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Archive for the ‘parenting’ Category

Lest you think I’ve taken leave of my senses, and have started to watch Scooby-Doo Where Are You? by myself with a hot cup of doctored coffee, that is not the case. Rest assured, dear readers. 🙂 My daughter has “discovered” Scooby-Doo and now I am being forced lovingly watching the episodes with her.

Now to be fair, I totally and with full-fledged abandon, watched these Scooby-Doo episodes as a kid. As a small child, I looooooved this show! (By the way, can I just say how surreal it is to watch a show with your kid that you yourself watched as a kid? Whoa…)

So without further adieu and with absolute beloved humor, I offer the following observations about Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?

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♦ Why was Velma always losing her glasses? Like, literally every episode, you can always hear her exclaim “My glasses! Where are my glasses?” Inevitably, Scooby or Shaggy would find them and give them back to her, but not before hijinks would ensue in the meantime.

♦ Does no one notice that Scooby-Doo talks?

♦ What are Scooby Snacks and what the heck are in them that will make Scooby do anything that is asked of him and why does Shaggy want to eat them as well? Hmmmm… well the original episodes are from 1969, so…

♦ Why are they always running?

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♦ You would think that every single house on this show is not only a mansion, but a decrepit, falling-down one at that, which is perpetually haunted.

♦ Seriously, a talking dog? Why does no one think this is weird? Is everyone eating the Scooby Snacks??

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♦ These meddling kids drive around aimlessly in a van that always seems to have a full gas tank (unless the episode conveniently calls for it not to be) Mwah ha, ha, ha…

♦ Why are Fred, Velma, and Daphne always so surprised when the culprit is unmasked? Did you really think you were dealing with a ghost? Really? This far in??

♦ Scooby-Doo can talk. Sure, it sounds like he has marbles in his mouth, but still, the dog…is…conversing. #ruh #roh

♦ Velma’s choice of clothing. I mean… All the orange and red together… Never mind the whole turtle-neck sweater with a flared skirt and knee-socks combo. Oh Velma…

So there you have it. My observations 🙂 This show still make me smile and honestly, I really do love watching it all over again with my kiddo 🙂

Do you remember Scooby-Doo Where Are You? What do remember about it?

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She Jumps In Puddles

She jumps in puddles, pigtails flying, knees bent, smile a mile wide.

“Mommy, jump with me!”, she says. And I oblige. I jump along with her, conscious that I may look silly seeing as I am a grown adult for whom puddle-jumping does not tend to hold the same excitement that it does for the younger set.

But I do it, and throw self-consciousness to the wind.

boots

We hold hands and make a run for the next puddle. Splash! The rain can’t stop my girl from giggling oh so sweetly. “Mommy that was a big puddle!”

I watch her and marvel.

She is her own superhero, her own persona, with her initial emblazoned in an imaginary fashion on her chest. She is sugar and spice with a healthy dose of recklessness thrown in for good measure.

“Mommy, look! More puddles!”

We jump and our boots bear the brunt of our energy.

I do not want this time to end, this precious time with my beautiful girl. Because someday, she won’t want to jump in puddles. Someday she will be a teenager looking disdainfully at my retelling of our puddle-jumping days. “Mommy” will become “Mom”, and she will bypass the puddles for fear of getting wet.

I know that someday she will look fondly back at our times of splashes and giggles. And she will smile.

But now… now we will find more puddles to jump in.

Because right now, we have all the time in the world.

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If any of you have kiddos out there, you know that you inevitably have quite a bit of toys underfoot. It’s not that you are out there at the store constantly purchasing toys or anything; it’s just that they somehow have made their way into your home and any parent can tell you, they have no idea how all these toys got there! 🙂

Well I am here to say, that no matter the origination of the toys, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on containers to house them all. If you just think outside of the box (or container), you can probably find some things around the home that can house the Legos!

