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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The 4 Gift Rule - How to not spoill your Children at Christmas.



            If you read my blog regularly you would know that we are taking our Vacation to Disney World, soon! I know, I can’t help that I talk about it so much, but were so excited! – with that going on in February- and anyone that has been to Disney would know the cost, we didn’t want to have a extravagant Christmas this year like all the others. Not to mention that Christmas cost so much for everyone and it really shouldn’t be like that. Now yes we all love getting presents and giving presents to our kids but think about if for just a second…. You bought your kid a Wii last Christmas and about 10-15 toys… what has your kid played with most?? Go ahead admit it .. it was that expensive electronic that you bought them that takes up most of their free time, and theres nothing wrong with that because most our “me” time is spent on our electronics as well. This year we wanted to do something different that would still make our kids excited it was Christmas but not to spend a fortunate and then when we go to Disney have to battle the “ I wants”, so we have decided to do the 4 Gift Rule, and will probably continue this tradition because it is such a great idea and could be used for the whole family not just the kids.
Here is the 4 Gift Rule:
      These 4 gifts, I believe cover all the bases of things you buy for at Christmas but instead of trying to get EVERYTHING just pick out the number 1 on your list and save some money! When I Christmas shop, no matter what it is I always buy buy buy from Black Friday through the week before Christams. Usually anything and everything I see that I want to get for someone and then we end up with a ton of gifts, that really are unnecessary and the kids on Christmas morning really just have a race to see who can open everything the fastest. In addition to the 4 gifts the kids will also get their gifts from Santa, their stocking, and their gift from Fred ( the Elf on the Shelf).. We started last year, (I have no idea why we would give another imaginary being credit for the awesome gifts mommy and daddy buy but we did) giving the kids a gift from their Elf on the Shelf, they named Fred, for being so good and not touching him or playing with him (the rule of the magic elf) and that he would see them next year. So the kids will also receive their gifts in addition to the 4 Gifts from Mommy and Daddy. That sounds like a wonderful Christmas and not a lot of clutter either! Also if you can get family members that may tend to over buy on board, it would not only help everyones wallet and your home, but your children wont be spoiled and expect a mountain of toys every year from everyone. Maybe you can even put all the money your saving towards yall’s next family vacation!

Sugar Pecans

      Depending on where your from you either say Pecan as Pee-Can or Pee-Con we say   Pee-Can! I don’t know it that is a Southern thing or it just depends on what you’re taught they are called. My daughter use to refuse to say Pecan she just called it a nut. Where we live we have about 5 large Pecan trees in our yard and every year they produce so many pecans that we do not have to buy them ever. I noticed this year that Pecans for 2 cups were $6.00 that is absolutely way to much for only 2 cups. You may be able to get them from your local farmers marker or look for someone who may allow you to come out and pick up your own for a cheaper price. The downfall is that you do have to shell them your self but the money savings and quantity you get is, to me, worth it especially with all those Pecan Pies and Sugar Pecans that are made this time of year.
Im not a Pecan Pie person but I do love Sugar Pecans! I’ve made these a few times for family member and they absolutely ate them all and then asked for more. My sister/best friend considers these her “favorite” and has asked me to send her some. I always joke with her because she lives about 2 hrs away and we don’t get to see each as much as we like that she has to come get them… well she decided she would just ask for the recipe! Smartypants! :p So here it is! Let me know how ya’ll like them. They are very easy and can be a go to for a quick party snack or you can even place them in a mason jar, tie a pretty bow, and send to family or friends this holiday season!

What you need:
-1 egg
-1/3 cup of sugar
-1 tablespoon of Cinnamon (we use 2- if you want more Cinnamon flavor)
-3 cups of Halved Pecans

-         Heat Oven to 300 degrees
-         Place pecans evenly on baking sheet
-         Beat Egg in bowl, pour over pecans, mix up to make sure all are covered
-         Pour Cinnamon Sugar mixture over pecans, mix to make sure all are covered
-         Bake for 15- 20 min… remove immediately from pan, allow to cool before storing them.

Dorito Taco Bake



     One of our favorite meals for Dinner is Tacos! They are Quick and easy and that is exactly what us moms are looking for, especially after a long day of work. However, I have gotten tired of eating the same things the same ole way. So we started trying different things like tacos and spaghetti in different ways. One of our favorites is a Taco Bake. I have picky eaters so things are made very simple and traditional in this house, so feel free to add your favorite taco toppings in with this recipe, layered however you would like. So get creative and make it your own but always keep the bottom and top layer the same. 

What you need:
-1 lb. hamburger meat
-tacos seasoning (make your own or buy a packet)
-1/2 cup of taco sauce or salsa
- 1 to 2 cups of Cheese (your preference)
-1 can Crescent Rolls
- 1 bag of Doritos 

  • Brown the hamburger meat, drain
  • Add Taco Seasoning and Taco Salse/Salsa, cook as normally would to make taco meat.
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Spray the bottom of your 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray
  • Line the bottom of your 9x13 casserole dish with Crescent Rolls, just roll out dough to make a crust bottom.
  • Add Hamburger meat, and then layer with cheese. ( if you are adding additional toppings began to layer here)
  • Crush ½ bag of Doritos into a bowl, and top Casserole with Doritos
  • Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes and serve

     This is one of my go tos especially if we have a very busy week because I always have half a casserole dish left over. This is very easy to reheat. I put in the oven at about 200-250 degrees so it doesn’t cook it and burn it.. its just reheating it and I leave it in for about 25-30 minutes, and it taste just like you made it! Also make some Spanish rice to go one the side! YUMM—this post is making me hungry! Enjoy!

