Ipad Mini Give Away And Bedtime With Sarah Sullivan Bedtime Challenge!




We have been reading the cutest new book before bed. Bedtime for Sarah Sullivan. 

"Wearing a sparkly "S" crown, she is Super! Silly! and Sweet! Bedtime for Sarah Sullivan is about the magical hour that happens every night at bedtime, when kids "try" to go to sleep. Readers are invited to travel with Sarah through the wonders of her imagination as she learns what it is like to create her own dreams. Ultimately landing on the moon, Sarah learns that anything is possible, as long as you believe."

The Bedtime for Sarah Sullivan App is now available in the Amazon App Store for Kindle. I love the way it looks on this device! Get it HERE.

I don't know about you but bedtime at my house is sometimes chaotic. That's the truth. And sometimes nightmares or other drama gets the best of the kids. After reading "Bedtime For Sarah Sullivan" and talking to the author Kelly Paniagua,  we came up with a brilliant idea:

THE BEDTIME CHALLENGE!

For the next two weeks take 10 minutes (30 minutes would be even better!) to read the book, use the app (on kindle or ipad) and set a positive intention before the kids go to bed.

"Travel with Sarah through the wonders of her imagination as she learns what it’s like to create her own dreams. Ultimately landing on the moon, Sarah learns that anything is possible, as long as you believe. Through the app, children get to immerse themselves fully in the adventure through voiceover, narration and object/character animation."

Take this and be creative! Let your kids create their dreams:) Mom's feel free to take the challenge too. Instead of worrying before bed try creating a positive dream! What a concept!

To FURTHER INSPIRE YOU... WE ARE GIVING AWAY AN IPAD MINI! That way you can use your new Bedtime for Sarah Silverman APP! See below to enter. Lots of ways to up your chances by following a few steps!

Extra entries for Tweeting or FB posts and sharing the give away. Use HASHTAGS: #BedtimeChallenge and #BedtimeWithSarahSullivan  and #SuperSarahKids


Good luck and let me know how the challenge goes!



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Happy Columbus Day and Meal Planning Monday!

Happy Columbus Day!

The kids are off from school so we are going to see: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day! I've heard it's awesome. Stay tuned for my review!





In the meantime here's a little something new I am trying this week for a meal!

Tuscan Chicken Skillet- found it on Pinterest. Follow me there! Recipe by The Wanderlust Kitchen


Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. chicken breast tenderloins
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • ½ tsp. thyme
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • ⅔ c. sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 (15 oz) can Cannelini Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (15 oz) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parsley for garnish
Make Stuffed Peppers with Pork Sausage
 
Instructions
  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, then add the chicken and brown for 3 minutes on each side.
  2. Remove chicken and set aside on a plate. Add the remaining tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Add the sliced mushrooms in a single layer and brown, working in batches, a few minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, and sundried tomatoes. Sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the diced tomatoes, spices, beans, and sugar.
  4. Transfer the chicken back to the pan and spoon some of the sauce and vegetables over top of the chicken. Cook, covered, on the stove top until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is bubbling, about ten minutes. Return the mushrooms to the pan. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot, garnished with parsley.

Cheers!

Knots Berry Farm 2015 Season Pass Deal and Camp Spooky!

Tis the season of Knott’s Berry Farm!!! 



I have been waiting for the new 2015 Season Passes, which are now on sale for the best price of the season.  One visit during the 2014 season is included in the 2015 Season Pass if you buy now! That also includes discounts for Knott’s Scary Farm. WOO! Look HERE.

Landon, Coco, Daddy and I will be heading to their CAMP SPOOKY Family Friendly event this year and we can't wait. Such a fun way to kick off Halloween month with the kids!


Camp Snoopy Transforms Into Camp Spooky

Every Weekend In October and on Halloween Day

Weekends in October and on Halloween Day, Knott’s Berry Farm has a Halloween event called Camp Spooky. This daytime event is a non-scary celebration of cheer rather than fear with shows and activities all geared for kids ages 3-11. Admission to Camp Spooky is included with admission to Knott's Berry Farm.
Landon and Coco love the Peanuts Gang and snoopy! They will be thrilled.









