Happiness is ______ {2014-W14} #happinessis

happy boy - nutella marshmallow sandwich

We spent 52 weeks in 2013 celebrating what made us happy, and it WAS a fantastic year. Let’s make 2014 the year where we really truly focus on surrounding ourselves with only joy and happiness all year round, every month, every week, every day.Tell me, what makes you happy? What is it that you do [...]

Happiness is ______ {2014-W13} #happinessis

flower-picking

We spent 52 weeks in 2013 celebrating what made us happy, and it WAS a fantastic year. Let’s make 2014 the year where we really truly focus on surrounding ourselves with only joy and happiness all year round, every month, every week, every day.Tell me, what makes you happy? What is it that you do [...]

Happiness is ______ {2014-W11} #happinessis

bike riding with baby V

We spent 52 weeks in 2013 celebrating what made us happy, and it WAS a fantastic year. Let’s make 2014 the year where we really truly focus on surrounding ourselves with only joy and happiness all year round, every month, every week, every day.Tell me, what makes you happy? What is it that you do [...]

Happiness is ______ {2014-W5} #happinessis

sick babies watching Netflix

We spent 52 weeks in 2013 celebrating what made us happy, and it WAS a fantastic year. Let’s make 2014 the year where we really truly focus on surrounding ourselves with only joy and happiness all year round, every month, every week, every day.Tell me, what makes you happy? What is it that you do [...]

Discovering Barbecue Sauce for the First Time

discovering barbecue sauce for the first time

She was done with her food, and motioned (read: scream-beckoned) for us to get her down. Moments later, I heard a little shuffling from the table, and saw it – she was sitting in her older sister’s seat, devouring her leftover chicken nuggets in her sister’s barbecue sauce. I watched her dip carefully one bit [...]

Happiness is ______ {Week Twenty-Nine} #happinessis

default

2013 is going to be a fantastic year – a year where we collectively focus on the happy and the joy in our lives. What makes you happy? What is it that you do that you can’t get enough of? What makes your soul shine, your eyes beam, and your insides sparkle? Happiness is so [...]

We Did It! A New Dining Room Set

new dining room set

As soon as I found it on Craigslist, I transferred money over from Paypal. But would the sellers wait for me? Would the sellers be flooded with other offers? We emailed back and forth throughout the week – asking dimensions, etc. The man was sweet, patient, eager to sell and downsize for his family. He [...]

Happiness is ______ {New Series} #happinessis

sunshine at the park

2013 is going to be a fantastic year – a year where we collectively focus on the happy and the joy in our lives. What makes you happy? What is it that you do that you can’t get enough of? What makes your soul shine, your eyes beam, and your insides sparkle? Happiness is so [...]

Parents, Please Read: Your Kids Are Going Hungry

are school kids hungry at lunch

I’m not even sure where to begin with this post, so bear with me while I battle to get this all out. I began this school year like any other, with excited kids and coffee-propelled abilities to orchestrate my children out the door on time in their shiny new duds. I promised this year I’d stay on top [...]

How Not to Starve Yourself as a Mom to Small People {Video} #theproteineffect

how to not starve as a mom

Because of Princess Fuss-A-Lot (aka Baby V), meals for me have to be quick, succinct, and most-importantly grab ‘n go. I don’t get time to luxuriously and meticulously cook and masticate a feast until dinner time, because that’s when I finally have parental back-up aka my “other” set of arms. During the day, though? Psshaw. [...]

Printable Weekly Lunch Menu and Back-to-School Recipe Ideas

DIY framed school lunch weekly menu

We are taking school lunches very seriously this year, and taking the banal school lunch ‘bull by the horns’ and wrestling ‘er to the ground. My goal this year is to never hear the words, “Lunch is boring, mom” without spending a fortune. In order to help make that happen, I decided we needed to, [...]

Big Families: How Do You Do It? {Meal Time}

default

“How do you do it?” Series hosted by Lolli from Better in Bulk, Lisa from Crazy Adventures in Parenting, Christine from From Dates to Diapers, Kadi from Our Seven Seeds, and Kate from The Guavalicious Life. Join us each week for more tips from moms of big families! I do my best on this blog [...]

Menu Planning Feb. 27th – Mar. 4th

DIY Menu PLanning Board

Pin It It’s (possibly/more-than-likely) Baby Week here, and our menu reflects a laid-back, easy-going menu – one that’s easy for kids to take over, or grandma to fix on the fly, or dad to throw together just in case mom’s a-huffin’ and puffin’. It’s also an easy week because it’s a full week of soccer, [...]

DIY Weekly Menu Board

diy menu board

Pin It I told you a couple weeks ago my plan - to make a DIY weekly menu board for our meal plans each week. With a menu board, you create cards featuring all the dinner choices you make, making it super-easy to create a meal plan for the week, and showcase what’s “on deck” to [...]

