Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Thought Bubbles...

Just treated myself to a nice little online purchase...

I was sad but then I bought something online I feel better
Is anyone watching black•ish on ABC? What are you thoughts?

My favorite new thing is quinoa "fried" rice. I'll share the recipe on Instagram…

I think I see some havana twists in my near future…

I took that "Which 90s TV Girl Are You?" quiz and got Moesha. Nice...

Brandy as Moesha

Wasn't the theme song for her show so dope. Mo to the, E to the…

I also took the "Which TV Mom Are You?" quiz and got Carol Brady…

My skin is starting to clear up a little. I still want that Proactiv though…

Little Mike climbs on everything. I don't think I could have baby proofed this place enough…

I'm looking forward to being a member of the Chick-fil-A Mom's Club. Yes for free lunches...

We have to make our way to some of these obligatory Fall festivities before they close up…

I really want to do a pumpkin patch and a hayride with the kids…

There's also a new planetarium here that I want to hit…

This is what it looks like when you take a four year old lipgloss shopping after gymnastics...

child shopping

Have we talked about The Real here yet? I DVR it. I like seeing their outfits. Tamera has been wearing some killer jumpsuits and rompers…

Trying to stay in shape is a full time job…

All I want is Chipotle and Chinese food so when I eat my daily salad for lunch I just close my eyes and pretend it's something else…


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Every Moment Counts...

I don't think I really had a clear understanding of just how busy mommy life can be. Between school, soccer, gymnastics and play dates we are constantly on the go. And that's just Savannah's schedule.

My husband works a lot and he's a full time grad student so his schedule keeps us pretty busy as well. When your family is busy it's easy to settle into a routine and go through the motions of the day.

This is why I make a big effort to make every moment count with my family. I find ways to make them all feel special. Sometimes it's difficult to remember to create moments when you're so busy living but I think it's what makes a family have a tight bond.

Here are a couple ways I try to make every moment count with my family:

Everyone gets a special birthday breakfast with a candle…

birthday pancakes

I celebrate my husband for all of his hard work…
Popcorn is nice but isn't this a better way to enjoy a movie?

chocolate covered strawberries and truffles

And I take my littlest favorite person a daily walk...


Family time is so important to me. I think that anytime you can spend time with you family it is time well spent. We also attend soccer practice once a week as a family, eat nightly family dinners and we have bedtime story readings every night. Right now we're reading the Junie B. series. 

Are you busy like us and looking for ways to get family time in? Try these suggestions…

*Attend practices and rehearsals together as a family. Your children will love the support.
*Read together at night before bed. Start a series with your kids that you all can enjoy.
*Have dinner as a family as much as you can. Turn the TV off and talk to each other.
*Go for walks together. Do a scavenger hunt or play "eye spy".
*If you can, take a vacation or go away for a weekend to connect.


As you know I am an Army Wife so it brings me much pleasure to tell you all about how Mrs. Fields is partnering with the USO to help all families make the most of every moment together. 

"Mrs. Fields is a proud supporter of the United Service Organizations, Inc. (USO), and "Mrs. Fields Moments" builds on the Organization's "Every Moment Counts" campaign, which helps all families – military and otherwise – make the most of every moment together. To help spread the news, MrsFields has launched a contest that will send one lucky family to National Harbor in our nation’s capital."

Here's how you can enter…

1. Take a family selfie of your Mrs. Fields Moment
2. Share the photo on the Mrs. Fields Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #mrsfieldsmoments
3. Share as many moments as you'd like between Sept. 10 and Nov. 2, 2014

The winning Family will receive…

Grand Prize
Round-trip airfare for four to Washington, D.C.
Two night accommodations in downtown National Harbor
Dining gift certificates to downtown National Harbor
Four tickets to ride the Capital Wheel

Remember to share as many Mrs. Fields Moments as you can until the contest entry period is up! I would love to see one of the families that read this blog win! Washington, D.C. was our very first duty station and it holds a very special place in my heart. Good luck to you all and make sure you designate time each week for  quality family time!

How are you spending time with your family weekly? Tell me in the comments...

I am participating in this campaign as a member of The Niche Parent Network & Conference in partnership with Mrs. Fields. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dinner Idea: Crock Pot Gumbo

I didn't decide to make this into a post until after my house was already smelling like a little unknown New Orleans restaurant. Because of that, there are no during or after pics of the cooking process.

It's a good thing that cooking is a results oriented kind of thing. All you care about is how it tastes and possibly how it looks.

This was so easy and fast to make. My gumbo consisted of:

2lbs of boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 Celery Stalk, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
3 cloves of Garlic, chopped
1 pound Andouille Sausage, sliced
1 pound medium Shrimp, peeled & deveined

Start by lightly browning your chicken in a frying pan. Place it in the crock pot. Cover with chopped veggies and sausage. Cook on high for 4 hours (or low for 8 - I didn't have 8 hours to wait). Shred chicken. Add shrimp and continue cooking until shrimp is done.

For my roux I used:

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons of Flour
1 28oz can of Diced Tomatoes
2 Cups of Swanson's Louisiana Cajun Broth
2 Tablespoons Creole Seasoning (or to taste)

Heat olive oil and cook flour until it turns brownish color. Add in broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Remove roux from heat and add seasoning. Poor over crock pot contents.

Gumbo recipe

The finished product was so good. It was a bit spicier than what Savannah and Little Mike will eat so I did end up making them something else. Next time I'll use less creole seasoning, but if you don't mind the heat two tablespoons of creole seasoning will get a nice strong kick.

The steam from the bowl fogged up my lens. This is as clear a pic as I could get. It was sooo good! I ate two bowls and my husband said, "It was bangin'!".

