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!
Linking up at Create with Joy
My kids will eat anything. It amazes me sometimes. You should see them at a Chinese buffet, plates piled high with crayfish, mussels, crab legs, prawns, and sometimes even frog legs. They will just about try anything. It is probably because we have always given them the same foods we eat and we eat a large variety of foods.
You would think mealtime is always a breeze with kids who eat anything, but it's not. Crunchy tacos meant food crumbling beneath their little hands, meat and toppings falling all over the place and of course meltdowns and the inevitable waterworks. Being a lover of crunchy tacos and easy dinners I figured out a way to enjoy tacos without the all the drama.
By stuffing and baking the tacos before serving, everything stays neat and tidy inside the taco shells. The cheese melts and helps hold the meat/onion/tomato mixture in the shells.
You end up with a pan of ready-to-go kid friendly crunchy tacos. These would also be great for a buffet with a topping bar. This has become one of our favorite busy night meals. So easy and kid friendly!
I have used stand and stuff and regular taco shells for these baked tacos and the stand and stuff are the easiest to use. Serve with your favorite toppings. Pictured lettuce, sour cream, kumato tomatoes (so yummy!), and homemade guacamole. I should note that I don't like heavily taco seasoned meat so I serve mine flavored simply with onion, cumin, salt and pepper. If you like taco seasoning in your meat, feel free to add.
Easy Baked Beef Tacos
1 box (10) self-standing taco shells
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
½ tsp. ground cumin
Fresh ground salt & pepper
1 tomato, diced
Shredded colby/jack cheese
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. If you like, grease a 9 X 13 baking pan with cooking spray to prevent any runaway ingredients from sticking to the pan. You can also skip this step. Taco shells will not stick to the pan.
3. Place taco shells in baking pan.
4. Brown beef and onion in skillet. Add cumin, salt, and pepper.
5. Add tomatoes and cook 2-3 minutes.
6. Fill taco shells generously with meat mixture.
7. Top with shredded cheese then bake for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted and tacos are hot.
Serve with your favorite taco toppings like guacamole, salsa, lettuce, diced tomatoes, cilantro, and sour cream.
Makes 10 large tacos
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
As a mother of a newborn for the fourth time, I am not as worried about germs and dirt as I was the first time around, however, I am concerned about chemicals in the products that we use. Limiting the use of chemicals can be a real challenge when purchasing baby products. You may find yourself searching the aisles of your local stores or online looking for products you feel are safe for your loved ones. Luckily, WaterWipes are here and they are now available in many stores and online at Walmart.com.
I have used WaterWipes a lot and I can truthfully say they are my favorite baby wipes. WaterWipes are chemical free because they contain only two ingredients, 99.9% pure Irish water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract. No chemicals will touch your baby's delicate skin when using WaterWipes giving you a safe, natural option.
I feel completely safe using WaterWipes on my newborn and they clean really well leaving behind a fresh clean scent without any strong perfume. Before using WaterWipes, I wondered if they would actually do a good job of cleaning up soiled bottoms without any soap in them. After using them, I have to say they do.
While WaterWipes are usually more expensive than your typical baby wipes, I find I need fewer of them for most diaper changes. They are really strong and durable, but feel almost cloth-like while maintaining a comforting softness. If you have trouble with diaper rashes, try switching to soft chemical free WaterWipes. Plus, the WaterWipes package is convenient to use with a resealable opening in the center and it will fit easily into a purse or diaper bag.
WaterWipes come in handy for quick clean-ups on the go too. My five year old is always messy and needs to wipe his hands and face when soap and water are not available. He can easily clean himself in the car or at the park with WaterWipes. The wipes feel cloth-like and fresh and clean without any chemicals so I feel good about my son using them.
Enter to win one of five (5) $100 Walmart gift cards through December 9, 2016!
I-C will randomly select winners from all program entries and will facilitate fulfillment of the winning prizes (5 winners).
WaterWipes are now conveniently available online at Walmart.com and in many of our favorite stores!
Use the WaterWipes Store Locater to find a store near you.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and I also received products for review. All opinions are honest and are my own.
We are so blessed to have a beautiful, healthy six week old son. In fact, he is our fourth son. We have a lot to be thankful for.
