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27 May 2016

Birthday Bark

I love this easy, 3 ingredient treat I can throw together between errands and baby wrangling! 


All you need is 
~6oz semisweet (or dark, whichever you prefer) chocolate chips this was just under a cup for me.

~12oz white chocolate chips 

~vanilla cake mix, dry

Line a small cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Melt the semi sweet chips and spread in thin/medium layer on parchment paper.

Refrigerate 25 minutes minimum.

Once that's done, melt the white chocolate chips and add 2 tablespoons dry cake mix. Mix well. Let sit for a couple minutes, so it doesn't melt the other chocolate.

Cover the semisweet with white chocolate and add some sprinkles! 


Let chill in fridge for 30 minutes, break or cut up and poof! Birthday Bark 💕




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26 May 2016


https://www.pinterest.com/pin/68730947131/


Homemakers who are discouraged, going to share some real life stuff with y'all. I am sure I am not the only one who has a hard time with this sometimes. It makes me sad when people say they wish they could organize like Suzie, cook like Martha, craft like so and so, had their friends house. We have to just stop already, all that time we (I am guilty of it too) are wasting wishing for something else when we can easily be doing just what we are meant to in our own homes!

I'm not going to tell you that everyone has messy spots in their house, cause I have no idea. I know that the internet, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook give a vibe of sunshine and roses and floors with no scratches. Also, I don't know what their priorities are, and I don't need to know. I need to know what mine are and focus on them! I will still love Pinterest and the like, and to check out other people's homes and style but I won't compare them to mine. For all I know they have a chef or eat out everyday, maybe they have no kids, maybe they sent their kids to camp for a week and staged their home for a bunch of pictures to be released over the next 5 months. Don't think that doesn't happen. I promise stuff like that is happening.

The point is, make your home with love for the people in it and know that wherever that leaves it, whether it's a garage full of stuff you can't part with all in a heap, or 5 perfectly staged bedrooms.It's fine, it's right. If you are making your priorities a priority, whatever they are for you and your family,  and y'all feel happy at home then it's exactly perfect!


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24 May 2016

Summer Bucket List

There are a million bucket lists, to do lists etc all over Pinterest.  I do ours a little different.
Kids will be coming home to a big bucket with our list! We have a budget, and buying all this stuff all at once would not work for us. I started a few weeks ago collecting stuff that won't go bad.  Hopefully that is a bit more exciting than just a list. I can't wait to share it with y'all.


Here is our list, some of these will be multiple times and others not so much. Pretty much every other day we pick berries while they are in season. The Library gets a lot of our time too.

I also LOVE the weekly plans that some folks do. We don't have that much structure during the week but I love the idea!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/68730931179/

 And this could be fun too!
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/68730931183/
 
What is on your list for the summer? 
When is summer break for you?




*May contain affiliated links* I participate in Amazon Associates Program occasionally. I won't recommend a product I wasn't myself interested in trying or have tried. I may receive monetary compensation for participating. This does not change the price for you.
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17 May 2016

It's almost summer break!



 We have just 3 1/2 weeks left of school. This year went SO SO fast! I am ready for less hustle and more time with the kids. Less schedule and more snuggle. Less paperwork and more coloring!

Our kids love school and usually the last day of school is full of tears and emotions. Putting some stuff together to make that last day special. And maybe snagging this.
http://amzn.to/1V7NmwH

Love this idea from Oh Goodie Goodie!

The Balloons might not work for us, but the streamers will, and our kids will love it!

I am not so sure our kids are as excited as I am to be home with me all day though. I have a feeling they will soon come down with a case of boredom. Stocking up these next few weeks on new things to do, old things we haven't done in a while and sneaking some math in there too.

These Star Wars workbooks have been our kids favorite this year!
http://amzn.to/1WviE28

We make our own bubble soap more often than not, but having a good selection of these and some chalk is a quick easy outside go to!
Our Target dollar section has all kinds of stuff out right now!
 
I also am stocking up on perler beads, shrinky dinks, and a few other non electronic things to do! I want to make sure there is a good variety of things to do to avoid TV in general!

