Best Tips and Tricks to Put Your Baby Back to Sleep

As the time approaches for your baby to come into your life, your enthusiasm grows, but so do the worries and the questions. You ask yourself if you’ll be able to keep up with the new tasks, especially if it’s your firstborn. In fact – and this is without any intention of troubling new parents – some questions and worries remain even at your second or third pregnancy.

One of the most often heard topics from mothers-to-be is the one related to the art (and science!) of putting the babies to sleep, mainly after they had woken up in the middle the night. From my experience, I must tell you that there are a few tricks all moms should know about and put into practice. But consider that every child is different, so they may not work on yours. Try them one by one, see which method gives the best result and stick to it. Here are my tips for you:

Minimize direct eye contact

Every time you make eye contact with your baby, you encourage him to feel happy and thus snap out of the sleep mode. Babies are motivated to get up when you look straight into their eyes. I know you love your little one and you adore every minute spent with him, but remember that if you want him to go back to sleep, you need to minimize or even avoid direct eye contact. You should also avoid talking to him passionately or singing a favorite song. Put the child back to sleep by whispering calming words to him in a soft voice, while gently caressing his belly.

Cut out the lights

If your little one wakes up during the night and you go to check on him, don’t turn on the lights in his room or carry him out into a dazzlingly lit space. Shifting from dark to light will only tell him that it’s daytime, hence, time to be awake! Stay with him in the dark bedroom and try to convince him to go back to sleep. According to several reviews I read on topmattress.com advisors, darkness is the best ally of peaceful sleep for both adults and children.

Late-night feeding

The method of late-night feeding is a bit debatable, as some experts think it shouldn’t be used, while others recommend it. My advice is to try it and see if it works for your child. A late-night feeding has to take place between 10 p.m. and midnight, and it should be done by keeping the lights dim. Gently pick up the sleeping baby out of the crib and help him feed even if he’s still half asleep. Once he’s done, put him back in his bed, but without burping him.

Use white noises

Trying all sorts of white noises may help you identify the sounds which send your baby to sleep. Some say they use random noises; others prefer rhythmic sounds (such as the falling rain or a heartbeat pace). White noises also help grow-ups fall asleep sooner, so I think it’s only natural that they do the same for our little ones.

Give your baby a gentle massage

I tried many methods of putting babies to sleep, but the massage trick works almost every time. Ten-fifteen minutes of gently rubbing their feet or caressing their belly, while talking to them in a soothing voice, will make them feel incredibly relaxed and lead them back into the world of dreams.

By James

Should You Buy Your Mattress Online?

Here’s a question you never thought you would ask yourself five years ago: Should I buy my mattress online? The answer would most probably have been no.

But why?

The answer is simple. You spend about one-third of your life in bed and what you sleep on is a very personal and important part of your life. Another thing is that you can’t test the mattress when you order online. There’s simply not enough incentive to do it.

Wrong – firstly, buying a mattress at a bricks-and-mortar store is a hassle. You have to drive out there, avoid irritating salespeople and when you do find a suitable mattress, you have to wait for it to be delivered. And many people have picked up on that and have decided to try out the online option and surprisingly there are many happy customers out there.

But for our purposes, let’s have a look at the pros and cons and ultimately you can decide after having read this article if you are willing to give it a go.

Pros

You will know what you are looking for

Now, you may think that this is a bizarre thing to include in the positives. Strangely enough, it isn’t because customers that bought online are far more knowledgeable on the subject matter than those people that went to a store. The latter group relies one hundred percent on the salesperson for information. The former will have gone to a website like mattressmatchers.com/ to do their research.

It’s no hassle whatsoever

You’ve done your homework and know what type of sleeping surface you want and where you want to buy it. All you need to do now is click the purchase icon and enter your payment details, and you’re done. As promised, the following day your mattress is delivered.

Phew – You didn’t have to drive, haggle with a salesperson and navigate your way around a cavernous store and still you are sleeping like a baby.

E-tailers offer great discounts

You can sometimes save up to 20 to 30 percent if you buy online.

Great customer service

Online retailers go out of their way to make you happy. Not only are their websites easy to navigate and the buying experience is simple, but also the aftersales customer support is excellent. Companies like Rest Right Mattress are known to have amazing customer service. Let’s put it another way; they really don’t want a one-star rating so if you don’t like your mattress, they will do their utmost to get you a replacement.

