Summer Bucket List for the Family

Finally, warmer days are here to enjoy as a family.

Enjoying ice cream cones on the first day of summer. www.simplymoms.net

We are pretty simple people so we enjoy those simple moments in life.

I hope you will enjoy our ideas for summer fun.

  1. Go out for ice cream.
  2. Visit family
  3. Beach
  4. Build a sand castle.
  5. Purchase a swing set
  6. BBQ at least once a week.
  7. Visit our local library
  8. Take the city bus into the next big city over for the day
  9. Roast Marshmallows
  10. Do sparklers
  11. Go watch fireworks
  12. Attend a wedding ¬†ūüėČ (My son is getting married)
  13. Purchase a pool for the kids and use it!
  14. Play water balloons with the kids
  15. Make a huge colored ice block for Little Miss Toddler to play with on a hot day.
  16. Have a water gun fight with the kids.
  17. Have a bonfire.
  18. Maybe get a new pet.
  19. Pick up the yard as a family
  20. Go to an amusement park
  21. Visit the ocean
  22. Plant something
  23. Play badminton as a family.
  24. Teach the kids to play horseshoes.
  25. Purchase a fire pit and put it to use.
  26. Visit all the local playgrounds and some out of town as well.

Simple ideas for summer fun with children and family. www.simplymoms.net

 

Tell me what will you do with your summer?

Tell us what you will be doing in the comments below.

Love Jennifer

 

 

 

The Month Of May

I know, I have been absent¬†with nothing to say. ¬†Sometimes the Internet has days weeks and months where it feels like it is weighing me down. It is strange I know. ¬†Something that if I want this blog to work I need to sort out and get over. So this afternoon I am just going to share some photos from my May ūüôā

My sweet Trev on his bike at the park

Trev, hard to think my baby will be 16 in October! We were out enjoying one of our very few nice days!

little Miss Toddler Picking Flowers at the park

Little Miss Toddler at the park picking flowers.

50 years old and can still peddle a bike.

Hubby Peddles away on Trevs bike!

Stormy days

Storms and lots of rain was the theme all the month of May

We welcomed a new granddaughter to our family . <3

table setI finally replaced my round table and folding chairs with this new to me set. Yay!

Memorial Day was celebrated with a small parade that passed by our front door.

So that is our month in a small nutshell. Tons of rain here in New England. I will be glad for warmer sunnier days!

Mother’s Day Wish List My Top Five Picks

Mother’s Day is coming right up and what mom doesn’t have a wish list? Truly just having a visit from my adult kiddos and spending the day with family will make me more than happy but a girl can dream and wish and maybe at some point I will treat myself ūüėČ

Truly just having a visit from my adult kiddos and spending the day with the family will make me more than happy but a girl can dream and wish and maybe at some point I will treat myself ūüėČ Not that I will not be spoiled but you know they all have their own great ideas.

**The photos are linked to Amazon. I am an affiliate and make a small commission should you make a purchase at no extra cost to you. **

Bath Bombs

These were reviewed on another blog I frequent and I have wanted to try them ever since. I love to take a nice long, hot, uninterrupted bath after Little Miss Toddler goes to bed. These would make it a million times even better. Do you not agree?

Love You, Mom Necklace

If there is one thing I have done in my life that makes me proud it has been being a mom to my kids. Someday maybe I will get a necklace like this. Hmmm, I wonder if my kids read my blog LOL?

Corelle Dinnerware Set

I saw this set and it is so the kind of thing I love. It reminds me of a child’s¬†drawing. Very soft, ¬†pretty and creative.

EpicBlog Planner

I am a Mommy Blogger. Another blogger told me this is the planner to have. So, yes! I want this planner.

Wife. Mom. Boss. T-shirt

This should have been on top. ¬†Ask anyone that knows me, this is my¬†shirt.¬†ūüėČ

Did you like this post? Leave us a comment.

Love Jennifer

 

I am posting along with one of my favorite link ups Five On Friday.

