About Me

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I'm a mom, but I am also so much more. I'm a wife, I work, cook, shop, craft, try to stay healthy, keep up on the latest technology, and style trends, and much more! Come join me in my adventure of making a new blog that allows us to share the everyday things (ups and downs) that turns living an everyday life into living a lively life!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Be content with what you have

Lately I have had that hardest time being content with life. I am finding myself wanting more. I want a bigger house, a higher paying job, a better school for my child…… more, more, more.

Today I said, "ENOUGH!"

I need to be content with what I have. I don't need a fairy tale life. I don't NEED a big house. What I need is food, shelter, and love. I may want more, but I don't  need it. So many people have less than me, I need to enjoy what I have an not give into the temptation of wanting more.
So here I am at 11pm on the computer. Unable to sleep. I typed the phrase "Be content with what you have" into google and found this great blog post.

My favorite part from that post is this:  

"So, stop reaching, searching, and trying to buy your slice of happiness, as it’s not something that is out of your reach.
Know that, and next time you’re standing in line at the grocery store, don’t reach for the magazine promising you the Disney fairy tale happy ending. It doesn’t exist—it’s a fairy tale!
Instead, smile at the cashier and wish her a lovely day. You will make her day a little happier and in doing so, maybe some of that magic will rub off on you." ~Victoria Cox

Today I have a mini challenge for you. Think of 5 basic things in your life that you sometimes tend to under value. List them here and then spend the next 5 days focusing on the many amazing things that you already have around you. 

5 things i'm guilty of undervaluing and that I will strive to value more: 
1.My house (not my dream but it is nice and more than many people have.)
2.My car (works great, efficient, and almost paid off)
3.A job that pays the bills (might not make me rich, but i'm happy there)
4.Friends that allow me to escape and have fun when reality is hard
5.Hand me downs…. (I had to think long and hard about the last one but I'm actually really grateful for all the things that have been given to me. I have a fridge because my parents up graded at the same time as mine broke. I have lots of cute decorations from my mother in law who is clean out her supplies and its made my house super cute. My daughter has been provided with tons of cute clothes from my niece, none of which we could have afforded otherwise. Many times we look down on hand-me-downs, but i'm grateful for them, they've made my life more enjoyable.)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Biker shorts.... At Target

Went shopping the other day and ran into the best thing! 

Bike shorts.

Why you ask? My daughters current career goal is to be a princess at Disney  World, for practice she is wanting to wear dresses everyday. 

I have a feeling this will continue through a good good part of the summer. Now she can throw on a pair of bike shorts under her dress and play to her hearts content and it won't break my budget.

Looks at he color selection too! 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Small steps towards a bigger solution

This seems to be a big topic right now. I wanted to take a quick moment to weigh in and would love to hear what your thoughts are as well.

We all remember the "pink slime" outcry from not that long ago...
I didn't frequent McDonald's back then and I still rarely go. 
However, Grandma and Grandpa take my daughter as a 'treat', on what seems like, a weekly basis. When my daughter goes she always picks the nuggets. 

So, even though I internally grimace when she tells me she went to McDonald's with Grandma and Grandpa, at least I know in the future the nuggets will be slightly healthier. 

But, yes there is always a "but"...

I wish McDonald's would make same effort towards changing their beef sources. 

From my view point it seems that chicken is a smaller part of their profit margin so they can "go healthy " to attract that market segment (or maybe it's marketing strategy?), but they still continue to serve low quality beef for cheap. 

I applaud them for making small steps but they have a long way to go. If they are this moved about thier chicken they should apply equal standards to their beef.

Your thoughts?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Pinned it. Nailed it? Hair.

Happy Birthday Dr. Suess!

In honor of the birthday of Dr. Suess I created a little hat clip for my daughter to wear to school for their Dr Suess party.

I didn't take pictures of the entire process, but it is pretty simple. 

Hair clip
Large white button
Smaller red and white buttons
Hot glue

Glue the buttons together. Glue now to the clip and adhear the button hat on top. 

Clip in!

Dr Suess was an amazing man who contributed to the world of children literature but in doing so made contributions to the world as a whole. 

His wisdom spoke well beyond the pages of his books.

Dr. Suess has found a place of inspiration in many of our hearts.

So pick up a Dr. Suess book today and read with your child. Pass on the special messages in so many of his books to the next generation!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Happy Chinese New Year

It's Chinese New Year and in honor of that I have been trying out a few new recipes. 

I made a Pinterest recipe the other night that turned out so good! (So very good that we ate it all!)

It was simple, easy, fairly healthy, and if you can get your 5 year old and your husband to both say they liked it, it must be a keeper! I modified it to fit the ingredients I had in my fridge and to fit my gluten free needs.

