How to Win the Lottery
January 11, 2016
The Powerball jackpot is up to $1.3 billion. Nearly everyone I know is talking about what they would do if they won the lottery. It’s fun to dream about what you’d do with that large chunk of change (even if the lump sum is only a few hundred million after taxes).
If I won the lottery, there’s a few things I’d do. First, I’d pay off all our student loans. Then, I’d buy a house in a good school district with taxes I could afford if somehow my magic lottery money disappeared. I’d put 90% of the remaining money in a trust for my children. And I’d keep working, building my business, and writing books.
Ok, maybe I’d go out for a few nice meals and go on a few nice vacations over the course of my lifetime. But, in reality? I never want my children and my grandchildren to know what it’s like to be poor. I’m already struggling to create a scenario where my kids don’t remember being poor.
Luckily, I know how to win the lottery. So, my future is looking pretty bright.
In order to win the lottery, you have to play the lottery. Start by investing in the lottery. Buy a lottery ticket. Better yet, buy your lottery ticket in advance. Don’t wait till the last minute. That’s stressful and it doesn’t improve your odds.
Next, Be Patient
Once you’ve bought your ticket, you have to wait for the winning numbers. It takes time. And time is something you just can’t speed up. So, be patient.
Create a Plan
Know what your goals are. Create a plan to achieve those goals. Work towards those goals, whether you’ve won the lottery or not.
Apply these principles to your children, and you’ve already won the lottery. Invest your time, your heart, and your soul into raising your littles. Be patient with them. Get down on the ground and play their games. Teach them new words and new ideas. Plan for their success. Plan for how you’ll reach their success. Plan to be a parent, and even if you don’t win at everything, you’ll be cashing in on a jackpot better than millions of dollars. You’ll be cashing in on life.
I know how to win the lottery, because it’s more than a cash prize: it’s roadmap to happiness, one smile at a time.
2 Ingredient Healthy Pancakes for Babies (And Adults, too!)
January 8, 2016
Pancakes are one of my favorite comfort foods. Who can say no to a pancake with butter and syrup? I can. Because I have a new favorite, healthy pancake. It requires just 2 ingredients, and you can let your babies and toddlers have it guilt free.
What are these 2 magical ingredients? A banana and an egg. Really. That’s it. Those two items make a delicious healthy pancake. You might never want a regular pancake again.
Simply mash up a banana, beat an egg, whisk the two together, and pour into a hot pan. Flip like a pancake and serve like a pancake. I cut mine up into bite size pieces for my 10 month old. She loves these “banana pancakes”.
If I’m making these for myself, I add some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. It kicks the flavor up a notch. Another tip is to cook the banana pancakes in coconut oil.
I’ll never forget the first time I tried this recipe. I didn’t believe it would make a pancake. I was like “eggs and banana? ew!” But it actually was really tasty and I ended up making these pancakes for myself, even when my littles weren’t hungry.
Since bananas are full of vitamins and eggs have lots of protein, this is actually a super healthy breakfast option. I mean, you could eat a hard boiled egg and a banana, but that’s boring. This is a much better breakfast.
Aside from spices, you can add things like slivered almonds or crushed walnuts. You can put butter on top and add syrup if you feel like fattening it up. Or you can go with agave syrup and keep your carbs & sugars on track.
No matter how you choose to eat it, these healthy pancakes are sure to be a hit. Did I mention they’re also BUDGET FRIENDLY? Yeah! Bananas and eggs are super cheap.
Try out the recipe and let me know how it goes 🙂 I’m going to go make a banana pancake for my daughter now. Happy reading!
11 Reasons to Get Your Groceries Delivered
January 5, 2016
This post contains referral links, but it is *not* a sponsored post. I was not paid or compensated to write this and opinions are all my own. Happy reading!
I used to love grocery shopping. Before I had kids, a trip to the grocery store was fun. I would peruse the aisles for new, interesting foods and spices. I’d come home from the store inspired to make some sort of Chopped-style creation. I took great pride in making meals and organizing my kitchen. While I still love to cook and eat, grocery shopping has become an irritating chore. Why? Well, this may not make me Mom of the Year but I’m totally blaming my children.
Taking a 2.5 year old and a 10 month old to the grocery store is insane. For starters, grocery carts just aren’t equipped for 2 small children. And those beast monsters that do seat two kids? Well, next time you’re at the grocery store you try pushing one of those things out of the cart rack. It’s like pushing two full carts at once. It doesn’t turn well. It’s full of yucky germs. It’s – you get the point.
