Corned Beef Hash and Egg Breakfast Squares Recipe

corned beef hash disclosure

My love affair with corned beef hash has started a long time ago when I was just a little girl. #HowDoYouHash #CollectiveBias

It's a keeper. Made these this weekend a great easy brunch recipe. Love the combo of corned beef hash and eggs.

On days off school my mom would take us to this awesome dinner for breakfast. It was my favorite. A bunch of old grumpy guys, metal stools and a real counter like in the moves. We were allowed to order ANYTHING we wanted and I always ordered the corned beef hash. I’ve never been a sweet breakfast girl. I’ll take savory, flavorful, fill you up hash over sugar drenched waffles any day.

Super good. Can't stop making these super easy corned beef hash breakfast squares. Easy brunch recipe

On one trip to the dinner the hash was a little different. The waitress mentioned that they had started making their own recipe instead of the can. All this time I thought my “dream breakfast” was some fancy kitchen concoction. But it ended up being even better in a way since now I was able to buy the one I loved and have it whenever I wanted. I kid you not, to this day you will always find a can of HORMEL® MARY KITCHEN® Corned Beef Hash in my cupboard. Told you love affair!20 Minute Corned Beef Hash breakfast squares recipe

My favorite way to eat it is cooked on a griddle with a couple of fried eggs so the yolks are all nice and runny in the corned beef but I thought I’d fancy things up a bit today with a super easy entertaining friendly Corned Beef Hash and Eggs Breakfast Squares recipe. These have all the same flavor but bump it up a bit in presentation.

new family favorite recipe. 20 minute corned beef hash breakfast squares. filling yummy and easy

Ingredients

  • Refrigerated Crescent Roll Dough (2 tubes)
  • 1 Can HORMEL® MARY KITCHEN® Hash
  • 8 Eggs
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Green Onions and Parsley (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Unroll the dough and separate into two squares. Roll up the edges of each square.
  3. Scoop about 1/4 of the can of HORMEL® MARY KITCHEN® Hash onto each square.
  4. Top each square with 2 eggs and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake at 400F for 12-15 minutes until the dough is browned and eggs are cooked to your liking. Note that the eggs might still look very wet but will be cooked just pull them out and touch them the first time you make it. Also they may keep cooking a bit while they sit on the pan. These pictured were cooked for 17 minutes and I wish I had taken them out a bit sooner since the whites and yolks were totally set. Still delicious but I you should just know the eggs will seem really wiggly due to the baked nature but they will be cooked.
  6. Sprinkle with green onions and parsley if desired. These can be served fresh and hot or room temp.

We're obsessed with these 20 minute corned beef hash and eggs breakfast square. Very yummy, filly and easyWe're obsessed with these 20 minute corned beef hash and eggs breakfast square. A very yummy filling and easy recipe.

This makes 4 hearty servings. You could even split them up to get 8 smaller servings for a lighter breakfast or if you are serving it with other items. A fun way to do that would be just to make one long sheet and cut them after they are baked or just make smaller rectangles!

corned beef hash in store

Just in case you are a HORMEL® MARY KITCHEN® Corned Beef Hash newbie *gasp* it’s very small soft corned beef and potatoes. It truly is one of my favorite foods you can ask my family. I got mine at Winco Foods but really you can get it at pretty much any grocery store by the tuna fish and other canned meats. And right now through 3/17/2016 you can use this coupon to SAVE $1.00 on the purchase of any two (2) HORMEL® MARY KITCHEN® Hash products.

Do you have a fun food memory like my corned beef hash story? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Will make again. Everyone loved this recipe and was so easy. 20 minute corned beef hash and egg breakfast squares. Would be great for brunch entertaining.

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.
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Bacon and Cheese Croquettes Recipe

sour dough disclosure

These potato, bacon and cheese croquettes I’m sharing today are SO yummy and as a bonus they are baked instead of fried. #Switch2Sourdough #collectivebias

It's a keeper. Super good potato cheese and bacon croquettes recipe. Freezes great and a great tutorial on how to make your own bread crumbs.

I’m a big fan of croquettes for every day food as well as entertaining because they are easy to make ahead of time and either finish cooking last minute or just reheat.

Breakfast potato bacon and cheese croquettes recipe

These ones are filled with potato bacon and cheese would be a tasty addition to any Easter or Mother’s Day brunch although I have to admit eating them because it was Monday as a good enough reason for us ;) I like using homemade breadcrumbs (directions for those below) since I can use California Goldminer Sourdough Bread which I usually have on hand for sandwiches. Also they get bonus points for their yummy flavor but also since sourdough doesn’t spike your blood sugar as much as other breads it’s one of those little swaps I like to do in my recipes these days.

Easter-Croquettes- ingredients and how to make home made bread crumbs

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C Coarse Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 C Flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Medium Potatoes
  • 1/2 C Shredded Cheese
  • 1/4 lbs Bacon
  • 1-2 TBS Green Onions chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Love these croquettes they are a great snack or addition to brunch.

Directions

  1. Peel and boil your potatoes until tender.
  2. Cook and crumble your bacon.
  3. Combine potatoes, cheese, bacon, and green onions and mash together with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Form into patties. I usually do ovals that are more flat so that they will cook faster but I have also done small balls.
  5. Prepare coating station with a bowl with the beaten egg and a separate bowl with the bread crumbs.
  6. Coat the potato forms with flour and then roll in the egg and then the bread crumbs. Repeat for all pieces.
  7. Spray generously with spray oil on both sizes and bake in a preheated oven at 450 F until golden brown about 15 minutes. Flip around the 10 minute mark.

