Goodbye Kisses.

One of the toughest things I face as a single mom is wondering if Mila has enough love.

It’s hard being away from her during the days, but I have to be to give her the life she deserves. When we’re together, we play, read stories, and create. I tell her I love her every chance I get and she does the same.

We’re happy in our own little world.

But, it’s the days I have to go away. I question if she forgets about all our fun. There are some times I wonder if the love I instill in her stays. Or if she’s just made at me when I’m gone.

A few nights ago, I realized I shouldn’t put any thought into those fears.

I picked her up one afternoon after school. She sat in the car as my mom told her goodbye. As usual, she asked for a hundred goodbye hugs and kisses. Then kept saying bye. As my mom walked away, then started the goodbye kisses.

She blew them and for awhile they were reciprocated. Mom had to go back inside, but Mila did something that made me smile.

As the door shut and we backed out of the driveway, I saw her continue blowing goodbye kisses.

Between each kiss, she yelled, “goodbye! I love you!.”

She didn’t stop when we backed out. Or when we went down the street. Or even parked in our driveway. Outside our door, she kept saying goodbye and how much she loved her Gigi.

That’s when I realized, Mila has all the love in the world. She knows what love feels like and how to feel it towards others.

All those worries about if I’m doing good enough ease.

The next morning, when it’s hard to go away again. I see her goodbye kisses in action. It made leaving a little easier.

Because, I know those goodbye kisses never end and that love travels where ever we go.

Toddler Activity: DIY Nail Salon

Mila can be such a girly girl.

One thing that she absolutely loves is painting nails. No matter if it’s her nails or someone else’s, she always asking.

I saw this activity last year and figured now was the perfect time.

All you need is:

  • Cardboard
  • Marker
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes

I had everything had home and used old cereal boxes to draw the hands. To hold the paint, I used the caps of milk containers.

Next, I traced my hand and then drew finger nails.

To get her used to seeing her name, words, and numbers, I wrote them on the cardboard too. Before she painted, we counted all the fingers, told her which one was right and left, and spelled her name. She tells me her name is ‘la,’ which always makes me smile.

Then, I let her paint these nails.

She enjoyed mixing the colors and practicing painting nearly, at first. It switched from near to a little wild soon after.

This is a quick activity to put together, but it gave me enough time to do some work on the computer. Sometimes you just need five minutes of peace and this did the trick.

I will continue doing this activity with Mila. To help her with her pre-writing, I’ll make dotted lines that she has to trace for bracelet and rings. It would also be fun to do color recognition or teach the order of the rainbow here too.

Either way, this is DIY nail salon is fun and toddler approved.

Weird Things My Toddler Does: Part Eight

I think every kid takes a few toys in the bath, but the amount my toddler brings… might be a little weird.

Last night during Mila’s bath, I counted: ten ponies, seven Barbies, a Barbie boat, six empty bottles, two bath books, a play broom, countless numbers, countless blocks, and all the bubbles that could fit.

To top it off, she asked me to get in the bath with her. Unless we took half of them out, there was no room for me to fit. She ended up chooses all her toys instead.

The amount she brings in is strange, but at least she has fun… right?

Toddlers are just weird.

Mom Fail: Fall Edition

My literal top of the world for this story.

Sometimes you feel like you’re close to the top of the world. Just when you’re right at the top, you come tumbling down.

That was metaphoric, but yesterday that’s sort of what literally happened.

With a day off and a long to do list, I was running all over the place. I worked, planned a lot of things, and wanted to take pictures for my plant page. The latter is what got me.

There was something missing for my picture, but it was on the shelf over my bed. I had just grabbed a few things off of there and didn’t even think twice about doing it again. So, off I went.

When I stepped up, I put my foot between the bed frame and the mattress. Then, I lifted my other foot up…

Obviously my footing wasn’t as good as I thought.

I fell, heard a crack, and then felt pain and numbness all throughout my ankle and foot.

Mila witnessed it all and I felt so awful. I got my phone and told her to call Gigi (my mom) because I I needed help. She did so amazing.

