Pesto Chicken Salad — April 18, 2019

Pesto Chicken Salad

Another random recipe being thrown your way! I’ve been trying to eat healthy around my pizza and Easter candy obsession. But my current fave is this pesto chicken salad. I’m a huge pesto fan!

For the last month or so, I’ve been throwing some chicken into the crockpot with some chicken broth and salt&pepper. Then I keep it shredded in the fridge for easy lunches and dinners.

The last three days I’ve had this pesto chicken salad for lunch. There isn’t really a recipe but here goes an attempt at what I use:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 C of chicken, shredded
  • 1 heaping T pesto (I use Costco’s because it’s the best)
  • 1 T mayonaise
  • 1/2 T Everything But The… Seasoning (Trader Joe’s brand)

STEPS

  1. Combine all ingredients and enjoy!

That’s all y’all! I’m super fancy. And I’ll try to add a picture when I make it again next week as I snarfed it today between school pickups, speech, errands and cleaning.

Adios!

~Mel

Laundry — April 16, 2019

Laundry

OK, quick post. My husband goes through more clothes per day than a newborn baby!! Yes. It’s true. Newborn babies who spit up and have blowouts. Our hamper is full in 1-2 days with his workout clothes, work clothes, uniform, working around house clothes and errands/out clothes. And let me tell you…they are all inside out as well.

So, teach your littles to re wear clothes like most women do 😉

PS – I love my husband. And he may or may not be cleaner than me at all times.lol

Crockpot Poppy Seed Chicken recipe — April 12, 2019

Crockpot Poppy Seed Chicken recipe

Morning y’all. So, anyone who knows me might be surprised by just the title alone. Yes, I somewhat eat chicken now! As long as I make it. And it helps if I can start recipe from it’s frozen status. Insert shocked face, I know!

For those who were unsure of this random fact, I am a very picky eater who didn’t choose to eat chicken for many years. It was a number of factors really. Dissecting an actual chicken breast in middle school. My Dad very liberally applying lemon pepper spice to the chicken and forcing me to eat it at least once a week while growing up (seemed like daily to me because I didn’t like it at all). Numerous restaurants serving not fully cooked chicken. Fatty bites. Ugh. So gross! It’s actually most meat but chicken has always been the hardest for me.

Enter parenthood. I’m trying to teach the kids not to be picky eaters as well. Can you imagine the embarrassment when going to eat at your future in-laws house and they serve prime rib and you just cannot get yourself to eat it? I don’t want to be picky. I’m a big texture and sight gal. I also love most vegetables. Well, as long as they aren’t soggy. Lol. And hello, carbs are so yummy!

So, not wanting my kids to have these moments of embarrassment along with obviously the health benefits of some of these foods, I tried to step up my game. I started with the crockpot and putting frozen chicken breasts in some chicken broth and then shredding it. I still do this often because shredded chicken is my new jam. I can see it’s cooked. It’s cooked enough it can even shred on it’s own. And thus, my big problem with chicken is mostly solved.

Without further ado, below is my Crockpot Poppy Seed Chicken recipe:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 10.75 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4 of same can of milk
  • 1 T poppy seeds
  • 20ish Ritz crackers crushed
  • 1/4 Cup butter melted

STEPS

  1. Spray crockpot with nonstick spray (PAM, etc)
  2. Place frozen chicken in crockpot
  3. Mix soup, milk and poppy seeds 
  4. Pour/dump mix onto chicken
  5. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours (again, this is my time to ensure chicken is fully overcooked).  I actually do high for a few hours of this too but remember my above chicken issues
  6. Before serving, mix together melted butter and crushed crackers and sprinkle over chicken

See, easy peasy yumminess. 

