Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Bedtime Cocktail

For the past couple weeks I have been telling all of my girlfriends about my latest cocktail creation. Now that it's been tested by all of my girls I think today is the perfect day for me to share it with you.

It is delicious and has just the right amount of kick to it. It only takes about one of these to put you in a tipsy sleepy state so please drink responsibly.

wine cocktail with circa and barefoot wine
All you need is a glass of this Barefoot Red Moscato, a generous dash (but not a shot) of Ciroc's Red Berry vodka and enough Cranberry soda to bring it all together. If you want it to be a bit more festive add strawberries, raspberries and blueberries to your glass. I'll share a pic of my drink on IG tonight. (I keep forgetting to snap a pic before drinking mine, LOL! This is that good!)
What will you be doing to bring in the New Year? We'll probably be asleep because I don't like having the kids out late. When Little Mike doesn't get his sleep he becomes a completely different person. 
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

2015 Goals Part Two

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas and time with family. Our Christmas was probably one of the best we've had. Not because of the gifts (the kids got stuff but we really didn't exchange gifts) but because of the time we spent together.

Now that Christmas has passed I am on a mission to nail down the perfect way to execute my dreams for 2015. I already know what they are I just need to figure out how to get all these things done. I see some late nights in my future. 

I previously shared that one of my goals for 2015 is to become a Certified Personal Trainer. Another goal that I have is to publish an eBook. Initially I wanted to have it ready for January but I stopped focusing on a lot of projects after my crazy summer. 

Well I am back on track and ready to get things rolling again. Hopefully I'll be done with it by the end of Spring or early Summer. 

Any 2015 goals you'd like to share? Leave them in the comments! Oh. And feel free to subscribe to my mailing list to receive a copy of the eBook when I'm done. 

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive my new eBook!

* indicates required

Monday, December 22, 2014

The New Menu at Chuck E. Cheese

Last week my family had the opportunity taste the new Chuck E. Cheese menu created specifically for grown-up tastebuds. Before this tasting I was very familiar with the pizza and salad bar at Chuck E. Cheese.

As a kid I had many birthday parties there and now as a parent we go to Chuck E. Cheese a couple times a month for play time and lunch. I love going during the week when it's less crowded. If you've never been during the week I highly recommend it. It's a completely different experience than going on the weekends.

On our next visit I'll be ordering the new BBQ Chicken pizza. It was delicious. The crust was thin and crispy and the pizza was drizzled with the yummiest sauce. My husband and I both enjoyed the flavor of this pizza.

Chuck E. Cheese New Menu

My husband's favorite from the new menu is the Italian Sandwich. We love a good sandwich. It's also a healthier option if you're not in the mood for pizza.

chuck e. cheese new menu

There were so many new sandwiches, wraps (the club wrap was pretty tasty!), wings (the order the sweet chili boneless - thank me later), breadsticks and pizza dogs were all really good.

chuck e cheese menu

chuck e cheese new menu

Once you've had your lunch don't forget to try some of the new desserts. The new and improved cinnamon sticks were so good I could easily see myself enjoying those instead of birthday cake. A San Antonio favorite will definitely be the new Churros served with salted caramel and white chocolate icing. Yes. Yes. Yes.

chuck e. cheese new menu

If you're planning a trip to Chuck E. Cheese soon I encourage you to check out the new menu. When was the last time you took a trip to see Chuck and his friends? What are you excited to try from the new menu?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Seeking Balance as a Mom...

One day this week I was scanning my Facebook timeline and scrolled over a video of Jada Pinkett with her mother and daughter. Intrigued by the caption on the original post I decided to give Jada and her girls a few minutes of my morning.

I'm so glad I did.

Lately in my quest to become more fulfilled and balanced I have been trying to figure out exactly what I need to do to feel more well rounded. How can I feel that I have given my best each day? Is it possible to not feel like something or someone didn't get enough of my attention?

Through lots of trial and error (and the use of a planner) I realized that on the days where I actually feel like I've checked off all my boxes are the days where I have purposely taken the time to pay attention to myself.

Whether it means going to the gym, taking the time to pamper myself or getting something done on my personal to-do list I found that I am more at peace when I have done something for me. I'm not as stressed and things do not seem to bother me as much when I am taking care of myself.

Doesn't this seem like an obvious observation? You can not give what you don't have. And even though I have known this to be true doing it has been a struggle. It's no one's fault but my own if I'm not making sure that I'm truly happy and feeling good.

