Little Pumpkin

Pumpkin Countdown

Mom, Why Don’t We Celebrate Halloween?

The Berenstain Bears’ Harvest Festival

5 Things Strangers Should Stop Asking Children!

IMO, that’s short for In My Opinion. You probably already knew that, but hey let me have this lol. Anyway, I think there is nothing wrong with friendly strangers. Saying hello to my children is fine, but sometimes things should stop there. Maybe a how are you today? Afterall most are just nice people not met yet rather than strangers. So I feel a little bad when our children clamor a bit when asked for personal information making things awkward. On the other side if we think about it we were all taught at some point to be leary of strangers.

1. What’s your name?

Seriously if you are an adult that will probably never see my family again then there is no reason for you to know my child’s name. Maybe I’m just jealous because ya’ll never ask my name😜. FYI many schools now advise not putting your child’s name in plain sight because it is a potential risk for abduction. So don’t take it personally.

2. How old are you?

This one is not a big deal unless in times where people are obviously trying to judge my parenting. My children have always been on the tall side for their age group. People sometimes inquired about their age in a caddy way, like if I spoke to them in simple words or if they were throwing a tantrum. Once a woman asked why my daughter wasn’t in her Kindergarten class that day. My response was, “Well she isn’t even 4 yet sssooo…”

3. What school do you go to?

Due to child abductions, this is obviously something we teach our children not to share with strangers. Mine are homeschooled so we really don’t have to worry about that, but giving that answer will bring on a whole new set of questions not to ask.

4. Want some _______ (insert food/drink)?

Another thing we teach our kids is not to take food from strangers. Now there is the decision to offend the stranger or confuse the child. Besides, you could be offering a child something they are allergic too. You don’t know so try to ask the parent first, please.

5. What are you dressing up for on Halloween? So you don’t trick or treat? Do you even know what that is?

Shocker!! Not everyone feels the need to follow the crowd. It does not make us bigots or them candy deprived. Last time I checked we live in America and can freely choose our beliefs/lifestyle. Which for some reason offends many yet affects no one. Last year our daughter was drilled with these questions by a shoe store employee and I was so glad that she had every answer for the invasively curious woman.

Unfortunately, though we are now forced to participate in this new thing called being “boo’d.” Who the heck decided moms need more to add to their to-do list? If you don’t know what it is someone creeps over to your house and anonymously leaves a bucket of scary toys, candy, etc. Included is a note…

: exasperated sigh :

…with directions. Because moms again need more things to do. The directions are to make 2 (not 1, but TWO) sets of copies of the letters to curse, I mean BOO 2 other families with buckets and goodies I am now expected to purchase. No. Just noooo! I’m not using my time, paper, ink, and money to insue in this madness. Guess I’m the Ebenezer of Halloween👻 BOOhumbug!

My apologies for getting a bit off-topic and I hope I didn’t make any enemies here. My posts are always meant to inspire or expand perception…not to put down opposing views. I’m for everyone living YOUR best life! K, pumpkin🎃

In my next post, I will share our untraditional Halloween traditions.

‘Til then, take care❤

Favorite books this season…

Root System Craft

Being that Sugarcane is a pretty important crop around here I wanted to create a craft to go with our agricultural lesson. We rinsed out and recycled some of our to-go cups so the project was low cost. In just a few easy steps we had a craft showing not only the stalk and leaves, but what is growing underground drinking water and collecting nutrients from the soil.

What you will need:

-styrofoam cup

-straw

-yellow & brown paint

-tape

-green construction paper

-small jute string

We did the painting first to allow drying time. Paint the straw (or stalk) yellow.

Now paint the cup and lid brown. Put them aside to dry.

Next, unravel some jute to make some roots.

Cut up your green construction paper into smaller rectangles. Then cut about half inch slits for leaves.

Once the cups and straws are dry, pass the straw through the lid. You may need to touch up some yellow paint because it flakes a bit. Wrap the construction paper around the straw and tape in place. Gently fan out leaves by bending a few of them back.

Last, slide jute inside of the bottom of the straw and attach it with tape. There you have it! Both my 6-year-old and almost 3-year-old were able to make this craft without much help. So if you decide to try this it can be a pleasant activity for a variety of ages.

Like this activity? Please let me know. I would greatly appreciate it.

Take care❤

Little People, BIG Emotions-7 tips

1. The Art of Distraction

If ever there is a time to be grateful for short attention spans of a child it is during a fit. Something as simple as making an interesting noise, silly face, or singing a song can stop the loud teary tantrum in its tracks. Once the child is calm then “talking it out” will be more effective.

2. Restore Peace

It’s hard to restore peace if you allow the chaotic energy to strike a nerve. I really try my best not to yell because it’s not good for any of us, but let’s face it sometimes screaming children cannot hear you. Taking a couple of calming breaths before speaking can help. I actually started using that exact phrase in our home when the kids start bickering… “restore peace.” They get the general idea of peace from our Bible studies. Another little thing that may be working is the present I received for Mother’s Day, a Peace Lily Plant. Every week we had one or two leaves yellow and wilt. Remembering what I heard about some essential oil crops that workers are instructed not to curse or speak negatively around the flowers. I told the children they may be harming the plant with their arguing. Now when a fight breaks out I just say, “Shh, the plant may turn yellow again.” Hey, the leaves have been greener so who’s to say?

3. Calm Conversation

Once peace is restored open up a calm conversation. Reminding your child not of their actions, but of the situation. Then give positive examples of how they can react the next time that happens.

i.e. Throws fit about spilling their bowl of food.

Accidents happen so if you ever spill your food again just say, “help please.” And I will help clean it and get you more, ok?

4. Intentional T.V.

Children are sensitive beings. They imitate what the see and play off of the vibe in the room. So make sure you are aware of any shows or games they watch or play. As a matter of fact, a couple months ago, I downloaded a super cute pet game for our newly 6-year-old. It had an ad in it about a killer clown! Shame on my ignorance I guess, but I thought kid’s games=kid’s ads. (Nope😟) So a lot of prayers and an intentional Christian DVD called “Don’t Be Afraid” later, she finally stopped thinking about it. Poor Sweetpea. So good clean music, movies, games=better vibes & happier lives.