Being that this is our fourth time around, some things are easier, but others are harder. Breastfeeding is easier and feels more natural than it did with my first child. Leaving the house is easier. I am just used to having lots of kids with me where ever I go and have learned a few things over the years to make outings as peaceful and productive as possible. (There are sibling fights and meltdowns on occasion, but for the most part, things run pretty smoothly on our outings.) I remember when I had my second child. I was so apprehensive about leaving the house alone with both children. But by the time I had my third son, it was no big deal.
I think the hardest thing about being a mother of four including a newborn is that I feel exhausted and stretched thin. I want and need to spend time with each child and try to on a regular basis, but it is exhausting. Thankfully, my husband is super involved and does a lot with our children. From boardgames to football in the backyard, he plays with them almost everyday and helps the older boys with their homework.
Then there are meals to prepare and tons of laundry. (Our lazyboy is currently home to a big pile of clean laundry.) I am not complaining, I think parenting is the most rewarding job in the world. But it is a sacrifice of time, energy and money so when a newborn comes along, I say take all the help you can get.
Check out my middle of the night selfies when I was up with my little man.
5 Tips for Surviving the First Weeks of Motherhood
1. Prepare ahead of time as much as possible. Stock up on things you know you will need such as diapers, wipes, laundry detergent, paper plates (make life easier), paper towels, toilet paper, feminine pads, breast pads (if nursing), etc. The last thing you want to do is run out of any necessities when you are home with a newborn.
2. Prepare or purchase some easy meals that can be frozen and heated later or are shelf stable easy mixes or kits. You probably won't have much time to deal with cooking after baby comes and that frozen lasagna will look real good when all you have to do is heat it up. Here are some simple recipes that can be prepared ahead and frozen.
Baked Penne Casserole
Frito Chili Pie (Cook then freeze Chili to warm up later)
Easy Enchiladas (Freeze, then thaw and bake later)
3. Take it all in stride. Your house will not be perfect or anything close to perfect for a long time. And that's ok, you have more important things to do right now. You will be late sometimes and that's ok too. There will be blow out diapers, you will be peed on or spit up on all right before you leave the house. Sometimes you will feel like you have everything under control and somehow you will still be late. In my experience, people are kind and give you a break when you have a newborn. They understand and know that you are doing your best.
4. Be prepared when leaving the house. Take a moment and check the diaper bag a few times a week. Make sure to have extra diapers, wipes, extra baby clothes that are appropriate for the weather conditions, nursing cover (if using), baby blanket, changing pad, bottles and formula or pumped milk (if using), pacifier, burp cloth, bag for wet soiled clothes or cloth diapers, snacks and activities/small toys for older children, and a few things for yourself. Taking care of and nursing an infant takes a lot of energy so Mom needs a few things too. Make sure to have water or another healthy hydrating beverage like Mother Nurture Enhanced Water. I find that when I am nursing, I am always thirsty and have to take drinks with me wherever I go. Take some of your favorite snacks too. Stash a few granola bars, an apple, banana, Mother Nurture Chocolate Truffles, etc. in your bag. You will get hungry too and will be glad to have something healthy and convenient with you.
5. Accept help. This can be hard to do, but realize that you can't do it all, plus you need to rest and bond with your baby as much as possible. Let your parents and in-laws camp out for a week or two. Their help is invaluable, especially if you have older children. Let them make dinner, do laundry, and take the kids to school. You need sleep and they are happy to help and spend time with their grandchildren. If your friends, church, or co-workers offer to give you a meal train, take it. You will find relief in knowing that a home-cooked meal is being delivered a few times a week for the duration of the meal train. We are receiving a meal train from church for a couple of months and it is a God send. It is such a relief knowing that I don't have to plan and prepare meals throughout the week. Some nights I am so busy with the baby that if it weren't for the meal train, we would be eating cereal or peanut butter sandwiches.
Here I am enjoying Mother Nurture Enhanced Water when up nursing in the middle of the night. Remember, you want to stay hydrated. I tried the tropical splash flavor which was deliciously refreshing. It is slightly sweet, but not too sweet with a delicate citrus flavor. I enjoyed Mother Nurture Enhanced Water and would love to try the other flavors. It also comes in pink grapefruit and mixed berry. Mother Nurture Enhanced Waters provide essential nutrients including Folic Acid, Calcium, Vitamin B12 and Choline that both moms and babies need.
It might be because I am nursing, but I find that I am always hungry and have to snack throughout the day. Nursing mothers do need an additional 500 calories and healthy snacks are a good way to make sure I am meeting this need. I love these delicious Mother Nurture Chocolate Truffles. I always crave chocolate and can feel better about eating these since they contain DHA, folic acid, calcium and protein. They come in two delicious flavors, milk chocolate and dark chocolate raspberry.
