Easy Make Ahead Breakfast Ideas – Bento-box Style!

Anyone else besides me not a morning person? My wonderful children wake up every day at 5am. 5. A. M. Then they creep into our room and say those 3 famous words that every parent loves being woken up to…”Mom, I’m hungry”.

I’ve started making their breakfasts in advance and keeping them in the fridge. I love this because it’s better than cereal (my go-to breakfast most days because, again, not a morning person) and it buys me sleep. At this stage in life, I would pay for sleep. I would pay a lot of money for sleep.

I have found bento boxes to be the best thing since sliced bread when it comes to getting my kids to eat. I’m not sure what it is about the compartment thing, but they LOVE having their food separated. One of them doesn’t care to have her food touching each other, the other one is somewhat gross and mixes everything together, no matter what it is. I’ll let you figure out which is which…

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Silicone muffin liners….yes yes and yes! Everyday, and in pink, of course. Whatever makes life easier, right?Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 10.23.03 AM

This oatmeal is so yummy and only has natural sugar in it! AKA…fruit! I’ve even made the “overnight” version, which is basically putting all of the ingredients into a mason jar and let it sit in the fridge overnight to “cook”. I like actually cooking it better, but that is always an option…

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And yes, that beautiful, cute little blue egg came from one of my own Easter Eggers. I’m not getting around a dozen eggs a day from 14 chickens…and we are almost eating a dozen eggs a day as a family of 5! Does anyone want a coop tour?

I LOVE granola…and I love the way it makes the house smell when cooking! This was so easy to make! It could definitely cook longer if you like it crunchy, but I prefer it softer myself. I cannot believe I used to pay (a LOT) for my granola! This is soooooo much cheaper! It makes a ton too!

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Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 10.23.33 AMWell I hope this inspired you to make some goodness! I’m on a roll lately with videos and blogging so leave me a comment if there’s something in particular you’d like to see/read about! Thanks for dropping by!

Rainy Days, Birthday Interviews, and Chickens

Being that I am chronically behind on things, I’m just now getting around to my 4-year-old’s birthday interview. Her birthday was in February. Don’t judge. It’s rude.
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The Toddler’s 2-Year Birthday Interview
Nicknames: Almond
How old are you? 3! (for the record, she’s 2)
Favorite Color: Mommy
Favorite Toy: Phone
Favorite Fruit: Raaawwwberries (Strawberries)
Favorite TV Show: Mim-Mim (Actually it’s either Daniel Tiger or Dora)
Favorite thing to eat for lunch: Snack
Favorite Outfit: Sophia
Favorite Game: Sophia
Favorite Snack: Juit! (fruit)
Favorite Animal: Horsies
Favorite Song: Twinkle Tinkle
Favorite Book: Dance McDuffin Book(Doc McStuffins)
Best Friend: Daniel Tiger
Favorite Cereal: Mommy!
Favorite thing to do outside: Mommy Mommy Mommy
Favorite Drink: Hmmm…Water
Favorite Holiday: Hi
What do you like to take to bed with you at night: I wanna sleep with Mommy
Favorite thing to eat for breakfast: Cereal
What do you want to be when you grow up? I wanna watch Jake (and the Neverland Pirates)
Favorite season of the year: Nothin
Favorite movie: Nothin
(I think by this point the 2 year old was done with questions)
The Preschooler’s 4-Year Birthday Interview
Nicknames: LaVera
How old are you? 4
Favorite Color: Pink
Favorite Toy: The Kitchen
Favorite Fruit: Apple
Favorite TV Show: Octonauts
Favorite thing to eat for lunch: Macaroni and Cheese
Favorite Outfit: Dresses
Favorite Game: Hide and Seek
Favorite Snack: Goldfish
Favorite Animal: Horses
Favorite Song: Twinkle
Favorite Book: Sophia
Best Friend: Brooklyn
Favorite Cereal: the circle one
Favorite thing to do outside: ball
Favorite Drink: juice
Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving
What do you like to take to bed with you at night: a book
Favorite thing to eat for breakfast: pancakes
What do you want to be when you grow up? Be a Princess
Favorite season of the year: Winter
Favorite movie: Brave
Here in Virginia it’s been raining lately. Like…a lot! My poor garden is currently drowning, and I’m harvesting just as fast as I can eat my romaine and spinach before the slugs set it. I think at this point even they are drowning.
A few weeks ago, before the rain set in, I had a few days of crazy nesting energy. Our back yard has a creek in it, that looks much more like a ditch. It always has a flow of water in it, but by and large the water looked like a a black abyss that I certainly didn’t want my children playing in or around. At some point in the history of this almost 80-year-old home, someone decided to dump a large amount of trash around said creek. I have spent months slowly picking up piles and piles, and there’s still much to be cleaned up. But in those few days, I decided to do some digging. So I dug and dug and dug and dug out the ditch in order to help it flow a little better. I tried clearing some of the trash that was obstructing it (some of the trash includes rather large concrete slabs, which apparently pregnant women shouldn’t be trying to lift). A remarkable thing happened almost instantly after digging up part of the stream…the upstream cleaned itself the very next rainfall! I didn’t even have to dig! Just by clearing up some of the obstructions downstream, the rest of the stream flowed faster and easier. Sediment from upstream piled into the deep dark holes that I was previously very cautious about, and suddenly, apart from the remaining trash that still needs to be removed downstream, my ugly ditch turned overnight into a rather beautiful creek! I love mother nature! Giver her a little nurture and she’ll always do her part!
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Speaking of other things mother nature, we recently took a cast iron tub (one of the pieces of trash on our property) and created a pond out of it. I’ve been fiddling with the pH of the water for weeks now, trying to get it right before adding fish. I finally got it right enough to get some goldfish! Here’s the irony…I got them on Thursday, and on Friday I go to check on them and discover this:
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Overnight…the day after I got the fish, hundreds and hundred of tadpoles hatched. It’s ironic since I’m pretty sure the goldfish are currently snacking on them. If not, they’re starving, because they haven’t been to the surface for food since I got them. Regardless of the bad timing, I’m so excited to watch this tiny environment unfold. It’s so cool! And it’s a wonderful opportunity for the girls to learn all about nature.DSC_0700
And in chicken news, we still have 11! I’m rethinking letting them free-range, though. I don’t mind the poop nearly as much as I do them eating my blueberry bushes. I told them that. They weren’t too happy about it. And we all know who rules to the roost in this family.
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Have a great Sunday!