French Toast Breakfast Bake


            Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day, however its usually made for dinner because I do not like getting up and going straight into the kitchen to cook. I may love to cook and we may live our life a little old fashion but because that’s something I do constantly, I do not like it first thing in the morning! I really don’t like doing anything first thing in the morning except staying warm in bed. When I do cook in the morning I like to have something I can throw in the oven and cook, honestly, canned biscuits, cinnamon rolls, or even sometimes make some waffle mix and pour into the waffle maker, something quick and easy! I have recently found some recipes that I can start in the crock pot the night before or do all the prep work the night before and have an amazing breakfast!
            My mother came home from being on vacation for 2 ½ weeks to Las Vegas and we needed to get together to plan Thanksgiving, Christmas, and do some planning on our Disney Trip in Feb. so we decided to get together for home cooked breakfast Saturday morning, which was fine however Friday night is date night for me and the husband… so I saw this French toast bake earlier in the week and remembered it could be prepped the night before and just baked in the morning (so thankful my oven does the cooking in the mornings with no help from me- I just gotta put it in and get it out.. couldn’t ask for easier) If mornings started later in this house then I could probably cook a full feast of a breakfast like dinners usually are.. but they don’t they start anywhere from 5-7 usually, if were lucky sometimes 8, and I am not in the mood for cooking or doing anything! The easier the better especially if you wanna eat something other then cereal or pop tarts. The French Toast Bake turned out to be the best French Toast I have ever had… I could probably eat the whole casserole dish! I also made the favorite Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins! (previously blogged, but I will include the recipe under the French Toast Bake!) Hope your family enjoys!

French Toast Bake
-12 slices of Bread (white/wheat/oat – whatever your preference)
-1 cup of Brown Sugar
-2 teaspoons of Cinnamon ( we like cinnamon so I used 3)
-1 cup of Pecans or Walnuts
-8 Eggs
-1 cup of Milk
-2 teaspoons of Vanilla

-Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes and line a 9x13 casserole dish with one layer of the bread cubes.
- Mix Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, and Pecans or Walnuts together in a bowl, sprinkle half of mixture over the first layer of bread.
-Add remaining Bread cubes to make a second layer, sprinkle remaining Brown Sugar/ Cinnamon mixture over the second layer of bread cubes.
-Mix Eggs, Milk, and Vanilla together. Beat until well mixed
- Pour over Bread and Brown Sugar Mixture. Press down slightly over the bread to make sure all is coated in Egg Mixture.
-Cover and place in the refrigerator over night or go ahead and bake.

-When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees, bake for 20 mins covered and then uncover and bake for additional 20- 25 minutes until the top is lightly browned.
Remove from oven, allow to cool!

--You can sprinkle powder sugar over the top to give it a snowy look and serve with syrup. Hope everyone enjoys!


Turkey Day - Gobble till you Wobble

           
      9 days until Thanksgiving! WOW, where has this year gone? I really can remember last year like it was yesterday! As an adult time flies, but when your a kid it always seems to go so slow. With only 9 days left we are all or at least should be getting ready to spend time with our families, eat some amazing home cooked food, and being thankful for all our blessings that we have had over the past year, as this year comes to a end, and then there are some of us (like me) that know we are cooking, what were going to be cooking but we have yet to get our “plan” ready, make the grocery list and beat the rush to get the shopping done. So I am doing that today- well the planning part not the grocery shopping, my husband does that! (yes, I said my husband! & he does it perfect every time) My blog needs to be added to this week so I figured I would make a Thanksgiving one to first say WOW where has the time gone, and to maybe give you some ideas of what to make or you send me your favorite Thanksgiving recipes.
            We always go to my mothers on Thanksgiving, we eat there for lunch and she cooks the works and I always make deserts and some sides. This year I have no idea what I am going to make but I want it to be something different and were going to let the kids get into cooking and making some stuff too. Now anyone that has picky eating kids knows how hard it can be to make stuff they eat at Thanksgiving. My son usually ends up with just sides like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, corn, and rolls. This year we are going to let them make something fun for their Thanksgiving Dinner and also they can have any sides they want but just like all of us adults are busy cooking away the night before and the day of, the kids should have something fun to do too and why not have them join in on the “cooking”? 

The kids usually make a Pumpkin Turkey and have for years and years. <insert picture> They love doing this and it is very very easy to do: You only need a few simple things for you turkey and it can also be a snack for the children and/or adults.
 This year I think we will switch it up and have them make this and then also a craft for them.
Great to keep the kids busy while your getting the table set!





Great to make one each year with the family to show how the kids have grown!








For me this year it has been very hard to decide what I am going to make because of Pinterest!!! Its very addicting and has so many wonderful ideas and recipes that it’s a little overwhelming. As soon as I think okay I have figured out what I’m going to make I find something else. I am absolutely making my homemade Mashed Potatoes! That is something that has to be made every year, no exceptions! I also plan to use my Bella Pie Maker and make an assortment of mini pies… Apple, Pecan, and Peach. I also plan to make Corn Casserole, Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie, and Rice Krispy Turkey Pops, and Rolo Cookies ( Especially for my husband)  
Recipes will be added between now and Sunday so you can get whatever you may need or want to make for your Thanksgiving Day Get together! Please share your favorite recipes you can add them here in a comment or email them to us at RaisedSouthern.KariScott@yahoo.com

Hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving and remembers what this day is all about and give Thanks to all the people in your life everyday! Happy Thanksgiving Ya’ll and don’t Gobble till ya Wobble! J

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Candy Overload- What are we going to do with all this Candy?


