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August 29, 2018

35 NO SCREEN Activities For Kids

Do you worry about how much screen time your child gets?
Do you know how much is too much?

I know we've all seen or heard the phrase "Cut the Cable". It is one of the latest trends in television watching.
I also know that it is mainly due to the economy and people trying to find ways to cut back costs, save a few bucks a month, or to get a better selection of what they view. Why pay for channels and programs you don't watch!?
But, what about cutting out screen time completely?
Okay, not completely, 100 % of the time.  I just mean cutting...wayyy back.
Did you know that using game systems, tablets, cell phones, and computers, are also considered screen time?
Studies have shown the many effects that too much screen time or stimulation can cause on children.
Did you know that too much screen time can affect children's sleep patterns, eating habits, and over all physical health? It can also cause difficulties in school, difficulty focusing for long periods, and behavior issues; such as, aggression, depression, social anxiety, and more.
Check this out:
Screen Free

Do you have NO SCREEN DAYS?
I used to. When we had our own home, we were cable free for over three years. We also had days when I didn't allow the televisions to be turned on at all! No tablets, television, game systems, computers, and occasionally they could listen to music or have ear buds for a limited time on those days.
Those days we had to find other ways to occupy our hours.
I admit some days seemed to drag on and some days I caved in and let the television be turned on. We aren't perfect, but making a conscious decision to try and limit screen time for everyone is a good step.
I know for some, this task is easier than it is for others. Most of us have had access to all these devises for quite a few years, and our children most likely have never been without at least one of them.
Remember the days of one "family TV", with 3 channels and everyone had to watch the same show or nothing at all.
Ah, those were the days. For myself, no screen days is pretty simple
Oh, wait, oops. No scratch that!
I do my work on the computer, mostly have my phone at the ready; constantly checking emails, texts, etc.
See, we all need a little less visual stimulation in our lives!
How are we going to do this NO Screen Thing?
Well, I'm glad you asked! I've come up with a list of 35 NO SCREEN Activities For Kids!
Hey, parents! Don't be afraid to join in.
Children learn by example!

1.Read a book
2. Do sidewalk chalk/play hopscotch
3.Sing a song-silliest wins!
4. Color/draw/paint
5.Build with blocks or Legos
6.Do a puzzle/jigsaw/maze
7. Run a race
8. Play dress up
9.Build a blanket fort
10.Play in the sand or dirt or mud!
11.Play a card game or board game
12.Have a scavenger hunt
13. Play I Spy or Would you Rather
14. Walk to a park
15. Play a game of catch or wiffle ball
16. Throw a Frisbee
17. Write a letter
18. Play career, be a doctor, teacher, veterinarian 
19.Play grocery store or restaurant- cashier/customer
20.Have a water balloon fight
21.Blow bubbles, make a water station
22.Call a friend, grandma, cousin
23. Make a snack, create a recipe
24. Go to a farm or petting zoo
25. Play with play-doh(who doesn't love this stuff...right?)
26.Give your toys a wash/clean up
27. Do arts and crafts
28. Play school
29. Play with a pet you have
30. Make homemade slime
31. Have a picnic indoors or outside
32. Go watch a ball game
33. Ride a bike, skateboard, scooter, roller skates
34. Go to the library
35. Go bowling

I hope this list gives you some great ideas for your NO SCREEN days!
Crayola has a ton of great arts and craft supplies and craft ideas.
Ticketmaster is a wonderful place to find deals and discounts on so many events. Concerts, games, plays, and more
Be sure to check both of those out for amazing ideas!
I would love to hear any other ideas you've found!
Sharing is caring!

August 27, 2018

What's That Quote? #21(Parenting)

It's Monday again y'all!
Who's ready for today's quote and tidbits of my life?

This quote made me chuckle a bit at first, and then I thought...
Wow! This is pretty accurate!

I have three daughters. Their ages are pretty spread out.
They are 20, 15, and almost 5 years old. You would think by now, with 20 years experience under my apron, I would have figured out how to drive this bus! I thought so too.
Apparently Martha(the name my girl's gave our real GPS) has other plans!

To be honest with y'all, most days I am just as lost as I was in 1998 when I brought home my first wrinkled and crying bundle of hunkin' love.
I have no clue where we are headed most days. There is no point in planning our route.
God, or the weather, someone, or something in life is going to be thrown in my path of peace and say..."Recalculating!"

