Month: December 2015

New Year’s Superstitions…these are great!

2016Some times we just do things because that is the way we have always done them…but what is behind our actions? Brett’s grandma had a strong superstition that the first person to visit her house on New Year’s day had to be a man. Seriously, my father in law would come over bright and early on New Year’s day every year so she could have a lucky year. She lived to be 100…so maybe she was on to something!

Here are some more superstitions and their meanings:
When the clock strikes midnight, grab those you love and pucker up! Showing them affection will help keep those bonds strong all year long. Failure to smooch could lead to a year of coldness.

Even though it is cold outside….open all the windows and doors at midnight. This will help the old year leave and make room for the new one.

Grab the noise makers and pots and pans….let the kiddos make noise! It is said that the Devil hates loud noises. So be loud and chase him out…no one wants him hanging out in the New Year!

Out with the old in with the new. A very old (and odd) Italian tradition is to toss old items out the windows. Literally toss them out the window. This helps make room for new things coming in the new year!

Do not, I repeat, do not eat chicken on the first day of the new year. Eating chicken can cause you to have an entire year of financial hardship! Hmmm, pizza it is!

Dirty clothes? Don’t wash them on the first day of the new year. Doing laundry on the first day of the new year will wash someone out of your family. I like this…totally ok with a day off from laundry duty!

Spend the first day of the new year doing happy things with people you love…this will ensure you spend the rest of the year this way. I plan on spending my day with Brett and the girls! How are you spending your day?

Wishing you and your family a very happy New Year!!!

Easy Chicken Marsala

I love Chicken Marsala…it is delicious and super easy to make! So when my husband invited some work friends over for dinner, I immediately thought to make Chicken Marsala! A lot of people make it with thinly pounded chicken breasts…I do cubed chicken. It is easier and better when serving a lot of people. Some people don’t want a whole piece of chicken, this allows them to just take a few pieces.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour (for coating the chicken)
  • 8 chicken tenderloins or 4 chicken breasts (cut into cubes)
  • 1 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms (any mushrooms will do, but I love these!)
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock or beef stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  2. Dredge the chicken cubes in the flour and add to the skillet. Brown chicken on each side and remove once cooked through. No more pink color inside the chicken and juices will run clear.
  3. Place chicken in a dish and put aside
  4. In the same skillet, add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  5. Add mushrooms and parsley to the skillet. Cook for a few minutes on both sides until mushrooms are soft and brown.
  6. Put the mushrooms and parsley in a dish and set aside.
  7. In the same skillet, add Marsala wine and chicken stock. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the skillet to get all the flavor from the chicken and mushrooms.
  8. Cook the liquid for about 2 minutes until hot.
  9. I like my sauce thick, so at this point I whisk in 1 – 2 tablespoons of flour and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, I turn off the heat and add the chicken and mushrooms back into the skillet and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  10. You can do all of this to taste. Sometimes you might have to add more Marsala wine or stock depending on your taste buds!
  11. Serve over egg noodles or homemade mashed potatoes!

Want to be organized for next Christmas?

When you have more than 1 child of the same gender, you can save outfits and pass them down the line! There is nothing better then buying a few Christmas shirts and being able to use them for several years. This is a huge benefit to having 3 girls…we just keep passing the outfits down!

A mistake I made after Nicki’s first Christmas was putting her Christmas dresses and shirts away in the bin with the same size clothes. If you are as OCD as me, you probably have bins of clothes in the attic labeled with sizes. I thought I was doing a good thing when I put her Christmas outfits in the bin with the other winter clothes of the same size. Well, a few years later, Joey was ready to wear those Christmas outfits but, she was not wearing the same size. So I was up in the attic digging through bins (because I forgot what bin I put them in) until I found all the Christmas outfits. That is when I learned…make a Christmas bin. And a Halloween bin….and an Easter bin….pretty much whatever Holiday you celebrate, make a bin!

Here are pictures of our Christmas bin. In the bin are all the dresses and shirts that fit or will fit my girls. Anything they have outgrown get donated. When the Holidays roll around, I just have to go into the appropriate bin and grab what I need. This has also come been useful when friends or family want to borrow something…no more digging around in the attic!

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Makes washing hands fun!


Recently we were sent the Cartoon Faucet Extender by BabeMallInc® for an extremely discounted price in exchange for our honest opinion. The girls love how cute it is! At first, Jo did not understand what it was there for…but now she loves it! Joey and Franki like to wash their hands and rinse their tooth brushes by themselves (like big girls). But, they can’t really reach…even with the stool, it is tough for them! Now that we have this Faucet Extender, they are able to reach the water with ease!

This is a great product and would make a great gift! Create a “toddler bathroom basket”. Throw a towel, tooth brush, this faucet extender, and some tub toys in a basket and bam…toddler gift!!

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Bye Bye Flies


Our dogs love to go in and out of the house all day long! Our Cane Corso puppy, Stella, has actually figured out how to open the sliding glass door! Because she is always jumping up and opening the door, we can’t have a traditional screen…she will break it!

Recently, I was sent this magnetic screen door for free in return for my honest opinion. It is great quality and easy to install! The dogs were not sure about it at first, but now they love it! Click here to purchase you own today!

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Along with the mesh screen, you will receive a roll of Velcro and little thumb tacks. I opted to use the Velcro…it was easier and less permanent.

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Foil Art

Foil_ArtThis is a fantastic craft to do with the kids! My 3 1/2 year old loved this just as much as my 5 year old! Having to use Sharpies made me nervous, but the girls did a great job!