We all know that there is no way our kids are going to eat all the candy they got for Halloween, unless we want tummy aches and rotten teeth!  So what to do with it?? More then likely its going to end up being thrown away, but this year why not try to do something else with all that Candy. Here are some ideas to help get rid of all that candy without throwing it away and without your kids setting a goal to eat it all!
n                          Donate – One thing you can do with all that Candy your kids got yesterday is Donate it! There is a program that allows you to donate your candy and they send it to the troops overseas! This program is called operationshoebox.com Please visit their site for more information!
n                          Lets Cook Something--- Use the Candy to make something with your kids or for your kids. Many kids love ice cream toppings one way you can get rid of all that candy is to pick out some of your favorites and chop them up into toppings and use them to add to your favorite ice cream… Another Idea would be to use the candies and add them to your favorite Cookies or Brownies for a great desert.
n                          Save it and Reuse! --- The Holidays are coming up and the season for lots of baked goods and gingerbread houses! Save some of that candy for your holiday baking and decorating!! The kids will love that they have “extras” to add to their gingerbread houses! You can also plan to have a gingerbread house decorating contest between your family and friends and all the extra candy will be great to help with the add ons!

    Instead of letting your kids eat all that candy or throwing away 80% of it, get creative! If you are going to throw it away, please go ahead and donate it! Not only will you be donating to the troops but you are also teaching your children about donating!  Try one of these ideas out and enjoy some time with your family!
     Hope all the little ones enjoyed their Halloween and trick or treating, I know mine sure did and this year was different then any other. My son is 8 and my daughter 5 and for the first year they walked up to the house by their selves with their daddy and I standing in the driveway waiting for them. I felt like my babies were grown up cause last year my daughter still wanted us to walk up there with her. They all grow so quick! Happy Holidays!

Be Great Parents- Gross your Kids out!




      Ewwwww!!!! That’s usually my son and daughters response when they see my husband and I kissing or hugging. I believe my son is at the “cootie” stage of starting to like girls but “they have cooties”  J My daughter of course follows in her big brothers shoes and does whatever he does. I think it’s cute when they say ewww and giggle but I also think it is very important that they see their parents kiss and hug each other (appropriately) and see the love we share for, not just the love we show them.



     This picture floated across Facebook and belongs to http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/ and made me immediately think “ain’t that the truth!” So I started reading more into PDA in front our children and just like with anything else there are different opinions but I believe that it is very important for my husband and I to model a healthy, loving relationship for our children. It sets a good example of how people should treat each other. Not just kids respecting parents and parents respecting kids, but also adults love and respect each other the same way we do the kids. I believe children find sense of security in knowing that their parents love each other. In the world today there are many different statuses of home life for children and children can worry about things the same way us adults do especially, if school they have a friend or see another kids going through a rough time with their parents divorced or a step parent, stuff like that can give our kids the same type of anxiety that we as adults get. Showing that we love them by kissing and hugging is no different then showing them that we love their daddy or mommy by giving a kiss or a hug! I think it could also be detrimental to your marriage if you don’t hug and kiss in front of your kids. The majority of the time that my husband and I spend together is with and in front of our children, minus the one night a week the kids stay with their YaYa (grandma). I think it could be unhealthy to our children to not see the love that we have for our spouse. They may feel once they grow up and start their own relationships, that they shouldn’t have to show love because they didn’t see it in their home, that’s not what their parents did, and in society all any of us want is to be loved and shown love.  Do you think it’s healthy to do PDA in front of your children? If not, Why? 

Missing Money?

   

     I know most of us have heard about people finding missing money that was theirs but they didn’t get it because they moved, it was a rebate never collected, or money that was owed to them. I personally, really didn’t believe that any of this was real or legit… but I saw one day while working and Rachel Ray was on, a women that had found  a site called missingmoney.com and  all you had to do was put in your name and state and see if you found anything that linked to you and your address. You don’t have to sign up for an account and provide a ton of information you really don’t want to share with a site that your unsure of, all you need is your name and state you live in or may have lived in. I didn’t expect to find anything when I went to the site and was very skeptical, but the fact that it was on Rachel Ray did make me less skeptical then if I would have found the site myself. So I tried it out and what did I find $35.00 that was owed to me from a previous water company in another state. Needless to say once I saw that I was then excited! 

    All that was needed for me to claim my money was that I print out the required form by the state, and include a copy of a previous bill showing that I lived there and my updated address of where they would be sending the money. I have just sent it off and hopefully it wont take to long to receive back. I suggest everyone go check this site out and see if you have free money just sitting waiting on you. With the holidays coming up, we all know how important any amount of money is especially if its owed to us! Go check it out and see if you have missing money waiting for you! Good Luck!

Walt Disney World: Never Settle! - Our Reservations have changed!

Disney: Never Settle- the Reservations have changed!