 

  

(Please ignore our old school crockpot.  It works)

And that’s that. Remember, I’m not a chef nor am I very technical, but I/we like my easy and yummy recipes. This one was used by listening to Chris talk about this poppy seed chicken casserole he had while he was in Texas assisting with Hurricane Harvey. So after he talked it up over and over. I searched for different methods and lazily put one together. We love it! And we do eat healthy for the most part but sometimes you just need some leave it and go recipes!

Thanks!

~Mel

Tips for Traveling with Kiddos — April 9, 2019

Tips for Traveling with Kiddos

Morning! As I’m preparing for some of our besties to visit in a couple weeks, it’s got me thinking about my tips for traveling with kids. We’ve done flights, drives, overnight trips, weekend trips, camping trips, grandparent trips and our longest, a cross country move.

Traveling with kids will always have it’s challenges but I’ve found that following these tips helps ease our anxieties and gives some relief during meltdowns:

  • Plan, plan, plan! I’m a huge believer in planning and making lists. Nerd alert! I know. But it truly helps having a plan of what you think you are going to do so you can have a better packing list and idea of what you may or may not need.
  • Give the kids a break! Whether you’re driving or flying, the kids will need to stretch their legs. If flying, we tend to let them walk laps before the flight so by the time they need to sit still in the airplane, they should have their jitters out. If driving, we typically stop every hour or two to hit the potty, get gas and stretch our legs. And every parent knows you top off the gas at every stop. You don’t want to need gas just as a kid falls asleep or all hell will break lose as you stop too early into a car nap. Also, we either bring or pick up some lunch and find a park/playground to eat at and give the kids 10-15 minutes to play.
  • Kids’ suitcases – My in-laws got each of the kids his/her own suitcase and they LOVE them. If they could have them out everyday, they would (though they like to sit and hide in them or pretend they are boats). But it gets them excited for the trip as well as coordinates their things. Though depending on the space and length of stay, I will pack their things in with mine into a larger suitcase as well. I’ve heard great things about packing cubes but just haven’t crossed that line yet because I’m an overpacker and refuse not to be.
  • Special item – Blankets/stuffed animals/pillows that let your kid feel like he/she is at home. Plus, if you’re traveling by car, this helps encourage car naps.
  • Travel bed or crib – We are past the Pack’n’play stage thank gosh. But they are great for babies and young kids. Luckily, most hotels will have one on hand to borrow. Our current fave is a portable blow up mattress for the kids called a Shrunks Toddler Travel Bed
    .Our kids both slept on the one Shrunks bed we have over the Christmas holiday when Olivia let her Uncle Josh sleep in her bed. Jaxon wanted in on the sleepover fun too so they just snuggled in together on this amazing bed (on Jaxon’s floor, next to his empty bed).
  • Sound machine – We actually have two of these White Noise Machine
    for the kids’ rooms at home. But we like to bring one with us when we travel as well to cover any hotel noises etc.
  • Sleeping bags – We have two of these Coleman Kid Sleeping Bag
    from my folks for the kids for sleepovers, camping or travel. Olivia has slept in in on the floor next to her bed as well. She is ready for her first sleepover. I am not! Lol
  • Night lights – The kids usually request that we bring one of our Turtle Nightlight; though I prefer to pack something smaller so they don’t wake up scared being in a different space.
  • Monitors – Audio and/or video monitors if you have a large enough space to need them. We have an original Dropcam and the newer Nest Cam which I’ve shared earlier. We bring the Nest Cam on every trip as it’s easy to setup and we can use it if we have a suite or are staying with family/friends, we can keep an eye on them while being in another room. I swear, we have shared our love for this product so much that at least 10 friends have purchased one. But we also have the old school Audio Baby Monitor
    in case the wifi isn’t great and they work well for naps at grandparents houses too!
  • Headphones – These are desperately needed on any road trip or flight. Olivia loves wearing her Kids Headphones. Jax not so much. But these are great as they fold-up so take up less space and have a rope covered cord which seems to be tougher than just a normal cord. And not hearing “Baby Shark” on repeat is a plus for my sanity (though you bet I will do the moves if I hear it).
  • Gel clingons if traveling in an airplane (or you don’t care if they use on your car windows). These always buy us about 30 minutes of fun for the kids and are usually in the Target dollar section too.
  • Baby Carrier and/or stroller – We are nearing the end of this phase but I still use my Ergobaby 360
    for long hikes. And an umbrella stroller will save the day hauling the kiddos through the airport. However, Chris has learned to pull the kid(s) on his suitcase through parking lots and the checkin process. But the likelihood of falling is more prominent with this method.
  • “Snacks, snacks, snacks” (sung to the LMFAO “Shots” melody). Enough said.
  • Presents to open for extended trips. On our cross country drive, the kids got to open one present a day. I had them filled with coloring supplies, small lego figurines, stuffed animals, cars, etc (Think Dollar store items)
  • Movies and games on iPad. I don’t care if you are the no TV/movies/tablet family or not. This will buy you an hour or two minimum of somewhat quiet and calm. It is needed.
  • Extra clothes within reach (in a large ziploc). Accidents, car sick, massive blowouts, wet playground equipment, etc. I’ve been that mom in the airplane bathroom changing a baby’s blowout and had to yell up 10 aisles to get Chris to bring Olivia AND I some clothes. So I always pack an extra top for me too now. And the large Ziploc can then store the nasty stuff for the remainder of the trip.
  • Let’s just make it it’s own bullet. Baby wipes. They can save the day with almost anything. Bring them even if you’re past the diaper phase.
  • Final bullet. Alcohol. It’s necessary on long travel days in my opinion to help keep the parents sane. Chris and I search for kid friendly, sometimes pet friendly but always has a free breakfast and happy hour for us.

