Archives for March 2013

1,000,000 Questions A Day…

The amount of questions I’m asked each day is insane. The kids are curious of course, and want to know why, how, when, where, and who for just about anything that crosses our paths. I think it would be safe to say that the only people who answer more questions a day then moms of toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners are brain surgeons.

I really try to remember that asking questions is their jobs…it’s how they learn. And that I need to practice patience and be more willing to answer the 1,568,336 questions that I’m asked. And not be so irritated when I hear “Mom” for the 1,568,337th time. But I digress…

Most of the questions I can answer. But so many of them I can’t. While thinking about this, I remembered a post I wrote over at Sluiter Nation waaaayyy back in April 2011 titled How Do You Explain A Week? I originally wrote this post about Ethan, and I thought I’d repost it here since I’m living it again with the girls right now.

How Do You Explain A Week?

I have never felt so not smart as I have since my 3-year-old started in with the who-what-where-when-why questions. Seriously people, I consider myself a pretty intelligent person. But explaining things to a three-year-old? Not so much.

How do you explain a week to a preschooler? Or an hour? A minute for that matter? The concept of time is so foreign to a kid and it is SO hard to explain!

Tater: Mom, when is the Easter Bunny coming?

Me: In two more days.

Tater: When is that?

Me: After you go to sleep at night two more times.

Tater: But we haven’t had dinner or a bath yet. It’s not time to go to sleep.

Another thing that I get asked a lot is how things work.

Tater: Mom, where does the water go when we flush the toilet?

Me: It goes down the drain and into the big pipes to the sewer.

Tater: Where is the sewer?

Me: Under the street?

Tater: Where does it go then?

Me: ???

The thing hardest to explain though? Death. My husband Jason’s parents have both passed away, and we try to have the kids understand who they are and that they are in Heaven…not easy for a 3-year-old to understand. Our one-year-old twins have no idea yet, but I already know the questions that will come.

We also tell Tater that if he is mean to his sisters, he can hurt them so badly that they will “go to sleep and never wake up and we won’t be able to ever see them again”.

Tater: Does that mean they will die?

Me: If you sit on their chest or their face they can’t breathe. And then, yes, they could die.

Tater: Why can’t they breathe?

Me: Because they can’t get any air.

Tater: Why do they need air?

Me: Air makes our bodies work and we have to breathe it in to get it inside of us.

Tater: Can’t they just go outside?

Me: Well no, not if you squish them they can’t.

Tater: Why?

The never ending circle of questions that always, ALWAYS ends with Tater asking “Why?”

We had a recent conversation about Blue, my mom and dad’s cat that recently had to be put to sleep.

Tater: Mom, Blue died, huh?

Me: Yes. Blue was old and sick and he died. He’s in Heaven now.

Tater: How did he get to Heaven?

Me: God came and picked him up and took him way up in the sky past the clouds. That’s where Heaven is.

Tater: But how did God get him?

Me: God has wings like an angel and he uses them to fly.

Tater: Mom! People don’t have wings only birds do!

These conversations are enough to make me feel like I’m the biggest moron on the planet, and one who cannot adequately explain things well enough for even a child to understand.

Please tell me I’m not the only one out there that feels this way! If you’ve already been through this with your kids, that means you survived it…and I need to know: How?

ConAgra Foods Helps You Get Dinner On The Table In Just Minutes!


Did you know that March is National Frozen Food Month? Sounds silly to mention, but I’m doing so because we eat a lot of frozen meals around here. And some of our favorites are ConAgra Foods like Marie Callendar’s family style meals (love the lasagna) and my new favorites the Healthy Choice Top Chef meals.

Normally when you think “frozen meals” you might not also think high quality, freshness, and delicious, but I’m here to tell you that ConAgra Foods are all of those things.

ConAgra Foods Frozen Meals

Healthy Choice and Marie Callender’s frozen meals are made with simple, fresh ingredients and after cooking the veggies stay crisp and the meat stays tender. The veggies in these meals may even be fresher than fresh produce you buy at the store – ConAgra Foods picks their veggies at the peak of freshness and go from farm to freezer within about 24 hours!

healthy_choice_cafe_steamers Being on a diet, I’m always looking for quick and easy meal ideas. The Healthy Choice Top Chef inspired Cafe Steamers are yummy! My favorite is the Grilled Chicken Pesto with Vegetables is my favorite. Healthy Choice is a great way for me to eat tasty foods while maintaining portion control and not going overboard.

Both Healthy Choice and Marie Callender’s also have more than 80 meals with less than 400 calories and no preservatives! That’s a lot of meal options for those of us trying to cook more healthy meals for our families!

Recently, Healthy Choice and Marie Callender’s created a video that follows two women on the adventures of their daily lives, imagining how new technologies will impact their routines, especially in the grocery store.

From apps that store your grocery list to recipe research on Pinterest, the landscape of shopping is quickly changing. With various resources available to consumers, they are now, more than ever, interested in learning where their food is coming from.

Take a look at the video and let me know what you think!