You get nice long trial periods

While most traditional sales channels offer 30-day trial periods, you will get a whopping 100 days if you shop online.

Cons

What do you do with the old one?

If you purchase the old-fashioned way, the chances are far larger that you will be able to get rid of your old mattress when the delivery team arrives with the new one. E-tailers do not have this service.

No touchy feely

Sure, you got the 100-day trial period online but had you bought in-store, you could’ve tested a whole bunch of mattresses beforehand.

There’s more DIY

The bricks-and-mortar option includes a team that builds everything up. Ordering via the internet means that you have to do all of the work yourself. Remember those fun moments assembling an Ikea cupboard with your loved one? He or she is mostly probably still growling at you when you both stare at the offending item you built together.

Buying in-store has the whole shebang

Usually, the store will have everything from the bed frame to the pillows and duvets. It’s just easier as an all-in-one option. However, many e-tailers like Caspar are starting to offer accessories.

Summing up, all there is to say is that it is up to you. Both avenues have their advantages and disadvantages. Your mattress is the most used piece of furniture in the house, so make sure you are comfortable with the way you bought it.

By James

Why I Decided a Pet Was Worth the Trouble…Again

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

If you ask my son about his siblings, he’ll tell you he has two sisters and two brothers. The sisters are both regular human girls, but the “brothers” he’s referring to are our cats, Edmund and Phil. And the funny thing is he isn’t the only one who thinks of the cats as important members of the family. We all love these little guys more than I ever dreamed possible. I never knew I was a cat person until we rescued Edmund from a shelter two years ago.  He was a sweet, playful little kitten and we all loved him from day one.  He brought so much fun and joy into our household.  It left us wondering why we hadn’t adopted a pet years earlier.   But we were perfectly content with one pet and never even considered adopting another.  We had no idea that it wouldn’t be long before we took the plunge again.

One day, we were outside and a tiny gray tabby cat just wandered over to us looking completely adorable.  He was friendly and affectionate with beautiful green eyes and the softest fur ever.  The kids were all so excited and begged to keep him.  I was certain my husband wouldn’t want to mess with adopting another pet, so I dismissed the idea and started asking around the neighborhood to try to find his owner.  After all, we already had a cat.  What if they didn’t get along?  And adopting another pet means vet visits, added expenses, more responsibility…It just seemed like too much trouble.

No one claimed him, and he took up residence on our back porch and made himself right at home, while we were still trying to find him a home somewhere else.  Thinking he was a girl (we hadn’t bothered to check), my son named him Phyllis.  My kids would call him and he would jump right up on their laps and purr like crazy.  My youngest would pick him up and he would just stay on her lap looking absolutely content.  He never scratched or snapped at anyone.  He would playfully chase strings as long as someone wanted him to, keeping my kids entertained for a long time.  Everything about this cat was wonderful.  After several days of this, my husband and I both agreed that he would be worth whatever it took to make him ours.   And we’re so glad we did!  He loves everyone in the family and appreciates all the affection we can give.  We weren’t sure how Edmund would handle it, but after the first couple weeks, Phil (as he is now more appropriately called) and Ed became best buddies. They play together, eat together, and follow each other around.   Edmund actually seems happier now that he has Phil around.

But aside from the fact that they look very similar, they are as different as can be in every way.  And that’s one of the best things about Phil!  He’s not just another cat like the one we had, he’s a completely different cat with his own personality and habits.  Edmund prefers to relax in quiet places, while Phil loves to play with balls, string, or anything he can chase around.   Ed finds a hiding place when he’s had enough attention, and Phil never seems to get tired of being around people.   Having two cats that are so different is a tremendous blessing.  While one is sleeping next to my daughter as she reads, the other is playing with my super energetic son.  Phil’s playfulness is the perfect complement to Edmund’s seriousness.

Even their taste in food is different. That’s one reason 9Lives® wet and dry cat food varieties are just right for our cats. For wet food, Edmund prefers the Meaty Pate selections, with smooth ground meat, fish or poultry, while Phil devours the Hearty Cuts made of tender, meaty morsels with rich gravy, flakes of fish, and savory shreds.

