We Got the FUNK: September 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How I Make Snack Time Fun #ReadySetSnack #Cbias [ad]

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

If you are a busy mom, snacking is pretty much life.  My kids love their snacks but get bored of the same old boring options after school.  So I decided to take the traditional pudding snack and create something fun!  So let's see how I prepped to #ReadySetSnack.

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We love Hershey's candy bars in this house and so I knew that this pudding would be a hit.  I was hoping that it was much more rich, creamy and flavorful...I was absolutely right!  These are so scrumptious.  The chocolate flavor is just what you would expect.  Basically their milk chocolate candy bar in a pudding.  The s'mores flavor tasted exactly like the s'mores that we roasted all summer.  The marshmallow layer had that smokey flavor and when paired with classic Hershey's chocolate it was out of this world.  

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When I saw these Hershey Ready to Eat Pudding Cups in the refrigerated section at my local Walmart, I snagged up both flavors in hopes of coming up with some easy and fun ways to spice up our snacks.   I figured that I could add some fruit and fun and give my kids a great ready to eat snack. I came up with two great ways to incorporate this new pudding from Hershey's.  I wanted to make something that was a balanced with some of my kids favorite fruit and would be quick and easy to grab and go.  Check out below!

First up: Frozen S'mores Pudding Pops!

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First up I wanted to make frozen pudding pops.  My children absolutely LOVE anything sweet and frozen.  I decided to use the Hershey's S'mores Ready to Eat flavor for these. 

Ingredients (makes 4 pudding pops):
  • 4 medium strawberries
  • 8 medium raspberries
  • 4 cups of Hershey's S'mores Ready to Eat Pudding
  • Wilton Treat Pop Molds

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Directions:

  1. Wash the berries and cut them in halves (removing the leaf of the strawberries).  Also using a spoon remove the top marshmallow layer of the S'mores pudding and place it in a separate cup.
  2. Take your treat pop mold and put a spoonful of the chocolate pudding in the bottom.
  3. Layer 2 raspberries or 1 strawberry on top of that. 
  4. Put the entire layer of the marshmallow pudding on top of the fruit.
  5. Layer 2 raspberries or 1 strawberry on top of that. Put another layer of the chocolate on top of that fruit and place the lid on.
  6. Place in the freezer for 4-6 hours. 

Next Up: Spooky Pudding Cups



Mornings in this house are crazy.  Combine that with packing lunches, backpacks, checking homework, and the occasional school party and crazy becomes insane.  I needed a quick and easy idea for my son's upcoming Halloween party so I decided to try my hand at making some cutesy decorated pudding cups.  I know that I needed to practice and in addition, need something that is easy to grab the morning of the party and deliver that afternoon.  Hershey's Ready to Eat Pudding Cups were a great option and will definitely be coming with us in the next month to his school party!  I cannot wait to see all the kids faces when they see these.

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Ingredients:
  • Hershey's Read to Eat Pudding in Chocolate or S'mores
  • Orange, White, Black and Green Card stock
  • Silhouette studio and machine


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Directions:
  1. Set up your Silhouette machine and open Silhouette Studio
  2. Go to the Silhouette store and purchase the designs you see in the first picture above.  (They are on sale too!)
  3. Download and import them into your design interface. Once there, right click and ungroup each of the photos.
  4. Color each piece of the designs in the colors you intend them to be when you cut them out.  This way when you cut them out you can select each color and cut them out together.  Also I moved mine around so that all my greens, oranges, blacks and whites were grouped together on my design interface.  
  5. Send them to the Silhouette and assemble with craft glue. 
  6. Attach them to the pudding cups with either glue dots, craft glue or scotch tape. 
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My kids devoured these and I now know what I am bringing for the Halloween school party.  What a fun hit and a great little snack.  If your family wants to try these too, check out the coupon that is available in September/October issue of ALL YOU magazine for $0.55 off right now!  Be sure to check out all that Kraft has to offer with more delicious recipes on their Facebook and Twitter feeds!

