Traveling Was Easier Because I Brought Back the Fanny Pack

While I was at Disneyland, I was toting around a stroller, and diaper bag that was full of snacks and the rest of my regular diaper bag/purse stuff. I didn’t want to bring a full (and heavy) diaper bag onto every ride we went on and I didn’t have hands to chase or carry my son and worry about a purse.

I found this cute bag at Little Miss Matched in Downtown Disney, it was a great price too. (Especially for Disney!) It fits my camera and Minnie Mouse Walletand phone perfectly.

To save myself some stress, I decided to try to bring back the fanny pack. Really, most cross body bags hang about where a fanny pack would and if they are cute it could be cool again.

Fine, I totally look like a nerd. I’m good with that, and I was saved tons of stress of worrying about losing or having my wallet/camera/phone stolen because it was always right there for me.

After returning home from Disney, I had to make this cute Pirate Satchel cross body bag, that I once again pose awkwardly with to show you how I wear it- check it out here at Arizona Mama– a tutorial is included!!

Why I Love My Appliances: Kitchen Aid Edition

It’s time for the second edition of Why I Love My Appliances, the series of where I brag about my appliances and decide whether they are worth their investment and their shelf space. This week I will be talking about my kitchen aid.

Why I Love My Kitchen Aid:
I love that with my Kitchen Aid I can make doughy stuff from scratch (or from a mix) very quickly, and without much work. (Yay, laziness!) I keep my Kitchen Aid out on the counter, so that I am encouraged to use it more often, and because I love it.

What I Use My Kitchen Aid For:
I make alot of pancakes, sometimes muffins and rolls. I use it for the sweet stuff like cookies, cakes and frosting. I also use it to mash stuff sometimes, like potatoes, or beans. I have used it to shred chicken as well.

Features I Love About My Kitchen Aid:
I love that the bowl attaches and detaches easily, and that it is easy to clean, without a bunch of small parts. I do sometimes wish I had the lid for the bowl (or a second bowl) but so far I have done fine without them. View more on my Kitchen Aid here.

Was My Kitchen Aid Worth the Investment?
Because it is so easy to whip things up I don’t buy as much of the pre-made foods, and that saves me money especially because I buy baking ingredients in bulk. We have already saved tons on just junk food, not to mention that our junk food is less “junky” because we don’t use as many preservatives. I think I have made enough batches of pancakes to make it worth its investment in the last three years of having it.

Recipes for the Kitchen Aid:
Crunch Top Ham Casserole
Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Breakfast Cake

Disclaimer: I do get compensation for things you may buy on but all opinions are my own. I also love for reasons other than any compensation I may get.

A Valentine's Day Gift for My Child

In my family we always did a little something to give to everyone in our family for Valentine’s Day. It would be something put at their place at the table to let them know that we cared. Sometimes they were handmade, usually they were the leftover valentines that we had from giving them out at school. My parents usually gave us a box of chocolate or some type of candy.

Last year I wanted to do something for my (then) baby, but seeing as he couldn’t have candy and had more than enough toys I decided on a book that I had been wanting to buy for him. See last year’s Valentine’s Day gift here.

I decided to do the same this year, and keep the tradition going. There will always be a need of some sort of book! We bought him a book that I know I will enjoy reading to him, and this one he will enjoy playing with. I know that because he was already playing with it in the store. This book is a fun counting book, but it didn’t make my Top Toddler Bedtime Stories.

Do you give Valentine’s Day gifts to your children? If so, what do you give them?

Check out some other fun Valentine’s Day ideas!

Mustache Valentines Made by My Sister

Toddler Chores

From the time he started walking, my son knew to put his shoes away in the basket where we all keep our shoes. Sometimes he would even put mine away for me too. That has been his only chore until recently. He sometimes would help me clean up, but it didn’t happen very often because I’m lazy and I would just leave the toys out.

Now we have a new puppy and she likes to get into stuff so I have to be better at putting stuff away. I started by having my son put his dishes in the sink after dinner. After doing that for a few days I saw this article and realized he could be doing much much more.

This is his current chore list, although lots of times they are just bigger chores for me.

Put shoes away

Put dishes in the sink

Throw away what mommy asks

Pick up toys and books before bed

Put away dishes in “Colton’s Cupboard”

Put silverware in the drawer

Feed the dog

At just barely a year and a half he is doing great! Some things are easier for me, even if the rest are double the work that they usually are. It will pay off later though!

Tomato Basil Soup

Last week I made some delicious soup using my blender. I used the last of my frozen tomatoes, I need to go get some more so I can make more of this soup! I took it to my mother-in-law’s house and everyone enjoyed it. My brother-in-law had some and liked it but he added some crazy spices to it. The original idea for this recipe came from this blendtec video.

Tomato Basil Soup
Author: Monica
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
  • 1 Quart Bag of Frozen Tomatoes (Can be replaced with tomato sauce or fresh tomatoes with the juices squeezed out)
  • 1 Can of Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup of Milk
  • 1/3 Cup of Chopped Frozen Green Peppers (or other tasty veggies)
  • 3 Tablespoons of Basil Flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of Montreal Chicken Seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon of Butter
  • 1 Cup of Cooked Rice, Seasoned with Garlic and Onion -optional
  1. Defrost Tomatoes until pliable. Put tomatoes, tomato sauce, milk, green peppers, 2 T of basil, and Montreal chicken seasoning in Blender. Blend at “Soups and Fondues” setting or equivalent.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add soup mix from blender to it. Add the rest of the basil, and the cooked rice. Heat until simmering, then cook for 5 minutes or so. Serve hot!


Check out my latest post about this soup– I added some interesting ingredients to it and made some fancy grilled cheese to go with it.


Why I Love My Appliances: Crock Pot Edition

It’s time for the first edition of Why I Love My Appliances, the series of where I brag about my appliances and decide whether they are worth their investment and their shelf space. This week I will be talking about my slow cooker.

Why I Love My Crock Pot:
I love that my slow cooker is an extension of my oven when I need it, I also love that it saves me money on cooking for my family. It may be hard to think about preparing things ahead of time but it is well worth it when you don’t have to think about what’s for dinner later.

What I Use My Slow Cooker For:
I use my crock pot for meats usually, I love to cook whole chickens and roasts. There is currently a chicken in my fridge that will go in my slow cooker tomorrow. I sometimes will use it for side dishes, especially when the main dish is cooking in the oven or I am bringing it somewhere. I like to cook Chili and “Not Refried” Beans.

Features I Love About My Crock Pot:
I really like that my slow cooker is simple, without too many confusing features and timers and who knows what else. It has Off, Keep Warm, Low and High for settings and that is perfect for me. I also love that the lid has a gasket (is that what you call it?) around the edges, and that for the few times I take it places it has a rubber band type thing to keep it closed. It’s simple and easy to clean. View more about my crock pot here.

Was My Slow Cooker Worth the Investment?
I love the idea of taking the crock pot out to the garage in the summer so that making dinner doesn’t heat up the whole house, it saves me money from not using the air conditioning as much. It also uses less electricity than the oven, so when I can use it instead of the oven it saves me a little there. My slow cooker was given to me, so I didn’t spend anything, but it would be well worth it if I had bought it.

Disclaimer: I do get compensation for things you may buy on but all opinions are my own. I also love for reasons other than any compensation I may get.