Check out DollarGeneral.com to find coupons and save on 9Lives® wet and dry cat food for your own feline family members! You’ll find great savings through 5/31/18, and there are so many varieties your cats won’t be able to resist. They also offer specially formulated dry food to meet the nutritional needs of cats in every stage of life. Plus Care helps support digestive health and a strong immune system for older cats like Edmund, while Daily Essentials provides nutrition to support heart health, vision, strong muscles, and healthy skin and coat for cats of all ages.

We love to support companies that give back in some way, and the 9lives spokescat Morris has visited countless schools to promote kindness to animals.  He also launched an initiative to save animals in need of homes.  Check out his Facebook page here.  These are causes our family can feel good about supporting every time we purchase 9lives products.  Our local Dollar General Store carries a great variety of 9Lives cat food, so I can always find all the wet and dry food types that both of our cats love.

We’ve only had Phil for a few months, but it’s hard to imagine life without him.  He’s not just another cat to us, he’s really become a treasured member of the family.  Now the reasons we had for not wanting to take on another pet seem trivial as we watch how much our kids love Phil and how much joy he adds to all our lives.  Just look how adorable he is!

If you’re considering adopting a pet (or like us, another pet) I can tell you it’s worth the trouble.  The little bit of extra work and cost it takes to have him is nothing compared to the joy, excitement, affection, and comfort that this little guy brings to our family.  Plus my son is pretty happy to have as many “brothers” as sisters now 🙂

Have you recently adopted a kitty of your own?  Tell us about it, or share a photo of your sweet new family member.  And don’t forget to go to DollarGeneral.com to find great savings on the 9lives wet and dry food your cat will love.

The Shadow Magic Series Review From a Tween

Shadown Magic Series by Joshua Khan

Our family has a deep and abiding love of all things Fantasy. My kids, especially, caught the bug. My one true genre love has always been Historical Fiction. Amber, however, somehow inherited her aunt’s passion for all-things-fantasy. As a result, I have been scrambling to find more fantasy to add to our family library, which is chock-full of teen appropriate historical fiction, but sorely lacking in the fantasy section.

Because of this when I opened up my email from Disney-Hyperion and saw Burning Magic which is Book 3 of the Shadow Magic Series I was intrigued, and I knew Amber would be as well. I showed her the book and asked if she’d like to read the series in exchange for giving her opinion of them. Of course, the answer was a resounding “Yes!!!!” Since Amber is a budding author/blogger, herself, we both decided it would make the most sense for her to do the book reviews. So here what the book’s target audience member thinks of them, which I follow up with a quick “Mom’s Take” on the series.

This Tween Review is brought to you by Amber! Amber is a tween who loves Fantasy and is at a 6th-7th-grade reading level.

 

Shadow Magic Joshua Khan

Shadow Magic

Shadow Magic is all about zombies, darkness, and the dead. Shadow Magic is NOT
scary at all! There is nothing that would scare you. It is mostly about Thorn and Lilly,
trying to solve a problem or mystery. (This is in every book.) In this book, it is both!

Lilly wants to practice magic, but girls are not allowed to practice magic. Lilly’s
mother, father, and brother have died from an accident, or was it? How did Lilly’s
family die? Will she ever learn to practice magic? Read this book to find out.

I loved this book. It is full of adventure and mystery that will make you not want to
stop reading it! I love how Thorn and Lilly solve this mystery! For people who love
adventure, I think this is the perfect book for you!!!

Check out what other’s think (great reviews so far 4.6 Stars out of 33 Reviews) & buy the book on Amazon

Dream Magic by Joshua Khan

Dream Magic

Dream magic is all about people’s dreams. Lilly and Thorn try to figure out why so
many people are disappearing. Most of the people are disappearing by the Troll Mountains,
so they suspect that the trolls are the cause of the disappearing people. Will Lilly and
Thorn figure out this mess? Will they have war with the Trolls? You will have to read
Dream Magic to figure that out!
I personally loved this book! I love how almost everything is about dreams. If you
like fantasy and dreams, I think this will be the perfect book for you! Maybe you will
get lost in your dreams in reading this book!