Gumbo



Gumbo recipe



Gumbo

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Out & About...

I honestly can't believe we are approaching the second weekend in October already. My little family has been so busy keeping up with Savannah's social calendar. Between school, soccer and gymnastics that little girl is living the life.

Luckily, she takes the rest of us along for the ride. Here they are at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens last week. That place was beautiful. It was better than the zoo in my opinion. Simply gorgeous. If you live in this area I highly recommend it for a day out.

And then there is soccer. We are halfway through the soccer season and I am very happy about that. Pretty soon I'll have my Saturday mornings back.

I tried to get an usie of me and my two Mikes but one of them wasn't feeling it…Savannah has taken to soccer pretty well. Depending on her mood she's actually pretty good.

I hope your Fall season has gotten off to a pretty good start. Don't forget to enter the Dr. Smith's giveaway if you haven't already!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Two Tips For New Moms...

I remember when I was pregnant with Savannah people gave me all of these little tidbits of advice.

"Sleep when the baby is sleeping." "It goes by so fast, enjoy it."

To be honest, most of the time I'd hear these things and it would go in one ear and right out of the other.  When I became pregnant with Little Mike I knew exactly which pieces of advice were worth holding on to and which ones I could live without.

Chic Mom Tip #1

Relax and trust your instinct. If you feel that your instinct has fled always call your Mom. (Let's face it she's been right your whole life.) When my Mom isn't free I have a couple really good friends I can call or text in my time of need. Like my Mom, they won't judge me or think I'm ruining my children when they here about what's going on around here.

I still have a hard time with this myself. Especially with Little Mike. Even though it's not easy I find that relaxing helps out so much. Baby not sleeping? It's okay. Baby won't eat veggies? It's going to be alright. A long time ago I learned to not "sweat the small stuff". Which seems like a weird thing to say when you're talking about your kids but really it's all so small and temporary. Eventually they will sleep all night and whatever stage their in that's driving you nuts will soon pass. Before you know it they'll be in preschool and you won't even remember (okay, you might remember) why you got so stressed about the little things. All babies have their "thing" so relax. Enjoy. And for goodness sake please DO sleep when the baby sleeps.

Chic Mom Tip #2

Just like when choosing accessories - less is always more. Be a low maintenance Mama. By low maintenance I mean do not go over board buying every single little cute or interesting baby gadget or parenting book you see. 

I wish I had listened to this advice. Savannah had so much stuff as a baby. I'm still getting rid of baby girl clothes and shoes. I mean she had everything a baby girl could possible want or need. In every color and size. She was very blessed. When Little Mike came along I knew better. During his pregnancy I knew I'd go with a more simple no fuss approach to life with a newborn. I promised myself that I wouldn't over analyze everything.

One of the things that made things much easier this time around was using Dr. Smith's Diaper Rash Spray. Instead of wrestling my very tiny but strong baby at night I just spray his little bottom to prevent diaper rash. It's effective, gentle and easy to use. The same way I like to approach parenting.


First time Moms and Moms knee deep in this mommy life are invited to enter this amazing giveaway from Dr. Smith's. One first place winner will receive a $200 Visa gift card and a Dr. Smith's Prize Pack! There will also be three runners up who will receive a Dr. Smith's Prize Pack as well, very exciting!



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This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Wendy's® Jr. Frosty™ Halloween Coupon Book


I've been a fan of Wendy's® since I was a teenager. Back then I'd go thru the drive-thru with my friends before basketball games or with my brothers after school to grab some early dinner.

These days whenever I want to treat my kids to a fun budget friendly dinner I still choose Wendy's®. My family loves their burgers and their Jr. Frosty™ treats. In this Texas heat a Frosty is the best way to wrap up dinner. I enjoy our family time and all the laughs we share together.

I'm happy to share with you that you can get a Jr. Frosty™ Halloween Coupon Book for $1 during the month of October. Ninety cents of every $1 Halloween Coupon Book sold between September 13 to October 31, 2014 will benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption® . Coupons are valid for use: November 1, 2014 through February 1, 2015.

Jr. Frosty Halloween Coupon Book


I can't imagine life with out my two little ones. All children deserve a loving, caring home that they feel safe in. That they can call their own. Did you know that there are more than 100,000 children in foster care awaiting adoption? Thanks to Wendy's® consumers and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®, 4000+ children have found adoptive families. 

For 22 years, Wendy's® has supported foster care adoption. This year, Wendy's® aims to give $10 million to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®.

Dave Thomas Adoption Foundation

I love the idea of a coupon book. We'll be using our coupons to reward Savannah for completing her chores and reading minutes every week. Everyday we check off her tasks and we log her reading minutes. At the end of the week if she has met her goal we treat her to a Jr. Frosty™ using her coupon book.

Wendy's
The coupon books would also make really nice stocking stuffers, teacher gifts or a nice addition to your  candy bowl for trick or treaters.  

Visit your local Wendy's® to purchase a Jr. Frosty™Halloween Coupon Book* for $1, which benefits the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®!

*Coupon book may contain coupons for 5 or 10 free Jr. Frosty™ treats. Prices and participation may vary. Ninety cents of every $1 coupon booklet sold between 9/15/14 and 10/31/14 will benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®. Coupons valid from 11/1/14 to through 2/1/15. ©2014 Oldemark LLC

How will you use your Jr. Frosty™ Halloween Coupon Book?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

School Morning Prayer

Every morning before we make it to school Savannah and I say this prayer for a good day. If I forget to pray with her before we get there she will remind me. So sweet. 



Do you have a special prayer, song or saying that you do with your kids before school? 



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