Parenting Archives - Page 5 of 11 - A Crafty Spoonful

Mom’s Night In: Halloween Inspired Book Club Party

Mom's Night In Halloween Style

Sitting back with friends enjoying delicious glass of wine and some yummy goodies is one of the best ways, I find, to unwind and relax after a long week. There’s something about the conversation with friends and laughter that follows that warms my heart and leaves me feeling relaxed. As I mentioned previously, I hosted a girls night in recently. We hadn’t done a book club get together and it was about time we started up again!

By the way… you don’t actually HAVE to finish (or even start) the book to attend book club. It’s more of an excuse to get out and do something with friends instead of staying at home. But I have found that it’s very motivating to at least try and finish a book before the next meeting. Even when that means reading during nap time, or right before bed while my husband reads my kids stories.

This time of year is perfect for Halloween-inspired books, so if you’re looking for a great book club suggestion, check out the various lists of Halloween books perfect for adults to indulge in and scare the crap out of you.

Mom's Night In Halloween Inspired Book Club with Woodbridge wine

I may have alluded to the fact that wine is a staple at every book club meet up. While it’s not necessary, it does make the night a bit more fun! Especially as we chat about the happenings around us as well as discuss the books we’ve (tried to) read. I love having both a red and a white on hand to satisfy everyone. I personally love this cabernet sauvignon!

And paired with the wine is the delicious food. I opted to make some “Bloody Fingers” in the form of steak and brie sandwiches with a drizzle of Sriracha sauce on a puff pastry. Literally that simple. 4 ingredients and they pair so well with the cabernet sauvignon. Also served was an artichoke spinach dip (recipe coming soon!) and for a little dessert, the chocolate peanut butter ball monsters I made. It was the perfect amount of food for our little group!

Mom's Night In Halloween Inspired Book Club bloody fingers steak & brie sandwiches

“Bloody Fingers” Steak and Brie Bites

  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1 steak, cooked and sliced thinly
  • 1 wheel of brie cheese
  • Sriracha sauce

Defrost puff pastry. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper. Grab one sheet of puff pastry and unroll/unfold. Using a knife, cut into half length-wise and thirds on the fold lines. Then cut each third into half. You should have 12 rectangles. put rectangles on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Once finished, carefully pull baked puff pastry apart into two pieces. Top each piece with steak, a slice of brie, and drizzle with Sriracha sauce. Enjoy with a glass of wine!

Mom's Night In Halloween Inspired Book Club chocolate peanut butter ballsMom's Night In Halloween Inspired Book Club dip

I also got a little festive with my chalk markers and the plastic wine glasses I picked up at the dollar store around the corner from our house. Non breakable and easy to decorate! The best part? The designs wiped right off with a baby wipe.

My girlfriends told me that next time they want to decorate their glasses so I plan on making it a thing now to put out the chalk markers and let the guests doodle on their glasses to mark which one is which.

The food spread was simple, wine yummy, and friends amazing. Definitely a night I needed!

Mom's Night In Halloween Inspired Book Club wine glasses

Mom's Night In Halloween Inspired Book Club food spread

What’s the last book you’ve read while enjoying a glass of wine?

Keeping Baby Entertained On The Go

After having our third kid, we realized that keeping baby entertained on the go isn’t as hard as it was with the first and second child. It’s even easier with Playskool’s new on-the-go line! I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Playskool. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Keeping Baby Entertained On The Go

I don’t know if this is how it is for all third babies but our little Norah has turned out to be very adaptable. She just goes with the flow and takes to change easily. As long as her mama or dada are with her, and she has something to entertain her, she’s pretty cool with just about any new situation. So when I had to have my gallbladder out last week, I wasn’t too concerned about her being without me. Except  for the fact that she hadn’t successfully taken a bottle in quite a while.

Well she did absolutely awesome with her dad when I spent the night at the hospital the night after my surgery. She surprised us in not only taking one bottle, but taking two for her dad. And she was in high spirits when she came to visit me around 9:30am the next morning. Better yet, she just wanted to play! And luckily we saved some new toys for her to enjoy as I recovered.


I have a little confession… Norah really hasn’t had any new toys purchased for her. She plays with a few hand-me-downs from her cousins and friends. And she loves playing with her siblings’ toys. So when my husband busted out a few fun toys from Playskool’s new on-the-go line out of his backpack to keep her entertained at the hospital, she just about tackled her new Dressy Bessy to play with her zipper and button. It was absolutely adorable to see Norah play with Dressy Bessy’s button, then go and find her buttons on her dress as she played in the hospital room.

