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6 brutal truths to teach your kids, NOW


Life is NOT a fairytale

Life is not like Cinderella.  Nothing and no one is perfect and there will be no one to come sweep you off your feet. The only thing that will sweep you off your feet is a banana peel on the floor at the supermarket.  So figure out what you want to do, set a goal and go for it.  Reach for the stars rather than waiting for someone to lift you up and bring the stars to you.

Acquaintances vs True friends

Acquaintances will always say they want to make plans with you but never follow through. They will talk with you when they want to talk to you but not always available to talk when you want to talk. They will do things with their interest in mind and not yours. Friends will drop everything for you if you need them. They will watch your kids without any thought as to how it will affect their plans. They will let you borrow something of theirs and not worry about getting it back because they know that you can be trusted. They will talk to you about anything and listen when you need to talk. And they will make sure you are ok because they truly care about you. Know the difference and save yourself the heartache.

Not everyone will like you

You cannot please everyone, so stop trying. We are not living for others, we are living for ourselves.  People will criticize you, they will be mean to you, they will try and take you down. Don’t let them. Be strong and know you are amazing.

Be nice

Just because you are going through a hard time doesn’t mean you can’t be nice. Just because people are being mean to you doesn’t mean you have to be mean to them. Show them you are a good person by being nice to the mean people, you don’t know what they are dealing with. Maybe you deciding to be nice to them will change their attitude.  Be nice to everyone.  We are in this world together and we don’t need any more negativity.

Scars are what make you, you

Everyone has scars, either physical or emotional. Scars are there because it’s a reminder of something we needed to learn. Love them and learn from them. Be proud of them. They are battle scars. They are beautiful. The lesson you learned will make you a better person.

The world owes you NOTHING

You may come from a wealthy family or you may come from nothing, it doesn’t matter you are not entitled. You do not deserve the world because you think you do.  The world owes you nothing. If you want it WORK for it!

Gluten free chocolate chip cookies with cake mix

This post has affiliated links, if you would like more information please see my disclaimer.

I have NOT mastered how to cook gluten free from scratch yet and my kids love to bake.  Sure we could easily go to the store and buy cookies (which we do) but my kids love the baking part of things.

These cookies were super easy, my kids had fun and they are delicious.

1 package of Pamela’s Vanilla Cake Mix
2/3 cup of avocado or coconut oil
2 organic grass fed eggs
1 cup of organic chocolate chips

My kids were wanting to bake something today and as I looked in the pantry all I had was Pamela’s Cornbread and Pamela’s Vanilla Cake Mix and the kids both decided they wanted to make something with the cake mix.

I measured everything out for them since they were wanting to watch a little tv because we had been out all day.

Mr. A was able to sit at the table with his big brother and big sister since I had measured everything out so he was very excited.  Miss. K dumped in the Pamela’s Vanilla Cake Mix, the avocado oil and the two eggs.  Mr. H loves his chocolate so we saved the chocolate chips special just for him.

Once the chocolate was in, the kids took turns stirring the mix until everything was blended.

This is the time I remembered to preheat the oven to 350 F.  I always forget this step.

I then put Mr. A down and let Mr. H and Miss. K to play while I used a small ice cream scoop to scoop up the mix and put it onto a baking sheet.   Once the oven was heated I baked the cookies for 8 minutes (or until the bottom is golden brown.) Let them cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet then smash the balls to a flatter cookie and let cool another 2 minutes on the baking sheet before you take them off.

My kids gobbled these up like little cookie monsters. This was the first time we have made gluten free chocolate chip cookies and they turned out awesome.

Do you and your family like these? Let me know in the comments below.

Trash lemonade for kids

This may have affiliated links, please see my disclaimer for more information.

If you have kids that are obsessed with the garbage man then this is just the drink for them. Mr. H loves the garbage man and whenever he sees a garbage man he waves to them snd yells, “Hi!”  Miss. K loves learning about where the trash goes ever since she first saw Toy Story 3.

When asking the kids what they wanted to make next for the blog, Mr. H suggested “Trash Lemonade.”

“Trash Lemonade?” I have never heard of that but I told him I would find out something to do for him so this was special for Mr. H……..although Miss. K was a huge fan of this drink too.

I started with frozen berries; strawberries and raspberries.  I microwaved them until they started thawing out a little bit.  You want the juices from the berry to come out in the drink.

I let them put as much of the berry mix as they wanted into their cups.  I let them use their hands since we are doing “trash lemonade” you have to get a little messy.  Then let them mash up the berries to make them even juicier.  My kids did not want to do this step because they were just too excited to drink it.

