Easy Peasy Kids’ Meals You Need to Know About

If you’ve been following along for a while, then you know one big thing about me: I HATE TO COOK. Literally, can’t stand it. It brings me zero joy and stresses me out. On the opposite end, I love eating and trying new foods. My kids have fortunately inherited this gene and could eat you under the table in a cheese bunny snacking competition. They also have a pretty basic palate and like to eat foods that most 5 and 2 year olds like to eat. Mac & Cheese, Spaghetti, Chicken Nuggets, etc. It can be really tough to get my kids to eat full meals and sometimes they get tired of the same old glorified snacks that fill their dinner plate (yogurt, cheese, applesauce … are you picking up the no-cook theme?) I want to share my go-to meals that are so delicious and kid and adult approved because sometimes I eat the same foods that my kids do.

I love highlighting brands on the blog that have been tested in our household and proven to be winners. Kidfresh is one of those brands. My kids have been eating their delicious meals for a while now and absolutely love them. They’re full of hidden vegetables and no artificial ingredients. Their wide variety of meals, snacks and sides is far more diverse than anything I could think of making. I don’t have to worry about the meals spoiling in the fridge because I can freeze them and stock up which is such a huge convenience. My favorite thing about this company is how they use real ingredients. Everything listed on the box is an ingredient I can pronounce and easily know what it is. No googling long words or guessing what something is. I know that whenever I feed my children Kidfresh that they are getting wholesome, nutritious meals.

Henry only has about 30 minutes to eat and get ready in the morning before the school bus comes. He’s not a big breakfast person (who is at 6:30am?) so obviously a huge meal is out of the question. Luckily Kidfresh makes the yummiest breakfast bites: Poppin’ Pretzel Bites Egg ‘n Cheese and Poppin’ Pretzel Bites Uncured Ham, Egg ‘n Cheese. They are ready in under 5 minutes and he can take them to the bus stop with him. We all know how busy mornings can be and the last thing we want to worry about his cooking and cleaning up pans/dishes when we’re in a hurry. These bites have been a life saver for us once Henry started going to elementary school. I’m not even ashamed to admit that I have definitely busted out the Wagon Wheels Mac ‘n Cheese for myself at dinnertime. You’d never know that there are hidden pureed carrots inside and also 12 grams of protein. Everything the kids and I have tried from Kidfresh has tasted so delicious. The meals and snacks are sold in the freezer section at Kroger, Target, Whole Foods and numerous other stores. Since I do all my grocery shopping online I love that they’re at major retailers so they can be included with my order.

Have your kids tried Kidfresh meals? If so, which one are their favorite? Here is a $1.00 off coupon to use for any one Kidfresh meal!

*This post was sponsored by Kidfresh. As always, all opinions are my own*

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How I Unwind After a Long Day

I feel like the never-ending phrase that moms use is “I am so stressed” followed by “I am so tired.” It seems as though there are not enough hours in the day to set aside for US.  Whether you’re a working woman, college student or mother, unwinding after a long day is crucial to maintaining overall wellness for mind and body. I know a lot of moms unwind with a glass of wine come 5pm but surprisingly I do not drink very often so this isn’t a stress reliever for me. The more I drink the more I eat and then end up feeling bad about my late-night snacking. I’ve found that I don’t need alcohol to help relieve stress or anxiety. I try to drink as much water as possible in the evening since during the day it can be tough to remember with everything else going on. I wanted to share with you my best methods for relaxing after a long day.

Peace and Quiet – I am around kids screaming and talking to me all day long. I am constantly doing things for someone else … breaking up fights, dealing with tantrums, changing diapers, making food, getting milk, washing clothes, picking up toys, feeding the animals, letting the dogs outside and then back inside, etc. The list goes on. My days seem like a blur most of the time and at the end of the day, there is nothing I treasure more than being alone for a little bit. Luckily, I have an incredible husband who works decent hours and is home by 5pm. He knows how long and redundant the days can be for me and has no problem taking over for a few hours to help. I am able to escape upstairs for some peace, quiet and alone time. I turn on the white noise machine and literally just lie in bed doing nothing but breathing.