After evaluating it and not being sure if it was broken, I went to the ER.

Four hours and a few X-rays later, I found out there was, thankfully, nothing broken. I did tear some ligaments though.

It hurts so bad to walk. I’m stuck on the couch today with ice and two amazing nurses. They’re not professionally trained, but they know where the snacks are and love to help.

My mom fail this week was literally the fall, but also thinking everything needed done in twenty-four hours. It was a painfully, humble reminder not to overwork myself.

To every mom who feels like she’s failing, you’re doing the best you can.

Cheesy Beef Quesadilla Recipe

As you all know, Mila and I love Mexican food. It helps that it’s quick and easy to make too.

One of the things I have issues with in making Mexican is folding the tortillas. I either stuff it too much or mess it up in ways I don’t even know how.

Recently though, I found a new way to fold it!

All it took was one cut and three folds. It’s simple enough for everyone. I knew I had to try it out ASAP.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Taco seasoning
  • Beef broth – 2 tablespoons
  • Tomato paste – 1 tablespoon
  • Shredded cheese (I used taco)
  • Flour tortillas

First, add ground beef and spices into a hot pan. Cook through and then stir in tomato paste and beef broth. Then cook one or two minutes more.

After the ground beef is cooked, drained excess oil and put beef in a bowl.

Next, prep your tortillas. To do this, follow the steps in the pictures below.

Simply, make a cut, spread sour cream, add cheese and meat, then fold. It’s pretty simple. I added extra cheese to the non-meat portions.

After it’s folded, heat up on a pan until the outside is cooked.

This recipe is seriously tasty. I love all the cheese and Mila ate a full quesadilla.

You could add any toppings with this such as guacamole or salsa. Or feel free to add them on the inside too.

If you try this recipe or fold technique out, let me know in the comments.

Self Care Sunday: Plants and Masks

No matter if you’re stuck watching football, having a lazy day, or are needing a minute to yourself, self care is essential. Moms, especially, need a minute to themselves.

Finding out what calms your soul and clears your head is the self care for you. If you can nourish your body too, then it’s even better.

During the first few months after COVID hit, I got really into plants and helping our environment. They sort of go together, so that makes sense.

I found that taking care of plants and learning about them eased my anxiety so much.

Somehow a few plants has turned into a mini, indoor jungle, but I love it. They’ve also helped me want to take care of myself better too.

Hello self care.

Today, I want to share a little face mask recipe and give a plant recommendation and tip. This way, you can see one part of my self care journey. Maybe you’ll even want to try this self care moment.

Two things Mila and I are constantly running out of is avocados and honey. She will sit and just eat both.

They’re also pretty awesome for your skin too!

To make a mask, mash up half an avocado and 1 1/2 teaspoons of honey. Mix them up and apply. Use the other half for avocado toast the next morning.

Make sure to save the avocado seed too! I’ll make a post about what you can do with those.

Apply the mask to your face and keep it on for 15 minutes. After, wash off and do your normal skincare routine.

During the 15 minutes is a perfect time to do planty tasks.

If you don’t have any plants, snake plants are perfect beginner plants. You can get them at Lowe’s or the one pictured is from Lively Root.

They’re such easy plants. Snake plants tolerate low light, are drought resistant (which means you don’t have to water them constantly), and do well in household humidity.

Plus, snake plants were one of the plants that NASA found as top air-filtering plants. Pretty cool right?

Anyways, while waiting for my mask to do work it’s magic, I dusted my snake’s leaves. Dusting helps make sure your plant gets as much sun as it can. Even though this is a low light plant, it still needs to get as much as it can.

Self care is something everyone should make time to do. Mila put our DIY mask on too and helped me with our ‘planties.’ She just refused to take a picture.

Find something you love. Maybe it’s plants and masks or maybe not. Either way, you deserve self care on Sundays or any day.

Single Mom Probs: Part One

Single mom problems…

When a quick trip to run some errands turn into making sure all their favorite toys have to go with us. Then then insisting said toys cannot stay in the car by themselves.