One of our new favorite brunch recipes. Bacon and cheese potato croquettes

They are so good and easy. The recipe makes about 10 small (2x3x1 inch) croquettes. They are very filling and hearty. If serving as a side you only need 1-2 pieces. The recipe can easily be increased or decreased too and they freeze great.

How to make panko bread crumbs. Great homemade breadcrumb recipe

If you don’t already know how to make homemade bread crumbs they are super easy. I think it gives it that little extra something (plus you know exactly what goes into it). I like using California Goldminer Sourdough Bread that’s baked fresh daily at Smith’s and other Kroger stores. It is a sandwich loaf that you can find in their bakery section not the bread aisle.

California Goldmine Sourdough bread

To make the bread crumbs lay your bread onto a cookie sheet and dry it out by baking it at 300 F for about 15 minutes. Then just pulse it in your blender or food processor until you have coarse crumbs. This is a great way to use up extra bread that you might have left over from sandwiches or recipes. I keep a bag full of bread crumbs in the freezer for easy access.

delicious and adorable homemade croutons

And speaking of other uses for extra bread, this weekend we had a birthday party for my star and moon obsessed little boy and my mom made the cutest (and most delicious) homemade croutons by cutting the sourdough into stars, brushing with olive olive, sprinkling with garlic salt and Italian seasoning and then baking. I just had to share since they were so stinking cute. Learn more about the history of sourdough bread at the California Goldminer’s website, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest and let me know what some of your favorite uses for the rest of the loaf are in the comments.

Our new go to brunch recipe potato cheese and bacon croquettes. Freeze great too

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.
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10 Tips for Meal Planning Success + Parmesan Zoodles Recipe

chicken parm disclosure

Whether to it’s reign in the budget or to keep the calories in check I’ve found meal planning to be key to helping us eat at home. #MangiaTonight #CollectiveBias 

Great tips and tricks for family meal planning to save money and eat healthier. Reclaim family dinner.Since both of us work from home it’s a real struggle not to want to eat out every night. We want to “do” something, to make it an event but eating out daily is just too expensive. Plus I don’t know about you but I always over eat and order way more unhealthy foods than what we eat at home. And the thing is, we enjoy the food I cook and with a little thought it’s easy to make even meals at home something to look forward to. For me if I have a meal plan for the week that I have shopped for I’m WAY more likely to eat at home and stick to the plan. So today I’m sharing 10 tips for meal planning success.

1. Pay attention to the family schedule (and special events).

Each week look and think about what this week has in store for you. Are there weekly activities like the soccer or piano that will occupy your time? What time will you be getting home? How much time do you really have that day to prep dinner? Factor all of that in when you are selecting your meal for that day. Also think about if you have any special events that will change your normal schedule or that might have you eating out (whether this is grabbing a bite after being out for the evening or eating at the home of relatives).

How to meal plan. 10 awesome tips and a great recipe for zoodles everyone will love.

2. Make a list or pinterest board of recipes.

I highly suggest making yourself a few pinterest boards. One for tried and true recipes that you would happily make again. You can even upload your own picture to represent a family favorite that isn’t somewhere on the internet. For example if you guys enjoy taco night, next time you have tacos snap a picture and upload it to your board so when you’re planning it’s right there in front of you. Also make at least one for recipes you want to try. I have a few including yummy savory ideas, seafood recipes, and crock pot recipes.  You can also just make yourself lists but I find pinterest is so easy since it’s visual and I’m always finding stuff I want to try throughout the week and I just pin them as I see them.

Free meal planning printables and 10 tips for meal planning and family dinner

3.Take advantage of pre-made and convenience foods.

Whether you are using something like this new Bertolli Chicken Parm Bakes or even a my freezer friendly enchilada recipe that you had in your freezer, I recommend using some just heat up type of options. I found the Chicken Parmigiani Bake as well as lot of other yummy looking Bertolli frozen family dinners for a great price at Smiths.  There are so many great convenience foods these days that are just as simple as popping in the oven or heating in a skillet. I use a few every week. I like to pair them with a little something extra so for this meal I used frozen chicken parmesan that just needed to be baked as well as frozen bread dough that I let rise and I sprayed with oil and sprinkled with seasoning. Then I paired them with some basic zoodles for me and a comb of zoodles and traditional pasta for my husband and we had a delightful complete meal.

Delicious and healthy zucchini noodle recipes. Zoodles are so easy, super healthy, low calorie and fast to make. Great recipe.

Basic Zoodles (2 serving)

  • 3-4 medium zucchini cut into noodles (see this post for how I do that)
  • Garlic Salt to taste (I do a couple good shakes)
  • Pepper to taste
  • Spray oil
  • 1 tsp butter (optional)
  • 2 tsp grated Parmesan

In a nonstick skillet (nonstick is VERY important) over medium high heat spray with oil and saute the zucchini noodles until cooked through. I like mine softer but it’s totally a matter of preference.If it’s your first time making zoodles just taste it often to see when you like it. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to your plate. Top each serving with 1 tsp grated Parmesan. Feel free to eat as is or mix with pasta noodles for more traditional pallets.

I'm obsessed these 10 minute parmesan zucchini noodles are soooo easy and delicious. I've made them once a week since I discovered this recipe.

4. Try to shop once for everything you need for the week.

I found the frozen chicken Parmesan and the zucchini for this meal all at my local Smiths and tried to grab everything else I needed for the week while I was there. I know that for me if I have the ingredients, especially produce or fresh meat I’m more likely not to decide to eat out since I’m worried about them going bad. Likewise if you’re using any frozen items that will need to thaw, take them out and put them in the refrigerator the night before so you limit your excuses for the next day.