Massage – We carry a lot of stress and tension in our bodies which can affect our health and overall wellness. I recently tried Zyllion’s portable shiatsu massager to help relieve some of the muscle aches I was having after a long day. The 4 deep-kneading shiatsu massage nodes work wonders to relieve aches, knots, and muscle tension. The heating function adds an extra layer of relaxation and totally makes me feel like a new person. I don’t have time to escape to the spa every week for a professional massage, so this has been a lifesaver. It’s portable, lightweight and convenient to bring with me when I travel. The Zyllion shiatsu massager is available on Amazon, which I absolutely love. That means free and fast shipping with easy returns if needed. Not only will the shiatsu massager relieve tension throughout your body, it’ll also help you sleep better. Zyllion will be offering 25% off the ZMA25 massager in either color. Use code 25CHANEL.

Exercise  – And I don’t mean hitting the gym at full speed. You can boost relaxation with yoga and meditation and there are tons of free apps and YouTube videos so you can practice at your own pace. If you need to get out of the house and want something a bit more energizing, try going on a walk in your neighborhood. Now that the weather is getting cooler, I love evening strolls to clear my head. Try and leave your phone at home so you can really disconnect from the day. If you have a job that requires a lot of sitting, then walking is so beneficial for your body and mind.

Relax in a Bath – Who says you can’t pamper yourself while at home? We have a huge bathtub in our master and back in the summer I decided to give it a good cleaning and commit myself to soaking it in at least once a week. I light my favorite candle, put a face mask on, play some calming music and just enjoy a good soak.

Reading – Did you know that reading before bed can help you fall asleep easier and enjoy a better night’s sleep? I used to read every night before I had kids and have really missed it. There must be two dozen books in my Amazon shopping cart that I need to get and start. It’s so nice to curl up with a good book, a cup of hot tea and use my shiatsu massager on my lower back and neck. I can literally feel the stress and tension leaving my body.

Have your tried the Zyllion shiatsu massager? What do you do to unwind at night? I would love to hear in the comments below!

*This post is sponsored by Zyllioninc. As always, all opinions are my own*

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Graduate Athens

A few weeks ago my husband and I got to escape for a staycation to the incredibly charming Graduate Hotel in Athens, GA. An intimate 122 room boutique hotel located in the middle of Athens, The Graduate is within walking distance to the nightlife but just far enough away to enjoy a peaceful afternoon and evening. The basics: Parking is free, the hotel is pet friendly, a shuttle service is available for around town, and they offer free bike rentals for guests. There is a 24 hour fitness center, AC is located in the room and very efficient, a great pool for hot summer days, and an award winning spa. Not only does the Graduate encompass small town Southern charm, but it has all the big city amenities you could want when traveling,

We stayed in the Hoyt House in a gorgeous king suite with antique furniture, a spacious living room, brand new flat screen tv, mini SMEG fridge and stately bathroom. You can’t help but smile when you walk in for the first time. The attention to detail and finding the right pieces to go with the rooms theme was definitely appreciated. The bed was extremely comfortable, as were the pillows. Even though we were on the first floor and college was back in, there was no street noise or loud college kids at all. From the moment we checked in until we headed back to Atlanta, the entire staff were so accommodating and gracious. It really made the trip a memorable one. It’s rare when a beautiful hotel gets everything right, but Graduate Athens exceeded my expectations on every level.

As someone who absolutely loves vintage accents and decor, the Graduate was a visual buffet of bright colors and impressive pieces from decades past. Each room is decorated differently with it’s own unique old school finds. The lobby is so welcoming with an abundance of communal tables and seating. Just to the left is the adorable Iron Works Coffee which has plenty of caffeinated goodness to get your day started. There’s a breakfast menu with pastries and a chicken biscuit that rivals the famous Chick-fil-A version. They also serve beer and wine if you’re looking to take a drink back to your room, the pool, or just to sip on in the lobby. I loved how the rooms and buildings were placed throughout the property. We were there on a Saturday which had a concert and wedding happening but you would never know it. There was ample parking and staff attending to everyone and it never felt crowded, loud or busy. It was everything I wanted for a night away.

