Surviving Summer

“MOM! I don’t like the way he breathes!” The latest battle cry in the pain that is having kids home together all summer. Continue Reading

Quick, healthy and chemical free taco mix

I have yet to meet a child (or an adult for that matter) who doesn’t LOVE tacos. In fact, Taco Tuesday has become a “thing” in our house. It’s the kids favourite dinner night of the week.  The Old El Paso taco kits are great and super convenient, but the chemical laden ingredient list is a little frightening for this label reading mama.  My little brother to the rescue!  He gave me their recipe for taco seasoning, and it’s a win every time. Takes about 1 minute to throw together, and one recipe will get you through at least a month of Taco Tuesdays :)

Taco Seasoning Recipe:

In a glass jar, or sealable container put:

IMG_09796 tsp chilli powder

5 tsp paprika

4 1/2 tsp cumin

3 tsp onion powder (NOT SALT)

2 1/2 tsp garlic powder (NOT SALT)

1/4 tsp cayenne (but only if you like a little kick)

pinch of salt.

 

Shake up the jar and seal tightly to keep moisture out.  Add 1 – 2 tbsp of seasoning mix and enough stock to your favourite ground meat (or non-meat) to keep it moist.

I always add a can of either black or kidney beans to my meat just to keep things interesting and up the fiber :)

We use this mix in nearly all our Mexican inspired dishes. Homemade refried beans, fajitas, meat for tacos, enchiladas…. you name it.

Next time the kids ask for tacos, give this a try. Its easy, healthy and YUMMY!!

Need more recipe ideas to simplify your busy life?  Be sure to check out our other articles about recipes, planning and dealing with allergies/dietary intolerances.

Lunch ideas

Making Life a bit Simpler

Modifying for Allergies and Intolerances

 

2 Parenting mistakes made everyday

2 parenting mistakes teachers see every day.

2 Parenting mistakes made everydayAs a teacher of elementary aged children, I see it all. The hyper kids, the quiet kids, the obnoxious, the kind, the shy, the intellectual, the jock and everything in between. No matter what kind of kid you have, or kids, we all want one thing for them. For them to be happy and successful. And yet, day after day, I see parents fundamentally wrecking their children’s chances for this. Continue Reading

childcare hands

6 steps to a successful Dayhome StartUp

We often get questions and inquiries about starting a private dayhome. It is a daunting prochildcare handscess, especially as the government gives no official guidance or rules, other than you may not have any more than 6 children (not including your own) in your care at any one time.  SO, if you are looking at starting a private or independent dayhome, not accredited with an agency, here are some things to keep in mind. Continue Reading

Parenting Power

2016 is the year YOU Parent with Intention

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 11.12.32 AMThe only thing that is constant about parenting, is change. As parents, we have two options: Either be bombarded by the change and parent simply by reacting, or stop, and take some time and energy to plan how to deal with the changes. The book, A YEAR of Intentional Parenting, written by the powerhouse duo of Julie Freedman-Smith and Gail Bell from Parenting Power, helps you do exactly that. They remind us that the beginning of the year is a good time to stop and take stock of what has happened over the past year, and what is coming up.  And with the end of 2015 rapidly approaching, this book couldn’t come into your hands at a better time. Continue Reading

I'm NOT Back-to-School Shopping!

Why I’m not doing Back to School Shopping

I'm NOT Back-to-School Shopping!Once upon a time, Back-to-School meant a couple new books, some new pencils, 1 new pair of shoes and MAYBE one new outfit. Not so much anymore. With all the pressure to be “perfect mommy of 2015”, the Back to School bill can add up quickly, costing as much, if not more, than Christmas!!

4. Take kids shopping at the mall for new school clothes. Buy them each a completely new wardrobe from Gymboree and Crew Cuts. Spend $2,387.07 on your credit card. – See more at: https://www.scarymommy.com/back-to-school-the-70s-vs-today/#sthash.ZG0p0Qa1.dpuf

And I’m guilty of getting caught up in it. All the magazines and displays and commercials showing happy, smiling kids skipping off to school makes one think that back-to-school means shiny new outfits, hand shaped bento boxes and all organic food.  But maybe, maybe it doesn’t.