Bertolli Chicken Parm Bakes

5. Be willing to be flexible

I think it’s important to assign specific meals to days since this helps me think in concrete terms about our schedule and if anything needs to be thawed or thrown in the crock pot. BUT if you get home at the end of the day and just don’t feel like what’s on the menu by all means switch for one of the other days’ meals. After all you did all your shopping already so you can easily make that swap.

6. Plan on an “eat out” or “leftovers” day.

We love eating out so I always plan in an eat out day. Sometimes it’s connected to an event and sometimes it’s just there for when we feel like we have to get out of the house or I just don’t feel like cooking that night. Likewise I know lots of people account for eating leftovers for a day or two. If you are leftover eaters (we aren’t, leftovers die a slow death in our fridge) then by all means factor that in.

Delicious but light low calorie chicken parmesan. Great Parmesan zoodle zucchini noodle recipe

7. Try to plan some double duty meals.

I like to plan means that work overtime. I think the easiest way of doing this is by making some crock pot meat early in the week and then repurposing it into a meal later in the week. It’s simple to turn a roast (or really any kind of meat) into tacos, Stroganof, enchiladas, or even soup. Another easy idea is to make a double batch of your favorite freezer friendly meals (like my Stuffed Shells or Knock off Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana) and then freeze a batch for a later week.

8. Build in diversity and make it an event.

I think one of the biggest reasons people fall off of meal planning is that they get into a rut. Make sure to try new things. This is where those pinterest boards come in handy. Just allow yourself more time when trying a recipe for the first time and I always like to serve it along size something tried and true just in case. We are huge foodies. The baby is a GREAT eater and I think a big part of that is that we make dinner an event. We look forward to it, we all eat the same thing, we talk about the food, and of course we try to make everything we eat and serve our little one delicious. When you’re busy it’s easy to just forget to value meal time so that is a perfect oppertunity to use the pre-made stuff like the chicken Parmesan in these pictures or a previously homemade dish. That way you can really focus on a whole meal and time together and enjoy the food!

Chicken parmesan and zucchini noodles. Great parmesan zoodle recipe in just 10 minutes

9. Keep your eyes on the goal.

Remember how much you will save. By eating at home even if you’re very spendy with ingredient you’ll save tons of money over eating out even if eating out is just fast food. You will also be saving your health. Whether you are content with your weight or trying to cut some calories, when you do the cooking you know exactly what goes into it and you can make sure that you feed your family veggies and a balance of nutrients. Also with the crazy serving sizes at restaurants these days is SO hard not to over eat even if you’re sure the particular foods are good options.

must read tips for family meal planning and free meal planning printables

10. Write it down.

Last but most importantly write it down. Every week I sit down at the computer and write out my weekly menu. I actually send it out in my newsletters with links to the recipes on Thursdays this helps me to stay accountable and it’s just fun to share. When I’m at the store I pull it up on my phone. A lot of times I write my list on good old paper since I’m totally a paper and pen girl. I even made these meal planning printable that you can use as well. Sometimes I’ll snap a photo of my plan and share it on Instagram. People love it. Whether you want to be public or not you should definitely write down your meal plan. Personally I highly recommend sharing it with someone even if that is just someone in your household, but really I bet your friends would love to see it on social media typed up or as a pic!

I hope those ideas were helpful. For even more help I’ve made a printable meal planning sheet. This is available to my newsletter subscribers. Just go ahead and subscribe below in the teal box and once you confirm your email you will receive code to access the printable!

Love these awesome meal planning tips and free printable. bonus easy healthy recipe

Tell me how you are ready to get your meal planning under control will you start with a few convenience foods, new pinterest boards, let me know! And remember you can find Bertolli items at some of the lowest prices of the year in a Kroger or Kroger banner store near you. Kroger banners include Fred Meyer, Smiths, Frys, Dillions, King Soopers, City Market, and QFC. Find a store near you.

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

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AD 10 Minute One Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta Recipe

buffalo pasta disclosure

My new favorite weekday dinner recipe. 10 Minute buffalo chicken one pot pasta. So fast and so yummy.

This time of year I am SO crunched for time that even my normal speedy 30 minute meals seem to eat away time that I just don’t have. With my busy season I’m sad to report that I’ve been picking up food and eating out way too much. I just get so busy that really only super easy meals are the only kinds that will have a chance of being made. So I’m super excited to share this 10 Minute One Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta Recipe. #EverydayEffortless #CollectiveBias

10 minute one pot buffalo chicken pasta recipe

For me it’s not so much how long the food takes to make, although that does play a part. But in addition to the making of the food there is the cleaning of the dishes. And anyone that knows me knows that I HATE DOING DISHES.

Pronto Pasta and Tyson Ready Chicken

Honestly I’m not sure why I’ve never tired to convert my recipes into one pot creations before. I just recently discovered Barilla Pronto pasta which is magical no drain stuff. You just throw it in a pan with water and in 10 minutes it’s ready to go.  No waiting for water to boil and draining and all of that. And it tastes just like traditional pasta, told you magical. I combined that with the full cooked 98% fat free Tyson Grilled and Ready chicken breast strips and that made it so this dish came together in just about 10 minutes.

This is a keeper. 10 minute one pot buffalo chicken pasta recipe

Even with all my costume sewing this time of year I can certainly manage 10 minutes and clean one pot. I feel like I had an epiphany while I was making this dinner. How on earth had I never tired these time saving products? Really if you know me in the real world or have just been around for a while you know I just crazy busy this time of year with all my costume orders.

