Finding A Minute For Mom


Better Crocker Sweet Rewards24 hours is 1440 minutes.  480 of those minutes should be spent sleeping.  I spend another 540 minutes at work, about 90 minutes in a car, and another 60 or so cooking.  Then there’s homework, showering, bathroom breaks and more.  Even walking the dog hacks away at those 1440 minutes.  Some days,  I feel thrilled just to find 1 of those minutes for myself.  It seems like someone always needs something.  Even the dog follows me to the bathroom.

It’s much easier to find a minute to myself on the weekends, but Monday through Friday can prove to be a challenge.  One of the things I’ve found works to help me find just 60 seconds to myself is to have my children help me with the evening madness.  I have my daughter empty lunchboxes, pack snacks for the next day and my son helps with walking and feeding the dog.  I try to use those 5 minutes to use the bathroom in peace and grab myself a snack before the evening madness begins.

My new favorite snack is Betty Crocker Sweet Reward Bars.  They come in three flavors and they are the perfect way to have a moment, even if it is only one, to yourself any day.  Check out these sweet savings on Betty Crocker Sweet Rewards Bars and enter our $15 Paypal Cash Giveaway below.

How do you manage to find a minute to yourself everyday?  Do you have the kids help out?  Do you have a fail-proof evening routine that helps you carve out 60 seconds for yourself?

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Slow Cooker Chicken Chowder

Slow Cooker Chicken Chowder with Corn and Carrots

There’s something amazing about a warm bowl of chowder.  When you can mix up the ingredients, toss them in a slow cooker and walk away for the day, it becomes simply magical!  This combination of fresh and prepared ingredients gives you a hearty, filling chowder that you don’t have to slave over.

Slow Cooker Chicken Chowder Ingredients

From apple sauce to beef stew, and about a million things in between, slow cookers are invaluable in the kitchen.  My favorite slow cooker is my Hamilton Beach Set n’ Forget (programmable, you guys – it’s the way to go!) but the options are endless.  Search “slow cooker” on Amazon and you’ll get over 16,000 results!

Slow Cooker Chicken Chowder with Carrots and Corn

Slow Cooker Chicken Chowder

Slow Cooker Chicken Chowder

Ingredients

  • 3 - ­4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can of corn, drained
  • 4 - ­6 small carrots
  • your choice of alfredo sauce or cream of mushroom soup*
  • 1⁄8 cup green onions
  • seasonings: garlic, salt, red pepper flakes
  • *Use as little or as much as you’d like of the sauce or soup. We made ours with a large jar of
  • Alfredo sauce, and one small can of cream of mushroom soup.

Instructions

  1. Spray slow cooker with non stick cooking spray.
  2. Pour in Alfredo sauce or cream of mushroom soup, and corn.
  3. Add in chicken.
  4. Dice carrots and green onions, add to slow cooker on top of chicken. Add seasonings.
  5. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
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Valentine’s Day Savings from K-Y®

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KYALittleTouch #CollectiveBias

This Valentine’s Day, K-Y® is inspiring couples to connect more deeply via the power of touch by using new K-Y® TOUCH®, a new touch activated gel crème for massage and intimacy that gently warms and intensifies sensation with every touch. The warm sensation builds with every caress and encourages couples to slow down and explore more of each other for a more profound intimate connection. Pick up K-Y® TOUCH® at a Walmart near you!

Also, click here or the below image to receive $2 off any one K-Y® product and see K-Y.com for more information on the new K-Y® TOUCH® and intimacy tips that can help you deepen your couples’ connection.

K-Y Coupon

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$600 Paypal Cash Giveaway

It’s almost Valentines Day! We thought we’d make yours sweeter with a $600 Pay Pal Cash Giveaway!

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Valentines Day. Either you love it or hate it. We’re hoping that this one will be a day to remember. So, we’re giving you the chance to win $600 in Pay Pal cash. If you win, you can share it with your sweetie or buy some awesome gifts. Don’t have a significant other this holiday? No worries. Spoil yourself. Either way you’ll have $600 in cold hard cash. Wouldn’t that be sweet?

