The Last Generation Before Technology
My grandpa is probably THE smartest man I know personally yet he doesn’t even know how to turn on a computer. WHAT?! Everyone knows how to do that?! RIGHT?! He has never owned a cell phone (Can you believe THAT?!); however, he can tell you in detail how it all works. Let me tell you a little bit about my last visit with my grandpa.
Best Homemade Hot Chocolate For Cold Winter Days
Down here in the south, we do not have many snow days. When we do, we make the absolute most of them! Sledding, four wheeling, snuggling under the blankets, games and HOT CHOCOLATE! Last night, we got a few inches of snow. Today has been a blast! To top it off, I made homemade hot chocolate that was AMAZING!
Real Life Behind the Facebook Posts
Joining facebook years ago took a little encouragement from friends and family. I was not too big on the social media kick but I gave in. Shortly after being on facebook, I started enjoying the fact that I could share pictures and see pictures of friends and family from all over the world. However, I wish I had learned much sooner how serious of an epidemic facebook and other social media would eventually create.
Why Not Make A New Years Resolution That You Can Keep
Let’s face it, sticking to New Years resolutions hardly ever happens. Gyms stay packed out from January 1st til sometime in February and then are empty once again. I am not knocking anyone who makes resolutions by any means. If you can do it, then by ALL means, DO IT (and tell ME your secrets)!
A Friend Holds On To Help Hold You Up
Have you ever gone through a really tough time in your life? Like times when you want to crawl into bed and never get out? It is times like that, that you have your best friend there to hold your hand. Times when it seems like the only thing that is keeping you going is that phone call from a friend, an encouraging text, a fun girl’s night or just a good talk at a coffee shop!
Homemade Slingshot Shoots Far!
My boys are true BOYS. They love shooting their airsoft guns, nerf guns and even slingshots. My oldest son decided he wanted to make his own slingshot. Needless to say, after he made the first one, he begged for me to take him to Walmart to pick up more Gatorade bottles so he could make more for friends. Check out this fun craft for older boys! I don’t typically find crafts that my boys actually enjoy but they LOVE this! All you need is an empty Gatorade bottle, a balloon, a small piece of sandpaper and a small saw! Continue reading
When What Seems Like Big Trials Turn Out To Really Not Be So Big
For the second time this week, our washing machine decided to give out. Needless to say, I was pretty frustrated that as soon as I thought it was up and running again, it breaks right before Christmas. This time I believe it was the last time running for this washing machine.
Fatigue can hit us at any time and it can be frustrating. You want to get things done but you feel like a snail in peanut butter. You just feel too tired to do anything and your to-do list gets longer. Luckily, there are some things you can do right at home to fight off fatigue. Here are some of the best home remedies for fatigue.
Total Language Plus is a homeschool curriculum, featuring literature-based unit lessons designed for Grades 3-12. Total Language Plus combine spelling, grammar, literature and vocabulary into just one single curriculum. Total Language Plus is a program that is Christian-based in nature, but not all of the books in the program have a Christian theme. The fascinating aspect of this program is that whatever book my child is reading, the entire unit study is based on that novel, including artwork, projects, writing lessons and activities.
A typical week in each grade level includes spelling, writing, grammar, punctuation, critical thinking, vocabulary, word puzzles, artwork, field trips, and projects. Each of the study guides in the program offer a helpful explanation on how to use that particular study guide along with answer keys for parents in the back of each book. On average, each study guide will take about 10 weeks to complete, meaning you will use approximately four guides each school year.
Another great aspect of the Total Language Plus program is that there is not a whole lot of preparation time for parents. Each of the studies in the program are designed so that the student can work on their own independently. This means that parents don’t have to spend a ton of time preparing lesson plans and can dedicate more time to actual teaching. It is also helpful for parents who teach multiple children/grade levels each day.
