May 9, 2016

I Just Want my Kids to be Kind

It's every parent's nightmare when you learn that your child is being bullied at school. It's even worse when your child doesn't tell you for weeks.

I never thought that I would have to deal with a mean girl at this young age. I expected in in junior high, but second grade???

Sadly my daughter didn't tell me about her bully until said bully told the other kids in the class not to be friends with my daughter. Once the other (not all but many) started being mean to her, Isabella finally told me what was going on.

My heart sank. My sweet girl the target of a mean girl was just too much to take. I know that my kid won't be friends with everyone she meets, but this goes way beyond just not being friends.

I went to the school immediately and to the mom of this girl.

Which leads me to the point of my post.

The mother didn't care. Flat out told me that she wasn't going to make her daughter stop. That her daughter didn't like my daughter and that was it.

Excuse me?

Do our kids need to be friends? No.

Do our kids need to be kind? I think so.

I'm still shocked by this mother's reaction a week later. Especially after learning that Isabella isn't her first target of the year. She's done this to 2 other girls, just this year!

I know you don't truly know how you would handle a situation until you're in it, but I do know that I will never allow my children to be unkind. They don't have to friend every kid in the class, but they are required to be kind.

The older I get the more I want to surround myself with people who are kind. My circle of friends might be small but I know that they have my back. I know they will help out when I need it, and I will help them in return. I don't care how much money they make, or how clean their house is, or their dress size. Are they nice? That's the number one criteria for me.

I'm sure my children will feel the same way one day, but for now they are too young to understand. They just want to fit in, belong, and be liked.

I want that for them too.

But I cannot make it happen.

The only thing I can do is teach them to be kind to everyone. I pray that my children will act with kindness even when it's not expected or deserved.

I don't care for that mom or her daughter. I don't want to be friends. But today when that mom needed help getting supplies into the classroom, I gave her the help she needed. I was kind, even though I didn't want to be.

I don't regret my decision to help and I pray that my daughter will be a better person than I was today. One that doesn't mentally call her a witch with a b the entire time we walked into the school.

Baby steps friends. I am still a little bitter.

May 3, 2016

Grilled Brisket Pizza

My favorite way to cook is to make a bug cut of meat on the weekend and live off the leftovers all week long. I love making pulled pork on the weekend and then making pulled pork tacos and pulled pork pizza during the week. It just makes my life easier as a working mom.

I love brisket! I'm Texas born and raised so it's practically mandatory to love brisket. The best part of brisket is that it's a huge cut of meat and the possibilities for leftovers are endless. Tacos, um yeah I'm from Texas! Enchiladas, do I need to say I'm from Texas again? Salads, yeah I'm from Texas but I'm still a girl.

Grilled Brisket Pizza???? Oh heck yes! Sign me up, this is a pizza that you're pizza wishes he could grow up to be like. The smoky flavor from the grill combined with the spicy BBQ sauce makes this the perfect brisket leftover recipe! I promise you will not regret making this pizza.

1 pizza dough - I buy it, feel free to make it
Country Bob's Apple Chipotle All Purpose Sauce is my favorite, use your favorite
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups chopped brisket
1 medium sized red onion cut into thin strips
1 green or red bell pepper cut into thin strips
4 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat your grill on med heat.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and cook onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. These are going to cook down as you caramelize them.
3. Add bell pepper stripes to the pan and cook until soft.
4. Roll your pizza dough and spread a thin layer of olive oil on one side. Carefully put the oil side down on the grill and cook for 4-6 minutes. Watch the dough carefully as grill temperatures vary.
5. Remove dough from the grill and spread a thin layer of olive oil on the side you didn't cook.
6. Spread about 1/2 cup of apple chipotle sauce over the cooked side of the pizza dough. You want a thin layer but you may need more sauce depending on your crust size/preference.

7. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the pizza. 
8. Add the caramelized onions, bell peppers over the cheese. 

9. Take about a tablespoon of chopped brisket and drop it onto the pizza. Strategically place the dollops of brisket around the pizza.
10. Grab that bottle of Apple Chipotle sauce and drizzle some over the top of the pizza. I didn't measure, I just drizzled it until it looked good to me. This is a preference thing on how much sauce you use.
11. Return your pizza to the grill and cook another 4-6 minutes.
12. Serve and enjoy!

I hope you like the pizza! My family scarfed it down and begged me to make it again the next night.

May 1, 2016

Beat Spring Allergies with MinuteClinic

Allergy season is here in North Carolina. After living here for three allergy seasons I can assure you that allergies are no joke. We have 37 60 foot+ pine tress on our property. Which means every spring we go through a few weeks where everything is coated in yellow pollen. It's disgusting being outside and miserable if you're allergic to pine trees like I am.

