November is here! That means we start to get ready for Thanksgiving, along come the crafts and the Thanksgiving books. We’ve always used our reading time together to just breathe, slow down, and have some good old-fashioned fun. It’s my firm belief that people who loved reading, first started by listening to mom and dad read and begging for one more story to avoid bedtime. So there is hope folks! all those times you’ve given in and felt like you might be damaging your kids by breaking the schedule because they want one more story, you’ve actually benefited them greatly! With a love of reading that will stay with them even when they are grown-ups.
“The more things you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” -Dr. Seuss
Hoping that I’ve encouraged you to take on a little Thanksgiving reading challenge, I made this list of the 10 books we will be reading this month. Make it a point to read them to your kids! Let them browse through the pictures and tell you all about it. You might have to ask questions at first, but you will see that once the Thanksgiving books challenge is a thing, they will always want to tell you about it!
Our Thanksgiving Books Challenge-
-These are my affiliate links, in case you need to order any of them. Thank you so much for your love and support!-
When it comes to Halloween treats for our boys, my husband goes for sugar and I try to go for nutrition. I guess we have to balance each other out right? Without him, my kids would have such a boring life!
We decided to go to target as a family and get our Halloween treats; we divided, we conquered! He got candy and I got these Mini Babybel® cheese treats, in the cheese and meats section. The boys loved the packaging because they have mummies and vampires! I mean who doesn’t love mummies and vampires? I love the fact that they are 100% real cheese which adds wholesome nutrition to the fun! So it’s a win-win situation.
After we got home I wanted the boys to have extra fun with the Mini Babybel® cheese treats, so we decided to create these super cute monsters!
Halloween Cheesy Monsters-
I had the boys open their own cheese because it’s super easy and I love to let them be as independent as possible. Then they each gave me their cheese, using a knife I cut different smiles on them and then let them use some pre-cut lunch meat to put it on the smile, and it looks like a hanging tongue.
After that, they used toothpicks to add marinara sauce inside the smile, to make it look extra creepy! Like the monsters just had a snack.
Then we used sliced black olives to make eyes or a single eye, depending on the type of monster. Get creative with it! Our single eyed monsters had a mustard center because the creepier the better.
Just like that, we had a fun-filled afternoon of shopping, crafting and eating a nutritious yet delicious Halloween treat! I would say I got more points than my husband this time :).
A Creepy Surprise
If you don’t feel like a whole afternoon of crafting, or you just don’t have the time for it, another great idea is to add a little monster on each of your kid’s lunches. Without the kids, these only take two minutes to make and they will be over the moon excited to find such a creepy and fun surprise in their lunch box! See? You don’t always have to think candy when it comes to Halloween treats!
Mini Babybel® cheese is creamy and delicious, and the possibilities are endless when it comes to being creative with it! Go to this website and see many more ideas and learn about these yummy treats that will take healthy snacking to a whole new exciting level.
Head on to Target, and only grab your Mini Babybel® cheese I dare you! Ok kidding, grab all the things! just don’t forget the cheese.
Here’s a live video of us making the cheesy monsters! Without rehearsal, so it’s quite fun, if you know what I mean.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RecipesWithPurpose #CollectiveBias
With the fall arriving, so does the fall camping fun! When planning our last camping trip, I found myself thinking that having a packing list for our pup would be amazing! When camping with your dog, you need to make sure you prepare, so that everyone can have the best of times. Here is my list, I hope it helps when you plan your camping trip.
One important thing to do, even before you start packing, is to make sure that your campsite allows dogs on site, sadly, not every place is pup friendly and it would be sad to arrive all ready for an adventure, only to have to turn around and go home.
Dog tags and license-
You want to make sure that your dog is wearing them at all times! with being in a different environment, it is possible that they wander off. Please make sure the tags have your updated information so that you can be reached right away. If possible, bring an extra set, just to be sure to be prepared in the event that they lose one.
