Try It Tuesday

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I’m sure if you spend any time on Facebook, you’ll see those videos starring arms not attached to a body, making delicious treats or awesome crafts in seemingly zero time. I saw this one the other day:

 

I was super excited because I wanted to jazz up the bathroom at the Mother’s Day Out place I work a few times a week with some jars of mints and chocolate (because, kids) and thought this would be perfect!

I gathered my stuff:

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I did as the video instructed. I placed the tape over the paper (and rubbed the tape with a Popsicle stick):

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Then, I cut out the piece I wanted to use and dropped it in a bowl of water for 1 minute:

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After that, I not-so-easily removed the paper from the tape:

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The ink was nowhere to be found and the tape wasn’t even sticky anymore! Yeah. Total bust. I ended up just printing off labels and covering it with packing tape. Sigh. 

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Have you ever tried this before? Did it work out better for you? Is there a trick to getting it right? Share in the comments below!

Mommy Monday

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With things going crazy in the world and the election looming ever closer, I feel like we could all use some laughter in our lives, especially us overwhelmed, sleep-deprived Mommas! So work on some Kegels (I know how non-existent that post-partum bladder control is and I don’t want you peepin’ your pants!) and get ready to giggle!

 

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Can you relate?

Fan Girl Friday!

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Happy first Friday of fall, y’all! I don’t know how the weather is where you’re fangirlin’, but here in Oklahoma it STILL feels like summer! I’m ready for hashtag PSL’s and bulky sweaters that cover up my summer of bad decisions. Pretty sure the only thing that can cheer me up is a blog full of nerdy nifties! Oh, look, here’s one now!

Today I’m bringing you geeky goodies from one of my new favorite fandoms that is actually celebrating its fifty anniversary! Its a fandom that will boldly take you where–well, let’s face it–other fandoms have taken you before… but none have looked as good doing it as Captain Picard, amirite?! That’s right, today’s FGF is all about Star Trek!

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Gene Roddenberry’s genius, the USPS is launching limited edition stamps! Check ’em out!

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Want some simple Star Trek swag to accessorize with?  Then look no further than Etsy shop JewelSculpts! They’ve got a lot of amazingly geeky gear, like this Vulcan salute necklace!
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You’re out of your Vulcan mind if you don’t snag this! (<–see what I did there?)

 

Are you raising up future Trekkers? Don’t worry, Mattel has you covered, Geek Mom and Dad! Barbie is getting in on the fun with Kirk, Spock, and Uhura dolls!

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Not only that, but Mega Bloks is also releasing Star Trek sets as well! And, bonus! They’re compatible with Legos!

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Live long and prosper, fangirls and fanboys!

Try It Tuesday

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When I was younger, I used to think things like meatloaf, chicken pot pie, and the like were disgusting and should never be made. Now? I LURVES them! So when I came across a Shepherd’s Pie freezer meal recipe, I was skeptical yet hopeful. I decided to whip it up and see what happened!

Here’s what I used:

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1 lb. ground turkey

1 cup beef broth

2 Tbsp. cornstarch (not pictured–whoops!)

1 can of corn, peas, or your favorite mixed veggies.

1- 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used 2%)

2-3  cups potatoes- instant or homemade recipe.

 

First, brown the turkey until its cooked thoroughly. Drain the grease, but leave about 1 tbsp in the pan. (I also added some salt, pepper, and onion powder at this stage)

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After that, stir in the beef broth and cornstarch. (Be sure to mix well, creating a light gravy.)

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Then, drain the can of vegetables and add it to the pan. Then, stir and cook the mixture until the veggies are heated throughout.

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In freezer-to-oven-safe dish, pour in the meat and veggie mixture, and top with your mashed potatoes.

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Finally, cover with shredded cheese.

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If you’re freezing your pie, cover it with plastic wrap and aluminum foil to create a tight seal.Then, write cooking directions on the aluminum foil with a Sharpie.

