Chick-Fil-A, Crafty Mamas, Holidays, Kids' Art Projects, Married with Children, momlife, Momsquad, Recipes, Saturday Six, They Said WHAT?, Tips & Hacks

Saturday Six

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This week was full of love, mom-wins, and sunny Southern California weather.  So we’ve got LOTS to celebrate! Here are the six things that rose above to make this week a great one.

1. Jaymi is still gluten free, and not all Gluten-Free Foods were created equally. However, she’s finding that lots of her favorite recipes are easily modified. One of the best has been this Carnation Café Copycat Loaded Potato Soup. It is seriously AMAZING. Like, “We Serve it to Company” good. Sub in some 1-to-1 Gluten Free Flour, and it’s a GF version that doesn’t taste gluten free (thank goodness).

2. You may have heard that we won free Chick Fil A for a year, but we ALSO won a free Valentine’s Day Meal. Seriously y’all, we are SWIMMING in free chicken.  You may not be willing to sleep in a parking lot for free chicken (because…well…REASONS), but PLEASE tell us you have the Chick Fil A One app installed on your phone. All you have to do is scan when you order, and you’ll get points that add up to free items.  And if you’re anything like us, those orders- and those points!- add up fast.

3. Have you done one of those kid interviews that’s been floating around Facebook recently? We did them with our kids, and the answers were equal parts hilarious (Q: What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? A: A grown up. So I can make the rules) and so sticky sweet we could die (Q: What Makes You Happy? A: Hugging You). Our friend at All in A Dad’s Work asks his kids questions like these on the regular, and their answers are super insightful, and also sometimes super funny. We particularly liked this week’s questions. Go check them out!

4. We found out Cricut makes a heat press, and now we NEED it so we can make some Salty Mama swag. I mean, can you just imagine the salty goodness we could create if the kids all agreed to nap at the same time? Whoa.

5. We busted out our  Marbled Shaving Cream Art at a playdate this week and it was a HIT. Each kid made five or six hearts a piece, and it totally stopped them from fighting was a great way to get some art in. And can I say, I kind of felt like super mom handing it off to their Mamas when they got picked up. We recommend busting out the green paint and some shamrock-shaped cardstock to bring it into the new season.

 

6. Our cruuuuiissseee is coming uuuuuuup! Look for some themed posts that will be going up this week, and get your rainbow tumblers ready. We’ve got a fun DIY headed your way so you can either A.) Cruise with your momsquad in style or B.) Have a virtual drink with The Salty Mamas. 

Bouncing Babies, Effing Four Year Olds, koefoe party of 5, momlife, Momsquad, parenting, The Salties, Tips & Hacks

Tips for Leaving the House with Multiple Kids

I was at the Aquarium, Izzie on my hip, one eye on Cole and the other on Evie. Wait – where’s Evie? Oh, there she is! Yes, one eye on Evie. Check. A woman with a toddler caught my eye and exclaimed, “Wow! I’m not even brave enough to bring both my kids to the Aquarium and you’re here with three!”

I never know how to respond to these confessions from other Moms. As a Stay-at-Home-Mom, if I didn’t brave the outside world and leave the house with three kids, I’d never leave. So hiding inside doesn’t seem like much of an option. And sure, some places we go are much more painful than other places. (Yes, I’m looking at you Costco and Trader Joe’s). But a place specifically made for kids? It’s not always fun and it’s basically never easy, but I promise you that if I can do it, so can you.

