NEW Toy Coupons

Can you believe Christmas will be here in roughly 12 weeks?! I must admit that I have not started Christmas shopping yet. Eek! I'm sure I'm not the only one, right? Thankfully there are some great toy coupons available:

Freebie Friday (9/28/12)

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend. Enjoy these freebies and coupons:

*Free Jelly Kids Jelly Bean Vitamin Sample 

*Free Sample of Calovia Sweetener

*Free Makeup Bag w/Skincare Samples at Sephora (9/28-9/30 from 12pm-6pm)

*Free Sample of Emergen-C Vitamin Drink

Personal Care

Happy Birthday!

Over the past three years, we have posted often about these adorable cousins - Karissa & Maleah. Karissa was born 9/25 and Maleah was born two days later (yup, that would be today! The 27th!).

It's been amazing watching these girls grow up. Karissa is sweet, silly, and sometimes a little moody when she is the center of attention. Maleah, on the other hand, tends to always be moody. Haha! Just look at those faces. They are soooo beautiful!

Happy Birthday Girls! We love you!

Tip-a-licious Thursday

Childhood Fears and Anxiety: What Can Parents Do?
 By Lisa Pecos

A certain amount of fear and anxiety is a natural part of life. It is what drives us to take precautions and to keep ourselves and our families safe. In children, while fear and anxiety are often illogical, they are in many respects an important part of growing up. But in some children these feelings can become excessive, and the effects may actually hinder learning and growth.
 Where these feelings become problematic is where they are not tied to reality and are persistent. It is normal for a child to have a fear that disturbs her every night for a brief phase, but if the phase does not pass soon and the fear continues for months, it becomes a problem. Meanwhile, if a child is consistently anxious about things that are not worrying or dangerous, this can be a sign of deeper disturbances and a potential for future problems.
In such cases, it is usually a good idea for parents to seek professional help for the child. Doctors trained in child psychology know how to handle these things and can offer lots of potential solutions.

When is fear normal?

In many cases, some fear is normal—for example:

·         Babies and toddlers tend to experience stranger anxiety and separation anxiety, both of which are natural developmental stages.
·         Older children are naturally afraid of the dark as well as of things that do not exist, such as monsters and ghosts.
·         Kids are naturally afraid of real things they hear about in school or on television, such as house fires, natural disasters, and serious crimes.
Fears such as these come and go through a child's upbringing, and they are mostly nothing to worry about. As long as your child is well adjusted and happy and functions well both at home and at school, these fears are perfectly normal. There can even be some fun in them; what child has not delighted in telling ghost stories with friends?

Dealing with anxiety

Anxiety is another matter. Again, some anxiety is to be expected in people of all ages. We all have things that worry us, whether irrationally or based on actual experience. In healthy people, anxiety can even help shape us in positive ways. But in kids as much as in adults, too much anxiety can become a serious mood disorder.
When determining whether your child's anxiety is normal, first consider whether the behavior fits the stage your child is in. For example, almost all babies are afraid of strangers for at least a brief period in their first or second year. Also understand that your child is likely to have more anxiety around times of transition or instability. If you are moving to a new town, for example, or if your child is starting in a new school, some anxiety is understandable.
Anxiety becomes a problem when it inhibits a child's ability to function normally. If he or she has anxiety attacks at school, if the feelings prevent her from performing her educational activities, or if the anxiety makes her seem unhappy overall, there is good reason for concern.
With both fear and anxiety, the most important thing for parents to do is try to understand. Do not belittle or dismiss your child's feelings. Instead, take them seriously, and talk about the feelings as much as possible. Learn coping strategies and try to pass them on to your child. And if everything you try fails, do not be afraid to seek professional help.
Lisa Pecos is a wife and well accomplished writer on natural remedies and natural approaches to treating newborn colic. She's written numerous articles for Natural Health, Parenting and Baby Care

Tasty Tuesday

Can we say yumtastic?! I decided to fiddle around with several recipes I found online for Blueberry Lemon Bread. 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 cup fresh blueberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 8x4 Inch loaf pan. 
  2. In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. 
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar, juice, and eggs until light and fluffy. Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk. Fold in the lemon zest and blueberries. Pour into prepared loaf pan. 
  4. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. 