Five on Friday Link Up

Meal Planner Weekly Free Printable

Free printable weekly meal planner page.

Simply print this free meal planner out and fill in each day with what you will be making for meals.

Free Meal planner printable

 

Week_Meal_Plan_Printable

Click the sample photo above or the link below it to print your free meal planner.

Why Alone Time Is Important even For Super Mom

As women, we try to do it all. Most often things get done with the exception of self-love and care.

How many times have you heard a new mom or even a seasoned mom struggle with needing time alone?

I get it. Raising a family is a full-time hands-on job and some of you even have jobs and careers piled on top¬†of that. It’s not easy to take time out of these busy days and just give that time to yourself.

 

 

What Moms are Saying…

Michelle¬†– ”¬†I get to go to the bathroom by myself…that’s about it. Yes, even going to the gym alone, I feel guilty. I already have to be away from them so much. The only time I get to carve time out for myself is when my husband and boys are watching sports on TV and I plug my headphones in to watch Netflix. That’s EXTREMELY rare though, because now I have to focus on writing because Sunday is the day that I get a lot of writing done.”

Hannah – I would love to take time to do something for me but I can’t my kids are always with me.
I do not feel guilty if by some chance i don’t do something with them because that is So rare it’s happened once since my second was born.
I get from the hours of 9 to 11 by myself witch actually I spend not even alone with my so cleaning up.

Patricia – ”¬†It’s not alone per say, but my husband and I go away for a weekend with just the 2 of us every February. And once a month we go to lunch and Costco with just the 2 of us. And also shoot for a date night once a month. I don’t feel bad or guilty about this at all, and the kids get to spend quality time with their aunts and uncles and cousins.”

Rebecca-” I definitely take time to do things on my own. Yeah I’m a mother, but I’m still my own person too. I shouldn’t have to lose my own identity because I have a child.”

You know you're a mother when shopping alone is considered a mini vacation

So when you do get time alone…

How many of us feel guilt. Raise your hand… Come on raise them. Yes, that‚Äôs more like it almost all of you. Us mommies are givers not takers but guess what? You deserve time for you and the things you enjoy. Not only do you deserve it. Mom, you know the truth here it¬†is a need, a must do.

We all need time to recharge and refocus. Guess what, not only do you deserve it you owe it to you family, to your children and you. Because when you return, you will be happier and able to give of yourself better.

Yes, I get that we can not very often get a whole day away. Though you should do that as well sometimes but here are ten quick ideas for a quick mommy recharge while someone else is in charge of the baby, kids, dog, cat, fish, messes so for a moment forget all that.

 

  1. A walk ‚Äď Just get out into the fresh air and the sunshine. No matter how terrible I feel the sun always helps as does¬†exercise. Are you feeling more¬†adventurous?¬†How about¬†a hike?
  2. A long hot bath ¬† One rule no rubber duckies or small people asking questions like “Why are you in the tub? Can I come in?” Even better bring in a book to read while you soak. How about you add in some really wonderful Bath bombs and make it a treat?
  3. Meet up with a friend¬†– Go have a coffee or whatever it is both like. Imagine this an¬†ice-cream¬†you don’t have to share? Best of all you get to hear another adult chit chat and I am sure she won’t ask to lick¬†your¬†ice-cream or prevent you from drinking a coffee while it is hot!
  4. Take a nap.- Yes, sleep is a wonderful tool for rejuvenation.
  5. Go you your favorite store – ¬†Alone. Browse the aisles and no don’t run down to the toy isle because you feel guilty the kids are not in tow. Think of things you love. Make-up, a book, clothes, no…clothes for you, not the kids stay with me here.
  6. Watch a movie Р Find a favorite feel good movie or one you have been waiting to see that does not include trolls or any other animated character. I often do this at night after the little ones are tucked in instead of cleaning. The cleaning can wait.
  7. Beauty time – Do something that makes you feel beautiful like a spa day, time at the gym, a manicure just anything that gives you a lift and makes you look and feel wonderful.
  8. Take a class Р Sharpen a skill or learn a new one. That is very grown up and cuts out a clear time for you to escape um I mean take a break. A friend of mine use to go to pottery class and made some really cool stuff. I should have taken up her offer to join her but I was busy thinking I was super mom. (I was really just super worn out mom) Hindsight ladies.
  9. Got a Hobby? РGet a hobby something you immensely enjoy and make time for it.
  10. Have an Adventure – Go for a drive, listen to your favorite music maybe go to a favorite spot or take a new road and go somewhere you have never been or wanted to see.