Must try. One pot 10 minute buffalo blue cheese chicken pasta recipe. great weeknight dinner idea

Most years our dinners fall by the wayside and we eat fast junk or out which isn’t fast and adds up. Any ways I know I’m not the only one that has busy times so I thought I’d share since I can already tell this is going to be a lifesaver for me.

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Recipe10 minute buffalo chicken blue cheese pasta recipe in one pan. great weeknight dinner idea

  • 6 oz Barilla Pronto Pasta (I used spaghetti but any kind will work)
  • 2 C Water
  • 1-1 1/2 C Milk
  • 2 TBS Butter
  • 2 TBS Flour
  • 2 oz Cheese (I like Havarti but any neutral cheese works)
  • 1/4-1/2 C Blue Cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken Strips
  • Buffalo Sauce

This is SO good and easy. Fast chicken dinner pasta recipe

  1. Start by adding the pasta and water to a cold pan.
  2. Turn on heat and boil for about 10 minutes. When most of the water is absorbed add in the butter and flour and stir.
  3. Then gradually add in the milk and cheeses to form the sauce.
  4. Season with onion powder and salt and pepper.
  5. If the chicken is still frozen thaw/heat in microwave while pasta is cooking.
  6. Place on top of the pasta and drizzle with buffalo sauce to your family’s preferences.
  7. Serve with some celery and garlic bread for a complete meal.

New favorite chicken dinner. 10 minute one pot buffalo chicken blue cheese pasta recipe

Super easy right? I am so excited about how fast this recipe came together I can’t wait to make more of my family’s favorites in to quick prep one pot meals. Seriously I see lots more one pot 10 minute meals in my future. Check this page out for more effortless meal ideas.

It's a keeper. Buffalo blue cheese chicken pasta in one pot. Really comes together in just 10 minutes

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

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11 Tips and Truths No One Tells New Moms

Yes! Totally agree. I wish I knew all of these when I was pregnant. Great tips for first time moms.

So you grilled all your mommy friends and read those what to expect books and those definitely hit on the key points of what it’s like to have a baby but what about the other stuff? Over the last year and a half there have been a bunch of times that I’ve though “Why didn’t anyone tell me that!?”

UPDATE: After receiving such a great response (and more tips and tricks) I’ve written a follow up to this post read Part 2: MORE things people forget to tell new moms and dads next!

So I thought I’d share for those of you expecting your first kid. If you knew a new mommy-to-be send her this post.

tricks for battling gas and infant tummy problems

1. Gas and Tummy Issues Are Real and There Are Things You Can Do

When Teddy was new he would get these gas pains and crunch his little tummy. I knew he was uncomfortable and I even knew the problem but while bicycling his legs and placing a warm pack on him did help a little it wasn’t until someone mentioned Little Remedies® Gas Drops and Gripe Water to me that we saw a change. We’re really strict about what we give Teddy (and even more so when he was an infant but we got the green light from his doctor and saw the gas drops and gripe water give our little guy relief after just a few minutes). This statement has not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. But as our doctor put it if we saw a positive difference that’s what mattered to us.

So of course I thought they were magic so I started talking about them and tons of friends said stuff like “oh yeah we used those” and “gas drops were practically a part of our nightly ritual in our house”. And I thought WHAT THE HECK people you could have told me this weeks ago when I came to you wondering how to help my baby. So there, do the the leg exercises, rub their tummies, give them a warm heat pack, be mindful of what you/they are eating but for goodness sakes try those gas drops. We had many months where gripe water was a part of Teddy’s bedtime routine and I carried the gas drops in my purse for on the go.

2. Drink LOTS of Water

Okay, okay, so I know they do tell new moms this but if you’re like me you’ve heard “drink your water” all through your life. But really moms need water SOOOOO much more than the average person. Especially nursing moms, a well hydrated mom will have a way easier time nursing, I mean those little beasts are literally sucking us dry. Not just the nursing though, the water does wonders for energy level. If yours doesn’t sleep like mind (he still doesn’t) making sure to have enough water can really help with that zombie mommy feeling.

Baby tip and public changing tables

3. Check the Handicap Stall for Changing Tables

Okay I know this one is really specific but no one told me! It was only after many sink-side and gasp floor (at least I had a changing pad) diaper changes that I realized that lots of public restrooms have changing tables in the handicap accessible stalls at the end since they are so much bigger.

11 things no one thinks to tell first time moms

4. Lots of Babies Have Fussier Times

We called 6-8pm Auntie time. Teddy was just way way crankier than any other time and the only thing that could kind of help was my sister coming over and taking a turn with him. Little Remedies® has an Advance Colic Relief that I wish I had it when Teddy was an infant because I totally would have given it a try. I don’t think Teddy technically had colic but he definitely had a crying spell most days around the same time and it would have been nice to have something to try besides waiting it out and waiting for my sister to get off of work and come over.

5. You’ll Need Food that You can Prep One Handed and Fast

There was a time period that I lived off of my Lactation Chocolate Chip Cookies and Curry Puffs because they were so easy to make a big batch and then I could just grab them and eat with one hand. Before Teddy was around I never realized how long I took to decide what to eat. But making sure to eat was really really hard for me at first. I didn’t have the time or energy or arms to prep stuff. I recommend before you babe arrives (or if baby is already here while someone else is on baby duty) to make a list of foods you like that are easy to prep and easy to eat. Note, hot soup is not easy to eat with a baby.