For the record, I’ve tried every trick under the sun when it comes to shopping with two littles. I babywear my daughter and put my son in the cart. I’ve put my daughter in the cart and let my toddler walk. I’ve even tried those little toddler carts, and my son got very upset about putting any actual groceries in the cart. I’ve taken my husband with me. I’ve sent him to the store alone. I’ve gone to the store alone. And, there’s just no way around it: grocery shopping in-store just isn’t fun anymore.
I avoided ordering my groceries online for a long time. I thought, “This is stupid. Why would I pay to have my groceries delivered? How lazy am I?”
Then, my kids got sick. I was sick. And I got a coupon for FreshDirect. It was the perfect storm.
Here’s what I learned:
1. I Saved Money
Yeah. I thought it would be more expensive to have my groceries delivered. But in reality being able to organize my purchase and take advantage of deals without impulse buys saved me a ton. I saved over $75 on my first order compared to my regular grocery bill and I got more food. It wasn’t processed junk, either. I ordered all whole foods with the exception of 2 boxes of cereal and 4 packs of juice boxes. Also, the “delivery fee” was only $6.99. I thought it would be way more expensive to have someone shop for me and have my food delivered to my door. But for less than $7 it’s a total bargain.
2. I Stayed Focused
Instead of being distracted by displays and new food items, I was able to focus on the groceries my family actually eats. I didn’t add a bunch of unnecessary new things to my grocery cart.
3. Meal Planning was Easier
Because I was able to stay focused, I was able to actually plan out my meals. I could look up recipes and make sure I had all the ingredients in my cart and my kitchen without doing the whole iPhone at the supermarket routine. (Am I the only one who always forgets 1 or 2 important ingredients and then has to go BACK to the store? Ugh. No more.)
4. No Impulse Buys
I mentioned it before but it’s so important: no impulse buys means eating healthier and saving money. Win-win!
5. Groceries Came to my Door
Instead of loading my kids in the car, parking the car, taking my kids out, getting them into the store, loading all my groceries in the cart, unloading my groceries at the register and then reloading those groceries into the cart, then going to the parking lot, getting my kids in the car, loading my groceries in the car, driving home, taking my kids out, taking my groceries inside, and putting my groceries away….I just answered the door and put my groceries in the fridge. Yeah. Saving all that aggravation is totally worth $7 to me.
6. I Saved Almost 3 Hours
See #5. All that junk takes time. Getting myself ready. Getting my tots ready. Actually getting to the store. Actually shopping. Loading and unloading. I saved almost 3 hours and what did I do with that time? I spent it playing with my littles. I would rather spend time on the floor or outside playing with my kids then under the florescent lights and stale air of the supermarket.
7. Less Stress
It was so nice to just put my groceries in a virtual cart and get them delivered to my door the next morning. I saved money and time.
8. I Didn’t Forget Anything
The virtual grocery cart allowed me to check over my purchases. I was able to show my husband the cart and ask him if he wanted or needed anything else before I hit “buy”. When you’re at the grocery store and everything is piled in your cart, you can barely see what you have. I am terrible at sticking to lists in the grocery store because quite frankly my lists are made quickly and I often forget to write a few things on my list. With this order, I didn’t forget a thing. Awesome.
9. My Kids Were Happier
My kids like the grocery store for the first 10 minutes. Then they get bored. While I’ve tried grocery games like “name that vegetable” and “oh, look at that new thing!”, my littles are maxed out of grocery store shopping by 17 minutes. I can’t get all my shopping done in 17 minutes (even though I’ve tried so, so hard). So, even though my kids are too young to realize we skipped the grocery store drama this week, I know they preferred the tickle fights and superhero games we played instead.
10. 3 Stores in One
There are a lot of different grocery delivery services, but so far I’ve just tried FreshDirect and I was happy with it because for me, it was like visiting at least 3 stores in one. I got groceries, baby goods, paper products, and you can even get wine. And hard liquor or beer if that’s more your style. But, um, hello….you can get wine. Delivered. To your door. Wine for your whine.
11. It Made Grocery Shopping Fun Again
I loved the online grocery shopping experience. I was able to get excited about food shopping again, and for me that was priceless. If you want to try FreshDirect, use my referral link to get $50 off your first two purchases. You literally have nothing to lose! If you want to save $50 off your groceries this week, click here.