What do you have to do to win? See below and follow the directions. You’ll be introduced to some really cool blogs and social media accounts. Want to enter every day? Tweet about the giveaway and you’ll get some bonus entries. We can’t wait to pick a lucky winner just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Brought to you by:  Amber Nicole Blog, A Night Owl Blog, Blushing BasicsBlushing NoirBudget Fairy TaleBy Sarah Halstead, Creating and Co., EmbellishmintsEmmy Mom, Frugal Foodie MamaGenia Be Me, Getting Fit & Fab,  Inspiration for Moms, It’s me, debcb!Lauren McBride BlogLife with a Side of CoffeeMama Mommy MomMerlot MommyMom’s Messy Miracles, My M0mmy BrainOne Hoolie MamaPenney Lane, Sandy Ala Mode, Simply Darrling, Southern Beauty Guide, Sparkling Footsteps,  Summer Scraps, Sunny Sweet Days, The Foley Family

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Open to US Residents 18 years of age or older. Giveaways ends February 12th at 11:59 PM CT. Winner will be chosen by random drawing through Rafflecopter. Winner will have 48 hours to reply via email to accept the prize or another winner will be chosen. All entries will be validated. Sponsors reserve the right to invalidate any entry at their discretion.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

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Peanut Butter Banana Bread

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone.  #StartWithJifPowder #CollectiveBias

Peanut Butter Banana Bread Pinterest

I’ve always been a fan of peanut butter.  It’s delicious, full of awesome nutrients and is something that I never have to negotiate with my kids to get them to eat.  It’s a real winner.  The downside to traditional peanut butter is all that fat.  When powdered peanut butter hit the market, I was in the middle of a “personal revamp” and fell in love.  With the start of the new year, I know a lot of people are in a place where they are negotiating how to have the things they love while working toward a “new you”.

I went through a “personal revamp” a few years ago, a big part of which was committing to eating more frequently (smaller meals, just more of them) and adding snacks to my then daily regimen on no breakfast, a huge lunch and huge dinner (bad!).  I’m still trying to lose another 10-15 lbs this year.  Peanut powder has proven to be the perfect snack to help me stay satisfied between my meals.  It’s the protein that does it.  Keeping it at my office keeps me in check and helps me avoid any excuses for not staying on top of my goals this year and every year.

JIF Peanut Butter Powder

Peanut powder is amazing to cook with.  There’s no gooey mess like regular peanut butter.  The powder mixes in to smoothies and baking with ease.  If you’ve ever tried to make a smoothie with peanut butter, or mix in into a baking mix by hand, you know exactly what I mean.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread Ingredients

Using Jif Peanut Powder in my Peanut Butter Banana Nut Bread cuts the drama of mixing, some of the fat (reduced even more by using applesauce!) and leaves you a treat that is protein packed and satisfyingly delicious!  It’s a dense bread, best served with a little butter (our was homemade) or jam.  It’s very filling, so you only need a sliver to satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you feeling satisfied.  Get the full recipe below!

Making Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Regular Jif Peanut Powder is made from just one ingredient – fresh roasted peanuts – and has no added sugar or salt like competitors.  Plus,  Jif Peanut Powder has the same amount of protein as traditional peanut butter, but with 85% less fat.  Added bonus, Jif Peanut Powder is much more cost effective than some of the other brands.  You can find Jif Peanut Powder at your local Walmart.

JIF Peanut Butter Powder In Store

Where do you think you could fit Jif Peanut Powder into your routine?  Check out how you can save on Jif Peanut Powder and great recipes using it here.

Peanut Butter Banana Nut Bread

Peanut Butter Banana Nut Bread

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Butter, Softened
  • 1/2 cup Applesauce
  • 3-4 Bananas, mashed
  • 1-1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cups Peanuts, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Jif Peanut Butter Powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Mix until combined.
  4. Add wet ingredients to the dry mixture.
  5. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Fold in peanuts.
  7. Pour into a greased loaf pan.
  8. Bake at 350 for 65-75 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
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Chinese-Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FrozenFromScratch #CollectiveBias

