We Got the FUNK: November 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Today we give thanks.  I for the first time, decided to join in on the month of Thanks by posting 1 think I was thankful for each day.  I didn't post every single day but I made sure I made up for that each day. November was a rough month.  We started out with the flu, a broken dishwasher, and a cold.  We had a dead fish, a near death driving moment and finally my amazing croup.

However, November has also been blessed.  Although we were sick we live in a country where medicine and doctors are readily available.  Jason and I can afford a dishwasher and to complain about 1st world problems.  We are alive, we are breathing and we are surrounding by love and amazing people.

Happy Thanksgiving folks!

Here is a recap of my Thankful month!
  • Day 1: thankful for washers, Dryers, toilets and plastic sheets. Cause, vomit
  • Day 2: thankful for nap time...so I can finally de-germ this freaking house of flu.
  • Day 3: thankful for seasons.
  • Day 4: thankful for the right to vote, have my say and make an impact ‪#‎rockthevote‬ today folks
  • Day 5: Thankful for living in a 1st world country where people can argue about politics even after decisions have been made. Family, friends, food, shelter, clothes and love. ‪#‎blessed‬
  • Day 6:. Yesterday and always I am thankful for my mommy group, sanity is found there. 
  • Day 7: I am thankful for Friday's. Because weekends were meant for sleeps and snuggles.
  • Day 8: I'm just trying to be thankful for something without losing my damn mind on my children. Oh my hair! Yes I'm thankful for Aunt Kelly Zawada-Trevena for my new hair
  • Day 9: I'm thankful for the husbands breakfast cooking skills. If it were up to me I would hand out bowls of cereal (edit:doughnuts) like Oprah hands out cars
  • Day 10: super thankful for coupons and cough medicine. My little guy is too
  • Day 11: of course I'm thankful to our veterans. Because 'Merica! I sure as hell don't have the balls to do what y'all have done. Thank you for giving everything you've got to protect us!
  • Day 12: thankful for hysterical convos with Eyan. Just today he has said:
1.Eyan: grandma fed me cereal, donuts and candy. Me: did you eat real food?
Eyan:chocolate
2. Eyan: running around crazy, falls damn hard. Me: you ok? Eyan: yeah I just knocked my teeth out, but I'm ok. Me: frantically checks for lose teeth and blood. Eyan: mom lets not do that ok.
3. Eyan: oh man our fish is floating. You should have fed him this morning. Me: I did Eyan: clearly not
  • Day 13: thankful for handy, amazing, loving, poop cleaning up, dinner prepping, kid rearing, husband. Who sends me to bed when I'm an unruly grump
  • Day 14: thankful for more alert and awake drivers around me as I ran a light this morning half asleep. Thankful no one wrecked...I'm sure awake now
  • Day 15: thankful for my new dishwasher. Because 1st world problems dictate my needs. ‪#‎bestmoneyeverspent‬ok maybe not but pretty close!
  • Day 16: thankful for my friends. Because obviously they still like me enough to hang out with me and the kids.
  • Day 17: thankful for the blogging relationships and opportunities 2014 presented. I'm still working at it and hoping to see a huge change soon but until then I'm happy where I'm at! Thanks to everyone for their support with this. You have no clue what that means to me!
  • Day 18: thankful for early bedtimes which allow for child free grocery trips. ‪#‎isaved138dollars‬!
  • Day 19: thankful for my parents. They have truly set the bar on how a marriage should be. I love how they look at each other and show love all the time. It's refreshing to see two people in love after 30 years
  • Day 20: thankful for quick thinking colleagues. Today a life was saved.
  • Day 21: thankful for my coworkers, who realized that my sick ass needed to be home and decided to cover my classes so I could go home. They are ‪#‎thebest‬
  • Day 22: thankful for friends. Because they're really family and a damn good one. 
  • Day 23: thankful for my mama.
  • Day 24: I am extremely thankful for my mother in law, who never judged, always loved and was an amazing best friend to my hubby. She is missed daily. 
  • Day 25: I am thankful for Jennifer who loves my kids like her own and is amazing with them. I have no idea what we would do and who my kids would be without her.
  • Day 26: I am thankful for my mommy (Andrea) and daddy and my sister (Ashley). The bring me back down and center me. They are the first to support or tell me to chill out. 
  • Day 27: I am most thankful for the two tiny people who call me mom and the man they call daddy. These people are my everything and I am so thankful and blessed to have them. Love to everyone and happiest Thanksgiving!


