Summer is Over…..A New Year Begins

It is hard enough that the pool is now closed, but pumpkins and Halloween candy out at the grocery stores?  That is just crazy!  It is sad to see summer go, especially if you live somewhere with only half the year with nice weather.  Well, whether we like it or not, back-to-school is here!

Here are some things I enjoyed most about this summer:

1.  Traveling with My Husband – Sometimes it’s nice to get away and be a “couple” again once in a while.

 

 

 

2.  Meeting Up with Old Friends – We were lucky enough to meet our old friends from IL, AZ & CA, and I also reconnected with a sorority sister I had not seen in 15 years!  It was so great to see everyone this summer!

 

 

3.  The Pool – Joining the local pool was great!  We got to see our friends often.  You never needed to make a playdate, because someone would be there to play with  the kids.

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Town Events – We live in a town with many events to attend.  We enjoyed almost all of them this year!  We did the strolls on Main Street, the Summer Concert series, and Arts Festivals.  It was a wonderful summer of events.  Love our town!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Hanging out with “The Girls” – It was fun to just go out with the girls to dance and have fun.  I had not done that in a while, and we were able to get out more than once this summer.  Loved it!

Things that are coming this fall:

1.  School is in session!  I have a 2nd grader and a preschooler.  I will see how the schedules work out.  I am now a part-time working mom (which is a change), so I need to find a balance.  I LOVE my new job, but this is the last year with my preschooler too!

2.  I have learned to say NO a little this year.  No major PTG positions or New Neighbor’s Club positions.  I will still be active in my clubs, but not in charge.  I  have to say,  learning to say NO was quite an accomplishment for me.  It was hard.

3.  Things I am doing: Brownie Leader for my daughter’s troop, participating in two book club, running my new site MamaLuvsBooks, and writing for AMKB, GalTime Providence, and of course working for my new job as a freelance writer, photographer, and videographer for Patch.

It’s going to be a busy school year!!!  Good luck to all you SAHMs and Working Moms out there!  I know both are tough (and now I am doing a little of both)!  What are your challenges this year?  Doing anything new?

 

Kristin Wheeler

Back-to-School Anxiety

As a parent, I have a mixed bag of emotions about the start of the new school year.  It’s sad that summer is coming to an end.  No more being lazy around the house until 10am if we are so inclined.  No more hanging out at the pool for five hours straight.  No more doing whatever we feel like that day!  We will now be back to a strict schedule of school, after-school activities, PTG meetings, homework assignments, etc.  Not to mention it just shows me how big my babies are getting (and in turn how old I am getting).  Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy for their healthy progress in school and proud of their accomplishments;  I just miss those days when they were young!  It really is important to cherish your kids at each age.  They truly are that young ONLY once!

There are positives about heading back to school  as well.  For one, my kids are young and therefore are still in love with going to school.  They are both very excited to start back and meet their teachers!  I have a 2nd grader and one in his last year of preschool.  Having them go back to school will make it so I have a little more time for myself (although preschool hours are fairly short).  I can hopefully get to the gym on a regular schedule without feeling bad about putting them in the kid room, and I will also have more time for the part-time job I picked up this summer as a freelance writer, photographer, and videographer.  Lastly, it is nice to have a little space from the kids.  It does make me miss them, and it makes me want to spend more  “quality time” with them.  Oh, and make sure you still do those last minute things before school starts. Most schools around the country have about two weeks!

Good luck with the start of the new school year!  Are you ready to see your kids go back to school already?

Kristin Wheeler

Chicken Tenders the Entire Family Will Love!

It’s back to school time and my kids are ready for quick-to-eat dinners that won’t let them fall asleep on the table.  They are still young (3 &5) and dinnertime is their least favorite time; they are tired, they are whiny and they just want to get to bed!  This recipe is one of their favorite things to eat.  Is it the parmesan cheese?  The hint of garlic?  I’ll never know.  But it’s a winner every time!

Ingredients

  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or, 1 cup milk + 1tsp vinegar)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 quart oil for frying

Directions 

Just a little oil in the pan - no need to submerge

  1. In the morning, place chicken strips into a large, resealable plastic bag. In a small bowl, mix the egg, buttermilk and garlic powder. Pour mixture into bag with chicken. Seal, and refrigerate at least 4 hours (I leave them in there all day).
  2. In another large, resealable plastic bag, mix together the flour, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt and baking powder. Remove chicken from refrigerator, and drain, discarding buttermilk mixture. Place chicken in flour mixture bag. Seal, and shake to coat.
  3. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. Carefully place coated chicken in hot oil. Fry until golden brown and juices run clear. Drain on paper towels.

PS: yes, you know I rarely fry, but baked chicken strips are just not the same for my family.  Serve with a side of vegetables.

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Kid’s Favorite: Easy Pizza Rolls

Simple 30 Minute Lunch Box Recipe

 

I posted these this week in the MOMable’s Facebook page.  They are a HUGE hit in my house and I’m sure you’ll enjoy getting creative filling these with the toppings your family loves.  If you are in a hurry, I even give you the store-bought dough option.  This is a great recipe for lunch your kids will love in their lunchbox.  Try serving it with some nuts or fruit to  fill them up with great nutrition and energy.  You can make these ahead of time for dinner, and save leftovers for lunch!

Prep time: 7min   Cook time: 20-30  Yields: 12 rolls

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 TB butter, cut into cubes
  • 2/3 cup of milk (or non dairy substitute)
  • plain flour
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 cup of ham chopped
  • 1 can of pineapple pieces, drained
  • Alternatives: cut veggies, pepperoni, olives, or any other favorite pizza topping

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 210 degrees and line a baking tray with non-stick paper.
  2. Sift flour into a large bowl, add salt. Cut butter into the flour with a knife.
  3. Begin to add milk slowly, mix/knead.
  4. Mix/knead until the dough starts to stick to itself, put on a floured surface.
  5. Kneed the dough until smooth, then use a floured rolling pin to roll into a rectangle.
  6. Spread the pizza sauce onto the dough, sprinkle cheese, ham, and pineapple.
  7. On the long side start rolling up the dough into a log.
  8. Brush the edges with some milk to help it stick.
  9. Cut the log into 12 pieces equally.
  10. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Remove from oven to cool. Will keep for 2 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

Under 5min option: purchase store bought pizza dough. Roll out. Follow steps 5-8 then bake according to manufacturer.

 

 

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