And? Dressy Bessy comes with a secure clip that we can use to attach to the stroller or my diaper bag. That way we can take her wherever we go and she takes up little to no room. Clipping her onto the stroller also means that Norah can play and have fun and I won’t have to worry about Bessy being thrown overboard. And her Fold N Go Elepant? It folds up into a cute little package for easy storage. Talk about convinience. Great for staycations or travelling around.

Keeping Baby Entertained On The Go - Fold N Go Elephant

Keeping Baby Entertained On The Go

  1. Distractions… er… Toys – Toys are an important part of keeping baby occupied on the go. Whether on a road trip and stopped at a rest stop (toys should not be played with in a moving car), or during a day trip to the park or beach, having a fun toy like Playskool’s Dressy Bessy clipped onto the stroller or the Fold N Go Elephant stashed away in the diaper bag can turn into a great distraction for baby to keep them happy and occupied.
  2. Snacks and Drinks – One of the best ways to keep Norah entertained while we’re out and about is to offer her a sippy cup. It doesn’t even have ot have water in it. At this age she just loves playing and chewing on it. Water makes it more fun. And little snacks like puffs or yogurt melts keeps her distracted and working on her pincer grip for quite some time.
  3. A Change Of Scenery – I’ve found that keeping babies in the same position with little to no change drives them crazy. It’s probably the one reason why my kids always hated the carseat at that age. They couldn’t see the changes taking place outside the window! So whether it’s moving them from the stroller to the carrier (change in view) or simply walking around a bit with them to show them some new cool things to explore, a change of scenery is very inportant when keeping baby entertained on the go.
  4. Music – If you’re trapped in the car for a few hours and can’t resort to toys or snacks, playing a little music and singing along may get baby to focus on the sounds vs. complaining about being trapped in their carseat. We put on a little Hulabaloo and start singing along to get Norah distracted enough to start enjoying herself.
  5. Games – Even though babies might not understand the games, the repetition of some games like patty cake, peek-a-boo, etc can help baby learn how to interact with you and react to what you say. Plus, when you start playing a game that’s familiar to them, they are immediately interested and distracted from what they were doing before. Which is super helpful when you’re on the go.

Keeping Baby Entertained On The Go - Dressy Bessy

How do you keep baby busy on-the-go?

Now your baby can enjoy Playskool’s new on-the-go line too! Influence Central (I-C) is hosting a contest for the new Playskool on-the-go line through which you can enter to win one of five Playskool Prize Packs. Contest opens on September 9, 2015 and closes September 30, 2015

Enter by choosing a social media sharing option from the social media amplification tool below!

Playskool Audience Engagement Tool

*I-C will randomly select five winners from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes.

Tips For Serving The Rainbow: Healthy Breakfast Options For Picky Eaters

Tracking Pixel

Today we’re talking about delicious and healthy ways to help our kids taste the rainbow. I include a few healthy breakfast options for picky eaters that are easy to change up depending on your child’s tastes and pair perfectly with our sponsor, 100% Florida Orange Juice.

Tips For Serving The Rainbow Healthy Breakfast Options For Picky Eaters

Since my kids started school and we found ourselves rushing around during the mornings just trying to get everything ready to start the day, I’ve found that it gets harder and harder to make sure the kids leave the house with a healthy breakfast. So I’ve been trying out different ideas and asking others what they do to keep healthy foods in front of their kids.

I’ve found that having a balance of make ahead recipes and some quick grab-and-go options have helped us full when we head out the door to start our day. Plus the kids aren’t as hungry when snack time rolls around at school. By planning ahead a little and prepping a few things, I’ve been able to offer the full rainbow to the kids and can battle the “I don’t like that” phrase I hear often from the two of them.

Research reports that many children fall short of meeting their daily fruit intake recommendations. One quick way to start the day off is to drink 8 ounces of 100% Florida Orange Juice (it counts as 1 cup of fruit!). Based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate, citrus fruits and 100% fruit juices (including 100% Florida Orange Juice) are considered a fruit serving. Serve it alongside these delicious breakfast options for a great start to your child’s morning! 

Blueberry Granola Muffins with Chex

In the morning I love being able to have a variety of foods for the kids. But sometimes there’s just not enough time. So I’ve started to prep breakfasts on the weekends and in the evenings before I go to bed. What I try and do is include at least one food the kids love. For example, my daughter loves strawberries and blueberries, so when I make muffins I tend to include those in the mix. My son is more of an egg fan so I choose some veggies to add to egg cups or a quiche and he’s a happy camper.

