Kicking off the summer with Babiators! {a giveaway}

Summer has come to Northern Cali and with it triple digit temps! This is our first summer in California and while I am used to hot summers from living in Georgia, I wasn’t quite expecting it to be this hot here! The past 2 weeks we have stayed indoors during the hottest part of the day to avoid the scorching temps! However, we do like to get out in the early morning or evening to have some fun.

babiators

We like to head to the pool or park or just get out and run errands! When we do my girls are always asking for their sunglasses. I love that they are at the age now where they will leave them on and actually use them correctly.

babiators

This summer we are rocking Babiators for the first time. I’ve heard about Babiators and seen them around social media for a while so I knew we needed to try them. Babiators is on a mission to protect kids’ eyes from the sun while they’re out exploring this awesome world.

babiators

Here are just a few reasons the award-winning Babiators stand out from the crowd:

Safe: Babiators have UV400 lenses that offer 100% UVA and UVB protection and undergo rigorous testing to ensure they’re safe for your child – whether they’re on your child’s face or end up in your child’s mouth.

     Durable: The sunglasses feature flexible rubber frames, and impact and shatter-resistant lenses that won’t break when you bend, twist, or step on them. 

  Awesome: Classic aviator sunglasses make sure your little one is the coolest kid around

Guaranteed: The best part? Babiators are backed by the Lost & Found Guarantee™ – if you lose or break your shades in the first year, Babiators will replace them for free. All you pay is shipping.

   Fit: Babiators are made of a soft material that is comfortable and lightweight. They are designed to fit kids’ faces and don’t pinch the temples or nose. They are available in two sizes:

Junior Babiators sunglasses fit most babies 6 months to 3 years

 Classic Babiators sunglasses fit most children 3 to 7 years

babiators

Did you know kids receive 3X more annual UV exposure than adults yet less than 30% of parents are currently protecting their children’s eyes with sunglasses? It’s true. Also, children’s eyes are more susceptible to sun damage because they have larger pupils and clearer lenses, allowing more UV to penetrate and reach the back of the eyes. 

babiators

If you were like me and didn’t know this, fear not! You have the chance today to win your little one their very own pair of Babiators!

babiators

Win a pair of black Babiators. Just visit their website here , leave a comment below letting me know which is your favorite color! I’ll randomly pick a winner in 1 week! {GIVEAWAY CLOSED}

The information, product and additional gift pack have been provided by Babiators 

Our trip to Hidden Falls Regional Park

I guess you can say we’ve been bitten by the travel and adventure bug. Lately, anytime Jon has a few days off we are looking for somewhere to go and explore. Last week we were in the mood to do some hiking so we headed off to Hidden Falls Regional Park.

hidden falls regional park

Hidden Falls Park is located in Auburn, Ca. which is about 2 hours from us. Before we moved across the country the thought of a 2 hour car ride would make me cringe. But now….we think nothing of it. Our girls are pros at 2 hour car rides. It feels like nothing. A movie, a few snacks and we’re there.

hidden falls regional park

Now you may be thinking…”How in the world do you hike with 3 kids?”. Very carefully my friends. Very carefully.

No, really. I use the term “hike” very loosely. I look for places that are either handicap friendly or stroller friendly. Surprisingly there are a lot of both.

hidden falls regional park

Hidden Falls was actually neither. Of course we didn’t know that going into it but we hoped for the best. The first 1/2 -1 mile was fairly easy aside from being pretty steep downhill. I knew it was going to be a beast for Jon coming back since he was pushing the double stroller. I, of course, was wearing Sera in the Ergo.

hidden falls regional park

We then took a wrong turn and walked for a bit on a skinny trail that ran above the creek. We could look down and see the water way down there. We were trying to get to Hidden Falls but realized we were headed the wrong direction after awhile. We actually abandoned our stroller and we all walked since the terrain was very rough with rocks and roots. We turned around, fetched our stroller and found the correct trail. There was absolutely no cell service and we didn’t have a map so we were relying on signs and other hikers for our info.

hidden falls regional park

Before we headed out again on the trail that would lead us to the falls we had to stop for some snacks and a break. We were all hot and hungry. Thank goodness I had packed us a snack bag full of treats.