6. If You Are Nursing Don’t Sleep on Your Tummy

Sleeping on my tummy and taking a scalding hot bath were two of the things I looked forward to most about no longer being pregnant. Oh and that whole holding the baby, snuggling the baby thing. But really tummy sleeping and baths were right up there for me. But I had no idea that sleeping on your tummy can actually cause plugged ducts. That and too tight clothing. Crazy right? I shared all about my miserable plugged duct experience and tips and trips to avoid and live through it but I wish someone had told me before hand to ditch the tighter sleep shirt and to be careful about sleeping on my tummy. Hopefully you won’t be prone to plugged ducts and can tummy sleep, but if you find yourself dealing with them you might want to check you sleeping position.

7. Your Body Will Feel Foreign After You Give Birth

If you thought your body felt weird while growing a little human just wait until you kick him out. I remember just touching my belly skin and having it feel so foreign. Thankfully my tummy feels like mine now. And not go TMI-ish but toilet I swear going number two is totally different for me now. It’s freaking weird but what can you do your body did some major crazy magic housing and growing a little person for nine months.

Tricks for how to shop with infants and toddlers

8. Use Your Stroller

Whether you’re juggling a sleeping baby in an infant car seat or wild toddler I find shopping with my stroller to be SO much more successful than trying to use a shopping cart. For one the infant seat fits the stroller and the ride is more smooth. For toddlers those little “restraint” belts on shopping carts are like a silly joke. They can Houdini out of them in a snap. I’ve found that Teddy will last WAY WAY WAY longer in the stroller than in the shopping cart. The other day I saw a mom pushing her kid in the stroller and pulling a shopping cart at the same time (she said for the same reasons her kid just does so much better in the stroller). Thankfully I picked a stroller with a very large storage area.

9.  Nursing is Totally Learned and Often Hurts at First

Nursing can down right HURT at first. Yes hurt. But if you’re doing it right it will get better BUT it might take some time. Like not just the few days in the hospital and you might want to visit a lactation specialist a few times. Yes it is natural and for some people and some babies it can just click right away but for LOTS of us it was quite a while (like weeks) before it started to feel normal. If you have your heart set on nursing and it seems really rough at first you might just not have the hang of it, things might still need to kick in, or you might benefit from getting some outside help.

10. Lots of People Have to Supplement Formula in the Hospital and Still Nurse Exclusively After

I was a wreck when they wanted to supplement formula in the hospital. I had imagined exclusively nursing my baby. It was really really important to me and I was extremely upset when they pretty much forced me to give Teddy formula. Granted after talking to my pediatrician after I left the hospital I still don’t think it was NECESSARY and I wish the nurses had encouraged me to drink a ton of water (which they didn’t) as well as try some other things, but I realize now that it wasn’t that big of a deal and many people who are even hardcore nursing advocates have a little kick start with a tiny bit of formula. For me this was less than a week of very minimal supplementing. This might seem like a weird one but I was really upset and confused when the hospital staff threatened to release me WITHOUT my baby. Yes I think I had some crappy nurses and visiting doctors but I wish I had known that lots of people supplement before their milk comes in and then they are able to nurse exclusively afterwards.

great tips and truths that no one tells moms to be. passing to my pregnant friends and first time moms.

11. It’s Really Hard and You’ll Feel Like a Failure But That’s Okay

Having kids is hard work. You have to be delusional not to know that but no one tells you that it’s just not hard but super duper crazy hard some times. Like so hard you think there has to be something wrong with yourself because even those totally incompetent acquaintances of yours have been able to raise children and keep them alive. I believe it’s a conspiracy since if we all had known it going in we wouldn’t do it, or maybe people did say as much but we just thought they were being dramatic. But when sleep deprivation compounds with gas, and crying fits, and your own hunger it can be a struggle. But that’s normal and just when you think you cannot possibly do it any longer your baby will do something magical like give you the sweetest gassy smile and you’ll agree with those who have gone before you that it’s totally worth it.

Going to share this with all my pregnant friends. I wish people told me these before I had my first baby.

You also might like…

These are spot on! Why didn't anyone tell me these things with my first baby? Helpful things to know as a first time mom (or dad).

I had such a great response to this post and I learned more things that I have added a sort of Part 2 post here with MORE things people forget to tell new moms and dads!

Best list of ideas and tricks to try when dealing with plugged ducts from breast feeding

My best tricks, tips, and things I learned (and wish I had know sooner) about surving breast feeding especially dealing with plugged ducts.
Hands down the best oven fried chicken recipe. I make this for family dinner all the time and it turns out great.This recipe for Oven Fried Chicken is so good! It’s on our regular weeknight rotation. Tastes like it’s deep fried but just uses a tiny bit of butter in the over so way healthier and way less mess!

5 Important lessons from years of running a successful Etsy Shop - Rae Gun Ramblings

Curious about what it takes to build and run your own creative business? I’ve been Etsy-ing full time for the last 6 years and I share exactly what it took, tips, tricks, things to avoid.

Love all of these that I've tried. Can't wait to try all these quick easy recipes.

Most Popular EASY recipes of 2015. These have been pinned and shared like crazy and they are some of my personal go to’s!

I originally wrote this post as a part of #MyLittleRemedies #CollectiveBias campaign but I do LOVEEEE those products and have before and since without ANY compensation recommended them. 

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An Unexpectedly Perfect Gift for a Blind Person

cloud pets disclosure

Great gift idea for the blind (or those going blind).

