Adventure, Motherhood

Talk about it Tuesday: Backyard Snake Hunter

If anyone has ever raised boys or just brave adventurous children it is quite common for those children to develop a sense of invincibility. Most of the time they are dare devils who will seek out the thrill that a lot of people tend to stray away from. My middle son is my little dare devil. He has no fear and that is good to some degree, but there is a limit that this mom has for danger.
My boy has a knack for climbing what ever he can find worth climbing, jumping from tall heights off of furniture around the house or outside playground equipment, he is not afraid of much and even if he is afraid he soon conquers his fears. Although seemingly fearless there are those creepy crawlies that he fears but of all of the creepy slithery things he loves playing with snakes! The only snakes on our Iowa property have been harmless garter snakes the kind that eat worms, frogs, mice or bird eggs so I am not worried that they are dangerous to him. However a snake is a snake and I don’t want my 4 year old playing with snakes!
However boys will be boys. Earlier today similar to another time this boy comes running inside the house from playing outside in our fenced in back yard. He comes running inside and boy did he have a story to tell! I can always tell its a doozy of a story because he starts by saying “So! Let me tell you about it!” It being the thing he comes running excitedly inside about. He tells me that he put a snake in a bucket and that I need to come see it, Now! I let him out side for about 10 minutes and he could only be outside with our family dog because that dog is an alarm and will sound off when anyone walks past any part of our house. Anyways we walk out expecting to see a live snake but I would have to say how proud I was when he informed me that it was dead because the dog killed it.
Why am I proud? Well because the last time his story involved a snake he was holding that live slithering thing in his hands! Slinging it around the yard chasing his less enthused older brother.
He is quite the adventurous boy possibly too adventurous at times!

Have you had a similar experience?
Any fun stories?

I am not terrified of snakes otherwise I might have fainted. I tend to toss them over our fence weekly due to our dog hunting them then ending their slithering lives. He is a terrier and I love that we have our little hunter at times but there are just so many snakes to be had; I wish there weren’t so many sometimes.
I can only imagine the neighbors watching me from their windows tossing snakes over the fence (not toward them of course), what crosses their minds?

I hope to share many other fun stories about our life raising wild boys and other fun family stories that cross our paths in our life adventure! Thanks for reading, drop a like below, & follow my blog! Stay tuned in for more posts coming soon.

Meal Time, Motherhood

3 Reasons Why I Ditched My Coffee Maker

Photo by Marina Sirazetdinova on Pexels.com

A morning for me isn’t complete unless I have something to wake my mind up a bit; enter coffee! I used to be one of those people who used a coffee maker who had it so much more simpler; or so I thought. I would plug in my coffee maker or Keurig depending on the mood and wait patiently for my morning cup of get up and go to brew. It was so easy but it wasn’t good for me; so I quit!
I made that choice to live with a little less in my life I kicked the coffee maker to the curb and tossed my Keurig along for the ride as it had gotten a little snobby for my liking. I was done with those devices but I still longed for that brewed morning cup of wake the heck up. I knew what I had to do. I now make a much more simpler cup of coffee that has many reasons and I thought I would share them with you then I will continue on with how I do things now.

Reason #3

In todays world everything in the United States at least and a lot of other countries have taken the easy route in how we do pretty much anything. There’s really no doing things like they were done hundreds of years ago not by a lot of people that is. Especially when it comes to making coffee. You used to have to brew it over an open flame, then we moved on to brewing it on the stove top. Those just weren’t fast enough for the pace that we humans were moving at and needed that caffeine kick quicker; enter the coffee maker which brewed coffee not only faster but better and it even came with a little more precision than the old ways. After the simple coffee maker there were some other devices mixed in there but ultimately next came the Keurig and boy was that a game changer especially for us folks at home! If you have the extra money to throw around and coffee is something you won’t live with out then by all means go out and buy one but they are expensive. My first reason in this little count down at reason number 5 to ditch the coffee maker/Keurig is because of price; and I don’t mean the price of just the machine there is the up keep of the machines as well. What if it breaks and you need a replacement part or need to clean it as they do get gunked up believe it or not. You don’t want to be drinking mold, right? On top of maintenance and machine upkeep you have to think about how much those little pre-packaged containers of coffee cost for your little coffee drinking experience. That Keurig will empty your bank account with out a sweat and it brews coffee!

Reason #2

Just think what you could do with more counter space! What if you had an extra spot on you counter that wasn’t taken up by a machine that really could be replaced with something of greater value and use? Think of the possibilities! One of the reasons that I ditched my coffee making machines was because I didn’t need to make room for something that wasn’t 100% necessary. I could use that precious space for something else, something better. Short, Sweet, and To The Point!

Reason #1

Suppose you were to lose power and you don’t happen to have a back up generator or if you do your surely not going to waste that precious power source to use a coffee maker instead you conveniently have an option that would work with or without the need for electricity. Relying on electricity fully is great and all but what happens when the lights go out? Using an alternative way to make coffee just saves you the heartache when it comes to a situation like that.


There they are my three reasons for ditching my coffee maker; but I know you are asking well how do you brew your coffee? Well it is really quite simple and my reasons are done listed above for why I do it this way. I simply boil some water in a tea kettle (that could also be boiled over a fire with out electricity) anyways boil the water in the tea kettle on the stove top then pour that boiling hot water directly over a metal mesh basket with a coffee filter that is filled with my favorite coffee of choice (Folgers). I can brew up as much as I want directly in my mug then I simply wash it all up and put away for easy storage.

