26 February 2015

No Candy Easter Basket Stuffers!

With Easter just 5 weeks away I thought now would be the perfect time to share some of the stuff we are filling baskets with this year.

Call me cheap, but I take this time to buy essentials for the upcoming season! Also, we are avoiding excess so it won't be a list of stickers or toys that no one will be playing with in 2 months.No stuffed animals to collect dust or sit on a shelf.
Sharing a list of some of our past and current stuffers. Something for babies, bigger kids and teens!
My top 50 non budget busting items that won't be in the donate pile or garbage in 6 months.

Beach Towel
Beach Toys
 Gardening Gloves
Seed Packets
Little Pots
Tooth Brush
Children's Bible
 Shampoo, Lotion or Body Wash
Flash Cards
Swim Suit
Baby Food/Fruit Veggie Pouches
Itunes Gift Cards
Bubble Liquid
Pacifier for Baby
Pacifier Holders
Hair Pretties
Sippy Cup
Travel Cup
Baseball Mitt
Baseball Helmet
Hand Tattoos
Pack of Gum
Summer Hat
Teething Toys
Baby Puff Snacks
Amber Necklace
Suck Pads for Baby Carrier
Experiences: Movie, Zoo, Aquarium, Trampoline Park
Jamberry Nail Wraps
Kid Silverware
Baby Spoons
Beef Jerky
Band Aids
Fun Straws
Fancy Soft Drink
Jump Rope
Tank Top/Shirt
Golf Balls
Washi Tape

I have a big list of EGG fillers coming up too!
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20 February 2015

Organizing Friday {Week 8}

This week I worked on our TV stand. We haven't had one for long and I really am not a fan, but for this house, temporary as it may be, we needed something. It quickly became full of all sorts of random stuff. 

I took everything out and decided what would have a better place elsewhere, and what could just go for good. We really try not to keep any DVD, Video game, CD cases. They take up SO much room! The only exception is when we are pretty sure we will sell it later. We had accumulated a few things in cases, kids helped put them where they go and made some space.

I don't love the open glass windows and am on the hunt for some type of covering that I can talk hubby into.  If I could find a lacy kind of contact paper that might be my first choice.
I really like this one

other than that, it's all taken care of, everything in here has a place and was not just shoved in here because it was convenient. 

Now I have a BIG job ahead of me for the next week. It's the laundry area. It has been our garage catch all since we moved in and it's horribly messy and unorganized on top of that.  All I have done so far in there is try to contain all the soaps and stuff.

In a perfect world, we would have a nice matching set, in the real world, our dryer still works great and we got a deal on the red washer when we needed one. I am not about to blow money on a matching dryer right now and not going to paint it. I don't aim to make this area pretty by any means, but tidy and organized, that it has to be.
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Homemade NO JUNK Nutrigrain Style Bars

Y'all, put DOWN the Nutrigrain bars! I know they seem like a good idea, I mean, Nutri is right in the name, not much nutritious there though, I won't share the ingredients here but just glance at how long that list is and how much dye is in it. Fruit is not even the first ingredient in the filling.  
I get it, us Moms need a break once in a while, and the concept doesn't seem like a bad way to get that break. These are so easy for busy mornings and last minute snacks but there is a better way.

I whipped these up this morning and they smell SO good! It didn't take long to make at all, even wearing the baby while I did most of the prep.
Totally worth it!


1 1/4 C Flour 
1C Oats
2 TBSP Ground Flax
1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Corn Starch
1/2 Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (or cinnamon)
1/4 Tsp Salt
6 Tablespoons Coconut Oil/Butter Room Temperature (I used a combo)
2 TBSP Honey
2 Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla

Fresh or frozen fruit or Jam/Jelly
*optional sweetener


~Preheat oven to 350 degrees
~Prep your baking sheet with parchment paper
~Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl
~In a larger mixing bowl combine oil/butter, honey, eggs and vanilla
~Slowly add all dry ingredients into wet mixture until a ball forms.
~Make Filling
I just mixed about 3/4 C previously frozen, thawed strawberries with a pinch of corn starch and blended them up in the blender.  You can use Jam instead alternately.

~Flour your clean working surface lightly
~Using half of the dough, roll out until about 8"x10" rectangle.
~Cut into 4"X 5" rectangles
~Spread 1-2 TBSP filling on center of each rectangle, be sure to avoid edges.
~Fold the sides on top of the filling and pinch the seem
~Fold ends in and seal. I used a fork to seal the ends.
~Optional* sprinkle some oats on top
~Place on cooking sheet
~Repeat with other half of dough
~Freeze or refrigerate for a little bit to let dough firm up. I gave mine about 7 minutes in the freezer.
Bake for 22 minutes or until golden on the edges and top.
Mine were a little pale, and not as brown as I wanted. I turned the broiler on for the last 2 minutes to get the right color.