By giving them one thing they love at breakfast, they usually tend to try other things I offer. It’s the same trick I use at dinner when we enjoy family meals at the dinner table. I always have at least one side, or entree, that they love so they can eat one thing for dinner. If they don’t try anything else, that’s ok. As long as it’s offered.

Quick and Easy Egg Bake Recipe with Bacon perfect for brunch

Planning Ahead: Recipes To Make On The Weekend For Weekday Breakfasts

Egg Cups – 

Egg cups are an awesome way to get some protein and veggies into the kids. Plus when you make them ahead on the weekend, all you have to do is heat them up in the toaster oven or microwave in the morning.

Egg Bake/Quiche –

Quiche is just a larger version of the egg cup. But sometimes it’s easier if you have a larger family to just make a quiche (with crust or without) ahead of time to heat up individual portions throughout the week. Plus you can throw just about any veggies or cheeses inside.

Muffins – 

Muffins are an awesome way to sneak in fruit. These blueberry muffins are one of my kids favorites but I’ve also been known to add strawberries, mangos, apples, and more fruit to muffins. I’ve even thrown in a few veggies.

Quick Bread – 

Just like with eggs, instead of muffins, you can also make a quick bread too and incorporate fruit or veggies into the batter. This zucchini bread is super tasty and tastes great on its own or toasted up with a little butter.

Apple Carrot Beet JuiceOatmeal Recipes Quick and Delicious Apple Crisp - cut and core apples

Planning Ahead: Preparing Breakfast The Night Before

Smoothies – 

My son’s favorite breakfast is a smoothie. We use a base of 100% Florida Orange Juice and then I let him choose the fruits he wants to add in. Finish off with either some ice, or some ice and yogurt, and you have a delicious drink that you can take on the go. Plus? Sometimes you can sneak in some spinach.

Parfaits – 

Parfaits are another favorite in our home. We grab some berries or bananans, layer them with yogurt and granola, and can put them in various reusable containers to eat quickly as we make our way to schoool. 

Overnight Oats – 

Now I love cereal for breakfast but this year I’ve been a little obsessed with overnight oats. They’re so quick to make the night before AND are already in a jar ready to go for hte monring. Plus they’re very versatile. 

Weight Watchers Simple Start anytime snack

In addition to these great make-ahead ideas for breakfast and learning more about healthy breakfast options, I was also able to sit down with Dr. Jen Arnold and ask her a few questions about life, kids, and how to stay healthy and active while balancing life and kids.

You can probably tell I was completely nervous in the beginning because… hello! I’m talking to Dr. Arnold of The Little Couple! I may or may not have had a small fan-girl moment and freaked out a little. She was fabulous to talk and I appreciated that i could get a pediatrician’s opinion as well as her own personal experirence as a mom. You can watch our interview below: 

Amazing-5-Glass-Hero Blend-TEXT

For more information on how you can start your day off right with 100% Florida Orange Juice, visit here!

Do you find it difficult to get in a good breakfast?

The Hake Restaurant and Bar | San Diego Restaurant Week September 20th – 27th 2015

The Hake Restaurant in La Jolla

One thing I absolutely love to do is get out and try new restaurants here in San Diego. There are so many options when it comes to quality, delicious restaurants and it seems like new spots pop up every other week. So what I love to do is explore a bit and try new things. The perfect way to do this is to take advantage of San Diego Restaurant Week.

For one week only, September 20th – 27th, San Diego Restaurant Week, presented by Your San Diego County Lexus Dealer, will return to the City with a bang! During San Diego Restaurant Week, participating restaurants will CELEBRATE LOCAL by partnering with local distributors, farmers, vintners, brewers, fishermen and MORE in order to bring local produce and Pacific-caught seafood to your plates. You can choose from over 190 participating restaurants who will be showcasing their top dishes on lunch and dinner prix-fixe menus making your taste buds tingle with choices!

The Hake Restaurant - tables and decorThe Hake Restaurant and BarThe Hake Restaurant - drink wine!

The Hake Kitchen + Bar | Ambiance

My husband and I were invited out to try The Hake Kitchen and Bar to check out their San Diego Restaurant Week menu before it launches next week. Since we hadn’t been there before we weren’t sure what to expect. But that’s what Restaurant Week is there for! Nestled between shops and restaurants off Prospect in La Jolla, The Hake Kitchen is in a prime location. It’s the perfect spot to hit up for lunch on the weekends after a morning at the beach, or a great way to end the day for dinner during the week.