Check out what other’s think (great reviews so far 4.3 Stars out of 15 Reviews) & buy the book on Amazon

 

Burning Magic by Joshua Khan

Burning Magic

Burning Magic is all about fire. Lilly and Thorn go to see their friend, K’leef. A new
Sultanate is going to be crowned and he was K’leef’s brother, but his magic failed
him, so now there has to be a new Sultanate. Now all the brothers of Sa’if,( the one
who tried on the lava crown but his magic failed him) will go on a trail of fire to see
who will be the next Sultanate. One of K’leef’s brothers, Jambiya, wants the crown,
but he is bad, so K’leef took on the trail too. Will K’leef succeed in this trail with
Thorn and Gabriel on his side? Read the book to find out.
This might be my favorite book ever!!! I love the fire, phoenixes, and adventure in
this book!!! This book makes you not want to stop reading it! Seriously, I could not
stop reading this book at night!

((Mom note–it’s true, she may have gotten scolded for staying up WAY past lights out to finish this))

If you love fire, magic, and adventure, this is the best
book for you! Just don’t get burned up by reading Burning Magic!

Check out what other’s think (great reviews so far 5 Stars out of 4 Reviews) & buy the book on Amazon

Mom’s Take on the Shadow Magic Series

Our family comes from a conservative Christian stance, so while I thought the books looked great, I was a little leery of the “dark magic” portrayed as good when I initially glanced at them. Because of this I went ahead and read halfway through the first book before giving Amber the “all clear”. Then, once she had finished the first book I read through the series myself in its entirety.

The books are fun and perfectly suited to the age group they’re geared towards. While there are “spooky” elements and hard/sad things that happen, they’re handled in a way that is not disturbing to a tween/teen. The dark elements have a fun spin on them, and were not at all presented in a way that I felt inappropriate or offensive. The best thing I can liken the books to is the popular MMO World of Warcraft. (Which, you might know, we love as a family). Much like in the WoW world, each realm can practice magic and draws that power from a different source. In the Shadow Magic books the Shadow Magic and its corresponding Necromancers, Zombies, and etc all reminded me of the feel of the Demon Hunters, Undead, and Warlocks in World of Warcraft. It’s all taken in stride with the thought of magic from everywhere, and it’s not scary, creepy, or over the line.

I’ll also mention that these are books where it’s worth splurging for the hardback copies. The quality is amazing and they have the delicious uneven pages that go so perfectly with the story. A gorgeous addition to your home library that your children will be able to enjoy with their children someday! The typography and illustrations are amazing throughout the book series as well.

As an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed the books. The characters are well developed and believable. I enjoyed watching them grow as people. It’s easy to get lost in the world and the plot twists aren’t predictable until right before they’re actually revealed in the story. I’d highly recommend this series to anyone who loves fantasy and wants another great author/series to stay up way-too-late turning the pages of.

How To Give Yourself a Makeover This Spring for $50

This shop has been compensated by Schwarzkopf. #FashionColorExpert #sponsored

*Dramatic Announcers Voice*

It’s time to play everyone’s favorite game….Guess What Color Nicole’s Hair is Now!!!

A few years ago when hubby was still in school, one of his favorite professors was switching to a new school. The electrical engineering program at UT Tyler was small and had a very family type atmosphere. Because of that, the professor invited his students to his house for a farewell shindig. At the party we ran into one of hubby’s fellow students. I’d met him just twice before, about a year earlier. We’d gone out to eat together, and once he came over to our place for a BBQ.  At the party, though, he didn’t even say hello. Then as the night went on he started acting rather cold towards me, which I thought was very strange.

Towards the end of the evening, all of a sudden he bursts out laughing and comes over dying. “Oh, my…..” He gasps. “You’re NICOLE!!!”

“Ummm….yes????” I, Nicole, am very confused.

He continues, “You look NOTHING like yourself. The last time I saw you, you had short black hair. When I saw Bob walk in with a long haired blonde and start flirting with her I was so upset. I didn’t know if he was cheating on his wife or if you had split up. I was thinking that no one had told me anything, and you guys had seemed so happy together.”

We all died laughing!! I continue to joke with Bob about “cheating on me, with me” every time I make a radical change to my hair.

After that point I decided one of my life motto’s must be “Life is Short, Have Fun Hair”

Spring is the *perfect* time to give yourself a makeover! This is usually a crazy time of year for everyone, and freshening up and looking beautiful is a great way to reset and refocus! This week I gave myself a makeover for $50! Here’s what I got (prepare to be impressed!)

Hair Color: $18.58 (my hair is so long and thick I had to purchase 2 boxes–if you only need one you’ll save even more!)