I'm a mom of three very high energy children . They don't like being inside and I don't like it when they don't burn off their energy. Plus I'm a special ed preschool teacher, there is no staying indoors to avoid the allergens for me. Besides if we stayed indoors we would miss out on fun activities like strawberry picking.

I know the only way to survive is to start my allergy medicine early. This way it's already in my system when the pollen starts to drop. I also come home and shower if I've been outside for too long. A few weeks ago I took my students on a walk through the wooded area at our school. My black shoes turned greenish yellow that day from the pollen and I literally shook off a cloud of pollen when I moved my shirt. I knew I was covered and I wanted to wash all the pollen off. There's nothing worse than going to bed and getting the allergens on your pillow and sheets.

In addition to my usual allergy medicine, I started using nasal spray this year. I don't know what took me so long to take the pharmacists advice on nasal spray, but it really works. You really take for granted being able to breath through your nose until you can no longer do it.

Learning how to treat my allergies took me a long time to figure out after moving to North Carolina. I didn't have allergy problems in Vegas like I do here. Turns out if I had just gone to a doctor or RN right away I could have saved myself some suffering. Avoiding allergens is the best treatment option, it's not always practical or even a realistic option. When avoiding your allergens is not an option, head to MinuteClinic. Their nurse practitioners and physicians assistants can recommend the right over-the-counter medications and write prescriptions when medically appropriate.

Here are some tips from MinuteClinic to help you survive allergy season. 

How to Survive the Allergy Season

1. If you're like me and you know you suffer from allergies start taking allergy medicine a few weeks before your symptoms start. 

2. It's impossible to keep your kids from coming into contact w/ pollen, but it is possible to get relief - fast! 

3. Shake it off! Before coming inside, rid your clothes of pollen with a good shake.

4. Did you know hair gel could be a pollen magnet? Skip the sticky stuff during allergy season for a little extra relief.

5.  Avoid window fans! While convenient, they tend to bring in unwanted pollens or mold spores.

6.  Don't accessorize w/ itchy red eyes! Visit MinuteClinic for the allergy relief you need: 

7.   Pull out the shades! Sunglasses protect your eyes from pollen, while keeping you looking stylish at the same time.

8. Fall asleep on clean sheets. Wash your bedding every two weeks to help ease allergy symptoms.

For more information about allergies you can visit your local MinuteClinic at CVS. They are opened 7 days a week so you can visit when it's convenient for you.

Apr 28, 2016

Perks of Having Kids in the Kitchen

We joke in my family that our son's whole life revolves around food. It's not very far off from the truth though. He's always hungry and he eats just about anything. Except American cheese, the kid won't touch it with a 10' foot pole. #foodsnob

It's no surprise to me that he loves to help me in the kitchen. I call him my little sous chef. At six he has some serious knife skills and he knows how to make basic things. I'm pretty impressed with his ability to make perfectly seasoned green beans even though we've deemed him not old enough to put the pan into the oven yet.

It's also no surprise that my son would rather watch cooking shows that cartoons. Who needs Paw Patrol when you have The Pioneer Woman? Last year he got to meet his cooking idol and he still talks about it.

So tonight when he asked if he could make macaroni and cheese for dinner I should have listened a little better. Yeah, yeah, just a minute ok buddy was my response.

I found him in the kitchen a few minutes later boiling water for the macaroni and cheese. I wish this surprised me. But as tired as I am tonight, I just let it go and decided the kids could have mac and cheese for dinner.

The best part was that all I had to do was drain the water. It's too heavy for him and call me crazy but allowing my child to burn himself isn't something I want to happen. Mark did everything else, including measuring the milk and heating up the corn. His sisters were happy with dinner too, especially Isabella who really didn't want pulled pork tonight!

I could get used to having a kid that cooks dinner.

Apr 21, 2016

Teaching Confession

I confess....
There are days when I don't think I'm going to make it through the school year.

I confess....
Wednesday was one of those days. It started with a parent slamming the door open (which would have hurt someone if they were standing f.y.i.) and storming into the room screaming. Not exactly the way to start the day when you teach preschool. Did I mention it's also special ed?


I confess....
It threw the entire day off. The. Entire. Day!

I confess....
We just couldn't get the kids back and it didn't help that all three of us (the teachers) were already crabby.

I confess....
And then we have a day like today and it was awesome.

I confess....
The kids were extra sweet today and 11 out of 14 napped! Say what????? Kids that never and I mean never nap napped.

I confess.....
It's probably because they were trying to make up for Wednesday. #LiesITell

I confess....
Tomorrow we have our family partnership day when we don't have class and we have a playdate with their parents somewhere in the community. It's my favorite day of the month.