Bakerly snacks

I ALWAYS pack food. Wherever we go. That’s pretty much the number 1 rule. Bring water bottles and snacks. We love to bring clementines, granola bars, trail mix and anything that packs easily.

bakerly snacks

This time I had brought along some new snacks we were trying from Bakerly . This was our first time trying these. Bakerly has french snacks like crepes, croissants, mini brioches, sponge cakes and other packaged delicacies. These were so tasty! They were filling without being too heavy for an outdoor adventure. I especially loved the brioches…so delicious. My girls were all about the strawberry crepes.

hidden falls 5

It was back on the trail after our snack where we spent the next 2 hours roughing it over steep inclines, declines, roots, and rocks. We saw snakes and other wildlife. It was adventurous to say the least. I know the other hikers we passed thought we were absolutely nuts for bringing our young kids and stroller but we were determined. Eventually we had to abandon our stroller again in order to make it down to the falls. Jon carried Alina, I was wearing Sera and holding tight to Emma’s hand. It was no small feat and truly we probably shouldn’t have tried it with our young family but we had made it so far that we didn’t want to give up.

hidden falls regional park

Finally the falls rewarded us with its beautiful sight and a lookout deck to sit and relax. We stayed awhile and then began the long uphill hike back.

To say we were exhausted when we got back to the van is an understatement. But we felt something more as well. We felt pride. We were dirty and tired but we felt alive! It took teamwork to make that trek and we pulled it off. I’m not saying I want to try it again but darn it if we didn’t show that trail who’s boss.

Thank you Hidden Falls Regional Park for giving us a great workout and lovely sights!

*Bakerly is the official sponsor of the Transat Bakerly. Talk about adventure! The yummy snacks in this post were made possible by Bakerly but I assure you all opinions are my own. 

Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken and Rice

I have another super easy Crock Pot recipe for you today! This is one I have been making for years. I first discovered it on Pinterest here. I have made it so many times I can’t even remember a time it wasn’t in our regular rotation. My husband refers to it as “the yellow thing” because it is a very yellow dish. The rice, corn and cheese all make for a lot of yellow. My girls love it too, they gobble it up. For some reason we started eating it with lime Tostinos tortilla chips and now we always have those with it. It doesn’t really fit traditionally but we love the added twist by dipping it in there. Weird? maybe. Delicious? yes.

As always I’m using my trusty turquoise crock pot. Here.  And don’t forget your liners for easy cleanup!

Cheesy chicken rice

What you need: 

4-6 Chicken Tenderloins

1 can cream of chicken soup

3/4  cup chopped (or frozen) onion

1 box of Zatarain’s yellow rice ,cooked

1 cup of shredded cheese

1 15 oz can of corn, drained

cheesy chicken rice

1//Place your chicken in the bottom of the crock pot and dump the onion and cream of chicken soup on top. My chicken is almost always frozen. I do this in the morning and turn it on low for 6-7  hours. When it’s done I take 2 forks and shred it up.

cheesy chicken rice

2//cook the rice according to package directions. Mix the rice, corn and cheese in with the shredded chicken. I have also used frozen corn many times. Just allow extra time to cook after mixing.

cheesy chicken rice

3// Serve hot! Don’t forget the chips 😉

It doesn’t make for a beautiful dish but believe me it is very good. Give it a try! Let me know if you do!

Win $100 to Starbucks!

I drink more Starbucks than anyone I know, except maybe my husband. It is pretty much a staple in my day. He drinks plain black coffee with the occasional latte if he’s feeling frisky. I drink about 10 different drinks. Seriously I like so many. From hot coffee with 2% milk to cold teas and everything in between. They have this new s’mores frappe that I haven’t tried yet!

Today I’m teaming up to give away $100 dollars to Starbucks! Such a great opportunity! So enter via the rafflecopter below.

Starbucks-Gift-Card-0 (1).jpg

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Prize: $100 Starbucks Gift Card

Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck! (Please email becky@ohmygoshbeck.com with any questions.)

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 5/11 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Easy Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

We love Mexican cuisine in our house. I mean, it’s not traditional fare but the Americanized version of course.  It’s not something that my husband has always loved but I have slowly won him over through the years. One of my favorites to make when we get tired of tacos is Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas.

All that cheesiness and green enchilada sauce soaked into the chicken and rolled into the flour tortilla shells, baked to perfection. It is so easy to make and doesn’t require many ingredients. It is filling enough to serve as is or you can throw some rice and beans on the side. It’s not pretty but it is yummy!

I’ll get right to it.

Side note: my measurements are not science as I generally just kind of throw it together. You may have to adjust as needed. 

chicken enchiladas

What you need:

2  cups shredded chicken

6-7 Flour tortillas

2 cups Shredded cheese

1/2 cup Sour cream

28 oz can Green Chile Enchilada Sauce

1/2 cup diced onion

1 tbsp garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste


Directions 

1//cook your chicken. I usually put mine in the crock pot in the morning with a little water and toss the onion, garlic, salt and pepper on top. I set it to low for 5-6 hours and shred when done. You could use leftover chicken or even a rotisserie instead of doing it this way.

