mom life, Uncategorized

Inexpensive Date Night Ideas (Christmas Edition)

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Date night has always been an important part of our marriage. We love having family time, but every once in awhile it is important for just the two of us to have time to ourselves. Especially when our kids were babies date night gave us the break we needed to be adults, to be together and not have the everyday distractions. But even now, with the kids being 7 and 5, we greatly appreciate the nights we get to do what we want to do!

Date Nights come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s a nice dinner out at one of our favorite restaurants. Sometimes we like going to a movie. But sometimes, especially this time of year, we like to keep things more simple so our funds can go toward Christmas gifts. So here is our list of some of our favorite inexpensive date ideas…

  • Cook dinner together. (We recently made an entire steak dinner with sauteed mushrooms and onions, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and garlic bread for less than $20. For the same meal at our favorite steak house in town was over $65)
  • Go for a drive.IMG_1383
  • Sample Holiday drinks together.
  • Play games. (Our favorites are Farkle, Gin Rummy, and Kings in the Corner)
  • Sit out at the firepit and talk.
  • Movie night in.
  • Watch your favorite Vloggers (Jon Olsson, Roman Atwood, Shonduras, are a few of our favs)
  • Unplug!IMG_1084
  • Go out for Coffee.
  • Go get Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt.
  • Work on a project together. (House project, craft project, yard project etc.)
  • Go ice skating/rollerskating.
  • Go sledding
  • Go Skiing or Snowboarding.
  • Do a morning date. (Breakfast out together is always wonderful!DSC_0066
  • Take pictures of or, if you’re more artistic, paint the sunset together.
  • Go to a pottery painting studio and paint together (or do your own at home)
  • Go to local holiday events.
  • Do your Christmas shopping, kid free!
  • Go for a drive, while looking at Christmas lights, with coffee or cocoa.
  • Go to Holiday Craft Fairs.
  • Watch your childhood favorite Christmas movies.IMG_2185
  • Decorate your Christmas tree.
  • Wrap Presents while listening to Christmas music.

No matter what you do together it will be a time well spent. The time together is always much needed and always beneficial. Enjoy each other! What are some of your favorite things to do as a couple?

Recipes

Mini Pumpkin Pies

Today is our Thanksgiving fellowship at church and we wanted to try something new. Something that was going to be fun and traditional, but at the same time unique. So I hit up Pinterest and found these little guys! Now it’s always risky trying a new recipe to feed a bunch of people but I was feeling adventurous…and boy am I glad I was!! These things are beyond amazing! We of course had to sample them for ourselves…just to be sure! My husband said they were definitely a keeper and that the cookie crust was the perfect combination of chewy and crisp! My daughter said and I quote “These are absolutely amazing! Best cookies ever mama!” So if you are looking for something new this holiday season, these will definitely be a crowd pleaser. They are simple and delicious!

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix

1 egg

1 stick of butter

Filling:

1 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

1 cup (8 oz) cream cheese

2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup sugar

Topping:

Betty Crocker Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 F ( about 177 C). Spray 36 regular sized muffin cups with cooking spray. Make cookie dough as directed on the package. Shape cookie dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Press dough evenly into bottoms of each muffin cup and slightly up sides.

In a medium bowl, stir pumpkin filling ingredients with a whisk until blended. Spoon a rounded teaspoonful of mixture into each dough filled muffin cup. Spread slightly.

Bake 8-12 minutes or until edges are light Golden brown and filling appears set. ( the cookies and the filling will be soft). Cool 10 minutes in pan; carefully remove to cooling rack.

Fill a piping bag or a baggie with one corner cut off, with Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting. Put a little swirl on top.

Enjoy!!!

Original pin:

https://pin.it/spfwpvsl6szwya

*Note*

I doubled the pie filling from the original recipe to fill 36 cupcake tins.

mom life, Recipes

Delicious Homemade Taco Soup

Homemade soups are one of my favorite meals. They are incredibly easy to make and for busy nights it’s so convenient to have something ready to go. For us Tuesday nights are Ladies bible study nights and Wednesday’s we have our midweek church services. This means we are usually pressed for time those nights and having something cooking in the crockpot or something we can heat up makes for a much less chaotic night!

Growing up my mom used to make this soup and it has always been a meal I look forward to! If you are looking for a tasty family friendly meal give it a shot and let me know what you think!!