Total Language Plus has a very impressive list of study guides including:
- Beginning Guides for Grades 3 & 4 – Charlotte’s Web, Courage of Sarah Noble & Sign of the Beaver
- Lower Middle Guides for Grades 5 & 6 – Caddie Woodlawn, Cricket in Times Square & Twenty-One Balloons
- Middle Guides for Grades 6, 7 & 8 – Incredible Journey, Out of the Dust & Words by Heart
- Upper Middle Guides for Grades 7, 8 & 9 – Anne of Green Gables, Swiss Family Robinson & Treasure Island
- High School Guides for Grades 9, 10 & 11 – Pride and Prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird & Yearling
- Advanced High School Guides for Grades 11 & 12 – Jane Eyre, Oliver Twist & Scarlet Letter
This is our first year using Total Language Plus. So far we have finished Sarah Noble, The Giver, and My Side of the Mountain. We are currently working on Caddie Woodlawn, The Sign of the Beaver, and Anne of Green Gables.
I like the fact that my children have to read in order to complete their study guide. In years past, we would put off reading until the end of the school day. We were all mentally and sometimes emotionally exhausted. If we had an errand to run, it would sometimes get left out of our day. I knew we desperately needed a change. Total Language Plus has been a great solution for our family. I have to admit. I have really enjoyed listening to my younger children read the novels. They are great stories!
Another great perk is each state has an area representative. My representative is friendly and available. Whenever I email, she always responds. I appreciate that. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below!
Connect with Total Language Plus
The best tips for cleaning your washing machine
Cleaning and sanitizing your washing machine will help it perform better and allow you to have clean and fresh smelling clothes. When you do laundry, things like dirt, debris and potty accident stuff leave a film of mold, mildew and bacteria along with detergent residue on the interior of your washing machine. Over the course of time, this becomes a nasty and smelly mess inside your washing machine. Sanitizing the inside of your machine will help destroy and get rid of mold, mildew and bacteria spores all while keeping it smelling clean and fresh.
Sanitizing your washing machine
You should sanitize your machine, clean soap scum build-up and clean washing machine trays at least once per month. Using a damp cloth, wipe the dirt and debris from inside the washer. Next, you are going to run a wash cycle but do not put clothes in the machine. You want to run a large load cycle with hot water and your normal amount of laundry soap. In addition to the laundry soap, add in a cup of bleach to the cycle. Once the washer has completely filled with water and agitated a few times, stop the wash cycle and let it set for 20 minutes. This will give the bleach time to do its job of disinfecting the washer. Then, let the machine complete the wash cycle.
Cleaning hard water and soap scum build-up
Hard water will dirty your washing machine in a hurry. Soap scum build-up is caused by residue from your laundry soap. Did you know that soap scum is one of the main culprits that dull clothing?
This task is almost the same as the sanitizing one above but the difference is that instead of bleach, you will use 4 cups of white vinegar. Do not add laundry soap like you did for the sanitizing step. You will run the same cycle, stopping when agitated a few times and let it set for 30-45 minutes. This will allow the acidity in the vinegar to get rid of the residue.
Cleaning trays and dispensers
Fabric softener and bleach dispensers as well as detergent dispenser trays can get pretty dirty and may even become clogged. If your trays and dispensers are removable, take them out and wash them in the sink with hot water and dish soap. You can use an old toothbrush to get crevices and hard to reach areas. If your trays and dispensers are not removable, you will want to flush them out with hot white vinegar. You don’t want to get the vinegar too hot as most trays and dispensers are made of plastic and may melt.
Tips for feeding a crowd at your next gathering
If you are in charge of planning dinner for a large crowd, you may think that all that planning is a bit intimidating and kind of stressful. However, there are some tips you can follow to make things a bit easier when planning.
The first thing you will need to consider is how much food you will need exactly. The number of people that you are having over for dinner is not the only consideration when it comes to the food. The age of the people and the length of the dinner party also needs to be taken into consideration. For instance, teenagers eat more food than seniors do. If you are making dishes that are often well-liked such as potato salad, you want to make a bit extra since people may take an extra helping. Also, be sure you have more than just the entrée, you also want to add a side dish, salad, dessert and possibly a few appetizers.
