Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Just #5MoreMinutes Mom! #StreamTeam

I don't know what happened to my Lily once she started kindergarten, but it's like she magically began this new routine of bedtime stalling.  She'd never been this way in all of her previous 5 years. That's so long, I know.

Her kick now is try anything at all costs to stay up and stall bedtime!

"But, I'm thirsty!"

"Can I just read in my bed with the lights on?"

"I just wanna snuggle with you, I haven't seen you alllllllll day!"

"I just wanna watch one. more. show."

"This show isn't over yet!"

"Mommmmmmm! I'm hunnnggggrrrrryyyyy!"

You name it, she's all about it.

Now by the time it's bedtime, I'm already spent.  The transition into kindergarten this year was rough at first in the evenings out of her pure exhaustion.  Lots of meltdowns. Lots of tears.  Finally she got into the swing of it and adjusted.  Instead of melting down, she now just stalls with a gazillion reasons why it shouldn't be bedtime for her yet.

She is the master.

Tonight's stall was, "I need my sweatshirt to keep me cool while I sleep." That was followed by, "The top of my foot hurts so I can't go to sleep."

You can see her negotiating didn't go very well.

Andrew at nearly 16, thankfully just goes to bed! See, y'all?! There is hope!  Mind you, there are plenty of other teenage challenges, but bedtime isn't one of them in my house. :)

My stepdaughter's bedtime stall plays on the heartstrings of her dad and literally right before bed is when she decides she needs to talk about something serious.  Thankfully, he's got her number and can manage to cut to the chase to determine if it's legit or her bedtime stalling.

Violet just runs.  Like runs around until you catch her. Then when she gets into her bed, she wants to give Lily a billion kisses, ugga muggas, and hugs...all while she keeps jumping in her bed.

Netflix is helping parents all over let their kids think they're winning at the bedtime stalling game when they ask if they can have #5MoreMinutes or watch one more show!  Yep, you can watch one.more.show... that I choose!


Dinotrux ‘5 Minute Favorites’

Tucking them in is magic, it’s just getting there that’s the hard part. So make bedtime a little easier with three new Dinotrux 5 Minute Favorites from Netflix.
DinoTrux 5MF BB boxshot USA  en
DinoTrux 5MF TR boxshot USA  en
DinoTrux 5MF TS boxshot USA  en

A few new faves on Netflix this month to help your little stallers stay happy:

New on Netflix for Kids and Families

Care Bears   Cousins
Care Bears & Cousins (11/6)
Home (11/25)
The Spongebob Squarepants Movie
The Spongebob Square Pants Movie (11/1)

 Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam I was provided subscription to Netflix and also exclusive insights or other products. All opinions are my 100% my own and I was already a proud Netflix subscriber prior to this opportunity. Please see my full disclosure.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Spreading A Little Comfort & Cheer... Thanks, Kleenex®

Since Lily started kindergarten, a whole new slew of germs has entered our lives.  Even though, she went to preschool for 2 years, but it was a small school and she was around the same 4 other girls for both of those years. They'd built up their immunities together. Every cough, sneeze, sniffle, runny nose comes home with her now. Violet has gotten a couple of Lily's colds too.  Add to that, cutting teeth leaves her with a runny nose too.

Thankfully, overall we're a pretty healthy family and nothing really sticks around for long!

And seriously, thank goodness for Kleenex®!

We go through a ton of them and I'm grateful for Sam's Club having a big pack at such a great price!

Last Friday, Violet and I headed to Sam's Club to pick up our Kleenex®  and a few other staples we were out of. She was already having a continual runny nose and we could not get in there fast enough!

I'm a sucker for holiday packaging and I was so happy to find Sam's Club has an exclusive awesome  Kleenex® Winter Pack available! Look at those cutie canisters!!

Even Violet was excited about the perfect fit canisters in this exclusive Kleenex® Winter Pack!

I love that I can purchase items at Sam's Club my family goes through regularly at such a great value on quality brands we use!  You can even order online and just pick up at Sam's Club!  I like to go in and see what's new, but I love the idea of Club Pick up convenience especially with winter approaching quickly! If I can order online, keep the kids in the car and still get what I need --- that is fantastic!