Once you walk in, you’re greeted with smiling faces a warm, friendly atmosphere.As soon as I saw the sign above, I knew I was in the right place. There’s seating inside as well as a few limited tables out on the two patios. There’s also a simple curtain divider to make room for small parties on one side of the restaurant. We chose to sit inside near the front patio and the restaurant was more than accomodating when they saw we brought our little one along. High chairs are available

The Hake Restaurant - wine and cocktail menu
The Hake Restaurant - San Diego Restaurant Week Menu 2015

The Hake Kitchen + Bar | Menu

The delicious menu with fresh seasonal ingredients will have you wanting to order more than one thing to try. Ordering a few starters for the table to share is suggested. That way you can have a bite of everything! There’s also a wide variety of signature cocktails, draft and bottled beers, and mezcal flights – something for everyone. Their most popular signature drink, the One Hot Cucumber, is a fiery drink made with jalapeno tequila, cucumber puree, lime, agave nectar, and finished with a chili rim. Definitely one to try!

The Hake Restaurant and Bar - Mandarin MuleThe Hake Restaurant and Bar - Shaved Rib EyeThe Hake Restaurant and Bar - Shrimp Roll
The Hake Kitchen + Bar | Food

I made the most of our visit and started us off with the Shaved Rib Eye. Paired with sauteed shishito peppers and onions and served with delicious hot tortillas and fresh guacamole, this definitely hit the spot. The rib eye was tender and flavorful and the peppers and onions were perfectly cooked. I’d suggest asking for a few extra tortillas so you can enjoy more of the goodness!

After we enjoyed our starter, the main courses arrived. Since we were there for lunch, we went for their shrimp roll and tuna steak sandwich. Now I was surprised by my husband’s choice of the tuna steak sandwich. Not because he doesn’t eat tuna, but because there was also a 10oz hanger steak with chimichurri sauce and truffle fries on the menu and he didn’t order that! But his tuna steak sandwich looked absolutely delicious. The shrimp roll was  filled with large shrimp and fresh veggies tossed in a light dill mayo and served in a toasted brioche roll. The first bite was rather awkward as it was pretty large but it was so worth it! Absolutely delicious. I loved how fresh and flavorful it was.

To end the meal we went a little crazy and each of us ordered a dessert. Now I’m a chocolate person. So when I saw the chocolate hazelnut cake on the menu I knew I wanted to try it. But since Joseph’s allergic to peanuts, he doesn’t really care for any nuts. So he went for the Key Lime Semifreddo. If I had tried the Key Lime Semifreddo, I would have just eaten that. It was SO good! Not at all what I expected. Not that my chocolate hazelnut cake wasn’t good, it was! Absolutely delicious. And it would pair perfectly with a nice espresso. But the key lime semifreddo? To die for! I now know why why it’s won awards!

The Hake Restaurant and Bar - Key Lime Semifreddo The Hake Restaurant and Bar - Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

San Diego Restaurant Week | September 20th – 27th 2015

To make San Diego dining easier for you ALL YEAR ROUND, San Diego Restaurant Week has launched a new website! The new site has added more extensive search features, a recipes section with local restaurantcontributors, a special offers area that will be updated throughout the year and even a place where you can log your favorites to help you track through the variety of options available for you.  The website will now serve as a tool for San Diego foodies 365 days a year for finding specials, deals and promotions at San Diego restaurants!

Dinner will be served as a three-course, prix-fixe menu for just $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person and lunch will be served as a two-course prix-fixe menu for only $10, $15 or $20 per person. This is meal-stealing, people! Saturday will once again be included as well as an additional Sunday, giving you that extra date night or chance to impress the boss!

What restaurant are you trying during San Diego Restaurant Week?

AD: Date Night At Home with BBQ Asian Cornish Hens + Rice Cooker Fried Rice

This shop featuring BBQ Asian Cornish Hens and a recipe for Rice Cooker Fried Rice has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #JuicyGrilledCornish #CollectiveBias

Date Night At Home BBQ Asian Cornish Game Hens + Rice Cooker Fried Rice

With a 6 month old at home (who refuses to take a bottle now) it’s a little hard to get out for date night. But that doesn’t stop my husband and I from spending time together. Instead of heading out for a date night together at a nice restaurant, I try and find delicious, simple meals I can make at home that we can enjoy after the kids go to bed.