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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

About that cold and other randomness

So I have...the croup!  Like a baby gets.  At least that's the term my doctor gave me.  Then I went to Dr. Google to research after a friend told me it was just laryngitis and she was right.  But JUST laryngitis?  Oh please.  I haven't had a good nights rest in 5 nights because I cough, like a seal, with no progression and that's with a mountain of drugs they gave me.  I did get to sleep from about 3:00am to around 7:30 this morning and then coughed for a solid hour with some progression.  I even took a shower that included more then just washing my hair.  But now it's 3:30 and I am supposed to take a test today.  All I want is a nap.  Everyone's napping.  I know if I lay down I'll just cough for 6 hours and not actually rest, so what's the point when I could just take this test and move on with my life.  

You guys the laryngitis croup struggle is real.  Sometimes my throat is so swollen I can't get enough air in my lungs and then I end up coughing until I almost pass out.  I can't feel my throat hurting though because they gave me some crazy anesthesia type medicine that numbs my throat to hopefully decrease swelling.   The exhaustion is unreal.  I can barely sit up without feeling like I need to nap for 22 days and just crossing my legs is work.  My voice is near gone, I don't even remember what it sounds like.  Definitely less manly then it does right now without squeeks and breathy sounds. 

Basically I'm a hott mess.  Pray for me folks.  It might be a rough few weeks! 

Monday, November 24, 2014

The sickness

It has struck.  I at one point this weekend in the middle of the night was coughing so hard I could not catch my breath and I thought "please God, do not let my children find me dead."  Yeah that thought actually went through my head.  Not "maybe I should call an ambulance"  or "urgent care would be a good idea."  I just coughed and coughed until my throat was bloody and I am pretty positive I broke a rib.

You would think that if this was the common cold that I would be on the mends, but unfortunately, each day I get worse (I suspect it is because even Nyquil cannot stop the coughing that is keeping me up and only seems to be terrible at night).  I even had to request an extension on my test I was supposed to have done on Saturday because I was so dang miserable.  I think the stomach flu was much better then what I have going on this week.

Today I head to the doctors to hopefully check if I have the whooping cough (some of my allergies prevented me from being vaccinated against a couple things...of course this is one of those)!  I really hope I am just a big baby, as I just want to spend the week with my family and a turkey and relaxing.

Send some healing vibes folks, I could totally use them!
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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Chevrolet's Educator Discount #ad

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Chevrolet for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
Many of you know that I am a high school science teacher, so obviously you know that my income is not six figures and that I sacrifice far more of my own salary to fuel the needs of my classroom and students rather then spending it on my own families needs.   I commute almost an hour to work each day and I need a vehicle that is reliable from a brand that I trust.  When I was notified about Chevrolet’s Educator Discount I was elated and could not wait to share it with my fellow educators & support staff.

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The state of education currently is pretty dismal.  We are at the forefront of budget cuts, bond and mill levys are not being funded nationwide and the people that feel the effects most are the students and teachers.   We are under-appreciated and the current evaluation system being implemented in many states is now saying that we need to prove that we are good educators through testing that many students do not buy into.  It can be a very overwhelming career path to take and those of us that do, do it because we have a passion and a drive to guide students into the future to be better humans, with the hope they learn something about Math, Science, English and Social Studies.

I, for example, have taught for 6 years.  My first teaching assignment was in the worst school and district in the state where it was commonplace for drugs, fights and lockdowns.   I worked tirelessly to take my students, who many people had written off, and turn them into functioning members of society.  My students were pulling in the highest grades, had positive attitudes and were engaging with the material like no ones business.   My students were successful.  This was due to ridiculous amounts of hours that me and my teaching colleagues were putting in outside of our regular 40- hour work week to create dynamic, engaging, scaffolded lessons for our unique group of students.