5. Pray Together

Growing up my mom taught us to recite a few prayers at night, but that is really as far as prayer and faith went. I am grateful that my husband carried saying “grace” at mealtimes into our family from his. And when the kiddos are afraid of bad weather (or clowns eeks) we pray that God takes away our fears and makes us brave. Then we ask for protection and thank Him for our shelter. It not only helps for the moment but in the long run when life throws curve balls they will know what to do.

6. Kid Devotionals

We just started doing these in class opposed to just the simple verse of the month. It provides more of a thought-provoking conversation. Another new routine has been reading children’s devotionals on the YouVersion Bible App at night. It is family time spent we look forward to now.

7. Worship

Yesss🙌Praise JESUS! There are a few of our favorite songs that we randomly sing throughout the day. Training the mind and spirit to focus on what we do have is a blessing. Living with a grateful heart is a gift to be joyfully lived and shared. Let’s remember to let His light shine in our home which He has given. Amen! Rejoice!

TESTimony

Though my journey dates way back to early childhood I will start this particular Testimony in 2019. Anticipating the Lenten season where going to further lengths to draw close to Jesus is the main objective. In hindsight, my excitement caused a classic rookie mistake…making my own plans.

Not being “trained up,” I had been studying, growing, and putting into practice, but now I wanted to offer a grande gesture to contribute to glorifying God. I wanted to create a Lenten Special Podcast with my husband. The bonus would be spending extra time with my spouse since his job and our littles can create an unwanted, but necessary distance. I imagined by the end of it we would come out closer to each other and closer to God while helping others be become closer to Him. What a win-win-win!

When I informed God of my decision. I asked Him to reveal some things to me because I am not always trusting of human answers and I don’t want to just repeat things without knowing for sure. To be completely honest I was a bit so skeptical of how much of the Bible was legit. See in the book Fervent Priscilla Shirer writes about “the enemy” and his wicked ploys. She did an incredible job explaining a side of spirituality not many cover.

However, after reading the book I was left wondering, “Is it all the enemy or does everloving God really test and punish us?” After asking the man upstairs, weeks later came a very trying and confusing Lenten season. I can now with confidence say that He does indeed test us and allow punishment/consequences to happen to us. He is, after all, a parent, “Our Father.”

This was the revelation after being for lack of better words, but extremely accurate…butt hurt. I’m not proud of the shortfall from grace feeling that way and sort of lost. That is how real relationships work though and we should seek to have the real thing with God. Why did I feel that way? Well, Lent was full of marital misunderstandings and everyone in the house took turns being sick. Feeling deserted when I wanted to become closer than ever with the Lord. I prayed for protection from the “enemy” beforehand. Why was she allowed to reak havoc in our home?

On Good Friday I stepped out of the garage to see double rainbows very clear and near. A reminder of His promises! I was not deserted. Refilled with hope, I reflected. Remembering my prophetic dream of my son vomiting white salt. From what I researched it seemed an omen of illness with the salt representing purification. Thankfully I told my husband about the dream because I would have sounded crazy after the fact. The following night my son indeed got sick. Then one by one we all did and some of us twice.

What a miserable Lenten season, but I suppose I asked for it to be. At the end…

Q. Why was the podcast not blessed?

A. “I never asked you to do that.” -God

R. Sometimes we try to run in a direction not meant for us. He reminded me this journey is a walk with Jesus, not a race even if it is meant to bring Him glory. He has plans for us that can’t be forced…in his time.

(Ecclesiastes 3:1, Colossians 1:16, Psalm 33:11, Romans 8:28)

The beautiful view from our garage Good Friday 2019🌈🌈 (Genesis 9)

And that is just the beginning of this year’s testimony!

Until next time…

Reflect💭Repent/Pray🙏Praise🙌

Take Care❤

Bookin’ good!

I am so excited to have two books that have been in the works FINALLY in the Amazon Bookstore😀 As a busy mom it has been quite the task carving out time to work on this little writer’s dream of mine, but I truly enjoy the process!

About the books…

#1 First up is a short tale inspired by the classic children’s book and my life growing up as a country girl. Three Cajun Pigs were brothers and neighbors who had eachother’s backs when Dawolf pursued them one day. Enjoy getting to know the characters and having a chuckle with the whole family.

#2 Well it’s no secret people down south have a love for food and family. One of the best feelings is having loved ones gathered at the table enjoying one of my recipes. Fueling the Cape Cookbook is an excellent choice for inexperienced cooks or busy parents. The title was inspired by my little ones of course. They love playing super heroes and well that takes fuel.

Thanks for dropping by and as always…

Take care❤

7 Tips for Storm Prep

Since natural disasters can happen at any moment it is good to be prepared both mentally and physically. It is helpful to think of storm prep in a fire drill type aspect since weather can be so unpredictable, causing panic at the last minute. Here are some preparation tips:

  1. Fluids-Obviously, right? The suggested amount of water is approximately a gallon a day per person for 3 days (two weeks if possible). Just make sure to store it in a good place because if flooding occurs even unopened water will need to be thrown out. Because water has a good shelf life why not stay stocked up in advance, as opposed to fighting the crowds to find empty pallets? If you do find yourself in a bind, go for juices and meal replacement drinks with low added sugar since sugars can assist in dehydration. It is also suggested to fill tubs and sinks with water for washing dishes, bathing, and flushing the toilets.
  2. Food-For this last Tropical Storm, I passed the empty sections of aisles where bread and Vienna Sausage used to be. People looked nervous about what to eat. While those are classic hurricane foods, this is a time when it is a plus the number of processed foods that are on the shelves. Especially if you own a non-electric can opener and bbq pit. This makes heating up things like beans easy. You could also warm water to cook things like oatmeal or mac-n-cheese. A small generator can make using small appliances such as a crockpot and panini press easy. Because of power outages, heat, and humidity, you may not feel like cooking much. Chilled foods, such as yogurt or boiled eggs, are nutritious options as well if you plan on having an ice chest.
  3. Freeze half of your liquids beforehand to act as ice. Frozen juice pouches can make delicious slushy treats to cool off.
  4. Check for expired medications-This is one lesson I will not forget due to my most recent experience. I found myself driving through rain passing a slanted electrical pole and over a flooded coulee bridge to get my toddler Claritin and Benedryl gel for an allergic reaction. God bless the woman working at CVS!
  5. Prep your home-collect and anchor/tie up any patio furniture, trampolines, etc. If living in an area often affected by flooding then the less stuff the better. Keep valuables off of the ground, but remember a tornado could rip the roof off and ruin them anyway so keepsakes and such should really be kept in safes or waterproof containers. Make sure to have sandbags handy. We purchased plywood and cinder blocks with the use of a few sandbags to help keep water out of our front entryway. If you find yourself short of sandbags then fill heavy-duty garbage bags with soil or other non-buoyant items. Do not forget to leave room for exiting at one doorway so you can escape if need. It can be a plus to have mold fighting cleaners in stock so that if flooding happens cleaning can start straight away.
  6. Pack a bag-Include one lightweight outfit per person(extra undies of course)sealed in gallon ziplock bags. In another ziplock bag have important documents that you may need if evacuated. A small first aid kit may come in handy (include important meds) Have a smaller ice chest or lunch box ready to bring pack a few bottles of water and snacks to hold you over in case disaster relief is stalled.
  7. Know the dangers-Research safety precautions when it comes to turning off the breaker box and the dangers of electric shock in floodwaters. Cover open cuts/sores with waterproof bandages to avoid flesh-eating bacteria. Try to avoid splashes of floodwater in the nostrils. Also, be cautious flooded water causes dangerous animals such as snakes, spiders, ants, mice, and even alligators to look for safety which just might be your home.