Have you came up with your child's Halloween school treat yet? 



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Monday, September 28, 2015

5 Tips to Prepare Your Child (and yourself) For Surgery

Thursday was terrifying.  Any parent who has had to watch as your child is put under anesthesia and wait in a room while other (trained) people take care of them, get this.  Thursday was the culmination of several anxious weeks of preparing for this day.  As our family worked through the best way to prep our five year old and ourselves, we came up with some realistic tips to help others.

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In July we went in for our routine dental check with our old family dentist.  We saw that my son had a chipped molar with a cavity and were referred to a pediatric dentist.  We finally got into see one that was local to us and she left a bad taste in our mouth.  So we had a few other second opinions (I guess these would be 3rds and 4ths right?) and were shocked when we found out exactly what needed to happen.

That chipped molar was just the start.  It turns out that my little guy has a few things working against him.  First, his mouth is too small to hold all his baby teeth (which, means that most likely there won't be room for the big ones either).  This has caused his molars to be very tight together and flossing to be a struggle.  Let's be real though, flossing is a struggle anyway when you are dealing with a feisty 5-year-old.  This lead us to the second part; almost every single molar had a cavity in between the molars.  So although we had been brushing very consistently, it did little to help his squished together teeth.  Finally, his enamel is not very strong (genetic link I think) which has also probably lead to some of these issues.

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About 5 minutes before we went back to have surgery. 
Prognosis and Treatment:  Put my sweet 5 year old under anesthesia for 2-4 hours while the doctors crowned, filled and sealed his baby teeth to hopefully save them until the big ones come in, in 6-8 years. Also we have prescription tooth paste and dental check ups every 3 months as well as a crazy evening toothbrushing routine.

Last Thursday, we went in, he went under, surgery lasted 2 hours with less work than expected and he came too with a bit of an attitude but healthy and alive.  This family was relieved!

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His face felt "funny" he said.  That among other various things.  Like he wanted to chew like a T-REX...
Putting my child through this and our family as well was not an easy decision but one that was necessary for his overall health.  It took a lot of thought and time but in the end was a great choice. However, there was not a whole lot of information out there to prep both my child and myself for that fateful day.  I came up with a few tips that I think were helpful for us. 

  1. ASK QUESTIONS: Our pediatric dentist was fantastic.  Not only did she have the anesthesiologist call the night before to answer any questions, but she also made sure to check in with us several times.  I literally asked questions like "what is your death rate?", "How do you handle emergencies?", "What is the likelihood that my son could have side effects from the anesthesia?".  Can I tell you that by the time we go to the actual surgery I was less of a mess.  I felt more confident and although I was worried, it did not project to my child and that was VERY important to me. 
  2. TALK TO YOUR CHILD: My son is smart.  He knew that he was missing school to have his teeth fixed.  He knew that he would have to go to sleep.  He knew that I was going to be right there when he went to sleep and when he woke up.  He knew all of this and more because we talked about it.  We made sure that he knew why he needed the procedure and that he could be in a bit of pain after.  We also prepped him for the post-surgery expectations as well.  We calmed his fears as they came up and most importantly we were there for him with love and assurance. 
  3. MEET THE DOCTORS: Before I sent my child off with people he had never met to just take a nap while his teeth were fixed we made sure that he met the doctors, had been to the office and was comfortable there.  The minute we pulled up to the location my son said "Oh, I remember this place, are they going to play a movie?"  Right before they took him back the anesthesiologist came out and talked with him, explained what he was going to do and made some funny jokes.  The nurses did the same as well as the doctor.  He walked into a room of smiling people who made him laugh with his mommy in hand ready for a nap. 
  4. KEEP BUSY: My son was the second surgery of the morning.  The mom that was in before us had only brought a pillow and cell phone.  She was a wreck; crying, pacing, just trying to find something to do.  I on the other hand brought my mom, my daughter, my school work, my grading, my phone and the kitchen sink to keep busy and distracted.  When the office staff came out to tell us that they were almost done, I felt like I had literally just blinked.  It went that fast. 
  5. BE PREPARED FOR POST-OP: Read up or discuss with your doctor side effects and needs after surgery.  I knew nausea could be an issue so I made sure to bring vomit bags for the ride home, I dressed him in comfortable clothes as I knew he would be sleepy, we had pain meds already on hand so we didn't need to run to the pharmacy and I purchased tons of soft foods that he loves to help his snack time cravings.  I also made sure that he was well rested and cared for with limited activity for several days.  It really helped his transition and made recovery much easier. 
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The very next day.  It was like he never even had a surgery. 
Our little guy recovered fantastically, was his old self by the next morning and had no pain.  Literally none, which surprised the heck out of me.  I want to thank everyone for checking in on us, sending love, prayers, good juju and sweet sentiments.  We appreciated the outpouring.