Oh, the horror of that possibility.

Once you’re inside of said errand spot, holding the toys becomes quite boring. They start to play on the floor.

As it’s time to leave, they forget one on the ground. But there’s no man left behind here.

You’re five minute trip, easily becomes thirty minutes. They only want to take one toy inside, so you’re arms are fuller than before.

But nothing beats that smile.

Un-talked About Nights.

This is the side of motherhood that doesn’t get talked about a lot.

The times where it’s 2am and there’s been an accident. Instead of getting mad at your child who’s already upset, you choose to do the harder thing.

You strip the bed, get it cleaned up, and then take every clean blanket to the living room.

They’re still crying. It’s disappointing and when you’re almost three, you have big emotions. A single accident feels world shattering, but it’s not.

It’s the decision to sleep in another bed or, in our case, make a huge, blanket sleep space in the middle of the floor. You tell them it’s much more fun to have a sleepover in the living room anyways.

Then, you calm them and help get them back to sleep.

No. It’s not the night you wanted. I mean, who wants to sleep on the floor? But just because it was a physically messy accident, doesn’t mean it needs to be emotionally messy too.

Parenting is hard. Parenting with lack of sleep is even harder.

These nights are not in the greatest hits moments. Yet, something tells me these un-talked about nights have lasting effects.

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole Recipe

Okay everyone, I originally had another meal planned for today, but knew this one had to go out first. You’re going to want to make this as soon as possible.

This casserole is easy to throw together and tastes GREAT! Mila ate a whole bowl full.

Here’s all you need:

  • 4 cups of shredded chicken (any cooked chicken will do, I used rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 cans of Cream of Chicken soup
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garlic and Onion Powder
  • Butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 can Grand Biscuits
  • 4 cups of frozen veggies (I used carrots, green beans, corn, and peas)
  • Cheese (optional)

First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

While oven is preheating, take large skillet and put it on medium heat. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and add frozen veggies to cook for 10-15 minutes. Then, place biscuits on a baking sheet.

When oven is preheated, Place the biscuits pan in the oven to prebake them for 8 minutes. They’ll finish baking when you put the whole casserole in. When they’re done, take out of the oven, but don’t shut the oven off.

Add the chicken, milk, cream of chicken soup, and spices to the frozen veggies. Stir for 5 minutes, until it’s bubbly hot.

After it’s mixed and heated, pour into a 9×13 dish. Then take the prebaked biscuits and put them on top of the mixture, baked side down and raw side up.

Before placing into the oven, melt 2 tablespoons of butter, mix in garlic powder, and pour over the biscuits. This will make your biscuits tastes extra delicious. At this point, I also sprinkled cheese over top of them too.

Then, bake for 12 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.

This meal is mouthwatering.

It feels great to find some meals that aren’t Mexican that Mila loves. This tastes like home and makes me feel all warm inside. I’m glad it made her happy too!

I’ll make sure to share the other recipe next week. Spoiler alert, it’s Mexican inspired, but just as yummy.

If you make this recipe, let me know what you think!

New Year. New Look.

I’m not the ‘new year, new me,’ type of girl, but I’ve been aching for a change.

My hair has been the same since Mila was born. Then, in the time between her and Jensen, I didn’t do much to myself. Grief is hard on a person and with Jensen went a big part of my fun and spontaneity.

It happens. That was the worst time of my life.

Something has been calling out to me the last few weeks, this was it. So, what better time is there to reinvest in yourself than the present?

The glasses are fake, well blue light ones. I’m digging them, but my hair. Oh. My. Goodness. I’m completely obsessed with it.

I used to have crazy highlights and stay up with the latest trends. Now, I feel like I got a little of myself back. I think Jensen would be happy with it too. Even if Mila didn’t look at my for the first twenty minutes.

A night at the salon, (thanks Tina!) made me feel brighter and gave me the change I’ve been needing.

New year. New look. Same me.