Sometimes it's so hard to remember to make that time for myself. Then I'm reminded that I have to be an example to Savannah. I know she's watching me. I don't ever want her to think that as a woman your life should be spent only focusing on those around you (even if you love them immensely) and never focusing on yourself.

As a role model for her I want to be a woman who does it all without becoming undone. I think the only way to do that is to make sure I'm not cheating myself out of anything. I need to continue to pursue my own dreams and do things that I enjoy.

And I know it sounds strange but I handle things so much better when I feel like I'm getting it all done. Because I'm not carrying around so much resentment, frustration or anger I'm not easily unraveled when my baby cries for an hour (or more) non-stop. I don't feel like pulling my hair out when Savannah wakes up with an extra dose of sass.

I am unbothered. Completely.

So Jada's answer to her daughter's question resonated with me because I have found it to be true for myself. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

2015 Goals Part One

I mentioned in another post my decision to become a Certified Personal Trainer in 2015. This is something that has been on my mind and heart all year. After having Little Mike I really wanted to get back into shape and be healthy.

Being motivated to workout and participating in the Operation Snapback run challenges really reminded me of my love for fitness. When I think back to my high school days I remember being one of a handful of girls in my physical training class.

I remember being able to lift weights and squat just as much as some of the boys in my class. Then life happened. I went to college, got married and started having babies.

In an effort to stay true to myself, I slowly got back to a place where I was eating right, drinking my green tea and working out when I can. All year I tossed around the idea of being able to help other women like me. I don't necessarily want to be a body builder or a bikini model but I do want to be healthy and look cute!

After researching many different certification organizations I decided to go with the American College of Sports Medicine. I chose them because they were the first organization to certify fitness professionals and they establish the guidelines that all other certifications use for training. I also liked that their resources for preparing for the exam were affordable.

I plan to get two certifications. One for personal training and another for group exercise classes. 

Now. I also love saving money so imagine how happy I was to find all of the books I needed on eBay brand spanking new for only twenty-eight dollars with shipping!!!

If that's not a sign of confirmation I don't know what is!

I'm looking forward to this journey. Not only will I learn more about something I'm passionate about but I can also help others and even make a little bit of money doing so. HA-LAY-LEW.

Have you thought about what you may want to do in the coming year? I'll be sharing my other 2015 goal a bit later.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Thought Bubbles

A few weeks ago these two went on a date to see The Fresh Beat Band…

My monthly grocery shopping plan is actually working. I'm surprised…

I've been wanting a fur vest since last year and every time I see them they are sold out in my size…

I can't believe Little Mike is about to be 18 months. He's a busy little something…

He also gets extremely grouchy when his sleep is interrupted. If you know us in real life you know what I'm talking about…

Little Mike also broke the glass top on an end table we've had forever. Look closely enough in the pic below and you can see it…

Meet Stanley our Elf on the Shelf. He decided to take a swing in the living room one day last week…

Elf on the Shelf

I have been unsuccessful in every attempt I have made to stop breastfeeding. We might have to try the cold turkey approach. Weaning isn't getting it…

Our pre-lit Christmas tree is 4 years old and the lights are starting to fade out. Please stay lit 'til Christmas…

The weather here lately has been giving me life. We have been outside so much lately…

I am so ready for my husband's holiday vacation to start. I am going to enter a straight chill zone…

Savannah got glasses and she has done so well with them….

When I get my hands on some of that new proactiv…

How is it that one second my house can be spotless and the next minute it's a hot mess…

I actually got to start reading through my CPT textbook this weekend….

I'm thinking about doing a 2015 vision board. The last time I did a vision board everything on it came to pass….

A friend of mine introduced me to Buddy-Bot. If you have kids and love hip-hop music Buddy-Bot is a must. We have been jammin' to his kid friendly rhymes and hot beats all weekend...

Whenever I see a screen shot I always look at how much battery the person has. LOL!!!

Do you have any breastfeeding weaning tips for me? Have you ever done a vision board?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hello December...

It's the last month of the year and I can not believe it. Where did 2014 go?

I hope your Thanksgiving was delicious. Our's was great. Very low-key and chill. It was perfect. After dinner we put up our Christmas decorations. I have officially jumped into the Christmas spirit even though it's just beginning to look like Fall here.

Fall tree color

I've been playing Christmas music and doing holiday themed activities with the kids. This week Savannah and I are talking about the Advent calendar. I really should start wrapping their gifts but there's something about procrastinating until Christmas Eve that I enjoy.