6 oz gluten free spaghetti noodles

1/4 cup very hot water
2 tsp low sodium beef bullion
3 Tbsp gluten free soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar

Oil for pan frying beef and veggies in pan (I use olive oil)

1lb beef (I used grass feed beef and a fajita steak cut)
1 large red onion chopped
2 large carrots chopped up into small chunk (I used carrots I grow in the summer the wash chop and freeze in 1 lb bags.)
2 cups (give or take) I like broccoli so i make mine heaping cup fulls :-)
2 Tbsp of diced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil

1) Cook spaghetti as directed. (If you can, time it so you will be draining it about the time the meat and veggies are done.)
2) Combine low sodium beef bullion, gluten free soy sauce, and brown sugar the hot water and stir until fully dissolved. Set off to the side.
3) Cook meat with olive oil in pan until almost done. Near the end add the onions, garlic, and sesame oil so they will start to soften and caramelize a bit and the flavors will combine.
4) Add in carrots and broccoli and put on medium low head to warm and soften veggies. Stir often to mix flavors.
5) When veggies are warmed all the way through (I like mine with a little crunch, cook longer if you prefer a more cooked veg)  Add the sauce you set aside earlier, mix to coat everything well.
6) Pour the entire meat, veg, sauce mixture into the drained noodles and toss to coat everything.

Serve and watch it disappear into happy mouths!

 Original recipe from momsdish.com can be found here.

Serving size:
- See more at: http://momsdish.com/recipe/400/beef-lo-mein-recipe#sthash.uDCZLntN.dpuf
    • 8 ounces
    • Thin Spaghetti; broken in half
    • Oil; for frying
    • 2
    • large Carrots
    • 1
    • large Onion
    • 4
    • Garlic Cloves
  • - See more at: http://momsdish.com/recipe/400/beef-lo-mein-recipe#sthash.uDCZLntN.dpuf
    And after eatting such a great dinner why not continue the fun with a craft?
     Super simple Chinese lanterns from firstpalette.com.

    • Paper or cardstock (preferably red or yellow)
    • Scissors
    • Stapler or tape
    • Glue
    • Ruler
    • Pencil
    • Things to decorate your lantern with: gift wrap
      paper, ribbons, sequins, stickers, glitter glue,
      small buttons, etc.


    Step 1 Chinese Paper Lantern craft 1. Start out with an A4, Letter size, or any rectangular sheet of paper or cardstock. Red and yellow are preferred colors for a Chinese-themed lantern, but you can always choose any color you like.
    Step 2 Chinese Paper Lantern craft 2. Cut a 1-inch wide strip off on one short side. Set this aside for the handle.
    Step 3 Chinese Paper Lantern craft 3. Fold the paper in half, lengthwise.
    Step 4 Chinese Paper Lantern craft 4. Draw a horizontal line one inch from the long edge opposite the fold.

    *This line is just a guide for cutting and may not be necessary for older kids.
    Step 5 Chinese Paper Lantern craft 5. Starting from the folded edge, cut a straight line about an inch from one short edge, all the way up to the horizontal line.
    Step 6 Chinese Paper Lantern craft 6. Continue to cut more straight lines about 1 inch apart until you reach the opposite short edge of the paper. Remember that the horizontal line marks the point where you stop cutting each straight line.
    Step 7 Chinese Paper Lantern craft 7. Unfold the paper. The paper will have several vertical slits along the middle. Erase any pencil marks or re-fold the crease the opposite way to hide the pencil marks at the back.
    Step 8a Chinese Paper Lantern craft 8. Decorating the lantern is optional but if you wish to jazz up yours, here are some ideas you can try:

    a.) Make a border by painting with any water-based paint or coloring with crayons or oil pastels.
    Step 8b Chinese Paper Lantern craft
    b.) Create patterns and details with glitter glue, puffy paint, or markers.
    Step 8c Chinese Paper Lantern craft
    c.) Glue on a strip of gift wrap paper, patterned paper, fabric, lace, washi tape, or a wide ribbon to make a border.
    Step 8d Chinese Paper Lantern craft
    d.) Add texture by gluing on materials like craft foam or felt shapes, small buttons, beads, sequins, ribbon, lace, etc. Do not glue on materials that are too heavy for your paper though.

    Take note to leave at least a half-inch of undecorated area on one top corner. This space will allow you to connect the two edges of the paper to form a lantern.
    Step 9 Chinese Paper Lantern craft Ask for an adult's help9. Form the paper into a tube shape to transform it into a lantern. Overlap the long edges at least a half-inch. Staple or tape the top and bottom corners.
    Step 10 Chinese Paper Lantern craft 10. Glue on the paper handle from Step 2. Decorate the handle if you like.

    Once the glue dries, hang the paper lantern as a festive Chinese New Year decoration.

    More Ideas

    Red Chinese paper lantern with sequins Instead of paper, you can use a length of ribbon, lace or fabric for the handle.
    Chinese paper lantern with streamers Cut strips of crepe paper and glue these along the inside of the lantern's bottom edge. These streamers will make the lanterns move gracefully with the wind.
    Pastel-colored paper lanterns Besides the typical red and yellow Chinese lanterns, you can make them in your favorite colors or in hues that go with a particular occasion (e.g. orange and black for Halloween).
    Blue paper lantern You can also decorate the strips in betwen the slits of your lantern. Glue on small paper or fabric shapes, or draw designs with markers or crayons.