As a general rule, there are some guidelines you can follow when it comes to figuring out individual portion sizes for your dinner guests. If you are doing appetizers, plan for 6-7 appetizer pieces per person. Plan one cup of soup per person, six ounces of chicken or meat per person, five ounces of potatoes or pasta per person and 1-2 pieces of dessert per person. For beverages, plan on two drinks per hour per person. If you are serving punch, plan on one gallon for every 10 dinner guests.
Keep your menu simple and easy. You will want to choose food items that have minimal preparation times. Everyone has different tastes so be sure you stick to food favorites like chicken, potatoes, salad, pasta and veggies, for instance. You can also choose foods to freeze ahead of time so they can be reheated at dinner.
I hope these tips will make planning your next large dinner party a breeze!
Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures presents ZOOTOPIA, an animated comedy adventure movie coming to theatres this spring.
Directed by Byron Howard & Rich Moore
Co-directed by Jared Bush
Opens in theaters on March 4, 2016
The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. It is comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown. It’s a melting pot where animals from every environment live together. Zootopia is a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything!
When rookie Officer Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t as easy as she thought. Although determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman), to solve the mystery.
Should I Scoop Out My Bagel?
by Ilyse Shapiro MD, RD, CDN
“Should I Scoop Out My Bagel? And 99 Other Answers to Your Everday Diet and Nutrition Questions to Help You Lose Weight, Feel Great, and Live Healthy gives no-holds-barred answers to the questions that keep every modern woman wondering why her weight is high, her libido is low, and her mind is scattered.“
How did they know? This first sentence in the introduction of the book hooked me from the beginning. I had to continue reading to find these answers!
In this book you’ll learn many helpful tips to living an overall healthier lifestyle. I love the practical yet funny way it is written. It keeps in mind that we are all busy people! I think a main concern for many is how time consuming life changes can be. The whole learning curve can seem overwhelming. Should I Scoop Out My Bagel teaches you attainable, realistic ways to maximize your time and regain your health without making you feel like giving up after the first few chapters.
One of the most interesting parts of the book is the sugar section. I had no idea that sugar has so many names! It has definitely changed the way I read labels. Oh, and the bread section – I love the explanation on how to select the healthiest bread to eat! Did you know that wraps can actually be higher in calories than regular sliced bread? There is a wealth of solid information in this book that will make your jaw drop, put a smile on your face, and make you LOL!
“Use caution when selecting light or low fat renditions. They may contain fillers, binders and other additives to help reduce the fat and calorie counts.“ ~ Should I Scoop Out My Bagel
This truly hit home for me. I never thought of low fat as being not good for you. I’ve always been a low-fat kind of girl. I didn’t take into account how my body was processing the artificial filler junk that takes the place of fat in food. Our bodies were made to burn fat as a fuel. What was I thinking?
I could go on and on but don’t want to spoil the best parts! Find the answers you seek on food, nutrition, diet, weightloss, women’s health/libido and more in Should I Scoop Out My Bagel?
One of the most common problems in any home is a drain that gets clogged. Unfortunately, this is not something that happens just one time either. Clogged drains are a problem that occur over and over again. The good news is that you don’t have to use store-bought products that are loaded with chemicals to unclog the drain. Here are some great home remedies for clogged drains.
Plunger – A plunger will help unclog a drain as long as the clog is near the top of the drain. If it is too far down, you won’t get adequate suction to clear the clog. Be sure that you let the water run while doing this since this is needed to clear the blockage. You also want to be sure the plunger covers the opening of the drain.
Soda – Sodas that have a lot of fizz, like Coke or Pepsi, will work well for clearing out a clogged drain. You want to use a can of soda that is at room temperature. Pour the soda down the drain, allow to set for a couple hours and flush with hot water.
Baking Soda and Vinegar – The combination of baking soda and vinegar causes a fizzing reaction, which in turn will remove whatever gunk is causing the drain to clog. Combine ½ cup of vinegar with ½ cup of baking soda, allow to set for at least an hour and then flush with hot water.
Boiling water – This is probably one of the easiest methods to unclog a drain. Boil some water and pour into the drain in three segments, ensuring you want 7-8 seconds between pours. Boiling water usually works great in breaking up soap or grease that may be blocking the drain.