These are SO much better tasting than the packaged kind and no junk! The outside is barely crispy but the inside of the dough is still very moist and slightly dense. The filling was just sweet enough. Although I did use Oregon Strawberries we picked over the summer, and Oregon really has THE best, sweetest strawberries. If you are using fresh strawberries out of season, you might want to add a little sweetener, like honey, to your fruit mix. 
These really taste like breakfast and not like dessert, not overly sweet.

I didn't add enough fruit when I did it, I only used 1 TBSP, I would suggest closer to 2.

 My first go around are UGLY.

Second round of putting them together was much easier. I didn't have a baby on my chest while I worked ;)
I will for sure be adding these into the rotation of things to make on Sundays for our weekly prep.
I am storing mine in an airtight container but I am also going to freeze 1 or 2, well if I can keep them around that long, and see how they do from the freezer.

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13 February 2015

Organizing Friday {Week 7}

I somehow skipped week 6, so I am adding it here too!
Finished organizing our homework cabinet last week

It's not perfect but for now, with the containers I have it's going to work.
I picked up the magazine boxes at IKEA, each kiddo has one. This is so much easier than trying to decide who didn't clean up what.  The bigger chicken wire basket is crayons, and we are using this milk jar to keep colored pencils in. I drastically reduced the amount of colored pencils and crayons we had. It seemed overwhelming to the kids to have soooo many to dig through for the one they were looking for. So for now, less is more and less is less for me to clean up.

Then it was under the sink! It ended up a little dirty and with little helpers, kind of a mess. 

Going to catch up on that this weekend since it's a quick one.
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03 February 2015

Our Favorite After School Snacks

In an effort to make home the place kids can't wait to come home to, I need to put a little more into our after school snacks.  Don't get me wrong, they aren't starving but snacks have been kinda ho hum around here lately.

We aren't big on sugary snacks, these kids are sweet enough already, but I might let it happen once in a while. On that note, not all of these are going to be as healthy as I would like. But they WILL be delicious!

Graham Cracker Sandwich w/marshmallow
Chocolate Dipped Ritz
Pina Colada~Frozen Pineapple, Coconut milk, Greek Yogurt, ice w/roasted coconut chips on top
PB Chocolate~We use PB2, yogurt, ice and chocolate almond milk
My FAVE ~Orange juice, Spinach, ice and some frozen strawberries
Ritz & Sunbutter sandwich

Pretzels and PB
Rainbow Fruit Cup
Frozen Grapes
Ants on a log
Cucumber and crackers
Banana nut mini muffins
Made with Spinach
Pumpkin Muffins
Banana nut bread bars
Cream Cheese/veggie roll up
cream cheese/cinnamon roll up
PB Banana Mini Muffins
Cream Cheese/Strawberry Sandwich toasted
Apple Ham and Cheese toothpicks
 Apple Cheddar quesadilla
Big Hunk Dip
  Mini Pizza Calzones
Chocolate dipped frozen banana bites
Zucchini Bread
mini nilla wafer/banana sandwich
Cookie Dough Fake Out
Muffin Top Cookies

Those won't be an everyday thing. We will still have our usual snacks. We don't keep a lot of options on hand, that can get expensive and wasteful pretty quickly.
We pretty much always have
Cheese Sticks
Dried Fruit
Granola Bars

What are your favorite kid snacks? I am always looking for more ideas!

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01 February 2015

February Resolution!

But first! How I did in January? Proud to say I bought 1 or 2 coffees in January and I plan to keep up that trend! I did find a tool that sure made it SO much easier! I love an extra foamy latte, that was my go to drink at Starbucks and other places. But with this, I can make my own controlled ingredients as foamy as I want in just 2 minutes! No driving, no paying $4 for a drink, no waiting in line. I was totally skeptical at first, I mean really? Look at it! It doesn't appear to be anything special!

And here is what it can do! Worth the few bucks!

Ok, enough about that and the $60 plus dollars I saved last month!
February's goal is another money sucker but not nearly as bad, although it is probably WAY worse for my health!
Diet Pop! I don't keep it in the house but we will get one when we are out running errands. This goal is really 2 fold, give up the gross and replace it with water. Something I have been struggling with my entire life anyway!

I've got my at home drinking glass and a couple tricks I might try. 
It's really going to be when we are out that I struggle. Stocking up on water bottles as soon as they are on sale! Then stocking the bottom of the fridge with them.
I also have been adding a couple drops of Lemon or Grapefruit Essential Oils
That seems to be helping me a little bit.

What are your goals for the month?

*This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.
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