• 10 Things I've Learned
  • Lemonade Activities
  • Rainbow Ice Cube Painting
  • Lemon Cream Cake
  • 4th of July Handprint Flag
  • 2015 Handprint Calendar Printable
  • Bugs in the Grass Sensory Play Bin
  • Strawberry Salad
  • Sponges in the water table
    Sponges in the Water Table
  • Our Water Wall
  • #MyPicknSave #shop #cbias Ham Balls Recipe
    Family Dinners on a Weeknight
  • Sticker Mural
    Sticker Mural

Pick ‘n Save Week Night Recipes for Back to School #shop #MyPicknSave #cbias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinion are  mine alone.

Summer is quickly coming to an end and back to school time is upon us.  If you’re like me, you don’t want to think about it, but now is the time to prepare for those busy week nights ahead! Start planning ahead with Pick ‘n Save, a Wisconsin Grocery store, to  make those busy days a little easier.

Pick ‘n Save Week Night Recipes for Back to School #shop #MyPicknSave #cbias

#MyPicknSave #shop #cbias Pick 'n Save Meat Dept

I shopped #MyPicknSave with #CollectiveBias to share a few healthy and yummy ideas to feed your family on the go. Pick ‘n Save stores have all the fresh meat you need. Ahh, the soup aisle-I love how organized it is!

#MyPicknSave #shop #cbias Pick 'n Save Meat Dept

One of our favorite make ahead meals is Ham Balls. It’s perfect for fall! This recipe makes a large batch of meatballs so you can freeze half and use them later. Since there’s just three of us, we can easily split this into three meals and still have left overs for lunches. These meatballs are a little sweet and savory. It’s a bit of an unusual combination to add graham crackers to ham and beef, but believe me, they’re great! We love them with cheesy hash brown casserole or cheesy potatoes (diced, boiled and then pour over a homemade cheese sauce).

#MyPicknSave #shop #cbias Ham Balls Recipe

This recipe uses ground ham. I’ve used all different pieces, but I find this type of ham is cost effective and has good flavor. I have a meat grinder so I grind my own (it takes just minutes) but if you don’t have one, just ask at the Pick ‘n Save meat counter to have it ground while you shop.

#MyPicknSave #shop #cbias Ham Balls

Mix ground meat together with crushed graham crackers, eggs and milk to make meat balls.

#MyPicknSave #shop #cbias

The sauce is a mixture of tomato soup, brown sugar, vinegar and dry mustard. Sooo good!

#MyPicknSave #shop #cbias Ham Balls

Serve with potatoes or rice. Add a salad or steam some vegetables as a side. Excellent for a fall family dinner! So much better than going out or grabbing a pizza.

#MyPicknSave #shop #cbias

Ham Balls

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 40-50 meatballs

Ham Balls

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ham ground
  • 2 lbs beef ground
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • BBQ Sauce
  • 2 cans tomato soup do not dilute
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 cups brown sugar or less, 2 cups is a lot
  • 2 tsp dry mustard

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine ground ham, ground beef, graham cracker crumbs, eggs and milk.
  3. Shape into balls using a cookie scoop.
  4. Bake uncovered in a 9 x 13 pan for 1 hour. You will need more than one pan if baking all the ham balls. Consider baking half and freezing the rest to bake later.
  5. Combine sauce ingredients.
  6. Bake ham balls for 1/2 hour. Then pour sauce over the ham balls and finish baking.

Notes

You can grind your own meat if you have a grinder.Also ask at the meat counter for the meat to be ground while you wait.

