Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sick Day Survival Guide

A few weeks ago nearly every person in my house was sick.  We were battling stomach bugs, fevers, ear infections and colds.  No one felt great and we kind of went into survival mode for a week.  I learned a few tricks along the way to save my sanity and keep the house running.  It's hard to take care of other people when you're sick, but these tips made all the difference.

1. Stock up on some sick day essentials for your pantry and medicine cabinet.
My pantry currently has cans of chicken noodle soup, chicken and rice soup, Cheerios, saltine crackers, Pedilayte and oatmeal in it just in case we get sick and need some essentials.  I am convinced that the Pedialyte kept us out of the emergency room having to get Fletcher fluids.  Poor little guy was sick for so many days so this was a lifesaver and now a pantry staple :)  I picked up cold medicine, cough drops, stocked up on Puffs Plus and am prepared for the parents, too. 

2. Grocery pick up
Take advantage of any grocery pick up services in your area.  I don't have any available to me in my city, but I do have a sweet husband who will do a grocery pick up for me.  I text him a list and he stops by on his way home from work.  Much easier than getting sick kids out for essentials.

3. Medicine cups for each kid
I was having a hard time keeping medicine syringes separate and clean so I came up with the idea to do a bowl for each kid and keep their syringes in each cup.  I'd wash them regularly, but it was nice to know I wasn't sharing them between the kids.

4. Medicine dose check list
At one point were were on antibiotics, alternating pain meds and having a lot of things to keep track of.  So I made a little table on a post it note.  I crossed off meds as I gave them and didn't have to worry about keeping everything straight in my head.

5. A quick forehead thermometer
I had always wanted one of these when Olive was younger so I made sure to register for one with baby #2.  It was a life saver.  It reads the temperature so quickly, is really easy to use and ours seemed really reliable.  I loved that I could take their temps when they were asleep and was so thankful to have it.  We have a Braun and love it.  We've used it on the kids and adults and it works great for both.

6. Trust your gut and call the doctor.
It never hurts to touch base with your doctor if your kids are sick.  Ours called in necessary meds over the weekend when my kids were sick.  It was so nice to not have to drag them out to an instant care place where they would have likely gotten more germs.  Call to ask about anything you're not feeling good about - high fevers, sickness for several days, etc.  You'll never regret being thorough.

Do you have any sick day tips for me??
What do you try to keep on hand for your sick days??

It's time to link up with my favorite ladies for Tuesday Talk.
Be sure to join us with a recent post and meet so many new faces.

Polka-Dotty Place

Monday, January 30, 2017

January Recipe Round Up

I'm excited to share some delicious recipes with you this month!  I tried several new ones, made lots of favorites and we did a great job of eating healthy this month.  The new year is off to a great start!

Favorites from January:

// 1 //
Teriyaki Turkey Stir Fry
This was the best meal I made all month!!  It was so good, healthy and I can't wait to make it again.  You'll need
1 lb ground turkey
your favorite teriyaki sauce
1 bag frozen green beans
1/2 chopped red pepper
1/4 chopped yellow onion
handful of edamame
soy sauce
olive oil
1 bag boil in a bag rice

Brown the ground turkey, salt to taste and leave it really chunky.  Drain off the juices and add teriyaki sauce.  Heat it all up together.

Saute the green beans, peppers, onions and edamame in olive oil until they get some good color on them.  Add in some soy sauce when it is done.  Plate it all up together and enjoy!

// 2 //
Breakfast Burritos
We had left over turkey sausage and left over steak fries from dinner one week so I put the two together and decided to make breakfast burritos.  You'll need an egg per burrito, potatoes, turkey sausage, chopped red peppers, chopped onion, sharp cheddar cheese, tortillas, salt and pepper.  Cook the eggs first, add in the pepper and onions and then heat the potatoes and sausage all together at the end.  Top with cheese.  SO GOOD!!

// 3 //
My favorite salads of the month were:
BBQ Pulled Pork Salad - leftover BBQ from dinner made a yummy addition to my veggie packed salad.  I used honey mustard dressing.
Stripey Taco Salad
Bed of mixed greens, seasoned taco meat with garlic, onions & taco meat, taco toppings and salsa for dressing.  It was delicious and we ate it several times this month.