Now we don’t let the kids starve, we make them something fun like hot dogs or mac and cheese from the box. They consider that a treat and are happy to eat dinner without us. Once we sucker them into their beds, it’s our time!

Now since it’s summer and I’m already using the stove for the kids meal, I don’t want to have to wait a while to get our meal going. So while the husband is putting the older two to bed, I get the barbecue ready and my rice cooker going. By using something other than the oven to make our dinner, we don’t have to worry about the heat.

Date Night At Home BBQ Asian Cornish Game Hens with Kikkoman

I have to admit. I’ve never considered making cornish hens for dinner. But after seeing them at our local Walmart in the freezer section, I figured I’d give it a shot and try them out. And since Tyson Cornish Hens are All Natural with no artificial ingredients, preservatives, added hormones or steroids, they fit perfectly with our family.

Paired with the Kikkoman stir-fry sauce as a glaze and I’d have a deliciously tasty main course! Kikkoman’s full line of sauces and marinades are perfect for the grilling season. Next time I want to try the sweet & sour sauce! 

Now for the side dish. Since I was going with an Asian themed meat dish I knew I wanted to make some fried rice. But didn’t have any time (or cooked rice) to do so. So in the rice cooker everything went! And it turned out surprisingly well. No sauteeing or cooking ahead. I could make fried rice without having to have leftovers on hand in the fridge to do so. The only thing I had to do was scramble an egg before I put everything in the rice cooker.

Date Night At Home Rice Cooker Fried Rice with KikkomanDate Night At Home Rice Cooker Fried Rice

Rice Cooker Fried Rice

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 1/2 cup Kikkoman® Soy Sauce
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth

Wash rice thoroughly in a mesh strainer until water is clear. Add to rice cooker.

On top of the rice add frozen vegetables, garlic, ginger, onion powder and scrambled eggs. Top with Kikkoman Soy Sauce and stir to combine.

Add chicken broth and set rice cooker to the brown rice setting OR quick setting if you have a Zojirushi rice cooker.

*makes 6-8 servings

Date Night At Home BBQ Asian Cornish Game Hens with Kikkoman Stir Fry glazeDate Night At Home BBQ Asian Cornish Game Hens on the grill

How to Barbecue Cornish Hens

Barbecuing the hens was easier than I thought! With very few ingredients, and a hot grill, I was able to make two delicious birds in about an hour. Here’s how:

1. Heat up the grill. Make sure the charcoals are white hot before cooking.

2. Take the Tyson® Cornish Hens and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Place on grill breast side down. Cook for 30 minutes.

4. Turn over breast side up and glaze with Kikkoman Stir Fry sauce.

5. Cook an additional 20 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165 degrees and juices run clear with no blood.

Serve the chicken with the rice cooker fried rice and enjoy a delicious date night meal together with your significant other!

BBQ Asian Cornish Game Hens + Rice Cooker Fried Rice - perfect for date night

How do you make time for your significant other?

Kikkoman sauces at Walmart

You can find Tyson cornish hens in the freezer section of your local Walmart. And right around the corner from the hens, you can find the Kikkoman products in the Asian food aisle or, like in my store, next to the refridgerated meat section.

What to Know Before The First Day of First Grade

The first day of first grade can be scary but with these simple tips for first graders, you can make it easier on your child. 

Back to School Tips for First Graders, first day of first grade prep

We are in full back-to-school mode right now in our home and prepping for the first day of first grade. We have the uniforms purchased, are buying supplies off our school supply list, and are making sure our kids are ready to head back to school at the end of August.

While I’m ready for the kids to be back in school, I want to make sure they’re prepared for the transition from summer fun to school mode. Throughout the summer we’ve been reading, working on sight words, practicing our math skills, and writing out our adventures.

But there are a few more things we can do to prepare the kids for their return to school. Especially my daughter who will be going from Kindergarten to First Grade. 

Below you’ll find some great back to school tips for first graders and what you should know before the first day of first grade.

Back to School Tips: What to Know Before The First Day of First Grade

While going back to school can be a scary time for some kids, you can prepare them by reading some books on what they can expect.

The night before the big day, have a checklist all ready to go so nothing gets forgotten or left behind at home.

Have your child help you make & personalize some of their school supplies and accessories, like a pencil box, their own hand sanitizer or personalized notes that you can stick in their lunch box.

Going from Kindergarten to one of the bigger grades can be a big change but creating a before and after school routine will definitely help!