Our daughter really thinks she wants to do a lemonade stand, everyday. This is so cute and easy, just covers a card table!
http://amzn.to/1Tfpgxs
Only problem with that, we don't live in a neighborhood, and we have 4 neighbors is all. I don't think she would be too successful. 

I have 1 more thing I am working on, to get these kids excited, and to try and enjoy the days without school. They really are such good little kids that love school so much. This year will be especially hard, our oldest is going to middle school next year. I am not ready to have a big kid!

*May contain affiliated links* I participate in Amazon Associates Program occasionally. I won't recommend a product I wasn't myself interested in trying or have tried. I may receive monetary compensation for participating. This does not change the price for you.
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09 May 2016

How to get more YOU time, clean while your kids are awake.

I This hasn't always been the way I have done it my entire time as a mamma, but I do think it's important now! Here's why.

Moms (and Dads) know that having kids is pretty much a guarantee that you are going to have messes. Putting a clean house above playing, building lego's and imagination flexing is not how we do things, and goodnight does that mean it gets messy here!

And I'm just going to say that I really don't care for the cop out making the rounds.. you know the one. "Good moms have messy houses and sticky floors" or something along those lines.  Nope. I just don't buy it.  How about "Good moms do their best" and leave it at that. I know plenty of moms who are fantastic moms and their floors are rarely sticky.  Now that doesn't make you a bad mom if you have sticky floors. But sticky floors are for sure not a requirement to be a "good" mom either!

We have our share of toys and plenty of play but I don't feel like we have to schedule or fill every minute of their time at home with activities that I have to facilitate. So when they are playing together, or solo I have a bit of time to do the things I want and need to do. Cleaning is one of those things. And it's not more work to clean in the kitchen while the kids are next to me having a snack, or working on homework at the kitchen table.


Bathroom cleaning, close to my least favorite job, is easier done with a kid in the bath! I am in there anyway, and we use non toxic, people friendly cleaners so no need to run out after it's used.


It's also important for them to see how the real world works. Homes aren't cleaned, or kept cozy or tidy without someone doing the work! And right along with them seeing it happen, they need to get to pitch in! We think it's important for them to understand and appreciate what others do for them and to help each other too.

As our kids get older it has gotten even more important! They are SO capable of helping and doing their part. Being given the chance to be appreciated for helping the family. That part takes effort on my part! Thanking them for taking the recycling out, which doesn't feel like a huge job but that appreciation part is crucial, and is still missed here sometimes, honestly often, things haven't been running so smooth here lately. I know it's mostly being over tired and rushed in the morning (yay baseball) but by the time I have asked 3 times, the appreciation part is not happening like it should.



But WAIT! There's more, and this part is important! So the cleaning is done while kids are awake, that means YOU (and me) have all of nap time or rest time to recharge and do what we need or want to do, so we can do our Mom thing better after having a little time!
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06 May 2016

Mud Room {Real Life for 6}

The mudroom is our between spot, from the garage to the house and it is ABUSED!
Half the time the shoes end up there instead of put away in the garage, all the dirty kitchen towels and table cloths end up on the floor, I haven't organized the cleaning supplies at all. It's just been a hot mess. Used some of my free time to get some things settled this week. AGAIN.  It's still not working 100% for us, but for now, this is what we have!
Yeah, so bad before!

First things first. The laundry stuff, we keep things really basic here so they don't take up a lot of space. Just 2 shelves for soap, color catchers and the stain remover. Once I figure out how this other shelf fits in here?! 


Then Cleaning supplies.
The easiest way to keep these manageable is to limit the potions and sprays you bring home. The less you have the less you have to deal with. We really don't use much, some Bon Ami for toilets and sinks and then just vinegar/dawn combo. All of our cleaning supplies in this 1 basket!

After is a little better but still not exactly what we need, at least its clean and organized and has no clutter!