Check your dog’s collar to make sure it fits well. If the collar has become loose with time, please get a new one.
Leash and Cable-
I know that some dogs never wander away, but again, since you will be in a new environment, your dog might act a little differently. Please bring your leash and a 20 feet long cable and stake. If your dog becomes a major explorer and wants to go all the places during your downtime, you will be happy to have the option to give it the freedom of walking and playing while staying safely near you. The leash will also come in handy when you want to do some exploring together.
Food and water bowls-
This one is pretty Obvious when you pack food utensils for the humans, you get the dog things ready too.
Just like it’s important to pick up after your dog at the park, or during a walk, it is also important to pick up after them at the campsite. Please help keep campsites clean and pet-friendly.
First aid kit-
This is always good to have for both humans and dogs in case of an emergency or even minor things.
fall can be chilly at night and your pup will need his own cozy sleeping bag or blanket to feel warm and secure next to you.
Our dog Oliver would never want me to forget to pack his toy, so I thought that you needed to put this on the list for your fur baby.
You want to make sure to have enough food to keep a happy pup for the entire duration of the camping trip.
When it comes to our dog, we like to give him only the best food! Grain free, no corn or wheat and not any poultry byproduct, are our must-haves when it comes to our dog’s nutrition.
He absolutely loves Nature’s Recipe dry dog food! He knows when I come back from a shopping trip with it and stays right by my side until he gets a serving of the delicious natural recipes with added vitamins and minerals. So, of course, that when I’m preparing for camping, I make sure to run to the store and grab an extra big bag of his favorite food, that always helps to fuel his wag and keep him growing happy and strong.
I used to always have to drive out to the pet store to grab his food but now, I just found out that is also available at many grocery stores. so I headed to Food Lion and easily found many varieties of Nature’s Recipe right on the Pet supplies aisle. Easiest shopping trip! Got the human’s goodies and the pup’s goodies, all in one place.
And because I love you all and your adorable fur babies, I want to share this amazing Checkout 51 offer that gets you $3 back when you purchase any one Nature’s Recipe product. Isn’t that double amazing?
Want to find more inspiration for having wonderful times with your dog? Visit the Nature’s Recipe site for all sorts of fun ideas!
Camping together is what fuels my pup’s wag! what do you do to fuel the wag with your pup?
This post was sponsored by Café Bustelo® as part of an Influence Central campaign and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Since we are talking about Hispanic Heritage Month, I thought it would be fun to share some of the ways I start my day, with our traditions in my heart and of course a big bold flavorful cup of coffee. I am Colombian after all! Did you know that Colombia is one of the three highest producers of coffee in the world?
Growing up, every time we went to someone’s house, we were offered a nice cup of coffee and a whole lot of love. Even now, every time my mom is near, I can smell the coffee when I open my eyes in the morning. It’s a Colombian thing, coffee almost equals love.
Our house is always very loud, busy, and happy! So the early mornings, when the sun is starting to peek out, is my time alone, to prepare for the day. When I first wake up, I just want to go back to sleep. But then I wash my face and start thinking about my coffee. I hurry down the stairs to do the two things that make me feel ready for the day.
Make my coffee-
We all know that as a mom of 4 boys, I’m going to be needing a good cup of coffee to start my day! Let me tell you about one of my favorites. Café Bustelo® is a hidden gem that not everyone knows about. It is a great quality Hispanic coffee with a rich and strong flavor that stands up to all the cream and sugar that your heart might desire! I buy mine at Target, because sometimes I go there, or a lot of times, or once a week. Who knows?
Target has all of the different varieties of my beloved Café Bustelo. It comes ground, whole beans, brick, instant and of course in K-Cup® Pods. So I know that when I need it, I can find it at Target. I like to grab a box of the K-Cup Pods for those extra sleepy mornings or for the occasional way-too-long-day, especially when I’ve had to unplug the toilet one too many times. You know what I mean? I just stick a little Café Bustelo K-cup Pod in my Keurig and boom! The precious black liquid, saves the day.