Please share your tips for surviving the first weeks of motherhood. We are all in this together!
I feel like I have been holding out on you, but it has not been on purpose. The fact is having a new baby in the house is exhausting, even and especially the 4th time around.
We are overjoyed to announce the birth of our son! He was born on September 30th weighing in at 7 pounds 7 ounces. I made it a policy not to use my children's names on my blog years ago to protect them so I have to leave that piece of information out.
Big brothers love their new baby brother and are so excited each time they get to hold him.
Snuggling up with Daddy.
First car ride (home from the hospital)
We have had two weeks with additional help from each set of grandparents and are on our own now. The help was wonderful and we loved spending time with family. It was awesome to share this joyous occasion with them. Babies are such a blessing and they grow up way too fast. I'm going to enjoy some baby snuggles this afternoon (in between napping) if I can keep my eyes open. :)
Linking up at Friendship Friday
Get Ready for Halloween and Hours of Fun Dress-up Play with this Star Wars The Clone Troopers Commander Cody Costume and Clone Trooper Blaster
Disclosure: I received complimentary products in exchange for an honest review.
As you can imagine, in a house full of boys, Star Wars is a big deal. When asked to select a Halloween costume from Oriental Trading Company's wide selection, my son went straight for the Star Wars collection.
He chose this "The Clone Wars Commander Cody" costume and the "Clone Trooper Blaster" (sold separately). My son loves this costume with all of the details and the really cool helmet. The helmet has a front and a back piece that velcro together to form the clone trooper helmet. The helmet pieces seem to fit together well, but can come apart easily during play too. When they come apart, you can just put them back together again.
This "The Clone Wars Commander Cody" costume not only looks good, it is flexible and easy to wear for dress-up play too. I'm sure this costume will get hours of play long after Halloween has passed.
The boys are all excited about the Clone Trooper Blaster. They love playing with it and when they pull the trigger, it plays authentic Star Wars movie sounds. It takes two AAA batteries (not included).
Shop Oriental Trading Company for all of your Halloween costume needs for the whole family.
Linking up at Friendship Friday
Dory's Sparkle Seaweed Toast and Dory's Sea Cucumber Toast; Plus Enter to Win the Make a Splash with Whole Grains Sweepstakes & My Giveaway
Disclosure: “The Nature’s Harvest® bread information, coupons, gift card, gift pack, and additional giveaway have been provided by Nature’s Harvest® bread so that I could try the product and share my thoughts and information about Nature’s Harvest® bread. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions of Nature’s Harvest® bread.”
Have you seen the new movie "Finding Dory"? Just in time for it's release (which was today) I made these adorable "Finding Dory" inspired Sparkle Seaweed Toasts and Sea Cucumber Toasts.
Now through July, fans can purchase any four Nature’s Harvest® breads and receive a free, limited edition Dory TY® Sparkle Eye Beanie Boo™ plush toy. Swim by www.wholegrainsplash.com for more info!
The boys love our new Dory TY® Sparkle Eye Beanie Boo™ and they really love our new sea inspired cookie cutters. They were so eager to help make our Dory inspired toasts and couldn't wait to use the new cookie cutters.
To make your own "Finding Dory" inspired toast, you will need Nature’s Harvest® bread, cream cheese, cucumber, seaweed snacks, and sea themed cookie cutters.
Aren't these Dory's Sparkle Seaweed and Dory's Sea Cucumber Toasts adorable? Plus you can feel good about serving your family Nature’s Harvest® bread because it’s not baked with artificial flavors, colors or high fructose corn syrup.
I love how cute these cucumber whales turned out.
Perfect for a "Finding Dory" themed party or a fun summer lunch with the kids. Plus your kids will beg to help you make lunch.
Enter to win the Make a Splash with Whole Grains Sweepstakes: Nature’s Harvest® bread will be accepting entries for the Make A Splash with Whole Grains Facebook Sweepstakes from April 28 to July 7. See official rules here . All entrants will have the chance to win weekly prizes, including movie tickets, autographed posters and more. No purchase necessary
Dory's Sparkle Seaweed Toast and Sea Cucumber Toast
Nature’s Harvest® bread
Cucumber, thinly sliced
Seaweed snacks, torn into small pieces
Sea themed cookie cutters
These are so easy to make. Simply toast the bread, then cut with cookie cutters. Next spread with cream cheese, followed by seaweed pieces or cucumber slices.