Hair Cut: $20

New Dress: $9.99

Total: $49.57

Here’s the breakdown of what I got, and how you can re-create it in your own style!

You can find all the Schwarzkopf color ULTÎME® colors in the Hair Color aisle of Walmart. While I was in the store, I also browsed the clothing section and found a gorgeous and oh-so-comfy sundress for $9.97 for my photo shoot!! You wouldn’t believe how many cute clothes I’ve purchased for me and the kiddos at Walmart over the years.

You’ll remember that last fall I dyed my hair a beautiful purpley black using the Schwarzkopf brand. In between then and now I decided my next fun color was going to be RED! So I picked up the box mix to make that happen. Recently, my roots were growing out and the shade I picked last time was more orangey than I wanted this time, so it was time to refresh and tweak slightly!

This time I picked up Schwarzkopf color ULTÎME® in Ruby Red. The Schwarzkopf color ULTÎME® is the most fashionable & vibrant hair color that defies fading for up to 9 weeks of color shine. (Vibrant, long-lasting color is a must for a busy gal like me!) It also delivers a “True to box” color result which is always great. Another bonus is the shine and feel of the hair after coloring even after weeks! My hair is thick, on the coarse side, and since I change it out so often and style it with #alltheheat it goes through a lot! I love using dyes that help repair my hair instead of hurting it more!

In my last hair blog post I walked you step-by-step through how to dye your hair at home. This time I thought it would be fun to do a time-lapse instead! Watch my 40 minutes of work in 40 seconds!

Ta-Da!

I also desperately needed a new cut! It had been almost a year since I’d cut my hair, and my poor scraggly ends were begging to be cut off. I found a local place that accepted walk-ins that had excellent reviews and photos and went in! When you do the color at home you can get a nice salon cut for around $20-$30 depending on where you live. If you want to save even more or are in a pinch for time, just have them do the cut and not the shampoo/style.

I absolutely love my new look! It was just the makeover I needed. My hair feels silkier, softer, lighter, and it has such a pretty color and shine!

The after conditioning treatment in the Schwarzkopf color ULTÎME® is wonderful and really made my hair feel and look amazing. I’m in love with the color too. As you can see in these photos it looks one way in the shade/inside….

And then it takes on fun new dimensions and tones in the sunlight/outside.

There you go! For under $50 you can give yourself a fun makeover this spring that’s as unique and fashionable as you are!

Want even more Beautiful Hair Inspiration? Check out all the great posts here!

Tricks For Training Your New Puppy

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

The title of this blog post should be “That One Time We Went To Rent a Movie….and Ended Up with a Puppy”

 

A few weekends ago Hubby and I participated in our 2nd color run 5k, it was so much fun! My sweet mom-in-love stole the kids Friday night and told us to come back Sunday morning to get them.

Thanks to this, after the race we still had the rest of the day to enjoy. We decided to go pick up the newest comic book hero movie at one of the local kiosks. As we pulled in to the parking lot, however, a bunch of puppies and a sign showing an adoption event caught our eye. We went over to look “just for fun” and……

About 30 minutes later we headed home with this precious bundle who we named Athena (Addy for short).

I melted into a puddle when I saw her. It wasn’t me only, though! Bob was the one who asked if we could get her. He’s actually wanted a “big dog” puppy for himself ever since we adopted Thomas last summer. When he picked up this little girl she snuggled into his arms, gave the most contented sigh, and fell right back to sleep. The lady there said, “Oh you HAVE to take her now, she loves you!!”

We surprised the kids when we went down to get them on Sunday. I walked in holding the puppy. Their reactions were priceless. Tyler started yelling and Amber was so happy/excited/surprised she started crying. So sweet!

Thomas wasn’t sure of what to think of this new little friend. But she didn’t give him much of an option. By the second day, they became best friends forever. I melted again when I looked over from our BBQ to see this!

All together now “AWWWWWWW”

While new puppies are AMAZING they’re, well, babies. And during the first few days, you get that reminder really fast. When we adopted Thomas I was purposefully looking for a rescue doggy that was older and already trained. It really did make life so much easier, and he’s still the best dog ever!

There’s just something about getting a little puppy, though! So this time we accepted the adorableness with the full knowledge that lots of work was coming our way!