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Tips for Prepping Food For Back to School

  • Hard boil eggs: They can be kept in the refrigerator all week for a quick breakfast, snack or a protein for lunch. Add to a salad or make an egg salad sandwich.
  • Brown your hamburger when you return from the grocery store. It’s easier to brown when it’s fresh. Divide into freezer bags and it’s ready to add to a casserole, a spaghetti sauce or add seasoning for tacos.
  • Make hamburger patties or turkey patties and freeze.
  • When you make pancakes, waffles or french toast make a double batch and freeze half for quick breakfasts. Even kids can pop them into the toaster or microwave.
  • Make oatmeal ahead of time. Split into single servings and refrigerate. A dish will warm up quickly in the morning in the microwave and it tastes so much better than instant (healthier too).
  • Egg muffins make a healthy breakfast.
  • Cook extra rice and freeze it.
  • Whatever dish you’re making, make double and freeze half.
  • Each time you grocery shop, get extra ingredients for one dish you can make ahead and freeze.
  • What freezes well?  Soup, meatballs, casseroles, slow cooker meals, chili.
  • Keep a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables (or frozen) on hand to add to snacks or meals. Sides do not have to be fancy.

More Tried & True Freezer Recipes

Make your list and go to Pick ‘n Save for all your meal and snack prep for Back to School!

Connect with Pick ‘n Save: Pick ‘n Save | Twitter  | Facebook  | Pinterest

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Stacy

Frozen Foods to the Rescue! #ad

This post brought to you by American Frozen Foods Institute and the Frozen Food Roundtable. All opinions are 100% mine.

How Fresh Stays Fresh photo fd062587-c45b-4ca2-bc3c-86b7166181f5_zpscaf03e88.png

For me, one of the biggest benefits of frozen foods is that I can buy it on Monday and it will last through the whole week, or longer if needed. I don’t have time to go back to the store three times during the week to make sure I have fresh foods!  Wondering about fresh vs frozen?  Freezing naturally pauses inspired recipes made with fresh, quality ingredients and suspends them there until the moment you’re ready to enjoy them, locking in freshness, flavor and nutrients. Frozen. How Fresh Stays Fresh

Frozen Foods

I mostly buy frozen vegetables. That way they don’t go to waste if we don’t use them right away. Also, I need a variety to feed my child care children each week so we use half a bag of corn, then half a bag of green beans, etc. The remainder stays fresh until we need it again.

Frozen Foods

Another way frozen foods are helpful is for quick lunches and portion control. A frozen meal for lunch is simple. You can take it to work with you, have something different everyday and still eat within your calorie range. For myself, sometimes it’s just nice to have something in the freezer I can quickly heat up and it’s healthier choice than ordering something out. I really like this Santa Fe-Style Rice & Beans. I won’t show you the heated up dish though – once I got a chance to actually eat it, well- it wasn’t so warm any more!

frozen foods lean cuisine

Or a sweet treat! It’s nice to have a little something saved in the freezer for dessert just for you – portion controlled.

frozen foods Edwards Singles

Yum!

frozen foods Edwards Singles

These Delimex chicken and cheese taquitos made a great afternoon snack for my child care group. They enjoyed them dipped in ranch with watermelon and milk.

Frozen Foods Delimex

Having frozen foods on hand like this allows me to offer a variety of snacks and gives the children an opportunity to try something new.

Frozen Foods taquitos

The taquitos would make a simple Sunday night snack too!

What’s not to love? Frozen foods can make entertaining easier, can always be available in your freezer and require little time to prepare AND taste delicious!

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Stacy

I’m addicted to the Studio App! #momsonstudio

studio 12

I’m a big fan of using my Galaxy S4 for photos throughout the day and the pictures can turn out quite well, even worthy of saving or scrapbooking. It’s a wonderful way to save those small moments that catch your eye and touch your heart.

studio 4

It’s even more fun now that I discovered the Studio app! I first learned of it through Holly Homer at Kidsactivitiesblog.com.

studio 7

It’s much like Instagram but it does even more. Not that I will ever give up Instagram but Studio can be used along with Instagram in just a few clicks.

  • Just open the Studio app
  • import your photo
  • add a variety of overlays, crops or text. Use a Studio Design Pack or create your own design.
  • publish it
  • share to your other social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

studio 8

Studio is also a social media network so you can friend and follow other’s feeds.

studio 6
Another thing you can do is use someone else’s design if you like it, which is called “remixing”. There’s a Trending Remix at the top of the feed that’s featured that you can grab. So fun!