How do you make your coffee?
Would you consider ditching your coffee maker?


Thanks for reading my post and for checking out my blog. Drop a like below and follow my blog if you enjoyed this post and don’t forget to check out some of my other posts!

Motherhood

5 Things About Stay at Home Parents

Being able to see the world from someone else’s perspective is something we as people cannot even begin to imagine until we are given the opportunity to do so by seeing it ourselves or even by reading it with our own eyes. When you wake up in the morning and gather yourself its always going to be different from what someone else will do. It can never be the exact same experience as another.

A single day for me is a whole lot different now than what it was a year ago and I am sure it can be different for others as well as our lives are always changing from day to day. As a person who used to have a job to go to work at everyday who now does a different form of work by staying home as a stay at home parent kind of changed my perspective. I no longer have that rush of going to an actual work building sure, however it is kind of the same in some ways. Even though I don’t leave my home or even log in to a computer for a stay at home job I still am doing a job; and at times it is a tough job to do.

5 Things That People Should Know About Being a Stay at Home Parent

  1. It may not be a traditional job where you clock in and out but it is a job; a hard one at that. I know we’ve all heard it before staying at home as a stay at home parent is a job too but sometimes I feel like it is taken too lightly because it’s just as hard but in different ways. Last year I worked in a kitchen at a school and before that I worked in a hospital cleaning and doing laundry. I have worked many other hard working jobs before those as well and when I compare them all to staying at home with my own kids here’s how it comes out.
    * Both require my full undivided attention.
    * Both will wear you out and then some.
    * Stay at home parents are doing a natural job that usually never ends unless they are given a break occasionally. At most jobs you eventually go home for a break but not for all of them.
    * Although unlikely the shit will literally attempt to hit the fan while at home at times especially those of us with small children… and fans! If this happens at a work place I would look for a new job unless you are in that business of course!
  2. Stay at home parents get the opportunity of being a jack of all trades even if they didn’t plan on it. Staying at home more has allowed me to just expand this ability because being a parent in general gave me all sorts of tasks to accomplish kind of making me and expert at some of the jobs the world has to offer. I am an on call doctor at times; a personal chef always; most days I am a teacher of all sorts of things; & sometimes I even get to try out being an actress… not that I am the greatest or anything. I have worked in all sorts of jobs but none can ever prepare you for a single day at the amusement park of a stay at home parent. There is always something unexpected good and bad.
  3. It’s a given that a stay at home parent is well home pretty much all of the time and that is just a reward on its own even if it doesn’t feel like it some days. Being able to be home more with your kids gives you that bond or the ability to create a special bond with your kids that you would have otherwise missed. As a mother to three wonderful little boys who are always rambunctious, wild, & sweet it can be hard to grab a moment with each of them on their own well that is if I were working outside the home and really more time with the older boys as I am constantly with the baby most of the time. Before I found that I was feeling disconnected from them at times because of school and work. When we all got home there was a short amount of time together before bed as everyone was wore out most days. Then of course there was the weekends but they didn’t want to spend those at home because they missed going to the grandparents houses so then they weren’t home that much then either. Now that I am home these days I have been able to connect more with them and find that I have more energy when my oldest comes home from school in the afternoons and feel much less sluggish or tired. I have been able to spend more one on one time with both of the older boys and the baby of course. I am loving this so much!
  4. Being at home more does have its wonders and rewards but sometimes it brings in other feelings relating to stress and sadness. Feelings of hopelessness and sadness are not going to skip over people because of professions or who that person is. It doesn’t matter who you are because things like stress and depression happen to everyone. Here’s the thing you shouldn’t feel any shame in it either! While these feelings can hit anyone at anytime they will effect people who are closed off from other people or who spend a lot of time alone. I know this because I have suffered from a lot of dealings with depression and stress. The depressive feelings tend to happen more when I am not really in contact with other people besides my kids or husband I believe this is because people need to have connections with other people. Even if you are not in a person to person conversation with another person out side of your home and it is just typing on the computer that conversation alone can help out someone dealing with depressive feelings a lot. It can be very easy for someone who is at home as a stay at home parent to close themselves off or even just feel closed off from the rest of the world. This can mess with your mind a bunch and just imagine only being able to have conversations with children for most of your days and possibly yourself. I am lucky enough to be able to get on my computer or my phone and talk to people so that this doesn’t happen to me as much. There are people that don’t have this kind of luxury even if that seems strange and I also count myself lucky to have a husband who is someone who I can talk to because some spouses for others would not do the same. Being home all day long with kids can drive you up a wall believe me and I love those little faces so much but sometimes I just need a break or someone to talk to to help tame those feelings that sometimes creep up. Some days I overcome them with victory and others I do not but even though I fail at overcoming them sometimes I still have some way to connect with someone else. Keep this in your minds before you judge a person who stays home whether they are a stay at home parent or at home for some other reason because the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
  5. This full time job of staying home all day everyday with our children some of us homeschooling others just home until they can go to school anyways we all work hard and even if we complain a little bit we still do this job. This stay at home gig, job, task; whatever you call it doesn’t pay a darn thing and it never will. We stay home everyday, feed our kids and ourselves everyday, keep up on housework everyday, clean up mess after mess all hours of the day and night, kiss boo boo’s and make little tummies feel better when they don’t feel well at all, we push our bodies to the max and then some more, we stand strong and try our hardest even when it feels like all of our hard work is collapsing around us; this full time job never ends and it may never get easier but we will continue to work this job because without us it just doesn’t work for our families otherwise. It’s what we do.

