• Restaurant Style Insta Pot Refried Beans

    insta pot refried beans

     

    Lets talk about the best Mexican food side of all time. It’s the refried beans. Who is with me? We specifically pick which restaurant we get take out food from, based on the beans. It’s all about the beans (well and the tortillas but that is a post for another time). Making amazing refried beans use to be really hard, and time consuming. Lets be honest, who got time for that? I certainly don’t. With this hack, you can make restaurant quality refried beans in your insta pot. Thats right insta pot refried beans.

    Who is with me, this kitchen gadget is the best thing since sliced bread (oh you want to make that too, check out this post for the easiest bread recipe ever). I must admit, I am a bit of “collector” of the insta pots. We have them in all kinds of sizes. For the house, and for the RV. This thing makes cooking so easy. If you don’t have yet, I would HIGHLY recommend that you get one pronto. You won’t regret it.

    Now there is a big debate, do you soak beans or not. Personally I soak them, because I really feel that it makes the beans easier to mash after you cook them. I know of a lot of people that don’t and their beans turn out just as amazing as these. The preference is completely up to you. IF you choose to soak them, I just do a quick soak. Put the beans in a bowl of hot water and cover. Leave it for about an hour or up to 5 hours, really makes no difference. If I remember I do it in the morning and let it soak all day. BECAUSE the kids get excited knowing that mom is making beans for dinner and they tend to behave better knowing that it is coming with dinner. But if you don’t remember till sometime after lunch, no sweat.

  • Amazing Easy No Kneed Bread

    Easy No Kneed Bread

    Lets talk about home made, straight from the oven bread. Is there anything better? In my world, there is nothing better. The house smells amazing all day long, the payoff for the wait is amazing, and it is a little piece of heaven right there on the table. If you can even get it where it is still a little warm, oh thats the stuff that dreams are made of. Well, here is an amazing, easy, no kneed bread that will wow even the harshest of critics (the kids I mean).

    I love carbs, not even going to try to hide that. I love them them in all forms: pasta, rice, cereal. But my favorite is hands down bread. Sourdough, French, Italian, that super dark that you can get at “fancy” restaurants; there is yet a bread that I don’t love. When it is warm, right out of the oven; simply perfection. But who has time to make home made bread every day? And who even knows HOW to make bread right out of the oven? Yes, some of us fancy bread making machines. Those are great and make lovely home made bread; but it is still not that fresh out of the oven bread.

    This was something that I really wanted to learn to do. With the world as it is, I have some extra time on my hands. (You know when not trying to entertain four little human beings, or keep them from killing each other while stuck at home too) Time though. Who has the time? Where do you start to learn? Well, my wonderful amazing neighbor must have heard my thoughts. She brought me over a lovely, hot, fresh loaf of bread for our dinner one night. I was in love!

    This bread is so easy to make. It doesn’t take all day to make. You won’t be spending hours kneeding the dough. And you will have a perfect, lovely loaf of bread for your dinner table. (Best part, is this actually makes 4 loaves, so you will have bread ALL WEEK by making it once)

  • Healthy Lunch Ideas

    10 Quick and Healthy Lunches Even Your Kids Will Love

    What is the hardest meal to get on the table for your family? For us it is hands down lunch. Breakfast, my kids are old enough to be on their own for. They know what they can eat, and they can get it all put together themselves. Dinner is always a sit down as a family event, so that is always planned out a few days a head of time. But lunch…. Lunch always is a scramble last minutes. Do we make sandwiches (again)? Should we try to get leftovers a new chance? Hey, maybe just snack through lunch? No… If you are anything like me, here are 10 sure fire, quick, easy and healthy lunches; that even the pickiest of eaters will eat. (Yes I have tested them on my kids)

    Here they are (in no particular order)

  • Kids and Chores

    We all want our kids to do chores. Have them done without nagging. How about having your kids do them without a fuss? And lets be honest…. do them correctly. And then you wonder, do you give your kids to much? Do you have to pay for them, or should they do them since they are part of the family? Always so much guilt around this. So lets talk about how to do them.

    Okay lets tackle the biggest question first. Do you pay them for the chores? Kara and I talked about this in depth on our Family Room Chat over on FaceBook. (If you missed it you can check it out here) We came to the conclusion that for our families, we are choosing not to pay for chores. That chores are part of being in the family. You help out and pitched in. There is  no monetary gain for helping our family. So then, what are chores for?

  • Raising Grateful Kids

    What is something that you are wanting for your kids? How can we promote happiness to our kids? What can we (as parents) do to cultivate positivity in our children. Is this something that we can even do? The simple answer is YES!!! You can 100% raise children that are happy, that are grateful, that are positive people. And its not as hard as you would think. That being said, your children will copy what you do. So for your kids to be grateful, they will need to see you as a grateful person.

