Christmas goody bags

I learned quickly that elementary kids are not happy when you don’t bring goody bags. I know because two years in a row I didn’t bring them for Jason’s class birthday party and most were rather distraught. So I’ve started doing them for the class holiday parties, that and it’s better than adding another cookie or cupcake to the mix. I went a little more simple this time but I love the way it turned out. Each one was less than $1.50. I’ll break it down through out the post.

(I don’t know why I can’t straighten that picture out)

So in each bag they got 5 stickers, two pieces of candy, a cute little ring pop thing, 3 tattoos, 2 sticky hands, and reindeer feed (I’ll include what that is in a minute)

I went to the dollar tree for both bags, candy, and glitter.

22 snack size ziploc = .05/each

Ring pops we’re 5/$1 = .20/each

3 bags of candy with a few pieces left over = .15/each

Snowman bags = .06/each

Glitter = .05/each

Then I ordered the stickers, tattoos, and sticky hands from amazon and we have prime so free shipping ☺️

100 stickers were 4.70 = .05/each (.25 per bag)

72 sticky hands were 4.95 = .07/each (.14 per bag)

72 tattoos were 4.09 = .06/each (.18 per bag)

I had the oatmeal and ribbon already but for as little as it cost and as little as I used I just added a little to my grand total from everything else.

And my kids were happy to see soooo many extra sticky hands, those things are a hot item around this house.

<<<<<<<<
eer feed was a super cute idea a mom did for Jason's class two years ago. He requested I do it this year and I couldn't say no. I probably should have, there is glitter everywhere, places I didn't even take the glitter. 😳 I put 1/4 cup of oats with a dash of glitter in each bag. You can added colored sugar, sprinkles, whatever sparkle you would like. Then I typed up the saying in word and printed it them. My kids really enjoy sprinkling it in the yard on Christmas Eve.

Pinterest had a few versions of the rhyme but this was my favorite. I’ll probably do this every year until the kids are to old. And by then I’ll have little nieces and nephews so I’ll get to continue with them.

What cool things have your kids brought home in goody bags? I’m always looking for cute, unconventional ideas.

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Christmas tree fiasco

Friday I had the house to myself with nothing to really do (except grocery shop) so I spent all day deep cleaning my house. Like all day. Started at 10 am and I finished around 5:15. This place was spotless, including both the kids rooms, which looked like toys r us threw up in both of them before I started. I have enjoyed my weekend just doing the daily up keep. So, everyone’s sitting around the couch when BAM! our tree hits the floor. (I was so distraught I didn’t get a picture of the disaster of a mess it caused) ornaments and tree needles go everywhere, I already hate a Christmas tree for that very reason, this looked like it exploded. As we’re picking up the ornaments and trying to get the tree back up we realize one of the “our first Christmas” ornaments broke. I sat it on the coffee table so I could super glue it back together. Ellie Grace picks it up and says “uh oh, beauty and the beast broke” 😂 which I found way more hilarious than Jimmy did.

BTW, when there is that many needles on the floor the vacuum cleaner is no help. I had to take the hand attachment and about 40 minutes of my life getting them up, and there’s still some left 😩

**the tree picture is after it fell, hence the missing tree skirt because it is now soaked and we just threw everything back on it. It’s a hot mess guys.

Just An Update

How was everyone’s Thanksgiving?? We spent it in South Florida, of course, with the amazing 80+ degree weather. I laughed Thanksgiving day as I scrolled through my Facebook timeline. Everyone was posting pictures all bundled up and then I look at my kids running around in shorts. When we left to head back it was 81 degrees there and 62 here 😳 I could have cried!

We do Thanksmas with family since we all live so far apart. This was 4 out of 5 in the 5th generation. We were missing quite a few family members for various reasons but we still had fun.

I’m sure you guys are wondering about the chicken eggs. Well, I don’t think think any of them were fertile. The plan was to take the incubator to FL with us since that’s the week they were supposed to start hatching, however, when I candled them it didn’t look promising. We actually busted them all before we left to see if we were right and we were. Not a single one. We’re going to try when it warms back up, tasing bitties in the cold months is super hard and I just don’t have the time to check coop temperatures like it needs to be done.