Hopefully, you have found these tips helpful. If you are able, once you have yourself taken care of, reach out to any elders, disabled, and pregnant neighbors (that have husbands offshore or overseas) to ensure they will be safe. Remember, your headache is someone else’s Godsend.

Take Care❤

Welcome to Parenthood

The place where your choices affect everyone and everyone feels the need to voice their opinion about it. Sorry, were you expecting something more positive? I’ll get there in a minute.

I just want you to be prepared as new parents. There’s the one who will tell you not to complain about your swollen ankles because you chose to get pregnant or some women wish they could be pregnant. There’s the “don’t eat too much of that, you are gonna get fat” person.

Then here comes baby yay! But there’s the “I know all things baby and you should do what I say” person. There’s also the “Oh you’re that mom” eye rolling person. There is the get in their face and touch them stranger. There’s the come over with a cold saying it’s good for their immunity (even though that’s what vaccines are for and they won’t be there to care for your sick child or pay the medical bills) person.

Then when your baby isn’t new anymore there will be no-one.

So here is the good part…you can’t control others, but you can control yourself. Maybe by the hardest because well, hormones. You would think Vet moms would take that into consideration, but they don’t. I am only now starting to realize how they can forget so much. It is because everything is passing by at such a fast pace that it is hard to store every memory and emotion.

My regret is letting others take away the joy of motherhood. Because it affected me, it affected my family. That is why I am sharing this. So you know that it is not you and you know people will have an opinion no matter what. So make the decisions that are best for you and your family with confidence. Do your very best to ignore the rest. Because there will be enough difficult parenting moments and the years really do start to fly by.

Open those tired eyes a little wider and focus on all of the sweet amazing moments. There may be times of loneliness where you feel underappreciated, but there really isn’t a person on Earth (besides maybe your mom) that will love you more than your baby. So guard your heart and be the strong, happy mommy he/she deserves.

Also, you and dad need each other and more importantly baby needs both of you! When you get snappy because of sleep deprivation and hunger forgive each other quickly. Forgive yourself as well. Communicate your needs. Give each other support, encouragement, and rest. And remember a family that works together, plays together, and prays together is way more likely to stay together.

Take care 💕

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Still haven’t figured out what to give your main man to show your appreciation yet?  I got you!  Below is a list that may include the perfect gift idea.

Do-Dads

Who doesn’t love a good do-dad that makes life a bit easier?  Personally, I went for the magnetic wristbands this year and can’t wait to hand them out.

Sports Apparel

Golfballs.com is running a BOGO sale on select golf balls with a personalization promo

Academy and Dick’s are running Father’s Day Ads as well with a wider range of sports.

Subscription

Here is a recent article by Adam Bryan of 34 Best Subscription Boxes for Men if that is something in your budget.  It would be like the gift that keeps on giving.

Services

Maybe your husband works a lot or dad/grandpa is having trouble keeping up with the lawn. Finding a local lawn service and paying for a round or two of yard maintenance may be a great idea. Another service that the fellas are sure to appreciate is being treated to a haircut so head over to nice guy salon, such as Sports Clips, for a gift certificate.

Grooming Products

Let’s be honest, we have all caught our man using at least one of our beauty products.  So let’s stock them up with their own.  I recommend Duke Cannon.  Not only does my husband love them, but the proceeds go to our Veterans.  An added bonus is that the labels include some humorous descriptions that your guys are sure to appreciate.  Great news! Target is offering buy one get one 25% off now until 6/15.

You may want to consider getting a Redcard for an extra 5% off everyday purchases,
free 2-day shipping (no minimum), and extended return policy.  They offer both debit and credit cards.  Combined with cartwheel deals, you can save so much!

Until next time…

Take care and Happy Father’s Day to all of the amazing misters out there!

Not Your Nuggets Recipe

Tired of the same old nuggets?  Here is a recipe both kids and adults can enjoy…

Not Your Nuggets

Servings: 6 Cook Time: 30 min.

Ingredients:

1 ½ lb. Chicken Breast

¼ c. Crispy Onions

¼ c. Sunflower Seeds

¼ tsp. Turmeric

¼ tsp. Ginger

¼ tsp. Salt

1 ½ c. Cheese Garlic Croutons

¼ c. Mustard

¼ c. BBQ Sauce

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 425º

-Mix crispy onions, sunflower seeds, croutons, turmeric, ginger, and salt in a food processor

-Pour mixture into a container

-Mix mustard and BBQ sauce into a separate container

-Cut chicken into nugget sized pieces

-Coat nuggets with sauces then press into crumb mixture until evenly crusted

-Place nuggets on a lined baking sheet and cook for 30 or until internal temperature is 165º

Enjoy alone, with your favorite dip, or on top of a salad🍴

D.I.Y. Peanuts Party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since I chose the theme for our daughter’s first birthday I asked my husband to choose for our son’s.  Surprise!!  He picked Peanuts as he was a big fan growing up.  I was rooting for Boss Baby since our son is a squishy blonde babe, but I have to say the Charlie Brown theme was a piece of cake, right down to the cake.

All it took was two round 8×8 pans, chocolate cake mix, vanilla frosting, yellow food dye, and black decorative icing.  Can’t forget the candle of course.  If you chose to use the figurines, place a dab of icing to make them stay put.