Then pour in the lemonade, I used organic because I did not have any time to make my own this time.  You could also add ice at this time if your kiddo would like but mine opted out of the ice.

Then to top off the drink, I added organic gummy worms.  And of course, a straw.  My two older kids loved this drink, although Mr. A was in his walker and he defiantly wanted to get in on this drink too.  Mr. A will wait until next summer to partake in this drink.

 

This was the quickest I have seen my kids drink lemonade, the berries are also delicious to eat afterwards.

Have your kids tried this drink? Do they like it? What is their favorite part? Let me know in the comments.

 

3 ways to save money at Target

This post may have affiliated links, please see my disclaimer for more. 

Do you love Target as much as I do? I could shop there everyday and all day long.  For Mother’s Day my husband gave me the best gift ever, he let me go to Target alone…..no kids! It was absolutely the best gift he could have given me.  I buy everything I can at Target.  They have a wonderful selection of clothes, baby gear, movies and home decor.  But I know you already know this or else you wouldn’t be reading this.  So let’s jump right into how to save money at Target.

Did you know that Target offers a REDcard? Did you know that you are missing out on a huge opportunity to save money with it? Did you know that if you shop at Target as often as I do you could save hundreds a year? Well here is why a REDcard can save you and your family money.

It’s a Debit card

There are two REDcards, one is a credit card and one is a debit card. I love debit card because they are like paying with cash and then I do not have to worry about a huge bill at the end of the month.  There is also a credit card option if you prefer to do that.  Apply here.

You save 5% on your ENTIRE purchase 

Yes, 5% that adds up quickly. For me with my family of five that’s huge!  This is the forever coupon  that you never have to forget about remembering to bring. I forget coupons all the time, I try and remember but with three kids rushing me out the door, coupons are the last thing on my mind until I get to the store.   The 5% does not apply to Prescriptions, clinic services, eye exams, Target gift cards, prepaid cards, previous purchases, Target credit account payments, Target Debit Card cash back and cash advances on the Target MasterCard, gift wrap and shipping and handling charges on Target.com purchases, wireless protection program purchases and deposits required by mobile carrier, where otherwise prohibited by law. Please read all of the details here.

Free Shipping on Target.com

This is like having Amazon Prime but for Target.  The state of Washington sales tax just went up to 10% so whenever I can save money I am on board.  Shipping expenses can be huge sometimes and saving $5, $6, even $7 every time I want to shop online is a big deal for me.  Think about it, if you shop online twice a month and spend $6 each time on shipping you are saving around $144 a year! That is money that you can use to buy more diapers or home decor.  SCORE one for me.  Now just like everything, exclusions do apply so read all of the details here.

Extra 30 day return policy

Ok I know I said just 3 reasons but this one is too good not to throw in there.  I love Target, I am there all of the time but there are sometimes I am not able to get back right away, or like I do more than I care to admit, I forget I have something that needs to be returned and that is when this little thing comes in handy.  An extra 30 days to return your item.  Let me explain how amazing this feature is.  I was shopping a few months ago in Target and I was 9 months pregnant with two kids and Mr. H decided he needed a few items.  He casually put in the cart a wooden letter H, green paint and some paint brushes.  Then he distracted me so much at checkout I did not realize these things were in the cart or that I had even purchased them until we had gotten home.  Well played little boy.  I was planning on returning them but then forgot about them for awhile and then  I gave birth to Mr. A so that was crazy and then one day I saw those items on the shelf, well it was too late to return them at this point as it was past the 30 days but if I had this REDcard I would have been able to return them.  But we turned it into a positive, he will get to do his project he planned without me knowing.

These are just a few ways I save my family money at Target, how do you save money for your family? Let me know in the comments because I love saving money.

Gluten free, kid-approved pizza

 

 

We have been gluten free for about 4 years now but before we were gluten free Miss. K’s favorite food was bread, especially pizza.  When we first started down the gluten free road it was extremely difficult for her because the bread that was available was so gross and she never liked any of it. Fast forward 4 years later we now have better options.

Miss. K was old enough when we went gluten free to remember what bread tasted like she she is very picky with bread products. I finally have found a bread she loved. But I have yet to find a pizza crust that she likes. And we are not a huge fan of the Udi’s crust that all of these pizza chains have for their gluten free crust.

Mr. H, the husband and I all love the Against All Grain baguette bread while Miss. K does not, she likes the Canyon Bakehouse bread.

Kids love sauce (Tobias and I do not) so add pizza sauce or even pasta sauce to the bread of your choice.

Then add the mozzarella cheese. Then add any toppings that you love, the husband and I just love ham….the kids just want cheese.