Here are some tips to help you get through it. Continue reading “Tips for Leaving the House with Multiple Kids”

Effing Four Year Olds, momlife, parenting, Terrible Twos, The Salties, Threenagers, Tips & Hacks

5 Tips for Processing Death with Your Preschooler

‘2017 was a tough year in the KoeFoe house. My husband’s uncle passed away from terminal cancer. My husband’s grandma passed away from complications from surgery. And then my Nana….just…..passed away. Wave after wave hit us, but seemed to miss our children, who weren’t close to these family members. Until Nana.17554077_10212883284503227_440700337261823782_n

Every Tuesday night, since before our son was born, we had Taco Tuesday’s at Nana’s. We ate, watched Jeopardy, the kids did somersaults, sang into microphones, performed and were given chocolate and ice cream and cookies, oh my! At 93 years old, Nana even “babysat” Evie (with the help of her home health nurse) every Friday for a couple hours. She was a constant fixture in our lives, until one day, she wasn’t.

We knew we had to talk to the kids, but didn’t know quite how. Izzie, at 8 months was too young to know anything was going on. Evie, at 2 years, knew something was up, but certainly couldn’t comprehend. But Cole? Cole, we found, was a wise – albeit brand new – 4 year old. He had questions, and we didn’t always know the answers.

When the end was eminent, I remember sitting with Nana. Tears in my eyes, she told me that crying was okay, that she was going to be fine, that this was God’s plan. I told her, “I know it is….I just don’t know what I’m supposed to tell Cole and Evie.” My pain was so profoundly compacted by the idea that I would also have to manage their loss, that at times it felt suffocating.

I’m not sure what we did was best, or right, but here are some tips that worked for us. I hope that you don’t need them, but if you do, that they help. Continue reading “5 Tips for Processing Death with Your Preschooler”

Effing Four Year Olds, momlife, parenting, The Salties, They Said WHAT?, Tips & Hacks

Smoothies

Once upon a time, when Lila was a littler girl, she became obsessed with all cold drinks. First it was the condensation on our soft drinks, and then we transitioned to Jamba Juice IMG_20140721_112451092smoothies.  Pretty soon, we introduced our family’s favorite summer sipper- Icees. And slurpees, and freezes. Whatever you wanted to call them, it didn’t much matter. She was in love with the icy cold sweetness, and at about a dollar a piece, they were a cheap and easy treat on a hot day. I have given her far more Icees in her short little life than I would care to admit. Somewhere along the line, the differences between Jamba Juice whole fruit goodness and sugar-filled-crushed-ice got blurred, and she decided Icees/Slurpees were called smoothies, too. It wasn’t something we did intentionally, but my GOODNESS does it make me look like a better mother. Continue reading “Smoothies”

Mama Mojo, MicroLuxuries, momlife, Momsquad, Tips & Hacks

Micro Hustle Monday: Something to Look Forward To

As Moms our lives can be so. incredibly. repetitive. It’s a never-ending cycle of cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, tantrums, laundry, dishes. When it’s done? Rinse and repeat. Because joke’s on us: It’s NEVER done. And some days you can just get lost in that feeling of the endlessness of it all. And we desperately need to not get lost in that feeling.27484835_10215778792769124_1484461797_o

A few weeks ago, Jaymi and I booked our #Momsquad Booze Cruise, and I think just booking it changed my life. I added a countdown clock on my phone. I put a post-it on my refrigerator. I ordered a couple super cheap dresses for lounging on the lido deck or for dinner with my girls – and without my kids. I dropped little reminders around my life so that when I’m up to my elbows in dish soap I recall that it’s one sink full of dishes closer to sweet, sweet freedom. Continue reading “Micro Hustle Monday: Something to Look Forward To”

momlife, Recipes, Tips & Hacks

Minestrone Soup (And How to Plan a Soup Exchange!)

It’s winter- glorious, chilly, wholesome winter. Time for scarves and boots and, most importantly- soup. I don’t know about you, but I only have about three really good soup recipes. And while they are REALLY GOOD (especially this Minestrone Soup Recipe!), you can only eat the same soups so many times before you get sick and tired of the same old thing.

So when one of our friends suggested we hold a soup exchange, we eagerly hopped on board. The idea is simple: you and a few friends each agree to make four meal-sized servings of soup. You keep one, and exchange the rest with the others.  Everyone leaves the day with four soups- a family favorite, and three new recipes to try.

