I think it's funny how our approach to Halloween costumes has changed over the years as we have had more children and consequently have less time to devote to things like getting the perfect Halloween costumes for our kids.
I told a friend this story with no intention of posting it, and she said you should write about that. I thought it was such an ordinary thing, but maybe it isn't in our perfect pinterest world of high expectations.
So here is my story…I took the boys to a church Halloween party last week and when we pulled into the parking lot, the boys noticed children in costumes. Uh oh, huge Mom fail, I never even thought to have the boys put on costumes.
I had spent the time between school pick-up and the party trying to get my 8 year old to sit still long enough to do his homework and making homemade applesauce. This is no easy task. It is hard to get him to do his homework every night. We finally got something accomplished with him sitting on a stool in the kitchen reading to me while I peeled and cored apples. This was a potluck church party so I needed to get the applesauce done to have something to take.
Somehow I managed to make applesauce and get all four kids in the car and get there almost on time. We were less than 5 minutes late to a two-hour party, which is on time in Mom-time.
I was feeling pretty good about this, and then we pulled into the parking lot and saw THE COSTUMES! The boys were pretty let-down and I felt really bad so we turned right around and went home. Luckily we live about 5 minutes away, but I knew this would make us a half hour late so I let go of the need to be on time for this one. I pulled into the driveway and said run into the house and grab something out of the costume bin. (We have saved all of our costumes over the years and they are in a big dress-up bin in the little boys’ room, a benefit of having 10 Halloweens under our belt.) I never even got out of the car. I stayed in the car with the baby while the boys ran into the house.
A few minutes later, Captain America, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, and a bat came bounding out of the house. I didn’t know what they would choose. We hadn’t even discussed Halloween costumes yet this year and here they were… three very happy boys dressed in costumes they have worn a million times.
Most of our costumes are hand-me-downs, homemade, or purchased after Halloween on clearance or second hand and they are the best. One thing life with four kids has taught me is that simple is usually best and that everything doesn’t have to be perfect all the time.
Linking up at Dream, Create, Inspire
We have enjoyed an abundance of fresh peppers and tomatoes this fall. We actually still have a huge pan of green tomatoes gradually ripening on the counter. It's fun to see them starting to turn orange then red among the bright green sea of tomatoes.
We love stuffed peppers, although the kids find them a bit challenging to eat. Plus the work of stuffing the peppers (while not difficult) is a step I would rather skip so I make this kid-friendly casserole instead. I love making one pan meals like this stuffed pepper casserole. If you are a regular here, you are used to seeing my favorite pan in the world...my iron skillet. This baby can cook just about anything anywhere. It makes preparing this casserole a breeze transitioning from stove top to oven with ease. If you don't have one, no problem. Just use a skillet when cooking on the stove, then transfer to an ovenproof casserole dish.
I actually came up with this dish last summer when we had an abundance of pepper from the garden so we have enjoyed it a lot over the last year. It's one of our favorites and I hope you will enjoy it too.
Stuffed Pepper Casserole
4 medium bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 sweet onion, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 lb. lean ground beef
4 tomatoes, diced
1 heaping cup cooked rice
1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese plus a little extra to sprinkle on top
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Brown beef with pepper, onion, and garlic in skillet at medium-medium/high heat.
3. Then remove from heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients.
4. Sprinkle top with extra cheese then bake about 25 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.
Disclosure: I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.
I have been giving our kids vitamins for several years. When the boys were younger, their pediatrician recommended giving them a multi-vitamin and we have ever since. I am a label reader, and yes I even read vitamin labels. I want to make sure I am giving my kids the best that I can.
Yummi Bears Organics is the first and only organic and GMO-free gummy vitamin for children with nothing artificial added. Yummi Bears features 16 essential nutrients for your child’s healthy growth and development. They also contain entirely natural strawberry, orange, and pineapple flavors. In addition, they are fruit pectin based, and free of gelatin, gluten, and dairy.
So what do the boys think of Yummi Bears Organic Vitamins? They love them and the best part is they ask for them everyday. I don't even have to remember.
I also tried Slice of Life Organics Adult Gummy Vitamin B12. I have never taken B12 vitamins before, but considering my exhausting schedule, I figured they could be beneficial. They contain B12, along with folic acid and B6, to support heart and circulatory health as well as energy metabolism. They contain all natural berry flavors and organic colors. Like Yummi Bears Organics they are fruit pectin based, and free of GMOs, gelatin, gluten, and dairy. These little vitamins are easy to take since they are delicious and you just eat them like gummy candy.
Want to try these vitamins for yourself? They are made by Hero Nutritionals and are available at Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, Ralphs, Kroger, Smart & Final, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Jimbo’s, amazon.com, and costco.com. To learn more visit heronutritionals.com.
I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.