Dish soap – Dish soap acts like a lubricant and will break up any greasy gunk in your drain. Pour one cup of dish soap into the drain, let it set for an hour and flush with hot water.
If you are in search of a work at home job, there are some scams you need to be aware of. Yes, believe it or not, not everyone out there is honest and forthright. Don’t be taken in by those online ads that promise you lots of money with little effort.
Here are some of the most common work at home scams to avoid:
Envelope stuffing – Envelope stuffing is one of the most popular scams on the internet. The problem is that you won’t stuff a single envelope at all. How this scam works is that the same ad that you are reading, you will be putting up with your own money. So in turn, all you are doing is scamming other people the same way you were scammed.
Craft assembly – This scam asks you to assemble craft projects with the promise of high pay for each project you complete. The catch is that you have to pay a fee in order to get the kit to assemble the projects. The number one rule of work at home jobs is that you NEVER pay anything in order to make money. The problem is that after you assemble the project and submit it to the company, they will tell you that the project doesn’t meet their specifications and therefore you won’t be paid for your work.
Chain letters – Chain letters are easily spotted because they are delivered to your email inbox. With chain letters, you are asked to forward the email along with some money to the names at the top of list. Then, they ask you to add your name to the bottom of the list and soon you will receive lots of money. Beware because this never ever works. Not only that, but you run the risk of being prosecuted for fraud. The only people who make money from this is the people at the top of that list.
Home typist – Now there are typing jobs you do at home that are perfectly legit. However, the ones that ask you for money are not legit at all. Also legitimate home typing jobs are rarely advertised online. The way these scams work is that you send the company money, requesting more information. What you get back is a disk along with some printed information that tells you how to place ads, just like the one you responded to and how to sell the disks to others.
Be sure to check the Better Business Bureau or Federal Trade Commission if you are suspicious. Good luck!
The best natural fabric softener recipes you can make at home!
The Allergy and Environmental Health Association states that fabric softener is “the most toxic product produced for daily household use.” This includes both liquid fabric softeners as well as dryer sheets. Many of the common brands of fabric softener that is used has toxins, which are harmful to the nervous system and the brain. Wow, that is scary, right? Here are some of the best options for natural fabric softener.
Tennis balls – There are many people who use tennis balls in the dryer when they dry their clothes. You can toss a few tennis balls into the dryer with pillows, comforters, sheets and towels to help fluff them up. It also helps to get rid of lumps since the ball is constantly bouncing around in the dryer. In addition, tennis balls will help your clothes dry faster.
Vinegar – Vinegar works as a great fabric softener. It is an ingredient that is inexpensive, effective, antimicrobial and nontoxic. Vinegar helps to not only soften clothes but also to get rid of soap residue on clothing. Just add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine.
Wool balls – Wool dryer balls allow your clothes dryer to run efficiently. They also prevent clothing from clumping, helps clothes to fluff up, lessen the time your clothes spend in the dryer and increases air circulation. Wool dryer balls can be used over the course of several years.
Make your own – You can easily make your own natural fabric softener. All you need to do is combine 6 parts water, 3 parts vinegar and 2 parts hair conditioner in a container. Stir the ingredients until well blended and use ½ cup for each load.
Green fabric softener – Seventh Generation makes all natural dryer sheets that work just like store-bought ones without the fragrances and chemicals. In addition, Ecover is a company that makes great natural liquid fabric softener. It leaves your clothes static free, soft and smelling fresh.
Baby it’s cold outside! If you’re like me, you are ready to see the sunshine again! We all know that Florida is home to Disney World, Sea World and Busch Gardens. However, there is so much more to see in the state. Florida is a great winter vacation destination!
Here are a few of my bucket list places to visit:
Billie Swamp Safari – Billie Swamp Safari is located on the Indian Reservation of Big Cypress Seminole. The safari is set on 2,200 acres of Florida Everglades. The highlight of the safari is the Swamp Buggy Eco Tour, an hour adventure through the swamp in a swamp buggy, where you get the chance to experience close-up views of wildlife such as alligators, deer and bison.
