Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Lunch Box Treats{plus a little note}

Back to school just happend yesterday around here and not having my children around all day to hug and snuggle and tell them they are fabulous when I want tugs on my mommy heart but I'm also excited for all they will learn in class, interacting with others that might not believe the same things they do, how they get to be an example of goodness in an ever darkening, synical's so exciting for me as a mom!

I decided yesterday I still wanted to be able to say I love you when they were at school so I decided to whip up a quick batch of Rice Krispie treats(they take five minutes not including cooling time but only 5 hands on minutes) & for my several mommy friends that saw me running around at the near end of the school day you know 5 minutes was about what I had.

Take the treats cut them into squares and place them on squares of Saran so(perfection is not necessary, I'm chanting this in my head as I see this not so square treat):

Wrap it up into a sweet little bundle:

Add washi tape(use a lighter color):

Write a quick little note or words of encouragement on the washi tape with a permanent marker:

Place all your wrapped treats into an air tight container and you are ready for a week or so of lunches depending on the amount of children you have!

Be Awesome, 

PS As I was doing this I had my children all thanking me for them-I know they knew I had been thinking of them and I love them.  To adjust a quote a bit "show love and if necessary use words" (but say I love you to them as much as possible too)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Blueberry Buckle

     This recipe is my Grams with some minor  adjustments.  She would always make this to take to the lake.  Everytime I make it I remember those days at the beach with her. 
    The cake is delightfully moist with the blueberries nestled under a crispy sweet topping(pictured I added blueberry sauce and hand whipped cream to make it into a dessert but it is scrumptious without it)

You Need:
2 Cup Flour or 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour(I love Bobs Red Mill)
2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup softened Butter
3/4 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 cup Milk
2 cups Blueberries
1/2 cup Flour or GF 1to1
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 cup butter

To Do:
Grease 8x8 baking pan. Preheat oven to 350. Combine first 4 dry ingredients and set aside.  In another bowl beat butter for 30 seconds, then add sugar, beat until fluffy.  Add egg mix well.  Alternating between dry mixture and milk add to egg mixture until smooth and all ingredients are incorporated in.  Spoon batter into prepared pan, sprinkle with blueberries.  Take remaining ingredients and cut butter in until it looks like coarse crumbs, sprinkle over blueberry layer.  Bake for 50-60 minutes.     ENJOY!!!

Be Awesome,

Friday, March 25, 2016

Bunny Carrot Treats

    One of my favorite non sugary Easter treats and they are so simple to put together with just 3 supplies.

Annie's cheddar bunny crackers
Triangle shaped treat bags
Green Ribbon

    Fill the bags with crackers to 2 inches from the top and tie off with ribbon.

     In no time you can make some for your kids and their friends:

Be Awesome,

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Bunny Lid Candy Jar

     I love making these cute little jars to give sweet little treats in and they are so simple.

     Gather the following items and a hot glue gun:

Hot Glue Gun
Small Baby Food Jar
Spray Paint
Small Animal
Small Candies{to fill jar}

I am long past having babies so I went to our local recycling center and picked some up for .10 each or beg a friend with a baby if she can save some for you.

Wash and dry the jars and lids.  Making sure they are really dry so the animals and paint can stick and also so the candies you place in the jar stay fresh.

Put a dot of hot glue in the center of the lid and press the bunny onto it.  It will look like this when you are done:

Next up spray paint.  A little hint is spray around the edge of the jar and then the top.

Let the kids dry for about an hour, fill the jars with your favorite treat, and top it off with your fabulous lid.  TADA ...

     You have just created the cutest little gift any friend or coworker would swoon over! 