Since there will be more homework this year, keep everything organized and in a quiet place with a DIY Homework Station.

For some kids, first grade means it will be the first time they’re eating lunch at school. Having a list of foods that they love and will eat is a huge help!

If you have the opportunity, take a tour of the school before school starts. Seeing where your child’s classroom is, where they’ll line up & where they’ll eat lunch might calm any nerves. If you’re able to meet the teacher before the first day, that’s a great bonus, too!

During summer, we tend to let our kids stay up a little bit longer. Two weeks before school, start having your child go to sleep at their new bedtime and practice getting up at the time they need to get up, too. It’ll make the first week of school a little easier.

A lot of what kids learned the year before is lost over summer. Help them to do some fun learning activities and it won’t even seem like “homework”, but will help them to maintain what they learned in Kindergarten. Sight Words | Reading | Math

And to get YOU ready for your child heading into first grade, learn tips & tricks from other parents that have been in your shoes before.

How are you preparing for back to school with your first grader?

Want to read more? Here are some great back to school tips to help start your school year off right: 

Breastfeeding Does Not Equal Losing Weight For Everyone

Breastfeeding Does Not Equal Losing Weight For Everyone

I’m currently snuggling with my littlest as she naps on me and nurses in her sleep. I absolutely love watching her suckle as she dreams away in slumber right at my side. It’s the best feeling in the world.

However for the past few weeks… ok, months… I’ve been doing what I can to eat clean, get more active, and try and lose the weight I put on before I got pregnant (about 20 pounds). Within a few weeks after I had her, I already lost the 20 pound I gained during my third pregnancy. She was a 10 pound baby so most of it was her and the placenta. But the 20 pounds I gained before I was pregnant has been bugging me. As has the shelf I have over my c-section scar. It kind of disgusts me.

Now I’m not one to hate my body. I love my curves, love that I grew three babies with this body, and love that I’ve been able to breastfeed each one without any issues. However with each breastfeeding journey, I’ve found that dropping the weight after pregnancy has been hard work. So much so that I laugh when people tell me how quickly the pounds will drop while I breastfeed.

Breastfeeding DOES NOT equal losing weight for everyone. And especially not me.

I’ve seen the opposite happen. Even if I’m watching the types of foods I eat, counting calories, or even doing programs like Weight Watchers (with added points for breastfeeding moms), I’ve found that especially in the first year I have been unable to lose weight successfully. In fact I’ve found the opposite. All of my hard work is fending off the weight that I would be gaining while breastfeeding had I not been conscious of what I’m eating and drinking.

The same is happening right now. Since Norah turned 3 months old I’ve been watching the foods I eat, staying aware of added calories, removed sugars from my diet, and have limited carbs (my trigger food). And I’ve lost a total of two pounds. Two. One each month to be exact.

I’ve been reading Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It after the advice from my friend, Summer (You can read her story here) and while I really want to jump on board, I’m nervous. Nervous about taking my love of food out of the equation. Nervous about any change in my supply. And nervous that it won’t work while I’m breastfeeding.

I refuse to not breastfeed just to lose weight. Just not worth it.

So I’ve come to a decision that I’m jumping in at the end of the month. I still need to finish the book and don’t want to jump in without doing so. And I need time to come up with a game plan. I need to write out what I’m going to eat and prepare. As well as have shopping lists on hand so I don’t get thrown off track while at the grocery store.

Not everyone can lose weight while breastfeeding, but I’m sure going to try! I miss feeling like myself. I miss fitting into my jeans and not looking like a sausage. And I miss my energy. So on August 1st it’s on. That’s not to say that I won’t be continuing to try and eat clean up until then. And lets hope I can finish the book by then. Trying to read with an infant is near impossible! Might also be the fact that I work AND have 2 other kids but that’s another post…

Did you lose weight while breastfeeding?

And the photos are more that I had my daughter take. I’m having her take at least a few of me a month so I can see how she see’s me 🙂

Mommy and Baby at 5 Months

Is Vaccine A Dirty Word?

Is Vaccine A Dirty Word

There’s been big controversy about vaccines lately and moms over the years have had to make the decision to vaccinate their kids or to not vaccinate. With all of the hubub going both ways I’ve heard some ugly things being spewed from the mouths of friends and acquaintances that I thought I’d never hear.

And now with the recent bill being signed into law in California, things are heating up again. And moms aren’t going to have a choice anymore. Under the law, vaccinations would be required of children first entering public school, or when they enter seventh grade, after July 1, 2016.