Butterfly World – Butterfly World is located in Coconut Creek, Florida and was established in 1988. It is the world’s largest butterfly park, which houses approximately 5,000 live butterflies. There are several exhibits at Butterfly World including The Insectarium which houses insects such as moths, beetles, butterflies and scorpions and the Tropical Rain Forest Aviary which houses butterflies, tropical plants, free flying birds and a waterfall.
Daytona Lagoon Waterpark and Family Fun Center – The Daytona Lagoon Waterpark and Family Fun Center is a waterpark and family entertainment center located in Daytona Beach. The park opened in 2005 and features 12 rides and 2 mini-golf courses. Water rides in Adventure Mountain, Castaway Bay and Blackbeard’s Revenge and dry rides include the Rock Wall and Grand Prix Go-Kart Raceway.
The Kennedy Space Center – The John F. Kennedy Space Center is located on Florida’s east coast. It is the home to NASA’s space launches since 1968 including Apollo 11 and the Space Shuttle Endeavour.
Breaking down in your vehicle is not a good thing any time of year, but things become so much worse when it’s wintertime. There are some essential items that you should always have in your car during the winter months.
You may think that carrying your winter car emergency kit in the trunk of car is the most logical place. However, if you are in an auto accident that damages the back of the car or if the back of your vehicle is buried in snow, you may not be able to get to the trunk. Instead of the trunk, you may want to consider storing your emergency kit under the passenger’s seat.
- Cell phone and cell phone charger – You should always have your cell phone with you since this will be your lifeline if you get stranded. Cold weather is known for zapping car batteries in a hurry. Because of this, you want to have other options available for charging your cell phone should you need to. These options include chargers that plug into the cigarette lighter of the car.
- Blankets – If your car breaks down in the midst of winter, you will have no heat. So you will need to have a wool or wool-blend blanket on hand.
- Shovel – A small shovel can come in handy if you live in a snowy climate. There may be times you break down during a snow storm and shoveling your way out may be your only option.
- Extra clothing – Having extra clothing such as boots, hats, mittens and jackets may be the only way you stay warm if you have a breakdown in your car or are stranded.
- Flashlight – You will need a flashlight handy in case you need to do repairs on your car or you need to change a tire.
- Road flares – Road flares are essential if you are stranded and you want to attract the attention of passing motorists.
- Tools – If you need to make small car repairs or some good Samaritan stops to help, you are going to need some basic tools on hand such as a sharp knife, pliers, electrical tape, screwdrivers, hammer, duct tape and wrenches.
- Food and water – Food and water are essentials to have in your emergency kit. You need to be able to stay hydrated so bottled water should be a must-have item. It also wouldn’t hurt to have non-perishable food items with you.
Being prepared can make all the difference. Stay Safe!
Making your own laundry soap is one of the best ways to save money and live green. Laundry soap is very easy to make and won’t contain all the harsh chemicals of store-bought detergents like phenol, sulfates and fragrances. Many recipes call for washing soda and/or Borax which can be found in the laundry and cleaning aisles of your local store. Washing soda removes dirt and odors while Borax is a laundry whitener and deodorizer. As far as bar soap, the best brands to use for laundry soap are Kirk’s Hardwater Castile, Fels-Naptha, or Zote.
Basic Laundry Soap Recipe
¼ bar of Zote or Fels-Naptha
1 cup of Arm & Hammer washing soda
1 cup of Borax
Shave off ¼ bar of soap. You can use a cheese grater for this task. Add the soap to an airtight container. Add in washing soda and Borax. Mix the ingredients together until well combined. Use 1 tablespoon for a small load of laundry or 3 tablespoons for large or heavily stained loads.
Laundry Soap with Vinegar Recipe
1 cup of white vinegar
1 cup of baking soda
1 cup of Arm & Hammer washing soda
¼ cup of liquid castile soap
In a bowl, add the vinegar, baking soda, washing soda and liquid soap. Mix well. You will notice the recipe is a thick paste first but once you continue to stir, you will notice it turn into a heavy powder. You want to be sure to break down the hard clumps when you are stirring. Store the detergent in a sealed container. Use about ½ cup for each full load of laundry for best results.
