Making Science Make Sense with Bayer


I’m partnering with Bayer on today’s sponsored post as a part of their company-wide, award-winning initiative Making Science Make Sense® (MSMS).

Science was always one of my favorite subjects when I was in school.  I was always pretty intrigued by it - and I thought it was fun (yes, I was one of those people who loved school)!  I had wonderful teachers, all through out middle school, Jr. High, and high school.. who encouraged me and helped me along the way, and for that I'm so thankful.

Clara is in preschool now and loves learning and going to school everyday... she's like a little sponge.. and I hope she continues to love it as she gets older, just like I did.  And every day I pray that she will have great teachers who will encourage her also, just as her pre-k teachers are doing!  I would love to say a HUGE thank you to her teacher.. for doing so much to help my little one grow.. and Clara would like to say THANK YOU too!

But it's important to keep the learning fun going, even when not at school.  It doesn't have to be complicated or intricate..  So parents, here are just a few ideas to have some scientific fun with your kiddos at home:

1.  Lay out in the back yard at night and do some star-gazing.  Learn about planets and constellations.  Then afterwards you can do a fun little art project, such as this Q-Tip Star Art.  

2.  Find a local science museum.  These are fun because kids love being hands-on.  Our local museum, the Museum of Discovery, is amazing, and Clara loves it!  There's always special events going on for kids and they have lots of fun things for kids to tinker with.  This would be great to do on a weekend or during a school break!

3.  Bake something!  This is a favorite in our house... because, yes.. baking is a science!  You could teach your child what baking soda does while making a batch of chocolate chip cookies (hey, and then you get to eat the cookies - yum!).

There are so many more things you could do - those are just a few ideas!  If you have any more ideas you'd like to share, just post them in the comments below!

Who sparked your scientific creativity, or your child's scientific creativity?  Was it a parent?  An Aunt or Uncle?  A teacher?  From September 9th to November 25th, Bayer is asking people of all ages to share a thank-you message to that person who has helped science make sense in their life.  Take a photo with a handwritten message, or a video and submit to and on social media with the hashtag #SayTkU.  For each thank-you message shared, Bayer will provide a child with a free admission to a STEM venue - such as a trip to a local hand-on science museum.  Bayer is committed to providing access to one million hands-on science learning experiences for kids by 2020.  How amazing is that? 

For more information, please visit their Facebook, Twitter, and Website!

Five Months


I'm a few weeks overdue on this one.. I did actually take the photos (kind of) on time, though... so that counts for something, right?  Ha!  I can hardly believe how much he has grown these past months.  He weighs 18 lbs.. the same weight that Clara was at her one year check up!  So it's safe to say that he's my chunky baby.. and I'm loving it.

He's rolling over.. I can't leave him alone for 2 seconds or he will be on the other side of the room getting into something he's not suppose to.. and he's SO close to crawling.  He will get up on his hands and knees and rock back and forth.. he's just gotta figure out how to move those knees forward.   Soon, little buddy.. it will be very soon.. and then you'll truly be everywhere and into everything.

I adore that gummy smile of his and I'm soaking that up as long as I can.  He's definitely a Mama's Boy.. and it melts my heart.  He's going 5+ months strong of exclusive breastfeeding now and I couldn't be happier about it.  Goal is 1 year, so it's looking pretty good that we'll make it that far.  :)

Is it possible that my baby is already almost half a year old?  Oh Sam, we all love you so much.

Carter’s 150th Birthday Sweepstakes


“I participated in a Blog Blast Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Carter’s. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

This year it's Carter's 150th birthday!  To celebrate, they're hosting a 150th Birthday Sweepstakes!  150 lucky winners will be selected to win two (2) $150 Carter's gift cards!  You have nothing to lose, so here's how to enter:
  • Follow the Carter's brand on Instagram and Twitter
  • Post photos or videos of your favorite "happy moment" with #HappyBirthdayCarters AND #CartersSweepstakes to Instagram and Twitter for your chance to win
  • You can also enter below..

