7 Incredible Date Night Meals to Make at Home

Date night is one of those special times that doesn’t seem to come often enough.  Some couples are really good about doing it on a regular basis, but for many, it’s a special occasion.

As your kids get older, I think it becomes a lot easier to find time to get away.  If you have an infant or toddler (like we do), however, it can be a challenge.

But having an awesome date night doesn’t mean you need to leave the house.

Sometimes it’s a lot more romantic, relaxing, and satisfying to stay in and cook dinner together.

So, we’ve tracked down 7 incredible recipes that make for great date night meals.  These are perfect for when you’ve dropped the kids off at their grandparents’ house, but you want to stay in for the night.

Enjoy!

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From $0 to $100K – April 2017 Update (Working Parent Side Hustle Challenge)

In case you missed it, last month we kicked off a challenge where we’re attempting to find a way to earn $100k+ per year (or $8,333/month) purely from side hustles.

It’s an ambitious goal, and it’s going to take us quite awhile to get there, but we’re going to document it all right here.

While the initial goal would just be to make some extra money on the side to fund our expenses and build savings at a faster rate, the ultimate goal will be for one of us to quit our day jobs.

Every month, starting with April, we’re going to provide an update about everything that’s going on.  How we’re doing on blog traffic, social media, and other side hustles to complement income from the blog.

Our primary goal with these updates is to hold ourselves accountable to making progress. However, we also hope that it inspires other people to follow along and do something similar.

Lofty goals like these always work better when you know you’re in it with other people. 🙂

Anyway, let’s see what happened in April.

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Best Diaper Disposal System in 2017 (this one won’t stink)

As a new parent, one of the things you become really aware of before your baby is born is the concept of diapers.

Buying them.

Changing them frequently.

People would lead you to believe that your world revolves around it. And in some ways, they’re not wrong (at least, for the first couple months of your baby’s life).

As you get ready for a baby (and prepare your baby registry), one of the things you tend to look at is the diaper disposal system. (Also known as a “diaper pail.”)

But which is the best diaper disposal system?

There’s some debate on which is best, and in fact, some people claim you don’t need one at all.

In this post, we’ll dive into all the specifics about whether you need one, why you might want one, and what we think is the best diaper disposal system you can buy.

Let’s go.

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9 Amazing Slow Cooker Meals that will Blow Your Mind

I love slow cooker meals.  There’s something so comforting about setting it up and letting it run for however many hours while the smell fills your house (and I mean this in a good way).

While they’re generally not good when you want to make something you can eat right now, they’re usually really easy to prep.  And you can let it cook while you’re at work, taking care of the kids, whatever.

For some reason, slow cooker meals tend to make for the best leftovers.  And of course, good leftovers = not having to cook or worry about dinner the next day. Win win.

In the past when I’ve used my slow cooker (this is the one I have, but any will do) I’ve always seemed to focus on soups and chili.

But little did I know, there exists an entire world of slow cooker meals that range from BBQ ribs to pizza (yes, both of these are real and you will find them in this post).  Things that I never thought you could make with a slow cooker.

So, I set out to find slow cooker recipes that go beyond the boring pot of chili – and don’t get me wrong, I love chili.

But these recipes will take your slow cooker to the next level.

Let’s check ’em out…

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32 Fun Activities for 1-Year Olds (You’ll Never Run Out of Things to Do)

While it doesn’t always take much, continuing to find fun activities for 1-year olds can sometimes be a chore.

If you don’t provide them with enough stimulation, they can get cranky. And if your little one is mobile already, he or she can get into trouble as well.

Keeping them occupied with fun activities is key.  And it’s not only so they don’t get bored and don’t bother you.

It’s to help them with their brain and motor development too.  If you keep giving them the same activity over and over, you may not be exposing them to as many development opportunities as you would be if you mixed it up periodically.

To help you with this ongoing issue, we did a bunch of research and came up with a ton of fun activities for 1-year olds.

I promise, if you follow this list, you’ll never run out of things to do with your little one.

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Parents with Different Religions: What Should You Do?

