Investing in Family

Join us as we revisit a great holiday-themed post. Happy Holidays!!

Frazzled this Christmas but still need to bake some cookies? Well, for those last minute folks like me, here is one of the simplest cookie recipes on the planet. The cookies look impressive, taste delicious, and can help round out your holiday festivities without taking too much time out of your super-busy schedule.

(This recipe is so easy and such a hit that I even have it memorized!)

Four Ingredient Peanut Butter Blossoms

1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg
12 chocolate stars

When I was growing up, I had no idea that my family was poor. Extremely poor. Scrape-together-enough-money-for-necessities poor. We lived in a nice enough house. We always had food to eat. And we never felt deprived of fun toys. You all know the story about how my mother made ends meet and got out of poverty, but I haven't talked a lot about how my magical childhood filled with toys was possible.

If you have a new baby in the house, sleep very soon becomes a luxury. No matter how well your baby snoozes, your own often-interrupted sleep can begin to take a toll. Add in the fact that many babies have trouble sleeping or napping, and you have a recipe for two very tired parents. Thankfully, catching some zzz's is possible before year 18 rolls around. Let's take a look at some tried and true sleep training ideas from the trenches of motherhood.

Intro to Sleep Training

With the holidays unofficially beginning this week, it might be tempting to get caught up in the buzz. To hyper-schedule our lives. To purchase every single item on our list and check it twice. Possibly to brave the throngs of crazed-eye shoppers on Black Friday, all in search of the perfect shirt or toy at an unbeatable price. But before we submit to the holiday frenzy, it just might be time to slow down and give thanks.

It may seem intuitive to bring home a baby. I mean, you've made all the preparations, right? The nursery is ready; diapers are on hand. You're ready. Or are you? Here are some last-minute (or way ahead of time, if you're lucky) preparations that can make it much easier to settle your bundle of joy into your household...from the experience of a brand new momma!

Feed the Family

When my mother learned that my husband and I were expecting our first child, she was ecstatic. Obviously she was excited because grandchildren are always welcome. But she was also excited because I am her first daughter to have a baby – which means she feels freer to share her opinions about child rearing, including where her thoughts land on playing classical music, reading aloud and taking omega 3s during pregnancy, all which are thought to improve brain development in the womb.

The old "Pyramid" nutrition guidelines are pretty much obsolete now as the government puts forth the new "My Plate" guidelines. The old system, it seems, was confusing, and the "My Plate" system should help clear things up. What does this mean for you and your family as you strive to meet nutritional needs? Let's take a look.

"My Plate" in a Nutshell

I have never been good at eating. Scratch that. I've never been good at eating well. Since my teen years, I have yo-yo dieted, and it wasn't until recently that I discovered some of the reasons my weight and I have fought like cats in heat: I have a low resting metabolism; my estimations of portion sizes were way off; and I like tasty (but oh-so-very-bad-for-me) foods. All of that has led me to many struggles over my adult life, and I hope to teach my children to eat well from the get-go. How? Well, let me lay out my plan.

Start Young

It's that time of the year again. Kids have left backpacks and school books behind and long summer days stretch on for hours, just begging to be filled. Moms and dads are trying not to pull their hair out because it's barely July. You know - it's summer. If you're looking for things to do with your kiddos you both can enjoy that won't break the bank, read on for two frugal options for cheap family summer fun.

Hit the Lanes