Enter to win my giveaway for two (2) fish-shaped cookie cutters and one (1) coupon valid for up to $5 off any Nature’s Harvest® bread. I am responsible for the giveaway and Nature’s Harvest® bread is only providing the prize.
Enjoy these easy, healthy, and delicious Watermelon and Mango Slushies when you are craving a fruity cold drink on a hot summer day.
Speaking of cravings...I have been craving fruit and fruit juice like crazy this pregnancy which might explain why I decided to make watermelon and mango slushies. Plus the boys are out of school for summer and I knew they would love these. Yeah! I am ready for summer too. No more early morning drop offs and after school pick ups. Time to relax, enjoy the warm weather, and sip some icy cold watermelon and mango slushies.
I only used two ingredients (besides ice) to make these delicious and refreshing slushies. I used one half of a chilled sugar baby watermelon and one mango. That's it. No added sugar or flavors. Of course the sweetness of your slushies will depend on the sweetness of your fruit. If you want to add sugar, stevia, or another sweetener go ahead. I served our smoothies without sugar since the fruit was already sweet enough and I don't generally add much sugar to our drinks.
So start summer off right (it is June after all), find a cool spot under a shade tree and sip some icy watermelon and mango slushies.
1/2 of a chilled seedless sugar baby watermelon
1 mango, peeled and chunked or 1/2 to 1 cup frozen mango
1. Cut the half watermelon in half again and scoop the watermelon pulp from each quarter into a blender pitcher.
2. Add the mango and a couple of big handfuls of ice and blend. You can add more ice to get the desired consistency.
Additional notes: Serve soon after blending so it stays icy and slushy. For a special touch, you can garnish with fresh mint.
I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.
We received this adorable set of ASPCA Kids Rescue Readers to review along with a couple of extra ASPCA Kids books. Our children love books and we read aloud to them almost every night so they were thrilled when a box of new books arrived. They are also begging for a pet. We told them that they have to wait until we are no longer renting and are in our own home, which should be very soon. With their love of both animals and reading, they loved these books.
These stories follow real rescued animals (from the animals perspective). They are beautifully illustrated and tell the cutest stories. At the end of the book, they show a picture of the real animal and give more details of the animal's rescue story. The boys love this part and always ask me to read it too. In fact, McKinley was rescued in our hometown so we always wonder if we will see McKinley around town.
• Studio Fun International, in partnership with the ASPCA, has published a children’s book series, ASPCA kids: Rescue Readers.
• Each story is inspired by a real-life animal rescue story from the pet’s point of view and includes facts and photographs of the actual pet that inspired the story.
• Each book creates a fun and educational hands-on experience written at a Level 2 reading level for early readers.
• The importance of care, protection, and love of animals is incorporated into each tale with a focus on the joyous outcome.
• Four to five percent of the purchase price of every book goes directly to the ASPCA to help continue its mission.
• Stories are available in paperback, library binding hardcovers, and e-books. The paperback books are priced at $3.99 (each) or $15.96 (for all four) everywhere books are sold.
My four year old loves this Mix and Match Pets book which teaches colors and counting.
He likes to read this one himself and has such fun counting the colored objects on each page.
Be sure to follow Studiofun on facebook and check them out at studiofun.com.
Interested in trying healthy eco friendly products? Visit Moms Meet for more info.
What do you think of the new ASPCA Kids Rescue Readers? Which books would your children love?
Since this Dr. Seuss birthday celebration costume post has been getting pinned on Pinterest like crazy for the past couple of weeks, I thought I would update it with a few more details. This post is from 4 years ago. Hard to believe my little GACK is now 8 years old and we still have this costume in the dress-up bin, although the antlers don't look like this anymore.
My son's preschool celebrated Dr. Seuss's birthday today by dressing up as their favorite characters. He was so excited. He decided he wanted to be a Gack from "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish". We went to the store and he helped pick out the supplies. My very creative husband managed to create the headpiece out of sturdy floral wire and wrapped it with extra fabric. He used red duct tape on the ends to secure the fabric to the wire. The fabric is a short fur type of fabric that I found at Jo Ann's. The rings on the antler headpiece are cut from thin sheets of colored foam pages that kids use for crafting. The GACK shirt is really simple to make. I just stitched up the sides and cut out a neck hole. Then I cut red felt letters out and sewed them on by hand.
Our Cute Little Gack at Preschool
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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