     Tip #1- Never Settle J We originally started planning this trip because of the new Art of Animation Resort was opening and we wanted to see it and “stay in a story”! We love the value resorts because they are perfect for the kids, the love all the larger then life characters and décor that is in the Value Resorts. When I originally priced our vacation of 7 nights/8 days, it came out to a small fortunate and we were not willing to do that and looked into other options. We found we could do a “camping” vacation at the Fort Wilderness Resort and we were very very excited about getting a RV and RV’ing and then new special pricing and promotions were offered from Disney. The new Fantasyland Expansion is almost done and the Be Our Guest Restaurant will be opening in just a few days, Disney released special pricing for all the excitement called Play, Stay, Dine, & Save and with this promotion you can save hundreds!!  
            When I received the notice of the new Promotions I immediately checked to see if it would be any difference in our vacation and was very surprised to find that all of original plans were now going to be cheaper then what I had already reserved at Ft. Wilderness, I could add an extra day to our park tickets because we chose to only have 5 day park tickets originally but now have chosen to have 6 day tickets and leave a day for Downtown Disney, we upgraded from the quick service plan (that comes with the promo) to the Dining Plan with Table Service, and I still saved $500!! Can’t beat that!! Of course I immediately got on the phone with Disney, waited an hour and a half, and changed the whole vacation around! Even though I was a little disappointed we were not going to be RV’ing, we can still visit and enjoy Ft. Wilderness because if you didn’t known as a Walt Disney Resort Guest you can visit and look at all the beautiful Resorts they offer! The whole reason we started planning this vacation was to see all the new stuff Disney is offering so I was very pleased I was able to stick to our original vacation plan, and it didn’t cost a small fortune but I actually saved! So Never Settle the best way to save money at Disney World is to plan your vacation a good time in advance, that way you have options and can see what Disney World is going to offer because they always have amazing deals, just have to find what is right for you and your family!

            Also as part of 2013 Disney has released they will have 52 weeks of Limited Magic! What this means is that Walt Disney World is going to offer different themed weeks you can learn more at their website and The Walt Disney World Blog . I’m even more excited about our trip since this was released on October 17, 2012 because the week we are going is Valentines Week and not only that but it will be True Love Week and Disney will Celebrate romance and enchantment throughout the week with special moments and entertainment that is meant for us true love lovebirds! The Disney Princes will be with their Princesses, special menus will be offered at selected restaurants and  special Valentines products and collectibles will be offered. It is so exciting to be going during a special time at Disney World. Usually Disney celebrates big at Halloween and Christmas so I definitely was not expecting a week of special stuff during Valentines! It is such a wonderful thing because not only is being at Disney magical in itself and all the other add ons they offer, they have once again gone above and beyond to make all of us traveling to Disney in 2013 extra magical and Limited just for us during our vacations. I'm very pleased with our vacation plans now and can’t wait much longer!! Our countdown is now to double digits instead of triple and the kids can’t stop talking about it! Here is the link for the new Art of Animation we will be staying at! Check it out, and also check out the special offers available under the packages tab at the Walt Disney Word Website!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

DIY Pumpkins - Home Decor

   
     Is this pumpkin not cute or what? Oh and did I mention how easy this cutie is to make? I found this of course on Pinterest (-lets admit it, every idea and recipe we now have comes from Pinterest) and I thought that is exactly what I need to decorate my house this fall, and they even go with the Halloween & Thanksgiving themes. I also am planning on making some for Halloween that I am hoping I can make Orange, Green, & Purple ones that are specifically Halloween colors, maybe even some glow in the dark ones! The possibilities are endless! The kids could also add their own art to them. All of the materials needed can be purchased at your local Lowes or Home Depot and your local craft store.











What you Need:
-Dryer Vent (whatever length you prefer) 
-Wire Cutters
-Zip Ties
-Spray Paint
-Ribbon
- & Cinnamon Sticks
- (maybe hot glue gun)
     Figure out your preferred Size of the dryer vent pumpkin and bring together. With the Wire Cutters, cut the dryer vent as even as possible. At the ends of each side, cute a small hole for the zip ties, be careful to not tear and zip tie together. Once it is zip tied together, Spray Paint the dryer vent desired color and allow to dry. Once Dry, Place Cinnamon Stick in the middle of the Circle, if hole is to big hot glue to one side, allow to dry. Once dry, Tie Ribbon around the cinnamon stick to make it look like leaves. If doing a different type of pumpkin other then the traditional, you may want to tie ribbon to make a bow.

     These pumpkins are great for a quick easy and fairly priced decor, plus they look absolutely beautiful in the home!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I'm a bad mom! Don't Judge!

     Every Mother whether we admit it or not has had many- what others would consider, "bad mom" moments.Ya know the moments, where you bribe your child to please be good while mommy is in here talking with this person and I'll let you pick a special treat, or letting your child keep the pacifier longer then the "experts" say. The bad part about it though is that none of us openly talk about it because we are all going to judge each other, and once again were human and it happens! However, it should not happen because were adults and we all, as mothers know that nothing about motherhood is perfect, easy, and if you have multiple children you understand every child is different in his/her own way and do their own thing! No matter how much we strive to be super mom and perfect, there are still those moments and sometimes entire days, where we loose it and need a break from our trying to be "perfect" role of mother/wife/working-mom & wife and there is NOTHING wrong with that!