Thanks for reading my post and checking out my blog! Drop a like below and follow me on social media. Stay tuned for more posts coming soon.

Adventure, gardening, Meal Time, Motherhood

Long Term Storage: Food and Everything Else

If 2020 has taught anyone anything its that being prepared is something that is very much needed. I hadn’t really gotten very far in the past when attempting to store food long term or even as a rotating pantry that was big enough to last a long time if needed. After witnessing first hand not having the food my family needed during a time when food was scarce and some even hard to find such as meats or meat products especially those that are typically used in long term food storage. During that time when stores were near empty and this unknown virus at the time was lurking everywhere it seemed I became afraid. I had never been put in a situation like that where I had to ration food for my family. There was that lurking question, What if we can’t get more? Or What if we don’t have money to buy more?

Those are not questions that I had ever had to face as it was always there. I remember more than a few times where my husband and I had to make the decision not to eat or not to eat as much during this time because our kids needed it more than we did. We would do anything for them including starve because we can take it and that is just the kind of thing you do as a parent for your kids. It was at this moment when I realized how foolish we had been in our spending over the years and would need to change them in the future that was if things ever started to feel normal again. Lucky for us it has started to feel normal again and I know that this is not a feeling that everyone is feeling I mean normal will never be the same again and the normal we feel now is different of course.

Rotating Pantry Vs. Long Term Food Storage

It is important to prepare; that is one big thing I learned just a few months ago and that is exactly what we have been doing with whatever extra funds we have. We are preparing for the winter firstly then plan to continue preparing for the future. For our pantry it is planned to be a rotating pantry that is kept well stocked with foods that we will use everyday but replenished so that we have them on hand when needed. What do I mean when I say rotating pantry? Well that is basically a pantry that is constantly being used up and replenished by using up the older stuff first. The stuff closer to expiring should be used first then so on after that. Then you would buy whatever was used up to replace it in the pantry.

On top of a rotating pantry I am creating a long term food stockpile by using Mylar bags to store items such as dry beans, rice, flour, oats, ect. I suggest that when or if you choose to store food in Mylar bags you do extensive research on what you can store and how to do it properly so that it doesn’t go bad in the Mylar bags. I am not a professional at all and am just sharing with you what I have done and will share future updates on how they all turned out. For me I used 5 mil sized Mylar 1 Gallon bags and a plain old iron to seal up the bags and 1000cc oxygen absorbers to take the oxygen out of the bags. The recommended oxygen absorber for a 1 Gallon Mylar bag is 300cc-500cc I believe I ordered the 1000cc because I had a hard time finding the others and so that’s what I got. Now even though I got a much larger absorber means it will work just fine but I would have been fine with a 500cc as well. No big deal as it will do the job it needs to do!

Above are the bags I put together recently I did several bags of various types of dry beans and some bags of Jasmine rice as well. On each of them I made sure to label what the contents of each were with a black permanent marker and then wrote the date I packaged them up. Even though it may sound a bit funny on the beans I also wrote that they will need to be checked for rocks before using as usually you will find small pebbles that look like beans in with the actual beans. It is always better to be safe rather than break a tooth or worse!

How did I do this whole process of packaging and sealing them up?

  1. Well first I took each 1 Gallon bag and set it in a pitcher like the pictures below.
  2. Next I carefully poured each type of food I was storing in this case each type of beans in the correct bag in increments of 3-4 lbs. in each bag. I stored black beans, 16 bean soup, & pinto beans. Then of course a few bags of Jasmine rice as well.
  3. I sealed each bag with a hot iron on the edge of my table. (You can use a wooden board for this as most people do this but I figured this would work for me as I did not have a spare board lying around). I made sure to leave a space big enough to put the oxygen absorbers in later for the final sealing. I set them all aside for them to patiently wait until I was ready for that very last step of final sealing them.
  4. I made up 10 bags of food in Mylar bags, this is important because this was the amount of oxygen absorbers in one pack. I would be able to use all of the absorbers in that one pack so none was wasted because I do not have a canning jar to seal them in to keep them fresh for longer.
  5. For that last step I set up each bag in a tote and made sure each had that opening meant for the oxygen absorber opened enough to quickly put it in then seal it up when I set my timer, because you have roughly about 15 minute to get them in the bags and sealed up before they are useless. Note: to make sure they are good to even use check the pack for an indicator that should still be pink as ever package of oxygen absorbers should have an indicator sealed inside with them to tell if they have been compromised or are still good to use. Pink is good white is not!
  6. Once I got them prepped I started the timer and went to town placing the oxygen absorbers in each first then grabbing each bag to finish the seal with a hot iron. I sealed the bags on both sides to make sure they were sealed and to double check I checked each seam just to be sure. The whole process to add the absorbers and to then seal each of the 10 bags only took about 6 minutes.
  7. For best results I will be storing them in a tote that is a solid color with a lid. To keep the light out in our basement which will also be great because it is naturally dark, cool, and dry.

    You want to make sure that when storing food it is sealed in some container to keep bugs out, that it is somewhere cooler to keep it from spoiling, and also that it is not somewhere that will get wet or where there is moisture even if the food is sealed in Mylar. Always take precautions because it could mean the difference between starving and not starving some day!