Speaking of Legos…

My daughter loves her Legos and there are sooooo many small pieces. I had to find something sturdy to house them all when they weren’t in use. And then I saw on the counter, the container holding the animal crackers we had picked up from Costco.

animalcrackers

Yup, I think this will work…

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Boom! Perfect! And I didn’t have to spend any additional money actually purchasing some sort of container! It pays to shop your house 🙂

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And then I thought hey, this container would be perfect to house all her little figures she plays with. So in went My Little Pony, the Bubble Guppies, etc…

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Man, these containers work great

Now my daughter loves to color. She has quite a few coloring books. Hmmmm, what to do, what to do… And then I realized I had this box that I used to use to house tax stuff/receipts/etc… But that was not a very organized solution and it was messy and hard to ever find anything, so the box was now sitting empty. Perfect!

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Yup, that’ll work!

coloringbooks

And a case that I was using for odds and ends, I cleaned out and is now her pencil-case!

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What to do with an empty Folgers coffee can?

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Use it for blocks of course!

blocks

Hey I’m not trying to re-invent the wheel here, but anything where I can save a bit of money, I am all for it!

Do you guys have any creative uses for stuff? It doesn’t have to be for toys 🙂

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My family loves chicken nuggets. But what we don’t love, is the unhealthiness factor of them. I mean half the time, you don’t know what it is in the nugget or it is so fried, that you feel terrible after eating it. But not these! These are yummy!

This recipe is adapted from the book Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food by Jessica Seinfeld. Yes, wife to Jerry. This book is awesome because all of the recipes have fruit or vegetables hidden in the meal, so the kiddos don’t even know that what they are eating is actually GOOD for them 🙂 As anyone with small children knows, sometimes it is a battle to get little ones to eat healthy. Kids love chicken nuggets. And parents will feel better knowing that these chicken nuggets have a healthy serving of sweet potato and that they are delicious and good for them!

Enjoy!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 TBSP grated Parmesan
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree*
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breast or chicken tenders, rinsed, dried, and cut into small chunks
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 TBSP olive oil

Directions:

  • In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, flaxseed meal, Parmesan, paprika, garlic, and onion powder. Mix well with a spoon.
  • In a shallow bowl, mix the vegetable puree and egg with a fork and set the bowl next to the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Sprinkle the chicken chunks with salt. Dip the chunks into the egg mixture and then toss them in the breadcrumbs until completely coated.
  • Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the oil. Place the chicken nuggets in the skillet in a single layer, being careful not to crowd the pan, and cook until crisp and golden on one side, 3 -4 minutes. Then turn and cook until the chicken is cooked through, golden brown and crisp all over, 4 to 5 minutes longer. (Cut into a piece to check that it’s cooked through) Serve warm.

*To make the sweet potato puree: Roast one whole sweet potato at 400°F for 50 to 60 minutes. Once done, scoop out the flesh and puree in a food processor or blender.

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No, my child didn’t say this sentence. She’s a preschooler. And if she did say that, well that would be an entirely different post 😉

“But Mom, it’s only 15 dollars!”

I was at the grocery store with my kiddo, and there was a woman near me with her son and he was begging her to purchase something for him, and she told him no. And then he said in that whiny persistent tone of voice, “But Mommmmmm, it’s only 15 dollars!!”

The mom, to her credit, told him no and kept it moving. But the point here isn’t about the kid and what he wanted. The point is, how many times have we told ourselves, it’s only 15 dollars, or whatever price?

I am sure that we have all, at one time or another, justified purchases in our mind and to our pocketbook. “That shirt is only 10 dollars, it’s okay”. “It’s just a magazine. I mean it’s only $3.50”.

Whatever, whatever, whatever…

“But Mom, it’s only 15 dollars!”

We have all been that kid. We have all been of two minds as to whether or not to make a mindless purchase, at one time or another.

And that’s okay. *Raises hand* We have all done that.

The point is, recognize when you are about to make a mindless purchase and recognize it for what it is: something you really don’t need. People magazine is not a need. I’m sure any news about the Kardashian family can be found online. And honestly, if you watch their show, you’ll know all there is to know about them anyway. Not that I watch their show or anything… *cough, cough*

So the next time that voice says, “But it’s only 15 dollars”, really think about the purchase, and decide if it’s really worth it.