Be Awesome,

Monday, February 1, 2016

Seren-mom-ity {Time}

SEREN-MOM-ITY{things I have learned as a mom as I have utterly failed and picked myself up dusted myself off and tried again and then discovered a most 

I hear often from parents about their children that are acting out of character and the parents really are at a loss.  My go to question is:  How much individual time is he or she getting?  I almost always hear in response we haven't had the time because....  I'm here to tell you it as plain and simply as I can, if you have 30 minutes to watch your show, play your video game(insert whatever here...Pinterest)you have 15 minutes for your child.

    Whatever you do with them have zero distractions, no phone(note to self) and just enjoy the wonderful human being they are.  I promise if you do this one thing you will see an almost immediate change in your child.

   "In family life love is spelled TIME"
-Dieter F Uchtdorf

Be Awesome,


Monday, January 25, 2016

Seren-MOM-ity TADA

SEREN-MOM-ITY{things I have learned as a mom as I have utterly failed and picked myself up dusted myself off and tried again and then discovered a most delightful gem}

     This post is for women, moms or not but this bit of insight after much pondering and putting it into practice has made me a better mother by far than I would have been without it.

     For several years now I have had one little word or phrase that has been my focus for the year.  I happen to follow another blogger on instagram(to be honest I had never been to the bloggers website until this day but her instagram feed was always uplifting and honest) and she had posted her one little word TADA(this was a few years back) That one little word struck me as odd and made me curious to find out the story behind it.
     She went to a womens conference and the speaker(sorry I do not remember the name of the speaker or the conference) was talking about to do lists.  We as women write to do lists and at the end of the day we look back at those lists and see everything that we did not accomplish(DOH).  I personally at this point in time was right in that boat looking at everything that still needing to be done and to be honest I was quite hard on myself.  Telling myself I wasn't good enough, I need to use my time better, that I wasn't being a good mom, daughter, wife, name it I was certainly the worst at it and that all wound up with me being less of me.  I love this quote as a gentle reminder that I am not alone in those feelings, "Most people carrying heavy loads begin to doubt themselves and their own worth." President Henry B Eyring  The speaker from the conference went on to say we do not take into consideration that the list would have been impossible for 10 women to accomplish it in a day and we seldom ever look at what we did do with any great achievement because of what we didn't do.  She suggested instead of writing a to do list at the beginning of the day to write a TADA list at the end of the day.  This for me was like a light bulb moment and my heart filled with the spirit.  Why had I not ever looked back at the end of my day and looked at what I did do.  I wasn't giving myself any credit for what I did  accomplish .  I always took prayerful thought into my to do list and what the Lord wanted me to do and I was frustrated with everything.  I was swirling into a pit of  situational depression. I was becoming unable to interact with the world around me and that was making everything worse.
     The next day I was determined to write a TADA list at the end of the day and it was wonderful.  After few weeks I was feeling back to my old self and the self doubt and depression slowly melted away.  I wasn't being as hard on myself anymore and I was feeling like I was in no way perfect but I was enough and a good person which if you would have asked me 2 weeks prior I would have told you I was as about as useful as trying to light a fire on top of water.  Now that I was out of my funk(and I will tell you I find myself in and out of it from time to time still)  I played with it a bit and came to a nice balance(we need to remember we are all different and just because someone suggests something it might not work for you just that way but making a few adjustments does).  I still needed a to do list for my own sanity so I don't forget anything important like taking popcorn into my sons class or something like that(and yes I just did that last week) but at the end of the day it gets tossed into the garbage.  What I came to realize from writing these to do lists as a guide and TADA lists at the end of the day is I really could see for the first time where the Lord took my to do list and made it his TADA list.  My lists became more meaningful, I could see him using me as his hands upon the earth, I could feel his spirit more fully, and I could see his blessing more fully in my life.  I became more self confident as a woman, wife, mother, sister, teacher, daughter of a Heavenly Father that loves me beyond measure.
     Where I stand today, there are some days when I need to write a TADA list so I can look back and feel good about what I have done and see the Lords blessings.  What I have realized over time if I were to sit and compare my 2 lists my to do list is my list of what I think the Lord wants me to do and my TADA list is what he needed me to do.  I am so grateful for the experience of feeling like less of a person so that I could grow and become more of who my Heavenly Father knows I am.