This was the day before we left, it should have looked almost solid.

We did add two new hens to our bunch today! They are the stinking cutest! Very petite and fluffy ☺️☺️ they look pretty big in the picture but next to our chickens they are tiny. We named one Reba and the other will probably be Dolly, but it’s not set in stone yet. I wasn’t able to get great pictures today because they’re pretty skittish still. I’ll definitely post more when they warm up. These are laying hens and they WILL SIT! Like no tomorrow the breeder said. He’s already had them hatch some. EG is way to excited for baby chicks.

The oven is telling me dinner is ready! I will be posting a project later this week so keep your eyes peeled for that !

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Guys! These things are the BOMB. I shared recently that we were trying to eat healthier and cut out sugars etc and it has not been easy. None the less, you gotta start somewhere and these were perfect. I did not follow this recipe exactly for various reasons (I’ll tell you the parts I strayed on) but they were still healthier than store bought muffins. And the kids can not get enough of them – which is a huge win in my book.

I found this recipe on These Lovely Acres blog, along with so many others. I spent hours scrolling and saving things, please take the time to check her blog out!

Here is my version of the recipe:

Some ingredients not pictured

You’ll need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 large bananas
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup or honey (Jason requested I try honey so thats what I used)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (I used regular sugar because 1. I’m allergic to coconut and 2. I wasn’t mentally prepared to spend that much money on a little bit of sugar)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (I left it out, I hate cinnamon)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups all purpose Einkorn flour (I used regular all purpose flour because I couldn’t find the Einkorn flour at Publix – next time I will use it)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (you could even add white chocolate chips)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Blend bananas with a hand mixer until mashed (make sure you use a REALLY deep bowl, this was extremely messy)
  3. Add eggs, butter, syrup/honey, sugar, and vanilla. Mix
  4. In separate bowl combine baking soda, cinnamon, flour, and salt.
  5. Combine all the ingredients into one bowl
  6. Stir in chocolate chips
  7. Grease pan and pour batter
  8. ** her recipe said bake 30 minutes. I made mini muffins (9 minutes) and my large muffins took about 23 minutes.

** this made 24 mini muffins and 8 large muffins.

Healthy eating

I’ve never been a health nut, it’s no secret I’ll kill you over some chocolate, but I do try to make healthier choices regularly. Naturally, when Jason started getting to the age where he could have treats, etc, I monitored just how much he consumed. At about 1 1/2 years old my mom and I met for our favorite desert at Chili’s, chocolate molten cake. I gave Jason a bite and he instantly transformed into a different child. He started screaming at me to give him more and acting like a child who had no discipline or training on how to behave in public. I also noticed a difference if he had red dye 40. For the next few years we monitored everything he ate. No chocolate, nothing red, minimum candy, and definitely no soda except for the occasional sprite. 

Now Jason has started school and since the beginning of the school year I have noticed a tremendous difference in his behavior. He has gotten mouthier, stopped using his manners consistently, and some days just impossible to deal with. I really evaluated our lives, what changed? Our diets are the same, I’ve started going to the gym so he’s actually getting more exercise going to the child care, and our routine is still the same (if you don’t know, I don’t play about bed time – we stay on a schedule) then it hit me, School. They are always celebrating and having parties. I don’t want to be the meanest mom in the world and check him out for every party so I sat down and spent hours pouring over other blogs on healthy eating and looking for recipes. Guys. Holy cow. I knew it wouldn’t be the easiest thing but I honestly didn’t think it would be THIS hard. So we’re starting small. I made muffins from scratch out of whole ingredients and no refined sugar for breakfast through the week, I’ll share the recipe in another post I can’t remember where I found it and I want to be sure to give credit, I started buying better after school snacks, and bought a few 100% healthy nights worth of dinner. Like I said, starting small, something is better than nothing. 