Having a new puppy means training and lots of it! Since this wasn’t our first time, we knew just what we needed to make training a success! Mainly:

#1 Treats, Treats, and More Treats

Treats are the absolute key to making training easier on everyone! Our timing was perfect because I found out that Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® just came out with new treats! Every dog is unique and they all deserve a real meat treat!

 

You can buy these several different places — Go Here To See! I decided to take the easy option and order mine online. I love online shopping, it makes life so much easier! If you’re shopping in-store be sure to grab a coupon here!

I picked up Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Hickory Smoked Turkey Bacon Treats and Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Beef, Chicken & Bacon Meatball Morsels. They’re both made with real U.S. farm-raised beef/turkey as the #1 ingredient and are inspired by Rachael’s kitchen. In addition to having all the good stuff in them, they also don’t have bad stuff. They contain no grains, artificial flavors, meat by-products, and never any ingredients from China. Dogs everywhere crave the meaty deliciousness in these Nutrish treats. These real-meat treats look and taste just like the real thing!

It’s important to note that they are meant to be treats, not your dog’s main food source. Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Treats are intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only. Please watch your dog to ensure Nutrish treats are thoroughly chewed before swallowing. Break into small pieces for smaller dogs and puppies!

Since our kitty and both dogs are rescues, I love it when I can buy brands that support amazing causes. A portion of proceeds from each sale of Nutrish is donated to The Rachael Ray Foundation™, which helps animals in need. Through December 2017, more than $23.5 million dollars have been donated to animal charities and other organizations that do good for animals. The funds are used for food, medical supplies, treatments, and more. Many more animals around the country need help, and through The Rachael Ray Foundation, together we can make a real difference in the lives of many four-legged friends!

Once you have your treats it’s time to start training! Since our dogs are inside pets, my first focus was potty training. This included  Athena being happy to go outside when I told her to. The next training would be the famous “sit” command.

#2 Consistency & Creativity

If you have a room like a kitchen or a mud room next to your back door that’s enclosed, use it! Buy a baby gate and training pads, and establish a routine. We have an open layout home, and I love it! There’s just one problem. There is no room that has a hard floor that I can keep the dogs confined in for training. This meant I have to be creative! If you’re like me, here’s some tricks.

Buy training pads and put them in strategic areas around the rooms. Remove any rugs from the room. I found for both my mom-in-love and me that when you are teaching your puppy to do its business on the grass, the last thing you want inside is access to a soft place that they can easily mistake!

Now it’s time to work on getting the puppy excited to go *outside* when you say it’s time to! Practice saying “Outside!” Then walking outside together, and giving the puppy a treat. Do this a few times a day, until when you say “Outside” both dogs immediately race to the door!

#3 Pace According to *Your* Puppy

Puppies are like babies. Some adapt and learn quickly and easily. Others take a longer amount of time. Start slowly with your puppy and gradually add things in. If they seem to be catching on quickly, feel free to train for different areas simultaneously. With Athena, I’ve been working on going outside, potty training, and “sitting” to receive her treat afterward.

#4 Patience, patience, patience

No matter how smart your puppy is, they are just a puppy. There will be accidents and mishaps and rebellious “teenage stage” puppy days. Just chalk it up as part of the experience. Also, it would probably be a good idea to stock up on cleaning supplies as well as treats.

In the end, it is all absolutely worth it. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have a home filled with loving, beautiful animals!

Pin this to save for later!

Do you have a sweet puppy that you love or are you in the market for a new little one? Leave me a comment and let me know! And don’t forget to stock up on Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Treats!

 

Easy Crustless Quiche

 

You know that game where people ask questions like, “If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?”

“What one book would you take with you to a desert island?”

“If you had to live on one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?”

Well, my answer to the last one is always CHEESE.  I. Love. Cheese.  Cheddar, gruyere, mozzarella, blue, feta, goat…I’ve never come across a cheese I don’t like.  It seems that all of my kids inherited this cheese addiction, so most of the recipes we all like revolve around this delicious dairy goodness.   They’ll even eat vegetables that they normally wouldn’t touch (like spinach) if it’s covered in enough melty cheese.

So, one of our favorites is this amazing crustless quiche that my mom used to make.  It’s super easy to throw together and it can be baked right away or made the day before.  We eat it for breakfast or brunch with fruit, or for lunch or dinner with sweet potato fries or salad and bread.  I’m telling you, it’s delicious anytime and with anything.