The importance of time alone for mothers www.simplymoms.net

More from Our Moms…

Anonymous – ¬† In some ways I’m a bit of an introvert and need quiet alone time to refresh and regroup. No, I don’t feel one bit guilty. By taking care of myself it allows me to take better care of my kids. I’m a better mom when I don’t have to be switched on all the time. I take time to meet friends for dinner a couple times a month or just run to the store by myself and we try to have a date night once a month.

”¬†you know you’re a mom when grocery shopping sans kids counts as “quiet, alone time”.

Anonymous– I’m usually not alone, unless they are in school and I go to the store, I go to get my hair done by myself that’s the only thing I do alone.
When I’m at work, I feel guilty, especially if it is a weekend or they are on break.

Jessica – “Yes, sometimes. But rarely and it’s never anything fun. Sometimes when the kids are at school I’ll have someone watch The little one so I can shop alone or go to an appointment.”

Tanya – I don’t remember a time since my girls were born that I did anything alone. When my boys were 5, 7 and 8 and I left their dad, I did get to do stuff by myself but always felt guilty but they were with their dad. Now with my my girls being almost 3 and 18 months We don’t have anyone to watch them and I don’t have any real life friends to go hang out with. I don’t really even have bedtime because I work 7 to 11 mon thru friday.¬†

What will you do for yourself this week? 

Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.  We love hearing what you Mamas have to say!

Would you love to connect with the mothers and mommies to be of Simply Moms? Come join our Facebook group here. —> [Simply Moms Group]

Love Jennifer

 

9 Things You Should Clean More in The Kitchen

After a month of being sick a while back and still being worn down from it, I realized there are simply a lot of things in the kitchen that get missed when you are not feeling super up to cleaning. I am not the perfect housewife. Who is? 

Nine things you should clean more in your kitchen. www.simplymoms.net

The refrigerator coils.

What is that? Yup, that is the coils under my fridge. The were vacuumed about two weeks ago. With our dogs, and kids running in and out dust accumulates fast. With all that dust your fridge and mine will not run efficiently. Vacuum them often. To keep your fridge running well and to cut down on your power bill.

remember to clean your refrigerator coils it will run better and save on your power bill

The sink sprayer.

My kitchen sink sprayer every so often seems to get a mind of its own and spray everywhere or slow to a trickle. Soaking the sprayer in a cup of vinegar will remove all the nasty hard water build up.

Cleaning the sink sprayer will help it spray better.

Oh, my gosh behind that sink!

**Blush** Yes I do clean it but with five other people using the sink and a toddler playing at it this happens fast and can be overlooked. I spray bleach behind here and it all whitens right back up.

Cleaning behind your kitchen sink

The microwave so used and often so forgotten.

Yes, it happens to the best of us. My kids tend not to cover anything so we end up with this. However a bowl of water with a splash of vinegar or lemon juice microwaved for 4 minutes or so and left to sit for 15 minutes (Let the steam build; so do not open the door) and after just wipe it all away. Easy peasy.

Microwave cleaning tips

Under the stove and other large appliances

Yes, they are heavy but, please pull them out every so often and clean. Have a big strong type help move them. ¬†ūüėČ Or give you a workout. And no lol that is not a dead rat way under there it is cardboard. Thank you, Miss Toddler for the heart fail.

Cleaning under appliances

 

The oven (Is something burning?)