However I will share this recipe I just threw together myself for lunch for Ellie Grace and myself. She woke me up at 4:30 running a fever of 101 so I didn’t get much sleep after that. I was up and down checking temperature and keeping her hydrated. I’m struggling today but I have so much to do and can’t just lay around so after my one cup of coffee I decided to get my energy with food. Every recipe I read that had “energy” in the title contained peanut butter so I started there. You’ll need: 

  • 1 1/4 cup of Old fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 2 cups of milk
  • Chia seeds – this is optional. I bought some for another recipe and have leftover. I’m not sure why they are healthy but they’re supposed to be, so why not add them. Haha 

*also this is what I used for two of us and it was the right amount. You can adjust to how much you want to make. 

  1. Pour milk and pot and get to a boil
  2. Pour in oats and turn heat to medium. You’ll need to cook approximately 5 minutes
  3. Stir continuously – add peanut butter after a few minutes
  4. Once done pour into bowl and sprinkle chia seeds. 

* you could also add a banana, which I was going to do but Ellie snuck the last banana off the counter and ate it while I was cooking. 

It’s not fancy but I’m full and it was pretty healthy so I’m happy. If I had used almond milk and whole peanut butter it would have been healthier. If you try it let me know what you think! Do you have any recipes to share?

Barbra Jeans eggs 

Back on April I was on the phone with my mom while in Tractor Supply when Ellie Grace went into full blown melt down over a dang duck! So for Easter Nonnie and Poppy showed up with not just one duck but three ducks, six chickens, and a chicken coop. It has been so much fun watching them grow, helping the kids learn how to take care of them, and they’ve also learned a little about the food chain. We lost two chickens to a hawk and a duck to an unknown source. They handled it rather well, I was for sure my little Dr. Doolittle (Ellie Grace) would be devastated. 


Now we’ve had them for about 6 months and they are much bigger. About two weeks ago our hen (pictures below) started laying eggs! It’s been fun going out everyday and counting them to see if she’s laid anymore. As of right now we have 11. She hasn’t exactly showed any interest in hatching them, some hens do – some don’t, so we are trying to hatch them in an incubator. They may drive me insane before the 21 (ish) days pass and we see if they are actually going to hatch. 


I’ll keep you guys posted on how this is going.  I’m hoping at least one hatches because, really, how cool would that be?!?

Halloween Treat “Bags”

First, I highly do NOT recommend this craft. 

It’s the time of year where your elementary school child is bringing home one sign up sheet after another for parties. And in true Chelsea fashion I can’t just buy something already made. I have to scour Pinterest (this is where it went wrong) for a cute idea. I volunteered to bring the treat bags for Jason’s party tomorrow. I came across this super cute idea and headed off to the store for supplies. After checking out I ended up talking to Jimmy on the phone and told him what I was doing. His first response: you’re in over your head. I should have listened (shhh… don’t tell him I said that) Anyways 3 hours, a broken nail, and two injured fingers later they are done!


Before I started I thought to myself “these would be super cute snowman for Christmas!” 

Just kidding!

In case you do want to attempt these, here is the process. Sorry I didn’t get pictures of ever step; it’s pretty self explanatory though. 


I started off with individually packaged gummy rings, erasers, candy bracelets, glow in he dark creepy crawlers, and Halloween rings. 


You will also need balloons (more than you actually need. I ripped 9), a wide mouth bottle,  and a sharpie. I added green string to the top for decoration. I cut the end off an almost empty juice jug we had in the fridge. Make sure you cut the plastic ring off, the balloons tend to rip on it. 

1. Stretch the mouth of the balloon over the mouth of the bottle.

I tried just stretching it with my hands. After about the 5th balloon the friction peeled the skin back on two fingers so I suggest you use some sort of funnel. 

2. Drop the treats in. Be careful, I tried to buy things that wouldn’t catch and rip the balloon but some of the rings still did. I also opted out of putting the sticker boxes in the balloons. Every one I tried ended up crushing the box. I’ll just hand them out with the balloons. And you don’t want to buy suckers or anything else with a sharp edge. 