And, I am sure y'all are familiar enough with life to know that by the time you get turned around; you've missed the next step/turn anyway and are now just winging it and hoping to reach your destination unscathed, and before they run out of chicken nuggets, or have to go potty in the backseat.

Short and sweet for today:
Parenthood is basically driving around in your mini van, cranking up the radio, dodging crayons being thrown at the back of your head, tuning out your little's pleas, trying to figure out what the sh*t that smell is, wondering if that light on the dash is important, Did I remember my wallet, and hoping you are headed in the right direction.

I have already made coffee, made the bed, dealt with a toddler melt down, taken daughter #1 to work, daughter #2 to doctor, then to school, then back home, gotten laundry gathered,...oh, and wrote a whole post(pics included) all before 10 am!
How's your Monday morning going?
What are your parenting U turns you deal with?

August 23, 2018

Remembering the Holocaust: Book List *Updated List*

" Fear makes you weak, anger makes you strong."
Irena Sendler

*This post contains affiliate links

The Holocaust, which was a genocide of Jews and anyone not considered of their "pure Aryan race"; officially began on January 30, 1933, when Adolf Hilter became Chancellor of Germany.
For the next twelve years, Nazis and their supporters, humiliated, tortured, and killed over 6 million Jews and almost 5 million others. Gypsies, Jewish supporters, handicapped, homosexuals, and anyone they feared were not like them.

VE Day, May 8, 1945 officially marks the end of WWII by the formal surrender by German Forces.

January 30, 1933- May 8, 1945

While, I understand dates, statistics, and facts are a huge part of learning history, and figuring out who done what, when, where and why; I want this post to be more about the actual people.
I have always been intrigued by the history of the Holocaust. For me, it is one of the most fascinating and tragic wars ever. 
The first time I ever heard of it was probably around grade 5 or 6. Yes, reading The Diary of Anne Frank. While I didn't have the mentality to fully grasp the severity, nor the horror of these events; I was captured by her! I truly believe my learning of Anne Frank and hearing her story is where I began my love of reading and being fascinated by people. Real people who have shared their stories, their truths, their lives with the world.
I am always in awe of the things people endure. The strength that we as humans have. Not just physically, but emotionally, and mostly spiritually.
How amazing their lives are.
That is what I want to share with you.

I want to pass on some of these wonderful books. I want you to learn who the people were, not just the events. These are real life people who lived through trials, tragedies, turmoils, and came out triumphant!
They are sharing their own lives with us. Whether it be to educate, to cleanse themselves, or just for a chance to be heard. 
These are their stories.


Here is a list of some of the books I have read personally.
You can click here to read more about each one: Goodreads: Holocaust and WWII Book List

1. The Diary of Anne Frank- Anne Frank
2. Behind the Secret Window- Nelly S. Toll
3. The Secret Holocaust Diaries- Nonna Bannister
4. Sarah's Key-Tatiana De Rosnay
5. The Nazi Officer's Wife-Edith Hahn Beer
6. Thanks for My Journey- Erica Miller
7. The Seamstress- Sara Tuvel Bernstein
8. A Lucky Child- Thomas Buergenthal
9. Witnesses to War- Michael Leapman
10. The Last Train- Rona Arato
11. Irena's Children- Mary Cronk Farrell
12. The Hiding Place- Corrie Ten Boom
13. Don't Forget To Write- Pam Hobbs

These books below are considered Historical Fiction. I still highly recommend them!

14. One eye laughing, the Other Weeping(Dear America)- Barry Denenberg
15. A Faraway Island-Annika Thor
16. The True Story of Hansel and Gretel- Louise Murphy
17. Block 11- Piero Degli Antoni
18. While We're far Apart- Lynn Austin
19. Between Shades of Grey- Ruta Sepetys
20.The Lily Pond- Annika Thor

These books are by far some of my favorites of all the books I have read.
Be sure to also check out A Novel Experience my blog dedicated to all things I love about books!

A few more I have read more recently,

I also wanted to list a few people that I recommend learning about. Some "heroes or heroines" of the Holocaust

Corrie Ten Boom

Irena Sendler

Oskar Schindler

Nancy Wake

"You see a man drowning, you must try to save him. Even if you cannot swim."
Irena Sendler

I hope you enjoy this list and will read as many as you wish!
What are your favorite stories/books?
I would love to know and add to my own list!
Please Share!!