On another note, I have been reflecting a lot about this space. My goal for 2015 is to be more consistent (which was also my goal for 2014 - don't judge) and to really allow this blog to be a reflection of my life. In 2015 I also hope to become a certified personal trainer. My textbooks and study resources have been ordered and I am anxiously awaiting their arrival. Highlighters would be an awesome stocking stuffer for me this year, hint hint.

More on how I came to the decision to become a CPT later. Have you already started on your goals for 2015? I know, I know, we gotta thru Christmas first, right?

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Chic Thanksgiving: My Cooking Plan

Now that we've made a menu and gone to the grocery store let's talk about our plan of attack. How are we going to get all this done? With little kids and no one to help it can be difficult to cook such a large meal. To keep frustration and rushing to a minimum I start prepping days in advance. Doing a little bit each day helps me stay organized and in the holiday spirit. 

To start off the week of Thanksgiving I normally check (and double check) my grocery list and recipes to make sure that I have everything. I do any last minute store runs and get all of my fresh produce. If I plan to buy flowers or anything like that I go ahead and make those arrangements too. Or I take note of what my grocery store is offering for decorations. Normally when it's the week of Thanksgiving you can get a pretty good deal on anything Fall/Thanksgiving related.

On Tuesday, I do my mise en place. (Can you tell I'm a Top Chef fan?) I chop up all my celery and onions. I clean and shuck my corn and cut it off the cobb. I cut and clean all my veggies. Once everything is clean and chopped up I place everything in a zip-loc bag or a tupperware container. Everything goes back in to the fridge.

Wednesday afternoon, maybe around lunch I'll start cooking. I make the cornbread for my cornbread stuffing. While that's in the oven I start on my pie fillings and appetizers. When my pies are ready for the oven I get all my veggies going. After my collards, corn and green beans are on the stove I make my potato salad. So by the time Wednesday is over I've cooked all my desserts, the potato salad and all the veggies. If you're like me and you only have one oven then you know it only makes since to make some this stuff a day ahead. 

I normally wake up at about five on Thursday morning because I like to have my dinner ready around one or two. I make my rice and dinner rolls the day of too. Thursday morning is all about the Turkey and casseroles. I make the Turkey last. While the stove is working hard I mix up the lemonade and make sweet tea. I begin heating all the veggies about half way through the Turkey's cook time. Once the Turkey is done I let it rest for a while and then it's time to eat!

This is how I tackle getting all that cooking done. I plan to have Savannah help me as much as she wants. I know it may seem like a lot but splitting it up really helps. I have been asked about sharing the recipes for the Thanksgiving menu I created. I am working on that and hope to share it early next week. How do you prep and plan for big dinners?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Chic Thanksgiving: Grocery Shopping List

We have all been there. It's Thanksgiving Day and you're knee deep in pots and pans when you realize you forgot to buy something, you're about to run out of something or you don't have enough of something. It sucks. The last thing you want to do is try to find a store that's open. And God forbid you have to ask your husband or some other unwilling family member to run to the store.

We all know how that turns out. They either can't find what you need or they get the wrong thing. Even though episodes like this are the stuff that holidays are made of I try my hardest to avoid them. I like being prepared so that I can enjoy my time in the kitchen and my husband can enjoy his football.

You remember that episode of The Cosby Show when Claire kept having Cliff run to the store...

Love that episode. I don't want him to end up like Cliff so I start shopping in advance using two separate grocery lists. A list for non perishable items and a list for my fresh produce and items. I carry the non perishable list around with me and whenever I go to the store I grab a few things off the list. By the time Thanksgiving week comes I only have to buy what's fresh.

Tailor your list to what you're making. Here is an example of my non perishable list. 

We have limited freezer space so I'm not able to freeze much in advance. So, I buy my turkey fresh. I do freeze my butter though. 

Now. These are just examples. By looking at this I can already see where I need to add sour cream. Make your lists based on what you choose to make. I make my own Turkey broth so you'll notice there isn't any broth on my list. Do what works for you and your menu. If you plan to use coupons start getting the paper on Sundays if you don't already. I have already purchased my cooking soups, extracts and some spices because the coupons were in the paper last week. Last year there were several ways to save on a turkey and that's another reason I wait to buy my bird. Those coupons normally come out a bit closer to Thanksgiving. 