Then I put it under the broiler until the cheese turns brown.

We serve with a salad or fruit.

You can use any bread you and your family love.

Kid approved Gluten free Red, White and Blue sugar cookies

This post has affiliated links, if you click on them I may get paid at no extra charge to you but it allows me to keep everything on my blog free.  But as usual all of these opinions on my blog are solely my own.  I do not write for other people, I write for myself and people like me.

Monday is Memorial Day and as a homeschool family I use every opportunity to teach my kids about what is happening.  Miss. K knows a little about what Memorial Day represents and she was so excited when she saw me brining out the blue and red sprinkles, she instantly asked, “Are we making flag cookies?”

I came across this sugar cookie mix last Christmas and my kids loved it so much and whenever we come across the mix in the store I am always bombarded begging me to buy it.

It’s so simple! Seriously.

1 bag of Pamela’s sugar cookie mix

1 pastured raised egg

8 tablespoons of pastured butter, softened

Frosting (optional)

THAT’S IT! Seriously how easy is that?

My kids were very nice today as there was no fighting for who gets to do what.  We started by Miss. K pouring in the mix into the bowl.

Then Mr. H broke the egg.  I am so proud of him, this was his first time he got to break the egg and he did not get any shell in the mix!

I added in the butter.

Then the kids took turns mixing it.

Once I took over, then I found them licking the bowl….nothing new there 🙂 Mr. A did so well in his car walker while we were cooking! And he definitely wanted in on the bowl licking..soon buddy, soon.

I placed the mix into the fridge for about an hour then I placed the dough onto a pan.  I first put them in balls then smashed them before I put them into oven.  Place in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes (or until the edges are golden brown)

Then cool for about 10 minutes before you add the frosting. I did not have time to make my normal frosting so I bought some this time.

Then the kids got to decorate their cookies which lasted longer than it took them to eat them.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and I hope you and your family stay safe.

Gluten free, Kid approved, Sloppy Joes

This post has affiliated links, if you click on them I may get paid at no extra charge to you but it allows me to keep everything on my blog free.  But as usual all of these opinions on my blog are solely my own.  I do not write for other people, I write for myself and people like me.

I have been having cornbread mix in the pantry for awhile now and Miss. K has been asking me to make it for over a month so today was the day I thought we needed something different to eat for dinner.  Our dinners have been a little boring and the same old thing over and over.

Here are the ingredients

1 Pamela’s gluten free cornbread mix  (made according to the instructions)

1 pound organic pastured ground beef
1 1/2 cups of organic ketchup
1 tablespoon organic garlic powder
2 tablespoons organic smoked paprika
Shredded mozerella

I placed a cast iron pan into a 375 degree oven and let it get hot.  As that was heating up Miss. K poured the cornbread mix into the bowl.

Then we add 2 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 8 tablespoons of melted butter and 1 cup of water.  These are the same directions that are on the back of the bag.

Mr. H got to mix with a teaspoon spoon as it was the only thing that was clean.  Yup, I forgot to do my dishes this morning and all of my dishes were in the dishwasher. My kids love using non traditional things so this worked nicely.  Miss. K actually recorded a video of Mr. H mixing, you can view that here.  As you can hear in the video, Mr. A was not happy. He really just wanted me to sit down and snuggle him….don’t worry, he got his snuggles in 🙂

After the cornbread was all mixed together, I pulled out the cast iron pan.  Be careful because it is super hot.  I placed about 1 tablespoon of butter into the hot pan and made sure it covered the entire pan, even the sides.  Then I poured the corn mix into the pan and let it bake for 23 minutes.  And as usual, I found the kids licking the bowl.

*Tip: It is so much easier to measure out everything before you let them cook. Then all you have to worry about is how fast they pour the ingredients into the bowl.

While that was in the oven I started to cook the ground meat.  Mr. A was not a happy camper tonight but luckily Miss. K played with him so I was able to do these next steps without having to hold him.

*Tip: if you are like me and are not great at planning ahead you do not need to wait for you meat to thaw out before you cook it.  Place it into a pan with some water and bring water to a boil.  Make sure you flip the meat often and scrape off the cooked meat until all of the meat is cooked.

Once the meat is cooked, I drained off any extra water.

Then I added 1 1/2 cup of ketchup, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder and 2 tablespoons of smoked paprika.  Do you like my vampire spatula? The kids love when I cook with it.

Once the cornbread was golden brown I brought it out of the oven.  Then I placed the meat on top of the cornbread, added some shredded mozzarella and placed it under the broiler until the cheese was melted.

Miss. K and Mr. H both loved this and asked for it again so this is officially kid-approved.