August 21, 2018

10 Minute Meal: Pan Fried Sausage and Peppers

Fast, Easy, and Delicious
Pan Fried
Sausage and Peppers
in 10 Minutes!

Hello fellow food junkies!
I have been wanting to add a few recipes to my blog for a long time, but I always seem to forget to take pics of my food(my sister is the food photo junkie), or I get!
I have a crazy, chaotic life and anything, any meal that makes it easier is a huge plus! I also try to go as healthy as possible.
I am feeding a slew of people of all different ages, that have very different palates. My task is not always the easiest, but I have found a few recipes that seem to win over the majority. I consider that a win!
This is one of those recipes.

Prep Time: 5 minutes              Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 6
2 packs Polish sausage(fully cooked)
2 cups Peppers(bell, sweet, banana, any kind)
1/2 onion
2 Tbsp/ one package garlic and herb seasoning(dry mix)

Slice your peppers and onion
Slice your sausage links into rounds
Start your cast iron skillet on low heat and add about 2 Tbsp of oil (I use extra virgin olive oil), any will do.
First, brown your sausage. When it is about half way cooked as you'd like add in your cut vegetables and add your seasoning.
Cook until vegetables are slightly tender.

Your dinner is finished!

This meal is ridiculously simple! No carbs, Low-Fat, and Delicious!
It is my #1 go-to meal for nights when we have games or just don't feel like a big meal.
It can easily be the whole meal or you can pair it up with almost any side...if you have the time and want to put in the effort.
Try it with brown rice, mac and cheese, even a light salad.
Add some carbs to the meal and have some garlic bread! So many things would go great with this dish.
1 pan, 4 ingredients, happy kids! It's a win!
I hope y'all enjoy!
What are your quick go-to meals?
Do you or your kids have a favorite?
I'd love for you to share!

August 20, 2018

What's That Quote? #20 (You're a fighter)

"You're a fighter. Look at everything you've overcome. Don't give up now."
Olivia Benson
(Law and Order:SVU)

Do you ever feel like you're living inside of a boxing ring?
You just keep fighting, waiting for the bell to ring?
To catch your breath, wipe your brow, and get back in there?
Some days, I feel like Rocky Balboa!
Ya know, the whole, "Yo, Adrian!"
Only in my version...It's more like, "Yo, Adrian, Help a girl out here!"
I'm tappin' out! You in? Back-up? May-Day? Anyone?

Okay, maybe I am being a bit dramatic, but you know how those days are...right?
We just keep fighting. We keep pushing through whatever is thrown at us!
We keep "adulting".
Some days we can get by easy peasy. Some days we struggle. Some days we fight tooth and nail to keep our sanity.

I have a crap ton of...stuff going on in my life right now.
I have some super OMG, I am so blessed highs and some UGHH seriously? lows.
I have the most amazing Savoir! Amen! Without Him, there would be no fight left in me!
I am super blessed to have my oh so amazing husband of 21 years(next week).
I have the most awesome 3 daughters I could ever have prayed for.
I have both of my parents and my most awesome mamaw. I have siblings with the biggest hearts of any people I have ever met, and many more family and friends God has blessed me with.
There are so many blessings I am forever grateful for!
I don't want to say...but.

But, that's how it is, life. 
I also have struggles.
We are currently not living in a house of our own. That is a huge struggle/fight for myself. I want my own home. My place, for my husband and our children. I want away from the area we are living. I want a fresh start.
We are also struggling financially.(big surprise, welcome to 2018...right?)
My husband lost his job almost two weeks ago...just as I was finally making about $25 a week with Affiliates and Google.
So, I felt like we were getting knocked down just as I was getting started.
We have one adult daughter who is 20 and trying to find her way as an adult. We need to continue to guide her and be supportive of her choices. Yet, she sees us falling behind. It is hard as a parent. They keep hearing our advise and suggestions but seeing us struggle isn't very reassuring.
We have a daughter who is 15, she just started high school, and her schedule, routine, and school dynamics are changing.
We have a almost 5 year old who thinks the world revolves and Peppa Pig and bologna.
Every day is different. Every day has new blessings and new challenges.
We definitely have came a long way, but our fight isn't over.