I like doing my shopping this way because it allows me to buy little by little. I don't have to worry about being in the grocery store all day or running around at the last minute to find special ingredients. Cuts down on stress. What do you think of this shopping plan? How do you get your Thanksgiving dinner shopping done? 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Date Night Taught Me...

This past weekend my husband and I got out for a very rare date night. We normally only get out for dates when family comes to visit. Because of that I have gotten pretty good at creating date nights at home and had become extremely comfortable with that.

Maybe too comfortable.

Anyway. When a friend of mine offered to come over so that we could enjoy a night out I happily accepted.
Ocho Havana Hotel romantic restaurant
At first I was so worried about how the kids would do and if my house was clean enough to have a friend over in my absence. Then I remembered that the last time we went out as a couple was in February… when we were in Vegas. 

It then occurred to me that I have become one of those people who gets into a routine and never looks left or right for a little spontaneity. My routine and schedule had literally become everything to me. If it's not in my planner the chances of it happening are pretty slim. 

Ocho restaurant salsa platter

Our date nights at home are fun and convenient (and necessary) but nothing beats getting all dressed up and going out. I had no idea I missed getting dressed up so much. What was even more shocking was that I had no idea how much more I'd feel like myself. Like the old me.

statement necklace

I didn't know I was missing the old me. I had no idea that I'd feel different after going out but I certainly did. Even though I'd like to think that I haven't lost any parts of myself apparently some part of me had been slightly stifled. 

Because I have been operating on auto pilot it never crossed my mind that I actually needed to get fixed up and get out of my house after seven. I learned that putting on cute mommy outfits and going to the grocery store and Target are not the same as being done from head to toe for a night out.

That's where I got it twisted.

Family time and running errands isn't the same as a true date night. Even though we're always together nothing is like going on a real date. I had forgotten what that was like. When you're a military wife this is an easy rut to fall into. You get use to the idea of not being able (or feeling comfortable) to go out. 

Before you know it you have trained your mind to forget about tapping into that side of yourself. Or at least that's what happened to me. 

all black date night outfit

Having a schedule and routine is great. For me, it is absolutely necessary. What I learned from date night was that I must also pencil in some time to be the old me. It's okay to accept the help of a friend and rely on someone else to give yourself a break when you need it. I didn't know that I needed to unplug but my friend did. 

Think about the last time you had a chance to unplug. If it's been more than a couple months plan a night out. Don't be like me. Our trip to Vegas was nine months ago. I was long overdue for a night out. 

How often do you get out for dates or time without your kids? Have you ever been blind to the fact that you needed to unplug? Share your stories with me in the comments! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Chic Thanksgiving: The Menu

I have been anxiously waiting for this week to come so that I could start my series on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. I do love what Christmas is about but because that is often lost with the "fuss" of Christmas, Thanksgiving has hands down become my favorite holiday.

I love the time of togetherness with my family. I love the way Thanksgiving smells and the way the air feels outside. Y'all already know I'm an Autumn girl and Thanksgiving is one of the main reasons why.  It's a great time for reflection and recognition of all of our blessings. It's also a time to enjoy some amazing food guilt free.

During this series I will be sharing four different posts. The first is about a traditional southern Thanksgiving menu. Right after I got married my Mother made me a Thanksgiving cookbook full of all of our family's recipes. It has everything from appetizers to desserts. She even wrote me a beautiful letter about life, love and marriage. I hope to pass the book down to Savannah with a letter for her when she gets married. 

As a young woman it was so helpful to have this menu. At the time, I wasn't the cook I am today. As an Army Wife, not living near family, I needed this book as a guide. It taught me how to pull off a very successful Thanksgiving dinner with no help. I actually get excited about Thanksgiving. It's like the Super Bowl for women who like to cook, it's a big deal. I find that part of my success comes with keeping it simple and traditional. 

So. If you're someone that doesn't live close to family but you still want to have a bomb Thanksgiving... OR you're someone that just needs a plan for how to do Thanksgiving dinner without getting all stressed, this series is for you.

Here is what we're making for Thanksgiving this year. It's very simple but it's PACKED with comforting flavors. You will love this easy to do meal. 

easy thanksgiving menu

Coming Up in this series:
A Chic Thanksgiving: The Shopping List & The Grocery Store
A Chic Thanksgiving: Getting It All Done
A Chic Thanksgiving: Decorating and Hostess Tips

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween 2014

Well, hello there November! Can I just say that I am so excited for these cooler Texas temps. At Savannah's game yesterday everyone was bundled up like it was freezing. It was a beautiful sixty degrees out. I was loving it.