Judgement has been cast and in my group of friends we don’t even bring up the V word for fear of becoming a pariah. But that shouldn’t be the case. Parents should feel comfortable having an open dialogue with their friends about the safety and benefits – or risks – of vaccines. Especially vaccines for life threatening illnesses that are live in the world today.

Get a Shot Give a Shot at Walgreens

Our family has chosen to go by a delayed vaccine schedule. We discuss vaccines at every well baby visit and make an informed decision when it comes to what vaccines are given and what vaccines are delayed until the next visit. And we don’t mind coming in in-between appointments for a shot only visit.

This means that our kids get every vaccine on the list, but when they are given is more spread out. I personally couldn’t handle giving 4 shots at one visit to my little ones so we have a 2 vaccine max at every visit. Then we come in-between appointments to get the other shots we need. Priority is given to the vaccines our doctor thinks is the most beneficial at that time. When we sit down with our doctor we discuss what illnesses are out in the population at the time and what will keep our children healthy. 

Diseases and viruses like measles and polio can prove to be devastating to those who aren’t immunized so there’s a benefit to keeping those immunizations up to date. But some parents don’t have the luxury that I do to decide on what vaccines to give and what to hold off on. Some children who don’t receive the proper immunization risk the chance of contracting these life threatening illnesses.

pretend shots

I vaccinate my kids and see the benefits and reasoning behind making sure our kids are vaccinated, however I am also sad about this bill for many reasons. One being the open endedness. Who determines what ‘any other disease deemed appropriate by the state Department of Public Health*’ is? Will we vote on those or will the governing bodies determine those? Can we get titers for the kids before requiring a booster for a vaccine to determine if a booster is needed?

The fact that this list is also requiring a vaccine for an STD be given to our children bewilders me. Will they eventually require the HPV vaccine too? I sure hope not! Also, while I agree with the need for vaccines I can’t believe that this was created purely for the health and wellness of the masses. Is the government reaching a bit too far? 

Is vaccine a dirty word in your social circle? What are your thoughts on this hot topic and do you feel like you can talk openly about it?

*KQED News

5 Ways To Help Children Get Their Bedroom Organized

5 Ways To Help Children Get Their Bedroom Organized

Is your child’s bedroom an unorganized mess every time you walk in? Well, if your children are old enough, it may be time to help them learn how to organize their bedroom.

Last year I shared how we get the kids involved in cleaning. And organizing isn’t that much different. Once your kids have mastered cleaning their rooms, learning how to organize will make keeping their rooms clean much easier.

Check out these five ways in which you can help your children get their bedroom structured and under control.

Kids Cleaning Tips - finding easy tasks

5 Ways To Help Children Get Their Bedroom Organized

#1. Bins & Baskets

In my opinion, you can never have too many bins or baskets in a room. As long as there is a place to store these bins and baskets, you are good to go. These contraptions can be stored under beds, in closets, and even on dressers. You can label each bin and basket, so your child knows exactly where everything goes.

#2. Get Rid of Excess

I believe that children learn how to part with things, if their parents teach them well. You can help your child get their bedroom a little more organized by helping them to learn to part with toys that they’re no longer using. Teach your children to always be in the process of getting rid of items that are no longer needed.

#3. Hands & Knees

You may never truly see what your child sees unless you are on your hands and knees. Don’t be afraid to get a child’s eye view of their bedroom this way. You may understand why their room is dirty or unorganized, if you see it from their point of view. Plus, this will help you come up with ideas to help them get a little more organized. Maybe their shelves are too high for them to reach or their drawers are hard to open. If we expect our kids to be a little more organized, then we have to make it a little easier for them.

#4. Always Involve the Child

Making your child leave, while you clean their room teaches them nothing. You must always involve your child in the organizational process, if you want them to learn how to get their bedroom organized. Although this process might take a lot longer, you’re teaching your child a lot during the organizational process. Plus, they are going to appreciate your hard work a lot more if they see what you’ve put into it.

#5. Organize from Top to Bottom

What does this mean? Well, to keep things organized in your child’s bedroom the organizational layout needs to make a little more sense. All toys and things they need to reach should be on the bottom and other items (they don’t need) should be higher up. For example—if you still pick out your child’s clothing, then hanging them up on the highest rack is okay. You can also place items that are not as frequently used on the top shelves, to help eliminate clutter and the temptation to drag out unneeded items.