     If you are not feeling like the best you write a TADA list...reflect on how the Lord has used you as his hands, how you were a wonderful mother today, how you blessed someone else, how you are absolutely awesome just the way you are and you have a Father in Heaven that loves you beyond measure.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Healthy Homemade Chicken Nuggets(sauce too)

     These have been a family favorite since 2005.  When I find chicken on sale I cut half of it up to make these yummy nibbles.  I put them in freezer bags with the serving size for each member in our family so for our family of 5 I put 25 in a bag.

1 Cup fat free Greek Yogurt
1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (cut into nugget size pieces)

Coating Mixture
1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs
1/2 Cup Cornmeal
2 TB Flour
2 TB Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Dried Basil
1/2 tsp Garlic Granules
1/4 tsp salt

Add chicken and the yogurt in a bowl and stir until chicken is well coated.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray lightly baking sheet with vegetable oil spray.

Mix together remaining ingredients in a shallow bowl.

Coat chicken one piece at a time with the coating mixture.  Place chicken on baking sheet in a single layer and lightly spray with vegetable oil.  

Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center.

Now for the dipping sauces.  Ranch and BBQ are the faves of the kids but for a bit more sophisticated palate and for moms everywhere that will be eating these nuggets with their children I want to give you the gift of yummy sauces that are super easy to whip up.

Creamy Honey Mustard Sauce
1/4 Cup fat free Sour Cream
1 TB plus 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 TB Honey

Black Berry Dipping Sauce
1/4 Cup all fruit seedless Blackberry Spread
2 TB Olive Oil Mayo
1/8 tsp cinnamon 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Seren-MOM-ity {Schedule Schedule Schedule}

SEREN-MOM-ITY{things I have learned as a mom as I have utterly failed and picked myself up dusted myself off and tried again and then discovered a most delightful gem}

     Sorry for not posting in forever.  It is my goal to post these every Monday-Mommy Monday if you will but I too have a mom and friends that needed some attention.

     Yes we hear this all the time our children need a schedule.  I consider it more a rhythm of the home.  A time when your home is full of activity.  A time when it is calm.  A time when it is focused.  A time when its crazy.  All these times are necessary for our children.  I didn't recognize how important having a schedule was and what a blessing it was to me until I brought my 4th child home from the hospital.  Luckily it was in the summer so I didn't have to contend with a school schedule yet with my 10 year old but I did have a 17 month old and a soon to be 3 year old and to be quite honest I had no idea how I was going to manage it all.  The first day my husband went back to work I was a bit nervous but then an amazing thing happened my 17 month old and new baby took a morning nap together.  In the afternoon  all 3 of my younger children took naps at the same time.  They all went to bed at their bedtimes 6:45, 7:00, and 7:15.  By 2 months almost to the day my infant was sleeping through the night( I will discuss this topic soon).  Our life was scheduled and our home had a rhythm that ebbed and flowed and allowed me time to be rejuvenated myself.  To this day over 13 years later we still have a schedule and it nearly mirrors that of my days with infants and toddlers but now it is with tweens and teens.

How do you create this flow you ask?  It starts with some building blocks: Wake Up Time, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Bedtime.  Have set times for these 5 things first.  Now we are not going to be crazy clock watchers and cause ourselves undue stress but lets say you are having dinner around 5:30ish.  Waking up at 7ish.  Make an about time and leave a bit of wiggle room for yourself.  Next slip in naps and snack times.  For those with older children reading time, homework, a time to veg from a busy school day.
       It's amazing how having a home that ebbs and flows and is predictable creates such peace even amongst the craziness of it all.  Your children know what to expect, you know a break will becoming, when a wrench gets thrown into the day you all handle it well because the next day will be back to a comfortable normalcy.