Have you been to Knotts Berry Farm??



Disclaimer:

The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.


Menu Planning Monday

This is a great money saving trick that really works.

Menu Planning Monday is a way for you to get organized for the week. I usually organize all of this on a Sunday. I love trying new recipes and seeing what I can do!

Here's our meals this week:

Monday- Salad and Stacked Chicken Enchiladas from Gimme Some Oven!

!



Tuesday- Cold Poached Salmon and Quinoa Tabbouleh




Wednesday- Left overs


Thursday- OUT!


Friday- Cilantro Ginger Flank Steak and Edamame rice






Saturday- Tasting party at our house. More on that later!

Whats on your menu this week??

And Then I Jumped In The Pool







Living in California many of us Mom's have pools. Swimming playdates and parties are frequent. On one such occasion a friend of mine came to a pool party and immediately stripped down and jumped in the pool. The other Moms stared. She looked around.


"Is nobody going in the pool? Do we not do that?"

Sadly, we don't.

Whether it's we haven't shaved, have not worked out enough, don't want to get our hair wet or are just too tired, we Mom's don't get in the pool. It's sad.

I watch the kids playing in the pool with reckless abandon. Jumping off the side of the pool making crazy faces and poses. I see them squirt each other with water guns and use our floating toys as surf boards. Their joy is palpable.

Don't get me wrong, we Moms are having our laughs, sharing, chatting but...

We're not jumping in the pool.

It seems the weight of all our responsibilities is too heavy. We might sink to the bottom of the pool. We're trying to keep our lives afloat through first days of school, homework, job stress, making dinner, making time for our husbands, working out, or not working out, laundry, caring for pets, caring for parents, social obligations, and steeling ourselves from run ins with mean Moms who might say "Oh my GOD did you see her in a bathing suit? I would never show my body if it looked like THAT."

My friends innocent jumping in the pool and looking at us saying "Do we not do that?"

Made me realize. No we don't.

I want you to make a pact with me. The next time you are at a pool party, a swim playdate, a vacation, an indoor pool, or even the YMCA....jump in the pool. Get your hair wet. Let your kids see you have fun and not worry about all there is to do. Let yourself not worry about how you look or what everyone else thinks.

Hold my hand. Let's jump together.

Let's jump in the pool.




Best Side Dish For Labor Day! Mexican Style Corn!

We call this fabulousness  "Mexi-Corn".




Everyone who tries it says it's "CRACK CORN" LOL!!!! Sarina helped hubby make them and is now HOOKED!



We served it last night. You should make it this weekend!

  • 5 ears fresh corn, husked 
  •  
    For the Spread:
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Juice from one lime
  •  
    For the Topping:
  • 1/4 cup grated Cotija cheese
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or chili powder if you want heat)
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
ENJOY!!!!

Best Family Friendly Hotel- The Omni Homestead!

While we were camping in Virginia my Mom had the brilliant idea to break up the week by heading to the Omni Homestead in Hot Springs, VA. It did not disappoint!

I had been to the Homestead years earlier and remembered the gorgeous grounds and southern charm.


They have a spa that looked to DIE FOR!!!!!


But since I was with the kids we had more of a family experience. There are waterslides, a lazy river, a kids club, a kids camp, mini golf etc!!!!


They even had a duck race while we were there! So cute!!!!


There are so many things to do here. Golf, shooting, fly fishing, horseback riding and horse and carriage rides!


The restaurants there are top notch as well. We had a fabulous birthday dinner for my mom in the grand ballroom complete with dancing to the band. It was heaven.



The service in the hotel was impeccable and the kids had a ball! The perfect family friendly hotel! Did I mention the brand new arcade and bowling!!!!???

Meet The Teacher - Teacher Gifts!