5 Things You Need for Your Next Family Roadtrip
January 4, 2016
This post contains affiliate links.
Since my family doesn’t live nearby, I’ve had a lot of experience trekking my kids in the car for family roadtrip fun. By fun, I mean a bored, screaming toddler, a puking baby, and diaper explosions galore. And, you know, all the stress that comes along with family roadtrips. Like traffic, exhaustion, and leg cramps.
There’s got to be a better way, right?
A lot of successful family roadtrip execution relies on planning. If you’re going to be in the car for 2+ hours, you’ll probably need to make a few stops for diaper changes, stretching, food, and potty breaks.
But as far as being in the car goes? There are some truly amazing gadgets and things to bring that will keep you sane on your family roadtrip.
1. Mom’s Besty Luxury Car Back Seat Organizer
If you’re planning a family roadtrip with the littles, you know the importance of keeping your kids occupied in the car. It can make the difference between a happy family roadtrip and the roadtrip from hell. While I wish they gave this product a shorter name, the Mom’s Besty Luxury Car Back Seat Organizer (seriously? Haha) is less than $20 on Amazon and can keep your backseat organized and your kid entertained for hours. Just make sure you charge up the iPad or your other tablet before leaving.
2. Kids Travel Play Tray & Bag
Maybe you don’t want your kid logging a ton of screen time in the car, or perhaps they like to draw or eat on the go. This tray is awesome and it folds up and doubles as a bag for your little’s belongings. Bring some crayons, a coloring book, and some snacks, and you’re good to go. This tray is also under $20 from Amazon.
3. Portable Kid Cot
Don’t add bedbugs to your family roadtrip worries. Bring this foldable, portable Regalo My Cot Portable Bed with you.
4. KidCo Go-Pod
This Go-Pod is literally worth every penny. We live in a small apartment, and I got this for Monster (baby #1) as a space-saving alternative to the exersaucer. I’ve used it for both babies. Brought it on vacation. Take it in the bathroom to contain a little while I shower. The possibilities are endless. It’s really a great investment. Super sturdy. Super easy to clean. And very travel-friendly.
5. Portable High Chair
Um….why did I just find out this exists? (Excuse me while I go buy 2). Have you ever went to a rest stop and wished they had high chairs at the picnic table? Or a restaurant with no high chairs? This is the ultimate solution. Durable. Easy to clean. Relatively inexpensive for a high chair (less than $55? Awesome!)
These are just a few things that will make your next family roadtrip with little babies just a bit easier. Have any other great suggestions? We’d love to hear them! Happy traveling!
5 Ingredient Crockpot Pulled Pork
January 3, 2016
When I first learned how to make pulled pork in the crockpot, it was a meal planning game changer for sure. Pulled pork can be used in a variety of ways. My family’s favorite is pressed between crusty bread, mustard, pickles, and swiss cheese. Crockpot pulled pork is awesome because it takes a long time, which means you’ll have an amazing dinner ready when you get home from a hectic day.
Here’s the recipe:
5 Ingredient Crockpot Pulled Pork
Serves 6 and leftovers
5 pound boneless pork loin,
1 large can tomato sauce,
1 cup distilled white vinegar,
1/2 cup molasses,
Trader Joe’s BBQ Rub and Seasoning (or other pork rub)
Pour tomato sauce, white vinegar, and molasses into the crockpot. On a baking tray, lay out your pork loin and rub it down with the spice rub. Coat in spice rub completely. Put seasoned pork loin in the crockpot, fatty side down. Set the crockpot on low for 10 hours. In 10 hours, gently take the pork loin out of the crockpot and pull apart with a fork. The “sauce” left in the crockpot can be transferred to a stockpot and reduced into a flavorful, rich BBQ sauce. You can add brown sugar, molasses, or vinegar to taste. Personally, I think it’s fine on its own. 🙂
You can do so many things with pulled pork. You can make:
Pulled Pork Tacos
Pulled Pork & Mac n Cheese
Pulled Pork, Rice, and Beans
Pulled Pork & Eggs
The sky is truly the limit with this. Crockpot Pulled Pork is also great as a snack for littles. It’s soft and bite sized. My toddler really loves pulled pork on a plate or on a grilled cheese. I love it because it’s literally “set it and forget it”. The leftovers have so many meal options that are quick and easy. And my whole family enjoys it. It’s flavorful, diet-friendly, and impressive to guests.