Wordful Wednesday

My oh my has it been a crazy week and a half! I feel so guilty for not updating this site for awhile but I have been lost in my own little world. In August, my husband was selected for Chief and we had to  make it through 6 weeks of induction. It was a crazy time for us. My husband was almost never home and when he was, he was busy completing CPO Selectee tasks or catching up on sleep. Throughout all of this, I was left handling three kids by myself. I had so many appointments scheduled during those 6 weeks that I felt like I was living in my car.

Last week was our final week of craziness!!! Thank you Jesus! My week started off with having an early birthday party for my oldest (she turned 13). We took the kids to an indoor trampoline park then treated them to some delicious cake & ice cream. On Tuesday, my in-laws finally made it to our house after a 24-hour drive from California. Then on Wednesday, my mom drove down from the DFW with my uncle and dad who had flown in from San Diego. I literally had every room in my house occupied with a family member! The next morning, we woke up early to take my 5-year-old son to the hospital for an tonsillectomy & adenoidectomy. Boy did the timing suck but we had no other option. My son was diagnosed with a mild case of sleep apnea, so we pushed for this surgery to be done ASAP! After my son's surgery (which I told was a fairly simple surgery), his little body was so relaxed that he had a hard time waking up and his tongue kept falling to the back of his mouth. When I was finally able to see him in recovery, I couldn't help but cry. He looked so heart broke. The doctors were concerned about his breathing so they admitted him into the Pediatrics ICU. Our plans for attending my husband's pinning ceremony went out the window! My son & I stayed in ICU overnight and were not discharged until 10:30 am Friday morning. Luckily, my family (including my 2 girls) were able to attend my husband's ceremony.

It may be hard to believe but the craziness didn't stop there! Honestly, it's just entirely too much to type. LOL. The most important part is that my son is doing well now and I have my husband back at home. :) God is good!

Freebie Friday (9/7/12)

Another Friday is here! Ohhh I'm so thankful the weekend is here. I need to sleep in! How about all of you? 
Hope you all have a great weekend. :)

Tip-a-licious Thursday

Allowing Your Toddler to Explore, Safely
 By Lisa Pecos (Guest Post)

The toddler years—usually thought of as age one to age three—are an exciting time for children and parents alike. At around age one, babies come to understand that the world is full of interesting places to explore and objects to examine, and the drive to learn and experience at this age is powerful. For parents, while it is fun to watch your child explore, there is also a decent amount of worry during this time. It is the parents’ job to keep the child safe, and this can be a challenge when you have a child who wants to go everywhere and touch everything.

The importance of exploring

The one thing parents should not do is attempt to suppress their children’s drive to explore. The purpose of all this exploring is to learn, and the more exploring your child can do, the more she will learn about the world around her. In fact, numerous studies of toddler-age children have linked healthy brain development to plenty of free play time.

Meanwhile, exploring is also an important way for your child to hone his physical skills. Early on, these will include crawling, standing, walking, and manipulating objects. Later, the skills will become more specific—such as the ability to turn pages in books, the ability to open and close doors (which can be dangerous, of course), and interactive play with parents and other children.

Encouraging exploration

As soon as your child begins exploring, you may find that she is drawn to small doors, drawers, and cabinets that are open. Obviously, there will be some cabinets and doors that you will need to childproof, but you can still indulge this drive in your toddler by giving her safe cabinets, drawers, and boxes to explore. One option is to provide a toy container that is easy to open, and to give her a chance to find her toys during each play time.

Another thing to keep in mind is that children at this age want to examine a wide variety of objects. Your child will of course have a set of toys of her own (and you might provide new ones from time to time), but you do not have to limit her tactile experiences to these items. Also give her a chance to look closely at other items that are clean and have no sharp edges or small parts, such as kitchen implements, clothing items, and older kids’ toys. Use common sense when it comes to safety.

Also, do not forget the importance of outdoor activity. Very young toddlers are often perfectly content to explore indoors and may even get bored when you put them in the car seat or stroller, but there will come a time when your child starts requesting to go outdoors. When the time comes, give her plenty of opportunity to explore safe parts of playgrounds, grassy areas of parks, and other more natural areas.


