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…

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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?

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

Pros and Cons of Cloth Diapers (As Gross as it Sounds?)

Several years ago, long before I ever thought about becoming a parent, I heard about a family member who had begun using cloth diapers for her baby.  And to be honest, my initial gut reaction was: that’s disgusting.

It’s true that today’s society is often criticized for embracing a “throw away” culture, and I agree it’s a valid complaint.  We’re far more wasteful now than we’ve ever been, in a lot of ways.

But let’s be honest here – when it comes to poopy diapers…

Doesn’t it make sense to throw them away?  

Before coming to some grand conclusion, I want to take a deep dive into cloth diapers (not literally, of course – eww) and examine how they stack up against disposable diapers.

Read More »