I confess....
I just might make it to June with my sanity in tact if we have more days like today.

What are you confessing this week?

Mar 22, 2016

Emergen-C Review and Giveaway

My family lives a healthy active lifestyle. Generally speaking of course. I try my best but there are some times when life happens and I'm not eating as healthy as I should. As a mom to three kids and a preschool teacher it isn't good when I'm not eating right. That's when I start to feel run down so I'm always looking for ways to support my immune system. Trust me, I need all the help I can get being surrounded by little ones all day. I was sent a sample of Emergen-C Immune Plus to facilitate this review as a member of Smiley360.

There are times in my life when I know I need an extra boost to my immune system. This time of year with so much going on at school and with my kids' activities is one of those times. It's the perfect opportunity to give my immune system a boost.

Emergen-C Immune Plus comes in a chewable tablet. I was sent the Orange Blast flavor which I really liked. It tastes like citrus and not chalky at all unlike many other supplements.  I liked that this supplement has other vitamins besides C. You will also get Viatmin D, E, B6, Biotin, and Zinc with Emergen-C Immune Plus. Emergen-C is available at your local big box or drug stores, so you can easily pick it up when you're out shopping. There are other lines in the Emergen-C family that are safe for kids, but this product is for those over the age of 14.

Learn more about the benefits of Emergen-C immune Plus on their website. Want to try Emergen-C Immune Plus for yourself? One lucky reader will win a bottle to try it out. Just enter the giveaway on the rafflecopter form. Contest open to US residents only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I recieved this product for free from Smiley360 in exchange for my honest review. You can join Smiley360 at 

Feb 18, 2016

How Taking Trips Change After Kids

I remember when Brett and I took impromptu trips before we had kids. We cold be out of the house in less than an hour. Now that we have three kids it takes several lists and hours of preparation to go on the trip. Mostly because we stay places where we can cook so the packing has really gone up a notch. Here are how things are different now that we have kids.

How to Pack Before Kids
Clothes, Toiletries, and Shoes. You are finished.

After Kids
Make lists of what clothes you'll need everyday. Pack back ups in case of accidents and excessive spills. Research if there is any possible reason you need a bathing suit even though it's January, bring it anyway. Pack first aid kit, medicine, hair bows, toiletries, loveys, baby blankets even though your kids are in school, snacks and more snacks, toys, DVDs, tablets, books, a cooler, and enough drinks to ensure at least 4 bathroom breaks.

Road Trip Snacks Before Kids
Grab some food at the gas station. You're not all that worried, you can stop if you're hungry.

After Kids
Strategically plan out sugary snacks versus healthy snacks. You know you can't feed them pure junk or you'll pay later but the junk is what actually bribes them to get through 20 more minutes. Decide that Fruit Loops aren't that bad and chocolate covered raisins are basically fruit and call it a day. Bring enough food to last a 12 hour trip when you'll only be in the car for 4 hours. You can never be too careful.

Getting the Car Ready Before Kids
Gas. Check tires. Load up and leave.

After kids
Hook up the portable DVD player. Make sure the DVDs are close enough to the passenger seat to change them out on the drive. Fold down one seat to fit all the crap you need for a single weekend. Marvel at how much crap you need for a single weekend. Arrange car seats to ensure everyone can see the movie but they're not on top of each other now that the seat is folded down. Arrange the snacks so the passenger can hand them back to the kids but the kids cannot reach them. Give up on making everything fit comfortably and focus on making everything fit.

Bathroom Breaks Before Kids
Oh look we are getting gas or some food, now is a good time to pee. -Adult Logic

After kids
Oh look we are in gridlock or the middle of nowhere and 15 minutes ago when we passes a gas station and mom asked if I needed to pee wasn't quite the right time. Must pee now mommy! -Kid Logic

The Trip Before Kids
Listen to music and talk to your spouse. Ahhh isn't this lovely?

After Kids
Oh my word why are these kids so loud? I have Inside Out on, why are they fighting? Here have some fruit snacks, candy, anything just please stop bickering! Ne we aren't there yet. No, still not there. Why are they crying????

Sleeping kids are rare, don't count on it. 

Hotel Arrival Before Kids
You arrive excited and ready to hit the ground running. Ooo look, they have happy hour, don't mind if we do!

After Kids
You've been to hell and back but you made. Thank goodness you packed a bottle of wine, you're going to need it soon and there's no way you're making it to happy hour. But first you have to check in and unpack about 100 bags so that wine will have to wait.

Now if you'll excuse me I have one more load of laundry to do before we leave for our trip.

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