If you love Target like I do, you probably use the Target Cartwheel app! Visit your local Target today and use this Cartwheel offer to get 10% off your Café Bustelo® K-cup® Pods, you won’t regret it!
Make our breakfast-
The boys are always hungry. Yes always. When they wake up in the morning, they give me big hugs, and before they let go, they are asking me for food.
On this Hispanic Heritage Month, we have had fun making a lot of different foods that my family has always loved. One of my late daddy’s favorite dishes was Calentado. Calentado means “heated” which consists of taking the left over rice and beans from the night before and frying them up together in the morning. They taste so good this way!
We serve them with a fried egg, a grilled chorizo and a freshly made Arepa. Arepas are the other big staple in the Colombian kitchen. It’s a round and flat corn cake that we ate every day, sometimes for breakfast, but really at any time of the day! My boys know arepas and they dance with joy when they hear that I am making a big batch of them! Of course, they also love the idea of a nice plate of calentado in the morning.
And for me, my calentado breakfast, always has to be acompanied by a hot and rich flavored cup of my Café Bustelo. These fun meals have brought about so many memories, and so many stories have been told to my little boys about where mommy comes from and their Hispanic Heritage.
I am so proud of my little Hispanic American boys! I hope that one day they will be a part of someone’s Hispanic Heritage Month lecture. We hope to raise them to change the world!
This week on lunch with Seth, we are taking our leftover chicken plus a few of Seth’s favorite things, to make a fun new lunch. Packing a fun and healthy lunch doesn’t have to be super complicated, but it is very important! So when my son asked to have a little corner of my blog to encourage other kids and moms, I was thrilled!
Seth is my first born, he will be 10 this month! yes I said 10. I will be over here crying! He loves to cook like mommy and daddy and it’s the only chore that he begs to have. My boy is also a dreamer! He is one of those kids that comes up with all the futuristic ideas! Convinced that he can change the way that you think about packing lunches and that he can make kids believe that healthy eating is fun!
Will you be a part of his journey? Let’s start with a simple lunch that he literally just made from walking around the kitchen!
Our Favorite Lunch Box-
He was so excited to have received his new lunch box from PlanetBox our only and favorite! PlanetBox is made out of stainless steel, it’s non toxic, because really we are talking about our lunch here :). It’s reusable and recyclable, which makes it not only good for us and our kids, but also for our environment.
The different food compartments are the best! We can put completely different foods in the same lunch and no be afraid of some yucky mush, which was way fun for Seth when it came time to make this lunch! I told him that I was providing leftover chicken, and he would have to go to the pantry to find the rest of his lunch. He felt like he was on that TV show, where the chefs go crazy trying to get pantry goods. This is what he came back with.
I asked him if he needed help but he said no mommy! I got this! And really it was easy for him to arrange the food in a way that he wanted, then I offered some granola bites to complete the lunch and boom! Lunch was ready!
He paired the strawberries with the cheese, which was delicious. For the chicken, he wanted some avocado and salt, some times left over chicken can be a bit dry, so avocado is a great way to add some moisture and creaminess. Carrots! the child almost never eats carrots! I’m telling you, making your own lunch can be miraculous! Raisins have been a staple in this house for quick snacks and for our field trips, so I can see why he grabbed those, and they fit perfectly in his creation.
Learning to teach by example-
His brothers came along to watch big brother do his thing, when he was done, everyone was begging to eat the veggies and fruit in that lunch box! Every morning, they wake me up with ideas for what we can pack for today, and I love it! I discovered a while back that if I only keep things I want them to eat in my kitchen, that is what they will grab. It’s not always easy! I have a terrible sweet tooth! But I also know that they watch me and what I have for lunch. So that helps me a lot to make better choices! For myself and for them!