Setting Up a Rotating Pantry

My family has been fortunate to be able to purchase some Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers for longer food storage but it is not required. They are a bit expensive and a lot of places were starting to go out of stock and weren’t expected to get them in anytime soon at least the correctly thickened ones that are meant to last a long time. As there are different sizes of thickness for Mylar bags that effect the ability for the bag and product inside to last for longer and shorter time frames. The recommended thickness is at least a 5 mil or higher as they tend to give the longer storage times versus a lower thickness of a bag. They will hold up better and will keep their seal when they are thicker. I got all of my Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers from a combination of stores Pack Fresh USA and Discount Mylar Bags; I would recommend going directly through these companies rather than through Amazon because you would be in direct connection with the company selling to you rather than through another party. I find this to be the best way to do any kind of shopping for stuff like this.

I have done lots of research even before covid happened I had started this process before just never finished it well never really got going just learned about it through research. I have gotten a late start to this now and I think a lot of people have; so let me make something clear Mylar bags are not a necessity and you shouldn’t feel like you have to do food storage quick at the moment at least. Right now during this time where stores are restocking and people are calm is the time to build a food stock pile or rotating pantry nice and easy. No need to panic buy or rush.

Panic buying will only drain your bank/funds and leave you with nothing or possibly very little depending on when you do your panic buying which is usually at the very last minute possible when things have turned for the worse. Pretty much three months ago for a lot of people including myself. Instead be smart about your food purchases so by that I mean whenever you get your regular groceries grab some extra stuff that you don’t need and this should not be limited to food think about all of the things you need on top of food to make your lives easier like soaps, dishwashing detergent, laundry soap, feminine products, diapers, wipes, sanitizer, cleaning products, medications, and so much more! Just when you can grab a little extra when you are shopping and over time you will be surprised on how much you can accumulate by doing this. I suggest that you shop clearance items and if you are able to freeze things grab extra dairy products or meats and freeze them. You could even learn how to can food but that is if you can find the equipment needed for canning as of lately it has been quite scarce. You should figure up how much you and your family will need for at least a 3 month span then start accumulating that amount of extra stuff and food. Then after that continue to at least 6 months.

Other Things to Think About

So now you have established a plan and possibly started accumulating your Rotating Pantry now what? Well there are some things that you should think about which kind of ties into when I previous talked about storing food in Mylar bags it is sort of the same for any form of food pantry like storage. Where and how are you going to store your pantry and household items? This place should be dark, cool, & dry and free from insects or rodents if possible. If you do have insects or are worried about items be sure to place the items that would be vulnerable to damages into airtight lidded containers that are a hard plastic. Items such as boxed pastas, instant potatoes, or anything that would sustain damage from moisture, light, heat, insects, or rodents should be placed inside such containers. And then of course store these items so that they are easy to rotate so I would recommend organizing them for sure instead of just tossing them in a tote. This will be my next thing I need accomplish in my pantry when I can get all of the storage totes that I need to get that is.

Food and household items are very important things to stock up on but there are other must haves to think about. For instance if you have pets or other animals you need to think about keeping a food source open and readily available for them long term. You should also think of how you would provide clean water not only for them but for you and your family as well. A way to sanitize and clean your water so it will be drinkable is just as important as having a food plan. Then if you have animals depending on you as well as a family you need to think about how to accomplish this whether you get a water filtering system, invest in rain barrels for water collection from rain/snow, or if you invest in some sort of purification plan from other sources. There are a lot of ways to obtain fresh clean water you just need to figure out what will work best for your family and any animals you have!

Now what if a scenario happens that forces you to utilize your food pantry & water system for purification but the power goes out. What would be your plan for a power shut down? Most people depend on electricity in there homes to survive in these modern times but it would be wise to have a back up plan if the power grid were to shut down suddenly. A generator would be something to invest in but one with enough power to power items such as freezers and refrigerators’ or AC units and other important items that run on power. With this being something that would help keep freezer running which are important for my family because it preserves some of our food I would suggest a solar powered generator. Stocking up on enough fuel to run a gas powered generator long term seems like it may not be the right choice since a power grid outage would also effect surrounding business such as gas stations and fuel is a resource that would have to be replenished once it ran out. It would be very unpredictable to assume that you would always have access to a gas station in the future if something like this scenario ever happened in real life. Unless the sun all of a sudden goes out of commission you would have the best luck with a solar generator along with proper knowledge of how one works ect.

Speaking of knowledge being able to accumulate knowledge both in your head and in a physical book will be of great value because a book will generally last longer than the internet. The more knowledge you fill your mind with now will be able to help you in times that may happen later on when that knowledge isn’t readily available to learn at that time. Maybe you print off information from the internet, buy books, or simply copy from the internet or books by long hand if you don’t have access to a printer and also cannot buy books. There are tons of ways to accumulate knowledge but definitely worth investing in it in the end.

Finally one of the last things that is important to think about in preparing for just in case scenarios in this post is that you should make yourself familiar with growing your own food some way and all of the knowledge needed to not only grow your food but to also preserve it and keep it going year after year. It would be wise to learn this skill even if you just have a few plants in containers growing on a porch or if you have a full on farm with animals and crops. Being able to grow/raise your own food will be valuable if you ever ran into future scenario where food was scarce again not only for eating but also as a way to barter for other items that you may need and don’t have. You should not leave any stone unturned when it comes to learning new skills and preparing for the future just in case something like what happened just months ago happens again or much worse! Get prepared!