Because most of the time, it’s not.

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Hello Oregon!

Yup, we made it! I still can’t believe I am here, amongst all this tree-filled gloriousness, but I am 🙂

Ahhhh....zen....

Ahhhh….zen….

My family and I drove up here over a 2 day period. Southern California to Redding, and then Redding to Portland. Can you say exhausting? Have you ever travelled with a 4 year-old and a cat? Have you???? E-vent-ful, mmmkay? 😉

Oh and by the way, Redding was bloody hot. Like, the sun was directly beaming all of its rays on this city, and you felt like your skin was on fire. But dinner in a nice air-conditioned restaurant, soon rectified that. Ahhh, air conditioning.

So after lots of coffee, tears, greasy food, and multiple gas station pit stops, we made it to our new home! There is still lots to do though…like get a couch. We seriously drove up here with what would fit into our 2 cars and that’s it. So needless to say, we are in need of some things…like seating arrangements 😉 As my husband would readily assert, I am a neat and organized person, so the fact that my new place is still in a bit of disarray, is driving me cray-cray. Neat-freaks, are ya with me?

I hope to get back to blogging normally and on a schedule soon. But first I need to get a couch. And I need my pictures hung on the walls.

And chocolate. I need chocolate.

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Happy July friends!

My wonderful friend and fellow blogger Shannon Ryan has written a children’s book! It is called The Lemonade Stand and the yellow cover caught my daughter’s eye immediately:

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My daughter and I have read the book together several times, she loves it so much. She’s even asked Grandpa to read it to her!

The book is a great read for kids. It follows the adventures of two boys named Ryan and Christopher who have a case of “the wants” and want the instant gratification of Mom buying a ball and a racing car while at the store. Mom says no, but when they meet up with their good friends Lauren and Taylor, the girls show the boys how they can earn enough money to purchase what they want, and learn how to save money for the future at the same time.

They open a lemonade stand!

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By running and operating a lemonade stand, Lauren and Taylor show Ryan and Christopher, “how easy it is to save, spend, and share”, the money they earn. After paying back their parents for the supplies for the lemonade stand, they split the remainder of the money four ways 🙂

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Each child puts a couple of dollars into savings, and then purchases an item that they really want, such as popsicles, perfect for a hot summer day!

It is really a super cute book and kudos to Shannon for putting it all together!

And guess what readers? Head over to The Heavy Purse and purchase Shannon’s book and save $3 by using code (TOUR3114)

Shannon is hosting a giveaway to help celebrate the release of The Lemonade Stand! Want to win an iPad? 🙂 Ya know ya do!

 

The Lemonade Stand – iPad Mini Giveaway

July 14-31, 2014

Sponsored by The Heavy Purse

Co-hosted by Are Ya Gonna Eat That, Broke Millennial, Budget and The Beach, Budget Blonde</>, Budgeting for More, Busy Mom Budgets, Cash Cow Couple, Cents and Sensibility, Club Thrifty, Color Me Frugal, Debt Debs, Debt Roundup, Disease Called Debt, Eat Laugh Purr, Enemy of Debt, Eyes on the Dollar, Femme Frugality, Financially Blonde, Frugal Rules, Living Richly Cheaply, Luke 1428, Making Sense of Cents, Money Saving Dude, Monster Piggy Bank, Not Now Mom’s Busy, Reach Financial Independence, Shoeaholic No More, Tackling Our Debt, The Broke and Beautiful Life, The Finance Girl, The Frugal Farmer, The Random Path, Thrifty Dad and Young Adult Money.

Join Lauren and Taylor in their continuing money adventures in The Lemonade Stand by Shannon Ryan, CFP®. Shannon is a Mom on a mission to help busy parents teach their children simple, value-based principles that guide their money decisions and support their long-term financial well-being.

“Everyone handles money. Unfortunately, not everyone does it with confidence. Money has long been a taboo topic in many homes, which makes it even harder for parents to know where to start or what to teach. So I created a series of children books to help parents ease into these important conversations. Financial literacy is one of the most loving gifts you can give your children, and I encourage everyone to make money conversations a priority in your home.”

