Author Archives: Kate

10 Ways to get Mom Time during the Summer

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #CraftYourCool #CollectiveBias

School is out, kids are home and your “mom time” just went out the door. Am I right?

Today I put together 10 Ways to get Mom Time during the Summer. I’ll be sharing everything from my Starbucks® Bottled Dulce de Leche Frappuccino® Coffee Drink 13.7 oz Single Serve item only (not available in 4-pack) to Bubble Baths. 
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I think sometimes people have a preconceived notion that because I am a stay at home mom it means I have all the down time in the world. I recently have a friend say to me, “I’d love a month of not doing anything.” when I said I was looking forward to summertime.  Now don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of time for sun bathing and binge watching my favorite shows, but I am running to swim lessons, play dates, sports and mall drop offs.

So having mom time has to be carved in just like the kid’s events. And that is why I wanted to share a little of what I am doing to share a little of what I am doing to still get some time to myself.

  1. Wake up Early
    Getting up early isn’t something I love to do. I consider myself an early bird but that is still 7 am. And getting up before my kids rarely happens. So I like to grab some coffee and head out to the back deck and enjoy a little bit of quiet before we start out day.
  2. Go for a Walk
    In one way I am pretty spoiled. With Zach being 15 now he has become a pretty reliable babysitting source. So it doesn’t take much for me to grab my shoes and head out on a walk. Which leads me to my next one….
  3. Go to an exercise class.
    Maybe you don’t have a built in teenage babysitter, but even if you don’t, recruit a friend to watch the kids for an hour so you can hit the elliptical or do some Zumba.  Still not workable? Grab an exercise DVD and hide in your room to do it!
  4. Get yourself an Adult Coloring Book.
    I won’t lie, I am not a good colorer. I don’t stay in the lines well. But I was surprised at how relaxing is was. You could even print off some pages from online and enjoy the time.
  5. Read a book or magazine.
    I’ve always been a reader. I got that from my mom and ever since I was a kid, reading is something I have done a lot of. This year is the first year I have actually set a goal for myself, which was 30 books. And so far I have done pretty well, despite an couple of them dragging on and on.
  6. Relax in the sunshine.
    Nothing makes me happier than a beautiful day full of sunshine. And taking my current book and a blanket out to relax in the sun is one of my all time favorite things to do.
  7. Put on your favorite music.
    Lounging in the sun, hanging out at the river…. it all goes hand in hand with music. Turn it up and belt out those tunes.
  8. Spa Day.
    To me a spa day doesn’t have to mean some expensive, fancy place. For me it means relaxing, getting my nails done, toes painted, a facial… All things I can do in the comfort of my own home.
  9. Bubble Bath.
    I am not really a bath person. Maybe because growing up we never had a bath tub, only a shower. But every so often a bath just sounds so nice and relaxing. And it is always accompanied by my current book.
  10. Schedule some girl time.
    Grab your bestie and hit up a current chick flick, or have a coffee date. When it comes to you and your best friend I’m sure it doesn’t take a lot to have a fun and relaxing time. It is great to have play dates and all but don’t forget adult time too!

One sure way for me to relax is to grab a nice cold drink and sit back for a few minutes. Luckily I can get the new Starbucks® Bottled Dulce de Leche Frappuccino® Coffee Drinks at Walmart and they are the perfect size. These single serve drinks are perfect for our on the go nature, ready for me to drink right from the bottle with the pop of a cap and come in other flavors.

Also if you Buy 3 Ready to Drink products get 35 stars, which if you are a Starbucks Rewards member you know how fast those stars can add up and that makes for more Mom Time!

What are your favorite ways to sneak in Mom Time during the Summer when your kids are home?

Showing our Appreciation with a DIY Glitter Dipped Mug

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #OneTreeOneBag #CollectiveBias

The school year’s end is right around the corner. But before that can wrap up we need to share our appreciation for the school staff. Our school’s Staff Appreciation week is coming up and I wanted to find something fun for Tyler’s teacher. For me, there is nothing better than coffee so I basically always include it in some way when I am giving gifts.

Tyler’s teacher is really fun and outgoing and I remember her saying once that her family loves to camp. So I immediately thought of a glitter dipped mug and coffee as part of her gift.