And one of the best things about this recipe is that it’s a perfect meal to take to exhausted new moms or friends who just need a night off from cooking.  Our family eats the whole thing now that we have a seven-year-old who eats like a teenager, but I used to always split the recipe into two pans so I could take one to somebody who needed a break.

Enough about why you should make this.  Here’s how:

Gather your ingredients.

  • 10-12 oz. package of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed until dry
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 10 drops Tabasco sauce (optional)
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

First thaw the spinach.

When it’s completely thawed, squeeze out all the water.  You can use a cheesecloth if you have one, or place it in a colander and press all the water out.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Measure cottage cheese and sour cream into a large bowl.

Add eggs.

Mix well.

Add parmesan cheese (or have an adorable helper do it for you.)

Try not to eat any.  Did I mention my kids love cheese as much as I do?  This one proudly calls herself a cheese monster.

Add flour (not pictured) and onion powder.

If you want a little kick and more flavor, add tabasco sauce.  One of my children has a serious aversion to anything even remotely spicy, and he can detect even the tiniest hint of spice, so I left it out of our quiche.

Once all of this is mixed well, add the mozzarella…

And the spinach (which should be really dry.)

Mix everything together and spread mixture in an 8-inch round pan.  I used a springform pan but anything that is deep enough will work. Alternatively, pour into two pie plates and make two quiches.  Just make sure to adjust the baking time.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until golden around the edges and no longer jiggly in the middle.  If you’re making two, bake for 30-40 minutes.  If you’re making this the day before, simply cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake it.

Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.  And if you’re tempted to feel guilty about all that dairy you’re eating, just remember it’s low-carb and packed with protein and spinach 😉

Easy Crustless Quiche
Recipe Type: Breakfast, Brunch, Make-ahead
Author: Abby
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 servings
Delicious and easy spinach quiche
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 10 drops of tabasco sauce (optional)
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 10-12 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed until dry.
Instructions
  1. Thaw spinach completely.
  2. Squeeze all the water out of the spinach using a cheescloth, or press in a colander until dry.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Mix cottage cheese, sour cream, and eggs.
  5. Add parmesan, flour, onion powder, and tabasco sauce and mix well.
  6. Stir in mozzarella and thawed spinach.
  7. Spread mixture in an 8-inch round pan and bake for 1 hour, or until edges are golden brown and middle is no longer jiggly.

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping Children Healthy

As a parent, you worry about your child daily. It’s only natural that you want what’s best for them. The good news is that there are many ways to keep them happy and healthy.

Sufficient Amount of Sleep

Sleep is something that no human being can do without. When you don’t get enough sleep you simply aren’t you. You may feel tired, grumpy, disconnected and lose the ability to focus. Sleep is very important to children and because of this, they require more than adults. It helps with not only the development of the body allowing them to grow big and strong but also, with their mind. Making sure that they have a scheduled time for bed and a bedtime routine that lets them relax will ensure that they get the needed rest. Additionally, they need a comfortable place to lay their head and their body. Starting as early as a newborn with a baby mattress that provides support and comfort is essential.

Play an Important Role

One of the best ways to keep your child healthy is to be a large part of their life, their security blanket. When you have a good relationship with your children they tend to avoid getting mixed up with the trouble, like drugs and alcohol, at a young age. Eat meals together, plan small activities for the weekend and make an effort to ask daily how their day was. This showing of love, affection, and support will let your child know that they have a safe zone called home.

Protective Clothing and Gear

Children are notorious for getting colds and cuts and scrapes. A way to reduce the number they receive is to keep them protected. When the seasons change from fall to winter having a warm coat, a hat and gloves and insulated waterproof boots are beneficial. During the summer months wearing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen protect the skin from potentially harmful rays of sun that can cause sunburn or other irritations to the skin. Additionally, if your child enjoys riding their bike or performing tricks on their skateboard, make sure that they have the proper gear to protect their head and body from serious injuries.

Keep Them Active

With the age of technology in full bloom, many children are not getting a sufficient amount of exercise. They get preoccupied with playing games on their Xbox or their iPads. As a parent, it’s crucial to make time for fun physical activities that get their heart rate up and their body sweating. This will help them build strong muscles and bones as well as a healthy heart rate.