Every so often my husband will ask me what I am burning. Generally, I start the oven after someone spilled something once again in the bottom of the oven. Of course, my intent is to clean it right away. Well, that was the intent anyhow. My oven is self-cleaning. It is a blessing and a curse. It cleans great but heats my house up better than the furnace and the smoke and fumes are terrible. Not to mention it is expensive to run.

Cleaning the oven

The dishwasher just because it washes does not mean it is clean!

How does it even happen? I mean it washes? But yes it needs cleaning. I run it with nothing but a bowl full of vinegar on the top rack at the hottest setting. After I wipe down all the edges and seal.

dishwasher cleaning tip

 

That overflowing junk drawer.

I think we all know it needs to be done and many of us just shove the drawer shut again or even um… start another junk drawer.

Clean out the junk drawer

 

 

Yes, even those window tracks.

Winter is over.  So we all need to remember to let in the fresh air minus all the dusty dirty window tracks and screens. I simply wipe them down including the screen while I am at it.

Clean the window tracks and screens

 

Now… I am off to clean.¬†cleaning smiley

 

Do you have any great kitchen cleaning tips? Please share them in the comments below.

Love Jennifer

If you love our blog please be sure to subscribe. <3

 

Whirlpool Cabrio Washer Dead in Three Months

I am really not one to post a negative review and I will say some good will come out it from Whirlpool themselves. However, this “top of the line” ¬†washing machine became a huge waste of not only money but time as well.

 

Whirlpool Cabrio Review

 

The little things I did not like.

This machine is a non-agitator¬†top loading machine. I seriously wanted one and drooled over this machine for the longest time. I got it home and realized ¬†I am 5’2″ tall I can not reach the inside bottom of this machine without leaning half in and having to hyperextend my arm.If there is a sock or something very flat at the bottom I struggle to fish it out. It makes doing laundry for this short lady a task.

Whirlpool Cabrio Drum

You can not just toss laundry in. It needs to be loaded around the tiny “agitator” plate and not cover it. Otherwise, things will become unbalanced and not wash properly.

Speaking of not washing properly sheets, comforters and other large items tend to get stretched out across the load and the middle does not get wet or wash at all sometimes. That one spot on the stretched item will just remain dry and unwashed because the water jets spray around the edges.

The tinted glass makes it hard to see in the machines. It is not a big deal for the dryer but because of the issues with the washer, it would be nice to make sure the load is washing properly so if you had to you could readjust it.

 

The positive things.

I love the color of the machines they are a shiny gray they refer to as chrome.

The dryer seems to work well it has a ton of settings including steam (However I do not have the water hooked up to it so no idea how well that works.)

The tinted glass does look nice.

The dryer’s lint screen is super easy to clean out.

Happy Three Months The Washer Is Dead

Yup, you read that right the washer is dead. One night it started flashing error codes and whirlpool said to unplug it for five minutes, plug it back in and it would be fine. WRONG, so wrong. I plugged it back in thinking I would get back to washing clothes. It would not power back on. Dead as a doornail. That was well over a month ago. The story gets even better. You ready for this?

We got online and contacted Whirlpool that night and set up warranty service for the next day. Awesome! Just a little hick up. Or so we thought.

The repair man came out. Surprise, it is broken. (You don’t say?)It needed a panel and board.He ordered the parts assuring us it would take a week to ten days. It’s been a month plus. We have put in call after call to the repair place.¬†Nope, no part. Nope, they can’t track it? (The repair place is a whole other nightmare)

So with it being over the month mark we are frustrated and decide to figure out ourselves where the part is. Interestingly they do not know. How can they not know? They sent it. So they tell my husband they will send another and expedite it. A week later still no part. So My husband calls Whirlpool AGAIN. He gets a supervisor on the phone guess what? That part is on back order.