    Monday, February 23, 2015


    Strawberries were on sale at the store. I know they are out of season and probably sprayed with an unhealthy amount of pesticides but I got them anyhow. My daughter loves them and so do I. 

    I decided to have a bit of fun and create a dinosaur (inspired by a strawberry alligator I found on Pinterest).

    It's super simple. 
    -clean the strawberries. 
    -cut the top of of a large strawberry and place upside down .

    -place a toothpick In at an angle and insert a medium sized strawberry for the head.
    -use cake decorating gel (or sprinkle, or any other decorating material) to create the eyes and nostrils. 

    Then watch your child "roar" with delight when they see them!

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

    Alternative Option: Clean(er) Eating ~Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

    The sub zero cold weather is coming again to the Midwest.....  BRRRR!
    Why not warm up with a cup of hot chocolate, but lets be clean about it.
    Instead of a cup of the processed hot cocoa mix (that I told you about a few weeks ago Link here) how about making your own?

    It's so simple and you have most ingredients in the pantry, if not they're easily accessible at the store!

     Homemade Dry Hot Chocolate mix

    Makes 5 1/2 cups of dry mix
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 cup cocoa powder
    • 3 cups powdered non-fat milk
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
    Fill mug halfway with mix (about a 1/4 cup of mix). Pour in hot water. Mix well.

     Here are a few tips that I've picked up over the years while making this.
    • Put the cornstarch and powdered milk in the food processor if you have one. (It gets rid of all the lumps!) Then put it in a large bowl and use a whisk to mix together all the other ingredients. 
    • You can play with the flavor a bit and add more or less milk depending on the creaminess you prefer.
    •  You can also play with the type of coco you add, dark choc, milk choc, white choc, etc. 
    • Finally, if you'd like, add a tiny dash of cayenne pepper will give it a great little flavor. You can also add cinnamon or a variety of there flavoring if you want to jazz it up.

    Spring Educational Fun

    Spring in coming.... 

    That means, flower, caterpillars, and butterflies!

    I am looking for some fun yet educational activities to do with my daughter during spring break. Here are some fun things I have found while perusing the web. 


    These are some cute printable s that could easily be made into a book and then use them for some practice reading. Pick out sight words. Highlight names of foods. etc...


    I LOVE homeschoolcreations.com. I have used several of their preschool printables last summer. This garden unit is adorable and the perfect way to learn more about spring while getting some letter and fine motor skills practice.

    Engaged and Entertained Without Electronics

    My daughter has become the child who often asks, "Mom, can I have your phone?" while we are traveling in the car or at the grocery store. She is looking for a source of entertainment and something to keep her mind engaged. Here is a great article about when it is appropriate to let you child use electronics.

    I have nothing against her using it occasionally since I keep a collection of educational apps on there for her. I keep a limit on electronics and TV time so occasional usage (short periods of time, a few times a week at most) is all I allow. I do also admit, if I am trying to focus on driving or get my shopping done quickly without interruption having that there for her to use is rather convenient.

    However, as a child I was forced to use my mind to create my own entertainment and I think that is part of the reason I am creative today.

    Part of me wonders, as today's society looks more and more to electronic devices to provided educational material and entertainment for our children are they going to lose some of that ability to use their imagination?

    When my sister shared this Etsy shop with me and wanted to share it with all of you. Felt boards are a simple product that can allow your child tons of creative options. Allison creates some super adorable boards and characters. Just keep them in your car or bag and when your child is looking for entertainment they can create and tell their own scenes and stories over and over and again.

    Felt boards allow unlimited imagination in creating a scene.
    What adorable carrying case!

    Perfect for a pirate story.....

    Or for someone who loves to tell fairy tales.....

    And how CUTE are these little arctic animals!!!

    Allow your child to relive their favorite family memories by recreating the scene.

    Lots more at the Etsy shop. Hours of endless, reusable, mix and match fun.

    Link to Allison's Shop:

    Monday, February 16, 2015

    Evaluate Your Options: Homemade Fruit Snacks

    My child loves fruit snacks. I don't particularly think they are great but there is something about fruit snacks that kids LOVE.

    I have searched for "healthier" options. 
    I tend to lean towards Mott's or Annie's when I buy them. Since starting this clean eating change I have held off, not wanting to purchase food full of sugar and corn syrup. 

    But... have you ever thought making your own? 

    I never had, until I saw a few Pinterest posts about homemade fruit snacks. 

    Now I am intrigued. 

    The Land of Nod blog really interested me. 


    Another great recipe is here on Wellness Mama. 

    I don't have the little cute shaped molds but I saw a few versions of the recipe that just cut them into tiny squares. That would easily do the trick for me. 

    Have any of you made fruit snacks?