Yogurt? Happy little girls!  Paper towels--can you ever have too many paper towels?  We love hot chocolate too and it's a perfect treat for cold winter nights.

A Sam's Club membership is totally worth it -- you can find more info about membership here.

As a kindergarten teacher, I simply could. not. have. enough.Kleenex® in my classroom.

Runny noses, wiping tears, picking up some unknowns after snacks or recess. 5 and 6 year olds have a lot going on. :)  Kleenex® brand tissues are absorbent, strong and soft for taking care of sweet, sensitive skin.

Now that I'm lucky enough to stay home with my kids, I always include Kleenex® in the supplies I send in for school.  I'm working on putting together a "teacher's winter survival care package" for Lily's teacher and you can bet I'm including that adorable snowman canister in the Kleenex® Winter Pack for her!

Sharing is caring...but not when it comes to germs, so we'll just share Kleenex® and #SpreadKleenexCare!

Sharing Kleenex® is such a simple way to let someone know you care. The smallest gesture goes such a long way. That's why I always keep them on hand, so I can #SpreadKleenexCare easily.

If you have kids, send Kleenex® in for their teacher-- she can never have too many!  Offer some to the frazzled mom waiting next to you in line with her kids at the pharmacy...with an understanding smile.  No lie, while I was standing in line to make a return at Sam's Club before we shopped, the young girl helping me noticed Violet's runny nose and offered me Kleenex®!

Yay, Mama! Thanks for getting so much Kleenex® to take care of my runny nose!

Thank you to Kleenex for sponsoring this post, inspiring me to try the Kleenex® Perfect Fit Winter Pack, and for reminding us to #SpreadKleenexCare this holiday season!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

What's for Supper?

Our Fall has been so busy, I feel like I lived in the car for most of it.  Running to marching band rehearsal, football games, play rehearsal, choir... you get the idea.  Well, cooking kind of went by the wayside.  We had cereal for supper plenty (which I love on occasion), but I found us picking up something quickly far too often and found myself running to the grocery store wayyyyyy too many times.

This week I was determined to get back on track with meal planning and my grocery budget. Monday, I made my meal plan for the next 2 weeks and went grocery shopping. Family of 6 meal planning, not always easy.

One of the worst things for me with regard to meal planning is I get tired of making the same things over and over again, so I try to look for new ideas and toss those in with the family favorite.

I try to buy meat in bulk and split it for multiple meals. So I spend some time doing that and freezing the meat in those meal portions.

I wanted to share our menu, just for my own, "Hey, everyone in our house liked this stuff." and for anyone looking for something new and easy to toss into their own menus. I tend to be less of a measuring cook and more of a dump cook with some things especially seasonings, so any recipes I post, I just loosely follow.  We add salads, veggies to each meal.

  •  Poppyseed Chicken Casserole  -- this is one of my all time favorite meals first introduced to me when I lived in Tennessee.  Comfort, delicious.
4-6 chicken breasts 
1 can cream of chicken soup, 
1 can cream celery soup, 
1 C sour cream, ½ chopped medium onion, 
1 ½ sleeve of Ritz crackers, 
2 T poppyseeds, 
½ - 1 stick of butter/margarine (softened)  

Cook chicken breasts and dice/cube.  Mix chicken, soups, sour cream, and onion.  Spread mixture into 13x9 casserole dish.
Topping: Mix together Ritz crackers, softened butter and poppyseed. Spread over mixture in casserole dish. Cover with foil.
Bake at 350 until heated thoroughly (approx. 30-40 minutes)


  • Crockpot Ravioli -- this is a family favorite and a framily fave too!
Original recipe found here: Becoming Betty Crockpot Ravioli
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef 
1 onion chopped 
1 clove garlic, minced 
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce 
1 can diced tomatoes with italian seasoning
1 tsp. oregano 
1 tsp. Italian seasoning 
10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed (I always use fresh spinach) 
16 oz. bowtie pasta, cooked 
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded 
1 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded 

Brown ground beef with onion and garlic.  Put in crock-pot and add sauce, tomatoes, and seasonings. Cook for 6-7 hours on low. (If I'm short on time I do this on high for 3-4 hours!)  Add the last 4 ingredients during the last 30 minutes of cooking and turn crockpot to high.  I added the fresh spinach, pasta, parmesan and 1 cup of the mozzarella. Mix really well.  Then add the last 1/2 cup of mozzarella to melt on the top.