I hope you and your kids enjoy this as much as mine did.

Fast, no cook, Gluten free, Kid approved, Peanut butter cups

This post has affiliated links, if you click on them I may get paid at no extra charge to you but it allows me to keep everything on my blog free.  But as usual all of these opinions on my blog are solely my own.  I do not write for other people, I write for myself and people like me.

When I was little my Mom and I would make peanut butter bars that, in my opinion, were way better than anything you could find in the store.  My version is more like a cup but that’s only because I love the chocolate surrounding the peanut butter inside.

A side note, if you have peanut allergies this should work with cashew or even almond butters.

1 Cup gluten free graham crackers (I only had S’moreables but we also love Pamela’s)
2 1/2 Cup Organic Powder Sugar
2 Cups Organic Crunchy Peanut butter (or any nut butter)
1 stick of melted Ghee or Pastured Raised Butter
1 teaspoon organic vanilla
3 Cups of Organic Chocolate Chips
Avocado oil (or coconut oil)

First you start by having the kids put in cupcake liners in the cupcake pan (I borrowed my Mom’s pan today.)

Then put 3 cups of chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of avocado oil (you can also use coconut) then put in microwave for 20 second intervals until they are melted. Miss. K loved this part.

Once melted, put a spoonful of melted chocolate into each of the cupcake liners. Shake the pan from side to side to help coat the bottom of the liners. Then place in freezer. The kids did not help at this point because they kept wanting to lick the chocolate.

While that is freezing, Mr. H smashed the graham crackers into crumbs.  I only had the peanut butter container, it worked perfectly (don’t worry it was a plastic jar)

Once the crackers are smashed, place into mixing bowl. Then add butter, powdered sugar, peanut butter and vanilla then mix well.

Bring out the cupcake pan from the freezer and add a small scoop on top of the frozen chocolate. If you want a thick middle add more filling.

Then push down the filling to make sure you compact it down as much as possible. Miss. K’s fingers were perfect to do this.

Add more melted chocolate to the top then place back in freezer for at least 10 minutes.  Store any extras in the freezer.

Once these have been frozen for an hour and you would like to eat one, bring them out and let it come to room temperature or you can microwave them for 20-30 seconds or until the chocolate is a soft.

Enjoy

Are you that Dad that thinks Mother’s Day is a made up holiday?

Are you that Dad that just thinks Mother’s Day is a Hallmark, made-up holiday?  Well here is a little history lesson for you.  Mother’s Day actually dates back to the 19th century! And actually was created by a woman named, Anna Jarvis.

Mother’s Day actually started by teaching local Mom’s how to properly care for their children.

These clubs later became a unifying force in a region of the country still divided over the Civil War. In 1868 Jarvis organized “Mothers’ Friendship Day,” at which mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation. -source

In 1905 Anna Jarvis’ mother passed and as a result she  wanted to make the holiday as a way of honoring the sacrifices all mothers made for their children.  This is a woman who did not have any children nor a husband but she thought it was important enough to celebrate all that mothers did.  After lobbying, writing letters and getting support by a retailer she was able to finally see her plan in action in May 1908.  After her first successful Mother’s Day celebration she was able to see it added to the national  calendar.

In 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed the measure that would state, officially, the second Sunday in May would be Mother’s Day.  Do I have your attention, yet? Yes, the President of the United States signed it into action…not Hallmark!

So before you say that “Mother’s Day is a Hallmark Holiday” – THINK AGAIN because it’s NOT.

Now if you did not do anything special for the mother of your child(ren) you still have some time to go and at least say “Thank you for everything you do.” Because at the end of the day, the only thing a Mom ever wants is to know all of the sacrifices she has endured and does every minute of every day, is appreciated by her kids and YOU….the father of her children.

Now next year, take some time and do something special for her.  If you need some ideas, check out this post.

To the Mom that isn’t having that special Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day and while many people are celebrating their Mom’s today, you may feel left out of the celebration and I am wanting to write a special post to tell you that I understand.

There are many different types of mothers in this world.  There are moms, adopted moms, grandmothers, godmothers, aunts, cousins, friends, fur moms, fur grandmothers, fur aunts, etc.

There are moms who choose to have fur babies.

Then there are moms that have lost a child.  A pain that I wish on no one for it is something that no one should ever experience.

Then there are those that have struggled and struggled to be a mom but have been unsuccessful.

Then there are the people who no longer have a mother to celebrate with here on Earth.

Whatever kind of Mom you are, I celebrate you.

To the people who have lost a mom, I celebrate for you on Earth to carry on over into heaven.

Let today be a celebration of every different kind of mother.