Monthly Archives: February 2016

Dinner on the Fly : “I want soup!”

Last week I had a Mommy moment. You know, the ones where you forget to do something important. In my case, it was dinner. I forgot to throw dinner in the slow cooker until nearly 3:00pm. So at that point, I rushed around my kitchen like a crazy person in an effort to get everything together quickly. I turned the slower cooker on high, estimating dinner would be ready no earlier then 7:00pm. A little late, but I didn’t think much of it and went on with my day.

Then, 5:30pm came and my toddler began pulling on me and saying, “I want soup!” If you know me, you know my philosophy on food. I am not a short order cook. I make one meal for the whole family. My daughter doesn’t have to eat it, but she doesn’t receive specialized meals. In this case, however, I had to make an exception. After all, it was my fault dinner wouldn’t be served until much later, so of course she was hungry now!

Dinner on the fly! I want soup!

Well, at least she requested something that could be made rather quickly and healthy. To be honest, I was surprised she wasn’t begging for popcorn and ice cream! Anyway, it was getting late, so I immediately went to the fridge and ransacked it. Pulling out all the vegetables we had. If you are wondering why I didn’t run to the cupboard and pull out a can of soup, its because we didn’t have any. Its not that we don’t purchase cans of soup occasionally, but we usually like to make it ourselves.

I pulled out a potato, carrots, spinach, and vegetable broth. Figuring I could make a vegetable soup, I began pouring the broth into the pot. Unfortunately, there wasn’t even enough broth to coat the bottom of the pan. I rushed to the cupboard and grabbed a packet of beefy onion soup mix. Filled the pan with water and dumped the contents of the packet in. While the soup mix was simmering on medium heat, I began cutting up all the vegetables. Slicing them as thinly as possible, to ensure they became tender quickly.

I went to the fridge in one last effort to add some protein. Luckily, I came across a tuberware bowl of chicken I had made a few days earlier. Originally, the chicken was marinated in Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing, seasoned with pepper, and baked in the oven. So, needless to say, it was already filled with flavor. I shredded what was left and poured it into the pot. The soup was left on medium heat, stirring occasionally for 20-25 minutes.

WALA!

Ranch Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Now that’s what I call dinner on the fly! So, what’s in your fridge? What meal can you make on the fly?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

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Tips for a Successful Movie Theater Experience with Toddlers

When my husband and I first began spending time together, we ended up going to the movie theater. Unbeknownst to us, movies somehow became our thing. Until we had our daughter, most weekends were spent at the movie theater. Our rewards card was always filled with an endless amount of points. Vacations were always planned with finding the closest theater in mind. Summers included road trips to the local drive-in.

Needless to say, when we were planning our daughters arrival one of the things we were egger to share with her was our love of movies. Fast forward two years later and now movies are a sweet, memorable family affair! Of course, any new outing with a toddler does come with its own set of challenges. Luckily, through several movie going experiences we have worked out all the kinks. Our sweet, beautiful little girl loves movies just as much as we do!

Here are my top 3 tips for a successful movie theater experience with a toddler:

1. Movies at Home

The best way to assess whether or not your child is ready to go to the movie theater is to begin movie night at home. Shortly after our daughter turned two we began checking out animated movies from our local library. My husband and I would toss a bag of popcorn into the microwave and watch the movie as a family of three. This allowed our child to move around the room freely without disturbing others.

2. Popcorn

Through our at home movie nights we discovered our daughters obsession with popcorn! When I say obsession, its no exaggeration. She is truly in love with popcorn! If you can find a snack your children love, having it during a movie works wonders! Our daughter sat still for a much longer length of time thanks to popcorn. When we took her to see her first movie, we miscalculated the amount of popcorn necessary to sustain our busy toddler. Once the popcorn was gone she became instantly upset and begged for more. But with the price of concessions it was not possible. Now, of course, we consider two important factors in deciding the size of popcorn.   1. Whether its just my daughter and I heading to a movie or if my husband will be joining us.   2. Whether the movie we are seeing will hold her interest on it own.

3. Plan Ahead

When it comes to taking a toddler somewhere that they will need to be quiet and sit for any length of time its VERY important to plan ahead!

Start with selecting a movie. Choose a movie you feel your child will really enjoy seeing. For us, it was the Minion Movie. My daughter is obsessed with them! The more they enjoy watching a film, the less likely they are to become restless.

Next, check out the movie theater website and give them a call. Our theaters don’t start charging admission until age 3. As a parent, this is a huge blessing because when you take a toddler to see a movie you have to be prepared to leave early for any reason. Recently, my husband and I enjoyed a date night. We drove to a theater that was quite a distance from us only to realize the prices were much higher. As I was reading their admission prices, I noticed they begin charging admission starting at age 2. I immediately directed my husband to the board and commented how relieved I was that we did not bring our daughter.

Potty Time: Once we began potty training, I had to bring her portable potty chair everywhere. The regular sized toilets scared her, so this was the perfect option. Luckily, all of our theaters are very child friendly and allow us to bring it in with us!

If you are as fortunate as us, we have always lived near multiple theaters. Having more than one theater near by can be very beneficial. Sometimes one theater or another may show older children’s movies for a discounted admission and concession price.

When it comes to taking a child to see their first movie I recommend choosing a movie that has already been in the theater for at least a few weeks. Thus, giving you a fairly empty theater in case your tot feels the need to move around a bit.

My final tip to creating a great movie going experience, be mindful of the showtimes. If we are seeing a movie with an 11:00am showtime, you can bet we are just pulling into the parking lot at that time. Why? I want my daughter to sit still for as long as humanly possible! Watching fifteen minutes of previews is fifteen less minutes she will be able to sit for the actual movie. So we always arrive to the theater just as the showtime begins. This gives us fifteen minutes of previews to park, buy tickets, and concessions. Thus, heading in just as the movie begins!

Lastly, grab a bag of buttery, salty popcorn and enjoy a movie with your little ones!

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

(Ready to go to the movies!)

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(Waiting for the movie to start!)

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A Long Hiatus!

Hello Friends! I’m back!

I took an unexpectedly long hiatus from blogging. My originally intention was to come back at the start of the New Year, but instead I procrastinated. Why? Well, because my first post heading into the New Year was going to be the start of a 30 day home organizing/de-cluttering challenge. This is something I have been dreading, as it feel like such a daunting task! Although, I do need to get it done before the weather is nice so I am not stuck inside cleaning.

My hiatus from writing became significantly longer than what I expected because my toddler caught a stomach bug, which she then gifted to me. Needless to say, that alone was a fun two weeks!

My daughter lived on pedialyte, crackers, and toast. I lived on gatorade, crackers, toast, and jell-o. I thought for sure my daughter would share my love of jell-o, but unfortunately that was not the case. Luckily, we are now feeling better and I can get back to blogging!

So glad to be back!

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