3. Blow the balloon up, tie it, and draw a face. 

Jason loves them so I’m sure they’ll be a big hit tomorrow. 

kindergarten and cuss words

I can’t believe we’re are in the last grade that doesn’t have a number in it! My baby is growing up way way way to fast. This year has been fun so far. We started a new school with (mostly) new friends, which is not a problem with Mr. Social. His seat has already been moved twice (that I know of). His teacher says it’s because they’ve shuffled kids between classes but I think she was trying to be nice; my kid talks, he gets it honest!

Anyways, a little story I didn’t share from Pre-K was that Jason picked up a new word at school. I was blown away by what he learned cause it’s definitely not a word he’s heard us say (it was pretty bad). But that’s all that ever came of that situation, thankfully. Until yesterday. As we are driving down the road he tells me that one of his friends in his class (we’ll call him X) said the A word. I’m wracking my brain, how in the world do I handle this the 5 year old way? Because let’s be real here, after the word he learned last year I need to know exactly what this kid said. Here’s how the conversation went:

me: oh, well that’s not very good. Was it (insert the “a” word)?

j: maybe it was the “b” word.

I’m thinking great, we’re going to have to go thru the whole dang alphabet if I don’t figure this out. I say another word.

j: yeah, that’s it. but the teacher didn’t hear him so he didn’t have to move his bear. I told X that it wasn’t nice and we need to tell people nicely that we don’t like what they’re doing or tell the teacher.

me: You handled that very well, I’m proud of you. But you don’t need to repeat that, okay?

j: okay. What’s the c word?

me: uh, no. Not having this conversation because you are 5 and you can’t use those words. They are adult words.

j: but I’m almost 6! and when I’m 6 I can cuss.

Y’all. In his mind 6 is an adult. What in the world am I going to do when he’s 16 or 18?

Taking on Magic Kingdom

My mom and I decided to take my kids (5 & 1.5) to Magic Kingdom for a day trip. To say I was a little hesitant would be appropriate, I wasn’t sure how well my 1 year old would do. But we more than survived, we conquered! Here’s my tips for a great trip. 

1. Go without a plan!

Say what?!? Yes! You read that right. We’ve been to Disney 100s of times and we always plan. This time we just decided to wing it since we were taking a 1 year old and it went PERFECT!

However, be sure to read up on the fast pass rules since they have changed twice in the last 4 or so years. 

2. If you drive to the park make sure you take a picture of the parking lot you’re in. I’m usually really good at remembering stuff but after 2 hours of sleep, a 5 hour drive, and walking around Magic Kingdom all day my brain was toast. I was very happy to have that picture. 

3. If you have small children RENT THAT STROLLER. My kids are not ones to normally ride in one but I knew I didn’t want to a. carry either one all day or b. try to keep up with both of them in that crowd. They both immediately got in without a fight and continuously rode all day with a happy attitude. There is so much for them to look at it was easier for them to take it all in if they weren’t having to try and keep up. We took a blanket for when either one of them fell asleep, which did happen. The blanket also came in really handy waiting for shows to start, it provides a little cushion for us to sit. 

4. When I scheduled fast passes I didn’t try to go in order with the park. We walked all over multiple times, but everything we rode we had a fast pass for. We never waited in line. It was worth the extra walking! As soon as we would use the last one I was looking for the next one while we were walking to the ride or waiting on it to get started. And if you check for a fast pass and don’t see one in the time frame you want – refresh the page. Cinderella meet and greet had been completely booked ALL DAY. We were getting off of The Little Mermaid when I checked and there was one available that started in 10 minutes! We hopped on the carousel to fill the void and then met Cinderella and Elena. 

5. Do not buy souvenirs until the end of the day. They are annoying to try and keep up with. Jason talked me into a sword on the third ride we went on. That sword caused me so much headache, what little boy can resist swinging around a pirate sword? Most definitely not Jason. I told him 5 million times to put the sword down, stop swinging it, quit shanking your sister. Not to mention we had to take it on every ride there after and make sure it didn’t get left because let’s be real, the kid would forget his head of it wasn’t attached. There is a huge gift shop with every souvenir you can find through the park right by the entrance. On our way out we went in and found what they had picked out. 