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

2-3 cloves of garlic

1 1/2 cups water

2 16 oz cans stewed Italian tomatoes

1 16 oz can Kidney beans

1 16 oz can tomato sauce

1 4 oz can chopped green chili’s

1 packet of taco seasoning

Topping ideas:

Cheese

Fresh tomatoesFresh onionsGreen onionsSour creamCilantro SalsaFritos

Directions:

1) Brown ground beef, onions, garlic and fresh ground pepper together in a skillet.2) In a large pan (or crock pot) combine browned ground beef mixture, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, green chili’s, water and taco seasoning. 3) cook over medium heat until boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer for at least 45 minutes. (If in crockpot cook on low for 6-8 hours or medium for 4 hours)4) Serve in a bowl over Frito chips and topped with your favorite taco toppings. Enjoy!!*Note if you like more spice you can add more green chili’s, jalapeños, hot sauce or any peppers of your choice and just add to taste!

mom life

What to do when your schedule is derailed.

Good morning! This past couple of weeks has been a chaotic time for our family! We were puppy sitting for a family friend, we baby sat our nephew for the week, AND then dealt with a lovely round of sickness! I feel like a tornado hit our house and my business has taken up residence on the back burner unfortunately. But, I have learned to not let these things stress me. I mean, what can we do? Life will happen and your schedule will get derailed. Here are some tips that I have found helpful with keeping sanity in chaotic times.

1.) Always make time to spend time with the Lord.

For me, especially on those extremely busy days, taking time first thing in the morning to sit down and meet with the Lord changes my entire perspective. It helps me to have a positive attitude and not let the little things frustrate me. On the days that I choose to skip my morning meeting with the Lord, I notice that I am snippy with my kids. Or frustrated with work problems that aren’t huge problems. OR grumpy with my husband and that isn’t fair to him either!

Even if you only have 20 minutes. You still have plenty of time to read a chapter, or a few verses, and then spend some time in prayer. Ask Him to go before you through out the day. Ask Him to help you accomplish the things He would like you to accomplish and to give you the energy/motivation to get those things done. Ask Him to help you with your attitude! I promise it really does help.

2.) Make a new plan.

My day is pretty much planned out and is one the same schedule every single day. From my morning meeting with the Lord, work hours, school time, chore time, etc, are all done roughly around the same time everyday. However, when things get changed, I still have non-negotiable things that need to be accomplished. So, I take the time to re-assess the day and determine how I will fit in what needs to be done. Some days, that means we are doing school work while our nephew is napping. Some days, that means making work hours happen while watching a movie with the kiddos.  Some days…that means I skip my chores (sigh) and unfortunately that’s where I am at today! I neglected my chores and now get to play catch up.

But! Making a schedule and sticking to it definitely helps. My important work things were still taken care of. My kids still got quality time with me and we were still able to have fun. My husband and I were able to accomplish some of his tasks (working on his latest video) and still got to spend time together as well.

3.) Make the catch up fun.

Nothing puts me in a better mood than listening to music and singing along! When I have a lot of dishes to catch up on or just regular cleaning to do, I will turn on my music and spend a couple of hours cleaning and singing! Sometimes the kids join in, sometimes I think they think I’ve lost it! But hey! I’m having fun and showing them that working can be fun too…it doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact one of my favorite memories from my childhood was watch my mom and my step-mom work. My mom was an extremely hard worker and one of her ways of making work fun was to have her favorite shows on for background noise. It distracted her from her work and was something we could also do together. My step-mom would blast her favorite music every Saturday and would spend the morning digging in deep to her weekly cleaning. It wasn’t rare to hear her singing or catch her dancing around while she worked!

Like my mom, another way I make work fun is by taking that time to watch something I want to watch. I will either tune into something on the T.V. or these days there are so many apps that you can catch up on your favorite shows with. One of my favorites lately is the Hallmark Channel APP. There are wholesome shows, without all the nonsense, that I can watch and the kids can watch with me.

Whatever works for you to make things fun do that! Podcasts, books on tape, listening to sermons…whatever!

4.) Ask for help if you need it!

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. I still need to tell myself this on a regular basis. I am guilty of not ever asking for help from Kenny. I feel like I am home and it is my job to keep the house clean and make sure all the chores are done. But, sometimes I do need help and it’s okay to ask for it. I’m still working on this one so I need this reminder more than anyone!

5.) Don’t sweat it!

No matter what, at the end of the day, don’t let it bother you. We are all human and I think often times we are too hard on ourselves. As long as your family is taken care of and know they are loved, you are doing your job. The house will get clean, the laundry will get folded, and the dishes will get done. Our families are the most important thing that God has given us. Be there for them and do what you can when you can. Don’t be a sluggard but don’t stress if not everything is done. I promise it’s okay!

I hope this helps you. If you have someone in your life that is struggling with this please share it with them. And if you have any tips on things that you do to combat the chaos of life share them with us too! We all need new tips and tricks from time to time! I hope you all are having a blessed Friday!