    I have found that to be the hardest part. With all this craziness that is going on in then world right now, it is easy to get all caught up in the madness. Even without the current crisis, just daily life can speed by. It is easy to wrapped up in the “To-Do Lists”; the bills that need to get paid; the grumpy co-worker that you have to deal with. So before you can expect your children to be naturally grateful, you have to practice that. They will copy what they see, you are their role model.

  • Start of Something New and Exciting

    Omg I am so incredibly excited to announce something that we have been working for a little bit now. My amazing and super talented cousin and I will be starting: Family Room Chat with Kara and Kat. We will have our first episode this Saturday!! With it being our very first episode we are hoping that you all will go easy on us. It will be a light short 20-30 minute show that will be covering all kinds of topics. Everything from getting kids to eat, to chores, to intentionally setting your priorities, to self care and why that is so important, to mom guilt. We have come up with so many topics, that all moms can relate to. Tomorrow we will be focusing on Family Bonding. With everything going on in the world right now, we really feel the need to connect with family and make sure that those bonds are strong.

    We will chat about what we do to bond with our personal families. The big ticket bondings, verses the small everyday things that really mean something to the kids on a daily basis. It surprised me the things that my kids told me that they really treasure and need, verses the things that I would have thought about. So we will chat about those.

  • Stuck Inside….. With the Kids

     

    Are you currently being stuck indoors? Keeping kids home and they are starting to go stir crazy? Practicing social distancing, but running out ideas to keep them occupied. Well here is an amazing and free website full of all kinds of ideas for you and the kiddos. The kids that created this have uploaded so many fantastic resources that the world is putting together for this crisis. Everything from virtual museum tours, to art class, to karate links. You name it and they have something for you linked up.

    You want to hear astronauts reading to you from space? Done

    You want to see famous chiefs doing cooking demos? Done

    You want to see some of the world best zoos? Done

    Shoot, you want a tour of Buckingham Palace? Done

    There are really so many links, in all kind of areas. The site is super easy to navigate, and all the links are free.

  • Homeschool Preschool Maze

    Are you back to school? After the holidays it is always hard for us to get back into the groove. It seems that we start back up awfully slow. And now we are at Sunday, and I have nothing planned for the school week. (Shhhh don’t tell the kids that I am so unorganized) Not only do I have nothing planned, it is snowing outside; so instead of sitting at my desk planning the school week. I am outside playing with the kids in the snow. Hello education.com to the rescue!

    Have you homeschool moms tried this site yet? It is such a life saver for days that you need to get some schoolwork done, but haven’t had a moment to plan something. Or even just need something quick and easy to occupy the kids for a moment, they have tons of stuff. 

  • What Really Needs to be on Your Baby Registry

    Registry

    We just had baby #4!!

    Yes you read that right, baby #4

    Okay we not just had. But baby is less than a year old, so I am still allowed to “just had”. Right?? Sure we will go with that. Now that all being said, having four babies, I have had four baby showers. While some believe that the shower is a way to welcome a new mommy into motherhood, thus only having one. I personally believe that the shower is a celebration to welcome the new baby. So, I have had a shower for each of babies. Having four showers, means four registries. Lets talk about what you really need on that registry. This is geared more for first time moms, but moms of more than one will certainly benefit too.

    Now after my third daughter, my husband and I thought that we were done. Moving into a new house, we got rid of ALL the baby stuff. To be honest, we loved that this home had no baby gear laying around. There was no stuff to try to find room for or store when we were done. It was quite nice. Then after joking about having another for over a year, we chose to go for it. We aren’t getting any younger right?? And before we knew it we were pregnant with our first boy. (Which my husband was very relieved not to be having another girl) Time to make another registry and I felt like a first time mom again. I had done this before, but never with a boy. And it had been 14 years since I had to make one from scratch.

    Here were the must need items that I put on my registry:

  • Quick Easy Family Friendly Meals

    Quick Easy Family Friendly Meals….. I Promise

    It’s a new year.

    • Did you resolve to eat more meals at home?
    • Cook more of your families dinners?
    • Eat healthier by not eating all the grease of fast food?
    • Now come to realize that you have a picky eater? That you don’t like cooking? Or even have the time to cook dinner every night?

    Oh my you are certainly speaking my language there. I certainly want to cook these amazing, full, warm, filling dinners for my family. There are these pictures in my head of kids sitting nicely at the table, while I serve these meals in heels and pearls. Complete with salads, veggies, a few sides and a big main dish. Kids (and husband) eat everything without complaint.

    Then I wake up and realize that (1) I don’t like to cook or spend hours in my kitchen; (2) I don’t have the time to cook these types of meals; with 4 kids now I need a dump and go meal and (3) my kids are picky eaters. The picture in my mind only happens on very special occasions and sometimes big holidays (aka Thanksgiving and Christmas). But I do want to have hearty, healthy meals that the kids will actually eat.

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