Thanks for reading my post and checking out my blog! Drop a like below and follow my blog for future posts. Check out some of my other posts why you are here and follow me on social media. Stay tuned for more posts coming soon!

Meal Time, Motherhood, Review

Misfits Market Future Review Update

In my review of Misfits Market I mentioned I would be trying out the smaller box to be able to compare the large box vs the small box. While I would love to do this and was super excited to give another unboxing and comparison I will not be able to do this myself. Unfortunately I found out I am allergic to mangoes and mangoes came in my box this time and from what I can tell there are mangoes in this upcoming box for this week as well; I also need to take into consideration that they may cross contaminate other fruits when packing the boxes by touching the mangoes so for these reasons I will not be able to do the second part of my Misfits Market review. I may see if I can buy it and have someone else unbox it for me and try out the contents of the box but I may not depending on whether it is worth the time and effort. I loved this box service and would have liked giving that second part of the review for sure but safety first.

Note: I am okay I didn’t know that I was allergic to mangoes prior to eating them so it was a surprise. It was a delayed reaction and not a life threatening one so no worries there; however I will share something that I did not know.

Mangoes are in the same plant family as cashews, pistachios, poison oak, poison ivy, & poison sumac. If you have allergies to any of those above mangoes are probably not something you should tango with. The toxin that causes the allergy is Urushiol. I happen to be allergic to cashews, poison ivy, & peanuts and now I guess mangoes as well. I thought I would share this with you because I did not know this and it could have been worse than what I ended up having which was just a reaction on my lips/mouth area. It feels awful but it is manageable!

If you are one of the lucky ones with no food allergies I encourage you to check Misfits Market out they are a great company! Thanks for reading. Drop a like below and share this bit of information about mangoes as it is not a well know fact at least its not in Iowa!

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homeschooling, Meal Time, Motherhood

Raddish Kids

Being home for most of this year has brought so many great companies & products into our families lives. I am always on the look out for new activities and teaching fun to do with my kids. I want all of my boys to be able to be independent and take care of themselves eventually with out help. One of my goals for this year is to teach them at least the older two how to cook and fix some of their own meals. I will of course cook most of their meals being their mom but I also want them to feel comfortable in the kitchen and comfortable making some of their own snacks or meals as well. I recently came across a pretty neat company that helps kids achieve just that independence.

Raddish Kids

Join Raddish Today. A cooking club for kids.Raddish is a cooking club for kids. The kitchen is the tastiest place to learn!

Raddish Kids is a monthly cooking club that teaches kids of all ages how to cook with confidence in the kitchen, either with help of an adult if they are not quite old enough or by themselves if they are ready to move to the next level in their journey in cooking. While keeping kids ages 4-14+ in mind Raddish creates and sends out monthly cooking kits that help learn all about the kitchen and the many different recipes that can be created.

How does it work?

Save $15 on a 6 month membership

  1. First things first you will need to “Join the Club” by choosing your monthly subscription rate. You can choose from three different options as far as billing is concerned: Monthly, 6 Months, and 12 months. Each with their own set of perks of course! The monthly priced kit is $24 and includes everything in the kit that would normally ship you can add an apron on for purchase but it is not included in this option they are $15 each with a max of 4.); however the 6 months option adds on a sweet perk with a free apron for the first box added into the mix (I will explain why this is so cool in a minute). The 6 month option is also quite neat because the price per box drops down to $22 (that is $132 paid up front; with a savings of $12). If you want to save $4 more per box and still get that free one time apron in the first box try paying for a while 12 months at a time as you will pay a cool $20 per box. (This option totals $240 up front which in the end saves you $48).
  2. Now you have got you kits all tidied up and they will be shipping out to you shortly what is it that you will be expecting? Every kit includes of course the monthly cooking kit, some digital recipes and activities, as well as a great online community through Raddish Kids many social media platforms and website! Each kit has its own theme for each month it is sent out; which means specialized recipes for each one of those boxes surrounding the theme. How cool is that? I thought it was pretty cool and wanted to share it with you, because why not!
  3. Remember those aprons I talked about earlier? Well here’s what is so cool about them. Your apron is a place to hold all sorts of memories as you create amazing recipes with your family through your journey in the kitchen but it also is a special badge holder of sorts. Each cooking kit sends a special badge (patch) that you can sew or attach to your apron as a keepsake. You get to have something that ties a bond of sorts to each apron kind of like a little trophy of what you have accomplished. Also included in every kit you will receive the neat badge, some recipe cards, new culinary skills, and a new kitchen tool to help you on your journey for the current recipe or any others you come across in the future. Your kit will always be different as kits never repeat so don’t worry about filling out your very own cookbook because your readers won’t get tired of creating those fun recipes you have collected for your book!

What are you waiting for?

Join the club. The Raddish monthly kits are great for family fun & learning. They will give you and your little ones a new connection with your kitchen so go check out Raddish Kids, your kitchen adventure awaits!


Thanks for reading my post! I hope you enjoyed, don’t forget to drop a like below and follow me on social media. Stay tuned for more posts on the way soon!

