Monday, June 28, 2010

On the Road Again: Simple, Fun Travel Keepsakes

It's Summer! Time for road trips, sunny days and making memories!

I thought I'd share a few ideas I got from Susan Peterson, a wonderful MOPS speaker I heard about a year ago. She wrote this awesome book and has some great ideas for souveniers that are memorable, easy and inexpensive.

Patch Quilt
The idea is that you start off with a "blank" quilt for each child and then purchase a patch every time you travel to a new place.

I am very blessed to have a BFF who is a wonderful seamstress, so she made these amazing quilts for my kids. I'm sure if you're not the sewing type, you can find plain quilts online.

Bennett already has two new patches on his quilt since this picture was taken (Disneyland and Santa Barbara). He LOVES his patch quilt and is really starting to understand the concept of adding patches from each new place, which is exciting for him.

Mallie likes hers too!

By the time my kids are leaving for college, their quilts will be full of wonderful memories from all the places we've been together. It's like a 3-D scrapbook!

Postcard Memory Books

This is as simple as buying a postcard for each child from the place your are visiting and putting them all together with binder rings to make a "book."

On the back of the postcard, write the date and your child's favorite memory from the place you visited. We usually do this on the way home while the day is still fresh in Bennett's mind. Since Mallory is too little for this, I usually just write a short summary of the day's events on her postcard.

I hope these simple ideas will inspire you to create some travel keepsakes for your kids!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Problem of Epic Poop-ortion

So, we seriously have a problem with Bennett pooping everywhere and anywhere... except the toilet. You may remember this story from a few months ago.

Well, we pretty much had a repeat performance of that scenario last Sunday... the only difference being that I was in my Sunday dress and heels whilst scrubbing poop off the floor, walls and carpet.

Then a few weeks ago, after running some errands, I arrived home and Bennett came walking by me. As he passed me in the hallway, he nonchalantly said, "Oh, Mama... I pooped in the playroom." So I raced the the playroom where, sure enough, I found a big pile o' poo sitting on the carpet. What in the world?!

Today was the kicker.

We were at the community pool splash park with some friends, and the kids were having such a fun time playing. After a while in the water, the kids started running around in the grass area behind the splash park. All of a sudden, one of my friends said, "Um, Casey... Um... Bennett is..."

Taking a DUMP in the grass, that's what he was doing!

While other horrified mothers looked on. And while his sweet, little friend stood there dumbfounded, staring at Bennett's booty with a look of bewilderment on her face.

I ran over to him, trying to remain calm, and we quickly made our way to the bathroom. But I am seriously at a loss for what to do about this. Any child psychologists reading this that might have an idea as to why my son doesn't want to poop in the toilet? And even if you're not a child psychologist, please give me some advice!

Both I and the community pool cleanup staff would be much obliged.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Trader Joe's Product O' the Whenever: Sundried Tomato Chicken Tenders

Last week at Trader Joe's, I experienced a revelation of deliciousness that needed to be shared with the masses.

The wonderful man who does the demo cooking at TJ's whipped up a sandwich that can only be described as heaven on a baguette. The main ingredient is our product 'o the whenever:

Trader Joe's Sundried Tomato and Basil Chicken Tenders

As the name suggests, they are delectably marinated chicken tenders that cook up super quick.

As for the sandwich I mentioned, it was a Sundried Tomato Chicken Bruschetta Sandwich. All I have to say is, thank you, Trader Joe's Employee for discovering this culinary creation. You are the Christopher Columbus of sandwiches, and I salute you.

To make the sandwich, first bake or broil your chicken tenders until just cooked though. I broiled mine on a foil lined baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Once cooked, remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the tenders hang out for just a few minutes before cutting them into bite-sized pieces.

Next slice a baguette lengthwise and then into smaller sections. Lay the baguette halves on a baking sheet. Top with your chopped chicken, then spoon on some of this crazy goodness:

This bruschetta sauce really is to DIE for.

No, seriously, I would die for it. Not even joking.

After you've spooned till you just can't spoon no mo', top everything off with some sliced provolone cheese.

Now pop that bad boy in the oven at 375 for 5-7 minutes, until the cheese is nice and melted and everything is heated through.

And there you have it. A delicious sandwich made with a delicious product o' the whenever.

Oh, and if you fall in love with these chicken tenders and want to try them in other ways, consider grilling them and serving alongside this pasta salad for a full-out sundried tomato jubilee!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Blogspiration: Choosing Joy in Your Homemaking

I was really encouraged/kicked in the butt by what Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking had to say in this post .

If you are a homemaker or stay at home Mama, you absolutely must, must, MUST read it.

I hope it blesses you as much as it did me.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Simple Summer Treat: Make Your Own Popsicles!

Today Bennett and I picked up a pack of Popsicle molds at Bed Bath and Beyond.

We used fresh pineapple along with a little pineapple juice in place of the canned pineapple.

Delicious. Simply Delicious. That's all I have to say.