Sunday, July 29, 2012

Crockpot Overnight Oatmeal

Happy Monday everyone!  Hope you had a good weekend.  Sorry I haven’t posted much, life has been absolutely crazy!  Today, I thought I’d share with you a recipe that is very quick, easy, and healthy.  Perfect for a quick weekday breakfast! 


1 cup steel cut oats

4 cups water

½ cup milk

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1 tablespoon butter

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice


The trick to this recipe is to cook the oatmeal in a separate bowl in the Crockpot in a water bath.  So the first thing you’ll need to do is find a bowl that will hold at least 4 cups of liquid and that will fit inside the Crockpot. 

Measure out 1 cup of steel cut oats and add to the bowl.  Add the water, milk, brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice.  Mix well. 

Set the bowl in the Crockpot and fill the Crockpot with water all around the bowl.  Try to match it so that the water reaches about the top of where the oats are sitting in the inner bowl. 

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until you wake up!  Enjoy!


Add some fresh blueberries or raspberries for some extra vitamins!  Also, if you’d like you can add some dried apples, raisins, apricots, or cranberries before cooking. 

Have a great week!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Simple and Easy Ways to Spend More Quality Time with your Children

I haven’t always been a stay at home Mom.  In fact, since my son has been born, I have spent countless evenings, weekends, and holidays working.  At one point, I left my job to go work for a family member who promised more time with my kids.  That turned into more hours than the job I left.  I have many many regrets about the first few years of my son’s life.  I know I can’t go back, but I’m making the best of the time I have now staying home with my kids. 

My son and I sat down and brainstormed together what we like to do.  Here, we’ll list our top 5 favorite week night fun. 
1.      Themed Dinner Night - We love this.  Our favorite theme is taco night.  This opens a few doors.  First, it gets your kids in the kitchen with you.  Ethan loves to help set up all the taco fixings on the table.  Second, it’s fun.  I know for Ethan the more fun it is; the more likely he’ll eat.  Third, it’s a good excuse to have a family dinner together.  With many parents working later and later hours now or kids having after school or evening activities, it’s getting harder for families to sit down together during the week.  If this is the only time you can get the family together, do it! 

2.       Engage the kids in household tasks. – If my husband has something that needs fixing, he will get Ethan to assist him.  My husband will teach him about what tools he’ll be using, he’ll have him pass him the tools, and even will have Ethan help bang a nail or two.  (With supervision)  Ethan loves this and this is a way to spend some time with him while getting something done on my always long “honey-do” list!

3.       Go for a walk or play outside.  I try my hardest to do this every day.  It gives me a few minutes to get some fresh air and spend some time talking to the kids where there aren’t any distractions.  It’s very easy after dinner is over to take a quick 20 minute walk around the block or play outside.  Plus a little exercise never hurt anyone right?

4.      Have a family game night.  This is something we try to fit into our Friday nights.  Whether it is a board game or a video game, we take an hour and have a little healthy competition.  If it’s during the week, play a quick game of go fish.   

5.      Have a movie night.  We love to turn off all the lights, pop some popcorn, and curl up in the blankets watching movies.  If it’s a week night, we’ll keep it to a 30 minute cartoon.  It’s a nice way to wind down after the day is done and gives the kids a little quiet time before bed.

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photo credit: <a href="">jpellgen</a> via <a href="">photo pin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Happy Sunday!

Hi Everyone!  Hope you are having a great weekend!  We’ve had quite a busy weekend so far.  We went to the orchard yesterday and picked a TON of blueberries, peaches, and nectarines.  Stay tuned for some yummy recipes!  Today we are just laying low enjoying the beautiful weather we are having. 

I thought I’d take a quick second to invite you over to my friend Jaima’s blog Ring Around the Rosies and check out my guest post.  I talked about 8 Mommy approved ways to relax.  I hope that you take some of the advice in the post and take some time for yourselves!  As Mom’s we work very hard and we deserve some R&R too! 

Talk to you all this week! 

Have a great rest of the weekend!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Raspberry Lime Flavored Water

In an effort to get healthier, I am trying my hardest to drink more water.  Unfortunately, I cannot stand water!  I hate the fact that it has no taste and honestly, I’d prefer to have a good ole diet coke!  With that said, I have been reading all over the place of people making their own flavored water and decided to give it a try.  Well what a nice surprise!  It’s really honestly good!  I leave a jug of it on my counter or in the fridge throughout the day and that’s all I’ll drink.  I’ve increased my water intake greatly.  Very exciting!  Here’s my most favorite way to drink the water.  There are so many variations but this is in my opinion the best one! 