What makes the Graduate Athens stand out from other hotels in the area is their in-house music venue. The Foundry hosts national, regional and local musicians. We had the privilege of enjoying a heavenly dinner there while watching a live show. The service was top-notch, the drinks were prepared to perfection and the food could not have been better. I am still dreaming about the Pink Guava Margarita and Pulled Shoestring Fries (Georgia queso, house pulled pork, pickled peppers, peach country jam and fries). The atmosphere at The Foundry is trendy but casual. Jeans and a t-shirt are just as popular ​as a pretty cocktail dress. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly and the staff really make this venue and restaurant stand out from others I’ve been to.

A huge thank you to Graduate Athens for hosting us. We had the best time and it was just what we needed! If you are in the Atlanta area or surrounding cities and want to get away, then you need to visit the Graduate. It has everything you need for an amazing weekend. Bring the kids, bring the dogs, bring your parents or come for a girls weekend and I guarantee you are bound to have a wonderful time.

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How I Combat After School Chaos 

This post is sponsored by Kraft Lunchables Organic but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Now that Henry has a month of Kindergarten under his belt, we are slowly creating a new normal again. Our routine is very different than it was during the summer. No more late nights, skipping baths, and hanging out at the pool all day.  We limit the after school activities because I highly feel that for Henry, school is enough at his age. Without a routine in our house, the hours of 3pm-8pm would definitely be a disaster. Here are my five tips that help me combat the after school chaos!

1. Tidy the house. Let’s face it, messy houses and rooms can cause internal chaos for adults and kids. I make sure the kitchen and living room and clear of clutter and that toys my 2 year old has played with during the day are put back where they belong. However, I am not the maid and I implemented this rule with Henry early on last year in Pre-K. As soon as he gets home, he hangs his backpack up, puts his school clothes in the laundry (because ew, germs), and puts on some comfortable clothes. He is so used to these few steps that I don’t even have to ask him.

2. For Moms (and Dads): Put away phones and electronics. Devoting as much time as you can to school aged children who have been away from you and their home all day is important. They want to know you missed them and are interested in what they have been up to. I try my absolute hardest to get all my work done by 4pm each day so I can be present and focused when Henry comes home from school.

3. Snacks – Kids and food go hand in hand. My two are grazers and snack throughout the day. Trying to get them to eat a full meal can end in arguments, timeouts and headaches. The new Lunchables Organic are the standby for our after school snack. Quick, yummy, and relatively inexpensive. While my kids and I may not agree on all of the meals I make them, we can agree that Lunchables Organic is a food they enjoy and I love giving to them. Lunchables Organics is USDA certified organic and free of artificial preservatives, flavors or colors*

4. Exercise – After having to sit still for 6 hours and trying to be on their best behavior, kids need to let loose. Getting in some psychical exertion. Being active in the early evening will also allow them to sleep better. For school aged children, a recommended 9-11 hours of sleep each night to be fully rested. Henry loves this Count to 100 video which allows him to move his body and exercise in a fun way. I also let him play outside for 30-45 minutes.

5. Routine – No matter how you spend your after school hours, routine is important. As rare as it is, my 5 year old still needs a short nap when he gets home from Kindergarten. From 3-4pm he takes a quick nap in his room. Afterwards we have snack, outdoor & indoor playtime, dinner, bath and then lights out!

So tell me, what are some tips you swear by to help combat the after school chaos? Have your kids tried the new Lunchables Organic? Be sure to follow along on their super cute social channels: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

* See back panel of any Organic Lunchables item for ingredients used to preserve quality.