Whether you’re popping it in the oven right away or after its frozen, cooking instructions are the same: place in pre-heated to 375°  and cook for about 45 minutes or until the cheese is melted, bubbling and the dish is heated all the way through.

Y’all, this dish was AH-MAY-ZING! I honestly wasn’t sure if I’d like it but it was SO good! Huff the Hubs LURVED it! I was going to take a pic of the finished product, but it was so tasty, I completely forgot! So here’s a pic of my empty plate:

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Have you ever tried this recipe? What were your results? Share in the comments below!

 

 

Mommy Monday

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So, its been an interesting few days here at the Huffman Homestead. Friday, Huff the Babe’s teacher at our Mother’s Day Out program came to me and said, “So don’t panic, but…” (And of course, what did I do? I began to panic) “…a child that was here yesterday was just diagnosed with the flu today.”

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Then, she went on to say that Little Man wasn’t his normal, bouncy, happy self. I went to check on him and, sure enough, he was burning up and kept moaning like he didn’t feel good. Thankfully, we had less than an hour left in the day at MDO, so I made a frantic call to Huff the Hubs to meet me at the pediatrician’s. I ran home, dropped Huff the Tot with her MeeMaw, and quickly sanitized everything that Huff the Babe had touched, chewed on, or looked at.

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Thankfully, Huff the Tot tested negative for the flu. But he’s teething really, really bad. How do I know? Well, one, the pediatrician said he was teething (his two bottom teeth should pop out any day now!) and two, when we went to Target, he puked. Big time. Projectile. And left a huge puddle on the Lego aisle.

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It scared the crap out of me! I’m used to him spitting up, but this was like that pie-eating contest scene from Stand By Me! He seemed fine after that; not fussy, no temp, and just as happy as could be. We went to bed that night hopeful. Then I woke up Saturday with an unbelievably sore throat. I didn’t even have the energy to cry. I was just annoyed.

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The rest of the day, I was gargling with salt water, taking Sudafed, and alternating Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Sunday, I felt worse. I had my mom check my throat. Sure enough, I had white spots in the back of my throat. (For those not “in the know”, white spots usually=strep throat.) I skedaddled over to an urgent care and, thankfully, tested negative for strep, but got some antibiotics just in case.

I was able to rest most of the day, thanks to Huff the Hubs, and figured today would just be a movie/pajamas kind of day. As HtH and I lay in bed last night, he said, “This weekend really sucked.” Little did we know what would happen next.

Not even an hour later, Huff the Tot starts crying and wants to get in bed with us. I agreed because I was exhausted and didn’t feel like fighting. About 10 minutes later, I’m cupping my hand and catching her vomit so it doesn’t get all over our comforter. All the while, I’m trying to stay calm and not focus on the fact that I feel as though my throat has been punched a million times by Mike Tyson.

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Needless to say, we got zero sleep last night and the Huffman Homestead is officially under quarantine. So please, if you’re sick keep yourself (and your kids) home. Or at least use hand sanitizer, cover your coughs/sneezes, and get a flu shot. This being-sick-while-caring-for-sick-kids thing is no bueno.

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Try It Tuesday

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Here lately, I have been OBSESSED with freezer meals. Mostly because life never seems to slow down and they make cooking dinner so much easier. Plus, most of them can be tossed in the crockpot and forgotten about, which makes for a less stressed Momma.

I perused Pinterest and found a site loaded with freezer meals and picked the one that I already had ingredients for (because, with two littles, its a battle to get to the store). Enter: Chicken Hurry.

Here’s what you need:

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  • chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. dry onion soup mix

 

First, grab a gallon size freezer bag and label it with the name of your recipe as well as the cooking instructions: (Be sure to write: “Add 1/4 cup of water day of cooking”. I forgot, lol.)

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Then, toss everything (except the water) into the bag and place in the freezer. BAM! Meal ready to go!