No-Grating Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe
3 tablespoons of Borax
2 tablespoons of Arm & Hammer washing soda
2 tablespoon of dish soap
Add the Borax, washing soda and dish soap to an empty and clean gallon jug. Pour in 4 cups of boiling water and swirl until the ingredients are all dissolved. Let the mixture cool down and then fill to the cop with cold water. Warning: Do not place lid on plastic container with hot liquid, may burst.
Winter months are cold so hot drinks can really warm you up. Here are some great hot drink recipes for fall and winter!
Cinnamon Cranberry Drink
- 1 quart of water
- 3 quarts of water
- 5 cups of cranberries
- 2 cups of sugar
- 10 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
In a saucepan, over medium-high heat, add 1-quart of water and the cranberries. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or till you see the cranberries start to pop. Drain but keep the liquid and the cranberries. In another saucepan, add sugar, cranberry liquid, cranberries and the 3-quarts of water. Add the cloves and cinnamon stick to a cheesecloth and tie with string. Add cheesecloth to the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the cheesecloth and discard. Strain the juice through a fine strainer and serve.
White Hot Chocolate
- 4 ounces of white chocolate
- 5 ounces of milk
- 3 ounces of heavy cream
- Vanilla bean or cinnamon stick (optional)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a glass baking dish, add the white chocolate and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. In a saucepan, over medium heat, add the milk and heavy cream and bring to a simmer. You can also add in vanilla bean or cinnamon stick for added flavor. Add in the white chocolate from the oven, mix until smooth and serve.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
- 2 cups of milk
- ¾ tablespoon of brown sugar
- 5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon
- Very small pinch of cayenne pepper
In a saucepan, over medium-high heat, add in milk and brown sugar and bring to a simmer. Remove saucepan from heat and add in chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Stir and let steep for 4 minutes. Place the saucepan back on the stove and over low heat, allow to simmer. Pour into mugs and serve.
Raising Your Children To Love Others and Have a Servant’s Heart
What Every Child Should Learn
Having a true servant’s heart and being selfless is an incredibly hard thing to teach. Natural born thoughts are “ME, ME, ME”. Breaking your child from that can be very hard to do. Do I have all the answers, I WISH! I do know that it is one of the most important things I believe they should learn as a YOUNG child. Loving others and giving selflessly is one of the biggest contributors to a great life! When you hear someone say that someone has a heart of gold, typically their strongest character trait is a servant’s heart.
Go Ahead… Gross Them Out A Little!
I am sure you are wondering why in the world you should “gross your kids out”. Keep reading and you will understand!
Janiebee Nap Mats – MACHINE WASHABLE!
Taking trips when your child is little can be a load of fun but also a little bit of an aggravation. For us, we LOVE to travel. I mean LOVE traveling. As our family has grown, we have had to adjust some but still love it. One of the hardest things we deal with during traveling is sleeping arrangements. Having 5 in the family makes it where we don’t want to pay for two hotel rooms but yet we don’t want to squeeze 3 into one bed. Janiebee has the PERFECT solution.
Mothers who work at home (or WAHMs) are a growing population of working America. As more and more women want to spend time with their children and need to bring in an income, there has been a boom in the work at home industry. Continue reading
$50 Paypal Cash or Your Favorite Restaurant Gift Card Giveaway
Open WW – Ends 1/20
Teenage Bloggers – The New Generation?
Kids love to read and parents love to read to their kids. The winter season provides a great opportunity for reading. There are some really good books out there that revolve around the winter months. Here are a few of the best books you can snuggle up with when it’s cold and rainy outside!
Bear Snores On is authored by Karma Wilson and features forest critters who have a rhyming party in a hibernating bear’s house.
Thomas’ Snowsuit is written by R. Munsch and tells the story of Thomas, who refuses to wear his snowsuit and mayhem ensues.
Clifford’s First Snow Day is penned by Norman Bridwell and tells the tale of Clifford the Small Red Puppy and his experience with his first winter, complete with fluffy snow and winter fun.
Owl Moon is authored by Jane Yolen. It tells the story of a young girl and her dad who take a walk through the woods in search of a great horned owl. Along the way, the young girl discovers different things about a winter’s night and the magic of winter.