I headed to the store to get a few things, but before that I ran to Safeway to grab a bag of Starbucks® Pike Place® Roast. It is my favorite roast and I love to share it!

  • One of my favorite things about Starbucks is how giving they are.
  • For every bag of Starbucks® 10-12z & 20z Ground or Whole Bean coffee purchased at participating Albertsons Company stores in the U.S. from May 1st through May 28, Starbucks provides one disease-resistant coffee tree to a farmer in Mexico, Guatemala or El Salvador,
  • Starbucks® will donate 70¢ to Conservation International for every bag of coffee sold at participating Albertsons Company stores in the U.S. from May 1st through May 28 to foster thriving coffee communities.
  • To learn more, visit conservation.org/onetree.

Check out the special Starbucks “One Tree One Bag” commitment display in the coffee aisle!

I have only made glitter dipped cups/mugs a couple of times before, but they are super easy and add a touch of fun to your cup!

  1. Take some painters tape and tape around your clean, dry cup. (Make sure it’s even!)
  2. Use a decoupage glue and a foam brush and paint the glue on the area your glitter will be.
  3. Quickly sprinkle on the glitter. I used two paper bowls and held my cup over one bowl and poured the glitter from the second bowl. I turned the cup as I poured to make sure everything was covered.
  4. Wait about 15 minutes and sponge another layer of decoupage on the glitter. You don’t want to “paint” this layer on but just lightly sponge it. If you need to add another layer of glitter you’ll do it now. Wait another 15 minutes and sponge on more decoupage.
  5. Wait another 15 minutes and carefully peel off the painter’s tape.
  6. You want to wait several hours to let the glue completely dry before touching.

After I had let my mug completely dry I added the cute little decal I made for it.

Now our fun mug is all ready for staff appreciation week and ready to be full of a delicious cup of Starbucks® Pike Place® Roast.

I am hoping our teacher is a “Happy Camper” when she gets this fun gift!


What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate the staff at your local school?

San Diego Getaway

About a month ago Travis and I headed to San Diego because Travis had a work conference. Perfect time for me to tag along and enjoy a few days away.  I was only staying for a couple of nights but I was planning to relax and enjoy every minutes of it! (And I have a ton of pictures to prove it!)

Grandpa was with the kids, meals made and in the fridge and activities to do, they were set and Travis and I headed out.

The day we left was on Travis’ birthday. We were up at 4 am and out the door shortly after to catch our 6 am flight! So early but we really wanted to make the most of our day once we were there. Flights went smooth and in no time we were in beautiful San Diego.

After our hotel check in we had lunch down the street at Hard Rock Cafe then grabbed an Uber (our first time ever) and headed for the San Diego Zoo. It was the only day we could do it where we could go together. We enjoyed the beautiful weather and all the beautiful animals.

That night Travis and I went out for a pizza dinner at a mom n pop restaurant, where our jalapeno poppers were still frozen/cold in the middle and Travis watched our waitress licking her fingers….

The next day Travis had a day of pre-conference training. I spent the morning browsing local shops and then after meeting him for lunch I took off for the USS Midway. I went back and forth on going there because I was thinking to myself that how long could I really spend there….  but I am so glad I went. It was way more emotional than I thought I would be and it was a great experience. And after 3 hours there, I’m sure I saw less than half of what there is to see.

That night Travis and I were looking for some sea food and ended up at Joe’s Crab Shack. I think I was hoping for something a little more local and had no idea this was a chain, but it worked!

The next morning Travis started his conference and I had an entire day before I had to head off to the airport for my flight home. One thing I needed to check off my list was Chick-fil-a. I know, how silly is that? But we don’t have them where I live and I love chicken strips so I really wanted to finally go.  I spent the morning wandering near the hotel and the local shops in the area, then I took a Lyft to Balboa Park where I spent hours wandering through rose gardens, cactus gardens, botanical gardens, museums and listening to local artists play.  I even bought a cd from a guy named Nathan Olesen, who has an amazing voice.

After wandering around at Balboa Park I got a Lyft and headed for Chick-fil-a. My driver was nice enough to take me through the drive thru and then bring me back to my hotel.