     Try a "schedule" and see if it brings a bit of peace into your life...even when your toddler is laying on the floor screaming about something in audible you will know in 30 minutes they are taking a nap and you can do it!!!

Be Awesome,

Monday, November 9, 2015

Seren-MOM-ity {Teach, Teach Again, Repeat}

SEREN-MOM-ITY{things I have learned as a mom as I have utterly failed and picked myself up dusted myself off and tried again and then discovered a most delightful gem}

     This week as a mom has been joyous and devastating all wrapped up with a bow on top.  My children had a 4 day weekend simply because I find it ridiculous to go to school on Monday and have Tuesday off and then back for the rest of the week so I had a quiet protest and kept my sweet little peanuts home and we had a lovely extended weekend!!!  Yes you can do that and to be honest if our school district continues to have that as a schedule it might become a new tradition in our family because it was awesome(yes I am the mom that loves snow days)!

    It is always amazing to me the highs and lows of mommyhood.  We go along and are doing great and feeling like I got this mommy thing down and then CRASH!!!  You run into something that you have never dealt with before.  You realize you taught something to your children but missed something so subtle so minuscule you would think it was unimportant but it was the most important for one of your children and that little detail being left out made for a huge mess to fix.  With tears, hugs, love, repentance, and lots and lots of teaching...had by all!  This was not only a huge growing experience for my child but for me as a mom as well.  

     It reminded me that when we are teaching our children as a group we need to think about each individual in that group and ask some questions to yourself.  How do they each learn the best?  What information do they grab onto the most..facts, testimonies of others, quotes?  Is there a child I will need to have a one off with after?  

     As moms we are teachers.  We all have wonderful effective teaching moments with our children that are glorious and then others that fall flat.  Its when we truly mess up and reflect on that error that wisdom comes into our minds.  We are NOT going to have perfect days everyday or heavenly teaching moments every time we teach as our children are rolling on the floor or rolling their eyes. Don't give up or beat yourself up over an oversight or a mistake when teaching your children because I tell you it is going to happen. Giving up only makes the situation worse and beating yourself up over a mistake in parenting only hinders the moments when pure inspiration can come to your mind.  In those moments of devastation remember you are a wonderful mom who made a mistake and it does not take away from your greatness! Dust yourself off and Teach, Teach Again, and Repeat it is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your children: taking the time to teach them! 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Seren-MOM-ity{Change It Up}

Do you know that moment in your house when you feel like the craziness might make the whole house implode?  Whininess has taken over your once delightful child?  Tears are flowing down the faces of your happiest of children and possibly your own?  Or is it just me?  If it is just me do not read on but I have an inclination it's not and it is in those moments of absolute emotional overload we question our very ability to do the thing we desired to have the opportunity to be our whole life... to be a mom.  In those doubting moments turn to the very one who gave you such a sacred responsibility and trusted you with his children in prayer{even if it is a quick one as you are running to stop disaster from happening}.

     The question is what you do next?  What you do next will impact the rest of your day, week, month and your entirety of mommyhood because its a habit.  Do you scream?  Do you retreat into a secret corner of your house and ignore the contention building in your home as the spirit is being driven away?  Do you call your husband and complain about HIS children?  Oh believe me I have done all of the above before I learned something so valuable...CHANGE IT UP!!!

     Your children are going to find it hard in those moments of tears to not laugh hysterically at mom turning the radio up really loud and dancing around like a maniac, singing off  key into a broom handle.  When the day is long and we have all had it  throwing a blanket on floor for a picnic for dinner will bring the joy right back in to your home.  In the dead of winter and everyone has cabin fever McDonalds with a playplace is  a welcome break(bring your laptop and pay bills or other online chores while they are all distracted).  I spent many of mornings at our local mall with my children playing there in the winter months.  Find a place to escape to in those cold winter or too hot to go outside months if you have them.  Throw all the blankets and pillows on the floor in front of the TV and snuggle up to a favorite movie.  Walk to a park or just walk. Stop and paint your daughters nails. Color a huge mural with them.  This list is endless.  The point is do something completely different than whatever is happening right then in the crazy.  Those change it up moments for me as a mom have been some of the most tender and relationship building with  my children.  It diffused the growing contention and grew love and relationships.  By any means I am not perfect at it and those old habits can sneak back in now and again but I am not perfect and I am becoming a better me everyday.  The key:  keep trying until you find a few change it up go tos that work for you!