When I transferred to my current school that work didn’t stop.  Although the groups of students I work with now are far less risky, they are still in need of help.  I am not only a teacher to these kids; I am their mentor, counselor, and sometimes parent.  I give these kids everything that I have and work through lunches and past the final bell (of which I am not compensated for, but I do because my students need that) to provide a learning experience, not just an education.  I have not met an educator yet that works only 40 hours a week.  My work (just like most people in education) can easily cut into my time with my family.  I give these kids my all and do this because I know the difference that quality teachers make on our future.  Educators are important, we are the driving force to our future generations and many times we spend more time with your children then you do.  I understand my impact and I work diligently to make sure that my students are good humans with opinions, knowledge and compassion.


As a high school teacher we do not get very many “thank yous.”  There are no school parties for holidays where each kids give a card or a little trinket.  My high school kids do not walk out after my lessons thanking me daily for staying up till 2:00am and making these cool lessons.  I might get one or two here and there, but they are so caught up in the drama of life and high school that for many just getting to class and doing the work is all the effort they can give and they just forget or don’t know that I put my everything into making their learning experience valuable and fun. I do not fault my students for this, and I never would.  I do not expect “thank yous”; just respect, which is exactly what my students give me.  However, there have been those occasions where I have received some pretty great mementos of appreciation.  I thought I would share those with you guys and give you some ideas on how to thank and educator, that are inexpensive and truly mean the world to us.

  • A simple thank you email or phone call:  I probably receive one of these every few weeks and many times they arrive on a particularly rough day.  It is literally just the words I need to hear. 
  • A $5.00 coffee gift card:  There are days that coffee is necessary (like today, when I have stayed up till 3:00 am creating the coolest project for my kids and have to leave my house at 6:00 am to get to work).  I do not make a whole bunch of money, gourmet coffee is a splurge and many times I just cannot justify it.  You have no clue how awesome it is when I get a little gift card to treat myself, especially on “those” days.
  • A good word to my principal:  One of the most memorable “thank you’s” that I received was after my first parent/teacher conferences.  My boss sought me out to tell me that she had a few parents come tell her what a difference I was making in their student and that I was the best thing to happen to their kid.  I cried…like a baby.
  • A handwritten note from a student:  I love these. I keep every single one of these, and on rough days, I read them.  It means SO much coming from my students.  My school does these little thank you cards periodically from students and it really raises the moral.  Consider having your student write a simple card or note to their teacher to remind us of why we give our all to a system that does not care one bit about us.  


Chevrolet has a huge way to thank all educators in the field (including support staff!) and it is available until September 2015.  Chevrolet’s Educator Discount is their way of telling us thank you and helping to provide us with reliable, safe vehicles to get us to work and to your students so that we can continue to make a difference.  I drive a Chevy and probably always will.  Their customer service and vehicles are hard to compete with and the luxury that I get for the price is unbeatable.


Jason and I are looking for a new vehicle.  My current car is getting up there in miles (hello 230,000 miles) and we need something a bit larger for my husband to commute in but also be able to fit car seats in comfortably.  We have been researching the Chevy Equinox and the Chevy Malibu as possibly options.   Both of these are perfect vehicles to use Chevrolet’s Educator Discount on!  We are split between them as they both come with 4G LTE Wi-fi, they are both fuel efficient and stylish.  We are hoping that after the holiday’s we can head over to our local Chevy dealership and test drive them to see which one best fits us!


If you are part of education, know an educator or just want to spread the word, make sure to check out Chevrolet’s Educator Discount and tell me how you would thank a teacher.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

On the topic of the peanut

Oh Emberlynn you finally grew and because I literally need to document everything, I feel that it is prudent that I shout from the rooftops that you are officially in 12-18 month clothing!  We are getting closer, you may be a skinny little thing but you are a growing skinny peanut and that makes mama and daddy happy!


