Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Easy chicken dinners for two days in a row!

So sometimes on Sundays, I will buy a rotisserie chicken from Costco. We have it for dinner that night along with a can of Bush's baked beans, corn on the cob, and whatever fruit we have on hand; watermelon, pineapple, peaches, etc.
I save the leftover chicken for the next night's dinner and use it with this recipe from Real Mom Kitchen, which has so many great recipes! It's so good and easy but most of all, my kids love it too! Here is the recipe, enjoy!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Easy curls without the damage

My hair is pretty damaged but I like it curled. I have been trying other ways of curling it without using heat. Braiding it when almost dry and then sleeping on it, or twisting it up into a bun after a shower and sleeping on it. But I recently came across Savvy Curls on Instagram and decided to give it a try. It's a thermal headband you wrap your hair into and it produces curls.
I just got mine and tried it for the first time last night. You can do it when your hair is about 70 percent wet, or you can do it from dry hair, with a little mousse. I tried it last night with about 70 percent wet hair. This morning it came out VERY curly, which is fun and I got really bouncy curls. Granted, I did have to use the flat iron just a tiny bit, to iron out a few kinks (see third picture down), but other than that I left the house with bouncy curls without using hardly any heat at all.
Next time I want to try it with dry hair + mousse and see if the curls come out looser. You can even work out with the headband on and the body heat you produce while exercising helps curl your hair. It will be fun to experiment with. I am excited to see how long the curls I did last night will last. I usually go 5-6 days between washes and when I curl my hair with an iron, the curls last 1-2 (sometimes 3) days (by day 3 they are extremely loose). So... we will see! I wanted to pass this info along to my Know It Mom followers, because the more arsenal we have when it comes to easy hair, the better, right?
Here are some pics of my first time using my Savvy Curls headband. Oh they have one headband that is a single band, or a "convertible" band that has two bands to get curls that are a little higher, and I'm guessing makes your hair even curlier than just the single. I bought the convertible band and used it as the convertible. The cool thing about the convertible is that the second band is removable so it turns into the single band. Next time, I also want to try just using it as a single band to see how it compares to using the two bands that I did this first time. The website for Savvy Curls has easy video tutorials that show you exactly how to use the headbands. Check out the headbands here Savvy Curls

Thursday, April 23, 2015

How to raise awareness in your kids to being thankful ...

One thing I've started doing during dinner time with our family is to ask each person to name one (or more) thing that they are thankful for. Or they can tell us about something good that happened during their day, or the best part of their day, etc.
It has been a fun way to get my kids thinking about what they are thankful for and to help them realize that we have so much to be thankful for. Try it with your family today!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Create more room in your refrigerator . . .

As our family has grown, we realized that we probably need to get a larger refrigerator, as it seemed like we never had enough room in there to fit all of our refrigerated foods and drinks. However, buying a larger refrigerator these days is so expensive. So . . . we came up with a solution that worked very well for us.
We purchased a mini-fridge at Costco, for $150, which was a much more affordable option. Luckily, we have a large pantry and we adjusted a shelf or two and installed the mini-fridge there. We keep all of our drinks in that fridge ... jugs of orange juice, juice boxes, milk, waters, etc. Whenever guests want to grab a drink, we just direct them towards the mini-fridge.
It has cleared up a ton of space in our regular fridge and solved our issue of not having enough space. We love having all or our drinks/liquids in one area and have loved this solution. It saved us a lot of money and it could save you some too if you are running out of space in your fridge.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Picky Eaters . . .

My kids are such picky eaters!!! I worry that they are not getting enough variety because they will only eat certain things. Thank goodness for vitamins, right? I've tried bribing them, threatening 'no dessert', asking them to have 'just one more bite', etc. So I came across this article tonight and loved it and had to share.
There were a lot of great ideas in this article and the main thing I liked about it was that you decide what to serve and when, they decide what to eat and how much. No bribes, threats, or un-happiness at the dinner table.
Here is the article
And here is the book they recommend, which I am going to order :)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Central Computer Area

Our kids are getting old enough now, that it was time to get them a computer. Actually, I had a very outdated one, so I got a new one, and we passed on my old computer to the kids. My husband suggested getting them desks for their bedrooms and eventually they would both have a computer in their room.
That did not fly with me! I don't like the idea of kids having a computer in their bedroom. There are too many online predators out there, too many inappropriate images, and it's just plain dangerous.
So, we came up with the idea of having a central computer area in our home where it's out in the open, in a common area. This way, it will lessen the opportunities to hide what they are doing or get into a bad situation. Since it's in a central area, I will check them as I walk by to do laundry, etc. and the kids can keep a check on each other because they will be side by side.
We invested in a long desk/table type of unit and for now, we have my old computer there, which they share, but eventually they will both have their own, next to each other. This is a great study area and I recently found the cutest maps to hang on the wall, above their workspace.
I admit, I am terrible when it comes to geography and don't want my kids growing up not knowing where places are in the world. These maps are custom made so you can choose your colors and personalize whatever you want it to say at the top, etc. They look pretty and they are educational... win-win! I found them on Etsy by a shop called Urban Tickle. Here is the link to the Maps

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Swig Sugar Cookies . . .

Have you seen the Swig sugar cookie recipe floating around the internet? Well, I did and I decided to try it out. I don't bake much at all and I must say that I was surprised at how easy these were to make and how deliciously good they turned out.
They are so close to the real thing, just slightly harder. Next time I'd try baking for 7 minutes instead of 8. I have posted the recipe below along with a picture of how they turned out.
The recipe made a ton and were just too good. I ended up eating two a day and have regretted doing that. I will make these again but next time I'll be taking them to my kids' school or giving them away to a bunch of people.
Enjoy!
Swig Sugar Cookies
1 C Butter (room temperature)
3/4 C Vegetable Oil
1 1/4 C Sugar
3/4 C Powdered Sugar
2 T Water
2 Eggs
1/2 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Cream of Tartar
1 t Salt
5 1/2 C Flour
Cream together Butter, Vegetable Oil, Sugars, Water, and Eggs.
Combine dry ingredients and slowly add to butter mixture.
Mix until everything is combined.  Your dough should be a little crumbly and not sticky at all.
Roll a golf ball sized ball of dough and place it on your cookie sheet.
Now its time to give these babies their signature rough edge.  Put 1/4 c of sugar and a pinch of salt in a dish (this is in addition to the sugar and salt listed above.)  Stick the bottom of a glass in it.  This is going to be your cookie press.
Firmly press it into the center of your dough ball.  You want your dough to spill out over the sides of the glass.  If there is a lip it’s even better.
Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.  They should just barely be browning on the bottom.    Move cookies to a cooling rack.  Once they are cool put them in the fridge in a sealed container.
Sour Cream Frosting
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
3/4 C Sour Cream
Approx 1 2lb Package of Powdered Sugar (I never use the whole thing but love having extra on hand just in case I add to much milk!)
1 t salt
1/4 C Milk
Red Food Coloring
Start by creaming together butter and sour cream and salt.  Slowly add powdered sugar.  When it gets so thick it’s not frosting-like add a splash of milk.  Alternate this process until your frosting is the desired consistency.  Add 1 drop of red food coloring and whip on high for 1 minute.
Keep cookies in a sealed container until they are ready to serve.  The magic of a Swig Sugar Cookie is that the cookies are cold and the frosting is room temperature.
Frost right before serving (if you make them in advance and need to refrigerate the frosting make sure you give it time to warm up before serving)