Our location was at a new playground/splash pad because both of our kids have birthdays during the warm season. Luckily, pizza and salad delivery were available so that was one less thing we had to carry across the park. I’m so happy with how the themed snack tray turned out. Just use goody bags, peanuts, peanut m&ms, and peppermint patties.

Another theme that would be super cute to do d-do for a summertime birthday party is baby shark!  If you agree, check out these decorations on Amazon.

Our daughter’s 1st birthday was underwater themed, but baby shark was not as popular 5 years ago.  I think her party still came out pretty cute.  I’ll have to dust off some old photos to share with you.

I do state this in the disclaimer in the menu bar, but want to repeat.  I receive a very small percentage if a purchase is made from some of the ads ran on my blog…at no extra charge to you of course.  Any payout will be used to keep this site running.  I only recommend products or services that I personally use or want to use after reading excellent reviews.

Like⭐ for more on my kid’s birthday parties as I usually do a couple pinteresty things without going overboard.  PLEASE let me know which content you enjoy most or want to know more about!  I have not received much feedback so constructive criticism on this site’s content, appearance, and functionality will be greatly appreciated.  Just email me: http://www.mom1st4most@gmail.com

Take care

D.I.Y. Lego Tray for Under $10

Would you look at all of these awesome blocks that I picked up from Dollar Tree! I did not include these in the price of the tray because you may already have Legos. My kids had some Duplo blocks, but none of what I call big kid blocks.  So I was very stoked to find this at an affordable price.

20190505_2112451487206253.jpg

My last post mentioned that we just got back from a quickation. Even though the stay was short the drive was not especially for our toddler. These trays really helped keep the kids occupied. The best part is the cost was under $20 for 2 trays.  Here is you Dollar Tree shopping list

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-tray

-container w/ a lid

-lego strips

-super glue

-printed duct tape

 

Step 1:

Wipe down and dry trays.

Step 2:

Plan design for strips and use glue to secure them in place.  Make sure the strips line up precisely.  At first, I glued the container into the tray.  After traveling though I learned that with two trays it was not space saving. So I unglued the containers and will add strips to the rest of the tray that way we can stack them and place both containers inside on our next trip.

Step 3:

Now tape the outside and inside of trays so that little blocks don’t escape through the holes.  Plus it adds stylish character to the tray don’t you think?

If you are not a D.I.Y. person or just don’t have the extra time then check out this super convenient My Brik Case by ModFamily.  It has pretty good reviews and is priced decent.  So, it is up to you if you would rather play around with a custom look or simply click for an equally neat one shipped right to your door.  Either way, your kid is sure to enjoy traveling with their beloved blocks.

Until next time, take care

4 Ways to Make Your Entryway More Inviting

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Simple touches like an outdoor mat, a monogram wreath, and a welcome sign make for a more inviting entryway to your home.  Flowers/plants on a stand work great as well, but as you can see there isn’t much space for that here so I have some just before.

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I don’t know about you, but I love this large semi-circle mat for our front door.  I bought it from Costco for only $10!  My mom loved it so much I went back and bought her one as a gift.  It is thick and durable which makes the price unbelievable.

Moving on to the sign.  It is actually hanging from a fleur de lis wreath stand that I purchased half off after Christmas-score!  The sign is just pressed board from the craft store.

I then used acrylic paint in the colors white, arbor blue, and black to create an ombré vibe.  Brush a couple strokes of just white onto your sign.  Then in your palette mix some white with blue and brush a few strokes of that mixture.  Next, a few strokes of just the arbor.  Followed by a mixture of the arbor with a touch of black to darken then bottom a bit.

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Chose your lettering style and draw it with a pencil very lightly.  Then I used a gold paint pen over it.  Using jewelry wire and a hot glue gun, I made a handle for the sign to hang on the stand.

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As you can see I used the same ombré effect on my monogram letter attached to the wreath.  Below is the tutorial by The Shabby Creek Cottage that originally inspired me to create such a wreath.

How to Make a Monogrammed Burlap Wreath

                       

7 Tips for Little Picky Eaters

Ugh…meal times, right?

My kids were not picky when starting solids, but I have found their taste buds had to be redeveloped after two.  They loved a variety of foods as infants, but once they were introduced to sugary salty snacks they no longer wanted anything healthy.

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If you can relate to this and want some tips, here is what has helped us…

1-be the example…if you are an adventurous eater, chances are they will be too

2-keep them busier with only small healthier snacks between meals so they are good and hungry when meals are served

3-sit down with a healthy snack and sure enough, their hands will be in the bowl even though they said no to that snack earlier (like 10 times)

4-allow them to take small tastes of things without feeling pressure to swallow or eat more

5-even if they did not like it last time, ask again their taste buds may have changed

6-have them pretend to be giraffes, rabbits, or puppies while you feed them spinach, carrots, etc.

7-deconstruct meals/use cute shapes-for example instead of a rolled taco place meat in one section, cheese in another, and tortilla stars in another

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The kids snatched this salad mix off of the counter while I was preparing dinner.  Their bodies know what they need so even if chocolate is requested at every meal they actually want the healthy stuff as well.  Sometimes it just takes more effort.

So these tips are exactly how I developed my little one’s palettes and got them back on track with better nutrition.  Best of luck to you! I know it is a constant battle.  Just keep trying and know that one tiny bite of carrot puts like .04% more vitamin A into their system (#winning)!

Disclaimer: the above percentage is probably wrong, but you get the point😉

Also if you are really concerned with your child’s nutrition please consult a pediatric nutritionist.

Take care mama❤

Places to consider visiting in Texas this summer

Soooo, I made a promise to my daughter that if she really focused on her schoolwork and passed Kindergarten that we would take her to the nearest Legoland.  The website made it look like a blast for all kids, but when our school year ended and I read the reviews…I regretted that promise.  Many of the reviews said it was overpriced.  We thought well there is a splash pad that our kids will love if anything.  So we purchased the tickets early online to get the small discount.

I know right now this sounds like a where not to go, but stick with me.  Luckily, Groupon was running deals for the Great Wolf Lodge.  Which is an amazing hotel with tons of things to do.  I see that promotion has run out so keep checking back. 