Monday, October 26, 2015

Seren-MOM-ity{Give Time To Get Time}

     Last weeks Never Lie post was a bit heavy but oh so true.  I was so grateful for taking the time to write it because I needed that reminder.

    This weeks topic is Give Time To Get Time which I know sounds a bit backwards but I promise if you give 5 minutes you get 20 and that is the key to getting stuff done with littles and even as they get older it still applies.

     One day I put my 1.5, 2, and 4 year old at the kitchen table with playdough which was a weekly occurrence a the time and I sat down with them for 5 minutes and we played. I had a huge to do list and so  I got up and did the dishes while watching them create and smush that playdough into grand masterpieces.  When the dishes were done I came back to the table and asked them all about their creations(about 2 minutes) and then I went and switched the laundry and folded it and put it away.  I then came back to the table and made a creation of my own then left the table again to continue down my to do list.  I continued with this pattern.  2 hours later we were putting the playdough away and getting lunch ready.  That afternoon as the children were napping I pondered on how wonderful the morning was.  How much I had accomplished and I even played with my children and the rest of the house was NOT A MESS!!!  Why was that day different than the other days where I felt a little less like a great mom, a terrible caretaker of all things domestic, and left feeling a bit frazzled and feeling behind.  It hit me I gave my time and attention to my children not in a 2 hour playdough fest but a minute here, 2 minutes there and therefore they stayed engaged in their activity longer to show me their creations.  Was this a fluke???   Did I figure out the key to feeling like a good mom and not feeling like I lived in a trash pit???  The next day I put a tub of animals and blocks on the floor in the living room and went about that same pattern.  They didn't quite last the 2 hours as the previous day but I did accomplish a lot in the the hour or so but I felt like I was onto something.  The next day I put glue sticks and paper for them to rip and glue onto other paper and guess what...2 hours again!!!  I realized my children love to create and so the activities that had them creating and not just playing(which important but I was trying to get stuff done while also keeping them engaged)were going to be the key along with me taking the time between each task to praise and create with them. This was one of those triumphant moments for me as a mom to realize I could keep them engaged in a fun activity, get things done on my to do list, and not have a messier house afterwards.  

        To this day I continue this pattern of checking in on them, seeing what they are doing, and then getting my tasks completed.  Now I am not saying by any means that I still don't have days where I feel like oh my goodness how am I going to accomplish this all and I am failing completely as a mother because guess what I do and then I remember this pattern...Give Time to Get Time!


Friday, October 23, 2015

Oh SOOO Creamy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

This is about the most amazing thing you will put in your mouth on a bad day.  It is the requested meal from my daughter when she has had one of those days and to be honest it is so so good and a great meatless dinner served with a side salad or fruit.  Without a doubt you will enjoy this creamy dish and one of the best parts is it takes about 20-25 minutes to make!!! ENJOY!!!

1 LB pasta{gemelli and cavatappi are our faves}
1/4 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 Cup Milk
1 1/4 Cup Cream
1 Cup freshly* shredded white sharp cheddar
1 Cup freshly* shredded gouda
1/2 Cup Pasta Water
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped chives for garnish

*If you use preshredded cheeses in a cheese sauce in will not turn out creamy and will have a gritty texture in your mouth due to the caking agent added to the cheese.  Taking the time to freshly shredded your cheese is well worth it.