6. If you need a break, head for the hotel. We had ridden everything the kids would ride and needed a break from the heat, so we headed for the car and used it as an opportunity to check into the hotel. Had we stayed til 9 for the fireworks like planned leaving would have been miserable because of the traffic and the fact we were already exhausted. So we got checked into the hotel, freshened up, and headed for dinner. If you plan anything, plan dinner reservations. I called the two places we wanted to eat and couldn’t get in. So we walked across the boardwalk at the hotel (we stayed at the Dolphin) and grabbed something quick while we watched the fireworks from Epcot. Which ended up being the best decision. The kids were as exhausted as we were and we were all ready for bed. 

That’s what worked best for us. Had we had more people or a wider age range of kids it probably wouldn’t have worked that well 😉

* I am not a travel agent nor am I affiliated with Disney in any way. 

Breastfeeding

37 weeks with Jason

When I found out I was pregnant with Jason the natural flood of choices happened. Shots? Cosleep? Baby wearing? So many choices. However,  breastfeeding was just one choice that was never really a choice for me, I just knew I would do it. And maybe that’s why I over succeeded, because I never worried if I was producing or if I could. Little did I know it was the hardest laziest thing I would ever do in my life. 

I loved that it was always ready – no mixing bottles, or forgetting them at the house (queen of forgetting to pack the diaper bag. Countless times I have taken an empty diaper bag to town), no washing and sterilizing, I didn’t have to get up in the middle of the night since we co slept. And I was lucky, I didn’t suffer from cracked nipples or mastitis, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t recieve my own set of issues either. For example,  it was going great but then I started getting sick, all day – everyday. I started tracking my eating and quickly figured out I was lactose intolerant. No bueno. It was awful! Jason was around 6 months old and I was UNDER 100 lbs. (I was 108 when I got pregnant and 175 when I had him. 😳) I couldn’t keep up my calorie intake with how much he consumed and my new diet. However, the child slap refused formula. 

When he turned 11 months old I put him in daycare and went to work. I thought maybe that would encourage him to wean, nope. I would pick him up everyday and they would tell me he refused to drink anything all day. Jason was almost 2 before he was weaned. I thought I was gonna lose my mind before it happened. 

37 weeks with Ellie Grace

A year after weaning Jason I found out I was pregnant with Ellie Grace. My first thought was “I am not breastfeeding.” That’s how bad of an experience it was for me. I wasn’t gonna and you couldn’t make me. But the closer I got to D Day the more I felt I should. I mean, I did nurse Jason for ten forevers. So, I gave in, and again it came naturally with minimal problems. It took about 8 months before I just couldn’t stand it anymore, nursing aversion had struck. (Nursing aversion, most common in pregnant nursing mothers, is when you feel angry at your child for wanting to nurse) She no longer did it just for a food source, it was a hobby. And there was no distracting her. No matter what I was doing she would stand at my feet, pull my legs towards the closest chair and scream. And it didn’t matter where we were. Then to top it off she would do nursnastics, which was very unpleasant. I could no longer “relax” during these sessions, scroll Facebook, blog, catch up on my shows. Nope. I would have a foot or but in my face. And if we were in public, it was a fight to keep from giving everyone a peep show. 

Yes, she’s attached here


And that’s when the fight to wean began. After different methods, trial and error, lots of tears, 12 months, and two nights of pure hell listening to her scream WE ARE WEANED! (Oh, and I have to give credit to my amazing hubby who does what he can to make the transition easier, he’s the best). It’s been a week and she still has moments where she tries to undress me but quickly takes a cup instead when I offer it. I feel like a human. Finally. 

If I could go back she would have been a formula baby. 

** if  you feel overwhelmingly sad during a nursing session, or angry like I did, please reach out for help. Tell your OB, pediatrician, mom, someone. Do not suffer alone, there is help. Our bodies go through so much and it’s natural to get out of whack and feel crazy, but you’re not. 😘 don’t be stubborn like me 😉