Jun 22, 2016

Loving the Lazy Days of Summer

By June this teacher and mommy is done. Just done. It doesn't help that dance amps up right at the end of the year with recital season and all three of my kids are in dance. By summer I just want to sleep in and relax.

Sadly for me I still have kids so I'm not exactly sleeping in, but I am sleeping later so that's a plus.  And we are doing lots of relaxing so far.

There have been many lazy days at the pool. Some with friends like this one and others with just us. I'm attempting to swim laps during adult swim to squeeze in some exercise.

The kids are still making their own lunches. Their choices are a little unusual but as long as I don't have to make it and they eat it, I'm ok with their choices.

This week the kids started VBS. Not exactly relaxing since so far I've one for my annual exam and gotten new tires. But at least I didn't have to drag the kids with me to these things. I can't imagine getting my annual with my kids there. Just no.

And in big news for the boy, his mohawk is really getting long. He gets compliments everywhere we go which makes him blush. I love it.

Keep bringing those long, lazy days of summer! Next week the kids go to sleep away camp and my husband and I are taking a vacation alone.

I can't wait!
Happy Summer Everyone.

May 31, 2016

Purex plus Clorox Giveaway

This is the truest statement of my life. I really can't figure out where all this laundry comes from, how do 3 little people go through so many clothes? It's a mystery and one that I won't figure out any time soon. Thankfully the cold days are behind us and my kids are no longer wearing layers which translates to less loads of laundry.

Summer brings less laundry, just another reason why I love summer.

Now with three young children, I have seen my share of stains. My kids aren't exactly neat and dainty. They all love playing in the mud which my yard has an abundance of after it rains.

Now some moms would flip out over their kids getting that dirty, but I get a kick out of it. I have hundreds of picture of my kids all muddy.

Or dirt.

For years I've used Purex laundry detergent and I love it. It's priced reasonably, it works great, and it's available everywhere I shop. Those are three very important aspects for me. I was a sent a sample of Purex plus Clorox to review in exchange for this blog post, all opinions are mine.

Right away I liked that the Purex plus Clorox is safe for colors. I have no time to try to use two different detergents let alone sort my clothes. It makes my mother in law shudder, but I don't separate my colors. I just throw everything in at once. And it comes out clean in case you were wondering.

I knew that this detergent would be a good stain fighter. For the majority of my kids clothes, everything came out clean. But my daughter spilled cherry icee on her yellow lace dress and that didn't come out. I even rubbed some of the Purex plus Clorox directly into the stain and waited 5 minutes before washing it. But even that old stain fighting trick didn't work. In all honesty, I tried 3 other products on hand and none of them touched that stain. So warning to all parents lace and cherry icees do not go together.

If you would like to try this stain fighting detergent for yourself, you can enter my giveaway. Three lucky readers will win a coupon to buy their own bottle of Purex plus Clorox. Enter on the rafflecopter form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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?
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