     Yesterday, My friend Lynsey from Moscato Mom posted on her blog about being a bad mom and I immediately thought what is she talking about, because she is far far from a "bad mom", so I of course had to read. The post was about a picture that was posted from another site that had caused a lot talk, and from reading the original post a lot of controversy..The post originally is from Granola Babies and the picture states in writing "We do things differently and love our babies exactly the same, Lets Celebrate that!" However, there are always going to be those people that are judgemental and feel the need to exercise their right of freedom of speech, even if it is a ignorant opinion, but lets all face the facts, NO ONE does Motherhood the same as anyone else and where is the "manual" that we are all suppose to be following?


     Many women have been talking about the TRUTH about motherhood a lot lately, in books, television, and now taking over the web!  Many bloggers have started writing about the things that we do that, what others may consider "not the right way" and letting it be known that all mothers  do things differently and that's okay.. we should all be supportive of each other and the decisions that we are making to raise our children, because it all comes down to this, if we are making a decision for our children, that alone shows we care and love them, and all any child needs to be happy is to be loved and cared for and cared about, because there are many many children that don't have anything.. Its so sad that in a world where most of us internally feel that everyone should always be themselves, be real and true to your dreams and feelings, the truth is that you can't unless you want a constant battle and to justify your decisions and actions. There has now been a meme started by Life with Levi about being 100% honest on how you are a mother and raise your kids, and to know that it is okay because your child is happy, loved, safe, growing, and succeeding the way any child should , and its all because of you! :) So here goes!

I am a bad mom because:

- I was a teen mom at 17, but I graduated 5 days before I gave birth to our son, I am still with my children's father and have been for 10 years and married for 7 years, I have never been on welfare or government assistance, we own our own home , and work everyday for our future!

-We were not married when our son was born.

-I formula fed both my children from birth.

- Both my children slept on their stomachs and NEVER have slept in the bed with me, even when sick we sleep in the living room.

-I put infant cereal in my childrens bottle and fed them foods before I was "suppose" to

- My son had all his immunizations on time, every time.When I had my daughter
I was terrified of all the immunization side effects (circling the media at the time) and my daughter only had up to her 2 month shots and I decided to wait till she had to start school to get the required for her to start.

-Both my kids took cups or bottles to bed until they were 3.

- My daughter took a pacifier until she was 2 1/2

-My son is circumcised.

- I let my babies watch cartoons before the age of 2, and honestly :) its been used to keep them busy while I got some things done.

-Both of my children fell of of something, (bouncy seat,couch, bed,etc) when they started becoming mobile and was obviously more mobile then I thought.

-I have bribed my kids, with a special treat (special treat, candy, ice cream etc.)  to be good in the store (or anywhere, really!) or while I am on the phone/talking in person with someone so I could just get it done with out it being a long drawn out process.

-Both my children sleep with their televisions on during the weekend.

- I have yelled at my children.

- I do expect my children to be independent.

- I am very strict when it comes to doing good in school, staying focused on school, chores, etc.

-I expect my kids to use their manners and be respectful because they were taught to use them and I know they know them and how to use them.

- I let my children ride their bike most of the time without their helmet.

-Sometimes ya have to go dig through the laundry basket of clean clothes, cause I haven't got around to folding them.

-My kids have had chores since they were 4.

- I do sometimes wonder what it would have been like if I would have not got pregnant as a teenager.

- When shopping for stuff for the kids at school, I wonder if its right because I don't want them to get picked on.

- I absolutely love being a mom, but sometimes i hate having to "do" it. (cook, bathes, clean,etc)

- There have  been those stressful times where, I wish I only had me to take care of, instead of 3 other people, a house, bills, job, etc.cause most of the time, "me time" gets pushed to the bottom of the list.

    I am sure that many of us can go on and on with a list of things that we do while raising our kids that others would think were not right and made us "bad moms" but at the end of the day. Those people do not matter and the only people that do are the little people that we chose to bring into this world and help succeed in every way possible. I admit that when I was 17 and having my son I had no idea what I was getting myself into but now my 8 year old son and 5 year old daughter are the greatest thing that I have ever done and I am so proud that even though I make and made all those decisions above both my children are very happy, responsible, caring, intelligent, and well behaved and have anything and everything they need and want + much much more.. I wouldn't change any of the decisions I have made and will continue to make decisions based on what is best for my children as individuals, not what society thinks is right for every child! As long as your children are safe, happy, loved, and cared for you are doing your best! Don't let anyone tell you any different!!

     A really good book for all of us mothers is " I was a Really Good Mom before I had Kids" by Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile. It is all the truths about motherhood and what it really is like behind that perfect little picture we all have built in our heads. I guarantee there is something in this book for every mother and it also helps us quit judging each other and really start enjoying motherhood. The book has taking things from mothers all the world that they have problems with in motherhood or feel guilty about.. but hey its just Motherhood.. nothing to feel guilty about! One mother wrote into the book and said:

How true is this for many many of us mothers?

How do you feel about being a bad mom? link up with Life with Levi and share your a "bad mom" habits! Promise we wont Judge you cause were mothers too and know how raising children can be!

Everyone have a great day! The weekend's almost here!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Back To School - To Much or Just the cost of Kids?