Your child will soon be past the point where you need to hover over him at all times, but safety is as important as ever. In fact, while you do not need to hover, you will want to keep a close watch on your child at all times. As your child becomes increasingly mobile, he will surprise you every day with the things he can do. And if you turn your back for a half a minute, he might get into something that you did not imagine he would be able to get to.

In the second year of your child’s life, she will begin to understand not just “no” but also other commands and simple thoughts. So when she does things that are unsafe or potentially harmful to other kids, do not let it pass. Speak up, and even if she does not consistently obey you, she will understand you more and more as time passes.

Lisa Pecos is a wife and well accomplished writer on natural remedies and natural approaches to family health. She’s written numerous articles for Natural Health, Parenting and Baby Care

Tasty Tuesday

Recently I seen a program on TV about Quinoa. I did some research and found it has a lot of great benefits. Since my diet consists of mainly veggies I thought I'd try it to get some protein into my diet.
This weekend I made a pot of Quinoa and used it to make Cereal in the morning, Corn Chowder for lunch, and Stuffed Bell Pepper for dinner.

Here are some of the great benefits of Quinoa:

Protein - very rich in protein. Quinoa is a good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans because it contains all 9 essential amino acids.

Fiber -
good source of fiber with 7 g per 100 g of seeds, which is much more than brown rice, but less than for the other grains.

B-Group Vitamins -
rich source of G-group Vitamins with highest concentrations for Vitamin B6 and especially folate. It is also a good source of riboflavin, that helps maintain energy metabolism within muscle and brain cells.

Anti-inflammatory phytonutrients -
good source of antioxidants including the polysaccharides, flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol; and saponins. Quinoa also contains moderate amounts of the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

Vitamin E -
has the highest level of Vitamin E of any of the other grains for which data is available

Minerals -
Quinoa is a very rich source for Magnesium, Manganese, Iron Phosphorus, Potassium Zinc and Copper

Saturated Fat -
has very low levels of saturated fats compared with other grains.

- Quinoa is naturally gluten-free.  Quinoa flour can be used for baking cookies, breads and muffins that are gluten-free.

Low GI - Quinoa has a low glycemic index and is a good food for dieting

Quinoa Breakfast Cereal

Bring 2 cups water to a boil, add 1 cup quinoa, reduce heat, simmer 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup thinly sliced apples, 1/3 cup raisins, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and simmer until water is absorbed. Serve with milk and sweeten to taste with brown sugar.

Quinoa Corn Chowder

2 cups water                                           2 cups milk
¼ cup quinoa                                          1 tsp salt
½ cup potato, cubed                                dash black pepper
2 Tbs carrot, diced                                   ¼ cup parsley, chopped
¼ cup onion, chopped                               butter
1 ½ cups corn (fresh, frozen or canned)

Simmer quinoa, potato, carrot and onion until tender (about 15 minutes). Add corn. Bring back to boil and simmer another 5 minutes. Add milk. Bring just to a boil. Season to taste.

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Pepper 

1 cup Traditional Quinoa
2 cups Water
4 large or 6 medium  Green Peppers
1 medium Onion, diced
1/2 lb. fresh Mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp. Butter
1 - 28 oz can Tomatoes, coarsely diced (reserve juice)
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 - 12 oz jar Mexican Salsa
2 Tbs. Dry Sherry
10 oz Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

Pre-heat oven to 325° F. Cook traditional quinoa following basic directions (add 1 cup quinoa to 1 1/2 cups boiling water, return to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes). Steam 4 large or 6 medium green peppers until soft but not limp. In a large skillet, saute the onion and mushrooms in butter. Add the diced tomatoes (reserve the juice). Add the crushed garlic and Mexican salsa. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the sherry and simmer 10 more minutes. Fold in quinoa. Place peppers in baking dish and fill with quinoa mixture. This will take about half the mixture. Thin remainder with reserved juice and pour around peppers.

Sprinkle shredded mozzarella over peppers and bake in 325° F. oven for 30-35 minutes.

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