Ok, I think that’s it but I’m sure I’ll think of another 10 things as soon as I hit post. Anyone else have any great travel tips for the kiddos?

Enjoy!

~Mel

Coupon codes — April 8, 2019

Coupon codes

It’s Sunday Funday. We started this morning with church, errands, naps and are about to end it with breakfast for dinner. Great day! And what’s even better, I had a 20% off REI member discount code to use by today so I DID!

Much to Chris’ dismay, I’m of the mindset that I’m losing money if I don’t use these promotion codes or discounts. Not really. I get the marketing tactic and am smarter than that. But sometimes they are a tad more difficult to resist. Along the similar lines are the Old Navy, Carters, etc spend this much and get this much off later coupons. Truthfully, I do love these types of coupons for kid clothes maybe once each season and can buy a bit at first and then use the “savings money” the next month when the code applies. But overall, I can spend money wisely and only make these impulse decisions every now and again. If I do purchase something online, I always search for coupon/promotion codes before buying because sites like RetailMeNot make it quite easy even if it’s just free shipping.

I will always be a notorious impulse buyer but try really hard not to look around when I get to a checkout lane. My Mom always said as I child I was the kid having the meltdowns because I always wanted candy. I see traits of this in my daughter as well but she knows it’s just not going to happen. And I’ve found that ordering my groceries online from time to time helps with the random impulse snacks I do buy for the kids when I have them with me at the store.

In general, I like to tease Chris with this stuff so he may chuckle at my choice in posts today. “But I’m saving money.” “This cookie is healthy because it has peanut butter in it.” “Ice cream is so good for us because, hello, dairy.” “Chocolate covered almonds counts towards our protein.”

So, in short, I’m excited for my new raincoat to arrive later this week. My old one is 11 years old and peeling. And hello, the PNW rain is no joke! Yay for my rainy Sunday Funday, my hubby making dinner and for my REI exclusive members code (that is available to every REI member and not that exclusive)!

~Mel

Babysitting — April 5, 2019

Babysitting

OK, for all you mamas and papas out there. What are your must haves for a babysitter?