We have BIG plans for this room eventually. It's not a pretty room by any means, and it's set up so strange! The hot water heater in the closet?  But for now I just need it to work for the 3 kids we have leaving in a rush in the morning, and the 1 kid who loves to play in here! I can't wait to get started (not before baseball season is over) and make this room more usable for us.
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03 May 2016

Take Back Your Weekend .1

I can't believe it's MAY! I haven't been good about getting groceries during the week, like at all, not more than a handful of times this entire year! But I need to, because when it's done it means that we don't have to go out with everyone else!
 I still have plenty to work on to get our weekends back but it will be a step in the right direction!


 Going to the grocery store on the weekend is one of my LEAST favorite things to do!
Always looking for ways to avoid it and make it unnecessary. Maybe some of these are things you can implement to your week, or maybe you already do!

 Man do I struggle in waves with this. Some months I just nail it. Every meal, prepped and ingredients all accounted for. Other months I ask myself if we can just have an easy meal 1 more day this week and pray I have all the ingredients to make even that happen!

Here are a few of the ways I have done our meal planning in the past.
Monthly
Weekly

Currently doing in between and aiming for 2 weeks at a time planned, but honestly during baseball season everything is crazy! I do feel like it gets a little better each week, and by the time I really have it down, baseball is over and it's summer break instead.

~Grocery Getting
 I don't even enjoy the actual job of getting groceries. But it has to be done. The less time it takes, the more time I have to do my other Have To's.  Here is how I prep and make it as smooth as it can be.

 Oh yes!! This I can get on board with! No more Saturday trips to Target for Toilet Paper, Toothpaste, Sandwich bags (it's ALWAYS sandwich bags here)
And did you know that you can sign up for auto delivery of your must haves? And when you do that, you get a discount on the items! Subscribe and save is my lifesaver for vitamins and diapers!

 When I absolutely HAVE to go to the store I try to go on a Tues-Thurs morning and with only the baby, can I call him the baby still? 19 months old already :(
When I make my list I write the list down by isle after checking our current stock and my 2 week plan.  Getting coffee on the way sure helps too!

That takes 1 big thing off the weekend docket!

And now that it's been 5 months since I was working on making weekends a priority for family time. I have more to do to get that schedule clear!


*May contain affiliated links* I participate in Amazon Associates Program occasionally. I won't recommend a product I wasn't myself interested in trying or have tried. I may receive monetary compensation for participating. This does not change the price for you.
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02 May 2016

What We Eat


Yeah, after years of different meal plans and so many links to recipes, well here I am with the big list of the meals we actually eat. I also realize that while many of these have been on my Meal Plans I haven't shared all the recipes! I have been really really struggling to try new things, or cook anything outside of our common 4-6 things. Having this big list here, easily accessible should help me! Still plan on making meals with intentional leftovers. Either ingredients for the next meal or lunch for hubby and the kids. *We switch out what type of meat we use for these.

Chicken Dishes
Grilled Chicken Salad
Teriyaki Chicken Bowls
Cashew Chicken
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken Stroganoff
Rice and Chicken w/ Sauce
Tacos*
Chicken Spaghetti
Grilled Chicken
Chicken Parmesan
Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
Spicy Chicken Roll Ups
Wild Rice, Chicken Bacon Soup

Pork Dishes
Pork Roast
Green Enchilada Pork
Ham
BBQ Pulled Pork

Beef Dishes
Steak Salad
Meatballs*
Stroganoff
Chili*
Pot Roast
Meatloaf
Sheppard's Pie
Tater-tot Casserole
Goulash
Steak
Cowboy Stew

Pasta Dishes
Ravioli "cheater" lasagna
Lasagna
Lasagna Soup
Spaghetti
Pesto Ravioli
Mac 'n' Cheese (variations)

Random
Spanakopita Burgers
Burgers*
Mini Pizza
Grilled Cheese
Salmon Fillets
Loaded Potatoes
Enchiladas*
PB & Bacon Toasted Sandwiches
Pot Pie Soup
Meatball Subs




*May contain affiliated links* I participate in Amazon Associates Program occasionally. I won't recommend a product I wasn't myself interested in trying or have tried. I may receive monetary compensation for participating. This does not change the price for you.
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