ConAgra Foods frozen meals give families access to real ingredients like crunchy, freshly cut vegetables, homemade pasta and ripe fruit year-round. Just like most people blanch veggies before freezing them – ConAgra Foods does too – to help preserve color, texture and keep them fresh!

Give it a try sometime! Marie Callender’s hearty pot pies are filled with tender meat, freshly cut vegetables and Marie’s authentic golden, flaky crust. And Healthy Choice recipes use chef-inspired ingredients like, apples instead of sugar for tart sweetness and a splash of red wine for a punch of flavor instead of added salt.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of ConAgra Foods.

Revolt Fitness Program: Week 3 Down And Some Advice

I’ve been at the Revolt Fitness Program for 3 weeks now. 21 days. That’s how long they say it takes to make something a habit after doing it over and over…and this is one habit I am happy to have! Last week I told you what I learned since starting the Revolt fitness program. Today, I’m going to give  you a bit of advice…


Revolt Fitness Program: Advice

Right now, it’s that time of the month for me. I am crampy, grouchy, and hungry. All I want to do is sit around and do nothing while eating junk. Obviously, that’s how I got myself 35% body fat in the first place.

revolt_fitness_programSo my biggest piece of advice is to not listen to that little voice in your head that says it’s okay to skip a day of working out (unless it’s a rest day of course).

Do not listen to that little voice that tells you since you already had a cookie (or other small cheat) you might as well just blow off the rest of the day and start again fresh tomorrow.

That little voice is a liar and a lazy liar at that. That little voice is what has kept me miserable with the way I feel about myself for far too long.

I told you last week that I stopped listening to that voice, and even though it still pops up and says something a couple of times a day, I don’t even acknowledge it because I know it’s wrong and gives me horrible advice. So just don’t pay attention to it at all, that’s my advice to you!

Week 3 is pivotal in the Revolt fitness program. Nichole Huntsman, our trainer extraordinaire, said that Week 3 is the week that people sometimes get frustrated and decide to give up. Maybe because they aren’t seeing the progress they want to see? All I can say is that this week, I can see changes to the way my body looks. I can feel changes – my body is starting to feel more solid than flabby.

And even more exciting than me noticing changes is that Jason is noticing them too! He says that I’m slimming down in my face and stomach. He can see definition in my arms. He is helping motivate me and pushing me to keep at it and not to give up. He wants this for me almost as much as I do!

What are you waiting for? Head over and join the Revolt Fitness Program for just $9.99 a month. There are no contracts and you can cancel at any time. You have nothing to lose except fat and everything to gain. Let’s do this together!

Next week I’m sharing my before and after measurements and pictures from the first month…I can’t wait!

Disclaimer: I was chosen as a Revolt Fitness Program blogger and received free membership to try the fitness program out. All opinions expressed are my own. And yes, I would pay for the program and will continue to follow it even after my six week commitment is up.

20 percent of Ellie

Have Good Nights With GoodNites Bed Mats!

goodnites_bed_matsHave bed wetters? We do. Although all three kids are potty trained, they still have occasional accidents at night while they sleep. Which is why I can’t recommend GoodNites bed mats enough.

I’m going to tell you a little about them, why I like them, and also show you how easy they are to put on your child’s bed. Here we go!

All About GoodNites Bed Mats


As I mentioned in the vlog, GoodNites bed mats won a product of the year award…see? I’m not the only one who thinks that they are awesome! Head over to the GoodNites site to receive a $2 off coupon!

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of GoodNites. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

How To Cook Sausage Quickly & With No Mess: Oven “Fry” It!

I recently shared with you how to “fry” bacon in the oven. I figured if that worked, it would probably work with sausage too. And it did! Here’s how to cook sausage in the oven.

How to cook sausage without any messes or splatters. When you oven "fry" sausage you're done in 20 minutes & throw away the mess! Includes a link to how to oven "fry" bacon too.

Why would you want to cook sausage or bacon this way? Because it saves you time and a big mess. I love that I can throw it all in the oven and finish up all of my other prep work while it’s cooking. It cooks it perfectly and evenly…and I don’t have to do a thing! When it’s done cooking, I just throw the foil in the trash. Nothing to clean up!

I’ve tried this with both bulk sausage that I broke up into pieces and with sausage links. It works well both ways.

How To Cook Sausage In The Oven (How To Oven Fry Sausage)

How To Cook Sausage Quickly & With No Mess: Oven "Fry" It!
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  • 1 pound bulk sausage (links work well too)


  1. Cover a cookie sheet with tin foil.
  2. Break bulk sausage into small pieces or cut into patties.
  3. Place raw sausage on the tin foil.
  4. Place the cookie sheet in a cold oven (do not preheat!) and then bake at 400 for about 20 minutes.

For recipes that use sausage, check out my Italian Sausage and White Bean Dip, Jalapeno Popper Wontons and my Jalapeno Popper Dip.

For more fun kitchen tips (like how to hard boil eggs without boiling water) that will save you time and make your life a little easier, check out my board ofKitchen Tips and Tricks on Pinterest!