In a large pot cook noodles until al dente.  Before draining the pasta reserve 1/2 Cup of the pasta water and set aside.

In a large pan melt the butter and once melted stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and onion powder.

Slowly add the milk and cream stirring continuously(I add the cream and milk together in one bowl and add about a 1/4 cup at a time).

Heat mixture until it bubbles over medium heat and continue to stir.

Turn off heat and add the cheeses.  Stir until melted.  Once melted add the pasta water(adding the pasta water helps the cheese sauce to stick to the pasta) and pasta until well combined.

Let sit for 5 minutes to thicken.  Top with chives and serve.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Seren-MOM-ity {Never Lie}

SEREN-MOM-ITY{things I have learned as a mom as I have utterly failed and picked myself up dusted myself off and tried again and then discovered a most delightful gem}

     I have realized as of late that I have learned a lot about being a mom over the past 21+ years.  I am by no means a perfect mom and have grown to be a better one everyday.  I have made huge parenting blunders and have joyous moments of triumph.  I also have lots of friends that ask me for advice and I thought well I could share some of that knowledge here that I have in this brain of mine and maybe help other women out that feel like being a parent might be the death of them and believe me some days you are going to feel like that.  Being a mom is hard and we all need help. We all have really bad mommy days and we all have fabulous's true that mom you see over there that looks like wonder mom she has a bad day or even a bad week ..and do you know what that is okay. Your children love you more than you can ever comprehend and are so forgiving just keep trying to do better and you can be a wonder mom too(because you are)!!!

      My first thing I learned long ago was from a young single adult conference I attended.  Yep you read that right a young single adult conference and the keynote speaker was a parenting "expert", he spoke to us several times over the weekend and as a single parent I was soaking everything in.  I had no idea what I was doing as a mom and I was fascinated by his every word.  It was the first time I realized I did not need to figure this all out on my own there are books I can read.  Since that conference I have read many books and I highly recommend it but a word of advice go into reading these books prayerfully and take the nuggets of advice that will work for you and your children.   At this conference I learned a truth that has become at the heart of who I am as a mom... Never LIE to your child!

     Let me explain have you ever said I will come help you after I do this one thing and then you do 2 things?  You have just lied to your child(face palm).  Have you ever made a promise to your child and not kept it and not explained why hoping they would forget?  Again you are a liar.  This is hard to hear being called a liar but this one thing is so important about never lying to your child I want you to get it DO NOT LIE TO YOUR CHILD!!!  When you never lie to your child your words gain a whole new power that I never really understood before.  If you never much more does I love you mean, I am proud of you, you are amazing, or when you are trying to teach them something of eternal importance...if you never lie those words mean everything and they are true because you never lie.  Powerful stuff right there.  Yes we are going to make a promise we cant keep and possibly threaten to hang them from the ceiling if they argue with a sibling again, its going to happen. Going back and apologizing and explaining the situation or saying sorry for saying something that you didn't mean because you were frustrated takes that lie away.  We want our words to mean something and never lying to them gives power to your words.  Never Lie.  Give Power to Your Words they are important!

Be Awesome,


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

End After Dinner Chaos

     It's time to do the dishes and well it has been a long day and really what mom after dinner can really remember who had what dishes assignment last?  Or maybe it's just me.
     In my efforts to get my home all ready for back to school time I whipped up a cute little chart using items I had in my house and in less than 5 minutes!

Items Needed:
Mini Clothes Pins
Permanent Markers
Piece of Cardstock 
A Magnet

Cut 1.5 inches off the end of a piece ofcardstock  and fold it into however many sections of little helpers you have.

Write one or 2 jobs in each section using your marker.

Using different colored markers color the tops of the clothes pins.  Clip one pin on each job and assign a color to your helpers.  

Use the magnet to hang it in your kitchen.

This was a super simple and quick solution to an issue in my home.  I hope you find it useful in ending your after dinner craziness!

Be Awesome,