Last Christmas I was heartbroken as I watched my babies great grandmother get so frustrated that she couldn’t experience her great grandson the way she wanted (the way you normally envision). She had recently lost most of her site and while she was grateful to be around she couldn’t see the cute things that he was doing. #CloudPetsForever #CollectiveBias

Fabulous way to connect a grandparent losing their sight to the little ones. Blind gift idea.

To make matters even worse I was at a total loss of what to by someone who for the most part can’t see. While the other family members opened up handmade calendars with silly pictures of all the kids she just had to listen to them get excited over the pictures she of course couldn’t see. I felt like a total jerk handing her some candy and a scarf.

Such a great idea for a gift for a blind person.

It was only after being around her that I understood her condition enough to get a better gift. Once the mall opened back up I ran to the store waited in a line from you know where to get a super overpriced stuffed animal. I did it because I knew I’d be able to record my baby laughing and that was something the great grandma could really enjoy. She could snuggle the bear (of course we had to pick a bear from Teddy) and listen to his baby laugh any time she wanted. But the thing was in the noisy mall store overflowing with screaming kids we had to hide in the back and still only got a weak recording. So when I heard about CloudPets™ I knew this would be so much better.

CloudPets in Walmart

CloudPets™ are a new and one of a kind toy that easily connects to a free app on your mobile phone and which makes it easy to send messages through the stuffed animal.

Watch the video above, it’s SO cool! They are brand new but I found my Bear at Walmart in the As Seen on TV section. Right now they are just in select stores but soon will be available nation one just remember to grab 3 AA batteries whe you pick yours up and you’ll be good to go.

Fun toy that also can be a great gift for a blind person

While this was originally intended for giving to children I think this would be a great gift to the elderly and seeing impaired of any age. In the same way you might want to send pictures to keep a love one far away up to date on the changes of the little ones in the family you can send new recordings to track the growth or just to make them feel more connected.

This would make a sweet gift for a blind person.

Do you have any other good gift ideas for someone with partial or even full loss of sight? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.

Cloud pets review and great alternative use (gift for a blind person)

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Easy Super Hero Snack Tutorial and FREE Printable

marvel granola disclosure

Cute and easy Super Hero snack. Fun activity for school lunches with free printable

Do you have Super Hero lovers in your family? We sure do! I have a really quick and #MARVELSnackBar idea that can be done as a fun surprise for the children or even as a little craft activity for them to join in on. #CollectiveBias

Fast fun idea for snack or cute kid school lunches. Downloadable super hero mask template to color on.

I had Teddy decorate the little masks for his cousins (the girls are so cute with him and love his silly baby drawings). But it would also be fun to have older children color the masks and then keep them stashed and every time they get a granola bar in their lunch it would be a fun surprise to see which mask and cape they got.

Fun and easy super hero snack and kid activity. Great for school lunch and parties

And of course they could always decorate and snack in the same sitting. Really there are so many possibilities for fun with these. The MARVEL wrappers are so fun too niece T immediately claimed the Black Widow one, L wanted Hulk but there are also Captain America, Spider Man, Iron Man, and Thor. Now only are the wrappers fun but there are also 4 collector cards to be on the look out for too.

Marvel Chewy Granola Bars at TargetWhat You Need

  • Granola Bars
  • Scraps of Fabric
  • Clear Mailing Labels and Printer
  • Color Pencils or Markers

Easiest adorable super hero granola bars. fun kid activity with free printable

What to Do

  1. Print your super hero masks onto your transparent labels  or if you just want to do a few you can always hand draw them. Download the Mask Printable template file here.
  2. Decorate the masks or have the kiddos decorate the masks.
  3. Make the Capes. Start by cutting your fabric scrap into 10×5 inch pieces. Then lay your granola bar on top and cut out triangles to make the tie.
  4. Place your colored mask sticker on the BACK (plain side) of your granola bar and tie your cape around the treat.

Fun easy super hero snack idea. great for school lunch and parties. free printable included

So quick and easy right!? Just in case your curious (I found the MARVEL Chewy Granola Bars at Target there is a 25% off discount on Cartwheel right now). These  Super Heron ones are also 40% bigger than before which I could totally tell right when I opened them! I hope you like this fun little project. Which Super Hero do you most hope for on your super hero snack?

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

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30 Minute DIY Pirate Ship Tutorial

huggies disclosure This little pirate ship is so easy and cute made from stuff you have on hand! Great for pirate parties or just toddler play

Arr there matey! Do you know any pirate lovers? Yes? I thought so. I’m giddy about my project today, a quick and easy DIY Pirate Ship Tutorial. I know I can’t be the only one that looks at those Huggies Little Movers Diaper boxes and thinks, “That could be upcycled into something awesome!” #OneStopShopForBaby  #CollectiveBias

Such a fun idea. Turn a diaper box into an easy pirate ship. DIY tutorial.

But really those diaper boxes are so perfectly sturdy they are far too good just to be sent into the recycling bin. So I finally did it. Okay you guys know I’ll take any excuse to dress Teddy up but come on doesn’t he make the CUTEST pirate? I used one of my pirate costumes from my Etsy shop. And we all know that a good pirate NEEDS a pirate ship.

Too cute! Pirate ship made from old diaper box. 30 minute DIY tutorial

We always seem to have a box of our go to diaper, the Huggies Little Movers around for our non-stop little guy. We love that the new dry touch improvements make them work for day and night with their 12 hour leak lock protection.

How to make a pirate ship out of an old diaper box. Fun DIY 30 tutorial

They just seem to be the driest diaper we’ve tried plus the boxes are perfect for upcycling. When you see how easy it is to make a cute little pirate ship you’ll be wanting to make your own one (or 10).