I spent the weekend putting away all of your tiny 6 month clothes and trying all the adorable 12-18 month clothes on you.  I know you are not a doll but you sure enjoyed it too.  You also have fallen in LOVE with "pretty, pretties" (jewelry) and are particular enamored with my dangly earrings.  You even ask me to put them in your ears!  

There have been so many unknowns, so many tests and scary results with you, but all along the way people have assured me that you will grow, you will be just fine and finally after 11 months, I am starting to see and feel that way too.  

Love you peanut!
Mama

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Happy 30th!

Today the two people that decided to give me life and then get hitched celebrate 30 years of marriage. Their story began far long ago when my parents were 15 & 13 and had some tumultuous teenager beginnings but is having one amazing middle to it!

My parents probably love each other more now then they did before and I am envious and hopeful for that same love in my marriage.  The way they look at each other and treat each other is the ideal and I am lucky to have grown up with two people that are utterly committed to their marriage and their spouse the way they are.  What an fantastic model of what love and marriage really is.

Happy 30th Anniversary Dad & Mom!!!


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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Eyan's Smile

Sometimes the focus of my blog can be on that baby, because she is still experiencing her firsts and after all this blog is my online scrapbook where I make sure to write down everything that my kids experience and do that are cool!  But my boy, he is every bit as important to me as the princess and I want to continue to document how amazing he is too! Eyan is growing up, he is 4.5!  Like in 6 months I will have a 5 year old and next year he starts kindergarten and soon it will be high school and I literally have not clue how I am going to handle that. 


This boy however, will handle this just fine. He has been begging to turn 5 since the day after his 4th birthday.  In my family we call this a big frog.  It comes from a silly morning show here in Denver years ago when I was a kid and has just carried on throughout the years.

My almost 5 year old is doing fantastic in school.  This weekend he brought home a book and read it to us!  He READ a book, to us and it made me cry.  He is amazing.

I got all nostalgic the other night as I was organizing tax stuff and started going through Eyan's baby book.  I was bawling, His story...our story is one that wouldn't have existed had he been born in a different era, where medicine was not as advance.  I am SO lucky to have him and be here for him and I needed that reminder. 

I just love him. 

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Manage your LBL with Poise #ad

I have 2 kids, and like most women laughing, sneezing, coughing and basically most other activities with a full bladder can cause LBL (light bladder leakage).  Unlike most, I had csections.  This does not mean that there was not strain put on my pelvic and bladder muscles, and this is why I choose Poise Microliners with SAM (super absorbent material).


Light bladder leakage is not uncommon, in fact one in three women experience this!  That was a comforting statistic to hear.  I actually had a discussion with some of my mom friends about this when I learned about Poise Microliners and I would actually say that that statistic is probably higher then calculate.  All of the moms I spoke with have had a moment with LBL.


Poise Microliners provide confidence in those moments that you need them most.  We all know that I am a bargain hunter and at less than $5.00 these are a great deal!  My favorite though is that there are coupons out there all the time and I actually scored 2 boxes of these liners for less than $4.00 with coupons!  However, Poise being the awesome company they are, have offered my readers a free sample by just clicking here!  Go for it, you have nothing to lose and just confidence to gain.


Poise Microliners are super thin and small.  They are comfortable to wear and hardly noticeable.  The super absorbent material is fantastic, obviously very absorbent and gives me much more confidence to laugh with my girlfriends, sneeze or even cough!


Want to try the Poise Microliners.  Click here and enjoy your free sample!!!

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Disclosure: Thank you to Poise for sponsoring this post and keeping me confident


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

WW: Children's Hospital

That time we ended up in Children's Hospital for excessive vomiting.


All is well.  Vomiting has ceased for over a week.  Now to gain that pound back. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hard Rock Roxtars Kids Fun!

During the horrific flu that we all battled last week we had a break where we were all surprisingly feeling good.  I was so excited to go to the soft opening of the Hard Rock Roxtars new healthy menu relaunch for kids.  I woke up that morning and everyone seemed to be good to go, the flu seemed be be just the 24 hour bug and all of us were good to go.  We headed down to the 16th Street Mall to the Hard Rock Cafe Denver location and were welcomed to the amazing atmosphere by the nicest waitstaff. 