Just minutes away is Grapevine Mills where Legoland is located.  There is also a Peppa Pig World that the kids would have loved, but it had so many negative reviews.  It is a shame more places don’t keep their facilities clean and charge so much for entering.  Legoland was a bit lackluster, especially for little ones.  The lighting is pretty dark in most areas and I wish there were booklets to show how to build different things at each station.  Oh, and the splash pad was not even available because it does not open until May 24th.  Whomp Whomp👎

So honestly, we would have been better off saving the admission fees and just buying a large lego set.  There is so much to do at the GWL anyway so just save your money for that.  We were able to book a 2-night standard room for just $99/night.  It is a bummer that the outdoor pool is closed during the week, but for the price including a huge indoor waterpark is amazing!  Plus, with an arcade, shops, and restaurants there is really no need to leave the lodge.

Things to know about your stay at GWL…

1. Check-In may be hectic depending on the day.  Make sure to have your Groupon(or Priceline, etc.) deal printed out and call the lodge beforehand just to make sure they have your reservation.

2.  All you need is your wristband to pay for anything and everything in the entire lodge. So convenient…just remember your budget!

4. You can arrive as early as 1 p.m. on the day of check-in and leave as late as 8 p.m. on the day of check-out. *Your wristband will not work past 11 a.m. though so make sure to bring your own towels and buy food before then or have your wallet on you.

5.  That’s right they provide towels so you can have new dry ones each time you are getting wet!  Just bring cover-ups to walk back to the room from the waterpark.

6.  There is a microwave and mini fridge in the newly renovated room. Since the food places are pricey we brought Devour brand alfredo, EZ mac, Kodiak muffin cups, etc. Because we arrived on Mother’s Day we splurged at the Lodge Grill.  The service and food were superb.  We ordered the spinach and artichoke appetizer (yum😋) and the family meal which was way more bbq meat than most places give, but the sides could have been a bit larger.  With plenty of leftovers, they gave us to go boxes that are conveniently microwavable with steam tops so we were able to heat it up in our room for dinner the next night.

*Highly recommend Blue Goose Cantina near Grapevine Mills if you like Mexican dishes👍👍 Quick Trip is a great place to fuel up and pick up fast-food.  They offer a wide variety of coffee, including frozen cappuccino.  They also have a wide variety of inexpensive fast-food options from Lunchables, fruits, yogurt, hot dogs, pizza, taquitos, etc.

7. If you are too tired, as were, to bring your kids back down for storytime…it plays on the t.v. in the room.  I forgot which channel…like 3 or one of the lower numbers.

Well, that is about all the advice on a great family trip to North Texas.  There is more to do in Grapevine though such as Altitude H2O and the other lake parks.  The vintage train ride would be neat to take as well so we want to return to the area again sometime.  Actually this weekend there is a Main Street Festival that I wish we could have stayed and experienced.

Now let’s travel East and South! 

1. Claiborne West Park in Vidor is a huge park with lots of room to stretch your legs and a couple of nice playground areas.

2.  Our kids enjoyed the Beaumont Children’s Museum very much.  This was on the way home so we didn’t get to take a local’s suggestion of taking the ferry

3. Topgolf in Webster was a very cool place.  It was too soon to bring our toddler being that you golf off of the second story, but a fun experience for big kids and adults.

4. Kemah Boardwalk is cool to walk around.  If we go back I would skip the overpriced unattended carnival rides and just visit the Aquarium Restaurant.  Feeding the stingrays can be very interesting haha!

5. Seaside Inn in Galveston had great reviews and a buy 2 nights get a 3rd free special so we stayed there.  The people were nice, but the breakfast was stale and the carpet in our room was disgusting. There is a restaurant with a nice pool in front that we got to use while staying there which was great, but the restaurant’s food wasn’t worth the cost unless you eat off of the happy hour menu…then maybe.  If you know of a better place to stay please share!

6. Down the road at Texas Pit Stop the bbq was delicious so I definitely recommend there.  Papa’s Pizza is a buffet style pizza place with delicious food as well.  Try the spaghetti!  It may look basic, but my goodness Papa has a secret in his sauce-yum!

*F.Y.I. there is a Walmart near these restaurants

7. Other places you may want to visit in Galveston area are Pleasure Pier & Moody Gardens.  We didn’t get the chance so maybe next time we go. 

For more suggestions read 40 Places to See in Texas Before Your Kids Grow Up by The Crazy Tourist.  Let me know if you have questions or comment if you have any helpful suggestions to add.  Thanks for dropping by!  Until next time…take care❤

9 plants to give instead of flowers for Mother’s Day

Why get flowers that will just die in a week when you can gift a living piece of mother nature as gratitude to your very own mother❤ Surrounding a home with beautiful plants can be beneficial in many ways.   They not only give a home more curb appeal but creates a serene atmosphere for one’s physical and emotional wellness.

Our backyard was bare when we moved in and while it is no professional masterpiece, I am happy with all of the blooms that are thriving. I want to add that I don’t have the greenest thumb and stay busy with the littles so the following plants must be pretty low maintenance.

1. Iris

It’s beauty says it all.

2. Lavender

Besides the pretty purple blooms, this plants aroma is very pleasant. Just gently pet it then smell your hands. Lavender is also known to deter mosquitos as well as #3 & #4 on this list. Much better than the citronella plant in my experience.

3. Rosemary

Mmmm…this is another one of my favorite aromatic plants to pet and smell. It also makes a tasty addition to chicken dishes.

5. Garlic

Another multitasking plant is garlic. It is known for deterring mosquitos and as a flavoring in many recipes.

6. Banana Magnolia

You don’t have to pet this bush to smell the Ah-mazing scent. Unless you hate bananas…then keep scrolling haha. Aren’t the blossoms just lovely though?

7. Lantana

We refer to this one as the butterfly bush. That’s right butterflies love hanging around the vibrant petals! Which is very exciting for anyone, but especially the little ones.

8. Aloe

Aloe is a life saver plant because it has the ability to not only clean air, but can take the sting out of a burn as well. Which is why mine resides in the kitchen.

9. Peace Lily

E! I just got this beauty as an early Mother’s Day gift. Living in a humid place near a busy road, I wanted a large house plant to help clean the air.

Sharing this little guy as a bonus because he was so photogenic. Hopefully, this has inspired you to adopt some plants of your own. If you have some already please comment your favorites. Until next time…

Take care❤

D.I.Y. Dry Shampoo

It is no secret that dry shampoo is a life saver for many women, but especially us moms. And sometimes we are too busy to get to the store and have to order some online while we try to hideout with our oily strands daydreaming of a nice long shower🛀 This happened to me and I came up with a hack that I will honestly use again!