Being a foodie and generally interested in healthy foods, I was excited to learn about Veggie-Go's Fruit and Veggie Strips and Bites. Veggie-Go's are different than other fruit snacks because they have no added sugar. In fact, they have the lowest sugar content of leading fruits snacks brands. They are also the only brand that can promise a full serving of fruits and veggies. You read that right, fruits and VEGGIES! Finally a fruit snack that is actually good for you.
In addition, Veggie-Go's are USDA organic, non-GMO, and gluten free.
Look at all of these delicious flavors! We really love the berry flavors and the kids think the sweet potato apple spices fruit strips taste like apple pie. My favorite flavor is strawberry chia seeds & beets fruit bites. I love adding chia seeds into my diet in such a yummy way.
Veggie-Go's are an easy healthy snack for kids. They come conveniently individually wrapped for easy snacking on-the-go. Our boys love them! Although, we have found the packaging on the strips is harder for the kids to open. I usually have to open the packages for them. The fruit and veggie bites packaging is easier for the boys to open.
You can find Veggie-Go’s Fruit & Veggie Snacks in most Whole Foods Markets, Sprouts Farmers Markets, Amazon, and veggiegos.com. To find a store near you, visit: http://veggiegos.com/find-us.
Which Veggie-Go's flavors do you want to try?
Linking up at www.create-with-joy.com/2017/08/friendship-friday-blog-party-social-media-boost-292.htmlFriendship Friday
What are your kids doing this Summer? For many of us Summer time with the kids is a time to enjoy the outdoors, the sunshine and if you're lucky the ocean.
As much as kids love Summer holidays, keeping them busy can be a challenging! If you've not got the luxury of a Summer camp then it's up to you as parent to find things to keep them busy.
Failing that, your kids might spend all their time in front of a computer, tablet, phone or other screen and research has shown that spending too much time in front of a screen can have a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of children.
Studies have shown that taking part in nature-based activities helps people who are suffering with mental health problems and can contribute to a reduction in levels of anxiety, stress, and depression. In fact, a daily walk in nature has shown decreased activity in a region of the brain associated with a key factor in depression.
One in four people are estimated to experience bouts of mental health problems and it's on the rise. Prescription medications of antidepressants are also at a record high level and the demand for more invasive treatments are also on the rise. Health officials are examining different options for cost effective services for mental health sufferers and one of these options is a daily walk of 90 minutes or more. Let's go back to a time when children got excited to spend their time climbing trees and building forts rather than spending hours in front of the tv.
Joe at Nature Rated understands this all too well and has put together an infographic of 15 Summer activities to get your kids outside enjoying nature.
This is what it looks like:
From baking a blackberry pie to constructing a pond or insect hotel, there's plenty for the youngsters to do. Head on over to his site for step by step instructions to get your kids outside and into nature.
Thank you Joe for guest posting.
An outdoor enthusiast, Joe is the lead editor at Nature Rated; a website which rates and reviews the best outdoor gear for people who quickly want to know what to buy. He believes in no fluff, to the point reviews, which help you choose the right gear for your next adventure. Whenever daily life gets him down he heads to the nearest lake or river with his kayak and camera spending time recharging his batteries.
We are trying to raise our boys to explore, create, and use their imaginations so their screen time is very limited. I love these ideas to get kids outside. We also want our kids to have a good work ethic and a great way to instill this is to let them help with outside chores and projects.
The boys helped clean the overgrown mint out the flower beds to make room for perennials. They have also been working hard in the community garden this summer.
Watch this cute video of the boys showing off their catch, which we did cook for dinner.
The boys love to go fishing and have already been twice this summer. Luckily we live close to the lakes and their Dad likes taking them. Fishing is fun, but just being outside at the lake is fun too. They could spend hours looking at rocks, shells, and exploring trails.
What are your favorite ways to get your kids outside?
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So I'm still very new to video editing. Last night I stayed up way too late learning how to do some basic editing on youtube. It took longer than it should have, but I learned some things and finished a cute baby video to add to my recent sponsored Huggies Family Dollar post. (video has been added to the end of the post)
I was so excited to share it with you that I wrote a post just to show you. If you have already seen it on instagram, you get to enjoy the cuteness all over again :)
This post was sponsored by NUK as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however all opinions expressed are my own.
Since I work from home, I am blessed that I can spend each day with my infant son and I am doubly blessed that I have been able to breast feed him. But there are those times when we need to bottle feed...appointments, date nights, that time I was really sick. Actually, he is getting really used to being bottle fed this weekend because I had to have an injection yesterday and I have to wait 48 hours to nurse him. I actually cried at the thought of not being able to nurse him for 48 hours, but it has been fine. Plus my husband has been helping with feedings which has been good bonding for both of them and has given me a break.
We have been using our new NUK Simply Natural Bottles and the transition to bottle feeding has been pretty smooth. The bottle design is closer to a natural breast shape than other bottles we have used in the past giving it a close-to-mom feel which is so important in fostering the feeding bonding which helps shape baby's well-being. I am not completely transitioning to bottle feeding, just when I need to, so I am glad to have bottles that promote a natural transition between breast and bottle.