So parents, have you had a major medical crisis with your child yet?

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Disney's The Jungle Book...Sneak Peak! #JungleBook

I can hardly contain my excitement over here.  Literally one of my most beloved Disney movies is coming to life and the trailer was just released.  It gave me goosebumps and made my heart flutter with delight.



I mean WOW!  Seriously WOW.  The effects, the actor line up, the classic story.  I cannot wait!



If you don't know the story here is a little about the movie:
Directed by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”), based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, “The Jungle Book” is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of selfdiscovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johansson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire. 

I know several people who are just as excited about the release of this movie.  I am not one for IMAX movies, however, this one I will definitely be seeing in IMAX 3D.  If the effects look that great on my computer screen I cannot wait to see what they look like on the big screen. 


The all-star cast also includes Lupita Nyong'o as the voice of the fiercely protective mother wolf Raksha, and Giancarlo Esposito as the voice of wolf pack’s alpha male Akela. “The Jungle Book” seamlessly blends live-action with photorealistic CGI animals and environments, using up-to-the-minute technology and storytelling techniques to immerse audiences in an enchanting and lush world.


The wild adventure swings into theaters in 3D on April 15, 2016.


For more information, check out The Jungle Book Website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram

So are you just as excited as I am to see this movie!  EEK!


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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Happy First Day of Fall...Now how to Decorate!

Today is the first day of FALL!  The leaves are already starting to change here in Colorado and the weather is beginning to cool down and I am pulling out our fall wardrobes already.  Give me skinny jeans, boots, scarfs and mittens and I am one happy girl.  However, I also like to decorate my house for the upcoming season.  I am really eager to make our fireplace mantle sparkle, so I did a little Pinteresting and found some great options that would work on our mantle.

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I adore the maize and fall flower arrangement in this picture from Staying Close to Home.  I think it would work perfectly but maybe just a bit smaller.  There are some fantastic ideas in the article that have my heart-a-flutter for fall decor!

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I love this basket, I want to put all the things in it.  I just think it is super duper cute and so versatile. It could hold pinecones or apples or gourds or something else festive and just be perfect.  

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So I realize this is Halloween, but I think I could make a few smaller feather wreaths to accent my mantle for some texture that is a bit out of the ordinary.  The tutorial on Building Our Story is easy to follow too!

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I need candle sticks like this.  I have some fall pumpkins and great candles that I could easily put on my mantle to create a look similar to this.  I will most definitely be looking for these as I peruse the stores over the next week.  There is also a great tutorial on inexpensive decor here that I might snag some Halloween ideas from!


I will be decorating this weekend.  Last year I focused on front door decor with wreaths and such. This year I am sprucing up our mantle with some beautiful and creative designs!  Stay tuned folks!

Tell me, what excites you most about fall decor?