Chinese Inspired Lettuce Wraps PinterestIt’s almost time for Chinese New Year, and 2016 is the year of the Monkey.  I was born in the year of the Monkey, so I think we’ll call 2016 MY year.  Chinese New Year lasts from February 7th – February 13th, 2016.  If you do a quick Google search, you can find a ton of recipes and crafts all about Chinese New Year.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Chinese-Inspired Dining At Home

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about enjoying Chinese at our favorite restaurant is lettuce wraps.  They are a “must order” every time, no questions asked.  It’s the combination of the sauce, the texture of the meat and the crunch of the lettuce.  The reality is that no matter how much I might like to go out for Chinese, it isn’t always practical, especially when I have two little ones in tow.  Plus, sometimes it’s nice to just stay home.  The Mr. travels a lot for work, so going out is often the last thing on his mind.  It’s ok though, I can make amazing Chinese-inspired meals at home!

Pagoda Frozen Foods

Pagoda has made it even easier by offering delicious #FrozenFromScratch pairings.  These crunchy little treats take care of everything your hunger demands.  They’re made with 100% white meat chicken and are the perfect pairing for any Chinese-inspired meal.  The Chicken Egg Rolls and Crab Rangoons are just what you need along side these lettuce wraps.  They’re warm, crispy and will make you think you’ve ordered take-out!  You can grab a coupon to save $.50 off 2 Pagoda products here.  You can find them in the frozen food section at your local Walmart, near the appetizers.

Pagoda at Walmart

Check out the recipe for my lettuce wraps below, then pop over to and see what Chinese zodiac year you were born in.  Share in the comments!

Chinese-Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chinese-Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

  • I tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 lb Ground Chicken
  • 2 tbsp. Soy
  • 2 tbsp Teriyaki Sauce
  • 4 oz Mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 8 oz can Water Chesnuts, chopped
  • 1 bunch Green Onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 5 oz Carrots, chopped
  • Lettuce Leaves
  • --------------------------
  • Sauce -
  • 2 oz Soy Sauce
  • 2 oz Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar

Instructions

  1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat the sesame oi over medium heat.
  2. Add the ground chicken and stir, breaking up the meat as it cooks.
  3. Once the chicken has cooked about half way though, add the garlic and veggies.
  4. Continue cooking until the veggies release their juices and the pan starts to dry out.
  5. Add the soy sauce and teriyaki sauce.
  6. Continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through.
  7. Meanwhile, mix the sauce (soy, vinegar and sugar).
  8. Set aside.
  9. Once chicken mixture is cooked through, remove from the heat and mix in half of the sauce mixture.
  10. Reserve the remaining sauce to add to the wrap as desired.
  11. Let the mixture cool slightly, then serve inside of the lettuce leaves.
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Valentine’s Day Savings from K-Y®

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KYALittleTouch #CollectiveBias

This Valentine’s Day, K-Y® is inspiring couples to connect more deeply via the power of touch by using new K-Y® TOUCH®, a new touch activated gel crème for massage and intimacy that gently warms and intensifies sensation with every touch. The warm sensation builds with every caress and encourages couples to slow down and explore more of each other for a more profound intimate connection. Pick up K-Y® TOUCH® at a Walmart near you!

Also, click here or the below image to receive $2 off any one K-Y® product and see K-Y.com for more information on the new K-Y® TOUCH® and intimacy tips that can help you deepen your couples’ connection.

K-Y Coupon

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Five Minute White Chicken Chili Queso

White Chicken Chili QuesoWe aren’t hardcore sports fans around here, but when your hometown team has a real chance at making the big game, you start to pay attention.  I don’t see us running out and buying tickets, but we’ll be watching from home for sure.  Hardcore fan or just jumping on the bandwagon, you can’t watch the big game without a hearty snack.

One of our favorite appetizers when we go out is chili queso.  Staying in doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the same warm, hearty flavor.  No, I’m not going to stand in the kitchen and make chili just so I can make a delicious dip, but I will take a little help from Progresso and their new Chili pouches.  They come in three flavors: Roasted Vegetable Chili with 3 Beans, Smokehouse Pork and Beef Chili with Beans, and Southwest Style White Chicken Chili with Beans.  You could make this dip with either of the three flavors, but I’m using Southwest Style White Chicken Chili with Beans.