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Watermelon Pizza

Happy September 1! I am so glad that summer (for the most part) is behind us and hoping that cooler temps start to come soon. Our 6 year wedding anniversary is on Monday so Labor Day weekend is always really special to us. I am really looking forward to the last holiday weekend of summer and a 3 day break which means lots of family time. I wanted to share an easy and fun recipe (I use that term lightly here) that you can make for any Labor Day parties you may have. Watermelon is one of my favorite foods and I could legit eat an entire one by myself.

WATERMELON PIZZA 4 WAYS: 

1. Blueberries & Chia Seeds

2.Blackberries & Caramel Sauce

3.Coconut Shreds & Cherries

4.Granola & Mini Chocolate Chips

VOILA! That is it. So simple and so tasty. You can whip it up last minute for a gathering or just make for the kids to enjoy as an after school snack. Each one tastes so good and different. Happy Labor Day, everyone!

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AFFORDABLE STAPLE SKIRT

I love high rise skirts that hide my belly, yet still flatter my waist. Since I’m in now in my early 30’s, my style over the past few years has definitely changed. Goodbye button up flannels and black leggings, hello vibrant skirts and chic leather accessories. This midi skirt is perfect for hiding my mom belly and comes in several beautiful colors. It can be worn dressed up for a date night or more casual with flat sandals during the day. The flutter sleeves on this knit top add the perfect feminine touch and I love that it’s long enough to be tucked into skirts or jeans. It has the sweetest lace detail along the neckline and the fabric is so lightweight. I also tend to choose darker colors because they’er more slimming (aka, black is my best friend). I’ve been wearing this skirt so much lately and love that it will easily transition into fall. Do you have any pieces that have become staples in your wardrobe? Let me know in the comments below!

Breathtaking Tiger Lilies Midi Skirt in Merlot

Flutter and Flatter Knit Top in Charcoal

Cross Body Bag

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Why We Love OshKosh for Back-to-School (and You Should Too!)

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of OshKosh B’gosh; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Now that Henry is going on his 4th week of kindergarten, I’ve seen my share of dirty, stained and ruined clothes. I like to send him to school dress nicely but I also don’t want to spend a fortune on pieces that will come home covered in chocolate milk or that orange playground dirt (you guys know the color!).  Last week Henry and I went shopping at our local OshKosh store to check out their back to school collection. I have been a long time fan of OshKosh B’gosh clothing because of their amazing prices and basics. Now they have some super fun graphic tees, comfy joggers and distressed denim.  This season they have a ton of coed designs which I absolutely love.

I was able to find Henry the most adorable striped button down shirt which added a little something extra to his graphic tee and jeans combo. I love that I can pair this shirt with casual pieces and also leave solo for picture day. The wide variety of graphic tees look absolutely adorable paired with this fun line of joggers, which I am so obsessed with. #givemeallthecolors. Henry is now at the age where he is starting to have a say in what he wears (insert sad face emoji). While we may argue about what he’s eating or when he goes to bed, we can at least agree on the clothes from OshKosh. I’m more than happy to let him pick clothing he will feel confident in at school. Kindergarten is tough enough for a young child, their clothing shouldn’t be something they have to worry about.

If you have been following along for awhile then you know that Henry is very active. He is constantly moving and shaking the second he wakes up and doesn’t stop until he finally passes out at night. He needs clothing that can keep up with him. In Kindergarten there is a lot of play time. Whether it be indoors or outdoors, OshKosh has clothing for every activity. I can’t believe how durable all these pieces were and how well they have lasted. Each piece feels thicker and stronger than what I remember, and I love it! 5 year old boys need clothing that can take some roughness. OshKosh always has the best coupons so you can make your money go farther! If you spend $40+ from now until October 2 you can save 20% with Coupon Code: OKBG3352. Let me know what you’re loving in the comments below. I always love to see what others choose!

Skinny Jeans$11.95

No Bad Days Tee$7.00

Striped Button Up$15.00

Wave Hello Tank$4.99

Sneakers$40.00

French Terry Joggers$14.00

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