 // 4 //
We love nachos for dinner and this month we tried something new.  Did you know that Refried BLACK Beans existed??  I did not until recently.  I've always loved black beans so I was excited to give them a try.  The Old El Paso refried black beans were delicious and I'm not sure I'll ever eat refried beans again.  They were a wonderful addition to our plates of nachos.

 // 5 //
Holiday Foods
We had some fun, patriotic foods for the inauguration.  My daughter loved them and they were really easy to make.  I usually just use her favorite foods to make fun shapes.  We had a flag lunch and worked together to make cupcakes.

 I rarely make cakes from scratch.  Boxed ones are just fine with me, but I do have a secret.
I almost always make homemade FROSTING.  It makes a boxed cake seem extra great and people always rave about them.  Here's my favorite combo Funfetti + homemade Buttercream.  The recipe is so easy, turns out great every time and you just can't go wrong with it.

We enjoyed Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread for dessert

These would be perfect for Valentine's Day treats!

Have you tried any new recipes lately??

Now I'm starving!!  Which recipes are you anxious to try???
I'm linking up with three of my favorite cooking ladies today
and we're all sharing our best recipes from the month.

Linking up with Southern Plate

Katie @ Cup of Tea
New Recipes to Try January

Whitney @ Come Home for Comfort
What We're Eating January

Head over to their blogs to see what delicious meals they are sharing this month!
 We've also started a Pinterest Board called
New Recipes We've Tried and Loved!
Be sure to check it out and get some great ideas for meals at your house.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Highlights

Happy Friday!!  I hope you had a great week.  We had a good one.  We got to see friends, hang out at home and do a few fun things.  Fletcher is teething so he was a little clingy all week, Olive was excited with all of the valentine things we did and Kevin was busy at work.  I fixed a bunch of yummy meals, went to a movie, am reading a good book and we are all excited for the weekend.

The best parts of our week were:

// 1 //
Be My Valentine
We got the house decorated for Valentine's Day this week.  It took a little longer than I'd like, but I guess that's to be expected with the help of two kids under four.  I love decorating for holidays and our mantel is one of my favorite spots to start.  It's coming together just like I'd hoped (minus the missing candles).  Not sure where they are so I ordered some new ones.  We also baked some valentine treats, did some valentine crafting and sent three valentine care packages.

// 2 //
Hidden Figures
A friend invited me to see Hidden Figures for a little mom's night out and it was so much fun!  We had a wonderful time and I enjoyed going to the movies in the theater.  The last time I saw a movie in the theater was four years ago when I was pregnant with Olive!  Yikes!  Back to the movie... it was WONDERFUL, inspiring, sweet, compelling and I found myself cheering for those wonderfully smart women at NASA.  I've never been super interested in NASA, but found this movie fascinating.  I loved the personalities, them showcasing smart women and their wardrobes were amazing.  If you haven't seen it yet, I'd HIGHLY recommend watching it.
My current favorite Kate Spade bag, floral wallet and movie going snack.

// 3 //
Stripey Taco Salad
I made this delicious salad for dinner this week and my family loved it.  We used salsa for dressing and ate a few chips on the side.  I bought enough ingredients so that we could have it for dinner twice and a few lunches.  Because if you go to all the work to make a delicious salad why not eat it several times??  Come back Monday for a Recipe Round up with all of my best recipes from the month of January.  It was a delicious one at my house!!

// 4 //
Grace, Not Perfection
I'm about halfway through this great book that I got for Christmas.  I'm really enjoying it and loving hearing more about the author.  I have followed and admired her on social media for a long time, so it's nice to get to hear more of her story.  She's inspiring, real and the book is helping me focus on the people who matter most in my life.  Tune back in next Wednesday for my What We're Reading Wednesday post to see all of the great things we've been reading this month.

// 5 //
Favorite Kid Pics
Fletcher is on the move.  He loves walking along the windows and furniture.  He's getting so big, being so sweet and sprouting all kinds of blonde hair.  He's almost ten months old.
Olive says the funniest things.  She's loving watching movies these days and Frozen, Mulan, The Incredibles and Charlie in the Chocolate Factory are her favorites.  Three and a half is such a cute age.  Here she was telling me, "Don't worry, mom.  He likes it when I tackle him."

Polka-Dotty Place Week in Review:
Monday: Confessions

What was your FAVORITE part of the week??