In today’s world, it’s becoming increasingly common to find parents who are of a different religion (or at least, were raised with different religious beliefs). It’s not surprising, as this melting pot of a society grows larger and larger.

It’s something both of us have dealt with – not only do we have different ethnic backgrounds (one of us is Caucasian, one is Filipino), but we have different religions as well.

Fortunately for us, neither one of us is overly religious, so it was easy to come together with those differences. For others, especially those who may be more devout, different religious can certainly be a challenge in a relationship.

But what about when you add kids to the equation?

It goes without saying: kids make everything more complicated.

Religion is no different, but in some ways, it’s more complex because there is no “right answer.” If each parent has a completely separate religion, you can’t easily create your own hybrid religion. I mean, you can, but that’s probably the most complicated solution.

So, what are your options?

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4 Things I Never Thought I’d Need Before I Had My First Baby

When you have your first child, everything changes.

But before your little one is born, you’re out there, frantically stocking up on cute little clothes, buying decorations for the baby’s nursery, and building your baby registry.

It’s kind of fun.

As you go through it all though, you never really know what you’re going to need.  There’s SO much marketing out there for literally hundreds of thousands of different baby products.  And it’s all appealing.

But are you buying what you will actually need?  Probably.

The reality is, with whatever you have, you make it work.  Beyond clothes, diapers, and food, everything else is a luxury.

As true as that may be, looking back on everything, there are a few things we either purchased or received as gifts that I don’t think we could have done without.  And they’re all things I never thought we’d need before our first child was born.

Let’s get into it.

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5 Ugly Facts About Potty Training (and How They Can Help You)

Potty training is often more frustrating for the parent than it is for the child.

For your child, it’s like learning to drive when they’ve never been in the driver’s seat before. Actually, it’s more like learning to drive when you’ve never even been in a car before.

It’s difficult. And often times, disgusting. (Okay, that last part doesn’t really fit the car analogy.)

This is one of the areas where parents express the greatest amount of impatience…which makes sense, because changing diapers is awful.

Patience is important, however.

To help you along, here are 5 ugly (yet important and helpful) facts that you should understand when attempting to potty train your child.

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12 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Make with Cauliflower

I’ll admit, I’m a little late to the game when it comes to cauliflower.

When we were growing up, cauliflower was basically like broccoli’s white cousin.  You either boiled it, steamed it, or baked it…maybe added a little seasoning…and that was it.

Today, it seems like every other recipe includes some new and innovative way to use cauliflower.  It’s a great low carb substitute for rice and bread when prepared the right way.

So, now I’m on a mission to figure out all the different things you can do with cauliflower, and I’ve compiled the recipes in this post.

Enjoy…

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Best Baby Movement Monitor 2017 (Literally a Lifesaver for Your Baby)

Before you ever have kids, there are a lot of products you never knew existed.  For me, one of those was a baby movement monitor.

You mean like a baby monitor where you watch your child when he or she is sleeping? 

No, this is completely unrelated to that.

Can’t I just see when my baby is moving? Why do I need a special monitor for that?

This was basically my inner-monologue before I had any clue what a baby movement monitor was.  As it turns out, a baby movement monitor is not only a useful little gadget, but it can actually save your baby’s life and drastically reduce the risk of SIDS.

A baby movement monitor is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a little electronic device that clips to your baby’s diaper and senses movement.  If your baby were to stop breathing for any reason, the monitor would stop detecting movement and alarm would sound after a set period of time (usually 15-20 seconds).

Okay, we’re all caught up now.  Let’s take a look at what I found to be the best baby movement monitor.

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8 Healthy Meals Kids Will Love (that you can make in 30 minutes or LESS!)

As a parent, and especially as a working parent, it can be pretty tough to find the time to not only cook a healthy meal, but one that your kids enjoy.

There are plenty of easy meals (think mac & cheese, grilled cheese, etc.) but they often aren’t healthy.  I love a good grilled cheese and tomato soup as much as the next person (mmm, dipping the grilled cheese into the soup, soo good…) but we all know it’s not good for you.