Studio App #momsonstudio

Just wanted to share this since some have asked what I’m using and it’s SO FUN!

Download the FREE STUDIO APP (Android) or STUDIO APP iTUNES

Find me at: SHAREANDREMEMBER  Join us with #momsonstudio

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Stacy

Sticker Mural Preschool Fine Motor Skills

sticker mural main

I loved the idea of making a “sticker station’ from Allison McDonald at No Time for Flash Cards which inspired our sticker mural. I’m not sure why I haven’t thought of it before! It’s about as simple to set up as can be and it works on those important fine motor skills all toddlers and preschoolers need to work on.

Using paper from a large roll, I used poster putty to put up our mural paper on our kitchen wall. I keep a big bag of miscellaneous stickers so I sorted through them, looking for a variety and separating them into smaller sheets. I put them in a basket on a stool. This is just one more way of making use of space in your family child care.

sticker mural stickers

My group of 2-5 year olds were excited about this activity and were quickly engaged in peeling and sticking stickers. Each looked through the basket for stickers that appealed to them. One seemed to like the dot stickers, two older boys wanted the stars and the girls, well they wanted anything pink, purple or butterflies.

sticker mural kids

I have a 2 year old in care that seems hesitant to try anything new and I’m not sure how to deal with that sometimes but this time was clear. It’s tractors and construction vehicles that interest him so I found some stickers especially for him.It worked! He always seems want want help with every activity so I want to encourage independence. I peeled up the edges just a little so he would be able to easily get them off the backing himself. He did put some stickers up himself. Success!

sticker mural 10

Vertical surface work is a necessary and important part of fine motor skills.

It engages the shoulder against gravity, which promotes the development of the hand and arm for writing, it encourages an extended wrist position needed for writing, and finally it is most appropriate visually for young children. More information on vertical surface work from Writeoutofthebox.com

sticker mural 4a

Outcomes of our Sticker Mural Activity

While it looks like they are just “using up old stickers”, really all this is going on:

  • Stickers offer an opportunity to repeat an action many times, refine skills.
  • I saw persistence in an activity.
  • I could see engagement and focus. Some stayed working on stickers for over a half hour.
  • Motor development – moving with coordination, purpose and using eye-hand coordination.
  • Some were experimenting – will the paper backing stick? Nope, it just falls down.
  • I heard talk about colors, shapes, holidays and relating to what they already know: “We had some of that candy (candy corn) at Halloween time.”
  • Some worked independently and others were sharing stickers and taking turns placing them.
  • They were engaging in social interaction and playing with others.
  • Using language and listening.

All valuable points and why we do these types of activities in early childhood education setting!

I also like that this can be an ongoing project in our room. This is the result of just two days. You can see there was interest and time spent here! Children like to be able to go back and “do it again”, reinforcing all those wonderful skills listed above.

sticker mural

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Stacy

Mom Voyáge UrbiniBaby #sponsored #UrbiniBaby #MC

I participated in a Blog Blast on behalf of Mom Central for Urbini. I received information from Urbini to facilitate my post as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

As a child care provider and a mother in the US, I realize I have different experiences than other parents.  Our world is diverse and so are the ways of raising children in other cultures.  Mom Voyáge was created by Urbini to allow moms around the globe to learn how different, and similar, parenting can be in different cultures.

What a great community that enlightens and gives me a new perspective on parenting! It’s interesting to see how maternity leave varies in different areas of the world.. it never seems long enough for us in the US.

UrbiniBaby Mom Voyáge

Mom Voyáge is a community of Mom bloggers who share their experiences in motherhood from all around the world, including Netherlands, France, Britain, Holland, Japan, China and Australia as well as in the US. They give a global perspective on how different cultures name their babies, how they celebrate pregnancies, what their take is on maternity leave, and many other Mom-inspired topics.mom voyage urbini

Visit the Mom Voyáge website and see what interests you. You can also find them here:

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Stacy