Motherhood

The Long Pause

You probably have noticed quite a long pause in posts on my blog I believe its been a week maybe longer; I apologize that content came to a sudden halt. My family and I have been dealing with a lot of family issues with one of my sons and came to a not so great conclusion in a huge decision for our family in 2020. Everyone is alive and well, so don’t worry.
Not that I owe any sort of explanation but rather that I want to share some of the things we have been going through in hopes that someone out there is going through something similar and maybe it helps them and maybe they can help me by knowing your not alone!
My oldest son is 6 years old, he is a great kid and a great brother; but for 6 years he and our family have been battling what feels like a monster that you want to just hide away and never speak of it to anyone. He has behavioral issues and other issues that seem uncontrollable at times for him. It has been having a huge impact on our family as of lately especially me as his mother.
We recently decided that for safety concerns due to this virus we would be homeschooling our two older boys at home this school year. It has been going great and I haven’t really had any problems except the occasional temper tantrum but nothing close to everything else that has been going on with our family. And for that I am thankful. I have enjoyed the time I have had teaching them both and really wish I didn’t have to make this hard decision to hopefully help take away some of the stress I have been under outside of school hours.
Our 6 year old sees his therapist and a behavioral specialist every week multiple times at that and he is currently in between medications as we are having a hard time finding the one that works for him. We were really hoping that he could live without such things (medication) but it has been complete hell lately and everything we are trying as parents is not working for him. We are currently switching psychiatrists and during our time in this limbo it has been advised to us that he would do better back in a physical school. I am at odds with myself about it; I am terrified to send him to a place we specifically have avoided but when I weigh out the pro’s & con’s of the situation, I have decided that I am more terrified of the person he could become if we are unable to get him under control. I as his mom am angry with myself because I am having the most trouble with him and I cannot do it right or well enough to fix it. It pains me to even consider sending him back to a school building with covid in existence the way it is but when it is weighed out I feel it is worth trying because we have since failed to fix it.
In this last week I have had to come to the conclusion that it is not our faults as parents because we are trying to help him, we are doing everything we can do for him, and we are going through it with him. I will not allow myself to feel like crap about this decision because we haven’t given up and we haven’t not tried because we have. This battle that we as parents are facing is scary but I can only imagine what him as a 6 year old is facing. He cannot control himself half of the time and to not know what is causing it to happen or why he is like this must be hard to wrap his mind around. We are braving this monstrous storm together and hopefully we will find some light in the lining of the clouds in our path, even if its just a glimmer of light.
In other news I still plan to do homeschooling for my preschooler at home and work with him on preparing for Kindergarten. I would like to continue homeschooling with him and eventually our youngest when he reaches school age as I have really come to enjoy it just as my 4 year old has. In the state of Iowa it is not mandatory to do preschool for homeschooling as the ages seen for schooling requirements doesn’t even start until age 6. Which is first grader age but I would like to try to continue working with him to prepare for his grade ahead.
In our situation I can do many things a lot of nonsense worrying and I can pray. I can pray to my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ; that I know he has our family in his hands. That he knows what is best for us. That he has got this! I cannot do anything but pray and do my absolute best to follow guidelines from the schools and just use my commonsense in this situation.

Has anyone else gone through something similar?
Any advice?

Thanks for reading my post, thank you for your patience during our long pause. Drop a like below and follow my blog. I am writing more posts and will be releasing them very soon so stay tuned for them!

Motherhood

4 Tips To Help Deal with Stress

Sometimes you just have to take a step back and take that deep breath because parenting isn’t going to go as planned most of the time. I get pushed to my breaking point quite frequently raising rambunctious little boys. Screaming, yelling, & chaos is our normal. Always loud. Someone is always doing something involving noise; I often feel relief I have all boys because how on earth would a little lady fit into all of the boy! I guess I always pictured a quiet and shy little girl if I ever did have a girl.
Lately I feel as if I am on my last nerve. My boys mostly my oldest have been testing my patience and just seeing how far they can push their luck. Mom feels like the bad guy most of the time as dad can get away with being the bad guy no problem for them but when I am the bad guy that is just the end of their little worlds. He yells at them and they do what is expected; they give him respect. My question is; where is mine? You got me I feel a tad bit jealous.
Isn’t that okay though? To feel jealous at times when I as their mom can’t seem to get down to their level. Dad can just swoop in and get them to follow what he says no fights and if there is yelling, its cool. I want that, that respect. I have to yell and scream and just lose my mind completely to get their attention; unless I let them just run wild that is. That won’t be good for anyone.
I love my wild little guys and I love that they have chaos and that they are noisy but some days I want it to be easy…well easier. I guess I am dreaming as it is never ever easy for anyone. It’s meant to be difficult; but wouldn’t it be nice? I know that I am not alone in that mind set, I just can’t be!
Right now when I am writing this it is almost 10 PM and those little bodies are still wound for sound. I have been arguing back and forth since 7 PM three hours ago that it was time for bed. I have implemented no TV tonight due to bad behavior earlier this evening; safe to say it didn’t go over very well! I know I am the mom but sometimes I feel lost. Sure there isn’t any schooling for us tomorrow since today is Friday but even if there was this would still be a battle. I feel sort of bad to be writing this at the moment glancing over to check on the baby keeping him in my reach and then to make sure the other two are safe patiently waiting for dad to return from work. I have just had it this week, this month really. At this point when nothing is working I have decided to just sit back and take that deep breath. I mean a real deep breath! After all mom needs to be taken care of too!
Sometimes you need to close out all the chaos and noise. You need to relax a little bit. Those times when I feel like hiding from my children or letting go of the reigns even if for a minute or two. That is what I am feeling tonight and that is okay! If anyone else out there feels this way I would enjoy hearing that I am not the only one who feels this way. Anyone?