August 13, 2018

What's That Quote? #19(Hope, Lamentations 3:24 KJV)

What's That Quote?

Are you filled with hope today?
I sure hope so!
(I know, I'm a nerd)

"The Lord is my portion, saith my soul. Therefore will I hope in Him"
Lamentations 3:24

How awesome is that?
The Bible tells us that The Lord is our(mine, yours, and everyone who believes) portion!
Portion in biblical days means inheritance, reward, allotment.
The Lord is our portion. He is all we need! He really is the whole enchilada! And,... a side of guac!
What more could we possibly need?
The Bible is telling us,... Hey,! He's here! He's got you! He's got everything covered!
The Lord is our portion, saith my soul!
Say it again for those in the back!
The Lord is MY portion, saith my soul!
Therefore will I hope in Him!
That's a pretty easy concept to understand. He is offering us every reward, every HOPE we could imagine!
This is one of many verses we should be reminded of daily! We should be sharing with everyone we know. We should be shouting it from the rooftops!
The Lord IS my portion!
This world is rough! It is a terribly scary place. We live in days of violence, crime, fear, sin, drugs, despair, and tragedy. 
We all have hope for better days, easier days. But, where are you putting your hope? Is it in the Lord?
Are you praying for your portion? For your hope to come from Him?
This verse gives us all hope. A hope that we can have something far better. Better than we can even imagine most days!
We have hope!

Hope is defined by Mr. Webster as...
Hope: To desire, especially with an expectation that the wish will be granted.
Well, I'm not waiting for a genie to grant me any wishes!

I will put my hope in the Lord!
I will praise Him only and my portion will be the Lord! 
I HOPE this quote for today has given you all some Hope!
Happy Monday Y'all!  

August 9, 2018

Our List of 8 Great Bedtime Stories

Our List of
Great Bedtime Stories

  I believe the only thing for me that is more precious than that glorious bedtime; that time when we are all winding down and feeling relaxed and at ease, are mornings.
I love the sound of those little feet hitting the floor at the crack of dawn. Hearing their first words of the day..."Momma, I'm awake!"
I know, I'm a mushy momma! But, bedtime is so important. It really is.  To have some sort of routine. Something that helps them know that this time is needed, for them and yourself.
I know every night won't be the same. Schedules change, kids get sick, they have needs and demands that come up as the clock ticks on.
You're tired, you have things to finish up. We've all been there!
So, on those nights that do go as planned, make it a good time to bond. Take advantage of those moments when they know your sole focus is on them and that you cherish this time.
 Sharing a story with a child is one of the best ways to share some time with them.

We read a TON of books around here! I even started a Goodreads account for little E a while back. It helps me to keep track of most of the books we've read together.
I realized when sorting through her books and trying to get them organized that we really do have a lot of books about bedtime. That seems to be a theme that we both enjoy, and they really do help her relax and want to listen to the story.
A few of our favorites, or ones that we seem to read and re-read, over and over are listed below.

*This post contains affiliate links. By clicking on a link and making a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you.

Great Bedtime Stories

3. Good Night, Wonder Pets by Simon Spotlight/Nick Jr.
5. Good Night, Little Rabbit by J.P. Miller
7. Bedtime for Peppa by Scholastic
8. Night-Night, Sleep Tight by Jerry Smath

I hope you enjoy our list, and make reading a time to bond with your little ones. It doesn't have to be  bedtime stories, or even a book! Tell them a story that you remember from your own childhood, share the when I was little stories with them. You can even have them help you tell a story. Give them an idea and see where they go with it.
I have found so many wonderful books all around. Yard sales, library sales, discount shops, thrift stores, online, and even given to us by friends. If you look, you can find a book!

What are your child's favorite books about bedtime?
Do you have a favorite?
Please share! We're always looking for new stories!

August 6, 2018

What's That Quote? #18

What's That Quote?
 Y'all, I do not know why I decided it was a good idea to do my one true, weekly posts on Mondays!
What was I thinking???
Seriously, I am struggling!
Not just with this blog and keeping consistent, but!
I already have some issues I am dealing with on the daily. Today, we have hit another...set back, inconvenience...struggle.
One more thing to add to our plate.
Today's quote, quite literally fits my day. My Monday.

