Dear Mama I’ve Got Your Back


Dear Mama letters are meant to be encouraging, and they are, but only to a certain extent. Empathy without relationship is lonely. We live in a time of the easily offended. Furious posts referencing the horrible people who stopped by unannounced and woke our newborns; the never ending diets which make baked goodies seem pointless if no one will eat them; people posting just enough information on Facebook to let you know how miserable they are but will chastise you for asking what’s wrong because it’s none of your business.

It’s scary to be vulnerable! We put up walls and block people out, we shut down, afraid to offend or are we the people being hurtful? What happened to a support system of women? We are consumed by technology and no one wants to answer the phone, let alone pick up the phone and call someone.

We hide behind texting, blogs, Facebook. We say we don’t need each other but then slowly shrivel up inside. We live dull, unsatisfied lives pining for future us but letting present us down. I mean let’s be honest here… Do we have dirty dishes, sticky floors and piles of unfolded laundry because we are living an intentional, loving, joyful existence as mothers or is it because scrolling through Facebook and binge watching Netflix steals our productivity? What will our children remember us for? “My mom…hmm… well she was always on her phone but yes, I guess she gave me the occasional hug growing up.”

Are we actually “raising” our children, teaching them morals and how to behave? Are we providing them with the tools to be good hard working men and women or are we leaving it to chance and plopping them down in front of TV’s and phones so we don’t have to do the work of teaching them?

We need a change! We need empathy AND friendship, an accountability to be the best mothers, wives and women we can be. We were meant to enjoy this life, it’s our gift from God. May we not let it go to waste. Let’s build each other up with our words, actions and availability. Meal plan, budget, go on walks, make a call, mutually check in to make sure we are OK. I want friends who check in on me when I start to slip through the painful chasms in life. I don’t want to be forgotten when the going gets tough and I don’t want to forget others who are struggling through difficult seasons. Life is HARD and not always fair. We need each other.

Let’s reach out here but then move beyond social media and reach out to real women in our communities. We need friends who say no to gossip and yes to uplifting, edifying, genuine conversation meant to help us thrive and build a community. Dear Mama’s let’s have each others back.

12 Mom Tips to Keep Your Kitchen Clean

You know what I disagree with? These signs…

My kids might be happy but I’m probably not. I don’t need perfection but when my home is a mess, I start to feel like a mess! 

Good mom’s can also have clean floors, clean kitchens, clean laundry, clean ovens and happy kids. You can have a clean kitchen, clean oven and dirty laundry… Or any variety. It doesn’t all have to be clean but it doesn’t all have to be dirty either. 

It may not seem possible but it is. I have a 4 year old, 2 year old and 10 month old to prove it. 

Here are some cleaning hacks to get you started.

How to keep your kitchen clean:

1) Start your morning by unloading the dishwasher. 

2) Clean as you cook or prepare meals and snacks.

3) Wash pans right away.

4) Keep cupboards and drawers closed.  

5) Keep the dishwasher loaded and then unloaded. If it’s full then stack dishes next to the sink until they can be loaded. Or keep them stacked until you can handwash them.

6) Try decreasing the amount of dishes you have to one plate and one bowl per person.  This limits the amount of dishes piling up.

7) Keep Clorox wipes on hand. If a spill is made toss one on the floor and scrub with your foot… To avoid sticky floors. Or use them for a quick counter wipe down.

8)To limit messes throughout other areas of the house, make your kids eat at the table. Baby Bjorn bibs are my favorite for keeping my boys clean and crumb free. 

9)Have your kids bring their dishes to the sink and wipe down the table when they are done (even my two year does this). 

10) Keep chairs pushed in at the table. 

11) If crumbs are made, do a quick sweep under the table. 

12) Wipe down your appliances once a week

Whether you like to cook or not, the kitchen and dining area is the center of the home, because everyone eats (especially our messy kiddos). Keep up on the kitchen and it’s the start of avoiding sticky floors and messy kitchens. It’s very important to teach our kids at a young age to clean. 

Let me know how it goes and stay tuned for some more cleaning hacks. 


Another mom, just trying to keep things neat. 

A Flap “Jack” & Pajama Party

Jack’s 1st Birthday was a Flap”Jack” and Pajama Party.

Jacks Banner

We set up a bed in the living room with a bunch of pillows and the boys’ tested it out before people started to arrive…


Just chillin’…


They were having fun besides Jeffrey purposely trying to knock Jack off the bed… that must of been his way of celebrating Brother’s Day!


“Oh my goodness I love this!”


Resting… I love this picture in his big cloth diaper…


After putting Jack into his birthday pajamas the guests started to arrive. Our first game was musical pillows…


A little one started to cry which caused a chain reaction of crying kiddos…


Then on to some bowling! The kids loved this. We lined the pins  in a row, making it easier for even the babies to knock them down.


Jeffrey’s turn!


Then we had a little obstacle course… under the “water” and into a ball pit… Jeffrey really got moving!