Dear Rebecca, Winter is Here is written by Jean Craighead George. Rebecca learns about how winter changes nature and the creatures of Earth via a letter from her grandmother.
Froggy Gets Dressed is penned by Jonathan London. Froggy is excited to go play outside in the snow. His mother tells him that he needs to put on the appropriate cold-weather clothing. Just when Froggy thinks he has on everything he needs, his mother calls him back inside because he has forgotten an article of clothing.
It’s Winter (Celebrate the Seasons) is authored by Linda Glaser and focuses on a young girl’s discovery of winter and how the weather as well as nature changes during this season.
Katy and the Big Snow is authored by Virginia Lee Burton. It is the story of Katy, a tractor who works for the Highway Department of the City of Geoppolis. Katy isn’t used a lot in the winter but that all changes when a huge blizzard hits town and Katy becomes a hero, helping to plow the townspeople out.
My kids absolutely love Halo mandarins! What a great and healthy snack!
Halos are in season November through May. Sweet, seedless and easy to peel Halos are easy to pack in lunches, great to share at kid’s activities and sporting events, and make a healthy snack choice any time of the day. Additionally, Wonderful Halos mandarins are a healthy alternative, delivering vitamin C in about 50 calories. With the New Year upon us, Halos truly are the perfect snack solution.
Enter To Win!
Prize pack includes: Fun family activity, Craft and Recipe Idea Cards; a Halos branded Flash Drive with the ideas; a Halos branded Halo and Wings T-shirt; a Halos branded Container, and FREE Halos mandarins coupons!
The giveaway is open to US residents, ages 18+.
The giveaway ends on 1/21/17 at 11:59 pm et.
Be sure to come back daily for additional bonus entries.
Healthy Chicken and Veggie Recipe
Are your kids like mine? I have a hard time convincing them that veggies really are tasty! I know I was a kid once too and my taste has definitely changed over the years but I can still remember gagging when eating peas. My mom would tell me that I needed to eat all my peas and I would cry, pitch a fit and let them get cold before I would eat them (which made them taste even nastier).
Now, I pretty much love every veggie (Don’t tell my mom but I still don’t like peas very much). I try to encourage my kids to LIKE veggies but it takes finding recipes like THIS one to get them to really chow down on them! If you have this problem, you HAVE to try this recipe out! My 9-year-old actually asked if he could take leftovers to school today!!!
Here is How I Made the Simple Chicken and Veggies
Start with any veggies you like… or even ones you want to like but don’t. I chose to do this mix of FRESH veggies (I am sure you could use frozen ones if you want to cut down on having to wash and cut veggies)… sweet potato, green beans, broccoli, onion, bell peppers, and fresh garlic were my pick. Chop all veggies.
After chopping the sweet potatoes into small pieces, I put them in a bowl of water and cooked them in the microwave for about 3 minutes to soften them. Drain the water then add to all the other mixed, chopped veggies.
Cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Mix all the veggies and chicken in a big bowl or even place them directly on to a large foil-lined baking tray.
In a small bowl mix together the olive oil and spices.
Drizzle over the veggie/chicken mixture.
I used my hands and tossed the veggies, chicken, olive oil and spices to make sure that everything was coated in the spice/olive oil combo. Spread it all on the baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes (or until chicken is cooked – all depends on how much you have on the tray). I piled my tray up and it cooked in roughly 30 minutes. Just make sure you mix it all after about 10 minutes to prevent any burning (and to cook more evenly).
Serve with quinoa (which takes about 20 minutes to cook. I would start that about the time you put the chicken and veggies in the oven. You are going to LOVE this recipe (and it is SO healthy)!!!
Simple Chicken and Veggie Recipe
- A Variety Fresh Cut Veggies (of your choice)
- 1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Chop all veggies and chicken.
- Microwave chopped sweet potato, half covered in water for 3 minutes. Drain.
- Combine olive oil and all seasonings. Mix well.
- Drizzle seasoning mixture over chicken and veggies.
- Toss to coat all veggies and chicken.
- Spread on baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes (or until chicken is cooked), stir every 10 minutes to prevent burning.