My kids were dressed to participate in the "Does your child look like a rockstar" outfits with Eyan channeling his inner Justin Timberlake and the peanut representing the Cheetah girls (or so I was told).  We posed with the Hard Rock Roxtar characters and then sat down and got ready to enjoy a wonderful meal and take in the awesome ambiance. 


My kids were greeted with activity books, complete with crayons, stickers and activity pages to last far longer than the hour long lunch.  Eyan LOVED the stickers, while the baby just enjoyed flipping through the pictures. It was a great incentive for my children to focus and be patient while we waited on our food.  We checked out the menu and were elated to see so many healthy choices with a bit of the classics mixed in.  


When lunch was served, the kids food was on adorable guitar shaped plates with spaces for dipping sauces and plenty of room!  Emberlynn really loved the chicken salad and fresh fruit.  While Eyan went with a classic cheeseburger and french fries. The kids ate the heck out of the food and it was not greasy at all.


Oh and then there was my food.  I went with a light lunch while my mom chose something a bit more delicious.  My food was awesome, it had a BBQ vinegarette dressing and I could hardly stop eating.  My mom chose the salmon and my lord, was that the best salmon I have ever tasted.


Overall, we had a great time, filled with amazing healthy food and a great atmosphere.  If you want to checkout the Hard Rock Cafe, make sure to visit their website and also just cruise on in!


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Monday, November 10, 2014

2014 Family Photos

Krista Haffner worked her literal magic trying to corral our family, work in 3 different shoots and manage the pretty princess and the rambunctious little mister.  Literally we could not be happier and are so in love with these images!

The style of the shoot was based of the outfit I found for Emmi with creams, whites, navy, light pinks and browns.  

This is literally my parents ALL THE TIME.  My daddy loves that woman and she adores the heck out of him

Awe!  Mi Familia!

Daddy's Girls...For Real though

Love my little family!  

:0)

Krista had them try dancing...looks like the peanut is leading!

Those eyes, that smile, this boy! 

And then there was this photo that I almost died over.  Literally could not be any more perfect

Coat off the shoulder, rocking her jewelry...pure attitude...perfectly encompasses my peanut

Love this picture of the boys!

But then there was this one of the girls!

And of course the newly engaged couple needed some amazing photos too!

Love just love!
If you are local to Colorado or if you are coming for a visit, please check out Krista Haffner!  She is awesome, easy to work with and produces some amazing work!

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Friday, November 7, 2014

DIY Thanksgiving Wreath

I am really getting into making these money saving wreaths that are simple and cute. This particular wreath was one of my more expensive ones at about $12.00, but that was simply due to the adorable turkey that I could not pass up.  The rest of the materials were dollar store cheap!


I kind of love it.  I really thought I would try that really bumpy fluffy wreath this go around, and then I started messing around with the ribbon that I got and realized that it kind of looked cool overlapping with the wreath wire showing through.  I just continued to add embellishments and I feel like my final product feels welcoming and warm!  

Supplies:


  • Wire wreath mold ($1.00)
  • Some fake leaves ($1.00 for a bushel)
  • Some fake sunflowers ($1.00 for a bushel)
  • Package of foam gourds ($1.00 for a pack of 5!)
  • 2 rolls of wired fall festive ribbon ($1.00 each)
  • Hot glue
  • A cute turkey for the inside and a small piece of thin ribbon ($3.00)
  • A Happy Thanksgiving sticker ($3.00 for a large pack of stickers containing far more than I used)

Assembly:

  1. Gather supplies & heat up glue gun
  2. Start wrapping the ribbon around the wreath and overlapping as you go.  Use the hot glue to secure the ribbon
  3. Create three bundles of leaves/sunflowers/gourds and glue them to the wreath.  I started by layering the leaves, then adding the sunflower and finally attaching the foam gourds. 
  4. Attach your turkey to the wreath.  Mine is dangling from a small ribbon attached to both the back of the wreath and the back of the turkey.  I got this exact turkey from Michaels for 50% off 6.00 ($3.00 yo!)  He was meant for a pumpkin but I just used some hot glue and made him stand along and then hung him up.
  5. Stick your Happy Thanksgiving sticker on and hang on your door!
Happy Crafting Folks!
Like it? click on the picture to PIN it SHARE it by clicking the buttons below!