We’re Giving Away an iPad Mini to One Lucky Reader!

Help us celebrate the release of The Lemonade Stand and join Shannon in her mission to increase financial literacy in both children and adults.

The giveaway runs from July 14-31, 2014 and is open worldwide.*

Ready to read The Lemonade Stand in style? Then Sign-Up for the iPad Mini Giveaway today!

* A winner located outside of the United States will receive a cash equivalent prize via PayPal.

bookreview-giveaway

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Needless to say, these past few months for me have been a whirlwind. A lot of changes, and the fact that it’s October and in a few short months, we’ll be saying “Happy New Year!”… is just, well, overwhelming.

I have a lot of items on my to-do list and I can’t seem to get on a blogging schedule to save my life. There are books I want to read, there’s new recipes I want to try, there are pumpkins I want to carve.

I am not okay with frenetic. It’s not in my nature.

I like to take a half hour and drink a cup of tea, while my daughter drinks a cup of chocolate milk out of her favorite cup. We cuddle on the couch and watch Max and Ruby or Peppa Pig. I hold her close.

My daughter's cup and my tea cup.

My daughter’s cup and my tea cup.

Moments like these won’t last forever.

Busy and constant, constant, constant, drain me.

So, I want to focus more on the simple things. Because, really?

The to-do lists aren’t going anywhere.

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To My Princess

To My Princess:

Happy Birthday, my sweet girl! I can’t believe you are already three years old! It seems like just yesterday you were in my tummy, and now…now you are a girl full of energy and ideas, and beautiful smiles.

I can’t help but wonder how you will be, as you get older. My girl who loves to twirl around pretending she is a princess, complete with a crown on her head. I have a feeling you will still love to run around, giggling, saying “Mommy, look at me!” I look at you and marvel…

Marvel that time has passed so fast. So fast, that it is hard sometimes to realize that you aren’t my “baby” anymore. Gone are the days when you first learned to roll over, and made your way around the living room like you were on a mission. To go where, I don’t know, but you were determined. You’ve always been determined. You’ve always known what you wanted, and have gone after it, even if it was just figuring out how to take your first step.

And I admire that about you. I know that whatever comes your way in life, you will go after what you set your heart upon… Nothing will ever stop you from going after your dreams.

My precious girl, my “mini-me”, my daughter, my heart

I love you so much and wish you nothing but happiness always.

Happy Birthday  Love, Mommy

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My Secret Goal

No, it’s not what you’re thinking…wait. What are you thinking?

I’ve had a goal for 2013 that was not part of my original list I posted at the beginning of the year. I didn’t qualify it as a goal because I didn’t want to be disappointed in myself if I didn’t start knocking it out of the park, right out of the gate.

So I kept it to myself.

But I think it’s time to just put it out there in the universe.

My secret goal is keeping track of how many books I read from January 1 to December 31. The whole year, nothing but books.

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I know this goal doesn’t sound too exciting for some, but this goal is super personal to me. See, I love to read. Reading = breathing in my book. But a funny thing happens when you become a parent. All of your free time that you could spend lounging in your favorite chair with a cup of tea, and losing yourself in a book…well those days are few and far between. And as super helpful as Parents magazine is in helping me to find new ways to serve veggies to my kid, or Real Simple in helping me find yet another use for that random button, it’s just not the same as diving head first into a novel.

So I gave myself a number that I thought I could work with, considering I chase after a toddler all day. I set my magic number at 3. 3 books a month equals 36 books in a year. I could do that, and hey if I read more than 36 books, then that’s just the icing on top!

Hmm, so how many books have I read so far this year? Twelve.

I am on schedule to have at least 15 by June 1st, but we’ll see. I am a bit behind in my reading because I only read one book in the month of April. Between all the packing and the moving, I was lucky if my eyes were still open by 8 p.m.

So there’s my goal. And it’s not a secret anymore 😉

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