I love this picture! He's so relaxed. Just chillin and enjoying his bottle. He really does seem to like his new Simply Natural bottles with a nipple design that is modeled after the shape of a real breast. It also moves flexibly to ensure a continuous latch and is made with extra soft silicone so that it feels more realistic.
NUK Simply Natural Bottles have up to nine nipple holes, just like mom’s breast providing a more natural feeding experience. Plus, there are three different flow rates, so the bottle grows with my baby. We found the nipples with six holes are best suited for our five month old and as he grows, he will transition to the nipples with nine holes.
Even the nipple shape is a more natural shape.
My five year old loved helping feed the baby with our new bottles.
He was so excited when the baby grabbed the bottle and fed himself.
We really like our new NUK Simply Natural bottles. I love that they are easy to clean and have a simple air vent instead of lots of tubes and extra pieces to wash. My husband wished that they wear curved so he did not have to recline the baby when feeding him. When I nurse the baby, he is lying next to me so this didn't bother me. I hold the baby in a reclining position when bottle feeding just like I would when nursing. I love the natural feel of these bottles and think they are a great choice for transitioning from breast to bottle feeding or for occasional bottle feeding.
For more information visit NUK Simply Natural.
This post was sponsored by Align as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. #AlignJr, #IC, #ad
With the start of the new year, we think about helping our families get healthy. One often overlooked aspect of this is digestive health. Busy mornings, hectic schedules, diet and changes in routine can disrupt a child's natural balance. Like most families, our schedule is busy too, with church and school activities. We sometimes have to grab a quick fast food meal or eat sandwiches on the go which doesn't help with maintaining digestive health. Things are about to get even more hectic with Spring sports starting. Two of the boys are signed up for t-ball already and if we do soccer and wrestling again this year we will be busy almost every night. I prepare most of our meals which we eat together as a family so sports season really messes up our routine. Thankfully, there are probiotics like new Align Jr. which is formulated specifically for children ages six and up to help them achieve digestive harmony*.
Recently, my kids tried the new Align Jr. probiotic supplement chewables from the makers of Align. We have been using probiotics for a long time, but it hasn't always been easy to find products made specifically for kids. My children still have trouble swallowing pills so it is hard to get them to take some medicines or supplements. Plus I want the products they use to be formulated for their younger and smaller systems. I love that Align Jr. probiotics for children have no artificial sweeteners and no artificial colors. Align Jr. probiotic supplements are easy to chew and ours came in a cherry smoothie flavor. I tried them too and they do taste pretty good. My seven year old even said, "they taste kind of like cotton candy".
Save $5 on Align and Align Jr. here.
My kids eat a large variety of foods since they eat everything we eat, but they also indulge in snacks and sweets which are not always healthy. One way to help keep a balance of good bacteria is to use probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria that are essential for healthy digestion. Align, the #1 Doctor and Gastroenterologist-recommended probiotic brand‡ is made specifically for kids age 6-12 years old, making it easier to provide probiotics for your kids.
For more information visit Align Jr..
ǂ Among gastroenterologists and doctors who recommended a brand of probiotic in an AlphaImpactRx 2016 Survey.
Align partnered with bloggers, such as me, to get the word out about its great product benefits. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. Align believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Align’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.
Last year the boys had a Dr. Seuss dress up day at school to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday. Since it is time to celebrate again I thought I would share their costumes.
Our oldest decided to dig this homemade GACK costume out of the costume dress-up box.
He wore this years ago when he was in preschool and was still able to fit into it.
We made a new Green Eggs and Ham costume for our second son. Mostly my husband who is quite artistic made this costume. He painted cardboard to look like a skillet, then we made a form for the green ham. I think we made it out of newspaper covered with green tissue paper. The eggs are made of white paper with green tissue paper yolks. The eggs and ham were taped to the board with packing tape and stayed on really well. They survived a whole school day and I think we still have this costume somewhere.
The yarn holding the costume up was taped to the back of the board and broke during the school day so he didn't wear it the whole day, but I think he made it through the hallway parade. He loved this costume and it was a fun project.
The boys had such fun being a part of the Dr. Seuss birthday celebration. Get ready to celebrate with your favorite Dr. Seuss stories on March 2nd!
I don't know what it is about instagram, but I love it. I have only been (really) using it for a few months and know lots of people are not on instagram so I thought I would share some of my favorite pics. I post lots of pictures of the kids and our lives outside of Home Ec @ Home, so Mom you should love this!
Pretty excited about this, I just figured out how to add a caption that shows up when you hover the mouse over each picture. So hover to see what I have to say:) If you want to follow me on instagram, you can here.
Let me know if you are on instagram. I would love to see your posts!
Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science (Home Economics) Teacher turned work at home Mom, bringing you family friendly, homemade recipes and homemaking tips to simplify your life. Join me on my homemaking and mothering journey.
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