Once I was back at the hotel I had that awkward amount of time where I really didn’t have enough time to go do anything, but I had a lot of time to just sit there in the hotel. So I did what I love to do most, grabbed my kindle and read my book in a kid free, quiet room.

After an hour or two I headed to the airport. There was more than enough time to spare so I took the time to relax and enjoy more my the book I was currently reading. Last minute they were asking for people to check their carry ons. I decided to go ahead and do that because I didn’t need anything from it. I grabbed a couple things from my suitcase and took it up to the front counter to check it.

A few hours later I arrived back in chilly Spokane! I was freezing and instantly covered in goosies as soon as I stepped off the plane! I headed for baggage claim where I waited and waited and waited…. And when the baggage wheel stopped and my bag wasn’t there I knew it wasn’t a good sign. After checking with the airline they said my bag was in Salt Lake City! Whaaat!?! She said they would drop it off at my house the next day! I was so thankful I grabbed out my car keys!! I would have been furious! Around I walked into my house and was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow!

And my luggage did come the next day!

Thank you San Diego, you were good to me! (even though I was jealous that Travis was there for a few more days and had amazing 70 degree weather!)

Get Outdoors with Pepperidge Farm Goldfish

Spring break is here and while our weather hasn’t exactly been cooperating, we are still ready to get outside and enjoy what Mother Nature has brought us. For spring break I didn’t want to be cooped up in the house any longer and I made play dates with friends for almost every single day.

Not only that, but Summer has started Spring soccer this week and she is so excited because it is her first time playing soccer.  I loved watching her at practice tonight. She seemed so in her element and like she knew just what to do. She wasn’t afraid to get in there and get the ball and it was awesome to watch!

Not sure if your kids are the same, but my kiddos are asking about their next meal or snack while they’re eating the first thing. One thing they love no matter if we are just hanging out at home, at the park or on our way to soccer practice is Pepperidge Farm Goldfish.

A few reasons I love Pepperidge Farm Goldfish:

  • Always Baked with Real Cheese
  • No Artificial Flavors or Preservatives
  • Colors Sourced from Plants, such as annatto extracted from the reddish seeds of the Achiote Tree
  • Baked with Whole Grain Cheddar variety has 12 g of WG per serving
  • A snack you can feel good about serving your kids

Does your kiddo love goldfish? My entire family loves goldfish. My favorite are the white cheddar!

We’ve been at the park several days, went to our neighbors for brunch, been to the fish hatchery, gone for walks in our neighborhood and tomorrow we will be doing some more fun exploring in our own city. What are your favorite things to do outdoors with your family?

Delicious Crock pot Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

It is a rainy day here in the Pacific NorthWest and sometimes I might complain about that but not today. Today I am grateful for this rain and watching is wash away some of this insane snow we have had that doesn’t want to go away!

That is why today I wanted to share this Crock pot Chicken Tater Tot Casserole with you.

It is so easy to make and it is a perfect warm meal to have on a cooler rainy day.

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The ingredients are few, which I love, and with in just a few hours you’ll have a yummy dinner.

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I started with spraying the inside of the crockpot with non stick cooking spray and cover the bottom with tater tots.

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Add half of the bacon bits

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Then a layer of cheese.

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Now add in your diced chicken

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Next you’ll add another layer of cheese and then tater tots

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Add the rest of the bacon bits

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And top with cheese.

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Turn on the crockpot and let it cook!

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Then enjoy every last bite!

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  • 1 32 oz. bag frozen tater tots
  • 1 3 oz. bag bacon pieces
  • 1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • salt & pepper
  1. Spray your crockpot with cooking spray
  2. Cover the bottom of the crockpot with tater tots
  3. Sprinkle with half of the bacon bits
  4. Top with a layer of the shredded cheese
  5. Add diced chicken on top
  6. Layer of shredded cheese
  7. Top with the rest of the tater tots
  8. Add the last of the bacon bits and shredded cheese
  9. Pour milk over the top.
  10. Cover and cook on low about 4 hours.

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We are tater tot casserole lovers but this was really a fun change from how I normally make it with hamburger!

Have you ever had this? Did your family love it as much as mine?