     

    Many of us down here in the South have been in school for about a month now and I must say that from the way the school year is going so far it is going to be a busy and hectic year... In this month, (which please keep in mind the second week of school we were out for 3 days due to Hurricane Issac) we have already completed one fundraiser which is done every year at the beginning and sent home on the FIRST day of school, we are currently doing book fair this week and that completes on Friday, and I just sent in a field trip form for my son to go on a field trip 9/24. Does anyone else think this is too much for the first month of school? I have two kids in school and that gets expensive.. two of everything! I couldn't imagine having more children in school. I understand that there could be ways of getting around buying two things from every fundraiser but I only think its fair for our children to both be able to participate in their school fundraisers and help raise money for their school, so i guess I shouldn't complain but so much at one time and the fact that it will continue probably all throughout the year is a bit much, I think!  So far Since School has started NOT to mention any of the school clothes, or supplies we have spent:
 
- Fundraiser: Pizza Kits, 2 kids = $18.00
 
- Book Fair: 2 kids, $15.00 a piece = $30.00
 
- Headphones for Computer: Both Kids $6.00 a piece: $12.00
 
- School Shirts (because the whole school wears them Fridays), yeah & 2 kids, $12.00 = 24.00
 
- Field Trip, 1 kid = $6.00
 
GRAND TOTAL SPENT TOWARDS SCHOOL: $90.00
 
To Much? or Just the Cost of Kids?
 
     I completely agree that the schools should do fundraisers to raise money for the anything that is needed. However I feel that $90.00 in the first month of school is crazy. Now yes, maybe the Book fair at 15.00 a piece per kid could have been cut back but honestly I rather the kids spend that money on books and pencils to draw and write with than toys and stuff they really just don't need. So after looking at my bank account and it being absolutely "out of sorts" and finding that I have spent 90.00 at the school already, in the first month of school, I need to figure out why!
    With the price of everything going up in the entire world and cut backs happening to our education it is being expected that parents supply more and buy more to help the schools be able to teach our children... HOWEVER... I feel that the school should take this into consideration for the parents as well. So in our family, we are going to be looking into some ways to save us money but also help out our school!
 
  1.  The first thing we have considered is putting a $10.00 limit on what we add to the book fair. If the kids want more then that then they are going to have use some of their allowance for that. With my son being at a more responsible age we are starting a allowance with him. Were looking and trying out different options for us with the allowance but any extra money other then $10.00 will need to come from them.  
  2.  Fundraisers: As previously in my post I feel its necessary for each child to be able to participate in the fundraisers and raise some money for their school. What we do is ask one family member to purchase one thing from one child and then a different family member to purchase at least one thing from the other child. That way each child is at least participating in the fundraiser and were not spending even more money and were not constantly begging our family and friends to buy buy buy from our child when they have children of their own.  
  3. Lunch: This isn't a problem for our family... because my children are very picky and take their lunches and snacks everyday. However, if your child eats at school and does not receive free lunch that can get expensive. Our school lunches are $1.50 per lunch. If your child eats every day all week that right there is $7.50 a week. That is not bad for one child however add multiple children to that and it will add up. Having your child take his/her lunch will save you money automatically especially if after you go grocery shopping you go ahead and separate the snacks that go with lunch down you will know what you have for the school week and what you have left over for the week. Plus the money you save will add up and if you eat out at work , start taking your lunch and see how much you save. If you have access to a microwave, start taking leftovers! They are the best for next day lunches!

    These are some that we came up with right off the top of our head, just based on the money we've spent and saved already... Do you have any Money Saving Tips for when it comes to being a parent and doing it all?

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls - Out of the box!

      Pillsbury is absolutely the best, but lets be honest, who didn't already know that? So grocery shopping in the store I see this product down the baking isle that I haven't seen before and probably because my husband does most of the grocery shopping,yes i said; my husband does most of the grocery shopping, but he does an amazing job and that is one less thing I have to worry about. So I decided we would try it and I wouldn't have to buy the can of cinnamon rolls and it would still be "homemade" but everything is right there for me! I decided to make the Cinnamon Rolls on Sunday Morning for our Sunday Breakfast. I always try to cook a nice breakfast on Sundays for the family, that always starts the day off great! I was a little nervous about making them because if they weren't good or I didn't do something right.. we didn't have a back up breakfast... BUT they absolutely turned out PERFECT, and were so ooey gooey delicious. 

     Making this was very easy! Just make sure you allow yourself enough time because the yeast does need to rise! This is also something that would be a great cooking activity for you to do as a family! The kids would really enjoy spreading the cinnamon butter and helping to roll the rolls. Also an idea for anyone who makes these at the holidays.. you could add sprinkles to the cinnamon butter spread or you can add sprinkles to the top of the rolls once finished. My children would want sprinkles on the inside and outside, which can make for a very festive breakfast for any occasion really. Also great to make and take to work or school for the teachers or your child's class, for a different type of snack for their birthday. Make sure to speak with the teacher first though! 


     Pillsbury of course has some of the best products around and not only that but they have an amazing website at www.Pillsbury.com that has so many recipes, videos, and even a member discussion board where you can share your recipes with others and get some new ones for your self and your family! They have contest that are going on and you can participate in or just enjoy the recipes from all that are participating in the contest! With all the products offered there is no reason why you wouldn't find a Pillsbury product that you like! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins - ONLY 3 Ingredients!

     

     The name says it all, and 3 ingredients makes it even better and better for you! I think these muffins are great and you can even freeze them for later in the week for school and they are as moist as if you made them fresh!! My Daughter LOVES them! My son on the other hand, is a picky picky eater. I told him that they were chocolate chip muffins and he sat down and began enjoying them. My husband then comes in and I began telling him all about it and what was in these tasty and effortless muffins and all of a sudden my son chimes in. I don't like these. (he had already eaten 3/4 of the muffin) So as a parent of a picky eater, I turned to him and told him, you eat everything that is in these muffins and the only reason you don't like them is cause you heard me telling daddy about the recipe and to finishing his muffin. He did with no problem but from now on I have to make sure he doesn't hear anything I say because he swears he does not like chocolate chip muffins now, only blueberry! As long as you don't have a super picky eater your children will love them and they are a perfect treat!