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The MOST EPIC Halloween Costumes

October almost killed me.  Literally.  I actually at one point was just about ready to walk away from my graduate program, my job, and this little blog.  For no other reason than pure exhaustion.  But I realized that most of that came from the immense undertaking that was my children's Halloween costumes.

These.


I worked for an entire month to make these and through sewing, and hand painting and so much hot glue and duct tape we made it.  The costumes were a hit and I was proud that I actually accomplished my sons request.  Emmi's was easy, but Eyan's took every bit of imagination and creativity that I could muster.

You would think that I would have taken step by step pictures of the construction of this costume.  I sucked, mainly because I would get in these grooves and forget that cameras existed.  Basically I got 2 boxes and my husband and I engineered them so that the main box for the body fit Eyan and the box for the front end matched the front box well and looked like the front of a truck.  We used duct tape to secure the front box to the body box and then got to painting.  I hand painted the entire thing WITHOUT a stencil.  The exhaust stacks are wrapping paper tubes and the mask and wheels are made out of the foam stuff you get at craft stores.  

Kids Transforming Optimus Prime Costume

 

Here is the video of it in action!!!


Thankfully the baby's costume was fairly easy.  Some peacock feathers, some tulle and a bit of fabric dye and we were done!  I have a whole step by step tutorial for her costume and I go back and forth between writing it and not.  It is pretty straight forward.  I got a white onesie and white tights and RIT dye and dyed those in the sink, I cheated and ordered the headpiece from Amazon.  I made an easy tutu out of some glittery tulle and then the top was actually an old sleeve from a shirt my mom had. Then I just took the peacock feathers and started hot gluing them down in layers.  It took about a week to get all the way done!



If you like it PIN IT & SHARE IT!

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ranch #DaisyCottageCheese #Sponsored

Cottage cheese is a staple in our house.  Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese is our go to in this house and we eat it by the boat load too!


My kids are big fans of ranch flavor so I tend to buy those ranch flavor packets in bulk and put them in everything!  When we were dealing with Emberlynn's failure to thrive diagnosis, it was difficult figuring out what to feed her to basically fatten her up but do it in a healthy manner.  We needed a high-protein snack and Daisy Cottage Cheese fit the bill.  Our nutritionist was very happy to hear that Emberlynn was eating cottage cheese and gaining weight during the 9 months of her diagnosis.  

Eyan is not the biggest fan of food that is not sugar.  The boy has first-child-spoiled-as-heck syndrome and was given everything he ever wanted.  So basically getting him to eat a healthy snack is ridiculously hard.  That is where the ranch flavor comes in.  He LOVES ranch dressing and will eat this without a fit. 

This recipe is super easy, get one of those packages of ranch flavor and a scoop of Daisy Cottage Cheese and mix in to taste! 

For me, healthy, high protein snacks are very important.  I am actually a type 2 diabetic.  I have had my blood sugar levels well controlled by diet for the majority of my 6 year diagnosis.  I need to have snacks all the time.  I eat constantly and I crave the crap foods.  I have to change my mindset often to eat healthier and I will go on these huge cottage cheese kicks.  It is great that I can grab a bowl of Daisy Cottage Cheese and know that I am not putting my health at risk by eating a couple servings!

We love Daisy Cottage Cheese because it is a healthy, tasty snack that goes well with anything.  Not only do we eat it with ranch flavor, but often we eat it just plain or with various fruits and veggies.  I have also began to fall in love with walnuts in the cottage cheese as well!  

I invite you to try the #DaisyDifference with me as we all work towards healthier, active lifestyles!


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Disclosure:  I received Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese for free for review.  Regardless all opinions are mine and mine alone. This post is compensated but I do love me some cottage cheese.