So there you have it my thoughts for the evening! If I could share any tips with you about what I do when I feel this way these would be the ones. Here are 4 tips I have learned to use to deal with stress:

  1. First when I feel like I am at my breaking point; I take that break, I take that moment, & darn right I take that extremely long deep breath! Nothing helps me more to relax quicker than to stop and get out of that moment I was in and take a breather.
  2. Second if that breather still didn’t do it for me, next I would take a walk. Walk away if I can. If my husband was home with me; I would escape for a while. Of course if he’s not here like now that wouldn’t be an option. I would then try to find some other way to get some sort of exercise. Cleaning or walking around the house. Seems like getting my blood pumping in a positive way other than yelling helps out quite a bit.
  3. The third thing I would try would be turning on some tunes. Listening to some music is a great way to relieve some stress. Kind of like a deep breath for your brain. My kids think it is for them; they stop there target practice on me and join in for some relaxation. I turn it up and it just helps calm everyone down.
  4. This next way may not be your cup of tea but it sure is mine. Maybe I need to do some screaming at this point if all the other ways are working. Scream, yell, break something release some built up stress. My kids do this all the time so why can’t I do it too? Exactly! You could try one of those stress balls if you really wanted to, but where is the fun in that. I often picture in my mind how my kids would react if I just started acting like them. Giving them a big tantrum and flailing around the way that they do when they are out of control. Wishful thinking that they might finally be on my level but I know they would more than likely join in with me; wouldn’t that be a mess.

Thanks for taking the time to read through my post. If you are ever feeling this way; maybe it’s not about kids but something else that is really stressing you out. I think that it is worth trying some of the above tips to try to bring that stress level down. I mean it sure is worth trying. Do you have any tips? Feel free to comment them down below.

Thanks for reading my post, drop a like below and follow my blog. Also follow me on social media. While your here check out some of my other posts!

Motherhood

My Top 3 Must Have Baby Products

Today I thought I would share some great products that have been life savers for our family, literally! (This is not a sponsored post)

1) Our newest little guy was born this past February he was born at 34 weeks gestation and has had pretty mild issues considering being born premature. Like my other two boys he has had quite a lot of trouble with re-flux, well actually a lot! Definitely more than my older boys. He has been on re-flux medications for the past 3 months and for the most part that has been working but sometimes it doesn’t. I am a firm believer in the nasal bulb syringe; I don’t go anywhere with out it. The only issue with the ones you get from the hospital is that they can be very difficult to keep clean and when you think you have got it good you question your self because you cannot see inside…at least I do. After a recommendation from my sons doctor to get one of those nosefrida’s I spent quite a lot of time researching it and reading reviews. I wasn’t convinced that the Frida Baby brand was for us, so I dug deeper. Upon reading reviews about the nosefrida I found a diamond in the rough NeilMed’s Naspira Plus. I read through reviews and took the plunge; I love it! It works great and the tip is smaller so it doesn’t cause as much discomfort for my little guy. It is easier to get the nasal passages clear as well. It has the bulb syringe part that has the removable tube that connects together and best of all they are both see through for easy cleaning. I feel a lot better knowing that I can use it with and without the tube as well so I can use it for his mouth if I need to and his nose. When we were in the NICU one of the scariest times would be when he spit up as he still does at times, some were very bad up through the nose. I will never forget what one of his nurses told me; M then N. Meaning Mouth first then Nose! I encourage you to check it out in the link above. $14.99 at Target.

2) Owlet Smart Sock; This is a more pricier item but I feel is worth every penny. I used this with my middle son as well and definitely gives me a peace of mind with our little one now as well. The sock we have is the second generation sock; the company just released the third generation sock last month. Our second generation has worked great and will continue to work great! This device monitors heart rate and oxygen levels when baby is resting. It will sound an alarm if it is placed incorrectly, if there is not a signal, or if at anytime either the heart rate or oxygen levels are not where they should be. I keep track of it all on my smart phone through and internet connection. It has helped both my husband & I sleep a little better at night. You can buy it new at $299 plus tax and shipping HERE or buy a refurbished device directly from them for $199 plus tax and shipping HERE.

3) Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker; Is another life saver for us. Our little guy uses this more for just sitting in now but when he was much smaller he would spend his supervised naps in this and no judging we used it as a bassinet here and there. It has a base that can make it into a lounger that can be moved from rocker to lounger when needed. As I have mentioned he has really bad re-flux and for a very long time he could not be flat on his back at all without being at an inclined position. This helped up tremendously! Now he uses it more for sitting up in or on days when he needs to be at an incline. $44.99 at Target.


These are my top three favorite baby products! They have saved our little guy more than once and given us a peace of mind! We love these and cannot imagine life without them!

Thanks for reading my post, drop a like and follow my blog! Follow me on social media as well! Stay tuned for my next post coming soon.

Motherhood, Review

Bookroo

(My name is Jenifer Smalley author of this blog. I was sent a box by Bookroo to give an honest review over their product and to share it with you my readers)

Recently I was chosen to participate in giving an honest review over a product; Bookroo. I thought how neat it would be to share this awesome company with you my readers and my family so I reached out to them to participate in a collaboration. I am excited to be able to share this company and my thoughts about them with you. Before my unboxing of the product and my review below here is a little background about the company and how the monthly boxes work.