Chili’s Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas {Healthified} Recipe

chicken bacon ranch quesadillas

Despite our Steelers not playing in the Super Bowl this year, we’re still die-hard football fans, and we planned to celebrate and watching football nonetheless. For the big game Sunday, we wanted to entertain with some easy-to-eat appetizers for dinner (easy for little fingers as well as for us adult folks, too). We stuck with [...]

Back to It! Menu Planning Monday Jan. 30th – Feb. 5th

default

Fall might be over, but I’m craving pumpkin this week. We grocery shop twice a week around here. Now that we have more grocery stores than we know what to do with, we are able to split our shopping up and go to different stores to save the most amount of money. Thankfully, these stores [...]

DIY Homemade Uncrustables Sandwiches

homemade uncrustables

Kids (and moms, ahem) love PB&J sandwiches. And those Smuckers Uncrustables sure are a wonderful idea in theory, except they’re processed, too expensive, and honestly, can be done by yourself. You can make these fresh, or ahead of time and freeze them, all with a handy-dandy little contraption called the Cut-N-Seal® by Pampered Chef. Image courtesy [...]

Chicken Nugget Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

chicken nugget macaroni and cheese

What do you get when you pair your favorite boxed mac ‘n cheese with mixed vegetables and cut-up chicken nuggets? A super easy and delicious dinner your children will devour! It’s so easy to do, even your kids can help you make it! Chicken Nugget Macaroni and Cheese Casserole Chicken Nugget Macaroni and Cheese Casserole [...]

Pampered Chef Chicken Broccoli Wreath Recipe

Pampered Chef Chicken Broccoli Wreath Recipe

I used to sell Pampered Chef. I own probably more than half their catalog, as I was quite passionate about it (hence why I began selling it). In fact, the only reason I stopped selling it was because I gave birth and my leave-of-absence hadn’t been put it properly, so I subsequently lost my almost [...]

Halloween Recipe: Spooky Alien Cupcakes

spooky alien cupcakes

This recipe is pretty simple, actually. And ridiculously fun for your children to decorate. Pick out (or make from scratch) your favorite chocolate cake mix, poured into either a regular cupcake pan or a mini cupcake pan (as we did), frost ‘em with your favorite frosting (colored or otherwise), and decorate as you wish. The [...]

Halloween Recipe: Ghost Pudding with Homemade Whipped Cream Recipe

ghost pudding

Do you want something snacky yet simple to create for your Halloween party? Be sure to try this super quick and easy recipe for Ghost Pudding with Homemade Whipped Cream! Halloween Ghost Pudding One package of all-natural Butterscotch (or whatever flavor your prefer) pudding Whipped cream (recipe below) Mini chocolate chips (for the eyes) Prepare pudding [...]

Halloween Appetizers: Mummified Hot Dogs

mummified hot dogs

I’m a huge pigs-in-a-blanket fan, but cocktail weinies you often find are chock-filled with additives and preservatives, as well as the dough they use. We always buy Oscar Meyer franks that are all-beef and have no extra additives, preservatives and colorings, so we decided to create our own ghoulish creation for our Halloween, recipe inspired by [...]

Homemade Whoopie Pies with Pumpkin Cream Cheese

Homemade Whoopie Pies with Pumpkin Cream Cheese

As you know, I bake my own desserts from scratch most of the time to control what goes into each recipe to ensure we eat all-natural and organics. For our Halloween Party, we used an organic boxed chocolate cake mix, which we thickened up with a little organic flour to produce chocolate cake-like cookies to [...]

Blueberry Pancakes Awesomeness

blueberry pancakes

Alright, friends.. block off a little time in your schedule for some crazy breakfast deliciousness. The recipe for these beauties is a little more time consuming than your regular everyday pancakes, but they are so.very.worth.it. I promise you. Get ready! Firstly, let me talk to you about some must-haves for these pancakes. *Must have #1 [...]

DIY Sugar-Free Pumpkin Latte with Truvia

sugar free pumpkin latte

I’ve tried other variations on the DIY Pumpkin Latte (from Starbucks) but I hadn’t found that winning combination of pumpkin, spice, and sweetness yet. Deciding to experiment for myself, with my good ‘ol coffee buddy Truvia, I came up with what I think is a pretty spectacular latte, if I do say so myself. DIY [...]

Belly – 16 Weeks

default

It’s kind-of hilarious that I have to keep googling “Pregnancy Calculator” to remind myself how far along I am. I kept up with it for all of about two or three days on my own. Pregnancy brain sure has struck hard here. Or maybe it’s that whole being-a-parent-to-eleventy-billion-kids thing. Or both. {shrug} Regardless of which it [...]

Pre-teen Chef (aka Ways to Make the House Fill with Smoke and Pride Simultaneously)

default

My son offers to make hot dogs and macaroni and cheese for lunch. A little too young to do it himself without supervision, I move my “office” with laptop to the dinner table, and oversee as he fills a pot with water and places it on the stove. After five or so minutes, he turns [...]