Instant Pot Applesauce

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Applesauce is a staple at our house. We have found some really yummy brands that don't have added sugars (balance, because sometimes we have donuts for breakfast), but when given the choice I really like to make it homemade. It is a fun way to make it your own, and makes your house smell amazing! The boys actually like the applesauce to be a bit more tart, but you can really mix it up. 

6 large apples (peeled & cored) 
1 1/4 cup water

I throw all the apple chunks into the Instant Pot (I use the trivet, but I don't know if it is necessary) and add the water. Set it to steam for 3 minutes and quick release. After you release the pressure, take the lid off and drain the water. I like the applesauce to be super smooth so I use an immersion blender. This time I stirred in a pinch of cinnamon, but that is not a must. 

This recipe makes roughly one jar of applesauce. I usually pour it into a mason jar and we enjoy it for the week, but this time I actually divided it up in these reusable pouches! The boys love these, and they are so easy to take on the go. I am hoping to make some flavor variations soon...peach, strawberry, maybe I will sneak in some spinach. Shhhh, don't tell! ;) I will let you know how it goes.

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Summer Reading

Monday, June 03, 2019

We try to go to the library about once a week to pick out books for the boys. Our local library is great!  Rowan and Crew LOVE going there to look at all the books and play with the toys in the children's section. Between the selection at the library and our own collection of books, we have compiled quite the list for summer reading. 

Goldfish on Vacation

These are just a few books on our wish list for the summer. I am sure we will also read Little Blue Truck and Once Upon an Alphabet more times than we can count. What are you reading this summer?

Summer Bucket List

Friday, May 31, 2019

School is out, and it is time for all the fun and sun! I love the long summer days so much! We pack a lot of activities into our evenings...even if it is something simple like blowing bubbles in the yard. I can't wait to check all of the summer fun off of our list. Crew is way more mobile this year, and he would live outside if I let him. I also have some really great things planned for his first trip to Six Flags, which I am sure he is going to love!

Hope you enjoy this list...we might just kick it off tonight with some snow cones! What are your favorite summer activities?

Last Day of School

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Hello summer! Yesterday was the last day of school for Rowan. The school had a fun little carnival celebration, and Rowan was so excited that I got to go with him. He got his face painted, enjoyed some shaved ice, played at all the activity stations, and gave his teachers a big hug before we left. 

After school, we headed to the coffee shop for a little date. We ordered chocolate donuts and coffee (well, milk for Row) and we played board games. We got to spend the whole day together, and Rowan said, "This is the best day ever!"

I looked back at some questions that I asked Rowan at the beginning of the year (You can see those here) & I decided it would be fun to finish off the year with the same questions.

How old are you: four
What is your favorite food: bananas
What is your favorite toy: my monster truck
What do you like to do for fun: play with you
What is your favorite color: golden
What is your favorite movie: Scooby Doo
What was the best part of school this year: eating popsicles
What do you want to be when you grow up: an investigator
What do you love most: you

The school year went by so quickly. Luckily we have another year of preschool, cause this mama is not ready for kindergarten!

Lemon Cookies

Monday, April 22, 2019

Dane and I are currently doing a little diet detox. I can't enjoy any kind of cookie for at least a week, but I think a will make a batch of these when we are finally done. Young Living has a variety of vitality oils that are great for adding to your favorite dishes or drinks. I love to add a drop of Lemon Vitality or Grapefruit Vitality to my glass of water, but these cookies might be an even better use of my vitality oil. ;) They are yummy all on their own or crumbled over some vanilla ice cream!

Lemon Cookies

½ cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cup flour
½ cup powdered sugar, set aside
8 drops Young Living Lemon Essential Oil

Preheat oven to 35o degrees. Cream together butter and sugar. Whip in vanilla, egg, and YL lemon oil. Stir in all dry ingredients besides the powdered sugar. Form cookies into small balls. Roll each ball in powder sugar and place on cookie sheet. Bake 10-13 minutes.

I sprinkled the cookies with some powdered sugar once they had cooled.

They are a crowd favorite!

If you don't have oils yet, you can find some more info here!

Easter Basket Ideas

Friday, April 05, 2019

Last year I Amazon Primed all the boys' Easter basket goodies two days before Easter and used one of Rowan's stuffed bunnies as a filler for Crew's basket. You can see more about all that here.