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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I feel better

I took a week off.  Not just from blogging but from housekeeping and homework and had a weekend all to myself.  It was great and honestly, just what I needed to really get myself back in the swing of life.  I forgot for a moment that life is more than schedules, homework, grading, bedtimes, dinners and a clean house.  Last week helped to reground me and this past weekend sealed that. 


I spent last week really taking in the views around me.  I saw the nature that we get to enjoy in beautiful Colorado daily.  These little bunnies are all over our campus and so cute.  



I took in every sunrise and sunset that I could manage too.  Colorado has the best ones.  These pictures do not justice to the beauty that I enjoyed last week. 



I let my house go, and instead just destroyed the house with gun fights, puzzles, baby dolls, legos and tea parties.  


We took the kids to my schools homecoming game and ate complete crap for dinner.  Nachos, pretzels, soda and hot dogs.  It was fantastic.



I took care of myself.  The hubby gave me a mommy weekend off.  For the first time in several months, I had no responsibilities.  I was kicked out the house and told to go enjoy a weekend, see my friends, pamper myself and rejuvenate.  I did, I SO DID.  A facial, new glasses, nails, massage, shopping, friend time, coffee and more shopping.  What was even better is that I had won a lot of the items mentioned above or had store credits and gift cards, so there was little financial guilt there.

The best part though, the actual dinner my husband and I enjoyed last night.  It was phenomenal.  Not for any particular reason other than we were able to talk, to reconnect, to just enjoy.  I love this man.  

You guys, it was necessary.  I absolutely feel better.  I am clearly back to blogging and just ready to take on the next few months.  

Tell me people, how to you take care of yourself?


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Monday, September 21, 2015

Diced Chili Relleno #Recipe! #Easy

My family LOVES Mexican food.  Like we eat it 2-3 times a week because it makes us happy and it is so delicious.  However, going out for our favorite items can get pretty pricey.  I am a pretty good cook so I decided one night last week that I was going to make chili relleno's, however, I quickly realized that I had no roasted chili's and so I improvised and the result was divine. 

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Diced Chili's folks.  It was what I had and it worked fantastic (plus the price point on the entire meal was 3x less than what we would have spent eating out).  When I had went grocery shopping that weekend I snagged some Egg Roll Wrappers, Mozzarella Cheese and completely forgot the chili's. Just has one of those spaced out busy mom in the grocery store moments. Luckily I had a couple cans of mild diced chili's and so I winged it. 

Ingredients: (Makes 12)

  • Egg Roll Wrappers
  • Mozzarella Cheese Brick
  • 2 cans of Diced Green Chili's
  • Frying oil (we use canola or vegetable).


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 Directions:


  • Chop the brick of cheese into 1/2 thick chunks
  • Lay the egg roll wrapper out flat on the counter.
  • Place a slice of mozzarella cheese in the center
  • Place a TBS of diced green chilis on top of the cheese. 
  • Fold the egg roll wrapper as you see in the photo below.  Fold sides in first, then the bottom, then roll up.
  • Seal it with a dab of water. 

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  •  In your deep fryer (or a pan of oil on the stove top), place your relleno's and fry until they are a nice golden brown. 

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Viola!  You have delicious crispy, ooey gooey Diced Chili Relleno's.  We paired this with some refried beans, Spanish rice and some green chili. 

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What do you think?  How many times have you had to wing a recipe and ended up loving it?


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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

I haven't been up to much...wait that is a lie.

Life has been messy lately.  Not perfect, not awful, just messy.  It has been tough but not terrible.  It has challenged us but not destroyed us.  It has just been life.  Literally, the ups and downs and day to day which almost feel as if we have not been doing anything, except we have.  We have been living and man are we luck to live this life together. 


The kids and I spend a lot of time snuggling in the evenings.  Really though, mommy has no energy have working all day and I just curl up and my amazing kids, snuggle right up to me.  3 people on a loveseat is pretty snuggly.