Organizing your child’s bedroom doesn’t need to be a complete nightmare. Just remember to keep up with the clutter and to always keep things simple. The more items you have in your child’s room, then the harder it will be to organize it.

These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten)

Oh how fast this year has gone. My son has completed his first year of school and I couldn’t be more proud. There are so many things that he learned this year. But I’ve learned just as much.

This is the first year I’ve been a parent to a grade schooler. The first year of Catholic school, of PTG, of being a room mom and so much more. And the first year I’ve worked at home while my kids were in school all week as opposed to part time pre-school and at home with me the rest of the time.

We all had to wake up early, all had to get ready at the same time. And I was lucky if I got a hot cup of coffee before we were out the door and headed for morning drop off.

Last Day of Kindergarten

This Year In Kindergarten I Learned:

1. To play nice with others

My son’s school is small. 1 classroom per grade and each class averages between 14-24 students. Every year it can fluxuate since we have a large military presence here in San Diego and at the schoolbut for the most part the kids my son is in class with now will most likely be with him until he graduates 8th grade and goes to high school. . That means that I’m slowly getting to know a lot of the parents, staff, and educators at this school. And eventually I’ll know everyone by the time all of my kids are here.

There are always a lot of different personalities in a group like this. There’s this mom, or that dad, or that teacher. But because we’re in it for the long haul, I was ready to play nice and get to know everyone at the beginning of the year. That’s hard when you’re brand new to a school. But I put myself out there, volunteered for various events, and made new friends.

2. That my son is awesome

Now I totally already knew this. But it was amazing seeing my son blossom from a preschooler to a grade schooler over this past year. No, he wasn’t top of the class, but he excelled in the subjects he loved and tried hard in the subjects he had trouble with. He went from not knowing all of his letters to being able to write full sentences. Wow.

And the interest he has in learning blew me away. While we struggled each night to get homework done because he’d rather be playing with his toys or finishing a game of Mario with his dad, his teacher always had the best things to say about his work ethic and the fact that he was willing to try and work hard to learn the things he hadn’t mastered yet. That’s all I want from him.

3. I enjoy being involved

I totally didn’t know if I’d cut it as a room mom. Nor did I think I’d have any interest in being involved in the PTG other than attending the general meetings. But I knew that I had time to dedicate and personally chose the career I’m in so that I could be involved. And involved I was.

From organizing class parties with my co-room mom, to finding sponsors for the auction at the Fall Gala the school held as a fundraiser, and eventually to stepping up as the sponsorship coordinator for the PTG at the end of the year, I found that I enjoy being involved in school and being a part of the community it creates.

4. I can use my skill set to my school’s advantage

Who knew that what started out as preserving memories and finding an outlet could turn into a full time job? How would I ever forsee that being a digital influencer could help my son’s school? With the relationships I’ve made and the things I’ve learned running this blog I’ve been able to help reach out to the community and am starting to secure donations and relationships for the school to use.

I think that just about every parent has a skill set that the school could use. And it doesn’t have to be in any official capacity. Simply stepping up and saying, “I can do this” will probably result in benefiting the school somehow. Whether you’re an educator at another school, a digital influencer, a crafter, a photographer, or any other myriad of skills out there. There’s something you can do to help your child’s school.

5. I love a close knit community

When my husband talked about wanting our kids to have a Catholic education I can honestly say I didn’t get it. I agreed to it even before we were married because I knew it was a huge deal to him but until my son actually attended school this year, I didn’t see the difference. And now? I can definitely see the difference. And not only because we’re paying a good chunk of change each month.

With a small private school comes a close knit community, or the semblance of one. I really enjoy hanging out with the other parents in my son’s class and also have seen a glimpse into the relationships other class parents have. By being more involved in the school I know that over time we’ll become even closer with the school community. And that is something I want for my kids.

First and Last Day of Kindergarten

These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):

  1. Share everything.
  2. Play fair.
  3. Don’t hit people.
  4. Put things back where you found them.
  6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  7. Say you’re SORRY when you HURT somebody.
  8. Wash your hands before you eat.
  9. Flush.
  10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  11. Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
  12. Take a nap every afternoon.
  13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
  14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that inside.
  15. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
  16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned to read – the biggest word of all – LOOK.

― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

What did you learn this year?

© A Crafty Spoonful - All Rights Reserved
It is OK to use one of my photos provided a link back and/or proper credit is given. It is NOT ok to copy and paste a whole post including instructions. Please do not remove watermarks or alter images in any way. Please contact me with any questions at