  • Cheesy Chicken Broccoli & Rice -- everyone likes this except Lily, she picks through it to eat the chicken and that's about it. 
**I cooked extra chicken on Monday and cut up to use for this recipe.
Original recipe found here: Mom On TimeOut Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice

2 cups of cooked chicken  
2 cups broccoli florets, broken down into bite-sized pieces 
1 can cream of chicken soup 2 cups cooked rice 
1½ cups shredded cheese 
½ cup mayonnaise 
½-3/4 cup crushed corn flakes 
2 tbsp butter, melted 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and spread into 13x9 greased baking dish. Sprinkle the crushed corn flakes over the top of the casserole. Drizzle melted butter over the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until casserole is heated through.


  • Beef Stroganoff-- this is one of my husband's favorite meals from growing up. I got the recipe from his mom and made it my own.  He likes mine better. ;)
*I've never written this recipe out, so I'll have to do that!


  • Homemade pizza--  I'm excited to get back to Friday night pizza making! Fun for the kids to help!
  • Leftovers-- making life easy for myself and eating up the leftovers from the week.
  • Beef Gyros-- This is a new recipe I'm trying out this week! 
I portioned some of the beef from Thursday's stroganoff and a recipe for next week.

That's it for this week and so far I've been good about sticking to it and it just makes life easier! I haven't had to run to the grocery store at all and I love that too!

What are some of your favorite meals to make?

Happy planning!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Halloween Parade 2015

One of my favorite Halloween traditions is our local Halloween parade.  Andrew was in it when he was in Scouts before he was in marching band and still marches each year with the band. We were lucky the weather was good that day and wasn't too cold at night.  We like to stop and watch the band warm up before they head to line up for the parade.  Andrew went as bacon again this year. :)

Violet loves to watch the parade and clap!  We all enjoy seeing all the kids in costumes in the band and the others dressed up who march.
 Lily was excited when the cheerleaders were stopped in front of us for awhile and was cheering along with them!

Some of the fun costumes in the parade this year:   Inside Out was my fave!

I love this parade each year and it's fun to dress the girls up in one of their costume/dress up outfits to get good use out of all of those too!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Pumpkins 2015

Halloween is a super busy time of year for us. We're still in the throes of marching band season when it comes along and adding one more kid into school activities, has made it well, just crazy. Fun, worth it, but oh so crazy.

A week before Halloween, I went to school with Lily for a kindergarten pumpkin carving activity. All the kindergarteners and a parent/grandparent/friend helper got to carve a pumpkin and have a popcorn and juice box snack.  Each of the 4 kindergarten classes prepared a little song to sing as well.

Lily was super excited when she walked into the cafeteria and saw me! It was a really fun, special morning I got to spend with my girl.

Lily picked the design entirely. She wasn't a big fan of the pumpkin guts! 

We learned the Monday before Halloween, that our favorite pumpkin farm was straying from their traditional weekend only hayrides and pumpkin picking, so we decided to pick Lily and Reagan up from school a little bit early {something I never do} to be able to go as a complete family. The weather was perfect!  (Reagan is at her mom's each weekend, so weekend-only activities rarely include her.) 

real life with this crew

Lily lead the charge into the corn maze before the photo ops!

I love when kids just do things unprompted.  Lily found our family pumpkin! Now it was just time for some pictures before heading back.  Violet was crankypants for pictures and that's ok. ;)  Selfie stick for the win to get a family photo when needed!  The guys declared this their least favorite fall activity.  Party poopers.   It's actually one of my favorites!

Do you have a favorite or least favorite fall activity?