All Things New!

I’m so excited spring is here! I’m thrilled to finally be able to announce that we have added to our family!

IMG_2216 IMG_2218 IMG_2219These little cuties are called Red Sex Link Pullets. I got 12, anticipating that probably 1/2 of them wouldn’t make it to adulthood. But 1 week into chicken-owning and thus far all 12 are doing great! Not sure what we’ll do with them once they outgrow the bathtub, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there….very shortly.

It’s so crazy….I can actually see them grow more and more every single day.  The pictures above are from the first day we got them. 3 days later I took this picture (observe their wings):

IMG_2250Yes, I’ve named all 12. Rather, the preschooler named them, of course. There’s Tweedledee, Tweedledum, Tweety, Alice, and the rest are Aunt Sara. Not sure if that’s a compliment or an insult….but we love you Sara!

We’ve been quite busy with spring planting and cleanup around our home. Unfortunately the dead of winter revealed about 20+ years worth of trash that had been dumped onto our property that mother nature had tried to cover up. Rusted wires and tin cans, bags of trash, old tarps, concrete slabs, rusted piping, beer and soda cans and bottles, and old tires are just a few of the lovelies we’ve found. I’ve cleaned up probably as much as I’m going to cleanup for now. There’s something about cleaning up other people trash that just makes me furious. I don’t know how people can treat the environment like this, let alone their own property! It really boggles my brain.

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But after I got over being furious at some previous owner, I planted the first garden of the season! It’s off to a rather slow start, but I’ll keep you updated on if it does anything. I’m notorious for planting things and having them die off shortly before harvest time. Hopefully that will not be the case.

IMG_2186Oh! And speaking of all things new, we have some exciting news to share!

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That’s right! #3 is due in October! We are so excited about our growing family! You know…excited and petrified at the same time. Funny how often those two things go hand in hand. I’m rapping up the first trimester, which I’m trilled about! I really think that first trimester is a personality-changer. Not only does it bring the nauseousness and fatigue, but it takes me from a craft-loving, blog-loving, gardening-loving, spring-cleaning-loving person into a total couch potato who only wants to eat salted potatoes. (Thank you Lord for Netflix….and Pride and Prejudice!)

But that is just about behind me now, and now I’m transitioning into super-nesting mode! One of the biggest thrills of this pregnancy is that we’re not going to be moving in the midst of it! I’ve had to move with both previous pregnancies during my 3rd trimester….cross-country. But we’ll be here the whole time and I’m so excited for that fact!

More chickens, gardening, and children! 2016 is looking to be a very good year indeed!