Bookroo is a monthly book box service for kids of all ages. There are a few different book boxes or book clubs to choose from.

  1. Board Book Club: is for ages 0-3 years old. Each box comes with 3 sturdy board books for curious little minds who are still learning about books. At this age group those little ones need sturdy pages with all of the excitement and energy they have built up.
  2. Picture Book Club: is for ages 3-6 years old. Each box comes with 2 hardcover picture books. These picture books are great for beginners or for a read aloud story time. Let your young reader find wonder in each new book!
  3. Chapter Book Club: is for ages 7-10 years old. Each box comes with 2 chapter books. Each book has exciting content for advanced readers jump into each story for an exciting new adventure!

What makes Bookroo stand out from the rest?

  • Each book in every box received are specially gift wrapped for an added surprise! Who doesn’t get excited when opening presents? Exactly!
  • For parents each box also includes an insert that shows what books have been included with a little information about each book as well as author & illustrators.
  • The option to alternate between board books & picture books. Alternating Subscription

How does it work?

  • First select your Box.
  • Second select you subscription Plan.
  • Lastly set up your account & billing information.

Gift Bookroo

Give the gift of Bookroo. You can give a Gift subscription to someone who loves reading just as much as you do. Maybe your a grandparent or just trying to find that special gift for a young reader who loves books! Gifting Bookroo is the perfect solution. The subscription for gift boxes work just a little differently. You will buy a single box, 3 month, 6 month, or 12 month subscription up front. It is a one time payment that does not renew. The recipient of the gift will receive the boxes for every month you pre-purchased ahead of time until the amount of months purchased is fulfilled.


Questions?

Bookroo’s frequently asked question page covers topics such as How do you decide on which books to send? When does the subscriptions renew? or the unfortunate How do I cancel my subscription box?
FAQs

If you have any other concerns you can always contact the company through their Help Desk.


Reviewing Bookroo

Every box comes like so with the Bookroo companies standard packaging that includes their logo and some cute inspirational sayings on the sides of each box! I thought that was a neat touch instead of just a regular brown cardboard box.

After getting into the box I found the two books for this month both wrapped in fun colorful wrapping paper. Both of my older boys loved that they each got a little present to unwrap! There was also the insert that comes with each box telling about the books that are wrapped up. The little insert tells about the author as well and even though I only got the picture books it tells about the little board books for the month as well.

Now for the fun part; (I opted to just take pictures of the unboxing as I didn’t want to film my kids opening everything up on video then putting it on the internet.) Anyways they loved that they could open up a special present with a surprise book inside. It was a very special experience for them for sure! They each chose which one they wanted to open then went to town.

The two books that we received are: Bertie Wings It. Author Leslie Gorin. Illustrator Brendan Kearney. And Good Night Truck. Author Sally Odgers. Illustrator Heath McKenzie. We love both of them! They spent quite a long time switching back and forth taking turns to flip through the books themselves.

I think that the unique twist of each book being a little gift is a great way to get kids excited about reading and about books in general. Most kids love to open presents and they typically love to look at books at least mine do. That in itself would be worth the price especially if you just wanted to just buy a one box monthly subscription. Everything would be pre-wrapped for you. In my opinion for the price of a single box for the picture books box which rings in at $19.95 plus $4.99 for shipping. Bringing a monthly month to month subscription to $24.94 per month (this month to month box is cheaper than the single purchase gift option(something I noticed; probably because you would not be a repeat customer. Meaning that you get a bit of a discount by buying the month to month renewable option rather than just the gift option). If you would rather opt for the single month gift option you are still getting a good deal as that option is $24.95 plus $4.99 shipping making the total $29.94. It’s a good deal because you get great quality books which in reality would cost a lot more versus the prices that the two options cost.

The two books that we received are priced on each book as seen in the picture below and as follows:

  • Good Night Truck – $16.99 US ($19.50 CAN)
  • Bertie Wings It – $14.95 US ($16.95 CAN)

When you add the two totals up (the US total for me);
$16.99
+ $14.95
————–
$31.94
You end up saving money, especially if you were to order these books from another place you may also need to factor in shipping on top of the total price and taxes. The total will be much higher than the $31.94.
$24.94 or $29.94 isn’t such a bad price after you do some research on what it would cost to buy these titles brand new somewhere else. Both Hardcovers.

I enjoyed this subscription box if I had one thing to say is that I wish they included an option for three books like they do for the board books in the other box choices maybe a paper-back book box. Perhaps a cheaper box even just one book because I know that there’s a lot of people out there can’t afford a monthly box every single month. We are a once in a while splurge kind of family. I will add that you are not locked into this monthly box as you can cancel at anytime. On that note I would suggest that if you are interested to try it out! I am looking at getting one of the gift boxes as a Christmas gift this December for a special treat for my kiddos. Even if I probably won’t do a current subscription box. I love that they have the two different options to choose from. Gift or Subscription Box! I enjoyed working with Bookroo to bring you this review over their subscription box service; I encourage you to try this box out if it’s something you are thinking about and if you live in the US as they only currently offer shipping in the US at this time!


Visit: Bookroo.com
Get 15% off Personal & Gift Subscriptions Using Code: SOWINGSONS (Expires September 31, 2020)


Thank you for reading this special post. Drop a like and follow this blog! Also follow me on social media. Stay tuned for more fun posts coming soon!