Whatcha Need:
-3 or 4 bananas ( I used 3 & I thought it was perfect)
- 1 box of yellow or white cake mix
- 1 cup of Chocolate Chips
-1 cup water

    Heat oven to 350 degrees,  peal all of the bananas and place into a bowl, mash bananas, add box of cake mix, 1 cup water  and cup of chocolate chips. Mix well and fill, well sprayed muffin tin. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until browned on the top.

I did not use a regular muffin pan for our muffins, I used a little mini muffin pans. I made two batches of these and froze one set for the next week. When we took them out they were still just as fresh! I think I will be making some more today for the kids for school these next few weeks! :) for breakfast & Snack!


 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Seasons Fun Checklist for the Family!



     The first day back to school is tomorrow! can’t believe how quick Summer has flown by. I’ve really enjoyed having my son home and getting to spend time together and him having some relaxing time and getting to do some fun stuff he wants, like build Legos, play outside all day and get dirty,and of course have time for his video games.  My daughter is starting school this year so I wanted to make this Summer a fun one. Before school was even out for my son, I was making a list of all the stuff we can do, boating, beach days, ice cream runs, etc. I was looking on Pinterest one day (don’t even say anything, yes everything comes from Pinterest nowadays) and I saw a fall checklist and though that would be great to follow up after our Summer List. So I decided to make a board that would go into our kitchen and every season we would make a checklist that would consist of all the stuff we wanted to get done during that season. My kids loved the idea and I had the perfect place for our board to go.
     Our kitchen is all wood, with a country décor, and a olive green and maroon décor to go with the wood. I decided that our board should go along with the décor of the kitchen and every season we would just use chalk colors that go along with that season.  Here is how we made our Seasons of Fun Checklist:



What we used:
-1 piece of Plywood ( my husband is a Carpenter, so there is wood  and pieces lying all over his shop.
-Trim
-Nails
-Hammer
-Chalkboard Paint
-Paintbrush
-Paint (in your desired color for the trim)
-Chalk
     Choose your wood to be your desired size. I painted the plywood first with the chalkboard paint, and then the trim with the color paint you have chosen. Nail the trim to the edges of the Board to create a framed chalkboard. Make out a list of “to do’s” with your children. Mine really enjoyed coming up with ideas to do over the summer. We also explained that just because they are going on the list does not mean that all of them would get done. This takes the pressure off the big stuff that kids add to the list like water park, which some may not have a water park near, the money, and/or the time.
     I wanted to add a little more decoration to our checklist so I decided to go through all the family portraits that we have had done and all the kids pictures we have bought and took out wallets from the time they were born all the way up to now. I placed them in order from birth to now and modge podge the pictures of the kids down one side and then family pictures of my husband and I and the kids on the bottom. I am very happy with how our checklist turned out!! Get Creative when you make your Checklist and decorate to your style.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Disney - Where Dreams Began & Ours are Booked!



   
     Disney—where dreams began!! – That is absolutely the truth! Our children, just like us watch those timeless Disney classics, and learn to dream and believe just as we did. I still to this day at 26 years young enjoy Disney movies; old ones, new ones, anything with Disney on it. I have been to Walt Disney World 3 times in my life, once as a child and then, so far, twice as an adult. We absolutely love Disney! We went for my honeymoon, & we took our First Family Vacation in 2011 and of course we went to?? Yep, you got it. Walt Disney World! :) At that time, my children were 6 & 3. My daughter didn’t do a lot and my son did as much as he could handle before he was completely exhausted! We were only there for Four Days and tried to cram 3 parks into those Four Days and Downtown Disney.. Well we recently decided we are going back, but this time our trip is going to be a whole lot different than it has ever been and were going to have BLAST!!
     This Walt Disney World Vacay when we started planning, we thought was going to cost a small fortunate. We started out planning for it to be Our Family of 4 ( Husband, Son, Daughter,& Myself) & my momma (aka. Yaya). We wanted to stay at a hotel and got to thinking one room or two and then with all the other options of park hopper, waterslides & more, all week tickets.. only 6 day tickets, dining,.. and on and on.. the price kept going up and wasn’t coming down. So we got to thinking well should we try to stay off park property! Now this is where I draw the line!! If I am going to Walt Disney, I want the whole Walt Disney Experience, and that means everything, so I had to get to thinking of ways to save some money. My husband and I discussed it one afternoon and he said we need to get a Camper and go down there and enjoy Disney as we normally would, and of course how adventurous! I was immediately excited!
    I started checking out prices right away at Cruise America and at the Ft. Wilderness Campground on Walt Disney Property. We live in Alabama, out in the country and on Perdido Bay, we spend a lot of our time outside and on the water anyways and we love outdoor activities. The more I got to looking at everything that was offered at Ft. Wilderness I was hoping that it would be cheaper to take the trip this way. We did some brainstorming on what we should do and it was going to be very expensive to pick the RV up locally and drive to Orlando and we were not trying to make the trip cost anymore then if we were getting two hotel rooms.  *LIGHT BULB*  Lets see what it cost to pick up the RV in Orlando and we will get a rental car, drive down and pick up the RV, drive to the park & RV for a week in Disney! It was an awesome idea & now I just had to hope that we could save some money of some kind by doing it like this. My fingers & toes were crossed! I knew this would be such an exciting and bonding experience for us all! So I checked all the prices and it turned out we would save about $590.00 doing it this way instead of getting two hotel rooms.. Our package includes: 7 nights, 8 days at Walt Disney World Ft. Wilderness Resort, We chose the Magic your Way Package with Dining, 6 day park tickets, no park hopper, and no waterparks and more. This savings includes adding RV, car, and estimating gas. The original plan was everything listed minus RV, car, and gas and I was going to be spending MORE…way more.
     I couldn’t have been more excited about our new plan and our Disney Adventure that we were going to be going on. The Ft. Wilderness  Resort is absolutely beautiful and has a lot to do there. It has everything that any hotel would. My mom was very worried about the space.. and us all being crammed together..and not happy if it rained and we were all stuck together.. However, as I explained to her, there are many places we could take shelter and not have to be all cooped up together..I think we will all be fine. Luckily my husband likes his mother in law C: and my mother likes my husband.