"The struggle is part of your story." 
Author Unknown

Let me just say, this is going to be one hell of a story! 
I do not know who the author is that came up with this quote, but I'm pretty sure they know MY LIFE!
It probably would be easier and more organized/readable to do a bullet list post of my struggles.
Ya know, like a top 10 or something funny like that. I'd have to just laugh through it to keep myself from crying, breaking down, and completely losing it!
I really am a firm believer in finding the blessings in everyday. I know each day I have plenty of blessings and things to be grateful for. I truly do. 
Sometimes, I feel like the more I try to be good and do right and fight to be a better Christian, a better wife and mother; the more the Devil knocks me back!
I am struggling!
I hate that every time I have an ounce of peace or hope that this is it! This is the time we start seeing our hard work pay off...BAM! Back on our arses!
I'm tired of getting the kids hopes up and seeing them have that sparkle back only to have to say...Oops, my bad. Nope, can't do it!

I have been working really,...really hard and being consistent with this blog. Actually, putting in the work to try and earn a little extra to help out. I have spent hours studying, researching, reading, typing, trying new things, all to get better at this and finally start contributing.
I've been shopping and bought up a TON of new books to get little E into her preschool and reading(also to add more to my blog posts).
I feel like I'm doing all this for us, for them to better myself, for them!
I had a peace that I was getting somewhere, getting ahead.

Today, my darling calls at 10:50 am...odd because his lunch isn't until 11 am.
Hmmm. I answer the phone and hear...
"Babe, I just got fired!"
Ummmm, Excuse me...what?

Long story short, the company decided after 9 days that his contract was costing them too much and it would be an inconvenience to start over and train him elsewhere, so he could take $2.25 pay cut to be a general employee, or he could walk. He refused to walk ot on his job or take another pay cut, so they said, "Sorry, bye!"
Y'all, I'm struggling!
I need prayer! We need prayer!
How in this world do we get ahead?
Here is a part of My Struggle,...My Story
What are you struggling with today?

August 1, 2018

Recipe: Super Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake

  I love Summer and all the glorious, beautiful veggies that come with it...fresh!
Zucchini are one of my favorites!
It is becoming so versatile with all the wonderful recipes floating around Pinterest.
I seriously have found tons of ways to use zucchini. Sliced, diced, fried, baked, and even the new zoodles trend is catching on!
Awesome Zucchini Recipes
I wanted to try to make up a semi-healthy, quick recipe to use as a new, summer recipe. One that hopefully at least 2 out of the 3 kids wouldn't completely refuse to eat.
Here is what I came up with. It is really a mixture of ideas from several recipes I have found.

Super Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake


  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 large yellow squash
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • saltine crackers(crumbled)
  • 3 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper (to taste)
  • cooking spray or stick butter

Preheat oven to 425F
Slice zucchini and squash into discs
coat a 9X9 baking pan with cooking spray or butter
start to line your pan with a layer of your zucchini and squash(I ended up doing like an every other one pattern.)
Then you will put a layer of your seasoning on(salt/pepper, garlic and parsley)
Now a layer of your Parmesan and 1 1/2 cups of your Mozzarella
Continue on to your next layer. Your pan should hold two layers
Again, zucchini, squash, seasoning, hold off on cheeses until last!
Now, you will sprinkle on your crumbled crackers. I used  Aldi's brand "Ritz"(cause they are the best) and it was about half of a sleeve.
Pour your whipping cream over the top and then your last layers of Parmesan and Mozzarella
Pop it in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until your cheese is melted or golden to your taste.
Remove and allow to cool.

I love this recipe!

I actually had 0 complaints! That is a total score for momma! Everyone kept raving about how good it was and..."When can you make it again?"
It really is super simple and you can always play around and mix it up to your own tastes.
My favorite was all that gooey cheese and I am partial to the outside section and all that golden crispiness!
The zucchini got soft, but not enough to make it that yucky mush, so I wouldn't go more than 20 minutes to bake. Also, I am a firm believer in everything keeps its skin except bananas, oranges, and onions, so that may have helped the zucchini keep its texture. I'm not 100% sure, but it worked for me!
Sooo, eat the skins!
I hope y'all will give this one a try and definitely let me know.
How did you like it? Did you change anything up? Will you make it again?
Inquiring cooks want to know!
Drop by and share!