Super easy and adorable DIY Toddler pirate ship. Great prop for pirate party or pictures

What You Need

  • Diaper Box
  • Scissors (ones you don’t care about since cardboard can dull them easily)
  • Packaging Tape
  • Woodgrain Contact Paper
  • 1/2 Yard Black Fabric (or paper)
  • White Iron-on Vinyl (or paper with glue or tape)
  • Dowel
  • Box Cutter or exacto knife (optional)

What to Do

  1. Depending on the size of your diapers the box sizes vary. But position your box so that you have it as wide and flat as possible. For me using the Huggies Little Movers Size 4 Box that I picked up at Babies”R”Us this had me laying it on it’s face (or back). So I cut off the back. I used the exacto knife to start it but then changed over to my junky scissors.
  2. Next tape any sides or flaps that need reinforcing.
  3. Cut a piece of contact paper the size of the inside of your box. Lay in your box. The contact paper is so nice since you can easily reposition it.
  4. Next cut your contact paper so that you can wrap it around the sides and inner sides of the box. For my Huggies box the contact paper fit perfect when folded in half lengthwise. All I had to do was wrap it around and then cut a slit on the inside when I fold it it down. But even if you have some gaps you can easily apply more contact paper. I liked folding the contact paper over the top edge since that made sure there wasn’t any potentially sharp or scratchy cut cardboard edge exposed.
  5. Now make your flag. I cut 1/2 yard of black fabric into 2 triangles but you can easily just use one layer of fabric or even paper. But my little guy needs durability haha.
  6. Next I sewed around all the sides leaving a 1 inch hole at the side bottom edge that will go on the dowel AKA the flag pole. Then I sewed straight up the perpendicular side to for a casing. This will be slid onto the dowel to display the flag.
  7. I used my Cricut cutting machine to cut a iron-on vinyl skull and cross bones. Then I ironed it onto my flag. You could also just use paper and tape it onto your flag. Read my iron-on vinyl tutorial if you’re new to using the stuff.
  8. Slide the flag onto the dowel.
  9. Now make the flag holder by folding a small piece of packaging tape onto itself. Take another piece of tape and place the folded piece in the middle and then tape that into one of the bottom corners of the box. Repeat for the top corner. Now you should be able to slide your flag pole in and out!

Adorable DIY pirate ship made from a diaper box

So fun right!? You could keep going and decorate it with cannons or nautical ropes but we thought it was fun and durable as is. It would be really neat to make a bunch of these for a pirate themed birthday party. I could see all kinds of silly races or just an awesome photo booth!

Save for fun pirate party or pretend. 30 minute pirate ship from diaper box tutorial.

I think I’m hooked on upcycling diaper boxes, I’m thinking maybe cars or planes next. How would you transform the new Huggies Little Movers boxes?

huggies little movers in store picture

And do forget while you’re grabbing your diapers and everything else you need for baby at Babies”R”Us remember to use this coupon which will be extended! Learn more about the new and improved Huggies Little Movers diapers on their Twitter and Facebook Page!

Super fun idea for making a pirate ship from an old diaper box

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

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Books for When You Need an Escape

haagen dazs disclosureGreat list of books! Perfect reading list when you need an escape

Sometimes you just need to grab a tub of ice cream, a good book, and escape. Today I’m sharing a list of book for when you need to get away from the stress and demands of real life. Some of these are good for when you just want a vacation but can’t get away, others when you need a break from regular life, and other when you just want to jump into another world all together. All of these are perfect for curling up under a tree with Haagen Dazs new #ArtisanFlavors Ice Creams (the Tres Leches Brigadeiro is my favorite) and getting in some me time! And make sure to check out the giveaway below! #CollectiveBias

Haagen Dazs Artisan Collection

Life is hard and sometimes we just need a little break. So, grab your some ice cream because here are 10 books for when you need to escape. For each I’m including why I think it makes a great escape read! You can click each of the titles to take you to amazon where you’ll be able to read the full description of the book.

Books for When You Need an Escape
atlantia great ya book about family and being who you were meant to beAtlantia
– For when you want to escape the expectations everyone (maybe even you yourself) has for you. A fun standalone book about sisters who live in a community underwater and their individual paths.

meant to be great book for when you feel like travelingMeant to Be – For when you want to literally escape and go on vacation. Run away into a school trip to London with this easy read full of Summer travel and even a little romance.

the night circus one of the best books everThe Night Circus – For when you want to escape the dullness of everyday’s responsibilities and fall into something mysterious and magical. You want want to leave the gorgeous world of the Night Circus. Watching the circus be built the magic all around and drama within will give you a break from your own drama in the most entertaining and magical way.

the summer i turned prettyThe Summer I Turned Pretty – For when you want to escape grown up life and go live by the beach with cute boys. This is the perfect “I wish I could just go to the beach” book. It’s light, it’s cute, it’s not completely shallow and there are two more books in the series so when you’re done you don’t have to be done.

dash and lilyDash & Lily’s Book of Dares – For when you want to escape your own insecurities and just let loose in an adorable good clean PG-13 way ;) The characters in this book will steal your heart along with your worries. They are so quirky and loveable this easy light read is perfect for getting lost in whenever you need a brake.