Rewinding all the way to Friday…

We were busy. Sav's class had a Pajama Day party that included musical chairs, a pumpkin decorating contest and cookie decorating. She had a blast. After running some errands we came home to relax before getting dressed for the night time festivities.

We were two black cats. Fun and simple. I found her black tutu brand new on eBay for seven bucks with shipping! Her ears and tail were found at WalMart. I got my ears from Old Navy.

mommy daughter black cats

You can't really tell in the pics but my mini dress has a ruffle tutu like bottom. We wore matching shoes to complete our looks. (hers- H&M, mine- Coach) My husband painted our faces.

I found out about a block party that was happening on our base. We headed there for the festivities. It was the perfect way to spend the evening. After an hour both of them were tired and ready to go to bed.

Little Mike was a lion. He wore Sav's old costume. He was super cute but was not feeling it. This is one of the only happy pics I have of him dressed. Love his cute little face.

Now that October is over I am all about Thanksgiving! Y'all know it's my favorite holiday! I'll be sharing Thanksgiving recipes and tips all throughout the month. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Premama Complete Prenatal Vitamin Mix

Check out my YouTube Channel to see a review I did on the premama prenatal vitamin mix. No more horse pills for me! Learn about the other benefits you'll get by taking this drinkable vitamin.

What do you think about a drinkable prenatal vitamin?

Enter below for your chance to win a month supply of Premama!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekend Recap

This Saturday was the last regular season soccer game of the season. Next week we have a makeup game followed by a team party. When I get my Saturdays back I won't know how to act. Her game this past Saturday was at eight AM. The light is so beautiful that early in the morning...

youth soccer player

After soccer we normally go to the playground for a bit. Little Mike tries to do everything he sees Sav doing. It's so funny. He's finally figured out what he likes at the playground. So far his favorite thing to do is the swings. Savannah loves the slides.

This weekend I also had the pleasure of decorating a pumpkin for a pumpkin contest that Savannah's class had. I thought we were doing something by glittering our pumpkin. Nope. When I picked her up today those pumpkins were HGTV worthy. If they're still on display tomorrow I will snap a pic for IG. I couldn't believe it. I'm still proud of our pumpkin.

Initially she wanted to make her pumpkin look like Saturn. After seeing all those pumpkins today I wish we had done that…

glittered pumpkin DIY

Friday was a busy day for me. I have recently fallen in love with midi dresses and skirts. I really love the floral print on this one. I paired it with my Coach sneakers for a laid back and comfortable look.

floral print midi dress

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Catching Up w/ Fall

I am finally getting around to decorating for Fall. Better late than never. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday so I'm glad that I found time to go grab some things before the end of this month. I still have some decorating to do in the kitchen.

All of my Fall decorations from last year have mysteriously gone missing so I'm having to find all new stuff. I snagged this wreath for nine bucks. It's so pretty.

Fall wreath
I really love orange pumpkins but Savannah loves painting them so yesterday we all sat down to paint our pumpkins. She was home from school yesterday so this was a great activity for us. The day before I checked out some pumpkin themed children's books when I picked up the next book in the Junie B. series. If you follow me on instagram then you got to see Little Mike with his pumpkin.
Let's just say he wasn't as excited as his sister. He's a funny little guy.

Once we were done with our story and pumpkins we made sugar shaped like pumpkins. Savannah got to decorate them while her brother took a nap. They came out pretty good. Thanks for all the tips you ladies on the Facebook page gave me. I appreciate it!

Pumpkin cookies
Backing up to the weekend… On Sunday we went out to dinner. Only in Texas can you still wear a tank top at the end of October without getting strange looks. I love this polka dot sheer blouse tank I picked up at Old Navy for four bucks! 
I paired it with some skinny dress pants and strappy embellished shoes. The sun kept giving me a glow and erasing my neck, LOL! 

Between now and next week I need to find a good cat makeup tutorial. Savannah will be dressing up as a cat this year. Little Mike will be wearing a Lion costume that Sav wore when she was his age. I love being able to use the things I'm too emotionally attached to to give away.

We'll most likely be hitting up a party at our local library.

Anything new going on with you?

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.

Wednesday, October 8, 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 recipe


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!

Sunday, October 5, 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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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.

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.