I didn’t get a picture of this after I cooked it because I completely forgot! This recipe was…okay. It smelled awesome, but just seemed too “ketchup-y” for my liking, so about an hour before it would be fully cooked in the crock pot, I added about 1/4 cup BBQ sauce, to add some more flavor to it. I thought it was alright; Huff the Hubs thought it was great. I’d give it a 2 out of 5 stars.

 

Have you ever made this before? Have you made something similar? What were your results? Share in the comments below!

Mommy Monday

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Ever since Huff the Tot was about a year old, I’ve been looking for ways to help her get a head start, academically. When my sisters and I were kids, my mom would do flash cards with us of various phonics and sight words and both of my parents would read to us. (I credit all of this with helping to cultivate a love of reading with my sisters and I.) So as soon as I felt HtT was ready, we’ve started “Tot School”.

My oldest sister is a SAHM/homeschool mom. She’s absolutely amazing at it and her kids are crazy-smart! I would love to have the skill and patience to be a homeschool mom, but I just don’t know if I have it in me to plan hours of curriculum and make sure we actually accomplish said curriculum instead of just sit around in our jammies all day watching Netflix (which, to be fair, sounds like an amazing day!).

BUT, Tot School is definitely something I can accomplish daily! After some consulting with my sister (and Pinterest) I came up with a “teaching plan” that fit our schedule and Huff the Tot’s attention span. So I thought I’d share with you some of our favorite Tot School activities.

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Alphabet Flash Cards

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Like most little girls, Huff the Tot is obsessed with Frozen. These alphabet flash cards helped her learn her alphabet and recognize/name letters before she was two years old. And, bonus!, the fact that the flash cards were characters from her favorite movie kept her attention! You can get them here from TotSchooling.net! If Frozen isn’t your kid’s fancy, you can get superhero, animals, or Disney characters!

 

Letter Sound Worksheets

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Once I saw that HtT could recognize letters/sing the alphabet song multiple times without any mistakes, I knew it was time to progress to some early-reading encouragement and work on letter sounds. These printables from 1+1+1=1 have been so incredibly helpful! Each week, Huff the Tot and I cover one letter. We’ll do one different worksheet a day and every day we’ll sing a song I learned from my nephew’s Letter Factory toy! For example, on the days we do the letter A, I’ll sing (to the tune of “The Cheese Stands Alone“): “The A says a. The A says a. Every letter makes a sound, A says a!” We sing that song a few times a day and it really helps her to remember which letters make which sounds.

 

Sensory Play 

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For a long time, I thought sensory play had to be this deep, meaningful, expensive time where I would buy a sand or water table and we’d talk about the intricacies of science and all that jazz. But you know works great? Play Doh! I just hand her a few tubs, one of her Play Doh sets, and while I cook dinner the kid goes to town! She keeps her hands busy and I keep my sanity! (See, tot school doesn’t have to be some elaborate thing!)

 

Fine Motor Skills

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Again, helping your wee one learn fine motor skills doesn’t have to be some long, involved process. A few chunky beads and a shoelace and you’ve got yourself a fine motor skills activity. Bonus? I got Huff the Tot’s in the Dollar Spot at Target!

 

Don’t get me wrong, there are many days that I feel as though the only educational activity we’ve done is watch three hours of Little Einsteins. With two kids, its tough to squeeze in Tot School everyday. I try to set aside time during little brother’s naps to go over as much as we can. But just because Huff the Tot and I aren’t sitting at the table doing a letter worksheet doesn’t mean there’s no way to pop education in throughout the day. I love the LeapReader Jr. my sister got for Huff the Tot and Starfall is a great site/app that facilitates learning (and also keeps the kid entertained when we’re at a restaurant or the doctor’s office waiting room!) There are so many blogs and websites out there (hello, Pinterest!) that can give you a ton of ideas that work for you and your kiddo!

Do you do Tot School with your wee one? What do you do? Are there any sites you find helpful? Share in the comments below!