Raspberry Lime Water


1 pint of raspberries

2 limes



Slice the limes thin and add to a large pitcher.  Add the raspberries.

With the end of a wooden spoon gently crush the raspberries and limes to release some of the juices.  (Don’t smash them to smithereens!) 

Fill the pitcher with ice and then fill with filtered water to the top.  Place in the refrigerator or on the counter until you get a nice pink hue. 

Hint:  The longer you let it sit, the better it tastes!  I’ve let mine go overnight and it’s awesome!


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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cleaning your Shower Head Naturally

I am WAY over due to clean my shower head.  I fact, I’ve only done it one other time.  (No judging!)  So when the shower head started spraying funny I figured it was time.  Out came the good ole Basic H2 and off we went!  Check this out……

Here’s the nastiness.......

 I added hot water and a few drops of Basic H2 to a large freezer bag and tied it around the shower head.  I left it that way for about 2 hours. 
Here’s the results!  Nice and shiny!  (Sprays straight too!!)

Get your Basic H2 HERE. 

I promise you won’t regret it.  If for any reason you aren’t satisfied you can get your money back.  Plain and simple.  What have you got to lose?

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Have a great day!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

3 Ingredient Crockpot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

Ok, so I contemplated whether or not I was going to post this recipe because it is so easy but I said, eh, why not!  I make this recipe often.  I have the ingredients on hand most of the time and it is wicked easy!  Kids love it too!  I got a thumbs up from my little one!


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

8 oz can crushed pineapple

1 bottle (18 oz.) BBQ sauce


Place chicken in a greased slow cooker.  Combine BBQ sauce and pineapple and pour over the chicken. 

Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. 

Serve with rice and your choice of veggies. 

That’s it!  Easy and kid approved!

Tip:  If your kids don’t like just plain white rice, add 1 slice of American cheese per serving of rice to the boiling water before adding the uncooked rice.  (We’ve been eating rice like that since I was a kid!  Thanks Mom!)

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Homemade Baby Food Series: The Essentials and a Green Bean Puree Recipe!

Welcome to the second post of our homemade baby food series where I’ll be sharing my ups and downs of making homemade organic baby food for my daughter.  If you missed the first post, you can catch it HERE.  Today, we’ll be discussing the essential tools that you will need to prepare your baby food at home plus a recipe for green bean puree.  I started my daughter on green beans first.  This isn’t necessary; it’s just what we decided to do. 
So, to start the baby food process there are a few key items you will need to get started. 

First, you’ll need a blender or food processor.  A basic blender or even a handheld blender should work just fine.  However, if you intend on making most or all of your baby food this way, it might be wise to invest into a better food processor. 

You’ll need a colander or strainer.  This is essential for draining and holding veggies and fruits after they have been cooked or even for cleaning the food before preparation. 

Another thing you’ll need is ice cube trays or some type of containers to store your baby food.  I decided to go with these.  If you do go the ice cube tray route, you’ll also need some freezer bags and permanent markers to label everything after it is frozen. 

After you’ve gathered all of your key items it is time to get started!

As I was saying, we decided to start with green beans.  I like to start my children on the veggies first and then start them on fruits.  I want my children to get used to the veggies before they get to the sweet goodness! 

Here is the recipe I used for the green beans.  I’m using the book called 201 Organic Baby Purees.  I absolutely love it! 

Green Bean Puree

4 Servings

1 cup fresh or frozen green beans, trimmed and cut

1 cup water. 

1.      Put beans into a steamer basket, or place in a saucepan covered by an inch of water.  Cover. 

2.      Heat to a boil; then turn down the heat slightly.  Steam until tender, about 5-7 minutes.

3.      Place the beans into a blender.  Puree to a smooth consistency by gradually adding the leftover water from steaming.

That’s it!  It’s seriously that easy!  I doubled the recipe because I threw some in the freezer as well. 

Madison struggled with it but we will keep trying!  She's already not a fan of her green veggies!

Have a great day everyone!  Don’t forget to join my Facebook community for lots of other great healthy family discussions!