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Back to Milk and Cookies

make the perfect back to school snack, cookies and milk with a2 Milk® and these super simple recipes for kids to make

The following post was sponsored by a2 Milk® as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central.  I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.  As always, all opinions are my own. 

Oh, goodness!  We are about to embark on a new part of the parenting journey!  Kindergarten!  I can’t believe we are already here.  It seems like the world could not have possibly gone 5 times around the sun since we had our oldest one.   But here we are and I am excited and nervous (and excited and nervous, in that order) to start this new season in our lives.

I am currently in crazy planning mode: getting our “school” room set up, changing up the girls’ play area to include a new (boy) addition to the fun, banking meals in the freezer for this fall, and trying to figure out what in the world we are going to eat every day! And though all the planning can be a little overwhelming at times, I have created my own reward system in all the planning: Cookies!  And milk!

Now, back at the beginning of the year, I would have never added the milk part to the mix.  I was perfectly content with just a cookie thanks.  And it was because I have had some tummy troubles when I drink milk.  But this year I found a solution to the tummy troubles: a2 Milk®!  It comes from cows that don’t have a hormone that is thought to cause most typical tummy issues in humans.  So, it has me not only getting ready for back to school, but also back to milk and cookies! 

And since I am in my intense planning stage for back to school, I thought I would share with you what we are planning for our after school snacks for this fall: Milk and Cookies!  I mean this classic combination has been making kids squeal with excitement for ages – right?  And I definitely want our kids to have some baked yumminess to look forward to at least once a week.

Bonus points on the day they have just come out of the oven.

Ultra-bonus points if the kids baked them all by themselves! Continue Reading

Nest Building

Convertible Pillow Pallets for Kids

pillow pallet for kids - a super simple, super comfy project to make for the kids' rooms

It must have been a few years ago, when I was first on Pinterest.  I saw this project that looked like such a great idea, but I had all kinds of questions about it.  First off, I wanted to know: “Where do you store that when you aren’t using it?”  Then I wondered, “How do you clean that?”  And then I thought, “You know that really is genius.”  But I thought, I would do that differently.

Fast forward a couple of years and I have a kid who sleeps on the floor – every.night.  Yep.  She refuses to pass the night in the comfort of her twin bed.  And so I got to thinking about that pillow project and started formulating an idea to make her more comfortable and (possibly) to get her more interested in her bed.

So, I decided to make these, let’s call them: Convertible Pillow Pallets for my girls.  I just knew they would love them!  And I was right…big time!

My middle child came up to me and said, “I like my pillow pallet.  What store did you get it at?”

And I have to admit that I was little bit proud to say, “I didn’t get them at the store.  I made them!” Continue Reading

Nest Building

Home Office Planning

Decluttering Step by step Progress report
This entry is part of 42 in the series Hope for Homemakers

Oh, the project for decluttering and setting up my husband’s office seems like it will never end.  It seems like when I make progress, we suddenly have something else pop up in the way of more progress.  This past week my husband (rightly) decided that it was way too hot in his office and he wants to install a mini A/C in the wall.  He’s a builder and so he knows people who can do this in their sleep, but I kind of wonder how many days (and nights) it will take to actually get it done.

In the mean time, I have been in planning mode.  Because when progress on a project is just not happening, I like to keep in mind the end goal and make sure it is something we really LOVE.  Planning is my happy place!

I thought I would share with you a portion of my vision for this room. Continue Reading

Nest Building

Hope for Homemakers: Update on Decluttering

Decluttering Step by step Progress report
This entry is part 41 of 42 in the series Hope for Homemakers

You know that thing where your mother-in-law calls and says she is on her way.  She is about 15 minutes away.  You put the phone down and look around you at the mess overwhelming.  And you jump into action, fitting in 3 days worth of cleaning in 14 minutes 50 seconds, with 10 seconds to left to catch your breath by the front door before opening it and greeting her in your best and most casual, “Oh, Hey!”

There is something about the announcement of a visitor to our homes that gives us the long-sought for motivation to clean like we get paid to clean.   And I suppose there is some sort of payment exchanged.  You know the kind of payment where the visitor looks around your home and says something nice.  You know when they “pay you a compliment” on your homemaking prowess.  And you blush, and look around like, “oh, this old thing.”  Like it looks like this everyday.   The funny thing we forget in all the cleaning-for-company madness is that the visitor is likely not there to check out our home, evaluate our homemaking skills, and give us a grade based on their experience while in our homes.  And still we do the 15 minute mad dash.

Well, this whole scenario (on steroids!) happened for us a couple of weeks ago because my husband informed me that an appraiser was scheduled to come by the house to appraise it for our refinance.

Consider me motivated! Continue Reading

Nest Building

The Hardest 15 minutes of my Day

the-hardest-15-minutes-of-my-day
This entry is part 40 of 42 in the series Hope for Homemakers

I get up in the morning around 5 AM.  I try to get to bed between 11 PM and 12 AM.  And I am usually up with our baby at some point in the middle of the night.  So there are a LOT of hours in my mothering/homemaking day.  Wow, writing that just now made me realize just how many! Dang…I deserve a medal!  And there are moments of my day that are a breeze.  There are moments of my day that are exasperating.  There are moments that are indescribable.  But there is a section of my day that I would definitely title: “THE HARDEST.”  Strung together near the conclusion of my many waking hours are the hardest 15 minutes of my day.

I have a major, major temptation to just avoid these fifteen minutes altogether.

They are that hard.

These minutes come at the end of every day, no matter what that day has thrown at me.  They knock on the door of my psyche and say, “It’s time.”  And I groan and say, “Really?  Do I really have to do it all over again?”

And the answer comes from within my own heart – most days – “Yes, it is worth it.” Continue Reading

Nest Building

Upcycle Clothing: 25 Simple Ideas

simple upcycle clothing ideas for mamas, babies, and home

We have been working on getting our master closet in order – finally!  Last year, we had a custom closet system designed and installed that has made use of the space in amazing ways!  And now we have almost too much room for stuff.  Couple that with my constant need to purge our home of things we don’t need and/or use and I have a PILE of old clothes that we need to get rid of.  I have had some ideas of what to do with some of the unwanted clothing we have, but I wanted to start thinking about more ways to upcycle clothing in fun and useful ways.  So, I made a list.  And the list got longer and longer.  And now it is SO long, I think I am going to have to share it with you because I will never get around to all these projects!

Let me say from the outset that these upcycle projects are SUPER SIMPLE!  The reason for that is I am not a seamstress, I am not even, technically a crafter.  These projects have to be simple enough for a person without craft experience and know-how to feel comfortable trying.  And these projects are all made of things WE have lying around the house.   We consider ourselves kind of basic, so the materials used in these projects use just the basics. Without further ado, here’s the list of AWESOME UPCYCLE ideas for old clothes.

Continue Reading

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