And through a tunnel…


We had a tent setup outside with a bed and pillows…


We decorated Jack a Flap”Jack” with nutella, whipped topping and sprinkles… and a candle of course.


He wasn’t really sure what was going on with all the singing…


“This tastes pretty good…”


“What? I’m just eating my birthday treat…”


Getting all messy…


I think his “cake” was a success…


Ball pit fun on the front lawn!


Then on to some present opening. Isn’t he cute in his birthday jammies?


He liked the wrapping paper best!


But then realized what his present was… yay! A truck!

IMG_8834All the boys helping out…


Aw… I am so lucky!


And then a finale of ball pit playing… Jack wasn’t too thrilled…


Happy 1st Birthday sweet Jack Valentine!


National Pigs-In-A-Blanket Day

Friday I spent the morning fulfilling some banner orders while the boys played with daddy.

He was leaving on an overnight Boy Scouts trip with my brother so I figured I better get some work done while I had the chance.

As soon as Daddy left for his trip we started preparing for a never-before-tried Biscuit Crust Pigs-In-A-Blanket Pizza!

Mixing up the flour for the biscuits…


Cutting shortening like a pro…

DSC_1640 And of course Jack was reading us the directions… “a little more big brother…”

DSC_1644He wanted to help more though so we let him mix some Kix!


Then Jeffrey started the fun ol’ process of crust forming…


About this time MeMa arrived! She would be staying the night with us… woohoo! She suggested giving Jack a little piece of dough to squish around…

Yep, he ate it…immediately… ha!


We moved on to pressing cute little sausages and cheese into the crust… like baby pigs in blankets!


Then some sauce and cheese…


While it was cooking some MeMa cuddle time!


Then our pizza was done!!!


Warning!! Do not try this at home folks… it was weird and salty! Haha!


The watermelon Mema brought for Jeffrey was the perfect balance to get us through this strange dinner meal…


And then!!!! The moment that made this whole strange pizza completely worth it… Jeffrey yelling out, “I FOUND ONE!”


He was so excited he found a little sausage buried in the crust! Now I want to make a pizza again but hide meatballs or pepperoni in the crust so at least it’s more appealing…


Later my childhood best friend, from the 1st Grade, came over with her little boy. We were going to watch Anne of Green Gables in remembrance of Gilbert Blythe (Jonathan Crombie) passing away.


Of course we forgot about it and filled the evening with visiting. We will watch it one day… soon!

And this pants-falling-down-boy…


Just cute!


Happy Melba Toast Day

Who would have thought you could make Melba Toast at home?


It makes sense thinking about it but I never thought to try it.

To celebrate National Melba Toast Day, I topped mine with cream cheese, avocado and bacon bits. So good!


Jack LOVES avocado so he helped me out with that part.

Jeffrey on the other hand isn’t a fan so he went with cream cheese and dried cranberries.


What an easy and fun afternoon snack!


Lemon Chicken Pasta Alfredo


Lemon Chicken Pasta Alfredo

Part 1: Lemon Chicken Breasts

Serves 4-6

(Lemon Chicken Recipe From Ina Garten on the Food Network)


1/4 cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4-6 boneless chicken breasts
1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish.

Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Part 2: Lemon Pasta Alfredo

Adapted from Natasha’s Kitchen

  • 1 lb fettuccine or penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ⅓ cup white wine
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. lemon zest (depending on how lemony you like it)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Rosemary for garnish, optional
  1. Cook noodles in salted water according to package instructions and drain. Don’t rinse (this helps the sauce stick to the noodles better)
  2. In large sauce pan, over medium/high heat, add 2 Tbsp butter and onion and sauté onion till golden. Stir in garlic and sauté another minute. Stir in ⅓ cup white wine and reduce to about 25%.
  3. Stir in Cream and simmer until it starts to thicken. Add parmesan (or add to taste) and stir until creamy and smooth. Add paprika and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Turn off heat and stir in drained, un-rinsed pasta, and lemon chicken. Garnish with rosemary, extra parmesan and freshly cracked pepper if desired.


Every Day Is A Holiday


I love to celebrate holidays – even the ones in between the major holidays. With a goal to eat healthier foods and less goodies I decided to cut back on baking… gasp! Now though, I have every intention of planning my meals and baking days around the holidays – I use Checkiday to see what each day holds for me!

Yesterday, March 11th, happened to be Oatmeal Nut Waffle Day so we tried this new waffle recipe for dinner – sorry for the lack of pictures – I can testify they were yummy and healthier (in a good way).

One celebration today was Baked Scallops Day but since I’m trying to use what I have in my kitchen I opted to celebrate Girl Scout Day instead… with a pan of Tagalong Cookie Bars from the blog Tidy Mom. I followed her recipe exactly but had to use crunchy peanut butter instead of creamy because it’s all I had. Still delicious!


Since I don’t like paying so much for cookies I prefer to make them at home. These didn’t let me down either!

Or this guy… DSC_0195