Whirlpool’s Resolution

This supervisor did take the time to listen to the whole situation and she did admit that these washers are an issue.(Hence the reason the parts are on back order) In fact, they are redesigned now or in the process of it. After listening she told him to pick a new washer and they would ship it. So now we are waiting on a new front loader to show up. So I am unhappy that they made such a horrible machine that seems to be failing for a lot of people. With that said I am happy my husband really pressed the issue with them and they found a way to resolve it. I am praying the new machine is far better and last like my other Whirlpool front loader did.

 

As for the repair man, the place they warranted through is a complete joke and he seems to be collecting warranty work money and never finishing it. he has complaints through the BBB, and tons of bad reviews online for horrible treatment of customers. Much of the same issues we had with him. I tend to think he got the first part and used it elsewhere. He promised us a loner machine over a week ago and never brought it he was a no call no show day after day. Shaking my head.

 

As Pa Ingalls said, “Alls well that ends well.”

 

I dislike posting negative reviews but, I also feel with the priceyness of this item buyers should be forewarned. I wish I was.

Please be sure to subscribe to this blog if you enjoyed this post.

Love Jennifer

 

This blog is part of Mama Kat’s Writer’s workshop this week I chose this prompt “1. Write about a time you wasted your money.”
Mama’s Losin’ It

Books Little Miss Toddler Loves

The one thing I have always loved doing was reading to my children. My fifteen year old still likes me to read to him to this day. Now, Little Miss Toddler loves books every bit as much as my children did and she is always bringing me a book and her favorite blanket and climbing up into my lap asking me to read to her.

The suggested book images are affiliate links from Amazon. I make a small commission on them for you using the links. This does not cost you anything extra.

Giraffes Can’t Dance

Is a colorfully illustrated story about a giraffe who thinks he can not dance. But an unlikely friend gives him words of encouragement and he is soon dancing to his own music. Little Miss loves the animals in this book and the bright and funny illustrations.

Goodnight Moon

A classic children’s must have for saying good night. Little Miss is in love with the moon. The moment she touched this book it was a favorite.

In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. “Goodnight room, goodnight moon.

Ten Little Monkeys

Little miss loves the repetitiveness and the silly pictures of the monkeys jumping on the bed. A classic rhyming story that helps develop number skills. I have been listening to her recite this now for days. So it is clear it is well loved.

Peek-Who?

Two things Little Miss loves animals and surprises. This book has both as it provides only a peek of what animal will be on the next page through the die cuts. It is very colorful and a rhyming text. For me, it is a short read which is nice for those times I am busy and want to read her a quick book.

What are your toddler’s favorite books?

Love Jennifer

My Kitchen Banana Blunder & Banana Bread Recipe Share

So get ready for some kitchen humor and a recipe.

I do not consider myself a great cook. I am hardly a good cook depending on what I am making and if I am in the mood to be making anything period. If I am enjoying cooking things come out better. If it is drudgery It’s generally not going be a good meal. ¬†I do love to bake but, again when the mood strikes.

So me not being a pro in the kitchen lends itself to this story.

One night my husband came home with these huge very green bananas. A friend had given them to him and they were terribly hard and clearly not at all ripe.

So I told my daughter to just set them on the counter to ripen.

Two days later still green and hard as a rock? What on earth? Maybe they were picked too soon? Maybe somehow we could speed up the ripening process?

 

So Google to the rescue. Place them in a paper bag… Hmmm to long speedier than that I mean we want to make banana bread today not next month at this rate.

 

Wait? The oven? Yes!!!

300 degrees for¬†30 – 40 minutes and they will ripen. A method¬†great if you plan to bake with them. BINGO! So in the oven, they go unpeeled as it stated on the website on a cookie sheet. Easy peasy. 30 minutes go buy,..still green¬†well, they were VERY under-ripe 40, 50, 1 hour still pretty much green! So, maybe longer? Two hours… They are black! YES!!!!

Out they come black as midnight and hard as rocks!!! I am baffled and my kids are legit in hysterics with laughter t this point. No one even cares anymore they wanted banana bread because these bananas are giving Mom a time and they think it is the funniest thing.

So I tell them “I am done toss those things in the trash there is clearly something wrong with them.”