All you need is a few essentials from your handy dandy makeup bag.

-translucent powder

-eyebrow shadow

-eyelash & brow wand

-flat foundation brush

First, take the wand and scrape some translucent powder onto a clean surface. Second, use the wand to scrape eyebrow shadow on the same surface. The great thing about the brow shadow is it will help blend with your natural hair color instead of making your roots dusty white. Third, blend the powders together using a foundation brush and tap off excess. Then apply to oily roots. Let sit for about half a minute then brush through. Watch the video below if you need a visual.

Now you are ready to rock your day with confidence💁 You’re welcome! Hehe.

4 Easy Oatmeal Recipes

Being that oatmeal is a heart-healthy breakfast option, I have really tried my best to incorporate it into my diet.  It is considered a superfood that will keep you fuller longer while providing nutrients like fiber and antioxidants.  I found store-bought flavored oatmeal to be too sugary with not so much oats and that is why I started trying to make my own flavors at home.

Basic Maple

Servings: 2   Cook Time: 5 min.

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. Maple Syrup

2 servings Quick Oats

Directions:

-Cook oatmeal as directed on box

-Stir in maple syrup

PB&J Oatmeal              

Servings: 2     Cook Time: 5 min.

 Ingredients:

4 Tbsp. Peanut Butter

2 servings Quick Oats

2 Tbsp. Berry Jelly

Directions:

-Cook oatmeal as directed on box

-Stir in peanut butter

-top each serving with 1 Tbsp. of berry jelly

 

Coconut Cocoa Oatmeal            

Servings: 2   Cook Time: 5 min.

Ingredients:

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

½ c.  Sweetened Shredded Coconut

2 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder

2 servings Quick Oats

Topping:  Shredded Coconut & Grated Dark Chocolate

Directions:

-Cook your quick oats as directed on box

-Stir in cocoa powder and shredded coconut

*Top with desired toppings

 

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Servings: 2   Cook Time: 15 min.

Ingredients:

2 Granny Smith Apples

1 tsp. Cinnamon Sugar

½ tsp. Cinnamon

1 Tbsp. Honey

1 Tbsp. Oil

2 servings Quick Oats

Optional Toppings-Cinnamon Sugar and Chopped Pecans

Directions:

-Rinse, peel, and dice apples

-Pour oil into heat skillet and pan fry the apples

-Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar and cinnamon over apples

-While apples cook, prepare your quick oats as directed on box

-Once apples have softened and become a caramel color (about 10 min)

-Remove apples from heat and add to oatmeal

-Stir in honey and add toppings if desired

 

Hope you find these yummy!  If so please give me a star so I know and tap the arrows up top for ways to follow.

Take care

7 Mommy & Tyke Exercises

Guess what? (Cue GOT voice) Summer is coming. Not a Game of Thrones fan? AWKward😏 heh heh.

If you are seriously wanting to get more active and tone up, but…kids. I compiled several of our best mommy & tyke exercises just for you! I am not a personal trainer so do these at your own risk. I have, however, taken many exercise classes since weight & diet are things I struggled with since grade school. The 7 exercises are listed below followed by a short video for visuals.

1. Hoop LungeTwist

2. Cross-over Kicks

3. Around the World Squats

4. Kid’s Freestyle

5. Caterpillar Fives

6. Bubble Squats

7. Bubble Side Lunges

(Music: Outside by Iksonofficial)

Chances are you may not be able to do them all in one shot because the kids will surely need mommy’s attention. Note the different attire is no wardrobe change, but indeed different days. Hopefully though, you can squeeze in at least a few repetitions of a couple of the exercises. Remember to stretch and stay hydrated! As always…

Take care❤

Paint Runs Through Our Veins

My daughter, K.C., is five-years-old. These were painted over a year ago for a local kid’s competition. She still paints, but has been more into crafting because of all of the glitter glue involved. I mean who doesn’t love glitter glue right? I don’t know about you, but I am really excited to see what kind of art this naturally talented child produces in the future…of course, I may be a bit bias😄

These are my most recent works. I am somewhat of an amateur, but really enjoy painting and drawing so it doesn’t stop me. I wish I would have taken art electives in school, but took all home economics courses instead. I suppose that has been pretty helpful with adulting/homemaking. It’s how I learned my way around the kitchen and sparked my interest in cooking. Which by the way, I will be sharing more of my recipes soon. Enough about me…last, but not least is my mother and her artwork.

She is an extremely talented artist that has produced beautiful works for decades. The picture above features several of her charcoal drawings. She also paints with watercolors, acrylics, and oils. I think it’s neat how we can kind of inherit passions like that from our relatives. We are actually blessed enough to have 4 generations living in our family right now. My grandmother was not much of an artist, though she was a superb seamstress back in the day.

Do you have a generational story? Please share, I would love to read about it! Until next time…

Take care

3 Tips to Up Your Easter Bunny Game

In the hustle and bustle, you may just be tempted to pick up a pre-made basket from the grocery store. Which is totally fine. If your kids are like mine though they have plenty of balls and coloring books already. Oh, and do I have to mention a closet full of baskets? Here are a few tips to make this Easter extra special.

1. Think outside the basket

Try looking for a storage box or bin that can be used after the fact for storage. Another idea you may have seen on Pinterest is to use a new upside-down umbrella to hold a new pair of rain boots filled with treats.  A toddler pool or ring float can be perfect for holding the upcoming summer essentials such as swimsuits, floaties, pool toys, beach towels, sunglasses, and flip flops.

2. Not sweet on too many treats

Spring for the organic ones with less sugar and dyes. For example, Little Annie’s makes yummy cheddar bunnies, graham cookies, and gummies. You can also skip filling the eggs with treats. Here in Louisiana, chocolate melts before the kids can even find the eggs anyway. Try breaking open a new puzzle and place a piece in each egg. Another great idea is to fill eggs with a ticket to cash in for one app or movie purchase.

3. Quality over quantity

Don’t waste money filling the basket with junk toys that will not hold their interest and will probably break. Instead, spend a little extra on one or two quality toys. Examples are books, foam blocks, magnaformers, wooden puzzles, match up eggs, or a family game like cornhole.