This boy, he has absolutely been a dream.  School has been freaking amazing for him.  He is excelling and proving that school is where he belongs and confirming that we made the right decision putting him in a school that is no where near our home with fantastic educators and challenging curriculum. 


The girl has been a challenge.  The terrible two's are molding into the threenager movement.  I realize we are still only two but clearly these next couple years will just be a blur and all I will remember is that no matter how hard I work to create adorable outfits, my daughter has her own style which consists of glittery hello kitty shoes, santa pajamas, pink zebra sunglasses and a coach wristlet.  I mean clearly I will need to watch her when she is a teenager sneaking clothes out of my house. 


Then there is her obsession with make up and making mama pretty.  It is darn adorable, but the girl is sleeping the majority of the time that I am getting ready and I barely wear make up as it is, so I am not sure where this obsession is coming from. 


My sister got a fitbit so I got one too.  No I am not lying, I literally bought one because she did and I just thought that maybe it will help me get my darn diabetes under control.  I am mess right now and I hate to admit this but my sugars are not being controlled well because I am not being good about exercise and food intake.  I am hoping that this fitbit helps me be aware how much I am active and encourages me to work harder and challenge myself.  Day one I hit my steps goal and then the subsequent days I didn't even get close.  Must push harder here. 


Then I decided to go check our garden for fresh veggies to pack for lunches to promote healthy snacking and realized that our tomato plants are ridiculously large and taller than I am.  #VeggieSelfie, should start trending any minute now.


However, the kicker is that I of course managed to snag the back to school sinus infection.  I fully believe this is due in part to my immune system struggling because of my Vitamin D levels, but also that our schools ventilation system has not been cleaned in about 200 years so all that junk is in the air and gets up in my business causing the sickness.  Saturday sort of sucked, Sunday was terrible and Monday was survivable. 


I am not a big fan of eastern medicine and homeopathic approaches.  It must be the hard core science girl in me.  However, I was willing to try just about anything to destroy the sinus infection and be healthy enough to make sure that I could get my homework and housework done on Monday.  My friend suggested this triple play of herbs and I will say that in 24 hours I felt human, I was functional, I was alert enough to get work done and my symptoms seemed to have subsided.  So I thought I would share that these herbs and homeopathic approach, appear to have contributed to my immune system kicking in full gear. 

We are just taking things day by day, trying to cross things off our to do list and get back into our school groove.  It has been a new sort of adjustment with the boy in school, the baby potty training, the hubby's schedule and my hectic work and grad school commitments.  I am eagerly awaiting May when graduation happens and I can cross one thing off my list of life goals. 

How is life treating you?

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sally Hansen's Airbrush Legs

I went back and forth about posting this.  Partially because the company that sends me some free products has went from sending bloggers full size quality products and respecting the work that we do, to sending sample sizes and expecting more work than they deserve.  Nevertheless, this product that was sent has some pros and cons that I thought I should share with my readers because I actually liked the results and the product.

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First thing to note is that this is NOT self tanner as much as it is make up and it goes on like make up, which totally surprised the heck out of me.  I thought it would be like lotion and it is most definitely not like lotion.  There were no moisturizing feelings and it washed off pretty easily with soap and water while it was still drying. 

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I had chosen a medium color because I am basically pale.  Fun fact, there are photoreceptors in your skin cells that you can actually destroy similar to tattooing if you get burned too much when you are a dumb teenager that doesn't wear sunscreen.  This can cause skin tanning in the future to be non-existent and you to be pale and a sucker for all companies willing to make you not blend in with the sunlight. 

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Initially when I applied the make up I was a bit concerned that it looked orange and that it would not blend well.  After continuing to blend and following the directions on the bottle, the results were actually fantastic. 

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My skin was definitely darker and more sun-kissed.  It also appeared smoother than it was and although it was not as long lasting as a spray tan, it did last through a couple showers once it was dry.  Overall, the product does what it says and I would probably use it again in a pinch. 

So tell me, what are your thoughts?  Too orange or just right?

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