In our case, we decided to meet at the park.  We executed our soup swap quickly, stowed our meals away in freezer bags, and let the kids run around together for an hour or so. While we chose to include the kids, you could easily arrange a wine night or girls’ night in that would serve the same purpose. Whatever works for you!

And just in case you find yourself without soup-swappin’ friends, don’t worry. The Salty Mamas (as always) have your back. Try this Minestrone soup recipe that has been in my family for generations my mom swindled from a favorite restaurant before it closed. It’s simple enough for everyday, hearty enough for a meal, and even tasty enough to serve to company.  A single batch typically renders enough for two meals for my family of four with some leftovers. We keep half to eat that week, and I freeze half for another time (the pasta and zucchini are slightly affected by freezing, but we still think it’s just as good as when it’s served fresh. And you can always add the pasta and zucchini after thawing instead if you’re bothered by small texture changes).

This is the only Minestrone Soup Recipe you'll ever need- full of vegetables, protein, and home-cooked goodness. Find the recipe at thesaltymamas.com. #minestronesoup #souprecipe Continue reading “Minestrone Soup (And How to Plan a Soup Exchange!)”

Mama Mojo, Tips & Hacks

How to Make Yourself Workout (When You Really Don’t Want to)

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So you’ve got a resolution. And you’re trying SO HARD. You’re eating all the right things, you’re drinking water, you’re resisting the snacks. And hypothetically, you’re working out more regularly.  But, guys? Sometimes getting in the mood to workout is so.dang.hard. So how do you form a habit when your body- and your brain!- is begging you not to make it DO THE EXERCISE? Here’s some tips that help us to make it happen, even when we don’t want to. Continue reading “How to Make Yourself Workout (When You Really Don’t Want to)”

Cheapskating, Kids' Activities, Mama Loves a Party, momlife, The Salties, Tips & Hacks

Birthday Gifts on a Budget

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I don’t know how it works in your circle of friends, but in ours? We are heading full-throttle into what we affectionately call Birthday Season. From now until the end of April, we will likely be attending anywhere from one to four birthday parties every.single.weekend. And my kids LOVE it. But my budget? Yeah, it doesn’t.

So how do I tackle all of those Big Birthday Bashes on a Budget? There’s a few tricks I use to celebrate all of our favorite little people without breaking the bank. Continue reading “Birthday Gifts on a Budget”

Bujo, Caffeine, Mama Mojo, Tips & Hacks

Starting Your Day Like A #MomBoss

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2017 was a big year for my family and, to a larger extent, a big year for ME. I called it the Year of Jaymi, and I spent the year finding the best ways to relax, to indulge, and to carve out time for myself.  I bullet journaled, I drank fancy coffee, I went on trips with my friends, and I took on two side jobs that helped me to put my unique talents to work in a way that brought more joy to my life. And it was AMAZING.

And also? It was busy. Really, really busy.

So how did I fit those extra jobs, side hustles, and self-care into my slam-packed, childcare and housework filled days? It took planning and mindfulness on a daily basis, but I found that “having it all” was easier than I thought once I started my day off with a fresh routine. And the best part is? You can do it, too. Here’s my tips for starting your day with a BANG. Continue reading “Starting Your Day Like A #MomBoss”

Mama Mojo, momlife, parenting, Tips & Hacks

Say NO

Kids are busy.

I know, I know, understatement off the year. Not only are they just busy little people, but then they do all the things! Sports, school events, and the birthday parties. Holy God the birthday parties! And if you have more than one kid, it just gets exponentially more insane. If you don’t watch out, you can become completely overwhelmed,  discombobulated and burned out. Weekends that you used to spend as a family or getting stuff done become a complicated dance of getting the right people to the right places and I lose any sense of recharge that I strive for on those two special days.

Midweek, frankly isn’t much better. After a few consecutive weeks of this…

Continue reading “Say NO”