 

For more of my favorite Easter basket ideas, crafts, and treats visit: https://www.pinterest.com/Mom1st4most/celebrations/easter/

 

 

 

What I should have put on my baby registry…

-Nanny

-Housekeeper

-Massage Therapist

Ummm what else?

-A shoulder to cry on

😂 Kidding!  You will be fine.  I’m sure a box of kleenex will be good. Haha.

-DUSTBUSTER!!!! (Also, a good handsfree foot pedal trashcan to empty it in because germs and doing ambidextrous things with one hand while holding baby will be hard enough.)

Sorry for all caps, but it is that important.  I have been through two dustbusters so far.  Kids constantly produce crumbs and crumbs are like jackrabbits…they multiply.

For real though, I made a registry using “babylist” to give some examples of my favorite baby products and gear.  I tried to put similar items at different price points.  Leaving out diapers because you may want to go disposable or cloth.  Pumps, formula, and bottles were left out as well because that is another decision based on preference.  Besides, both my babies were exclusively breastfed so I would not be much help with those items.  Although I did try a couple of lower-end pumps.  Even with good reviews, I felt they did not work the best thus the exclusive breastfeeding.  So I would suggest springing for the mac daddy Medela pump from the start.

Before I share the registry link these are a few things that I learned along the way, but wish I would have known beforehand.

Baby Wearing

Babywearing was a foreign concept to me.  Everyone, I know just lugged around the infant carrier car seat. A little tidbit about carriers they aren’t meant to ride on top of shopping carts. We see it all the time right? I did it once or twice not realizing the cart seat actually cautions against that. And hey, these are our precious babies so why chance a bump to a display that will send your little one sliding off.

Buying a stroller may just be a waste of money. Most times my kids screamed to get in it. They felt safer closer to me.  I was happy to sell our stroller and use a baby carrier instead. Needless to say, it freed up space in the cargo and I no longer had to take the heavy contraption in and out while toting a baby.  Talk about a backbreaker.  They aren’t always store aisle friendly either.

If you decide to carry I advise to skip the baby sling.  There are plenty of articles of the dangers of suffocation due to the c-shape baby sleeps in.  Also, pay attention to the babies leg positioning.  Legs together can run the risk of hip dysplasia.

Nurseries

I wouldn’t feel too much pressure over having the perfect nursery set up in the beginning.  You and your newborn will probably spend a great deal of time feeding and rocking anyway.  Another hot topic you may want to be informed about is SIDS.  I still see cutesy crib bumpers on the market and those are not considered 100% safe.  There are plenty of new mesh products out there now worth looking into.  We used a Safe Beginnings Crib Mattress and a mesh crib bumper, but now there is also a baby hammock that may be worth looking into.  Of course, in my opinion, will be short-lived because the baby would grow out of it fast.  Also, the baby’s position would be similar to that of a baby sling so I would caution that product.

Carseats

Very important things to consider…

1. Car seats have expiration dates on them.

2. Careful when receiving used car seats, if one was in a small fender binder it should no longer be used.

3. Follow car seat safety pages on social media.

4. Installation seems simple but can be tricky. (You will need to follow car seat installation instructions in your VEHICLE MANUAL.)

5. Our state troopers hold FREE car seat installations once or twice a week so check with yours. You can try asking for a certified car seat safety specialist’s phone number to schedule a visit to your home. We had ours come out to the house twice so far and are so thankful to know that the kid’s seats are 100% safely in place.

6. Convertible car seats may seem pricey, but are a really good investment because they last through the rear and forward facing phases. Some even go as far as a booster seat.

Click the link to see my example registry.

https://www.babylist.com/mom-1st4most

(I do not get paid for the app or merchandise suggestions)

Please like to let me know if you found this post helpful.  Use the contact menu if you have any questions and let me know what topics you are interested in learning more about.

Take care mamas!

5 Kitchen Tips and 2 Simple Recipes

1. Brown your meat-Try not to stir it too often, letting it stick a little so it gets a somewhat charred look.

2. Don’t soak your pot-Instead, put a drop of dish soap with about a cup of water. Bring to a boil and gently scrape the remaining food off with a stirring spoon or spatula. I rather this method because it is easier and gets the job done much better. Sometimes soaking it just delays the vigorous scrubbing and scraping of nasty soggy gritty food particles.

3. Cut your cutting time in half-Being in a new mom fog I suppose is why I did not think of these until after baby #2. The following hacks are much easier than using a knife.

Pizza cutters are no longer just for pizza! Try using it for pancakes, grill cheese, tortillas and more.

Have an egg slicer? It is perfect for slicing meats, fruits, and softer veggies into smaller more uniform bites.

4. Bag those scraps-If you are like me and dislike cutting over a trash can then try these hacks. Place a shopping bag in the sink with one handle around the faucet. Another option is wrapping shopping bags handles around the cabinet nobs to hold the bag open.

5. Extra love into simple dishes-My friend’s kid thinks I make the best tacos and I use the same box most moms use. So I’m guessing it is maybe how I cook them. Which is really just an extra easy step or two as you can see in the recipe below.

Ingredients:

1 Taco Kit

1 lb. Ground Turkey

15 oz. can Pinto Beans

Water

*favorite toppings

Directions:

Brown and drain meat

Stir in seasoning with meat

Add water and undrained beans

Cook on medium for 4 min

Use a spatula to break meat up into very small pieces allowing taco flavor set in

Mash beans as well for better flavor and digestion (blends better for picky eaters)

Cook on low 4 minutes to allow flavors to set in

Serve in the preferred shell with favorite toppings

Sometimes it is more how you cook something than what you are actually cooking. Take peas for instance. You can just throw them in a pot until hot, right? Or you can add a little extra love. Here is my recipe for a savory side of peas…

Ingredients:

2 can of Petite Pois (Peas)

1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp turmeric

1 tsp butter

Directions:

Empty one undrained can into a saucepan and cook on medium heat for 8 min.

Add garlic, pepper, and turmeric

Mash peas until slightly pasty

Add second (drained) can of peas and butter

Cook on low/medium heat for another 8 min.

Bonus Tip: After your meal is cooked. Set heat to low and wait about 5 minutes before serving to let flavors set in.

Does your “fast” feel slow?