     We told the kids about our new plans for our Disney Vacation and showed them all the pictures online and showed them the RV and they were just as excited as we were.  At the Ft. Wilderness Campgrounds there are all kinds of activites for the children to do and places for them to play and run off some of the excitement they will have. We also get to see the boat show every night and will be able to see some Fireworks as well! I think it will be such a great experience for us as a family. My husband did not travel or go on any type of family vacaitons when he was younger.. it wasn’t something they did and I traveled a lot and went on lots of vacations. So its important to me that we do that he gets to expeience stuff too. I think we are all so excited because this  is something I have never done either. So its new to all of us. This will be our last trip to Disney for a while. We want both our children to enjoy Disney at different ages and stages in their life.. They will be 8 & 5 when we travel this time and I think the next time we go the kids will be 12/13 and 9/10 years old.  We want them to experience different vacations each year in between! Now if I can afford to go to Disney every year that will be something we do!
    I must say that yes Disney can be a expensive vacation if you make it that way. In order to plan the perfect trip look at all of your options. Consider everything. It could save you a lot of money if you do take the time to look. If you don’t have time to look around, take a afternoon or morning, if you prefer and visit a travel agent or your local AAA office and get information on a trip.
    I think this trip is going to be the best one yet because we know what were planning for, we will be there a full week, and we are going to have an amazing bonding time!! Look for more updates and ideas that may be just right for you and your family as well, when traveling to Disney!!

Walt Disney World – We can’t wait to see you real soon!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Birthday Party for 2!



      After Planning for several months it was time for the kids birthday parties…They were so excited when they came that morning to drop the water slide off.. Justin & I had got up early so he could get started on the the kids swing set, which by the way he put together in 5 hrs… I read the reviews and some said 10 hours, and 2 days.. Etc.. & it was mainly just him.. I helped here and there but I had a birthday party to get ready for., so he did it all. A water slide is such a great route to go especially during a hot day the kids have a blast and it keeps them all cool.. Last year I got a regular water slide but this year because we still have some little kids in the family that are scared of the water slide, so I got a combo blow up that was a Water slide and a Bouncer. ($200 for 10hrs)










     We did both the kids birthday’s together because we were going out of town a few weeks later. My Son choose to have a Lego Theme and my daughter wanted The Little Mermaid. For their decorations I choose to order table clothes, goody bags, Stuff for the goody bags, Cupcake candle, plates, and napkins. I only bought the themed plates and napkins for the kids to have during cupcakes and went to dollar tree and bought regular paper plates, napkins, and plastic cups for everyone. You can cookout at this type of party if you choose to do one, I did the party at 2 so everyone ate Lunch before hand and we had snacks, cupcakes, juice boxes, and water. I made the kids cupcakes, they turned out so good and were really easy! Anyone can have amazing cupcakes, but its even more amazing to have cupcakes that are amazing, were easy, and didn’t cost a fortune!














Your Going to Need:
*Cake Mix & whatever is needed to mi cake mix (I.e. oil, eggs, etc)
*Icing
*Sprinkles


     I used regular white cake mix bought at your local grocery store, mix and bake as stated on the box for cupcakes. Choose some decorative cupcake liners that go with your theme just to add a little more décor to your party, and they don’t cost much. Choose your icing and if your adding color, go ahead and mix and ice the cupcakes. Once the cupcakes are made pour your sprinkles into a bowl that is big enough to dip your cupcake into. Once you have the sprinkles poured grab your cupcakes and start dipping into the sprinkles to fully cover the icing in sprinkles. This gives the cupcake a awesome effect and you can do this with anything, ( candy, cookies, coconut, etc.). Once finished adding sprinkles, I stuck the cupcakes in the freezer for about 3 min to harden the icing and then I could cover them with non-stick aluminum foil and it would not ruin them. Also don’t forget to add the cupcake toppers (if you have them), these cupcakes are cool enough that they don’t have to have toppers. ENJOY.





The kids truly had an amazing time and enjoyed everything. Even though I have a boy and a girl it worked out great to have their birthday one time with a Giant Water Slide! They are getting much bigger and are going to start wanting bigger parties so I am trying to make sure I enjoy the kid parties now.