“I would like to be known as a woman who teaches by being”. -Maya Angelou
I encourage you to start talking to your children about their meals! It’s amazing how their minds will come up with outstanding ideas! When they feel like they are helping, it helps them to learn a sense of responsibility with what they eat and how they take care of their bodies.
Come see us next week! When Seth will be showing a simple and fun recipe, to include in our amazing lunch, and showing off some more cool features of our PlanetBox! Can’t wait to grow our lunch adventure with you all! You can also pin this post, to save it for a future time. Here is the finished product, seconds before being devoured by hungry little dragons.
For more fun ways to teach kids responsibility and independence, check out this post with a free printable chores chart for kids.
With all the transitions that happened this summer, we thought hey why not add one more? Between the ages of 18 months and 3 years, toddlers usually make the transition to big kid bed. Of course I was going to wait until the last minute. With him being our baby, we want to savor every moment.
So Owen is now officially in a big kid bed. Let’s not talk about the sad part of my tiny little baby being a big boy! But let’s talk about the things we did to help him in the transition. And maybe they will help you too!
Be excited about the new bed-
Go crazy! Make it fun! Let them make it a big deal! Tell their friends and have a little family party! We told him that this was a huge step on becoming a big boy! He smiles a lot when we call him a big boy, and he is proud of it.
Let them help in the process-
As a part of building that excitement, we let him help choosing things and looking at beds, and also moving the bed into his room! He helped open everything that we got and every time it was a party.
Make the room safe-
We don’t want to become so excited with the new room or new bed, that we forget about the safety of the child! They will now be able to roam free in the room, so check shelving to make sure it’s not loose’ secure dressers to walls, cover all those super exciting electric outlets, etc.
Give them a sense of independence-
There are many ways to help them feel secure. Have a routine! As a big boy, he knows that he can brush his teeth, pick out his pajamas, and pick out the book or the 16 books that he wants us to read.
He also knows that in the morning, when he wakes up, he will be making his bed! like a big boy! Thanks to his amazing big boy bedding from Beddy’s Bedding I need to take time here to tell you about it, because they are THAT amazing!
First, they are adorable! and incredibly comfortable! Their designs are gorgeous and clean, so you are able to fit pretty much any style with them. And they also come with shams and pillow cases to match! Second, they had all the possible sizes! from baby crib to king size. Now here are Owen’s two favorite features! The inside is incredibly soft! Soft cotton sheet and even softer minky fabric on the inside. So when he goes to bed, he is embraced in the comfiest and softest bed ever! He really loves being in his bed and wakes up so happy in the morning! Owen also loves that after he wakes up, he can easily zip up the sides and have his bed made in minutes! It gives him the sense of accomplishment of a big boy!
And as you guessed, this is one of my favorite features too! After wash, the entire bedding set goes on the mattress, you put it on like a fitted sheet and boom! You are done! the sheet is sewn in, and the super soft inner blanket is too! So he doesn’t get all tangled up in the flat sheet and then the blanket and then more stuff. none of that! And since he can make his bed by himself, I have extra time to try and drink my coffee before it gets cold.So if you are planning your little one’s new big kid bedding now, I recommend you to check out Beddy’s. I really don’t think that you will ever want any other bedding on your beds, ever. Yes they are really that good.
Yes, change is hard! A new bed for a little babe, can be very intimidating, and while empathy and love are very important and necessary, try to make all your comfort into encouragement for them to know that it will be ok!
Don’t change your mind and plans a lot, because it might just cause confusion and more heartache in the long run. Tell them that you also don’t like change some times, but that it usually brings nothing but excitement and new adventures.
At the end of the day, nobody knows your child as well as you do! And nobody loves them as much as you do either! So have fun with it! Relax and help them relax also. Pretty soon you will both be making new wonderful memories around the new big bed, and the crib will be a thing of the past, yet never forgotten 😉 because they will always be your babies.
For more tips on helping your little ones learn to be independent and self sufficient, check out my post on chores. and download your free chores chart.