So, I set out to track down some recipes that met the following criteria:

  • Quick and easy to make
  • Relatively healthy
  • Most kids will actually like them

And I didn’t want these to be your typical “kids meals.” I’m a big fan of exposing kids to new flavors at a young age, and doing it in a way that gives them a positive experience in the process.

Not exactly an easy quest, but I’ll share with you what I found.

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From $0 to $100K: The Working Parent Side Hustle Challenge

We’re both working parents.  And while I feel like money isn’t too much of an issue (i.e. we can afford what we need), we still live on a budget.

Before having our daughter, life was pretty easy from a financial standpoint.  Without any real obligations (aside from a mortgage and student loans), we were free to spend as we needed, within reason.

We would have enough left over to build our retirement nest egg, as well as set some money aside for our child’s future education.  We never had to resort to credit card debt.

And while we’ve never been extravagant spenders, we would do things like eat out whenever we wanted instead of saving money by cooking.

Life’s a bit different now, with a child in the picture.  We haven’t had to change our standard of living, but there are lots of additional costs – the big one being daycare (approx. $1,500/month for part-time daycare).  We can afford it, but as a result, there’s less money going toward savings.

I’ve always been a bit entrepreneurial-minded – finding ways to make extra money on the side. “Side hustles“, as they’re sometimes called.

Today, I’d like to kick off a challenge for myself (and anyone who wants to join me), in the quest to earn $100K per year from side hustles.

While the initial goal would just be to make some extra money on the side to fund our expenses and build savings at a faster rate, the ultimate goal will be for one of us to quit our day jobs.

I don’t know how long it will take, but I do know it’s very possible.  Here’s how I’m going to do it – feel free to follow along. 🙂

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What It Takes to Be a Good Parent: 11 Traits (#6 May Surprise You)

A lot of parents have anxiety over figuring out what it takes to be a good parent.  Especially new parents.

It’s a tricky subject, because you don’t get a report card that tells you whether or not you’ve been a good parent.  There’s no master guidebook on how to be a good parent.

The challenging part of it all is that it continues to change throughout your child’s life – what it takes to be a good parent when they’re a month old may be completely different than what it takes when they’re 15.

I do, however, believe there are traits that good parents have in common, that apply no matter what age you’re child is. And that’s what I want to write about today.

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Best Baby Food Brands in 2017

By the time your baby reaches 5-6 months of age, you’ve probably considered giving them a taste of real (baby) food.  At least, that’s how it went with us.

Our daughter was still on breast milk, and our pediatrician told us that we could continue that way until about a year before real food became more of a necessity.  However, if we wanted to start introducing baby food, we should do it with the understanding that it’s more “for fun”.

It helps get your child acquainted to new tastes and textures, even if it’s not their main source of nutrition (while still on breast milk or formula).

As we do with everything else, because we live and die by our computers, we started researching to see what the best baby food brands were.

Here’s what we found.

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29 Parents Reveal the Secret to Improving Your Baby’s Sleeping Habits

Image credit: http://www.babysleepsite.com

Before you become a parent, you take sleep for granted.  After all, you can completely control how much sleep you get simply by adjusting your bedtime or wake-up time.
After having a baby, however, sleep becomes this unknown variable in your life; it becomes this elusive concept that changes from night to night.  As a parent of an infant, you often find yourself thinking…

CAN I JUST GET SOME F@#%!#& SLEEP PLEASE?!

Somewhere in the back of your mind, you know it’s temporary.  But when you’re going on your 10th straight night of only sleeping in 1-2 hour blocks, you start to lose that part of your brain that thinks logically.

After experiencing something like this, we knew there had to be a way to make it better.

But because every baby is different, there isn’t any ONE thing that will work for every baby.  So, we set out to compile the wisdom of many parents who have been through this and have found a strategy that works for improving their baby’s sleep habits.

And just as important, improving their own sleeping habits.

We tracked down 29 parents and asked them this question:

What’s the #1 thing that worked for you when it came to improving your son or daughter’s sleep habits as an infant?

 

Keep reading, and we’ll reveal what everyone told us (and even share what’s currently working for us).  

(Warning: This post contains a ton of content – you may want to bookmark / pin it so you can refer back to it later. 🙂 )

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