Healthy Indoor Environment

If your child seems to have frequent colds or allergy symptoms it may be that the indoor air quality is not good. Smoke, pet hair and dander, chemicals in everyday cleaners and dust mites are just a few pollutants that can cause health problems on children and the elderly. Luckily, there are several ways to improve it. Performing regular cleaning on room’s vents, changing out the furnace and air conditioning filters and vacuum, sweep and mop floors and carpets often. Additionally, if someone smokes in the home ask them to move their habit outdoors. When spring and fall arrive add instant freshness by opening the window to let the fresh air inside.

Monitor What They Do

Keeping children healthy isn’t just about their physical appearance. Mental health is just as important. Today, children have access to the world-wide-web and many of the things they can view with a simple click of a mouse are not kid-friendly. Another concern for many parents is social media. If something happens at school it instantly appears on sites like Twitter or Facebook. Unfortunately, children don’t realize how much their poking fun at another can cause mental anguish to the receiver. Monitoring your child’s activities and restricting their access to these sites can help to alleviate some of the pressures on today’s kids.

Keeping children healthy is a full-time job for parents. However, if you put systems in place like well-balanced meals, fun physical activities, a scheduled bedtime and engage in every part of their lives, you’ll do the best job that’s possible and gain peace of mind.

By Monique

Things To Consider When Purchasing a New Laptop

 Legalese  Disclosure Nonsense: Best Buy has compensated me to share this post with you! As always all opinions, insight, and advice is mine alone.

 

That awful moment. You boot up your old laptop and *boom* you see the blue screen of death. Or one day your old laptop takes 2 hours and 12 minutes to load up your internet browser.

When it’s time to purchase a new laptop, the options can be absolutely overwhelming! Here’s a few top things to remember when you’re researching a new laptop, and a great one you will want to add to your list of top contenders!

#1 Establish Your Price Range & Check For Deals

The very first thing you’ll want to do is establish your budget. Remember that while it’s important to stay in budget, when it comes to laptops you really do get what you pay for. It’s better to find a mid-range laptop and look for special deals.

***Right now there is an offer to save $100 on a new Google Pixelbook from 3/25 – 4/7 ***

Keep in mind that many of the best laptops provide a sliding pay scale. This allows you to find just what you need at the right price.

 

 

 

#2 Decide On What You Need

These days a laptop can be so much more than a laptop. There are a few key things you need to nail down. These include:

  • How much storage you need
  • How important speed is to you
  • What size of model you need
  • How versatile you need it to be

When you answer these questions it will be easy to decide if you need a traditional laptop, or if a hybrid model, like the Pixelbook, is better for your needs.

At just 10.3mm, Pixelbook is Google’s thinnest laptop ever, with a lightweight aluminum construction that enhances portability. The 360° touchscreen and versatile 4-in-1 design will seamlessly adjust to whatever you’re doing, too. You can sketch or edit photos, stay productive with GSuite apps that Drive automatically backs up to your device, and enjoy on-or-offline access to movies and TV shows with apps like Google Play Movies and YouTube Red.

The Pixlebook is also the first laptop with the Google Assistant built in, so you’ll be able to get more done faster and smarter. Combine that with the the latest security and features with software that automatically updates in the background. Add in the fast response, it starts up in under ten seconds,  and finish off with a fast-charging, all-day battery that gives you up to ten hours of go from a single charge.

Once you have your list it’s time to continue your research!

#3 Narrow The Field and Read Reviews

You’ve laid out all the groundwork and it’s time to start shopping! It’s always a great idea to use the reviews on sites like Best Buy to help you decide which models are the best in their field. I always encourage leaving a review for all the devices you own, as well!

 

Happy Shopping!

Happy Homeschooling–Even with a Toddler

 

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In the almost 4 years we’ve been homeschooling, there has always been a baby or a toddler in the house. Without a doubt the biggest challenge for me has been figuring out what to do with the youngest during school time.  I can’t even count the times our school day was cut short because of a younger sibling whining or getting into mischief or having a potty training accident, and after dealing with the situation I was often too frustrated to get things back on track. I realized that most of my frustration was coming from trying to fit our lives into a picture of what I thought homeschooling should look like, and it simply wasn’t working.

Continue reading “Happy Homeschooling–Even with a Toddler”