Progresso ChiliAll you need is one pouch of Progresso Chili Southwest Style White Chicken Chili with Beans and one round/block of queso chesse.  Simply combine the chili with the queso cheese (cubed) and heat on the stove or in the microwave.  Stir frequently through heating, and you’ll have a creamy, delicious chili queso perfect for dipping your favorite chips during the big game.  Progresso has some other delicious recipe ideas you can check out too.

White Chicken Chili Queso (2)What’s your favorite game day snack?  Will you be watching the playoffs and the big game at home, or do you prefer to go out?

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Seeing Endless Possibilities In Every Day


Boy at Drag RaceLife is so different when you’re a kid.  We were sitting on wooden bleachers at a race track a few months ago, watching the cars make passes and chatting, and my little guy got a bit gruff suddenly.  Thinking we were having a great time and not understanding the change in attitude, I asked “what’s wrong?”  Any mom knows, that’s a loaded question.  In his best ‘do I really have to explain this to you’ voice, he said “don’t you see what’s down there?”, pointing to the dirty mess under the bleachers.  I looked down and saw rocks, dirt, and trash.  Then it hit me, I was looking at the ground beneath out feet with adult eyes.  He was using that incredible kid-vision, the kind that see’s childhood adventure.

“I’m sorry we didn’t bring your tractors.  Next time we’ll be sure to pack a few.”  You’d better believe that he will remember that promise.  While I saw a dirty mess under our feet, his 6 year old eyes saw a quarry full of dirt to dig and rocks to haul, endless possibility, childhood adventure.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if we all saw things like that?

Kid drinking Nesquik

My job as “mom” is to nourish his childhood adventures, to let him see the world through his eyes for as long as possible. Sometimes I need help.  Sometimes I need a lot of help.  At the end of the day, when we’ve all had all the school and work we can handle yet there’s still more to do, I feel good about sending him to the pantry to grab a Nesquik to tide him over until dinner.  It’s full of protein, potassium and calcium, and as an added bonus, I’ll never hear him complain about a snack that’s chocolate!

Exhausted Boy

When we go to sleep, be that in a bed with our spouse/significant other or while being used as a pillow for our favorite furry friend, our dreams are our adventures.  Our eyes see things they don’t see when we’re awake.  As adults, it would be amazing if we could see more of life as a childhood adventure – like our kids.  Maybe the secret is in the chocolate.

Posted in Life in General, Parenting | 7 Comments

Fifteen of the Best Adult Coloring Books

Best Adult Coloring Books

I have a new hobby.  Well, maybe it’s not a “hobby” exactly and it’s really not “new” per se. After all, I have loved to color since I was an itty bitty little thing.  Before adult color books really became a thing, I’d pick which coloring books to push my kids toward based on what they had in them that I wanted to color.  That’s bad, I know.  I’m not ashamed.

With both kids getting older, they’ve really started embracing drawing their own things more so than sticking to coloring books, but me… I’m reverting to my early education years and just want to color.  My books, colored pencils and a sharpener are almost always on the table in the kitchen, and when I have a few seconds to spare in the quiet chaos of dinner preparation, waiting on everyone to get themselves together to head out the door, or any other 60 second period where I’m waiting in limbo, I grab my colored pencils and color in a section or two of whatever page I’m working on.

It’s a slow go, but I like it that way.  I can really see what I’m working on changing and evolving.  I take my time choosing which colors go where and imagine how everything will look in the end.  Being able to control and develop something in this chaotic world, it’s pretty therapeutic.  I’ve spent some time checking out all of the different adult coloring book options on Amazon (gotta love that Prime!) and have put together a list of what I think are the 15 best adult coloring books they have to offer.  Just click the images, which are my Amazon affiliate links, and it will take you straight to the item page on Amazon


Do you love to color too?  If you do, grab one (or more) of these awesome books and have yourself some fun!  Don’t forget colored pencils, they work best, and a nice sharpener too!  I think I’m going to collage some of my finished pieces together for wall art or possibly put some of them on pieces of wood using Mod Podge.  Do you have an ideas for what to do with the finished pieces?

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