So, first kid, in Georgia, we had the BEST babysitter which set the bar very high. I’m talking getting her Masters in Childhood Education, CPR and First Aid trained, won awards for her grades and work with children in the community, remembered Olivia’s birthday and bought her a better gift than we did, etc. And in South Georgia, they called it “keeping” your children (versus babysitting). “Yes, I can keep your kids on Friday.” Um, done. Keep them and we’ll see you on Sunday was what I was thinking. Ha!

Now, flash forward to 5 years later. Our standards have lowered some. The girls growing up in South Georgia wanted to be Moms. It was strange because the other college-aged sitters we used down there, all talked about when they become a Mama, etc all the time. Now, in the PNW, even further away from family, we are relying on friends to recommend sitters. And we all know how close everyone keeps their babysitter’s information because a good sitter is like gold.

So I’m hoping for this A+ kid-keeper while my husband, Chris, thinks the sitter only needs to be able to call 911 if anything bad happens when we’re away. Not sure we’re on the same page there. Lol.

But, in the almost year we’ve lived here, we’ve found a great 16-year old girl to watch the kiddos. Having a young high school student watch the kids is different for sure. A parent either has to drive her or we have to drop her off. Her authority probably isn’t quite as much as it is with an older sitter. School nights are mostly off limits as well as too late of nights (who am I kidding? I like to be in bed by 10pm too). But the kids enjoy their nights with her.

And maybe I’m just projecting as I hated babysitting as a young girl. I tried it a couple times even after attending the Red Cross babysitter certification class. I thought it was going to be my calling. My money maker.  Until crying kids and sitting alone at night in a random house came into play.  Then came the call to my Mom to come help me or hang out with me.

But we may keep on this trend. Because if you can get a good younger sitter and groom her for your family, maybe she’ll stay your sitter throughout the next 2-6 years depending on what she does after high school.

Go forth and schedule a date night. And maybe order a Nest Cam for your kids rooms’ so you can check on the nighttime routine like we do when we’re away from home. We have one for each kid’s room and the doorbell cam too. Though at first, it was our doggie monitor, now it’s a way my husband can check on the kids in their rooms when he’s traveling.

And my one tip that works well for my family is to build up these babysitter nights to your kids so that they look forward to your date nights. I tell the sitter to basically give the kids whatever they want…snacks, food, drinks, movies, painting, etc. So now, when we get home and wake up with the kids, they are so excited that they got to eat four marshmallows and watch a movie upstairs that they didn’t even care that we were gone.

~Mel

Another Blog…I get it… — April 4, 2019

Another Blog…I get it…

Hey y’all.  Just a quick post to let everyone know I’ve decided that I have things to say so I’m starting a blog to compile all of my ramblings.  Greenfeet Mama will mostly be about things going on in my life that may pertain to others.  I will try not to bore or give too many personal details but I’ve always enjoyed writing…and talking about myself so here goes. Lol.  Hopefully this will give me an outlet to talk with some adults throughout the day as well as use my brain.  It may be slow as I learn webpages and can improve the blog/social media page(s) so bare with me please. 

I’ll try to post every so often but it’ll be around my daily life with two kids.  I mean even as I’m trying to work on this first blog post, Jaxon had an accident because he didn’t want to stop playing and Olivia wanted the perfect Belle-bun to go with her Beauty dress so I had to stop for a bit.  

It’s spring break here in the PNW and since Chris has big stuff going on this week at work, we’re sticking around town.  We’ve been doing mostly normal stuff but boy, the kids without their normal schedule is rough. Lots of bike riding, parks, baking, reading, movies and playing.  We even started a garden this week and I’ve finally finished painting our house.  Sherwin Williams Mindful Grey all the way!! But, we’ve probably more meltdowns this week than we’ve had in the last few months so this Mama is in desperate need of a kidless night (but our sitter on spring break too naturally).  

OK, back to the craziness.  There’s a dishwasher that needs emptying, kids that need scolding for not sharing well and dinner to be made.  Thanks for stopping by and hope you’ll check back soon!

~Mel