Tuesday, May 27, 2014

One Cleaning Tip Every Mom Should Know

Last night I was taking apart an Otter Box that belongs to my kids. Lo and behold there is red crayon all over the back of the white plastic casing. I googled how to remove it and found all sorts of answers ranging from oil to magic erasers. Finally, I decided to use one of my favorite two (very basic) house cleaning products...

Why am I blogging this? Because a lot of you are moms with young kids like me and the chances that you will encounter a similar problem are pretty good. So, here is the Otter Box with red crayon:

And here is the clean Otter Box minus red crayon. (Sorry for the crummy iPhone pics).

How did I get it clean? 

This is so simple it's silly. Just combine 1 tablespoon of baking soda with a few drops of water to make a thick paste. Use a damp cloth with some of the paste and scrub in circular motions and a few minutes later, you will have clean plastic!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Last Day of School!

I really can't believe that yesterday was the last day of school for my boys! Next year I will have a kindergartener! I can't even think about that right now!

You know what's fun?

Getting everything ready for last day of school pics for my boys minutes before they need to leave for school and realizing I DON'T HAVE CHALK!

Thankfully, Chris had some weird not-really-chalk-but-kind-of-chalk stuff that I was able to use. My handwriting looks super messy because it was really oddly shaped chalk, but hey, at least we had something! I thought I was going to have to fake write on them using photoshop!

My big five year old! It's crazy when I look back at his rough start at life and then see this picture. He has come so far and defied so many statistics. We couldn't be prouder of him!

And my sweet little three year old! He begged to go to school (I wasn't ready to send him!) and enjoyed it so much. We are so thankful for this funny little guy!

A family pic after their last day program - which, by the way, was completely and totally adorable.

Brody was front and center on the stage through the whole thing and he kept the crowd quite entertained, as only a three year old really can. Between the waving and the constant, "Hi Mommy! There's GrandDaddy!" when they were singing, he made sure everyone knew who he was!

And just like that, another year has passed!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Five

I decided to do another one of my throwback Friday Five posts about the events of the past week. 

First, I took Brayden on a date. He choose Abuelo's (he loves their cheese enchiladas) followed by Starbucks for a cake pop. We had a really great time, and Chris and Brody got to go on a date too!

This past weekend we had t-ball followed by the farmers market. I had THE BEST street tacos EVER. I mean, seriously, EVER. Chris got them too; he had chicken and I had carne asada and we shared. If you're local you have got to try them out. Food truck food for the win!

This is one of my mother's day gifts from my boys - isn't it pretty? It's an awesome charm bracelet that I LOVE.

A handful of change? Nope, this handful of change only means one thing...Sonic Happy Hour. The kids and I went one day after school this week. Oh Sonic HH, how I love you!

And what would this post be without a picture of Bodega? She is settling in nicely and loving her doggie life! She is SO sweet and adorable and we just love her to pieces!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

Happy (belated) Mother's Day!

Do you ever get your days all messed up? The kids were home today so I knew it was a Tuesday but I literally went all morning thinking it was Monday. Somehow I completely lost yesterday until I stopped and really thought about it.

I was going to post about Mother's Day on Monday but Tuesday will just have to work!

We spent Mother's Day morning at church and then joined my parents and some friends for lunch. After that we came home and Chris asked what I wanted to do. What I really wanted was to stay home, grill some burgers and clean out the kids rooms and the playroom. 

He thought I was nuts. Or joking. Or both. 

I was totally serious and so that's what we did!

Here's us at lunch:

I cleaned out TONS of stuff to donate and sell. I actually took a full carload to a place yesterday and I still have more to get rid of. It feels good to have their closets and toys cleaned out though. It's one of those things that sits around in the back of my head and bothers me until I get it done, but it's so time consuming that I knew I'd need a full afternoon to accomplish everything.

I hope everyone had a wonderful day! I know it was a difficult day for some and you were in my prayers!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Meet Our New Family Member!

Meet Bodega!

Isn't she adorable? Bodega is our new 3 month old lab puppy. We attended a charity gala on Saturday (that thing in my hair is a fascinator...it was a Kentucky Derby themed event) and one of the live auction items was an AKC registered black lab puppy. My mom decided to buy it for our boys! 

I'm not sure who was more thrilled...them or me! I finally have another girl in the house!

I've had the name Bodega picked out for a girl dog since before Chris and I got married. A friend of mine from when I was living in California had a dog named Bodega after Bodega Bay. I've always loved that name and never forgotten it.

Miss Bodega is going to be a house dog, so leave me a comment with your favorite house training tips! So far we're working on potty training and we are going to sign her up for obedience classes as well. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

15 Minute Cilantro Lime Rice & A $100 Visa GC Giveaway

Who doesn't love an easy weeknight dinner?

One thing you probably have figured out about me is that I love to cook. There are days when I spend literally hours in the kitchen fixing dinner or baking something. But equally as often I enjoy a fast, easy, yet homemade meal. Now that spring is here, Brayden's tee-ball schedule is in full swing which means less time for me to get dinner on the table.

Which brings me to the recipe I want to share with you today: Cilantro Lime Rice. It's easy to prepare, but cooking rice can be A) time consuming and B) difficult if you haven't had a lot of practice with it. I have a secret for you: something that is going to change your view on cooking rice AND make your rice based recipes simple and fast. It's called Success® Rice and it is the original no mess, no measure, boil-in-a-(BPA free!)-bag rice. It cooks perfectly every time and is done in 10 minutes. Plus? It can even be cooked in the microwave!

Success Rice comes in four varieties to suit all of your recipe needs (and P.S.: if you want even more rice recipe ideas, check out their Pinterest page here). I used the Basmati for this recipe, but it's also available in Whole Grain Brown, Jasmine and White Rice. Want to give it a try? Click here for a coupon! 

15 Minute Cilantro Lime Rice
Source: JennaBlogs.com
Yield: Serves 4-6

3 bags of Success Basmati Rice
3/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions (mostly the green part, with some of the white)
Juice and Zest of 1 lime
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and Pepper

Cook rice according to package directions, by placing bags in a pot of water, bringing it to a boil and boiling for 8-10 minutes.

Add lime juice to a bowl. Stir in cumin, salt and pepper, followed by zest. Add cooked rice. Fold in cilantro and green onions.

Serve as a side dish, or turn it into a meal by topping with marinated grilled chicken, flank steak or shrimp.

Want to win a $100 Visa gift card? 
Leave me a comment telling me what you're going to cook up using Success Rice!

Sweepstakes Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
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  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 5/5-5/31.
Be sure to visit the Success Rice brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Friday, May 2, 2014

The End of Nap Time {I Need Your Advice}

My boys are now 5 and 3 (where has the time gone?!) and we have been in this sort of transitional stage for a bit. Brayden, my oldest, hasn't been a fan of nap taking in general for about the last year and a half, while Brody was still taking one a day for about and hour and a half.

Now, neither boy naps unless there are extenuating circumstances (they've just been at my parents house, we've been on vacation, they're sick, etc).

Some of my twitter friends with older kids have said that they still let their kids play quietly in their rooms in lieu of naps, while others have said that once they stop napping, they don't go to their rooms at all during the day.

In our house, we have a playroom downstairs and their bedrooms are upstairs. I've been having them go into their rooms but they can play quietly or watch a show. About every other day I let them go into Brody's room together (where they are supposed to play quietly but that really doesn't happen).

For those of you with kids that are past napping age, what do you do? How did you transition them from nap time to play time? Do they still have a quiet time in their rooms each day?
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