After the last blackened hard as a rock banana slips into the trash something dawns on me.

Plantains

Do you know what these are?

If you said Plantains you are correct!!!!!

If you said big green bananas (Well some do call them that but they are not the same thing) … “Mostly” ¬†wrong LOL and they will never turn yellow or ripen to eat not because they need to be cooked! (According to Wiki some do eat them raw but…. )¬†LOL They are a starchy food people often fry, broil, boil, roast or bake them. They certainly are not what I thought they were.

So I did go out and buy over ripe bananas the next day and make banana bread. However, the best thing is when we are all sitting around and one of my kids start to tell the story for the hundredth time because it just never gets old.

 

And now if you want banana bread here is a recipe I have used a bunch of times.

Classic Banana Bread from ( MyRecipes)

You need:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray

For the rest of the directions please [Read more at MyRecipes]

Do you have a favorite banana recipe? We would love for you to share it with us!

We are proud to be part of Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop Link up.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Pretty Much Fool Proof Lasagna Simple Version

If you are looking for fancy, complicated superbly homemade lasagna you may want to continue searching.

This is how I have made Lasagna for 24 years for my large family. It is simple and we all can agree that we like it. Finding something that a family of ten all liked was a challenge so I stuck with it and changed very little over the years. It does not include onions we do not care for them but they could be added along with anything else you like.

One major change I did make over the years was that I switched ricotta out for cottage cheese. I have a son that hates ricotta but likes the cottage cheese and the rest of us like it as well.

Lasagna simple recipe www.simplymoms.net

What you will need:

2 pounds ground beef

Green pepper chopped

Onion chopped (Optional)

Salt and paper to taste

2 Jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce

1 box Lasagna noodles

2 cups mozzarella cheese

Large container cottage cheese

Lasagna ingredients

Brown the ground beef, chopped onions ( If you are using them ) and chopped green peppers together in a large frying pan until the ground beef is cooked through. Once cooked drain the ground beef well. We skipped the onions because no one here likes them.

Chopped Green Pepper

 

Chopped green pepper and Ground Beef

Return to the pan once the ground beef is drained well and stir in the sauce. Heat until how though out and set aside. ** I noticed my sauce was slightly watery. So I added a small amount of parmesan and mozzarella to thicken it up a bit. Boil water in a large stock pot for the lasagna noodles. I add a couple tablespoon of oil and salt to my pasta water.

Adding in sauce

 

Once the pasta is cooked. Drain it and cool it off with cold tap water.Just so they are easier¬†to handle. Now you can start layering your lasagna. As you will see Little Miss Toddler joined me. She loves to help. ¬†I really don’t mind. Though I did have to keep telling her to keep those little feet away from the dinner we were making.

I lightly oil my lasagna pan. Some people do not. I do.

The first layer is pasta. I am not fussy in the way I lay them down. If you want to be fancy have at it .

pasta

The second layer is the meat sauce. I put mine on pretty heavy.

and then…. You guessed it another layer of pasta. Sometimes I will do a thin layer of mozzarella¬†over the meat sauce this night I didn’t. The cheese holds the lasagna together better for slicing.

Layering lasagna

Over this layer, you will layer on the cottage cheese and then a thick layer of mozzarella cheese.

Adding cheese to the lasagna

As you can see my little helper has arrived.  Over the cheeses, you will add yet another layer of pasta, over that meat sauce and again a layer of pasta.

Toddler adding pasta to lasagna

last but not least you will be adding mozzarella cheese to the top. We like lots of it.

Toddler adding cheese to lasagna

Place your lasagna in a 350-degree oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly. I like to serve mine with fresh bread and a green salad.

Lasagna and a green salad

 

I love the fact that cooking brings my children and Granddaughter into the kitchen. Skills like cooking are very important for children to learn. Even the youngest toddler can help out with simple tasks. My children have always enjoyed eating what they cooked.

Teen son helping brown the ground beef for lasagna

Is there anything different you do with your lasagna? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

Love Jennifer