girl of fire and thorns fabulous YA fantasyThe Girl of Fire and Thorns – For when you want to escape the shadows and be something more. Oh this book I can’t even describe how great it is. It’s light fantasy, no talking creatures, but plenty of magic and a heroine who is brutally honest with her doubts, who isn’t perfect but who tries to do the right thing. This series is one of my all time favorites

the sea of tranquilityThe Sea of Tranquility – For when you want to escape your past and the crappy things life has thrown in your path. Everyone is broken to some degree and these characters have had it bad. A boy that avoids getting close to anyone and a girl who doesn’t talk but dresses like trouble. The way they help each other will win you over and make you believe that as bad as things might be you can get through it.

amy and roger's epic detourAmy & Roger’s Epic Detour – Also for when you want to escape the junk that life hands you but in a lighter and more literal way than The Sea of Tranquility. This is a road trip book! Jump into the car with Amy and Roger as they try to avoid the crap but find a way to work through it and have an adventure.

throne of glass super awesome heroine fantasyThrone of Glass – For when you want to escape the mistakes you’ve made and become someone really amazing. Join  Celaena, teen assasin as she tries to earn her freedom from a heinous work camp. Its a competition of brutality but not without romance and plenty of cute boys. This book is so hard to describe but it’s great. It’s light fantasy with the books later in the series even more so but they are all excellent and a great distraction from this world!

I'lll give you the sun great YA bookI’ll Give You the Sun – For when you want to escape the burden of carrying other people’s secrets. Two very different siblings at two different times. They’ve been through a lot and find themselves dealing with it in different ways. The story alternates from his perspective when they are younger to hers a few years later. It’s such a unique book I found it hard to get into at first but I’m glad I stuck with it because it’s quite brilliant.

!0 great books for when you need an escape. These all look great

Which ever book you pick make sure to grab a container of the luxurious Haagen Dazs Artisan Collection for the ultimate escape. I found mine at Walmart.
Häagen Dazs #ArtisanFlavors Contest

Books and ice cream. Great reading list for when you need me time

If you follow me on Instagram you know my husband and I are crazy foodies and we cannot resist new fancy ice cream flavors. I had to limit us to just 3 this time bwahaha. I can’t wait to try all of the Artisan Collection flavors. My favorite of this bunch was the Tres Leches Brigadeiro which is a chocolaty caramely yumminess. My husband is super obsessed with the Banana rum jam Ice Cream and I think the Ginger Molasses tastes just like Christmas in a carton, great for ginger fans. Thanks to Haagen Dazs for sponsoring this book list, this is a post I’ve been wanting to write for a while and we are already long time fans of Haagen Dazs so win win right? To learn more visit Haagen Dazs on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

Haagen Dazs Artisan Collection at Walmart

I shared some of my favorite treats and reads for when I just need some me time, what are some of your favorites?

Mommy me time reading list. Books for when you need an escape

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

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Emergency Diet Coke Sign Tutorial

Coke Disclosure Must make this cute Emergency diet coke sign. So cute and perfect DIY mom or teacher gift idea!

Do you know someone who LOVES her diet Coke or regular Coco-cola or Coke Zero? You need to make her this. My afternoon Coke is one of my favorite moments of the day. Seriously I love my Coke Zero so much it’s an instant boost for me. #CokeHappyHour #CollectiveBias

In case of emergency Diet Coke sign. Would be a great girlfriend of teacher gift idea.

Whether your Coke loving friend is your mom, sister, or even one of your kids’ teachers how fun would it be to feed their addiction with this DIY emergency diet Coke sign? Being a mom or teacher is hard work and sometimes you just need that soda to get through the rest of the day.

This sign is so easy. I found all of the crafty stuff easily at my local craft store. The 20 oz. Cokes I found at Walgreens where every Wednesday through Friday from 4:00 to 7:00pm, you can buy 1 Coca-Cola 20 oz. bottle and Get 1 Free 20 oz. bottle to share! You can load the coupon instantly on the Walgreens app or click here for more information about the promo. May through July you get 3,000 Balance Rewards points when you buy participating Coca-Cola products when you purchase $10 of participating Coca-Cola products.

LOVE this such a fun girlfriend gift idea. Perfect for all Diet coke lovers. Easy DIY sign tutorial

In Case of Emergency Coke Lover Sign Tutorial

Supplies

  • Vinyl
  • Thin Ribbon
  • Thick Ribbon
  • Hanging Clear Canister
  • 20 oz. Coke
  • Wood Board
  • Mod Podge (optional)
  • Brush (optional)

Coke in Walgreens

What to Do

  1. Cut text out of vinyl. I did this on my Cricut Explore. I just used a simple Coke logo I found after a quick google search and then typed out the words “In Case of Emergency”.
  2. Weed out the negative space of the vinyl. Use transfer tape to remove the vinyl from its backing. Set aside.
  3. Paint board with a thin layer of mod podge and allow to dry. This step is optional but I wanted my sign to have more of a glossy look.
  4. Once dry position your vinyl, rub firmly and pull away the transfer tape.
  5. Next tie your hanging canister onto the board with the thin ribbon. Making a loop at the top to use to hang the sign.
  6. Then tie the thick ribbon around the board forming a bow.
  7. Slide your 20 oz. bottle of Coke in and give to your favorite Coke lover.

cutest gift idea for diet coke lovers. DIY emergency coke sign easy tutorial

I think it turned out so cute. I know lots of mamas and teachers that would love a fun sign like this and it’s so quick and inexpensive to make it would be a really great teacher gift or welcome to Summer gift for one of your mom friends. Plus you know she’ll love you forever if you stock her Diet Coke stash!

Great mom or teacher gift. Emergency Diet Coke Sign. Fast and easy tutorial.

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

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