2//pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray your baking dish with cooking spray. Once your chicken is shredded put it in a large bowl, add the sour cream, 1 cup of cheese and half of the Enchilada sauce. Mix it well.

3//take one tortilla and add about 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of filling to the center in a strip. Fold up enchilada, sides first and then roll. Place in pan seam side down. Continue with all the tortillas and filling. You can really squish them in there. It’s all good.

4//pour all remaining green enchilada sauce on top of the enchiladas, trying to cover all the parts of the tortillas. I usually don’t have to use it all. Top enchiladas with remaining cheese and cover with foil.

5//bake in oven for 20 – 30 minutes, until everything is heated through. Remove foil during last 10 minutes of baking. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, covered loosely with foil, before garnishing and serving.

chicken enchiladas

Our trip to Mono Lake in Lee Vining, Ca.

I posted last week about how we stopped at Mount Whitney in Lone Pine, Ca while traveling the scenic hwy 395. Our next planned stop along that route was in Lee Vining, Ca. Lee Vining is the home to Mono Lake Tufa, a majestic lake that covers 65 square miles and has millions of migratory birds every year. It also has these strange but very cool “tufa” towers which are calcium carbonate deposits (or something like that). Obviously we had to stop and see it.

mono lake tufa

Lee Vining is a very small mountain town. I believe the actual population is less than 250! Of course they cater to tourists since that is the majority of who goes there. We had a touch and go time getting there since there was a winter system moving through and we did not have chains for our tires. We forged ahead and made it with much prayer and sweating. We stayed at the Lake View Lodge . It is across the street from the Lake and had a great view. It was an older but cozy motel. It was perfect for what we needed.

mono lake tufa

We checked in as it was still snowing. Since it was the dead of winter many of the seasonal businesses were closed which made for a quiet, sleepy but beautiful little town. Jon walked to find us food since it was snowing and freezing out. What a good man. He came back with yummy food from Nicely’s which was thankfully open.

mono lake tufa

We got up early the next morning and stopped by the general store. It was the funnest, coziest store that sold everything you could need and had hot food and coffee!!  We still talk about how neat that place was and how good the pastry’s were.

mono lake tufa

We drove to the lake which was only a few miles away. It was such a quiet, cold, serene morning. It was probably only 15 degrees. We left our fee in the drop box since it is a state park, there was not a soul in sight. It was so amazing. We had the whole lake to ourselves.

mono lake tufa

We bundled up with as many layers and blankets as we could find and walked down to the lake. The walkway was stroller friendly which was a huge plus because I didn’t feel I could keep Sera warm enough out of her car-seat. It was so cold that the air hurt our lungs.

mono lake tufa

We didn’t stay long but it was so worth the time it took to get us all down there and then back into the van. Having kids just means it takes more effort and planning to pull off trips like these but they are totally doable! Adventure is out there.

mono lake tufa

5 Month Old Favorites

A 5 month old doesn’t need much. A little milk, somewhere to sleep, love and cuddles and something to play with. That should do it right?. For awhile at least. At 5 months old they are just starting to discover the world and their abilities. The rolling over, sitting up, eating food, playing with toys and being loud is just beginning! Eventually it is nice to have something to entertain them and contain their growing abilities for a few minutes so you can cook supper. These are a few of our 5 month old favorites around here. We use all of these things daily!

All items are linked below!

5 month old favorites

1//Ergo. We love the Ergo around here. Ours is several years old but still works perfectly. We use it pretty much everywhere we go so that we don’t have to lug the car seat around.  If you follow me on Instagram you see pictures of Sera in the Ergo all the time. I even made a hashtag for it —>#serasergotravels

2//Summer Infant seat. We use this in lieu of the more popular Bumbo seat for letting her sit up like a big girl. I got this one so that it can also be used as a feeding chair and transition to a booster seat when she’s older. I liked that it can grow with her. It saves me money and space. It’s a bit difficult to get the tray on but nothing I can’t handle.

3//Teething bib. I picked this up in target because I was looking for a new teething toy. She loves this! She loves to chew on everything and gets drool everywhere. This helps with the teething and with the drool and she can’t drop it a million times. It’s great.

4//Zipadeezip. We love Zipadeezip in this house. I have used them since my 2 year old was a baby. If you want to read how I used it to transition a very swaddle addicted baby to the crib, read here. We use it for every nap and at night.