This year, I am happy to report that I have already started getting baskets together! We don't really do any candy in our Easter baskets, because the kids get enough of that everywhere else we go. I like to fill the boys basket with practical fun things, and I try to keep it pretty simple. Here are some fun ideas I thought I would share with you. 

Hat: My boys are obsessed with hats, and Rey to Z has the cutest hats ever! I got each of the boys one for their basket and I am excited for them to see them!

Books: We include books the Easter baskets every year. I found I'll Love You Till the Cows Come Home for Crew, and it is darling! For Rowan I am getting The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross. The illustrations are beautiful and message are beautiful! I also really liked You Belong Here and E is for Easter.

Stuffed Toy: If you have really young kids stuffed toys can be a fun addition. My mom found the boys really cute bunnies for their first Easters. I am getting Crew a little goat, because he is pretty much in love with our little goat, Dot. 

Sun Glasses: Another item that I get every year is sunglasses. They are affordable and easy to toss in the basket. I got Row this cute pair from Old Navy. I also found these really cool flexible toddler sunglasses from Amazon! Who ever thought of that was genius!

Outdoor Fun: Sidewalk chalk, bubbles, gardening tools, jump ropes...these are all great ideas to get your kids outside after a long winter! 

Swim Trunks: I am going to buy swim trunks anyway, I might as well stick them in the Easter basket, right? You could also get beach towels and pool toys. 

Pajamas: Another practical basket stuffer that you probably need to get anyway. The boys have outgrown a lot of their spring/summer pajamas from last year. I got them each a set of these. We love Old Navy pajamas!

Easter Eggs: We always have a little Easter egg hunt, but I like to stick a couple eggs in their basket. Usually we do quarters in our eggs. Rowan loves to put them in his "penny bank." If you have girls, little bows and barrettes would be really cute! 

A lot of these items are available on Amazon Prime, so if you want to wait until the last second it's no problem. ;) Is there something that you stick in your kiddos' baskets each year?

Road Trip Essentials

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

 We went on a little road trip last weekend, and had the best time. Kids and long car rides are not always a recipe for fun, but I did my best to make sure that there was plenty to keep them entertained while we were traveling.

Legos: I used some 3M Command Velcro to secure a Lego base to the bottom of a little pencil container. It worked like a charm. I was sure that the container was going to get dropped and tiny legos were going to go everywhere, but it didn't happen. Rowan built and rebuilt a "jungle" for well over an hour during our drive to Tennessee. 

Dry Erase Board: I threw this in our bag at the last minute, and I am so glad that I did. This was probably the favorite of all the activities that I brought along from Rowan. He practiced writing his name, then he practiced writing his "brudder's" name, and then he asked me to help him draw our whole family. 

Books: This one is pretty easy, I picked out a couple books for each of the boys to flip through during the trip. Crew loves looking at his board books! 

Movies: We have a DVD player in the car. Rowan didn't watch it a ton, but when he started to get sleepy, it was a good option. 

Tablet: I also packed his tablet, and made sure that there were lots of games and videos downloaded before the we got in the car. Netflix has an option to download and go, so you don't have to have internet connection for the movies you have downloaded. He spent most of his tablet time playing a letter tracing game. I honestly don't have great recommendations for games on the tablet because I haven't taken the time to figure it out. If you have favorite tablet apps for kids (preferably some that don't need the internet) please share them!

Bingo: We got these Road Trip Bingo cards on our first ever family trip...Rowan was 6 months old! We had a blast with them on that trip, and I am sure that Rowan would have loved them this time...but I forgot to pack them. #fail

Play Doh: This was actually an accident, and we didn't play with it in the car. It happened to be in the bottom of the diaper bag, and Dane found it looking for a toy to entertain Crew at one of the restaurants. It kept both of the boys happy and quiet while we waited for our food to arrive. I am going to leave a little container in the diaper bag from now on! 

We also packed some essential oils to help with meltdowns, but we didn't have to use them this time. Overall, the boys were really good. Luckily, Crew was all for sleeping during most of the driving.

The success of this trip makes us feel better about venturing a little further next time. We will just have to make sure that we pack more snacks.