I hope you have a really great weekend!!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Super Bowl Menu Ideas

The Super Bowl is just a few weeks away (February 5th) so it's time to start creating a delicious game day menu.  I love watching football with my husband and love making a variety of game day foods to enjoy all day.  I'm not sure what our Super Bowl plans will be for this year, but you better believe we'll be eating some amazing food during the game.

I wanted to share my favorite recipes with you to give you some game day inspiration.  Hope you find something new to make this year.

What are your plans for the Super Bowl?
Are you watching it?
Hosting or going to a party??

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Make Your Own Snow Day

We have only gotten a little bit of snow in Indiana this year.  We have yet to get enough to build a snowman with so I've had to improvise.  My daughter has just discovered the movie Frozen so she's always walking around singing Do you want to build a snowman?  We have no snow in the forecast.  We will have to just settle for building our snowmen indoors for a DIY snowday for now.  Hopefully we'll end up getting more snow before winter is over.

We've been EATING snowman shaped foods.
Lunches, pancakes, bagels and donuts can all be turned into cute snowmen :) 
These are a few of our favorite snowmen over the past few years:



Doing snowman ART projects:

READING about Snowmen.
My favorite snowman books are definitely the Snowmen at Night series by the Buehners.  I have a special spot in my heart for these Utah based authors.  This husband and wife duo (she writes and he illustrates) came to my school years ago when I was teaching and I was thrilled to meet them.  They signed all of my books, posed for a picture with me and seemed to appreciate my enthusiasm for their lovely work.  They also told me that at the time they had several of their favorite original illustrations hanging in their home.  If you haven't read this series of books you need to ASAP!

Playing Snowman GAMES:
My bloggy friend Stephanie came up with the cutest snowman game!!
It's called Snowman Says and she gives you all of the details and instructions in her post
Here's a sneak peek at her game printable:

 Have you had much snow this year??

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Save or Splurge on Home Decor

I get so excited to find great deals on home decor!  I love decorating, but I don't love breaking the bank to do it.  Sure, there are big ticket things to splurge on like rugs, couches, etc.  But, you can find so much for your home at great prices.  Let me show you my latest finds:

1. SAVE  on Kid Tables
I've been a long time fan of kid tables and always knew I wanted one.  I love the look of Pottery Barn Kid's Tables, but definitely didn't love the price tag of over $500.  So I started look around and saw an adorable kid's table from the Better Homes and Gardens line at WAL-MART.  It was a metal table and the chairs came in sets of two.  It comes in several different colors although many are out of stock right now.  It was only $120 for all three pieces with free shipping included.  

Kevin said it was pretty easy to assemble and it's really sturdy.  The kids LOVE sitting here to do art, crafts, snacks and meals.  I LOVE seeing them sit together and it's perfect for them.

2. SAVE on Bedding
Olive requested a purple room when we moved into our new house.  So we picked out a fun shade of purple and then I went looking for a bedspread to go with it.  I wanted to pick out something that would last for several years because we don't redecorate our bedrooms regularly.  I wanted something she could grow up with and this beautiful floral quilt was perfect!  I found it on Amazon and then did some google searching/price checking to ensure I got the best deal.  I found it on the Kohl's website for $40 more than Amazon.  So I quickly snatched it up from Amazon and was pleased to get a great deal.

3.  Save on Rugs
Plaid rug from RUGSUSA
I had been searching high and low for a plaid rug for Fletcher's nursery.  I couldn't find any that I loved until I saw this one at Rugs USA.  I ordered it during a super sale + had a discount coupon code and have been pretty pleased with it.  I qualified for FREE shipping.  The rug looks nice in the nursery and is a fun print for the space.
I do want to warn you about a few things with Rugs USA... they very loudly broadcast that they offer FREE returns.  However, you have to pay to ship the rug back to them.  It's expensive to ship back and often will cost you over $30 to mail it back exactly as they mailed it to you.  They'll refund you what you paid for the rug, but you're out the money to ship it back.  The rug pads they offer aren't always the idea size for your rugs.  I got a rug pad for this rug and it's a couple inches short all around.  It's slippery on a wood floor and I wish they offered rug pads to match the sizes of the rugs.  I've ordered a few rugs from them and overall been pretty happy with their store.  

Have you SAVED on any great home decor lately??
I'd love to hear about it.

It's time to link up with my favorite Tuesday Talk ladies!
Be sure to join us with a recent post.

Polka-Dotty Place