5//Activity Center.  We got this Oball activity center when the original Baby Einstein one we bought was defective. I wasn’t sure how I would like it but I must say it’s been great. The BEST thing about it and the reason I chose it is because of the assortment of toys on it. Baby’s generally love Oballs in my experience. I love having an activity center to keep her entertained and also to get her off the floor when my big girls are running around being crazy.

What are some things that your 5 month old loves right now ? Let me know in the comments.

Linking up here, here and here!

Easy Crockpot BBQ Chicken

I wanted to share with you one of my favorite go-to crock pot meals. Shredded BBQ chicken.

It is so easy to throw in the crockpot. It literally takes just a few minutes and only 4 ingredients! Then you can go on about your day and enjoy the aroma of BBQ cooking. I make this a lot. We put it on sandwiches and add pickles or coleslaw but you could eat it multiple ways. It’s great to make if you have to serve a big crowd too. I made this for my whole extended family. We put it on sandwiches and put some fries and a cold pasta salad on the side and everyone raved about it.

crockpot bbq sandwhiches

First things first. You need a crockpot. I have this one. I luuurve it.

Ingredients:

-2 lbs of boneless , skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins

-1 cup BBQ sauce. (I use Sweet baby Rays)

-1/4 cup Italian dressing (I LOVE the Olive Garden brand)

-1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce 

**optional -1/4 cup brown sugar. (I never add this and honestly think the BBQ sauce is sweet enough)

Directions:

1//Put your chicken in the crock pot. Don’t forget your liner!

2//In a bowl mix the BBQ sauce, Italian dressing and Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar if you’re adding that.

3//Pour the mixture over the chicken, cover and turn Crockpot to HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 5-6 hours.

4// Once the time is up, shred with 2 forks. It falls apart easily. Shredding it soaks up some of the extra sauce.

Voila! You have delicious BBQ chicken without even going outdoors.

bbq crockpot chicken bbq 2

Enjoy!

What I actually feed my kids

I am always looking for inspiration on food to feed my kids. I like to browse blogs and different instagram feeds to get some new ideas when I hit a rut. Here, here and here are some good ones. My girls aren’t overly picky but they are kids so there is plenty of stuff they don’t like. I always require them to try new things but I also fill their plate with foods I know they like too, especially if its good for them. I avoid food wars this way.

what i feed my kids

Today I’m showing you 10 11 real life pictures of food I fed them. The pictures include breakfast, lunch and dinners.  A couple of points first:

-I’m not a food photographer

-No, it is not organic

-yes they eat other foods besides these

-yes they eat a lot of fruit

-the little gummy is a vitamin. We use these

-the white cube is a probiotic. We use these

-our plates and utensils are Replay Recycle and we love them

  what i feed my kids

1//bbq shredded chicken, baked beans + rotini noodles w/cheese

toddler meals

2//mini pancakes, chopped ham + raspberries/strawberries

toddler meals

3//raspberries, prunes, cuties, granola bar + chobani yogurt.

what i feed my kids 4

4//mini pancakes, chopped ham +raspberries

what i feed my kids 5

5//ground beef, white rice +lima beans

toddler meals

6//apple slices, goldfish crackers, olives, cheese cubes + fruit pouch

toddler meals

7//cheese quesadillas, sliced apples + boiled egg

toddler meals 8//chopped ham, apple slices, strawberries + olives

toddler meals 9//scrambled eggs + chopped ham

toddler meals  10// pb+j taco, apple slices + strawberries

toddler meals

11//apple slices, cheesestick, strawberries , goldfish crackers + fruit pouch

So there you have it! These were all taken over a 2 week period so some of the food was repeated depending on what was in season and what we bought.

What do your kids eat? What are some of their favorite meals?

Linking up here. 

Mommy Meme Monday

It’s long past time for another Mommy Meme Monday. If you’ve missed my past MMM posts just click here and here.  They continue to be some of my top posts for obvious reasons…they hold hilariously true memes especially for us moms. If you don’t follow me on Instagram and Facebook you really are missing out. I have a love affair with mom meme’s. I scour the internet on the reg looking for and reposting the funniest ones I can find. I mean…they just make my day better. If that’s your thing, then please join the fun.

Lately, I’ve been loving the duck family memes made by fowllanguagecomics.com. I see them all over the place and thought I should compile a few of them.

meme 6

meme 5

meme 4

meme 3

meme 1

meme 2

That’s all for today! Thanks for stopping by!