Below are some suggestions for Christian literature and music. Hopefully, you will find them enjoyable. ✌be with you❤

YouVersion App Plans…

*Make sure to invite your spouse to the Kingdom Marriage plan so you can discuss each talking point👍

Fantastic Reads…

40 Days of Decrease: A different kind of hunger: A different kind of fast by Alicia Britt Chole

https://images.app.goo.gl/X62VmkdDg2uuLvcf9

The Family of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury

https://images.app.goo.gl/c1RbzHbJ43y6JZ7d8

Christian Music Playlist…

Kid’s Christian Music Video Playlist…

Did you like this post and the recommendations? If yes, leave a ❤. Next post will include my tips for in the kitchen so follow/subscribe to be sure not to miss it👌

Sometimes It Is More About Spending Less Than Making More

Does it seem like no matter how much you work, there is never enough money? We live in a world that tends to value others by what they own. The stores and internet sell endless amounts of things. Seriously, put two random words into google and I bet someone is selling it. My words were “bell rabbit” and guess what they are adorable little dust catchers. The amounts of products available today can be overwhelming. The list below includes ways my family cuts down on spending.

Nix Subscriptions

That $10 a month subscription for candles, magazines, beef jerky, etc. seems innocent enough. However, $120 a year for one subscription.  Plus those are probably things you really don’t even need monthly.

I was tired of calling for new promotions on overpriced cable.  Plus, the packages offered only gave us a few channels that we actually watched.  So we cut the chord and bought a Fire T.V. Stick.  This is a decision without regret.  We can stream our favorite shows, rent, and purchase movies using this device.  It is affordable and easy to set up.

Get ready to gasp…not only did we cut the cord on cable, but we canceled subscriptions like Netflix and Hulu.  It was a hard decision because the two offer such incredible viewing content.  However, it was causing us to watch way too much television.  That is another $130+ we can put into savings each year.

Tip: List all of your monthly subscriptions and contemplate which ones are actually necessary.

Minimalism

Let that whole want/need trickle into the rest of your life. Back when we had Netflix, I watched a documentary on Minimalism that raised some great points. Many Americans live in excess.

I’m no Marie Kondo, but go through your home often deciphering what is not useful. If you haven’t used that thing in 10 years, my guess is that you never will. Sell it or donate it to someone who may need it today. Maybe you don’t believe in God and that is your right. I’m not here to force my beliefs on others. So please, understand like events that made you a nonbeliever, certain events have made me a believer. Anyway, I believe if for some reason you need that thing again, God will provide.

By practicing intentional buying and decluttering, you will benefit greatly. Finances will free up, your home will be easier to clean, and that will reduce stress.

Money Saving Apps

Ibotta is the one I use the most. It can be a little tedious to keep up with so I don’t always when life gets busy. I love when I have enough to get a gift card. Usually, I select $25 to Target. It is my mommy guilt free card to spend on whatever I want. Not that I have any reason to feel guilty normally, but you know how it goes.

Whether I buy a shirt, new undies, makeup, or a variety of face masks, it is a nice reward for pinching pennies. The free cards can be used for birthday or Christmas gifts if you wish. Below is a link to get you started with cash waiting for you.

https://ibotta.com/r/tsoufas

Product Discount Codes

Most companies pay for referrals. Usually in the form of discounts on their products. So share your favorite products with your friends and let them know if they want to try them you have a discount code. It’s an I scratch your back, you scratch mine type of thing. Except really, it is just the company scratching both backs👍

The only product referral code I have right now is for Thinx period undies. My take on them…

-seem pricey, just buy 1 or 2 at a time

-saving on tampons and pads, still using a small amount on heavy days

-on the border of a size? because of period bloating go a size up.

-go with all black, my gray pair stained a tiny bit on the sides

-love having the safety net of wearing if I am not sure I will start in the middle of an event

If you have been curious about them using the link below for a discount👌

http://ref.thinxify.me/k-F-k

Cut Down On Waste

This goes a bit with 1 & 2. Growing up, um financially challenged, I have always felt the need to take good care of my things so that they last. I try so hard to instill this in my kids who can sometimes be destructive.

I tell them to take care of their toys because we may not be able to buy more. Besides, broken toys go in the trash creating more waste in already full landfills. If we take care of them, when we are done we can share them with other children that may not have many toys.

My husband also didn’t get why I was a stickler for things that cause damage to our yard, cars, and house. I call it protecting our investments. People won’t pay as much for used things that are damaged on a resell. Plus, don’t we want to show gratitude for what we have?

Also, find ways to cut down waste in the kitchen🍴(see what I did there). Seriously, though a good bit of my recipes have come from trying to reinvent leftovers. That spinach salad that goes out of date today that you don’t plan on eating, freeze it! It is delicious smothered or in a homemade soup. Just enough chicken for one person? Cut it up and mix it with some pasta and veggies. Either buy a sauce or make a simple garlic butter sauce. This stretches meals and your money.

Hopefully, you find these tips helpful. If so make sure to like this post. Follow/subscribe so you don’t miss a thing. Thanks for dropping by!

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Take care❤

23 Apps for Pre-K and K

Hey mamas! Tired of annoying ads ruining your child’s screen time? Just thought I would share a list of our favorite munchkin apps. I am a screen time in moderation kinda mom. Sometimes it is the only way I can get food on the table in somewhat peace.

These apps are actually pretty educational and well, we live in an age where kids need exposure to things like💁coding. Some of these are completely free(and amazing) and others have a decent sample, but you will probably want to buy the full version because they are that good👍.

 

1.  Khan Academy Kids: Free educational games & books

2.  Think & Learn Code-a-pillar™

3.  Intellijoy Early Learning Academy

4.  Talking ABC

5.  ABC Kids – Tracing & Phonics

6.  Preschool Educational Games for Kids-EduKidsRoom

7.  Drawing for Kids Learning Games for Toddlers age 3
8.  Sesame Street Alphabet Kitchen

9.  Storybook Rhymes Volume 3

10.  Math Kids – Add, Subtract, Count, and Learn

11.  Kids Kindergarten Math Lite

12.  Play and Learn Science
13.  PBS KIDS Games

14.  Science Games for Kids – Grade 1 Learning App

15.   Telling Time – Clock Games
16.  Kids Telling Time

17.  Nick Jr. – Shows & Games

18.  Good Habits For Kids

19.  Endless Alphabet

20.  Endless Reader

21.  Endless Wordplay

22.  Endless Numbers

23.  Endless Spanish

Bonus:

My Very Hungry Caterpillar

P.S.

I do not get paid for suggesting these apps.

P.S.S.

Until next time, take care❤