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Need a last minute gift?!

Last_Min_giftsSHIT! Christmas is this week. I seriously lost track of the month…where did it go! I thought there was time, I really thought I had more time. Franki and Jo were sick last week, so I was sucked into the wonderful world of boogers and baby wipes….it is like a parallel universe when your kids are sick. Ok, enough about that…back to business!

It is a few days before Christmas and you need a gift…I do too. So let’s get cracking! Survey the house, check the “gift closet”, grab anything with a tag on it…let’s do this!

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What do you do when both your kids are crying?

A friend that is due with her second child was over the other day. As we sat on the couch and chatted, our girls were running in and out of the room playing. I was in my happy place, but I could tell she was having a little bit of trouble with all the commotion. I get it, I can’t remember life with 1 kid, but I get it! We had probably been sitting for about 4 minutes when I heard “mom, I went poopy.” ”

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My girls, couldn’t imagine life without them!

OK Jo, I will be right there” I yelled back. As I got off the couch, I could hear Nicki in the bedroom struggling with something, “mom I need you” Nicki yelled. “Ok, wait a minute while I help Jo.”

After helping both kids, I sat back down with my friend on the couch. “How do you do it?” She had a scared look on her face. “How do you help all your kids at the same time? What will I do when my toddler needs me but the baby is crying?” She looked upset and confused. I thought for a second and replied “you help who ever needs you most”

All my girls are close in age. Nicki and Jo are 20 months apart and Franki and Jo are 24 months apart. I learned very quickly that just because the baby is crying, doesn’t mean that the baby gets my attention. All day long I assess situations in my head like a SWAT team member…who needs me more right now? That is literally what runs through my head all day. Once we had the third kid, it became very clear that there would never be a moment that someone didn’t need me!

It gets easier as they get older. Now, Nicki is able to help her little sisters if I can’t…5 year olds are the best!! If you are pregnant with a second child and not sure how you will handle it, trust me when I say “you will”. Everything and everyone will be ok! At some point you will forget how it felt to just have one child and the craziness will become the norm! And if you don’t already have something to “wear” the new baby in, get it!! You will need all the free hands you can get!!

Do you hate wrapping presents?!

I am guessing that I am not the only one…hence why gift bags are so popular! I don’t remember the last time my girls got a present that wasn’t in a gift bag. So why wrap presents for Christmas? I know, I know…so many people tell me “It’s more exciting if they are wrapped” Last time I checked my girls didn’t spend time looking at a nicely wrapped present saying “mommy this is beautiful…I am so excited it is wrapped!” Pretty sure they were more interested in what was inside then how it looked.

A few years ago I sat starring at Nicki’s Christmas gifts and thought, I do not want to wrap these. I glanced at my Santa wrapping paper and there it was, right on the wrapping paper…a Santa bag. The jolly bearded man was carrying a sack with presents inside! And guess what? They weren’t wrapped. That is when it happened…that is when we became a “non wrapping” house!

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If he doesn’t have to wrap, I’m not either!

No, we don’t just throw unwrapped toys under the tree and let the girls fend for themselves! We use Santa sacks! We keep them in a special place and then ask Reed (our Elf on the Shelf) to bring them to Santa on December 23rd. This way, Santa can fill them up and return Christmas Eve night!

My girls love this and have never asked why there presents aren’t wrapped! Christmas morning, they run to their Santa sacks and get so excited pulling each new toy out! Some of you might be shaking your head thinking “man that mom is lazy” or “I love wrapping presents”. Well then CHEERS to you! But remember this, while you are wrapping presents, I will be sipping wine doing something else….most definitely not wrapping presents!! Oh and when you need 18 garbage bags to throw away the wrapping paper Christmas morning, I don’t…just saying! Merry Christmas!!

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This was 2 years ago. Note the Santa Sacks. The girls also got a few large gifts that year (doll house, kitchen, and high chair)

Want to join the Non Wrapping Club? Check out Amazon.com to purchase a sack today!!

Are you looking for a great lunch box?


Look no further! The container itself is organic and made from rice husk. I love that it has different compartments. The compartments are interchangeable, so you can adjust them depending on what you are packing for lunch! You can use the entire space for one meal or divide it into different areas. There is a really strong seal on the lid too, which is awesome for preventing spills!

This would also make a great gift for the Holidays! Click here to order it from Amazon.com

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I was given this lunch box at a heavily discounted price in exchange for my honest opinion.

  • ►A COMPLETE LUNCH BOX SOLUTION: Introducing a complete three compartment lunch box that have spork and securing strap to keep the lunch box nice and tight
  • ►PREMIUM QUALITY: 100% Organic food container made with Biodegradable, organically grown rice husk material for long-lasting use. Different from melamine, glass and steel lunch box sets available in the market. Shatter proof and no danger to get hurt. FDA-Approved and BPA-Free
  • ►A HEALTH ALTERNATIVE: Like most plastic lunch box, melamine products may potentially pose health risks by discharging chemicals into your food and consequently into your body. This set is made of 100% natural rice husks organic fiber without any chemicals additive
  • ►EASY TO CLEAN: Natural Non-stick surface, dishwasher safe, and easy to clean even without the use of detergent.
  • ►FREE RECIPIE eBOOK: Includes low calorie recipes for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner and dessert. The eBook includes recipes from Texas Omelet Wrap to Southwest Steak to Mocha Pudding and everything in between

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