As school starts again I have mixed emotions of not wanting the Summer to end but also wanting these kids OUT OF MY HOUSE. HA!!!!!

Might as well start the year off RIGHT with a MEET THE TEACHER GIFT.

I have a bunch I found that are just too cute. Which one should I do!?

1) Thank You Planter-


How cute is this from My Happy Place?
Chalk paint, a plant and a ribbon DONE!

2) Crayon Name Picture!



This is too cute but more advanced for sure from Melissas Bargains.

3) This Survival Kit is adorable.


Clean and Sensible has it as a Valentines Day gift but I think it's great for a meet your teacher gift too. 

4) Pencil Bouquet= AKA sheer brilliance from Less Cake More Frosting!


What do you think? Which one should I do? You should see what my bestie did! How great is this??? It's a door hanger!








Can you sit? In the pit?

Seems like the older I get the more hard times people are facing. I mean really hard times. It's easy to be with someone when things are fabulous....



But can you sit......




In the PIT?



The pit of despair? Divorce? Cancer? Infertility? Aging parents? Sick kids? Alcoholism? Drug abuse? Can you sit with someone while they go through this? Can you sit with yourself while you go through this?


It's tough.

When I was in the PIT. People came to sit with me. Not everyone could do it. One time my PIT was 52 days in the NICU with Landon. People visiting had to endure seeing one pound babies going into constant cardiac arrest. There were tears. There were hands held. There were a thousand prayers said.

Another PIT was at Childrens Hospital for three weeks with Coco. Mystery illness with no end in site. People came. They sat in the pit. They talked me off the ledge. They brought me lunch. They brought me dinner. They cried with me.

The pit is scary because we're sometimes not sure of it's the bottom or we have to GO DEEPER.  Going deeper than we're used to is frightening but enlightening. This is when we REALLY FIND OUT WHO WE ARE.  It's intense. For us and our friends. That's why not everyone can do it.


Please I beg you. If you have a friend who is in the PIT. Go sit with them. Even being there, bearing witness, means everything. Show them they are NOT ALONE.

The PIT may even be grabbing a drink with a friend even though you're tired. Or showing up with a meal. Or meeting for coffee. PITS can be mental and physical after all. 

AND if you're in the PIT you will make it out. There will be light coming in. Just wait for it.

 

I'm going to visit a friend in the PIT Tuesday while she has her second round of chemo. I'm scared. For her, for me, not knowing what to say or do....but I'm going. I have to. Because anyone who's been in the PIT knows. YOU HAVE TO GO. 

BE BRAVE.

Because you are someone's lifeline today.

Say No To Playdates? My response to Dad In Charge

There is a movement, small as it may be, to ban playdates. A stay at home Dad and Blogger Dad In Charge, wrote all about it. You can read it HERE.


He makes the argument that he was growing up there were no scheduled playdates. He thinks things are getting too elaborate, too planned, too over scheduled.

I do agree that kids need spontaneity and to be BORED sometimes so they can create and be self sufficient BUT, so no to play dates? NO WAY.

Playdates are not just for the kids, THEY'RE FOR THE MOTHERS. There has been many a playdate, where I or a Mom have divulged our deepest, darkest, secret fears of parenting, relationships, our parents, our nannys, our husbands and kids. We get support, advice, guidance, love and LAUGHS from these playdates. We socialize our kids, help them work things out, build relationships and grow. Mom's need to rid themselves of the feeling of total isolation and the guilt of parenting. They need to feel heard and accepted. That's what playdates are for.

No, you don't have to put out a cheese plate (although guess what I DO!), but being a gracious host also shows your kids something ALL kids are lacking now. MANNERS. To treat someone else graciously in your home. They learn that they can't have it their way all the time, their "guest" gets to choose too. They negotiate and build friendships.

So before we start throwing the playdates out the window, let's consider the other side. What do you think? Are playdates a waste of time? Ruining our kids? Or are they your lifeline? Your key to your kids social development? Weigh in!