Our family ADORES Carter's.  I love the new styles they roll out with each season.. and my kids look darn cute in their clothes.  Just sayin!  Not only do we love Carters for that, but because of their willingness to give to those in need.  During this year, the Carter's Charitable Foundation will sponsor 150 parties for homeless children.  A total of 750 birthday will be celebrated with over 9,000 children in 20 shelters across the country.  That makes my heart swell - every kid deserves a birthday party.  Thank you, Carters!

Vists Carters's on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter - tell them how awesome they are!

Slow Cooker Carnitas {recipe}


Finishing these off under the broiler for a few minutes will give you delicious, caramelized, can't-get-enough Carnitas!  

My slow cooker and I are pretty tight these days.  I try to use it a couple times a week to myself a bit of a "break" on the whole cooking and big kitchen clean-up deal.  I'm always trying to find another winning slow cooker recipe to add to my rotation.. I tried these pork carnitas for the first time a couple weeks ago and they were a hit!  I stuffed my face with at least four of them.  They're juicy, flavorful, and are SO good topped with some "corn salsa".

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
adapted from Damn Delicious

  • 3lb pork shoulder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled & smashed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • juice of one lime

Mix together the salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and chili powder in a small bowl.  Rub all over the pork shoulder and place into the slow cooker.  Place garlic, onion, orange juice, liquid smoke, and lime juice into the slow cooker.  Cook on low for 8 hour or on high for 4-5 hours.  

Preheat broiler.  Remove pork shoulder from the slow cooker.  Shred and spread out on a baking sheet.  Coat with a little bit of juice from the slow cooker.  Broil until edges are crispy, 3-4 minutes.  Be careful not to burn!  Serve immediately!

*We enjoy these on pan-warmed corn tortillas and topped with a mix of corn/diced red onion/lime juice/cilantro!  You can certainly top with whatever you prefer - guacamole, sour cream, salsa, etc.

Getting Ready for Back-to-School


This post is sponsored by Wayfair.  All content is my own.

It's that time of year.  School is starting.. it's going to begin getting cooler (hopefully?!)... soon everything will be doused in pumpkin and apples... and this year I have a pre-schooler!  Which means next year she will be a Kindergartener!  Which means... I don't even want to think any further right now.

The start of the school year always makes me feel the need to get better organized.  Especially my little office nook.. the filing cabinet.. the kids papers.. so many papers.

Wayfair is my go-to for a lot of things.  And they also have a ton of amazing organizational options!

Tribeca 211 3-Drawer File Cabinet  //  Lean Living 72" Bookcase  // Bermuda Computer Desk with Keyboard Tray  //  Explorer 12" Educational Globe

A file cabinet has saved my sanity when it comes to organizing all my papers.  What do you use?

Homemade Arepas {recipe}


I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for P.A.N. Cornmeal. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. #PANFan

By now it's no secret that I love creating delicious recipes with P.A.N. Cornmeal.  So far I've made some delicious Pupusas and Breakfast Bites.  Today I have a another yummy recipe for you - Arepas!  

Arepas are a sort of flatbread, popular in Colombia and Venezuela.  You can take your favorite sandwich, and swap out the plain ol' bread for these arepas.. and you'll have a fun twist on a Venezuelan classic!  It can be stuffed with many different things.. meat, eggs, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, seafood.  You can do whatever you want to make it your own dish.

My picky eater likes to eat it with cheese.. kind of like a grilled cheese.  ;)

There's so much versatility when it comes to using P.A.N. Cornmeal.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner.. it can be used for virtually any meal.  It's quick and easy, which may be one of my favorite things about it!  Ha!

We filled ours with my husband favorite.. just a classic sandwich.. cajun turkey, cheese, and onion.. super YUM!  But you can fill with about whatever your heart desires!  That's the awesome thing, it's very versatile!

Homemade Arepas

2 1/2 cups warm water
1 tsp salt
2 cup P.A.N. Cornmeal
Oil for frying

  • Stir water and salt together in a large bowl until salt dissolves.  Add cornmeal gradually and work the mixture together until it forms a soft dough.  Divide the dough into 10 balls and pat each one into a disk shape.
  • Heat oil in a skillet and cook the arepas 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden.  Slice the arepas to form sort of a pita pocket and fill with whatever you desire.  Serve warm.
Check P.A.N. out at their Tumblr Page!