This year, I’m not falling for the advertising. Heck, there are even Pinterest boards dedicated to it!

https://blog.pinterest.com/en/10-most-popular-back-school-trends-2015

And my kids new school has helped. As a fundraiser, I was able to order all their school supplies, in June, with the simple click of a button. And it all got delivered to my house, labeled, in a lovely cloth, reusable bag. Maybe it cost a little more than if I had spent hours at Walmart, finding the cheapest option, but in the end, my time and mental sanity is worth more than that. And, because I wasn’t at Walmart, I didn’t get caught up in the mania!!  So now I really HAVE saved money, and time, … and sanity.

photoMy kids have drawers full of clothes. Their laundry piles are so high they fall over before getting put away. My son needed 1 new pair of shoes, so we bought those. My daughter got new runners in the spring because she had outgrown her old ones. And, taking after her mamma, she has plenty of other shoe options for outdoor shoes. They each have favourite outfits they love to wear. Outfits that already express who they are and make them happy. Is a new outfit going to add to that?  Nope.

And, it makes NO sense to buy all these warm fall clothes in September. If history serves us right, they will be wearing shorts and t-shirts and skirts for at least another month. So those crisp new jeans I would have bought them? They won’t fit anymore by the time the kids get around to wearing them!!

Instead of a day dragging them around to find each and every item on the list, and have my daughter get distracted by all that glitters and shines, we are going to have one last summer hurrah at Calaway Park with some good friends. At the end of this school year, what will they remember? The new outfit, or the memory of the fun day?  Precious memories are priceless, so THAT is what I will spend my money on.

5 things I learned about negotiating from my kids

5 things I leaned about negotiation from my kids

Note: this article was originally posted at twentyfivetwenty.ca reprinted here, obviously, with permission.

I suck at negotiating. But you know who’s really good at it? My kids. So I’ve decided to take a page from Jeff Goins and accept a mentor from an unexpected source and learn from them.

You see, as a parent, there’s this thought in your head that you are the boss. What I say goes. But in my experience, if you’ve reached the point in a negotiation where you utter the words

because I said so

you’ve already lost. Continue Reading

OUCH! That Hurts! Stop Biting in 2 Easy Steps.

Stopping toddlers from biting

Young children use their mouths to explore the world. Children usually bite people when they become frustrated in social situations and do not know how else to express themselves. It can be embarrassing for parents, and is an indication that new skills need to be taught. Continue Reading

5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Childcare Search

childcare handsAs a new parent, the thought of leaving your precious child with another, while you head off to work, is hard enough. Entering into the realm of searching for childcare is daunting, overwhelming, emotional and scary!! Feeling unsure of where to even begin, or what information you need to know, makes the process that much more emotional. Being armed with information can help reduce a great deal of the fear and uncertainty of this new stage in your life. Continue Reading

Please, anything BUT a sandwich!!

“I like sandwiches, sandwiches are fine. I like sandwiches, I eat them all the time…”   While Raffi may sing about liking sandwiches, sometimes, we just get plain tired of them.  But they are SO easy to make!  So what to do instead?

One of the alternatives that my kids love is Chicken Waldorf Salad. I have to omit the nuts for them, but I just add them back for myself :). Its a super easy way to get protein, fruits and veggies in all at once!  And with the chopped up ingredients, easy for babies who are just starting to finger feed themselves to eat as well!

IMG_0638How to make:  Chop up cooked chicken, about 2 cups, depending on how many you are feeding.

Chop up 1 -2 apples, 1-2 cups of grapes and 1 -2 stalks of celery

Mix all together in a bowl.

Dressing: 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons greek yogurt, 2 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp honey. Mix well. Pour over salad, mix all together and VOILA

The amount you see here fed 3 good sized salads.

 

If you are looking for more easy meal planning ideas, and would like one entire week DONE FOR YOU, look no further!